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VOL. 7, NO. 2189 TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
N32b pension fraud trial: EFCC seizes 45 mansions THE SEIZED MANSIONS
Esai Dangabar - 15 •Block of three-bedroom flats at Gwarinpa (six units), along EFAB Estate, Life camp; •A block of three-bedroom flats (six units) at Mabushi District, beside Ministry of Works; •Estate of four-bedroom duplexes (16 units) behind Wuye Modern Market, Abuja; •A mini estate at 19, Ukpabi Asika Street, Asokoro, Abuja; •12 units of two-bedroom flats at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja; •Five-bedroom duplexes at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja; •Four-bedroom bungalows at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja; •Two-bedroom flat at Zone C, Apo Resettlement Layout. •Five blocks of one-bedroom flats at Zone C, Apo Resettlement Layout, Abuja; •Twin duplex of five-bedroom & three rooms, 33, ML Wushishi BQ 1 Crescent, Utako, Abuja; •Two blocks of three bedroom flats, Area 3, former NYSC Office, Abuja; •Two-bedroom, Area 2, Abuja, behind Shopping Complex , •Three-bedroom flats , 2 Goran village, along Adi Farms Ltd, Abuja-Keffi Road, 180,000 litres storage facility on a land of about 5,000sqm, with office building, workshop •20 loading bay 1 Suleja, Niger State.
•Another of the seized houses
Continued on page 2 •A seized water-making company
•One of the seized houses
Anti-graft agency gets court’s nod to freeze six suspects’ bank accounts
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has received an interim order from the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Lawal H. Gumi, to take possession of 45 assets of all the six persons who allegedly defrauded the Police Pension Office of N32.8 billion.
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
The order also covers the freezing of the accounts of the suspects. The six suspects are Esai Dangabar, a suspended Permanent Secretary, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira.
All the suspects were arraigned on March 29 on 16 criminal charges bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust before Justice Mohammed Talba of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory , Gudu, Abuja. According to a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Head of
Jonathan lists challenges as CJN takes oath of office
ately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.” The EFCC said the judge ordered Continued on page 2
Forensic experts probe death of nine family members
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged the judiciary to join the fight against corruption and terrorism. He also called for a speedy judicial process because “justice delayed is justice denied”. Dr. Jonathan spoke at the swearing in of Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, the 13th Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Justice Mukhtar, who was cleared by the Senate last week, Continued on page 2
Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujiaren, the EFCC had sought the leave of the court to seize the assets - in line with sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004. Section 28 reads: “Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immedi-
F •Justice Mukhtar...yesterday
ORENSIC experts, led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dr Wilson Akhiwu, have arrived in Imo State to strengthen the search for the cause of the deaths of nine members of a family. The family of nine, comprising the father,
mother, five children and two in-laws, died on July 8 after a funeral ceremony for their relation in Emekuku, Owerri. The experts, who were requested for by the state government, proceeded yesterday to Holy Rosary Hospital, Emekuku, where the remains of the deceased
were deposited to extract specimen for the test. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Obi Njoku, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the test would be in furtherance of the autopsy earlier conducted by the Federal Continued on page 60
•PROPERTYP13•SPORTS P23 •ABUJA REVIEW P25 •POLITICSP43 •ENERGY P47
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NEWS Jonathan lists challenges as CJN takes oath of office Continued from page 1
is also Nigeria’s first woman CJN. She took over from Justice Dahiru Musdapher on Friday. The President said: “Your lordship will preside over the judiciary at a time of profound changes that demand united response. We believe that judiciary can play a crucial role as we confront critical challenges. “We are dealing with security challenges occasioned by sporadic act of terrorism in some parts of the country. The three arms of government must work cooperatively to overcome this terrorist threat and act in the country. “The war against corruption is another endeavour that calls for concerted action by all arms of government. I am confident that the judiciary under your able leadership will rise up to the challenge and provide the most needed support for government to address these challenges. Our citizens complained of delayed trial particularly in cases of corruption, terrorism and other matters of serious concern. “These complaints have led to frequent calls for special courts or designation of special judges to handle them with the required experience and speed. It will be your prerogative to consider and decide on this call. But I am sure that the entire country is in agreement that justice delayed is justice denied. I believe that an independent judiciary remains the final hope of our citizen. The independence of our judiciary is critical to our development and survival. Every bold and positive step you take in our march to nationhood is important. “Your lordship should apply the in-
THE SEIZED MANSIONS Mrs. Veronica Onyegbula - 11 property: • four-bedroom duplex at No.3, Andorra Street, Sun City, Galadimawa, Abuja; • Building Housing Ulover International Resources Ltd, Kechis Bottling Company, Plot 140 - 142 Ehinmiri Housing Estate, Umuahia, Abia State; •Building (six-bedroom duplex), Housing Somadok, 14, Ola Adeshile Street, Ajao Estate, Oshodi-Isolo, Lagos; • large plot of land for International Primary & Secondary School, Ehinmiri Housing Estate, Phase 2, Umuahia, Abia State; •a mansion with a BQ at Umugbalu Village, Oboro, Ikwuano Local Government Area, Abia State. •two-storey building with shops and flats at No.l03, Ozuitem, Street, Enugu Road, Amuziukwu, Umuahia, Abia State; •One, two-storey building with shops and flats at No. l04, Ozuitem Street, Enugu Road, Amuziukwu, Umuahia, Abia State; •two-storey building of six flats at Ukaegbu Street, Aba, Abia State; •Student Hostels at Michael Okpara University of Agric, Umudike, Oboro, Ikwuano Local Government Area, Abia State; •three bedroom duplex at No.1, Tola Adewumi Street, Off. Folarin Hospital, Maryland ; •three-bedroom duplex at No.2, Tola Adewumi Street , Off Folarin Hospital, Maryland.
strument of your hallowed office to ensure timely justice delivery to make manifestly claim that substantive justice will never be sacrificed on the altar of procedural technicality. Impunity must have no place in progressive Nigeria.” The President also assured the CJN of the government’s cooperation in the discharge of her duties. He praised the immediate past CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher for his effort within the short period he stayed in office. Jonathan said: “I will like to place on record our immense gratitude to the immediate past CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher. Despite his short tenure, he made spirited efforts to restore public confidence in our courts. We wish Justice Musdapher a well deserved retirement and hoe that he will avail his wealth of experience in the continued service of our nation, especially as he is now a member of Council of State.” Describing Justice Mukhtar as a woman of destiny, he said she owes her rise to her brilliance, resilience and hard work. The President said: “Today, we are witness to history with the swearing in of Justice Aloma Murkta as the first female CJN. I join millions of our country men, female and youths in congratulating the Nigerian judiciary and your lordship as we record this important milestone in the annals of our nation’s judicial history. Although this administration has remained focused in projecting women, the learned CJN achieved this outstanding feat on acContinued on page 60
PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN
N32b pension fraud probe: EFCC seizes 45 mansions Continued from page 1
the freezing of the bank accounts of all the accused persons, pending the hearing and final determination of the corruption case against them. The EFCC gave the breakdown of the assets as follows: Dangabar(15), Mrs. Onyegbula(11), Wada(six) Kigo(five), Yusuf(four) and Zira(four). The statement said: “According to the order, all the bank accounts currently being operated and maintained by Inuwa Wada at Keystone and Zenith Bank, all totalling 11 in number, are hereby temporarily frozen until the determination of the charge Number FCT/Cr/64/2012. “Similarly, all the bank accounts presently being operated and maintained by Esai Dangabar, Atiku A. Kigo and Veronica Onyegbula in the following banks: EcoBank, FCMB, Access Bank, Skye Bank, Fortis Micro Finance Bank, Aso Savings, GTB, Mainstreet Bank and Wema Bank are hereby temporarily frozen pending the hearing and determi-
nation of all the said criminal charge No. FCT/64/2012 presently pending before this court,” the Judge is quoted as ruled. “The 15 property belonging to Esai are: Block of three bedroom flats at Gwarinpa (six units), along EFAB Estate, Life camp; a Block of three-bedroom flats (six units) at Mabushi District, beside Ministry of Works; Estate of fourbedroom duplexes (16 units) behind Wuye Modern Market, Abuja; a mini estate at 19, Ukpabi Asika Street, Asokoro, Abuja; 12 units of two-bedroom flats at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja; five-bedroom duplexes at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja; four-bedroom bungalows at 1, Waziri Ibrahim Crescent, Gudu District, Abuja; two-bedroom flat at Zone C, Apo Resettlement Layout. Others are: five blocks of one-bedroom flats at Zone C, Apo Resettlement Layout, Abuja; twin duplex of five-bedroom & three rooms, 33, ML Wushishi BQ 1 Crescent, Utako, Abuja; two blocks of three bedroom flats, Area 3, former NYSC Office,
Abuja; two-bedroom, Area 2, Abuja, behind Shopping Complex , three-bedroom flats , 2 Goran village, along Adi Farms Ltd, Abuja-Keffi Road, 180,000 litres storage facility on a land of about 5,000sqm, with office building, workshop and 20 loading bay 1 Suleja, Niger State. “The 11 property belonging to Mrs. Onyegbula are: four-bedroom duplex at No.3, Andorra Street, Sun City, Galadimawa, Abuja; Building Housing Ulover International Resources Ltd, Kechis Bottling Company, Plot 140 - 142 Ehinmiri Housing Estate, Umuahia, Abia State; Building (six-bedroom duplex), Housing Somadok, 14, Ola Adeshile Street, Ajao Estate, Oshodi-Isolo, Lagos; large plot of land for International Primary & Secondary School, Ehinmiri Housing Estate, Phase 2, Umuahia, Abia State; a mansion with a BQ at Umugbalu Village, Oboro, Ikwuano Local Government Area, Abia State. Others are: two-storey building with shops and flats at No.l03, Ozuitem, Street, Enugu Road, Amuziukwu, Umuahia, Abia
Belgore panel recommends scrapping of First Lady’s office
HE office of the First Lady will be scrapped, should the government accept the recommendation of the Presidential Committee on the Review of outstanding issues from the recent Constitutional Conference. Although the office of the First Lady is not recognised by the Constitution, wives of the President and governors enjoy public acknowledgemen and some perks. The committee also recommend the removal of the Code of Conduct from the 1999 Constitution, a development
Continued on page 60
Abubakar Kigo - Five •A three-bedroom bungalow at 18 Uruguay Street, Panasonic Estate, Wuse 2; •Four-bedroom duplex at Gudu New layout, Abuja; •Four-bedroom duplex at 35, Lake Chad Crescent, Maitama, Abuja; •A 4 bedroom duplex at FHA, Gwarinpa new Extension beside COCIN Church •An International Secondary and Primary School (under construction) at Kuje, Abuja. Habila Zira - Four •Concept College London, Gwarinpa, Close to Ecobank, Abuja; •Block of flats at FCDA Quarters, Phase II, Block J, Flat 1 & 2 Garki, Abuja ; •Hotel (aka Habila Hasike’s Hotel) beside Yasekule Primary School, on the same street with Michika Local Government Secretariat, Adamawa State; •A House at No.36, Malamre Wark, Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa State. Yakubu Yusuf - Four •Hotel (under construction, finishing level) behind Gombe State Investment Property Company Housing Estate, Gombe State; •Three-bedroom semi-detached bungalow at UU1, A&B, Sunny Homes, Dakwo District, Abuja ; •Three-bedroom semi-detached bungalow at U20, A&B, Sunny Homes, Dakwo District, Abuja .”
Three die, as soldiers raze Port Harcourt’s Elechi Beach waterfront
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
which may make declaration of assets discretionary under the law. These recommendations are some of the highlights in the report of the Panel. It was headed by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Alfa Belgore. The report reads in part: “The Committee noted, the response from the State House on the Office of the First Lady and recommends that since the office does not operate under any legal framework, that the operation and fund-
State; One, two-storey building with shops and flats at No. l04, Ozuitem Street, Enugu Road, Amuziukwu, Umuahia, Abia State; two-storey building of six flats at Ukaegbu Street, Aba, Abia State; Student Hostels at Michael Okpara University of Agric, Umudike, Oboro, Ikwuano Local Government Area, Abia State; three bedroom duplex at No.1, Tola Adewumi Street, Off. Folarin Hospital, Maryland ; three-bedroom duplex at No.2, Tola Adewumi Street , Off Folarin Hospital, Maryland. “The six property belonging to Wada are: four-bedroom duplex at Block B4, Finance Quarters, Wuye, Abuja; house at Gwale, Kano; house at Filling Mushe, Gwale Local Government Area, Kano; duplex at Saudauna Crescent, Nassarawa Kano; duplex at Dorayi Karshen Waya, behind Old BUK, Kano; house at Unguwa Uku, Kano. “The five property belonging to Kigo are a three-bedroom bungalow at 18 Uruguay Street, Panasonic Estate, Wuse 2; four-bed-
Inuwa Wada - Six •Four-bedroom duplex at Block B4, Finance Quarters, Wuye, Abuja; •House at Gwale, Kano; •House at Filling Mushe, Gwale Local Government Area, Kano; •Duplex at Saudauna Crescent, Nassarawa Kano; •Duplex at Dorayi Karshen Waya, behind Old BUK, Kano; •House at Unguwa Uku, Kano.
S •Justice Belgore
ing (both in kind and cash) of such offices at all levels of government should be discouraged and abolished forthwith. “The Committee recomContinued on page 60
OLDIERS chasing illegal bunkerers yesterday sacked the Elechi Beach Waterfront, Mile One, Diobu, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. The dawn operation led to the death of three persons - an elderly woman and two girls. Over 300 residents were reportedly arrested by the soldiers. Many others were injured. Valuables worth millions of naira were lost to the fire that accompanied the action. A reporter with a private ra-
From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
dio station in Port Harcourt, Rhythm FM, Alhaji Bamidele Murtala, was attacked by a mob, protesting fire fighters delayed arrival at the scene. He was mistaken for a Rivers state government official. It was gathered that when the fire fighters eventually arrived, it was difficult to get to the scene because the road was not motorable. People were fighting the fire with buckets of water. They did not succeed in putting it out as the fire was
still raging in the afternoon. Spokesman of 2nd Brigade, Nigerian Army, Bori Camp, Port Harcourt, Captain Sunny Samuel, said the operation took place at the site of illegal bunkering of petroleum products. Capt. Samuel said the Elechi Beach waterfront was “raided” by soldiers, based on information, stressing that some of the residents ran away. He alleged that those complaining were some of the illegal bunkerers. Continued on page 60
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NEWS OSHIOMHOLE’S VICTORY
‘I’ ve no • Jonathan has restored voters’ power, says Oshiomhole
E •Senate President David Mark flanked by Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal (left) and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, at an International Conference on Law Reform and the law making process in Abuja ...yesterday
•From right : Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, Deputy Governor Ignatius Longjang and State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Haruna Dabinat the stakeholders meeting on security in Jos ...yesterday
DO State Governor Adams Oshiomole has explained why he condemned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during last Saturday’s election. Oshiomhole said there was nothing to regret about his harsh words on the Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, for the lapses in the election. The governor was the cynosure of all eyes at the Presidential Villa yesterday. He came in just as the swearing in of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Maryam Aloma Mukhtar, ended. Oshiomhole was hailed by the dignitaries present. Senators, members of the House of Representatives and ministers took turns to hug him. The governor, who spoke to State House reporters, said the election confirmed that when the President and Commander-in-Chief puts the country first and conducts himself as a statesman, credible elections are possible. He said he petitioned the electoral body two months ago on plans by his opponent to disenfranchise eligible voters in connivance with some INEC officials. “You see, in my part of the world the fact that you get home safely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t inves-
From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
tigate an accident. “I informed INEC in a petition about two months ago that my opponents were carrying out some shady deals. “My opponents agreed that they are going to work with some INEC officials to delay supply of materials. “When you supply materials late, two things will happen, the wouldbe voter’s patience will run out and he would leave. “Number two, when you then extend voting time in a country where power supply is erratic, it becomes easy for election manipulators to change figures. “So these were what I told Prof Jega and we raised them in the various stakeholders’ meetings that we had with him. “Secondly, I wrote to him that there were plans to mutilate the voter’s register. “Last Saturday, materials arrived early in faraway places like my village. My village is about two hours drive from Benin. “Materials also arrived in Esan land early, this is about about one and half-hour drive from Benin. “Yet in Benin, materials arrived two, three, four hours after the commencement of accreditation at 8am.
Two bodies found •Govt to support families •One still missing •Survivor relives ordeal From Joseph Jibueze and Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
•Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (right), Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga (middle) and the Chief Executive Officer, Innoson Group, Innocent Chukwuma, during the minister's working visit to Awka...yesterday
•Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo talking to the Minister of State( Works) ,Bashir Yuguda , during the minister’s PHOTOS:NAN visit to the state
HE bodies of two police officers, who died in a boat accident during last Saturday’s governorship election, have been recovered, the police said yesterday. They are Inspector Isaac Aigbokhaeubo and Inspector Johnson Aghedo. The body of Constable Greg Odudukudu has not been found. Marine officers were searching for his remains. The dead officers were with the Ologbo Police Division in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area. A boat conveying them, an ad-hoc electoral officer and voting materials to riverine communities in Ologbo capsized in Ethiope River. Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar, represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Operations, Marvel Akpoyibo, visited the families yesterday. Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Kassim Gaidam, who represented Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof Attahiru Jega, accompanied him. The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 5, Benin, Hashimu Argungu, was also on the team. Odudukudu left behind a wife and a four-year old daughter. Aghedo was survived by a wife and four children – two boys and two girls. Akpoyibo assured their families that all their benefactors’ gratuities and other entitlements would be paid. He added that the police would assist with the funeral and training of the children. ”The dead officers were not necessarily marine police officers. We didn’t have enough marine police officers to cover all the riverine areas,” he said. He dispelled doubts that promises made to the families would not be fulfilled. “We have demonstrated that we don’t abandon our own. Arrangements are on to ensure that their benefits are given to their families. “If any such thing ever occurred, it was in the past. Let us be much more progressive in our reasoning and thinking,” Akpoyibo said. Gaidam said INEC has an insurance policy for anyone who die on duty. “The families of the officers would be duly paid,” he said. Both INEC and the police gave undisclosed amount of money to the families. Governor Adams Oshiomhole also promised to support the families.He said: “We'll support them because they died in active service.” A survivor, Osagie Eboigbe, described the accident as avoidable. He said: “INEC should have provided us with safety jackets. A bigger boat crossing from the opposite direction caused the accident. "Rescue operation did not begin until the captain of the bigger boat discharged his passengers. My brother, I thank God for sparing my life.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NEWS OSHIOMHOLE’S VICTORY
regrets attacking Jega’ ‘ Reports in many places show that materials did not even arrive.” The governor hailed President Goodluck Jonathan for providing the political leadership necessary for the growth of democracy. He said the oneman-one-vote mantra has restored power back to voters. He commended the President for the directive for deployment of security operatives. The governor called on Nigerians to appreciate and encourage the President to sustain this principle. “During the election, it was oneman-one-vote, if you want to do anything funny, people will shout oneman-one-vote. “For me, what the election has confirmed is that when the President puts the country first and conducts himself as a statesman not just as a party leader, credible elections are possible. “The President’s clear directive was that the votes must count. “He warned that there will be no rigging, no manipulation, no ballot snatching and orders were given to the army to ensure none of those things happen and the army carried out the order. “The Inspector-General of Police deployed more men than we needed and they carried out the President’s orders. “The SSS was fantastic because its officials were at the collating centres, where some of the manipulations can take place. “And the SSS did a fantastic job, two plus two was four not five not 15 and a lot of that made a lot of difference. “So we need to appreciate the Presi-
You see, in my own part of the world the fact that you get home safely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t investigate an accident. I informed INEC in a petition about two months ago that my opponents were carrying out some shady deals
dent and encourage him to sustain this principle of truly reminding all of us, who hold political office,
that we are at the mercy of the electorate not of the Presidency. “The President has demonstrated
true statesmanship. I think there is hope for Nigeria. “If nothing else that the people
More greetings for Oshiomhole M
ORE accolades have been pouring in for Edo State Gover Adams Oshiomhole on his reelection victory. Among those who greeted the governor are the Northern State’s Governors Forum (NSGF), Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Chief Tom Ikimi, Chief John Oyegun, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Osun State. The Forum said the governor’s victory was a victory for the North. It said: “Four years on, the Kaduna boy has not disappointed his people. “He has constructed roads, built schools and resuscitated the economy of Edo State. His re-election is therefore a reward for service.” The forum urged the governor to use the second term to consolidate on the good work he has started. Uduaghan urged him to see the outcome of the election as a testament of the will of the people. He praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a free and fair election devoid of violence, but urged the commission to look into some of the issues raised by voters. Osun ACN said: “This is a very significant victory for democracy because it shows that power is in the hands of the people. “It was a victory well deserved on the platform of excellent performance.” Ikimi said: “This is an election that is important to Edo, to Nigeria and indeed the international community.’’ Oyegun said: “I can confidently say the state is in safe hands. The election was peaceful, free and fair in the units.” Others who greeted the governor are Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, Abia State Governor Theodore Orji,
‘We thank you all’
HE Adams Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation has thanked voters and supporters of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for voting for Governor Adams Oshiomhole. In a statement by the Director, Media and Publicity, Kassim Afegbua, the organisation also thanked all the organisations and institutions, which worked towards the success of the election. “We wish to convey our appreciation to all for making this project a reality. It has been a tortuous and painstaking journey in our From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Adeyemi Ikuforiji, his Osun State counterpart, Najeem Salaam. Ikuforiji said: “Considering the way in which you have successfully transformed the state during your first term, your victory at the poll only goes to show that the people greatly appreciate you. “That you even won in all the wards is a testimony to the fact that you are indeed a great ambassador of our great party.” Lagos ACN said Oshiomhole sealed the fate of political godfathers, who take the people for granted while attending to their selfish ends. “It urged the governor to leave a greater landmark in Edo than he did in his first term. “We are glad that Oshiomhole has demystified the same forces of retrogression, who bankrupted Edo
collective bid to renew the mandate of our comrade governor. “It was a journey that exposed the very resilient nature of our people. It confirms our connection with the electorate. “We’re further buoyed by your sense of loyalty and steadfastness, which was uncommonly displayed to sustain the tempo in the election. “We remain grateful to the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for its support. “We thank the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for its show of solidarity in deepening the essential ingredients of democratic practice.”
before his coming.” Orji urged the governor to repose the confidence the people have in him. Please, do not disappoint the people.” Fayemi described the victory as a well deserved reward for purposeful leadership and service to the people. He hailed the electorate for being the courageous in taking a good electoral decision. “The people voted for Oshiomhole because of his record of good performance. “They shut their ears to sentiments and were prepared to defend their votes. “It also shows that given a level playing ground, the Nigerian electorate can use the opportunity of periodic election to determine the fate of their leaders.” Salaam said the resolve of the people was commendable. Oshiomhole’s victory, the Speaker said, laid to rest the era of political godfathers and federal might, paving
the way for collective will to prevail. “Any political office holder who cultivates habit of shortchanging his people should learn how to bear humiliation of rejection on the day of reckoning.” Ijaw leader Chief E.K Clark said: “I was not surprised when the results of the election were announced. Oshiomhole has demonstrated an unusual grace and service to the people. “Look at the dualisation of the Benin airport road,the resurfacing of impotant roads in Benin, including the Ring Road, and the rebuilding of the Central Hospital. “I also congratulate the Oba of Benin and the traditional chiefs for their consistency, prayers and support for Oshiomhole’s re-election. “The people of Edo have spoken to the shame of unreliable,unrealistic politicians, who parade themselves on the streets of Abuja pretending that they are in control at home.”
can choose who they want, that is the beginning of sustainable economic and social development.”
PDP alleges multiple voting From Osagie Otabor, Benin
THE Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State yesterday alleged that multiple voting and falsification of results characterised the election. It said members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), who served as ad-hoc officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), subverted the voting process. Its State Chairman, Dan Orbih, said the party had earlier opposed the use of Corps members for the election. Orbih said the non-provision of an authentic voter’s register disenfranchised many from voting in several polling units. He said INEC officials at polling units permitted the use of photocopied and cloned voter’s cards, which he alleged gave rise to multiple voting “The results show a pattern of figures being prearranged. There are infallible reasons to believe that figures had been allocated to the various voting units in the 18 local governments long before the election took place. “ Of the over 1.2 million registered voters, only a little over 600,000 were accredited.”
Kalu: end of tribal politics FORMER Abia State Governor Dr.Orji Uzor Kalu yesterday described the election as the end of tribal politics in Nigeria. Kalu praised Edo voters for voting according to their conscience, instead of succumbing to divisive ethnic politics mounted by party chieftains. He said: “Edo people have nailed the coffin of tribal politics,the era of ‘na we own person’ will now give way to performance.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
CITYBEATS NUPENG official convicted for theft
By Precious Igbonwelundu
N Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, yesterday convicted a unit secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Employees of Nigeria, (NUPENG), Mr. Oladele Oluwowo, 51, of stealing. The accused was charged by the Police with three counts of fraud, obtaining money under false pretence and stealing, from Mrs. Bunmi Idowu. But Oluwowo pleaded not guilty to all the charges. He was allegedly contracted to arrange the supply 33, 000 litres of diesel worth N2,871,000. The supplier, Mr. Rume Yemba, had in his statement alleged that Olowowo gave him a Local Purchasing Order (LPO) for the fuel at N87 per litre on October 28, last year. Yemba said the supplies were to be paid for, one week after the delivery of the diesel. "At the point of delivery, Oluwowo issued a dud cheque. We went to the filling station where the product was supplied and were paid N2,280,000, the people said Oluwowo had collected N607, 000. "Oluwowo secretly took the N607,000 and bolted. We were unable to locate him," he said. Presiding Magistrate F. Abegunde-Davies granted him N200,000 bail, when he pleaded not guilty at arraignment. Prosecuting Inspector Peter Nwagwu, told the court that the Investigating Police Officer, (IPO) Mr. Taiwo Adeyemo, confirmed the suspect promised to pay back the money after he was arrested. He said the defendant had only paid N30, 000. Oluwowo was said to have resurfaced after his wife was arrested. Abegunde-Davies found Oluwowo guilty on the count of felony and stealing, although she struck out the count of fraud.
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How policemen brutalised us, by victims T WO policemen attached to Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Adeniji Adele, Lagos, have been accused of attempting to kill a commercial motorcyclist (Okada) and his passenger. Corporal Audu Emmanuel and Corporal Hamzat allegedly knocked down Sulaiman Shigunlese, the passenger and also attacked Francis Michael, the rider, for trying to stop them from fleeing after the incident. Michael, who was beaten by the officers, also lost his motorcycle. He was detained for robbery at the FSARS. Shigunlese, who was knocked down by the policemen as he was alighting from the commercial motorcycle, was injured. It was gathered that Shigunlese's head shattered the windscreen of the police vehicle because of the impact of the crash. The men are appealing to Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar for justice. Reliving their ordeal, Shigunlese, a petty trader at Otto, Ebute-Meta, said: "On July 1, about 10.00am, I was coming from Coast Street, at EbuteMeta. I boarded a commercial motorcycle that was supposed to drop me at Otto Bus Stop. The okada man dropped me beside the BRT lane at Otto, but, as I was trying to cross the road towards the walkway, I saw a green coloured Golf car coming on top speed. I stopped and tried to retreat but the car knocked me down. I tried to lift myself up but I could not; my head hit the car's windscreen, and broke it, I was in great pains and blood was gushing out of my head but the driver of the Golf car did not stop." Michael, who witnessed the incident, and another person chased the hit and run vehicle and caught up with it at Ebute-Ero. But when they drew the motorist's attention to the incident, the two occupants, who identified themselves as policemen flew into a rage. They allegedly beat Michael and
‘They grabbed us and started beating us. We tried to tell them about the man they knocked down at Otto and that we only pursued them because they refused to stop, but our story got them more infuriated’ • Shigunlese By Jude Isiguzo
dragged him into their vehicle while accusing him of robbery. He was taken to Adeniji Adele, while his motorcycle was abandoned on the Ebute-Ero Bridge. When he went back to retrieve the motorcycle after his release, he found that it was missing., Michael said: "I am the okada man who dropped Shigunlese off at the Otto Bus stop that fateful day. When I saw that he had been knocked down by a vehicle, I carried a man on my motorcycle and we pursued the car, a green Golf. The driver was on top speed, but we caught up with the vehicle at Ebute-Ero and we blocked it. All of a sudden, two men came out of the vehicle with guns and they said they were policemen and
that we are armed robbers. "They grabbed us and started beating us. We tried to tell them about the man they knocked down at Otto and that we only pursued them because they refused to stop, but our story got them more infuriated. “They pushed us into their car and as they were taking us away, I kept shouting, 'what about my okada, what about my okada' but the policemen hit me with the buts of their guns and said the okada can remain on the road, as they have arrested us for robbery and taking us to the station. At FSARS we were tortured to confess to armed robbery, but we refused." The men were later released following a senior officer's intervention.
The policemen told Shigunlese to go and treat himself and never come near them again. They also warned Michael not to associate them with his missing motorcycle. "The policemen left the motorcycle on the road at Ebute-Ero after they arrested us, so after the beating and torture at FSARS, I was told to go and look for my motorcycle, but when I got there, the motorcycle was nowhere to be found. I am in big trouble because the motorcycle is not my own and the owner is putting pressure on me to return it ", Michael said. The victims are urging the IGP to order the Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS to fish out the policemen and charge them with attempted murder and also help them recover the motorcycle.
Furniture maker charged with robbery
•The petrol-laden jerry cans. Inset: AIG Tsafe
Police arrest suspected pipeline vandal
SUSPECTED pipeline vandal has been arrested by operatives of the antipipeline vandalism attached to Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos. Ramoni Mudashiru was arrested with 48 filled 50 litres of jerry cans of fuel stolen from vandalised Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines in FESTAC. Speaking with reporters yesterday, the Assistant InspectorGeneral of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 2, comprising Lagos and Ogun States, Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe, who paraded the suspect said: "on July 12, around 10:30pm, we received information that a gang
By Jude Isiguzo
of oil thieves were vandalising NNPC pipelines near the canals and water ways in FESTAC area of Lagos State. "Upon receiving this information, I dispatched the zonal AntiPipeline Vandalism Squad, led by Segun Fagbohun, a Superintendent of Police (SP), to the scene. However, on sighting the police team, the vandals made frantic effort to escape, but one of them, Mudashiru, was not lucky as he was arrested and forty-eight (48) kegs filled with 50 litres each of PMS siphoned from vandalised NNPC pipelines were recovered
at the scene. "Mudashiru confessed that one Fatai aka Apase is the leader of the gang". The AIG described vandalism and stealing of petroleum products as a serious economic sabotage that would not be condoned in his zone, warning criminals that engage in the act to look for more legal means of livelihood or risk going to jail. He said the suspect would be charged to court after investigation, adding that a man-hunt is on for those at large. Tsafe said the recovered PMS would be returned to NNPC. He warned criminals in Ogun and Lagos states to be ready for war.
A 28-YEAR-OLD furniture maker, Ayodeji Jegede was yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate's Court, for alleged house breaking and stealing of properties worth N5.48million. Jegede, of 5, Tobre Street, Iju Ishaga, a Lagos suburb, is facing a nine-count charge of conspiracy, house breaking and stealing. Police prosecutor Barth Nwaokeye alleged that Jegede and others now at large, burgled several houses on Alhaji Kofoworola Street, Ikeja, Lagos between December, last year and May,2012, stealing stole various valuables. He said the accused stole a Toyota Camry worth N900,000; laptop valued at N155,000; an Ipad tablet worth N110,000; seven assorted watches worth N300,000 all properties of one Ogundele Olawunmi. Nwaokeye added that Jegede on May 11 at 8p.m. broke into Olawunmi's house again, and stole his Nissan Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) valued at N2.5million. The prosecutor alleged that the accused also broke into the house of Mercy Agwu on May 14 and carted away valuables including jewellery worth N200,000. Other items allegedly stolen by the accused included a Blackberry curve valued N85,000; an Iphone valued N50,000; a Toyota Camry car valued at N1.2million and N30,000 cash. The charges read: "That you Ayodeji Jegede and others now at large on the 10th of December 2011 at about 04:00hrs at Koforowola Street, Ikeja in the Lagos Magisterial District conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit:
By Tunmininu Owolabi
stealing and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 409 of the criminal laws of Lagos State 2011. "That you Ayodeji Jegede and others now at large on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned Magistratrial District did steal a Toyota Camry Saloon car with registration number CW 339 APP valued at N900,000, property of one Ogundele Olawunmi 'M' and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011." "That you Ayodeji Jegede 'M' and others now at large on the 10th day at about 7:30hrs of May 2012 at Alhaji Koforowola Street, Ikeja in the Lagos Magisterial District conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: burglary and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 409 of the criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011." "That you Ayodeji Jegede 'M' and others now at large on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned Magisterial District broke into the dwelling house of one Ogundele Olawunmi and carted away one laptop valued One Hundred and fifty Five Thousand Naira (N155,000), Ipad valued N110,000, seven wrist watches valued N300,000. Total valued N565,000. Properties of Ogundele Olawunmi and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 305(c) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2011."
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
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Gawat: Women, youth seek broadcaster's whereabouts
HE whereabouts of popular broadcaster Alhaji Rasak Aremu Gawat remained a mystery yesterday, eight days after his disappearance. He disappeared last Tuesday on his way home from Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State. His vehicle, a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) was found on the Eko Bridge with its hazard lights on by some officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
By Tajudeen Adebanjo
Governor Babatunde Fashola has appealed for information on his whereabouts, promising a handsome reward for such information. Gawat's wife Fatimat has also appealed for information on how to find her husband. Yesterday, others joined in making such appeals. The Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and National Council of Muslim
Youths Organisation (NACOMYO), Lagos Chapter, pleaded for his release. A statement signed by FOMWAN General Secretary Mrs Rahmatallahi Olaniyan, expressed shock that Gawat had not been found eight days after his disappearance. She said: "We wish to make a passionate appeal to anyone who knows his whereabouts to please inform his family or the nearest Police Station. "We equally appeal to the
Lagos State Government and particularly Lagos State Commissioner of Police to expedite action to ensure his safe release." Addressing a press conference in Lagos, NACOMYO decried the police's inability to locate Gawat, since he was declared missing last Wednesday. NACOMYO State Coordinator Abdullahi Anifowose and publicity secretary Moshood AbdulWasi lamenting the insecurity in the land, asking
the government "to be more proactive and decisive on the issue." Describing Gawat as "a peace loving individual who has always espoused Islam without bitterness," the group appealed to whoever is holding him "to please release him for Allah's sake, in the peaceful spirit of the coming Ramadan and for humanity's sake." It also called for dialogue on whatever reasons "behind this hostage taking which is best known to the assailant."
• From left: Mr. Awobiyi, Managing Director Ashton & Layton Ltd, Mr. Gbenga X. Adebija, Mrs Osho and Mrs Odutola at the training... yesterday PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
Govt trains information officers
HE Lagos State Government has asked information managers in its Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to mentor young officers in order to improved service delivery. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mrs. Oluranti Odutola gave the charge yesterday while addressing participants at the ongoing workshop and training programme for information mangers. Mrs Odutola said the essence of training is to equip team leaders in their various departments to enable them pass on such experience to their subordinates. She noted that the Governor Babatunde Fashola administration is committed
By Miriam Ndikanwu
to training and retraining of staff to keep them abreast of new ideas and strategies to enhance service delivery to the people. "Training is never too much, learning is a continuous process and we do not stop learning until we die and we will have to learn new strategies and ideas and this training will help you learn from each other and then empower those who look up to you," Mrs Odutola said. She reminded the officers that their period in service would be remembered for their ability to ensure that their experience rubs off on their subordinates. "Your success is not on the material things you are able to accumulate while in
service, or the houses you were able to build, it is the number of lives you have touched, so that by the time you are leaving, there would be something to reckon with for your impact on humanity and your environment," she said. She urged them not only to criticise but to also see ways through which they can change the paradigm of work output for the better. In her welcome address, Director of Press and Public Relations, Mrs. Ronke Osho said the training would enable participants to enhance their performance and prepare them for the task ahead. Some of the facilitators for the training include Mr. Charles Codjia, Mr. Tunde Awobiyi, Mr. Biola Fagunwa, Mr. Dele Balogun and and Mrs Deola Olabisi.
Police arrest suspected kidnapper
LHAJI Ede Street, Igando - Ikotun Local C o u n c i l Development Area (LCDA), near Alimosho General Hospital Lagos, which shares a fence with the new National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) ground, used to be a peaceful haven, not anymore. In the past nine months, the street has become the operational base for criminals. But last Tuesday, one of the hoodlums who have been terrorising the area met his watertloo. The young man with dreadlock, who was accused of kidnapping a little boy, aged seven, was given the beaten of his life and handed over to men of the Igando Police Station.
By Adejo David
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Police Command Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (ASP), who confirmed the incident, said the alleged kidnaper who disguised as a lunatic was discovered to be a clean and healthy man after interrogation. Also found on him she said was Indian hemp and two women handbags. The PPRO said the alleged kidnapper revealed that he used to give the school children money and playing among them so can get them. "When our men asked the little boy, he denied collecting any money from the alleged kidnapper, but other school mate said he did
collected N20 from the man," she said, we are still investigating the matter, after which we will charge him to court, she concluded. Sources told The Nation that the alleged kidnaper was seen patrolling the street and playing with children in the area, which has become a hideout for criminals because it is usually deserted. In November 1, last year, the source added, a similar incident happened on the same street. The source who preferred anonymity said an Okada rider was arrested by police, and when he was searched, they found a fresh human head in the bag of the passenger, a middle aged woman.
‘Embrace renewable energy’ By Miriam Ndikanwu
THE Lagos State Government has urged residents to embrace the use of alternative sources of energy to address environmental challenges and reduce the incessant cases ofcarbon emission responsible for global warming. Senior Special Assistant to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr Fouad Animashaun, gave the advice at the opening of the 4th Alternative Power Exhibition held at the Blue Roof auditorium of Lagos State Television (LTV), Ikeja. He said alternative source of energy would help reduce hazards to the environment, adding that it makes sense to go the renewable way. "Take for example when the children are preparing for their exams and you have no light but you have a solar lamp that you put out during the day and at night you light it up when you want to cook or gather your family together. This is going to be a very useful source of energy for all and I will like to urge all residents to use this exhibition to get one solar product in their house."
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
•Fashola (seventh left) with Chukwumerije (fifth left), Senator Tinubu (fourth left), Lagos State SSG Oluranti Adebule (second left), Adeyeye (fifth right), Deputy Governor Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire (fourth right), Mrs Doadu (right) and other members of the committee...yesterday PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
‘Release documents on Jonathan’s assets declaration’
CIVIL society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the court for an order compelling the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr Sam Saba, to release documents on President Goodluck Jonathan’s assets declaration. The suit filed last Thursday at the Federal High Court, Ikeja, followed a Freedom of Information request by SERAP to Saba on June27. The motion exparte was brought pursuant to Section 20 of the Freedom of Information Act, and Order 34 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2009, and signed by the organisation’s Staff Attorney Chinyere Nwafor. The plaintiff argued that under the FOI Act, “it has the right to request for or gain access to documents relating to President Jonathan’s assets declaration, which is in the custody or possession of the Code of Conduct Bureau.“
The suit is seeking the following reliefs: • A declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the defendant/respondent is under a binding legal obligation to make available to the plaintiff/applicant the information within its custody as requested for in the letter of June 27. • A declaration that the failure of the defendant/respondent to make available the information requested for within the stipulated time required by law, under Section 4(a) of the Freedom of Information Act, is a violation of the plaintiff/applicant’s right to information guaranteed by the Freedom of Information Act 2011. C. An Order of Mandamus directing and or compelling the defendant/respondent to make available to the plaintiff/applicant the information requested as contained in a letter of June 27 to the defendant/respondent. No date has been fixed for hearing of the application.
Fed Govt to prioritise water projects HE Federal Government has taken inventory of uncompleted water projects for possible collaboration with state governments for medium and long term completion date beyond 2015. In a communiqué at the end of a two-day meeting on collaboration between the federal and state governments on strategies for ongoing and abandoned water projects in Abuja, it said there is need to prioritise water projects for possible collaboration with the Federal Government. The communique reads: “The National Economic Council (NEC) at its meeting
From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
of June 27 directed the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to initiate a collaborative effort between the federal and state governments to address the worrisome issue of abandoned projects in the sector. “In compliance with this directive, the ministry organised a two-day meeting with the theme: ‘Coordination Meeting on Collaboration between the Federal and State Governments on Strategies for Completion of On-Going and Abandoned projects in Water Sector.”
Stakeholder canvasses second level aviation for Nigeria N aviation professional, Ifeanyi Okocha, has urged the Federal Government to develop the country’s second-level aviation by setting up an aircraft maintenance facility as well as a national carrier. Okocha, who is the Managing Director of AirGold Aviation, said the Dana crash is a wake up call for the country, stressing that air crashes would have been a thing of the past if Nigeria had attained the second-level aviation development. Second-level aviation, Okocha explained, involves a national carrier, maintenance, repairs and overhaul facilities.
Senate Education Committee appeals to Fashola on release of counterpart fund
ENATE Committee on Education has appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on the release of 2012 counterpart fund on education. Chairman of the Committee Uche Chukwumerije made the appeal yesterday when he led other members of the committee, including Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Joshua Dariye, and Senator Olusola Adeyeye among others on a visit to the governor at Ikeja House, Alausa. Chukwumerije said they were on a tour of educational institutions in Southwest states as part of the committee’s oversight functions. He said it is necessary to
By Miriam Ndikanwu
begin with Lagos State considering the government’s contributions towards educational development in the country. He said: “We beg to draw your attention to one little lapse, for this year 2012 Lagos State is yet to pay its counterpart funding scheme and we know it is unusual and we feel we should bring it to your knowledge.” “We are in Lagos State as the first leg of our oversight function in the Southwest and we are impressed by the high standard of education management in the state.” He praised the governor for building on the legacy of his predecessor by giving good governance to the people.
“We are particularly happy and excited to begin our tour of oversight functions of education institutions in the Southwest from Lagos. Lagos has always been appreciated as the state playing a leading role in education management in Nigeria. Governor Fashola assured the committee of the government’s commitment to the fund and development of educational institutions. “Our government insisted in the last two years that we will not just use the Universal Basic Education (UBE) fund to build schools but we decided to build schools that will stand the test of time. That was why we decided to build our own style of classrooms. And that we will not
be compelled to build structures that may not be completed within the stipulated time”, he said. Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Mrs Gbolahan Daodu said the government as at 2011 has paid N1.92 billion as counterpart fund, adding that a letter was received recently from UBE notifying the state that N852.9 million has been accredited to the state in the first and second quarter of 2012. She explained that the state is expected to pay N429.7 million from the accredited fund. “So we are at par with all the states in the federation.” she added.
