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•CBN intervenes in hiccups
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•Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
VOL. 9, NO. 2880 TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
EKITI 2014 Death toll
•Police deploy men, equipment for election • AND MORE •Why we are backing Fayemi, by PDP elders ON PAGE 9 •APC alleges plot by INEC officials, PDP to forge results
in Taraba violence hits 44 From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo
HE casualty figure in the ethno-religious crisis in Wukari and Ibi local government areas of Taraba State has risen to 44. More people were killed in retaliatory attacks –on the roads and in remote hamlets. Eye-witnesses said some of the bodies had their heads cut off. More houses were also discovered to have been torched in the resurgence of violence which erupted on Sunday. Tension has grown high in other areas, including Takum and Donga local government councils. During an “assessment tour” by the police yesterday, 15 bodies were recovered. Police spokesman Joseph Kwaji said 11 bodies were recovered in Ibi. Four were recovered in Wukari. “We are carrying out an assessment tour of the crisis area. We went to Ibi and we are now in Wukari. “In Ibi, we recovered 11 bodies; 21 persons were injured. In Wukari; we got about four bodies,” said Kwaji, an Assistant SuperContinued on page 4
•Ehsan Haji Safi of Iran vies with Mikel during the match...yesterday
Super Eagles fail to fly against Iran
IGERIA’S Super Eagles failed to fly last night, labouring to a poor goaless match against Iran – the first drawn tie in what has been a scintillating World Cup - a dismal tie that left both sides still chasing their first victory at a finals, since 1998. Both teams were whistled and booed off the field by the
•Lack-lustre match ends goaless largely Brazilian crowd of 39,000 after a first half that looked shockingly meagre compared to the goal feasts served up elsewhere. Iran packed their defence as expected and Nigeria, with Emmanuel Emenike rarely posing a threat as the main
target man for the African champions, squandered their chances with long balls to nowhere and passes straight to opponents While Iran could take some small satisfaction in keeping a clean sheet for the first time since their debut in 1978, the
bore at the Baixada arena stood out like a suit salesman on Copacabana beach. With Lionel Messi’s Argentina, installed as clear Group F favourites, and exciting debutants Bosnia still to come, Nigeria and Iran look destined for an early exit unless they can raise their game conContinued on page 4
Girls rescue talks stuck as govt, elders disagree
WHERE ARE THE CHIBOK GIRLS KIDNAPPED ON APRIL 15?
Negotiators not at ease with unconditional release demand
HE Federal Government’s back-door talks to rescue the 217 abducted Chibok girls still in Boko Haram’s custody, may have suffered a setback.
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
The government is demanding an unconditional release of the girls, promising to fulfill the demands of Boko Haram leaders after.
But the facilitators of the talks are seeking a truce which will result in the simultaneous swapping of the girls with some insurgents in detention.
The facilitators/mediators, some of whom are clerics and Northern leaders, are afraid of the consequences of the government reneging on any Continued on page 4
•TRANSPORTATION P16 •SPORTS P23 •ENERGY P47 •POLITICS P43 •PROPERTY P48
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Concerns • Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) Oscar Onyema speaking at FBN Holdings 'Facts Behind the Figure' in Lagos…yesterday. With him are Executive Director, Business Development, NSE, Haruna Jalo-Waziri (left), Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), Mallam Bello Maccido and Group Managing Director/CEO, FBN, Bisi Onasanya (right). PHOTO: SOLOMON ADEOLA
The cash-less banking initiative created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reduce transaction and currency management costs is threatened by fraud and inefficient technology deployed in banks. The policy, billed for national roll-out on July 1, faces severe backlashes from bank customers, reports COLLINS NWEZE
• From left: Coach, Skidmore College US, Jeremiah Kneeland, finalist, MTN Football Scholar 2013, Augustine Okoye, coach, Koski School, USA Mathew Kokoszka and another finalist David Egbo during the MTN Football Scholar season 4 dinner with International Coaches in Lagos... at the weekend.
•From left: Chief Executive Officer, Ubu Investments Holdings Alex Erwin, Chairperson, United National Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Dr. Patrick Kormowa, Director-General, National Automotive Council Aminu Jalal and Chief Executive Officer, NISSAN South Africa Mike Whitfield during the 2014 Nigeria Automotive Summit in Lagos...yesterday.
• Chairman, Orik Power Ltd Alhaji Sumaila Zubairu (right) singing partnership agreement with the President/CEO PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI South Sahara Africa of GE Power Ms Lorraine Bolsinger in Lagos.
OTHING forewarned Sunday Chukwu, a Mushin, Lagos tyre merchant of the problem he would soon face. That Saturday, a customer bought goods worth N120,000. The customer said he had no cash and requested his account details to transfer the money. He said: “He typed the number on his phone and within few minutes, I got transaction alert from my bank – First City Monument Bank (FCMB). The alert showed that N120, 000 had been credited to my account. So, he took the goods and went away. “The next working day, which was Monday, I went to the bank to withdraw the money but it was not there. My account officer showed me my last transaction detail, and informed me that the alert on my phone was not from the bank and that it was a fraud. That was how I lost the money and all efforts to trace the fraudster failed.” Chukwu released the goods because the alert showed his previous account balance and the new deposit by the customer. That, he said, was an indication that the fraudster was collaborating with an insider from the bank. “Up till today, I have not recovered that money,” he told The Nation. That horrible experience, Chukwu noted, has made him to always insist on taking cash no matter how well he knew the customer. His verdict was that banks are not ready for cash-less banking, which is set for nationwide roll-out on July 1. He said such policies worked in other countries because there is trust and lenders have taken measures to secure their platforms against fraudsters. But, Head Corporate Communications at FCMB, Louis Ibe, told The Nation that the hitches could have been caused by a network problem. He said such problems exist everywhere, and promised that the lender would find out what happened. The Managing Director, Park and Carry Limited, Ekwueme Emeka, does not use ATMs because of fear of insecurity. “I don’t use ATMs. I make my transaction through cheques and withdrawal booklets. It is much quicker and less stressful. Poor network quality remains a major issue that reduces my confidence in e-payment. Sometimes, you go there, slot in your card and nothing comes out but your account is debited,” he said. Chukwu said the July 1 date for
nationwide roll-out should be reconsidered because all parties to the project are not ready. That position came after he lost N120, 000 to fraudsters who bought goods from him and decided to pay through mobile money transfer. In spite of all the arguments in its favour, some bank customers are equally not comfortable using ATM. Mrs. Olatunji Alima, an egg distributor based in Lagos, is one of such customers. Alima said she has been using ATM since 2012, but does not feel safe with it anymore. “I own a boutique and I am also a sole distributor of eggs. It has been two years now. I don’t feel secure using the device anymore because robbers are attacking ATM subscribers daily at the point of withdrawal. I am always scared of using my ATM cards,” she said. Alima recounted a time when the ATM card simply refused to work. “There was a time I came to withdraw money to pay off a debt, as I slotted in my card, it refused to neither slip out nor pay me. It was a bad experience. I am always very careful and time conscious every time I am about to make withdrawals from ATM. That is why I do not withdraw in the night. Anytime past 6:00 pm, I don’t get close to the ATM,” she said. She called for more security on the part of the banks. “I know they are trying their best but they need to do more in terms of security provided for withdrawers and less technical difficulties should be expected,” she advised. Like Alima, Damilare Oshibajo, a technician, and Jeremiah Amaukwu, an information technology specialist, are also not comfortable using ATM. Oshibajo conceded that though ATM has made banking easier for Nigerians, but regretted that dispensing error is a major challenge. “The other day, I wanted to withdraw N20, 000 from the ATM. The machine debited my account but did not dispense the cash. I was told it will reverse the transaction within 24 hours. It never did until after 21 days,” he said. Amaukwu said there were several times when his account was debited and the money was not dispensed, a
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
s over rising cases of e-fraud ‘ •Ubani
situation he described as worrisome. “It was N10, 000 they took from my account. I did not get it back until two months after,” he said. A cashier at SMAT Electronics, Computer Village, Lagos, Maureen Onyekachi, told The Nation that poor network in the use of e-payment channels and the 1.25 per cent charge on merchants’ accounts when PoS is used have depleted some of the benefits that come with the system. She said the merchant fee wouldn’t have mattered if the network were to be seamless and trusted by customers. She narrated that on several occasions, customers got debit alerts after paying through PoS, but at the merchant’s end, the transactions were declined. Onyekachi said although such hitches were always resolved between the customers and their banks, they create doubts on the feasibility of achieving a viable epayment system in the country. “Remember we pay 1.25 per cent fee for every successful transaction done via PoS, which translates to N125 for every N10,000 transaction or N1,250 for every N100,000 transaction. Still, that wouldn’t have mattered if the networks are working well,” she said.
Cash-less banking The CBN launched the Cash-less Nigeria Project in Lagos State, in January 2012 and extended the policy to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abia, Anambra, Ogun, Kano and Rivers States in June 2013. The policy was initiated against the backdrop of cash dominance in the payments system, a development which encouraged the circulation of huge sums of money outside the banking system and imposed huge currency management cost on the economy. The policy was meant to ensure price stability through effective monetary policy; sound financial system and efficient payments system. It was a critical part of the payment system modernisation, designed to promote the use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, web payment, online transfers and even mobile money in banking transactions instead of relying on cash.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, on June 5, removed the three per cent charge on cash deposits above N500, 000 for individuals and N3 million for corporate customers which are the sanction prescribed for defaulters but said the nationwide rollout will hold. Former CBN Deputy Governor, Operations Tunde Lemo, who oversaw the cashless policy for the first two years after its introduction, admitted that there are challenges with the epayment system but denied that most of the PoS terminals are not working effectively. He said there are challenges about bandwidth of the telecommunications service providers. “We spoke to the service providers on the need to improve bandwidth which they did and we saw improvement in the Lagos area. We have started talking to NICOMSAT, and they did a test-run in Lagos area and we are satisfied about their proposition. So within the next few weeks, you will notice improvement in connectivity in Lagos area at least,” he said. Lemo said some supermarket attendants sabotage the system and tell customers that the PoS is not working because paying through the machine denies them the access to tips or free left over cash of N20 or N40 from customers. “In one of our meetings with the merchants, we have told them to buildin some reward system that will still allow the attendants access to the free change they get from customers even as tips without compromising the standard of service. When we do that, you will discover that these things work,” he said.
Banking security fears Such concerns over banking security have put wide embrace of e-payment channels in abeyance. A recent survey by Visa International showed that high net worth account holders neither own nor use ATM cards. The study revealed that people that earn below N500, 000 per annum, which form 47 per cent of its respondents, own and are regular users of debit cards, including for online purchases. It showed that the higher people earn, the less they own and use their debit cards. Majority of
the rich, it said, think that avoiding debit cards is the best way to stay protected from online frauds. Data obtained from the CBN result for 2012 showed the bank received and processed 6,274 complaints, via e-mail on various financial crimes, particularly advance fee fraud. There were 4,527 cases of fraud and forgery involving the sum of N14.8 billion and $1.6 million. The CBN also received and investigated four complaints against the commercial banks even as the issues were promptly reported to the law enforcement agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation. Globally, estimated credit card fraud stood at $11 billion in 2012, making it one of the most significant criminal developments in modern times. Nevertheless, Managing Director, Happy Man Magnificent Ventures Limited, Celestine Enemuo, is of the view that Nigeria’s evolving cashless policy is good, but he puts the blame for the present skepticism over electronic-based payment squarely on the shoulders of banks and the CBN. He noted that these institutions have not been able to create the right awareness for the policy. He also lamented the inefficiency associated with the implementation of the policy, adding that fraud and theft are the biggest challenge with the policy. “Sometimes, the ATMs will send you alert saying, transactions not completed, but you will get alert showing that you have been debitted. And for you to go to your bank to reclaim your money, it will take you time, energy and resources,” he lamented, adding: “But if they can emulate practices in other countries, it will be good.” He said most Nigerians were not fully aware of the need to keep their passwords secret, and going nationwide will worsen the problem. “I want the CBN to give more time during which people will be educated, and banks fortify their technology because of challenges that will follow nationwide rollout,” he advised. Enemuo said customers whose funds were kept by banks because of poor services, should be paid interest
In today’s increasingly connected world, convenience, speed, technology adoption, and payment options allow people and businesses to conduct online financial activities with ease. Fraudsters are taking advantage of this trend fleecing customers of their funds. “A leading bank has been bragging of its capacity to open instant bank accounts via Facebook. I advise banks not to sacrifice security and safety of their customers for speed
on the money. “I prefer online transactions, but for the security challenge. Again, I have requested for PoS machine from my banks for the past one year from Diamond Bank and Zenith Bank and the banks are yet to supply the device. They said I should wait for them to retrieve PoS from customers who secured them, but are not using them,” he said. He said these hitches should prompt the CBN to extend the nationwide rollout by one year and monitor banks’ preparatory moves. For him, the real victims of the policy were bank consumers.
How safe are ATMs? According to experts, Nigerian banks are using an outdated Microsoft Windows operating system, which is vulnerable to hacking, for their operations. This is partly responsible for the frauds associated with their operations. Microsoft Nigeria said 95 per cent of all ATMs which run on Windows XP operating system are vulnerable to hacking. General Manager Microsoft Nigeria, Kabelo Makwane said machines that run on outdated operating systems do not receive security updates are the easiest to hack. He added that non-migration to the Windows 8 can open the banks up for potential security vulnerability and threats. He said Microsoft stopped issuing security patches and updates for bugs in the Windows XP system from the 8th. The chairman of the Committee of e-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH), Chuks Iku, said banks were discussing with Microsoft Nigeria to extend security features in Microsoft XP on ATMs. This followed the expiration of the April 8 deadline set by Microsoft for users of Windows XP to migrate to Windows 8 Operating System (OS).
Fraud cases The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had in February, arrested a man with 107 ATM cards at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos. The ATM cards were discovered in the man’s luggage during the outward screen-
ing of passengers travelling to Istanbul, Turkey aboard Turkish Airlines. It was discovered that the man also had two international passports bearing photographs of him, but with different names. “He had a Nigerian passport with the name Funsho Oladimeji Babatunde and a Turkish passport with the name Kosar Kursat, both bearing his photographs. The cards found in his luggage are 68 Citi Mastercard cards and 39 Citi Visa cards,” The NDLEA Airport Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, said. The agency said the cards were believed to be used for fraudulent purposes, since he was not an authorised agent. Also, last year, the EFCC arrested two undergraduates for an alleged N2.05 billion fraud at an old generation bank. They allegedly used Oracle’s ‘flexicube’ software to access a bank’s database and fraudulently transferred various sums of money. Chief Executive Officer, Forenovate Technologies Ltd, Don Okereke said cybercriminals were using skimming and trapping devices to steal credit/ debit card details of individuals without such persons knowing. He said there have also been several cases of online account takeover, where an unauthorised party gains access to an existing account by stealing the access codes and conducting illegal funds transfer to a designated account. “In today’s increasingly connected world, convenience, speed, technology adoption, and payment options allow people and businesses to conduct online financial activities with ease. Fraudsters are taking advantage of this trend, fleecing customers of their funds. “A leading bank has been bragging of its capacity to open instant bank accounts via Facebook. I advise banks not to sacrifice security and safety of their customers for speed,” he said. Okereke said a large number of bank customers are illiterates who are yet to be accustomed to the dictates of cashless banking and all the issues associated with it. •Continued from page 49
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
NEWS •GETTING SET FOR EKITI: Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar (right) addressing policemen deployed for the Ekiti governorship election in Abuja ...yesterday. SEE ALSO PAGE 9 PHOTO: NAN
MASSOB to terrorist: stay off Southeast
Death toll in Taraba violence hits 44 Continued from page 1
intendent of Police (ASP).
The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba states, Mohammed Jinjiri Abubakar, Police Commissioner Kalafite Adeyemi and the Area Commander were part of the team that visited Wukari and Ibi. The AIG visited the palace of the Aku-Uka, Dr. Shekarau
Angyu, to condole with him on the tragedy. In Ibi, he assured the people of his readiness to protect lives and property. Acting Governor of Taraba State Garba Umar condemned the attacks and killings. He ordered the restriction of movement by the military in the affected areas until “total normalcy” is restored. Umar, who spoke yesterday through his Chief Press Secre-
tary Kefas Sule, blamed the latest crisis on “activities of youth groups”. “Preliminary findings on the cause of the recent outburst of violence in the two areas (Wukari and Ibi) indicate that it is the result of negative activities of some youth groups. “As a corollary to this, all youth groups in Wukari and Ibi have been proscribed, and security agencies should take note of this ban and enforce it,” he said.
Umar said the government would pay the bills of victims of the crisis who would be treated in government facilities. He said he was making efforts to move relief materials to the affected communities, while calling for “calm and restraint” from residents of Taraba. The senator representing Southern Taraba district, Emmanuel Bwacha, condoled the
HERE was outrage yesterday over the discovery of bombs that were planted in the Living Faith Church, popularly called the Winners’ Chapel, in Owerri, the Imo State capital. The Movement for Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra warnied terrorists to stay off the Southeast and threatened to “bring down” Nigeria should any part of the Southeast
Continued on page 62
Continued from page 1
The Super Eagles had the ball in the back of the net after seven minutes in a goalmouth scramble but Ecuadorean referee Carlos Vera, perhaps harshly, ruled it out for a push on goalkeeper Alireza Haghighi. Ogenyi Onazi then drilled a shot wide two minutes later.
Iran came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 33rd minute when goalkeeper/captain Vincent Enyeama produced a fine save from Reza Ghoochannejhad’s header in their first corner of the game. Defender Godfrey Oboabona made an early exit from the fray, replaced by Joseph Yobo on the half hour after earlier receiving
treatment on the touchline following a heavy tackle. Coach Stephen Keshi said after the tie: “When you dominate possession and you can’t score goals; that is football.” He was referring to the 67 per cent possession that the Eagles had to iran’s 33 per cent. Nigeria had 10 shots at goal to Iran’s 8, plying seven corner
kicks while Iran played two. The draw in Curitiba means that both teams are yet to win a match at the World Cup since 1998, when Nigeria pipped Bulgaria 1-0 and Iran stopped USA 2-1. It was the 13th match of Brazil 2014 and it was also the first draw and the first match that did not produce any goals.
be bombed. Six suspects are being held for the explosives. The motive of the planned bombing and its planners remain unknown. MASSOB leader Ralph Uwazuruike, who spoke in a telephone interview with The NaContinued on page 62
Soldiers arrest 486 Northerners in Abia
Super Eagles fail to fly against Iran siderably.
From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri, Sunny Nwankwo, Aba
GROUP of 486 Nigerians travelling in 35 buses from the North to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, were held by the military in Abia State. The suspects were stopped at about 2.00a.m yesterday between Arungwa Junction on the Enugu, Port Harcourt Express-
From Ugochukwu Ugoji-Eke, Umuahia
way and Imo Gate, the Abia/ Rivers boundary. Their vehicles were halted but two of the buses slipped away. The men aged between 16 years and above, have been deContinued on page 62
Girls rescue talks stuck as govt, elders disagree Chibok parents plead for girls’ release
Continued from page 1
They think that they may be exposed to danger. Also yesterday, it was gathered that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo is yet to get a Presidential go-ahead for talks with Boko Haram contacts. President Goodluck Jonathan only gave a verbal approval to him. Obasanjo wanted a situation where he would sit down with the President and get a firm commitment on offers from the government to the insurgents. The ex-President may, however, wait for a while because the government was uncomfortable with his comments that the President did not believe the girls were abducted in the first place. The rescue bid for the girls has been slowed down by some unresolved issues. It was gathered that there was a major challenge on: •agreeing on terms for the release of the girls; and •establishing trust that each party will keep to the bargain. To sources, who spoke in confidence on the negotiation, the resolution of the two issues is crucial to freedom for the girls. One of the sources said: “We seem to have a little setback. I think the fear of people who are negotiating is whether the government will honour its own part of the talks. “The government is demanding unconditional release of the girls whereas the negotiators
ONCERNED indigenes of Chibok, the Borno State town where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted on April 15, pleaded yesterday for their release. Mr Tsambido Hosea-Abana, Chairman of Chibok Community in Abuja, pleaded with the security agencies to ensure, without further delay, the girls’ release. Hosea-Abana spoke at the commemoration of the Day of the African Child organised by Actionaid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation. According to him, the plea became necessary because other girls were scared of going to school for fear of being abducted in the same manner. Hosea-Abana said: “Chibok is a small community compared to other bigger ethnic groups in Borno, but has the opportunity of being exposed to western education earlier through the missionaries. “So, the residents of the town are considered to be highly educated and that is why we do not hesitate to put our girls in Government Secondary School, Chibok. Nonetheless, Mrs Comfort Iliya, pleaded with the parents to send their children to school, despite the development. She insisted that the girl-child should be are seeking simultaneous swapping of some insurgents with the girls. “The government is saying the insurgents should release the girls and it will unfold its package. There is also a suspicion in government that the insurgents may not live up to their pledge. “Some of these clerics and Northern leaders are scared that
From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
empowered through education to build a purposeful society as a mother in future. The fact-finding committee investigating the girls’ abduction will submit its report to President Goodluck Jonathan this week. The coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC) Mr. Mike Omeri, who broke the news yesterday, urged Nigerians and the international community to be more understanding on the government’s effort to rescue the girls. “It could be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan set up a committee to look into the abdduction of the school girls in Chibok; the committee will make its findings known to the Federal Government this week,” Oweri said. Omeri also said former President Olusegun Obasanjo was a free to do anything he wants to do on rescuing the girls. “Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is a free person, like every other Nigerian citizen who can come out at any time to offer useful advice on the rescuing of the abducted girls,” he said. Obasanjo said he was awaiting Dr. Jonathan’s gree light to embark on talks with people close to the insurgents
they might be endangered if the government does not make concrete offers to the insurgents. “The facilitators want to collect the girls and hand over the insurgents at the same time.” Asked of the attitude of the insurgents, the source, who is believed to be respected by Boko Haram leadership, said: “They have been listening to some of their contacts out of
Omeri also said troops had apprehended seven suspected terrorists who infiltrated Maiduguri. He said the suspect said that they were being asked to carry out some bombing and sabotage in furtherance of directives of the leadership of the terrorist group. He added that investigations, patrol and surveillance had been stepped up by the troops. Speaking on the kidnap of a construction worker in Plateau State, Omeri said that the kidnapped foreigner, who has been released, is a Lebanese as against a report which identified him as a Briton. He said the Lebanese was abducted by some armed bandits in Lantang Sunday night but was freed through the efforts of security forces in Angwan Bala in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State. Speaking on the failed bombing of the Living Faith Church in Owerri, Imo State, Omeri applauded Nigerians for the effective use of the security alert telephone numbers released to the public some weeks ago, saying the alert system assisted in saving the lives of the worshippers on Sunday. “On June 14 2014, at about 22:00 hours, a patriotic Nigerian placed alert call to one
sheer mutual respect but if the government does not act, they do not mind keeping the girls for five years. “They are prepared to keep the girls. If there are terms acceptable to both parties and firm commitment, anybody can secure the release of the girls.” Another source said the Federal Government does not have
Continued on page 62
much confidence in Obasanjo’s initiative. The source said the government would prefer a collective intervention by past Heads of State, as floated last Thursday by President Goodluck Jonathan, than Obasanjo’s singular plan. It was gathered that Obasanjo’s comments, which alleged that the President did not be-
lieve that the girls were abducted made the Presidency to be “cautious” on his initiative. The source added: “I think there is a problem between Obasanjo and the President. When the two leaders met at the burial of ex-Governor Michael Otedola, Obasanjo told Jonathan what he intended doing and the President said it was a good idea. “They both agreed to discuss the details later, if Obasanjo is really going into it. The President gave some security insights into the abduction, including the alleged involvement of some people opposed to his administration and some Continued on page 62
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
NEWS Dangote to flood market with quality cement
Delegates seek state of emergency in power sector
ANGOTE Cement has promised to increase its production of cement significantly following its enhanced capacity and ensure that the supply of the product surpasses its demand in Nigeria. Its Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Devakumar Edwin said the management had blended creativity with innovation, style, patience and commitment to high quality for the benefit of the consumers. He said with its 42.5 and the recent introduction of 52.5 grades as well as the expansion projects, which will bring capacity to 35 million metric tonnes (MMTPA) in the short term, Dangote Cement is determined to build a lasting legacy for generations to come. Edwin said: “We are here to make a difference and build a legacy in the industry. The fact that we are putting 9 million tonnes more in the market shows our determination. In the future too, we are planning to launch cement plants. Before the end of the year, we will be putting in place a minimum of two cement plants, if not more. This will take us to 29 million MMTPA. If I am going to put an additional 6 million, it takes me to 35 million tonnes.” Dangote Cement Plc is a fully integrated cement company with projects and operations in Nigeria and 14 other African countries. Its production capacity in Nigeria, from its three existing cement plants, is 20.25 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA). Its Obajana plant, established in 2006 and located in Kogi State, is reputed as one of the single largest cement plants in the world with a combined capacity of 10.25 million MMTPA.
EFCC arraigns eight for ‘importing fuel without licence’ By Joseph Jibueze
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned yesterday eight men at the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly importing petroleum products without licence. Ademola Ogungbayi, Olabode Olaniran, Suraju Gasali, Moses Emmanuel, Wilson Bonsi, Jacob Padoun, Uche Okparaodi and Happy Onyeogo were charged along with their vessel, MT Good Success, and their Company, Hepa Global Energy Limited. They pleaded not guilty to the five-count charges. The prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the accused committed the offence on February 19 and were arrested by Naval officers within the Nigerian territorial waters in Lagos. The accused allegedly imported and stored about 1.46 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) without the requisite licence, as provided for by the Petroleum Act. The alleged offence is contrary to Sections 4 of the Petroleum Act, Cap. 10, Laws of the Federation, 2004. It also contravened the provisions of sections 17, and 19 (6) of the Miscellaneous Offence Act, Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation, 2004. Justice Saliu Saidu granted the accused bail for N5 million each with two sureties each in like sum. He adjourned the matter till September 23 for trial.
From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Dele Anofi, Abuja
•From right: Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Frank Mba; Co-ordinator, National Information Centre (NIC), Mr. Mike Omeri; Deputy Director, Directorate of State Security (DSS), Ms. Marilyn Ogar and Director, Information, Ministry of Information, Mr. Emma Agbegir, at a national briefing in Abuja...yesterday
Fayose still on trial for corruption, says EFCC
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it is still probing a former Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah. It also said only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can determine whether or not former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose can contest this weekend’s governorship election. EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, addressed reporters yesterday in Abuja on the activities of the commission since March. Uwujaren responded to questions on high-profile
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
cases the EFCC had been handling. On the quizzing of Ms Oduah for alleged N255 million bulletproof cars’ scam, the EFCC spokesman said the commission was still conducting investigations. He said: “I recall, during my last briefing, I craved your indulgence to be patient with the commission. At that time, she (Ms Oduah) had not even been invited to appear before the commission. “Since our last meeting and now, I am also all of us know she was invited, she came and made statement to the commission. That inves-
tigation is also going on. “On Oduah, I have said it here and I want to say it again that the matter is not closed. She has been invited and she has made a statement...” Asked if the EFCC would allow Fayose to contest the governorship election in Ekiti State, the EFCC spokesman said only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cold answer the question. But he explained that a suspect or an accused is presumed innocent under the nation’s law until found guilty. Uwujaren said: “I think the proper place to direct that question to is the INEC,
which is the umpire over election. It is not the EFCC. Our job is not to preside over electoral matters. “If the umpire believes that the electoral law allows such a person standing trial in court, even though he has not been convicted to stand for election, that is the job of the INEC; it is not for EFCC to decide. “Fayose, for your information, is still standing trial on corruption charges before the Federal High Court. That case has been on since 2007. Based on Appeal Court’s decision, the matter was transferred to Ekiti State, where the crime was committed...”
N25.7b ‘theft’: ‘Company MD’s signature wasn’t forged’
LAGOS High Court, sitting in Ikeja, heard yesterday that a forensic analysis on the forms used in the N10.9 billion loan the defunct Bank PHB Plc granted a firm were not forged. Under its former Managing Director, Mr Francis Atuche, the bank allegedly granted the loan to the bank Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Futureview Financial Services, Mrs. Elizabeth Ebi. A forensic expert and defence witness, Mr. Raphael Onwuzuligbo, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was giving evidence in the trial of the former bank chief. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth, and a former Chief Financial Officer of the bank, Ugo Anyanwu, stole about N25.7 billion belonging to the bank. The anti-graft agency alleged that the defendants fraudulently called the money a loan granted to some “phony companies”. Mrs. Ebi, who testified as a prosecution witness before the court presided over by Justice Lateefat Okunnu, had denied writing various letters bearing her name and allegedly sent to her by Atuche for her to sign in order to regularise the loan after obtaining the fund.
By Adebisi Onanuga and Toyosi Babatunde
About 11 of such signed documents were tendered by the prosecution, led by Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), as exhibits in the trial. But Atuche, through his lawyers, led by Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN), subpoenaed the police forensic expert to examine the signatures used in the transactions. At the resumed trial of the matter yesterday, Onwuzuligbo told the court that forensic examination on the signatures used in the loan transaction showed that they came from the same source. The witness said he was convinced that they were not forged. Led in evidence by Idigbe, the witness, who claimed to have 22 years’ experience in documents analysis, explained that though pictorial
appearances of signatures used in the transactions might look different, the scientific analysis depicted a master pattern, consistent with Mrs. Ebi’s. He said this made the signatures difficult to forge or stimulate by any other persons than the signatory. Onwuzuligbo, who used video spectra comparator, magnifying glasses and other scientific equipment in his analysis in the court, said the signatures confirmed certain similarities and inherent features of the signatory in other documents. As such, the policeman said, they could not have been made by another person. The witness said there may be some differences in the sizes of the strokes and formations, adding that the signatures in exhibits P270 and P272 showed that they were writ-
ten by the same person. On how he arrived at the conclusion, Onwuzuligbo explained that every individual has a habitual pattern and ways of signing documents. The forensic expert, who is also knowledgeable in deciphering handwritings, runner stamp impressions and superimposed documents, concluded that the signatures on the documents he analysed came from one person. The prosecuting counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), during his cross examination of the witness, sought to know whether or not the report was signed by the witness and sent to the defence lawyers. But the witness answered in affirmation. According to him, the report was sent to the law firm that requested for the analysis. Further hearing in the matter was adjourned till today.
ELEGATES to the National Conference yesterday urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the Power sector. But they baulked at the idea that generators be outlawed. The delegates agreed that the Power sector requires an urgent government’s attention, to enhance the nation’s technological and economic growth. They were unanimous that power and energy are strategic, adding that the Federal Government should not leave it in the hands of the private sector alone but participate actively. State and local governments were also recommended to be constitutionally empowered to participate in the Power sector. But the delegates rejected the review of the privatisation contracts between the Federal Government and the generating companies (gencos) and the distribution companies (discos). The conference’s decision followed the adoption of the amendments to the recommendations of the Committee on Energy yesterday. The privatisation contracts were said to be on the brink of collapse. The committee recommended that there is need for a reappraisal of the contract, as originally formulated. But the delegates rejected the recommendation. They also rejected the recommendation that a committee should review the National Electric Power Policy to make it possible for the nation to join the top 20 global economies. The delegates adopted the need for the Petroleum Act of 1969 to be reviewed in the interest of justice and equity. They also adopted the recommendation calling for an immediate solution to the large cash deficit threatening the Power sector. The government was urged to implement the National Gas Master Plan. It was also advised to improve gas supply and transmission to ramp up power delivered to the system to solve the cash shortfall in the sector. The government was also encouraged to ban the flaring of associated gas as well as sanction oil companies without facilities to stop flaring to serve as a deterrent.
Rights group to govt: don’t use Sri Lankan model against Boko Haram
HE Human Rights Watch (HRW) has cautioned the Federal Government against using the Sri Lankan model to crush Boko Haram terrorists. Responding to the declaration by Defence Headquarters that it would employ the “Sri Lankan method” to crush the insurgents, the New York-based right organisation said: “It
is hard to imagine a worse idea.” Acknowledging the pressure on the government to deal with the Boko Haram terrorists, who abducted over 200 schoolgirls in April and are still holding 217 of them, the HRW stressed that before opting for “the Sri-Lankan method” to deal with an insurgency, Nigeria should
examine what that actually meant. HRW noted that Sri Lanka’s war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) which, like Boko Haram, was responsible for various rights abuses, caused tremendous and unnecessary human suffering, particularly in its final stages in 2009. “In the last months of the
conflict, as many as 40,000 civilians died, according to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts report. And since the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, serious abuses against ethnic Tamils by the military, including systematic rape of suspected LTTE supporters, have continued to the present,” the HRW said in a statement.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
NEWS Ex-Mint MD for trial over alleged N750m polymer contract scam •’EFCC still investigating, Soludo’s, others' role’ From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), Ehi Okomoyon, will face trial for alleged N750 million bribery scandal on Polymer notes contract during the tenure of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Prof. Charles Soludo. But the commission said it was still investigating Soludo’s and others' roles because the probe had not been closed. It explained that the investigation of anyone does not amount to an indictment. EFCC's Head of Media and Publicity Mr. Wilson Uwujaren said the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) hadbeen indicted and would face trial. He said: "On the polymer notes case, which has to do with Soludo, I said the investigation has more or less indicted the ex-MD of NSPMC. Once the investigation indicts somebody, the logical thing to do is to charge that person to court." On whether or not Soludo had been cleared, Uwujaren said: "The former MD of NSPMC is indicted and the investigation is still ongoing; it's not closed on anybody or group. Soludo responded to our invitation; he appeared before us and made a statement. But investigation on the case is still on. He was not the only one; others also appeared before us. But investigation is still on. "I also want to appeal that once an investigation is going on and somebody is invited, it does not suppose that the person is guilty. It simply means that they have questions to answer. Once they come and they are able to clear themselves, then probably nothing will happen to them again. But if you are indicted by court investigation, then the logical thing to do is to take you to court. "When I started, the first thing I said was that the investigation had not been closed. No matter the number of years it has been on, we don't put a timeline on an investigation. We look at all the angles to an investigation. So, it is on and not closed." The late President Umaru Yar'Adua, in company of Soludo, launched the new N5, N10 and N50 polymer notes on September 30, 2009 at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. There had been allegations of shady a deal between some CBN officials and Securency International Pty of Australian. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) had probed the alleged N750 million bribe offered by Securency to win the contract. Although the contract for printing N5, N10, N50 notes were awarded in 2009, the bribery scandal involving Securency had allegedly been perpetrated in 2006. Investigation by our correspondent showed that the probe conducted by the AFP gave some clues, which the EFCC examined. According to a document, the CBN’s tender results for bank notes in 2006 showed how Securency bid for N20 polymer notes at Euro 73.475 per 1,000 notes, including the freight charge. But it was learnt that the cost was later reduced to Euro 59.88 by the CBN when the N20 polymer contract was awarded in 2006. The bid was dotted with the N750 million bribery scandal.
• Some secondary school pupils raising African countries’ flags during this year’s African Child celebration in Abuja...yesterday
EFCC arraigns 121 suspects for fuel 'subsidy scam, oil theft'
N what may be its biggest haul of suspected economic criminals till date, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned 121 suspects, including companies, for alleged fuel subsidy scam and oil theft in the Niger Delta. It has also recovered about N6.53 billion from evaders of customs duties at the Lagos ports. EFCC's Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, addressed reporters yesterday in Abuja on the agency's activities between March and June. The spokesman said some Internet fraudsters had been arrested and prosecuted. He said Jesse Omokoh, who allegedly obtained $90,000 from a 67-year-old Australian, Jette Jacobs, in a romance scam, is on trial at an High Court in Ibadan, Oyo State. But the agency's biggest hauls were in its war against theft in the Oil sector. The breakdown of the figures showed that 17 oil marketers, 23 oil marketing companies and 81 suspects have been arraigned for alleged oil theft. The commission has also seized 11 tanker vessels and 16 tanker trucks used for alleged oil theft. Uwujaren said: "Oil subsidy scam: As we speak, I think there are about 17 oil marketers that are being tried, and I am talking of persons who are being tried in court over subsidy scam. "But if you add the individuals and their companies, we have over 40 cases on trial for obtaining subsidy from the Federal Government without supplying products. Those cases are ongoing; they are progressing in court at different stages. Apart from the one we have in court, there are also a number of investigations that are going on. "Investigation of subsidy is not a straight-forward thing; it is a very complicated procedure. It is not something you can just conclude within a country; you have to deal with organisations
•Recovers N6.53b from evaders of customs duties From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation
with proper jurisdiction, and these things take time. "That is reason some people think we don't have enough people standing trial in court. It is a complicated procedure, and that process is still on. "In terms of whether or not we have recovered money from the subsidy thing, I say yes. I recall that about two months ago, the Executive Chairman of the EFCC announced that the commission had recovered N4.3 billion from the subsidy scam. That is very significant, considering the complicated nature of those transactions. We are not relenting in our determination to get to the root of the matter." On how the EFCC collaborated with other security agencies to fight oil thieves in the Niger Delta, Uwujaren said: "Oil theft is a subject that is of concern to every Nigerian. For us as a commission with a mandate to check oil theft by arresting and prosecuting offenders, I'll like to report that commendable strides have been recorded in checking this menace. "Of course, what we have done in this area could not have been possible without the assistance
of sister-law enforcement organisations, notably the Navy and the Army. "For some of you, who want hard statistics on the records of the commission in fighting oil theft in the Niger Delta, it is my pleasure to report that the commission, from January 2013 till date, investigated 21 cases of crude oil theft. Eleven tanker vessels and 16 tanker trucks were recovered, while 81 suspects have been charged to court. "A few weeks ago, two Indians - Sailesh Kumar Singh and Chadrashekar Sharma - were jailed after successful prosecution by the commission for oil theft. "The two were among the 12 suspected oil thieves arrested in Brass, Bayelsa State, in 2012 by the Joint Task Force (JTF) with 157,882 litres of suspected stolen crude oil. They are to serve 15 years imprisonment. "This should serve as a deterrent for others still engaged in the nefarious trade." On evaders of import duties, Uwujaren said a large-scale investigation on the scandal at the ports led to the recovery of N6.53 billion unpaid Customs importation duties in Lagos. The EFCC spokesman said the battle had shifted to Onne Port
in Rivers State against duty evaders. He said: "The desire to encourage local collaboration and erase unnecessary rivalries in law enforcement is the bedrock of our cooperation with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). "Our joint recovery team in Lagos recovered N6.53 billion evaded Customs importation duties in Lagos between July 2012 and March 2014. "Another joint recovery has began operations at Onne in Port Harcourt in April 2014 to recover Customs' revenue in the Southsouth. We will be briefing you in the future on the outcome of this exercise." Uwujaren said the EFCC had been unrelenting to stamp out Internet crime. He added: "Several cases were brought to trial in the last couple of weeks. First is the arraignment and conviction in Kano of Daniel Okpara, who defrauded people through a facebook account he opened in the name of the Executive Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde. "Okpara lured his victims by promising them jobs with the commission. As we speak, he is in prison, serving a three-year jail term.
Jonathan appoints Tukur Ambassador-at-Large
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the former National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as Ambassador-at-Large. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the appointment in a statement yesterday in Abuja. The statement said Tukur would be “assigned special du-
ties by the President” under the new appointment. It chronicled the former PDP chairman’s achievements in public and private service. The statement said: “Tukur served as the General Manager and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) from 1975 to 1982 and Governor of the then Gongola State in 1983. “Between 1994 and 1995, he served as Minister for Industries.”
The other positions were: Vice Chairman, International Ports and Harbours Association; Chairman, International Cargo Handling Association; and Chairman, Governing Council of Institute of Business Development. Tukur, as until his appointment, was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), a position he assumed since January after he resigned as PDP chairman.
Panel cautions SAN against ‘misconduct’
HE Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) has warned a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), J. A. Badejo, to desist from “professional misconduct” or be stripped of the rank. The LPPC, in a statement yesterday in Abuja, said the warning followed its investigation, which reportedly found Badejo wanting. The probe was initiated after a petitioner accused him of professional misdemeanour. The committee, in the statement by its Secretary and Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Sunday Olorudahunsi, warned Badejo “to desist from such conduct and hence-
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
forth conduct his cases in the best tradition of the legal profession”. The committee, last year, suspended a Lagos-based SAN, Ajibola Aribisala, from further using the title, following its investigation of a petition against him by Fidelity Bank Plc. The statement reads: “The LPPC received a petition on the professional misconduct of J. A Badejo (SAN), having deliberately and unprofessionally instructed or sanctioned the filing of series of applications and withdrawing same to deprive the petitioner/claimants from the fruit of their judgment obtained eight years
ago. “After consideration of the response of J. A. Badejo (SAN) and the outcome of the investigation by the sub-committee set up by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, at its general meeting held on June 12, 2014, decided to warn the learned Senior Advocate to desist from such conduct and henceforth conduct his cases in the best tradition of the legal profession. In addition, (he is to) uphold the honour and dignity which the rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria commands.”
CJN, NJI chief caution judges against corruption, indolence From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
HE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, and the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), Justice Umaru Eri, have urged judges to shun corruption and other unethical conducts to enhance public confidence in the Judiciary. They said corruption and other unethical conducts among judges do not only violate their oaths of office but are also capable of destroying the judicial system. The senior judicial officers cautioned judges against indolence, adding that judges should be committed to their oaths of office. Justices Mukhtar and Eri spoke yesterday in Abuja at the opening of this year’s induction course for 38 newly appointed judges of the High Court, Customary Courts of Appeal and khadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal. The theme of the event is: Nurturing High Standards of Judicial Performance. Justice Mukhtar urged the new judges and khadis to urgently imbibe the good conduct expected of judicial officers of their status. The CJN noted that a deviation from such conducts could have devastating consequences for the judge and the Judiciary. She said: “The Nigeria Judiciary can no longer condone indolence, ineptitude, corruption or any form of judicial misconduct. As new judicial officers, your future is in your hands. Do your work well and you will have nothing to fear, but a lot to gain. “However, if you choose the corrupt and dishonourable way or become indolent and unproductive, more of a liability than an asset, you can only have yourself to blame because the consequences will not be pleasing, though deserving.” Eri, who regretted the negative impact of corruption on the nation, urged judges to shun acts of malfeasance to make the society a better place for all. The NJI chief urged judges to treat with dispatch cases of economic crimes and corruption brought before them to aid the fight against corruption.
THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 17, 2014
‘No plan to impeach Ondo Deputy GROUP, the Akoko Governor’
Leadership Forum (ALF), warned yesterday against alleged moves to impeach Ondo State Deputy Governor Ali Olanusi. The group said such moves could disrupt the peace in the state. The forum, which is a think-tank organisation of academics, politicians and professionals from the four local government areas in Akoko, alleged that some state legislators were instrumental to the plan. Spokesman of the group Mr. Ade Adejoro urged Governor Olusegun Mimiko to intervene and stop the alleged process. ALF said in the alleged plan, the motion for Olanusi’s impeachment is to be moved by a Muslim lawmaker from Akokoland and seconded by another Muslim lawmaker from the area. It said: “The scenario is that the member, a Muslim like the deputy governor, is to portray it as if the Muslim community and Akoko people are satisfied with the move. The only thing delaying the action is the absence of any impeachable offence against the deputy governor. “From available records, Olanusi is the most contented deputy governor in the federation, who has no record of disagreement with his principal. It is also on record that Olanusi made strenuous ef-
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
forts to endear the governor to Akokoland for his second term bid through the celebrated ‘Akoko for Mimiko 2012’ rallies.” The forum urged the people to dissuade the legislators from embarking on the “suicide mission, which could set the stage for a massive violence”. It said: “The planned impeachment of the deputy governor is a direct assault on Akoko nation, which would be counter-productive. We cannot deliberately disturb the peace of Ondo State because of the selfish interest of some individuals.” The Assembly denied the allegation. The Speaker, Princess Jumoke Akindele, said impeachment is a constitutional matter and the process has to start from the appropriate quarter, adding that there was no information from any quarter to that effect. She said: “We have no reason to commence an impeachment process against the deputy governor. We are not doing anything of that nature. This is the handiwork of the opposition and mischief makers, who are bent on setting the House against the deputy governor and cause disharmony in the Labour Party (LP) family.”
Afe Babalola: Awo’s ideals have enhanced education T HE late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s vision has enhanced Nigeria’s political and educational growth, Afe Babalola University, AdoEkiti (ABUAD) founder Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) has said. Babalola spoke in his office at the institution while receiving a delegation from the Awolowo Centre for Philosophy, Ideology and Good Governance in Osogbo, Osun State, led by the Director-General, Prof. Moses Makinde. He said the late sage continues to illuminate Nigeria’s paths to higher attain-
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti
ments in politics and education. Babalola said: “The late Awolowo was a man of uncommon vision and had uncommon ways of achieving the vision. He first trained teachers before introducing the free education that is second to none on the continent.” He hailed Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola for establishing the Awo Cen-
tre, which seeks to inculcate the ideals of the late sage and preaches hard work and academic excellence. Makinde described Babalola as “a colossus who made education a priority and followed it up with the establishment of one of the best private universities in Africa, which is noted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)”. He said the centre’s cur-
riculum included training in “basic philosophy and character traits for ethics that would promote ideology and good governance based on the philosophy of the late Awolowo and statesmen of like minds”. Recalling Babalola’s good work during his tenure as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Makinde said the lawyer’s vision and “vast experience will help the young but vibrant ABUAD”.
Afenifere chieftain, others hail APC leaders By Leke Salaudeen; Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta and Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
FENIFERE chieftain Senator Ayo Fasanmi has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership on the success of its national convention. Fasanmi said the rancour-free convention and the emergence of a new executive committee showed that APC would wrest power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015. He said the fusion of the legacy parties that gave birth to the APC was in the interest of the nation, adding that the party was on a rescue operation to restore Nigeria’s glory. Fasanmi said: “It is unbelievable that a nation endowed with human and natural resources has been virtually brought to its knees by corrupt, inept and purposeless government. There is mass unemployment, infrastructure decay, insecurity, poverty and hunger in the land. Everything has broken down. “I have no doubt that the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and his executive members will lead the party to electoral victory next year. I congratulate the former Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, for successfully handing over to competent hands led by Odigie-Oyegun.” The second republic senator urged aggrieved members to put the interest of the party and the nation at heart and embrace peace, adding: “It is God that gives power to anyone, takes it or denies anyone of i.” Fasanmi urged APC members to work together as a family to “rescue the nation from the PDP’s misrule and end the era of impunity and lawlessness”. An APC chieftain in Ogun State Mr. Bolu Owotomo also congratulated the party on the success of the convention. Owotomo urged Odigie-Oyegun and the National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to explain to Nigerians “why APC is a better alternative to the PDP and how the party’s plans for the country if voted into power at the centre”. Owotomo, who is aspiring to represent Ijebu North East in the House of Assembly, said there was need to reconcile aggrieved members. He said: “We should ensure an issue based alternative that will purposefully and constructively engage and challenge the PDP with decency and maturity as prescribed by democratic tenets and principles. “I commend APC for a successful convention and congratulate Odigie-Oyegun, Mohammed and other officers on their election.” Ibadan North East Local Government Caretaker Chairman Mr. Ladi Oluokun also congratulated the APC on the peaceful conduct of the convention, saying it shows that the APC is built on “peaceful co-existence”. Oluokun said: “With this successful national convention, I am confident that Nigerians are gradually seeing a party with ideology. It has shown how united and peaceful we are as a party in all units. Nigerians yearn for positive change, which the party represents. I urge Nigerians to stand by the APC and vote en masse for the party in all elections.”
•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola holding the reins of a horse presented to him by the Divisional Conference of Obas in Osun Central Senatorial Distric during a luncheon at GMT Hotel in Osogbo, where the monarchs endorsed the governor for a second term . With him are his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori (second right); the Orangun of Ila, Oba Wahab Oyedotun (third right); the Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Rauf Adedeji (right) and others.
•Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire speaking at a news conference on the International Day of the African Child at Alausa, Ikeja...yesterday. With her are Commissioners Lateef Ibirogba (Information and Strategy) and Mrs. Risikat Akiyode (Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation). PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES
All must contribute to building Nigeria, says Ikuforiji
AGOS State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji has said all hands must be on deck to build the “Nigeria of our dream”. Ikuforiji spoke yesterday at the opening of a five-day retreat on “Transformational leadership and organisational change” for Assembly members and staff at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Festac. The retreat was organised by Judge Business School Education Limited, United Kingdom, an affiliate of Cambridge University, in collaboration with the Lagos Assembly.
By Oziegbe Okoeki
Ikuforiji said: “It is my belief that the task of building a Nigeria of our dream is one that must be done and Lagos cannot do it alone. We can set the pace for others to follow and get others to come along with us.” He said that was part of the reason the leadership of other Houses of Assembly in the Southwest were invited to the retreat, adding: “We decided to invite our brothers from other Houses so that they will share their experiences with us and assist in taking decisions that will
help their own Houses to come along the path we want the Lagos House to lead.” The Clerk, Ganiyu Abiru, said: “The Assembly has made progress in dynamic legislation and good governance, which have transformed the state beyond imaginable proportions, especially in the last seven years. “This is not unconnected with the enormous investment in the training and retraining of honourable members and staff on relevant programmes that have impacted positively on the understanding of the science and art of legislation.
