Issuu on Google+

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Soldier killed as Israeli is abducted NEWS Page 58

•Engineer kidnapped in Edo

News Senate intervenes in ASUU stike P7 Sports Emenike targets 20 goals for club P24 Business Fitch Ratings affirms eight banks P11 www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 8, NO. 2541 TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

195 police officers to face panel From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

N

O fewer than 195 senior police officers are facing a disciplinary panel for various acts of misconduct, it was announced yesterday. Among the officers are four Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs); 17 Commissioners of Police (CPs); two Deputy Commissioners of Police; six Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs); and 166 others of the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and above. The affected officers are to face the Force Disciplinary Committee (FDC) chaired by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of ‘A’ Department, Suleiman Fakai. Fakai, who briefed reporters at the Force Headquarters shortly before the committee’s sitting yesterday, said all the affectContinued on page 2

•Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (fifth left) with Bishop Magnus Atilade (Asiwaju’s immediate right), Archbishop Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos (Anglican Communion), Dr. Adebola Ademowo(third right), Prelate Methodist Church, Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. S. Ola Makinde (second right) and Revd Adebayo Akinde(right), Bishop Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion) at the interdenominational service held in honor of Tinubu’s mother Alhaja Abibat Asabi Mogaji, at Eko Expo Hall...on Sunday

Troops deployed in schools to stop Boko Haram attack UNICEF, Amnesty seek arrest of killers Britain bans sect

T

ROOPS have been deployed in Government College, Maiduguri, following a threat by Boko Haram members. It is apparently to prevent another massacre of pupils like the one in Yobe where no fewer than 22

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

were killed. In Yobe, there is a heavy security build-up to ward off insurgents. The Defence Headquarters yesterday fingered Boko Haram as the mastermind of the murder of the Yobe pupils, amid reports that the

sect denied responsibility for the gruesome action. Defence Headquarters spokesman Brig-Gen. Chris Olukolade told our correspondent: “Even if they are denying it, Boko Haram members are those in a marauding group doing such a thing.

“The manner in which the students were killed conforms to the pattern of their operation.” UNICEF and Amnesty International demanded the arrest of the perpetrators of the Yobe massacre and protection of pupils. According to a top securi-

ty source, the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ibrahim Ola Sa’ad, has directed the Joint Task Force (JTF) to protect the Government College in Maiduguri, following the receipt of threat letters from insurgents. The source said: “As I am talking to you, JTF has

moved near the school and placed it on surveillance. The school got a series of threat letters, asking students and teachers to leave because western education amounts to nothing. But our troops are up to the task. Continued on page 2

Nigeria gets $1.1b Chinese loan •Trip not jamboree, says Presidency

N

IGERIA has secured a $1.1billionChinese low-interest loan to develop airports and hydro power plants, Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said yesterday. The Coordinating Minister of the Economy spoke ahead of President Goodluck Jonathan’s four-day state visit to China, which starts today. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said she was also looking for Chinese investments and increased trade with Nigeria.

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

She said: “China is desirous of increasing its lifting of Nigerian oil.” The petroleum minister is among senior cabinet members on the trip along with several governors. She said as United States’ demand for Nigerian oil has fallen, India and China have taken up the slack. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said the loan are part of the $3 billion approved by China at less than Continued on page 2

•Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (second right); Charl van Heerden, Managing Director, Brand Fusion Marketing Ltd (left); The Nigerian Representative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Dr. Mairo Mandara (2nd left); Modupe Ladipo, CEO, EFInA (right); and Salah Goss of the BMGF at the launch of the GIS results for Nigeria by the CBN and the BMGF in Lagos...yesterday

•NIGERIAN WINS CAINE PRIZE P56 •RAMADAN BEGINS TOMORROW P2


2

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

NEWS Nigeria gets $1.1b Chinese loan Continued from page 1

•From left: National President Nigerian women Farmers Association, Lizzi Igbiwe, Woman Farmer, Hajia Ladi Baladi President Rockefeller foundation Juddie Rudden,President Goodluck Jonathan, Prime minister of Togo Ahoomey Zunu, Minister of agriculture Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji and Minister of Finance, Prof. Nkozi Okonjo-Iweala during a Conference on Realizing Potential of African Agriculture organized by Rockefeller Foundation at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN

195 police officers to face panel Continued from page 1

ed officers had been queried by the various superior authorities at various times within the past three months. According to him, any of the officers found culpable would be handed disciplinary actions ranging from dismissal, prosecution, demotion, reprimand and warning to advice, depending on the degree of their offences. Any of the officers found without blemish will be exonerated.

Fakai did not release the names of the affected officers, neither did he specify their offences. The panel will be sitting from Monday through Friday, between 10am and 6pm. A report containing the recommendations of the committee would be forwarded to the Police Service Commission for action. Speaking on the activities of the FDC, the police chief said his committee inherited over 3000 cases in January 2013 and

that all the cases had been dispensed with. Some of the officers found culpable in that batch were handed various disciplinary actions ranging from dismissal, prosecution and demotion to reprimand and warning. The committee chairman corrected the impression among members of the public that only junior officers of the rank and file are punished for acts of misconduct. He said: “The Force Disciplinary Committee essentially

serves to review disciplinary matters involving senior officers from the rank of ASP and above who may have erred in the course of their duties and make recommendations to the Police Service Commission. “This is in line with extant provisions and Force policy guiding discipline geared towards upholding professionalism, respect for rule of law and observance of human rights among senior police officers in the performance of their duties”.

Amaechi’s suspension: Judge withdraws from suit

T

HERE was a twist yesterday in the suit by the Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in which he is challenging his suspension by the ruling peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). The suit could not go on. Reason: Justice Emmanuel Ogbuji of the State High Court, who was billed to hear the matter in Port Harcourt, the state capital, had withdrawn from it and returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the State for reassignment. Amaechi’s suspension was an-

From Rosemary Nwisi, Port Harcourt

nounced early last month by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP for alleged anti-party activities - a development that prompted the governor approach the court for redress. He is asking the court to vacate the action. PDP’s counsel Donald DENwigwe (SAN) filed a counter motion challenging the jurisdiction of the state court in dealing with the matter. The lawyer insisted that the as-

pect of jurisdiction in the matter should be decided before any other issue. At the last sitting, Justice Ogbuji assumed jurisdiction to determine whether or not he has full jurisdiction on the matter and fixed yesterday to hear the motion on jurisdiction. But when the court resumed sitting yesterday, the matter was neither listed on the court’s cause list nor discussed in the open court. None of the lawyers representing the parties was sighted in the court. The court premises were

also devoid of the crowd of supporters that usually grace such sessions. The Nation learnt that the case had already been reassigned to Justice Adolphus Enebeli and that the parties are now waiting for hearing notices. Shortly after the court assumed jurisdiction in the case last month, one of the appellant counsels, Emenike Ebete said the judge acted in accordance with the law. He said: “The court assumed temporary jurisdiction to hear the motion challenging its powers to deal with the entire application”.

3 per cent interest rate. Also yesterday, the Presidency maintained that the visit is not a junket. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, spoke with State House correspondents shortly before the departure. He said there are 13 ministers on the entourage in strategic national interest. He also denied the reports in some quarters that the trip was planned to spite United States President Barack Obama for refusing to visit Nigeria during his recent trip to Africa. He said: “China is a very important country. China is the largest market in the world, with its 1.35 billion people. China is also the world’s largest creditor nation. China is also the largest importer and exporter of goods and it is a large consumer of primary commodities, including crude oil. In fact, after the US, China is the largest importer of crude oil in Nigeria. “So, it is in our strategic national interest to have very good relationship with such a country. Nobody can call this trip a junket. The claim that the China trip is a responce to the fact that Obama did not come to Nigeria is also not true because this trip was planned one year ago. Every country has the right to determine where they go. “We have excellent relationship with the U.S. and the truth of the matter is that nobody can overlook America. But China is also an important partner. China has shown a lot of interest in Africa in the last few years. He added: “Nigeria is a major trading partner with China. We have over 30 Chinese companies operating here.” According to him, the President will use the trip to

strengthen the bilateral relations between China and Nigeria. He also explained that since the Chinese President just took over in the country, the trip will provide President Jonathan an opportunity to reach out to key players in China and provide opportunity for the two leaders to establish rapport. “What Nigeria is interested in is long-term sustainable relationship between the two countries. The third leg of the trip is that China is a major trading partner in Nigeria. Last year alone, China imported about 80,000 metric tons of cassava chips. “China has shown a lot of interest and support for the President’s determination to diversify the nation’s economy. So you find China supporting our agricultural programme.” “Part of the purpose of this trip is also to encourage China to invest more in Nigeria; foreign direct investment. The emphasis is not necessarily on loans although during this trip, there are two concessionary loans that will be considered in relation to the Zungeru Hydro Power Project and one other. Nigeria’s Ambassador to China Aminu Wali yesterday raised the alarm over the number of Nigerians in Chinese prisons for mainly drugs related crimes. He put the figure at 400. The ambassador, who spoke to reporters ahead of Jonathan’s state visit, described trafficking in drugs as a big issue that has engaged the Nigerian embassy in China. He called for reorientation and the assistance of security agents in educating young Nigerians in laws of other countries. He said: “We are here to Continued on page 56

Ramadan is Wednesday

T

HE Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs said last night that the first day of Ramadan is tomorrow. A statement by Prof. Sambo Wali Junaidu delcared that the new moon was not sighted yesterday. “In view of this, Wednesday is declared first of Ramadan”. The statement quoted the Sultan of Sokoto Sa’ad Abubakar as wishing the Muslim Ummah a peaceful Ramadan.

Troops deployed in schools to stop Boko Haram attack Britain set to ban Islamic sect, other Continued from page 1

“Also, the CDS has directed that even schools without threats from Boko Haram should be heavily protected in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. “We will certainly secure all the schools in the flashpoints.” As at press time, it was gathered that the CDS has ordered a fresh security build-up in Yobe. Another source said: “The fresh deployment is just a move around type. The main concern is to continue the chase against those behind the killing of these innocent 29 students.” The state government and indigenes have demanded restoration of GSM service to allow them to assist security agencies. But the DHQ said the disadvantages of restoring GSM service outweigh the advantages. A statement by the governor’s Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, said: “The governor, Ibrahim

B

RITAIN is set to ban Boko Haram in a move that makes membership of or support for the organisation a criminal offence. Britain’s Home Office said in a statement yesterday that Boko Haram would be added to its list of outlawed organisations, a roster of foreign and domestic terror groups that includes alQueda and the Irish Republican Army. The move is subject to parliamentary approval. Britain-based Minbar Ansar Deen is also to be proscribed . Home Secretary Theresa May is to lay an order which, if approved by Parliament, will ban both radical IslamGaidam, calls on the Federal Government and military authorities to order the restoration of GSM service across the state. “He said lack of GSM service has prevented patriotic citizens who have hitherto been collaborating with security agents from reporting suspicious movements in their neighbourhoods.” But a Defence source said: “The disadvantages of restoring GSM service far out-

ist organisations from operating in the United Kingdom (UK) from midnight on Friday morning. Minbar Ansar Deen - also known as Ansar al-Sharia UK - promotes terrorism by distributing content through its online forum, which encourages individuals to travel overseas to engage in extremist activity, specifically fighting, the Home Office said. The Government said banning Boko Haram, which aspires to establish Islamic law in Nigeria, will prevent the group from operating in the UK and give the police powers to tackle any UK-based support for the

weigh the advantages. Restoring GSM may retard the progress we have made in the last few weeks or months. “The Boko Haram insurgents had taken advantage of GSM service to unleash mayhem. But since we curtailed GSM service in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, thy have not been able to coordinate. Restoring GSM service now will compound security challenges.

group. Decisions to proscribe the organisations are understood to be unrelated to the murder of soldier Drummer Lee Rigby near Woolwich barracks in southeast London in May. The penalties for proscription offences can be a maximum of 10 years in prison or a £5,000 fine. Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary can proscribe an organisation if it is believed to be concerned in terrorism. However, a high threshold, taking into account the threat the group poses to the UK, must be met for the minister to go ahead and proscribe an organisation.

“In fact, the insurgents became desperate to the extent that the attacks on schools in Borno State were coordinated with Thuraya, despite the huge cost of such a mobile service.” The killing of the 29 students has attracted international outrage from UNICEF and Amnesty International (AI). The two agencies yesterday demanded the arrest of the perpetrators of the Yobe

massacre and protection of school children. UNICEF, through its Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine, said: “The deaths of students in yet another attack on a school in northeast Nigeria should be condemned absolutely by all communities, “As we extend our sympathy to the families of the victims, we would say in the strongest possible terms that

•Shekau

there can be no justification for the deliberate targeting of children and those looking after them. “UNICEF is calling for Continued on page 56

ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

3


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

4

NEWS

Dangote, U.S., UK Foreign governments, such as the United States, and private companies, led by Dangote, lead efforts to help Nigeria see beyond petro-dollars, writes Reuters • House of Representatives’ Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha (right) , Senator Khairat Abdulrazaq Gwadabe (left) and human rights activist Clement Nwankwo at a meeting on the Civil Society Organisations' Review of the 1999 Constitution in Abuja...yesterday.

• From left: Chairman, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) Mr Kolapo Lawson; Chairman, Provident Life Assurance, Ghana Mr Kojo Thompson and Group CEO, Old Mutual Nigeria Mr Offong Ambah,at the Old Mutual Nigeria cocktail in Lagos.

• From left: Unido International Consultant Ms Ruth Nyakotey; Industrial Development Officer Mr Tiddiane Boye, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment Samuel Ortom and UNIDO Representative in Nigeria Dr Patrick Kormawa at the launch of the Investment Monitoring Platform in Nigeria...yesterday.

• Chairman, MTN Nigeria Mr Pascal Dozie (left) and Chief John Odeyemi at the Old Mutual Nigeria cocktail party held in Lagos.

,

D

OWN a winding dirt track in this sleepy village in northern Nigeria lies a corn farm which looks much like the dozens that surround it. The difference is, this one is turning a profit. “I can barely lift my 8-year-old. He’s the fattest in the village,” said Ibrahim Mustapha, 50, drawing laughter from his fellow farmers as he pretends to lift up his chubby son. The Babban Gona or “Great Farm” project, in northern Kaduna state, is one of a handful where private investment is helping former subsistence farmers like Mustapha make profits for themselves and the companies backing them. When President Goodluck Jonathan was elected two years ago, he pledged reforms that would transform the lives of tens of millions of farmers who live on less than $2 a day despite occupying some of Africa’s most fertile land. Oil remains the main source of foreign currency and state revenues, but agriculture is by far the biggest contributor to GDP, making up 40 percent of Africa’s second largest economy. With 170 million mouths to feed and a growing food import bill thanks to the disarray in the farming sector, agriculture ministry officials say there’s no time to lose. If productivity does not improve Nigeria could face a food crisis within a decade, its current account surplus would be wiped out and the credit worthiness of Africa’s second biggest debt issuer would be under threat. “If we did nothing, it would be a disaster,” Agriculture Minister Akinwumi Adesina told Reuters in the capital. “We don’t eat oil, we don’t drink it ... We cannot sustain the amount of money we use to import food,” Adesina said, a Nigerian flag hanging behind his office chair. In some cases, the imports substitute for things Nigerians are growing but can’t get to market or lack the means to process. The country is the second largest grower of citrus fruit in the world after China and yet it spends $200 million a year on imported fruit juice while its own produce rots, Adesina said. It also produces 1.5 million metric tons (1 metric ton = 1.1023 tons) of tomatoes annually of which 45 percent perish, while consumers spend $360 million on tomato paste imported from countries such as Italy and China.

CURING DUTCH DISEASE To succeed, Adesina’s reforms will need to reverse the inadvertent damage done to the sector by Africa’s earliest and biggest oil and gas boom, which crowded out other commodities. In the 1960s, Nigeria was the biggest exporter of peanuts in the world and had 27 percent of the palm oil trade. It remains one of the world’s top cocoa growers, but production and bean quality have declined since their heyday in the 1970s. While an elite allied to a series of military dictatorships grew rich on the

•Obama

spoils of the energy sector, millions of mostly subsistence farmers were given little or no help at all. The result: Nigeria is now the world’s second largest importer of rice and the biggest buyer of U.S. wheat, while much of its own fertile land lies fallow. A booming population has sent its food import bill rocketing to around $11 billion a year equivalent to more than a third of the federal budget. Agriculture also offers the best chance to cut unemployment, which feeds an Islamist insurgency in the north and oil theft in the south. Unemployment is 23 percent and youth unemployment double that, national statistics suggest. “Poverty is the source of a lot of the insecurity problems we have. A hungry man is an angry man,” Adesina said. The minister plans to create 3.5 million new jobs in agriculture and boost food production by 20 million metric tons by 2015, the year of the next national election. To achieve this, he wants to boost access to microfinance for farmers and draw in $10 billion of foreign investment into farming and food processing. He has received tentative praise for early successes from foreign diplomats, bankers and aid agencies, but big agro-business projects have yet to take off. Adesina took a corrupt fertiliser subsidy out of politicians’ hands and now farmers are texted subsidy vouchers directly to their mobile phones so they can recoup from fertiliser sellers, a policy used in Kenya’s farming reforms. Seventy percent of farmers now receive subsidised fertiliser and seeds, compared with 11 percent under the corrupt program previously run by state governments, Adesina said.

LONG ROAD AHEAD Production of rice, cassava, wheat, sorghum, and corn are rising and cocoa, Nigeria’s most important export crop, looks set to go up by more than a third this season. In 2012, agriculture exports rose by 128 billion naira ($788 million) and food imports fell by 850 billion, Adesina says. Foreign investors such as food giant Cargill, seed company Syngenta, brewer SABMiller and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote are planning to build everything from fertiliser plants to food processing factories. Yet rice imports still soak up $7


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

5

NEWS

move to help Nigeria break black gold’s curse ‘ pledged Dangote has to spend $35 million on a tomato paste plant in the northern city of Kano and $45 million in Cross River State to process pineapple juice. +Adesina says he has received $8 billion in commitments but such promises are often not kept in Nigeria. •Cameron

•Dangote

million a day, while poor infrastructure and policy flip-flopping have in the past seen farming potential wasted. Farmers needs infrastructure to get goods to market — and rural Nigeria’s is as woeful as it gets. Nigerian billionaire Dangote has pledged to spend $35 million on a tomato paste plant in the northern city of Kano and $45 million in Cross River State to process pineapple juice. Adesina says he has received $8 billion in commitments but such promises are often not kept in Nigeria. Cargill and SABMiller told Reuters they are only “considering” investing. “I would estimate that no more

than one dollar of investment actually occurs for every $100 of announced commitments,” said Fola Fagbule, an Africa-focused investment banker in Lagos. A central bank initiative has issued guarantees on around 25 billion naira of agriculture loans since it began in July last year, lifting lending to the sector to around 4 percent of total loans, from 1.5 percent at end-2009, the bank says. The World Bank is putting in $100 million into agriculture, while British and U.S. aid projects pump in tens of millions. This barely scratches the $10 billion Adesina says the sector needs by 2015.

•Dr. Adesina

Smallholders say banks still don’t lend to them, while the scheme doles out cheap money to big firms. “We’ve heard it all before and I have never seen it get better,” says Alhaji, a farmer wrestling with two scrawny long-horned cows dragging a rusty plough through a field. “I have 15 children and ... we barely get enough food to feed ourselves,” he said.

BEARING FRUIT? A few success stories nonetheless give cause for optimism. Farmer Mustapha says he made $1,350 per hectare from his harvest after paying back private firm Doreo

Partners, which runs the Babban Gona project, compared to previous years where he might earn $200 per hectare. “Now I want to grow my farm, I have so much space I never used. Now I will send my children to school,” he said, while behind him mostly unused farmland stretched to the horizon. Doreo is working with 600 farmers. It has ambitious plans to boost this to 500,000 by 2020, and 5 million by 2030. “I know it sounds ambitious but it’s been done elsewhere and Nigeria has so much easy-to-reach potential,” said Kola Masha, the company’s head.

Masha is attempting to emulate giant food cooperatives like CHS in the U.S. or India’s dairy franchise Amul, who make huge profits while helping millions of smallholder farmers. He gives farmers high-quality fertilizer, seeds, equipment and expertise on credit to massively increase their yields, while negotiating with firms like Nestle to buy the produce at higher prices than the farmers could get themselves. Farmers working with Masha, he said, are using 40 times more fertilizer than neighbors who could never afford that amount. “It’s early days but I’m more optimistic than I’ve ever been,” he said.

Boko Haram’s onslaught on schools F

OLLOWING an attack on a boarding school that killed 42 children and teachers, the governor of Nigeria’s northeastern Yobe state has directed that all secondary schools be closed starting today until they convene in September for the new academic year. The Saturday pre-dawn attack on the school saw gunmen – believed to be Boko Haram Islamist insurgents – set fire to the building and shooting pupils as they tried to flee. Survivors of the attack are being treated for gunshot wounds and burns. This marks the third attack on schools in recent weeks, including two in Yobe. On June 19, unknown gunmen attacked a secondary school in the Customs area of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State and the epicenter of a four-year Islamist insurgency. Four teachers and two students were reportedly killed in the raid. The slaughter of children at the school takes place amid a nearly two-month crackdown on Boko Haram by the Nigerian government of President Goodluck Jonathan. In mid-May the government scotched discussions and ended rumors about an amnesty for the Islamic fighters, and launched a sweeping offensive to end a fouryear campaign by Boko Haram – which translates loosely to “Western Education is Sinful” – to create an Islamic state, partly by the killing of thousands of men, women, and children. The operation, launched on May 14, included placing three of Nigeria’s northeastern states under

Three schools have fallen victims of Boko Haram attacks in the last few weeks, reports Christian Science Monitor

EU: foreign interest not ruled out in Boko Haram’s attacks

E

UROPEAN Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS Mr. David Macrae has said there is foreign interest in the security challenges facing the country. Macrae spoke in Abuja yesterday. He said: “We were all very surprised, especially by the suicide bombings because as we all know that Nigeria has a lot of life. The idea that Nigerians will want to sacrifice their lives for such a ridiculous calls is beyond the comprehension of Nigerians. We can only think that this kind of thing is foreign inspired.” He said terrorism could not be tied to religion, saying “it is criminal”. He added that the perpetrators should be treated as criminals. Macrae said the EU “will be very supportive of dialogue. Interfaith dialogue and understanding is the key to a long term solution”. The EU envoy hailed the security forces, saying that the union was in full “support for the security services in the country; adding that “We are fully behind the work of security services”. He urged the security operatives to act within the rules of engagement, so as to ensure respect for human lives. Macrae said it was a shame that the country had not harnessed its vast mineral resources. He said: “Here in Nigeria, we have the oil but some call it a curse because during this time that the oil has been a state of emergency. Phone services have been cut to prevent intelligence of military operations from spreading within Islamist cells. In mid-June the use of satellite phones was also banned. The offensive initially stemmed the unrest, and the military has

From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

flowing, things have not been going the way they should have. There are imbalances in the economy. There are not enough activities taking place to provide jobs. It is a shame! There is a lot of importation of things like fruits in a country which has plentiful land. Really much more could be done to develop agriculture and should have been done in the past. Those things the country had in the past which were not put to good use have all contributed to the situation we find ourselves here”. Citing Rwanda as an example, Macrae noted that its numerical and economic disadvantage had been recording high rate of economic growth while in Nigeria with its population strength “there has been growth which has not been inclusive. “Nigeria has tremendous possibilities in the people with very lively society but lacked governance. We need accountability and an end to impunity”. He also recommended that “strong institutional framework if investments are to be sustainable.” He added: “It is not sustainable if you have non-accountability. There is need for total accountability and transparency for all public monies spent. The idea of centrally transferring money to the States or to Local Governments and not being accounted for is not the way to go”.

claimed some major successes. However, it has failed to stop the sect from launching devastating attacks, indicating that military gains may be short-lived. Boko Haram cells have shown in the past that they can go into hiding only to then regroup and adapt to

security measures, and finally overcome them. Attacks on schools have taken place steadily in Borno and the northeast, where Boko Haram has vilified secular education as usurping its efforts to impose Sharia law. Muslims schools have not escaped the sect’s efforts either and have

been targets of arson attacks. Targeting schools has historically been secondary to and less frequent than Boko Haram’s attacks on security forces and assassinations of public officials. “Since Boko Haram has attempted to reassert itself during the heightened northeast military campaign, it is clear that soft targets such as schools and churches have become the group’s primary objects,” according to a security expert in Nigeria. A continuation of the spate of suspected terrorist attacks that began reemerging three weeks ago raises concerns over the effectiveness of the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the northeast. Security experts believe that further targeted shootings and low-level bombings can be expected in Borno State as pressured Islamist militants attempt to show their resilience in the face of the military onslaught. Soft targets such as schools and churches will be at increased risk, although militants have made recent attempts to re-launch attacks on security targets. President Jonathan’s administration offered an amnesty and peace talks to members who renounce violence, but their charismatic leader has repeatedly rejected any negotiations. Critics say that until the driving forces such as poverty, unemployment, and mistrust of the southernled government are addressed, no amount of force will be able crush the group. Britain’s Home Office announced yesterday that it was adding Boko Haram to its list of outlawed terror groups.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

6

NEWS Fed Govt awards N167b Lagos- Ibadan Expressway contracts From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

W

ORKS Minister Mike Onolememen yesterday said the Federal Government has awarded the N167 billion Lagos-Ibadan Expressway contracts to Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. and Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) Limited. The firms, who emerged the preferred bidders for Section 1 (Lagos- Shagamu Interchange) and Section 11 (Shagamu Interchange – Ibadan) are to deliver the road in 48 months. In a statement, Onolememen said the ministry has sought and obtain certificate of ‘No Objection’ from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) for the award. He said: “The government had earlier entered into concession agreement with Messrs Bi-Courtney in 2009 to develop the section between Ojota old plaza in Lagos and old toll plaza in Ibadan, a distance of approximately 105 kilometres under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for enhanced quality of service to all users of the highway in tandem with international standards. “Four years later, no real progress was recorded while the road users wallowed in hardship and constantly at risk of accident on the road. “The frequent carnage on the road by September 2012 and the frequent loss of lives and man-hours was detrimental to the economy. “An urgent action needed to be taken to remedy the situation which led the Federal Government to consequently terminate the concession agreement between her and the concessionaire for failing to comply with the provisions of the concession agreement “The 127.6-kilometre expressway traverses three South-Western states of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo. It commences at Ojota interchange through Shagamu junction, Ogere and terminates at Ojoo in Ibadan.”

Tinubu to PDP: worry about decaying carcass in your front yard

A

CTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to worry about what it called decaying carcass in its front yard. The former Lagos State Governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Sunday Dare, said he read with both amusement and disdain a recent statement by PDP Acting National Publicity Secretary Mr. Tony Okeke. The statement criticised Tinubu’s remarks while endorsing Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi for a second term. The statement reads: “We are neither perturbed, disturbed nor surprised at the level to which PDP can descend in order to attack perceived enemies or tormentors of theirs. But we wish to state that first, PDP needs to wash both hands before complaining that the ACN has a speck

•ACN Leader lashes out at ruling party for comment on Fayemi By Joseph Jibueze

of dirt on its thumb. “With all the troubles facing the government and the ruling party, the acting national publicity secretary of that outfit took the time to lodge a complaint about ACN National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, exercising his right as a citizen and party leader to endorse Ekiti Governor Dr. Kayode Fayemi as the party’s governorship nominee so that he might seek a second term come the 2014 election in that state. “The PDP voice box sounded off that it was wicked and undemocratic of Asiwaju Tinubu to state his opinion on a matter concerning the party to which Asiwaju belongs. “We dare say if Mr. Okeke tendered such advice to his party leaders that the vociferous man would rapidly find himself among the growing

‘For Mr. Okeke to suggest that because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a party leader, he does not have the right to talk about a party matter is lunacy of the first order’ number of jobless Nigerians walking the streets due to the errant policies of his party. “Since we have no desire to add to the ranks of Nigeria’s unemployed, we will help the man do his job better by teaching him a bit about democracy and party politics. Asiwaju Tinubu is not a brick or a piece of wood. He is a person, a Nigerian citizen to be exact. “As such, he has the perfect right to express his opinion on political matters and to endorse whom he may endorse for the position of the ACN nominee for the Ekiti gover-

norship. “In due course, Asiwaju will surely endorse who he would want for other elective positions across the country in full excercise of his fundamental right. I predict Mr. Okeke will get acute indigestion from that act as well. “For Mr. Okeke to complain is to suggest that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu should remain silent. As such, Okeke shows his ignorance that the Nigerian constitution has enshrined freedom of speech as a fundamental right of all Nigerians, even us in the opposition. “For Mr. Okeke to suggest that because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a party leader, he does not have the right to talk about a party matter is lunacy of the first order. “Let us explain to him how a democratic political party works. Party leaders are entitled to express their opinion and endorse whom they like. “The matter does not end

•The Flag Officer Commanding, Naval Training Command, Rear Admiral Azubuike Ajuonu (left) presenting a gift to Navy Secretary Rear Admiral Harry Ngonadi, when he visited Lagos.

•Asiwaju Tinubu

there. Of course, party members have the right to their opinion but this enables them to weigh the opinions of their leaders. Should any disagree, they have the right to disagree. Should anyone want to compete against the incumbent for the party ticket, they may. “However, now they know they will do so without the help of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Far from being undemocratic, Bola Tinubu was being transparent. He did not disguise his belief. He openly expressed it so that all will know where he stands. If you want to do otherwise, you can, but you do so knowing it will be minus his support. This is an exercise of clear decisive leadership in fledgling democracy. “It is a starkly different picture than how the PDP operates. That party does things in the dark so much that when they are merely in the shadows they think it is a bright light. Before attacking the ACN, Mr. Okeke should reflect on how he came to be acting national publicity secretary. “It was because INEC ruled the convention which selected his erstwhile superior was a fundamentally flawed exercise. It was undemocratic. The ACN has never suffered such a ruling. “In the end, the PDP is frightened because they know Governor Fayemi has performed impressively and that they have no one to beat him. Their only hope is to create discord in the ACN. It will not work. “Thus, Mr. Okeke should resign himself to minding his own house. Before complaining about the lone fly at our backdoor, he should worry about the decaying carcass in their front yard.”

‘ACN governors didn’t boycott launch of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway reconstruction’ The party said the PDP’s ActHE Action Congress of We were not invited, says Fayemi ing National Publicity SecreNigeria (ACN) yester-

T

day described as fallacious the claim by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the ACN governors in the Southwest shunned last week’s flagoff of the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by President Goodluck Jonathan. In a statement in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also said only the Governors of Lagos, Oyo and Ogun were invited to the ceremony, hence it is inaccurate to give the impression that all the ACN Governors in the Southwest were expected to be there. It said while Governor Ibikunle Amosun attended the flag-off, the Governors of Lagos and Oyo sent their deputies to represent them because both of them were out of the country. “How then could anyone who believes in the truth, and nothing but the truth, infer in a public statement that the Governors shunned the ceremony because of politics? How difficult is it for a self-respecting

E

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi, yesterday said Southwest governors did not shun the flag -off of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway reconstruction by President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday. He criticised claim by the national leadership of the PDP that Southwest governors deliberately shunned the flag -off. The PDP, had, in a statement by its Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Tony Okeke, alleged that the governors deliberately stayed away from the flag off for “parochial partisan reasons”. But Fayemi, however, in a statement in Abuja by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, said the PDP’s claim was a mere fabrication capable of misleading the public. He added that not all the governors of the zone were invited to the flag off, hence the question of deliberately shunning the event does not arise. He said the governors have respect for the office and the person of Mr. President, but would find it difficult to attend an event for which they were never invited. The statement reads in part: “It is not true that governors of the Southwest shunned the flag off of the reconstruction of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by President Goodluck Jonathan. We respect the office and person of Mr. President and will readily support him on any good cause such as the reconstruction of the road. “Mr. President is not unaware that the Southwest Governors were at the forefront of discussions to stop the badly executed By Precious Igbonwelundu

party spokesman to check the veracity of the information at his disposal before feeding

such to the public? “Is it possible that a spokesman for a ruling party does not know that Deputy Governors

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

concession of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by Bi-Courtney and had suggested other options to get the road fixed during a meeting with him last year, in view of the importance of the road not only to the Southwest but to the country as a whole. “It thus came as a surprise that such a major ceremony could take place in the zone without an invitation from the Presidency. Instead of accusing the governors of the zone of partisanship, the PDP should have asked the Presidency why the governors were excluded. “There is no denying the fact that the Southwest governors are happy that Mr. President has accepted one of the options proffered during their meeting with him on the subject of the road reconstruction last year. The Governors had during their meeting with Mr. President given the option of either fixing the road themselves or the Federal Government fixing it like it is doing in all the other zones in the country. We are happy that one of the options proffered had now been accepted by the President, even as several other roads in the zone remain abandoned” “The Governors are hopeful that the contract will be executed with good speed and with minimum inconvenience to our people.” The statement urged the PDP leadership to “always endeavour to present correct positions of things to the public as against deliberate distortion of facts, which is usually informed by mischief.” can stand in for their principals even at statutory meetings like the National Council of State and the National Economic Council? Or does the PDP now

believe that peddling outright lies is the way to go to give its flagging image a rebound?’’ ACN queried.

tary, Mr. Tony Okeke, has undoubtedly embarrassed his party and its leadership with the level of ignorance and amateurism he has so far exhibited on the job. “Mr. Okeke should realise that in his frenzied attempt to impress his masters and hold on to the job, he is actually embarrassing them, and that this may get him out of the job faster than he had imagined. He should know that the first thing he has to learn as a party spokesman is to check his facts before pushing out any statement. “If he did not personally attend the flag-off, he could have asked if indeed the invited Governors were represented and at what level. He could also have cross-checked with the presidency to know who and who were invited to the ceremony. Apparently he is not in the scheme of things in the PDP. But he must know that no party spokesman can be effective by peddling beer-parlour information as facts,” ACN said.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

7

NEWS Hezbollah: ‘Accused have confessed to charges’ •Defence denies confession From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

A

FEDERAL High Court in Abuja heard yesterday that the three Lebanese being held for alleged terrorism have confessed to having undergone training under the military wing of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. The court was also told that the three - Mustapha Fawaz (49 years), Abdullahi Thahini (48) and Tahal Roda (51) - facing a six-count charge of terrorism, allegedly confessed to financial relationship between them and the international group. The three Lebanese are on trial with two of their companies - Amigo Supermarket Limited and Wonderland Amusement Park Resort. The Acting Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Simon Egede, made the claims when he argued against the accused persons’ bail application. He cautioned the court against granting bail to the accused on the ground that they could jump bail. “From their statements, they confessed to some of the charges against them. We have annexed the statements written in their writing: their training by a terrorist organisation and their financial support over the years. “We have exhibited samples of the US dollars found in the custody of one of them, which was in furtherance of their financial support to the international organisation. During trial, we will lead evidence to establish that,” Egede said. But arguing the bail application, the lead defence lawyer, Robert Clarke (SAN), urged the court to grant his clients bail, because they have been in custody for about two months. He assured that they would neither escape trial nor tamper with prosecution’s witnesses. Replying on point of law, Clarke denied Egede’s claim that his clients confessed to the crime.

Publisher dead

P

RINCE Francis Nwana Tabansi, KSM Akunwafor (Oba Nri) is dead. He died on June 23, after a brief illness. He was 82. The late Tabansi founded Tabansi Press Limited in the 1950s and was the pioneer publisher of the famous Onitsha Market Literature. He is survived by a wife, Catherine, and seven children: Obiageli, Kelvin, Frank, Pascal, Maureen, Anselm and Ijeoma. He will be buried at his hometown, Nri, Anambra State on September 20.

•The late Prince Tabansi

Strike: National Assembly invites minister

T

HE Senate and the House of Representatives joint Committee on Education as well as the Federal Government will meet on the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, said yesterday. At a meeting with vice– chancellors in Abuja, the minister said it would be good for ASUU to return to the classroom while negotiations continue. Prof Rufa’i denied having deliberations on the ASUU strike but explained that the meeting was based on the management and how to improve the universities. She said: “I know that this question will come up; that’s why I said our meeting today is on management and how to enhance our universities. We are not meeting to strategise against our colleagues (ASUU). “We are going to meet with ASUU and all those that are concerned at the Senate tomorrow. We will appear before the Senate and the House Committee on Education. All of us will be there to brainstorm, and I believe that under that circumstance we will take decisions. “People will know more about the relationship and

•Minister: let ASUU call off the action

Mid-term report: Fed Govt hasn’t delivered on education, says ASUU

T

HE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday said the Goodluck Jonathan administration has not delivered on its promises for the education sector in the last two years. The union was reacting to Dr Jonathans’s challenge to Nigerians, especially civil society groups, which he urged to benchmark the administration’s performance in some sectors, including education, in the last two years. But ASUU President, Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge, faulted the government’s position on education when he spoke at a review of the government’s scorecard, organised by the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDM). He said only a negligible percentage of the population accessed education under the present administration. The ASUU president noted that the primary educational objective of the administration is to satisfy the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

what Federal Government is doing to on the crisis. But the good thing is that we are pleading for them to go back to classes. The best way is for them to go back to the classes. Let our children be in

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

only. Fagge added that the establishment of 12 new universities in the face of deteriorating facilities in existing tertiary institutions was simply “a political agenda”. He said China developed at a fast pace because of its investment in empirical education. The ASUU president noted that there has been a decline in post-primary schools’ standards, adding that the nation’s universities have no facilities for research. On the performance of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Fagge said the commission has shirked its responsibilities and diverted to organising workshops that are irrelevant to its mandates. ISMD Executive Director Dr. Chima Amadi said: “The least that should be expected from a civil society is to place the assertions contained in the mid-term report in the crucible of logical analysis against the backdrop of realities faced by everyday Nigerians.”

school and we will continue to discuss.” The minister told the vicechancellors that there were unethical practices and misuse of resources at the universities. Prof Rufa’i said: “The government notes with dismay

that many private and state universities are yet to establish effective governance structures. This has grave implications for the day-to-day running and ultimate development of universities. The National Universities Commission (NUC) had directed

that this be done soonest. “The issue of award of honorary degrees to undeserving personalities has continued to be an embarrassment to the government. Institutions that indulge in wrong mobilisation of students for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) will henceforth be sanctioned. The government notes with concern the upsurge in insecurity and other social vices on campuses. Universities are advised to liaise with relevant government agencies and strengthen their internal security networks to avoid ugly occurrences.” The minister decried the universities’ directive on workers’ and students’ audit. She said: “Sadly, the response of universities so far has fallen short of being satisfactory. I, therefore, call on all stakeholders, councils, management, staff and students unions, to cooperate with government to actualise this important assignment.” She advised the vice-chancellors to ensure good governance, transparency and accountability as well as access and quality assurance in university management to sustain the Education Sector Reform Agenda.

‘Await decision on Oronsaye Report’ From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

T

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) (right), receiving copies of some books by renowned constitutional lawyer and author, Prof Ben Nwabueze (SAN) titled: Ben Nwabueze: His Life, Works and Times - An Autobiography (Volumes 1 & 2), at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos...yesterdat. With them is Mrs SMargaret Onyema-Orakwusi

Senate begins constitution review debate

T

HE Senate will today begin the scrutiny of the clauses in the report of its Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. Already, it has perfected its electronic voting system. The senators are expected to vote for or against each of the clauses. Some of the contentious issues for amendment include the six-year single term for the President and governors, state creation, local government autonomy, state police and autonomy for state Assemblies. Others include devolution of powers, recognition of six geo-political zones, fiscal federalism, mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and executive immunity. It was learnt that there has been heightened lobbying by interest groups and geopolitical blocs to sway voting among senators. Geopolitical zones were also said to have held a series of meetings to perfect their positions on salient issues slated for amendment. A governor from the Northwest report-

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

edly attended one of the meetings held by senators from the zone. The governor was said to have expressed strong views on state police and state creation. He was said to have insisted that the lawmakers should not only vote against state police and state creation but also lobby others to vote against them. The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution (SCRC), Ike Ekweremadu, while presenting the draft bill, said the report covered the committees’ activities from 2009 2010 and 2010 - 2011 sessions. Ekweremadu said: “The recommendations in the Draft Bill set out institutional and legal reforms which, together with sufficient political will, may help to ensure the drafting of a constitution in accordance with international rule of law and equality, provide for constitutional and other legal guarantees for the practice of true federalism; provide for ac-

countability and transparency in governance; and, create an independent judicial system that would ensure the proper administration of justice in Nigeria.” He said the Bill was meacontradictions and ambiguities, supply omissions, and make the Constitution more practical and relevant to the needs of Nigerians in the 21st century”. The current amendment, according to him, is also meant to take out the following Acts of the National Assembly from the .onstitution: The Land Use Act, NYSC Act, Public Complaints Commission Act and the National Security Agencies Act (Section 315). Some of the issues that have generated controversies since the report was presented include six-year single tenure for the President and governors and the rejection of state creation. The Presidency, in its reaction, said the provision was targeted at stopping President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the 2015 election.

HE Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, yesterday urged Nigerians to disregard the ongoing speculations on the Steve Oronsaye Report on RationaliSation of Government Parastatals and Agencies. In a statement in Abuja, Anyim said Nigerians should await the final decision of the government on the matter. The statement reads: “The attention of the Federal Government has been drawn to widespread speculations and rumours on the decisions of the government on the Report of the Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, chaired by Mr. Steve Oronsaye. “The government wishes to clarify that the report of the Oronsaye Committee, as submitted to the government, is undergoing the process of consideration, after which the government’s decisions will be gazzeted and made public,” the statement said.

WAEC extends registration

T

HE West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has extended the “normal entry” registration period for this year’s November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for private candidates till July 31. A statement by the WAEC’s Deputy Director (Public Affairs), Mr Yusuf Ari, noted that the “late entry period” is from August 1 to 9. The statement added that intending candidates can purchase the registration materials, including Personal Identification Number (PIN), from the following banks: First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Enterprise Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

8

NEWS 2015 election under threat, says Fayemi By Emmanuel Oladesu

G

OVERNOR Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has said if the present security challenges were not addressed, the 2015 general elections might not hold. Fayemi, who spoke at a media interaction, wondered why the leadership of the country could not come up with a solution to the crisis. He said: “I wonder whether we are the first country in the world afflicted with such crisis or why it appears as if we don’t have reprieve from it.” According to him, the crisis lingered “because we have not paid attention to intelligence as much as we should. Till now, the Police Intelligent Unit is still zero and the Military Intelligence is not as impressive as it should be.” While saying that “we are just left with the State Security Service (SSS) that seems to have a semblance of it,” Governor Fayemi added that “this has given us challenges that are almost coming to the prediction of the National Intelligence Agency as we move near 2015.” He said there were things the Americans saw “that we don’t see or that we have resigned to fate, thinking we need to make a call to the leadership and to all of us to begin to respond to the situation.” He went on: “It is a marshall plan we need even if it will mean that we should put half of our resources at the disposal of the affected states. We cannot have 10.5 children out of school and not see the correlation between violence and poverty. Poverty and violence are related. We must do certain things to break them.

Fed Govt not fair to Yoruba, says Osuntokun

F

ORMER Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Prof. Akinjide Osuntokun, yesterday said the Federal Government has not been fair to the Yoruba. He said they had been neglected by the government. The Professor of History spoke at the 74th birthday lecture of the Chairman of Splash, Chief Adebayo Akande, at the Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan. He urged the Federal Government to address the imbalance. Speaking on the topic: ‘The place of the Yoruba in the ethno-political configuration of Nigeria’, Osuntokun said: “It

is in the interest of the country that the Federal Government must be fair to every zone irrespective of its political leaning. “Government must not wait until there is rebellion or militancy of the youth in the Southwest before embarking on firebrigade or palliative measures.” Osuntokun, who called for the classification of the Yoruba political structures, said: “The people, who believe and advocate belonging to the mainstream and joining those in government have had their positions weakened by the fact

that there is nothing to show for the time when one of their sons was at the helm at the Presidency between 1999 and 2007. “The Yoruba watched helplessly as their roads became bad and other features of modern life collapsed. They were not singled out for favour. “If the truth must be told, the Obasanjo government bent over backward to accommodate other ethnic groups at the expense of the Yoruba. Since 2003 and until recently, no Yoruba woman has been found suitable for ministerial appointment in a country where Yoruba women led in the acquisition of Western edu-

cation since the imposition of colonial rule. “Even in the distribution of ministerial positions, the Yoruba have fared worse than other ethnic groups. It is open to debate if the Yoruba would have fared worse if they had not belonged to the mainstream.” Considering the fact that the Southwest was regarded as a land of opposition, he said: “It is true that if Yorubaland is perceived as the land of opposition, its people would be subjected to political victimisation. “There will be avenues of redress in the courts and in forming political autonomy. Things are in a state of political

flux and it seems most Nigerians would rather have a weak centre and a physicallystrengthened state or regional governments. “The Yoruba ought to be able to manoeuvre their way through this labyrinth of political and economic negotiation necessary to see the Nigeria of our dream.” Osuntokun said it was in the interest of the country that the Federal Government should be fair to every zone, irrespective of its political leaning.

‘Ogun committed to people’s welfare’

O

•From left: Executive Director, Lagos & South West of Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kingsley Aigbokhaevbo; Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Jibril Aku; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola; and Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, when the management of the bank visited the state... recently.

Fifth woman Supreme Court Justice takes oath

Ondo council workers, teachers lament non-payment of salaries

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

T

HE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar, yesterday inaugurated the nation’s fifth female Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun. She urged the new Justice to be guided by her conscience in the discharge of her duties. She advised the new Justice to continue to exhibit the good character, which informed her elevation from the Court of Appeal. “I must say that you have a very heavy responsibility on your shoulder. You must therefore strive hard to discharge your duties in accordance with the oath of office you have just subscribed to. “I therefore charge My Lord, Hon Justice KekereEkun to be dedicated and discharge your duties without fear of favour, affection or illwill.” The CJN also reminded other judges that they must do justice to the satisfaction of not just the parties in a case but the public as well. President Goodluck Jonathan recently approved the elevation of Justice Kekere-Ekun following her recommendation by the National Judicial Council (NJC). The Senate confirmed her appointment on June 26.

