Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
19 fuel marketers get N192b cash
Anambra monarchs get 200 SUVs
Osun begins 30km road, bridges
BUSINESS Page 11
NEWS Page 3
NEWS Page 8
•Five-month spending out
•N2.3b for schools
•900km built in 30 months
VOL. 8, NO. 2520 TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
When I saw my baby..., I was shocked. I collapsed and the police started carrying me up... I...carried •SEE PAGE 42 her...She no longer speaks English; it is Igbo language that she speaks now.
— The mir aculous stor y of Pr aise o-y ear -old gir ho w ent missing ffor or tw o y ear s, thr ee months miraculous story Praise aise,, the tw two-y o-year ear-old girll w who went two year ears three
Boko Haram kills seven students, two teachers
FTER about 10 months break, Boko Haram made a bloody return to Damaturu, the Yobe State capital at the weekend, attacking a school and killing nine people. The dead are seven pupils and two teachers of Government Day Secondary School. The attack, which took place on Sunday night, has forced the tightening of the curfew on the town. Yobe is one of the three states under a state of emergency declared by President
•Former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu welcoming former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who visited his Ikoyi home to sympathise with him on the death of his mother Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji
•Churches burnt From Duku Joel, Damaturu
Goodluck Jonathan last month. The others are Adamawa and Borno. The insurgents also attacked a military checkpoint around the Pilgrims Area of the town, injuring three soldiers, but two of the insurgents were killed during a counter attack by the military. Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lt. Lazarus Eli,
SEE ALSO PAGES 5 & 6
Continued on page 4
19 governors boycott cash crisis talks with Jonathan Anxiety over Tukur, others
President sets up panel to resolve FAAC row Amaechi won’t drop NGF mandate, says Kwankwaso
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
CRISIS meeting called last night by President Goodluck Jonathan over the stalling of last month’s revenue allocation was shunned by 19 governors. The meeting at House 7, State House, Abuja got underway at about 10pm, following the arrival of the President. Governors in the Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang’s faction of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), who had earlier met, were at the Villa meeting. All the 19 pro- Rivers Governor Rotimi Amaechi were not at the meeting. It was gathered that all the governors were in Abuja for the meeting and indeed wanted to attend until they reviewed their participation following some developments. Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said last night that at the end of the one-hour meeting, a committee of four governors was set up by the President to meet this morning with the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Members of the committee are: Anambra Continued on page 4
•Super Eagles players Mikel Obi (right), Sunday Mba and Nnamdi Oduamadi celebrating with Elderson Echiejile after scoring one of the goals...last night
Nigeria crush Tahiti 6-1
HE crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new dimension. A panel headed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim has advised National Chairman Bamanga Tukur and the other National Working Committee (NWC) members to resign, it was learnt last night. The 13 NWC members are expected to face a fresh election at a National Convention— in line with the verdict of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Thursday’s National Executive Committee meeting of the PDP may ratify the recommendation. As a prelude to the NEC meeting, the PDP Governors Forum will today meet with the NWC on the exit plan. The crisis-ridden NWC came into being on March 25, last year.
From Yusuf Alli, and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
The fighting within the NWC led to the sack of the National Secretary of the party, ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the National Auditor, Chief Bode Mustapha. Other members of the NWC on their way out are a former Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Kema Chikwe (National Woman Leader); the National Continued on page 60
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Nigeria, •Vice-President, Namadi Sambo (second right)inaugurating SURE-P Abuja Taxi Scheme at the Eagle Square in Abuja ...yesterday. With him are Minister of State for FCT Ms Olajumoke Akinjide (left), Minister of FCT Bala Mohammed (second left) and Minister of Culture and Tourism Chief Edem Duck PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN.
Dawit Giorgis, a visiting fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in this article for the CNN, traces the root causes of the country’s security challenges and why terrorist cells may well remain in Nigeria
• Weapons seized from Hezbollah cell on display
•From left: Managing Director, SIBs International Mr Pedro Hipolito; Director, Acceptance Development, West Africa, MasterCard Kamil Olufowobi; and Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System PLC (NIBSS) Christabel Onyejekwe, at the 13th edition of Card, ATM & Mobile Expo Africa in Lagos.
IGERIAN authorities last month arrested four Lebanese nationals in northern Nigeria on suspicion of having ties with Hezbollah. After a raid on one of their residences yielded a stash of weapons, including anti-tank weapons, rocket propelled grenades, and anti-personnel mines, the Nigerian State Security Services (SSS) announced that the compound was hosting a terrorist cell tied to the Lebanese Shia movement. The four accused have denied the charges, and are suing the government for wrongful detention. But even if they are found guilty, other Hezbollah nodes may well remain in Nigeria. The truth is that despite the thousands of miles that separate Nigeria from Lebanon, the country is faced with a growing threat from a Hezbollah doppelganger. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) is a jihadist organisation
with strong support among the 5 million Shia Muslims, by some estimates, living in Nigeria. Founded in the early 1980s, it has flourished with cash, training and support from Iran. Indeed, the roots of the IMN can be traced to the immediate aftermath of the 1979 Iranian revolution, when Nigerian students belonging to the Muslim Student Society traveled to the Islamic Republic and were trained with the goal of establishing an Iranian-style
Anambra votes N2.3b for public schools’ upgrade •Monarchs get 200 SUVs
T •Nigerite Limited’s Executive Director, Marketing Toyin Gbede (second left), Head, Roofing and Ceiling Business Unit Chris Adegbile (left), Lagos State Commissioner for Education Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye and CEO, MCS Consulting Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, during the Green Lagos Season 2 Award ceremony in Lagos.
•From left. Nigeria's Ambassador to Germany Abdu Abubakar, Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru and Nigeria's Ambassador to Greece Ayodele Ayodeji, at the seminar for Nigerian Heads of Mission in Europe in Berlin...yesterday.
HESE are the best of times for public schools and royal fathers in Anambra State. The monarchs were driven home yesterday in 200 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) presented to them by the Governor Peter Obi-led administration. The governor also approved N2.3 billion for the refurbishment of schools in the state. Presenting the vehicles to the beneficiaries at the Government House, Awka, Obi said the gesture was in recognition of the pivotal roles of traditional rulers in the society. Also yesterday, the governor handed N10 million to each principal at a Town Hall meeting held at the Women Development Center in Awka, for the rehabilitation of secondary schools. It was the second tranche of N2.53 billion earmarked for the upgrade of the 253 secondary schools belonging to the state government. Some schools’ heads got their N10 million share of the funds for the rehabilitation of dilapidated structures. The governor explained that
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi and Nwanosike Onu, Awka
the delay was to pave the way for the establishment of a monitoring group for proper disbursement of the funds. He warned that any principal found wanting in the management of the fund would be dealt with accordingly. According to Obi, the Executive Council had just approved the N6.5 billion for schools in the state, assuring that by the end of the year, all the schools in the state would been provided with buses and microsoft academy. Besides, he said the schools will be provided with computers commensurate to an average of a computer unit to 10 students (including primary schools), laboratory equipment, sports equipment and other learning materials. He said the Town Hall meeting was to inform stakeholders on his administration’s plan for the comprehensive rehabilitation of government-owned secondary schools, including those already handed over to their original missionary owners.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Hezbollah and tomorrow
• Suspected Hezbollah agents in Nigeria during their apperance in court
revolution in Nigeria. The leader of the student group was Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, a firebrand Sunni turned Shia religious extremist who was first influenced by the works of Sayyd Qutb, the intellectual force behind Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and whose ideas form the basis of al Qaeda’s ideology today. Remarkably, Zakzaky switched sides and became an adherent of Shia Islam, encouraged by Iranian funding and training, both religious and military. Since becoming the leader of the IMN in the mid-1980s, Zakzaky has had numerous confrontations with the government, including being imprisoned for nine years. From 1981 to 1984, for example, he was jailed for sedition and for declaring
he would recognize no governmental laws or authority except those of Islam. Fast forward three decades, and Zakzaky is the patriarchal spiritual leader of Shiites in Nigeria, much like Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was in Iran. When he addresses his followers, Zakzaky typically sits under a big portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini and wields rhetoric akin to that of Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah. The subject of his speeches are what you might expect – heated vitriol aimed at Jews and Israel, in which he portrays Jews as infidels who should be wiped off the map by Allah. In 1998, for example, the Shiites of Nigeria, under Zakzaky’s leadership, observed Jerusalem Day, mirroring Khomeini’s introduction of a day
for expressing solidarity with the Palestinians. He also talks about social justice in Nigeria and building support for Iran’s policies in Africa. “Iran’s objectives are to establish a local power base to exert influence over the national government and to act against Western interests,” argues Abel Assadina, a senior Iranian diplomat who defected in 2003. Certainly, under Zakzaky’s leadership, the IMN has provided Hezbollah-style military training to hundreds of Nigerians in camps throughout Northern Nigeria. And although the group has yet to launch an attack, it is surely not unreasonable to expect an attempt at some point. As Muhammad Kabir Isa, a senior researcher at Nigeria’s
Ahmadu Bello University, told the BBC: “when you embark on military drills, you are drilling with some sort of anticipation. Some sort of expectation.” And the IMN’s propaganda effort also bears a striking resemblance to that of Hezbollah. The movement has had a thriving newspaper, al-Mizan, for more than two decades. In addition, it has also begun broadcasting its own internet-based Hausa radio station, Shuhada, on the country’s main air waves, similar to Hezbollah’s radio station, AlNour. IMN also has plans to start a new TV channel, a move reminiscent of Hezbollah’s al-Manar. Isa has described the movement as “a state within a state.” But this does not mean that IMN is isolated
•Governor Obi presenting the SUVs’ keys to the Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council and the Obi of Onitsha, Obi Alfred Achebe...yesterday
The governor said his administration has concluded plans to pick the Internet bills, micro-soft and other subscriptions for three years to give his successor a breathing space to settle down. Speaking further on the gesture
to royal fathers, Obi said the choice of INNOSON manufactured vehicles is to tell Nigerians that with an auto manufacturing company in the state, they need not search elsewhere.
He said that INNOSON vehicles have been unofficially adopted as brand for the state government, promising to patronize the firm for the next set of official vehicles. On the source of finance for the
projects, the governor said it was mainly from the money he attracted to the state. Using the education sector as an example, he said that the budget was N3 billion, but that by the end of the year, N13 billion
from Nigeria. Indeed, Zakzaky has reportedly worked to ensure that his members are recruited into the army, the police force and the state security establishment. Of course it is true that however much inspiration he likes to draw from images of Nasrallah, he lacks the Hezbollah leader’s battlefield experience. And he also does not have Nasrallah’s resources – Hezbollah has recently dispatched thousands of fighters to back the alAssad regime in Syria. Yet the recent arrest of alleged Hezbollah operatives, and a stash of weapons, so far from home raises troubling questions about what Zakzaky’s network might be capable of – and what exactly he has planned.
would have been spent. He told stakeholders at the parley that his administration would have successfully laid the foundation for revolution in the state by the end of his eight-year administration. At the meeting were royal fathers, community and religious leaders as well as presidents and chairmen of town unions. He urged the principals to take a cue from the managers of schools returned to missionaries. In his remarks, the Chairman of the Anambra Traditional Rulers Council, Obi Alfred Achebe, described what the state has witnessed under Obi as unprecedented. The monarch said he was particularly thrilled not by the vehicles, but by the revolution in schools which he noted, would benefit children. He assured the support of traditional rulers for what he described as renaissance of learning taking place in the state. In his own remarks, Umuoji monarch, Igwe Cyril Iwueze, thanked the governor for paying due attention to all sectors. Admitting that the Obi-administration has brought revolution into governance, Igwe Iwueze said that after witnessing billions given to churches to rehabilitate schools returned to them, it was encouraging witnessing the extension of the same gesture to public schools.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
NEWS Nigeria crush Tahiti 6-1
Senate President David Mark (second right) welcoming former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan to the international conference on Emerging Democracies in Africa; Challenges and Opportunities in Abuja…yesterday. With them her House of Representative Speaker Aminu Tambuwal (left) and former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings PHOTO: NAN
Jonathan must run, say Clark, Ebute GROUP of Southsouth and Middle Belt leaders yesterday urged President Godluck Jonathan to seek re-election in 2015. They met with the President for two hours at the Presidential Villa under an association, the Congress for Equality and Change (CEC). The group is co-led by Chief Edwin Clark and former Senate President Ameh Ebute. Clark said they decided to support Jonathan because he is qualified to run. He lashed out at those who claim that Jonathan is not qualified to run for another term. He said: “But you know very well that I will never lead a group that will be opposed to 2015, not because Clark is saying so. It is written in the Constitution of Nigeria. So, you can count me out of any group that is coming to meet Mr President with a view that he should not contest in 2015. “The group I have brought is made up of elders who believe that Mr President should contest as the Constitution provides in 2015.” According to him, former Presidents Shehu Shagari and Olusegun Obasanjo enjoyed two terms and President Jonathan should not be deprived of his constitutional rights because he is from the minority area. Clark went on: “Shagari did
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
so. Obasanjo did so. Shagari’s second term was taken over by a military man. Today, he wants to be President. He staged a coup in 1983. I was also a senator at that time.” “When it came to Obasanjo, he did eight years under the Constitution. And some of my northern friends have said all they said was a second term for Shagari. If Jonathan wants thereafter, he could do so. If Shagari was entitled to two terms, why not Jonathan? Is it because he is a minority?” He also explained that his group was already selling its position to others. “We are dialoguing with people to educate people. For the past 50 to 53 years, we have not ruled in this country. Are we not citizens of this country? Let us be fair to one another,” he said. On why the group is backing President Jonathan who has not decided to run for re-election, Clark said: “It is because some people have started to say that he is not qualified to contest election in 2015 and those of us who believe in it and the Constitution is there, educate them and that is what we are doing.” “Whatever the President said, that he will decide in 2014 does not affect those who believe that he has a right.” “This was the meeting of the
elders of Middle belt and the Southsouth. You know middle belt is made up of northcentral and northeast meeting with the Southsouth. “All together they are19 states. We have an organisation known as Congress for Equality and Change. Everybody in Nigeria is equal to the other.” Some of the members of the group at the meeting were Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, Senator Roland Ovie, Senator Alex Kadiri, Senator Felix Ibru, Maj.Gen. Lawrence Onoja, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman and former Senate President Ahmed Ebute. Ministers from the zones who attended the meeting included Water Resources Minister Mrs Sarah Ochekpe; Housing and Urban Development Minister Ms Amma Pepple; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Mohammed Adoke; Works Minister Mike Onelememen; Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs Dieziani Allison-Madueke; Minister of State for Trade and Investments Dr Samuel Ortong; Minister of Information Mr Labaran Maku, and Sports Minister Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi. Also in attendance was the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs Mr. Ahmed Gulak. In a statement after the meeting, Presidential Spokesman Reuben Abati, said Dr. Jonathan
013 AFCON Champions Nigeria started their 2013 Confederations Cup campaign on a great note with an emphatic 6-1 victory over Tahiti yesterday at the Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto. A first half brace by Nnamdi Oduamadi in the 10th and 26th minutes after the 5th minute opener through an own goal by the Tahitian skipper put the Super Eagles in front. Jonathan Tehau however reduced the deficit nine minutes after the break to set the stadium on fire, before sloppy defending restored the three-goal lead for the AFCON champions in the 68th minute with an own goal by Tehau. Oduamadi grabbed his third on the night in the 76th minute to pave the way for Echiejile's 80th minute strike to complete the rout.
Boko Haram kills seven students, two teachers Continued from page 1
told the visitors that his administration would never allow itself to be derailed from pursuing the Transformation Agenda to its logical conclusion. Abati said the President praised the elders for “working tirelessly to bring us to where we are today,” and for their continued support, promising that “as leaders, we will continue to do our best to justify the confidence you have reposed in us”. He also thanked the Middle Belt and South-South regions for their contributions to national unity, stressing that the unity of this country “depends on the cooperation of all”. The co-leader of the delegation and chairman of the Congress, Ebute, said the group is committed to promoting the equality of all Nigerians.
who confirmed the death toll, said three insurgents were captured. Some weapons including one AK47 riffle, one RPG bomb and 48 rounds of 7.62 (special) ammunition, among others, were recovered. The insurgents according to eyewitnesses gained entrance into the porous school and lunched attack on the students at about 9.30pm in their hostel. Mohammed Idi, one of the injured pupils who sustained gunshot injuries, told our correspondent at the Accident and Emergency Ward of the Gen. Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, Damaturu that he was shot as he came out of the hostel while hearing gunshots. “We were sleeping in the hostel and, suddenly, we heard gunshots very close to the hostel. We got confused and many of us scattered. I immediately came out and saw one of the Boko Haram militants who started shooting at us. “I was shot in the leg and the bullet went through my
bone. I fell down and tried to run, but I could not run because my leg was very stiff with pains. Somebody came and dragged me by the hand. I initially thought I was in the enemy’s care until I realised that it was one of our students trying to help me to escape,” Idi said. The school authority confirmed that nine people died from the attack. Our correspondent who visited the school observed that only final year students were there, writing their National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations. The others have fled from the school. One of the supervisors said three of the students killed were final year students. Dr. Salim Mohamed Umar said the state hospital had received 11 bodies and seven students with various gunshot injuries. One of the injured students said the insurgents tied the hands of one of the students who took them to the house of one of the teachers. Four people, including the teacher, were killed in Continued on page 60
Amaechi won’t drop NGF mandate, says Kwankwaso
ANO State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso yesterday joined the bitter row over the Nigerian Governors Forum(NGF) leadership saying, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi will not surrender his mandate. He also said the PDP leadership has refused to convene the party’s National Executive Committee to look into members’ complaints. Kwankwaso, who spoke with a group of reporters at the Kano Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, said the G-19 voted for Amaechi after obtaining a commitment from him that he would not give up under any circumstance. “This party belongs to all of us, it does not belong to the governors; it doesn’t belong to president or it doesn’t belong to the party chairman; it doesn’t belong to anybody. “We have invested so much in this party, I don’t think any governor is thinking of leaving this party but if you are suspended, dismissed or expelled, of course there are no options. “That is why we are saying, and I can assure you, all the governors who voted for Amae-
19 governors boycott crisis meeting with Jonathan Continued from page 1
State Governor Peter Obi, Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) and Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe). Jonathan, Abati said, felt there was no need to quarell because the money belongs to all. Only 16 governors attended yesterday’s meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) called by the Jonah Jang faction. Besides Jang, other governors at the meeting were: Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
chi consider this suspension as suspension to all of us; not to Amaechi, not to Governor of Sokoto. We are even surprised it started from there. I think there are bigger fish than Amaechi and Governor of Sokoto. Many of us are disappointed that it started from there. Kwankwaso went on: “On this issue, we entrusted Amaechi with only two tasks. One is campaign, talk to the opposition because it is Nigeria Governors’ Forum; it is not PDP Governors Forum. Talk to them because
Theodore Orji (Abia); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi); Idris Wada (Kogi); Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta); Ibrahim Shema (Katsina); and Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom). Others were: Isa Yuguda (Bauchi); Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa); Sullivan Chime (Enugu); Peter Obi (Anambra); Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe); Umar Garba (Taraba); Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Steve Lawani (Benue Dep. Governor). Speaking briefly with newsmen after the meeting, Jang said he would not dis-
you are the candidate; talk to them, probably it may suit them to vote for you. The second option is, hang up to the contest; can you hold it? He said ‘yes’. “Now, I can tell you, Amaechi cannot withdraw without our approval. Anybody who is saying Amaechi should withdraw is wasting his time because that is not in the agreement between us and Amaechi. We gave only two tasks to Amaechi and he did well. “The problem we have in the party now is that we don’t have
close discussions at the meeting, as according to him, the governors were still going to brief President Goodluck Jonathan later in the night. On the accusation of impersonation leveled against him by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Jang said: “Am I claiming to be governor of Rivers State?” On why only 16 governors attended the meeting, the Plateau Governor said he needed only 12 governors to form a quorum and that 16 is far above the number.
anywhere to go and say our minds and that was why our founding fathers of this party say in the constitution that at least, every three months we should meet. These are the issues. We should communicate among ourselves and that is the only way but the time we start washing our linens outside, then it becomes a disaster.” In his view, Amaechi’s election showed that the 16 governors backing Jang do not know the art of politics, contrary to their posturing, adding that the NGF crisis might lead to the
emergence of two big parties. Kwankwaso warned the PDP leadership against reckless recourse to suspension or dismissal of governors. He said with the suspension of Amaechi and Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State (Wamakko suspension was lifted yesterday), all the PDP governors backing the Rivers State governor had been technically suspended by the party. Kwankwaso said: “Let me say that we are Northerners and I think we should be consulted on what we need. Some people
have decided that we should take chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum. That is not our choice; we know what we want from the politics of this country and even if that is what we want, we are not expecting anybody to choose for us. We should choose for ourselves. I think that point should be clarified. “Along the line, some people suggested that PDP should have a leadership. Many people thought that there is a linkage between the NGF election and the appointment of the PDP Governors Forum and, of course, we had Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and we met as the PDP Governors FoContinued on page 60
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
NEWS ALHAJA ABIBATU MOGAJI (1917-2013)
•Traders at Oshodi Market, Lagos waiting outside their locked shops in honour of the late Alhaja Mogaji... yesterday.
Textile workers condole with Tinubu
HE General-Secretary of the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Comrade Issa Aremu, has said the death of Alhaja Abibat Mogaji would affect trade union activism. Presenting a condolence letter to the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, he said the labour movement would miss the selfless service of the Iyaloja-General. Said he: “Mama was a successful entrepreneur. As the President-General of the Association of Nigerian Market
By Musa Odoshimokhe
Women and Men, Mama was a truly comrade-mother.” Comrade Aremu said given her efforts to ensure a fair bargain for the consumers and the public, labour has lost someone that made government live up to its responsibilities. His words: “Her organising capacity and ability to engage working women in the retail and wholesale business earned them a fair bargain.” Asiwaju Tinubu thanked members of the textile industry for their support and prayed that God would guide the labour movement.
APC chieftain: Mama was a big support to us
CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Ali Wakili, yesterday described the late Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, mother of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a pillar of support worthy of emulation. The retired Comptroller of Customs recalled his days in Lagos as a Customs officer. He
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
said the deceased ensured that traders in the state did not engage in smuggling of prohibited goods, especially textile materials and turkey. “She would be remembered as a crusader, who waged war against smuggling in Lagos. “She was a mother to all, irrespective of one’s ethnic group or religious belief,” Alhaji Wakili said.
‘Nigeria has lost a mobiliser’
HE Ondo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday said it received with a thankful heart, the death of Alhaja Abibat Mogaji, the Iyaloja- General of Nigeria and mother of the National Leader of ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The party in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Rotimi Agbede, said: "There is no doubt that her demise has created a vacuum in the country, particularly among market men and women where she was seen not only as an inspi-
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
rational leader, but also as a heroine, who served as a pillar of support." It said by her death, the country had lost a great woman activist and a mobiliser, who lived a life of service. It added that her achievements would remain in the hearts of Nigerians for many years. "We are, however, consoled that Mama immortalised herself while alive through the monumental attainments of her son, Asiwaju Tinubu.
Senator mourns Tinubu’s mum
ENATOR Ayoade Adeseun of Oyo Central has described the death of Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, mother of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a great loss. He said her death has created a vacuum that would be difficult to fill. Senator Adeseun said: “We mourn the passing on of our beloved mother, Alhaja Mogaji, the Iyaloja General of Lagos State. “We have lost a role model and an epitome of motherhood. Mama was our source of inspiration, motivation and strength. Her death is an irreplaceable loss and the creation of a vacuum that will be difficult to fill.
ACN consoles Tinubu
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has commiserated with its National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibatu Asabi Mogaji. It urged him to draw strength from the sweet memories of her remarkable sojourn on earth. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said although no words are good enough to soothe Asiwaju Tinubu's loss, he should be consoled by the accomplishments of his mother, who was one of the greatest women of her time. ACN also paid tribute to the late Alhaja Mogaji, the Presi-
•Pays tribute to mum dent-General, Association of Nigerian Market Men and Women. It described her as a major factor behind the success of the progressives, especially in the Southwest. "Despite her old age, her instincts remained sharp till the end. She paid attention to what was going on around her, including the realignment of the progressive forces aimed at making life better for the citizens, the plight of whom she made her passion throughout her life. "A few weeks ago, she inquired about the progress of the realignment, an indication that she was committed to ensuring a better life for all
even till the end," the party said. It said the greatest indication of her unyielding concern for the less privileged was that anytime the interest of her followers - the market men and women - collided with that of the government during her son's tenure as the Lagos State governor, she supported her followers! ACN said Alhaja Mogaji would also be remembered for her dominance at the top echelon of the association for about half a century, during which she kept her dignity intact and made a giant stride in fighting for the interest of
Sultan hails Mogaji
She has left a vacuum, says Ashafa
HE Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, has said that the legacies of the late Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji would not be forgotten. He added that she contributed to the development of the country. Sultan said: “I interacted with her in my younger days. That was when I was the Secretary to the then head of state, the late Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi. He sent me to her to appeal to her to reduce the prices of foodstuffs and she did. “She called me and said: ‘My son, I have done my part, what about the General?’ I told her that he would play his part. “I use this opportunity to appeal to all concerned to embrace peace so that our country can move forward.”
A •Sultan Abubakar
Mogaji was a motivator, says Kwara ACN
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kwara State has described the death of the Iyaloja of Lagos, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, as a monumental loss. It said the death of the businesswoman was not only a loss to the commercial circle, but also to the nation. The party said: “The death of Mama will create a gap in the political class. She was a dogged democracy fighter and a pillar of support to our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. “Her support for him during his political travails when he was in government in Lagos was what any son will desire of a mother. “She was an epitome of motivation for the young generation and a philanthropist par excellence. We will remember her when accounts of heroine of democracy are to be taken. “We condole with Asiwaju Tinubu, Alhaji Lai Moham-
•Ahmed: her death a national loss From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
med and all members of ACN in Kwara State in particular and Nigeria as a whole. We share in this moment of soberness with the Tinubu and Mogaji families of Lagos.” Kwara State Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed said Alhaja Mogaji’s death was a national loss, given her prominent position in the coordination and mobilisation of market women for national development.
He said: “Mama symbolised hope for the hopeless, championed development and empowerment for the less privileged and represented inspiration for the younger generation.” Ahmed urged Asiwaju Tinubu and all Nigerians to take consolation that Mama lived a fruitful life in the service of her creator and mankind. He prayed Allah to grant her eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the huge loss.
Igbinedion commiserates with Tinubu
the members. "That she presided over such an important body for such a length of time without soiling her reputation and that of her famous and highly-respectable lineage is a great testimony to her uprightness, decency, integrity, generosity, loyalty and firm principles. "Over the years, those attributes also came in handy for her as she refused to be lured by anti-progressive forces, shunning whatever offer that could compromise such rare attributes. "Having availed herself so creditably in her earthly sojourn, we pray the good Lord to grant her a well-deserved rest and protect those she left behind," the party said.
ORMER Edo State governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, yesterday joined other Nigerians to commiserate with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the death of his mother. He described the late Alhaja Abibat Mogaji as “a bridge builder.” Igbinedion said Alhaja Mogaji left a legacy of philanthropy, hard work, grassroots mobilising and quality leadership. He said she was a mother of democracy and a symbol of womanhood.
LAWMAKER representing Lagos East, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, has said the late Alhaja Abibatu Asabi Mogaji has left a vacuum that would be difficult to fill. He sympathised with the deceased’s family. He described her as a courageous and kind woman, who lived her life caring for others. Senator Ashafa said her struggle for the progress of women would not be forgotten. The legislator described Alhaja Mogaji as a loving and caring mother, who was accommodating to everyone. He said: “Mama Abibatu Mogaji, the Iya Oloja General of the federation, will be remembered for touching the lives of many. She influenced many people. She was a rare gem. She was loving, caring, accommodating and industrious. Mama passed on at this moment that we needed her most. “I sympathise with the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu family, market men and women, Oba Rilwan Akinolu and other monarchs in Lagos State. “I pray that Almighty God will give the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. May Allah grant Mama Alijannah Firidauz.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
NEWS ABIBATU ASABI MOGAJI (1917 - 2013)
•From left: Prophet Gabriel Fakeye; Bishop Lanre Obembe;Prophet Samuel Kayode Abiara; Asiwaju Tinubu, his wife, Senator Oluremi; Evang Oluomo Jerry and Rev Samuel Osedagbe at Tinubu’s Ikoyi residence...yesterday. •
•Senator Saraki signing the condolence register..yesterday
•Mr. Edun signing the condolence register...yesterday
•Rear Admiral Kanu (rtd) (left) and Opadokun...yesterday
•Prof Ibiyemi Tunji-Bello (left)and Mrs Anike Adekanye
•Senator Tinubu welcoming the Director of State Security Service (SSS) in Lagos, Mr Ben Achu Olayi when he paid Tinubu a condolence visit...yesterday.
•Alhaji Atiku signing the condolence register at Tinubu’s resPHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN idence Ikoyi Lagos..yesterday.
Atiku, Duke, Saraki others visit Tinubu P
ROMINENT politicians, traditional rulers and members of the diplomatic corps yesterday visited the Ikoyi, Lagos residence of the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over the demise of his mother, Alhaja Habibat Mogaji. The early callers included: former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke, his Kwara State counterpart Senator Bukola Saraki, former Lagos Town Council Secretary Senator Habeeb Fashinro and Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) General Evangelist Pastor S. A. Abiara. The members of the Lagos State House of Assembly led by Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji also paid the family a condolence visit.
By Musa Odoshimokhe
Commiserating with him, Atiku urged Tinubu to take solace in the fact that the late President-General of the Market Women and Men Association of Nigeria lived a fulfilled life. He said: “On behalf of those who have accompanied me here, we have come to condole and commiserate with the rest of the family. It is painful she left, we cannot replace her but then we give gratitude to God for a life well spent.” He described the late Alhaja Mogaji as a patriotic mother, who ensured during her life time the resources at her disposal were used for the good of the ordinary people in the society. Atiku said the only way those loving memories could be appreciated is for those
she left behind to emulate her virtues and live a good life. He later requested for prayers for the repose of the soul of the late Mogaji. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, who equally sent his condolence message through Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, said Magaji’s legacies would not be forgotten in a hurry because of her contribution to the development of the country. Hamza said: “Personally, I interacted with her in my younger age. That was when I was the secretary to the late General Aguyi Ironsi. The former Head of State sent me to her to appeal to her to reduce the price of food stuff, which she did. “She did not leave it at that. She called me and said my son, I have done my part. What about the General? I
said he will do his part. I want to use this occasion to appeal to all concerned to embrace peace so that the country can move forward.” Senator Annie Okonkwo described the death as a great loss. He said: “She was a woman who stabililised Nigeria. She catered for the needy, poor and the less-privileged people. Today, the whole country is celebrating her. “The good thing today is that she has a lot of children who are doing very well. I still believe that many people will toe her footsteps. We believe this is a time the country should come together for a better Nigeria. “ Senator Saraki said her passage was a celebration of life, which all must glorify. “We hope others should learn from her exemplary life. May the almighty Allah
continue to perfect his rest and protect all she left behind, “ Saraki said. Prophet Abiara commended the late market leader for her liberal attitude to life. The cleric said: “ She has a liberal mind and contributed to organisations there has no Islamic affiliation. She donated Bibles to churches and many times supported what the church was doing. It takes the grace of God for someone to follow this exemplary path.” The leader of the Chinese community in Lagos Mr. Jackson Sun Guoping said they have ordered all Chinese markets in Lagos to observe a holiday in memory of her. He said: “Our people have closed their shops today to remember the Iyaloja-General. She always support our activities in Lagos and without mincing word she has
been a big pillar to the Chinese community and was always present when we mark our calendar year.” Among those who have visited the ACN leader are: former governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Ma’azu , deputy national chairman of the ACN, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Lagos Ikuforoji, who led other state lawmakers, former Sports and Youth Development Commissioner in Lagos, Prince Adeniji Adele, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Chief Ebenezer Obey, former military administrator of Lagos State, Commodore Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), former Cross River State GovernorDonald Duke, Mr Ayo Opadokun, Hajia Abba Folawiyo, Chief Bisi Abiola, Chief Chris Ekwilo and wives as well as the former Lagos Commissioner for Finance, Mr Olawale Edun.
THE NATION TUESDAY JUNE 18, 2013
NEWS Five die in Osogbo road crash From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
IVE persons were killed yesterday in an accident on the Gbongan road in Osogbo, the Osun State capital. The accident involved an unregistered black Toyota Camry car, a commercial mini bus, popularly known as Korope and a commercial motorcycle. It occurred at Heritage Hotel Junction on the Gbongan road around 5pm. An eyewitness said the driver of the Camry lost control of the car and it veered to the other lane, crashing into the mini bus and the motorcycle. It was learnt that three people on the motorcycle, a passenger in the mini bus and the driver of the Camry died on the spot. Four persons, who were critically injured, were taken to the Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital (LAUTECH) in Osogbo. The accident caused a gridlock on the road for hours. Men of the state Fire Service, O’Ambulance, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) had a hectic time coordinating traffic on the road.
Mimiko swears in commissioners
NDO State Governor Olusegun Mimiko yesterday swore in 18 commissioners; the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Rotimi Adelola and the Chief of Staff (CoS), Dr. Kola Ademujimi. The commissioners include Akin Adaramola, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), Kayode Akinmade, Clement Faboyede, Gboye Adegbenro, Dayo Adeyanju, Yele Ogundipe, Nicholas Tofowomo, Sola Ebiseni, Bade Omoloja, Lasisi Oluboyo, Bekekhimi Idhiarhi and Remi Olatubora, who were part of the former executive council. They all retain their former portfolios, except Olatubora, who is now in charge of the Ministry of Technical Education.
From Damisi Ojo,Akure
The rest are Bamiduro Dada (Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs), Jide Adejuyigbe (Education), Lady Yemi Mahmud (Women Affairs) and Tunde Atere (Natural Resources). Mimiko said: “The old executive council was a formidable team. That is why many of its members have been re-appointed. We have also brought in a few new hands for the desired mixture of experience and innovative perspectives. “In any case, they are all products of painstaking and rigorous appointment processes and have been screened by the House of Assembly. I assure you all that the new executive council is made up of a broad array of tested technocrats and development experts.”
‘Aregbesola deserves second term’
Oyo PDP members join ACN
EMBERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo Federal Constituency have joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The defectors were from the four local governments that make up the constituency – Afijio, Atiba, Oyo-East and Oyo-West. They were led by the former Special Adviser to exGovernor Adebayo AlaoAkala on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Akinrogun Segun Taiwo. The defectors were received into the ACN by Senator Ayo Adeseun (Oyo Central District) last Sunday at SNODAT Hotel in Sabo, Oyo Town. Adeseun said the defectors made the right decision by joining ACN and assured them of a level playing ground.
TAKEHOLDERS at the second expanded meeting called to assess the work done on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) extension from Mile 12 to Ikorodu yesterday praised the Lagos State government for the project. They gave kudos to the supervisory agency, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), and the contractor, Messrs China Civil and Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), for keeping with the engineering designs and working towards its timely completion. The 13.5km project will add two BRT lanes to the road.
By Yinka Aderibigbe
Estimated at N29 billion, the World Bank assisted project, which began last August, is to be completed by December, next year. The meeting was attended by the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi, who was represented by the Odofin, Prince Kayode Shotobi; Baales of communities on the corridor; community leaders; former Commissioner for Information Ayodele Elesho; Chairman, Ikorodu Exclusive Club, Chief Seye Akansipe and Chairman, Ikorodu Oga Development Association, Alhaji LAmidi Gbadamosi, among others.
to quit the PDP because of the senseless crises, egoistic desires and undue favouritisms that remain predominant characteristics of the self-acclaimed largest party in Africa.” Describing Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the successor of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he said: “Irrespective of whatever sentiments, Tinubu has become an institution and authority
in Nigerian politics. His unrepentant and untiring efforts to ensure that the Yoruba are not relegated to the background in politics stand him out among the present crop of Nigerian leaders. “Tinubu remains the only leader that is championing the emancipation of the masses, which the late Awolowo stood for.” Taiwo hailed Southwest governors for their commitment to regional integration. He said Governor Abiola Ajimobi has transformed every part of the state. Taiwo hailed the governor on the Ajumose free shuttle bus, the provision of tractors in each of the 33 local governments, road projects and the restoration of peace and security in the state.
Senator sponsors N10m free health mission
Stakeholders laud extension of BRT lanes to Ikorodu
He said the party remains committed to justice, fairness and good governance. On the proposed alliance between former Governors Rashidi Ladoja and AlaoAkala, Adeseun urged the duo to shun acts inimical to sustainable democratic governance. The senator was accompanied to the event by three former commissioners in the Alao-Akala administration. They include former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General Aare Ladi Abdusalaam; former Commissioner for Finance Chief Bayo Bankole and former Commissioner for Environment and Poverty Alleviation Alhaji Jelili Agboola. Taiwo, who is a veteran journalist, said: “We decided
‘Tinubu remains the only leader that is championing the emancipation of the masses, which the late Awolowo stood for.’
•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (second left) and his wife, Erelu Bisi; Deputy Governor Prof. Modupe Adelabu (left); Senator Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central District, second right) and Prof. Niyi Osundare (right) at the opening of the First Ikogosi Graduate Summer School (IGSS) at the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Ikogosi-Ekiti…yesterday.
From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Odo-Otin Local Government Area of Osun State has said Governor Rauf Aregbesola deserves a second term in office. The party said the governor has not disappointed the people. Its chairman, Mr. Jimoh Asa, at a meeting, said a second term would allow the governor do a lot more for the state. He said having touched virtually all sectors of the economy in less than three years, Aregbesola needs more time to build on his achievements. Asa said: “He has constructed new buildings in our public schools. There is a revolution going on in agriculture, with increased food supply and the employment of 40,000 youths under the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES). He has dualised the Osogbo Old Garage-Kwara State boundary road, which incidentally passes through our council. These are, no doubt, monumental achievements.” He said despite the presence of many chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Odo-Otin Local Government Area, the ACN was entrenched at the grassroots. The Chairman of Odo-Otin Traditional Council of Obas, the Olokuku of Okuku, Oba Oyebode Oluronke, said the governor deserved a second term in view of his brilliant performance in less than three years.
From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
VER 30,000 residents will benefit from the free health mission in Ekiti Central Senatorial District, which began yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital. The mission, sponsored by the member representing the district in the Senate, Mr. Babafemi Ojudu, will gulp N10 million. Ojudu spoke with reporters yesterday during the inauguration of the mission at the palace of the Ewi of Ado-Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe. He said the mission, which would last two weeks, will move round the five local
governments in the district. Ojudu said drugs and other disposables were donated for the programme through the efforts of the mission team, led by Dr. Rasheed Abassi from the United States (US). He said the programme was “non-discriminatory and non-partisan” adding that “it is for everybody in the constituency.” Ojudu said: “The mission is to complement the efforts of the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration, which has held a minimum of five free health missions to improve public health.” He said the mission would focus on diabetes, high blood pressure, typhoid, pneumonia, malaria and other diseases that often cause untimely death. The lawmaker urged residents to pay more attention to their health and patronise state-owned health facilities, adding that
“they now have all it takes to provide quality healthcare”. He said: “I often receive calls from home that one man slumped and died; one woman slept and never woke up. “Health is wealth and should be given prime attention. This mission will complement Fayemi’s free health initiatives and his efforts to improve the health sector. “He has renovated a number of hospitals and equipped them.” Ojudu said although drugs meant for the mission were impounded at the airport by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NAFDAC), efforts were on to facilitate their release. He did not give any reason for the seizure. Ojudu said: “I have talked to some officials and they are looking into it. I have reported the matter to the
agency’s DG and I am hopeful that the drugs would be released today (yesterday). Explaining that the mission was not his constituency project, the senator said: “Constituency projects are nominated yearly by federal lawmakers as priority needs of their constituents and are included in the budget. “The money for such projects are released directly to the ministries, which monitor the execution and pay the contractors. “Lawmakers do not have any say in who takes the money or get any of it.” Abassi said the team has consultants and specialists in various health specialities. One of the beneficiaries, Chief Michael Omotolani, hailed the senator on the initiative, saying “this is how you prove that you understand what leadership is about”.
Osun to benefit from World Bank’s $300m loan
SUN STATE is among the four states that will benefit from the World Bank’s $300 million poverty reduction loan. In a statement, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere, said the state was the first to be selected for the first phase of
Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
the project, tagged: Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO). He said the programme was aimed at providing short term employment opportunities, especially for unskilled/semi-skilled youths . Akere said the World Bank
is collaborating with state governments to provide jobs for the poor and vulnerable members of the society. He said youths would be trained in skill acquisition. Akere said the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), an initiative of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration, qualified
the state for the fund. He said: “It is a jointly funded operation, in which the World Bank’s contribution will be through a loan with 40 years tenure and an interest rate of three per cent. “The operation disposes the need for beneficiary states to engage middlemen, consultants or brokers.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
NEWS Proprietors urge Ogun to suspend pupils’ head count From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta
ROPRIETORS of private nursery/primary and secondary schools in Ogun State have disagreed with the government’s position that tax paid by a school should be determined by its number of pupils. The government said schools should pay two per cent on every pupil’s tuition fee per term as tax. It said it would embark on a head count of pupils in private schools to ensure that it is not shortchanged. The National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Ogun State chapter, disagreed with the proposal, saying it would prevent government officials from conducting the head count. Speaking with reporters in Abeokuta, the state capital, NAPPS Chairman Dr. Abayomi Jiboku said officials of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology have started “barging” into private schools for the head count. Jiboku said: “Such unwarranted counting includes pupils that might have opted out of schools, those on scholarship and fee defaulters. Proprietors are bound to lose out. “We shall resist any government agency breaking into our institutions for a head count aimed at calculating renewal fee for schools. The fee is illegal because there is no law backing it up. In the constitution, schools are to pay N100 yearly.” He said as stakeholders in education, proprietors of private schools deserve commendation and should be involved in the formulation of educational policies. Jiboku said NAPPS has suggested a “more viable and feasible” alternative, which is the categorisation of schools into small, medium, big and mega. He said each of the categories should be allowed to pay a fixed amount of money as is obtainable in neighbouring states. Jiboku urged the government to suspend the head count and discuss with the association.
Ogun to dualise Journalists’ Estate road
HE Ogun State Government has restated its commitment to rebuild the Journalists’ Estate road in Arepo. Speaking with The Nation in his office, the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, said the government would first work on the drainage before building the road. The two-kilometre road will be a dual-carriage way. Adegbite said work would begin after the rains, adding that the contract was awarded last September. The construction of the 29kilometre Ofada-Mowe–Ibafo road has begun. When completed, Adegbite said it would open up different parts of the state. The road will link residents living in Owode, Ofada, Mowe and Ibafo with other parts of the state. The project is being handled by the Central South Construction Company. It will be a six-lane-carriage way of the “Ogun Standard”, with median, street-lights, walkways, green belt and drains on both sides. The commissioner described the project as another fulfilment of Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s pledge to provide sustainable facilities for people in border communities. He urged residents to pay their taxes promptly to enable the state execute more projects.
•Aregbesola (second left); his deputy, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori (left); the governor’s wife, Alhaja Sherifat (third right); House of Assembly Speaker Najeem Salam (second right); Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport Sabitu Amuda (right); RATCON Project Manager Fady Hamouch (third left) and others...yesterday.
Osun kicks off 30km road, bridge projects
SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has kicked off the construction of a 30km Gbongan-Akoda road, named Omoluabi Motorway and the Adebisi Akande Trumpet Interchange Bridge in Gbongan, Ayedaade Local Government Area. The road project was awarded to RATCON Construction Company at N29.22 million and is to be completed in 18 months. It will have streetlights on the entire stretch, landscaping on the verges, lane marking and traffic signs. The Adebisi Akande Bridge would link the Ibadan-Ile-Ife Expressway with Osun State through Gbongan. Aregbesola said Osun would soon boast of the best road network in Nigeria. He said good roads would ease transportation and speed up development. The governor said the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
•Aregbesola builds 900km roads in 30 months From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo
administration’s record of 553kms of roads in almost eight years pales into insignificance when compared with the 513kms of “high quality roads” the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has built in the last 24 months. He said: “Our assault on bad roads is massive. At the state level, work is ongoing on various road projects at varying stages of completion. These include the rehabilitation of 21 Osogbo township roads, 15 Ilesa township roads and 14 Ede township roads by direct labour. “Others are 20 intercity roads, totaling 319kms; 13 intra-city roads, totalling 79.46kms; rehabilitation of selected roads in six zones, totalling 74.1kms; eight roads inherited from the past administration, totaling 144.29kms, dualisation of the Osogbo-
Kwara boundary road, totaling 43.37 kms and the Gbongan-Orileowu-Ijebu Igbo Road.” Aregbesola said at the beginning of this year, his administration began building 229km roads in local government areas. He said: “We are exploring and investing in other avenues, such as rail. Bad roads regrettably are responsible for many road accidents that claim lives and leave hitherto able-bodied individuals permanently incapacitated, an avoidable depletion of our valuable human resources. “Bad roads also have health cost, besides the possibility of road accidents. People are loath to travel on bad roads because of the possible challenge to their health after the trip. Good roads, on the other hand, will enhance economic and social activities, bring down the cost of goods and services
and reduce thewear and tear on vehicles.” The governor said the roads are built with 50mm asphalt on stone base with concrete drainage, as against the old practice of cheap macadam overlay on weakly compacted earth and poor drainage provision. He said the Omoluabi Motorway and the Adebisi Akande Interchange Bridge, when completed, would last for more than 30 years and improve the safety and comfort of motorists and pedestrians. Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport Sabitu Amudah said the administration has spent N92 billion on over 900kms of inter and intra-city roads. RATCON’s General Manager Dany Boumikhael said company will deliver the project promptly and according to the terms of the contract.