“Through various programmes organised by the House, members and staff have grown in confidence in the discharge of their assignments in a way that the Assembly is able to give true meaning to the role and place of the legislature in a democracy and representative governance.” On the theme of the workshop, Abiru said it could not be more appropriate, particularly at a time when elections are approaching. He said the topics of the workshop were carefully chosen to address issues disturbing legislative excellence.
THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 17, 2014
Ekiti cooperative societies get N50m loan
HE Ekiti State government has disbursed N50 million revolving loan to cooperative societies in the first phase of the Cooperative Revitalisation Fund. It also gave 100 motorcycles to the State Motorcyclists Association; an 18-seater bus to the state chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and a bus to the Joint Artisans and Technicians. Presenting the cheque to cooperative societies yesterday in AdoEkiti, Governor Kayode Fayemi said the fund would improve the lending capacity of the societies and the standard of living. He said: “Cooperative societies are viable networks that can evolve into sustainable business enterprises to enhance the economic development of Ekiti State, if harnessed. Hence the need to revitalise these societies cannot be overemphasised. Today’s activity is aimed at increasing the lending capacity of the societies, thereby reducing poverty in line with our vision to make poverty history in
•Association gets 100 bikes •Buses for artisans, NANS the state.” He said cooperative societies are expected to grow and expand to other areas of economic activities, such as establishment of cottage industries in cluster communities where raw materials are available, thereby reducing poverty and generating employment.
Ex-Ajaokuta Steel MD Elewa is dead
ORMER Managing Director of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited Olufunsho Elewa is dead. He was 63. Elewa died on June 6 at the Lagoon Hospital in Lagos after a brief illness. He joined the Ajaokuta Steel Company after his national youth service in 1974 and was the Managing Director from 2001 to 2004. The late Elewa attended the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, from 1970 to 1973 and graduated with honours in Mechanical Engineering. At ABU, Zaria, he distinguished himself as an outstanding scholar and earned a distinction as a Shell Scholar. On completion of his national youth service (he was a pioneer NYSC member), the late Elewa was offered employment by the defunct Nigerian Steel Development Authority (NSDA) in 1974 and in 1975 was engaged in an eighteen-month engineering training programme at the Rolling Mills Technology under a training agreement between NSDA and the Bhilal Rourkela Steel Plan in India.
He completed the programme and returned to Nigeria in 1976. In 1980, NSDA metamorphosed into the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the late Elewa was redeployed to the rolling mills. He rose gradually and became the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company in May, 2001. He served in that capacity until October, 2004, when he voluntarily retired from active service. The late Elewa was an Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Metallurgical Society and a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. He was the first recipient of the NSE’s Presidential Merit for the Promotion of Engineering Practice in 2001. Until his death, he was the Managing Director of Logitrade Engineering Limited, an engineering and consulting firm. He was a member of the board of Smace Nigeria Limited. Elewa is survived by his wife, Tosan, and children.
Ajimobi’s wife’s clinic gets HPV-screening machine
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
CCESS Basic HealthCare (ABC) Clinic, which is one of the pet projects of the Oyo State governor’s wife, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, has acquired a Cobas 4800 machine for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) screening. Chief Operating Officer of the clinic Mrs. Dolapo Oyedipe told reporters that HPV screening enables women to detect cervical cancer early, adding that every sexually active woman should go for HPV screening regularly. Explaining that HPV screening is different from Pap Smear, Mrs. Oyedipe said: “The HPV screening machine is fully automated, sensitive and gives instant results. Before now, we did not have an equipment for detecting the virus. This new machine detects the virus easily before things get out of hands.” She said only four organisations in Nigeria have the HPV screening machine and their charges are high. Mrs. Oyedipe said the screening fee was subsidised at ABC clinic, adding: “Cancer is difficult to manage; that is why it is called a terminal disease, but it can be prevented. That is why we are hammering on regular screening. Once it starts, it is difficult and almost impossible to manage.”
Fayemi said his administration will continue to create a conducive environment for micro industries to thrive, adding: “The disbursement of the cheque is consistent with our efforts to stimulate economic development in furtherance of our 8-point agenda.” Presenting the keys of the buses
and motorcycles to the beneficiaries, he assured commercial motorcyclists that he would not ban them from operating. He said they had contributed immensely to the development of the transport sector and the economy. Commissioner for Rural Development and Community Empow-
erment Folorunso Olabode urged the societies to be fair in the distribution of the loan, advising beneficiaries to invest in viable ventures and repay the loan promptly. Chairman of the State Cooperative Advisory Board Chief Adeola Ayoola said the Board had been working hard to unify cooperatives societies.
‘No escape for NDLEA officers’ killers’
HERE is no hiding place for the killers of three National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officers in Owode, Ogun State, the agency’s Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, said yesterday. Bolaji Owolodun, Rabiu Usman Kazaure and Ishaku Joshua were killed by hoodlums on Sunday while trying to arrest “a notorious cannabis dealer”, Azeez
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
Babatunde. In a statement, Giade said: “It is shocking that officers on legitimate assignment will be attacked and killed by people whose interest they are protecting. I have ordered investigation into the incident and the agency will leave no stone unturned until the perpetrators are arrested and dealt with. “These gallant heroes
‘We have the main suspect in our custody and he will be charged to court soon. An officer, who sustained injury, is recuperating in the hospital’ have paid the supreme price for a drug-free society. We shall immortalise them by
punishing the culprits and sustain the fight against drug barons. The agency will take good care of their families.” Ogun State NDLEA Commander Bala Fagge said Babatunde was in the Agency’s custody. He said: “We have the main suspect in our custody and he will be charged to court soon. An officer, who sustained injury, is recuperating in the hospital.”
Face your duties, APC urges Mimiko
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State has told Governor Olusegun Mimiko to stay out of the Ekiti State governorship poll slated for Saturday. It said Mimiko’s absence from Ondo State had affected the smooth running of the “Sunshine State”. APC said the governor has no right to “waste Ondo’s resources on frivolities outside his mandate”. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Prince Aderemi Adesanya, APC said: “The governor cannot leave bad roads, collapsed infrastructure and industries, among other deficiencies, behind and concentrate on political affairs in the neighbouring state. “We condemn unequivocally the state government’s
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
recent directives to the Director of Local Government Administration to ferry local government workers to Ikere-Ekiti for the Labour Party’s (LP’s) rally with council funds. “Ondo State citizens pay the state’s radio station for
their advertisements. We ask the governor and the station’s management to show evidence that the bulk of adverts belonging to Ekiti LP candidate Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele placed on the station were paid for by his campaign team. “The personalisation of government, its funds and
machinery by the present administration is unprecedented in the history of governance in the state. Let Mimiko first fulfill his electoral promises and salvage the collapse of governance in Ondo State before going to Ekiti State to make electoral promises he and his party cannot fulfill.”
Motorcyclist jumps into river
MIDDLE-AGED commercial motorcyclist, Ismaila Isa, jumped yesterday into a river in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. It was learnt that the late Isa, who plied the Adegbayi-Alakia-Gate route, worked for a few hours in the morning. Sources said he suddenly dropped his motorcycle’s key on the ground and jumped into the river. The late Isa’s colleagues gathered on a bridge over the river, wondering why he
decided to commit suicide. The bridge is on the Old Ife Road. Men of the State Fire Service arrived on the scene on time. One of them jumped into the river, searching for Isa for about an hour without success. When he came out, a commercial motorcyclist, a Hausa man, dived into the river and brought out Isa’s body after a few minutes. Director of Fire Service Oyekunle Kareem confirmed the incident. He said the body was handed over to the police.
15,000 scramble for 3,000 spaces at FUNNAB
F the 30,000 candidates who applied for admission into the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State, 15,000 will compete for the available 3,000 spaces. The 15,000 candidates scored 180 and above in the Unified Tertiary Matricula-
From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
tion Examinations (UTME). Addressing reporters yesterday on the institution’s 21 and 22nd convocation slated for Friday and Saturday, FUNAAB Vice-Chancellor Prof. Olusola Oyewole said the high number of applicants was due to the school’s
high standard and stable academic calendar. He said the cut-off mark is 200, adding that the institution’s Senate would decide what criteria to adopt in selecting the 3,000 candidates. Oyewole said the university plans to establish a Distance Learning Scheme.
He said 81 of the graduands made First Class honours and 1,267, Second Class Upper. The convocation lecture, titled: “Leadership, Economic Nationalism and Development; Nigeria and the challenge from South”, is to be delivered by Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju, Vice Chancellor of Caleb University, Lagos.
THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 17, 2014
Police deploy personnel, equipment in Ekiti poll •IGP to officers, men: You are being watched
HE police have deployed personnel and equipment in Ekiti State, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election. The personnel, who left Abuja yesterday, were equipped with surveillance helicopters, armoured personnel carriers, patrol vans, sniffer dogs and other enforcement gadgets. Addressing the team at the Force Headquarters, Abuja shortly before departure, Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar warned the officers and men against conducts that could dent the credibility of the election or tarnish the image of the police. The IGP said: “We have a very important assignment in Ekiti on Saturday and I expect from all of you a high sense of responsibility, civility, honesty and sincerity in the discharge of your duties. “You are going to be watched not only by the police authorities, but also the people, civil society organisations, local and international election monitors, among other interest groups. “You must respect the citizens’ rights, the rule of law and other rules guiding the conduct
•Policemen and dogs deployed in the governorship election before their departure from Abuja...yesterday. Inset: Policemen departing the force headquarters, Abuja for Ekiti. From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
of the election. The police code of conduct must be your guide in the discharge of your duties. “Everyone of you will be
given their duties when you get there. I will be joining you in Ekiti. So, I expect you to be good ambassadors of the police. Therefore, I don’t expect you to do anything stupid”. But Abubakar appealed to the political class in Ekiti, the voters, the parties, the contest-
ants and other stakeholders in the state not to conduct themselves in manners that could jeopardise the integrity of the election. He assured that the police would be there to ensure the sanctity of the electoral process, adding that officers and men
would ensure neutrality and firmness in the discharge of their duties. The police boss warned that any person or group caught disrupting the electoral process or causing a breach of the peace at designated venues for the poll would be made to answer for
APC alleges fresh plot by INEC officials, PDP to forge result
HE All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday disclosed that it had uncovered a plot by some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conspire with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to compromise the results of the June 21 governorship poll in favour of PDP candidate Ayodele Fayose. The party’s state Director of Publicity and Media, Segun Dipe, in a statement , said facts were available to APC on how some INEC officials plan to conspire with the PDP to use duplicate copies of the original result sheets (Form
EC8) series at the polling centres instead of the original. “The original sheets would now be used to write concocted results, which would be smuggled into the collation centres later,”Dipe stated. He added that the outburst of Fayose that the election had been concluded and the results had been written even before the election, “is no threat after all, but a fact of the Saturday electoral contest.” “The trick is not a new one. There had been instances in the past elections where Form EC8 would be deliber-
ately kept away from the polling centre and the ballot papers would be without serial numbers. Yet INEC would come out to announce phony results and defend such deliberate oversight. Form EC8 is a sensitive material that should not be tampered with in an election.” The APC said it has instructed its agents not to cooperate with INEC, unless all the original and other copies of sensitive materials are certified available from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the polling unit level. The party also called on local and international observ-
ers to pay close attention to the pre-election machinations of INEC and PDP’s conspiracy, saying such an unholy alliance would not augur well for a free and fair election. “It should not be only on election day that observers would visit a few polling stations and declare the polls free and fair. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom,” Dipe said. All efforts to contact the INEC spokesman in Ekiti State, Alhaji Taiwo Gbadegesin yesterday to respond to the allegation were futile. When a call was put accross to him, his mobile phone rang severally, but he didnt pick.
Deputy governor to voters: be wary of OTERS have been Greek gifts from politicians warned to be wary of
Greek gifts from politicians jostling for their mandate in Saturday’s election. Deputy Governor, Prof. Modupe Adelabu gave the warning at Kajola during a voter sensitisation tour of some communities in the Ado Local Government Area. Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Bunmi Ogunmodede said Mrs. Adelabu cautioned residents to stop accepting raw food items and money being distributed by desperate governorship candidates, who according to her, are fair-weather politicians. Mrs. Adelabu noted that such largesse was to deceive the people, pointing out that only the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has their genuine interest at heart. The deputy governor told the people to invest in the
Mrs. Adelabu noted that such largesse was to deceive the people, pointing out that only the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has their genuine interest at heart progress of the state and in the future of their children by returning the APC-led administration into office, “rather than trade their conscience for a pot of porridge.” She assured Kajola residents that the shorter route to their community, which had been abandoned, would be rehabilitated, even as she urged
them to always make sure that teachers deployed to the community primary and nursery schools are punctual. According to her, residents of the community, who are predominantly farmers, will be able to convey their produce to the market after the completion of rehabilitation of the road. She reminded them that the promise can only be fulfilled if they endorse Governor Kayode Fayemi for another term through the ballot on Saturday. Responding, one of the community leaders, Mr. Benjamin Ayodele, promised that the people would not let the APC down with their votes at the poll. Also speaking, another resident, Mr. Gabriel Eje, stressed the need to urgently rehabilitate the road, connect the com-
Why we’re backing Fayemi, by PDP elders
OME Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend made good their promise not to work for the party’s candidate, Mr. Ayodele Fayose as they publicly declared their support for the re-election of Governor Kayode Fayemi. Two of the 18 PDP stakeholders, who had a few days ago signed an advertorial dissociating themselves from Fayose’s candidature, Justice Edward Ojuolape (rtd) and Chief Dapo Alibaloye, said they were supporting the governor to continue his good works beyond 2014 because the candidate of the PDP does not possess the qualities that dignify the personality of Ekiti State. They spoke at the adoption of Fayemi by Ekiti indigenes in Ondo State. Ojuolape and Alibaloye said the state does not need a governor who lacks character, who neither respects elders nor the office of the governor.
Yoruba group warns INEC against rigging in Ekiti, Osun
A munity to the national grid and provide portable water for residents. Former Chairman of AdoEkiti Local Government area, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, who was in the entourage of the deputy governor, had earlier noted that Kajola has legendary record of progressivism. He told his audience that the governor has judicious applied the limited resources accruing to the state.
their actions. Abubakar however declined to state the number of officers and men being deployed, stressing that the deployment was meant to reinforce police personnel and equipment already on ground in the state for the purpose of the election.
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
pan-Yoruba group, Atayese, has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against any acts capable of subverting the will of people in the forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun states. The governorship election holds in Ekiti State on June 21 and that of Osun State is slated for August 9. The group, in a statement in Ibadan yesterday, said response to rigging of election in Yoruba land is predictable, going by previous experiences in 1964, 1965, 1983 and 2003. It urged the electoral umpire to conduct free and fair elections, in which the will of the electorate counts. The statement reads in part: “In view of the past experiences to which some of us are living witnesses, it is very apt at this time to warn the INEC that the coming elections in Ekiti and Osun states must be conducted according to internationally accepted standards and procedure of a free and fair election. Atayese hereby reiterates that any rigging, unsavoury or unsatisfactory performance by INEC or any of its agents in either or both of these elections may result in unpalatable consequences, the end of which will be very predictable. “It must be emphasised and it goes without saying that the only instrument available to the masses of our people, which is their votes, must be treated as sacrosanct. Any attempt to alter, mangle, destroy or deprive the people of their mandate as expressed by their votes will be met with an unprecedented wrath of the Yoruba people. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Oscars extends chance to Nigeria
Mr Nigeria emerges 1st runner-up at Mr World
EIGNING Mr. Nigeria Emmanuel Ikubese, at the weekend, emerged the 1st runner-up at the Mr World competition. He also won the Fashion and Style award in the competition. It was, however, a day of glory for Denmark’s Nicklas Pedersen who emerged the overall winner in the competition. In April, 25-year-old Ikusebe, also an actor, was crowned Mr Nigeria 2014 at an event held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in
LOSS OF ORIGINAL DEED OF LEASE This is to notify the general public that the original deed of lease situate at No 28 college Road registered in the Ministry of Land and Urban Development Enugu and another deed of lease situate at No 29 Portharcourt Street Ogui New Layout , Enugu registered at No. 86 in page 86 in Volume 624 dated 31st day of December, 1973 are missing. Effort made to trace them proved abortive. If found please contact Ministry of Land or the undersigned. Signed:
Augustine Chika Okoroafor For the family.
Victoria Island, Lagos. He got a car, a modelling contract and N1m prize money. Ikubese defeated 19 other contestants to emerge winner of the annual contest organised by the Silverbird Group. The event featured stage appearances in different outfits and performances by the 20 contestants. Ikusebe, who studied International Relations at the United States International University, Nairobi, Kenya, hails from Kwale in Delta State.
LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to notify the public that the C of O belonging to Onwuegbu Anayo of no 36 Obiagu Road Ogui new layout Enugu registered as 26/26/1349 and 43/43/ 823 got lost. If found please return to Onwuegbu Anayo. PUBLIC NOTICE UZUEGBU I, formerly known and addressed as MISS UZUEGBU JULIANA CHIDIMAM, now to be known and addressed as MRS NNEKE JULIANA CHIDINMA. All formal document s remain valid FRSC and general public should please take note.
OLLOWING the inauguration of the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC), the opportunity for Nollywood filmmakers to contest the Academy prize for Foreign Language Film has been opened, with the committee already calling for movie entries. In a statement released on Monday, NOSC, whose mission is to scout and submit Nigerian films at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards, said it is now accepting submissions for its inaugural edition. The period of submission, which began yesterday, the statement said, will terminate on July 16. According to NOSC, special attention must be paid to productions in languages other than English, but which much bear accurate translations in English language, “NOSC accepts motion pictures from Nigerian filmmakers living in Nigeria and the Diaspora whose films relate to Nigeria. The recording of the original dialogue track as well as the completed picture must be predominantly in a language or languages other than English. Please note that Pidgin English is also considered as a foreign language. Accurate English subtitles are required. The entry requirement also stipulates that the film must have been released between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014”, the statement said.
•A group of Nollywood stars By Victor Akande
In a seven-point guidelines, the committee said: “Films that have previously screened publicly in Nigeria, aired on television prior to the selection are available for purchase on DVD in Nigeria or are available for continuous online viewing in their entirety are not eligible. “Films must be submitted on DVD and must be clearly watermarked ‘Preview Copy’. Do not send film prints, master tapes or other originals. Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images and content in the entry. “Entrant will allow usage of clips from the film for promotional use on television, radio, in print, and at live Festival
events. “Works in Progress: While entrants are permitted to submit films that are not fully complete (i.e. without final colour correction and sound mixing), please note that the programming committee will only consider the version submitted; subsequent cuts or replacement copies will only be accepted at the request of the programming committee. “Only complete entries (including entry form and preview DVD screener) will be processed. “Please submit a typed or clearly printed entry form or a copy of the online form receipt along with the submission. The Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee is not responsible for incorrect wording in publications or on awards if the entry form is in-
correct or illegible.” Interestingly, the Academy, unlike the Federation of Pan African Film Festival (FESPACO), accepts entries in digital video formats. Eligible participants are expected to send their productions in 35mm, DCP, HDCAM, DigiBeta and Blu-ray Disc to House 2, Block 101, Plot 8, Furo Ezimora Street, Lekki Residential Scheme, Phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria. NOSC said eligible submissions would be reviewed and selected based on the quality of the film’s narrative and its production values. The committee noted that it would only get across to anyone whose film meets the criteria, adding that the Nigeria’s officially selected film will be announced on a gala event to be announced later.
Auditions open for BBA9
S the ninth edition of the reality series, Big Brother Africa, approaches, organisers of the contest, M-Net, has announced that auditions will take place at Protea Hotel Leadway, Ikeja, Lagos on Monday, June 30 and Tuesday, July 1. “We are very grateful and remain pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming response that the show has been receiving over the years. We look forward to the selection of our potential housemates coming in large numbers to audition at the specified venues and take that chance at being the next Big Brother star,” said M-Net Africa Regional Director (West Africa), Wangi Wa-Uzoukwu. She also stated that entries were open to the following 14 countries: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Also, Nico Meyer, CEO, MultiChoice, said: “As MultiChoice Africa, we are always pleased to welcome each new season of Big Brother Africa onto our platforms and we applaud its amazing success and ability to bring together audiences from all across the continent. “The inclusion of Rwanda in this season is even more exciting as this displays that our reach and
•Rwanda joins race growth into the various subSaharan markets is going from strength to strength. We look forward to seeing further growth as well as the impressive social media presence that the show enjoys.”
The 2014 edition of the competition kicks off in September. However, this year’s entry process is slightly different as potential housemates are invited to come in their numbers for auditions
•Nwachukwu, ex-BBA winner after his victory in BBA 2010
at venues in their respective countries. According to the organisers, the competition is open to persons above 21, who must be citizens of one of the participating countries and must have valid passports.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
BUSINESS THE NATION
US firm to generate 400MW From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
N American consortium (Team Africa), has promised to generate about 400megawatts (Mw) of electricity in the next 14 months. Speaking during a visit to the Ministry of Power, in Abuja, the leader of the US investors’ delegation, Roy Yeferez, said the investment decision is the outcome of the recent visit of the Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil to the US. Yeferez, on the invitation of the Obama Power Africa Initiative, explained that Wakil had convinced potential investors that Nigeria is the best investment destination in Africa. He said contrary to the negative stories being peddled in the international media about the country, he found the country a wonderful place, having gone round some states of the federation, adding that his team has identified location in Bayelsa State where a plant would be built to generate 400Mw of electricity in the next 14 months. “There are also plans to increase power to between 500 and 600MW in the next four years. We are prepared to assist Nigeria with power generation, the paltry generation put at about 4000Mw is abysmally low to cater for 170 million people, at least the country requires 30,000MW now,” he aded. He assured that the group, has the technical and financial capacity to create positive impact in the sector, having garnered experience spanning over 55 years. We are in Nigeria to create jobs for teaming Nigerians, he stated. Earlier, the Minister of State Power, Mohammed Wakil, highlighted four key reasons why Nigeria is the best investment destination in Africa.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$117.4/ barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,396.9/troy Sugar -$163/lb MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N11.4 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -8% Treasury Bills 10.58%(91d) Maximum lending -30% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -1% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $45b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472
‘The June deadline is by the corner; Mr. President’s word is a bond. We must generate more power; we are prepared to assist all our agencies in making sure that the ball keeps rolling. We can’t afford to fail in our duties.’ •Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo
Nigeria, Libya oil decline, fuels global changes
CBN refunds N14.6b to banks’ customers T HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has through its intervention, ensured the refund of N14.6 billion to customers of various banks that lodged one complaint or the other about the services of such banks from 2010 to May, this year. Its Deputy Director, Consumer Protection Department, Hajia Khadijat Kazeem, who spoke yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo State, said the apex bank had on several occasions, intervened to settle altercations between lenders and their customers. Hajiya Kazeem, who stood in for the Director, Hajiya Umma Dutse, during a press briefing to commence the Consumer Awareness Campaign in the state, said the CBN created the Consumer Protection Office in 2010, and
From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
was later upgraded to a full fledged Department, in 2012. She explained that as at last month, the apex bank had through its department, intervened and treated no fewer than 3,000 complaints from banks’ customers across the country, saying the development led to the refund of N14.6billion to customers. She justified the week-long awareness campaign in Oyo State, arguing that the exercise is meant to ensure that customers are better served by their banks, as well as being kept abreast of current developments in the banking sector. She said the sensitisation campaign, includes stakeholders forum, a road show and discussions on ra-
dio and television stations in the state, while the exercise would be replicated in other parts of the country, including Abuja. ”We all will recall the events that occurred a few years ago in the financial industry. The Nigerian financial system was virtually on the brink of collapse,” she said. “There was crisis in the financial and capital markets which had been triggered by the global financial crisis.” She explained that following an extensive and in depth study of the financial system, it was revealed that lack of consumer sophistication, among many other factors was responsible for the near collapse of the financial system. She said the CBN introduced reforms to sanitise
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
D •CBN Governor, Godwin Emefeile
and stabilise the system, adding that Consumer protection was included as a cardinal component of the reform programme. She said with the flag-off of the campaign, it is hoped that through the collective efforts of all stakehoders, “we would be able to raise awareness amongst the people of the great city of Ibadan and its environs.”
Nigeria needs $60b investment in oil, gas
IGERIA’S oil and gas industry needs over $60 billion investment but the controversies surrounding the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has made international oil companies (IOCs) hold-on to their money awaiting the passage of the bill, stakeholders have said. Participants at the ongoing World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Moscow, Russia, yesterday said that Nigeria can always get the required funds needed to be invested in the sector if the government exhibits a sense of seriousness and focus on what it wanted. Discussants at a panel discussion on financing investment in the oil and gas industry; challenges and opportunities, said there are funds, which run into several trillion of US dollars that are available for investment in the oil and gas industry globally, but noted that such funds could only be deployed to areas where the environment is conducive and friendly for investments. Frankly Brooks, who spoke to reporters after the panel of discussion said: “We discovered that there are lots of funds that are available which can be invested in the oil and gas sector. The estimate was that in the next 20 years the industry would require trillions of dollars globally.” He said it has been established that funds are available to support all the projects that have been earmarked to be carried out at different locations around the world.
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
“But the environment must be friendly and attractive for investment for such funds to flow in that direction,” he said. The Group Executive Director, Commercial and Investment, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Attahir Yusuf, said there has always been money to fund the oil and gas industry. He explained that funding the oil and gas industry could be carried out in different ways, such as equity financing, bonds and project financing. On equity financing, he said, the country can finance its projects through such arrangement because it does not have enough money, and also cannot afford to waste its scarce resources. He said there are so many ways Nigeria could raise money. What we need as a country is to carefully look at what we want, what funding will be suitable for that, and engage different funding organisations that are there. This is important because as a country we need to have focus strategies earmarked for raising funds, he said, adding that that the discussants looked at a different ways of dispensing funds based on sectors, from explorations, development, production and also transmitting the end product. “The conclusion therefore, for us as a country, is that we have a lot of funding requirements and we know that we don’t have all the funds, so we have to look for funds. But the
good thing is that the funds are available, so we have to look at our require-
ments, be it in exploration, production or infrastruc-tural developments,” he said.
ECLINE in oil production of about 600,000 barrels per day in Nigeria and some member countries of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), including Libya, Iran and Saudi Arabia, is the major cause of changes in global hydrocarbon production template in 2013, the BP Statistical Review of World Energy of June 2014, said. The report said production declines last year were also responsible for average oil prices exceeding $100/barrel for the third consecutive year, despite supply growth in the US. Speaking at the launch of the Statistical Review, at the opening of the 21st World Petroleum Congress (WPC), which began yesterday at the Crocus Expo in Moscow, Russia, BP’s Group Chief Executive, Bob Dudley, noted that whereas production fell in some OPEC members, it however, increased in nonOPEC countries.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
DISCO secures Inflation rises by 8.0 per cent Benin US agency grants M B
AY inflation rate rose to eight per cent from 7.9 per cent in April, report from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said. Commenting on the figure, Head of Research, Standard Chartered Bank, Razia Khan, said although both food and core inflation are exhibiting the fastest month-on-month increases seen since January, the impact of earlier foreign exchange weakness appears not to have been as pronounced as we expected. She said inflationary pressures are still relatively benign.
From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
“Nonetheless, there is evidence of upward pressure on prices. The increase in the inflation index seen in every month since March, is a touch higher than the average for those months using the index rebased to 2009. “This does not signal an alarming degree of price pressure – it merely indicates that the trend in the coming months is more likely to be higher, rather than lower inflation,” she said.
Khan said market conditions remain liquid, adding that overnight rates continue to hover near the lower end of the corridor. The foreign exchange rate has exhibited signs of pressure, despite gains in the oil price related to events in Iraq. For now, local factors appear to matter more. “Given this, we remain wary of inflation risks. The rise in the oil price does not provide sufficient reassurance that Nigerian inflation will remain low and wellbehaved. The amount of pre-election
spending remains the key factor to watch. Should market conditions exhibit signs of even greater liquidity growth, there may be a case for more CBN tightening in response,” she said. We expect inflation to continue to rise in the coming months, she said, adding that given the low base year-onyear, inflation was in single digits for all of 2013, helped by CBN tightening and favourable food price trends domestically. She said a surge of upto 10 per cent may occur before year-end.
ENIN Electricity Distribution Plc (BEDC), has recorded a major milestone as the first distribution company to benefit from a grant funding by United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, had hinted that the global lenders were beginning to evade investment in Nigeria’s power sector, due to fears that the electricity tariff order in operation in Nigeria could not guarantee good return on investments for the new owners. He maintained that the situation on ground at the power industry made efforts to make the electricity tariff competitive necessary. The BEDC however, overcame these challenges by securing grants funding from USTDA. In a statement, the company maintained that its core investor consortium, Vigeo Power Limited (VPL), with the assistance of Citi Asset Man-
agement Limited, (CAML), initiated this process in order to ensure that strategic investments initiatives to be taken by BEDC, will be based on adequate research and planning. The grant funding is offered for the purpose of Technical Assistance, to update and modernise the electricity distribution network for BEDC in Nigeria. The BEDC team present at the signing, which took place at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, was led by the Executive Director, Abu Ejoor. Others included Major Bhaskhar, the Chief Technical Officer, Lucky Ayemoto, the Legal Counsel and Gbenga Ade Sonuga, the Chief Operations Officer, CAML. Nebo and his counterpart in Trade and Commence, Nigeria’s Ambassador to United States, Deputy Ambassador to United States, Director of USTDA and USTDA Country Manager, West Africa witnessed the event.
Dangote’s power generation hits 262MW
L •From left: Chief Operating Officer, Citi Asset Management Limited, Gbenga Ade Sonuga; Country Manager, West Africa, U. S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), Lisa Bonnikson; Director, USTDA, Lee Zak; Executive Director, Benin Electricity Distribution Plc (Benin Disco, Abu Ismail Ejoor; and Legal Counsel, Benin Electricity Distribution, Lucky Ayomoto at the grant funding announcement for the Benin Disco by USTDA in Lagos.
NCC begins selection of Infracos for broadband provision T HE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has extended invitation to Infrastructure Companies (Infracos) to submit bids for the first phase of its Open Access Broadband designed to make broadband access available across the country at affordable rate. According to the plan, seven Infracos will be licensed for the programme. While one would serve each of the six geo-political zones of the country, one will serve Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. In the notice of invitation to interested bidders, its Executive Vice Chairman/ CEO, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the Infracos would be expected to deploy metropolitan optic fibre cable
By Lucas Ajanaku
(OFC) infrastructure and associated transmission equipment in Lagos State and North Central zone on an open access, non-discriminatory, price regulated basis. He explained that the Open Access Model adopted by the Commission “has been examined and considered as a strategic means for the deployment of optic fibre backbone transmission infrastructure network in Nigeria that will bridge the current broadband gap, facilitate the development of local content and deliver cost effective services to
households and businesses.” According to the EVC, it is envisaged to address the challenges of fibre deployment in towns and cities, promote infrastructure sharing, reduce Right of Way issues and transform the beneficiary states to smart states, amongst others. Dr. Juwah also informed that competent companies, consortium of which at least one of the consortium members must be a Nigerian registered company or firms including those who had earlier expressed interest are invited to submit tender for consideration. Dr. Juwah had recently
told the Senate Committee about the planned commencement of the full scale implementation of the broadband expansion programme after full consultations with the industry and the international community, including the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, which has supported the Commission in the implementation of the programme that will be very transparent with the application of international best practice. In the bid document for the selection process and criteria which is available on the NCC website, the submission of bids from interested companies will end on August 4, 2014.
Community, Lafarge bicker over sale of AshakaCem
HE plan by AshakaCem Plc to expand its production capacity from one million to four million metric tons per annum has been described as a ruse and a deliberate plan to swindle the host communities. Accordingly, the host communities have threatened to make he environment uncomfortable for the company if Lafarge Group Plc fails to reverse the purported sale of the company’s shares to WAPCO Plc
EADING conglomarate Dangote Group generates 262 megawatts (Mw) to power its operations, Managing Director of its sugar refinary Alhaji Abdulahi Sule has said. According to him, the excess is sold to the government. Dangote’s 262Mw constitutes about seven per cent of total national generation. Dangote Sugar generates 16Mw, Dangote Cement, in Kogi State 135Mw and Dangote Cement Factory, Ibese Ogun 111Mw, adding that at Dangote Sugar, the monthly gas consumption is about nine million standard cubic metres. Sule, who spoke at the firm’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and business forum of the National Gas Association in Lagos, said if the Federal Government wants to realise its goals of increasing power generation through gas, it should continue to encourage gas use because of its benefits of help-
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
ing in stopping flaring. Besides, gas is environment friendly and cost effective, stressing that positioning it to compete with other refined petroleum products will do the economy good. The continued encouragement of gas use by the government, Sule said, becomes imperative because despite the power sector reforms and the huge gas reserves, Nigeria still lacks sufficient gas supply for domestic use, which has led to gas supply disruption to the few functional power generating companies. He lamented the futile efforts of some state governments that commissioned oil majors to increase generation and the lack of gas supply to Geregu, Alaoji, Papalanto and Omotosho power plants with combined capacity of 1,234MW built to meet the government’s goal of 6,500MW generation.
Oil prices may hit $116 on Iraqi’s conflict
RENT crude was projected by Wall Street analysts to average as much as $116 a barrel by the end of the year. Now, with violence escalating in Iraq, how far the price will rise has become anyone’s guess. Sector analysts say this will be good for Nigeria’s economy which has set as its benchmark, this year’s Appropriation Act at $77.5 per barrel. The international benchmark surged above $114 on June 13 for the first time in nine months as militants routed the Iraqi army in the north and advanced toward Baghdad, threatening to ignite a civil war. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL, has halted repairs to the pipeline from the Kirkuk oil field to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in Turkey. The conflict threatens output in Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC’s) second-biggest crude producer. The Persian Gulf country is forecast to provide 60 per cent of the group’s growth for
the rest of this decade, the International Energy Agency said June 13. Global consumption will “increase sharply” in the last quarter of this year and OPEC will need to pump more oil to help meet the demand, according to forecasts from the Paris-based (International Energy Agency (IEA). “We’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop in this tightly balanced market and now it’s happened,” Katherine Spector, a commodities strategist at CIBC World Markets Inc. in New York, said June 13 by phone. “There have been lurking risks but nobody was projecting how quickly things would turn worse.” Brent for July settlement increased 39 cents to $113.41 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on June 13, the highest close since Sept. 9. Vikas Dwivedi of Macquarie Group Ltd. predicts Brent will average $116 in the fourth quarter. He was the best forecaster of Brent prices in the first quarter, according to Bloomberg Rankings.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
London road safety figures ‘encouraging’
•Interior of the DMU. (Inset) The rail cars.
‘Eastern rail system to begin by August’ T HE eastern rail line, abandoned for almost three decades, will be functional by August, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) Managing Director Mr Adeseyi Sijuwade has said. The corporation, according to Sijuwade, will not reverse the new fares it started last week. There was a spontaneous protest on the heels of the hike in fares last Tuesday. One of the corporation’s newly-acquired equipment was vandalised by “hoodlums”. The eastern line runs from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. It is the nation’s second major rail trunk; the first being the western rail line, which runs from Lagos to Kano. The western line has been the corporation’s only reliable and functional rail corridor for over a decade. Sijuwade, who spoke in Lagos, admitted that the rail line’s take-off date has been shifted twice due to logistics and security reasons. He said work was at an advanced stage, adding that the corporation would soon open its doors to passenger traffic. He said: “I can assure you that we shall begin the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri line by August. Specifically, we shall begin passenger services on the Port Harcourt-Enugu
By Adeyinka Aderibigbe
route, while the Enugu to Markurdi is progressing and the Makurdi to Jos would also be reaching completion stages at about same time. “Kuru to Zungeru would also be almost completed and the only axis that would witness some delay would be from Gombe to Maiduguri, which would be affected by the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.” The five 68-seater air-conditioned cabin trains to be delivered in August, he said, would be deployed on the route. Basking in the euphoria of the successful flag-off of its new set of mass transit trains by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, last week, Sijuwade said the project demonstrated the corporation’s commitment to bequeathing the best train service to Nigerians. Sijuwade, who put the cost of the investment at about N4.3 billion, said
more of such investments were in the pipeline. According to him, the investments will reposition the corporation and help fulfill its mandate as the carrier of choice of the masses across the country. With the investment, Sijuwade said, Nigeria is now ripe for electronic booking and online ticketing in line with global practices. He added that these processes may begin, especially, for the Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs) before the end of the year. “We are now ripe for electronic booking and ticketing. My response to our critics, who have been carpeting our activities before now, has been that we can not put the cart before the horse. We cannot put online systems in place when we have old decrepit trains. “But with these world class machines, we are sure we can render commensurate first class services which include online booking and ticketing. This would begin before
‘We are now ripe for electronic booking and ticketing. My response to our critics, who have been carpeting our activities before now, has been that we can not put the cart before the horse’
the year ends and we are certainly going to farm this out to a private concern,” he said. Restating why the corporation may not reverse its new fare regime, he said: “We are talking of new improved services, more reliability, enhanced safety and reduction in congestion as well as air-conditioned cabins. If you take all these along with the cost of this new rolling stock, then you will realise that the only way to go is this new fare regime. “We have met with all stakeholders and we are sure that they would understand the need to share in our determination to give the best for the railway.” He said those arrested by the police in connection with the protest were being interrogated and if found culpable would be charged to court. He said the DMU destroyed by the suspects came with enough spare parts, adding that the corporation has the appropriate competence to handle the necessary repairs needed to get the rail car, designed to carry no fewer than 540 passengers back on track. He urged Nigerians to support the initiatives of the corporation in its determination to provide the best quality train experience for their commuting pleasure.
FRSC enlightens pupils on safety
UNIT of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has stressed the need for pupils to have basic safety awareness to stay out of danger while walking or inside vehicles. At a safety programme, which took place at the Nigeria Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi, Lagos, for primary and secondary pupils, the Unit Commander, Mr Samuel Ogundayo, said the training was aimed at building capacity, knowledge and skills, particularly on the use of Zebra crossing. He said the unit, as part of its corporate social responsibility, decided to bring road safety closer home by taking pupils to task on the tips to stay alive while on the roads.
By Emmanuel Udodinma
According to Ogundayo, the programme, with the theme: “Keep The Child Safe” was organised in collaboration with the Golden Penny Pasta and Noodles, to educate pupils about safe road culture, and the importance of safety and security. The pupils were taught how to cross the highway using Zebra crossing. “We are here to celebrate our children, but unfortunately our joy is not complete because some of our children have been kidnapped. Many were exposed to danger and some are being killed by careless drivers. We need to protect them from harm and danger,” he said. He said it was important for ev-
ery child to understand basic traffic rules and laws, such as road signs, markings and signals to cross the roads. According to him, it is also unlawful for any child below 18 years to drive any vehicle. He advised children “not to cross the road in between parked vehicles’’, as it will be difficult for drivers to see them. Ogundayo urged the parents of under-aged children and babies to ensure that their children sit on the back seat of the car. He also warned children against having any sharp object or knife in their school bags as it might be harmful to them. He asked them to avoid wearing black cloths especially at night and to walk facing oncoming vehicles.
Ogundayo advised school proprietors to ensure that school buses are road worthy, adding that FRSC will impound school buses that are not road worthy. The guest speaker, Miss Taiwo Amusa, advised the pupils to be at alert before crossing the road and pay attention to road signs. “Red is stop, Amber is get ready to move and Green is start going,” he said. Some of the schools at the event are Muslim Junior Comprehensive School, Mushin, Honey Home Primary School, Aguda and Rodiyah Group of Schools, Mushin. Dignitaries at event include an official of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mr. Esther Ige, Mrs Vera Akerele and FRSC unit head Oshodi, Mrs Adobi Larry Agugor.
NEW figure released by federal authorities shows that deaths and serious injuries on London’s roads fell to a record low last year. About 132 people were killed on the UK capital’s streets in 2013. This, compared to 134 in 2012, forms the second-lowest annual total, according to Transport for London (TfL) figures. Adding the number of serious injuries to deaths, there were a total of 2,324 killed and seriously injured (KSI) casualties in London last year the lowest figure ever and down by 23 per cent on the 3,018 figure in 2012. Pedestrian deaths fell from 69 in 2012 to 65 in 2013, with 14 pedal cyclist fatalities last year, the same number as in 2012. Cycling safety in the capital came to the fore late last year following the deaths of six cyclists over a twoweek period in the Autumn. The new figures showed that pedal cyclists KSI last year fell by 27 per cent - from 671 in 2012 to 489 in 2013. Commenting on the figures, London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “These latest statistics are hugely encouraging, but they are by no means the end of the story. Our ultimate goal is to see a London where roads are free from death and serious injury.” •Culled from Associated Press
Parents as ‘taxi drivers’ for their children
ARENTS spend around 30 miles a week, and approximately six months of their lives playing taxi drivers to their children, a London poll has found. The new survey claims the average mum and dad clocks up around 30 miles a week, ferrying their youngsters to school, clubs and to see friends; spending around threeand-a-half hours in the car. Goodyear, the agency which commissioned the poll, said average parents rack up around 26,741 miles driving their children around between the ages of three and 20, and spend around 3,147 hours behind the wheel. The findings also show that mums and dads use time in the car to talk to their children, with 60.1 per cent saying they ask their son or daughter about their day. Half (49.6 per cent) said they use the time to ask the children about their school work, while a quarter (24.8 per cent) quiz their youngster on their love life. Just over a fifth (20.7 per cent) said they play games in the car, such as I-spy, while 15.4 per cent said they try to educate their child or test their knowledge by asking them questions. The poll, which surveyed 2,000 parents, found that the main reason that mums and dads drive their youngsters to different places is because they think it is safer (chosen by 49.3 per cent), while 24.3 per cent said they act as taxi drivers because their children tend to be late otherwise and 17.2 per cent admitted that it was because their children were too lazy to walk, cycle or get a bus. Goodyear Driving Academy spokeswoman Kate Rock said: “Playing taxi to your children is often a thankless task and one, many parents just see as a means to an end. “However, we are on a mission to encourage parents to seize the opportunity that the regular time in the car presents to educate children about road safety from an early age, which has been proven to reduce young driver road accidents.” • Culled from Associated Press
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Insecurity: Fed Govt introduces machine readable cards at airports
HE Federal Government has introduced machine-readable cards at the country’s five international airports for passengers. The airport are in Lagos, Kano, Enugu, Abuja and Port-Harcourt. It said the measure was intended to create a database for the movement of persons across borders in the face of challenges. The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS), David Paradang, said at the launch of the cards at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, last weekend, that the cards would ensure accurate data on movement, boost security profiling, and ensure easy facilitation of pas-
Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent
sengers at the airports. He said it took the organisation some time with its partners to design the cards, which would ensure Nigeria joins other global players in deploying new technology for passenger facilitation at airports. He said the number of international migrants and security threats have increased over the years, hence, the need for the cards. Paradang added that with the development, Nigeria had responded to emerging trends, adding that for the cards to remain relevant, NIS has to look for experts who are proficient in French and Spanish lan-
guages. He said: “The need to accurate data of foreigners coming into the country and those going out, easy analysis of data, easy facilitation and sharing of data among sister agency.” He said the cards would also make simultaneous scanning of passengers possible, and could attract tourists and business organisations into the country. Paradang said: “The machine readable cards are completely different in general from what we used to have before. It was quite a long list, scan them and make facilitation very difficult. The key issue about the current cards is to have facilitation matched with security
and the machine readable passports are working with the machine readable cards . “It makes it faster for people to move through the airport processes and it can generate information that would be used and shared with all security agencies. “Facilitation and security now marry very seamlessly and the question of procurement is not an issue at all because we as immigration service are very key in attracting tourism and investment into this country. We want as many people as possible to choose Nigeria and that would make our airport faster in processing passengers and in getting
the right information faster. More people will like to come to Nigeria.” He noted that all NIS staff have been adequately trained on the new system, maintaining that the migration to the latest technology began as early as 2007. Commenting on the cards, the Assistant Comptroller-General, NIS, Zone A, Lagos, Mr. Nuhu Ibrahim, said the cards were designed to complement operations at borders and enhance security. He explained that the service would continue to take advantage of new technology in order to boost security points across the country.
SAHCOL spends N600m on equipment
KYWAYS Aviation Handling Company Limited ( SAHCOL) has spent over N600 million on operational equipment, its Managing Director, Olu Owolabi has said. The SAHCOL chief, who spoke at the unveiling of the new equipment at the maintenance complex of the firm at the Lagos Airport, said the acquisition of modern ground handling equipment would enhance the operations of the firm and enable it offer quality services. He said the essence of the equipment is to improve the operations of SAHCOl in an industry driven by healthy competition. “The purchase of the equipment shows our excellent commitment to services. The equipment is geared towards service excellent service delivery to our clients,” he said. On training of SAHCOL staff, he said that the organisation has an agreement which allows the • One of the planes belonging to Air Peace, a new entrant in the aviation sector, overflying the Horseshoe Bay Airport in Texas, United States, before departure to Nigeria.
FAAN faults previous airport concessions
HE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) has faulted previous airport concessions, describing their automated revenue system as fraud. The firm that handled the deal kept officials of the authority in the dark on how the various revenue points were captured, FAAN said, adding that such arrangement could no longer be sustained. FAAN said its personnel must know every transaction, adding that the details of automation in the past focused only on aeronautical sources of revenue, concentrating only on the large airports. Its General Manager Coporate Communications, Yakubu Dafi, said in this dispensation, the automation focused on aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenue sources. He said there were indications that non-aeronautical sources of revenue would be higher in the next two years if well captured by the automation processes now in place. According to Dati, the agency was largely kept in the dark by the automation carried out in the past because the concession was handled by an external company “in a black box to FAAN” and therefore; it was not transparent. He said: “ But in the present auto-
mation, the contractor deploys and maintains the equipment and software, while FAAN’s staff are trained to operate and use the system. “So, we know every amount of money that is entering our accounts, even the financial transactions by our clients who run shops and restaurants are captured by the system, so there is full transparency because our staff are empowered for full visibility.” In the past, he said, the invoices generated by the external company were customised, but in the present automation, electronic invoices are generated by the agency in a more efficient and effective manner and this means full ownership of invoicing process which enhances reconciliation. He said the recent automation done on the revenue sources has increased the authority’s revenue by about 17 per cent. “ There has been increase in the revenue of the agency since the introduction of the new automation system, and it has been able to close loopholes through which funds that belong to the agency are siphoned by unscrupulous individuals. Automation has ensured a steady progress in revenue collection, which is expected to rise up to
N70 billion when the automation of all the airports is completed,” he said. An executive of the Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association ATSSSAN, FAAN branch, who asked not to be identified, said the workers would support automation, so far it is transparent. He expressed satisfaction with what has been done so far to boost the authority’s revenue saying: “We opposed the former concessioner because our investigation revealed to us, and we were convinced, that it was not transparent. Instead of increasing our revenue, we were losing money. At a time, we stopped getting our allowances and the money paid to maintain the airports stopped coming. We fully support automation, but it must be transparent,” he stressed. He noted that the automation has not fully taken place, adding that while the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja has been fully automated, Lagos and Port Harcourt were yet to be fully automated, adding that from the increase in revenue from the already automated system, “I am sure by the time the automation is completed, we would be earning N60 billion to N70 billion annually.”
manufacturer to stay in the country for two weeks to train the staff on how to maintain the equipment. The N600 million equipment profile includes: two transporters, water bowser, fuel truck, two passenger steps and two toilet trucks. He said the company has signed an agreement with the manufacturer of the equipment for its maintenance. On his part, the General Manager, Maintenance and Engineering, Lanre Adekola, explained that with equipment, such as the transporter, there would not be any need to use the forklift to load cargo into the aircraft He explained that equipment, such as passengers steps could handle Boeing 747 and other wide-bodied aircraft, adding that the equipment was purchased from the United States and United Kingdom. Odebiyi said should the company requires any type of spares, it would contact the manufacturer to make it available within 48 hours.
‘Fed Govt should patronise NCAT’ HE National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engi-
neers (NAAPE) has called on the Federal Government to patronise the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria, Kaduna State to train pilots and aircraft engineers under the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Training pilots and aircraft engineers on government scholarship at the NCAT, the association said, would save costs and reduce capital flight. The huge sums spent to train the pilots abroad, NAAPE said, should be deployed in NCAT, which requires adequate funding to actualise its mandate and accelerate development. According to the Public Relations Officer of NAAPE, Bunmi Gindeh, the use of the college for the training of pilots and engineers will assist the institution in many areas. NAAPE spoke against the backdrop of the over 127 pilots and engineers that recently graduated from their training and type rating in different institutions across the world. The pilots and aircraft engineers were trained at Afrika Union Aviation Academy, Mafikeng, South Africa, Lufthansa Flight Training Network, in Germany, Fujairah
Aviation Academy, United Arab Emirates and Royal Jordanian Academy, Amman, Jordan . Gindeh said: "Allowing the pilots to be trained at the aviation college in Zaria , would help the institution with highly needed funds for development, as well as mitigate against capital flight, not to talk of the cost saving element. “This effort would definitely help in bridging the gap of availability of trained manpower in the country.” The NAAPE official added that NCAT has standard training facilities and manpower for training of pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers. The official said the association is excited over the local content bill proposed by the National Assembly to make it mandatory for airlines to employ certain number of indigenous pilots in their flight deck. Gindeh added: "National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) is overjoyed with the statement of intention of the President of the Senate with regard to an impending aviation local content act. “We are happy that the intended act will make it mandatory for local and foreign airlines to engage Nigerian pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers."