From: Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

•Mimiko

L

OCAL government workers and primary school teachers in Ondo State are aggrieved over the non-payment of their salaries. Sources said the government deliberately ordered the suspension of the local government workers’ salaries following the discovery of a large scale fraud in the councils. There was also report of illegal recruitment of workers in the local governments. To restore sanity, over 6,000

ghost workers were dismissed from the local governments and verification was carried out to know the legitimate workers. According to the sources, the sacked workers were allegedly recruited into the local government service illegally by the Caretaker Committee chairmen in the 18 councils since 2009. It was learnt that the recruitment of the junior officers from Grade Level 01-06 was done in 2009 without the approval of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC]. The successive caretaker chairmen were said to have found it difficult to cope with the over-bloated monthly

wage bill. It was learnt that some newly-employed workers were said to have no genuine letters of employment, and some were issued letters signed by their chairmen without the approval of the commission. The sources said the ‘illegal’ recruitments were more pronounced shortly before last year’s governorship election. Investigation showed that the excess number of workers at the councils was the bane of its development, as the authority found it difficult to carry out projects. Their monthly allocations were mostly being spent on salaries and wages. Apparently disturbed by the development, Governor

Olusegun Mimiko ordered for a probe of the recruitment in the 18 local governments. A seven-man committee was constituted and it recommended the displacement of 6,000 workers in the local government service. However, the state President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr. Ayo Omoregie, has debunked the allegation of illegal recruitments in the councils, stressing that the screening by the state government was normal to know the population of workers in the 18 councils. Omoregie said about 70 per cent of the workers had been paid April salary, adding that the state government has directed the payment of outstanding arrears.

Why we back Aregbesola, by parties

T

HE Alliance of Collaborating Political Parties (ACPP) in Osun State has explained why it must defend Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s achievements. The ACPP, comprising the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Justice Party (JP), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA), Action Congress of (ACN), National Conscience Party (NCP), All Democratic Congress (ADC) and others, said it was imperative that “any right thinking group should rise against the damaging criticisms of the Aregbesola administration. At a news conference addressed by the Chairman of the ACPP, Comrade Waheed Lawal, in Osogbo yesterday, the group said it should not be seen as praising Aregbesola. ACPP said: “We found it essential to say and present things in the correct perspective for the sake of innocent watchers

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

of events in Osun and prosperity. If we don’t do it, we may lose our respect and credibility among our members and the people who are enjoying most of the wonderful things done by the Aregbesola administration. “It is pertinent to note that they are carried away with the ‘freedom for all and life more abundant’ they now enjoy, so much that they can stone anybody who will condemn Aregbesola’s developmental stride. “We must say that the mushroom parties criticising and the fair-weather friends serving the mouthpiece of a minion, who is spoiling for a revenge, know that Aregbesola has done much in terms of making life more abundant for the people.”

GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has said the rebuilding mission of his administration is aimed at improving the standard of living. Speaking when he opened a one-day workshop on Pilgrims Orientation in the Southwestern states, organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) in Abeokuta yesterday, the governor said his government is determined to create a conducive socio-economic environment that will engender physical and spiritual wellbeing of its citizens. Represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu, Governor Amosun stressed that the five cardinal programmes of his administration have impacted positively on the lives of all and sundry, adding that this has availed the citizenry vantage position to contribute to the development of the state. “As an administration, we are committed to the socioeconomic development of the state and improve on the standard of living of our people. Since inception, we have ensured that the physical and spiritual lives of our people are improved upon through our aggressive approach at developing all sectors of the economy,” he said. He noted that the sensitisation workshop was a step in the right direction as an enlightened pilgrim would pose less challenges to monitoring officials when performing Hajj. Governor Amosun said pilgrims must endeavour to take learning as a continuous process as Islam preaches. The governor enjoined pilgrims to this year’s Hajj to be good ambassadors of the religion, state and country, urging them to desist from acts that could tarnish their image during the exercise. Launching the programme, the Chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Musa Bello, appreciated the discipline exhibited by the state government officials and pilgrims during previous Hajj exercises, which he said had earned accolades from the commission on a yearly basis. He said the exercise was a form of train-the- trainer symposium aimed at sensitising pilgrims on dos and don’ts when performing the Hajj. The Chairman of the State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Dr. Isiaq Yusuf, represented by Alhaji Abidoye Amosun, said the board has evolved media strategies, workshops and screening exercises with the aim of sensitising intending pilgrims.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

9

NEWS

Why we’re backing sacked poly workers, by unions T T

HE national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and that of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) yesterday explained their reasons for backing the 32 sacked workers of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic in Owo, Ondo State. The unions alleged that the workers were being victimised by the institution’s management and the government. They spoke with reporters through their representativesthe Zone C Coordinator of ASUP, Mr. Adewale Dosunmu and the National Secretary of SSANIP, Monday Jegede, after the court session. The unionists said they were at the National Industrial Court

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

to support the sacked workers, comprising 10 lecturers and 22 non-teaching staff. Dosunmu said efforts by the national bodies of the unions to intervene in the matter had failed, following the refusal of the government’s representatives to listen to the national bodies. The Zone C Coordinator of ASUP said: “This case is not new to me. I was a victim of victimisation. For 26 months, I was jobless. Femi Falana Chambers handled my case at the National Industrial Court, Lagos and I was eventually

14-year-old drowns in Osun River From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

A

14-YEAR-OLD boy, Sefiu Sikiru, yesterday drowned in Osun River on Gbongan Road in Osogbo. According to an eyewitness account, the boy with his two friends went to the river to fish. At about 2pm, the boy slipped into the river when trying to catch a fish with a hook and was drowned. It was learnt that his friends ran away. A neighbour, Saheed Buhari, reportedly informed some Moslems praying at a nearby mosque to rescue the boy. He reported the incident at the Ataoja Police Station and men of the State Fire Service and local swimmers were invited to rescue the boy. The Nation learnt that the three-hour rescue mission was frustrated by the downpour. A police source, who preferred anonymity, confirmed the incident.

Residents flee Oke-Ogun over armed robbery From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

A

RMED robbers have laid siege to six border communities in Saki-West Local Government Area of Oyo State. The communities, namely Okerete, Orita, Ayemojuba, Akorede, Jariogbe, and Yankan-Alade close to Nikki, a border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic, are inhabited by Fulani herdsmen. A source said bandits attacked the herdsmen, disposessing them of their money. Residents are said to have relocated to Saki for fear of further attacks. The Fulani herdsmen on Sunday invited the State Commander of the Vigilance Group of Nigeria (VGN), a para-military outfit established by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, to save their lives. The VGN Commander, Mr. Sunday Olajide, said of the 10,000 officers and men under his command, 500 would be deployed to provide security at the border communities.

Oyo security outfit extends service From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

T

HE Oyo State joint internal security outfit, Operation Burst, has extended its service to Oke-Ogun Zone II, comprising Saki West, East and Atisbo local governments to combat border and other related crimes. Operation Burst, consisting of the military, police, State Security Service (SSS) and Civil Defence Corps, was inaugurated yesterday in Saki West Local Government to maintain law and order. Commander of Operation Burst Brig.-Gen. Laz Ilo said it has extended its service to the zone to ensure the security of lives and property. Ilo hailed Governor Abiola Ajimobi for giving security priority. He said this is responsible for the development in the state. According to him, the security outfit would replicate the success it had achieved in Ibadan. Gen. Ilo said: “Let’s not politicise Operation Burst because it is a security outfit. The residents should not be intimidated by the presence of our officers. They are here to protect you and you should give them information to make their job easy.” Addressing his men, the commander urged them to have zero tolerance for indiscipline, stressing that any officer caught in such an act would be dismissed. “Our mission is to respond to every distress call from the civilians. You must not mount any roadblock. Harassment of civilians is forbidden. You should shun bribery because anybody caught will be punished,” he said. The Caretaker Chairman of Saki West Local Government, Mr. Dapo Popoola, lauded the governor for approving the deployment of the force in the zone.

paid my 26 months’ salary. This matter is similar to it and I think my case should be used as a reference. I see victory at the end and I believe my people will be liberated. “These people are being victimised. They were accused of many things. They called them politicians. ASUP is a union; it is not a political party. They went on strike to demand their rights. Instead of being justified, they were victimised. ASUP national body has written letters and mediated in the matter. But when we realised that these people were buying time, we concluded that the judiciary is the last hope and this is why we are in court today.” Jegede alleged that several times he had attempted to see the governor, but was denied access to him. He said: “As the National Secretary of SSANIP, I wrote

to the governor seeking audience with him. I followed this up about six times, but they disallowed me from seeing him. Later, we contacted the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and it intervened. But the governor refused. The workers are being punished because they are demanding their rights. They refused dialogue because they have no genuine reasons for sacking the workers. “We contacted the NLC. On the inauguration day of the governor, I was here, the President of NLC was here in Akure. We tried to meet the governor on this issue, but he refused. Before we attempted to meet him, we met the Rector and the Chairman of the Governing Council twice, but they did not give us genuine reasons.” Justice A.N. Ubaka adjourned the case till October 4 for hearing.

Lagos organises prayer for peace, harmony

HE Office of the Senior Special Assistants to Lagos State Governor on Christian Religious Matters yesterday organised a one-day fasting and prayer for residents. The programme, held simultaneously at the five divisions of the state, namely Lagos Island, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Badagry and Epe, was attended by Christians from different denominations. The first Bible passage was taken from 2 Chronicles 6:22-41 and the second passage was taken from 2 Chronicles 7: 11-14. Clerics prayed for peace and religious harmony, and protection against evil perpetrators. They also prayed for Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, his deputy, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and their families; the executive, legislative and judicial arms; political office holders; civil servants; religious leaders and Lagos State residents. Speaking after the event at the Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, the Senior Special Assistants to Governor Fashola on Christian Religious Matters, Rev. Sam Ogedengbe and Rev. Funmi Akitoye-Braimoh said: “Lagos State Government organised the religious programme to promote peace and religious harmony among residents. “We thank God that there is security in Lagos, but we need to continue to pray against insecurity. This is our Jerusalem, we need to ensure that there is peace, harmony and development in Lagos. The Bible says we should pray for our leaders. That was why we prayed for Governor Fashola, Deputy Governor Orelope-Adefulire and others.” Monsignor Bernard Okodua of the Catholic Church, Rev. Sunday Ola Makinde of the Methodist Church and Bishop Magnus Atilade of the Gospel Baptist Church were among the clergymen that attended the event.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

10 CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

Bank chief meets tragic death ‘Enugu StateA born Udeh was "hit by bullets in

FTER a five-day struggle to live, Douglas Udeh, Head, E-Banking at the Fidelity Bank, Adeyemo Alakija Branch,Victoria Island, Lagos, has lost the battle. On June 30, he had sustained bullet injuries when he was caught up in a shoot-out between suspected armed robbers and the police. He died last Thursday after futile efforts to make him live by doctors at the Lagoon Hospital, Apapa. The late Udeh and his wife, Chioma, were abducted by the robbers on that fateful Sunday in Jibowu area, where they had gone to pick a relation from a park. With his wife, he was said to have been forced into the booth of their Toyota Corolla car by the bandits. The late Udeh, a Marketing Communications Strategist, and his wife, were driven to Balogun area by the robbers, where they allegedly robbed two banks. It was gathered that the robbers, while leaving the second bank, encountered some policemen, leading to an exchange of gunfire. In the process, Enugu State-born Udeh was "hit by bullets in the

T

the stomach and heart." The bandits were said to have abandoned the car and escaped, leaving the father of two in a pool of blood, as his wife watched in helplessness’ By Jude Isiguzo, Police Affairs Correspondent

stomach and heart." The fleeing bandits were said to have abandoned the car and escaped, leaving the father of two in a pool of blood, as his wife watched in helplessness. A colleague of the deceased said that after the shot-out, Mrs Udeh rushed to a nearby police station to

seek assistance for her husband. "At the station, the police inundated her with questions, over her mission out there at that "ungodly" hour. They ignored her until a senior officer walked in and asked what the problem was. He ordered his men to follow her to the scene", the source at the Fidelity Bank told The Nation. Udeh was reportedly rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of the Lagoon Hospital, where some bullets were extracted from his body. But his condition did not improve. His family decided to fly him out of the country for surgery and further treatment. His employers also made the move. Thus, the bank arranged for a hired air ambulance from South Africa. But Udeh gave up the ghost as he was being wheeled into the ambulance on the tarmac of the airport in Lagos last Thursday. Efforts to speak with his widow at their Ilupeju home failed as she was too devastated to talk. Lagos Police spokesperson Ngozi Braide said yesterday that she was yet unaware of the incident, saying she would find out its details.

Family seeks justice over property

HE family of Adeshiba Ayeloja Adedewe yesterday urged a Lagos High Court, to stop the Ojora of Ojora, Oba Fatai Aromire from demolishing their "property." The houses, they said, are on a vast area of land measuring approximately 1, 324 hectres situated in Awori, in Badagry District of Lagos State. Also joined in the suit as defendants are the Odofin of Ojora land, Chief Fatai Sulaiman; the Attorney General and Surveyor General, Lagos State; Lagos State Physical Planning, Surveyor-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State. The claimants, Shehu Adedewe, Nureni Adedewe and Morufu Adedewe sued for themselves and their family. They are asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from selling, allotting, destroying or building any structure on the land in dispute. The claimant, through their lawyer, Chief Segun Raji, are seeking a declaration that their family is entitled to customary/statutory right of occupancy of their family land delineated and reaffirmed by the colonial government's survey plan of December 20, 1917. They also prayed the court to declare that the first and second defendants (Ojora of Ojora and Odofin of

By Joseph Jibueze

Ojora land) are not entitled to the land in dispute. They said defendants' transaction and dealings on the disputed land are unconstitutional, null and void. Specifically, the claimants want the court to set aside the judgment which favoured the first and second defendants in suit No- LD/562/72. According to them, the judgment was allegedly obtained by fraud. The claimants said the land in dispute had exclusively belonged to their great grandfather, Adeshiba Ayeloja Adedewe, for over 500 years. Their great grandfather, they said, had been in possession of the land before the Logos Colony was divided into three. They said it was Oba Ado who invited his friend (the claimants' great grandfather) from the Opake Eganyima town, now known as Orile Iganmu, to his place. But, the first and second defendants, in their statement of defence and counter claim filed by their lawyer, Ola Okunniyi, urged the court to dismiss the suit. They said it was an abuse of the judicial process. This, they said, is with regard to the final judgment of the Supreme Court in suit No- SC/54/2005, which determined the rights and interest of par-

‘They are asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from selling, allotting, destroying or building any structure on the land in dispute’ ties in respect of the land in dispute. They prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the claimants, whether by themselves, servants, agents or privies, from further trespassing or attempting to exercise proprietary rights over the land. They are urging the court to hold that the claimants have no known interest whatsoever in the land in dispute. The defendants also want the court to hold that based on several judgments in suits numbered LD/562/72; CA/L86/2001 and SC/54/2005, they are the rightful owners of the land. Justice Agnes Nicole-Clay adjourned further proceedings on the case till October 28.

CITYBEATS

Pastor's daughter battles heart disease

FIVE-year-old Erioluwa Olabisi, daughter of resident pastor of Christ Life Baptist Church, Ejigbo, a Lagos suburb, Rev. Zechariah Olabisi, needs urgent financial assistance for a corrective heart surgery in China. After a diagnosis, a hole was initially discovered in her heart when she was barely two months old. Upon a medical intervention in India in 2008, relief came, thus foreclosing the possibility of surgery. Trouble, however, resurfaced in May, this year, when Erioluwa's ailment relapsed with multiple complications. The pupil of Effort Will Nursery and Primary School, Ejigbo, has since become a patient of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), IdiAraba, where doctors confirmed that she has congestive cardiac failure with severe hypertension and chronic disease (Stage 5). A medical report from LUTH, says: "She has symptomatic congenital disease, which was confirmed echocardiography to be atria-septal defect for which she traveled to India for repair at 11 months. She was stable until last month when she presented congestive cardiac failure with severe hypertension. "Erioluwa requires chronic dialysis and ultimately, kidney transplanta-

• Erioluwa By Kunle Akinrinade

tion. She also requires further cardiovascular evaluation and possible open-heart surgery to correct her heart abnormality in order to forestall irreversible and life-threatening complications from developing. Unfortunately, open-heart surgery is currently not available in our hospital. Little Erioluwa has now been referred for a corrective surgery in China at the cost of N9 million, including the cost of flight tickets, accommodation and visa procurement, among others." Good Samaritans, Rev Olabisi pleads, could lend a helping hand to save her through Ecobank account number 2742016070, under the name, Olabisi Olusola Zechariah.

'Stop indiscriminate borehole drilling' LAGOS State Government has urged residents to desist from indiscriminate drilling of boreholes in their homes to prevent its adverse effect on climate change. Commissioner for Rural Development, Cornelius Ojelabi made the call at the weekend while handing over 18,000-litre capacity Solar Powered Modified Type A Water Scheme to Ofiran Community in Ibeju Lekki Local Government area of the state. Ojelabi said government was providing communal water facilities in all the communities to discourage the construction of individual boreholes in homes, which he said, could have adverse effect on the eco-system and the environment, if not checked. He noted also that most of the boreholes constructed in homes are also not well treated while some are con-

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro

structed near septic tanks which can be dangerous to peoples' health when used. He disclosed that the State Government's water projects are always well treated and therefore the state is sure of the source of water being taken by the people in areas where it has provided water and guarantees the safety of the people from water borne diseases usually associated with contaminated water. The project with eight fetching points, according to the commissioner, is cheap to maintain since it requires no power supply and has the capacity to store light. He therefore charged the Community through the Community Development Association (CDA) to reciprocate the gesture by coming together to protect and maintain the project.

Advice for traders on disasters AN insurance risk expert, Engineer Jacob Adeosun, has advised traders across the country to take up appropriate insurance covers when they still stand a chance of being indemnified instead of crying out for help after a disaster. He reacted to the recent fire that ravaged the Trinity Shopping Complex at Ajegunle in Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area of Lagos State, where 150 shops were burnt and about 200 traders lost over N1 billion goods and cash. Adeosun, who is the Executive Director, Industrial Risk Protection Council (IRPC), said "since we live in a world of risks, we must take responsibility for our lives instead of always waiting for help that may never come from government." He advised business owners to go for appropriate insurance for the various aspects of their businesses and lives, even as he advised government

By Uyoatta Eshiet

to insure the markets while the traders should insure the contents of their own shops. In event of a fire, the insurance cover will provide the resources to rebuild the market while the traders will be able to bounce back to business without looking for help from government with limited resources. He said with a little premium faithfully paid by government or traders, insurance would provide the insured sum that would be used to rebuild the market and stock the shops again if the incidence insured against occurs. Referring to the flood disaster that ravaged over 20 states across the Nation last year and the over N17billion compensation announced by the government, Adeosun said though government has the responsibility to sympathise with victims of disasters, the real help can only come from insurance for any victim.

Residents praise council chair on roads

•Jamiu Oladele Abimbola, the co-ordinator of the Suf’Yan Abimbola Islamic Foundation (SAIF)(2nd left), in a handshake with guest speaker, Ustadh Muhammad Hasheem Atere of the Al-Iman University, Saudi Arabia (2nd right), at a preRamadan lecture organised by the foundation at the Aranse Oluwa Central Mosque, Ifako-Ijaiye, Lagos ... yesterday. Others were: Olajire Sikiru Olalekan, an official of Yaba Local Government (1st right), and Alhaji Adegboyega Lukman, Chief Imam, Olorun-Nisola Mosque, Ifako-Ijaiye. PHOTO: RAHMAN SANUSI

RESIDENTS of Anipupo community in the Ojodu Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos State, were excited when Hon Julius Olumuyiwa Oloro, the council's chief, commissioned their rehabilitated street that had for long, remained their major headache. Alhaji Aremu Adebimpe, who said he had been living for 33 years, said: "Some of the streets had been bad. Vehicles could not move with ease. It is now that we are enjoying the dividends of democracy." He, however, wants the state government to complete the bad streets and roads within the area.

By Duro Babayemi

Prince Bimbola Aladeojebi, who chairs the landlord association of the zone, said, Oloro had fulfilled the promise he made on assuming office. He said: "Some of the letters written to the Roads and Drainage Department, Secretariat, Alausa-Ikeja, through him, were followed up. We have zones like, Orimoloye, Ifesowapo, Lisabi, Atandaolu, and Adediran, out of which four roads have been tarred. What has happened now will enhance free movement of vehicles." He praised Oloro, urging him to do more before leaving office.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

11

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

At the moment there is an average of about 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

Fitch affirms eight banks, downgrades one

NIMASA, others object to NLNG’s suit

F

FEDERAL High Court, Lagos, will hear a preliminary objection brought by the defendants in a suit by the Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited against the Attorney-General of the Federation and others. Justice Mohammed Idris refused to re-affirm an order he made restraining the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) from detaining NLNG’s vessels. The blockade was over NLNG’s alleged failure to pay statutory charges to the Federal Government. Justice Idris made the order on June 18 against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Limited and its Managing Director Mr Romeo Itima. It was an order of interim injunction restraining the

ITCH Ratings yester day affirmed the Longterm Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) of Zenith Bank Plc , First Bank, United Bank for Africa Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc , Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc and the Long-term National Ratings of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc. Reuters report said the agency has downgraded Union Bank Plc’s Long-term IDR due to a change in Fitch’s opinion of the bank’s systemic importance relative to peers. Union’s Support Rating Floor (SRF) has been revised to ‘B’ from ‘B+’ due to its perceived lower systemic importance post restructuring. As a consequence, the bank’s Long-term IDR has been downgraded to ‘B’ from ‘B+’ and its National Rating to ‘BBB+(nga)’ from ‘A+(nga)’. At the same time, Union’s Viability Rating (VR) has been upgraded to ‘b-’ from ‘ccc’ due to its improved financial position with on-going restructuring. Access’s VR has been upgraded to ‘b’ from ‘b-’ given its larger franchise, improving performance and commitment to maintaining healthy Fitch core capital (FCC) ratios over the medium term and despite its high cost to income ratio as it integrates a large acquisition. As a consequence, the bank’s Long-term IDR is now driven by its VR of ‘b’ rather than its SRF of ‘B’. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.

A

• Hearing for today By Joseph Jibueze

defendants, either acting for or deriving authority from the Federal Government, including NIMASA, from charging three per cent of gross freight earnings, tax, charges or dues on all of NLNG’s internationalbound and out-bound cargo, owned by it or its contractors or subsidiaries, pending the hearing and determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction. The Federal Government and Global West had asked the court to vacate or discharge the ex-parte order on the ground that it was made against NIMASA, who is not joined as a party to the suit, and that full facts were not disclosed to the court in seeking the order. But Justice Idris struck out

the Attorney-General’s application on the ground that it was filed outside the time permitted by the court rules. The court also dismissed Global West’s application on the ground that there was no suppression of any material fact, and that the company could be sued on behalf of its principal (NIMASA). Shortly after the ruling, NIMASA’s lawyer Wole Akoni (SAN) urged the court to reaffirm the ex-parte order. But Global West’s lawyer Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) vehemently opposed the application. He urged the court not to be tempted to fall into such trap. Justice Idris ruled that since the defendants are challenging his jurisdiction to

entertain the suit, he would deal with the issue first. He said: “The only jurisdiction I have now is to hear the objections of the defendants.” He adjourned till today for hearing. NLNG said the respondents “have caused their agents, privies and other third parties particularly NIMASA to brazenly disregard and flout the extant Interim Orders of this Honourable Court, per Idris J. made on 18th June. “On 21st June, 2012 at about 5pm, about 15 officers and men of the Nigerian Navy in two NIMASA patrol boats accosted NLNG Security Patrol Team at the NLNG waterfront and ordered the applicant’s vessel, LNG Imo and a chattered vessel, Torm Thames to remain at the NLNG loading bay while LNG Oyo should remain at the Bonny Channel until further notice,” the applicant said.

‘Why telcos can’t list on NSE’ By Lucas Ajanaku

F

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

-N10.6 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -9% 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 $48b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

NLNG said despite being aware of the order, the respondents and their agents, “particularly NIMASA”, issued ship detention orders dated June 21 against its vessels. “The respondent’s agent has procured the services of the Nigerian Navy to intimidate, harass, prevent and block the applicant’s vessel and is currently patrolling the applicant’s waterfront to carry out the respondents’ orders and ensuring that none of the applicant’s vessels approach or leave Bonny Channel without being detained. “The activities of the respondents are in disobedience of the orders of this Honourable Court made on 18th June, 2013. “As a consequence of the respondents’ activities, the applicant is being compelled to shut down its plant as it can no longer export its products... “If the respondents are not immediately committed for contempt, the integrity and sanctity of our judicial system will be seriously eroded,” NLNG said.

• From left: UNIDO International Consultant, Ms. Ruth Nyakotey; UNIDO Industrial Development Officer, Mr Tiddiane Boye, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom and UNIDO Representative in Nigeria, Dr Patrick Kormawa at the launch of the Investment Monitoring Platform in Abuja...yesterday.

CBN to review Agent Banking guidelines

T

HE Central Bank of Ni geria (CBN) has said it will be taking a second look at the Agent Banking Guidelines it issued months back. Speaking yesterday at the launch of the Geospatial mapping of Financial Institutions in Nigeria in conjuction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said it is important to review the guidelines because of initial challenges the banking practice is facing. He said many of the prospective operators are confused over the guidelines and there is need to review it to make all aspects of the guidelines clearer. He said part of the new rule will be an automatic licence for commercial banks and microfinance banks. He said the agent banking guideline is in line with the powers conferred on the CBN under Section 2 (d) of the CBN Act, 2007 and Sec-

By Collins Nweze

tion 57 (2) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The statute empowers the CBN to issue guidelines for the maintenance of adequate and reasonable financial services to the public. The objective of agent banking, it said, is to provide minimum standards and requirements for agent banking operations, enhance financial inclusion and provide for agent banking as a delivery channel for offering banking services in a cost effective manner. Agent banking is the provision of financial services to customers by a third party (agent) on behalf of a licensed deposit taking financial institution and/or mobile money operator (principal). The agent banks are expected to receive cash deposit and withdrawal, carry out bills payment (utilities,

taxes, tenement rates, subscription etc.), payment of salaries, funds transfer services (local money value transfer), balance enquiry, generation and issuance of mini statement, collection and submission of account opening and other related documentation among others. They are also to carry out cash disbursement and cash repayment of loans, cash payment of retirement benefits, cheque book request and collection, collection of bank mail/correspondence for customers, any other activity as the CBN may from time to time prescribe. The applications for licence will be accompanied with board approval, document that will outline the strategy of the financial institution, including current and potential engagements, geographical spread and benefits to be derived among other factors. Under the guideline, Super-Agents are described as

agent networks that will establish a collection of outlets or franchise within its wide network of outlets that will be under its supervision and control. The Sole Agent is expected to be a sole agent, who does not delegate powers to other agents but will assume the agent banking relationship/ responsibility by himself while the Sub-Agents are networks of agents that will be under the direct control of a super agent as may be provided in the agent banking contract. Also, licensed institutions are advised to renew all agent agreements biennially except otherwise required while the CBN will, at least on annual basis, monitor financial institutions/agent relationships; compliance with laid down guidelines and regulations. The approach for monitoring super-agent would differ from other agent types in view of the probable higher risk, liquidity management

ORMER President of the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Engr Titi Omo-Ettu, has said the non-institutionalisation of corporate governance in the country is one of the reasons why the telecom companies operating in Nigeria have refused to list on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). He said the telcos may begin to look in that direction when corporate governance is put in place. According to him, this problem may have informed the stakeholders’ forum on corporate governance organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Lagos. He argued that when the issue of corporate governance is embraced, serious companise will look in the direction of listing on then NSE. Speaking on Board Leadership & Governance at the stakeholders’ corporate governance forum, MTN board chairman, Dr Pascal Dozie, said it was the absence of corporate governance that led to the demise o some banks in the country, arguing that where there is a strong board, the company is unlikely to die the way the banks went unders. According to him, accepting a board appointment is not a tea party because precious time will be spent on running the company. He therefore advised people who are not ready to serve not to take up the board appointment of any company.


12

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

BUSINESS NEWS

10 year jail for violators of procurement process, says BPP

T

HE Bureau of Public Procurement ( BPP) has warned that anyone caught circumventing the public procurement process would go to jail for 10 years, the Director General . Emeka Ezeh, has said. Ezeh, who spoke when he received the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mike Omeri, in Abuja, yesterday, stressed that nobody would be above the sanction Being a Director-General, or a Chairman does not give any Nigerian the right to circumvent the law, he said, adding that the government wants a situation where if anyone losses in a bidding process, he would be convinced that he lost fairly. The BPP he added, is thus canvassing for a change of attitude and character from

From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor)

governments officials and the private sector to make procurement better. “The law says agencies of government should advertise when they have vacancies and then competent people can apply. The law also says before pre-qualifying, you must let the people know the requirements. It is setting the marking scheme before you pre-qualify,” he said. He said the agency is aware that some agencies are going against this in their bid to favour some people more than others, warning that “if they are caught, they would be dealt with according to the provisions of the law,” saying, for the procurement process to be better, officials of government and the private sector

should have a change of altitude and character and do what they have been contracted to do. According to him, ”it is not the institution that is corrupt, it is the human beings. When you change the character or attitude of people, one will start working better. People do not live by laid down tenets and that is why we have problems.”

Ezeh added that the job of the BPP “as an agency will be a lot easier if people are able to carry out duties for which they are engaged. We have to learn to manage resources on behalf of the people.” Ezeh announced that the BPP would be working with NOA to sensitise Nigerians on what’re procurement process is all about and what is re-

quired of them. Speaking earlier, Omeri said “many of us know the right thing, but we forget to deploy it. and that’s why we are enlightening people’s the grassroots on the principles of public procurement as a lack of it will put pressure on the system. We are taking public procurement to the communities to enlighten the people so that our nation can be better”.

Okonjo Iweala

Fed Govt gets N80b investment in agric, says Jonathan

M

ORE than N80 bil lion investment has been attracted to the agricultural sector from the private sector, President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday. He made this remark in Abuja while speaking at a two-day summit by the

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Rockefeller Foundation. The summit, titled: ‘Realising the Potential of African Agriculture,’ is part of the drawn-up programmes for the centennial (100 years) celebration of the foundation.

Jonathan stressed that the transformation of agriculture in Nigeria is a centerpiece of the entire transformation agenda of his administration, adding that his programmes are tailored toward making agriculture attractive to the private sector as a viable busi-

ness. He said: “To drive our agriculture, we have ended the approach of agriculture as a development programme, we now take agriculture as a business. Private sector investments are expanding rapidly from sales by fertilizer companies, agriculture processors.” “In the last one year alone over N80 billion of private sector commitments have been made to the agricultural sector. We developed staple crops processing zones to attract the private sector to invest in rural areas to process and add value to all of our crops.” “This will reduce post-harvest losses and create jobs for our people.” He noted According to him, over 1.5 million farmers have benefited from the ElectronicWallet System developed by the administration. The e-wallet system allows farmers to receive electronic voucher to redeem subsidized fertilizers, improved seeds and other farm inputs directly from private sector seeds and fertilizer companies. Jonathan said: “I am pleased to note that Nigeria is the first country to develop such scheme in Africa. Farmers now receive their seeds and fertilizer via mobile phones in the first one year of this experiment and we ended four decades of corruption in our fertilizer sector.” As the world largest producer of cassava, he said that the desire of his government is to make Nigeria the world largest processor of cassava. Towards cutting down import of wheat, he said that the administration embarked on a major innovation to use high quality cassava flour to replace some of the imported wheat flour. “Today, cassava bread made out of composite flower from 20 per cent cassava and wheat flour have hit our markets. This alone has saved Nigeria, N254 billion (about 1.5 billion dollars) in import bills on wheat.” he stated On the need for the country to move away from the monolithic oil economy, he said: “Nigeria is known for oil, but today, many countries around the world have found oil.” “The recent discovery of crude oil and gas in the US and other parts of the world means that we must look elsewhere if we must continue to feed our people.” “With abundant land and water resources and abundant labour force, Nigeria has all it takes to use agriculture as its new frontier for growth. There is no reason why Nigeria should be a net food importing country. It should be a net food exporting country.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

13


14

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013


15

TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

ENERGY THE NATION

E-mail:- energy@thenationonlineng.net

Govt urged to find new market as US N embraces shale oil

IGERIA must rethink its marketing strategies to win the confidence of prospective buyers of its crude oil, an expert, Prof Adeola Adenikinju has said. He told The Nation that the introduction of shale oil by the United States (US) has implication for the nation’s oil and gas sector. Shale oil is a petroleum obtained by the distillation of bituminious shales. He said the country needs to adopt a more flexible and proactive strategy, by offering discounts to potential buyers of its oil. Adenikinju, the President of National Association of Energy Economics (NAEE), said India and China were Nigeria’s new oil destinations, advising the Federal Government to offer them discounts to win their confidence.

By Akinola Ajibade

“In the short- to-medium term, the emergence of shale oil will affect Nigeria’s ability to generate more money from the market, the reason being that the United States is the largest importer of our oil. Now, that the US is more concerned about the development and sales of its oil, Nigeria needs to overhaul its strategies to win new and stronger markets. “Nigeria will be struggling with other countries to penetrate new markets, especially India and China. We need to understand the fact that the two countries already have commitments, and the only way to penetrate them is to offer them discounts on any volume of crude they are buying from us,” he

said, adding that there is nothing wrong in offering your prospective customers discounts. “In business, when you are entering a new market, you adopt different strategies to get your customers look in your direction. I think that is the most valuable option available to Nigeria now.” He advised the government to put in place short-medium and long-term strategies to cushion the shocks in the global oil market, adding that the inability to do that would affect the country. He listed the strategies to include building refineries in order to meet local demands and further reduce importation; prospecting for new buyers in advance to mitigate the shocks of losing some

markets; offering a discounted oil price and providing value additions in the industry, among others. According to him, Nigeria must look beyond the US if it wants to achieve a lot in the global oil market. He said while it is good to acknowledge the growing influence of US in the oil market, the need to consider new debutants should not be overlooked. He explained that in recent times, some countries have discovered crude oil in West Africa, saying those countries have added to the list of players in the market. This means that the more players in the market, the stiffer the competition, he said. “Nigeria must be wary of these countries, by putting measures to protect its oil. That is why the government must consider future and potential problems, and find means of preventing them,” he stated.

Also, the nation’s oil and gas industry is threatened by the activities of oil thieves and its attendant loss of an estimated $10billion in the last four years. While reacting to the issue, the President, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association of Nigeria(PENGASSAN), Babatunde Ogun, said the development is making International Oil Companies to divest from the industry, as well as posing more threat to the economy. He said companies, such as Shell, Chevron, Addas, Petrobras, among others have plans to divest their stakes in the industry. He said: “Shell has divested part of its stakes in the industry. Chevron has concluded plans to do so. Addax and Petrolbras are making similar moves.” He said the companies are facing three problems namely; losing crude oil production and profit as a result of the activities of oil thieves, facing attacks from the government’s agencies and civil liberty organisations and spending a lot of money to repair the vandalised pipelines.

‘Why marginal fields’ operators need more funds’ HE Director, Pillar Oil Limited, Seye Fadahunsi, has advocated additional fields and funding for successful marginal fields operators. This, he said, would make them grow and use the same skills they had developed to generate commercial value and provide employment for Nigerians, and also add to the gross domestic product of the country. He said: “The government should carry out a bid round, which should be open to indigenous groups that aspire to get into the exploration and production business. And for those who are young and small in the exploration and production business, it is an opportunity for them to grow, while for those who are aspiring to get in and those who are

T

• Offor (left), receiving the contract papers from Olagunju (right) during the contract-signing ceremony.

K

Shell, firm seal $84.5m pipeline contract

AZTEC Engineering Limited (KEL), an indigenous oil service company, has signed an agreement with Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) for the construction of a 58-kilometre loopline at $84.5 million. According to a statement by Kaztec, the agreement for Package 1 of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of TransNigeria Pipeline Loopline Project for Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company of Nigeria (SNEPCO), was concluded last week. The pipeline contract is expected to be completed and delivered within one year and Kaztec has assured Shell of delivering within the stipulated time frame. “This is the first major project to be executed by Kaztec Engineering Limited for Shell. The event took place at the SPDC Office, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, with high-powered delegations from both parties in attendance,” the company said. The objective of the project,

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

Kaztec said, is to construct a threeinch, 58-kilometre loopline from the Ogale manifold to Bonny Terminal, in the South-South region of Nigeria. SNEPCO had been experiencing challenges with the current Trans-Niger Project. Seen by SNEPCO and National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), to be an emergency project. It was divided into three packages. Kaztec Engineering is to undertake Package One, having been chosen on the strength of its recent track record in the oil and gas sector, the statement added. The Chief Operating Officer (COO), Kaztec Engineering Limited, Ikechukwu Okpala, assured SNEPCO of KEL‘s delivery on time and quality, promising Shell’s management that it would get a taste of the Kaztec expertise. The contract-signing was done by the General Manager, Offshore and Shallow Water Projects, SNEPCO, Mr. Toyin Olagunju, on behalf of Shell and the Executive Chairman, KEL, Sir Emeka Offor, for Kaztec while

Chioma Ogunuka, Contracting and Procurement Lead Pipeline Projects of SNEPCO, and the COO of KEL, Ikechukwu Okpala, among others witnessed the signing ceremony. SNEPCO’s Toyin Olagunju, said he looked forward to the successful completion of the project. He called for world-class performance on all aspects of the project, with particular attention on safety and environment. He advocated for zero-incident execution of the project. The Chairman Kaztec Engineering Limited, Sir Emeka Offor, declared that SNEPCO reassured Shell of KEL‘s commitment to deliver on time, and even surpass all expectations of the project. He said he was glad to join the Shell family, and looked forward to a productive partnership in the years to come. The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC/SPDC joint venture (SPDC JV), had earlier announced that it has taken decision to invest $3.9 billion

in the Trans Niger Pipeline loop-line (TNPL) and the Gbaran-Ubie Phase Two projects. T SPDC Managing Director, Mutiu Sunmonu, said the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) is important for Nigeria, pumping some 180,000 barrels per day of crude oil to the Bonny Export Terminal and is part of the gas liquids evacuation infrastructure, critical for continued domestic power generation (Afam VI power plant) and liquefied gas exports. He said: “Sections of the TNP have been heavily impacted by sabotage and crude oil theft. The design of the TNPL includes improvements which make the pipeline better protected against crude oil theft and sabotage, which should help to reduce pollution related to criminal activity which was a key aspect of a 2011 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland. The total capital investment for the TNPL project bundle is expected to be $1.5 billion while the total investment for the Gbaran-Ubie Phase Two bundle is $2.4 billion.”

By Ambrose Nnaji

in and are just starting, it will be an opportunity for them to make progress. This will help achieve the drive for increased indigenous participation in the sector.” Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, Fadahunsi said though the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is yet to be passed into law, he said it would be nice if there are special terms for marginal field operators clearly defined in the bill. He said because there is production entry in the bill, most of the marginal producers would likely be small producers, but he expressed optimism that the bill would be beneficial to marginal producers to enable them to become productive and make it commercially viable for people to develop such fields. “We have been waiting for the bid round for some years now. A lot of people are getting to a point where they have begun to wonder whether it would ever happen, but if it does happen, it should be seen as an opportunity for either those small producers or those who want to get into the system,” he said, adding that the bid round should be restricted to indigenous companies only But to be successful in the business, Fadahunsi said there is the need for good analysis before one gets into it. In addition, there is the need for appropriate technology to be put in place to ensure achievement of commercial value. He said his company was successful because it deployed a lot of strategies, including funding mechanism to ensure that it realised its objectives. “Finding money was a challenge but we eventually put up a partnership and we started production,” he said, adding that the field is producing about 2,500 barrels per day and there are expectations that in the next two years, given the opportunity, it would be producing close to 10,000barrels per day.


16

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

17

PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

Much ado over a land T O the Shiriki family of Ikorodu, on the outskirts of Lagos, the battle for a 4.232 hectares of land with the police ended three years ago when a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos delivered judgment on the disputed. The family miscalculated. Rather than end, the battle seems to have just begun despite the court order. This is why the Shiriki family is now referring to the police as “law breaker”. “How can a law enforcer turn law breaker; breaking the law with impunity? And where does one run to when an organisation that is supposed to ensure that the law of the land and its constituted authority are respected runs foul of the law it is meant to uphold?” A member of the family, Otunba Femi Alashe, wonders. The Shiriki family, which is a branch of the Jiboro family of Ikorodu, initiated the land battle eight years ago. They accused the Shagamu Road Division, Ikorodu of the police of encroaching on the land and Justice A. R. Mohammed delivered judgment in its favour on March 19, 2010. The family has vowed not to rest until it recovers the land in line with the court verdict. Displaying copies of the judgment, Otunba Alashe wondered who will help the family recover their land from the police. Delving into the history of the land, Otunba Alashe said it belongs to Jiboro family, but a portion of it was given to the police when the force wanted to establish a police post to complement the Ikorodu Division. “It was only a small portion of the land that was given them to build a police post, which then served as the traffic section of Ikorodu Division. However, before we knew what was happening, the remaining area had been leased to mechanics and artisans, who turned the place to their ‘village.’ When we now went to survey the remaining portion, these artisans informed the police, who then chased away our surveyor. That was when we knew that the police were not joking with their claim to the land,” Alashe said. He agreed that apart from the portion given to the police, there were areas marked as released area for the family. “When Baba, the late Pa Shiriki, who was given the land by the Jiboro family, discovered that there were encroachment on the land and that mechanics had taken over portions of the land, he wrote a letter to the police to report the presence of these people on the land. The letter was sent to the Police Headquarters’ annex, Kam Salem House, Lagos. The police then ordered the removal of sign posts and the artisans on the land. “However, the sign posts resurfaced again and were erected in five different locations on the land, claiming the entire 4.232 hectares,” Alashe said, adding that “although, we have won the case since 2010 and there is

Based on the unchallenged testimony of PW1 and PW2, the exhibits tendered by the plaintiffs in this suit, I find as a fact that the plaintiffs have proved their case on the balance of probability. The plaintiffs’ claims set out in the statement of claim have succeeded

no record of appeal, yet they have refused to obey the judgment of the court. All we want is for them to obey the judgment and allow us claim our land,” he said. Alashe said efforts were made to enforce the judgment, but the police would not bulge. “We have served them form 48, which is the notice of consequences of disobeying the order of court, yet they were not bothered. This was served on them on September 29, 2010 about five months after we got the judgment, which they did not appeal,” he said. The legal battle had begun on May 24, 2005 before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Lagos when six members of the family: Kunle Shiriki; Femi Shiriki; Gafaru Adekolujo Odekunle; Femi Alashe; Dele Idowu and Josephine Momoh, made a fourparagraph statement laying claim to the piece of land measuring 4.232 hectares with survey plan number FAL/46/97, being encroached upon by the Shagamu Road Division of the Nigerian Police. Joined as defendants in the suit, were: the InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP); Nigeria Police Force; Commissioner of Police (Works) and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO). Their declarations were: “That the forceful encroachment of the defendants (IGP and others) into their (plaintiffs) family land lying and situate along Ogunshi Street, Ikorodu, Lagos State of Nigeria measuring approximately 4.232 Hectares and covered by the survey plan number FAL/46/97 is unlawful, illegal, null and void; That the plaintiffs’ family land does not fall within the area acquired or allocated to the defendants; they sought an “order of court compelling the defendants to remove all its sign-posts on the plaintiffs’ land; and also sought a “per-

•Some of the shops built by the police on the land.

petual injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, agents, servants, privies from encroaching or further encroachment on the plaintiffs’ land.” The defendants on receiving the writ of summons, filed a statement of defence and a counter-claim on December 21, 2005 and declared that: (i) “that the defendants are the rightful owners of the land in dispute and entitled to the statutory custom, right of occupancy; (ii) sought a “perpetual injunction against the plaintiffs and persons claiming title under the plaintiffs; (iii) sought an “order for N5million damages for trespass against the plaintiffs and (iv) and “an order for special damages of N350,000 of destroyed sign posts. With the plaintiffs reply to the counter-claim dated April 26, 2006 and the defendants reply to the defence to counter-claim on May 12, 2006, the legal battle line was finally drawn. Trial subsequently started with the plaintiffs calling two witnesses in support of their case. Giving testimony on behalf of the plaintiffs was Otunba Alashe, who spoke as a member of Shiriki family, tendered a survey plan that was prepared by one Falowo and it was admitted as exhibit PL1. Other items such as copies of correspondences between the family and the police and a copy of the survey that marked out the disputed area by the police were admitted as exhibits. Femi Shiriki, one of the plaintiffs, also gave evidence in respect of the land. With the evidence of both Alashe and Shiriki, the plaintiffs closed their case on November 20, 2007. Defence opened their case almost two years after on March 10, 2009, calling only one witness, Ibikunle Adedipe, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who claimed to be an Architectural Technician in the Works Department of the Nigerian Police Force. Adedipe, who claimed to have joined the force in 1980, claimed that the disputed land belonged to police, which had the possession in 1974. He said the Jiboro family, which is the larger family, was aware that the police were the owners of the land.

He further stated that there were correspondences with the family by the police. He alleged that the family trespassed on the land, arguing through his counsel, Mrs O. Coker, that the police had been in possession of the land for over 40 years. But it was argued that there were correspondences between the family and the police on how a demarcation on the land would be carried out to give the family an ‘area of release’ and evidence of such correspondences was presented. Justice Mohammed while delivering his judgment on May 19, 2010 noted that the plaintiffs’ counsel, Olumide Akinbinu, stated that the defendants’ counter-claim lend no evidence in support of their claim for damages for trespass and N350,000 special damages. He said he reviewed the evidence adduced by the parties and their respective addresses and he was of the view that there was no dispute between them on three areas: “That the land in dispute was originally owned by the Jiboro family; that the land in dispute is located along Ogunshi Street, Ikorodu, Lagos State and that both parties are claiming ownership through Jiboro family. He then submitted that the issue for determination by his court was “whether there is an area marked “Area of Release” in the disputed land. To prove this, he said: “The plaintiffs tendered exhibits PL1 and PL5. In exhibit PL5, i.e. survey plan tendered by the plaintiffs, there is an area specially marked as “Area of Release”. He continued: “However, in the defendants’ exhibit D2, there is no area marked for release. Before resolving this issue, it is pertinent to point out that the contention of the plaintiffs is not that the defendants have no land in the whole of the parcel of land, but that there is an area designated for release to the Jiboro family and that is the same area according to the plaintiffs which Jiboro family granted to the late Alhaji Shiriki. In the plaintiffs’ reply and defence to claim, dated 11/4/2006, it was pleaded that there is an area delineated for release.”

