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Igbo leader: we lost 36 men in Jos explosions NEWS Page 2

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Electricity tariff to go up from June 1

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HERE is bad news for electricity consumers. Tariff is set to go up from June 1, following the review of the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) for 2014. Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Chairman Dr. Sam Amadi told reporters in Abuja that “the review has reduced fixed price charge component of the tariff”. Explaining the implication of the review, he said Abuja

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EKITI 2014

•Thugs smash commissioner’s car as violence rises •Why INEC must use e-card reader, by APC •YCE urges credible poll •Fayose tackles E-Eleven •AND MORE ON PAGE 9

•The building before it was demolished

•THE END: A building belonging to a suspected kidnapper Nonso Mgbe being demolished by government officials in Azia, •A crowd watching the demolition Ihiala Lolcal Government, Anambra State...at the weekend. SEE ALSO PAGE 59

Chibok girls: Govt drops swap deal for ceasefire

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WHERE ARE THE CHIBOK GIRLS KIDNAPPED ON APRIL 15?

We know where girls are but can’t use force, says Defence chief

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FTER rejecting a prisoner swap deal with Boko Haram, the Federal Government is pushing for ceasefire as part of the ongoing back-door talks for the release of the abducted schoolgirls, The Nation learnt yesterday. The government, according to sources, is tinkering with releasing

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

“soft” detainees arrested in connection with Boko Haram activities. But it was learnt that the sect is yet to respond to the ceasefire proposal, fueling fears that the two parties may be set for a long battle. The government is believed to be

asking the facilitators of the back-door talks to tell Boko Haram to accept a ceasefire. The source said: “The thrust of the ongoing back-door talks is just for the sect members to lay down their arms and release the abducted girls. The government wants ceasefire from Boko Haram.

“We are still talking. The Federal Government is rubbing minds with Boko Haram contacts.” Responding to a question, the source added: “There was no time President Goodluck Jonathan agreed to the swapping of Boko Haram members with the girls. This position has Continued on page 2

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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

NEWS Shehu Sani to govt: swap girls

Chibok girls: Govt drops swap deal for ceasefire

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Continued from page 1

not changed as I am talking to you. “Only soft detainees like wives, children, brothers, sisters and uncles of Boko Haram members, may be released, in line with the rules of engage-

ment. “So far, we do not know their attitude to the ceasefire demand; they are yet to get back to us.” It was gathered that the military may take delivery of three surveillance aircraft to assist in the search for the abducted girls. A military source added: “All what we are doing is still surveillance of suspected areas or camps where the girls are purportedly held hostage. “The US, the UK, France and others have been assisting in the surveillance, which is a 24-hour business along Sambisa Forest axis, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Mali borders. The troops on ground are still within the fringes of Sambisa Forest. “As part of plans to strengthen the operation in the Northeast, the military will soon get delivery of three surveillance aircraft.” A British newspaper published on Sunday that the schoolgirls, who were kidnapped on April 15, would have regained their freedom by now but President Goodluck Jonathan called off a prisoner swap deal with Boko Haram at the last minute. The Mail on Sunday said a Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida — who reportedly fled to the United Arab Emirates last year following threats to his life on account of his closeness to the militants — was said to have been appointed by both the government and the extremists to broker an agreement for the release of the girls in exchange for Boko Haram members in detention. “Sources in the Nigerian capital Abuja described how Shekau had agreed to bring the girls out of their forest camps in the remote northeast of the country in the early morning and take them to a safe location for the prisoner swap,” the paper wrote. “They would have been dropped off in a village, one group at a time, and left there while their kidnappers disappeared. There was to be a signal to a mediator at another location to bring in the prisoners.” Curi-

•Air Marshal Badeh...yesterday

We know where girls are, says Defence Chief

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T is without doubt the biggest question the world is asking: where are the 267 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram on April 15? Chief of Defence Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh said yesterday that security agencies know the answer. Air Marshal Badeh said the military know where the girls were being held but would not use force to recover them. Addressing a solidarity rally organised by the Citizens Initiative for Security Awareness, a hitherto unknown “non-governmental organisation”, outside the Defence Headquarters, Air Marshal Badeh said the military had the capacity to rescue the girls without applying force. He pleaded that the military be allowed to continue with the assignment, saying that there was no need setting the stage for the killing of the girls in the name of rescue operation. Badeh said: “We want our girls back; we want our girls back; we can do it; our military can do it but where they are being held, can we go with force? “If we go with force, what will happen? They

From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

will kill them. So, nobody should come and say the Nigerian military does not know what it is doing. We know what we are doing, we can’t go and kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back. So we are working. “The good news for the girls is that we know where they are but we cannot tell you, we cannot come and tell you military secrets here. Just leave us alone, we are working; we would get the girls back.” Asked by prying journalists to disclose the location of the girls, the Defence Chief said that it would not be wise for him to make public such a military strategy. “That would be telling you our secrets, that would be telling you our strategy. We cannot be discussing our strategy here on television,” he said. According to Air Marshal Badeh, the military has the capacity to carry out any military operation, as demonstrated by the military’s Continued on page 6

ously, the federal government was only expected to release 100 “non-combatant, low-level sympathisers” of Boko Haram, rather than commanders and foot soldiers, the newspaper reported. About 2000 Boko Haram members are said to be in detention. Accused of being a Boko Haram sympathiser, the Bornoborn journalist has always insisted he only maintains a “professional relationship” with certain members of the group whom he knew long before it became violent. However, he was reported-

ly persuaded by the president’s aides to embark on a “secretive and dangerous” trip home to meet Shekau, after the president “personally signed a letter of indemnity” protecting him from arrest by security agents. But while attending the May 17, 2014 Paris terrorism summit with leaders of four African countries and representatives of the European Union, United Kingdom, and the United States, Jonathan called home to halt the deal, the paper said. The about-face, it is believed, has angered Shekau, raising fears that the girls might

now be endangered. “The next video we see from the terrorists could show the girls being killed one by one,” The Mail on Sunday quoted an intelligence source as saying. The turnaround may as well spell the end of any peace deal with Boko Haram, as Salkida is about the group’s most-trusted and unbiased go-between with the Federal Government. “He is probably the only civilian with access to Shekau. There is trust between them and Salkida had only one aim — to get

cally reduce. Amadi added: “Many customers by 1st June should be paying a fixed charge (FC) of about N1,500 but the adjustment has resulted in a decrease in that the fixed charge will not change but will remain at N750.” On the energy charge for the 2014 MYTO, Amadi, said: “What we will see is that most of the consumers did not have any increase in their EC apart from Residential Two (R2) customers that have N1 increase in some places. So instead of having a much more bigger Energy Charge (EC) increase that was published for 2014 MYTO since 2012, we now have the same fixed charge of N750 from the supposed N1500 which means a huge reduction and then a slight increase of about N1 or so for only R2 customers,” he said. He noted that R2 customers in Ikeja Distribution Company (Disco) are more in a cluster so the cost is cheaper, “and when they calculated the average with the cost of price, their energy charge came down lower.”

Amadi stated that although wholesale generation cost reduced, transmission and distribution component of the tariff is high resulting in the slight increase in the Energy Cost for most R2 customers. He maintained that NERC’s review principle follows a rulebased approach that gives confidence to the investors and also protect consumers against arbitrary charges. The power investors and financial institutions that advanced credits to them before the privatization of the assets, have been calling for upward review of electricity tariff to match cost of output and also help them (investors) recoup their investment on record time. According them, revenue collections from the consumers are far much lower than they (investors) expected pre-asset handover. The poor collection, the investors added, is also worsened by the technical and commercial losses, which are greater than the assumptions given them by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) before the assets were handed over. The MYTO (Multi-Year Tar-

iff Order) provides a 15 year tariff path for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. The MYTO methodology sets out the basis and pricing principles by which the tariff of different categories of consumers are fixed or determined. It also determines load allocation to different electricity distribution companies, the closest value chain to consumers. The MYTO usually have major review every five years but June of every year, a minor review is carried out by NERC. The review is determined market fundamentals. The residential customers’ tariff especially R1 and R2 under MYTO are subsidized by about 50 per cent by the government because they are categorized as customers with very low incomes. Their consumption, however, is subsidized with charges from other classes of customers, according to MYTO provision. The tariff review began as a result of agitation from market participants (licensees in generation, transmission and distribution) and prospective investors who felt that some of

Continued on page 6

NE of the early facilitators of peace talks with Boko Haram, Comrade Shehu Sani, said yesterday that the best option for the Federal Government is to swap the abducted girls with the sect members in detention. He said the use of force to rescue the girls might turn tragic for the nation. He also said if the girls were kept longer in Boko Haram enclave, they might become radicalised and turn into insurgents. Sani, who spoke with our correspondent last night in Abuja, said the nation does not need the girls bodies after going through this harrowing experience. He said: “My advice to the Federal Government is to take the path of honour and swap the abducted girls. What is important is to get the girls out of Boko Haram enclaves. “The government cannot be talking of the use of force; it cannot be possible in this circumstance. “We don’t need the bodies of these innocent girls; we need their bodies and souls. Let us save these girls now by swapping.

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

“After swapping the girls, the nation can now address insurgency in whatever way it deems fit.” Responding to a question, Sani added: “The Federal Government is in a dilemma. Those in government see that negotiation will make the government to be weak. And if they use force, it may turn tragic with Nigerians blaming them. “This is why swapping of the girls is an option the government should consider. By now, we would have forgotten this challenge.” Sani, who recommended Ahmed Salkida to the Federal Government (the central figure in the ongoing back-door talks with Boko Haram), warned against the danger of holding the girls hostage for long. He said: “The danger of keeping them is that Boko Haram will be radicalising them. And if they succeed in radicalising the girls, we will be coping with another round of insurgents. This is what those in government should understand.”

We lost 36 members to Jos explosions, says Igbo leader

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HE Igbo living in Jos, the Plateau State capital, where two bombs went off last week, killing no fewer than 118 people, have been counting their losses. The Igbo said they lost 36 people in the explosions at the Jos Terminus market. No fewer than 42 were injured. The Eze Igbo in Jos, Prof. Jerome Obilom, unveiled the chilling details at a news conference in Jos. Many Igbo traders are still missing, he added. Obilom said: “The May 20 bomb blast in Jos killed 36 of our members and 42 others injured. “In addition, many others are still unaccounted for while Igbo traders lost goods worth millions of naira. “But our major problem now is the move by the state government to give mass burial to the victims without informing

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

members of the community, especially we the Igbo. It is our tradition not to bury our own outside our homestead. “Some hospital authorities were very hostile when the community, led by the Chairman of the Igbo Community Association, Chief Jonah Ezekwueme, visited them to identify victims of the blast who were Igbo. Obilom said: “There is the need to compensate victims of the bomb blast. In past incidents, Ndigbo were neglected and made to bear the cost of burying and rehabilitating their members alone. “While recognising the fact that some of the victims were shattered into shreds, which necessitated that some body parts were packed into bags that neContinued on page 6

CORRECTION The photograph used in the opening page of the Education section on Thursday, May 22, was that of the late Prof. Celestine Onwuliri and not Prof. Chogozie Cyril Asiabaka, Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri. The error is regretted —Editor

Electricity tariff goes up from June 1

Continued from page 1

Electricity Distribution Company’s R2 customers, for instance, who have been paying N13.75 per unit will pay N14.90. The fixed charge remains unchanged, he added. This is an indication of N1.15k for customers in the R2 category. The NERC however, said that the full details of the review will be made public on the Commission’s website. According to him, some positive variables culminated in the significant changes in the tariff review. He said: “Whilst MYTO in 2012 had projected a 13 per cent inflation rate, it was by March 30, at 7.8 per cent, less than 5.2per cent of the projection; exchange rate of $1 to N178 from CBN data was also less as at March 30 to N157.30 per $1, 11.6per cent less than projected.” Amadi said the review result however, indicated a reduction of the wholesale tariff payable to generation companies (Gencos) from June 1 adding that with increased generation capacity and favourable economic indices, tariff cost will drasti-

the technical and financial considerations in the tariff calculations needed to be re-examined. The first set of tariffs under MYTO 1 was introduced in July 2008, while current MYTO2 begun on June1, 2012, and by 2016 MYTO 3 will begin. Depending on the state of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), a major review will take place in 2016 to reflect on the market and afterwards, minor reviews would continue year through the next five years. The Tariff Review began as a result of agitation from Market Participants (licensees in generation, transmission and distribution) and prospective investors who felt that some of the technical and financial considerations in the tariff calculations needed to be re-examined. “The MYTO II is developed on basis of predictable energy receipts and onward sales. In the current situation of low generation, power can be dispatched in an open and transparent manner. Disco’s maximum loading (distribution) capacity is a mil-

•Amadi itating factor, even when there is adequate supply, some Disco’s may not be able to distribute beyond certain threshold. This also necessitated abandoning uniform percentage value for initial allocation,” NERC said.

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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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NEWS

Lamentation of

•From left: National leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and former Vice President and chieftain of APC Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on their arrival for the inauguration of the South African President in Pretoria... at the weekend.

•From Left: Chairman, Session on Business Law, Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Gbenga Oyebode; Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos and former Secretary -General, United Nations, Lord Mark Malloch, at the 8th Annual Business Law Conference in Lagos... yesterday PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

The hitherto peaceful city of Jos, capital of Plateau State, witnessed twin bomb blasts last week that left many dead and scores injured. YUSUFU AMINU IDEGU, who met many relatives of survivors, captures the anguish of the injured many of who are still in hospitals, struggling to stay alive.

•Families of bomb blast victims besieged the morgue in search of missing loved ones

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• L-R: Head, Marketing and Communications, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mrs. Nkiru Olumide-Ojo; Trustee, Zaccheus Onumba Bibiaezue Memorial Libraries, Mrs Ayo Obe, and CEO/Co-founder, Zaccheus Onumba Bibiaezue Memorial Libraries, Mrs Ifeoma Esiri at the presentation of books by Stanbic IBTC Holdings to the Zaccheus Onumba Bibiaezue Memorial Libraries 4000 Children's book drive in Lagos... yesterday

•L-R: Head of Strategy, Sterling Bank Plc, Ighodalo Aimienwanu; Executive Director, Caleb Group of Schools, Dr. Dolapo Ogunbanwo and Airport Road Business Manager of Sterling Bank Plc Lanre Osinowo, at the "Start From Ten" Sterling Bank Mathematics Competition organised in conjunction with Caleb Group of Schools, held in Lagos at the weekend

AYS after two blasts rocked Jos, Plateau State, tears have not ceased. Distraught relatives of the dead and crestfallen survivors rue their plight as the rebound of horror unsettles the Tin City like a stubborn wound that has refused to heal. Scores of bereaved relations are battling to claim the remains of their loved ones from the morgues. Others have besieged hospitals, holding vigil with doctors, who are battling to save the lives of the injured. There is a pathetic case of a woman in Ward 1 of the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Mrs. Mary Baba, 46, whose face was damaged in the blast so much that she would require a corrective surgery to regain her looks. Her hope of surviving the injury hangs in the balance. Another victim is receiving treatment at the hospital with her three-year old daughter. The duo sustained severe burns during the bloody incident. Next to her, is the bloodcurdling case of a student of theAbubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU, Bauchi. She remained unconscious, three days after the blast. But her sister who was at her bed side when our reporter visited the hospital gave her name as Zuliya Yunusa. “She (Suliya) was returning in a Keke NAPEP (tricycle) to our house at Gangeri, when the bombs went off. The blast threw the tricycle up and smashed it to the ground. Swathed by headless bodies, she tried to crawl out to get help but soon went into coma. She later found herself in the hospital when she recovered the next day.” A civil servant, Akpan Harris, who was at the hospital to retrieve the body of his wife, Rebecca, said: “I took my wife to the market and dropped her to get some few things. Ten minutes later, I heard deafening bang and by the time I rushed back

•Miss Angela being consoled after discovering her mother's body at the morgue

to the market, everywhere was on fire. I knew the worst had happened when she could not be reached on her cell phone. She was nowhere to be found. I launched a search for her before her body was discovered here.” The blasts also cut short the lives of seven final year students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Jos (UNIJOS). The late students had left the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) for the shoes market without any inkling that danger was lurking in the corner. They were on their way to the roadside market to buy some undisclosed items when the blasts occurred. None of the students survived. Six of them were burnt. The body of one of them was recovered from the inferno that occurred in the wake of the explosions. Although another student of the university, Kenneth Datong, was ‘lucky’ to have cheated death but not without sustaining injuries after an iron rod pierced his legs. His mother, Hajiya Tafisau Datong, who recalled his son’s narrow escape, said: “He was returning from school when the first explosion occurred. He did not die, but an iron rod from nowhere flew out of the scene of the blast and lodged in his leg, inflicting serious pain. He has


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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n of Jos bomb blast survivors

•An ATBU student Zukiya Yunusa recovering with 3rd degree burn

s besieged g loved ones

•A 3-year old child with her mother after the bomb blast, both injured

been booked for a surgical operation next week so as to remove the substance because doctors said only through a major surgical operation can the iron be removed.” An eyewitness, Mathew Bawa, described the scene of the horrific incident which claimed over 100 lives last week as “hell.” He said: “There was a replica of the biblical description of hell on Tuesday at a roadside market on Murtala Muhammed Way, Jos. I saw human beings roasted alive by fire before the arrival of men of the Fire Service who put out the fire. It was real hell I saw. It is beyond description my brother.” The latest explosions came barely three years after the city witnessed a similar incident in December 2010 when two explosives went off simultaneously at a beer palour in Anwauan Rukuba and Kabong communities. That incident left more than 100 dead. The second bomb attack happened two years after, precisely on February 20, 2012 at the headquarters of Church of God in Nation (COCIN), to adjacent the Central Bank of Nigeria branch in Jos. Four members of the church got killed in the attack. Over 20 persons were injured. The third bomb attack in Jos happened two months after the one at St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Rayfield. By the

This is the time the victims need government most so as to recover fast, but we can’t see any government official here. We keep hearing on radio that government has accepted to defray the bill but right now many victims may die due to lack of relevant drugs in the hospital

time an inventory of victims was taken, no fewer than 25 members of the church were dead. More than 30 congregants were injured. Another bomb attack was also was recorded at God Chosen Church of God (GCCG) along Rukuba Road, Jos. Two members of the church

were killed in the attack and several others injured. All the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers who drove explosives-laden vehicles which they rammed into the churches during service hours. Since the last attack in 2012, not a few churches had taken security

measures to frisk worshippers and safeguard their premises from such attacks. The security measures may have indeed paid off as no blast had taken place in Jos until a rebound of bloody explosions last Tuesday. The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sidi Sani, and Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, were in Jos a day after the tragedy for on-thespot assessment of the incident. The visitors particularly visited the victims of the explosions receiving treatment at JUTH. JUTH Medical Director Dr Edmond Banwat, while briefing the visitors, said: “Most of the casualties were brought to the hospital from the scene of explosions. 48 people were brought with various degrees of injuries while 22 corpses were brought. A few hours ago, some of the victims with third degree burn who were rushed to other hospitals in the city were also referred to our hospital for major treatment. Two of the dead victims are children, majority of them are women.” Some relatives were seen checking the morgue and wards in the hope of finding their family members who may have fallen victim of the blasts. Some were lucky to quickly find and identify bodies of their loved ones. Others

were searching relatives endlessly for the bodies of their. Those who were able to identify bodies of victims were asked to bring their photographs as prof of their relationship to claim the bodies. Some relatives of the victims who spoke with our reporter complained of the high cost of some of the drugs prescribed by doctors for the treatment of their siblings. One of the relatives, Audu Daman, said, “Government is only making propaganda with claims of footing the medical bill of the victims. At the moment, government officials are nowhere to be found, yet we are asked to buy drugs every day. We have spent close to N20, 000 and we are already exhausted. We have been borrowing money for feeding and drugs. This is the time the victims need the government most so as to recover fast, but we can’t see any government official here. We keep hearing on radio that government has accepted to defray the bill but right now many victims may die due to lack of relevant drugs in the hospital.” Hamza Aliyu echoed Daman’s views, saying: “The nature of injuries of these victims are high. It is not what any family can bear; it requires government intervention as prompt as possible.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

NEWS CHIBOK GIRLS’ ABDUCTION

Govt seeks Boko Haram ceasefire instead of swap Continued from page 2

the schoolgirls out,” the source said. “He reported afterwards that the group of girls he saw were alive and well, and being adequately fed and sheltered. They told him all they wanted was to go home.” Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati was quoted by the newspaper as saying he was not aware of any attempted rescue plan. The BBC also reported that a

deal for the release of some of the schoolgirls was close to being secured when the government called it off. Some of the girls were set to be freed in exchange for imprisoned Islamist militants, reports the BBC’s Will Ross. But the government cancelled the planned agreement shortly before the swap was due to take place. The reasons for the withdrawal are unclear.

It came just after President Jonathan attended a meeting in Paris hosted by President Francois Hollande of France where leaders said they had agreed a “global and regional action plan” against Boko Haram. The girls, who were mainly Christian, were taken from their school in Chibok, in Borno State and are thought to be held in the Sambisa forest, close to the border with Chad and Cameroon.

We know where girls are, says Defence Chief Continued from page 2

From left: Business Process Consultant, Sumeru Nigeria Limited, Miss Aschana Shahnece; CEO, Sumeru Nigeria Limited, Mr Akshay Jain, President, Women Arise & Campaign for Democracy Dr.Joe Okei-Odumakin, Convener, Centre for Values in Leadership Prof. Pat Utomi and his wife during a protest in Lagos over the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls

triumphant execution of the civil war and the restoration of democratic governance in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The situation in the Northeastern part of the county, he said, is different as the war involves the killing of fellow Nigerians and the military is not happy about it. Air Marshal Badeh said the Armed Forces had recovered some arms from the insurgents which the military is not familiar with. Judging by the nature of some of the recovered arms, the CDS said it was obvious that some people outside the country were fuelling the insurgency with the intention to destabilise Nigeria. “Some of the arms we are

recovering are very alien to the Nigerian Army, which means there are people from outside fuelling this thing. “That is why when Mr. President said we have AlQaeda in West Africa, I believe it 100 per cent because I know that people from outside Nigeria are involved in this war. “They are fighting us. They want to destabilise our country, and some people in this country are standing with the forces of darkness; we must salvage our country; we must bring sanity into our country,” he said. He pleaded for support of Nigerians, saying that they have the option of backing the military or courting anarchy, adding that there is some-

thing wrong when people start castigating their country’s military. The President, he said, is behind the military. “What this is showing is that people have finally realised that you don’t have another military apart from this one that you have. And it is either you support your military or you are looking for anarchy. “This war is not fought by the military alone. This war is fought by Nigerians. Nigeria is at war, everybody must put his hands on deck. If you can’t do anything else, but you have mouth, you can support the military and not disparage the military because you don’t have another one,” Air Marshal Badeh said.

‘We lost 36 members to Jos explosions’ Continued from page 2

•Members of the Grand Alliance Against Terrorism and students praying in Abuja…yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

cessitated the mass burial, we still insist that Ndigbo in Jos should have been consulted to identify their own because it is not our custom to bury our dead outside our traditional homes. “We, therefore, condemn such act and implore the authorities to allow Ndigbo access to the bodies so that those missing could be accounted for because if we had been allowed inside the mortuary, we would

have been able to identify many of our members who were unfortunately caught up in the bomb blast.” The Igbo community was able to identify the dead through town and community who took roll calls of their members after the explosions. The Ezeigbo deplored a situation where Ndigbo were neglected in the distribution of relief materials and urged the authorities to send such materials to aid the victims and their fam-

ilies. He also asked the Plateau State government to hasten efforts in the relocation of street traders to the Satellite market in Rukuba road area of Jos, adding that the traffic caused by the traders along the busy road was responsible for the heavy losses caused by the bomb blast. Obilom said that the Igbo community is in support of efforts being contemplated by the state government to bring sanity to the markets in the state.

Gunmen kill four soldiers in Plateau

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Nigerians United against Terrorism group, demanding the release of the abducted schoolgirls in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

UNMEN suspected to be Boko Haram members have killed four soldiers of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis, code named “Operation Safe Haven”. The soldiers were reportedly killed in an ambush in Gida-Bua village in Jos South Local Government of Plateau State. The village is over 300 kilometre away from Jos, the state capital. Langtang South Council chairman Bendel Nancwat, who could not confirm the

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

killings said: “I just got the report but I have not gone there to confirm it.” Nancwat added: “Any confirmation of such report should be channelled to the STF headquarters in Jos, I am not in the position to confirm it” A source from the village, who gave his name as Dadul Gabriel, said: “The STF people were patrolling the village in their military vehicle. We saw them pass the village.

Not quite 10 minutes we heard heavy gun shots rapidly. We thought it was the soldiers that have shot at some gunmen, but when we rushed there, we saw the bodies of the soldiers on ground. Their colleagues told us it was Boko Haram that laid ambush for them.” He said nine of the soldiers were travelling in the vehicle when the gunmen struck. STF spokesman Capt. Ikedichi Iweka could not be reached on phone to confirm the killings.

Court outlaws inclusion of Judiciary’s budget in Executive’s Appropriation Bill

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FEDERAL High Court in Abuja yesterday held that it was unconstitutional for the Judiciary to submit its annual budget estimates to the Executive for consideration and inclusion in its Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly for passage as budget. Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a judgment yesterday, held that the practice was not only wrong but offends the principle of separation of power and independence of the Judiciary enshrined in the Constitution. The judge held that since the Judiciary was not an agency of the Executive, and the National Assembly is not made to submit its budget estimates to the Executive, it was wrong to expect the Judiciary to be subjected to Ex-

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

ecutive control in budgeting and finance. “The submission of the Judiciary’s budget to the Executive for consideration is unlawful and unconstitutional. If the National Assembly does not submit its budget estimates to the Executive, why is the Judiciary expected to do so? “ “The provisions of Sections 81 and 84 of the Constitution should be adhered to. The Constitution has not recognised the practice of the Judiciary submitting its budget estimates to the Executive for consideration and inclusion in the Executive Bill to the National Assembly,” the judge held. The judgment was delivered based on a suit filed by

a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) seeking among others, fiscal autonomy for the Judiciary. The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the National Assembly were defendants in the suit. Justice Mohammed declared that, henceforth, the budget of the Judiciary would be prepared by the NJC and must no longer be “part of the estimates to be included in the Appropriation Bill as proposed expenditures by the President as is the present practice”. The judge agreed with the plaintiff, who contended that the manner by which judiciary’s budget was being appropriated was contrary to the

principle of separation of power and the provisions of Sections 81 (2) and Section 84(1), (2), (3), (4), and (7) of the Constitution. The judge declared that any amount standing to the credit of the judiciary in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation should henceforth be paid directly in whole to the NJC for disbursement and never again through the budget office of the executive arm of government. He granted the seven reliefs sought by the plaintiff, one of which is a prayer for a perpetual Injunction against the defendants from all practices on judiciary funding which run contrary to Sections 81 (2) (3) and 84(2) (7) constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

1999, to wit, submitting judiciary’s estimates to the executive instead of directly to the 3rd defendant (National Assembly) and release of the judiciary’s fund in warrants by the executive instead of directly to the 3rd defendant for disbursement; The judge also made a consequential order, restraining the 1st and 3rd defendant (the AGF and the National Assembly) from appropriating the funds for the Judiciary in the annual Appropriation Act.” The judge dismissed all the arguments canvassed by both AGF and the National Assembly in opposition to the suit.He agreed with the plaintiff that “the continued dependence of the judiciary on the executive arm, represented by the 1st defendant for its

budgeting and funds release is directly responsible for the present state of under-funding of the Judiciary”. The judge held that the contention of both the AGF and the National Assembly that the practice of sending the judiciary’s budget estimate to the executive arm of government could not be justified as much as the practice was in clear conflict with the provisions of the Constitution. The judge also dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the National Assembly, challenging the jurisdiction of the court on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked locus standi; that the suit disclosed no reasonable cause of action and that the suit constituted an abuse of court process.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

NEWS CHIBOK GIRLS’ ABDUCTION Imo deputy governor condemns terrorism against children

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MO State Deputy Governor Eze Madumere has condemned terrorism against children, especially the abduction and continued detention of over 200 pupils of the Government Girls' Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State. The deputy governor addressed reporters yesterday on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. He said the abduction of the schoolgirls was an act of wickedness not just against Nigerian children but also against the nation's future. Madumere called for an end to blame game and the politics associated with the plight of the innocent girls. The deputy governor wondered why some "mindless" politicians were making inflammatory statements against opposition parties over the plight of the innocent schoolgirls. He urged the government to publish the names of the sponsors of the violent Boko Haram sect. Madumere urged the security agencies to intensify the search for the abducted schoolgirls. According to him, the innocent pupils do not deserve the traumatic experience they are going through. "It is traumatic and most painful to think of what those girls must have been going thorough. Each time I think about it, I develop goose pimples," he said. Madumere, who is also the Southeast Deputy Governor of the Year, urged parents to desist from abusing their children. The deputy governor said there is need to educate every Nigerian child, irrespective of their gender.

Igbo group urges Fed Govt to rescue Chibok girls From Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

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GROUP of Igbo resident in the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Igbo Delegates Assembly (IDA), has urged the Federal Government to rescue the over 200 abducted Chibok schoolgirls from their Boko Haram captors. The innocent girls were snatched from their school in the middle of the night of April 14 and have since remained in the sect's captivity. In a communiqué by its President-General, Chief Damian Inyamah, and other officials after a crucial executive council meeting at the weekend, IDA also condemned the spate of bombings in some parts of the North, such as Nyanya, Kano, Borno, Jos, among others. It urged the Federal Government to tighten security to avert further killings and destruction of property. The group supported the Goodluck Jonathan led-administration for seeking global help to tackle insurgency and other acts of terrorism. IDA regretted the negative effects of Boko Haram activities on Ndigbo communities in the North and other Nigerians.

•Members of the Lagos State Council of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, led by their chairman, Alhaji Nurudeen Okuleye and Amira (women’s leader), Alhaja R. O. Oke, during a solidarity protest to Governor Babatunde Fashola at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja, for the safe rescue of the abducted schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno State...yesterday. PHOTO: OMOSEHIN MOSES

Insurgency: Air Chief calls for effective air defence

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HE Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, has said the experience of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in the counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast calls for more robust air defence. Amosu assured Nigerians that the current security challenges in the North would not affect the conduct of next year’s elections. The Chief of Air Staff spoke yesterday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, during a two-day NAF operational seminar with the theme: Airpower

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

Employment in Asymmetric Warfare: The NAF Perspective. He said Nigeria was winning the war against terrorism, adding that sophisticated military capabilities had been deployed to ensure the safe rescue of the schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok, Borno State. According to him, several airfields identified in the Northeast neighbouring countries, which pose a serious threat to the security of the airspace, called for vigilance.

Amosu said: “To achieve continuous real-time surveillance of our airspace, we need to have a decisive advantage to halt any incursion. “In recent times, our sisterservices have been working towards the development of air capabilities and, indeed, the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Army now have operational air elements. “While this growing participation of the military and security agencies in aviation is a welcome development, it raises issues of regulatory practices. I believe the NAF, as the

prime custodian of national air power, should take the lead in encouraging the establishment of a regulatory framework for military aviation. “Our prime duty towards our sister-services is to ensure their fast mobility and provide effective air combat support necessary for successful surface operations. To effectively discharge these duties, the NAF requires close coordination with the surface forces. “There is need to keep current and emerging threats in perspective in selecting locations for bases and strategic air

Oyedepo calls for spiritual warfare against Boko Haram

“O

H Lord, to whom vengeance belong, show thyself. Lift up thyself, thou Judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud. Lord, how long shall the wicked triumph?” These were the words the Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church (aka Winners Chapel), Bishop David Oyedepo, quoted from the Book of Psalms 94:1-5 during the Sunday service of the church in Ota, Ogun State. The frontline cleric was delivering a sermon, titled: Covenant Day of Vengeance. He decried the sustained attacks and killings of Christians in the North by the Boko Haram sect, adding that the attacks were a declaration of war on church. The preacher urged Christians

By Uyoatta Eshiet

to rise up for a spiritual battle against insurgents. In a special session, titled: A Battle for the Soul of Nigeria, Bishop Oyedepo called for concerted intercessions among Christians. The Chancellor of Covenant University in Ota, Ogun State, said the case of the abducted over 200 Chibok schoolgirls was a grave concern and an assault on the nation and the church. He said: “Chibok is a largely Christian community and between 80 and 90 per cent of the abducted girls are Christians.” These facts, the cleric said, were besides the facts that thousands of believers and a number of pastors had been slain, especially during services since 2010.

“We must rise and silence this evil group called Boko Haram,” he said, quoting from Ecc. 8:11. Bishop Oyedepo quoted extensively from the Bible to buttress his call for a spiritual warfare. The renowned cleric said the battle is against the powers of darkness, quoting from Eph.6:10-12 and 2Cor.10:3-5. He said the nation should fight with prayers to bring down the violent sect. According to him, to trust in the nation’s strength is a risk with trusting in men for victory, instead of relying on God. Therefore, he added, to defeat the terrorists, there should be the active engagement of the spirit of God. It is high time the church took responsibility, rise up to pray to heal the nation, Bishop

Oyedepo said, quoting 2Chronicles 7:14. To get the desired result, the preacher said Christians should apply the right prayers, quoting James 4:1-2 to buttress his point. According to him, Christians should begin to invoke the wrath of God upon the camps of Boko Haram, their collaborators and sponsors. Quoting Isaiah 63:4 and 61:1-2, Bishop Oyedepo said Christians should understand that they were in the last days, the day of God’s vengeance. He said it was time Christians started to curse the Boko Haram network, adding that everything that mocked the people of God was ordained for a curse and that everyone that curses the church must be cursed in return.

NTDC chief urges Boko Haram to embrace peace

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HE Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, has urged Boko Haram insurgents to sheathe their swords and embrace peace. In a statement yesterday, the NTDC chief noted that Nigeria has been under the Boko Haram siege, which she said should give way for peace to reign. She said: “This is not our finest moment. Definitely, this is not! And we cannot continue like this. Bombings, abduction and killings cannot bear any desirable fruit for development. “Nobody is enjoying this sheer waste of blood, horror films, psychologically wreaking stories and emotionally destabilising reports being churned out daily on Boko Haram activists and their impact on Nigerians and the global community. Enough

By Ozolua Uhakheme, Assistant Editor (Arts)

is enough! Let us sheathe our swords, embrace peace and end this unnecessary bloodletting.” Mrs Mbanefo urged Nigerians to support the national and global efforts to rescue the over 200 abducted pupils of Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State. The NTDC chief called for prayers to stem insurgency in the land, adding that Boko Haram activities have damaged the nation’s economy, its growth, image and international patronage. She said: “I am calling on all Nigerians to support the effort of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Federal Government and international groups that are toiling day and night not only at seeing that the Chibok girls

are released sound and safe but are also striving hard at ending Boko Haram insurgency. These people need our prayers and encouragement.” Mrs Mbanefo appealed to Boko Haram members to end their activities because they have “showcased Nigeria as a country peopled by a bunch of tormentors and murderers but also as a heartless nation, whose citizens regale in kidnapping and abducting hapless and harmless girls”. Mrs. Mbanefo said the continued captivity of over 200 Chibok girls as hostages of Boko Haram should not be seen as a dent on the Federal Government but an assault on all. The NTDC chief noted that the incident called for all Nigerians to put heads together to ensure that the innocent schoolgirls are released safely.

asset deployment.” The Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Air Vice Marshall Umar Omeisa said the seminar sought solutions to how air operations in the NAF could be made more efficient and effective. This, he said, has become more expedient because of the current internal security challenges facing the nation. Omeisa added that the theme of the seminar was chosen to review NAF’s operational capabilities in the face of emerging security threats at the national and global levels.