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Importers may divert 600,000 Scrap apprenticeship, ANLCA urges vehicles to Benin, Ghana, Togo T
VER 600,000 vehicles bound for Nigeria may be diverted to neighbouring countries from next month – no thanks to high import tariff. The vehicles will be smuggled from those countries into Nigeria for sale, sources told The Nation. This year, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) introduced 35 per cent duty and additional 35 per cent levy on commercial and private tokunbo vehicles. The new tariff regime takes off on July 1. It was learnt, last weekend, that most of the roll-on roll-off (RORO) vessels offloading at the Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) and Five Star Logistics Terminal at Tin Can Island Port in Lagos before the new tariffs were being diverted to Cotonou in Benin Republic and other countries. Some of the leading RORO shipping lines carrying Nigeria-bound cargoes, a source said, have been contracted by shippers at the ports of origin to divert the cargoes to neighbouring countries for onward transfer to Lagos and other major cities. “Very soon, over 600,000 vehicles would be diverted from Nigeria to other neighbouring ports; RORO ships will be coming to Nigeria half empty. Even specialised RORO terminals will suffer huge revenue losses and may need to rework their business models. Port workers will also suffer the consequences of this policy as there will be less jobs to do at the port,” the source said. He did not, however, state how he arrived at the figure. Next month, the source said, importers will move to Cotonou, Ghana, Togo and Cameroon because of the new 70 per cent tariff
Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda Maritime Correspondent
on imported vehicles. “I am aware that most motor vehicle importers from the United States have mandated their shipping companies to take their vehicles to ports of neighbouring countries where they would not pay much on it and smuggle the vehicles to the Nigeria. Therefore, the government needs to move fast to arrest the situation as over 600,000 vehicles may be diverted.” Asked how such a large number of vehicles would be smuggled, the source said: “The shippers are aware that some of the vehicles maybe intercepted by security agents but when they calculate the amount they would pay to the Nigeria Customs as tariff on each vehicle; they conclude that the amount is enough to buy, at least, another vehicle. So, the conclusion is that if one out of three vehicles is seized by Customs and they are able to sell two, they are satisfied with the profit. “The imported vehicles will still dominate the market place. If government makes it difficult for some importers to bring them into the country through the legitimate routes, other importers may do so through unapproved means. The country with over 1,400 illegal entry routes, over 80 poorly manned borders, and illequipped security structure, smuggling will boom and the Federal Government will inadvertently be promoting smuggling through its auto policy,” the source said. Importers believe that the wouldbe beneficiaries of the auto policy and the tariff levy would be smugglers and ports of the neighbouring countries.
Their spokesman Mr Sunday Albert said, cars were being cleared at the port at 35 per cent duty, adding that the Customs is planning to effect the second phase of the tariff hike by the end of this month. Albert said if Customs introduces the 35 per cent levy on July 1, the cost of vehicles will be beyond the reach of about 90 per cent of Nigerians. The new regime will also increase in the cost of transportation by at least 50 per cent, and increase inflation before the end of this year. He urged the government to halt implementation of the tariff to save Nigerians from further hardship. “We believe the new auto policy will be bedevilled with several problems. First, there would be a huge gap between demand and local capacity because the local production capacity of automobiles by all the assembly plants in the country today stands at a pathetic 45, 000 units per annum while demand stands at 800,000 units annually. “Also, the price of locally-made vehicles is way out of the reach of the masses and this is as a result of the collapse of public infrastructure and power supply.” He pointed out that imported second hand cars have an average price of N1.2 million while the cheapest locally assembled car sells for N3.5 million – more than twice the price. “It would be too expensive to manufacture in the country now and the President’s argument that the country would soon begin to export cars is a tall dream. To whom does he plan to sell the cars and at what price? With the sad production environment in the country, can the local manufacturers assemble cars that can compete with those made in Japan, US, UK, China and Korea,” he asked.
HE Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called for the abolition of the age-long practice of apprenticeship in freight forwarding, saying the practice is obsolete. ANLCA N a t i o n a l P r e s i d e n t Olayiwola Shittu told The Nation that freight forwarding associations ought to encourage their staff and members to attend institutions accredited by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to be acquainted with the job before being engaged. He said there are many schools accredited by CRFFN where people could learn the theory of freight forwarding so that it would be easier for them to handle the practical aspects when they are eventually employed. “It is only in our ports where one person would want to go and do cargo examination and five to six people would follow him, and when you ask what they are going to do, they tell you they are apprentices. It baffles me. “I was never an apprentice; what do you call apprentice in this modern day that anybody can go to school and learn freight forwarding, even online? he asked. He said one of the reasons ANLCA has acquired a new national secretariat is for its hall to be transformed into a train-
ing centre, adding that the facility would be put at the disposal of CRFFN for training. He said the leadership of the association would undergo regular training to increase their knowledge and become trainers. Besides, Shittu justified the collection of practising fees at the ports by freight forwarding associations, saying that the money which is being collected at the chapters is supported by members. He said this was an arrangement among the associations at the chapter level, arguing that the practice is not limited to the association alone. He added that its critics were those who were not factored into the collection because they do not have members. “Each chapter generates revenue for its members, and this is why they sit down and say they will be paying certain amounts; the members who are paying have their chairmen and executives to contend with. “There is no way ANLCA will collect this money alone because there are other associations whose members are there. An association without members cannot be factored in,’’ he added. He said ANLCA cannot cede the money realised from its membership to other bodies without members’ knowledge.
Seme Customs generates N755m
HE Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N755 million last month. The revenue is N43 million higher than the N712.2 million generated in April. Its spokesman,Ernest Olottah, attributed the increase to higher trading. “In May, the Command generated higher revenue because trading were a bit higher than the previous month. As the year goes on, trading will improve and we are sure that we will surpass our monthly target of N1.1 billion,’’ he said. He said the Command generated N8.48 billion last year, adding that the figure was N4.5 billion lower than the N13 billion target for the year. Olottah said the Command would realise the target in the
year. He said the Command made 66 seizures last month with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N13.9 million. He listed the items seized to include rice, vehicles, narcotics, frozen poultry products and general goods, adding that during the period, the Command also arrested one male suspect for allegedly smuggling poultry products into the country. He said the suspect would be prosecuted as soon as investigations were concluded. The Command spokesman urged Nigerians to desist from smuggling because of its adverse effects on the economy. “People should shun smuggling and embrace legitimate trade because by so doing, we will be assisting the government in its transformation agenda,” he further said.
Group seeks harmonisation of laws
• Imported vehicles at a terminal in Lagos last week.
PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA
Anti-terrorism: US okays 22 terminals
HE United States (US) has given 22 Nigerian terminals with anti-terrorism measures a clean bill of health. Vessels from those ports have a right of entry into the US. The US, however, imposed Conditions of Entry (COE) on vessels originating from other terminals which are yet to comply with the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code. Most of the terminals concessioned to private operators in 2006 were cleared by the US Coast Guard and exempted from the COE. The cleared terminals include APM Terminals Apapa, Port and Cargo Handling Services (PTM), Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited,
Greenview Development Nigeria Limited, Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT), ENL Consortium and West Africa Container Terminal (WACT). Most of the terminals that are yet to upgrade their security measures are oil jetties and terminals. In a statement, the US Embassy said the affected vessels need to meet certain security measures before entering its ports. It said: “The US Coast Guard has worked cooperatively with the Government of Nigeria to identify and address port security deficiencies observed during assessments of numerous facilities during the past six years. “Based on these assessments, it has determined that Nigerian
ports have not fully implemented the provisions of the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code, the primary international security standard, and do not have effective anti-terrorism measures in place. “Twenty-two Nigerian port facilities have demonstrated effective anti-terrorism measures and will not be subject to additional security precautions. “The COE are not trade sanctions and do not ban Nigerian ships from entering US ports. It does require ships, however, to take certain additional security-related measures while at non-exempt Nigerian port facilities, which will be verified by US Coast Guard port security personnel prior to entering US ports.”
HE National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) is seeking the harmonisation of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) guidelines. In a letter to the Minister of Transport Senator Idris Umar and his Finance counterpart, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the body urged them to set up a committee to address the issue. The letter, signed by its Secretary, Increase Uche, said the two legislations appear to be contradictory. He said: “Whereas the Customs law recognises corporate bodies licensed by Customs, primarily the CRFFN lays emphasis on individuals whose names appear in the register of freight forwarding firms.
“These two legislative instruments appear to be in conflict because CEMA may not have recognised the nomenclature of freight forwarding practice, but licensed customs agents and importers, and exporters.” The group urged the senior government officials to set up a joint technical committee to harmonise the application of Customs law with freight forwarding Act 2007. The licensing regulation of the Nigeria Customs Service under Section 153, 154, 155, 156 and its code, needs to be harmonised with the application of Section 19(a & b) of the CRFFN Act. “The point herein canvassed is to state the obvious that freight forwarding as a profession, may not materialise in reality and practice if CEMA and CRFFN operators do not sit down to harmonise positions,” Uche added.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
FROM OTHER LANDS
Missing in action? • In spite of technical assistance from abroad, Boko haram still flexes its ominous muscles
T is more than two months since about 279 girls were abducted from their school dormitories in Chibok, Borno State. Two months ago, most Nigerians would have sworn that the girls would have been out before now. They have good reasons to be. If the outrage generated by the abductions could pass for unprecedented, far more was the movement which it gave rise to. While the movement, known as #BringBackOurGirls, which debuted in Abuja, has since caught global imagination in drawing attention to the plight of the unfortunate girls, the force it has generated across global capitals has become impossible to ignore. The second reason for the optimism is the generous offer of foreign military
‘Without prejudice to the international dimensions of the war, we understand the war to be primarily Nigeria’s to fight. We consider it only fair that those who made promises live up to their responsibility. It is the least they could do to help the military do the job’
assistance in the rescue effort. As at the last count, we have had more than half a dozen offers of help from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Israel, China, Australia and Pakistan. Nigerians welcomed the offers in the hope that it would help to locate and rescue the girls, and with it, the prospects of containing the insurgency. Now, if the initial optimism was borne of the knowledge of what the foreign partners could possibly bring to the table in the war against Boko Haram, the reality, unfortunately, is that there is nothing as yet on ground to suggest that the helpers understand the fierce urgency of the moment. For nearly the whole of the past two months, the foreign helpers can be said to be missing in action. Not only has there been no let up in the number and scale of attacks by the terrorists, death tolls from successive attacks have continued to mount, with the most notable being the attack on Gwoza community, Borno State, which left some 200 dead, days after its emir, Alhaji Idrissa Timtab, was killed in a spectacular ambush. This is aside another reported abduction near Chibok, said to involve 20 women. We understood from the very beginning that deploying foreign boots on Nigeria’s soil was out of the question. Indeed, our understanding is that the offer of assistance would cover broad technical areas viz: to assist the Nigerian military with vital intelligence obtained from the use of sophisticated technology to ease the
fight against the terrorists; to help track movement of their funds; and to shore up capacity of our military in counter-terrorism. Two months on, citizens are increasingly wondering whether the offer of help has any real substance beyond the initial (probable) boost to the psychology of the fighting men. In other words, it is doubtful that their presence has done anything to tilt the military’s advantage in battle. Not only have the terrorists stepped up their attacks, they continue to roam unchallenged, picking their targets with ease. We must say that two months ought to be long enough for our military helpers to get down to the business. If their coming was to bring their technological expertise to bear on the war on terror through collaboration with their Nigerian counterparts, two months ought to suffice for the fruits of collaboration to be visible. Again, we have heard the suggestion bandied that the Nigerian military cannot be trusted with vital intelligence. While we consider that – and this is to put it mildly – balderdash, our response is that the helpers ought to have evaluated the risks before, not after the offer. Without prejudice to the international dimensions of the war, we understand the war to be primarily Nigeria’s to fight. We consider it only fair that those who made promises live up to their responsibility. It is the least they could do to help the military do the job.
Ado Bayero (1930-2014) •He was an icon on the throne
T was fitting that the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who made his exit on June 6, aged 83, survived a vicious attempt on his life supposedly by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram on January 19, 2013. At the time, it was reasonably speculated that the violence was prompted by his unambiguous and strongly expressed opposition to the group’s campaign against western education, which was an impressive demonstration of his liberal-mindedness and progressive vision, considering the fact that he was one of the country’s preeminent and highly influential Muslim leaders. He lost his driver and bodyguard to the gun attack, which left two of his sons injured; and it is not difficult to guess the emotional damage he must have suffered as a result of the stunning and unparalleled assault not only against his person but, perhaps more importantly, also against his exalted royal office. The outrageous and widely condemned physical attack on the then emir’s motorcade was predictably psychologically devastating for him, especially given the fact that it was carried out as he was leaving a religious function at a mosque in Kano city, suggesting that his attackers had no respect for the pious circumstances and for his old age. Bayero, well-regarded as an advocate of peace, did not deserve a violent death; and it was appropriate that he passed away peacefully in Kano, among his people who loved him profoundly and paid moving posthumous tributes to him and his unprecedented 50-year rule. It is instructive that the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), which represented his immediate geo-political base, praised him “for his humility, truthfulness on issues, determi-
nation to serve the country and above all his religious chastity.” Equally enlightening, on the broader national canvas President Goodluck Jonathan described him as “one of the most decent and respectable Nigerians he had had the privilege of interacting with.” It is noteworthy that at time he attained the throne on October 22, 1963, and became the 13th Fulani emir of Kano and the 56th potentate of the Kano kingdom, Nigeria had just marked three years of independence from British colonial domination; and his reign witnessed a variety of democratically elected civilian governments and autocratically imposed military administrations. This exposure to varying political leadership structures over the period of his rule meant that he was in a constant state of adjustment. To be specific, among other order-changing developments, he was compelled to adjust to the reduction of the constitutional powers of the emir by military regimes between 1966 and 1979; the abolition of the Native Authority Police and Prisons Department; the displacement of the emir’s judicial council; and the weakening of the emir’s powers by the local government reforms in 1968, 1972, and 1976. Two particular incidents are worth mentioning as further illustrations of the power-altering challenges he faced. In 1981, Abubakar Rimi, then governor of Kano State, restricted village heads from paying traditional homage to Bayero; and in 1984, the government placed a travel ban on the emir and another royal personality, Oba Okunade Sijuade, the Ooni of Ife. Nevertheless, he maintained a respectable image and enjoyed the esteem of the traditional society, the religious commu-
nity, and the political circle. Decorated with the national honour, Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR), it is a measure of his stature that he served as the chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Also of relevance is the fact that he had a taste of politics when in 1954 he won a seat to the Northern Regional House of Assembly and later became the Nigerian ambassador to Senegal. Besides his legacy of peace and harmonious cohabitation irrespective of ethnicity, faith and other divisive factors, Bayero’s demonstrated sense of justice deserves emulation, especially by the country’s power class. Before he became emir, as head of the Kano Native Authority police division from 1957 to 1962, he made efforts to correct the unfair detention of political opponents influenced by powerful individuals in Kano. In stature as well as carriage, he demonstrated in fullness how to be a traditional ruler in a democracy riven by pious and ethnic schisms.
‘Besides his legacy of peace and harmonious cohabitation irrespective of ethnicity, faith and other divisive factors, Bayero’s demonstrated sense of justice deserves emulation, especially by the country’s power class. Before he became emir, as head of the Kano Native Authority police division from 1957 to 1962, he made efforts to correct the unfair detention of political opponents influenced by powerful individuals in Kano’
The morality of thinking machines • Time to give artificial intelligence an ethical dimension
N a world first for journalism, this editorial was written by an intelligent machine. Well no, not really. But such a statement may soon be true, given the rapid and accelerating pace of research into artificial intelligence (AI). Last week’s flurry of excitement about a computer apparently passing the Turing test – convincing a panel of judges that it was a 13-year-old boy during a fiveminute text conversation – was partly a PR stunt but it did illustrate the progress made by natural language programs. Other manifestations of AI research range from Google’s driverless cars and neural networks to more academic projects that aim to simulate the workings of a human brain in silico. Admittedly there have been waves of excitement about AI before, originally in the 1950s and again with Japan’s Fifth Generation Computer Project in the 1980s, which petered out when the researchers realised that they had seriously underestimated the technical barriers to making machines think like people. There seems to be more substance to the enthusiasm this time, both because computing and neuroscience are advancing so fast and because the private sector – and Silicon Valley in particular – is devoting substantial resources to AI research in addition to large publicly funded initiatives. Of course machines that match or exceed human intelligence could be life-enhancing for individuals (think for example of a language assistant that instantly and accurately translates conversation as you travel in a foreign country) and immensely useful for humanity as a whole (solving problems in fields from economics to the environment). But if AI is really on the threshold of reality we need also to think seriously about its ethical and moral implications, which have engaged some philosophers and science fiction writers but are largely ignored by researchers themselves. Even something as apparently straightforward as a driverless car can pose ethical questions. How will it react if an accident threatens the lives of its occupants and other road users? Will the car be programmed to protect its passengers from harm as far as possible, even if this puts others at risk? If it detects a huge lorry hurtling directly towards it and the only escape is to swerve into a group of pedestrians on the pavement, will it kill or injure them to reduce the likely death toll inside the car? Philosophers will recognise this as a futurist variant of the “trolley problem” in which the driver of a runaway trolley-car has to decide who will live and who will die in various accident scenarios. Although the answers are far from straightforward, they will need to be addressed sooner rather than later, preferably in a public discussion. And there are many other types of robot whose behaviour will require some sort of moral dimension, going far beyond the famous “three laws of robotics” formulated 70 years ago by Isaac Asimov, as they become more intelligent and more influential in our lives. Conversely there is the issue of robotic rights. At what point will machines have enough brainpower to deserve some legal protection against abuse, such as animals now receive? Further ahead lies the possibility of superintelligence, far beyond the powers of the human brain, emerging from AI. Although many will see this as too futuristic a prospect to worry about, a small but growing band of scientists is warning that superintelligence out of human control poses one of the biggest “existential risks” to the future of our species over the next century or so – and that we should be thinking now about how to shape AI research in a way that maximises the chance of outcome favourable to humanity. The stakes are so high that is hard to disagree. – Financial Times
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: It seems to me that we are on a long “moral holiday” reminiscent of the ancient Feast of Fools. The Feast, which had many cultural and historical variants, was generally marked by unrestrained hedonism and lawlessness. During its observance, it was customary for masters to serve slaves. The Lord of Misrule had the provisional power to legislate vices. Right and wrong meant nothing. Children were not required to observe codes of proper conduct. They were at liberty to do anything to get money. Greed reigned supreme. Greed is a menacing force. It is destroying our material and moral universe, and dragging us towards a black hole. It has so heightened our self-absorption that we do not wholeheartedly inspire the best in others and contribute to the wellbeing of our nation. The fact is; patriotism and greed hardly coexist. Corruption flourishes where greed is not denounced. Hence, many wealth-besotted Nigerians think it is okay to underhandedly enrich themselves from public coffers, if they have the opportunity. In view of this, any strategic plan to combat corruption would be ineffectiveness in the long run, if fighting greed is not integrated to it. Greed corrupts motives. Greedy leaders do noble things, but with seedy intentions. As long as crabs walk sidewise, it is wrong to expect greedy leaders to be propelled by pure motives and set things right. They cannot. History’s verdict is; money-lovers are bad leaders. Don’t forget, the love of money is the spring of all evil. Greed reduces our capacity to build anything of enduring value for humanity. It makes us
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Why we must declare war on greed to scoff at the conventionalities of transparency. Whenever there is brewing corruption scandal in Nigeria, if you have the luxury of time to read some comments it has elicited on social media, you are likely to get the feeling that greed has muddled our sense of priority and undone our collective capacity for critical reflection. This is evinced in how we confer primacy on side issues, overlook the substance and spin conspiracy theories that seemingly make government and people of other
tongues and tribes the scapegoat of the ethical failings of grafters from our ethno-religious affinity. One of the marks of a greed-ravished society is that religion acquires the essential character of business conglomerates. ”Get gold, forget God” becomes the subtext of sophistic sermons of preachers jinxed by illusion. This has given rise to the perception that religion is a system of embellishing delusion in order to promote devotion to money. This sentiment is reinforced by spiritual airheads who market to-
• Omozuwa Gabriel Osamwonyi email@example.com
The ‘religion’ Nigeria needs
IR: In today’s Nigeria, no one is exempted from being kidnapped: from babies to nonagenarians. The recent case of an 80-year old Hajia Hawawu Bello abducted in Nagazi Uvete in Adavi Local Government area of Kogi State as reported by The Nation as well as Madam Ogboro Dark, the 90-year old mother In-law of the speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly as reported by Thisday of Saturday May 31, is fearprovoking. How did the state of affairs get this bad in Nigeria? I reminisce about my boyhood days when I ran errands for strangers and for friends of my par-
ents and it was forbidden to collect a reward for these efforts. I was told to self-sacrifice when I ran errands for the aged. Respect for the aged was never negotiated; it was an entitlement. Those were the days when we didn’t pay attention to the part of the country you came from, which religion you practiced and where the love for philistinism didn’t make us discriminate against each other. I remember going on boyhood hunting expeditions during school breaks without a water jar and when thirsty I asked the men in the rural villages to offer me water and they
Suswan and plight of Benue teachers IR: Primary schools are where one starts acquiring formal education as the foundation or beginning of a journey towards his or her chosen career in life. However, Benue State government under the leadership of Governor Gabriel Suswan has being so lackadaisical about the education at the primary school level in the state. This is because, teachers in the state owned primary schools have been on strike for more than eight months now. The governor is however more concerned with plans and strategies to enable him perfect his
tems of handmade gods, exploit unsuspecting miracle seekers and build empires from proceeds of deceit. In fact, it is foolhardy to expect religious leaders who graduated from the Business School of Balaam, a prophet turned profiteer, a connoisseur of evil to draw attention to the dangers of living primarily to make money. One of the greatest minds of modern era, Albert Einstein, noted; “Three great forces rule the world: stupidity, fear and greed.” Greed rules by delusion. It makes us to
tune out the voice of truth and reason. Wherever greed rules, domestic happiness does not come with prosperity. The saying, “The shoemaker’s son always goes barefooted” is true mostly of the greedy. For, greedy people do not seek riches to enrich the world, but to impoverish humanity and turn society to a junkyard of shattered dreams. Dear compatriots, let’s not forget; freedom from want is a precursor to inner enlightenment. The joy of wholeness will elude us, if we live like moral cretins that are enslaved to wants. The journey to personal wholeness begins with the knack to rightly differentiating needs from wants. Conflating needs and wants makes us victims of the crushing yoke of consumerism.
ambition to win the 2015 senatorial seat against Senator Barnabas Gemade. If the governor had bothered to reflect properly, he would have known that tackling the problem of primary schools’ teachers is one of the major things that could make people vote for him and not by using money to buy people or bribe them to vote for him when time comes as he may be thinking and planning. In case Governor Suswan does not yet appreciate this, the provision of education for the people of
Benue State is one of his responsibilities as governor. It is not something that the people of the state have to beg him for. Therefore, as a matter of urgent necessity, let him start doing what he supposed to do to get the primary schools’ teachers back to classes peacefully without victimization. What is right must be done to end the ongoing getting to a year strike of the primary schools’ teachers in Benue State. Enough is enough. • Awunah Pius Terwase Mpape, Abuja
instructed their wives in ‘Kule’ to prepare a meal of ‘Fura da nono,’ for me. They intuited how hungry I might also have been. I also recall running into many Fulani herdsmen in the plains; they were normal, meek and unassertive and they never revealed the vicious streak I read about daily in the papers nowadays. I remember when thieves were caught, they were undressed but not in their birthday suits, and paraded around in the city with songs of vilification, before they were handed to the police. Such stigmas lasted forever and discouraged them from reengaging in such acts again. They were never beaten, never had foreign objects poked into their genitals like the publicised case of brutality by mobsters of the women caught stealing pepper in a market in Lagos. They were never rounded up and reprehensibly scorched like the four innocent undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt in Port Harcourt in 2012. Oh! How quickly times have changed in Nigeria today. Children are interned at home now and can’t talk to strangers or run errands like I did. The environment is so unfriendly today and our children are exposed to more risks, previously undreamed-of. I am left to wonder if they will ever enjoy this country. Children at the moment may certainly not know the beauty of ‘Yawon
Sallah’ and ‘Yawon Christmas.’ No thanks are due to religious persons who back youths (who should be meaningful to self and country) with cudgels, cutlasses, knives and firepower, to go free and become agents of darkness and machines of death. There is now the assumption that when people are killed they must have done something wrong even when they run into irrational gangs during a crisis. Will kidnappings, religious crisis, mob lynching’s, ritual killing, cannibalism ever end in Nigeria? I am shocked that in this country any person can be lynched and kidnapped with impunity and there is no law to immediately punish wrongdoers. How can we come out of this retrograde bigoted quagmire of hate, criminality and discrimination? Collectively, it is essential that we begin to install the principles of chastity, goodness, endurance, uprightness, self-restraint, tolerance and duty to man and God. We must understand that service to man is service to God, and cease from the false supplications and sacrifices we make to God while, ironically, we leave our doors closed to humankind. Maybe Nigeria needs to look for humanity rather than nationalism, religiosity, tribalism and regionalism. • Simon Abah, Port Harcourt.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
COMMENTS “Alagbara ma m’ero, baba ole” (“All muscle-no-brain, despicable coward”) — a Yoruba saying
If Mr. Bamidele fronts for LP and LP itself fronts for PDP (which just virtually yesterday ran Ekiti aground), even Mr. OR the Ekiti and Osun elections, Bamidele and his new comno prize for guessing the Peoples pany would admit theirs is a Democratic Party (PDP) grand treacherous enterprise which, given Mr. Fayose’s disastrous strategy: Ayo Fayose would stage his first coming and President adult delinquency stunts, Iyiola Omisore Jonathan’s catastrophic current would scowl his sinister scowl and the Olakunle term, can only take Ekiti back petrified — and pacified — electorate firstname.lastname@example.org, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola to the Egypt it thought it had would fall in line! left forever. It is bully tactics as perfect electoral Of course, Mr. Bamidele’s foes recipe. in the Fayemi camp waste no A colluding presidency, pushing a time to trigger the Yoruba pofailed president for second term, sure litical cosmos of extreme saints and sinners, and put their But there is also some satanic symbolism to it all, suggesting needs the destructive force of the twain, in its manifesto of fear former comrade-turned-antagonist pat in the hottest part of some inexplicable electoral death wish. VP Sambo is the latest and threat. that sinners’ corner. federal ogre. But in 2009, it was VP Jonathan, then trying to It also fits perfectly into an historical pattern: whenever the Whatever happens, the notorious fact is that should the Ekiti earn stripes under Olusegun Obasanjo’s do-or-die electoral South West is making progress, even amidst pan-Nigeria chaos, election go awry, and the invading forces succeed to use the regime. As Jonathan declared war on Ekiti then, Sambo is noxious forces, with their local office-seeking collaborators, notorious “federal might” to rig the election, claiming a bodeclaring war on Ekiti now. would attempt a scuttle. gus victory but explaining the crime away with Mr. Bamidele, Still, between then and now, a lot has happened. The 2007It happened in the old West, shortly after independence. It as a factor in splitting the All Progressives Conference (APC) 2010 electoral conspiracy had come a-cropper, with Kayode happened in the Second Republic. Now, it is about to happen vote, Mr. Bamidele would be installed on the throne of infamy Fayemi judicially regaining his stolen mandate. Mr. Fayose, — in any case, the electoral invaders wish so — with President which Mr. Oni just vacated. Ekiti’s enfant-terrible governor (2003-2006) had been thrown to Goodluck Jonathan’s desperation to get a second term at all Still, the most annoying thing in all the electioneering hullaand fro, out and in, and is now back gobbling his vomit as PDP cost, using both Ekiti and Osun to establish some phoney toe baloo is the PDP cynical posture that performance does not candidate; and scowling face of unrepentant retardation in Ekiti. hold in the West, despite a record of glaring presidential failcount; and that the electors are idiots. Olusegun Oni, principal actor in the 2007-2010 electoral judiure. The president rode into town like some sheriff, his deputy cial war, and dashing general of the fierce Ido-Osi re-run maThe snag is: the first battle ground is Ekiti: happy graveyard bawling war, his police bullying everyone; implying such noeuvre, has somewhat executed a Pauline conversion, back of past all-muscle-no-brain federal vote fiddlers. But the “inempty braggadocio is enough to sweep the polls. But if Jonathan into the progressive camp. vaders” are hardly fazed — for they have good, old “federal has ruled Nigeria the way Fayemi has ruled Ekiti, the country Not unlike Brutus who joined to kill Julius Caesar, not bemight” — illegal use of the police and other security agencies would not be in this mess. Yet, there is so much hype about the cause he hated his imperious friend but because he loved Rome, for partisan electoral ends. partisan endorsement of a failed president. many say Oni was part of that electoral steal not because he If you think this painted scenario is alarmist or even harsh, Mr. Fayose too blabs and roars. But does he think the Ekitis hated Fayemi, the winner, but because he loved Ekiti. But saint then you have not been closely following the Ekiti unfolding would just forget four years of Fayemi’s systematic governor sinner, Mr. Oni is alive to the clear catastrophe of Fayose’s drama, in the run-up to the gubernatorial election of June 21. ance, and zombie-like, opt for the haphazard Fayose: his govsecond coming, with its aridity of ideas, executive criminality Flashback, June 8. The local Mobile Police (Mopol) OC (ofernment by sub-human impulse and pedestrian thinking, and gubernatorial gangsterism. ficer-in-charge), one Gabriel Michael Selekenkere, reportedly which spectacularly undid them less than 10 years ago? But alas, Opeyemi Bamidele, Labour Party (LP) candidate in threatened to “arrest” the governor, claiming “orders from From cynical water in 2003, Mr. Fayose has graduated to Saturday’s election, appears headed in opposite direction as above”. His “orders”, specifically, was Vice President Namadi cynical rice and Okada bribes in 2014. Some news sources, Mr. Oni. The one heads for destruction; the other heads for Sambo. The VP was in town, the insolent policeman snapped. quoting Thai authorities, even claim the Fayose electoral rice redemption. So, the governor must dive for cover! is toxic. If true, it becomes all the more interesting: Toxic Ripples’ frank opinion: the Bamidele defection is another But all of these are really not new. Since Mopol junked its candidate. Toxic rice. Toxic future! It doesn’t get more diamanifestation of Nigerian progressives’ abject failure to mantruncheon-and-shield for firearms, and assumed its notorious bolic! age prosperity, without falling upon themselves. Mr. Bamidele kill-and-go moniker under IGP Sunday Adewusi in President On Saturday, Prof. Atahiru Jega’s INEC has its job well cut was too rash. Governor Fayemi and his court were too smug. Shehu Shagari’s Second Republic (1979-1983), police pre-elecout. If it delivers free, fair and transparent election, the best Things fell apart and the centre could not hold. tion rascality, in favour of federal electoral bullies, has becandidate will win. Ripples has no doubt that would be GoverNow, an election that ought to be a shoo-in, based on Dr. come tales of the expected. Even then, Selekenkere’s recklessnor Fayemi. Fayemi’s demonstrable performance, is now the subject of some ness ploughed new depth in infamy. But if it succumbs to the Anambra magic, and later turns phoney speculation of “closeness”, because the proverbial wall round to rationalise brazen fraud, it would court untold trouopened; and the treacherous lizard has entered. “Let the Ekiti people win on Saturday. hasStill, ble, given Ekitis’ past reactions to such shenanigan. Federal on the electoral street, on both sides of the partisan That is the only way to deepen democracy divide, Mr. Bamidele is viewed much more emotively. His LP electoral bullies, itching to use lawful force for lawless causes, had also better dust up their history books. is a PDP Trojan horse, a treacherous Jacob who voices progresand ensure sustainable development” Let the Ekiti people win on Saturday. That is the only way to sive ideas but whose Esau arms are hairy and sooty with deeds deepen democracy and ensure sustainable development. of reaction and retrogress.
Ekiti: let the people win
T is likely that many Lagosians would be the disappointed by Lagos State University (LASU) students’ flat rejection of the 60 per cent slash in school fees offered by the state government last week. First, the students would make clear their suspicions of an offer they consider as laden with technicalese: “We do not accept the percentage reduction offered by the government because in 2011 when the fees were increased, it was not done on percentage level; rather, they made the pronouncement in Nigerian naira and kobo. Secondly, they would equally make clear: anything short of 67 per cent across board slash in the fees would be unaceptable. Now, if you consider government’s offer of 60 percent and the students counter-offer of 67, I think we can begin to talk of some progress. It’s hard to see the seven percent holding the system down any further. Way back in November 2011 when the animosisties over the new fees first broke, it was a case of emotions simply running riot – a measure of how fixated many of us had become on the old paradigm with its deep roots in entitlement. For many, the quantum 275 percent increase was not just insensitive but primed to make university education elitist. Couldn’t imagine a more winning argument! Here is how I saw it then. Very little appears to have changed. “Trust reason to take flight where emotions rule, discussions on the attempts by LASU and by extension the Lagos State government to make the beneficiaries of its tertiary education system come to terms with current realities of funding is now akin to sacrilege. In other words, we are not supposed to explore new paradigms outside of the existing framework that has reduced the university idea to the current ignoble level! Now, I appreciate all the fancy arguments about the new regime of fees at LASU being steep. That seems fine by me except that the argument is responsible for feeding some of the myths that have brought education, particularly at the tertiary level, to this sorry pass. Let me start by saying that I do not claim to know how the
‘Clearly, the myth endures. I refer here to the myth that the government has a pocket so deep that it can shoulder the entire cost of tertiary education. It has been with us for so long that calls for behavioural modification are now seen as sacrilege’
Policy Sanya Oni email@example.com 08051101841
LASU: Still a season of unreason? authorities in LASU came by the current figures – said to be a 275 percent jump over the previous fees. It seems to me however that a more productive argument is to actually establish what the per capita cost of training a student is. I say this because, without that parameter being established in the first place, the idea of building some fancy models on some opaque statistics seems at best an illiterate way of presenting an argument. This is where, I think, both parties have clearly missed it. My view is that you do not say a commodity is overpriced until input costs are not known! I love the idea of our universities aspiring to be world class –with excellent research and teaching facilities. The much that I know is that world class institutions require world class funding! Part of the problem – in my view – is this tradition of romanticising the golden past of our university system even when the imperative of change looms so large on the horizon! Isn’t it about time we sat down to address the problem of university funding once and for all? Now, where do I stand on the LASU fees imbroglio? Simple. Let’s have the figures. Thereafter, we can go to debate who bears what portion of the burden. Having said that, the point remains that it is hard to fault the principles of redistributing the burden of getting the university going which is what the new LASU regime of fees is all about. Those principles are beyond question, sound and pragmatic. While it may sound satanic to some, I call it practical economics! The alternatives? Science laboratories without reagents; illequipped libraries; overcrowded lecture rooms and hostels that qualify to be described as pig sties – translating into what I describe as the slow lynching of the university idea! I haven’t said anything about government shirking its responsibilities in the area of funding...But the greater crime is the culture of denial of the responsibility to make the desired
changes particularly when it calls for sacrifices on the part of the recipients of tertiary education. If I may put it in a simpler way – it is time to set the boundaries on entitlement! Basic education is a right – an entitlement. Tertiary education does not qualify. Liberalisation of access – yes! University for all – impracticable! Much of the current debates appear to have been informed by the problematic of distinction! (I can hear some people calling for my head). Fact is – no amount of liberalisation of access would make everybody a university graduate! There is an inescapable law of natural selection that takes care of everything. That above leads to the other issue – the fear that the new fees would price university education beyond the reach of the poor. Good point. Question is – who is going to be the ultimately losers at the rate we are going – with mushroom institutions awarding worthless certificates? Isn’t it the so-called poor who cannot afford to send their wards to universities in Ghana or wherever? We delude ourselves to imagine that the world is not paying attention to our declining standards; I hear that foreign institutions are already demanding re-certification of our diplomas. Just how bad would things need to get before they get better? I go to the final point – the tendency to understate the heroic contributions of the so-called poor in their relentless struggle to break the shackles of poverty through education. Coming from a rather humble background myself, I perfectly understand the painful sacrifices made by my folks to get me through university education. I know a father who sold the family’s prized Raleigh bicycle to pay for son’s school fees. As it was in the past, so it is today – perhaps till kingdom come. No matter how it is presented, the idea of contributions or sacrifice to education is certainly nothing new or particularly alien. Surely, our people know that nothing venture, nothing gain!” The above was written in November 2011. Is the war then over? I don’t think so. Clearly, the myth endures. I refer here to the myth that the government has a pocket so deep that it can shoulder the entire cost of tertiary education. It has been with us for so long that calls for behavioural modification are now seen as sacrilege. We claim to be enamoured of world-class institutions, but would rather shy from the debate on what it costs to produce, say for instance, a university graduate, prefering instead the typical advocacy of rule-of-the-thumb subventions that bear no relations with funding needs. Let me be clear here; the issue really isn’t really about the responsibility of governments to fund tertiary institutions. Rather, it is the quantum of sacrifice that beneficiaries of tertiary institutions should be called upon to bear. For me, true progress begins when we accept the need for everyone to increase the stake, no matter how modest the percentage.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
T may have come as a huge shock to many, but not to the methodical few, who been key watchers of the drawn battle lines in Nigeria’s recent political history, must have just chuckled and laughed. I refer to the emergence of the erstwhile Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as the new Emir of Kano. At the announcement, a certain eerie silence enveloped the country, and immediately, I tried to imagine the atmosphere that must have taken over the Presidency at the news; I tried to imagine the presidential confusion that must have almost immediately seized Aso Rock and the frenzy with which the so many lieutenants of the President must have been falling over each other to ascertain the veracity of the report and to reach Oga for a reaction. Just when the Presidency must have thought it had done a clean job of getting rid of the Sanusi nuisance, all of a sudden, the stubborn Sanusi resurfaced in a more powerful position, throwing the Presidency into another round of confusion. If anyone had thought that the Office of the CBN Governor that Sanusi once held was one powerful office, then such a person may now be forced to have a rethink. Certainly, this newest episode in the fight to finish towards 2015, has thrown up even newer questions and not just ordinary questions, but very difficult questions capable of sending unimaginable reverbera-
‘The entire Sanusi affair, is a deep lesson in noncombatant political strategy and tactics, and surely is one to be recommended as a veritable case-study in any Political Science class. Much more, it is a deeper instruction in political intelligence and strategic thinking for any government that has it’
SLS vs. GEJ: He who laughs last By Olusola Adegbite tions across the country. Let us begin by interrogating the more easy questions. Should we not start by saying that with Sanusi’s newest seizure of power, what now happens to the catalogue of court cases cum legal attacks from the corridors of the Presidency, flung all over the place? What happens to the ongoing Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria’s kangaroo probe into Sanusi’s tenure as CBN boss, a probe which is now virtually in limbo? What happens to the continued seizure of Sanusi’s passport by our very eager and able State Security Service (SSS)? Are we going to see a new drama in which the passport of a high-ranking emir remains locked in the SSS Headquarters or should we just conclude that by now, the SSS would have set machinery in motion to save its face by quickly asking for a presidential directive to do the right thing? It would have been better if the above were just the only questions, given that they all of course appear easily surmountable, since resolving them may not after all involve the President acting personally. Unfortunately, the more difficult questions apparently are those not yet asked. Let us start with this, how will President Goodluck Jonathan congratulate Sanusi on his new office, as it is a matter of strict protocol that the President must do so and not a matter of discretion? Would the President be bold enough (maybe for the first time) to damn the foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences and congratulate Sanusi Lamido Sanusi personally, or will he just, as usual, send a Reuben Abati on another embarrassing and difficult errand? If that be the case, I try to imagine how the congratulatory
message will be constructed. Will Reuben Abati be forced to say something like, “The Presidency would like to congratulate Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Former CBN Governor who tried to pull down our Transformation Government by working for the Opposition…”? Pardon me, am just imagining. Or will it be a Doyin Okupe that will go on this shame-laden errand or the newly appointed Prof. Alkali? How will Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala be feeling right now, after tongue-lashing an Emir in waiting, all because he had the effrontery to ask for the simple where-about of $20 billion of taxpayers money? Again I try to imagine, will the President be bold enough to attend Sanusi’s inauguration and if he does, will they shake hands? If and when they shake hands what will the President be saying? Again, my thoughts run wild and am wondering, maybe he will say something like, “Sanusi let’s just forget the past and move forward”, and perhaps, the Sanusi that we know in his ever unbendable posture would be seen replying, “Mr. Jonathan, find the $20 billion first, then we can talk about forgetting the past”. Again I tried to wonder, what will be the response of the international community who gave Sanusi hundreds of awards for a job well done in sanitising the Nigerian banking sector, only for them to be slammed in the face with his unceremonious removal? Will they shake their heads for the Jonathan government, or will they just prefer to concentrate on Sanusi’s seeming victory? The entire Sanusi affair, is a deep lesson in non-combatant political strategy and tactics, and surely is one to be recommended as a veritable case-study in any Political Science class. Much more, it is a deeper instruction in political intelligence and strategic thinking for any government
that has it. At the moment, the Jonathan administration appears to be an abiding exception to this rule and here is the reason. Even though President Jonathan knew that there was nothing illegal about Sanusi’s continued antagonism of his government and vituperations while he was CBN Governor; even though the Jonathan administration should know that Sanusi as a Crown Prince of Kano, remains a dynamite in the hands of northern political strategists towards the next General Elections; even though President Jonathan ought to have known that the loss of Kano which is the commercial nerve-centre of the North is the greatest mistake made by his party by which further and better wisdom should have suggested a more matured handling of the Sanusi imbroglio; yet, notwithstanding all these dangerous signals, which in itself is not rocket science, the Jonathan administration willingly went ahead, in unguarded desperation and in the most thoughtless move in the current political permutations, sacked Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Bewilderingly, and in a ghastly move that most leaders in political mastery must have been shocked at, the Jonathan group opted to behave like the proverbial dog, who already being pencilled down for roasting, simply decided to go have a good bath in a bowl of Palm Oil. Now that Sanusi is Emir, the Jonathan Group is condemned to swallowing its own vomit. The President has been seen several times, stooping in a rather unbecoming fashion, before several Emirs of the North, all in a bid to appeal to a recalcitrant North, and try garner whatever acceptance is left in the region; now the same President is condemned to stooping before a Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a man he once publicly disgraced, a man he still obviously loathes. Apparently, all of the rather belated ministerial deal with Shekarau is now nothing but a bargain marooned in Abuja, not with the new power-brokers in charge in Kano. • Adegbite, Esq. is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Redefining the telecoms revolution
EFORE he was appointed in July, 2010 as the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Eugene Juwah, who holds a doctorate degree in Engineering from the University of Manchester was already a household name in the nation’s telecom industry as a strategic player in the private sector. It was no surprise, therefore, to industry watchers that he topped the list among those recommended by the exiting Board of the Commission in accordance with Chapter II, Section 8(2) of the Nigerian Communication Act 2003 which states that: “The Board shall make recommendations to the President on suitably qualified persons for appointment as the Commission’s Chief Executive and Executive Commissioners and the President shall take the Commission’s recommendations into consideration for the appointment”. Furthermore, Section 11(2) of the Act states how such a vacancy shall be filled. It says; “A vacancy in the Board shall be filled by the appointment of another person to the vacant office by the President in accordance with section 8 of this Act, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the occurrence of such vacancy”. For a country rated as the fastest growing mobile market in Africa, nay in the world for five consecutive years, Juwah had his job cut out especially on matters of Quality of Service. He reeled out a six-point agenda that would signpost his tenure. This, he said, would help him sustain the momentum of the revolution. They are: Consolidation and Integration of mobile Wireless Services; Fixed Line and Broadband Deployment for National Development; Enhanced Competitive Market, Enhanced
‘Juwah may have taken up the job as a telecom regulator at a time quality of service was a red button issue, but he has manifested traits that clearly place him on the pedestal as a regulator who loves to fight on the side of the consumer’
By Ken Ugbechie Choice for the Consumer; Vigorous Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement of Regulations and Directions; National Connectivity for Accelerated Growth; and Enhanced International Relations. For four years, he has shown a strong desire to fight for the telecom consumer. Six things have stood him out in this regard: The banning of promotions and lotteries by operators; slashing tariff on text messages from about N10 to N4, the slashing of interconnection rates among operators which has a direct implication of reducing tariff on voice calls, the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) which empowers consumers to make a switch without changing their number, the successful auction of the 2.3 GHz frequency spectrum and the adoption of Open Access model as a precursor to broadband rollout. These six bold moves, taken in context, have had the direct impact of improving quality of service, cutting the budget of consumers on both voice calls and text messages as well as improving the throughput of operators. For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission’s functions and duties are set out in the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (the “Act”). Section 4 of the Act lists the Commission’s functions, which include the facilitation of investments in and entry into the Nigerian market for the provision and supply of communications services, equipment and facilities. It permits the NCC to ensure the protection and promotion of the interests of consumers against unfair practices including but not limited to matters relating to tariffs and charges and the availability and quality of communications services, equipment and facilities. The section also encourages the regulator to pursue the promotion of fair competition in the communications industry and protection of communications services and facilities providers from the misuse of market power or anticompetitive and unfair practices by other service or facilities providers. The last review of the interconnection rate was in 2009. Between then and now, a lot has happened in the sector
including quantum growth in network throughput. Currently, Nigeria has over 113 million telephone lines. This has engendered more competition among operators but pricing of tariff still remains comparatively high. And if you throw into this menu of tariff slash, the introduction of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), what you get is a highly competitive marketplace where the customer is truly the king. Juwah recognizes that consumers make the network. In a media interview, he said: “At NCC, we realise that without the consumers, there would be no networks or service providers and without the service providers, the regulator has no job; so we will do all that is possible within the law to protect the consumer. Everything we do is geared towards the protection of the consumer but in doing so, we will also give room for the investors to grow their businesses”. Juwah’s four years at the NCC has translated to the sustainability of the mobile telecom revolution, improved infrastructure among operators resulting in improvement in quality of service, sustained aggression and strategic focus in the run up to broadband rollout, creation of more jobs, a bolstering of investors’ confidence in the Nigerian telecom market as reflected in the growing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector and a record contribution of 8.9 percent of the nation’s GDP by telecom alone. No doubt, Juwah may have taken up the job as a telecom regulator at a time quality of service was a red button issue, but he has manifested traits that clearly place him on the pedestal as a regulator who loves to fight on the side of the consumer. He has imposed fines on operators, he has closed the shops of dubious telcos who will not play by the rules and he has slashed tariffs all for the sake of the consumer. Juwah must stay the course. He must neither waver nor flinch. As he intensifies his evangelism on broadband rollout, he must do so with a consciousness that history waits on the wing of time. History surely will remember him as a man who came, saw and overcame. He has indeed redefined the telecom revolution. • Ugbechie, is a Lagos-based media practitioner
WINDOW IN BRAZIL
TUESDAY, JUNE 17 , 2014
What is happening in Nigeria today is not democracy; it does not even resemble it; It is just a re-enactment of the naked doctrine of might is right, playing itself out before our very eyes.
See page 38
The Senate has amended the Constitution, vesting the Federal High Court with exclusive jurisdiction to try cases of the Electoral Act’s violations. Lawyers are kicking. The amendment, they argue, will compound the court’s problem. They prefer an Electoral Offences Commission or tribunal to try such cases before the swearing in of those elected. JOSEPH JIBUEZE writes.
•National Assembly Mace
Wanted: Electoral offences tribunal I
•Lawyers reject Senate’s choice of Federal High Court
F approved by the House of Representatives, the Federal High Court may soon become the sole arbiter of electoral offences. Last June 5, the Senate amended the Constitution, vesting the court with exclusive jurisdiction to try cases of the Electoral Act’s violations.The amendment followed its adoption of a Bill, titled: An Act to further alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and for other matters connected therewith, 2013, sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Ike Ekweremadu. The Senate, in the alterations, proposed to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties that are not viable, and approved the amendment of Sections 134 and 179 of the Constitution, extending the period of rerun of presidential and governorship elections from seven to 21 days, among others. However, one amendment that did not go down well with lawyers is the approval of a provision that confers exclusive jurisdiction on the Federal High Court to hear electoral offences. The court alone, according to the lawmakers, will try violators of the Electoral Act. It said this will ensure standard and uniformity in prosecution of electoral offences. A Conference Committee of the National Assembly, including senators and House of Representatives members, will deliberate on the amendment and harmonise their positions before alteration process is concluded. Should the amendments be approved, it will be left to President Goodluck Jonathan to give his assent. But should it be allowed to stand?
Call for Electoral Offences Commission
In December 2008, the National Electoral Reform Commission headed by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Uwais(rtd), recommended the establishment of an electoral offences commission to unbundle the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but the government rejected it. The late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua presented the Electoral Offences Commission Bill to the National Assembly in April 2009, along with six other electoral reform bills. The National Assembly amended the Electoral Act in August 2010 to include some of the presidential committee’s recommendations and has since adopted other amendments. But it has not passed the Electoral Offences Commission Bill. INEC had urged the National Assembly to reconsider setting up an electoral offences commission, saying it will check the culture of electoral impunity. The commission said it lacked the capacity to effectively prosecute electoral offenders, considering the high number of suspects. “INEC feels strongly that such a commission is needed. The National Assembly is urged to do all in its power and wisdom to aid this cause,” said its spokesman Kayode Idowu. Explaining why the Senate rejected the proposal , Ekweremadu said: “We have agreed with INEC that there is a need to discourage people from committing electoral offences. INEC sent us a letter requesting the establishment of an electoral offences commission, which had earlier been suggested by the Justice Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reforms Panel. “The view of the National Assembly on the matter is that
there are too many organisations and too many bureaucracies. What we can do is to take advantage of the existing bureaucracies that deal with that situation.” The call for an electoral offences commission has been on for long. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Human Rights Watch had urged the National Assembly to pass a legislation establishing a special Electoral Offences Commission to investigate and prosecute election-related abuses, including violence.