1,008 housing units for Lagos slums

I

JORA- BADIA, a Lagos slum, will soon wear a new look as the Lagos State government is set to construct 1,008 modern housing units under a home ownership scheme for the area. Housing Commissioner Mr Bosun Jeje told a stakeholders’meeting with residents of Badia East at the National Theatre Complex in Lagos that the proposed houses were part of the government’s effort in transforming Lagos into a mega city. He said the first phase of 288 units would be completed in December 2014 to provide affordable housing to the people. The commissioner said: “To be able to achieve our vision of making Lagos State Africa’s model mega

By Adebisi Onanuga

city and global financial hub that is safe, secure, functional and productive, in this instance, require a collective effort. We must ensure the eradication of filthy, unhealthy living environment.” Lagos State Solicitor-General, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), who was at the meeting, said compensation would be paid to residents whose structures were affected by the redevelopment of the area. Pedro said: “The position of the government is to sanitise the place and makes it habitable otherwise it will continue to be a slum. The development process is in phases and the government, out of its magnanimity

has come out to say it will compensate residents who are affected. “And mind you, most of the properties that are there are illegal properties which makes them ordinarily not entitled to any form of compensation. That is part of the exercise the technical committee is going to do by making sure they do proper enumeration and see that the people who are really affected are adequately compensated.” Special Adviser, Ministry of Housing, Mr. Jimoh Ajao said the housing estate would be built on 10.04 hectares of land and it would comprise of 1,008 housing units made up of 29 blocks of multi-tenement apartments, shopping and office complexes. “Each block will be comprised of 48 units of different housing types

made up of 12 units of mini flats, 12 units of one bedroom flats, 12 units of two bedroom flats and 12 units of three bedroom flats,” he said. Ajao said the project will be done in phases to minimise the impact of the displacement on the people. He said the construction of the first phase, which is to comprise six blocks made up 288 units of flats will be done on 3.12 hectares of land. Ajao said contract for the first phase of construction was signed in March, 2013 while completion date has been set for December 2014. He said when construction takes off it would provide employment for artisans such as welders, carpenters, plumbers, bricklayers, among others in the area.

The judge ruled that the land in dispute does not belong to the defendants. “This is because, if the whole said land belongs to the defendants, the defendants wouldn’t have conceded in their exhibit D1 to go for any demarcation of the land with the Jiboro family. It is also instructive to note that nowhere in the defendants’ pleadings was it denied that the Jiboro family made a grant of a parcel of land out of the land in dispute. “What is more? The plaintiffs have by both documentary evidence i.e. exhibit PL5 and oral testimony of prosecution witness (PW1) proved that there is an area marked for release in the land dispute. In view of the fact that by their exhibit D1, the defendants have conceded to a demarcation of the portion of their land with the Jiboro land, then I am not prepared to accept the content of the exhibit D2, which tend to show that there is no area marked for demarcation in the land dispute.” He continued: “I, therefore, have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that by their pleadings and evidence, the plaintiffs have established in this suit that there is an area marked for release on the land in dispute. The plaintiffs have also adduced unchallenged evidence to the effect that the Jiboro family granted them the same area marked for release. “Based on the unchallenged testimony of PW1 and PW2, the exhibits tendered by the plaintiffs in this suit, I find as a fact that the plaintiffs have proved their case on the balance of probability. The plaintiffs’ claims set out in the statement of claim have succeeded.” On the defendants’ counter claim, Justice Mohammed said: “The defendants have not offered credible evidence to show that they are the rightful owners of the whole land in dispute to warrant a declaration in that regard in their favour. The reason for this conclusion is contained in my earlier finding on the contradictory nature of exhibits D1 with exhibit D2. I could not also find any piece of evidence from the defendants’ portion of land and broke the defendants’ sign posts.” He relied on Section 132 and 136 of the Evidence Act. “As there is no evidence worthy of being acted upon to prove the claims contained in the counter-claim, the said counterclaim must fail and the same has accordingly failed and it is therefore, dismissed,” he said. When The Nation contacted the Lagos Command of the Police in whose jurisdiction Shagamu Road, Division is last Friday, the command’s image maker, Ngozi Braide, said she was going out to keep an appointment. She promised to speak on the phone. However, a short message service (SMS) sent to her phone asking for the command’s response was not replied. When she was called, she said she would get back to the reporter. Similar message was sent to the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko’s mobile line on Friday, but the paper is yet to get a reply.


18

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

Lagos to create new port city H

OW will Apapa in Lagos look like when it becomes a port city? It will boast of modern amenities which will be second to none, says the government. To actualise this dream, it assembled stakeholders in Apapa to make input into a draft of making the place a new port city. Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde said the vision of the Model City Plan is to create a modern Port City that is functional, conducive and well integrated with other parts of the state. He said the idea is to create a modern city which promotes integrated, well connected and sustainable community that is conducive for habitation and business as well as attractive to recreation, tourism and com-

Stories by Seyi Odewale

merce, adding that the plan covers the southern part of the state, consisting of Apapa Local Government Area, Apapa-Iganmu, Local Government Development Area (LCDA) and parts of Eti-Osa West and Oriade LCDA. Ayinde said the Model City Plan, among other things, would provide effective framework for residential, industrial, commercial and institutional development in addition to facilitating inter modal transport system, social cohesion, steady economic growth and liveable aesthetic environment. The Commissioner said the plan when implemented would bring investment opportunities in commerce and tourism with a unique

and pragmatic plan to effect efficient security systems. He regretted that the problem of Apapa started with the oil boom that attracted tankers and articulated vehicles to the area that destroyed the road and other infrastructure. Noting the development constraints encountered by the state government, he said it include Federal Government’s acquisitions of properties, water bodies, tank farms, flooding and irregular land tenure. He said Apapa have the potential to offer employment opportunities at the ports and other major sectors in the area as a result of its accessibility through different modes of transport, future transport link, water front and housing development. He asked residents to make inputs into the draft proposal to have a

model city of their choice that will not only be livable with modern amenities and services but also provide a platform for modern industrial outlays, safety of lives and property where wealth will be created for all residents. Apapa GRA Chairman, Brig-Gen Aremu Vaughan Olushola, decried the frequent change of use of buildings in the upscale area. He said at the last count, about four brothels, 18 hotels and four markets has sprung in the area causing nuisance to residents. He urged the government to take serious action to stop such action in the model city in order to encourage orderliness and harmonious living. Olushola also frowned at the nonimplementation of a judgment in favour of the residents against Okada

riders compelling them to stop plying their trade in Apapa. He encouraged the government to insist on the strict interpretation and implementation of the model city plan. A resident, Mr. Babatunde Bamigbose Daniel, asked the government to improve the littoral towns in the state to reduce the population of Apapa and also discourage Tank Farms in the model city. Another resident, Mr Isiaka Lawal, asked that maintenance culture be imbibed in the model city plan for it not to go the way of the others. Prince Ojora Akiolu asked that the project should be used to create employment for residents and not for outsiders. He frowned at a situation where rather than enriching the lives of residents through employment generation, outsiders would be employed.

Surveyors transit to new world geodetic system

M

•Managing Director, Federal Housing Authority (FHA) Mr Terver Gemade (right) receiving the Golden Award for Quality and Business Prestige won by the Authority from Mr. Charbel Tabet, President/Chief Executive Officer, Association of Otherways Management and Consulting at the Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Resorts, Rome, Italy.

INISTER of Works, Mike Onolomemen, has commended the SurveyorGeneral of the Federation for finding solutions to the problems of transiting from old Minna datum to more recent world geodetic system. The minister gave this commendation at the final workshop on the adoption of transformation parameters for Nigeria in Abuja. He commended him on the stand on the issue so far. He said: “Transformation parameter is essential data set in developing countries around the world. The importance of a uniform and homogenous coordinate system in the country for seamless and consistent geospatial production and usage is key to developmental activities in all sectors. “The prevailing situation where different sectors such as the federal and state governments, oil and gas industry and other multinationals are using different parameters does not support uniform development and is unacceptable. “It is on record that there have

Consultation begins on structure plans in nine Osun cities

S

TAKEHOLDERS and groups, including community associations, trade groups and government officials will this week begin the validation of Urban Profiles prepared in nine cities in Osun State. The N100 million Structure Plans Project is funded by the state government in partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat). The Osun Structure Plans Project, which kicked off in July last year, seeks to develop and adopt Structure Plans that will guide the growth, development and management of the participating cities over the next 20 years. The participating cities, grouped into three clusters of three cities each are: Osogbo, Ikirun, Ila Orangun (Cluster 1), Ilesha. Ile-Ife, Ede (Cluster 2) and Iwo, Ejgbo and Ikire (Cluster 3).

Structure Plans are planning instruments that will guiding the growth of these towns for the next 20 years and, specifically, make significant contributions towards achieving the goals of the state’s sixpoint Integral Action Plan, the various Local Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (LEEDS), the HABITAT Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The project, according to a statement, involves use of the Rapid Urban Sector Profiling for Sustainability (RUSPS) methodology, which establishes a sustainable, participatory, long-term framework for the orderly physical, economic and social development of the city. The RUSPS methodology, based on ‘Guidelines for Sustainable Urban Development’ designed by the

European Commission and UNHabitat, seeks to reduce urban poverty through policy development and assessment of needs and responses for urban institutions. “One of the major challenges facing urban centres is lack of information and accurate statistics that could be used when planning development. This is one of the issues we want to address. The successful implementation of the process would help town planners prioritise their needs and put their resources into the places they ought to be,” said Dr. Alioune Badiane, Director, Projects’ Office at the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement in Osogbo. In all, 13 consultants, comprising specialists in urban planning and local economic development; urban environment and infrastructure; governance, gender and anthropology, as

well as urban services and transportation were commissioned to work on the project under the coordination of a chief technical adviser. According to Commissioner for Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Muyiwa Ige, the project is a follow up to an Urban Renewal Scheme involving the upgrading of a two-kilometre radius from the city centre in the nine cities. “We are determined to transform our cities into functional settlements that will match our expectations as a state of excellence,” Mr Ige said. The consultations begin today at Ilesa, to be followed by Ile Ife and Ede on July 11. Others will follow at Iwo (July 15), Ejigbo (July 16) and Ikire (July 17), while consultations for the final cluster will hold at Ikirun (July 22), Ila (July 23) and Osogbo (July 24).

Ogun moves to actualise regional integration

A

S part of efforts at ensuring Southwest regional integration and development, Ogun State has embarked on road construction to link it with other Southwestern states. Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure Olamilekan Adegbite, presenting a paper on Provision of infrastructural facilities for rebuilding and transformation of Ogun State, SIA’s rebuilding agenda and Southwest Regional Integration, at the fourth summit of the Southwest Heads of Service in Abeokuta, said efforts had reached an advanced stage on the construction of four other major roads to link the state with others in the region.

The Ibikunle Amosun-led administration, he said, had started the construction of a 29Km Ofada- MoweIbafo road, to decongest Lagos Ibadan Express way and link Lagos. He said the roads are Sagamu-Ogijo -Ikorodu Road, Ijebu Ode -Epe Road, OGTV -Ajebo Road and Sango Ojodu Abiodun Road. The Commissioner disclosed that two new trailer parks are to be created along the Lagos-Ibadan Express way to complement the one in Ogere to further decongest and prevent avoidable accidents resulting from haphazard parking of articulated vehicles on the road. Other plan of the government to link

the southwest states, according to him, is the light rail project to be extended to the borders of Oyo State and link the Lagos rail project, which he expressed optimism that when completed other states would link up with. He said this would enhance movement of goods and people and ultimately, boost economic activities for the general well-being of the region. While calling for deliberate collaborative efforts among the states of the region for a joint efforts on the development of infrastructure, he, however, expressed the urgent need for states in the region to join hands and improve cross border connectivity through increased investment in roads, railways

and air transport towards enhancing economic activities for the general well-being of the region. Speaking after the presentation, the Chairman of the session and Head of Service of Ondo State Civil Service, Mrs. Kosemani Kolawole, said the beauty of the meeting was in the experience sharing, looking at the ways of putting smiles on people’s faces and restoring their trust in democratic setting. Mrs. Kolawole assured that what was learnt would be replicated in other states. She thanked the government for implementing meaningful developmental projects that would ensure regional integration.

been various attempts in the past on the determination of these parameters for the country. In 2012, a workshop was organised on the same issue, but was inconclusive due to recommendation for acquisition of more data to improve on the existing ones for better results.” The Surveyor-General of the Federation, Prof. Peter Nwilo said the event was centred on finalising what started a year ago. For the next four years Nigeria will migrate to Minna datum, in the past global datum was used. Surveyors need to work more to generate control points as Nigeria presently has 87 points. There is also need to use a datum that can be harmonised.

100 firms for property expo

M

ORE than 100 companies from Nigeria and over 15 countries have indicated interest in showcasing their real estate projects, products and services at the event, tagged: ‘Luxury Living Africa Property Exhibition’ from Thursday at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Amma Pepple, will declare the event open and highlight various government policies and developments as well as opportunities for stakeholders in the nation’s real sector industry. Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development in Lagos State, Bosun Jeje, will attend the event. The international property exhibition, according to a statement, is organised by Campaign Hype Ltd, a leading exhibition company. Innovations in design, technology and materials will be on display at the event. Luxury Living Africa Property Exhibition, according to Steve Ike, Head of the Organising Team, will have in attendance major real estate developers in Nigeria, as well as from United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Dubai, Malaysia, Cyprus, Turkey, India, Russia, Ghana, Gambia, and France. Organizations that have confirmed participation, according to him, include residential, commercial and retail real estate developers, architects, building component merchants as well as interior décor & luxury furniture companies. Other participants are mortgage banks, investment promotion agencies and home automation companies. According to Mr. Ike, the exhibition is aimed at creating a platform for business promotion, investment opportunities and market development for all stakeholders in the real estate sector. While exhibitors will have an opportunity to showcase their latest projects, products or services, visitors would be exposed to cutting-edge products and services to serve their property needs.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

19

COMMENTARY EDITORIALS

FROM OTHER LANDS

No compensation? •If govt is ready to pardon Boko Haram insurgents, equity demands that it pays the victims

A

GAINST calls for compensation for victims of Boko Haram insurgents, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution on Security Challenges in the North, set up by President Goodluck Jonathan came up with a bombshell: he said there would be nothing of such for the victims. But, in a rather contradictory move, the committee chairman, Tanimu Turaki, said only security operatives who died in the course of fighting Boko Haram would be compensated. “Government cannot pay compensation but it will support victims. It will compensate military personnel that were affected by this insurgency”, he said. Turaki does not know how to compensate “somebody who lost family members; neither does he know how to compensate people battling with the psycho-

‘The government cannot hide under its own incompetence in dealing with matters like this to rule out well deserved compensation for the Boko Haram victims. Such compensation would at least reduce the heavy losses to many people who lost their breadwinners and many of those who lost their entire life savings to the incidents’

logical effects of the incidents”. Now, there are several ways in which Turaki’s statements are questionable. First, he said there would be no compensation for Boko Haram victims, yet went ahead to say that there would be compensation for some Boko Haram victims - the security operatives. This is a manifest contradiction. The security operatives and the civilians who were killed during the incidents were equally victims of the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents. So, where is the line of demarcation, and why the discriminatory attitude in a situation where no life is more precious than the other, and where survivors of the victims are mainly Nigerians who deserve to be compensated for the unnecessary loss of the lives of their dear ones? Secondly, we cannot understand what Turaki meant by saying government cannot compensate victims but it would support them. What precisely is the difference between “compensate” and “support? To compensate Boko Haram victims is to support them financially; or what kind of support does Turaki have in mind? Perhaps the chairman is confused over these matters. He also does not know how to compensate somebody who lost family members, yet he knows how to compensate the family members of the security operatives who lost their lives in the incidents. Thirdly, Turaki did not know how to compensate people suffering from psychological effects of the loss of their dear

ones. While we cannot accurately quantify the psychological effects monetarily, there is usually a room for compensation for people like these. Even in the court of law, people are awarded heavy damages for incidents that affected them psychologically. All said, we believe that Turaki is aware of the amnesty being offered the killers. Surely, if people who perpetrated evil by killing and maiming innocent citizens are being offered amnesty, nothing should stop the government from compensating the innocent victims who knew nothing about Boko Haram insurgency and what the sect actually wants from Nigerians and the government. The government may be thinking of the problem of identifying the actual victims, and the logistic of compensating them financially in a country where funds for this kind of exercise might be stolen by officials. But then, this kind of corruption cannot be ruled out as it had always happened in cases like this in the past. The government cannot hide under its own incompetence in dealing with matters like this to rule out well deserved compensation for the Boko Haram victims. Such compensation would at least reduce the heavy losses to many people who lost their breadwinners and many of those who lost their entire life savings to the incidents. Payment of compensation for victims of Boko Haram should be non-negotiable, if only for the sake of equity.

Majesty of the law •Court judgment declaring appointments of Service Chiefs illegal is good for democracy

C

OULD Service Chiefs of the military under this democratic dispensation be appointed by the presidency in violation of the constitution? The question was aptly answered through the decision of the Federal High Court, Abuja, that nullified the appointment of all Service Chiefs of the federation on grounds that their appointments were carried out without deference to the nation’s grund norm. The suit, with No. FHC/ABJ/CS/611/ 2008, among others, sought the correct combined interpretation of provisions of Section 218 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 18 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A.20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. These have to do with whether the 1st defendant (the president) can appoint Service Chiefs of the Federation without the confirmation of the National Assembly and also: Whether Section 18 (1) and (2) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A.20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 is not in conformity with the provision of the 1999 Constitution as to make it fall within the category of existing laws under Section 315 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria . The defendants in the suit are: President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and all the Service Chiefs. Justice Adamu Bello, in tandem with the plaintiff’s demands, instructively concurred that President Goodluck Jonathan can only appoint Service Chiefs by first seeking and obtaining the concurrence of the Senate. In that commendable public-spirited

litigation instituted since 2008 by Festus Keyamo, the judge courageously declared President Jonathan’s serving Service Chiefs, including Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief of Army Staff; Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void. The cloud of doubts that hovers on Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, the Chief of Defence Staff, because he was not listed as defendant, does not hold waters for as long as he remains one of the Service Chiefs in the land. After all, the judgment emanated from a court of competent jurisdiction. Sadly, all successive administrations under the on-going democratic dispensation appointed their Service Chiefs without consulting the Senate. Historically, only former President Shehu Shagari in the aborted Second Republic reportedly sought the consent of the National Assembly in the appointment of his Service Chiefs. The regrettable trend went through ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure until the case came up during the era of the late President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. It is sad that such an important case can take five excruciating years to determine. We expect the presidency to swiftly act on this salient judgment. By now, the Ministry of Justice, having received the judgment, should avail it of the next line of action. To prevent a mockery of the Temple of Justice, we call for initiation of a stay of execution pending the Presidency’s exercise of its right of appeal or outright implementation of the court judgment. The Presidency should realise

that even if it forwards the names of incumbent Service Chiefs to the Senate for approval, it is not duty bound to approve all the names and this could create a complex situation. This judgment is good for democracy. Such would put an end to the era of impunity inherited from the military era by presidents in the country. The appointment into top military positions should not be at the whims and caprices of a single person. Top military men must live for the state and not vice versa. We commend Mr Keyamo for instituting the suit and urge that more people make themselves available to serve as conscience of the society. This is one of the ways by which we can clarify the position of the law on contentious issues and thus deepen the democratic process.

‘We expect the presidency to swiftly act on this salient judgment. By now, the Ministry of Justice, having received the judgment, should avail it of the next line of action. To prevent a mockery of the Temple of Justice, we call for initiation of a stay of execution pending the Presidency’s exercise of its right of appeal or outright implementation of the court judgment’

Egypt’s Islamists must have a place in a restored Democracy

E

GYPT’S MILITARY coup has caused some to rush to the conclusion that the tide has turned against Islamist movements in the Middle East. That strikes us as a premature judgment. In Egypt and throughout the Arab world, Islamism surely will be a powerful political force for decades to come. The question is whether its followers will operate — and be allowed to operate — within the bounds of a peaceful democracy. In that sense, the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt has been a major and dangerous reverse. It is a setback for which President Mohamad Morsi and his government were partly responsible: Having won an election with 51 percent of the vote, Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood movement broke promises to seek consensus with secular opponents and crudely sought to gain control over the media, the judiciary and nongovernmental organizations. However, the unjustified military intervention that removed the Morsi government from office — and that has included the arrest of Islamist leaders, the shutdown of media and the reported shooting of unarmed demonstrators in Cairo Friday — has risked far greater damage. If the repression continues, what has been Egypt’s best organized and most disciplined political movement could be forced underground. Some Islamists could return to waging war against the state, as occurred in Egypt in the 1990s. Islamic parties around the region could abandon democratic politics. That’s why it is essential that Egypt’s armed forces immediately end their arrests of Islamist leaders and open negotiations with them and secular politicians on a political settlement. Mr. Morsi’s followers are demanding that he be reinstated in office, under the constitution the military suspended. While the coup leaders are unlikely to accept that, they must offer the Muslim Brotherhood terms that will allow them to remain inside the political system. That means a commitment to new elections within months if not weeks, and freedom for the movement’s political party and media. Any changes to the constitution, which was ratified by two-thirds of voters in a referendum last December, should be the result of a consensus among political forces and a new referendum. Most important, the armed forces must be willing to guarantee that the results of future elections will be accepted even if they lead to another Islamist victory. Some Egyptians appear to have convinced themselves that the Muslim Brotherhood no longer has popular support, but it, as well as more radical Islamist groups, has repeatedly surprised the Cairo elite with an ability to turn out voters. In other nations where military coups have removed elected governments, including Turkey and Thailand, parties linked to the former government have won subsequent elections. Egypt’s neighbors and the United States have a vital interest in seeing Egypt’s crisis end with a political compromise. The Obama administration has been virtually silent since Wednesday’s coup, which it has declined to condemn; officials are said to be busy making calls to Cairo. Both in public and in private the United States should be demanding an end to the military’s repression and quick steps toward compromise with the Islamists. Meanwhile, the administration should comply with U.S. law requiring a cutoff of aid following military coups. – Washington Post

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

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) Yomi Odunuga •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •Chief Internal Auditor Toke Folorunsho •Senior Manager (sales) Akeem Shoge

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness •Press Manager Udensi Chikaodi •Manager, Corporate Marketing Hameed Odejayi • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

20

CARTOON & LETTERS

S

IR: To say President Goodluck Jonathan is showing disdain for the plight of Nigerian masses is an understatement. Nigerians are tired of the President’s promises that have since turned a national swindle. His assertion last year in several quarters that there would be additional 4,500 megawatt in the next six months and that power would continue to increase progressively has turned out to be a ruse. Early last year, the President told a newsmagazine: “ By the middle of next year, you will dash me your generator. I will send it out of the country, because we won’t need it anymore”. This year, on January 24, President Jonathan told a bewildered world in an interview anchored by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Davos, Switzerland that power generation and supply under his administration had reached a peak that no previous administration had attained. He drummed his chest that Nigerians are impressed with the current level of improvement in power, and that if there was one area ordinary Nigerians applauded his administration for, it was power. The President would enthuse: “I would have loved that you ask ordinary Nigerians on the street of Lagos, Abuja or any other city this question about power. This is one

EDITOR’S MAIL BAG SEND TYPEWRITTEN, DOUBLE SPACED AND SIGNED CONTRIBUTIONS, LETTERS AND REJOINDERS OF NOT MORE THAN 800 WORDS TO THE EDITOR, THE NATION, 27B, FATAI ATERE ROAD, MATORI, LAGOS. E-mail: views@thenationonlineng.net

The President and his promise on power area that Nigerians are quite pleased with the government that our commitment to improve power is working. So if you are saying something different, I’m really surprised. That is one area that even civil societies agree that the government has kept faith with its promise”. His claim was immediately perforated on Twitter by Nigerians

who were following the interview in Nigeria with many tweeting that they were monitoring the interview with generators. When Amanpour put that forward to the President, he buckled and acknowledged that his administration had not achieved the target it set for itself and promised to deliver results by the end of the year. Surely, darkness is visible indeed!

Granted that electricity crisis is not entirely President Jonathan’s making, but the question on every lip is “what effort is he making to redeem the nation from the throe of darkness?” The other question is, does the troublous electricity deficiency defy all antidotes? The earlier the Presidency comes to term with the power responsibility and that the solution to electricity crisis resolu-

The upsurge of religiosity

S

IR: The way religion is practiced in Nigeria today borders on the absurd. Every corner you walk, there is a place of worship. At any given time of the day or night, people are shouting on top of their voice. I understand they are casting out demon afflicting their life. Since when have there been so many demons in the world? People are beat up with guilt for sins they have committed whether knowingly or unknow-

ingly. The upsurge of religiosity seems to be a manifestation of vacuity in the social structure. Not that the world was ever without religion. I believe religion has a place in our life. There are so many things in life we cannot understand. Believing in a Supreme Creator that has the supernatural power over the affairs of His creation has a pacifying quality. I can go to sleep at night consoled that evil in the

world is part of a spiritual design. In other words, what I considered evil may be a function of a Higher Order to exercise a divine will. I might have accidentally made a case for the excesses of religion by believing in a divine will. However, it is hard for the intelligent mind to give credibility to the masquerade of churches claiming spiritual authority over people’s life. Except for gullibility of mind borne out of ignorance and pov-

Abia scores another first in health sector

S

IR: All is now set for the Abia State government to score another first with the commissioning of the first Dialysis Centre in the South-east zone of the country. The centre which is at Abia Specialist and Diagnostic Centre Umuahia was made possible by the state government when it acquired the defunct Alaoma Hospital on Aba road through privatepublic partnership with international health and specialist organization’ MECURE of India to construct the centre. The centre was part of the numerous completed and ongoing projects embarked by the present government in the state. After in-

specting the equipment installed there, the Governor Theodore Orji happily said that all the facilities needed for the take-off of the centre are ready, adding that government is waiting for the technical partners from India who will man the machines. The state government had also concluded plans on how indigenous health professionals will be trained to work there. With the take off of the centre, it is obvious that the centre will bring succour to many people suffering from renal problem as they do not need to travel far or outside the country or spend so much money on dialysis. Another good thing about the

centre is that majority of doctors and nurses that will be in-charge are Nigerians who will undergo training. There are also enough machines to attend to several patients at a time, unlike the case in several public hospitals where there is inadequate machines for dialysis. No wonder recently Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) approved the centre for medical students’ internship. Since 2007, the Theodore Orji-led administration has recorded massive giant strides in the area of health care delivery in Abia. So far, the government has equipped and upgraded one hospital in every three senatorial zones of the state

into a referral hospital for specialist treatments and diagnosis. It has also undertaken a massive reequipping and modernization of the Amachara General Hospital as the pilot hospital for Abia Central Senatorial Zone and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba to serve the people of Abia South Senatorial Zone, while the Umunnato General Hospital is to serve as the Specialist Hospital for the Abia North Senatorial Zone. With the completion of centre, the state government has set another pace in the health care delivery in the country. • Dr. Romanus Uwa, Aba, Abia State

tion is beyond sloganeering the better for us all. Nigerians didn’t elect him as a national historian to tell us how much successive governments before his failed on account of power generation and other intractable maladies. How can the future of the country be bright if we are aspiring to be one of the 20 biggest economies in 2020, yet we are aspiring to produce 10,000 megawatts of electricity next year? Nigerians are patiently waiting for President Jonathan and Professor Chinedu Nebo, the Minister of Power to deliver on their power promise if that means climbing up to the pick of Mount Nebo to actualise it. • Erasmus Ikhide Lagos.

erty, what these churches are preaching are nothing a psychologist cannot treat in an advanced culture. Especially when you factor that most of these pastors are not versed in the deeper inclinations of spirituality. I believe they flourish because their followers mistake charisma and clairvoyance for spiritual power. How else can one explain the materialism of most these pastors? It reminds me of a typical Nigerian politician; once they get established, they become overweight. Next thing, they overdress and buy luxury cars. Recently on the news was the case of a Bishop of Bishops in Cross River State who was arrested by the police for raping a 15 year old girl he was supposed to be praying for. The boundary of ethics and immorality gets blurred in their mind when they become intoxicated with their purported spiritual power. I implore people to be inspired by the truth and not clever antics by these nowadays pastors because that is the only way their life will have meaning. • Pius Okaneme, Umuoji, Anambra State.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

21

COMMENTS

T

HERE is something decidedly vate sector security initiative golden in the tenure and temper that other states have copied. of Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, And whoever thought the the governor of Lagos, who turned 50 Oshodi human-vehicular traffic logjam, on Lagos-Abeokuta on June 28. From “Babatunde who?” in 2007, Expressway, could ever be disFashola has become an emblem of exlodged! cellence. Perhaps never in the history But Fashola’s distinctive legacy is changing the focus of of Nigeria’s fits-and-starts democracy has a rookie politician taken the public governance from politics to Olakunle service lane by storm, posting a slew of development. That later South lordbeek@yahoo.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola solid performance, reaping tremendous West governors of his party have followed suit gives the accolades. Governor Fashola would rank second happy feel that the glorious only after Alhaji Lateef Jakande, 2nd ReAwolowo days are here again. public Lagos governor (1979-1983) in Still, the Solomon allusion is, for Fashola, a double-edged sword. Solomon, the wisest bethe sheer race to nip the proverbial low hanging fruits, givfrastructure, and engage the judiciary to push for the rights of ing that ever lived, was no fool. Yet, his fault, uxoriousness ing very early signals of a golden morning which forecast an the states against a behemoth federal government, among – excessive love of a woman – all but messed up his famed even more golden tenure, which still has almost two years to others. By the third year, the new vision was taking shape. wisdom. That led to the violent split of the kingdom David run. By the eighth year, after a second term, the foundation was gave blood and gore to build. Mr. Fashola is second to Alhaji Jakande because while solid and ready. Governor Fashola’s admirable focus on policy, almost to Fashola had a solid foundation from which to launch his own Then came “Solomon” Fashola: fresh, cool and focused to the total isolation of politics, is ironically the chink in his campaign, Jakande was masterly master of his own destiny, take the “kingdom” to higher heights. One of his low-hanggolden armour. But that tiny chink may well expand, for in despite the rot left by the departing military in 1979, at the ing fruits, which by their plan he would quickly move to the Fashola gubernatorial persona looms a disturbing peep end of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s first coming. pluck, was the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), which secured lanes of Thatcherism – a policy wonk’s cold resolve on the integIndeed, in the Tinubu political court, this “foundation” has were already in the works at the latter end of the Tinubu era. rity of his initiative, even in the face of furious public outcry. assumed the high fetish of hallowed debate, on which many Fashola plucked it with admirable speed and pluck. It was In the Okada restriction policy, that resolve worked excelstake their honour. Many would argue – and correctly so – his brilliant morning that foreshowed a dazzling day. The lently well. The governor was the visionary leader who that without Tinubu’s solid foundation, Fashola would have rest, as they say, is history. would enforce the welfare of the generality of his people, been nothing. Other would counter, with equal vehemence – History would come to record Fashola’s many feats in higheven if the affected ultra-vocal minority threw tantrums and and they are no less correct – that without Fashola keeping grade urban infrastructure. When he eventually delivers on cried blue murder. faith and brilliantly executing his brief, Tinubu’s own place the urban transit trains in the works in the Orile-IganmuBut not so in the LASU fee hike policy – and the reason is would have been less assured. Mile 2-Badagry Expressway corridor, he would have put his simple: for a developing country, education is key. Trite: The truth of the matter is that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Mr. own bold and brilliant signature on the new Lagos multithere is nothing like free education. It is “free” because the Fashola, his high flying protégé, are akin to King David and modal transportation of his party’s dream. That would be a state is paying for it. Even then, a developing country, in a King Solomon of the Biblical Kingdom of Israel. stiff mountain for the opposition to climb. vast swamp of poverty, cannot afford the Thatcherite conceit Like King David who fought endless wars to secure the Fashola has brought into the implementation of these prothat there is nothing like community; and everybody had to kingdom against fiery and implacable foes, Tinubu did fight grammes a rare reasoned passion – friends call it focus; foes carry his or her own educational can. gruelling wars: against a purported elected president with call it coldness – that is nobody’s imprimatur but his alone. Besides, all of Fashola’s now glittering infrastructure would gruff military temper; against a federal constitution with a His healthy obsession with the environment is legendary. eventually fade and decay. Only education would appreciate unitary soul; against general environmental crisis with skyWant to know how creatively restless Mr. Fashola is? Beam with time: in quality, world-class human resource. towering refuse, like Goliath over David; against militaryyour gaze on the ever-changing flora and continual landA serious, progressive state must, therefore, make strateera mindset that state governors were despicable prefects at scaping, ever in a state of flux, that is the governor’s nevergic investments in that sector to justify its essence. The Awo the whims of an arrogant and insufferable presidency; and ending Lagos urban beautification, which he calls “greening”. credo, that gave Western Nigeria a great head start, was all even against an impatient, if not outright cynical media, which After the impressive greening and lighting of the Lagos about that strategic investment. That is why Governor Fashola all but declared Tinubu’s first two years in government as Marina, the Lagos inner ring road corridor, spanning Third cannot afford to be sanguine about high fees in the state unitotal disaster. Mainland Bridge, Iyana Oworo, Ogudu, Alapere and Ikeja versity, despite the government’s admitted lean resources. In these high octane wars, an embattled Governor Tinubu Toll Gate, aside from other areas, have become clear eviThe political cost of such sanguinity could be devastating. had to juggle politics with policy, fix his state’s financial indence of the governor’s stellar environmental policy. Still, it Sound policy might be the hallmark of good governance. morning yet, on beautification day! But more often than not, even the best of policies are choked “Fashola’s distinctive legacy is is What is more? From about the dirtiest city on the face of by hostile politics. Fashola has mastered his policies. But at 50, he must begin changing the focus of governance the earth, Lagos has become progressively cleaner; and ever more secure. The audacious bank robberies of yore have to master his politics, if he hopes to go far in statecraft. So from politics to development. become but distant memory, thanks to a robust public-prifar, however, he is sheer gold to Lagos and to his generation.

R

epublican ipples

Golden boy, golden age

I

F you missed Wednesday’s announcement of the outcome of the country’s billion-dollar bond offer to international investors by Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, you probably number among the uninitiated in the free-wheeling club of high finance. Just in case you missed it, let me attempt a simple summary of the outcome that has since kept Abuja on the orgy of wild celebration: Nigeria put one billion dollars bond on offer; the subscription, said to have drawn top investors from US, Europe and Asia, came in multiple of four! In layman’s language, it means Nigeria had sought to raise one billion dollars from the international capital market but got enough investors to stake $4 billion for a share in the Nigerian pie! That obviously meant a lot to Finance Minister OkonjoIweala; her excitement, so palpable, nearly went overboard. Hear her: “the fact that Nigeria could go to the bond market, after waiting a while and we got four times our subscription, shows confidence in the strength of the Nigerian economy… Over 200 investors could not get any share of the bonds because we were oversubscribed’’. She would also add: “The reason we are excited is because as you know, these are turbulent times, especially following expectations of tapering of Qualitative Easing by the U.S Federal Reserve Bank”. Lost perhaps was the irony that the feared quantitative easing actually drove interest rates down – not up; our officials are of course exultant about the prospects of borrowing at relatively high costs! That is what they call “confidence”! Let’s look at what the bond in two categories of $500 million each means for the ordinary Nigerian. Whereas the first tranche has five-year duration, it attracts a 5.125 per cent interest rate; the other, with 10-year duration at 6.375 per cent interest rate. What happened to the argument made only a short while ago that the loans being sought were cheap, concessionary loans of two percent with some 20-30 years repayment? Does that figure now in the current relapse into the old habits of debt peonage? Does anyone bother these days to raise questions about the bizarre financialism under which the nation would borrow at interest rates of six percent only to stash its Sovereign Wealth Fund in off-shore accounts to draw a measly below two percent interest? At this point, I should invite you, dear reader, to the seminal contribution Joseph Stiglitz and Hamid Rashid on the subject of Sub Saharan Africa’s increasingly insatiable appetite for sovereign bonds. A must read – if you ask me – for what I consider as its fresh perspective on the raging debate. Stiglitz and Rashid had posed the interesting question of why increasing numbers of developing countries have resorted to expensive sovereign-bond issues particularly

Policy Sanya Oni sanyaoni@yahoo.co.uk 08051101841

Bonds: Stiglitz vs Okonjo-Iweala when their existing foreign debt carried an average interest rate of 1.6% with average maturity of 28.7 years. The article, set in the background of the raging contagion of Eurobonds which first birthed in Ghana, but has since spread to Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, C’ote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Angola, Nigeria, Namibia, Zambia, and Tanzania, also contains dire warnings on the danger of the ultra-orthodox financialism which most sub Saharan governments have since fallen spell. In it, the duo did a good job of ripping through the official mantra of “surging confidence” bandied as feeding the obsession for the debts when they noted that: “the quantitative easing having driven interest rates to record lows, one explanation is that this is just another, more obscure manifestation of investors’ search for yield”. That shouldn’t be hard to understand; in Europe, United States and Asia, interest rate capped at two percent or below offers little or no attraction for “vulture” funds. So, where would the ‘gamblers’ have taken their money except to regions where they can enjoy six percent interest with sovereign guarantee to boot? Since when did “confidence” stop being denominated in hard cash – the cash haul described as return on investment? Shouldn’t that knowledge have tempered the claim of achievement? Picture the gambler and the profligate in a game of feints and deception; isn’t it supposed to be game in the muddled world of high finance? The article under reference also identified “the conditionality and close monitoring typically associated with the multilateral institutions make them less attractive sources of financing”.

I love the way the duo framed the rhetorical question: “What politician wouldn’t prefer money that gives him more freedom to do what he likes? It will be years before any problems become manifest – and, then, some future politician will have to resolve them”! Now, that is an elegant way to frame a problem that we know only too well – corruption. We know the attraction for bonds; they are cheap. The ‘cheapness’ is however not always the whole story. The rents – arbitrage – to be earned by thieving officials have more often than not constituted the major attraction. Even at that, it seems the best way to kick the problems down the road for the coming generation to solve. That is the way things have been. Apparently, they will remain so for a long time to come. So, what would the Jonathan administration do next? Go for more bond issues as proof of “investor confidence”? Leave the nation’s financials in utter mystery while living in denial that the nation is fast sinking into debt peonage? Have we parted with the so-called “odious” debts in 2005/ 6 only to re-learn the habits that we once assumed had been shed? How does one explain the mystery behind the mounting debts during a period of sustained oil earnings? Permit me, dear reader, to suggest that the so-called “investor confidence” is completely misconceived. The world knows better than celebrate the “fundamentals” of an economy where no meaningful economic activities are going on. Didn’t our officials announce way back in 2008 that our capital market has arrived on the world stage with return on investments said to be highest on the universe? How come the market took the hit at the onset of the global credit crisis with the exit of the vultures – the foreign portfolio investors? What is the difference between the SAPped 80s and the present? In the 80s, the nation ran into balance of payment crisis because oil prices took a dive. Unable to meet its import bills, and with a huge portfolio of debts to service, it had to endure all manners of economic prescriptions to keep afloat. Three decades after, the only difference is that oil price has not only kept steady, but has managed to surpass expectations. With $50 billion dollars in the kitty, as foreign reserves, even a blind vulture can afford to gamble. You call that achievement; well, I call it common sense.

‘Have we parted with the socalled “odious” debts in 2005/6 only to re-learn the habits that we once assumed had been shed?’


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

22

COMMENTS

T

HE National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association held its last bi-monthly meeting from July 57, at Yenogoa, Bayelsa State. At the end of the meeting the NBA President, Okey Wali SAN was reported to have called for the proscription of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) in view of the controversy which had trailed the outcome of the re-election of Governor Rotimi Amaechi as its chairman. Wali, SAN must have forgotten that his own election was serioulsly contested by his major opponent, Emeka Ngige SAN. In spite of the fact that the allegations of malpractice (including the fact that some lawyers who died several years ago voted from the grave!) were proved beyond reasonable doubt no one ever suggested that the NBA be proscribed. However, while I reject the insinuation in certain legal circles that the call for the proscription of the NGF was influenced by the fund collected from the government to host the last NBA NEC meeting, I am of the strong view that the liquidationist call should not go unchallenged. In his characteristic forthright manner, the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole exposed the NBA leadership to ridicule when he maintained that “the environment and the overall circumstance known and unknown that led the NBA president to call for the freezing of the right of Governors to associate borders on corrupt practice.” Although another governor has joined issues with Wali, SAN, I deem it pertinent to challenge his reactionary call before it is adopted by the forces of annulment in the country. More so that the call is a sad reminder of the fate that befell some progressive professional bodies and trade unions which were either corruptly taken over or decimated by the Ibrahim Babangida junta. It would be recalled that in February 1984, the candidate backed by the junta had failed woefully to win election as the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress at its delegates conference held in Benin, Edo State. The government reacted by promulgating a decree which sacked the NLC leadership and appointed a sole administrator to run its affairs. The next target of the junta was the NBA which had under the leadership of the Late Mr. Alao Aka-Bashorun (1987-1989) been in the fore-front of the struggle for the

S

OON, it would be exactly one year the unprecedented flood overran many communities located on the banks of rivers Niger and Benue, down to the delta region, destroying houses, farmlands, livestock and fish ponds. The surging flood forced most residents of these areas to abandon their ancestral homesteads and other properties to seek refuge on higher grounds where rattled state governments had hurriedly set up relief camps for those who had no where to go. The fortunate ones who have children and benevolent relatives in the cities had a good excuse to proceed on compulsory vacations. Though the National Emergency Management Agency exists, they initially didn’t know how to deal with the peculiar situation for obvious reason. They’ve never been confronted with a natural disaster of that magnitude. All they had contended with in the past were plane crashes and collapsed buildings. So, it took quite some time for government and its agencies to come to terms with how to respond to the strange ravaging flood. Finally, in a morning televised broadcast on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan announced the release of N17.6bn to assist states and communities affected by the flood. Of this amount, N13.3bn was allocated to states and N4.3bn went to relevant federal government agencies. The money was appropriated according to the severity of the impact of the flood on the states and their communities. The most affected states (in category A) like Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa and Benue got N500m each. Others in categories B, C, and D were given N400m, N300m and N250m respectively. Months after the disbursement of this fund, the beneficiary state governments hosting affected communities that are in dire need of relief and rehabilitation were still prevaricating as to how the funds should be deployed until the rumour mill came alive with insinuations that the funds might have been misappropriated by politicians. In my own Anambra State, there were whispers that the money had either been fixed in a particular bank of the government to yield interest or simply set aside for the impending gubernatorial war. This perhaps, prompted the Secretary to the State Govern-

NGF and NBA leadership By Femi Falana, SAN observance of the rule of law and the restoration of democratic governance in the country. The junta did not disguise its plot to hijack the leadership of the Bar at the 1992 Annual Bar Conference which held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. But some of us successfully frustrated the imposition of the official candidate as the leader of the NBA. A few months later, the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) of 1993 was enacted and backdated to 1992. In the main, the decree sacked the National Executive Committee members of the NBA led by Chief Priscilla Kuye and replaced them with a caretaker committee headed by the Late Chief FRA Williams SAN to manage the affairs of Nigerian lawyers. Although the decree ousted the jurisdiction of the courts and criminalised the institution of any suit which might question “anything done or purported to be done” under it, I was prepared to challenge it. But the Ikeja branch of the NBA instructed me to file the suit on behalf of all its members. I did. In the suit we challenged the legal validity of the proscription decree. the Lagos High Court presided over by Obadina J (as he then was) granted an injunction against the caretaker committee. Dissatisfied with the injunction the defendants rushed to the Court of Appeal. Owing to the constitutional significance of the case, the request of the appellants’ counsel, Chief Williams SAN, for a special panel of five Justices of the Court of Appeal to hear the appeal was granted. However the appeal was dismissed. In upholding our submissions their lordships unanimously declared the amendment decree illegal and struck it down for violating the fundamental right of Nigerian lawyers to associate freely and assemble without interference. See FRA Williams & Ors V Akintunde & Ors(1995) 3 NWLR (PT 381) 101. In the same vein, the complaint filed by Olisa Agbakoba SAN at the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights at Banjul, The Gambia on the proscription was equally determined in favour of Nigerian lawyers.