Police recover N30m vehicles from robbery suspects in Oyo
HE police in Oyo State yesterday paraded 12 suspects for armed robbery, receipt and the sale of stolen goods. The robbery suspects are Olabode Seun (27), Oyeyipo Ayomide (26), Olanrewaju Ayomide (23), Olatide Oladapo (37), Abiodun Ojulari (32) and Afolabi Akeem (30). Those who allegedly received and sold the loot are Isaac Nwose (42), Segun Adeyale (39), William Asu Atta (47), Patrick Ogah (35), David Umar (39) and Babatunde Oretuyi, who claims to be a lawyer. Commissioner of Police
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
Muhammed Indabawa told reporters at the Police Command Headquarters in Ibadan, the state capital, that 13 vehicles worth N30 million, three guns, 15 handsets and eight laptops were recovered from the suspects. The cars include a Toyota Highlander Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) marked LND 758 AG, belonging to a retired Rear Admiral; Honda Accord marked LND 130 AT; Honda Accord EOD marked EPE 986 BD; Toyota Corolla marked LN 690 EKY; Honda Accord marked Osun FDY 119 AA;
Toyota Corolla marked Lagos LSD 120 BF; Honda Accord marked AP 835 ZAR; Toyota Camry marked Kwara AA495 SHA and Toyota Camry marked FST 226 BH. Others are unregistered Range Rover; Honda Crosstour; Toyota Highlander SUV and Toyota Camry. Indabawa said on May 27, a retired Rear Admiral reported that five armed men stormed his Ogbomoso home and dispossessed him of five handsets, one laptop, N18,000 and a Toyota Highlander SUV valued at N500,000.
He said a Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Olusola Aremu, investigated the complaint and arrested the suspects. Indabawa said the robbery suspects have confessed to many “bloody robbery operations” in the state. He said their confessions led to the arrest of the suspects, who allegedly received and sold the stolen items. The commissioner urged residents to be cautious of where they park their cars and to report suspicious movements to the police.
Same sex marriage is a sin, says Catholic bishop
ISHOP Emmaneul Badejo of the Oyo Catholic Diocese has described same sex marriage as “a gross sin against God”. Last week, Pope Francis I acknowledged the existence of gay lobby in the Vatican. Bishop Badejo spoke at the weekend while delivering the sermon at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oke-Padre, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the wedding of the daughter of the Publisher of the defunct Third Eye, Chief Akanni Aluko. He said the Catholic Church can
From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
never support gay marriage and urged Christians across the world to wage war against it. Bishop Badejo said: “Catholics across the world should rise up to fight against same sex marriage. It is a fight that must be won because the act is a gross sin against God and we should not allow it in the sanctuary of the living God. “There is a reason God made a complement for man. He knew man could not continue to be alone. God
also found it necessary to create man and woman for the purpose of procreation, which He ordained. We must therefore resist this un-natural use of the body.” He urged the couple to be faithful to each other in fulfilment of their marital vows before God. Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese Most Rev. Alaba Job urged the congregation to stand for what is holy. He urged the couple to be prayerful and be committed to the success of their marriage. In attendance were the Aare
Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Azeez Alao-Arisekola; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; the Olubadan, Oba Samuel Odulana, who was represented by Chief Edy Oyewole; Head of the Afe Babalola Chambers Mr. Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN); wife of the former Governor Rashidi Ladoja, Alhaja Mutiat; Alhaja Bose Adedibu, wife of the late strongman of Ibadan politics, Chief Lamidi Adedibu; the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran and the Deji of Akure, Oba Adebiyi Adesida, among others .
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
BUSINESS THE NATION
Customs releases $1.8m to oil firm director From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
HE Nigeria Customs Serv ice has released $1,087,600.00 to Prof Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu, a director with A-Z Petroleum Products Limited. In a letter dated June 14, 2013, which the Comptroller General of Customs Dikko Abdullahi addressed to the Managing Director of the company, he noted that the source of the money was entirely legitimate and not connected to any illicit activity. Abdullahi also said that following the findings, no criminal liability has been established against the said Ofoegbu. According to the Customs boss, the A-Z director was therefore exculpated from any blame. Ofoegbu had on February 19, 2013 at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos on his way to Kenyan declared the said money at the declaration desk. Besides, it was reported that he was arrested for unlawful possession of $1.1million. But the A-Z director travelled. The Comproller General of Customs letter titled “Arrest of Prof. Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu Letter of Exculpation” reads: “ Investigations following the arrest of Professor Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu, a Director of A- Z Petroleum Products Ltd., on February 19, 2013 at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos with a cash amount of US$1.087,600.00, have established the following:- (1) that the said Professor Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu has officially declared the money to the relevant authority, and (11) that the source of the money was entirely legitimate and not connected to any illicit activity. The total amount gas accordingly been released to him. “2. In view of these, no criminal liability has been established against the said Professor Charles Ononuju Ofoegbu and is therefore exculpated from any blame.”
Fed Govt pays N192.5b to oil marketers
HE Federal Government has paid 19 oil marketers with 39 claims the total sum of N192, 502,279,966.50 in 2013. Earlier in the year, a total of N135, 696,269,214.05 according to a statement from the federal ministry of finance, was paid to oil marketers in respect of verified 2011 and 2012 arrears. A statement from the federal ministry of finance signed by Paul Nwabuikwu said what the finance ministry has so far paid in 2013 N192,502,279,966.50 to 19 companies (to Oil Marketers) with 39 claims. The ministry noted that these payments are “in line with the continued commitment of the Federal Ministry of Finance to manage fuel subsidy payments in a transparent and efficient manner that protects and enhances the interests of the Nigerian people.” The ministry claimed that it “makes payments based on batches of claims as submitted by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).” According to the current status of payments in respect of 2013 verified claims by marketers, a
Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)
total of N56, 806,010,752.45 had been paid as at June 10, 2013. The beneficiary companies are Aiteo Energy Resources Limited, which made one claim; Ascon Oil Company Limited – two claims; A-Z Petroleum Products Limited – two claims; Bovas and Company – one claim; Folawiyo Energy Limited – three claims; and Forte Oil Plc – two claims. Others are Gulf Treasures Limited – one claim; Integrated Oil and Gas Limited – three claims; Masters Energy Oil and Gas Limited – two claims; Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc – two claims; NIPCO Plc – three claims; NorthWest Petroleum and Gas Limited – three claims; and Rahamaniyya Oil and Gas Limited – three claims. Also included in the payment are Rain Oil Limited – one claim; Sahara Energy Resources Limited – three claims; Shorelink Oil and Gas Services Limited – two claims; Swift Oil Limited – one claim; Techno Oil Limited – two claims; and Total Nigeria Plc – two claims.
At the moment there is an average of about 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap. - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku
NAME OF OIL MARKETER
NO. OF CLAIMS
AITEO ENERGY RESOURCES LIMITED
ASCON OIL COMPANY LTD
A-Z PETROLEUM PRODUCTS LIMITED
BOVAS & COMPANY
FOLAWIYO ENERGY LIMITED
FORTE OIL PLC
GULF TREASURES LIMITED
INTEGRATED OIL AND GAS LIMITED
MASTERS ENERGY OIL AND GAS LIMITED
MOBIL OIL NIGERIA PLC
NORTHWEST PETROLEUM & GAS LTD
RAHAMANIYYA OIL AND GAS LIMITED
SAHARA ENERGY RESOURCES LIMITED
SHORELINK OIL AND GAS SERVICES LIMITED
SWIFT OIL LTD
TECHNO OIL LTD
TOTAL NIGERIA PLCE
COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N10.6 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES
Inflation -9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $48b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472
•L-R: Managing Director, Sterling Bank Plc, Mr. Yemi Adeola; Chairman, Alhaji Suleiman Adegunwa; and Company Secretary, Mrs. Justina Lewa, during the Company Completion Board Meeting in Lagos... yesterday
No take-off date set for subsidy removal, says FEC
HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) said the Federal Government, has not approved any takeoff date for the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry and removal of fuel subsidy. The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, made the clarification while briefing State House correspondents, after the meeting of the council, presided by President Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja on Wednesday. Maku said that the meeting, the last in 2011, re-
viewed the conversation on the proposed deregulation and arrived at the conclusion that the president should continue with dialogue on the issue. He said that the council, however, maintained that given the current budgetary constraints as well as the under-development of the downstream sector, the policy was inevitable. ‘No take-off date has been announced but the truth of the matter is the fact that our country is in a very difficult economic position. “To continue to run Ni-
geria with one third of the budget set out to subsidise one product is absolutely a path to greater difficulties in the economy. “We have been talking about this because we see that every sector we opened up has produced results and this is a fact..’’ According to the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the issue was beyond fuel subsidy but about further growth of the oil industry by encouraging value addition to crude oil and making the nation a hub in petrochemical business.
“About 20 companies that have got licence and have been itching to establish refineries and related industries in Nigeria could not take off because of price control.’’ The minister said that following the situation, prospective investors in the industry had begun to move to neighbouring countries, particularly Ghana and Niger Republic. He said the recently opened refinery in Niger Republic was constructed by a Chinese company, which had earlier expressed an in-
tention to site the refinery in Nigeria. Maku said the Federal Government had already approved fund for the turnaround maintenance of all existing refineries in the country, noting that it would be carried out by the original builders. He said they had given 18 months to 24 months period to turn around the refineries for optimal production. The minister also said that three additional refineries would be built by the Federal Government in Kogi, Lagos and Bayelsa.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Nigeria’s industrial sector has collapsed, says RMAFC T HE Revenue Mobilisa tion, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has called for concerted efforts by all tiers of the government to revive the collapsed industrial sector of the nation’s economy. Chairman of the commission, Engr Elias Mbam made the call at the Women Development Centre, Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital where stakeholders from the Southeast zone converged for a two day zonal workshop on Economic Diversification and Enhanced Revenue Generation. The theme of the seminar was “Economic Diversification for Sustainable National Development”. The Chairman lamented the country’s over dependence on the crude oil, which he noted has impacted negatively on other sectors of the economy particularly agriculture and solid minerals.
From OgochukwuAnioke, Abakaliki
He therefore called for a shift back to these real sectors, which used to be the mainstay of the nation’s economy prior to the discovery of oil. His words, “the workshop is aimed at sensitising governments at all levels and other stakeholders on the urgent need to broaden the economic base of the nation by diversifying the sources of revenue in order to meet the increasing expenditure requirements of governance and development”. “Our economy must be diversified to guarantee the actualisation of the various socio-economic development programmes of government, particularly the transformation agenda of
the present administration. At present oil and gas resources drive the nation’s economy” “These hydrocarbon resources are exhaustible, non renewable and vulnerable to international price volatility and politics. Therefore we must diversify in order to ensure sustainable means of funding our national development and reduce over dependence on oil and gas revenue” ”The country has over 44 minerals in this country located at over 500 locations. We have many abandoned sites and our industrial sector has collapsed. We have to look and pick the gold at our backyard. Agriculture is neglected, before the civil war it was the main stay of our economy”
The RMAFC Chairman also advised the five state governments of the south east geo-political zone to build up the economic capacity of the zone through the promotion of regional collaboration by exploring areas of comparative advantage. Ebonyi state governor, Martin Elechi regretted that despite the glaring danger posed by total reliance on the oil sector, the country seem unworried and unable to adopt practical strategies to reverse the ugly trend. “There is therefore the need for all stakeholders to ensure that we do not leave all our eggs in one basket. Diversification increases the economic dependence of the nation and reduces its reliance on vulnerable economic sectors. It also leads to multiple market platforms for export and income generation”, he added.
‘Abuja Exchange privatisation ready in 12 months’
HE privatisation of the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange (ASCE) will be concluded within the next 12 months, the Managing Director, ASCE, Mr. Yusuf Abdurraman, has said. Abdurraman disclosed this during the inauguration of 186 new members of Commodity Brokers Association of Nigeria(CBAN),in Abuja. He said the Federal Government, through the National Council on Privatisation had already given approval for the
By Toba Agboola
Exchange to be privatized. He said the exercise, when fully completed, would result in more earnings for private sectors and farmers. It will also improve the quality of the country’s non-oil exports. He said: “The Federal Government through the National Council on Privatisation has already given approval for the ASCE to be privatised . This will be achieved within the next 12
months and the Exchange will be up and running at that time. “The implication is that we are going to have an organised market where you can trade non-oil commodities .This will ensure good pricing for the farmers and also quality produce from agro-processors and major manufacturers. “In addition, the country’s export quality will be greatly enhanced. This will equally translate to more earnings for the farmers that dominate the economy and more earnings
to those who add value to agricultural produce along the agricultural value chain”. Adulrraman, assured that the privatization process would be transparent in line with global best practice. The President , Commodity Brokers’ Association of Nigeria (CBAN), Hon. Altine Shehu Kajiji, said CBAN would create a Commodity Investment Fund to help brokers raise enough capital buy agro commodities from farmers.
Fed Govt restructures River Basin Authorities
HE Federal Govern ment yesterday said it had re-organised the Governing Boards of the 12 River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) across the country. This, according to the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe, is geared towards supporting food security to sustain the teeming population and rural development. She said this during the ministerial press briefing in Abuja. The minster noted that the RBDAs were originally set up as organs of government for grassroots development in the water sector but due to policy reversals, they were unable to perform optimally. This according to her, led to discontinuation of a number of “very laudable people oriented programmes, stripping of operational assets through auctioning, as well as leaving many projects uncompleted for a long time.” “Following the re-establishment of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, the River Basins have been re-organised to make them more responsive towards national food security and accelerate grassroots development.” Ochekpe noted that the steps taken by the government in the reorganization of the River Basins will facilitate rapid urban/rural
From: Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
development and increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through the establishment of the department of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate in the Ministry. She charged state governments to take advantage of the surface water impounded in 200 dams across the country by constructing treatment and reticulation points as a means of expanding greater access to water for the citizens. Ochekpe also appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to assent to the bill that will establish agencies charged with the responsibility of regulating the functions of water resources development in the country. This according to her, “will assist in further checking theindiscriminate sinking of bore holes” and save the nation from its possible “environmental implications.” The Minister emphasized that the responsibility of provision of water supply rests with the States and Local Governments through their water agencies. Ochekpe noted that the role of the Federal Government remains that of intervention to increase water supply and sanitation in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Customs officers queried Service provider, agents quarrel T over ‘shady’ goods’ clearance S
OME senior Customs officers have incurred the wrath of their Comptroller-General over alleged dereliction of duty. They were queried over alleged non-completion of the Single Goods Declaration (SGD) form C 2010 by some exporters before the cargoes were shipped out of the country. The query was contained in a circular sent to Deputy ComptrollersGeneral (DCGs); Assistant Comptrollers-General (ACG); Customs Area Controllers (CAC) and Heads of Unit. The circular signed by the DCG in charge of Tariff and Trade, Mr Julius Nwagwu said: “Reports reaching headquarters indicate that anomalies are prevalent in the clearance of exports through the ports/borders.” Some of the anomalies are: • Non-completion of the Single Goods Declaration (SGD Form C 2010) prior to exportation; • Exportation of goods without Clean Certificate of Inspection (CCI) issued by the pre-shipment
• CG Customs Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent
inspection agent; • Inadequate attention by valuation officers on issues relating to
value of export goods; and • Non-rendition of monthly returns of all exports to headquarters. In the letter, Nwagwu said: “The above anomalies among others are contrary to the provisions of the extant regulations/guidelines, particularly as contained in circular Nos 053/2004 of November 24, 2004 and 002/2011 of April 11, 2011. These circulars, he said, were still extant and must be followed to the letter by those directed to. Noncompliance, he said, would not be tolerated. Investigation showed that circular No. 53/2004 was signed by then DCG in-charge of Tariff and Trade, Mr S. O. Ogundeji and copied to DCGs, Zonal Co-ordinators, CACs and all Heads of Unit through a November 24, 2004 letter. The circular said certain procedure must be observed by officers and agencies involved in the documentation of clearing of goods for export from Nigeria.
HE Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Onne Chapter has accused a service provider engaged by the Federal Government to work with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on destination inspection of imports of extortion. The Chairman of the chapter, Prince Prestige Ossy, told The Nation that “SGS extorts and exploits importers and licensed customs agents at Onne Port.” He alleged that the company charged importers and Customs agents high freight and clearing charges without corresponding services to justify its claims. “With the newly acquired space provided for them at Onne with a view to improving on the number of containers to be scanned, the company still scanned 30 to 40 containers in a day, while over 70 containers are lined up for scanning without adequate scanners, which has resulted to artificial demurrage created by SGS on importers. Most of this demurrage costs several millions of Naira,” he alleged. But speaking on behalf of the company, Mr Lanre Badmus, denied the allegation. He said SGS had been carrying out its services at the port diligently, without extorting anybody.
“The allegations are fabricated lies. We are doing our work as directed by the government and we have our equipment on ground to carry out our responsibility,” he said. Two licensed Customs agents have slumped at the Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML). Following poor ventilation of the hall where gate passes are issued to agents for the release of their consignments from the Customs. The Chairman of the PTML chapter of the ANLCA, Prince Bola Adeniran, told reporters that a member of his association died of suffocation in the same hall after he slumped and was rushed to the hospital. He gave the victim’s name as Adesina Olatunji. He alleged that the hall in which agents are being attended to has no air conditioner and proper ventilation. He said ANLCA had applied for the hall to be made conducive. But that their request was not granted. Also, there was a protest by clearing agents at Tin Can Island port over alleged high handedness of two Customs officers at the command. They called on the command’s Area Controller, Mr Zakari Jubril, to remove the two officers because of their alleged highhandedness.
NAGAFF seeks support for APM terminals
HE National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has urged port users and other stakeholders to appreciate the efforts of terminal operators in promoting port operation and efficiency in the country. NAGAFF’s founder, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, made the call while speaking with reporters in Lagos. He decried what he called the pull-him-down attitude of some stakeholders against the terminal operator. Aniebonam noted that before the APM Terminals took over operation of the Apapa container terminal in March 2006, there was congestion at the terminal with vessel waiting time averaging 40 days at the port. But, since they took over, he said, the vessels turn- around time has reduced drastically. He said the Ghanaian government held talks with the management of the APM Terminals at Apapa port on how to replicate what they are doing to promote port business in their country.
CEMA Bill passage excites Customs
• Governor Akpabio and Mr Bing during the visit.
Akwa Ibom, Chinese firm partner on Ibaka seaport
HE Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) has pledged to work with the Akwa Ibom State government on the Ibaka Deep Seaport project. CCECC Managing Director in Nigeria Mr Shi Hong Bing told Governor Godswill Akpabio in Abuja that the firm would ensure that the seaport becomes a reality. Bing, who praised Akpabio for allowing the firm to construct some roads in the state, said it was involved in similar projects in other parts of Africa. He acknowledged the infras t r u c t u r a l f a c i l i t i e s in Akwa Ibom, urging Governor Akpabio to keep up the good work.
Governor Akpabio said it would be fantastic to collaborate with the firm in the construction of the seaport, adding that the committee on the project, which is on a road show, would meet with the company to work out the areas of cooperation. Chief Akpabio, who described Akwa Ibom as “work in progress”, praised the company for the quality of work it has done in the state. “CCECC and the government of Akwa Ibom State under my leadership have been good partners. And it is a partnership that has produced results. “The first road contract that was awarded to your company was de-
“I do know that Nigeria is not the only place that they (APM Terminals) are working. I am also aware through my strategic position that even the government of Ghana - because I have the privilege of having a friend who is in the Ghanaian government – came here to hold a meeting with APMT and that has to do with the level of work they are doing here. That means if some people outside Nigeria appreciate them; why can’t we appreciate them? “Before APM Terminals took over operation, everywhere was chaotic. No cargo handling equipment, no defined processes and procedures etc. There was also vessel queue with ships waiting for an average of 40 days to get berthing space. Consequently, shipping companies slammed what was called congestion surcharge on the port. The congestion surcharges were paid directly by the importers and this amounted to about $200 million per annum,” he said.
livered in time complete with the best street lights and drainage in the country. And recently we signed a contract for the dualisation of Etinan-Eket road and more jobs are coming. “It is not a function of lobbying for the job but that of quality, good pricing and record time delivery. We look forward to continuous partnership,” he said. The governor reiterated that the seaport would promote commerce and complement the port in Lagos and also serve as a major transshipment point for the West African coast. He said the project would also provide employment for many.
HE passage of the new Customs and Excise Management Re-enactment Bill into law by the Senate Committee on Finance will enable officers and men of the service to play a leading role in international trade. Speaking with reporters in Lagos, Custom’s Public Relations, Mr Wale Adeniyi, said there were many inhibitions on the path of the Nigeria Customs Service as a result of its obsolete CEMA laws, which it was using to operate. But with the passage of the law by the upper legislative chamber, Adeniyi expressed the hope that once the law receives the blessing of the House of Representatives from where it is expected to get the assent of the President, the Nigeria Customs Service will play a lead role in Nigeria’s international trade. The Customs image maker explained that one of the areas the service has experienced challenges is ICT, most especially on
t he S i ng l e Wi nd ow P r ojec t which, according to him, until now, Customs cannot boast of being the sole owner of the concept. He said: “You will recall that the Bill that used to be the extant law of the Customs was enacted in 1958, between that time and now a lot of changes have taken place in international trade, procedures have changed, processes have changed, the volume and complexities of international trade have gone beyond what the old law could provide for. “So, we are excited that the new law will bring in some of these changes and put Customs in a proactive manner and be backed by law. “There are number of issues we would have loved to solve, but each time we try to take the step we remember that we are not backed by law to do it and we have to take a step backwards, especially in the areas of ICT and the Single Window Project.”
TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
ENERGY THE NATION
The 10 power plants, built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and supervised by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) on behalf of the three tiers of government, are expected to generate 5153megawatts(MW) and be fully privatised by mid next year.But can the company generate 5153MW when it is eventually handed over to investors? Assistant Editor (Energy) EMEKA UGWUANYI asks
Can power plants generate 5153MW? T HE planned privatisation of the 10 power generation plants built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) has begun, with the kick off of the road-shows in Lagos roadshows, which also will be held in the United States, the United Kingdom and some Asian countries, are platforms employed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) to meet with prospective investors that have capacity to buy the assets. The NIPP programme was conceived in 2004 as a fast-track initiative to add significant new generation capacity to Nigeria’s electricity supply system. Besides construction of 10 power plants, the project factored in construction of complementary electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure, as well as the infrastructure required to deliver the natural gas needed at the power plants. The NIPP projects are funded from the excess crude account, with the Federal Government contributing 47 per cent of the funds, while the 36 state governments contribute 35 per cent and the 774 local governments 18 per cent. Currently, an approximated S$8.4 billion has been committed to the project, the Managing Director of NDPHC, James Olotu said. The NIPP plants were designed to deliver combined installed capacity of 5,453 megawatts (MW). Eight of the 10 power plants are designed as Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) power plants and the other two as Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power plants. The CCGT power plants, can generate power through gas and steam turbines but because of timeline for handover of the assets to new investors proposed for mid next year, the completion of the steam tur-
bines might not be realistic. For instance, the Alaoji power plant was designed as a CCGT project with a plant capacity of 1,131.4 MW. However, it is expected that, by the handover date for this plant, only one of the steam turbines would have been installed. Therefore, the plant will be available for commercial operation as an 831.3 MW plant. As result of some of these hitches, the NDPHC is projecting a combined generation of 5153.1MW as against 5,453MW by the time the assets will be handed over to the new investors. Besides the anticipated inability to construct the steam turbines in the combined cycle plants within the stipulated period, there are other concerns including the provision of pipeline to supply gas to the assets. Currently, the NIPP plants supply below 2,000MW, indicating that over 3153MW will be realised from the project in the next one year. At several meetings, Olotu has lamented the dearth of gas supply to completed turbines in some of the NIPP assets. Also,there are still some of the power plants that have several outstanding turbines to build. Although the timelines look good, to achieve them seem pretty difficult.
•Olorunsogo generation plant
Initial output According to the NDPHC chief, Olotu, the Alaoji Generation Company Nigeria Limited located in Abia State, which is the biggest of the power plants will be generating 831.3MW at the time of handover, while the Benin Generation Company Limited in Ihovbor, Edo State, will have 507MW output. The Egbema Generation Company Limited, Imo State, Gbarain Generation Company Limited, Bayelsa State, Calabar Generation Company Limited, Cross River and Geregu Generation Company Limited in Kogi State will have generation capacities of 380.7MW, 253.8MW, 634.5MW and 506.1MW.
Ogorode Generation Company Limited in Sapale, Delta State will be generating 507.6MW, while Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited in Ogun State will have 754MW output. Omoku Generation Company Limited in Rivers State will be generating 264.7MW with Omotosho Generation Company
Limited in Ondo State supplying 512.8MW. According to Olotu, seven of the eight OCGT power plants could be upgraded to CCGT configuration, adding that five of the power plants are either fully or partially operating today. He noted that four gas turbines of Alaoji Genco will be commissioned by December 2013 while one of the two steam turbines of the plant will be commissioned in May 2014. Other plants that some of their turbines will be commissioned in 2014 include Calabar Generation Company Limited. Olotu noted that NDPHC has made some substantial investments in transmission and distribution. He said 2,370MVA of 330kV and 132kV transformer capacities already in service in the national grid, while 519km of transmission lines have been strung out of 2,903km with 346.7km of transmission lines already in service or energised awaiting full utilisation.
In distribution, 72 injection substations have been commissioned, with 3,517 completely self- protected 25kVA and 50kVA customer transformers installed and 650MVA out of 3,750MVA of 33/11kV Injection substation already in service or awaiting full utilisation. He said that 80 per cent of the outstanding shares of the plants will be sold following a competitive bidding process. Each generation company will benefit from a contract structure covering the sale of electricity, the supply and transportation of natural gas, and access to the electricity transmission network, he added. Meanwhile, the timelines of the privatisation indicate that submission of expression of interest is July 19, short-listing of bidders August 8, availability of request for proposals August 16, while opening of data rooms is on August 16. The bidders conference in Abuja is billed for September 18-19 while deadline for submission of proposals holds November 8.
Lagos LPG to get supply from NLNG, NIPCO
HE Lagos State liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) known as ‘Eko Gas’, which is being run in partnership with private sector operators, will get supply from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), it was learnt. This is to guard against supply of substandard LPG also called cooking gas, to consumers. Chairman, LPG group of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), a partner in the project, Omo’ ba Bambo Ademiluyi, said all safety measures had been taken into consideration. He spoke against the backdrop of the alleged substandard LPG in circulation and explained that the partnership was aware of supply of high propane content LPG, which is dangerous considering the obsolete and substandard gas cylinders in the system. He explained that even though the LPG (cooking gas) with high propane content is mostly distributed in the North because it is sup-
By Emeka Ugwuanyi
plied from Niger Republic, the safety measures factored into the Eko Gas project is tight. He said all the LPG that would be supplied to Eko Gas would come from NIPCO and Nafgas facilities. The two firms get their supply only from the NLNG. “Therefore, the issue of supply of product with high propane content will not arise,” he added. He noted that the companies that would supply the cylinders will be member-firms of the chamber to ensure that the integrity of the cylinders is guaranteed. Ademiluyi said: “We are mindful of the LPG in circulation, and the utensils that are being used to take LPG from the filling plants to the homes. We are aware and also Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). We are all aware that a lot of these cylinders are very old and a lot of the new ones are substandard. However, for this scheme, the people that will be supplying all the cylinders,
utensils, and skid plants, among others, are members of LCCI, their companies will not cut corners. They are all registered with the DPR, they have certification for their imports and we don’t expect anything untoward. “As regards high propane content LPG, it is predominantly circulated in the north, because it comes from Niger Republic. The two plants where we will be taking LPG from for this key project are NIPCO and Nafgas. Those two facilities don’t take LPG from anywhere except NLNG. Therefore, the integrity of this scheme is tight. One of the key things taken into consideration is safety because a single explosion of cylinder can bring the scheme down. “We have also designed an elaborate awareness creation programme for the scheme to educate people on the need to convert to use of LPG.” Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources Taofeeq Tijani, said Eko Gas project, which
was rolled out last week is approved by the Executive Council (Exco). He said: “The chief executive of the state is backing the initiative because the product is efficient, safe, support the environment and will be a benefit to the people. “The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has got approval from the governor and executive council of Lagos State to adopt LPG as the fuel of choice for Lagosians. Having got the approval, we have worked with all stakeholders particularly the LPG Group of LCCI, those involved in LPG cylinders and products marketing. We have worked out the formula on how we will inform Lagosians on how we will distribute affordable cylinders and all the places the products can be obtained. “LPG skid tanks will be built in strategic locations for easy access of the product by consumers. The product will be launched in Surulere today. It is an opportunity for Lagosians to convert from use of kerosene, charcoal, and firewood to a cheaper, safer, cleaner and more reliable fuel.
“Why we embarked on the initiative is because LPG is used worldwide as fuel and Nigeria produces the product in large quantities and most of our refineries have LPG as a by-product. International oil companies particularly NLNG and ExxonMobil, among others produce it. NLNG dedicated 150,000 metric tonnes to be used in Nigeria but as I speak, Nigeria is the largest supplier and lowest consumer of the product in Africa. The 150,000MT is still available and Nigerians are yet to consume up to that volume. “Therefore, part of this initiative is to work with all stakeholders to fully utilise consumption of this volume and more. We are also looking at companies that have built storage tanks in Lagos, NIPCO 4,000MT, Nafgas 8,000MT, Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 4000MT. These storage facilities will help us move the products from where it is produced to demand centres in Nigeria.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Execute LNG projects quickly, says expert S
ENIOR Business Strategy and Performance Analyst, Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG), Ezekiel Adesina, has stressed the need to expedite action on the implementation of the impending Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects in the country. Also included are the NLNG Train 7, Brass LNG, and Ok LNG, for long term export contract and other economic benefits, he said. Adesina, who spoke in Lagos, said the consequences of alternative gas such as shale gas, coal-bed methane (CBM), tight gas and gas hydrate, could be reduced if urgent measures are put in place in the sector. Such measures,he explained, include change of business strategy for export and local market, diver-
By Ambrose Nnaji
sification of business group for domestic use of natural gas, the independent power projects (IPPs) and the petrochemical plant. He added that non-gas investors should not be allowed to participate in gas exploration. He stressed the need to exploit full gas value chain, upstream, midstream and downstream of the gas sector as well as gas fiscal incentives. These he said would promote new investments in the sector. Adesina said with 187 trillion standard cubic feet (Tscf) of proven gas reserves in the country and potential of 600 Tcf in probable reserves, there is need to fast-track the implementation of the Gas Master Plan to overcome some of
the bottlenecks in the sector. He said the AGFA fiscal regime favours existing upstream investors. He added which according to him, acts as a barrier to non-oil investors and new entrants into the gas sector that there is need to create a separate fiscal regime for gas to make possible a level playing field for all investors in the sector. Adesina said the gas value should be unbundled to allow various players within the value chain to participate and increase its growth. He said Nigeria can only survive the current change in the global energy if the country will quickly respond to change in the oil and
gas sector. He said: “There is need for us as a nation to have a sense of urgency in actualising numerous plans and projects in the gas sector before the economic benefits of our gas natural resources are lost. The need for change cannot be ignored if Nigeria gas agenda of making Nigeria a gas hub destination in Africa is to be realised.” He said there is need to take a critical look on the global gas environment and the Nigeria gas market in view of the current unconventional gas revolution across the globe, adding that the unconventional gas will continue to challenge the current gas busi-
ness model. He said the economic viability of unconventional gas could be realised with technological advancement and pursuit of efficiency to reduce costs, financial risks and wellhead prices in production. Shale gas started with Mitchell Energy in 1990s. It pioneered the application of two oilfield techniques, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, to release natural gas trapped in hardy shalerock formations. Economies of scale and improvements in techniques have halved the production costs of shale gas, making it cheaper even more than some conventional sources.
Firm okays flared gas to power technology
LARKE Energy is employing containerised gas engines for the production of power using flared gas. The technology, if effectively put into use, is capable of converting gas being wasted through flaring, to generate power for local areas and reduce emissions into the atmosphere. The company said it would convert waste product into energy, adding that this can be deployed in sites and passed to power stations. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, the Group Marketing Manager, Alexander Marshall, said the technology would impact on the industry by reducing gas flaring in the Niger Delta region thereby enhancing the quality of life of the people of the area. He said it would also enhance the economy of the country. He said: “Because you flared this gas before, and now you can covert it into money, it becomes a resource for the country. A lot of industries can spring up in the communities that didn’t have
By Ambrose Nnaji
power but have gas that was flared because such flared gas can be converted into power, and the people’s lives would be enhanced because small businesses that rely on power can now be established. Besides, the power supply will be continuous. It is not something that would be unpredictable as far as the gas is there. This would impact positively on the economic life of communities,” he said. He said the company provides solutions for the delivery and maintenance of gas engine power plants, including the supply of turnkey installation of a gasfuelled and heat power plant. Marshall said the company has experience in a wide range of renewable and high-efficiency gas applications including natural gas, biogas, landfill gas and coal gases. He said the engine capacity ranges from 330kw to 9.5mw as a single unit and that the company could do projects from one mw to 50mw.
Shell lists benefits of summit
N investment summit hosted by Shell and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) has created opportunity for more partnerships between Nigerian and United Kingdom investors. According to a statement by Shell, the event attracted about 100 Nigerian and British firms that shared their offerings and capabilities to explore areas of partnerships. The summit was held as part of efforts to forge partnerships among businesses in both two countries. Some 45 British companies met with their Nigerian counterparts to discuss potential areas of collaboration in engineering, procurement, installation, commissioning (EPIC) contracts, manufacturing, fabrication and general oil and gas services. It is expected that the partnerships resulting from the summit will help grow the capacity of Nigerian companies in provision of goods and services in the oil and gas industry, Shell said. Welcoming participants to the summit, the Managing Director Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Chike Onyejekwe, said Shell is committed to further developing local content in Nigeria. “Last year, Shell companies in Nigeria awarded contracts worth $2.4 billion to Nigerian companies, one billion dollar more than the amount in 2011. Local content is good for Nigeria and for the busi-
ness and we’re determined to raise the game,” he added. In a keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Ernest Nwapa, commended Shell for the “sustained interest in the Nigeria/UKTI investment forum. He said: “Since the first summit, we’ve seen a significant number of companies participating at the event and we hope they will focus on areas that will improve their capability. It is good to see that other international oil companies (IOCs) are beginning to follow Shell’s example by organising similar engagements.”
•Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu
•Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo (right) during the inauguration of the rehabilitated injection substation in Lagos. With him is: Chief Executive Officer, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Chris Okaa Akamnonu.
Foundation canvasses better, faster oil service T
HE first edition of the Addhope Forum by Sinopec-Addax Petroleum Foundation kept its promises by offering a space for exchange and discussions on the keys to successful development partnerships. The occasion attracted 145 participants from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the private and public sectors, as well as academia that shared their experiences and best practices on the matter. According to a statement by Addax, Chairman, Sinopec-Addax Petroleum Foundation and Chief Executive Officer, Addax Petroleum Corporation, M. Zhang, opened the forum emphasising his strong conviction that the foundation’s initiatives are rooted in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy of its shareholder, the Sinopec Group. He said: “Philanthropy should not be limited to its financial engagement. In order to be efficient, philanthropy should go beyond the pecuniary aspect and rather take the approach of sharing competencies. As a famous Chinese proverb goes “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. “That is why we are all gathered here today. We have gained a lot of experience working with our NGO partners over the years. But there is still room for improvement, and we can get even better at what we do by maintaining the continuous dialogue we have with partners from every sector. “ In his opening address, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Disarmament Affairs, Haitao
Wu, highlighted the efforts undertaken by China, to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) objectives. Plenary and interactive sessions took place in the morning and offered a forum where participants, organisations and individuals concerned by public good and the issues linked to partnerships between NGOs and the private sector could openly share insights and experience. “As often in life, a partnership is not a given”, said MarieGabrielle Cajoly, Executive Director of the Sinopec-Addax Petroleum Foundation. On the contrary, it is a trust relationship, based on mutual engagement, comprehension and dialogue.
“We invited representatives from all horizons, and in particular a large number of NGOs, to join us for today’s forum. Their enthusiastic participation was fantastic and a strong sign of everyone’s interest in both the topics discussed and the approach taken.” The Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation based in Geneva. Founded by Addax Petroleum Corporation, its main donor. It benefits from the support of the Sinopec Group, its shareholder. The Foundation aims to address the causes of poverty in Africa, the Middle East and China, and to help deprived communities by strengthening their skills and by providing them with the appropriate conditions to reach self-sufficiency in a sustainable way.
Nipco boosts LPG consumption with cylinders O boost consumption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) popularly referred to as cooking gas, Nipco Plc has introduced branded cylinders of different sizes to the consuming public. The three sizes where showcased at an exhibition by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Lagos office during the World Environment Day in Lagos. They include 12.5kg, 6kg and 3kg cylinders and their accessories aimed at improving access by the public. The event celebrated globally for positive environmental action, according to statement from Nipco, was co-sponsored by the company as part of its efforts at
deepening gas use as domestic fuel over other unwholesome fuels. The 6kg and 3kg with their accompanying camping stoves according to the statement, delighted participants at the event as it effectively fits in the purchasing power of a larger percentage of the populace. The company’s objective is to provide a more pocket-friendly cylinder and gas stove that can be affordable especially to the low income bracket and petty traders across the country. In a message, Managing Director, Nipco, Mr Venkataraman Venkatapathy, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to sustainable environment and housekeeping in its operation.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
COMMENTARY FROM OTHER LANDS
Truant territory •Nigeria continues to lead the world in out-of-school children
T is truly disheartening that Nigeria consistently tops global leagues when social, political and economic deficiencies are being measured. The latest demonstration of this trend manifested itself when the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EAGMR) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) reported that the country has the highest number of children who do not attend school in the world. At 10.5 million, the figure is higher than that of Pakistan (5.1 million), Ethiopia (2.4 million), India (2.3 million), the Philippines (1.5 million) and Cote d’Ivoire (1.4 million). The seriousness of the situation becomes clearer when it is seen that India has a far larger population than Nigeria. The UNESCO report also states that Nigeria was one of four countries in the group to witness an increase in nonschool-going children in absolute terms since 1999. The reasons why the country is in this deplorable situation are only too familiar. The most obvious one is the massive corruption perpetrated at all levels of government. Funds set aside for infrastructural development, the payment of salaries and the purchase of school supplies are regularly stolen by public office-holders and their collaborators in ministries and parastatals. The second relates to the structural deformities which persist in the nation’s primary educational system, under which an over-mighty Federal Government intervenes in the provision of basic education using two per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund. While the motivation might be commendable, it has not been effective in practice, because it
has often enabled federal authorities to meddle in the affairs of states instead of seeking to complement their efforts. A state might identify the provision of learning aids as its greatest deficiency, only for the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the organ that coordinates the implementation of the UBE programme at the states and local government levels, to insist on the construction of classrooms as its priority. An additional problem relates to the prevailing culture which allows children to forgo school in favour of supposedlybetter alternatives like Islamic education, apprenticeships, hawking and domestic service. Many short-sighted parents are of the view that such children are better off earning money than getting an education, and their views are apparently justified by the high rates of graduate unemployment. The consequences resulting from Nigeria’s army of children who do not attend primary school are tragic. In the north, out-of-school children constitute the bulk of the almajiris whose capacity for mayhem is only too well known. In other parts of the country, they are a significant proportion of the youths who engage in petty crime, drug-taking, political thuggery, rape and other vices. The increasingly parlous security situation in the country is a pointer to what could happen if nothing is done to ensure that all Nigerian children are enabled to attend school. The first step is the promulgation of enabling laws. Akwa Ibom and Lagos states are the exemplars in this regard, as both have enshrined legislation making it compulsory for all children to go to
school and prescribe appropriate sanctions for parents and guardians who fail to comply. If education is made mandatory in this manner, it will facilitate the enforcement of related regulations such as those prohibiting the participation of children in street-hawking and other trades at particular times of the day. Another thing would be to ensure that the local governments which are primarily responsible for primary education become more alive to their duties. They should conduct a comprehensive assessment of the needs of the primary schools within their areas of jurisdiction, and work with the state governments to resolve them. The UBE should be more flexible and adapted to the specific concerns of individual states in order to achieve the maximum benefits. A nation which fails to prepare its children for the challenges of the future jeopardises its own wellbeing.
‘Many short-sighted parents are of the view that such children are better off earning money than getting an education, and their views are apparently justified by the high rates of graduate unemployment. The consequences resulting from Nigeria’s army of children who do not attend primary school are tragic ...The increasingly parlous security situation in the country is a pointer to what could happen if nothing is done to ensure that all Nigerian children are enabled to attend school.
Big shame •Flood: It is shameful that Big Men are yet to redeem their pledges six months after
F a pledge is a solemn promise or agreement to do or refrain from doing something, then, why some Nigerians, prominent ones at that, would make pledges and fail to honour them beggars explanation. Indeed, it sounds incredible that such a thing could happen even when the country’s first citizen was present when the pledges were made. But this is what has happened that has compelled the committee saddled with the responsibility of ameliorating the plight of the flood victims to threaten to publish the names of the big people in the country whose word cannot be their bond. Nigeria witnessed one of its worst flood disasters in the fourth quarter of last year, when flood swept through many states, putting millions of people in danger. About 59 communities were report-
‘We feel strongly about this shameful act and wish the committee could go beyond naming and shaming. It is disgraceful that our Big Men (and perhaps women) could be so dishonourable even on a thing that touches on the lives of millions of Nigerians’
edly sacked, 38, 228 displaced and no fewer than160 people were feared dead. The disaster also kept travellers stranded for days on major highways in the affected states. Its dimension led to the setting up of a Presidential Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee, co-chaired by business mogul, Aliko Dangote, and frontline lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), by President Goodluck Jonathan. The 34—man committee consequently organised fund raising to assist victims of the disaster. Its target was N100billion, but only about N11.35billion was realised, both by way of pledges and actual donations at the fundraiser held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. We feel strongly about this shameful act and wish the committee could go beyond naming and shaming. It is disgraceful that our Big Men (and perhaps women) could be so dishonourable even on a thing that touches on the lives of millions of Nigerians. Some of these personalities have enjoyed one form of largesse or the other from the government, probably including bailout funds that we cannot see what they did with it and the government itself is not interested in asking questions. We support the riot act read to the defaulters by the committee that such pledges must be redeemed on or before June 30, failing which the committee should publish their names. The idea of not redeeming pledges is fast becoming a conspicuous mannerism of many of our personalities. And it did not start today; it
has been with us for long. People who have organised book launch must have experienced such dashed hopes from dignitaries who came, made fantastic pledges, received loud ovation only for the organisers of the book launch to be running after them for the money long after the event would have held. This false lifestyle of our big people is a dishonourable practice that we should discourage. If those held in high esteem in the society would fail to redeem pledges that they made voluntarily to people whose plight should naturally attract empathy, where then are we going? This particular case is worsened by the fact that President Jonathan announced tax incentives for corporate organisations that donated generously to the fund as a way of motivating them. It is over six months since the pledges were made and many of the pledges are yet to be redeemed. Sadly, some of those who have not redeemed their pledges have reportedly taken advantage of the tax incentives. We wonder why the incentives must have preceded the redeeming of the pledges, though. Could that have been another form of ‘bailout’ for them? The least the government can do is to compel those who have received incentives without fulfilling their pledge to return whatever they collected. That is the best way to spend the tax-payers’ money wisely. We join the committee in thanking those who have honoured their pledges and implore the defaulters to do same to avoid being named and shamed.