Muslim group to govt: ensure girls’ safe rescue By Amidu Arije

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MUSLIM group, Rahmat Islamiyya Association of Nigeria, has urged the Federal Government to ensure the safe rescue of the abducted pupils of Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State. The girls have been in Boko Haram captivity for over a month. Rahmat Islamiyya president, Alhaji Abdullahi Awelenje, addressed reporters at the association’s headquarters in Lagos. The Muslim leader said the Federal Government should use whatever methods to ensure the safe return of the innocent girls. He said: “All the options available must be exploited, because you are dealing with people who are not reasonable. If you are not clever, they may destroy the lives of the girls. Our cry is that they should get the girls out safely.” According to him, all forms of negotiation should be exploited while the government should also explore other avenues to get the girls out safely. Awelenje said: “On the issue of negotiation, we should not leave any stone unturned. This is because the lives of the girls are very precious to us.” The Muslim leader advised the government to clamp down on the sect in accordance with international law on terrorism. He explained that referring to Boko Haram as an Islamic group was misplaced because “Islam is a religion of peace”.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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NEWS Jonathan appoints Atere, Eugenia Abu, five others NTA EDs From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

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RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of seven Executive Directors for the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) with a mandate to reposition the corporation. Top on the list of the new Executive Directors are: ace reporter, Mr. Sola Atere (News) and a celebrated newscaster, Mrs Eugenia Abu (Programmes). The appointments were also said to be in line with the Transformation Agenda of the Jonathan administartion. The other EDs are: Mr. Phillip Ofoegbu (Administration); Engr. Umaru Mohammed (Engineering); Mallam Ibrahim Damisa (Training & Capacity Building); Mrs. Adenine Olufade (Marketing) and Mr. Joseph Etuk (Special Duties). President Jonathan appointed a veteran broadcaster, Mr. Sola Omole as NTA’s Director-General in February this year. Omole worked with the NTA before leaving for Chevron in mid-1980s. A source said: “The new team comprises professionals who rose through the ranks in NTA. So, having seen the good old days of the corporation, they are expected to refix it. “The emergence of private television stations has created a stiffer competition for the NTA. This management has been saddled with the responsibility of making NTA the first choice in the competitive market.”

•A STRANGE KIND OF PROTEST:Members of Citizens Initiative for Security Awareness during a rally supporting Nigerian military, in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO:NAN

Group protests in support of Nigerian military

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STRANGE protest took place yesterday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which may introduce a new twist to ongoing war against terrorism. It was staged by members of an amorphous Citizens’ Initiative for Security Awareness (CISA). The group marched on the streets of the FCT in support of the military for the counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast. The protesters wore branded T-shirts and displayed placards bearing solidarity messages with Nigerian soldiers. They urged the public to rally behind the Armed Forces in these trying times. Some of the inscriptions on their placards included: “Nigerian military, thank you for

By Adekunle Yusuf

your sacrifice”; “Gallant Nigerian military, thank you” and “#We trust NigerianMilitary” reminiscent of the #Bring BackOurGirls campaign. The Nigerian military has come under severe attacks, following escalating insecurity in the land, with Boko Haram scaling up its attacks in parts of the country. Public criticisms of the war against terrorism seemed to have grown louder since the global outrage that greeted the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls from a government secondary school in Chibok, Borno State, on April 15 by Boko Haram insurgents. Up till now, the girls have not been freed, despite the involvement of foreign military allies, such as the United

States, the United Kingdom (UK), France and Israel, among others, in the efforts to locate and free the girls. In the past few weeks, senior military and civilian authorities from the U.S and U.K have condemned Nigerian soldiers for allegedly lacking in training and tools to confront the insurgents. The global media have no kind words for President Goodluck Jonathan either. His administration has been getting the knocks for the flipflop approach to national security matters. While top government officials were giving the impression that the Jonathan administration would negotiate with the deadly group to secure the girls’ release, Mr. President is heard ruling out any deal. Two days ago, The New York

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By Joseph Jibueze and Precious Igbonwelundu

worship per square metre than most nations on this earth; yet, corruption and violence threaten our very survival. “We have some of the best agricultural lands in the world but we import food. We are the sixth largest producer of crude oil, but we import finished petroleum products. “We have lived together as a nation for over 100 years, yet daily, you hear stories of threats of our breaking up. “Only good governance and true development can unravel these paradoxes which are clear indices of underdevelopment.” Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said there cannot be good governance when Nigerians refuse to vote in elections. He said during his re-election, only 31 per cent of the registered 6.4 million voters turned out. “Do we vote? In India, 73.3 per cent of registered voters turned out to vote. In South Africa, 72 per cent turned out to vote in their last election. But I can’t recall when last up to 50 per cent of registered voters in Nigeria came out to vote,” Fashola said. According to him, such indices send negative messages to investors. Fashola said only positive attitudes would also make the votes by the electorate to

‘Only good governance and true development can unravel these paradoxes which are clear indices of underdevelopment’

elect good leaders. He said: “Do we deserve to ask for good governance when we stay away during election?” Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, said exemplary governance is critical for economic development. She said economic development also hinges on strict observance of the rule of law, an efficient and independent Judiciary. For Justice Phillips, who was represented by the Head Judge, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade, good governance entails a system that encourages transparency and accountability. Calling for a reduction on cost of governance, she said: “We must also see a government whose policies are directed towards curbing excess governmental involvement in the economy through divestment of state-owned entities.” NBA President Okey Wali (SAN) said there were no indicators of good governance

Security, Democracy and Human Rights, told the American Congress that the “behaviour of certain Nigerian military actors have made it impossible for the United States to work directly with them”. Among other things, she fingered corruption as one of the problems dragging back the anti-terrorism war. She said: “In addition, pervasive corruption undermines the (Nigerian) government’s fight against Boko Haram. The Nigerian government has one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest security budgets, with $5.8 billion dedicated to security in its proposed 2014 budget. Yet, corruption prevents supplies as basic as bullets and transport vehicles from reaching the front lines of the struggle against Boko Haram.”

Alleged N1.2b subsidy fraud: EFCC witness accused of ‘lying’

There’s no evidence of economic growth, says Tambuwal

OUSE of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal questioned yesterday the Federal Government’s claim that the economy is growing. Figures from the recent rebasing of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) placed the country as Africa’s largest economy and the world’s 26th. But Tambuwal said there was no evidence to back the claim. Nigeria, he said, is full of paradoxes, as corruption and violence threaten its existence, despite the churches and mosques that abound everywhere. The Speaker spoke in Lagos at the eight annual Business Law Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL), with the theme: Exemplary Governance: Enhancing Economic Development in Nigeria. Tambuwal, who was represented by Mr Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN), noted that only good governance would rescue Nigeria. He said: “We live in a country of inexplicable contradictions. We have great human and material resources, yet we are always on the list of countries with the worst poverty index. “Our economy is alleged to be growing, including the recent rebasing, but the lives of the majority of our citizens do not convey this testimony. “We have more places of

Times reported that “Nigeria’s army hampers hunt for abducted schoolgirls”. The report detailed what it called “the failings of the Nigerian military” as impediment to efforts to free the Chibokschoolgirls. It said: “There is a view among diplomats here and with their governments at home that the military is so poorly trained and armed, and so riddled with corruption, that not only is it incapable of finding the girls, it is also losing the broader fight against Boko Haram. The group has effective control of much of the Northeast of the country, as troops withdraw from vulnerable targets to avoid a fight and stay out of the group’s way, even as the militants slaughter civilians.” Last week, Sarah Sewall, U.S Under Secretary for Civilian

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•Tambuwal

in Nigeria. The eminent lawyer said good and exemplary governance would only be achieved where democratic institutions are strong and independent. Wali said it could also be achieved where elections are credible, the rule of law is enthroned, human rights are respected and protected, government is transparent, responsive and accountable; corruption is not endemic and the Judiciary is well-funded, self-accounting and independent. On insecurity, the NBA president said the fight against terrorism should not be left to the government alone. “It is a battle that must be won and we must all be involved. For the umpteenth time, we hereby appeal to the abductors of the over 200 schoolgirls to please, in the name of God and all that they hold holy, release those children and let them go home to their families unhurt,” Wali said.

PROSECUTION witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Effiong Okim, was accused yesterday of “lying on oath” in the trial on alleged N1 billion fuel subsidy fraud. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, counsel to one of the accused, Mrs. Opeyemi Ajuyah, and her company, Majope Investment Limited, accused Okim of not telling the court the truth about the statements obtained from the defendants on the matter. The EFCC charged Mrs Ajuwah and Majope Investment Limited to court for alleged N1.2 billion fuel subsidy fraud. On trial alongside Ajuyah are: Abdullahi Alao, son of Ibadan business mogul, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao; his company, AX Energy Limited and Olanrewaju Olalusi, a worker of Sterling Bank Plc. At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, Olanrewaju, during cross examination, accused Okim of allegedly lying in his statement made under oath on March 21, 2012. Okim had told the court that he took the statement of only the third defendant (Abdullahi Alao), whereas he was alleged to have also taken the statements of the second and fifth defendants. “You deliberately suspended the statement of the fifth defendant so that it would not be presented in court. It was after photocopies of the statement were shown to you that you admitted that you took the statements of two other defendants, apart from the third defendant. “You are not a witness of truth,” Ajanaku said. At the last hearing, the wit-

By Adebisi Onanuga

ness, during cross-examination by Aderemi Oguntoye, counsel to the third and fourth defendants, told the court that during investigation, the agency discovered that of the 15,206.7333 metric tonnes of fuel imported into the country by AX Energy Limited, only 4,264.637 metric tonnes of the product was discharged by a vessel, MT Brave, into Lister oil tank and subsequently supplied to Oando Marketing Limited. The transaction was reportedly funded with a line credit given to Ax Energy by Sterling Bank Plc. Part of the line of credit was later sub-allocated to Majope Investment Limited. Okim also told the court that investigation revealed that the balance of 10,942.9 metric tonnes of the petroleum product was not discharged but taken away by the vessel, MT Brave. The witness averred that while the money for the product discharged was paid into the bank, the payment for the balance product did not reflect in the statements of accounts at Sterling Bank. Justice Okunnu ordered the EFCC to produce Olalusi’s original statement, made on August 5 and September 12, 2012. The judge also ordered the commission to produce today the statement by Mr. Adelakun Abolade Saheed, the surveyor at the Lister Terminal, where the product was discharged, and the original statement of the witnesses in the matter, which the defendants have been requesting for since last year. The judge adjourned the matter till today for continuation of trial.


THE NATION TUESDAY MAY 27, 2014

9

NEWS

EKITI 2014

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OME actors in the Ekiti State electioneering campaigns are going violent as the June 21 poll draws near. According to the All Progressives Congress (APC), suspected thugs of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ayo Fayose, allegedly descended on their members in Efon during ward meetings. The ruling party claimed that its members were injured and many properties destroyed. Also yesterday, the Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO) alleged an attack on the convoy of the PDP candidate at Fajuyi Roundabout, Ado-Ekiti, by those it called APC thugs. But APC members said they were holding their ward meetings in the 10 wards of Efon when PDP thugs started moving from one ward to the other, attacking APC members and state officials who were around to monitor them. “The thugs were armed with axes, cutlasses, guns and charms. They dealt machete blows on one Babade Akinola from ward five. They also destroyed the house of the security man to the Local Government Chairman, Mr. Adio Folayan and beat up his wife. A female teenager who was hawking goods was beaten up because her parents are APC members. “As if that was not enough, the Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Mrs.

•Mrs. Okusanya

•The vandalised official car of Mrs. Okusanya.

Commissioner’s car smashed, dress torn as police stand by Aderonke Okusanya, a native of Efon, went to the Police Station to lodge complain but behold, right there and then in the presence of the Police Area Commander, she was attacked with a knife by Fayose’s thugs and she could not be protected. “The knife tore her dress into pieces while her driver was stabbed in the mouth. The back windscreen of her vehicle was smashed and the car is still parked at the police station,” the party stated. Mrs. Okusanya was reportedly attacked by a Fayose thug. The windscreen of her

•Fayemi’s, Fayose’s groups in row as thuggery grows

car was also allegedly smashed by a man described also as Fayose thug. The party also recalled that after a Labour Party (LP) rally in Ikere-Ekiti at the weekend, some thugs who were reportedly working for LP shot a member of the APC, Otunba Femi Ayodele, in the neck. Ayodele is receiving treatment for the wounds he sustained. The thugs also reportedly injured many APC supporters and destroyed billboards of Governor Kayode Fayemi, the APC secretariat in Ikere and

burnt the generating set there. “It is unfortunate that the police has been looking the other way while APC members are being attacked daily. The incident in Efon where a state commissioner was attacked right in the presence of the Area Commander who could not protect her calls for concern. “We call on the security agents to be alive to their responsibility in protecting lives and property of our members while we appeal to APC members to remain calm in the face

Why INEC must use e-card reader in Ekiti, Osun polls, by APC ,

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NDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been urged to immediately initiate modus operandi that would lead to the use of e-card reader for the forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun states. The All Progressives Congress (APC), which made the call in a statement by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Lagos yesterday, emphasised that the e-card reader would “ensure that the polls are free, fair and transparent.” According to the party, using the simple but fool-proof device for the Ekiti governorship polls next month and that of Osun in August would make it possible for INEC to finetune its deployment on a nationwide scale for the 2015 general elections. It said INEC must stop trying to justify why it cannot use the e-card reader to verify the permanent voter cards which the commission has spent time and money to develop and given to all registered voters, in an effort to ensure the transparency and credibility of its elections. “Contrary to what INEC has said, the e-card reader is very adaptable, and its application is not subject to any environmental peculiarity once the basics of operations are met. It is therefore surprising to read INEC’s claim that the sensitivity of the elections in Ekiti and Osun will not recommend the use of the card reader,” APC said. It indicated that “the most

•The driver of Mrs. Okusanya

To test-run the device before the actual elections and further strengthen the credibility of the electoral process, e-card readers should be immediately deployed to the 16 Local Government offices of INEC in Ekiti and 31 local government offices of INEC in Osun...

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compelling reason for the use of e-card reader by INEC is that it will eliminate the rigging of elections through the use of stolen or purchased voter cards, and ensure that only those with authentic voter cards are allowed to cast their votes on election day.” “Impersonation, multiple voting and endless altercations and associated tension will be eliminated at the voting centres with the use of e-card reader and not by any other means. “Also, the e-card reader will ensure the automatic recording of all accredited voters with verified permanent voter’s cards in such a way that does not lend itself to manipulation, thus preventing the falsification of results at the collation centres,” it said. The party said since the physical examinations of the permanent voter cards alone cannot reveal or decode the content of the chips embedded

in the card containing the biometric data of each potential voter, there is no other foolproof means to authenticate the cards beyond using e-card reader. The party, saying e-card reader is not rocket science, argued that all the device does is to ensure that the bearer is the authentic owner of the permanent voter card with him/her by matching the bio-metric data, particularly the thumb print, with that of the bearer. “This is what millions of Nigerians do daily when they use ATMs nationwide. What is therefore the issue in deploying this veritable nemesis of election riggers and manipulators for the Ekiti and Osun elections, and subsequently for next year’s general elections?” it queried. APC said going by the total number of polling units in both states, the e-card readers required for the elections in the two states total 3,500, with sufficient provision made for redundancy to cater for malfunctioning, since Ekiti has 2,195 polling units and Osun has 3,100 polling units and the elections are billed to hold on different dates. “To test-run the device before the actual elections and further strengthen the credibility of the electoral process, ecard readers should be immediately deployed to the 16 Local Government offices of INEC in Ekiti and 31 local government offices of INEC in Osun (allowing for the Area office in Modakeke) for the verification of those coming to collect their

of daily provocation. Even though our members will not take laws into their hands, they may be left with no alternative than to defend themselves if the security agents could no longer do so,” the party stated’ However, AFCO’s Director of Media and Publicity, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, in another statement, accused APC of attacking Fayose’s personal vehicle at about 1p.m. at Fajuyi Park in Ado-Ekiti. Aribisogan claimed that thugs ran into the Government House immediately they

carried out the attack. He stated that the APC-led administration had concluded plan to attack any gathering of PDP supporters. The AFCO spokesperson said a meeting was held on Saturday, where it was concluded that henceforth, “no PDP gatherings must be allowed in the state.” He said an attack on PDP members in Efon-Alaaye and Otun-Ekiti on Sunday, and yesterday’s attack on Fayose’s vehicle was an aftermath of the APC’s plot.

Yoruba elders urge free, credible polls

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By Musa Odoshimokhe

HE Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure free and fair election in Ekiti and Osun states. President of YCE, Maj.-Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo, in a statement yesterday, said the president should ensure that elections in the states are credible as a precursor to 2015 general elections. The council commiserated with Jonathan over the missing secondary school girls in Chibok, calling on Nigerians to support the enthronement of peace in the troubled region. It said the Southwest has enjoyed relative peace, noting that poorly managed elections could lead to crisis. “With pockets of violence in some parts of the North, the country cannot afford another orgy of violence from the Southwest,” The Yoruba elders said a level-playing ground would ensure that the candidates test their popularity, urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other security agencies to demonstrate impartiality. YCE however condemned the songs of war emanating from the camps of the political parties, groups and individuals.

•Alhaji Mohammed

permanent voter cards from those centres,” the party said. It said if INEC is truly committed to a transparent, credible, free, fair and efficient electoral process in the forthcoming governorship polls in Ekiti and Osun states, then it must use the e-card readers in all the polling units in the two states. “If INEC is not paying lipservice to ensuring the integrity of its elections; if INEC does not want to become a collaborator in election manipulation, which has been the hallmark of recent elections under its watch; if INEC wants Nigeria to join the comity of nations where elections are being held without rigging or rancour, then it must pitch its tent with a technology that has been proven to be affordable, dependable and formidable in rooting out election cheats and manipulators,” APC said.

PDP candidate attacks e-Eleven

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O Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, a socio-political group in the state, e-Eleven, is an enemy of the people. “Those people in E-Eleven are anti-Ekiti development and they are apologists of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” the PDP candidate said yesterday. Fayose, who accused the e-Eleven of defrauding Ekiti State to the tune of over N400 million, challenged the group to tell Nigerians what they have done towards the development of Ekiti State in the last 10 years. The new development came after the e-Eleven took the PDP candidate to court, praying that Fayose should be disqualified from participating in next month’s election. The Director-General, Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO), Chief Dipo Anisulowo, in a statement yesterday, quoted the PDP governorship candidate as saying that, “apart from Miss Ekiti Beauty Pageant that they did thrice, these characters that go about calling themselves the only elites in Ekiti have been milking the state.” He said: “The Fountain Hotel was leased to e-Eleven at N80 million per annum and the group refused to pay a dime to the state in the last seven years. “Here is a group that refused to pay a dime to the coffers of Ekiti State since Fountain Hotel was leased to it. Even when the Segun Oni-led PDP went to court to compel them to pay, they simply refused, and the moment their man-Friday, Governor Kayode Fayemi, assumed office, they finally took over the Fountain Hotel, with no one demanding any payment from them.


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Eminent journalist Dare advocates restructuring to save Nigeria •Dignitaries celebrate exUNILAG VC Ajayi at 85

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ESTERDAY was a day of honour for former University of Lagos (UNILAG) Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ade Ajayi, as he celebrated his 85th birthday. Eminent Nigerians showered encomiums on him, noting his life of virtues and excellence. The event was held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan (U.I.). Renowned journalism teacher and Editorial Consultant of The Nation, Prof. Olatunji Dare, who was the guest lecturer, called for substantive re-structuring of Nigeria to save the country from collapse. Speaking on “100 years after amalgamation: The Nigerian condition”, the frontline columnist described as “sorrowful” the nation’s socioeconomic condition. Bemoaning the nation’s challenges, especially the

Oodua Foundation visits U.S. Senate

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DELEGATION of the Oodua Foundation has visited the United States (U.S.) Senate in Washington DC to discuss issues affecting Nigeria. Oodua Foundation is a Yoruba think-tank, with members resident in many countries across the world. Its headquarters is in the state of Delaware in the U.S. The visit was on the invitation of the U.S. Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, Senator Chris Coons. The Foundation’s delegation comprised its Chairman, Prof. Adeniran Adeboye; Patron, Prof. Banji Akintoye; Legal Counsel Ayo Turton and Liaison Officer Wale Adelagunja. The following issues were discussed: - The abduction of the Chibok school girls and the wider threats posed by Boko Haram. The delegation thanked the U.S. for its help to Nigeria on the matter and requested that more should be done to rescue the girls and address issues that led to the emergence of Boko Haram. - The fear in Ekiti and Osun states that the June 21 and August 9 governorship elections might be rigged. The delegation urged the U.S. to use its influence to ensure that the elections are free, fair and peaceful. It said rigging could lead to crisis. - The need to restructure the Nigerian Federation through, among other measures, substantial devolution of powers, which can be accomplished by the National Conference. It was stressed that Nigeria’s political stability and socio-economic progress depended on this. Consultations between Oodua Foundation and the U.S. are to continue.

•From left: Prof. Adelabu; Dr. Dare; Sir Remi Omotoso and Prof. Ayo Banjo displaying copies of a book, “J. F. Ade Ajayi: His Life and Career”, which was presented at the event... yesterday. From Oseheye Okwuofu, many of the delegates. bring that about. But the centre, epileptic power Ibadan

violence being perpetrated by Boko Haram, Dare said the ongoing National Conference, which is expected to correct many of the ills, might not achieve the objective because of the discordant tunes being sung by

Dare said: “A re-structured federation, based on a new constitution truly warranted by the preface ‘We the People’, has been the recurrent demand in recent times. There was much hope that the on-going National Conference may

judging by the hazy status of the conference and by the reports on the deliberations, the hope could turn out to be misplaced.” He listed other problems facing the nation as infrastructural decay, over concentration of power at

supply despite billions of naira spent on building new plants, dispiriting health sector, mass unemployment, fallen educational standards, ethnic animosity, religious crises and corruption, among others. Dare warned of the inher-

Ogun PDP aspirant blames opposition for travail

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GOVERNORSHIP aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State, Mr. Kayode Amusan, has described the sealing off of his campaign office in Abeokuta by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as “politically motivated”. The office was sealed off about a week ago. Amusan accused members of “other political groups” of being behind the seal-off, saying he would seek legal redress. Addressing reporters in his Ibara, Abeokuta home, he debunked the rumour that the office was sealed off because an AK47 rifle was found there. Amusan said: “I am currently on the political landscape of Ogun State, aspiring

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

to contest the governorship election in 2015. It is in pursuit of this aspiration that I was in need of an office accommodation for my aspiration and I got to know of the property located at 190, Gbadebo Road, Abeokuta, being offered for sale. “I contacted the landlord, Mr. Felix Oriyomi Ewulo, who offered the building to me for N30,000,000. I conducted a search and discovered he is the rightful owner of the property, after which I made payment through a bank draft on April 24, 2013. “After I moved into the property and began my activities there, the EFCC invited me for an interview in its Ikoyi office in Lagos. The EFCC informed me of a pe-

Teacher who defiled two minors sacked

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HE management of the Calvary Heritage Kiddies Castle in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has sacked a teacher, Mr. Olayinka Oluwadare Folarin, for allegedly defiling two minors. It was learnt that the teacher had been defiling the girls weekly in one of the school’s toilets since last year. The victims have been living in an orphanage since age two. One of them reported the matter to their guardian last week and Folarin was arrested. The girls, aged 10 and 11, said they did not tell anyone earlier because Folarin threatened to kill them if they did. Speaking with reporters yesterday, Folarin confessed to the crime. The father of four blamed Satan for his action, saying it was beyond his control. He said: “They are pupils in my class. I have nothing to achieve by having sex with them. Nobody is beyond this kind of evil act. I have a wife. She has never rejected me, but

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

I know that the devil is at work. It will not succeed. I have four children. I cannot plot evil against the girls. “I am not happy doing it, but it is beyond my control. I go to church and I have always prayed against the evil act. I once told a pastor in the school, who advised that we should hold a three-day prayer on a mountain, but I was unable to meet up because of the nature of my job. My wife is not happy about the situation.” On his sack, Folarin said: “They gave me a sack letter without any financial backing, after serving the school for three years. I was abandoned.” Police spokesperson Olabisi Ilobanafor said a medical report showed that the victims were defiled. She said the suspect would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Investigations are ongoing to find out if there are other victims in the school.

tition against Ewulo on allegation of financial crime. I showed them documents for the transaction and told them I was not aware the building had been offered to someone earlier, who only paid a deposit to the landlord.”

He said Ewulo sold the house to him when the initial buyer failed to pay up and refunded his (the initial buyer’s) deposit. Amusan said the initial buyer refused to accept the deposit and reported the matter to the EFCC.

ent danger in the failure of restructuring, saying: “As the centre faces growing challenge from Boko Haram and other forces, its legitimacy and authority will weaken to the point that those nationalities strong enough or determined enough to break away will do so. Without substantive re-structuring, the Nigerian state will wither away.” He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to show that he is in charge and assert legitimacy. Criticising the centenary celebrations, Dare said: “This is hardly an inspiring note on which to celebrate the first centenary or to inaugurate the second centenary of what President Jonathan, in a prefatory broadcast to the milestone, described as ‘a unique country’, one ‘brought together in a union like no other by providence’.” At the event were Ajayi’s wife, Christiana; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Commissioner for Physical Planning Muyiwa Ige; Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, represented by his deputy, Prof. Modupe Adelabu; U.I. Vice-Chancellor Prof. Isaac Adewole; Prof. Oladipo Akinkugbe; Prof. Akin Mabogunje and Prof. Niyi Osundare. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, was represented by Oba Kole Ojutalayo. The Elekole of Ikole-Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Fasiku, was there, among others.


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ASUU to honour Iyayi •Kicks against fee hike at OAU

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HE National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has resolved to establish a foundation in honour of Prof. Festus Iyayi, who died last year during the union’s six months strike. He died in a car accident on his way to an ASUU-NEC meeting in Abuja. The union also resolved to name its National Secretariat, located at the University of Abuja, after the late Iyayi. The resolutions were made at ASUU-NEC’s meeting at the University of Ibadan (U.I.), where it was stated that the proposed

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

Iyayi Foundation shall have components such as scholarships for indigent students, publications and literary awards. The union condemned the increment of fees at the Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U.) and directed its members in the institution to ensure its reversal. A statement signed by ASUU National President Dr. Nasir Fagge Isa reads: “University education must be seen as public good. Something anyone can consume as much as desired without reducing the amount available for oth-

•The late Iyayi

ers. Individuals should not be prevented from consuming it, whether or not they pay for it. The unity, security and development of our country depend on the quality and effectiveness of our university education. This must not be mortgaged at the altar of market forces and/or spurious loan conditions.”

Free health care for Oyo senior citizens

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ENIOR citizens aged 65 years and above are to enjoy free medical treatment in Oyo State. Other categories of people would get free treatment at designated hospitals. Governor Abiola Ajimobi disclosed this in his office while hosting representatives of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, led by Pastor Oyeleke Owolabi. The governor said the free treatment is part of his administration’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, which would be inaugurated soon.

He said the scheme would guarantee a healthy populace and increase life expectancy. Ajimobi said his administration would provide free meals in schools and free uniforms to boost enrolment in public schools and improve the well being of pupils. He hailed the Seventh Day Adventist Church for its service to humanity, adding that the church had always been at the forefront of social, economic, intellectual and moral development. On his transformation

agenda, Ajimobi said: “This administration has restored peace and security, and transformed the state through its urban renewal programme. We have encouraged the culture of Godliness, decency, integrity and obedience to eliminate the culture of impunity.” Pastor Owolabi hailed the administration for its urban renewal programme and religious tolerance. He said the church was ready to partner the government to improve the state.

UK APC hails Ajimobi

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LL Progressives Congress (APC) members in the United Kingdom (UK) have hailed Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi for appointing Alhaji Ladi Oluokun as the interim chairman of Ibadan North East Local Government. In a statement, the UK APC Chairman, Kolawole Saidu, said members would mobilise support for the gover-

nor’s re-election, adding: “We encourage our governor to continue with his good work in bringing the dividends of democracy to our people. Rough waters are truer tests of leadership. In calm water, every ship has a good captain. We are in the process of facilitating a working relationship between a local government in the UK and Ibadan North East Local Government.”

Ondo Varsity students protest colleague’s death

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TUDENTS of the Adekunle Ajasin University in Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, took to the streets yesterday to protest the death of one of their colleagues, who was knocked down by a Toyota Corolla car on Sunday night. The protest followed a misinformation that the de-

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From Damisi Ojo, Akure

ceased was knocked down by a mini bus and the driver ran away. The Registrar, Bamidele Olotu, said the misinformation had been corrected by the police. In a statement, Olotu said the driver reported himself to the police and is being

held at their station. He said the clarification calmed the students and ended the protest. The victim’s body had been buried by his parents. The university sent its condolences to the bereaved family, the students’ body and the university community.

Anglican Communion decries insecurity

HE Anglican Diocesan Bishop of Lagos Mainland (Church of Nigeria), Rev. Adebayo Akinde, has condemned the activities of the Boko Haram sect. He described the abduction of the Chibok girls as “callous and criminal”, urging the Federal Government to do everything possible to re-unite the girls with their families and curb insecurity. Rev. Akinde spoke yesterday at the All Saints’ Church, Yaba, at the end of the second session of the third synod of the diocese.

By Nneka Nwaneri

The synod was themed: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the lord’. The cleric condemned the killings in the Northeast, ethno-economic clashes in the North Central and pipeline vandalism and kidnapping in the Southsouth, urging governments at all levels to restore hope to the people by protecting them. He said policies should be put in place to boost the economy and create jobs for youths. Rev. Akinde criticised the

poor handling of the recent recruitment into the Nigerian Immigration Service by the Ministry of Interior, which led to the “avoidable” deaths of many Nigerians. He said the culprits should be punished and measures taken to prevent a recurrence. Rev. Akinde urged the government to strengthen the fight against corruption and address incessant strikes in higher institutions. He said national priorities should be the reevaluated and adequate resources deployed to education.


BUSINESS

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E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

NEITI seeks unbundling of PIB From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

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HE Nigeria Extractive Industries Transpar ency Initiative (NEITI) yesterday called for the unbundling of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into separate bills to ensure quick passage. NEITI Chairman, Ledum Mitee, who made this suggestion at the Roundtable on the remediation issues in the oil and gas industry audit reports in Abuja, called on the National Assembly to expedite actions on the passage of the PIB. He added that some of the “identified gaps are institutional, it is important to state that the delay in the passage of the PIB has become a major obstacle to the desired reforms in our oil and gas sector. “In order to address broader policy and governance gaps existing in the sector, passage of the PIB has become very urgent and imperative. “ As we may be aware, the PIB not only makes the issue of transparency an overarching objective, but also makes provisions that, when enacted, will strengthen NEITI roles in the sector.” The Roundtable was in collaboration of the Revenue Watch Institute, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and other international organisations. Mitee said remediation has been of engaging concern of NEITI, stressing that the Federal Government has reconstituted and expanded the platform, Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT), for addressing remediation issues arising from the audit reports. The team, he said, is to strengthen implementation of the recommendations contained in the NEITI audit reports as well as ensuring that those corrective measures in the reports were adequately addressed.

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

-N10.6 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -9% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $48b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014 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

Ministry owes N156.4b on projects

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HE Federal Ministry of Aviation is owing N156,450,345,779.39 for aviation infrastructure development. This was contained in the ministry’s presentation to the Senate Committee on Aviation in Abuja yesterday. According to the presentation, aside from this indebtedness, the ministry is also owing $500,000,000.00 Chinese loan and the Debt Management Office (DMO) loan of N18.23million (about $100,000,000.00). These loans the ministry said are being utilised for international air port and four perishable cargo terminals. At the presentation of the report on the verification of projects and the level of indebtedness of aviation ministry it was revealed that Phase 1 project has an outstanding indebtedness of N740,437,215.70; Phase 2, N22,146,549,417.40; and Phase 3, N59,039,351,388.12. Other sources of indebtedness crippling the aviation

From Faith Yahaya, Abuja

ministry are the Base Projects, N31,661,882,021.70; Special Projects, N16,708,858,021.70; Security Project, N9,443,549,531.25 and the Enugu & Bayelsa International Terminal, N16,709,717,656.40, thus bringing the project indebtedness of the ministry to N156,450,345,779.39. The possible sources of the loan and debt repayment the ministry said will include setting up interministry committee to review the projects; releases from appropriation; setting up of a Sinking Fund Account/Airport Development Levy; Bilateral Air Services Account (BASA); security charge account, as well as to request for special intervention fund. Speaking at the presentation, the Minister of Aviation, Mr Samuel Ortom said the ministry has decided to suspend some projects. To this end he said: “We are go-

ing to prioritise. In a situation where we have this kind of huge challenges, we have to prioritise what we do for us to ensure that we don’t have waste.” Ortom also told the Senate Committee that he has foreclosed awarding contracts for now because of the staggering indebtedness of the ministry. To this end, he disclosed that the ministry has resolved “to find a way out because there is a roadmap and we have no other choice but to complete this roadmap that has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and ably supported by the National Assembly.” He said a committee has been set up to look into the issue but the Senate Committee has also “asked me to produce the approval and I will produce it. We need to search the records to get the approval because everything has to be done through due process here

in this ministry.” Speaking on this development, Committee Chairman, Senator Hope Uzodinma said “the most important thing is that the projects conceived are very important projects that are very necessary and if for budgetary constraint they are not moving forward, we will find a way. There is no problem on that resolution. We will through constructive partnership create a solution into solving the problem and Nigerians at large will benefit from it.” On BASA, the senator stated that “the BASA account will be regularised because it is one of the sources of funding. We will regularize whatever is not properly done there and ensure that we are positive about our movement.” The committee however advised the ministry to also direct its energy towards safety and security of the aviation sector describing it as “critical” to the growth of the sector.

• From left: Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN); Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN); President, Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN); Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu and former Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations, Lord Malloch Brown at 8th Annual Business Law Conference in Lagos...yesterday.

700,000 jobs created in 2013, says NBS

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HE National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yester day said its survey showed that the economy generated 732, 745 jobs last year. Results of the survey showed that the economy generated 221,054, 245,989 and 265,702 jobs in second quarter (Q2), Q3 and Q4 respectively last year. A breakdown of jobs created in the Q2 indicates that 80,412 jobs were created in the formal sector, showing a 53.9 per cent decline from the Q1 last year while 112, 567 jobs were generated in the informal sector and 28,075 in the public sector. According to the NBS, the formal sector contributed 76,385 jobs to the total jobs generated in Q3 while the Informal and public sectors generated 140,673 and 28,931 jobs respectively.

