Issuu on Google+

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Court okays Fayose’s trial

NEWS

Page 9

•Lawyer can try N1.2b case

News Husband defends ‘killer DPO’ P58 Sports Kanu tips Eagles for victory P24 Business ‘Buy rating’ for Access, UBA P11 www.thenationonlineng.net

VOL. 8, NO. 2513 TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

South Africa buys N46b shares in Dangote Cement

T •Dangote

HE South African government yesterday emerged the second largest equity investor in Dangote Cement Plc, with the purchase of 1.5 per cent equity stake worth N45.75billion in Nigeria’s most capitalised quoted company.

By Taofik Salako

The deal was consummated at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by South Africa, through its wholly owned investment company, Public Investment Corporation of South Africa (PIC). A total of 255.61 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each

of Dangote Cement were bought at N179 per share. The transaction makes the South African government the second largest institutional shareholder, after Dangote Industries Limited (DIL). It is also the only known public entity with significant shareholding in the company.

The transaction price of N179 represents 30-day volume weighted-average-price of Dangote Cement. The stock, however, closed yesterday at N210 per share. Established in 1911 and owned 100 per cent by the South African government, PIC has some R1.17 trillion

Rands, equivalent to $115 billion, funds under management. The NSE confirmed the details of the transaction, which set a milestone as the largest trade on the stock market. Dangote Industries, Continued on page 4

Tutu joins prayers as Mandela battles for life Ex-wife Winnie visits hospital

A

NTI-APARTHEID campaigner Dr. Desmond Tutu yesterday joined prayers for ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela who is receiving intensive care at a Pretoria hospital. President Jacob Zuma’s office said Mandela’s condition remained unchanged after three nights in the hospital. Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said: “Today, the doctors are saying his condition is unchanged. “He is under expert attention and doctors are doing everything to keep him comfortable.” Maharaj described a report in The Star suggesting the Mandela family had barred the ANC and government officials from visiting Madiba as unfortunate. “There is no substance to that. It’s very unfortunate that one particular newspaper chose to run with that as a headline. I’ve read that report and it has no single source it attributes to, except three unnamed sources. “There are restrictions which arise from the fact that Madiba is under intensive care. Those are medical restrictions to control movement of people (to exclude the) possibility of visitors bringing infection into the environment,” said Maharaj. The newspaper reported that the Mandela family had taken charge of the 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner’s hospital stay, banning everyone, including government leadContinued on page 4

•Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (left), Mandela’s ex-wife, speaks with an unidentified person as she leaves with their daughter Zindzi (right) and grandson (centre) at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, where Mandela has been hospitalised…yesterday PHOTO: AFP

Lagos legalises voluntary cremation of bodies

I •Fashola signing the law...yesterday

T is now legal to cremate bodies in Lagos. Governor Babatunde Fashola yesterday signed three bills for laws to establish the State Christian and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, the Ibile Oil and Gas Corporation and another to provide for voluntary cremation of bodies and unclaimed bodies. The governor, who spoke at the Con-

By Miriam Ekene-Okoro, Staff Reporter

ference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja, said: “The new law tells the story of a full consciousness of how global Lagos State has become in the affairs of things. If people migrate here, choose a home here, set up businesses here and believe from where they come that cremation is the best way in which they want to be treated, I think we should

as a global city provide those standard practices as it is done in many other cities in the world and it is for those who choose to use that kind of service.” “Let it not be said that ‘oh we missed an investment opportunity because we were not responsive to a particular need or we lost interaction because we were insensitive to other people’s belief and this sits well with a report that

was brought to my attention yesterday to the effect that Lagos is now just behind Johannesburg as perhaps the most visited African city on the continent”, the governor said. He reiterated that the State must as expected take her role and provide as many services as possible so that people who visit the city will know that Continued on page 4

•BUSINESS P11 •SPORTS P24 •MONEYLINK P55 •FOREIGN P61 •CITYBEATS P57


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

2

NEWS

Emergency...

•From left: Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlstrom; Minister of State for Works Amb. Bashir Yuguda and Minister of Works Mr. Mike Onolememen, during the visit of the Special Representative to the minister in Abuja...yesterday.

Despite the war on terror, the fear of Boko Haram still remains the beginning of wisdom for pupils and other people in Maiduguri and other parts of Borno State, writes Washington Post

•Soldiers patrolling the north of Borno State near the deserted Boko Haram "camp" around the village of Kirenowa in an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC)... on June 5.

A

• Chairman, Rumbus Sack Salisu Buhari (left), Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI) Ms. Evelyn Oputu (middle) and United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO) Country Representative Dr. Patrick Kamawa at the opening of a three-day workshop for Business Editors and correspondents organised by BoI in Lagos...yesterday. PHOTO: BOLA OMILABU

Minister of State for Education Nyesom Wike (left), speaking at a meeting with contractors in Abuja...yesterday. With him are Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala (middle) and Director of Procurement Mallam Shehu Aliyu.

•From left: Head, M&A, UBA Capital Plc Mayowa Amoo; MD/CEO, NEO Media & Marketing Ehi Braimah; MD, Investment Banking, UBA Capital Plc Wale Shonibare and Cyril Odu of Africa Capital Alliance, at the "Nigeria 50" Breakfast Seminar in Lagos.

T the Ali Al Yaskari primary school, the classrooms are silent. In the morning, teachers sign their names on an attendance sheet to receive their salaries, then quickly leave without teaching a single course. A few students sit under a tree, idling away their time in the sandy schoolyard. "People are afraid to come," said Lawana Bura, 47, the only teacher in the school on a recent day. "That's why the classes are empty." It has been that way, he said, since gunmen entered the school one morning in March and shot and killed a teacher. Three other schools were attacked that day in Maiduguri, leaving a total of six teachers and four students dead. For the past four years, the Islamist Boko Haram militia has been known to target schools, burning them down at night in its fight to install sharia law in Nigeria's mostly Muslim north. But in recent months, the group, whose name translates to "Western education is a sin," has escalated its campaign to cripple the region's education system. Militants raid schools in broad daylight, killing teachers and students. They kidnap professors and order schools to shut down, forcing thousands of children to seek an education in safe zones protected by soldiers or outside the region if they can afford it. The schools are being destroyed in an impoverished, long-neglected part of the country, where children were already struggling to receive an education. Many of the schools attacked didn't have desks, textbooks and other resources. "The schools are the bedrock to change the minds of people," said Babangida Labaran Usman, a senior investigation officer with Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission. "They are perfect targets for the Boko Haram." The assaults underscore how dramatically the conflict in Africa's most populous nation has changed this year - from a simmering homegrown insurgency to a guerrilla conflict that has spread into neighboring countries and entered its most violent stage. Nigerian officials and analysts say Boko Haram militants are using more sophisticated military tactics and weaponry brought back from the battlefields of Mali. Since 2009, militants have attacked churches, mosques, police stations and government buildings across the north, killing an estimated 3,000 people in more than 700 attacks. During the past few months, hundreds more have died as the militants have launched bold incursions into small towns and villages, prompting retaliatory at-

•Ashiru

tacks by Nigerian security forces. The insurgents have also kidnapped Westerners and government officials for ransom and have attacked military bases and soldiers heading to help quell the Islamist insurgency in northern Mali. Much of the violence has occurred in Borno state. Eight schools have been burned there this year, said Musa Inuwa Kubo, the state education commissioner. Maiduguri is the state's capital and the cradle of the insurgency. Some Nigerian government officials say the attacks on schools reflect Boko Haram's increasing number of recruits and shifting tactics. An overstretched government security force, which has gone after the militants in their jungle bases, has been unable to protect the schools in towns and villages. "You cannot be everywhere," said Isa Umar Gusau, a spokesman


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

3

NEWS

People still fear Boko Haram

•A woman standing at a market struggling to remain afloat in the troubled city of Maiduguri ... on June 6. PHOTOS: AFP

UN to help rid Nigeria of terrorists, says envoy

T

•Proliferation of small arms still a great concern, says Ashiru

HE United Nations (UN) will help in ridding Nigeria of terrorists, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and Chairman of the Nigeria/Cameroon Mixed Commission, Mr. Said Djinnit, has said. He spoke in Abuja yesterday at a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affiars Olugbenga Ashiru. Djinnit said: “I want to come especially to convene their (UN member-states) sympathy to Nigeria because whatever Nigeria does, it does it for the whole region and also to discuss with the minister to explore ways that we can work within the region, within the global community to fight this kind of problems.” The country, he said, had played an important role in the subregion and throughout the continent. He said: “I came here to discuss because ECOWAS and the Africa Union have been working hard to achieve peace, democracy and stability but every time we get closer to our objectives, we see that there are new challenges emerging and unfortunately with all the efforts deployed by the leaders of ECOWAS, we are still for the Borno state government. "Every terrorist organisation grows in strategy, they grow in tactics, and they grow in weaponry. If they adopt a strategy of launching attacks in the night and they realize that you place emphasis on targeting them at night, they will launch daylight attacks. And they know these schools are everywhere, even in the remotest villages."

A hail of bullets at school The text message sent to Sherif Daggash's cellphone read: "We know you. We know your hours. You are teaching the students government subjects. We want you never to come to school again." The message ended with the full Islamic name of the Boko Haram. Daggash, a 28-year-old teacher at Sanda Kyarimi Government Day Secondary School, informed his coworkers. But most dismissed the warning. They had read similar text

From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

confronted by a new emerging threat of organised crime and basically the threat of terrorism and Nigeria is at the heart of all these efforts to address all the challenges and I came here to tell you how we can together prepare to create provision for our countries, states and society to be prevented from this kind of situation and when they are affected, how we can work together because this kind of fight unfortunately has the capacity to affect the whole region. “In organised crime, Nigeria has become one of the conflict zones of child trafficking and organised crime. Of course, the drugs come from Latin American going especially to Europe and Asia but they are taking advantage of the porous borders in Africa and the lack of capacity, institutional and physical capacity. In addition to that, now there are a new issues on organised crime and terrorism, which are affecting the whole region and they know that Nigeria is facing such challenges.” Ashiru said small arms were still a major concern,

messages, but the militia had never followed through on its threats. "We never believed they would attack," Daggash said. "They had never killed teachers before." A few days later, several gunmen entered the school. They wore no masks as they walked across the schoolyard, waving their Kalashnikov rifles. They shot a teacher in front of his office, witnesses said, and then began firing randomly at students fleeing for cover. "When I heard the gunshots, I jumped out of the window and ran," recalled Ali Muhammed Abdullahi, 18. "Up until now, I haven't found my school bag." After the assailants fled, students carried wounded classmates to the principal's office. Four were seriously injured and later died, students and teachers said. "I helped carry Malam Kachala," said Ahmed Usman, 21, a student, referring to the teacher. "He was shot

in the head. His brain had burst open." At the Mafoni Day Secondary School, bullets are still visible in the walls, near where two teachers and an administrator were killed. Six days later, the militants burned down three schools in a nearby town, human rights activists say. "They want the students to go to Islamic schools," Daggash said. "They don't want us to teach them any forms of Western knowledge." In other instances, the militia has kidnapped teachers of Arabic - a subject that Boko Haram approves of - because they wore Western clothes, said Usman, the activist. Many teachers and university professors have fled the state for Abuja, the capital, or farther south to Lagos, Nigeria's largest city. In some parts of Borno state, the militants simply tear up textbooks to shut down the schools. "They are so strong in these areas," Usman

blaming illicit trafficking of small arms for some of the arms’ struggle in the sub-region. He said: “It is true we have a challenge today in West Africa of insecurity and I want to thank the UN for your efforts in assisting West Africa/ECOWAS to handle these challenges we have been having. The issue of small arms is of great concern to us in West Africa and I know we have had series of workshops and seminars in the UN on this very crucial issue. I believe we will continue to work hard on this because when you talk about the issue of terrorism, in our own challenges they are in Nigeria. I believe from what you have seen, there seems to be huge proliferation of small arms, which have contributed to the menace posed by these terrorist groups and whatever we can do to stop this illicit trafficking, we will welcome from all the governments in West Africa because all the countries have spoken out that if not handled seriously and urgently, the issue of small arms will continue to pose great threat to us in the West African sub-region and it is a big problem.”

said. "They don't need to attack the schools."

A region under fire Today, Maiduguri and much of the north is under emergency law, which was imposed by the government last month. Cellphone and Internet networks have been cut to prevent communication among militants. Long lines of vehicles wait at military checkpoints that have been erected across town. In some areas, shops have closed or been reduced to rubble after attacks by Boko Haram or Nigeria's security forces, whom human rights group accuse of committing abuses in their efforts to quell the insurgency. Many schools close by noon. Children are taking their state and national exams at schools in safe areas, protected by Nigerian soldiers. The only schools that appear to operate without concern are Islamic schools, where students study sub-

jects approved by Boko Haram. The trauma is visible long after the attacks. At Ali Al Yaskari, Zara Abubakr trembles at any mention of Boko Haram. She saw the gunmen through her classroom window as they killed the teacher. "I never heard of them," she said, her voice quivering. And then she quickly ran away. At Sanda Kyarimi, only a few hundred of the roughly 5,000 students have returned to school. Classes are being taught by inexperienced trainee teachers because most of the regular teachers have not returned. Students said many of their classmates now attend Islamic schools or have left the state. Others said they had no choice about returning. "We just come to school because our parents order us to," said Mustapha Bulama, a student. "In reality, we fear that the Boko Haram will attack again."


4

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

NEWS Tutu joins prayers Continued from page 1

•Stranded Lufthansa passengers at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja… on Sunday

T

Another claimant to Rivers PDP chair emerges

HERE is a twist to the River State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis following the emergence of another claimant to the chairmanship seat. An Abuja Court order ousted Chairman of the party Chief Godspower Ake, following which the party’s national leadership swore in Chief Felix Obuah. Ake has rejected the judgment and he is in court pressing for the seat. But yesterday, Prince Merinoe Okiriaja claimed he should be the real chairman of the party. Okiriaja is challenging Obuah’s chairmanship. Yesterday, he prayed the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt to declare him the state party chairman in a case which he said he instituted before the April 15 verdict of the Abuja High Court, which removed the Ake-led executive. Justice Suleiman Aliyu ruled that counsel to Obuah, Mr Emma Ukala, whom the plaintiff wanted to include in the case had just received the motion for joiner in the court room on behalf of his client and needed time to go through it for appropriate response. Ukala was represented by Mr Dike Uden-

T

Ikwerre: Amaechi must complete his tenure

HE Ikwerre people of Rivers State have declared that Governor Rotimi Amaechi must be allowed to complete his second tenure. The umbrella organisation of Ikwerre people, the Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, through the President-General, Prof. Augustine Onyeozu, spoke yesterday at a summit in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. In attendance at the summit were the members of the Ikwerre Development Association, the Ikwerre Youth Movement and the Ikwerre Women Forum, among others. The President-General said Ikwerre people would not fold their arms and allow Amaechi to be humiliated and pulled down by the people who were opposed to his style of governance. Amaechi, who is from Ubima in Ikwerre LGA of the state, has been having a running battle with President Goodluck Jonathan over 2015 election. The defeat of Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang, From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

na Justice Aliyu adjourned hearing till July 1. Speaking after the court session, Okiriaja explained that he is the rightful chairman of the party adding that neither Obuah nor Ake obtained the nomination form from the party. He hailed the Abuja High Court ruling which removed the Ake-led team and prayed

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

during the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) election became another source of conflict. Minister of State for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, who is spearheading the crisis, hails from Rumuepirikom in Obio/Akpor LGA of the state. He is also an Ikwerre man. The President-General of Ogbakor Ikwerre cultural organisation said: “If you have any problem with Amaechi, take him to court. There is no problem with that. Today, they are calling Amaechi a bad man. So that they can bring him down. “As Ikwerre people, we do not take sides in anything bad, but we will not fold our arms and watch, while an innocent man is humiliated and brought down for nothing. Even if Amaechi is not an Ikwerre man, we will not allow him to

that such justice be demonstrated in his own case. Okiriaja said the claim allegedly made by Ake that he purchased his nomination form on March 13, 2012 while the state congress took place on March 17, 2012 is a violation of a section of the party’s constitution which stipulates that anybody vying for any position should have concluded all documentations at least two weeks to the time. He also boasted that he has

Presidency, PDP flay ACN’s stance on proscription of Boko Haram

O

PPOSITION Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) came under fire yesterday from the Presidency and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over its criticism of the proscription of Boko Haram and Ansaru by the government. The ACN on Sunday said although desirable, the proscription of the bodies violated the Constitution. AC N spokesman Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the Proscription order is capable of stfling the press in addition to tampering with the fundamental rights of Nigerians. But The Presidency in a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said the position of the ACN lacks sound judgement. The statement said: “What its present action suggests is that were the ACN in power it would have done nothing to stop the needless destruc-

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

tion of lives and property by the terrorist group proscribed by the Federal Government. “Are we to believe then that the ACN is unhappy with the present peace and calm enjoyed by residents of the states under emergency rule? Are we to conclude that Alhaji Lai Mohammed and his party are uncomfortable with the fact that following the intervention of our military, that children have returned to school and that markets have reopened for business? “This latest uproar by the ACN about the order affecting or circumscribing press freedom is a blatant lie. It is not supported by reason, logic or law. “By stating that, “the offensive section of the Order is Section 5 (1), which prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years ‘’for any person who knowingly, in

any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group’’, is the ACN suggesting that terror should continue unabated and unchecked? “Is the party suggesting that government folds its arms and let its citizens be murdered in cold blood and properties destroyed at will? PDP National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh described the ACN’s accusation as “despicable and a clear indication of how far the opposition party can go to distort facts to support violence and cause disaffection among Nigerians” He said: “This deliberate distortion of facts clearly betrays ACN’s support for such groups as well as the heinous attempt to whittle efforts by the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to end insurgency in the coun-

Continued on page 5

the magic wand to unite the party members because according to him, he has the soul of the party in his hands. Okirija said being the youngest founding member of the party, he would hold the party together because he has acquired a lot of experience while working with the late Senator Francis Ellah, the late Chief A.K.Dikibo and Mr. Dele Cole. He said he was the pioneer administrative secretary of the party in the Southsouth zone.

ers and senior party officials, from visiting him. The ANC said it was unaware of this. Maharaj said President Jacob Zuma was scheduled to visit Mandela in hospital, but did not say when. “His (Zuma’s) focus now is to allow the medical team every opportunity to concentrate on their job. To allow the closest relatives to go there and be close to him. President Zuma will visit at the appropriate time. We just want Madiba to get better.” ANC MP and Mandela’s exwife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been at the hospital. A foundation led by retired archbishop Tutu described the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero as an “extraordinary gift” to South Africa. A statement issued for the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation described Mandela as “the beloved father of our nation” and offered prayers for a man seen by many around the world as a symbol of reconciliation because of his peacemaking role when white

racist rule ended in South Africa. Mandela “once again endures the ravages of time in hospital,” said the Cape Townbased foundation, which was founded by Tutu and his wife Leah to promote peace. “We offer our thanks to God for the extraordinary gift of Mr. Mandela, and wish his family strength.” Tutu, 81, was also a vigorous campaigner against apartheid, which ended when all-race elections were held in 1994 and Mandela became president. Like Mandela, Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of his compatriots. Mandela shared his prize with F.W. de Klerk, the last president of the apartheid era. “We send our blessings to the doctors and nurses responsible for his care,” Tutu’s foundation said. Maharaj said the 48 hours between Saturday and Monday, when there was no update on Mandela’s health, was caused by the lack of progress on the elder statesman’s health. Continued on page 5

South Africa buys N46b shares Continued from page 1

which held about 94.9 per cent majority equity stake in Dangote Cement prior to the sale yesterday, still holds more than 93 per cent majority equity stake in the cement company. Dangote Industries Limited sold 63.35 per cent of its equity stake in Dangote Flour Mills Plc to Tiger Brands Limited, a leading South African fast moving consumer goods company. The deal was consummated at $181.9 million, about N30.1 billion. The transaction saw the transfer of 3.17 billion ordinary shares out of Dangote Group’s 3.67 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each in Dangote Flour Mills Plc to the Tigers Brand. The Nation recently reported exclusively that Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the core investor in Dangote Cement Plc, had been given a deadline to reduce his domineering equity stake in Dangote Cement. The dilution could be by way of shares sale or issuance of new shares to the general investing public to

dilute the core investor’s shareholding. Dangote Industries Limited was mandated by the NSE to either sell down or dilute its shareholdings to enable the company meet the crucial 20 per cent free float requirement for the main board of the Exchange. A report on companies in violation of the 20 per cent free float obtained by the newspaper showed that Dangote Industries Limited, Dangote’s holding company, and core investor in Dangote Cement has up till October 2014 to sell down or dilute its shareholdings in the cement company. By the expiration of the deadlines, Dangote Industries is required to have completed partial divestments or dilution of its shareholdings to free 20 per cent equity stake for public holding, unless the management of the NSE grants fresh waivers and extensions for the company. In the extreme instance, a company with deficient public float may opt to Continued on page 5

Lagos legalises cremation of bodies Continued from page 1

•Dr. Jonathan

try. “For the avoidance of doubt, no section of the Order stifled the press; violated or seeks to violate any provision of the constitution. Instead the Order reinforced the provisions of the constitution guaranteeing the security and welfare of all Nigerians.

they have come to an international city where they can make choices. He added that what is uppermost is the need to be sensitive to every section of society as best as it is possible to do so within the ambit and the full width of the constitutional provisions that safeguards the expressions of these rights and privileges and religious obligations. Fashola thanked members of the House of Assembly for working on the three new bills and passing them into law. The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaiye said the bill on voluntary cremation of corpses and unclaimed corpses in Lagos and for connected purposes is a private member bill that takes into consideration the need to have formal legal structure for the cremation of deceased persons within the state. He added that the bill establishes crematoriums for the state and that there can be no

cremations except in crematoriums duly recognised, established and managed according to the law, adding that the new law is a clear attempt to strictly regulate the manner in which cremations will be carried out in Lagos State. “The law also empowers the Commissioner for Health to appoint a registered medical practitioner with at least 5 years experience as the medical officer in charge of the crematorium office and would work with two deputies with specified duties”, the Attorney -General added. Ipaiye, proffering answers on who may be cremated, said Continued on page 5

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


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

5

NEWS Lagos legalises cremation of bodies

Presidency replies Ribadu over comment on Jonathan

T

Continued from page 4

there would be no cremation unless there have been an application for cremation made in accordance with section 9 of the law. “It must be the deceased that provides for it in his will or the families of the deceased who could agree to make the application but before it is considered there must be a death certificate issued. There must also be a certified true copy of the entry of the deceased death in the relevant registers and there must be a medical certificate and confirmed medical certificate

•Ex-EFCC chair: Abati desperate

HE Presidency yesterday described the comment credited to former Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu as false, hypocritical and self-serving. Ribadu, at a lecture in Kaduna on Saturday, was quoted as saying Nigeria is a “sinking ship” under President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that the yearnings of the masses are being neglected by a tyrannical leadership. But Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a statement yesterday, noted that there is no tyranny greater than the tenure of Ribadu at EFCC when governors were removed through undemocratic means and illegally barring some persons from contesting elections. Ribadu, the statement said, ought to be grateful to the President for saving him from self-imposed exile, restoring his rank in the Nigeria Police and converting his dismissal from service to retirement. “We find it very sad and ut-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

terly deplorable that Nuhu Ribadu has resorted to shameless wolf-crying, the peddling of arrant falsehood and the denigration of the elected government of his fatherland in furtherance of his selfish quest for continued national political relevance after his wholesale rejection by Nigerian voters in 2011. “If Nuhu Ribadu wants to talk of tyranny then he should talk of the days when he orchestrated the impeachment of governors with an illegitimate quorum of legislators who had been threatened by the EFCC under his watch. It beats the imagination that Nuhu Ribadu, a man who once presided over an EFCC which in 2007 compiled a list of disqualified politicians aspiring for office without a court order or legal backing now has the guts to accuse the man under whom Nigeria has had the most credible elections in this Fourth Republic of being the leader of a “sinking ship”. “Can there be a greater tyr-

anny than the tyranny of removing governors via undemocratic means and barring legally entitled persons from contesting elections?” The Presidency queried. But Ribadu, pioneer said it is Jonathan that is ethically challenged and struggling to redeem his lost morality and integrity. In a statement issued by his office in Abuja, Ribadu described Presidential spokesman Abati, as a fraud presidential spokesman, standing on crooked crutches of rehashed falsehood by corrupt politicians prosecuted by Ribadu while he was heading EFCC. The statement said “Reuben Abati’s statement, typical of his increasingly desperate personality, has exposed him as a fraud of a presidential spokesman who does not have the simplest level of media literacy. It is unfortunate that he stands on crooked crutches of rehashed falsehoods fabricated by corrupt politicians prosecuted by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, in his desperate attempt

•Ribadu

to hold on to his job. “His conjectured statement is a sad commentary on the type of people we have at the helm of our affairs: even with the resources at his disposal, Abati could not conduct a little research to save himself from embarrassment before he set out barking. “It is a huge gaffe for Abati to charge Ribadu with ingratitude as the latter has more valid stand to make similar accusation having been betrayed after his selfless service to the nation in the Petroleum Revenue Task Force committee. The question of who is ethically challenged, however, is left for Nigerians to answer.”

which must certify the cause of the death”. “Section 9 provides that where a will is silent, the near relative who may apply must have attained the age of 18. It also provides that a medical officer can apply for cremation for abandoned corpses which are not claimed after considerable period of time. The law also talks about the aftermath of unclaimed corpses, as 14 days notice is given after cremation and if nobody claims the ashes, the office can dispose of it”, he explained.

South Africa buys N46b shares Continued from page 4

delist its shares. The Nation’s checks had indicated that Dangote Industries may divest as much as N396 billion, according to current market valuations. Dangote Industries then had about 94.9 per cent majority equity stake in Dangote Cement, falling short of the minimum public float by about 14.9 per cent. With this, Dangote Industries would have to sell about 2.54 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each if it chooses the divestment option. The sale yesterday represented a fraction of the required dilution. The NSE’s report indicated that the timeline for the compliance with the 20 per cent minimum public float was given to Dangote Industries after it had applied for waivers from the Quotations Committee of the NSE. It was said to have outlined plans to meet the minimum public float,

which the NSE took into consideration in extending the timeframe for compliance with the minimum public float. Public float is technically a synonym of public shareholder and it refers to the shares of a quoted company held by ordinary shareholders other than those directly or indirectly held by its parent, subsidiary or associate companies or any subsidiaries or associates of its parent company; its directors who are holding office as directors of the entity and their close family members and any single individual or institutional shareholder holding a statutorily significant stake, which is 5.0 per cent and above in Nigeria. Thus, public shareholders and public float do not include shareholders or shares held directly or indirectly by any officer, director, controlling shareholder or other concentrated, affiliated or family holdings.

Mandela : Tutu joins prayers Continued from page 4

“You would not want a repetition of the same thing over and over. I know you want him to get better, but we can’t give you good news if it’s false. We can’t give you bad news when it’s not true. Local and international journalists spent the day outside •Pupils of participating schools marching during the opening ceremony of Enugu State School Sports Festival in Enugu…yesterday

L

Falana: I didn’t write NJC over Okeke

AGOS Lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has said he did not write any petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC) against Justice Okechukwu Okeke, as the judge alleged in his valedictory speech. Falana made the clarification yesterday in a statement, titled: Justice Okechukwu Okeke’s Valedictory Lies. The activist said it was his clients, the owners of the property at 5A George Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, who were “illegally” ejected through an ex parte order granted by Justice Okeke, wrote the petition against the judge. Falana explained that though the petition did not emanate from his chambers, he stressed that he supported its contents. The statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to the valedictory speech of Justice Okechukwu Okeke wherein he alleged that three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), including Femi Falana (SAN), wrote petitions against him to the National Judicial Council. “We wish to state, without any fear of contradiction, that contrary to Justice Okeke’s allegation, we did not file any application on behalf of Dr. (Mrs) Cecilia Ibru before him or any other judge in the Federal High Court. The clients being represented by us are: (1) Engr. Chief

By Adebisi Onanuga

Michael Afolabi Dada, (2) Engr. Charles Ndubuisi O. Amadi, (3) Mallam Lawan Sheikh Muhammad, (4) Mrs. Comfort Nduka Odili-Iwuafor and (5) Anthony Abiodun Abikoye, who are employees of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). “To that extent, neither Mr. Falana (SAN) nor his chambers wrote any petition against the retired Justice Okeke. “However, the petition was written by our clients, the owners of the property lying and being at 5A George Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, who were illegally ejected therefrom through an ex parte order granted by Justice Okeke. Though the petition did not emanate from our chambers, we fully agree with its contents for the following reasons: “The ex parte order granted in favour of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) by Justice Okeke on March 1, 2013, was for leave to apply for a writ of execution in a criminal case. “Our clients, against whom Justice Okeke granted the ex parte order, were not made parties to the criminal case in which the order for forfeiture emanated. “As a result of the ex parte order, some of our clients were locked in the premises with their

property before the house was sealed off by the Deputy Sheriff of the Court with the knowledge of Justice Okeke. “At the time Justice Okeke granted the ex parte order, our clients had a pending civil suit in the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division. “Justice Okeke was the Administrative Judge at the material time and she assigned the civil suit to Hon. Justice Ofili Ajumogobia of the same judicial division. “The suit has, among other defendants, the Hon. AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Michael Angelo Property Development Company Limited. Justice Okeke was aware of the pending suit and the fact that our clients, who were in occupation of the property at the time, were not connected in any way to Mrs. Cecilia Ibru who allegedly forfeited the property to the Federal Government. “When the application to discharge the ex parte order was argued by Mr. Falana (SAN) on March 15, 2013, Justice Okeke feigned ignorance of the pending civil suit in the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court. “After he had delivered his ruling on March 27, 2013 dismissing our clients’ application to discharge the ex parte order, Justice Okeke deliberately refused to release a copy of his

ruling in order to frustrate our clients from appealing against it. Up till the time of his retirement a copy of the ruling was never made available to us in spite of our application which was submitted on March 29, 2013. “Apart from our clients’ petition, there had been series of other petitions pending before the NJC alleging judicial misconduct against Justice Okeke. “But for reasons best known to Justice Okeke he decided to single out our clients’ petition. “Why did he not talk about the other petitions? The reason is because he wanted to use it for face-saving before his retirement. “At this point, it is pertinent to note that the same Justice Okeke, who dismissed our clients’ motion to discharge the interim order he gave in favour of AMCON on the grounds that he was functus officio, and who advised our clients to go on appeal, turned round to frustrate the appeal by refusing to release a copy of his ruling. “The judge also deliberately refused to give our clients any date to entertain their motion for leave to appeal and stay of further execution of the interim order. “Suffice it to say that Justice Okeke is lucky that he was only cautioned by the NJC before his retirement from the bench.”

the two entrances to the Pretoria hospital where Mandela was believed to be. Security guards had been posted at the entrances. More than 10 broadcast vans were there. Some journalists had erected small tents and others had generators. Passers-by stopped to ask about Mandela.

‘Amaechi must complete his tenure’ Continued from page 4

be humiliated and killed. “We are saying please, whoever he (Amaechi) has offended, should allow him to finish his second tenure.” The representative of Ikwerre-Emohua constituency in the House of Representatives, Chief Andrew Uchendu, noted that Ikwerre people were worried over the unwarranted at-

T

tacks on Amaechi. Uchendu, however, pledged the loyalty of Ikwerre people to the administration of President Jonathan, but declared that his people would not support any plot to cede the natural resources in Rivers state to any other state. He added that the recent developments had made Amaechi to become the face of democracy in Nigeria.

PDP National Auditor seeks to join suit against NWC

HE National Auditor of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Fatai Adeyanju has asked to be included in a suit seeking to sack members of the party’s National Working Committee(NWC). Adeyanju, in an application argued yesterday by his lawyer, Ajibola Oluyede, also urged an Abuja High Court to replace the name of the party’s former Auditor, Bode Mustapha and stay further proceedings because a similar case was pending between parties before the Federal High Court, Abuja. His application stalled the planned hearing of all pending applications (preliminary objections and counter-affidavits in reply to originating

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

summons). Oluyede claimed that, since his client was now the party’s National Auditor, it was only proper for him to be listed as a co-defendant, rather than Mustapha, whom he said was sacked by virtue of a judgment of the Federal High Court in Lagos. He relied on Order 10 Rule 35 of the court’s Rules and prayed the court to stay proceedings. Oluyede exhibited a copy of the enrolled order of the Lagos court, where the presiding judge directed the PDP to replace Mustapha, “since he was not an accountant”, as contemplated by the party’s constitution.


6

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

NEWS

Jonathan: Judiciary should uphold constitution at all times P RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged members of the Judiciary to uphold the Constitution by following its ethical codes. He stressed that these are the hallmarks of the branch of government. Jonathan spoke in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, when he inaugurated a Federal High Court complex in the town. The President noted that the Judiciary cannot afford to fail in carrying out this important task, especially in this trying period of the nation’s history. Represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, the President said this is the only way members of the Bar and Bench could erase the negative impressions the public have of them.

From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki

He said Nigeria needs its political elite and opinion leaders to channel their intellectual energies into an objective understanding of the Judiciary for national development. Jonathan said: “I wish to call on all well-meaning Nigerians, especially the elite and opinion leaders, to galvanise their intellectual energies in the direction of deepening an objective understanding of the workings of the Judiciary in national development. “I wish to call on their lord-

ships and other operators in the body of Benches and the Bar to pursue those ethical codes that are the hallmarks of judicial practice. This will, to a large extent, dispel every form of unfavourable perception regarding your line of duty. “I am aware that these are indeed the trying times in our national journey, having sworn to uphold the letters and spirit of the constitution. You cannot afford to fail this time when we have sworn to deliver in all spheres, especially on the rule of law and natural justice. “Let me also add that the Judiciary is leaving up to the

expectation of Nigerians in dispensing justice and it deserves our applause. This does not, however, mean that it should play to the gallery. Rather, it is to serve as a morale booster to earn more praises from Nigerians.” Jonathan said his administration would deliver on its electoral promises in the areas of infrastructural development, job and wealth creation, economic stability, transparency, good governance and national security. He added: “However, it is imperative for us to say that all hands must be on deck and that

Character Commission to sanction erring govt agencies From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

•Jonathan

as citizens we should all strive towards contributing our quota in whatever level of socioeconomic involvement so that together we shall attain our lofty aspirations as a nation.”

•From left: Director, National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Mwajim Maidugu; First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan; Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina and Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, at the inauguration of the sixth African Arts and Crafts Expo in Abuja... yesterday.

T

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

infiltrated the party’s structure. “I believe President Goodluck Jonathan should sit down as the leader of the party and do inner and sober reflections so that this idea of throwing out members on flimsy excuses will be eliminated. The party has a machinery for discipline. With the advent of the civilian rule in 1999, there was a mistake by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. “The funding of the party should have been the responsibility of all party men, channelled from the party secretariat. In 1999, funding of the party was put in the hands of the state governors. Governors started assuming the role of financiers of the state chapters of the PDP. “Now, a system that would

take them off it should be gradual. We have retraced our steps and begin to run party politics as it is. It is just like weaning gradually, not to get him malnourished. That is exactly the sickness in the PDP. “The President needs to be careful. Let real party men take over the party. They would be able to do everything in accordance with laid down rules and regulations.” On the planned hijack of the PDP in the state, the House Information Committee chair explained that the allegation “is at the level of a rumour, because there is no categorical statement credited to anybody to say PDP Kwara is a target for mischief”. Mohammed added: “However, the second would be that even if such insinuations are in

the kitty, I want to make it abundantly clear that Kwara is different from every other state of the federation. This is because the state has a political structure that predates even some of us who are actors in the political scene. It is being handed from one generation to the other. Majority of the people who are worthy in Kwara, key in into that family structure and it has been paying off. “In Kwara, I don’t think we have any fears. We have a leader in the person of Senator Bukola Saraki in whom we are pleased. He is in charge of our political structure. We have no cause to doubt his ability and capability. “To target Kwara for whatever purpose, I don’t think it is the right thing...”