History of flawed elections
Nigeria has a history of violent and deeply flawed elections. At least 300 people were killed in the violence linked to the 2007 general elections, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Corrupt politicians openly mobilised thugs to terrorise ordinary citizens and political opponents and stuff or steal ballot boxes. The police were often present during such incidents, but frequently turned a blind eye or, at times, participated in abuses. According to NBA’s Election Working Group Chairman, Dafe Akpedeye (SAN), setting up a properly resourced Electoral Offences Commission under strong leadership will send a clear signal to candidates and political parties that people may be held accountable for any election-related abuses. Since November 2010, more than 50 people were reported to have been killed in violence linked to political party primaries and election campaigns. •Continued on page 26
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
LAW COVER CONT’D
Wanted: Electoral offences tribunal
•Continued from page 25
According to HRW, despite the rampant violence and fraud that have characterised elections, state institutions responsible for investigating and prosecuting such crimes have largely abdicated their roles and, in some cases, have even been complicit in the crimes. The Uwais Committee discovered that not a single Nigerian had been convicted and punished for electoral offences since the country’s independence in 1960. Under the current system, the police, federal and state prosecutors, and INEC, established in 1998, all have the authority to prosecute electoral offences. Only the police have the power to investigate such abuses. Yet the police lack the political will and independence to carry out investigations into election-related offences. INEC has initiated criminal proceedings against several electoral offenders, but the commission identified more than 870,000 instances of multiple registration on the new voters’ register that is yet to be addressed. The 1999 elections were blighted by such widespread fraud that observers from the Carter Center concluded that “it is not possible for us to make an accurate judgment about the outcome of the presidential election.” Federal and state elections in 2003 were again marred by fraud as well as serious incidences of violence that left at least 100 people dead and many others injured. Observers from the European Union (EU) described the 2007 elections as among the worst witnessed anywhere in the world. At least 300 people were killed, and many others injured, in violence linked to the elections. Many of the results led to court challenges. Analysts say a special court for electoral offences is the way to go. A former Chief Justice of Nigeria Dahiru Musdapher endorsed the call for such a court. Such a court, lawyers said, will ensure quick prosecution of offenders (including security agents), as the regular courts are bogged down by a large number of cases. They also rejected the Senate amendment vesting exclusive jurisdiction to prosecute electoral offenders on the Federal High Court. A former NBA President Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) said trial of electoral offences should not be concentrated in the Federal High Court as proposed by the Senate. “It is wrong in a federation for us to keep on empowering federal courts at the expense of state courts. It is also wrong and very illogical for the federal parliament, as it were, to pass or propose to pass any law to give exclusive jurisdiction to the Federal High Court in respect of electoral offences, even offences coming from
the states. “I am from Ekiti, where election will take place on Saturday. Assuming you get some people arrested; you arraign them, then you take them to the Federal High Court for committing offences in respect of a state election. It’s bad enough. “Some of us have been agitating that we’re directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously killing the state judiciary. That is what is happening. It is wrong. Again, they amend the constitution by trial and error; whatever catches their fancy, that’s what they’re doing. And that’s why Nigeria will never have any good Constitution. “What we need in this country today is true federalism, to reduce the powers given to the Federal Government. They have to be diluted. And we have to copy examples. We have to do it well, the way it is done. So, I say it is unequivocally wrong. In fact, they’re doing what is un-federal,” he said. Olanipekun said an electoral offences tribunal or commission should have been created instead. “Electoral Offences Commission - that is very okay. We have been agitating for it for quite sometime,” he added. Another former NBA President Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) said both the state and Federal High Court should try electoral offenders since the latter has a limited number of courts in each state. His words: “The Federal High Court is certainly not suited to handle the multitude of electoral offences taking into consideration its structure. The court has maximum of two courts in most of the states except probably Lagos and Abuja. “Let’s ask the Senate what they expect to happen, for instance in Oyo State with only two Federal High Courts, with electoral offences committed all over the state running to well over 100. “The cases can surely not be expected to be completed within a reasonable time if expected to be heard and decided at all. It’s better to have jurisdiction conferred on both the states and Federal High Courts.” A senior lawyer, Jibrin S. Okutepa (SAN), said vesting the Federal High Court with exclusive jurisdiction over electoral offences will not only increase its workload, but fuel corruption. “I do not support the amendment that vests exclusive jurisdiction on the Federal High Court for electoral offences or any offence for that matter. Nigeria is a federation. Why do we operate unitary system in our judiciary and burden federal courts? That is what they have done in the case of National Industrial Court of Nigeria. “Already, the Federal High Court is over burdened with many cases. Some of the judges
behave like demi-gods now. Why do we want to add more burdens and by implication increase the rate of corruption there? Let all courts handle electoral offences and that will be in the overall interest of justice. “The fact that the Senate had done that amendment is evidence of their intention for electoral offences not to be prosecuted with speed. Take, for instance, there are no Federal High Court in all the 36 states of the Federation. Electoral offences are usually committed in every polling units and wards in Nigeria. “What do you do in a case where there is no Federal High Court in some places where electoral offences are committed? The costs of getting witnesses to where there are Federal High Courts will be grave. The security of witnesses travelling to the courts is not likely to be guaranteed. There will be delay and at the end of the day there will be no viable prosecution of offenders most of whom are the politicians. “I do not support the amendment. It is uncalled for, anti-justice and the fight against electoral fraud and by direct extension democratic growth and development,” Okutepa said. A constitutional lawyer, Mr Ike Ofuokwu, said the amendment is “strange” and must be rejected. “This very amendment from the Senate of the Federal Republic is indeed, strange and unthinkable. The Federal High Court has more than enough judicial burden which they are unable to cope with. “Even cases of some former governors amongst others who are facing criminal prosecution for about seven years now are still pending and to further confer on them exclusive jurisdiction over electoral matters is simply a deliberate and calculated attempt to render them judicially impotent and over burdened. “The only advantage of this legislative anomaly conferred on the lawmakers, who will now benefit more than before from the slow process of judicial procedures as against the real winner of an electoral process. “I have repeatedly canvassed for an independent electoral commission or court that will speedily determine electoral offences before anyone is sworn into office,” Ofuokwu said. A Lagos lawyer, Abiodun Onidare said rather than overloading the Federal High Court, which has a summary jurisdiction, an electoral offences tribunal should be created. Such tribunal, he said, will be tasked with exclusively handling of electoral offences, “I believe that any offence which can be tried summarily should be done by any court, even Magistrate’s Court, the High Court or the area court, depending on the region. “So far as the punishment for the offence can be dished out by that court, except when it is a capital offence, then such court should have jurisdiction over electoral offences,” Onidare
It is wrong in a federation for us to keep on empowering federal courts at the expense of state courts; it is also wrong and very illogical for the federal parliament, as it were, to pass or propose to pass any law to give exclusive jurisdiction to the Federal High Court in respect of electoral offences, even offences coming from the states
said. On the need for a special court for electoral offences, he said: “A special court can be created so that there can be quicker determination of these cases so that we won’t have to go through the gamut and lacunas in the Magistrate and High Courts. “After elections, some court’s are created as election petition tribunals. Such special courts can also be created for electoral offences after elections. The judges and magistrates will be drawn from various court’s, and once they determine the cases before them, the tribunal becomes functus officio. “They will function just as the bank and financial tribunals do. It’s just to create a court which can have that particular mandate to deal with election matters within a period of time. Their appeals can then go to the High Courts or Court of Appeal,” Onidare said. For Lagos-based lawyer Olumide Adefila, the amendment, if it is not vetoed, will do more harm than good to the justice system. “Such a proposal, to a greater extent, will be a disservice to the state High Courts, in the sense that there are also electoral laws that are creations of the state, which occasionally conducts local government elections.” He said an independent body, such as an electoral offences tribunal/commission, would ensure that even candidates for elections would not be exempted from trial on electoral offences. “I buy the idea of having an independent body to determine electoral offences. Our court’s are flooded daily with cases, and to add electoral offences, you can imagine how long it will take to determine them. “But if there’s a distinct court for electoral cases especially for electoral offences, of course, it will be welcome. It could be manned maybe by retired judges, who can even sit on part time basis since most elections hold every four years,” Adefila said.
Magistrates get training in Lagos criminal law
RIGHTS group, the Access to Justice (AJ) has urged magistrates to ensure effec tive implementation of the reforms contained in the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Law of Lagos State. At a workshop in Lagos, which had the theme: “Effective implementation of justice reforms in Lagos State”, AJ’s Director, Mr. Joseph Otteh, said from research, gaps still exist in the law’s implementation. The workshop was organised by AJ with the support of the J4A programme of the Department for International Development (DFID). Otteh said on the part of the police, brutality is still routinely practised, even extra-judicial executions. According to him, even well intended reforms
By Emmanuel Udodinma
do not enforce themselves. “On the part of the courts, magistrates are reluctant to actually exercise their supervisory oversight over the police. We went around a few months ago asking some Magistrates why. Many simply said they were reluctant because they do not want to foster the impression that they have released suspects charged with serious crimes because they have been compromised. “I think that in addition to what other things we should do, we need to develop the ‘political will’ or perhaps, in our context, the ‘judicial will’ of the Judiciary to enforce the reforms.” Speaking on “Co-relation between Bail Con-
ditions and Prison Congestion”, a Professor of Law at the University of Lagos Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa said that prisons in Lagos State were seriously congested and that it was attributable to the huge number of Awaiting Trials Inmates (ATI) and not the number convicted offenders. She wondered what is the essence of presuming a man innocent when, even before his innocence is established, he has served a lengthy prison term. According to her, if the law if effectively implemented, some of the problems arising from prison congestion such as risk of prisoners outnumbering prison officials, risks of jail breaks, Pressure on infrastructure and facilities, among others, will be reduced. She said if the judiciary remains disconnected
•Otteh from the impact of its practices and if assessment and practice evaluations were done only by outsiders, the judiciary would be worse for it.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
The disagreement over the appointment of a Chief Judge of Rivers State is yet to be resolved. Joseph Otteh and Mrs O. Nwabuzor of the Lagos-based rights advocacy group, Access to Justice (AJ) argue that the seeming unending controversy could have been averted.
Needless controversy over an appointment
RIOR to the retirement of the erstwhile Chief Judge of Rivers state on August 20, 2013, the Rivers State Judicial Service Commission (“JSC”) initiated processes of appointing a successor by forwarding the names of two nominees to the National Judicial Council (“NJC”); these were Justices P.N. Agumagu and Daisy Okocha. The NJC deliberated on these nominees and, by a letter dated 22nd July 2013, communicated its rejection of Justice Agumagu’s nomination and recommended Justice D. Okocha for appointment as CJ saying that Justice Okocha was the most senior High Court judge of the state at the time. Notwithstanding the NJC’s decision, the Governor of Rivers State on August 20, 2013, swore in Justice Agumagu as the acting CJ of Rivers State. On the application of a group called Kengena Unity Forum, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on February 18, 2014, nullified Justice Agumagu’s appointment as the acting CJ and directed the State Governor to comply with the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution. However, Justice Agumagu had indeed served out the three month period allowed by the Constitution for an acting appointment, which expired on November 20, 2013. The Governor wrote to NJC on September 23, 2013 appealing that the Council reviews its decision not to recommend Hon. Justice Agumagu for appointment as CJ, but the NJC stood its ground. This prompted the Rivers Attorney General (Wogu Boms) and the state JSC to file Suit No FHC/PH/ CS/421/2013- Governor of Rivers State & 2 ORS Vs The National Judicial Council & Hon Justice Daisy Okocha before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt asking for a judicial construction of section 271 of the Constitution relating to the appointment of a CJ, and also to determine whether Justice Agumagu was the candidate to be recommended and forwarded by the NJC to the Governor for appointment as CJ of Rivers State. On March 18, 2014, the Court delivered judgment in the case giving affirmative answers to the questions. In almost a lockstep timing with the decision, the Governor, on the same day, and on the confirmation of the Rivers State House of Assembly swore in Justice P.C. Agumagu as the 7th CJ of Rivers State. There is an appeal pending on this matter. One week later, on March 26, 2014, the NJC suspended Justice P. Agumagu from office as a judicial officer as well as issued him a query to answer why he should not be dismissed, justifying its action under Paragraph 21(d) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution. The Council reached this decision at its 10th emergency meeting of March 26, 2014 where it observed that due process was not followed in swearing in Justice Agumagu to office. The NJC noted that it did not, at any time, make any rec-
ommendation to the Governor of Rivers State that Justice Agumagu be appointed the substantive CJ of Rivers State. Based on the above, the NJC resolved that it will neither recognise nor deal with Justice Agumagu as the CJ of Rivers State. Appointment of CJs under the 1999 Constitution Under the Constitution, four institutions are involved in the appointment of the CJ of a state, namely; State JSC, the NJC, the State Governor and the State House of Assembly. To limit absolutism in any one body, the Constitution creates a 4-prong process beginning with the State JSC sending a list of shortlisted candidates for the position of CJ to the NJC (See Third Schedule, Part 1, Paragraph 21(c)). Next, the NJC recommends a selected candidate to the Governor for appointment as CJ. Afterwards, the Governor appoints the CJ and sends such appointment to the State House of Assembly for confirmation and, lastly, the Governor, after confirmation of the candidate, swears in the candidate. (Section 271(1)). The constitution contemplates a progressive, consensusachieving process involving all the institutions involved in the appointment of a substantive CJ of a state. S 271 (1) of the Constitution can be construed to expect all parties to confer with each other until they come to an agreement on a candidate. Where this consensus is missing, negotiations must continue until an amicable agreement is reached. For example in Abia State, it took close to three years, (from 2011 to 2014) before a “consensus” substantive CJ was appointed for the state. In that time, the governor, with NJC’s approval, appointed three judges of the High Court to act as CJ in turns. The legality of Justice Agumagu’s “appointment” Justice Agumagu’s appointment as the substantive CJ of Rivers State was based on the judgement delivered by Justice Akanbi of the Federal High Court. In the judgement, the court answered all the questions put forward to it by the Plaintiffs in their favour. In particular, the court declared that the Governor had the right to reject the candidate recommended to him for appointment by the NJC. It also said that Justice P.C. Agumagu is a fit and proper nominee and remains the candidate to be recommended to the Governor for appointment irrespective of which court he came from. The Court further made an order restraining NJC from carrying into effect the decision and recommendation in the said letter of 22nd July 2013 or acting upon it in any way or manner detrimental to the interest of the Plaintiffs or acting in a way and manner suggesting an insistence on the candidate it recommended by its letter of 22nd July, 2013. (The decision referred was NJC’s refusal to recommend Justice Agumagu on the basis that he was the president of Customary Court of Appeal and not the most senior judge of the High Court
Bench of Rivers State. The recommendation referred to is that NJC recommended Justice Okocha instead of Justice Agumagu.) Looking at the judgement, the question is: Did the “restraining order” take away the constitutional power the NJC had to recommend a candidate to be appointed Chief Judge to the Governor? Clearly no! The court restrained the NJC from carrying into effect its decision that Justice Agumagu was ineligible to be considered for the position of Chief Judge and its recommendation of Justice Daisy Okocha for appointment into that position. The judgment did not make any consequential orders. So, was the Governor, by this judgement, entitled to appoint a Chief Judge without NJC’s recommendation? Again, clearly no! The most the judgment could have done is to trigger a fresh round of inter-agency communication on the subject, with the NJC obeying the court’s judgment not to insist on its interpretation of the Constitution, at least until the order is set aside or stayed. The Governor should have made representations to the NJC based on the judgment and given the NJC the opportunity to comply with the judgment before taking any further steps in the matter. Neither the Governor nor Hon. Justice Agumagu gave the NJC the opportunity to comply with the judgement. In purporting to appoint Justice Agumagu as substantive CJ, the Governor brushed aside mandatory constitutional stipulations governing the process, as well as undermined the role and powers of the NJC in that regard. (It is trite law that ‘Where a statute has prescribed the mode of performing an act, only that mode of performing the act competently is contemplated otherwise the act will be a nullity’. Abubakar v Nasamu (No. 2)  17 NWLR 523 at 577.) For a valid appointment to the office of CJ, no party conferred with constitutional duties in the process can be side-lined, least of all, the NJC. The NJC is key to both the appointment and disciplinary process of judicial officers as judicial decisions have reaffirmed. AJ believes that the NJC measured up to scratch this time! While the Council may have floundered time and time again in the past, it got it right this time around. In the past, the Council had acted as though it was a toothless bulldog, allowing State Executives ride rough-shod over its decisions, as it did in Enugu, Oyo, Kwara States. The Council’s efforts to defend its voice and mandate, and, ultimately, the independence and authority of the 3rd arm of government is a welcome new dawn, and, finally, the Council has summoned the courage to be what the Constitution says it should be. This will help it regain respect among other branches of government. AJ supports the position the NJC has taken on the “appointment” of Hon. Justice Agumagu and urges Hon. Justice P.N. Agumagu to relinquish that office now! Otteh is Executive Director, while Mrs Nwabuzor is Programme Officer at Access to Justice, Nigeria
Alleged harassment: Gas retailers sue KAI, police for N5m
HE Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers Association (LPGARAN) has sued the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) at the Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged harassment. LPGARAN’s President Michael Umudu and three other members: Emeka Okechukwu, Sunday Umeh and Abayomi Morooph also joined the Nigeria Domestic and Gas Retailers and Materials (NDGRAM), administrator of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) in the suit. Other respondents are Monday Nwatu, Chijioke Ogbuka, Lagos State Attorney General, Deputy Commissioner of Po-
By Joseph Jibueze
lice, Investigatio, Alagbon and the investigating Police Office, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon. The claimants are praying the court to hold that the illegal seizure of their members’ gas cylinders by the first to fourth respondents in their quest to force them join NUPENG against their wish is unconstitutional. They also sought a declaration that the arrest and detention of the applicants by the police officers on the pretext of investigating spurious and trumped up allegation of threat to life of
the second respondent by the applicants constitutes gross and violent violation of their fundamental right to liberty. The applicants are asking the court to order the second to fourth respondents to return with immediate effect and unconditionally, 37 cylinders and phones seized from them. They are also praying for a N5 million compensation for the gross violation of their rights, a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents or their agents from further infringing and violating their rights, and a public apology to be published in two national dailies.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
LAW & SOCIETY
Group condemns attack on press
HAIRMAN of the Lawyers in the Media Forum (LIM), Mr. Charles Odenigbo has condemned the Federal Government over what he described as obnoxious actions against the press. The body at the weekend in Abuja made this condemnation. Military agents in the last few days have oppressed, harassed, impounded, detained and restrained the distribution vehicles of some media houses in the country for the past two weeks. Odenigbo said: “Nigeria is gradually slipping back into what we saw during the military era. It is very obvious that the government of the day is not very clear about the rules of democracy. He said: “Section 13 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, clearly states the fundamental obligations of the government, which include to conform, observe and apply the provisions of the constitution especially the provisions of chapter two which deals with the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy. “Nigeria practices government based on the principles of democracy and social justice. Now there are certain clear objectives or
By John Austin Unachukwu
state policies that we are expected to adhere to in terms of political objectives, environmental objectives, foreign policy and much more. Section 15 (5) states that “the state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.” One wonders where the government derived the power to clamp down media houses. “Section 22 of the Constitution also imposes a heavy obligation on the mass media. That section states that the p r e s s , w h i c h include newspapers, magazines, radio, televisions and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times, be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in chapter two of the constitution and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people. Odenigbo said: “When military officers begin to impound circulation vans of newspaper houses to prevent the circulation of newspapers, it becomes worrisome and total abuse of the rule of law. This is obnoxious, it is unwarranted and a gross violation of the
fundamental rights of the citizens whether individuals or corporate citizens to pursue their legitimate businesses. “If the military feel aggrieved in any way, all that is expected of them is to reply or go to court. This affront amounts to testing the waters for other heinous probable steps in concert. “This is a clear indication that the government and their military cohorts do not have tolerance for democratic ideals and norms. A government that does not tolerate free press is not a democratic government at all; it has put on the apparel of dictatorship.” Odenigbo added: “I am really disappointed that the Special Assistant to the President on Communication and Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe could justify the action of the military on the flimsy excuse that they were searching for sensitive security documents. I am surprised that he has reduced politics to that level. There is nothing that the military is looking for. The President of Nigeria is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and he takes responsibility for whatever happens in the country. They cannot cook up excuses to cover up for their errors.”
•From left: Executive Secretary Lagos State Judicial Service Commission Mrs. Ayodele Odugbesan; the Chief Registrar, High Court of Lagos State, Mrs. Olamide Akinkugbe and Deputy Chief Registrar Mrs. Abiola Soladoye during the inauguration of 12 new magistrates.
Butchers comply with verdict
HE Lagos State Butchers As sociation (LSBA) has elected officers to run its affairs for three years. The election was conducted in compliance with the judgment of the Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Joseph Shagbaor Ikyegh. Last month, the Appeal Court upheld the judgment of Justice Olatoregun Ishola of the Federal High Court, Lagos in a suit involving members of the association. Elected at the Matori Slaughter Slab are the Chairman, Alhaji Sulaimon Afuwape; first deputy chairman, Alhaji B. K. Alabi; econd deputy chairman, Alhaji Isiaka Asiwaju; Secretary, Alhaji Ganiyu Omotosho; Treasurer Mr. Toyin Ayoka; Assistant Treasurer Alhaji Fatai Babatunde; Financial Secretary, Mr. Rabiu Akintola; Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olawunmi Adeyinka and Assistant Publicity Secretaty, Alhaji Bala Katako. Others are the Organising Secretary, Mr. Adeniyi Olasupo; Welfare Officer, Alhaji M. Akande; Assistant Welfare Officer, Alhaji Musibau Adigun; Social Secretary, Alhaji M. BaakiYusuf; Assistant Social Secretary, Mr. Idowu Arilesola; Auditor, Alhaji Babatunde Mogaji; Woman Leader, Alhaja Risikat Alao while the Ex-Officos included Mr. Olabamiji, Alhaji Muritala Kareem, Alhaji Muraino Alao, Mr. Momodu Adetayo and Mr. Buliaminu Popoola.
By Adebisi Onanuga
A group within the association comprising Mr. Mukaila Akanbi, Mr. Moruu Shotayo and Mr. Babatunde Alabi had approached the Federal High Court last year to challenge the continued stay in office of the former officers of the association. The defendants are Alhaja Adijatu Ojikutu, Alhaji Raimi Balogun, Alhaji Sulaimon and Alhaji Taiye Osunosho, being trustees of the association in Lagos State. The plaintiffs, in the suit had contended that the former officers had over stayed in office contrary to the provisions of Article 13(1) and (5) of the Lagos State Butchers Association Constitution. The plaintiffs through an originating summon sought to determine whether the continued tenure of the officers as the state executive council/trustees violated the constitution of the association. They prayed the court to dissolve the executive and order fresh elections into the association in accordance with its constitution. The court preside by Justice Ishola granted their prayers in terms of the relief sought and ordered the dissolution of the executive and ordered fresh elections to be conducted within 14days of the judgement. Dissatisfied with the judgment, the defendant/appellants, Alhaja
Adijatu Ojikutu, Alhaji Raimi Balogun, Alhaji Sulaimon and Alhaji Taiye Osunosho, appealed for an extension of time to three months to conduct the elections in line with the constitution. The notice of appeal which was further amended on December 4, last year, was based on four grounds and a brief of argument deemed properly filed on November 19, of the same year, conveyed the appellants’ arguments. The respondents moved a preliminary objection that the appellants filed the their brief out of time without order of the court and that the brief was signed by an unidentifiable person. Justice Ikyegh on May 30, this year struck out the appeal on technical grounds and upheld the preliminary objection of the respondents. Justice Ikyegh was also in agreement with Justice Chinwe Iyizoba, that “the document labeled the brief of the appellant could have been properly struck out in the lower court by reason of the fact that it was not a brief within the contemplation of the relevant rules of the court. “The preliminary objection, therefore succeeds and it is upheld. The appellant’s brief is hereby struck out for being incompetent. The appeal is also hereby struck out by not being supported by a brief of argument,” he said.
2011 election riot: ECOWAS court awards widow N10m
HE court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has awarded N10 million compensation to a Nigerian widow, Mrs Dorcas Afolalu. Her husband was killed in Kaduna during the violence following the results of the 2011 presidential election in several parts of the North. The judgment of the ECOWAS court was sequel to a $20million suit slammed on the Federal Government by Mrs Afolalu for the unlawful death of her husband,Mr Felix Afolalu on April 18, 2011. The suit was filed and prosecuted on behalf of the widow by Mr. Sola Egbeyinka of the Falana & Falana’s Chambers. A release by the chamnber said Mrs. Afolalu in her oral testimony before the court, recalled that her husband was beaten to a coma before he was burnt to death by the thugs who stormed their residence at the Kaduna Polytechnic where the husband was a lecturer. She had informed the court that
By Adebisi Onanuga
her husband, who was aged 32 had just completed his doctoral degree in geophysics and had concluded arrangements to transfer his services to the Institute of Mining in Jos, Plateau State. Mrs Afolalu further disclosed that while other victims of the civil disturbances had been compensated she and her three children, who are below 10 years, have been neglected by the Federal Government. Though the government filed a statement of defence, it did not call any witness to controvert of the plaintiff’s evidence. In its judgment delivered at Abuja, the ECOWAS Court said it accepted the unchallenged evidence of the plaintiff and held that the Federal Government failed in its duty to secure the life of the deceased. The court, therefore, awarded N10 million damages against the government.
Legal Aid Council seeks pre-trial psychiatric evaluation
HE Legal Aid Council (LAC) has advocated the introduction of compulsory psychiatric evaluation of suspects before they are subjected to trial. It is believed that the inclusion of pre-trial evaluation in criminal trial will save the justice and prisons systems the unnecessary waste of time and resources in subjecting mentally unstable suspects to trial and detention. LAC’s Chairman and Director General, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and Mrs Joy Bob-Manuel stressed this while speaking in Abuja on the council’s planned national conference on “mental health and justice in Nigeria,” scheduled for September. Ayorinde noted that pre-trial evaluation of suspects will enable those concern take the necessary decisions on how best to handle a suspect depending in his or her mental state. He said the current practice where suspects are subjected to trial, without the state first ascertaining the state of his or her mental health, is unacceptable. “Pre-trial evaluation is necessary. It is very fundamental. This is one of the goals we intend to achieve with the conference. It is regrettable that
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
there is no medical provision to ascertain the mental status of suspects after they are apprehended,” he said. Ayorinde said the conference, to be organised with a group, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), will focus on mentally ill prisoners. He said the objective is to seek ways of rectifying existing inadequacies in the nation’s laws on mental health, enhance state’s intervention in known mental health cases and make adequate provisions where necessary. Mrs. Bob-Manuel said LAC’s position is informed by the fact that its mandate is to represent all those are awaiting trial, including those with mental health challenges. ”We have to represent people, including those who cannot make rational statements in court, which shows their mental health,” she said. A Director at PRAWA, Yinka Lawal, who noted that the extant lunacy law “is inadequate,” observed that the nation justice system does not adequately cater for mental health cases. Lawal said the conference is intended to promote means of rehabilitating mentally ill prisoners.
EBF honours her heroes July 4
HE Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) will on July 4, at the Newton Hotel, Owerri Imo State, honour its founding fathers and corporate citizens. The programme which was originally scheduled for June 13 was shifted to July 4 for logistic reasons. The Chairman, Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) Mr. Ogbonna O. Igwenyi regretted the inconvenincies the change of date might have caused members. The topic for the seminar is “whither Nigeria” and the keynote speaker is the former President of the NBA Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Dr. Rev. Fr. Okweze Ode will also present a paper. Those to be honoured include the
•Igwenyi By John Austin Unachukwu
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, chairman Senate Committee on Ploice affairs, Senator Polycarp Igwe Nwagu, Gov. Owelle Rochers Anayo Okorocha, Gov. Seriake Dickson, Gov. Godswill Akpabio, Gov. Liyel Imoke and former Gov. Of Anambra State, Peter Obi.
NBA Young lawyers hold summit
HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Young lawyers holds her annual summit from June 25 -27 2014 at the Ceremonial Pavilion of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja. The theme of the summit is” Building partnerships and managing client relationship: keys to a successful legal career” A statement by Mr. Paul Daudu and Mr. Okey Leo Ohagba, National Chairman and Secretary respectively, states that the conference is a must attend for all young lawyers because it is a capacity building workshop and will invariably provide the much needed keys for successful legal practice.
Newspaper of the Year
AN 8-PAGE PULLOUT ON NORTHERN STATES TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Relief for women, youths •PAGE 30
‘A new Niger has appeared’ •PAGE 31
OR quite a spell, commercial motorcycles were everywhere in Kaduna State. Then, one day, the state government banned them, drawing huge protests from not just the motorcyclists but even also the physically challenged. The argument was that the ban would create more problems than it would solve. People would lose their jobs and the many families would be affected, the protesters said. The physically challenged said the ban would adversely affect their movement since their relative often conveyed them on the motorcycles. The Mukthar Yero administration was unmoved and soon the ban became law. But the government also fashioned another means to ease the problem which the ban created: providing commercial tricycles. The primary beneficiaries were members of the Association of Commercial Motorcycle Riders of Nigeria (ACOMORON). Speaking at the distribution of the tricycles to the beneficiaries in Kaduna, Governor Yero said it was decision of the government to buy the tricycles and distribute same at 50 percent of the initial cost is in “furtherance of our resolve to create job opportunities for our teaming unemployed youths and to improve the general wellbeing of our people. I am happy to inform you that what we are witnessing today is just one out of the several intervention programmes designed to provide palliatives to our people especially those directly affected by the recent ban on activities of commercial motorcyclists”. He assured the people of the state that the law banning the operation of commercial motorcycles in the state was not conceived to
Okada out, tricycles in From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
bring hardship to them, but was aimed at improving security as well as the overall wellbeing of both commuters and operators of commercial motorcycles”. Yero said that the government was aware of the initial difficulties faced by the people of the state due to the ban on commercial motorcycles and is ready to cushion the effect through provision of additional means of transportation across affected parts of the State. He noted that since the first phase of the beneficiaries of the 700 tricycles distributed in 2013 under the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme kept to the term of the agreement, the government was giving out another set of 1000 tricycles to reduce difficulties of transportation in the urban and semi-urban centers as well as create jobs for people, especially those initially engaged in commercial motorcycle business. He said, “These tricycles are to be given to beneficiaries who have been identified by the implementation committee of Kaduna State SURE-P through due diligence at 50% subsidy. In clear terms, the cost of each tricycle is N531,825,00 inclusive of plate number registration, taxes and a 12 months comprehensive insurance cover. Beneficiaries are expected to pay back only 50% of the total cost within a period of 12 months. A beneficiary is however required to make a deposit of N67,000 which is 25% of the subsidised rate before taking the
‘The tricycles are to be given to beneficiaries who have been identified by the implementation committee of Kaduna State SURE-P through due diligence at 50% subsidy. In clear terms, the cost of each tricycle is N531,825,00 inclusive of plate number registration, taxes and a 12 months comprehensive insurance cover’ Tricycle this gesture is born out of our genuine commitment to creating means of productive ventures for our youth”. He directed that the tricycles be distributed in area affected by the ban. According to him, Kaduna metropolis comprising Kaduna North and South and some areas affected by the ban in Igabi and Chikun Local Government Areas are to be given 400 units of the tricycles, while Zaria and Sabon Gari will receive 300 units. Kafanchan will get 150 units, while 50 units each will go to the other affected areas of Lere, Birnin-Gwari and Giwa Local Government Areas for use in designated areas affected by the ban. He also directed that “in allocating the tricycles, special consideration was given to members of the Commercial Motorcyclists Union. Our decision is informed by the recognition of the immense coopera-
tion of the Union towards the smooth implementation of the law banning the operation of commercial motorcycles in some parts of the state, we intend to continues with our cordial partnership and collaboration with the Union in the development of our dear State”. He warned that “government will not tolerate any form of abuse of its kind gesture with regard to use of these tricycles. For the avoidance of doubt, I have directed that these tricycles should be allocated to our citizens on the basis of needs. In other words, only those who will directly use them should be allocated. I have also directed that any beneficiary who is found to be operating his tricycle on third party basis should have it withdrawn and re-allocated to another beneficiary. Government is putting in place des•Continued on page 32
Protest over planned demolition
Saraha Homes: We didn’t flout court order •PAGE 34
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
THE NORTH REPORT
•The Library complex at the Kafanchan campus of Kaduna State University built by Senator Nenadi Usman
Relief for women, youths
NEW world has opened for women and youths in the southern part of Kaduna State. Many of them can now set up businesses and no longer have to gnash their teeth in misery or beg to eat. They came from different parts of the eight local government areas that make up Kaduna south Senatorial district to taste of the dividends of democracy promised them by their senator, Esther Nenadi Usman, during her campaign. For some of them, it was a dream come true. For some others, it was an opportunity to earn a living without having to rely on anybody. The ceremony was the presentation of jobs tools to some women and youths at the Kafanchan Township stadium by Usman who represents Kaduna South at the Senate. She told the gathering that the distribution of the items was in fulfillment of her campaign promise. “The Southern Kaduna people may wish to recall that in the year 2010 during my electioneering campaigns, I promised you that if elected, I was going to give the Kaduna South Senatorial District qualitative, effective and consultative representation at the Senate,” she said. “I also promised to empower as many women and youths as possible within the zone”. At an elaborate ceremony which took place at the Kafanchan Town-
•Nenadi Usman distributes jobs tools From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
ship Stadium and attended by the state governor, Mukthar Ramalan Yero and a host of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) top brass from Southern Kaduna and beyond, Senator Usman gave out 19 cars, 106 tricycles and 368 motorcycles in addition to welding and vulcanising machines, automobile diagnostic machines, among others, to her constituents. She said the items cost N81.3 million, disclosing that 86 women and youths who benefitted from the scheme were trained by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and National Directorate of Employment (NDE). Sixteen beneficiaries received starter packs in interior decoration; 18 in fashion design; 18 in hair dressing; 18 in welding machines; 12 GSM repair kits; 16 electrical installation starter packs; 12 plumbing and fittings tools and 12 computer sets. In addition, about 45 cooperative societies were given N100,000 each as soft loan. Senator Usman who has come under serious attack from her people in recent time used the event to dismiss claims of abandonment leveled
‘In the course of my campaigns, I noticed the difficulty faced by our people as a result of the inadequate and non-availability of potable drinking water, unemployment and medical challenges amongst others. Shortly after being elected, I embarked on a project and sunk a borehole in each of our 87 wards at a total cost N47.8 million’ against her by a few vocal people in the area as she went down memory lane in what appeared to be a period of stock taking. She told them: “In the course of my campaigns, I noticed the difficulty faced by our people as a result of the inadequate and non-availability of potable drinking water, unemployment and medical challenges amongst others. Shortly after being elected, I embarked on a project and sunk a borehole in each of our 87 wards at a total cost N47.8 million. To complement my effort, the MDGs
Office in 2013 sunk six additional boreholes within the zone. In December 2011, with N10 million, I commissioned a medical team that went round the zone and successfully carried out free surgery on 688 patients and purchased and installed a scanning machine at the General Hospital in Zango town of Zangon Kataf local Government Area at the cost of N1.3 Million. Students from the zone were not left out as 426 of them received scholarships of N10,000 each totaling N4.26 million.” She also disclosed that since assum-
ing office, she has ensured that about 61 persons from her zone were gainfully employed both at the federal and Kaduna state civil service, while influencing various projects to the zone as constituency projects. Such projects include the N150 million library complex at the Kafanchan campus of the State University; construction of town halls at Kyeyya, Damkasuwa and Kubacha; construction of a clinic at Iddah in Kagarko Local Government ; supply and installation of three transformers at Garaje, Police Headquarters’ Barracks, Kafanchan and Kwoi towns; construction of two primary schools at Garaje-Kagoro of Kaura LGA and Jere of Kagarko LGA and supply of chairs to 4 primary Schools at Zangon Kataf Local Government, Kachia Local Government, Jema’a Local Government and Kagarko Local Government. A group called Concerned Realists of Southern Kaduna described the empowerment items as Greek gift. Convener of the group, John Danfulani said at a news conference days after the items were given to the beneficiaries that why the Senator represents the entire people of southern Kaduna irrespective of political affiliation, only PDP members were selected and given the items as strategies for the 2015 elections. Danfulani alleged that the Senator has not given quality leadership to the people of southern Kaduna as required. But a southern Kaduna social critic, Bitrus Yakubu Bitiyong believes that those criticising the senator are not being fair to her at all. Bitiyong argued that since assuming office, Senator Nenadi Usman has given the people quality and proper representation and has done so much for the people. He noted that the recent empowerment programme was not the only empowerment that she has done in the last three years. He disclosed that the senator has given out scholarship to several southern Kaduna youths, provide boreholes and health facilities to her constituents. Responding to allegations that the empowerment was meant for her to return to the senate, he said “let me tell you that it will be difficult for anybody to beat Senator Usman at the moment. Anyone who wants to unseat her must come with a better manifesto than she has and I can assure you that if there is anyone with better credentials and manifesto, some of us will tell her and she will not feel bad about it”. He alleged that those criticising her are those who felt that they are not getting patronage from her. Some of the beneficiaries of the empowerment scheme dismissed the claims that they were PDP delegates. One of them who refused to disclose her name said “I am not a member of the PDP. I do not belong to any political party, but I am a southern Kaduna woman. What the senator has done is to put food on our table and we will remain grateful to her. I am short of words, but all I can say is that God will continue to bless her”.
Kwara blames Fed Govt for fertiliser supply hitches
HE Kwara State government has blamed the federal government for the hitches being experienced in the supply of fertilisers, maize and rice in the country. The state added that the number of registered farmers quoted by the federal government in the 2014 Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) is at variance with the figures in the state. The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Anthony Towoju said this in Ilorin, the state capital, when some members of the Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEP), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) paid him a visit in his office. “The minister for Agriculture was quoting a figure of about 285,000 farmers that registered for 2014 GES whereas to the best of our knowledge, the ones that participated last year were only 139,000,” Towoju said. “We have written them in Abuja to tell us how they got 285,000 farmers and their names.” Speaking further, Towoju said, “The bulk of the blame of this scheme goes to the Federal Government. All the inadequacies I have seen as the commissioner for agriculture stem from Abuja. Reasons: GES is supposed to be a provision where our small holding farmers will be assisted to get inputs of two bags of fertiliser, either 10kg of maize of 12.5 kg or rice. As I am talking to you now the register of all farmers in Kwara State is not with us. It is in Abuja. Even the Abuja figure of farmers in the state is at variance with our own. The states are not well carried along in GES whereas states are major stakeholders; because “We pay 25 per cent and federal government pays 25 per cent of the cost. But they are holding it as if it is their baby. In GES today, all the fertilizer supplying companies were appointed in Abuja, state governments have no input of who gets the contract of fertiliser supply. All the agro feeders participat-
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
ing in GES are appointed in Abuja; all the help-line staff in Kwara were also appointed in Abuja. “They told us that they advertised through the internet. How many Nigerians especially at the local level have access to the internet? That breeds corruption and that is what they love doing in Abuja. The states are in better position to identify their farmers as they are domiciled in the states and present it to Abuja. But Abuja will come and identify the farmers in the state even without our knowledge. “You know why we are concerned about GES is that we have paid and we are the owners of our farmers. We want our farmers to benefit. We have protested to the federal ministry of agriculture that we are not properly carried along. They operate through email. There must be openness. Abuja must see GES as a joint baby of the federal and state governments. All the supply chain-managers only come here, do what pleases them and go away. That is why I told them that we are not in military regime, we are in democracy. “For you to participate in GES as a state, you had to agree with the federal government, but if we see that the way they are running GES is not to the interest of our people, we can withdraw from the scheme. Some states abinitio, told the federal government that they are not interested.” He hailed members of the CCEP for the advocacy visit saying that “if you had not come to this ministry you will not get the right information. When you have the right information definitely, the public will have the right information at its disposal. In the ministry of agriculture there is no segregation between men and women farmers.”
•A youth Corps member, Dr Trix-Meyi Om ines the eyes of a patient during a free med she organised for residence of Ijah-Tampe the FCT
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
THE NORTH REPORT
Newly appointed Niger State Commissioner of Information, Communications and Strategy, Malam Danladi Ndayebo speaks in this interview with journalists on the policies and programmes of government as well as its economic vision. JIDE ORINTUNSIN was
‘A new Niger has appeared’
HAT would you say are Governor Mu’azu Aliyu’s achievements in the seven years of his administration? When we were campaigning in 2007, we had a clear picture of the kind of reforms we wanted to pursue and the expected outcomes. Let me take you back to Governor Aliyu’s inaugural speech. That address captured the situation of things at the time he took over and gave insight into what we wanted to do as a government to reverse the prevalence of poverty and underdevelopment that was ravaging the state. Seven years down the line, we have left development imprints that are difficult to ignore. In the last seven years, Governor Aliyu has stamped his seal of excellence in all the critical sectors of the state’s economy. We have done wonderfully well in agriculture, education, infrastructure, health, security, you name it. How would you assess the performance of your administration’s much talked-about vision to make Niger State one of the top three most developed state economies in Nigeria? Well, so far so good. In the last seven years we have been able to make Niger State better than we met it. At the beginning of the administration, we looked at our opportunities and potentials as a state and consequently conceived a strategic development action plan, which envisions that Niger State should be among the top three most developed states economies by the year 2020. It is important to say that the Vision 3-2020 document has remained our guiding principle and a standard by which performance of the various ministries, departments and agencies is bench-marked. And i am happy to say that we have recorded successes in all our priority sectors of education, agriculture, health and infrastructural development. We have also done well in the areas of tourism and culture, urban and rural transformation, water supply, environmental sanitation and housing, among others. Regarding creation of jobs for the teeming unemployed graduates, what would you say is the achievement of administration? This is one area that we took seriously right from the outset. Between 2007 when we came on board and now, we have recruited over 5,000 graduates under the Graduate Employment Scheme (GES). The state has also engaged and trained 500 youth
Omonigho, exame medical outreach mpe community in
as sanitation officers and another 500 as Green Guards to police our forests. A total of 500 youth traffic vanguards have also been engaged to assist in the management of vehicular movement in the State as well as 300 young people who have been trained in the area of poultry and fish farming. It is significant to state that our administration has been adjudged the best in the history of the state in terms of prompt payment of salaries and allowances of workers, their capacity building and implementation of minimum wage apart from the special wage structure for professionals in the health sector. The Government has also introduced a civil servants car loan scheme through which workers are assisted to own their own cars at 10% subsidised rates. At the inception of this administration, the governor declared free and compulsory education in the state. How far about the implementation of the policy? When in 2007, we declared free and compulsory education, not many people believed it was possible, perhaps because the initiative is unprecedented in the history of the state. I am happy to tell you that there are landmark achievements in this sector, like the progress we have made in the in the area of girl-child education. We also pioneered the effort at integrating western and Islamic education, ahead of Federal Government’s almajiri school programme. And I am sure you have not forgotten that we have been consistent in the payment of NECO/WAEC fees for final year students in all public secondary schools in the State since 2008. We are also ensured up-to-date payment of counterpart fund of over N6Billion to the Universal Basic Commission (UBEC) for the transformation of basic primary education through the activities of the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB), leading to increase in primary school enrolment from about 630,000 in 2008 to about 1.5 million today. Payment of scholarship to over 23,000 students in Nigerian universities and other institutions of higher learning have also been regular and I can go on and on... Niger State has close to 10% of the nation’s total land mass. One naturally thinks that agriculture should be your area of comparative advantage? Many of you have lived here for many years and you should be the
‘When in 2007, we declared free and compulsory education, not many people believed it was possible, perhaps because the initiative is unprecedented in the history of the state. I am happy to tell you that there are landmark achievements in this sector, like the progress we have made in the in the area of girlchild education’ one telling others what the current administration has been doing to change the face of agriculture in the state. Our landmark achievements in this area include the Established Niger Rice Investment Consortium (NSRIC) Project to boost rice production and position Niger State as the major producer of high quality rice in the country. To get the project off the ground we established and equipped five Agricultural Equipment Hiring Centres of the NSRIC Project in the rice producing communities of Doko, Jima, Mambe, Ndaloke and Gaba.
•Vice President Namadi Sambo (middle) with Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar (right) at the launching of N1.9billion appeal fund for the construction of International Islamic Centre in Abuja. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN
We have procured 400 units of tractors and distributed to the Tractor Hiring Units Implementation programme in the 25 LGAs to boost agricultural production and revitalized agricultural extension infrastructure by renovating nine (9) centres across the state and distributed 100 motorcycles to facilitate the movement of the extension workers. Irrigation programme has also enjoyed a boost with the reactivation of 16 schemes across the state to boost all year farming. We have also registered over 270,000 farmers under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES). It is because of our modest efforts that the State was selected as one of four additional phase II States for the implementation of the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP II) in collaboration with the World Bank and French Development Agency. The buffer stock programme in which thousand tones of grains are sold to the public at subsidized rates regularly has been sustained by our administration. Your government has received commendation for its achievements in the health sector. How are you consolidating on these gains? Let me thank you for recognising our modest achievements in this allimportant sector and to say with all sense of humility that we have been able to fulfil virtually all our campaign promises and even attained greater heights in some areas. Like you rightly said, we have made tremendous progress in the area of health care delivery. We have been proving free medical services for children under five, pregnant women (up to 40 days
post delivery) and the aged over 70 years of age. We have constructed and equipped three ultra modern, hi-tech General Hospitals in the three senatorial zones of the State (located at Gulu, Sabon Wuse and Nasko). Government has also embarked on the construction of 134-bed neo natal and maternity wings as part of the expansion of Minna General Hospital (with funding support from SURE-P special projects directorate). Do not also forget that between 2007 and now we have constructed over 200 Primary Healthcare Centres across the State in partnership with the MDGs office aside the renovation of all existing General Hospitals and Primary Healthcare Centres in the State. The Babangida Aliyu’s administration also upgraded the IBB Specialized Hospital, Minna into a Specialist Hospital with expanded scope to diversify its operational base in meeting the ever increasing medical needs of the people. This is unprecedented in the history of the state. Within the same hospital we established a Dialysis Centre for the treatment of patients with kidney disorders and procurement of modern Computer Tomographic scan machine (CT Scan). Some rural health centres were also upgraded to the status of general hospitals. They are General Hospital Kutigi and General Hospital Agaie and Lemu General Hospital. But the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has consistently argued that your government has little or nothing to show in terms of infrastructural development. They contend that most of your legacy projects are substandard. What is your take on this? Such a verdict only goes to show that the opposition party clearly does not know what to make of the phenomenon called Babangida Aliyu. Governor Aliyu’s seven-year administration is the closest to a revolution in Niger State. And our work speaks for us. We have achieved in concrete terms in seven years what other leaders can only dream of in a decade. In Minna alone we have reconstructed and dualised almost all the township roads. We dualised the Yakubu Lame/ Government House Road, the Mu’azu Mohammed Road, the Musa Zago Road, the Mobil Roundabout – Keteren Gwari – Old Secretariat Road project, the new Eastern Bye passBahago Roundabout – Eid-Burial Ground Road project, the Jonathan’s place Road project, the Maitumbi – Maikunkele Road project, the Peter Sarki Road, the Niteco Road, (now Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi Road), the old Bay Clinic Road, among others. The administration also constructed the Lapai-Gwari- FUT Road, the Kwakwuti- Kafin Koro-Gwada Road and work on the construction of a bridge across the Shiroro River has reached 70% completion. So what is APC talking about? Outside the state capital, the administration also undertook the reconstruction of road projects such as the dualization of the Lagos street in Kontagora, the Luma -Babbana road in Borgu Local Government Area, the Lapai – Gulu - Muye road, some township roads in Bida and similar ongoing ten kilometre road projects spread across the 25 council areas of the state as part of the administration’s road projects for community integration and socio economic development. Not to be missed is the Ward Development Project introduced by the current administration. It is a novel initiative which has since become iconic and a model to other states. Under the project, funds are allocated to the 274 wards in the state on a monthly basis and a committee of selected persons superintend over a forum where the entire community agree on a project of their choice. This has given a huge sense of belonging to the grassroots.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
THE NORTH REPORT
Kwara blames Fed Govt for fertiliser supply hitches From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
•Governor Yero inaugurates the tricycles
•Continued from page 29 ignated routes for each of the vehicles. Accordingly, machinery has been put in place to ensure full compliance. This is to ensure that all areas affected by the ban on commercial motorcycles benefit from this distribution. Let me also say that the selection of beneficiaries of our scheme is devoid of partisan or other primordial considerations. We have established channels of communication with relevant stakeholders ranging from traditional institutions, the clergy and eminent sons and daughters of the state, our objective is to ensure that only those who really need to be accommodated in this programme are given the opportunity”. The governor believes that citizens of the state can take the opportunity of the new transport law in the state to invest, saying “our economy will benefit immensely if you invest in the transport sector and assist government to fully migrate from the use of motorcycles to tricycles, taxis and buses. We are all aware of the health hazards, traffic risks and security threats associated with the use of motorcycles as a mode of commercial transportation. I will also call on them to take maximum advantage of this opportunity provided by Government. The repayment plan has been designed in such a way
Okada out, tricycles in ‘Our economy will benefit immensely if you invest in the transport sector and assist government to fully migrate from the use of motorcycles to tricycles, taxis and buses. We are all aware of the health hazards, traffic risks and security threats associated with motorcycles’ that is realistic, convenient and affordable. It is our hope and desire that the scheme will transform your lives from those of unemployed youths to not only being employed but in the nearest future as employers of labour. I must however warn that Government will not condone default in the repayment plans by beneficiary’s failure to abide by the conditions and terms of engagement will lead to confiscation of the tricycle. You must bear in mind that you were chosen from a list of thousands of others who applied, you
must therefore work hard to justify your selection. Deputy Governor and Chairman of the SURE-P Implementation Committee in the state, Amb. Nuhu Audu Bajoga said that the distribution was in addition to the 700 tricycles distributed by the government in 2013 during the first phase of the SURE-P sectorial Intervention in the transport sector. He stressed that during the first phase, the government distributed of 700 tricycles, 40 Taxis, 35 Mini and 15 Luxurious Buses to various beneficiaries at 50%
rebate. This gesture has had positive impact in the wellbeing of beneficiaries and significantly enhanced Commuter Services in the State. He asked beneficiaries, to judiciously utilize these tricycles by sustaining the current atmosphere of orderliness as currently being witnessed in commuter services in the metropolis and environs. Some analysts in the state has however criticise the amount being paid for the tricycles which they consider as too expensive. Yakubu Musa, a resident of the metropolis told The Nation that giving out a tricycle at the cost of N531,000 is too expensive. He said: “even though they are supposed to pay half of that amount, I must tell you that N531,000 can give you a good car which you can use for commercial purpose. If you consider the fact that these tricycles are not strong, you will realise that the investment is not really worth it. In any case, I commend the government for having the political will to make the investment. But our fear right now is that these tricycles may turn out to be more troublesome than the commercial motorcyclists.”