Mark, Ekweremadu, Tambuwal provide roadmap for nation’s law reform
HE need for constant law reform in a democratic environment was canvassed yesterday by the leadership of the National Assembly. Senate President David Mark, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and Speaker, House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal and Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, outlined the imperative of constant law reform at an international conference with the theme: “Law reform and the Law-making process.” The conference, attended by over 20 countries, was organised by the National Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS), in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute, Nigerian Law Reform Commission, International Law Institute, Washington DC and others. Mark, in his keynote address, noted that the National Assembly has ensured that the nation’s laws are current, relevant and beneficial. Mark said the National Assembly ensures that laws
•’Jonathan’s should sign Bills on time’ From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor
were well researched, given extended consideration and consultation with interested parties and stakeholders. He noted that the establishment of NILS reflected their conviction that legislators need information and training to make them more effective. He said: “We need the knowledge and human resources to make Nigeria better for all of us. Law reform and the lawmaking process are central to that higher objective. “We have accomplished so much since 1999. My colleagues and I are determined to transform Nigeria into a model of constitutional democracy in Africa . “We recognise, however, that a great deal still remains to be done. But we look forward with confidence to the future because of conferences like this one.” Mark noted that the the subject of law-making cannot be discussed without the Judiciary as the legislature sometimes had to rely on the courts to in-
terpret the law. He added that the National Assembly had the vision of a strong and vibrant Legislature capable of meeting the challenges of a developing democratic society. Ekweremadu said the country must optimise the interconnectivity among the various arms of government. He noted that “muscle-flexing, time wasting and stillbirth laws will be minimised if we collectively engineer healthy consultations and input before and during the drafting and processing of laws.” Ekweremadu said public hearing should be viewed as a critical law-making process rather than a mere fulfilment of legislative ritual or ‘righteousness.’ He noted that the interest of the polity should be served if input is made into the law-making process. Ekweremadu renewed the call for President Jonathan to sign Bills passed by the National Assembly. He said: “It is regrettable that so many bills have not been signed into law.
Ekweremadu said steps should be taken to integrate the people in the rural areas into the law-making process. He said unless the rural dwellers are made to be active participants in the process, “we would have shortchanged the greater majority of Nigerians.” Tambuwal said the House would not be deterred by controversies in its determination to make laws for the improvement of the Nigerian society. He noted that no amount of controversy would deter the House from pursing the truth and correcting the dysfunction in the system. Ihedioha said the constitution amendment process is a key measure towards the transformation of Nigeria’s socio-political and economic fortunes.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Don’t scrap FRSC, Belgore Panel advises govt T
HE Presidential Committee on the Review of Outstanding Issues from Recent Constitutional Conferences has advised the Federal Government not to scrap or merge the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). It, however, approved the merger of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). The committee made its position known in its report, which was submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan last Thursday. The report said: “The Committee noted the submissions of the FRSC and recommends that it be strength-
•Submits a detailed policy paper on the Safety Commission From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
ened to continue performing its functions. “The Committee also upheld the Commission’s prayers for its continuous existence and improved funding. A detailed Policy Paper is attached to this Report. “The Committee’s decision arose from an International Decision which was adopted by member States of the United Nations.” But the panel sought the merger of NAPEP and NDE, in line with the
recommendation of the National Political Reform Conference in 2005. The report said: “The committee recommends that, as already suggested by the 2005 Conference, NAPEP and the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) should be merged and strengthened to tackle unemployment and poverty in the country. “The committee calls for a revolutionary approach to the resolution of issues of youth unemployment. “The government can use most of the NYSC Volunteers in the Agricultural settlements set up all over the
country. “The committee also recommends that the Ministry should ensure that the National Youth Policy translates into a network of programmes with visible impact.” On the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the panel said the agency should be asked to stop operating at the nation’s ports. It added: “The committee recommends that NAFDAC does not need to be at the ports because there are too many security, quasi-security officers and regulators at the ports.
“Instead, it recommends that NAFDAC should develop mechanisms to inspect goods at their destinations, so long as the security of the nation is not compromised.” On the demand of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the report added: “The Committee noted the NIA’s response that it is not being carried along in the PeaceKeeping exercise. “The committee therefore recommends the inclusion of Agency in the Peace-keeping Unit and its operations in order to conform to international best practices boost Nigeria ’s intelligence gathering mechanism.”
Why Fed Govt can’t ignore basic education, by Wike
INISTER of State for Education Nyesom Wike yesterday explained why the Federal Government cannot ignore the basic education sector. The minister said the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration takes the sector serious because it is the foundation for other academic attainments. He spoke in Katsina at the flagoff of the distribution of instructional materials for primary and junior secondary schools in the Northwest. Wike said Jonathan is committed to improving basic education. He said: “The Federal Government will continue to intervene in basic education through its agencies, especially in the provision and upgrading of critical infrastructure, the training and retraining of teachers as well and the provision of free textbooks and library resource materials.
“All that Mr. President needs from you is sincere cooperation as the unprecedented investment he has so far graciously made in re-positioning the education sector will soon bear much expected fruits.” He noted that the provision of free textbooks was a fragment of the comprehensive intervention of the Federal Government in basic education. The minister commended the Katsina State government for its committed investment to enhance access to quality education. Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema represented by his deputy, Abdulahi Faskari, said the free distribution of instructional materials by the Federal Government was a worthwhile initiative. The governor said the Katsina government places premium on the development of education, hence it has paid all its counterpart obligations to the Federal Government.
•.Wike presenting instructional materials to Aisha Bello…yesterday. With him are: Faskari, Director, Katsina State Universal Basic Education Board, Alhaji Dikko Suleiman and Modibbo.
Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Dr. Modibbo Mohammed said Katsina State was the first to
pay its 2012 counterpart fund for Universal Basic Education. Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mohammed Musa
Ibru family returns to court over assets
BOUT two months after a Federal High Court dismissed a suit by the widow of the late Alex Ibru, Publisher of The Guardian, Maiden, over the management of the Federal Palace Hotel, the disputants have returned to court. This time, the holding company of the hotel, Tourist Company of Nigeria and four others, are urging the court to frustrate any move by Mrs. Ibru to wind it up for its alleged failure to repay some money it owed her late husband’s company, Omamo Investment Corporation. The court had in May dismissed a winding-up petition filed by Mrs. Ibru against Tourist Company on the ground that Omamo Investments, on various occasions between 2003 and 2009 lent Tourist Company, $7.1m, N610m, N381m and N19m, which the company has allegedly been unable to repay. Justice Mohammed Liman dismissed the petition on the ground that it failed to satisfy the threshold requirement for the filing of a winding-up petition, the petitioner having not complied with the provisions of Sections 77 and 409 (a) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA). In the new suit, the plaintiffs, including -Tourist Company, (whose board is chaired by Goodie Ibru)- is praying the court to restrain the defendants from proceeding with a renewed steps
By Eric Ikhilae
intended to recover the purported loan extended to it by Omamo. Other plaintiffs include Ikeja Hotel Plc, Associated Ventures International Limited, Tourist Company of Nigeria Plc, Pension Fund and Sun International Limited. Omamo Investment and and Oma Investments Limited are the defendants. The suit specifically seeks to set aside the issuance and service of a letter of demand of the loan facility (dated May 21, 2012) for allegedly being invalid, null and void on the grounds that there were agreements between parties on ways of amicably resolving the dispute. Yesterday, parties argued an application for interlocutory injunction by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Onyebuchi Aniakor, urged the court to grant his clients an interlocutory injunction restraining Omamo from taking any step or further step in purporting to demand and /or seek payment of the loan facility pending the determination of their originating summon in that if formed a condition precedent for seeking the winding –up of one of his clients, Tourist Company. He argued that granting such interlocutory prayer was utmost prejudicial to the smooth and unmolested operations of the business and that the defendants cannot competently proceed to
issue and serve Tourist Company with a letter of demand brought pursuant to Section 4099(a) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) Cap . C20. LFN, 2004. The defendants, represented by Ebun Sofunde (SAN) objected to Aniakor’s prayer and urged the court to dismiss the plaintiffs’ motion with substantial costs on the ground that the plaintiffs had failed to set out a triable issue in the motion. The defendants contended, in two counter affidavits deposed to by Maiden and her brother, Alexander Thomopulos , that the plaintiffs’ are not entitled to the injunction because on the ground that they failed to offer any undertaking in damages. Sofunde said the documents placed before the court by the plaintiffs do not support a prima facie case and, therefore, failed to establish that there were considerations to these contracts. He urged the court to determine whether having regards to the totality of any of the agreements marked exhibits SA1, SA2 and SA3 as compared to the affidavits before the court, the plaintiffs have made out a triable issues as required of an applicant seeking an order of interlocutory injunction. He urged the court to determine whether the plaintiffs have failed to offer an undertaking in damages so as to make them disentitled to the order they seek.
Sada, expressed satisfaction with the investment of the Federal Government in the education sector.
‘End North violence’
In the alternative, Sofunde urged the court not to grant the order but to order for an accelerating hearing of the originating summon, if the dismissal of the motion will affect the substantial suit. Replying on point of law, Aniakor urged the court to grant his application, stating that the mere fact that there was a conflict in the affidavit evidence of parties was sufficient to show that there is an issue for trial. Justice Liman has adjourned till August 13 for ruling.
A GROUP, ACN Total Loyalty, has urged the Federal Government to end the violence in Jos. The group, in a statement by its president, Alhaji Oluwatoyin Balogun, said President Goodluck Jonathan must rise to the occasion. The statement reads: “The weekly report of mass killings and destruction of properties in the North, if not well addressed might snowball into something that might be totally out of hand. The right thing must be done. “The wanton killing is needless. If truly they are aggrieved, the best way to make one’s anger known is not by taking another man’s life. This act is barbaric. Christianity and Islam seriously frown at this. The indiscriminate killing of the defenceless in the North is highly condemnable. The bloodshed is fast becoming a way of life. “It is high time the president acted. Nobody voted for the president to be chief mourner. He was voted as the commander-in-chief of the Army Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I believe the president is not in line with what is expected of him. The constitution clear about his role in securing the citizenry. “We urge him to wake up to his constitutional role. Eenough of condolence expression week in, weekout. If not for God that averted the dastardly plan of the weekend in Kogi State, Nigeria would have been thrown into another week of mourning.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NEWS Ondo community’s leaders, others back Akeredolu From Damisi Ojo, Akure
ACTION Congress of Nigeria (ACN) grassroots leaders, youths and women in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State have endorsed the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) as the party’s flag bearer in the October 20 governorship election. They promised to work for the ACN candidate to become the next governor. The stakeholders hailed Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole for his victory in last Saturday’s election. They spoke at a meeting convened by Otunba Adegboyega Adefarati, the son of former Governor Adebayo Adefarati, at his home in Akungba Akoko. The stakeholders hailed the ACN national leadership for championing progressive politics. They praised the only ACN Senator in the state, Prof. Ajayi Boroffice, for supporting Akeredolu as the party’s candidate. They noted that the Asiwaju of Akokoland has shunned advances to quit the progressive party and assured that ACN would win the election. The ACN supporters described Akeredolu as a marketable material because of his pedigree and someone who can unseat Governor Olusegun Mimiko as well as develop the state.
Oyo flood: Fish, poultry farmers count losses T WENTY-fours after the Saturday/Sunday heavy rain, which caused a flood in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, and environ, hundreds of fish and poultry farmers in Ido Local Government Area were still counting their losses. The Nation investigation revealed that 53 farms were affected by the flood. Farmers at Araromi Idowu, Eleyele and Omi Adio in Ido Local Government Area were worst hit. Many fish ponds at Omi Adio and Eleyele were washed away as efforts of their owners to save them were abortive. As at yesterday when The Nation visited some of the farms, the water level was still high. Many poultry farmers were said to have begun evacuation of their birds, while many were lost to the flood. A fish farmer Mr Owoeye ogunsanya, said the flood swept away his four ponds. “I cannot say this is how much I have lost but I know I have just placed about 10,000 fingerlings and as I’m talking to you everything has been washed away. I don’t know where to start from,” he said. A poultry farmer in Araromi Idowu, who spoke in confidence, said the flood affected about 1,000 birds. He said: “It is a natural phenomenon we have no control
•Traffic gridlock on Ibadan roads •Govt reawards bridge contract From Oseheye Okwuofu and Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
over. I have witnessed floods since the 15 years of farming on this land, but this year’s came to be an exception. I have to contend with it; it’s a natural thing.” There was a heavy traffic on major roads in Ibadan yesterday. Several bridges in the city had been washed away by flood at the weekend. The reconstruction of some bridges on major roads in the city by the government compounded the traffic situation. The bridges were destroyed by last August 26 flood in which over 100 residents died. Motorists broke traffic rules and commuters stayed longer at bus stops. In Mokola, Dugbe, Sanngo, Bodija, Apata, Odo-Ona and Ife Road, motorists drove against traffic direction. Officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), policemen, soldiers jointly directed motorists to reduce the gridlock. In Arulogun-Ojoo, Apete and Letmauck Army Barrack/ Mokola, motorists going to the
city centre faced a hard time. The bridges connecting the communities to the city centre had been washed away. The commuters had to trek long distance, while motorists had to take long routes to get to the city. A resident of ArulogunOjoo, who identified himself as Yinka, lamented the situation. He said it took him and other residents about three hours to get to the city through bad roads. The bridge on the road was washed damaged in the Saturday night flood. Residents of Apete, where the main bridge was washed away on Sunday morning - for the second time in a year - decried the situation. They urged the government to repair the bridge. The traffic gridlock created good business for commercial motorcyclists (Okada). They charged double the normal fares for each journey. The Oyo State Government has revoked the contract for the reconstruction of the Apete bridge in Ibadan, the state capital. It said a new contractor would move to site in the next 24 hours, after due process on
the project. The Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde, spoke in Ibadan, the state capital, in company of Commissioners for Information, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Environment and the Special Advisers on Physical Planning and Media. He addressed reporters after the state’s weekly Executive Council (Exco) meeting. Akintunde said the bridge, as well as 15 others damaged during last Saturday/Sunday flood, would be urgently reconstructed. The government said a new contractor would take over the rehabilitation of the bridge in the next few hours. The commissioner said the Exco mandated his ministry and that of Physical Planning and Urban Development to make a new proposal on how to urgently repair the damaged bridges for the residents. He said: “The Council equally considered the Apete Bridge and resolved that because of the current development and the heavy downpour that has suddenly occurred, there is need to take a drastic action on the bridge construction to ameliorate the suffering of our people. In this wise, the Council decided that the drastic measure would have to be a reassessment and reawarding of the bridge contract, which should take place within the next 24 hours.”
Lawmaker empowers traders A MEMBER of the House of Representatives, Adeyinka Ajayi, has approved a bank loan for about 200 members of Ifelodun/Odo-Otin/ Boluwaduro Federal Constituency in Osun State. The lawmaker is working on the financial empowerment programme in conjunction with a micro-finance bank. The loan is interest-free. The lawmaker said it would boost the businesses of the beneficiaries, who will receive between N5,000 and N2,000. At a public presentation, Ajayi said the loan is a scheme for traders and students with five from each ward in his constituency to improve their living conditions and those of their dependents. He said: “The loan scheme is the first of its kind in the constituency. It is not a free gift to party members but an empowerment scheme to eradicate poverty. It is going to be a continuous policy to reach all and help party members to grow financially.” The lawmaker explained that the leadership of the party would handle the selection while the bank would distribute and ensure that the benefit are qualified for the scheme.
Osun to train 610 youths on modern agric From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo HE Osun State Government will train 610 participants from the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) on modern agriculture. The Commissioner for Agriculture And Food Security, Mr. Wale Adedoyin, spoke in Osogbo, the state capital, during the quarterly ministerial media briefing of his ministry. He said Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola will today launch the training scheme. The commissioner said the programme would accommodate 20 participants per local government and 10 from Ife East Area Office. Adedoyin said interviews had already been conducted for the first batch of intending participants, maintained the scheme was designed to empower the youths and give them a sustainable career in agriculture. He added that the government has refurbished eight tractors and rehabilitated three training centres and facilities at Ilesa, Wasinmi and Ile-Ife for the scheme. The commissioner said the state is assisting 61 secondary schools with inputs for the production of cassava, maize and cocoyam, added that it has assisted 11 public schools on piggery and poultry production. Adedoyin said: “We are supporting the schools in the state on agriculture to revive food production during and after primary and secondary school education. We are even planning to extend proceeds from the programme, especially cocoyam, to our elementary school feeding programme. “Series of meetings have been held with the Association of Secondary School Principals (ANCOPS) for the success of the programme. Schools were mobilized from Wednesday 11th July, 2012. Also, 10,000 cashew seedlings will be distributed to schools to serve as windbreakers.”
Oyo begins recruitment of workers HE Oyo State Government has begun a mass recruitment of officers on Grade Levels 07 to 12 into the state civil service. It said about 200 officers, who performed well in the public service examinations conducted by the Administrative College of Nigeria (ASCON), Badagry, Lagos State, will soon be invited for interviews. A statement yesterday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, urged qualified candidates to obtain appointment forms from the Civil Service Commission at the state secretariat in Ibadan. It urged interested candidates to pay N1,000 (One thousand Naira only) into the state government’s account 0121754507, with Code Number C.S.C. 4040096 at Wema Bank PLC. The statement added that the teller and e-payment receipt, obtained as evidence of payment, should be brought to the Civil Service Commission to collect the appointment form.
T •Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (middle) with former Minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyili (left); Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma, at the funeral of Koroma’s mother, Madam Alice Rosaline Koroma, in Makeni, Sierra Leone...on Sunday
Ondo ACN faults Mimiko over congratulatory overlay of Oba Adesida HE Ondo State Action message to Oshiomhole asphalt Road trying to compare his Congress of Nigeria performance with that of
(ACN) yesterday criticised Governor Olusegun Mimiko on his congratulatory message to his Edo State counterpart, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on his victory in last Saturday’s election. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Agbede, the party said: “It is ironical that Governor Mimiko, who committed huge resources to the removal of Oshiomhole and held several sinister strategic sessions with Edo State PDP - all in his bid to demystify ACN - could shamelessly turned round and attempt to share in the glory of Oshiomhole’s victory. “More laughable is his at-
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
tempt to compare his poor performance with the outstanding performance of Oshiomhole, which is widely acknowledged to be responsible for the overwhelming victory of the Edo State Governor.” The party noted that Oshimohole’s performance is in tandem with the progressive manifesto of ACN and the deliberate action of the party in picking only credible individuals to fly the banner of the party in elections. “It is regrettable that Oshiomhole, with little resources at his disposal, had his
footprints boldly entrenched across the state, while Mimiko, with nothing tangible to show for more than half a trillion naira collected as revenue, was busy criss-crossing the globe, buying phoney awards to cover his shortcomings. “With avalanche of roads commissioned across Edo State, coupled with other laudable projects, it is not surprising that the people of Edo State are more than willing to return the ACN governor in the state for another term, as manifested in the outcome of the election of Saturday. “One cannot help but laugh seeing Mimiko with only the
Oshiomhole and hope to receive the same support during the forthcoming election. “While Mimiko can afford to continue to live in fantasy land with his dream, we want to state clearly that the people of Ondo State, having seen the performance of two ACN governors that have served out their four-year tenure, Babatunde Fashola and Oshiomhole, are more than convinced and eager to install an ACN government after the colourless regime of Mimiko. “With a credible personality like Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Ondo State cannot wait to have a taste of ACN government.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
BUSINESS THE NATION
Naira firms on Shell, NLNGs dollar sales
HE naira firmed against the United States’ dollar on the interbank market yesterday supported ample dollar sales by two energy companies to some lenders. The naira closed at N161.60 versus the dollar on the interbank market, stronger than the N162.10 to the dollar it closed at on Friday. Traders said units of Royal Dutch Shell and Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) sold unspecified amount of dollars to some lenders, which raised the level of dollar liquidity in the market and provided support for the naira. "Apart from the dollar inflows from Shell and NLNG, speculations on planned dollar sales this week by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) also helped the market rally," one dealer said. NNPC supplies the bulk of dollars traded on the interbank market and comes to the market twice in a month. Traders said the naira is seen strengthening further in the week if the NNPC finally comes to the market with some other oil companies sales as well. On the bi-weekly forex auction, the Central Bank of Nigeria sold $200 million at N155.87 to the dollar, compared with $180 million sold at the same rate in last Wednesday's auction. The naira had closed weaker last week due to resurgence of demand for the dollar from importers and a drop in dollar liquidity.
As far as local content is concerned, the ICT industry is competitive because it is cheaper to import a base station than to fabricate one in Nigeria. It is cheaper to import a chip card than to make and personalise in Nigeria - Mrs Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communications Technology
Fed Govt fines Shell $5b for Bonga oil spill
HE Federal Govern ment has asked Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) to pay $5 billion for the oil spill that occurred in its Bonga oil field in December last year. But the Managing Director of SNEPCO, Chike Onyejekwe, said the company was not thinking about compensation for affected communities, saying the spill did not reach the shoreline before it was contained. The disclosures were made yesterday at a meeting organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Environment aimed to ascertain progress report on the Bonga oil spill of December 28, 2011. Chairman of the Committee, Uche Ekwenife said going by reports and complaints from affected communities that no clean-up had been carried out by Shell there was a need to have a knolwledge of efforts taken so far by the Government and the oil com-
• Oil firm: no compensation for communities From Dele Anofi, Abuja
pany. Besides Ekwenife pointed out that there were indications that Shell had refused to accept full responsibility for the incident and had rebuffed the claims from communities allegedly impacted by the spill. In his presentation, the Director-General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Peter Idabor, said Shell was sanctioned for the large quantity of crude oil discharged into the environment and the impact on economic and environment of the affected communities. He said the fine is for ‘administrative penalty,’ adding that it is consistent with what is obtainable in other oil producing countries such as Venezuela, Brazil and the United States of America. Though he explained that the penalty should not be taken as compensation, “because com-
pensation is only demanded from a polluter company after a proper post impact assessment has been conducted and scientific evidence of impact established,” he added. According to the directorgeneral, NOSDRA, Shell and other stakeholders plan to conduct the Post Impact Assessment (PIA) on the spill as soon as approval for funding was secured from National Petroleum Investment Management Services. He said: “Although adequate containment measures were put in place to combat the Bonga oil spill, it however posed a serious environmental threat to the offshore environments. “The spilled 40,000 barrels impacted approximately 950 square kilometres of water surface; affected great number of sensitive environmental resources across the impacted area and has direct social impact on the livelihood of peo-
ple in the riverine areas whose primary occupation is fishing. “It also potentially caused a number of physiological and hispathological effects on aquatic lives while surviving aquatic species around the spill site would migrate farther distance to situate new habitat thereby forcing coastal communities to move deeper into the sea to carry out fishing activities”. However, in his remarks, Onyejekwe said the status of the spill could not be known until about the end of the year. While claiming that over 325 claims have been received from different communities over the spill, Onyejekwe, however, said his organisation was not thinking about compensating the communities for now. He said the oil spill did not hit the shoreline of the communities and as such would not compensate for the Bonga oil spill.
MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion
RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 245 $ 156.4 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 241 RIYAL 40.472
Shell’s spokesman Tony Okonedo said: “We do not believe there is any basis in law for such a fine. Neither do we believe the SNEPCo has committed any infraction of Nigerian law to warrant such a fine.” He said the firm handled the incident with utmost care and acted with the consent of the necessary authorities to prevent the environmental impact.
Obasanjo lauds NEPC over award in China From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil - $123.6/barrel Cocoa - $2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold - $1,800/troy ounce Rubber - ¢159.21pound
• Mutiu Sunmonu, MD Shell
• From left: Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries, Mr Walter Drenth; Managing Director, Mr Nicholas Verveide and Sales Director, Mr Hubert Eze, during the re-launch of Star in Lagos. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID
Audit: Fed Govt, agencies owe NNPC $244m
HE Federal Govern ment is owing the Ni gerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) some undisclosed amount used for defraying some expenses incurred on a presidential helicopter and maritime security, among others, a report of a partial audit has indicated. According to sources at the external audit firm, the report shows outstanding debts owed some ministries and state agencies. The company paid according to Reuters, for a $14 million presidential helicopter, and is owed $106 million by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and $124 million by a maritime security agency. The audit, prepared by an external organisation given access to accounts of the NNPC as part of a government effort to improve transparency at the firm, raised doubts over its independence.
• Jonathan reconstitutes board From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
Nigeria,Africa’s biggest oil producer and key supplier to the United States, is pinning its future oil industry and hopes on turning the debt-ridden NNPC into an independent profitable company emulating Brazil’s Petrobras or Malaysia’s Petronas. NNPC has a budget okayed by parliament. Other revenue it collects from oil production is meant to be passed to the government accounts, but industry experts said powerful interests tap the money before it is sent through official channels. Governors are threatening to sue the Federal Government over the stealing of oil revenues that should be shared with local governments.
The Finance Ministry and NNPC declined to comment on the debts and the Presidency and the Petroleum Resources Ministry did not respond to requests for reaction. “We are aware of many of these debts; obviously it isn’t an ideal situation,” an NNPC source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. State agencies in debt to NNPC should be funded through the budget; so such loans add to transparency concerns. Meanwhile,President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the constitution of a new Board for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The new Board is made up of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke, as Chairman. Others, are the Perma-
nent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Danladi Kifasi, Group Managing Director, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu; Alhaji Abdullahi Bukar, Steven Oronsaye, Prof Olusegun Okunnu, Daniel Wadzani, Bernard O. N. Otti, Group Executive Director, Finance & Accounts, Dr. Peter S. Nmadu and Group Executive Director, Corporate Services. The reconstitution of the board, according to a statement signed by the media aide to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati, is in furtherance of his commitment to reform and improve the oil and gas industry for the benefit of the people of Nigeria. Jonathan, the statement further said, charged members of the new Board to discharge their duties efficiently and with integrity in order to enhance positive transformation of the petroleum sector.
ORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has applauded the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) for winning the best exhibitor award at the just concluded Trade and Investment exhibition in Beijing, China. In a statement, the council said Obasanjo visited the NEPC stand and praised the quality of exportable products on display. The Minister of State for Finance, Alhaji Yerima Ngama, who received the award on behalf of NEPC, said the products’ quality has boosted Nigeria’s image, stating that this would strengthen the relationship between China and Nigeria. Forty companies and government agencies participated in the voting process. NEPC was declared winner. The 40 companies were from different countries, while participants voted for the best exhibitor, where NEPC emerged as the best exhibitor. Former President of the African-Export Import Bank, Mr Christopher Edordu while inspecting products exhibited by the council, said Nigerian products were bound to make tremendous impact on the Chinese market, bearing in mind NEPC’s market penetration strategy. The Africa Export-Import Bank is a regional and multilateral financial institution of Africa for promoting the development of intra-and extratrade of African countries. Shareholders of the AFREXIM are mostly the Ministry of Finance or Central Bank of African Countries, which have tremendous power in Africa. Prominent businessmen of the Organised Private sectors in Africa are also members.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
‘World oil production, consumption up by 0.9%’
HE Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has said world oil consumption last year increased by 0.9 per cent. The growth in consumption was caused by emerging economies, primarily in Asia, and in particular, China with marginal consumption increases in Latin America and the Middle East. In OPEC member countries, which include Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, oil consumption increased by 0.2 million barrels per day (bopd) or two per cent year-on-year. This was disclosed at the launch of the OPEC’s Annual Statistical Bulletin (ABS) yesterday in Vienna, Austria. The ASB is a compilation of statistical data about oil and natural gas activities in the OPEC’s 12-member countries as well as in non-OPEC oil producing countries around the world. It provides detailed time-series data on different aspects of the global petroleum industry, including imports and ex-
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
ports, upstream and downstream projects, and exploration and production activities. Highlights of this year’s bulletin also showed that world crude oil production increased in 2011 by 0.9 per cent with different regions showing varied results. While Canadian, United States and Middle East crude production increased, Western European and African production showed declines. In OPEC member countries, crude oil production was up three per cent in 2011 year-on-year. According to the report, proven crude oil reserves in OPEC member countries increased slightly in 2011, almost reaching 1.2 billion barrels while OPEC’s percentage share of world oil reserves stood at 81per cent at year end largely unchanged from 2010. OPEC member countries, the bulletin noted, continued to play an important role in the natural gas market last year, with proven natural gas reserves of 95,020 billion standard cubic metres, an increase of 0.8 per cent over
2010, making a total world share of 48.4 percent. The bulk of the crude oil exported by OPEC member countries in 2011 went to Asian and Pacific countries, with 12.5 million bopd or 54 per cent of the total. North America and Europe followed, importing 4.9 million bopd or 21.1 per cent, and 3.7 million bopd or 16.0 percent. OPEC member countries also exported 4.5 million bopd of petroleum product exports in 2011. The bulk of this went to Asian and Pacific countries with 2.1 million bopd or 49.8 percent of the total. North American and Latin American countries followed, with 0.6 million bopd or 13.6 per cent, and 0.5 million bopd or 11.8 per cent.
• From left: Chairman Aquila Capital J.K. Randle and MD/CEO, Chuka Onwuchekwa, during the unveiling of Aquila Leasing in Lagos.
Fed Govt to prioritise water projects
HE Federal Govern ment is planning to take stock of on-going projects slated for completion. It is listing the water sector projects for joint collaboration with state government for medium and long term completion date beyond 2015.
From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
In a communiqué at the end of a two-day meeting on collaboration between the Federal and state government on strategies for ongoing and abandoned projects in water sector in Abuja, it states that there is need for prioritised list of
state government water sector projects for possible collaboration with the Federal Government. It states: “The outcome of the nationwide tour and inspection of water projects in the country, the National Economic Council (NEC) at its meeting on June 18 directed the Federal Ministry
of Water Resources to initiate a collaboration between the Federal and state governments to address the worrisome issue of abandoned projects in the sector. “In compliance with this directive, the Ministry organised a two-day meeting with the theme ‘Co-ordination meeting on collaboration between the Federal and state governments on strategies for completion of ongoing and abandoned projects in water sector.’ The meeting was also aimed at taking stock of the successes and challenges of the ministry in delivering its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as they relate to collaboration among the Federal Government, states and local government areas.
Lottery Commission makes N3b From Olugbenga Adanikin and Halima Sogbesan, Abuja
HE Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commis sion has generated about N3billion,its DirectorGeneral(NLRC), Peter Igho, has said. Igho stated this yesterday during a courtesy visit to the Director-General, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, in Abuja. He said: “The lottery commission has generated N3 billion which can be accessed by people and non-governmental organisations.” He said the fund, which is in the custody of the National Lottery Trust Fund, could be accessed for the benefit of the people. He identified lack of integrity and insincerity as factors affecting growth of the industry. Orhii said the agency would make use of lottery to address some financial challenges affecting their operations, adding that there is need to diversify the economy and shift attention from oil. He added that Nigerians are ignorant of the prospects in lottery. He called for better public enlightenment while expressing optimism in likely areas of partnership between the two agencies.
Tuesday, JULY 17, 2012
* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes * Real Estate
HALF YEAR REVIEW
All motion no movement
•Haven Homes, Lekki, Lagos
In this mid-year report, OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reviews the performance of the real estate and construction sector and concludes that growth remains stunted •CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
•Row over FESTAC’s 1,100 hectares of land - PAGE 14
•3rd Mainland Bridge: Motorists •Federal, states urged on implementation of National groan in chaotic traffic Building Code - PAGE 51 - PAGE 52
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Row over FESTAC’s 1,100 hectares of land
ESTAC Town, an housing estate in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos, has always been in the news. FESTAC, as it is popularly known, is named after the Black Arts Festival hosted by Nigeria in 1977. The participants were housed in FESTAC Town during the Festival. The estate comprises various housing units such as duplexes, three, two and one-bedroom flats. It sits on a vast land, which was not fully developed. The undeveloped 1,100 hectares of land have pitched the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), managers of Festac Town against the Lagos State government. The land has been lying fallow since because of the inability of the Federal Government to reclaim the swampy land. It was learnt that a concessionaire has been selected by the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development through its implementing agency, the FHA, to dispose land and manage the facility for the period of concession. The contract, The Nation learnt, is awaiting the endorsement of the Federal Executive Council. The ministry acted on the strength of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission Act 2005. Information available to The Nation revealed the terms of the contract which stated that the firm will first reclaim the swampy land and thereafter “market and sell the plots of land created from the reclamation.” Besides sand filling, the firm is also
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor
expected to provide detailed designs of land use plan as well as all civil, electrical and mechanical infrastructure. It is also to erect “at least four concrete deck bridges and two large cell culverts for linking of the roads, water/electricity supply, drainage system, sewage system and waste disposal. The concessionaire, The Nation learnt, emerged from a bid process that took place six years ago when the plan to sell the property was first mooted. Only recently, FHA was compelled to withdraw public notices in some national dailies requesting for technical and financial proposal from developers/investors to make way for the sale. FHA was reportedly directed to cancel the public notice and revert to that of 2006 in which the sale of the land was announced. Despite that the mandate of FHA is to deliver houses, the bid scaled all the hurdles including due process. However, the then Federal Executive Council(FEC) refused to give the goahead on the ground that the land was grossly undervalued and asked the ministry to revisit the pricing. The response of the then FEC to the ministry reads: “The Council agreed that memorandum (2007) 319 by the Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development on the selection of a concessionaire/developer for the reclamation and infrastructural Development of FESTAC Phase Two be withdrawn to
• A block of flats at FESTAC Town, Phase I, Lagos
allow for more detailed job to be carried out in the memorandum.” This decision is, however, generating public outcry given that the statutory function of the FHA is to deliver houses and not to sell plots and land. Lagos State authorities have warned prospective consultants against embarking on the scheme. The government, through its Permanent Secretary, Lands Bureau, Hakeem Muri-Okunola advised prospective consultants, especially project cost consultants and independent engineers to be wary of embarking on a quagmire, which may be an
exercise in futility. “The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola has directed that the general public, or any interested professional firms intending to be engaged by FHA, be correctly fed with information, so that such interested members are not erroneously led to engage in an exercise, which may end up to the frolic, unfortunately with huge colossal waste of financial resources.” The state admitted that FHA holds a registered Lagos State Certificate of Occupancy(CoO), but advised prospective consultants to undertake proper due diligence at the appropri-
ate agencies. It said “Reclamation, environment and physical planning or development issues are within the enabling constitutional power of the state and therefore will require due interaction and necessary approval of the requisite agencies of the government of the state, in this case, the Lagos State government.” But a FHA official, who pleaded anonymity, acknowledged the existence of the 1,100 hectares of land in FESTAC Phase II. But, he said the agency could neither confirm nor deny the story as it does not want to be pitched against its supervising Ministry of Housing.
and the private sector cannot make significant impact as the public sector remained the dominant player in terms of the availability of financial resources. Except government has a rethink on its fiscal and monetary policies and programmes, the situation may be with us for a longer period even as foreign interest in investing in the sector wanes.” Adediji predicted that the construction sector may remain comatose except government acted fast to restore confidence in the economy. President, International Real Estate Federation, Nigeria (FIABCI), Chief Kola Akomolede, however, has a different opinion. He confirmed that property prices are picking up in some upscale areas of Lagos such as Dolphin Estate where duplexes that were priced in the region of N65 and N70 million last year are going for between N75 and N80 million and even more; while flats which hitherto sold for N18 million is now N22 million. However, he revealed that Old Ikoyi has an oversupply of luxury apartments and multi-storey buildings, leading to a glut as there is no liquidity in the system. He said: “The economy is improving as banks tend to have sorted out
their liquidity problems as the Asset Management Corporation (AMCON) bought over most of their bad loans. People are buying up properties as the elections are over and new people get elected into positions. The middle to lower property market prices have gone up as property in this bracket is never enough for those who need them. For instance, in Surulere, Agege, Palmgrove and Ikeja, there can never be a glut, no matter the challenges in the country,” he said. For another Estate Surveyor / Valuer and General Manager of Niger Insurance Properties, Mr. Sam Ukpong, the half-year report on the sector is not cherry. Rather, the sector is on the downward trend as there has been no investment during the period being assessed. He said the houses off-loaded in the market were those developed in the last two to three years as nobody, whether government or the private sector, could claim to have done a thing in the last six months. According to Ukpong, the lull in the sector may not be unconnected with the insecurity as people are more concerned with their safety than investing in projects with long gestation periods.
All motion no movement •CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13
HE real estate and construction sector has not made any impressive outing in the last six months. The removal of subsidy early this year has affected construction budgets. Although there was a quantum leap in the production of cement (a major ingredient in the building and construction sector) by major manufacturers. A civil engineer, Mr. Afolabi Adedeji, said though cement production was boosted, there was, however, a decline in multilateral agencies that may have stimulated the sector as the industry remains a barometer for economic development. According to him, though the public sector remains the highest spender in the industry, uncertainty is making the private sector to draw back in its investment drive. He said: “Most investors now prefer short-term investment against longterm investment that is one of the characteristics of the construction industry. “Besides, local debt owed contractors by government is in trillions of naira. As it is now, people focus on short-term consumption and survival needs as they are not sure of what is going to happen in future. The fact remains that until uncertainty is cleared in the air, people will not be willingly to release the funds they have into construction as the economy remains uncertain.”
Roads The Federal Government through the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, embarked on the completion of major highway projects across the country. Most are far from being completed with the minister consistently citing fund constraint as the major drawback. Consequently, the minister advocated Road Fund and Road Tax to provide ready funding for the sector. He argued that budgetary provisions alone cannot fund the roads, which are in a deplorable condition.
He said it was as a result of this that the government concessioned the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway to BiCourtney Highway Services (BCHS), which has announced the start of the redevelopment of the Ibadan end of the expressway. Commuters are yet to attest to the efforts of the company on the axis. The $559million project involves the reconstruction of existing carriageways, as well as the addition of two more in each direction on the Lagos-Sagamu interchange. The expressway, which links Lagos with other parts of the country, has remained impassable with frequent records of ghastly road accidents and unquantifiable loss of man-hours and resources, despite the 25-year concession contract to manage it.
Housing In the housing sector, the minister of Land, Housing &Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, has been courting professionals to come up with enduring policies that will lift the sector. She had also reiterated the desire of the government to partner with the private sector to deliver houses to the low to middle income group. It is believed that the anxiety and uncertainty generated by security challenges in the nation has affected investors’ psyche with some waiting on the sidelines for the outcome of the crisis. Some operators had expected that there would be more construction works this year and that the sector’s growth would be boosted by investments from overseas and local content based on deliberate government policy. Unfortunately, the nation continues to be rocked by violence perpetrated by militant, religious and retaliatory forces, which threatens to escalate if not contained.
Insecurity The entire business terrain in the northern part of the country appeared muddled in the last six months with construction and real estate badly hit
amid endless reports of abduction and killing of construction workers which made headlines in the media. The deaths were not limited to local construction workers but also expatriates, hampering construction projects on the axis and, indeed, the entire country as the private sector was reluctant to invest in the sector - adopting a-wait-and-see approach. Worried by the development, most foreign companies withdrew their workers from construction sites leading to project abandonment. The persistent acts of terror since the first twin bombings hit Eagle Square on the nation’s independence celebration on October 1, 2010 have impacted heavily on the sector. To heighten the fears of insecurity in the nation’s capital, British Prime Minister David Cameron while on a visit to the country shortly after the UN Building bombing last year, pressurised the re-arrangement of previously planned business meeting in Abuja to Lagos. By so doing, observers believe that the Federal Government tacitly fuelled the fears of insecurity in the country. In Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, for instance, within two weeks, there were bombings at the Krystal Lounge Night Club, and recently, Park n’ Shop Departmental Store - all at the busiest part of the Aminu Kano Crescent close to Banex-Emab Plaza commercial hub.
Operators’ perspective The immediate Past President, Nigeria Institution of Estate surveyors & Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Bode Adediji, in his assessment of the sector, said there has been no growth in the last six months as the heightened insecurity unmasked the lack of confidence in the economy and eroded investors’ confidence. He observed that the rate of illiquidity in the system has remained high as the purchasing power of the populace remained at its lowest ebb. He said: “Effective demand is scarce
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Permanent parody •Appointing the President’s wife a permanent secretary simply stinks
HE other day, President Goodluck Jonathan told Nigerians that he did not ‘give a damn’ what they thought about his moral conduct. Many were yet to digest such a shocking un-presidential quip when news came from Bayelsa, his home state, that his spouse, Dame Patience Jonathan, has been promoted to the position of a permanent secretary in the state’s civil service. The appointment, which left many dumbfounded had been in the realm of rumour until it was officially announced on the state broadcasting station, Radio Bayelsa, as signed by no less a personality than the state’s head of service, Mrs. Gloria Izonfor. She explained that by the powers conferred on the governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, in section 203 sub section 2c, Dame Jonathan and 17 others were elevated to the position of permanent secretary in the state’s civil service. More official explanation seemed necessary and the governor’s spokesman, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, provided a surfeit of it. He told the world that the First Lady was a teacher in the state’s civil service and had been on leave of absence since 1999 when her husband became deputy governor of the state. Rationalising the curious appointment further, he said that Mrs. Jonathan would have risen to the position of a permanent secretary if she did not punctuate her career growth by taking a leave of absence to serve with her husband, first in Bayelsa
State and later at the national level. Again, just as her husband, the president broke no laws by not making his assets declaration public, in like manner, the First Lady does not seem to have infringed on any civil service law or procedure. Leave of absence is normal in the service but how long it is allowed remains a moot point. More important however are the moral and ethical questions involved, among other disturbing issues. First, it is far beneath the dignity of the wife of the President of a country to remain in civil service. Second, earning emoluments for work not done, if she has been raking such benefit and gaining promotions to the highest echelon of the service is equally immoral, even criminal. Further, the action stinks because it defies every code of public decency, which explains why the very announcement of the promotion set the nation buzzing. While some have described it as an inappropriate action that borders on impunity, others see conflict of interest in the wife of the President acting also as a permanent secretary in a state civil service. Other points raised are that an appointment like this is bound to debase the sanctity of the system while it is also considered diminishing of the magnitude of the Presidency. Lastly, if this queer appointment stands, it would have set a bad precedent as all appointees’ spouses
could find themselves in the roll call of the civil service or any other service at that. Retaining the President’s wife in his home state civil service in the last 13 years, and her subsequent promotion to the highest echelon of the service is objectionable and a parody of all things good and decent. The odium which reeks from this action is analogous to a hunter carrying a game of elephant on his head, yet is foraging the muck with his toes in search of beetles. It certainly diminishes the Presidency and jars the sensibilities of right-thinking Nigerians. She must save her face by rejecting it.