‘Problems with electricity transmission lines’

T

Probe of Abuja ex-CJ: Court asks NJC to stay action

‘Solution to PDP crisis with President’

HE Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information, Zakari Mohammed, yesterday said the panacea for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis lies with President Goodluck Jonathan. He described the suspension of some PDP members on the flimsiest of excuses as the alleged infiltration of the party structure by “certain funny elements”. Zakari, who addressed reporters in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, dismissed the alleged plan to hijack the PDP structure in the state by the Presidency. He said: “My caution goes to Mr. President on the suspension of some members of the party. This is because everything now is on his laps. There are certain elements who have

HE Technical Panel on System Collapse yesterday told the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, that the challenges bedevilling the nation’s electricity transmission line are natural and artificial. The panel’s Chairman, Fatai Olapade, said rainstorms and constant vandalism of the lines could be accountable for the frequent system collapses recorded in the country. Speaking after the inauguration of the panel by the min-

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

ister in Abuja, Olapade said the Federal Government has stopped funding the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the Electricity Generation Companies (GENCOs). He said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) is underfunded. Olapade said: “At the same time, one thing we will realise is that the DISCOs are not being funded again. The GENCOs are not being funded again;

even the transmission company is underfunded. These are all the areas we are also going into, besides the man-made and the act of God.” Prof Nebo had advised the panel to, within two weeks, determine the immediate and remote causes of system collapse. The minister urged the panel to review the system collapse that occurred from January till date. He also urged the panel to review the performance and effectiveness of the grid’s pro-

J

tection system within the period under review and recommend measures to further strengthen the protection mechanism.

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

USTICE Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has cautioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) against taking further steps on the probe of former Chief Judge (CJ) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi, pending the determination of his suit. Justice Bello, at the resumed hearing in a suit by Gummi, yesterday directed parties to respect the principle of les pendis (which discourages parties in a pending suit from taking further steps in respect of the subject of the dispute). The judge said any action taken or decision reached, which affects the res (subject of dispute) while the case is yet to be decided, would be reversed or quashed because it will amount to subjudice. “I remind parties in this suit to respect the principles of les pendis, as the court has the powers to reverse and quash any decision taken during the pendency of the case,” he said. Justice Bello’s warning was informed by complaints from Gummi’s lawyer, Chief Okunade Olorundare (SAN), that his client, now the Emir of Gummi in Zamfara State, was still being summoned to appear before the panel set up by the NJC to probe allegations of misconduct and abuse of office against him. He argued that Gumi was still being invited, despite his pending case before the court. Hearing of the interlocutory motion has been fixed for July 2.

Army warns officers against disseminating operational information

T •Prof. Nebo

THE Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Prof. Shuaibu Oba AbdulRahaman, has said erring government agencies that violate the commission’s directives on the submission of workers’ nominal rolls would be sanctioned. Prof AbdulRahman spoke at a two-day sensitisation workshop for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on the submission of nominal rolls in Abuja. The commission chief explained that the MDAs need to ensure that information sent out is not only accurate but also complies with the guidelines provided by the commission. He said: “Let me warn that henceforth the commission will not hesitate to sanction any agency of government which is found violating the commission’s directives on the submission of staff nominal rolls required by law. “This workshop is to charge MDAs with the responsibility of collation and submission of staff nominal rolls to the commission. By law, all MDAs are required to remit returns of staff nominal rolls annually and periodically for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the commission’s guidelines on principles. “The commission recently integrated its website with a robust and dynamic portal to facilitate real time, online data collection for the processing of manpower statistics.”

THE Nigerian Army yesterday warned its officers against disseminating sensitive operational information on the social media. The Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Maj.Gen. Chukwuemeka Onwuamaegbu, gave the warning at the opening of the second quarter study meeting of officers of the Directorate of Army Public Relations (DAPR) in Kaduna. Onwuamaegbu noted that though the social media has a global appeal, the officers must be cautious in using it to avert security breach. He said: “In addition to all the benefits we can get from the new media, we also have drawbacks. I have personally seen a few postings, on facebook and twitter by service personnel, that should not be there. “So, I hope that during this period they will be able to know the disadvantages of the new media to caution service personnel about some of these postings that should not be there in the cyber.”


THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 11, 2013

7

NEWS Jega: 2015 election ‘ll be better

T

•The Founder of the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre (OTNPC), Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun (second right); Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole (second left); President of Otunba Tunwase Foundation, Mr. Ladi Balogun (left); and Provost of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Prof. Olusegun Akinyinka, at the signing of the Deed of Total Gift of the OTNPC to the College of Medicine, in Ijebu-Ode.

State of emergency: Senate yet to get Reps’ amendments

T

HE Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, yesterday said the resolutions adopted by both chambers of the National Assembly concerning the proclamation of state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states are intact. He said the Senate would consider the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alterations) Bill 2013, the 2013 Appropriation Act (amendment) Bill, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill 2013, among others. Enang spoke in Abuja when he briefed reporters on the activities of the Senate during the second session of the Seventh Senate, which began on June 6, 2012 and ended on June 6, 2013. He said until the Senate receives and considers the recent amendments by the House of Representatives, the harmonised version of the proclamation sent to President Goodluck Jonathan remains sacro-

•Constitution review, 2013 budget amendment, PIB to top agenda From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

sanct. The House of Representatives last week reversed its earlier position when it adopted the Senate’s version to allow the President have the power to give directive on the utilisation of funds belonging to the states and local governments under emergency rule. During the consideration of the details of the Emergency Proclamation, the House of Representatives deleted that section, but the Senate retained it. At the harmonisation stage, the conference committees adopted the position of the Senate on the matter. Enang said: “The Senate and the House of Representatives passed resolutions on the state of emergency and approved the request of Mr. President as contained on the proclamation of state of emergency.

“There were differences between what the House of Representatives passed and what the Senate passed. “Both Houses set up committees and the conference committee arrived at a harmonised position. “This harmonised position was adopted by the House of Representatives as a result of the conference committee and adopted by the Senate as a result of its own conference committee. “Now this is as much as I know the position on the matter as coming from the National Assembly. “Yes, I am informed that there were considerations by the House of Representatives of some aspects of it. I am not aware of a communication of that to the Senate. “That is, it has not yet come to the floor of the Senate. Therefore, the position that exists now is as agreed

and communicated and when we receive and it is communicated, we will consider what the other chamber considered. “The laws bind that what is deemed to come from the National Assembly is what is accepted by both chambers. “The House of Representatives, to my knowledge, did not amend the content of its resolution. “It adopted the report of that conference committee and sent it out, but some later date, I wish I am correct, it brought an amendment to it, to which it is entitled. “That is different from what has been passed, they are not recalling what they had passed. They are amending or seeking to amend what has been passed, but what has been passed has gone out.”

Fed Govt cuts back on overdrawing from account, says Okonjo-Iweala

T

HE Federal Government has reduced the rate at which it overdraws on its accounts from N102billion in 2011 to N19 billion in 2012. The government is able to do this through the introduction of the Treasury Single Account “which is a unified structure of government bank accounts that gives a consolidated view of the cash position.” The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, broke the news yesterday in Abuja when she made her presentation at the 2013 ministerial platform. She said the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has helped to reduce how government account is being overdrawn. Said she: “Ninety-three MDAs are on TSA. Government’s overdrawn position has dropped from N102bn in 2011 to N19bn in 2012.”

•Identifies 46,821 ghost workers By Nduka Chiejina Assistant Editor

The Minister of Finance disclosed that the Federal Government has discovered a total of 46,821 ghost workers in 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Government (MDAs). According to her, the discoveries were made after they introduced the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS). Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said: “The Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System enhances efficient personnel cost planning and budgeting as personnel cost will be based on actual verified numbers and not estimates. Two hundred and fifteen MDAs (153,019 staff) are on IPPIS as at Jan 2013 and work is ongoing to bring in

other 321 MDAs not yet on IPPIS. About 46,821 ghost workers have also been identified.” The discovery of the ghost workers, she said, “is part of government’s reform measures aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of its resources.” With the introduction of the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS) in April 2012, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said 58 per cent of the nation’s budget are executed through the GIFMIS platform and this “has helped to boost the speedy execution of the government budget.” She said: “GIFMIS is aimed at improving the acquisition, allocation, utilisation and conservation of public

financial resources, using automated and integrated, effective, efficient and economic information systems. Budget execution is expected to rise to 79 per cent by the end of third quarter in 2013.” To increase non-oil revenues, the minister said “through tax enforcement mechanism, the government has recovered over N10.65billion as outstanding tax liabilities.” Dr. Okonjo-Iweala added that “the modernisation of tax administration and operation helped the government register 227,140 new tax payers in 2012 alone.” With regards to the country’s debt, the Finance Minister said the country’s total debt stands at N7.5trillion made up of foreign borrowing of $6.6 billion (N1.04 trillion). Domestic debt stands at N6.46 trillion. She denied claims that Nigeria was becoming a highly indebted nation and insisted that the country’s national debt was still low.

HE Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has assured that the 2015 general elections would be better. He spoke yesterday in Abuja when he received top management team of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) led by its acting Director-General, Dr. Samson Shuaibu. Prof. Jega, however, said the success of election is not that of the electoral body alone, but the duty of all citizens. He noted the importance of enlightened citizens in the electoral process. The citizens, he stressed, have to be sensitised, educated and mobilised to discharge their civic responsibilities. Jega assured that INEC was committed to a thorough voter education and public enlightenment before the 2015 elections. INEC and FRCN are working towards exploring areas of synergy and collaboration in the next poll. Prof. Jega said: “We in INEC are aware of the enormous

From Vincent Ikuomola and Nike Adebowale, Abuja

responsibilities placed in our hands to produce a framework and deepen democracy in our country. We have been doing our best in that regard and we have benefited from the participation of stakeholders. It is their partnership with INEC that was responsible for the achievements recorded in the 2011 election. “Since the poll, we have been doing our best to fine tune the procedures to engage the stakeholders and ensure that we keep on improving the process. Our determination is to ensure that the 2015 election remains better than that of the 2011 election. “The success of election is not that of INEC alone but the work of all citizens, who are enlightened, mobilised and who discharge their civil duties and responsibilities in the electoral process. The citizens have to be sensitised, educated and mobilised to discharge that civic responsibility. We all have a responsibility to work together.

Trial of oil marketers stalled

T

By Adebisi Onanuga

HE trial of two oil marketers, Oluwaseun Ogunbambo and Habila Theck, over alleged N979.6million fuel subsidy fraud, could not go on as scheduled yesterday owing to the absence of their counsel. Ogunbambo and Theck are facing a six-count charge of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences, forgery and use of forged documents. They were arraigned with their company, Fargo Energy Limited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja. At the resumed trial of the defendants yesterday, EFCC’s counsel, Mr. Francis Usani, told the court that the date was fixed for the hearing of the two applications filed by Ogunbambo. He said counsel to the defendants, Messrs Olisa Agbakoba and Adebayo Adenipekun, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), were not in court. Usani said no explanation was given for their absence, adding that he would have used that as a ground to ask the court to strike out the applications. Ogunbambo at the last hearing filed two applications in which he sought court’s order to quash the charges brought against him and others by the EFCC. The application was filed on his behalf by the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), who is now the lead defence team of Ogunbambo and other defendants. Agbakoba also raised three major constitutional and jurisdictional issues against the EFCC upon which he predicated the request for a court order to quash the charges preferred against his clients. The first issue touches on what is referred to as ‘Miranda Rights’ in the legal circle.

JAMB clears doubt on 2013 UTME results HE Joint Admission

T

and Matriculation Board (JAMB) yesterday reacted to the 192 complaints received from candidates, who sat for the 2013 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). The Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, at a meeting in Abuja with some of the candidates, who filed the complaints, said it was imperative to clear the doubt of the public about the UTME. Ojerinde said there was an open complaint from the media, which amounted to a threat to the integrity of the organisation. He said of the 192 candidates, who filed their complaints, 132 requested that their examination scripts be remarked, while 63 requested to see their examination scripts. Said he: “We are sure of what they scored, we are sure of the situation and we are

sure of the true position of things, even with those who claimed that we did not release their results. “But in the final analysis, you can see that they did not shade their subjects correctly. How can we release a result that is not known to us? “That was why we told the candidates to come on June 10 to see their papers and here we are, together with the complainants. “We have been showing them their papers and so far, nobody has been vindicated. I can bet you, the damage done to our integrity is what we have come to redeem.” The registrar, who reiterated JAMB’s determination to ensure transparency and accountability in the conduct of its examinations, added that “we have to be able to tell the people how we conducted the exams and how we scored them.”


8

THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 11, 2013

NEWS

Al-Mustapha: Appeal Court reserves judgment

Lagos Assembly to stand firm on June 12 By Oziegbe Okoeki

AS Nigerians celebrate the 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election tomorrow, the Lagos State House of Assembly has pledged to remain committed to the spirit of the poll. Speaking on behalf of the Assembly in his office, the spokesman and Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Mr. Segun Olulade, said the import of the election could not be relegated to the background whenever and wherever discussions are held on the history of the enthronement of the current democratic dispensation. He said June 12 is the genuine Democracy Day, adding that it represents the collective will of the Nigerian masses and a demonstration of the people’s preference for democracy. Olulade said well meaning Nigerians and lovers of truth would admit that June 12, 1993 takes primacy over other dates in the history of Nigeria’s democracy. The lawmaker noted that the appreciation of the significance of the election “in the democratic evolution of our nation has made the Lagos State House of Assembly to pass a resolution declaring June 12 as the genuine Democracy Day worthy of celebration by lovers of democracy, social justice and good governance.” He said a special parliamentary session would hold tomorrow at the Assembly Complex in commemoration of the poll’s 20th anni

June 12: Group seeks apology

By Precious Igbonwelundu

Al-Mustapha

T

HE Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, yesterday reserved judgment in an appeal filed by Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan, challenging the death sentence handed them by Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos High Court. Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to the late Gen. Sani Abacha and Shofolahan, ex-Personal Assistant to Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, were sentenced to death on January 30 last year for conspiracy and murder of Alhaja Abiola. Justice Amina Augie, who led the appeal panel, re-

served judgment after counsel to the appellants and respondent adopted their written briefs. Counsel to Al-Mustapha, Joseph Daudu (SAN), while adopting his address, urged the court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the lower court. He argued that the trial court erred in law by basing its judgment on the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses (PW1 and PW2), which were contradictory. “The testimonies of PW1 and PW2 were inconclusive and contradictory. The court drew inferences from these contradictory statements to establish the guilt of the appellant. “It is my submission that these inferences, upon which the court based its judgment, are merely political evidence formulated by the respondent, which

the trial court ought not to have considered. “I, therefore, urge the court to allow this appeal and quash the judgment of the lower court,” Daudu said. Shofolahan’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, aligned with Daudu’s submission. He accused the trial judge of being patronising, adding that she discontenanced every submission put forward by the defence, while the evidence presented by the prosecution were admitted. He said: “It is obvious that the trial judge was sourcing for evidence at all cost to convict the appellant. “The evidence of the star witnesses PW1 and PW2 had been described as not credible by the Court of Appeal. So, I wonder why the trial court held that the evidence were relevant.” Counsel to the state government, Lawal Pedro (SAN), urged the court to dis-

miss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the lower court. He argued that besides the evidence of PW1 and PW2, there were other evidence from the defendants, which supported the counts of conspiracy and murder. He said the statements of the defendants, which were tendered as exhibits, indicted them. Pedro urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lack of merit. The appellants were arraigned in October 1999 on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and murder of Abiola, the winner of the June 12, 1993 election, in 1996 in Lagos. They were sentenced to death by hanging. They appealed against the lower court’s judgment 24 hours after it was passed, praying the court to overturn it. The appellants contended

‘Obasanjo’s greatest mistake is failure to honour Abiola’

•From right: Artistic Director, National Troupe of Nigeria, Martin Adaji; Chief Operations Officer, Beeta Universal Arts Foundation, Bikiya GrahamDouglas; and Miss Anozie Deborah, at the National Schools Dramatised Storytelling Competition in Abuja.

By Augustine Avwode

A

From Precious Dikwoha, Port Harcourt

A GROUP, the Nigerian Democratic Awareness Forum (NIDAF), yesterday said the only way government could apologise for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election is to ensure that votes count in future elections. The National President of the group, Prince Obiajunwo Dike, spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, during an emergency meeting organised by the group. He noted that it would be difficult to conduct a free and fair election until the Federal Government appreciated and accepted that Abiola won the freest and fair poll in the country. Dike said: “My group is partnering other stakeholders to ensure that Nigerians’ votes count. If we are to have a free and fair election in future, our leaders should appreciate the June 12, 1993 presidential election. “There should be a live broadcast by President Goodluck Jonathan apologising the mistakes made by past leaders. “We also urge the government to investigate the role of past leaders, who aided the annulment of the election. Most of them are still alive. They should be bold to give reasons for their action.”

NHIS: Fed Govt may introduce ‘sin’ tax

T

HE Acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Abdulrahman Sambo, has said that the Federal Government might introduce ‘sin’ tax to provide mass health care, especially for the poor and the vulnerable. The NHIS has registered over 1.9million enrollees in the formal and private sector in the last eight years. Sambo said the figure excludes the families of the enrollees, who are also benefiting from the programme. The NHIS Executive Secretary, who spoke with reporters in Abuja, said only five of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have subscribed to the NHIS scheme. Said he: “We have identified other sources of funding. We have looked at ‘sin’ tax, such as taxes on alcohol and cigarettes; and we have looked at tax on air travel. “We have also looked at tax on telephone usage, tagged: ‘One Kobo Per Minute Initiative.’ The idea is that for each minute that you talk, you are charged an

that the death sentence was unwarranted, unreasonable and a manifest miscarriage of justice. They argued that the trial judge erred in law by concluding that they conspired to kill Alhaja Abiola on June 4, 1996. The appellants faulted the judge’s treatment of the contradictory statements of Barnabas Jabila (aka Sgt. Rogers) and Mohammed Abdul. They also faulted the court’s reliance on the testimony of Dr. Ore Falomo on the bullet extracted from the deceased. According to the appellants, the court’s rejection of portions of Jabila’s testimony, which favoured them and applying only in areas that did not favour them was a gross miscarriage of justice. Al-Mustapha submitted four grounds for determination. Shofolahan premised his appeal on five points.

•Scheme registers over 1.9m From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Abuja

additional kobo that will be collected centrally. Part of it will be remitted to the NHIS to provide health insurance for the vulnerable people. “It’s a sort of tax on those making calls and not on the telecoms companies. The concept has been forwarded to the government by the NHIS. We consulted the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and forwarded a proposal. When we told the President, he was enthusiastic about it. “When the Health Bill is signed, 1 per cent of the consolidated revenue fund will be given to the NHIS for the provision of healthcare to Nigerians. But it will be inadequate to use to cover for all Nigerians. So we are thinking that we can use it for the vulnerable group.” NHIS enrollees are over 1.9million because the scheme is “optional.” Sambo added: “In the formal sector, we have about 900,000 and in the organised

‘For any country to attain universal coverage, social health insurance in that country must be compulsory, and that country must set aside a subsidy fund...’ private sector, we have over a million, excluding their families. If you add that the number will be higher. “Participation in the NHIS scheme is optional and there is no country that attains universal coverage with an insurance system that is optional. “For any country to attain universal coverage, social health insurance in that country must be compulsory, and that country must set aside a subsidy fund that will address the health needs of the poor, the elderly, the physi-

cally-challenged or no matter how you define the vulnerable group. “What has been our success eight years after beginning the formal sector? We have registered enrollees at the federal level. Those that have been paid for by the government have been registered and they are accessing health care. “We have designed programmes that will enable the NHIS implement the strategies to achieve universal coverage once the issue of contribution is sorted out.” Responding to a question, Dr. Sambo said that NHIS is seeking alternative sources of funding the health insurance scheme is not peculiar to Nigeria. He added: “Yes, most countries earmark funds to finance universal health coverage. In Ghana, it is a portion of the Value Added Tax and individual-employee’s contributions in the private and public sectors. “We have identified the sources of funding in Nigeria and it has been factored into the proposed amendment of the NHIS Act.”

HEAD of the 20 th anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, former Minister of Aviation Mr. Femi Fani Kayode has described the failure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to honour the late Chief MKO Abiola as one of his greatest mistakes. Fani Kayode, who spoke in Lagos, said it was “most unfair” on the part of the former president not to honour Abiola, his wife, the late Kudirat and other pro-democracy activists, who struggled in vain for the actualisation of June 12. He said: “One of the biggest mistakes that President Obasanjo made; I say this with the greatest respect and affection for him and I will always respect him, but it is only fair to say that one of the greatest mistakes he made was that he did not acknowledge or honour the late Chief Abiola, the late Alhaja Abiola and those, who fought for democracy on the side of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO). It is most unfair. “Many died, many were tortured, many went on exile and so on. These are the people that paid the price for the Obasanjo presidency. He should have honoured him, but he did not. The late President Umaru Yar’Adua did not do so too, and I believe in fairness to President Goodluck Jonathan, he attempted to honour Abiola (albeit) in a wrong way, by naming the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after him, but that was not even enough.” Fani Kayode said it would be difficult for the country to get it right if it failed to appreciate those who laboured in the past for it. He also said he recognised June 12 as the Democracy Day ahead of the May 29 declared by the Federal Government.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

NEWS Aro of Akure dies at 66

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

A

FORMER publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, Chief Yemi Adedipe, is dead. The Aro of Akure, the Ondo state capital, was 66. The former member of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) died yesterday after a brief illness. A family source said he had been battling cancer of the pancreas for almost a year. The source said the late Adedipe collapsed in the palace and was rushed to an hospital, where he died. It was learnt that the traditional rites would be carried out today and Adedipe would be buried tomorrow.

Retired major buried in Ibadan

A

FTER a well attended funeral service at the Christ Apotolic Church (CAC) Eleyele, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the remains of the late Major Samuel Moronfolu Abiodun (rtd.) were interred last Saturday at his Mercy Land Estate home in Ibadan, with full military honor conducted by men and officers of the Nigerian Army. The late Major Abiodun died on May 6 at the Unity Hospital, Ibadan, after a brief illness. He was 69. The late Major Abiodun was born on December 26, 1944, to the late Pa James Abiodun and the late Madam Mabel Ekundayo Abiodun in Owo, Ondo State. In a statement in Ibadan by Mr. Joseph Abiodun, the deceased’s younger brother, the late Major Abiodun had his primary education at St Michael’s African Church Primary School, Owo. He attended L.A Secondary Modern School, where he obtained modern 3 certificates. He proceeded to the Yaba College of Technology in 1962 and obtained a Technological Certificate in Automobile Engineering in 1964 . He joined the Army in 1967 and was posted to the Nigeria Army Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Corp Technical Group (NAEME), Yaba, Lagos in 1972. He attended Royal School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Bordon Hants, England, from 1977–1979. There, he obtained the British Artificer Certificate and Higher Technician Diploma. Major Abiodun was baptised by the Bishop of Canterbury, England in 1978. He returned to Nigeria in 1979 and proceeded to the National Technical Teachers College, Akoka, Lagos, where he obtained the National Technical Teachers Certificate in 1982. He was inaugurated as 2nd lieutenant in 1983 and promoted to full lieutenant in 1984. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in 1987 and became a Major in 1993. He retired in 2000. During his military career, he attended military courses such as: Young Technical Military Course (YOTC-5), Advanced Mechanical & Engineering Course, Engineering Inspections Ford Motors (America), Workshop Commanders Course and Junior Staff Duties Course (command & staff college Jaji).

9

Fed Govt urged to compensate Abiola’s family

F

IFTEEN years after the death of Chief MKO

Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, his physician, Dr. Ore Falomo, has urged the Federal Government to compensate the politician’s family because he died in government custody. Abiola was arrested and detained by the military government of the late General Sani Abacha shortly after he declared himself President and Commander-inChief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Epetedo, Lagos, on June 11, 1994. Abiola died in detention four years later. Speaking with The Nation, Falomo said: “The Federal Government is morally bound to compensate Abiola’s family for letting him die in custody without trial. “The government deprived the family of his patrimonial care and attention for more than four years and he eventually died in mysterious circumstances.”

Ondo ARG holds June 12 memorial lecture

T

HE Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), Ondo State chapter, will tomorrow hold a lecture to mark the 20th anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, which has been said to be the most free and fair election in Nigeria. It will hold at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital, by 11am. The lecture, according to ARG Coordinator, Dr. Bayo Ademodi, would be deBy Leke Salaudeen, Assistant Editor

He said former Military Head of State Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, during whose tenure Abiola died, promised to compensate the family when he paid them a condolence visit. Falomo said the promise has not been fulfilled. He urged the Federal Government to make public how much it owed the family and when it would pay the compensation.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

livered by Senator Babafemi Ojudu. It is titled: “The sanctity of electoral mandates: June 12, its aftermath and what the last 20 years should teach us”. Ojudu will be supported by a member of the DAWN Commission, Mr. Wale Adeoye, and activist lawyer Gbenga Awosode as discussants. Serious issues about governance will be discussed at the lecture.

He said should the government fail to disclose its “state of indebtedness to the late Abiola, the family would not hesitate to release the facts and figures to the public”. Falomo said: “President Goodluck Jonathan has recognised the late Abiola as the winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election but he should tell us how much the government owed Abiola before his death. When will the government pay the family? We have

the facts and figures which we shall release to the public at the right time.” He said the best way to honour Abiola was to implement his campaign promises as enshrined in his blue print- Hope ‘93’. The late Abiola promised to stamp out hunger and poverty, revolutionise agriculture, create jobs and an enabling environment for investors. Falomo said: “What prompted Abiola to venture

•Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (second right) signing three bills into law at the Conference Room, Lagos House, Ikeja... on Monday. With him are: The Chairman, House Committee on Health, Mr. Hodewu Suuru Avoseh (second left); Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr. Ade Ipaye (right) and his Energy and Mineral Resources counterpart, Mr. Taofeek Tijani (left).

ACN demands elections into Oyo Assembly

M

ORE than 90 days after a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, approved the creation of eight additional constituencies in the House of Assembly and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections into the constituencies within 90 days, nothing of such has happened. The Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state, Mr. Dauda Koala, accused INEC of ignoring the court order. He said: “Ninety days have elapsed and INEC is yet to conduct elections into those constituencies as ordered by the court. We do not know why the body is silent over the matter. But what we do know is that this is a flagrant disregard of the rule of law.” Also yesterday, the ACN Alhaji Abdul Lateef Owoade as the Director of Finance and Administration, following the approval of the ex-

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

ecutives. Owoade was a pioneer member of the Alliance for Democracy(AD) and became the party’s administrative secretary in 2003. INEC’s spokesman, Mr. Ayodele Folami, disagreed with the ACN’s position, saying the time given by the court was 180 days and not 90. He said the electoral body has respect for the rule of law, especially the judiciary. Folami said: “When we

T

receive judgments like these, we forward them to our headquarters in Abuja, which would come out with a decision soon. “We are yet to be informed by the headquarters. Once it gets back to us, we will communicate with the parties.” Reacting to INEC’s claim of 180 days, Kolawole said the electoral umpire was being economical with the truth. He said: “Where did he get 180 days from? The court said 90 days and you know all papers reported 90days.

What is INEC talking about? I believe this is just a ploy to distort information and frustrate the development that the state will achieve through the creation of those constituencies.” The Accord expressed optimism that INEC would follow the rule of law. The party’s Chairman, Mr. Lawal Bashiru, said: “I think they are still collating data and the population in the eight constituencies.” He however urged the body to ensure that it conducts the elections before 2015.

Two held for ‘shooting’, ‘stealing’

WO masquerade worshippers have been arrested by the police in Oyo State for allegedly shooting and dispossessing a man of valuables worth N127,000. Olukunmi Egbelade of Bode in Ibadan and Monsuru Abiola of Ayeye were arrested around 8pm on Saturday in “possession” of a dane gun.

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

Police spokesman Olabisi Ilobanefor (DSP) said Egbelade allegedly shot into the air to scare people away and dispossessed a man of his handsets. The complainant said he saw the suspects assaulting people and warned them against to stop.

He said the suspects beat him up and stole a Black Berry handset valued at N75,000, one Nokia handset valued at N19,000, a Sagem handset valued at N8,000 and N25,000 from him. The police warned masqu er a d e w or shi pper s against disturbing public peace.

into politics was to restore confidence in the common people and improve their standard of living. “These problems are still staring us in the face 20 years after Abiola promised to tackle them . “The living condition of the common people is worse than it was 20 years back, considering the abysmal level of poverty in the country.” He urged the Jonathan administration to execute the late Abiola’s programmes, saying they were intended to improve the life of every Nigerian. “That is the best way to honour Abiola, “ Falomo added.

Court adjourns Fayose’s case till June 24 From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

A

Federal High Court, sitting in Ekiti State, yesterday ruled that a law firm, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) and Co., has the power to continue the prosecution of former Governor Ayodele Fayose for alleged mismanagement of N1.2 billion. Justice Adamu Hobon ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had the power to hire any lawyer to prosecute its case. He said Fayose’s counsel failed to prove why any lawyer could not prosecute the case. On March 21, Fayose’s lawyers, led by Ahmed Raji, objected to Jacobs prosecuting the case, arguing that the power to prosecute Fayose rested with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), who delegated it to the EFCC. Raji said EFCC could not delegate the power to another authority. Yesterday, Jacobs presented a letter from the EFCC and his 10-paragraph counter-affidavit to the preliminary objection of Fayose’s counsel as proof that the prosecutorial powers had been transferred to his firm. He opposed an adjournment sought by Fayose’s counsel, saying it was aimed at delaying the trial. Justice Adamu dismissed Fayose’s preliminary objection for lack of merit and adjourned till June 24.

Ogun to screen intending pilgrims

T

HE Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board has warned intending pilgrims against evading inoculation/medical screening. It said anyone who does so risks losing his/her slot. The screening begins on June 24 and ends June 28. In a statement, the board’s Secretary, Alhaji Sefiu Rasheed, said the screening was to gather information that would help meet the health needs of pilgrims during the Hajj. Rasheed said: “The screening will hold at the Board’s Headquarters at Block B, New Secretariat, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, by 9am daily. It is meant to ensure that intending pilgrims are in sound health before embarking on the pilgrimage.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

10

NEWS Oyo, Lagos, Osun, Ekiti declare tomorrow holiday THE Lagos, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo state governments have declared tomorrow a holiday to mark the 20th anniversary of the June 12, 1993, presidential election believed to have been won by the late Chief MKO Abiola. In separate statements, the states said the holiday was to honour Abiola, who laid down his life for today’s democracy.

Ekiti to recruit 1,600 teachers ABOUT 1,600 teachers are to be recruited by the Ekiti State Teaching Service Commission. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Kehinde Ojo, spoke with reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Applicants have besieged the Ministry of Education and designated banks in Ado-Ekiti to obtain the application forms. Ojo said the recruitment was not aimed at edging out teachers, who are on strike over the non payment of the 27.5 per cent peculiarity allowance. He said negotiation was ongoing between the government and representatives of the striking teachers. Ojo said N170 million would be required to pay the 27.5 per cent allowance. He said: “Except somebody wants this state to be grounded, there is no how we can sustain such an additional wage bill on a monthly basis.”

Ondo CPC candidate slams Mimiko over NGF dispute T HE candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in last October’s governorship election in Ondo State, Prince Soji Ehinlanwo, yesterday condemned the “role” played by Governor Olusegun Mimiko in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) crisis. He said the rejection of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi as the forum’s chairman by Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang’s group, even though he won the election, showed desperation for power. Ehinlanwo said “this kind of desperation” portends grave danger for our democracy.

S

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

In a statement yesterday, he said: “As an Ondo State indigene, I am embarrassed by the disgraceful role played by Mimiko in this unfortunate saga. Before and after last October’s governorship election in Ondo, it become clear to many that Mimiko had chosen to subjugate himself and his Labour Party (LP) to the whims and caprices of the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “Undoubtedly, his LP is now

effectively PDP, except in name. This is largely borne out of a shameless quest to draw support and affirmation for the discredited election in which he was declared winner and his desperate attempt to cling to power. “His decision to ignore the truth and rationalise that Jang, who clearly lost, is the NGF’s leader must be seen clearly from the context of this desperate disposition. “And this is not his only motivation. Many who have monitored his orientation and

direction closely in recent years will agree that the fact that he was nominated as the vice chairman by the Jang group was enough for him to align and promote the untenable and curious position of his group that they have the greater support of the governors, even after they secured lower votes. “Mimiko’s support for Jang is mainly driven by non-altruistic considerations and definitely runs counter to the principles that our people hold dear. “I find his defence of his position weak and appalling. His attempt to discredit the video recording of the proceedings, including the counting of the

Mark, Lagos PDP mourn Dosunmu

ENATE President David Mark, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday mourned Senator Wahab Dosunmu, who died on Sunday. Mark described the late Dosunmu as “a great patriot, who fought for justice, freedom, peace and democracy in Nigeria”. He said the late lawmaker was an astute politician and an accomplished administrator. Dosunmu was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999. Before his tenure ended in 2003, he defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Paul Mumeh, Mark said: “He distinguished himself as a vibrant lawmaker, who exhibited the great attribute of nationalism. He was a politician, who believed in one indivisible Nigeria.

‘He distinguished himself as a vibrant lawmaker, who exhibited the great attribute of nationalism. He was a politician, who believed in one indivisible Nigeria’ From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

“As Nigeria’s Ambassador to Malaysia, the late Dosunmu projected Nigeria to the outside world in positive light. As a Minister of the Federal Republic, he was exemplary. “He was at the forefront of the struggle for the return of democracy in 1999 and worked assiduously for its consolidation. I can submit without fear of contradiction that Dosunmu lived an eventful and accomplished life worthy of emulation.” He urged the bereaved family as well as the government and people of Lagos State to take solace in the late Dosun-

mu’s good work. Fashola described the deceased as “a passionate defender of human rights and democratic governance, which informed his principled stand on the June 12, 1993, mandate of the late Chief Moshood Abiola”. In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Hakeem Bello, Fashola said the “astute politician, brilliant technocrat and rights activist would be missed by all”. Describing his death as “a great loss, not only to his family, but to the country”, the governor said: “Dosunmu was a distinguished politician and a brilliant man, who made a great contribution to the development and awareness of human rights in this country. “He was one of the most passionate defenders of the June 12 Mandate of the late Chief Moshood Abiola. That was a time that best sums up the passion for Justice that defines Alhaji Dosunmu’s character.

“It was a trait he transferred to the Senate at the return of democracy in the country.” Fashola prayed for the repose of Dosunmu’s soul and urged the family to take solace in the fact that their grief is shared by many people across the country and beyond, who knew the “notable politician”. He also prayed the Almighty Allah to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss. PDP described the death of the former Minister for Housing as “a big loss to the party”. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taofik Gani, PDP said: “The unfortunate sudden death of our great leader and true Lagosian has just filtered into our secretariat. The death is a big loss to our party at this time. Indeed, he was one of our aces for the 2015 elections. May his soul rest in peace.” “He was passionate defender of human rights, democracy”, says Fashola ·As Governor condoles with family of deceased.