Surveillance: Snowden doesn’t rise to traitor
OR several top lawmakers in Washington, Edward Snowden committed the ultimate political crime when he revealed to the world just how broadly and easily the government is collecting phone and Internet records. “He’s a traitor,” said John Boehner, the House speaker. “It’s an act of treason,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee. Among prosecutors and defense lawyers, there’s a name for that kind of hyperbole: overcharging. Whatever his crimes — and he clearly committed some — Mr. Snowden did not commit treason, though the people who have long kept the secrets he revealed are now fulminating with rage. If Mr. Snowden had really wanted to harm his country, he could have sold the classified documents he stole to a foreign power, say Russia or China or Iran or North Korea. But even that would not constitute treason, which only applies in cases of aiding an enemy with whom the United States is at war. His harshest critics might argue that by exposing American intelligence practices, he gave aid and comfort to Al Qaeda and its allies, with whom the country remains in a military conflict, thanks to the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which Congress passed after Sept. 11, 2001, and is in force now. It’s unlikely that Qaeda leaders did not already know or suspect surveillance before Mr. Snowden’s disclosures. But treason means more than that, too. In the landmark 1945 case Cramer v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that one had to provide aid and comfort and also “adhere” to an enemy to be guilty of treason. “A citizen may take actions which do aid and comfort the enemy,” the court said, “making a speech critical of the government or opposing its measures, profiteering, striking in defense plants or essential work, and the hundred other things which impair our cohesion and diminish our strength — but if there is no adherence to the enemy in this, if there is no intent to betray, there is no treason.” Clearly, Mr. Snowden did not join a terror cell, or express any hostility toward the United States, when he turned over documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post. (He was also not nearly as reckless as Bradley Manning, the soldier on trial on charges with giving classified materials to WikiLeaks, who seemed not to know or care what secret documents he was exposing.) Mr. Snowden’s goal was to expose and thus stop the intelligence community from what he considered unwarranted intrusions into the lives of ordinary Americans. “My sole motive,” he told The Guardian, “is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.” While that principle is the right one, he should brace himself for the charges and possible punishment that may come in its wake. Most likely, he will be charged with disclosure of classified information under the Espionage Act, which carries a possible 10-year jail term for each count. Mr. Snowden broke the agreement he made to keep these materials secret. He appeared forthright in confessing to the act and can use his testimony, should he be brought to trial, to make the case that he exposed a serious abuse of power (though, technically, he did not blow the whistle on fraud or criminal activity). That’s what civil disobedience means: accepting the consequences of one’s actions to make a larger point. Mr. Snowden may well be going to jail for exposing practices that should never have been secret in the first place. – New York Times
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THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: When Professor Eghosa Osaghae described Nigeria as a ‘Crippled Giant’, he was merely speaking the minds of many. That appellation describes everything that has been wrong with Nigeria since independence. Even the late Chinua Achebe identified leadership as the bane of the country over three decades ago. Leadership it is which continues to confound us. It is the reason why even as we bask in the euphoria of our nascent yet shaky democracy, those who are supposed to recognise democracy from where it was coming from have failed to give it the recognition it deserves. On June 12, 1993, Nigerians forgot their differences, tribe, religion and tongue. Twenty years after, we are still undecided as to how to accord
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June 12 and the road to conscience that day its rightful place in our political journey to democracy. Since 1999, all those who have tasted power at the top have refused to listen to wise counsel to accord June 12 its due. June 12 may seem to those at the top as an irrelevant period in our history. It may appear as yet another useless eon that should be swept under the carpet like past ones
which comes to us in fragments. It may sound to the Nigerian leadership as that period that must be suppressed, buried or even thrown in the dustbin of history. But we must not forget that the past always has its way of finding and haunting the present and future. Are we surprised that 53 years since independence and 14 years into our nascent democracy, we are
still battling with electoral malfeasance? Are we not shocked that we are yet to find that good luck we have always yearned for even when ironically, good luck seems to be the norm peddled everywhere by political shenanigans and economic sycophants with little or nothing to show for it? Are we not seeing that ethnic tensions and religious intolerance which June 12
Obama should speak on witch hunts in Africa tour
IR: Later in the month, President Barack Obama arrives Africa for a three-nation tour. Obama will visit Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. He will use the opportunity to strengthen ties and promote issues of mutual interests. I hope President Obama will, during his trip, speak out against witchcraft related killings and abuses in Africa. Belief in witchcraft and magic is strong and pervasive in Africa including Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. Witchcraft accusation is widespread, and related abuses are rampant. Witch hunt presents a major human rights, humanitarian and development challenge to the continent. In fact belief in malevolent magic and other occult powers presents the greatest obstacle to African renaissance and enlightenment. Most Africans take belief in witchcraft seriously. The term witchcraft evokes fear, panic and apprehension in the hearts and minds of people. Witchcraft accusations corrupt and poison fellow feeling and family relationships. In Ghana, suspected witches are banished to ‘make shift camps’ in the North of the country. In Congo DRC and Nigeria, children accused of witchcraft are abandoned and forced to live on the streets. They are subjected by pastors to torture, inhumane and degrading treatment
in the name of exorcism. In Uganda, old women are often branded witches and children are killed for ritual purposes. In Kenya, witch burning is rampant particularly in Kisii region. In Malawi, elderly women were until recently jailed for witchcraft. In Cameroun and Central African Republic, witchcraft is recognized by law and suspected witches are tried in state courts. In Nigeria, witchcraft accusation is illegal but accusations continue to take place across the country with impunity. Witchcraft related murders often go unpunished. In one of the countries Obama will be visiting- Tanzania- albinos are targeted and killed for ritual purposes. The body parts of albinos are harvested, sold and used for
ritual potions which many people believe will bring good luck, power and wealth. Some people mistakenly identify witchcraft as ‘African science’ and witch hunting as part of African culture. Many people fear to speak out against witchcraft related abuse because they believe witches exist, and witchcraft is real. President Obama should, during his visit, help raise the profile of the campaign against witch hunt and related killings and abuses and help bring an end to this dark age phenomenon. He should pressure African leaders to take pro active measures against these horrific abuses- to decriminalize witchcraft, enforce the laws against witch hunting and support victims of accusa-
tion. He should help rally international support for victims of witchcraft accusations and those internally displaced due to witchcraft – those who are languishing in camps in Ghana and Burkina Faso, and accused children living on the streets of Congo Kinshasha, and in Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers states in Nigeria. The American president should Obama should not miss the opportunity of using his upcoming trip to Africa to make a clear and categorical case against witch hunt, witchcraft related killings and abuses. • Leo Igwe, University of Bayreuth, Germany
swiftly shoved aside have begun rearing its big and ugly head more than ever before in our political history? It is only the blind that would simply deny seeing the paintings on the wall. Even the blind in today’s Nigeria sees better than those with eyesight! If for all the salt we are worth, we cannot give adulation to that day and the significance it envisages; then we are not worth celebrating our heroes past which Chief Abiola luxuriously belonged. It is most unfortunate that the democracy we all claim to enjoy today, even when there is nothing to enjoy, what with the myriads of challenges confronting us as a nation, is not seen from the angle of the June 12 insignia. We are blinded by our prejudices that we do not understand that one man, against all odds and who despite the wealth, fame and connections in his possession, which ordinarily should have been channelled towards personal comfort, decided to suffer and risk his life and all the good things of life to pay the price for the freedom we are quickly tearing apart today. Abiola meant a lot to all Nigerians and we must do his memory a lot of good, not by mere rhetoric or speeches, as we have witnessed in the last one year, but by committing ourselves to acts that pursue equity and social justice for our nascent democracy and the vast majority of our people, after all, the democracy we all critique vehemently today was what Chief Abiola died for. • Raheem Oluwafunminiyi Lagos
Nigerians and the war on terror IR: Since President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, some Nigerians, especially politicians and simpletons have continued to kick against it. But are these not the same people who cried blue murder when terrorists struck at the UN building in Abuja, who were united in grief when people were killed in a Catholic Church on a Christmas day, who think that the president has been too soft on the perpetrators and who expect that their president should do
his constitutional duty of protecting them? Nigerians can’t have their cake and eat it. Even now the terrorists are unrelenting and unrepentant for according to AFP; the leader of the insurgents in a recent video claimed that they are dealing blows on the Nigerian soldiers and that they the insurgents had sustained little damage. He even called on foreign Islamists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to join the fight. Just recently in Maiduguri, Borno, it was reported that the insurgents hid their
Kalashnikov guns inside a coffin while driving through military checkpoints to avoid being searched and launched an attack with them against a group of vigilantes, killing 13 of the youths. All efforts must be made to stop this madness. And while this is so, it is imperative too that neighbouring countries cooperate with the Nigerian government to help apprehend, and hand over their nationals who are terrorists operating on their soil as a token on the war on terror. The US and the UN’s support have been encouraging.
Nigerians must now help themselves. They must shut up and take the good with the bad. The president is doing the right thing. The terrorists have been given a long rope, enough to hang themselves. Some people make us sick to the stomach when they use every opportunity to politicize everything, even something as serious as national security. Even June 12 has not been spared. There’s really no winning with them. Dr Cosmas Odoemena, Lagos.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
HAT does the All Progressives the South West before it and Congress (APC), the new party, indeed, like the North before which just approached the both, must admit producing the president does not improve the Independent National Electoral lot of its masses, beyond Commission (INEC) to consummate its satisfying the greed of the few merger, want – power? What else would in the power cockpit. So, what any political party want? are that region’s felt needs? But if it is power for power’s sake, the Beyond “resource control”, party has a disturbing mirror before it. meaning some 100 per cent For 14 agonising years, the Peoples Olakunle retention of petro-dollars, the Democratic Party (PDP) has bellowed South-South should write its firstname.lastname@example.org, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola “Power!” has been intoxicated with own charter. power and has been completely charmed The North is generally the by power. Yet, its terrible lot is a classic bastion of conservatism; which example of power as dysfunction. often translates on its insistence So maddened by power is PDP, that two of its best performing governors are on “unity”: a euphemism for retaining the status quo, which the the time the smoke clears, the party might well be buried under departing British skewed in its favour. Even then, its willyinterlocked in a party-fatal vanity war. the rubble of own hubris! nilly loss of power and influence, since the tragic presidential Akwa-Ibom’s Godswill Akpabio, credited with some stunning That is what power without purpose does. election annulment of 12 June 1993, has shown that gravy could infrastructure development in his state, heads the reactionary So, what direction should APC take? That of power with not go on forever. bastion spurred on by presidential hubris; which insists the purpose. So, what does the North want? Whatever it is, there is an ruling party must prey on its members, no matter how much of The Nigerian state suffers great debilitations that need more urgent need, however future Nigeria is structured, for a assets such members are perceived. than just power to cure. For starters, the present Nigerian deliberate and sweeping emergency plan to tackle mass poverty Rivers’ Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, an underdog giving the presidency is unsustainable. Neither is Nigeria’s troubled and mass ignorance (which feeds mass insurrection under PDP Jonathan establishment a bloody nose, despite graceless federalism, no more than military unitary contraption, in false religious and other cloaks) in the North East, aside from the felt presidential muscle-flexing, heads the other column (dubbed “democracy” cloak. needs of the North East elite and people. rebellious or progressive, depending on which side of the divide So, while working on its rainbow coalition so vital for success North Central? Christian-Muslim tension is explosive here. you stand), which insists party membership must not equate for a Nigerian power elite so prebendal at heart, even while That accounts for the radicalisation of the Northern arm of the presidential zombies. sloganeering along progressive-conservative divides, APC must Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). Besides, the many When two elephants fight, the saying goes, the grass suffers. codify a nationwide charter of demands, based on felt local needs. peoples of North Central are eager to project and express cultural, Inside the PDP Power Babel however, it is the reverse: the powerThese felt needs must reflect what different parts of the country, ethnic and religious pride, in the framework of a truly federal crazed elephant buckles, when the grass gets too hot under its using the six geo-political zones as windows, want as a matter Nigeria. unfeeling limbs! of urgency: a sort of core demands, to offer the tottering Nigerian The North West, ever so privileged under the present Usman With suspended Sokoto Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, launching state a rebirth. Dan Fodio-inspired system, need not lose its proud heritage. a scud missile of “incompetence”, at embattled Bamanga Tukur, Of all, it would appear the South West is the most vocal, as to But it must come to terms with changing times; and balance its PDP national chairman, whose counter-missile of “indiscipline”, what it wants in a new Nigeria: fiscal federalism, regional conservative Islamic temper with the religious rights of cracked back at Wamakko, the combat is on! The Nation of June integration, and political restructuring to make for productive minorities, to forge a new, fair and equitable Nigeria. 15 reported nine northern governors, out of 15, had backed federalism as opposed to the present central parasitism, perhaps The North, as a bloc, must come up with proposals on how to Wamakko against Tukur. using the geo-political zones as new federating units. mine its own mineral resources, propose fair derivation for its Even among the ranks of these northern governors, things All these, of course, would entail paring down the humongous sweat (as counterpoise to South-South’s “resource control”), and appear to be falling apart: two, Benue’s Gabriel Suswam and powers of the Nigerian president; and transferring most of the further hone its agriculture to earn foreign exchange. It must, as Bauchi’s Isa Yuguda, have reportedly pulled out, obviously Nigerian state’s tasks to the regions – but backing such tasks a rule, wean itself from hankering after proceeds from Southsuffering some post-Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) election with adequate cash. South’s oil, under whatever justifications, when it could build defeat syndrome, after backing a wrong horse! How to source that cash? Not by sharing a centrally collectible and drive its own wealth. And for Jonah Jang, phoney “NGF chair”, the cruel irony of pool as is the present practice. It is rather by each region working If APC collates these regional charters, and it wins power, it power without authority coldly mocks his “summon” to a its own resources, but paying some agreed percentages to the would be primed to tinker the right restructuring: mainly, paring meeting, of governors outside his moral authority. See what central government. This is no innovation. It was what powered down the humongous powers and the vast but idle resources impunity does to the mind? As the Yoruba say: can a thorough the federal Constitution at independence. that now come with the Nigerian Presidency; which nevertheless reject raise a tune and expect his peers to back that tune? Steve Osuji, fellow The Nation columnist, always passionately fuel corruption, fund subversion, and drive structural underFor PDP, therefore, it is morning yet on self-destruct day! By writes on the “Igbo question”. But can the South East codify the development. Even before formal restructuring, APC would Igbo question into some sort of negotiating charter with the rest have specific developmental tasks to tackle. the country? That is what APC must work at. This is absolutely But if the party succumbs to the expediency of a North-West/ ‘APC must codify a nationwide of important, for no power elite with enlightened self-interest South-West power grab, without addressing the structural stress charter of demands, based on felt would shut from central power one of its most enterprising of a quaking Nigerian federation, it will further drive Nigeria blocs and hope to live in peace. to the precipice. History would blame it for the final beginning local needs’ Beyond the vicarious feel of “power”, the South-South, like of the end.
What does APC want?
F the newshounds barely paid attention to the boycott of the monthly Federal Accounts Allocation Committee meeting in Abuja Thursday last week by commissioners of finance in the 36 states of the federation, the aftermath of the drama has since become impossible to ignore. To be sure, this would not be the first time that the finance commissioners will openly voice their disagreement with the federal government on the computation of the distributable revenue. Whereas such disagreement has since become the norm – flowing as it were from the bizarre federal practice in which federating parts would routinely gather to share funds, the difference this time is the context and the setting of the disagreement. Clearly, short of an attempt to play the ostrich, nothing of the ruckus at the Abuja meeting can be said to be entirely unexpected. After the May 24, election of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), the losing and the winning side have since thrown everything into the fray in what is supposed to be their mission to gain advantage. Of course, with the Presidency sworn to play the spoiler in the project to rip the forum apart, it was a matter of waiting for the next opportunity to launch into the next phase of battle. Well, that opportunity presented itself at the meeting convened to share the federally collectible revenue for the month of May. On the appointed day, the members gathered; however, the meeting was not to be as members walked out with a resolve to report back to their principals that things are not exactly what they seem. If the honourable commissioners had meant to stir the heart of the conscienceless federal behemoth to act justly, they were to be mistaken. Rather, they merely provided ammunition for the behemoth. I guess it was inevitable that FAAC will be sucked into the battle. By its composition, the body is made up of the commissioners of finance in the 36 states with the minister of state for finance representing the federal government. More out of reason of protocol than anything, the minister also doubles as chair of the body. Of course, with the principals of the two sides still locked in combat and even more so at a time the parties are still seething with rage over claims and counter-claims of ‘victory’, it seems understandable that the agents of the two parties would take their cue. It seems, unfortunately one instance when the politics of the forum will trump not only common sense, but also the cherished principles of our federalism. At the heart of the dispute is the interest of the states which is obviously diametrically in opposition to that of the federal government. The issues of course revolve around claims of ob-
Policy Sanya Oni email@example.com 08051101841
served discrepancies in the accounting of the distributable revenue, a claim, though hardly new, has remained a thorny issue in the relation between the federal government and the states. Unfortunately, the federal government prefers to see itself as principal while treating the states as its vassals. Now, to this claim was added an alleged non-implementation of decisions and resolutions of the forum. Specifically cited was the non-payment of arrears of February and that of the augmentation passed in May. The issues were such that the commissioners needed the input of their principals to resolve hence their boycott and subsequent resolve to take the message to them “so that they will put heads together to meet with the President and every other well-meaning entities of the federation so that these problems will be resolved once and for all”. As must be obvious now, that expectation is thoroughly misplaced. First, aside providing opportunity for the meddlesome federal government to further sow seeds of division into the governors’ body, it affords Governor David Jang and his losing party in the NGF an avenue to play for relevance. The issues are very clear. The call by the finance commissioners on a federal government alleged to be cheating to judge its own cause is clearly a ludicrous one. The federal government has no such records of fiscal sense or that of equity. In the last 14 years of civil democratic rule, the evidence on ground is one of a federal government most resistant to all entreaties by stakeholders to open the books of the national oil corporation turned collecting agency – the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – in line with the requirement for transparency. Surely, could the commissioners have chosen to be blind to the politics of revenue sharing? After all, the evidence is clear: 14 years after the revenue formula inherited from
the military, the same federal government has practically frustrated every attempt to divest it of the ‘excess baggage’ revenue. Through its collecting agency, it solely determines what gets paid into the distributable pool. Again, much against reason and common sense, it has held on to a disproportionate 52 percent share from the pool- funds it has neither been able to use wisely nor indeed any productively for the benefit of the Nigerian people. Why are these issues relevant at this time? It is precisely because the issues underlie the many battles between the federal government and the states. They are at the heart of why the Jonathan administration seeks to decapitate the NGF. Whether it is the battle over the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) which although the federal government jointly owns with the states and local government, the former insists on running almost exclusively or the management of the piggy bank called crude account, they are the reason the NGF, and by extension, its obdurate leader – Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State have become the enemy that must be crushed. Clearly, President Goodluck Jonathan’s desire to carve the NGF in his very image and likeness is perhaps only hidden to the extent that his desire to run in 2015 remains disguised to those in the villa. More than an ordinary tool, a FAAC in the hand of a desperate President is both a weapon of defence and offence – a veritable scourge to whip dissent into line. Forget the so-called commonality of interest among the governors: reining in the fiscally obdurate federal behemoth would come later. Jang and his co-traveller in infamy, Olusegun Mimiko will ensure just that. At this time, the name of the game is power – and as for President Jonathan, the March towards 2015 is unstoppable! Where do these lead? Your guess is as good as mine.
‘President Goodluck Jonathan’s desire to carve the NGF in his very image and likeness is perhaps only hidden to the extent that his desire to run in 2015 remains disguised to those in the villa. More than an ordinary tool, a FAAC in the hand of a desperate President is both a weapon of defence and offence – a veritable scourge to whip dissent into line’
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
RESIDENT George W Bush’s tenure as America’s leader would probably have passed without much to remember it for were it not for Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorists. The 43rd president of the United States had his work cut out when Al Qaeda struck mainland America on September 11, 2001 bringing sorrow, tears and blood to an hitherto, fortress America. And Bush, after a slow start took on the challenge and responded in such a strong fashion that finally defined his presidency. His war on terror, initially wrongly christened a crusade, later identified the so called axis of evil and rallied the rest of the world against Al Qaeda and its backers. It drove him into the second Gulf War that led to the overthrow of the then Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, the war in Afghanistan and the countless military actions in Pakistan and some Gulf Arab countries against the terrorists. Though he couldn’t kill or capture bin Laden, his presidency set the tone for the Obama administration in the continuing war against terror. And if anything good would be said about the Bush presidency it probably would be that he confronted and fought terror and weakened Al Qaeda. History would probably judge him right on that, even though he could have done it better. As the Nigerian government continues its own war against the home grown terror called Boko Haram, the success or otherwise of the ongoing military action in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states could well define the Goodluck Jonathan presidency. Like play, like play, as we like to say in Nigeria, the Boko Haram insurgency which began like a child’s play has assumed a notorious and murderous dimension that could consume our country if proper actions were not taken. Just as Gowon treated Biafra at the outset of the civil war as a police action, federal government’s initial reaction to the emergence of this group of home grown terrorists was less than serious. The political elite especially those of northern extraction didn’t pay much attention either. At best they saw it as a problem of the north east, the Kanuri people, alone. But when the group, which was firmly on ground in the north east decided to export terror to the north west, north central and even Abuja the whole country took serious note of their activities. But even at that, a section of the northern elite, especially some elders and leaders of thought in the north
TUDIES have without doubt proven that it is seasonally expedient to pause at some point, whether in the pursuit of personal or public interest for a backward voyage, designed for mental stock-taking, or if you like, capture the memory lane of where it all began. The case of Abia is very eventful and aweinspiring when juxtaposed with the magnitude of the sorry state she was hitherto identified with. Rewind to one of our annual facilitations, where I acknowledged the huge expectations of our people on the capacity of our mandate to deliver. Even when history and precedence may have given our people occasion not to, their over-whelming endorsement of our mandate, boxed us into a speechless corner as we could not reciprocate with the fitting syntax, to exhaustively express our heartfelt gratitude to our people. It was therefore not surprising when torrents of criticisms were hurled on our mandate when it was assumed we were derailing. But Abians were oblivious of our steelhearted dedication to lift the state from the ashes of despondency. Consequently, a filtering instrument was designed to sift through issue based and unbiased positions and adopt it in our blueprint for development. On another note, mischievous and colourless positions designed to mislead and plunge the state into political conflagration were hurriedly dispensed with. I have for the umpteenth time, variously acknowledged a cancerous pain inflicted on our stewardship, during the tortuous half of
‘We have not been sulking in despair. We rose from the drawing board of dexterity and prudent management, to significantly change the infrastructural identity of Abia State
Boko Haram:the end in sight? east zone was against the limited military activities deployed to that region by the federal government, complaining of high handedness and brutality against the civilian population by the soldiers. Though the military Joint Task Force (JTF) sent to the region to battle the insurgents recorded some qualified successes, Boko Haram was all the same getting stronger and even popular among the people, and the government was beginning to lose control of that section of the country bordering Cameroun and Chad. So, something had to be done and urgently too to arrest the situation and save Nigeria from disintegration. And so entered the state of emergency declared on the three states by the federal government. Even though President Goodluck Jonathan’s action could be said to have come rather late, some have argued that it is better late than never and recent reports seem to suggest that the military could be winning the war. Though as I warned on this page recently, it is too early to role out the drums and celebrate or declare victory as the terrorists are not relenting. One area that gladdens the heart in this war against Boko Haram is the resolve of the locals, especially the youth to collaborate with the JTF to fish out the Boko Haram members in their community. A group of youths known by the locals as “Civilian JTF” and whose ages range between 17and 25 years has for some time now been moving from one street to another, house to house in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital identifying and arresting suspected members of Boko Haram and handing them over to the JTF. Armed with iron bars, cutlasses and wooden batons, the group apparently fed up with the trouble and hardship that Boko Haram has brought on the community decided to launch it’s own war against the terrorists and rescue
the people from Boko Haram. One had argued repeatedly on this age that until the people themselves turn against Boko Haram there is nothing much the security agencies can do to end the insurgency and defeat terror. These terrorists are not spirits, they live among the people, they attend the same mosque for prayers, so, there is no way they would not be known in their local community. So, if they operate with seeming impunity that’s because the people condone them and in fact support them. It would be necessary to recall here that there was a time (during the Babangida years) that Benin City, the Edo state capital and to a large extent, the entire state was under the terror of a gang of armed robbers led by a Bini man called Lawrence Anini. Together with his right hand man Monday Osunbor and the rest of the gang, they robbed at will and even dashed out their loot to members of the public, the Robbinhood way to escape arrest especially in a difficult situation. Because the robbers evaded arrest successfully for so long, the people began to believe that they were spirits who could not be arrested. But it took a presidential charge by Babangida to the then Inspector General of Police, Etim Inyang to get the police to arrest the gang. The rest is history, but suffice to say that the Bini people actively cooperated with the security agencies to fish out Anini and co and rid their city and state of the menace of these robbers. That Maiduguri youths have taken the initiative to fight and fish out Boko Haram members in their midst without minding the likely repercussion on their personal safety is a clear indication that the days of the terrorists are numbered. It is a pointer to what can be achieved when a people are determined. Their decision, not without it’s dangers though, was in sharp contrast to the po-
Triumphing against constraints By T.A Orji our eight years gubernatorial assignment. But for the intervention of divinity, the Abia of precarious yester-years would have remained intractable. Present exhilarating state of affairs in Abia is a function of divine mercy visited on the state and leading to a sweeping liberation from insensible godfatherism, which assumed a delusionary invincibility. It was an impactful paradigm shift, which began to lift the state from the clutches of impoverishment and socio-economic amnesia. At the expiration of our political constraints, authored by god-playing gladiators, the frightening enormity of infrastructural laybacks prevalent in the state menacingly starred us in the face. But we soldiered on and before long, seeming impossibilities began to metamorphose into possibilities. We were buoyed by the belief that small beginnings gives birth to conglomerates. But just as the state was savouring the tranquility of peace and unfettered access to movement of goods and persons, there was an incredible jolting visited on her by the alien name; “kidnapping for ransom”. Abians did not give a thought to the possibility of her own wards subscribing to the extreme wickedness and atrocious lifestyle of kidnapping and raping their victims before placing a ransom on their head. But crossing the Rubicon to tamper with the lives of our 15 greater tomorrows and Nigerian journalists who were navigating their way back from a conference in Uyo, was more than the state could stomach. As expected, our venomous anger was unleashed on these evil mongers whom we comprehensively over-whelmed to become a model in security, nationally and internationally. Fast-forward to a resurgence of enabling environment achieved through security clean
up, the state was at the precipice of insolvency, largely due to the absence of a blueprint to make her economically viable. What obtained was a hopeless dependence on revenues accruing from the centre and perennially inadequate to shoulder the retinue of domestic responsibilities in the state. Naturally, the loopholes created from the neglect of looking inwards constantly enriched custodians of strategic government revenue windows, who exploited the lacklustre approach of succeeding regimes to reengineer the machinery for internally generated revenue. My heart will always skip a beat, each time I dare to compare the enormity of infrastructural necessities, gasping for injection of life, vis-à-vis the financial far cry at our disposal. The reality of our innumerable electoral promises kept dawning on me. Our flammable angst for the disorder we inherited was quickly visited on the vitality of instituting a virile and resultoriented pathway for shoring up our revenue base. This was an inevitable approach, having seen the heart rending monthly balance of an infinitesimal one billion naira from N3.4 billion after salaries left for us to thoroughly manifest, the infrastructural deficiencies scattered here and there. Our evolving revenue strategy then began to yield fruit, and has graduated from a monthly 150 million naira that I met on ground, with a realistic potential to net N1 billion. Chronic critics, whose positions lack substance, have at different times and fora undermined these essential variables while battling to drive home their point. A blanket appraisal of our stewardship exposed to pathetic monthly revenue of 3.4 billion in comparison with others who coast home with N19-22 billion is practically pedestrian and laughable. But we have not been sulking in despair. We rose from the drawing board of dexterity and prudent management, to significantly
sition of the so called Borno Leaders and Elders Forum that had criticized the deployment of the JTF to the state in the past on the grounds of high handedness and indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians by the soldiers. The Borno youths have shown that to defeat terror and overcome evil, all men and women of goodwill must come together to collaborate with both the government and the security agencies. Boko Haram is beatable and the war is winnable, but all of us must get involved. The war on Boko Haram could define the Jonathan presidency and decide whether he returns in 2015 or not. Even with victory in sight, the way and manner it is conducted could determine whether the president would be praised for a job well done or get blamed for the collateral damages. Stories abound about the “atrocities” of the JTF, but nowhere has the kind of war we are waging against terror been won without the innocent suffering, but what must be done is to have a clear cut rule of engagement for the military and follow such strictly and anything to the contrary must be punished severely.
Madam at the top Strange things are happening at the presidency that all men and women of goodwill need to come together and stop. It does appear that there is more than one commander in chief of the Nigerian armed forces going by the way and manner the wife of our president, Dame Patience Jonathan has been conducting herself both in private and in public. Those who know one or two things about the political crisis in Rivers state where the first lady hails from, claim Madam at the top, as part of her war against the sitting governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has been meeting with heads of security agencies, including the military in the state dishing out instructions and woe betide who amongst them dared flout her orders. Emboldened by her show of federal might over the state government, crooks, hoodlums, kidnappers, cultists et al are returning to the streets of Port Harcourt to terrorize the people without any fear of arrest. Kidnapping is returning now and the state police command appears not bothered: part of a conspiracy to return terror and fear to the state preparatory to the declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers? Quite a lot is happening with Madam exercising powers she doesn’t have. Nigeria shine your eyes. change the infrastructural identity of Abia State. Millennium Development Goal, our inaugural partners in progress, synergized with us, towards the realization of a humble beginning, which produced functional health centres and cottage hospitals in excess of 250. Abians will not be in a hurry to forget the excitement associated with the health care icing of Abia Specialist Hospital and diagnostic centre delivered to them by this mandate. This mandate, backed by its towering divine endorsement has ridden triumphantly on the wings of obvious constraints to attain several infrastructural mile-stones viz- the state secretariat due to be commissioned in few months time, ultra-modern and gigantic high court complex in Umuahia and Aba, relocated and occupied timber market, soon to be occupied, the new Umuahia modern market Ubani, on-going and global best standards in government house, state of the art 5000 seating capacity international conference centre due for public presentation in a matter of months, on-going classical edifice for state joint account allocation office complex, new office complex for the state Universal Basic Education Board, New office complex for members of the state House of Assembly, completed and commissioned state environmental protection agency building, completed and occupied new office complex for the state Ministry of Justice and innumerable others that space and time will not permit me the luxury to accommodate. But suffice it to say that this brief disclosure, though in public domain, is an obedient fall out of demands arising from peoples wellintended request desiring us to share in testimonies won from our resilience and doggedness. Our determination to reverse a retrogressive history cascading over the state, constantly stimulated us to latch on every inhibition as stepping-stone to success. Our vision was further enhanced by the dismantling of every vestige associated with apostasy and oath of allegiance before any alter, other than the heaven aboding God named after our dear state. • T.A Orji, is the Governor of Abia State.
By Akeem Lawal
TUESDAY, JUNE 18 2013
Minister backs council autonomy
- Page 26
‘Why Fed Govt appointed new Immigration boss’
- Page 28
FCT gears up for National Library launch T
Free treatment for clubfoot patients - Page 40
HE campaign to revive the reading culture is gathering pace in the count-down to the launch of the National Library of Nigeria. The Minister of Education, Prof Ruquayyatu Ahmed Rufai, said the library will be inaugurated next year as part of the nation’s millennium celebrations. But it was clear that the minister was not looking forward to the flag-off of a library just for the sake of it but to see the revival of the reading culture. Prof Rufai, who spoke in Abuja, was equally leading the drive for better management of libraries. Speaking at the fourth induction of Registered Librarians in Nigeria in the nation’s capital, the minister, who inducted 603 registered librarians, noted that the national library is also aggressively developing it in the states, with a view to taking its services nearer to the people. She said that the challenge before the sector is not scarcity of
From Gbenga Omokhunu
the facilities but that of competent hands to manage them for the benefit of the society, hence the need for more librarians in the country. Speaking on the need for every organisation to recognise the importance of information to their success, she maintained that to succeed in today’s information age, priority must be given to robust information services to pro-
vide diverse people with the necessary information to support their work. The minister called on the inductees to fashion out strategies for promoting good reading habits among Nigerians. She said: “More commitment, efforts and determination would be needed from you in order to transform the libraries to meet global standards. One of the tasks you would perform as professionals is to fashion
As the profession of librarianship evolves with the emergence of modern information technology, our educational institutions must continuously enhance the curriculum to keep ahead of developments
out strategies for promoting reading culture in the country. “As the profession of librarianship evolves with the emergence of modern information technology, our educational institutions must continuously enhance the curriculum to keep ahead of developments. This will ensure that products of our library schools are in a position to move us towards the knowledge economy. “Librarianship should therefore grow beyond traditional library practices and adopt strategies to be in tandem with practice in advanced countries”, she noted. The Registrar of Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN), Dr Victoria Okojie, said the council’s focus in 2014 will include the “assessment of the current state of school libraries in Nigeria, using Abuja and Federal Government Unity schools as pilot.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Minister backs council autonomy
HE Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has sought autonomy for local governments in the country, including the Federal Capital Territory. The minister, who made this known during a meeting with the leadership of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), FCT Chapter, said an autonomous local government was desirable for Nigeria. “In the FCT, we are passionate about local government autonomy. The funding of local government must be robust. We are working assiduously to ensure that the FCT proves that local government autonomy is a desirable goal in Nigeria,” said Akinjide, who oversees the six area councils and satellite towns in the FCT. The Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitutional Review had recommended autonomy for local governments in the federation which has elicited diverse reactions from stakeholders. She reiterated the need for the new area council chairmen to collaborate with the administration to fast-track development in the FCT. ”The FCT Administration re-
•University of Abuja
NIVERSITY of Abuja (UNIABUJA) governing council headed by Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia has disclosed, after an extra-ordinary meeting, that the crisis which paralysed its activities will be resolved in two months. A member of the committee, and Dean of Faculty of Sciences, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Prof. Ediga Agbo, revealed this during a press conference. Agbo, who represented the chairman, noted that members of the council with sympathised for the students and their parents had to come to logical conclusion, with the chairman threatening to
From Gbenga Omokhunu
mains committed to serve the residents and Nigerians by ensuring a balanced growth and quality service delivery throughout the FCT. We are currently developing standards in the primary healthcare and education in the Area Councils. ”There is also an infrastructure and facility audit going in the area councils and satellite towns. This audit will enable us to profile infrastructural facilities and amenities available, level of utilisation, challenges, and identify service gaps in the areas of agriculture, education, health, transport water and sanitation,” she explained.
Earlier in his address, the FCT NULGE President, Comrade Abubakar Alhassan Yakubu, lauded the FCT Administration and the FCT Area Councils Joint Account Allocation Committee over transparency in the monthly revenue allocation to the six area councils in the territory ”We wish to commend the FCT Administration for proper coordination of area council activities and ensuring no illegal deductions from statutory allocations meant for area councils unlike what obtains in some states of the Federation. ”We commend the Minister of State for FCT for ensuring that the satellite towns are clean through her proper coordination of the
We are passionate about local government autonomy. The funding of local government must be robust. We are working assiduously to ensure that the FCT proves that local government autonomy is a desirable goal in Nigeria
Satellite Towns Development Agency and also for making possible the health insurance scheme for the area councils,” Yakubu stated. He called for the inclusion of a representative of NULGE in the board of Area Council Service Commission as required by the statute which established the commission. Besides, the FCT NULGE president solicited the minister’s intervention in the payment of 20 per cent monetisation arrears to employees in the area councils, release of the 2011/2012 promotion for employees in the area councils, and payment of employers’ pension contributions.
FRSC holds nationwide special patrol
HE FRSC has held a nationwide special patrol as part of strategies to reduce road traffic accidents during the rains. A statement issued by Mr Jonas Agwu, the FRSC’s Public Education Officer, said the
week-long exercise, tagged “Operation Rainstorm”, would focus on strict enforcement of traffic rules. “The enforcement will be on number plate violations such as covering of number plates with plastic, use of Peace Ambassador number plates and use of plastic number plates. The exercise also focused on the use of broken and defaced number plates which negated the National Road Traffic Regulations 2004. The statement also said that speed limit violation, overloading, dangerous driving, driver’s licence violation, nonuse of the passenger manifest by some fleet operators and light sign violations were other areas to be addressed during the period. There was public enlightenment campaigns as well as inspection of fleet and certification under the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme. It said the programme would be done through massive deployment of personnel, patrol vehicles, motorcycles, ambulances and tow trucks along designated routes and highways across the country. It recalled that a similar exercise in May, witnessed a 24 percent reduction in road crashes and 70 per cent increase in the number of traffic offenders arrested and arraigned before mobile courts. The statement warned motorists to comply with all traffic rules and regulations as violators would be prosecuted.
‘Abuja varsity crises to be resolved soon’ From Gbenga Omokhunu
resign his appointment if the pending issues were not resolved in the next two months. He revealed that the students could not be sent to other institutions in the first instance because “the institutions had overstretched their carrying capacity” and forcing them to do so by a regulatory body would expose them to the current problem being faced. He said: “Instead of subjecting them to stress and
uncertainty, the council is working to see that the School of Medicine is accredited. Most of the issues have been addressed except for the issue of staffing and the primary healthcare centre. “The council meeting dealt with all outstanding issues delaying the accreditation of not only the medical courses but also all other courses in the university. “Already, an ad hoc committee which has been constituted by the council will ‘facilitate the processes of farming out the engineer-
ing students who reserve the choice to come back to the university if the accreditation
is secured before they leave for new universities.”
Instead of subjecting them to stress and uncertainty, the council is working to see that the School of Medicine is accredited. Most of the issues have been addressed except for the issue of staffing and the primary healthcare centre…The council meeting dealt with all outstanding issues delaying the accreditation of not only the medical courses but also all other courses in the university
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
‘FCTA’ll ensure equal representation of natives’
N line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s, vision, the FCT Administration will assiduously work to ensure that FCT residents get equal representation in all Federal institutions and parastatals. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed gave the assurance while receiving some FCT natives that just passed out from the Ni-
From Gbenga Omokhunu
gerian Defence Academy, Kaduna who paid him a ‘thank you’ visit in his office The minister further assured that his administration would continue to collaborate with the Armed Forces to ensure that FCT natives are adequately repre-
Senator Mohammed reiterated that the government would protect all the constitutional rights and privileges of indigenous people
HE hall was beautifully decorated with a touch of pink. Key players in government were in attendance at the book launch which began exactly 4pm. It was the launch of Victor Oluwasegun’s In the Shadow; a collection of short stories. Other important dignitaries, including lawmakers, attended the event. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal was also there. Among members of the National Assembly present were Honourable Dakuku Peterside, Betty Apiafi, Adekunle Adeyemi, Adebukola Ajaja, Pally Iriase, Zakari Mohammed, Victor Ogene and Nasir Garo. The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola was represented, as were Hon. Uche Ekwunife, Hon. Michael Ogunnusi and the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa. Abujav cleric, Prophet Emmanuel Omale, Head, Divine Hands of God Prophetic Ministries, sent a representative. Members of the Abuja Writers’ Forum (AWF) headed by Dr. Emma Shehu, of which the author is a member, also turned out in large numbers to honour their own. Managing Director/CEO of Genoou Concepts, Mrs. Nkonye Duru was also present. In his remark the Managing Edi-
sented in their admissions as well as recruitments. He restated that his administration would continue to work towards the strengthening of devolution of powers as well as federal character as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria to enable the FCT natives get adequate representation in all federal recruitments. Senator Mohammed reiterated that the government would protect all the constitutional rights and privileges of the natives. On the Abuja Land Swap, the minister emphasised that the interest of all the natives who might be affected by the initiative is guaranteed. He promised to provide a larger forum to rub minds with all the FCT natives in the Armed Forces of the country.
The minister remarked that his administration would continue to carry them along in all the policies and programmes of the government. Senator Mohammed thus admonished them to be good ambassadors of the Federal Capital Territory and should not forget those they left behind in their localities. Speaking earlier, the leader of delegation, 2nd Lieutenant Mohammed Danjuma from Gwagwalada Area Council, appreciated Senator Mohammed’s hard work since he assumed the leadership of the Federal Capital Territory. Danjuma said that he and his colleagues came to pay homage and thank the FCT Minister for his support before reporting to their various places of primary assignment.
Accolades for The Nation man at book launch From Olugbenga Adanikin
tor, Northern Operations, Vintage Press Limited publishers of The Nation; Alhaji Yusuf Alli described the author as “a gifted hand.” He said Oluwasegun has been a great hand in the editorial department of the company. Based on his skills and style of writing, he was able to impact his generation. He said: “I am glad he has done this. The best legacy anyone can bestow on his generation is to write a book. My advice for you is not to rest on your oars because writing of books has been major source of national development.” The editor urged the author to write more on news makers, culture and other issues that can promote national growth. “Let this be the beginning,” he noted. Miss. Hadiza Mohammed read the author’s citation. Deputy Editor, Nation’s Capital, Vintage Press Limited, Yomi Odunuga reflected the outstanding performances of the author during their university days at the Ogun State University, Ago Iwoye. He de-
scribed the author as a ready-made writer who also won best graduating student of the school. Oluwasegun was subsequently engaged as a journalist with The Nation Newspapers, Abuja Bureau where he had risen to the position of a senior correspondent. “And let me say that, going by Victor’s commitment to writing poetry and even literary criticism then, it would have been a disservice to the literary world if Victor Oluwasegun had completely abandoned his first love, which is writing. It remains his first passion and that is why I did everything within my powers to drag him into journalism when I encountered him selling kitchenware some-
where in Wuse 2, some years back. Four years after, I have no doubt that today’s gathering has vindicated me. Victor has made me proud.” “In my few years on the job, I have come to understand that most Nigerians have simply refused to see us as an important part of the whole. And because they have carved a stereotypical image of what and who a journalist is, they see you as that jobless man who pries into other people’s affairs. That, in my opinion, is the gravest injury that has been inflicted on this profession. It is, therefore, amazing that we continue to trudge on, setting agenda and putting policy makers on their toes even if we also cause them some dis-
Going by Victor’s commitment to writing poetry and even literary criticism, it would have been a disservice to the literary world if he had completely abandoned his first love, which is writing
•Chairman of the occasion, Peterside Dakuku(left) Members House of Representatives , Hon Betty Apiafi,Hon Pally Iriase, author of the book, Mr Victor Oluwasegun,Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Media, Zakari Mohammed and Hon Adeyemi Adekunle at the event PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE
comfort. “I may not know how long it took Victor to complete this book. But I do know how difficult it can get considering the fact that I muted the idea of compiling my writings into three collections comprising ‘Inside Aso Rock’,’ Knuckles’ and ‘Knucklehead.’ For three years now, the idea remains what it is, an idea still in its infancy. So, Victor Oluwasegun, formerly Segun Sotuminu, I congratulate you on the maturity of this burning desire. The reviewer, Emman Usman Shehu described Victor Oluwasegun’s debut collection of short stories, In the Shadow, as a fitful reminder whose primary essence of storytelling was to entertain. The eight stories, despite the variety of topical issues, are crafted in such a way that the entertainment value is prominently fore-grounded. Continuing, he said each story was to thrill the reader. “He is able to accomplish this effect by ensuring that all the stories have well-engineered plots. In other words the stories are heavily plot-driven. Thus whether the story is a hybrid of realism and fantasy as in the fascinating title story, “In the Shadow” and “Something about Daphne,” or pure social realism reflecting contemporary Nigerian existential conditions as in “Beyond Redemption,” “The Robber,” “Boomerang” and “A Favour Turned Sour”, the reader is assured of a thrilling read. According to him, plot-driven stories tend to be successful if the writer is able to orchestrate the situations in a deft manner that the prevailing circumstances and turn of events do not appear as conveniently coincidental. “All the stories in this collection achieve this effect with more than an average degree of success. When Oluwasegun pulls it off very well, the effect can be like a stunning rollercoaster ride. Perhaps, the best example in this collection is “Boomerang”. He further said: “It is a story that easily showcases all the pluses and minuses of Oluwasegun’s narrative choices as an author. The Deputy Director of Intertech is greedily ambitious to the point of being willing to have his immediate boss eliminated, so that he can take control of the organisation in his bid to amass wealth. To achieve this plan, he arranges for an assassination. “The story opens as the Deputy Director seeks out professional assassins who can do the job efficiently. The rest of the story is a tour de force of how the contract is eventually executed. “Betrayal is the underlying theme of this story, and it is a theme that •Continued on Page 40
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
‘Why Fed Govt appointed new Immigration boss’
INISTER of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro has explained why the Federal Government appointed a new Comptroller-General (C-G) of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. David Paradang. Moro said because of the insecurity in the country, “It became imperative that a new
From Gbenga Omokhunu
pragmatic, disciplined, hardworking, committed, thoroughbred immigration officer be appointed to restructure and re-engineer the immigration service, in order to deal effectively with contemporary immigration matters.”
It became imperative that a new pragmatic, disciplined, hard-working, committed, thorough-bred immigration officer be appointed to restructure and re-engineer the immigration service, in order to deal effectively with contemporary immigration matters
LEADERS in the country have been urged to discharge their duties conscientiously, realising the fact that God will judge everyone by their conduct on earth. The Vicar, St Matthew’s Church (Anglican Communion), Diocese of Abuja) Maitama, Abuja, Venerable Sola Igbari, gave this advice in his sermon at a service of songs held for the late Collette Ojirhomu Ben-Obi, wife of Senator Ben Obi, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Inter-Party Affairs. She died recently at age 59. The cleric regretted the pervasive immorality and corruption in the land. He queried the craze for ma-
Paradang took over from Rilwan Musa who has been in acting capacity after the removal of the former CG, Mrs Rose Uzoma. Moro, while congratulating the new CG, urged him to take all necessary steps to save Nigerian borders. His words: “I also expect you to rise up to the challenge posed by insurgents and militia across the country. Some of which have been traced to illegal aliens.” Meanwhile, the minister also announced the retirement of five Deputy Comptrollers-General including; DCG R. B Musa, DCG Denen Akaa, DCG F.T Mologe, DCG Umar Sulaiman and DCG Kuso Abubarkar Khahil. Addressing journalists shortly after his decoration at the Federal Ministry of Interior, the new CG who confirmed that he was
shocked on the appointment, assured Nigerians that he will do his best to take the service to an enviable height. Paradang said: “Our work has been cut out very clearly for us, the concern of the country now in terms of insecurity and we are going to put in all in conjunction with other security agencies to make sure our borders are very secure. We are going to make sure we get rid of people walking freely in the country without valid documents so that the country could get some level of peace.” Before his appointment, Paradang, who graduated from University of Jos, in 1981 also bagged his Masters Degree in Public Administration from University of Lagos, has served as Comptroller in some state and Assistant Comptroller-General
•Comrade Abba Moro
state coordination at the national headquarters.