‘Retaining the President’s wife in his home state civil service in the last 13 years, and her subsequent promotion to the highest echelon of the service is objectionable and a parody of all things good and decent. The odium which reeks from this action is analogous to a hunter carrying a game of elephant on his head, yet is foraging the muck with his toes in search of beetles’
Oyo’s benevolence •The sacked civil servants got a slap on the wrist despite committing criminal offences
N what seems a slap on the wrist, the Oyo State Government has sacked about 3,000 of its workers for alleged certificate forgery, falsified ages, discovery of ghost workers without letters of appointment and those who were retired but were still on government’s payroll. The others, the government added, comprised workers who had outstanding disciplinary cases against them. These are serious criminal offences for which the affected persons ought to have been taken to court. They should indeed be grateful to the state government for not handing them over to the police. This is the least the government could do to people involved in the crimes for which the workers were sacked. Clearly, the laws of the land have been broken by the affected work-
‘In some other climes, workers who committed such crimes as well as those who aided and abetted them in committing the crimes would be promptly handed over to the police. As the state government noted, such people should not stay a day longer in the civil service. “It is like cancer which, if not properly checked, can eat up the whole of the system’
ers because the ultimate aim of such people is to cheat on the system, with a view to getting rights and privileges they otherwise would not have got. Interestingly, the rationalisation exercise was not even a baby of the Ajimobi administration as it was inherited, surprisingly, from the immediate past administration of Adebayo Alao-Akala. Surprisingly because that administration was one of anything goes, like most governments controlled by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). For the Alao-Akala government to have felt sufficiently concerned that things were not adding up in the state civil service, to warrant its setting up of a staff audit showed that things had really gone awry indeed. It was the consulting firm engaged to do the audit that came up with a list of workers who had violated their rules of engagement and presented same to the former government. Why that government could not implement the recommendations of the firm before its exit is however not clear. But no government worth its salt would sweep such a report under the carpet. At any rate, governance is a continuum, in which case a government has the duty to see through an unfinished business by its predecessor, especially if it is convinced of its necessity. This is what the Ajimobi administration has done by exhuming the report and acting on it. As the consulting firm rightly noted, the state government would be send-
ing the wrong message to diligent public servants who did not cut corners to defraud the system if it ignored such a report. If it continued to allow indicted workers to stay in the civil service, it would affect the morale of workers with genuine documents. And such a stance is against equity and fair play. The best the present government could have done in the circumstance was to give the affected workers the right to fair hearing, which it did by setting up a panel to review the consultant’s report. It also secured an indemnity from the firm that due process was followed in compiling the list of the affected workers. Indeed, it was after a painstaking verification of the consultant’s claims that the government decided to sack those who could not exonerate themselves. The names of those exonerated were, however, struck out of the list. Since it is possible that one or two mistakes could have been made in the process, any worker who felt he was wrongly or unfairly sacked could seek redress in court. That is the essence of democracy. In some other climes, workers who committed such crimes as well as those who aided and abetted them in committing the crimes would be promptly handed over to the police. As the state government noted, such people should not stay a day longer in the civil service. “It is like cancer which, if not properly checked, can eat up the whole of the system”.
The breaking point in Syria
YRIA HAS SLIPPED deeper into the abyss. Perhaps as many as 220 people have been killed in a farming town, Tremseh, northwest of the city of Hama, by shelling and shooting from Syrian forces. Reports suggest that the town was first attacked from the air and then stormed by militiamen who slaughtered civilians. As bodies were grimly laid out in mass graves on Friday, the opposition called it a massacre, as did Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The assault appears to fit a pattern of ethnic cleansing in which government forces and militias from Alawite villages are laying siege to largely Sunni towns. President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite, part of a minority in Syria that is the backbone of his power. He has brazenly defied appeals from the rest of the world to stop the violent suppression of the rebellion against his rule. Russia is shielding Mr. Assad, steadfastly refusing to support stronger measures sought by the United States and others. The U.N. special envoy, Kofi Annan, laid out a plan for a cease-fire and political transition, but it has been shattered by the worsening violence. The risks of inaction are more evident every day. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that military forces have begun moving part of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, for reasons that are unclear. Perhaps the regime is nervous and wants to better safeguard the deadly nerve and blister agents. Syria also possesses delivery vehicles, including aerial bombs, artillery and missiles. Would Mr. Assad, in a moment of irrational desperation, use a chemical weapon against his foes? It would be a grave turn of events. So would the loss of control over the chemical-weapons stockpile. Syria is not believed to possess biological weapons, but intelligence assessments have noted that the country has the technical infrastructure to support development of germ warfare agents. Right now, the chemical agents are a known and worrisome danger. At the end of next week, the mandate for the U.N. mission in Syria expires. In the Security Council, the United States has proposed an extension with a new provision that would invoke stiff sanctions against Syria if a ceasefire does not take hold within 10 days and the Syrian government does not pull back heavy weapons from population centers. The goal is to squeeze Assad harder. But Russia and China, with veto power, don’t want sanctions. The Obama administration has conceded to Russian intransigence on Syria in the past; now is the time to stop. Should the sanctions proposal fail, the United States should allow the U.N. mission to expire. That would end what has been an counterproductive charade of diplomatic activity at the Security Council and open the way for more effective Western action, such as greater support for the Free Syrian Army and for safe zones for civilians. Moscow should be told that if it wishes to avoid such steps, it must back U.N. sanctions. – Washington Post
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THE NATION TUESDAY,JULY 17, 2012
IR: With all sense of humility, I want to advise you that you can still perform magic by concentrating on good governance while shuning meaningless awards if you want to become another Oshiomhole in the next governorship election scheduled for October 20, in Ondo State (but I doubt it). Even if you do more now but later failed in the coming election, no crime would have been committed because our contract with you terminates by February 2013 and re-election wasn’t part of people social agreement with you based on your school of thought (One Governor, One Term). Sir, you can’t receive more awards than former Imo State governor, Ikedi Ohakim but when the time came, he was flushed out with votes in 2011 general election despite having one of the best campaign jingles cutting across the Nigerian media houses and the abracadabra made available for him from powers-that-be in Abuja. We’re all Nigerians and we know what transpired on any award issue. Will all these awards givers come to Ondo State to vote for you? Sir, look at Comrade Oshiomhole’s victory over PDP in Edo State, did the man receive as many awards as you? No. Critics may have some element of obsessions but same can be used to shape a dead idea, but in your own wisdom, you prefer ignoring the voices of reasoning but here is election time again. Mr. Governor, try to work and complete OkaAkoko micro-Mega School (where pupils have been displaced for three years) and some others that are still lying uncompleted across the state because you’ve received many awards on education which I believed mega school achievement is part of what those awards sellers are looking at as criteria. Moribund industries that you promised to revitalise so that we the youths can be gainfully employed are yet to be touched, but instead of accepting your lack of focus and maybe hatred for the youths in this viable land of Sunshine, you’ve hung on the nation power (electricity) crisis, yet diesel oil can be used to
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Candid advice for Governor Mimiko generate power for Oja-Oba road all in the name of “Owanbe” mentality. Our riverine areas are yet to know whether there is any existing government as if they aren’t parts of areas considered to be Ondo State. They only got to know that Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC, the late Gov. Adebayo Adefarati’s legacy for Ese-Odo and Ilaje councils) is still allocating funds for them when the news of one of
your errand boy stealing of N6.1billion was aired. In fact, when we the youths couldn’t sight your cement products from Okeluse factory and tomatoes paste from Arigidi-Akoko factory in the markets either here in the state or elsewhere after much that have been said on these projects and the nine digits figures fund allocated, we’ve posed akimbo waiting for you in all the nook and cranny of the state polling units by October.
My friends from all over the state are still wondering when our Kaadi Igbe-Ayo will be put into use here. Who am I to dare answering these politically inclined gurus with defence such as my governor is building Fountain at the centre of busy road within the Alagbaka, Bus Stops along Oba-Adesida road, Market Stalls across the state without economic viability? These people knew how much this administration met in the coffer, they know what
accrues to state purse monthly from federation account, aware of state’s Internally Generated Revenue strength as well as the amount of bonds Your Excellency have sought for at capital market. The Dome project is still on the technical feasibility stage after billions of naira had gone into drain pipe. Sir, just do your remaining best even if it won’t count because we’ve resolved not to entrust you with the least political office in the land. Vilification of perceived opposition and critics by your paid propagandists might not have allowed you to reason along, but I want to believe that a little while it will be clear to you that all their blandishments won’t see you through in the hands of the electorate. • Ope Omoriwo Oka-Akoko, Ondo State
The true face of Farouk Lawan
IR: He was the arrowhead of a few lawmakers who declared their readiness to live by example and branded themselves “The Integrity Group”. His name is Hon. Farouk Lawan, who has been in the House since May 1999. By his definition, “members are supposed to epitomise ‘integrity’ and conduct themselves in a manner that make them clearly above board in all dealings”. The group spearheaded the removal of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh over the N628 million house renovation/ upgrading scandal. It is an irony that Hon. Lawan is now battling to protect his integrity since the alleged $620,000 bribe scandal broke out. The question Nigerians are asking now is where is integrity? One of the leading members of the Integrity Group Lynda Ikpeazu has said: “Integrity still remains integrity in spite of what may have transpired. Assuming an individual does something bad, which we are not even sure yet because the matter is still being investigated, it
doesn’t affect the group in any way. We’re still together and Integrity Group still remains Integrity Group.” Let us not forget that Lawan’s success in the removal of the former Speaker, Patricia Etteh over the N628m house upgrading/renovation scandal earned him the nickname “Mr. Integrity”. I wonder if it does exist when Mr. Integrity through his lawyers denied that he ever solicited from Mr. Femi Otedola the sum of $3million or any other sum at all, as bribe, to enable his oil firms to be left off those indicted. According to his Lawyers, Hon. Lawan only collected the $500,000 from Femi Otedola in order to play along after which Otedola offered
to make a total of three million US dollars and that the $500,000 collected by Lawan was sent with a covering letter titled “Offer of Monetary Inducement by Femi Otedola to influence Committee Report” to Mr. Adams Jagaba, the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes. Jagaba has since formally denied involvement in the collection of $500,000 bribe. In fact he asked Lawan to stop blackmailing him else he will have no option than to take the appropriate legal action against him. Jagaba who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja noted that all the information given including “written letter and attached $500,000” by Lawan were unfounded. He chal-
lenged Farouk Lawan to produce an authentic acknowledged copy of his letter and stop dragging his name in the mud. A known hitherto dedicated lawmaker who was credited for doing good work whenever he is called upon by the House has now turned into an instrument who mystified many by the twist of events on the fuel subsidy regime probe. Unless what we are reading is different from that which actually transpired, I really do not see why Otedola should be arrested for helping the Police STF pull a sting operation that exposed corrupt lawmaker. • Odeyemi Mudashiru Olalekan University of Lagos Akoka.
Edo election: Lesson for ‘Mr. Fix It’
IR: In Ogori, Kogi State where I hail from, we have some proverbs I want to share with Mr “Fix It”. If an idol has become too powerful for those who worship it, they tell it to its face the wood it was
carved from. Even the fiercest man in the world is finally over-powered by sleep. No matter how long you bury the truth, one day it will exhume itself. You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool them all
the time. Edo people have had enough of your shenanigans. Congrats Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Victory for democracy!!! • Sunday Fatoye Oyemekun Street, Akure
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
HERE is something of the sweet the judiciary; hoping and sour about Justice Dahiru somewhat to right any wrong Musdapher’s reign as Chief after his ascension. Others said Justice of Nigeria (CJN) – and the Salami he acted rather like Brutus in unsolved conundrum is the reason. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in CJN Musdapher’s tenure started as the conspiracy that killed the stooping to conquer. It ended as almost Roman great. Whereas others stooping to be conquered, despite the acted because they hated the former CJN’s admirable rally to set rampaging Caesar, Brutus Olakunle things right. The moral, for the acted less because he hated umpteenth time, is the imperative for email@example.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola Caesar but because he loved moral strength at critical junctures of Rome. CJN-designate Nigerian national life. Musdapher, insists this line of argument, kept mute That, however, would appear as easy to preserve the dignity of the CJN office, rather than to attain as the Categorical Imperative to be part of any anti-Salami conspiracy. of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Simply Either way, there was no doubt that CJN Musdapher’s body put, the Prussian Kant’s rigorous (some say extremist) ethic, language, from the time he assumed duty to when he vacated posits there is absolutely no excuse for not doing the right the seat on July 15 when he turned 70, was to remedy the thing, no matter how dangerous the situation is. In the injustice to Justice Salami, with as much dignity and grace as realm of the ideal, that would be all right. But in reality, it NJC suspended Justice Isa Ayo Salami, the president of the Court possible, without the judiciary losing further face. But alas! It of Appeal (PCA). The facts of the matter are in the public space. is almost always a long shot, though it is an ideal to aim at. proved rather a mission-impossible, even if progress has been Indeed, it was a testy time, especially for a troubled Only a brief recap would do here. made. The same NJC has lifted the suspension. It is the Jonathan PCA Salami had accused the CJN of attempting to tilt the Sokoto democratic republic, when CJN Musdapher took over. Presidency that, for clear partisan reasons, is playing the outlaw gubernatorial appeal case one way or the other; and thereafter History would judge CJN Aloysius Katsina-Alu, Justice and hiding behind a rotten finger of crass legalism. Musdapher’s predecessor, as Nigeria’s closest to a legal “arrested” the judgment when he could not. He mentioned Unfortunately for an unravelling polity, the Jonathan Justice Musdapher, then next in line for CJN, as witness to the leviathan. But being a leviathan, aside from its general Presidency is value-neuter. Its fount was (for Jonathan to run alleged act. coloration as gross and evil, is not necessarily a bad thing. Then there was the drama of Justice Salami’s refused elevation for president after completing the late Yar’adua’s term) the inSettling for the English political philosopher John Hobbes, to the Supreme Court. The CJN maintained it was promotion your-face impunity of summarily repudiating the power the leviathan is simply an all-powerful monarch or state. zoning arrangement that had catapulted Jonathan from Draco (born around 650 BC), the Greek, was known for his well-earned, to strengthen the highest Bench in the land. But the nowhere to the apex of political power in the land. PCA countered it was a Trojan horse to make the Court of Appeal ruthlessness for rooting out the degeneracy of the Athens Ironically, even the awesome power of the Nigerian state of his day. Though history remembers him more for his (CA), under a more pliable presidency, dance to cheap partisan appears grandly impotent in the face of the tragic consequences tunes. mailed fist and perhaps possible abuses, it nevertheless Then there were the insane allegations by Iyiola Omisore and of decades of serial injustices, as borne out in its failure to records that Draco got the job done, delivering to the Greeks company, smarting from retrieved gubernatorial loot, from the contain the Boko Haram criminality of mass slaughter of innocent the first set of written, though harsh, laws. souls; and possible ethnic-religious cleansing of Nigerian Solon (638-558 BC), another post-Draco Athenian Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Ekiti and Osun states; citizens, who have absolute rights to protection by law. following similar retrievals from Edo and Ondo states – all by lawgiver, got plaudits for combining moral outrage with Now, in the Salami case, a value-neuter Jonathan Presidency wisdom, and acting with even-handedness to solve the final instrumentality of the CA, under Justice Salami. would not mind, if it could get away with it, bringing the Justice Musdapher would perhaps had shot down the Salami problems. judiciary to heel on partisan considerations, and explode the Pericles (495-429 BC), the greatest of all Athenian judicial scandal, which climaxed with the Salami suspension by last myth that this floundering polity is capable of righting a clearly conspiratorial NJC under CJN Katsina-Alu, and the lawgivers, showed the leviathan at its socially acceptable any wrong through the courts. Enter then, neo- Hobbes’s best. Though a former naval general, his political liberality lowering of the judiciary’s estimation in the eyes of many, had state of nature! he corroborated the Salami allegation against the sitting CJN. coupled with loving sternness in implementing the law All CJN Musdapher tried to do, throughout his short tenure, Justice Musdapher has maintained there was nothing to combined to make Athens the greatest of the Greek city corroborate. Still, many insist CJN-designate Musdapher was to right Justice Salami’s wrongful suspension. But he did states of his day, if not of all times. not contend with a dissembling Jonathan Presidency, So, the problem is not a leviathan per se, but what sort of remained neutral to preserve his ascendancy to the summit of mouthing legal cant and doing anything but the right thing, leviathan? CJN Katsina-Alu, with all due respect to his “New CJN Aloma Mariam Mukhtar’s first task, despite the obvious advantages for an administration that has person, appeared the first CJN in a long time, if not ever, to therefore, is to continue from where CJN almost no redeeming value. project raw power instead of the majesty of the law and the CJN Aloma Mariam Mukhtar’s first task, therefore, is Musdapher stopped. After the disastrious Katsina- toNew dignity of due process. Rather than a conclave of brightest continue from where CJN Musdapher stopped. After the and most tempered legal minds in the land, the National Alu years, it is time to redeem the judiciary and disastrous Katsina-Alu years, it is time to redeem the judiciary Judicial Council (NJC), under CJN Katsina-Alu, appeared a return to it the quiet dignity of the pre-Katsina- and return to it the quiet dignity of the pre-Katsina-Alu tenure. garrison of judges, bivouacked under a supreme Alu tenure. The first practical step is by resolving The first practical step is by resolving the Salami suspension commander. on the side of justice, despite the perfidy of the Jonathan the Salami suspension on the side of justice.” That would explain the scandalous manner Katsina-Alu’s Presidency.
Musdapher and Salami’s unfinished business
HE administration of President Goodluck Jonathan wants to make laws that will control population growth in Nigeria. The President said this during the inauguration of the chairman and commissioners of the National Population Commission (NPC). According to him the government cannot fold its arms until the country’s population becomes uncontrollable. This statement is an offshoot of the wrongly held agelong notion that increased population retards economic growth. The mindset is that Nigeria is overpopulated or heading towards overpopulation and if nothing is done to deliberately halt the trend, several economic and social consequences could ensure. One of such imagined consequences is that population will outgrow the resources as we were taught in high school economics. This age-long Malthusian theory is wrong. It is more dangerous for modern day leaders to hold on to such apocalyptic view. The fears that there are too many people in the country are misplaced. Any policy aimed at addressing such imaginary problem will be dangerous. Contrary to this belief, available evidence suggests that policies and programmes that artificially frustrate natural progression in population create demographic problems in the medium to long term, retard overall development and produce hordes of unintended consequences. Available statistics shows that Nigeria population has quadrupled since independence, and despite the maladministration and chronic bad governance over the years, the only impetus for growth is on the account of the population. For instance, bulk of the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) attracted into the country was occasioned by the market size. According to World Bank data, Foreign Direct Investment has persistently risen, hovering between $6 and $8.5 billion since 2007. The astronomical growth in the tele-
‘The population problem in Nigeria is a bogeyman. Presently, close to 50% of Nigeria population are between the ages of 1 and 15. The youngest of the age range will be about 40 years old in 2050 and will have fewer children compare to their parents. Unbiased analysis of this trend suggests Nigeria population will stagnate around that time’
Birth control undermines Nigeria’s selling point By Thompson Ayodele and Olusegun Sotola communications and the IT phenomenon in Nigeria are essentially driven by market size which is a function of the population. Small countries are unattractive for investment except when they have natural resources such as oil and gas. This is because the size of the markets is often limited and they suffer from diseconomies of scale. What the proponents of population reduction seem to have glossed over is countries with high population tend to have either military or economic power or both. They tend to have influence in world’s affairs. These countries include but not limited to China, United States, India, Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia and many more. There are public policy lessons Nigeria could learn from countries that have promulgated law to control birth. For instance, in China there is a high rate of abandonment and infanticide especially of girl child. Available data shows there are 32 million more male than female under the age of 20. Sex selective abortion accounts for almost all the excess. At a point, the ratio of male to female was 130 to 100 creating a gender crisis. Because of the gender crisis created by the one-child policy, the Chinese government has set a five year policy plan to bridge the male-female ratio to 113:100 by year 2016. Whatever methods of birth control adopted in Nigeria will create bigger crisis. The strong preference for boys and associated gender crisis which will be fuelled by corruption for people who want to circumvent the law would be the beginning of the consequences. Apart from the effects of state intervention in birth planning, the Nigeria population size does not need any state intervention or injecting tax payers’ money. Already birth per thousand is declining. It is now 39.2 per thousand in 2012 down from 43 per thousand in 2008. The population growth rate is now about 2% annually down from 3% few years ago. As a matter of fact, the country population is growing at a declining rate. The population increased by over 70 per cent between 1991 and 2008. By a recent estimate, it would increase by 42% by the year 2050. It is pointless to initiate any birth control as a deliberate government policy. The population problem in Nigeria is a bogeyman. Presently, close to 50% of Nigeria population are between the
ages of 1 and 15. The youngest of the age range will be about 40 years old in 2050 and will have fewer children compare to their parents. Unbiased analysis of this trend suggests Nigeria population will stagnate around that time. There will be more adult population. The effects of aged population are severe and this explains why it is illogical to deliberately force birth control on Nigerians. Practical examples exist on the implications of aged society. Many developed economies are at present promoting population growth. This is particularly noticeable in some Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries where policy makers have designed policies aimed at arresting the ageing population. In Australia for example, since 2004 the government has enacted a Baby Bonus policy, paying women A$3,000 per child. The campaign since 2004 has been tagged: one baby for your husband, one for your wife and one for the country. This campaign is aimed at encouraging families to have more children. Many other developed countries have also enacted immigration policy aimed at enticing young and able adult into their economy. Julian Simon, in his book, The Ultimate Resources, emphasises that less people don’t actually bring about economic growth. He rhetorically asks: Why are our ancestors not more prosperous when they were just a few thousands on the planet? According to Julian Simon, while the prices of natural resources have been declining, human beings continue to cost more in term of wages despite our numbers. The facts show that the more the people, the more the prosperity. This is why it is more likely to see highly creative people in China, India, USA and Nigeria than other smaller countries. Across the world, there are more millionaire in big cities than sparsely populated countryside. Conversely, it may interest us to know that famine and starvation mostly occurred in sparsely countries. Considering the challenges faced by investors in Nigeria, the nation selling point lies in its market size made possible by population. The belief that high population cause problem is not only wrong, it is also dangerous. It is dangerous because it prevents us from seeing human beings as the ultimate resource without which all other resources are useless. It also instils a mindset that people are a burden, incapable of changing their economic conditions without government help. Nigeria does not need any birth control law to be rammed through their throats. The decision on the number of kids a family should have is better made by the individual family. Like Chuang Tzu said, good order results spontaneously when things are let alone. • Ayodele & Sotola are with the Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, a public policy think tank based in Lagos.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
ROFESSOR Wole Soyinka visited Akwa Ibom recently and got lost! Just a few days back, President Goodluck Jonathan had a similar experience. At some point, during the Senate retreat held in Uyo, Senate President David Mark was heard reporting to the President that Governor Godswill Akpabio had been most ‘unfair’ to them. For the Nobel Laureate, his 78th birthday was almost ruined because as he drove into Uyo, his confusion increased into a shock! Known for his outspokenness, the elder statesman had to question his host: “Are you trying to play a trick on me? Where exactly are we and where are you taking me to?” Soyinka’s amazement stemmed from the fact that, according to him, he was least prepared for the surprise he met on ground. From the Ibom Airport into the town, the playwright said most of what he heard or read about Akwa Ibom had always seemed to him as exaggerated. But witnessing the transformation of the state from a rural setting to a mega city was too exciting for his age. For once Soyinka’s opinion that democracy has failed in Nigeria began to wane and he openly admitted that with the Akpabio model, there was hope for Nigeria, after all! Like Soyinka, Mark was amazed at what he met in Akwa Ibom. In fact, he jokingly
‘Since he became governor in 2007, Akpabio has earned a record of giving even opportunities to communities, whether in roads, schools, health, aviation, tourism or housing projects. The result of his performance has been excitement to his people and visitors like Soyinka, Mark, Jonathan, etc’
EFORE me on my table as I am writing this short essay is a couple of media reports on the signing on July 4 , of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Power and Daewoo Construction and Electrical on ways Daewoo could help generate 10,000MW in Nigeria, with the South Korean engineering giant taking up 20% equity in new plants. I am particularly excited at the statement attributed to the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, to the effect that Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Daewoo would no longer be allowed to just sell finished products like turbines to Nigeria. The minister reasons that if OEMs cannot manufacture in our country yet, they should at least begin to assemble here and consequently add value to our national economy. Nigeria, the minister added, should not remain forever the dumping ground for foreign manufacturers. As I was reading the reports, my confidence in the Nigerian possibility became rekindled. Prof Nnaji spoke on the occasion with authority; not the authority of his personal accomplishments which, in any case, can humble practically anyone, but the authority arising from unprecedented international investor confidence in the Nigerian power sector. In other words, Nnaji is not on his knees pleading with foreigners to come to Nigeria to invest. The international investors are coming daily in large groups, and for once Nigeria has the confidence to dictate the terms to them—and they are com-
‘All these fantastic developments in the electricity sector do give our people hope that, much as power takes a long time to become available, the revolution which our dear nation has seen in telecoms since 2001 will be repeated in the power sector someday’
The uncommon road builder By Uduak Edward told another Senator that Akpabio was ‘unfair’ because he refused to expose to other governors the secret of his success. But the governor, when openly challenged, told the lawmakers that he preferred to work quietly instead of blowing his trumpet. He said if he had his way, he would have shut down the state and only opened it after completion of his uncommon transformation. “Well, I didn’t think it was necessary to make so much noise about what we are doing here. But now that we have achieved some measure of progress, that is why I now invite people to come and see for themselves!” he said. The story of Akpabio’s transformation drive has been on international focus. Once, the American government spotted his potentials early enough and drew attention to what they considered a commendable agenda. Soon, his programmes were tagged revolutionary. Perhaps so, for the governor was quick to explain that his speedy implementation of infrastructural renaissance was because he was angry at the situation he met his state. Today, some roads in Akwa Ibom are world class standard. Last month, President Jonathan made history inaugurating another mega road in the state. The road, which is a masterpiece, is seen by even the critics as a good gesture since it leads to the hometown of Akpabio’s predecessor, Obong Victor Attah. Apparently impressed by the road, Attah who never saw eye-toeye with Akpabio for years reportedly praised him recently at a public function in Abuja! The Aka- Nung Udoe road (about 20 kilometres) is one of the most widely traversed roads in the Niger Delta. It predates
the state’s creation in 1987 and perhaps the discovery of oil and gas in Nigeria. But in recent years, it became a death trap, until Akpabio turned his magic wand in that direction. Now, the once narrow and dilapidated road has been constructed into a dual carriage way. It has solar street lightings; the biggest roundabout (possibly in the country): parking lanes, overhead pedestrian bridges; walkways; express turning points, etc. Before commissioning, President Jonathan said, “from 1994 when I was working as a staff of Oil and Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC, I’m familiar with Akwa Ibom State, I’ve worked through this road; but I must say, I’m yet to recognize it again”. Considering the quality, aesthetics and finishing, Jonathan said, “the Aka Nung Udoe dual carriage way is a bench mark in road construction in Nigeria”! He added that the road has “added meaning to the transformation agenda” of his administration “to significantly change the circumstances of Nigerians”. For him, Akpabio has demonstrated to Nigerians that he has not forgotten promises made during the electioneering campaigns. Then, he commended the governor for putting Akwa Ibom funds into projects that benefit the entire people. Akpabio had explained that the “road connects more than three local government areas, many federal constituencies. It is to give the people a comfortable avenue of linking up with governance at the state capital”. And since he has consistently done well in almost all the communities of the state, some commentators agree that Akpabio deserves commendation. According to Mr Etefia Ukpom, a community
leader and ACN stalwart, “for a governor to ignore all provocations; for him to eschew bitterness; for not introducing ethnic agenda into the project and for putting the sad story of the people living in this part of the state to an end, Akpabio deserves a pat on the back”. So far, Akpabio has built and dualised five federal roads and, according to Nasir el-Rufai, the erudite but critical former minister of FCT, over 300 roads covering a distance of about 200 kilometres, many bridges, underground drainage systems and three flyovers. Three more are under construction along with a 3rd Ring Road with 12-lanes. El Rufai also noted that “a commendable and successful initiative the state government has launched is the ‘Operation Zero Pot-Holes’ which aims to eradicate potholes on all township roads in Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and Eket…Akpabio appears to enjoy the support of his people, and he is adjudged to be performing well above average by development partners, Akwa Ibom citizens and outside observers”. Since he became governor in 2007, Akpabio has earned a record of giving even opportunities to communities, whether in roads, schools, health, aviation, tourism or housing projects. The result of his performance has been excitement to his people and visitors like Soyinka, Mark, Jonathan, etc. El-Rufai’s candid assessment is that, “Governor Akpabio has the unique opportunity of governing a state with immense revenues at a time when he can put the state on a path of sustainable development. This he has done reasonably well so far, with his noteworthy achievements in the provision of physical infrastructure”. He added that preparing the state for a post oil economy requires more human capital investments and leveraging on the state’s endowments. In this wise, he admitted that by 2012, “Mr. Akpabio may end up being another odd-fellow – a truly performing PDP governor leaving behind a sustainable legacy”. What a testimonial for the uncommon builder! • Miss Edward, a journalist and teacher, sent this piece from Lagos.
Nnaji as change agent By Ishaya Bakut plying enthusiastically! I am not just a student of strategic studies who follows international affairs with interest, but someone who has been in government at a high level and has seen at close quarters how international investors view Nigeria. I served as Principal Staff Officer in The Presidency during the time of General Ibrahim Babangida and was appointed the Field Commander of the multinational ECOWAS peacekeeping force in Liberia in the 1990s, only to return to State House under General Sani Abacha years later. These two positions, among others, enabled me to have a bird’s eye view of how foreigners really perceive Africans, all the more so in matters of long term investments. CitiBank/NIB was for some years about the most profitable bank in Nigeria, but it did not bother to acquire one single property here! It was in Nigeria for hot money. If anything had gone wrong, CitiBank/NIB would have simply repatriated all its money to New York, together with its expatriate staff. Now, there are some Nigerians who think all this was happening because our country was then under military rule. Well, they could be right, but only to some extent. President Olusegun Obsanjo, for instance, spent a substantial part of his first tenure of 1999 to 2003 on foreign trips, campaigning for foreign investments in Nigeria. But there was little to show for his dedicated effort. Let us cite the telling example of Obasanjo’s spirited lobbying of the British telecom company, Vodafone (which is the world’s largest mobile telephone operator) to invest in the Nigerian GSM market in the wake of the liberalization of the telecom sector and of the restoration of democratic governance in the country. Vodafone turned down Obasanjo’s offer, which included incredible tax reliefs. The rejection by big telecom firms enabled relatively smaller players like Southern African MTN and Econet to have a field day. It does not matter that the Vodafone chairman, Sir
Christopher Gent, was to deeply regret his investment decision. Against this backdrop, I am, like most Nigerians, over the moon to know that world class electricity companies are taking farreaching steps to participate, in very concrete terms, in the ongoing power sector in our beloved nation. General Electric of the United States, the world’s biggest manufacturer of electricity equipment, has signed an MoU to assist in the generation of 10,000MW and invest between 10 and 15% equity in new plants using its equipment. Put succinctly, GE is no longer contented with selling turbines to Nigeria. In addition, GE is planning to build an assembly plant in the country, the first time it will do so in sub-Saharan Africa. As if in competition with GE, Siemens of Germany has signed an MoU to help generate 10,000MW, build a service station (the first time in West Africa) and sponsor a study for the integration of traditional and alternative sources of energy. Electrobra of Brazil has signed a similar MoU with the Nigerian Ministry of Power. Just before the MoUs were signed, the United States EXIM Bank signed an MoU last year with the Ministry of Power providing $1.2b credit to investors in Nigeria’s power sector using American products and services. This is a very interesting development. US EXIM’s total credit to sub Sahara Africa the previous year was $1.4b, with only $200m coming to Nigeria. It is worth emphasizing to state here that the credit to Nigeria’s power sector alone is more than the combination of all the sectors in the whole of Black Africa received in 2010. I am even informed by my contacts in the US EXIM Bank that the financial institution is willing to raise the facility to $2.5b. It was the same sources who disclosed to me that the chief executive of the American bank came himself to Nigeria to sign the MoU only two weeks after the Minister of Power visited him in Washington, DC, and persuaded the top banker to get involved in Nigeria’s power sector reform. The CEO has
tremendous respect for Prof Nnaji who lived in America from 1975 to 2005 and shone like a star in the American academia. The tremendous international investor confidence in the power sector displayed by the GEs, Siemenses, Dawewoos and US Exim Banks of this world need not have come to all of us as a surprise. As early as 2010 when the Bureau of Public Enterprises called for Expressions of Interest (EoIs) in the 18 PHCN successor companies mapped out for privatization, the signs had been there. There were as many as 331 EoIs from blue chip companies from various regions of the world. Nnaji was then serving as the Special Adviser to the President on Power and chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power. It is gratifying that 135 companies have now been shortlisted to bid for PHCN six generation companies and eleven distribution firms this month. Already, Manitoba of Canada has won the bid to manage the 18th PHCN successor company, Transmission Company of Nigeria, and the contract will be signed this month. All these fantastic developments in the electricity sector do give our people hope that, much as power takes a long time to become available, the revolution which our dear nation has seen in telecoms since 2001 will be repeated in the power sector someday. The success thus far owes to essentially the character, competence, integrity, foresight, knowledge and doggedness of one Nigerian: Prof Bart Nnaji, a very pleasant and unassuming person whom I met when I was a principal officer in State House and worked closely with as a fellow engineer when he was setting up the Abuja 22 Megawatt Emergency Plant in 2000. Nnaji has since gone on to achieve other feats for himself and for the Nigerian people. I am using the occasion of his 56th birthday on July 13, to pay him this well deserved public tribute. May the Almighty continue to bless, guide and protect him for us. • Gen Bakut (retd), an engineer, was Governor of Benue state and ECOMOG Field Commander.
Notes of a resident - Page 27
Glittering city in need of healthcare
Long road to priesthood - Page 28
â€˘366 FCT communities short of medical facilities
From the Presidential Villa - Page 40
- See story on Page 26
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Glittering city in need of healthcare
HE glitz and allure are well known, but what about those things commonly called the basic things of life? Community roads are in terrible state of disrepair. Clean water is in short supply. A 70-year-old man, for instance, said he has not seen a medical doctor all his life, though not because he did not need any. There is a lot to discover beneath the glitter of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (SSAP-MDGs), Dr. Precious Gbeneol made some discoveries of her own when she toured local councils in the FCT. Her mission was to establish the efficacy of the territory’s MDGs Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS). The FCT, though strategically positioned in Nigeria’s power equation, still lacks the major basic necessities of life. Many comunities remain inaccessible by road while several others do not have access to basic medical facilities. They are so near yet so far from modernity. During the inspection visit to Petti in Kwali Area Council, the SSAPMDG assessed the variety of drugs administered to the residents. Some of them were given free drugs such as Anti-Malaria, Ibruprofen, Multivite, among others. The Malaifa Mobile Clinic was described as an efficient means of getting medical care to the grassroots. Some of the pupils of LEA Primary School, Petti were seen on a long queue awaiting free urine test. Expectant mothers and youths were not excluded in the exercise. Last December, at the official launch of the country’s CGS, Dr. Gbeneol spoke on the significance of the fund. According to her, the conditional grant was designed to address the needs of MDGs at the local government level by fasttracking attainment of the anticipated goal by 2015. The grant was disbursed to 113 local governments across the six geopolitical zones in the country including the FCT, while its release was based on the needs assessment of three local governments having the worst MDGs indicators in each state. While the assessment exercise was on, it was revealed that about 366 communities in a total of 868 were short of effective medical facilities in the territory. The communities are often faced with numerous health challenges with less or no facility to address their medical needs. The Task Manager of Health
elebrities usually do things in style. When they raised funds for the pre-investiture of Rotary Club District 9125 new Governor Felix Obadan, they did so over sumptuous dinner. They also chose an elite venue, Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Abuja. What about the funds raised? They came in millions. The atmosphere was carnival-like, with the dignitaries turning up in droves. The event held at the Ladi Kwali hall of the hotel. There were no traditional dances or drama troupes, but a Jazz band was enough to keep the guests in a party mood. The event was organised by Rotary Club District 9125. Obadan and his wife, Ann Adetutu were on hand to welcome the guests, moving from one table to the other to appreciate their presence. The evening commenced later than planned as the guests had to wait for the keynote speaker, Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu. The Chief Servant offered apologies when he eventually came.
From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja
Project, FCT Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Office, Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar, said that health officials had to take the medical materials to soem communities by canoe. It was an effort aimed at ensuring that the rural dwellers benefitted from the developmental programme. “In the research conducted, we reviewed 868 communities and out of these communities, 366 of them could not have access to health facilities, that is within FCT and we are talking of achieving MDGs. “So if 366 communities are not having access to health care facilities, that is very bad. So the only thing we could do was to take health care delivery to the grassroots. And we realised that these people are very poor, some of who have never seen doctors in their lifetime,” Abubakar said. He said a 70-year-old man in one of the Gbagyi communities claimed not to have ever seen a medical doctor. Explaining further, Abubakar said that since the inception of the MDGs programme in FCT about 26,000 under-five children have been treated for malaria while others were immunised. Dr. Gbeneol identified the need to take healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the people. This alone may contribute immensely in achieving some of the set goals. She said the aim of the inspection exercise was to ensure the released MDGs funds are effectively put to use. At the inspection of MDGs farm support project in Kuje Area Council, the farmers were overwhelmed with full enthusiasm. Riding in the tractor with so much pride, the farmers’ groups were seen cultivating a large tract of land. Mrs. Gbeneol said that farm yield has improved significantly especially with the commencement of mechanized farming. The farmers, under the aegis of a cooperative society, expressed satisfaction for the interventions. The farming group said that the support such as tractor and improved seeds have been helpful in sinking boreholes in their community as well as improving their agricultural yields. Mrs. Gbeneol urged the farmers to form more co-operatives so as to benefit more from the MDGs intervention. She pledged to deliberate with the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed on ways he could help with counterpart funding. The objective of the MDGs is to
•Dr. Precious Gbeneol (right), her tour team and the villagers
•Primary school pupils waiting for a medical test during the visit
Dignitaries raise funds at Rotary Sheraton dinner From Dele Anofi
Every stratum of the Nigerian society was represented at the event. Apart from the Chief Servant’s entourage, his colleagues from Bauchi, Kogi and Rivers states who could not make it to the event, sent worthy representatives. Governor Isa Yuguda sent his son, Ibrahim. The guests list included Ibrahim Yuguda; Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Chief Edwin Clark, Senator Remi Tinubu, who was represented by her Special
Assistant, Jide Babalola. The roll call also included Hon. Kamil Olasunkanmi; former Deputy House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Austin Opara, Brig. Gen. Theophilus Bamigboye (rtd), Col. Rasheed Shekoni (rtd), Haruna Ibrahim, an aide to the Minister of the FCT; Mai Kaltungo and Deputy Chair, Gombe Council of Chiefs and Emirs, Alhaji Saleh Mohammed, among others. Governor Aliyu emphasised the need for public servants to copy Rotary International on
Those of us in the public service need to learn from the approach of the Rotary International on issues of transparency, accountability and proper planning before expenditure
transparency and accountability in governance. He said: “Those of us in the public service need to learn from the approach of the Rotary International on issues of transparency, accountability and proper planning before expenditure. This is very fundamental to the real essence of life, especially when we ponder our purpose on earth. I believe that the world will be a more peaceful, more secure and much happier place to live if we imbibe the spirit of sacrifice, good neighbourliness, kindness, equity, fairness and justice.” Aliyu said leaders could add value to humanity through selfless service, adding that peace through service was critical to the effort in finding a lasting solution to some of the challenges confronting the nation. He said: “To guarantee peace and
foster sustainable development, we need integrity in service delivery, transparency, accountability as well as equity in all ramifications. These are some of the principles of servant leadership, which we must all imbibe and uphold to achieve our developmental aspirations as a nation.” The governor commended the Rotarians for being peace builders and peace ambassadors in their various businesses and professions, emphasising that peace would not thrive in the midst of corruption, inequities and carelessness. “All must join hands to fight corruption in the country,” he added. The gathering was informed of what the Club had been doing to enhance life. Greenwich University in collaboration with the District donated 700 anti-snake venom to •Continued on Page 27
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Dignitaries raise funds at Rotary Sheraton dinner •Continued from Page 26 Kaltungo community. The gesture was informed by the menace of two types of snakes in the area. According to Mai Kaltungo, Alhaji Saleh Mohammed, snakebite has been a threat to the community for ages. The traditional ruler expressed disappointment over the inability of government to assist in setting up an anti-snake venom laboratory in his community. He revealed that samples of two dominant snakes were taken from Kaltungo to Europe after which the anti-venom was made. The Greenwich made the donation with the new District Governor, promising the assistance of his organisation to aid the community and the General Hospital which the Mai Kaltungo said was in a sorry state. The Chief Servant anchored the donation and his efforts saw Kogi State Governor Idris Wada donating N1m. Yuguda sent a donation of N2 million while his son, Ibrahim donated N1m. Rivers State Governor was not represented but Aliyu assured that Chibuke Amaechi would send his donation to the organisation. The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu made a donation of N2m on behalf of his Ministry and agencies under him. Honourbale Kamil Olasumkanmi of the House of Representatives donated N250,000, Chief Edwin Clark and his entourage donated N300,000. Hon. Austino Opara donated N250,000 while an aide to the Minister of the FCT, Hassan Abubakar doled out N1m.
NE of the many things that fascinated me about the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was the ease with which people moved around. As a pedestrian, I would watch in amazement as cars and buses zoomed and sped on highways, only stopping when they reached their destination or when the traffic light ordered. In the vehicle, I loved as air gushed in to dry up traces of sweat on my skin. For many years, I marvelled at the level of organisation.
•Abuja communters and pedestrians
•Mr. Felix Obadan (left), Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, Managing Director, United Healthcare International Dr. Kolawole Owoka, and Prof. PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE Onyebuchi Chukwu at the fund-raising dinner of the Rotary International District 9125 Senator Remi Tinubu, who was represented by Babalola, preferred not to have her donation public just like former Army top shots, Brig Gen. Theophilos Bamigboye and Col. Rasheed Shekoni. Obadan said the donations will certainly go into building Abuja Rotary Centre and executing humanitarian service projects that would put A smile on the faces of the less privileged. He also revealed to Abuja Review how he intends moving District 1925 forward, especially in the Northern part of the country. “Our first priority is to double our membership, though we are covering 2/3 of the nation in land mass but we are still the least in
terms of membership in the three Districts in Nigeria,” he said. “Though we are getting to about 1,450 now but I’m seeing a situation where we are going to double it and hopefully take it to 3000 membership strength before the end of my tenure. “We are particular about some Northern states that have no Rotary Club; we hope to get there and ensure that all the big cities in our Districts get a Rotary Club. “Not only that, we are also going to concentrate on all the humanitarian projects highlighted in the six areas of focus of Rotary in conflict resolution; peace building; literacy and basic education; water
and sanitation; empowering the rural people; we are going to encourage the clubs because they are the ones that really do projects and we will use the leverage of Rotary International coverage all over the world to bring more support to our communities in terms of poverty alleviation, water supply and sanitation. “Like the anti-snake bite project, we are going to promote it among the multinationals companies as well as Rotary International members to get support for. He also has plans on polio eradication. “We need to eradicate polio in this country and the whole world is
Notes of a resident Halima Olajumoke Sogbesan
I was astonished by the way cars parked at newspaper stands to buy dailies, the absence of empty sachets of packaged water, bottles, gala or biscuits wrappers, and the peacefulness of the roads; free of hawkers who marketed their wares
aggressively. Today, the story is different. A walk or drive to some major government establishments, as well as police stations, manifests the recent development in transportation. Police stations, the Treasury House, the former Central Bank and the NNPC Tower, to mention but a few quarters, have a common char-
acteristic. The roads in front of these organizations are packed with signage and barricades describing the road blockage. The typical examples are those of the bold red writings of NO PARKING and STOP which have been complimented with bricks, ropes and wood in some cases. Also accompanying these signs are the blend of policemen and soldiers as they handle their guns and make banter. Another interesting feature of these roads is the transformation of the previous one-way lanes to accommodate cars going in both directions. It is difficult to overlook the sluggish movements of cars as they struggle to make it through the narrow roads, each driver trying to stay on his own lane. The whooshing sounds of the free highways have given way to the blaring sounds of horns and curses from impatient drivers in the holdups. If the sunny sky dares give way to a drizzle, the confusion escalates and the intervention of a traffic controller will be needed to organise the situation. Just a few kilometres from the very famous Wuse Market, the transformation is more difficult to bear. The limitation has resulted in the conversion of bus stop spaces to driving lanes. As a result, it is no surprise that once in a while the commercial bus drivers dropping or picking up passengers are the cause of road traffic. This is always an avenue for curse exchanges between the motorists, drivers and sometimes concerned passers-by. Also worth mentioning is the
looking up to Nigeria to get it through. India with over 1.2 billion people has just eradicated it, compared to Nigeria that has less than 200 million people,” he said. “It is not impossible to eradicate it in this country but we need peace and that is why we intend pursue the theme with vigor. “We will organise symposiums, workshops, conferences and what it takes in every area of our District to build peace and bring people together as well as encourage the people to serve the community selflessly. “We believe that when you render service to people and assist them, there will be less tendency to embark on violence.”