Court postpones Ikuforiji’s re-arraignment By Joseph Jibueze

A

Osun, UNIDO partner on power From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

THE Osun State Government, in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO, has procured two 35KW turbines to boost power supply. The Chairman of UNIDO’s Hydro Power Electricity Generating Company, Mr. Atilade Oshoniyi, said his team would soon install the turbines. Speaking with reporters after the turbines were delivered to Ikeji-Ile, Oshoniyi said they would be installed at the natural water flow from Ikeji-Ile hill top in Oriade Local Government Area. He said they would provide 24-hour electricity to communities connected to the mini hydro power generation. Oshoniyi said the turbines would create a conducive environment for businesses to grow. The Arakeji of Ikeji-Ile, Oba Adebayo Ogunmokun and the traditional ruler of Ira-Ikeji, Oba Oluropo Fatanmi, thanked the governor for responding to the needs of the people.

votes, simply because it did not show him voting is simply egoistic and futile because he cannot refute what is clearly recorded in the video. “Mimiko’s argument that Amaechi should not have sought a second term is self serving and contradictory, given the fact that he (Mimiko) also sought a second term in Ondo State. “His claim that the previous NGF chairmanship was decided by consensus does not vitiate the fact that the chairmanship, in this case, could be decided by majority votes. “CPC members are not surprised by this new low. After all, Mimiko has been promoting last October’s governorship election, which was marred by massive irregularities, as free, fair and credible. “It should also not be out of place to draw attention to the recent allegation of forgery of the security report relating to the 2007 election presented by the LP and Mimiko. “Many of the people who backed the governor at the time were unaware of this information and essentially premised their support on the need for change and what has turned out to be a misplaced confidence in his perceived ability to dramatically transform the state. “If these revelations are confirmed to be true, they would further expose Mimiko and his cohorts as a bunch of desperate power seekers. We urge Mimiko to resist the temptation of following the ‘anyway’ approach and consider at all times the implications of the positions he takes for himself and the people he represents.” Mimiko challenged Amaechi to show proof that he voted during the election.

•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun (second left) greeting former Deputy Governor Olusesan Soluade during the latter’s 80th birthday thanksgiving service at the Cathedral of St. Peters, Ake, Abeokuta...yesterday. With them are Deputy Governor Segun Adesegun and the wife of the celebrator, Mrs. Esther.

ACN cautions NANS president on Ajimobi

T

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State has cautioned the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Yinka Gbadebo, against being used by the opposition to attack the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, the party said Gbadebo’s claim that the government has not constituted the governing councils of

state-owned tertiary institutions is false and similar to the runour being peddled by opposition parties. ACN said governing councils were constituted in the institutions a few months after the administration’s inception. It debunked Gbadebo’s allegation that the administration was not paying bursary or awarding scholarships, explaining that the government had to regulate applications for the facilities because it has limited resources.

On the allegation that the government has recruited only 15 applicants into the civil service, ACN said the administration recruited 1,000 medical personnel into the service in April and engaged 20,000 youths in the Oyo State Youth Employment Scheme (Yes-O). The party said about 500 Yes-O cadets had been absolved into the public service. It urged Gbadebo, who is an indigene of Iseyin in Oyo State, to identify with the programmes of the Ajimobi ad-

ministration, “which have been widely praised within and outside the state”. ACN urged the NANS president to be wary of “the antics of the opposition to recruit critics to distract the government”. The party said Gbadebo cannot compare the Ajimobi administration with some previous administrations that were easily blackmailed to part with money by critics. It said: “The administration is committed to protecting the best interest of the people.”

FEDERAL High Court, sitting in Lagos, yesterday adjourned the re-arraignment of Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, till June 24. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) could not re-arraign them because the Speaker was not served the hearing notice by the court’s officials. It was the court’s duty to do so following the indefinite adjournment of the case by the former judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke (rtd). Justice Okeke accused the prosecution of delaying the trial and adjourned the case sine dine. The case was re-assigned to Justice Ibrahim Buba. Yesterday, Ikuforiji’s lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), said his client was absent because he was not served the hearing notice. EFCC’s lawyer, Godwin Obla, said he would liaise with the court’s officials to ensure that Ikuforiji is served. If the speaker is re-arraigned, the case will begin afresh. EFCC is accusing the defendants of allegedly accepting over N500 million from the Assembly without the money passing through a financial institution. The accused denied the allegation.


BUSINESS

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

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

Fed Govt uncovers 46, 821 ghost workers, says Okonjo-Iweala

T

HE Federal Government has uncovered 46,821 ghost workers in 215 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs). It also put the country’s total debt at N7.5trillion- made up of foreign borrowing of $6.6 billion (N1.04 trillion) and domestic debt of N6.46 trillion. Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of finance Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala made these known yesterday in Abuja during the presentation at the 2013 ministerial platform. She said these discoveries were made after the introduced

Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)

the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) The minister said: “The Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System enhances efficient personnel cost planning and budgeting as personnel cost will be based on actual verified numbers and not estimates. 215 MDAs (153,019 staff) are on IPPIS as at January 2013 and work is ongoing to bring in other 321 MDAs not yet on IPPIS. About 46,821 ghost workers have also identified.” The discovery of the ghost

Citi Research places ‘buy rating’ on Access, UBA

A

CCESS Bank Plc and United Bank for Africa Plc have been rated “top picks” in Citi Research’s latest report on the state of money deposit banks in Nigeria. Top picks in the financial parlance means that the research firm believes that the stocks of the duo will trade drastically higher over the coming months. The stocks are expected to significantly outperform the markets over the near-term. Consequently, the research firm has placed a target price of N15 per share on Access Bank whose closing price yesterday was N11.54. The report noted: “Access Bank, our new top pick - We resume coverage of Access Bank with a buy rating and TP of NGN15/ share (from NGN14). With an ETR of 40% and strongest potential earnings growth over the forecast period, Access Bank is the top pick in our universe of Nigerian banks. At a current

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

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

RATES Inflation -9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $48b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

By Group Business Editor, Ayodele Aminu

valuation of 1.02x its 2013E BVPS and 5.0x its 2014E EPS, we believe that the market is overly discounting its ability to build its returns to at least 21.5% by 2017E (from 19.1% at FY12) and grow its share of system profits to 11% of total by 2017 (from 8% in FY12).” For UBA, another top pick of the research firm, it noted: “We raise our 2013, 2014 and 2015 EPS forecasts by 31%, 18% and 20%. Following our earnings upgrades, we raise our fair value estimate for UBA to NGN11/ share (from NGN8.50). UBA standouts as the only Tier 1 bank that has an asset share (11%) higher than its profit share (10%). We believe that UBA has the potential to build-out its profit share to 13% of total by 2017 by further leveraging its balance sheet. Its 1Q13 LDR was only 33%.” Citi Research however, downgraded Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc and Skye Bank Plc by lowering its recommendation to neutral on the two lenders. ”GTB, best in class, but fairly valued — We make no changes to our earnings estimates and TP for GTB. However, we lower our recommendation to Neutral (from Buy) on valuation grounds.” On Skye Bank, which it downgraded to neutral, the research firm said: “ Our earnings estimates are unchanged. But we lower our TP to NGN5/share (from NGN9) to reflect the likelihood of a shareholder approved capital increase of up to 50% of its current equity and M&A uncertainty. After the cut to our TP for Skye, we lower our recommendation to Neutral (from Buy),” the report showed. On Zenith Bank and First Bank, the reports noted: ”Zenith Bank, best risk/ return balance —We make no changes to our earnings estimates, TP or Buy recommendation for Zenith Bank. We think Zenithhasthebestbalancebetween a well-capitalised (31% CAR) and liquid (55% LDR) balance sheet.” On First Bank long-term play, it reducedits“2013,2014and2015EPS forecasts by 5%, 9% and 10%. Following our earnings downgrades, we lower our fair value estimate for FBN to NGN22/share (from NGN24). With 27% share of system savings deposits, First Bank is an attractive long-term play on financial inclusion in Nigeria. We continue to rate the stock Buy.”

• Nigeria’s total debt now N7.5tr workers she said, was part of government’s reform measures aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in the management of its resources. She said the government was able to do this through the introduction of the Treasury Single Account, which is a unified structure of government bank accounts that gives a consolidated view of the cash position.

Okonjo-Iweala also said that the government has reduced the rate at which it overdraws on its accounts from N102 billion in 2011 to N19 billion in 2012. The minister explained that the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has helped to reduce how the government account is being overdrawn. With the introduction of the Government Integrated Financial Management and

Information System (GIFMIS) in April 2012, Okonjo-Iweala said 58 per cent of the nation’s budget are now executed through the GIFMIS platform. She said this has helped to boost the speedy execution of the government budget. The GIFMIS is aimed at improving the acquisition, allocation, utilisation and conservation of public financial resources using automated and integrated, effective, efficient

and economic information systems. She said budget execution is expected to rise to 79 per cent by end of third quarter 2013. In order to increase non oil revenues, the minister said that through tax enforcement mechanism, the government has recovered over N10.65 billion as outstanding tax liabilities. Okonjo-Iweala added that the modernization of tax administration and operation had helped the government register 227,140 new tax payers in 2012 alone.


12

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

BUSINESS NEWS NEITI recovers $2b revenue

T

HE Nigeria Extrac tive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) yesterday said it had recovered a total of $2 billion out of the potential revenue loss of $9.8 billion from the Federation Account. The body said it achieved this feat through additional assessments in collaboration with relevant agencies under the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT). The Chairman of NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), Ledum Mitee disclosed these to State House correspondents after leading the Board and Management of NEITI on courtesy call to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presiden-

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

tial Villa, Abuja. ”I wish to report that since its inception, NEITI has recorded some significant achievements: the four cycles of audits, which have been conducted have revealed a potential revenue loss to the Federation Account of about $9.8 billion from under-assessments and under-payments of taxes, rents, process manipulation and poor interpretation of agreements between government and companies. “Through collaboration with relevant agencies working under the aegis of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) the sum of $2 billion has

so far been actually recovered from additional assessments,” Mitee said. He ra i s ed t he a l a rm that its functions are being hampered by a-50 per cent reduction in its budgetary allocation from 2011 to-date. President Jonathan, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media a nd Pu bl i ci t y , Dr. Reuben Abati commended the performance of the NEITI since its establishment in 2003. Towards integration of NEITI into the economic agenda of government, he said that the government would re-examine the law setting up NEITI in order to strengthen it.

Dominant operator: NCC gives MTN four months to comply

M

TN Nigeria yester day said it had reached an understanding with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over the mode of complying with the regulator’s directive compelling it to raise its tariff. MTN Nigeria - the dominant mobile telecos operator in the country had lowered its tariff, compelling more subscribers to move to its network - a move the regulator frowned at. Consequently, NCC about five weeks ago directed the telco to take steps at leveling the playing field in the telecoms industry. But Corporate Services Executive at MTN, Akinwale Goodluck, at the telco’s Corporate Headquarters in Lagos yesterday said the telco

Lucas Ajanaku Assistant Editor (Business)

had sought ‘clarifications’ from the regulator over the issue. He said that as a result of the consultation with the regulator, it has arrived at what he described as “graduated glide path” in implementation of the directives. “The NCC, in its recent industry review, noted that phone calls between MTN customers cost three times lower than calls to other networks, adding: “This is indicative of the likely establishment of a calling club for MTN subscribers.” It therefore directed “Collapse of On net and Off net Retail Tariffs: The differential between the on–net and off net retail tariffs will be im-

mediately collapsed. The tariff for on net and offnet will be the same, and subject to periodic review.” Others include: However, Goodluck said MTN had been in talks with the regulator over the modus operandi and modus vivendi of the directive, adding that it wants to implement it in such a way that it will not hurt the interest of the subscribers. ”What we have agreed (upon) is a graduated glide path. This means that it is not going to happen immediately but over the next three or four months,” he said.

NERC licenses seven firms for 2,758mw •TCN spends $3m on transco aerial survey From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

T

HE Nigeria Electricity Regula tory Commission (NERC) yesterday in Abuja, presented licenses to seven companies with combined 2,758 megawatts (MW) generating capacity. A breakdown of the companies and their generation capacities, according to NERC chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, shows that Benin Generation Company Limited located at Ihovbor, Edo State will generate 450m;, Omotosho Generation Company Limited, located at Omotosho, Ondo State has the capacity to generate 500mw and Omoku Generation Company Limited at Omoku, Rivers State has the capacity to generate 250mw. Others include Gbarain Generation Company Limited located in Gbarain, Bayelsa State, which has the capacity to generate 225mw; Calabar Generation Company Limited, which is located in Calabar, Cross River State has the capacity for generating 561mw; Geregu Generation Company Limited, Geregu, Kogi State that has capacity to generate 434mw on grid while Egbema Generation Company Limited can generate 338mw. IT is located in Egbema, Imo State. Meanwhile, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) unbundled from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has also spent $3million on the aerial survey of the country’s transmission line in the last two years. Principal Consultant, Penuel Consulting, LLC, Dr. Timmy Fadiora, disclosed this to reporters in Abuja yesterday after training on “Aeriel Survey and Geodetic Mapping on TCN transmission lines and Right of Way (ROW) Corridor.” He said the firm deployed its aircraft from the United States. According to him, $800,000 is required for only aircraft that will fly the nook and cranny of Nigeria. He explained that the firm will conduct an aerial survey on the entire transmission line in Nigeria and their substations.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

13


14

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

15


16

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

17


18

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

19

COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS

EDITORIALS

Extracting fairness

Augean stable

C

•Different strokes: CJN battles corruption; minister laments its prevalence

HIEF Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Muktar, and the Minister of Education, Professor Ruquayattu Rufa’I Bala Mohammed have both condemned the corruption in the country. However, while the former has initiated measures that will deal with some of the causes of corruption in courts, the latter has to go beyond rhetoric in clearing the Augean stable in her ministry. Miffed by the long time spent in settling criminal cases involving corruption, terrorism, rape, kidnapping, money laundering, human trafficking and related matters, the chief justice has initiated changes that could bring sanity into the country’s judiciary. She has developed a model of new practice directions for all courts to fast-track trial of these offences. The CJN is working with chief judges of states’ high courts, the Abuja high court, the Federal High Court and the presiding justices of the various divisions of the court of appeal to put in place an “efficient system” that will eliminate delays in the trial of criminal cases. Highlights of the new Practice Directions for the Supreme Court include: elimination of unnecessary delays in the transmission and conduct of appeals and reducing the expense and time spent on appeals; fast-tracking the hearing and determination of appeals in respect of cases pertaining to corruption, terrorism, kidnapping, etc; minimising undue adjournments and delays occasioned by counsel; reducing the excesses of lawyers and the tactics they often employ to frustrate criminal trials. The new rules also abridge the time within which records must be complied with and transmitted to appellate courts

while parties in criminal cases will no longer be allowed to amend their notices of appeal more than twice. The Supreme Court will invariably give priority to appeals involving corruption and related cases and, where possible, hear such appeals on a day- to- day basis until final determination of the appeals. It is obvious that corruption underlies all the criminal offences stated above. That is why we commend the chief justice for her boldness and sincerity of purpose. Justice Muktar’s changes, if well implemented, will bring sanity to the Nigerian judiciary. Prof. Rufai’s lamentation on corruption took place at the public presentation of the ‘Teachers Guide for Teaching of National Values Curriculum in Basic Education’ held at the headquarters of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja. Represented by Ahmed Rakaya, a director in her ministry, the minister stated that “the most veritable way of tackling corruption head-on and at all levels in Nigeria is to educate the masses on national values, path of the truth and the knowledge of the truth”. She added that they were trying to reduce corruption to the barest minimum in the education sector, and would spare nobody found guilty of corruption in the system. But she neither told us how nor mention cases of people in court or those already punished for corrupt practices. In the case of the chief justice, we have seen some judges sacked for corruption. That the education minister even congratulated her ministry over the recent Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in which over 16,000 results

were cancelled as a result of alleged corrupt practices and other offences was good, but that is not the only area in the sector where corruption thrives. Reports of corrupt practices abound in our tertiary institutions, public and private, where accreditation of courses is allegedly riddled with corruption. If proper investigations are conducted into how some universities were accredited, how and why certain private universities got licenses, the issue of corruption in our educational system would be better exposed. Neither can we commend the ministry on the activities and performances of UTME, National Examinations Council (NECO), etc. Unlike in the judiciary, the Minister of Education has done the usual thing: promise that something would be done about corruption. But what we want to see are concrete actions that will send corrupt elements in the education sector to prison after court trials, not rhetoric or mere promises of intention.

‘Unlike in the judiciary, the Minister of Education has done the usual thing: promise that something would be done about corruption. But what we want to see are concrete actions that will send corrupt elements in the education sector to prison after court trials, not rhetoric or mere promises of intention’

Exit of a workaholic

D

•Mamman Kontagora (1944-2013)

ESPITE reservations about the military incursion in the nation’s governance, General Mamman Kontagora, through dint of hard work and steadfast sincerity to public service, stood out in the crowd of military generals. His death on May 29 at the National Hospital, Abuja, was a loss to the depleting firmament of model public servants. Whether at different times as former Minister of Works and Housing in the Babangida administration, or Military Administrator of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the Abubakar administration, he won the admiration of most Nigerians through commitment to duty. His concern for the environment led to his issuing in 1991 of regulations on pollution abatement and effluent limitations covering all industries, with heavy fines for non-compliance. This drastically reduced infractions in that regard. The menacing oil pollution in

‘Kontagora had inspiring reputation for hard work, unsoiled integrity and honesty ... He lived by example and not precept, especially in positions of public duties that he was privileged to have occupied. As minister of the Federal Republic, he had the reputation of prompt arrival in office before other staff and of always being the last to leave in line of duty to fatherland’

especially the Niger-Delta would have been curbed if his proposal in 1991on guidelines to control oil pollution was tenaciously pursued by successive administrations in the country. The sour point in his public life came when the Sani Abacha government appointed him sole administrator of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1995, after a major conflict at the university. He was an alma mater of the institution where he graduated in 1972. He completed the task of restoring financial and administrative sanity in ABU in July 1998 with widespread applause that even made his successor to name the institution’s convocation square after him. Kontagora’s brief period of being incharge of the FCT witnessed intense development of housing and infrastructure. He had an unsuccessful stint in politics when he was defeated in the senatorial primaries of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2003 elections. He also failed in his bid to win the PDP presidential nomination in 2007 when he lost to Umaru Yar’Adua that was eventually elected as president. Despite his failure in politics, his credentials as a courageous professional soldier and dutiful public servant stand him out any day. His type of Nigerians are exceptionally few in the nation’s murky political waters and are too honest to make any appreciable impact in elections where the political hawks dictate the tunes. Kontagora had inspiring reputation for hard work, unsoiled integrity and honesty. Until he breathed his last at age 69,

he lived a diffident lifestyle that did not bespeak his vast piercing influence and connections. He lived by example and not precept, especially in positions of public duties that he was privileged to have occupied. As minister of the Federal Republic, he had the reputation of prompt arrival in office before other staff and of always being the last to leave in line of duty to fatherland. Not many Nigerians can be impartial in matters of tribal affinity. But Kontagora proved to be one rare impartial umpire that even gave judgement against his ancestral people when saddled with the task of identifying the proper boundary between his own Kontagora local government and Bida in an area that generated acrimony between Alhaji Umaru Sanda Ndayako, late Etsu Nupe and Alhaji Sa’idu Namaska, Sarkin Sudan of Kontagora. He courageously ruled in Bida’s favour against his own local government. Kontagora in Nigeria’s highly politicised military will be remembered as an apolitical soldier publicly acknowledged not to have taken part in any military coup in the country. His involvement through unsolicited appointments in successive military administrations was purely based on his professional competence and honest antecedent. His last public duty was his appointment by the current administration as deputy chairman of Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) Committee. We say adieu to this decent and above average soldier.

•Gabon should back actions with greater transparency FRICAN countries are increasingly assertive about wanting more of

A

the wealth being extracted from their natural resources and Gabon is no exception. Gabon’s demand that foreign investors accept new terms for the exploitation of its oil and mineral wealth is legitimate. But it will only succeed if investors are confident that this assertiveness is not translated into arbitrary action. The FT reported last week that the government planned to take back assets from three oil companies for alleged breaches of contract. It is right that offenders should be sanctioned if a case is proven and standard procedures are followed. But seizure of assets is normally a last resort. Gabon is rightly trying to tackle the corruption and complacency that for decades plagued its relationship with the oil industry. It has a chance to make a fresh start with the auction of licences for the deep waters off its coastline. But there has been too much secrecy surrounding the external audits used to justify the asset reclamation, as well as recent claims to unpaid customs duties and back taxes. Despite promises to make the audits public, they remain under lock and key. Moreover the hydrocarbon code, which will set the terms and conditions of investment, is still not published after more than two years of discussion, though the oil ministry has begun negotiations with individual companies on the deep water blocks. Even more confusion has been created by the government’s recent attempts to impose new terms during contract renewals. Governments need to be sure that in allowing foreign investors to extract mineral resources, the state receives the tax revenues to which it is entitled. Too many African states are losing billions every year, either to corruption or to accounting schemes which facilitate tax avoidance and illegitimate transfer pricing. In today’s world of globally mobile profits, this is a challenge even for the developed economies of the west. The fight against such avoidance is much more difficult for a state on its own. Africa’s resource-rich nations will have a better chance if they join forces to set the framework for mineral extraction. But in the meantime, inconsistent behaviour and a lack of transparency threaten the investment needed to deliver that wealth. Investors have the right to demand good governance and stability from government as much as the state has the right to require the same of them. • Financial Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh

• Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

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

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

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


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

20

CARTOON & LETTERS

S

IR: If there is one governor in Nigeria today who deserves to be commended, it is Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State. Since he took over the reins in 2007, he has worked assiduously to transform every sector, thereby making Lagos one of the most beautiful cities not only in Nigeria but also in Africa. With sterling achievements in health, education, economy, roads and other sectors, Fashola has written his name in the sands of time and earned himself a place in the pantheon of great leaders. As someone who has lived in Lagos for more than three decades, I am particularly concerned about Fashola’s infrastructural development initiatives. Being the commercial hub of the country, Lagos deserves the best infrastructures and it takes a pragmatic governor in the mould of Fashola who is willing to devote all that is required to make that happen. Since he came on board, Fashola has embarked on an aggressive infrastructural development scheme that has brought about the construction and renovation of many roads in various parts of the state. The governor who is on a mission to turn Lagos into a mega city is leaving no stone unturned. There is virtually no part in Lagos where new roads have not been constructed or bad ones renovated. His latest addition is the Lekki – Ikoyi link Bridge which was commissioned on the 29 th of May. Aside from its aesthetic values to the landscape of the Lagos, it is a testimony of the governor’s passion to alleviate the sufferings of the people. As it is said, he who wears the shoe knows where it hurts, the new bridge will be best appreciated by Lagosians who live and work in that axis. It is a technological miracle that connects two worlds divided by water. Only a thinking governor can come up with such cerebral idea to build a 1.38km bridge to connect Ikoyi-Alexander Street to LekkiAdmiralty which is the best and

gion. The central bridge is an engineering masterpiece which has a full length of 466m. The length of its Cable Bridge which is the suspended section is 170m and the height of its pyron is 87m from water level navigational requirement. The clearance average is 9m above high water level. The width of the bridge, which is the carriageway, is 8m by 2; its walkway is 2.0m by 2; road works at Ikoyi end is 338.7m while road works at the

Lekki end is 311.5m. Traffic management in a big city like Lagos poses a big challenge, which is why Fashola should be commended for this innovation. He also deserves some kudos for his efforts in reducing traffic congestion in other parts of the state too. At the moment, the Mile 12Ikorodu road is being upgraded to accommodate BRT lanes and other service lanes. The light rail project from National Theater, Iganmu to

Mile 2 is also nearing completion and work is going on day and night at ten lane Badagry expressway which is the mother of all road projects in the state. Fashola’s commitment to keep Lagos moving also becomes clear when one considers the benefits the new Traffic Radio 96.1, which was also commissioned on the same day the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge was opened. There is no state in this country where there is a radio station dedicated solely to traffic matters where people can also make enquiries before driving out of their homes and offices. With these innovations, governor Fashola has once again showed his commitment to keep Lagos on the fast lane and we must appreciate his efforts. • Lukman Adewale, Igboefon, Lekki, Lagos

Bar” ceremony. Usman also left camp to get the photograph published with an article. At the time the article was being published, the camp even had two unoccupied hostels, each with capacity of 300. He was, in fact, taken around to see the vacant hostels. The publication was in contravention of the NYSC Bye-Law (Section 3, sub-section R) which bars corps members from addressing the press, publishing or causing to be published news or other articles on policy issues without express permission from authorities of the scheme. Secondly, the fact that he went out of the camp without permission was in contravention of the provisions of the Bye-Law, and punishable by decampment (Section 3, (b). It was on the basis of these that disciplinary action was initiated against him. Now, to the issues raised by Haruna in his column; we wish to presents facts of disciplinary procedures against the corps member

as follows: Usman’s appearance before the camp court was in line with the provisions of the NYSC Bye-Law. The appearance of erring corps members before the camp court, which is a form of disciplinary committee, is to give them opportunity to defend themselves. The corps member agreed that his publication was false and even tendered apology in writing to the camp administration and the corps members that he lured into the toilet to photograph. His father, Malam Danjuma Yaro, came to the camp in company of his neighbour Sheik Namadi and upon hearing of the facts of the case, openly rebuked him for his wrongdoing. The plea by the father saved him from being decamped as provided by Section 3, sub-section B of the NYSC Bye-Law. The issue of extension of service raised is, in fact, a lesser penalty, which only deals with parts of his offence (i.e., addressing the press without permission and rudeness to the camp court’s secretary whom he threatened for refusal to disclose

to him the verdict of the committee). As for his relocation to Delta State, the management took that decision after noting his tendency to cause disaffection among other corps members. It should be also be noted that NYSC Kaduna State has paid him allowance due to him before his relocation contrary to the claim made in Haruna’s column. The issue of the corps member’s Ill-health (Hepatitis B positive) was never indicated in his registration forms even when there are provisions for any corps member to state whether he/she suffers from any ailment. Records of the entire case, including his written admission of wrongdoing, apology to the corps members that he lured to the toilet, snapped and wrongly used their photos, are available at the Press and Public Relations Unit of the NYSC Headquarters and NYSC Secretariat, Kaduna for verification. • Management, National Youth Service Corps, Abuja.

EDITOR’S MAIL BAG

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

To keep Lagos moving only way to ease the perpetual gridlock on that route. By providing an escape route from the notorious traffic on that road, this bridge will go a long way in helping people save several hours spent in traffic which can be invested into more productive ventures. It must also be said that the LekkiIkoyi link bridge is a pace setting initiative by Fashola as it is the first cable suspended bridge in Nigeria and the entire West Africa sub-re-

S

Re: Open letter to Director-General of NYSC

IR: The attention of the NYSC management has been drawn to the above publication, which appeared in Mallam Mohammed Haruna’s column in The Nation of May 8. The columnist alleged that the NYSC Secretariat, Kaduna State victimized a corps member, Abubakar Idris Usman KD/12C/2265, over a newspaper publication that was critical of the NYSC scheme. The article, which was the subject of Haruna’s open letter, was published in The Nation of November 22, 2012 and entitled “In Kaduna, corps members sleep in toilet”. We consider it appropriate to address the issues raised in Haruna’s column; putting the records straight for the benefit of the reading public. The corps member, Usman mobilized some other corps members, and took photograph of them in a toilet, which he gave the setting of a living room by taking in a double-bunk bed and personal effects of some corps lawyers who were at that time in Abuja for their “Call to


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

I

COMMENTS

21

R

N the beginning, he bawled while in Abacha’s gulag, after convicothers hee-hawed: “Abiola won fair tion for trumped up coup and square.” That was 1993. Before charges. But had his People’s Front (PF) faction of the victothe latest crisis, contrived by power rious Social Democratic Party greed and cant, he also thundered: (SDP) not conspired to sign “There would be consequences!” That away MKO’s mandate, was 2011. Yar’adua probably would still Between 1993 and 2011, the damning be alive – and perhaps consumvoice of Mallam Adamu Ciroma, clear, mated, after an Abiola presiloud, harsh, austere but honourable, Olakunle dency, his ambition to become hangs over a polity that prides itself for Nigeria’s elected president. lordbeek@yahoo.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola infamy. Yar’adua is dead and rests in It is the living equivalent of the ghost peace. But not so many, who of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) live long but hardly happily Abiola, the man who won the one and ever after, in the rank of the only true pan-Nigeria presidential mandate, in Nigeria’s troubled political hispolitical living dead, after the June 12 crime. love to conk Mallam Adamu as some Northern irredentist, set Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, since his “step aside” after the do tory. That ghost still ravages this country, exactly 20 years against the emergence of a “southern” president. has found out he could not possibly ever “step back”, no mattomorrow, after that historic election – and shows no signs of How Ciroma’s open stand against injustice, against his own ter how long he lives – and may Allah gift him long and abating. people (as was clear from the summary repudiation of the PDP healthy life yet. He would bear, to his grave, the guilt of June O yes, Goodluck Jonathan also claims a pan-Nigeria manzoning formula that propelled Jonathan himself into the vice12 and its subsequent but avoidable tragedies. date of a sort. But from the intra-Peoples Democratic Party presidency), in a federal Nigeria rippling with fierce competiOlusegun Obasanjo and Anthony Anenih are a serious study (PDP) legerdemain that preceded it and the electoral gerrytion for power, can only emerge in a Nigerian polity that ripin passive and active political irrelevance, two gerontocrats mandering that hallmarked the 2011 election, it is clear ples through and through with lazy thinking. yoked to the same fate, all thanks to their role in the June 12 Jonathan’s claim is only history repeating itself as mere farce. But emotive demonization or no, the severe beauty of saga. The irony must be clear: a consummated pan-Nigeria manCiroma’s stand lies in its consistency. Obasanjo, the other day, took a swipe at Jonathan, his esdate ought to lead to a can-do release, a derring-do spirit that Prof. Omo Omoruyi, director-general of the Babangida-era tranged godson, that whoever could not perform as president liberates and pushes the nation, like reeds in front of sweeping Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS), verily believed a northshould give way; an eerily similar putdown, almost word for winds, into happy and unbridled development. ern-inspired “geo-ethno-military-ruling-clique”, with its preword, he gave luckless Umaru Musa Yar’adua, on his fatally ill But Jonathan’s mandate has produced the exact opposite: a 1993 power arrogance, masterminded the June 12 presidential bed. But just as Obasanjo was pushing the cause of Jonathan at vast slaughter slab that aptly captures the 21st century equivaelection annulment. But Mallam Adamu cried foul, even if his Yar’adua’s expense, he is now pushing the cause of Sule Lamido, lent of Thomas Hobbes’s state of nature, where life is hard, moral protest could not stop the evil and its terrible aftermaths. Jigawa governor, at poor Jona’s expense! nasty, brutish and short, even when many an ardent Jonathan So, when a constellation of southern power hustlers, led by But not many people remember that Lamido, as SDP nabacker screams “political Boko Haram!”. former President Olusegun Obasanjo, self-proclaimed “father tional secretary, was complicit in signing away MKO’s vicMKO won a clean presidential mandate – the cleanest in of modern Nigeria”, bore false witnesses for Jonathan on the tory. It could well be superstitious, but it would appear the Nigerian history. But he spent his whole four-year term in PDP presidential zoning policy, to deny the North of its right, MKO ghost that has pushed Obasanjo into passive irrelevance gaol, between 1994 and 1998, in Sani Abacha’s gulag. When was Ciroma supposed to keep mum? He rightly pressed his of spiteful endorsement, when his previous endorsements have MKO’s gaoler suddenly expired, not reportedly in the most right to be heard. With the total crisis that is Goodluck been absolute disasters, is waiting in the wings! honourable of circumstances, MKO too had to pay the supreme Jonathan’s uneasy tenure, he has been painfully proved right. Anenih, the SDP national chairman that signed away MKO’s price, as a so-called “equaliser”, to finally settle a contrived But much more instructive for a power-drunk northern elite, win, is busy at his own active irrelevance, prescribing antedipower crisis that had lasted the whole of five brutish and bloody who pushed their luck too far on June 12, thus pushing with it, luvian, anti-democratic theories of automatic tickets for a party years! into the Atlantic Ocean, their British-aided illicit power domiabout to break up. Clearly, Pa Anenih is stuck in the past: the Seriously, how can a country boast such swashbuckling innation: Adamu Ciroma is a living witness, and indeed prosame old strong arm tactics that clearly made the fixer, is set to justice, against a citizen whose only high crime was winning a tested, against his kith-and-kin, when power waywardness finally fix the fixer! free election, and not expect dire consequences? pushed them to the June 12 harakiri. But in the latest PDP rumpus, Anenih is in good company: The latest consequences of that long running injustice is the Now, his golden voice is still here, pushing their right to the fixer as party undertaker, in cohorts with a desperate presiBoko Haram scourge, for which many an excitable mind would clambering back into the power chamber, if the latest and desdent as party undertaker! The ghost of MKO may yet smash perate tenant of Aso Rock allows. Even then, it must be clear to the PDP, a retreating military Trojan horse, wilfully installed “Obasanjo and Anenih are a seri- all that the untrammelled lollies of pre-1999 power halcyon to sell a democracy dummy and dispense raw power and imare gone for good! punity, in lieu of the real thing that June 12 epitomises. ous study in passive and active po- years It is all the making of MKO’s ghost, the latest karma on the Still, to avert a president as party undertaker doubling as a political plain! president as country undertaker, another word of wisdom from litical irrelevance, two gerontocrats Nigerian Even before MKO’s death, karma was already reaping bounProf. Omoruyi: “The death of Chief Abiola ought to lead to a yoked to the same fate, all thanks tiful harvest of those who, for real-politik, betrayed June 12. renegotiated Nigeria to make a true federal system.” Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’adua would stake some claim to a martyr That is the way to go for a Nigerian rebirth in the spirit of to their role in the June 12 saga” of Nigerian democracy, dying in controversial circumstances June 12.

epublican ipples

June 12 and ghost of MKO

J

UNE 12, 1993, about 14 million Nigerians trooped out to cast their ballots in what became the watershed as the freest and fairest elections in the nation’s electoral history. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, the business mogul Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, received over 8 million votes, and won in 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory. His National Republican Convention (NRC) counterpart, Alhaji Bashir Tofa got over six million votes and won in only 10 states. The SDP candidate’s victory was resoundingly comprehensive as he clinched almost 60% of the total votes cast. Only in two states of Kebbi and Sokoto did Abiola fail to obtain at least one-third of the votes. That was the result before the June 16, 1993 order by the Abuja High Court suspending further announcement of the results. The order was of course as good as superfluous given that the result, under the existing rules, was already available to the world. We know what happened later: the election was annulled by the Ibrahim Babangida junta. The intendment of the annulment was in effect, to deny that the exercise, in which more than 14 million citizens freely exercised their franchise, never really took place! The description of the criminal annulment as a military wonder of procuring an abortion after the arrival of the baby could not be more apt! But then, no less revealing is the attitude of a section of the political class. Some actually insisted that the election, in which they freely took part, could not have been valid mainly on the strength of a spurious judgment procured at midnight! Losers on their part would not even find the grace to concede victory to the winner just as some would threaten to bring the roof down should the result of the non-controversial election be recognised. In the end, the pan Nigerian mandate was effectively scuttled. As they say, the rest is history. But then, we are talking of an event that took place two decades ago. How well has the nation fared 14 years into the so-called democratic journey? No doubt, its quest for democratic consolidation has been a mixed bag. Whereas the experience has ranged from the outright confounding to the ridiculous, the nation can at least point to one major blessing that the democratic order, with all its dysfunctions, is at least theoretically, still in place! Now, let’s go back. Twenty years ago, the nation had what one might call, a passable electoral process. Warts and all, the Modified Open Ballot system – better known as Option A4, at least guaranteed some degree of credibility to the process. The requirement was simple. Voter registration was elaborate. Accreditation of voters, al-

Policy Sanya Oni sanyaoni@yahoo.co.uk 08051101841

June 12: Old habits die hard

though tedious and cumbersome was at least open and transparent. The collation process, although fraught with some challenges, was generally seen as credible and reliable. What do we have today? If in 1999, the process was passable, subsequent years have been an exercise in steady regression. If citizens thought that no election could be worse than that of 2003, they could not have imagined what became of the 2007 elections. In the South-west, it actually took the active intervention by the judiciary to return to the winners what the electoral robbers had stolen as we saw in Ekiti and Osun states! And the source of the trouble: the electoral machine that turned losers into winners and vice versa. That was the background which informed citizens’ faith in the Attahiru Jega-led INEC. And what did we get? At best a distinction without a difference. Today, Nigerians can’t even be sure that any system let alone a fool-proof one is in place. Despite the song made by the electoral umpire about deploying modern technology to its activities, the last exercise ended in utter disappointment, unfortunately, for an exercise that the nation had invested so much faith and resources. In the end, not only was the outcome suspect, all the promises of an error-free, biometric system simply disappeared with the wind. But then, the problem with the political system isn’t always that of the architecture of the elections. It seems to me that we have a greater challenge to deal with in the attitude of the players in our electoral politics. It starts with their basic understanding of political concepts and extends to their disdain for the rule of the game. In 1993, a section of political players would insist on not making

the distinction between the military-ordered cancellation of party primaries and the annulment of a national election. It’s like not finding the difference between the candidate that was prevented from writing an exam and another that sat and passed for an exam but for which the examiner would nonetheless insist never held! Again, that was 1993. It is a measure of the regression of our national politics that the same old daemon of delinquency is back. Evidence: May 2013, a so-called “consensus arrangement” among players is deemed as superior to an election in which parties willingly took part, and of which the result would run contrary to their expectations of their ‘consensus’. And that is an election in which only 35 voted! One is talking here of the Nigerian Governors Forum election of May 24 which Rotimi Amaechi, the Rivers State governor won with 19 votes, but which the consensus group now claims that their man, Jonah Jang won with 16. I watched Olusegun Mimiko, the Ondo state governor struggle to make the case that the election held against the grain of expectation. Did he say that the election did not take place? No, he didn’t – only that the incumbent ought to have stepped down in deference to their rules. Did he vote? Was his vote among the 35 counted? At this time, it’s even pointless to talk about bad losers who instead of accepting defeat gracefully would rather invoke God as if He, and not them, scripted the confusion. Where is the nation headed? It’s not difficult to tell. Let me however make this point: the virus of political delinquency would kill this democracy faster than anyone might ever think. The point is – it’s easier to fix the bolts and the nuts of the electoral machine than one would deal with the delinquency virus. What delinquency does is gnaw slowly away at the soul of the democratic spirit. Now, tell me, whoever heard of a being without the spirit?