Thus, in Civil Liberties Organisation (in respect of the Nigerian Bar Association) v Nigeria (2000) AHRLR 186, the African Commission found that the official interference “with the free association of the Nigerian Bar Association is inconsistent with the preamble of the African Charter in conjunction with UN Basic Principles on the independence of the Judiciary and thereby constitutes a violation of article 10 of the African Charter”. Both decisions have confirmed that some Nigerian lawyers went all out to defend the autonomy of the NBA and resisted the official imposition of leaders on it, even under a fascistic military dictatorship. It is therefore ironical that the current leadership of the NBA has, for some inexplicable reasons, colluded with the forces of retrogression to constrict the democratic space in Nigeria. It is particularly sad to note that the NBA which used to be the defender of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people has thrown up leaders who are campaigning for the proscription of friendly societies and clubs. Even if Mr Wali does not like the NGF, he is duty bound, as a lawyer, to respect the right of the members to associate without external interference. I personally, opposed the acquisition of jets by a few state governors in view of the excruciating poverty in the land. But I had to condemn the decision of the aviation authorities to ground the Rivers State owned bombardier plane while a couple of other governors are allowed to ride theirs. Since there is equality before the law it is illegal to restrict the movement of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, for political reasons, while others are allowed to enjoy their freedom of movement, without let or hindrance. Regrettably, the NBA appears to be encouraging impunity on the part of certain public officers. Otherwise its leadership should have called the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu to order for banning demonstrations and rallies convened in Rivers State without police permit. More so, that the order of Mbu is totally contemptuous of the verdict of the

Where is the flood money? By Paul Nwosu ment, (SSG) Oseloka Obaze to issue a media statement assuring the people that the money is intact. And that the money would only be spent after the board of trustees would have reviewed and agreed on the target sector needs. Shortly after this pronouncement, the government released a consignment of food items comprising of bags of maize, rice and garri to the affected communities. The SSG was later quoted as saying that these items cost N128m. Subsequently, a round of cash was distributed. Atani, the headquarter of Ogbaru local government area of Anambra State got N10m and Osamala got N10m, while other smaller communities got less depending on their sizes. Money was equally distributed around other affected local government areas in the state. When the N10m was shared in Atani, for example, some families got N2,000, some got N1,000 and those living in urban areas and cities but whose properties were equally affected got nothing for the simple reason that the money could not go round. The question that many of us have continued to ask is: in what way would this pittance bring about the much vaunted ‘relief’ and ‘rehabilitation’ to the flood affected communities? Is this all the board of trustees and government relief strategists could think up? People’s houses have been damaged; their farmlands decimated; their livestock gone. Instead of government to come up with a resourceful economic rehabilitation program that will help the hardworking people rebuild their lives, it is handing down money to them as if they are beggars. Now that the government has opted for this path, one may be tempted ask what has happened to the rest of the money. Or has the N500m been exhausted? The story is not too different in Delta State where affected communities have formally petitioned the state House of Assembly and EFCC to investigate the management of the flood relief money. They allege that instead of openly utilizing the fund, government is selectively giving out N2,000 – N3,000 to

flood victims. But instead of addressing the content of the allegation, the Commissioner for Environment, Frank Umare reportedly said that Delta State requires N20bn to deal with flood victims and that N500m is not enough. Is the money not being enough an excuse for not managing it transparently? Some groups in Kogi State have also accused their government of distributing N3000 to flood victims. This compelled a rebuttal from Alhaji Yabagi Bologi, Commissioner for Information who explained that a total of N139,550,000 was distributed to the affected local government areas and N81,376,646.55 was ploughed into the rehabilitation and reconstruction of schools used as relief camps. What a curious appropriation. Is the commissioner implying that if the federal government did not provide the relief fund, the dilapidated schools wouldn’t have been repaired? That notwithstanding; so what happened to the balance? The case in Adamawa state is perhaps the most pathetic. According to NAN’s report which was widely replicated in most newspapers, it was alleged that flood victims were given various paltry sums of money that ranged from N200, N240 to N250. According to Moses Ginam and Francis Emmanuel that spoke to NAN’s correspondent, Mbula chiefdom, one of the worse hit communities in Adamawa state, rejected the 1.8m purportedly allocated to them by the government because it would amount to N200 per person after they would have shared it. This appears to be the trend in most states prompting Senator Claver Ikisikpo, chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties to declare that the flood relief fund has been clearly mismanaged. It would seem as if the flood victims are unlucky on all fronts. Apart from the obvious lack of transparency on the part of the states in managing the fund, the Dangote/ Agbakoba Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee are having difficulty in recovering donations made at the special public fundraising they held shortly after they were constituted to support federal government ef-

Court of Appeal in the case of the InspectorGeneral of Police v All Nigeria People Party (2008) 12 WRN 65 wherein it was held that seeking police permit for public protest is violative of the right of Nigerian citizens to freedom of expression. In that appeal which I also had the privilege of handling for the respondents, the Court of Appeal agreed with me that police permit was illegal in a democratic society. It was the view of the court that: “In present day Nigeria, clearly, police permit has outlived its usefulness. Certainly in a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies or demonstrations without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody. It is a law guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and any law that attempts to curtail such right is null and void and of no consequence.” Pursuant to the epochal verdict, the Nigeria Police Code of Conduct recently launched by the Inspector-General of Police, M. D. Abubakar, has directed all police officers to “maintain a neutral position without regard to the merits of any labour dispute, political protest, or other public demonstration while acting in an official capacity; nor make endorsement of candidates, while on duty, or in official uniform.” Incidentally, the honourable Justice Olufumilayo Adekeye JSC (rtd) who read the leading judgment in the case of IGP v ANPP (supra) is now a member of the newly inaugurated Police Service Commission. It is hoped that the police authorities will muster the courage to sanction the Rivers State police commissioner for violating the Police Code which has mandated all police officers to “perform all duties impartially without favour or affection or ill will and without regard to status, sex, race, religion, political belief or aspiration. All citizens will be treated equally with courtesy, consideration and dignity. Officers will never allow personal feelings, animosities or friendships to influence official conduct. ...” In the light of the foregoing it is hoped that concerned lawyers will urgently adopt decisive measures to free the NBA from the grip of anti-democratic forces and reposition it to resume its traditional role of defending the rule of law and the expansion of the democratic space in the country. fort in rehabilitating flood victims. Angered by the non-redemption of the pledges made by these seeming scam donors, the committee threatened to publish their names except they take concrete steps to redeem them. But if the aim of the threat is to name and shame these questionable donors and so called philanthropists, the Dangote/Agbakoba Committee may have to think again as a good number of them are shameless. They might have made the bogus pledges with their eyes on some flood contracts they could get. And as soon as it wasn’t forthcoming, the flood victims may jolly well go to hell (where they would stay dry). So, for all they care, the committee can broadcast their names on CNN! Once again, I implore the Dangote/ Agbakoba committee to come up with their own strategy on how to deploy the funds they have raised in order to guarantee some level of transparency and best corporate practices which is grossly lacking in the states disbursements. Since the flood relief fund which the states are spending (or have spent) came from the federal government, it is only appropriate that the federal legislative organs or the relevant federal government institution carry out an inquisition on how the flood money has been spent by the states. Another rainy season is already here and the meteorological agency has repeatedly warned that this year’s flood could be more devastating, yet the money released to help victims attenuate the impact has been hardly accounted for. What a shame! • Nwosu writes from Lagos

‘Another rainy season is already here and the meteorological agency has repeatedly warned that this year’s flood could be more devastating, yet the money released to help victims attenuate the impact has been hardly accounted for. What a shame!’


INSIDE

TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

Page 25

Website: http://www.thenationonlineng.com

Minister lauds Army’s role in internal security

- Page 27

Kano partners shelter firm on N20b estate

•From left: Chairman, Senate Committee on Transport; Senator Sahabi Yau; Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and Minister of Transport; Senator Idris Umar cutting the tape at the track laying ceremony of Abuja-Kaduna Fast Train project in Abuja. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

- Page 28

A

NGO lifts the less privileged

- Page 40

New deal for teenage drop-outs

LL hope is not lost for female teenagers who dropped out of secondary school as a result of pregnancy – a foundation is ready to cater for their educational needs. Timilehin Hope Foundation (THF) believes that helping girls up the ladder, whether with skills or education, will change the world, even as the organisation identifies teenage pregnancy as an endemic problem in rural areas. THF founder Lara Owoeye Wise explained that the foundation is in honour of her late son, Timilehin who loved to help people. Owoeye Wise said she was prepared to cater for teenage girls, especially those who lost their educational track due to pregnancy. She spoke in Abuja at the launch of her book, “Lessons of Life”, at the weekend. She spoke about the foundation’s vision saying: “The foundation is basically to help teenage mothers

From Faith Yahaya

who have dropped out of secondary school. We want to get them back to school.” She expressed her sadness over the neglect of young people in rural areas. She said: “As city people, we tend to forget what is going on in the rural areas. A lot of girls have dropped out of school because they got pregnant and thereby

stopped them from going back to school and the irony of this is that some of them are very intelligent. “THF will pay their fees, get them uniforms, books, provide mini-libraries and computer rooms where they can go when they have time. THF will also provide counselling and sexuality education services as well as provide a crèche where they can keep their babies only during school hours,” she added.

A lot of girls have dropped out of school because they got pregnant and stopped going back to school and the irony of this is that some of them are very intelligent

The beneficiaries of this gesture are teenage girls from Yagba-West Local Government Area of Kogi State. “I have gone round but I am actually focusing on my local government area; we have seen some of these girls and after the launch, we are trusting that by September, the first batch of girls will be able to go back to school,” she explained. Owoeye Wise said she made a promise to God and the memory of her late son that every kobo made from the sale of the book will go will into the foundation. The book, Lessons of Life is a compilation of short writings containing different titles ranging from spirituality to motherhood, to sex, to humour. Over N2million was pledged at the launch of the book.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

26

ABUJA REVIEW

T

HE Abuja Writers Forum has marked its fifth anniversary in the capital city. The ceremony was attended by a sizeable crowd drawn from not only the arts lovers, but also other professions. The event featured music, photo exhibition, poetry and prose fiction reading by two invited guest writers, Ikeogu Oke and Victor Oluwasegun. Various artistes performed to the admiration of all, leaving no one in doubt that Abuja Writers’ Forum has come to stay as the hub of creativity. The first act for the evening was that of a singer and guitarist, David Adzer, whose soulful songs held the audience spellbound. Adzer who had collaborated with renowned artistes such as Bem Sar and Age Beeka, was the brain behind Playlist Group in Jos, Plateau State. The singer also had to his credit, The Bond produced by Papel Image Tech and written in collaboration with another writer. The next performance was by Tokunboh Edwards, whose lilting rock style and deep-throated rendition moved the audience to tapping their feet. A saxophonist Abiodun Okewoye, set the hall agog with “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. David Adzer, played the guitar in accompaniment. Kemi Akin-Nibosun held miniphoto exhibition telling tales in through the lenses of her cameras. Ikeogu Oke, while reading from “In the Wings of Waiting,” his latest collection of poems, mesmerized the audience with his use of language. Oke, who has a remarkable literary profile, holds a BA in English from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and his writings have appeared in various publications in Asia and both sides of the Atlantic. He not only read some of his poems, he sang some as well, showing his dexterity as he sang. During the question and answer session, he said his writing was unconventional, adding that he draws his inspiration from “joy, agony and disappointments.” In 2010, a Nobel Laureate, Nadine Gordimer, selected Oke’s book, ‘Salutes without Guns’ as one of the books of the year for the Times Literary Supplement (TLS).

W

ORKERS of CGC Nigeria Limited, Abuja main yard, have protested bad treatment from management.They barricaded the road, burned tyres and prevented cars from driving in or out of the company’s premises. CGC Nigeria, a construction company own ed by Chinese

•Participants at the event

Abuja writers’ forum marks fifth anniversary From Gbenga Omokhunu

Oke’s ‘The Lion and the Monkey’, recently premiered as a reading performance by him at the 2012 South African Literary Awards (SALA) that held in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The writer in April also performed a premiere of his poem, ‘Dirge for Achebe’, as a stage performance at the inaugural Ola Ndi Igbo celebration that held at the Civic Centre, Lagos. But the thrill of the evening came

as Victor Oluwasegun, who works with The Nation Newspapers as a political correspondent, read from his book, In the Shadow, which is his debut collection of short stories. While answering questions from the audience, he said one of the stories in the collection, Favour Gone Sour, was inspired by a true story. He also read from ‘Messie’s Kingdom’, a book he said he resigned from a job to complete and which took him 10 years to complete. The book was crafted in

For a literary organisation in Nigeria attaining five years of consistent pursuit of the set goals of promoting writers and their writing is not a mean achievement

magical lyrical language, and held the audience enthralled while the reading lasted. Oluwasegun was born in Sagamu, Ogun State, and attended Ogun State University. He graduated with a BA degree in English. He has worked as a lecturer at the Advanced Teachers’ College, Kano, the defunct Mutual Trust Savings, Lagos, Lifeline Children’s Hospital in Lagos and Ayida Communications, Lagos. He began his journalism career with Encomium Magazine in Lagos and eventually found fulfillment in The Nation Newspapers. Assistant Director, Media and Public Affairs of the National Lottery Commission, Mrs. Rekiya Ibrahim-Atta, in her goodwill message, encouraged writers to base their work on adequate research, saying it will serve as a reference point for history. She said writers are custodians of information that the world relies on and that they should remain

Workers protest maltreatment From Gbenga Omokhunu and Grace Obike,

investors was accused by its workers of maltreatment, withholding arears and bonuses and refusing to payoff the workers.

The workers said that their Chinese bosses are treating them badly. According to them, their welfare or safety is never considered and that they are given uniforms onces

•From left: President, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Mr Ken Ukoha; representative of DirectorGeneral, Budget Office, Mrs Udu Ejembi and Country-Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Mr Shetima Burma at the Tax Justice campaign in Abuja PHOTO:NAN

in every two years and are not supplied with raincoats, safety boots or helmets in spite of the danger associated with their job. They said that they work like slaves in their own country and any amongst them that complains about poor treatment to the authority is sacked immediately. Alfred Aldofose, an excavator operator with CGC, said that some of them have not been paid any form of benefits or arears for years, although some workers he said are only owned three months. Aldofose also said some have worked for the company for more than 10years and the company is yet to make them permanent staff and to matter worse ,the company dispenses with such appointment at will . They claimed that there was an agreement between the Chinese company and their National union on a payoff plan but the company refuses to adhere to the agreement. The workers said that the company was insisting on paying them off with the 2011 rate compared to the new and agreed rate and so they are pleading with the government to talk to the National Union to pressurise the company to pay them off and with the agreed rate.

resilient in order to attract government support. The President and host of the event, Dr. Emman Usman Shehu, declared that the journey had not been easy for the organisation as it had gone through various challenges. He said: “It has been five years of sweating blood and endless struggles, but we made it and we are more than ever before, ready to break new grounds,’ According to him, the AWF has every reason to celebrate “For a literary organisation in Nigeria attaining five years of consistent pursuit of the set goals of promoting writers and their writing is not a mean achievement,” he said. He said the purpose of the event is to build future leaders that can hold their own in areas of essays,writing and speeches and also “to learn from other great personalities in the field of •Continued on page 40 According to the workers ,Julius Beger, Centraco and other construction companies had paid off their workers but CGC has refused to do so. They said that the company in an effort to retrench more workers, have changed their identity cards from the plastic to the laminated ones that expire in December. Speaking further ,they said about 24 workers were sacked on the July 2 with no justification, adding that last month, 40 workers from the earth and concrete operations sections were sacked for no reason at all. Another worker, Joshua Ali,a laboratory technician, said that the company now claims that it does not have enough vacancies, so what the management does is to sack many workers and within days hire one or two to replace the old. Ali claimed that they had reported their fears to their national union leaders who claimed to have tabled it before the company administration and even fellow Nigerians in higher positions with no positive result. They say that Chinese simply get contract from the government and claim that they pay their workers as much as N70 to N80,000 but only pay them a maximum of N35,000, some casual workers on the other hand are paid as low as N300 daily in a place like Abuja, while such workers have families to cater for.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

27

ABUJA REVIEW

T

Minister hails army on internal security

HE FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has lauded the role of the Nigerian Army in the country’s internal security, particularly in combating terrorism and other threats to the nation. Mohammed gave the commendation while receiving the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Onyeabo Azubuike Ihejirika who paid him a working visit in his office. He reiterated that this uncommon sacrifice would go a long way in stabilising the security of the country. The minister recalled with nostalgia the contributions of the Nigerian Army to the security of the Federal Capital Territory, as well as its environs. He also praised the Army or their input during the quarterly FCT Security Committee meeting

From Gbenga Omokhumu and Grace Obike

where members usually brainstorm on any security challenge. Mohammed assured that the

FCT Administration would continue to support the Army and indeed all the security agencies in the Federal Capital Territory to achieve their goals as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The minister recalled the contributions of the Nigerian Army to the security of the Federal Capital Territory, as well as its environs

He appreciated the sacrifices made by the security agencies in nation building. He promised to attend the Army Day celebration to concretise the wonderful relationship between the FCT Administration and the Nigerian Army. The Chief of Army Staff remarked that he and his team visited the minister to invite him to chair the grand finale of the ongoing Army Day celebration which kicked off with the Special Juma’ah. He expressed the resolve of the Nigerian Army to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria. The FCT Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Obinna Chukwu and other top FCT Administration officials joined the FCT Minister to receive them.

•Senator Mohammed

Hundreds graduate from Abuja Pacesetters School

I

T was a fun-filled weekend for graduating students of Pacesetters School in Abuja as they celebrated their exit in a grand style. For the graduating SS3 students, it was a total change of phase as they were all excited leaving their beloved school for various universities. The graduation ceremony kicked off with a dinner. It was an occasion for the students to wine and dine as well as share their experiences on their stay in the school. The high point of the main event was the procession of all the graduating students into the prestigious International Conference Centre. It was led by the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih who was the Father of the Day; Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko AlMakura, the Publisher of Ovation Magazine, Chief Dele Momodu, the Chairman of the

From Bukola Amusan

School, Kenneth Imasuagbon among others. Chief Anenih in his admonition to the graduating students, urged them to go out to the world and excel. He also urged parents to give proper education to their children, no matter the cost. He said he would die a happy man having struggled to give his children good education. Anenih said: “The best thing you can leave for your son and daughter is good education. It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. You may be a cleaner, a palmwine tapper but please give your children good education. “If I die tomorrow, I will be happy because I struggled to educate my children.” Also at the event, the publisher of Ovation Magazine and former presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party, Dele

Momodu said the crisis rocking the Nigeria Governors Forum was dangerous for the country. He said: “It is not good to annul an election. We annulled an election in 1993; 20 years after, we are annulling an election that took place between 35 people in one small room. It tells us that there are dangers ahead, but I believe in miracles”. Momodu, who noted that education liberates the mind, said he would continue to struggle for the liberation of the country, from the hands of the few milking it. He said, “Nigeria can do a lot better. We can’t abandon politics in the hands of a few and then complain. I have not been in power yet, but we will continue to do it and encourage others to join hands so as to liberate the country from all the sociopolitical problems confronting the country”. Governor Al-Makura who had two children among the graduating students, stunned

•From left: New President, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Dr. Abdu Ndanusa; his predecessor, Mr Olatunde Busari and the Shaba of Lapai, Alhaji Abdulkabir Abdu at the investiture of Ndanusa as the 24th president of ICSAN in Abuja

the audience, as he described the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democractic Party (PDP) as a pacesetter and “our leader.” The governor, praising Anenih in glowing terms, also said the PDP BOT chairman’s sterling leadership examples were worthy of emulation. He, therefore, charged Nigerian youths, especially students, to learn from him, declaring that “Tony Anenih is a pacesetter anytime, anywhere. “He was a pacesetter in his chosen profession. He is a pacesetter in his current capacity as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP. “I urge you graduating students to emulate his virtues. He led successful political parties in the past and he’s still doing that; he is our leader,” he said. The governor donated a 22seater Coaster bus to the school. The outgoing Student Union Government President, Miss Uchendu Vivian, in her welcome address, commended the proprietor of the school for the various excursions, training, foreign trips that he made them go through while they were in the school. She promised on her behalf to do the unimaginable as they proceed out of the school and prepare for the future. The Chairman of the School, Kenneth Imasuagbon praised Chief Tony Anenih for attending the graduation ceremony personally. Imasuagbon expressed gratitude to God for making the school project a reality and

urged other well-meaning Nigerians to take up the challenge as the government alone cannot provide enough educational resources for the millions of children in the country. He charged the graduating students to “go and set the pace, conquer the world, fear nobody but respect the law, go where we have failed and make solutions and open doors of opportunities for other Nigerians. “Go anywhere and you will be received because you are pacesetters”he added He challenged them to show honour, industry and integrity, as well as obey the rules of engagement. “It goes beyond who your father, your mother or uncle is, but who you are. We, in collaboration with your parents, have given you all it takes to face the challenges ahead of you. Go set the pace, be champions and take Nigeria to the Promised Land. You must be part of the solution. It is possible to make a difference.” Imasuagbon said the graduating students are some of the best brains in Nigeria. “Some have signified their intention to pursue their university education with institutions in the United States,”he said. A major highlight of the ceremony was presentation of awards to winners of Barrister Kenneth Imasuagbon National Essay competition. There was a cash gift N100,000 and a Notebook computer prize for the winner.

It goes beyond who your father, your mother or uncle is, but who you are. We, in collaboration with your parents, have given you all it takes to face the challenges ahead of you


28

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

ABUJA REVIEW

Kano partners shelter firm on N20b estate

K

ANO State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has laid the foundation for the construction of an estate named Evergreen Residences, comprising 108 housing units at Lokogoma, Durumi district in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. The estate is to cost N20 billion. The project, a collaborative effort between the state government and a private estate developer, Urban Shelter Ltd, is sited on 6.411 hectares of land which will consist of threebedroom apartments, 4 bedroom terrace, and 4, 5 and 6 bedroom maisonettes. Governor Kwankwaso who spoke on the project, explained that it is part of his administration’s thrust to promote partnership with the private sector for efficient service delivery and improving the economic base of the state. The governor said the state government almost lost the plot

T

HE Graceville Christian Centre, Abuja will in November organise a free medical programme for residents of Nyanya, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. The programme, meant for all categories of persons in the area, is expected to cost the church about N3.5 million. The Senior Pastor of the Church, Pastor Tunde Ayeni who spoke with journalists in Abuja on the free health mission and other activities lined up for the second anniversary of the Church scheduled for July 14 in the Abuja Headquarters, said foreign medical personnel will be invited to attend to willing residents during the medical show. He said there will be free medical check for interested persons as well as giving out of drugs for the cure of various ailments and diseases. Speaking on the second

From Bukola Amusan

to unscrupulous persons because the past administration in the state failed to develop it, pointing out that the intervention of the serving FCT Minister facilitated restoration of the land to the state. He said the state government was able to retrieve the land on which The Promenade estate

will be built through the singular effort of the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed. He said the housing units to be built at the Lokogoma site will complement the already existing ones being constructed by the same Urban Shelter consisting of 100 units at the cost of N9 billion. He said Kano State government

Governor Kwankwaso explained that it is part of his administration’s thrust to promote partnership with the private sector for efficient service delivery in order to improve the economic base of the state

is constructing almost 1,400 housing units in three different sites within the state consisting of Amana City, Kwankwasiyya City and Bandarawo City all of which have reached 80 percent completion. He charged the contractors handling the estate project to ensure completion within the agreed time frame. In his speech, the Chairman, Urban Shelter Ltd, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, assured that the project will be completed in 18 months, stressing that his company is unwavering in meeting the housing challenge of Nigerians. On his part, the chairman of the occasion and former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida praised the Kwankwaso administration for the prudent utilisation of public funds and property, hoping that the estate project will help reduce the housing insufficiency in Nigeria.

•Governor Kwankwaso

The occasion was graced by public figures including Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, the Etsu Nupe, the Emirs of Minna and Lapai as well as the representative of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero.

Free medicare for Nyanya residents From Bukola Amusan

anniversary of the Church with the theme, Grace to Grace, Pastor Ayeni said with the story which started from a sitting room to its present edifice in Maitama Area of the city now, it is purely a story of “Grace to Grace” He said various artistes such as Samsong, Asu Ekiye, Solomon Lange among others will be on ground during the anniversary to entertain the congregation and other invited guests. Pastor Ayeni added that the church intends to embark on its Church building project and open more branches within Abuja and other states of the federation. Speaking on plans to also set up a State- of the -Art Studio in

the Church, the Senior Pastor said the studio will give young artistes opportunities to record their works at cheaper rates adding that the studio will be equipped with gadgets that will make recordings very convenient.

“Apart from engaging the youth, the church from time to time spend millions of Naira in catering for the poor in the society, “we give food items to the needy, we pay rents, school fees, recently, the church paid 1000 Dollars into the account of a

Apart from engaging the youth, the church from time to time spend millions of Naira in catering for the poor in the society

•From left: Vice-President Namadi Sambo; President Goodluck Jonathan; Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu; Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe during the meeting on the President’s Emergency Response Plan for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria at the State House Abuja PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

foreign student in Malaysia to complete his studies” On security in Churches, Pastor Ayeni said community policing should be more encouraged as it has been seen to have worked well everywhere in the world. He said children should be taught to be more observant and they should be enlightened on the benefits of security.

Writers’ forum marks 15th anniversary •Continued from Page 26 poetry.” He lamented the high level of poor reading culture inherent in the country, revealing that AWF is paving the way creatively for younger generation of Nigerians to enlarge their vocabularies and information through reading and script writing. The previous day, the Forum had held a creative writing workshop at the City Library, Zone 4, for 15 students from five selected secondary schools. The schools that participated in the workshop were: Anglican Girls Grammar School, Government Secondary School, Wuse Zone 3, Cherryfield College, Jikwoyi, Government Secondary School, Gwarimpa and Government Secondary School Tudun Wada, all in Abuja. The resource person for the event was Caine 2013 Prize nominee, Elnathan John who taught the students aspects like mood, theme, setting and narrative perspectives amongst other story-writing lessons. One of the most exciting moments of the five-hour event was when the students read stories they wrote during assignments given to them at the workshop. Many people at the event were surprised at the high level of imagination the students possessed. Most of the guests at the Saturday event expressed appreciation for the depth of the programme and willingness to join the literary excursion which the AWF presented during its monthly Guest Writers Session as well as the critique sessions it holds at the International Insitute of Journalism (IIJ) every Sunday in the FCT.


29

TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

Nigeria has a good body of laws affecting all facets of our national life. Our problem has been the non- implementation or the selective implementation of the laws. We have a culture of impunity where one can get away with anything so long as you are rightly ‘connected’. To accelerate our political and economic development, our laws must not only be enforced but be seen to be enforced. No right thinking investor will invest in a country where laws are not or selectively enforced. Our law enforcement agencies and the judiciary must be strengthened to play their constitutional roles. See page 30

E-mail:- law@thenationonlineng.net

INSIDE: Lagos CJ seeks support for Child Rights Law

There was uproar in the Senate last week over the State of the Nation Address Bill, which President Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign. He returned the bill to the Senate for further modification because it does not allow him to delegate the responsibility to present the address to another official, such as the VicePresident. Is such presidential address compulsory? How is it done in other countries? And can the president delegate the responsibility? JOSEPH JIBUEZE sought lawyers’ views.

Who blinks first over State of Nation Address Bill?

-Page 32

‘How to make plea bargain work’

-Page 33

Lawyers score NBA-SBL conference high

-Page 34

Honour for Ayanlaja at book launch •Jonathan

-Page 35

Lawyers urge scrapping of ICPC

I

T has been long that such a scene was witnessed in the Senate cham bers. Last week, there was near bedlam there as senators engaged in a shouting match over the State of the Nation Address Bill. But the Senate said the bill, hich was presented by Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba for recon-

•Mark

sideration, was not the cause of the uproar. It blamed the problem on a request by another Senator, Bashir Lado (Kano Central), to be allowed to introduce a motion. What the bill is all about The bill, passed by the National

Jonathan proposed some amendments and returned it to the Senate. The President described certain provisions of the bill as inconsistent with the doctrine of sepa•Continued on page 30

Ekene Odum practises law and also teaches at the Lagos State University (LASU). He is one of the few Nigerian counsel of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands. In this interview with Legal Editor John Austin Unachukwu, he speaks on the standards of legal education in the country, the dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government, globalisation of legal practice and other national issues.

-Page 36

Embrace partnerships, lawyers told

‘ Litigation is going out of fashion globally’

I

-Page 37

Firm partners police on security -Page 38

Assembly on May 16, seeks to mandate the President to address the National Assembly (and by extension Nigerians) on the state of the nation annually, specifically every July. However, President Goodluck

•Odum

T is widely believed that the quality of education in the country, including le gal education, right from the law faculties, has nose dived. What is your reaction to this? It is true that the quality has dropped substantially compared to what obtained in the past. Today, we have many well certificated but unskilled graduates which makes them patently unemployable. This is a major complaint of employers in Nigeria today. Employers have to retrain graduates to make

them add value to their organisations or they source for skilled labour from outside Nigeria. Legal education is not exempted. Training in professional courses should be made more clinically based and less theoretical. The curricular should be made contemporary and in line with best global prac•Continued on page 30


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

30

LAW COVER CONT’D

Who blinks first over State of Nation Address Bill? • Continued from page 29

ration of powers and the spirit of the Constitution. He rejected the section that makes it mandatory for him to present the address before a joint session of the National Assembly yearly. He chose to rely on Section 67 of the Constitution, which makes it optional. He also sought an amendment to allow him delegate the responsibility to the VicePresident, which the lawmakers rejected. This development has raised pertinent questions. Can the President return a bill to the House of Assembly for further amendment before assent? Must the President always appear before the lawmakers to address them? Can he not delegate the responsibility? Of what use is a presidential address to Nigerians? Should the Senate go on to and pass it if the President withholds his assent? The arguments Senators were divided on whether to override the President’s veto on the bill or consider his proposed amendments. Some argued that the President had no power under the 1999 Constitution to propose amendments to a bill passed by the National Assembly. Others, however, argued that he could. They relied on Section 88 of the Senate Standing Orders, which allows the President to send observations to the National Assembly where he has misgivings on any bill already passed. During the debate on the bill, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Ita Enang, cited Sections 58(4&5) and 100(4) to state that the 1999 Constitution did not contemplate the President making amendments to any bill passed by the National Assembly. According to him, what the law says is that the President shall within 30 days indicate whether he will assent to a bill or not; and that is all and not to propose amendments to it. The Minority Whip, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, argued that the President could bring an amendment after a bill is already signed. But he stated that the President could not propose an amendment to a bill awaiting his assent. Many senators wanted the Senate to override the presidential objections, but others said the upper chamber had no such power since the letter the President sent to the National Assembly did not say that he withheld assent to the bill. Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) traced the origin of the bill and posited that contrary to the President’s position, the National Assembly has never passed a bill that is inconsistent with the Constitution. He said the State of the Nation Address Bill 2013 did not in any way contradict the Constitution, and that it was an attempt to deepen democracy and make the President responsible and accountable. He said: “The letter from Mr President has no basis; it has no merit. It should be returned to him for assent or to reject it and when he rejects it we will override the President, for the first time.” Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said the Senate had never had a situation where the President returned a bill passed by the National Assembly with a comment. The American model In the United States, the State of the Union is the address presented by the President to a joint session of the United States Congress, typically delivered yearly.

•Tambuwal

The address not only reports on the condition of the nation but also allows presidents to outline their legislative agenda (for which they need the cooperation of Congress) and their national priorities. The practice arises from a command given to the president in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution which states: “He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend for their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Although the language of this constitution is not specific, by tradition, the President makes this report annually in late January or early February. While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report. Since Franklin Roosevelt, the State of the Union is given typically in each January before a joint session of the United States Congress and is held in the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol. When a presidential inauguration occurs in January, the date may be delayed until February. What began as a communication between president and Congress has become a communication between the president and the people of the United States. Since the advent of radio, and then television, the speech has been broadcast live on most networks, preempting scheduled programming. To reach the largest television audience, the speech, once given during the day, is now typically given in the evening. Also, in recent decades, newly inaugurated presidents have chosen to deliver speeches to joint sessions of Congress in the early months of their presidencies, but have not officially considered them State of the Union addresses. Can the US President delegate the address? Experts said historically, the United States President cannot delegate the State of Union Address to anyone. Rather, the Vice-President and other cabinet members accompany the President to the Congress for the delivery. Customarily, one cabinet member (the designated survivor or successor) does not attend, in order to provide continuity in the line of succession in the event that a catastrophe disables the President, the Vice-President and other succeeding officers gathered in the

•Aturu

•Ikeji

House chamber. A designated survivor is a member of the United States Cabinet who is appointed to be at a physically distant, secure, and undisclosed location when the President and the country’s other top leaders are gathered at a single location, such as during State of the Union addresses and presidential inaugurations. This is intended to maintain continuity of government in the event of a catastrophic occurrence which kills many officials in the presidential line of succession.

law as to the reason behind it, because the people need to hear from their President directly. The lawyer, who teaches law at the Nigerian Law School, said the state of the nation address is not supposed to be a trap for the president or a political ambush for him, but an opportunity to discuss issues of governance and assure the people that the government is on course and in the right direction. Ogbuanya said: “The Bill seeking to make a Law mandating the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to have a responsibility to address the people on the state of the nation is well conceived. “It’ll provide the president an ample legal opportunity to keep the people informed on the state of the nation, on various governance issues relating to the economy, transformation agenda, foreign policy and the general direction of the ship of nationhood. “In fact, it serves as a periodic interface for update of the people in areas of common interest by the leader of the people; their president. “Whether or not the responsibility to make the address by the president could be delegated is a matter of law based on the objective of the proposed law. “This is important to be clarified, as it’s the law that unless a law restricts the right to delegate assigned responsibility, such can be lawfully delegated. It’s only the delegatee that cannot delegate based on the age-long principle of ‘delegatus non potest delegare’. “Accordingly, if the purpose of the proposed state of the nation address law is to enable the people hear directly from their president speak on key areas of nationhood and state of affairs, such responsibility need not be delegated. “This law seems to replicate the American model of ‘State of the Union Address’ by the US President. No officer, no matter how highly ranked in government undertakes such union address on behalf of the president, who is expected to show mastery of the state of affairs of the various contemporary issues affecting the people and the entire nation. “It’s not supposed to be a political trap. If well done, the psychological impact cannot be underestimated. Hopes are rekindled as people are assured in concrete terms that something is being done about the nagging challenges of the time. “This is what the state of the nation address would seek to achieve and it would be best done by the president himself as a matter of law. Doing otherwise is like let-

What the 1999 Constitution says: Jonathan was said to have relied on Section 67 (1) of the 1999 Constitution which does not make it mandatory for him to address the National Assembly yearly. The section says: “The President may attend any joint meeting of the National Assembly or any meeting of either House of the National Assembly, either to deliver an address on national affairs including fiscal measures, or to make such statement on the policy of government as he considers to be of national importance.” The key word is “may”, but what do lawyers think? Lawyers react Lawyers were unanimous in their view that the President should not delegate the responsibility, as he is not bigger than Nigerians he is elected to serve. What more could be more important than speaking to your people once a year through their representatives? they ask. Professor of International Law, Akin Oyebode said it would amount to abandonment of responsibility for the President to shy away from such duty. “There is only one word for it: Abdication of responsibility and sheer disrespect, if not, in fact, contempt for the National Assembly,” he said. Nigeria Country Representative of the American Bar Association (ABA), Mr Nelson Ogbuanya, said a state of the nation address should ordinarily not be delegated, as done in the United States. According to him, it is an opportunity for a country to receive feelers from their leader. The citizens, he said, logically do not expect to see any other person other than the president on such a solemn occasion. Such an address, he said, is aimed at raising the moral of the nation and building their faith and confidence in their country’s leadership. Ogbuanya, however, added that should such power be delegated due to unusual circumstances, it must be properly explained in the

Can the President return a bill to the House of Assembly for further amendment before assent? Must the President always appear before the lawmakers to address them? Can he not delegate the responsibility? Of what use is a presidential address to Nigerians? Should the Senate go on to and pass it if the President withholds his assent?

ting one child in the presence of the parents to play the parent to his other siblings on issue that requires parental assurance!” A constitutional lawyer Ikechukwu Ikeji said unusual situations require unusual remedies, adding that the bill, when passed to law, would help promote accountability. “When the road is bent, you must also bend likewise to get to your destination. The Nigerian political landscape remains an unusual arena where unusual rhythms are played for unusual dance steps. “The Nigerian President remains the most powerful President in the democratic world being a direct fallout from the alltoo powerful military President created by the Babangida regime, which saw the emergence of the department of the Presidency from where emanates an octopus-like power domain. “The Presidency overrides every decision taken today in every facet of the Nigerian polity very much in contradistinction from the original intendment of the principle of federalism. “This is why it becomes imperative to device unusual steps to curtail the excesses of the Presidency to ensure a proper tilt towards true federalism. “It is therefore imperative to make, and support, laws that will strengthen the principle of checks and balances both horizontally and vertically. This will help install a responsible and responsive government at both the federal and State levels. “The State of the Nation Address Bill, in my view, is in line with the above thought pattern, with the need to improve on governance accountability. “It is done in most other jurisdictions of the civilised world, the United States inclusive. I even suggest that the Bill should go a step further to make the address a quarterly affair and mandatory to be broadcast live on national television.” Ikeji said by refusing to assent the bill, the President’s in-action is tantamount to withholding his assent to the bill. “He indirectly rejected the Bill as passed by the National Assembly. The National Assembly has two options, namely, first to override the President’s assent and pass the Bill into law or secondly, to rework the Bill in line with the President’s amendment and represent it for fresh law making process. “The Bill may not be all that Nigerians need at this time but it is part of the entire package of what we need. We need to have the government come before us regularly to give us account of their stewardship and of where the nation is heading to. The same situation should be replicated in the States too. In addition, we also need jobs, electricity, food, shelter, good roads, good hospitals, good qualitative education and other dividends of good governance,” he said. On the importance of such an address by the President, Ikeji said it provides an opportunity for everyone to have an idea of what is going on in the country, as well as helps accountability and improves the principle of checks and balances. “It will help the members of the various House and Senate, as representatives of the people to ask questions and make useful suggestions on how to move the nation forward. It will also help the members of the Houses to know the kinds of laws they should • Continued on Page 31


31

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

LAW AND SOCIETY

‘ Litigation is going out of fashion globally’

on what you have read in the law books and no counsel or judge would be able to fault your position or submission’. He said stammering begins where knowledge stops. I took the advice and it has helped me a great deal to this day.

•Odum •Continued from page 29

tice. Our educational system should be geared to produce global players and not local champions as the world is now a digital global village. What was your first experience in court like, and how did you build confidence thereafter? My first day in court was at Agbor High Court in Delta State, before Justice Edah. My boss, Mr. Sunday Gbenoba, gave me a case file and told me to go to court to regularise our position as we were out of time. In court, I was lucky that cases were called based on seniority so I was observing how other lawyers were doing their thing. When my case was called, I put up a bold face, an-

nounced myself and told the judge that I came to regularise my position. The judge looked at me sternly and asked what I meant. I told him that that was what my boss told me to say. He then observed that I was a new wig and he guided me accordingly. When I later shared my experience in chambers, my principal, Mr. Vincent Adaikpo, who was the then Attorney-General of Delta State, told me ‘Odum, other lawyers out there including senior advocates are not better qualified than you. They may only be more experienced. For every matter you have, prepare and read very well and ask questions where you don’t understand. When you get to court, present your case confidently based

There has been this lingering crisis in our tertiary institutions since 2009 over the alleged non implementation of the ASUU-Federal Government agreement. What are the issues in dispute? On the crisis in our tertiary institutions, it is simply a case of the non implementation of an agreement freely and voluntarily entered into by the parties. This issue is very unfortunate as it has lingered for years and has severally disrupted the academic calendar, thus contributing to the falling standards. The government should honour all agreements freely and voluntarily signed with ASUU. That is the honorable thing to do to guarantee industrial peace in our tertiary institutions. In law, the maxim is ‘pacts saunt servanda’ which means that agreements must be honored faithfully. We should really put this nagging issue behind us and move on to things which are of better importance to our national development. Why can’t the parties go to the National Industrial Court to resolve this problem? Well, only the parties can answer the question. I know that the court is specifically empowered to deal with issues of non implementation of collective agreements. I think that parties should have more confidence in our judiciary as a firm and impartial dispenser of justice. The courts too should strive to dispense justice quickly as the slow judicial process in Nigeria has significantly contributed to the lack of faith in the courts as a quick dispenser of justice. How does this agreement between ASUU and the Federal Government affect State universities and their staff? Staff of State Universities are also members of ASUU, thus any agreement by the trade union affects all members of the union except otherwise stated. This is the effect of the peculiar form of federalism prac-

tised in Nigeria where you have over centralization of policies. Ideally, each state should be allowed to negotiate her remuneration with her employees and pay within her capacity, that is how it should be. This is one of the effects of prolonged military rule. The National Assembly should strive to return this country to true federalism by amending the constitution accordingly. Can this dispute between ASUU and the Federal Government be resolved through Alternative Disputes Resolution Mechanism (ADR)? The dispute between ASUU and the government could have been effectively handled by alternative dispute resolution including arbitration and mediation. However, it is left for the parties to submit to this form of dispute resolution or refer the dispute to mediators or arbitrators. I think that the legal framework for the resolution of labour and industrial disputes should be reviewed to make it mandatory that certain disputes must be referred to arbitration or mediation in view of the advantages inherent therein. It is faster, cheaper, confidential, mutual, harmonious, and her decisions are final and enforceable as judgement of the court. Did ASUU exhaust all other peaceful modes of disputes resolution before embarking on strikes? Whether ASUU has resolved all peaceful modes before embarking on strike can only be answered by ASUU. I believe that there must have been contacts and consultations between the parties before the strike was declared. Honestly, the strike was a shock because it was least expected. I thought we had gone past the regime of recurring strikes in our universities. The easiest way of resolving this crisis is for the parties to meet frankly and honestly with a view to implementing all agreement freely and voluntarily entered into. Where there are difficulties in its implementation, it can be renegotiated in line with the spirit of give and take, the parties must however be acting in good faith.

How have our laws affected our socio-economic and political development? Nigeria has a good body of laws affecting all facets of our national life. Our problem has been the nonimplementation or the selective implementation of the laws. We have a culture of impunity where one can get away with anything so long as you are rightly ‘connected’. To accelerate our political and economic development, our laws must not only be enforced but be seen to be enforced. No right thinking investor will invest in a country where laws are not or selectively enforced. Our law enforcement agencies and the judiciary must be strengthened to play their constitutional roles. The Animal Farm scenario of all animals are equal but some are more equal than others should remain an aberration What is your take on calls to open our doors for foreign lawyers to come in and practise as part of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) requirements for the globalisation of legal services. I would not subscribe to our opening our doors for foreign law firms to open shop in Nigeria without their operators being called to the Nigerian bar. Nigerian legal market is not yet mature for such development. If foreign law firms are to be established in Nigeria, the operators must be lawyers licensed to practice in Nigeria. Every responsible government must do all it can to protect local businesses including local law firms. On the other hand, there is a limit to which the laws can protect incompetent or obsolete skilled lawyers. The world is now a digital global village and in international commercial practice, parties are free to choose the law and the jurisdiction that will govern their transaction even if the contract is to be executed in Nigeria. Our lawyers must invest heavily in skill acquisition and capacity building, especially in arbitration and ADR. Globally, litigation is going out of fashion as a means of dispute resolution. Our lawyers should strive to be global players and not local champions in a global world.

Who blinks first over State of Nation Address Bill? • Continued from page 30

make to achieve the overall goal of good governance,” he said. He urged the National Assembly to go ahead and pass it, adding that they must insist that such responsibility cannot be delegated. The lawyer said the lawmakers may make a few additions such as making it a quarterly address and making it mandatory for the President to personally appear except where he is permanently incapacitated to so do. “There is no justifiable reason delegating the duty to the VicePresident or any other person for that matter. “Wherever the President is, he should take the address as a priority superseding every other function,” he added. Constitutional Lawyer and activist, Bamidele Aturu said, “The physical combat in the senate over the bill indicates clearly what many of us have identitied the senate with, namely legislative indolence. The Senate, if it didn’t agree with amendment proposed by the President could simply have ignored it as there is strictly speaking no room for amending a bill already passed by both chambers of the national assembly. The president is only required to assent or withhold assent. He can-

not suggest amendment by force. He can only persuade some members to reintroduce the bill, which would really mean that he has withheld assent and that the national assembly has agreed with him. The bill continues in the dubious tradition of mimicking American democracy for the mere sake of doing so without understanding the basis of such tradition. I personally do not see the valuebthe bill would add to our wobbly attempt at building democracy. We have more serious issues confronting us than having a president read to us the opinion of some speech writers which in many cases are divorced from reality. Our democracy is troubled by legislative idleness and executive inertia. The end result is the obvious idlenertia sclerosis that is evidenced a state of nothing works.” Managing Partner at Lagos law firm, T.C. Akanwa and Co, Mr Theophilus Akanwa, said good governance requires accountability to the people, and the state of the nation address by the President is an opportunity to give an account by himself. “The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria represents the good people of Nigeria and I consider this form of bill to be in the interest of Nigerians.

“It should be accented to by Mr President in order to corroborate the persistent preaching by his administration of good governance. “The national assembly should veto the president’s powers where he fails to sign the bill,” Akanwa said. Lawyer and rights activist Jonathan Iyieke said the lawmakers should not hesitate to veto the President should he withhold his assent. “It is so irritating and embarrassing that our lawmakers, instead of applying the correct constitutional measure on an important issue, almost resort to physical assault. “Mr President has no right to make laws, and where an Act has been passed by both chambers and assent is withheld, the Houses by Section 58 (5) of the 1999 Constitution are empowered to veto Mr President. “The State of the Nation address bill is crucial and Mr President lacks the capacity to refuse assent. To return the bill to the House amounted to an attempt at executive lawmaking. “It is high time the President appeared before a joint session of the National Assembly a stipulated time to give account,” Iyieke said. Constitutional lawyer Ike Ofuokwu, said the furore

generated by d Bill is unnecessary and cannot be justified. His words: “After all of what use is d Bill to Nigerians and how does it improve d standard of living of d citizenry? It does not in anyway contribute to good governance. All these noise is just to boost parliamentary ego and arrogance. “Those who represent us will only ask questions on party lines (if at all they have d courage to do so) and the ordinary Nigerians that bear the brunt and burden of bad governance cannot even contribute in any way.” Lagos lawyer Emeka Nwadioke believes the argument in favour of the State of the Nation Address is unassailable. He said: “Since January 8, 1790 American presidents have traditionally been addressing Congress on the state of the union. It has been said in modern times, the State of the Nation Address (called the State of the Union Address in the United States where it was borrowed) serves as both a conversation between the president and l e gi s l at or s, a nd as an opportunity for the president to promote his party’s political agenda for the future, oftentimes containing historically important

information. “It has also tended to heal political wounds, promote bipartisan unity among legislators, and win support for a president’s legislative agenda from both legislators and the people. Fortunately, Mr. President says he is “inclined” to accede to the bill, subject however to the amendments. “A strict reading of Section 58 (4) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) does not seem to anticipate such a preassent ‘amendment’. Clearly, the President can either sign a bill within 30 days of its presentation or withhold assent to the bill. “Where the president withholds assent, the bill may then be again passed by the two houses, thus overriding the president’s dissent. In view of the importance of this bill to the overall health of the nation and its peoples, I urge the National Assembly to proceed accordingly and override Mr. President’s apparent withholding of assent.” President, Coalition of Lawyers for Good Governance (CLGG), Mr Joe Nwokedi, said while said nothing should be allowed to distabilise the Senate. “On the President’s side, what is he finding difficult in the bill? Is it a herculean task to address the Senate on the state of the nation once a year?”