It is difficult to overlook the sluggish movements of cars as they struggle to make it through the narrow roads, each driver trying to stay on his own lane presence of sweaty hawkers as they market their wares on the traffic infested roads. A road user could always purchase needed products such as dailies, toiletries, small chops and household materials without visiting a store. Though advantageous to the buyer, the environment suffers from the litters that pollute it afterwards. The previous ease of travel has not totally disappeared from the centre of excellence. Many streets and highways in cities like Asokoro still possess those much admired characteristics of mine. However, the thought that one can time their travel is slowly becoming a myth in Abuja as a result of the congestion. •Halimah, a student of American University, Yola, is an intern at the Abuja office of The Nation
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Long road to priesthood
have completed my course work but whether I will become a priest is an act of providence.” That was the submission of one of the candidates for ordination into Catholic Church priesthood in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). But the wait has ended, nearly 10 years after commencing their studies. Seven of them have been inducted into the priestly order by no less a personality than the Archbishop of Johannesburg, Most Reverend Dr. Buti TIhagale. The event took place at the Missionary Society of St Paul of Nigeria in Gwagwalada District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Missionary Society of St Paul of Nigeria where they were ordained is located on the quiet and lonely outskirts of Gwagwalada. It however became centre of attraction to parents and well-wishers of the would-be priests. Catholic priests who were to assist the Archbishop, were positioned for the rite on the adorned alter. Also, the entire venue was filled to capacity, with most people staring from their standing positions to catch a glimpse of the unfolding event. Indeed, it was also a journey that ten of them began from Iperu Remo in Ogun State on October 11, 2003, according to Rev Fr. Garuba Godwin Asatomegbe in “The Growth of the Mustard Seeds”. He recalled: “We arrived at Iperu Remo to begin our seminary formation on October 11, 2003. For many of us, we were coming to become priests there. But little did we know that Iperu Remo was not the place to become priests but the nursery bed where seeds are nurtured for transplanting to the main campus in Gwagwalada, Abuja for onward formation to the missionary priest-
•Five of the seven ordained Catholic priests hood.” While stating that it was not an easy road to tread, he narrated the experiences that informed the making of their ordination. The compulsory seven years for priesthood was not simply enough to qualify them for the vocation because providence played a paramount role in the realisation of their dream. He said: “It has pleased God through the instrumentality of the formators to consider us worthy of being raised to priestly order today by Most Rev Dr. Buti Tihagale, OML, the Archbishop of Johannesburg.” At about 10:30am, the event commenced in earnest with the announcement of the names of the candidates. Accordingly, the Vicar General of the Society, Very Rev Fr Paul Ofoha presented them to the arch-
With this, the Archbishop swung into action. He began with a didactic homily after which he urged the candidates to declare their intention before the entire congregation. In his homily, the Archbishop unfolded the peculiarities of the career to them. He told them that he was ordaining them to build the society. According to him, priesthood is entirely a process in which the leader is the servant to the people. The Archbishop reminded them that among other things, celibacy was the hallmark of their sacrifice in order to serve the society. He reminded them that the spiritual life of a priest is tailored after that of Jesus Christ, since the priest is the visible Christ to the people. Christ, said Tlhagale, took the role of a servant to humble himself.
‘Tackle terrorism or quit’
OMMISSIONER of Police, Mobile Force Unit, Force Headquarters, Mr. Mbu J Mbu has been put in the hot seat by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar. As head of the Police Mobile Force, Mbu has been given the mandate to develop a new approach in tackling terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, protests and other forms of social upheavals. The other leg of the task is to design effective strategies to protect public facilities, particularly the ones with national economic interest. In response to the final word
bishop. Immediately they marched to the altar, the narrator explained that it was just the last chance they had to decide to withdraw from the vocation, should they lose courage or interest. There was some anxiety among the audience, especially parents who acoompanied their children to the venue. Yet, the decision was simply that of the candidates. The Archbishop did not commence his job in a hurry. He interrogated the Vicar General whether they had all been counted worthy of the pious vocation. Ofoha who defended their integrity. “After inquiring among the people of God and upon the recommendation of those concerned with their training, I testify that they have been found worthy,” he replied.
The sustained assault on Nigeria by terrorists has provoked a new awakening in the police. Heads of the various commands have been given the marching orders to develop a new approach to face the challenges. Assistant Editor, GBADE OGUNWALE reports from the Inspector General of Police, Mbu has spurred his men into action. The two Mobile Force training centres, located in Ila Orangun, Osun State and Gwoza, Bornu State
•Bombed Catholic Church, Madalla near Abuja
have suddenly come alive. Already, a batch of Deputy Squadron Commanders have undergone training at the two centres. Additional five units are currently undergoing training at the Ila Orangun centre, while 10 units
are receiving training at Gwoza. Others are to follow in batches with Squadron Commanders taking their turn after their deputies. In an encounter with our correspondent during the week, Mbu stated that the Police Inspector General had made it clear to the heads of the various units that it’s no longer going to be business as usual. According to him, under the present dispensation, any head of unit caught napping would have himself to blame. Hear him: “The IGP has made it clear to everyone of us that there is no room for failure and that we have the option of bracing up for the emerging security challenges or leave the job for those who are prepared to do it. So, as I am talking to you, every officer in the police force is aware of the fact that under the present IGP, it is a take it or leave it affair because you can no longer sit on the fence”. Components of the training programme include combat operation course, physical fitness, mental alertness, appropriate response to emergency situations and eternal vigilance. The commissioner stated that the performance of any mobile unit heavily depends on the competence of the commander and his deputy. He added that the moment the commander shows any sign of weakness, the entire team loses focus and morale tends to dampen among officers and men.
He talked about human frailty and the tendency for people to compromise standards but the Archbishop assured the priests-to-be that the “Catholic Church will not lower the bar.” After the long homily, the Archbishop laid his hands on the candidates who knelt before him one after the other. Similarly, all the priests who were present, uttered a silent prayer and also laid their hands upon each of the candidates. With this, the archbishop said the Prayer of Consecration. In the next scene, he extended his hands over the kneeling candidates and loudly repeated the prayer. Thereafter, the candidates had become priests decked in their regalia signifying the end of a long journey and the triumphant entry into a new vocation.
The IGP has made it clear to everyone of us that there is no room for failure and that we have the option of bracing up for the emerging security challenges or leave the job for those who are prepared to do it
The police brass identified old age, poor agility, overweight and other habit induced tendencies as some of the major drawbacks to optimal performance among officers and men. According to him, the training programme has been addressing these shortcomings as officers who failed to measure up are being weeded out of the mobile unit. Mohammed Abubakar has been stressing the point that postings in all police formations and operations would no longer be based on the proverbial “Nigerian factor”. Rather, competence and merit will continue to be the guide. It was further revealed that the office of the IGP had set up a monitoring unit for the purpose of enforcing compliance with the rules and ensuring effective service delivery. The monitoring unit is always on the lookout for mobile police officers and men that engage in illegal operations.
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
We also know that some corps members have been victims of kidnappings in some parts of the country. We also know that even some of them who took part in the last general elections were assaulted, some were even killed. We should protect our youths, they are our valuable assets
• SEE PAGE 30
Lawyers say no to postings of members by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to hot spots in the north. They fault the government on moral and legal grounds and suggest a reversal of the state’s position. JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, ADEBISI ONANUGA, ERIC IKHILAE and PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU report.
• Some NYSC Corps members
Lawyers to govt: reverse stand on NYSC posting
Is the Federal Government justified in compelling the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to reverse its earlier posture to allow redeployment of corps members from troubled northern states?
AN a responsible government trade its primary and constitutional responsibilities for political considerations and gains? This question is informed by the confusion over the position of the Federal Government on the rejection of the decision of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to compel unwilling graduates to observe their mandatory national service in some crisis-prone northern states. Recently, and particularly after the massacre of innocent NYSC members during last year’s post-election violence in the north, there have been increasing calls for the government to rethink the objectives and aims of the scheme established in 1973 by virtue of Decree 24 of that year, although succeeded in 1993 by Decree 51. Aside calls for its overhaul, there have been suggestions on ways of effecting the needed change in view of the threat unending terrorism, religious and sectarian violence in the northern part of the country now pose to the scheme. But, rather than act, the government appeared comfortable maintaining the status quo, a development that prompted the current controversy over the deployment of Batch B corps members for service this
•STORY ON PAGE 30
Inside: Bar election: How the candidates stand- P.31 Akande, Olanipekun, others get CIAN fellowship- P.34
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
LAW COVER CONT’D
• Prof Popoola
• Prof Ikhariale
Lawyers to govt: reverse stand on NYSC posting • Continued from page 29
year. Apparently feigning ignorance of the fact that governments and people of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna now live at the mercy of members of the Boko Haram sect and other fundamentalists, the NYSC had announced the deployment of fresh graduates to those states. The announcement ignited protests by the affected graduates, their families and well-meaning Nigerians, who saw the act as an exhibition of callousness on the part of a public institution, against the people. It took the intervention of the House of Representatives and some state Houses of Assembly for the NYSC to reverse its position. But, when all thought the issue had been resolved, the Federal Government decided to reignite the fire of discord by ordering the NYSC not to consider the security threats in the northern parts of the country, a decision many believed was informed by political consideration as against the need to uphold the constitutional provision in Section 14 (2) (b) to the effect that: the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. The Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdulkadir, had, while announcing the government’s position, argued that the Federal Government overruled the NYSC on the redeployment of corps members from troubled states on the ground that the posting of corps members to states other than their states of origin was enshrined in the NYSC Establishment Act. He contended that any other form of concessional posting of corps members other than on the grounds of health and marriage, as contained in the Act, enshrined in Section 315 (5) of the Constitution, will require the amendment of the Constitution. This refusal by the government to consider the resolutions of the House of Reps and some state Houses of Assembly in arriving at its decision, and the confusion over its actual motive have combined to compel many to conclude that it acted solely on political ground, with less regard to the law and constitutional provisions. Critics observed that while it took the government sometime to take a stand on the issue, the governors of the unsafe states, particularly Bauchi and Borno, were reported to have lamented the negative socio-economic implications of the redeployment of corps members from their states. They also noted that the Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, had dismissed the unprovoked killings of corps members, deployed for election services, in the wake of the 2011 post-election conflict in some northern states including Bauchi as “their destiny.” Those opposed to government’s position on this issue argued that the government’s claim that its position was informed by legal and constitutional considerations is faulty on the ground that the same Constitution makes the security and welfare of the people, including corps members, the primary responsibility of the government, a consideration, they said ought to supersede others. They contended that by literally compelling NYSC to post corps members to troubled states, despite the threat to their lives, the government deliberately negated the provisions of Sections 14 (2) (b), 15 and 17 (b) and (c) of the Constitution. To them, every responsible government should not only be driven by the urge to protect the interest of its citizenry, it should subject laws
to the good of all. Critics also noted that although the scheme was established after the civil war, as an agent of reunification and bonding, it seemed to have outlived its usefulness, the state having failed to live up to its responsibilities as required in Section 15 of the Constitution Section 15 sub-section one says: “The motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress;” while sub-section two says: “Accordingly, national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited.” Sub-section three states: “For the purpose of promoting national integration, it shall be the duty of the state to: (a) provide adequate facilities for and encourage free mobility of people, goods and services throughout the Federation; (b) secure full residence rights for every citizen in all parts of the Federation; (c) encourage intermarriage among persons from different places of origin, or of different religious, ethnic or linguistic association or ties; and (d) promote or encourage the formation of associations that cut across ethnic, linguistic, religious and or other sectional barriers.” Sub-section four provides that: “The state shall foster a feeling of belonging and of involvement among the various people of the Federation, to the end that loyalty to the nation shall override sectional loyalties.” while sub-section five says: “The state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.” Lawyers have faulted the government’s position on the issue. They argued that its reference to legal and constitutional provisions as the bases on which it overruled the NYSC was faulty. While some urged the government to deemphasise law in resolving the issue, others contended that, by seeking to compel NYSC in its operations, the government has breached the law. Professors Ademola Popoola (Dean, Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) and Mike Ikhariale (visiting Professor of Constitutional Law at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies), rights activist Bamidele Aturu and Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (Ikorodu), Lagos, Sahid Owosile, were unanimous on the need for an overhaul of the scheme. They also advised parents of affected gradustes to approach the court for protection. Popoola said: “This issue cannot be handled within the framework of state law. We are all living witnesses to the security situation in the country. We also know that some corps members have been victims of kidnappings in some parts of the country. We also know that even some of them who took part in the last general elections were assaulted, some were even killed. We should protect our youths, they are our valuable assets “So, the Federal Governemnt should handle the situation with a sense of imagination, and not that of strict legalism that this is what the law says. The truth of the matter is that parents and guardians are not ready to release their wards to go into troubled areas to render national service”.
He went on: “The NYSC is a desirable project and I believe that it should not be scrapped, you need to get into it. In fact, we need to review the entire programme to restore its original objective. But the present reality on ground shows that we need to handle matters with imagination and not just talking about the provisions of the law.” Ikhariale said: “If there is a conflict between the Constitution and the Act, the Constitution should prevail, but that is if both parties are quoting their laws correctly. So, I don’t know whether the Constitution they are quoting is correct or the Act they are alluding to in supporting their intentions.” “But looking at the matter generally, why did this question arise: that people should not go to serve in a particular place? For example, I am from Edo State, I did my own NYSC in Sokoto State and I am very happy about it because, today, I have many friends in Sokoto, Gusau, Birinin Kebbi, among others. In my own time, what is now called Sokoto and Zamfara states were one state. So, I was a youth corps lawyer, but my jurisdiction was Sokoto, Tsafe, and other areas, that was fun.” “But if during that time my life was threatened, or there was the likelihood that I could be killed by some fanatics or other people, I would probably not have been able to served there nor still be alive, today. So, we have an issue on our hands; a very serious issue: that is to say, how safe are our corps members?” “If it is true that some places have become dangerous for NYSC members, they should not be sent there until there is evidence on ground that they are now ready to receive corps members. It should be an embarrassment for those who made their place unsuitable for a good programme like the NYSC. “Or it should be done in such a way that graduates from those states serve in the states, if we must allow people to go there. But, that will defeat the objective of the programme which is supposed to expose us to the various cultures of our country different from the ones we are used to,” Ikhariale said. Aturu contended that Abdulkadir ‘s attempt to justify government’s position by clinging to the Constitution and some other laws “ is extremely insensitive, unfeeling and demonstrates, with the greatest respect, an inscrutable lack of appreciation of the tragic security situation in those parts where people are being daily mowed down in their hundreds while the government of which the minister is part watches helplessly and laments routinely.” He argued that the minister has completely stood the Constitution on its head and he must not be allowed to get away with it. “First, while it is true that the National Youth Service Corps Act is one of the laws entrenched in the Constitution by virtue of Section 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, that entrenchment simply says that nothing in the Constitution shall invalidate the NYSC Act and no more. Now, no one is saying that the NYSC Act is invalidated. “Second, and this is crucial, the Honourable Minister should be told plainly that the provisions of the NYSC Act preserved or entrenched by the Con-
‘So, the Federal Government should handle the situation with a sense of imagination, and not that of strict legalism that this is what the law says. The truth of the matter is that parents and guardians are not ready to release their wards to go into troubled areas to render national service’
stitution is clearly and manifestly against his narrow and extremely unsound interpretation. Section 1(4) (b) of the Act provides clearly that: “as far as possible, Nigerian youths are assigned to jobs in states other than their states of origin.” The implication of this is that even corps members from the volatile states cannot be posted to their states. That section would be complied with simply by posting the corps members to any state other than theirs and other than the volatile state. But that is not all. Section 991) makes it abundantly clear that: “The Directorate shall determine the place and time each person qualified to be registered under the provisions of this Act shall be deployed.” Furthermore, Section 9(5) of the Act says unambiguously that: “In the discharge of its functions under this section (that is deployment or posting of corps members), the Directorate shall not be compelled in any manner whatsoever to deploy a member of the service to any particular undertaking or project.” “It is thus clear that it is the minister that is violating a law entrenched in the Constitution by purportedly overruling the NYSC Directorate. It is his decision that is unconstitutional, indefensible, unsupportable, unpopular, unjustifiable, insensitive, unfeeling, and uncaring. “Happily, he has now provided parents who would have wanted a cause of action to sue him and his ministry for violating the NYSC Act in reposting their children and wards contrary to the NYSC Act.” To Owosile, government’s posture is intended to create the impression that there is unity in the country and that all is well. “I do not think our children should be the bait for attracting unity. I also do not believe that peace is about not fighting. Sometimes, you may have to fight for you to understand peace. If we say don’t let them be posted to troubled states, if those states want something like that, let them improve on the security situation in their states. “Let them stop the killings. Where are their governors? Where are their leaders? What are they doing about it? If they are not doing anything about it, then others cannot risk placing their children in their care. “The fact that you want to serve the nation does not mean that you must go and commit suicide. It looks rather suicidal for a nation that appreciates its citizens. I see the nation as a father figure when it comes to its relationship with its citizens. So, we can’t make our children the target of such things.” Owosile continued:“Most of us are not criminals today, not because we know the laws. It is simply because we are acting reasonably. So, if you are citing laws, it is only when there are conditions for satisfying the law that you can be talking about the law. “The law does not exist in a vacuum. When circumstances abound that cannot allow the law to operate, you change it. What law will say I should go and die? Let them appreciate the circumstances. Maybe by the time they burn the National Assembly, they would understand what it is to react to circumstances that endangers security. “I don’t see any law that will support that my children, because I see all of them as my children, should be exposed to danger just because you want to show that national service is compulsory. It is not as if those children are saying that they won’t serve. But to post them to where there is danger, that is not service. It is disservice to this nation,” Owosile said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NATIONAL BAR Lagos family seeks police protection
Bar election: How the candidates stand
S members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) go to the polls today, it is necessary that the candidates who are contesting for various positions in the association are weighed vis-a-vis their chances. This is important against the backdrop of the association’s elections in the past and the role of regional groups and adoptions in the exercise. The NBA election is unique in that some offices, especially that of the president is zoned to ensure that no region or ethnic group monopolises it to the detriment of others. Because of this arrangement, regional groups are expected to adopt candidates and solicit the support of other regions to come push their candidates. For elections, NBA has three fora, namely the Southwest Lawyers Forum also known as Egbe Amofin, chaired by Pa Bandele Aiku (SAN). The Arewa Lawyers Forum (ALF) is chaired by Hajiya Fatima Kwaku while the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) is led by a former Legal Adviser of the NBA, Kemasuode Wodu. This year, the presidency of the Bar is zoned to the Eastern Bar. Both Egbe Amofin, ALF and EBF have all adopted candidates for today’s election. The three fora have adopted Okey Wali (SAN) as their candidate for the presidency. For Wali, it is, indeed, a basket of adoptions. He started his harvest of adoptions and endorsements from Port Harcourt branch of the NBA, which adopted first choose him; then theAhoada, Isiokpo and Bori branches joined it. Thereafter, the EBF adopted him and requested other fora to follow it; consequent upon this, other fora including the Midwest Bar gave him the nod. The Midwest Bar Forum also adopted him with Benin, Asaba, Auchi, Agbor, Epoma, Ogwashi- Ukwu branches and Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigieia (MULAN) writing to EBF to express their support for the EBF candidate. The Egbe Amofin adopted candidates for the election are: Okey Wali, President; O. J. Erhabor, first Vice-President; O. O. Olowokure, General-Secretary; Gbolahan Gbadamosi, Publicity Secretary; Ma’Sud M. Alabelewe, Welfare; Gabriel A. Opayinka, Second Assistant Secretary. The Arewa Lawyers Forum adopted Okey Wali for President, Caleb Dajan for First VicePresident; Steve T. Abba for Second VicePresident; E. A. Haruna for General-Secretary, Usman O. Sule for Legal Adviser and Ma’Sud Alabelewe for Welfare. The EBF adopted Okey Wali for President; Francis Ekwere for Third Vice-President; Joyce Oduah for Treasurer; Afam Obi for Publicity Secretary; Kelvin Ejelonu for Welfare; Paul Ebiala for First Assistant Secretary; U. F. O. Nnaemeka for Second Assistant Secretary and John Austin Unachukwu for Assistant National Publicity Secretary. NBA Lagos branch and Out Oka-Iwu, Lagos, adopted Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) as their Presidential candidate. Given the nature of NBA elections, these adoptions and endorsements are superstructure for building electoral successes. True, in the political chess game, some of the candidates adopted by their forum have been traded away. In such negotiations, contestants and their aspired offices become the currency.
By Adebisi Onanuga
•Chairman Egbe Amofin, Pa Aiku (SAN)
•Secretary, Egbe Amofin, Ranti Ajeleti
•Chairperson ALF, Aljiya Kwaku
•Secretary ALF, Steve Abba
•Chairman EBF, Wodu
•Secretary EBF, O. O. Igwenyi
By John Austin Unachukwu
Notably, there have been instances where candidates, who were not endorsed by any forum,
HE Oralade-Ladera family in Gberigbe town near Ikorodu, Lagos has sent a Save Our Soul (SOS) letter to the police to save it from the incessant attacks of hoodlums. In a petition to the Area Commander, Area N Command, Nigerian Police, Ijede, Ikorodu entitled: Threat to lives, unlawful invasion of Gberigbe town, illegal possession of fire and ammunition, continue broad day robbery etc. and Save Our Soul, the counsel to the family, Mr Ayo Fadahunsi, urged the police to arrest and prosecute them. The family said: “The immediate purport of this petition is the illegal activities of these hoodlums who recently barricaded the road between Igbokuta and Gberigbe town. It is a known fact that recently, the community witnesses a lot of robberies and criminal invasion orchestrated by the hoodlums.” It regretted that the efforts made by the Police so far to stop to hoodlums failed to yield the desired result because they allegedly have the backing of a prominent chief in the town, who they accused of aiding them. According to Fadahunsi, reports were lodged with the police at Igbogbo Police Station, which he said are investigating the matter, adding that about six of the hoodlums were arrested during a raid on the town and are said to be in the custody of SARS at Ikeja. Despite this, Fadahunsi said last week the hoodlums invaded the town again. They “barricaded all entrances leading into the town and robbed innocent citizens in daylight, adding that after this, they left some residents wailing and in the pool of their blood. According to the family, “a lot of people received gun wounds among who are Funminiyi Opeyemi, Hassan Awolu, Hassan Bello and Olowolayemo Lateef”. They are still receiving treatment at the Ikorodu General Hospital. It urged law enforcement agents to wade into the matter to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the area.
won while those who were given the green light or whose candidature were sold to others lost. Will this election be different?
• IGP Abubakar
Why I endorsed Okey Wali, by Agbakoba
•From left: Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN); Okey Wali (SAN); former President of NBA, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and Chinwe Nwadike endorsing Wali (SAN) for presidency during the last International Bar Association (IBA) conference in Dubai.
ORMER President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) has thrown his weight behind Okey Wali (SAN) as an NBA Presidency candidate. He noted that as a Bar man, he encourages the inclusion principle so that every part of the country would have a shot at the NBA presidency. He said he was bound by the decision of Bar leaders and fora. He said since the presidency of NBA was zoned to the Eastern Bar, and the Eastern Bar Forum has adopted Wali, that he was bound by that endorsement and adoption. Besides, he said Anambra State had produced such Bar presidents as Andrew Anyamene, Sir Clement Akpamgbo and himself. So, Anambra should allow other parts of the Eastern Bar to produce the NBA boss; otherwise it would risk a break up of the Forum, he argued.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NATIONAL BAR Some executives of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), including Chairman, Electoral Committee and former President of the association, Prince Lanke Odogiyan speak on the association’s preparedness for its election which holds
NBA election: Everything
HE President, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Joseph
Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) has allayed fears being expressed in some quarters over the association’s election, which holds today. He said: “Well, during elections you’ll expect that you hear all sorts of stories. I can say categorically that I am not contesting elections and I do not have any skeletons in my cupboard. Therefore, I do not need anybody who is favourably disposed to me to come and assume office as the president of the NBA. “Therefore, if among the pool of several candidates, a particular candidate has been working very hard for the Bar for the past 10 years, serving on committees, organising conferences and doing everything as a proper professional Bar man, such a candidate, definitely, would receive the support of the majority of the Bar and I think it is in that light that people seem to think that because you use trusted and competent hands, that such a person or candidate is an anointed candidate. “At the end of the day, the choice belongs to the Bar; the election will be free and fair; people will vote according to their conscience. “They are not going to vote because Daudu said they should vote for a particular candidate. They will vote based on the track records of such candidates. “However, it is in the nature of such people who I consider misfits for political office to begin to go about saying that people are supporting one person or the other or that the president has anointed candidates. “Again, the presidency of the NBA is zoned to the Eastern Bar; the Eastern Bar Forum has told the Bar who their candidates are. How does this concern J.B. Daudu. “ Did I go to the east to campaign? Thank God I never attended any of the meetings of the Eastern Bar Forum. Therefore, this is a clear cut matter of people trying to give a dog a bad name in order to hand it. “I have expended my resources throughout my presidency. I have
not touched a kobo of the NBA to do its work. I have travelled round world, gone to Lagos to work for the NBA, stayed in hotels, all at my expenses. Therefore, you’ll not see in NBA account where I have touched a kobo of the NBA money and we don’t award contracts here; so, there is no reason to want anybody to come and cover my tracks, which is where such insinuations are going. “However, there are certain misfits that clearly cannot occupy the office of the presidency of the NBA and it is our bounding duty not to allow such misfits to come up and be the president of the NBA. On his advice to the delegates, Daudu said: “I advise delegates to be well behaved. This is a very honourable profession and there is a need for us to demonstrate that we are not roadside politicians. We are members of the legal profession and, therefore, our conduct must reflect that noble profession that we belong to. “In any case, if anybody misbehaves, we have put machinery in place for a peaceful and orderly election; the electoral committee has been mandated and given adequate resources to conduct an independent, credible and thoroughly neutral election. But it anybody comes here to cause trouble, he will face the full wrath of the law. So, come, behave yourselves, vote and await for the results to be announced. Olumuyiwa Akinboro The General Secretary of the NBA Olumuyiwa Akinboro said: “Well, we have the electoral committee, which has been constituted and headed by Lanke Odogiyan, with Lady Debbie Obodoukwu as the secretary. “The NBA constitution requires the secretariat to furnish the electoral committee with all records that will assist them in the conduct of the election and that we have been doing. “In fact this year, we are innovating it in such a way that every-
body will see and attest to the transparency of the system. “NBA election is not political party election. It is that of a well respectedprofessional organisation. “The fears and issues that candidates are having are just what I would consider as normal in a political party election, but not in the election of a respectable association, professional association like ours. “ The NBA election guidelines are clear. Every branch will bring 10 delegates, if you want additional delegates, you must justify it; those are our rules. Akinboro added: “So, fears that people are going to manipulate the elections are not possible with NBA election and it is unfair that people are dragging the activity, the nature, and the behaviour of politicians strictly so called into the NBA elections. “What we are doing with regard to the delegates list is that we gave a deadline of June 22 to branches to submit their lists. We have received the lists and as an innovation, we added other things to it. We asked them to send us photographs of the delegates so that the delegates’ register would contain not only the names of the delegates as it used to be, but also their photographs and that of their candidates. “This will help you to ensure that nobody will come to vote in the place of another, because their photographs will be there. Previously, we used to have only delegates’ names on the list, but we have improved it this time to the extent that, as they are submitting the list, you will also have the photograph of candidates on it. This will, definitely, eliminate the incidence of impersonation.Thequestion of showing photo identity cards will not be there again and the elections will be concluded in a matter of minutes. “The delegates are fewer than 3,000; so, I don’t know why our elections should run from morning till night; at times, results will be declared by midnight. The experience we had in Abuja, when Dele Adesina (SAN) was in charge of the Electoral Committee is still fresh in our memory. The results were out by 4.pm; so, we are trying to improve on that. “The delegates’list was delayed because of the level of delivery that we want to put in place to make sure that this time, the election is flawless; everybody, every candidate, will be sure to get his votes; the branches are there to confirm their list of delegates. So, how do you manipulate it? “I appeal to our people that while we are running NBA election, we should try to be professionals. They should not try to discredit the election. Election is not a do-or-die affair.” On the allegation that the NBA Secretariat is backing some candidates, Akinboro said: “My team and I are handling the delegates’list. “The NBA president is not even aware of the contents of the del-
egates list. The knowledge of who are on the list is limited to very few people that I handpicked from the secretariat. “Normally in politics, people do have their preferences, but to take that out of context to say that you are trying to manipulate the process in favour of somebody is very unfair. I have tried to maintain a little bit of distance from the candidates because I have strategic roles to play in the election. “ I have it on record that almost all the candidates have tried to approach me one way or the other, possibly to see ways that I can help them, but I have tried to maintain a level of distance from the candidates. “So, the allegation that the president is supporting a candidate is not true. It is unfounded. As far as I am concerned, I am managing the situation to the best of my ability with all sense of responsibility. On why the NBA Secretariat is the one handling the records and processing of the delegates’list rather than the Electoral Committee, Akinboro said: “It is constitutional; it is in our constitution that the secretariat delivers it to the Electoral committee for the conduct of the Election. We should not mix up responsibilities, to conduct the elections. It is the
work of the Electoral Committee , but they don’t have access to the information at the NBA, which is crucial for the candidates of the elections. “For instance, if you want to be a delegate, you must pay your Bar Practising Fees (BPF) as at when due. That is an information that can only be verified by people who are working in the secretariat because they have data from the banks and they scrutinise them one after the other to make sure that the list we are gathering is correct. If you ask branch chairmen they will tell you that a lot of delegates have been sent back as rejected, because they didn’t pay the practising fees as at when due. “ If you ask the branch chairmen who submitted their delegates’list, they will tell you that once you submit your list, you get a mail from the secretariat confirming the receiving of the mail. They get mails on the scrutiny of the delegates. If they have not complied with one or two of the requirements, we get back to them. These are the things that will only be achieved with the capacity on ground at the secretariat and our constitution is aware of that and that is why our constitution requires that this responsibility be performed by the •Continued on Page 33
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Wali: I’ll promote professionalism
NE of the candidates for the President of the Nigerian Bar Association Okey Wali (SAN) has said his vision is to boost professionalism. In a chat with The Nation, Okey said: “My vision for the Bar is that of a professionalised Bar; professionalised in the sense of keeping to the best traditions of the profession, best ethics, which we seem to have lost a lot of grounds on. “If after two years of NBA presi-
dency, the only thing I achieved is to change the image of the profession and to change the ethical standards, I would have left the NBA a very satisfied man. “I mean professionalisation in the aspect of work. If you go through my brochure, you will find out that I have made a lot of emphasis on the expansion of the frontiers of legal practice. “We have to create jobs; the jobs are there. If you look at my programme and some of my campaign massages, you would have noticed my emphasis on job flights. There is so much work that is being done in this country by foreign law firms. “At least N1 billion worth of jobs go to foreign law firms. We are going to look at it critically and address some of the issues, that cause it. Is it skills gap, we want to address them and make sure that jobs are done by Nigerian lawyers in Nigeria.” On the rumour that he is a candidate of the NBA administration, He said: “That is the unkindest of cuts for anybody to refer to me. At the risk of sounding immodest, by my standing in the profession, you can assess me. “I was the secretary of Port Harcourt branch of the NBA as far back as 1992. 1 was the chairman of
a big branch of the NBA like the Port Harcourt branch in 1998. I have served as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Rivers State. I am a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and I am a bencher. “With all these attainments in life, it will be an abuse of language for anybody to look at me as a man that can be controlled by anybody. “Yes, I have friends across the board in the profession. So, nobody should envy me that my friends respect me, my friends like me. It is a favour from God. I have served the NBA right from 1998 when we ran election against the former president, T.J.N. Okpoko (SAN). “He sent me to the Council of Legal Education even when my branch ran election against him. From that period till date, there is no president of the NBA that has not give me an assignment. So, it is nothing peculiar that I have had some assignments from the recent administration to serve the Bar. I think it was more of somebody recognising quality and competence and assigning serious issues, such as the Annual General Conference, which I organised in Port Harcourt last year. “We ran a conference that has generally been acclaimed as the best in recent times. People should look at
the quality of the conference we ran and not whether it was a favour for anybody to have given it to me. As far as I am concerned, it was not a favour to have been given that assignment; that assignment if mishandled, would have been the death of any aspiration that I have to serve the Bar in future. “It is a shame that people would take politics to that level of name calling. This is professional politics; we must learn to keep it within ethical limits. Don’t forget that we are professionals in the first place and this is a drive to serve the profession. It is not about occupying office. I don’t know about others, but for me, I am not in a mission to seek glory. God has been more than fair to me. I am on a mission to serve the profession. “I advise the delegates to look at the antecedents of the candidates. Look at their track records as you know; look at where they are coming from and don’t forget that this is election period. There are lots of promises, some come from the moon. People are making promises; you are not the president and you are promising to buy houses and buy the world for people. It does not show commitment to the process. For me, what you should be
looking out for as a delegate to cast your vote is your knowledge of the candidate. “And when you don’t have personal knowledge of the candidates, look at their track records; look at the offices they have held both at the Bar and outside it. Look at their experiences and maturity, because the NBA is a very huge organisation. Look at the strength of the NBA, over 90,000 lawyers, with three sections, about 100 branches, secretariat staff and all that, you don’t run such a huge organisation if you don’t have any experience in running an organisation and as a former chairman, it is training ground for leadership at the Bar. “If you haven’t led a branch before, how would you be in a position to lead the national Bar? You won’t have the experience. “It is ok for everybody to make empty promises that he will buy you this and buy you that if elected, but I trust that lawyers are very discriminating people. They won’t be carried away by those promises that people are making. “I know that they will vote quality and that is the confidence I have that they will vote me in as the next president of NBA. “
• Ngige (SAN)
Bus Acquisition Scheme for branches. I plan to remove impediments militating against legal prac-
tice. By so doing, we will create the enabling environment for the average lawyer to grow his income.”
Why I am vying, by Ngige
PRESIDENTIAL candidate in today’s Nigeria Bar Association’s (NBA’s) election, Chief Ngige (SAN), has said his aim is to correct some wrongs in the system. In a statement to mark his 51st birthday with his campaign staff in Lagos, he said: “There are several challenges facing our association. “These include lack of internal democracy, poor accounting systems and lack of transparency, indifference to the welfare of members, poor practice environment, and decline in the reckoning of NBA as the voice of the voiceless. “If elected to lead the lawyers’ union, I would set about uniting all estranged members of the association,” adding that regular execu-
tive committee meetings would be held to carry officers along. “It is critical that we carry our officers and members along in all our decisions. We must democratise our institutions and processes, otherwise we would lack the moral courage to criticise the government when it errs. Ngige is pained that the welfare of members has taken a backseat, saying if elected. He would set in motion the machinery to review the 500 per cent increase in practising and conference fees, he said. “We are a professional body, not a PLC. It is important that we do not lose focus. Our mandates are primarily to promote the rule of law and empower our members through quality continuing legal education, among others.
“The NBA is not playing its traditional role as a valued commentator on national issues. “We still recall with nostalgia the activism that drove the NBA Presidency of Alao Aka-Bashorun, Wole Olanipekun, Olisa Agbakoba and Rotimi Akeredolu. We must reclaim the status of the NBA as the voice of the voiceless. He quoted Blessing Ukiri as saying: ‘’Our members are yearning for the leader they can trust, not one who would issue a statement condemning bad actions of the government in the day time and sneak into Government House in the night to explain his statement,’’ adding that an NBA president must, like Caesar’s wife, be above suspicion of complicity. “The NBA under my watch will, among other measures, initiate a
‘ Everything is ready, say Daudu, others’ •Continued from Page 32
secretariat. “We have made sure that every delegate here is a responsible delegate of our association. Every person who will vote will sign as having voted. That is what delayed the list. This is not the normal printing of list of names and giving out without photographs. If we are complaining of what is happening outside, NBA cannot be found to fall into the same category. “I assure everybody that everything is under control. They should trust me.” Lanke Odogiyan Former President of the NBA and chairman of the Electoral Committee, Lanke Odogiyan, said: “The preparations and arrangements for the elections are almost concluded, though we had some hiccups because of the shifting of the venue from Kaduna to Abuja, This gave us some challenges in securing a suitable venue to hold our elections. “As a result, all the traditional venues, which we would have used for that occasion, such as the International Conference Centre
in Abuja, Ladikwali Hall in Sheraton Hotel, are no longer available for that day. So, we eventually secured the a class Events Place in Maitama. It is quite a good place with big halls; so we are using three of those halls for our elections. “One would be used for accreditation, which started yesterday; the second for the National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting and Manifesto Night, and the other hall for the elections.” On the fear expressed in some quarters about the credibility of the election, Odogiyan said: “As gentlemen, we need to give some credence to the integrity of each other; yes there are people whose integrity might be doubtful, but the presumption should not be the other way round. “In ensuring that we have a level playing ground. I think that my committee has shown that in the
process of screening. “Since the committee was inaugurated, we have asserted the independence of our committee. I want to say that on my honour that nobody whether in authority or not, has tried to influence my decision or the decision of my committee in this exercise thus far. When we requested that nominations be made, we stated it clearly that we were not requiring people to write their names or the offices they were contesting for on the envelopes. This was to ensure that there was no room for insider trading. “What I mean by insider trading is that those who may be either in the secretariat or who have friends there; or who have the opportunity to know, would not be able to know before nominations are opened, which offices are not being contested to slot in nominations for them.
‘We’ll use transparent ballot boxes, people would see it from even the sides. The counting of votes will be done openly’
“So, when nominations were opened, I stated this clearly, that no new documents would be added, nor would any be removed. And when we screened, there were people who brought documents after the public opening and was refused to use such documents. “That is why at the end of the day, out of 34 nominations, 10 were disqualified four of them appealed to the committee, we looked at it and we cleared one person. “So, we are taking charge of the process. NEC had approved that the delegates’list be sent to the secretariat; so the secretariat collected the delegates’ list and handed it back to the Elected Committee. “What is really central to the transparency of the process is the ballot papers. The committee is in charge of that, even within the committee, where it is to be printed or who is to print, it must be not be known to everybody. It is known to not more than one person in the committee. When it comes to the election proper, the agents of the contestants will be there. “We will use transparency ballot boxes. People would see it from even sides. The counting of votes will be done openly.“ On the delay of publication of the delegates’ list, Odogiyan said it was
true that the list ought to have come out earlier than it did. “The delay in releasing the delegates’ list earlier than we did was due to the urgent and imperative need to release it in such a way that would ease accreditation and voting”. “ This involves giving colour backgrounds to the various groups that make up the delegates list. This includes national officers, Benchers, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, NEC members, co-opted members and statutory members of the NEC. “The process of sorting out these in a way that enhance easy accreditation, voting and counting of votes actually caused the delay in releasing the list on time. “For the delegates I assure that we have put everything in place. The election will be credible and transparent because there is level playing fields for everybody. “There would be no attempts by anybody to subvert the work of the committee. My committee is firmly in charge of this electoral process. We will remain firmly in control of the process and we will declared results as voted. There will be no manipulations at all. There is no manipulation and there will be no manipulation.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Akande, Olanipekun, others get CIAN Fellowship
O fewer than 24 profession als including former Su preme Court and Chief Judges were at the weekend in Lagos conferred with the Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of Nigeria (CIAN). Among the awardees were Justices Francis Tabai, Ibrahim Muhammad, Olufunlola Adekeye (all of the Supreme Court); immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Inumidun Akande; former President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) and Prof Taiwo Osipitan (SAN). The Director-General, Bureau of Social Services (BOSS), Osun State, Mr Olufemi Ifaturoti, was also inducted as a Fellow of the institute for his promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the country. The event was witnessed by eminent jurists, accomplished lawyers, administrators and other professionals. Ifaturoti, a lawyer with over 30 years, had the best performance in the ADR pre-certification course on Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration organised between April 27 and 29, 2005 by the Lagos
By Eric IKhilae
Multidoor Courthouse (LMDC). Ifaturoti is a member, Panel of Neutrals at the LMDC and Faculty member, Negotiation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG) / Bond University Australia Negotiation Centre, Lagos Negotiation College, Ikoyi (Lagos), member, NCMG, among others. The institute’s President and Chair of Council, Afe Babalola (SAN), explained that the choice of the inductees was informed by the fact that they are eminent professionals, who have distinguished themselves in their area of practice. He described their induction as a milestone in their lives. He noted that as arbitrators, they are, by virtue of their training and functions, qualify to play same role as judges in regular courts, with a slight difference in jurisdictional competence, which is derived from agreement of parties to submit themselves to arbitration. “We have tried to ensure that arbitrators are people of the highest moral calibre and professional competence. I can state that such is the high premium that we
• From left: Babalola, Ifaturoti and Attorney-General of Lagos State, Ade Ipaye at the event
place on this aspect of our operations that our arbitrators can rank with arbitrators in developed countries,” Babalola said. CIAN’s founding trustees in-
clude former judge of the World Court, Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN); former Chief Tinu Oyekunle; Chief Chris A. Atoki and Chief A.C. Afubera, while Ajibola,
Atoki and retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kayode Eso serve as Patrons of the institute.