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

In the final quarter the year under review, of the total 265,702 jobs, the formal sector contributed 101,597, while the informal and public sectors created 143,278 and 20,827 jobs respectively. According to the statement issued by the NBS titled: Job Creation Survey: A Collaborative Survey between the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and National Directorate of Employment, the survey result showed that 81.78 per cent response rate was achieved nationwide. Education, health and social work sectors recorded above 90 per cent response rate each. Manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicle and household

goods, building and construction, real estate, renting and business activity; hotel and restaurants; mining and quarrying; financial intermediation recorded between 70 and 90 per cent response rate each. Transport, storage and communications; agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing; other community, social and personal service activities sectors achieved above average per cent response rate. The survey result revealed that out of 5,000 establishments canvassed 4,089 establishments responded in Q2,Q3 and Q4 of last year. It also shows that sole proprietorship had the highest response rate of 61.90 per cent with 2,531 establishments. Part of the findings of the survey reads: “The second

dominance of ownership status in the country is the Private Limited Liability Company accounting for 23.01 per cent with 941 establishments. The lowest response rate of 0.64 per cent was recorded in Co-operative with only 26 establishments. “Health and social work sector recorded the highest response of 780 establishments representing 96.91 per cent. This is followed by manufacturing sector with 85.59 per cent (713 establishments). The third highest of 500 establishments representing 85.47 per cent was recorded in Wholesale and Retail trade, Repair of Motor vehicles and Household goods sector. The least response of 39 establishments, less than one per cent (Precisely 0.95 per cent) was recorded in the Mining and Quarry sector.

Dangote urges SON to enforce cement standards By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

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ANGOTE Cement has urged the Stand ards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to enforce the classification made in cement to stop building collapse. The firm made the demand at a press briefing in Lagos. Its Director, Ekanem Etim said the management of the firm has concluded plans to launch 52. 5 higher grade of cement in August to be at par with what is obtainable in other parts of the world. He said the review and the classification was long over due, given the harrowing experience associated with loss of lives and properties that has trailed the country. He urged the regulatory body to enforce the implementation of the new standard without further delays. “It is only economic saboteurs and profiteers that would kick against the new standard for cement production as other countries of the world have moved up beyond the level and the low grade being canvassed by some of the manufacturers opposed to the new standard.” He said the Technical Committee of SON which comprise all stakeholders in the building and construction industry and cement manufacturers had in the wake of wide spread protest against the collapse of structures across the country, fingered low quality of cement as a key factor. He said the Committee came up with a review of the standard and classified cement into three grades and stipulated their exclusive uses to guide against misapplication and adulteration. He said: “A report on the reviewed standard was adopted and forwarded to the SON Governing Council which looked at the reviewed standard and approved it before sending it to the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry for final approval for implementation “The new review restricted the use of the 32.5 grade strength to plastering of structures only while 42.5 grade is recommended for the construction of buildings, beams, load bearing columns, pillars, block moulding and other structures and the 52.5 recommended for the construction bigger projects like bridges, flyovers, and high rise buildings.” Etim argued that several countries have phased out the 32.5 MPA pointing out that what Dangote cement has done is to set a minimum standard of 42.5 MPA and will go ahead and educate the people on the uses of the different grades of cement. He said, “If any manufacturer wants to continue to produce 32.5 grade or even below and canvassing it as being for multi-purpose use, that is their problem with the authorities. As for Dangote, we have already complied even before the authorities came out to set the new standard.


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Economy okay despite Boko Haram attacks, says Dr. Okonjo-Iweala

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INANCE Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has dismissed concerns that escalating attacks by Boko Haram, that have killed hundreds in bombings over the past few weeks have taken a toll on the country’s economy. “I didn’t see any sense of panic,” Dr. Okonjo-Iweala told The Wall Street Journal in an interview on the sidelines of the African Development Bank meetings, after meeting with 25 international investors.

“I’m gratified. There seems to be some belief in the underlying strength of the Nigerian economy,” she added. The powerful Nigerian policy maker offered an impassioned defence of President Goodluck Jonathan, who has been criticised at home and abroad for failing to contain Boko Haram insurgency. Among other attacks, the Islamic insurgency has claimed responsibility for kidnapping more than 200 schoolgirls last month.

Army gives recipe for academic excellence

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HE Institute of Army Education has held a workshop on “Command Staff Development”, to improve teaching and learning in Command Secondary Schools. Delivering a lecture, a senior worker, Mrs. Adeluloye Oladunni, listed the qualities of a good teacher, saying they would contribute to effective teaching and learning. She said: “Teaching is a critical determinant of the success or failure of the educational system. The teacher is a pivot of educational system and whatever he or she does has direct impact positively or negatively on pupils. Mrs. Oladunni listed the qualities of teachers as ability to wear decent clothes, talk audibly in class, command respect, instigate positive responses from pupils, have a sense of humour to command attention, diversify teaching methodology, among others. She said the important role of school management was ability to provide a friendly working environment and award prize to the best teacher, to promote competitiveness among them. Mrs. Agbeke Olusola Agbana-Owa spoke on guidelines for preparing effective lesson plan and delivery. She said the lesson plan enables teachers to arrange facts in a logical order and have mastery of the subjects they teach, thus enhancing teaching. The Division Education Officer, Col. Mohammed Kini, said the event was organised to curb dwindling academic performances. He said the workshop would create interactive sessions, syndicate discussions and presentations on important and interesting topics. Col. Kini urged Nigerians to be security-conscious, especially now that bombing and abduction are rampant.

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

He advised people to report any suspicious individual to the nearest security agency.

The search for the missing girls became global news, with Jonathan agreeing to allow foreign governments to join the hunt for the girls, assisting with surveillance technology and intelligence. Last Tuesday, the U.S. said it was sending 80 military personnel to help the search. Okonjo-Iweala said Jonathan’s early silence on the kidnappings may have been poor communication, but it didn’t reflect government inaction. “The president was very careful not to say [what the government’s plan was], because you are dealing with very volatile and unpredictable people,” she said. She added that Mr. Jonathan had told her as long as the girls were alive the criticism leveled at him didn’t matter. “To hear my president say

Ekiti indigenes in Europe endorse Fayemi

F • Okonjo-Iweala

that after he’s been so vilified and called incompetent, weak, corrupt, every name you could think of by any newspaper … to hear him say that gave me goose bumps,” Dr. OkonjoIweala said. Additional financing to better equip the military could come from some “external borrowing,” she said, noting that she had no plans to float a bond this year.

RESH endorsement came the way of the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi for next month’s election as indigenes of the state living in Europe at the weekend gave him their blessing. The decision was made in Frankfurt at a meeting convened by the Ekiti Diaspora Europe (EDE) 2014, a coalition of groups from all parts of Europe that came together as a result of their concerns about the coming governorship election in the state. The Frankfurt forum, in a statement by Femi Awoniyi and Isaac Atibioke, said: “In view of the sterling performance of Governor Fayemi and the many positive changes witnessed in the state since his inception, we consider him to be the best

• Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle); his wife Sherifat and winner of Osun Public Schools Debate, Master Ayodele Habibllah when he visited the governor in what was tagged: One-Day with Ogbeni at the Government House, Osogbo...yesterday

Navy donates drugs, computers to communities

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N line with Naval tradition of adding values to the lives of the civilian population, the Nigerian Navy (NN) yesterday provided free medication and diagnosis to residents of Ijora in Lagos. Medical personnel from the Navy Reference Hospital, Ojo, who were deployed in Ijora for a two-day medical rhapsody, attended to cases of hypertension, malaria, typhoid fever, HIV/AIDS as well as eye related diseases. Similarly, computers and

By Precious Igbonwelundu

accessories were donated to students of the Satellite Senior Secondary School in Satellite Town by the Navy. According to the Commander, NNS WEY, Commodore James Iliya, the unit purchased the computer to support the state government’s Support Our School Programme. At the opening of the Medical Rhapsody, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC),

Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade, said the initiative was part of the force’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to its host communities. He said the exercise provides opportunity for comprehensive medical checks for residents of Ijora, urging residents to make good use of the opportunity to clear some of their health problems. Rear Admiral Alade, who presented the computers to

the school, said the event was indicative of the cordial relationship between the public and the NN. Praising the Navy, the Ojora of Ijora, Oba Aromire Oyegbemi II noted that the force has been consistent with its CSR projects. The school principal, Mrs. Olayinka Badejo, who received the computers expressed gratitude, noting that the school was established by the government for the poor.

candidate to continue to lead the state for the next four years.” The EDE 2014 meeting, attended by more than 150 participants from across Europe, said its decision to back Fayemi was also predicated on the need for the consolidation of the many policies, programmes and projects of his government, which are creating a basis for the sustainable economic and social development of the state. The meeting also praised Fayemi for restoring peace to the state after more than seven years of political violence and instability. The group, therefore, called on the other governorship aspirants to carry out their campaign activities peacefully because the political environment is key to economic growth and development. The indigenes explained they were concerned about the news coming from Ekiti about violence and fears of election manipulation. The Frankfurt meeting appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan “as the chief custodian of national security to ensure that the election takes place in a peaceful atmosphere.” It warned that any attempts to manipulate the Ekiti election would increase the security troubles of the President and undermine his capacity to build the national and international coalitions necessary to fight the Boko Haram terrorists and other forces of destabilisation in the country. The EDE 2014 also called on INEC to ensure free, fair and credible polls and that the election’s outcome “gives a clear, unmistakable and emphatic expression to the supreme will of Ekiti voters.” In his keynote address, Awoniyi, who is the publisher of the international bimonthly magazine, The African Courier, had described Fayemi as a “visionary leader”, whose EightPoint Agenda has “positively and massively impacted” on the lives of the people of the state within such a short period of time. Atibioke, a business consultant, said Fayemi was not just a performing governor, but has become a role model for good governance for the rest of Nigeria. The meeting resolved to send a team, led by Awoniyi, to Nigeria to support Fayemi’s re-election campaign efforts and also to monitor the electoral process.

• From left: Senator 'Gbenga Ashafa, Senator Tukur Bello, Group Managing Director, NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, representative of Senate President, Senator Abu Ibrahim and Senator Nkechi Nwaogu at the opening ceremony of the 2014 National Conference on Gas Resources at the international Conference Centre, Abuja...yesterday


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NEWS

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Consultation on Land Use Act’s removal deadlocked

ONSULTATION on the the removal of the Land Use Act from the constitution, as recommended by the National Conference Committee on Land Tenure and National Boundaries remained deadlocked yesterday. The subject was heatedly debated last at plenary week during the consideration of the report of the Committee on Land Tenure and National Boundaries, which also featured in Environment Committee’s report. The committee had recommended the removal of the Act from the constitution to make it easier for amendment. However, delegates that attempted to comment on the subject yesterday were barred by the Vice Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, who said the matter, having been referred for further consultation, should not be debated. A panel was raised to deliberate on the matter while looking at the constitutional part of it. “Consultation on the subject is still on-going. We are yet to conclude on the subject and we are hoping that by tomorrow (today), we should be able to conclude deliberation on it,” he told the delegates. The conference has, however, agreed and recommended that the Federal government should implement the report of the United Nations Environ-

From Onyedi Ojoabor, Assistant Editor and Dele Anofi, Abuja

ment Programme (UNEP) on Ogoniland. The adoption of the Committee’s recommendation followed an earlier argument by elderstatesman, Edwin Clark, who regretted that the Niger Delta region has always been neglected by successive governments in the country. He said while the rest of the country would be enjoying the proceeds from oil extracted from the region, the people of Niger Delta would have gone into extinction if no measures were taken immediately. Clark said: “We sit on top of water in the Niger Delta, yet we do not have water to drink. I would like to say that there is really nothing new in the report compared to the environmental report of 2005. “The problem is the implementation of the report. Three years ago, the United Nations (UN) submitted a report to the Federal Government for the cleanup of Ogoni land and the report said it was going to take about 20 years to clean the area and that $20 billion was needed. “It was only last year that a committee was created to look

into it. If we do not do something, one day, we will be wiped out, while the rest of the people will be enjoying the things from the area. “Our environment has been polluted. We sit on top of water in the Niger Delta, yet we do not have water to drink. When I was small, we used to put a calabash outside and fishes will jump in. Now, my people eat ice fish. “There are no more farm lands, no fruits. We have lost everything in the Niger Delta. Recently, Chevron had their equipment burnt. For three months, it was burning and there was nobody to put it out. Chevron has refused to compensate communities affected. “The people are suffering. I am pleading. Do not think of what you get. Think of the area where these things are gotten. We need compensation. We need re-greening in our area”. The Conference also adopted the recommendation that the power to legislate on environmental matters should devolve to the federating units. Sola Ebiseni, a delegate from Ondo State in his argument explained that the Supreme Court had made several pronouncements on why environmental matters should be handled by the State. According to him, Federal

agencies set up to regulate the sector were ill-equipped and incapable of covering the entire country. It was also recommended that resource democracy whereby host communities would have greater participation in matters of their natural resources. The Conference recommended that compensation for gas flaring should henceforth be paid directly to the affected host communities rather than the Federal Government. Other adopted recommendations include the inclusion of environmental education in school curriculum from primary to tertiary education level. It was also recommended that environmental legislation should be strictly liable. In addition, ecological funds was recommend for removal from the Presidency to the Ministry of Environment while the Department of Forestry should also be moved from the Ministry of Agriculture and placed under Environment Ministry. An agency for the management of desertification in the northern part of the country was also recommended. The conference also adopted recommendations on criminalising indiscriminate disposal of toxic waste as well as defecation in public places.

NLC asks Assembly to investigate expenditures on security

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IGERIA Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the National Assembly to investigate the expenditure of budgetary allocations on security. NLC President Abdulwahed Omar, in a statement entitled: ‘Declare State of Emergency on Security Now!’, said the state of the nation’s security agencies, including the

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

military, has not shown justification for such huge amount of money reportedly spent on security in the first quarter of the year. The NLC leader urged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on security.

“Why there is evident low morale and dearth of operational equipment in confronting the ongoing terror attacks across the northern parts of the country if the sum of N130 billion was spent within three months on the military?” Omar queried. He said that NLC was perturbed over the continued wave of bomb attacks across

the northern parts of the country, mainly on soft targets such as crowded markets and recreational centres as well as growing attacks on schools and villages which have led to the untimely death of several thousands of people, mostly young people who are still in their productive age.

PR consultants flay Fed Govt over alleged N136b foreign job

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By Adedeji Ademigbuji

HE Federal Government has come under scathing criticism for purportedly planning to hire foreign public relations firms for the sum of $800 million (about N136 billion) to manage its response to the abduction of over 200 girls from Government College, Chibok, Borno State. Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), in a statement made available to The Nation yesterday, hinged its displeasure on The Holmes Report, the Holmes Group’s website which is reputed worldwide as a source of knowledge and information about the public relations business. The association, the statement signed by its president, Chido Nwakanma, vice president, John Ehiguese and secretary general, Muyiwa Akintunde, claimed that the Federal Government’s representatives have met about five public relations firms in London regarding the assignment, as it attempts to counter mounting criticism both inside and outside the country. The Holmes Reports further reported that the development followed the mass abduction of school girls by the Boko Haram militant group more than a month ago. Following the abduction, activists from the #BringBackOurGirls group have ramped up pressure on the government, amid international uproar over the girls’ disappearance. Condemning the move by the Federal Government, PRCAN said that the purported decision to engage foreign public relations firms was neither strategic nor advisable as it instead represented a needless strategic gaffe added to the many avoidable missteps of the Federal Government in handling its communication and perception challenges. PRCAN stated: “The purported search is premised on a wrong foundation of white washing Nigeria before foreign media and audiences. However, the real challenge before the Federal Government of Nigeria lies elsewhere and that is at the home front with its citizens, representing the primary stakeholders.” In the opinion of PRCAN, the search for foreign public relations firms portrayed a clear misunderstanding of modern communication and public relations. It counselled: “Public Relations is based on the RACE principle – Research, Action, Communication and Evaluation – that demands strategic insight and action as the basis for engagement (communication) with stakeholders. The current run of bad press arises from a failure to set the agenda through right actions for positive media coverage of the Federal Government and Nigeria.” Therefore, PRCAN said that the task before the Federal Government required the deployment of professionalism and strategic measures to regain the confidence of its primary stakeholders since no amount of engineered positive mention in foreign media would change that. The association reminded officials of the Federal Government of the extant Nigerian law on public relations practice which did not support foreign expedition. In its words: “The position of the law is clear. While PRCAN has nothing against our foreign counterparts, particularly as Nigeria is deservedly a preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investment, such engagement must be within the confines of Nigerian law. The Nigerian Government cannot be seen to be working against its own laws.”

• Health Minister Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu (right) ex changing papers with Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ryuichi Shoji after the signing of Japanese loan agreement for polio eradication in Abuja... yesterday. With them is Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Ado Muhammed.

•Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha (second left); Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha (right) and Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC) (left) at the funeral of Okiro’s mother in Egbema, Rivers State.

PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal (second right); Deputy Whip Ahmed Muktar (right); Chief Operating Officer, BrightVice Technology Michael Ullom (left) and the company’s Chief Executive Officer Itapson Emmanuel after the opening of the company in Abuja.

•Senior Special Assistant to the President on Students and Youth Affairs, Comrade Jude Imagwe (left), speaking at the award of NOA’s Second National Youth Essay Competition in Abuja...yesterday. With him are representative of NOA’s Director-General, who is also Director, Orientation and Preace Education, Mr. David Manya Dogo and representative of the Minister of Education, Mr. Lambart Okpara.


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THE NATION

BUSINESS AVIATION

NCAA, operators disagree over cost of aircraft check

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HO should foot the bill for inspection of aircraft brought into the country - operators or the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)? The operators, who currently bear the cost, are pushing that the expenses be shared with them by NCAA. But, quoting the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, NCAA is arguing that the law mandates the operators to pay its officials’ way abroad to inspect the aircraft. The operators are calling on the Federal Government to review the practice under which airlines, underwrite the travel expenses of NCAA officials designated to inspect aircraft abroad. They argued that since it is the duty of the regulator to ensure safety within the country’s airspace, it is incumbent on it to undertake the responsibility. An operator, who asked not to be named said allowing the airlines to bear such costs alone, could eat deep ino their pockets,

By Kelvin Osa Okubor

adding that “the people who are pushing for the sharing of the costs have a point.” But NCAA’s Deputy General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr Sam Adurogboye described the proposal as an attempt by some operators to disband the authority. He said: " It is spelt out in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations. It is a product of the industry; it is not imposed. So, which operator is now asking for cancellation through the back door? “Anything to the contrary is a violation or non compliance to safety regulations. “I hope those canvassing for this mean well for the industry and safe operations. “One,there is the danger of turning our airports to dumping grounds if the aircraft that have been brought in eventually do not meet safety requirements. “We hope this is not just an attempt to take advantage of

NCAA, the same way some of these operators have held on to the authority’s statutory income which accrued to it from five per cent Ticket Sales Charge and Cargo Sales Charge. “Whoever is behind the campaign is simply rooting for the disbandment of NCAA. They want to operate without oversight. This is dangerous. “Aviation is the most regulated business all over the world. If a man does not want heat, he should not go near the kitchen. “Aircraft inspection is a universal practice and not peculiar to Nigeria." “Apart from the airworthiness of the aircraft, NCAA inspectors also carried out other necessary documentations including the age of the aircraft. “It is when the aircraft meets all the requirements before the NCAA can grant approval for it to be flown into Nigeria in readiness for commercial operations. “Under the guidelines, it is the

• From left: Head, Business Development and Communications, Nahco Aviance, Mr. Sanya Onayoade, Secretary General, African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Dr. Elijah Chingosho, former Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren and Customer Relations Manager, Nahco Aviance, Mr. Hakeem Ajiwokeu at AFRAA Convention in Nairobi, Kenya.

‘Why airlines cancel flights’

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HE Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) has explained why airlines cancel or adjust their flights during the rainy season. According to the NCAA, adverse weather conditions which have the tendency to threaten the safety of any aircraft in flight is sufficient reason , for airlines to either cancel or adjust flights for which it would not be sanctions . Speaking in an interview, the general manager public affairs, NCAA, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, said the authority had made it mandatory for all pilots to obtain en route / destination weather information, before embarking on any flight. Such weather information, he said would assist the pilot to plan his flight to a sod flying into turbulent weather that could threaten the safety of the aircraft and the passengers on board. He said :" Airline’s pilots are mandatorily required to obtain en route/destination weather information before the operation of a

flight. They are also required to abort a flight if the weather condition is unsafe for operation. "An operating airline shall not be obliged to pay compensation for cancellation if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures have been taken.” The NCAA spokesman explained that any air operator who delays or cancels flight due to adverse weather conditions is merely upholding the Standard and Recommended Practices in the industry. “When wind shear occurs along the flight path, it causes abrupt and substantial displacement of the aircraft from its intended path which becomes extremely hazardous for aircraft taking off and landing. “In other words, the rains being experienced now may result in occasional flight cancellations/delays." He however advised passengers

at airports to demonstrate exceptional calm and understanding when flights are cancelled on account of adverse weather . In addition, he urged them to remain calm, avoid violence and confrontation with the airline officials as this measure is to ensure their safety. He said : “We will therefore enjoin intending passengers to exercise restraint/understanding in the event of any weather related cancellations/delays”. “It is pertinent to draw the attention of both the operators and passengers to the rights, responsibilities and limitations of all the parties as spelt out in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2012." He said the Directorate of Consumer Protection (DCP) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) expects the airline officials to ensure sustained communication to the affected passengers if and when flight cancellation/delays is anticipated or occurs.

operator that is expected to pay for the air fares and other allowances of the inspectors whilst the inspection lasts.” Meanwhile, a suggestion that NCAA should undertake the inspection of aircraft locally has been opposed by the Managing Director, Capital Airlines, Mr. Amos Akpan. He said such approval would not be in the interest of safety standards. Akpan argued that if such request is granted by the government, it would create room for operators to bring in planes that may not meet the standards provided for in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations of 2006 and 2009. Also faulting the suggestion that NCAA should inspect aircraft in the country, the Executive Chairman of

the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Nogie Meggison, said the move may affect the development of the aviation industry as aircraft that do not fit Nigerian specifications on airworthiness could be brought in. He said the practice where NCAA inspectors carry out checks on aircraft in their country of origin is better, adding that any rectification on the aircraft could be done before such planes are flown into the country. Meggison said the cost of aircraft inspection by NCAA could be reduced by buying economy instead of business class tickets for officials. Such significant reduction in travel costs, he said, will reduce the financial burden on airlines, who operate in a high cost environment.

ICAO makes flight tracking compulsory

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HE International Civil Aviation Autrhority (ICAO) has forged a consensus among its member states and the international air transport industry sector to make the tracking of airline flights a near-term priority. The decision follows a special meeting on global flight tracking of aircraft in the aftermath of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370), a Boeing 777-200 that vanished from radar March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing carrying 239 passengers and crew, triggering an unprecedented international search effort that has so far turned up empty. According to ICAO, the meeting established a framework for industry contributions through an Aircraft Tracking Task Force (ATTF), which will be coordinated by International Air Transport Authority (IATA), to help address the nearterm needs for flight tracking. “Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been an unprecedented event for aviation and we have responded here in a similarly unprecedented manner,” ICAO council president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said. In parallel with IATA’s task force work, ICAO said it will “begin de-

veloping a flight tracking concept of operations covering how the new tracking data gets shared, with whom, and under what circumstances. The UN aviation organisation will also begin considering performance-based international standards, on a priority basis, to ensure broader adoption of airline flight tracking throughout the aviation system.” ICAO also said the meeting recognised the challenges faced by states when coordinating their search and rescue (SAR) efforts across national and regional areas of responsibility, stressing the usefulness of regularly run practice exercises to identify procedural or operational gaps. The strong levels of international cooperation and resource sharing on the MH370 SAR efforts demonstrated to date were also recognized. “Cooperation is the key to everything we achieve in global air transport,” Aliu said. “This has been true since the first states came together and signed the Convention on International Civil Aviation seven decades ago in 1944, and it will remain true as we begin to address the doubling of traffic volumes projected for 2030.

British Airways offers summer discount

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RITISH Airways has announced discounts for early bookers for the coming summer with its fares in its World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to an exciting range of worldwide destinations via London Heathrow. British Airways, Country Commercial Manager, West Africa, Mr Kola Olayinka, in a statement, said the discounts the new product are in addition to discounts already in place in Club World and excellent fares in the British Airways first class cabin. British Airways World Travel-

ler and World Traveller Plus, he said, is offering the package for passengers who book their holidays early from either Lagos or Abuja. The bumper discounts, according to him, apply to all existing and potential customers of British Airways who want to get great deals on flights to the UK, Europe or North America when booked from May19 to June 25, and for outbound travel from May 19 to July10. He said: "With this offer, World Traveller customers can fly to London from Paris as well as New York.”

Delta, Virgin partner on trans-Atlantic flights

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ELTA Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways have concluded plans to partner on non stop flights between London , Heathrow and Los Angeles. Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Craig Kreeger, said Delta will begin operating one of the two daily Heathrow-Los Angeles flights currently operated by Virgin Atlantic from October this year. This new Delta service , Kreeger said, in a statement, will mark the airline's first non-stop flight between Los Angeles and London Heathrow.

The flight is Delta's seventh nonstop destination between London and the United States. Virgin Atlantic will begin operating one of Delta's three daily flights between Heathrow and Atlanta. The new services will expand the service offered by both carriers to customers as well as provide greater choice for travel between the UK and North America. The two airlines will co-share each other's operated services. Kreeger said: "It's great to see how our partnership with Delta is already proving fruitful to our customers.”


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COMMENTARY EDITORIALS

FROM OTHER LANDS

Here we go again •Plan by NIMASA to float another national shipping line is antithetical to the privatisation programme

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OVERNMENT, it seems, works in wondrous ways in the sense that the more it reforms, the more it refuses to change its ways. Take for instance, in the last three or so decades, the buzz word among economic managers has been ‘privatisation’ of public companies and businesses. Large bureaucracies have been established in the pursuit of this objective. Many government- controlled businesses have been passed to private hands over this period and many more are on the line. To augment the argument against government ownership of commercial businesses, numerous state -owned firms like national airlines, shipping lines and telecommunications companies were run right into the ground, irrespective of their mammoth sizes. It is in this light that we worry at the

‘NIMASA would add more value to Nigeria’s maritime and shipping industry if it jettisons the idea of floating a national carrier and devote resource and energy administering the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund and drive the development of indigenous shipping lines. That seems to make more economic sense, ultimately’.

announcement by the apex maritime regulator, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) that it has secured approval from the Federal Government to set up a new national shipping line. NIMASA’s director-general, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, made known this new policy at a workshop, revealing that the new carrier may set sail in about six month’s time. And that is about 24 years after the last one - the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) was caught up in a disastrous storm. The NNSL was an exceptionally pathetic case and represented the best reason why government must never dabble into any competitive business venture. At the peak of its glory in the late 1970s, NNSL was among the largest carriers in the world, boasting dozens of fleets of ship. But in less than two decades, the company capsized, so to speak, with all the ship seemingly vanishing into thin air and no one having given account of what transpired till date. Today, NIMASA plans to take us back to those days of official profligacy if not brigandage when national assets were nobody’s assets. Even though the NIMASA management claims to be considering a public-private partnership this time, we still need to be wary because what is at stake is our common wealth. While we concede that it is within the purview of NIMASA to embark on such a venture and that the failure of a previous effort should not mean a foreclosure of the idea of a national carrier, there are, however, a few points to ponder. First, we must take detailed stock of

what transpired at the NNSL and how it met its ignoble end so that we may be better guided this time. Second, are national carriers still in vogue in the face of aggressive reforms and privatisation of government businesses? Third, and perhaps most important, the NIMASA management must remember that floating and running a shipping line is not its core business. It must prove a certain level of mastery and efficiency in its primary duties which include safety of our marine coastlines; regulation and development of shipping and maritime business in Nigeria as well as maritime environmental concerns. It is also expected that NIMASA would carry out a thorough costbenefit analysis to determine that the decision to set up a national carrier is an economic one and not an ego trip. While we urge NIMASA to concentrate on its regulatory functions, we also wish to call its attention to the security lapses on our territorial waters which have left them prone to incessant attacks by pirates in recent years. The recent burst of oil theft on our waters which has assumed an international dimension calls for a drastic review of NIMASA’s mode of operation in order to get it up to speed in its core functions. NIMASA would add more value to Nigeria’s maritime and shipping industry if it jettisons the idea of floating a national carrier and devote resource and energy administering the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund and drive the development of indigenous shipping lines. That seems to make more economic sense, ultimately.

GM foods? •A matter to be examined for any commitment

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PROTEST march by various civil society groups, which culminated in the submission of a petition to the office of the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, highlighted the reality of public resistance to Genetically Modified (GM) foods and the Federal Government’s reported plan to introduce GM seeds in the country’s agricultural sector. It is a sad measure of the confusion over the alleged scheme that the agriculture minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, offered a denial, saying, “What we have in Nigeria is biotechnologically improved crops to raise yields for farmers and not genetically modified crops as being speculated.” Nigerians would, no doubt, be interested in knowing the difference, if any. The arrowhead of the opposition, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and Nigerians Against GMO (NAG), inspired about 200 protesters with the objective of creating awareness of alleged negatives of the scientific development, especially the perceived harmful health implications. It is instructive that these antagonists of Genetic Modification, also known as GMO, said in their petition to the political authorities, “Nigeria is blessed with fertile land. In today’s world, GMO seeds and produce are being banned in France, Japan, Russia and most of the European Union countries due to the adverse effects scientific research has shown they have on humans and animals as well as the soil. The introduction of this in Nigeria is unacceptable.” Moreover, NAG leader Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour provided enlightening

elaboration, and was quoted as saying, “These things (GMO) have been linked to cancer by independent researchers; it has been linked to organ failure, sterility and these are diseases we are starting to see among our people.” According to him, “With the way research is done in the world, big companies are only interested in profits and not doing research to know what happens to the human body and effects these products do have.” Against this background, the anti-GMO campaign has a commendable social concern value that should not be overlooked. However, it is worth noting that GMO, which dates back to the 1980s, basically involves gene mutations to get desirable qualities from crops and developed from the need to produce more food, more cheaply, even if inorganically, on limited arable land for a burgeoning world population that is now over seven billion. In this sense, it can, paradoxically, also be considered as socially valuable. It would appear, therefore, that the issue transcends emotionalism, and should be seen from a holistic or all encompassing view, which is about the fact that all angles matter, including the advantages and disadvantages. It is worth mentioning that the American Association for the Advancement of Science said in a 2012 statement, “Indeed, the science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.” To go by statistics, GMO farming seems to be gaining increasing acceptance across the world: In 2012, about 17.3 million farmers grew GM crops in 28 countries, and 20 developing countries accounted for 52 percent of the total GM

harvest that year. More relevant to Nigeria is the detail that about 16 African countries have adopted GMO farming for food security purposes. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to allow a margin for doubt, particularly because GMO research may be considered openended with the possibility that new findings could substantially alter the picture of unqualified safety, which is not to say that GMO could eventually prove to be more dangerous than useful. More and more research is the key. More importantly, beyond the merits and demerits of GMO, the central administration and the state governments need to seriously address the real problems in the country’s agricultural sector, particularly mechanisation, storage and transportation issues that have been identified as counter-productive to achieving food security.

‘Nevertheless, it is reasonable to allow a margin for doubt, particularly because GMO research may be considered open-ended with the possibility that new findings could substantially alter the picture of unqualified safety, which is not to say that GMO could eventually prove to be more dangerous than useful. More and more research is the key’

U.S. inaction on Syria helped make it a hell on earth

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USSIA AND China on Thursday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes in Syria. Western powers and human rights group condemned the veto, and rightly so. But let’s get real. The threat of an investigation by jurists in The Hague would not deter Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad from his war against Syrian civilians, which, by his reckoning, is going well. The only thing that could deter him is credible military opposition from the rebels, who continue to receive far too little help from the United States, which realistically is the only country in a position to change the calculus of this terrible war. Calling for ICC investigations and sputtering about the “disgrace” of Russia’s veto allow the United States and its allies to deflect attention from their own failure. ”Years from now our grandkids will ask how we could’ve failed to bring justice to people living in hell on earth,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power tweeted Thursday. “What will Russia/China say?” It’s a nice, indignant sound bite. But the more relevant question is as obvious today as it will be “years from now”: Why did we allow Syria to become a hell on earth in the first place? For more than three years, President Obama has resisted advice from inside and outside his administration to abandon his passivity and do something to help Syria — not to send ground troops, the straw man his spokesmen regularly erect to fend off criticism, but rather to train and equip the rebels or to help patrol a safe zone for them to evade Mr. Assad’s depredations. Mr. Obama’s excuses have varied: Mr. Assad’s downfall was inevitable with or without U.S. involvement; the rebels weren’t deserving of U.S. help; anything the United States did would make things worse. But without U.S. involvement, the worstcase predictions are coming true: More than 160,000 people have been killed, more than 9 million have been displaced from their homes, and terrorists allied with al-Qaeda are establishing safe zones from which they can attack Europe and the United States. Mr. Assad, stronger than ever, has given up much of his chemical weapons arsenal. But he continues to launch chemical attacks and to drop barrel bombs full of shrapnel on schools, bakeries and apartment buildings in rebelcontrolled neighborhoods. With a few shoulder-fired missiles, the rebels could discourage those helicopter assaults. The United States won’t furnish the weaponry. Such missiles would have to be provided with safeguards to keep them out of extremists’ hands. That would be doable but challenging. And why bother when it’s so much easier to blame Russia? – Washington Post TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Adekunle Ade-Adeleye •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina

• Gen. Manager (Training and Development) Soji Omotunde •General Manager (Abuja Press) Kehinde Olowu •AGM (PH Press) Tunde Olasogba

•IT Manager Bolarinwa Meekness

•Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) •Press Manager Yomi Odunuga Udensi Chikaodi •Group Political Editor Emmanuel Oladesu •Legal Counsel John Unachukwu •Group Business Editor Simeon Ebulu • Manager (Admin) Folake Adeoye •Group Sports Editor Ade Ojeikere •Acting Manager (sales) •Editorial Page Editor Olaribigbe Bello Sanya Oni


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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: As 2015 general elections crawl closer, Niger State deserves a honest, credible, trustworthy, experienced and dedicated statesman to lead her. A governor who will not govern with negativism and fear of the future, but with vigour, vision and aggressive leadership—one who will not be isolated from the people, but will feel our pains, share our dreams and take his strength, wisdom and his courage from us. Like “Oliver Twist”, the state is asking for more in the areas of infrastructure (roads) education, agriculture, health and job creation. The aspiration of the masses is to see more indicators in terms of human and infrastructural development, as the state is lagging behind many of its counterparts in the country. It’s worrisome and disheartening that despite its abundant human and natural potentials, the evidence of good governance is not being felt or seen in many sectors. Now that the state is preparing to elect another governor in 2015, it’s imperative that the mandate be given to an aspirant that is endowed with public and private sector experience in order to meet the yearnings and expectations of the people. The state deserves a visionary and charismatic leader, with economic policies that will encourage growth and development of all sectors. The state needs a chief executive whose policies are realistic and innovative. A type who will stand by his words and promises to the electorates. It’s time to vote for a governor with fresh perspective and foresight for a changing world, a kind who understands the unconven-

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Niger 2015: Merit should trump zoning tional challenges we face and who can lead us to overcome them, not a tough talking type without anything to show. Going by the zoning agreement in the state, it’s the turn of Niger North Senatorial zone to produce the governor. Abdulkadir Kure served his term from 1999-2007 for the Niger South Senatorial zone and the incumbent, Babangida Aliyu from Niger East Senatorial zone would be completing his term of

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2007-2015. Now that it’s anticipated, the next governor will come from Niger North Senatorial zone, Nigerlites should not sacrifice merit despite the zoning arrangement; the electorate should look out for the best so as not to sacrifice merit in the governance of the state. It will be a setback to the state if we vote in someone that is coming to learn the job on how to pilot the affairs of the state. It is necessary for us to relaunch ourselves; it is not in our in-

terest to continue to have anointed, puppets or an inexperienced person as governor. The state has tested products of anointing and the end results have not been too palatable. Engineer Mustafa Bello’s credentials as one of the candidates from Niger North Senatorial zone has shown that he will not be a round peg in a square hole, if elected as governor in 2015. Going by his rich experience in the private and public sector, his election would definitely

Egypt, Thailand: Curse of military rule

IR: Military rule, in Egypt, Thailand or any where in the world, is a curse. In the contemporary world, military rule is an act of terrorism, because what it seeks to achieve is create fear in the populace as a prelude to domination. The trajectory of the military in all third world countries is the same: cash in on a political crisis, remove an elected government, suspend the constitution, throw people into jails, shut down media houses, crush the civic will and rule with decrees, with a promise to restore peace, promote economic growth and hand over power to a democratically-elected

government after an indeterminable period. At the end of such interregnum, where the General did not transmute to civilian Head of State as Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt is now poised to do, and General Prayuth Chan-ocha of Thailand may eventually do, the economy would be in a shambles, the treasury looted with reckless abandon, all institutions government destroyed, the psyche of the populace militarized and the very military institution itself destroyed because of fears of coups and counter-coups within. It is even a sign of cowardice to

seize power by force of arms. It is opportunistic, cynical and criminal. Because other citizens are not carrying guns or armed, so the contest is uneven. All those who cherish freedom, the certainties and stability that come with democracy must rise to denounce the military juntas in Egypt and Thailand and do everything possible to remove these dictators from power without further delay. The military and police must understand what is meant by patriotism and defence of the constitution. During any political crisis, indeed at all times, their duty is to defend

What future for Nigeria?