‘The virus of political delinquency would kill this democracy faster than anyone might ever think. The point is – it’s easier to fix the bolts and the nuts of the electoral machine than one would deal with the delinquency virus. What delinquency does is gnaw slowly away at the soul of the democratic spirit. Now, tell me, whoever heard of a being without the spirit?’


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

22

COMMENTS

T

HE federal government seems to be enjoying a rare moment of success in the war against terror and President Goodluck Jonathan is feeling on top of the world. There are even talks in government circles that the state of emergency imposed on Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states might not last its full six months course. Even the National Assembly, particularly the Senate has caught the bug of victory over Boko Haram “in sight” that is pervading official and military circles in Abuja. President of the Senate David Mark recently echoed President Jonathan when he said the emergency rule would soon be over. But amidst this optimism lies the danger of dropping our guards and allowing Boko Haram a way back and causing more havoc. And that seems to be the case in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital last weekend when some members of the terrorist organisation sneaked through the security cordon within and around the city, hiding their guns in a coffin to gain access to where some informants were staying and shot them dead. The president seems to be under some pressure to end the military action and declare victory albeit prematurely and that would be dangerous for Nigeria. If he succumbs to the pressure from both within and outside the Peoples Democratic Party, the Boko Haram insurgency could become like a snake cut into half, when it strikes, it would be more deadly. For the first time President Jonathan seems to be doing something right. The military action seems to be heading for success and Boko Haram look certain to fizzle out or retreat into neighbouring countries. This looks

‘How many more “recalcitrant” governors would be suspended to achieve this remain to be seen but it does appear that some people in the party would stop at nothing to return Jonathan to the presidency even destroying the party and possibly our democracy’

A

S we marked another democracy day, it is natural to review our democratic journey in the Third Republic so far with a view to forming an opinion on the journey itself and the road ahead. In the event that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has governed the country uninterrupted since 1999, it is the dominant influence of our democracy and as painful as it is, the bitter truth is that our fortunes as a nation are decided by the PDP. So it is only sensible to look at the PDP, the drivers of our national vehicle in order to see where the drive is headed. Many commentators point to the uninterrupted 14 years of civil rule and the handover in 2007 from one civilian led government to another as evidence of deepening democracy in Nigeria and conclude that it has in fact come to stay. This conclusion is without sophistication in as much as it does not recognize the fact that a transfer from one PDP government to another is not a handover, it is a hand-in. For different reasons and especially because of recent dramatic events in the PDP, anytime happenings in the PDP assault my space, the biblical story of the Tower of Babel comes to mind. For those unfamiliar with the story, the people of the world at that time

‘From the governors forum election, it has been clearly demonstrated that this is at variance with the PDP ethos. For them, it is either the way of the cabal or everything scatters! I will boldly predict that although PDP controls Nigeria, our dear country will not scatter, it is the PDP that will scatter!’

Before we end the emergency rule good, but then with 2015 elections near the corner, the politician in the president is inclined to wanting to reap the success too quickly and risks destroying the gains. As was the case with former United States president George W Bush when he declared victory over Iraq in the second Gulf war prematurely, any hasty withdrawal of the military from the theatre of operation against Boko Haram could prolong the insurgency and harm Jonathan’s political future. Not that he has done well overall to deserve another term in office, but if he could restore peace and security to the north east and other trouble spots around the country may be he could have a chance. Supporters of the military action. I guess they are more in numbers, want peace everywhere in Nigeria not just the north east, just as critics of the military action. They would support every action by the military to bring about peace and security but not high handedness and crimes against the innocent as the military in states under the emergency rule are being accused of. Every criticism of the military in this regard is often seen by the government and the military high command as an attack on Nigeria by “enemies” of the country. Even media reports are seen in this light. This is rather unfortunate. The other day Aljazeera reported certain atrocities against innocent civilians and the government’s only response to it is to condemn the report without any evidence to disprove it. Now the government is hyper sensitive to every seemingly negative report of the military action in the north east almost to the point of paranoia, yet no effort has been made to take Nigerian journalists to theatre of action to see things for themselves. Telephone communication to most parts of the

region has been cut, so getting first information on what was happening is pretty difficult,so the Nigerian press is left to publish/report handouts from either the military high command in Abuja or what foreign news agencies could glean from their contacts in Nigeria. While it might look unpatriotic to rely on foreign wire reports to get information on the military operation, the hand out from the military cold also be suspect, as the military cannot be relied upon to day the whole truth. So, as it is done elsewhere, it wouldn’t be out of place if the military should arrange “embed” some Nigerian journalists as part of the military media team covering the military action against Boko Haram. If the local journalists are there live, the tendency to want to rely on foreign wire report would be reduced and trust the Nigerian journalist to also be patriotic. The federal government it does appear gets annoyed only when these reports and criticism of some perceived excesses of the military in the fight against Boko Haram doesn’t favor it. Each time the United States had something not too good to say about the military action and even the activities of Boko Haram, the federal government was always on the defensive, and at times abusive. At a point the US was to classify Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation but Abuja kicked against the move, but last week President Jonathan finally came to terms with the reality that what we had on our hands was a gang of terrorist and has so acknowledged and classified the group together with its sister organisation, Ansaru. What this points to is a simple fact that these foreign countries and/or international agencies couldn’t

The tower of PDP By Edo Ukpong had only one language and were very skilled in construction. So conceited did they become in the greatness of their own abilities that they decided to build a tower to reach up to heaven. God realising the possibilities attendant to unity of purpose decided to confuse their tongues and the builders started speaking different languages. Unable to understand each other any longer, the project collapsed and ended in failure. The lesson of the story for me lies in the wisdom of recognising that with unity of purpose, great things are possible. Unfortunately, the fact that a thing is great does not make it good and therefore with unity of purpose even ignoble things can be attained. The PDP has ruled Nigeria for 14 years. It has not been years of glory for our nation but for members of the PDP. Whilst the rest of the country is being crushed under the suffocating weight of corruption induced poverty and insecurity, they are in their own cocoons. That is why a country with a GNP that is less than that of the West Bank and Gaza is the same with a staggeringly disproportionate high demand for armoured vehicles, private jets and champagne! The PDP has captured and retained power for 14 years, but that is not the real story. The fact is that power has been retained by a combination of brute force, election rigging, intimidation and politics of divisive tribalism and religion. Unfortunately as a people we have been outmanoeuvred by PDP’s ignoble but clever use of divide and rule propaganda. So even when things are being done wrong, the identity of the perpetrator and his tribe and religion become more important than the effect of the wrong doing on the larger society. A good friend and otherwise very sensible gentleman and also from the Southsouth agreed that things were not going well in Nigeria but chastised me for blaming or criticising President Jonathan, our ‘brother’ (

I am not Ijaw and neither is he). He angrily proclaimed that he did not care if Nigeria spoils and in words that are forever etched in my system - “others have spoilt Nigeria before- it is our turn to spoil Nigeria! After we have taken our turn then we can pay attention to doing things right”! A pure but sadly prevalent case of impassioned irrationality of the many that have been fooled by the divide and rule propaganda. This same friend of Urhobo extraction, when asked whether the governorship in Delta State will rotate to Delta North who have never held the position – angrily reminded me that democracy is a matter of numbers and so the minority Delta North should be democrats and perish the ambition! Such is the selfserving hypocrisy of a traumatized citizenry. In Akwa Ibom State, the Eket senatorial district is laying claim to the governorship in 2015 on the basis of rotation and fairness. PDP stalwart and Senator representing Uyo senatorial district, Ita Enang has proclaimed on behalf of the party that zoning, which he described as unknown to democracy has never been applied in Akwa Ibom! The Eket people have started reminding everyone, increasingly aggressively, that being the producers of the entire oil wealth of Akwa Ibom State, their quest to govern the state is not only meritorious it is also not negotiable! Sounds like a familiar narrative and if memory serves me right I remember my friend Senator Enang making the startling disclosure that northerners control 80% of Nigeria’s oil. I wonder how much of Akwa Ibom’s oil is controlled by non-Eket Akwa Ibomites! Forgive the detour of the above examples as it is necessary to illustrate the latent inconsistencies that have become part of the PDP and hence national fabric; inconsistencies manifested by the surfacing of strange tongues. Recent events in the PDP, especially the Rivers State situation, playing out in the

possibly have anything against us other than the best interest of the country and the international community. Now that we seem to be getting on top of the Boko Haram insurgency, the need to engage our neighbouring countries in the fight is imperative. Some of the fleeing terrorists have found their way to Niger Republic in particular where they recently attacked a prison in an effort to free some of the inmates who are members of their organisation. The Ghanaian president recently called for a regional approach to the fight against terrorism in the sub region. A coordinated effort supported by the rest of the international community would go a long way to rid Nigeria and indeed the West African sub region of threat and menace of these terrorists. The war against terror is not one in which victory can be declared, it is a long one to be fought over generations and must not be left to the military alone. We are all involved. As PDP presses the self destruct botton Not picking your national chairman’s call could cost you your membership especially if you are a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). At least that seems to be the reason behind the suspension of the Sokoto State governor Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko last week from the party. Alu, as the governor is fondly called was the second governor elected on the platform of the party to be suspended by the leadership under the guise of instilling discipline in the party. Remember Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State is still on suspension to ostensibly instill discipline in the party. At least that was what we were made to believe by the Bamanga Tukur led executive of the party but Nigerians are not deceived. All is geared towards clearing the way for a Jonathan candidacy for the presidency on the platform of PDP again in 2015. To achieve this, all real and perceived obstacle must be removed. Well let’s see how far Jonathan and Tukur can go. How many more “recalcitrant” governors would be suspended to achieve this remain to be seen but it does appear that some people in the party would stop at nothing to return Jonathan to the presidency even destroying the party and possibly our democracy. But Nigerians are watching. May be we need the PDP to self destruct to save this democracy. Time will tell. recent Nigeria Governors Forum election and spiralling out of control is a manifestation of the irredeemable confusion in the party. It is my humble opinion that this is a signpost for the liberation of a hapless citizenry from the clutches of a power-crazed locust ruling elite. Nigerians have been speaking in different tongues and have been rendered unable to forge a common front to make the ruling elite subservient to the peoples wishes and interests. We have been kept divided because the ruling elite have forged an unholy unity in a quest for their own self-protection and selfish interests. Nothing signified this unholy unity of purpose more than the existence of a cohesive governors forum. The Rivers situation has resulted in the collapse of the governors forum. We the people should rejoice because although an unintended consequence, our freedom is nigh. That is the law of nature, confusion among our captors means we are able to break the shackles of induced divisions and re-establish the supremacy of peoples power. As K O Mbadiwe may have said – they are disuniting to unite us! A key component of democracy is elections and the acceptance of the majority rule. From the governors forum election, it has been clearly demonstrated that this is at variance with the PDP ethos. For them, it is either the way of the cabal or everything scatters! I will boldly predict that although PDP controls Nigeria, our dear country will not scatter, it is the PDP that will scatter! The boast of ruling Nigeria for the next 100 years (with or without our consent) is akin to building the tower of Babel and God having seen our helplessness has come to our rescue. That is why Governor Jang believes God made him the chairman of the governors forum, he is correct! And Nigerians should thank God! The history of Nigeria’s democracy when told in many years will feature PDP prominently, sadly for our country; it is episodes like the post election drama and the abduction of Governor Chris Ngige amongst several other shenanigans that will be of most interest. • Ukpong writes from Lagos.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

23


INSIDE

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

Page 25

Website: http://www.thenationonlineng.com

FCTA to deploy sanitation task force

A day for Dana crash victims

- Page 26

‘Abuja light rail ready by 2014’

- Page 27

•The cenotaph

I

‘Women need favourable interest rates’

- Page 28

T was a day an old wound was reopened. Tears came flowing down as if the tragedy had just happened. The soulful tunes rendered by the choir made matters worse for friends and relatives of victims of the crash. The entire event was meant to commemorate last year’s Dana plane crash. The scene was the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja. The organisers strategically positioned a cenotaph at the Y-junction leading to the international wing and General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the airport. The spot is a stone’s throw from the Dana’s Abuja Office. It was exactly a year when the nation was thrown into grief. All the 153 passengers aboard the Dana aircraft and six on the ground died in the crash. The day was set aside to remember the crash victims in Abuja. An hour before the memorial service, friends, relatives, government officials and other bigwigs in

From Olugbenga Adanikin

the aviation sector were already seated at the venue. They were dressed in black and dark glasses. Little Samuel, son of the late Eventus Ukpon, was in his grey suit, ignorant of the proceedings. The choir rendered soul-lifting songs which evoked tears from the relatives and well-wishers. Security was water-tight. Reporters, among other officials, had to pull off their footwear before gaining entrance to the premises. President Goodluck Jonathan arrived at the venue towards the General Aviation Terminal exactly 9:59am accompanied by the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah. Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, House Committee Chairman on Aviation, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mrs. Ngozi OkonjoIweala were among dignitaries present at the commemoration.

Shortly after the opening prayer led by Rev. Obioma Onwuzurumba, the song “Rock of Ages” was sung by the choir and congregation. The clergy, in his word of exhortation, read Ecclesiastes 3 verse 1:11 stating that “vanity of vanities; all is vanity.……one generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever…..” Onwuzurumba, Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa, quoted more scripture, reminding everyone that there is “a time to weep and time to rejoice.... a time to keep, a time to throw away, a time of war and a time of peace...” Describing the uneventful incident as normal, he said it was imperative to give thanks to God always. But he encouraged relatives of the victims to pray to God, rise above the situation and applaud the Almighty so that He can always give His mercy. The clergy further challenged the relatives to seek grace to trust God

in situations which they don’t have control over. “Affliction should not come the second time,” he prayed, stressing that the nation would have no cause to mourn over such situation again. For Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah, there was need to focus attention on road accidents in the country, considering the rate at which the nation experiences accidents on its highways. The Bishop challenged the Federal Government as well as lawmakers to formulate policies that will make the nation’s airspace safer. He urged government to also compensate ground victims of the crash. kukah said: “We should not only think of how to make aviation safe but the entire country. Many more Nigerians are dying from car crashes than plane crashes. It is also important for •Continued on Page 26


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

26

ABUJA REVIEW

FCTA to deploy sanitation task force From Gbenga Omokhunu and Grace Obike

•Oloye Akinjide

T

HE Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has disclosed that the administration would deploy a Sanitation Task

Force in the territory as part of concerted efforts to ensure a clean environment. Akinjide stated this while receiving a delegation from Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council led by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador, Mr Ebele Okeke. The minister noted that the task force had become necessary in order to tackle the sanitation issue in the territory. “It has become important to bring back sanitary inspectors in FCT. The Sanitation Task Force is essential, which the administration will set up to deal with the problem of sanitation. The FCTA is currently carrying out facility audit of all the area councils and satellite towns to enable effective planning. “We are also reviewing the exist-

ing regulations in the FCT to ensure that all houses and schools have toilet facilities. We have launched the Clean and Green Greater Abuja Initiative and Village Sanitation Programme as part of measures to ensure a clean environment in the area councils and satellite towns,” she explained. She disclosed that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had ap-

proved the contract for a new water supply scheme in Karshi valued at N19.4 billion. According to her, “The scope of the work will be the construction of two dams with a capacity of 19.6 million cubic litres of water reservoir and a water treatment plant that will be able to process 2,500 cubic litres per hour. “The water project will provide

It has become important to bring back sanitary inspectors in FCT. The Sanitation Task Force is essential, which the administration will set up to deal with the problem of sanitation. The FCTA is currently carrying out facility audit of all the area councils and satellite towns to enable effective planning

potable water for the residents and water for agricultural and irrigation activities. It will also provide work for over 600 skilled and unskilled workers.” Earlier in her address, the WASH Ambassador, Engr. Ebele Okeke, advised the Federal Government to provide more funds to address the issues of water supply and sanitation in the country. “Many houses in the country do not have toilet facilities and also schools. Our Youth WASH Network recently carried out a study and found out that access to water is low while access to toilet facilities is poor. “The government needs to increase budgetary allocation for the health sector, water resources and environment. The water and sanitation coverage rates in Nigeria are amongst the lowest in the world. We all need to work together to change this,” said Okeke, who was a former Head of Service of the Federation.”

A day for Dana crash victims •Continued from Page 25 us to remember those who take the risk to be at the scene of accidents doing the rescue work. “The will of God is supreme. These are difficult times for our country, but we are going to triumph. Not to triumph because of our efforts, but because of the grace of God.” A representative of the family Stephanus relived the tragedy. She described it as very painful in their lives and also appreciated the Ministry and Nigerians for their concerns. “How can we all forget a day such as this in our lives, the very day we were faced with so much pain of losing our loved ones? We take solace in God. “On behalf of the affected families of the Dana crash, I want to express our profound gratitude to the aviation ministry and all the good citizens of our country Nigeria for all the love and concern to have this memorial day. Above all, we give thanks and glory to God for everything. May their souls rest in perfect peace,” she said. At the unveiling of the cenotaph, the Deputy Chief Imam, Muhammed Kabir Adamu led the Muslim prayer while Kukah rendered the Christian prayer. The President, in his speech at the cenotaph, described the death as a “monumental tragedy for the nation.” On his face was the expression of pain and affection for relatives of the deceased. The Aviation Minister was not left out in the atmosphere. It was a painful but reassuring speech. “Precisely on this day about one year ago, a tragic crash of Dana Air flight J9 992 occurred in the suburbs of Agege, Lagos State minutes before it could have landed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport. All the 153 persons on board and six others on the ground lost their lives. “We commiserate with the families of all those who lost their lives, especially on the first anniversary of that terrible tragedy. We also feel and share the same sense of profoundness to the victims of all other aviation accidents that have occurred in this country.” President used the ample opportunity to assure Nigerians and the global community on the safety of the nation’s airspace. “Today I want to say to all to my countrymen and women and the entire world that we will make our air-

•The crash scene space safe. In this regard I reiterate our determination to do everything humanly possible to prevent the occurrence of this unfortunate tragedy.” Shortly after the crash, the aviation minister appointed the Technical and Administrative Review Panel (TARP). The panel which comprised experienced professionals in the aviation industry had the task to review the operations, technical and managerial practices of airlines that operate domestically. They were also expected to uncover any contributory systemic losses that may have existed in the industry such that could be steadily addressed to enhance the overall safety of the sector. At a briefing recently in Abuja, the

Aviation Minister had said about 80 percent of recommendations made by TARP has been implemented. But Jonathan, during his speech gave a little diverging statement saying “they made a number of recommendations and they have all been implemented by the ministry of aviation.” Among the recommendation includes review of the aviation policy According to him, the new aviation policy wasreviewed to further strengthen the safety and operations of the various categories of aviation businesses in the country. It was there Jonathan reiterated approval of the policy by the Federal Executive Council (FEC). Describing the cenotaph as a symbol of the nation’s respect for the 159

We commiserate with the families of all those who lost their lives, especially on the first anniversary of that terrible tragedy. We also feel and share the same sense of profoundness to the victims of all other aviation accidents that have occurred in this country

victims, he emphasised, aviation safety was key. “With every incidence new lessons are learnt but they will never be forgotten,” he stressed. ”It is also a reminder on the demonstration of our resolve to do everything humanly possible to ensure that similar tragedies never occur again in this country. This cenotaph is to symbolise the turning of a new page and the closure of a painful old chapter in our history. “It represents our resolve to maintain maximum vigilance in safety regulation of our aviation industry. We must remain vigilant in our safety oversight responsibilities in order to have a robust aviation industry which will serve our country well,” he assured. Miss Valkamiya Ahdamu who lost her father to the crash, said: “Some families, friends have kept us going.” On compensation, she said: “It is actually not a challenge that we have but I’m sure probably within a few months, hopefully, it will be resolved. My daddy was a much organised man and he did organise himself for us, and our being well.” Another man who chooses not to reveal his name said: “I won’t want to talk about it especially on the issue of compensation. She is worth more than whatever they want to offer.”

Mother of four-year old Samuel said: “We have not been paid any compensation. They only told us they are still in the process so we don’t really know when they will be through with that.” At the memorial ceremony, the Minister explained why compensations to family of crash victims were delayed. She attributed issues of multiple claimant and litigation as major challenge. Oduah said the Federal Government was working to ensure that compensations are being paid to legitimate next of kin. The Minister who spoke through her Special Assistant on Media, Joe Obi, said: “We will continue to share the loss survived by these families. Our heart and condolences go out to them. The issue of compensation like the Minister has said on Thursday, all efforts are being intensified by the Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Government to ensure that every victim’s family is fully compensated according to the regulations and according to the law. “The I feel the complicated issue now is their compensation. One of the greatest obstacles is that in some cases, you have multiple claimants and the greatest somebody can do to the deceased is to pay compensation.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

27

ABUJA REVIEW

‘Abuja light rail ready by 2014’

I

N his effort to provide alternative modes of transport, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has re-assured that the Abuja Light Rail would be ready by 2014. The minister gave the assurance while receiving the participants of the National School of Public Policy, Lahore, Pakistan who were in Abuja for a study tour in his office. Mohammed, who was represented at the occasion by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. John Obinna Chukwu, an engineer, restated that the Abuja Light Rail project would change the face of FCT Transportation system. His words: “The Abuja Light Rail project is on track and should be ready by year 2014 in fulfillment of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan”. The minister said that on completion, the Abuja Light Rail is billed to handle about two million passengers daily.

Foundation to help orphans, widows

H

Storie from Gbenga Omokhunu

According to him, “The Abuja Light Rail is billed to handle about two million passengers daily, while its various stations are designed to provide investment corridors for shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, office precincts and other land uses”. He reiterated that the multiplier effects of these and several other on-going projects on employment generation and economic development would be massive. The minister said that Nigeria and Pakistan have similar history being colonies of Britain as well as members of the Commonwealth of Nations; adding that they should therefore, share their peculiar experiences for mutual benefits. Mohammed called on the delegation to assist in wooing Pakistani investors to come and invest in Abuja; stressing that investment opportunities abound in the Federal Capital Territory with high

The Abuja Light Rail project is on track and should be ready by year 2014 in fulfillment of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan

•Senator Mohammed returns. On Land-Swap, the minister expressed confidence that the FCT Administration would realise over N500 billion from the Dallas Carraway District project in the next couple of years,while the Abuja Industrial Park is anticipated to attract a direct foreign investment of over $1.8 billion within the next four years. Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation and Chief Instructor of the National Management Wing of the National School of Public Policy, Seemi Waheed revealed that it is a class of 69 participants shared across the globe for study tour with 10 of them coming to Abuja. She disclosed that the school is the highest public service institution in Pakistan having 21B-training programme.

UAWEI Technologies Co. Limited is to help over 1,000 Abuja and its environs widows and orphans to overcome poverty in 2013, the Media Affairs Manager, West Africa Public Relations Department, Mr. Kevin Li has said. Speaking during the 2013 Nungsto Children’s Day celebration in Abuja, he noted that the firm has in this year assisted the non-governmental organisation (NGO), Nungtso Charity Foundation, with about N15million. The foundation however called on well-meaning individuals and organisations to join its cause to ameliorate the plight of widows and orphans by contributing to the development of its permanent orphanage home in Abuja. The founder, Mrs. Jerusalem Danladi said “God gave us a land in Abuja. We are planning to build schools and hostels for the children. Thus, we want people to assist us in whatever area they can.” She however explained that the children which are well over 300 in the Federal Capital City. She added that “now, for these children we have to look ahead than what we are seeing now. We are thinking

From John Ofikhenua

of giving them a better life, a better future. We cannot just be putting food in their mouths. We have to look fora way they can be sustained. Nungso has a land. Now Nungso is coming up with the idea of before the end of the year, it wants to put up an edifice to put them in one place. “ Besides Huawei Technologies Company Limited, Mrs Danladi said there are other anonymous organisations that have been of great assistance to the foundation. According to her, the American Embassy has indicated interest in supporting the foundation, hence the presence of Director of Educational Advisory Council, Mrs. Jennifer Onyebuchi. On how she started the foundation 10 years ago, she said “the idea came from God. One fateful morning, I was watching TV, I heard a voice ‘orphans! Orphans’! I turned I did not see anybody. So, I just kept quiet. I went to some of my pastors to ask them for the meaning and they told me it is a calling from God. That God told me to care for orphans. I didn’t have peace until I started this.”

God gave us a land in Abuja. We are planning to build schools and hostels for the children. Thus, we want people to assist us in whatever area they can

A

ES Luxury Apartments Abuja has made history by becoming the first six-star hotel to be inaugurated in Nigeria. The luxurious apartment was officially opened at a cocktail party organised for guests. The official commissioning, which took place at the hotel premises in Daki Biyu District, was witnessed by key personalities from the public and private sectors. The mission of the hotel, according to AES Group General Manager designate, Mr. Paul Murray, is to provide comfort and opulence as the clientele to the Nigerian hotel industry matures. AES is intended to be a destination place catering to all sorts of clients, whether business, leisure or corporate. The hotel intends to achieve this with the apartment’s 65 all nsuite rooms, each personalised with its own colour, distributed over four floors and a knit of complexes well laid out in the surrounding facility. Each room in the breath-taking hotel nestled in a beautiful groove of lush greenery blends contemporary furniture, refined materials, high tech entertainment units and superior finishing with an attention to detail. The 10 executive suites in the hotel come with a living room space, dining area and a considerably large and equipped kitchen. Its dual rooms come with sitdown showers and Jacuzzis, fitted with playful lightings and the latest technology in digital music, while the luxury single rooms possess a warm and elegant feel with heavenly marble walls and floors that flow from passage ways which bounce light and creates illumination that is both soothing and refreshing. Among the standard services on

•The hotel

Abuja gets six-star hotel

From Bukola Amusan

offer is a private bar and coffee spot that will cater to in-house guests alone. In addition, there are four bars, a night-club, a gym and two restaurant promises to offer a menu

of Mediterranean-Nigerian fusion while the other is French ala-carte. Emergence of AES on Abuja’s hospitality landscape is particularly timely as patrons seek secure, yet opulent, alternatives to the few and often overcrowded 5-star hotels in the city.

With the commissioning of AES apartments, Nigeria has joined the league of countries with 6star hotels standard services of the hospitality industry. AES is not unmindful of a couple of luxurious brands that are expected to enter the ever-expanding Abuja hospitality market as

the city pursues its dream of becoming Africa’s conferencing hub. But with the benchmark it has already set today, AES is ready to provide leadership in this subsector of the hospitality industry. The Minister of Culture and Tourism and National orientation, Chief Edem Duke, who declared open AES Apartments open declared that, “With what I have seen here today, AES is indeed a “first among equals”


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

28

ABUJA REVIEW

T

O grow the economy and provide jobs for the people, government across the tiers, and financial institutions should make interest rate favourable to women. That was the message of the African Women Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP) in Abuja. The group disclosed its intention to train 500 women on computer application before the end of this year. This was made known by the International President of AWEP, Mrs. Sylvia Banda in Abuja during the launching of the Nigerian Chapter of AWEP. Mrs. Sylvia Banda who appealed to government to support women and reduce the challenges women face in business also urged banks to ensure that the interest rate they plan has human face because three quarter of the world economy is generated by women. Affirming Hilary Clinton’s statement, Mrs. Banda said, “Women can be the rock on which a freer, safer, more prosperous Africa is built. They just need the opportunity. “AWEP is an outreach, education and engagement initiative that aims to empower African women entrepreneurs to become voices of change in their communities. Speaking, the President of AWEP Nigeria chapter, Mrs. Yemisi Iranloye while calling for the empowerment of women explained that in the world now, the role of women is impeded due to lack of empowerment and for their role to be felt, they must be empowered economically. She said, “World Bank asserted that women empowerment will enhance productivity and development outcome and in Nigeria, women are the backbone of communities. Nigerian women believe that Nigeria will grow if they are part of the growth process. On the significance of women, Mrs. Iranloye said, “No nation is likely to experience economic growth if the women are not given the enabling environment. Giving women greater earning power will boost childrens’ health.

•Mrs Sylvia Banda addresses the audience at the event. With her are Mrs Yemisi Iranloye and other participants

‘Women need favourable interest rates’ From Faith Yahaya

Speaking about AWEP’s programme for this year, she said, “We have three programmes for the year. They will take place in the North and South. In the North, we shall be focusing on two products which are moringa and yellow pepper. We want to see how we can

standardise moringa and become a leading exporter of it. In the South, we will explore the species of banana and seafood. “The last programme for the year 2013 is on funding, we will see how we can collaborate with World Bank and CBN in order for the women to have funding opportunities. Hopefully by the

In the North, we shall be focusing on two products which are moringa and yellow pepper. We want to see how we can standardise moringa and become a leading exporter of it

end of this year, we will have big entrepreneurs doing massive export.” She expressed hope that the funding opportunity will create enabling environment for women to do business in the country that will in turn cater for their children, community and the national growth of the country. Iranloye further explained that AWEP has embarked on training for its women and will train 500 women by the end of 2013. “We have done a lot of trainings; we have taken the women to NACO where export is done and we have also partnered with Intel international to start teaching women on how to do their

Abuja school hosts National Assembly members

S

TUDENTS of Junior Secondary School, Jabi, Abuja hosted members of the House of Representatives Committee on Communication. For the students, it was a wonderful experience especially the JSS3 students who had to demonstrate their computer knowledge before the visitors and the staff of the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC). The visit which was led by the Committtee chairman, Hon Oyetunde Ojo, was part of their oversight functions to the school which is one of the 1200 secondary schools benefitting from the Universals Service Provision Fund (USPF) School Access Programme. School Access Programme (SAP), one of the set objectives for the USPF, is to promote the connection of government schools, libraries and institutions in underserved and rural areas to broadband internet. The minimum internet speed envisaged for this project is 1 mbps. The aim is to facilitate digital lifestyle in the schools as well as in the school communities. Each school will receive ICT-enabled Learning infrastructure and accessories along with high speed

From Vincent Ikuomola

internet connectivity. The schools will be encouraged to share these facilities with their surrounding communities on a commercial basis to support maintenance and ensure sustainability where specified. Other objectives of this programme include deployment of the facilities at the best competitive price to ensure that larger numbers of schools will be covered; patronage of local ICT firms to give them a sense of belonging; development of local capacity in the software industry by encouraging innovation amongst proponents to develop Nigerian versions of the various platforms that will be used in the programme in future; development of Nigerian children into value adding ICT users. The members of the committee are expected to visit about 220 of such schools across the country, though in a staggering manner. The students ran a test in Mathematics to display their skill of ICT. One of the students, Zion Victor, noted that it has been beautiful working and carrying out assignment on the personal computers,

saying it has been enriching. Victor also noted that on their own they have been able to browse the Internet and carry out other functions. He, however, noted that the only snag is the epileptic power supply and fluctuation of services experienced while on the net. Speaking after the visit, Ojo expressed his satisfaction, saying the essence of the visit has been realised. He noted that as people who do the appropriation, it was ideal they also monitor the spending to ensure compliance. He also stressed that oversight function was not aimed at fighting the executive arm of government but to ensure the essence of the separation of government as entrenched in the constitution. “My impression on this tour has been very lovely, the school access programme where we are visiting today shows that something is working and Nigeria is moving. At least the National Assembly presently is living up to expectations, where at the end of the day, funds are being appropriated for the executive arms. Here is a watchdog and we are of the opinion that the job must be done well. You could

see the children very very happy,” He said with the introduction of ICT, very soon, Nigerian students will be able to stand up to their comp temporaries. He also praised the school authority and the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) for renovating the hall and providing security for the over 100 laptops. He explained that at every point when the issue of budgeting comes up, the committee is always interested in knowing the level of performance, stressing that such effort can influence the National Assembly to increase appropriation. Definitely the children are the future

accounting through the use of computer and even how to use facebook. “We want to train them on how to use the power of data to promote their business internationally and we just finished a 50 woman training on data processing and the 50 women will in turn train 10 women each so before the end of 2013, we will have 500 women trained on how to use data to promote their business internationally”, she said. Reacting to their demand, The Special Adviser to the President on Gender, Mrs. Asmau Abdulkadir who described economic empowerment as second to the air we breathe assured them that the issue of funding will be addressed.

leaders and they need to be encouraged. It is the kind of training we give them now that they will live with. The committee also assured of the House support for the national broadband, saying the earlier we get the facility, the better for the country. In his remark, Secretary of USPF, Abdulahi Maikano noted that the Jabi Secondary School is one of the over 1200 schools that have benefitted from the programme. He noted that the project will be extended to all public schools in the country. “We started way back in 2007 and we tend to do a lot more. The one in Jabi was done about six months ago. USPF is expected to maintain the project for a year,”he said.

The school access programme shows that something is working and Nigeria is moving. At least the National Assembly presently is living up to the expectation. At the end of the day, funds are being appropriated for the executive arm. Here is a watchdog and we are of the opinion that the job must be done well


29

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

Environmental Laws have not substantially moved her forward. We are still not ‘Nigeria’s able to effectively and appropriately meet the three core functions of environmental law ,

namely: preventive, compensatory and remedial functions. Further, environmental governance is still seriously challenged by problems of unequal inheritance in federalism, insufficient public participation, lack of co-operative governance, inability to mainstream integrated management and inability to balance environmental sustainability with economic goals, among others. See page 31

E-mail:- law@thenationonlineng.net

INSIDE: ‘Only good governance can restore security’

The Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution (SCRC) has recommended, among others, a six-year single term for the president and governors instead of the present four-year twoterm practice. The proponents believe the six-year tenure will make the Presidency go round the six regions faster, enhance unity and remove the tension arising from seeking re-election. But the opponents argue that the four-year tenure should be retained so that non-performing officials can be voted out after their first term rather than being in office for six years. A six-year tenure, according to them, can encourage corruption on a grander scale; dictatorship and voter disenfranchisement. Which is the way to go? JOSEPH JIBUEZE sought lawyers’ views.