‘Rivalry hinders healthcare delivery’
HE Nigerian healthcare delivery system is being hampered by rivalry among healthcare providers in the country, former House of Representatives chair on health, Dr Wale Okediran has said. He also said other healthcare providers have accused the federal government of unduly favouring medical doctors. Dr Okediran was speaking in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the 30th induction ceremony for the University of Ilorin (Unilorin) medical school graduates. The Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Dr Abdulmumuni Ibrahim presented by Dr Victor Gbenro conducted the induction ceremony for the 103 graduates. The former president of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), who was the guest lecturer, spoke on the topic: ‘Serving three masters; the interplay between medicine, literature and politics.’ The medical doctor turned politician added: “The health profession is teamwork; no pro-
‘The health profession is teamwork; no profession is superior to other members of the health team. The superiority rivalry between health workers has negatively affected healthcare delivery in this country’ From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
fession is superior to other members of the health team. The superiority rivalry between health workers has negatively affected healthcare delivery in this country. “In fact, the present health bill before the National Assembly has been passed on two separate occasions, but on each occasion whenever the president wants to assent to the bill protests will come from health workers saying that the doctors have been too
favoured in the bill. The current bill with the president should have been assented to since but because of pressure from members of the health team.” The Provost of UNILORIN College of Health Sciences, Prof Ayodele Omotoso described the current security challenges in the country as discouraging medical doctors in the diaspora. “The recent security challenges, namely kidnappings and terrorism, discourage doctors in the diaspora from contributing their quota to national development,”
he said. “The 21st century doctor has to tackle with health problems that are both individual and universal. A quick glance at the Nigerian healthcare system immediately reveals some of its strengths and weaknesses. The challenges with the health sector may well be a vista to population-sized systemic effect. “While the medical training indeed is adequate and comparable with global standards, nothing quite insulates the doctors in Nigeria from the Herculean task brought about by extraneous factors. It is a social situation to which we must all rise, putting all sufficiently trained hands on deck. “Social factors may directly or indirectly impact negatively on the health of individuals and the populace. For example, poverty and ignorance affect access to and maximization of available healthcare services. Also, bad roads prevent quick access to the hospital and lack of power may cause otherwise avoidable delays with surgical procedures.”
HE Kwara State government has blamed the federal government for the hitches being experienced in the supply of fertilisers, maize and rice in the country. The state added that the number of registered farmers quoted by the federal government in the 2014 Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) is at variance with the figures in the state. The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Anthony Towoju said this in Ilorin, the state capital, when some members of the Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEP), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) paid him a visit in his office. “The minister for Agriculture was quoting a figure of about 285,000 farmers that registered for 2014 GES whereas to the best of our knowledge, the ones that participated last year were only 139,000,” Towoju said. “We have written them in Abuja to tell us how they got 285,000 farmers and their names.” Speaking further, Towoju said, “The bulk of the blame of this scheme goes to the Federal Government. All the inadequacies I have seen as the commissioner for agriculture stem from Abuja. Reasons: GES is supposed to be a provision where our small holding farmers will be assisted to get inputs of two bags of fertiliser, either 10kg of maize of 12.5 kg or rice. As I am talking to you now the register of all farmers in Kwara State is not with us. It is in Abuja. Even the Abuja figure of farmers in the state is at variance with our own. The states are not well carried along in GES whereas states are major stakeholders; because “We pay 25 per cent and federal government pays 25 per cent of the cost. But they are holding it as if it is their baby. In GES today, all the fertilizer supplying companies were appointed in Abuja, state governments have no input of who gets the contract of fertiliser supply. All the agro feeders participating in GES are appointed in Abuja; all the helpline staff in Kwara were also appointed in Abuja. “They told us that they advertised through the internet. How many Nigerians especially at the local level have access to the internet? That breeds corruption and that is what they love doing in Abuja. The states are in better position to identify their farmers as they are domiciled in the states and present it to Abuja. But Abuja will come and identify the farmers in the state even without our knowledge. “You know why we are concerned about GES is that we have paid and we are the owners of our farmers. We want our farmers to benefit. We have protested to the federal ministry of agriculture that we are not properly carried along. They operate through email. There must be openness. Abuja must see GES as a joint baby of the federal and state governments. All the supply chain-managers only come here, do what pleases them and go away. That is why I told them that we are not in military regime, we are in democracy. “For you to participate in GES as a state, you had to agree with the federal government, but if we see that the way they are running GES is not to the interest of our people, we can withdraw from the scheme. Some states abinitio, told the federal government that they are not interested.” He hailed members of the CCEP for the advocacy visit saying that “if you had not come to this ministry you will not get the right information. When you have the right information definitely, the public will have the right information at its disposal. In the ministry of agriculture there is no segregation between men and women farmers.”
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Protest over planned demolition
HE indigenous people of Jahi 1 Village in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have staged a peaceful protest over plans by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to demolish over 300 houses in the community, vowing to resist such action. The protesters, who were expressed their anger against Senator Bala Mohammed’s administration, carried placards with some inscriptions that read “FCT law and policy should benefit the people, not political patrons,’ ‘ “Who paid? Who received Officials or conspirators?” and “Our farmlands taken, our livelihood decimated, our homes destroyed, our children violated and our lives threatened. Is that fresh air?” The chief of the community, Alhaji Adamu Dogo, explained that the protest aimed at preventing the FCDA from carrying out the proposed demolition of houses in the community, which he described as act of wickedness and inhuman on the part of the FCT Administration under Senator Mohammed. Chief Dogo said: “The community is currently mourning the death of a woman that died as a result of the demolition threat by the FCT authority, because her house was among the marked ones. The tension and trauma she experienced on receiving the sad news of the threat caused her death.”
From Gbenga Omokhunu
Lamenting that the FCT Administration does not regard them as fellow mankind was why they could enter any community to demolish their only source of existence. “We are not against development, but the officials of the FCDA have no human heart. We have to send our children to schools. That is why we admit tenants in our houses. They are building houses and giving out lands only to non-indigenes. No single indigenous person has been given any allocation in the FCT. We want to live in peace and the FCT Minister should give us that peace. According to the monarch, they are yet to recover from the onslaught of the FCDA, when they came back about two weeks ago with well-armed military personnel and marked our houses for demolition, without giving us any explanation why they want to demolish our homes. “Things are not done that way. We are all human beings and citizens of Nigeria. It was wrong for them to come into my community to mark houses without first informing the chief of the community. Moreover, we are still in dialogue with the FCTA. But they refused to leave, insisting that they are going to mark the houses, which we allowed them to do. “Then on Friday, June 6, the same officials came back in the company
‘Zhayi community woke up one day to discover that they had been ambushed by a detachment of the military not to smoke out Boko Haram insurgents but to demolish the homes of law-abiding citizens. Just to enable some powerful individuals take possession of lands given them by the government’ of well-armed military men to demolish our houses. This was even as the administration failed to compensate or resettle the indigenes. I must confess that we have been pushed to the wall, that we had no choice but to resist the troop of soldiers sent by the FCT Administration to our village,” he said. He stressed that they will not allow the administration to toss them around without any proper arrangement for the well-being of the natives and residents, saying they will not be cowed into leaving their ancestral homes. Old women carrying loads on their backs were not left out of the protest. National Coordinator Greater Gbagyi Development Initiative (GGDIN), Prince Gbaiza Gimba also explained that since the vast land now known as FCT was taken over by the Federal Government in 1976, the
indigenous people of the FCT have literarily been under “perennial harassment by government officials and private land grabbers using military and police personnel to dispossess them of their farmlands and homesteads without any arrangement on how to compensation or resettlement them. Gimba said: “Zhayi community woke up one day to discover that they had been ambushed by a detachment of the military not to smoke out Boko Haram insurgents but to demolish the homes of lawabiding citizens. Just to enable some powerful individuals take possession of lands given them by the government. “But for the intervention of the Almighty God, many lives and property worth billions of Naira would have been lost had the military detachment thrown caution to the wind and shot at the unarmed civilians
who rather vowed to be killed than watch their property go under the teeth of the bulldozer. “This is because the only means of livelihood left to the original inhabitants, whose farmlands have been consumed by development is by renting their homes to other Nigerians who daily flood Abuja in search of greener pastures.” The group, Gimba said, called for the review of extant land administration laws and policies since the root of “corrupt practices in the administration of the FCT lay in the initial slipshod and deficient laws that relate to the creation and administration of the FCT and in the offshoot policies, regulations and laws that followed these initial sloppy ones. A review of these laws should be done in line with international conventions and laws. “Review or revoke all the improper allocations and bring racketeers to book and enact a law setting up a development trust fund to meet human development needs of the original inhabitants of FCT whose means of livelihood which is land have been taken away from.” The protesters also pleaded with people of good conscience in Nigeria to prevail on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to save them from final economic strangulation and annihilation by meeting their demands and make appropriate legislation to protect the indigenous communities of the FCT.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Emergency committee for area councils
HODs trained in health insurance scheme From Gbenga Omokhunu
HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Community-based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS) under the supervision of the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has organised training for Heads of Health Departments in the six area councils on ways and modalities for the community health insurance scheme. The Coordinator of the CBHIS Dr. Grace Aganaba, who said the training was in collaboration with the FCT Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDGs), stated that it was meant to carry the heads of departments along in the progress of health service delivery in the communities and in the area councils, knowing full well that heads of departments are in charge of health and advice their various council chairmen on health issues. According to Aganaba, the heads of health departments needed to know the strategies the CBHIS is evolving in the health insurance process, and they also needed to know how and what to do during the process of the health insurance and how to assist the programme to make it successful the best they could. “In cases where the health officers are not being taking care of, they are the ones we can liaise with, for them to take care of the situation. They have given us desk officers to work with us and we need to always interact with them, so that they are carried along all the time. “In this kind of issue, we look forward to receiving outside help and sometimes if our donors can come and get to the area councils, they need to know what to do when that happens. “It is the government of the FCTA, through the supervision of the FCT Minister for State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide who is determined to ensure that every resident of the FCT has access to healthcare delivery, by assisting in the subsidy, in repairing of hospitals, in providing drugs, giving health education and health provision. The minister’s 100 per cent commitment is giving this scheme the success it desires,” she said. Dr Modupe Adeyinka, the Head of Health Department of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), who was one of the participants, said the training was very important to them, because most of them have been brought on board on the community-based health insurance scheme, even though, she said, the people still need to be closer to the health department so that the council can actually give it complete support.
•A demolished part of the house
Saraha Homes: We didn’t flout court order T
HE Federal Capital Territory’s Department of Development Control said it never flouted any court injunction in the demolition exercise its officials carried out on structures owned by Saraha Homes Landlords’ Association, Kafe District. Reacting to a story on Abuja Review on June 10, 2014, the Director in the Department, Mr. Yusuf Yahaya Anako, said the owners of the structures on the controversial Plot 140, Kafe District were victims of a web of deceit or false claim of ownership of the title by the developer. Yahaya, while noting that the developer ignored relevant contravention notices sent to him, said the Department is conscious of its responsibility and would not take court injunction with levity. He said: ”The attention of the Department of Development Control has been drawn to a publication in The Nation Newspapers of Tuesday, June 10, 2014 captioned “Another estate demolished despite Court injunction.” This claim was made by some subscribers into the illegal developments on Plot 140, Kafe District under the aegis of Saraha Homes Landlords’ Association. “The Department feels obliged to respond to this as a responsible government agency that believes in the Rule of Laws and for the mere fact that it owes a duty to the Nigerian public. The subscribers bought into
From Faith Yahaya
the deceit or false claim of a developer who has no title over the plot in question and without due diligence checks commenced development without approval from the Department of Development Control. Despite service of relevant contravention notices, the illegal developers intractably ignored, despised and abused all the notices and continued their illegalities with impunity. “When the threat of enforcing applicable sanctions (demolition) was given by the Department, the illegal developers proceeded to court for an injunction which they believed was meant only to tie the hands of the authority while they continued the illegal development. The injunction was granted to by the court on Plot No. 55, Kafe District restraining the Department from demolishing structures on the said Plot and not Plot 140. “It is important to note that Plot No 140 is clearly different and defined by physically visible landmark from Plot No. 55. The Department, in respect of the Court Order, did not carry out any demolition on Plot 55 despite being in contravention but only on Plot 140 which was not covered by the injunction as it is not within Plot No. 55.
“Once again, this Department reiterates that it is a law-abiding government agency which handles its mandate with fairness and ensures that it complies with the tenets of the Rules of Law. “Nigerians need to know that the Department, in pursuance of its statutory functions, still recognises what human face is. This was what played out during the exercise at Plot No. 140 where only perimeter fences and gate houses were touched at the time, leaving out the main buildings occupied by fellow Nigerians. “The general public is hereby advised to always exercise due diligence in handling matters of development in any part of the Federal Capital Territory. There are many fraudsters masquerading as genuine and well-intended developers who want to provide houses for unsuspecting and innocent Abuja residents. “Before anybody subscribes to developers in Abuja, there is always the need for him or her to visit relevant departments for enquiries to know the authenticity of the Plot and the Building Plan they often parade which, most times, do not emanate from the Departments of Land Administration and Development Control respectively. “We all owe this country the duty to develop the city of our dream through truthfulness and adherence to regulations.”
N40b road expansion inaugurated From Grace Obike
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has inaugurated the phase 1 of the rehabilitation and expansion of the Outer Southern Expressway in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The road extends from the Villa Roundabout, passing through Kuja and terminating at the intersection of Trunk A2 in Gwagwalada and has a length of 65km with several interchange structures along the entire stretch. The N40 billion road project will
include eight numbers of bridges, four pedestrian bridges at different locations, two main carriageways all made up of 10 lanes and interconnecting access road and slip roads at interchanges, with a completion period of 36 months. President Jonathan said the project was a testimony of his administration’s desire to launch the country to greater heights through massive investment in infrastructure. The President, who was represented at the occasion by the Vice-President Namadi Sambo, said: “It is worthy of note to state that our concerted efforts are yielding positive reports and the whole world is paying attention to us. For this reason, last week, the international assessment formally announced Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy. “In our continuous drive for development, this administration is taking
‘It is worthy of note to state that our concerted efforts are yielding positive reports and the whole world is paying attention to us. For this reason, last week, the international assessment formally announced Nigeria as Africa’s biggest economy’ a step further by the rehabilitation and expansion of the present four lanes, two carriage ways of the Outer Southern Expressway in 10 lanes. The scope of work also will run into 65kms comprising four interchange structures. The road project when completed will alleviate the hardship being experienced by the FCT residents and other road users as they commute to work daily.” Minister of the FCT Hon. Bala Mohammed explained that the road was first done in 1982, a service carriageway of two lanes, running from the Villa Roundabout to Ring Road 1
intersection. An additional main carriageway of two lanes was expanded in 2, 000 while one of the service carriageways of two lanes was constructed from Ring Road 1 to Ring Road II in 2007 but the completed aspects of the carriageways have, overtime, proven to be highly inadequate as a result of the increasing traffic on the road. His words: “We braced up to enhancing the welfare of the teeming populace of the FCT through massive investments in roads, infrastructure and public utilities. “As a result, we embarked on the
From Grace Obike
HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is planning to set up a local emergency committee in the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to handle disasters more efficiently. Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alhaji Abbas Idriss revealed this during the donation of relief materials to Sabongari Bassa community, in conjunction with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Idriss said the local emergency committee will be a replica of FEMA in the community and will liaise with it to ensure disaster risk reduction in the localities. In a press statement, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) FEMA, Josie Mudasiru, Idriss appreciated the Chairman of Kwali Area Council, Hon. Daniel Ibrahim for his unflinching support to FEMA. He pleaded with his assistance to set up the local emergency committee in Kwali Area Council. His words: “This exercise shows that the FCT Administration and the Federal Government have the interest of the community at heart.” Hon. Ibrahim expressed his appreciation to the FCT Administration that has deemed it important to respond to hardship being experienced by the Sabongari Bassa people of Kwali Area Council. He further appealed to the beneficiaries to make judicious use of what has been provided. The Zonal Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency NEMA, Mr. Ishaya Chonoko said: “Sabongari Bassa residents to plant more trees in their domain. Chonoko said the windstorm that destroyed their homes and farmlands could be prevented if the community imbibes the culture of tree planting. The relief materials donated included mattresses, pillows, bags of rice, garri, beans, roofing sheets, wrappers, nails, blankets and bags of cements.
‘This exercise shows that the FCT Administration and the Federal Government have the interest of the community at heart…Sabongari Bassa residents should plant more trees in their domains…The windstorm that destroyed their homes and farmlands could be prevented if the community imbibes the culture of tree planting’ procurement of a segment of rehabilitation and expansion of the Outer Southern Expressway, Phase 1by improving the existing two carriageways of four lanes into four carriageways of 10 lanes. Mohammed, who was represented by the Minister of State for the FCT Olajumoke Akinjide also said: “The contract was awarded at a sum of N39, 829,749, 225.69 with a completion period of 36 months. The scope of work majorly includes infrastructural services like power supply and street lighting along the roads and at interchanges and telecommunication ducts with all appurtenances. “Road works consisting of two main carriageways and service carriageways, all made up of 10 lanes from Villa Roundabout to Ring Road 1 and interconnecting Access Road and slip roads at interchanges. “Also included is bridge works made up of eight bridges with various spans at the four interchange locations and four pedestrian bridges at different locations.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
•From left: Special Adviser to the President on Inter-party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, President Goodluck Jonathan and former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari during the All-Political Parties Summit in Abuja. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN
•From left: Former German Parliamentary State Secretary Ms Dadmar Wohrl, German Minister of Development and Economic Co-operation, Gerd Mueller presenting a football to President Goodluck Jonathan to mark the opening World Cup ceremony and wishing Nigeria and Germany play in the final during the visit of the German delegation to the State House Abuja. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN
•Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives, Hon. Raphael Igbokwe (left); Permanent Secretary, FCT, Mr John Chukwu; Vice-President, Namadi Sambo; Chairman, FCT Traditional Rulers, Ona of Abaji, His Royal Highness, Adamu Yunusa; Minister of State, FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, and Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, during the ground-breaking ceremony of the rehabilitation and expansion of the Outer Southern Expressway in PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE Abuja.
•From left: Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi and Director-General Budget Office, Bright Okongwu during a National Economic Management Team meeting at the Presidential Villa Abuja. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN.
HE Chairman of Abaji Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Hon. Yahaya Garba, has received the most ethical responsible local government in the FCT award. The Director of Centre for Ethics and Self Value Orientation, Prince Salih Ibrahim, said the cen-
•Obaro of Kabba, Kogi State, His Royal Highness Oba Michael Olobayo, presenting a plaque of honour to the Director-General, Consumer Protection Council, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, during the civic reception organised by Kabba Development Union (KDU) in honour of indigenous Owe people on their recent promotion, election and appointments held at Kabba, Kogi State
•Minister of State, FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide (middle) with Secretary, Agric and Rural Development FCT, Mrs. Olvadi Madayi (left); Secretary, Social Development, Mrs. Blessing Onuh; former AMAC Deputy Chairman, Oluchi Okoye (right), and Secretary Legal, Mrs. Ima Okpowagete during the flag-off of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week in the FCT. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
Abaji council chief gets award From Gbenga Omokhunu
tre, which is a non-governmental organisation, conducted an independent investigation on elected representatives, especially area councils chairmen. Hon. Yahaya Garba emerged first position,
having viewed critically the impact he made in the council in the last one year. Ibrahim: “Our organisation, which is non- partisan, is out to expose corrupt public officers and leaders in the FCT, who, instead of offering services to the people,
embezzle public funds and allow their constituents to suffer.” Hon. Yahaya Garba, while accepting the award, said it was a challenge for him to provide more services to the people of Abaji. This, he said, is because reward comes with more call for service.
He reaffirmed his commitment to work for the benefit of the people. Garba further said he dedicated the award to the electorate who gave him the opportunity to serve them as chairman, saying that his administration will not rest until the people of the council have improved standard of living.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
T is no longer secret that the former Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, who stoutly defended President Goodluck Jonathan's administration's actions and policies, was unceremoniously relieved of his appointment on April 29. He has been replaced by the former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Rufai Alkali. Before the new appointment, Alkali who is a political scientist from Gombe State was, last year appointed Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna. But what was not very clear till Wednesday last week was the reason or reasons for terminating the appointment of the evervocal Gulak. During his tenure as Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Gulak stepped on many toes in defence of the Goodluck administration. No reason was given for the termination of Gulak's appointment in the statement issued in April by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati in which he announced the decision of the government. The statement read: "President Goodluck Jonathan has terminated the appointment of his Special Adviser (Political), Alhaji Ahmed Gulak with immediate effect. "President Jonathan thanks Alhaji Gulak for his services to the present Administration and wishes him success in his future endeavours. "A replacement for Alhaji Gulak will be announced in due course." Since the termination of Gulak's appointment, no reference or reasons have been officially given for the action. President Jonathan, while administering oath of office on Alkali before Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday last week, gave an idea of what might have led to Gulak's sack. As a 'simple' man, Jonathan must have detested Gulak's outspokenness and seemingly immaturity in handling issues while he held sway as the Special Adviser on Political Matters. Jonathan didn't hide his feelings on Wednesday when he made it very clear that he needed a mature person on the position
Jonathan's grouse with Gulak who will think twice before making any utterance. Jonathan said to Alkali: "You are very mature person and I believe that in your conduct, your utterances, your actions and inactions, you will portray a good character; a character that politicians and young people will use as role models. "I congratulate you on your appointment. I know you will not betray the confidence reposed in you by disappointing not just me, but all Nigerians. "As the Political Adviser, you are like the Group Managing Director to Mr. President on political issues." Recalling Alkali's role in the past, Jonathan said: "You are not new; you took us round the whole country during our 2011 campaigns. So, you are already a wellknown person. You have worked as a member of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party. "Your appointment is vital because you are the Chief spokesperson of the President on politi-
From the Villa By Augustine Ehikioya
cal issues. When one listens to some of the comments that we politicians make, they sometimes could be terrible and do not portray the character of good politics. "We are supposed to be nationbuilders. Even though it is extremely difficult to agree that a politician could be a statesman because of our partisanship, at least in our utterances, we should give Nigerians hope that this country will be together and that we must unite and collectively develop our country."
What was very clear from Jonathan's remarks was tutoring Alkali on how to go about the assignment. This must be good for Alkali as Gulak, who was busy attacking every perceived enemy of the government, didn't know that he was also soiling his relationship with his master through his conduct and utterances. The cool-headed Alkali will, no doubt, find it easy to fit into the new assignment as directed by the President.
‘We are supposed to be nation-builders. Even though it is extremely difficult to agree that a politician could be a statesman because of our partisanship, at least in our utterances, we should give Nigerians hope that this country will be together and that we must unite and collectively develop our country’
Education is a priority, says ex-council chief
HE immediate past chairman of Kuje Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Hon. Danladi Zhin has said impact of the investment by the administration of Hon. Shaban Tete on education is a long-term one whose benefits would be realized later, even as he said that education is the best form of poverty alleviation in any society. Zhin, who is aspiring for the House of Representatives to represent Kuje, Abaji, Gwgwalada and Kwali Federal Constituency in the FCT, revealed this in Abuja at the dinner and award night organised by Nigerian Universities Education Student Association (NUESA), University of Abuja chapter in Gwagwalada Area Council Abuja. The event was tagged “Youth for Peace and Unity.” According to Zhin, as long as he remains a member of PDP, he will never compromise the education programme of President GoodLuck Jonathan for Nigerian youths, say-
From Gbenga Omokhunu
ing that he believed in the concrete development of the youth through quality education. “Some political opponents are calling the youth leaders of tomorrow, but still turn round to frustrate the education sector which is targeted at the youth. I vow to maintain the path of destiny of the youth, because it is in the hands of the leaders to make it work. So, I want to urge the youth to be law-abiding citizens in their future endeavours,” he said. Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Mrs. Sarah Jibril said the only legacy parents could bequeath to their children is sound education, adding that the youth could be empowered through sound education and their good involvement in political activities, as well as embarking on various projects that could be of benefit to them. She told the outgoing students
•Chairperson, Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) Book Development Committee, Prof. Patricia Donli (middle); members of the Committee, Convener, Book Publication Sub-Committee, Prof. Ogugua Aworh (right), and member of TETFUND Board of Trustees, Mrs. Anna Kolawole at a meeting of Technical Group of Tertiary Education Fund Book Development intervention fund in Abuja. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
that men without women cannot achieve much in their various professional callings. She therefore appealed to men to give recognition to women to enable them to contribute to nation-building for the
good of every Nigeria. The occasion featured awards presentation to some students and distinguished Nigerians, among who were Pro-Chancellor of the institution, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, Spe-
cial Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Mrs. Sarah Jibril and the immediate past chairman of Kuje Area Council, Hon. Danladi Zhin, among others.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Nigeria in need of good governance, say lawyers
AJORITY of Nigerians will remain poor until there is good governance, lawyers have said. The lawyers, who spoke after the Eight Annual Conference of the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA-SBL), said there will be no development until the government begins to take tough decisions. They also want a diversification of the economy by focusing on other non-oil sectors to drive development. SBL chairman Mr Gbenga Oyebode said: “It is a shame that people always talk of Nigeria as having potentials but we never really get to achieving and harnessing those potentials that they talk about.” He said the investors would not come to Nigeria where there is a lack of belief in the judiciary and the rule of law, or where there is lack of respect for human rights. “There is a lot of deficits that we have from the poverty perspective, we have income inequality, we have significant corruption. Let focus attention on all these
things,” Oyebode said. A former NBA President Joseph B. Daudu (SAN) spoke on said the government must focus on how to empower citizens economically. “It is for organisations like the SBL to constantly engage the institutions and make sure that they dictate the pace, rather than remaining at the receiving end,” he said. A United States of America (USA) based lawyer, Mr. Vincent O. Omegba said people must speak up and challenge bad governance. He added: “The more we do conferences like this, the more it resonates in our hearts that these are the ways that we have to go, these are what we have to do to make sure that the law profession becomes the real pillar of the society that it really is.” SBL Secretary Mr. Olu Apata said: “W e have maintained the path we had towed at the SBL and I assure you that we will keep b the flag flying.” The pioneer chairman of SBL, Mr. George Etomi said Nigerian lawyers are making
progress despite economic challenges. “We are progressing rapidly towards a globalised environment; cross border legal services is becoming more and more prevalent. The only way we can meet up with that challenge is to up our game,” he said. Competition law expert, Dr. Nnamdi Dimgba said there is a need for us to have a system that regulates the way businesses compete in the market place. “There is this feeling that there is a strong imbalance in the way businesses operate in the market place, it is not level at all. And the thinking is that as part of the ongoing liberalisation of the economy, we need to have a legal framework to regulate the way businesses compete so that most dominant companies don’t muscle out, oppress or suppress the emergence of smaller competitors. That is the consensus,” he said. Mia Essien (SAN) said investors may have challenges investing in Nigeria if the disputes resolution mechanism is not robust enough to make sure that when disputes do arise, they will be resolved speedily and
timorously. Mr. Basil Udotai urged the government to focus more on development the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. “The government has failed ICT, this is the service that gives a lot of money to the economy apart from oil and banking, yet we haven’t done a whole lot in terms of reflecting the market needs in our laws and policies,” he said. For Mr Imeh Ashibong, there is need for every hand to be on deck to ensure there is a very strong governance system in the public “We need strong governance structures to enable investors bring their money into Nigeria,” he said. SBL Vice-Chairman Mr. Asue Ighodalo said the conference surpassed his expectations. “We had panellists of first class ability and we are truly grateful for all their contributions. We had a full house in terms of attendance. The quality and quantity of lawyers that attended was high,” he added.
Text of the lecture delivered by Prof. EPIPHANY AZINGE (SAN) on the eve of his bowing out of office as the Director-General of NIALS.
Law and transformation: NIALS forensic empiricism and legal pragmatism
HE research was executed using the following customised terms of refer ence; (1) The Rules of Court dealings with costs (particularly the Lagos state (civil procedure) rules 2012 which is applicable to Lagos and the High court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (civil procedure) Rules 2004 which is similar to the rules applicable to High Courts of other states of the federation. (2) Judicial approach to the award of costs with specific reference to the nature of the awards, where made (3) Effects of frequent adjournments on the speedy disposal of cases (4) Establishing a nexus between repeated requests for adjournments, non-deterrent costs awards and the delays experienced in the administration of justice. (5) The propriety or otherwise of entrenching a punitive costs system in Nigeria. Empirical research methods deployed by NIALS were both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative research methods enabled us to gather qualitative data drawn from observations, interviews of stakeholders, documentary evidence and evaluation of data using data analysis method. Qualitative method on the other hand enabled us to collect numerical data and with the use of statistical methods analyse information collated. Surveys were conducted in four geo-political zones of the country. Legal practitioners and litigants formed the basis of the survey in the geopolitical zones. We were also privileged to use electronic on-line survey methodology to gather data for the research. On the whole, NIALS is pleased with the thought provoking and constructive responses received from those surveyed and the positive reactions of those
who have read the research findings. But more significantly, is the appreciation of the depth and breath of scholarship which made it possible for us to ingenuously develop the research methodology that is uniquely NIALS and built around NIALS philosophy of law, This empirical research is a tribute to NIALS scholars and their determination to break new Grounds in Legal Scholarship Towards a hybrid between adversarial and inquisitorial adjudication machanisms NIALS’ robust engagement with both substantive and adjectival law has prompted the decision to interrogate deeper the adversarial system of dispute resolution which Nigeria received from the English legal system. The view clearly was that after over a century of its application, it is manifestly obvious that adversarial system is largely flawed and therefore cannot continue to be used in its present form. The option also is not a wholesale adoption of the inquisitorial system. After a detailed study of the two systems, NIALS came to the inescapable conclusion that a well-articulated hybrid between the two systems would suffice. This involved tapping from the merits of the two systems while carefully avoiding their shortfalls. In the course of the project, the Institute carried out a robust desk review to interrogate the available literature on the subject and embarked on field research to five geopolitical zones of the country where opinions of serving Judges of the High Court, law lecturers from faculties of law in various Nigerian universities, lecturers from Nigerian Law School and private legal practitioners were sought and received. Majority of the opinions were in favour of repositioning the Nigerian system of justice administration to encour-
age truth finding and reduce lengthy court cases. Invoking the highest form of legal dexterity and conscious of its philosophy of legal scholarship, the project produced what is widely acclaimed as the most innovative and original contribution to the justice delivery system in contemporary times. This remains an enduring tribute to NIALS adherence to forensic empiricism Laws in force in Nigeria: Relevance and functionality. Another giant accomplishment in the realm of legal scholarship is NIALS’ ambitious project which set out to examine all legislations in force in Nigeria with a view to determine the relevance and /or functionality of each enactment. The project used as its template the 2010 edition of laws of the federation of Nigeria In an effort to bring the project as up to date as possible, all the available laws made between 2011 and 2013 were also incorporated. The research found that indeed, there are many laws in our statute books that are not meeting the objective for which they were made. It also found that there are series of laws with similar objectives, often creating similar offences or establishing parallel bodies to address similar issues. It equally discovered that there are several laws that though relevant, are not functional, often due to gaps in the laws themselves or lack of serious efforts at implementing them. As a way forward, our research highlights laws to be repealed, those that need to be merged or consolidated or expired . Laws that should be deleted from the Statute Books, relevant but non-functional laws as well as those that require amendment. It proffers reasons for each of these categorization , highlights gaps and suggests necessary amendments and other steps towards
making our laws more relevant and functional. It is undoubtedly a unique research work which NIALS, in furtherance of its mandate as the apex institution for research and advanced studies in law, has sought to enrich knowledge in its core competence area of legislative drafting. Unification of criminal and penal laws in Nigeria In the last 35 years, Lawyers and jurists have toyed with the idea of harmonizing both the criminal and penal laws of Nigeria. Arguments have been advanced on the merits of unifying both laws. The Institute shares that position. Indeed the position of NIALS is that in spite of the diverse cultures and belief systems that exists between North and south, the harmonization of criminal LAWS IN Nigeria is not only desirable but also achievable. Flowing from this standpoint, NIALS decided to engage on the project of not only identifying the commonalities but also to produce a draft unified law. •To be continued next week
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
LAW PERSONALITY Augustine Alegeh (SAN) is the chairman Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Database Committee. He is a presidential candidate in the forthcoming NBA election. In this interview with Legal Edior JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, he speaks on the election, his manifesto, legal education and the judiciary, among others.
‘NBA can no longer run from electronic voting’ Y
OU are one of the five senior lawyers that have expressed interests in the NBA Presi dency in the forthcoming election, why do you think you are the most qualified to lead the Bar at this time? Firstly, I take it as a positive development that more lawyers are taking interest in the affairs of the Bar, with over 120,000 lawyers enrolled at the Bar. If more lawyers take interest in the affairs of the Bar, then we’ll have a better association at the end of the day. This is because as we get more people, the quality of those involved in running the association will improve. Why do you consider yourself the most eminent to lead the Bar? As they say in law, the briefs have been filed and all the manifestoes of the candidates are in. The reason why I am the best candidate to lead the bar at this time is evident from a close review of the programmes contained in my manifesto. What are the programmes in your manifesto? The programmes I have put forward are contemporary. They deal with the present challenges of lawyers. They don’t address the problems like politicians with promises and grandiose ideas. We have come forward with specific details and specific programmes and we have set out on how to achieve these programmes. We have taken on the welfare of lawyers and I believe that a lot has to be done about the welfare of lawyers. When we take care of the welfare of our lawyers, members will fulfil their obligations to the association as they will all have a sense of belonging in the association. Each member will then be a human rights defender and rule of law proponent in their respective communities. This would ensure the observance of rule of law at all levels in our country. This must be of paramount importance to the association. Do you have other programmes for the Bar? From our practicing fees I propose to institute an insurance policy for lawyers. The policy would be flexible to meet the beliefs and needs of our Lawyers. It would be a choice based policy where each member would be able to opt for the policy that meets his peculiar expectations and needs. For instance, if we have 60,000 lawyers paying practicing fees and we take N500.00 from each lawyer to have a group insurance policy, it will amount to N30million yearly premium available for payment to insurance companies. If we increase the figure a little bit more, to maybe N1,000 it would translate to N60million or if we take 5 per cent of every lawyer’s practicing fees, you can imagine what it would amount to. I give the various scenarios because I do not see the President of the NBA as a maximum ruler who sits down and decrees what he wants. If elected, I intend to sit down with the national officers, National Executive Committee (NEC), branch chairmen and with colleagues who are in insurance business to come up with a workable and acceptable plan to determine the premium that would be available for the insurance scheme. I am going to involve all the 109 branch chairmen and our bar leaders in both policy formulation and implementation. This is something that lawyers should not pay extra for, all we need is to deduct the agreed percentage from the Bar practicing fees paid by each lawyer to fund the insurance premium payment. How is this going to help the association? It would encourage more lawyers to pay their BPF yearly. The increase in the number of lawyers paying BPF would increase and enhance the revenue base of the association. This is because lawyers, who may presently not be paying BPF, would see a need to pay in view of the added benefits of a flexible insurance policy. As the number of those paying increases, the percentage deducted from practicing fees for the insurance may even be reduced. This is something that is within our reach. As Bar practicing fees are paid as at March 31, we’ll know how much we are getting and we’ll know how much we’ll expend on the insurance policy that will cover our members. I am the only candidate in this election who
has put forward clear identifiable practical proposals. I propose to increase the share of branches from BPF from the present 10 per cent to 20 per cent. It is a constitutional matter and I intend to seek an amendment to the NBA Constitution to achieve this proposal. The proposal would also have a tied-on proposal to allow remittance of BPF share to branches by direct debit via a standing order from the BPF account. This would ensure that the branches get their share timeously and would relieve the National Secretariat of the burden of calculating, computing and remitting the share to branches through the existing cumbersome process. Lawyers have called for an amendment of NBA electoral process to make it more credible, what is your reaction to this? I intend to seek constitutional amendment to enable us have electronic voting at our NBA national elections with the hope that same will eventually apply to NBA branches. The concept of travelling to the delegates’ conference to vote in July when you will also need to travel for the Annual General Conference (AGC) in August is burdensome. Given the security challenges in the country, we should avoid doing things that will make us gather in large numbers. I don’t think we should expose ourselves to security hazards unnecessarily. We need to be security conscious, moreover we cannot be an association in a digital age and cannot take advantage of digital solutions at our fingertips. Electronic voting is at our fingertips and we can no longer avoid it. If you understand the cost of elections to the NBA, you will realise that we can no longer do without electronic voting. Let’s assume that the National Secretariat will provide accommodation for three delegates per branch. 109 branches times three will give you 327 rooms for two nights. If we estimate the average cost of a hotel room in Abuja to be N15, 000.00, it will cost about N9.8m on accommodation alone. These same people can in the comfort of their homes vote electronically. If you don’t like that, they can go to the Bar Centre, or at their branch meeting, log on to a laptop and vote. Each delegate of the branch can vote in the branch as the branch can set up laptops and do secret balloting in the branch instead of travelling to vote. That would save the cost of accommodation for the association. Let’s talk about transportation of 327 people traveling to Abuja on an average of N40, 000. Lawyers will have to come from Sokoto, Badagry, Maiduguri and all over the country. Some will have to risk driving through Boko Haram infested areas to come and vote. The cost of transportation alone would be in the region of N13m and this is money we can save. This money that we can plough back into continuing legal education, money we can plough back into annual general conference and so on. So, if we make all these savings, my definite promise is to have reduced and affordable conferences fees. Everything is tied to each other. I want to make this point that service to an association must be selfless service, but that service must also come with clear cut ideas that will bring positive change How do you intend to achieve all these within two years as tenure of NBA Officers? I believe that two-year tenure is long enough. I have three programmes. I don’t have 10, 12 or 16. Just three and all my programmes are mind based, refocused reformed and reinvigorated. Let’s all understand that our welfare is of primary importance to us. Once you develop an idea and it sinks into people, you don’t need 100 years in office. A lot of people have been asking ‘why have lawyers not had this insurance policy in place? They had it some years ago, what happened?’ There is this arguement that even if you want four or seven years the time still won’t be enough if you don’t know how to go about it. Personally I believe that even one year tenure is enough to make landmark changes in the NBA, refocus on the welfare of members, reform the secretariat and reinvigorate the entire bar as the voice of the people. These are things you can achieve in six months. When I was challenged to create a database for the NBA, a programme that had been tried by several administrations. but failed. How-
ever, in 60 days I had it up and running! You promised to improve the revenue base of lawyers, how do intend to do this? I would propose that NBA works with Chief Judges of the High Courts and other Heads of Courts to make certain changes in our rules. For instance, a practice direction stipulating that only affidavits prepared by lawyers should be allowed for filing would go a long way to eradicate false depositions and provide an additional revenue source for lawyers. An affidavit is a creation of the Evidence Act and it should be a deposition of truth. But today, if you depose to an affidavit for instance that: ‘I, Mr. X is the Chief Judge (CJ) of Lagos State,’ take it to any High Court in Lagos State and file it, it will be accepted for filing. But are you the CJ of Lagos State? All they do is ask ‘how much have you paid?’ They stamp it and give it back to you. But you see that is not the aim of an affidavit. What is the aim of an affidavit? An affidavit ought to be a statement of truth. When we insist that ‘each affidavit must be prepared by a lawyer” all the false depositions in affidavits will stop. Will a lawyer prepare such an affidavit, sign and put his stamp and seal? If you go to the Federal High Court today and file an affidavit, you must affix a passport photograph. But that is not the requirement of the Evidence Act. It was brought about by a simple Practice Direction of the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. I intend, if I am elected and sworn in, to have a meeting with all branch chairmen. We’ll come up with a menu of requests to the CJs and the chairmen will then go to the CJs in their respective states to implement these things. If a CJ agrees, practice directions can be done in one month. I don’t have to travel to every branch to implement this. Why do I have to travel to every branch? The chairmen in these states represent the NBA. They are the ones who will meet their state CJs. This issue of whether a two-year tenure is not enough is because one man wants to do everything. Our campaign slogan is ‘Together We Can.’ That is why I say my programmes are easily achievable. We have a Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. Does he need to carry a gun and start shooting every bullet by himself? No! he has frontline Generals. In the NBA the frontline generals are the branch chairmen. That is why I need to get them involved. A branch chairman, who does not believe in a policy, will find it difficult to work with him. The best way is to sit down and brainstorm with them so that they can understand the formulation of the policy and are thereby properly equipped to implement same. You said you are going to declare a state of emergency in legal education. What exactly do you mean? Since I got called to the Bar 27 years ago, I heard that standards are falling. Each year standards keep falling. I don’t like complaining, I believe in practical solutions. I asked myself, we have members in the Council of Legal Education and we must give them an
NBA position for them to push for implementation at the council. I intend to declare a state of emergency and I intend to involve those in academia and those who have a stake in legal education. We’ll sit down together and examine all the issues in legal education. Beyond declaring a state of emergency, I also said ‘develop and put forward an NBA position.’ That is critical. Now, if we are teaching law students about petroleum law, we have to get lecturers from the sciences to teach them about hydrocarbons. They have to understand the composition and content of petroleum. If you want to teach them business law, you must get someone from business administration and accounting to teach them the basics in that field. What I have learnt in my interaction with foreign lawyers during International Arbitrations is that when you discussing with them, you wonder whether it’s an accountant that you are talking with or whether it’s a chemist. You hear them talk about Bonny Crude and they tell you ‘this one is heavier.’ So, I asked them, ‘were you an engineer before?’ They said ‘no. When we are being taught about petroleum law now, they also teach us about petroleum.’ So, we need to go to Harvard, Oxford and some of the best schools in the world, get their course curriculum and ask ourselves, ‘which one of these do we intend to remodel our curriculum after?’ It may seem utopian! It may be too high for us to achieve in one day, but let us start from somewhere and determine where we want to go and the changes we want to put in place. If the NBA comes up with a position on legal education, it should be asking ‘what are the criteria for employing lecturers at the law schools or the universities? Is it who know man? Or is it competence?’ We have professors of law all over the country, and some are Senior Advocates. Some of them taught me. Professor Itse Sagay (SAN) was my lecturer and he is still in active practice. We can call them together. We have people like Professor Tunde Ogunwewo, who practises here and lectures in Queens College, London and in Harvard. We have people like Professor Chidi Odinkalu and many more quality materials. We can call them together to challenge them on how things are done in those institutions and subsequently come up with a curriculum that would address all these issues. If elected NBA President, how do you intend to address the welfare of our members who were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency having made tremendous contributions to the North East lawyers appeal fund? Some things you do out of concern for your brother will touch you eventually. This morning I receive d a text message ‘Thanks, we pray for you and wish you success in the forthcoming elections. I admire your courage at the launch of the NBA fund in Gombe Branch.’
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
NBA election: Egbe to adopt candidates
HE Yoruba Lawyers Forum, (Egbe Amofin) will meet on June 28 , to adopt candidates for the forthcoming NBA elections.The meeting was initially slated for June 21, but was moved to June 28 because of its clash with the governorship election in Ekiti State. In a chat with The Nation, Secretary of Egbe Amofin Mr. Ranti Ajeleti said : “ Apart from the Presidential candidates, we have some of our members who are interested
By John Austin Unachukwu
in contesting for other offices in the election, but we don’t know them yet. So we will know them at that meeting just like other regional fora including the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) have endorsed their candidates for the election. We are sure that the Arewa lawyers forum will equally adopt its candidates for the election in due course.” He added: “Above all, we shall adopt our constitution that day. We have been operating a kind of convention without a written constitution like the British system, but now we have decided to adopt a written constitution to guide our actions and proceedings like that of the EBF.” On who the Presidential candidate of the forum would be, Ajeleti said: “Everybody knows that it is our turn to produce the president of the NBA. One hundred people from our zone can equally contest and jostle for the position, it is allowed. We are also allowed to recommend one person to other zones
as our candidate for NBA Presidency, we will do this at the appropriate time and whenever we recommend our candidate, I believe that the Bar will vote for him. “But if we fail to recommend a candidate, then the Bar can vote anybody it likes from within our zone, if they vote somebody outside our zone, then they have disrupted the gentleman’s arrangement which has hitherto guided us as a matter of convention. Ajeleti said it is not too late for Egbe to pick its Presidential candidate. He said: “I watched former President of the NBA Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) some days ago on a programme on Channels Television where he told us that he stepped down for OCJ Okocha (SAN) on the manifesto night. “Let all our candidates campaign and test their electoral strength on the field, at the appropriate time, we shall weigh their electoral strengths and values before picking the best among them. I am sure that we shall choose our candidate even at the manifesto night.”
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Chukwuma Ezeala (left) and former General Secretary NBA, Ibrahim Eddy Mark at the Maritime Seminar for Judges held at Sheration Hotel, Abuja
Eulogies for ex-AGF, Ibrahim at book presentation
HE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar, former CJN, Justice Salifu Alfa Belgore; former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi and former Defence Minister, Theophilus Danjuma, were among eminent Nigerians, who extolled the virtue of former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim (SAN). Others included ex-Secretary to the Federal Government, Mallam Adamu Fika, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke (SAN) and a former AGF, Bayo Ojo (SAN). They were unanimous that Alhaji Ibrahim, who has put 50 years into legal practice, is a noble man, who has exhibited rear qualities in his life and career. They spoke in Abuja last week, at the launch of Ibriahim’s biography titled: “A life shared,” authored by a professor of Law, Prof Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN). Ibrahim was at various times Minister of Education, Science and Technology and Transport and Aviation. Justice Mukhtar praised Ibrahim for his contributions to the development of legal practice and education. She described him as a noble man whose exemplary leadership qualities should be emulated by lawyers, particularly, the young ones. She said the book “will give all lawyers the opportunity to drink from the well of knowledge of this great icon.” Belgore described Ibrahim as “one of the nicest human beings you can meet anywhere in the world.” He noted that “the remarkable thing
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
about him is that he is never afraid of telling the truth. He is not a friend, but a brother. Justice Akanbi recalled their early days in legal practice and concluded that “in terms of integrity, he is number one; in terms of loyalty to friends, he is number one.” Danjuma, who described the former AGF as a nobleman, said it was high time a conscious effort was made to teach successive generations on the need to give their best to the society and shun acts capable of threatening the society. The ex-Defence Minister, who was represented by his Executive Assistant, Major General Tanko Nuhu Abdul, said from what many have said, “it means that our successive generations must be cultured and socialised to do the very best they can, so as to avoid stagnation, regression or break up of societies. “Our democracy must fulfill a realisation of a fulfilling present which embedded the promise of even greater future for all the citizenry, premised on an untainted vision for our great country, Nigeria. Our citizens must attune to the moral premise in their conduct in all spheres of human experience.” Mallam Fika regretted the growing disdain for morality and rule of law by the nation’s leaders. He said though many reasons account for why the country had retrogressed. According to him, the refusal by its leaders to adhere to the rule of law remains one of the most serious of such factors hindering the nation’s progress.