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IR: As a Nigerian, the experiences of the last few years, particularly the level of impunity is hard to imagine. Kidnapping is on the increase; baby factories are being discovered daily, bombings, clashes (ethnic, religious and political) and of late, herdsmen/farmers unrest, just to mention but a few. While most countries are not immune to such happenings, the way we have responded and react to ours compels the question of what is the future of Nigeria. It is saddening to note that instead of uniting to confront the evil bedevilling the nation, we have unfortunately segregated ourselves

open the door to a balanced solution to the state’s problems. Mustafa’s election would curb the growing power of pockets of special or quack interests, which so often conceal their self-serving agenda behind a facade of fist-in-the-air patriotism and unfulfilled promises. He represents humility, wisdom, loyalty, discipline, exposure, honesty, hard work, know-how, patriotism and accountability. Now that we are prepared to make another choice, let’s choose wisely in order not to put our lives into the hands of those gamblers, deceivers or chance takers. The choice is therefore ours to either choose to rebuild our future, by positioning the right candidate or continue to sustain what we will inherit; unfulfilled promises and disappointments. • Ibrahim Muye Yahaya, Muye, Niger State

into ethnic, religious and political groups making the war against our problems more difficult. The unfortunate order of the day now is for political, religious and ethnic leaders to make incendiary statements each time insurgents or other criminals strike. These reactions can only further divide us. The PDP will accuse APC members for sponsoring the attacks while APC will in turn blame the PDP for lacking the capacity to secure the nation. For God sake, why the ugly blame game? We now sleep with our two eyes wide open as no one knows the next target. What have we done to deserve this?

While those who fan the embers of the crises are left to play politics with the lost lives, the victims of these attacks are mostly innocent people. I ask again; what shall it benefit a nation where its leaders fan the embers of crisis and its citizens are perishing? You may want to ask what these leaders (those in the ruling parties and the opposition) done to (sincerely) to end this carnage? Have they taken any realistic and practical steps that have yielded any positive result? Instead those in authority will keep telling us that they are on top of the situation while are actually not winning the battle. The opposition will also be busy going

about with suggestions that will promote their political objectives. Fellow Nigerians, we must retrace our footsteps. If this trend continues, I wonder what the future holds for this country. We must unite and speak with one voice irrespective of our differences to curb violence, protect our sovereignty and oneness. We will only be deceiving ourselves to claim that Nigeria is still one. Daily incidents and actions taken by our leaders keep tearing us apart. May God heal our land but we must be ready to take his dosage for cure which is genuine love that once kept us undivided. • Shuaibu Zainab Abdullahi., IBB University Lapai, Niger State

the constitution. The military must learn to subordinate itself to constituted civil authority. Members of the armed forces and police in the developing nations should take their cue from their colleagues in the developed nations of the world, who earn world-wide respect because of their level of discipline, utmost regard for the civil populace and feats of derring-do in battlefields. All elected governments must do something with barrack boredom. If there are no wars to fight, then the military must be engaged in other productive ventures such as agriculture, construction of road and bridges, etc. where they can earn additional income and contribute to the GDP of their respective countries. Besides, it is necessary to punish those involved in past coups against elected governments: in contemporary Asia, Africa or Latin America, based on the constitutions in force as at the time they carried out the illegal acts. It is elementary in law that no one must be allowed to profit from his own wrong. Finally, constituted civil authorities in third world countries must adequately equip members of the armed forces and the police and reward them handsomely. Their conditions of service must be enviable. The military and police should be the pride of any nation. • James Ikechukwu, Owerri.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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COMMENTS fellow Yoruba — even if “Abi omo l’Owu, o ni ako tabi abo ni, ewo ni Obasanjo is of an improper hue! yio se omo nibe?” (“A child is born in Owu — or for some fuzzy “South”, and you ask, male or female: which will as if political Nigeria has a be a proper child?) — Wale Adebanwi, “South”! “How (Not) to be a Proper Yoruba”, The truth is Obasanjo did it Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria: for nobody but himself. Obafemi Awolowo and Corporate Agency. But Karma-like, what goes HEIR Baba is off to some new around comes around. Yesterracket: in Jigawa Governor, Sule day’s puppet that threw off his Olakunle Lamido, he is well pleased as puppeteers is today’s puppetNigeria’s new president, come 2015. He lordbeek1@gmail.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola eer, thrown off by his own said that himself. puppets. But some deep throats have added the Obasanjo’s first power nemracket is a twin-gambit: Baba that pushes esis was the ill-fated President for Alhaji Lamido in the Peoples DemoYar’Adua. His current nemesis cratic Party (PDP), may also be pushing is President Jonathan, who economic restructuring, that could still save Nigeria from for Kano Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, of the rival All looming disintegration. might be confused about anything but his sworn determinaProgressives Congress (APC)! It is dawn of a great presidenAwo is dead — since 1987— yet his ideas live. Obasanjo is tion not to be Baba’s puppet. tial straddle! alive, yet his ideas are dead. That biting paradox probably That explains Obasanjo’s present over-drive to plant new As the Yoruba would say “Eyi je, eyi o je” (roughly, “head explains Baba’s fixation with making and unmaking presipuppets in either Lamido or Kwankwaso. But if the fatally ill you win, tail you win”, perfect hedge!). It is the high-octane dents, thinking such arid thinking would breed a legacy. No, Yar’Adua and the clueless Jonathan can throw off Baba’s yoke, power equivalent of playing the lottery, Baba Ijebu! it won’t. It only breeds vanity. why would hardy Lamido and Kwankwaso not do so, even if Despite the fiasco of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s But Baba is too far down the long road to nowhere to turn the gambit succeeds? earlier attempt at presidential selection, it would appear back now. Nigerians have him to thank for the crises of the On the corporate plane, the North’s ploy to endure no more morning yet on his presidential creation day! Yar’Adua, and chaos of the Jonathan eras. But not even that than eight years of powerlessness, before bouncing back for Nigerians endured the ruins of the Umaru Yar’Adua presiwould banish, from his mind, a phantom future hope in another eight years, spectacularly backfired — and Obasanjo, dential months; just as now, they are grand victims of the Lamido or Kwankwaso — not unlike some Don Quixote that from his vantage commander-in-chief fort became the North’s infernal anomie of Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential years shuns reality for fantasy, in all comic chivalry. traducer-in-chief. — both courtesy of the former president. In Obasanjo’s case, it is fond fantasy that power vanity can First, the grand irony of grim payback in realpolitik: as the Still, for Baba, it would appear one era, one gambit; as he land legacy. But longsuffering Nigerians are the unhappy North located in Obasanjo their Yoruba man, Obasanjo loappears to have moved on to new conquests! Might this guinea pigs. Just as well for a people who suffer fools gladly! cated in the ill-fated Yar’Adua his core northerner — to boot, power restlessness result from a missed past opportunity (as Still, Obasanjo is as much a powerful symbol of a puppet with his full northern aristocracy! his foes jeer) or a patriot’s elixir to fix the future (as his friends gone unhinged as he is of a puppeteer run out of town. That And when Obasanjo’s Umoru’s health gave way, the former cheer)? drives the matter right back to the opening quote, and Wale president, to pave the way for Jonathan, the new hoped-for Ripples, though no foe, is inclined towards the former! And Adebanwi’s concept of proper and improper Yoruba, in his new puppet, shrilly denied the existence of any zoning formula. the reason is clear. Baba left office with no worthwhile afterbook, Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria, in the context The snag is: Jonathan won’t play the presidential puppet; math. The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, it of susof fierce contestation for power in Nigeria. and Baba is done with hyena laughs! Now, Baba has hinted pect moral provenance, is stark brick-and-mortar showcasing The putdown quote on the Owu newborn is hardly extant. Jonathan indeed signed a one-term pact. the vanity of power, that would decay and die with time. It was used in the context of intra-Yoruba sub-ethnic rivalry Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. But falsely crying wolf in Even in his native South West, political mainstream, which of the 19th century, which climaxed in the Kiriji War (1877the past is making it hard to believe there is really now a the old soldier tried to impose as alternative to the progres1893). prowling wolf! That dead end could well have pushed the sive mainstream, has spectacularly collapsed — with Baba But it does offer clear illumination on Obasanjo’s portrailatest “Baba shopping” for presidential candidates. and disciples hollering, “We’re alive!” from underneath the ture, in Yoruba Elites, as “improper Yoruba” — at least from the Those adept at emotive reaction to crises, only after they gurgling flood; or from the rubbles of collapsed power dream. eyes of the South West progressive mainstream, that Awo are fully brewed, should note this — and perhaps call the Contrast that to the odyssey of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. inspired and nurtured. former president to order. Awo never gained the Nigerian presidency, a failure That perception was hardly lost on the northern oligarchs, The present anomie bordering on total anarchy, creeping Obasanjo mocked in his book, Not My Will. Yet, his winning as they shopped for their own Yoruba, to placate the proper failure of the Nigerian state and even looming disintegraideas on productive federalism have powered political and Yoruba for the rash annulment of MKO Abiola’s presidential tion of the country are fallouts of Baba’s Hobson’s choice of Yar’Adua, whose failed health produced the disastrous “Awo is dead — since 1987-- yet his ideas mandate. They wanted some executive puppet to hold power in trust, live. Obasanjo is alive, yet his ideas are until the North regained it. Obasanjo perfectly fitted that Jonathan. Even in Baba’s very word, Jonathan is clearly “overwhelmed” — an accidental president whose (mis)handling dead. That biting paradox probably ex- bill. But in power, the puppet ran his northern puppeteers out of of things could turn his country into an accident of history. plains Baba’s fixation with making and town. Obasanjo claimed he did it for “Nigeria”, for which his What future disasters await Baba’s present presidential gamflatterers pronounced him “Father of modern Nigeria”. The bits — and how much more can Lugard’s crumbing empire unmaking presidents” emotionally swindled and confused claimed he did it for his take?

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epublican ipples

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O state that the 36 states in the federation plus Abuja have fallen on bad times in the last one year is to state the obvious. The truth is that most, perhaps with one or two exceptions, are already tottering precariously towards insolvency – the result of the industrial scale theft said to have taken out nearly one-fifth of the domestic output of the nation’s crude. All across the 36 states capitals, the story of massive cutback in capital spend has since become the rule rather than exception. With shrunk monthly allocations, most states have barely enough to take care of recurrent expenditures let alone take on development projects. And with paltry Internally Generated Revenues, many have had to resort to borrowing to augment their finances. In the circumstance, it should be easy to understand the renewed clamour by states under the aegis of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) to hive off petrol subsidy; it smacks of attempt to shore up the distributive pool and hence boost their share. Now, this is something that would have been unthinkable a few months ago. Indeed, the nationwide protests which greeted the January 2012 attempt would have rendered such contemplations a death wish. That the nation is back – or nearly so – where it left off in 2012 is a measure of how much the issue will simply not go away. To be sure, we have heard of the denial by President Jonathan during his last media chat that any such plan to hike petrol price was in the offing. However, I don’t think Nigerians can be fooled by such tepid assurances in the background of the rather insistent and strident pressure by the commissioners on the federal government to take the issue on. Moreover, it is hard to miss the import of recent findings by the controversial pollster – NOI polls – which suggest that more than 90 percent

‘Think about the fact that no hard questions are asked nor explanations given as to how the army and navy would sit idly by while watching the nation loose a fifth of its projected earnings. And now imagine that state governments, co-beneficiaries from the federation account that couldn’t take the lead to demand that the federal government rise up to its responsibility and NNPC to give proper renditions of its accounts beyond the monthly show of walkouts to protest revenue shortfalls now assuming the leadership of the remove-the-subsidy orchestra!’

Baba’s new racket

Policy Sanya Oni sanyaoni@yahoo.co.uk 08051101841

FAAC: The road not taken

Nigerians are already buying their fuel above the official prices. Nigerians understand the game well enough to appreciate the theme as part of an elaborate, choreographed plot by the Jonathan administration to force the bitter pill. Of course, knowing how emotive Nigerians are when it comes to any discussions on the subject, one can only infer that the reason citizens have not bothered to denounce the still unfolding “satanic agenda” is because they have more serious issues to worry about in Boko Haram at the moment! Even at that, I do not see them yielding any grounds now or in the near future in any further discussions on the issue given the apparent lack of sincerity and bad faith on the part of government since that last time out in 2012. The indications are that the citizens would in fact be more resolute next time around. And why not? The reason(s) is at the heart of the story underlying the clamour which seeks to draw more of our blood. The single official line of course is that the FAAC hasn’t enough to share. In other words, the nation could not meet up the daily crude production target of 2.5 million barrels per day as set out in the 2013 budget. We have been told that for nearly the whole of that year, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its principal, the federal government, could only deliver, on average, four-fifths of the projected budget output. And that the situation seems unlikely to change in the current fiscal year. In other words, our federal government, under President Goodluck Jonathan, is unable to tame the black market economy of oil theft. You think it’s hard to imagine the scale of industrial theft and associated production shut-ins in which a nation would be bled by nearly 400,000 barrels of daily crude output? You guessed right: Only in Jonathan’s impunity republic would such quantum of losses be conceivable. Like their Boko Haram

counterparts, the oil-thieves are evidently ghosts! But then, think about the fact that no hard questions are asked nor explanations given as to how the army and navy would sit idly by while watching the nation loose a fifth of its projected earnings. And now imagine that state governments, co-beneficiaries from the federation account that couldn’t take the lead to demand that the federal government rise up to its responsibility and NNPC to give proper renditions of its accounts beyond the monthly show of walkouts to protest revenue shortfalls now assuming the leadership of the removethe-subsidy orchestra! We are talking of an industry in which the overseeing minister is on record to have shelled out N10 billion for the love of the luxury toys. By the way, what does our body of finance commissioners know about the nation’s transparently opaque oil industry? How much of its rentier value chain that feeds fat on the citizens’ misery do they know? What do they know of the bungling Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the so-called oil industry police that looks on while all manners of economic saboteurs carry on with their rape and plunder? How much of the activities of the department do they know? Or their kith, the club of fuel importers and their allies in the bureaucracy who between them are known to have fleeced the treasury of trillions of naira in illicit earnings in the last few years? And then you ask: of what value is the monthly conclave FAAC beyond the monthly ritual of sharing unearned money? I haven’t exactly said that the states could not do with more money. As a matter of fact, they do. I would even go as far as to argue that they deserve far more than the paltry 24 percent they are getting under the existing revenue sharing formula. Even here, my understanding is that states are not even seriously considering pushing this route. Or even the more enduring route of tapping into their latent potentials, preferring, as it were, the usual route of easy money without breaking a sweat. This is where the problem lies. For the purposes of clarity, I need to make the point: the case for the states needing more money can also be made for the need to enhance citizens’ disposable incomes. Whereas the states need funds to execute their programmes, the larger economy needs citizens’ enhanced disposable incomes to run. It is called cash at hand –economists call it effective demand. As it is, the Nigerian citizen is overburdened enough with governmental inefficiencies without the need for the cyclic rod of affliction. Does that amount to a foreclosure on the subsidy debate? Far from it. Yours truly has never denied that the argument for the subsidy removal is anything but compelling. It is a matter of cold, rational economics. The point of departure is whether to treat the subsidy as cause or effect. For me, only when citizens and the government come to a common understanding on this point can we begin to make headway. For now, the states will do well to consider thinking out of the box to boost their revenues. It is the smart thing to do.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

COMMENTS

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T the height of the pro-democracy protests over the annulment of June 12, 1993 presidential election, the rumour mill was very active churning out one story after another, feasting on the mood of the populace. In the camp of those opposed to the cancellation of the poll, it was generally believed that the United States and other western allies were going to send troops and equipment to help topple the Abacha government and restore the winner of that election, Bashorun MKO Abiola. It never happened. Such was the belief among pro-democracy activists and their supporters that the Americans were going to put boots on the ground and chase away Abacha. They were utterly gutted and felt let down by the US when at the end of the day, Washington sent neither soldiers nor equipment and Abiola died in detention without actualising his mandate. You can imagine the skepticism when the rumour mill came alive again in the aftermath of the abduction of over 200 Nigerian school girls in Chibok, Borno State, over a month ago by Boko Haram insurgents that America was going to help Nigeria militarily to find the girls. Once beaten twice shy? But this time around the Yankees are living up to expectation. And you need to see how relieved many were last week when after several weeks of expectation, President Barack Obama finally approved the deployment of 80 US servicemen and equipment to join many international well wishers collaborating with the Nigerian military to find and bring back our girls. The relief was however dampened in some quarters when it emerged that the US Air Force personnel and equipment would be based in Chad, Nigeria’s northern neighbour and not on Nigerian soil. The arrival of the American surveillance aircraft and personnel came in the wake of a similar deployment by the United Kingdom of its state-of the-art surveillance aeroplane-The Sentinelto Accra, Ghana to also help Nigeria in the search for the Chibok girls. Many view the stationing of these two aircraft and the accompanying personnel outside the shores of Nigeria as a sign of lack of confidence in the Nigerian military by America and Britain. In the fight against Al Qaeda in Afghani-

Funding our military stan, the US military not only operated from neigbhouring Pakistan, but has substantial men and equipment on ground in Afghanistan to fight the terrorists. What are the Americans afraid of in Nigeria? In order to be seen as patriotic, one could argue that only the Americans can say why they chose Chad over Nigeria in that troop deployment and that our military is up there among the very best in the league of medium powers. ‘We have the capacity to host and collaborate with the US military or any other superpower military in this rescue mission’, one could blindly argue, but regrettably this doesn’t seem to be the case. And in a tacit endorsement of the position of the skeptics on the operational readiness and competence of the Nigerian armed forces to fight the war on terror, the Nigerian Army last week cried out over the poor funding of our military, especially the army. The slightly over N4 billion annual budgetary allocations to the army, the service say is grossly inadequate to equip the troops, not to talk of training and other needs of the modern soldier. The army high command is calling on government to look at other sources of funding and equipping our military to meet with the changing times and security challenges. Before the Americans open snub of our military in their troop deployment, not a few have expressed serious doubt in the ability and capability of our armed forces to effectively fight, contain and defeat the Boko Haram insurgency. And their position is strengthened so to speak by the ease at which Boko Haram strikes and spreads terror in the land with little or no response from the Nigerian military and other security forces.

If Boko Haram could strike at a military base in the north east, a supposedly secure location, and several months after the perpetrators have not been brought to book, why should the Americans or any other serious military for that matter trust our military base to secure their men and equipment? Why would any other military want to use our military base when our ‘boys’ in the theatre of the insurgency and heart of a military base, could rebel and fire at their commander in frustration and protest? I am not an expert in military or security matters and I don’t have to be one to know that common sense dictates that a man who is not safe or secure in his house cannot guarantee the safety of his visitor. The Nigerian military as it stands today cannot offer that guarantee to any other armed forces on our soil. It is as simple as that: let the truth be told. Why are we in this mess or how did we get into this mess that we cannot even provide safety for someone who wants to help us? Simple! Years of neglect and corruption. Selfcentredness and wickedness on the part of our successive leaders, have almost reduced the Nigerian Armed Forces, once the pride of Africa, to a band of Boys Brigade. And the military has a hand in the systematic destruction of this once national institution and pride. The soldiers have spent more years at the helm in this country than the civilians and each left the military worse than it met it. Why? Greed! It is easier to blame President Goodluck Jonathan and the present leadership of the Nigerian armed forces for the sorry state of our military today and the failure of our sol-

diers to effectively defend the nation’s territorial integrity, but the rot did not start with them. It goes way back. The only blame Jonathan would have as commander-in-chief is if he leaves the military as it is by the time he is leaves office and thus expose our nation to more danger. He should heed the call of the army for improved funding of the military and galvanise the private sector to engage in the local production of what I would call ‘below the belt’ military equipment (uniform, beret, helmet, boots, small arms et al, for now) to conserve foreign exchange for the importation of real military hardware that can stand us in good stead in the 21st century warfare. After all the primary duty of a commander-in-chief is the protection of the territorial integrity of his nation. This is a call to arm, President Jonathan; before you go let’s have a robust and effective fighting machine called the Nigerian Armed Forces; the ones that can defend us and we’ll be proud of. As your administration winds down, I am afraid the time is short, but you can do a lot by setting the ball rolling. You can do it if you want to and if you fail to do it, Nigerians will never forgive you.

‘President Jonathan; before you go let’s have a robust and effective fighting machine called the Nigerian Armed Forces; the ones that can defend us and we’ll be proud of. As your administration winds down, I am afraid the time is short, but you can do a lot by setting the ball rolling. You can do it if you want to and if you fail to do it, Nigerians will never forgive you’

Happy Anniversary: Lagos State

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EMINISCENCES! As the good and great people of Lagos State celebrate the 47th Anniversary of its historic creation today, waves of nostalgia sweep yours truly from the vast Atlantic Ocean, through the lagoons across the famed Victoria Island to the modern mainland. How old was one then? Just four years. Yet, one has grown up to share in the proud and rich heritage of Lagos State as bequeathed by the founding fathers whose verdant vision has transformed it into a social melting pot for the Nigerian nation. That is, irrespective of differences in race and religion, gender or geo-political nuances. Having since assumed the pedigree as the commercial nerve centre of the entire West African Sub-Region, with the everbusy ports as the catalyst, the story of Lagos cannot be told without recourse to the worthy progenitors. Historically, the geographic boundary was known as the Mainland. Lagos Island, the seat of the Oba then consisted of farms and fishing posts. Beyond the Portuguese’s early influence the line of the Kings is a noble one. From Ashipa(16001630), through King Ado(1630-1669) down the lineage of Kings Gabara, Kekere to the famed King Kosoko (18451851),Dosunmu the great to Adeniji Adele, the revered Oba Adeyinka Oyekan 11(1965-2003) and the respected Oba Rilwan Akiolu1(2003 till date), Lagos has always presented a vast vista of a land of limitless possibilities and home of peace and plenty for all. Here, indeed several nebulous dreams have found their voice and vision, and will continue to do. Great women and men, including Madam Tinubu of blessed memory as the leader of the market women played a prominent role in ensuring that Lagos remains a reference point in commercial activities and that the voice of the women was heard. It was such that the English and American press who visited Nigeria in January,1956 with Queen Elizabeth saw Lagos, as symbolic of the nation, described as ‘bright, jovial where mud huts and shanties mixed with modern buildings of striking grace and beauty’(New York Herald).But Nigeria is nevertheless ‘an optimistic and happy land’(Time Magazine.) Lagos would however, remain the symbol of political reengineering and the cradle of nationalism. Here, the first most popular political party, Nigerian National Democratic Party(NNDP) was formed by Herbert Macaulay in 1922. Described as ‘one of the most versatile intellects produced by the 19th century Nigeria’, and called the Defender of Native Liberties, Macaulay was the rallying point for the doctors, lawyers, landlords and market women. According to Mokwuko Okoye, ‘Lagos was able to dominate provincial Nigeria as Paris dominated the 18th and 19th century France.’ While the Sir Hugh Clifford Constitution of 1923 provided

By Akinwunmi Ambode for four elected members with three for Lagos and one for Calabar, the NNDP did capture the three Lagos seats in the Legislative Council. And it continued to dominate Lagos politics for some 20 years with great minds in its ranks such as Dr.Adeniyi Jones, Eric Moore, Karim Kotun and Adeyemo Alakija Lagos it was again that became the epicentre of the struggle for nationalism, with the return to the country of patriots such as Professor Eyo Ita, and Nnamdi Azikiwe in the early;30s. Eventaully they saw to formation of the Nigerian Youth Movement in 1934. Prominent as members were Dr.J.C.Vaughan, Ernest Ikoli, Samuel Akinsanya and H.O.Davis as the moving spirits. Their struggle was for Nigeria’s political independence as did the then newly formed, Chief Awolowo-inspired Egbe Omo Oduduwa. Between then and now, Lagos has thrived economically under its leaders, starting from the tenure of Brigadier Gen. Mobolaji Johnson, Late Comm. Adekunle Lawal, Comm. Ndubusi Kanu, Comm. Ebitu Ukiwe, Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, Late Comm. Gholahan Mudasiru, Navy Capt.Late Okhai Mike Akhigbe, Brigadier Gen. Raji Rasaki, late Sir Michael Agbolade Otedola, Col. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Brig. Gen.Muhammed Buba Marwa, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the present administration of Gov. Babatunde Fashola (SAN). All 13 of them have made tremendous contributions to the evolution of Lagos State at one point or the other. Equally worthy of mention are Alhaji Femi Okunnu, Alhaji H.A.B. Fasinro, Chief F.C.O. Coker, Chief Molade OkoyaThomas among others made Lagos tick. In fact, Jakande’s administration was particularly unique. He introduced housing and educational programme targeted at alleviating poverty. He built new neighborhood primary and secondary schools even as we provided free education for these two tiers. He established the Lagos State University and constructed over 20,000 housing units, all built cheaply and of great value. After the military interregnum came one of the symbols of the democratic struggle, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the governor. The man hugely respected as the pathfinder of modern Lagos came with a vision; to transform the political and socio-economic landscape of Lagos for good. Did he succeed? Of course, yes. When he promised 10,000 housing units during the campaigns, he delivered. During his eight-year eventful period he made massive investments in infrastructural development, education and primary health care delivery. Beyond the con-

struction of new set of roads to meet the growing demands of an exploding population he brought administrative restructuring in several areas such as security, LASTMA, waste disposal system, LAWMA as well as the Rapid Response Squad to effectively contain crime and criminality within the metropolis. It was such that brought in his successor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) who has gone ahead to build worthy legacies for all to be proud of. With a vision to transform Lagos to a megalopolis, his administration has brought to bear sanity in virtually all the areas of the economy. From tremendous infrastructural development of long lasting roads and drainage, education, healthcare delivery, urban transportation and waste management he stands head and shoulders above his peers. Having been in a vantage position to work with the last two governors for 13 years, I conclude this piece as I share with you all one lesson I learnt from serving under them by using the football anecdote. My two former bosses, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) are both great supporters of Manchester United, while I, their ward, am a Chelsea fan. I have come to regard Asiwaju as the “special one” because, like the famous bearer of that title, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, he laid the solid foundation for the evolution of modern Lagos. Like ‘Mourinho’, he has the vision and the winning formulae. In May, 2003, at his inaugural speech for his second term in office, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu declared that “we will build with vigor on foundation laid in the first term until the momentum of positive change becomes forever irreversible in Lagos State”. But the special one needs a special manager and an ebullient visionary to accomplish the goals. If Lagos State were Manchester United, His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) is the quintessential and indefatigable Alex Ferguson. He brought in his Midas touch in all facets of governance to actualise that positive change in the development and growth of Lagos State. So, where does that leave me, their student? I learnt first that in any club managed by these two managers, there is no room for a Davis Moyes. And I pledged to myself that if I am ever entrusted with the responsibility of administering a football club, I will name it CHELSEA UNITED, if just to assure my two bosses that I learnt from their different but complementary styles in building and running a formidable team. As Lagos turns fifty in the next three years, therefore, the future beckons on whoever would take over the baton in the relay of enduring people-friendly policies to solidify and build on these worthy legacies. • Ambode writes from Lagos.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

25

When the court is described as the last hope of the common man, that implies that it is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that any encroachment on the rights of the individual, any coercive action is justified by law

See page 25

E-mail:- law@thenationonlineng.net

Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa, who died on May 4, was a jurist of repute. His judgments and other pronouncements stood him out. His background in philosophy and history aided his judicial work. He was nicknamed “Socrates” because of the beauty of his judgments. The late Justice Oputa left his judicial footprints in the sands of time, writes ADEBISI ONANUGA.

Judicial footprints in the sands of time

•Oputa’s landmark verdicts

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INSIDE:

N May 4, the news of Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Sylvester Oputa’s death hit the nation. A great jurist was gone. He was an intelligent and erudite man. His knowledge of the law was deep. Oputa, unlike his peers, did not pass through the Court of Appeal. He was elevated from the high court to the Supreme Court. As a jurist, he was committed to social justice; he was an embodiment of integrity and a man of character. His judgments reflected a deep knowledge of procedural and substantive laws for which he commanded the respect and admiration of many judges and lawyers. While at the Supreme Court, the late Justice Oputa teamed up with the likes of the late Justice Kayode Eso and Justice Andrews Obaseki to form a “trinity” of judicial activists, who dispensed justice without recourse to technicalities, fear or favour. He manifested his profound intellectual understanding of the law and belief in equity and justice in his balanced judgments, which were usually well-researched and showed deep philosophical thinking. Due to Justice Oputa’s erudition, he became known as “the Socrates of the Supreme Court”. His rulings and judgments are still being celebrated in most law reports and courts. His grounding in law is well-documented in a collection of his judgments published by a lawyer, Mr Ikeazor Akaraiwe. According to Akaraiwe, what is today viewed as the hallmark of the late Justice Oputa’s career was revealed early in his handling of the concept and effects of estoppel in Okafor and Others vs Onuigbo and Ors (Vol. 7, 416 at 417). The sole aim of estoppel as expoused by the late Justice Oputa is either to place an obstacle in the way of a case, which might otherwise succeed, or to remove an impediment from the way of a case which might otherwise fail. Akaraiwe further revealed the late Justice Oputa’s deep understanding of the society and traditional values and his judicial craft in dealing with human issues that unfold when marriages end in the divorce courts. The late jurist illustrated this in Okafor v Okafor (Vol. 5 102, at 108), in which he said: “Both parties claim the custody of this child… and both are very anxious to have that custody. If the parties to a marriage give enough thought to the problems a broken marriage may and do pose to the issues (children) of that marriage and are prepared to swallow some of their pride and thus become less selfish, then there will definitely be a marked decrease in the divorce rate and its consequent broken homes. But experience has shown that parties show more interest in the custody of their children, a custody which should never have been in issue had the marriage survived.” The late Justice Oputa’s locus classicus is in Ojukwu vs the Military Government of Lagos State (SC/241/1985 Citation: (1986) ANLR 233, (1986) 3 N.W.L.R. (Pt.26) 39). His contributions to a ruling in the matter dealt with the concept of the rule of law. He made it clear that even under a military dictatorship, the rule of law must be obeyed by the government. Every government, he said, has a duty to comply with the rule of law, and once a case was pending before a court, nobody is permitted to resort to self-help or take the law into his hands. The late Justice Oputa declared: “The rule of law presupposes that (1) the state (including Lagos State Government) is subject to the rule of law; (2) that the judiciary is a necessary agency of the rule of law; (3) that government (including Lagos

Delta election: DPP candidate petitions ECOWAS court -Page 27

•The late Oputa

State) should respect the right of individual citizens under the rule of law; (4) that the judiciary is assigned both by the Rule of Law and by the Constitution in the determination of all actions and proceedings relating to matters in dispute between persons or between governments or an authority and any person in Nigeria.” Under the law, he noted: “It is the court that has the jurisdiction and power to declare the respondent, Chief Emeka Ojukwu a trespasser on the premises situate at No. 29 Queen’s Drive, Ikoyi after due hearing on relevant evidence.” He added that everyone, irrespective of how highly placed, is bound to obey an order of court. “This presupposes that no party and no court of subordinate or even co-ordinate jurisdiction can say: ‘I do not like the order made and I would not abide by it’. And that is exactly what the Lagos State is doing

NBA Presidency: Adekoya, Alegeh woo Igbo lawyers -Page 38

in this case. And that posture had to be condemned in the strongest of terms if we are not to say goodbye to the rule of law...” The late Justice Oputa’s belief in the protection of every individual’s right was exemplified in a case between the Federal Civil Service Commission V. Laoye (1989 2 NWLR (Part 106) 652 at 702). In his judgment on the matter, he declared: ”...When the court is described as the last hope of the common man, that implies that it is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that any encroachment on the rights of the individual, any coercive action is justified by law. In the unequal combat between those who possess power and those on whom such power bears, the court’s primary duty is protection from the abuse of power...” •Continued on page 26

Why we should swap the chibok girls -Page 40


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

LAW COVER CONT’D •Continued from page 25 Also in the case of Bello and the Attorney- General of Oyo State (1985) 5 (NWLR), the late Oputa again demonstrated his belief in the right of every individual to life. Bello was sentenced to death while his appeal was pending before the Court of Appeal in Ibadan. He was executed on the order of the late Chief Bola Ige’s administration. The Supreme Court felt the government’s action was illegal. The late Justice Oputa did not mince words in condemning the government. According to him, the state not only denied the appellant his right of appeal, by his execution, his family was denied its breadwinners. The late Justice Oputa ordered that damages be paid to the family. He held: “The premature killing of Nasiru Bello in the surrounding circumstances of this case was both unlawful and illegal. “It was also wrongful in the sense that it was injurious to the rights primarily of Bello to life and secondarily, of his dependants who by his death lost their breadwinner. “It was heedless in the sense that it was premature and unconstitutional; it was unjust in the sense that he (Nasiru Bello) was not allowed a just determination of his appeal by the Federal Court of Appeal; it was reckless in the sense that it was done in complete disregard of all the constitutional rights of the deceased, Nasiru Bello”. The late Justice Oputa believes in justice based on merit of a case. He was loathe to dismiss a case on technical grounds. In the Bello case, Oputa held: “The spirit of justice does not reside in forms and formalities, nor in technicalities, nor is the triumph of administration of justice to be found in successfully picking one’s way between pitfalls of technicality. “Law and all its technical ... may, if strictly followed, only serve to render justice grotesque or even lead to outright injustice. “I will here cast my lot with my learned brother, Eso, J.S.C, who postulated that ‘the court is more interested in substance than in mere form. Justice can only be done if the substance of the matter is examined. Reliance on technicalities leads to injustice’”. The late Justice Oputa helped to clear doubts on the sanctity of the tenure of a university professor or lecturer. In the lead judgment he read in a case involving Olaniyan and the University of Lagos, Akoka (UNILAG): (1985) 2 NWLR, he declared that once a contract of service or a contract of employment was backed by law, it enjoys statutory flavour. Therefore, the employee cannot be sacked or removed unless there is strict compliance with the provisions of the law. Oputa held: “The power to dismiss or remove or terminate the appointment of the appellant, either under Clause 7 of their agreement or under Section 17(1) of the Act cannot be exercised until the University Council has informed the appellants of the grounds on which they propose to proceed and have given them a proper opportunity to present their case in defence… “The removal of the appellants without recourse to the procedure outlined in Section 17 (1) of the 1967 Act Clause 7 of the agreement was ultra vires the powers of

J

The spirit of justice does not reside in forms and formalities, nor in technicalities, nor is the triumph of administration of justice to be found in successfully picking one’s way between pitfalls of technicality.