Is six years the way to go

-Page 32

Army, Defence in budget control battle -Page 33

Jonathan, Mukhtar canvass corruptionfree judiciary

•Proposed tenure for president, governors stirs debate

-Page 34

Emulate JIC Taylor, lawyers told

You just concentrate on your job and do it and history will record that you were once a president. We don’t believe that the number of years you spend there as president translates to performance -Ekweremadu

-Page 36

How Nigeria can achieve people’s Constitution, by NBA

S

HOULD the proposal by the Senate Com mittee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution (SCRC) scale through, the president and governors will serve only a non-renewable term of six years. This is contained in the SCRC report presented last Wednesday by its Chairman, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who listed devolution of powers, creation of states, recognition of geo-political zones, lo-

-Presidential aide Gulak

cal governments, fiscal federalism, mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and executive immunity as other highlights. On the six-year single tenure, the panel noted that considering the financial expenses often associated with re-election, and to ensure that executive heads are freed from the distractions and are able to concentrate on public policy issues, “a provision for a

Let everybody go for a single term of six years and then you go. My argument is that something you cannot achieve in six years, you won’t achieve it in 60 years -Ali (SAN)

‘ single term of six (6) years for president and governors is made in sections 135 and 180 respectively.” It added that “Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of the section, the President shall vacate his office at the expiration of a period of six years commencing from the date— (a)in the case of a person elected as president under this Constitution, he took the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office and (b)

For a fledgling democracy like ours, a single tenure option will kill the experiment. Nigerians should learn from the failure of the NBA experiment and reject the Senate’s recommendation -Ngige (SAN)

‘ in the case of the person elected to the office under this Constitution took the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office or would, but for his death, have taken such oath.” The committee recommended that: “If the Federation is at war in which the territory of Nigeria is physically involved and the President considers that it is not practicable to hold election, the National Assembly may by resolu-

The debate on the single term tenure is so diversionary and irrelevant. The debate should centre on how to democratise powers with a view to reducing the enormous powers of elected officials -Falana (SAN)

tion extend the period of six years mentioned in subsection (2) of this section from time to time; but no such extension shall exceed a period of six months at any one time.” The House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review retained the subsisting fouryear tenure for president and governors. Last Thursday, the impli•Continued on page 30

‘Our environmental laws have failed’

-Page 37

Senate urged not to pass Arbitration Regulation Bill

-Page 38

The president and some governors were elected under a Constitution that allows them to contest two terms of four years each. You can’t change the rule midway

?

Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun is the Director of Studies, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS). Last month, he was appointed Chairman of Lagos State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal. In this interview with Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, he speaks on his appointment, the World Environment Day and standard of legal education. •Prof. Fagbohun

• SEE story on page 32


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

30

LAW COVER CONT’D • Continued from page 29

cation of the recommendation became clearer. Ekweremadu, who spoke on the details in Abuja, said the six-year single tenure may exclude the president and governors from contesting the 2015 election. Asked when the six-year single term tenure will take off, he said since the recommendation did not provide any particular date, “it means as soon as the constitution is passed, it will start.” He said governors are expected to make the sacrifice of not seeking re-election, if the recommendation is adopted. His words: “We don’t want Nigerians to say that we colluded with the executive to elongate the tenure of some governors. But we decided that those who are currently serving should excuse themselves for the system to run. But if our colleagues think otherwise and feel that those who are serving should benefit, we will put it there.” He added: “We believe that the best thing to do in the circumstance is that if you have had the opportunity of serving as a chief executive, so be it, so that you concentrate and do your work and finish instead of going to worry yourself scheming how to succeed yourself … and then start heating up the system and applying some rough tactics. “So, these are some of the reasons why we felt that it is better if you just have the opportunity of being the president then, that should be it. You just concentrate on your job and do it and history will record that you were once a president. We don’t believe that the number of years you spend there as President translates to performance.” But the Presidency is not taking the proposal lightly. Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters Ahmed Gulak was quoted as saying: “It is not a fair amendment to target a particular group of people. That proposal will not scale through because Nigerians are wiser. You can’t short-change some people in the name of amending the Constitution. I am sure there will be some considerations and the proposal will fail. “The President and some governors were elected under a constitution that allows them to contest two terms of four years each. You can’t change the rule midway.” Should this proposal be adopted? Is it what Nigeria needs? Will it scale through? Opinion is divided on the issue. Some observers agree with the view that six-year tenure will enhance focus for those in office; the president or governor will not bother with the intrigues and distraction of scheming for a second term while state matters suffer. But some analysts are of the view that staying six years in office will not suddenly make a bad leader good or effective. If he turns out to be bad, there will be no opportunity to vote him out. Nigerians or citizens of the state will endure the leader for two additional years. In effect, the masses suffer as a result of ineffective administrators as tenure protects. The process of removing them is not simple or swift. Besides, there are fears the sixyear tenure will encourage looting and general abuse of office. The thinking is that since the President or governor knows he has only one chance to serve, he may be tempted to grab as much loot as possible without a care. Analysts think the fact a president or governor will seek reelection will probably spur them to work harder during the first term so as to earn a second term. Remove the chance for a second term, and there will be no moti-

•Ekweremadu

•Ali (SAN)

•Ngige (SAN)

•Akanwa

Is six years the way to go? vation to perform. Furthermore, the knowledge that a re-election will be sought and that they could be voted out for bad leadership could also serve as check on the excesses of elected officers. With nothing to lose, some observers fear a leader may become autocratic and assume absolute power. But, more fundamentally, some critics argue that there are more pressing issues confronting Nigeria, which a Constitution review should have addressed. These include the critical national question, which should have been brought to the front burner. The issues cleverly avoided, analysts said, include the restructuring of the polity, devolution and decentralisation of power, state police, true fiscal federalism and lopsided federal-state relations. Many, including lawyers, think that the tenure of office, as currently enshrined in the Constitution, is not the problem. The problem appears to be the operators of the system. They believe the vision, ideological world view, integrity, credibility and capability of the President and governors, as well as their performance, good governance, observance of the rule of law and fulfilment of campaign promises to Nigerians, are more important than the number of years they spend in office. Some lawyers back proposal Lawyers are divided on the issue. Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) Mallam Yusuf Ali, Mike Igbokwe and other senior lawyers backed the proposal. Ali said he had always supported a single six-year singleterm tenure as it would remove problems associated with re-election and succession. “Let everybody go for a single term of six years and then you go. My argument is that something you cannot achieve in six years, you won’t achieve it in 60 years. So, the proposal is an affirmation of my position. “If we are matured to practise second term, why should we not be mature enough for someone to serve for six years and leave? The attendant tension associated with second term electioneering will be reduced. “It will also reduce the number of years each region will wait to get to the Presidency if we want to do it that way. Now, you have to wait for eight years, but if it’s six years, you would have reduced it by two years – from one zone to the other. It is going to

work in favour of making the thing go round every part of the country. Instead of waiting eight years, people will wait six years,” Ali said. For Igbokwe, the merits outweigh the demerits. “I believe the merits of adopting it are that it would reduce the tension, acrimony and usual violence associated with elections and cost of organising presidential and gubernatorial elections due to the fact that elections would now be once in six years instead of four. “Lazy presidents or governors would now be forced to work hard and perform because they would realise that they have only one term and not two terms to perform. Aspirants to the offices would have a shorter time of six years instead of eight years to wait to contest or re-contest. “Demerits are that geo-political zones whose extractions are yet to serve two terms of four years each would be spending less time than their counterparts from other zones which is, therefore, unfair; and a performing president or governor would not have enough time to do more for Nigeria or his state.” A North-based lawyer, Mr Mike Edegware, called to bar over 30 years ago, also backed the six year tenure. He said: “The proposed single six-year term may just be another ‘doctrine of necessity’ that may save Nigeria from being torn to shreds by political hawks. Our experience so far is that after each (s)election, the victor spends half of his tenure on fence-mending and controlling the damage resulting from the circumstances of his election. Once that is achieved, the pressure is on for a second term and again, actual governance is relegated to the back burner. “If adopted, therefore, the proposed six-year single term will give the occupants of the seat of power more time to focus on his job. What will be left to be addressed is when and how to implement it. In my opinion, this should be in 2015 and should apply only to those who will be elected for the first time then.” Lagos-based constitutional lawyer Mr Ike Ofuokwu is of the view six years is enough, saying: “The issue here is neither about the ex-

isting two terms of four years each, nor the proposed single tenure of six years. To make it an issue is simply reductionist. The problem is the quality of politicians we have. “Our supposed leaders have chosen to be rulers whose only interest is their personal interest and self-aggrandisement. Hence, they believe that the longer they stay the better for them to indulge themselves in primitive acquisition. Any quality mind will make a lasting and positive impression in government even if he is spending just one year. “However, if one puts into consideration the level of distraction in government that is associated with re-election, both pre- and post-election here in Nigeria, then one is compelled to agree with a single term of six years. Moreover anyone who cannot deliver and make meaningful impact in six years, even with 10 years the person will still have no impact. That is to say a bad leader is incurably bad and it has nothing to do with how many years spent in office.” Principal partner of Lagosbased law firm, T.C Akanwa and Co, Mr Theophilus Akanwa, said: “I support the proposal. If adopted, it will eliminate the fierce politicking we have always seen by a sitting person to succeed himself by all means. Virtually nothing is done by these groups in their second terms. One wonders whether the allocation is reduced during a second term to warrant the poor performance seen. “If some of the governors achieved so much in the first four years, six years is time enough for anybody who has the country/ state at heart to deliver good governance to Nigerians.” Those who oppose plan are: Three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) Chief Emeka Ngige, rights activist Femi Falana and Dr Joseph Nwobike; Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Chairman, Lagos Branch Taiwo O. Taiwo and others opposed the proposal. Ngige said: “No matter how altruistic the recommendation may be, single tenure option is not the solution to our political problems. Instead it will worsen it.

‘The President and some governors were elected under a constitution that allows them to contest two terms of four years each. You can’t change the rule midway’

One of the beauties of democracy is the provision for re-election of elected officials. “Once an elected official is conscious of seeking another term, there is always the tendency to excel, tendency to do good; to produce results which will be used as campaign issues during re-election. It also offers the electorate the opportunity to assess the elected official. Non-performing ones are rejected at the polls while those that performed are reelected. “Now, a single tenure option promotes the opposite: complacency, impunity, corruption, nonaccountability. The worst aspect is that it also promotes tyranny and dictatorship. “If you want a typical illustration of evils of single tenure system, come to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). Since 1998 when NBA opted for a single tenure option to promote peace and unity, we have seen how some presidents (past and present) and even branch chairmen have desecrated the office with acts of impunity, lack of accountability and outright dictatorship. “For a fledgling democracy like ours, a single tenure option will kill the experiment. Nigerians should learn from the failure of the NBA experiment and reject the Senate’s recommendation.” Nwobike said the lawmakers should rather concentrate on improving transparency in governance. His words: “There is nothing magical about single tenure with particular reference to good governance and accountability of elected officials. I really do not see any objective which the proposal would achieve or drive. “I think that rather than amend the provisions of our Constitution relating to tenure of elected officials, specific legislative agenda, which would ensure and enforce executive responsibility and continuous assessment, should be developed and implemented.” Falana described the single term tenure debate as “so diversionary and irrelevant.” He said: “The proponents of a single tenure of six years are of the view that it will reduce tension and eliminate the use of incumbency by those who are in power. It is not a well thought out idea. Infact, it is a superficial proposition. “The Senate should have addressed the culture of impunity which allows a sitting president to seize the state apparatus of violence, overrun all institutions in-


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

31

LAW PERSONALITY

Do we need six-year tenure for president, governors? • Continued from page 30

cluding the legislature and political parties, distribute largesse and engage in executive lawlessness. “If you have a president who has unrestrained access to the nation’s wealth it is irrelevant whether he spends six or eight years. The Senate just found that Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, the late Umaru Yar’Ádua and Goodluck Jonathan misappropriated N1.52 trillion. “In 2011, alone about N2 trillion was cornered in the name of fuel subsidy. Do you know any president in any oil producing nation who can give oil blocks to friends and family members? Do you know any elected president in a modern state who assembles his ministers every week to share contracts? “By virtue of Decree 24 of 1999 otherwise called the 1999 Constitution, the President of Nigeria is the most powerful ruler in the world. The decree merely transferred the absolutist powers of a military dictator to an elected president. President Barrack Obama’s salary and allowances can be found in the internet. You can’t find those of our president anywhere. “He receives the highest estacodes and travels with the largest delegations in the world. He can deploy soldiers to kill unarmed people as was the case in Odi and Zaki Biam. He connives with the police to rig elections as we witnessed in the ‘do or die’ wuruwuru (fraudulent) elections of 2007. He controls the political party that sponsored him. He disregards court orders and violates the law with impunity. He is accountable to no one.

“The debate on the single term tenure is so diversionary and irrelevant. The debate should centre on how to democratise powers with a view to reducing the enormous powers of elected officials which enable them to exercise incumbency powers to remain in office or install their surrogates to spend six or eight years in power.” Taiwo said Nigeria’s problem goes beyond tenure. “The problem is quality leadership and commitment to combating corruption. What has been achieved in four years? Give a bad leader 10 years; he will still fail. I do not support one term of six years. Two terms of four years is okay for Nigerians to vote out a rudderless government. Let Nigerians make up their mind every four years!” Lagos lawyer Emeka Nwadioke described the proposal as dead on arrival. “It has been said that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the Nigerian Constitution. I agree. The same is true of the four-year renewable tenure as currently obtains. That arrangement has served other countries, notably the United States, well. However, the Nigerian politician has characteristically distorted this otherwise harmless provision, to the effect that campaigns for reelection starts immediately one is sworn in. So, fundamentally, what is required is an attitudinal change. “However, to the extent that the Senate Committee has proposed a single six-year term, this may look attractive at first glance. As argued, it may curb the tensions generated by re-election tussles. It has been argued that

•Nwobike (SAN) the current arrangement rewards performance, as the single tenure may encourage embezzlement. “But, who says that the office holder may not focus on embezzlement during his second tenure, having hoodwinked the electorate with ‘stellar performance’ during his first term? What we also need are strong institutions that make office holders pay fully for any malfeasance, whether during first or second term. “I am not certain that one option is fundamentally better than the other insofar as politicians refuse to see public office as an instrument to promote the commonweal. Otherwise, we will only be going round in circles. We need integrity within the political elite and transparency in the electoral process. “What is even more worrisome is the clause which seeks to “ban” incumbents from recontesting. Section 4(9) of the very Constitution we seek to amend frowns on legislations that tend to retrospec-

‘Environmental laws have failed’

• Continued from page 29

W

EDNESDAY last week was the World Environment Day, what is the theme for this years’ World Environment Day and how will this enhance the protection of global environment? The theme is ‘think, eat, save reduce your footprint.’ The goal is to reduce food loss and food waste. What is the relationship between the environment and poverty? Poverty deepens environmental problems, thus, food insecurity will worsen poverty. Again, food production, including harvesting, processing and so on contributes to increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) which in turn is the critical factor in climate change and global warming. Reduction in food loss will invariably reduce food production, while reduction in food that is wasted will go a long way to reduce what goes to waste dump to similarly generate GHGs. On and on we can go on with the cycle and linkages. It is a reorientation that we all must embrace for a sustainable tomorrow. What is your appraisal of our environmental laws? How effective are they in addressing today’s environmental challenges? Nigeria’s Environmental Laws have not substantially moved her forward. We are still not able to effectively and appropriately meet the three core functions of environmental law , namely: preventive, compensatory and remedial functions. Further, environmental governance is still seriously challenged by problems of unequal inheritance in federalism, insufficient public participation, lack of co-operative governance, inability to mainstream integrated management and inability to balance environmental sustainability with economic goals among others. The

result is that environmental decision-making, standard setting and enforcement strategies are operating in chaos. You were recently inaugurated as the chairman of Lagos State Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal. What do we expect from your Tribunal? The mandate of the Lagos State Local Government Election Petition Tribunal is clear: to do justice in accordance with the Constitution, relevant laws and due process. We will strictly adhere to this. Climate change and the attendant global warming is one of the topmost issues on international political agenda, how do we factor environment friendly programmes into our policies and regulations? In the absence of appropriate policy and legal frameworks, climate change governance will be a mirage. It is these frameworks that will assist to mainstream mitigation technologies and adaptation strategies towards the development of an economy that results in human wellbeing and social equity. How can we balance man’s desire to develop with the imperative need to preserve and protect the environment? The balance will come when we have appropriate policies and laws, and we faithfully implement them. It is widely believed that the quality of legal education in the country has dropped drastically, what is you reaction to this? Rather than say that quality of legal education has dropped, I would say it is more of the fact that standards are being compromised. This is what is resulting in poor products and output. Visit any tertiary institution in Nigeria today, you will see the clear process for admission of students, recruitment of lecturers,

•Edegware tively ‘punish’ persons, though this relates to criminal matters. It would seem that this extends in principle to even civil matters. “It is equally ludicrous that the proposal seeks to bar a Vice President who has only served out, for instance, two months of a joint ticket from contesting. These issues touch on the fundamental rights of citizens and must not be treated lightly, as they have far-reaching and long term effects. We must pull back from our propensity towards expediency. “The spirit of every constitution enlarges than shrinks basic rights. A better option may be to encourage the political parties to dissuade such persons from running. At any rate, with The Presidency already kicking against the clause and in-

cumbent Governors pulling strings at the various state Houses of Assembly should the proposal sail through the National Assembly, it seems to me that the proposal, whatever its merits, is dead on arrival.” President, Coalition of Lawyers for Good Governance (CLGG), Mr Joe Nwokedi, said rather than sixyear tenure, the present four years should be reduced to three. “I don’t think we need a single term of six years. We cannot because of the challenges we usually face during re-election, delve into an issue that will spell immeasurable doom to us. It is tantamount to throwing away the baby with the bathwater. Single term of six years will produce more embezzlers, insensitive and incorrigible leadership in our country. “It will also extirpate the little checks and powers the electorates often exercise during re-election of our leaders. Proponents of such ideas should also consider its enormous demerits. They can reduce the tenure of governors to three years instead of four years. Reelection is a very essential component of any successful democracy. “Our leaders can grow wild, ruthless, heartless and dangerously arrogant with single term of six years. Some will embark on ceaseless embezzlement from the day of swearing in to handover. In my humble opinion, I think it is not a welcome initiative to our democracy. We can triumph over our present challenges with time.”

LEGAL JOKES You won’t go to jail A man who had been caught embezzling millions from his employer went to a lawyer seeking defense. He didn’t want to go to jail. But his lawyer told him, “Don’t worry. You’ll never have to go to jail with all that money.” And the lawyer was right. When the man was sent to prison, he didn’t have a dime.

Question and answer jokes

•Prof. Fagbohun

regular development of the institution in accordance with a development plan etc. All these are usually structured in line with global standards. Where then do we encounter problems in the development of our educational development? Where you encounter a problem is in relation to implementation. We are simply not faithful to implementing laid down standards and this is what is ending the country up in chaos. For the few Institutions that are keeping faith, their products are able to compete in other jurisdictions. What is the environmental component of the current security situation in the country, how do we resolve this? The insecurity situation in the country has resulted in disruption of people’s lives, and destruction of infrastructure. All of these have serious implications for the environment. So, what is the solution to this problem? The solution is sincerity of purpose, and a desire by the political class in particular to want to do things right.  

Q: How can you tell if a lawyer is well hung? A: You can’t get a finger between the rope and his neck! Q: If you are stranded on a desert island with Adolph Hitler, Atilla the Hun, and a lawyer, and you have a gun with only two bullets, what do you do? A: Shoot the lawyer twice. Q: How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? A: His lips are moving. Q: Why won’t sharks attack lawyers? A: Professional courtesy. A command was given to a dog: “SPEAK!” The dog said in return: “Not without my lawyer present!” Q: Why is going to a meeting of the Bar Association like going into a bait shop? A: Because of the abundance of suckers, leeches, maggots and night crawlers Q: What’s the difference between a lawyer and a herd of buffalo? A: The lawyer charges more. Actual stupid questions asked Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, in most cases he just passes quietly away and doesn’t know anything about it until the next morning? The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he? Q: She had three children, right? A: Yes. Q: How many were boys? A: None. Q: Were there any girls? Q: I show you Exhibit 3 and ask you if you recognize that picture? A: That’s me. Q: Were you present when that picture was taken? Q: You say that the stairs went down to the basement? A: Yes. Q: And these stairs, did they go up also? Q: Now then, Mrs. Johnson, how was your first marriage terminated? A: By death. Q: And by whose death was it terminated? Q: Do you know how far pregnant you are now? A: I’ll be three months on March 12th. Q: Apparently then, the date of conception was around January 12th? A: Yes. Q: What were you doing at that time?


32

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

LAW PERSONALITY Ibrahim Eddy Mark was General Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). In this interview with Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, he speaks on the state of the nation, law practice, security and other national issues.

‘Only good governance can restore security’

T

HE security situation in the country is get ting worrisome by the day; kidnapping is on ascendency. People blame security agents for this. What is your reaction to this? Well, when you talk of this problem of security and security agencies, it pains me. How much do you pay the average Nigerian police man. What is their take home. The State Security Services (SSS) men, how much do you pay them, the soldiers, what is their living conditions in the barracks in the first place. The salary of the average Nigerian police man cannot take care of the man and his family for two weeks. In many police stations in this country, they don’t even have stationery to take complaints from complainants. When you get to such stations, they will ask you to bring money for them to buy writing materials to take your statement, is this how they will provide you with security. So, when you look at all these, you begin to wonder why there won’t be insecurity in the country .Some of them will prefer to go and serve in oil producing states, some of them even bribe their ways to such places because they believe that if they go there, they will see bunkering, follow ships and other such illegal activities where they will make extra money. This is where they believe they can make ends meet. How do we get out of this? The starting point is electricity supply, let us have light. There are so many micro-economic activities that people engage in to eke out a living such as welding, barbing saloons , hairdressing and so on. These activities do not require a lot of money to start and sustain, but they need electricity to operate. The moment we have light in this country, some of those social vices will disappear. Power supply will reduce the money these people spend in providing services, they do not need to buy generators and fuel them. They will be gainfully employed and this insecurity will disappear. Look, nobody wants to be a thug, people engage in thuggery because they have no hope elsewhere, if they are gainfully employed, who will like to kill himself being a thug for some other person. These are the causes of insecurity in the country, it is because the government is not alive to its responsibilities. The menace of insecurity in the country is growing everyday. Just last week, the family members of a Supreme Court Justice were released by kidnappers at a cost yet to be ascertained. How do you think we can overcome this challenge? It is very unfortunate that our value system has been eroded and devalued. It has really gone. It has gone in the sense that our leaders have neglected their work. They have not done what they are supposed to do to develop the economy, create jobs and employment for the people. Because the leaders have not done what they are supposed to do, the youths do not see a bright future, many of them do not see a tomorrow and because they do not see a tomorrow, many of them take to crime. They are forced to take to crime to survive, because of the gulf between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have nots, those who have are high up there and those who do not have are down there in the bottomless pit. You can also see the high level of corruption in the system, the high level of primitive acquisition of wealth where people now steal public funds in tens of billions of naira and so on. All this money he does not need. Some of them will hide all these money abroad. When they die, the money will go into foreign hands; they cannot be recovered and they will be lost. These are the monies that would be used to develop the country. Some of the youths will graduate from the universities with good grades but for years, they will keep roaming the streets without jobs while their counterparts who came out with lesser grades are employed with big pay simply because they have godfathers. When they get such jobs, they cannot perform because they don’t have the mental capacity to do that, they get there and start fumbling and stealing fund believing that corruption is the best way to survive. As a former General Secretary of the Bar, which areas of NBA constitution will you like to be amended in the efforts to alter the NBA constitution to meet the challenges of the 21st century lawyer? I will like the NBA to model its constitution after that of the International Bar Association (IBA) where you make the Sections more vibrant, like the Section on Legal Practice (SLP), the Section on Business Law (SBL), Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) and so

•Mark on. Everybody cannot be on general practice, we cannot put all our eggs in one basket, jack of all trades and master of non. Professionalism is the way to go in modern law practice, so if it is petroleum law you want to practice, pursue it , not today you are on rent tribunal, tomorrow you are on environmental law, no it cannot work like that. Pursue one area of law practice that is when you will have the opportunity to develop to your optimal best that is what should concern the NBA and not about elections and contest for offices. Nobody is a professional politician in the NBA, the objective of the association is to assist its members to realise their own goals, to achieve their best and assist the judicial system to administer justice equitably in the country so that we can have an efficient, effective and virile judiciary in the country. You did a certificate course on Asset recovery. What is it about and how has it enhanced your service delivery to your clients? Well, what happened on that certification on assets recovery is that we researched and found out that as at then, assets recovery was not practised that much in Nigeria, but it is more relevant to Nigeria because everything that we did in that with money and issues of how monies were being stolen, tax evasion and so on. For instance, you see how somebody may steal like N30 billion, put it in small small accounts in over six banks in funny businesses. If you want to trace this, what are the modalities, the techniques you will employ in doing it. That is actually what the certification is all about. Though this offence is committed all over the world, it is prominent in Nigeria because that how most of our prominent politicians siphon money out of the country. With this kind of training, it easy to trace some of these funds, we have had some collaborations with the Ministry of Justice we have done some jobs for them and have been able to recover a lot of funds for Nigeria. The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice has done his best along that line, we have really recovered a lot of money for the country. We have also done very well with other anti corruption agencies. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt

Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), we collaborate with them and recover the stolen monies which have been invested in other businesses As a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, what is actually the cause of the crises in the state? What is happening in Rivers State is politics. People have been feeding Nigerians lies that President Goodluck Jonathan is behind the crises and this is absolute lie, without foundation and highly vexatious. This is aRivers State local affair. The people in politics are playing the game of politics. Yes, I belong to the PDP, am a member of the party in Rivers State. We said that our state chairman of the party was cheated in the last elections and because of the injustice done to him, some of us, my humble self, the Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, stood by them to reclaim their mandate to address the injustice and they have reclaimed their mandate. So, what is the cause of this hue and cry in the State? The problem that arose from this is that the other faction does not like what has happened. They believe that power has shifted and they now, because they have access to the press. They painted the problem as if the President is the one pushing us. But the truth is that this matter was in court and nobody said anything. It was after we won the case that the issue of President Jonathan came up. When the matter was in court, why didn’t somebody say that President Jonathan has helped us to go to court or is helping the other group to wrestle power from them? They were in court with us, everybody brought his case to court they thought that they would win, we also thought that we would equally win. At the end of the day, the court of law decided the matter amd gave judgement on the matter, they have appealed against the decision, so why should they now continue to mention Jonathan, Jonathan, it is because they don’t want Nigerians to know the truth of the matter. What is the truth about the crises which they don’t want Nigerians to know?

‘It is very unfortunate that our value system has been eroded and devalued. It has really gone. It has gone in the sense that our leaders have neglected their work. They have not done what they are supposed to do to develop the economy, create jobs and employment for the people. Because the leaders have not done what they are supposed to do, the youths do not do not see a bright future, many of them do not see a tomorrow and because they do not see a tomorrow, many of them take to crime’

The problem has to do with Obiakpor Local Government Area; after this judgment, the governor and members of the State House of Assembly connived and sacked constitutionally and duly elected officials, the chairman, the Vicechairman, and the 17 councillors that they accused of committing fraud. The salient point in this whole matter is that there was nothing before the House in respect of this matter, there was no petition, there was no complaint, nothing whatsoever concerning the alleged fraud. The law states that there must be a petition before the House to that effect, you table the petition before the House, the House will set up a committee to go and investigate the allegations. Nothing like that was done in this case, somebody just came and said that there was an allegation of misappropriation of funds and you just sack the entire executives. What is the provision of the Local Government Law in Rivers State to this effect? This is the most worrisome part of it. There is a Local Government Law in Rivers State. The law provides that when the chairman, his deputy and councillors are suspended. That the head of personnel management will preside over the council affairs pending when the matter is resolved in court, but instead of complying with this law, the governor and the House went and appointed a caretaker committee which is against the Local Government Law and Nigerians are not talking, there is nothing wrong in this thing and they are crying that somebody is pursuing them, who is pursuing them, they did this because that is the Local Government of the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, they did this to spite him. So, how can anybody blame this on the President. It is a local affair. Go out there and see how people are rejoicing over the court judgment. Somebody was behaving like an emperor without recourse to the provisions of the law, but today, the court has intervened and given life back to the people. A section of Nigerians have criticised the President for declaring a state of emergency in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa without first gazetting the instrument and requisite approval from the National Assembly. Others contend that the emergency ought to be total with the demolition of democratic structures in the affected states. What is your reaction to this? The state of emergency was late in coming because nobody will be happy when a whole part of his country is taken over by terrorists and made uninhabitable. Life no longer mean any thing to them, it does not really matter how many people that were killed in a day. I lived in Maiduguri for many years, I did my National Youth Service there, it was indeed a very peaceful town. I saw how the place was destroyed, how it was depopulated and eventually made to look like a war zone. The inhabitants of the affected states do not deserve that kind of treatment at all because they are very good people. We have all seen the results of the president’s action he was elected as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to protect the lives of Nigerians. Though his action was late in coming, it is better late than never. He actually deserves the support of all Nigerians to restore peace and normalcy to the country. We have seen how about five Local Government Areas have been recovered from those people. You can equally see that the military, in performing their functions in the affected States have been very professional, nobody has accused of gross human rights violations and they are attacking the camps of the insurgents, they have shown high level of professionalism and we request them to continue like that so that rights of innocent Nigerians are severely trampled upon in the pursuit of the insurgents. What is your view on dismantling democratic structures in the affected states? The National Assembly has approved the state of emergency and whatever people are saying about it is inconsequential. If he had dismantled the democratic structures, people would say, why did he dismantle them. But he has allowed them to work hand in hand. He even said the emergency may not last more than six months so that life can return to normalcy in the affected states which we are all praying for. Those in the affected states need our support and prayers so that they can live a normal life.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

33

FROM THE COURT Army, Defence in budget control battle

A

CRISIS of confidence has broken out between the Ni gerian Army and its mother ministry - the Ministry of Defence - over the control of the former’s budgetary allocation for legal services. The Army is contending that it should be allowed to decide how it expends its allocation for legal services, choose which lawyers should be briefed on cases involving it in courts, while the ministry seeks the involvement of government’s lawyers in the Ministry of Justice to conserve funds. The Army has also said it lacked confidence in the quality of legal representation provided by officials of the Ministry of Justice and has distanced itself from some agreements entered into on its behalf by the ministries of Defence and Justice. One of such agreements is on a suit over the land being occupied by one of its formations in Odogbo, Ibadan, Oyo State. The army, in its argument in a suit before the Federal High Court, Ibadan, marked: FHC/IB/CS/57/ 2012 said it would not abide by the terms of settlement the Ministry of Defence endorsed on its behalf in the suit, resulting from the dispute over the ownership of part of the land occupied by the Odogbo Barracks, Ibadan. Copies of the court processes obtained by The Nation in Abuja revealed that one Alhaji G. O. Fagbohun had, on behalf of Olukola Oganla family, sued the Nigerian Army and three others in 2004 before the Federal High Court, Ibadan, claiming among others that part of the expanse of land occupied by the Odogbo Bar-

•Army sues Ministry From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

racks belonged to his family. Sued with the Nigerian Army in the 2004 suit marked: FHC/IB/ CS/16/2004 include the Ministry of Defence, the Minister of Defence and the General Officer Commanding, Second Mechanised Division, Odogbo, Ibadan. At a point, parties resorted to an out of court settlement, which crystallised into the terms of settlement between parties and which was endorsed by Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) for the plaintiff and Legal Adviser, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs G. E. O. Taiga for the defendants. The terms of settlement was adopted on May 3, 2005 by Justice Benedicta Molokwu as the judgment of the court in the case. At the instance of the Ministry of Defence, the defendants were represented, on the day of the judgment, by another senior personnel of the Ministry of Justice , Mobola Braimah. In a fresh motion, filed by its lawyer, Professor Yemi AkinseyeGeorge, the Nigerian Army dissociated its self from the judgment, insisting that it was oblivious of the entire proceedings which resulted in the consent judgment. It claimed not to have been served with processes in relation to the case and argued that having be sued as a separate party, it was entitled to personal service. The Army admitted that the court granted the plaintiff the leave to serve all defendants by

substituted means through the Ministry of Defence, Abuja, a permission the plaintiff complied with. The Army also admitted that the General Officer Commanding, Second Mechanised Division, Odogbo was duly served, but argued that the service on the Odogbo Commanding Officer did not translate to personal service on it. The Army denied authorising the Ministry of Defence to hold its brief; that it has a private lawyer, Yemi Akinseye-George of the firm of Messrs Yemi Akinseye-George & Co, who had represented it in past cases and whose services it still retain till date. It also queried the sense of judgment and motive of the Ministry of Defence as regard the way it handled the case. The Army argued that the case was not only statute barred, the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to have presided over the case which related to dispute over land. It therefore prayed the court to among others, annul the 2005 consent judgment and set it aside on the ground that it was allegedly obtained unlawfully. The Ministry of Defence has denied any wrong doing, claiming that being the mother ministry to all arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces and by virtue of sections 217 and 218 of the Constitution, it was in a position to act on their behalf. The ministry stated that the Army is just an arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces over which it has legitimate control and could act in its stead.

•Lagos State Attorney-General Ade Ipaye (left) welcoming Gov. Babatunde Fashola to the swearing in of new judges at Alausa, Ikeja.

Firm urges court to restrain Niger Delta Ministry over progressing.” HE Abuja High Court has N1.8b contract gressively Pursuant to the agreement, Ogar been asked to stop the Niger

T

Delta Affairs Minstry from re-awarding a N1.8billion contract earlier awarded to a construction firm to a third party. The firm - Chemtronics Nigeria Limited - said the suit was intended to forestall the alleged plan by the ministry to re-award a contract earlier awarded to it to another company. It said the ministry has advertised for bidding the contract for the construction of a skill acquisition centre in Iguelaba, Edo state, for which it had been engaged. The firm, in its statement of claim, stated that it had mobilised to site, procured loan for the project and had commenced works. It stated that the ministry advertised for fresh bids, ignoring a pending suit in court regarding the same contract. Plaintiff’s lawyer, Max Ogar,

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

stated in a supporting affidavit, that the contract for the skill acquisition centre was awarded to his client on March 15, 2010. He added that parties consequently signed a contract agreement on the construction of the skill acquisition centre on March 22, 2010. He stated that in line with Article 8 of the contract agreement, the ministry appointed one Julius Akpovoka of Efeakpo & Co. Consult as an architectural consultant to the project. Ogar further stated that also in line with Article 6.1 of the contract agreement, the ministry gave the plaintiff 15 per cent mobilisation for the contract valued at N1, 799,914,251.88. He averred that his client “is on ground and firmly in control of the contract site where work is ag-

siad his client sought and secured a contract finance facility from Sterling Bank Plc to execute the contract under reference. He stated that his client was taken aback when, on April 9, 2013, the ministry advertised for fresh bidding and procurement for the contract already awarded to the plaintiff. Chemtronics is therefore praying the court for a declaration that it remains the bona fide contractor in charge of the contract for the construction of a skill acquisition centre (Lot 1) in Iguelaba, Edo State as awarded to it on March 15, 2010. It further seeks a declaration that the ministry’s advertisement of the contract covered in the plaintiff’s award letter, as published in a The Guardian newspaper edition of April was unlawful. The defendant has not responded as the case newly filed is yet to be assigned to any judge.