Dignitaries bid Senator Obi’s wife farewell From Eric Ikhilae
terial acquisition among Nigerian leaders, noting that “human existence on earth is transient.” In the sermon entitled: “Heaven is real,” Venerable Igbari admonished all Christians to be Christlike in their conduct. He noted that it is only a fool who will deny the existence of heaven, “where there will be no more weeping and gnashing of teeth,” the existence of which, he said
should spur all to live righteously. “Those who say there is no God are fools. God is reminding us that there is heaven for you and that one day, we will all return to heaven. Our sojourn on earth is transient. “He who says there is no heaven is the most foolish person on earth,” he said. The cleric urged all to always be conscious that everyone has a goal to attain on earth, after which he will be called home. “You should be conscious that no
matter your position, death is a leveler.” Venerable Igabri expended kind words on the deceased, describing her as a veritable example of a virtuous Christian, who lived her life for God and humanity. He noted her family’s contribution to the church’s growth. Other speakers, including the deceased’s first child, Mrs Julia Ejike described her mother as a wonderful person, who would be missed by all. “She is so humble you would never know the wife of
whom she was. She is irreplaceable. She is a bridge builder, who built bridges across families,” Mrs Ejike said. The Canadian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Chris Cooter, described the deceased as a friend of Canada, who left mother earth too soon. He said she would be missed and prayed God to grant her eternal rest. The widower said she was the pillar of the family. “As a politi•Continued on page 40
N Abuja-based firm, Teamspirit Consult Limited, in partnership with Israel’s Galilee International Management Institute Nahalal, is set to organise a homeland security training programme for residents of the nation’s capital. The training is being organised for both public and private organisations as well as individuals. It will be a three-week event. Homeland security policymakers, regulators, operatives and pressure groups are expected to be part of the programme. Speaking with Abuja Review, the Director of Administration, Teamspirit Consult Limited, Mr. Wali Kurawa said that training is a very important part of life, which, he said, is not paid much attention in Nigeria. “Security and safety of life and property in any society can only be guaranteed when and where there is a demonstrable ability to deter, detect, delay and defeat threats of terrorism and criminal activities. “In so doing, adequate investment needs to be made in strengthening individual, organisational and societal capabilities for combating terrorism and criminal activities, while safeguarding security and safety with a view to enthroning sustainable development, “he added. Kurawa further said the aim of the programme was to broaden participants’ theoretical and practical understanding of the complexities of the Homeland Security challenges. He said: “One quarter of our budget is spent on security. You can imagine what achievement that can be recorded in health, education, agriculture, and to every sector of life if we have peace and that money is being utilised in these sectors.
•Security personnel in training
Firm organises security training for residents From Bukola Amusan
“The essence of this training programme is to get organisations; whether public or private, to benefit from security knowledge— how to secure the environment, how to secure staff, and how to secure property. “With the security challenge we face—insurgence, and kidnapping among others, we’re offering the three-week training—one
week in Nigeria, two weeks in Israel... “Save your building from being destroyed or your people from being shot or robbed,” he said. Kurawa, who praised the state of emergency declared in three states in northern Nigeria said: “It’s not the question of whether it’s right or wrong. “I feel government has responsibility to secure lives and prop-
erty. “President Goodluck Jonathan said the soldiers will observe rules, so they should be given the chance to work, “he said. On the choice of an Israeli company for the training, he said Israel has good reputation in security awareness and training in the world. “Many Israeli companies are working with the Nigerian gov-
ernment and Nigerian security agencies. We feel that this advantage Israel has gained will be useful to Nigerians. “You go there for two weeks, you’re given training in the classroom and then you are taken out to visit interesting Israeli companies both public and private. You will see how they manufacture and utilise security equipment and how they put them to use,” he said.
TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
For an effective adjudication in the customary courts, it is an es‘sential requirement of justice and a requisite for public confidence in the judicial process that customary court judges must display a high sense of ethical conduct
INSIDE: How to enhance ADR, by lawyers
‘Our legal education needs overhaul’
Lagos CJ, AG harp on family, societal values
Okeke allegation: Our story, by Justice Ogunbiyi’s son-in-law -Page 34
Courts and budget: Implications for access to justice
See page 33
On the day he was leaving the Bench, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, formerly of the Federal High Court, dropped a bombshell. He accused Supreme Court Justice Clara Bata-Ogunbiyi of trying to influence a case that was before him in which her daughter was a party. Justice Bata-Ogunbiyi has since denied the allegation. But should the case rest at that, given the ongoing judicial reform by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Aloma Mariam Mukhtar? Lawyers suggest the constitution of a probe panel to unravel the knotty issue. PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU reports.
Lawyers seek probe of Okeke-Ogunbiyi rift
T is over three weeks since Justice Okechukwu Okeke (rtd) accused Supreme Court Justice Clara Bata-Ogunbiyi of trying to influence a case that was before him in which her daughter was a party. Since the May 27 allegation at the valedictory session for Justice Okeke, who retired from the Federal High Court, mum has been the word from the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Aloma Mariam Muktar. In an advertorial in this paper last Friday, the National Judicial Council (NJC) headed by Justice Mukhtar, who is reforming the judiciary, spoke on why Justice Okeke was reprimanded, but kept quiet on his allegation against Justice Bata-Ogunbiyi. Justice Okeke insinuated that he might have been “seriously warned” by the NJC, a few days to his retirement because of his refusal to accede to Justice BataOgunbiyi’s request. Is there any truth in his allegation? Was that the proper forum for him to raise that allegaion? Why did he wait until his retirement before speaking out? These are some of the questions being asked by watchers. Justice BataOgunbiyi has since defended her intergrity, describing Justice Okeke’s allegation as fabricated. Then, who is telling the truth? To get the truth, lawyers are suggesting that a panel of inquiry be constituted on the matter.
In a May 6 letter addressed to Justice Okeke, the NJC
warned the retired judge to desist from acts that are prejudicial to the integrity of the judiciary. The letter reads: ‘‘You may wish to recall that the NJC received various petitions against you which had earlier been forwarded to you for comments. The NJC, at its meeting which was held on April 24 and 25, noted the various petitions and your responses to same. At the end of the deliberation, Council decided to seriously warn you to desist from such acts that are prejudicial to the integrity of the judiciary and the administration of justice when handling the cases that are brought before you in future, please.’’ Angered by the letter, the learned judge chose his valedictory session, which was 24 days after the warning was issued, to reply the NJC. In his response, Okeke said he would like to be remembered as a victim of injustice in the Nigerian Judiciary.
He said it was because he refused to allow Justice BataOgunbiyi influence his decision in a case, which involved Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) on properties forfeited to the Federal Government by former Chief Executive of the defunct Oceanic bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, which also involved Justice Ogunbiyi’s daughter, Mrs. Funke Ogunbiyi-Amadi, that he was queried by the NJC. “On March 6, I received a call from the Honourable
The NJC has to share part of the blame; Justice Okeke ought to have been dismissed -Osipitan The allegation against Justice Ogunbiyi must be fully investigated and quickly too if the increasing wave of confidence in the judicial system is to be sustained. Since Justice Okeke alleged that Justice Ogunbiyi called Justice Auta in respect of the matter, unravelling the truth is not left to a ‘your word against mine’ scenario, in which any decision is inconclusive - Adekoya Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta that Justice Clara Ogunbiyi of the Supreme Court of Nigeria was furious with me for granting leave to AMCON, which led to the ejection of her daughter and son-in-law from No. 5A, George Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.’’ Okeke said an application to set aside the leave he granted AMCON on March 1, was filed on March 7, while ”on March 8, one Funke Ogunbiyi came to my chambers at about 9.04 am, completed the visitor’s form in which she stated her address as No. 5A, George Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, and phone number 08099912658. She was led into the chambers. She introduced herself as
daughter of Honourable Justice Bata-Ogunbiyi of Supreme Court. She said her mother directed her to tell me
to discharge the order of March 1, as there was no •Continued on page 30
‘Good economy will create jobs for lawyers’ Dr. Gbolahan Elias (SAN) was called to the Bar in 1981. He is the Chairman of the Planning Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (SBL) Conference which began in Lagos on Sunday. In this interview with Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, he speaks on his early days at the Bar, the SBL Conference, arbitration and other issues.
Lawyer petitions police over okada rider’s ‘killing’ -Page 38 •Dr. Elias
• SEE story on page 37
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
LAW COVER CONT’D • Continued from page 29
basis for the order. I advised her that since they have filed the motion on notice to set aside the order that their counsel should meet the registrar of the court for a date for their motion.’’ Justice Okeke claimed he dismissed the petition on March 27, and in a letter dated April 5, the NJC sent a copy of a petition written by the applicants and their counsel, Falana & Falana, which he received at 10: am on April 18, while his response got to the NJC on April 22. However, in a swift reply titled ‘Justice Okeke’s valedictory lies,’ Femi Falana (SAN) denied petitioning the judge but stated that he was aware his clients petitioned him and he supported their views. Falana noted that the same Justice Okeke, who dismissed his clients’ motion to discharge the interim order he gave in favour of AMCON on the ground that he was functus officio and advised his clients to go on appeal, turned round to frustrate the appeal by refusing to release a copy of his ruling. ‘‘The judge also deliberately refused to give our clients any date to entertain our clients’ motion for leave to appeal and stay of further execution of the interim order. Suffice it to say that Justice Okeke is lucky that he was only cautioned by the NJC before his retirement from the bench,’’ he said.
• Sagay (SAN)
Justice Bata-Ogunbiyi’s version
Although Justice Bata-Ogunbiyi did not publicly react to Justice Okeke’s allegation, a copy of an internal memo she wrote to the CJN leaked to the press in which she accused Justice Okeke of being economical with the truth. She said Justice Okeke misled the world into thinking that the NJC issued him a warning letter based on the exparte order he gave which affected her daughter, Funke Amadi (nee Ogunbiyi). She said: “It is extremely ridiculous, absurd and malicious for Justice Okeke to insinuate that it is the forgoing circumstances that formed the basis for the warning letter given to him on three petitions deliberated upon by the NJC, which I know nothing about. I wish also to state that the alleged petition by all the residents of No. 5A George Street ikoyi, to the NJC has nothing to do with me. “In view of the grey areas surrounding the case, I therefore contacted Justice Ibrahim Auta, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and narrated my daughter’s ordeal and therefore enquired about the laws governing AMCON case. He remarked that the laws are draconian in their application and he promised to send me a copy, which he did a few days later.” “On the allegation of the encounter between Justice Okeke and my daughter, Funke in his chambers, I wish to state categorically that I never instructed her to see Justice Okeke for any reason whatsoever. If she had done so in company of the evicted residents of all the flats, she acted on her own volition. She is an adult, a married woman with a family and she has a right to protect the interest of her family. “I wish to emphasize further that I was reliably informed that my daughter was not on her own while in Justice Okeke’s chambers but in company of the other residents, their lawyer, and also the lawyer to one of the parties. The residents’ lawyer was the spokesman on their behalf, contrary to the false impression created in Justice Okeke’s speech where he painted the picture that my daughter was all on her own in his chambers. “It is unfortunate that justice Okeke in his desperation is looking for who to make a scapegoat for the purpose of hanging on his predicament. He presupposes that his narration will gain more publicity if he centres it on a Supreme Court justice’s daughter. This is most unfair and ungodly. I will unequivocally say that justice Okeke has failed as a retired judicial officer to present to the public the true picture.’’
The NJC’s reaction
In a 14-paragraph advertorial signed by Soji Oyesina, the NJC rebuffed Okeke’s allegation that he was warned because of the petition that emanated from the AMCON case. The body said five different petitions were written against Okeke, which were all forwarded to him at different intervals and he responded. Of the five petitions, the NJC stated that only the first three were considered for want of time. It said the AMCON petition Okeke quoted was the fifth and did not form part of its decision at the meeting of April 24 and 25. The statement said the NJC noted that Okeke was due for retirement on May 19, as such decided to warn him to desist from such acts. The advertorial read in part: ‘‘For avoidance of doubt, the 5th petition dated 18th March, 2013, by Engr. (Chief) Michael Afolabi Dada and 4 others, owners of the property at No 5A, Goerge Street, Ikoyi, is the AMCON case,
Lawyers seek probe of Okeke-Ogunbiyi rift wherein, Justice Okeke gave an ex-parte order in favour of AMCON. By the provision of Rule 2(2) of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ‘a judicial officer must avoid the abuse of the power of issuing interim injunctions, ex-parte’. ‘’A meticulous examination of the 5th petition and the response by Justice Okeke has shown that the exparte order granted by His Lordship in favour of AMCON established a case of misconduct contrary to Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers. However, the said petition and reaction by Justice Okeke were not considered by Council because of time constraint. ”Given the above facts, it is patent that the statement made by Hon. Justice Okechukwu Okeke at the Valedictory Court Session held in his honour that, “he was a victim of injustice in the Nigerian Judiciary,” which was published in various print media is not correct. Honourable Justice O. Okeke’s statement was nothing but a figment of his imagination, as the warning letter issued to him by Council was not as a result of the ex-parte Order he granted in respect of the AMCON’s case.’’
However, with the increased public outcry against the judiciary because of the incident as well as the unpleasant reference to the feud between former CJN Justice Katsina Alu and embattled Court of Appeal President Ayo Salami, legal practitioners have called on the NJC to investigate and unearth the truth about Okeke’s comment with a view to setting the records straight. Lawyers described Justice Okeke’s action as a move by corrupt judges who are being probed to discredit the reforms by the CJN, just as they faulted the NJC for not dismissing Justice Okeke, despite that he was to retire soon. To them, even if the judge had just one day
‘My solution to the entire corruption saga is that we have to move beyond the NJC level and treat it as a national emergency matter, which will call and demand the setting up of a highpowered commission of inquiry as was done in Britain in the early 1620s’ - Olanipekun
to go and was found wanting in the discharge of his duties, the NJC should have shown him the red card to serve as a deterrent to other erring judges. Those who spoke on the issue included professors of Law Taiwo Osipitan (SAN) and Itse Sagay (SAN); former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Chief Wale Olanipekun (SAN); Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship aspirant in Kwara State Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN); Chair, NBA Section on Legal Practice (SLP), Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN); Lagos lawyer Ikechukwu Ikeji and Director, Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative (PRAI), Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem. Osipitan said it was an unfortunate situation. It would have been better if his mouth was shut; it is a case of a sinking man looking for who to take down, said Osipitan. ‘‘The NJC has to share part of the blame; Justice Okeke ought to have been dismissed. I am aware a client of mine wrote a petition against Okeke. The judge delivered judgment orally in a case that involved my client and until he resigned, no one got a copy of the judgment. He frustrated all efforts to get a copy of the judgment and my client petitioned him. ‘‘What has Justice Bata-Ogunbiyi got to do with that? Or was it also Justice Ogunbiyi that told senior lawyers to avoid Justice Okeke’s court? Many serious lawyers have been frustrated by him and they refuse going to his court, so, he should be the last person to talk. I think his statement has to be taken with caution. ‘‘However, his statement should be looked into and other allegations against him be looked into. Anyone found guilty, whether serving or retired should be seriously dealt with,’’ he said. Olanipekun said the approach and method of the presentation of Justice Okeke’s complaint should be investigated thoroughly by the NJC to unearth every circumstance and also decode every innuendo contained therein. He said there was the need to treat corruption in the judiciary as a national emergency, to the extent that a high-powered commission of inquiry be set up to address it. He said: ‘‘I do not know when it has become the trend in the judiciary for a retiring judge to start taking up issues or denigrating some justices of courts of coordinate jurisdiction or of appellate courts; or accusing them of wrong doings at a public forum, where and when they cannot defend themselves. It has never happened in the history of the Nigerian judiciary and that valedictory session of Justice Okeke
will go into the Guinness Book of Records. ‘‘The legal profession that we know and to which we have subscribed is a very disciplined and conservative one. How be it, there are inbuilt channels of presenting complains and agitations. ‘‘It is shameful enough that at this point in time, what is being orchestrated is corruption in the judiciary, although among a minority clique within the members of the bench. The present CJN, who doubles as Chairman, NJC, needs the encouragement and support of those who mean well for the legal profession, to nip this disease in the bud. Corruption to my mind does not spare any tribe or religion. A corrupt judge has no respect for litigants, whether he is Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Ijaw or Ibibio; or whether he is a Christian, Muslim or atheist. ‘‘What I see happening in respect of the valedictory rendition of Justice Okeke is that some of us lawyers with our posturing on the internet already calling for the crucifixion of Justice Bata-Ogunbiyi , have taken sides even without hearing her, swallowing hook line and sinker, what Justice Okeke said. In the process of doing this, I can see some sentiments of tribalism, which is aimed at this goal: ‘We have to defend and protect our own.’ The posturing portends imminent danger to the entire legal profession, as nobody wants to care again about the antecedents of any judge. ‘‘But, let me end this contribution with a parable by referring to the Holy writs-the Bible, particularly the book of Chronicles in relation to each of the good and bad kings of Israel. Whenever each of them died; the bible records that their goods or evils were recorded for them in the chronicle of the kings of Israel. ‘‘In other words, we know the goods and the evils that some judges have done. My solution to the entire corruption saga is that we have to move beyond the NJC level and treat it as a national emergency matter, which will call and demand the setting up of a high-powered commission of enquiry as was done in Britain in the early 1620s. ‘‘To my mind, the entire problem has to be holistically confronted once and for all. Lastly, in the interim, the approach and method of the presentation of Justice Okeke’s complain, the NJC should investigate thoroughly and unearth every circumstance, and also decode every innuendo contained therein. The NJC should also let the public know of the outcome. ‘‘As at the time Justice Okeke raised these issues, he was still a judicial officer and the NJC has the jurisdiction to formally invite him to substantiate his allegations. This will serve a rectangular interest:-that of Okeke himself; the interest of the respected Justice BataOgunbiyi; that of the NJC and the interest of justice.’’ Sagay said it would have been honourable if Okeke had stated his complaints to the NJC in confidence. He said as a judge, it was wrong for Okeke to have made such public statement. ‘‘As a judge, you should not be washing the dirty linen of the judiciary in public. Secondly, Justice Bata-Ogunbiyi had replied and started clearly that she has nothing to do with it and that if he daughter had approached Okeke, she did so because they were affected. ‘‘The fact that she is the daughter of a Supreme Court Judge does not mean it was the Supreme Court Justice who orchestrated anything that has happened. Honestly, I think it is because there has been some bad incidences; people are now jumping to conclusions at the slightest rumour or exaggerating things. ‘‘To me, this is not a major issue and I think people should discard it. Bata-Ogunbiyi has established a reputation as a very upright judge and personally, I will be reluctant for that reputation she has built over the years to be sordid by unsubstantiated allegations. Okeke did not do the right thing and I see no substance in the allegation. ‘‘No report was made to the NJC by Okeke, he just came out and made a public statement, so, i think they should just ignore it.’’ To Odukoya, Okeke is as culpable as Ogunbiyi’s daughter for not taking necessary actions when Justice Ogunbiyi’s daughter allegedly came to him in respect of the matter. She said: ‘‘The only way to maintain the confidence rebuilding exercise in Nigeria’s legal system is for prompt action to be taken when reports of an attempt to influence the judiciary are made by anyone, whoever may be involved and no matter how highly placed the alleged culprit may be. Such reports must be investigated fully and transparently, and if disciplinary action is required, such action must be seen to be commensurate with the infraction and speedily dispensed. ‘‘When Justice Okeke was approached by Justice Ogunbiyi’s daughter as he alleged, why did he not ‘blow the whistle’ immediately at • Continued on page 34
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
LAW AND SOCIETY
How to enhance ADR, by lawyers
OW can the the Alter native Dispute Resolu tion (ADR) process be improved? It is by ensuring that the option is embraced by all before going to court as a last resort, say participants at an ADR workshop in Lagos organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in Akoka, Lagos Mainland. They hailed the pioneering efforts of Lagos State in revolutionising the judiciary for efficient justice delivery. NIALS Director-General, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), said: “It is a programme we have been running for a couple of years back. It is a programme we feel should be of interest to Nigerians, especially the lawyers and those who obviously appreciate the importance of ADR in the scheme of things as far as the administration of justice system in this country is concerned. “But more significantly, it is also an occasion for us not just to look at ADR in its wider ramifications, but to asses the milestones we have recorded since the significant introduction of ADR into our administration of Justice sector. “Many have argued, and rightly, that the injection of ADR into our justice sector seems to have made no meaningful impact and this is an opportunity for us to take stock by building up capacity in such a way that truly, the major advantages of ADR will continue to emerge with greater force that the issue of delay in the administration of justice will be seriously confronted and we feel that perhaps the notion that the application of ADR automatically will mean that the congestion in our courts, the delay in the administration of justice will disappear but it does appear that that is not the case, so we may have to change our approach , how well are the Multi Door Court House are working, how well are the pre emptive notices, trying to figure out whether parties had tried to settle their disputes on their own before coming to courts ,how well are those ones working and so many other issues. And I believe that this is now an opportunity for us to take stock and then move forward.” He continued: “As usual, we have assembled an array of experts, the best and the brightest that we can afford and we feel that it is time for them to interrogate some of these issues alongside making sure that the idea of ADR is wellimpacted and ventilated, but, more importantly at this point in time, is for us to know where do we think that we need to change the approach, do we need to develop new rules for the application of ADR? What must we do as far as procedure is concerned in the Multi-Door Court House? These are some of the issues that, I believe, that we must look into, enquire and interrogate further. “So, I believe that at this point in time we are at a cross
By John Austin Unachukwu
roads as far as ADR is concerned and this is the time for the institute to make sure that all the participants come out with something that is not only theoretically proper, but practically correct so that at the end of the day, it will have something to implement for the benefit of the wider society and in the best interest of the administration of justice in the country.” The keynote speaker, Justice Candide-Johnson of the High Court of Lagos State, said: “The first thing to note really is that this is a tribute to the foresight of the various Chief Judges we have had in Lagos State in particular, the Chief Judge, Justice A. A. Philips, who is determined to take Lagos into the 21 st judiciary in terms of technological advancement so that we are a world-class judiciary in the state and an exampler to other jurisdictions within and outside the country.” On when the ICT portal will become operational, Justice Candid Johnson said: “To the best of my knowledge, anytime soon, the ICT portal, which is one of the quadruplets for Lagos State law reform model, which we recognise to be a 21 st century monument to the administration of justice in Nigeria and, indeed, in Africa, is that in it, you have front-loading, you have case management by the judges, you have case tracking on the ICT portal and you then also have ADR as exemplified by the Lagos Multi-Door Court House as well as the Lagos Court of Arbitration. So, what this will portend really is faster delivery of justice within the State, you do not need to come to the Court premises to file your cases, you can file them online. To some extent, it will remove some of the complaints that litigants and lawyers have had regarding some of the issues that touch on corruption and payments that are extra judicial. He added: “In the final analysis, it augurs well for quick dispensation of justice and will remove some of these issues that have frustrated to the administration of justice over the years and it is a tribute to Lagos State as a leader in reforms in the country and in relation to the present CJ herself, it is a tribute to her determination to make the judiciary in Lagos State second to none. “Because of the Lagos MultiDoor Court Law 2007, the Citizens Mediation Centre together with the Lagos MultiDoor Court House now are connected directly to the court system through the 2012 Rules. Now, litigants and lawyers had complained before that there had been a kind of fracture between when they could enter into the system and join up with the MultiDoor and the Citizens Mediation Centre but now, at the very beginning of every litigation under the new rules, you can enter into the Lagos State
•From left: Justice Candide-Johnson, Prof. Azinge (SAN) and Prof. Idornigie
•Institute Secretary, James Bathnna (left) and Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye
•From left: Dr Ani, Deputy Institute Secretary; Senator Jerry Imaghiagbe and Prof. Animi Awa
portal for administration of justice directly at the time of filling your case.” He saidas soon as officials of the Citizenship and Mediation Centre signed the Memorandum of Understanding at Alausa, they could bring it to the Lagos State High Court under the LMDC Law to get a judgment of the High Court in Lagos, which could enforce it, thereby bringing judgment closer to those at the grassroots. “In relation to the MultiDoor Court House, because you have court referred cases well as cases of people walking up the streets, it means that even if you are walking up the streets and you have no lawyer, once you have your matter mediated at the multi-door, you can then come directly to the court system and have one of the ADR judges in Lagos State endorse it as a consent judgment and then it becomes a judgment that becomes enforceable in
the court of law. In terms of bringing justice closer to the people, these developments in Lagos State are worthy of emulation and we have seen that in many jurisdiction, it appears that there have been replications which means that they seem to appreciate what we have been doing here in Lagos State through our various Chief Judges and particularly the Chief Judge, A. A. Philips.” Prof Paul Idornigie said: “ Legal education is a continuing enterprise, we found out that after training in the university and the Law School, there is a need to retool and ADR is emerging, it is evolving and we felt that every year, we would bring participants up to date. It is made for everybody; it is not meant for lawyers only, because in resolving commercial disputes, it is not just lawyers only. It is everybody who is involved in dispute management that is involved in dis-
pute management. So, the thrust of this year is not different from other years, but our challenge is to make all the stakeholders, the judiciary, the lawyers, the judges, the litigants to know that ADR is a tool. It is simply saying that there are other doors other than litigation, therefore, if there is a dispute, you must be able to establish a nexus between a particular dispute and a particular process. Then, you will say to yourself, for this kind of dispute, pass through this door, for this other type of dispute,pass through this door, that is where you pass from a mono courthouse to a multi-door court house. When you have a dispute, you can say sorry, we will negotiate it; we are better off in negotiating than litigation.” Dr. Chinyere Ani said the training was a ‘cocktail of all you require in ADR,’ where participants were taught negotiation, mediation and arbitration.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
LAW PERSONALITY Mr. Zik C. Obi 11, who was called to the Bar in 1976, is a trustee of the Capital Market Solicitors Association. In this interview with Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, he speaks on his first experience in court, legal education and attitude of lawyers who write petitions to the National Judicial Council (NJC) against judges after losing a case.
‘Our legal education needs overhaul’ W HICH university did you attend and when were you called to the Nigerian Bar? I graduated from the University of London with LLB Honours in July 1975, went to Nigerian Law School, Lagos in October 1975 . I was called to the Bar in 1976. I have been in private legal practice since then.
What was your first experience in court like; the first time you addressed the court? My first experience in court was in 1976 when I was on National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) service in Jos. I was posted to the Law Chambers of Owen Fiebai & Co. My Principal, late Justice (Chief) Owen Fiebai, had just been elevated to the Bench and I was instructed to appear to hold brief in a case of negligence which had been fixed for trial. I announced that I was holding brief and asked for an adjournment, but the counsel for the plaintiff opposed it and the judge ruled that the trial must proceed. Based on the little practical knowledge I had already acquired under him, I summoned courage and conducted the cross-examination of the plaintiff’s witness that day. I did my best,. but I was not sure or convinced that my best was good enough, although at the end of the trial, our client won the case thanks to the senior counsel who took over and led me from the next adjourned date. How would you compare law practice in your early days with what obtains in the profession now? What obtains in the profession or the law practice now is a far cry from what obtained in my early days and years. Every thing about the legal profession seems to be going from bad to worse. Standards have fallen so much, the quality of the legal education and legal practice, the ethics, the dressing, etc. all have gone down so much. The entire Legal Education Policy of the country needs a total overhaul if we want any improvement. During our time, once you come out from the Law School, you could handle most basic procedures in law practice and in the courts because of the quality of the practical courses and teachings in the Law School. There were constant tutorials and moot courts and there were experienced lecturers with law practice experience. Due to the high quality of legal education we received at that time, I was confident enough to accept to appear
weekly as a Guest Lawyer on NTA Channel10 Lagos weekly programme “Legal Angle” a know your rights and the Law Programme from 1981 to 1985. A very substantial majority of the Law School graduates in the last ten or more years did not appear to know much about the law not to talk of its practice due to the low quality and mode of teaching law students both at the University and the Law School which ought to and should be reviewed if we are to continue to have properly trained lawyers. Although some students and lawyers are lazy and not hardworking, they cannot be held responsible for the fall in standard and quality. Most of the problems can be traced to the mode of teaching at the Universities and the Law Schools.
You have been the chairman of the Otu Oka-iwu for some time now. What are the challenges of leading the Otu? I was elected the President of Otu Oka-Iwu Lagos in March 2009 for a term of three years and re-elected for another term in April 2012. For the benefit of readers, I will explain what the Otu is. The Incorporated Trustees of Otu Oka-Iwu Lagos, is an Association of all Igbo Lawyers residing, working or carrying on legal practice in Lagos State. It was set up in the early seventies immediately after the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War and duly registered in 1987 at the CAC to amongst other things provide benefits, programmes and services which promote professional growth and enhance the quality of life of its members. When I took over, the Otu was at its lowest ebb. Attendance at the meeting had dwindled due to some problems of leadership and the time of the meeting which was very late evening. On my assumption, we changed the time of the meeting to 3 p.m. so that members could leave in good time and get home early. I also introduced at the general meetings monthly lectures on various aspects of law and practice by experienced legal practitioners and this innovation has been attracting more and more new members at every general meeting of the Association. Right now, we have lectures on various topics of interest to lawyers already lined up for the rest of the year and members have voluntarily taken up hosting and provision of refreshments for the rest of the year.
guy phones a law firm and says, “I want to speak to my lawyer.” The receptionist says, “I’m sorry, but your lawyer died last week.” The next day the same guy phones the law firm and says, “I want to speak to my lawyer.” Once again the receptionist replies, “I’m sorry, but your lawyer died last week.” The next day the guy makes his regular call to the law firm and says, “I want to speak to my lawyer.” “Excuse me sir,” the receptionist says, “but this is third time I’ve had to tell you that your lawyer died last week. Why do you keep calling?” The guy replies, “Because I love hearing it!” A man who had been caught embezzling millions from his employer went to a lawyer seeking defense. He didn’t want to go to jail. But his lawyer told him, “Don’t worry. You’ll never have to go to jail with all that money.” And the lawyer was right. When the man was sent to prison, he didn’t have a dime. A lawyer’s dog, running around town unleashed, heads for a butcher shop and steals a roast. The butcher goes to the lawyer’s office and asks, “if a dog running unleashed steals a piece of meat from my store, do I have a right to demand payment for the meat from the dog’s owner?” The lawyer answers, “Absolutely.” “Then you owe me $8.50. Your dog was loose and stole a roast from me today.” The lawyer, without a word, writes the butcher a check for
I receive wonderful support from members for which I am extremely grateful. As the saying goes, a good leadership attracts a good followership!
What type of Otu will you like to have on ground to meet the needs of Igbo lawyers in Lagos; do you intend to organise any programmes in the near future? As provided in its Constitution and Bye-Laws, the Otu has always held receptions to honour its members and non-members elevated or appointed to any high offices or positions in the country or abroad and all its members elevated to Judges or to the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria and other high offices or positions have been so honoured. It has also honoured virtually all the Ndigbo Supreme Court Justices when the Supreme Court was based in Lagos and all Ndigbo Court of Appeal Justices and Judges of the Federal High Court and Industrial Court posted to Lagos. In February 2012, it honoured a number of Judges of the Federal and Lagos State High Courts based in Lagos and also our members elevated to high positions. We are planning to host very soon the two Ndigbo Supreme Court Justices appointed last year, a recently appointed Judge of the International Criminal Court at the Hague and also Ndigbo Court of Appeal Justices currently serving in Lagos and some of our members recently elevated to high positions. The NBA Lagos will soon elect new officers to pilot the affairs of the branch. What type of exco do you envisage for the branch? 6.The current NBA Lagos Branch Exco has done well but I am disappointed it could not get the new Branch Bye-Laws to go into operation since they came into office in 2011. There have been a number of abuses by members of the Exco both past and present in the exercise of powers and finances and the new Branch Bye-Laws approved at the Branch AGM in 2010 contain provisions that would help to check those abuses. I envisage an Exco that will work selflessly for the interest and benefit of the members and also get the new Bye-Laws working. Insecurity has become the order of the day in Nigeria. We see kidnapping here and there. How can we get out of this problem?
The insecurity we are experiencing today is as a result of complete loss of values and corruption for several years now. The seeds for these vices were sown several years ago but unfortunately they germinated during the present federal and state administrations. We need to re-inculcate our values, seriously fight corruption, enthrone the Rule of Law and eradicate impunity. All those who commit crimes should go to jail no matter how highly placed they are. One sure way of doing this is to separate to office of the Attorney General from that of the Minister of Justice and allow the various agencies to freedom to pursue the prosecution of criminals. Also, we should introduce State and Community Police to help fight crime. The NBA Section on Business Law (SBL) conference is here again. What are your expectations from the conference? The NBA Section on Business Law (SBL) Conference has always been the flagship and the trail-blazer of all NBA Sections Conferences. It has always been very successful, educative and beneficial to all to attend it. I expect it to be even better this year. I will be there and have the privilege and honour of being the Chairman of one of the Sessions. Lagos State is ready to introduce electronic portal for filling and serving of court processes. How do you feel about this and how do you think it facilitate quick administration of justice in the State? The Judiciary and the Legal Profession must move with the times. This is the era of modern technology. Lagos State has always set the pace and so it is not a surprise at all that it is ready to introduce electronic portal for filing and serving of court processes. It is a most welcome development and will definitely quicken the administration of justice. It will also reduce amount of hand writing the Judges does and the time it takes, for example, to obtain certified documents and records from the court. What else does one expect from a state like Lagos where a very progressive, forward-thinking and proactive person like Mr. Babatunde R. Fashola SAN is the Governor! The National Judicial Council (NJC) recently sanctioned some judges and suspended another one.
What is your reaction to this? It is now becoming the trend that once a lawyer loses a matter before a judge, rather than go on appeal, the lawyer himself or his client(s) on the advise and with the active collaboration of his lawyer, writes a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC) against the judge. This practice has become more rampant amongst the senior lawyers and some Senior Advocates of Nigeria who believe they have the contacts and connections to “deal” with the judge concerned. This practice must be condemned and discouraged and the NBA as a body must come out and fight it. The judges should not be intimidated and they must have the courage to do what they c onsi d er r i g ht in t he circumstance. Of course, any judge that is guilty of any wrong doing ought to be disciplined. At the Valedictory Court Sessions held on May 27, 2013 in honour of Justice Okechukwu Okeke, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice I. N. Auta, speaking on this issue said “I pray that the current situation where lawyers refuse to develop our jurisprudence by testing decisions of the lower court on appeal than resorting to petition, will one day come to an end for God forbids that a Judge should know all the law”. The question I want to ask is “Since when has the exercise of a discretion judiciously and judicially by a judge become a misconduct?”
LEGAL JOKES $8.50. The butcher, having a feeling of satisfaction, leaves. the witness. “Is anything the matter?” Three days later, the butcher finds a bill from the lawyer: $100 due for a consultation. “Well, your Honour,” said the witness, “I swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but every How many personal injury attorneys does it take to change time I try, some lawyer objects.” a light bulb? How many can you afford? Three - one to turn the bulb, one to shake him off the ladder, and the third to sue A new client had just come in to see a famous lawyer. “Can the ladder company. you tell me how much you charge?” said the client. “Of course”, the lawyer replied, “I charge $200 to answer three What’s the difference between a good lawyer and a great questions!” “Well that’s a bit steep, isn’t it?” “Yes it is”, lawyer? A good lawyer knows the law. A great lawyer knows said the lawyer, “And what’s your third question?” the judge. Boss: Who said that just because I tried to kiss you at last What do you call 5000 dead criminal defense lawyers at the month’s Christmas party, you could neglect to do your bottom of the ocean? A good start! work around here? Secretary: My lawyer. What do you get when you put 50 lawyers in a room with What’s the difference between an attorney and a pit bull? 50 lesbians? One hundred people who don’t do dick. Jewelry. There was a lawyer and he was just waking up from How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving. anesthesia after surgery, and his wife was sitting by his side. His eyes fluttered open and he said, “You’re How does an attorney sleep? First he lies on one side, and beautiful!” and then he fell asleep again. His wife had then on the other. never heard him say that so she stayed by his side. A couple minutes later his eyes fluttered open and he said How do you get a group of personal injury lawyers to smile “You’re cute!” Well, the wife was dissapointed because for a picture? Just say “Fees!” instead of “beautiful” it was “cute.” She said “What happened to ‘beautiful’? His reply was “The drugs are “You seem to be in some distress,” said the kindly judge to wearing off!”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
FROM THE COURT Lagos CJ, AG harp on family, societal values
•79 customary court judges take oath of office
HE Lagos State Judicial Service Commission has organised an induction for new customary court judges to equip them with the task of their office. Seventy-nine judges were appointed. They took the oath of office at the Law Reform Commission, Ikeja GRA. The theme of the workshop was Justice at the grassroots. The Chief Judge,Justice Ayotunde Phillips, and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, noted the importance of societal values at the grassroots, urging the judges to ensure that the social fabric of the family and the society is not broken in justice administration. They told the judges that since their duty is community based, “they must understand the people on who they are going to administer justice and the social worries of the community” in which they would be operating. Justice Phillips told the judges that they must dispense justice with fairness and be impartial in matters brought before them. She said: “The bedrock of justice delivery is the doctrine of fair hearing. You must, therefore, be impartial at all time because justice must not just be done, but must be seen to be done.” She also as said the first point of contact with the law by the people at the grassroots, they may find themselves presiding over matters affecting their relations, friends among others. They “must remain resolute, upright and incorruptible at all time. As customary court judges, you wield enormous powers but I will implore you to use such powers judiciously.” She urged them to ensure that honesty, uprightness, integrity and fairness remained their watchword while discharging their duties. Ipaye, who was represented by the Administrative General of the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Bisi Odumosu, told the judges that the fortunes of customary court administration and its success rested on their shoulders. He told them that their primary responsibility, therefore, is to administer justice in accordance with customary laws, adding that a key component of customary justice is reconciliation, which he urged them to employ at all time givien the nature of the society in which they are going to operate. The commissioner told them that the cases they would handle under the customary law would range from matrimonial matters, child custody, health matters to other minor offences. He said they should give consideration to matters bordering on the welfare of the child and that other fundamental considerations must guide their decisions. He said customary court members have a huge role to play in the judicial system. “Being the closest to the people, you all have a peculiar vacuum to fill in the judiciary and, by extension, the society,” he added. Chief Magistrate Adebisi FemiSegun who presented a paper on
LAW AND PUBLIC POWER
with gabriel AMALU email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislative autocracy in a democracry
•Justice Phillips By Adebisi Onanuga
the “General overview of Customary Court Law 2011”, pointed out that the recognition of the need to simplify and demystify the administration of justice for effectiveness and efficacy continues to enhance the necessity for the continued existence and improvement of the customary courts. According to her, the cornerstone of proceedings in the customary courts, as in other courts, is the achievement of substantial justice expected to be arrived at without the deployment of technicalities, or complex, intricate and, at times, confusing rules of procedure. She told the judges that the implementation of the Customary Law of Lagos 2011 requires them to exercise good judgement and discretion, urging them to rise up to the responsibility and challenges that their new office demands. She advised them to study the customary laws and to resolve to implement the rules without the encumbrances of technicalities. Justice Joseph Oyewole, whose paper was entitled, “Family Law-The custody of children as it relates to the Customary Law 2011 vis-à-vis the Child Rights Law 2007", said in any matter relating to the guardianship and custody of children under the customary law, the interest and welfare of the children shall take paramount consideration. Justice Oyewole argued that where it appears to a court that an order that was made by a court should be reviewed in the interest of a child, the court may, of its own motion, or on the application of any of the child (children) relatives or guardian, vary or discharge such order. According to him, the Child Right Law 2007 was enacted to enforce the rights of the child and to amend and consolidate all legislations relating to the protection and welfare of the child in Lagos State, and for other connected and incidental purposes. Justice Oyewole posited that on the issues of the child, judges are uniquely placed to promote the well being of society and ensure the attainment of law and order in the society, adding: “It is a
divine mandate that must not be compromised for any reason.” Chief Magistrate Olufolake Oshin, who delivered a paper on “Fair Hearing and Practices”, told the judges that fair hearing is a sine-quo-non to natural justice. She said that Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution confers on every citizen with a grievance the right to access to the courts. She said the yardstick for accessing whether or not this has been done “is that the hearing must consist of the whole hearing when tested from the point of view of a reasonable person who was present at the trial, whether from his observation, justice has been done in the case.” She said the right to fear hearing as enshrined in Section 33 of the Constitution seeks to ensure that both parties are in equal position to plead their case adequately before judgement is pronounced, adding, “there is no gainsaying that judicial officers must do equal justice to all parties. Concern of the courts has always been in pursuit of real as opposed to cosmetic justice.” She advised the customary court judges thus: “Under the common law, we as judicial officers are under a legal duty to all manner of people coming before us without let or hindrance, without fear or favour. By the nature of our duty, we are bound only to look at the facts of the case before us and apply the law in the way we understand it.” The Deputy Chief Registrar, Legal, Ikeja High Court, Mrs. Abiola Oladunni Soladoye, whose paper dwelt extensively on the Code of Conduct for judicial officers, said: “For an effective adjudication in the customary courts, it is an essential requirement of justice and a requisite for public confidence in the judicial process that customary court judges must display a high sense of ethical conduct.” Mrs. Soladoye warned: “A failure to adhere to these standards and value would always lead to failure of administration of justice with the result that there would be mistrust and loss of public confidence in the courts.”
‘Being the closest to the people, you all have a peculiar vacuum to fill in the judiciary and, by extension, the society’
Young lawyers hold summit
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Young Lawyers Forum (YLF) will hold its yearly summit between July 3 to 5 at the Chief Judges’ Ceremonial Court Hall, High Court Complex, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The theme is: Raising the bar and standards for the young Nigerian Lawyer in the legal profession.
NE of the major malaises plaguing our dear country is the urge to easily forget and trudge on, as if the past do not shape the present and the future. That malady would have been the faith of June 12, 1993 elections, if not for the resilience of the intellectual warriors, insisting that Nigeria must atone for that gory past. A good cause, I must add. Interestingly, in his well-articulated intervention, Steve Osuji, in his column in this paper, last Friday: Expresso: Like June 12, like Biafra, succinctly juxtaposed June 12 and Biafra tragedies, asking primarily for a national interrogation of the events. As many have correctly demanded, there is the need to accord Chief M.K.O Abiola, a posthumous status of a duly elected President of Nigeria, in atonement for the injustice done primarily to him, and to Nigerians who voted for him, to become their President. A more befitting atonement would have been to bring those responsible for that debacle to justice. But that is very unlikely. Just as it is unlikely that our nation will ever bring those who provided the impetus, for the ethnic genocide against the old easterners to justice. Thankfully, those agitating that necessary lessons be learnt from June 12 are not showing weariness; unfortunately, just as the democratic pretenders riding Nigeria roughshod shows no exhaustion. Last week, Senator Ita Enang, reminded Nigerians of this national weakness of forgetfulness, when he inferred at a briefing, that the National Assembly is determined to strangulate the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in the hunt for the Director -General, Aruma Oteh. Senator Enang by the way, represents Uyo constituency, and is the Chairman, Business and Rules Committee in the Senate. As far as the National Assembly is concerned, the commission must regardless of the costs to our country, be put to death, through legislation, even when such conduct is unconstitutional. For the legislators, they erroneously think that the legislature in our constitutional democracy is supreme. Unfortunately, the intimidated SEC, instead of testing their rights in the courts, helplessly resorts to prayers, as their Board Chairman, Dr. Suleyman Ndanusi, told Nigerians, few months ago. As many have argued, the refusal of the National Assembly to make budgetary allocation for SEC in the Appropriation Bill is shameful, more so because of the reasons for the test of might in the first place. But more importantly, that ‘special legislative act’ denying the commission its constitutional right to a budgetary allocation is unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional, and must be deprecated. That so called legislative privilege over budgeting, specifically targeting SEC, through a special legislative act, will most likely be struck by any court of competent jurisdiction. Well, that is if the commission has the courage, and the court the wisdom. I guess the distinguished law makers, in making those provisions in the appropriation act, did not avert their minds to our Supreme Court’s dictum, in Lakanmi & anor vs A.G. Western States & Ors, adopting Lord Pearce in Liyanage vs The Queen, where she said: “Blackstone in his commentaries said ‘therefore a particular Act of legislature to confiscate the goods of Titus or to attain him of high treason, does not enter into the idea of a municipal law: for the operation of this Act is spent on Titus only and has no relation to the community in general: it is rather a sentence than a law. If such Act as these were valid, the judicial power could be wholly absorbed by the legislature and taken out of the hands of the judges... what is done once, if allowed, may be done again and in a lesser crisis and less serious circumstances, and thus judicial power may be eroded.” Furthermore in Lakami’s case, the Supreme Court, cited with approval the dictum of Justice Hugo Black, of the United States Supreme Court in United States vs Lovett: “Those who wrote our Constitution well know the danger inherent in special legislative acts which take away the life, liberty or property of particular named persons, because the legislature thinks them guilty of conduct which deserves punishment. They intend to safeguard the people of this country from punishment without trial by duly constituted courts”. The Law Lord further said: “When our Constitution and Bill of Rights were written, our ancestors had ample reason to know that legislative trials and punishment were too dangerous to liberty to exist in the nation of free men they envisioned”. I can only with humility add that what applies to the United States with a written constitution should apply to Nigeria, unless of course, the other tragedy of lawlessness, has also added to our forgetfulness. For the avoidance of doubt, our constitution with all its challenges clearly provides in Section 1: “This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria” (emphasis mine). Furthermore in section 4(2), it provides: “The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part 1 of the second schedule to this constitution” (emphasis mine). I strongly doubt, whether, the attempt by the national assembly to muzzle a federal agency, and thereby surreptitiously seeking to exercise executive prerogatives, will meet the constitutional requirement of making laws, within the purview of our constitution. While mourning our elite inflicted tragedies of the past, we must guard against the tyranny of the present. I, therefore, join wellmeaning Nigerians, to ask the National Assembly to always hearken to the rule of law, and not man; under which the Biafra and June 12 tragedies happened.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
LAW & SOCIETY The husband of Mrs. Funke Amadi (nee Ogunbiyi), Mr. Charles Amadi, an engineer, through his lawyer, Chief Ladi Rotimi-Williams (SAN) reacts to the issues raised by Justice Okechukwu Okeke during a valedictory in his honour.