He noted that contrary to what obtained in the past, the nation’s current leaders behave as if laws were only made to apply to the lowly and to be broken by the high and mighty at will. He frowned at the practice where public institutions established for the good of the people, have been personalised by political leaders, who revel in the fast growing culture of sycophancy. “What is happening in Nigeria today is not democracy; it does not even resemble it. It is just a re-enactment of the naked doctrine of might is right, playing itself out before our very eyes. But even more regrettably, this might is a public might that ought to have been deployed in the public interest and for the public good, but it has been misappropriated and converted into private resource to fight private battles for private profit,” he said.
LAW AND PUBLIC POWER
with gabriel AMALU email:firstname.lastname@example.org For comments: 08033054939 (sms only)
Between Victor Ogene and Joseph Mbu
HEN President Goodluck Jonathan sarcastically referred to some of his critics as ‘little men’; many condemned the diatribe; more so as you can not walk in the rain and complain of getting soaked. But what can one make of ‘little public officials’ who flagrantly abuse their public power; and because of temporal privileges, act with impunity in the name of the institution, they represent. In the past week, deputy House of Representative spokesman, Victor Ogene, and the notorious Commissioner of Police, Rivers state, Mbu Joseph Mbu, took the gold medal in this respect. There were other culprits. For the umpteenth time, Joseph Mbu was again in the news for the wrong reason. The police under his command was accused of shooting rubber bullets at Senator Magnus Abe and other unarmed members of the so called Save Rivers Movement, a group championing the political interests of Governor Rotimi Amaechi, of Rivers state. Ostensibly, the group was formed as a counterpoise to another nebulous association of political jobbers, called, the Grassroots Development Initiative, beholden to Barrister Nyesom Wike, the Minister of state for Education, who is boastful that he has enormous powers in the politics of the state. Personally, I have sympathy for the professional challenges facing Mr. Mbu, as the state Police Commissioner; considering that it is extremely difficult to serve two politically wayward masters at the same time. Nay, in the high octane political drama, playing out in Rivers state, Governor Rotimi Amaechi is involved in a life threatening political battle with President Jonathan; and Mr. Mbu is no more than a pawn in the chess game. Interestingly, under our jejune federal constitution, President Jonathan through the Inspector General of Police, instead of Public Law and Order , is the de jure and de facto boss of the Commissioner of Police; but in the eyes of ordinary Nigerians, Governor Amaechi, is erroneously considered the boss of the Commissioner. So the poor fellow is drawn between the un-protective laws of the country, that will not aide him, in a battle with the authorities, and the whims and caprices of desperate politicians and their dangerous compatriots. But this challenge will not justify his increasing decent into anarchical language; even when he is intermittently drawn into a farcical showdown by those opposed to his boss. In pursuit of professional advancement, Commissioner Mbu must appreciate that there is life beyound the prospects of achieving an ultimate career goal. Mr. Mbu’s lowest moment last week, was his choice of words over the alleged shooting incidence involving Senator Magnis Abe. He did not speak as a mature law officer. Instead, he boasted as if he is the law of the state. Such arrogance shows that the commissioner may have lost his cool, in the tug-of-war, with the political interests mobilized against him, in Rivers state. Unfortunately for him, in the end-game now on, in Rivers state, should anything happen to any of the dramatis personae in any confrontation with the police, Mr. Mbu will be held accountable, at least in the court of public opinion. It is therefore expedient that Mr. Mbu be immediately redeployed, by the Inspector General of Police. As has been stated by the Court and many commentators on the right to peaceful assembly, the police have no right to issue any permit or disperse a peaceful assembly, for lack of permit, under a truly constitutional democracy. But that is one side of the story. The other side is that, under the Police Act, the Police have subsisting extra-ordinary powers that impugn the rights of free citizens in any modern democracy. These impurities are contained in the police power of arrest and power to prevent the commission of crime (read riotous assembly), which definitions are nebulous. But Victor Ogene’s tantrum against the Minister of Finance and the coordinating Minister of the Economy is even more gratuitous. According to Mr. Ogene, the Honourable Minister was grandstanding by making public, instead of treating as a secret, her answers to the so called and much advertised 50 questions on the Economy, raised by the House Committee on Finance, for the Minister to answer. Yet, Mr. Ogene purports that the committee was acting in the interest of the Representatives of Nigeria. So except for purposes of mischief, it is difficult to appreciate how the Minister can be censored on this point, when the committee was celebrating publicly, their capacity to raise 50 ‘take home questions or assignment’ for the Minister at their previous encounter. Even more intriguing is Mr. Ogene’s claim that ‘nobody is deceived by high sounding economic terms’ in the answers. That unnecessary diatribe gave him and those he represented away, as economic illiterates, who are intimidated by economic jargons contained in the Minister’s answers. The resort to clear treats and intimidation about the powers of the parliament over an appointed public official, further confirms that Mr. Ogene is merely pursing the misguided interest, of some of his colleagues. If truly Mr. Ogene and those pushing him are working for our common interests; then his choice of words must be circumspect. Regrettably, part of the challenge for our young democracy is that many of the political actors are unable to distinguish between democratic ethos and militarized languages. So when you hear Mr. Mbu or Mr. Ogene talking as if they hold the ultimate ace, based on their misguided interpretation of their constitutional responsibilities, you will understand that they are products of decades of militarised environment. Unfortunately, our courts have not yet completely weaned themselves from the effects of the years of a militarized polity; otherwise they would in clear exercise of their prerogative powers, shoot down these pretenders, each time they want to ride roughshod over our laws and the wellbeing of our democracy. •This article, first published on January 21, is repeated because Mbu, now redeployed to Abuja, has been in the news for the wrong reasons.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Court cannot usurp functions of University Senate IN THE SUPREME COURT HOLDEN AT ABUJA ON FRIDAY, THE 6TH DAY OF JUNE, 2014 BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN, J.S.C. SULEIMAN GALADIMA, J.S.C. BODE RHODES-VIVOUR, J.S.C. KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS, J.S.C. JOHN INYANG OKORO, J.S.C. SC.166/2009 (2014) LPELR-23019(SC) BETWEEN UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN …………………….…… APPELLANT AND RASHEEDAT ADESINA …………………………... RESPONDENT LEAD JUDGMENT DELIVERED BY KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS, J.S.C.
N June 1998, there was a demonstration by the students of the University of Ilorin which took place in the Senior Staff quarters located in the main campus of the University. Subsequent to the incident, the Senate of the University set up a committee to investigate the matter and submit a report and recommendations for consideration by it. In the report submitted by the committee, the respondent and other students were indicted and were referred to the Students Disciplinary Committee (SDC). Although the respondent together with the other students were formally invited to appear before the Students Disciplinary Committee she failed to do so and instead instituted an action against the University claiming certain reliefs together with injunction restraining the Defendant from commencing disciplinary proceedings against her. The Court granted an interim injunction. The Defendant was aggrieved and appealed against the order of injunction. During the pendency of the appeal, the President who was a visitor to the University intervened which led to the setting up of the panel called “Resolution Committee on Politically Victimized and Rusticated Student”. Following the resolutions made by the committee, the Plaintiff who had been rusticated following her suspension from the University was recalled after she had written to the University authorities and apologised over the role she played in the demonstration in addition to paying a fine of N1,000.00 for the damages caused during the demonstration. Despite her recall her results were never released, hence she has not been able to graduate since 2001. This left the Plaintiff with no option but to return to court. During the trial the Plaintiff testified as PW1 and tendered some documents. Five witnesses also testified for the Defendant. During address the Defendant challenged the jurisdiction of the Court which was resolved in favour of the Plaintiff. The trial court in its consideration of the case on the merit found in favour of the Plaintiff. The Defendant failed in its appeal to the Court of Appeal, Ilorin and further appealed to the Supreme Court. The appellant submitted three issues for determination. The issues are as follows:1. Whether having regard to the facts and circumstance of this case, the court below was wrong in holding that the trial court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the case.
2. Whether the appellant resiled from the agreement reached with its visitor when there was no evidence that the respondent was prevented from continuing her studentship. 3. Whether the court below was not wrong in holding that bias can be reasonably inferred from the intransigence of the appellant. In arguing issue 1 of the appeal, Learned Counsel for the Appellant stated that three conditions as laid down in the locus classicus of Madukolu vs. Nkemdilim (1962) 2 SCNLR 341 must co-exist for a court to exercise jurisdiction in a matter and where any of the conditions is lacking, the court would be without jurisdiction to entertain the matter and anything done in the circumstance would be of no effect. He argued that a cursory reading of the endorsement of the claims on the Writ of summons and Statement of claim before the trial court will reveal beyond any doubt that the grouse of the Plaintiff (now Respondent) was the failure of the Appellant to release her non-existent result. In other words what the Respondent sought from the trial court was an award of a degree of the Appellant. He submitted that the award of a university degree is a domestic matter which the courts are prevented from dabbling into as such matters are not justiciable in any court of law as the senate of a university being the supreme and ultimate academic authority is the only body with the exclusive power to determine who is fit and proper to be awarded a degree. He contended that the senate did not just arrogate to itself the exclusive power to determine to whom an award of degree should be made as the power is derived from the University of Ilorin Act Cap. U 7 Laws of the Federation, 2004. Learned Counsel for the Respondent while agreeing that it is the Plaintiff’s claim which determines whether or not the court has jurisdiction in the case debunked the argument that what the Respondent sought from the trial court was an award of a degree of the Appellant. He referred to the first six claims in the suit which are declarations seeking to test the propriety of the Defendant’s performance of its functions and the legality of its conducts towards the Plaintiff and referred to Section 2 of the University of Ilorin Act which subjects the University to the jurisdiction of the court. The seventh claim is for an order of specific performance while the eight relief is for an order of mandamus to compel the Defendant to discharge its
statutory responsibility to the Plaintiff while the last two reliefs are claims for damages. Learned Counsel for the Appellant hinged the appellant’s inability to meet the Respondent’s request of releasing her result to the fact that after the respondent had been pardoned and re-absorbed as a student, she had outstanding courses which she missed during the suspension and as a result it was practically impossible to release a non - existent result. In determining the appeal, the Court stated that the appellant had the sole power and responsibility to lay down requirements which must be satisfied before any student who is considered in the opinion of the senate to be worthy in learning and character to an award of its degree. The Court further stated that the issue at stake was the release of the results and not the award of the degree and the respondent was entitled to know the outcome of her examinations. The Court noted that it is the practice world over that where a student sits for an examination or completes a course he or she is entitled to know the outcome of that examination. The Court stated that it was an unnecessary show of power for the University to turn a deaf ear to the respondent’s entreaties to release the results. On issues 2 and 3, the Court held that there is no doubt that the Respondent was allowed to return to the University as a student but the treatment meted out to the Respondent after her return has left no one in doubt that the Appellant was not happy that the Respondent instituted an action in Court. The Court found that the appeal lacked merit and it was accordingly dismissed. His Lordship Bode Rhodes-Vivour, J.S.C. agreeing with the leading judgment held that Courts have no jurisdiction to interfere in the internal or domestic matters of a University that, such matters are within the exclusive province of the Senate of the University and the visitor. But where it becomes clear that in resolving domestic disputes the University is found to have breached the civil rights and obligations of the respondents thereby raising issues of public import, the Courts would have jurisdiction. His Lordship further held that there is a vast difference between release of results and award of degree. He stated that domestic disputes are those disputes which are solely of interest to members of the University, but the release of results is a matter of some interest to the public and is not strictly a domestic dis-
EMBERS of the Nigerian Bar Asso ciation (NBA) Ikorodu Branch will out on July 7, elect new officers to run the affairs of the association for another two years. The tenure of the incumbent executives led
by Sahid Shillings would end same day. A three-man electoral committee led by Mr. Bakiru Jagun has been constituted to conduct the forthcoming elections fof the branch. Other members of the committee are Mrs. Maurine Bolowotan, Secretary and Mr. Jide Abiodun. The committee is expected to organise the elections in accordance with the branch’s bye laws. Already, interested members have started campaigns following the lifting of the ban on political activities. Shillings said Jagun was given the responsibility of organising elections based on his integrity. “Jagun is a veteran and former Vice Chairman of the branch and a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NBA and a strong and well respected member of the branch,” he said. He said the elections will be preceeded by this year’s Law Week of the branch, which started on Sunday with a church service in Ikorodu. Highlight of the week-long Law Week, he
EDITED BY LAWPAVILION Citation: (2014) LPELR-23019(SC)
•From left: Chairman NBA Aguata branch, E. N. Ezeonwuka and Secretary Uche Okafor at the National Executive Committee meeting of the NBA Held in Abuja
Ikorodu NBA elects new officers July 7 By Adebisi Onanuga
pute. Afterall, the University has exclusive right to decide who it confers its degrees on. No one can question that. A student who takes part in an examination is entitled to see his results. His Lordship held that refusal to release results is not strictly a domestic issue. That refusal to release result with no reason for the refusal raises issues of breach of civil rights and obligation, denial of fair hearing which are all justiciable and such a refusal is no longer within the confines of domestic affairs of the University and the Courts have jurisdiction to examine such matters. His Lordship stated there was no reason why the Appellant refused to release the Respondent results, and also refused to honour the pardon given the Respondent. His Lordship finally held that the Respondent’s action is justiciable and the Federal High Court had jurisdiction to hear and determine the case. John Inyang Okoro, J.S.C. also agreeing with the leading judgment stated that the Courts cannot and will not usurp the functions of the Senate, the Council and the Visitor of the university in the selection of their fit and proper candidates for passing and for the award of certificates, degrees and diplomas. However, although the general rule is that consideration for an award of degrees and certificates are in the domestic domain or jurisdiction of the universities, there are however, exceptions. As it has happened in the instant appeal, where the student had exhausted all avenues and entreaties, and the university is adamant, as in neither releasing the result nor giving good, substantial and verifiable reasons for withholding the result, even after intervention by the visitor of the university, the student is entitled to approach the court for redress. In such circumstance, his Lordship stated that the Courts should not shy away from ensuring that the university authority abides by the law setting up the Institution, that, award of degrees and certificates should be done in accordance with the law setting up the university and abide by international best practice. It should not be on the whims and caprices of the personnel saddled with this responsibility. It was on this note that his Lordship agreed with the court below that the Federal High Court had jurisdiction to entertain this matter. On the whole, the appeal was unanimously dismissed for lacking in merit
said, is the annual Chief Babatunde Olusola Benson(SAN) lecture which comes up tomorrow and the Annual Bar Dinner scheduled for Thursday. According to him, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi(SAN) would be the Guest Lecturer while the Chairman, House Committee on the Judiciary, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade will chair the occasion. Talking about his achievements, Shillings said his administration delivered on all campaign promises made two years ago and put the branch on good foundation for the incoming officers to build on. He said the branch has moved from an individual member chamber being used before to a befitting secretariat on TOS Benson road, Ikorodu. He said that his administration improved on membership drive by about 50 per cent and that plans are on-going to bring lawyers in Epe under the umbrella of the branch. He said the branch for the first time, celebrated the annual legal year, reviewed the bye laws and updated it to meet present day practices. It also inaugurated the Young Lawyers Forum as obtained in older brances among other achievements.
NBA, Ikeja, TITFMPN hold workshop
TWO-day workshop, with the theme: “Understanding Trade Finance Man agement Practice, Law and their Relationship to each other” will hold in Lagos between June 19 and June 20, 2014. The workshop, which will hold at the Adetiloye Hall, Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathederal Church, Ikeja is being organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch in conjunction with The Institute of Trade Finance Management and Practice of Nigeria Limited(TITFMPN). Topics listed for discussion at the workshop include: “Mode of payment in international trade; bills for collection; types of collection; advantages and disadvantages of BCs; documentary collection; process flow and rules; different issues on letters of credit; exchange control regulation in Nigeria and critical thinking among others. Justices of the Lagos High Court and Federal High Court who would chair the various sessions of the workshop include Justice Opeyemi Oke; Justice Josephine Oyefeso; Justice Ebenezer Adebajo; Justice Tsoho and Justice I.N. Buba.
TUESDAY JUNE 17, 2014
OSUN POLITICS The Ile Ife, Osogbo and Ikire ecstatic campaign crowds have established the massive support Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola enjoys across the state, writes Adekunle Owolabi
A popularity ride in Ile-Ife T
HE return of the mythical Oranmiyan to Ile-Ife, the scradele of Yoruba, could not have been a strange thing, given the wellknown Yoruba mythology. Perhaps, this was what made the flag off of the re-election campaigns of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the symbol of the Oranmiyan phenomenon an electrifying event. It a political funfare. It was a celebration of a political figure ,who symbolizes the new thinking and perspective in political re-ordering. The Ife Federal Constituency re-election campaign brought the Ooni Okunade Sijuwade’s Ile Ife to a standstill . The huge crowd of supporters showed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenger, Senator Iyiola Omisore, who hails from the ancient city, is really no match for the governor. The town was agog. From the main entry point through the popular Lagere Road, to Enuwa, the palace of Oba Sijuwade, people poured into the street in thousands to welcome the campaign train. For six hours, Ile-Ife stood still for the ACN governorship candidate. The first point of call was the palace where Aregbesola was received and regaled in a grand manner typical of the demonstration of Ooni’s majesty. The significance of Aregbesola’s straight journey to the palace was not lost on the people. The monarch’s Iwure (royal blessing) and endorsement that followed put paid to all insinuations that given the fact that the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate is of the Ife stock, the royal father of the city might be tempted to blindly throw his weight behind one of his subjects who is eyeing the same position. But not only did the Ooni pray for Aregbesola, his words were believed to be profound enough attestation to the royal support he is poised to offer to the governor, whose sterling performance he affirmed. In his remark, the first class monarch said election is not a do-or-die affairs but only a civil exercise to choose those whom the people want to lead them. In a passionate prayerful mood that appears to have jolted the opposition, the influential royal father had said in Yoruba, “Olorun to fi e s’ibe ko de ni mu e kuro” (meaning God that enthroned you will ensure your continuity in office). He also said: “All you have been doing are not for yourself or for your people. You are striving for the good of the entire Yoruba race, for the country. God will always be with you.” Ooni said he had called a meeting of all politicians in the town and cautioned them to conduct themselves in the peaceful manner devoid of bloodshed. The monarch commended Aregbe-sola for his numerous achievements in all sectors of governance. “As royal father to all, I can only tell the politicians to conduct themselves in the accepted manner and play according to the electoral rules. “Election is just a routine through which people elect those they want to rule them. “Therefore, election is not synonymous with bloodshed. This is why I cautioned all politicians to eschew violence before, during and after the election,” Ooni said. Armed with the royal blessing, Aregbesola’s campaign train had left the palace snaking through the city on its way to the campaign ground at the Ile Ife Technical School playground. Expectedly, commercial activities came to an end; traffic movement slowly wound to a halt. Left, right and centre, people radiated happiness as they saw a leader, who, for close to four years now, has busied himself with how his people would live better and qualitative lives different from the lives of hopelessness they had been subjected to in the years past. At the campaign ground, speakers after speakers x-rayed the performance of Aregbesola, which they said is uncommon, unrivalled and unarguably unassailable at the moment. Senators Jide Omoworare, in whose had
•Governor Aregbesola at the rally (left) with him Senator Adeleke.
Omisore had suffered a humiliating defeat in the 2011 National Assembly election, in the Osun East senatorial District and Professor Sola Adeyeye, representing the Osun Central senatorial District, said Omisore has no mental capacity to serve the state. The lawmakers averred that the job of administering the state is enormous and Omisore is unprepared and lacks the know-how to rule the state. “Ogbeni Aregbesola is God-sent to the people of Osun. In just a single term of four years, this wonderful man transformed the state positively. “The truth of the matter is that Omisore has no mental capacity to govern this state. “As senator, Omisore cannot point to anything beneficial he has done for Ile-Ife not to talk of Osun. “What has he brought to his town, his state from his much-touted mainstream politics?” the lawmaker said advising the people to vote wisely by voting for Aregbesola’s continuity in office. In what has become characteristic of his campaigns, Aregbesola undoubtedly stirred the crowd by simply telling them what his administration had done since his assumption of office. According to the governor, seeking re-election is to perfect the establishment of genuine and credible leadership that only aims at delivery of service to the people in the state. He said though electoral fraudsters stole his mandate in 2007 warning that the shenanigans of 2007 would not happen again in the history of Osun politics. Aregbesola also remembered 12 innocent people, who were killed in their bid to prevent rigging in their constituencies saying never again would violence against the people be allowed in any part of Osun. Aregbesola’s emphasis against violence was understandable. Not only were members of his party killed in 2007, no fewer than another six were brutally murdered on the eve of the National Assembly election in 2011. For a man who hinges his bid for second term on his scorecard for the first opportunity to serve,
Aregbesola reeled out his administration’s achievements in the Ife Federal Constituency thus: “We have touched lives in all facets of human endeavours. “In the constituency we have constructed more the 50km of intra-city roads; built six new schools, several boreholes, distributed 1, 473 pieces of Opon Imo tablets to high school students. “This is in addition to ensuring adequate security by providing necessary equipment to security agencies, provision of health care facilities as well as monthly welfare package for vulnerable elders under the Agba Osun Scheme. “All these we have done and are doing. While we want a second term is to consolidate on all these achievements as well as lay down a solid foundation for credible governance,” Aregbesola said. The intimidating crowd in Ife seems to have sent signals to many quarters. From then, the wave of defections to the APC has increased. While many are still believed to be on their way perfecting their defection strategies, former Governor of the State, Senator Isiaka Adeleke formally boosted the rank of the APC with his defection on Saturday May 31, when he led thousands of his supporters to the APC. Adeleke was given a grand reception at the state capital where Governor Aregbesola and his Ekiti counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande were on hand to receive the new political bride. Addressing the gathering at the popular Nelson Mandela Freedom Square, Osogbo, Adeleke said he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because he does not want a mediocre to take over from a performing governor so as to avoid dragging the hand of the clock of progress backward. Adeleke said: “I am happy to be with the progressive. I was a governor under Social Democratic Party (SDP), which was a progressive party. “I was involved in the struggle for the actualisation of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. I cannot work for a thug to become the next governor of the state.”
‘Ogbeni Aregbesola is God-sent to the people of Osun. In just a single term of four years, this wonderful man transformed the state positively. The truth of the matter is that Omisore has no mental capacity to govern this state’
It was this streak that blazed down to Ikire on last week when the campaign train berthed at Isokan/Ayedade/Irewole Federal Constituency. As is the tradition, the Governor first paid homage to the traditional ruler of the town, Akire of Ikire, His Royal Highness, Oba Olatunde Falabi, who commended the governor for what he described as a revolutionary touch in the state. Oba Falabi said the people did not need a soothsayer to tell them that the government of APC has brought huge development to the state in the past three and half years. Falabi would not see any need to change what he called winning team in the affairs of Osun. “You have done very well in your first term. We did not need another person to tell us that. “We can see the development with our very eyes. We can see the transformation of the state all around us. “In fact, you have been doing the job as if your life depends on it. With this achievement, your second term is guaranteed,” Akire said. A leader of the party and one-time PDP chieftain and Chief of Staff to Oyinlola , Elder Peter Babalola, said the PDP, in its seven and half years in government, performed abysmally. Babalola averred that the poor performance of PDP was exposed when in just a single term of almost four years, Aregbesola changed the face of the state. He noted that his own constituency, IsokanIrewole-Ayedaade Federal constituency benefitted immensely from Aregbesola’s positive transformation saying “Today, my constituency is better than when the PDP and I were in power. “In fact, government projects in my federal constituency are countless and the people can attest to that. So we have benefitted from APC government of Aregbesola.” Roads leading to the campaign ground came out in different colours as multiple social and political groups, professional groups, artisans resplendent in colourful attires lined the route to add glamour to the scene. On the left side of the route you would see an aged woman shaking her fragile frame to the rhythm of entertaining beats. At the other side of the road, you would see an excited baby at the back his mother looking innocently but quite conscious something unusual was happening in the environment. Down another road you would see a bike rider displaying his dexterity and mastery of the machine on the road. Another time you would a young man in acrobatic display all in excited display of love for the man they are convinced has brought meaning to their lives.
THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 17, 2014
POLITICS EKITI POLITICS
‘Fayose’s sponsors are preparing him for shock ‘
• Governor Fayemi waving at supporters at a rally.
Since March, governorship candidates have been campaigning in Ekiti State. Femi Odere, who has been on Governor Kayode Fayemi’s campaign train captures the push for continuity in the Fountain of Knowledge.
Ekiti’s push for continuity
E promptly responded to my text message that informed him I did not see him at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, our agreed meeting point, after my arrival at Ado-Ekiti. I was to join the entourage from the stadium for his campaign for re-election, an assignment I took upon myself. “Sorry Femi, I have left the stadium for my campaign. Please wait for me at the office” was his reply. The day was Tuesday, April 29,, 2014. Even though he had already told me over the phone the approximate hour he would be leaving the stadium to hit the road for the day’s campaign in the towns and villages of Ekiti (I arrived two hours late, a tardiness I blamed on the Julius Berger’s portion of the Lagos-Ibadan road construction), I found his somewhat apologetic tone in his text to be psychologically soothing. He’s that governor—although packed with so much power—whose mien disguises who he really is. He comes across as just a regular guy with his simplicity of appearance and his interpersonal communication. But beyond that lie this steely resolve and greatness that seems inevitable, judging from his accomplishments as the chief executive officer of the state and his intellectual endowment. He is Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti State. “Will do, Your Excellency” was my response. The day of my arrival was the delivery day of “Obirin Kete” at the Ado-Ekiti Stadium, a brilliant concept conceived by his better half, Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, the First Lady of Ekiti State. I was on my way to await the governor in his office when it suddenly occurred to me that it wasn’t going to be the best idea. I realised that I could be walking myself into a self-imposed incarceration of which I had no idea when liberation would come. Waiting for an important personality in Nigeria, not to talk of a governor out there on a campaign stump could be like Waiting for Godot. “What if he was so exhausted after the campaign - with its own physical exertion - and just decided to go home?””Why not ask him where he was so I could join him in order to begin in earnest the work that brought me here in the first place?” I ruminated on these thoughts for a few seconds. Convinced that was the best thing to do, I sent him another text about my willingness to join his campaign train “That’s good,” he replied. No sooner than I read his
text that his call came in asking me where I was. “I am just walking into your office building, your Excellency.” “We’re at Gbonyin. That’s where I am campaigning today. You can join me there,”he said in that genteel, guttural voice that makes you feel like he’s your childhood friend. “Ok, Sir.” I asked Ayo, my driver, in Yoruba how long it would take us to get to Gbonyin. An Ekiti indigene, “Oga, Gbonyin has so many towns. It is a Local Government Area,” Ayo lectured. “Maybe you need to call the governor again and ask him which town we should meet them,” he advised. “Where is the Local Government headquarters?” I asked. “It’s Ode-Ekiti.” “Well, let’s just go there. From there, the people should be able to tell us where the governor is campaigning,” I said, betting with myself that the governor’s campaign would be the only game in any Ekiti town anyway. But most importantly, I was already wary of being a distraction to the governor in the serious business of electioneering. We finally waited for Governor Fayemi and his campaign team at Egbe-Ekiti. It was now late in the afternoon. Like most towns and villages in Ekiti, Egbe looks aged and tired, judging from the archaic homes that dots the landscape with their corrugated iron roofing. The village looks askance and appears nonchalant to modernity. It sits at a distance from civilization as we know it. One gets the feeling that the village, by its rustic antecedents, may be quite allergic to the revelries often associated with political campaigns. You get the impression that its peace was being intruded upon and its tranquility disturbed. It’s a village that seems not ready for prime-time, at least not on a short notice. The loud speakers at the campaign venue emitted the maximum decibels that could threaten the foundation of some of the mud houses. The village folks, who seemed to have suspended the everyday chores of their lives, danced back and forth, continually, through the length of the only paved road that
runs through the village, in anticipation of the coming of their governor. The songs, seemed especially composed for Governor Fayemi, magnified his many accomplishments in the lives of the people of his state. They were in a state of ecstasy, with their APC Polo or T-shirts, some party supporters were lucky to complete their attires with fez-caps bearing the APC logos or the governor’s pictures. The ones not in party uniforms were mostly community elders, old women and children. They were much brighter with their smiles and traditional attires, sitting patiently to welcome the governor to their domain. As earlier predicted, the campaign was the only big thing in this village. On arrival, the governor went straight to the palace of the traditional ruler. As it would be observed later in the course of the campaign, this rite of passage is a matter of culture and protocol. The governor and some key party hacks in his entourage must pay the necessary obeisance before politicking. Although a few walking steps from the palace to the campaign arena, it took Governor Fayemi more time to get into the soapbox than the time it took to make his speech, because he was swamped by supporters and admirers hailing and singing his praises. After they finally arrived on the stage, the state chairman of All Progressives Party (APC) Chief Jide Awe said a few things to energize the crowd with party slogans and some carefully crafted monikers such as “O wi Bee, O se Bee” (He says it, he does it) and “Ko Duro Soke” (Let him remain up there). A couple of community leaders spoke to remind the people of the need to vote for Governor Fayemi. After all this the governor himself spoke. He appealed to the people for their votes, most of who are already his die-hard supporters and that of his party. In less than five minutes, the governor was done, having thanked them and enjoined them to come out on the day of election to cast their ballot. “Do not be deceived by the one whose poor performance record you already know.
He comes across as just a regular guy with his simplicity of appearance and his interpersonal communication. But beyond that lie this steely resolve and greatness that seem inevitable, judging from his accomplishments as the chief executive officer of the state and his intellectual endowment. He is Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti State.
Say no to ‘omo akotile ta,’ he instructed. Aisegba-Ekiti was the next stop. “Ayo, let’s just go back to Ado. I think I will go and wait for the governor in the office after all,” I told my driver. “Why,” he asked. “Nothing,” I replied. But there was something. I skipped the stop at Aisegba-Ekiti for the simple reason that I was afraid somebody was going to ram his vehicle into mine. The driving was just too maddening for my liking. You slow down for the road bumps and vehicles a few meters behind you suddenly swarm on you menacingly on both sides forcing their way in your front. “These guys are maniacs,” I suddenly said to myself. “Why are they driving this way when we’re all going to the same place,” I complained to myself. As I later observed, the rear end of the convoy was more chaotic and crazy than the front end, which can somewhat be considered the governor’s personal space. The tail end is where you have a concentration of assorted drivers and human beings. The drivers on this end had simply left their brains at home. The police on this rear section was not different. Thinking that he may have been too tired after all to show up in his office, Governor Fayemi walked into his office at about 7.15 p.m. A different kind of work ensued shortly after the governor walked in. Party officials, cabinet members, some corporate suits and everybody in between had one meeting or the other with the governor throughout the night. Among them were his deputy Prof. Modupe Adelabu, the Director-General of his campaign organisation Hon. Bimbo Daramola and a few commissioners who brought in files for the governor. I was finally ushered into the governor’s office at midnight at exactly 12.25 am. “Sorry Femi to have kept you waiting,” he said as we greeted each other with that hard-slapping handshake. “I can understand, your Excellency,” I replied. “I think you need to go and rest. We will talk tomorrow.” The governor beckoned to the one that ushered me into his office to call someone to arrange my hotel accommodation. “I see you tomorrow, your Excellency,” I said as I shook his hand again. “I wonder if this governor sleeps in his office sometimes,” I thought to myself as I descended the stairs on the heels of the guy taking me to my hotel. People were still at his outer office past midnight still waiting to see Governor Fayemi.
YOUTH group, ‘Ekiti Youth Emancipation Movement (EYEM)’, yesterday decried a statement credited to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ayodele Fayose, that President Goodluck Jonathan is ready to do anything to ensure that he wins the governorship election. According to EYEM, the statement underscored the desperation of the Presidency to foist its controversial candidate on the people. Fayose had reportedly said that the President has “told him that anything I want, he will provide for me”. The leader of the group, Mr. Taiwo Olatunji, said the statement by Fayose only confirmed its position that the PDP is planning to rig the election because it is unpopular. He said the statement also showed that Fayose is not coming to serve the interests of Ekiti people, but those of his godfathers in Abuja and Ogun State. Olatunji added: “Fayose’s statement is tantamount to saying the President is ready to rig for him. We are, however, putting the PDP on notice that this election cannot be rigged. Ekiti people are prepared to protect and defend their votes. We are fully aware of the PDP’s plans to rig the election; this is why Fayose has been overexcited. But he will be shocked on the day of election when Ekiti people boldly reject him with their votes.
‘Don’t disenfranchise Ekiti students’
ABOUR Party (LP) governorship candidate Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele alleged plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to prevent tertiary institution students from voting at the poll. Bamidele said this in a statement signed by his media aide, Ahmed Salami, in Ado-Ekiti, that the governor had issued subtle threats to students to leave their hostels and the state, after initially ordering the closure of their schools. He frowned at the recent closure of Ekiti State University for security reasons, adding that students were forcefully ejected from hostels. The LP candidate said: “What the APC intends to achieve by this is to disenfranchise majority of the students who have voter’s cards and are willing to vote out Fayemi and the APC. “This is to caution the APC-led state government and the governor of Ekiti State to desist from its plot to disenfranchise tertiary institution students in Ekiti State. It is very undemocratic and uncivil for any government to embark on psychological warfare with these youths all in an attempt to prevent them from casting their votes.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
For five years, they were childless but through Assisted Reproductive Conception (ARC), they became parents of a set of quadruplets. What is supposed to be a blessing has become a financial burden to the couple writes OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA.
Blessing and its burden
IVE years after her wedding she was yet to have a baby. To her family and in-laws, she was percieved barren. To them, she was almost becoming a scorn. But her husband was unflinching in his support for her; he stoutly stood by her. Mrs Adenike Akintola’s story is a proof of how courage, faith and understanding between couple aided medicine. At 31, she got all the children she could have got, in probably 10 years, in one delivery. On May 23 this year, she was delivered of a set of quadruplets-three girls and a boy. How she went about it is likely to be the next question people would ask. A relative last year introduced her to Assisted Reproductive Conception (ARC). She wasted no time and proceeded to Medical ART Centre, a health facility that specialises in Assisted Reproductive Conception (ARC), especially IVF and managed by the renowned fertility expert, who pioneered the technique of IVF and Embryo transfer with the foremost Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Prof Osato GiwaOsagie in West Africa in 1983 and 1984, which was called test-tube baby at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos. Mrs Akintola and her husband, Ajibola, 40, started treatment in August last year with series of investigations conducted on them. The tests included a diagnosis of primary infertility due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCO). Two months after, the Fallopian Tube Sperm Perfusion (FTSP) otherwise known as artificial insemination, a method of assisted conception was done on her. Two weeks after, she was confirmed pregnant through Beta HCG (bHCG) pregnancy test. When she was finally delivered of her pregnancy last May 23, Mrs Adetola had a set of quadruplets (three girls and a boy) weighing: 1.35Kg; 1.25Kg; 1.2Kg and 0.9Kg respectively. They are alive and being taken care of at the Neonatal unit of Medical ART Maternity Suite, with each of them receiving attention with specialised ventilators, respirators, incubators and light phototherapy sets and monitors. Narrating her experience, the joy-
ful mother of four said: “As a couple, the first year to the fourth year, we tried. We went through a lot, with different doctors attending to us and not finding anything wrong with us. They said we were okay. I will describe myself as a strong believer and through the pregnancy period I did not doubt God for safe delivery. I enjoy my husband’s support. He spent all his savings on the pregnancy and the delivery,” she said. According to her, the way her prayers were answered was beyond her imaginations. “It is true I was once praying and looking for a way to conceive, but I never thought of having four babies at once. What I did was Fallopian Tube Sperm Perfusion, otherwise known as artificial insemination. I came back to the hospital after two weeks for test and I was confirmed positive through pregnancy test,” she said. She said a week after she was discovered pregnant she went for another scan which initially showed twin gestation. The seventh week scan however, showed a different result; triplet gestation. But a shocker was waiting for her, a week after, she was discovered to be carrying quadruplets. “About seven doctors did the scanning on me to be sure that they were seeing the right thing and hearing four heartbeats. They all said ‘wow, God has really blessed you’,” she said, adding: “I burst into tears because of sundry reasons. I could not believe that after four years God has blessed me with four children at a time.” However, coming with the bundle of joy for the Adetolas is the task of taking care of the babies, which the couple said is overwhelming. “Thoughts of how to cater for them flooded my mind. I was torn between many emotions. Knowing that my husband is working with a one-man business, and the reality of the economy of the country and my business hit me hard,” she said. She continued: “Now we have issues settling further bills incurred. This is because the quadruplets are so small; they have to be in the incubators. And I will not be able to go back to my trading immediately. So, I will need a whole lot of assistance from good spirited people.” “Aside,” she added, “the debt I
• The quadruplets
incurred through treatment for eight months, the proper monitoring and obstetrics care for high risk multiple pregnancies and the eventual delivery is huge.” Her husband, Ajibola, was philosophical about it. “I gave my wife all the support to achieve this pregnancy that turned us out to be parents of quadruplets. We got to know about this centre through a very close relative of mine. We underwent screenings, tests and treatments. And we were proven ok. The Prof Ashiru led team said it won’t go by the different tests results with us done in various places we’d gone to. They said they would prefer to conduct theirs. They discovered my wife can produce egg and is fertile and that we did not need IVF. We did not do IVF. We were advised on an option which we were not hitherto aware of and we now have four babies at once. I am grateful to God,”he said. He continued: “I am a strong believer in God. And I believe the treatment won’t fail so one month after the treatment, I asked my wife if she had seen her period and she said no. I was elated and we resolved to have it confirmed by the medics and that prepared me for the spending. So when it was confirmed by the doctors through scanning and we were told it is quadruplets. “Though I prepared for concep-
tion, but the news jolted me, I did not prepare for four. God is wonderful. I just gathered myself and reasoned that what is the point of keeping money in the bank should I lose this pregnancy. So I started spending all my savings to ensure my pregnant wife delivered safely. And now that the quads have arrived, I am financially handicapped. As an African man, it is not in our culture to do this, but it is better to let fellow humans be aware of how they can help out than for me to lose my wife or any of the quadruplets. “I recall some of the mockeries I went through, when some people with children will address you anyhow. I thank my family for supporting me and my wife before during and after the conception. They showed a lot of understanding and maturity, especially to my wife.” His advice: “Many people that are still trusting God for the fruits of the womb should not be discouraged to explore available options. ARC is affordable. People generally believe assisted reproduction is expensive, but because it is an option I settled for it. Assuming it failed that is when I can start to think of its being expensive. I will also say IVF is not the only option in ARC. As a couple, we set out thinking that it was what we could access, but another option was given to us. “Men should not streamline if in-
fertility is in the family. The husband should summon courage. Most men will think spending on ARC will hinder some other commitments, but joy of laughter of babes in a home is better experienced than imagined. Conception is worth it and deserves to be explored rather than spend on frivolities. There is hope in ARC. I always browse on the names of multiple pregnancies and curious to know more about them.” Mr Akintola, however, appealed for assistance. “I work with a sole business owner. Ideally, I’m capable as a family man because I work, but with a quadruplet, it is a different ball game. I desire a quality life for them. I solicit governments, individuals, corporate organisations and multinationals to assist me. What I have now to contend with include hospital bills, feeding and general upkeep. And as they grow, I cannot say you eat and not feed the other nor enroll one in school and stop the other. That is intensive capital spending. If there is a way good people can help out, I will warmly appreciate.” Are you willing to help? The couple can be reached at LOFOM House, 21 Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Leventis Bus Stop, Opposite Ikeja Military Cantonment, Maryland, Lagos, Nigeria. Or A/c no: First Bank, Adenike Akintola 3049936624.
Council partners NGO on maternal mortality
• Mr and Mrs Akintola
ABA Local Council Development Area (LCDA), has partnered with a Wales-based non-for-profit and non-governmental organization, Life for African Mothers, to reduce high rates of maternal mortality. The council Chairman, Hon Jide Jimoh said, “we offered our gratitude for the positive hands of friendship from Life for African Mothers, a NGO based in Wales, United Kingdom with objectives to supporting African communities on maternal problems. “Through the partnership with Life for African Mothers the residents would enjoy necessary medications on maternal health
By Emmanuel Udodinma
related issues.” In a statement signed by him, Hon Jimoh said mother and baby clothes including bedding will be distributed to women in need and health centres in the community. Jimoh he is more determined to addressing several health issues particularly the reduction of the menace faced by expectant mothers, “as the NGO involvement will help in reversing minor circumstances that usually lead to deaths of expectant mothers and child. It aimed to make birth safer in Sub Saharan Africa, by providing medication to treat eclampsia and post partum haemorrhage.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
HEALTH DENTAL TALK with Dr Samuel Awosolu 08108155239 (SMS Only); email- email@example.com
Glossary of common dental terms
•From left: Mrs Adams; Prof Onimawo; Regional Business Head, Nestle Sub Sahara Africa, Mrs Mda Pindelina and Dr Ajayi at the event.
Experts meet to end malnutrition in children
MAGINE 1.1million Nigerian children under age five dying annually, it is like having 10 plane crashes every day, with each fully loaded with 300 Nigerian children, under the age of five. As alarming as this may sound it shows that Nigeria is losing its infants to malnutrition among other factors (under five Mortality rate-u5MR) yearly. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.1 million under five children die annually in Nigeria and Nestle Nutrition Institute Africa (NNIA), one of the 23 affiliate Institutes of the Nestlé Nutrition Institute (Global) worldwide, has established that malnutrition accounts for over 50 per cent of u5MR, and that rates Nigeria as second nation with high rate of infant mortality globally, after India. In order to halt this malnutrition-induced under five mortality deaths (u5MR), the NNIA called a meeting of stakeholders, who can reach out to all mothers, both expectant and nursing, in urban and rural areas. The venue was the Jevinik Restaurant, Isaac John, GRA, Ikeja Lagos. Members of Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), dieticians, health workers across the country were there. So also were Prof Ignatius Onimawo, who talked on 'Nutritional requirements and health statistics during complementary feeding period in Nigeria'; Dr Bartholomew Brai; NSN, State Chairperson, Dr Abimbola Ajayi; Mrs Oluwatoyin Adams of Lagos State Ministry of Health, who spoke on, Hidden hunger during complementary feeding: Challenges and way forward. The participants all agreed that the nutrition knowledge of Healthcare providers (HCPs) needs to be improved to help mothers make informed decisions, especially in the first 1,000 days of the child, as good nutrition from birth to two years is a critical window of
By Oyeyemi GbengaMustapha
opportunity. The experts said nutritional requirements and health statistics during complementary feeding period; and hidden hunger during complementary feeding account for micronutrient deficiency in children below five years. The facts are: Iron - 76.1 per cent; Vitamin A - 29.5 per cent and Zinc - 12.8 per cent. Some children die during this period as well. Prof Onimawo said the 1,000-Day-Window, including the important intrauterine period, the 200-DayWindow, is a highly vulnerable period for physical, motor and cognitive development of any child, and most are particularly susceptible to an inadequate supply of micronutrients. "Exclusive breastfeeding without water for the first six months of a child is recommended and the gold standard. When the child is six months, there is a need to move on by adding other foods. This is when some mothers and caregivers miss it, and children end up having Hidden hunger. An inadequate supply of micronutrients, with or without adequate energy and protein supply, is defined as Hidden hunger. “Most traditional foods are too bulky and of low energy density (0.3kcal/g instead of about 1.0kcal/g), therefore infants are sometimes unable to consume enough to satisfy their energy and nutrient requirements. Complementary foods therefore, need to have a high energy and micronutrient density, and should be offered as small, frequent meals," he said. According to Mrs Adams, children who are undernourished before they reach their second birthday and later gain weight rapidly after the age of two years are at high risk of nutrition-related chronic disease as adults. “Three in every 10 Nigerian children are deficient in Vitamin A and Io-
dine. Children suffering from hidden hunger have diets that are deficient in micronutrients. They habitually eat large amounts of staple food crops (such as maize, wheat, and rice) that are high in calories but lack sufficient micronutrients, and low amounts of foods that are rich in micronutrients such as fruits, vegetables, animal and fish products,” she said. She continued: “Studies consistently show that poor families spend significant resources on soft drinks and street foods of low nutritional value, suggesting that there is some spending flexibility and a demand for time-saving, convenient foods. The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to family foods, referred to as complementary feeding is a very vulnerable period. This is the time when malnutrition starts in many infants; contributing significantly to the high prevalence of malnutrition in children under five years of age worldwide." Mrs Adams said WHO estimates that two out of five children are stunted in lowincome countries. If complementary foods are not introduced when a child has reached six months, or if they are given inappropriately, an infant's growth may falter. Complementary feeding means giving other foods in addition to breast milk, these other foods are called complementary foods. She said: "Complementary foods should be given in amounts, frequency, consistency and using a variety of foods to cover the nutritional needs of the growing child while maintaining breastfeeding. Good nutrition is essential at this time to ensure healthy brain and body development. Insufficient nutrient intake and illness resulting from the introduction of pathogens in contaminated foods and feeding bottles are major causes of malnutrition. "The 2013 Nigeria National Demographic Health Survey
(NDHS) in comparison with 2008 results revealed an increase in wasting from 14 per cent to 18 per cent underweight from 23 per cent to 29 per cent and marginal drop in stunting from 41 percent to 37 per cent. These are the visible signs of malnutrition, but there are other forms of malnutrition that are less obvious and have more to do with the quality of food than the amount of food consumed. Four out of every 10 are deficient in Iron while 13 per cent, 35 per cent, 24 per cent,13 per cent and 28 per cent of their mothers are suffering from Vitamin A, Iodine, Iron, Vitamin E and Zinc deficiencies respectively.” “Poorly timed introduction of complementary foods (too early or too late) and infrequent feeding also have impact on children, hence “children need to be fed frequently throughout the day because of their small stomach size. Infants have a small gastric capacity (about 30 ml/kg body weight)," she stated. The participants agreed that the way forward included providing timely and targeted counseling on feeding practices (before conception, antenatal and postnatal visits). Efforts should be made to improve knowledge of adolescent/ youths on infant and young child feeding (i.e Nutrition Education in Secondary schools, Vocational Centres, Seminars at NYSC orientation camps etc.). Enhance access to nutritionally adequate complementary foods and/or fortified products to enrich home-prepared foods. Parents should seek improved enlightenment on infant and young child feeding(ie exclusive Breastfeeding, complementary feeding). fortification of foods (staples) to achieve adequate and complementary feeding diets. Addition of Multiple Micronutrients ie Micronutrient Powder (MNP) to complementary foods to reduce malnutrition in under five children.
A ABUTMENT: A tooth or implant used to support a prosthesis. A crown unit used as part of a fixed bridge. Abcess: A localised inflammation due to a collection of pus in the bone or soft tissue, usually caused by an infection. •Amalgam: A dental filling material, composed of mercury and other minerals, used to fill decayed teeth. •Alveoloplasty: A surgical procedure used to recontour the supporting bone structures in preparation of a complete or partial denture. •Anesthetic: A class of drugs that eliminated or reduces pain. •Anterior: Refers to the teeth and tissues located towards the front of the mouth (upper or lower incisors and canines). •Apex: The tip end of a root. ·•Apexification: A method of inducing apical closure, or the continual apical development of the root of an incompletely formed tooth, in which the pulp is no longer vital. B •Bicuspid: A two-cuspid tooth found between the molar and the cuspid also known as an eye tooth or canine tooth. •Biopsy: A process of removing tissue to determine the existence of pathology. •Bitewing x-ray: X-rays taken of the crowns of teeth to check for decay. •Bleaching: The technique of applying a chemical agent, usually hydrogen peroxide, to the teeth to whiten them. •Bonding: A process to chemically etch the tooths enamel to better attach ( bond ) composite filling material, veneers, or plastic/acrylic. •Bone loss: The breakdown and loss of the bone that supports the teeth, usually caused by infection or longterm occlusal (chewing areas of the teeth) stress. •Bridge: A fixed prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or attached to the abutment teeth or implant abutments adjacent to the space. •Bruxism: The involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth. C •Calculus: The hard deposit of mineralised plaque that forms on the crown and/or root of the tooth. Also referred to as tartar. •Canine tooth: The second tooth from the big front tooth, commonly called the eye tooth. •Cantilever Extension: Part of a fixed prosthesis that is supported at one end only. •Cap: Another term for crown; usually referring to a crown for a front tooth. •Caries: The correct technical term for decay which is the progressive breaking down or dissolving of tooth structure, caused by the acid produced when bacteria digest sugars. •Cavity: A layman’s term for decay. Also, the dental term for the hole that is left after the decay has been removed. •Cement: A special type of glue used to hold a crown in it’s place. It also acts as an insulator to protect the tooth’s nerve. •Cementum: The very thin, bonelike structure that covers the root of the tooth. •Clenching: The forceful holding together of the upper and lower teeth, which places stress on the ligaments that hold the teeth to the jawbone and the lower jaw to the skull. •Complex rehabilitation: The extensive dental restoration involving six or more units of crown and/or bridge in the same treatment plan. Using full crowns and/or fixed bridges which are cemented in place, that your dentist will rebuild natural teeth, fill in spaces where teeth are missing and establish conditions which allow each tooth to function in harmony with the occlusion (bite). •Composite: A tooth-colored filling made of plastic resin or porcelain. •Consultation: A diagnostic service provided by a dentist. •Cosmetic dentistry: Any dental treatment or repair that is solely rendered to improve the appearance of the teeth or mouth. •Crown: The portion of a tooth that is covered by enamel. Also a dental restoration that covers the entire tooth and restores it to its original shape. •To be continued next week.