32

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

LAW AND SOCIETY

T

Lagos CJ seeks support for Child Rights Law

HE Chief judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, has said she is committed to the implementation of the Child Rights Law recently enacted by the government. The CJ gave the commitment in a keynote address delivered at a workshop organised for judges and magistrates in the state by the Lagos State Judiciary in collaboration with the UNICEF and which held at the Peace Hall, Lagos Multidoor CourtHouse, Igbosere, Lagos. The workshop, which has as its theme, The jurisdiction and powers of the Lagos State Family Court: Accessing the courts through the procedure rules was organised to empower stakeholders on Child Rights Law within justice administration. Justice Phillips added that the Child Rights Law is a legislation in which stakeholders must develop interest and take to heart. “I am deeply committed to the advancement of the judicial sector and any sector reform”, she stressed adding that the protection of the rights of the child is the only legacy that can be bequeath to

By Adebisi Onanuga

them by the stakeholders. The Head, International Family Justice for England and Whales, Lord Justice Thorpe, in a goodwill message commended the Lagos State government for creating special family court and enactment of legislation to protect Child Rights. Lord Thorpe noted that Nigeria has been generous in her support for the Commonwealth and the implementation of the Common Law as it relates to the Rights of the Child. He urged Nigeria to participate in the International conference on International Family Law coming up in 2015 in Australia and to give serious consideration to being a stakeholder at the conference. Earlier, in a welcome address, Justice Elfreda Williams Dawodu, explained that the workshop is intended to sensitise stakeholders on the power and use of the family court. “This (the family court) is a reaffirmation of the resolve of the La-

gos State Judiciary in its pursuit of the protection and promotion of the Rights of the Child,” she said. She said the Lagos State Chief approved the workshop seeing that it is expedient in the circumstances adding: “It is expedient to have a training for stakeholders towards a greater benefit of the court. “This is to show our resolve, passion and support for the well being of our children and provide an enduring legacy for them,”she added. Justice Joseph Oyewole, while illustrating child rights, told participants about the tale of a son who asked his father the difference between “confidence and confidential”. He said the father in his reply told his son, “you are my son. That is confidence. Your friend, Ade, is also my son. That is confidential,” adding that the child that is confidential is also recognised under the Child Rights law. Oyewole urged the participants to give consideration to issues of child molesters, adding that the Nigerian child must be protected by law against them.

•Left to right: Lord Justice Thorpe, Justice Phillips and Justice Amina Augie

•Left to right: Justice Modupe Oyeabo, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, Justice Okelawal, Justice Omobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile and Justice Olaide Olayinka

•Left to right: I. O. Akinkugbe and Elfreda Williams-Dawodu

LAW AND PUBLIC POWER

with gabriel AMALU email:gabrielamalu1@yahoo.com

Budget impasse and other challenges

N

IGERIANS need the grace of God. As there seems a conspiracy by the local and international modern tin-gods to make life even more precarious than it already is for them. Locally, it is the national assembly and the executive that are pretentiously hitched on a battle over the national budget; instead of working to make life more abundant for all Nigerians. From overseas, it is Britain that is playing god with the entrance visa into a country that pretentiously says that ours and theirs is a commonwealth. On both ends, politicians are mercilessly playing ludo with our lives. Between Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker House of Representatives, one of them in the least, is certainly telling Nigerians lies. While Dr. Okonjo-Iweala says the economy may soon collapse, unless the Legislature quickly amends the 2013 budget (never mind the later denials); Hon. Tambuwal claims that the squabble over our national budget will result in a budget that will be for the best interest of Nigerians. Again, while the executive claims that the national assembly padded and distorted the budget with self-serving so called constituency projects; the legislature flouting their misconceived constitutional prerogatives over Appropriation Acts; insists that the budget must contain their private fancies. To give this self-serving national disgrace a coloration of seriousness, the legislators have thrown the constitutionality of amending an appropriation act into the mix. So while the executive is claiming that the presidency made a deal with the national assembly to amend the budget passed earlier in the year; the national assembly is claiming that they made the promise without adequately understanding the provisions of section 81 of the 1999 constitution. For the avoidance of doubt, the national assembly has implicit and explicit powers to amend the Appropriation Act. A reading of section 80(2) and (4) clearly gives them the explicit powers, while section 4 (2) which gives them general powers to make laws, implies the power to amend existing law like the Appropriation Act. But, of course, the squabble is not about the provisions of the constitution. Rather it is all about turf ways and group aggrandisement. With a nation in economic doldrums and a near absence of the so called democracy dividends, members of the National Assembly have decided to directly provide for projects for their constituencies in the budget, first to gain some extra cash for themselves as quasi-contractors, and secondly to give their constituencies some semblance of governance. Of course, the underperforming executive, whose glaring failures may cost their legislative collaborators their re-election are not in the mood to allow such impudence on the part of the legislature. The result is a stalemate that will further impoverish the ordinary Nigerians and the businesses and financial interests that rely on federal budget for survival. Of course, the turf wars are not affecting the personal emoluments and criminally appropriated benefits of the executive and legislative officials. That is why many Nigerians don’t believe Tambuwal that the self-serving squabbles and delays over the 2013 national budget, well into the second half of the year will gift them a better budget. Also Nigerians are not sold on the dummy that the national economy is doing well and that the executive and the legislature are working to make it stronger, as Okojo-Iweala tried to lie to us to save her skin, when the national assembly threatened her over her comments that our economy may soon collapse. Well, Nigerians are victims of home and foreign made tragedies. Across the Atlantic, it is our old task masters, Britain that has chosen to place a further heavy burden on Nigerians who may wish to visit that country. Recently the unpretentious racist Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, announced a plan to slam three thousand pounds as further tax hurdle on the named so called commonwealth countries, including Nigerians, before they could enter the supposedly chief custodian of their famed commonwealth. Of course, the Tory Prime Minister pretends he is not aware of his country’s centuries’ old economic rape of his recent victims. Like his colleagues in Nigeria, he lacks the capacity to revive the ailing British economy, and so he is cleverly trying to pass off immigrants from Nigerians and the other victims as the cause of his country’s economic challenges. But the Prime Minister merely told his country men, one part of the story. As many have rightly argued, why would the western countries, of which Britain is a prime leader, insist on a global economy with regards to importation of finished goods, and not the labour that produces the same goods? The reason is simply because their countries have a comparative advantage over finished goods, while our country and the rest of those in Mr Cameron’s list, have similar advantage over cheaper labour. So, while the British hegemony uses the World Trade Organisation to unabashedly force into our countries their finished goods, they build barricades against the labour that we have in abundance. Beyound the desert, Egypt roils in self-inflicted tragedy. Interestingly, last September, I had forewarned Morsi and his henchmen to retrace their steps; but it appears they were hell bent to self destruct. In an article in this column, titled: ‘Morsi neither moth nor butterfly’ I had written: “Political power apparently tastes like a honeyed alcohol or a sweetened intoxicant. And when there is substance abuse as in most third world countries, the result is ruination…. But for the effect of this intoxicating alcoholic drug, Morsi should have known that the Egyptians who fought hard to chase out the Mubarak dictatorship would not easily acquiesce to a Morsi dictatorship.” Tragically, the Egyptian tragedy may just be starting.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

33

LAW DYNASTY His father, the late Justice Emmanuel Oseloka Araka, was a distinguished jurist. Among his peers are Chief Chris Ogunbanjo, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa and the late Chief Rotimi Williams. He was the first Chief Judge of the old Anambra State and among those with 60 years of post-call experience before his death. Martin Araka, a lawyer, has practised for 24 years. An alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Araka belongs to the famous Nigerian Law School set of 1988. In this interview with Adebisi Onanuga, he speaks on why he chose to study law and sundry issues.

M

‘How to make plea bargain work’

ARTIN Araka comes from a family of lawyers. Besides his father, the late Jus tice Emmanuel Oseloka Araka, who was a distinguished jurist, there are other lawyers in his family. So law runs in his family. They include his uncle, Justice Fred Anyegbuna, who was a former chief judge of the Federal High Court. There is also Justice Adefarasin, who was his mother’s sister. “Obviously, I also have a lot of friends who are lawyers and some of them are very close to the family and are regarded as members of the family. People like G.C.M. Onyiuke, Chike Ofodile, Justice Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu, Justice Ibekwe, Justice Nnamani. There are a lot of them and most of them reached the pinnacle of the profession. That also is my dream,” he said. Martin, who has put in about 24 years into the legal profession, believes that he is qualified to be called an activist like most lawyers because he was involved in some activism and agitation while at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and in his practice. He said the urge to become a lawyer had been in him since he was a youth. “I can’t never imagine myself not being a lawyer. I have always had passion to become a lawyer since I was a youth. So, as a youth, I have always had the passion for law and planned since then to become a lawyer”. Like his peers, the last 24 years of practice have been quite challenging to him. “Though there is a difference in the practice during the days of my father and now, it is not the same. You would find out that there have been changes and the perception of law is not the same. The problems are different and the government is not what it used to be in those days. From the bar and from the Bench, things have changed a lot. On his role model in the profession, he said Justice Chukwudifu Oputa and the late Chief Rotimi Williams are his role model. He said Justice Oputa is his role model because of his judgments. “They are landmark judgments. Chief Rotimi Williams too. When you see and listen to some of his arguments, and read some of his briefs, you would find out that they are very challenging in the different areas of the law. What you find interesting is the law not necessarily the statutory and questions. When you look at some of the rules, the practical aspect of it, how do you apply some of these rules in a given situation? Then, presenting your arguments in a court based on some of the court rules and the law. They can be quite interesting and challenging, depending on what area of law that you are looking at.” Out of the cases he has handled so far, the one he found most challenging involved Dr. Paul Nnodi and it has to do with proceedings for recovery of premises. “It was in 2003 and in this particular instance, we were dealing with a case whereby we want to recover premises from the person who is in occupation without the consent of the landlord. Ordinarily, we would want to go by the normal processes, by serving the statutory notices, then we proceed to court to recover the premises. But in this instance, we applied the rule on behalf of the litigant and based on the rule applied, the person was not a tenant of the landlord who we were representing. He was not known to the landlord. The landlord came and saw him in the premises. There was no contractual relationship between them. So, we felt it was an appropriate case. But when we were dealing with it, we found out that it didn’t really have any authority in Nigeria because it hasn’t been tested at all. So, we went to court and we got the order and evicted the tenant. Eventually, he came back to court again and he was able to set aside the order upon which we were able to recover the premises. But before he could physically come back and take possession, we had then appealed to the Court of Appeal and we were confident that the Court of Appeal would resolve the matter. We were quite fortunate that the Court of Appeal resolved the matter and the order of the High Court was then set aside,” he recalled. Martin said his first appearance in court was in Enugu and he recalled the event of that day with nostalgia. “I was with the late Chief Andrew Anyamene (SAN) on that day and the experience was interesting. Chief Anyamene was leading us. We started the proceedings and arguments and cross arguments between the counsels from both sides. It was interesting when

you watch lawyers in battle; lawyers are in battle in court but when they come out, you find out that there was nothing, that they are friends. There is that comradeship between counsels in those days, very strong too. But it is not as strong as it is today. Things are not as they are in those days. In those days, it was different. We observe all the traditions and they were very strong and binding.” He said his most embarrassing moment in court was the day he found himself in court and discovered that the file he had with him was not the one for the case he came for. The incident happened at the Federal High Court, Lagos before one of the judges who was then the Head Judge of the court. Martin said when a lawyer is caught up like that, the judge would know that he is not ready for the matter. But, fortunately for him, the other counsel was in court and so, was not ready for the matter. According to him, when the other counsel eventually came in, he sought an adjournment of the matter, that there was an affidavit he wanted to file based on some processes he wanted to obtain from the High Court in Abeokuta. For him, it was an intervening hurdle because the other counsel was not able to go and get the process. So, he asked for an adjournment. Another was the day, he recalled, was when his phone rang in court. It was also at the Federal High Court before Justice Binta Nyako. “I had a fundamental human right matter before the court and we were in the middle of addressing the court when my phone rang from my pocket. I had to apologise to the court and at the same time trying to switch off the phone. Speaking on obsolete laws he would want reviewed, Martin emphasised the delay in the justice system, pointing out that justice delayed is justice denied. “Anything that we can do that would enable us to expedite the procedure, to make them more purposeful and more expedient, I think would be in the best interest of everybody. You would discover that most of the time, the rules are there but counsels would always exploit it to delay processes and proceedings. It has a great impact on what people perceived from the law court when they cannot find justice. Because by the time you go there and spending five to 10 years, you have not even open trial on the matter. When you consider that and even at the end of the case, when you are not satisfied, you still have the right of appeal. And you insist on going on appeal, no matter how frivolous the appeal is. I think this aspect of our law, we have to look at it and if there is anything we can do to expedite it, that will be very helpful,” he said. He supports the merging of the penal code and the criminal code being operated in the North and South for the uniformity in law. “You can see that one gives the judge the option of fine. These are some of the things that you see in the criminal code which will be very strange to the penal code. After one has been convicted of stealing that colossal amount of money, we are talking of almost N30billion, then you are giving an option of fine, N750,000. You might, then, not have even bothered to convict that person because you are actually telling the person to go home and enjoy his loot. So, obviously, there are aspects of the law which, you would understand that in the south here, because we have been able to improve in different area but down there, they may be behind. “So, it is a good idea and for the purpose of uniformity so that counsel who go and practice can be familiar with the laws irrespective of the jurisdiction that they are appearing for, they are still familiar with the laws. So, since Nigeria is a federal republic and more or less, the same law we are practising, why then is there a need for the criminal law and the penal code? You see the justification again based on religious implications because we can’t ignore that aspect too.There are certain things that would be proscribed in their religion which we may not have any conflict with down here. But there, it is an issue. So, those are the little things we may have to take a look at. The social factor is also important in our laws,” he observed. To him, plea bargaining as being used should be codified so that people can understand it more clearly. “You know the parameter, you know the boundary. You know when you can apply it, you know how you can apply it and to what extent. But in

•Araka

this situation that it is not codified, we don’t know the basis upon which somebody is given the opportunity of a plea bargain. But, we understand that usually, we can see some antecedent of what has transpired. “Usually in cases where the money involved is very large, and then the government is looking at a situation where things could be more expedient, to try to recover the money than punishing the convict himself, in that situation, especially in the case of a bank, when you have the opportunity of recovering a substantial amount of the money that has been looted from a bank, you can see the justification. But then, you have to remember that we are also laying a precedent because there must be uniformity. One man committing a crime here and then walk away with six months and another who was charged for stealing a mobile handset, you gave him 45 years. That is why I think there is need for some kind of codification so that people can appreciate and see clearly so that it doesn’t look as if there has been collusion or conspiracy to let one person go off and punish the other. “ On corruption, he asked, “ is there anything that is immune from corruption in Nigeria? When you are looking at punishment for corrupt acts and being very, very lenient, there is a tendency for people to know that there is really no punishment for corruption. I don’t see any agency of the government or branch of government that is immuned. What you then see is the individual character, in other words, the intention of the person involved. So corruption in Nigeria has reached a preposterous level and very little is being done to curb it. I think we can take a very strong position if we are really ready to fight corruption”. Martin is however not happy that the CJN has not been able to use her position to solve the Justice Ayo Salami issue. In spite of having served in the committee of former CJNs that joined other committees in recommending his reinstatement. He described the Salami issue as being more of a political problem than a legal problem. “Even though they are in court, but really, how long is it going to take the court before we can dispose of that matter in court? So, clearly, there is a legal problem there. The NJC has recommended that he should be recalled but you know, for that to take place, it is a political problem for the president to consent, and possibly members of the house depending on constitutional provisions regarding that particular question. “But, at least, the president must consent to it.

And there have been dimensions that this thing has opened between the political party and great players in our political firmament. Do we actually expect there can be an outcome out of this question? Hardly! Unfortunately, because Salami’s time is running out very soon. I don’t know for how many months or how many years. May be, another one or two more years at the bench. Besides, the disposition of officials who are involved does not seem to show that there is an intention to have him recalled irrespective of what CJN or the NJC might want done on the matter. Unfortunately, that is going to be a political question. That really, I think is the main constraint on the issue as it bothers on politics. “So, one way or the other, it is a political question. And that, to me, is really going to be difficult. I am sure if it was purely of the judges, the case would have been decided and decision taken very long ago. He probably would have been back or we know clearly he is not coming back one way or the other. We won’t be having a situation where we keep on having an acting president of the Court of Appeal. We need to have something more practical and by the grace of God, we would get there.” On insecurity, he believes that the issue borders on a lot of things. But that for it to be addressed, he would prefer to look at the issue more from the social point of view and from the fact of the gap between the rich and the poor. He said as long as we find ourselves in such a situation where people have so much money around and yet people are suffering, then there will be all kinds of social problems. According to him, “it would have been better if people are gainfully employed, if they have a means of livelihood. Then, the less we would be susceptible to some of these incriminations. I see it more as if we are talking of revolutions, that one day, there would be revolutions. If people are expecting to see revolution in the fashion of what happened in France or Europe, when they come out into streets, we may not find the change because Nigeria is very conservative. We are not likely to find revolution of that nature. But this growing insecurity, in the midst of so much poverty; somebody has stupendous wealth, so many cars driving around and people see this kind of things, it is a reflection of the state of instability in the system. Because when the money is not circulating, people are disgruntled. They react to it in different ways. You see pipeline vandalism, kidnapping or religious insurrection because these are outlets, ways for them to express themselves.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

34

NATIONAL BAR LAWYERS have scored this year’s Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (SBL) conference held in Lagos high. They urged the government to exercise caution in opening the borders to foreign lawyers seeking to open shop in the country. Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU spoke to them.

D

Lawyers score NBA-SBL conference high

AMIAN D. Dodo (SAN) said: “The biggest impression that I came out with is how well organised the conference has been. That is the matter I discussed with my brother silk, Mr Fabian Ajogwu (SAN). It shows that some planning have gone into the exercise and we have seen the fruits and the way it has turned out; so, we must commend the SBL for a conference well organised and in which we have very commendable numbers.” On his area of interest, Dodo said: “It is in competition law; but unfortunately, I was unable to attend that session today, because of other commitments, but since I have the conference materials, I intend to avail myself of the thoughts and perspectives of others who have looked at the issue and hope that it will help us to put in place, the proper regimes that will ensure that there is no dominance in any particular sector by any operator, so that competition becomes a key aspect of our economic and social life.”

Tare Yeri said having been a member of the SBL for six years, she feels it is a welcome development to the NBA. “It is a session that is driving the association to meet its needs in terms of being the largest gathering of commercial lawyers in Sub-Saharan Africa. “The different committees have done marvellously well in their respective sessions in terms of taking on relevant topics and highly qualified resource persons to deliver them. All the topics we dealt with and the seasoned resource persons that we brought here really brought out that knowledge and information that really helps young lawyers to grow and become better lawyers that play their roles well in an emerging economy. “We have this session on the Presidential Amnesty programme to talk about the value of the programme, the benefits that it has brought to the country regarding peace. Many people have different views about this laudable initiative of the Federal Government but we have seen that it is a welcome development, though it may not be the lasting solution to the Niger Delta problems, it brings the desired peace because a lot of these militants are being taken out of that environment that breeds fear and violence and are taken out to be trained. “So, I always say that an idle educated mind is better than an idle uneducated man, once you give them that opportunity to be trained and become better persons, in turn, that brings about peace in the society and more income for economic growth and development,” she said.

•Ajogwu

Fabian Ajogwu (SAN) said: “ First of all, let me commend the organisers of the conference; it was well-organised, but, most importantly, is seeing globalisation and the impact it has on the way we work as lawyers. “We had a lot of things to learn; we have seen that you cannot practise law to the point of excellence in isolation. You have to learn what global best practices are, to improve the standards, emphasis on ethics and excellence in the profession. “And, finally, to look in the field of disputes resolution, how to deal with disputes in terms of arbitration, mediation and conciliation and other modes of Alternative Disputes Resolution Mechanisms (ADR), there is something for ever body in this conference.”

• Yeri

P

•Akpabio

Aniedi Akpabio said: “ I actually participated in this conference and I am mostly impressed with the quality of presentations from the speakers. I took part in some sessions on the first day of the conference; one of them talked about the expansion of the frontiers of legal practice in Nigeria and what should be the role of the international law firms and from the presentations, we realised that there is need for collaboration, even if we don’t have competitions between the local and international law firms, there is actually the need for this collaboration for efficiency and high service delivery for our clients. “The theme of this conference itself is good, the role of lawyers in an emerging economy and from what we gathered, is evident that there are certain skills that we need to be part of what is happening in the globalised world. “We have discovered that to do this, you need an entrenchment of the rule of law, we need law reforms and must ensure the independence of the judiciary.

•Ajakpovi Mena Ajakpovi said: “Well, this is an improvement on last year’s conference and the issues that we have canvassed here will be harnessed to drive policies and to give directions to the face of business law practice in Nigeria.”

•Kalu Former Abia State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hon. Umeh Kalu said: “Talking about the business session, which this conference is all about, it is the pivot of law practice if one must say. It touches on our economy and how we can go about issues involving the finances of state and commerce generally. “It was very well-organised. I am highly impressed with what I saw. I just left the ADR session and I am well impressed with the papers presented, the issues raised and the questions asked in the session. ”It is really a very good conference and is really what every lawyer should be involved as an annual event. It will really help not only in law practice, but in the quality of our service delivery to our clients and this will assist in the development of the legal profession in the country.”

•Elachi

Mr. Agada Elachi said: “ The SBL conference has always been the flagship of all NBA activities and this year’s conference is no different. The organisers have done a wonderful job, the leadership of the section has done a fantastic work, bringing together the best brains to come and talk how to move business forward. “I had the privilege of going round a number of sessions, the plenary was fantastic, the key note address by the Governor Fayemi of Ekiti State was great, very deep and very intellectual. “The session that really stands out for me is that on competition law, it underscores the importance of the passage of a competition law quickly, it also underscores the importance of lawyers paying more attention to bills that go before the National Assembly. Right now there is a bill there that seeks to amend the Customs law which will bring about pure injustice and discouragement of trade and business in Nigeria.”

•Oye Mr. Dele Oye described the conference as an eye-opener for everyone. “It is, indeed, very rich conference because it touched on very serious national issues, where we have had a convergence of both the regulators and the practitioners meeting together. “In the session, which I chaired, the session on competition law, we had the permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trad e a n d C o m m e r c e a s o n e o f t h e speakers and someone from the Bureau of Public Enterprises and we all discussed competition law and the urgent and imperative need for competition law in Nigeria. “We also discussed the recent Customs bill which is currently before the National Assembly and why that bill should not be passed in its current form because it contains a lot of anti competitive provisions which needs to be re examined and amended so that we can have global competitiveness. “The bill also has some penal provisions, which infringes on the fundamental human rights and also on the rights of other several other laws which gives the duties of several other agencies like that of the Police and other agencies to the customs, so we must find a way out of this and make some of those agencies self regulatory. The NBA has to find a way to stop the bill and ensure that all the critical stakeholders should have an input before the bill is passed.”

Protect your children, SAN urges parents

ARENTS have been urged to protect their children against abuse. Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon (SAN) gave the advice at the annual lecture organised by the African Women Lawyers Association(AWLA), Nigeria to mark the ‘Day of the African Child’. Akinlawon, who chaired the event, spoke on the topic, “ Child protection; culture and responsibilities.” She urged parents to inculcate high level of discipline and integrity in their children. Female children, she said, shout when they are being abused by the opposite sex,in order not to lose their dignity and selfrespect.

By Adebisi Onanuga

She said the right of every child is protected and guaranteed in the Lagos State Child’s Rights Law enacted in 2010 and in the child law put in place by the Federal Government. The Senior Advocate of Nigeria noted that though the present generation of children have the privilege of Internet and other electronic media network around them, she counselled them not to abuse such priviledges by visiting websites that would not advance their academic pursuit. “You are our future if we fail to pay attention to your welfare, then what does the future holds for you”, she asked.

Speaking on ‘Child Protection’, Mrs. Tam George, said a recent report by United States stated that over 10.5 per cent of children of school age in Nigeria are out of School. “You have a right to sound education, you have a right to leisure and recreation, you have right to move together in group, you have right to ask and to express yourself, you have right not to be physically abused.” George however charged the children to pursue their goals and also seek more information that can assist them in their academics. Similarly, Mrs. Lara Williams who spoke on “Culture and Religion”noted that culture

has taken away over 90 per cent of the daily activities in Africa. She said that there was need for male children to have respect and dignify their female counterpart. According to her, there should be an end to the attitude of discrimination between the male and female child in the family. She frowned at the public discrimination against disable children in the society. “Disable children are always not being properly taking care of. They are always being hidden from the public even by their parents,” she lamented.


35

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

LAW & SOCIETY Honour for Ayanlaja

N

O fewer than 20 traditional rulers from Ijebuland in Ogun State, led by the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, were in Lagos last week to honour Mr Tunji Ayanlaja (SAN), who they described as one of their own. The launch of his book titled, Ikeja Bar Review, was organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch and held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Lagos State Secretariat, Ikeja under the chairmanship of Mr. George Oguntade, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. The Awujale, in an address presented on his behalf by the Dagburewe of Idowa, Oba Yinusa Adekoya, said they were pleased with the SAN and his achievements at the bar, adding that this was why the Council of Obas and the Ijebu Traditional Council decided to support the building project of the NBA Ikeja branch through him. Oba Adetona said most of them have known Mr Ayanlaja “from the youth, through adolescence, when he was at the university and graduated as a lawyer and later became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). “Tunji is not the only Ijebu son practising law in Lagos or in any other place but we are supporting him because he is dear to us”. The Ajalorun of Ife, Oba Adesesan Oguntayo, eulogised Mr Ayanlaja, saying that they decided to honour him with their presence because of their relationship with him. The Chief Executive Officer of Tanus Communications, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, who said the honouree is his childhood friend, described him as a man committed to the practice and the advancement of the legal profession. “He love his family and he is a man to whom I owe a lot,” he said. In a welcome address, the Chairman of the NBA, Ikeja, Mr Monday Ubani, said the branch in 2010 did a publication on Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, and that this year, they published a collection of articles from learned practitioners and lecturers which was put together as a book review, adding that all aspects of the law, including labour, industrial, property, business, marine, aviation, civil, criminal among other areas were covered in the book. Ubani also said it is the tradition of the branch to always honour those who have shown commitment to the bar and national development, saying: “not because of their size or pocket, but because they have been identified as men of integrity who pursue excellence in whatever they do”. He said they found all these qualities in Mr Ayanlaja and that was why the book was launched in his honour. Ubani acknowledged the presence of Justice Oguntade and the monarchs, describing it as a testimony to the fact that “Ayanlaja is a home boy’. He identifies with his community and that is the kind of people we want at the bar”. “We believe that anyone who is worthy of being honoured in that branch, we would in the coming years honour. We are going to be giving honour to people of note when they are alive and not after they have died,” he stressed. Dr. Yemi Oke of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, who reviewed the book described it as “a good mix of legal scholarship” and a publication made up “of legalscholarly contributions from writers of difference geographical, social and cultural orientations/backgrounds. It represents a good evidence of towngown-classroom-court-room, as it

at book launch By Adebisi Onanuga

attracts input from academics, practitioners and in-house counsel and legal administrators at the highest cadre of the legal profession (SAN). The book covers a range of typologies of legal essays, ranging from short articles, case review, statute review, book review and others”. According to him, the book, which is a 167-page collection of legal essays and learned articles written by some of the best legal minds in the country, is also a collection of legal writings covering diverse fields of law ranging from practice and procedure, criminal law, intellectual property, labour/ employment law, socio-legal issues, evidence law and practice, international environmental law, forensics, banking and finance, administrative law, oil and gas, military law, among others. Mr Ayanlaja praised Chief G.O.K. Ajayi (SAN), who he said, is another illustrious son of Ijebu Ode whose inspiration and leadership prepared him for his career. He said because he was in a hurry to join the bar, he, in 1971, attached himself to the chamber of Chief Ajayi, who he said took him on a tour of the Lagos High Court when he was eventually called to the bar. According to him, Chief Ajayi introduced him to the court clerks and the registrars and admonished him to be friendly with them stressing that they would be important and that he would need them if he must make a success of his chosen career as a legal practitioner. He disclosed that Chief Ajayi taught him three virtues of a successful lawyer and listed them to include good dress sense, punctuality both in the office and at the court (which he accorded 40 per cent ) and that any lawyer could improve on this grade before a judge by the good delivery of the subject matter. “He also admonished me to pass the message to other colleagues in chamber and to relate this to new entrants into the profession in order for them to inherit and benefit from this message of G.O.K. Ajayi (SAN),” he said. Ayanlaja acknowledged the honour, pointing out that it was done not because he is a SAN, but because of those little things he mentioned and shared with those who cared to listen. He, therefore, urged upcoming lawyers to dedicate themselves to the profession and emulate those elders who have contributed to the development of the legal profession in the country. Other traditional rulers from Ijebuland on the occasion at which over N5million and 1,000 pounds sterlin was realised included the Ebumawe of Ago Iwoye, Oba Dr. Abdulrazaq Adenugba, the Oloko of Ijebu Imusin, Oba Stephen Onafowokan The SANs include the Lagos State Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr Lawal Pedro, Mr Jimoh Lasisi, Mr Olu Daramola, Prince Segun Ajibola, Mr. Dele Adesina, Mr Kemi Pinheiro, Chief Niyi Akintola and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde who led the London group, Mr Abiodun Owonikoko, among others.

•Left to right: Ayanlaja (SAN), the Awujale Oba Adetona and Oba Yinusa Adekoya

•Left to right: Lawal (SAN), Justice Aishat Opesanwo and Justice George Oguntade (rtd)

•Left to right: Miss Oluwaseun Ayanlaja; wife of the honouree, Yinka, Ayanlaja and Mrs Oluwatoni Akinkuotu

Tunji is not the only Ijebu son practising law in Lagos or in any other place but we are supporting him because he is dear to us

•Left to right: Ubani and Dr. Ogunbiyi

PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA


36

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

LAW & SOCIETY A paper delivered by the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), at the 18th Commonwealth Lawyers Conference in Cape Town, South Africa

Courts and budget: Implications for access to justice

•Continued from last week

x. Judicial officers should be highly motivated in terms of remuneration and allowances as this will go a long way in getting rid of corruption. Although remuneration is not a panacea for corruption but we will all agree that it goes a long way to reduce corruption to its barest minimum. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar has cried out that allegation of judges collecting bribes before granting bail to accused persons had become rampant while vowing to administer appropriate sanctions on those found wanting. It is submitted that the welfare of judicial officers should be well-attended to in order to avoid corruption. The remuneration should be able to afford a very decent life expected of their status. xi.There is need for a steady improvement of court facilities accordingly to facilitate speedy dispensation of justice. The use of ICT should be embraced in order to guarantee this and automated systems should replace the existing manual technique. The court environment which houses the court rooms and judges’ chambers should be made conducive for judicial officers, court staff, legal practitioners and litigants. xii.There should be an increase in the number of Judges so that cases

can be disposed of timeously, hence there should be appointment of more judges. xiii. There should be sensitisation of parliament and also a realisation by the parliament of the need for the necessary budget for court in order to function effectively. The budget for the NJC should not be seen to be on the decrease as it is at the moment. It should be on the increase year after year. xiv.Class action litigations should be promoted. This kind of action gives access to the courts to those people who have been or would have been denied justice because of the high cost of taking action. The idea of class action itself is to create power in numbers which would be non-existent if claims were pursued individually. This mechanism makes it possible to pursue claims arising from mass wrongs which would not be addressed if pursued individually. This also reduces burden on the courts as a large group of persons who have suffered common injuries will collectively institute an action instead of multiple of actions. xv. Representative action should also be encouraged as only one or a few members of a class sue on behalf of themselves and other members of the same class. The interests of peo-

• Prof Azinge

ple who would have otherwise been denied justice as a result of lack of economic power will be protected by this since the legal action will be instituted on their behalf by those having the economic capacity to do so. •Concluded

•Advocate commission to disclose details of spending From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

•ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta

T

WO lawyers have praised the Federal Government’s plan to maintain one anti-corruption agency in line with the Steven Oronsaye committee’s recommendation. The panel recommended a reduction in the number of government agencies. Charles Ogboli and Ugochukwu Osuagwu, who are Abuja-based anti-corruption crusaders, suggested the scrapping of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the retention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as against their merger. They argued that the EFCC has recorded some achievements and exhibits the tendency to do more if properly funded and its personnel better trained. In a statement, the lawyers faulted the operations of the ICPC and scored it low. They also argued that the ICPC could not be said to have justified the huge sums expended in maintaining it since its inception, having not recorded major successes. They, however, advised against the sacking of the agency’s personnel,

Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) writes that judges may now be under more pressure following the kidnap and release of wife, daughter and driver of Supreme Court Justice Bode RhodesVivour. He also suggested ways to end kidnapping.

W

Lawyers urge scrapping of ICPC suggesting rather their redeployment to other agencies and ministries of government. The lawyers also advised that ICPC’ investigators, who are mostly policemen, should be redeployed to the Nigeria Police Force to continue their services, while other staff should be redeployed to appropriate agencies and ministeries. They argued that, while the retention of ICPC and EFCC was uneconomical, its merger with EFCC could negatively impact on the latter’s operations and philosophy. “ICPC has under performed. ICPC claimed that it secured 60 convictions in 10 years from over 1,000 cases in court. Is this not a failure? The question you ask is, who are these 60 persons convicted? Do we have ministers, governors, commissioners, local government chairmen, directors-general, etc among them? “In 2006 ICPC’s chairman said 24 governors have been investigated and found to be neck deep in corruption. Till date, the governors involved were not mentioned. Unlike EFCC, the ICPC is a market place. All sorts of petitions are investigated. They even investigate landlord -tenant matters, threat to life, intimidation, assault, rape etc. “When compared with the ICPC, the EFCC has some level of discipline. Although some staff of the commission are drawn from the police, they still have civilians which create a proper balance in the equation. There is a sort of check and balance.

Rhodes-Vivours’ kidnap: Are judges at risk?

“Since year 2000 the ICPC has collected as budget,over 40billion from the Federal Government. In 2011 the ICPC received 3.87b, while in 2012 it received 4.2b. 30million was also allocated to ICPC to build a training academy. “The country cannot continue to spend heavily on an agency that does nothing, but duplicate the functions of the Police and the EFCC,” they said. Meanwhile, relying on the instrumentality of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), Ogboli and Osuagwu have asked the ICPC to make public, information concerning the execution of contracts it awarded in 2011 in respect of capital projects; names of companies to which the contracts were awarded and their corporate profiles. The request by Ogboli and Osuagwu is contained in a letter written last Friday by their lawyer, Okoi Obono-Obla, addressed to the chairman, ICPC. Part of the letter reads: “Take further notice that your Commission has seven (7) days from the date of receipt of this application or request to comply; failing which our client have instructed us to file an application for judicial review in the Federal High Court seeking for an order of mandamus, compelling you to release to our client the information requested. “Take further notice that under Section 7 (5) of the Freedom of Information Act, where a case of wrongful denial of access is established, the defaulting officer or institution commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N500, 000.”

ICPC claimed it secured 60 convictions in 10 years from over 1,000 cases in court. Is this not a failure? The question you ask is, who are these 60 persons convicted? Do we have ministers, governors, commissioners, local government chairmen, directorsgeneral, etc among them?

HAT is the fate of the judiciary given recent kidnap of the wife and daughter of Supreme Court judge Hon. Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour? It is really unfortunate what has happened to Mrs Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour and her daughter. She is such a descent, nice and humble lady. So also is her husband. They do not deserve this sort of encounter or experience but neither does any resident or citizen of Nigeria. The malaise is with us all. The father of one of my partners was kidnapped over two years ago and has not been found till today. We have used all our contacts to no avail. My law clerk was kidnapped about three weeks ago in a case of what turned out to be mistaken identity. The kidnappers thought he was the manager of the petrol station where he stopped to buy bread on his way home. He was lucky. He was released after a few hours seriously battered and after all the money in his account was withdrawn using his ATM card. Our family friends’ in-law a former deputy governor was kidnapped and killed recently. It just goes on and on. The judiciary was already under a lot of pressure even before kidnapping became rampart. The challenges of the judiciary include inadequate infrastructure, inadequate compensation, weak manpower, corruption, undue interference, inadequate security for judicial officers, blackmail of judicial officers, etc. The incidence of kidnap of judicial officers and or their family members has added an ever more urgent dimension to the pressure on the judiciary in its effort to deliver efficient and effective justice to the people. It is the responsibility of government to provide security and rule of law to all in Nigeria. This requires government to create adequate and conducive environment for job creation as well as maintain a justice and rule of law infrastructure that eliminates impunity. Government still needs to do more on the twin issues of job creation and elimination of impunity in our society. We cannot just leave the matter to the good conscience of kidnappers and hope that they will have a change of heart some day and leave what has become for them a “business” nor can we hope that others would in good conscience not join the “business”. It follows that government must ensure that such crime is not attractive to new entrants by making our environment conducive for other jobs and hostile this criminal enterprise or engagement. Also there must be stringent detection and punishment of those involved with such criminal activities. The situation can still be salvaged. The government should immediately roll out infrastructure to capture forensic data on persons of interest and a system capable of solving crimes no matter how long the criminals endeavour to evade being made accountable. Forensics such as DNA, toxicology, chemical and ballistic when combined with integrated identity, communication and access infrastructure should be able to help solve these crimes and drive down levels of incidents. We saw the success of such strategy with 419 crimes. The reputation of the country was salvaged by the aggressive intervention of government through EFCC with advance fee crimes. Many of the participants quickly turned to other engagements including politics. The truth is that most and I make bold to say all criminals leave forensic trails such as DNA, phone location, etc. The government needs to develop capacity to capture this forensic data in a credible process and without contamination. Once done, most kidnappers would be eventually picked up whilst they are relaxing in their unguarded impunity. The only outstanding question is whether the government has the will to act. From all indication they do. The President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in his speech at the recent police week stated that a committee has been set up to consider proposals for a comprehensive forensic solution to investigation and prosecution of cases of terrorism and other grievous crimes. Nigerians are waiting impatiently for the outcome of the process and there is confidence that the President would do the right thing for Nigerian both in the long and short term. In the premise, the judiciary is part of the society and as such any solution for the kidnapping within the judiciary must be considered in the context of solutions for the larger society. Whilst the judiciary would have a role to play in the solution through its function of dispensation of justice, other institutions have a role to play. Poorly investigated cases usually get thrown out in court and people wrongly blame the courts in those circumstances. Engaging our youths in more productive activities and ensuring that impunity does not reign amongst deviants must be paramount objectives worthy to pursue and to drive strategies for solutions across the wider spectrum of government and society. •Idigbe (SAN)


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

37

NATIONAL BAR

P

Embrace partnerships, lawyers told

ARTICIPANTS at this year’s yearly workshop of the East ern Bar Forum (EBF) in Port Harcourt have called on lawyers to embrace the partnership model of law practice to enable them to meet the challenges of the 21st century lawyer. In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Forum and former Legal Adviser of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Kemasuode Wodu, thanked members and participants for making time to honour the occasion which has turned out to be a major event in the NBA calendar. Wodu said: “Given the challenges posed by one man law firm practice which is prevalent among us, it has become imperative to encourage our members and educate them on the benefits and advantages of the partnership structure to enable move their practice forward and position them to face the challenges of law practice in a globalised world.” Senior lawyers who have made their mark and names in law partnership , such as Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN) of Aelex Law firm, H. Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) of Ajumogobia and Okeke and the pioneer chairman of the NBA Section on Business Law (SBL), George Etomi of George Etomi and Partners, presented papers at the event which was chaired by the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State, Justice Kate Dabiri. The Forum presented awards to its prominent members, including the NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN), H. Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) and a posthumous award to Gen. Andrew Azazi. The new governing council members of the Forum which has Mr. Ogbonna O. Igwenyi as Chairman, were also inaugurated at the event. Mrs. Adekoya (SAN) spoke on the topic “ Establishment, management and structure of partnership with reference to law firms and concluded that: “ Joseph T. Karcher, an American attorney when asked if he could recommend any basic rules for developing a successful law practice, states:“It is well-known that knowledge alone is not the answer, nor is effort, nor energy, nor enterprise. Ambition plays an important part, but it is certainly not the critical ingredient. Experience, skill, reliability, dependability, tact, talent; every one of these characteristics contributes to developing the well rounded practitioner. The building of a successful practice flows from a judicious application of all these elements in the proper proportion” She continued: “He then proposed that the essential ingredients for success can be boiled down to ten fairly simple rules which he listed as follows: develop a genuine liking for your work; select the proper office and office staff; learn to organise, deputise and supervise; Watch your desk-side manner (i.e. attitude to the work and clients); continue your legal education. do not take a case unless you believe in it; learn how to use parliamentary procedure effec-

T

By John Austin Unachukwu

tively; develop proficiency in public speaking participate in social, civic and church affairs and cultivate a proper philosophy for living “I believe the above words sound true for any form of law firm practice organisation, whether a sole practice or a law firm partnership. However, I hope that we can glean some wisdom from the words of the learned American attorney and make the most our legal practice through formidable and lasting partnerships; In his paper titled: Advancing legal practice through partnerships, Ajumogobia (SAN) said: “A partnership like a marriage is continuous work in progress with lawyers and law firms continually re-envisioning and redefining ways of practice and business development. This is where again two heads are certainly better than one!” He added: “In other parts of the world, new categories of partnerships are being developed- (equity, permanent associate and counsel). Recently, the UK passed a law allowing non-lawyers invest in firms. We now see a situation whereby law firms are being reorganised in terms of practice and ownership. “We too can react to the changes happening in the legal profession by moving ownership of law firms from individual type firms towards a partnership model. We have the opportunity of consolidating relationship with firms across bordersa feat that is already in place in other African countries, notable amongst which are Morocco and South Africa. “I believe the time has come for us in Nigeria to re-examine and embrace partnership as a model for advancing legal practice. That is why we are all gathered here today under the auspices of the Eastern Bar Forum.” George Etomi spoke on’ Walking your way up the partnership ladder’. He said: “A summation of the rules of professional conduct is aimed at concretising a trustworthy character in legal practitioners. This trust element should run through the breadth of your relationship with clients, fellow associates and partners. “It is important to acknowledge that firms are not necessarily looking to swelling the number of its partners. The position is an exclusive preserve of those who have proved themselves by reason of their relevant contribution to the growth of the law firm through their legal skills as well as business skills, management ability, leadershipqualities,andentrepreneurship. Etomi added: “If that is your aspiration, the starting point is a resolve to rise to the occasion for the law firm, to add value and in a nutshell to make your way to its hall of fame, especially in the view of its partners.”

•From left: Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Bayelsa State; Francis Egele; Justice Kate Dabiri- Chief Judge Bayelsa State and former Chairman, Eastern Bar Forum Kemasuode Wodu.

•Former President Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) Boma Ozobia, Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN) and Chairman Eastern Bar Forum, Ogbonna Igwenyi.

•From left: Ifeanyi Iroh, representing Gearge Etomi; Gen Azazi's daughter Mrs Benatere Osuka and former President NBA O.C.J. Okocha (SAN)

Rights Commission worried about rising sexual violence

HE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has ex pressed worry over the increasing rate of incidences of domestic and sexual violence, particularly involving the youths in the country. Sexual assault against teenage girls formed the crux of the decisions reached at the commission’s meeting in Lagos. The commission, therefore, urged relevant authorities in the criminal justice sector, including the Attorney- General of the Federation, state Attorneys-General, Inspector-General of Police and the judiciary to take immediate steps to get redress for victims. NHRC said relevant authorities should ensure that the trial of sus-

By Adebisi Onanuga

pected domestic and sexual violence are fast-tracked so that victims enjoy prompt remedies. It appealed to heads of the judiciary to issue appropriate child protection orders in accordance with Child Rights Act and other relevant laws. The commission received an update on the situation as it relates to boko haram in the Northeast and urged the government to expedite action for the release of an interim assessment report on the situation before the end of June, last year. It called for greater awareness and concern on the part of the general public on the negative psychological and sociological consequences

of sexual as well as domestic violence on women, children and the society at large while noting that there is urgent need for societal orientation to stamp out the scourge. The commission also expressed concern that victims of violence against women and children do not have access to remedies, as such is constrained by breakdown in communications between agencies of the criminal justice system which sometimes results in delay in processing legal advice from the Ministries of Justice and leads to a cumbersome trial process by the judiciary. The commission received and considered reports on 336 cases and complaints in various stages of investigation alleging different vio-

lations of human rights. NHRC expressed concern over another area of concern over the increasing number of children who out of school despite the fact that education of children up to junior secondary school is free and compulsory in Nigeria. It, therefore, urged state governments to make their counterpart contributions to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) fund to ensure that education is qualitatively free up to Junior Secondary School (JSS). “Council therefore, calls on the Attorney-General of the Federation, state Attorneys-General and the Inspector-General of Police to ensure full implementation of the obligations of the Federal and state

governments under the Universal Basic Education Act and other relevant laws and where necessary prosecute parents or guardians who fail to abide by the provisions of the Act. “Council unreservedly condemns the killings of policemen, operatives of the State Security Service in Nasarawa State and in other parts of the country and calls for speedy and thorough investigation of such crimes and bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to justice,”the commission stated. NHRC commiserated with the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security Service (SSS) and the families of all those who were killed in Nasarawa state duty.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

38

LAW REPORT

‘Courts have power to formulate issues for parties in cases when justice of case so demands’ In the Supreme Court of Nigeria Date: April 19, 2013 SC. 135/2004, 2013(4) LEDLR-16 Before their Lordships CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL CHUKWUMA ENEH IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD SULEIMAN GALADIMA NWALI SYLVESTER NGWUTA STANLEY SHENKO ALAGOA BETWEEN ALHAJI RASAKI ABIOLA EKUNOLA

APPELLANT

AND CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA

RESPONDENTS

ALHAJI SAIDU MOHAMMED (Director of Personnel, CBN) SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA •Continued from last week

This relates to ground eleven of the Grounds of Appeal. 11. Whether the learned Justices of the Court below were right when they held that the appellant was given every opportunity to exculpate himself from blame but he could not offer any tangible defence. Furthermore, the plaintiff never alleged lack of fair hearing against the Central Disciplinary Committee or/Inter-De-

partmental Committee set up by the Management of the 1st Defence.” This relates to ground 12 of the Grounds of Appeal. I do not think that in the event of the far reaching consequences of upholding the respondents’ preliminary objection to the instant sixteen grounds of appeal but ground 7 that it serves any useful purpose to set out the immediate sixteen grounds of appeal in extenso so challenged by the respondents by way of preliminary ob-

jection here vis-a-vis the issues raised for determination in the appeal itself; unless and until firstly their respective fates as competent grounds of appeal have been decidedly settled one way or the other as most of them speaking pre-emptorily are bound to fall by the way side upon the backdrops of the frontal objection taken by the respondents for their non-compliance with Section 233(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The provisions of section 233(3) supra require that every ground of appeal not involving questions of pure law shall lie from the decision of the Court of Appeal to this Court not as of right but with leave of court (of either the court below or this court) where the ground of appeal involves questions of mixed law and facts or facts simplicita. See: Ehinlanwo v. Oke & 2 Ors. 6 - 7 SC (Pt.11) 123. In reply to the preliminary objection the appellant has filed a reply brief which has been deemed so filed and served on21/1/2013. The respondents however have before now given a notice of preliminary objection wherefore they have contended that sixteen grounds of appeal out of the seventeen grounds of appeal raised in this appeal (i.e. but ground 7) are incompetent being at best grounds of appeal on mixed law and facts or facts simplicita for which no leave of court has been firstly sought and obtained as prescribed by section 233 (3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended. In that vein, simply put, that this court has no jurisdiction to entertain all the grounds of appeal raised in this appeal but ground 7 as contained in the amended Notice of Appeal - in the premises, it is trite law that an appeal will be sustained by one competent ground of law contained in the Notice of Appeal. The respondents have incorporated their preliminary objection against the said sixteen grounds and the arguments thereon in their respondents’ brief of argument

•Emmanuel Abuo, Bitrus Gokwat and Odofin

A

Firm partners police on security

LAGOS-BASED security ex pert, Alhaji Ibrahim Odofin, has said effective policing has reduced incidences of kidnapping around the Lekki axis. He attributed this to the combined effort of private security operators and the police in the area. “We have not had many incidences of kidnapping, and this because the security agencies and the police are on top of the situation,” he said. Odifin, who is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Eleshin Security Services Limited (ESSL), which secures estates around Lekki managed by the AIRCOM Estate Managers, spoke while handing over new high-tech security gadgets to men and officers of the firm. The estates include Friends Colony Estate, Milverton Estate, Bourdillion Court Estate and NAPRER Estate. ESSL also provides security for Balcary Estate, among others. The gadgets include bomb detectors, bullet-proof vests, Clarret metal scanners, walkie-talkies, handcuffs, teargasses and boots, among others.