Okeke allegation: Our story, by Justice Ogunbiyi’s son-in-law
T should be recalled that the Na tional Judicial Council (NJC) said Hon. Justice Okechukwu Joseph Okeke had numerous petitions against him. One of the petitions against Okeke J. (which emanated from an ex-parte Order he granted on March 1, 2013 in Suit No. FHC/L/297C/ 2009) was apparently signed by five residents of the premises in question and, and this could not have been done by any instigation from Hon. Justice Clara Ogunbiyi JSC. What runs through all these allegations is that, there is no direct communication between Hon. Justice Okeke and Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi JSC. By her explanatory note to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on the said allegation, Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi, JSC has told the world what she discussed over the phone with the Hon. Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. Please see The Nation, Nigerian Tribune and This Day Newspapers of 10th day of June, 2013. The Hon. Chief Judge of the Federal High Court has not at any time said Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi JSC told him (i.e. the
Chief Judge) to tell Hon. Justice Okeke to discharge the ex-parte Order. Consequently, the conversation between Hon. Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, JSC, and Hon. Justice Ibrahim Auta (the Hon. Chief Judge of the Federal High Court) is not one that Hon. Justice Okechukwu Joseph Okeke was privy to and Hon. Justice Okechukwu Joseph Okeke never said he was privy to that conversation. More importantly is that, Hon. Justice Okeke never said Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi JSC got in touch or spoke to him directly, and he could not have said so because that never happened. In effect, all the allegations made by Hon. Justice Okeke against Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi, JSC is what we know in legal parlance as hearsay and we must discountenance them. However, Hon. Justice Okeke has not specifically attacked and/or made any outcry over all the other numerous petitions that were pending against him at the National Judicial Council prior to the petition in respect of the ex-parte Order he granted on March 1, 2013
in Suit No. FHC/L/297C/2010, nor that all those petitions were instigated by Hon. Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, JSC. Rather, His Lordship on the day of his valedictory speech decided to drag the good name and reputation of Hon. Justice Clara Ogunbiyi JSC to the mud. Furthermore, Hon Justice Okeke has not told us whether Hon Justice Ogunbiyi JSC is responsible for all the other numerous petitions that were pending against him or that she instigated them. Hon Justice Okeke J’s allegation that National Judicial Council was instigated by Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi JSC cannot be true. The National Judicial Council does not write petitions against any Judge or Justices of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Rather, petitions are forwarded to them for consideration. However, Hon Justice Ogunbiyi JSC is not a member of the National Judicial Council. The members of the National Judicial Council are honourable men and women who will not use their constitutional powers to punish a serving Judicial Officer as a result of undue influence by a Jus-
tice who is not even a member of the National Judicial Council such as Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi JSC is. We are reliably informed that the said petition was at the instance of the residents and that Mrs. Funke Amadi was neither a signatory to the petition nor was she presented at the time the petition was signed. In respect of the allegation made by Hon. Justice Okeke that Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi JSC sent her daughter Mrs. Funke Amadi instructing him to discharge the exparte Order, we are reliably informed that at no time was such a statement ever made as alleged. The said Mrs. Amadi (nee Ogunbiyi) never mentioned her mother’s name nor anything relating to her. It does not stand to reason that such a message could be sent to a Judge, in such a manner. Furthermore, we were reliably informed that Hon. Justice Ogunbiyi JSC’s daugher was not on her own at any time in Hon. Justice Okeke’ Chambers, rather in company of other residents, their lawyer and also the lawyer to one of the parties. The resident’s lawyer was the spokesman contrary to
the false allegation created in Hon. Justice Okeke’s speech, where he painted the picture that the lady in question was all on her own in his Chambers. One can understand how Hon. Justice Okeke must have felt after having put so a many years of service to the judiciary only to receive very serious warning at the tail end of his career from the National Judicial Council. In my humble opinion, Hon. Justice Okeke should rather go after all those people whom he alleged at his Valedictory speech had throughout his career written one petition or the other against him. The new leadership of the judiciary intends to sweep the stable clean and right-thinking members of the bar, bench and public should encourage and support the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria in this difficult task. In conclusion, it is obvious that Hon Justice Okeke has been economical with the truth of his travails which has nothing to do with Hon Justice Ogunbiyi JSC. Meanwhile, we wish Hon Justice Okeke long life and happy retirement.
UK groups honour lawyer
LAWYER and former director, the Niger Delta D e v e l o p m e n t Commission (NDDC), Dr Benson Olorungbonju Enikuomehin, has added another feather to his cap. He was conferred with a merit award by the United Kingdombased Nigeria Arise group, and BEN TV, UK for his performance at the NDDC, where he represented Ondo State. Presenting the award, at a wellattended event, the Manager, Africa, BEN TV, Steven Izedomi, said Enikuomehin was chosen for his “unique innovation in rural development projects and promotion of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria,” while at NDDC. Izedomi said a team of experts had earlier visited the country to verify claims about community development projects executed by all the award nominees before the team of Nigeria Arise Merit Award settled for Enikuomehin. He said the project-verification team was well-impressed with what the honouree could achieve in the 18 months he spent in office. Izedomi identified some of the projects facilitated by the honouree to include the introduction of solar powered street light for rural communities, construction of rural roads, improvement in health care delivery, introduction of empowerment programmes, among others. Other speakers, including National Chairman, Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu; former NDDC director, Anthony Orubo and the honouree’s wife, Abosede, spoke glowingly of him. They described him, among others, as an upright man. Nwanyanwu commended Enikuomehin for his forthrightness. He described the honouree as one of the few, whom no one would query his choice for any award. “The award is for the good service you have rendered to the country. It should serve as an encouragement for you to do more,” Nwanyanwu told the honouree, who in 2010 was
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
conferred with honorary Doctorate of Law by the American Heritage University, Southern Califonia. Orubo, who said he served with Enikuomehin on the NDDC Board, noted that the honouree possesses “rare qualities that are hard to come by in Nigerian politicians.” He argued that it takes an upright soul to serve in an agency NDDC Board, with huge funds at the its disposal, and not have one’s hand soiled. He described Enikuomehin as “one of the few, who served and held their heads high.” Mrs Enikuomehin described her husband as a hard-working, truthful, loving and strongwilled man, who could hardly be dissuaded from his commitment to a goal he believe was just. The honoree, who expressed delight that his little contributions, while in NDDC, attracted recognition from far away UK, said he was equally happy it came after he had left office. He said it was his policy not to receive awards while in office because of his belief that it would distract him. Enikuomehin said he achieved the little he could in NDDC because he had made up his mind to serve and not to soil his hands while holding public office. “While I served on the governing board of NDDC, I did not mess up. Simply put, I did not embezzle money. For 18 months, I did all I could do. And now, after, I am being honoured,” he said. Enikuomehin, who also served as Special Assistant (SA) under Governor Olusegun Agagu of Ondo State, praised the incumbent, Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who he said nominated him for the NDDC job, even when he was then in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He served as SA to Agagu on Policy, Planning, Implementation, Special Duties and Privatisation. Some months earlier, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) named him the Grand Commander of the Masses.
•Izedomi, Nwanyanwu, Mrs Enikuomehin and Dr Enikuomehin
Okeke vs Ogunbiyi: Lawyers want investigation • Continued from page 30
that time? He could have ordered the arrest of the lady for attempting to pervert the cause of justice, could have reported Justice Ogunbiyi to the NJC, or complained to her privately about her alleged interference. ‘‘He did none of these, and so if his story is true, he is just as culpable of attempting to destroy the judicial system by keeping quiet. It is only because he was cautioned by the NJC, whether in respect of the matter involving Justice Ogunbiyi’s daughter or other matters that he told his side of the story while responding to addresses made during his valedictory court session. ‘‘The allegation against Justice Ogunbiyi must be fully investigated and quickly too if the increasing wave of confidence in the judicial system is to be sustained. Since Justice Okeke alleged that Justice Ogunbiyi called Justice Auta in respect of the matter, unravelling the truth is not left to a ‘your word against mine’ scenario, in which any decision is inconclusive.’’ The NJC’s silence should not be
taken as a failure to react to the allegations raised by Justice Okeke, said Belgore. ‘‘For the NJC to function properly and bring respectability to the judiciary it must operate outside of the public glare. It is regrettable that Justice Okeke chose his valedictory ceremony to attack a fellow judge and back handedly the NJC as well. The NJC was right not to take the bait. ‘’The NJC still remains a viable channel for Judges to lodge their complaints and seek refuge for interference with their judicial functions. The system isn’t broken. You will from time to time get situations where it appears inadequate, but by and large it works and it should be strengthen. Real and wholesome reform of the judiciary however, must start from the court system, the bar, leading to the appointment of judges and then their tenure of office and independence of the most senior judges,’’ he added. Ikeji said a public hearing/investigation should be conducted, which will be headed by someone who is not a legal practitioner. ‘‘The Justice Okeke/Justice
Ogunbiyi issue is just a tip of the iceberg of the rot in our judiciary. It is no news to us who are in the system. There is no smoke without fire. The way forward is to conduct a public hearing/investigation to be headed by a non-lawyer, not even a judge although either can be a member. ‘‘All parties must be made to come forward to testify. This is a quasi-judicial enquiry that must be isolated from the influence of fellow judges or lawyers who may have sympathy for either party. The result of the enquiry must be made public and appropriate sanctions meted out to any person found blameworthy,” he said. Adetola-Kazeem said the way out is for a prompt investigation of all corruption allegations against judicial officers as well as sanctioning appropriately anyone found wanting. ‘‘The case at hand involves a Supreme Court Justice, if she is found guilty and the NJC under the leadership of the CJN sanctions her, it will send a strong message to Judicial officers i.e. Judges and Magistrates to the effect that no one is above the law,’’ he added.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
LAW & SOCIETY A paper delivered by the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), at the 18th Commonwealth Lawyers Conference in Cape Town, South Africa
Courts and budget: Implications for access to justice •Continued from last week
N the 2013 budget, N380.020billion is for Statutory Transfers out of which N67 bil lion was budgeted for the NJC, N57.424 billion was budgeted for the Niger Delta Development Commission, N72,246,000,000 was budgeted for Universal Basic education, N150 billion was budgeted for the National Assembly, N32 billion was budgeted for INEC and N1.350billion was budgeted for the National Human Rights Commission. The National Judicial Council was allocated 18 per cent of the Statutory transfer, the Niger Delta Development Commission received 15 per cent, Universal Basic education received 19 per cent, the National Assembly received 39 per cent, INEC received eight per cent and the National Human Rights Commission received one per cent.
3. Infrastructural development arising from budgeting
Apart from payment of allowances and remuneration of judicial officers, budgeted allocation is utilised for infrastructural development. These infrastructures include the following: a) The court room: The court room encompasses the court building and amenities in the building such as Air conditioner, fans, writing pad, library and so on. A number of courts in Nigeria as a result of being badly funded evince decay and neglect of infrastructural amenities particularly at the state level. In some cases, the court building does not possess the required well-equipped library for Judges to conduct their research. This may see Judges relying on information supplied by lawyers which should not be the case. The state of the courts at the state level was encapsulated by the Chief Judge of Bauchi State at the inauguration of the 2011/2012 Legal Year. He stated that the Bauchi State judiciary is in a very bad shape, the courts are in a deplorable state and there are no good
• Prof Azinge
furniture. According to him, the environment is not conducive at all, there is no standard library and most of the judges depend on the authorities submitted by lawyers to write their rulings and judgments. Even the paper to write the rulings and other working materials in the registry must be provided by the complaints and defendants. A hearing session in a typical Nigerian court was described thus: The hot afternoon made matters worse for all the tem-
porary inhabitants of the courtroom located not far away from the ever-busy Maraba junction in Nasarawa State. The room was congested. Hands automatically turned to fans in the absence of a functioning electric fan or an air conditioner. The slits, which served as windows, failed to let in the needed amount of air to sustain the sweating men and women packed into the small courtroom. This inadvertently led to spirited movement in and out of the room, for those who could not withstand the scalding heat. For those who left their seats, slots in hard -backed benches that bore the ravages of dilapidation and neglect, many more standing at the door and at the windows quickly took over the ‘seats’ in a jiffy, not minding the discomfort of both weather and the ageing furniture. Despite the harshness of the atmosphere, many could still not ignore the presence of the defendant who is in handcuffs. A young man of about 21 or so, he is dressed in tattered pants and singlet, and sits atop a short bench. Behind him is a wooden plank sprayed with red lettering paint which states that this is what serves as a defendants pod. At last, reprieve appears to come in a flash, when the court clerk suddenly pounds the creaking desk in his front with his hands with astonishing strength, which startles a few that are not used to such court settings. ‘Court’, he subsequently screams, then adds: ‘all rise.’ All quickly scramble to their feet as a middle-aged judge saunters in through a door that is cracked in several places, and which had stood out as a sore thumb for many discreet observers in the courtroom. He has to pass through a tight space in order to get to his wooden chair and classroom style desk, which will serve today again as his adjudication seat. In a matter of minutes his crisply pressed suit would soon be immersed in sweat, including his clean shaved face due to the scalding heat. He would equally have to squirm intermittently in order to assuage his aching back leaning against the wooden chair. Intermittently, too, he would have harsh words for the different counsels appearing before him due to their inability to raise their voices over the din coming from the nearby bus stop. The deplorable state of the courts is not exaggerated, many courts in Nigeria are housed in dilapidated and neglected buildings, this is not to
say, however, that such is the situation all over the country. The state of the federal courts especially is a total deviation from this. The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the federal high courts and some state courts located in big cities possess essential amenities. Some of these court buildings also enjoy exquisite and impressive architecture; for instance the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal FCT division both have spectacular views. b) Information & Communication Technology (ICT) There is no gain saying that the world has become computerised as we are in the ‘jet age’. In all the sectors of the country, information technology is well appreciated and utilised to achieve maximum results. Sadly, however, this cannot be said to be so in our courts as most courts are yet to maximise this innovation. Judges in many of the courts still write in long hand which is quite stressful and time wasting. A resultant effect of low budgeting for the courts is inability to fully embrace ICT as it does not come cheap. This has led to a situation where there are no automated recording systems which are capable of hastening note taking by the judges. In fact, in many magistrate courts across the country, the manual method of record keeping is still being used instead of computers where information from records can easily be accessible and retrieved. In the time being however, Judges of lower courts on several occasions have made calls for the use of ICT in their courts for quick dispensation of justice. c) Capacity Building for Judicial officers and court staff This century is witnessing the emergence of new areas of law such as maritime law, air and space law, sports law, telecommunications law, competition law, oil and gas law, ICT law and so on. It is pertinent that judges are in line with these developments; hence, capacity building becomes imperative in order to ensure accuracy in judgment •To be continued next week
Oditah seeks partnership in legal education funding
SENIOR Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Prof Fidelis Oditah, has advocated public and private sector funding to bring legal education to the desired standard in Nigeria and Africa. He spoke at the Second African Regional Conference of International Association of Law Schools with the theme: Legal education in Africa in the 21st Century and the challenge of globalisation. He said: “Strengthening our legal education obviously requires putting more money into our legal education. Increased funding requires a partnership between the governments, other stakeholders and donors. “Law firms and lawyers have a big role to play. What is needed is a public-private partnership where the government provides the lion’s share of funding supplemented by private money. He challenged lawyers to rise to the defence of democracy in their countries, saying that it was the responsibility of African lawyers to promote democratic ideas in their countries, provide basic structure for economic growth of their nations and position themselves as instruments of social engineering in their societies. “The extent to which Africa can attract business and foreign direct investment depends in part upon investor perception of the quality of our civil and criminal justice system. Like many other developing countries, Africa needs a strong, independent and effective legal profession and judiciary to trade itself out of poverty and into prosperity.” Oditah, a professor of Law at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom bemoaned the insignificant involvement of African lawyers in top legal services involving businesses and governments, saying
From Chris Oji, Enugu
that even when African lawyers are involved, their roles were often limited to offering advice on local regulations and licensing requirements that have to be complied with while African governments sought advice on the substance of transactions and investments from foreign lawyers. He insisted that the prevailing practice denied African lawyers the opportunity to enrich their knowledge and experience as well as the financial benefit accruing from playing a significant role in high profile investments. He regretted that African lawyers, who had practised law in Africa, often find it difficult to find their feet in English and American legal practice, a development he blamed on the low quality legal education in Africa. Oditah, therefore, suggested an improved content in the teaching of Law as a panacea for deficiencies of legal education in the African continent. He suggested that legal education in Africa should be students-centred, as opposed to the prevailing lecturer-dominated approach. He urged teachers of law in Africa to pattern their lectures in form of vocational training by ensuring that their students “learn by doing rather than being told what to do”. Explaining the essence of the conference, the President of the International Association of Law Schools, Prof Francis S.L. Wang, said that the forum was instituted to provide a platform for law teachers to exchange ideas and proffer solutions to problems affecting the practice of legal profession in their region. The Dean Emeritus of Law of Soochow University in China, added that the choice of the University of Nigeria (UNN) for the
•Participants at the conference.
conference was based on the tall reputation of the university and the active involvement of its Faculty of Law in advancing legal studies and practice. He stated that the conference would help strengthen the tie between his university and the University of Nigeria, as well as help participating faculties to make friends. Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Prof Bartho Okolo, thanked the association for choosing the conference at the UNN. He explained that the university had performed creditably in its mandate of providing future leaders for Nigeria and Africa, especially in the legal profession where the institution had produced many judges and senior advocates.
Okolo, who spoke through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof Malachy Okwueze, said the varsity administration was working hard to reclaim the pride of the university and establish new benchmarks of excellence. According to him, the strategy included collaborations with other renowned universities to enhance exchange of scholarly ideas. Okolo believed that the conference would open doors for further collaboration that would be of mutual benefit to UNN and the partnering institutions. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Enugu Campus) and the Dean of Faculty of Law, (UNN) Prof. Ifeoma Enemo, said the Law Faculty would continue to uphold its
culture of excellence that had enabled it to produce leading lights in legal profession. The Director-General, Nigerian Law School, Dr Mamman Tahir, said the conference was important because it would help boost the opportunity for Nigeria and Africa to be relevant players in global legal practice. He commended the Faculty of Law of UNN for its contributions to the legal profession, adding that his record showed that products of the faculty are doing well. The UNN Law Faculty hosted deans of over 35 Law Schools from Africa and other parts of the world. The UNN Law Faculty, which took off in 1960, is the oldest law faculty in West Africa.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
LAW AND SOCIETY
NULGE: Court adjourns suit till Sept 18
My score card, by Ikeja NBA chair
HE Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, Mr Monday Ubani, has presented a report of his one year administration. During the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the branch, he said the branch acquired N6 million bus and a tricycle to ease transportation for lawyers coming to Ikeja High Court following the ban on motor cycles in the area. He said the Hiace Toyota Bus was acquired at N6million for the branch by one of its members, Mr Tunde John Ayeni, the Chairman of Skye Bank while another member of the branch, Mr Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) presented the tricycle. He said Ayorinde has promised the branch to buy a another tricycle before the end of the month. Ubani said another member, Mr Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), donated a 30kva generator to the branch while the executive purchased a 6KVA generator for the Bar Centre. He said the completion of the Bar Centre project was part of the campaign strategy of his administration. He said so far they have raised N10 million while the branch has been promised another N8million towards the completion of the building. “If all the promises we have received so far from our invited guests are anything to go by, we will commence work on the building immediately, possibly this month or at worst, next month” he said adding: “It is apromise which by God’s grace shall be accomplished before the end of this administration.” After the swearing in June 28, last year, the first assignment that came the way of Ubani was that of participating in the national conference of the NBA. Ubani recalled that Ikeja Branch of the bar led other branches to protest against what he termed, “callous conference fees” which the former executive of the national NBA asked lawyers to pay before attending the conference. “The branch protested the
By Adebisi Onanuga
Highlights of achievements: • Acquisition of N6million Toyota Hiace bus • Acquisition of a new tricycle • Got N10 million and another N8million for the completion of Bar Centre building • Acquired 30 KVA and 6KVA generators • Development of a functional website • Erection of directional signs to the Bar Centre • Installation of air condition systems for the Conference Hall • Donation of new set of chairs for the Conference Hall • Equipping the Bar Library with new sets of reading tables and shelves for the books etc. increase and won sympathy of other branches and some senior members of the Bar. The conference of 2012 remained in history as one with the least attendance and poorly organised. It also recorded a huge loss. “We must sustain that struggle to exterminate impunity anywhere it is found including at the leadership of the Bar and generally in the country,” he said. The edition of the ‘The Gani Fawehinmi Annual Lecture’ titled: “Democracy, economy and fundamental human rights: Whither Nigeria?” was another area where the Ikeja Branch executive of the NBA recorded huge success. Aside from the important dignitaries who graced the occasion, the turn out was impressive and at the end of the lecture, Ubani said about N1 million was realised after the programme. Ubani also described the Sixth Alao Aka Bashorun Memorial lecture, which was chaired by Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN), a former judge of the World Court, as intellectually rewarding. “Not
only was the programme well attended, all our invited guests, including Mallam el-Rufai, former FCT Minister; Prof Akin Oyebode, an International Law expert and a Lecturer at the University of Lagos and Hon. Kanu Agabi (SAN), the former Attorney- General of the Federation, came as promised,” he said, adding that the family of the late Alao Aka Bashorun was adequately represented by the first son, Segun and Atinuke, the wife of the late Alao Aka Bashorun. The Continuing Legal Education of the branch, which was held in April, this year was regarded as one of the best. Twelve areas of law were handled effectively. The seminar took a cursory look at some of the thorny provisions in the 2012 Civil Procedures Rules of Lagos State and the newly Amended Evidence Act especially on computer generated evidence and allied matters. The conclusion at seminar that involved seasoned lawyers and judges was that much is still required to be done in our laws to ensure efficient and smooth operation of our administration of justice in the state in particular and in Nigeria in general.
HE National Industrial Court, Lagos Division has adjourned till September 18 a suit by Comrade Adewale Yussuf against of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE). The plaintiff sued NULGE, its National President Alhaji Ibrahim Khaleel, National Secretary Comrade Joshua Irapakob, Lagos State President Comrade Lasisi Akinsanya and State Secretary Comrade Muyiwa Cole. The second claimant, Comrade Adenike Akitoye, withdrew from the case “for personal reasons”. The court consequently struck out her name. Yussuf is urging the court to hold that the state delegates’ conference/election of the NULGE Lagos State chapter must not be held except by prior compliance with the provisions of the association’s 2005 constitution. He asked the court to declare that Irapakob cannot organise any state delegates conference/ election except by observing all the constitutional pre-conditions. The claimant urged the court to hold that the present executive’s tenure ended on October 11, last year, and that no member of the state executive is entitled to remain in office a day longer. He is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from conducting or holding any state delegates conference/election in the Lagos State NULGE except after full and strict compliance with the conditions specified in the association’s Constitution. Yussuf is praying the court to nullify the state delegate conference/election held in Lagos on October 11 last year at the Conference Hall of the Administrative Staff College of Nige-
‘The claimant urged the court to hold that the present executive’s tenure ended on October 11, last year, and that no member of the state executive is entitled to remain in office a day longer’ By Joseph Jibueze
ria (ASCON), Topo, Badagry for not complying with the Constitution. He sought the court’s order directing NULGE to organise a new state delegate’s conference/election for Lagos in compliance with the association’s laws. At the last hearing, the claimant, through his lawyer, Miss N. O. Musa, sought the court’s order for leave to amend their General Form of Complaints, State of Fact, Written Statement on Oath and additional documents to be relied on at the trial. In an affidavit in support of the motion, the claimant said since the filing of the suit, new facts have emerged which makes the amendments compulsory so as to help the court determine the case. “The state delegates’ conference/election fixed for 11 th of October, 2012, which the claimants/applicants want this court to stop has since been held and concluded. “Series of events have also taken place since the filing of this case which must be brought to the attention of the honourable court,” the claimant said. Defence counsel John Nwankwo said the defendants were unable to respond to the suit after the second claimant informed them she was withdrawing from the suit for personal reasons.
CJ urges lawyers to embrace ADR
•From left: Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN), Dele Oye and General Secretary NBA Emeka Obegolu
HE Acting Chief Judge (CJ) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Justice I. M. Bukar, has urged lawyers to embrace Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) in order to reduce litigation. He spoke at the inauguration of nine committees of the Nigerian Bar Association (Abuja) branch executive. The branch Chairman, Mr Desmond Yamah, urged the chairmen and members of the committees to discharge their duties with the fear of God and impartiality. Justice Bukar asked lawyers to be disciplined to enable the Judges meet the performance evaluation standards set for them by the National Judicial Council (NJC). Under the new regime, the judges are to grant very few injunctions and give a required number of judgments per quarter. He said courts were yet to get the high level of automation and computerisation that will
By John Austin Unachukwu
make judges expedite justice delivery at the speed of light. Lawyers, he said, must first explore the ADR before coming to the court to avoid flooding the courts with frivolous suits. He frowned at a situation, where a counsel would come to court on a day a matter is set for judgment and be applying to amend his writ. He solicited the cooperation of the Bar and bench to facilitate effective and efficient justice delivery. He promised to attend the NBA meeting to speak on how to manage cases and embrace litigation. The committees, which were inaugurated, are the Welfare, Judiciary, the Legislative advocacy Working, the Editorial committee of the Unity Voice, Law Reporting, Finance, Continuing legal education committee, the Young lawyers Forum, and the Section on Business Law.
‘Lawyers must first explore the ADR before coming to the court to avoid flooding the courts with frivolous suits’ •Yamah
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
NATIONAL BAR Text of a paper delivered by Mr Femi Falana (SAN) as guest speaker at the presentation of the Law Journal of the Law Students Society, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, in honour of Chief Folake Solanke (SAN)
The anti-corruption war in the Judiciary: How far? How well? • Continued from last week
T that juncture both Messrs Segun Oni and Olagunsoye Oyinlola whose elections as governors of Ekiti and Osun states respectively had been annulled by the Court of Appeal alleged that Justice Salami was in constant telephone conversation with leaders and lawyers of the Action Congress of Nigeria during the hearing of some election petitions. The National Judicial Council also decided to investigate the grave allegations of both politicians. Not convinced that the National Judicial Council would examine the matter in a dispassionate manner the Nigerian Bar Association resolved to set up its own panel of inquiry to investigate the roles of all the dramatis personae including its own members in the Sokoto governorship election petition saga. The reports of the NJC and the NBA were mired in controversies. While the CJN was exonerated by the NJC Justice Salami was asked to tender apology for lying on oath even though it was found that the CJN actually asked Justice Salami to change the panel that had concluded the hearing of the appeal. But as far as the NJC was concerned the CJN interfered in the case in the interest of the judiciary! On its own part the NBA exonerated Justice Salami, indicted the CJN and some legal practitioners. Upon the retirement of Justice Katsina-Alu CJN the matter was revisited by the NJC which turned round to exonerate Justice Salami, lifted his suspension and decided to recall him. However, Presi-
dent Jonathan has refused to allow him to resume duties as the President of the Court of Appeal on the ground that the matter is pending in court. Although the matter has been left for judicial determination by the court the crisis has done incalculable damage to the image of the Nigerian judiciary. Indeed, it has been said that the Katsina-Alu/Salami imbroglio is partly responsible for the increasing wave of judicial corruption in the country in the last couple of years. All manners of ex parte orders are issued by the judges while judgments totally devoid of justice are handed down by judges. Men and women of means and influence charged with theft of billions of Naira are either freed or convicted and asked to pay ridiculous low fines. The Nigerian judiciary recently became a butt of jokes before the international community when a former governor who was discharged by the Federal High Court was convicted and sentenced to a 14year jail term by a judge in the United Kingdom on the same evidence. It was therefore not surprising at the swearing-in-ceremony of the Honourable Justice Musdapha, as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on September 27, 2011, when President Goodluck Jonathan expressed concern over the “widespread perception of a growing crisis of integrity in the judiciary”. While charging the newly appointed Chief Justice to address the crisis of confidence in the judiciary the President pointed out that “A partisan judge compromises his or her oath of office and acts unfairly. A corrupt judge disgraces the
Bench on which he or she sits and the title that he or she wears” In several public statements thereafter, the Honourable Justice Musdapher condemned judicial corruption, delay in the administration of justice, criticized plea bargain and made recommendations for judicial reforms. His Lordship also intervened to stop the manipulation of the Court of Appeal in some election matters. A Federal High Court judge was directed by the Chief Justice to reverse an ex parte order which he had granted restraining Independent National Electoral Commission from conducting the governorship election in Cross River State. The illegal ex parte order was issued on the eve of the said election. The Emergence of Justice Aloma- Muktar (CJN) I first met the Honourable Justice Maryam Aloma Muktar as a High Court Judge in Kano in 1984. My client, a trade union had sued a powerful Lebanese company in the Kano State High Court for illegally withholding the check dues deducted from the wages of all the workers in its employment. The company which had boasted that it had the judiciary in its pocket was taken aback when the trial judge, Justice Muktar granted the reliefs sought by the plaintiff and ordered the company to refund and pay to the union the check off dues which it had illegally withheld. Since then I have watched the judge from afar and followed her impeccable judicial carrier. In a country where judicial corruption has been virtually institutionalised I make
• Falana (SAN)
bold to say that Justice Muktar has never been associated with corrupt practices or any form of abuse of office. She is conservative but ready to take a radical stand in defence of the rule of law. She is quiet but aggressive in dealing with cases of corruption. Her decision to team up with Adesola Oguntade JSC (as he then was) and Walter Onnoghen JSC in writing powerful dissenting opinions in the controversial case of Mohammadu Buhari v Independent National Electoral Commission convinced the reactionary forces in the legal establishment that she could rock the boat if allowed to become the head of the country’ judiciary. The clean bill of health given to Justice Ayo Isa Salami, the suspended President of the Court of Appeal by a Committee of the National Judicial Council chaired by Justice Muktar was the last straw that broke the carmel’s back. A plot was therefore hatched to prevent her from becoming the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the system had successfully refused to make her the Chief Judge of Kano State in 1987 even though she was the most qualified judge in the state judiciary at the material time. History was to repeat itself in April 2010, when the backward forces perfected the strategy to deny her the opportunity to assume the headship of the Nigerian judiciary. In a dubious move to promote her to irrelevance Justice Muktar was offered the post of the Chief Justice of The Gambia under a special bilateral arrangement between Nigeria and The Gambia. But she saw through the plot and rightly declined to take up the offer. Hence, in July 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan nominated Justice Aloma Muktar, as the most Senior Justice of the Supreme Court to succeed the then outgoing Chief Justice, the Honourable Justice Dahiru Musdapher. • To be continued next week
Good economy will provide jobs for lawyers What would you consider to be the unique features of this years’ conference? The theme of the Conference is: “The Legal Profession in an Emerging Economy”. At least two features of this year’s Conference are different. First, there is a larger number of resource persons based outside Nigeria than there have been in the past. Our Keynote Speaker is Mr. Harold Paisner, the Senior Partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, a London law firm. Representatives of the Law Society of England and Wales are here. The large number of registration and participation by Nigerians is a testimony to the fact that the conference is a huge success.
• Continued from page 29
Which university did you attend Oxford University and when were you called to the Nigerian Bar? I was called to yhe Nigerian Bar in 1981 What was your first experience in court like, the very first day you addressed the court? It was very satisfying in deed. That was at the High Court of Lagos State, before Justice Yahya Jinadu. How would you compare law practice in your early days at the Bar with what obtains in the profession now ? There are lots of differences between what we had then and what we have in practice today. Back then, it was a very small community, we knew ourselves, everybody kew each other, there are many more practitioners today than there used to be. Everyone no longer knows everyone else. Information technology is critical today. Back then, it did not even really exist. There was much less talk then than there is today about allegations of judicial laziness and bias. How do you feel about the Seventh SBL conference which started in Lagos yesterday? Well,I am happy that it started off in very good note yesterday. we expect more exciting sessions today and I encourage partici-
As a commercial law practitioner, how would you appraise the attitude of our courts in determining commercial disputes, what changes would you like to see in the laws to fast track justice delivery in the country? The courts need to be more well-resourced than they are. Delays need to be sanctioned with heavy awards of costs. Piecemeal appeals need to be discouraged. The judges need to grant adjournments less readily than they currently do. •Dr. Elias pants to make optimum use of being here to improve their skills and eventually, the qual-
ity of legal services delivery to their clients. I expect it to be very productive at the end of the day.
The use of Alternative Disputes Resolution mechanisms (ADR) in resolving commercial disputes seems to be on the increase. What is your reaction to this and how can we
institutionalise the use of ADR to maximise their benefits?. The judges need to be far more dismissive of challenges to arbitration awards than they have been. The ADR facilities in Lagos State will be of immense assistance to this end. What is your advice to young lawyers who would like to become Senior Advocates on Nigeria one day, how would they climb the professional ladder? Let them work hard and be decent. There is no substitute to hard work in the legal profession. Young lawyers should see tomorrow and the glory ahead and work towards it. There is a nexus between law andeconomic development. How can use our laws to speed up economic development in the country? Law enforcement needs to be taken more seriously. The laws o n the books are not as inadequate as is widely imagined. Globalisation of legal services is the in thing now, how can we globalise the practice of the profession without throwing weak Nigerian practitioners out of job? A growing economy and taking law enforcement more seriously are the best ways to ensure that Nigerian lawyers continue to get work.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Will cannot be voided because ‘Igiogbe’ was bequeathed to someone else In The Supreme Court of Nigeria Date: April 19, 2013 SC. 135/2004, 2013(4) LEDLR-16 IBRAHIM TANKO MUHAMMAD CHRISTOPHER MITCHELL CHUKWUMA-ENEH SULEIMAN GALADIMA CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI STANLEY SHENKO ALAGOA BETWEEN
EDWARD OMORODION UWAIFO
AND 1. STANLEY UYINMWEN UWAIFO 2. MRS ELIZABETH EHEZOGHE IGBINOVIA 3. MRS GRACE EBENOVBEVBE KASIM 4. MRS LOVETH AIZE EMOKPAE 5. MRS AGHATISE UWAIFO 6. MISS JOY AGHAMUOKU UWAIFO 7. GREGORY SAMUEL O. IZEVBUHE
8. ATEWE O. UWAIFO 9. BENJAMIN O. EHENUWA 10. THE PROBATE REGISTRY EDO STATE 11. DAVID UWAIFO • Continued from last week
“In short, the appeal is on the relevant Bini Customary Law of succession and the right of first surviving male child thereunder.” At page 381 C - D, he continued: “I have deep thought and consideration to the Record of Proceedings in the court below as well as the briefs of the parties. The two parties talked about one address, the defendant/appellant and his witnesses did not say that there was any empty land of the deceased outside No. 139, Lagos Street. The argument therefore goes to no issue. My task has been simplified by the Supreme Court decision in ldehen V. ldehen which established beyond peradventure that neither testamentary deposition, much less family elders arrangement, can deprive the eldest surviving son of the lgiogbe, the house in which his deceased father lived and died. The Supreme Court cited with approval its earlier decision in Arase V. Arase (1981) 5 SC. 33; Oke V. Oke (1974) 3 SC 1; Olowu V. Olowu (1985) 3 NWLR (pt. 13) 372.” It is to be noted that from the above passage, it is quite clear that “vacant land” was not an issue considered by the Court of Appeal, Benin in IGBINOBA case (supra). Since it was
not an issue before that court, it did not pronounce on the point. I agree with the learned counsel for the Appellant that the subsequent Court of Appeal decisions could not be expected to rely on its past decisions on a point not earlier pronounced upon. What the Court of Appeal did in the case was simply to follow the earlier well established decisions beginning from Arase V Arase (1981) NSC 101; 5 SC 33; ldehen V. ldehen (1991). The Court of Appeal in IGBINOBA V. IGBINOBA (supra) did not go beyond the established law that no one can derogate from the eldest son’s exclusive title to his father’s lgiogbe upon final rites of “UKONWEN”. In Bini Native Law and Custom, an lgiogbe is general application and it is judicially noticed as such. See EGHAREVBA V. OKUNGHAE (2001) 11 NWLR (Pt. 724) 318; Lawal- Osula V Lawal - Osula (1995) I NWLR (Pt. 544) 20, AGIDIGBI V. AGIDIGBI (1996) 6 NWLR (Pt.454) 30 and IMADE V. OTABOR (1998) 4 NWLR (Pt. 544) 20. Notably, the most recent of all cases on the vexed question of lgiogbe is OGBANON V. REGISTERED TRUSTEES CCC. CA (2002) 1 NWLR (Pt. 749) 675; though a decision of the Court of Appeal, it has helped further to throw light on the point. The court held at
page 713 thus: “Under Benin Native Law and Custom, the eldest son of a deceased person or testator is entitled to inherit without question the house or houses known as “lgiogbe” in which the deceased/testator lived and died ...” These plethoras of authorities have left no one in doubt that lgiogbe in Benin Customary Law is a principal house where a deceased Benin man lived and died. This is an ancestral home. It is not vacant land whether or not adjacent. It was a very grave error for the Appellant to have taken Justice Obi’s dictum in lgbinobia’s case and ascribe it as the view of the Court of Appeal, on which the panel which heard the instant appeal at the Court of Appeal would have relied. The doctrine of stare decisis does not operate in this manner. It would be invidious for the Appellant to expect the Court of Appeal to rely and follow what a Judge in the High Court said in preference to what another Judge said yet in the appellate court. The Appellant cannot expect the Court of Appeal in this case to have followed a non-existent dictum and/ or ratio in another Court of Appeal case (i.e. IGBINOBA’s case). It is my firm view, therefore that the entire will of the Appellant’s late father. Pa Daniel Ediagbonya Uwaifo, who lived and died and was buried as a Bini man, cannot be voided simply because the “lgiogbe” was bequeathed to someone else’ In this case, the deceased had bequeathed his property including the “lgiogbe” to other beneficiaries in his will (Exhibit A.). As the learned trial Judge had rightly observed, and I agree, there is no customary law against devising the lgiogbe by Will to the rightful beneficiary, that is, the first surviving son, but it is against Bini Customary Law to disinherit the eldest son of the ldiogbe as was done in this case or to share it to others. In view of this the learned trial Judge rightly held that the Will is invalid only to the extent that House No. 4 Ohuoba Street, declared as the lgiogbe was devised to persons other than the Appellant; and the entire Will cannot be voided on the sole ground that the lgiogbe was so devised. As long as the Custom of Bini people prevent a Testator from devising his lgiogbe to any other person other than his eldest son, to that extent the Will of Pa Daniel Ediagbonya is invalid. However, the deceased’s Will is not invalid in its entirety. The other parts of the Will could be “saved” which is what the learned trial Chief Judge did in this case. See: IDEHEN V IDEHEN (supra) and LAWAL-OSULA V. LAWAL OSULA (supra). In conclusion, I am of the firm view that this appeal is lacking in merit and I therefore dismiss it. I accordingly affirm the decision of the Court below which upheld the decision of the trial court. I make no order as to costs in the circumstance of this case. I. T. MUHAMMAD, JSC: I have read before now the judgment just delivered by my learned brother Galadima, JSC. I agree with his reasoning and conclusion that the appeal lacks merit. l,
too, dismiss the appeal. I abide by all consequential orders made in the lead judgment. CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI, JSC: I read in draft the lead judgment just delivered by my learned brother Galadima, JSC and I agree that the appeal at hand is devoid of any merit; I also dismiss same in like terms of the lead judgment. Just to put in a few words of mine, I wish to add that the attempt in this case is to vary the course of an existing and long standing custom which had passed down from generation to generation and as a result had been accorded statutory recognition. In other words, the practice of a Bini customary law which gives the eldest son the prerogative to inherit the “Igiogbe” has not changed from time immemorial. Under Benin Native Land and Custom, lgiogbe mean a principal house where a deceased Benin man lived and died; the right to inherit and possess such property vests only in the eldest son. The tradition tokes precedent over and above the wishes of o deceased father no matter how strong he feels against his son as the prospective heir. It is a right vested in the eldest son and which cannot be divested by means of disinheritance. The claim revolves around Section 3(1) of the Wills Low of Bendel State of Nigeria l976, which is still applicable in Edo State. By the use of the phrase “subject to any customary law relating thereto,” In the section, is a confirmation of a statutory backing and recognition which is given to the prevailing custom to operate within its area of application. For all intent and purpose and on a composite reading of the Wills Law in conjunction with the Benin customary law, the contested will is only void to the extent of the deceased father disinheriting the appellant to the Igiogbe; it is his right and he therefore must be allowed to inherit and enjoy same. The deceased father in bequeathing the Igiogbe along with his other properties for purpose of disinheriting the appellant is in violation of the Bini customary Law. The will as rightly held by the trial court and affirmed by the lower court is invalid to the extent of its affecting the lgiogbe only and not the totality of the properties. In the result, I am in agreement with my learned brother Galadima JSC that the appeal locks merit and is hereby also dismissed by me. I further abide by other orders made in the lead judgment inclusive of costs. STANLEY SHENKO ALAGOA, JSC:I read before now in draft the lead judgment of my learned brother Suleiman Galadima, JSC, which has just been delivered and I agree with the reasoning and the conclusion arrived at. I, however, wish to chip in this little bit of mine by way of contribution. There appeared to have been no love lost between the Appellant who was Plaintiff in the High court and his late father Pa Daniel Ediagbonya Uwaifo as a result of which the Appellant was disinherited in his father’s Will which was tendered in the High court as exhibit “ A’. This disinheritance was total
and included the house at No.4 Ohuoba Street,Benin City where the deceased testator had lived and died. Applicant instituted action in the High Court’ seeking the nullification of the will. Under Bini Native Law and custom, the house where a deceased lived and died is referred to as the “IGIOGBE.” No. 4 Ohuoba Street, Benin City was held by the learned trial Judge to be such “IGIOGBE” and by Bini (Benin) Native Law and Custom and Section 3(1) of the Wills Law Cap. 172, Laws of Bendel State 1976 applicable in Edo State and therefore to Benin, the Appellant, as the surviving first son of the deceased was entitled to inherit No. 4 Ohuoba Street irrespective of any testamentary disposition to the contrary’ Section 3 (1) of the wills Law which is quite explicit on this point reads thus, “subject to any customary law relating thereto’ it shall be lawful for every Person to devise, bequeath or dispose of by his will executed in manner hereinafter required all real estate and all personal estate which he shall be entitled to either in law or in equity, at the time of his death and which if not so devised, bequeathed and disposed of would devolve upon the heir at law of him or if he became entitled by decent of his ancestor or upon his executor or administrator’” By this provision of the Wills Law, it is clear that the Wills Law is not against disposition of property by will provided that with respect to the “IGIOGBE” such disposition enures to the benefit of the first surviving son of the deceased testator. See IDEHEN v. IDEHEN (1991) 5 LRCN 1590; OKE v. OKE (1947) 3 SC 1; ARASE v. ARASE (1981) 5 SC 33. The learned trial Judge’s refusal to declare the will invalid and to have held that the Appellant is entitled to a declaration that the will is invalid only to the extent that No. 4 Ohuoba street where the deceased Pa Uwaifo lived and died otherwise known as his “IGIOGBE” which was devised to other Persons than the Appellant and which position found favour with the Court below is sound and represents the law’ The Appellant’s contention that the “IGIOGBE” consisted also of other vacant adjoining land does not represent the position of the law and was certainly not the Pronouncement of the court in IGBINOBA V. IGBINOBA (1995) 1 NWLR PART 3L7 at 375. That case if properly read, did not decide the issue of vacant land as it pertains to “IGIOGBE” in Benin Customary Law’ It is for these reasons and the fuller reasons given in the lead judgment of my brother that I too find no merit in the appeal and dismiss same. Parties are to bear their own costs. Representation: S. lredia Osifo Esq, for the Appellant. Chief Osaheni Uzamere, Esq, for 1st – 9th Respondents. F. I. Monyei, (Mrs), (Deputy Director, Ministry of Justice Edo State) with F. N. Edokpolor (Mrs), (Principal State Counsel, Ministry of Justice, Edo State), for 10th Respondent. • Concluded
Lawyer petitions police over okada rider’s ‘killing’
ENERAL Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Asso ciation (NBA), Emeka Obegolu, has written a petition to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, over the alleged unlawful killing of a commercial motorcycle operator (okada rider), Joachim Izuagbachukwu, in Anambra State. Writing on behalf of the Obeledu Progress Union, the lawyer urged Abubakar to investigate those behind the al-
By Joseph Jibueze
leged murder. He said the deceased, on May 30, about 2pm, went to have lunch at the Old Motor Park Spare Parts Road, Nkpor. As he was alighting from his motorcycle, a security team, the Scorpion Squad, said to be affiliated to the Anambra Vigilante Services, allegedly started shooting sporadically into the air without justification, in an open show of power.