Lawyer sues SSS, police over father’s kidnap By Joseph Jibueze
• Chief Oragwu
LAGOS-BASED lawyer, Mr Nnamdi Oragwu, has sued the Director-General, State Security Service (SSS), Mr Ita Ekpenyong and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar at the Federal High Court, Lagos, over his father’s kidnap. He said the 78-year-old retired Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs was abducted by unknown gunmen on June 2, last year
in Agulu, Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State and is yet to be found. In a motion ex-parte, he sought an order granting him leave to apply for a writ of mandamus to compel the respondents to investigate the abduction of Chief Lawrence Oragwu. He wants Abubakar to mandate a special unit of the police to commence or take over and conclude the investigation. The lawyer is also asking the court to compel the respondents to transmit to its registry a type-written report of their investigations “within three months from the determination of the Motion on Notice.” He asked for permission to serve the Motion on Notice on the respondents in Abuja, outside the court’s jurisdiction. Oragwu told the court that the family received an anonymous letter from a person claiming to be an army officer, who narrated how the
kidnap plot was hatched and perpetrated, naming some participants. The letter, which was undated and unsigned, read in part: “This is to inform the general public and people of Adazi Nnukwu that the man they are looking for is dead. I am a soldier at Onitsha Barracks 302 Artillery Regiment. I participated in the assassination operation that was disguised as kidnap.” The writer went on to name a lieutenant who enlisted him in the plot, who contracted his employer and how the operation was carried out. The letter was among the exhibits before the court. The lawyer said his father, a regent, was abducted on his way from church with his driver. A Toyota Hilux truck drove in front of his car and blocked them. About four armed men alighted, dragged the driver out, pushed Chief Oragwu into the truck, and drove off, taking his car along. Another individual from a neighbouring village who was also abducted by the same gang escaped
after disarming one of them of an AK47 riffle which had an inscription suspected to be from the military, he said. The lawyer then petitioned the SSS, as well as the Chief of Army Staff on June 16 and June 21, last year, but they allegedly did not respond until a newspaper contacted the army. Based on the anonymous letter, Oragwu wrote a petition to the Provost Marshal of the Army attaching a copy of the “confessional statement” and requesting a full investigation into it to confirm whether any army officer goes by the name indicated. In December, last year, he was invited for an interview at the Special Investigation Bureau, Arakan Army Barracks in Apapa, Lagos, where he was given assurances that a speedy inquiry would be conducted and a report forwarded to him. Oragwu said he wrote a reminder to the Chief of Army Staff on June 14, this year, yet “no response has been received to date.” He added: “From all indications,
none of the respondents herein or any security agency has taken any concrete step to unravel the mystery surrounding the abduction of the applicant’s father. “With the possible involvement of officers of the Nigerian Army in this heinous crime, issues of national security have arisen calling for serious action by the respondents. “It is now more than a period of one year since the incident was reported to the respondents but no thorough investigation report – interim or final – has been published or sent to the applicant in respect of his petitions.” When the case came up before Justice Mohammed Idris at the weekend, Oragwu’s counsel, Eubena Amedu, said despite the petitions and reminder, “the respondents were not willing to do anything.” The judge wondered aloud at the kidnap of the old man, saying: “This is serious. What do they want to do what him? Ah, ah!” He adjourned till September 13, this year for hearing of the mandamus application.
Change coming, says new NBA Ikorodu chair Owosile • Ex-chair advises members on hard work
R Sahid Owosile has been elected the new chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikorodu Branch. Owosile polled 43 votes to defeat his only opponent, Mr Dotun Adetunji, who garnered 22 votes. The post of the Social Secretary went to Mrs. Islammiyat Adesola who recorded 48 votes to defeat Gloria Cassius who scored 16 votes. The post of the Public Relations Officer (PRO) went to Mrs. Blessin Ene who scored 45 votes to defeat Mr Rotimi Igbayilola who polled only 19 votes. The positions of the Secretary and Treasurer which remained vacant following last minute disqualification of some aspirants will be filled at a by- election scheduled to hold at a later date. The elected officials have since been sworn in by the Electoral Committee Chairman, Mr Sakiru Omolaja. In his post election address,Owosile said he owed his election to the members who are
Stories by Adebisi Onanuga
yearning for a change in the branch. He promised to bring about the desired change in the branch. He said: “First of all, I give glory to God, the almighty for my election. I owe my victory to the resolve of the members for change. I represent unity. I represent a new leaf in the bar and for the fact that our members are determined that we change our ways. “It is not that our ways are bad, but we want new things. We want people that can take us to new heights and because I have been on the front before, I think I have experienced it at different levels. So, I represent the alternative to the branch”, he said. Owosile promised to improve the welfare of members in the branch saying: “They should expect quite a lot from my administration. I am going to do all those things we are used to doing but in better ways and a lot more. We are going to execute our traditional programmes in better ways”. He promised to pursue an effective
legal education for members to improve the quality of lawyers in the branch. “We want to pursue and ensure continue legal education for our people, even the Nigerian Bar Association has been clamouring for this at the national level and they have been doing their bit. We should not just be satisfied in meeting the requirements of the NBA, the interest should be to improve and develop our prowess
in our chosen profession,”he added. Meanwhile, his predecessor, Prince Kazeem Adebanjo has advised members to work hard work and respect senior members of the bar. He gave the advice while presenting an account of his stewardship in the past two years entitled: The success story of my stewardship:Gratitude to all, at the Ninth Annual General Meeting of the association.
He said: “I urge all our members to imbibe the culture of hard work and respect for the seniors in the profession. Our diction when relating to elders must reflect nobility, humility and dignity. In the same vein, I enjoin our seniors to encourage young lawyers such as by employing them, where you have office space to accommodate them, always remember ‘never to look down on anybody unless you are helping them up.” He claimed that his executive looked at their book, entitled: ByeLaws and Rules Procedure and discovered some that most of its provisions are obsolete. He urged the new executive to amend them. The former chairman scored his executive low in donations and advised the executive to embark on aggressive revenue generation drive. He expressed happiness that cases of professional misconduct has drastically reduced in the branch and ascibed the development to the activities of its Ethics and Disciplinary Committee. He canvassed a retention of the committee, which he said, did a thorough job on cases brought before it.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
LAW & SOCIETY AT CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM CONFERENCE BY NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION (NBA) IN ASABA, DELTA STATE
• From left: NBA President, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN); former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher (CJN) and Delta State Deputy Governor Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN)
• Chairman, Criminal Justice Reform Conference,A. B. Mahmoud (SAN) left; and General Secretary, NBA Olumuyiwa Akinboro
•From left: Former President, NBA, Thompson J. N. Okpoko (SAN); Hon. Olivia Agbajoh and Abdullahi Bawa, Attorney-General, Niger State.
• From left: Adebayo Adelodun (SAN), Okey Wali (SAN) and Yusuf Ali (SAN)
• Former Publicity Secretary, NBA, Abdul-Rasheed Muritala (left) and Wale Fapohunda
• From left: Adebayo Adelodun (SAN); Okey Wali (SAN) and Yusuf Ali (SAN)
• From left: National Publicity Secretary NBA, Emeka Obegolu; Modupe Longe; E. A. Haruna; General Secretary NBA Olumuyiwa Akinboro; Mirabel Edozie and Abimbola Kayode
•Former President, Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Tajudeen Oladoja; and his wife Hajiya Rabi Salisu
• From left: Former 1st Vice-President, NBA, Ikeazor Akaraiwe; Chukwuma Ezeala; Emeka Ngige (SAN) and Osita Okoro.
•From left: Mac Enamhe; Okey Ohagba and Steve Ononye PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
FROM THE COURT
Litigation threatens Ogun LG election
XCEPT disputing parties in the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) settle, they may be endangering the outcome of the forthcoming council election in the state. This is because some factions of the party, with the support of the party’s chieftains and some of its national leaders, have allegedly vowed not to yield ground despite pending court orders. Also, the body language of the state’s Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) is creating an impression that it is hardly independent. Critics said rather than remain objective, OGSIEC has allegedly continued to take sides with a faction of the party, thereby creating the impression that it is bantering to external influences. This suspicion, they said, arose from the fact that despite its principal officials’ narrow escape from being convicted for contempt over their alleged breaching of court orders, the body is said to be unwilling to obey another order made on July 10 by the state’s High Court in Ilaro. Critics wonder why the electoral umpire has refused to accept the list of candidates for the election from the authentic Executive Committee of the party led by Chief Adebayo Dayo as ordered by both the Ilaro court and the Federal High Court, Lagos. They also wondered why OGSIEC has allegedly refused to display candidates list before the July 24 election as required under the electoral law. The Ilaro court presided over by Justice Modupe Dipeolu ordered the OGSIEC to accept only the list of candidates submitted by the Adebayo Dayo Executive Committee for the PDP for the LG election. The judge, while ruling on a motion ex-parte filed by the candidates for chairmanship and councillor-
By Eric Ikhilae
ship seats, who emerged from the primaries conducted by the Adebayo Dayo EXCO, specifically ordered OGSIEC and its agents “to accept and process the list of candidates consisting the applicants, submitted to it (OGSIEC) by Engr Adebayo Dayo led Ogun EXCO of the PDP as candidates for the Local Government election.” Justice Dideolu held that the order shall subsist pending the determination of the substantive suit and adjourned hearing on the substantive suit marked: HCL/26/ 2012 filed along with the motion ex-parte by the about 275 plaintiffs led by Kola Adeleke Adedoyin. The directive by the state’s High Court is in tandem with some of the orders in May 2 judgment by Justice Chrales Archibong of the Federal High Court, Lagos declaring the Adebayo Dayo-led EXCO as the only authentic management body of the PDP in the state. In the May 2 judgment, the court also ordered the PDP, its National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur and National Secretary,Olagunsoye Oyinlola not to deal with the party in Ogun State except through the Adebayo Dayo-led Executive Committee It restrained the PDP leaders from taking any step to prevent the officers that emerged from the congresses of the Soremi faction from concluding their four-year term as allowed by the constitution. Justice Archibong on July 4 ordered that three chieftains of the party in the state be remanded in prison custody for six months for disobeying the judgment. The three include Chief Ireti Oniyide, Amb. Tunde Oladunjoye (now media aide to Agricculture Minister, Akin Adesina) and Hon Faisiu Bakenne (claiming to be principal officers of a purported Caretaker Committee of the
party in the state). Although Chief Adebayo Dayo and Alhaji Semiu Sodipo (for themselves and for the Ogun State Executive Committee of the PDP), applicants in the committal proceedings initiated against the imprisoned three PDP chieftains, also joined OGSIEC and) and its officials, Justice Archibong refrained from making any order against the electoral body and its officials. The applicants had accused the OGSIEC’s officials of circumventing the court order contained in the May 2 judgment by accepting lists of candidates for the July 21 council election from other sources other than the Dayo-led EXCO. The court, in freeing the OGSIEC officials, held that though they were cited for contempt, no other will be made against them because they were not parties in the substantive suit. The judge also abserved that they attended proceedings as against the others, who shunned court despite being served with court processes. The lucky OGSIEC’s officials include Alhaja Risikat Ogunfemi, Alhaji Korede Lawal, Alhaji Bisiyu Adekanmi, Mutiu Agboke, Oyediran Aina, Kolawole Odesanya and Adetokunbo Williams (described as the moving minds of OGSIEC). Justice Archibong noted that the court should not be seen as obstructing the electoral process in the state because the forthcoming council election formed the kernel of the dispute between parties. The judge warned that should OGSIEC proceed to accept list of candidates from sources other than the valid state Executive Committee headed by Adebayo Dayo, the electoral body will be opening itself and the outcome of the July 4 election for contempt.
Should lawyers drop their wig and gown?
F what difference will it make should lawyers be allowed to appear in court without their usual wig and gown? This question is informed by the belief that though the practice of Law has continued to witness relative transformation, this has not reflected in the appearance of practitioners. The opinion is that while other societies have continued to transform their Law practice, by not only relying mostly on local authorities and principles, and also designing new pattern of robs and apparels for their lawyers, Nigeria still practises Law mostly the way it inherited it from the British. Years after the nation’s independence, lawyers still seem confident appearing in the ancient dressing pattern which combines the dark suit with the flowing dark gown, wig, white bib, white collarettes and stud. This is despite the discomfort that goes with it in view of the nation’s usually hot weather and inadequate ventilation in most court rooms. Occasions abound where judges are compelled to allow lawyers appear and conduct court businesses without either their gowns or wigs, or even without both on. This occurs mostly when the courtroom becomes stuffy either owing to poor ventilation or faulty air-conditioning system, or during prolonged power outage. And in most cases, except in Abuja and other few cities, most courtrooms in the country are hardy well built with all the necessary infrastructure in place. Also, there are cases where lawyers appear unkempt in torn wig and gowns, either because they could not easily replace them because of the cost or because they just see it as an extra burden. Aside those inadequacies, observers wonder whether it was still too
• CJN Aloma Muhktar By Precious Igbonwelundu
early for the nation to distinguish its law practice by designing new dress pattern devoid of the relics of colonialism. They wonder whether the business of law cannot be conducted without the usual wig and gown in a world where most societies, including the United Kingdom and United States of America are gradually doing away with the old habits. But of what use are wig and gown in Law practice? Why is it difficult for the country to devise a pattern of dressing that is in tune with local realities? Lawyers including Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in Kwara State, Dele Belgore (SAN), Norrison Quakers (SAN) and Dr. Fredrick Ilesanmi said though the wig and gown serve to distinguish the profession from others, there was room for slight changes. Akinjide noted that even in the last court in Britain now called the Su-
preme Court; the wig is no longer worn, adding that the gown is only used ceremonially. “I think we have had enough of the wig, it is time we dropped it because even the British we borrowed from are not using it anymore. “For the gown, considering our unique setting, if we can get an acceptable indigenous attire that will be accepted by all without regrets, then we can drop it too, but if not, we should keep the gown but the wig no,” he said. Belgore said the attire is a symbol of tradition, institution and continuity all of which the legal profession represents. “Therefore, I would say that to meet our climatic conditions we can do away with the wig, but we should retain the gown. For Quakers, what distinguishes the legal profession from other professions aside from possessing and mastering of law is the uniqueness of its attire. “With the challenge of our heterogeneous and multifaceted culture with diverse garbs, it might be difficult to settle for a nationally acceptable garb. “The way round the heat that the current garb generates is to create a more conducive and user friendly environment,” he said. According to him, lawyers know that the garb is meant for the court and should not go beyond the court premises. “Any other garb than the current garb will rob the profession of its unique identity,” he said. Ilesanmi argued that despite the discomfort that the wig and gown occasion in some instances they form a part of a tradition that should be retained. He suggested modification to meet the nation’s local peculiarities, particularly as it relates to the design of the gown.
LAW AND PUBLIC POWER
with gabriel AMALU email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Challenges before CJN Aloma-Mukhtar
HE elevation of Justice Mariam Aloma-Mukhtar to the position of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) would have been completed as this column is published. As the first female CJN, Justice AlomaMukhtar has made history, and I respectfully join members of the legal profession and other Nigerians to wish her Lordship fruitful years of service to Nigeria. Born on November 20, 1944, the new CJN was called to the Nigerian Bar on June 26, 1967. As the first female lawyer from northern Nigeria, she was also first northern female Judge, first female member of Court of Appeal and now the first female to head one of the three arms of government in Nigeria. In her confirmation hearing at the Senate, her Lordship was inundated by Senators on her plans to stem corruption in the judiciary, as if she will also double as the head of a judicial police. She tried as hard as she could to convince her listeners, and upon multiple pummeling, retorted: “Corruption is everywhere. I intend to live by example and hope everybody will follow”. Upon further pressure, she said: “at the risk of sounding like a broken record” she will fight the cankerworm. Still the Senators continued to harass her Lordship, whereupon she promised to effect a reversal in perception with the cooperation of her colleagues. While wishing her Lordship well in her resolve, may I with respect note that fighting corruption in the judiciary is not the primary responsibility of the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Under our laws, it is the responsibility of the executive arm of government, through the police and other law enforcement agencies to fight corruption in all aspects of our national life. Therefore to seek to distract her Lordship with the responsibility for fighting corruption in the judiciary is because those responsible have since abdicated their duties. Her Lordship’s responsibility even as head of the National Judicial Council (NJC) is merely to punish those found guilty of corruption, dereliction of duty or incompetency. In my humble view her Lordship should concentrate her energy on giving a new lease of life to the provisions of section 6 subsection 6(a) of the 1999 constitution, which provides: “the judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions, shall extend notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this constitution, to all inherent powers and sanctions of a court of law”. The import of this very important provision is that her Lordship is under constitutional obligation with other Judges to shoot down any act, conduct or enactment that offends the provisions and spirit of the constitution, other laws or equitable conducts; and conversely obligated to promote, encourage and advance all laws and conducts necessary for “the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons in our country”. If I were in the Senate, I would therefore respectfully have asked for her Lordship’s position on the doctrine of judicial review of governmental actions. I will love to know whether the new CJN will stand up against Judges who shield government officials and their self-serving conducts, instead of applying the doctrine of judicial review to fight mismanagement in governance. On locu standi, I would have asked her Lordship to inform the distinguished guests her preference between the two Supreme Court’s decisions in Abraham Adesanya vs The President; and Fawehinmi vs Akilu. Readers will recall that in Abraham Adesanya’s case, the Supreme Court held that a serving Senator had no locus standi to move the court to enquire on the constitutionality of an executive conduct; while in Fawehimi’s case, the Supreme Court held that: “every citizen of Nigeria or any person for that matter has a right to private prosecution… if the Attorney General does not wish to do so.” If her Lordship is minded to appreciate the enormity of her responsibility and that of other Judges to review all governmental actions, she will seek to make her mark, where it will be felt, rather than shadow boxing on corruption. In my humble view, I will advise her Lordship to examine the judicial impact made by the world renowned Jurist, and former Chief Justice of India, Justice P. N. Bhagwati and his ageless pronouncements and revolution in India with regards to public interest litigation. If she wants to be positively remembered, then she has to seek out the guiding principles of the radical sides of such eminent Supreme Court Jurists like Chukwudifu Oputa, Kayode Esho, Muhammed Uwais, NnaemkaAgu, and a few older colleagues and make a feast of them. Again if I were in the Senate, I would have asked her Lordship’s position on the current centralized judiciary. Her Lordship would have had an opportunity to educate the distinguished Senators, and other Nigerians whether the centralization clutters the federation or advances it. Specifically even though her immediate predecessor has advocated a single criminal justice procedure and has sent a proposal to the legislature on that and other issues; she would have taken a public stand whether some of the proposals will resonant with our country’s diversity, or whether it is better to allow each state to develop specific models, to suit their environment. As the new CJN settles down to her enormous responsibilities, there is little doubt that her Lordship’s reputation as a fearless jurist will come handy in her new responsibility. That will come handy in her dealing expeditiously with matters of discipline in her capacity as the head of NJC. As CJN, I respectfully urge her Lordship, as per Nnaemeka-Agu JSC in Abdulkarim v Incar Nig. Ltd, to: “review(s) court decisions including its own, when the need arises in order to ensure that the country does not suffer under the same regime of obsolete or wrong decisions”.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
MARITIME ‘Duty certificates not hoarded’ By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
Terminal operators seek govt’s assistance
ERMINAL operators at the Calabar Port
have urged the Federal Government to develop some of its basic facilities to make it attractive. A senior manager at one of the terminals, Mr Felix Anderson, said lack of such basic facilities has made the port unattractive and called on the government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to make the port viable. He urged the Federal Government to award the contract for the dredging of the Calabar river channel, noting that it was part of the agreement they signed with the government before they took over the terminal. He also urged NPA to remove wrecks from the quays, because of the risks they pose to the port; complete the rehabilitation of the power supply to the port; restore the 30 per cent rebate on ships that was granted to container
• NPA MD, Omar Suleiman Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
vessels, adding that the government should fulfill its promise on road construction. Anderson said port reforms could only work where there is enabling environment, adding: “Cross River State government has been assisting in reaching out to the
Federal Government on the need to make Calabar port work.” He however regretted that the Calabar port is yet to attain its full potential as a hub for importers. The terminal operators, he said, have demonstrated their commitment to the success of the port concession, as could be seen in their commitment to repositioning their various terminals for effective and efficient service delivery. He said when they took over the port from the Federal Government in 2007, the terminal was in a poor state, and that it took days or weeks to weigh goods. “Most of the equipment we inherited were either bad or damaged beyond repairs and nothing reasonable could be done on them other than to junk them and procure new ones, if the objectives of the privatisation were to be met,” he said. The Secretary of the Nige-
rian Shippers Council, Niyi Labinjo, said the council would protect the interest of indigenous shippers and the national cargo interest in matters relating to the shipment of goods to and from the country, and to offer advice to the government. “We receive complaints from some of our members against lack of vessels to bring their cargoes to Calabar or to evacuate their exports to foreign importers because of the low draught of the channel. “The dredging of the channel and rehabilitation of roads linking the port to neighbouring towns, among others, are challenges facing the port, which the government must address to make the port viable,” he said. According to him, the poor condition of the port has made import/export trade difficult “as the association’s members had to ship their consignments through other ports and later ferry them by trucks to Calabar, at a high cost,” he said.
Pirates’ attacks on waterways soar
ATHER than abate, insecurity and pirates’attacks on the territorial waters are on the rise, investigations have revealed. This is despite the Federal Government’s effort to check the menace. As at last month, six attacks were recorded. Sources at the Federal Ministry of Transport said the were 24 serious incidents which involved international shipping and marine interests; four hijacks and 17 armed attacks. They said the attacks last month showed that crime was at the increase. Since late 2008, pirates outside Lagos had become more brutal. Majority of attacks which were off the main port and Cotonou include the use of firearms, with several sailors injured or killed. The Chief Executive Officer, Bergen Risk Solution, Mr Arild Nodland, said the unpredictable patterns of the theft and hijacking expanded the risks on the waters. He said last month’s attacks were mainly against international ships. Two attacks, he said, were recorded in May, but none in April.
“Piracy in Nigeria is a cyclical thing more than anything else; pirates in the region are adaptive and will find new ways of countering government security initiatives. “Attacks on shipping and other marine units on the Bights of Benin and Bonny are harder to predict as they shift in frequency and areas of manifestation. They occur at anchorages as well as far off shore,” he said. To cope with these patterns, he said his firm had expanded its tentacles in the Gulf of Guinea. These include“Togo’s ports and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) up to 50 nautical miles from shore; Benin and Nigeria’s ports, waterways and EEZ up to 150 miles
from shore and Bakassi Peninsula, in Cameroon, up to 20 miles off shore.” Last year, he said, there were attacks in Benin, and Togo has also been targeted this year. He added that the most serious trend was pirates going offshore. “This started in the latter part of last year and the use of staging platforms and mother ships has been confirmed on several occasions since the autumn of 2011. That makes piracy harder to grapple with, Nodland said. He said attacks in the Bight of Benin, off Togo, Benin and Lagos, were mostly on chemical or oil product tankers. Nodland said the attacks
were in two categories: those at the ports, and hijacks aimed at stealing cargoes of fuel and cash. “A few years ago, there were s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r ences in maritime security incidents in Lagos and the Niger Delta, especially on the violence involved. “The Niger Delta militants are equipped with firearms and fast, small crafts. “Local communities also put press u r e o n t h e p e t r o leum and shipping industries, sometimes, by hiring armed gangs to extort benefits for their villa ges. “Grudge attacks, caused by personal feuds, envy or disputes over payments or contracts, also represent a significant risk factor,” he said.
Stakeholder faults shipping policy
STAKEHOLDER in the industry, Mr Sesan Bamgbala has faulted the Federal Government’s policy on ship repairs. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, Bamgbala, who is the Managing Director, Atlantic Investment, said the government has not offered special incentives for the sector to promote efficiency
in shipping-related services and make the country a hub. He said ship building was capital intensive and urged the Federal Government to make special provision for capacity building in the industry. Bamgbala said local ship owners faced difficulties in raising funds for their businesses. He said the facilities at the shipyards were highly inadequate compared to what was
required at the international level. He said ship repairs business was highly competitive and should be supported by policies and subsidies, adding that without government’s support, the growth of the industry would be difficult, adding that for the sector to grow, there should be incentives, such as lower taxes to offset the costs.
THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has denied the allegation that it is hoarding duty certificates from vehicle importers and clearing agents in Lagos. Some importers alleged last week that the document, which is a proof of duty paid on an imported vehicle, had been withheld by the Service for about two years. An importer, Mr Felix Solomon, alleged that the management of the Service printed a few copies of the certificate, thereby creating artificial scarcity. He accused Customs officials of conniving with peddlers to illegally print and sell Single Goods Declaration (SGD) forms to agents. But the National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Mr Wale Adeniyi denied the allegation. He said the, service printed enough copies of the certificate and that at the Apapa, Tin-Can and Seme commands of the Service, there were enough copies for use. He said: “Let me assure you and the importers that the Customs service have enough duty certificates to give to importers who have paid the government approved duty on their vehicles at any of our commands in Lagos, which include Apapa, Tin-Can Island ports and Seme border. “But for those who have refused pay their duty and want the Customs to issue them certificates, I don’t have an answer to their problem. But my advice to them is that they should go and pay the government approved amount on their vehicles so that they could get the duty certificate and save themselves and their customers from any embarrassment.”
Customs, police partner WORRIED by the of insecurity in the country, especially at the border, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is collaborating with the Nigeria Police to check arms importation into the country. The NCS Zonal Co-ordinator of Zone’ A’, Assistant Comptroller General, Victor Gbemudu, made the spoke call last week when the Assistant Inspector-General of Police of Zone 2, Mamman Ibrahim, paid him a courtesy visit. Gbemudu said there was the need to enhance the existing collaboration with the Police in view of the rising insecurity challenges, particularly in ensuring that arms and ammunition are not smuggled into the country. He said apart from revenue generation, the Service also protects the borders from illegal importation of arms and ammunition. “Security has actually been on the front burner and we have challenges with smugglers, especially in the border stations. It is not only about revenue collection, we are also looking into the security aspect so that is why the synergy is important,” he stated. Responding, Ibrahim pledged the support of the Police in checking insecurity, which he said has hampered trade.
Old vessels threaten Cabotage Act THE influx of old vessels by local ship owners and the phasing out of single hull vessels by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have been identified as one of the reasons Nigerians have not benefited from the Cabotage Act. A stakeholder in the sector, Mr Bayo Adegbite, urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to stop old vessels from entering the country, adding that they were being used for illegal bunkering. “If you allow ship owners to bring old vessels into the country and you register them as Cabotage vessels, then you must be ready to give them jobs; forget about IMO laws and the other laws because you have collected money from the owners for registration and that is why NIMASA must stop them.” He called on the agency to ensure that indigenous ship owners were given jobs by oil firms since they were registered by NIMASA. Also, a maritime lawyer, Mr Festus Olayinka, identified finance when applying for waiver as one of the reasons for the circumvention of the gains of the Act. He alleged that waivers are granted “before approval because those who apply for waivers are made to pay while their applications are still being processed. “The Act stipulates that 100 per cent rating, 60 per cent of officers for Nigerians and 40 per cent for foreigners. But the foreigners come in with a waiver clause that the country does not have qualified hands to man the industry. “Also, if you want a waiver to be granted, you apply to NIMASA and your file would be taken to Abuja for ministerial approval. Before the approval comes from Abuja, you must have paid money to NIMASA. After collecting my money, it is as good as saying that you have granted me the waiver because it would be difficult for you to return my money because by the time the file leaves for Abuja, the job would have done,” Olayinka said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
ABUJA REVIEW NEWS
•Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof Mahmood Yakubu flanked by National President, Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities, Dr Nasir Isa (right) and his predecessor, Prof Ukachukwu Awuzie during the visit of the Union’s leadership PHOTO IBRAHIM MOHAMMED to TETFund headquarters in Abuja
•Leader, House of Representatives, Mulikat Adeola (left); Chairman, Federal Road Maintance Agency, Mr. Jide Adeniji (right) with his wife, Victoria at a dinner in honour of Adeniji in Abuja
•Minister of Finance, Dr Okonjo Iweala (left) with Accountant General of the Federation, Jona Otunla during a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation on the Implementation of 2012 Appropriation Act at the National Assembly
•From left: Speaker House Representative, Aminu Waziri Tanbuwal, Chairman of Governor forum and Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi and Delta State Governor Uduaghan at the National Council of State at the Presidential Villa in Abuja
•From left: Zonal Head, North East, Unity Bank Plc, Mr. Usman Abaji; Managing Director, Mr. Ado Wanka and Winner, Aim and Win Unity Bank Promo, Mrs. Bikudaima Joura during the presentation of Star Prize Aim and Win Unity Bank Promo in Abuja PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
•Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, (second left), Chairman BOT, Nigerian Diaspora Alumni Network, Manny Aniebonam, (second right) with committee members, Sani Bello Mashi (left) and Charles Odedo during a visit by the Diaspora Alumni Network to the committee in Abuja
•From left: Manager, Africa Study Group, Crist Tagg; Regional Manager, Nigeria Study Group, Yetunde Pereira; International Marketing Manager, Study Group, Daya Evans and Deputy Director ISC Recruitment, Study Group, Sean Ireton during the launch of the new Study Group Partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University at Chelsea Hotel in Abuja. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
•From left: Minister of FCT, Senator Mohammed Bala; Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Almakura and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola at the National Council of State at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
T has been a week of anguish across the country and, particularly, at the Presidential Villa, as the reign of terror contnues. The death in Plateau State of Senator Gyang Dantong and Hon. Gyang Fulani seem to have left the security community searching for fresh clues to terrorism in the country. Even before then, things were distressing enough. President Goodluck Jonathan has had to make some changes in the top echelon of some of the security agencies like the police where the entire management team was sacked. He also brought in Col. Sambo Dasuki as the National Security Adviser all with the aim of injecting new ideas into the fight against terrorism and other vices in the country. The President assured that he was not going to allow the impunity in the country to continue with a further promise that the government “shall continue to re-invigorate our fight against terrorism and impunity and we are already taking concrete steps.” And so it was not surprising last Monday, when the president looked into the twin issues plaguing the country: security and corruption. The issues were brought to the front burner during the first ever tripartite discussion involving the three arms of government-the executive, legislative and judiciary. They were locked in discussion of how best to tackle the menace that has almost brought the nation to its knees. At the end of the meeting it was agreed that for the country to effectively fight corruption, there was a need for a review of the present strategy with the aim of coming up with a national strategy on the fight against corruption. The meeting which was at the instance of the president also looked at the constitutional challenges which the National Assembly has agreed to look into. On the other hand, the judiciary also gave its own insight into the constraints, with a promise to address all identified impediments. The issue of funding the agencies especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) was also discussed. The meeting was attended by the leadership of the National Assembly, led by Senate President, Senator David Mark and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu
On terror and other matters •Aso Rock
From the Villa By Vincent Ikuomola Tambuwal while the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Dahiru Musdafa led the acting President of the Court of Appeal, the Judges of the Federal Capital Terrority (FCT), Lagos,
While the President was still grappling with the security situation, news came of a petrol tanker fire in which about 200 reportedly died
Kaduna and Anambra to the meeting. To also demonstrate seriousness, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke announced that those indicted in the fuel subsidy probe by the Farouk Lawan-led House of Representatives panel are likely to be prosecuted from this week. “As soon as the EFCC finishes its assignment which is very soon, you will begin to see prosecution probably in the next one week; we will begin to prosecute because the EFCC has gone very far. So, Nigerians should rest assured that this is not an
issue that will be swept under the carpet. We have gone this far because we want a proper and painstaking investigation done so that when we charge people to court there will be no lapses or loopholes for lawyers to explore,” he said. There was also the emergency security meeting also presided over by the president at which issues of security, especially the Plateau State incident, which claimed more than 100 lives, was top on the agenda. Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku described the precarious security situation in the countryas a drag on the nation’s standing and called for urgent measures to check it. He spoke after the presentation of two books on the country’s foreign policy. Similarly, the security situation in the country also engaged the attention of the Council of State during the Thursday meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. It is the highest advisory organ of government, chaired by the President. The Plateau situation, according to sources, dominated discussion at the Council of State meeting.
FCTA launches community sanitation exercise
HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has launched a community sanitation programme in all the area councils and satellite towns as part of efforts to clean up them up. The programme was established by the Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide in collaboration with the chairmen of the six area councils. The minister, who spoke at the flag-off of the sanitation exercise in Kuduru community in Bwari Area Council said dirty environment is no longer acceptable in the area councils and the satellite towns. “We are all going to clean the area councils and satellite towns,” she said. “We are going to work with the chairmen of the six area councils to rid the councils of waste. Efforts are in top
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
gear to clean the various parks in the area councils and satellite towns. “We have acquired domestic sanitation equipment for the community sanitation exercise which has been distributed to the councils for a thorough clean-up of the environment after sensitisation would have been carried out,” said Akinjide,
who was represented by her Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Mrs. Jummai Kwanashie. The community sanitation programme took off in five communities of Bwari Area Council, namely: Kuduru, Ushafa, Pambara, Kogo and Peyi communities. About 50 members of the sanitation committee were inaugurated by the Minister in Kuduru. The Minister has already taken the sanitation exercise to com-
We are all going to clean the area councils and satellite towns. We are going to work with the chairmen of the six area councils to rid the councils of waste
munities in Gwagwalada Area Council, including Gwako community. The Chairman of the Bwari Area Council, Hon. Yohanna Ushafa lauded the Minister for the community sanitation programme which, he stated, would engender a clean environment in all communities in the area councils. Ushafa explained that the Bwari Area Council has embarked on a number of programmes to tackle sanitary problems. “The Department of Environment and Sanitation has also embarked on the clearing of congested drainages across the Council especially in Bwari, Kubwa and Dutse,” he said. “The Council has launched aggressive health education in four major areas of open defecation, lassa fever, measles and trypanosomaisis among others.”
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Head of State Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and former military President Ibrahim Babangida were absent. But Second Republic President Shehu Shagari, ex-Interim President Ernest Shonekan and former Head of State Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar attended. There was no official statement on the outcome of the meeting, which lasted for about three hours, it was learnt that major security issues, especially the situation in Plateau, were discussed. Also, the Police Council presided over by Jonathan confirmed Mr Dikko Abubakar as the substantive Inspector General of Police. The IG spoke on the handling of the prosecution of high-ranking officials of the National Assembly over corruption. He said: “Investigation are on; it is a case we have taken over. We initiated the case because I did say in all my pronouncements that we shall fight bribery and corruption not only within the police service but in this country because we have a responsibility constitutionally to fight bribery and corruption and we shall do that. The past week also saw the president receiving the report of the Presidential Committee on the Review of Outstanding Issues from recent Constitutional Conferences. Chairman of the Committee and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, submitted the report to the President last Tuesday. The committee, among others, also recommended a unified modern criminal law for federal and state governments and a review of the civil and criminal legal procedure. He noted that unfettered autonomy for Local Governments had the greatest potential for maximum impact on the lives of all citizens. While the President was still grappling with the security situation, news came of a petrol tanker fire in which about 200 died, according to some reports. The President has since directed federal relief and health agencies to do everything possible to ensure that all those who survived the explosion with burns and injuries receive prompt and effective medical attention.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
POLITICS THE NATION
• From left: Prof. Niyi Osundare, Guest Speaker, Yinka Odumakin, Tokunbo Awolowo, Convener of Save Nigeria group (SNG)Tunde Bakare, his wife Laide, Prof Itse Sagey [SAN] and Dr Joe Odumakin during the state of the nation lecture organised by SNG in Lagos PHOTO SOLOMON ADEOLA
How far have the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) gone in fighting corruption? Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU examines the journey so far and the impediments to a successful anti-graft war.
Is anti-corruption war on course? T
HE establishment of the two anti-graft bodies - the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices (and other Related Offences) Commission (ICPC) by former President Olusegun Obasanjo was widely applauded by a cross section of informed and concerned Nigerian. But almost 10 years after, corruption has not only proved difficult to fight, it has continued to soar. From electoral crimes, civil service pension fund scam, police pension controversy, fuel subsidy fraud, House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee scandal-the list is endless. Critics have argued that it is relatively easier to prosecute and jail people who stole N2 million than to invite for questioning those who allegedly made away with billions. They contend that public confidence has been eroded by the way the anti-corruption battle is being fought. Before ICPC and EFCC were established, development experts, who had established a linkage between graft in high places and failure of governance, said that the country may continue to wallow in poverty and squalour unless the corrupt eggs in the corridors of power are sent packing. Soon after their inuaguration, the two bodies moved swiftly to track down corrupt politicians and public officials who have looted the treasury and enriched themselves to the detriment of other citizens. A searchlights was beamed on serving governors, ministers, National Assembly, boards and parastatals, civil service and private sectors, which were previously insulated from public scrutiny. However, today, the fear of EFCC and ICPC is no more the beginning of wisdom for corrupt politicians. Currently, many private sector employees are cooling off in EFCC net for plundering their organisations. But politicians often hide under constitutional technicalities to escape justice. The anti-corruption bodies had not achieved much when Gen. Obasanjo manipulated the process and turned them into agents of intimidation and victimisation of perceived political opponents. At a recent lecture in Lagos organised by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), speakers lamented that the anti-corruption war had gone awry. Foremost poet Prof. Niyi Osundare, who delivered the lecture titled: “Why we no longer blush: Corruption as Grand Commander of the Order of Niger”, observed that the Jonathan administration lacked the will and capacity to fight corruption because the federal government is im-
mersed in theft and graft. He also said that a corruption-compliant ruler cannot rule a corruptfree country, stressing that leaders can only rule properly according to the rule of law. The university don described corruption as the most viable industry and greatest employer of labour in Nigeria, warning that the cankerworm could kill the country if the dangerous trend is not halted by committed stakeholders. SNG convener Pastor Tunde Bakare agreed that corruption has assumed an alarming dimension. He recalled that the January protest against fuel subsidy removal by SNG and civil societies was also a protest against corruption in high places. Many have critised the fight against corruption as being selective. Bakare, the founder of LatterRains Assembly said if a successful anti-graft war is to be waged, there should be no sacred cows. Prof. Itsey Sagay (SAN), expressed worry about the high tolerance for corruption by institutions set up to nip graft in the bud. In Sagay’s view, corruption is a devastating quagmire, saying that Nigeria is now hopeless because members of the National Assembly investigating corrupt charges against public officials are also taking bribes. “N16 billion was expended on power, but it ended with the probe of contracts involving the chairman of committee that was probing the scam. The chairmen and members of the committee probing the SEC and fuel subsidy are now under investigation. We are in a situation where we have to find a policeman to police the police. Corruption is destroying the country’s chance of development. Is there any hope for the future? Something must be done before it is too late”. One of the reasons corruption continue to thrive is that the society has lost its sanity by worshipping those who became rich through questionable means. For example, Osundare recalled that former Delta State Governor James Ibori was celebrated as a hero at home, until he met his waterloo abroad. He said, if President Umaru Yar’Adua had not died, the former governor would not have been prosecuted at all because
he sponsored his presidential campaign. The university don also chided the judiciary for its lack of integrity, pointing out that the court exonerated him in a dubious manner. More worrisome to Osundare was how Chief Bode George was accompanied to the court when he was standing trial by praise-singers. After serving a two-year jail for corruption as chairman of the Nigeria Ports Authority, he was also welcomed back with funfair. Apart from frowning at the red carpet reception, Osundare said clerics mocked religion when a church service was held for him in Lagos. “All these make Nigeria a moral desert, political jungle and haven for criminals,” said Osundare, who highlighted the effects of corruption on all sectors, including economy, banking, aviation, bar and bench and religion. “All the disasters, road accidents, Dana Air crash, Boko Haram violence; these clusters of calamities are traceable to corruption. Corruption killed the railway system, which would have reduced the pressure on the roads. “Why is the Nigerian road full of ”tokunbo” cars and airspace racketing :tokunbo” planes. Where are previous reports? All we have is investigation without an end, recommendation without implementation and reports that are dumped”. The poet lamented that, due to corruption, attention was being shifted from the fuel subsidy scam report to the investigation of the investigators. To the university teacher, President Goodluck Jonathan has also failed to lead by example. He faulted the President’s position on declaration of asset, stressing that his “I don’t give a damn attitude” to matters of probity and transparency was condemnable. “How did the Permanent Secretaries have houses in Abuja, Lagos and their villages. These were the boys we taught in the universities. We know their tricks”, he added. But why are EFCC and ICPC unable to adequately justify the confidence reposed in them by Nigerians? Why are they moving at a slow speed, despite their avowed commitment to the
‘EFCC and ICPC have done a lot of work in the area of investigation of corrupt cases, but what we have noticed is that the number of convictions being recorded in courts by these specialised agencies is not commensurate with the number of cases they have in court’
war? A right activist, Debo Adeniran, leader of the Coalition against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), said: “EFCC and ICPC have done a lot of work in the area of investigation of corrupt cases, but what we have noticed is that the number of convictions being recorded in courts by these specialised agencies is not commensurate with the number of cases they have in court”. Last year, EFCC and ICPC claimed that had over 1,500 cases waiting to be determined in courts. Out of this figure, not less than 65 are cases involving politically exposed persons; governors, ministers and others. “Our worry is why are these cases stalled in courts”, said Adeniran. The new EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Larmode, has reiterated the commission’s determination to prove skeptics that it is a tooth-less bulldog. Many think that the bravado lack basis, owing to certain impediments. His predecessor, Farida Waziri, who had explained the constraints to reporters in Lagos, painted an awful picture of the anti-corruption process. She said big people, who are suspects, have often delayed the litigation process. “Their counsel ask for frivolous adjournments to buy more time. They tender medical reports before courts and get permission to travel abroad, thereby wasting the time of the court and EFCC”. Like Osundare, the former EFCC boss condemned the culture of worshipping the corrupt officials standing trial by followers, who accompany them to the court with pomp. “They alight from their posh cars and wave at the crowd of supporters as if they are heroes worthy of emulation”, she complained, stressing that the process has indulged them. The only way out, said Farida, is to set up special courts for the speedy trial of criminal suspects who are ruining the economy. Many analysts have also objected to the plea bargaining, which has provided an escape route for fraudsters. Another human right activist, Lanre Suraj, complained that privileged suspects, who stole public money, are treated with kid gloves, unlike ordinary men, who stole five tubers of yam and ends up in 12-month jail. His compatriot, Ayodele Akele, former governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), agreed with him. “They steal a huge sum and pay back a little in the name of plea bargaining. If somebody steals a handset, he is jailed for six months or a year. Why not jail corrupt politicians? This is double standard”, he said. In his opinion, plea bargaining for political and economic fraudsters must be removed, if it can•Continued on page 44
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
POLITICS Former Plateau State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) politicians who left the party in 2010 are facing an uphill task returning as Governor Jonah Jang is erecting high hurdles for them. Correspondent YUSUFU AMINU IDEGU writes that the intrigues may not be unconnected with the politics of 2015.