•Falana

In the sands of time the respondents and therefore null and void., and their purported dismissal invalid.” The late Justice Oputa also took a swipe at a lawyer who abandoned a criminal case because his fees were not paid. For the late Justice Oputa, that was a dishonourable conduct by the lawyer. “Much as we say a lawyer deserves his pay, just as we say a labourer deserves his wages, the fact that a lawyer is a minister in the temple of justice imposes a duty on him to discharge his duties to his client and perhaps sue for his fees later. “Once you have accepted the brief of your client, you must do all within your power as a lawyer to ensure that justice is done.” In Udo vs the State (1988) (3 NWLR), the late Justice Oputa underscored the responsibilities of a lawyer in a criminal proceeding. “In criminal cases, counsel should realise the enormous responsibility that they undertake. When asked to shoulder the heavy burden of defending an accused person in a murder case, an accused person on trial for his life, the ethics of the profession require and dictate that counsel should devote himself completely to this task, so that he may watch meticulously and constantly the interest of his duties in every criminal case, but more especially in capital offences. This is one

r e as o n w h y o u r pr of essi on i s c a l l ed honourable. “The behaviour of Mr. Bassey in this case-his asking to withdraw because he does not know who will pay him, his not appearing at all on 26/10/81, his late appearance on 23/3/82, his leaving the final address to the court (whatever that means)these are conduct unbecoming of a gentleman and a gentleman at the Bar as such. “The only mitigation may be that Bassey is very young at the bar. But every barrister is expected to know his various, onerous, difficult and delicate duties – (here his duties to his client). One can only hope that the Nigerian Bar Association should strain every nerve to ensure that its new members do imbibe the strict code of conduct and the ethics of this learned and honourable profession.” A believer of equity, the late Justice Oputa believed that in every situation, justice must be done. In the case of Udofia vs the state (1988) 3 NWLR, he could not believe that anyone could assign a lawyer undergoing the National Youth Service Corps scheme to defend a person charged with murder. The late Justice Oputa declared: “Any outsider watching the behaviour of Mr. Uduma in this case will go out complaining that the appellant did not have a fair trial, that justice had not in fact, been done by the way the defence was conducted. It

Firm seeks to join NNPC, minister in suit

USTICE Mohammed Yunusa of the Fed eral High Court in Lagos will on Friday hear a motion seeking to join the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Minister of Petroleum in a suit by a firm, Brittania-U Nigeria Limited. It is over the divestment of Chevron’s interest in Oil Mining Licenses (OMLs) 52, 53 and 55. The plaintiff’s counsel, Rickey Tarfa (SAN) and Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) had sought to move their motion for joinder. But counsel for the first defendant (Chevron Nigeria Limited) and the fourth defendant (Mr. Hermant Patel), Uche Nwokedi (SAN) said they had appealed against the judge’s ruling dismissing their notice of preliminary objection challenging the court’s jurisdiction. The lawyer said he had an application for stay of proceedings pending the hearing and determination of the appeal. The fifth defendant (Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited) lawyer, Damian Dodo confirmed that he received motions from the first and third defendants’ counsel.

Banks bicker over court order By Joseph Jibueze

By Joseph Jibueze

He said he also appealed against the court’s ruling as well as filed a motion for stay of proceeding, adding that the plaintiff’s lawyers have reacted to his motion for stay. The judge, in a short ruling, held that the only motion ripe for hearing was the plaintiff’s motion which had been pending since January 31. He then asked the plaintiff’s lawyer to proceed with the application. But the defendants’ lawyers said they were not prepared to oppose the motion for joinder. They asked for an adjournment to enable them file counter affidavits to the motion. Brittania-U, among others, is praying the court for an order declaring that the first to fourth defendants have no right to proceed to call for bids or engage in any transaction or contract to transfer or divest the 40 per cent participating interest of Chevron Nigeria in Oil Mining Leases 52, 53 and 55 in favor of any other person or entity. It said doing so would against an agreement it entered with Chevron on November 14 and 15 last year.

was a mockery of a defence and ultimately, a mockery of a trial. The trial was far from being fair on that score.” He ordered a retrial, berating the state for assigning a corps member to defend somebody charged with murder. He wondered what the country was turning into when an NYSC lawyer was asked to defend a murder case. The practice had since been discontinued. On abuse of judicial process by counsel, the late Justice Oputa declared in his judgement in the case of Amaefule vs the State: “Abuse of process of court is a term generally applied to a proceeding which is wanting in bona fides and is frivolous, vexatious or oppressive. “Abuse of process can also mean abuse of legal procedure or improper use of legal process,” he said. Lagos Lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) said even though the late Justice Oputa spent five years at the Supreme Court, his era in formed what Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) called the golden era of that court. Falana said: “Together with the late Justice Eso and Justice Obaseki, a trinity was formed. The three of them formed a trinity for the court. On any occasion, in any case, the three of them ensured that nobody went to that court without getting justice. Even if the heaven would fall, Justice Oputa would ensure that justice was done. “He spent just five years at the court, but his judgments show that it is not how long, but how well. He was an incorruptible judge. He stood his ground on any matter. He was fearless and he was a great jurist in every sense of it and humble too. “Justice Oputa was well respected by the Bar and the Bench. Because of his rich philosophical background and profound intellectual commitment, his colleagues in the Supreme Court nicknamed him ‘Socrates of the Supreme Court. “It was a title well deserved. But beyond that, Justice Oputa was highly influenced by the Supreme Court of India, particularly when Justice P.N. Bhagwati was Chief Justice of India.”

•Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke

The plaintiff claimed he has a binding contract for the acquisition of the OMLs 52, 53 and 55 from Chevron in the sum of N1.15 billion. The plaintiff also sought exemplary damages in the sum of $1billion (or its naira equivalent) for the alleged wrongful interference by the second to fifth defendants to unjustly prejudice and frustrate its contractual relationship with Chevron.

First Bank of Nigeria Plc has begun contempt proceeding against First City Monument Bank (FCMB) directors, including its Managing Director Ladi Balogun, over alleged disobedience of a subsisting order of the Federal High Court in Lagos. The motion for leave to serve the alleged contemnors with the Forms 48 and 49 was filed by First Bank’s lawyer, Ade Oyebanji. First Bank had sued a firm, Centage Savings and Loans Limited over failure to liquidate a N1.9 billion debt. Parties sought to explore an amicable settlement, resulting in a judgment entered on February 25 last year based on an “agreement” between First Bank and Centage. Centage was said to have refused to pay the judgment sum, while First Bank initiated garnishee proceedings against Centage. The court later made a garnishee order absolute attaching the funds of Centage in Federal Mortage Bank (FMB). FMB allegedly failed to pay the sum, while First Bank later filed a motion dated February 25 for a garnishee order on all FMB accounts in all the banks. On April 11, the court made a garnishee order absolute attaching the funds of FMB in FCMB to the tune of N365 million, but the allegedly disobeyed the order, prompting the contempt proceedings.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

NATIONAL BAR

NBA President urges lawyers to defend rule of law

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HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president Mr. Okey Wali (SAN) has called on lawyers to remain change agents in the defence of democracy and the rule of law. He apoke in Ugep, Cross River State during the inauguration of NBA’s Ikom branch. It also held a Law Week. Wali, represented by Chief Joe Agi (SAN), said unless lawyers stand against oppression and misrule, the country would not attain the required socio-economic and political growth. The Senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba donated a new bus to the branch. The branch chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Okang said lawyers have a role to play in making the world a better place. “As the world gradually becomes a global village, it is our duty as lawyers, to make global values in our areas of domicile a reality. “As lawyers, we must be seen as principled champions of the rule of law and independence of the legal profession. We must fulfil the core mission of our legal profession by always providing access to justice. We belong to a prestigious and leading profession in the world. As lawyers, we carry the full weight of a long respected and time honoured tradition. “If we fail to maintain an effective rule of law and strong defence against corruption, the oncoming generation of lawyers and God will hold us responsible and we will hardly escape complicity. All hands must, therefore, be on deck.” Okang said judicial institutions, particularly the judiciary, must improve on their procedure to ensure quicker justice delivery. In his keynote address, Prof. Oshita O. Oshita said citizens have a social contract with the state for the protection of their rights. He said everyone in a state should enjoy the benefits of citizenship irrespective of their ethnic origins. Analysing the concept of ethnicism, he said it is a condition where self-centred and pas-

By John Austin Unachukwu

sionate feelings of a group are fanned to the detriment and resentment of the other. This, he said, may be perpetrated by the “in-group members or an out-group that supports that cause.” Oshita said the worst thing to happen to any nation is to arrive at the point where the people begin to treasure the past; to see the present with contempt and a deep feeling of angst, and to view the future as fearful, tearful and painfully complicated. “As Thomas Jefferson puts it, ‘I love the dreams of the future more than the history of the past.’ How can we stop talking about the good old days in the presence of our children who have had no ‘good old days’ to treasure? “Why don’t we work to give our children a ‘good present’ and a future to look forward to? Moving forward, I believe that the different stakeholders in the Nigerian state can together help to engineer a good future for all by doing a number of things. “To be relevant in our different environments as useful members of ethnic nationalities we must have a ‘glocal’ attitude – that is, think globally and act locally.” He urged the government to strive and manage diversity more strategically in order to accommodate all shades of diversity. Religious institutions and economies, he noted, have promoted corruption and underdevelopment in Nigeria. ”Mosques and churches are sacred places, but they have contributed to laundering proceeds of corruption otherwise known as ‘bad’ or ‘blood’ money in different ways. Some of the corrupt funds have been used to do ‘thanks-giving’ and others to build edifices in the places of God,” he said. He called on professionals to use their specialised knowledge in building rather than breaking Nigeria. “The lawyers, in particular, can play more constructive roles in securing Nigeria through their law practice and the quality of judgements delivered in courts. “Some people say lawyers are conserva-

•From left: Chairman Law Week Planning Committee, S. O. Odong, alternate chairman, Law Week Planning Committee, O. N. Agbor and Chairman, NBA Ikom branch, Emmanuel Okang

•From right: Chief Judge Cross River State, Justice S. M. Anjor, Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam and Deputy Chief Judge, Cross River State, Justice Michael Edem.

tive so they cannot instigate change – but some of those that brought about phenomenal changes in the world were lawyers. Let me mention Nelson Mandela and you may want to mention the rest. “We should not allow a revision to the state

of nature, the pre-social contract era by our inability to allow the rule of law to prevail. Lawyers and other citizens have crucial role to play in preventing our society from returning to a condition where life is considered nasty, brutish and short,” Oshita said.

Delta election: DPP candidate petitions ECOWAS court

•Azekwoh

C

AN the Economic Community of West African States Court (ECOWAS Court) close its eyes to cases of rights violation in a member state on the ground that the alleged violation occurred while a local court was considering election related dispute? Can the ECOWAS Court exercise jurisdiction over a case of alleged rights violation brought under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right (ACHPR), even when the alleged violation occurred during election petition proceedings? These are part of issues for consideration as the ECOWAS Court in Abuja considers the objection raised by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) in a suit against the country and the National Judicial Council (NJC) by a Nigerian, Jude Eluemuno Azekwoh, who alleged among others, an unlawful denial of right to fair hearing. Azekwoh accused the defendants of unjustly denying him the opportunity of having his case properly adjudicated upon by the Nigerian judicial system. The plaintiff, who seeks among others, $10million compensation, argued that by their actions or inaction, the defendants violated his rights as guaranteed under Sections 3, 7 and 13 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR). Azekwoh participated in the 2011 Delta North Senatorial election as a candidate of

•Akowa From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

the Democratic People’s Party (DPP), where Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa of the People’s Democratic Party ((PDP) was announced winner. Dissatisfied with the election’s outcome, Azekwoh went before the Electoral Tribunal. The tribunal struck out his petition on the ground that his application for the pre-trial session was not by way of motion. He proceeded to the Appeal Tribunal at the Court of Appeal, Benin, Edo State where he said his appeal was unfairly dismissed. He said his recourse to the ECOWAS Court was because of the alleged failure of the NJC, an agency of the Federal Government, with controls the nation’s judiciary, to act on the petitions written by his lawyer, Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), asking the NJC to look into the case. Okpeseyi had, in one of the petitions, stated that Azekwoh’s “petition was sacrificed on the altar of technicalities” at both the tribunal and the appeal levels, thereby, leaving unresolved, the questions he raised about the competence of the PDP candidate, who now occupies the disputed senatorial seat. “The decision and approach of the panel of justices of the Court of Appeal, Benin, in respect of this matter, violently violated our client’s right to fair hearing, compromised his appeal and has occasioned miscarriage of

justice,” Okpeseyi said in one of the petitions, copies of which formed part of the documents at the court Azekwoh argued that where his appeal was “dismissed for no reason in law and in fact, without hearing, ”his right to equality before the law, protection of the law, fair hearing and right to participate in government, guaranteed by the ACHPR, have been violated. He is praying the ECOWAS court to declare: * That his right to equality before the law and protection was violated as the Appeal Court in Benin allegedly refused to hear his appeal petition on no justifiable legal or factual ground; *That his rights, as a Nigerian and citizen of ECOWAS, to have his case heard at the appellate level of the country’s court and be accorded fair hearing, were violated when the Court of Appeal, Benin refused to hear his appeal no: CA/B/EPT/230/2011; *That the failure of the NJC to act on his petitions, has resulted in the continuing breach of his right to fair hearing and freedom to participate in the government contrary to Articles 7 and 13 of the ACHPR. The government, through the office of the AGF has objected to the hearing of the suit, arguing among others, that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the suit as presently constituted. It raised four grounds of objection. It is the government’s contention that the subject matter of the suit is based on election petition, over which the court lacked “the requisite jurisdiction to hear and/or adjudicate”that the decision of the Nigerian Court of Appeal in the matter is final, the appellate court being the final domestic court with jurisdiction over election petitions under the country’s Constitution. It further contends that the ECOWAS Court was without jurisdiction to adjudicate on a suit already heard and finally disposed of by the Nigerian court, and that the plaintiff’s claims do not disclose any cause of action against it (the Nigerian government). The Nigerian government urged the court

to decline jurisdiction and strike out the case. The plaintiff, in his counter-affidavit, faulted the objection by the government out of time and its application for extension of time to file the objection. He observed that the government (named as the 1st defendant) failed to plead the political aspect of the case, which it referred to and on which basis it urged the court to decline jurisdiction. “Preliminary objection brought without pleadings (statement of defence) being made available to the court is in the nature of demurrer, a process which is no longer allowed in all jurisdiction in Nigeria and worldwide because judges must look at what was before them in order to give considered opinion on preliminary point of law in objection to the proceedings,” Azekwoh said. He raised four issues for the court’s consideration. They include: * Whether subject matters arising from political and legal dispensation in a member country that violates the fundamental rights of citizens and the provisions of ACHPR shall not be heard by the ECOWAS Court simply because of their origin in politics and law; *Whether a citizen of a member nation of ECOWAS is not entitled to remedy under Article 3 and 7 of the ACHPR if the judicial process of his country by action or inaction, made it impossible for his cause to be heard; *Whether a citizen of member country, whose appeal in court that may lead him to a legislative seat at his country’s parliament has not had his right under Article13 of the ACHPR violated if the appellate court in his country refuses to hear his appeal and why in that circumstance this court (ECOWAS Court) should not assume jurisdiction upon application for remedy brought before it and *Whether the 1st defendant’s (Nigerian government’s) application, by way of notice of preliminary objection, is not in the nature of demurrer, having deprived the court of sufficient facts to rely on, is not thereby defective and liable to be dismissed. Parties, having filed and exchanged the necessary processes are expecting to be issued hearing notice by the court.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

LEGALOPINION Lagos lawyer, Chief Frank Agbedo examines the effect of the new rules which encourage parties to frontload claims and counter claims.

The new face of advocacy in Nigerian Courts

T

HE luxury of pleasing others, enjoyed alike by actors, singers, and lecturers, is shared by lawyers.”Judge J.w.Donovan. An advocate is a person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law, while advocacy refers to the active espousal of peoples’ causes before constituted authorities. Advocacy has been described as an art without a school, except that of experience. The origin of bar advocacy as a critical component in the administration of justice dated back to the medieval times with the advent of modern civilisation which had propelled the establishment of courts of law as alternative to the erstwhile state of savagery where every man was law onto himself and only the fittest survived. This paradigm shift had created the necessity for a kind of watch-dog to ensure that the rights of those who lay down their arsenal and turn to the law courts with their grievances for justice are fully protected in accordance with the law of the land. The concept was, therefore, predicated upon the belief that since the ordinary citizen lacked the courage and requisite skill to navigate the labyrinth of a court trial, the intervention of an advocate-being a person skilled in the art of pleading the cause of others in a court of law, was vital to the realisation of the objectives for which the law courts were established. The art of advocacy, characterised by sartorial elegance, rhetorical prowess and forensic eloquence, had always held great attraction and enchantment to litigants, lawyers and judges alike. But advocacy means much more than mere rhetoric. In the words of the late Oputa JSC, “Advocacy is more than mere oratory, it is more than sensational rhetoric. It has its art, its duties and its functions and its peculiar characteristics.” Once upon a time, in Nigeria, a good number of people from all strata of society, regularly thronged the court rooms, located across the nation, to watch notable legal luminaries mesmerize themselves with legal fireworks, oratorical prowess and dazzling eloquence, while presenting their cases before the court, to the admiration and at times muted ovation of their clients and onlookers. That was an era not only in Nigeria, but also in the British Commonwealth, when oratorical ability was seen and perceived as the trademark of brilliance and success at the Bar. We had such great and legendary advocates who bestrode our legal firmament like the colossus. Recall such heavy weights in law, like Chief Rotimi Williams, fondly called, “Timi The Law” and noted for his legendary forensic eloquence; Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the fiery litigator and implacable fighter for human rights; Sir Clement Akpangbo; Chief Chike Chigbue; JIC Taylor; Sir Louis Mbanefo and Chief J.O.K A jayi, all of blessed memory and many who are still alive and plying their trade, but in a new dimension. Oftentimes, owing to the allure and public acclaim associated with advocacy and rhetorical prowess, the advocate usually deviates from his noble duty to render diligent, conscientious and efficient service not only to his client, but also to the court and the society in general, and embarks on needless pontification and excessive legalism thereby leading to inordinate delay in the conduct of proceedings and the slow pace in the dispensation of justice. In the words of Nweze JCA, an eminent jurist, “Such was the landscape of litigation that the rules of court almost wore the toga of inviolability. In that setting, the temple of justice could

G

UARANTY Trust Bank (GTB) Plc has appealed against a ruling by the Fed eral High Court in Lagos vacating its order to preserve the assets of a company, BSS Steel Rolling Mills Limited, which is under a receiver/manager. The bank is seeking to recover a N346 million debt from a Lagos businessman, Otunba Ayoola Abioye, said to own the company. The bank, through its lawyer Mr Norrison Quakers (SAN), has also filed an application urging the court to restrain Abioye or his agents from taking steps, based on the ruling, which could prejudice its constitutional right to seek redress at the Court of Appeal. A GTBank official Soga Adewale stated in a supporting affidavit that by offer letters dated May 11, 2009; June 30, 2009 and March 2, 2010, the bank, at Abioye’s request, granted various loan facilities amounting to N400 Million for the importation of iron

be likened to abattoirs: where legal practitioners, employing the principal tools of their trade, namely, “the whirligig of technicalities” daily butchered substantial issues in their “fencing game in which parties engaged themselves in an exercise of outsmarting each other.” The old rules of court had aided and abetted the unwholesome resort to this “whirligig of technicalities” by lawyers as judges by virtue of their strict role as ringside umpires only, were compelled to yield the fate of court proceedings to the whims and caprices of the parties and their counsel, who were at liberty to dictate the pace of the proceeding without judicial interference, causing serious impediment to trials. Consequently, while admitting the pristine role of good advocacy to the attainment of even justice and the growth of our judicature, there became a necessity for a paradigm shift in advocacy to jettison those old stereotypes and idiosyncrasies of litigation counsel that were inimical to justice, to pave the way for a new regime of advocacy where substantial justice as against technical justice should hold sway. A new regime of advocacy, therefore, became an imperative, if these grave concerns were to be redressed and hence the legislative intervention by a good number of states in Nigeria, through substantial amendment to the provisions of their Civil Procedure Rules, aimed at promoting judicial efficiency by curtailing the excesses of counsel in the name of bar advocacy, resulting in denial of justice and the denigration of the integrity and image of the judiciary. These new rules of court introduced some highly innovative features to checkmate avenues for abuse of court process, prevalent under the old rules, such as the requirement of frontloading of trial processes, pre-trial or case management conferences, scheduling of proceedings, Written Addresses, Limitation in oral submissions, Restrictions on adjournments and amendment of processes, Requirement of written as opposed to oral submissions in all application including final addresses, ADR mechanisms etc. The striking significance of these revolutionary provisions is that Judges have now become dominus litis, meaning that they are now the masters of the proceedings, in their court, with powers to generally manage and control cases before them with their judicial binoculars, unlike under the previous regime of rules where litigants through their counsel determined the manner and speed of proceedings, in courts, resulting in endless litigations. Most of the states in Nigeria, have therefore adopted the use of written advocacy or brief writing as opposed to oral advocacy, under their new civil procedure rules, as a means of discouraging oral advocacy in court, which had lent itself to abuse through circumlocution of counsel in most cases. It is, therefore, obvious that the intendment of these new rules is to promote a just, efficient and speedy dispensation of justice, devoid of undue delay and unnecessary expenses, including assisting parties towards amicable settlement of their disputes. With this new regime of written advocacy, the era of inundating the courts with lengthy oral submissions and addresses by counsel, usually punctuated by copious references to loads of law reports and practice books, strategically positioned in front of the judge, and aimed more at intimidating litigants, opposing counsel and judges alike, than promoting the cause of justice, has gone for good. Prof. Achike JSC, a great jurist of blessed memory, once held ‘Today mastery of brief

•Agbedo

writing is mandatory to all legal practitioners who seek audience in the superior courts in the country. A legal practitioner will today not be allowed to display his brilliance in oral advocacy, unless he has shown proficiency and presented a meaningful brief.” But it is also germane not to discount the admonition of Nweze C.C. JCA, another great jurist of prodigious intellect, in his recent publication on the new advocacy regime, where he posited that although the clear dominance of advocacy in brief writing over oral advocacy has come to stay, but brief writing as an art like oral advo-

cacy, still calls for the mastery of the case. In the final analysis, what operates in the mind of litigants when approaching the courts with their complaints is not to be entertained by the legal wizardry and circumlocution of counsel, but the search for pure and undiluted justice, and once this aim is defeated, he goes home dejected feeling that justice had been slaughtered on the alter of technicality. This inflicts serious dent on the image of the court as the last hope of the common man in the quest of justice. • Agbedo is an author and Principal Partner at Crown Law Chambers, Lagos.

LEGAL DIARY

NBA Young lawyers hold summit

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Young lawyers will hold its annual summit from June 25 -27 at the Ceremonial Pavilion of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Maitama, Abuja. It has the theme: Building partnerships and managing client relationship: keys to a successful legal career. A statement by its chairman Mr. Paul Daudu and secretary Mr. Okey Leo Ohagba, says the conference would highlight keys to ssuccessful legal practice.

Debt recovery: Bank appeals ruling By Joseph Jibueze

rods. According to the bank, the facilities had a two-year tenor, including three months’ moratorium. They were secured by an All Assets Deed of Debenture over all the company’s fixed and floating assets; and a tripartite legal mortgage on a property located at 25 Sehinde Crescent Oshodi, owned by the company’s Vice Chairman Ayoola Abioye. Other security for the loan included tripartite legal mortgages on a five bedroom duplex located at 24C, Victoria Garden City, Victoria Island; a property owned by one Samuel Ariyo situated at 191 Igbosere Road,

Lagos, and Abioye’s personal guaranty. The bank claimed that the company defaulted in its repayment of the loan facilities and could not meet up with its obligations. It said the company is indebted to it to the tune of N346,798,405.96 as at January 2012, while interest continued to accrue on the principal loan sum. In view if the defendant’s alleged failure to pay its debts, the bank appointed Quakers as a receiver/manager to take over and preserve the assets of BSS Steel Rolling Mills covered by the Deed of Debenture to enable the bank recover the debt. The bank accused Abioye, being the company’s alter ego, of failing to make

good his promise of paying the loan in the event that the company is unable to pay. However, Abioye, in a counter affidavit, denied almost all the bank’s allegations, stating that the N400million loan granted by the bank was for different purposes and at different times. He said it was not true that as at January 2012, the company had defaulted so much that it had an indebtedness of N346, 798,405.96. Abioye said a forensic analysis of all the payments made by the company showed that the bank overcharged the company to the tune of N248, 779, 903.99. The trial judge, Justice Muhammed Idris, adjourned till June 6 for hearing.


Newspaper of the Year

AN 8-PAGE PULLOUT ON NORTHERN STATES

TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

PAGE 29

Living on Cameroonian border

•PAGE 30

VVF: Coalition against a scourge •PAGE 31

•Afizere cultural group

Jos cultural feast defies insecurity R

ESIDENTS of Jos, the Plateau State capital, have spurned the forces of violence in the state and showcased a most memorable cultural feast. The various tribes that make up the state turned out in their traditional gear, bringing to the present a living picture of the past. Bare-chested Berom youths showed up with their bows and arrows, complete with their quivers and charm pouches. The Afizere paraded pouches of their own but also pots of green leaves in the manner of their forebears. A maiden walked by with a calabash dexterously balanced on her head, with two small hollowedout gourds covered her chest. It was an outing that made a statement: Jos residents were tired of violence and were happy to live in peace with one another despite coming from various tribal backgrounds. To

Children’s Day of terror •PAGE 34

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

sustain the peace, several groups have been talking and sticking to their peace plans. That accounted for the peace that prevailed in the state capital for about two years, although occasional clashes took place outside the tin city. It was six days after the cultural feast that the terrorists hit Jos, killing over 100 people. The residents came out to mark the International Day of the Museum celebrated worldwide on May 16. It is a day set aside to celebrate culture and save it from extinction. However, the annual programme was taken beyond merely marking an event. Ethnic groups in the state elevated it to a cultural carnival. People came out to showcase their culture and tradition in a way that

•Jarawa dancers

‘It was an outing that made a statement: Jos residents were tired of violence and were happy to live in peace with one another despite coming from various tribal backgrounds’ seemed to ignite a kind of competition among the groups. Jos itself has often been described as a miniature Nigeria due to its com-

position of the tribes residing in the city. Every other tribe in Nigeria can •Continued on page 30

Drivers get ultimatum on registration •PAGE 35


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

30

THE NORTH REPORT

Jos cultural feast defies insecurity •Continued from page 29 be found there in large numbers, and the tribes used the opportunity provided by the anniversary to showcase the richness of their cultures. The Idoma, Igala, Yoruba, Igbira, Igbo, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Tiv were there, among others. Indigenous Plateau ethnic groups wore leaves to symbolise their historical mode of dressing before the advent of Western civilization. Notable among the leaf-wearing peoples are the Berom, Afizere and Irigwe tribes. Some other native tribes were seen dressed in animal skin, which showed the people in their ancient days. It also showcased them as great hunters of large animals. Others wielded spears and arrows to demonstrate their war prowess in precolonial days. Some of them sported a bushy hair style of early Stone Age generations. That day the Jos Museum, in the central area of the city, hosted its largest gathering of people in recent times. Each ethnic group took their turn to display their cultural dances. The dressing of each cultural group alone was the first sign of identifying each ethnic group. The cultural carnivals also attracted tourists from overseas some of whom were seen applauding the varieties of cultural displays. They took photographs. One of the tourists, Edmond Mark, said, “We are so pleased to be part of this cultural carnival. To me, the country is richly endowed with varieties of cultures which make the

•Berom hunters

•A virgin in cultural gear..

country and its people unique. We don’t have such rich culture in Europe and America, the dance steps, very attractive; it is full of entertainment.” The Tiv people appeared in their traditional black and white colours ; the Idoma group in their red and black, the Berom in their renowned red and green. The Igala tribe, Anaguta, Afizere, Irigwe, Angas, Tarok and several others could be clearly identified in their traditional colours. It was one event that brought together the indigenous tribes and the settlers together in the fully forested environment of the Jos museum. There were also a cultural group from neighbouring Bauchi State. They are of the Jarawa tribe with similar cul-

•Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, Yiljab Abraham at the carnival

tural identity with the Afizere of Jos. They also participated in the carnival to prove their cultural and ethnic affinities with the Afizere ethnic group of Jos. The curator, National Museum Jos Mrs. Annah Dunkrah set the ball rolling with her welcome address when she said, “Jos museum has assumed a position of confluence of cultures and

•The Tarok

heritage displays for museums all over the country; the anniversary is celebrated like a Christmas Day in Jos. She said, “This year’s celebration is tagged ‘Museum collections make connections’ Indeed the museum cannot exist without its collections and these collections are our cultural heritage which links present generations of people with their ancient cultures. These collections connect generations to generations just as they connect the present to the past.” In a goodwill message, Director general, national commission for museums and monuments, Mallam Yusufu Abdallah Usman said, “The celebration, which is an annual event is an occasion to raise awareness on the importance of museum in the development of every society. He said, “This is achieved through collecting, researching and exhibiting collections with the aim of preserving important historical relics, yet communicating in modern day language.” Speaking further, Mallam Abdallah said: “Museums are living institutions that help create relationships between visitors, generations and cultures around the world. This bond fosters better relationships in dealing with illicit trafficking of our cultural ob-

ject, repatriation of objects and partnership in different areas. “Museums are constantly facing challenges that bring them to consider the execution of their traditional mission of conservation and protection of cultural goods within new strategies so as to attract more visitors and ensure accessibility to collections. Thus, many museums revamp the traditional method of preservation of their collections in order to involve communities where the museums are sited and remains in constant contact with the public. “The museum being an institution that preserves the past is yet fully grounded in the present. Its essence is to serve as a link between generations as it allows present and future generations to better comprehend their origins and history. Its link with the present also ensures that collections are used to address contemporary societal problems. “Thus museums in the Network of the national commission for museums and monuments organize exhibitions and other educational outreach programs around themes that help their various communities to diagnose their problems and offer solutions. Issues of health, security, ethics, poverty alleviation, skills acqui-

Living on Cameroonian nian border E

VEN before the horrors of Boko Haram, life on the Nigeria-Cameroun border was very harsh. Gamboru and Ngala, two communities on the border, scarcely have any fond memories of Nigerian government, from the local, state to federal. Many of the •The bridge bombed by the insurgents residents, especially the elderly, live in abject poverty. From Kayode Bodunrin, Maiduguri Also, when Lake Chad overflows its banks, Gamboru and 1970s when Alhaji Shehu Shagari Ngala residents as well as their was president. Perhaps, this led counterparts in such communities the people of old Borno into opas Kukawa, Abadon, Gubio, position politics, a development Magumeri, Marte and Kalabangi that some say has yielded them are cut off from humanity. At this little or no dividends from the point, their only sources of relief federal authorities. are their Kanuri kinsfolk on the Sources told The Nation that other side of the border. They Borno has long suffered in the manage to cross into Cameroun hands of federal authorities beand dwell with their cousins until cause it has been opperating the waters recede. In fact, consid- within the ranks of the progresering their neglect, some of them sive elements in the North. pray for an opportunity to be Several attempts have been ceded to Cameroun. made to complete the road. For To get to Gamboru, one must be instance, President Olusegun prepared to traverse over 130km Obasanjo tried but could not comstretch of rough road which termi- plete it till he left office and no nates at a point after Dikwa about other president has been able to 90km from Maiduguri. The road take the bull by the horns and comworsens after Dikwa, forcing com- plete this very vital federal road muters to meander through sand on which billions of dollars of to avoid being stuck. This road has goods are ferried everyday to been abandoned since the late Central and West African coun-

•Governor Shettima on a vist to the damaged bridge

tries. Because of neglect, the erosion process which occurs annually when the lake Chad overflows its banks has destroyed most of the bridge pillars fixed along the remaining stretch of about 30 to 40km that connects Dikwa and the other border towns. Most of these towns have been deserted economically but Gamboru retained its robust self till the insurgents struck recently reducing the traders to nothing and killing both young and old for collaborating with western development and education which is a taboo to them. “Of course, there are no Customs or Immigration check points because they would have been wiped out by Boko Haram. The military never envisaged this 50 years ago which is why there are no serious battalions lining these areas. Even with the creation of the 7th Division, we do not think anything will change at all.

“There is no stamp of Nigerian authority here because the kings of the Sambisa, Boko Haram, are in charge and most of our people [when under threat] run down to Maiduguri for their lives,” said Yunisa Marte who spoke to this reporter inside the razed-down Gomboru market where he sells sun-dried fish. Travelling on the convoy of Governor Kashim Shettima, it was very glaring that the previously besieged Mafa local government headquarters wore a new look after several government and private structures were burnt by desperate insurgents. All the burnt structures had been replaced with blue roofs, meaning that the government had acted swiftly with its committees to ensure that the people do not sleep outside in the open for too long after the damage caused by Boko Haram.