“The sporadic gunshots hit and killed Mr Joachim Izuagbachukwu on the spot, in his prime,” Obegolu alleged. According to him, policemen from Ogidi Division arrested one of the team’s leaders. “The people of Obeledu Community are of the belief that only an investigation led by a crack team from the Force Headquaters can unravel the identities of the members of the team, investigate the circumstances of their engagement with
firepower and prosecute them for murder of an innocent, lawabiding citizen. “We trust that your intervention will also serve as a deterrent to the promoters of vigilante services and also serve a notice to them that everybody must operate under the law in a democratic society. “The era of proliferation of vigilante armed services in Anambra State must be checked and brought under control,” Obegolu wrote.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
ABUJA REVIEW NEWS
•From left: Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Maryam Mukhtar, President Goodluck Jonathan and Director-General of Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof. Epiphany Azinge at the exhibition gallery during the 100 years of Legal Development in Nigeria, Centenary Law Summit at Transcorp Hilton Hotel PHOTOS: AKIN OLADOKUN
• Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha (left); Chairman, House Committee on Human Rights, Hon. Beni Lar and chairman of the occasion, Prof. Anya O. Anya during the one year memorial colloquium and presentation of the Prof. Onwuliri Foundation in honour of the late professor
•Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide (right); Chairman, Kuje Area Council, Shaban Tete; Chairman, Gwagwalada Area Council, Abubakar Giri and Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Ovaldi Madayi during the minister’s visit to FCT FADAMA coordinating office and fields Photo: ABAYOMI FAYESE
•From left: Chief Anyiin Torngee Jem; Comfort Obi; Hajiya Aisha Larai Tukur; Justice Olufunlola Oyinlola Adekeye and Alhaji Yakubu Mohammed during the inauguration of the Police Service Commission at the State House, Abuja
•From left: Coordinator, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George; Chairman, Panel on Implementation of Justice Reform, Justice Ishaq Bello and Director, Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Simon Chuzi Egede during the National Stakeholders Seminar on Implementation of Justice Reform at the Rockview Hotel, Abuja
• •From left: Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina; Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella OduahOgiemwonyi during the Federal Executive Council Meeting at the Presidential Villa
• Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu (left) welcoming Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Dupe Atoki. With them is Head, Public Relations, SON, Mathias Bassey during a visit to SON office. PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE
•From left: Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ezekiel Olaniyi Oladeji; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Dele Ezeoba after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Free treatment for clubfoot patients
ESIGNATED hospitals in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will now treat clubfoot patients free of charge. The Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting, saying it is part of the directorate’s efforts to eradicate the disease in the FCT. He said the Gwarinpa Hospital, among others, is to offer free treatment to affected patients in the city. The Secretary, who spoke on the significance of the day, said: “I am thrilled that as the world is marking it, we in Nigeria and particularly at the FCT, are not left behind. “I am particularly delighted that the Ponseti International A sso ciation, t h r o ug h t h e Nigerian Sustainable Clubfoot Eradication Programme, has brought this novel technique to our community. •Continued from page 27
features prominently in the entire collection. A theme which Oluwasegun explores at various levels and from different perspectives even within a particular story, thus infusing it with a tapestry that includes marital infidelity, denial of justice and betrayal of trust, among others. “In “Boomerang,” this element of betrayal inevitably has a tragic undertone because the eventual outcome results in a needless death. The element of reversal which the author strategically deploys heightens the tragic tone apart from making the narrative an enthralling experience for the reader. “The thread of reversals not only heightens suspense within this particular story, but enables the introduction of irony into the narrative mix. Oluwasegun seems to effortlessly introduce ironic twists at every turn of his narration. “In “Boomerang” the professional assassin, Blackson, has the nervewracking experience of almost being killed by the five-year old son of the man he had contracted to assassinate. “With shock, he realised as his eyes
From Bukola Amusan
“This Ponseti technique, I learnt, has been described by the Worl d Hea l t h Organisation (WHO) to be the most effective method of managing children born with clubfoot deformity. “ It is therefore fundamental that all healthcare givers involved in the management of these children should know about this Ponseti method. “We have upgraded many of our FCTA hospitals by having qualified orthopaedic surgeons providing up-to-date quality care for our patients with orthopaedic problems within the FCT. “ Just as we have been tackling the issues of malaria, HIV and Polio affecting our children heads on; we shall equally give the clubfoot disability eradication programme the support it deserves, “he said.
•A clubfoot patient
Accolades for The Nation man completed a circuit of the room that he was staring down the barrel of the gun. Chico and Orlando had gone rigid in their seats. Blackson instinctively lifted his two hands in the air. From where he sat, he could see the safety catch was off. And that the gun was in the hands of a five-year-old boy made it all the more dangerous…. He opened his mouth but his mouth had suddenly gone dry and no words could be uttered. “Never had anyone pointed a gun this close to Blackson before. He could see right into the dark interior
of the barrel, and he knew that if the capacity of the gun was anything near what he thought it was, then a single shot was enough to spatter his head around the room. He broke out in cold sweat.” (P161) “Despite the manner in which Oluwasegun uses reversals and irony to telling effect in this story and all through the collection, literary purists will have an issue or two to raise about the stories. For instance, all the characters in “Boomerang” can be described as one-dimensional. They appear to be created to serve the basic needs of the
The thread of reversals not only heightens suspense within this particular story, but enables the introduction of irony into the narrative mix
plotline, thus not much attention is paid, especially for the central characters in giving them depth. Therefore there is no room for their evolution. Thus at the end of the story, nothing much really changes apart from the tragic conclusion. The minor characters, especially the members of Blackson’s hit-squad will obviously continue with their evil lifestyle until maybe they get caught or are killed. So too Blackson, who, as part of the main focus of this particular narrative, can be considered a major character. “It is a situation that holds for all the other stories in the collection. The major characters remain unchanged all through, as there is no discernible evolution. Fictional stories are a slice of real life and the reality of existence is that our daily experiences eventually have a cumulative impact on our character. “Thus, arguably, the unintended consequence in the overall tone of Oluwasegun’s stories is one of statis. To borrow from the title of one of the stories, there appears to be no redemption thus imbuing the collection with a hue of hopelessness. “However, the redeeming feature of this collection of stories, viewed from another perspective, is that Oluwasegun is a skilful writer.” He said the work is commendable
•Tambuwal from the standpoint of being a collection that showcases craftsmanship which highlights the author’s descriptive capabilities, his keen sense of foreshadowing important circumstances, his eye for details, enthralling plot-sequences, vivid cinematic presentation of situations, good command of language and an intriguing knack for mixing narrative forms almost like a conjurer. “All that remains is the deepening of his skills to ensure that his stories have a deeper resonance beyond the level of thrills,” Shehu said.
Dignitaries bid Senator Obi’s wife farewell •Continued from page 27
•Legendary boxer, Bash Ali, (left); his Chief of Staff, Mike Ogboko and a member of Bash Ali Boxing Project, Solomon Achibong, at a press conference addressed by the boxer on the refusal of the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, to endorse his Guinness World Record Fight, in Abuja PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
cian, I travel a lot, but with her, the control and management of the family was the least of my problems because Collette was always in control. “If I call myself a successful politician, the credit should go to my wife. It is very difficult to accept she is no more”. He said, on his arrival in Abuja, upon his appointment by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, he had found the St Mathew’s Church as a very comfortable place to worship, and worked with other members to ensure the new imposing edifice’s physical development, “but little did I know it will serve as a place where this service will
be held for my wife.” The event drew eminent personalities including members of the diplomatic corps. Those at the event include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, his wife, Mary (a Justice of the Supreme Court), former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Senators Tunde Ogbeha, Uche Chukwumerije and Andy Ubah. Others are former Foreign Affairs Minister and chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Tom Ikimi, former Anambra State Governor, Chukwuemeka Ezeife and former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
‘Neighbours said I used my daughter for rituals’ A member of the Winners’ Chapel, Mr. Samuel Eleng, is the father of a four-year-old girl, Praise, who returned home after spending two years and three months with kidnappers. He spoke on how she got missing, the trauma the family went through and how she eventually regained freedom.
OW did your daughter, Praise, get missing? My daughter, Praise, is four years and three months old. She has a twin sister, Glory . I am a member of the Winners’ Chapel. I have been a member since 2000. They were given birth to on April 17, 2009 at Festac town. The way they were delivered was a miracle- 19 children were delivered and they were the only twins and they were taken to the altar and were anointed. When they clocked two years and 10 months on April 17, 2011, I came here with my children, it was an anointing service. I told my wife, “Can we take them to Children’s Department?” and she said “yes.” Praise was not happy about going to the children’s department that day. I didn’t understand was she was saying. So, I forced them to go that day. We all went to the children’s department and two tags were given to us. And we came back to the service celebrating in God’s presence. After the service I told my wife to pick the children from the Children’s Department and meet me in the bus. She agreed. So, we went to our bus and we were all waiting. We waited for five minutes and she did not come and we started getting worried. The driver of the bus asked what was delaying her and I said ‘may be my wife was finding it difficult bringing the children’. Then, I went to look for her. What did you see when you got to theChildren’sDepartment? When I got to the children’s department, I saw her weeping outside and asked what the problem was. She said ‘our baby Praise cannot be found’. I asked the teacher in charge and she said the person who gave them the two tags had gone for fourth service. I said, ‘madam, do you people play negligence here?’ She said, ‘no, everywhere is well secured.’ Then I said, ‘how come my baby is missing? How can a baby get out of this environment without you observing it?’ She said I should check the next class. We checked the next class, all to no avail. Throughout that day, we were in confusion; I refused to go home and insisted on seeing Bishop David Oyedepo. At the end of the service, I saw the Bishop and told him what happened. He quickly rushed with me to the Children’s Department and asked where the class was. I pointed at it and he made declarations: ‘I have not sensed any evil signal; that child is coming back.’ I held on to that word because he is a man I love so much. I keyed to the word and I said, ‘daddy what next?’ He said I should go to the camp house and stay with my wife. I said ‘ok’. What happened thereafter? That was when we started our problem. Monday came, nothing happened. On Tuesday too, there was nothing. The Bishop always came to visit us, asking how we were. I always told him we were fine. He kept proclaiming the same declarations that she would be found. And we held on to it. But as a man in the
flesh, I was touched and started weeping and crying. One day, we said ‘ok, if that is the case, let’s make it public’ and we contacted AIT. We went there and she was on telecast and we continued our prayers. We still held on to God. Neighbours made comments and nicknames were given that I had used my child for rituals; that I had connived with the bishop and it is only me who know what has happened to my child. Whatsoever they said, I paid deaf ears to it. But my sure assurance was that brethren gathered in the presence of God. I never attempted to go anywhere else. You said people gave you names. What names? Did you lose hope of finding her and how were you comporting yourself amidst the namecalling and trauma? My bishop gave an instruction at the Church Secretariat, up to the secretary on the last floor - that if I came to the office, nobody must say that he was not around. He said anytime I came, they should take me up and he would be comforting me with the word of God and that’s what I did. So, anytime I felt down, I would just come down to the church. My wife came with the little baby, that she wanted to see daddy. I said, ‘daddy this is what they have said again concerning me’. He would then say, “Samuel kneel down” and I would go on my knees and he would embrace me and say, “I transfer my peace to you” So, that was how it went on. It was his peace that was sustaining me. After the 2011 incident, I was here for Shiloh 2012. When it got to the police, the way and manner people were handling it was not to my comfort. When we went to the police, they said they wanted to take the case to court but I said no, I said ‘how can I stand in court against my father?’ So, that was how I didn’t show up in court. Some members of the church went there and they called me to come but I refused. Because there was no way I was going to stand against my father, Bishop David Oyedepo, in court. I said, “God, if you cannot do it, just leave it; but there is one thing I assure you of, I will never go another way.’ I left the church for a while and didn’t attend any church. I locked myself inside the house and would always place my baby’s picture inside my Bible and cry unto God. It became a thing of friendship between me and God. God started assuring me, “Samuel, your baby will come back!” I never met with the Bishop again. I consulted no pastor again. My wife and I prayed in the midnight hours, naked before God, crying unto heaven. I would weep all night and when it was daybreak, I would be the happiest man, going about my business, as usual. My baby, Glory, would comfort me, saying, ‘daddy don’t cry, I saw Jesus carrying Praise on His shoulders’. My wife said she wanted to be pregnant again in order to find comfort. So, she got pregnant. What really broke the head of the
•Eleng and his daughter
When I saw my baby at the entrance of the police station, I was shocked and amazed at the same time. I fell down and I collapsed and the police started carrying me up. I thought I was no more because I didn’t imagine God doing this kind of thing. I know that I have followed God in sincerity of heart. I said ‘God can you do this thing?’ I turned to my daughter and carried her. When she saw me she said she wanted to go and sleep. She no longer speaks English; it is Igbo language that she speaks now. I called her Praise and she said ‘Yes’ I said ‘I am your daddy’ that was how she hugged me and kissed me.
‘ devil is where I am going now. when my wife was pregnant, we went to the Redemption Camp frequently to pray until the day of delivery. On December 27, 2012, my wife went to the hospital for delivery at about 7.p.m. I was on my way to the hospital when I heard a voice, “Samuel, shut your mouth. Whether you pray or you don’t pray, the way and manner this child will be delivered, that is the way your baby, Praise, will come back.’ I looked around me but saw nobody. I went to the hospital and was eager to see how the miracle was going to happen. I saw my wife and I said, “How do you feel? Have they attended to you?” And she said no. She said there were other people in the delivery room. She said I should pray and I said “No. Let’s us not pray” having said that, I told her what the Lord had told me on my way to the hospital. Behold, the baby in her womb pulled out without her entering into the delivery room. From that day on, I cast away worry. The Lord said to me, “Samuel, I have come to give you peace.” So the pain in me, the feeling of pain was erased from my heart. Every where I went, I took my Bible, encouraging myself in the Lord. Three months after that, I started going to a nearby church. I kept waiting on the Lord to speak and I kept giving thanks everyday, especially in the midnight, with my little baby. On June 12, I dressed my daughter up for school and I put the food on the dining table. I asked her to come and eat. We usually pray together before eating and she prays this way: “Father, thank you for today. As we are about to eat, bring
my sister, Praise, and let her come and join us in this table.” That particular day, my daughter said, “Daddy, but we have been praying for Praise, where has Praise gone to?” I said to her, “Praise has travelled with mummy and she will soon come back”. I never knew that those words were words of prophecy. The following day, I took her to school and two days went by and nothing happened. But on Saturday, June 15, I was in the shop and I received a call, “Are you the father of the twins?” I said, “Yes” and she said “I am Mrs. Adewale” I said, “from where?” She said she was from Obasanjo Farm Police Station. I asked her what she wanted and she said my baby had been found. I asked her whose baby because it was too shocking. At first, I was scared, because I thought it was another plan of kidnap. I called the woman back and said, “This is me ma. The I. P. O. before was Mrs. Lawal , so why is it Mrs. Adewale that is calling me now? She said, “Lawal has been transferred.” I then asked of the D. P. O. because I wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth. She said it was another DPO that was there. I went to pick one of my brothers and two other men to accompany me to the station. So you saw her at the station? When I saw my baby at the entrance of the police station, I was shocked and amazed at the same time. I fell down and I collapsed and the police started carrying me up. I thought I was no more because I didn’t imagine God doing this kind of thing. I know that I have followed God in sincerity of heart. I said “God can you do this thing?” I turned to my daughter and car-
ried her. When she saw me, she said she wanted to go and sleep. She no longer speaks English; it is Igbo language that she speaks now. I called her Praise and she said ‘Yes’ I said ‘I am your daddy’. She hugged me and kissed me. The police men said, ‘If a miracle like this is happening, the whole of the station will be worshipping the God of Oyedepo.’ I bless the name of the Lord! God is awesome. I thought my waiting was in vain, but I have now seen the hand of God. I will serve God all the days of my life. Have you gotten any idea who the kidnappers of your baby were? There were speculations. Some said that the person who took her must have printed a fake tag. They said that the kidnapper might be someone we know. I said the only person that is close to me is a printer and I was the one who invited him to this church in February 2011 and then in April Praise was kidnapped. They police said that if that was the case, the man was a suspect . So, we went to arrest him. I told them I didn’t want to go to the court but I was forced to. On getting to the court I saw the brethren all there. As at that time, I had never been to the court before. The judge complained that I was asked to come to court before but I refused; so, the case was adjourned. I went on my knees and said, “God have mercy; you are the judge of all.” Do you know the man that made the confession? Have you ever had any dealing with him? No, I don’t know him. We were told that he came to confess to the Bishop and after the confession he became blind again and died. He is in the mortuary right now. The police came to meet the Bishop here and that was where he was interrogated. We heard that there was a syndicate; the person who stole the child, the person who bought her for N40, 000 and the last recipient in Enugu who bought her... The person who took the child to sell is in the police custody and the person or people who bought the child are still in Enugu. Don’t you need to know to what extent they dealt with the child while with the syndicate? I don’t think that is necessary because the Bishop said they have carried out medical tests on the child and the child is okay. You have an idea what they were using your child for these past two years? They are in the police custody; so, the police will let us know. As the father of the child, you should find out from the police what really happened, don’t you think? Yes. It is necessary! How has Praise’s interaction with you been since she returned? It was just yesterday that she returned. Blood is thicker than water. The Bishop gave us a car to go and pick her twin sister. When we got home, to my surprise, nobody told Praise to embrace her beloved sister. I asked her “am I your daddy? She said, “Yes” and she also spoke to her mother on the phone calling her “mummy”; she was so happy. Praise and her sister were playing and so they didn’t go to bed on time. Even while they were asleep, they crossed their hands together. What was your wife’s reaction when you told her on the phone that Praise had returned home? I don’t know whether she cried or laughed, but I heard a loud voice. She shouted like never before. She kept calling and asking me if I was sure that Praise had returned. It was until she spoke to Praise herself that she believed. She is on her way now; she said that she wanted to lead the praise in Winners Chapel before coming back! She travelled with our last daughter so they are coming back together.
TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
POLITICS THE NATION
Local government autonomy has remained a controversial issue, since the commencement of the processes for amending the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly. Assistant Editor LEKE SALAUDEEN examines the arguments for and against the proposal.
Is local government federating unit? T
HE question of local government autonomy in the country has been a long-running sub ject. It has elicited animated and almost emotional debate among the political class. The Senate’s position on the matter has never been in doubt right from the onset. While setting up the 47-member to review the Constitution, the Senate President David Mark had posed a number of questions. He asked: “How effective are the Local Government? Should they be made to function independent of the states? Is the joint State/Local Government still necessary”? The question of local government effectiveness and joint account have been in the front burner for a long time. Many people are of the view that anything short of granting administrative and fiscal autonomy to the local government will not be acceptable. Hitherto, a bill for an Act to alter the provision of the Constitution to provide for financial autonomy for Local Government Councils and for matters connected there to, had scaled the second reading on the floor of the senate. The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Nurudeen Abatemi Usman, was intended to give local councils a lease of life from the strangle hold of states and ensure their financial autonomy. He said through the bill, the delay in states’ release of funds to their respective councils would be a thing of the past. Besides, he avered that it will also eliminate wanton and arbitrary deductions by the states as well as reduce the utilisation of the provision as a suppressive tool by some governors. He said such financial autonomy will attract better, qualified Nigerians to contest for and serve in the local governments. The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, justified the demand for local government autonomy this way: “In 2002 , the state governments brought a suit against the Federal government for deducting first line charges for joint venture investment in oil sector, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation priority project and external debt service”. Ekweremadu noted that, while the Spreme Court judgment favoured the state governments, it appears that most states are guilty of the same act as the local governments in many instances have continued to suffer fiscal emasculation in the hands of state governments. Now that we have the opportunity to amend the constitution, let us determine once and for all the uniform policy of local gov-
‘What we have today is a disruptive and abominable legacy of military rule. It was the practice of the military to create local governments and even states. Since the military went on a frenzy of proliferating the local governments, and even took on itself the burden of its funding, just as it was funding the states from the Federation Account. The military then passed on this legacy at its disengagement in 1999’ ernment administration with regard to structure, tenure, administrative independence and fiscal autonomy. This is the only way we can guarantee even development to our communities and spread the dividends of democracy to the people. Beyond that, Nigerians are divided on the issue. While some say autonomy for local government will speed up development in the country others believe it will worsen the corruption.
NGF’s opposition to LG autonomy The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) is stoutly opposed to any move to grant autonomy to local governments. The body has continued to maintain that local councils are integral part of state governments. The plank of the Forum’s argument is that, in all known federation, the federating units are usually the states and the centre. And that autonomy will only make sense in the relationship between the states and the centre where we look at a spectrum that runs on the two extremes of unitarism and confederation. They argue that, in a federal system, there is no provision for local government as a federating partner and to talk of one is to engage in absurdity. The understanding, over the years, has been that, in a true federalism, the issue relating to the creation, delineation and funding of local authorities is within the constitutional purview of states, which have political and juridicial status that the local governments do not have. The states are federating units while the local governments are merely adminis-
trative units. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola agreed that local governments have politico-legal existence in so far as the constitution recognised them and even listed their names. “These local governments so named are the beneficiaries of federal allocations, just like the states and the federal government. It is this existing arrangement that has made some to erroneously assume and even argue that the local governments are on the same level of autonomy as states and federal governments. “What we have today is a disruptive and abominable legacy of military rule. It was the practice of the military to create local governments and even states. Since the military went on a frenzy of proliferating the local governments, and even took on itself the burden of its funding, just as it was funding the states from the Federation Account. The military then passed on this legacy at its disengagement in 1999. Nevertheless, the issue of local governments’ autonomy should only come into play within the context of their relationship with their states”, he said.
Local governments in other countries Local governments in the United States, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and others countries have huge responsibilities and resources, but still operate within the purview of their states. Switzerland has a three-tier governmental structure-Confederation (Federal government), Cantons (State government) and municipalities (Local government). The autonomy of the Municipalities is guarantied within the limits fixed by catonial law. The municipalities are the creation
of the Cantons and they define the organisation, competences, resources and power of control and intervention of the cantonial authorities in municipal affairs. In Germany,the local government is characterised by diversity, especially in its unique city states. The Federal Republic of Germany consisted of 11 Lander (States) when it was founded. Since reunification in 1990, Germany now has 16 Lander, including the three city states of Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin. Regarding the assignment of land tasks, the Basic Law merely distinguishes between two orders: the federation and the Lander. Austria, clearly, belongs to the category of the federal systems where local government is extensively regulated by the Federal Constitution. The more rigorous the federal constitutional regime, however, the less space remains for the Lander and their legislation. Even then, the competence to regulate local government is mainly assigned to the Lander not the federal legislature.
Third tier of government? The general belief is that there are three-tier of government in the country, namely: federal, state and local governments. A political scientist, Dr Hakeem Baba- Ahmed, said the authors of the 1999 Constitution envisaged true federalism with three tier of government. So, what we have is a federal constitution that recognises local government as a tier. Baba-Ahmed frowns at the practice whereby local governments with democratically elected executive are answerable to the state government. “Why should that be? Once the local government executive are accountable to the state executives they can’t perform their functions. Local governments should be accountable to the people just as the states and the Federal governments are. “The constitutional provision that tied the local government to the state government should be amended. It shouldn’t be there. Remove all those elements that hinder local government from operating as a tier of government. The joint account should be abrogated and be allowed to conduct their own election independently. It is •Continued on page 44
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
POLITICS Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain Senator Oluremi Tinubu represents Lagos Central District in the Senate. She spoke with reporters on her activities in the Upper Chamber. Group Political Editor, EMMANUEL OLADESU was there.
‘We need better govt in 2015’ Y
OU are in the Senate now. So, would you say that you are living up to the expectation? I am from a political family. There is no time that we are not ready to serve. We have been serving at the state and at the national levels for a long time now, so we have been in the process trying to bring succour to the people and I don’t know how more ready, I don’t know how more ready you want me to be? For one, my husband has been a very visible active player, but if he hadn’t gotten the support from home and the understanding, I don’t think he would have been able to go this far. So, asking me, maybe it took a decision for me to say, maybe I should go in and do this? Is it a familiar or an unfamiliar terrain? It is a familiar terrain for a long time now. We have paid the price to even be here today. I will tell you it’s like maybe this battery that they used to have in the US. that is Eveready, so, it is like where you •From right: Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central); Lagos Central Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader want to be and what capacity you want Prince Tajudeen Olusi and former Eti-Osa Local Government Chairman Otunba Murphy Adetoro at the media to serve. So, I am always ready. parley held at Rehoboth House, Yaba, Lagos. PHOTO: TAIWO OKANLAWON What is your primary concern in the law. Grace of God, we will have it. When the budget. And the budget that is Senate? My greatest challenge in the Senate is we have the right government for Nipassed does it translate into anything? My primary concern is one, the rate of At the end of the day, they ended up the poverty level of our people. When that, out of the 56 committees, opposi- geria, they will know the need why declaring state of emergency. So, I am we look at the system, we are talking tion, ACN, only has three chairman- Lagos should be given that special stajust as confused. about the structural development, how ships. I am the Vice-Chairman of the tus as General Murtala Muhammed Senate Committee on Labour, Employ- recommended years ago for Laogs, If just one man could transform Dubai far have we gone it doesn’t take a lot of people to…and This wasn’t the Nigeria that I grew up ment and Productivity and some people Port-Harcourt and Kano. What is your reaction to the threat by that is why Nigerians must look critito love. I keep saying it that I was not would say, o do labour people who are cally on Jonathan in 2015 or whoever from a very wealthy family, but we were in the struggle dress the way I am? But the British Government to cut off asPDP chooses. comfortable, we were the then middle I say, this is the new face of labour, and sistance to Nigeria on account of the Lagos is Lagos today because someclass, we could aspire, we could dream it is in my blood. If you fight for the bill prohibiting homosexual marbody sacrificed. You all know what to be whatever we want to be. I am here common good for the people you don’t riage? I don’t see any reason why any govLagos looked like after military govtoday because that dream kept me, but have to dress in towels and deceive ernment, but we tend to forget. We see when I look at what we have today, I them, but they know who are theirs ernment would talk down on the govthe bridge that Fashola has just comlook at the young people and my con- and you can see me with the rapport I ernment of another country. Is it not missioned and we think that is how cern is for the young, not for the old. have with the common man and my the freedom of choice? Why should Lagos used to be. No, it wasn’t. What kind of Nigeria do we want to heart is saying, who is going to give you now breath down a country’s neck You almost talk like a comrade? leave for them? A good parent would them justice? Who is going to fight their and give then ultimatum?? We are AfI am a comrade. I said that this is the leave an inheritance for the children but cause? So I wan to see where social se- ricans and we never ask them to wear new face of labour, it is in the blood. I what inheritance, what legacy do we curity is directed to the young person. I some of our traditional clothes. We also came from the trenches. I never want to leave for the up coming genera- want to see them have access to free have culture and we also have traditalk about June 12. everybody would tion? What they see is corruption. We health care, to go to school, to have three tion and this is according to our tradition and culture. Even their gay rights give themselves all the accolade and I see our children doing a lot of this ya- square meals on the table. So, my request is very simple. My re- is even conflicting and now, I don’t will just look. I paid dearly! hoo-yahoo business, a lot of kidnapping, quest is that people can live like very know whether they will give us anWhy are opposition Senators always cultism and I am worried. desirous of getting juicy committee If we go wrong we should be honest decent human beings. They don’t have other bible and send new missionarpositions in the Senate, instead of reenough to say that we have done wrong. to keep begging for food, they don’t ies to us because the bible they left with maining in the opposition? The German Chancellor was saying yes- have to sleep under the bridge. That is us says it is wrong and I think in the Koran it also says it is wrong. If I wanted a juicy committee I terday that her generation had done my concern. The two bills concerning social secuWhat is the fate of the 2013 budget? wouldn’t be in the Labour, Employwrong to the young generation, but look What can I say? Being in opposition ment and Productivity committee. I can at Nigeria. If Europe is saying they have rity and another one that prevents whatever your views are, they are not only speak for myself and I have been sinned by accepting that they didn’t cre- women from doing certain jobs. What is your position on the bill for a even respected. To me, that is the way a rookie in the Senate and I don’t know ate jobs for the young people and we they want to see it because one day, about the juiciness of the committees Nigerians are still lying under SURE- special status for Lagos? You know the Senate turned it down Senate will be crying foul, the next until I learn. I think one of the things Party, we are still lying under Sovereign that the chairman of a committee gives Wealth Fund. I am concerned and my they said it cannot be included in the minute you don’t understand what is is to wield more powers to work. primary concern is respect for the rule of constitution amendment, but by the going on. So, they go and forth with
For me, I am quite satisfied wherever the Senate President has put me, but ACN we want to work. You were absent when the Senate endorsed the president’s proclamation of the emergency rule in three Northeast states. I would like to know how you would have voted if you were present given your party’s opposition to the proclamation? The state of emergency came rather too late, after security votes had been wasted and could not be accounted for. To me, I look and see the pretence, and these are not the things you would want to say. It is still the more you look, the less you see and I just pray that a lot of innocent lives are not lost. So, it is still chasing shadows. The problem with Nigeria and terrorism is the level of poverty. Until it is addressed, people are still going to be aggrieved, they are still going to be angry. So, my view on state of emergency? I never supported it and I still don’t. I don’t believe in it. But the APC Senators voted for it? They voted for it for their own reasons, but I didn’t vote and you can count this as my vote. Would you agree with the suggestion by the ACN national leader that the work of the legislature should be made parttime? Governance truly is expensive. When you look at the national budget it is mainly on paying salaries. If my husband (said that) I think he misses me too (Laughter). If it is part time it would be nice so that credible people can go into the Senate and go back to their daily chores. Are you running for the office of governor? Even to run for this office, it is this press that started it. So, can the press start it again? No, don’t start it oh! Truly and truly speaking, it is never my ambition to run for governor of Lagos State. Remember, my husband did it for eight years and I was not outsider to it. It is not a place for the tender hearted, it is a lot of work to govern Lagos and I am not the type that don’t put hard work into whatever I do. I don’t think I have the strength to say that I want to govern the present state of Lagos. There is still a lot of work to be done in Lagos, a lot of work. It is not a child’s play. I am still in training as far as I am concerned. My first love is charity work. So, I don’t have such an ambition.
Is local government third tier?
• Ihedioha •Continued from page 43
important to have a full blown local government with full autonomy”. Baba-Ahmed stressed. Baba-Ahmed dismissed the argument of the state governors that local government can’t be autonomous of the state government adding that we don’t have to go to Switzerland or India to borrow a model.
The Head of the Department of Political Science, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Abubakar Momoh, wants the local government to operate as third tier of government because they are close to the grass root and that is where people feel the presence of government. Momoh said the interest of the people start with local government because the local government executives know the needs of the people more than the states and thefederal government that are far away. Transparency and accountability are visible at the grass root because the people live with those running the councils. He said putting local councils in the pockets of state governments do not encourage competent and qualified people to serve as chairmen or councillors.. It is not good for the country. The governors remove councillors and chairmen at will either because they don’t belong to the ruling party in the state or they are not willing to do the bidding of the governor. The state governments intervene in their activities. The state governors determines what to do with the joint account, the funds on many occasions are diverted. “Where the state electoral commissions conduct local government election, the result is predictable. The ruling party wins all seats. It is not helping our democracy. “People keep criticising the federal government of not doing this and that , they have forgotten that local governments too have certain roles to play but they can’t because they are crippled by the state governments. An expert in Constitutional Law, Professor Itse
Sagay (SAN), described the three-tier federal structure as a fundamental error and an anomaly. He said Nigeria is a federation , so the idea of having autonomous local governments makes no sense. Sagay said: “To have the local governments listed in the constitution is an aberration” adding that councils should exist as agencies of the states for development. “It should not be mentined at all in the constitution. States should decide how many local governments they need and fund them. We don’t need a Federation Account. It is not the duty of the constitution toto direct the state to create local government area. A state should decide whether its local government officials should work on a part time basis or not, or whether to run them like a parliamentary system. We don’t have to have the same system for all the local governments.. Those advocating autonomy for local government should bid federalism goodbye”, Sagay said. The chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and governor of Rivers State, Chief Rotimi Amaechi said there is no country in the world that there are three federating units. There are only two all over the world. Why should anybody say there must be three federating units in Nigeria? Amaechi said: “Let a state governor or let the states create as many local governments as they want to create. It should not be a constitutional issue. Those accusing governors of mismanaging resources are far from saying the truth. In
Rivers state, Locacal governments not only collect their money directly but they also collect two billion naira monthly from the state coffer. The state government pays the salaries of all teachers in the state. With this, our wage bill is six billion naira per month. The Nigerian Union of Teachers has kicked against granting local government financial autonomy. The union said its position was informed by their experience under the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida when the payment of primary school teachers was transferred to the local governments. It recalled that some local governments across the country owed as much as nine month salaries. Primary education in the states nearly collapsed when teachers refused to go to school to teach. At last, the military government reversed the policy and asked the state governments to take over. That was how state governments cleared the salary arrears and continued payment of teachers’ salaries.. The union said nothing has changed in the local government so as to entrust the management of education on them. Lagos State commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Mr Ademorin Kuye said those behind the agitation for autonomy for local government were not sincere but only pushing for it to score political points . Those clamouring are doing so for political gains; to use the local government to get elected into office.. However,the state government supported tenure elongation for local governments to give them more time to carry out their constitutional responsibilities, he said.’
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
These children need N7.5m to battle cancer
On their sick beds at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), their prayer is to live. Will Nigerians hearken to the cries of Timothy Olaonipekun (13) and Esther Ekpo (19 months), who are suffering from cancer? WALE ADEPOJU reports.
HERE they lay on their bedshelpless in the same ward. The two of them have one thing in common: they are suffering from cancer. They require a total of N7.5 million to live in their wards at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). These children are hanging on to life, praying that help would come. Their parents, who have been straining themselves to pay hospital bills, also join their kids in prayers. The lives of Timothy Olaonipekun (13) and Esther Ekpo (19 months) depend on the lifeline they can get from kindhearted Nigerians. Olaonipekun needs N2.5 million and Baby Ekpo, N5 million for treatment. They have cancer. Olaonipekun, Junior Secondary pupil of Baptist Boys High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, Ogun State, is battling with leukaemia - cancer of the blood. His father, Mr Muyiwa Olaonipekun, said he has spent over N2 million on his son’s ailment, yet the boy would need more money to live. Recounting how his ordeal began, Master Olaonipekun said he had a fever early last July and was admitted in the hospital for some days but was discharged when he got better. “The morning after I was discharged I became feverish again and for six days I was admitted again at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Lantoro, Abeokuta, Ogun State. “There, I was asked to do tuberculosis (TB) test which was negative. In the 10th week of treatment, I was re-examined and I had a biopsy at the same hospital in Abeokuta where the doctor attended. He gave me a bombshell. He said I have cancer - lymphoblastic.” His father said: “The drugs that he is taking are too strong and they don’t allow him to eat. The histopathology report said he has Axilliary Lymp Mode - High Grade NonHodgkin Lymphona. It was after this that he was referred to LUTH where he was admitted on November 14, last year. But when his situation im-
• Master Olaonipekun
proved he was discharged on February 5, this year after the completion of the second round of chemotherapy. He has since been going for chemotherapy. He has resumed the third chemotherapy. It was at LUTH that the doctor said he had leukemia (lymphona). “He had some lumps all over his body before he came down with the disease finally. We have spent 13 weeks at LUTH. Initially, we spent 71 days together during the second phase but since then it has been one crisis or the other.” Olaonipekun listed the challenges
he had undergone to ensure his child stays alive and gain good health back. “Getting platelets in the hospital is a problem. Also, the machine in the hospital has stopped working. LUTH is the major market for platelet. We buy platelet for N5,000, but elsewhere it is sold for N17,000 per pint. There is a hospital in Ikeja where we usually buy the product for N17,000.” Olaonipekun, a widower, who lost his wife on April 14, last year, is appealing to well-meaning individuals, corporate organisations and governments at all levels to come to the
Subomi Balogun gives out N3.7b National Paediatrics Centre to UI The N3.7 billion Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre (OTNPC) in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, built by banking mogul, Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun, has been donated to the University of Ibadan (UI).
Prevent cancer, avoid barbecued foods
ARBECUED food has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. But you can have your barbecue and your health too if you follow these suggestions. • Keep a watchful eye to avoid barbecue flare-ups and the resulting charring of your food. Charred food is linked with the creation of carcinogens. • Cook over lower temperatures. Use low to medium cooking temperatures. When foods like meat are heated over high temperatures or come in contact with flames, compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can form. Both compounds are known carcinogens. Of course you don’t need to pronounce them or spell them to reduce your risk of exposure to these carcinogens. Of course if you’re cooking meat or poultry always be sure that the inside temperature reaches a high enough temperature to kill microbes. If you’re cooking meat or poultry, marinate it in olive oil and lemon juice-based marinades. Research shows that these two items reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds by up to 99 per cent while cooking, while adding flavor and help-
ing to keep it moist. • Choose naturally low fat foods like vegetables, lean cuts of meat, poultry or fish. Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are primarily formed when fats are heated to high temperatures or fall into the flames and create smoke. Low fat foods reduce the chance of these compounds forming at all. • Trim excess fat from meat prior to cooking it (for the same reason as number 4). • Add fresh or dried herbs to cut your cancer risk. These herbs include: basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage. Food Safety Consortium scientists at Kansas State University discovered that using basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, or sage in marinades drastically reduces the formation of HCAs. Simply use one or more of these herbs, preferably fresh, in a marinade prior to and during cooking. They reduce cancer risk and add tremendous flavor. • Avoid overcooking vegetables. The longer they cook the more certain vitamins like vitamin C and Bcomplex vitamins break down. New research in Molecular Biology Reports shows that Vitamin C reduces the cancer-causing effects of HCAs.
• Add more vegetables to the grill. One of the easiest ways to cancer-proof your barbecue is to add more veggies. Making kebabs is a great way to do this. If you’re cooking meat on kebabs, the veggies will keep it moist and add fibre, flavor, and nutrients. • Include cruciferous vegetables in every barbecue. New research in Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention shows that cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates that form cancer-protective compounds known as isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates have been shown to protect against HCAs and PAHs, making them especially great to cancer-proof your barbecue. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. • Clean your grill prior to every use. Not only is it more appetizing to eat food that’s been cooked on a clean grill, but you’ll reduce the amount of char that you’ll be eating. The charred parts of food can cause free radical formation in your body and since free radicals are linked with premature aging, disease, and tissue damage, it’s best to reduce your exposure as much as possible. •Source: www.care2.com
aid of his dying son. He said the BBHS has been supportive but added that his son would need N2.5 million to complete the fourth therapy session. “At the moment, Timothy is on the 13th day of a 56-day third course,” Olaonipekun said. Another patient, little Esther Ekpo, 19-month-old, has cancer of the ovary. Her mother, Mrs Ann Ekpo, said: “I don’t blame people running away from Nigeria. I’ve friends, who are
married to Ghanaians and other nationalities and have gone for good. The government has not done anything to make life meaningful for the people. I discovered that my daughter has ovarian cancer in January. This was after her stomach became swollen. Then, she had a CT Scan, which showed that there was a tumour in her left side. “After this shocking discovery, we were referred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). But because of lack of bed she was again referred to LUTH. She had a biopsy. When they opened her up, they found out that the mass was large. The expert advised she goes on chemotherapy. She has been on oxygen mask. She is also on drug and doesn’t eat. We feed her through a tube,” she said. Unhappy, Mrs Ekpo said the chemotherapy is killing her daughter. She needs red and white blood cells and platelets to survive, but they are not available in this hospital. “We have been going to the Island Maternity, Lagos to get platelets. This is not supposed to be so. The trauma is too much for us to bear. I’ve been going to LUTH’s blood bank as if I’m going to the market. My little Esther has been admitted since March. I have spent more than N1 million on her treatment. I need help as soon as possible for my daughter not to die. Someone out there should please help me,” she said. Are you moved to reach both or any of these children? Here are their contacts: Timothy Olaonipekun: Stanbic IBTC: 0005233079. For Esther Ekpo, Nnamdi Ekpo: FirstBank: 3005332691.
... And she died
HIOMA Ukanwa is dead. She died last Friday at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). She needed N10 million for surgery to save her life. Her story was featured on-linethenationonlineng.net on Tuesday last week. Ukanwa had been battling leukaemia since 2008. The Head of Department, Paediatrics, Prof Adebola Akinsulie, confirmed her death. According to her father, Mr Charles Ukanwa, the ailment started with a fever. “She also had rashes all over her body. So, we took her to a private clinic in Lagos. It was from there that we were referred to LUTH in September 2008. She was admitted in the Accident and Emergency Ward (A and E) for three weeks before she was transferred to the Children Ward. My daughter was diagnosed of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “She had stayed at the Ward D of the hospital for six months, receiving treatment. After she recovered, we stopped taking her to the hospital for treatment due to lack of finance because her treatment was expensive. But, unfortunately, she suffered a relapse in January 2010, but she was okay all through 2009,” he said. Ukanwa said the family had spent over N5 million on her treatment. “Before she died, Thursday last week, she has finished her induction, but she’s staying for further treatment and observations. She presented with swollen leg, neck and jaw, ears and severe pain. “Whenever she took drugs, she
•The late Miss Ukanwa
usually became normal. And she had been in the hospital since last July. This had affected her education as she was still in Primary Four. “Her mother, who was an auxilliary nurse, had been waiting on her since she took ill. And she is not working at the moment. The consultant in-charge advised that she should be taken to India where she could be treated for N10 million. But where we could raise that was our challenge and we would have been for ever be grateful to all and sundry who had helped saved our daughter’s life and keep us also as parents. But that is not possible anymore,” he said.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
Cancer, a non-cmmunicable disease, is on the rise in the country. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA and WALE ADEPOJU report the fuelling factors.
‘Two million Nigerians have cancer’
ORE than 70 per cent of cancer deaths occur in low- and middleincome countries, says the World Health Organisation (WHO). Although the risk of developing or dying from it is still higher in the developed world, still early detection and prompt medical attention are key in its management. According to the Medical Director, Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company, Dr Kodjo Soroh, cancer is on the rise not only in Nigeria, but worldwide. As a result, doctors are still researching into its cure. “The unfortunate aspect of cancer situation in Nigeria is not that doctors cannot treat it, but the cost of treatment and availability of medical equipment is grossly inadequate. Nigeria is not prepared for the Tsunami that is about to break in cancer. I did a little survey in the northwest of the country some two years ago. It was recorded in a teaching hospital that 30 new cases are reported every day. Cancer is killing Nigerians every day. The rate at which cancer is killing Nigerians is alarming. It is more than cases of deaths caused by malaria AIDS and Tuberculsis. “The best way to get an idea on the prevalence is to go by the WHO statistics on cancer situation in Nigeria. The statistics is alarming. It says per hour, 30 Nigerians are dying of cancer. I say Nigeria is not prepared because if you look at our National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cancer is not covered. So, if you develop cancer now, you are on your own. How many radiotherapy units do you have in Nigeria and the specialists, how many oncologists? Early detection and diagnosis are important. Once these are delayed, it spreads and causes more damage. If you have money to go out, then the cost is on your head.” He continued: “The best option anybody has is to prevent it. Government should invest more on the infrastructure and health personnel. Early screening and detection are important in cancer management or its prevention. Let us create more awareness by telling our women to do self breast examination, screen for cervical cancer that is even preventable by getting vaccinated. “Let people disabuse their minds on a misconception that if they get female teenagers immunised against cervical cancer; that they are indirectly being prepared for promiscuity. Nigerians should move on. Get our women vaccinated against cervical cancer. There are some women who have been known to keep only a man and still come down with cervical cancer because pappiloma virus is the cause of that type of cancer. The statistics even have it that more married women may have cervical cancer than the unmarried.” Consultant Radiotherapist and Oncologist, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, Prof Remi Ajekigbe, said Nigeria records no fewer than 100,000 new cancer cases yearly. He said an estimated two million people are living with the disease in the country, stressing that Nigeria only has three cancer centres to manage the disease. “The country should have at least one machine in each geo-political zone for the treatment of the disease. The machine was quite expensive but the country could procure some to ensure access in every zone. Government should subsidise the cost of treatment or include the disease in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), it is very expensive to manage it through outof-pocket payment,” he said. Ajekigbe cautioned against the consumption of junk foods, saying they are carcinogenic. He said: “Sedentary lifestyle should be avoided. Civilisation is responsible for the rising incidence of cancer, as lifestyle has changed for the worse. People should watch their lifestyle and effect changes (modification) to reduce the disease.” According to an Epidemilogist, Prof Akin Osibogun: “Cancers in general are referred to as non-communicable disease and can affect any part of the body including the
blood. Cancers have multiple causality which implies that they have been known to have arisen due to exposure to different substances. Exposure to a carcinogenic substance is said to initiate a change in the target organ such that at a future date, the cells in that organ refuse to listen to some growth and division restraining messages in cell division and multiplication. In the absence of this restraint, cells multiply and grow at an unusual rate therefore leading to cancer. “It is also known that there are some genetic predispositions to cancer such that those with the genetic predisposition are more likely to develop cancers following earlier exposures to carcinogenic substances. “The strategy for control must therefore include public awareness to reduce possible exposure to carcinogenic substances e.g the tar in tobacco. Another strategy is early diagnosis and prompt intervention. Cancers diagnosed at an early stage can be virtually cured. Therefore, cancer screening has been a useful tool in cancer control. Surgical excisions of cancerous tumors before they send metases to other parts of the body can help prolong years and grant healthy life years.” According to the Medical Director, Triumph Medical Centre, Dr Deji Morenikeji, cancer is the abnormal growth of body tissues in the cells and can affect any part of the body. “When a person is said to have developed cancer, it simply means the cells that are normal are fast growing into abnormal cells and distorting them. There is increase of awareness on cancer now. Government is actually playing a major role in cancer detection. It has a unit in the Ministry of Health dedicated to that.
“Unfortunately, in this part of the world people go late to the hospital. The treatment is not encouraging. If cancer is detected early, depending on the type of cancer, there is a five- year survival rate, and the rate is higher and impressive. Cancer drugs and treatments are expensive worldwide. Government is trying its best to contain the development of the disease, all things being equal including not having its hereditary trait, and then its prevention, that is, its development is more individualistic. “Government does not reject patients when they come to the hospitals, but most cases often go bad because there was no money. More so, no NHIS cover same. So individuals (patients) pay through various means. There are experts here who can treat cancers here beautifully well. But a more enabling environment should be provided. Patients that travel outside the country on medical tourism end up meeting same Nigerian personnel out there.” On prevention, he said: “People should be mindful of their lifestyle. They should watch what they eat as what they consume plays important role on their wellbeing. They should exercise more and do away with sedentary lifestyle. They should do more health assessments, routine medical examinations.” Children are not left out of the burden of cancer. According to the Head, Paediatric Department, LUTH, Prof Adebola Akinsulie, “Cancer can be devastating when a patient is made to pay out-ofpocket. Early detection can increase the chances of patient being cured. Cancer in children is curable if presented very early. Educating people, especially parents, about the disease is important.