Clog in PDP’s reconciliatory move in Plateau
OTWITHSTANDING the warning by Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang that nobody in his government should be involved in the politics of 2015, indications have emerged that tempo of political activities has increased. The governor warned that such activities would amount to a distraction. But there have been scheming, plotting, alliance and network building by politicians for 20 15. At the moment, top politicians who left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2010 for various reasons are said to be plotting how to come back into the fold. It was learnt that they are eager to make it back to fit squarely into the activities for 2015. But they are already up against a formidable opposition as the governor has expressed his determination to make the process of return difficult for them. In the run up to the 2011 general elections, the party was fragmented in the state into two camps. They are the PDP 1 and the PDP 2. While PDP 1 comprises of the Governor and his loyalists; while some disgruntled politicians over the administrative style of Jang make up PDP2.. In PDP 2 are such prominent people like Pauline Talen, Jang’s former deputy; former governors of the state like Sir Fidelis Tapgun, Chief Joshua Dariye, Chief Micheal Botmang. They also include former minister like Mr Damishi Sango, Ibrahim Dansuki Nakande and their loyalists. Also former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly Simon Lalong as well as former senators and majority of members of the State House of Assembly who were elected alongside Jang in 2007. An obviously concerned national secretariat set up a reconciliatory committee headed by Chief Solomon Lar. But the committee failed to achieve anything substantial and so the faction joined another party to contest the 2011 general election. Talen, for example, contested the governorship seat on the platform of Labor Party (LP); Dariye contested Senate sit also on the platform of the LP; Damishi Sango contested governorship election on the platform of All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) while Chris Giwa contested against on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) However, on a recent visit to the national chairman of the party, Alhaji
Bamanga Tukur in Abuja, Jang urged him not to allow former members of the party who contested against the party in the last general election to return in the name of reconciliation. It was learnt that Jang’s advice to the chairman was received back home with shock and doubt. And perhaps for the sake of emphasis, Jang repeated it to the hearing of everybody back at home while at an orientation workshop for newly elected members of the state executive of the party. Inside the conference hall of treasure Inn Hotel, Jang declared: “Let me use this opportunity to repeat exactly what I told our party national chairman in Abuja recently; I said politicians who left the party and are interested in coming back should followed the due process by doing so through their ward party offices. As for those who did not only left the party but contested against PDP, this group of politicians should not be welcomed back, they should be made to remain in the opposition party and render credible opposition that is required in a democracy. “I belief all of us cannot be in the ruling party some good politicians too has to be in the opposition to offer needed criticism” said Jang. Expectedly, Jang’s remarks has attracted reaction. The state’s public relation officer of Labour Sylvanus Naman, a former PDP stalwart who was even a Commissioner of Information in the state in 2007
said the governor should not frustrate the move by people to return to the party. “I am aware of the position of Gov. Jang and his conditions for returning to the party. This is very unfortunate because Jang has no moral justification to frustrate the return of certain politician to the party. “Jang should be reminded at this point that he was the first politician in the state that left the party and worked against the downfall of PDP. He should be reminded that in 2003 Jang contested against PDP candidate Joshua Dariye in the governorship election on the platform of ANPP. “Jang needs to be reminded that the ruling government of Dariye never opposed his return to PDP after losing the election. Jang was accepted back fully and unconditionally. Jang needs to be reminded that his return back to PDP was held at the Plateau Hotel Jos and not his ward headquarters in Du. “So if you consider the reasons stated above, Jang has no moral justification to oppose the return of anyone today, he doesn’t even have that power” said Namang. He added that “With this stand alone Jang should realize he is already working against the overall interest of PDP because the party at the national level under the able leadership of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur is advocating for reconciliation of all aggrieved members. “That is exactly what Jang is opposing in Plateau. We need to know if it is Jang that will decide for the national secretariat or national secretariat deciding for Jang, time shall tell” said naming. Namang argued that the politicians Jang is trying to prevent from going back to the party they laboured to build never left on their own accord but were actually cha sed out by his dictatorial style of administration. He querried why the governor would now be a stumbling block. Namang said, “My thinking is that Jang is afraid of the group of politicians that are making a return because these are the original founding fathers of the party and if they return, Jang and his loyalists will become minority in the party, as a matter of fact those who are coming back and their followers are the real owner of PDP in Plateau state, I can understand his worries” .
Is anti-corruption war on course? •Continued from page 43
not be extended to the poor. Right groups which have never disputed this however, have another axe to grind with the agencies. A Lagos lawyer, Supo Ojo, berated EFCC for sensationalise its complaints against suspects. He said, once a person is arrested by the EFCC, the public perception of him as thief may never be erased. “EFCC is heavy in the media. It is light in concrete performance of its statutory functions”, he said. Ojo supported Farida’s call for a special court to try corrupt leaders. Justifying the call, he alleged that the judiciary is an accomplice in attempts by politicians to evade justice. “A special court will give EFCC teeth. The present system is faulty and not much can be done. There are constraints like perpetual injunctions. we need dedicated courts and special legislations and sanctions must be heavy”, he stressed. It is believed by many that the antigraft war mirrors the stance of the Federal Government. Thus, Akele urged President Jonathan to give EFCC a free hand to operate so that it
will not be a toothless bull dog Adeniran also urged the Federal Government to give the anti-corruption agencies a free hand to do their job without any influence or interference from the Presidency and Attorney-General of the Federation. A House of Representatives member Abike Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians to make use of the Freedom of Information Act. “Nigerians now have access to pubic accounts and they can demand for accountability. They can raise questions”, she said. Bakare said hope is not lost. He urged Nigerians to study how corrupt-free countries like Sweden , Denmark, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Georgia conquered the cankerworm. “Nigeria should embrace the spirit of that radical reformation”, he added. Osundare implored civil society groups not to relent in their campaigns against corruption and corrupt leaders. “It is organised massive action from the Nigerian people that can eliminate the cankerworm of corruption that is sucking the lifeblood of this bountifully endowed, but criminally misgoverned country. We must make
sure that we kill corruption before it has the chance of killing Nigeria”, he added.
Reason for bill on pension, gratuities for legislators By Oziegbe Okoeki
EMBER of the House of Representatives representing Apapa Federal Constituency, Hon. Babatunde Jimoh Adewale has said that the reason why he is sponsoring a bill on pension and gratuity for legislators is to reduce the incidence of corruption among lawmakers. Adewale disclosed this in a chat with journalists at the first interactive session/town hall meeting he held with his constituents at Apapa on Friday. According to him, the bill which is already in the making and which will guarantee that legislators be entitled to pensions and gratuity for life will help curb corruption in the legislature and will also enable them carry out their oversight functions thoroughly. “If the legislators have the guarantee that they would be getting something till death; the oversight function would be thoroughly done, because most of this issue of corruption on the part of legislators is because of the fear of tomorrow. “But if the legislators should be enjoying this like the executive are enjoying it, definitely it will reduce corruption because people will have rest of mind that they will have something to fall back on; oversight function will be carried out very thoroughly and you will be able to do your job very diligently and you will be happy to be a legislator”, Adewale said. Adewale who was a former member of the Lagos state House of Assembly said he has also sponsored a bill for an Act to amend the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust fund Act CAP N88, Laws of the federation, 2008 to provide social security/protection to all eligible citizens of Nigeria who are ordinarily resident in Nigeria whether employed both in the private and public sector, unemployed and aged without discrimination; the bill has passed the second reading, he said. The lawmaker used the occasion to dole out cash gift of N20, 000 each to 24 of his constituents who are widows, widowers and aged. Other areas he has assisted his constituents in the past one year, according to him, are in the area of education, skill acquisition, youth employment, poverty alleviation/empowerment for constituents, provision of boreholes for water etc. “I have been assisting and I will continue to render financial assistance within the limit of my capacity to solve problems facing our people particularly in the area of health, education, accommodation etc. I promise to sustain this gesture by organizing poverty alleviation programmes to distribute various economic materials to assist my constituents in no distant future,” Adewale said
Akeredolu: Progressives have unfinished business in Ondo By Emmanuel Oladesu, Deputy Political Editor
NDO State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) aspirant Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has said that progressives have unfinished business in the state, urging party faithful to gird their
loins. He said the re-election of Governor Adams Oshiomhole has provided the inspiration for the bloc to victory in the Sunshine State. The politician noted that the people-oriented programmes of ACN governments in the Southwest and Edo cannot be ignored, stressing that Ondo people want a government that would replicate them. In a statement by Akeredolu’s media adviser, Idowu Ajanaku, Akeredolu expressed delight at the continuty of development in the ACN states, reminiscent of the glorious Awolowo era. Remarkably, the Action Group (AG), which formed the transformational government that left landmarks in all the sectors was launched in Owo, the birthplace of Akeredolu. The governorship aspirant said that the people of Ondo State looked forward to monumental achievements from a progressive government capable of re-enacting the worthy legacies erected in Lagos State under Senator Bola Tinubu and his successor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN). Akeredolu said Oshiomhole succeeded in Edo State because his administration effectively mirrored AG and ACN governments. He described as laughable the statement by the Labour Party (LP) leader, Dan Nwayanwu, that Oshiomhole has no godfather, clarifying that the Edo State governor enjoyed the support of all the key leaders of the ACN, who are men of principle, political clout, managerial acumen, and understanding. Akeredolu doubted if the LP government in the state has toed the progressive path. He said AC government will not take on the responsibilities of the local governments and parade them as impressive achievements of state government.
•Second right: Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, addressing party supporters during the ACN campaign rally in Obafemi Owode local council. With him are Ogun State Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun (left), the Ogun State Chairman of ACN, Alhaji Tajudeen Bello (second left) and the chairmanship candidate of the party in the local council, Hon. Nurudeen Olanrewaju Diyaolu (right).
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
HEALTH THE NATION
Govt set to revive vaccine firm The government has entered into partnership with May and Baker to resuscitate the Federal Vaccine Laboratory (FVPL), Yaba, Lagos to produce vaccines, writes OYEYEMI GBENGAMUSTAPHA.
WENTY-ONE years after the Federal Vaccine Laboratory (FVPL), Yaba, Lagos, stopped production, the government is planning to resuscitate it. At the moment, Nigeria spends over N12 billion yearly on vaccines importation. An attempt in 2005 to resuscitate the firm through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between May and Baker and the government failed. For two years, the facility did not work. In 2007, there was another attempt through Biovaccines Nigeria Limited, a joint venture company owned by the government and May and Baker, to ensure the production of vaccines. It also failed. Now that there is a reduction in the number of manufacturers of orthodox vaccines, developing countries have to cater for their needs. Health Minister, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu said the firm’s resuscitation would revolutionalise vaccine production in the country. According to him, the essence is for the government to make the best use of private enterprise with the requisite capacity to uplift the quality of health care. But why May and Baker? According to its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nnamdi Okafor,“May and Baker as the sole agent of Sanofi-Aventis Pasteur, the world number one vaccine manufacturer in Nigeria for over 30 years, the company is the best organisation in the country to assist in the development of local vaccine technology.” “May and Baker wants to make available its over 60 years experience, expertise, knowledge and skills acquired in drug manufacturing and vaccine distribution. The company is hopeful that producing vaccines locally will significantly reduce the cost of (imported) vaccines sold in Nigeria, as the huge cost involved in importation and other logistics for imported brands would be cutoff. Nigeria currently spends over N6 billion annually on vaccine importation; this excludes what is imported by various states and local governments for intervention programmes. There is a vast market for vaccines in the West African sub-region should Nigeria be able to produce indigenous vaccines.” Okafor said his company has always sought to take up the challenge since the 1990s when it began to assist FVPL in the transfer of vaccine production technology. In 2005, the Federal Government and May and Baker entered into an agreement that saw the pharmaceutical firm take over FVPL under a new name, Biovaccines Nigeria Limited. “The investment in the Biovaccines Nigeria Limited, which has replaced FVPL, is only a long dream come true,” Okafor said. The May and Baker chief said the firm intended to “guarantee regularity of quality, safe and affordable vaccines supply in the
•The moribund firm.
PHOTO: OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA
country, make substantial savings in foreign exchange used for procuring vaccines, help transfer technology to Nigeria and build capacity for primary health care delivery.” The firm, he said, has also undertaken to turn the moribund facility into a profitable outfit that would generate revenue for the government and other shareholders, and create platforms that would stimulate research on all types of vaccines including thermo-stability, safety and efficacy evaluation, and prolongation of life. Other countries have realised the importance of vaccinations, especially among children, such that the first two years of babies are spent on monthly vaccinations and booster shots. “ Vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, rotavirus, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DTaP), homophiles influenza type B, pneumococcal (PPSV), polio (IPV), measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and chickenpox (vari-
cella), and adult vaccinations for DTaP, IPV, PPSV, MMR, varicella, meningococcal (MCV), human papilloma virus (HPV), and the annual influenza shots that are internationally available would be produced. “With time, we will go into Pentavalent vaccines production because the US and other firstworld nations have been very successful in the reduction, if not elimination, of a number of infectious diseases that continue to affect other countries,”Okafor said. He stated that Biovaccines will also earn foreign exchange from sale of vaccines produced in excess of local demand, especially within West and Central Africa. He said: “Local vaccines production will ensure Nigeria’s participation in an industry that is at the cutting edge of science by helping to transfer technology to Nigeria and build capacity for primary health care delivery. “Stimulate capacity building for the certification of biological in
Nigeria by working with the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and provide laboratory support for the National programme on Immunisation in the areas of laboratory testing immunisation advocacy. “This is against the backdrop that the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) asserted that vaccinepreventable infections have both economic and social costs such as missing school for children and lost work time for parents, as well as costs related to hospitalisations, medicine, doctor consult, and worse, premature deaths,” he said The company is seeking the recognition of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) as a centre for the approval and registration of biologicals. “This would not be possible if there is no company in Nigeria involved in production of biologicals for the country and sub-region,” Okafor said. May and Baker is planning to construct a new vaccine plant at Ota, Ogun State to start the production of Yellow Fever Vaccines in the next 18 months. “The aim is to develop and maintain a state-of-the-art virus laboratory capable of handling local as well as international diagnostic projects. The management says it intends to make it a national and international reference centre with absolute ability to strengthen intellectual and technical capacity and competence of local personnel by exposing them to international training programmes abroad. We are also looking at providing laboratory support for the national programme on Immunisation and where needed, NAFDAC,” Okafor added.
‘Labs’ approval will aid diagnoses’
N agency, South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), has urged the Federal Government to assist medical laboratories to get international accreditation to enable them to provide accurate medical diagnoses. According to the group’s Programme Manager, Medical Laboratories, Nombuso Ndlovu, lack of competence of medical laboratories workers is a major cause of misdiagnosis. Misdiagnoses may also come from somebody who is not interpreting the information correctly or those not trained to perform the task that was assigned to them, she said. “We link competence to the qualification. ‘’We often asked the question, are people practising within their scope of operation. Is the equipment being used suitable among other questions,” she said. She said the country would benefit more if there weremore accredited laboratories, adding that this would help improve the sector. Ndlovu, who was at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) with team members to inspect the facilities of Pathcare Nigeria Limited, said the country was still lagging behind in medical laboratory practice because of the number of accredited centres. She said SANAS is to ensure that centres live up to the ISO/IEC 15189:2007 medical laboratories standards, saying there were more accredited centres in South Africa than Nigeria. “Unaccredited centres are encouraged to get their accreditation in South Africa because it will bring quality to the practice. There are two agencies doing that,” she said.
Varsity gets HIV/ AIDS centre
TN Foundation, the social investment vehicle of MTN Nigeria,has completed a Youth Friendly Centre at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ogun State to help combat the spread of HIV/AIDS among the youth. The centre will increase access to HIVcounselling and testing within the university community, to prevent the spread of the disease. According to the Director of the Foundation, Dennis Okoro, “The centre will make it possible for youths and adults to check their HIV status and be counselled by professionals in a friendly and conducive environment. It is in continuation of the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, especially among our productive age. “The centre has a comfortable waiting area, informative educational materials, confidential counselling rooms and a laboratory. ‘’The centre also serves as a resource centre where students can gain access to the internet at a cheaper rate. It also houses a mini MTN Connect Service Centre where MTN customers can make enquiries on available MTN services,” Okoro added. The Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Dr John Idoko, applauded the Foundation for its kind gesture. And said: “It is very thoughtful of MTN Foundation to provide such a centre. This will help reduce the spread or contracting of HIV/AIDS within the tertiary institution and its host community. With the help of care educators, the prevalence of the disease can be reduced and managed properly.”
Continue on page 46
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
LUTH offers free treatment as it marks 50th anniversary
S part of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Lagos, it is offering free treatment to poor patients. Its Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Akin Osibogun, who spoke of plans to mark the anniversary, said the hospital is offering free surgeries and screening, adding that patients with complicated cases would get 50 per cent discount. He said there were differences in terms of services, facilities and funds since the establishment of the hospital in April, 1962, adding that more will be done in specialised areas. He said the hospital unlike before has been able to carry out its first renal transplantation and took delivery of quintuplets. The hospital, he noted, has done well for itself, but added that there was still room for improvement, especially if the hospital is to compete favourably with the best across the world. He said the hospital was trying to discourage medical tourism with the provision of state-of-theart equipment to treat complicated diseases.
By Wale Adepoju
Osibogun said: "It's the desire of the management to see the hospital become one of the best 50 in the world within the next 50 years. "In the past, emphasis was on human capita development but as years go by, patients were made to pay more because of the provision of technology which has improved the outcome of treatments." Osibogun said they had started taking stock of development and re-strategising in areas where improvement is needed. “There will be advanced treatment mode such as laparoscopy - method which is able to treat fibroid without giving large incision," he added. LUTH, he said, contributed over 3, 000 nurses to the manpower pool of the country with several schools training students in different areas. Before the next generations of teaching hospitals were established by Federal and state governments, doctor's ratio to patient was one to 10, 000, but today the story is different as Nigeria now has one doctor to about 3, 000 patients.
• Prof Osibogun flanked by Chairman, Medical Advisory Council (CMAC), Prof Olugbenga Ogunlewe (left) and Assistant Director, Legal Services, Mr Sesan Olajide at the event. PHOTO: WALE ADEPOJU
"Today, LUTH and other hospitals have been able to expand access to care. With the establishment of more medical schools, there was opportunity to train more doctors and other medical professionals, hence increased manpower. The quality of LUTH's products is never in doubt as its graduates are in the best hospitals in Europe and America among other continents, doing wonderfully well. Osibogun said the hospital had introduced modern medical facilities befitting of a tertiary facility, adding that more were in the pipeline, so that it can compete favourably
among the best in the world. He said LUTH produced the first in-Vitro-Fertiliser (IVF) baby after a team of researchers in the hospital came together to offer alternative method of helping people achieve pregnancy. Also, the hospital researchers found the importance of salt iodisation and determined chloroquine resistance in Nigeria. He said some of the researches were used by the Federal Government to formulate policies for the country. Osibogun said services, such as capsule endoscopy, total hip and
knee replacement, small incision and cataract surgery, laparoscopy and open heart surgery would be conducted in hospital. "We started using endoscopy in the 80s, but have graduated to fibrotic endoscopy and we intend to introduce capsule endoscopy which is a more advanced method of treatment," he added. He said: "We also took delivery of our first quintuplets this year." He said the hospital has a renal unit where kidney cases are looked into. He stressed the need for more kidney donors because people are unwilling to donate kidneys to those with end-stage renal diseases.
ExxonMobil sponsors HIV/AIDS, malaria project
From left: Medical Director, Pfizer, Nigeria and East Africa Region (NEAR), Dr Kodjo Soroh, Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Olugbile; Mental Health Desk Officer, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Dolapo Fasawe and Senior Lecturer/Consultant Psychiatrist, Lagos State University of Medicine (LASUCOM), Dr Rotimi Coker, at the training of Medical Personnel on mental health organised by Pfizer and Lagos Ministry of Health.
Nigerians urged to assist during emergencies
IGERIANS have been urged to help people in distress, especially accident victims, in need of treatment. Dr Nnamdi Nwauwa, Chairman, Emergency Response International, spoke at the inauguration of the Basic Life Support (BLS), training for nurses and nursing/midwifery schools in the Southwest zone, in Lagos. According to him,“the recent events in the country, including the Dana air crash, had reinforced the need for emergency response training. Accidents and plane crashes had occurred in the past. For example, the Sosoliso plane crash on December 10, 2010, which revealed the unpreparedness of our health care providers for emergencies. Most lives lost during that crash would have been saved if the nurse on duty were armed with (BLS), training. It is an evidence-based resuscitation skills and equipment which assist the patients.” He noted that the sensitive role and position occupied by the nurses in the management of patients and victims who need emergency attentions make it imperative that nurses must be prepared and equipped to inter-
vene in emergencies. As a result, nurses and other health care providers are expected to undergo most of these emergency care/resuscitation training to equipped for emergencies. He lamented that governmentowned health institutions were yet to key into the programme, adding that, “since inception of the emergency response initiative in 2004, we have trained over 4,000 nurses, mainly from the industrial and private sector.” He advised governments to collaborate with the private sector, through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to provide basic things for the citizens, especially the basic life support training for health care providers in government institutions. For adequate emergency preparedness, government should extend capacity building to the private institutions, Nwanwa said. “It is, therefore, our wish to partner with government, corporate bodies, individuals and tertiary health institutions to train our health care providers in various emergency/resuscitation skills and raise the in-hospital and out
of hospital emergency preparedness in our society,” Nwauwa added.
XXONMOBIL has been commended for sponsoring the Skillz Naija Project, a community initiative conceived to empower, educate and inspire youths through grassroots soccer. The project, an initiative of Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), an international NGO, is focused on creating awareness about HIV/AIDS and malaria among students and youths who constitute one of the most vulnerable populations for HIV/AIDS. The event was held in Iwaya community, Yaba, Lagos. Speaking on the event, Director of the project Mrs. Estelle Dogbe said ExxonMobil’s involvement in the programme, through the ExxonMobil Foundation, has made it possible for participants comprising students and youths, to benefit from it. She said: “I think ExxonMobil deserves a lot of commendation for its involvement in this project be-
cause it is going to really help students and youths make the right decisions when it comes to HIV/ AIDS issues as well as how to prevent and treat malaria. We can’t thank ExxonMobil enough.” She explained that the initiative, which kicked off in November last year, saw youth leaders from various communities being trained on HIV/AIDS and malaria, after which they proceeded to public schools. “What we do is that we train youth leaders between 18 and 25 with a curriculum that we developed ourselves. Then, we send them to public schools to train and teach students across Lagos, based on what we have taught them. I can say that we have made giant strides in the project.” According to her, the programme, which also carries out free HIV/ AIDS and malaria tests for participants as well as follow up counselling, has been implemented various across the state.
• From left: Director, Medical and Administration, Ministry of Health, Lagos State, Dr. Taiwo Oyeleye and Chairman, Emergency Response Group, Dr Nnamdi Nwauwa, at the inauguration of the Basic Life Support (BLS) training for nurses and nursing/midwifery schools, Southwest zone, in Lagos.
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
ENERGY THE NATION
•From left: Joseph Adeyemi, Community Engagement Advisor, Star Deep; Ajani Waidi, Chevron Nigeria Medical administrator; Ahmed Abdullahi, NAPIMS; Razaq Ojulari, Manager, Services, Star Deep; Alhaji Adamu Ahmed Tijani, Permanent Secretary Health, Kwara State Ministry of Health; Alhaji Kayode Issa Commissioner for Health, Kwara State; Dr. Kennie Obateru NAPIMS; Yemi Atolagbe, Famfa Oil Limited, and Nancy Frey Petrobras, during the inauguaration of the chest clinic donated to Kwara by Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited (a Chevron affiliate) and its partners in the Agbami project: Famfa Oil Ltd., Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Petroleo Brasileiro Nigeria Ltd., Statoil Nigeria Ltd., and Texaco Nigeria Outer Shelf Inc. – a Chevron affiliate).
PIB: still a long walk after FEC’s approval W
HEN the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday last week, approved the revised draft Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the news generated lots of excitement among Nigerians,particularly some stakeholders in the oil and gas industry. Though FEC’s approval is part of the steps to achieve the passage into law of the bill, it seems premature to jubilate. The PIB is an executive bill; therefore, for the Federal Executive Council to approve it is just normal. The FEC had no option than to approve because it is its bill and members of the council stand to benefit more from the enactment. Jubilation over anything that concerns the PIB, would only be appropriate the day the National Assembly reaches a consensus on it and endorses it for passage into an Act. it seems the duty has just begun for members of the FEC to ensure that what happened in the sixth assembly doesn’t reoccur. Despite assurances and high hopes raised among Nigerians by the executives that the lawmakers of the sixth assembly would pass the bill, it failed to scale the hurdle. Now that the FEC has approved the bill, Mr President ought to make haste to present it to the National Assembly as he promised in his Democracy Day national broadcast of May 29. President Goodluck Jonathan had in the broadcast assured Nigerians that the presidency would submit the PIB to the National Assembly before end of June for consideration and passage even though the month of July is about ending. The problem of passage of the PIB doesn’t reside in submission to the National Assembly but in persuading the lawmakers to understand the importance of the document to the growth of the petroleum industry and the economy, and doing what they ought to do at the appropriate time. The fears Many stakeholders express fear that if the passage of the bill exceeds mid next year, it might be difficult to pass
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) last week approved the revised Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which although was a progressive step toward achieving its enactment, the excitement that accompanied FEC’s approval seemed out of place, writes EMEKA UGWUANYI. into law by the current seventh assembly as the executive and legislative members of the government, will preoccupy themselves with electioneering campaigns and strategies for reelection. The revised draft bill has fewer controversies. Most of the contentious issues that the international oil companies (IOCs) such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Total and Agip stood against have been resolved. Unlike what obtained during the sixth assembly where there were several versions of the bill allegedly submitted to the National Assembly, the revised bill has no other version because interests of various groups have been harmonised, which makes possible for quick consideration and passage. However, the government should ensure that no controversy arises from any interest group to create situation for submission of another version. Costs to economy The undue delay of passage of PIB has slowed down fresh investments, job opportunities, technology advancement and development of the economy and Nigerian people. For instance, Nigeria’s oil and gas industry chief regulator, Mr. Osten Olorunsola, said there was an obvious decline in oil reserves estimates between 2011 and 2012 and wondered what will happen between 2014 and 2017 in terms of oil and gas production, since no major investments have been recorded in exploration in the last five years. He attributed the situation to the non-passage of the bill, adding that the gap created by lack of investment in the exploration and production segment of the industry, would take the country about five to six years to recover. He expressed concern over
diversion of investment from IOCs in Nigeria to other countries in East and West Africa, citing Shell and ConocoPhillips as examples. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke also noted that the PIB when passed into law is the key that would undoubtedly open the oil and gas industry into a new era. He added that the government is not unmindful that a lot of investment decisions are currently on hold, stressing that the government is losing potential revenues that could have accrued to it due to proposed changes in the deep water fiscal terms. The Chairman, Emerald Energy Resources Limited and former Special Adviser on Petroleum Matters to President Musa Yar’Adua, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah said that the “new draft of the long-awaited PIB is
close to being finalized, potentially ending years of uncertainty that has blocked developments in the industry. “As you know, licensing rounds, contract renewals and investments have been put on hold for about five years now pending the new bill to regulate the oil and gas industry. The passage of the bill into law would serve as a breath of fresh investment air into the industry for the revival of our national economy.” The revised draft PIB is critical to the well being of the oil and gas industry and the economy. It will change everything from fiscal terms to overhauling the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It is an enabling legislation, holistic in depth and scope and will bring the Nigeria oil and gas industry well into the 21st century modernity. It
provides all the legal and commercial framework for full and comprehensive reformation/reengineering of the industry. It will create a liberalized, deregulated professional oil and gas industry. The bill will outlaw gas flaring from December 31, this year. Some sections of the bill said: “Natural gas shall not be flared or vented after December 2012 in any oil and gas production operation, block or field, onshore or offshore, or gas facility, except under exceptional and temporary circumstances. Any licensee who flares gas or vents gas without the permission of the minister (in special circumstances) shall be liable to pay a fine, which shall not be less than the value of the gas. “There shall be no grant of discretionary awards’ but the grant of petroleum prospecting license or a petroleum mining lease shall be by open, transparent and competitive bidding process conducted by the Nigerian Petroleum Inspectorate, which shall be the successor to the assets and liabilities of the Petroleum Inspectorate of NNPC, DPR and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Authority (PPPRA).”
Govt loses N7.6b to pipeline vandalism
HE Federal Government has lost over N7.6 billion to pipeline vandals in the last five years, it was learnt. The Managing Director of Products and Pipelines Marketing Company (PPMC), Prince Haruna Momoh said this when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) reopened the Aba depot, which has been shut for about six years. PPMC has started pumping 30 million litres of premium motor spirit (petrol) to the depot. Momoh said the company has lost N7.6 billion worth of products to vandalism since 2007 on the Port Harcourt-Aba segment of the pipeline route, adding that the nefarious activities of vandals seriously impaired the distribution line and production capacity of Port Harcourt refinery.
From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
He said that a total of 1,063 vandalised points were repaired along the 54km pipeline route between Aba and Port Harcourt with the use of several contractors . He added: “The notorious axis of these nefarious activities include Okrika, Eleme, kom-Kom (Imo River), Owaza, Umuojima, Obodokwe, Osisioma, Isialangwa, Nkpa, Okigwe, Ishiagu, and Aninri Nenwe, among others.” He gave kudos to Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji for his relentless effort in collaborating with NNPC to reopen the Aba depot, stressing that the PPMC, “has crystallized the role of the governor into a template, which we urge other governors whose states host pipelines to emulate.”
Orji expressed delight and noted that his joy knew no bounds with the reopening of the depot given that it had been desolate over years and crippled economic activities within Aba in particular and Abia State in general. He said that it was a great relief to everybody that the depot has been reopened, adding that the journey to get the authorities reopen the depot commenced as far back as the administration of late President Umaru Yar’Adua. The governor lamented that the activities of vandals had caused the long years of closure of the depot and warned against a repeat of the situation, urging traditional rulers, and youths in the pipeline areas to assist government in providing security for the pipelines.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Abia moves to stabilise its energy sector HE Abia State Government has been battling with the problem of energy for some time to the extent that economic activities in the state were almost grinding to a halt. Before now, the power plant at Ohiya in Umuahia South Local Government, was abandoned despite being at completion stage. The power plant was just completed as a result of the intervention of the state governor, Dr Theodore Orji. The Abia State government under the leadership of Orji has spent about N1.5 billion to enable the electricity power sub-station at Ohiya to step down power for consumption at the state capital Umuahia and its environs. The state government also spent unspecified amount of money to ensure that the abandoned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot at Osisioma near Aba came back on stream. The depot was recently reopened after being in limbo for over six years. The depot is believed to an avenue through which over 5000 families earn their daily bread, while other economic activities also thrive there. During the tour of the Ohiya
From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
power sub-station, the special adviser to the governor on political matters, Tony Ukasanya, told newsmen that the step down would help to send power to other feeder stations across the state. Ukasanya said that despite the fact that the power station is solely owned by the Federal Government, the state government has taken it upon itself to help increase distribution of power to various parts of the state. He said the power station serves about five feeder stations including Afara, Nkwoegwu, Ubakala, Ntigha and Obowo in Imo State. He added that the Ntigha feeder station, which is still under construction, would have come on stream by end of May this year. He noted that since the commencement of power evacuation from the plant, power supply in the state capital and its environs has improved and the people living within and around the capital are enjoying the supply. Ukasanya said that the cost of petrol has come down drastically in the state due to the improved power supply. “This is because the
citizens are no longer powering their generating sets with petrol or diesel since the power station started its test running,” he added. The site engineer of Valenz, the company that handled the construction work of the power station, Chukwunenye Okafor, said the power station would supply constant power to Umuahia and its environs. He recalled that before now, the state capital has not been having it easy with the issue of power supply but with the power station, it would no longer be the same. The contract for the construction of the project was given by the Federal Government in 2001 to Valenz Holdings Limited, an indigenous company at the cost of $10,363,007.48 and additional N1,177,843,884.16. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji thanked the Federal Government for facilitating the project and expressed joy that the project is realised during his tenure. Orji said that his administration assisted in the evacuation of power to Umuahia and other neighbouring communities including some parts of Imo state. He maintained
that since the completion of the project, Umuahia has been enjoying relatively constant power supply. He said the development has also reduced the noise of generating sets, beefed security in the city and its environs, adding that economic activities have been revitalised in Umuahia and environs. He was optimistic that soon regular power supply would reach every part of the state especially when the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plant at Alaoji would have been completed and inaugurated as well as the power plant being built by the Geometric Power Limited is completed. Orji thanked President Goodluck Jonathan and the minister of power for seeing to the completion of the project and pleaded for completion of uncompleted feeders. The Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji disclosed that the Geometric Power plant at Aba would be ready by the end of this year, adding that the Alaoji power plant is the largest single investment of the federal government in the South-east. He said the Umuahia transmission substation was made possible because of the power transformation agenda
of the president. He added that the project is a manifestation of his administration’s commitment to improve power supply in the country at all cost. Nnaji noted that the Ohiya power substation project is a demonstration of how a state government can work in partnership with the Federal Government and praised the Abia State Government. He expressed commitment to ensuring that Nigerians are provided with electricity in every part of the country, stressing that it is the mandate given him by Mr. President when he assumed office. The Chief Executive Officer of Enugu Distribution Company, Engr. Suleiman Yahaya pleaded with customers to pay their electricity bills promptly, while cautioning against acts of vandalism which may lead to the closure of the substation. The Chief Executive Officer, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Engr. Olusola Akinniranye highlighted the dangers posed by the activities of kaolin miners, which is capable of leading to the collapse and failure of the substation structures and equipment.
Rivers lawmakers, chamber collaborate on oil reforms
HE Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and the Oil and Gas Trade Group of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) are collaborating to critically look at the challenges and benefits of some of the reforms in the oil and gas industry. The lawmakers and members of the PHCCIMA will jointly organise the forthcoming third Port Harcourt International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition to reexamine the Nigerian Content Act and deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. The Chairman of the Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Hon. Evans Bapakaye Bipi, during a press briefing on the conference in Port Harcourt, said the objective of the collaboration is to deepen oil and gas activities in the state. Bipi said: “The Rivers State House of Assembly’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Oil and Gas Trade Group of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) are putting the conference together with the support of other stakeholders. “Many resource persons will present papers at the conference, while the major players in the oil and gas industry, as well as other stakeholders, would also participate in the exhibition. The conference, which is themed ‘The Nigerian Content Act and Deregulation: Issues and Prospects,’ will hold between September 25 and 27 this year, at the Main Auditorium of the Rivers House of Assembly.” The Chairman of the Oil and Gas Trade Group of PHCCIMA, Chief Franklin Dandeson Gbupo and the Secretary, Jude Oliver, said as a result of the partnership with the lawmakers, the objectives of conference would be substantially achieved. Other members of the chamber lauded the partnership. Bipi also said that the Rivers State House of Assembly saw PHCCIMA as a partner and a veritable source for the effective mobilisation and involvement of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in the noble ven-
ture, and that led to the synergy between the two institutions in organising the conference. “As one of the leading chambers in the country, PHCCIMA has demonstrated a good knowledge of its business environment and an appreciable outreach and membership. The oil and gas trade group has been very useful in ensuring an encouraging level of sponsorship and participation in the conference. “The conference has witnessed a huge success in the last two editions, in terms of sponsorship and participation. The Rivers Assembly developed interest in the activities of the oil industry about three years ago, to enable its members to have a good insight into the industry. “This will further enable members of the House of Assembly to acquire deeper knowledge and wider perspective of the industry, especially the activities of International Oil Companies (IOCs) and the service companies, in their contributions to discussions and enactment of laws,” Bipi said.
•From left: Olatunji Ogunde, Business Development Manager, Sonar Tusk Limited; Prof. Richard Swarbric, Speaker and Global Director, Ikon GeoPressure Technolngy limited; Dr. Mayowa Afe, NAPE President; and Phil Carpenter, Business Development Manager, Ikon GeoPressure Technology Limited, at the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists’ (NAPE’s) Continuing Education Progamme (Summer School) for oil and gas industry professionals held in Lagos.
Nnaji’s one year as Minister of Power
HE Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) just had a two-day of activities which marked the second Prof. Barth Nnaji’s biennial lecture series. The Minister of Finance and the Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy Dr. Ngozi OkonjiIweala, who delivered the key note address, and the Minister of Science and Technology Prof. Itaokon Bassey Ewa were among Federal Cabinet Members who participated in the lecture series. The theme for this year’s lecture was Funding science and technology in Nigeria’s tertiary educational system. The lecture series was established by the ESUT, four years ago to honour Nnaji as a distinguished Professor of Engineering and as a gateway to promoting science and technology in the country. Already, a professorial chair has been endowed in the Engineering Department of the uni-
By Uche Aneke
versity campus to promote excellence among students by the Power Minister. The audience at the event spoke volumes of the expectations of Nigerians from the minister to deliver on the Federal Government’s power promise, given his achievements and contribution to the society. This public expectation was again reinforced at a private meeting in Abuja last week between Nnaji and the National Assembly members from his home state Enugu. While wishing the Power Minister a successful outing as the country’s Power Minister at the meeting, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu expressed confidence on the minister’s ability to succeed in his national assignment. July 8 marked the ministers one year in office, five days ahead of his birthday on the July 13. Hav-
ing stayed one year in office, what is it that Nnaji is offering to Nigerians as Power Minister and probably as his birthday gift? Mr. George Ugwu Special Assistant on Special Duties said the minister’s greatest gift was his resolve in laying the foundation to achieve a steady and reliable power supply. This determination according to Ugwu, is anchored on the massive opportunities steady power supply provides, which include accelerated economic development, industry growth leading to unprecedented job opportunities, decline in unemployment and improved security system. Thelma Osuhor, Special Assistant on Technical Matters further said that the minister’s preoccupation in the last one year has been not only to give Nigerians steady power supply but to make the supply growth in the country irreversible. However, Alhaji Usman Magari, an international business man
and industrialist based in Abuja, said that he had expected that the power Minister should have moved the country beyond projections to realities in the country’s power sector. Magari argued that after one year in office, Nigerians should have seen remarkable improvements in power supply. “But what we have seen so far are mere rhetoric and not results. Interrupted power supply is still continuing and some people do not even have lights in their homes for as long as three to four days,” Magari said. Nnaji by his constant drive and passion for excellence and success has helped to establish strong institutions and investment enablers since assumption of office. These foundation pillars will begin to yield results very soon. The Minister through various innovations and strict implementation of the power sector reforms has shown reasonable commitment to trans•Continued on page 49
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Eko Electricity spends N2b to improve power
KO Electricity Distribution Company said it has spent over N2 billion to reinforce facilities within its network to improve power supply. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Oladele Amoda disclosed this during the company’s quarterly briefing in Lagos. He said the company carried out tremendous network reinforcement and equipment upgrade to improve power distribution within the company’s operational areas. He said: “We have spent over N500 million to replace several obsolete 33KV and 11KV switchgear in several injection substations in Festac, Satellite, Amuwo, Ademola, Berkey, Orile, Coker, Lekki, and Oke-lra kekere, among others. Another N750 million had been spent to construct additional 500KVA/ 300KV distribution transformers.” Amoda said the installations and projects could not have been achieved without the support of the Federal Government through the Ministry of Power. He said that the ministry had given the com-
By Emeka Ugwuanyi Assistant Editor
pany tremendous encouragement through funding. He also noted that many of the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) projects will come on stream before end of the year and add over 1000 megawatts (mw) of power to the national grid. He added that out of the 27 NIPP projects within the Eko’s operations, 10 had been completed and commissioned. Amoda noted that the government had also deployed 50kv transformers to various NIPP projects, which are installed high on the poles so as to reduce frequency of vandalism. On prepaid metering, Amoda said that about 28,000 prepaid meters - single and three phase meters had been installed in the last six months. He said: “All customers that have faulty and obsolete meters numbering 130,000 are expected to be metered within the next 18 months.
Starting from July, we plan to install 8,000 meters to replace obsolete and faulty ones in the system.” He assured customers that meters would be supplied free of charge pending the fixing of connection fees by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and also noted that he has abolished arbitrary estimation of customers without functional meters within his operational area. Estimation shall only be on designed methodology based on supply availability on feeder lines and transformers, he added. The Eko chief said the result of the reinforcement would start manifesting from end of this month. He assured Nigerians that electricity supply would be stable in the country, but it will be on incremental and sustainable basis. But to achieve this sustainable improvement, he said the Federal Government should ensure adequate gas supply to all power stations. Four of the newly commissioned power projects at Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Yaba and Ijora were
toured. Amoda said that ongoing works on the NIPP projects in different states of the country would contribute substantially to stable and sustainable electricity supply. He said that presently the company receives about 350 megawatts from the transmission control in Oshogbo as against 450 megawatts that was previously received. The drop, according to him, was due to recent fall in generation but added that as soon as it is increased, the company will increase distribution. He said Eko has the capacity to take more than 600 to 700 megawatts to complement the existing. He urged customers to report any of the company’s workers who demands for any form of gratification before discharging his responsibility. On revenue generation, Amoda said that the company expects to generate about N2 billion monthly if it gets adequate energy but said the company currently generates between N1.7 billion to N 1.8 billion. He was optimistic that as
from end of this month the revenue will increase with improved electricity supply. On the company’s debt profile, Amoda said the firm is owed between N7 billion to N8 billion, noting that a major chunk of it is owed by government agencies and parastatals.
Campaigns against disputed oil wells criticised
• Managing Director, Go Between Nigeria Limited, Ebisi Bishop Emeka (left) and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NEDEC Projects Limited,Albert Kanu at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, United States.
HEAD of the impending ruling on the ownership of the 76 oil wells by the Supreme Court, some returnees from the disputed Bakassi area have risen in Akwa Ibom State to condemn sponsored campaigns of orchestrated falsehood by some politicians in Cross River State. In a statement the Special Assistant (Media) to Commissioner of Information and Communications, Akwa Ibom State, Essien Ndueso, said: “Arising from a meeting in Uquo, Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the returnees under the aegis Esit Eket Patriotic Bakassi Alliance said it was unfortunate that some people in the neighbouring Cross River State have recourse to making unnecessary sentimental and prejudicial statements on a matter that the Cross River State
Nnaji’s one year as Minister of Power •Continued from page 48
form the power sector for good. The first step the minister took was to ensure that the sector is fully liberalized and privatized. This effort saw the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into 18 successor companies consisting of 11 distribution companies, six generation companies and one transmission company. The successor companies would be transferred to private ownership except the transmission company whose ownership is retained by the government but will be managed by a Canadian firm Manitoba Hydro. The selection of the bidders for the distribution and generation assets will be finalized in October. Soon after this, the minister through the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) ensure putting in place what the industry experts described as the right pricing of electricity. This right pricing is expected to shore up the confidence of international and national investors in the power sector. It is noteworthy that this action has started yielding result as investors have shown interest in investing in the power sector. The latest of these investors is Daewoo Engineering and Con-
struction of South Korea that signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government to facilitate 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity projects to the country. The Company has undertaken to provide 20 per cent equity in the various projects identified under the scheme, in addition to providing expert advice and guidance on electrical, production and construction of power projects to companies wishing to do business in Nigeria under the agreement. By December next year every electricity consumer in the country will have a prepaid meter as part of ensuring right pricing of electricity. This will definitely abolish the hitherto abhorred estimated billing which was the norm before. Perhaps one of the greatest concerns of Professor Nnaji in the last one year is to establish a reliable value chain of producing electricity in the country, which will ensure that when you generate electricity, you should be able to distribute it. This vision was never there in the past until now and it is being pursued vigorously. For instance, with the Federal Government’s ongoing power projects across the country, there is a deliberate and dedicated plan to en-
sure that the electricity that will be generated from these power projects will not be stranded. A lot of repairs and rehabilitation of transmission infrastructure is ongoing as well as building of new infrastructure. Emphasis has been on running the existing power plants in the country and ensuring adequate gas supply to thermal power plants. This is a departure from what existed before Nnaji assumed office, whereby thermal plants were sited across the country without consideration to source of gas supply. The minister encourages distributed generation, which is electricity produced and consumed locally and not connected to the national grid. This effort requires the collaboration of many communities in identifying suitable sites for development in the country for renewable and conventional energy. Nnaji has also in the last one year, shown interest in the workers’ welfare through monetised benefits, salary increase and promotion of staff. The government earmarked N85 billion in this year’s budget to settle the entitlements of workers. The Minister on June 12 endorsed a letter titled “Promotion in Power Holding Company of Nigeria” to the managing director Power Holding
Company of Nigeria (PHCN) directing him to request all the Chief Executive officers (CEOs)) of the PHCN Successor companies to conduct outstanding interviews for all the qualified officers and staff of the organization and to promote the successful ones to available positions in accordance with the Labour Act. This directive is coming from the minister even as negotiation between the government and the labour union is still deadlocked over contentious labour issues bordering majorly on the severance and terminal packages of workers ahead of government planned privatization of Power Holding Company of Nigeria. The Federal Government had in 2010 earmarked about N200 billion to pay PHCN workers but part of the fund was used to pay their monetisation benefits, while the remainder could not be utilised because the privatization process could not be completed. What appears to be a serious challenge to the minister’s effort to transform the power sector may be the failure in the negotiation process between the government and the labour union but it is hoped that reason will prevail at the end of the day. •Aneke wrote in from Abuja.