By Joseph Jibueze

“Our responsibility as security professionals is to protect those who engage our services. No security officer can perform efficiently if he is not well-equipped and well-trained.” Addressing the security officers after an early morning drill and handover of the gadgets, Odofin said they must be alert to suspicious activities in their surroundings, and must be quick to alert the firm’s head of office through their walkie-talkies, or the police. “You are not to confront armed robbers by yourself, but be smart enough to alert the police without endangering your lives,” he said. He further reminded them of steps to take in case of fire, such as calling the emergency numbers and making efficient of use of the fire extinguishing system available. “We are there to protect lives and property. Don’t invite your friends to where you are working. Don’t fight in the estate. Don’t speak to anybody

anyhow. Be polite. Don’t ask for money from residents. “The bomb detectors are meant to search every vehicle coming into the estate. If you suspect anything, quickly alert the police. Dress properly. Respect the supervisors who work at AIRCOM, but they have no right to control you. “Anything you want, report to the office. The management will deal with it. You don’t work under them. You don’t have to panic. Only ESSL can sack you. Be security conscious. “We need to be very, very smart and wise. Don’t leave your beat and go to another place,” Odofin said. A security supervisor at AIRCOM, Mr Moses Isaiah, said the police always respond swiftly when alerted of any security threats in the estates. “As regards relationship with the police – so far, so good. Honestly speaking, the police are doing their best. They are trying. “When we call them, they respond quickly. They are very good in that. We have a cordial working relationship with the police,” Isaiah added.

adopted at the oral hearing of the appeal. The appellant has responded to the preliminary objection in the appellant’s reply brief of argument deemed so filed and served on 21/1/2013 and I will grapple with this question anon.

I must observe that based on a plethora of authorities, an appellate court wilt take a point of law raised by way of preliminary objection as a threshold question provided it will be decisive of the question of competency of the appeal. See: Foko v Foko (1968) NMLR 441 and the court will rightly strike out any grounds of appeal that is ex facie bad or incompetent. See: Ogbonnaya wosuv.ReubenUgwuzor7ENLR-47.That said, I now proceed to examine the case for and against the preliminary objection raised in this matter. The respondents’ case on the preliminary objection is contained in their amended respondents’ brief of argument deemed so properly filed and served on 2/5/2012 and is succinct and it is to the effect that all the grounds of appeal from one to seventeen excepting ground seven are grounds of mixed law and facts or facts, simplicita. The contend that the said grounds have complained in the major of failure of the lower court to properly appraise, or evaluateorassesstheevidenceontherecordleading to the only conclusion in dismissing of the plaintiff’s claim the lower court having failedtodoso.RelyingonOgbechie&Anor. v. Onochie & Ors. (1986) 2 NWLR (Pt-23) 48 they have proffered that these grounds of

A

appeal having raised questions of mixed law and facts or facts simplicita for which no leave of court has been firstly sought andobtainedasprescribedbySection233(3) supra are incompetent and consequently, thatthiscourthasbeenrobbedofthepower to entertain any of them. They have singled out ground 8 of the pack to specifically argue that the alleged denial of fair hearing before the Disciplinary Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeriacoupledwiththefailureofthecourt belowtoevaluatetheevidenceontherecord, which in that regard the appellant has construed as amounting to a denial of fair hearing have stemmed from a total misconception of the purport and import of the principles of fair hearing as contemplated in Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended albeit as interpreted as per the decision in the case of Bakare v. L.S.C.S.C. (1992) 8 NWLR (Pt.262) 64 and that these surmises will only properly arise where such denial of fair hearing has occurred before a court or tribunal established by law and not before an ordinary, Standing Disciplinary Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria indeed for being an adhoc committee in every respect, not being a court or tribunal established by law. They have conceded that only ground 7 is a competent ground of law complaining of denial of fair hearing by the trial court as affirmed by the lower court. •Continued next week

LEGAL JOKES

N engineer, a physicist, and a lawyer were being inter viewed for a position as chief executive officer of a large corporation. The engineer was interviewed first, and was asked a long list of questions, ending with “How much is two plus two?” The engineer excused himself, and made a series of measurements and calculations before returning to the board room and announcing, “Four.” The physicist was next interviewed, and was asked the same questions. Before answering the last question, he excused himself, made for the library, and did a great deal of research. After a consultation with the United States Bureau of Standards and many calculations, he also announced “Four.” The lawyer was interviewed last, and was asked the same questions. At the end of his interview, before answering the last question, he drew all the shades in the room, looked outside the door to see if anyone was there, checked the telephone for listening devices, and asked “How much do you want it to be?” Following a distinguished legal career, a man arrived at the Gates of Heaven, accompanied by the Pope, who had the misfortune to expire on the same day. The Pope was greeted first by St. Peter, who escorted him to his quarters. The room was somewhat shabby and small, similar to that found in a low-grade Motel 6-type establishment. The lawyer was then taken to his room, which was a palatial suite including a private swimming pool, a garden, and a terrace overlooking the Gates. The attorney was somewhat taken aback, and told St. Peter, “I’m really quite surprised at these rooms, seeing as how the Pope was given such small accommodations.” St. Peter replied, “We have over a hundred Popes here, and we’re really very bored with them. We’ve never had a lawyer.” An attorney passed on and found himself in Heaven, but not at all happy with his accommodations. He complained to St. Peter, who told him that his only recourse was to appeal his assignment. The attorney immediately advised that he intended to appeal, but was then

told that he would be waiting at least three years before his appeal could be heard. The attorney protested that a three-year wait was unconscionable, but his words fell on deaf ears. The lawyer was then approached by the devil, who told him that he would be able to arrange an appeal to be heard in a few days, if the attorney was willing to change venue to Hell. When the attorney asked why appeals could be heard so much sooner in Hell, he was told, “We have all of the judges.” As Mr. Smith was on his death bed, he attempted to formulate a plan that would allow him to take at least some of his considerable wealth with him. He called for the three men he trusted most - his lawyer, his doctor, and his clergyman. He told them, “I’m going to give you each $30,000 in cash before I die. At my funeral, I want you to place the money in my coffin so that I can try to take it with me.” All three agreed to do this and were given the money. At the funeral, each approached the coffin in turn and placed an envelope inside. While riding in the limousine to the cemetery, the clergyman said “I have to confess something to you fellows. Brother Smith was a good churchman all his life, and I know he would have wanted me to do this. The church needed a new baptistery very badly, and I took $10,000 of the money he gave me and bought one. I only put $20,000 in the coffin.” The physician then said, “Well, since we’re confiding in one another, I might as well tell you that I didn’t put the full $30,000 in the coffin either. Smith had a disease that could have been diagnosed sooner if I had this very new machine, but the machine cost $20,000 and I couldn’t afford it then. I used $20,000 of the money to buy the machine so that I might be able to save another patient. I know that Smith would have wanted me to do that.” The lawyer then said, “I’m ashamed of both of you. When I put my envelope into that coffin, it held my personal check for the full $30,000.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

39

ABUJA REVIEW NEWS

•From left: Representative of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Oyemade Abiodun, Media Adviser to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Shehu Garba, Chief Launcher, Chief Raymond Dokpesi; Author, Lara Wise; representative of National Health Insurance Scheme, Mrs Martha Onwuzurumba and Chaplain of Aso Villa, Ven. Obioma Onwuzurumba, during the launch of Lesson of Life at the National Universities Commission in Abuja.

• From left: Folorunsho Alakija, Chairman, Igho Sanomi; Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke; and Permanent Secretary, Nkechi Ejele during the inauguration of National Heritage Council and Endowment for the Art at the Ministry of Arts and Culture PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

•From left: Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke; Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Chairman, House Committee on Culture, Ben Nwankwo during a collaborative meeting between •From left: Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing, Abba Bukar Ibrahim; Chairman, Northern Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Committee on Diaspora and Committee on CulLocal Government Chairmen’s Forum, Comrade Mohammed Ali and his Deputy, Hon Hassan ture PHOTO ABAYOMI Bappa during the inauguration of the council chairmen’s forum in Abuja PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE FAYESE

•From left: General Secretary Public Service International, Comrade Rosameria •From left: Members, House of Representatives, Austin Ogbaburum; Umaru Bago, Chairman Pavanelli, Vice President, Africa and Arab Countries, Comrade Peters Adeyemi; ChairHouse Committee on Public Account, Adeola Solomon Olamilekan and Hon Raphael Igbokwe person Nigeria National Coordinating Committee, Comrade Marcus Omokhuale and after the House session at National Assembly ,Abuja PHOTO ABAYOMI Regional Secretary, Africa and Arab Countries, David Dorkenoo during the visit of Comrade Rosameria Pavanelli to Nigeria PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN. FAYESE

• •Chief Executive, Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology, Ambassa- •From left: Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation Mohammed Bello dor Moses Essien, (left) and Brigadier-General M. Y. Ibrahim of the Civil and Military Af- Adoke, Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi and Minister of State (Defence ) Erelu Olusola fairs, Nigerian Army at the 2013 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Obada during the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House, Abuja. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN. Trafficking lecture


40

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

ABUJA REVIEW

NGO lifts the less privileged

T

HE Peace Corps of Nigeria is using the occasion of its 15th anniversary to reach the less privileged in the society. The group visited the Mother Theresa Orphanage Home in Gwarimpa, Abuja. The home was presented with food items, toiletries and drinks. Amb. Dickson Akoh, National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria said that their visit to the orphanage was to express concern and feelings for the young ones that are being taken care of and also thank the management of the home for the good work of promoting the cause of humanity. Akoh added that, “No greater service can be greater than what Mother Theresa Orphanage is doing. “We are basically here in solidarity with the young children here and make them know that we also care for them by providing the little we have as a non governmental organisation for their upkeep.” He said that the group had chosen the Mother Theresa because it falls within where their national headquarters is located, adding that the various peace corps offices at various state levels paid similar visits to various

•Officials of the group, their gifts and inmates of the home From Gbenga Omokhunu and Grace Obike

orphanages within their states because it is a national celebration. Aboh used the opportunity to call on the National Assembly to come up with a legislation that will make employment opportunities and admission into tertiary institutions to be

We are basically here in solidarity with the young children here to let them know that we also care for them by providing the little we acn as a non governmental organisation

reserved for orphans in such homes, so that they can as well enjoy the benefits of being Nigerians like everyone else. He further advised other non governmental organisations, ministries especially that of women affairs and social development, including private individuals to do their best for them. Ahoh said: “Taking care of them should be a collective responsibility of the society at large and Nigerians need to see it like that. ” The founder of Mother Theresa Orphanage,Bolanle Dare, in her remark said: “the only way people can showcase what they are doing to improve humanity is by reaching out to the downtrodden and less privileged in our society, like the Peace Corps has done.”

•Director, Child Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Rabi Ali Galadima (middle); Deputy-Director, Fatima Abdulkadiri (right) and Speaker, Nigeria Children’s Parliament, Idara Thompson during a Capacity Building workshop on Implementation of Child Right Act 2003 in Abuja

PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

She advised other NGOs to emulate them by visiting the children and not just staying back and sending gift items. Other activities of anniversary included visits to prisons, a special Jumat prayer

at the prayer ground in Gwarimpa and a thanksgiving service at Holy Cross Catholic Church Gwarimpa, where the group thanked God for His goodness.

Committee inaugurated on chieftaincy tussle

T

HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has constituted a ministerial committee on Kwali chieftaincy tussle to ensure a peaceful resolution. The committee is headed by the Senator representing FCT in the Senate and Chairman of Senate Committee on Power, Senator Philip Aduda. Its members include: Hon Isa Igah Dobi representing Abaji,Gwagwalada,Kuje and Kwali area councils in the House of Representatives, Hon. Isa Igah Dobi representing Abuja Municipal Area Council and Bwari Area Council in the House of Representatives, Hon. Zaphanian Bitrus Jisalo; Secretary of Area Council Services Secretariat, Hon. Yahaya Alhassan Gwagwa; Chairman of Kwali Area Council, Hon. Daniel Ibrahim; Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party in FCT, Hon. Yunusa Suleiman, and Chairman of All Nigeria Progressive Party, Hon. Abdulmalik Usman. Other members are: Ona of Abaji and Chairman of FCT Council of Chiefs, HRH Adamu Baba Yunasa; Sarkin Karshi, HRH Mohammed Ismaila; Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of FCT on Political Affairs, Senator Usman Wowo; Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of State on Area Council, Alhaji Yusuf Tsaiyabu; Director of State Security Service in FCT, Mr. John Okogie; Divisional Police Officer in Kwali Area Council, Chief Superintendent of Police Umoru Ozigi and Assistant Director in Area Council Services Secretariat, Mr. Prospect Ibe, who is to serve as secretary of the committee. Inaugurating the committee, the Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, stressed the need for peaceful coexistence, stability and progress in the various communities in the territory. “The various indigenous communities in the FCT have long standing history, culture and

From Gbenga Omokhunu and Grace Obike

traditions which pre-date the colonial era. In a bid to sustain the relevance of these institutions, the Federal Government upgraded some indigenous traditional stools to various classes. “It is worthy of note that these institutions which are legally backed up with the Chiefs (Appointment and Deposition) Act No. 7 of 1998, have played significant roles in the peaceful coexistence and overall development of the Federal Capital Territory,” said Akinjide. The minister disclosed that the FCT Administration had made determined efforts to resolve all issues arising from the upgrading of some indigenous traditional stools to various classes. “The constitution of this ministerial committee is to further consolidate the efforts of government at ensuring a peaceful resolution of the Kwali Chieftaincy issue so as to foster peace, harmony and brotherhood in the area council,” she added. She advised members of the committee to review all previous reports of various committees on chieftaincy in the FCT such as the Justice Mamman Nasir’s Committee on the Future Administration of the FCT and Justice Abubakar Saddiq’s Committee on Operationalisation of Chieftaincy in FCT, among others. Responding on behalf of the members, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Philip Aduda, assured that the committee would be fair and firm in discharging its responsibility. “This is history being made today and we (members) have to ensure that we live up to expectations and ensure peaceful co-existence. Any member of the committee who has other interest will have to leave the committee in order not to jeopardize its report,” Aduda noted.


42

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

43

POLITICS Kogi State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Chief Tunde Olusunle spoke with reporters on the zoning principle in the state and other partisan issues. MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE was there. Excerpts.

‘Yagbaland should produce next Kogi West senator’

W

HAT is your position on zoning in Kogi State? I imagine that the early campaigns for the National Assembly offices in Kogi West, especially that of the Senate, cannot be divorced from the political undercurrents at the federal level where the national discourse has been focused on the issue of the Presidency, come 2015. There are those clamouring for the position to return to a particular section of the country, while there are also apostles of the retention of the status quo, in 2015. And both sides do have their convincing and compelling arguments. If the noise from the Kogi West is the loudest, compared to the other two senatorial zones, Kogi East and Central, it is because the present occupant of the senatorial seat in Kogi West is serving his second term and that should be his concluding term. The senators representing the East and Central zones are serving their first terms. The general expectation among the people of Kogi West therefore, is that 2015 offers an opportunity for a change in the occupant of the seat, by which time he would have served two full terms of four years each, totaling eight years. The former occupant of the senatorial seat in Kogi West, under the post1999 democratic dispensation, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, served for eight years before the incumbent. It stands to reason therefore, that the people of Kogi West deserve a change in 2015. Can you give a brief insight into the mutual understanding on the rotation arrangement in Kogi West? Why do you think it should be respected? Like I was saying before, there was an understanding between the three federal constituencies, which make up Kogi West Senatorial Zone that the position should rotate between the three constituencies, after each occupant would have served two terms. The first federal constituency to produce a senator for Kogi West, with the advent of democracy in 1999, is the Lokoja/Kotonkarfe Federal Constituency. In 2007, it shifted to Kabba/ Bunu-Ijumu Federal Constituency where the incumbent comes from. Some of us who took a shot at the position from the Yagba Federal Constituency in the run-up to the 2011 general elections, heeded the advice of our political leaders and elders and stepped aside from the race, on their admonition and advice. They felt we should allow the rotational agreement take proper root, so that KabbaBunu/Ijumu will serve its two senatorial terms, and we reasoned with them, all in the process of developing a sustainable political culture. Indeed, we paid so much obeisance to the pleas of our elders that we resolved to work for the return of the incumbent and to frustrate what we considered the meddlesomeness of the former Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, in Kogi West politics, because it was obvious he favoured a particular candidate from Yagba Federal Constituency who served his administration for over five years. That was just how committed we were to the rotational arrangement and which we believe should be respected in the spirit of political fairness, justices, and equity, even morality come 2015. Some have argued that, since zoning is undemocratic, the best candidate should be considered on merit and performance. Do you subscribe to this thinking? Don’t forget that the zoning of political offices didn’t also pass the test of the recent constitutional amend-

• Olusunle

ment effort undertaken by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Federal House of Representatives. At the same time, don’t forget that, if we have not made sacrifices as a people and a nation and reached an understanding to zone particular offices at various levels of government and administration, the fragile peace and national unity, which we enjoy, will be precipitously endangered. Why are PDP chieftain not respecting presidential zoning? And don’t forget that zoning at the senatorial level is not peculiar to us in Kogi West alone. It is everywhere. It engenders peaceful co-existence and political harmony. The Rivers East Senatorial Zone in Rivers State, for instance, is the home of the Ikwerres, the Okirikas and the Etches. Senator Azuta Mbata, who represented Rivers East Senatorial Zone from 1999 to 2007, is Ikwerre. The incumbent who has been in office since 2007, Senator George Sekibo, is Okirika. There is an understanding between these three groups – the Ikwerres, the Okirikas and the Etches, that an Etche senator will take over in 2015. Then, when you talk about performance and merit, you cannot assess a man who has not occupied an office to be a performer or a non-performer. You have to give him an opportunity to serve before you draw up a marking scheme for him. And just like the Yoruba proverb popularized by the late Chief MKO Abiola goes, “You cannot shave a man’s head in his absence”. You can only attempt an objective, dispassionate appraisal of performance and merit, when all parties concerned have been given a fair chance on a level playing ground. Are you saying that Senator Smart Adeyemi does not deserve a third term, despite his performance in the

‘When you talk about performance and merit, you cannot assess a man who has not occupied an office to be a performer or a non-performer. You have to give him an opportunity to serve before you draw up a marking scheme for him. And just like the Yoruba proverb popularized by the late Chief MKO Abiola goes, “You cannot shave a man’s head in his absence’

Senate? The people of Yagba Federal Constituency will consider it a gratuitous insult, the insinuation that they are in short supply, of credible, competent, enlightened and experienced human resources to fly Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2015, or to hold any position at whatever level for that matter. You seem to forget that from Nigeria ’s immediate post-independence to the present, some of the most reputable actors on the national socio-political stage form Northcentral Nigeria, are Yagba people from our three local government areas of Yagba East, Yagba West and Mopamuro. I am talking about the likes of Chief Sunday Bolunrunduro Awoniyi, CON; Chief Silas Bamidele Daniyan, CON; Chief S. Ade-John; Chief Moody Olorunmonu; Chief Olayinka Simonyan; Prof. Eyitayo Lambo; Chief Kola Jamodu, OFR; Ashiwaju Jide Omokore; Otunba Funso Owoyemi; Dr Joseph Eyitayo Adetoro (Federal Commissioner for Agriculture, Health and Industries, respectively from 1967 to 1974 during General Yakubu Gowon administration, respected activist, Chief Seth Abel Mayekogbon, who is listed in the first edition of the 5000 intellectuals of the world; sixth edition of Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who in the Commonwealth; Pioneer Military Administrator of Taraba State, Col Joseph Awoniyi, immediate Director of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Osten Olorunnisola; Chief Duro Adeyele, (SAN); Brig-Gen. Samuel Teidi; Brig-Gen. Paul Okuntimo, etc all prominent Yagba people for crying out loud.. To the best of my knowledge, two out of the three Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities we have so far produced from the Okun country in Kogi State , are Yagba. I’m talking specifically about the venerated Prof. Adeoye Adeniyi (University of Ilorin – 1985 to 1989) and Prof. Felix Anjorin ( Bingham University ). Indeed, the joke is often cracked that, like in Ekiti State , the preponderance of seasoned technocrats and intellectuals in Yagbaland is per square kilometer. These front liners definitely bred a successor generation who are holding their own creditably and flying the flag of our people in all the places and positions they have found themselves. It is important to espouse the infinite human resource capacity of the Yagba people to debunk the fallacy about who can be put forward for any form of political office in the state or elsewhere. And the last time I checked, Yagba land had not been ravaged by any holocaust of any kind which has been so impactful as to engender a holistic extirpation of our people! We are not deficient in high quality human capacity at all. Again, I think it may be too early in the day to begin to narrow down to specific individuals. Yagba land is blessed with an abundance of such individuals and they will take their own decisions when the time is ripe. And when you talk about resources, the people of Kogi West, of Okun land and indeed, Yagba and are not subscribers to the politics of mercantilism. Our people are traditionally republican by nature. They tell you off if you try to flaunt your pseudo-affluence in their face by our famous expression: “Me je la be re”, (translated as “You don’t feed me, anyway). The Kogi West Senatorial seat is not for sale. It is not for the highest bidder.

Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant Dr. Peter Obafemi spoke with SEGUN AJIBOYE on why he wants to govern the state.

My plan for Ekiti, by aspirant

W

HAT gives you the impression that there is vacancy in the Ekiti State Government House? That is what they say everywhere - that there is no vacancy. It is not only in Ekiti State. Anyway, there was no vacancy when Governor Kayode Fayemi tried it in 2007 and won. That is the same way we are going to try under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We are going to display what we have and tell Ekiti people who we are. Politics is capital intensive. How do you intend to raise funds for your campaign? Not only that I can raise fund myself, I have friends and I have business associates who believe in my dream and are ready to go all out for me. So, raising funds will not be an issue for us. There are other strong contenders in your party. What gives you the impression that you will get the ticket? We are going to go through the primaries and whoever wins the primary will get the ticket of the party. We are all equal in the party, nobody is bigger than any other aspirant. Who is your godfather? I don’t have any human godfather. The Almighty God in heaven is my godfather. That it is why we call Him God the father. I have good friends and associates but I don’t have a man that will tell me what to do and what not to do. But I can assure you that I have the Almighty God, like I said earlier. What is the main thrust of your campaign? Our major thrust is to tell Ekiti people that our administration will take the creation of jobs very seriously. Ekiti people need jobs and we will give jobs to the people of the state. Beside, Ekiti State has for so long worn the tag of being a civil service state. Our primary pre-occupation will be to industrialise the state in a way that it will make immediate positive impact on the lives of the people. And we are not just talking about industrialization in the local sense, we want to industrialize the state to world standard. So what I want to do in the state is to create industries, manufacturing plants, bring in investors that will establish world class manufacturing plants in the state and partnership in agriculture. Ekiti and Ondo states are known as the education centres in Nigeria and I want us to tap into that again. We want to bring back that old glory of Ekiti in terms of education where our students will be able to cope in any educational system in the world. Talking about experience, you are the first Nigerian to open up the Lagos/Atlanta route. But the business failed. What is the guarantee that you will be able to manage Ekiti State successfully? I appreciate this question, but it is a very disturbing one. I have been to the North, Northeast, Northcentral, and people there always ask me why did that business fail? They always appreciate me for doing what government of the day couldn’t do. Yes, I was the man that opened that, a direct flight from Atlanta to Lagos. I opened that same route for Delta Airline, now they are enjoying it, I discovered that proposals were written by over 3,000 people to my partners in the US that they wanted to take over the route from us. What really got into them is corporate greed, they wanted to take me out of that market and do it on their own, which they later achieved. But that has nothing to do with Ekiti State. I have learnt a few important lessons and of course, the experience will come handy in the future.

• Obafemi

Group seeks support for Okorocha By Musa Odoshimokhe

T

HE National Coordinator of the Target Ahead, Comrade Tony Onye, has called on the proposed All Progressives Congress (APC) to field an Igbo candidate as its presidential candidate in the 2015 elections. In a statement by the group, Onye said an Igbo presidential candidate would lead APC to victory in the 2015 elections. He, however, tipped the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, as the best Igbo man for the job. Onye said: “In the Southeast and Southsouth, no other person has updated his or her record than Rochas Okorocha. He is a detrabilised Nigerian, who plays politics without bitterness and represents unity.” “He is the governor who has over 50 northerners, 30 westerners and other none Igbo employed in his government.” Onye maintained that, when other governors were busy sacking none indigenes from civil service, he was busy recruiting none indigenes. He urged the APC not to allow narrow interests to becloud its choice of the presidential candidate that commands the support of all Nigerians, irrespective of where the candidate comes from. He added: “APC should not rely on sentiments or tribalism to fail to score the very point of its essence, by saving the country from the draconian rule of the People Democratic Party (PDP), which has milked its citizens dry.” Onye commended the bold initiatives of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and a faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for coming together to save this country from the cabal that had held it hostage. “With what the citizens of this country has gone through in the past 12 years under the current ruling party, we must be prepared to halt the season of kidnapping, assassination and other bloodletting activities going on in the country, which is further climax by organised corruption.”


44

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

45

HEALTH THE NATION

E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

Blood platelets scarcity hits hospital

W

ITH the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) hit by scarcity of blood platelets, some of its patients are at risk. Such patients are those suffering from leukaemia (cancer of the blood) and sickle cell anaemia. Others are survivors of major surgeries or extensive injuries and organ transplant. Platelets are small blood components which help the clotting process by sticking to the lining of blood vessels. Relatives, especially parents of the cancer patients, are angry over the development. Timothy Olaonipekun, a 13-yearold leukaemia patient couldn’t get platelets when he needed some for his treatment at LUTH. His father, Mr Muyiwa Olaonipekun went to a private hospital in Ikeja, where he got a pint for N17,000 instead of N5,000 which it is being sold at LUTH. “Platelets are essential to my son’s survival because of his condition. This is why I have to go to another hospital to get it,” he added. The Nation investigation revealed that the blood component which can be manufactured at LUTH, wasn’t available because there was too much pressure (demand) on the centrifuge. A source said the equipment used in storing the platelets has broken down. An embittered mother, Mrs Ann Ekpo, was a victim of the break down of the equipment as she said: “I was dazed when I couldn’t get platelets for my ailing 18-monthold daughter. The personnel said there were no platelets because the centrifuge wasn’t working. This is really disturbing. “All efforts to get the hospital to provide answer were abortive as I had to go to Lagos Island Maternity to get some. The unavailability of the platelets has been the complaint of almost everybody that needs it here,” she added. A patient, who preferred anonymity, said LUTH is over-

By Wale Adepoju

crowded and as such sometimes find it hard to meet some of the needs of patients who are mostly impatient. “They will want things done without delay but there is a process that should be followed. The source further said the hospital understands the pains of the patients, especially the fact that they are emotional.” The Head of Paediatrics Department, LUTH, Prof Adebola Akinsulie, enjoined well-meaning people and organisations to support the government to ensure there are enough of facilities like cold centrifuge for blood bag separation in the hospital. He said platelets are important to the survival of patients; especially leukaemia patients who need it to remain stable because of their condition. “A medium size cold centrifuge for blood bag separation costs about N6 million. The storage facility is necessary and should function effectively.” A source said the non availablility may be due to the platelets having a very short shelf-life because it must be transfused within five days of collection The Head, Haematology Department, LUTH, Prof Sulaimon Akanmu, said hospitals that want to save lives must have functional blood banks. “When we talk about emergency, we are talking about availability of blood. This is because in a couple of minutes if something is not done, life will be lost. About 90 per cent of blood comes from family replacement donors while 10 per cent is from non-remunerated voluntary blood donors. “Here at LUTH, blood donation is not a pre-condition for patients to have a surgery,” he said. Akanmu said the government cannot do everything, hence the need for corporate organisations, companies and wealthy individuals to donate to hospitals to improve on the health care delivery.

‘Poor child nutrition can cause

W

HAT will happen if the North is cut off from the rest of the country? Most of the food consumed in the country, especially in the South is produced in the North. But, the region has the highest rate of poverty and malnourished children, according to Deputy Director, Head of Nutrition, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Chris Osa Isokpuru. He spoke at a seminar organised by Nestle Nigeria Plc in Lagos entitled: “Creating Shared Value (CSV) workshop on main-streaming nutrition, water and rural development in news reporting in Nigeria.” Isokpuru said despite the rich natural and human endowment in Bayelsa and Delta states, they still have a high number of malnourished infants. The Federal Government was poised to create a national policy on food and nutrition which will encompass of infants and young children feeding guidelines, policy and strategic plan of action, micronutrient deficiencies control guidelines and food -based dietary guidelines. He urged manufacturers to con-

diabetes, obesity’ By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

tinue reducing child mortality by producing foods that have vitamin A supplementation. A don at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Prof Ngozi Nnam, in her presentation on the first 1,000 days of life, said the day starts counting from when a woman becomes pregnant to her child’s second birthday. She said this period sets the future for the child, his health, well being and success in life. “It is also a period when foundation for physical and mental development of the child to achieve his potential is laid; when tissues and organs are developed and bones are formed.” She stressed the need for the government to ensure that manufacturers of infant formulas and foods use this period as a window of opportunity to provide the child with adequate nutrition for proper growth.

•The CT scanner

Boost for health care as LUTH gets CT scanner

T

O improve diagnosis and care as well as enhance the train ing of health professionals, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) has acquired and installed Aquillon 128-Slice CT (computed tomography) Scanner made by Toshiba. It can scan the whole body in 10 seconds and provide sharp 3D images of any organ. Diagnosis in stroke patients and coronary heart disease patients will be improved. It is a definite plus for service, training and research in Nigeria and West Africa. The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital, Prof Akin Osibogun said: “The state-of-the-art equip-

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

ment is the latest generation in a line of CT Scanners revolutionising noninvasive diagnosis and will be useful in, but not limited to, investigations such as cardiac angiography and cerebral perfusion imaging. “With this acquisition, the Teaching Hospital has recorded another first in the country.” He identified some of the advantages to include, “ability to provide CT Angiography and CT Cerebral Perfusion Imaging Services; less Contrast material required for an examination and this is much safer for the patient; automatic controls that reduce the amount of radiation re-

ceived by the patient leading to increased patient safety; greater image clarity and resolution making diagnosis easier and faster examinations that improve patient comfort and overall patient experience. “Already the hospital is in a position to carry out a wide range of patient investigations as the equipment are backed by qualified Consultant Radiologists, Radiographers and Technicians. All these personnel are already being trained on the use of the latest Aquillon CT Scanner.” He added that other top equipment available at his hospital include coloured doppler Ultrasonographic machines, mammography machines and digital X-ray machines.

Contractors get deadline to complete hospital

A

KWA IBOM State Government has urged contractors handling the Ibom 20th Anniversary Specialist Hospital project to complete it by March next year. Governor Godswill Akpabio gave the deadline when he visited the project site. The job is being handled by Messrs Ghito and NAIRDA. He said: “This project must be completed and we must have a timeline. The March 2014 timeline should be sacrosanct”. Akpabio said the hospital, which is about 70 per cent completed had suffered setbacks, stressing that it has becoming a major concern to the government. He said: “I am very interested in this project and whatever we need to do must be done, even if it involves working day and night. We must do it to ensure this becomes a reality. We must complete this hospital within my tenure for the people to use.

“With the level of development we are bringing to Akwa Ibom State, we cannot have anything less than what you are seeing. What we want is a firstclass international hospital so that our people can stop spending money abroad for medical care.” Akpabio described the hospital as a big project that would serve as a reference point to the achievements and capabilities of the contractors when completed. He charged the consultant to commence construction of the road leading to the hospital during the next dry season. The Director-General of Ghito Construction Generale, Mr Johny Matahni assured the governor that the hospital would be completed and delivered within the stipulated time, adding: “I can assure you on behalf of the company that we are taking very seriously the deadline you have given us and we are going to put an aggressive action plan in place to meet the deadline”.


46

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

47


48

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

49


50

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013 USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents for easy access in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily Contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, Illegal / Wrong Parking to kindly Call KAROTA through the following number - 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on - 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on - 07051246833, 08191778888.

105TH KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING

T SN i. ii. Total

he Laudable feat in the performance of the incumbent administration in Kano State was re - commenced last Wednesday (26th June, 2013) during the 104th Executive Council Sitting at which an expenditure of Fifteen Billion, Fifty Six Million, One Hundred and Ninety Seven Thousand and Eight Hundred and Seventy Five Naira, Thirty Kobo (15,056,197,875.30) was approved for the execution of Seventeen (17) Projects. Two (2) Sectors prominently stood out in the approvals granted for the execution of projects during the 104th Executive Council Sitting. These include; Sector Number of Projects Cost (N) Education 06 8,617,124,410.34 Water Resources 03 4,188,670,238.70 02 09 2,805,794,649.04

This was characteristic of the second incumbency of the present administration. Credence has been relentlessly accorded to the transformation of the educational, infrastructural development and maintenance sectors from inception as depicted in the table presented above. Further analysis of the approvals granted for the execution of projects during the 104th Kano State Executive Council sitting revealed that about 52% of the number of projects (i.e. 9 out of 17) were approved for execution with about 85% of the expenditure granted for the two (2) sectors (i.e. Education and Infrastructural Development/ Water Supply). So, today Wednesday 3rd July, 2013 (24th Sha'aban, 1434AH) the Kano State Executive Council held its One Hundred and Fifth (105th) sitting under the Chairmanship of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Eleven (11) MDAs submitted forty-nine (49) memoranda for deliberation by Council among which thirty (30) were approved for execution with an expenditure of Three Billion, Thirty One Million, Three Hundred and One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty Four Naira, Twenty Kobo (N3,031,301,834.20) covering twenty- two (22) projects. Thus: 1. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT Twenty-two (22) memoranda were submitted on behalf of some MDAs for deliberation by Council from the Office of the Secretary to the State Government. Eight (8) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Cater for the Sponsorship of Thirty (30) Kano State Indigenous Students to Study Pharmacy at Krupanidhi College of Pharmacy and JSS University India as well as the Fifteen (15) MBBS Students to be Admitted at SSMS Institute of Medical Science and Research:In fact, a large part of the services to be rendered by any administration must, generally speaking, consist of the development of human resources through the provision of qualitative education. This is simply called an investment in human capital, which is very much the same thing as investing in machines, equipment and other material capital. This administration is investing in human capital through the sponsorship of indigenous qualified youths to pursue education and other career courses within and outside the nation. Such investment is expected to increase and expand the capacity of the State human capital. The impact may not be immediate but will be seen in the near future. The State has sponsored 501 students to study for second degrees overseas in different academic and professional fields. This is in addition to the 100 youths selected to study medicine and another 100 studying pilot and aircraft engineering in Jordan. This brings us to the basis of this memorandum, which was on the sponsorship of qualified youths to study pharmacy and medicine in selected Universities in India. This decision explains the commitment of the State Government in the improvement of healthcare system in the State. This administration has since inception resolved to qualitatively provide for the transformation of the Health Sector in all aspects of healthcare delivery of which management and dispensation of drugs/ medicine is among. Laudable policies have been successfully implemented towards this as heralded by the staging of outright war on illegal sales of drugs at Abubakar Rimi Market and the aggressive conduct of training of youths under the "Lafiya Jari" program, which empowers relevantly trained/skilled but unemployed youth. In addition, more than N7 billion was expended on the provision of medical equipment, renovation and expansion of the existing health facilities and the establishment of health institutions for the training of medical personnel. Thus, this administration has transformed a public health system in crisis into a modern and responsive one with aggressive employment of staff, eradication of a number of infectious diseases and free medication to pregnant women. Reverting back to the request of this memorandum, Council appraised the recommendations for the sponsorship of 30 students to study pharmacy and 15 students to study medicine at the sum of $742,100.00 and $990,000.00 respectively for the duration of the courses. Noting that the request was in agreement with the laudable policies of providing the required professional calibre of personnel for the Health Sector and Empowerment for the students concerned Council approved the sponsorship. b. Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement and Allocation of One (1) Unit of Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick Up to the State Secretariat of the NYSC:This administration is always ready to cooperate and assist any Federal parastatal stationed in the State. Of recent, Council approved the procurement and allocation of vehicles to the Prison and State Security Services to enable them carry-on with their official assignments and ease their transportation problem. The request for a vehicle by the State NYSC was considered on its own merit and approved by Council at the sum of N6,950,000.00. c. Request for Permission and Release of Funds to Travel to Egypt to Scout for and Interview/Select Internationally Reputable Principal and Vice Principal for the Newly Established "First Lady's College, Kano":It is a welcome fact that the unused and wasted facilities available at the famous Magwan Water Restaurant are now converted for use as First Lady's College by this administration. Several other unused Government facilities have been converted for required use as Schools including the Psychiatric Hospital at Yadakunya, the WRECA Workshop at Tiga, Gidan Ado Bayero, etc. Nevertheless, the First Lady's College deserves qualified and competent hands so that it could yield the envisaged quality of products. As such, the Honourable Commissioner, Kano State Ministry of Education requested for permission and release of funds to enable a two (2) member team undertake a trip to Egypt to interview and select competent Principal and Vice Principal of international repute for the College. Details of the financial commitments of the sum of N1,379,750.00 was requested for release as endorsed by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,379,750.00 to enable the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Education and his Permanent Secretary to undertake the trip to Egypt for the purpose stated. d. Presentation of the Need and Request for Funds to Connect Gwarzo and Madobi LGCAs to Garu 132/33KV Electricity Sub - Station:The present administration in Kano State has resolved to take infrastructural development/provision to all nooks and crannies of the State including the rural areas. Such include provision of potable water supplies, motorable roads and steady supply of electricity for elevation of the general socio - economic wellbeing of the citizenry no matter their place of residence. This fact decided the Kano State Ministry of Rural and Community Development to endorse a request submitted, through the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, for release of the sum of N7,986,692.00 by Council to enable the Rural Electrification Board (REB) execute the important project of connecting Gwarzo and Madobi LGCAs to the Garu Electric Power Supply Sub - Station dedicated for use by the Water Board. The Sub - Station has two (2) fully serviceable 30MVA, 132/33KV electricity transformers. Connecting the two (2) LGCAs to the Sub - Station at Garu will not cause any problems or be detrimental to its functions as cleared/assured by the Kano State Water Board. The request was considered relevant as approval was granted by Council for the release of the sum of N7,986,692.00 to the Ministry of Rural and Community Development to enable the REB execute the project stated above in view of its significance to the Communities in the cited locations. f. Presentation of Handing Over Notes Between the Outgoing Coordinator and Newly Appointed Deputy Director Kano Poultry Institute Tukwui, Makoda LGCA:Main highlights of the presented hand over notes for consideration by Council comprised eight (8) items as submitted by the outgoing Coordinator Implementation Committee to the newly appointed Deputy Director assigned to head the Institute. Council was satisfied and endorsed the hand over notes while wishing the outgoing Coordinator and incoming Deputy Director good tidings in their future respective endeavours. g. Presentation of the Need to Resuscitate Kano State Central Price Reference and Intelligence Committee and Enforcement of its Functions:The Kano State Ministry of Finance informed Council, through the contents of this memorandum submitted for consideration from the Office of the Secretary to the State Government that, the Kano State Central Price Reference and Intelligence Committee tasked with the responsibility of establishing a realistic price index and data base for goods and services to be procured by MDAs and Local Government Authorities in the State is no longer functioning and, therefore, requires to be resuscitated. The Committee was established in 2001 and proved its mandate by producing/distributing eighteen (18) editions of Kano State Central Price Reference and Intelligence System bulleting from February, 2001 to December, 2011 which served as reference materials for Auditors, Accountants, Store - Officers and the general public thereby curtailing unnecessary cost/ expenditure. As such, the Ministry of Finance recommended the resuscitation of the Committee as well as expanding its membership with the following eight (8) Office holders i. Office of the Auditor General (Local Governments). ii. Representative from Ministry for Local Governments. iii. Representative from Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. iv. Representative from Ministry of Education. v. Representative from Project Monitoring Directorate. vi. Representative from SUBEB. vii. Representative from Ministry of Finance - Stores Section. viii. Representative from Ministry of Finance - Treasury. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation and approved the resuscitation, expansion and enforcement of functions of the Kano State Central Price Reference and Intelligence Committee. Office of the Secretary to the State Government was directed to coordinate the process. 2. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR/HON. COMMISSIONER, MINISTRY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS This Office submitted seven (7) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Four (4) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Presentation of the Outcome of Official Representation by the State Delegation for Support from the National Resources Development Fund at the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission Abuja (25th June, 2013):In his Official Executive mandate as leader of a delegated team comprising three (3) Commissioners, two (2) Permanent Secretaries and other supporting Staff, the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments reminded Council that, the Kano State Government has articulated a submission for financial support from the Natural Resources Development Fund. The Fund is under the Presidency while the solicited support was to the tune of the sum of N272,012,338,600.00 being an intervention fund to be released in trust by the Federal Government for all tiers of Government towards diversification of the economic base of the country from oil and gas to non - oil sectors. The Kano State delegation presented the submission of Kano State Government to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (FRMAC) on 25th June, 2013. Power Point E - Presentation was used in showcasing and justifying

various developmental strides and diversification efforts of the present administration in Kano State under the astute leadership of the second incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE towards developing the non - oil sectors of our economy with existing ecological problems affecting various areas/communities in the State. Such were presented for remedial actions by intervention from the Natural Resources Intervention Fund. Notably, the FRMAC acknowledged and favourably responded to the well - articulated precise and comprehensive presentation from Kano State, which was considered best among all the presentations submitted at the forum. Further, the Commission applauded the leadership of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE for; o Prudent management of Public Funds/Resources. o Most exemplary translation of transformation agenda in terms of infrastructural and human development initiative compared to others. These and more gingered the authorities at the FRMAC Rabi’u Musa Kwankawaso to resolve to visit Kano State soonest for "ground - truth" assessment of issues raised in the presentation from the State so as to arm themselves with fully verified information to enable them submit comprehensive and factual recommendations to the President of Nigeria for consideration. In any case, some incidental expenses were incurred in discharging the assignment along with paid usage of external expertise in collation, analysis, synthesis, production of imageries and aerial mapping of graded areas with Geo - Investigation results across the 44 LGCAs. The entire exercise involved an aggregate expenditure to the tune of N8,200,000.00 which was requested for release by Council according to the details presented for consideration. Council appreciated the presentation and promptly approved the release of the requested sum of N8,200,000.00 to the Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments to enable defraying the expenditure incurred which facilitated brisk and well - articulated presentation of the request from Kano State for intervention funds to the tune of N272,012,338,600.00. The good people of Kano State along with the Government wholeheartedly await the fact - finding visiting team from the FRMAC. b. Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of Tricycles Waste Disposal Vehicles for Use at Local Government Council Areas:Provision of serene, clean and healthy environment for the citizenry in Kano State is among the cardinal resolutions of the present administration. In fact, the monthly executed environmental sanitation exercise was re - introduced courtesy of the present administration. The Ministry of Environment as custodian of general environmental sanitation is continuously provided for qualitatively to rid the State of unwanted heaps of refuse scattered all over the metropolis. Establishment of Shelterbelts against desert encroachment and provision of expertly nursed tree seedlings for planting are among the laudable preoccupations of the present administration. As such, Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments deemed it expedient to recommend to Council to consider urging the Local Government Councils to own up to their mandated responsibility of evacuating wastes in their respective domains by providing all necessary equipment required for the execution of the monthly executed environmental sanitation exercise. Specifically, the desirability to evacuate refuse/waste from the nooks and crannies of metropolitan Kano for disposal at designated/suitable locations is paramount. The equipment required for the purpose is conspicuously unavailable. Such need to be procured urgently for use. So, five (5) Tricycles Waste Disposal Tippers were recommended to be purchased for use by each of the eight (8) metropolitan LGCAs at the unit cost of N1,739,000.00 (i.e. N8,695,000.00 for five). Forty (40) units of the Tricycles Waste Disposal Tippers are to be purchased by the eight (8) metropolitan LGCAs at the aggregate cost of N69,560,000.00, which was requested for release by Council to enable the purchase of the Tricycles Waste Disposal Tippers as recommended by the eight (8) metropolitan LGCAs. The request was considered credible as Council approved the release of the sum of N69,560,000.00 from the State/Local Government Joint Account, disaggregated to each of the eight (8) metropolitan LGCAs for the stated purpose. c. Presentation of Negotiation of 2013 Hajj Accommodation Charges on Thirteen (13) Houses and Request for Kano State Government Subsidy on Six (6) Houses Acquired for Kano State Pilgrims:The period for the Holy Pilgrimage to/at Makkah will soon be with us. So, preparations are underway earnestly. As such, a six (6) - member team under the leadership of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments were assigned to visit Makkah in order to inspect/select and secure befitting accommodation for Kano State 2013 (1434AH) intending Pilgrims in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The team conducted its assignment diligently in line with the provisions of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) bench mark. Thirteen (13) houses were thoroughly assessed within the clusters of Shara Mansur and Ummul Qura Streets. Details were presented to Council for consideration. In any case, the prices for four (4) of the houses were negotiated downwards while the provision of the Kano State Government subsidy on the prices of six (6) houses was solicited for. As such, Council was requested to approve the release of the sum of N52,706,250.00 instead of the initial N52,733,250.00 requested earlier for the same purpose. Council acknowledged the presentation and approved the release of the sum of N52,706,250.00 for the settlement of the subsidy rates for six (6) houses among the thirteen (13) negotiated for accommodation of Kano State Pilgrims for the year 2013 (1434AH) in Makkah so as to avoid any increment. d. Presentation of Report of Year 2012 Hajj Affairs Tribunal:The Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner, Ministry for Local Governments reminded Council of the Executive directive issued to him at its sitting of 19th June, 2013 to further appraise the submitted report mentioned above. Reappraisal of the said report along with the Edict that established the Hajj Affairs Tribunal in the State in 1995 yielded the following observations: i. That the contents of the report indicated that the Chairperson of the Tribunal did not carry members along in conducting the assignment of the Tribunal, which was adduced as reason for refusal of the members to endorse the report. ii. That item 4 (i.) of part II of the Edict indicated that the appointment of the Tribunal Members was vested in the interest of the incumbent Governor then. iii. That item 6 of part II of the Edict stated that any sitting with the Chairman and any two (2) members form a quorum. This was not observed in the presided cases by the Tribunal. So, in view of the need to have a Tribunal that ensures participation of its members in conformity with its enabling Law, Council accepted the recommendation and approved the replacement of the incumbent Chairperson with a new Chairman in the person of Abubakar Haruna Khalil in order to provide the Tribunal with a new leadership capable of leading the Tribunal in line with its enabling/enshrined Law. Details on the qualifications and suitability of Abubakar Haruna Khalil were presented for consideration by Council. 3. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Two (2) memoranda were directly submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Education. Both were approved for execution. Thus; a. Presentation of the Need to Install Solar - Powered and Energy Efficient Led Fluorescent Light Fittings in Classroom Blocks in Boarding Schools Across the State:Contents of this memorandum applauded efforts of the present administration in Kano State towards improvement/ transformation of education at all levels and ramifications in the State. Progressively, the Ministry of Education came up with a proposal for a completely new approach for the supply/provision of illumination in Boarding Schools by use of Solar - Powered fittings. Re - introduction of evening "prep" in schools is to enhance academic activities and improve performance of students in examinations generally. Two (2) Schools were selected as "Pilot" for the essentially required project which are: o GSS Kwankwaso o GGC Kano Such provision will further upgrade the standards of the recently repaired/renovated two (2) Schools through ETF intervention. Details on the requirements and the aggregate financial cost of the two (2) projects to the tune of the sum of N11,994,042.40, viz; i. GSS Kwankwaso N4,445,332.00 ii. GGC Kano N7,348,710.40 Total N11,994,042.40 Credibility of the request prompted Council to approve the release of the requested sum of N11,994,042.40 to the Ministry of Education to enable provision/installation of Solar - Powered energy efficient Led fluorescent light fittings as pilot projects at GSS Kwankwaso and GGC Kano according to the details presented. b. Presentation of Request/Suggestion on Direct Recruitment/Absorption of Voluntary/Casual Teachers Serving in Public and Community Schools in Kano State:The laudable decongestion policy embarked upon by the present administration has resulted in the commendable creation/ construction of more classrooms in our Primary and Secondary Schools compelling the need for teachers to man them. Many such Schools are known to have been sourcing for the services of such teachers on voluntary/casual arrangement in order to augment Government effort. The services delivered are paid for from the collected payment of School maintenance fees from students. Presently, authentic records reveal that a total of 1906 Casual/Voluntary teachers serve in our Schools with the following qualifications: i. Degree holders 236 ii. NCE holders 1067 iii. ND holders 603 Total 1906 On the other hand, Council was notified of the disturbing fact that Public and Community Schools in Kano State require the Services of 1928 degree, NCE and ND holders as Voluntary/Casual teachers to man all available Classes with adequate number of teaching Staff. With concern, the Ministry of Education requested Council to consider approving the absorption/recruiting into the State Service the existing 1906 Voluntary/Casual teachers serving in our Schools as well as employing 1928 more of such teachers for deployment to serve in the generally decongested Public and Community Schools across the State. Council approved as requested but directed the Honourable Commissioner, Kano State Ministry of Education to liaise with Principals/Head Teachers of Schools concerned and make a submission on the issue for consideration by Council at its next sitting.