LAW AND PUBLIC POWER

with gabriel AMALU email:gabrielamalu1@yahoo.com

Senate on constitution amendment

T

HE Senate Committee for the review of the 1999 constitution last week turned in their report to the plenary.To my utter disappointment, and I guess that of many Nigerians, the proposals as reported in the news were long on sharing of political positions and powers, but very short on new constitutional pivots for the badly needed economic regeneration of our country. The exercise may turn out a waste of time and resources, unless the Senate makes a radical departure from the reported highlights of the committee’s work. I had thought that the Senate would use the exaggeratedly advertised constitution review committee’s work to give the states vital legal capacity to engage in economic activities by removing from the exclusive legislative list, the ownership of mines and minerals, railways, labour, fishing, police and prisons and classify them into the concurrent legislative list. Also the report has nothing excitingly new for the ordinary Nigerian, such as enforcing the creation of a national social security scheme or making the provisions of Chapter Two of the constitution enforceable in courts. Rather, some of the highlights of the proposed amendments, include one six-year single term for the president and governors, separation of the office of the Attorney-General from the Minister for Justice, abolition of president’s signature for constitution amendment, elevating local government councils as quasi third tier of government, the privileges and disabilities of a vice-president or deputy-governor who succeeds his boss, increased benefits for former heads of the legislative assemblies and similar opportunities in the sharing of political positions and the dwindling national wealth. So, if these proposals are all we will get from the legislature, then what may likely happen is that after the amendments, the country will continue its bumpy journey to an eventual collapse. But who will blame the committee members? After all they are shielded from the vagaries of the economy. In their cocoon they are more concerned about provisions on power and wealth sharing, instead of using the constitution for wealth creation. With their bloated and unconstitutional financial benefits forcefully appropriated from our common treasury, many commentators are not surprised that the Senators have shown the lack of mental capacity or the necessary rigour to legislate our country out of poverty. As I have argued on this page, there is the urgent need for development as the key impetus for any new law in our country. Luckily, the Senators still have the chance to redeem the situation, when they resume plenary, after their recess. What our dear nation needs is a bold constitutional step to fiscal federalism, even if on a limited scale. First, is to return land ownership to the original owners or at least the states of domicile. Of course he, who owns the land, owns what is on it; and that will result in land owners repossessing the minerals on their land, as against the unconscionable dispossession enunciated in the Minerals Act and the Land Use Act. To stem the drastic impact of a radical departure from the present formula, the process could be graduated over a decade, with the new beneficiaries paying huge taxes to the Federal Government, for the huge infrastructure already in place. The most dramatic effect from the exercise will be that states with huge minerals deposits in their domain, but which are currently considered as poor states will have the opportunity to seek for investments to develop those minerals. Again, those states with comparative advantages in other natural benefits and other spheres of human endeavor will be compelled to begin to exploit them, and the necessary economic activities badly needed to stem a failed Nigerian state, will kick-start. Is it not strange that despite pushing for economic activities in the states, the railways and labour for instance are locked up within the exclusive legislative list? While the Federal Government may retain regulatory authorities, the states must be allowed to pursue the conveniences of a modern state. In arguing for laws to expedite economic activities, it is incongruous for our constitution to allow the federal agencies to determine the general wage bill of state employees, because it has the exclusive legislative right on labour. The Federal Government should only have the right to determine the national minimum wage, through the national economic council. Also, to foster the protection of the economic activities within the states and local councils, there is the need for local police; and also state exhausted hierarchy of courts, and state prisons. The federal courts should retain appellate authority over fundamental human rights, federal laws and inter-state activities. The federal legislature must wake up and use law making as a normative instrument for economic development; to gift Nigeria a chance to modernity.

Osun’s tablet of knowledge It was exciting few days ago to watch the scruffy faces of the rural and the urban children of the state of Osun, as they held up their android (Ope Imo) that will no doubt change their lives. The project if sustained will likely bridge the gap for all the children, regardless of the privileges of birth, with regards to access to knowledge materials. I commend Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his ability to conceptualise this project and I urge his brother colleagues to emulate this revolutionary stuff. Again, all the states should invest in the critical competences of the teachers and children at the foundation levels, to train minds that will grow to thoroughly utilise the modern gifts of technology; and locally develop new ideas.


34

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

LAW & SOCIETY

Jonathan, Mukhtar canvass corruption-free judiciary

P

RESIDENT Good luck Jonathan and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Miriam Mukhtar (CJN) have canvassed a judiciary devoid of corruption. They spoke at the Centenary law summit organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studieas (NIALS) and the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in Abuja to mark 100 years of the legal profession in the country. In his welcome address at the event tagged: Law and society, 100 years of legal development in Nigeria, Director-General of NIALS, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), said the summit was organised to commemorate a century of constitutional evolution and legal development in Nigeria. The event provides an opportunity to take stock of how well the law had been used as an instrument of social change in the last 100 years, he said. “Within the period under review, we have been able to achieve significant milestone through enactment of laws that have helped in moulding our society and giving breath and vitality to our values and morals but more significantly in ensuring that most of our laws truly reflect the consciousness of our people. But we cannot loose sight of the fact that at a time in our national history, particularly during the military era. “Laws were also used as instruments of oppression, subjugation and enthronement of anti-majoritarian principles and norms. “There are, undoubtedly, still some aspect of our laws that are obsolete, anachronistic and in dire need of reform while in many other areas our laws are well behind the state of the law in other climes and jurisdiction. It is for this reason that this summit is not merely an occasion to engage on a historical discourse and analysis of the growth of our law since amalgamation in 1914,” he said. He continued: ‘’It is rather an opportunity for us to make projections into the future and determine how our journey towards economic prosperity and social emancipation can be anchored on constitutional and legislative pragmatism. “In this regard, this law summit is not just a bold endorsement of Mr President’s transformation agenda, but a platform to brainstorm, distil and collate ideas on how to use law as a veritable instrument for achieving the Transformation Agenda. ‘’This theme of the summit and the sub-themes are carefully put together to help in evolving and institutionalising policies and laws that will serve as catalyst for driving reforms in the polity.

By John Austin Unachukwu and Eric Ikhilae

“It is not merely acknowledgement of our capability but a challenge to us to assist the government in driving the process of shifting the frontiers of law. “May I also pay public tribute to our supervising Minister, the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) for promoting academic freedom and autonomy by allowing the institute unfettered discretion to run its programmes and activities. The management of the institute salutes him for his visionary leadership and his undiluted support to the institute which more often than not, is beyond the normal call of duty. “The institute is also proud to have as its Chairman of Governing Council, the highly respected courageous, no-nonsense Justice Alooma Mariam Mukhtar (CJN). “We are happy to have assembled the best and brightest in this country to lead discussions in various sessions of this summit. Our concept is that the summit is to be audience driven, meaning that the panelists will be expected to interact more with the audience than merely engaging in seminal scholarly presentation. This approach will enable the summit to touch on life issues, which naturally will help in building consensus on the way forward.” He also said: “Finally, let me warmly welcome Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to this Centenary Law Summit. Mr President, it is given to few men in their lifetime to preside over the Golden Jubilee of his country and the Centenary anniversary of the same country. President, you are a child of destiny and destiny beckons on you to use your transformation agenda to lead the Nigerian people to the Promised Land. “Let it be said in the next 100 years that this nation witnessed a national rebirth in your time and that you laid the foundation for a strong, united, respected and progressive modern Nigeria, once more I warmly welcome you all to this Centenary Law Summit, he said. President Jonathan while declaring open the summit said the government would

‘Since law is an instrument for social engineering and political transformation, such should be strictly adhered to by all organs of government’

continue to ensure that human right norms were strictly observed in the ongoing fight against terror in the country. He said: “Let me use this opportunity to reiterate the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure that human right norms are duly observed and the freedom and liberty of the people are not unduly abridged in our war against terror. “The armed forces and other security personnel dealing with insurgencies and other security challenges in the states where state of emergency had been declared had been given orders to ensure that they discharge their duties with conformity with the rule of engagements.” The President further said: “Since law is an instrument for social engineering and political transformation, such should be strictly adhered to by all organs of government.” He challenged the managers of the nation’s judiciary to review the country’s laws, “since it remains an institution that holds the key of sustaining the confidence of the people in the Rule of Law.” Jonathan further enjoined the judiciary to give credible and well-reasoned judgments to enhance social justice and fairness. The President expressed delight over the ongoing efforts by the Chief Justice of Nigeria to sanitise the nation’s judicial system. “We welcome the efforts being made by the National Judicial Council under the able and strong leadership of the Chief Justice of this great country, Justice Mukhtar. We believe that you can sanitise the judicial system.” Justice Mukhtar noted the giant strides recorded in the nation’s legal profession. She reiterated her commitment to ensure zero tolerance to corruption and unethical practices in the judiciary. The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Bello Adoke, said relevant bodies with the legal profession had intensified efforts towards early completion of the on-going legal reforms in the country. President Jonathan presented to the public a publication entitled: Nigeria: A Century of Constitutional Evolution 19142014. The publication was written by the NAILS. The three-day summit witnessed various paper presentations which include legislations and transformative governance; rule of law and transformation agenda; power and transformation philosophy of government and State governors as partners in transformation agenda. Others were law, good governance and security; police and enforcement of law and order; law and terrorism and international securityand human rights concerns.

•From left: President Jonathan flanked by Justice Mukhtar and Prof. Azinge at the summit. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

•Former Director-General NIMASA, Ferdinand Agu (left) and Prof O. A. Osunbor

• Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi and Adoke at the event.

•Minister of Women Affairs, Zainab Maina and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Canada Chief Ojo Madueke PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

35

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

Courts and budget: Implications for access to justice •Continued from last week

I

N the 2013 budget, N380.020billion is for Statutory Transfers out of which N67 bil lion was budgeted for the NJC, N57.424 billion was budgeted for the Niger Delta Development Commission, N72,246,000,000 was budgeted for Universal Basic education, N150 billion was budgeted for the National Assembly, N32 billion was budgeted for INEC and N1.350billion was budgeted for the National Human Rights Commission. The National Judicial Council was allocated 18 per cent of the Statutory transfer, the Niger Delta Development Commission received 15 per cent, Universal Basic education received 19 per cent, the National Assembly received 39 per cent, INEC received eight per cent and the National Human Rights Commission received one per cent.

3. Infrastructural development arising from budgeting

Apart from payment of allowances and remuneration of judicial officers, budgeted allocation is utilized for infrastructural development. These infrastructures include the following: a) The court room: The court room encompasses the court building and amenities in the building such as Air conditioner, fans, writing pad, library and so on. A number of courts in Nigeria as a result of being badly funded evince decay and neglect of infrastructural amenities particularly at the state level. In some cases, the court building does not possess the required well equipped library for Judges to conduct their research. This may see Judges relying on information supplied by lawyers which should not be the case. The state of the courts at the state level was encapsulated by the Chief Judge of Bauchi State at the inauguration of the 2011/2012 Legal Year. He stated that the Bauchi State judiciary is in a very bad shape, the courts are in a deplorable state and there are no good furniture. According to him, the environment is not conducive at all, there is no standard library and most of the judges depend on the authorities submitted by lawyers to write their rulings and judgments.

Even the paper to write the rulings and other working materials in the registry must be provided by the complaints and defendants. A hearing session in a typical Nigerian court was described thus: The hot afternoon made matters worse for all the temporary inhabitants of the courtroom located not far away from the ever busy Maraba junction in Nassarawa state. The room was congested. Hands automatically turned to fans in the absence of a functioning electric fan or an air conditioner. The slits which served as windows failed to let in the needed amount of air to sustain the sweating men and women packed into the small courtroom. This inadvertently led to spirited movement in and out of the room, for those who could not withstand the scalding heat. For those who left their seats, slots in hard backed benches that bore the ravages of dilapidation and neglect, many more standing at the door and at the windows quickly took over the ‘seats’ in a jiffy, not minding the discomfort of both weather and the ageing furniture. Despite the harshness of the atmosphere, many could still not ignore the presence of the defendant who is in handcuffs. A young man of about 21 or so, he is dressed in tattered pants and singlet, and sits atop a short bench. Behind him is a wooden plank sprayed with red lettering paint which states that this is what serves as a defendants pod. At last reprieve appears to come in a flash when the court clerk suddenly pounds the creaking desk in his front with his hands with astonishing strength, which startles a few that are not used to such court settings. ‘Court’ he subsequently screams, then adds, ‘all rise.’ All quickly scramble to their feet as a middle aged judge saunters in through a door that is cracked in several places, and which had stood out as a sore thumb for many discreet observers in the courtroom. He has to pass through a tight space in order to get to his wooden chair and classroom style desk, which will serve today again as his adjudication seat. In a matter of minutes his crisply pressed suit would soon be immersed in sweat, including his clean shaved face due to the scalding heat. He would equally have to squirm intermittently in order to assuage his aching back leaning against the wooden chair. Intermittently too he would have harsh words for the different counsels appearing before him due to their inability to raise their voices over the din coming from the nearby bus stop. The deplorable state of the courts is not ex-

aggerated, many courts in Nigeria are housed in dilapidated and neglected buildings, this is not to say however that such is the situation all over the country. The state of the federal courts especially is a total deviation from this. The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the federal high courts and some state courts located in big cities possess essential amenities. Some of these court buildings also enjoy exquisite and impressive architecture; for instance the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal FCT division both have spectacular views. b) Information & Communication Technology (ICT) There is no gain saying that the world has become computerised as we are in the ‘jet age’. In all the sectors of the country, information technology is well appreciated and utilised to achieve maximum results. Sadly, however, this cannot be said to be so in our courts as most courts are yet to maximise this innovation. Judges in many of the courts still write in long hand which is quite stressful and time wasting. A resultant effect of low budgeting for the courts is inability to fully embrace ICT as it does not come cheap. This has led to a situation where there are no automated recording systems which are capable of hastening note taking by the judges. In fact, in many magistrate courts across the country, the manual method of record keeping is still being used instead of computers where information from records can easily be accessible and retrieved. In the time being however, Judges of lower courts on several occasions have made calls for the use of ICT in their courts for quick dispensation of justice. c) Capacity Building for Judicial officers and Court staff This century is witnessing the emergence of new areas of law such as maritime law, air and space law, sports law, telecommunications law, competition law, oil and gas law, ICT law and so on. It is pertinent that judges are in line with these developments; hence, capacity building becomes imperative in order to ensure accuracy in judgment delivery. In the same vein, capacity building is necessary for court staffs. Staff need to be continuously developed mentally to be able to face for instance, training on the use of ICT is important. Court budgeting

As the nation awaits the list of those to be made Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee this year, Rotimi Eghaghe, a Benin lawyer, believes that merit and integrity should be the watchword in conferring the title.

I

N all, while the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar has raised the bar of expectation from the bench, the litmus test will be the selection of candidates for the award of the rank of senior advocates of Nigera (SAN) this year, every thing should be done to ensure that this legacy of incorruptibility and intergrity in any thing the CJN is involved in endures even now the whole nation is watching how the 2013 edition will go.

Conclusion: Investigations revealed that between 60 – 80 PER CENT of applicants for the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) this year 2013 are qualified for first time. It will be manifestly unjust if they (the first time) applicants are considered for the award where there are applicants in the previous year 2012 with better cases and number of Cases who are left out having passed their office inspection and oral interviews, unless the first timer can show verifiable evidence of distinction and excellence far above the previous applicants objectively.

• To be continued next week

T

By Rotimi Eghaghe

Also the situation where an applicant has more Supreme Court cases than High Court or Court of Appeal should be thoroughly investigated by the legalpractitioners privileges committee (LLPC) : for example some applicants may have the following statistics of Cases: The above table prima facie suggests the applicants buying up supreme court cases; if not how do we believe such data. If the process of appointment to the rank of SAN is open and transparent, it can no doubt provide a quality and competent ready pool from which prospective members of the bench can be recruited from by the National Judical Council any time it wants to appoint people to the bench. Also, it will bring competent hands to the bench thereby Negating incompetence, nepotism and corruption at the bench. Right now, there is a consensus ad idem that the lady who is today the Chief Justice of Nigeria-Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar is not corrupt and every Lawyer agrees with this. That she is fighting a battle of her life and that she is a fit and

should be able to accommodate capacity building for Judges and court staff. 4. Access to Justice According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), access to justice is the ability of people from disadvantaged groups to prevent and overcome human poverty by seeking and obtaining a remedy, through the justice system, for grievances in accordance with human rights principles and standard. Access to justice is viewed in the sense of normative protection which is the existence of a remedy, the capacity to seek the remedy and the capacity to provide an effective remedy. The existence of a remedy will not be featured in this paper as it is legislative and not court related. This paper will focus on the capacity to seek

Lagos CJ appoints new registrar

‘Respect merit, integrity in SANs’ appointment’ • Continued from last week

• Prof Azinge

• Rotimi

proper person to fight that battle. However in this year’s edition of the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) on deserving candidates, my Lord the CJN should not disappoint us. Merit, Integrity and Competence These should be used to evaluate each candidates application without these, the noble intensions which the Hon. the CJN represents and seeks might as well be another mirage. •Concluded •Rev. Eghaghe is a lawyer based in Benin City, Edo State

By Adebisi Onanuga

HE Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, has approved the appointment of Chief Magistrate A.O. Isaac as the new Chief Registrar of the Lagos High courts. The appointment of Mr Isaac, who was the former Deputy Chief Registrar (Administration), followed the elevation of Mr Gafari Safari as high court judge. A statement by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Lagos High Courts, Mrs. Grace Alo, said six other magistrate court judges were also promoted to the position of deputy chief registrars. The appointment takes immediate effect, he said. The statement said Mrs. I.O. Akinkugbe was appointed Deputy Chief Registrar (Administration), Lagos; Mrs. A.O. Soladoye was appointed Deputy Chief R e g i s t r a r ( A d m i n istration) , Ik e j a while Mr. E.O. Ogundare was appointed Deputy Chief Registrar(Legal), Lagos. It stated further stated that Mrs.D.T Olatokun was appointed Deputy Chief Registrar (Legal), Ikeja; Mrs O.A.Okunnuga was appointed Deputy Chief Registrar (Special Duties), Ikeja while Mrs. O. A.Femi-Segun was appointed Deputy Chief Registrar (Special Duties), Lagos.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

36

LEGAL OPINION

Emulate JIC Taylor, lawyers told Although he died 40 years ago, the first Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice John Idowu Conrad (J.I.C.) Taylor is still remembered. Lawyers, at a memorial lecture, described him as a symbol of honesty and a man of high integrity who dispensed justice without fear or favour. Lawyers and judges were urged to emulate the eminent jurist. PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU reports.

T

HE need for legal practition ers to shun fraudulent be haviours, dishonesty and render assistance to junior lawyers was the thrust of the ninth edition of JIC Taylor annual memorial lecture, organised by the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA). Participants at the lecture entitled: What manner of lawyer, judge are you? were urged to emulate the late Justice Taylor, who left his exalted seat at the Supreme Court to serve his state as Chief Judge, as well as shun the ‘getting rich first’ syndrome, which has worsened corruption in the judiciary. The Lagos bar also used the opportunity of the lecture to present about 155 laptops to its junior lawyers, which, according to the Chairman, Taiwo Taiwo, were bought from a N10 million grant donated by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN). At the event were life benchers, Badru Olaogun, Mrs. Henrietta Balogun and Pa. Tunji Gomez; Olanipekun; Chairman, NBA-Section on Legal Practice (SLP), Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN); Abiodun Oworikoko (SAN); NBA National Treasurer, Mrs. Grace Odua; as well as former Lagos branch chairmen, G.O. Odunlami and Chijioke Okoye. Taiwo said ethics demand that such meetings be held to honour ancestors in the legal profession. He said the branch chose to buy computers from the money donated by Olanipekun, to empower deserving young lawyers. He said young lawyers were graded from year of call to the bar, just as he commended Olanipekun for his continuous support towards the association. Olaogun, who was the guest lecturer, said the continuous serious infractions and dishonest and fraudulent behaviours of some judicial officers have made him want to say more about the system. He lamented that for over 40 years, he has been critical about the quality of the nation’s judiciary and has advocated in many instances that corrupt judicial officers be given fair trial and executed if found guilty in order to restore sanity in the system. Olaogun, who urged legal practitioners both at the bar and bench to emulate the virtues of Justice Taylor, noted that ‘‘some judges have gone into the abyss that cases are beyond redemption while others are in the ridiculous and unacceptable habits of adjourning their rulings on ex-parte applications for

inordinate period. ‘‘There is great indiscipline in the administration of justice in Nigeria-the bailiffs section of the judiciary is daily crying for a surgical operation ... the part to be operated upon is in such a bad state that it will feel or suffer no pains. ‘‘It is disheartening to read or hear about lawyers being suspended, derobed or even jailed! Having traversed the legal terrain ... I feel satisfied but sad to witness the unacceptable decline in the body politics of the NBA. ‘‘Before I threw in the towel as a member of the Disciplinary Committee of the NBA, I had in my chambers several files containing serious petitions against legal practitioners. I wrote several letters to the NBA president without receiving even acknowledgments. ‘‘The judiciary needs overhaul because there is no discipline in the administration of justice. The judges, lawyers and support staff are all guilty. ‘‘I have said it before and I am repeating it that any judicial officer suspected of corruption should be given the fairest trial. After being tried and found guilty, such an officer should be executed. We do not have sanction here that is why people who do not value their reputation engage in corruption because the penalty is mild. ‘‘I remember in 1999, when I was chairman of a conference at Ilorin. I gave a serious indictment when members of the bar were trying to steal the proceeds of the conference, which was in my custody. I had given the money, which was in a ‘Ghana must go’ bag to the hotel manager to count and sign and he did that. ‘‘But as I was going into the hall, I saw some members of the bar carrying the money, so I quickly went and told the president, who ran out and pursued the lawyers and retrieved the bags from them. I wrote a serious indictment and they promised me that they will look into it but till date, nothing happened. ‘‘It was sad to see that not only was my report not implemented as promised, the indicted national officers offered themselves for election or re-election in 2000! These members are still in the main stream of the NBA. What a shame! ‘‘So, overhauling the system is not just sacking people; there should be stiffer sanctions. If anyone knows that sanction awaits him/her if they do anything wrong, they will sit tight. If I steal N32billion and you collect N5billion from it and sack me, I

•Pa Tunji Gomez and Chief Olanipekun

still have so much money left and will not feel anything.’’ ‘‘A cursory visit to our law courts to watch the proceedings will convince even the uninitiated: The way some lawyers dress in riotous colours or even comport themselves when addressing the court leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Sadly enough, there is no hope in the horizon given the crop of lawyers being produced annually by the Nigerian Law School. ‘‘Imagine a university law graduate who does not know how to spell his or her name correctly; who cannot answer simple questions or worse still who does not know his or her local government area or who when asked his or her mother/father’s nationality tells you ‘NIGERIA’! To Olanipekun, Justice Taylor remains one of the best the profession has produced in the universe, just as he urged lawyers to stop using themselves as instrument for corruption. He said a very successful life is not measured based on the amount of houses or money a man has, but how he has been able to use his wealth to impact on the lives of other humans. Olanipekun said: ‘‘For those of us in the legal profession, none can ever claim he has never been a toddler or junior or infant in a chamber. We know how difficult, undulating and unstable the terrain is. As junior lawyers, we were able to survive by the grace of God.

‘‘So, if God has granted you that grace, then look back at your fellow human beings in the same profession and try to assist them in your own humble way. That is what you will be remembered for, not the amount of wealth you have accumulated either in the bank or in your closet. ‘‘Come to religion, every religion teaches us to be kind and graceful. When you are kind, it is not just saying ‘how do you do?’ there are a lot of things to do for humanity and this is part of it. Those of them who have gotten this computer sets today will go back and be determined to do same when they grow up. ‘‘With all sense of humility, some of the things God is doing through us, accountants, medical doctors, pharmacists, teachers and cleric are benefitting from our scholarship scheme. God has used the legal profession to bless me and so, I am glorifying him by what I am doing.’’ Olanipekun described judicial corruption as an abomination. He said most of the judges are upright and God-fearing, but unfortunately, a few of them have not lived up to their oath of office, a practice which has rubbished the image of the judiciary. He urged such judges to take a new leave, just as he warned lawyers to desist from telling clients they are charging certain amount of money for a judge. ‘‘Again, in our country, we are tempting our judges too much. We

are over stretching them. There is no country in the world where judges are exposed to political matters but Nigeria. It is only in Nigeria that a judge will sit in Abuja and fire a national chairman of a party somewhere in the country. ‘‘It is only in Nigeria that every election will be contested from the Tribunal to the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. Apart from the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, who was spared the agony of litigation during the second term, every other political office holder in Nigeria today including the governors and president had the imprimatur of court pronouncements before they could finally sit ‘comfortably’ on their respective seats. ‘‘I have been part and I am still part of some of the cases and I can tell you such a thing is not done in any part of the world. So we have to start respecting the ballot box. The ballot box is very sacred; it represents the corporate wish of the electorates. ‘‘Once we decide not to respect the ballot box, we will be bombarding the judiciary to adjudicate on matters which should be resolved between you and me by casting our votes for candidates of our respective choice, ‘’he said. Adekoya commended the Lagos bar as well as Olanipekun for donating the computer sets to young lawyers . ‘‘What Chief Olanipekun has done is highly commendable and I think it is time some of us started doing same.’’

Activists petition NJC over Okeke’s allegation

A

HUMAN rights group, the Access to Justice (AJ), has sent a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC), urging it to investigate the allegation made by a former judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Okechukwu Okeke that a Supreme Court Justice, Clara Ogunbiyi, extra-judicially attempted to influence the outcome of a case pending before him. He made the allegation during a valedictory court session in his honour on May 27. The NJC is yet to react publicly to the issue. AJ, in the petition signed by its Director, Joseph Otteh, said the allegations raise very troubling

By Joseph Jibueze

concerns for the independence and integrity of the administration of justice in Nigeria and need to be thoroughly, promptly and credibly investigated. It said: “Please recall that not too long ago, a sitting President of the Court of Appeal made somewhat similar allegations against an incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria and the events which followed thereafter brought considerable embarrassment and ridicule to the Nigerian Judiciary from which it is yet to recover. “We acknowledge your efforts as Chief Justice of Nigeria to reform the administration of justice

landscape, hold judges accountable for their conduct and rebuild public confidence in the judiciary and salute this commitment. “We bring this petition also because of our civic responsibility to help you succeed in the daunting task of transforming public perceptions of the judiciary by strengthening the independence and integrity of justice delivery in Nigeria. “We urge the NJC to investigate whether the allegations…are founded and true or not and whether there has been conduct that violates the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers (CCJO). Rule 1 and 1.1 of the CCJO provides as follows:

“A Judicial Officer should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all his activities. A Judicial Officer should respect and comply with the laws of the land and should conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary. “While we hold the honourable Justice of the Supreme Court who has been named in these allegations in high esteem, we think it is absolutely necessary in this circumstance that the allegations be properly investigated and that she be given an opportunity to refute or state her position in relation to the claims made.”

•Otteh


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

37

NATIONAL BAR How Nigeria can achieve people’s Constitution, by NBA

T

HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has identified factors which will make the 1999 Constitution, undergoing amendment, more people-oriented. The factors, it said, include inclusivity, validity and transparency. The association backed the gradual amendment of the Constitution, saying it believes piecemeal approach is preferable to a wholesale alteration in which an existing constitution is totally jettisoned for a new one. The association condemned the divisions among governors with the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF), which the association declared as unconstitutional. NBA President Okey Wali (SAN), who made NBA’s position known, spoke while welcoming delegates to the association’s justconcluded National Executive Committee (NEC) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. “The Nigerian Bar Association supports the proposed review of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the National Assembly. It is the position of the Bar that more than anything else Nigeria needs amendment of some important aspect of the Constitution in the interest of democracy consolidation. “Since the amendment exercise started, the NBA has identified two crucial principles of Constitutional amendment. They are: timing and approach. Under timing, we suggest that Constitutional amendment should be an on-going exercise. As soon as an issue identified as germane for constitutional amendment arises, the process of a new amendment ought to be initiated at the National Assembly through a Bill. “On approach which has great linkage with timing, the NBA believes that piecemeal amendment is preferred to a wholesale amendment in which an existing Constitution is totally jettisoned for a new one.

By John Austin Unachukwu

“The oldest federation, the United State of America, has had same Constitution for over 200 years and has made only 27 amendments to it. India has made 94 amendments to its Constitution in 60 years,” Wali said. The NBA President said the central issue is not only whether there is a constitution but whether or not the constitution is of the people. “The pertinent questions are: does the constitution reflect the wishes of the people? How was it made? Were the processes involved in its making open and transparent? Were the processes inclusive? “It could be deciphered from the foregoing questions that these are the parameters for testing a people oriented constitution, the type we deserve for Nigeria. These are the basic elements of a good constitution and this revolves around the process of passage. “These basic standards include: Inclusivity: the constitution must be owned by the people. In effect it is in the spirit of the Rule of Law for the people to have a say in how they are governed. Ownership ensures credibility of the constitution. Validity: the constitution must be subject to a referendum. Transparency: Process must be transparent to ensure credibility. “It is only through a process as enunciated above that Nigeria, can have the type of constitution we truly deserve. I want to state unequivocally again that the only way to achieve a people’s constitution is through a referendum NBA also took a stand on the state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. “It is because of the failure of law and order that necessitated the declaration of the state of emergency in the three aforementioned states. President Jonathan had unequivocally stated in his state of

•From left: Mr Wali (SAN); Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson and former President NBA, OCJ Okocha (SAN).

emergency speech that in view of the intelligence report available to him, it had become necessary to declare the state of emergency. “But the big lesson in this National security debacle is the urgent and important need to equip the Nigerian Police Force. It is not enough to always send the Armed Forces to places where our National Security is threatened all the time. “One may ask the question why not involve the Nigerian Police Force? But we must ask ourselves whether the Nigerian Police Force is well funded and equipped? The Bar calls for the urgent equipping of the Nigerian Police Force. From available statistic, the Nigerian Police Force has the required man power but lack the requisite training and equipment. “The Bar therefore calls for the urgent funding, training (capacity building), and equipping of the Nigerian Police Force. Without adequate funding, the Nigerian Police Force cannot function. That is why they are getting overpowered and killed every day. If we had a well trained and equipped Police, we never would have needed soldiers and the military. “The NBA calls on the Federal

Government to declare a state of emergency on the Police Force, with a view to making them capable of functioning appropriately.” NBA called for the strengthening of the judiciary’s independence, adding that the problem of overloaded court dockets is indeed one that must be tackled head-on. It said: “Government must recognise that the judiciary is the Third Arm of Government in any civilized society. Accordingly, the independence of the Judiciary must be guaranteed and secured. To secure the independence of the judiciary, government must grant to it true financial autonomy, and a full self-accounting status. “The funds of the judiciary must be released to it as soon as the same is approved in the budgets of the Federal and State governments. The personal emoluments of judicial officers, together with their other conditions of service, should be enhanced to make them commensurate with that of their counterparts in England, from where Nigeria derived its Legal system. “Bayelsa State is the only State in Nigeria that has passed a law backing a self accounting judiciary vide its Judiciary Financial Autonomy Law 2012.

“The NBA reiterates that Government must recognise that it is only the existence of a virile, fearless and independent Judiciary that can guarantee an enduring democratic government, and the maintenance of law and order.” On NGF, Wali said: “Let me say that the 1999 Constitution, as amended, does not provide for a body such as the Nigeria Governors Forum. I, however, agree that Nigerians have a constitutional right to form or belong to a body, group or association of their choice. “This Forum is modelled after the National Governors Association in the United States of America, but unlike their own Association in the U.S which is good governance and policy driven, ours is highly politicised and it is heating up the polity in Nigeria.” The NBA president confirmed to the NEC that the Building Committee would hit the site of the NBA House on June 21 when the ground breaking will be performed. It was also reported to the NEC that the NBA had gone to court to challenge the provision of the law on Money laundering which requires lawyers to report any transaction above $1,000 to law enforcement agencies.