Most of the home owners have courageously returned but several are still scared of the insurgents who struck at Mafa, wasting their loved ones particularly women and children. Mafa has been one of the playgrounds of the insurgents, making life most miserable for residents who will not run away to Maiduguri as we noticed in several villages and towns along the highway. Even the local government secretariat has been given a new lease of life but the police men in Mafa still do their duties under trees because they do not have roofs in their homes. The neglect of the area by the federal authorities show that the police station is still a shadow of itself as it has been abandoned by the occupants after the insurgents dealt dangerous blows to the fa-


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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THE NORTH REPORT

•The VVF ward donated by Nigeria Breweries Plc in 2010..TAkowe vvf

sition, social cohesion etc are routinely addressed by our museums as they make themselves relevant to the society. “Looking at this year’ international museums day celebration theme which is ‘museum collections make connections’ it emphasizes more on the collaboration between museums worldwide and their importance in cultural exchange and knowledge of the world cultures” said Mallam Abdallah. Plateau State Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, Abraham Yiljap who represented the Governor Jonah David Jang said, “Beyond the celebration of the international day of the museum, the carnival was a reflection of a people celebrating the return to peace in Plateau State. This carnival , to me is a display of love, unity and cultural diversity” Yiljap pleaded with citizens of the state to allow the cultural affinity to reflect in their daily lives in such a manner that will promote and sustain peace, unity and coexistence as a people. He assured citizens of the state that the current administration in the state will elevate culture and tourism to international status.

cility. Policemen now mingle incognito among residents for obvious reasons. The Nation observed that even though the road is passable from Maiduguri to the Dikwa axis, the federal government has to hurry up to give the people a sense of belonging. These people have suffered for too long from neglect and most of them right up to Gamboru are living below the poverty line. Just before we drove into Ngala, we observed a major devastation caused by Boko Haram who blew up part of the bridge connecting the border communities to other of the state. Their intention was obviously to dismember the bridge completely but for some reasons, part of it was passable for the convoy of the governor in which this reporter and others including the BBC crew was riding.

F

OR Maimuna, multiple tragedies came early in life. She was not quite 14 when she was forced to marry a man she had never met. Soon after, she got pregnant but the baby died at delivery. Then, she went down with vesico-vaginal fistula or VVF and was taken to hospital. Her father compelled her to marry a 29-year-old man a few days to her 14th birthday. She never had any foreknowledge of the marriage; she was only informed after the ceremonies regarding her marriage had been concluded. Maimuna was quoted as saying that marriage was never on her mind, and that she was surprised when her friends informed her at the stream that people had gathered in their house for her marriage ceremony. “I thought they were joking, she said. “A few moments later, some older women came to tell me that I should go to my aunt’s house for a meeting. That was when I was told that my marriage had just been concluded and that I was now a wife. I asked my friends who the husband was and I was told.” Maimuna is among the over two million people globally living with VVF, and for no fault of theirs. The National Strategic Framework, which is committed to the eradication of the disease, says that there are between 12,000 and 20,000 new cases of VVF every year in Nigeria. The Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Nigeria, Ms. Ratidzi Ndhlovu said Nigeria accounts for over one third of the global burden of fistula, adding that “these numbers are not acceptable, not when fistula is all but eliminated from the developed world”. This is corroborated by medical experts from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria who argued that “from available information, Nigeria has the highest number of VVF in the world”. VVF was reported by Derry in 1935 after an examination of the mummified remains of Egyptian Queen Henhenit (11th Dynasty, 2050 BC). Since then, the disease has remained a challenge for gynaecologists. Fortunately, the diagnosis and surgical management of vesico-vaginal fistulas are associated with high cure rates if performed by qualified surgeons. A recent study in Nigeria revealed that about 9% of girls suffering from fistulas married before menarche. Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged, obstructed labour due to lack of timely and adequate medical care, leaving the woman with devastating injury (a fistula) that renders her incontinent. This condition harms women physically, socially and economically, and often leads to isolation from families and communities, thereby deepening their poverty and worsening their sufferings. Sufferers of the ailment are easy to distinguish them from other people. They usually carrying little buckets with a little string in between their legs. Such buckets usually contain liquids. In Kaduna State, they are usu-

•Some VVF patients at the Gambo Sawaba General Hospital in 2010..TAkowe vvf

VVF: Coalition against a scourge From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

ally found at the Gambo Sawaba General Hospital where there is a VVF Centre equipped by Nigerian Breweries Plc with support from Heineken African Foundation. The Nation was informed that Rotary International and the Federal Ministry of Health have also played a great role in ensuring that victims of this ailment receive adequate care. In July 2010, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Nicolaas Vervelde said at the commissioning of the centre that about 95 per cent of VVF cases were found in Africa. Vervelde said over two million women suffer from the disease globally, with about 95 per cent in Africa, adding that more and more women are developing VVF as a result of complications during childbirth especially among young women and those not attended to by qualified midwives. He also disclosed that the company was working out a training plan for two in-house surgeons to ensure the sustainability of the VVF operations in the hospital as well as support the training of traditional birth attendants to enable them better attend to women with limited access to the hospital. The company went through with its promise and sent two medical doctors to the Netherlands for training and were supposed to work with the state government for at least two years on their return. The United Nation has declared May 23 every year as the International day to end Obstetric Fistula. The Nigerian government has taken special interest in the ailment and designated three VVF centres as National Obstetric Fistula Centres form prevention, treatment, training and research. Speaking at the commemoration of the International day to end obstetric fistula in Kaduna, Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu said that “the prevention and treatment of obstetric fistula is a priority for the federal government as part of its commitment to improve the maternal reproductive health indices. Evidence abound that prevention is the key and as such, government working through the Midwives Service Scheme and SURE-P MCH programme have ensured the availability of functional PHC to guarantee skilled birth attendants and supply of essential maternal health commodities for the provision of quality antenatal care, clean safe delivery and postnatal care for women and children”. The Minister said further that “Presently, for the treatment of VVF, there are 15 VVF centres out of which the federal government has designated three as National Obstetric fistula centres for prevention, treatment, train-

‘A few moments later, some older women came to tell me that I should go to my aunt’s house for a meeting. That was when I was told that my marriage had just been concluded and that I was now a wife. I asked my friends who the husband was and I was told’ ing and research. Furthermore, government is repositioning commitment to give succour, hope and life back to VVF victims under the Transformation Agenda.” On her part, the UNFPA Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Ratidzai Ndhlovu said “Nigeria is contributing over one-third of the global burden of fistula. These numbers are not acceptable, not when fistula is all but eliminated from the developed world”. She noted that “the consequences of fistula are devastating – it leaves those affected ashamed, ostracised and in many cases alone, which further deepens their poverty and magnifies their suffering. For UNFPA, where we work to ensure no woman dies while giving life, it is also our commitment that no woman should be injured while giving life. To address the neglected health and human rights violation of obstetric fistula, UNFPA, together with partners around the world, launched the global campaign to end fistula. With support from UNFPA, 47,000 women and girls have undergone fistula repair surgery. Partner organisations have provided treatment to many more women and girls living with fistula.” While calling for action from both the government, civil society, Community and Faith based organisations as well as the media to end the ailment, she said “government should strengthen health systems to ensure the prevention of high quality maternal health care that is accessible to all women, ensure free or highly subsidised delivery care and caesarean sections and a fully functional data management system for the collection of data including notification of fistula cases the promotion of and support of girls’ enrolment and retention in school. Government should also integrate fistula treatment into free antenatal care and delivery plan, taking services closer to vulnerable women, equipping all treatment centres with appropriately and continuously offer free treatment as well as strengthen government owned skill acquisition centres and link with fistula treatment centres to empower survivors. Wife of the Kaduna State governor, Hajia Fatima Mukthar Yero argued

that obstetric fistula is a preventable and in most cases, treatable childbirth injury that leaves women incontinent, ashamed and often isolated from their communities. “It occurs when a woman or girl suffers prolonged, obstructed labour without timely access to an emergency caesarean section,” she said. Mrs Yero wants the world to reach a consensus and draw up a regional strategic plan with concrete actions on how we can mobilise resources to prevent obstetric fistula, treat the hundreds of thousands of survivors and rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society. The successful treatment of fistula cases depend largely on the availability of trained, specialised and highly committed experts and surgeons, nurses and other support staff. In 2011 about 54 doctors and 66 nurses were trained through the collaboration of the UNFPA on the management of Obstetric fistula in the country, while the government took steps to address the lack of budgetary allocation to the treatment of VVF cases. It budgeted N300 million in 2010 and N160 million in 2012 for this purpose. However, investigations revealed that there is no budget line for VVF treatment at the state level. A gynaecologist and Technical Adviser at Development Communications (DevComs) Network, Dr. Olalekan Olaniyan, says early marriage, illiteracy, ignorance and poverty exposes women to obstetric fistula. He argued that poor health-seeking behaviour, delays in using health facility, delays in reaching health facility, poor health infrastructure (for Caesarean delivery when needed) make the risk of Obstetric fistula even greater. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) believes that obstetric fistula is preventable and can be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; ending harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care. Dr. Olaniyan wants government to improve health systems and social infrastructure, in order to provide prompt caesarean session for women going through prolonged and obstructed labour. He also advocates the alleviation of poverty, illiteracy and end of harmful traditional practices.


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TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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HILDREN this year will mark their day under a different atmosphere. Why? The annual ceremony lost much of its fun and excitement to the troubling realities of insecurity. Children, it is said, are the future and leaders of tomorrow but recently they have been just as terrified as everyone else. They live in terror, a development that has become prominent in the country. Not only adults are wary of attacks; minors also are equally disoriented by the realities of the times. This year’s Children’s Day will never be like those of years past because children are now forced to celebrate in fear, with the news of insurgency and attacks in several parts of the country. The abduction of their peers in Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State was a sore point, which has traumatised even those far away from the kidnap scene. Many children interviewed by our correspondent confirmed that they will not be attending the children’s day celebration because of their fear of Boko Haram. A non-governmental organisation, yellowjerrycan, a save a child, lend a hand foundation organised a children’s day celebration even though it was not the date, for children of some public primary schools in Abuja, in honour of children who lost their lives to insurgency and bring hope to those displaced by flood. Founder and initiator of yellowjerrycan, and co-anchor of the programme “Kakaaki” Adaora Onyekwere explained that it brings to bear what we are dealing with, which is not just paranoia but also dealing with people who are afraid of their safety not just as families but as individuals. She said that the foundation is focused on the plight of displaced people, displaced by insurgency, natural disaster and demolition and believe that the missing Chibok girls have been one object that gotten global attention which is good in finding them. Onyekwere also said, ”If you see today is the 23rd and not 27th, that brings to bear what we are dealing with, which is not just paranoia but we are also dealing with people who are afraid of their safety not just as families but as individuals. I think that the government should begin listening to this children, you can tell that these children are absorbed in what is happening in the polity, it tells you that, if this country does not get it right in the leadership today, in the next 20 years we will be dealing with children who are also fighting to repair the same dementia that they have been through with the present society. “Ideally we should begin to look at Nigeria’s children who are the future of the nation right now, I don’t care what the President is doing about what his time has been or would be but the time is now and right now we are standing on a time bomb, not just because we are afraid of the insurgency or the release of the Chibok girls or what the economy speaks of but because we are going to be dealing with children who are going to be working round to change the psychic that leadership is not about politics, power or corruption. “It is a message to every other Nigerian out there that you do not have to be the President or politician to make an impact in the society; you can start where you are. I believe that being on the show Kakaki has also given me the platform to speak up for other Nigerians who do not have the voice. For yellowjerrycan every child counts.

•The kids capture the horror of hour

Children’s Day of terror ‘Many children interviewed by our correspondent confirmed that they will not be attending the children’s day celebration because of their fear of Boko Haram’ From Grace Obike

She also added, “This event is an annual event, primarily to bring children from public schools together because they are the ones who understand public life, the ones who probably go to school on their own and take public transport and who probably do not even have parents that they live with. “These children are still trying to get an education and need to be part of the process of raising a voice for displaced people. Some of our children have been lost to insurgency, some have been lost to flood, and some are still missing like the Chibok girls. So this is in solidarity with what we are doing to support the Federal Government and to also show the parents of this missing

girls that we are together with you and that regardless of what happens, this is strength of unity in diversity and that is for me the primary message.” Audience at the celebration had goose bumps after the Director Public Relations Officer of the Department of State Services (DSS) Marilyn Ogah had finished speaking to the children on measures to ensure security around their environment, she asked them to ask her questions on probably how to get jobs in the DSS when they grow up or ensure better security of their lives and loved ones, seven year old Chinonso rose up his hands. Believing that he was going to ask her questions in line with her options, she pointed at him but all the little boy asked was, “please ma, when are you people going to return the Chibok girls back to their parents?” Ogah said, “we want the girls back and alive so we will not be confronting the terrorists with force to ensure that the girls are not hurt or put in danger but i promise that we will bring them back.” It was obvious from the mood of the children at the event that they no longer feel safe and that their greatest fear was of Boko Haram. Shy 9 year old, Nkechi Ikenna said, “a child is someone who lives and is not suppose to suffer, a child is suppose to live to see the future and become a leader of tomorrow . i enjoy being a child in Nigeria but these days I’m scared.” 11 year old Yadah Imana, President of Nigerian Children Ambassadors, when asked about how it feels to be a Nigerian child said, “its nice being Nigerian but these days,

the children of Nigeria are not safe because we are afraid of kidnapping and bomb blasts. My prayer is for the children abducted to be found because these are the future leaders of tomorrow.” Another 11 year old fashion designer, Bethel Amadin said, “Nigeria is a very beautiful place and rich but the only thing is that our government is not using the money well but I’m still happy to be a Nigerian. I was inspired into becoming a fashion designer to enable me help the less privileged in the society, i have an NGO and when i hold my usual fashion show cases, last year i recruited about 100 children to be involved in my show but this year I’m not so sure because iv not started planning, i normally inspire young children by teaching them a little about fashion. “The government should at least meet to the needs of the society, by making sure that there is good security in schools and they should respond to any little thing quickly to avoid any regret latter and they should look out for suspicious people.” 10 year old pupil of Festival road primary school, Abuja Emmanuel Robert, “I’m proud of my country Nigeria because people are happy with themselves and help each other in times of need but now i no longer feel safe because Boko Haram have been bombing and killing people, which is very bad and we should do something about it. I don’t want children to attend the children’s day celebration so that Boko Haram will not kidnap them and use them for rituals” 15 year old musician and director of Nigerian Children Ambassador,

Vera Jude who is also known by her stage name of pretty V, said that she would like to use her talent to help Nigerian children and for it to be a motivating factor to other children around the world. “Being a child in Nigeria at this present time is being under a state of confusion, we face so many challenges. I feel the pains of those girls who are not able to be with their parents at the moment and face the love that other children are feeling. “My heart goes out to them and i pray and i will try with the best of my ability to change the dream of the Nigerian child, so that every Nigerian child has an opportunity to be free and the hope to change Nigeria and we will want the government to encourage us better because as it is, i still don’t know the fate of my fellow girls that were kidnapped. They have to improve on the security measures in schools and make security, something to rely on and not a thing to be afraid of.” Soft spoken, 10 year old Gift Iheme advised that children should try to spend the children’s day, providing for the less privileged in the society, ”I will rather spend the day with the children in orphanages and take along provisions and biscuits to them, i will also love to make beads this year in marking the children’s day celebration to sell around the country. “Boko Haram should not be hurting and fighting people because they don’t like western education because actually, western education is what everyone in the country needs.”


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ABUJA REVIEW

•Vice-President Namadi Sambo (fourth right) with China State Grip Corporation after a meeting with him at the Presidential Villa. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

•Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen (left); Chairman, Dom Communication, Mr Dennis Sami, and Managing Director, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Gabriel Amuchi at 33rd session of Leadership Series in Abuja. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE •FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed (right); Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Woman Leader, Mrs. Kema Chikwe; Minister of State, FCT, Oloye Olajumoke-Akinjide; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and the Minister of Information Labaran Maku who received the Bring Back Our Girls protesters on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•Members, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Jerry Alagbaoso (left); Prof. Ini Udoka and Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie at a meeting on education at National Assembly, Abuja. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Drivers get ultimatum on registration •Chief Edwin Clark (second left); President, Orashi Women Patriotic Front, Hon Joy Nwanoche (right); Adviser, Dr Love Arugu and other members during their visit to Chief Clark in Abuja. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•From Left: Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga; FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed and Minister of Communication and Technology, Omobola Johnson during the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN

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HE Transportation Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has given all unregistered commercial vehicle operators up to October 1 to have their bio-data captured in the secretariat’s data base or be barred from operating within the FCT. Mr. Ifeanyi Ughamadu, Head of Public Relations of the Secretariat explained in a statement a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, that the operators’ bio-data would be captured at the Transportation Secretariat data base, after which the information would be made available in hard and soft copies to agencies and organisations that require such for cross checking of the identities of the licensed taxi operators in their premises. Ughamadu further said residents of the territory should refrain from patronising unregistered and unpainted taxi cabs in the FCT, even as he said that the directive has become necessary following several reported cases of crimes committed against innocent commuters by criminals using unpainted vehicles. “To ensure the safety of commuters in the territory, the Transportation Secretariat has embarked on bio-data capturing of all commercial vehicle operators in the Territory,” he said. He also stated that the suspension of the scheme has not affected the implemented on street parking policy in the FCT. He added that motorists are advised to adhere strictly to the

‘The Transportation Secretariat wishes to remind motorists of the consequences of wrong parking on the FCT roads. He called on them to adhere to the FCT traffic rules so as to make the city a lively place to dwell in…Any vehicle that is parked on the walkways, flower verges, drainage covers and or blocking free traffic movements would be towed away’ From Gbenga Omokhunu

long practices on street parking policy in the city. “The Transportation Secretariat wishes to remind motorists of the consequences of wrong parking on the FCT roads. He called on them to adhere to the FCT traffic rules so as to make the city a lively place to dwell in. “Any vehicle that is parked on the walkways, flower verges, drainage covers and or blocking free traffic movements would be towed away and the vehicle owner will pay for the cost of the removal,” he stated.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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ABUJA REVIEW

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HE deadly attacks of the violent Islamist sect, Boko Haram in the Northeastern part of the country appear to be on an alarming increase from the period Nigeria accepted the offers of assistance from the international community towards rescuing the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by the sect on April 14, 2014 in Chibok, Borno State. President Goodluck Jonathan had, while accepting the offer, expressed optimism that the rescue effort will be the beginning of the end of Boko Haram attacks in the country. But the sect seems bent on letting all hell loose across the Northeastern part of Nigeria with its deadly attacks now taking place in quick succession and almost on a daily basis since the offer of foreign assistance. On Saturday, May 17, the Boko Haram terrorists were said to have killed about 29 people in a market in Ngurosoye Village in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State and abducted 10 Chinese Construction workers in Gwoza. Car bomb explosion in Sabon Gari, Kano State on Sunday, May 18 resulted in loss of lives while havoc was averted in the state the following day as a car bomb stationed at Tafawa Balewa Street in the state was defused. The terrorists again struck on Tuesday, May 20, which resulted in sending many people to their early graves as twin bombs exploded in Jos, the Plateau State capital. Another attack was also carried out by the insurgents the following day near Chibok, Borno State, where the over 200 secondary school girls were abducted by the insurgents. The suspected Boko Haram gunmen were said to have shot dead about 29 farmers in Chukku Nguddoa Village in the state. The question in the minds of many a Nigeria is whether these attacks were meant to punish the government and the people of the country for accepting foreign assistance? Or are they meant to put pressure on the government to consider exchange of its members in government prisons with the school girls? Are the attacks really proving the recent threats by the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau that he was within the Abuja City and would cause more havoc in the country or are they desperate attacks of a drowning sect? Whichever is the case, everything must now be done to stop the bloodbath across the country. Many Nigerians are now living in fear as they don’t know when and where the next bomb will explode. They find it difficult to erase the

Ending the bloodbath From the Villa

pictures and images of the latest fatal blasts etched in their minds from their memories as they hallucinate and wonder if it is safe to board a bus or a cab around the corner of their streets or whether it is safe to go to nearby market for shopping. Nigerians must urgently be saved from this psychological trauma. Based on the fact that so much money is being appropriated yearly for security which aims at fighting terrorism in the past few years and with the war appearing to be far from being won, some security experts want the government to reassess the situation and go for the best options. For a start, they believe that if it is going to be difficult to rescue the school girls and crush the sect with the foreign assistance Nigeria is getting, it may be wise now for the government to start thinking seriously of negotiation with the sect to ensure safe release of the girls and to stop the rampant bloodbath in the country. Many of those pushing for the exchange or swap believe that the school girls should only be exchanged for the wives and children of the insurgents in detention. There are still other Nigerians who believe that the government should, on no account, negotiate

By Augustine Ehikioya

‘Many of those pushing for the exchange or swap believe that the school girls should only be exchanged for the wives and children of the insurgents in detention. There are still other Nigerians who believe that the government should, on no account, negotiate with the sect. Some also believe that there should be a way to use the ‘carrot and stick’ approach to quell the insurgency in the country’ with the sect. Some also believe that there should be a way to use the ‘carrot and stick’ approach to quell the

insurgency in the country. This set of people also wants Nigeria to seriously begin to tackle the

problem of its porous borders irrespective of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Borderless protocol. To them, Nigeria should borrow a leaf from other countries that have built thick and high wall fence round their countries in combination with other high-tech security gadgets that will detect any illegal immigrant coming into the country. The neighbouring countries have not only been used as launching pad to carry out fatal attacks in Nigeria but have also served as routes for illegal importation of arms, ammunition, war tanks and helicopters into Nigeria by the insurgents. Many of the leadership in the neighbouring countries seem, over the years, to be waiting for the downfall of the ‘Giant of Africa’ through the actions of the terrorists. The leaders of Cameroon, Niger, Republic of Benin, Chad and Nigeria, however, in the region’s security meeting held in France on May 17, have resolved to end terrorism in the region and to contribute one battalion of troops for joint border patrols each. While most Nigerians who have been struggling to make ends meet are waiting anxiously on government to guarantee their safety, it is hoped that the new strategies will end the rising bloodbath in the country.

NGO promotes Nigerian culture, language From Frank Ikpefan

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AGER to save the country’s declining culture and values, a nongovernmental organisation, the Teenz Global Foundation (TGF), has organised a contest in drama, culture, dance as well as quiz for students in the Federal Capital Territory in a bid to promote Nigeria’s ethos. About 312 secondary school students drawn from 14 secondary schools in the FCT participated in the competition and each school was represented by 20 students. The students were drawn from Junior Secondary School, Gwarinpa; Junior Secondary School, Asokoro, Divine Medicine Secondary School, Promise Child Secondary School and Anglican Girls’ Grammar School. Founder of the (NGO), Ijeoma Idika-Chima said the organisation is committed to instil love, peace, respect and harmony in Nigerian teens. She lamented the influence of Western cultures which she said are eroding the core values of Nigeria’s cultures, which were once dear to the society. Ijeoma said: “A river that forgets its source would certainly dry up. This is what might become of us if we allow our culture to fizzle out while preferring other cultures. The Teenz Nigeria project is, therefore, a catalyst to changing this negative trend. “We want to promote indigenous languages among Nigerian teenagers. We are also into motivating schools and encouraging the teaching and learning of our local languages. •A Bring-Back-Our-Girls protest at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja. PHOTO: AKIN OLADOKUN


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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LAW & SOCIETY The Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) has reviewed its activities under the outgoing Director-General Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN), who will soon bow out. JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU reports.

‘Azinge bids NIALS farewell’

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OW has the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) fared under its outgoing DirectorGeneral Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN)? Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar (CJN), a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Presient Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) and Prof. Charles Iloegbune, among others, believe the institute has thrived under his leadership. They spoke in Abuja at the maiden State of the Institute and valedictory lecture by Azinge. He spoke on the topic: Law and transformation: NIALS, forensic empiricism and legal pragmatism. Azinge was appointed Director-General in 2009 and has served the mandatory five-year term. He will hand over the baton of leadership to Prof. Deji Adekunle Justice Mukhtar, who is NIALS’ Governing Council chairman, said the many strides achieved during the Azinge era were monumental. According to her, he is one of the most successful administrators since the inception of the institute, adding that his legacies would resonate many years to come. “Your dogged determination for perfection has made you a dynamic force to be reckoned with and as the Chairman of Council I am extremely proud to be part of the history of this great Institution. Under your dispensation NIALS became a brand and as far as legal scholarship is concerned NIALS is at the fore. “The Institute can boast of over 30 peer reviewed legal journals of International repute, the research undertakings by the Institute are truly world class and the findings of these projects are landmarks. The Institute over the years has established platforms for respected political leaders, academic scholars and statesmen worldwide. “These revolutionary public lectures have been highly sought after by the polity. Also, I must mention the strategic roundtable sessions, which have served as platforms on very pertinent national issues. Indeed, these activities have been of great educational benefit to us all,” Justice Muktar said. According to the CJN, it was during Azinge’s tenure that she had the privilege of being part of the 2013 Karibi Whyte Convocation ceremony. “The high point of this ceremony was the graduation of the first set of PhD students. It was truly a memorable event and one that resonates positively for the Nigerian educational system that indeed, one can still acquire his or her doctoral degree within the stipulated time frame of three years in Nigeria,” she said. The Institute, she said, has truly achieved world class standard and has been instrumental in propelling the Institute to astronomical heights. “You have been a channel for change and contributed immensely to the stability of the Institute where we can now announce the Institute as world class. It is for this and other numerous reasons, we are here to wish you the very best as you draw the curtain on a very successful tenure as the Director General of the Institute,” she said. Daudu said Azinge ran a superhuman tenure at the NIALS, adding that what he achieved only takes the grace of God. “I am very happy that he started peace-

fully and has ended on a very very high note. NIALS has never been like this and I am confident that all the person coming in needs to do is to follow the template left by Prof. Azinge. He would be adjudged as being successful or more successful if he merely follows the templates that has been laid down on the record by Prof. Azinge and refines them. “He doesn’t have a difficult task at all because the work has been done. All he needs to do is for the year, how was it arranged? He follows the same thing, if he likes to add to it let him add to it but keep up running with what Prof. Azinge has done, he should not avoid it. “The beauty of it is that they have all been documented, it is all on record so, if I am stepping into his shoes, it makes things very easy for me to be more successful than Prof Azinge,” Daudu said. Iloegbune said Azinge was “a real phenomenon in the Institute.” “He has left a trail, he has left a mark that I highly sympathise with anybody who would like to step into it. But we know Prof Adekunle, who is coming in. He is a very capable man and I am sure that he will be propelled by this enthusiasm that is overwhelming internally and globally. Azinge is great and a gift to Nigeria and I am happy that he has given that gift to us,” he said. Azinge said under his watch, many Lectures series were established, providing platforms for robust scholarly engagement. “The state of the Institute Lecture is therefore, the latest addition to NIALS Lecture Series. It is a platform for me as an outgoing Director-General to highlight clear-cut legal methodology that emerged in researches conducted under my watch. “It is also an opportunity to assess the impact of strategic vision of the Institute under my watch. Here we will evaluate the impact of our roundtables and communiqués flowing there from; our policy dialogues, public lectures and conversations; relevance of our leading peer reviewed specialized journals and book publications; our innovative programmes for aspiring judges and public policy analysis and experts; modified programmes for paralegal officers in our continuing legal education: our PhD programme in legislative drafting; our agenda setting programme and draft of bills to address critical sectors of our national life, ranking of law faculties; conferment of Fellowships and admission into NIALS Hall of Fame, community service that finds expression in Public Service Award and support to secondary Institutions, establishment of endowment of Professorial Chairs and more significantly, the integrity of being acknowledged as Nigeria’s law abode.” After highlighting his numerous achievements, Azinge urged NIALS staff to support Adekunl. “I hereby extend my hand of fellowship to him and pledge my support and loyalty to his leadership. May I also appeal to all members of staff to please give all your support to the new Director-General. My prayer is that his tenure will be fruitful and even more successful than mine. “I also pray that under his leadership, NIALS will move to the next level and all over the world the institute will be truly recognized as ‘Nigeria’s Law Abode’.

•From left: Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore; Justice Mukhtar and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammed Lawal Uwais (CJN) (rtd).

•From left: Incoming NIALS Director-General Prof. Deji Adekunle, Secretary to the National Conference. Dr. Valerie Azinge (SAN) and her husband Prof. Azinge.

•From left: Justice Mary-Peter Odili (JSC), Chairman Law Reform Commission, Prof. O.A. Osunbor and Chief Edwin Clark.

•From left: Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN) and Joash Amupitan.

Court to hear N100m suit against CAC today

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USTICE Kafarati of Federal High Court 2 sitting in Abuja, will today hear a 100 million Naira suit filled by Abuja based lawyer, Mr. Felix Ashimole against the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Ashimole Felix(Che Oyinatumba) is challenging his de-registration by the CAC saying that the action was done with impunity because he challenged the inept service delivery and corruption in the commission. When the matter came up for hearing on Monday 28th April 2014, at Federal High Court 2 Abuja, CAC was not in Court and

was not represented by Counsel hence, the matter was adjourned to today. The Management of CAC had suit FHC/ABJ/ CS/720/2011, approached the Court to declare Ashimole Felix Chukwu insane and commit him to asylum. The trial Judge, Justice Bilikisu Bello Aliyu of Federal High Court 6, dismissed CAC’s suit stating that the cause of action of the Plaintiff in the suit is unreasonable and the court had no jurisdiction to determine it. The court found merit in the objection of the defendant and upheld it. That the court had no jurisdiction to determine this suit

•From left: General Counsel, Seretary and Legal Adviser FCT, Ima Okpongete, Prof. Paul Idornigie, Mrs. Rita Chris-Garba and Mrs Mercy Agbamuche.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

LAW & SOCEITY

•Adekoya

•Alegeh

•President Ofu Okaiwu Lagos, Zik Obi II

NBA Presidency: Adekoya, Alegeh woo Igbo lawyers

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WO aspirants for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidency in the forthcoming elections, Mrs. Funke Adekoya (SAN) and Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN) at the weekend attended the monthly meeting of Otu Oka-Iwu Lagos to seek support for their bids. Otu Oka-Iwu is a union of lawyers of Igbo extraction. Addressing the meeting, Adekoya condoled with the union on the death of one of its elders, Chief Theodore Ezeobi (SAN) and Chief Ralph Uwechue, brother to another elder of the union, Chief George Uwechue (SAN). She noted that Ezeobi was a courageous lawyer who spoke the truth to power, adding that he was a “ready ally” in raising critical issues that touched on the integrity and independence of the Bar. Adekoya informed the union of her intention to contest the NBA presidency, adding: “If we are to tell ourselves the truth, the association is declining. The things that our Bar Association should be doing for us are so many and so simple; but we are not doing them. And I think they are not doing them because those who seek office have not given them sufficient thought.” She said many NBA members are unhappy with the hike in practicing fees and Annual General Conference fees, adding: “Many members are disenchanted. Everyone is asking, what are they doing with our money,” she asked? She added: “Even me, I don’t know. What I do know is that my leadership will take immediate steps to review downwards these fees which I personally consider as very high. We will also institute a Group Life and Accident Insurance Policy at no extra cost to members by deploying a portion of the practicing fees as premium.” She promised to reverse the ban on non-attendance at NEC meetings by observers, saying the decision is “very unpopular.” Adekoya said her administration would prosecute estate agents

By John Austin Unachukwu

and sundry practitioners, who encroach on work reserved for lawyers, since the conduct infringes the Legal Practitioners Act which bars the practice of law without licence. Adekoya, a former NBA National Treasurer and First VicePresident said an NBA under her leadership would, like the Law Society of UK among others, advertise legal services to expand the volume of work available to lawyers. She said she would also engage the Nigeria Police and the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) “to ensure that they see reasons why it is in their best interest to hire lawyers” for their activities, while her leadership will make a strong representation to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to ensure that it does not circumscribe work available to lawyers. On his part, Alegeh told the union that NBA needs “somebody new and fresh with new ideas. He said: “I believe that there are changes we need to make in the association and we need a new person to make those changes. I offer myself as that agent of change for the association.” He said he believed that NBA activities should be “branch driven,” adding that “the idea of four, five persons upstairs forming policies, implementing them and when there is change at the helm, these policies are jettisoned is not good for the NBA. “We need an NBA that starts from the branches, that gives powers to the branches, that all policies formulated by the NBA originate from the branches.” He expressed concern that work reserved for lawyers are “being done by third parties and NBA does nothing about it. “We have foreign law firms today who take 80 per cent of our arbitration work. We have the Legal Practitioners Act that provides that all legal services should be done by lawyers.

How then do we sit down as NBA and allow funds from public corporations to be paid to foreign lawyers in flagrant breach of our laws?” He promised to refocus the Continuing Legal Education programme to equip lawyers with requisite skills, noting that there are rights that already exist which lawyers are not sufficiently equipped to pursue. Like Adekoya, Alegeh is also worried that the national body is not speaking when it ought to. “The whole world is agog with Chibok,” he observed. “But can anybody here tell me where NBA stands on Chibok,” he asked? He continued: “Nobody can say where we stand. Do we support Boko Haram or do we support Federal Government? We don’t know where NBA stands.” He said the NBA should be the “leader of all civil societies in Nigeria,” adding that, “when anything happens in the country, the voice of NBA should be the loudest; currently, the voice of NBA is muffled.” Alegeh promised to “refocus” on the welfare of members, saying, he is being called a “stranger” by the so-called Bar men “because I do not join in the chop-chop. To be a ‘Bar man,’ you have to chop.” Expressing his concern with the current state of affairs in the NBA, Alegeh said: “We fail to tap the enormous potentials that we have. I do not see why in this day and age of branding and advertising, of giving tax breaks to companies, NBA still has to pay by itself for bags, biros, jotters and all of that. If I go to SEC and say SEC, I want bags; you can brand them as you want. we don’t want money, it will be done. But we are running NBA as though we are in the Dark Ages. And because they make money from giving out contract awards to make biros and bags.”