51

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013 4. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT This Ministry submitted three (3) memoranda directly for consideration by Council. All were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds for the Construction of Three (3) New Shari'a Courts:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport professionally submitted a case on behalf of the State Shari'a Court of Appeal originally submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government, through the Office of the Attorney General/Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Justice. The issue involved a request for the release of the aggregate sum of N41,647,432.86 to enable the construction of three (3) new Shari'a Courts previously regretfully omitted from an earlier request for the release of funds for the construction of twentyseven (27) new Shari'a Courts. The omitted Courts are: o Upper Shari'a Court Gyadi - Gyadi. o Giginyu Shari'a Court. o Bunkure Shari'a Court. So, Council was requested to approve the release of the sum of N13,882,447.62 to facilitate the construction of each Court totaling to the aggregate sum of N41,647,432.86 for the three (3). Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N41,647,432.86 to the relevant authorities to enable construction of the respective Shari'a Courts at the three (3) locations presented above. b. Request for Funds to Facilitate the General Renovation and Provision of Furniture at Kano State Independent Electoral Commission Located at NO.5 Sabo Bakin Zuwo Road, Kano:Contents of this memorandum concertedly notified Council of the deplorable condition of the Office of the Kano State Electoral Commission located at NO.5 Sabo Bakin Zuwo Road. This prompted the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to propose for the execution of general renovation of the office in order to provide an enabling and befitting environment as well conducive atmosphere for work for the Staff. Such will enable them perform their duties properly for the smooth running of routine affairs of the Commission. As such, Council was requested to, and approved the release of the aggregate sum of N18,713,892,14 to enable execution of the project. c. Request for the Release of Funds for the Execution of 2013 Constituency Projects in Kano State:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport alerted Council, through contents of this memorandum, of the need to embark upon implementation of the 2013 Constituency Projects. The program was provided the sum of N2,200,000,000.00 in the 2013 approved budget. Traditionally, the two Ministries implement the projects as forwarded by the Honourable Members of the Kano State House of Assembly from their respective Constituencies. The Ministries are: o Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport o Ministry of Rural and Community Development So, considering success of the program, the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport urgently requested Council to consider and approve the following: i. Commencement of the implementation of 2013 Constituency Projects. ii. Ratification of the list of Contractors that abided by the due process and qualified for the award including those to be submitted in due course (second batch). iii. Provision of N2,200,000,000.00 as approved in the 2013 budget under the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport. Council approved as requested based on the genuine need to commence implementation of the 2013 Constituency Projects. 5. MINISTRY OF HEALTH The Ministry of Health submitted four (4) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Three (3) were approved for execution. Thus: a. Request for Funding of Activities of the State Task Force Committee on Immunization and Polio Eradication:Council was applauded on its continued favourable response in providing for the requirements of Immunization and Polio Eradication Exercise in the State through the State Task Force Committee. This shows great prospects/promise that Kano State is on track towards the total eradication of polio transmission by the year 2013. Nevertheless, to continue with the laudable achievements, the Task Force requires provision of additional resources for the next four (4) rounds of Polio Immunization exercises for the third and fourth quarter of the year 2013. Accordingly, the sum of N10,318,500.00 is required and was requested for release by Council to facilitate the following: o Secretariat Services o Coordination of Meetings o Provision of logistics for high level intensive supervision of Polio Immunization exercises. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N10,318,500.00 to the State Ministry of Health as funds for the activities of the State Task Force Committee on Immunization. b. Request for Funds for the General Renovation Works Required at Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital (Phase II):Council approved the release of the sum of N65,088,012.00 to facilitate the execution of the phase II of the already approved project stated above. First phase of the project was granted approval for the release of the sum of N50,096,704.89. Works (phase I) have reached advanced stages nearing completion at male wards 2 and 3 LCT block. This is typical of the present administration, which relentlessly provides for the qualitative transformation of the entire health sector from its inception to date. Examples are ubiquitous across the State. c. Request for Funding of Activities of the State Immunization Plus Days on Polio Eradication:Cognizant of the fact that Nigeria adopted the conduct of Polio Supplemental Immunization as a strategy to eradicate the disease from the Country, special campaigns are periodically organized during which health workers move from house to house to vaccinate eligible children with Polio Vaccine. A total of five (5) rounds of the campaign have so far taken place in the year 2013 alone. Essentially, each round of the campaign is provided for by all stakeholders; Federal, State, Local Governments and Development partners. Each plays a role with the State Government providing support for supervision, training, logistics and public enlightenment activities. As such, the Kano State Ministry of Health needs resources to undertake these activities costed at the sum of N18,162,500.00, which was requested for release by Council. The project was considered relevant by Council as approval was granted for the release of the requested sum to the Ministry of Health to undertake activities of State Immunization Plus Days on Polio Eradication in view of the International and domestic relevance of the project. 6. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT The two (2) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Environment were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of Additional Two (2) Brand New Pay - Loaders:The incumbent administration in Kano State resolved to rid Kano of heaps of refuse scattered all over the metropolitan area. Adequate management of solid waste within the metropolis as well as management and enforcement of use of officially approved dumping sites has been embarked upon. Council approved the procurement of two (2) brand new Pay - Loader for use by REMASAB to facilitate for timely evacuation of heaps of refuse scattered across the metropolitan area of Kano. These two (2) procured and allocated Pay - Loaders are judiciously put to earnest use by REMASAB to cover the eight (8) metropolitan LGCAs, which were divided into four (4) zones in two (2) shifts (day and night). As such, the Ministry of Environment requested Council to approve the release of the sum of N54,284,347.00 to enable the procurement of two (2) brand new Pay - Loaders for use by REMASAB to supplement the services of the two (2) already in use. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N27,142,171.85 to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to process procurement and allocation of one (1) brand new Pay - Loader to the Ministry of Environment for use by REMASAB as required to supplement the activities of the two (2) already in use. b. Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of Ten (10) Brand New Skid Loader Vehicles and One hundred (100) Units of Waste Collection Buckets:Cognizant of the laudable policy of the present administration to rid Kano of heaps of refuse scattered all over the metropolitan area of the State, REMASAB proposed to replace most of its existing open refuse collection points with one hundred (100) units of 8 Cubic metres additional waste collection buckets to add to already existing ones. Provision of these one hundred (100) units of waste collection buckets necessitates use of additional ten (10) Skid Loaders. Cost for each was presented to Council for consideration as follows: i. 100 units of waste collection buckets N127,867,130.00 ii. 10 units of Skid Loaders N170,369,265.00 Total N298,236,395.00 As such, the Ministry of Environment requested Council to consider and approve the release of the sum of N298,236,395.00 to enable the procurement of 100 units of waste collection buckets and ten (10) units of Skid Loader Vehicles. 50% of the request was approved by Council. Thus: o 50 units of waste collection buckets at N895,000.00 x 50 = N44,750,000.00 o 5 units of Skid Loader Vehicles at N15,950,000.00 x 5 = N79,750,000.00 Total N124,500,000.00 7. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES The Ministry of Water Resources submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Only one of them was approved for execution as follows: Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of Workshop/Laboratory Equipment and Beds/Beddings for the Assistant Works Superintendent (AWS) Training School Challawa:Specialization and use of professionally required skills in the provision of services is a basic ingredient for sustainable development in areas that border on the provision of basic infrastructure. Middle Cadre Technicians with applicable skills are required in all professions. This fact fuels and energizes the thrust of the present administration in its drive and general effort to provide skill and empowerment opportunities by establishing specific skill acquisition Institutes. The Assistant Works Superintendent Training School (AWS) at Challawa is one such vitally required skills acquisition Institute that has been training middle cadre technicians from time immemorial in techniques related to the provision of water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, etc. usage. As such, this administration intervened to salvage the pathetic dilapidated condition due to old age in order to revamp/ revitalize performance of AWS Challawa. In the year 2012 approval was granted for the execution of projects at the School including the completion of an abandoned hostel and the construction of completely new workshop and laboratory. This was to further expand the capacity of the AWS Challawa to cater for the training of manpower/technicians in the areas of water resources engineering, construction and other related sectors. In fact, the School trains students within the State and beyond reaching Katsina, Kogi, Bauchi, Oyo and Lagos States. Meanwhile, the completed hostel, workshop and laboratory need to be furnished and provided with materials, reagents, beds/beddings etc. at the estimated cost of N26,921,643.00, which was requested for release by Council to enable provision of the requirements. Council approved as requested based on relevance of the project to the policy of the present administration in the area of provision of skill acquisition opportunities. 8. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING Two (2) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. Both were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Compensation for Structures to be Removed Along Water Pipeline Route on Challawa to Gwaron Dutse (Sheikh Ja'afar Road):Contents of this memorandum presented Sheikh Ja'afar Road project as an important endeavour to ease commuting within the municipality. Work is in satisfactory progress except for the right of way required/needed for laying the giant water pipeline simultaneously with the road. Consequently, KNUPDA, Water Board and the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning collectively identified a total of thirty-six (36) structures that need to be removed in order to make laying the giant water pipeline possible. The structures comprise different items with estimated aggregate value to the tune of N20,105,140.00, which was requested for release by Council to be disbursed as payment of compensation for the 36 structures to be removed. Council noted, considered and approved release of the requested sum of N20,105,140.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable paying for the stated compensation so as to accelerate the pace of construction work on Sheikh Ja'afar Road towards completion as targeted. b. Presentation of Request for the Implementation and Provision of Infrastructural Facilities at Kwankwasiyya City (Phase I) and Request for Funds to Enable Payment of Compensation for Land, Economic Trees and Structures:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Land and Physical Planning politely reminded Council of its approval to provide infrastructural facilities to the 190 hectares piece of land acquired purposefully for the establishment of low density housing layout at Kwankwasiyya city via Council Extract NO.SSCA/CA/EX/7/1/21 dated 7th October, 2011. Essentially, the city was designed to have low density housing units, shopping malls, asphalt road network, effective drainage system, bridges, efficient water and electricity supply network, street lights, etc. as required in a befitting modern city. It was maintained that for the city to have good planning, security and other developmental considerations, it is imperative to expand the size of the city such that its periphery reaches up to Zaria Road. As such, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning assessed the periphery of the city and its surroundings especially Dotsa Village under Phase I of the entire project. The following were presented for consideration by Council as the assessed

compensation requirements: o Land valued at N1,000,000.00/ha = N40,384,100.00 o Economic trees = N17,401,250.00 o Structures = N89,050,550.00 Total = N146,835,900.00 So, Council was requested to approve the release of the sum of N146,835,900.00 to enable payment of compensation as presented. Approval was granted as requested for the release of the sum of N146,835,900.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable the payment of compensation for land, economic trees and structures (site) acquired for the expansion of Kwankwasiyya city (phase I) up to Zaria Road. 9. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES The two (2) memoranda submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources were approved for execution as follows: a. Presentation of Request for Permission and Release of Funds to Establish Monitoring and Evaluation Teams to Ensure Successful Implementation of the 2013 Wet Season Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) Programme in Kano State:The Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development visited Kano State. He advised that Kano State Government should establish a formidable Monitoring and Evaluation Team between the State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Kano Office. This is to ensure successful implementation of the 2013 Wet Season Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) program across the 44 LGCAs in the State. The team is to comprise the Honourable Commissioner, Permanent Secretary, Directors; (from the State Ministry of Agriculture), Kano State House of Assembly Committee Members on Agriculture, State Director FMARD. Other members to represent the Kano State Office of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Supply Chain representatives and the ADP (KNARDA) need to be included as is operated at the Federal Level. Consequent to this development, the State Ministry of Agriculture proposed for the setting up of four (4) local Monitoring and Evaluation Teams to cover the existing four (4) KNARDA zones in the State with each expected to visit designated redemption centers in each of the 44 LGCAs respectively assigned to each team. Details on the composition of each of the four (4) teams along with request for release of funds for the commencement of their activities were presented for consideration by Council. Council acknowledged the presentation and approved the release of the sum of N5,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the purposes stated in connection with the successful implementation of the GESS program for the year 2013 Wet Season. b. Presentation of the Need and Request for Funds to Establish Local Poultry Extension Service:Sequel to a report received from the Deputy Director, Poultry Institute Tukwui on the need to establish a Poultry Extension Service to the beneficiaries of Poultry Institute, the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources submitted the following recommendations for consideration and approval by Council: i. Setting up of Poultry Extension Committee to comprise of o Area Veterinary Service Officer o Agricultural Programme Coordinator o Sectional Head Veterinary o CRC Chairman/Representative(s) ii. Functions of the Committee o Supervision of administration of routine medication/vaccination. o Continuation with extension training up to 17 weeks. iii. Expected Outcome o After 17 weeks the beneficiaries can stand independently. o Mortality of the birds currently encountered will be reduced. o Huge savings to Government on replacement cost. iv. Total cost of routine medication/vaccinations/allowances = N37,320,000.00 Relatedly, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources requested Council to consider the presentation and approve release of the sum of N37,320,000.00 for the stated purpose. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N37,320,000.00 to the State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to handle item (iv.) presented above. 10. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE The Head of Civil Service submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Both were approved for execution. Thus: a. Presentation of Report from the Executive Council Committee on the Directorate of Societal Re-orientation (Adaidaita Sahu) Repeal Law 2013:Contents of this memorandum adequately presented the stand of the Committee mentioned above on the issue concerned as submitted by its Chairman (the Head of Civil Service) for consideration and approval by Council. The Committee's stand after in depth deliberation based on careful appraisal of contents of the Draft Bill yielded the following observations: i. That the Draft Bill is premised upon the desire by the then Government to determine obsolete Laws whose instrumentality lacks bearing on the responsiveness of Government Policy direction. ii. That the Directorate (Adaidaita Sahu) lacks functional qualified manpower to run its affairs, hence the need to deploy its Staff to the mainstream Civil Service. Its perceived mandate is apparently adjudged a duplicity in content as it relates to other Institutional Official engagements. iii. The Directorate is as moribund Institution as its Law both of which lack value for continued existence and therefore uncalled for. So, the Committee recommended to Council to consider approving repeal of the Law establishing the "Adaidaita Sahu" Directorate. Council noted, considered the presentation and approved the repeal of the Law establishing the "Adaidaita Sahu" Directorate in line with the proposed Draft Bill as presented by the Ministry of Justice, Kano State. The proposed repeal was to be submitted to the House of Assembly for assent. b. Presentation of the Proposed Draft Bill on the Prohibition of Street Begging in Kano:The Executive Council Committee on the proposed Draft Bill on the Prohibition of Street begging in Kano State submitted highlights of its report/recommendation for consideration of Council as endorsed by its Chairman (the Head of Civil Service). Main observations were presented as follows: i. The Bill is intended to provide the Legal Instrument that will allow the realization of part of Government Social Policy reform program aimed at eliminating the menace of street begging. ii. The Draft Bill is auspicious and timely as the hitherto trends being grappled with by Government on matters of development in human Capital for productive and constructive engagement by active youth in addition to rural - urban drift by young and the aged population would be checked. iii. The Law will also provide safeguard against migrant beggars from across the borders that overstretched usage of facilities meant to curtain the menace, in addition to providing legally subsisting measures for deportation and/or deployment. iv. As part of the safeguards, appropriate penalties were also provided in the Draft Bill. Specifically, the Committee recommended to Council to consider the observations submitted and approve for forwarding the Draft Bill to the Honourable Kano State House of Assembly for passage into Law. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation and approved the transmission of the Draft Bill on the Prohibition of Street Begging in Kano State to the Kano State House of Assembly for passage into Law. 11. MINISTRY OF JUSTICE Presentation of Draft Bill to Repeal High Court (Civil Procedure) Edict 1988:Council was professionally notified by the State Attorney General/Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Justice, through contents of this memorandum that: i. The High Court (Civil Procedure) Edict 1988 is the current legislation governing Civil Proceedings in the High Court. ii. The Edict also makes provisions on the various fees payable in High Court for commencement of action and other processes. iii. The fees payable are however too scanty and do not conform to the realities of the present situation. iv. There is, therefore, the need to review the fees upwards. As such, it was recommended to Council to consider and approve the Draft Bill as amended for transmission on to the Honourable State House of Assembly for passage into Law. The presentation was appreciatively acknowledged as Council approved the passage of the Draft Bill onto the Honourable State House of Assembly for passage into Law. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 105th EXECUTIVE COUNCIL SITTING 1. COURTESY VISIT BY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR, BANK OF INDUSTRIES Council acknowledged the official visit to Kano by the Managing Director, Bank of Industries (BOI) and her entourage and the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the State Government and the BOI. 2. PRESENTATION OF AWARDS TO GOVERNOR ENGR. RABI'U MUSA KWANKWASO, FNSE Council witnessed the presentation of various awards to the Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE by the Igbo Community residing in Kano for his commendable execution of developmental projects and ensuring peaceful co-existence among different tribes in the State. Similarly, Council witnessed the presentation of the following awards to His Excellency the Governor: o Award of excellence by the Association of Nigerian Writers o Award of Leadership, Excellence and recognition by Baseline Global Ventures o "Excellence award for the uplift of Sports in Kano State by the 'Swimming Association of Nigeria'. o Award by the Association of Northwest Youths for improving the welfare of citizens, job creation, youth empowerment, etc. in Kano State, and o Award of Excellence by the Justice & Fairness Organization. 3. SWEARING-IN OF 6 NEW PERMANENT SECRETARIES Council witnessed the swearing-in of six (6) newly appointed Permanent Secretaries and implored them to be honest, dedicated and prudent in the discharge of their official responsibilities toward attaining overall objectives of the State Government. 4. INAUGURATION OF CITY WALL COMMITTEE Council witnessed the inauguration of the State Committee on the protection & revival of Kano city Wall headed by Dr. Sule Bello with representatives from the History and Culture Bureau, Tourism Board, Emirate Council, Senior Special Assistant (Emirate Council) and National Museum and Monuments. 5. LAYING OF FOUNDATION STONE AT LOKOGOMA HOUSING ESTATE, ABUJA Council acknowledged the successful foundation stone laying ceremony at Lokogoma Housing Estate in Abuja by Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. 6. CONDUCT OF SANITATION EXERCISE ACROSS THE STATE Council acknowledged the successful conduct of sanitation exercise on the last Saturday of every month across the State and called on the citizenry to ensure future compliance for a healthy and clean surrounding. 7. NATIONAL COUNCIL ON EDUCATION (NEC) MEETING Council acknowledged the conduct of the National Council on Education (NEC) meeting held in Abuja where Kano State was commended for its stride in the transformation of Education in the country. 8. NATIONAL COUNCIL ON AGRICULTURE MEETING Council acknowledged the conduct of the meeting of National Council on Agriculture held in Abeokuta where various issues toward the improvement and enhancement of the Agriculture were discussed. Council also upheld that Kano State will host the next meeting. 9. PROGRESS REPORT ON REPAIRS OF DAMS IN THE STATE Council acknowledged the progress report of the ongoing repairs of Dams across the State with a view to improving the provision of adequate water supply to the teeming population in the State. 10. CIVIL SERVICE DAY CELEBRATION/FLAG-OFF OF PRE- RETIREMENT WORKSHOP Council acknowledged the conduct of the Civil Service Day Celebration during which five (5) Senior Officers and five (5) Junior Officers were meritoriously awarded for their honesty, dedication and selfless service to the State. During the occasion three (3) Organizations were also awarded. Further, Council noted the flag off of pre-retirement workshop for Permanent Secretaries, Directors and other Officers due for retirement from the Civil Service. USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents for easy access in case of any emergency on the metropolitan roads. Accordingly, the general public may easily contact Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking on - 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on - 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on - 07051246833, 08191778888.

Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports andCulture


52

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

53


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

54

EQUITIES

NSE urges new brokers to maintain market integrity

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 8-07-13

T

HE Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday urged new stockbrokers to adhere to best practices and professional ethics as the faces of the stock market. Speaking at the induction ceremony for newly qualified dealing clerks at the NSE, chief executive officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema described the newly qualified brokers as the future participants and leaders of the Nigerian capital market. The new stockbrokers had passed the examinations of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) and practical training and oral test of the NSE. However, out of the 81 candidates who passed the CIS examination and went through the 15-day practical Automated Training System (ATS) training at the NSE, only 55 per cent passed the oral examination at the NSE. According to Onyema, the induction of the brokers was a call to stand tall in integrity, to be impeccable in character, to be professional in service and to be high in ethics and standards. He noted that the NSE has continued to evolve to achieve the highest level of competitiveness by operating fair, orderly and trans-

•Equities open on negative note By Taofik Salako

parent markets that bring together the best of African enterprises, as well as local and global investor communities. “It should be noted that we are maintaining and will continue to maintain zero tolerance to sharp practices and deploying requisite technology and expertise to curb and arrest any form of manipulation from all quarters. For all recently qualified stockbrokers, it goes without saying that the investing community will know and judge the Nigerian Capital Market through your example in character and service; the manner in which you engage, interface and service your clients will go a long way in shaping the perception of our market,” Onyema said. He said the NSE expected the new brokers to uphold the tenets of peaceful, innovative and harmonious working relationship while counting the supports of the brokers in achieving the highest level of competitiveness in delivering service excellence and a first rate capital

market experience. Meanwhile, the Nigerian equities opened this week on a negative note as losses by highly capitalised stocks coloured the overall market situation. Aggregate market value of all equities dropped from its opening value of N11.694 trillion to close at N11.651 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), the benchmark index at the NSE, slipped by 0.37 per cent to close yesterday at 36,790.14 points as against its opening index of 36,926.29 points. With 22 losers to 25 gainers, the market was tilted by losses by high-cap stocks. Nestle Nigeria led the losers with a drop of N6 to close at N994. Nigerian Breweries followed with a loss of N2.70 to close at N160.30. Cadbury Nigeria dropped by N1.57 to close at N54.53. CAP lost 49 kobo to close at N49 while Zenith Bank dwindled by 40 kobo to close at N20.30. On the upside, Guinness Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N3 to close at N255. Flour Mills of Nigeria added N2.93 to close at N82.99. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria chalked up N1.20 to close at N96. Beta Glass rose by N1 to close at N11 while Total Nigeria added 99 kobo to close at N159.99 per share. Total turnover stood at N188.55 million shares valued at N2.15 billion in 4,082 deals.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 8--07-13


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

55

MONEY LINK Access Bank UK grows assets to $18.5m

CBN seeks stakeholders’ support on financial inclusion

T

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has emphasised the need for stakeholders’ support as it strives to achieve the targets set in the Nigerian Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS). CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, disclosed this yesterday at the launch of the Geospatial Mapping of Financial Institutions in Nigeria in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). He said the overall target outlined in the NFIS strategy is the reduction of the number of adults excluded from access to financial ser-

Stories by Collins Nweze

vices from 46.3 per cent in 2010 to 20 per cent in 2020. As a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), he said Nigeria’s declaration was in line with the Maya declaration in 2011. According to him, it is targeted that at least 70 per cent of the proposed 80 per cent adult Nigerians to be financially included, would be in the formal sector, with specific targets for services such as payments, savings, credit, insurance and pensions. To achieve this however, he said there must be collabo-

A

ration among all the stakeholders in the financial industry. Sanus said the CBN had since approved a number of initiatives aimed at improving financial inclusion. He listed some of these initiatives to include the development of Agent Banking Guidelines, tiered Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements to encourage financial institutions to reach out to underserved segments, the development of a Consumer Protection Framework under a newly set up Consumer Protection Department and a national campaign to promote financial literacy.

• Sanusi

He traced the partnership between the CBN and the BMGF to the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Global Policy Forum in 2012, where the Foundation pledged to support the CBN to achieve the targets set out in the NFIS.

Heritage Bank partners BDAN

H

ERITAGE Bank said it will be partnering with the Bank Directors Association of Nigeria (BDAN) to enable it achieve its capacity building objectives. BDAN is the umbrella body of nonexecutive directors of banks. It was established to provide a forum for improving the knowledge and competence of bank directors thereby promoting honourable practice within the banking industry in Nigeria. In a statement, the bank said BDAN recently organised a luncheon to welcome new members from Heritage Bank, Jaiz Bank, FSDH Merchant Bank and Rand Merchant Bank into the body. The Heritage Bank team was led by the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo. The team included Executive Director, Enterprise Manage-

ment, Robert Mbonu and Alhaji Jani Ibrahim, a non executive director of the bank. Speaking at the luncheon, a director of Heritage Bank, Alhaji Jani Ibrahim commended BDAN for its leadership role in the banking industry, saying the bank would partner with the association in its various activities to achieve its objectives. “I want to thank everybody and also to give the support of Heritage Bank to the association. The managing director of Heritage Bank has asked me to assure you that we are going to be very good partners in progress as you forge ahead in the administration of BDAN. I also assure you that we would also help to galvinise other members, because it is when members support the association that the association will continue

to wax stronger,” he said. He advised the leadership of BDAN to design programmes and activities that address issues of public interest. “I think this is where we need to make our mark and also prove our mettle. This is where stakeholders and members of the

public should run to us, and not continue to run to the central bank because this is the highest policy level as far as bank governance is concerned. I hope that in our programmes in the future we should be able that address issues that matter to public interest,” he said.

Defunct Bank of the North workers protest over benefits

S

EVERAL former Bank of the North workers yesterday picketed some Unity Bank branches across the country to demand for their severance entitlements. They are asking for the payment of the outstanding 50 per cent of their gratuities, pensions and other liabilities. However, top sources within Unity Bank who responded to our inquiries said the agreement

reached with the disengaged workers during the merger in 2006 was that their liabilities will be paid by the owners of the defunct Bank of the North (BoN) which are the governments of the 19 northern states and not Unity Bank Plc. Further investigation from copies of signed agreements showed that representatives of the unions reached an agreement with the Northern Governors Forum

FGN BONDS Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 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 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 8-07-13

SYMBOL BETAGLAS PORTPAINT IPWA MAYBAKER WEMABANK FLOURMILL PRESTIGE WAPIC VITAFOAM ETI

O/PRICE 10.00 6.57 0.63 2.80 1.17 80.06 0.56 0.89 4.36 14.09

C/PRICE 11.00 7.22 0.69 2.95 1.22 82.99 0.58 0.92 4.50 14.50

CHANGE 1.00 0.65 0.06 0.15 0.05 2.93 0.02 0.03 0.14 0.41

COSTAIN CORNERST UNITYBNK COURTVILLE MCNICHOLS NEM TRANSCORP CADBURY HONYFLOUR LIVESTOCK

O/PRICE 1.67 0.59 0.65 0.85 1.74 0.76 1.51 56.10 3.40 5.12

C/PRICE 1.52 0.54 0.61 0.80 1.67 0.73 1.46 54.53 3.31 5.00

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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% 11.8%

July ’12

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

NSE CAP Index

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

Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

Movement

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

CHANGE 0.15 0.05 0.04 0.05 0.07 0.03 0.05 1.57 0.09 0.12

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

LOSERS AS AT 8-07-13

SYMBOL

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

before the merger exercise accepting 50 per cent as full and final settlement for all their entitlements. The agreement also stated that no worker will lose his job for at least one year due to the merger. Their representatives signed on their behalf and the former governor of Kogi State, Ibrahim Idris, signed for the Northern Governors.

DATA BANK

Tenor

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

ACCESS Bank UK Limited has announced that Assets Under Management (AUM) in its private banking and asset management business rose by over 200 per cent to $18.5 million by the end of 2012. Also, the bank’s AUM currently stands at $66 million. In a statement, the bank said the increase in AUM has been driven by the ability of Access Bank UK to deepen its client relationships by expanding its product portfolio to its clients beyond the traditional focus on banking and asset management services. “Buy-to-let property loans, Investor Visa and discretionary portfolio lending provide new routes for customers to access hard currency outside of Africa. Access Bank UK provides private banking services to African/Nigerian Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) in the UK and Sub Saharan Africa. Services provided include traditional private banking services, property and discretionary portfolio lending,” the statement said. Chief Executive of Access Bank UK, Jamie Simmonds expressed his delight over the performance of the bank. “The bank is committed to sustainable banking and to passionate, innovative customer service.

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 9.08 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE 139.26 138.78 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 156.04 154.70 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.80 0.78 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.17 1.17 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.12 1.11 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 100.00 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 1,000.00 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,827.80 1,817.40 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 13.66 12.99 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 1.33 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 1.80 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 11,176.01 10,842.83 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE • OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


56

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

NEWS Troops deployed in schools to stop Boko Haram attack Continued from page 4

those responsible to be brought to justice and for communities to demand that schools be considered as places of safety. “Since June 16th, it is reported that a total of 48 students and seven teachers have been killed in four attacks in the region.” Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa, Lucy Freeman, said: “The Nigerian government must act to prevent attacks on schools to protect children’s lives and their right to edu-

cation. “The protection of children’s lives is paramount, and the Nigerian government has a duty to ensure that the country’s educational sector is not further threatened by the killing and intimidation of students and teachers and the destruction of school buildings.” “It is not yet known who is responsible for the attack although the group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for several attacks on schools in the past. “Such attacks violate the right to life and undermine

the right to education for thousands of children in northern Nigeria. They must stop immediately,” said Lucy Freeman. “The Nigerian authorities must investigate these attacks and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.” “According to information received by Amnesty International, dozens of children who fled to the bush after Saturday’s attack are still unaccounted for. “Since January 2013, around 30 schools have been reportedly burnt, damaged or de-

stroyed by suspected Boko Haram members in the neighbouring state of Borno alone.” “The attacks have ranged from killing teachers in full view of school children to destroying school buildings. Many schools have reportedly been forced to close as a result of the attacks.” “The Nigerian government is obliged under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to which Nigeria is a state party to “take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools”.

2015: Enugu PDP zones governorship to Nsukka

I

F political developments in Enugu State are anything to go, Governor Sullivan Chime is having its way on which of the three senatorial districts produces his successor in 2015. The Caucus of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State affirmed its earlier position that the 2015 governorship seat should be zoned to Enugu North Senatorial District, otherwise known as Nsukka cultural zone. The affirmation ended aspirations of groups from Enugu West Senatorial District, the political constituency of Governor Sullivan Chime. Recently, the governor and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu disagreed on which district takes the next shot at the Government House.

From Chris Oji, Enugu

It (party decision) was taken in the presence of the Chime and Ekweremadu – two major dramatis personae in the zoning row. The unanimous endorsement followed a motion to zone the position to Enugu North Senatorial District which was moved by former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Chief Dubem Onyia, Onyia hinged his recommendation on the “inherent agreement we have in Enugu State in view of our historical antecedents.” Senator Ben-Collins Ndu seconded the motion. There was no dissenting voice when it was put to voice vote by the chairman of the party, Vita Abba. The decision attracted a loud ovation from members at the Governor’s Lodge, venue of

yesterday’s caucus meeting. Chime called for sacrifice and understanding, especially from most of the elected representatives, saying “we have to respect agreements based on zoning in order to make transition easier and smoother.” In his remark before the endorsement was put to vote, Senator Ekweremadu said he has no problem with the governorship position being zoned to Nsukka zone. “If we want it (zoning it to Enugu North Senatorial zone), let us discuss it (because) I’m all for it,” the senator said. Former governor and exchair of the ruling party Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, commended Chime’s leadership style and wide consultation prior to elections. He said: “Some of us initial-

ly did not understand the governor’s style but he was convinced and pushed it through. “What has been said by the governor (need to respect agreements) is true because it has saved us from unnecessary rancour and bickering. “I want to congratulate the caucus on the decision (zoning the governorship to Nsukka) taken today.” At the meeting were: all National Assembly members from the state (except Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was bereaved), former deputy governor, Ezenwata Okechukwu Itanyi, Ambassador Fidel Ayogu, Ambassador Justina Eze, Speaker of the House of Assembly Eugene Odoh and other principal officers, PDP Board of Trustees member, Mrs. Sally Egbogu and former federal lawmakers among others.

Nigeria gets $1.1b Chinese loan Continued from page 4

make sure that we understand the laws of this country and we try to educate Nigerians to understand the laws of the host country and if they go foul of the law we try as much as possible to see that they are being humanely treated. But we certainly have big issue with drug related crimes committed by Nigerians in China and when you look at the whole of Africa you find out that about 80 per cent of all the offences and crimes committed by Africans in China about 80 per cent is committed by Nigerians. That is why I think we are having running battle

to try and control the situation but we need assistance from back home; from the security agencies manning our exits and entry points in Nigeria to be more alert and vigilant to make sure these type of individuals do not escape and pass through our routes to come into, not only to China but any other country in the world because drug trafficking, as it were, drug is the biggest problem that we have as far as Nigerians are concerned. “Right now, we have over 400 Nigerians in various jails in China and 80 per cent of them are there for drug related offences so you can see what we have”.

Nigerian wins Caine Prize for African writing

N

IGERIA’S Tope Folarin has won the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, The award is described as Africa’s leading literary award, for his short story entitled ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109. The Chair of Judges, Gus Casely-Hayford, announced Tope Folarin as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner last night at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. ‘Miracle’ is a story set in Texas in an evangelical Nigerian church where the congregation has gathered to witness the healing powers of a blind pastor-prophet. Religion and the gullibility of those caught in the deceit that sometimes comes with faith rise to the surface as a young boy volunteers to be healed and begins to believe in miracles. Gus Casely-Hayford praised the story, saying: “Tope Folarin’s ‘Miracle’ is another superb Caine Prize winner – a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling”. Tope Folarin is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies and Callaloo, and he serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Tope was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Master’s degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives and works in Washington, DC.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

57

NEWS

Don’t rename varsity after Saraki, say ACN, CPC, others

Herdsmen kill two, raze settlements in Nasarawa •Police: we’re not aware of incident From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

T

•Govt: Kwara ought to be named after him “The ‘leader’ had no dominant idea on governance like Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe; had no sagacity of Sir Ahmadu Bello; had no privilege of heading a government like Tafawa Balewa and S. L. Akintola and had no courage like M.K.O. Abiola.” –– ARG

“Some people claim that pressures here and there are necessitating the move. That should not be the reasons why a university should be named after an individual, especially a university that is funded from public purse. I know of a fact that the institution is not only fundedbythestategovernment butalsoallthe16localcouncils.” –– ACN

“He was one of those who spearheaded the name of Kwara State. The commissioner was so kind by saying we can name the state after Saraki. We can name everybody after Saraki. I am proud to call myself Saraki. Let me tell you if there is politics in heaven, we are going to queue behind him.” –– Kwara Govt

S

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

and at that time a governor was suspended much to the detriment of this state. “I am of the view, that the Kwara State University, apart from what it will connote to the outside world, should not be named after Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki.” CPC chairman Alhaji Suleiman Buhair said: “If an institution like KWASU is flippantly renamed, with a simple wave of the hand, a new administration, especially one under a different political ideology and orientation will not hesitate to ponder to the dictate of the masses on the name change. “Lest we forget, the resentment generated by the change of name of UNIFE has not died down. Several people are still angry over it. Professor Wole Soyinka has not hidden his anger. He said the name would be reverted one day. Those are verifiable precedents for the Kwara State House of Assembly, which could guide it in arriving a just, moral and saner conclusion. “It shows that the renaming of universities after individuals is not absolute but susceptible to change as government also changes. Would it not be a monumental embarrassment to the memory of the dead and the Sarakis should this name change be reversed by a different government in the nearest future? “A name-change clearly violates the University Autonomy Act (2007). Autonomy characterises university system worldwide – it is freedom from external interference in and politicisation of, the nation’s universities. It is the right to self-governance. “We at the CPC are of a strong conviction that immortalising Dr. Saraki is best served by ensuring his legacy is not forgotten and merely naming places after him only ensures that people remember the name and not the man.” Earlier, the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Mohammed Lade, while justifying the proposed, said: “If it is possible to rename Kwara State as Olusola Saraki state, I think the late Baba Saraki deserves it. All of us sitting here today and those of us not here, Baba has contributed one way or the other to what we are today. He actually encouraged education in the state, apart from what he was doing individual persons. “That person is no longer alive and we feel we should rename the Kwara State University after him. We also received a proposal the KWASU Governing Council on the need to immortalise Baba. We don’t have any other thing to give the late politician than to name the university after him.” The Moggaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Saliu Mohammed, said those opposed to the change, were proposed oblivious of the

HOULD the four-year-old Kwara State University (KWASU) be renamed Olusola Saraki University (OSU)? Yes, says the government , which is proposing the change; no, says the opposition. The parties appeared yesterday at a public hearing by the House of Assembly in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on the matter. The Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) and Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) opposed the move, but the government defended its plan. ARG Vice Chairman in the state Baba Bako urged the House not to be stampeded by the executive to pass the bill into law. He said: “Should there be the need to rename that institution after a notable Kwaran, an examination of the roles of past leaders of this state is necessary. This will allow for actual valuation of the contributions of such leaders to the political evolution, and socio-economic development of this state. “There had been several leaders from what we now call Kwara State before Saraki. They played some key roles to establish and sustain what we now call Kwara state. Perhaps, because we have mostly lost our sense of history, that explains why their roles in the creation of the state have been relegated and not even streets are named after many of them. Such leaders are Alhaji AGF AbdulRazaq, Chief M. A. O. Olarnewaju, Chief J. S. Olawoyin and Alhaji Suleiman Maito. “In 1967, Kwara State was formally created by Gen Yakubu Gowon and the first military governor was the then Major later Brig-Gen David Bamigboye. As the first governor of the state, he established structures that were improved upon by those who came after him. Such leaders definitely merit greater honour than the late Abubakar Olusola Saraki. “Truly, the late Waziri was elected a senator and a senate leader from 1979-1983, what landmark development did his leadership at the Senate bring to the state for that period? We should remember that, that was an era of political intrigues that literarily paralysed all forms of developments in the state. For the better part of his political career, the late Waziri was a godfather in Kwara politics. God used him to make governors and there was none of these governors, including his son, that he did not fight “During that time of such egoistic bitter political struggles with Governors Atta, Adebayo, Sha’aba, Lawal and Bukola the development of the state became stunted. These should not be a character that should be honoured with an edifice like a university.

“The ‘leader’ had no dominant idea on governance like Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe; had no sagacity of Sir Ahmadu Bello; had no privilege of heading a government like Tafawa Balewa and S.L Akintola and had no courage like MKO Abiola.” Otunba Iyiola Akogun for the ACN said the government lacked the moral and ideological rights to honour the late Saraki with KWASU He said: “I am of the view that a university of this nature should not be named after Olusola Saraki and if it should be named after it should not be by the present administration. Let people that can be objective about the type of politician this man was come on board and name the university after him; if we all believe that he did well when he was alive. Let us not create anything that will devalue his name after another set of people take over the reins of power. “Some people claim that pressures here and there are necessitating the move. That should not be the reasons why a university should be named after an individual, especially a university that is funded from public purse. I know of a fact that the institution is not only funded by the state government but also all the 16 local councils. “There have been so many people in this state that have done so many things that are yet to be recognised. I would advise the state government to look into history and dig out people that have done one thing or the other for the state; collate names and bring such for necessary recognition and honour. Why single out an individual? “Another thing is that somebody says the university was created by his son, Bukola. His son didn’t create university from his own purse, he created it with public fund and the government doesn’t have the power to just name any university. It is true that many universities in this country have been named after some individuals, but then they were done with military fiat. That is why it has been impossible for President Goodluck Jonathan to rename University of Lagos after Moshood Kashimawo Abiola. “If Ahmadu Bello University was created, Ahmadu Bello himself was larger than life and he, in fact, created the that university. Since the inception of the civilian rule in 1999 can you see any tertiary institution in this country named after an individual? So we would be laying bad precedent in Kwara State. “If you say that the late Olusola Saraki produced governors in the state, people can also say that much as he created governors he fought governors. He created crises among governors

•The late Saraki

“A name-change clearly violates the University Autonomy Act (2007). Autonomy characterises university system worldwide – it is freedom from external interference in and politicisation of, the nation’s universities. It is the right to self-governance. –– CPC late Saraki’s achievements. “I heard somebody was saying he is objecting to the renaming of KWASU after Saraki because the university was established with public funds. We’ve got precedent that several universities and colleges in this country established with public funds of were named after individuals because of their exceptional contributions to the development of this country. “Dr Saraki was a reliable, true and patriotic Nigerian. A friend of the weak and oppressed that produced many governors in the state without taking any kobo from them; he was great in life and death. “He was one of those who spearheaded the name of Kwara State. The commissioner was so kind by saying we can name the state after Saraki. We can name everybody after Saraki. I am proud to call myself Saraki. Let me tell you if there is politics in heaven, we are going to queue behind him.”