The best way to get an idea on the prevalence is to go by the WHO statistics on cancer situation in Nigeria. The statistics is alarming. It says per hour, 30 Nigerians are dying of cancer. I say Nigeria is not prepared because if you look at our National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cancer is not covered. So if you develop cancer now, you are on your own
“When children start seeing what we refer to as ‘flashes’ in their eyes, it can be a sign, of retinoblastoma - cancer of the eye or when the tummy is growing so hard and you can palpate something hard, that too may be a sign of cancer of kidney. It is only in leaukemia that people don’t get many signs but there are still some signs because it affects the blood. Some children may feel tired and this is why some doctors wrongly treat malaria instead of investigating into the blood for proper diagnosing,” he said. Akinsulie said the treatment of cancer in the country compared with other developed countries lies in proper diagnosis, availability of resources to manage it and proper management on good time. “Most cancers are picked very early in the advanced countries, which is why the outcome always turn out good. Cancer of kidney otherwise known as nephroblastoma can be curtailed in less than six months, but other cancers are not so. Oncologists may treat other cancers for two years and the survival rate may be only 30 per cent, especially if it presented late. “So, dedication is needed. For example, every Nigerian could be asked to donate N100 each and this would translate to over N1 billion, which doctors can use to treat cancer patients. Treating cancer can be better if people can donate for it. There can be a ‘Friends of Leukemia or nephroblastoma group. St Judes Hospital in the United States was willing to collaborate with LUTH. It wanted LUTH to start and run the programme before it would join it. Their fear is that they don’t want people who would steal their fund”, he said. On the prevalence rate of children with cancer, Akinsulie said no fewer than five patients who are children visit the hospital for treatment weekly. The ward, he said, is not spacious to accommodate many of them, adding that some are in the out-patient department. He said majority of the complaints are on nephroblastoma, while acute limphoblastoma is the most common affecting the blood. Retinoblastoma is also common. He urged parents to observe the way their children walk or check if they have abnormal gait or whether they are not walking properly as, “it may be due to cancer of the brain. Governments should subsidise the cost of treating cancer. The various non-govenmental organisations (NGOs) and other support groups can also help to raise funds for treatment.”
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013
BMW Group wins Engine of the Year awards T
HE BMW Group has two awards. They are the International Engine of the Year Awards. The company’s latest distinctions in the globally renowned competition came courtesy of two drive units, which bring sporty performance characteristics to the BMW and MINI vehicles in particularly efficient style. In a repeat of last year’s the two-litre four-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology fitted in models including the BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series finished top of its displacement category.
Stories by Tajudeen Adebanjo And the 1.6-litre four-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo engine from the MINI Cooper S went one better, celebrating its third class win in a row. The Engine of the Year Awards were presented last Wednesday at the Engine Expo fair in Stuttgart, Germany. The organisers attributed instantaneous power delivery and a level of efficiency unmatched by any rival to BMW Group’s successful showing in the Engine of the Year Awards.
The winners in each category and overall were decided by an international jury, made up of 84 motoring journalists from 35 countries. The company’s success in the two categories is further evidence of its globally recognised development expertise in the area of drive system technology. Since 1999, the BMW Group has racked up over 60 class and overall wins in the competition. BMW TwinPower Turbo technology once again provided the key to success in the 1.8 – 2.0-litre displacement classes. The winning BMW four-cylinder engine comprises a
twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection and BMW Valvetronic fully variable valve control. The 180 kW/245 hp version of the engine is used to power the BMW 328i, BMW 528i, BMW Z4 sDrive28i, BMW X3 xDrive28i and BMW X1 xDrive28i. The other class conqueror in the BMW Group’s engine line-up also won over the Engine of the Year Awards jury – for the third consecutive year – with its impressive balance of sports performance and economy. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo unit, again the dominant force in the 1.4 – 1.8-
litre category, boasts twin-scroll turbocharging with an overboost function, direct petrol injection and valve control based on the Valvetronic system. Its maximum output of 135 kW/184 hp enables the MINI Cooper S to accelerate from 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph) in seven seconds and deliver average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres (48.7 mpg imp). This highly efficient drive unit is now also available for the MINI Cooper S Countryman and MINI Cooper S Paceman, where it can be combined with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system.
Hyundai Motors, Stanbic IBTC introduces finance Scheme
YUNDAI Motors Nigeria Limited (HMNL) Stanbic IBTC Bank has introduced a competitive vehicle finance scheme for customers to own and drive precision, engineered Hyundai automobiles at affordable rates. The offer, ends June 30. It includes free registration, service and is valid for the first 100 customers that buy Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, ix35 crossover, Elantra or Accent sedans during the programeme. Announcing the sales incentive entitled: ‘The future is now,’ HMNL Head, Sales and Marketing, Mr Jatin Nadkarni, said, the objective is to assist and encourage young and desiring customers to buy the vehicles. He said: “We, at Hyundai, understand the evolving needs and preferences of our customers and we are very optimistic we will receive an overwhelming response to this essential campaign that promises to change the perception of young patrons.” He also said the idea was borne out the need to discourage tokunbo patrons, adding that the time has come for enlist Nigeria on the global map of countries with exceptional predisposition for high profile cars. He said Hyundai is keen on providing the best of products and services to customers to enable them enjoy value-added experience. The scheme, unlike conventional financing, is designed to accommodate prospective customers, in-
cluding those with and without an active account with Stanbic IBTC Bank. “Prospective customers can at their convenience, walk into any of
Hyundai Motors Nigeria showrooms nationwide and process their application for any of the highlighted Hyundai models and we are pleased to also inform that the
scheme has been designed to accommodate all customers weather they have an account with Stanbic IBTC Bank or not,” he said.
•From left: Executive Director Mack Truck Inc. Mr. Taiwo Shittu; Managing Director Haulage Oil & Gas Ltd Mr Frank Okeke; Chief Executive Officer Lanre Shittu Motors Nig. Ltd Mr Lanre Shittu; Vice President Business Development Mack Global Brand USA Mr Frank Oliveira and Mr. Ben Gantayet of International Operation, Mack Truck Inc. USA , during the handing over New Truck by Mack Truck to Officials of Haulage Oil and Gas ltd , financed by Ekn Financing Solution in Lagos
Volkswagen rekindles image with Hi-Tech showroom
HE Volkswagen Centre has inaugurated the first ever avant-garde VW showroom. The centre will integrate attractive pricing structure and riveting after sales service initiative that would re-enact the confidence of the motoring publics in Volkswagen automobiles. The company’s Head, Sales and Marketing Mr. Manish Daryanani during the inauguration of the facility in Lagos, said the showroom was fundamental to the harmonisation of ideals and re-evaluation of the Volkswagen brands. Located between the trio of Audi, Skoda and Porsche showrooms in Victoria Island, the facility will ease access to European automobiles and also serve as a rallying point for European brands of automobiles marketed by the Stallion Group. “This facility is borne out of Stallion Group’s commitment to the Volkswagen dealership as well as her determination to reawaken the confidence of the
Hyundai cars and SUVs also provide high level of content at affordable price, and are currently adjudged one of the most sought after brand in the marketplace.
teeming motoring publics in the VW brand,” he said. Daryanani who expressed the company’s excitement at the completion of the VW facility said: “We are looking forward to unlocking the huge potential of the showroom which will give us great opportunity to present the Volkswagen range to our valued customers in all its variety.” A subsidiary of Stallion Motors, the new Volkswagen Centre follows VW adaptable module concept design that is gradually being rolled out across Volkswagen dealership worldwide. The new VW showroom is uniquely clad in white framed aluminium with seamless fusion of style and elegance to signify the Volkswagen corporate identity. Also intended as an architectural masterpiece of sort, the centre is imbued with crystal display area for up to 10 vehicles with an ambience and spacious climate controlled drive-through
reception area and comfortable customer lounge that makes shopping a cinch. Customers would also appreciate Volkswagen unique hospitality at the coffee bar as well as free WIFI access while shopping for their choice Volkswagen cars. The centre, Daryanani said, has concluded plans to increase Volkswagen model line-up by adding new vehicle segment such the Polo ‘G’ and new Jetta to enable teeming Nigeria motoring publics have variety of models. The Marketing helmsman said the centre is introducing attractive pricing structure that fits all customers that choose to drive Volkswagen models. He disclosed that the Volkswagen Workshop in Lagos has been relocated to Amuwo Odofin along Apapa/Oshodi expressway from its previous location at Gbagada. “The relocation will enable the company offer better after sales service to existing and potential customers,” he noted.
Monarch hails Lagos govt on Ikorodu BRT project
HE Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Lagos Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi has commended Lagos State Government for extending the Bus Rapid Transit to Ikorodu. The monarch said the Fashola led administration will go down in history as a government that implements people oriented programmes. He urged the people to key into the project that would see the construction of additional
lanes, bridges and culverts on the Ikorodu road. The Nation learnt that over 70 Landlords whose property were affected by the road costruction have submitted claims, which are being scrutinised Flooding in the area is being addressed by the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment (Office of Drainage Services), LAMATA and the Lagos State House of Assembly. The parties has conducted a joint site visit to determine the extent of the problem. Chairman, House Committee on Work and Infrastructure Rotimi Olowo assured people that the government would safeguard their interests. He frowned at the erection of illegal structures on water path. He said the Ministry of Environment, Office of Drainage Services would address the situation and fond a lasting solution that would safeguard all the communities in the Wetland areas.
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013
USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents for easy access in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the public may easily Contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, Illegal / Wrong Parking to kindly Call KAROTA through the following number - 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on - 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on - 07051246833, 08191778888.
102nd KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING
oday Wednesday 12th June, 2013 (3rd Sha'aban, 1434AH) the Kano State Executive Council held its one hundred and two (102nd) sitting under the Chairmanship of Governor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. Ten (10) MDAs submitted sixty-eight (68) memoranda for deliberation by Council of which forty-five (45) were approved for execution with an expenditure of Two Billion, Eight Hundred and Eighty Six Million, Seven Thousand One Hundred and Twenty Four Naira Fifty Four Kobo (N 2,886,007,124.54) covering thirty-five (35) projects. Thus: 1. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING Four (4) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Land and Physical planning. Three (3) of them were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds for the Construction of Katsina Road - Dan' Dinshe (Layin Naira da Kobo) Road:Provision of required infrastructure for use by the citizenry in Kano State is a cardinal preoccupation of the present administration. Many vitally required, but abandoned road construction/repairs projects were re-validated while the construction of completely new ones were embarked upon especially the 5Km Road construction projects approved for execution across the 44 LGCAs in the State. Flyovers are now being constructed in Kano courtesy of the incumbent administration. As such, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for the release of the sum of N88,658,888.06 to enable the construction/creation of a link road from Katsina Road in Kurna through to Dan' Dinshe link road. This will relieve vehicular traffic congestion and create required convenience within the neighborhood. The project was considered significant as Council approved the release of the requested sum of N88,658,888.06 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable the construction of the vitally required link road between Katsina Road and Dan' Dinshe (Layin Naira da Kobo) in Kurna through to Dan' Dinshe link road. b. Request for Funds for the Construction of Roads and Drainages at Kwankwaso Town:Contents of this memorandum applauded the general effort and particularly the giant strides taken by the present administration in the provision of developmental projects in all nooks and crannies of the State. This certainly aims at uplifting the living standards of the populace including those at Kwankwaso Town where roads and drainage were earmarked for provision in order to upgrade the status of the town to befitting urban standard. The Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for the release of the sum of N1,978,242,455.99 to enable the execution of the project according to the detailed specifications presented to Council for consideration. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N1,978,242,455.99 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable construction of Roads and Drainages at Kwankwaso Town. c. Request for Funds for the Provision/Laying of Garden Interlock Tiles on additional Eighteen (18) Roads selected in the Metropolitan Area of Kano State:To beautify and upgrade Urban/Metropolitan Kano is among the cardinal resolutions of the present administration. Among the endeavors, provision and installation of garden interlock tiles along pedestrian walkways is earnestly embarked upon. Contents of this memorandum went ahead and presented to Council a detailed update on seven (7) approvals granted for release of funds to the tune of an aggregate sum of N460,056,090.71 to enable the laying of interlock tiles on sixty-three (63) roads in the metropolitan area of the State. Progressively, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested for the release of the sum of N200,000,000.00 by Council to enable the laying of garden interlock tiles on the pedestrian walkways of eighteen (18) selected additional roads in the metropolis and the settlement of already executed contracts. Considering the significance of the request and details presented, Council approved the release of the requested sum of N200,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning to enable the continuation of the project on laying of garden interlock tiles along the pedestrian walkways of eighteen (18) additional roads in the metropolitan area of the State according to the details presented. 2. MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT Two (2) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Environment. Both were approved for execution. Thus: a. Request for Funds to Enable the Execution of Avenue/Road Sides Trees Planting Project in Kano Metropolis:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Environment informed Council, through contents of this memorandum that, a road and avenue side tree planting project has been designed to be executed in three (3) phases by the Ministry of Environment. A distance of 117.7 Kilometers will be covered in 54 different selected locations within Kano metropolitan area. Five (5) weeks (35 Days) have been projected for the completion of the project to 100% level in three (3) phases. A total of 14,313 assorted seedlings of adaptable tree species will be used in the exercise. 49% (6955) of the tree seedlings will be provided by the Ministry of Environment while the remaining 51% (7358) will be procured from private nurseries because the Ministry of Environment does not raise all the required number of tree species. Details of the financial commitment for each of the three (3) phases were presented for Council's consideration summarized as follows: i. Phase one (1) = N11,931,560.00 ii. Phase two (2) = N5,692,030.00 iii. Phase three (3) = N4,231,170.00 Total = N21,854,760.00 As such, the aggregate sum of N21,854,760.00 was requested for release to the Ministry of Environment by Council to enable the execution of the three (3) phases of the stated project. Approval was granted as requested by Council considering the significance of the project to environmental protection and beautification of the road and avenue sides of the 177.7 kilometers of the 54 selected metropolitan locations. b. Presentation of Progress Achievement by the Committee on Control of Indiscriminate Discharge of Industrial Waste:Contents of this memorandum presented a comprehensive progress report on the successful discharge of the duties assigned to the Committee on control of indiscriminate discharge of Industrial Waste in Kano State. The current envisaged focus of the Committee presented to Council for consideration includes the following: i. Establishment of channel valve to control waste discharge at respective industries. ii. Posting of staff from the Ministry of Environment to respective industries for 24 hours to ensure/monitor compliance. iii. Establishment of mobile court for summary trial of defaulters. iv. Planting of trees along channel line to the river/natural drainage in order to absorb obnoxious odors from the waste discharged by industries. v. The Committee requested for the allocation of a vehicle by Government to the Committee to facilitate for regular and effective monitoring of compliance. Council appreciated the presentation and considerately approved the release of the sum of N7,500,000.00 to enable the procurement and allocation of one (1) unit of Toyota Hiace 18-seater bus to the Committee on Control of Indiscriminate Industrial Discharge in the State. 3. MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, INTERNAL AFFAIRS, YOUTHS, SPORTS AND CULTURE This Ministry submitted two (2) memoranda for deliberation by Council. Both were approved for execution as follows: a. Request for Funds to Enable the Procurement of Two (2) Fully Equipped Specialized Public Enlightenment Vans:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture substantiated to Council, through contents of this memorandum that, public enlightenment is among the principal functions of his Ministry. This is more so under the incumbency of the present administration whose resolve is to operate transparently under the awareness of the general public. Activities of Government are open to the public with the dissemination of vital information considered a priority. As such, making people aware is of vital importance through film shows and constant public announcements across the 44 LGCAs. As such, the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture requested for the release of the sum of N49,624,426.00 to enable the procurement of two (2) fully equipped specialized public enlightenment vans for use in the conduct of the Ministry. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N24,818,213.00 to the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture to enable the procurement of one (1) unit of fully equipped and specialized public enlightenment van for the smooth conduct of operations at the Ministry. b. Presentation of Request for the Release of Funds to Facilitate the Renovation of Racing Tracks at the Kano Race Course and Furnishing of the Main Offices at the Venue:Horse Racing is a popular sport internationally and provides entertainment to an appreciable cross section of the public here in Kano State, but the venue at the Kano Race Course needs general renovation which started with the granting of approval for the provision of a befitting perimeter wall fence around the entire venue. An inspection of the entire facility revealed that the main racing tracks require renovation while furnishing of the Offices at the premises is required urgently. So, the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture responsibly requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N5,461,337.00 by Council to enable the Ministry address the two (2) issues. Council considered the request relevant and approved the release of the requested sum of N5,461,337.00 to the Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youths, Sports and Culture to expedite action in the execution of the stated projects so as to revive horse racing activities for the recreation and benefit of the citizenry and the generation of revenue to the Government. 4. MINISTRY OF HEALTH The State Ministry of Health submitted three (3) memoranda directly for deliberation by Council. All were approved for execution as follows: a. Presentation of Request for Upward Review of Funds Released for the Execution of Three (3) vital programs Under the
Kano State Hospitals Management Board:The present administration in Kano State under the capable leadership of the second incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE resolve to qualitatively provide for the transformation of the entire health sector especially the healthcare delivery system and available facilities. A lot has been achieved in the preceding two (2) years. Prominent healthcare delivery facilities have been renovated with many being provided with vital equipment and instruments across the State. Tangible examples can be cited everywhere in the State. As such, the Ministry of Health identified and pinpointed three (3) vital programs under the care of the State Hospitals Management Board that urgently need Government intervention. The programs include: o provision of free accident and emergency services Rabiâ€™u Musa Kwankawaso o provision of free in - patient feeding in the State owned Hospitals o provision of Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Care free Importantly, the State Government used to provide the three (3) services mentioned above which the Ministry of Health vehemently applauded, but calls for an upward review of the amount being released for the programs. Many important reasons for the upward review were presented for consideration by Council. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the upward reviewed sum of N11,481,903.50 to the Ministry of Health monthly to enable the State Hospitals Management Board continue with execution of the three (3) vital programs. b. Presentation of the Need and Request for Funds to Complete the Works Started on the Renovation of Kano Dental Center:The Honorable Commissioner for Health presented an update on the progress of works executed on the general renovation, provision of specialized equipment and furniture at the Kano Dental Center for which Council approved for the release of the sum of N78,374,877.30 and N52,743,154.34 respectively. Reportedly, the renovation works and procurement/installation of equipment/instruments/furniture were successfully executed to 100% completion level; what remains presently is the official commissioning of the center for the commencement of service delivery. The aggregate cost of the proposed completion of the project is to the tune of N6,673,280.00, which was requested for release to the Ministry of Health to enable the execution of interlock tilling, provision of Kerbs, side clearance and provision of trees/landscaping. Approval was granted by Council as requested for the release of the sum of N6,673,280.00 to the Ministry of health to expedite action in the execution of the stated completion works at the newly renovated Kano Dental Center so as to actualize its immediate commissioning for the commencement of service delivery at the specialized Dental referral center. c. Presentation of the Need and Request for Funds for the Renovation of a Hospital at Sabon Sara (Sahara), Gwale LGCA, Kano State:Taking cognizance of the efforts of the incumbent administration towards the positive transformation of the entire healthcare delivery system in Kano State, the Ministry of Health notified Council of the need to renovate an existing Hospital at Sabon Sara (Sahara) in Gwale LGCA. The physical structure and state of other required facilities are inadequate for the delivery of the vitally required healthcare services for the community in the area, which prompted the State Ministry of Health to request for the release of the sum of N42,194,432.85 to enable the execution of the renovation works. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N42,194,432.85 to the Ministry of Health to enable the renovation of the Hospital at Sabon Sara (Sahara) in Gwale LGCA of the State. 5. OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE Two (2) memoranda were submitted for consideration by Council from the Office of the Head of Civil Service. Only one of them was approved for execution. Thus: Request for Approval to Proceed/Undergo a 6 - Months Diploma Course in "Development Leadership" at the International Institute Canada on Salary Option:The Office of the Head of Civil Service presented the case referred to above on behalf of the State Ministry of Rural and Community Development in respect of their staff, Malam Abdur Rahman Lawan Abdullahi (Chief Inspector in the Department of Community Development). The Staff solicits for Government approval to undergo a six (6) - Months Diploma Course in "Development Leadership" at the International Institute Canada on Salary Option. The request was presented to Council as relevant and in order for the fact that the Officer being a Community Development Expert will be exposed to modern management skills and techniques on how best to execute his official responsibilities diligently. Noteworthy are the following facts: o That the Institute sponsors 75% of the cost implications for the Course. o That the Officer personally shoulders the balance of 25% for the cost implications. o That the Office of the Head of Civil Service recommended to Council to approve the release of the Officer to partake in the program on "Salary Option" for six (6) months only with effect from July, 2013 - December, 2013. Considering the relevance of the request, Council approved the release of Malam Abdur Rahman Lawan Abdullahi to partake in the referred Course on Salary Option for six (6) months (July - December, 2013). 6. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Request for Funds to Enable the Drilling of Three (3) Motorized Water Boreholes at Three (3) Women Centers under the State Agency for Mass Education:The Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Education applauded Council for granting a number of approvals for the execution of various important projects aimed at transforming the Education Sector generally. Of recent, Council approved the drilling of twelve (12) motorized water boreholes at twelve (12) Women Centers under the Agency for Mass Education, which were pin - pointed in Albasu, Bagwai, G/Dutse, Fagge, Garko, Gaya, Gwarzo, Kiru, Kwankwaso, Minjibir, Kano City and G/Albasa. The facility is in earnest use at the respective Centers and their host Communities. As such, the Ministry of Education requested for the release of the sum of N6,000,000.00 to enable the drilling of the three (3) motorized water boreholes at the following three (3) locations of Hotoro Women Center, Bichi Women Center and Rano Women Center. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N6,000,000.00 to the State Ministry of Education to enable execution of the specified project. 7. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING AND TRANSPORT The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport submitted five (5) memoranda for deliberation by Council. All were approved for execution as follows: a. Presentation of the Deployment of the R1 - Max Vehicle Registration and Civil Security Electronic Enforcement Robot System and Request for Funds for the Purpose:Council recalled Government initiative to organize and regulate the operation of transport operators in the State with the establishment of an agency with the sole aim of controlling traffic, Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA). Already, the agency has registered all operators of tri-cycles and the issuance of Identification Cards across the 44 Local Government Areas. However, despite the effort of the agency in containing and controlling abuse of the process, some unpatriotic individuals have been caught printing fake numbers, which has the tendency of compromising security. The contents of this memorandum adequately proposed solution to this challenge through computerized electronic encoding facility with database control and computer robots machines, coupled with reflective side number plates. This innovation will eliminate the chances of duplication/imitation by unscrupulous individuals. The agency proposed the implementation of security encoded registration drive for all commercial vehicles for the meantime. The system is presently being operated in Abuja. Through this system vehicles could be identified easily for security and other purposes. Details were presented on the device and its applicability in the enhancement of Security for Council's consideration along with a request for the release of the sum of N5,500,000.00 to enable deployment of R1 - Max vehicle registration and Civil Security Electronic Enhancement Robot System for use by personal of KAROTA. Again, a comprehensive update on the conduct of registration and issuance of ID Cards to Commercial motor cycles and tricycles operators was presented to Council for consideration. However, an outstanding requirement of N4,410,000.00 for printing of side numbering, procurement of equipment and materials for identification cards and logistics support was encountered. Council approved the request and also accepted the proposal in principle, but restricted the exercise to the operators of tri-cycles first. b. Presentation of Brief on Progress Report of Kano Light Rail Projects:The Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport politely reminded Council, through contents of this memorandum, of the commitment effort of the present administration towards Urban Transportation Reform by providing efficient, safe, affordable and sustainable transport system within metropolitan Kano. To this end, the State Government under the leadership of the second incumbency of Governor Engr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC)
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013 for the development and construction of Light Rail Transport System within the metropolitan Kano. Progressively, the CCECC conducted a reconnaissance survey of Kano Metropolitan area for a week as prelude to the development of the conceptual design of the Light Rail Transport System in Kano. Accordingly, a layout plan for the project was developed and presented to Council for perusal. Notably, Katsina Road (from Northern Terminus to Yan' Kura "15 Kilometer") was selected as the first (1st) phase of the project to be constructed and commissioned within one (1) year time frame. In any case, the final concept design of the 1st phase of the entire project will be presented to Kano State Government/Council along with the estimated cost implication in due course for consideration and approval. Council appreciatively acknowledged presentation of the brief and awaits subsequent submissions on the worthwhile issue. c. Request for Funds to Enable the Continuation of Enforcement of Ban on Illegal Motor Parks/Street Decongestion in Metropolitan Kano:The contents of this memorandum presented a comprehensive progress report on the conduct of the exercise mentioned above for consideration by Council. Success achieved in conduct of the exercise previously prompted the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to request for the release of the sum of N13,468,080.00 to enable the continuation of the exercise for three (3) months (July - September, 2013). The request was considered relevant as Council approved the release of the requested sum of N13,468,080.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the continuation of the enforcement of ban on illegal motor parks/street decongestion in the State. d. Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of Road Signs and Markings in Metropolitan Kano:The Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport amply substantiated to Council, through contents of this memorandum that, Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) is saddled with the responsibilities of vehicular traffic control, enforcement of traffic rules and regulations and general management of traffic movements and a host of other required functions. These necessitated the need to provide traffic control and management devices ranging from improved communication system, road signs, road markings, bus stopping point and appropriate shelters that guide and control traffic. Importantly, KAROTA requested, through the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport Council approval for the procurement of 250 Bus Stop Signs, 500 No Parking Signs, and 260 Stop Lines at the sum of N7,550,000.00. The request was considered credible as Council approved the release of the requested sum of N7,550,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to enable the provision of road signs and markings in metropolitan Kano according to the details presented. e. Request for Funds to Procure Additional Number of Vehicles for the Conduct of Smooth Operation of Official Duties at Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport:Serviceable means of transportation constitutes a priority requirement for the smooth conduct of operations in the discharge of Official Duties at Kano Road Traffic Agency. Though available, the number of operational vehicles for use at the agency is inadequate. So, authorities at the agency deemed it necessary to alert Council on the issue presenting details which indicate a requirement for seventeen (17) additional vehicles for use at the six (6) zones of the agency. Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N48,600,000.00 to the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport to procure and allocate six (6) Toyota Hilux DC and One ambulance operational vehicles for use by the six (6) zones. 8. MINISTRY OF WATER RESOURCES Two (2) memoranda were submitted from the Ministry of Water Resources for Deliberation by Council. Only one (1) of them was approved for execution. Thus: Request for Funds to Undertake various Maintenance Works at Challawa Complex and Installation of Four (4) Additional Raw Water Pumps:The Challawa Water Works/Complex stood the test of time and requires some renovation generally to avoid total collapse resulting from decay. Details on the scope of works along with their cost implications were presented for Council's consideration. Council noted, considered the request and approved the release of the trimmed down sum of N50,000,000.00 to the Ministry of Water Resources to undertake the specified projects. 9. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR/HON. COMMISSIONER FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of Staff Training on Teaching Skills Program (TSP, 2013):Office of the Deputy Governor/Hon. Commissioner for Local Governments tacitly notified Council, through contents of this memorandum that: i. Most teachers practicing at Public Schools in the State are deficient in designing applicable Lesson plan, which is pillar on which successful lesson delivery is built. ii. A tripartite funding arrangement involving UBEC, Abuja (TPD Fund), the State Government and ESSPIN have been designed to finance execution of the TSP 2013. iii. A total of 5,068 Head - Teachers, 15,204 Teachers and 1000 School Supervisors will benefit from the program. iv. The State Government is required to provide N61,000,000.00 as its own contribution. The Council was required to approve the release of the required sum of N61,000,000.00 as its contribution for the successful conduct of the program. The request was approved. 10. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This office submitted Thirty-nine (39) memoranda on behalf of some MDAs for deliberation by Council. Twenty-three (23) of them were approved for execution as follows:a. Presentation of progress report and proposals on next steps in the implementation of 2012 MDGs - Conditional Grants Scheme to Kano State:The Hon. Commissioner for Planning and Budget politely reminded Council, through contents of this memorandum that a letter of the Senior Special Assistant to the President - OSSAP - MDGs was routed to his office for study and report to Council. Specifically, the letter conveyed OSSAP - MDGS "No objection" to the State's request to refocus and change of location and purpose of 2012 approved CGS to State Track. Based on the approval and "No objection," the targeted health facilities now are Bichi, Dambatta and Rano General Hospitals. However, Council was requested to consider and approve the following:i. Release of additional counterpart funding of N67,931,992.98 ii. Transfer of the already paid counterpart funding of N187,500,000.00 into Kano State CCT account with Ecobank. iii. Validation and enrolment of CCT beneficiaries in the five selected LGCAs which include Dawakin Tofa, Madobi, Doguwa and Tarauni. Council noted, considered and approved as requested in respect of each of (i-iii) the three (3) prayers presented above. In the same vein, Council approved the setting up of a Committee under the Deputy Governor comprising the Hon. Commissioners for Planning and Budget, Finance, Women Affairs and Commerce on the 'Call for Memorandum on the Review of the Revenue Allocation Formula of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. b. Request for funds to enable payment of Accommodation, Constituency and Recess allowances to the Hon. Members of the State House of Assembly:Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted a request on the subject matter mentioned above for Council's consideration. The statutory provision on the issue as substantiated to Council as contained in a report from Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) which became effective from February, 2007. Specifically, four categories of legislatures are entitled to the quoted fringe benefits. They include The Hon. Speaker of the House, The Hon. Deputy Speaker, Principal Officers and the 34 other members. Details on the financial implications were presented for Council's considerations which sum up to the aggregate sum of N64,631,148.00. This sum was requested for release by Council to enable payment of fringe benefits for the members of the State Assembly. The request was approved for disbursement to the legislatures as their legitimate entitlements. c. Appointment of a New Deputy Director for the Entrepreneurship Institute:Contents of this memorandum, submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism reminded Council of the demise of the defunct Deputy Director Entrepreneurship Institute, Late Malam Bala Muhammad Juji (RIP) who died earlier this year (2013). Council was responsibly notified of arrangements for the replacement of the late Deputy Director with the person of Malam Muhammad Bilyaminu Ado who has been serving on acting capacity. The recommended person has the required qualification and knowledge/experience to run the institute. His curriculum Vitae was presented to Council for consideration. Council approved the appointment. d. Request for Funds to Enable Payment for 189,815 Liters of Diesel (AGO) Consumed by the State Task Force Committee on Repairs and Maintenance of Street and Traffic Control Lights for the Month of February, 2013:Office of the Secretary to the State Government submitted a request, on behalf of the State Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, for the release of the sum of N41,759,300.00 to enable payment for 189,819 Liters of AGO consumed by the State Task Force on Repairs and Maintenance of Street and Traffic Control Lights for the month of February, 2013. Confirmation receipts/documents were presented for consideration by Council. Council approved the payment. e. Request for Funds to Enable the Provision of a Solar - Powered Borehole at Government Senior Secondary School Durbunde, Takai LGCA:Government Senior Secondary School Durbunde, Takai LGCA suffers acute shortage of potable water supply, a situation that warranted the request for the provision of a solar powered borehole to address the prevailing pathetic situation. As such, the Ministry of Rural and Community Development requested for the release of the sum of N5,500,000.00 to enable the execution of the project. Council approved the project. f. Presentation of the Need to Place and Pay the Monthly Salary of the Deputy Director, Kano Informatics Institute a Little over what He was Earning at Bayero University (his former place of employment):Office of the Secretary to the State Government presented a report for consideration by Council on behalf of the Deputy Director, Kano Informatics Institute. The report substantiated that Bayero University used to pay the officer a monthly salary of N174,750.10 while the State Government pays him N149,072.78. As such, the Office of the Secretary to the State Government recommended the review upward of the monthly salary to at least be at par with the one being paid to him by his former employer with effect from the month of June, 2013. Council approved the request. g. Requests for Funds to Enable the Payment of Committees' sitting allowances:During this sitting, Council appraised the requests submitted by different Committees for the settlement of their sitting allowances. The Committees are: i) The Northwest University Implementation Committee with a six months arrears amounting to the sum of N1,860,000.00 ii) The State Advisory Committee on the Development of Metropolitan Markets with 21 Months arrears amounting to the tune of N5,670,000.00, iii) The Standing Committee on Urban Beautification and Development are owed ten (10) months arrears amounting to the sum of N3,900,000.00 iv) The Steering, Publicity and Inspection Committees under the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Islamiyya Schools with an arrears of the sum of N4,230,000.00 v) The State Committee on the Revival of Horse Racing with ten (10) months arrears to the tune of N2,000,000.00 Considering the fact that the Committees discharged their assignments to the best of their ability, Council approved the release of the requested sum and their (Committees) dissolution as most of their schedules were taken over by established Government agencies. h. Request for Funds to Enable Payments Arising from the Remaining Balance of Cost for the Supply of Equipment as well
51 as Procurement of Accessories for its Installation at Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital:Council was appraised on the contract awarded by the past administration for the supply and installation of one Ultra Modern X-Ray machine for the Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital. The sum of N19,600,000.00 was paid to the contractor leaving a balance of N10,000,000.00. The Ministry of Health recommended the payment of the balance and the procurement of other accessories to facilitate the installation and utilization of the machine at the sum of N18,485,724.35. Council approved the request. i. Presentation of the Proposal for Collaboration Between the State Government and the Local Estate Agents (Dillalan Gidaje da Filaye) in the State:The Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Local Estate Agents (Dillalan Gidaje da Filaye) presented a report containing a proposal for collaboration between Kano State Government and Local Estate Agents (Dillalan Gidaje da Filaye). The report provided information on the activities of the Local Estate Agents in facilitating transaction on Land/Properties in the State. This was upheld as necessitating the need to formalize and sanitize the operations of the Agents and to create an avenue through which the sector could be incorporated to support the entrenchment/consolidation of Government Land Policy. In this regard, the Senior Special Assistant proposed for the creation of a Department at either KANGIS or KNUPDA to be assigned the responsibility of the Committee on the Registration of Estate Agents as Chaired by the Special Adviser Interior Matters. Much more was presented for Council's consideration. Appraising the presentation, Council approved that the Committee on the Registration of Estate Agents should liaise with relevant Agencies such as KNUPDA and KANGIS in facilitating the entrenchment and consolidation of Government Land policies. j. Presentation of Progress Report from the Senior Special Assistant on Animal Traction:The Animal Traction Empowerment program is among the laudable and successfully executed endeavours embarked upon by the incumbent administration. The contents of this memorandum notified Council of the findings as reported resulting from a familiarization tour conducted by the Senior Special Assistant on Animal Traction to the three (3) Farm Mechanization Institutes in the State namely, Kadawa, Rano and Gwarzo. Reportedly, the tour revealed the followings: o All the three (3) Animal Traction Institutes require the construction of perimeter wall fence to provide security and curtail/control wanton movements of Students. o There is the need for the students to be provided with uniforms for easy identification during the training. o The Credit Officers need to be provided with motorcycles to effectively monitor the beneficiaries due to relative distances among the beneficiaries in their respective wards. o That Alhaji Sulaiman A. Isa Rogo LGCA was identified and celebrated as the first to recover the highest deposit of N575,000.00 and concurrently have a trainee/beneficiary in the person of Magaji mai Suga Ruma who paid back 100% of the loan of N112,000.00 given to him. o Poor recovery of the loan was attributed to lack of engagement of the trainees due to the dry season. Haulage by use of Amalanke is not possible as the beneficiaries do not have the facility. In any case, much more was presented for Council's consideration and approval, especially the followings: i. Convening a stakeholders' meeting on Animal Traction Program to be organized by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Animal Traction soon. ii. Execution of monitoring and extensive enlightenment campaign by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on the activities of Animal Traction Program in the State. Council appreciatively acknowledged the presentation and approved the execution of the two (2) prayers (i. and ii.) listed above. k. Request for Funds to Enable the Conduct of the 2012/2013 Annual Schools Census Covering Pre - Primary, Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary Schools (Public and Private Statewide):The State Ministry of Education requested for the release of the sum of N2,306,300.00 by Council to enable the execution of the exercise mentioned above. Approval was granted as requested by Council, but execution of the exercise should be in conjunction with Ministry of Science and Technology so as to solve the problem using ITC application. l. Presentation of the Roles of Supply Chain Managers Engaged by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the 2013 Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS):Contents of this memorandum presented a submission from the State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Council was intimated on the roles of Supply Chain Managers engaged by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the year 2013 Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS). Related to this, the Kano State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources decided to invite the Supply Chain Managers deployed to the State for a meeting to deliberate on how best to communicate and implement the 2013 GESS in the State based on the assigned roles. Council appreciated the efforts of the Ministry. m. Request for Funds to Support the Manufacturing of an Aircraft Locally by Malam Idris I. Hassan, an Indigenous Citizen of Nassarawa LGCA of Kano State:The State Ministry of Science and Technology communicated the discovery of special talent exhibited by one Malam Idris I. Hassan an indigenous citizen of Nassarawa LGCA of Kano State who is in the process of manufacturing an Aircraft locally. The Technical team from the Ministry assessed the project as being in advanced stages of completion and recommended an assistance of the sum N350,000.00 for the individual to support his ingenuity. Council approved the request. n. Request for Funds and Approval for Two (2) Officials from the Youth Directorate for Economic Empowerment to Embark on a Trip to India:Contents of this memorandum reminded Council on the twenty- five (25) Kano State Indigenous Candidates sponsored to study at AMET University, Chennei, India. So far, the Youth Directorate for Economic Empowerment intimated Council that the 25 Candidates/students are on the verge of completing the first (1st) segment of their program of study upon which they will proceed to the United Kingdom (UK) for the 2nd segment of the program as required by the curriculum of the training. As such, the Youth Directorate for Economic Empowerment requested for the release of the sum of N2,063,777.32 by Council to enable two (2) Officials embark on a trip to India to sign the necessary documents for the formalization of the transfer. The request was considered credible as Council approved the release of the sum of N2,063,777.32 to enable two (2) Officials undertake a trip to India for the stated purpose. o. Request for Funds to Sponsor Ahmadiyya College Girls' Basketball Team to Participate in the National Finals of the 2013 Nestle Milo Basket ball Championships (1st - 6th July, 2013) at the National Stadium, Indoor Hall Surulere, Lagos:The sum of N922,000.00 was approved for release by Council as requested, to facilitate the sponsorship of Ahmadiyya College Girls' Basketball Team to participate in the National Finals of the 2013 Nestle Milo Basketball Championships. Details of the aggregate financial commitments were presented for Council's consideration. The gesture was typical in support of sports by the incumbent administration. p. Request for the Release of Funds to Support the Bereaved Families of Two (2) Deceased Police Officers Killed among the Polio Vaccination Team at Kofar Dawanau, Gwale LGCA (October, 2012):The Office of the Secretary to the State Government requested for the release of the sum of N500,000.00 by Council to support the bereaved families of two (2) deceased Police Officers killed among the polio vaccination team at Kofar Dawanau, Gwale LGCA (October,2012). Nevertheless, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has earlier made a donation of the sum of N250,000.00 to each of the respective families of the deceased police officers totaling the sum of N500,000.00, which is still with the Ministry of Health for safe keeping. To supplement this, the State Ministry of Health requested for the release of the aggregate sum of N500,000.00 for disbursement to the two (2) bereaved families at the rate of N250,000.00 each. Council approved the request. q. Request for Funds to Enable Renovation/reactivation of Kano State Asphalt and Quarry Company's Stone Crusher and Mixing Plant Located at Panisau and Dawanau Respectively:Contents of this memorandum presented a correspondence from the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport for Council's consideration on the issue mentioned above. Importantly, the request is anchored on the need to assist the newly established KARMA with timely supply of construction materials, in addition to providing opportunity for revenue generation to the Government. Details on the scope of works required for the stated purpose along with their costs were presented to Council for consideration. The aggregate sum of N65,505,443.00 is required for the project, which was approved by the Council. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 102ND KANO STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL SITTING GRADUATION AND TRAINING OF WOMEN FROM POULTRY INSTITUTE AND FISHERIES INSTITUTE Council acknowledged the successful graduation of 600 women from the Poultry Institute, Tukwui and the commencement of training of 400 women at the Fisheries Institute, Bagauda as well as training of batch 'B' of 132 youths at the Livestock Institute, Bagauda. Council also noted a meeting held between DFID and the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources for possible collaboration in Agriculture. DELEGATION FROM NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION, EUROPEAN UNION AND THE WORLD BANK Council witnessed the visit to Kano State by the National Planning Commission and Representatives of the European Union and World Bank on State and Local Governance. The objective of the visit was to promote the project being sponsored by the international agencies to better Public Sector Governance Reform, Budget Management as well as improve Credibility of Budget. Kano state will participate alongside Cross Rivers, Osun, Anambra, Jigawa and Yobe States. GRADUATION OF 220 SECURITY GUARDS FROM THE CORPORATE SECURITY INSTITUTE, GABASAWA Council acknowledged the Successful Training and Graduation of 220 youths as Security Guards from the Corporate Security Institute, Gabasawa. This institute, as the other 20 was established to provide skills and training for the teeming youths to be self-reliant. The graduates will be employed by the Public Service to man the security of government offices. Another 400 youths have been selected and are presently being trained at the institute. USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents for easy access in case of any emergency. Accordingly, the general public may easily contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking through the following numbers on - 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on - 08032419754, 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on - 07051246833, 08191778888.
Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports andCulture
THE NATION JUNE, TUESDAY 18, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
THE NATION TUESAY, JUNE 18, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 17- 06-13
Sterling Bank shops for N12.5b
HE board and directors of Sterling Bank Plc and its financial advisers yesterday rose from a completion board meeting to roll out a total of 5,888,949,162 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N2.12 per share. About N12.48billion billion is expected to be raised at the end of the rights issue. The net proceeds estimated at N12.13 billion, would be used for financing branch expansion, infrastructure upgrade in support of automated and cashless payment, enhancement of information technology and additional working capital. The rights issue which, opens on Monday June 24, 2013, will run till July 31, 2014. It would enable existing investors in Sterling Bank to increase their shareholding. The shares have been preallotted on the basis of three new ordinary shares of 50 kobo each for every eight ordinary shares of 50 kobo each held as at May 20, 2013. About 35 per cent of the net proceeds, estimated at N4.24 billion, would be used for branch expansion; 15 per cent of the funds estimated at N1.82 billion would be used for infrastructure upgrade, 10 per cent of the funds equivalent to N1.21 billion would be used for information technology and the largest chunk of 40 per cent, estimated at N4.85 billion, to be set aside as additional working capital. Speaking at the end of the
By Taofik Salako
completion board meeting, chairman, Sterling Bank Plc, Alhaji Suleiman Adegunwa, noted that shareholders and directors had in May 2013 approved the rights issue, following which the board and professional parties obtained regulatory approvals for the registration and listing of the shares being issued under the rights issue. He said the new equity funds would be used to fund the bank’s growth plan including expansion and modernisation of its branch network and information technology as well as to support the bank’s growing retail and corporate banking businesses. “The rights issue will provide our bank with the required funds to execute projects that will enhance the bank’s growth and profitability,” Adegunwa said. Managing director, Sterling Bank, Mr Yemi Adeola, said the rights issue marked the beginning of the bank’s capital raising plan, which is meant to put the lender on stronger footing and further position it to compete effectively and deliver better returns to shareholders. According to him, the bank plans to raise $80 million through the rights issue and $120 million through private placement to shore up the bank’s tier one capital. He said the board and man-
agement of the bank have over the past seven years optimised the initial modest capital of the bank to build a leading mid-tier bank with strong and stable fundamentals. Underlining the fact that Sterling Bank is one of the few financial institutions that have not raised new funds in the past seven years, Adeola said the current fund raising would enhance the performance of the company and returns to shareholders. “If with the modest capital that we have, we were able to stabilise the bank, deliver consistently better returns to shareholders and build up to become the a top tier bank, imagine what we would do with more capital. Our shareholders have no reason whatsoever not to be excited in participating in the rights issue. You can’t regret it,” Adeola said. He pointed out that the bank is embarking on additional capitalisation because size has become very key and relevant in the banking industry and the bank needs to open more branches and put in place enabling infrastructure for its unique retail banking franchise. The Sterling Bank boss added that additional working capital would enable the bank to expand the scope of its corporate banking business, noting that the bank is currently limited by the single obligor limit, which is a function of available. He noted that shareholders had been rooting for the rights issue in demonstration of their appreciation for the bank’s growing fundamentals and returns over the years expressing confidence that the shareholders would all pick up their rights.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 17- 06-13
THE NATION TUESAY, JUNE 18, 2013
MONEY LINK IMF to release Fed Govt appoints Inspection data on currency composition Agents for ports T
Naira gains as CBN sells dollars
HE Naira snapped four days of declines and gained the most in 18 months as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was said to have sold dollars to lenders and inflation slowed. The Naira yesterday, strengthened 1.6 per cent to N160 per dollar, its biggest gain on a closing basis since December 26, 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The banking watchdog sells dollars at auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to support the Naira and occasionally offers currency directly to lenders to reduce demand. The apex bank sold $300 million at an auction yesterday, matching the amount given on June 10, it said in e-mailed statement. The Naira retreated 1.9 per cent last week, the worst five-day drop since December 26, 2011. “Besides the regular forex auction, the central bank sold dollars directly to some banks, which helped strengthen the naira,” Kunle Ezun, an analyst at Ecobank Transnational Inc. in Lagos, said. Inflation rate fell to nine per cent in May from 9.1 per cent in April, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday. The Central Bank held its benchmark interest rate at a record 12 per cent for the 10th consecutive meeting on May 21, to check inflation and stabilize the Naira.
HE Federal Government of Nigeria yesterday, appointed three inspection agents to handle imports at the nation’s seaports, airports and land borders. The appointees are Global Scansystems Limited, Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited and Societe Generale De Surveillance. In a circular, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Director, Trade & Exchange, Batari Musa said the appointment is for six months, beginning from June 1, 2013 to November 30, 2013. He grouped entry points for imports to Nigeria into three lots and assigned Global Scansystems Limited to manage Apapa Sea Port, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Seme Land Border, Idiroko Land Border and Warri Sea Port.
cepted by them on or before June 13, 2013 in their former lots. He also said that all authorised dealer banks are expected to henceforth, route all forms ‘M’ to appropriate agents based on the assigned lots. However, the Destination Inspection Agents are expected to have assumed duty at their new allocated lots since June 14.