Agbakoba scores confab below average By John Austin Unachukwu

•Agbakoba

F

ORMER President of the Nigerian Bar Association and a member of the ongoing National Conference, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) has scored the confab below average in terms of performance. In a chat with The Nation, Agbakoba said participating in the confab has been very revealing, but regrettably,

nothing massive has come out of it. He frowned at the extension of the conference by four weeks, stating that if the confab manages its time very well, it can conclude its assignment within the originally allotted time. Agbakoba said: “The National Conference in my view has offered Nigerians the opportunity to revisit their relationship with one another, that is the main purpose. Forget the fact that people said that the President could not summon it, the fact is that we are there. The conference is really very revealing, it reveals the great division in Nigeria. There is a massive divide between the various ethnic groups in the country. “On whether the conference is going to be transnational, Agbakoba said: “I don’t think so because we are still caught in the web of massive ethnic, religious issues. So you find for instance, the Southwestern zone appearing to be the most dynamic and the most transnational on all the key issues. Issues about how Nigeria can move forward, the most key issue is that of regional autonomy. They have been the most forthcoming on it. The North has been a bit conservative in the sense that they would rather retain the system but If I may ask, don’t they know that the system has not worked. The former NBA boss said: “In the context of the southeast, surprisingly, I have failed to see a coherent and conducive policy of transformation coming out of the Southeast. Southsouth has canvassed the issue of resource control. “So that has been the general setting. For me on one hand I will express relief that after the initial confronta-

tion with Lamido’s out burst, we have been able to talk, we have been able to get the committees to submit their interim report, so that should be applauded. But what is most important is whether these deliberations will not become another talk shop. The challenge is who is going to use the outcome of the deliberations. On his rating of the work of the conference so far, Agbakoba said: “My rating of our work so far is just below average, it is important that the outcome of the conference should be converted.” Concerning whether there should have been an extension of the conference Agbakoba said: “I don’t think so because the conference can be better managed in terms of time. For those of us who declined to have remunerations, to add four weeks is just further personal expenses, maybe some like the extension because of the remunerations. I don’t know, but I think that we have enough time to come and conclude our work within the originally allotted time. The problem is that too many delegates want to grandstand because the media is there, but if the media can go and we settle down because right now the media is not contributing anything. A lot of delegates want to stand up and talk because the media is there, but if the media is out and we review very carefully the way we can manage time. There is really nothing because when you look at the interim reports, we have only four committees with controversial issues namely the committee on the devolution of powers, committee on political restructuring in Nigeria, committee on fiscal federalism, committee on religion. The other committee’s work are not really controversial. The confab has been eye opening, revealing but surprisingly, nothing massive has come out so far.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

39

LAW REPORT

Supreme Court re-affirms time limit for election petitions IN THE SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

HOLDEN AT ABUJA ON FRIDAY THE 9TH DAY OF MAY, 2014 BEFORE THEIR LORDSHIPS WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN, JSC. SULAIMAN GALADIMA, JSC. BODE RHODES-VIVOUR, JSC. MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI, JSC. CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI, JSC. KUMAI BAYANG AKA’AHS, JSC. JOHN IYANG OKORO, JSC. SC.191&191A/2013 CONSOLIDATED (2014) LPELR-22882(SC)

BETWEEN: 1. 2.

PROF. STEVE TORKUMA UGBA ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC)

AND 1. GABRIEL TORWUA SUSWAM 2. PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) 3. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELCTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) LEAD RULING DELIVERED BY CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI, JSC.

A

N application was brought before the Court pursuant to Sections 6(6)(a) and (b), 36(1) and (3), 294(2) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended); Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, 2004; Order 2 Rule 28(1) and Order 8 Rule 17 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1999 (As Amended); and the inherent jurisdiction of the Court and seeking for the following reliefs:a) An order setting aside its ruling delivered in open court on 8th day of June, 2012 in Appeal Nos. SC.191/2012 and SC.191A/2012, terminating the said appeals; b) An order implementing/enforcing its order/ decision delivered on 14th November, 2011 that the petition be heard on the merits; c) An order Restoring Appeal Nos: SC.191/2012, SC.191A/2012 terminated on 8th June, 2012 and hearing same on the merits; d) Accelerated hearing of this application; e) Such further order(s) as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances. The background facts leading to this application may be stated as follows:The applicants were the petitioners against the declaration of the 1st respondent as the winner of the Gubernatorial Election which held in Benue State on 26/4/2011 in Petition No: GET/BN/02/ 2011 filed on 17/5/2011. On 23/6/2011 they applied by motion ex-parte for the issuance of prehearing notice under paragraph 18(1) of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act (as amended). The Tribunal granted the order and caused pre-hearing conference notice to be issued to all the respondents. The 1st and 2nd respondents by different motions on notice sought orders to set aside the pre hearing notices already issued. While the 1st respondent later withdrew his application which was struck out on 29/6/2011 the Tribunal proceeded to hear the 2nd respondent’s motion which was dismissed on 19/7/2011. On appeal by the 1st respondent, the Court of Appeal set aside the ruling of the Tribunal and consequently decided that leave under paragraph 47 of the 1st Schedule to the Electoral Act is applicable to all applications under paragraph 18(1) of the same schedule and proceeded to dismiss the petition. On an appeal to the Supreme Court in SC.360/2010 delivered on 14/11/2011, the appeal was allowed and the decision of the Court of Appeal was set aside. The Supreme Court then made an order that the petition be heard on the merit. By the time the parties went back to the Tribunal, the 180 days time limit prescribed by the Constitution for hearing and determination of the petition had lapsed and the petition was accordingly struck out. On 4th June, 2012 when Appeal Nos. SC.191/ 2012 and SC.191A/2012 came up for hearing before this court, the 3rd respondent’s counsel informed the court that it had preliminary objection

in respect of SC.191/2012. It was agreed by both parties that since Appeals SC.191/2012; SC.191A/ 2012 and SC.192/2012 are based on the same decision of the court below, the preliminary objection should be taken first and ruled upon. This Court then ruled on 8th June, 2012. This is the ruling that is being sought to be set aside. The central focus of the submission by the applicants’ counsel alleged a breach on the Constitutional provision of the right to fair hearing. The senior counsel related copiously to the Constitutionality of Section 285(6) in the light of Sections 4(8), 6(6)(a) and (b) and 36(1). In further establishing his position, learned counsel reiterated that Section 285(6) of the Constitution cannot take away the inherent powers and sanctions of a superior court of justice such as the Supreme Court etc that are not created by statute but by the Constitution. Counsel also submitted the damaging effect of Section 285(6) which is capable of emasculating or destroying the appellants’ Constitutional right of action, Constitutional right of appeal and Constitutional right to fair hearing implicit in Sections 285(2), 285(7), 246(i)(ii), 233(2)(e) (iv) and 36(i) of the said Constitution. It is also the submission of senior counsel that in the exercise of its powers under Sections 6(6), 233(1)(2) (e) (iv) and 285(7), the court is not to be inhibited by the provision of Section 285(6) of the Constitution especially if the tribunal gives the judgment within 180 days in compliance with the said Section and appeal arising there from is also decided by the Appellate court within 60 days in compliance with Section 285(7) of the said Constitution. Specifically and with reference made to the case of Alao V. A.C.B. Ltd. (2000) 9 NWLR (Pt. 672) 264 at 296; 2000) LPELR-SC.14/1995(2), the counsel re-iterated the findings therein and added that the provision of Section 6(6)(a) and (b) of the Constitution does not derogate from the general judicial powers of the court to set aside its own decision should injustice or miscarriage of justice be perpetuated; that the Supreme Court will unhesitatingly set aside its decision which is a nullity. Counsel in the result urged that prayers (a) and (c) on the motion paper be granted. On behalf of the 1st respondent, submitting to substantiate their course of objection, the 1st respondent’s lead counsel Mr. D.D. Dodo. SAN formulated three issues for determination. Submitting on the 1st issue raised, the 1st respondent’s counsel drew reference to the established principle of law that where an action or an appeal has no practical or utilitarian value to the appellant, even if judgment is given in his favour, the appeal is rendered a mere academic exercise. It was the counsel’s submission that, 180 days having lapsed from the date the original petition was filed and 60 days also having lapsed from the date of deliv-

ery of judgments by the Court of Appeal which judgments were appealed against in Appeals SC.191/2012 and SC.191A/2012, the two appeals have lapsed; that with the substantive appeals which gave rise to the present application having lapsed therefore, the application itself has become academic and bereft of any live issue consequent upon which the court now lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the application which should determine only live issues. It was the contention of counsel that the court should decline jurisdiction by reason of the Constitutional operation. In further submission, the learned counsel considered issues 2 and 3 together and stressed in strong terms the position taken by the court on the finality of its decisions, in a number of cases, which does not however extend to or include the power to sit on appeal over its decisions. Considering the decisions of the court, it was the counsel’s contention that the application did not satisfy any of the exceptional circumstances to warrant the honourable court interfering with its well considered decision delivered 8th June, 2012. The counsel on the totality therefore impressed upon this court to dismiss the application as lacking in merit. In opposing the motion also, the 2nd respondent’s counsel submitted that the court does not as a general rule have the jurisdiction to set aside its own judgment except on satisfaction of certain stringent conditions as set out in the case of Igwe V. Kalu (2002) 11 NWLR (Pt. 787) P. 435; (2002) LPELR-SC.26/1996 that the applicants at hand have failed to satisfy any of the conditions enumerated in the said authority to warrant setting aside the Ruling of the court delivered 8th June, 2012. In further submission, counsel re-echoed that the order of the court made 14/11/2011 to hear the petition denovo has no effect whatsoever because it was made after the 180 days within which the tribunal was to hear and determine the applicants’ petition filed 17/5/2011, which time expired on 12/11/2011. On the totality of his submission the counsel concluded that the applicants have failed to satisfy the conditions that will warrant this court to set aside its ruling delivered 8th June, 2012; he therefore urged that the application be dismissed. While adopting the submissions by the 1st and 2nd respondents, the learned counsel for the 3rd respondent Mr. Okutepa, SAN centered the totality of his argument on Order 8 rule 16 of the rules of the court which empowers the court to set aside its own decision; that in the absence of any reason given for the setting aside of the judgment, the counsel in summary also called for the dismissal of the application as a sheer abuse of court process. In considering the application, the Court noted that the crux of the application was centered on the 1st relief which sought an order setting aside the ruling delivered 8th June, 2012 and that the main issue for determination in this application therefore was:“Whether in the circumstances of this case the applicants have, as a matter of law, satisfied the conditions to warrant this court, setting aside its Ruling delivered on 8th June, 2012.” The Court stated that Order 8 Rule 16 of the rules of court is specific in stating that the court has no jurisdiction to set aside its decision, Ruling/Judgment if properly made in the exercise of its powers and jurisdiction. The Court further stated that it was rightly submitted by the learned counsel for the 1st respondent, and the court has re-affirmed the finality of its decision in a plethora of cases and also held times without number that its inherent power to set aside its own decision, when same is later found to be a nullity or obtained by fraud, does not extend to include the power to sit on appeal over its judgment/ruling. This principle of law the Court stated was well entrenched in the case of Igwe V. Kalu (2002) 11 NWLR (Pt. 787) P. 435; (2002) LPELR-SC.26/1996. The Court held further relying on the above case that notwithstanding the above principle, there is also a rider or a caveat which holds secure that in appropriate cases, it is expedient that the court, in the

exercise of its inherent powers, can set aside its Ruling or judgment provided the circumstance calling for such order has satisfied the stringent conditions that the judgment or ruling is a nullity; that such decision was obtained by fraud; and that the court was misled in delivering the said judgment or ruling. The Court noted that the appropriate question to pose at that juncture was, does the applicants’ application before the Court fall within the situational circumstances and the decided authorities? The Court further noted that it is for instance expedient to restate that the totality of the applicants’ averments in their supporting affidavit, only allege an “error” on the part of the court and not lack of competence in delivering the Ruling of 8th June, 2012. The Court held that with reference made to the conditions set out in the case of Igwe V. Kalu (supra), it is evident that for the court to set aside its judgment, the decision must have been a nullity. In other words it must have been made by the court either without statutory jurisdiction, or when a condition precedent for the court to assume jurisdiction has not been fulfilled. An erroneous judgment however, is one made within the court’s competence and therefore cannot be branded as a nullity. The Court stated that the affidavit in support of the applicants’ motion did not indicate that the court was misled into giving its ruling, or that there was the absence of jurisdiction on its part in entertaining the preliminary objection that culminated in the said ruling of 8th June, 2012. It was not also disclosed that the ruling sought to be set aside was obtained either by fraud or deceit. The other arm of the applicants’ view-point for consideration was the submission relating Section 285(6) and (7) of the Constitution which learned senior counsel argued constituted encroachment on the Independence of the judiciary and a denial of right of fair hearing to the determination of the applicants’ petitions. The Court stated that the Constitutional mandate and also its enforcement were well pronounced and enunciated in various judicial authorities by the court wherein imposition is placed upon the tribunal to deliver its judgment within 180 days from the date of filing a petition. The Court further stated that prominent among such authorities is the case of ANPP V. Goni (2012) 1 NWL R (Pt.1298) P.147 at 181; (2012) LPELR-SC.1/ 2012 (Consolidated), which affirmed the immutability of the 180 days instituted in Section 285(6). The Court held that the jurisdictional competence of the tribunal under Section 285(6) cannot by any reason exceed the 180 days allotted. It remains sacrosanct and can neither be added to nor subtracted from. On the whole, the Court held that the Constitutional effect of Section 285(6) and (7) had been well pronounced upon by the court times without number, in a plethora of authorities. The Court further held that the subsequent recurrence of suits filed and seeking to overreach the Constitutional interpretation of the Section thereof was of great concern. The Court stated that Clarion calls are made in loud and clear terms that there must be an end to litigation. The Court noted that it is unfortunate that the call appears as if it is a lone voice sounding only in the wilderness and not within human hearing. Decisions in case laws are meant to speak volume both in the given situation and for future guidance. Counsel was well advised to desist from filing unnecessary suits which are merely academic and yielding no benefits but mere waste of quality time. The Court held that the application at hand is purely academic and therefore frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of court process. Same was thereby refused and dismissed. The Court awarded punitive costs against the applicants’ counsel and it is assessed at N1,000,000.00k in favour of each set of respondents. Edited by LawPavillion LawPavilion Citation: (2014) LPELR-22882(SC)

Legal Jokes •A lawyer’s dog, running about unleashed, beelines 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 $8.50 . Several periods of time later (it could be the next day but that would be unrealistic) the butcher opens the mail and finds an envelope from the lawyer: $200 due for a consultation.

• From left: Azubuike Okaro; former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Assistant Publicity Secretary Gbolahan Gbadamosi; Amaka Aneke; Chinyere Obasi; NBA Ikeja branch chairmanelect Yinka Farounbi; former NBA Lagos Branch Secretary Mr Suday Onu and Ogbonnaya Agbafo at a valedictory court session in honour of retired Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi of the Lagos High Court.

•An elderly and somewhat hard-of-hearing man was sitting in his attorney’s office as he went over his new will. “Your estate is very complex,” said the lawyer, “but I’ve made sure that all of your wishes will be executed. Because of the complexity of your case, my fee will be $4500.” At that point, the phone rang and the lawyer got involved with a long call. The client, thinking that the lawyer had said “$500,” wrote out a check for that amount and left. When the lawyer saw the check, he ran out of the building, only to see the client’s car disappearing in traffic. “Oh, well,” thought the lawyer, “$500 for one hour’s work isn’t bad.” Some American academics, discussing the Six-Day War with an Israeli General, were eager to know how it had ended so quickly. The general told them, “We had a crack regiment at the most sensitive front. It was made entirely of lawyers and accountants. When the time came to charge, boy, did they know how to charge!”


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

40

FROM THE COURT

T

Lagos plans data bank of sexual offenders

HE LAGOS State government has concluded plans to estab lish a database for sex offenders amongst other projects to enhance the efficacy of the justice sector. The idea behind the move is to identify a serial rapist and mete out appropriate and stiffer punishment. The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye disclosed this last week in Lagos while declaring open a three-day Action Plan workshop for the review of the justice sector in Lagos State. The workshop was funded by the United Nations (UN), through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and the Federal Government. It is aimed at achieving a sustainable approach towards improving justice delivery, especially in the criminal justice sector in the country. According to Ipaye, Lagos State features a justice system that encourages compliance with the rule of law, aids effective governance and improves the lives of residents. “Aside from our traditional strongholds of civil and criminal procedure reforms, improved case management facilitation, criminal justice sector coordination, the state is planning the provision of free mediation services to the public and others. Ipaye said the state recognised the need for all that come before its courts to access legal assistance that would facilitate a successful utilisation of the judicial system. “Our legal assistance scheme for the indigent, through the Office of the Public Defender(OPD) is growing and we have further established the Public Interest Law Partnership (PILP) to elicit and co-ordinate of-

By Adebisi Onanuga

fers of pro-bono service by private legal practiotioners,”he noted. Lagos State, Ipaye said, is mindful as a pilot state, of the need to get it right so that others can benefit from the models established. He assured stakeholders of the state’s willingness to abide with the recommendations reached at the end of the workshop, stating that the state has been in the forefront of justice sector reforms, which have invariably percolated to other states across the country. The commissioner, however, recognised the need for linkages with renowned training institutions all over the world through partnership, staff exchange programmes and virtual exchange forums to faciliate peer learning and fast track developmental reforms, especially in the area of forensic examination and state counsel on a very strong conusmer protection agency to safeguard consumers. Project coordinator, Justice Sector Reform, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), Mr Ade Omofade, disclosed that the organisation is embarking on the review and update of action plan projects in 10 states in the country. The project, he said, was initiated with a view to supporting national priorities of effective coordination and cooperation among justice sector institutions, with enhanced legal and policy frameworks as well as enhancing operational structures and capabilities in the justice sector, increased access to justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law, especially for disadvantage and vulnerable groups. He pointed out that Lagos was chosen as a pilot state for the project because it has consistently blazed

the trail in implementing judicial reforms. Other states listed for the project are Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross Rivers, Imo, Osun, Katsina, Yobe and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Omofade also enunciated that the project is taking off in Lagos in order to further enhance the practice of encouraging a strategic and sustainable approach towards the justice system reform. He said it was done as a necessary means of enhancing good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law. He said the workshop, which has in attendance key stakeholders in criminal justice administration in Lagos State, would review and update the existing action plan already in place in the state. According to him, the review and update of this action plan is particularly timely in linking with existing efforts and activities of the Lagos State government particularly in the protection of the rights of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Omofade said the participation of experienced stakeholders across various justice sector institutions and their input was absolutely essential to achieving reform. In her remarks, the chairman of the ocassion and Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, represented by Justice Toyin Ipaye, canvassed for more action on the parts of all stakeholders to sustain reform in justice sector. She said the state would tackle all issues causing bottlenecks in the justice sector frontally with a view to finding solutions to them and improve justice delivery in the state.

•From left: Mrs. Eliana Martins; Mrs. Olabisi Ogungbesan; Mrs. Ugonna Ezekwem; Mr. Ipaye; Mrs.Vernice Guthrie; Mrs. Idowu Alakija; Mrs. Funmi Owuye and Mrs. Phil Nneji

‘Extension of state of emergency legal’ By Adebisi Onanuga

•Omoyinmi

A

LAGOS lawyer, Mr. Abayomi Omoyinmi has said President Goodluck Jonathan was right in extending the

state of emergency in the three states in northeastern part of the country. The states are Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. He argued that the action of the president was in tandem with the law. Omoyinmi, who is a member of the Ogun State Judicial Council, justified the action of the President under the present circumstances and in view of the rate at which Boko Haram is perpetrating fresh insurgency on the people. According to him, Boko Haram has created a very unsafe warlike environment in the northern part of the country, particularly in the northeast.

Omoyinmi argued that the fact that the state of emergency was not effectively used in the first instance does not stop the President from making fresh request for an extension of the emergency rule. He counseled, however, that the President must ensure that all the indices that will make the state of emergency effective are put in place and achieved. He posited that unless the activities of the dreaded sect is nipped in the bud it would be difficult to hold elections in the country next year. “Under the present situation, no successful election can take place. So it is not a matter of the president creating a ploy to ensure that election does not hold in the states, afterall the insurgency is not the creation of the president,” he noted.

LAW AND PUBLIC POWER

with gabriel AMALU email:gabrielamalu1@yahoo.com For comments: 08033054939 (sms only)

Why we should swap the chibok girls

A

S this piece is published, the over 200 girls, kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, may have been in the custody of the Boko Haram elements, for 43 days. That is an awfully long time to be among a gang of rapists, arsonists, brigands, looters, murderers, religious extremists and what have you. Unless by the special grace of God, most, if not all the girls would have been grievously defiled or molested, one way or another. So, if truly the hoodlums have offered to have their wives and children detained by the federal government, swapped in exchange for the Chibok girls, then Nigeria should accede to that request, without delay. After all, if the wives and children of the bandits are in detention, then they are most likely in protective custody of the federal government. For while their husbands or fathers are clearly despicable elements, because of their criminal conducts, the women and children can only become accomplices if they aided and abetted them in the commission of crime. Indeed, the mere fact that they are the spouses or children of this band of marauders can not make them legitimate detainees, except their individual conducts warranted that. So let’s swap their women and children for our girls. It is however my hope, that while in the custody of our government, unlike when they were under the control of their husbands or fathers, that, we have had the opportunity to teach them about the sanctity of human lives. I hope, that, while their husbands or fathers were forcefully converting the Christians among the Chibok girls to Muslims, that the security officials have all this while, allowed them to freely practice their religion. I also wish that while the bandits they have been co-habiting with as husbands or fathers were threatening to sell off the Chibok girls into slavery, our security agencies were able to make provisions for the children among them, to go to school to acquire education. Indeed, it is my wish that if we had anticipated this perverted offer from Boko Haram, to exchange our innocents for their peculiar type, then we have had our opportunity to train some of them, as undercover agents to re-indoctrinate these criminals. For while in the state custody, it is possible to gain the confidence of these women and children, whose husbands or fathers have become criminals, to begin to see them for truly who they are. I hope that while in state custody, their innocents, especially their children, have been exposed to the contemporary musical lyrics of Flavour, Ice Prince, Tuface, D’bang and others. I hope they had the opportunity, while in our custody to play games, watch cartoons, and eat ice creams, rice, chicken and plantain. I hope they were shown the documentaries on Malala Yusuf of Pakistan, and also the television recordings of the several bombings and the anguish and pains caused by the incendiary actions of their husbands or parents and their comrades in trade elsewhere. Such expose, would have trained them to re-train their bandit husbands or fathers. But beyound getting our Chibok girls back, there is the urgent need to reinvigorate the fight against Boko Haram and other putative insurgency in our country, through other means. While fighting to win this current war, we need as a country to reappraise the structure and philosophy of our nationhood, if we want to avoid ‘a country of war without end’. That explained the need for a national conference; for many believe that the festering uprisings across Nigeria, and the obvious difficulty in subduing them, are mutations of the structural deficiencies in our country. The recent spat between the Hausa-Fulani oligarchists and the Yoruba autonomists underscores this urgency. For the country as presently structured and governed, is untenable. But while we seek the enduring solution to the challenges of our nationhood, through dialogue, those in positions of authority must at least attempt to exhibit some semblance of good governance. I consider it a big shame that while we are contending with treating the victims of the Boko Haram’s last week’s twin bomb attacks in Jos, we are also forced to worry about the victims of cholera outbreak, in the same city. So while Boko Haram criminals bear unequivocal responsibility for the victims of bomb attacks, Governor Jonah Jang and other relevant administrative officials of the state bear unequivocal responsibility for the victims of cholera outbreaks. So, while reporting the death caused by Boko Haram, we should also report the death caused by the failure of Governor Jang and his officials to provide clean water and enforce basic sanitation in the state. To show how thoroughly alienated Governor Jang and most of his co-travelers across the country are from their primary responsibility, the Governor was reported to have blamed the market officials for not noticing the strange vehicles that bore the improvised explosive devices, which killed over 100 persons in Jos. Yet, even as the Boko Haram murderers ravage our country, no state or local government, to my knowledge, has taken the important step to expose their residents or even their public officials to basic security trainings. While we mourn our losses, I guess it is time that we mobilize the citizens to understand basic security tips and how to react to an emergency. So, while the #Bringbackourgirls campaigners are working very hard to keep the lethargic government of President Goodluck Jonathan on its toes, it may consider adding the further demand of training Nigerians on basic security tips, as an urgent necessity. As the Jos bombing and the foiled attempts in Kano have shown, the Boko Haram elements are not merely contended with keeping in custody, our girls from Chibok.


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TUESDAY MAY 27, 2014

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

As Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) marks his third year in office this week, MIRIAM EKENE-OKORO examines the journey so far and the challenges that the administration would encounter on the last lap of the race.

• Fashola (middle), flanked by Commissioner for Waterfront Prince Segun Oniru and his Physical Planning counterpart, Mr Toyin Ayinde during an inspection of a project.

Fashola: An actualiser on last lap L

AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has made a remarkable impact on governance. The speed at which he is delivering dividends of democracy, as his second term is about to end, shows that he is desirous of leaving an enduring legacy. Seven years ago, when the mantle of leadership fell on him, he was underrated by many skeptics. The lawyer-turned politician was determined to leave an indelible mark. He was burning with a passion to excel. Armed with the 10-point agenda, Fashola took the bull by the horn. The first major reform of the governor in 2007 was in the area of security. Day in day out, criminal activities were reported across the metropolis. More worrisome was the persistent cases of bank robbery. The situation was of great concern to the governor, who wanted to create a conducive atmosphere for investment. For this reason, he noted that there was the need to provide support to security agencies to combat crime. Thus, Fashola initiated the Safe City Project, which later metamorphosed into the establishment of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF). This platform, driven by public-private partnership, became a mobilising force for corporate organisations and individuals to provide equipment and resources for security agencies. This approach, observers acknowledged, was a pragmatic response to the operational deficiency of the police and other security agencies. LSSTF operations were backed by the law. On September 3, 2007, the Lagos State House of Assembly passed a law that was assented to

by the governor on security. The legislation institutionalised an enduring public - private partnership approach to security. The main objective of the Trust Fund is to solicit for donations to the fund for the acquisition and deployment of security equipment, and human, material and financial resources for its effective functioning. The fund is also meant for the training and welfare of security personnel to get optimum results. The collective investment in crime prevention has led to a lower crime rates in the state. Now, foreign missions have keyed into the process. Foreign aids have come from the Consul-General of Lebanon, Mrs. Dima Haddad, who recently donated N80 million to the fund. So far, the government has made judicious use of the fund. It has constantly provided patrol vehicles, motor bikes, bullet proof vests and other equipment to the police to combat crime. The government has also been applauded for its effort towards infrastructural renewal in the state. Roads and bridges have been constructed across the three senatorial zones. Legal scholar Prof. Itse Sagay, in his paper; ‘Phenomenon and the future of Nigeria’, explained that Fashola, while building on the legacy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, established a modern, enlightened democratic and civilised state and society in Lagos under the

rule of law. According to Sagay: “Quite rightly, emphasis and considerable attention have been devoted to the infrastructural and physical development, transformation, indeed revolution, Fashola and his predecessor have deployed in changing the face of Lagos State, and the standard of life enjoyed by its people. “The people of Lagos are beneficiaries of this physical transformation which has introduced, so to speak, ‘another life’, in Lagos.” Among these projects are the construction of the 10-lane Okokomaiko-Marina Expressway, with its light rail component, the Ikoyi-Lekki Cable Bridge, the beautification of Lagos, with the establishment of parks and gardens in former area boys-infested locations, the reconstruction of public facilities, including the City Hall and the Freedom Park, have all contributed to restore Lagos to its glory. The education sector has been defended by the government. Fashola has invested heavily in the rehabilitation and construction of new blocks of classrooms in public schools. The distribution of free text books, provision of well-equipped laboratories and libraries, provision of buses for teachers to ease transportation problems, re-launch of uniformed voluntary organisations in public schools, and the implementation of Teachers’ Salary Scale (TSS) the impact has also been enormous.

Similar feat was recorded in the tertiary institutions, with the revamping of technical colleges and massive development of infrastructure at Lagos State University (LASU). However, the hike in the school fees LASU has continued to generate controversy. The disagreement over the policy has disrupted academic activities in the school. But, the government has assured that it will soon come up with a new pronouncement on the issue the stakeholders. The government has also scored a pass mark in the beatification of the environment, agriculture and transportation. For a state with about 20 million dwellers, effective transportation model is very important. Thus, the Fashola-led government launched the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme to effectively address the challenges. The success of this scheme has attracted the attention of other states and the Ghanaian Government, which sent a delegation to understudy the scheme, with the aim of replicating it. One key feature of the governance is the 100-day commemoration. It has offered opportunities for feedback. Although it is criticised by the opposition, government insists that the intention is to relay its programmes and achievements to the people. At the recent celebration of 2,500 days in office, Fashola explained

‘As the battle for who succeeds him hots up among contenders, the next governor will be stepping into a big shoe.

that the evidence of the budget performance reflects in the number of projects completed and services rendered. He listed the projects within that period to include Kodesoh and Simbiat Abiola Roads, Isapakodowo Market, Oshodi to resettle those relocated from the Oshodi Rail Line and the Aka Bashorun Memorial Park, the 4-storey, 110bed Maternal and Child Health Centre, Amuwo and the dualised Alaba Cemetery Road, AjeromiIfelodun and the bridge linking Ajao Estate and Ejigbo together. He said the government also started the issuance of the Electronic Certificate of Occupancy and launched the Lagos Home Ownership Scheme (HOMS) project, a strategic intervention to deliver housing to citizens on a minimum of a 10-year mortgage and a maximum interest of 9.5 per cent. “We were at Iba to hand over a block of 12 classrooms, while a public spirited citizen, Chief Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, donated an 18classroom block in Sabo Oniba, Ojo. “On the same day, our water transportation received a boost in the rural and riverine areas of Ojo and Ijegun Egba with the handing over of two new ferry terminals and support services to ease transportation along that corridor,” Fashola said. But, one of the challenges that will confront the administration is the completion of the on-going projects in many sectors. As the battle for who succeeds him hots up among contenders, the next governor will be stepping into a big shoe.


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THE NATION TUESDAY MAY 27, 2014

POLITICS In this piece, a member of a partisan group, ‘Oyo Renaissance’, Ayo Akande, contends that Oyo State is ripe for a paradigm shift in participatory governance.

2015: APGA legislators can seek re-election From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

‘We need paradigm shift A in Oyo politics’ A

S Albert Einstein considered the imperative of change, he made the popular statement that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That statement, made decades ago by the renowned scientist, still holds true today. As the 2015 general elections draw near, this saying should tug at the heart-strings of the people of Oyo State. It should nudge them to wake up from their individual and collective slumber, a slumber so deep that their state, once-so-greatthat it was called the Pacesetter State, is now anything but great. Oyo, our common heritage, had begun that journey to greatness, until its course was altered. Altered by its people and their leaders; altered by not-well-thought-out decisions to place it in the hands of leaders with parochial tendencies and without direction. Oyo State has had its fair share of disappointments. It is either those at the helm of affairs are too clueless to recognise the people’s plight, too arrogant to understand the suffering of the common man or too selfish to render genuine service. We have even seen many who falsely professAwoism, pretending to be apostles of the immortal Obafemi Awolowo’s ideals.Once they win elections, Awo’s ideals are the last things ever found in them and they brazenly advertise a total lack of the servant-leadership spirit of the sage. Under the guidance of the most unsuitable captains of the ship, Oyo State has continued its nosedive and it is only a matter of time before it hits the rock bottom. But, as the saying goes, omoonilu o nifekotu (a prince cannot have pleasure in the dispersal of his father’s kingdom), we in the Oyo Renaissance Group can no longer siddon look. Afterall,‘Ajise bi oyolaari.’ As the 2015 governorship election approaches, these politicians, across different political parties, have again decided to take Oyo State people for another ride. The same set of people who had fooled the people before with sweet electioneering promises

that have gone unfulfilled are angling again to get the people’s votes. Of course, to them, the people of Oyo State are always there to be deceived every election year. They come in different to gas and present themselves as interested in the common progress of Oyo State, but we know their fruits, and by their fruits Oyo State people must know them. The people of Oyo State are no fools and are better prepared now. The experience of‘Idera’under Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja was stagnation wrapped in docility. ‘Oyato’ was nothing more than brigandage. They even celebrate payment of salaries and irregular pensions as if governors are elected to come and pay salaries. Salary is a statutory right; it is only in the land of the fools among disillusioned workers that such becomes a bargaining factor for the votes of the civil servants and the populace. But, for how long more can the people continue to live with this visionless-ness? Though we do not believe in the widely-held assertion that Oyo State cannot elect someone twice as governor, the efforts of former governor who are now seeking the support of our people, are disappointing. As the words go around, Ladoja and Alao-Akala might be seeking after nothing but vendetta and vainglory. If what they understand governance to mean is to defend a wife’s interests at all costs, just bear the title of governor, throw parties, run the state as a private business, receive instructions from women-friends,

‘The people of Oyo State must play the political game better by saying enough to deceit and injustice’

marry more wives across nations, wearAnkara fabrics in a show of fake populismor, while they claim Ajumose, they turn the state into a personal estate, then the people of Oyo State should declare the duo of Rashidi Ladoja and Adebayo Akala unfit for any elective office in 2015. They should also ignore their cronies in whatever guise they may come. For those who believed that Akala’semergence as governor was accidental because he is a ‘nonIbadan’, Oyo state is one and is beyond such divisive opinion. Justice and equity, of course, demand that all zones in the state have good personages who can and must be governor. Besides, Ibadan is a cosmopolitan city that is largely populated by so-called non-indigenes. It is not a taboo, therefore, for non-Ibadan zones to produce a governor in their own state,afterall, no one becomes the governor without the good support of all the zones in Oyo State. Oyo should be more forward-looking and realistic to put behind every primordial sentiment andthe people should search and vote for competence that can bring about arenaissance. We in the Oyo Renaissance Group believe the right time for change is now. Oyo State needs truly visionary leaders, who will serve them and their interests and not impostors and vain rulers. Governance of Oyo state is beyond a display of riches, and it should be structured beyond emergency interventions to bait the electorate. It’s about servant leadership and sustenabilitythat will reposition the state. We must judge right and vote right by voting for true leaders with the love of the people at heart. It will be disastrous to rely on the inept experience of governance which some of the aspirants parade to take Oyo on the plane of development. Care must also be taken with any ambitious but dubious generational shift. The people of Oyo State must play the political game better by saying enough to deceit and injustice.

• APC delegates casting their votes at the Edo State congress in Benin... yesterday.

LL Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) National Chairman Chief Victor Umeh has said that House of Representatives members seeking re-election are free to pursue their ambitions under the platform. He rejected the move by party chieftains in Awka North and South Local Government Areas of Anambra State to stop legialators from seeking a second term. The National Secretary, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, who spoke on his behalf in Awka, the state capital, said the decision to ban Hon. Emeka Nwogbo and Kenechukwu Chukwuemeka from contesting was null and void and of no effect. He said: “ The attention of the national leadership of our party has been drawn to a media report that APGA leaders in Awka, Anambra State have taken a decision to suspend and bare two lawmakers representing the area from running for a second term in office in 2015.Their decision has no blessing of the party leadership.” Some chieftains of APGA in Awka including former Special Adviser to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Chief Austin Ndigwe, former Commissioner of Agriculture, Chief Godson Ezenagu, and Special Adviser to Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano on Security Matters Chief Chikodi Anara had resolved to suspend Nwogbo and Chukwuemeka over alleged poor performance. However, Shinkafi, who dismissed their action, said that, under the APGA constitution, there is no provision for any stakeholder meeting, adding that only the executive committees have the power to suspend members at the local, state and federal levels. He stressed: “If the member has failed to discharge his constitutional responsibility to his people, it is for the electorates who voted into office to remove him at the appropriate time. It is not for our party members to start showing to the opposition that our elected representatives are not capable of delivering dividends of democracy to the people. This is not good for the progress of the party in the 2015 general elections.” Shinkafi also faulted the suspension of 10 ward executive committees and councillors, saying that at no time was a vote of no confidence passed on them. Urging members to prepare for the next year’s election, he said that the party will not allow imposition of candidates. “The party will not allow any unconstitutional act by baring or disqualifying any member of the party who wants to aspire to any elective position in 2015. We have a procedure where the party will come out with election guideline on how its candidates will emerge through a democratic process.