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Attah is SNEPCO boss
NLNG finds bigger market in Japan
•‘U.S.’ exit won’t affect our business’
HE Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has found a bigger market in Japan, after the United States (US) stopped patronising it. The US stopped buying gas from Nigeria following its discovery and production of shale gas. NLNG Managing Director Babs Omotowa said in Lagos during the company’s presentation of its 2014 facts and figures that the US accounted for 35 per cent of its market. But that doesn’t exist because of shale oil, he said, adding that NLNG has found even a bigger market in the Far East. “Japan is our largest market now,” he said. He explained that the loss of the US market would not affect NLNG’s operations and sales because the supply contracts are long term, which will last for over 20 years. NLNG, he said, is also exploring other markets depending on availability of gas.
•From left: Omotowa; NLNG General Counsel/Company Secretary Edith Unuigbe; and Deputy Managing Director Isa Mohammed Inuwa at the event.
The NLNG chief said the Train 7 project is on course, explaining that the delay in the construction of the train is caused by gas supply. According to him, the nonpassage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and funding are some of the challenges affecting the gas suppliers of the project. He however noted that the prefinal investment decision (FID) processes are being concluded. He noted that the NLNG accounts for seven per cent of global LNG supplies and expects to increase to 10 per cent when Train seven comes on stream. The company is rated the fast-
est growing LNG project in the world and operates six trains which produce 22 million metric tons of LNG yearly, adding that this will grow to 30 million metric tons with Train 7 in operation. Omotowa said NLNG contributes four per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding that this may change if the rebased-GDP is considered. On other contributions to the economy, he said: “Since inception, we have shipped 3000 LNG cargoes to customers globally, which is over four trillion cubic feet of associated gas that ordinarily would have been flared. With this, we
have reduced gas flaring by upstream companies from over 60 per cent to 11 per cent. “The company pays corporate income tax of over N200 billion per annum, Rivers State Government earns over N6 billion per annum from personal income taxes, and Bonny Local Government earns over N88 million yearly as tenement rate, among others. Omotowa said Nigeria LNG has paid over $27billion dividend to the shareholders of the company since inception, adding that Nigerians have earned $50 billion from the company since inception.
HERE is a change of guards at Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), with former Vice President, Human Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tony Attah, succeeding Chike Onyejekwe as Managing Director. According to Africa Oil+Gas Report, Attah is taking the job when there is a breakthrough in the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWAP) to prospect for oil. The Final Investment Decision (FID) for this 600 million barrels of oil field, located in 800 metres of water depth, has not been taken, but if his tenure stretches over three years, he may be the one in charge when the field will come on stream. A 1987 graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Benin, Attah was Shell’s Vice President, Health, Safety, Environment, Sustainable Development and Corporate Affairs, a position he held for two years. It was in this role that he stared down critics of environmental and community engagement of major oil companies in Nigeria. At the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja in February 2012, he said: “There’s high criminality in the Niger Delta region masquerading as environmental and communal activism.” That comment made him come across, to some, as a little insensitive but Attah’s star has shone even more,” the report noted. SNEPCO’s new boss left Sokoto Cement Company in 1991 for the Anglo Dutch major. Attah started with various technical roles in field maintenance, production operations, core engineering and major projects commissioning and rotating equipment engineering, and became head of Joint Venture Economics in Commercial – Business Planning and Economics in 2001.
NPDC and enhanced local participation in oil output Antagonising Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke on the basis of decisions that were made in good faith could only discourage future ministers from making hard decisions where necessary to deal with challenges in the oil and gas sector. GODWIN ANAUGHE writes
T is true that when progress comes, there is propensity by those who are afraid of change to challenge it. For the past four years that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has been at the helm of affairs her goal has been to make the oil and gas sector more accessible to local indigenous players. Her work has been plagued with stories which whether real or imagined have not been fully investigated nor do they hold neither facts nor truth. This is the price she is paying for daring to remain at the helm of the most important sector of the Nigerian economy and threading in an all men industry and still has the guts to stand tall despite the negative publications against her. And who is to blame if not she, for failing to fight back forcefully enough. The good news, however, is that the criticism has never dissuaded her from doing what she believes is right for our country. We do not always have to criticise government officials simply because we do not understand the workings of government. Alison-Madueke, a holder of the MBA of Cambridge University is not all knowing and never will be, but her record shows that she knows what she is doing at the petroleum ministry and her desire to see that the Nigeria oil sector develops to its maximum capacity is not in any doubt. It is this desire that has driven her to adopt several creative previously utilised ways to bridge the existing funding gap in the industry which hitherto has prevented the NNPC from meeting its cash call obligations when due. One such financing arrangement is
the Strategic Alliance Agreement (SSA), which has made it possible for the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the exploration and production subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to undertake investment in very critical projects in the oil and gas sector. Similar to Financial and Production Sharing Agreements (FPSA) and Petroleum Sharing contracts (PSC), the SSA has enabled NPDC to develop oil and gas fields which ordinarily it could not have funded from its limited resources or carried all the risks solely. These agreements are based on tested financial models used by international oil companies to help NPDC fund its cash call obligations. Without the SSA, many oil and gas fields would not have been explored, developed and produced because NPDC would be unable to meet the cash call obligations in these partnerships with its partners, and as such many vital projects of NPDC would have suffered thereby undermining the Nigerian economy. This is definitely what Nigerians who are not conversant with the oil industry do not know. They also do not know that SSA with NPDC has been entered into with indigenous companies to empower the local companies (under the same terms and conditions like that undertaken with the international oil companies and NNPC). This kind of effort should be lauded, as it is the minister’s goal to develop indigenous companies. The SSA is not new in the petroleum and gas industry, as many countries have used this financing instrument to grow their operations. State oil com-
panies such as Petrobas of Brazil, Petronas of Malaysia and Sonangol of Angola have aggressively used these innovative financing arrangements to the benefit of their countries. NPDC cannot be different if we are to remain competitive in the global market. The criticism of Mrs Alison-Madueke who, in good faith, has made audacious steps to reposition the oil and gas industry through the adoption of innovative financing instruments to the benefit of the nation are uncalled for. She deserves commendation and not condemnation. We are all aware that the international oil companies have always complained that NNPC is not able to meet its cash call obligations. Therefore to suggest that the SSA be rolled back is to say the least unwise and unpatriotic. It will amount to throwing away the baby with the bath water when the gains of SSA are about to be consolidated.
Agreed that flaws may abound in the agreement, but they cannot and should not be blamed on the executive, which has used these already established instruments to ensure the smooth operation of NPDC. Neither can they be attributed to the minister or the government. These flaws manifest at the operational level and whatever challenges that exist in the execution of those agreements, be they legal, commercial or operational, should be handled at the operational level. It is at that level that issues such as those arising from the commercial agreement entered into by NPDC and Atlantic Energy Concepts Limited should be resolved. Antagonising Alison-Madueke on the basis of decisions that were made in good faith could only discourage future ministers from making hard decisions where necessary to deal with challenges in the oil and gas sector. Without doubt, Mrs Alison-Madueke is a strong character who is not easily distracted but she needs our support so she can remain focused on the restructuring of the oil and gas industry and most especially the passing of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that will help stimulate investment in the oil and gas sector. The focus, therefore, should be on the PIB which has been held down by the cabal that is fighting the minister. Just as the FOIA was fought and won and the National Health Bill almost sailing through, pressure should be mounted on the National Assembly to pass the PIB. Or are we all forgetting the expected benefits of the PIB to the common man who we all claim to fight for? Fight for PIB and not fight the minister who may
out of fear of criticism stop any fresh innovative ideas being brought to the ministry, an act which has rendered some of the sectors of the economy impotent. Mrs Alison-Madueke has achieved so much for the oil and gas sector and made many bold decisions since she arrived at the ministry. Let us not forget that under the watch of this able woman, Nigeria increased its daily oil production, eliminated petroleum products scarcity in our nation and restored peace to the Niger Delta. A bigger plus is that NPDC which for years under previous administrations boasted a production output of less than 5,000 barrels per day (bpd), today produces well in excess of 50,000bpd all because of the SSA as well as the operatorship of several oil blocks that were transferred to the NNPC subsidiary. The audacious steps she also took led to the Gas Masterplan revolution implementation of Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Act, as well as implementation of the National Gas Supply and Pricing Policy. That NPDC has grown into a medium scale exploration and production company from its small sized era is her feat, just as under her leadership, there has been an increase in the contribution of Nigerian companies to oil production output. What more can we say? Rather than join in the bandwagon to pull her down, Nigerians should stick with her and encourage her to continue with the work she is doing for the country. •Anaughe, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Lagos
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes * Real Estate
Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com 08062722507
Firm gets recognition for local content
Lagosians urge govt to reduce cost of LagosHOMS A
N appeal has gone to the Lagos State government to review the cost of acquiring houses under the Lagos State Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LagosHOMS). Lagosians who converge every month on the draw centres to witness the emergence of winners, though applauded the government’s initiative, expressed reservations on the cost. An artisan, Babatunde Sogunwa, said he would have loved to participate in the scheme, but lamented that his chances of raising the initial 30 per cent down payment, remained a daunting challenge. A trader, Monsurat Alimi, said much as she desires to own a home in the state, her current financial situation does not guarantee that she would ever be one. She had hoped that the initiative would afford her the opportunity to own a home. She said with the cost of acquiring a home under the initiative, that hope seemed to have been dashed for now. Sogunwa and Alimi’s views fairly represent the yearning of majority of the people desiring to benefit from the LagosHoms. Under the scheme, a room and parlour apartment of 60.22 metre square (m2) in Michael Otedola Estate,
By Muyiwa Lucas
Odoragunshi, Ikorodu, goes for N4.34 million. For a one bedroom apartment of same size, ranging from type one to type three, sells for between N4.1 million and N9.91million. Again, the prices of the homes are determined by their location. Thus, in locations such as Shitta, Surulere, this type of apartment goes for N8.25 million. A two-bedroom apartment of type-one to type-four, costs between N6.22 million and N18.61 million. The three-bedroom flat category has the widest range of six types, with a price bracket of N14.5 million and N32.53 million, while a terrace three bedroom sells for N8.77 million. But against the strident calls for a reduction in the cost of the buildings, a building consultant, Sunday Ajetunmbi, has called for caution. He said a lot of other costs go into building a house that are unknown to people. He said: “You have to consider the cost of the land the building is standing on, you also have to consider the location of the building. More importantly, the scheme is powered
by a mortgage system; so we should understand that some people put their money down for the comfort of others.” Ajetunmbi added that the stress of land speculators otherwise known as omo onile is taken off the necks of winners under the scheme. Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), had at one of the draws, restated his administration’s commitment to the provision of affordable housing in a sustainable way to Lagosians. He said criticisms that the cost of the houses are too high should not arise because his administration never promisesd to deliver low-cost housing but affordable housing whereby owners could pay over a long period of time. The Governor explained that lowcost housing could not be provided in a sustainable way when there is no lowcost land, low–cost labour and low building materials, even in the face of declining value of the naira. “Some people have criticised us that homes under our mortgage scheme are not low-cost but these people cannot point to one place where our government promised to build low cost
houses. “We did not promise low-cost housing. What we promised was affordable housing and people should not accuse us of not doing what we did not promise. I have always reiterated since I was campaigning as a governorship candidate in 2007 that my commitment to the people of Lagos is affordable housing and that is what we are delivering,” he had said. Fashola had also said his administration had approved and released additional N2 billon to contractors under the scheme. Fashola, who expressed satisfaction with the success recorded so far in the scheme, said the release of the money is to mobilise more contractors to site so that more houses could be delivered to more people. “The LagosHoms delivers 200 homes monthly; we can do more than this figure considering the number of people that have shown interest. So I urge our contractors to try and speed up construction, but without compromising quality and standard in the construction,” he said. So far, 235 home owners have emerged under the scheme since the monthly draws began last March.
Fed Govt moves to save North from desertification
HE Federal Government has taken steps to contain desertification in the North. Desertification, caused largely by deforestation, is threatening farmlands and, if left unchecked, could endanger the lives of over 40 million people. The Minister for the Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, during an awareness and sensitisation campaign in Zamfara and Kebbi states, lamented that more than 35 per cent of the country’s land area is threatened by desertification. She said the campaign was aimed at tree planting and deployment of local efforts to check gully erosion the government she said, is determined to implement the project in Kano, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Sokoto. She charged the states to support the government’s effort to curb the
By Frank Ikpefan, Abuja.
menace. The government’s plan to save the northern states from the menace is anchored on the Great Green Wall (GGW) project, an initiative proposed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to the African Union (AU) to check desert encroachment and desertification affecting countries bordering the Sahara Desert. The GGW initiative is a pan-African proposal to green ”the continent from West to East in order to battle desertification. It aims at tackling poverty and degradation of soils in the Sahel - Saharan region. From the initial idea of planting a line of trees from east to west through the African desert, the vision of a Great Green Wall is said to have evolved into that of a mosaic of interventions addressing the challenges facing the
people of the north. GGW, also seen as a programming tool for rural development, is expected to strengthen the resilience of the region’s inhabitants and the natural systems through a sound and effective ecosystem management, the protection of rural heritage, and the improvement of the living conditions of the local people. It will also improve local incomes in the long run. For instance, the Chief Executive Officer of the Pan-African Agency for the GGW, Prof Abdoulaye Dia, during a recent visit to Nigeria said the project was not only about forestation but a means of eliminating rural poverty on the continent. He stressed the need for Nigeria to integrate agriculture into the project to ensure that the rural dwellers were not left out of the envisaged benefit. He charged the country to take the leadership role expected of her on the
GGW. Mrs Mallam is convinced that the GGW will address these issues as well as play positive roles in the fight against the insurgencies in the northern part of the country. “It is a collective responsibility for everybody to protect the environment. If the environment is not conducive, a lot of activities will be affected. We must plant trees to ensure we protect against desertification. Lives and properties were lost during the wind break in Zamfara,” Mrs Mallam said, while appealing to residents of the states to refrain from felling trees, adding that whenever it became inevitable for them to do so, then one felled tree should be replaced with five replanted trees. When this is done, the Minister assured that desertification will be effectively checked in the north.
OCAL tiles manufacturer, the West African Ceramics Limited, has restated its commitment to using local resources in the production of tiles. The firm made the pledge when it received the Excellence Award for Best Local Content in the Nigerian building and construction industry by the Nigerian Institute of Architect (NIA), Lagos State chapter. Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the NIA, Ladipo Lewis, said the award was a special recognition of merit bestowed on an indigenous company whose operations, from sourcing of raw materials to delivering the final product, entail the utilisation of local contents. This, he said, is in terms of value creation in the economy, systematic capacity development, and the use of material and human resources locally sourced. He praised the irm for consistently upholding the use of local content in its business operations. “The NIA as a professional body recognises companies in the built environment which makes immense contribution to the Nigerian economy through systematic development of capacity, value creation, and engagement of local materials and Nigerian human resources in their production process. “Yearly, the state chapter seeks to identify that company that fulfils the most use of local contents and recognise that company on a special occasion such as this forum with this award,” he added.
Floods: ‘No cause for alarm in Lagos’
HE Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, has advised residents not to panic over the rains in the state in the last four weeks. The assurance became necessary following the flooding of some roads. Bello attributed the development to “the rains of high intensity which has greatly slowed down the percolation rate of storm water generated and the high saturation level of the soil”. According to the him, rain is peculiar to a coastal city like Lagos, where it is normal to have storm water on the roads if it rains consistently. “Whenever it rains heavily across the state, this naturally leads to a rise in the lagoon and ocean, which automatically locks up all the canals in the state, and until the water in the ocean and lagoon recedes, that is when our canals can discharge into theses water bodies. The after effect is that it takes a long time before water discharges into the lagoon as well as the time it eliminates all backflows,” Bello said. He added that water on the roads after continuous rainfall is not flooding, but flash flood which will definitely disappear after some time because the canals are functional and they are regularly cleaned and maintained to contain storm water whenever it rains. Though he assured residents that the ministry’s mid-rain cleaning is in order to absorb storm water generated, Bello urged Lagosians to be prepared for rains of high intensity, which will be accompanied by thunderstorm occasionally.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Concerns over rising cases of e-fraud Banks‘do not have the time, Continued from page 3
He said many of these customers lost confidence in their banks after many reported cases of people losing their money to fraudsters. “There is also another category of discerning, security conscious Nigerians who are abreast with the weaknesses inherent in cashless banking. For instance, I am yet to download any of my banks mobile banking Apps because of security concerns,” he said. The General Manager, IBM Africa, Taiwo Otiti, said these happenings led Visa International and other global payment firms to increase sophistication of technology deployed in Nigeria. He said during an interview at the IBM headquarters in Lagos: “The standard for Visa in Nigeria is the strictest in the whole payment system worldwide. The Visa stipulated a very, very high standard for Nigeria. “We have seen syndicates work with internal staff of banks to transfer funds to fraudulent accounts. The easiest way is to get a normal card, open an account and get someone internally to transfer funds into the account. The funds are withdrawn mainly through the ATMs.” Otiti explained that in other cases, online fraudsters could compromise a customer’s account by cunningly demanding his token. “They can send you a mail asking you to generate a token, and you would be unwise to oblige them. Remember, each time you generate a token, the system in the bank waits for further instruction that would come either from the fraudster, or from you,” he said. The Chief Executive Officer, New Horizons Nigeria, an IT-security and business solutions company, Tim Akano, said these happenings showed that banks are still vulnerable to hacking, nearly two years after migrating to chip-and-pin technology from magnetic stripe cards. He said banks remain in very delicate condition, with high possibility of losing huge sums to fraudsters, especially through the collusion of insiders. Akano said it is the duty of banks and global payment companies to ensure data security and protect cardholders from fraud, while achieving electronic payments that are safe, simple and secure. CBN’s position Aware of these dangers, the CBN has decided to set up a five-year Information Technology (IT) Standards for banks. CBN’s Director, Information Technology, John Ayoh, said the exercise would help banks identify and adopt global IT standards that address industry problems. He said banks were expected to implement the plan on continuous basis and in accordance with set timelines. CBN’s Director, Banking Payment and Systems Dipo Fatokun said the introduction of chip-and-pin payment cards have led to drastic drop in ATM card fraud. He said the CBN and other relevant institutions have been able to reduce card frauds considerably by instituting ATM Fraud Prevention Group and the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF). The groups are to enable banks to collaboratively share data on fraud attempts and proactively tackle them to reduce losses. According to Fatokun, the CBN, instructed banks to set and implement mandatory daily limits for ATM cash withdrawal, while other related transactions, including POS and web purchases should be subjected to stringent limit as agreed and documented between the banks and customers. He said it was the responsibility of the banks to ensure that a trigger was automatically ini-
and also do not want to spend money conducting accurate background checks, and this is affecting fight against fraud
•A customer (left) trying to resgister during the launch of the Biometric Solution in Lagos.
tiated when limits were exceeded. CBN’s Deputy Director, Banking Supervision Ibedu Onyebuchi said banks have to wake up to the realities of cyber fraud and boost their IT formations in a way that hackers would not be able to penetrate, and when they do, their acts would be easily tracked and checked. Onyebuchi said banks have to improve on their IT, ensuring that they were not just rolling out e-payment products and channels, but also protecting their customers who use such platforms. “We cannot continue to roll out echannels without securing them. Transactions have moved from the banking halls to the e-channels. Therefore, we must control all aspects of these channels, both internally and externally,” he advised. He said by strengthening IT in banks, management would be sure that depositors’ funds were secured and the customers too would be confident that their deposits and online transactions were protected. Phillips Oduoza, Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, says any serious banking institution that wants to succeed in this digital age cannot afford to ignore information security as any major compromise of bank’s system and network has potentials for colossal damage. He says no amount spent on banking security is too much, given the dangerous consequence of inaction. Biometric Project Manager at NIBSS, Oluseyi Adenmosun, said the introduction of Bank Verification Number (BVN) by the CBN was to frustrate fraudsters. He said the project, which is part of the $50 million biometric contract awarded to Dermalog, a German-based IT firm, would make it extremely difficult for the fraud perpetrators to succeed. “It will not completely eliminate fraud, but it will cut it to the barest minimum,” he said.
What global payment companies have to say
Visa Country Manager in West Africa Ade Ashaye said the firm invests heavily in advanced fraudfighting technologies and continues to develop and deploy new and innovative programmes to mitigate fraud and protect cardholders. Ashaye said in an interview with The Nation that the global payment firm’s efforts have helped keep fraud rates steady near historic lows, enabling account holders to use Visa with confidence. “In fact, with technological innovations and advances in risk man-
agement, global fraud rates have declined by more than two-thirds in the past two decades. VisaNet has an enhanced ability to identify fraud on individual accounts and coordinated attacks on multiple accounts across the system, enabling issuers to stop potential fraud at checkout, before it occurs,” he said. He said the firm’s advanced authorisation tool analyses and scores in real-time, every transaction for fraud potential. Risk scores are based on a global view of fraud and spending patterns across the entire network providing an analysis of fraud trends. “In less than one second of processing, the Visa network can analyse transactions and provide risk scores accurately. This speed and clarity help issuers prevent fraud from occurring in the first place, rather than just reacting to fraud after it occurs,” he said. Also, Visa, MasterCard and American Express have proposed using “digital tokens” instead of account numbers for processing purchases made online and with mobile devices. Tokens provide an additional layer of security and eliminate the need for merchants, digital wallet operators or others to store account numbers. Interswitch, owners of Verve card, explained that as a second layer of defence, it has also introduced Scorebridge, a fraud management system that enables Electronic Financial Transaction (EFT) messages to be processed through predefined Artificial Intelligence. This helps determine the transaction’s risk and probability of a fraud. Visa remains biggest payment network, with $4.4 trillion in purchases and 74.4 billion transactions in 2013. It, however, lacks direct hooks to consumers as it has to work through banks. MasterCard recorded $3 trillion in purchases on 45.5 billion transactions.
Way out The Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), collaborating with banks, is working out modalities that will ensure that customers that use their e-payment cards to pay for goods and services on PoS terminals and web platforms get cash refund of 50 kobo for every N100 spent. Iku, who disclosed this, said lenders are serious about the offer, as they look at more ways of rewarding users of e-channels like PoS, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) or even web payments. The removal of N100 ATM fee on other bank’s machines
was also meant to encourage more people to embrace e-channels. But after these carrots, also comes the stick. In most banks, withdrawing less than N100, 000 across the counter now attracts a surcharge. Customers are expected to use ATMs or make direct online transfer into beneficiaries’ accounts. Iku said despite these approaches, majority of bank customers still prefer cash transactions, mainly because of fear of losing their money in what they see as unsecured platforms. Vice President, IBM Tivoli Storage, Software Group, Steve Wojtowecz advised banks to adopt efficient and quality banking software despite their high cost to effectively fight fraudsters. Wojtowecz who spoke at the Edge 2014 conference organized by IBM in United States said that banks should ensure that people responsible for data security are highly efficient to achieve maximum protection. He said the cost for acquiring software will be upset in a matter of months from efficiency and security benefits. He advised banks to acquire several layers of data security and authentication so that should one layer fail, the other can sustain their operations. “There are many mechanisms a bank can implement to limit fraud, including having several layers of data security and authentication, because preventing fraud is very difficult. Limiting fraud is the best case option at the moment,” Wojtowecz said. Chief Executive Officer, Primex Background Check Limited, Frank Oyorhigho said most bank fraud takes place with internal connivance. “It is the rat inside that tells the rat outside that there is food in the house” he said proverbially. He advised banks to ensure that they know their prospective employees beyond the qualifications and abilities. Banks, he said, are also expected to check in-between the lines, their attitudes, pedigree, integrity and where have worked before. “Having enough information about such employee like knowing the guarantor, village among others also serve as a serves as a check. It will check the employer. There are some people who cannot work in a particular industry because of their previous activities. They have been blacklisted,” he said. Oyorhigho said a situation where the prospective employee is the one that takes the reference letter to the referee is not right because the re-
port will be subjective. He said independent background check brings objective report but regretted that over 80 per cent of the banks do not employ independent verifiers to do the background checks for prospective employees. “Banks do not have the time, and also do not want to spend money conducting accurate background checks, and this is affecting fight against fraud,” he said. Also, CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins had in a letter to banks and discount houses titled: “The Need for the CBN Prior Clearance of Prospective Employees of Banks’ directed the lenders to always obtain its written approval before employment. The order was meant to prevent recycling of workers that had been indicted, terminated or dismissed for fraud and other acts of dishonesty within the industry. Speaking at the 2014 Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria (CCCOBIN) held in Lagos, CBN Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability Adebayo Adelabu said Nigeria has adequate legal and regulatory measures that should address breaches to the Know Your Customer (KYC), Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Customer Due Diligence (EDD) provisions. “It is the application of these KYC provisions that are meant to reveal illegitimate sources of funds and trigger investigation by relevant stakeholders that matters. Like in many developing countries, compliance has been a major regulatory challenge in Nigeria,” he said. Adelabu said the 2013 Global Fraud Report showed Africa has the largest fraud cases. Among other regions surveyed, Sub-Saharan Africa scored 77 per cent as the zone with the most prevalent fraud problems. For physical assets thefts, it scored 47; corruption, 30 per cent; regulatory or compliance breaches, 22 per cent; internal financial frauds, 27 per cent and misappropriation of organisational funds, 17 per cent. It also showed that 2.4 per cent of the regions revenues are lost to fraud. He disclosed that Global Economic Crime Survey 2014 by PWC Global showed that fraud, identity and password infringement and accounting fraud have damaged the reputation and integrity of financial institutions and also discouraged honest investors. “These practices have caused loss of jobs, loss of retirement benefits, untimely death and closure of businesses. They continue to affect the stability of financial institutions as well as economic growth of the country,” he said. Adelabu said the practice of placing high value on the accumulation of wealth without regard to its source, continuous advancement in technology without commensurate emphasis on capacity building; inadequate laws or poor implementation of legal/regulatory provisions and insatiable appetite for wealth among others are fueling fraud, poor staff recruitment processes and weak internal controls are also to blame for rising cases of fraud. Programme Director, Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) Anthony Ubani said the solution to the e-payment crisis is that people in charge of processes should be rooted in values. That way, he said, it will be difficult for them to compromise the system. “In a society where morals and values have broken down, there is nothing that will work, be it technology or policies because it is the people that will execute them. If you bring someone that lacks values to execute a laudable policy, he will compromise the entire process. Nigeria’s problems have not been lack of ideas or policies, or programmes or plans, but lack of value-based leaders,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
With ekpoita :firstname.lastname@example.org / 08077706130
1. Misfortune (4)
1. Canoe (4) 4. Price (4)
2. Keen (4)
7. Container (4)
3. Until (3)
8. Father (2)
4. Gonorrhea (4)
9. Tack (4)
5. Range (4)
11. Not Near (4)
6. Prostititute (4)
13. Final (3)
10. Insect (3)
14. Wasted (5)
12. Gave food (3)
15. Indicating location (2)
14. Pig’s pen (3)
17. Grain (3)
15. Skill (3)
19. Unit (2)
16. Verruca (4)
21. Aid in crime (4)
18. Asia (4)
24. Pain (4)
19. Exclamation (2)
26. Eggs (3)
20. Tide (4)
27. As it is (2)
22. Boyfriend (3)
28. Narrated (4)
23 Fish (3)
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25. Expression of surprise (3)
WORD PUZZLE Find alternative words to the clues below and fill them in their spaces in the grid.When you are done another word for ‘APPEALING’ would be spelt. The first one has been solved to spur you on.
Rosie O’Donnell Marries Michelle Rounds
A B A T E
ROMANCE Romance came at morning love story without end we stole a kiss by the river the haven of love way down in the glen soprano voices came hither ecstasy lingered then with the bliss of romance. Only a shy young maiden was I how could my heart ever know that love was steadily seeping into the innocence of my soul?
A week after announcing that she had suffered a frightening heart attack, the TV host has revealed that she tied the knot with fianceé Michelle Rounds on June 9, her rep confirms to E! News. “Rosie and Michelle got married in a private ceremony in New York on June 9,” O’Donnell’s rep tells E! News...
Alba Unveils New Blond Hairdo for Stripper Role in Sin City Sequel
CLUES 1. Ebb 2. Fact 3. Vagrant 4. Awaken 5.Turn Away
Romance came with glory love’s fable now I pen we fell in love one September at a haven of love way down in the glen your kind caress I remember I was eager to dance on wings of true Romance.
Teacher & Student Teacher :What happened in 1809? Student: Abraham Lincoln was born. Teacher :What happened in 1819? Student: Abraham Lincoln was ten years old
- Joyce Hemsley.
Gorgeous Jessica Alba took a lighter approach to life by debuting a new blond ‘do over the weekend. And it was all in the name of work: The 31-year-old is currently prepping for her role as stripper Nancy Callahan in the highly anticipated sequel to 2005’s Sin City.
Hunger, temptation longing laughter, joy and tears. Anger, loving, curiosity hopeful, happiness and fears. All these are inside me And they all are coming out. Don’t know if I’m coming or going Jennifer Or to scream or shout!-
6. Crawl 7. Flatter 8. Inaction 9. Speak out 10.Occurrence
Teacher: How old is********** your dad. Student: He is as old as I am. Teacher: How is it possible? Student: Because he became a dad only after I was born. A gift for girlfriend Man 1: I want to buy a gift for my girlfriend for her birthday but I don’t know what she would like. Give me a suggestion. Man 2: Does she like you? Man 1: Yes Man 2: Then she would like anything.
A well-cultivated mind is, so to speak, made up of all the minds of preceding ages; it is only one single mind which has been educated during all this time. - Bernard de Bovier de Fontenelle
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Banks get July date to refund ATM funds to customers
HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given banks up till July 31 to return all monies in their possession as a result of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) non-dispense or partial dispense error. In a statement signed by CBN Director, Banking & Payment System, ‘Dipo Fatokun said the attention of the apex bank has been drawn to the fact that banks have not been refunding their customers that were shortchanged by ATMs’ partial dispense error, while some with
Stories by Collins Nweze
non-dispense error were also not refunded. He said the complaint was brought to the attention of the Chairmen, Committees of Heads of eBanking and Heads of Operations, at a meeting attended by Card Schemes and Switches. He said stakeholders at the meeting decided that banks should reconcile their accounts with a view to returning such monies to their
Sterling Bank empowers 100 Osun indigenes
owners. The CBN had last week, instructed all banks to refund all unapproved Commission on Turnover (CoT) deducted from their customers to same in the next one month. It gave the directive in a circular titled: “Implementation of Revised Guide to Bank Charges –Commission on Turnover,” posted on its website. The document was signed by the Deputy Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Mr. Franklin Ahonhai.
S • CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele
According to the CBN, banks that had charged excess CoT since the effective date of the Guide to Bank charges which was on March 27, 2013, are to refund same to the affected customers. It expressed disappointment that some banks were still charging CoT at the rate of N3 per mille which was the agreed rate for 2013. Also, the regulator revealed that some banks have been charging their customers maintenance fee (or any fee for that matter), not covered by the guide nor was approved.
PayPal expands payment services to Nigeria
AYPAL is entering 10 new countries this week, including Nigeria, providing online payment alternatives for consumers via mobile phones or PCs in markets often blighted by financial fraud. Rupert Keeley, the executive in charge of the EMEA region of PayPal, the payments unit of eBay Inc, told Bloomberg the expansion would bring the number of countries it serves to 203. He said consumers in Nigeria, which has 60 million users and has Africa’s largest population, along with nine other markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America will be able to make payments through PayPal. “PayPal has been going through a period of reinvention, refreshing many of its services to make them easier to use on mobile (phones), allowing us to expand into fast-developing markets,” Keeley said. Once the services go live, customers in the 10 countries with access to
the Web and a bank card authorized for Internet transactions will be able to register for a PayPal account and make payments to millions of sites worldwide. Initially, PayPal is only offering “send money” services for consumers to pay for goods and services at PayPal-enabled merchant sites while safeguarding their financial details. This is free to consumers and covered by fees it charges merchants. “We think we can give our sellers selling into this market a great deal of reassurance,” said Keeley, a former regional banking executive with Standard Chartered Plc and senior executive with payment card company Visa Inc. PayPal does not yet cover peer-topeer transactions, which allow consumers to send money to other consumers. It has not yet enabled local merchants in the new markets to receive payments, nor is it offering other forms of banking services, he said.
A 2013 survey of 200 UK ecommerce sites by Visa’s CyberSource unit estimated that 1.26 percent of online orders are fraudulent and that 85 percent of merchants expected fraud to increase or remain static last year.
FirstBank trains SMEs on book keeping, others IRST Bank Nigeria Plc has stepped up its Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) services by training entrepreneurs in several aspects of business development. At the Southwest Zone edition which was held at Jogor Centre, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital at the weekend, the bank gathered over 200 participants from Osun, Oyo, Edo, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti states to listen to experts who took them through practical sessions on various topics on how to grow their businesses and become major players in modern day business envi-
From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m
trepreneurs for sustainable national development. The new workshop was aimed at helping entrepreneurs avail themselves of the global trend in business management and development through window of innovations provided by “ First Bank SME Connect.” The First Bank SME Connect seminar series, which is a one-day workshop with the theme: We Can Help With That, was also designed to provide practical help on relevant challenges faced by SMEs in different regions of the country.
ronment. Sessions included book keeping and risk management, monitoring the supply chain and management, exceeding customers’ expectations, opportunity recognition and business plan writing as well as marketing products and services effectively with a special focus on online trade and pricing. The training is coming seven months after it successfully hosted the maiden edition of SME conference geared towards boosting creativity, capacity and capital of en-
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33
TERLING Bank Plc has empowered over 100 indigenes of Osun State through its financial inclusion and agent banking scheme, which it pioneered last year. Head, Financial Inclusion, e-Business of the lender, Richard Oshungboye, disclosed this in a statement issued after a seminar for the executive members of different Cooperative Societies in Osun State. Oshungboye said the bank has equally enriched the lives of the cooperative members. He explained that the financial inclusion and agent banking system involves an agent with an existing business and those who also have a physical business location/ address. “There is a limit to how much an agent can transact with, the agent and the bank shall agree on a limit that is determined by how much the agent is willing to deposit,” he explained.
Price Loss 2754.67
Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m 399.9m
Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8 155.7
Date 2-5-14 2-3-14 1-29-14
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Currency OBB Rate
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day
Amount 30m 46.7m
Rate % 10.96 9.62
Date 28-04-2012 “
CAVERTON COSTAIN OANDO LEARNAFRCA AIRSERVICE NEM TRANSCORP MAYBAKER MANSARD OKOMUOIL
O/PRICE 4.98 1.28 20.00 1.71 2.45 0.81 4.29 1.68 2.50 33.00
C/PRICE 5.48 1.40 21.00 1.79 2.56 0.84 4.44 1.73 2.55 33.64
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
GAINERS AS AT 16-10-14
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change
Year Start Offer
CHANGE 0.50 0.12 1.00 0.08 0.11 0.03 0.15 0.05 0.05 0.64
DISCOUNT WINDOWx Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00%
O/PRICE 4.40 16.70 13.11 1.38 25.90 0.98 0.76 0.88 1.27 0.53
C/PRICE 4.18 15.87 12.46 1.32 24.83 0.94 0.73 0.85 1.24 0.52
CHANGE -0.22 -0.83 -0.65 -0.06 -1.07 -0.04 -0.03 -0.03 -0.03 -0.01
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH BGL NUBIAN FUND BGL SAPPHIRE FUND CANARY GROWTH FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CORAL INCOME FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND FBN HERITAGET FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FIDELITY NIGFUND INTERCONTINENTAL INTEGRITY FUND KAKAWA GUARANTEED INCOME FUND
Offer Price Bid Price 157.99 157.07 9.17 9.08 1.09 1.08 1.18 1.18 0.68 0.68 1.39 1.33 1,664.78 1,661.81 1,087.24 1,086.78 119.02 118.19 1,087.30 1,087.00 1.67 1.62 1.05 1.03
LEGACY FUND NIGERIA INTER DEBIT FUND PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND STANBIC IBTC ETHICAL FUND • • • •
LOSERS AS AT 16-6-14
ETERNA ETI CHAMPION AGLEVENT STANBIC WEMABANK WAPIC ABCTRANS NEIMETH ROYALEX
UBA BALANCED FUND UBA BOND FUND UBA EQUITY FUND UBA MONEY MARKET FUND
0.78 1,944.64 13.62 1.07
0.76 1,936.31 13.28 1.05
1.3379 1.3544 1.0146 1.1770
1.3271 1.3544 0.9967 1.1770
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96%
OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2012
Current 07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 16-06-14
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 16-06-14
‘FBN Holdings is an attractive investment’
HE management of FBN Holdings Plc yesterday outlined that key strategic initiatives being taken to strengthen the leadership position of the financial services holding company make it an attractive and compelling investment. At a “Facts Behind the Figure” forum at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Lagos, managing director, FBN Holdings Plc, Mr. Bello Maccido said the company has made strategic changes to its operations to overcome the challenges posed by recent regulatory changes. According to him, with attractive macroeconomic trends in Nigeria and growing opportunities in other Sub-Saharan countries, FBN Holdings is strategically positioned to harness opportunities across the African markets. He noted that increasing rural penetration and growing middle class as well as its larg-
By Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor
est retail distribution network in Nigeria, position FBN Holdings as the largest potential beneficiary in the growing African markets. He added that the by driving synergies within the group and increasing crosssales across the subsidiaries, the company would be able to deliver sustained returns to shareholders. “In the last one year, we have not just continued our momentum by growing organically, we have implemented key initiatives are building new pillars and structures for the future,” Maccido said. He outlined FBN Holdings competitive advantages to include robust financial profile with liquid and strong balance sheet, stringent asset, liability and risk management policies
leading to improved loan book quality and strong management team committed to continual assessment and improvement while delivering value to all stakeholders. “FBN Holdings currently trading at a discount remains an attractive and compelling investment proposition,” Maccido said. He recalled that severe regulatory policies in 2013 impacted negatively on the company noting that the upward review of Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) in public sector deposits to 75 per cent and private sector deposits to 12 per cent led to N389 billion of FBN deposit sterilised, earning zero per cent on assets with yield of 13 per cent which resulted to a loss of N7 billion in revenue. He pointed out that with the lost of N32.5 billion in 2013, the bank would have closed the year with a profit before tax of N120 billion.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Widow seeks to recover N500m judgment debt
WIDOW, Mrs Ebunoluwa Awosika, has initiated contempt proceedings against the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc at the Lagos High Court, over the N500million awarded her as damages against the police. But, the bank has filed an application, praying the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s case, because it is an abuse of process. The judgment-creditor is the wife and next-of-kin of Mr. Modebayo Awosika (39), a Relationship Manager at First Bank of Nigeria Plc, who was shot dead by a police officer on October 1, 2008 at Lekki Phase I Roundabout. Mrs Awosika filed a fundamental rights suit against the Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioner of Police Lagos State. In his judgment, Justice Ebenezer Adebajo awarded
Three NDLEA officials killed
By Jude Isiguzo
HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday said three of its operatives were killed while trying to arrest a notorious drug baron. Despite the tragedy, the suspect was arrested, it said. Head, Public Affairs, of the agency Ofoyeju Mitchell, in a statement, said: “It was a black Sunday for the NDLEA as three officers were killed in a mob attack while on official assignment in Owode, Ogun State. “The incident occurred during the arrest of a notorious cannabis dealer, Azeez Babatunde. Three officers Bolaji Owolodun, Rabiu Usman Kazaure and Ishaku Joshua - were confirmed dead following the attack”. Chairman/Chief Executive of the agency, Ahmadu Giade, said: “It is shocking that officers on legitimate assignment could be attacked and killed by people whose interest they were protecting. I have ordered investigations into the incident and the agency will leave no stone unturned until the perpetrators are arrested and dealt with in accordance with the laws of the country.” The NDLEA boss described the officers as gallant heroes of the anti-narcotics crusade, adding: “These gallant heroes have paid the supreme price for a drug-free society. We shall immortalise them by punishing the culprits and sustaining the fight against drug barons. The agency will take good care of members of the families they left behind.” The NDLEA, Ogun State Commander, Mr. Bala Fagge, said the suspect they went for had been arrested and would soon be charged to court. “We have the main suspect in our custody and he will be charged to court soon. There is one other officer that sustained injury who is currently recuperating at the hospital,” Bala said.
•Bank urges court to dismiss suit
By Joseph Jibueze
N500million damages against the police for the unlawful killing of Awosika. The plaintiff, represented by a former Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr Olasupo Shasore (SAN), instituted garnishee proceedings against seven commercial banks, including Zenith, to enforce the judgment. On March 10, the judge made a garnishee order nisi, directing the banks to file affidavits showing available balances in the police accounts with them. Zenith Bank allegedly informed the court that only N97,658 was in its custody, following which the court made an order nisi absolute against it. But Mrs Awosika said she discovered that there was more money in Zenith Bank’s custody belonging to the police, and therefore, started fresh garnishee proceedings to recover the balance of the judgment-sum. On May 20, the court made a new order nisi attaching
money in a specifically named account in the custody of Zenith Bank Plc. The court also ordered, among others, that the bank, through its Executive Director Finance, should depose to an affidavit exhibiting the Statement of Account within three working days from when the bank was served with the order. Following alleged disobedience of the order, the judgment-creditor began contempt proceedings against the bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Peter Amangbo, praying the court to commit him to prison for allegedly disobeying the order. But, the bank, through its
‘The bank said the fund in its custody does not belong to the Nigerian Police Force, but to the Police Academy, a corporate body with perpetual succession and a common seal’
• The late Awosika
there are two motions, such as these, the contempt proceedings should take precedence. Fagbohungbe canvassed the opposite. Police counsel Mr Chukwu Agwu also told the court of his pending application, also to set aside the garnishee order made on May 20. The police are also seeking leave to participate in the garnishee proceedings. Justice Adebajo, in a short ruling, said the judgmentcreditor should respond to the bank’s applications, which he said would be heard first. He adjourned the hearing till June 23.
Policeman held for ‘stealing’ 15 motorbikes
HE police in Lagos have arrested a riot police man for allegedly stealing 15 motorbikes. Corporal Sherif Sanni was said to have been demobbed about eight months ago from Mopol 14 in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, but never reported to his new station in Lagos. It was gathered that he retained his uniform and allegedly started using it to rob commercial motorbike operators. Those who suspected that he was doing an illegal job reported him last week at the Ojota Police Station. When operatives heard
By Jude Isiguzo
about his activities, he was placed under surveillance and monitored for days until he was apprehended. A police source said: “When he was demobbed at Yola, he failed to report to his new post - in Lagos Command. He went to stay with his friend in Agbara area of Ogun State. It was there he used to seize motorbikes from commercial bike riders. He would come to Ojota to hand the motorbikes to a man, who assists him in selling them.” The man, who used to assist Sanni in selling the mo-
Ooni, Lambo, others for Ogidi Day
lawyer, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), brought a motion praying for the dismisal of the garnishee proceedings for being an abuse of court process. The bank said the fund in its custody does not belong to the Nigerian Police Force, but to the Police Academy, a corporate body with perpetual succession and a common seal. Zenith, in a motion on notice, also asked the court for an order setting aside the issuance and service of the Notice of Consequence of Disobedience of a court order on it. It said the court lacked the jurisdiction to make the garnishee order nisi of May 20.
Besides, Zenith said no proceedings can be validly initiated based on the garnishee order until the issue of jurisdiction is determined. Yesterday, Fagbohungbe told the court of his pending application by which he is seeking an order of court setting aside the garnishee order nisi for lack of jurisdiction and to restrain the judgment-creditor from taking further steps in the contempt proceedings already began. He argued that the common law rule to the effect that an alleged contemnor cannot seek the discretion of the court does not apply where the order alleged to be disobeyed is being challenged. Replying, Shasore contended that the authority relied on by Fagbohungbe was inapplicable. According to him, the portion of the judicial authority relied on by Fagbohungbe is obiter and not binding on the court. Shasore urged the court to summon Amangbo to come and show why he should not be jailed for disobeying its order. He submitted that where
ORMER Health Minister Professor Eyitayo Lambo will lead other dignitaries from across the country to this year's Ogidi Day holding in Ogidi, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, on Saturday. Lambo, who will chair the occasion, will be joined by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade as royal father of the day and Kogi State Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, an architect, as Chief Guest of Honour. Ogidi Day which commemorates the community's new yam festival holds every June and it features a colourful parade of cultural groups including the famous Olaga (maidens) dance. Chairman, Ogidi Day Central Planning Committee, Mr. Ibrahim Allah, in a statement, said an appeal fund would be launched at this year's event to finance the re-development of the community's markets and to procure equipment for the newly completed Ogidi Cottage Hospital. Renowned batik artist and the community's prominent daughter, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Okundaye of Nike Art Gallery, Lagos, will be the mother
of the day at the show which will also be graced by cultural troupes from Niger, Lagos, Anambra and Osun States. Prominent son of Igbominaland and Executive Director (Marketing), News Agency of Nigeria, Otunba Jide Adebayo and his wife, will be installed as the Maiyegun and Yeye Maiyegun of Ogidi, while Chief Alfred Ibikunle, treasurer, Okehi Local Government in the state and his wife will be made the Tadese and Yeye Tadese of Ogidi. National President, Okun Development Association, Ambassador Babatunde Fadumiyo is the Father of the Day while the Ciroman Nupe, Usman Manko Babayitso, frontline Abuja entrepreneur and Amowomoni of Ogidi, Chief Emeka Okonkwo; Honourable Tajudeen Yusuf, Member representing Bunu/ Ijumu/Kabba Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives; his predecessor, Otunba Dino Melaye and former Kogi State Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Chief Bamidele Suru, will serve as special guests of honour.
torbikes, said he had sold about 15 for him, but the policeman insisted that he had only sold seven. Investigators have recovered three of the stolen bikes. Sanni reportedly told his
interrogators: “I don’t use gun to collect the motorbikes. I only seized them from their owners because of the ban on motorbikes in Lagos State. I operate alone.” He said he refused to report to his new post because he
wanted to “work” his transfer to a new squadron. After being demobbed, Sanni was expected to revert to regular policeman, but he said he enjoyed being a riot policeman.
THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 17, 2014
Obi, Ngige, Emodi absent as Obiano meets stakeholders
NAMBRA State Governor Willie Obiano met at the weekend stakeholders in parties. He solicited their cooperation to develop the state. The meeting was held at the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia. Senator Chris Ngige, former Governor Peter Obi and Senator Joy Emodi, among others, were absent. Although, some chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), such as Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu and Senator Emma Anosike attended the meeting, people believed the invitation did not go
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
round. Obi, The Nation learnt, did not attend the meeting. A source alleged that despite an invitation by Obiano to Obi, he (Obi) claimed he missed his flight. The meeting lasted more than four hours. Some of the bigwigs spoke on issues. Obiano was reportedly hailed for appointing technocrats to his executive council (exco). The governor said he convened the meeting to ask for support, adding that everybody should forget the past
to develop the state. The meeting was also attended by elder statesmen, leaders of women groups and others. Obiano said the time had come for Ndi Anambra to set aside their political differences and cooperate in the interest of the state. Senator Anosike slammed politicians, including himself, for destroying the state. The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe, lauded the governor for moving to turn the state around. The Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh,
Hausa community urges govt to tighten security
hailed the governor for inviting Anambra’s stakeholders for a dialogue. He advised that the meeting should be held regularly. A former governorship aspirant, Chief Nicholas Ukachukwu of the PDP, praised the governor for demonstrating a sincerity of purpose.
HE former Amir-ulhajj of Abia State and Deputy Chairman of the Aba Muslim Community, Alhaji Musa Iheakaram, has urged Abia State government and security agencies to tighten security in Aba and its environs. He said this is necessary to check infiltration by suspected Boko Haram insurgents. There was panic last week in Aba over infiltration by suspected Boko Haram members. It was alleged that arms and ammunition concealed in a lorry loaded with tomatoes were intercepted by the police. Police spokesman Geoffrey Ogbonna, however, debunked this. Iheakaram, referring to the
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
Orji urges stakeholders on vandalism From Ugochukwu Ugoji-eke, Umuahia
From Ogochukwu Anioke, Abakaliki
•Odu’a Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr Adewale Raji (second left), Country Director, African Development Bank Group Mr Ousmane Dore, (second right), Mr Emmanuel Akinwumi, ADBG Principal Private Sector Specialist, (first left) and Dr Adebayo Jimoh, Immediate past Odu’a GMD/CEO during a visit by the O’odua team to ADBG country office in Abuja... yesterday.
Okorocha launches ‘Operation know your neighbour’
MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha, in collaboration with security chiefs, has put in place security measures to ensure the safety of life and property. This followed the three bombs discovered on Sunday by the police at the Winners’ Chapel in Owerri. The governor yesterday launched ‘Operation know your neighbour’ at a special security meeting in Owerri. Service chiefs were in attendance. He said nobody committed a crime without a collaborator, adding that since those who committed crimes were human beings, they must be living somewhere and their neighbours should know them. Okorocha said hotels should install cameras and send the list of their customers to the Director of State Security Service (SSS). He said trailers bringing foodstuffs from the North would
BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has urged stakeholders in the oil industry to form a synergy that would stop pipeline vandalism. He said the crime should not be left alone in the hands of the government to tackle, as it needed the efforts of others, such as the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Pipeline, Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and pipeline host communities.
not be allowed into the state at night and the items would be off-loaded at a designated place in Owerri. Residents were urged to be careful with broken bottles, cans, leather bags, parked tankers and vehicles around their homes, in public places and public buildings. The governor directed traditional rulers to convene emergency meetings in their communities to discover strange people. According to him, uncompleted buildings in the cities without security guards would be taken over by the government because criminals used them as hideouts. Okorocha said plots of land left fallow for several years and not used for any economic or gainful purpose, but taken over by criminals, would be seized by the government. He banned smoking of Indian hemp and fixed a meeting of non-indigenes.