WO people have allegedly been killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in an attack on Jengeru village, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. Police spokesman Cornelius Ocholi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), however, denied knowledge of the incident. He said the police only heard about a crisis in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. The police spokesman wondered how the Benue attacks could affect Awe Local Government. But a source, who spoke in confidence, told The Nation on phone that the crisis was between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv residents in the area. The source said the attacks had been recurring over the years. The crisis, it was learnt, followed disputes on the areas for animal graze. It reportedly began on Saturday and lasted till yesterday. Some settlements in the area, our reporter said, have been razed as he crisis raged on. Scores of the residents have become homeless. The Personal Assistant to the Commissioner for Community and Rural Development, whose name was given as Godwin Mbatsav, was said to have died in the attack.

Ramadan: North’s governors urge Muslims to pray for Nigeria From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

T

HE Northern States’ Governors’ Forum (NGSF) has urged Muslims to use the holy month of Ramadan to pray to Almighty Allah for a quick resolution of the security challenges confronting the country. NGSF Chairman and Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu spoke yesterday in Minna, the state capital, in a Ramadan message by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Danladi Ndayebo. Aliyu advised Muslims to conduct themselves well during the holy month to enable gain maximum spiritual and physical benefits from their fasting. The governor listed good intention, prayers and firmness of purpose in the pursuit of good deeds as the conditions for reaping maximum benefits in the holy month. The statement reminded Muslims that Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. It urged the faithful to accord it the necessary attention by being proactive in decisions and actions that will ensure their full participation in the fast.


THE NATION TUESDAY JULY 9, 2013

58

NEWS Kidnappers abduct Israeli •Soldier killed

Why PDP scored zero in Osemoto

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

A

N Israeli attached to Setraco Construction Company has been kidnapped, the police said yesterday. Tony Youses, is an official of Setraco and not Reynold Construction Company as earlier speculated. Youses was abducted at Aduwawa on the Benin-Auchi express road. Police spokesman Moses Eguaveon said a soldier was killed by the kidnappers. He said another soldier was injured in the attack. Moses said policemen are combing boundary areas to apprehend the kidnappers. “The police are on top of the situation and we are combing everywhere. Covert intelligence is on to arrest the perpetrators. We are asking everybody to assist us with information.” A police source said the attack took place while it was raining and that the soldier was standing close to the Israeli when he was shot. The source said the kidnappers operated in a Toyota Camry. An earlier report said two officials of the Reynolds Construction Company were abducted by suspected kidnappers at Aduwawa and added that three soldiers were reportedly killed by the kidnappers.

‘Remove Rivers police chief’

A

GROUP, under the aegis of Vanguard for Greater Rivers State (VAGRIS), has called for the redeployment of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu. In a communiqué after a meeting, VAGRIS urged the Inspector-General of Police, M.D Abubakar, to redeploy Mbu for peace to reign in the state. It reads: “We, members of the Lagos and Southwest zone of VAGRIS, a non governmental group of Rivers State indigenes, have observed the situation of things in the state. “We have also observed that Mbu, rather than engage himself in the pursuit of security and peace in the

state, has entered into a war of words with Governor Rotimi Amechi. “Mbu should adhere to his brief rather than stray into the murky waters of politics. Since he is no longer working with the governor, we humbly plead for his immediate redeployment by Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. “We appeal to the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro, to ensure that peace and unity reign by reposting Mbu. “This will engender peace, unity and progress and stop the spate of insecurity, return of militants, kidnapping, robbery, senseless killings and breakdown of law and order in the state.”

Again, Sylva seeks court’s permission to travel abroad From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

F

ORMER Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva has again asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to be allowed permission to travel abroad. His new application is coming about a month after the court refused an earlier application he filed seeking to be allowed to accompany his wife on a medical trip outside the country. In the new application, Sylva is praying the court to release his international passport deposited as part of his bail conditions. He also wants to be allowed to travel on ground of ill health. His application stalled proceedings yesterday before Justice Adamu Bello. The court had, while dismissing his last application on May 30 adjourned to yesterday for the commencement of trial. Sylva is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for alleged money laundering related offences.

Nigeria not Egypt, says Kalu

•Kalu

F

ORMER Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu has said Nigeria and Egypt does not share the same political history. Kalu said: “We are quite different. Egyptians are used to wars and military rule. Nigerians are not. We only fought a Civil War. For the North Africans, they have seen invasions and battles.” He said because deposed President Mohammed Morsi

withdrew a suit against journalists and imposed a state of emergency in three cities, before the military struck some Nigerians are drawing a comparism. “That I can understand. However, from 1952 when the Society of Free Officers toppled King Farouk, all Egyptian leaders until Morsi were of military background.” Gen. Mohammed Najuib, Col.Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat were part of the revolution. Hosni Mubarak, a fighter pilot, also headed the Air Force. It is not the same in Nigeria,” Kalu pointed out. “Nigeria has seen 14 years of civil rule since 1999, and our soldiers do not really have the Mamluk mentality. The Nigerian military also love democracy.”

•There was no election in Osemoto, says party ORE facts have emerged on why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored zero in one of the wards with the highest number of registered voters in the Imo Assembly rerun election for Oguta Constituency. Osemoto autonomous community has 2,225 registered voters and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Walter Uzonwanne, got 1,367 votes while the PDP candidate, Eugene Dibiagwu, scored zero. Giving details of the relationship between the PDP and Osemoto community, an indigene and the Managing Director of State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), Henry Okafor, said there has been a history of animosity between the community and the PDP. He noted that the problem started in 2002 when thugs invaded the community and burn houses, killing the town union leader. The suspect arrested was

M

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

“released” by a PDP leader in Oguta and made a councillor. “When this happened we protested to former Governor Ikedi Ohakim but our plea was not heeded. Thereafter, the PDP structure was handed over to a prominent chieftain and he formed the PDP executive for Osemoto without including any member of the community. This further drew the ire of the indigenes, who again reported to the PDP leadership to no avail. “After this, the community joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and in 2011 we worked for Rochas Okorocha of APGA and the PDP got zero in all the elections in Osemoto.” He added: “During the rerun, we continued with our protest vote against the PDP and voted for APGA and the PDP chieftains knew that they will not get a single vote in Osemoto and they fought frantically to disrupt the election but we ignored their distractions and deliv-

ered the APGA candidate.” Okafor said they were angry with the party for the neglect they suffered under successive PDP administrations in the state. He said: “Despite the fact that Osemoto has the largest oil deposit in the state, there is no single government project in the community until Okoroha became governor. “Today, I am the first political appointee from the community and the people are feeling the government’s impact and they showed their appreciation during the election by voting for APGA. We now have projects in the community which was not thought possible before. “My question is why is the PDP is crying foul? In 2011, they got zero in all the elections and during the rerun we mobilised and it was a protest vote for all the ills we suffered under the PDP. “Another annoying fact was that five days to the election, the PDP legal adviser, C.C Akaolisa, went on air to

•Okafor

taunt the community by calling it a mere farm settlement and this angered the people and pitched them against the party. “If election holds 100 times in Osemoto, the PDP will score zero. In the community it is almost a taboo to talk about the PDP.” But the member representing Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta Federal Constituency, Gerald Irona, insisted that election did not hold in Osemoto. He said: “Osemoto’s result was written by APGA members and they allotted zero votes to PDP. How can that be, does it mean that the PDP does not have even a single member in the entire ward?”

•Book Presenter and Ekiti StateGovernor Kayode Fayemi (left); Managing Director, Standard OCC and husband of the author Designed for Marriage, Korede Adenowo and his wife/author, Olajumoke, during the launch of the book, in Lagos... at the weekend.

PDP crisis: Court of Appeal fixes Oyinlola’s suit for Sept 23

T

HE Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division has adjourned hearing in a suit filed by sacked National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, challenging his removal from office. The hearing will now come up on September 23, almost a month after the PDP’s proposed Mini-National Convention. The national convention has been postponed to August 20. Although the PDP has listed Oyinlola’s seat as one of the offices to be contested for at the Mini-National Convention, it could not be immediately ascertained what the party’s attitude will be to the

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

ongoing court matter. Oyinlola had written to the chairman of the party’s special national convention to draw his attention to the pendency of the suit before the Court of Appeal. He said it would be contemptuous of the PDP to attempt to fill the position of the national secretary in view of the fact that the matter is before the law court of competent jurisdiction. He also said it would amount to breach of the rule of law and the principles of fair play and natural justice

if any step is taken by the PDP to fill the position of national secretary at the party’s national convention slated to hold next month. One of the legal representatives at the court said: “The matter which came up for hearing at the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial. Division today (yesterday) was adjourned till September 23 when the courts are expected to resume from their annual recess. “This is when the legal battle will begin. The significant thing is that the decision of the court will have effect on the outcome of the Mini-National Convention. “This is why Oyinlola is

trying to call on the PDP to stay action on election of a new National Secretary because it will be subjudice to this matter.” In the suit, Prince Oyinlola is seeking the declaration of the Court of Appeal that he was validly elected as the PDP national secretary at the national convention of the party which held in Abuja on March 24, last year. The Plaintiff is also asking the Court of Appeal to set aside the January 11, 2013 ruling of Hon. Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja which nullified his election on account of a declaration that Oyinlola emerged as the candidate of the South-west PDP at its zonal convention of March 21, 2012.

Why I’m running for governor, by Ngige

F

ORMER Anambra State Governor Chris Ngige has said he is running for governor again to uplift the people and give them a sense of belonging. Ngige represents Anambra Central Senatorial District. Addressing members of his constituency, Idemili

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

North and South, at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Nkpor, Ngige said he is concerned about the welfare of the people and development of the state. The leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the new All

Progressives Congress (APC) in the Southeast said: “There is no big deal about being a governor again, I have been one before. My only urge in public office is service; I seek to touch your lives in a positive way so that you will smile again. “By the end of this month, we will formally launch the

APC Southeast zone in Awka, and we believe that it is the party that will make a difference here. APC will form the next government in Anambra.” Ngige thanked the people for their support and gave them assorted gifts, including wrappers, blenders, food flask and cash.


59

THE NATION TUESDAY JULY 9, 2013

NEWS

Disabled persons protest in Delta

P

HYSICALLY-CHALLENGED persons yesterday disrupted traffic on the ever-busy BeninOnitsha Expressway in Delta State, following alleged unfulfilled promises by the Emmanuel Uduaghan-led administration. More than 200 persons barricaded both sides of the road singing war songs, causing a traffic snarl that stretched for kilometres. This forced many motorists to make a detour to the Ogwashi-Uku –Ughelli road and the Asaba-Okpanam road to reconnect to the Benin-Onitsha Expressway. The group’s leader, Obrutshe Isaac, vowed that his members would remain on the road to press home their demands, until the governor grants them audience. “The main reason why we are here is that we have been working hard to meet the

•’We won’t leave until we see governor’ From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

governor but we have not been able to. Several issues affecting us have not been addressed. “The issues are free medical health care for persons with disabilities; a bill to establish a commission for persons with disabilities in the House of Assembly is unaddressed; we have the issue of SURE-P in which we were excluded at both the state and local government level. “As I speak to you, it is only the chairman of Ndokwa East Local Government who has released N1.5 million to empower our people. The remaining 24 councils have done nothing as regards the SURE-P. “Also, the Ministry of

Health has not attended to applications from our members in the last two years and as a matter of fact we lost five of them last year. “There are some of them who have applied for medical attention but not granted. All efforts to meet with the Commissioner for Health have proved abortive. “In Lagos, issues of transportation for persons with disabilities have been addressed and they also have a scheme where persons with disabilities are employed. We also have members who are graduates. “Of course, we have confidence in the governor; no doubt he is a listening governor but the problem we have is that those who are representing us are not doing what they are supposed to do.

“What do you make out of an able-bodied person being a Special Adviser to the governor on physically-challenge matters? The rehabilitation department of the Ministry of Women Affairs where we fall is under the management of someone who is not physically-challenged. “We have persons with disabilities in the civil service, will it be out of place if one of them is in charge of that office. All efforts to see that the issues are addressed have proved abortive. Countless letters seeking a meeting with the governor have not yielded fruit. “The only thing that would make leave this place is when the governor comes here to address us. We are going to remain here, even if his tenure elapse.”

Tukur to Lamido:you must work for PDP presidential candidate From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

•Tukur

T

HE National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur yesterday declared that Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State would have no choice than to work for the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 election. Tukur was reacting to a report credited to Lamido in which the

Governor was quoted to have said that getting the party’s presidential ticket would not guarantee the reelection of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. Tukur spoke in Abuja. He warned the governor against utterances that could heat up the system, adding that nobody should distract the President from his job. Tukur reminded Lamido that accredited delegates would decide who gets the party’s ticket, stressing that the people will decide who becomes president through their votes. He cautioned Lamido

against overheating the system. The governor at the weekend said Jonathan would have to win the 2015 presidential election to make his second term ambition a reality, irrespective of the posturing by his supporters who were threatening other aspirants over his re-election. Tukur, who spoke through his Special Assistant, Media, Oliver Okpala, said: “It is wrong for anyone to start insinuating whether President Jonathan will emerge victorious as the presidential candidate of the PDP, “When the time for the presidential primaries is yet to come. As at today, the PDP is yet to conduct its presidential

primary, let alone someone emerging as the presidential candidate. “Governor Lamido, if he is a true party man should know that he has no alternative than to support whosoever emerge as the party’s presidential candidate. “The emergence of the PDP presidential candidate will be decided by the delegates to the presidential primaries, thereafter, the party’s presidential candidate will face the electorate to decide who becomes the president. Not until that is done, PDP as a political party will be working to ensure that the- would be presidential candidate wins the presidential election.”

US can’t ask for my extradition, says PDP chief

A

CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Prince Buruji Kashamu, has said the government of the United States cannot ask for his extradition because he has not committed any offence against it. In a statement yesterday by his Media Adviser, Mr. Austin Oniyokor, he said: “The case referred to in the report was a case of mistaken identity in a drug-related offence which happened over 10 years ago and for which Prince Kashamu had been

discharged and acquitted by the British and American courts. “Following his activities in the political terrain, he got information that his opponents were pressuring the Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF) to re-open the case and use his office to cause his extradition. He then went to the Federal High Court where he filed a suit to challenge such a move in view of the fact that the British and American courts had exonerated him. “Based on the infallible evi-

dence before it, the Federal High Court held that the AGF could not order his extradition because he had been exculpated by the British and American courts. This was the judgment that the AGF appealed against. However, instead of looking at the merits of the case, the appellate court relied on technicalities to set aside the injunction against the AGF. It said it was not enough to rely on information from a source to file an action in court and that the source should have been made to come to court to give evidence and be cross-exam-

ined,” the statement read in part. Oniyokor said: “The British court, as per Lord Justice Pill and Mr. Justice Bell of the High Court of Justice, Queen Bench Division, has said he did not commit any crime. Also, the American Court, as per Lord Tim Workman, in the Row Street Magistrates’ Court, has said he is not a fugitive from justice. So, how can the US Government justifiably request for the extradition of a man who had been discharged and acquitted of the same allegations?’’

Edo, NUT meeting in deadlock

A

STAKEHOLDERS’ meeting between striking members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Government of Edo State convened by Civil Society Organisations yesterday ended in a stalemate. Primary schools have been closed since June 1 when the NUT ordered its members to embark on an indefinite strike, following partial implementation of the 27.5 per cent Teachers Special Allowance (TSA). The government has been paying 17 per cent to teachers and recently approved the full payment of 27.5 per

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

cent to secondary school teachers for not participating in the strike. It invoked the no-work-nopay rule on the striking teachers and said the teachers must return to classes before negotiations can begin. It was a rowdy session at the meeting held at Urhokpota Hall in Benin City as government officials and NUT representatives tried to explain their stand on the strike. Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice David Ugolor said the meeting was convened to enable

teachers know the real issues behind the strike. Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Lucky James and Commissioner for Basic Education Patrick Aguinede urged the teachers to call off the strike for negotiations to continue. James said the government would respond positively within two days, if the teachers suspend the strike. He said: “This is a simple matter. Nobody has said he will not pay. You were not told the truth. We have to look at the financial implications of what the payment will cost the local councils. “Some local councils can-

not pay their statutory staff after paying teachers’ salaries. There are other issues that should bother us and not allowance.” Aguinede told the teachers that their leaders refused to show up for several meetings called for the negotiation. First Vice Chairman of NUT John Aiyobahan said the issues were not about negotiation but implementation. He said government shunned them on the scheduled day for meeting. Ugolor said the civil society groups would meet separately with the NUT and the government.

New Obong of Calabar emerges •Kingmakers select Otu

T

HE Etuboms’ Conclave, kingmakers of the Palace of the Obong of Calabar, yesterday proclaimed Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu as successor to the throne. This followed last week’s Court of Appeal judgment, which nullified the process that brought Otu to the throne in 2008. The court ordered that another process of selecting the monarch be conducted in a manner that all qualified candidates would be allowed to participate in compliance with the rules of natural justice. A statement from the conclave by its chairman, Etubom Micah Archibong and Secretary Etubom Okon Etim Okon Asuquo, said they had unanimously re-selected Otu. It reads: “Following the July 4 Court of Appeal judgment, ordering the Etuboms’ Conclave to conduct another process of selecting the Obong of Calabar, the council complied with that order by taking necessary steps leading to the selection of the Obong of Calabar. “After the demise of Edidem (Prof) Nta Elijah Henshaw VI, it was the turn of the Atai Iboku group of Houses. As provided for under the constitution of Etuboms’ Council (2002), the PUBLIC NOTICE ELODINMUO I, formerly known and addressed as Miss Nneoma Onyinke Elodinmuo , now wish to be addressed and known as Mrs. Nneoma Onyinye Ojemade . All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

qualified Etuboms who fall under this group were directed to produce and present their nominees to the Etuboms’ Conclave on July 8. “The most senior Etubom of Atai Iboku group, Lawrence Edet Asido, presented their unanimously selected nominee for the throne of the Obong of Calabar in the person of Etubom Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu of Adiabo Ikot Mbo Otu House. “Having been satisfied with the candidate’s qualification and eligibility, and no dissent among the kingmakers, the Etuboms’ Conclave declared him the successor and hereby convey his proclamation as the successor to the throne of Obong of Calabar on July 8.” PUBLIC NOTICE ALFRED I, formerly known and addressed as Alfred Florence Ufuoma , now wish to be addressed and known as Alfred Omiye Florence Ufuoma . All former documents remain valid. General public please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE ON STREET NAMING I, Akeem Bolaji Kassim, wish to inform the general public that I have applied to Isolo Local Council Development Area, that the street situated off DE-FIRE NANKA Street, Green Field Estate, Ago Palace Way, Okota Isolo, be named as AKEEM KASSIM Street, in my favour. This is for the information of Isolo L.C.D.A and the general public.

PUBLIC NOTICE CHRIST ALTAR APOSTOLIC MINISTRIES A.K.A: ACHIEVER’S MISSION INT’L The above named church has applied to the corporate affairs commission for registration under part C of the Companies and Allied Matter Act 2004. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES ARE 1. Philip Omotayo Ajibola (Apstl) 2. Mrs. Morenike Ajibola (PAST) 3. Michael Abiodun Olaniran (PAST) 4. Stephen Taiwo Ogundipe (PAST) 5. Kayode Wemimo Ojesola (ELDR) 6. Faleye Olaposi Olayemi (Bro) 7. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES A. To propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ in the world B. To preach Jesus Christ as light to those in spiritual darkness. C. To preach freedom through Christ to the Captives and the oppressed Any objection to the registration of the above named church should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate affairs Commission, Abuja within 28days of this publication. SIGNED: THE TRUSTEES


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

60

FOREIGN NEWS

E

GYPTIAN soldiers and police clashed with Islamists protesting the military’s ouster of the president in bloodshed that left at least 51 protesters and three members of the security forces dead, officials and witnesses said, and plunged the divided country deeper into crisis with calls by the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party for all-out rebellion against the army. The carnage outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo - where toppled President Mohammed Morsi was first held last week marked the single biggest death toll since massive protests forced Morsi’s government from power and brought in an interim civilian administration. Even before all the bodies were counted, there were conflicting accounts on how the violence began. Morsi’s backers said the troops attacked their encampment without provocation just after dawn prayers. The military said it came under a heavy assault first by gunmen who killed an army officer and two policemen. More than 400 were wounded in the mayhem. The violence is almost certain to draw sharper battle lines between Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, who say the military has carried out a coup against democracy, and their opponents, who claim Morsi squandered his 2012 election

Five children, two others killed 54 dead as soldiers, in Mexican violence protesters clash in Egypt F IVE children are among seven people found dead with gunshot wounds in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The bodies were found in a field in the town of Coyuca de Benitez, which is close to the resort of Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific coast, according to local police chief Honorio Salinas. Some of the victims had been shot in the head. The state has been beset by drug-related violence, and vigilante groups have formed

I •Supporters of deposed President Morsi wave their national flag at a rally in support of the former Islamist leader outside Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque ... yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

victory and was wrecking democracy by bolstering his and the Brotherhood’s grip on the state. Egypt’s top Muslim cleric warned of “civil war” and said he was going into seclusion as a show of protest to both sides until the violence ends.

Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb, head of Al-Azhar Mosque, said he had “no choice” but to seclude himself at home “until everyone shoulders his responsibility to stop the bloodshed instead of dragging the country into civil war.” Soon after the attack, the

Al-Nour party, an ultraconservative Islamist party that had been talking to the new government about participating in the political process, announced it was withdrawing its support for the transition plan in response to the “massacre.”

Snowden affair: Bolivia summons envoys over jet OLIVIA has summoned the ambassadors of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy to explain why their countries blocked President Evo Morales’ jet last week. Mr Morales was flying home from Moscow when his plane was forced to reroute to Vienna, amid rumours that US fugitive Edward Snowden was on board. Mr Snowden was not on the flight, and is still believed to be in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The European countries have variously denied closing their airspace.

B

But Spanish officials admitted that they had been told Mr Snowden was on board the plane. Several Latin American countries have condemned the incident and accused the US of influencing its European allies. The US wants Mr Snowden extradited on charges of leaking secrets he gathered while working as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), America’s electronic spying agency.

in response. The “self-defence groups” accuse the authorities of failing to provide security for ordinary citizens in the region. Violence fuelled by the drugs trade is thought to have killed around 70,000 people in Mexico since 2006. President Enrique Pena Nieto has made the fight against organised crime one of his main priorities. He has announced the creation of a new federal police force to help drive down murder rates.

Colombia deports Calabrian mafia chief Pannunzi

TALIAN police have arrested mafia boss Roberto Pannunzi after he was deported back to Italy from Colombia. He was detained in a shopping centre in Bogota on Friday in an joint operation carried out by the Colombian authorities and US anti-drug officials. Pannunzi is alleged to be responsible for importing up to two tonnes of cocaine into Europe every month. He is the alleged leader of the ‘Ndrangheta crime network based in the southern Italian region of Calabria. The Italian was detained on Friday with the help of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Colombian defence ministry said in a statement.

Mandela’s grandson Mandla rejects bid to sack him as chief

N

ELSON Mandela’s grandson Mandla has said he will resist moves to expel him as chief of the anti-apartheid icon’s clan. King Buleyekhaya Dalindyebo said on Saturday that he planned to “eject” Mandla as a traditional chief. Last week, Mandla lost a court case brought by rival family members over the burial site of Mr Mandela, 94, and three of his children. Mr Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, is critically ill. He has been in hospital for the last four weeks with a recurrent lung condition.

The family has been involved in a long-running battle for control of his legacy, but it escalated as his health deteriorated. Mr Mandela is revered across the world for his role in the fight against white minority rule in South Africa. He was jailed for 27 years, before being freed in 1990 and elected president in 1994. Mandla, 39, is the chief of the Traditional Council in Mvezo, where his grandfather was born. He was appointed to the post in 2007 with the backing of Mr Mandela, who saw him as his traditional heir.

Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers

H

ello Uche, I have observed how you help people and I feel that maybe you can help me too. I am a cheater and I cannot resist women. I am married to a beautiful woman and she is generous in bed. But this has not stopped me from cheating on her. I try and sometimes I succeed in controlling myself. But sometimes, I get week and succumb to temptation. My wife knows about this and is threatening a divorce. I need your help – Stanley Dear Stanley, rarely do I come across men who admit to cheating and want to change. So it is good that you are making an effort. Let me begin by saying that the desire to cheat is hard wired into a man’s system, and this includes women too. But men cheat more often because they have higher levels of testosterone in their bodies. So the average person struggles with this same temptation but what separates habitual cheaters from others is that habitual cheaters have very little self-control. Some blame it on a lack of a strong spiritual foundation but I have seen many religious men struggle with this same problem as well. Of course religion can help because cheating is a moral issue but I think you need more than that. You need to approach this problem from every angle. I recommend speaking to a guidance counsellor who can put you on a recovery programme designed to reshape your behaviour towards women and enable you have greater control over your natural impulses. There is no magic formula for combatting this. Cheating is a problem you will have to deal with on a day to day basis because habitual cheating is a form of addiction. Addiction is a long term battle that is never completely won because there is always temptation around the corner – Uche My wife and I went on a marriage retreat to revitalise our romance and we ended up watching an adult movie together which we really enjoyed, surprisingly. My wife has never showed interest in adult films. Anyway, we will like more of such films especially the old school ones where the women had big hair and shoulder pads. We also like xxx parodies of TV shows. Thanks – JT

Dear JT, if you like retro films, you will enjoy Nympho Brat, Sex After Seven and Savannah’s Love Letters. For the XXX parodies, there is Super Man XXX, Judge Joe Brown and Incredible Hulk XXX – Uche I have started using Exploding Thunder Supplement. It helps me perform well and my penis is stronger for penetration. But I still don’t last long. I need something for quick ejaculation – Isiaka For premature ejaculation, try Shane Diesel’s Stay Strong Prolong Cream. It is new and it is good too – Uche I need a cheap but good G Spot vibrator. I read that G spot vibrators give the best orgasms – Magret Yes G Spot vibrators give squirting orgasms because they are effective in massaging the internal spongy tissue known as the G spot. Get the Erotic Stud Vibrator or the Stormy Delight G Spot Rabbit vibrator. Bes sure to get the Spot on G Spot Arousal Gel as well for faster results – Uche I will like to order Max Width Enlargement Cream. Does it give erections too? Chidi Chidi Max Width is an instant penis thickener. It gives lid arousal but if you really want a strong erection, combine your Max Width enlargement cream with Exploding Thunder or Xzen 1200 supplement. These two are specifically for hard erections and performance – Uche I am interested in body adornments for kinky play – Susan For kinky play we have Furry Hand Cuffs, Festiva Exotic Masks, Doggie Hood and Leash, Doggie Style Harness, Strap- Ons and Japanese Silk Ropes - Uche That’s it for today. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 07086754515 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

61

NATION SPORT

Murray: I can now play without pressure A

NDY Murray has revealed the messages of congratulations from Sir Alex Ferguson, David Beckham and beyond - following his majestic maiden Wimbledon triumph. The British No 1 ended a 77-year wait for a male winner from this country when he defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets amid euphoric scenes on Centre Court. After a whirlwind day of interviews, Murray celebrated with his team on Monday night before heading off on holiday for a few days. Murray only slept for around an hour, claiming he was scared of going to sleep in case it all turned out to be a dream. Last year the Scot dreamt he had won Wimbledon after losing to Roger Federer, the crushing disappointment hitting him again when he realised it was not true. Instead, Murray caught up on messages from friends, with Ferguson and Beckham among those to have sent their congratulations. Former Manchester United manager Ferguson was in Murray's player box for his US Open triumph and watched from the Royal Box when the world No 2 fought back from two sets down in the quarter-finals against Fernando Verdasco here. Murray chatted with Ferguson for 15 minutes afterwards and described advice from someone who has won so much as 'gold dust'. Ferguson was unable to be at Wimbledon on Sunday because he is on holiday, and Murray said: 'I got a message from him yesterday and this morning. 'He's going on a cruise up the coast of Scotland so he wasn't able to come. He said to me that he always wanted to do that. Ten days he said it takes and he'd never done it in his life because he never took 10 days off from his work. 'It's an unbelievable work ethic for such a long period of time. Spending 15 minutes with him, he's a really impressive guy and you can learn a lot from him.' Beckham was also unable to attend the final, although his wife Victoria sat in the Royal Box. 'I messaged him back and forth over the past 10 days or so,' said Murray. 'He was getting back from Singapore and he called me this morning when I was on the way here just to say well done,

•Andy Murray parades the Wimbledon trophy in front of the statue of Fred Perry, the last British men's champion way back in 1936

congrats and enjoy it.' The 26-year-old took an open-top bus through his home town of Dunblane after last year's Olympic and US Open triumphs, and is hoping to go back to Scotland soon. He said: 'I do want to go back, I'm not sure exactly when that will happen. I haven't had much time to think or coordinate things. I want to go away on holiday and try to get rest because the last few weeks have been pretty stressful for me.' And in his first interviews since lifting the trophy, Murray said he can now approach future Grand Slams without the incredible pressure that has pursued him throughout his career. Speaking on BBC One's Breakfast programme, he said: 'I can hopefully now play without such pressure and expectation for the rest of my career. 'It's been hard these last few years and all the pressure makes playing Wimbledon hard and stressful. Dealing with the pressure has been hard at times.' When asked about the small changes to his preparations since the disappointment of losing last year's final to Roger Federer,

Murray added: 'I think it's a willingness to keep improving. I had a lot of hard losses, especially at the beginning of my career, but I've always tried to learn from these and work hard. 'I've also surrounded myself with the right people. There were changes to the coaching set-up, Ivan Lendl has helped me a lot over the last 18 months or so. 'Yesterday was a good example of how I've changed

and how I've evolved on the court. When I was younger, I used to get angry and it would affect my game.' Describing the torturous deciding game, in which he gave away three championship points and then saved three break points, he said: 'I wasn't actually thinking. I was just concentrating on where I would hit the serve on my first point. 'Very rarely would you lose your serve from 40-0 up

'I can hopefully now play without such pressure and expectation for the rest of my career. It's been hard these last few years and all the pressure makes playing Wimbledon hard and stressful. Dealing with the pressure has been hard at times.'

and a few points later I was facing break point. Some of the points were unbelievable. Those points were really mentally challenging.' Murray added in a subsequent interview on BBC Radio Four's Today programme: 'We're kind of programmed to hit tennis balls - that's the easy part. It's being able to concentrate your thoughts, not thinking too much about the occasion. 'That's part of being mentally strong and the experience of years playing matches. You learn to deal with it a bit better. 'The two or three weeks after Wimbledon last year were important. The final last year was a turning point, as was winning the US Open. 'It [Wimbledon] was the hardest loss of my career and I responded really well and I hadn't done that before. It could have been the maturing process, or those years of emotion building up in me. As soon as I got back on the practice court after that final, I felt really good with my game.' He added: 'I've always really enjoyed the training, going to the gym and getting myself in better shape.' In the wave of relief and

euphoria after winning the decisive game, Murray initially forgot to hug his mum Judy as he climbed into the stands to celebrate with his team. But Murray claimed it wasn't his fault: 'My mum wasn't sitting in the players' box. I didn't know where everyone was sitting so I said "Hi" to everyone in the box. 'And then I heard a couple of people shouting, "You've forgotten your mum!" Meanwhile, Willie Murray admitted after watching his son Andy win Wimbledon that he never imagined the 'little gangly boy from Dunblane' would grow up to be a champion. The Scot's family and friends have lived through the highs and lows with him and had to watch 12 months ago as he sobbed through his on-court interview after losing against Federer. It was very different on Sunday, with Murray's parents, girlfriend Kim Sears, coaching team and friends able to celebrate with him as followed in Pat Cash's footsteps and climbed up to the player box. Murray said it would take a while to sink in, and dad Willie agreed. 'He's made history,' he said. 'From a little gangly boy from Dunblane, it's just ridiculous. 'You saw him a few years ago, he had nothing on his bones but he's worked very hard and that's what he's achieved. It's just incredible. I'm absolutely delighted.' 'But now, in a flurry of booming serves and fullstretch forehand winners, Andy Murray has given them the privilege of moving on.'

•Murray


62

THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013

63

SPORT EXTRA

Eneramo agrees two-year Besiktas deal N IGERIA striker Michael Eneramo has agreed to join Besiktas on a two-year deal MTNFootball.com can report exclusively. Eneramo, who is currently

•Eneramo

holidaying in Nigeria and is a free agent following the expiration of his contract at another Turkish side Sivasspor, told MTNFootball.com that he and Besiktas have finalised on a deal for him to play for the Turkish giants. "I have agreed to play for Besiktas. We finalised yesterday (Sunday) and I have agreed a two-year deal with them. I will be going back to Turkey this week to put pen on paper and do my medical," Eneramo told MTNFootball.com On why he decided on Besiktas, Eneramo said the achievement and the quality of the team decide it for him. "Besiktas are a traditional team in Turkey. They are a strong and big team in Europe as well and they

play in Europe every season,” Eneramo told MTNFootball.com “I want to be up there and that was why I decided to join them. I am really happy about the deal. I want to win the league, Cup and even rule Europe, to let my country’s national team selectors know that I am still up there and relevant." He also said he aims to surpass Daniel Amokachi's record at the club. "As soon as I entered Turkey, I was told about what Amokachi did with Besiktas, that he was the best then. Now that I have joined the team, I have to double my efforts to surpass what ‘The Bull’ has done while he was at Besiktas. As a striker, I want to score as many goals as I can," he declared.

TOP 50 BASKETBALL CAMP

‘1500 youths have benefited’

M

ASAI UJIRI, an exinternational basketball player, yesterday said that a total of 1500 youths had benefited from his Top 50 Basketball camp in the academy’s 10-year history. Ujiri told the News Agency of

Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that his ultimate was to see young talents grow in the game, with a sound academic background. Ujiri, who is the current General Manager of Toronto Raptors, a U.S.-based Basketball Club, said the talents discovered would be

Ujah returns to Cologne

T

HROUGH a statement on its official website, 2 Bundesliga side Cologne has announced the acquisition of Nigeria international Anthony Ujah, who arrives from top division Mainz. The 22 - year - old forward has inked a four - year deal with the Billy Goats and will now join the rest of his teammates at a training camp in Windischgarsten, Austria. In his first statement after

the transfer was completed, Ujah told Cologne's official website: ''I wanted to stay in Cologne. Here I feel well and I thank both clubs that they have allowed me to remain at FC Cologne. ''I look forward to the team, the new coach and the new season in which we can repay our fans with their incredible support.'' Ujah spent last season on loan at Cologne and netted 13 goals in 28 matches.

•Ujah

utilised to their fullest potentials. ``We have a target and it is to train players and discover those that can make it in basketball overseas and also attend colleges. We are happy about our achievements so far in the last ten years and we are confident that the future of basketball in Nigeria is very bright. We understand the passion to play in the NBA in the U.S., but it doesn’t come easy, however. But we endeavour to make college a priority through scholarships,’’ Ujiri said. NAN reports that the Top 50/ Big Man camp is organised in conjunction with Nestle Milo Nig. Plc and a total of 50 young players are currently at the National Stadium Lagos for the programme. On the country’s chances at the forthcoming 2013 Afro basket Championship slated for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Ujiri commended the level of preparations and charged coach Ayo Bakare to win the championship. ``We have quality players scattered abroad and looking at the achievements of the 2012 summer Olympics basketball team, we can achieve if we can get these players together and prepare early. Winning the championship title is of great importance to the country and I will do anything in my capacity to render support,’’ Ujiri added.

DSTV/PREMIER BASKETBALL LEAGUE

Dodan Warriors overwhelm Comets

P

ETER AHMEDU, coach of Dodan Warriors Basketball Club of Lagos yesterday said that his team would approach its remaining matches in the ongoing DStv/Premier Basketball league campaign with utmost caution. Dodan Warriors pulled a double victory over Comets Basketball Club of Lagos 8334 and 82-51 on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Ahmedu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that such an approach was needed to guard against complacency in subsequent encounters. Dodan Warriors currently top the Atlantic Conference standings with 38 points, with 16 wins and six loses, with six

•Islanders seal double matches to go. "We have to take one game at a time; that is how we can achieve at the end. It is important we keep our focus until the end," Ahmedu said. His opposite number, coach Charles Osho of Comets, said that his team needed to work harder; they are currently 6th on the log. Comets have recorded eight wins out of the twenty-two matches played so far in the current season. "We just have to sit tight as there is no room for laziness; however, we know playing Dodan Warriors would be a tough one for us. "We must record at least

three wins out of our last six matches to remain in the conference for the next season," Osho said. In the other match played on Sunday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, Lagos Islanders overwhelmed Customs of Lagos 82-51. Islanders recorded a narrow 46-45 victory over Customs on Friday in their first match, to latch onto the third position with 35 points. Coach Lateef Erinfolami of Islanders told NAN that the victory over Customs was vital, considering the team's quest to make the final four of the Atlantic Conference.


TODAY IN THE NATION

‘Have we parted with the so-called “odious” debts in 2005/6 only to re-learn the habits that we once assumed had been shed?’

TUESDAY, JULY 9, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL. 8

NO.2,541

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

E

NCORE un moment, monsieur le bourreau.

OLATUNJI DARE

Just a moment, executioner; just a small moment. Madame du Barry, at the guillotine, 1793 Nigerians woke up two weeks ago to learn that four death-row prisoners in Benin City, who were convicted some 15 years ago but had not exhausted the appeal process, had been hanged The foursome had been convicted 15 years ago, and had not yet exhausted the appeal process The executions drew for the most part strong condemnation at home and abroad, and rekindled the on-again, off-again national debate on the propriety of capital punishment. They also raised searching questions about the ideological orientation of Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. It was troubling enough that this stalwart of the progressive community had signed off on the grisly proceedings in respect of two of the convicts ;it was unseemly, his colleaguesnow-turned critics charged, that he defended his action so vigorously in the face of the outrage it generated. The condemned prisoners had committed crimes of the foulest kind; they had subjected their innocent victims to unspeakable brutality and then killed them in the most horrid manner conceivable. They had been tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death by courts of competent jurisdiction that afforded them at every stage the due process of law they had so wantonly and callously denied their victims.And what is more, the authorities said, the executions were carried out in accordance with the laws of Nigeria. In short, they fully deserved what they got. It would be unfeeling to dismiss this line of reasoning out of hand. Lives had been taken, careers and prospects and relationships had been savagely abridged. These heinous crimes, it would seem to follow, should be visited with appropriate retribution. But that is at bottom the Mosaic law of an eye for an eye. To achieve the grisly equivalence enjoined by that code, the state would have to do to torturers and murderers and rapists precisely what they did to their victims. In practice, no state does that. So, retributive justice cannot be a goal of the modern state, which is enjoined by municipal and international statutes to act humanely and eschew cruel laws. Nor does it help matters to insist that an act is justified or even proper just because it is sanctioned by law. That is the doctrine of rule by law, the doctrine the apartheid authorities in South Africa, and before them, Nazi Germany, invoked to justify their barbarous rule. It has little in common with the rule of law, which is premised on just laws justly administered. It is the contention of this column that capital punishment is inherently unjust; that it is inequitable, and that it serves no useful pur-

RIPPLES BISHOP RAPES TEENAGER, ABORTS PREGNANCY –News

..if DEVIL is to blame for the PREGNANCY, who takes the BLAME for the ABORTION?

AT HOME ABROAD olatunji.dare@thenationonlineng.net

Again, capital punishment

•Oshiomhole

pose Most homicides do not result from cold, brutal calculation. They result, criminologists say, from confusion, anger, stress and panic — in short, from a loss of capacity for rational judgment. The death penalty merely compounds the tragedy that flows from such lapses of judgment, to which even the most sober persons are susceptible. Even those murders planned to the most chilling detail and carried out with the utmost deliberation, psychiatrists maintain, result basically from an abnormal condition that may be biological or environmental or both. So that, when society executes a capital offender, it is at once condemning the offender for conduct that may have been biologically determined, and absolving itself of any responsibility in creating or sustaining the environmental forces that shaped the offender Capital punishment is not the blunt instrument of justice it is claimed to be. It is stacked against the poor and minorities and members of the underclass who, lacking the resources to hire competent attorneys and fo-

rensic experts, are more likely than betterendowed persons to be convicted. To the poor and disconnected, “equality before the law” is a myth. The support for capital punishment rests principally on the claim that it serves as a deterrent. Knowing that they stand to pay with their own lives if found guilty of murder, only those possessed by a death wish would kill. Without such a deterrent, it is claimed, the homicide rate would escalate. If this claim holds true, the homicide rates in the major industrial countries that have abolished capital punishment should have risen sharply. So should the volume of capital crimes in those states that do not practise capital punishment, or employ it sparingly. But this has not been the case. To take an American example, the homicide rate in Pennsylvania has remained roughly 6 in 100,000, despite the fact that Pennsylvania has carried out no execution since 1976. On the other hand, from 1977 to 1995, the homicide rate in Texas has stood at 13.3 per 100,000. Nor has the fervor with which Texas administered the death penalty under Gov. George W. Bush and his successor, Dick Perry, led to a significant decline in the homicide rate. The death penalty, then, is no deterrent. It deters only those who have been executed, for they will never kill again. But the same end can be secured with far less damage to the social psyche by keeping convicted killers in jail for life, without the possibility of parole. Perhaps the strongest argument against capital punishment is its finality. Once carried out, it cannot be reversed even if it turns out, as happens not infrequently, that the executed person was innocent, or that guilt was not established beyond a reasonable doubt. About a decade ago, it came to light that 13 of 18 persons on death row in Illinois had been convicted wrongly. This moved the state’s authorities to place a moratorium on

HARDBALL

W

OW, our own IBB (General Ibrahim Babangida, rtd) has done it again. The fellow we love to love and hate with equal passion has just given us one fat dollop of matter to chew again. Last Sunday, he granted what we mischievously call a full-dressed interview in the industry to the Sunday Tribune. The chit-chat lived up to its top billing running into five long pages. It also lived up to the quintessential IBB-speak. It was all wind, and a lot more wind with little sense or sensibility. Hardball took time and tallied up 55 questions thrown at the dangerously genial gaptoothed general and he gobbled them all up giving nothing in return. The only answer that made any sense whatsoever is to the question: “… people are wondering why you have refused to remarry?” In answering even this question he went on his usual trips and de-tours before returning to the matter thus: “If I will remarry, I will go to the Southwest. I will go to Lagos and get a Lagos girl. I was in Lagos for 18 years. I know much about the girls and women.” Jeez, did you hear that? This general has been to the East, he has been to the North and he has been to the South but Southwest is the best and he is not shy to say it, indeed he wishes to take the woman of his evening from there. Well in case dear Lagos Girl, you missed the interview,

SANYA ONI

executions. That moratorium remains in place to this day. No less instructive is the conclusion of a massive study of capital convictions and appeals in the United States between 1975 and 1995, conducted by James Liebman, of Columbia University Law School. The study covered 5,500 judicial decisions. In 68 percent of 4,576 cases they reviewed, the appellate courts found “serious, reversible error.” This means that roughly 7 of every 10 convictions did not pass close judicial scrutiny. “American capital sentences,” Liebman concluded, “are so persistently and systematically fraught with error that it seriously undermines their reliability.” Liebman’s study and the discoveries in Illinois that some innocent persons had been languishing on death row ought to move advocates of the death penalty to recognise, at the very least, that even the most scrupulous judicial proceeding may be tainted by errors resulting perhaps not so much from the perversity of officials as from human fallibility. The possibility that capital punishment may be administered in error — that possibility alone, however remote — ought to weigh decisively on the minds of supporters of capital punishment. Those who kill must be held to account. Life imprisonment, without the possibility of parole, sufficiently serves that purpose. When a society puts them to death by way of retribution, it sinks to their level of pathology instead of rising splendidly above it, as a growing number of countries have been doing. Of the 54 countries in Africa, 18 have abolished capital punishment, according to data supplied by the United Nations, among them South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Gabon, and, in Nigeria’s neighbourhood, Togo, Senegal, Benin, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, and São Tomé and Principe. Among those countries that still have capital punishment on their statute books, none has carried out an execution for 10 years. It is a dent on Nigeria’s international image and its claim to continental leadership that it is not numbered among the countries that have abolished capital punishment outright or placed a moratorium on it. Capital punishment is inconsistent with the spirit of the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of the Nigerian constitution, and with the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, to which Nigeria is a signatory. It should have no place in the Constitution now under review. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Ahoy! Lagos girl, IBB wants you Hardball hereby gives you the tip of your life: you are wanted by the greatest general alive in Africa today, a coup-meister, the only African president in army fatigues; the great annuller who organised the best election ever in Africa and then went ahead and quashed it. The spirit who lives in a 50-room mansion on a hilltop (he had the opportunity to debunk this claim in this interview but he side-stepped the question). Such is the peculiar genius of this Nigerian statesman that he would field 55 questions yet would have said nothing to his compatriots. Not a word of particular wisdom or edification; not an incisive critique of extant policies to guide the people at the helm; not any insightful drawing from experience and hindsight to light up the path to the future. After wading through pages of rich equivocation and worthless verbiage, Hardball was of one mind to pronounce a no-interview ban on IBB. It was an exercise in shadow boxing of the wellpractised type. Once again he had the opportunity to shed light on the historic June 12, 1993 election he botched, but as he has done over a dozen times

in the past, he missed it. Here is a sampler. Asked if he has any regrets about annulling the election, he responds: “…As a military president, at that time, I organised the best, free election for the first time in this country. Nobody is asking me how I did it. Many are shouting that I should be crucified. You still complain. You complained in 1999; you complained in 2003; you complained in 2011. And you will complain in 2015. Mark my words. Nigerians accepted the June 12 election; the world accepted it.” Phew! If you understood that answer dear reader, you will understand astrophysics. Well, suffice it to say that this general still doesn’t get it, in which case we must move on and leave him to his woes. One cannot help but feel some pangs of pity for the aging general. Twenty years after June 12, IBB comes across like a man permanently fitted into a gabardine of lies that have become him. He doesn’t even know the difference anymore. Just say June 12 to him and he goes on a blabbering spree. IBB’s last act, hardball dares to suggest, would be to come to terms with June 12 and SPILL IT, lest he returns to his maker bearing a fat hunch on his back.

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. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14 Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: info@thenationonlineng.net ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO


The Nation July 09, 2013