NDIC to banks: implement sustainable banking
HE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has advised banks to implement sustainable banking practices in the course of their operations. The NDIC Managing Director/
Frim supports card, mobile expo ASTERCARD has further demonstrated its commitment to the promotion of the cashless culture in Nigeria by supporting the 13th edition of the annual international conference on cards and e-payments in Lagos. The three-day event, which took place at Eko Hotel and Suites recently with the theme: Shared Services: Optimising Payment
By Collins Nweze
Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited will be in charge of Tincan Island Sea Port, Grimaldi Port, Abuja International Airport, Kano International Airport, Lagos Free Trade Zone, Jabiya Border Post and Banki Border Post. According to the CBN Director, Societe Generale De Surveillance will be responsible for Port Harcourt Main Sea Port, Onne Sea Port, Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt Free Trade Zone, Onne Free Trade Zone, Calabar Sea Port and Ilorin International Airport. Musa said the agents are expected to complete the processing, including issuance of Risk Assessment Reports (RARs) of all Forms ‘M’ ac-
Systems in Africa, had the card firm and a few others as premium sponsors. According to a statement, this year’s edition focused on creating the much needed awareness for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) cashless policy, especially as it relates to the creation of a central switch for mobile money and agent banking in the country.
Chief Executive Officer, Umaru Ibrahim made the call in Abuja while declaring open a lecture on “The Implementation of The Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles for Senior Bank Examiners”. He noted that the importance of a sustainable banking culture required banks to uphold environmental and social standards by not granting credits or supporting business activities that would harm the environment. A statement from the corporation quoted Ibrahim as saying that financial institutions should promote gender equality and promote ethics, fairness and anti-corruption activities. He added that the principles expected banks to gear their operations
toward enhancing development that would not only be economically profitable but also environmentally and socially responsive. According to him, the Bankers’ Committee had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on how to implement the guidelines on sustainable banking practices. He also said that the NDIC in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had put in place supervisory framework by setting up sustainable banking desks in their respective institutions that would facilitate the implementation of sustainable banking principles. The NDIC boss explained that the sustainable banking lecture was organised
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 17-06-13
SYMBOL COURTVILLE GNI PORTPAINT COSTAIN MANSARD UBCAP UNITYBNK LEARNAFRCA ETERNA OANDO
O/PRICE 0.75 0.55 3.96 1.48 2.18 1.19 0.66 1.77 3.33 13.08
C/PRICE 0.82 0.60 4.30 1.60 2.35 1.27 0.70 1.87 3.50 13.67
CHANGE 0.07 0.05 0.34 0.12 0.17 0.8 0.04 0.10 0.17 0.59
AVONCROWN NPFMCRFBK PRESTIGE MAYBAKER LIVESTOCK AGLEVENT PAINTCOM NEIMETH NEM UBA
O/PRICE 1.90 1.20 0.60 3.01 5.25 1.72 1.85 1.65 0.86 8.96
C/PRICE 1.71 1.08 0.54 2.71 4.73 1.55 1.67 1.49 0.80 8.51
NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
147.6000 239.4810 212.4997
149.7100 244.0123 207.9023
150.7100 245.6422 209.2910
-2.11 -2.57 -1.51
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
Date 2-7-12 27-6-12 22-6-12
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
CHANGE 0.19 0.12 0.06 0.30 0.52 0.17 0.18 0.16 0.06 0.45
Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
LOSERS AS AT 17-06-13
Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
OBB Rate Call Rate
to equip bank examiners with requisite skills in sustainable banking principles and to ensure that financial institutions imbibe the needed culture. He lauded the efforts by Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on Sustainable Banking and the Sustainability Committee, A’isha Usman Mahmood, towards the effective implementation of the principles. The NDIC Director of Human Resource Department, M. A. Ahmed said that the corporation was committed to the implementation of the principles through its gender equality policies, responsive staff welfare scheme and information technology infrastructures, meant to reduce waste in the corporation.
HE International Monetary Fund (IMF) will on June 28, release the quarterly data on the currency composition of official foreign exchange reserves (COFER) with expanded currency range. In a statement, the Fund said the data will, for the first time, separately identify two additional currencies: the Australian dollar (AUD) and the Canadian dollar (CAD). COFER is a database managed by the IMF’s Statistics Department, containing end-of-period quarterly data of reporting countries/jurisdictions. It said that with the separate identification of AUD and CAD, seven currencies will now be distinguished in COFER data namely the United States of America dollar, euro, pound sterling, Japanese yen, Swiss franc, AUD, and CAD. All other currencies, it said, will be included indistinguishably in the category of “other currencies.”
ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH 9.17 9.08 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE INVE 139.16 139.16 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 165.11 163.93 LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.80 0.78 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.16 1.16 BGL NUBIAN FUND 1.16 1.15 FBN MONEY MARKET FUND 100.00 100.00 FBN FIXED INCOME FUND 1,000.00 1,000.00 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,817.23 1,808.06 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 14.39 13.69 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 1.33 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 1.80 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 12,214.81 11,854.08 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUNDARM AGGRESSIVE • OPEN BUY BACK
Previous 04 July, 2012
Current 07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
NEWS UNIBEN student’s family challenge police for evidence From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin
S the family of the late Ibrahim Momodu awaits the Edo State Directorate of Public Prosecution report, it challenged the police to tell Nigerians where the three shots to the heart shown by the autopsy report were fired. The late Momodu, a student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) was allegedly killed on May 28 by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ogida Police Station, Mrs. Carol Afegbai. The family’s counsel, Jefferson Uwoghiren, said a team, which includes the police, visited the crime scene on Siluko Road, Benin, and no trace of blood was found there. Uwoghiren said the family has evidence to prove that the late Momodu was shot when he posed no threat to the police. He said: “We hold that brutality and deadly use of excessive force against an unarmed and non-dangerous person is wrong. The summarily execution of suspects frustrates the interests of society in the judicial determination of guilt and punishment. “The autopsy report said ‘three bullet marks were seen on mid portion, close to each other with a distance of about 0.5cm apart. The marks were seen on the back and front with the entry point at the back and the exit at the front. The heart was lacerated (torn) into shreds and devoid of blood’. “Arising thereof, we restate our demand for the arrest and prosecution of all the police officers who participated in the killing because justice delayed is justice denied.”
hails Okiro’s Ibori’s alleged $15m bribe: Court PAC appointment A to hear Delta’s suit July 10 P
FEDERAL High Court in Abuja will on July 10 hear the application by Delta State Government, seeking to claim the $15million bribe allegedly offered former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, by jailed ex-Governor James Ibori. The bribe was allegedly meant by Ibori to stop the EFCC from further investigating him for his alleged massive looting of his state while in office. Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date yesterday, following a recent ruling by the Court of Appeal, Abuja, striking out an application by a Lagos refrigerator repairer, Olalekan Bayode, seeking to halt further hearing in a suit
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
pending the hearing of his appeal. When the case was called yesterday, parties were set to argue the state’s application, but the court said it was inconvenient in view of its tight schedule and directed them to choose a fresh date. The Federal Government had applied for an order of forfeiture and to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), where Ribadu had lodged the bribe money to release it to the government should no one show up to claim the money. The Delta State Government later claimed ownership of the money. It is part
of its contention that Ibori, being its governor when the bribe money was offered, must have taken the money from its coffers. Before the state’s application could be heard, Bayode applied that he be appointed as a manager to disburse the $15 million to indigents, especially widows and orphans, through a charity organisation. He applied to be joined in the case and prayed that the money be released to him. Justice Kolawole dismissed Bayode’s application for being frivolous and lacking in merit. The judge held, among others that Bayode failed to show sufficient grounds
and interest upon which the money in dispute should be released to him. Justice Kolawole held that Bayode only claimed to be a Nigerian and refrigerator repairer based at Alagbado in Lagos. The judge further held that the Federal Government, which instituted the case, did not ask for a manager for the fund, but applied that those with interest in the money should indicate before an order of forfeiture is made in its favour. Justice Kolawole described Bayode as a busy body, meddlesome interloper and one, who was out to mock the judiciary and the issue at stake.
NUC decries destruction at UniUyo
HE Chairman, Interministerial Committee on Campus Safety from the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Adebisi Balogun, yesterday decried the destruction in the University of Uyo (UniUyo), Akwa Ibom State, following a protest last Wednesday. The NUC said the protest that claimed the life of a 200 Level Geology student was beyond the increase of transport fare from N100 to N200. Speaking with reporters after the assessment, Balogun said there was more to the incident than meets the eye. His words: “Let me say this, this university had existed since 1991 we have never experienced this type of carnage that has been unleashed on it and therefore,
From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo
a lot of things must have gone wrong. “We don’t want to preempt any investigation but definitely we cannot say because of N100 a whole campus is burnt down. “No, there is more to it than meets the eye, until the investigation is concluded. “There is nothing that should warrant the burning of a university. “I thought in Nigeria, we have outgrown the burning of property and the killing of students. Student unions should imbibe the culture of dialogue. “If there is nothing behind this dastardly act, something has to be done because one cannot understand why because of N100 they have to
destroy everything in the school.” He said investigation is still on to reveal the perpetrators. The university management, Balogun said, has also set up its own panel. “I have gone through the minutes of the meeting where the President of the Students Union, the director of transport and three members of the students’ body agreed for a private transporter to come to the university. “One now wonders what went wrong between the point of agreement and the point the demonstration was carried out,” Balogun said. The Vice Chancellor , Prof. Comfort Ekpo, said all necessary arrangements have
been concluded between the students and the management on the fare and those to operate the buses. On the academic records destroyed, she said the records would be retrieved from faculties that sent them to her office. The VC debunked the insulations that the management didnot dialogue with the students. Mrs. Ekpo said: “I am sure you are familiar with student protest in this country. Since the students were not many initially. They were about 15 or 20 students. We talked with them. They went back. So we thought they had accepted what we proposed to them. “Suddenly they went back to bring people who were having lectures.”
OLICE Assistance Committee (PAC) has hailed the appointment of former Inspector-General of Police, Mike Okiro, as the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), assuring him of necessary support in his bid to reposition the Force. The chairman assured Nigerians that the PSC under his watch will reposition the Force and work towards improved performance of policemen in the country. In a statement by its Director-General, Dr. Martins Oni, PAC commended President Goodluck Jonathan for appointing Okiro. It said Okiro, as a retired IG, has the required pedigree, experience and ability to improve the fortunes of the Force.
Oil workers protest From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt
IL workers from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) as well as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday blocked Eleme-Refinery Road in Rivers State, which is part of the East/West Road. They were protesting the deplorable condition of the road, which they said has “given us nightmares.” The protesters were led by the State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Chika Onuegbu; NUPENG Zonal Chairman Godwin Eruba and the Port Harcourt Zonal Secretary of PENGASSAN, Michael Amadi. They said they were pained that they “spend about six hours daily to and fro work locations due to bad condition of the road.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
NEWS Presidential aide happy with port decongestion By Uyoatta Eshiet
•Children, during the commemoration of 2013 Day of African Child in Abuja on... yesterday.
Firm to pay N5b damages for invalid contract
FEDERAL High Court, Lagos, yesterday declared as invalid a contract which Societe International Telecommunication Aeronautiques (SITA) entered into with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). It awarded N5 billion as general damages to the plaintiff, Maevis Limited, and set aside SITA’s agreement with FAAN. Justice Ibrahim Buba held that SITA was wrong to have
By Joseph Jibueze
entered into a contract with FAAN, adding that the agreement is invalid. The judge said SITA bid for the contract but lost, yet got FAAN to award it the contract. According to him, the firm was aware of a pending court case on the transaction, yet it signed an invalid contract, which is null and void. Maevis had taken the action against SITA and SITA Tele-
communications Nigeria Limited through a writ of summons, a statement of claim and other processes dated March 19, 2012. It sought a declaration that the defendants are liable to the plaintiff for wilfully procuring and inducing FAAN to breach its subsisting agreement with Maevis. The plantiff, through its lawyer, Yakubu Galadima, prayed for a declaration that the defendants’ action was
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
Also tendered were copies of a letter of confirmation from the NYSC (dated May 2, 2013) and a statement of result from WAEC (dated June 10, 2013). Akume, in his statement on oath, denied forging any certificate. He described the suit by Agbese as a measure to harass and intimidate him. The Senate Minority Leader said he lost the original copies of the certificates when he was packing from his home into the Government House in Makurdi following his election as governor in 1999. The two-time governor said he reported the loss of the documents to the police, who advised him to swear to an affidavit. Akume also tendered a copy of the affidavit, dated Septem-
tive, null and void. MAEVIS sought an order of injunction restraining the defendants and FAAN or any other agency of the Federal Government from negotiating, executing or implementing any agreement pertaining to the activities envisaged under the plaintiff’s subsisting agreement with FAAN, particularly CUTE in relation to the four airports.
CJN to extend anti-corruption war to non-judges
Akume denies certificate forgery allegation ORMER Benue State Governor George Akume yesterday disproved the claim that he forged his educational certificates. The former governor tendered copies of his original certificates, which were attached to his statement of defence, filed in a suit filed by Philip Agbese, who is accusing Akume of forging his certificates and being unqualified to stand for an election. Some of the certificates include West African Examination Council (WAEC) School Certificate (December 1971); the National Service, issued by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1979; Bachelor of Science (in Sociology 1978) and Master’s degree (Industrial and Labour Relations, 1987) issued to him by the University of Ibadan (UI).
impacting its ability to collect revenue due to the Federal Government, pursuant to the facilities provided by the plaintiff under the agreement. It also sought a declaration that any purported agreement for the provision of any Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) or similar equipment between the defendants and any other person, besides the plaintiff and FAAN in respect of any or all of the four airports is invalid, unlawful, ineffec-
ber 23, 2010, endorsed by the Commissioner of Oath, High Court of Justice, Benue State. He averred that the issuing agencies refused to issue him with fresh certificates on the grounds that such academic certificates were only issued once. Akume, who is representing Benue North West, said he was issued the certificates having attended Government Secondary School, Otukpo, Benue State (1967-1971), University of Ibadan. (For his first and second degrees) and the NYSC in 1979 (after his service at the Advanced Teachers College, Akwanga, Plateau State).
HE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar, has promised to extend the ongoing sanitisation in the Judiciary to include court support workers. The CJN warned court support workers to desist from unethical and corrupt conducts because she will not hesitate to punish anyone found wanting. She urged judicial workers to abide by the code of conduct for court employees. Justice Mukhtar spoke in Abuja yesterday at the opening session of a workshop for judicial librarians. The workshop, organised by the National Judicial Institute (NJI), had as its theme: The Challenging Facing Court Librarians in Information and Communication Technology Age. The CJN also regretted the impact of poor funding on the quality of services the nation’s courts render. She called for enhanced funding and continuous human capacity development to enable the court attain the level of competence and effectiveness experienced in developed climes. “Any judicial worker who works hard and conducts himself well will be rewarded, but deviant, fraudulent and indolent ones may become irrelevant in our drive for a virile judicial system.” The CJN, who was represented by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola of the Supreme Court, stressed the relevance of modern and well equipped libraries for effectiveness and efficiency of today’s court system.
HE Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Matters, Mr Olugbenga Leke Oyewole, yesterday hailed the Association of Maritime Trucks Owners (AMATO) for starting a scheme that would reduce transport chaos in the Lagos maritime environment. Oyewole spoke in Lagos after inspecting facilities at the International Trade Fair Complex on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. The facilities were provided by a consortium of private sector operators, including AMATO, the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Road Transport Employers Association (RETRAN). He described the scheme as a classical example of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, which he said would reduce congestion at the nation’s seaports and boost businesses in Nigeria. The presidential aide noted that the initiative would provide logistics for port operations, reduce corruption and enhance security in the maritime industry. According to him, the human element in transactions at the ports will also be eliminated. Oyewole urged the administrators of the scheme to develop a synergy with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders to enable them achieve the objectives of the scheme. The Managing Director of Multi-Aulic Limited, the concessionaire, who is also piloting the scheme, Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, said his company’s participation in the scheme is to enable it contribute to the growth of the economy through the private sector. He said the complex, which has four terminals, will each have a recreation centre, eateries, toilets and other facilities, when it becomes fully operational. Dantata said up to 5,000 trucks would be accommodated within the complex. According to him, one of the advantages of the centre is its proximity to the ports. The businessman said the 10lane Lagos-Badagry Road, currently under construction, will boost the operations of the centre.
Women warned against harmful practices against children
HE Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, has urged policy makers to adopt and implement policies that would prevent women from inflicting harmful practices on their children. The minister spoke in Abuja, the nation’s capital, as Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s Day of the African Child. She also urged development partners to compile, adopt and implement national plans which protect, respect, promote and fulfil the rights of children to be protected from harmful traditional practices. The policies, she said, include introducing public awareness and education involving policy makers, respected elders, traditional leaders and community work-
•Group decries low education on infant mortality Oyo celebrates Child Health Week THE Oyo State Government has said it will reduce maternal mortality rate through a monthly free health service programme. The governor’s wife, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, spoke yesterday at Idi Ogungun Community Health Centre, Ibadan, the state capital, during this year’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week. She urged parents to be passionate about the welfare of their children because they are their future. The governor’s wife said the Abiola Ajimobi administration is also passionate about the welfare of women and children. Mrs Ajimobi said: “We are trying to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality rate in this state by allowing expectant mothers to get the right medical attention, advice and drugs. We have equipped our primary health centres with drugs and facilities to From Bukola Amusan, Abuja
ers. Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration: Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Prac-
tices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility, Hajia Maina, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Hajia Habiba Muda Lawal, said everyone must ensure the protection
From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan
aid safe delivery.” The governor’s wife explained that health interventions planned for the week would be conducted in the 33 local government areas. She said they will include immunisation of infants from age O to five years, distribution of family planning commodities, vitamin A supplements, birth registration of children and tests for malnutrition. Mrs Ajimobi advised nursing and expectant mothers to take advantage of the health week, which will end on Friday, by visiting any health facility for vaccination or collection of the listed interventions. of children. She regretted that many children in the country are subjected to harmful practices that have negative impact on their psyche and personality development.
The minister listed these as female genital mutilation, child marriage, honour killings, son preference, witchcraft labelling, among others. Also, Mothers’ Pride, a non-
governmental organisation (NGO), has criticised governments at all levels for not doing enough to educate about the negative impact of maternal and infant mortality, especially among rural dwellers. The group noted that federal, states and local governments need to educate the populace to boost literacy level and reduce diseases, such as hypertension, cancer, malaria and typhoid. It regretted that such diseases have reduced the nation’s population. The Director, Mother’s Pride, Mrs Oladunni Korede-Shokunde, spoke in Lagos at a sensisation programme she organised in partnership with the First Baptist Church, Agbado, Lagos. She said: “We need proper public education and the support of institutions, like religious organisations, to reduce these scourges.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
17 injured in Anambra communal clash
EVENTEEN people have been injured in renewed clashes between Onitsha and Obosi communities in Anambra State. It was gathered that the communities had been at war over who owns a piece of land called Ogbodogbo on the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway, where the Nigeria Metallurgical Institute (NMI) is located. Eyewitnesses said youths clashed in front of NMI and during the fight, Obosi
From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
youths allegedly burnt a bus, belonging to Onitsha youths. The youths barricaded the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway, causing a gridlock. An eyewitness said: “I was in a bus travelling to Owerri, when we got to Metallurgical school gate, some youths came out of the bush, armed with cutlasses, with palm fronds tied around their heads. “Another bus fully loaded with armed youths ran into them. There was a fight and
the bus was set ablaze by the other faction. “Some policemen came and dispersed them with teargas. “We didn’t know who the boys were and what they were fighting for. It was after the police dispersed them that we continued our journey.” The Police Area commander for Onitsha, Benjamin Wordu, said the two communities had been having cold war over the ownership of land.
Wordu said no one was killed but a bus belonging to Onitsha youths was burnt by Obosi youths. The Obi of Onitsha, Alfred Achebe, could not be reached for comments, but the Palace Secretary, P. Agusiobo, said he was not aware of the incident. Also, the traditional ruler of Obosi community, Chidubem Iweka, could not be reached for comments, but his personal assistant, Okwudili Oguegbu, said the land belongs to Obosi community.
Panel to probe market inferno in Anambra
PANEL of inquiry has been set up by Aguata Local Government to probe the cause(s) of the fire at Ekwulobia market in Anambra State last week. The fire destroyed buildings and goods worth N700 million. The Transition Chairman, Titus Anigbogu, told reporters that the council is bent on getting to the root of the incident. Governor Peter Obi visited the scene to symphatise with the affected traders.
From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi and Nwanosike Onu, Awka
Obi said such incidents are unavoidable sometimes. Anigbogu said: “A committee has been set up to investigate the cause(s) of the fire and find ways of averting a recurrence. “Also the panel of enquiry will probe the problems of the fire service in the local government. “ I was told that the truck of the fire service got spoilt on the eve of that incident. “That vehicle has been on
the stand by, helping us. “Had it not been the one in Awka that came to our rescue, there would have been more damage. The member representing Aguata I State Constituency, Ikem Uzioezie, described the incident as unfortunate. He said: “It is unfortunate that the fire service in Aguata could not save the situation.” The market leadership appealed to the government to equip the fire station.
‘Ubah never an APGA member’ From Nwanosike Onu, Awka
GOVERNORSHIP aspirant in Anambra State, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, was never a member of the All
Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), it was revealed yesterday. His campaign organisation debunked the claims that the aspirant had altercations with APGA Chairman, Sir Victor Umeh. The campaign’s spokesman, Jerry Obidike, said: “For the record, Ifeanyi Ubah was never a member of APGA, so, the issue of dumping APGA is neither here nor there. “It is true that Ubah had supported APGA financially or otherwise. This support arose out of his philanthropic spirit, which cuts across political affiliations. “He decided to leave the sinking ship and use the Labour Party (LP) to achieve his governorship ambition next year. “Ubah believes that his ambition would be better realised in a party with one spirit and a party that affiliates with the yearnings of the masses.”
The President-General of Ekwulobia Traders and Allied Workers Association, Ikechukwu Ezeokeke, said: “The fire was like a Tsunami. If the fire station was well equipped, the damage could have been minimal. “I have to appreciate the Divisional Police Officer because he called the fire service in Awka but before they could get here, the fire had caused much damage,” Ezeokeke added. He said some of the victims were hospitalised due to shock from their losses.
Orji: free education still on By Joseph Jibueze
Sunken boat: Families abandon bodies
HE families of seven of the 11 victims of the illfated tugboat accident have refused to claim the bodies. They accused the management of West African Ventures, owner of the Jascon 4, of insensitivity to their plight, stressing that the company has not told them the truth about what happened to their loved ones. Representatives of the families told our reporter they are unhappy that WAVentures, a subsidiary of Sea Trucks Group, carried out autopsies without their knowledge. The Nation gathered that seven bodies remain unclaimed at the morgue of Veennel Hospital on Okumagba Avenue, Warri, three weeks after the accident. A source at the hospital
From Shola O’Neil, Port Harcourt
identified the unclaimed bodies as those of Richard Egbe, Basil Idolor, Ebedi Michael and four others. The Base Manager of WAVentures in Warri, simply identified as Prince, rebuffed our effort to get the company’s reaction to the allegation. The victims were part of a 12-man crew on Jascon 4, which sank during a tow operation at the SBM #3 crude loading terminal owned by America oil firm, Chevron Nigeria Limited. Only one person, a cook, Harrison Okene, survived. Speaking with our reporter, Amaju Egbe, a sibling of the late Richard, said: “The company is wicked. They only called us to identify the
body of our brother. We heard that they carried out the autopsy, without our knowledge.” He debunked reports that the company was in contact with the families, stressing, “They are trying to trick us into collecting the bodies so that they can wash their hands off it. “We have resolved with the other families that we will not claim the bodies, until we know what really happened on that fateful day.” “We have some serious information about what led to the accident and the way and manner the searchand- rescue was conducted and I can tell you that my brother did not drown, he died of suffocation,” he stated. Speaking in the same vein, Godwin Andrew, a
relative of the late Ebedi, lamented the perceived nonchalant attitude of the company. “We have been the people calling them to make inquiries; they went about their businesses as if those who died were mere chickens, whose lives were worthless. If the lives are worthless to them, they meant a lot to us,” he added. It was gathered that all the crew have now been accounted for. One person was unaccounted for even after the search-and-rescue operation was called off on May 31. However, it was gathered that the remains of a badly mutilated body believed to be that of the last crew member was found. It was later interred at the shore of the ocean.
HE Abia State Government has debunked claims that it has canceled its free education programme. Governor Theordore Orji, in a statement by his spokesman Ben Onyechere, said the “insinuation” was not true. “The insinuation that the Abia State free education policy of Governor Orji has been reversed is the desperate repetition of an old slogan and the habit of those who have severally attempted to constitute a clog in the wheel of progress of Abia State. “The youth e m p o w e r m e n t
programme, which has received massive applause, was also criticised. These detractors claimed that the beneficiaries of the programme were cronies of the governor. “If I may ask, are those cronies not citizens of Abia State? We would have been surprised if they had acknowledged the veracity of those programmes in a positive manner,” the statement said. The governor said the government was aware that no amount of good work can please detractors, saying he would not be distracted. He said: “The government and people of Abia State know that no amount of development can assuage the bitterness of the sworn enemies of the state. “This anti-Abia group has been overwhelmed by the level of activities in the state, which they never imagined could be achieved. “In any case, no amount of falsehood can distract the present administration because the secret of such criticism has now been exposed,” the statement added.
Russia warns on Syria as G8 summit begins
EADERS of the G8 nations have begun a summit in Northern Ireland set to be dominated by the conflict in Syria. UK PM David Cameron said he hoped to find “common ground” but Russia, which has already said it opposes US plans to arm rebels, said yesterday it would not allow a nofly zone over Syria. The two-day summit is also expected to focus on global economic issues. The US and EU members of the G8 have announced that talks are to begin on a wideranging free trade deal. Mr Cameron, US President Barack Obama and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso held a press conference on the proposed EU-US deal ahead of the first
session of the summit. Mr Cameron said a successful agreement would have a greater impact than all other world trade deals put together. “This is a once-in-a-generation prize and we are determined to seize it,” said Mr Cameron. Other nations joining the UK, US and Russia for the 39th Summit of the Group of Eight (G8) in Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, are Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Mr Cameron has now officially welcomed all the leaders to Lough Erne. The key topic of Syria is set to be discussed at the working dinner yesterday evening. The US said last week it was prepared to arm opposition forces, saying it had evidence
that President Bashar alAssad’s forces had used chemical weapons on a “small scale”. Mr Cameron, who backed the recent lifting of EU arms sanctions against the rebels, said on Monday that no decision had yet been made on whether the UK would do the same. But he told reporters ahead of the summit that it was right the West should be “helping, assisting and advising” the opposition. “We shouldn’t accept what President Assad wants us to accept which is the only alternative to him is extremist terrorism. That isn’t the case. That is insulting to the millions of Syrians who want a peaceful democratic future for their country and it’s their side that we should be on,” he said.
Iran’s Rohani hopes for better ties with West
RESIDENT-elect Hassan Rohani held out the prospect yesterday of better relations between Iran and the world, including the United States, and progress on resolving the nuclear dispute. But the moderate cleric who scored a surprise election victory on Friday insisted Washington and the West must recognize what he said was Tehran’s right to enrich uranium, not interfere in Iran’s internal affairs and end their hostility. Rohani said his new government, to be formed after his inauguration in August, would “revive ethics and constructive interaction with the world through moderation”. “I hope that all countries use this opportunity,” he told his first news conference since his election win. Asked if he would be pre-
pared to hold direct talks with the United States, Rohani said: “The issue of relations between Iran and America is a complicated and difficult issue.” “It is an old wound that needs to be ... healed,” he said. Rohani set three conditions
for direct talks. “First of all the Americans have to say ... that they will never interfere in Iran’s internal affairs. Second, they have to recognize all of the Iranian nation’s due rights including nuclear rights, and third they have to put aside oppressive ... policies towards Iran,” he said.
Syria: 20 soldiers killed, wounded in bomb attack
CAR bomb targeting a checkpoint near a military airport in an upscale neighborhood of the Syrian capital killed 10 soldiers, activists said yesterday as President Bashar Assad’s troops pressed ahead with an offensive to regain territory they lost to rebels trying to topple his regime. The army has scored major victories in key battlefields in western and central Syria in the past weeks, and is now setting its sights on the country’s largest city, Aleppo, in the north, parts of which have been opposition strongholds.
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
NEWS Kwankwaso: Amaechi won’t drop NGF mandate Continued from page 4
rum immediately after the appointment of the chairman. “Let me say that at that meeting, we made it clear that we were determined to ensure democracy in this country. “If there is no democracy in the Governors Forum, I begin to wonder where we can have democracy in this country and many people don’t understand how angry many people are. Many people here in Abuja don’t understand how committed we are to ensure democracy in this country. “So, we decided to stick to our gun - that many of us have got grandchildren now. I have two grandchildren in primary school now and no grandfather can go and choose a friend for his children. You only see your children’s friends and when you do, you ask: who is your father? They will tell you and he may be your enemy or friend. It is very difficult to tell your child that the father of your friend is my enemy. And it is better for a good father or grandfather to keep quiet because the more you tell them that your grandfather or your father is their enemy - the more they stick to their friends because they would not understand what you mean by that. Kwankwaso condemned interference in NGF affairs by some forces in Abuja, especially the PDP leadership. He predicted that the NGF crisis may lead to emergence of two big parties in the country. He said: “I want to say that those living in glass houses should not be throwing stones, especially when it comes to suspension, dismissal, impeachment, these are words that peo-
ple should be cautious about. “We want peace, we want stability and we want development in this country. All these things that are happening, I think you should not worry too much because in developed democracies around the world, in America, Germany, Britain, everywhere, developed world, you have two major parties. “Nigeria, we have one party now and other small, small parties. Who knows, maybe we are having transition in this country of two parties and before we have two parties, some people must make mistakes, big, big mistakes.” He said the pro-Jang governors became desperate about removing Amaechi and forced the NGF to postpone the election twice. Kwankwaso explained how he nominated Jang as a strategy to show that some of the G16 governors are novices in politics. “Because we realised that they were very desperate and that even when we did the election and they were defeated they will not accept, we decided to deny them of their first choice, second choice and any choice at all. We gave them who will feel should be the minority leader of G-16. “They refused to take us seriously that Ameachi should continue. They thought they could play games and, you see, when we left the place, they went and had a meeting and accepted our nomination and at the end of the day, they brought him to the general meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum and at that Forum, we told them that Amaechi should continue as our chairman. They made all efforts to frustrate voting, saying
that there should not be voting. We said: ‘Why should there not be voting? This is a democracy’. “They were hell-bent in removing Amaechi and we were also determined to ensure that our friend, whoever, he is among the 36 governors, is the chairman of our Forum. That was how we brought all the ballot papers and the box (the one we are familiar with from INEC) and there was an election; 35 of us who were there voted, and it was counted 35. Only the governor of Yobe was absent. All of us were present. At the end of the day we counted 35 ballot papers and when they were separated, Amaechi had 19 and the other 16.” Kwankwaso said he warned Governors Ibrahim Shema and Isa Yuguda that they could not win the NGF poll. He added: “During the meeting of the PDP Governors Forum, we decided to call the Northern Governors Forum, we all sat down at the Governor’s Lodge. “At that meeting, the issue of Shema came up and I told Shema that ‘look, my brother, I was terribly disappointed in you that you are my neighbour, my friend and you are my brother, you never came to tell me that you are contesting election and you are parading yourself, looking like somebody who was being sent to us. “I told him clearly that I would never vote for him and I will never ask anybody to vote for him and I would make sure that he lost that election and I even told him to go and withdraw. Other governors supported me. Sule Lamido was there; he supported me. Isa Yuguda was there; the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako,
supported. Those who supported me asked Shema to go and withdraw. “ Unfortunately, some people took that opportunity to go and say that Shema did not have the North to support him. Later, Shema was dropped and they brought Isa Yuguda. Isa came to me and I told him that ‘look, I am still a villager and I behave in many ways as a villager and in my village, Kwankwaso in Kano, if a councillor goes to a family and says I am contesting to be a councillor and they accept it, when somebody comes in the afternoon, they will tell him that you are too late. I told him that you are late. “Let me also correct the impression that many people thought that I did not really like Shema; it is not so. in that particular instance, we did not want Shema because we wanted to choose our own chairman. “With Yuguda, they came through the same route and I advised him, ‘you must not do that; if you do that , you will fail’. When he insisted, of course, he was in my house, I did not want to go as hard as I did with Shema. I told him ‘we will see; let us see how it will go. “Now, you see on Friday, on the day of the election we went to the Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, it was all politics all through. “Some people were determined to ensure that Ameachi did not win the election and we were determined to prove to them that nobody can shave our heads in our absence. “A situation where our colleagues were going round Abuja, they were abusing us, telling us all sorts of things, I don’t think that is acceptable and that was why we proved to them that they were at the elementary level of politics. “By the time we went to the Niger State Governor’s Lodge for the meeting of the Northern States Governors Forum, the question was: was anyone of them ready to step down for the other? Neither of them was ready to step down for the other. “When the issue of electing somebody to replace the two(Shema and Yuguda) of them that was when the politics came in. It was very clear to the two of them and our position was very clear to all governors either in the North or in the South - that we were determined to elect the NGF chairman of our choice but everybody was playing games and politics and what we did in the Niger State Governor’s Lodge in selecting Jang as a consensus candidate was to show them that they know very little about politics. “One, we decided to say they cannot get Shema as the chairman of the minority group of the G16. We also said you cannot even get your second choice (the Bauchi State governor elected) and our group decided, under my leadership, to give them Jang as their leader. I nominated Jang. I gave them Jang and I asked the Governor of Benue, Gabriel Suswam, to support me and many people supported me.” On the withdrawal of Yuguda and Governor Gabriel Suswam from Northern States Governors Forum he said: “Maybe they are not Northerners, the interest of the North is bigger than the NGF. When people are angry, they should know what to say; they should not allow anger to lead them to say what may count against them tomorrow.” Kwankwaso faulted the endorsement signatures being bandied about by the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Godswill Akpabio.
Boko Haram kills seven students, two teachers Continued from page 4
that house. Dr. Umar said one of the dead students had some defensive injuries on his hands. He explained that all the students killed were either shot on the head or in the neck. The latest attack ended almost 10 months of relative peace in the state capital, Damaturu and other parts of the state. The situation compelled the state government to upgrade the curfew to 6pm to 6.00am, from 9pm to 7am. Some parts of the state capital, such as Potiskum Road, Ali Malami Estate, and Pilgrims, were locked down by men of the JTF during the search for the attackers. Also at the weekend, four churches were bombed and
burned in attacks attributed to Boko Haram. Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, the President of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, told the Fides news service that the army had moved in to the area in the northern Borno state, bringing a greater sense of security to the population, after the attacks on churches, which were followed by the looting of stored food and livestock. The raids were likely the work of Boko Haram units, in coordination with Islamist groups that have been ousted from neighboring Mali, the archbishop said. He called for a “regional approach” to the violence, in which authorities from Nigeria, Niger, and Mail would work together against the Islamic militants.
Anxiety over Tukur, others Continued from page 1
Youth Leader, Garba Chizea; the National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon; the National Treasurer, Bala Kao’je; Umar Ibrahim (deputy national auditor); his deputy Okechukwu Nnadozie and Dennis Arokpe (Deputy National Youth Leader). There are also Abubakar Mustapha (National Organising Secretary); and Sam Jaja (Deputy National Chairman); and Chief Olisa Metuh (National Publicity Secretary) and his deputy Binta Goje, Deputy National Woman Leader, Hannatu Ulam, Deputy National Treasurer Claudus Inengas, and Deputy National Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge Niyi, According to sources, the Anyim Committee confirmed INEC’s position that “the process, which produced 12 of the 16-member exco, was in violation of
paragraph 6.5 (1) of the guidelines for the conduct of the 2012 congresses and national convention and, therefore, unacceptable.” According to INEC, the “rule says nobody should emerge unopposed”. INEC had, on April 8, 2013, nullified the election of 12 of the 16 NWC members. The lucky four, whose election followed due process, are Tukur; Oyinlola; Mustapha and the Financial Secretary, Elder Bolaji Anani. Anyim Committee reportedly observed that if the NWC was not dissolved, any primaries conducted by it for the 2015 poll could be nullified by a court. It was learnt that PDP Governors had earlier recommended a mini-National Convention to correct the errors in 2012 convention but Tukur and his team offered to stay on.
Britain to engage Jonathan on same-sex marriage bill
RITAIN wil engage Nigeria on the bill seeking to stop samesex marriage, British Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday. He was speaking against the backdrop of the legislation already passed by the National Assembly prescribing 14 years imprisonment for same sex marriage offenders. The bill is waiting for presidential assent to become law. Cameron said yesterday “nothing should be off the table” when it comes to foreign aid and protecting equal rights. He spoke on a BBC programme. Cameron told the BBC that he would be raising the issue with Nigeria’s leaders. “With countries like Nigeria, where we have a very good relationship, a very strong relationship, nothing should be off the table”, the prime minister said. “So when we meet with Nigerian politicians and Nigerian leaders, we should be very clear about those things that we agree about and very clear where we disagree.” Mr Cameron said the UK
has a “very good record on equal rights for lesbian and gay people”, adding: “we believe that’s right for every country in the world.” “The matter of your sexuality is something that shouldn’t be a disadvantage to you [just as] your religion, or your race, or the way you should choose your life “ When asked if UK foreign aid should be docked from Nigeria, the prime minister said: “We will have to have some conversations with them, as I said nothing is off the table and we should have these conversations, but we also have some very important objectives with the Nigerians for instance to deal with the appalling rates of poverty in the north of Nigeria which [is] part of a problem that affects not just Nigeria but the rest of the world.” The PM added: “But as I said, nothing [is] off the table; always prepared to have these conversations, and my view very strongly is that we should have proper equality for lesbian and gay people and that should apply everywhere in the world.”
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
THE NATION TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013
TODAY IN THE NATION
‘APC must codify a nationwide charter of demands, based on felt local needs’
TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA
N formal terms, Bashir Tofa was one of the principal figures in the June 12, 1993, presidential election debacle. As candidate and standard-bearer of the National Republican Convention (NRC), one of the two officially recognised official political parties, he shared the spotlight with the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Bashorun MKO Abiola. Few outside Kano and the business community knew much about Tofa until he was catapulted to head the NRC ticket by the notso-hidden hands of the grand manipulator in Aso Rock and his proxies, as an element in their secret agenda. The intelligence at the time was that military president Ibrahim Babangida would seize on some gaps in Tofa’s résumé to void the election if, as per his calculation, Tofa won. And Tofa would not be in a position to cause a stir. Secret agenda or no secret agenda, foil or no foil, Tofa grew quickly into the role of presidential candidate, criss-crossing the country in a spirited campaign. One element of that campaign clings in my memory. It was a television commercial in which a man wearing an upturned collar and black suit led an energetic crowd whose attires reflected the nation’s ethnic diversity to chant “Tofa is the answer.” Billboards dotting the landscape carried the same message. Even more memorable was the televised debate between Tofa and Abiola, staged by the NTA and moderated by its senior programme executive, Dr Biodun Sotumbi. Oil pricing came up, naturally, in the wake of yet another threat to cut a phantom gasoline subsidy. Tofa, it turned out, did not even know the pump price of a gallon of petrol. There was something of a cad about him. But his performance was on the whole passable. Among major commentators, only MCK Ajuluchukwu thought Tofa had “won” the debate. For Nigerians weary of the bitterness and the stubborn refusal to accept defeat that had been prominent features of Nigerian politics, I suspect that the high point of the debate came at the very end. Abiola and Tofa shook hands and pledged to abide by the result of the election, no matter how it turned. This, then, was going to be a different election. The political transition programme, despite its manifest flaws, might yet inaugurate a new political era. It was not to be. Abiola won outright in 18 states, including Tofa’s home state, Kano. He also won more than one-fourth of the votes cast in all but two or three of the remaining 14 states. This was the most decisive victory in Nigeria’s history, in what local and foreign observers ranked among the cleanest they had witnessed anywhere and also, I fear, the fairest and freest my generation will ever know.
AT HOME ABROAD email@example.com
Bashir Tofa: What manner of man?
The National Electoral Commission had named a chief returning officer, signalling that it was set to declare a winner. In keeping with Tofa’s pledge, his camp has assembled to put the finishing touches to a statement conceding defeat when, according to Dr Doyen Okapi, NRC’s national publicity secretary, Tofa’s cell phone rang. Tofa responded in Hausa to the call, which he said was from “the Villa,” and then retreated to a private room where he and the caller continued their conversation, in Hausa. Emerging some 30 minutes later, Tofa was a changed man. Gone from his countenance was any trace of a willingness to concede, or even compromise. In its place, defiance, and grim determination. The concession was never made. Instead, calls for voiding the poll, for reasons rang-
RIPPLES Amaechi warns Jang: DON’T IMPERSONATE NGF CHAIRMAN
ing from the infantile to the spurious, poured forth from the NRC camp. Babangida gladly obliged. Abiola’s camp, propelled by the umbrella organisation NADECO, mounted a campaign of protest and resistance that shook Nigeria to its fragile roots. Tofa slunk into the obscurity from which he had been plucked. Never has a principal actor in an epic drama faded so quickly from the scene, unremarked and unremembered. Sometime in 1997, Tofa’s handlers inveigled or bribed some rogue elements in the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations into inviting Tofa to address that prestigious bastion of America’s foreign policy establishment. Compounding his fecklessness with mendacity, Tofa declared with a straight face that
he, not Abiola, had won the election – a claim he had never made at home — and that he had accepted the annulment in the national interest Year after year, as those who hold that governance should be based on the consent of the people rather than the caprice of a cabal celebrated the June 12 anniversary, Tofa kept denouncing the occasion. He was it again last week. The brutal and thieving dictator, Sani Abacha, of frightful memory, had called the election a “watershed.” In a shameless and self-serving retreat with few parallels here or anywhere, the annuller himself, General Babangida, had called the election the best in Nigeria’s history and claimed the credit for organising it. Fifteen years after the election, its chief umpire, Humphrey Nwosu, freed finally from the oath of silence the annullers had worn him to, published the official results. Abiola had won, in the manner that election returns awaiting official certification had indicated. As if to secure his place in the hall of infamy even as other authors and enablers of the annulment were seeking desperately to extricate themselves from that gallery, Tofa declared, on the 20th anniversary of the historic election, that “June 12” is dead, that its celebration is a “fiction.” “I am not one of those people that celebrate fiction that is the more reason why I don’t like to be talking again on June 12 presidential election,” he told journalists in Kano. “Only those who don’t have anything to offer to this country to move forward can still be talking about June 12 presidential elections. “If you have learnt any lesson out of it, well; if you have not, keep quiet, let this country make progress. But for one to still be talking about something that occurred 20 years ago, is colossal waste of time.” This is the quality of mind of a man whom the manipulators of the transition program judged fit to be president, the man who had a statistical chance of being elected to that office but chose to connive in the annulment of the election. I stated earlier that there was something of the cad in Tofa. On June 12, 1993, he traipsed from one voting booth to another in his Kano constituency in a vain hope of casting his ballot. His name was not on any of the books. Apparently, he had not even bothered to register to vote. Down the ages, history will remember him, but only as a contemptible footnote to “June 12.” •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Of Anambra gay community and David Cameron
Impersonation is an OFFENCE.. IG take note
‘This is the quality of mind of a man whom the manipulators of the transition program judged fit to be president, the man who had a statistical chance of being elected to that office but chose to connive in the annulment of the election’
HERE is an Igbo proverb which insists that an unthinkable occurrence is to find a lion feasting on yam. So was it peculiarly strange to read in national newspapers last week that, “ members of the gay community in Anambra State on June 12 disrupted court proceedings at the Atani Magistrate’s Court, while protesting the arraignment of two of them for allegedly having same-sex relationship.” This protest is stranger still because, Anambra, the foremost Southeast state, is not a place known for protesting any official policy or cause. It will be difficult to remember the last time the good people of Anambra carried placards in public show of umbrage. Not when their erstwhile governor was locked up in a toilet by a certain rascal politician who proceeded to torch public properties in the state when he could not have his way; not even during the fuel subsidy nationwide protests January last year did we get any inkling that so many people could shout in unison in Anambra. What forest gnome therefore pushed these full-bodied okorobias to dress up like women, come out in the public, on Igbo soil and insist
that two men be allowed to co-habit. Eewoo, aru eme! Abomination stalks the land and our lion now eats yam and dog has grown a large horn. A rabbit has burst forth in broad daylight. Is it a daydream or how will the story be told that a full bodied man, onochie, isi obi, who holds the ofor, the totem of his family now plays woman, to be married off by another man? If that day had come when a man would cease to be a groom but a bride to a fellow man, did anyone think it would start from Anambra State? Anambra is still among the last bastions of Catholicism in Nigeria as well as the stronghold of Igbo culture and tradition. It is a place where the traditional marriage rite of igba nkwu nwanyi (wine carrying to take the hand of a woman in marriage) is still cherished in Igboland. Perhaps the time has come upon us sooner than we thought to rethink that idea and change it to igba nkwu nwoke (wine carrying to marry a man). It must be remarkable that this Atani protest is happening (shortly) after the demise of Chinua Achebe, the great Anambra son who wrote Things Fall Apart which was set in colo-
nial Anambra. The great novel is about how things fell apart in Igboland as the new British masters over ran the primitive people of the lower Niger River and eventually pacified them through the force of arms. Incidentally, Atani is right at the bank of the River Niger. If Achebe had lived longer, would he have written Things Fall Apart, Again, with the advent of the Whiteman gay culture on his fatherland as young men seem eager to run off with fellow men in abominable cohabitation spree? But wait a minute, British Prime Minister David Cameron has been banging the table and threatening thunder if Nigeria passes the same-sex marriage Bill; these Anambra boys always have one ahead of the rest us. Do you see a chance that Mr. Cameron may ask all Nigerian gays over to Britain? Wow, what huge prospects lie ahead of you should you land at Heathrow announcing you are a gay exile fleeing from Nigerian government persecutors! Well Hardball’s advice is, better be truly gay before you try such stunt for you may well be subjected to unpalatable tests to prove your status.
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