Text of a paper delivered by Mr Femi Falana (SAN) as guest speaker at the presentation of the Law Journal of the Law Students Society, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Kwara State in honour of Chief Folake Solanke (SAN)

The anti-corruption war in the Judiciary: How far? How well? • Continued from last week

A

T that juncture both Messrs Segun Oni and Olagunsoye Oyinlola whose elections as governors of Ekiti and Osun states respectively had been annulled by the Court of Appeal alleged that Justice Salami was in constant telephone conversation with leaders and lawyers of the Action Congress of Nigeria during the hearing of some election petitions. The National Judicial Council also decided to investigate the grave allegations of both politicians. Not convinced that the National Judicial Council would examine the matter in a dispassionate manner the Nigerian Bar Association resolved to set up its own panel of inquiry to investigate the roles of all the dramatis personae including its own members in the Sokoto governorship election petition saga. The reports of the NJC and the NBA were mired in controversies. While the CJN was exonerated by the NJC Justice Salami was asked to tender apology for lying on oath even though it was found that the CJN actually asked Justice Salami to change the panel that had concluded the hearing of the appeal. But as far as the NJC was concerned the CJN interfered in the case in the interest of the judiciary! On its own part the NBA exonerated Justice Salami, indicted the CJN and some legal practitioners. Upon the retirement of Justice

• Falana (SAN)

Katsina-Alu CJN the matter was revisited by the NJC which turned round to exonerate Justice Salami, lifted his suspension and decided to recall him. However, President Jonathan has refused to allow him to resume duties as the President of the Court of Appeal on the ground

that the matter is pending in court. Although the matter has been left for judicial determination by the court the crisis has done incalculable damage to the image of the Nigerian judiciary. Indeed, it has been said that the Katsina-Alu/Salami imbroglio is

partly responsible for the increasing wave of judicial corruption in the country in the last couple of years. All manners of ex parte orders are issued by the judges while judgments totally devoid of justice are handed down by judges. Men and women of means and influence charged with theft of billions of Naira are either freed or convicted and asked to pay ridiculous low fines. The Nigerian judiciary recently became a butt of jokes before the international community when a former governor who was discharged by the Federal High Court was convicted and sentenced to a 14-year jail term by a judge in the United Kingdom on the same evidence. It was therefore not surprising at the swearing-in-ceremony of the Honourable Justice Musdapha, as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on September 27, 2011, when President Goodluck Jonathan expressed concern over the “widespread perception of a growing crisis of integrity in the judiciary”. While charging the newly appointed Chief Justice to address the crisis of confidence in the judiciary the President pointed out that “A partisan judge compromises his or her oath of office and acts unfairly. A corrupt judge disgraces the Bench on which he or she sits and the title that he or she wears” In several public statements thereafter, the Honourable Justice

Musdapher condemned judicial corruption, delay in the administration of justice, criticized plea bargain and made recommendations for judicial reforms. His Lordship also intervened to stop the manipulation of the Court of Appeal in some election matters. A Federal High Court judge was directed by the Chief Justice to reverse an ex parte order which he had granted restraining Independent National Electoral Commission from conducting the governorship election in Cross River State. The illegal ex parte order was issued on the eve of the said election. The Emergence of Justice Aloma- Muktar (CJN) I first met the Honourable Justice Maryam Aloma Muktar as a High Court Judge in Kano in 1984. My client, a trade union had sued a powerful Lebanese company in the Kano State High Court for illegally withholding the check dues deducted from the wages of all the workers in its employment. The company which had boasted that it had the judiciary in its pocket was taken aback when the trial judge, Justice Muktar granted the reliefs sought by the plaintiff and ordered the company to refund and pay to the union the check off dues which it had illegally withheld. • To be continued next week


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

38

LAW REPORT

Will cannot be voided because ‘Igiogbe’ was bequeathed to someone else In The Supreme Court of Nigeria Date: April 19, 2013 SC. 135/2004, 2013(4) LEDLR-16 IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL CHUKWUMA-ENEH SULEIMAN GALADIMA CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI STANLEY SHENKO ALAGOA BETWEEN

EDWARD OMORODION UWAIFO

APPELLANT

AND 1. STANLEY UYINMWEN UWAIFO 2. MRS ELIZABETH EHEZOGHE IGBINOVIA 3. MRS GRACE EBENOVBEVBE KASIM 4. MRS LOVETH AIZE EMOKPAE 5. MRS AGHATISE UWAIFO 6. MISS JOY AGHAMUOKU UWAIFO 7. GREGORY SAMUEL O. IZEVBUHE

RESPONDENTS

8. ATEWE O. UWAIFO 9. BENJAMIN O. EHENUWA 10. THE PROBATE REGISTRY EDO STATE 11. DAVID UWAIFO • Continued from last week

I shall come to the case law later in the course of this Judgment. However, the Appellant’s claim against the Respondents at the trial High Court Benin City wherein he was the Plaintiff as has been elaborately set out earlier, was for a declaration, among other things, that the will of his father is invalid null and void and of no effect whatsoever because it

failed to comply with the Bini Customary Law of succession and Section 3(1) of the will Law Cap 172 and that the purported bequest under the said will is contrary to Bini Native Law and Custom and it is therefore null and void. It is also worthy to note that the learned trial Judge in a considered Judgment granted some of the important reliefs sought in the following terms. “The Plaintiff is entitled to the

orders sought in paragraph 17(a), (b) and (c) of the Amended Statement of Claim with relevant modifications and it is hereby declared as follows: 1. That the Plaintiff as the eldest son of the deceased is entitled under BINI Customary Law of inheritance to inherit the house at No. 4 Ohuoba Street where the deceased lived and died (otherwise known as the lgiogbe). (i) That the devices in the will of the deceased dated June 1975 as it relates to the house at No. 4 Ohuoba Street, Benin City declared in this Judgment as the lgiogbe, is null and void having contravened the Bini Customary Law of inheritance and Section 3 (1) of the Wills Law Cap. 172 Laws of Bendel State applicable in Edo State. (ii) That under Bini Customary Law the lgiogbe cannot be shared to any person other than the deceased’s eldest surviving son (in this case, the Plaintiff) and consequently the purported devise of the house No. 4 Ohuoba Street, Benin City by the deceased in his said Will to Henry N. E. Uwaifo, Ayanbueze E. Uwaifo, Egbenodenden E. Uwaifo and Nobunse E. Uwaifo are null and void and of no effect whatsoever.” Again, the lower court (Court Appeal Benin) affirmed the entire decision of the lower trial court. I am obliged to set out the conclusion reached in that decision on pp. 238 - 239 of the Records thus: “The entire Will cannot therefore be voided simply because the lgiogbe was bequeathed to someone else. In this case, the deceased had bequeathed his property, including the lgiogbe to other beneficiaries in his Will (Exhibit A). As the learned trial Judge rightly observed, there is no customary law against devising the lgiogbe by WILL to the rightful beneficiary viz. the first surviving son but it is against Bini Customary Law to disinherit the eldest son of the lgiogbe as was done in this case or to share it to others. Consequently, she held and I agree with her that the Appellant was entitled to the Declaration she made that the

WILL is invalid only to the extent that house No. 4 Ohuoba Street, declared as the lgiogbe, was devised to persons other than him; and that the entire WILL cannot be voided on the sole ground that the lgiogbe was so devised. That is the correct statement of the law on this issue. Since the custom of the Bini people prevent a Testator from devising his lgiogbe to any other person other than his eldest son, to that extent, Pa Daniel Ediagbonya Uwaifo’s WILL is invalid. As Belgore JSC pointed out in ldehen V. ldehen (supra), at his death, the lgiogbe was no longer his to give away. However, the WILL is not invalid in its entirety - See: Lawal - Osula V. Lawal - Osula (supra), where he, Belgore JSC, also held that the other parts of the WILL could be saved, which is what the learned trial Judge so ably did in this case. I agree with the Respondents that she arrived at a correct decision in this case. I must commend her for the deft manner in which she applied the numerous authorities cited to the case at hand.” As earlier stated the Judgment of the lower court set out above is being faulted on the ground that that court failed to follow its earlier decision in IGBINOBA V. IGBINOBA (supra). Learned Counsel for the first - ninth Respondents in their brief has set out two subsidiary issues which will conveniently determine the sole issue raised in the appeal. These subsidiary questions are: (a) Did the Court of Appeal in IGBINOBA V. IGBINOBA (supra) decide that under Bini Customary Law, vacant land can also constitute lgiogbe? (b) Can the Court of Appeal still follow its earlier decision on a point which had been overruled by the Supreme Court under the doctrine of stare decisis? Considering the first leg of the sub issue, I must straightaway say that the Court of Appeal did not decide in IGBINOBA V. IGBINOBA (supra) that vacant land also constitutes lgiogbe under Benin Customary Law. The court decided that neither testamentary disposi-

tion nor family arrangement can deprive the eldest surviving son of lgiogbe. It would appear (and I agree with the learned counsel for the Respondents) that the Appellant herein at the trial court, in his address at page 150 of the Record had erroneously ascribed to the Court of Appeal in the case of (IGBINOBA V. IGBINOBA) what the trial Judge (Obi J.) said, In other words he sought to substitute what Obi J. said for what the Court of Appeal per Joseph D. Ogundere JCA actually said. Since the Appellant has placed great reliance on this case there is need to put the Records straight, and resist the temptation of quoting the learned Justice, who read the leading Judgment in that case, out of context. Appellant quoted copiously in his brief at pages 5 - 6, what the trial Justice Obi said in lgbinoba’s case. The findings made by the said trial Judge which Ogundere JCA reproduced at pages 377-378 of the report read as follows: “It is acknowledged that as the eldest surviving son of his father the Plaintiff is entitled under Bini Native Law and Custom, to inheritance of the said house or lgiogbe, but the sharing carried out by the family seemed to have circumscribed his ownership of it, but two important qualifications which had the effect of derogating from his absolute ownership of it and this has resulted in the trouble between the parties ...” The “derogations” Obi J. referred to were the two rooms in the lgiogbe shared to the second son and the adjoining vacant land also shared to the second son. At page 9 of his brief of argument, the Appellant reproduced the final order of the trial Court, in IGINOBA V. IGBINOBA (supra). However it is observed that when the Appellant wanted to quote Ogundare JGA’s reaction to Obi J’s observations; he stopped short of what the said Ogundare actually said. At page 380 F, this is what he said: • To be continued next week

Senate urged not to pass Arbitration Regulation Bill

T

HE Section on Business Law (SBL) Unit of the Ni geria Bar Association (NBA) has urged the Senate not to pass the National Arbitration Regulatory Commission Bill. SBL’s Chairman, Mr Gbenga Oyebode, made the call in Lagos at a briefing to announce the Seventh Yearly conference of the section scheduled for between June 17 and 19, 2013 at Eko Hotel, Lagos. The Bill, which has been passed by the House of Representatives, is awaiting its concurrent passage by the Senate.It seeks to subject arbitration practice in Nigeria to government regulations. The SBL has made its opposition to the bill known in a letter sent to the Senate’ s President, David Mark, detailing reasons why the Bill should be rejected. Oyebode said the SBL opposed the Bill because it is not constitutional and for the fact that it infringes on the rights of

By Adebisi Onanuga

people to practice arbitration. The SBL Chief added that arbitration by its nature does not need to be subjected to government legislation because of the confidentiality of clients and for the fact that the industry itself is self regulatory. On the forthcoming conference of the SBL,with the theme: The legal profession in an emerging economy, Oyebode said the SBL has decided to choose a prominent Indian lawyer, Harold Paisner, to speak on the theme to underscore the need to tap from jurisdictions that share common practice with Nigeria. He listed other important dignitaries expected to attend the conference to include the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, The Attorney- General of the Federation Bello Adoke (SAN) and the Lagos Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips.

• From left: Mr Jemide Ayuli; Council Member, Mr Chuka Agbu, (SAN); Council Member; Mr Oyebode and Mr Asue Ighodalo, vice chairman, Business Law at briefing.

The governors of Lagos, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa states, are also expected as special guests at the event. Apart from the main theme,

he listed other issues to be discuss at the two-day conference to include the Niger Delta amnesty programme and the Power sector reforms.

Oyebode, who said the SBL has a focus on continuous legal education through its various committees, said the event would be rounded off with the chairman’s dinner.


39

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

ABUJA REVIEW NEWS

•Chairperson, Federal Capital Territory Area Councils Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) and Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide (middle); FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. John Obinna Chukwu (fourth left); Federal Commissioner representing FCT in Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Mr. Philibus Bussa (second left), with the newly elected chairmen of the six area councils in the FCT, at the end of the JAAC meeting in Abuja

•Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam (middle) cutting the tape to inaugurate NKST Hospital and Medical Equipment donated by member, House of Representatives, Chief Benjamin Aboho in Jato Aka Benue State (left) and Ter Kwande, His Royal Highness, Hilary Ikima (right). •Pupils of ARWA Basic Schools, Abuja at the presentation of Drama on Youths as agents in the fight against corruption, organised by Code of Conduct Bureau

•Deputy National Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria, Mustapha Boss (middle) with members, House of Representatives, Akeem Muniru (left); James Faleke; Opeyemi Bamidele and Yinka Ajayi (right) during the House of Representatives Second Year Appraisal and its Legislative Agenda, at National Assembly, Abuja

•Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Sam Saba (middle) presenting a gift to students of Government Secondary School, Kubwa, winner of a debate competition on Youths as Agents in the Fight Against Corruption, organised by the Bureau at its Children’s Forum, in Abuja

•Chairmen, State Houses of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts, Olusegun Olaleye, Oyo (left); Shehu Fawa (Niger); Oladokun Afolabi (Osun) and Aminu Jalingo (Taraba) during the inauguration of Nigerian Association of Public Accounts Committees (NAPAC) at the National Assembly, Abuja PHOTOS: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•From left: Dr. Ayo Ogunsan, Chairman Executive Trainers, Mr. Richmond Akparanta, Special Assistant to the Minister of State, FCT, Professor Sola Akinrinade, President QRS Associates, and Mr. Attahiru Abdullahi, Head of Admin, Abuja Area Council Service Commission during a Leadership Training in Dubai.


40

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

ABUJA REVIEW

T

HE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has increased its operational locations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it was learnt. Speaking with reporters at the road safety regulatory risk management workshop scheme organized by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Abuja, FRSC, Assistant Corps Marshal Denis Terrang said that following the World Bank intervention, the corps has procured 12 ambulances with which it can respond to accident situations to rescue victims 20 minutes of getting the information. He said: “Even last month, the World Bank donated 12 ambulances to the FRSC. And these ambulances are equipped for the best rescue operations.” According to him, the FRSC now has roadside clinics which are equipped with paramedics. Meanwhile, SPDC Managing Director, Mr. Mutiu Summonu explained that following the growing death and injury rates from road accidents, the oil giant moved to prune down the occurrences of road accidents with the sensitisation workshop. He said: “Statistics from the World Health Organization show that globally, road traffic accidents remain the leading

T

HE new FCT transport policy which took off on

June 3 came with many challenges, but one very common to all, was that many commuters were stranded at various bus stops. Residents of Gwagwa-Karmo, Dutse and parts of Kubwa were left stranded and stood for long at their respective bus-stops owing to a shortfall in high capacity buses to move them to their destinations obviously due to the underestimation of the population in these areas. Also, many commuters who work in the city but live in the suburbs of the satellite towns such as Masaka, Ado and Maraba Nyanya axis were not left out following the dearth of buses. For many, the rates increased as the restricted mini-buses

•Federal Road Safety Corps on duty

FRSC increases operation in FCT From John Ofikhenua

cause of death by injury, the tenth leading cause of all deaths and the ninth leading contributor to the burden of disease.” He however vowed that: “With the highest mortality statistics being recorded from in Africa, it is time for all of us to

do things differently.” Represented by the Manager, Health Safety &Environment, Amadi Amadi, he explained that globally, on yearly basis, about 1.2 million people die from road crashes while 50 million are injured. While expressing worry that the crashes are capable of wiping away some small countries

like Netherland that is only about that population, he added that the situation is unacceptable. He said “If you look at the statistics world-wide, about 1.2million people die on road accidents. The total number of injured is in the range of 50million every year.” Summonu however said that

“ that is why we are putting this together to build the capacity of those who are saddled with the responsibility to enforce our road safety.” The participants at the workshop were representatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Federal Road Service Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps (NSDC) and the Vehicle Inspectorate Officers, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

Commuters bemoan new transport policy From Gbenga Omokhunu and Grace Obike

charged higher fare from their bus-stops to the designated points where the high capacity buses are supposed to pick passengers, thereby increasing their cost of transportation. Many residents agreed that the new policy, if well implemented, will reduce the usual traffic logjam in town but others doubt its effectiveness. According to Miss Blessing Ogbonna, a resident of Mararaba, the buses that the administration claims to be plying most routes are not yet available and residents like herself, paid about N200 coming into town com-

pared to a fare of N70 she used to pay. Despite the challenges, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, (FCTA) has enjoined residents to embrace the new policy aimed at improving the transport operations in the Federal Capital City, (FCC). This was made known by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Senator Bala Mohammed through his Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters and National Assembly, Sen. Usman Jibril Wowo. Wowo said the new transport policy was part of the welfare package by the administration for the residents and it would improve on the man-hour of the

•Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide (second left); Permanent Secretary, FCT, Mr. John Obinna Chukwu (left); Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Ambassador Ebele Okeke and National Coordinator, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Mrs. Priscillia Achakpa, during an advocacy visit to the Minister in Abuja

workers and business men alike as the city centre would be plied by the certified high capacity buses running scheduled services. He pointed out that when new policies take off, there are some minor challenges which are finetuned over time, assuring the residents that the new policy will meet public aspiration in the shortest possible time. “This policy will make people move from the satellite towns to the city with ease and at a cheaper rate as the highest fare is N150 for people from Gwagwalada, Kuje and Zuba and as low as N50 for movements within the business district. “Besides, the vehicles are to take off at an interval of between three and 10 minutes whether they are filled or not because they are subsidised and would help to build a culture of timeliness to catch in the long run” wowo stated. He noted that even though the policy had attracted a lot of criticisms initially from the public leading to delay in its implementation such vent of public view reflected the right of the citizens to seek clarification on any issue that they do not understand from the administration. The Special Assistant added that given the respect the administration has for the FCT resident’s implementation of the policy was shifted twice to ac-

commodate useful public views which have helped to sharpen the policy for general acceptability. He said “I recall that the FCT chapter of National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association, (SECDA) Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, (RTEAN) and Painted Abuja Taxi, (PAT) were amongst those who took it upon themselves to educate their membership for a successful implementation of the policy when they were convinced it is a good policy for their business and the commuters. According to him the various groups represented by their leaders in the series of meetings endorsed the new policy and pledge support for the programme which would reduce the heavy traffic often witnessed in the city centre while man-hour for businesses is gained for higher productivity both in the public and private sector for the overall benefit of the FCT and the country. He charged the various groups to contain erring members of their associations especially the touts who carry out illegal arrest on the roads in the guise of representing the union to desist from the action as security men will not hesitate to enforce the relevant laws.

This policy will make people move from the satellite towns to the city with ease and at a cheaper rate. The highest fare is N150 for people from Gwagwalada, Kuje and Zuba while the lowest is N50 for movements within the business district


42

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

43


44

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

45


46

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

47


48

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

49


50

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

51


52

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

53


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

54

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 10-06-13

Wapic’s N3.5bn rights issue opens

A

PPLICATION list for Wapic Insurance Plc’s rights issue opened yesterday, giving opportunity for existing shareholders to increase their shareholdings in the insurance company. Wapic is seeking to raise N3.51 billion through issuance of 6.35 billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each to prequalified shareholders on the basis of eight new ordinary shares for every 10 ordinary shares. The rights issue is scheduled to close on Friday July 5, 2013. Chairman, Wapic Insurance Plc, Mr. Aigboje AigImoukhuede said that the rights issue was the first step towards raising additional capital for Wapic’s longer term infrastructure and expansion objectives. According to him, the success of the offer will result in deepening of the company’s underwriting capacity and broaden its sectoral participation in the Nigerian economy. Aig-Imoukhuede, who spoke through Taukeme Koroye, a non-executive director in the company, noted that the opening of application list was sequel to approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). Shareholders had on June 4, 2012, during the company’s 53rd annual general meeting

•Equities rally N126b gain By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

(AGM) authorised plans by the board of the company to raise N5 billion to boost the company’s operations. The additional funds will be used to expand operations, improve infrastructure and information technology capabilities and also to inject additional capital into the company’s subsidiaries. Managing Director, Wapic Insurance Plc, Mr Segun Balogun, expressed optimism that shareholders would pick up their rights. “Our shareholders are excited at the prospect of a company with a significantly robust capital base and the underwriting privileges it would confer on the company,” Balogun said. He said that Wapic was being gradually repositioned for growth in all aspects and lines of its business, adding that the company has strengthened its capacity by restructuring its business model. According to him, the additional capital will complement on-going repositioning initiatives and fast-track the company’s emergence as a truly diversified insurance company with world class service.

Meanwhile, the share price of Wapic rose by 6.59 per cent yesterday at the Exchange as equities opened the week with total gain of N126 billion. Wapic’s share price increased by 6.0 kobo to 97 kobo, more than 70 per cent premium on its offer price. Equities were overtly bullish as aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities spiralled to N12.766 trillion as against its opening value of N12.641 trillion. The main index at the NSE, the All Share Index (ASI), also improved from 39,564.79 points to 39,737.80 points. Investors staked N50.952 billion on 735.287 million shares in 6,889 deals. This represents an increase of 843.38 per cent of total value recorded from Friday’s closing figures. The volume of shares traded grew by 53.72 per cent from the 493.343 million shares worth N5.401 billion traded in 6,836 deals on Friday. Dangote Cement, the most capitalised stock on the floor of the Exchange drove the activity chart, accounting for 256.591 million shares valued at N45.961 billion in 159 deals. Guinness Nigeria recorded the highest gain of N11 to close at N288. Julius Berger Nigeria rose by N4.50 to close at N60.50. Ashaka Cement added N1.50 kobo to close at N28.50. On the other hand, Nestle Nigeria led the slackers with a loss of N5.17 to close at N10.70. Total Nigeria and Nigerian Breweries lost N1 each to close at N165 and N177 respectively.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 10- 06-13


55

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

MONEY LINK

Monetary policy stabilising naira, says Okonjo-Iweala

NDIC to assist MFBs with genuine problems

T

• Minister reconstitutes Tax Appeal Tribunal

N

IGERIA’S “good monetary policy” has helped to stabilise the exchange rate and curb inflation, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala has said. She told Bloomberg that an increase in foreign-currency reserves is acting as a buffer for the currency. “Reserves are what are going to help to make the exchange rate stable.

Stories from Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor) in Abuja

When your reserves are going down, that’s when you experience instability and people can come and attack your currency,” she said. The Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Lamido Sanusi, has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record high of 12 per cent since October 2011 to bolster the naira. Reserves increased 28 per cent to $48.4 billion in the year through June 6, according to data from the CBN. The inflation rate reached 9.1 per cent in April, meeting the central bank’s target of less than 10 per cent

‘Climate change critical for Nigeria’s economy’

N

IGERIA’S economy can be made more climate-resilient and less carbon-intensive without foregoing growth, argue two new World Bank reports “Toward Climate-Resilient Development in Nigeria” and “Low-Carbon Development Opportunities for Nigeria,” released yesterday. The global lender said the studies came after its two-year collaboration with the Government of Nigeria to address the challenges posed by climate change to the country. The reports identify specific technologies and management practices that could be applied to key economic sectors, including agriculture and land use, water resources, oil and gas, power, and transport. “The 2012 floods in Nigeria were a stark reminder of the vulnerability of our communities, infrastructure and economy to climate-induced natural disasters.

C

for the fourth consecutive month. Nigeria needs annual economic growth of 13 per cent “in order for us to solve the unemployment and other problems that we have” by the year 2020, Okonjo-Iweala said. However, Nigeria’s economy is forecast by the government to expand 6.5 per cent this year. The minister had said on May 20 the nation needs lower interest rates to help boost investment and economic growth. The naira has weakened 1.8 per cent against the dollar this year to N159 as of in the interbank market. Meanwhile, Okonjo-Iweala has approved the reconstitution of the Tax

•Minister of Finance Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Appeal Tribunal (TAT) members. She reappointed all the immediate past chairmen and commissioners who had not attained the statutory disengagement age of 70 years during the course of reconsntituting the board.

Custodian and Allied restructures

USTODIAN and Allied Plc, an amalgamation of Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc and Crusader Nigeria Plc has announced the restructuring of the organization. According to a statement from the company’s Head of Directorate, Administration & Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Olubunmi Aderemi, the reform involves integration of skills, information technology , harmonisation of products and services, and back office processes. Consequently, she said the company had to reassign and release some employees who were due for retirement, to ensure a perfect fit for the various job portfolios. She added that those retained will be properly integrated into the company and will benefit from the restructured remuneration.

”Management is very appreciative of the staff who have put in several years of work. Counseling services, referral opportunities and general assistance have been provided for affected staff.” Commenting on the merger, she said it will strengthen the insurance business of the post-merger Custodian by leveraging on the company’s liquidity, brand, expertise and combined products and market capabilities of both companies. She added: “The strengths of the emergent company are its stronger balance sheet, financial capacity, improved operational efficiencies and an expanded product portfolio, and the firm has greatly expanded its scope of services with the merger with Crusader Nigeria Plc.”

By Omobola Tolu-Kusimo

The reorganisation, which is coming on the heels of legal approvals of merger between the duos by the regulatory authority, the National Insurance Commission, she, explained, will be of advantage to customers. She noted that all affected personnel will be duly compensated with their respective entitlements. She said: “Whilst this is a tough decision, management has had no choice but to take the necessary action that would enhance shareholder value. This will facilitate reduced overheads through the effective use of operational synergies resulting from the merger, thus creating a stronger company with multi-product offerings for customers.

DATA BANK

FGN BONDS Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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

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

NIDF NESF

OBB Rate Call Rate

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 10-06-13

SYMBOL IPWA ROYALEX LIVESTOCK UBN CHAMPION FIDSON ACADEMY IKEJAHOTEL NEIMETH COSTAIN

O/PRICE 0.60 0.60 5.94 13.09 4.84 2.22 1.75 0.93 1.25 1.36

C/PRICE 0.66 0.66 6.53 14.39 5.32 2.44 1.92 1.02 1.37 1.49

CHANGE 0.06 0.06 0.59 1.30 0.48 0.22 0.17 0.09 0.12 0.13

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) 149.7450 (S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N) Parallel Market 153.0000

AGLEVENT MANSARD STANBIC UBCAP JAPAULOIL CONTINSURE OANDO STERLNBANK UACN UNILEVER

O/PRICE

C/PRICE

CHANGE

1.58 2.40 17.15 1.25 0.56 1.28 15.40 2.75 60.15 67.94

1.48 2.25 16.40 1.20 0.54 1.25 15.07 2.70 59.20 67.00

0.10 0.15 0.75 0.05 0.02 0.03 0.33 0.05 0.95 0.94

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

July ’12

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

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

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

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

Movement

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX

NSE CAP Index

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 10-06-13

SYMBOL

HE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) will offer financial assistance to microfinance banks (MFBs) with genuine liquidity problems, its Managing Director, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, has said. He gave this assurance yesterday at a workshop for operators of microfinance banks in Abuja. The NDIC boss however, said the financial assistance will not be “a free lunch” for the microfinance banks (MFBs). “We need to extend helping hands by offering financial assistance to deserving MFBs especially those having liquidity problems,” he said. He explained that before the deserving MFBs can access such funds, there will be conditionality to be met by the MFBs. Besides, he said that the NDIC will “examine the books and affairs of MFBs interested in accessing this assistance.” Those who misappropriate bank funds by giving loans to friends and family members, Ibrahim said, will not qualify for the assistance. He added : “There will be lots of conditionalities and the NDIC may even have to take over such MFBs.” The NDIC boss urged MFB operators not to be afraid to come to the corporation for the assistance, adding that what they require is to be truthful. Ibrahim noted that the NDIC has similar provision for Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) but only a few of them have come forward. He also warned that those MFBs that have not been paying premiums may not benefit from the financial assistance.

ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL INVES BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY • ARM AGGRESSIVE

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 141.44 159.53 0.80 1.16 1.14 100.00 1,000.00 1,826.91 14.39 1.39 1.87 12,263.63

9.08 1.00 140.94 158.41 0.78 1.16 1.13 100.00 1,000.00 1,818.16 13.69 1.33 1.80 11,904.80

• KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE • OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


56

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

57

CITYBEATS Multi-million naira goods gone in flames

CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999

•Traders count losses as fire razes market

D

ONATUS Arunude, a famous motor spare parts seller at the Trinity Auto Spares Market on Industrial Road, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos, was inconsolable. He rummaged through what was left of his shops, trying to salvage anything that could be valuable. Eventually, he found something: one of the metal doors to his shop which was about to be taken away by scavengers. Enraged, he rushed at the man to claim what he considered his remaining possession. "This is the only thing left for me. I had two shops at the back, filled with Mercedes spares. Both are now completely burnt down. In those shops, I lost about N2.5 million. When I got the call yesterday, I ran down here from Ojo, I could not save my store. But I was consoled because at the front I had a shop filled with Toyota spare parts," he said in tears. "This morning," he continued, "I came to salvage the store, but as soon as I packed them outside, the building collapsed and destroyed my last hope. I have two children, how do I feed them? This door is the only thing remaining. I am about to run mad," he said, as he disappeared again into the burnt store. He was among the unlucky traders who, for three hours on Sunday, watched helplessly as their entire world collapsed under the raging inferno which, according to sources, began at 3pm, consuming the greater part of the market. Sources said fire trucks of Capital Oil and Julius Berger Plc were the first to get there and were later supported by the Lagos State Fire Services and three others. Much as the fire fighters battled, the upper part of the stalls was burnt to ashes. How did the tragedy strike? Secretary, Trinity Market Association, Zone E, Daniel Enyoghasi, said neighbours reportedly spotted a fire from one of the stores on the upper floor and alerted the police, who dissuaded them from breaking into the stores. "The police reportedly prevented one or two shops from being looted, now all the shops are burnt down," Enyoghasi said. One of the biggest victims of the calamity was Cyril Obiadi, a big-time tyre distributor, who lost four shops filled with new tyres to the inferno. He stood rooted on the spot for moments;

‘I was paid that money on Saturday, so I decided to keep it in my locker ... it was burnt totally. Now, I have nothing. That was my life investment; I am totally confused and I can break down anytime now’ By Seun Akioye and Uyoatta Eshiet

his world seemed to have collapsed on him. With blood-soaked eyeballs, he gazed at the rubble in hopelessness as he fought back tears. "I lost N19 million to the fire. All my goods were stored here; I could not even save anything. I have absolutely nothing now," Obiadi said. Then, as if he realised that the loss was irreparable, he shook his head, and said repeatedly: "To God be the glory." By their confessions, it was the beginning of a new but traumatic chapter in the life of most of the traders. Onyebuchi Ukpabi claimed he lost N365, 000 cash kept in his locker, his international passport, house documents and goods worth N2million. "I was paid that money on Saturday, so I decided to keep it in my locker. When I got to my store yesterday, I only met the money in ashes; it was burnt totally. Now, I have nothing. That was my life investment; I am totally confused and I can break down anytime now." Others also counted their losses to The Nation. David Akabueze, also a tyre seller, lost about N5million worth of goods. Ikenna Enemchukwu said his 500 tyres got burnt. Chairman of the Market Association, Zone F, Mayor John, estimated that about N700million goods would have been lost as a result of the fire. Accord-

Police arrest doctor, three others •Over baby's missing eyes, ears and tongue

T

HE Ogun State Police Command yesterday said it had arrested a medical doctor, Babawale Funsho Joshua and three other persons in connection with ritual acts. Joshua, who runs Ajike Medical Centre at 11, Adeyeni Street, Saka, Sango-Ota, Ogun State, was picked up on Sunday along with his accomplices - Oguntunde Opeyemi, Olaide Adeyanju and Temitope Muraina over the mutilation of the remains of a 13-month-old baby that died in the hospital. The baby boy, Kingsley Ole, son of Mr Obinna Ole, was on admission at the Ajike Medical Centre for an ailment but later died around 7:30pm last June 8 in the said hospital. When the boy's body was released to his father, his eyes, tongue, two lips, two ears, the penis, nails and the left hand's vein were missing. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, yesterday said the baby's parts were "cut-off and/or removed." According to Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), "the policemen attached to Otta Division, led by the DPO, Gabriel Dibie, a CSP, swung into action, moved to the

By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

scene and arrested the suspects." He said the baby's corpse had been deposited at the Ifo General Hospital for autopsy. The Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, Mr Ikemefuna Okoye, has ordered the State Crimes Investigation Department (SCID), Eleweran to take over the case.

T

• A section of the market ... yesterday

ing to him, that was just what he had been able to collate as at noon yesterday. "When all the traders' losses are calculated, we will be looking at the region of N1billion," he said. He also scolded the state Fire Service for not having the right equipment to fight the fire, saying that without the help of Capital Oil and Julius Berger, surrounding buildings would have been gutted. While the traders bemoaned their losses, scavengers had a field day trying to profit from the tragedy as they swooped on the scraps. Some risked their lives rummaging the "dangerous sections" of the rubble, while the traders also sold whatever they could reclaim from the remains of their properties. A burnt iron door, for instance, was sold for N1, 000, while shock absorbers originally sold for N10, 000 attracted less than N200. "We are just selling all these to get money to feed today," a trader said. One of the scavengers, Samiru Idris, said: "I bought this rod N3, 000, if we no pack am now, night thieves go carry am." More tragedy struck early yesterday. George Chukwuka and his two sons, Emmanuel and Chisom, aged 19 and 17 respectively, had arrived early to salvage his goods. Halfway into the ex-

S

TUDENTS of the University of Lagos (UNILAG)have staged a peaceful protest which grounded business in the 50-year-old institution. The protest, it was learnt, was against high prices of goods in the school's environment. The protest began at the Jaja Hall around 3pm on Sunday and extended till yesterday. Early yesterday, the aggrieved students stormed various commercial points, preventing their operations. Those already opened were or-

PHOTOS: SEUN AKIOYE

ercise, a section of the building collapsed, trapping the two boys under the rubble. They were later evacuated and taken to nearby Ericon Hospital at Ladipo Close. When The Nation visited the hospital, they had recovered, but both were still too shocked to talk. Josephine, their embattled mother said the family "is praying for a miracle." The Chukwuka family was not the only one that suffered injury. Jerome Odinigwe, former president of the market association, was pulling out his valuables from his burning store when the fire service men mistakenly sprayed him with water. He fell into a ditch, injuring his head in the process. He was rushed to Ostard Hospital on nearby Idewu Street. For most of the traders, it will indeed be a harrowing beginning. Reason: Their goods had no insurance cover. "I have accepted my fate. My store was razed completely and I cannot claim anything as I have no insurance," Enyghasi said. Mike Ekwobi, who chairs the traders' association, said insurance is a personal decision of the traders. "I cannot speak for others because insurance is an individual thing," he said. Asked whether he insured his goods, he replied: "I cannot lie, I didn't."

By Precious Igbonwelundu

ernment area, engaged them in a gun duel that lasted minutes and gunned down of three of the suspects. A police source said: "An informant hinted us that a car theft syndicate was about evacuating some stolen cars out

By Sampson Unamka and Jane Chijioke

dered to close immediately. A student, who simply gave his name as Evans, said: "The prices of things in this school are too expensive. Can you imagine buying "pure" water N10 per sachet? An ordinary pen is N50.00; exercise books, N70.00, and a spoon of rice that was once sold for

of Lagos from their hide-out in Ajamgbadi to Seme Border and we laid ambush for them and aborted their plans." Confirming the story, the state Police Command Spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, said the raid was in line with the need to rid the state of criminals.

Hole-in-head baby needs help THE eight-month-old girl child of a casual worker at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Makurdi Zonal Network Centre, Mr Thaddeus Ngutsuuem needs urgent help. She is living with a hole in her head. Now, her poor father is at a loss for how to raise the N3million needed for her to undergo surgery.. Narrating his plight at The Nation's Makurdi office yesterday, the em-

•Ukpabi

Varsity students protest

Police smash car theft syndicate

HE Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Lagos Police Command, has smashed a high-powered car theft syndicate in the state. Led by the Officer-in-Charge, Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police (DSP), the SARS men, it was learnt, swooped on the gang, which had stolen a Range Rover Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), a Toyota Camry, Honda Accord (2011 model) and a Toyota Prado SUV from their owners and was planning to sell them. It was learnt that the suspects were on their way to smuggling the stolen cars out of Lagos through the Seme border when they were ambushed by the police following a tip-off. The police way-laid the bandits along Ajamgbadi in Ojo Local Gov-

• Obiadi

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

battled father said for the past eight months when doctors found out that his baby had hole in her head, he had been having sleepless nights for lack of funds. He appealed to well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to help save his baby with donations to enable him treat his child.

N30.00 is now N50 .00, and it is even smaller. So, we have to spend up to between N300.00 and N400.00 per meal. Chairman, UNILAG Main Shopping Complex, Mr Chukwudi Okafor, frowned at the protesters, describing their agitation as unguided since the university management had proscribed the Students' Union. Okafor, who admitted that there was hike in prices, however, said there was an ongoing meeting between the university's management and the students over the issue, the result of which he promised to communicate to The Nation. The university's DVC (Management Services), Prof Duro Oni said: "The protest is being resolved because the meeting continues tomorrow (today); we engage our students in dialogue to put finishing touches on issues". "The discussion with the student is that prices of goods should be affordable. For now, the shops are being locked until when we meet tomorrow, (today). The shop owners and students will meet with the school management to finalise issues. For peace to reign, we decided that all shops for now remain closed. In fact, there was a memo to all the traders to shut down their business."


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

58

NEWS

Court dismisses Ogboru’s application

A

FEDERAL High Court, Lagos, yesterday dismissed an application by a former Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) governorship candidate in Delta State, Great Ogboru, for stay of proceedings in a contempt charge brought against him by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Ogboru had challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the application and all other processes before it. His lawyer, Prof McCarthy Mbadugha, had said they filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Lagos, challenging the High Court’s legal right to handle the case. But Justice Okon Abang dismissed the application and awarded cost against Ogboru. Mbadugha said they have a similar application before the appellate court, but the judge said that was not before him. The lawyer urged the court to dismiss AMCON’s application for being incompetent.

By Joseph Jibueze

AMCON had alleged Ogboru violated the court’s order. Also cited in the contempt proceedings are Turner Ogboru, Victor Agbenrien, Muibi Sunmonu, Mike Ladesuyi, Roland Ogboru and Raphael Uwhumakpor, all directors in Ogboru’s company, Fiogret Limited. The contempt allegation arose from an application in which AMCON claimed it had secured a court order, empowering it to appoint a receiver/ manager, Kunle Ogunba (SAN) over some of Ogboru’s property. The property was allegedly used to secure a loan from the defunct Equitorial Trust Bank. AMCON alleged Ogboru, his officers and some thugs allegedly invaded the premises and removed several truckloads of fish, contrary to an earlier advice by the judge. Justice Abang adjournedthe matter till June 24.

T

Husband of ‘killer DPO’ defends wife

HE husband of the Divisional Police Officer of Ogida Police Station, Adams Afegbai, has said his wife, Carol, was not responsible for the killing of a final year student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Ibrahim Momodu. Momodu was killed on May 27 while returning home and was buried at the 3rd cemetery by the police. Public outcry led to the exhumation of the body and it was discovered that the late

From Osagie Otabor,Benin

Momodu was shot thrice from the back against the DPO’s initial statement that he was shot in the legs. Mrs. Afegbai had said he died on the way to the hospital. Adams, a retired police officer, said his wife was going on rounds when she ran into the interrogation of Ibrahim by policemen. He appealed to the government and the police au-

thorities to ensure that justice was done, since the case has been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). He said what happened was a case of self-defence. “It is not true at all that my wife shot the boy. My wife was on visiting rounds of her men on duty. She was in her car when she saw her men interrogating the rider of an unregistered motorcycle. “There was another boy sitting behind. My wife no-

ticed that boy was opening a bag. “He was loading a gun. When my wife sighted the gun, she shouted this boy is carrying a gun. “As she jumped out, a policeman shot at him. My wife did not shoot at anybody. “I will not comment on the action of the government but I know the police have taken the correct action although the action may have been very slow. Maybe they did not brief the governor on time, I will not know.”