Government took to the apex court.” They said the incessant unguarded utterances by certain political leaders were unwarranted since the facts of the ownership of the oil wells clearly situate the wells within Akwa Ibom territory. The Chairman of the group Mr. Aniefiok Akpadiaha, said: “This is because Bakassi Peninsular was in Akwa Ibom State and administered by the government of Akwa Ibom State until 1996 when the Federal Government handed it over to Cross River State.” He maintained that since Bakassi was not a territory in Cross River State, and the indigenes were not from Cross River State, it was only natural that the people of Cross River State could not defend the ownership of the territory adequately with facts and records before the International Court of Justice at the Hague, which accounts for the loss of that oil rich Bakassi Peninsular to the Republic of Cameroun by the ruling of the International Court of Justice. Akpadiaha said that having lost Bakassi and the oil wealth of the territory, it was unfortunate that the people of Cross River State are again coming back to Akwa Ibom State to demand for 76 oil wells. Also speaking, the secretary of the group Mr. Jack Udoamah likened their fate to a case of always “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” He advised Cross River State against applying propaganda to circumvent the Supreme Court ruling, which had earlier returned the 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom. He said: “I believe the present democratic government should be sensitive to the yearning of Akwa Ibom State and its people by not allowing them to suffer further deprivation.” Udoamah, a fisherman said: “If Cross River State wants to make a case for the reclaim of Bakassi Peninsular or part of it with oil wells with the Federal Government, it can do so and leave Akwa Ibom State alone. It is wrong to try asking the Supreme Court to reverse itself on the 76 oil wells which Akwa Ibom State rightly owns by virtue of history, geography and the 2010 judgement on the guise of interpretation.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
3rd Mainland Bridge: Motorists groan in chaotic traffic
ITH the kick-off of rehabilitation work on the Third Mainland Bridge, what Lagosians feared most, a harrowing traffic jam, is now the order of the day. One needs to plan his itinerary thoroughly in the City of Excellence to avoid being held in traffic for hours. This explains why Lagosians are apprehensive on the time frame given by the government for the completion of the repair work. Their fear is hinged on the heavy downpour that could close down the city for days. Besides, the roads designated as alternative routes offer little, if any relief, given their deplorable conditions, despite the state government’s announcement that it had put measures in place to control traffic on the routes. Many argue that no measure control would ease the traffic gridlock, considering the parlous state of the roads, especially the Ikorodu Road, Oshodi/Apapa Expressway and the Agege Motor Road which could have assisted in no small measure in checking traffic, had the Federal Government put them in good condition. The situation has left many residents uncertain about the shape things would take in the days to come, especially on the heels of prediction of massive rains and flooding in the state. It would be recalled that July last year’s rain shut down the metropolis, leading to loss of lives and resources. Oworonsoki, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ojodu, Ikorodu road,Agege Motor Road, Ijora, Ikeja, Oshodi and Ojota Interchange , Ketu, Mile 12, Okokomaiko and Alaba were affected by the
•Traffic diversion on 3rd Mainland Bridge, Lagos.
flood. It was so bad that the state government advised residents of Ketu, Ajegunle and parts of Maryland to relocate to safer places due to the intensity of the rains and flood. It is, therefore, understandable that residents are apprehensive and not too excited about the ongoing repairs on the bridge, given the difficulty they encounter making their way to their respective destinations whenever there is a downpour. The promise of making available no fewer than 500 officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Police and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to control traffic and direct motorists to alternative routes throughout the duration of the rehabilitation has not offered any encouragement to residents. “The entire situation is, indeed,
very sad. On a good day, Lagos traffic is not pleasant. One can imagine what the traffic would be like with the partial closure of the bridge which daily lifts thousands of people to the Island. “Many people are wondering why the time for the repairs is not shortened to alleviate the inconveniences people will suffer. Commuters are trapped for long hours at the slightest shower, what more now that the bridge that takes thousands of people daily to the island is to be partially closed for four months,” said Boye Isiaka, who lives in Iyana-Ipaja and works in Lekki. Minister of State for Works Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, responding to questions on why the repair time cannot be shortened, said the repair became necessary to safeguard lives and property in Lagos
and because of the importance the Federal Government attached to the bridge, adding that the bridge would be closed partially as repair work will start from the EbuteMetta interchange to Adeniji Adele, while the second phase which is on the Oworonsoki axis will commence after. Yuguda, who flagged off the N1.01billion project after a stakeholders’ meeting, said the “survey and the investigation carried out by the Federal Ministry of Works, on the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos in 2007, revealed that 12 expansion joints were in need of repairs with four in very critical condition having reached advanced decay which required urgent attention.” Though many Lagosians may support the project, they, however, raised certain posers on security,
loss of income, health and environment. On security, he said all security issues that may arise from the partial closure have been addressed by the inclusion of relevant security agencies. On loss of man-hours, Yuguda urged people not to panic as care has been taken to ensure that people do not lose precious hours on the road due to the project. According to him, traffic will be diverted from where work is going on to other sections which are free and vice versa throughout the period of repairs. “Besides, people could also take alternative routes, such as Ikorodu Road-Yaba-Oyingbo-Iddo-Lagos Island; Ikorodu Road-Western Avenue-Lagos Island; Agege Motor Road-Oshodi-Apapa-Lagos Island/ Victoria Island and Apapa-Oshodi Expressway-Mile2-Orile-Lagos Island/Victoria Island,” he said. But an environmentalist, Bide Ojomo, raised alarm on the high level of pollution from poisonous gas and fumes from the exhausts of cars and trucks as a result of the many hours of traffic snarl which people are forced to inhale. He warned that it may result to serious health implications, especially for those with respiratory problems. Ojomo also said the stress level of commuters have increased and may lead to heart conditions as a result of the pressure of traffic where people are forced to get up as early as 4 am to beat the traffic with those who can’t meet the time sentenced to long hours of traffic jam. He predicted high medical bills and many sick-offs from offices if government does not shorten the duration of the rehabilitation work or address road decay in the state, especially the highways.
Yemi Edun: Nigerian property whizkid in London
HE story of Yemi Edun has continued to be a point of reference for many young Nigerians hoping to make a success of their lives both at home and in the diaspora, not just because Yemi became a millionaire through honest means at a very young age, but because his success story has, and will, continue to inspire others willing to make something of themselves. Yemi like many young Nigerians Nigeria to seek greener pastures in the United Kingdom (UK) in the late 90s. And quite unlike many of his ilk he made up his mind not to venture into any Advanced Fee Fraud (419) or Internet scams (aka "Yahoo yahoo") that was prevalent in those days, but to engage in honest work that will produce wealth. His initial intention was to join his brother in his IT business, having graduated from the Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye with honours in Philosophy. By the time he got to London, his plan to join his brother's IT firm did not work out so the young man, then about 24, took to apprenticeship at a property consulting firm which his uncle referred him to. Thus, began a laudable career in property consultancy business that made him the envy of his mates in the UK and in Nigeria. Today, Edun manages the Daniel Ford & Co Limited, which clinched the Best Property Management Agency in London at The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2012 organised in association with The Sunday Times and The Times of London and sponsored by Zoopla.co.uk. This was not a coincidence as the apprentice of yesterday has now become a giant in the business such that he has not only acquired properties for Nigerians in the UK, he has delivered such quality and profitable service that has kept the clients delighted and satisfied. Like many success stories, this young man did not just want to wait for opportunities to come to him, he rigorously went after his dream with a resolve to pursue his dream, with rugged determination. His method was to challenge the order of
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor
things and do things differently. For example, he made up his mind to be an acquisition agent and not just a mere estate agent. In his mind, being an acquisition agent in England specialising in London properties clearly distinguished him remarkably from the rest, thereby carving a niche for him in the already saturated market of the estate agency industry. According to him: "Everybody knows that an estate agent sells properties on behalf of a vendor. They try to get as much money as possible for a vendor. “An acquisition agent, on the other hand, basically acts on behalf of the buyer. With this innovative discovery in the heart of this young professional began a most successful career that turned a young Nigerian migrant in the UK into a force to reckon with in the property business in England.” He explained further: "We simply find properties, in the right location and at the right price. We then help you arrange finance, and when we finish the purchase, we help you manage the property in such a way that brings about profit and value addition to the buyer,” he added. After learning the ropes through a period of apprenticeship in the letting and selling of property business, Edun set out on his own in 2003 by setting up the Daniel Ford & Co. Limited, a company which has grown tremendously from managing just four properties to about 235 today. Small wonder the North London-based Daniel Ford & Co won in the Silver-Best Property Management Agency (0-200 properties) category of the prestigious Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2012 organised by the The Sunday Times of London. The firm from inception specialised in overseas landlords, giving it an edge in the highly-competitive London lettings market. During the award process, judges praised “the agency's highly compliant systems and processes, which are managed by a dedicated compliance professionals,” a role they
• Edun (right) welcoming soccer star Nwankwo Kanu into his office
believe clearly demonstrates the team's awareness of the increased responsibility of managing property for overseas clients. Over 450 leading lettings agents from across the UK attended a glittering ceremony last May 25, at The Lancaster London Hotel opposite Hyde Park, where the winners of only dedicated awards for the lettings agency industry were revealed. A congratulatory letter to the company, signed by Oliver Lewis, the Head of Property of The Sunday Times of London, read in part” "Congratulations from The Times and Sunday Times on your richly-deserved Silver accolade at the prestigious Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2012. We are extremely proud to be able to recognise your excellence in such an important industry event and hope we can continue to support the entire property market across our award winning platforms." The letter added "We look forward to seeing you again next year." Meanwhile, at the peak of the award ceremony, the Chairman of the event, Peter Knight, said: “Landlords and tenants can be confident that the agents displaying these
awards represent the very best of the best. “Whilst there has been much talk of the need to establish minimum standards for lettings agents, I am delighted that these awards can shine a light on those firms that are exceeding standards at every level within an increasingly competitive industry.” In its response to the award, Daniel Ford & Co Limited Chief Executive Officer Yemi Edun said: “We are pleasantly surprised at this recognition; this is a reward for our commitment to best practice.” The company has, among its clientele, a number of African footballers, politicians and other high net-worth individuals whom they have not only helped to secure properties in choice locations across the UK, but have also assisted in managing them profitably. According to Edun, the firm represents a few premiership footballers in buying and managing their portfolio. One of them, Nwankwo Kanu said, “When Yemi/ Daniel Ford is involved with your property you can go to sleep, Daniel Ford helped grow my London Property investment despite my tight schedule.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT Building Issues
How to rent part of your house for income
•From left: Representative of Anambra State Governor, Mr Patrick Obi; Akindoyemi; Omeife; and Ugwuegede; at the event.
Federal, states urged on implementation of National Building Code
HE Federal and state governments have been urged to promulgate into law the National Building Code to bridge gaps in the regulatory process of policing the development of buildings. Speaking during the opening of the National Conference/Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) in Enugu, Chairman, Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) Prof. Akin Akindoyeni, suggested that the National Urban Planning Law be reviewed. The review, he said, should take into consideration policies and laws relating to urban development, industrial practices, regulations and codes relating to relevant aspects of human built enviroment, especially buildings. The theme of the 42 annual conference of NIOB is, Transformation Agenda and Building Production in Nigeria. Besides, Akindoyeni, enjoined states to enact urban planning laws that take into consideration the building code that provide for a process of green building practice. He said CORBON has forwarded a sample of the bill to the state governors for consideration, urging that the National Building Code Advisory Committee be inaugurated and empowered to ensure the code is technologically and procedurally current at all times. Lamenting the dearth of funds confronting the regulatory bodies of the seven professions in the built environment, he urged the Federal Government to make provisions in its annual budget for the operation
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor
of the charters granted to the bodies, pointing out that lack of fund has limited the regulatory bodies to carry out their functions to ensure safe buildings. Speaking at the conference, the Governor of Enugu State, Mr Sullivan Chime, urged the body to properly look for a way of identifying quacks in the profession, assuring his government's readiness to partner the institute. The governor, who was represented by the Chairman, Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, Mr I.K Uwuegede, challenged buiilders on the need to bridge the housing deficit through the use of modern building technology that will enhance mass production of houses. On the way to eradicate building collapse, President of NIOB, Mr Chuck Omeife, urged all who intend to undertake building construction to demand for the professional status of anyone to be engaged to ascertain that such person is a builder duly registered by CORBON. In his paper on Curbing the Incidence of Building Collapse in Nigeria: Sanctions, Liability and Lega Imperatives, part President of the institute, Mr Dachollum Jambol, pointed out that in order to curb the menace, there is need for urgent implementation of the building code to address absence of planning of the nation’s towns and cities, incessant collapse of building, fire incidents, built environment abuse and other disaster. He said the implementation of
the building code would address the issues of dearth of reference design standards for professionals, use of unqualified persons for building production process and lack of maintenance culture. Jambol, who is a lecturer in the Department of Building, University of Jos, called for government’s collaborative efforts with professionals and regulatory bodies without any delay to conduct a comprehensive audit of all construction firms operating in Nigeria to ensure their level of compliance with the building code and all relevant industry practice regulation, legislations and controls. He said: "There is need for comprehensive audit of all construction firms to assure quality and competence of personnel allowed into the industry and quality of products; and ascertain technological capabilities/capacities for practice." Besides, he renewed call for the establishment of the Construction Industry Development Board, urging the government to take the lead, noting that nothing much can be expected from the professionals where the platform of practice is not there. In their papers on Analysis of Tendering Duration for Public Building Procurement in Nigeria, Lecturers in the Department of Building, University of Jos, Mr. Y.D. Izam and S.C. Ugochukwu, identified delays in approval of national budget, bill of quantities structure, project complexity , cost and reduction in number of tenderers as factors influencing tendering stipulations in Nigeria, calling for a review of the Public Procurement Act (2007) to provide a section on required minimum tender duration for various categories of projects.
Epe division gets govt’s attention with infrastructure upgrade AGOS State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat has asked communities to embrace government projects in the interest of the state. Hamzat, who stated this while on a tour of projects executed by his Ministry, said the government hopes to harness the economic and tourism potential of Epe axis through meaningful developmental projects such as the revival of tourism sites and wholesome support to hospitality business. He revealed that there had been challenges that stalled the takeoff of the Marina shoreline reclamation awarded about two years ago such as the unsupportive attitude of host communities. To get round it, he said the Fashola
administration has decided to engage directly with communities through the traditional institutions to forestall delays in the execution of projects designed to bring infrastructural development to their domain and impact on the people. Hamzat said plans are in top gear to ensure that Epe becomes a viable industrial axis through the provision of not only road infrastructure but also 700 million gallon capacity mini-water project. He said the shoreline is a contract that has already been awarded, adding that it’s about 1.1 km in length and 100 metres in depth. The essence of the infrastructure upgrade in Epe, Hamzat declared is to attract businesses in the axis and decongest central Lagos. Also commenting on the contract for the reconstruction of Salabiu
Olanrewaju road, Odo Egiri, he stressed that Lopek Engineering and Construction Company, an indigenous firm, was awarded the contract with the aim of linking various communities in Epe to enhance economic activities. He added that despite the challenge of relocation of electricity poles and boreholes, the project has progressed rapidly and hoped to be completed soon. Noting the road has covered drainage system with 960 metres in length and 7.5 metres width. Commenting, the traditional rulers visited among them Olu of Epe Oba Sefiu Adewale; the Oloja of Epe, Oba Kamorudeen Animashaun and Elejinrin of Ejirin Oba Babatunde Isola, were unanimous in their pledge to support the government in its determination to bring immediate development to Epe.
By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie ENTING part of your Asst Editor house to a tenant may gen“It’s important to know what erate the extra cash that you need but it may also attract you want and how you want to some untoward consequences, live, even in terms of the hours you and your tenants can keep though not in all cases. The first rule is to be prepared and types of friends you can to tolerate the excesses of some bring in.” The rules cannot be changed tenants, if you are unlucky to get an unruly and boisterous ten- mid-way, so it’s always better to draw the line at the start of busiant. Many landlords vow that they ness. Things as how many cars that will never live in the same compound with their tenants, but I can be parked inside and how have come to find out that this to share security, electricity and line of thinking is mutual as water rate bills if there is no prosome tenants will also swear vision for separate metres must that nothing will make them live be sorted out at the onset of the in the same environment with business transaction. A landlord will do himself a their landlords. The relationship is more chal- world of good by providing all lenging if you have common ar- that he needs to provide in the eas with your tenant and have house for the comfort of the tenneed to either contribute money ant and refrain from looking to maintain it or do it yourselves. only at what will come in as rentThis challenge is more pro- als while neglecting the comfort of the tenant. It’s nounced on Satur‘The new Ten- also important for days when famito get legal lies do their launancy Law him advice as to his dry and have limmakes it illegal right and that of ited space for airing or hanging for any landlord theIn tenant. Lagos for intheir clothes, and to receive more stance, the new where the comLaw pound generally than a year rent Tenancy makes it illegal needs to be from a new ten- for any landlord cleaned either receive more jointly or paid for. ant otherwise to than a year rent If you don’t deal he will be li- from a new tenant with the issues he will squarely it may able to pay a otherwise be liable to pay a escalate and bring fine of N100, fine of N100, 000 a lot of bad blood be sentenced to in the same envi000 or be sen- or three years imronment. tenced to three prisonment. As a The way to go is landlord you to start on an offiyears imprison- don’t want to run cial note. foul of the law, A landlord-tenment’ ignorance they ant relationship is not personal; it’s business. The say is not an excuse in law! On important thing to remember the other hand, it will also be unwhen you are thinking about lawful for a tenant to offer to pay bringing in a tenant is that it’s more than a year rent even a business deal, not a friend- though it gives room for the two ship. You need to do everything parties to sign a tenancy agreeand anything a landlord ment. The law, the state governwould do, including charging ment said was put in place to a security deposit and estab- protect the landlord and tenant, lishing all the rules and regula- so if as a tenant or landlord you tions upfront. carelessly enter into an agreeA potential landlord’s first ment to beat the law by clandesorder of business is to decide tinely paying or accepting above whether the income is worth the what the law stipulates and the loss of privacy and stress asso- business goes sour none of the ciated with it if, for instance, he parties will be able to get any reis unlucky to have a noisy and lief from the court. uncontrollable tenant. The caution here is that in your One needs to think carefully hurry to collect rentals please about whether they want to live educate yourself on the responwith someone else; it does not sibilities of each party to the matter how big or small the agreement and the government compound is. angle to it. I have seen a situaIf the house is in flats it be- tion where a tenant exploited the comes a lot easier, but if it is ten- loophole in an agreement to stay ement rooms, the challenges be- for over five years in a property come more pronounced be- without paying rentals. The cause as a landlord you have to watchword here is while trying decide if you are willing to to earn income from your hard share a bathroom, toilet and a earned property don’t allow kitchen or look for money to yourself to be taken advantage build these convenience for of. Take all precautions and stay your personal use. on the side of the law. Goodluck!
‘The important thing to remember when you are thinking about bringing in a tenant is that it’s a business deal, not a friendship. You need to do everything and anything a landlord would do, including charging a security deposit and establishing all the rules and regulations upfront’ •Contributions, questions? e-mail: email@example.com
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
UACN acquires controlling equity in Portland Paints
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 16-7-12
ARELY two weeks after it announced plan to acquire substantial equity stake in Livestock Feeds Plc, UAC of Nigeria Plc (UACN), is concluding arrangements to acquire controlling equity stake in Portland Paints and Products Plc (Portland Paints). Already, UACN and Portland Paints have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the acquisition and a source in the know of the deal said it was almost a done deal given the enthusiasms of both parties. The companies were said to be favourably disposed to the acquisition due to the potential synergies between the two companies. UACN holds the controlling equity stake in CAP Plc, the largest quoted paints and chemical company. UACN has said its acquisitions were in furtherance of its strategy of building a portfolio of brands and businesses geared to the growth segments of the Nigerian economy, and partnerships that deliver long-term value to the company and its stakeholders. The transaction will allow Portland Paints to leverage the relative strengths of UACN and yield considerable
â€˘Equities sustain bullish run
By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire
benefit to stakeholders in both companies. With their established presence in the Nigerian paint industry, both UACN and Portland Paints are uniquely positioned to partner on deepening their presence in existing markets, achieve scope and scale economies in procurement, production and distribution. However, the acquisition is subject to the approvals of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and as such, investors need to be cautious while trading on the equities of both companies. Portland Paints- purveyor of the Sandtex brand of paints; was for several years a division of West African Portland Cement (WAPCO) Plc, now Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria. With the division performing creditably well as a going concern, Wapco initiated the registration of the division as a limited liability company in 1985. When Wapco decided to di-
vest from the company, Mr Bayo Osibo, managing director of the company led other investors in a management buy out. Portland Paints transited into a public limited liability company in 2008 and subsequently listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2009. With current equity stake of more than 24 per cent, according to the latest filing, Bayo Osibo is the single largest individual shareholder in Portland Paints, where he remains the managing director and chief executive. Portland Paintsâ€™ products include marine and protective coatings for oil and gas sector, sanitary ware, instant road repair material for repairs in all weather for cracks and potholes in asphalt, concrete and landing runway areas in airports as well as its traditional decorative and industrial paints. Meanwhile, the stock market remained on the uptrend yesterday, sustaining bullish run that had seen the market with N201 billion gain last week. The benchmark index at Exchange the All Share Index (ASI), rose by 1.04 per cent to close at 22,978.14 points while market capitalisation of equities added N75 billion to close at N7.335 trillion. Total turnover stood at 270.487 million shares worth N1.348 billion in 4,129 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 16-7-12
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Telecos critical to cash-less banking, says CBN
HE importance of telecom operators in the cashless banking initiative cannot be underempahsised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said. Head, Shared Services Department, CBN, Mr Chidi Umeano told The Nation that telecom firms have assisted in making electronic banking workable. Speaking on the heels of the decision of the telecom operators to implement policies that would promote the roll out of the network sites in rural areas, Umeano said the issue would help people in such areas access cashless bank-
Stories by Collins Nweze & Akinola Ajibade
ing in the future. By regulations, telecom companies are required to partner with banks to successfully implement the cashless banking policy. They are expected to provide microwave based network such as fibre to facilitate transportation of data between the banks and the depositors. He said electronic banking was introduced to give a new face to financial transactions. He said there are various aspects of electronic transactions, adding that telecommunication firms play im-
portant roles in this regard. Umeano said CBN ordered banks to change from strip-based to chip-based cards to encourage the growth of electronic transactions. He said telecom operators were allowed to partner with mobile payment operators to facilitate growth. He said people can only access Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Part of Sales (PoS) services where there is network, adding that those in rural areas would strongly be involve in banking activities. He said the CBN is keen in reducing the population of the unbanked population greatly,
arguing that the highest percentage dwell in the rural areas. Chief Executive Officer, Mobile Money Africa, Mr Emmanuel Okoewgale said the telecom operators can only make the electronic banking work in the rural areas when they provide enough facilities. He said when there are network sites in rural areas; depositors would be able to conduct transactions electronically. He said Kenya is a good example of countries that have implemented various aspects of electronically banking. He said that telecom operators were strongly involved in the project. “Wherever there is a full pres-
‘Why female run enterprises can’t be funded’
COMBINATION challenges such as limited or non-existent financials on their business, insufficient collateral for loans, weak business management, account for why female run enterprises are unattractive for financing. This was the submission of Acccess Bank’s Executive Director, Institutional Banking, Okey Nwuke, at the 2nd Women Economic Summit (AWES) held in Lagos last weekend. He said Access Bank has advanced N2 billion to women under the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Scheme (SMEs). In a statement, the bank
said it has reaffirmed its commitment to socio- economic development of the African continent through deployment of a financial inclusion strategy designed to cater for the unbanked in society. At the summit themed “African Women Financing the Future” jointly organised by New Faces New Voices and the African Development Bank (ADB), he said. He noted that the bank’s Gender Entrepreneurship Markets (GEM) Programme is one of its products designed for economic empowerment of Africans;
particularly the unbanked in the continent.. He said: “Access Bank is fully aware of its economic ambassadorial role and quest to become the major catalyst for economic development on the African continent hence its ingenious approach to multilateral partnerships.” “Specifically, the bank enters into credible alliances and partnerships that support its quest and vision of redefining the economic landscape in Africa. Notable among these partnerships is the Bank’s collaboration with the International Finance Corporation, (IFC) under its Gender Entrepreneurship Markets Program (GEM).”
•FirstBank MD, Bisi Onasanya
IRSTBANK Nigeria Plc has introduced a Visa debit card, that can be linked to both naira and dollar accounts of its customers. The product, according to a statement, has enabled the lender meet the e-payment needs of its customers. The product is Chip and Personal Identification Number (PIN) enabled, giv-
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
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 16-7-12 SYMBOL
CONOIL AIRSERVICE RTBRISCOE ETERNA VITAFOAM TRANSCORP HONYFLOUR IKEJAHOTEL UBA JAPAULOIL
20.54 1.45 1.67 2.51 3.14 1.05 1.90 1.07 4.33 0.65
21.56 1.52 1.75 2.63 3.29 1.10 1.99 1.12 4.53 0.68
C/PRICE 34.39 1.72 4.42 1.43 0.50 1.80 0.53 4.25 0.66 2.41
ing users online real-time access to their funds. The card can be used to make payments through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of sale terminals and web merchants. The bank said Europay, MasterCard and VISA EMVChip and PIN card have the highest security guarantee for customers’ transactions based global best practices.”The dual currency card, which can be linked to both naira and dollar accounts, when you are in the country or abroad, has a life span of two years and is used anywhere VISA logos are displayed,” the statement said. The bank explained that the card has a three digit number on the reverse of the card for
additional security for web transactions, adding that the hologram on the right hand is an additional security feature, which assures of the authenticity of the product. According to the bank, the product is easy, convenient, has portable access to funds and is accepted at over 29 million locations and for cash withdrawals at over 1.8 million ATMs in over 200 countries worldwide wherever its logo is displayed. The product also has a daily ATM withdrawal limit of N100,000, and maximum daily POS transaction limit of N500,000 locally while daily ATM withdrawal limit of $1,000 when used abroad. It said the product is highly secured, EMV compliant and can be received within 72
CHANGE 1.80 0.00 0.23 0.06 0.02 0.07 0.02 0.16 0.02 0.16
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
1.02 0.07 0.08 0.12 0.15 0.05 0.09 0.05 0.20 0.03
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12
LOSERS AS AT 16-7-12
SYMBOL O/PRICE ENAMELWA 36.19 MAYBAKER 1.81 UBN 4.65 LIVESTOCK 1.49 DNMEYER 0.52 BAGCO 1.87 NIGERINS 0.55 DANGSUGAR 4.41 CONTINSURE 0.68 DIAMONDBNK 2.47
successful implementation of electronic banking programmes in such places.
FirstBank floats dual currency card
Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m
Currency OBB Rate Call Rate
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM
•CBN Governor, Lamido
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
ence of telecom operators via providing facilities that would disseminate data accurately, depositors would be able to get alert on financial transactions on their phones as at when due. Anything short of this means electronic banking would have a slow start,” he said. Okoewgale said transmission of transactions data starts from the telecom companies, adding that they work with the banks to achieve this goal. He said telephony network is generally bad in rural areas, arguing that inability of telecom operators to provide microwave-based network in those areas would affect the
ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 122.60 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 105.18 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.74 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.09 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.95 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,710.87 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 8.95 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 7,768.76 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
APGA crisis deepens as Obi finally dumps Umeh T
HE All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) sank deeper into crisis yesterday. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi backed the Alhaji Saadiq Masalla-led faction against the party’s chairman, Chief Victor Umeh. Umeh, APGA’s National Chairman and his National Secretary Alhaji Sani Shinkafi were yesterday suspended by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party at an extraordinary meeting. The governor, who was represented by Chief Obinna Okafor at the NEC convened by the Masalla faction in Abuja, regretted his inability to personally attend the meeting. He gave his support to any move that would purge the party and move it forward. Besides Obi, other highranking party members at the meeting included: Dr. Tim Menakaya, the deputy chairman of the Board of Trustee (BoT), who replaces
•Party’s NEC suspends chair, secretary From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
the late Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu as the leader of the party; all former gubernatorial candidates of the party, 22 members of the National Working Committee (NWC) and tens of other chieftains across the country, who came from all the states of the federation. In a remark through his representative, said the most important assignment was to plot how to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Rivers, Delta, Lagos, Kano and Plateau states. Quoting Obi, Okafor said: “Governor Obi would have been personally present at this meeting but he sends his apologies. He wants APGA to secure these states and move forward rather than retrogressing as we have all seen.
“He is of the opinion that if this party should make progress, we should review our constitution and open up the party so that new members could come in through massive registration of members throughout the country. He is firmly behind this move to reposition the party.” Also speaking, Menakaya noted that though the country has been groaning under the yoke of violence and corruption, APGA needs to change its strategies to show its capacity to move the country forward. He also lent his support to the meeting, stressing that “the party must open up, expand and be a party to be embraced by every Nigerian. The party must stop hiding and come out into the open. “As one of the people who founded APGA and funded this party, we must not stop
saying that out party must be able to accommodate everybody and not be a close-ended political party. Our leaders should be people who should have patient; who should have listening ear so that everybody will be contented. Change is natural in the affairs of men”. Others at the meeting included: Chief Frank Ogbuewu, who spoke for the gubernatorial candidates of the party, representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by the Director in-charge of Political Party Monitoring Directorate, Mrs. Regina Omo-Agege. A major highlight of the meeting was the indefinite suspension slammed on Umeh as the national chairman and the national secretary Alhaji Shinkafi.
•From left: Solicitor-General, Justice Ada Unobuagha, administering the Oath of Office on Akirika, Okoli, Mrs Okeke and Mrs Okoye, as commissioners...yesterday
Obi plans 30-member EXCO
I V E m o r e commissioners and four special advisers were yesterday inaugurated by Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, bringing the number of commissioners so far appointed to 17. Inaugurating the new officials at the EXCO Chambers, Obi promised to appoint more commissioners and special advisers to raise the membership of the executive council to 30. He explained that his administration has a lot to deliver within the next one
•Swears in more lieutenants From Nwanosike Onu, Awka Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi
year, which according to him, would mark a turning point in the life of the state even as he urged the officials to brace up for the task ahead. The governor disclosed that his administartion has been working relentlessly to resuscitate the N5 billion Omor Rice Mill project, promising to deliver a N1.3 billion Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs) within the next six months. He urged his lieutenants to work as a team and place the collective interest of the state above every other consideration. Obi assigned portfolios to new council members, naming Mr. John Okoli Akirika as Commissioner for Lands and Mr. Chuba Okoli as the new helmsman in the Science and Technology Ministry. Dr. Uju Okeke, who resigned in 2009 as Obi’s
Senior Special Assistant, returned as the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Ngozika Okoye (Finance), Mr. Ndubisi Menakaya (Social Duties) while Col George Molokwu (rtd) was re-appointed Special Adviser on Security. Others are Mr. Fidel Okafor (Special Adviser on Political Matters), Mrs Vivian Nwandu (Special Adviser on MDGs) and Sir Godfry Moutulu (Special Adviser on Chieftaincy and Town Union Matters). The swearing followed their recent screening and approval by the State House of Assembly.
Task Force uncovers ‘illegal’ refinery in Abia
FFICIALS of the Abia State Petroleum Monitoring Taskforce have uncovered an illegal refinery and impounded a truck laden with substance believed to be petroleum product. The truck was arrested within the premises of Jilnass Nigeria Ltd, makers of vegetable oil in Umuahia, the Abia State capital. State Commissioner for Petroleum Don Ubani, who visited the scene, told reporters that the Ossah community wrote a petition alleging that the firm was operating an illegal refinery. Ubani said the petition prompted the government to direct the taskforce chairman, Tony Anyanwu to go and investigate the case, “which he did and brought back a report that the
From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
suspected truck and the substance are at the said premises with a sample to attest to that effect”. According to the commissioner, the truck marked Abia XB 855 NGK carrying the African Petroleum (AP) logo and painted in the firm’s colour, has been under surveillance for some days. Ubani alleged that the vegetable company, which has Rock Cement written at its entrance, has been posing as vegetable oil manufacturer while it has been running an illegal refinery. He ordered the security men to impound the truck and its contents, adding that it will be removed from the premises, while the content would be examined.
Eight die in Enugu road crash HERE was a report yesterday that no fewer than eight persons have been confirmed dead in an auto crash which occurred along the Enugu-Nsukka Expressway. An eye witness said three of the deceased persons were burnt beyond recognition. The source said the collision of a DAF truck, marked XE 460 AWK with a Ford bus marked XA 435 KC. Public Relations Officer of the Enugu State Police Command Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident and the death toll, said the bodies of the deceased have been deposited at Our Saviour Mortuary at 9th Mile Corner, Enugu. Amaraizu said: “Efforts are being made to track down the fleeing driver of the said DAF trailer”, adding that the relations of the victims were awaiting the autopsy results to collect the corpses for burial.
FromChris Oji, Enugu
He also stated that the command has launched “a full scale investigation into the extent of the involvement of one Ifeanyi Ani of Akpugo, in Nkanu West Local Government Area in a case of Armed Robbery”. He said: “Suspect with other three persons at large were about to rob their unsuspecting victims of their valuables on 13/07/12 at about 1200hrs at 9th Mile axis before they were pursued by the security operatives of the men of the 9th Mile Division and three of them escaped with two motorcycles while a suspect was apprehended and a Berretta pistol without ammunition recovered from him “Following his arrest, the suspect revealed that he belonged to the gang that robbed one Malachy Eze and other traders in 9th Mile on 10/07/12 at about 1000hrs along Enugu road 9thmile.”
Lawyers to Okorocha: obey court rulings HROUGH its Owerri Branch, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) y esterday urged the Imo State government to obey court rulings and re-instate members of the Imo State Judicial Service Commission and the 27 local government chairmen. An Owerri High Court and the Court of Appeal, both sitting in Owerri, the state capital, recently ruled that the officials be reinstated respectively. The NBA position was contained in a statement signed by its Owerri chapter Ifeanyi Opara. Entitled: “The position of the Nigerian Bar Association (Owerri Branch) on the recent two Judgments on the Imo Judicial Service Commission members and the local government chairmen,” Opara stated that members of the branch saw the two judgments as promoting the rule of law, constitutionality and democracy in the state. He said the courts’ verdicts would strengthen the people’s confidence in the judiciary.
From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri
The statement reads: “The two judgments are very sound and are all for the promotion of rule of law, constitutionality and democracy in the State. The branch therefore, associates wholly and entirely with them”. It further described as unlawful for the state to appoint transition committee to administer the council areas, saying state law authorising the use of appointees for local government areas was inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution and should be discontinued with. The statement reads: “At the age democracy is in the country, things should be done according to the law because the law is the threshold upon which democracy can strongly stand, the running of local government Councils in Imo State on the basis of transition committee is not only unconstitutional but illegal and undemocratic.
NBA elections: Eastern Bar Forum supports Wali By John Austin Unachukwu
HEAD of today’s election of new officers for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja , the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) has called on delegates to elect Okechukwu Emmanuel Wali, SAN as their next president. In keeping with the tradition of the Bar, the EBF has adopted Wali as its sole candidate for the NBA presidency. In statement issued in Abuja and jointly signed by Mr. Kemasuode Wodu, as chairman and Igwenyi O. O. as secretary, the EBF said: “Our candidate was adopted after a painstaking, open and free process to ascertain his suitability and competence for the said position. “All members of the forum, who were interested in the
position, including Chief Emeka Ngige, SAN, were givenequal opportunity to participate in the process, but Ngige declined in writing to participate. “We have received endorsements and support for our choice candidate from the other two main fora of the NBA, covering the Northern and Western geopolitical zones of the NBA namely; the Arewa Lawyers Forum (ALF) and the Egbe Amofin. “In the light of the above, we call on all members of the Nigerian Bar Association to vote for and support en masse the candidature of Okey Emmanuel Wali, SAN for the post of the president of the NBA in today’s election in line with the extant traditions of the NBA which had led to peaceful transition from one administration to another since the NBA recovered from the 1992 crises.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NEWS Boko Haram: Security agencies to check illegal aliens in Southwest
Akeredolu: Edo victory is green light for Ondo O T NDO State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday said the resounding victory of Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole in last Saturday’s election was a signal of what to expect in Ondo State in the October 20 governorship election. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Idowu Ajanaku, the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President traced the journey to the victory and what ACN has been doing in the states under its control since 1999. The statement reads: “The recent epochal electoral victory of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate and incumbent governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for a second term could not have come as a surprise to close watchers of the nation’s effervescent polity. “Specifically, it is predicated on the pragmatic, peoplefriendly and fast-paced, socioeconomic developmental policies as provided by the forward-looking platform of the ACN. And in retrospect, it is reminiscent of the monumental, transformative achievements recorded under the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo-led administration in the defunct Western Region. “It would be recalled, with immense pride that back
then, the aforementioned government instituted Free Education, even as it established the first ever television station in Africa, at Ibadan, along with the famous Cocoa House, ultramodern stadium and massive infrastructural development of roads, schools, farm centers in addition to water supply. “Oshiomhole’s victory at the poll is, therefore, a continuation of the worthy legacies left by the Action Group (AG), which has since metamorphosed into the progressive ACN. Good enough, this has been consistently championed by the Lagos State Government under the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubuled government and that of his successor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). It is little wonder that Lagos has since witnessed massive development in virtually every area of human endeavour, including infrastructure, education, primary health care delivery, environmental protection and transportation. The growing impact is such that there is the construction of the 10-lane dual carriage way to Badagry, being the first of its kind in Sub-Sahara Africa. “In a similar vein, the unique concept of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), which has moved over 80 million people over the past four years, has since become a model that other countries such as Ghana, Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone want to
replicate. “Oshiomhole has not only built on the legacies of the AG, which once ruled the old Bendel State - of which the present Edo State was a part - but has carried out the ACN party manifesto as exemplified by Lagos State. This revolution is sweeping across states such as Osun, Ekiti, Ogun and Oyo. They are treading the same noble path under the progressive platform of ACN, which would soon be replicated in Ondo State, come October 2012. “It is, however, laughable that while congratulating Governor Oshiomhole recently, after his victory at the governorship poll, Dan Nwayanwu, the National Chairman of Labour Party (LP), stated that his success was because Oshiomhole has no godfather. This is baseless and unfounded. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. The world over, some respected politicians have always stood as the rallying point of well-organised political parties. Other members have always related with them as the beacon bearers to show them the way out of the intricate maze that politics presents. “For instance, the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was an iconic political godfather. So, were Tafawa Balewa, Dr Namidi Azikiwe, Herbert Macaulay and Aminu Kano (all of blessed memory).
“As providence would have it, history has since conferred on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the guiding light for the ACN. His political clout, managerial acumen and close understanding of Nigeria’s polity has made him a revolutionary, armed only with the capacity to identify the most pressing needs of Nigerians and putting in place policies and capable politicians to actualize the vision. “In all honesty, whatever recent achievements have been recorded in some states, such as Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers, can all be traced to the template set by the ACN-led administration of Lagos State since 1999. Unfortunately, the Mimiko-led administration of Ondo State has not been able to toe this progressive developmental path. His so-called achievements are copycat of the ACN, yet they have not been carried out in the same sustainable and impactful manner. “The burning questions remain: how many durable roads has his administration been able to construct in the last three years? It is on record that both the Owo-Akure and Ondo-Akure roads both promised for dualisation have not been done. He similarly promised that the Dome Events Centre project would be completed within a year but with about one billion naira down the drain, there is nothing on ground to show for the huge public money wasted…”
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
HE Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has set up a joint team of security agencies to mop up illegal aliens in the Southwest. The other agencies are the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the State Security Service (SSS), the police and the Nigerian Prisons Service. The team will go after illegal aliens in the region to forestall the Boko Haram threat. The Zone ‘F’ of the team comprises Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states command of the NIS. Inaugurating the zonal committee of the joint operation at its Zonal Headquarters in Agodi, Ibadan, yesterday, the Zonal Comptroller of the NIS in the Southwest, Mr Bayo Akolade, said the idea for the joint operation came from the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, because of the security situation of the country. The Immigration chief explained that the idea was based on the belief that some of those causing mayhem in Nigeria are illegal aliens who entered the country through unapproved borders or broke the conditions on their visa or resident permits.
‘We value our youths, human lives’
HE Yoruba socio-cultural group, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), has urged parents in the Southwest not to allow their children to serve in the North because of Boko Haram attacks. The group also appealed to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) not to post Southwest graduates to the volatile region. In a statement in Lagos, ARG said Southwest parents value the lives of their children and place a high premium on humna lives. The statemant by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Kunle
Famoriyo, reads: “The government and the directorate of the NYSC would be playing ostrich to believe that wishful thinking, pronouncements and decrees can prevent Nigerians from any form of violent attacks, especially suicide bombing in the troubled North. “ARG is calling on all parents and guradians in the Southwest not to permit their sons and daughters to leave for the NYSC programme now and in the future, if they are deployed to where the human life is of no consequence and where anarchy is the order of the day...”
Akeredolu names Ajanaku media aide
ULTIPLE awardwinning journalist, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, has been named the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy for the campaign organisation of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo •Ajanaku State. He is also the Special Adviser (Media and Public Affairs) to the party’s candidate, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), in the October 20 election. Ajanaku, an indigene of Idogun, Ose Local Government Area of the state, was educated at Idogun High School and the Lagos State University (LASU), where he bagged a Second Class Upper degree in History and International Relations. He is also a Fellow at the Martin Luther King Centre for African Studies, Atlanta Georgia, United States. Ajanaku has worked in various media organizations, including Moonshine, Vanguard and The Guardian. Until his appointment, Ajanaku was Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Public Affairs to Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN).
•From left: Mr Shomuyiwa; Mr Adegbite, representative of former Ogun State Governor Aremo Segun Osoba, Mr Olumide Osoba, Mallam Bako, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) National President, Mallam Muhammed Garba and others, at the PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE event.
Community launches N100m for estate’s development
EMBERS of the Journalists’ Estate Residents Development Association (JERDA) in Arepo, Ogun State, have launched a N100million fund for the development of the estate. The estate was established over 10 years ago as a home for journalists working in Lagos. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun promised to construct the access road at over N50million and ensure his administration’s presence in the community centre. The governor, who was represented by the Works Commissioner, Mr. Lekan Adegbite, hailed the residents on the initiative. He urged other estates to
•Ogun to build N50m access road as Sokoto donates By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie
partner the government on development, saying the government alone cannot do everything. The association’s chairman, Mr Gboyega Shomuyiwa, said the planned community centre would have a lawn tennis court, an amphitheatre, office spaces, a mini-shopping mall, a library and a gym. He said the centre would create a harmonious environment for the residents to live, recreate and work. The association’s chairman urged the residents to use the lawn tennis court to keep fit while other sports are in the works.
Shomuyiwa solicited donations and asked the Ogun State Government to provide more infrastructure for the estate. The journalist noted that most residents provide their basic infrastructure needs, such as water, electricity and security. According to him, the estate’s major areas of need are good inner roads and drainage, to check flooding. Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko hailed the journalists for the initiative. He said: “To encourage professionalism in the practice of journalism, the practitioners need to be encouraged with good infrastructure and recre-
ational facilities to enable them live well and fulfilled.” The governor promised to donate N5million and a project that would put the state government’s imprint in the estate. He was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Danladi Bako. Wamakko said the needs of journalists should be the priority of any responsive government because of their unique position and contributions to governance. House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, who was represented by a member, Olumide Osoba, hailed the initiators of the estate.