VER 150 residents of Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, yesterday protested epileptic power supply and high rate of bills given by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC). They stormed the headquarters of EEDC chanting songs and carrying placards. Some of them read: “We don’t have electricity”. “You have been stealing from us”. “EEDC, we are tired of darkness”. “We need transformers”. “EEDC you are wicked, the bill is high”, among others. Policemen from Ekumeyi division, however, intervened to prevent violence. The leader of the protesters, Mr. A.N. Ukwa, said they demonstrated because of poor service for over two years.
Maku visits Akunyili’s home From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja
NFORMATION Minister Labaran Maku has led the management of the Federal Ministry of Information to pay a condolence visit to Dr. Chike Akunyili in Abuja over the death of his wife, Prof. Dora Akunyili. The ministry held a special valedictory session in honour of Mrs. Akunyili, where the management and workers paid tributes and eulogised the deceased as an outstanding public servant.
ALGON mourns Akunyili, Bayero
IMAN holds seminar HE Importers Associations of Nigeria (IMAN) National Task Force in Ondo State held a-two-day Seminar/Workshop at the weekend for members. The event, which took place at the Onyearugbulem Market Hall in Akure, the state capital, was aimed at sensitising members on their responsibilities in tightening security. It was themed: “Morals and Ethics: The Role of the National Task Force”.
discovery of the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at the auditorium and the car park of the headquarters of the Living Faith Church aka Winners’ Chapel in Imo State and the bomb scare in Aba, said it was clear that suspected Boko Haram insurgents had infiltrated the Southeast. He urged the government and security agencies to tighten security in Aba and other areas in the Southeast. The Muslim community leader also enjoined the police to make public the names of those arrested in connection with the Winners’ Chapel incident.
Abakaliki residents protest power outage
FRSC goes tough on reckless driving HE Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Anambra State is going tough on motorists, who drive recklessly and overload their vehicles. It said offenders would be arrested and prosecuted in special courts set up by the agency. The Sector Commander Hygenius Omeje spoke yesterday in Awka during the Road Safety 2014 Rally with the theme: “Say no to overloading and reckless driving”. He said FRSC would establish more mobile courts. Omeje said overloading and reckless driving were responsible for accidents on the highways, especially on the Owerri-Onitsha and Onitsha-Enugu expressways. According to him, mega rallies would be held in Awka, Nnewi, Onitsha and other towns and cities and they would be rounded off on Sunday with a service at The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Okpuno. During the rally yesterday, fliers were given to motorists. An FRSC source said the agency would visit parks, markets and major roads to sensitise the people.
From Sunny Nwankwo, Aba
•The late Prof. Akunyili
HE Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) said yesterday that it sympathised with the Akunyili family on the death of the former Director-General of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Dora Akunyili. The association in a statement by its Secretary-Gener-
al, Mr. Shittu Bamaiyi Yakmut, said: “We recall her passion for a better Nigeria, which she demonstrated in her national assignments. “As a lecturer, she expressed her desire with matching actions to transform her students at the citadel of learning. In her national call to duty at the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), Mrs. Akunyili towered as one of the most forthright public servants with impeccable character, accountability and prudence. “As the Director-General of NAFDAC, she sanitised the health sector as one of the crusaders against fake drugs and ensured zero tolerance for fake drugs. She became a terror to fake drug cartels. It is instructive to note that we at the local governments were more touched by her selfless service, especially by such courageous fight, awareness and advocacy of
Prof. Akunyili was a change agent, whose model of patriotism illuminated in our hearts at the grassroots. She believed in the Nigerian project and championed such belief till death the grassroots in the battle against fake drugs. “The local governments benefited more from her health and safety intervention due to the limited knowledge at the disposal of the rural populace concerning fake drug and administration. Her effort brought hope to the sick. She was a symbol of hope for women
in government. “Also as a one-time Minister of Information and Communications, she became an Amazon and a face of a new Nigeria by promoting the Nigerian project when she initiated the Rebrand Nigeria: ‘Nigeria: Good People, Great Nation’. “Prof. Akunyili was a change agent, whose model of patriotism illuminated in our hearts at the grassroots. She believed in the Nigerian project and championed such belief till death. Her contributions at the National Conference resonated in our hearts even in the wake of her battle with the ailment that finally took her life. “We pray to the Almighty God to grant her eternal rest and give her family and all Nigerians the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.” ALGON said it also received with shock the passing
away of one of the revered traditional rulers, the Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Abdullahi Bayero. It said: “The news of the demise of the monarch is not only a loss to Kano State but also to Nigeria, considering his selfless and fatherly role in the socio-political development of the country.” ALGON said it felt affected by the death of Emir Bayero when viewed from the backdrop that the late Emir started his public life in the defunct Kano Native Authority as a clerical assistant. “It is disheartening that the late traditional ruler passed on when the country is facing challenges and when his fatherly advice as an elder statesman would have been useful in tackling our challenges,” the association added. It wished his family and all Nigerians the courage to bear the loss.
THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 17, 2014
Three killed in Ilorin street brawl
OODLUMS” suspected to be party supporters engaged in a free- for-all yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. Three persons were said to have been killed and 15 others injured. But the police confirmed that only two persons died. Among those injured are three siblings, who were said to have been hit by stray bullets. Trouble started last Friday after some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Alore area of Ogidi ward in Ilorin West Local Government allegedly defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was gathered that the “hoodlums” could not agree on a sharing formula for the N20,000 reportedly given to them. Another version said theclash started when the “hoodlums” and some vigi-
•Police: two dead •APC, PDP trade words From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
lance group men clashed after the programme. The fracas, it was gathered, started at Abayawo and later spread to AloreOde Adana-Omoda, OdeAlawusa Okelele, all in Ilorin downtown. It was gathered that in a reprisal attack on Sunday, a man identified as Ebba, was allegedly killed at Ode Alwusa. To avenge his death, “hoodlums” went on a rampage yesterday, setting up bonfires and paralysing commercial and social activities. The “hoodlums” wore masks, brandishing weapons, causing mayhem in a rampage that lasted almost five hours. Combined team of soldiers and anti-riot policemen were drafted in the ar-
eas at 10am. Before the arrival of the security personnel, some youths took up arms against the “hoodlums”. Several property, including cars, were damaged. Police spokesperson Ajayi Okasanmi said 12 persons have been arrested. The APC and PDP have accused each other of causing the crisis. APC spokesperson Sulyman Buhari said: “The APC expresses sadness that the life of a young Kwaran can be brutally cut short by PDP thugs due to mere controversies surrounding the distribution of a largesse given to them by a former senator. “PDP’s violent activities are of concern to the APC. The APC has consistently alerted the people and the police on the violent disposition, gangterism and the rich record of violence the
PDP flaunts. “Surprisingly, the PDP has broken its own record of violence in the state. “We warn the PDP to desist from oiling its evidently weak political machinery with the blood of Kwarans.” But the PDP in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Rex Olawoye, accused the APC supporters of attacking PDP members after their “defection” to APC last Friday. He said: “Our party is saddened by yet another violent attempt on its supporters. “There has been a well oiled plan to cow our members by the opposition. “A similar occurrence happened in Omu Aran on Saturday, where daredevil APC thugs invaded what was supposed to be a private meeting of the Ifelodun chapter of the party, and chased all the stakeholders present away.”
•Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda signing a condolence register during his visit to the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu.
Jang’s son sues Plateau Assembly
LATEAU State Governor Jonah Jang’s son, Yakubu, has sued the House of Assembly to stop it from investigating allegations of financial misappropriation against his father and other state officials. The House set up a committee to investigate the allegations. A group, Plateau Patriotic Front, petitioned the House, alleging financial misconduct of over N20 billion. A copy of the petition, obtained by The Nation, titled: “Allegation of gross misconduct against Governor Jonah David Jang of Plateau State” contains allegations of extra budgetary spending, misappropriation, inflated contract sum and unauthorised bank loans. Yakubu, who is the Special Adviser on Special Duties, was mentioned in the petition. In the suit, Yakubu is seeking to stop the House from investigating the allegations levelled against state officials, which include him. He prayed the court to issue order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants (Speaker and members) from giving effect to the petition. The aspect of the petition he is contesting is the part titled: “Yakubu Jang illegally operating an account in Zenith Bank”. In the originating summons sent to the State High Court through his counsel, Yakubu wants the court to
•Senator defends governor From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos
make a declaration by virtue of Section 128 (1)s of the 1999 Constitution that the defendants cannot validly inquire or debate on matters relating to his conduct without a resolution of the House published in its journal or in the official gazette of the state government. The younger Jang also urged the court to declare that the House of Assembly cannot entertain, hear, consider or debate a petition addressed, filed, and presented by a person, who is not an elected member of the State House of Assembly. The special adviser is also
seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, “whether by themselves, their members, their agents, privies or assigns or any other person acting through them or however from giving effect to or acting on or upon any petition except in compliance with the Rules of the House of Assembly, 2008 (as amended) and the 1999 Constitution”. The Senator representing Plateau North, Gyang Nyam Pwajok, has described the allegation against Jang as false, fictitious and unfounded. He said the allegation was a calculated attempt to incite and mislead citizens. He challenged the petition-
ers to defend their claims, saying the figures were concocted in order to stir up emotions and divert attention from critical issues. Pwajok who is a member, Senate SURE-P committee, said: “I have said clearly that it is not possible for Plateau to get N50 billion from SURE-P. “It is practically the imagination of those who want to manufacture and concoct figures in order to stir up emotions. “An average of N218 million or N220 million per month is accruable to a state and SURE-P started two years back, so definitely the amount will not be more than N5 billion. Where did the petitioners get their figures?”
End insurgency, JNI urges Fed Govt
HE Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has appealed to the Federal Government to seek ways of addressing insecurity in the country. In a communiqué at the end of its national conference on practical steps in uniting the Nigerian Muslim ummah, the group appealed to Nigerians to follow the path of truth and justice for peace to reign. Signed by the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Prof. S.W. Junaidu and the Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, JNI advised leaders to abide by the rules of accountability and justice. They lamented that apart from the challenges faced by Muslims in Nigeria, disunity seems to be the greatest challenge that prevents the Muslim Ummah from harnessing its immense potentials and
University of Abuja shut down
HE management of the University of Abuja shut down the institution yesterday, following students protest on the ongoing indefinite strike embarked upon by the academic staff. This was contained in a circular by the Registrar, Mallam Mohammed Modibo. The circular said the Vice Chancellor, Prof. James Adelabu, had on behalf of the senate, approved the closure of the institution, until further notice. “I am directed to inform you that given the prevailing situation in the university, the Vice Chancellor, has on behalf of the senate, approved that the university be closed down until further notice,” it said. The circular directed the
From Jide Orintunsin, Minna
“I have not told anybody what I want. I believe that as God did it for me in 2007 he will still determine what is good for me in 2015.” He thanked the people for their support, saying “I am not the only politician in the area and I am not the only knowledgeable person I thank you for believing in me. “We thank God that people realise what we are doing in our lifetime and are saying it to make us do
more.” The governor told the people not to mortgage their conscience or sell their votes as doing so will be mortgaging their future. “We should not allow people to confuse us we should ask those who come to seek our votes what they will do for us and our communities before agreeing to vote for them. Don’t collect money from them if you collect money you have sold your future.” Aliyu told the delegation that the government has di-
students to vacate hostels and university premises immediately, adding that further development would be communicated to them. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the circular was pasted at the university gate late yesterday. The protesting students had earlier gathered at the university staff quarters at Giri, near Gwagwalada, with mats insisting to see the Vice Chancellor. They said they would not leave the area, until the strike was called off. Some of the students, who spoke to NAN, said they were always at the receiving end, whenever there was a strike. They urged the union and the university authority to dialogue and end the strike.
Man kills, buries victim
FARMER from Emere, Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State, Abubakar Alfa, has “confessed” to killing a man, Isa Amodu. Speaking with reporters yesterday in Lokoja, Alfa admitted to burning the victim’s remains and burying it on the farm. He alleged that the deceased was the first to strike, over accusation of befriending his wife. His words: “I was working on my farm and I saw two women pass. I did not talk to them, but he (Amodu) later accosted me, asking why I was talking to his wife. “I told him I did not talk to anybody and he hit me with a
From James Azania, Lokoja
cutlass. “ I defended myself, but he hit me again and I took the cutlass and killed him.” He admitted to burning the body and burying it on the farm. The Commissioner of Police, Sai’du Madawaki, paraded the suspect and others, including a graduate of Olympian University, Malaysia, Michael Adekeye and an accomplice, Adebayo Ayobami, a final year student of Education Management, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, for allegedly defrauding depositors of over N50 million. He said the suspects will be charged to court after investigations are completed.
‘Revive Kano’s economy’
I‘ve not declared any ambition for 2015, says Aliyu N IGER State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said yesterday that he has not declared any political ambition for next year. The governor said this when a delegation from Shiroro and Lapai local government areas paid him a condolence visit over the death of Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, who represented Niger East. The delegation was shocked when after pledging their support for whatever ambition the governor may have he told them “I have not told anybody that I will contest in 2015”.
From Tony Akowe, Kaduna
moving on the path of development and progress. The communiqué observed that ignorance and personal interest are among the vices that aggravate disunity among Muslims, adding that “It is Allah’s divine will that humans will always have diversity and differences in their understanding and interpretation of religious issues”. They observed that Nigeria was undergoing difficult times with belligerent insurgency, incessant killings, maiming and abduction of innocent citizens, especially in the Northeast. The communiqué stressed that the diversity and heterogeneity in the country should be seen as sources of strength by all Muslims rather than basis for mistrust and hostility.
From Jeremiah Oke, Abeokuta
rected traditional leaders to be wary of fake clerics. The Emir of Lapai, Alhaji Umar Bago and Alhaji Bashir Nuhu, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, praised the developmental strides of the government.
HE National Council of Muslim Youths Organisations (NACOMYO) in Ogun State has advised the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to use his experience to revive the state’s economy. A statement by the Coordinator, Abdullahi Oyetunde and Publicity Secretary, Mufutau Salaudeen, reminded the emir that leadership is a test from Allah. The youths noted that the emir needs to use his position to do justice to all manner of matters that will be brought to him.
THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 17, 2014
Sokoto, Benue, Niger, others on flood alert
HE Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, John Ayoade Shamonda, said yesterday that the agency has placed some states in the North east, Northwest and some parts of Northcentral on flood alert. He noted that Sokoto, Zamfara, Yobe, Bauchi, Niger, Benue, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Ogun, Osun and Oyo have been placed on high risk by the agency. The DG said states in the Niger Delta will witness flooding because of the rising sea level. Shamonda, who spoke in Abuja during the Annual Flood Outlook, called on people living in those areas to be ready to evacuate before the flood sets in. He said: “We classify them into high, medium and low risk. High risk means you need to be on the alert so that when the information comes you will be ready. “When your area is vulnerable you will be on the alert. The high risk is towards the Northwest, Northeast and the coastal lines and those in the Niger Delta. “This year, the expected areas for the river flooding are located in Komadugu - Yobe Basin, Niger and Benue Basins, Sokoto-Rima Basin, Ogun-Osun Basins, Cross River Basin, Niger Delta Basin and several other parts of the country. “High risk areas are Sokoto, Zamfara, Yobe, Bauchi, Niger, Benue, Ke-
Sanusi‘ll bring positive change, says Kwankwaso From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
ANO State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has said great reform will be witnessed with the appointment of Muhammadu Sanusi II as emir . The governor spoke when the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Mustapha Haruna Rashid, visited the state to commiserate with residents on the demise of the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and to congratulate Sanusi. “Sanusi’s appointment would be a blessing to the people given his rich credentials and exposure. I hope that people would cooperate with him to enable him serve them better,” the governor said. Kwankwaso added that the administration is committed to choosing the best for the people. The governor thanked the Emir of Gwandu for offering condolences to the people and for making encouraging observations in respect of the ongoing physical transformation in the state. Alhaji Rashid praised the governor for choosing a credible successor and for managing the riot that erupted after the monarch was named. He said in 1915 there was 40 days of rioting, when one of his great grandfathers was appointed Emir.
From Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
bbi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Ogun, Osun, and Oyo states. “Moderate flood risk areas include Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger, Edo, Cross River, Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Imo, Bauchi and Plateau states.” According to him, the expected flood for this year will be lower as against those recorded in 2012 and 2013. He said the country will witness a peak flow of 63 per cent of flood this year. “The highlights in this year’s flood outlook call for decision/ policy makers and other stake holders to promote adequate preparedness so as to reduce the concomitant losses from flooding. “There is the need to embark on flood prevention and mitigation measures that would ensure free flowing drainage systems as well as good preparation and maintenance of hydraulic structures, such as dams and reservoirs,” Shamonda added.
Gunmen abduct commissioner’s mum in Bayelsa
UNMEN have abducted the 78-year-old mother of the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Furoebi Akene. The kidnappers were said to have asked the commissioner to resign as a ransom to free Mrs. Patimi Akene. The incident is coming 18 days after the 90-year-old mother-in-law of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson, was kidnapped by gunmen at Korokorosei community, Southern Ijaw Local
From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba
MAN, Mike Ovrawah, has been sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Asaba Customary Court for sending threat to life letter to his victim, Mathias Eto. Justice S. A Idise, who presided over the case, gave the convict an option of N4, 500 fine on the twocount charge. Justice Idise said the letter contained threat to life words, including that the accused would pluck out the eyes of the complainant. “We have carefully looked at both arguments of the parties, we found the accused guilty of the two-count charge of threat to life and defamatory statements and accordingly sentenced to four years imprisonment or fine of N4, 000 for count two, and he is sentenced to one year imprisonment or a fine of N500,” the court held.
ABOUR unions in Bayelsa State and the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) are bickering on the ongoing staff biometrics for local government workers. The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and Medical Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) said the biometrics cost N250million. NULGE President Akpos Ekiagha and MHWUN Chairman Biu Josiah spoke in Yenagoa after an emergency joint meeting of the unions. They faulted the use of consultant to prepare the councils’ payrolls, adding that the development had rendered workers in the Account Depart-
•Urge commissioner to resign
From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa
Government. It was learnt that Mrs. Akene and one of her granddaughters were returning home from a church vigil at 1am on Saturday when the gunmen seized her. They were said to have ferried the victim to the creeks in their speedboat. The commissioner said the gunmen abducted his mum without fir-
ing a shot. He said the hoodlums covered their victim’s mouth with a handkerchief when she screamed for help and threatened to kill her and her granddaughter. “My mother was with one of my nieces when the gunmen took her away.” He confirmed that the gunmen contacted him on Sunday and demanded his resignation as a ransom. “Someone that I suspected to be
Suspended Edo Deputy Speaker abuses court bailiff A
COURT bailiff, Oarhe Sule, who was at the Edo State House of Assembly to serve contempt proceeding on the four suspended lawmakers yesterday, got more than he bargained for. He left the Assembly with a promise to swear to an affidavit about his experiences. Sule was screened before he was allowed into the Assembly but the head of the security operatives said he could not go into the hallowed chamber to serve the affected lawmakers because of the tensed security situation. He was asked to go to the lawmakers’ houses to serve them but Majority Leader Philip Shaibu said the lawmakers were at the hallowed chambers. The suspended Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea, refused to accept the court proceedings. He said: “You want to serve me papers here. You are mad. Leave my sight. “This idiot said he wants to serve me papers. That is how you go about to procure cheap and fake papers.” “I am only a bailiff sir,” Sule replied. “Go to hell with it,” Ebea shouted. However, the lawmakers, includ-
Man jailed for five years
•Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) President Emeka Unachukwu (left) greeting the Director-General, Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), Noble Pepple, during PHCCIMA Council Meeting.
one of the kidnappers called me and said they don’t need my money. I think what they are demanding is for me to resign my appointment. “My brother, I think the people interested in my job are the ones behind the abduction.” Commissioner of Police Hilary Opara said the police had begun investigation to rescue the old woman. He asked the people to give the police information that could lead to the location of the kidnappers and their victim.
•House adjourns till June 23
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
ing the four suspended, were at the hallowed chamber for over 13 hours without sitting. The lawmakers resumed at 6am and were searched by the police before being allowed entry without any supporters. Assembly workers stayed away as all offices, except the hallowed chamber, were locked. Police Commissioner Foluso Adebanjo said the Assembly was thoroughly searched but no weapon was found. The lawmakers slept, ate, argued and discussed, until 5pm. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers sat in a corner; All Progressives Congress (AP) lawmakers sat together. Chairman House Committee on Information, Youth and Sports, Kabiru Adjoto, who briefed reporters at 5:30pm, said they could not attend plenary because of the strangers in their midst.
Adjoto identified the strangers as the four suspended lawmakers and accused them of breaking the law. “They have decided to take the law into their hands. That is why we could not sit. We cannot give credence to illegalities. We are lawmakers. We cannot to be seen to be lawbreakers. There is an order by the court and that order has been disregarded by the four suspended lawmakers. “They have been here and all appeals for them to see reasons fell on deaf ears. We have resolved we cannot sit with them because we regard them as strangers. As a responsible Assembly, an attempt has been made by the court to serve them contempt processes. We have adjourned till June 23. The suspended lawmakers will not be found within the precinct of the parliament.” Adjoto said the Assembly would remain locked but lawmakers' offices would be opened. According to him, with this, no lawmaker is expected to be seen close to the chambers.
Minority Leader Emmanuel Okoduwa said Speaker Uyi Igbe was suspended but that they agreed earlier for the status quo to remain. He said: “We suspended Uyi Igbe as a result of that Festus Ebea was elected Speaker. We have been asking for peace to return. The others breached the agreement. “We came for sitting because of the gentleman agreement but they refused. We believe that peace will return to the House without external interference.” Armed policemen were at the entry and exit points of the Assembly. Adjoining streets leading to Kings Square were barricaded, thereby causing heavy traffic jam. Reporters were locked out for over 45 minutes. Adebanjo ordered his men to allow them in.
Unions, commission bicker over biometrics From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa
ment redundant. The duo said while the local councils were at the receiving end, the consultant smiled to the bank with over N40million monthly. The leaders appealed to Governor Seriake Dickson to rescind the contract, alleging that the services of the consultant were fraudulent and a conduit to drain state resources. They called for the removal of LGSC Chairman Talford Ongolo over alleged insensitivity to the plight of council workers. The duo also accused Ongolo of allegedly running the commission as a “sole administrator in flagrant
abuse of the unified LG service rules”. They lamented that the chairman posted junior officials to head their seniors, thereby creating bad blood in the system. But Ongolo countered the claims, saying the biometrics was introduced to eliminate ghost workers and end truancy. He said the ongoing workers’ verification became imperative after a committee uncovered payroll fraud. The Chairman said before the biometrics was introduced, the commission consulted with NULGE and other stakeholders and agreed on modalities and the need for the exercise. Ongolo, who showed documents
of the agreements jointly signed by the labour leaders, said persons opposing the exercise were beneficiaries of the old system. He observed that no reforms had been successfully conducted in any system without oppositions from the old order. Ongolo added that former principal officials of the councils were redeployed to the commission’s headquarters to allow for thorough execution of the reforms. He added that some junior workers were selected, trained and deployed to take over the positions of the principal officers in acting capacities.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Israel demands Abbas search help for missing teens
Iraq crisis: U.S. considers talks with Iran
ASHINGTON is considering direct talks with Iran on the security situation in Iraq, a US official has told the BBC. The move comes as US President Barack Obama weighs up options on action to take in Iraq. Meanwhile, the US condemned as "horrifying" photos posted online by Sunni militants that appear to show fighters massacring Iraqi soldiers. In the scenes, the soldiers are shown being led away and lying in trenches before and after their "execution". The Iraqi military said the pictures were real, but their authenticity has not been independently confirmed. The BBC's Jim Muir, in northern Iraq, says if the photographs are genuine, it would be by far the biggest single atrocity since the time of the
American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Their emergence came as the Iraqi government claimed to have "regained the initiative" against an offensive by Sunni rebels led by ISIS - the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Extremists captured key cities, including Mosul and Tikrit, last week, but several towns have now been retaken from the rebels. However the insurgents captured the northern city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, overnight after a heavy mortar bombardment. While the US and Iran are old adversaries, both have an interest in curbing the growing threat posed by ISIS and both are considering military support to the Iraqi government, says the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan in Washington.
FG applauded for establishing Consulate in Guangzhou, China
HE President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been commended by a Nigerian based Non-governmental organisation Good Governance Initiative (GGI) for establishing a consulate in China’s commercial city of Guangzhou. Its coordinator Mr Festus Uzoma Mbisiogu, a China based industrialist said the Consulate has brought to fulfilment the desire of many Nigerian resident Guangzhou who before now travels for over 21 hours on train to Beijing for minor consular services. The appeal for a Nigerian consulate in the biggest commercial city of China where over 80% of Africans are resident was made in 2000 during the administration former President Chief Olu-
segun Obasanjo but he did not act on it. “Before the establishment of the consulate, there was a very wide gap between Nigerians and the home government, more so connectivity between Beijing, where the Nigeria embassy is situated and Guangzhou. In some cases Nigerians will have to commute about 21 hours by train or three hours by flight from Guangzhou to Beijing to obtain consents of embassy authorities for cases ranging from business registration to other consular services”, Mbisiogu said. He said with the establishment of the consulate, all that is now history, adding that what is now paramount is progress towards achieving the much touted win-win cooperation between Nigeria and China.
SRAELI PM Benjamin Netanyahu has told the Palestinian president he expects his help in finding three Israelis believed kidnapped in the West Bank. Mr Netanyahu telephoned Mahmoud Abbas amid an intensive search for the teenagers missing since Thursday. Israel blames Hamas, and has arrested dozens of Palestinians and Hamas officials. Hamas denies involvement. Mr Abbas condemned the "kidnapping of three Israeli boys and... Israeli violations" since they went missing. Palestinian medics say a 19year-old Palestinian was shot dead during clashes near Ramallah, which erupted after soldiers conducted house-tohouse searches on Sunday night. The BBC's Yolande Knell drives down the road where the teenagers went missing, and talks to young Israelis hitching a lift They said Ahmad Arafat died after being shot in the chest in the Jalazoun refugee camp. The Israeli military said it was investigating the report. Israeli forces have arrested
150 Palestinians, including leading Hamas members, to try to glean information on the youths' whereabouts. Palestinian parliament Speaker Aziz Dweik, who is a member of Hamas, was among those arrested overnight. The teenagers' disappearance has triggered one the most intensive Israeli search operations in the West Bank for years. Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar, who are both 16, and 19year-old Eyal Yifrach went missing at a junction near the city of Hebron as they hitch-
hiked their way home. Naftali Frenkel holds US-Israeli citizenship. Yesterday, Mr Netanyahu told President Abbas he expected him to help find the youths and apprehend the kidnappers. "The Hamas kidnappers came from territory under Palestinian Authority control and returned to territory under Palestinian Authority control. This incident exposes the true face of the terrorism that we are fighting against," Mr Netanyahu said. The prime minister said the incident was the "consequenc-
es of the partnership with Hamas", with whom Mr Abbas signed a unity deal in April after years of division. Hamas is committed to Israel's destruction and is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Israel, the US, EU and other countries.
•The three teens disappeared on Thursday while hitchhiking home
Over 150,000 Cambodians flee Thailand
HE number of Cambodians leaving Thailand has soared to more than 120,000 in recent days, officials say. Many fear Thailand’s new military rulers are about to crack down on migrant workers, which Bangkok denies. Cambodian authorities are now reportedly preparing to deal with the influx. The new figure is a significant proportion of the number of Cambodians in Thailand, estimated to be at least 150,000.
A huge logistics and assistance operation is now under way to help the workers get back to their hometowns and villages. At the border with Cambodia, trains are arriving from Bangkok packed with Cambodians, says the BBC’s Jonathan Head in the border town of Aranyaprathet. The workers are being transferred by the Thai army to trucks which take them over the border, he says. The town of Poipet on the Cambodian side of the border
is now filled with returnees. Cambodia, meanwhile, is scrambling to accommodate the sudden influx of returning workers. The AFP news agency reported that almost 300 cars and military trucks have been arranged to transport workers away from Poipet. Cambodia’s labour minister Ith Samheng has said the government is working on a jobs creation programme. Many of those leaving are worried by warnings from the Thai government that it will
take action on illegal immigrants. There are also rumours that Cambodians will be targeted, whether they are legal or illegal, says our correspondent. The Thai authorities have promised that only illegal immigrants are being singled out, and that documented workers are still welcome. Cambodians are often viewed as suspect because of support their government has given to the controversial former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
Iraq conflict escalates •Militants ‘seize’ city of Tal Afar •UK says no military intervention
UNNI militants have seized the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar, officials and residents say. Militants led by ISIS - the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant - captured key cities including Mosul and Tikrit last week, but some towns were retaken. Fighting in Tal Afar began on Sunday, with mortar shelling of some districts as militants tried to enter the city. Diplomatic contacts on regional security between the US and Iran are unusual, but not unprecedented. There were significant contacts between them in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Iran was strongly opposed to the Taliban and their jihadist allies in al-Qaeda. So what might the two countries talk about now? Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is a close ally of Iran. Objectively, however much it is frustrated with Mr Maliki’s Shia sectarianism, keeping him in power may be seen in Washington as the best of a bad set of options. One hope may be that Tehran might be persuaded to bring some leverage to bear to encourage Maliki to be more inclusive in his politics. But the balance now between Washington and Tehran has changed dramatically since Saddam Hussein’s overthrow when the US was in the ascendant. Now it is probably Tehran that holds more of the cards. US President Barack Obama is weighing up options on action to take in Iraq. The USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier is already being deployed to the Gulf, accompanied by two more warships.
But Washington says no US troops will be deployed on the ground. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said he will consider co-operation if the US takes action in Iraq. Tal Afar, which has a mixed Sunni and Shia population, some ethnic Turkmen, lies between Mosul and the border with Syria. A Tal Afar resident reached by phone has told the Associated Press news agency that militants in pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns and flying black jihadi banners were roaming the streets as gunfire rang out. The UK will not intervene militarily to help Iraq fight Islamist insurgents, William Hague has insisted. Asked whether the UK could participate in air strikes, the foreign secretary told the BBC that he “could not be clearer” that this would not happen. The US was “more likely to have the assets and capability than the UK” to get involved, he added. Mr Hague is to make a statement to Parliament later on Monday on events in Iraq after recent territorial advances by Sunni militants. He has also spoken to his counterpart in Iran about the crisis, amid reports that Tehran is considering military support to the Shia-led administration in Iraq, which has come under assault from militants from the Sunni-dominated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis). The UK, Mr Hague said, was considering how it could provide assistance to the Iraqi government, ranging from humanitarian aid to help refugees
to some form of “counter terrorism expertise”. Although it was not sensible to “absolutely rule out all things out in all situations”, Mr Hague said that the UK was not contemplating any direct involvement in Iraq. “In this situation, today, in Iraq, with what we have seen in recent days, are we looking at a British military intervention? No we are not. I can’t be clearer than that.” He added: “The US is more likely to have the assets and capability for any outside intervention than the UK but I stress again that Iraqi security and political leadership is of paramount importance in these circumstances.” Mr Hague acknowledged that the government would find it difficult to get Parliament to agree to any military action after it rejected air strikes in Syria last year. But he rejected the idea that the vote on Syria meant that Parliament would not vote in favour of military action in different circumstances. Mr Hague rejected suggestions that the turmoil in Iraq was a direct legacy of the US-UK led invasion of the country to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003. While errors had been made “in the aftermath” of the invasion, he said he did not think it had been a mistake itself for the UK to participate in the invasion.
Russia halts gas supplies to Kiev
KRAINE says Russia has cut off all gas supplies to Kiev, in a major escalation of a dispute between the two nations. “Gas supplies to Ukraine have been reduced to zero,” Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said. Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom said Ukraine had to pay upfront for its gas supplies, after Kiev failed to settle its huge debt. Gazprom had sought from Kiev $1.95bn (£1.15bn) - out of $4.5bn it says it is owed - by 06:00 GMT. The Russian firm said it would continue to supply gas to Europe. Russia-Ukraine ties remain tense since Moscow annexed Crimea in February. Kiev says Moscow backs separatists in the east of the coun-
try. Russia denies the charge. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger: “They insisted [on getting] the $1.9bn (£1.15bn) immediately” “Today, from 10:00 Moscow time, Gazprom, according to the existing contract, moved Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies,” Gazprom said in a statement yesterday morning. “From today, the Ukrainian company will receive Russian natural gas only in the amounts it has paid for.” Ukraine’s energy minister Yuri Prodan had hoped to secure a new discounted gas rate from Gazprom Moments later, both Gazprom and Ukraine’s stateowned Naftogaz company filed lawsuits against each other in the Stockholm arbitration institute.
Gazprom said it wanted to recover $4.5bn from Naftogaz, which is dealing with gas supplies to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Naftogaz said it was seeking to recover $6bn in “overpayment” for gas since 2010. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Ukraine’s position on the issue “smacks of blackmail”. The latest moves follow crisis talks between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union on the issue. “We reached no agreement. The chances that we meet again are slim,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kuprianov said after the latest round of the talks ended in Kiev over the weekend. However, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who attended the talks, said he was “not pessimistic” about a deal.
Spain arrests eight in ‘ISIS cell’
PANISH police say they have detained eight people on suspicion of recruiting militants to fight in Syria and Iraq. They suspect the cell of trying to send jihadists to join the militant group ISIS - the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Raids were carried out in Madrid in the early hours of yesterday, officials say. The leader of the cell had been held at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba after being arrested in Afghanistan, a statement said. Unconfirmed reports in Span-
ish media said one of the eight was from Spain, another from Argentina and the other six from Morocco. The group leader was named by Spanish media as Lahcen Ikasrrien, who was held at Guantanamo Bay for several years but released on his return to Spain in 2005 for lack of evidence. Raids were carried out on 12 addresses and several suspects were said to be from Morocco Police were also reported to be hunting the brother of one of the Madrid bombers. Attacks carried by Islamist militants on four trains in March 2004 left 191
people dead and another 1,800 people hurt. Spanish police have carried out a series of raids against suspected militants in recent months. A number of people were arrested last month in Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla on suspicion of trying to recruit fighters for Islamist militant groups in Libya and Mali. But Spain is also concerned about the threat of “blowback” from the conflict in Syria and the Sunni rebel offensive led by ISIS in Iraq, which has led to the capture of a number of towns and cities.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
NEWS MASSOB to terrorist: stay off Southeast Continued from page 4
tion, warned that his group would no longer tolerate the mindless killing of Ndigbo in any part of the country. According to him, the movement would “retaliate with equal and decisive force if terrorists attack any city in the zone”. His words: “The position of MASSOB on this matter is firm. We will bring down Nigeria, if any bomb goes off in the Southeast. We can no longer tolerate the mindless killing of Ndigbo in any part of Nigeria because we will retaliate with equal force against any attack on any part of Igboland.” The group also warned against what it described as the deliberate posting of military, police, Customs and Immigration officers, who are Igbo, to the Northeast to confront the Boko Haram insurgents. It alleged that their counterparts from the North were being posted to the Southeast for safety. But MASSOB did not support its stand with figures. MASSOB claimed that such a measure was part of the grand plan of the pre-Nigerian civil war agenda to totally annihilate Igbo officers and men in the nation’s military by the powers that be. The Director General of the Organisation of Biafra Music and Film Authority (OBMFA), Evang. David Eboson, in an interview, said the organisation was concerned with the way Boko Haram insurgents had been killing innocent Nigerians, including Igbo soldiers in the North, especially in the last three months. Eboson, who described the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents as a sign of God’s anger against Nigeria, said it was high
time Nigeria let Biafra exist as a sovereign state. He said the convocation of the National Conference by the Federal Government was deceitful and was not going to serve any useful purpose so far Ndigbo remains part of Nigeria. “The Federal Government is deceiving the public with the National Conference because it is a moonlight play. The problems of Nigeria would only be solved if the Igbo are allowed to go and serve their Lord,” Eboson said. The Imo State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Campaign for Democracy (CD) has condemned the foiled terrorist attack. Speaking during a solidarity visit to the Winners’ Chapel, where Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs) were discovered, the state Chairman of the party, Sir Nnamdi Anyaehie, observed that if the terrorists had succeeded with their plot, it could have had a devastating effect on the state. He pointed out that “in the last few months, the PDP had raised
the alarm over looming security threat in the state following infiltration by strange-looking aliens, but it was dismissed as a political statement”. “But with this discovery, we have been exonerated.” The PDP Chairman, who was accompanied by the State Secretary of the party, Chief George Eguh and the Publicity Secretary, Enyinnaya Onuegbu, called on security operatives to ensure that those behind the dastardly act are brought to book”. Also condemning the averted attack, the Southeast Chairman of the Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dede Uzor A. Uzor, urged security operatives in the Southeast to take proactive measures to protect lives and properties in the zone. He said: “Security agencies in the zone should step up measures to arrest the new security challenge because it is now obvious that the terrorists have crept into the Southeast.” Also yesterday, the governors of the Southeast were urged to initiate a free comprehensive biometric registration scheme for all residents.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) made the call yesterday in a statement condemning the failed bomb attack. HURIWA also canvassed an investigation into a statement credited to the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, that insurgents would extend their bombing campaign. The National Coordinator of the body, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Director Miss Zainab Yusuf said the comment should be probed to ascertain whether the Sunday bomb attempt has any connection with it. It also called on politicians to be circumspect with their public statements on the ongoing insurgency to avoid providing psychological boost for the terrorists. The political leadership of the Southeast, especially the governors, local council chairmen and traditional rulers were also advised to always stay in their jurisdictions, fashion out counterterrorism measures and mobilise their wards and others to stave off possible infiltration by terrorists.
Soldiers arrest 486 Northerners in Abia Continued from page 4
tained by the military at the 144 Battalion of Asa, near Aba, Abia State. Abia State Commissioner for Information Eze Chikamayo, accompanied by Commander of the 144 Battalion, Lt.-Col. Rasheed Omolori, paraded the suspects before reporters yesterday. Lt.-Col. Omolori, said a report had been sent to the army headquarters in Abuja. Col. Omolori however declined further comments on the
arrest, saying any further information should be from his bosses at the Army headquarters. The commissioner said that the suspects were moving in a motorcade of 35 Toyota Haice buses [Hummer buses] when they were intercepted; adding that two buses escaped before they could be stopped. Chikamnayo further explained that preliminary investigations by the army showed that the suspects, aged from 16 years and above, were travelling from Kano, Taraba and Jigawa
states. He said further investigation would help to unravel the true mission of the suspects who, he said, claimed to be travelling to Port Harcourt to look for jobs and wondered how such a large number of youths could be travelling in search of job. The Abia state commissioner said that the movement was suspicious, wondering how the long motorcade could have travelled the long distance from the north to the east before being apprehended.
Chibok parents plead for girls’ release Continued from page 4
of the DSS security numbers which led to the prompt response of the police, army and the DSS in Owerri. “ The police bomb squad immediately diffused the improvised explosive devices to foil
the explosion timed for the commencement of church service “The quick response by security forces in foiling the explosion of the IEDs must be attributed to timely intelligence report”.
Girls rescue talks stuck as govt, elders disagree Continued from page 4
foreign elements. “But it was shocking to the government when Obasanjo came out and said Jonathan doubted the abduction of the girls. The comments angered the President and some forces in government. “This is why the President and Obasanjo have not sat down to discuss the modalities of the latter’s initiative. Sensing this, Obasanjo was also absent at last Thursday’s parley on the Chibok girls with past leaders. “By declaring that not all the girls can return home safely, Obasanjo is not only divulging security matter, he is also doubting his own mission. Do you expect the government to
have faith in his initiative?” It was gathered that Obasanjo refused to resume talks with Boko Haram contacts because he was yet to secure a firm commitment from the President that whatever terms agreed upon would be accepted by the Federal Government. A third source added: “Obasanjo said he won’t move an inch forward on the talks with Boko Haram again until he gets the consent and commitment on whatever is arrived at from the Federal Government. “Baba said he cannot act on newspapers reports on the government’s commitment. He does not want to discuss with the insurgents and fail to meet their terms.”
Death toll in Taraba violence hits 44 Continued from page 4
relatives of those killed in the violence. “I am deeply saddened by the development,” he told The Nation. The senator believed the number of casualties might have been more than what was reported. He said: “I don’t want to speculate the casualty figure, but based on the information at my disposal, the number of deaths is more than that.”
Bwacha, a lawyer, advised his constituents not to take the law into their hands, in spite of the situation. “They should take recourse to security agencies and their agents; report suspicious characters to the nearest security station. “I believe God will expose the sponsors –whoever that is responsible,” he said, adding that “the violence is masterminded and fuelled by the powers that be in Jalingo.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
TODAY IN THE NATION
TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
‘Clearly, the myth endures. I refer here to the myth that the government has a pocket so deep that it can shoulder the entire cost of tertiary education. It has been with us for so long that calls for behavioural modification are now seen as sacrilege’ SANYA ONI
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
N parts, President Goodluck Jonathan’s speech before the All Nigeria Political Parties Summit held in Abuja last week is the stuff of the rhetoric of statesmanship. “Our roles should not be limited to the struggle to win elections and acquire political powers but also to handling the demands of patriotism and statesmanship and restoring hope to the Nigerian people,” he said with reference to the political class. “In all this, it is pertinent that the actions, conduct and utterances of all political stakeholders reflect the highest level of commitment to the defence of our social cohesion, our political stability and our sovereignty as a nation.” This is the stuff of the rhetoric of high patriotism, rendered all the more rousing by its ex-cathedra provenance. The President and Commander-in-Chief is nothing if not patriot-in-chief as well. And there is more from Dr Jonathan. “The conduct and utterances of leading politicians at home and abroad,” he said, are rapidly creating and spreading unnecessary tension in the country. Such unguarded utterances on their part fester (sic) the embers of discord, bitterness and rancor. Such unfortunate development plays into the hands of extremist elements waging a vicious campaign of terror against the state.” High-minded stuff indeed, in a long season of pusillanimity. “Our political parties,” he went on, “must remain positive and constructive in their engagements as we seek to build a virile and stable nation that can compete with other states in the world.” Not even the most querulous commentator can find fault with these remarks. They are indeed the stuff of the rhetoric of statesmanship, it is necessary to insist. When Dr Jonathan went on to warn of “very remorseless and anti-democratic forces operating in the political system, ever ready to exploit lapses in the management of our political and electoral processes,” and that some of these forces may during the forthcoming elections, “through their lifestyle, truncate the nation’s hard-won democratic liberty,”you could properly charge him with hyperbole, some scare-mongering even. The newspapers, circulating freely again after a four-day blockade imposed by the military officials in the name of “national security,” dutifully captured the President’s rather apocalyptic warning on their front pages or in their headlines. Samples: “Jonathan alleges plot to scut-
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tle 2015 polls” (The Guardian). “Forces out to truncate democracy – Jonathan (Vanguard). “Jonathan: anti-democratic forces working against 2015 polls” (The NATION, on an inside page). You could point out that being ever ready to “exploit lapses in the management of business of the politically and electoral processes” is the main business of the political opposition, consecrated in the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Any opposition party that fails to exploit such lapses ought to have its registration withdrawn. You could also ask how political actors could truncate Nigeria’s democracy “through their lifestyle,” of all things. But you would still have to situate Dr Jonathan’s warning in the context of the rhetoric of statesmanship that runs through portions of his speech. Taken as a whole, however, the speech lacks not just plausibility but moral force.
Dr Jonathan came across like the direction post that is always pointing somewhere but never going there. In his actions and utterances, he is first and foremost leader of the PDP, desperate to keep his party in power by all means and at all cost, and to secure another term. That preoccupation often trumps his office as President of Nigeria; rarely does he come across as a statesman. Take as an example, his declaration that terrorism, Boko Haram style, is convulsing only states governed by the opposition APC, whereas states governed by the PDP are models of good governance and orderly development. It so happens that the three North-eastern states ravaged by terrorism are indeed governed by the APC. But that is not the whole truth. The larger truth is that, until their governors defected to the APC some six months ago, those states had been under the control of the PDP since the end of military rule in 1999. Plateau State, which has at its helm Jonah Jang, the chair of the PDP Governors Forum, is being daily ravaged by “Fulani herdsman” terrorism, with occasional Boko Haram intervention. By his unhelpful and utterly partisan declamation, Dr Jonathan effectively politicised what was hitherto an issue on which all Nigerians were united across party affiliation. And yet, in his speech, he could say with a straight face that “We must never politicise the fundamentals and core imperatives of defending the state,” since doing so would only “embolden” the terrorists and their confederates. Not yet done, Dr Jonathan publicly berated the former PDP governors who migrated to the APC, saying that they could not win elections in their constituencies. Even if that is true, it smacks of politics in its rawest form. Dr Jonathan should have left that kind of talk to one of the dozens of political flunkeys at his service, or front organisations flush with slush funds from
T is double cause for concern that over 200 schoolgirls abducted by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State, have remained in captivity since April 15; and more importantly, the Jonathan presidency is yet to address the grave issue with reassuring decisiveness. It is noteworthy that Abubakar Shekau, the militia’s notorious leader, has spelt out conditions for the release of the kidnapped students of the Girls Senior Secondary School, Chibok. He said : “All I’m saying is, if you want us to release your girls that we kidnapped, you must release our brethren that are held in Borno, Yobe, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos states, as well as Abuja. We know that you have incarcerated our brethren all over this country…We will never release them until our brethren are released.” Shekau’s words were unambiguous enough, which is why it is puzzling that the Federal Government’s response presents a picture of unhelpful ambiguity. The nearest to an official reaction by the government came through a third party, namely, British Africa Minister Mark Simmonds who gave a clue to President Goodluck Jonathan’s thinking after a meeting in Abuja to discuss an international rescue mis-
his alternative treasury. Take again the petulant vindictiveness with which he has pursued Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s ascendancy as Emir of Kano. Sanusi had served out his controversial suspension from the post of Central Bank Governor and his lawsuit challenging the ouster is before the courts. We have it from reliable sources that Dr Jonathan tried to block Sanusi’s preferment. His party, the ruling PDP, even tried to pre-empt it by publicly congratulating one of the contestants who, it would turn out, had not been designated emir. When these shabby tactics failed, the police, acting on Abuja’s orders, blockaded the emir’s palace, claiming rather disingenuously that they were doing so to ensure the safety of its treasure of precious artifacts. It was as if the matter at issue were the throne of Emir of Nigeria rather than that of Emir of Kano. Meanwhile, denied access to the palace, the new emir had to take up temporary residence in Government House, Kano, as the Governor’s guest. The siege on the Emir’s palace was lifted only after Abuja had extracted an apology of sorts from Sanusi over his disclosure of wide gaps in the Federal Government’s financial reporting, and a promise to do nothing that would embarrass the federal authorities. There is no statesmanship here, only petulance. Finally, there is President Jonathan’s open and enthusiastic embrace of Ayo Fayose as his party’s candidate in the Ekiti gubernatorial election scheduled for Saturday. Fayose once occupied that position based on a gravely flawed election and was impeached for gross misconduct and dismissed. He is a suspect in the investigation of the murder of two of his political opponents and the subject of an indictment for serious fraud. It may well be that Dr Jonathan could not dissuade his party from nominating Fayose. Still, in another country, the President would have kept a very long distance between himself and a candidate so heavily tainted. Not in Nigeria. For there was Dr Jonathan the other day, enthusiastically presenting Fayose to the Ekiti people in a carnival atmosphere, with PDP chieftains and the mighty apparatus of the Nigerian state in tow. The only thing missing was Dr Jonathan’s trademark azonto dance. There is no statesmanship here, no thought about the next generation, only raw political calculation to serve the needs of the moment. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Bluffing will not bring back our girls sion linked with the kidnap, which has attracted worldwide outrage and condemnation. The BBC quoted Simmonds as saying in respect of Jonathan, “He made it clear that there will be no negotiation with Boko Haram that involves a swap of abducted schoolgirls for prisoners.” There has been no contradiction from official quarters, which is not only food for thought but also raises a logical question as to the government’s plan, if any, to get the girls back alive. Perhaps the administration needs to be reminded that it is battling with a murderous group, which has again and again proved to be unpredictable. The inescapable implication is that the government may be running out of time to secure the girls’ freedom, and would need to act expeditiously to prevent the group from possibly having a rethink that might not favour releasing them. Understandably, Jonathan is most likely anxious to avoid being perceived as vulnerable to bullying tactics, particularly against the background that he has often been criti-
cised by the country’s political opposition for alleged weak leadership. However, this is a wrong occasion for him to attempt to change that perception, which may indeed be valid. Moreover, given that the concept and practice of prisoner exchange or prisoner swap are not strange, yielding to the idea may not be a bad idea. Of relevance to the country’s situation is the model of Humanitarian Exchange or Humanitarian Accord popularised by the experience of Colombia in which the government reached an agreement with guerillas to swap prisoners for hostages, an idea that was pushed by the families of the captives. It is easy to imagine that in the Chibok case the affected families, if not the empathetic public, would readily endorse such arrangement. In case Jonathan does not understand, it would be a demonstration of strength to ensure that the girls are brought back alive, no matter the cost. This is not the time for bluffing. •First published on May 21
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