•Leader of the Forum of former lawmakers in Rivers State Stephen Ezekwem (left)presenting the position and solidarity message of the ex-legislators to Governor Rotimi Amaechi in Port Harcourt...yesterday

What Nigeria need is unity says Clark •Eulogises Southwest for its sophistication

E

LDER statesman and Southsouth leader Chief Edwin Clark has identified unity that is devoid of segregation and sentiments among all the tribes as what Nigeria needs to develop. The Ijaw leader spoke yesterday when he received members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) women from the Southwest under the aegis of Dynamic Women International who visited him. The women were drawn from Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun,Ekiti and Lagos states. The group, in deviant to the warning by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that politicians should apply the brake on campaigns for 2015 or face prosecution declared their support for President

Goodluck Jonathan, who is seen as a political son to Chief Clark. The Southsouth leader eulogised the Southwest, saying that leadership in Yorubaland is not decided by wealth, power or money but rather by positive impact, no leaders can impose himself on the Yoruba people. He also stressed that Yoruba because of the activities and leadership style of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo are by no means the most sophisticated and educated people. Clark said: “This is the type of unity we want in this country where there will not be segregation and sentiments among all the tribes, this women have come all the way from the South West to greet me on my birthday, this is highly commendable.

Navy hands over 10 ‘oil thieves’ to EFCC By Precious Igbonwelundu EN suspected oil thieves have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the Navy’s Forward Operating Base, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, for further investigation and prosecution. The suspects, comprising of crew members of a vessel, MV Dalal, were arrested by the Central Naval Command (CNC) about two months ago for allegedly carrying illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil (AGO). A source said the captain upon arrest confessed to have lifted 120,000 litres of illegally refined AGO at Akassa, which was to be delivered at one of the jetties in Kirikiri, Lagos. Confirming the arrest, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), CNC, Cmd. Emmanuel Okechukwu Enemor, said at the time of arrest, the vessel did not have Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), bunkering permit, ship log, Naval Headquarters approval as well as Joint Task Force Certificate of Registration.

T

US, TMG advises Nigeria on corruption

T

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

O effectively fight corruption, Nigeria needs political will and commitment, the United States (US) and the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) said yesterday. Speaking at a one-day interactive session on Anti-Corruption and Good Governance in Abuja, the Senior Deputy Chief for Litigation, U.S Department of Justice, Mr. Peter Ainsworth, advocated for legislation that would protect whistle blower and guarantee the independence of prosecution agencies. “Appropriate protection of persons reporting, in good faith, facts concerning offences established in accordance with the law must be guaranteed,” he said. Ainsworth noted that information must be treated with utmost secrecy to build a system that works. Accoring to him,to fight corruption, the culture of the people must be taken into consideration in instituting legal framework that could checkmate the menace.

Communities ‘reject’ steel firm management’s comeback

T

WO communities hosting the Delta Steel Company, Ovwian and Aladja, have warned against the return of its former management team, led by Indian Steel magnate, Pramod Mittal. They threatened to take over the land, equipment and facilities of the plant should the government encourage the return of the “Mittal Brothers”. The brothers, trading under Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited (GINL), were said to have lost the plant, following the cancellation of its sale in 2008 by former President Umaru Yar’Adua for alleged assets stripping. The community said they

By Joseph Jibueze

learned of a bid by the brothers to re-take the plant. Chairman of Udu Council of Chiefs, the Otota of Udu Kingdom, Sam Odibo, in a statement on behalf of 32 communities that make up Udu, said while the people were not against privatisation, they would not guarantee peace if the same characters that allegedly reduced the company to its current status show up again. “If for any reason the management team led by Pramod Mittal is allowed to takeover Delta Steel again, the host communities of Ovwian and Aladja will take

over the entire land, including places occupied by the company’s staff quarters. “In short, the host communities are determined not to allow any access to the defaulting promoters of Delta Steel under any circumstances in the future,” Odibo said. The communities frowned at the management’s alleged lack of concern for their children and their education. “DSC Technical High School was regarded as the one of the best schools in the country, servicing children of the company workers as well as non workers. “Before Pramod Mittal took over, children of work-

UNIPORT part-time students protest

Delta Speaker advises lawmakers

T

HE Delta State House of Assembly has been urged to reflect on the out- going legislative years as a catalyst for work in the new legislative year. The Speaker, Victor Ochei, gave the advice, in his opening address at a twoday retreat organised in Lagos for lawmakers, as part of activities marking the second anniversary of the Fifth Assembly. He said: “The task of lawmaking in a complex state like ours requires that we must take time from our busy schedules, to occasionally look back, with the sole aim of improving and also setting goals and agenda for ourselves. “The retreat will provide the lawmakers with improved zeal in the new legislative year, in fashioning out ways of

ers were paying N1,000 per term while those of nonstaff paid N5,000. “In a shocking move, GINL increased the school fees to N25,000 and N30,000 for staff’s and non-staff’s children respectively. “The fees of staff’s children in the primary schools were also moved from N300 to N12,000 and from N3000 to N20,000 in the case of nonstaff.” The communities said rather than allow GINL to return, a credible foreign or local investor with considerable experience operating in Nigeria, strong commitment and robust financial strength, should be engaged to manage Delta Steel.

T

•Ochei speaking at the retreat in Lagos...yesterday

surmounting the issues confronting the state, through informed legislation. “For the ideals of

democracy to be realised, the legislature needs to apply unrelenting and concerted effort at ensuring enhanced standard of living.”

WO hundred level part-time students of the College of Continuing Education of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State, have raised the alarm over fee increment. They said: “We want the management to consider our plight we don’t want drop out of school. Yes, we are part-time students but not all the students are working.” The Director, UNIPORT College of Continuing Education, Prof. Stephen Okududu, said the increased fees were in tune with the increasing cost of running the programme. Okodudu advised the students to channel their grievances in writing to the university authorities.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

59

NEWS

Abia lawmaker arraigned for ‘forgery, perjury’

‘Fake MASSOB members hijacked sit-at-home’ T A •Victim relives ordeal

HE Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday said its members did not perpetrate any crime during the sit-at-home it declared in Southeastern states. MASSOB’s Deputy Director of Information Mazi Chris Mocha said those who committed crimes in Anambra State were fake MASSOB members. Mocha said eight members were killed by soldiers; some others have been declared missing. He said a 14-year old boy was killed at Anyamelum Local Government Area by soldiers; three others were killed at Bridge Head Approach, Onitsha. The MASSOB leader said a man, Chukwuma, was arrested at Ogbunike Tollgate; another man, Innocent Okpoto, was arrested at Awka-Etiti. He said robbery and vandalism were carried out by fake MASSOB members in

•30 missing, eight arrested From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi and Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

collaboration with Association of Igbo Youths Organisation (AIYO) members. Mocha said: “The fake MASSOB members and AIYO members set ablaze a police van.” A man, Herbert Opara, who is based in the US, said he was robbed by people , who claimed to be members of MASSOB. “It’s unbelievable that the Southeastern states would allow some groups of robbers to operate as MASSOB members. “I was traveling to Lagos from Owerri on June 8. At the

Onitsha-Owerri Road, near Idemili Bridge Oba/Obosi, our bus was stopped and all passengers were robbed. “The suspects claimed they were MASSOB members and have the right to do anything in Igbo land. “When I pleaded with them that I am an Igbo man living in the US that they should return my briefcase, they shot into the air. “I stood my ground and asked them to return my documents and take the money. “They started to beat me, shouting Anyi egbugo ozu, meaning they have made big money. “One of them told me to open the bag and take my passport. I was given

N10,000 to return to Lagos on the condition that I will not report to the army or police.” In Abia State, the group said 30 of its members are missing. But the police said only nine MASSOB members were arrested for allegedly carrying arms and combustible materials. But the leaders of the group- Solution Edward, Davidson Ohaegbu and Emmanuel Eroh- said the whereabouts of 30 of their members are still unknown. They said they have reported at the Ikwuano police station, the area where they were last seen. Police spokesman Geoffrey Ogbonna said six MASSOB members were arrested at the weekend in Ikwuano with cans of petrol, matches and used tyres. Ogbonna said the suspects were transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for investigation.

Robbery suspects paraded

APGA gets parallel committees

T •The suspects...yesterday

Certificate verification: 300 NIMC officials may face trial, says DG T

HE Director General of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Chris Onyemenam in Abuja, yesterday said about 300 officials of the agency had suspicious certificates. He said they were not cleared during a verification exercise. Onyemenam, who broke the news during a courtesy call on the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, said the law will take its course on those with doubtful certificates. Onyemenam said about 600 officials, who submitted their certificates for verification to the Federal Ministry of Education, about 300 were not cleared. He expressed regrets that some of the certificates were not genuine despite the fact that the affected members are expected to handle a sensitive assignment like National Identity Card Management System. He said: “It was in the process of documenting them, because they were now to be em-

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

MPEACHED Deputy Governor of Imo State Jude Agbaso yesterday restated his readiness to serve the people in any capacity. Agbaso, who spoke to reporters in Emekuku, Owerri North Local Government Area, insisted that he will serve the state over and over again, if given the opportunity. He said: “If given the opportunity in the future I will gladly serve my state. It is saddening that when you serve in good faith people will pay you in bad coin. But the people know better.” The former deputy governor also stated that he will continue to challenge his impeachment in court to clear his family’s name. Agbaso, who debunked a statement credited to Governor Rochas Okorocha that he received N50 million monthly as security vote, said his office then was grossly under funded. “I never received such money in fact my office was under funded. For the period I was in office I never received allowances for my travels within and outside the country. I sponsored my trips even when I was representing the state,” he explained.

T

HE Abia State Vigilance Group (ASVG) has arrested a fourman robbery gang terrorising residents of Aba and its environs. The suspects are Kingsley Alozie (26), Ifeanyi Elebeke (24), Ikenna Ikechukwu (22) and Offia Ugorji (24). The Commander-General of ASVG, Idika Martins, said the gang operated between Ariaria/Agalaba road and Osisioma near Aba. “Every night, people call us, complaining about robbers dispossessing them of their valuables. “The group gathers at Chinedu’s place, an Indian hemp bar, at Umuocham road, Aba, from where they take off. “Since their arrest, Agalaba and Osisioma areas have been jubilating. “There has been peace in those areas. People now sleep with their eyes closed.”

Agbaso: I’m ready to serve Imo again

I

From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba

From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia

MEMBER of the Abia State House of Assembly, Ikedi Ezekwesiri, has appeared before an Umuahia Magistrate’s Court for alleged perjury. Ezekwesiri, who represents Umunneochi Constituency, was arraigned yesterday on a five-count charge of impersonation, forgery and false information. The lawmaker was alleged to have on January 31, 2011, in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Form C.F 001 preparatory for election into the state assembly, falsely declared himself to be a legal practitioner. The offence, according to the prosecution, is punishable under the Criminal Code Cap 38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. He was alleged to have fraudulently presented to INEC and the police during investigation, a B. Sc in Law certificate bearing Eze Ikedichi awarded by the Abia State University. The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The defence counsel, Okey Amechi (SAN), who appeared with 10 other lawyers, applied for the bail of the accused on self-recognition as a lawmaker. “This is a political issue and he will not jump bail, which is the major reason for granting bail,” Amechi said. The prosecution counsel, Sampson Onyemuche, who appeared with Godwin Ijioma, said the prosecution was not objecting to the bail application. “However, our objection will be on granting the accused bail on self-recognition. This is a criminal trial and we expect him to be given bail with a reasonable sum and surety,’’ he said. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Elizabeth Kalu, granted the accused bail on self-recognition and adjourned the case till July 17 for further hearing.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja

ployed as full time senior member of staff. Out of 600 people that submitted, about 280 to 300 were not cleared. “We decided to conduct the exercise because of the desire of the management to have

quality staff and to ensure that whatever they do conform to the international best practice. “As you know in IT related matter, no success can be achieved in garbage in garbage out. So, it became clear to the management that, one of the things that we needed to do was to ensure that we have quality staff.

“The level of success you can achieve, depend on the quality of your personnel. It was in the course of our trying to ensure we attain international standard that we embark on verification exercise. “We need what is internationally regarded as the minimum standard to enable us meet with infrastructure that we have deployed”, NIMC boss explained.

Bomb discovered in Imo 40 years after civil war

A

FAMILY in Umuoma Autonomous Community, Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, was shocked at the weekend to discover undetonated dynamite buried in its compound. The bomb, suspected to have been laid during the civil war, was buried in Igbokwe’s compound at Ukwo-Umuoma. A police source said the bomb was discovered after several rains that washed away the soil, thereby exposing the edge of the item suspected to have been buried in the compound during the civil war. It was not clear whether the bomb was planted by Nigerian troops or Biafran soldiers. But a source said the area was the base of Biafran troops, when Owerri sector fell to Fed-

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

eral troops. A villager, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “Some children were playing in the compound after the rain, when one of them observed a strange object buried in the ground with some parts exposed. “The people in the compound did not know that they have been living with a destructive weapon for over 40 years.” It was learnt that on discovery, the police were invited. The Police Anti-Bomb Squad detonated the bomb. The source said the bomb experts detonated the bomb in a nearby bush. Police spokesman Joy Elemoko confirmed the incident.

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

HE crisis in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has continued with the setting up of parallel reconciliation committees by the factional chairmen. The Maxi Okwu-led faction yesterday named Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba, a governorship candidate in Abia State, as the chairman of the 14–member truth, justice and reconciliation committee. Okwu urged them to do everything possible to reach out to all aggrieved members. The Victor Umeh-led faction has as the chairman of its own reconciliation committee Ziggy Azike. Umeh said: “We are doing everything possible to resolve the crisis in the party. On my part, I am working with the members and the stakeholders to resolve the lingering crisis.”

June 12: Fashola, Tinubu, Kokori for 20th anniversary lecture tomorrow

E

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

MINENT Nigerians will tomorrow converge on Lagos to mark the 20th anniversary of the annuled June 12, 1993 presidential election widely acclaimed to have been won by the late business mogul, Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola. A lecture organised by the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists will be chaired by former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Former General-Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, is expected as a guest lecturer. The event, according to a statement by the Chairman of Lagos NUJ, Deji Elumoye and Secretary, Sylva Okereke, will be a oneday lecture. Those to discuss Kokori’s paper include: Femi Falana (SAN); former Managing Director of the defunct Concord, Dr Doyin Abiola; Deputy Managing Director of Thisday, Kayode Komolafe and the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Femi Adesina Kokori, a major player during the battle for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate, will speak on “Post June 12: The Good and the Bad” at the Ondo Hall, Lagos Airport Hotel in Ikeja. Tinubu is expected to chair the lecture. Governor Babatunde Fashola is expected to be the Chief Host. Former Ogun State Governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba is Special Guest of Honour. Other dignitaries expected include: former NADECO Chieftain Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd); former Deputy Governor of Lagos State Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele and former Osun State Governor Chief Bisi Akande.


60

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

NEWS

Hezbollah: Court orders SSS, IGP, AGF to produce detained suspects J USTICE Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday ordered the State Security Service (SSS), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) to produce the owner of Amigo Supermarket, Mustapha Fawaz, and two other Lebanese. They are being held for their alleged importation of arms for “terrorist activities”. The other suspects include Abdallah Tahini and Tala Ahmed Roda, who are also in the custody of security agents. Ruling yesterday on an exparte application by the applicants, Justice Ademola ordered the three defendants to

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

produce the suspects before the court on June 13. The ex-parte application was argued by Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), leading Ahmed Raja (SAN) and 12 other lawyers. The suspects, last week, sued the three defendants, challenging their arrest and continued detention. They also faulted the closure of their business premises by security agents; demanded a public apology from the defendants, to be published in

three national dailies and N50billion compensation. After listening to Chief Clarke’s argument, the judge said: “That an order is hereby made directing the respondents, particularly the first and second respondents, to produce the applicants in court on June 13, 2013. “That it is further ordered that the applicants’ Motion on Notice, dated June 3, 2013, already served on the respondents, is fixed for June 13 for hearing.” The applicants sought four prayers but the judge granted

the lawyer’s request for his client’s production in court on the next adjourned date of June 13. The ex-parte application reads: “Upon the Motion Exparte dated and filed on June 3, 2013, praying for the following: “An interim order granting bail to the applicants forthwith conditionally or unconditionally, pending the determination of the substantive Motion on Notice in this matter. “An Interim Order restraining the respondents

from continued arrest, detention, harassment and intimidation of the applicants, their families, relations and/or business interests pending the determination of the substantive Motion on Notice in this matter. “In the alternative, an Interim Order directing the respondents, particularly the first and second respondents, to produce the applicants in court for the hearing of the Motion on Notice in this matter pending the hearing and determination of the said Motion on Notice. “And such further order(s) as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.”

Kogi council inaugurates Education Secretary From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

L

OKOJA Local Government Area of Kogi State yesterday inaugurated the newly appointed Education Secretary, Mallam Tanko Talle. The Chairman of the local government, Aliyu Baba Usman, described the new secretary as a man of integrity who is capable of moving the local government’s Education Sector to greater heights. The council chief noted that the appointment of the education secretary was timely because the local government was just keying into the Transformation Agenda of the state government, particularly the education sector. Usman, however, advised the new education secretary to use his good experience for the improvement of the sector.

Police arrest 29 ‘hoodlums’ From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

T

HE Gombe State Police Command has arrested 29 members of three outlawed gangs, popularly called the Kalare. Two women are among them. Police Commissioner Tudu Abdullahi Nma said the hooligans confessed to various crimes, including murder. The police chief, who arrived in the state last week, promised that under his leadership, the command would permanently tackle the Kalare phenomenon.

•From left: Representative of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Amb. Laseinde Layiwola; Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda and Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) and Chairman, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), Malam Abubakar Jijiwa, at BON’s 58th general assembly at Yankari Games Reserve, Bauchi...on Monday.

K

Youths call for release of Kogi lawmaker

OGI youths, under the aegis of state branch of the National Youth Council (NYC), yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan and all well-meaning Nigerians to ensure the release of an arrested member of the House of Assembly, Friday Sanni, without further delay. The youths, who were protesting the arrest and detention of the lawmaker, told reporters in Lokoja, the state capital, that the arrest was the handiwork of his political detractors, who want to tarnish his image. Sanni was allegedly caught last week in Abuja in company of some men who were said to be in possession of some AK 47 riffles. Police walkie-talkie was allegedly found in his car. His arrest, it was learnt, followed a tip-off. The lawmaker has been arraigned before an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court, which ordered him to be remanded in prison pending today’s hearing of his case. But the youths said the arrest and detention of the lawmaker were unjust and politically motivated. NYC Chairman Farouk Mazai Suleiman said Sanni was a misunderstood politician, especially among those he called political misfits. According to him, the lawmaker was framed up by some Abuja-based politicians who felt threatened by his rising political profile. Reeling out Sanni’s achievements in office, Suleiman said

From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

the embattled lawmaker has touched the lives of more members of his constituency than all his political enemies. The youth leader added that the arrest was a ploy to scuttle his youth empowerment programme. The House of Representatives, it was learnt, allegedly ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to arrest Sanni over allegations of murder, thuggery and setting up an illegal security outfit, called Ajana Mopol. The House was allegedly acting on a petition by a former Minister of Interior, who alleged that the lawmaker had been declared wanted by the police over those allegations. The ex-minister wondered why the police had not arrested the lawmaker, despite the allegations against him. But the Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Iyang Ekwo, quashed the order. Justice Ekwo averred that the legislator’s fundamental right must not be trampled upon over an allegation that has not substantiated. In a motion filed by Mr Johnn Adele, counsel to Sanni, the defence counsel said the lawmaker is only an accused because he has not been found guilty of the charges against him. Adele urged the court to grant a stay of execution on the charges because his client needs to enjoy his fundamental human right.

2015: Taraba acting governor opens campaign office

From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

•Umar

A

HEAD of the 2015 general elections, a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Taraba State yesterday opened a campaign of-

fice for the Acting Governor Garba Umar and President Goodluck Jonathan. The office, with the PDP logo, is located at 29, Barde Way, beside the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Jalingo, the state capital. Some loyalists of ailing Governor Danbaba Suntai have been reacting to the development. They accused Umar of being “too ambitious”. Since last October, when Suntai has been incapacitated

following the injury he sustained in a plane crash near Yola, the Adamawa State capital, Umar has been holding forte. The governor is still receiving treatment in a US hospital. A member of the House Representatives representing Karim-Lamido, Lau and ArdoKola in Taraba State, Jerry Mamwe, campaigned for President Jonathan during the opening of the office. This was apparently in defiance of the Independent Na-

tional Electoral Commission (INEC) order that parties and politicians should stop campaigns for 2015. “In 2011, we voted for President Goodluck Jonathan. We shall still vote for him in 2015, whether he is good or bad. “With the support of the acting governor (Garba Umar), President Jonathan must win in Taraba,” Mamwe said. The politician said the organisers of the event were not bothered about what some people were saying and their per-

ception of the event. He said: “Whatever thoughts anyone has on what we are doing here is welcome.” Speaking with The Nation on why he was campaigning for Jonathan, despite INEC’s warnings, the Representative said he was only promoting the Taraba PDP Youth Vanguard and not campaigning on the platform of a party. Mamwe said: “Whether Jonathan is running or not, I am asking him to contest.” It was learnt that the leadership of the ruling party in the state, headed by Mr. Victor Bala, was against the development.

Boko Haram: Military urged to be wary of guerrilla warfare From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo

A

DEFENCE analyst, Prince Adebayo Kabir Gbadegesin, has urged the military to be more cautious in its onslaught against Boko Haram insurgency. Serious precaution, he said, would save officers and men handling the operations from being consumed in a guerrilla warfare. Addressing reporters in Oyo town, Oyo State, Gbadegesin noted that since guerrilla warfare is the most difficult war for the military to win, the success of the military onslaught in the North cannot be hastily determined. He said: “Remember the Vietnam war, which was fought by the US Army and the number of American soldiers who died in the guerrilla warfare? This happened to a country that is globally reputed to be the world’s police. Since then, America has stopped going into guerrilla warfare. “Here in Nigeria, where there is no record-keeping, coupled with the porous borders and lack of well coordinated and effective intelligence mechanisms, it will be difficult for the military men, who are not accustomed to the terrain of the insurgents, to survive in their operations. “If not for the fear of Boko Haram, it would not have occurred to the government to install surveillance close circuit television cameras on our borders and strategic locations, after over 50 years of independence.”

Gombe tackles leprosy outbreak From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

G

OMBE State Office of Tuberculosis and Leprosy (TBL) Control has begun the training of 20 workers to tackle new cases of leprosy in the state. Dr Musa Mustapha, Head, TB and Leprosy Control in the state, broke the news in Gombe, the state capital. He said the new cases were discovered among children in Akko, Kaltungo, Shongom and Yamaltu/Deba local government areas. The doctor said the control unit was treating the patients, adding that all those in close contacts with them would be treated to curtail the spread. He assured that the children would be cured in the next six months because they are paucibacillary cases, that is, cases that can be fully treated within six months. Dr Mustapha said: “The good thing about these cases is early detection. Therefore, they can be treated promptly before they develop into Type II, which may lead to disability.” The State Control Officer expressed optimism that the state will soon achieve the World Health Organisation (WHO) target of 0.13/100,000 prevalent rate, where the disease can no longer be a threat. He added that the four cases, which were just detected, were signs of progress, compared to the previous year when 19 new cases were discovered about the same time.


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

61

FOREIGN NEWS

Turkey: Opposition leader slams Erdogan

T

URKEY’s opposition party leader accused the prime minister yesterday of escalating tensions and dragging the country “into the fire” as anti-government protests that have led to three deaths hit their 11th straight day. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan headed a Cabinet meeting to discuss the protests, the first serious challenge to his 10-year rule. On Sunday he made a series of fiery speeches in three cities, saying the government’s patience was running thin, demanding an end to the protests and threatening to hold those who don’t respect his government to account. Erdogan has also called for major pro-government rallies in Ankara and Istanbul next weekend, apparently aiming to intimidate the protesters by showing that he, too, can get large numbers out on the street. The Hurriyet newspaper yesterday quoted Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the opposition Republican People’s Party, urging

Erdogan to reduce tensions. “Why is the prime minister being so stubborn toward his people? He should not do it,” Kilicdaroglu said. “We are witnessing a prime minister who is trying to hold on to power by creating tensions.” “A policy that feeds on tension will drag society into the fire,” he added. The protests were sparked by a violent police crackdown May 31 on a sit-in at a park in Taksim Square to prevent a redevelopment project that would replace the green space with a replica Ottoman Barracks. They have since spread to 78 cities across the country. Protesters are venting their anger at what they say are Erdogan’s growing autocratic ways and his attempts to impose a religious and conservative lifestyle. Erdogan, a devout Muslim, says he is committed to Turkey’s secular laws and denies charges of autocracy. On Sunday he denied that he was raising tensions and insisted the protests are a

Liberian leader lauds Nigerian peacekeeping battalion

T

HE Government of Liberia has lauded peacekeepers of the 31 Battalion from Nigeria, stationed in Liberia for the prevailing peace, security and stability in that country. The peacekeepers are currently serving under the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

A statement from the Nigerian Army Headquarters yesterday quoted the Liberian Vice President, Ambassador Joseph Boakai to have made the declaration in a speech he presented at the United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers day celebration.

ploy to undermine his government, which was elected with 50 percent support in 2011. Protesters on Monday continued to occupy the park in Taksim Square. “I am here because I don’t want (Erdogan) and his government anymore, said 26year-old Melisa Colakoglu. “Because it is not democratic.”

Taliban beheads two boys in Afghanistan

T

ALIBAN fighters beheaded two boys aged 10 and 16 as a warning to villagers not to cooperate with the Afghan government, local officials said. The boys had travelled to Afghan army and police checkpoints near their home in the southern province of Kandahar, scrounging for leftover food to bring to their families, the officials said. “The boys were on their way back ... when they were stopped by Taliban insurgents who beheaded them,” the chief of Zhari district, Jamal Agha, told Reuters. “Both of them were innocent children and had nothing to do with government or foreigners.”

PUBLIC NOTICE AWOSOPE

I, formerly known as Mrs. Risikat Temitayo Awosope now which to be known and addressed as Miss Risikat Temitayo Shittu. Central Bank of Nigeria and the general public take note.


62

THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013

63


TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

B

Y the time Justice Bassey Ikpeme delivered her first pronouncement on the petition of the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) on June 7, 1993, it was clear that the presidential election scheduled for the following Saturday, June 12, was headed for a debacle ABN, the shadowy but well-funded and highly-connected organisation that has in recent times emerged as a major vehicle for consummating military president Ibrahim Babangida’s hidden agenda, had gone to court to seek an injunction restraining the National Electoral Commission (NEC) from conducting the presidential election. Why? Because, as claimed by the wily and mercurial Arthur Nzeribe who never championed a cause without bringing it into disrepute, 25 million Nigerians do not want the election to hold. They want General Babangida to continue as president for four more years. The petition, Nzeribe claims, is backed by the signatures of those 25 million Nigerians. Justice Ikpeme, about whom little was known until that day, was impressed enough to order NEC Chairman Professor Humphrey Nwosu, Federal Attorney-General Clement Akpamgbo and President Babangida to appear before her the following Wednesday to show cause “why the election should not be stopped.” She reserves ruling till Thursday, June 10. That ruling, delivered in the dead of night, follows closely her pronouncement at the first hearing, her language is just as exorbitant, and her conduct just as heedless. The election must not hold, she rules, but NEC is free to ignore her order. For the next 16 hours or so, there is no clear indication that the election will hold. It is well past lunchtime on Friday, June 11, when NEC finally announces that the election will go on as scheduled, Justice Ikpeme and the ABN notwithstanding. The Federal Government’s affirmation that the election will hold comes indirectly, in response to a statement by the United States Information Service, in Lagos, to the effect that any postponement of the election would be “unacceptable to the U. S. Government.’’ The elections hold on Saturday, June 12, as scheduled. Minor hitches are reported here and there, the type that can be expected even in the best-ordered poll. For the most part, NEC and everyone connected with the election gets high praise for a job superbly executed. By late Sunday, intimations of a grand sweep by the Muslim-Muslim ticket of Chief MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe, of the Social Democratic Party, are all over the place. By lunchtime on Monday, June 14, victory songs are in the air in the SDP. The NEC has authenticated the returns from 14 states, and returns from the remaining 16 states are being “collated.” It names a chief electoral officer, an indication that it is set to declare a winner. The National Republican Party (NRC) is putting the finishing touches to a statement conceding defeat and pledging to work with the SDP in the country’s best interest. By the next day, Tuesday, the NRC is singing a different tune, following a telephone call to its candidate, Bashir Tofa, from Aso Rock. The NRC, per Nduka Obaigbena, publisher of the defunct newsmagazine ThisWeek, who had made an unsuccessful run for the Senate from Delta State, the NRC charges that SDP candidate Chief Abiola had gone to vote on election day attired in a dress on which was embroidered a stallion, the party’s symbol, in breach of the electoral rules,. The penalty for such a breach, they hint darkly, is a huge fine or a two-year jail term, or both fine and imprisonment. They assert that the breach raises questions of “morality;” that the entire poll stood fatally tainted, and should therefore be voided. Meanwhile, NEC has stopped announcing results, while apparently continuing the “collating.” But the results from all except two of the 30 states are everywhere at home and abroad. For just N200, you could at Oshodi Bus Stop, in Lagos, purchase a set of documents detailing how Nigerians had voted

VOL. 8

NO.2,513

TODAY IN THE NATION ‘‘How many more “recalcitrant” governors would be suspended to achieve this remain to be seen but it does appear that some people in the party would stop at nothing to return Jonathan to the presidency even destroying the party and possibly our democracy’’ WAHEED ODUSILE

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

OLATUNJI DARE

AT HOME ABROAD olatunji.dare@thenationonlineng.net

June 12 annulment: A calendar of infamy

•The late Abiola

•NADECO chieftain Ndubuisi Kanu

ward by ward and precinct by precinct. They show unequivocally that Abiola has won a decisive sweep. Unencumbered by NEC’s order forbidding publication of “raw scores,” foreign correspondents covering the election had filed the results with their media back home. Even the national press has all but called the election. So, why all the fuss, especially when the results that had been authenticated tallied in virtually in every aspect with the figures earlier circulated in Nigeria and abroad? A clearer but more troubling picture emerges as the day progresses. Another high court in Abuja Federal Capital Territory, Justice Dahiru Saleh presiding, grants a petition by the ABN to stop further announcement of election returns. Attorney-General Akpamgbo orders NEC, first, to comply with this order, and second, to show cause why it should not be punished for discountenancing the order of Justice Ikpeme, aforementioned. The following day, Wednesday, June 16, the New Nigerian, wholly owned by the Federal Government, and the Daily Times, in which it holds controlling interest, come out with editorials expressing diametrically opposed views. The Daily Times hails the election results a “people’s triumph.” The New Nigerian denounces the entire poll and calls for its cancellation, even while proclaiming that it had been won by a “third party,” presum-

•Nwosu

ably the ABN. How so? Because, says the New Nigerian, the 25 million ABN members who did not vote outnumbered 2:1 the 13 million Nigerians who had voted. That day, NEC chairman Nwosu fails to address a scheduled press conference. Also missing action is NEC’s director of publicity, the voluble Tonnie Iredia. An assistant director, about whom little has been heard previously reads out a convoluted statement saying NEC would seek legal clarification of Justice Saleh’s clarification. It is being bruited that Nwosu has offered his resignation, to no avail. It comes to light the following day that Yakubu Abdul-Azeez, editor of the New Nigerian, has resigned over the editorial attributed to the paper and by implication to him. He is quoted as saying that he is quitting because he cannot continue to affix his imprint on a newspaper being used to pursue policies that can “lead to Nigeria’s disintegration.” Throughout all this, there has been no word from the Presidency, save a statement by Chief Press Secretary Onabule, to the effect that the Federal Government had in no way interfered with the election and that NEC had not complained of any difficulties. Everything stands still until Monday, June 21, when NEC rises from the stupor into

‘The broadcast, a tissue of self-serving lies and fabrications and evasions and rationalizations, eviscerates the promise emblematized by June 12, that one nation might emerge at long last, from the plethora of nations inhabiting the Nigerian space, and it locks the country even more securely into a debacle. Its place is assured in Nigeria’s calendar of infamy. So also is the political and judicial debauchery of which it was the culmination’

which it had been lulled by the events of the previous week and files a petition before the Kaduna High Court against the ruling of Justice Ikpeme, a certified copy of which it has not been provided, and against the ruling of Justice Saleh. None of NEC’s officials is in circulation. Professor Nwosu is reported to be ill, with an undisclosed ailment. The appeal is scheduled to be heard two days later, on Wednesday. Just as NEC is filing its appeal, Justice Saleh who had barred NEC from announcing further results, swings back into action in Abuja and declares the presidential election of June 12 null and void and of no effect whatsoever, on the ground that it had been conducted in violation of a restraining order. The order under reference is Justice Ikpeme’s. She had issued it fully acknowledging that NEC was not obliged to heed it, since the court had no jurisdiction in the matter. Justice Saleh now says that since NEC had disregarded that order, the election is null and void. Two days later, on June 23, the Federal Government strikes a blow that leaves everyone practically breathless. It cancels the presidential election, suspends NEC, and repeals the law governing the final phase of the political transition programme that had been eight years in the making. By that singular move, it also terminates all court cases relating to the presidential election. The statement announcing these measures is not signed and not dated. Typed on plain paper, it was issued on behalf of the government by Nduka Irabor, press secretary to the Vice President, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu. The statement says the government has taken these sweeping measures to ensure that a judiciary that has been built on a sound and solid foundation is not “tarnished by the insatiable political desire of a few persons.” This stunning announcement comes a few hours before the National Defence and Security Council is scheduled to meet and deliberate on the crisis. Can it be that the Council had met earlier than scheduled, or is the announcement designed to present the Council with a fait accompli? The Council disperses only after a brief meeting, ostensibly for what Information Secretary Uche Chukwumerije calls “wider consultations.” It is to convene the next day. When it finally convenes, it members are reported to have taken far-reaching decisions on a new agenda that could include the appointment of a prime minister to serve along an unelected military president, formation of more political parties, and the un-banning of all those who had been kept in political purgatory during the transition. Field commanders, principal staff officers in military formations, and the police hierarchy, are to be briefed the next day, Friday, followed by a national broadcast by Babangida. Friday ends without the promised broadcast, which is now rescheduled for Saturday, June 26. But it does not take place at mid-day as the public has been led to believe, nor an hour after mid-day as announced in a revised schedule. It does not take place at 7 p.m. as rescheduled again. It takes place, finally, two hours later, at 9 p.m. Even more than the benumbing events of the previous 12 days, the content is beyond belief. It provides proof, were any still required, that the “hidden agenda” was not the invention of cynical commentators. The broadcast, a tissue of self-serving lies and fabrications and evasions and rationalizations, eviscerates the promise emblematized by June 12, that one nation might emerge at long last, from the plethora of nations inhabiting the Nigerian space, and it locks the country even more securely into a debacle. Its place is assured in Nigeria’s calendar of infamy. So also is the political and judicial debauchery of which it was the culmination. •Excerpted, with minor revisions, from my book, Diary of a Debacle: Tracking Nigeria’s Failed Democratic Transition (1989-1994). •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14 Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: info@thenationonlineng.net ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO


The Nation June 11, 2013