Ijesa in US raise fund for health care
HE Egbe Omo Obokun of Ijesaland has launched a fund for effective health care delivery in Ijesa community of Osun State. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola was represented at the event, which held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. The turnout was impressive, with guests drawn
from the diplomatic circles and the various ethnic components of the Nigerian communities across the US resplendent in rich cultural attires. President of the association, Mr Ayo Odeyemi said the fund raiser was the culmination of a six-month planning to turn around the health service delivery system in Ijesaland.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NEWS Attah Igala dies at 102
NDLEA ‘uncovers 514 hectares of Indian hemp farms in Ondo’
By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor
HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has discovered 514 hectares of Indian hemp farms in Ondo State in the last two years. NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Ahmadu Giade, spoke at the destruction of 61,000 kilogrammes of confiscated drugs in Akure, the Ondo State capital. He described cannabis cultivation as a serious threat to food production. Ondo State Commissioner for Environment, Sola Ebisheni, who represented Governor Olusegun Mimiko, called for more grassroots mobilisation in the fight against illicit drugs. Ebisheni said: “Ondo State is known for the production of food and cash crops. We must not allow few criminals to give us a bad name. Those who cultivate these drugs are living among us and we have a duty to expose them. I commend NDLEA officers for these drug seizures. I also wish to charge them to engage in more of grassroots sensitisation.” Giade expressed NDLEA’s determination to send drug barons out of business. He said: “We will frustrate every move to undermine the lofty agricultural programmes of the state government. We will not fold our arms and watch drug barons divert arable land for the cultivation of cannabis, instead of growing legitimate food and cash crops.” According to him, NDLEA operatives have uncovered secret warehouses for stockpiling cannabis. He said: “In the past two years, Ondo State has led other states in the agency’s annual drug seizures with 123,452.76 kilogrammes of cannabis and the destruction of 514 hectares of cannabis farmland. “The command seized 67,979.80 kilogrammes of cannabis and traced 367 hectares of farmland in 2010. Also, 55,472.96 kilogrammes of cannabis were seized and 147 hectares of cannabis farmland destroyed in 2011.” The NDLEA chief said the agency would work with the state government on drug control, adding that Ondo State has the capacity to feed Nigeria and export food and cash crops. Giade said: “The NDLEA will vigorously pursue its drug prevention programmes in the state. Agriculture is one area of strength that must be maximised for foreign exchange earnings and rapid development of the state. “Let me assure the public that any information provided shall be speedily and professionally treated. I also commend the NDLEA officers who work tirelessly, even at night, towards making the state drug-free. Efforts at improving their welfare package are ongoing.”
•Abia State Governor Theodore Orji, Deputy Governor Sir Emeka Ananaba and the General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), Prince Ikechukwu Apugo during the inauguration of refuse disposal trucks...yesterday
Suspected pirates kill two ex-militants in Bayelsa
USPECTED pirates yesterday killed two ex-militants in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State. British Egena and Orlando Owodo were reportedly driving in a Sports Utility Vehicle(SUV) with registration number GBJ 154 AA on Goodnews Street, Azikoro, a suburb of Yenagoa, when a car trailed them and opened fire on the occupants. They sped off to unknown destination. A source said: “The men opened fire with rifles like AK-47. They shot the two men
Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa
from the side windows and moved to spray them again from the front. After the sporadic shooting, the gunmen made a u-turn and drove off.” The incident caused panic in the area. The bodies have been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) mortuary. Police spokesman Fidelis Odunna confirmed the killings. A statement by Governor Seriake Dickson’s Special Adviser on Security, Col.
Bernand Kanebai, condemned the killings. The statement reads: “Government wishes to condemn in the strongest terms the killing of two people in Yenagoa. Government is working closely with the security agencies to unravel the perpetrators of this dastardly act and bring them to book. “Governor Dickson is deeply sad by this incident and wishes to condone with the families of the deceased. “We wish to debunk claims and insinuations that
the persons killed are security aides of the governor. They are actually repentant militants working closely with JTF, the police and SSS in the entire Niger Delta region and were in Yenagoa working with the security agencies. Their names are British Egena and Orlando Owodo. “The government of Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has zero tolerance for crime and criminality. Government is working very hard to safeguard the lives of all Bayelsan.”
Six bodies recovered from Rivers tanker fire site
IX decomposing bodies were yesterday recovered from a bush near the scene of last Thursday’s petrol tanker fire at Okogbe, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rives State. The death toll has risen to 143. The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Prof. Aaron Ojule urged relatives of vic-
•Death toll rises to 143 From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt
tims being treated at home to move them to the hospital for free treatment. Ojule, who is the Chairman of the 11-member Emergency Burns Committee set up by the Rivers State Government to handle the crisis, said some of the badly-burnt victims
might be flown abroad for further treatment. The CMD said a ward had been created at the UPTH for the victims. Ojule said many of the survivors were being referred to the UPTH from other hospitals and centres. A sub-committee has been put in place at the teaching hospital to collate the data of the victims.
A member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Asita, who represents Ahoada West/Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Federal Constituency of Rivers State, expressed shock over the rising death toll. Asita, who visited the scene, affected families and the hospitals where the survivors are being treated, described the development as unfortunate and pathetic.
Defence explains relocation of Plateau communities
HE Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday in Abuja said the relocation of some villagers from some communities in Plateau is to protect them. Air Vice Mashal Dick Iruenabere, Chief of Policy and Plans at the Defence Headquarters, spoke at a joint news conference by the DHQ and the National Human Rights Commission. The DHQ requested residents of Mahanga, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh and Shong to move to a safer place for military operations to take place. Iruenabere said that moving them away from the villages was to enable the military to take necessary action to check terrorism in the troubled areas. He said the action was in the best interest of both the villagers and the rest of the people of the country, stress-
ing that the movement was not an attempt to deny certain communities their places. He said: “To avoid any unusual causality, that is why the villagers have been asked to move; move away from these places and at the end of the operation, come back to your homes. “The operation is not likely to last more than two weeks and the whole idea is to save lives of the innocent and that is why we are going to this extent to let you know. “And the kind of threat we are facing is an unusual threat and if not dealt with decisively, it will become a major problem later.” Iruenabere said the Fulanis and the Beroms were living together in harmony in the camps provided by the State Government, adding that the military never believed that the Fulanis were responsible
for the recent attacks. He added: “ We have never alleged or accused any particular tribe of being responsible for the attack.” He said what the military was doing was to ensure that damage to innocent people was reduced, if not avoided completely. “This is to debunk the statement going around that the military was targeting any particular stock of Nigerians.’’ The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, described the situation in Jos as difficult. He said that service personnel had also been injured or killed in the violence, adding that “ they have left children, they have spouses and they have left parents”. “And we got to recognise that and honour the sacrifices that our service men are mak-
ing in these situations. “We are all Nigerians, this is our country and the concern of the NHRC is to ensure the rights of everybody in the country is protected. “We have got assurances from the conversation we have had that the legal standard, the humanitarian law standard and the relevant service standard have been taken account of and have been compiled and this is an ongoing dialogue and we are going to continue to have it,” he said. Odinkalu said the commission would continue to be involved in the process to give the requisite support to both the service institutions and the civilian political authority. He said the support would ensure that the country restored good neighbourliness to communities that had coexisted with one another for a long time
HE Attah Igala in Kogi State, Alhaji Aliyu Obaje, died yesterday. He was 102. A statement issued in Lokoja by Governor Idris Wada Aliyu said the monarch died in his palace in Idah. Obaje was installed on November 2, 1956 as the 26th Attah Igala and had served for 56 years. The deceased was a minister in the Northern Region Government headed by the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello. He was also a member of two constitutional conferences in London in the buildup to Nigeria’s Independence. He was appointed the Chairman of Kogi Council of Traditional Chiefs in 1992, a position he held until his death. The late Attah Igala was also the Chancellor of the University of Lagos. A revered monarch, widely respected across the country, Aliyu was renowned for his effective leadership and humane disposition. The late Attah Igala, a devout Muslim, is survived by his wives and many children, among whom is Chief Abdullahi Obaje, a National Ex-Officio member of the PDP.
Minister mourns From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
HE Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i yesterday condoled with the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) over the death of three of its members in an accident last Friday. The minister also condoled with the families of the deceased. The minister described the auto crash as “very sad and shocking.” She said she recently interacted with some of the studentleaders during the Nigerian Outstanding Leadership Award ceremony in Abuja, where they displayed a rear sense of patriotism and enviable leadership qualities. In a statement, Prof. Rufa’I asked God to give the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss of the three student leaders, Awopegba Oluwaseun of the Federal University of Technology Akure, Akintola Abiodun of the Adeyemi Collage of Education Ondo and Miss Oyikan Olotu of the Ondo State School of Midwifery Akure. The minister said he shared in the grief and sorrow suffered by the families of the deceased, the leadership of the union in Ondo State and the government and people of the state over the unfortunate accident. Prof. Rufa’i also prayed for the quick recovery of those who sustained injuries.
• Prof. Rufa’i
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
Gunmen attack police stations in Yobe A
group of armed men yesterday attacked three police formations in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital. Police Commissioner Patrick Egbuniwe in a telephone interview, said the gunmen launched the attack at the police area command, ‘A’ division and the state Criminal Investigation Department about 1.25pm. Egbuniwe said a combined team of the police and army repelled the attack, adding that “we did not record any casualty but we found the body of a
From Duku Joel, Damaturu
police recruit who came from Maiduguri to visit his relations in Damaturu.” The police boss said one arrest was made. Unconfirmed reports said the killing of a man at Bayan Tasha caused the police to shoot into the air, thereby creating panic in the vicinity. “We learnt that a gunman
killed one person at Bayan Tasha. When he realised that the people were not running, he shot into the air to scare them away. When the police heard the gunshots, they began to shoot into the air, causing panic in the area,” a source said. Yobe State Government has further relaxed the restriction of movement. According to a statement by Abdullahi Bego, the SA on Media and Information to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, “restriction of movement now starts from 10pm to 7am.”
Yuguda sacks 4,000 political appointees From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi
OVERNOR Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State yesterday sacked 4,000 political appointees. A statement by Secretary
to the State Government (SSG) Ahmed Ibrahim Dandija said the sacking of Directors-General, Senior Special Assistants, Senior Special Assistants II, Special Assistants and Senior Assistants II was with immediate effect. The development followed a statement by the SSG and the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Yuguda, Mr. Michael Adeyemi Ishola that the state is not broke.
The two officials had condemned the allegation that the state was broke. Government said the disengagement of the appointees is due to “the complaints by stakeholders that political appointments were lopsided and did not reflect the structure of the ruling party in the state, according to the local governments and wards.” According to Dandija, the dismissal does not involve those on essential services.
Bomb factories uncovered in Kogi church, mosque
HE Kogi State Police Command yesterday uncovered bomb factories inside a church and a mosque. On Sunday, a suicide bombing was aborted close to two churches in Okene Local Government. The bomb factories were uncovered at Okaito, a village in Okehi Local Government. Since last year, security agents have discovered four bomb factories in the state. One was in
From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja
Kabba. The remaining three were discovered in Okene, Okehi and Adavi. Commissioner of Police Mohammed Musa Katsina, at a press briefing, said his men located the bomb factories after interrogating the suicide bomber who was arrested in Okene on Sunday. He said the building where the bomb factories were located was a four-bedroom flat
converted to a church and mosque where bombs were manufactured. Katsina refused to give the identity of the owner of the building. He said doing so could hinder investigation. The police boss warned landlords to be vigilant about the people occupying their buildings. Parading the suspects arrested at the bomb factories and displaying the items recovered,
the commissioner of police said the suspects are miscreants. Items recovered include 46 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), 15 capacitors, 15 fuses, three bottles of potassium chloride, five litres of acid and one electrical detonator. Also recovered are rolls of firing cables, 250m detonating cord, three remote-controlled siren GSM sets, nails of various sizes, ammunition, motorcycle, bibles, qur’an and household items.
Police detain two Chinese for murder of kinsmen
WO Chinese nationals, Jimbo Zhao Dang Dong and Smith Zhhang Ze, are being detained at the Bompai headquarters of the Kano Police Command for allegedly stabbing to death two of their kinsmen, Xucheng Kun and an old man over a debt. The suspected murderers who are workers of Zhao Dongs Nigeria Limited were arrested by the police on the scene of the incident on July
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
11 with other visitors at Xucheng’s home in Kwanar Ganduje quarters of Kano. The Commissioner of Police Ibrahim K. Idris said yesterday that the neighbours of Xucheng alerted the police. “Upon arrival, our men found Xucheng dead, while the old man who later died in hospital was injured. “Though investigation is
still ongoing, from what we have gathered so far, the two suspects visited Xucheng, who was believed to have been indebted to them. They were believed to be highly intoxicated. When the visitors raised the issue of the money, the deceased did not respond favourably. He told them the debt was not documented and he could as well refuse to pay. “It was at that point that a brawl ensued. Using an axe and other dangerous
weapons, they hacked Xucheng and the old man to death. Both of them are in our custody and will soon face prosecution after a thorough investigation,” Idris said. Items recovered by the police include one Chinese machete, one jack knife with blood stains and intoxicants. The police boss also said Surajo Abdullahi, 19, is in detention for beating to death Mallam Adamu Mohammed during a brawl.
INEC set for by-election in Sokoto
RRANGEMENTS have been concluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a by-election in Sabon Birni Constituency to fill a vacant seat in the Sokoto State House of Assembly. The exercise, scheduled for Thursday, is being conducted following the death of a member, Haruna Dauda.
From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto
Twenty-three political parties have submitted names of candidates to the INEC and collected nomination forms. Materials for the byelection have been distributed to the wards. INEC’s Public Relations Officer Mohammed Musa told reporters in Sokoto
yesterday that arrangements had been concluded by the INEC to ensure a free and fair by-election in the constituency. The poll would be conducted in six wards: Sabon\Birni East, Sabon\Birn West, Tsamaye, Unguwar Lalle, Makuwama and Lajingi. The INEC spokesman said the constituency has been
Jonathan consoles Etsu Nupe
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has commiserated with the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, on the death of his mother, Hajia Goggo Bantigi Abubakar. He said: “On behalf of my family, the government and people of Nigeria, I express my deepest condolences to Your Highness, members of your family and the people of the Nupe Kingdom at this time.”
The President said Hajia Goggo who passed on “will be missed for the positive leadership and matriarchal role she played in the lives of all who were fortunate to have had their paths cross hers.” He prayed that Almighty God grants her soul eternal rest and imbues the Etsu Nupe with the requisite strength and wisdom to cope with “this very painful loss.”
RTEAN urges govt to provide terminus
EMBERS of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) have urged the Lagos State Government to provide a terminus for commercial buses in Ikorodu. The Deputy Chairman of the RTEAN in Lagos State, Comrade Ganiyu Azeez, who spoke in Owutu, Ikorodu, said following the lack of a terminus, men of the Lagos State task force have impounded 40 buses that belong
I won’t resign, Benue Speaker tells G10
HE Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. David Iorhemba, has ignored calls by a group under the aegis of the Concerned Benue State Indigenes, otherwise known as G10, to resign his membership of the House on the grounds that Agasha constituency has been restored from the present Guma constituency. Iorhemba said yesterday that the restoration of the
From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
suppressed Agasha constituency by the Federal High Court Makurdi Division, which directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct an election there within 30 days did not affect him or his membership. He said two constituencies, including Daudu/Udei
allocated 96 polling units to enable the 92,500 registered voters exercise their franchise. Musa said: “Youth corps members serving in Sabon\ Birni, Isa and Goronyo local governments have been recruited as ad-hoc staff for the exercise.” He said security has been tightened in the affected areas.
and Agasha, were existing in Guma before Agasha was later suppressed by the INEC. He added that Daudu/ Udei, which he hails from, is made up of six council wards, while the suppressed Agasha has four wards. He said INEC would only reconstitute and conduct a fresh election in Agasha constituency and urged members of the G10 not to raise a false alarm to create tension.
to their members. He alleged that the site of their former terminus had been allocated to traders, adding that passengers in Ikorodu face a lot of hardships before boarding buses. The Zonal Chairman of the RTEAN in Ikorodu, Otuna Sulaimon, said members now go about their businesses in fear because of the constant raid by men of the task force as a result of lack of a terminus.
PUBLIC NOTICE I, formerly known and adressed as Mr. Ema Kalu now wish to be known and adressed as Mr. Ekeji Lucky Achinihu. All former documents bearing my former name remain valid. General pubhlic should please take note.
PUBLIC NOTICE OBIANKE I, formerly known and addressed as MISS. MAUREEN OBIANKE now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. MAUREEN SHARON IRORERE. All former documents remain valid. General public please take note
PUBLIC NOTICE ASSOCIATION OF OLD STUDENTS OF ST. KIZITO’S CATHOLIC SEMINARY The general public is hereby notified that the above named Association has applied for registration under part C of Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Mr. Bayo Fakorede 2. Mr. Richard Ajayi 3. Mr. Kunle Fadairo 4. Mr. Martin Okodua 5. Mr. Femi Bode AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. To bring together at all times all Kizitians. 2. To foster and promote the spirit of brotherhood among members. 3. To be our brothers’ keepers. 4. To ensure that the individual rights of members to freedom of worship is not undermined. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the corporate Affairs Commission within Twenty Eight (28) days of this Publication. SALIU ADUN & CO Legal Practitioners
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
NEWS Jonathan lists challenges as CJN takes oath of office Continued from page 2
count of her brilliance, resilience and hard work. “Our administration will continue to accord excellence and give it its deserved place in the service of our nation. Ladies and gentlemen, there is the hand of destiny in the life of this distinguished jurist. From the records, her lordship has always been a trailblazer in her judicial journey. She was the first female lawyer of northern extraction, the first female High Court Judge from the North, first female second in-command, Kano State judiciary, the first Nigerian female jurist to be elevated to the Court of Appeal
where she served for over 17 years at the appellate court.” “The honourable CJN now joins an eminent and exclusive list of achievers recognised throughout the world as beacon of hope in this century. She will after leaving office become a member of our nation’s highest advisory council, the Council of State. Here again, she will make history as the first female permanent member of that council.” Justice Mukhtar was conferred with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Nigeria (GCON) award. Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu
Tambuwal, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, Governors Rabiu Kwankwanso (Kano) and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) were among the dignitaries at the ceremony. Speaking to State House reporters at the end of the ceremony, Justice Mukhtar re-iterated her stand during her screening at the Senate that there was no need for a special court to try corruption cases. She said: “I think I talked about that at the Senate that there is no need for a special court. A judge, two or three in the states, can be designated to take care of that. I will again
go back to what I said in the Senate - that I will lead by example and I will hope and pray that the others will follow.” On security challenges, Justice Mukhtar said: “I did say during my screening in the Senate that we will partner with the authority to ensure that we curb this menace.” On delayed trials, she said: “That one is not the fault of the judges alone. We have counsel to contend with, bringing various applications. We have the Constitution also to contend with. Witnesses will not be available and there is a whole litany of reasons for this delay.”
Three die, as soldiers raze Port Harcourt’s Elechi Beach waterfront Continued from page 2
He was not aware of any arrest, he added. The Elechi Beach waterfront is beside the popular Kpaiama Mortuary, at the end of the road from Education Bus Stop, off Ikwerre Road. It is one of the over 40 waterfront settlements in Port Harcourt, which Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi described as “dens of criminals”, which he vowed to demolish as part of his administration’s urban renewal programme. Njemanze waterfront in Mile One Diobu was demolished in 2009. There is no development yet at the site. The Abonnema Wharf waterfront was demolished two weeks ago. Sources at Elechi Beach said when the soldiers arrived, the elderly woman who died, was in a makeshift wooden toilet at the waterfront. She fell into the river in the confusion. The two children (girls) of the same parents were sleeping when the soldiers arrived, it was learnt. They could not be rescued before their home was set ablaze.
One of the displaced residents, Prince Kingsley, who described himself as a professional footballer, said: “The military men in army uniform arrived at 4:30 am and were breaking houses. The soldiers put fire, which burnt our houses. We are now homeless. The soldiers said if youths attacked them, they would kill all of them. “The soldiers arrested over 300 people, including women, youths and elderly persons, who are not involved in illegal bunkering of petroleum products. “The Rivers state government should direct traders at Rumuwuji playground in Mile One, Diobu to return to the newly-completed Mile One market. We use the playground, as footballers to train, in order not to go into crime. We are suffering. Governor Amaechi should assist us.” Another resident, Miss Gift Ekpo, urged Amaechi to be sympathetic with the Elechi Beach waterfront residents, most of who relocated from the demolished Abonnema Wharf waterfront, in an attempt to
make ends meet, rather than returning to their villages and becoming liabilities. An aggrieved youth, Paul Samson, who lost his television set, a VCD player and other valuables to the invasion, said the arrested people were not involved in illegal bunkering of petroleum products. Captain Samuel said the troops discovered 420 drums of illegally-refined petroleum product (unspecified) at the Elechi Beach Waterfront. Capt. Samuel, who is also the Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), at a news conference in Bori Camp, said 145
men and one woman were arrested during the dawn operation. The spokesman noted that the security operatives invaded Elechi Beach waterfront, in view of intense shootings in the area last week. He said: “The JTF operatives embarked on a search at Elechi Beach waterfront in Port Harcourt and we discovered 420 drums of illegally refined oil. “Based on that, we set the location ablaze. In doing that, the troops considered the houses around the area. JTF was not involved in setting buildings in the area on fire.”
Forensic experts probe death of nine family members Continued from page 1
Medical Centre (FMC) in Owerri. He urged the public to desist from peddling misleading information about the possible cause of deaths. Nine persons, all members of the same family were found dead mysteriously on June 8 after the burial of their 98-year old mother the previous day,
at Umuakuru Village, Owerri North Local Government Area. Governor Rochas Okorocha has raised a five-man committee to unravel the mystery behind the death. The health Commissioner said the committee would be headed by the Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr. Johnny Ihebereme.
N32b pension fraud probe: EFCC seizes 45 mansions
•Lamorde Continued from page 2
room duplex at Gudu New layout, Abuja; four-bedroom duplex at 35, Lake Chad Crescent, Maitama, Abuja; a 4 bedroom duplex at FHA, Gwarinpa new Extension beside COCIN Church and an International Secondary and Primary School (under construction) at Kuje, Abuja. “The Four property of Zira are: Concept College London,
Gwarinpa, Close to Ecobank, Abuja; block of flats at FCDA Quarters, Phase II, Block J, Flat 1 & 2 Garki, Abuja ; hotel (aka Habila Hasike’s Hotel) beside Yasekule Primary School, on the same street with Michika Local Government Secretariat, Adamawa State; A House at No.36, Malamre Wark, Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa State. “Yusuf’s property in Gombe and Abuja are: hotel (under construction, finishing level) behind Gombe State Investment Property Company Housing Estate, Gombe State ; three-bedroom semi-detached bungalow at UU1, A&B, Sunny Homes, Dakwo District, Abuja ; threebedroom semi-detached bungalow at U20, A&B, Sunny Homes, Dakwo District, Abuja .”
Belgore panel recommends scrapping of First Lady’s office Continued from page 2
mends that Security Votes should be appropriated for in each year’s budget of the Executives to enable the Auditors-General report on them as provided for in the Constitution.” On the conduct of public officers, the Belgore panel opted for moderation as an official policy. Besides the stoppage of the use of siren by public officers, it urged the government to reduce the size of Special Advisers, Special Assistants and Personal Assistants. The report added: “The Committee recommends the abolition of use of sirens by Political Officer Holders. “It also recommends the institution/establishment of Legislation to reduce flamboyance and ostentation in all
respects. “The committee recommends strict moderation in the appointment of Special Advisers, Special Assistants and Personal Assistants to reduce cost of governance and avoid breaching the protocol of the Civil Service.” On the appointment of Chief of Staff by the President and governors, the committee said it is discretionary. “The Committee noted that while the roles of the SGF/ SSG and HCSF/HCSS were clearly defined in the Constitution, those of the Chief of Staff were at the discretion the President and Governors,” it said. It sought for a framework that will ensure continuity of government policies by successive administrations. Continued on page 61
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
FOREIGN NEWS Mubarak ordered back to prison
Belgore panel recommends scrapping of First Lady’s office Continued from page 60
“The Committee recommends that there should be stability, continuity and consistency in government policies. “The Committee reiterates this recommendation, having observed that it has not been fully addressed by Government,” it claimed. Regarding corruption in public life and transparency, the Belgore Panel insisted on the merger of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau. The report said: “The Committee notes the submission by the EFCC and recommends the merger of the Anti-graft Agencies i.e EFCC, ICPC and Code of Conduct Bureau, to be known as the Ethics and AntiCorruption Commission. A detailed policy paper on corruption is attached to this report. “All Nigerians with illegally acquired wealth stashed abroad, if convicted, should be compelled to repatriate such wealth back to Nigeria and be
prosecuted. “The Committee recommends that individuals and CEOs of indicted organisations be relieved of their appointments and prosecuted in the appropriate courts for criminal offences as is the current practice. “The Committee recommends that all awardees of National Honours who are convicted should be stripped of such honours. “The committee strongly upholds the 2005 NPR Conference recommendation in this regard and recommends its immediate implementation. “The Committee recommends that the debate in the Legislature and Reports of any investigation of Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly or State House of Assembly, including Hansard, should be made public as and when due and circulated to all MDA’s. But the panel adopted what looks like an ambiguous position on declaration of assets by public officers by calling for the removal of the Code of Conduct from the 1999 Constitution.
The report added: “The Committee recommends that the Code of Conduct should be taken out of the Constitution. “It should exist as an administrative regulation or a legislation which can be modified or amended from time to time to reflect current realities. “The Committee further recommends extensive public sensitisation on this issue so that this recommendation, if implemented, will not be wrongly interpreted as a reversal in the fight against corruption.” To address the high level of insecurity nationwide, the panel called for mass recruitment into the police and financial autonomy for Zonal Police Commands It said: “The response of the Police Service Commission was noted by the Committee. While the Committee recommends that the status quo should be maintained in respect of the appointment of the IGP, there should be clearer distinction between the functions of the Nigeria Police Force and the Ministry of Police Affairs. “The Inspector General of Police should have total oper-
ational control while the Ministry of Police Affairs should have administrative control. The Ministry of Police Affairs should develop a policy where significant financial autonomy is given to Zonal Commands. “The Federal Government must take full responsibility of funding Police operations especially in areas under emergency rule. “ Nigeria is still under-policed and we need massive recruitment and training. The Rank and File of the Police should as much as possible, be posted to areas of their cultural and linguistic relevance. “The committee upholds the recommendations of the 2005 National Political Reform Conference and believes that the use of Community Policing would effectively revitalize the security system in the country. “The committee also decries the lackadaisical attitude of some personnel of the Nigeria Police Force particularly with respect to their dressing and recommends proactive measures to tackle it. “Furthermore, the committee recommends that the police should be well barracked”.
GYPT’S public prosecutor has ordered that former President Hosni Mubarak be returned to prison, saying that his health has improved. Mubarak, 84, was moved from prison to a hospital last
month after reports of a deterioration in his health. He was said at the time to have had a series of strokes and to be on a life support machine. Reports that he was “clinically dead” were later denied. In June, he was jailed for life for his role in the deaths of protesters. Prosecutor Abdel Maguid Mahmoud issued “an order to transfer former President Hosni Mubarak from the Maadi Armed Forces Hospital to Tora prison hospital after an improvement in his health,” his office was quoted as saying.
Motivational speaker Covey dead
OTIVATIONAL author Stephen Covey, who wrote the bestselling The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, has died at 79. Covey passed away at an Idaho hospital yesterday from complications caused by an April bicycle accident in Utah. “He was surrounded by his
loving wife and each one of his children and their spouses, just as he always wanted,” the family said in a statement. Covey reportedly sold more than 20million books in his career. In April, he was brought to hospital after being knocked unconscious in an accident on a steep road.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
FEDERATION CUP ROUND OF 16
AIRTEL RISING STAR FOOTBALL TOUNEY
Winners Jos, P/Harcourt to head for Kenya
Sustain competition’s momentum – Glo W
•Will feature in intercontinental championship •Get N.5m each for efforts
EADING telecoms company, Globacom, has called on football Clubs participating in the round of 16 of the 2012 Federation Cup across the country to put up outstanding performances to sustain the momentum of the on-going competition.
A statement by Globacom on Friday encouraged the teams to work hard and play cohesive football to delight football fans in all the centres. The company said that such display would gradually reignite the old passion associated with the competition, thus connecting Nigerian Football
fans with the good old FA Cup and its thrilling moments. “We are aware that the Federation Cup use to receive rave reviews due to the exhibition of football prowess by our players. We believe that the fans will be eager to return to the stadia to watch the matches if they are sure of
Winners Academy to discover players for Eaglets, F’ Eagles
HE Founder of Winners Football Academy, Lugbe, Abuja, Ukanwa Aguocha has vowed to produce players that would be the core of the team in both the Golden Eaglets and the Flying Eagles in the next two years. Aguocha, a business man based in Abuja told NationSport that he is a I am a passionate lover of football and that was the reason why he is investing his money in the Football Academy to raise players for Nigerian junior national teams. “At times when I sit down and ruminate on what is happening in Nigerian football I feel very sad because I believe we have the human material and talents to rank among the best in the world. “Since USA ’94 World Cup, our football instead of going up has been nose diving and I thought of it and said I as an individual must not sit on the fence and that I have to do the little I could to help revive the game. This made me to form this Winners Football
From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja Academy with the sole aim of unearthing football talents from the grassroots. It is to help the under privileged ones that have the skills and talents but not the wherewithal to help nurture them to stardom and to fulfil their dreams. “I am the one running this Academy with my own personal money and I don’t have any backing from any where. As a businessman I spend part of my funds on this Academy and I am happy with what I have seen so far from the boys. This country is really blessed with football talents. According to the Head Coach of The Winners Academy, Edward Nwoke, the Academy is affiliated with FCT Football Association and the Nigeria Football Federation. He also disclosed that “at the end of the three week long screening exercise going on at the AMAC Playing Ground, Lugbe in Abuja 60
players will be picked and housed in the Academy’s headquarter in Lugbe. We are targeting about 35 players in 7-15 years age category while 25 will be picked for the 16-20 years age bracket”, the veteran grassroots coach told NationSport in Abuja.
entertaining and exciting football by Nigerian Clubs,” the statement said. The Round of 16 of the 2012 Federation Cup starts on July 16th at four centres of Bauchi, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Ibadan. The final of the competition will come up by August 26th at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. Teams participating in the tournament include: Enyimba of Aba, Warri Wolves, Lobi Stars and Samba FC in group A (Bauchi), Kwara United, Kano Pillars, Elkanemi and Crown FC in Group B, Lagos while Rangers, Sharks, Prime and Dynamite will play in Group C in Ibadan and Heartland of Owerri, Gombe United, Plateau United and Nasarawa United will slug it out in Port Harcourt. Globacom is the major partner of the Nigeria Football Federation and official sponsor of Nigerian National teams.
INNERS of the Airtel Rising Star Seasons Two in both in the male and female categories decided at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Sunday, Team Jos and PortHarcourt will be heading for Kenya to represent the country in an Intercontinental Championship. NationSport learnt that after receiving the cash reward of five hundred thousand Naira (N500,000) each for their efforts, both teams will also be engaging in a football clinic with Arsenal football Club to be held in Ghana. Though the dates for both events have not been assertained, they are part of Airtel's commitment to discover and nuture yobf football talents for the future.
Team Jos had won the tournament in the boy's category by defeating Port Harcourt 7-6 via penalty shoot-out after an entertaining 90 minutes of exciting football produced by both sides ended in a barren draw. Port Harcourt appeared set to be crowned champions after Jos lost its third spot kick but threw the chance away to restore parity. This however went on to haunt the team as it lost its seventh spot week with the Jos goal keeper saving the day. In the female final match played earlier, team Port Harcourt drubbed Edo three nil to show why it should go home with the trophy it won last year at the maiden edition. The South-South team dominated play throughout the duration of the match.
Etuhu:Fulham making steady ICKSON ETUHU progress feels Fulham are
‘making steady progress’ despite failing to beat Danish Superliga side HB Koge in their first pre-season friendly. The Nigerian midfielder endorsed John Arne Riise’s view that the early summer games are designed more to pick up match sharpness than morale boosting wins as it is difficult to judge how well a league season will develop until two or three months into the campaign. It was a good fitness game for everyone to see where we are at and to work our legs. It’s nice to make steady progress during pre-season and work
•The diplorable state of the pitch of main bowl, of the National Stadium Abuja on Monday
on our fitness with the ball. It is a bit different from training. It’s always difficult especially when the opposition already has a few games under their belt. It was a good game to play in. You get more fitness when you play football anyway, no matter how much running you do. Returning to pre-season traing wasn’t as much of a shock to Etuhu as it might have been for some of his team-mates after the 30 year-old decided to begin his summer fitness work earlier than usual having missed on regular first-team action during the second half of last season.
•L-R: Mr. Niyi Oyeleke, Productions Manager, SuperSport Nigeria; Mr. Felix Awogu, General Manager, SuperSport Nigeria and Mr. Segun Fayose, Head of Corporate Communications, MultiChoice Nigeria during “Meet the Executive” media interactive session with SuperSport, held in Lagos.
201 athletes screened for Adopt-A-Talent
SCREENING exercise was conducted for about 201 athletes of the Adopt-ATalent Sports Programme at the weekend. The screening, which started on Friday ended on Sunday at four different centres-Myoung Barracks, Yaba, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, University of Lagos Sports Centre and Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park, Yaba, Lagos. According to the Coordinating Consultant of the Programme, Dr. Niran Adeniji, the screening was done for new exceptional athletes in new additional sports approved by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola. The sports are Gymnastics, Swimming, Karate and Judo, and others in already known six sports-Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Athletics, Boxing and Table Tennis. He noted that the screening exercise was one of many outlined activities put together by the Central Working Committee, CWC, to get the best out of the athletes after which they would be groomed to become future stars not only for the Lagos State but the country. The athletes were taking
through the rudiments of their respective sports by season coaches who included former Super Eagles' goalkeeper trainer, Joe Erico, legendary boxing coach, Joe Mensah, ace table tennis coach, Wole Orukotan, former national volleyball star, Suraju Onatuga, Gymnastic expert, Umoh Patrick, John Olusina (Karate) and Ihaza Edokpolor (Judo). While departing to their respective homes at the Myoung Barracks camp on Sunday, the athletes expressed enthusiasm with the screening exercise and the expose it gave them. They commended the state Governor, Raji Fashola for the intiative of the talenthunt programme and promised not to let the government, their sponsors and their parents down. Judo coach, Edokpolor said he is given judokas in his care at least three to four years for them to become stars that Lagos State would be proud of. “This is a good programme that I believe the long term advantage is far beneficial than any resource we are committing to it now. I pray that Adopt-A-Talent Sports Programme is sustained beyond the tenure of Governor Fashola,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012
TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
TODAY IN THE NATION
‘New CJN Aloma Mariam Mukhtar’s first task, therefore, is to continue from where CJN Musdapher stopped. After the disastrious Katsina-Alu years, it is time to redeem the judiciary and return to it the quiet dignity of the pre-Katsina-Alu tenure’ VOL. 7
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
ASED on media reports on the buildup to the gubernatorial election in Edo State, as well as reports on the poll underway as I type these lines, I am almost swamped by that sinking feeling summed up by the expression, “Here we go again.” Or, to borrow from the vast repertory of legendary Yankees baseball player and manger Yogi Berra’s felicitous locutions, “It is déjà vu all over again.” First, the build-up. In the heat of a rancorous campaign, the Federal Government, which has a vested interest in the outcome, floods the state with soldiers in numbers not seen in the killing fields of Jos, nor in vast swathes of territory in Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna and Kano that Boko Haram has turned into nogo areas. For whose benefit is the atmosphere of fear and intimidation being confected? The resident police commissioner is replaced by an officer from another command, ostensibly to create a more level playing field, in case he has developed some sympathy for the incumbent governor. But that high-minded precaution is neutralised by the possibility that the new man could just as well be coming in with his own marching orders. The election umpire INEC is of course not obliged to grant accreditation to all seeking election observer status. Still, it should be able to explain clearly and convincingly why it granted some applications and denied others. It couldn’t. Most worrisome, there were reports of fake voter’s cards all over the place, a development that has been brought to the attention of the INEC chair. Would INEC, or more likely the courts, have to decide the outcome on the basis of forensic evidence again, as was the case in the Osun and Ekiti gubernatorial elections? Then, the field reports on Election Day. Election materials arriving late in many precincts, delaying accreditation, reducing the window for voting, and generally exacerbating anxieties. The incumbent, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who should by rights be looking forward to the outcome with confidence, is instead fretful, charging that INEC has failed on the threshold to conduct a free election. In contrast, his opponent, the PDP candidate Charles Airhiavbere, is buoyant, saying that reports reaching him from “his people” indicate that the voting has been largely favourable, and that “corrections” would be made where the voting had not gone his way. Then, rather ominously, the man on whom I had bestowed the accolade of “The Fixer” (and behold how it has stuck!) dur-
AT HOME ABROAD firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fixer’s last dance ‘The Fixer could not even fix his own ward, much less that of his candidate. While this may not signal the end of election fixing, it certainly presages the twilight of the career of the most fearsome practitioner of that art’ •Anenih
ing the presidential election debacle of June 1993, starts playing coy, saying that it too early to pick a winner. That’s not the Tony Anenih we know, the canny political operator who declared shortly after the purported election of his candidate, Oserienmen Osunbor, was affirmed by the election petitions tribunal – only to be subsequently vacated by a superior tribunal in favour of Oshiomhole — not merely that Osunbor would win the next election due in four years, but had already won. This new diffidence hardly becomes the surefooted operative who declared at the time former President Umaru Yar’Adua was barely four months in office that there would be no vacancy in Aso Rock, come the next election cycle. When the man who negotiated away the victory of his party’s candidate in the 1993 presidential election for a misbegotten “interim national government” and declared the day the treacherous bargain was struck the happiest day of his life – when that man says that it is too early to predict the outcome of an election on which he is staking his wellearned notoriety, you have to pinch yourself
RIPPLES NIGERIA’S DREAM AT INDEPENDENCE GONE-Afe Babalola
just to be sure you are fully sentient. It is not for nothing, then, that in the weeks leading up to the election, it has often seemed as if the contest is between Governor Oshiomhole and Tony “The Fixer” Anenih, who has made a career and a vast fortune out of turning winners into losers and losers into winners. When these proclivities are backed by the Federal Might, those against whom they are deployed can hardly be blamed for getting jittery. The Oshiomhole Campaign, backed by the awesome political machine of the ACN, seems to have anticipated this and even more. That much was clear from their newspaper advertisement declaring categorically that its publicity machine would end all electioneering at the time stipulated by law and disavowing any campaign material published in its name after that hour. They must have remembered how Chief John Odigie-Oyegun’s election as DDP governor of Edo State was nearly torpedoed by one claim, among others, that he had continued to campaign right up to the poll. True, a tribunal had upheld the election, ruling that a candidate could not be held li-
INCE the killing of over 100 persons in some villages in Plateau State, the Special Task Force (STF) saddled with restoring peace to the violence-ravaged state has been on the rack for seemingly failing to deliver. Perhaps in response to criticisms, the force announced plans to carry out an operation to cleanse the region of killers suspected to be using some of the villages as havens from which they take off to launch attacks. In furtherance of that objective, it issued a quit notice to residents of Mahanga, Kakuruk, Maseh and Shong II in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of the state. They were expected to vacate their abode within 48 hours to free the area for an assault which the STF hopes will flush out insurgents suspected to be behind the spate of killings. Predictably, the order has been greeted by protests – but from most unexpected quarters. A statement by the chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, condemned the ultimatum claiming that it could lead to a breakdown of law and order not only in Plateau State but in other parts of the country.
able for material put out by a third party on polling day. Still, why take a chance, especially when, in these matters, precedent counts for little, as the opposition has learned at great cost? Even in the Department of Dirty Tricks, those who had vowed to “re-capture” Edo State were not found wanting. They plastered one of the precincts in the PDP’s candidate’s constituency with pictures purporting to show Oshiomhole in a compromising posture with a teenage girl — the very picture that had been doing tawdry rounds weeks before the election, and in respect of which Oshiomhole has filed defamation lawsuit. And then, there was the alarming report that, weeks before the poll, the results had already been collated showing – no prizes for making the right pick – the PDP candidate, whoever he is, the runaway winner. This report reminded me of a joke doing the rounds days after Nicolas Sarkozy was elected President of France. A German, a French national and a Nigerian were touting what their countries had contributed to the human experience. The German rhapsodised about the “land of ideas” and the home of the finest automobiles ever built. The French man spoke rapturously of French cuisine and haute couture, adding snidely, no doubt with reference to Nigeria’s shameful handling of elections, that by dinner time on election day, the result of the French presidential election was already determined and settled. At that point, the Nigerian cut in. “And you call that progress? he asked scornfully. “In my country, we know the result of an election well before the event.” So, could the report that the result of the Edo gubernatorial poll was already signed and sealed and only waiting to be delivered be more revelation than rumour? Is this déjà vu all over again? Will The Fixer show that he is still on top of his game despite some recent setbacks, or will The Comrade take him out of political reckoning in Edo once and for all? The result was a rout. The Fixer could not even fix his own ward, much less that of his candidate. While this may not signal the end of election fixing, it certainly presages the twilight of the career of the most fearsome practitioner of that art. The redeeming grace is that, as its chairman, Anenih can now devote his energies to fixing the Nigeria Ports Authority the way he never roused himself to fix the nation’s decrepit road network when he was Minister of Works. Congratulations, Comrade Governor. Congratulations to the discerning people of Edo. And congratulations to Attahiru Jega and INEC, for getting it right after a shaky start. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Northern governors and the STF The statement went on to express worries about complaints from unidentified ‘sections of the region’ to the effect that the vacation order represented a declaration of war by the military against a segment of the nation’s citizens. The wording of the statement is, to say the least, inflammatory given the prevailing situation in the region. Available information shows that the affected villages are not dominated by any one tribe. It would also appear that the order is something of a formality since most people had fled, following the slaughter two weekends back. It is, therefore, difficult to understand what the governors hope to achieve by trying to politicise what should ordinarily be a surgical security operation. If the governors were truly concerned about the havoc being caused by rampaging bands of killers in the Plateau and other parts of the North, the least they could do is lend a helping hand to the STF to pacify the region. They could have lowered tensions by making their concerns known to the force away from
the mass media. Their statement, while ostensibly expressing support for any effort that would put an end to the senseless killings, ended up coming across as being unduly concerned with the temporary inconvenience that might be suffered by Fulani herdsmen while the operation lasts. It is not as if this is some permanent eviction order that seeks to displace the residents forever. The STF Commander, Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola, has confirmed that the operation would be swift, and affected residents could return to their homes once the exercise is over. Let’s not forget that for so long there have been allegations that some of these villages had become arms depots of sorts. Suspicions that for logistics reasons the killers in Barkin Ladi could not have traversed long distances, provides sufficient ground for the STF to seek to sweep the areas concerned. The much-maligned STF should for once be allowed to do its job without partisan interventions that only worsen things.
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