‘How to end insecurity in Nasarawa’

T

HE Civil Society Coalition Against Corruption (CSNAC) has urged Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura to foster peace and harmony in the Northcentral state. The group said the communal strife and violence rocking the state are worrisome, stressing that economic and social activities have been paralysed. The Chairman of the group, Olanrewaju Suraj, said the onus is on the government to forge peace and promote peaceful co-existence. He said: Since 2012, threats of violent communal clashes have assumed a worrisome dimension in the state, making residents and visitors to live in perpetual fear, apprehension and uncertainties. Series of sectarian violence had led to the death of 534 persons. the government at the state and local level must rise to the challenge.” Suraj lamented that the report of Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the murder of about 74 law enforcement officers allegedly by members of a cult group widely fingered in the Alakyo violence in the outskirts of the state capital, Lafia on May 7, 2013, has confirm the killings of over 500 persons in violent clashes within 10 months between December, 2012 and September, 2013. He said the report revealed that property worth over N2.3 billion were destroyed while about 30,000 persons, mostly women and children, were displaced. The right activist added: “As bloody clashes between Eggon and Alago communities on one hand and Fulani settlements on the other continue unabated in Lafia Local Government Area, ugly specters of similar communal violence was witnessed on January 9, 2013, following renewed feud between Fulani herdsmen and local farmers which led to the destruction of lives and property worth millions of naira as well as displacement of more than 15,000 inhabitants. “The spate of violence would further worsen the prevailing mutual distrust, fears and insecurity in Nasarawa State. The present situation has greater propensity of degenerating into more crises during the next year’s election, if urgent actions are not taken. “Apart from the fact that some of the crises are politically motivated with attendant violence instigated through political manipulation of security apparatuses, the major actors of these crises are also shielded from investigation and prosecution for political reason”. Suraj called for public enlightment on the danger of promoting conflicts and violence in the interest of the state. He said: Public education and enlightenment would go a long way in putting the real challenges facing our people in proper context and ensure that the attention of the ordinary citizens are not diverted from the basic issues. “We believe that violent conflicts in our communities and among our people are diversionary and unhelpful and should therefore, be discouraged through proper education and enlightenment by actors in the civil society. “We urge the people to be more interested and vigilant on governance activities beyond periodic voting and demand accountability from elected representatives through their various platforms and channels. We call for more vigilance from the media and security agents in forestalling further descent into violence in Nasarawa State.” •Al-Makura


HEALTH

THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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THE NATION

E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

I

•A derelict delivery room

Maternal and infant mortality is on the rise, no thanks to poor health facilities. Most of our delivery rooms are an eye sore. There are no incubators for premature babies. OYEYEMI GBENGA-MUSTAPHA and WALE ADEPOJU write that there is need for a remedy.

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Sorry state of maternal health facilities

OT all women have a good story to tell while giving birth to babies. This is because many still die in large numbers during delivery in Nigeria. A house wife, Mrs Mary Kolawole, was, however, lucky as she put to bed without complications. Many have travelled same road and ended up in the morgue. It was the first pregnancy for the 21- year- old undergraduate, yet it ended in a safe delivery. When she conceived, she enrolled at a Maternal and Child Centre (MCC), near her home in Agege, Lagos, for the antenatal care. But for personal reasons, she decided to access health care at Ahmadiya Muslim Hospital, Ojokoro. There, she was taken in and delivered of a baby girl. Mother and child were discharged on the third day. The story of Mrs Kolawole did not reflect the true situation of maternal health in Nigeria, although she made it through. Many would count her ‘lucky’ in a country where mother and child death is very pronounced. The situation is also a positive one for 32- year-old Mrs Kafayat Bakare, who had her three children delivered at Mama Meta, Pleasure, which is a traditional birth attendant (TBA) centre located at Iyana Ipaja, an outskirts of Lagos. To the Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board (the body that trains and regulates the practices of traditional birth attendants in Lagos State), Dr Bunmi Omoseyindemi, Mama Meta, is up and doing and capable of delivering uncomplicated pregnancies. “The TBAs have been trained and retrained, even at primary and secondary facilities in the state. They have acquired skill in delivery and known when to refer promptly,” he said. But the big question is, why is maternal and infant mortality still high

in the country. It is because of the poor state of delivery rooms and the lack of equipment to manage emergencies. According to the chairman of the Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (SOGON), Lagos State, Prof Olurotimi Akinola, babies and expectant mothers’ death abound in Nigeria. Also, a medical journal, Lancet Every Newborn Series notes that each year, Nigeria records 267,000 neonate deaths; 295,000 still borns. That means everyday, 1,540 babies die at birth. Prof Akinola said: “Maternal death ratio (MDR) in the country is still disturbing. Statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which is released every five years shows that more still needs to be done to stem the rate. The figure currently used is the 2008 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS). The National Maternal Mortality (NMM) figure of 2008 NDHS is 545 per 100,000 women dying yearly and 267, 000 deaths of neonates. That is very high when it is compared to that of Israel which is five per 100,000 or with the Scandinavians countries.” But to the Chairman, Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecologists (SOGON), Lagos State, Prof Olurotimi Akinola, the cases above could be described as non high-risk pregnancies or uncomplicated labour, hence the happy endings. The majority of newborn deaths are preventable as they are caused by complications related to prematurity, birth and severe infections. Preterm and small babies are at much higher risk of death and disability.These deaths and infections are caused by a number of factors such as the poor skill of personnel and inadequate and obsolete equipment .

A visit to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) revealed that the 51-year-old institution is overwhelmed despite its receiving the largest subvention among its counterparts. Expectedly, in a 51-year-old multibillion Naira hospital like LUTH, the problem of ageing has set in on some of the equipment for Obstetrics care and Neonatal unit. Some of the medical equipment are unserviceable and need outright replacement. The hospital is seriously faced with inadequate funding and clinical supplementation to promote research, continuity, education of staff and provision of essential facilities to both staff and patients. Health funding has become great responsibility government alone cannot shoulder making its subvention a drop in the ocean particularly with the contemporary developments in health technology. Though the hospital is enjoying some donations from private organisations and multinationals, it can perform better with more. “Currently it can boast of 50 incubators and six bilirubin machines for managing jaundice in children. Expectant mothers also got delivered by experinced medics and at risk pregnancies, including multiple pregnancies are delivered, but mothers and babies are managed with derelict equipment,” said a source. Enquiries at EKO Hospital, Ikeja; Lagoon Hospital, Apapa, St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos and the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre (OTNPC) revealed that most of these hospitals have the equipment for the survival of neonates, and skilled hands to deliver expectant mothers. Many Nigerians though consider them elitist. The University of Benin Teaching Hospital has 24 incubators while Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital boasts of 10 incubators. A nurse/midwife, Mrs Margret

Okonkwo (not real names) with EKO Hospital, said these equipment cannot be compromised in any hospital, “and because every private hospital wants more patronage, it will ensure things are done properly. But I understand that the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre (OTNPC) has been given to University of Ibadan.” She explained their functions: “The incubator can help regulate a preterm baby’s temperature; and the air humidity and oxygen levels can be regulated within it. The ventilator provides assistance for the baby’s breathing. There are two types of ventilator, one which breathes for the baby, and the other which responds to the baby’s breathing and will breathe for it if he misses a breath or doesn’t breathe deeply enough. “The monitors - there are several different types of monitoring equipment and your baby may have one, some or all of them. Sensors can be stuck to your baby’s abdomen and/or chest to detect heart rate and breathing rate. He may have a sensor strapped to his foot to monitor the amount of oxygen in his blood. His blood pressure may be monitored with a tiny cuff around his arm. Screens are often by each incubator showing all these readings. While the drips and tubes prevent it from becoming dehydrated. The baby may also have a tube passed into the nose to feed through. If the baby doesn’t need to be ventilated it may have a thin tube under its nostrils to provide him with extra oxygen. It may also have a thin tube in one of his veins where drugs can be given.” She argued that not many facilities, either private or public has such life saving equipment. A member of SOGON, Dr Bayo Bamisebi, a Gynaecologist/Obstetrician, said just as not all facility

can boast of survival of neonates because they are ill equipped, “not all facilities can also ensure an expectant mother delivers safely.” “There are levels of delivery facilities. The level determines what equipment obtains there. Basically the elements of obstetric care that are essential at first referral level to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity can be classified into the following categories: Surgical obstetrics; anaesthesia; medical treatment; blood replacement; manual procedures and monitoring labour; management of women at high risk; Family planning support and neonatal special care. “Neonatal special care, while clearly not directly concerned with the reduction of maternal mortality, has been included because it is difficult to imagine maternal care facilities at first referral level that do not provide some special care for neonates, many of whom may be in less than optimal condition for the same reasons that put their mothers at risk. Thus the requirements for such care need to be included for practical planning purposes,” he said. Prof Akinola agreed with Dr Bamisebi saying: “The involvement of SOGON is changing the face of safe delivery in Nigeria. For instance, before now there were no purchase of basic obstetric drugs (misoprostol and magnesium sulphate) required for essential obstetric care in primary and secondary health facilities. Luckily, within the last six years, it has become very available unlike before. So this has become a kind of weapon in the hands of practitioners that can be used to save the lives of the mother. The essential drugs are in the area of government intervention and have been made a lot cheaper. They are accessible, available and afford•Continued on page 48


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NEWS

Maternal health facilities are sick •Continued from page 47

able. This is courtesy of national and international development partners. The Federal Ministry of Health has a list of 13 essential commodities. They are needed to save lives of women, especially at delivery. It is the Accelerated Pathway to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (APWAMDG) that is making all these things available. “The Federal Ministry of Health and states ministries of health have been doing a lot in terms of training health personnel. There is the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) to provide skill for birth attendants such as midwives. SOGON has also tried to build some capacity. We help those people by training them to respond appropriately. We also have a programme called the Volunteer Obstetrician Scheme (VOS). “We go to some of the health centres once in a while to assist them when they have a problem. We attach ourselves to health centres of our choice. We have been working through the National Primary Health Care Board (NPHCB) but it has not been made smooth enough as it should. The scheme will soon be inaugurated in Lagos, although it is a national programme through NPHCB.” The Chairman said: “So for some that are being attended to by TBAs, their delivery is compromised. Members of SOGON are skilled and competent to take deliveries across the country and abroad. Expectant women who are affected are those

Experts call for better maternal health

•Prof Akinola

•Dr Bamisebi

who are not educated enough or educated and don’t care. That is the role of the husband, family and society at large to ensure they do what is necessary to save the lives of expectant mothers by patronising qualified personnel.” Prof Akinola said: “SOGON has a problem with the TBAs. We believe that they should be used as canvassers, mobilisers and community workers. They know the expectant mothers. They should tell them where to go to seek health care. TBAs are best if they are mobilised and paid to tell expectant mothers where to go for ante-natal and delivery. TBAs should not be allowed to take delivery. “SOGON through the Lagos State did the Maternal Death Review (MDR) programme and the TBAs have done a lot of harm in Lagos and nationally. The bulk of the deaths of women originated from the TBAs. There are women who were brought to die in the hospital because they will send them at the last minutes for

something that would have been identified early. He said Lagos State is looking at the possibility of upgrading the TBAs because they cannot be ruled out. The government wants to enhance their capability to recognise problems and report to qualified personnel. It has not really come up with the resolution but it might allow it eventually. “During Alhaji Lateef Jakande administration, they brought TBAs to the hospitals to teach them how to cut the cuds so that they don’t infect a newborn, so that they can use mentholated spirit to clean. Some TBAs will claim they have Sheejebi that they can stop or reduce bleeding, which is not true. Many patients they brought die from excessive bleeding. One of the commodities is drugs that people can administer to stop bleeding. “There are four causes of bleeding in women that has just delivered. That drug addresses only one of them. Expectant mothers should go to the flagship 57 Flagship Primary Health Care (PHC)

centres which run 24 hours services than visit the TBAs. A lot of PHC centres are under-utilised. Women should not go to the secondary facilities that are already overwhelmed and overburdened. Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Abimbola Fashola has been involved in town hall meetings to spread the campaign that expectant mothers should visit PHC centres than TBAs. She said if they deliver at PHC centres they will get the Mama Kits . They don’t do that in secondary centres. A Lancet author, Prof Zufil Bhutta said high coverage of interventions before conception, as well as before, during and after pregnancy could prevent needless deaths. A systematic assessment of challenges in eight high-burden countries-Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Pakistan, Kenya and Nigeria revealed that the most common barriers to improving survival were related to the health workforce, financing and service delivery. According to the Special Assistant to the Minister of Health on Media and Communication, Dan Nwokeh, the Federal Government is aware of these challenges. “And just at the Pre 57th National Council on Health (NHC), has directed all states to set up task teams to inspect the Obstetric departments of all their health facilities to ensure compliance with prescribed minimum standards and improved quality health care. But the question remains: How many Nigerian health facilities measure up in these requirements?

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie

E

XPERTS and development partners have called for prompt actions to end obstetric fistula through provision of quality maternal health care and accountability mechanisms. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about two million young women live with untreated obstetric fistula in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Obstetric fistula is a hole in the birth canal caused by prolonged, obstructed labour due to lack of timely and adequate medical care, leaving the woman with devastating injury (a fistula) that renders her incontinent. This condition harms women physically, socially and economically, and often leads to isolation from families and communities, thereby deepening their poverty and worsening their sufferings. A Gynaecologist and Technical Adviser at Development Communications (DevComs) Network, Dr. Olalekan Olaniyan said early marriage, illiteracy, ignorance and poverty predisposes women to obstetric fistula. He identified poor healthseeking behavior, delays in using health facility, delays in reaching health facility, poor health infrastructure (for caesarean delivery when needed) make the risk of Obstetric fistula even greater.

•From left: Chairman, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Mr Ayodele Adewale, Former Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Leke Pitan and Managing Director, El-Lab Medical Diagnostic and Research Centre, Festac, Mr Elochukwu Adibo at the inauguration of the new El-Lab Medical Diagnostic and Research Centre in Festac. •Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, Dr Somieari Isaac (left) presenting Nigerian Pharmaceutical Company of the Year award to the Sales and Marketing Director,Fidson Healthcare Plc,Mr Olugbenga Olaleye at the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Awards.The event was organised by Global Health Project and Resources (GHPR) in collaboration with Anadach Group, USA.

DENTAL TALK with Dr Samuel Awosolu 08108155239 (SMS Only); email- samawosolu@yahoo.co.uk

Tooth decay fact file

A

STICKY coat plaque forms on the tooth surface called plaque, which is easily removed by general oral hygiene measures like tooth-brushing, use of dental floss, mouthwash and any oral hygiene aid. The bacteria germs in the mouth feed on the substrate of reducing sugars and the carbohydrate in a similar fashion as we humans take in food for energy. The acid produced as a by product of the bacteria metabolism is the culprit in the demineralisation of the hard tooth surfaces hence the dental decay, tooth decay, dental caries. The whole process is based on the structure of the tooth and the action of these acids, which can dissolve the content of the tooth structure. The body naturally tries to repair the fault and damage so there is deposition of more minerals on the tooth surface, it becomes a battle of the two extremes deposition and removal, The ding dong process goes on and once the balance is tilted in the direction of dissolution or removal of the hard mineral structure of the tooth, tooth decay forms. The tooth decay appears in the tooth as holes and should this progress unchecked it goes affecting deeper layers of the tooth until it reaches the centre, the pulp of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels, at this point the pain may be excruciating and the battle to save the tooth via treating the decay may be lost. It stands to reason that tooth decay is not an instantaneous occurrence; it rather is a gradual process. When the cavity/hole/decay is at the initial stages treatment can be sought and the decay arrested and a filling placed on the tooth. This filling stops the cavity from progressing in most of the cases. The body tries to fight back as earlier stated, other mechanisms of preventing the decay of teeth include the body fluids of the environment, saliva. Saliva produced by several major and minor salivary glands in the head and oral cavity is a neutralising solution which mixes and washes away the acid produced by the bacteria in the mouth. It has a ph, ionic hydrogen ion concentration closer to neutral hence it acts an s a balance making the oral cavity less acidic. The saliva has some important ions too like fluoride; the fluoride is an important ion as it makes the tooth surface more resistant to the attack and dissolution by the acid produced in the mouth by the bacteria acting on the carbohydrate food. Fluoride is deliberately added in toothpaste at optimum concentration to make the teeth more resistant to decay. This is the principle behind using fluoride in water supplies, toothpaste, mouth rinses, as topical application on children teeth at the dentists. Whilst plaque is continuously formed in the mouth and on the teeth, the failure to remove plaque regularly by not adhering to oral hygiene measures, may result in calcium deposits hardening plaque to become tartar/calculus.....This can only be removed at the dentists and it is necessary to note that calculus may accumulate in some specific areas of the mouth. The dentist will be able to help remove calculus and clean the mouth by a procedure called scaling and polishing. This is a professional way of cleaning the mouth. To prevent tooth decay dietary advice is essential , there are some tooth friendly food , that the dentist can advise you consume , fruits and vegetables which are not only kind to the tooth they are kind to the general wellbeing they contain anti oxidants and vitamins and help the body keep in top shape. Once yearly regular visits to the dentist will be the best way to avoid having tooth decay, the dentist will give the dietary advice where necessary, help with preventive advice and detect any early signs of tooth decay.

Surgery bites THE holiday season is upon us , the school kids are everywhere in the surgery, the result of the retreat and smiling school project , the regular appointees, as visits are encouraged for the kids during the school holiday so the visits are least disruptive and it serves more or less a family outing. My welcome patient is a regular not because he has a myriad of dental problems far from that, it is just that the family have become disciples of the preventive oral health care practicalised by regular dental checkups. He was in his Barcelona jersey and was having a run around touching everything in sight. I delighted at seeing the jersey and teased him so much that the Catalans were well deserved losers to athletic Madrid and no longer made any team shudder, of course that was not the real reason still sulking that there was some perceived injustice to the team I felt played better , Manchester City in the previous round. •To be continued next week


49

THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

THE NATION

BUSINESS MARITIME

e-mail: maritime@thenationonlineng.net

Importers abandon 4,000 vehicles at ports I MPORTERS may have aban doned about 4000 vehicles at the Lagos ports because of their inab ility to pay the new 35 per cent tariff, The Nation has learnt. Sources said the vehicles got trapped at the ports under the new duty regime. A Customs officer, who pleaded for anonymity, said over 4,000 vehicles were trapped at the ports because of the new duty rate. He said: “We are aware that many importers are finding it difficult to pay the new rate, but there is nothing we can do because it has been uploaded into our system. Once a clearing agent opens a site on his system and punches the name of the vehicle, its model and year of manufacturing, the amount he would pay as duty appears to him. “Except he pays the amount, the only alternative opened to him is to abandon the vehicle. And that is why we are having over 4,000 vehicles in the ports that have not been cleared by the importers. But my advice to them is to look for money, pay the duty and move their vehicles out of the ports before they become over-time cargo and confiscated by the Customs.” A clearing agent, Mr Daniel Solomon, said they were paying between N480,000 and N486,915.70 as duty on 2009 Pathfinder Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). Under the new regime, Daniel said they would pay N760,157 duty. An importer, Mr Folagbade Asekun, said they were sad over the increment. He said the govern-

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda Maritime Correspondent

ment should have allowed the made-in-Nigeria vehicles to be rolled out before imposing the tariff, adding that the policy is like putting the cart before the horse. “Why do we need to pay through our nose since nobody has seen the made-in-Nigeria vehicles the government is talking about. The government should have allowed the manufacturers to come out with their brand of vehicles before introducing the high tariff. I understand that some of the would-be manufacturers have not commenced operations, not to talk of opening shops,” he said. There are fears that if not reviewed, the policy, may lead to diversion of imported vehicles to neighbouring countries and enhance smuggling through the land borders. Last weekend, it was learnt that some importers and their agents met in Lagos to strategise on how to bring in their vehicles through Cotonou. They alleged that the government imposed the 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent levy to get the money for next year’s elections. The charges, the agents said, were inimical to their business. A member, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mr. John Aluya, claimed that over 2,000 con-

tainers belonging to importers were trapped at the ports because of the bureaucracy at the Ministry of Finance and the Customs. “There was a fiscal policy by the Finance Ministry on February 23, where the government said all those who have perfected their documentation be allowed to pay the old duty, but the Customs said no. “Over 2,000 containers of our members are trapped at the ports because of this wrong interpretation from the Customs and we are paying demurrage and rents, how can the country progress,” he asked. Customs Public Relations Officer at Tin Can Command Mr Chris Osunkwo said the 35 per cent duty on Tokunbo vehicles is being enforced by Customs formations across the country. In the past, importers paid between 10 and 20 per cent duty on vehicles. The Customs said the 35 per cent duty was imposed by the Federal Government. Importers are also expected to pay additional 35 per cent levy from July 1. Under the regime, commercial vehicles, such as Danfo, which hitherto attracted 10 per cent duty, will now attract 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent levy. The 35 per cent duty has been uploaded onto Customs systems, making it impossible for importers or their agents to pay the old rate.

• Former Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director Mr Omar Suleiman and Chairman, Seaports Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) Princess Vicky Haastrup at a stakeholders forum on ports regulation organised by Nigeria Shippers Council in Lagos. PHOTO: OLUWAKEMI DAUDA

Firm acquires 25 per cent equity in $1.7b Lekki seaport

A

SHIPPING firm, CMA CGM, has acquired 25 per cent stake in the Lekki Deep Seaport in Lagos. Its Chief Operating Officer, Mr Marc Riondel, said his company had signed an agreement with the International Container Terminal Services Enterprise (ICTSE) for 25 per cent stake in the Lekki Container Terminal. The concessionaire of Lekki Port zone, ICTSE, is exepected to provide infrastructure and will be responsible for marine services and maintenance dredging. Riondel said the port would be developed with green technology and infrastructure that would reduce congestion and pollution. “Like many new port projects in the world, the Lekki Port is to be

located outside the main city of Lagos, enjoying access and less congestion than existing terminals. “The location of the port outside Lagos, will protect the environment and allow reduction in carbon dioxide emission and noise pollutions,” he said, adding that the terminal is expected to directly employ between 1000 and 2000 persons and 1000 persons indirectly. He said the project, which estimated to cost about $1.7 billion, would be developed in stages, explaining that with a quay of 1200 metres, the facility, expected to be fully operational by 2016, will have a yearly capacity of 2.5 million TEU, making it the largest single terminal in sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from CMA CGM, another investor ICTSI will invest over $225

million to provide cargo handling equipment and related information technology (IT) infrastructure. The investment is part of the $1.4 billion cost of the port development. The Chairman of ICTSI, Mr Enrique Razon Jr., said during the concession signing that “this new concession will reinforce ICTSI’s presence in Africa and set the standard for infrastructure developments in Africa.’’ The ceremony hosted by Tolaram Group in Singapore was attended by Mr Mohan Vaswani, the Chairman of Tolaram Group. “We anticipate that the demand at our facility will go beyond the expected 2.5 million TEU. We are designing the port to allow for expansion to serve that excess demand in a short span of time upon completion,” Vaswani said.

Govt, freight forwarders urged to dialogue

A

LAGOS lawyer and Alternative Dispute Resolution Consultant, Mr Valentino Buoro, has called on the Federal Government and freight forwarders to seek mediation on the new import tariff on vehicles. The Associate Convenor of the Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates, an international nonprofit organisation, is worried that the government and freight forwarders are losing revenue because of the disagreement. He said: “While it is within government powers to make whatever policies it considers best for the economy, it also within the democratic rights of those whom the policies will affect in one way or the other to have a say on the impact of the policy and to demand some alterations or amendment. ‘’These divergent views and legal rights can only be harmonised through mediation where a neutral party called a mediator will facilitate a negotiated settlement based on the merits of respective claims. “It is a worldwide phenomenon

that when the government decisions have potentially serious impact on people’s lives and economic interests, conflicts are bound to arise. Emotions run high and people are ready to fight either through protests, the courts or sometimes even through angry confrontations or violence.” Buoro urged the government and the agents to see their divergent views as a joint problem, which could be harmonised and resolved by their representatives under the guidance of a neutral third party. The lawyer urged Federal Government to ask the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), a commercial regulator, to convene a mediation where competent neutral parties would be appointed to facilitate the negotiations. “It is only by such acts that the government can institutionalise alternative dispute resolution to engender a user-friendly maritime industry, which in no distant time, will attract additional foreign investments into our economy,” Buoro said.

Institute for Rivers community

T

HE Federal Government has approved an institute for Obu-Ama community in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State to train ex-militants and others. The institute, which is expected to metamorphose into a Maritime University, will end overseas training of ex-militants in maritime related studies. The Presidential Adviser on the Niger Delta, Mr Kingsley Kuku, broke the news when he visited the Obu-Ama community to assess the proposed site of the institute expected to take off in the next one year. Accompanied by the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Asari Dokubo, Kuku said the Presidential Amnesty Office had defended the project before the National Assembly during deliberations on this year’s budget. He said the Presidency decided to site the project in Obu-Ama to develop the coastal communities, adding that the institute, which will admit some 500 ex-militants, will cost about N2 billion. He said the project would include hostels and staff quarters. Kuku was optimistic that the institute will drive business, employment and empowerment in the community and its environ. “The project we are going to site here is called Maritime Training Institute. This project when completed, is going to accommodate 500 students at a time. We are also going to have

hostels that will accommodate 500 people and there will be staff quarters for those who are going to be lecturers there. Some of them are going to be your sons and daughters. We are going to train them to come and train the people in that school. “We are going to send five of your sons outside this country to be trained as trainers in maritime studies. I foresee a situation where this institute will become a university, or tertiary institution in time to come. We need to go to these native communities that are demanding development, and one of such is this old community that was founded in 1882 by the late Tom Harry. Mr. President will be happy with what we are doing here today,” he said. Kuku said the institute’s location in Obu-Ama was also in honour of Asari Dokubo who he described as one of those who brought the issue of underdevelopment and poverty in the Niger Delta to the fore of national and global discourse. Asari Dokubo on his part commended the Presidency for the institute, noting that it would transform the community into a university town soon. “This honour is not done to me, it is done for the community and everyone of us. This institution will metamorphose into university. Obu-Ama is going to be a university town very soon. Kingsley has trained two pilots from this community. They are going to be trained in the best maritime institutes in the world,” he said.

Boat operators fault restriction

T

HE Association of Transport Boat Operators and Water Transportation of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) has faulted the restriction by the National Inland Waterways Authority’s (NIWA) ban on night boat operations. It said many of its passengers live in smaller islands off the inland waters of Lagos State. Its President, Mr. Ganiyu Balogun, however, urged NIWA to engage security guards to monitor night navigation for safety. He said: “We live on the other side of the water and there is no means of transportation for them without boats, so that means for those of them who did not close from work by 6.00pm, they will suffer because they can’t go home.”

He urged the authorities to provide lights for easy navigation at night, stressing that night travel should not be stopped. He added that with these lights, mishaps would be reduced. Also, Balogun urged the government to provide the marine police and boats for effective policing. “We are calling on the government to put in marine police to monitor the activities of the operators; they should ensure that the operators do not speed mostly at night,” he added. Balogun said Lagos waters are safe and free from pirates, adding that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is alive to its responsibility. He said most of the accidents were caused by wrecks, urging NIMASA to remove them.


50

TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

THE NATION

BUSINESS

TRANSPORTATION

E-mail:ynotaderibigbe@gmail.com

Pension scam suspect dies in police custody ‘How many weeks would it take the police A to conclude their investigation, since there

SUSPECT in the N1 billion pension scam uncoverd at the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mrs. Ifeoma Onyeabo, has died in detention. Mrs. Onyeabo, a former secretary to the corporation, died in the custody of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), barely five days after being transferred to Abuja. The late Mrs. Onyeabo was among five other suspects transferred to the FCID from the Railway Police Command at Ebute-Metta, Lagos. Her Murano Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), which was seized from her when the police began investigation

are no fresh leads. The police should begin the prosecution of the suspects’

Stories by Adeyinka Aderibigbe

into the scam, was seen parked at the Railway Police premises last week. Her death was being openly discussed at the NRC Headquarters last weekend amid fears that it may affect the investigation. Other suspects transferred to Abuja

were said to have been returned to the Railway Police Command in Lagos for further investigation. A worker, who pleaded for anonymity, said the “unending in-

vestigation,” may have worsened the suspects’ health. He said: “How many weeks would it take the police to conclude their investigation, since there are no fresh leads. The police should begin the prosecution of the suspects. These suspects have been detained for more than four weeks and during this period, they have been denied access to their lawyers and doctors. Their long incarceration may trigger other complications.“

A top management official, who asked not to be named, said the management was not culpable in the “unfortunate” turn of events. The official said the management was proactive, setting up a panel to investigate the scam immediately it blew open. He said: “We immediately submitted the panel’s report to the Board and the police were invited to begin investigation and what happened thereafter is outside the control of the NRC management.”

Cable car coming soon for Lagos

•Govt to launch temporary vehicle tag

N

IGERIA’s first commercial cable car may begin operation soon in Lagos State, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, has said. Opeifa who broke the news at a press briefing to mark the seventh anniversary of the Babatunde Fashola administration at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, said the cable propelled transit line would expand the options of a safe and reliable public transportation modes available to commuters. “Since the creation of the Ministry 13 years ago, the state’s transportation policy has been hinged on the provision of a safe, reliable, efficient, integrated and multimodal transportation system,” he said. According to Opeifa, the realisation of the project would require the active involvement of the private sector. He said the cable transit line, packaged under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, was being handled by Ropeway Transport Limited, with whom the government has signed a franchise agreement. Though the project will take-off with two routes, Opeifa said, the routes, will serve as crucial links to Apapa, the home of the nation’s busiest ports, Lagos Island, Ikoyi/Obalende and Victoria Island. The firm, Opeifa said, has commenced the detailed design of the project, while geotechnical investigations of the sites are ongoing. Acquisition of land needed for the realisation of the project Opeifa said, is also almost completed. The cable transit scheme, the commissioner disclosed, is part of the long term investment initiative in the public sector transportation infrastructure development being managed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (LAMATA), the all-purpose vehicle established by the government to coordinate private investments in transportation. “The cable car will provide options for discerning Lagosians and business executives who desire a fast and reliable means of transportation to use at an affordable price,” he added. Lagos State government is to launch a Temporary Vehicle Tag (TVT), to serve as a means of identification for new vehicles before their actual registration is perfected. Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who disclosed this, explained that the tag would be launched on June 13. He described the TVT as another innovation aimed at ensuring that owners of new vehicles could procure motor vehicles and drivers services’ documentation. “Before the end of the third quar-

ter of this year, we will present to the people of Lagos the first state of the art one-stop-shop for the process and issuance of all Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA) products, such as drivers’ license, vehicle number plate and other vehicle particulars to the public,” he said. MVAA Permanent Secretary, Akin Hanson said the tag would allow the listing of vehicles’ data on the database and serve as a link for tracking same in the case of theft, or order security challenges. “TVT as a form of registration would conform to approved registration conditions, except the production of a Custom Duty Card, and owners would be issued with TVT with validity period of 30 days. “The product is also backed up by law. It is benchmarked on the standard practices in several states in Europe, America and Canada, with a semblance of it in neigbouring Republic of Benin. It would provide data for yet-to-be-fully registered vehicles in the state,” he explained. Hanson added that with the TVT, every information about one’s car is already in government’s registration database. He said the tag issuance would be flagged off in three centres. Opeifa said other infrastructure interventions being handled by LAMATA were all in various stages of completion. He listed the ongoing construction of BRT lane from Mile 12 to Ikorodu, which is being handled in three urban phases - from Mile 12 to Ajegunle, said to be 50 percent completed, the rural phase, from Ajegunle to Majidun, put at 62 percent completion and urban section 2 from Majidun to Ikorodu said to be 52 percent completed.

•The six winners at the London Transport Museum during their education tour.

Students seek Fed Govt, states,’ councils’ collaboration on transportation

T

HE six winners of the 2013 Be Road Friendly (BRF) competition have praised the Lagos State government for organising the contest aimed at exposing children in primary, junior and senior secondary schools to road safety. Speaking on behalf of others on their arrival from a seven-day tour of the United Kingdom, Oluwabunmi Akinnagbe of the Lagos State Senior Model College, Igbokuta, Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb, praised the government for improv-

ing transportation. She said the only way Nigeria can replicate what obtains in London where there is seamless inter-connectivity of people is for the Federal and State governments to cooperate to improve transportation. Akinnagbe appealed to the various tiers of government to cooperate with one another to alleviate the sufferings of the people and provide them with effective transportation. While praising Governor Babatunde Fashola, for the on-go-

ing construction of the 27 kilometre Blue Line rail system from Okokomaiko to Marina, she said the rail would move many people at the same time, increase economic activities, improve the better living conditions of the people and reduce traffic congestion. The winners travelled to the United Kingdom on May 10 and returned on May 16. They visited the London Department for Transport (DFT), London Transport Museum among other places.

Rail begins transit shuttle June 2

T

•The diesel multiple unit train

HE Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) will introduce new train services in Lagos on June 2. A statement by the Assistant Director of Public Relations, Mr. David N. Ndakotsu, said the shuttle would further strengthen its existing services especially within Lagos. According to him, the services will see the deployment of the newly purchased Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) railcars will come with 10 coaches on each train to ease congestion. The Lagos Mass Transit train he further disclosed will run 18 trips daily. He said: “The newly introduced Diesel Multiple Unit will run eight trips per day at N750 per trip, while the standard service will run 10 trips per day at N230 with stops at all stations. The new train service will also run six trips on Saturdays.” It is believed that the introduction of additional train services will help reduce congestion on the Lagos mass transit trains and provide commuters with improved, efficient and reliable trains service especially at peak periods.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

53

MONEYLINK

Portfolios review likely over elections, says Agusto & Co

T

HE 2015 elections could lead to a short-term re-evaluation and reduced exposure to Nigeria especially by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs), Agusto & Co, a rating agency has said. In a report obtained by The Nation, the firm said it believed the 2015 political season which may have been subdued by the new focus on insecurity, could weigh more on investors’ mind. It said that in a largely expected move, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept its benchmark interest rate at a record high in a bid to maintain price and exchange rate stability. “The committee voted to keep the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12 per cent, though one member voted for an asymmetric corridor around the MPR indicating the member’s inclination for a more flexible interest rate regime. “The Committee also voted to keep the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) on public sector deposits and private sector deposits at 75 per cent and 15 per cent respectively and the

Ecobank rewards MyFirst Account holders

MPR corridor at plus or minus 200 basis points,” it said. Agusto explained that in keeping these rates unchanged, the Committee may be seeking a risk neutral approach ahead of the CBN Governor designate, Godwin Emiefele’s resumption. “The decision could also have been borne out of the committee’s satisfaction with price and exchange rate stability since the last meeting - inflation and the naira/ dollar exchange rate still remain within the single digit target and ¦ 155 plus or minus three per cent band respectively. Voting patterns of the committee have been quite unpredictable this year,” the rating agency said. It said that Nigeria has been under the global spotlight in the last one month as a result of the escalation in the violence in the north eastern part of the country, adding that the country’s successful hosting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), even amidst the bombings,

A

savings culture among children as well as their parents and guardians. “We suggest that parents and guardians should set up direct debit instructions on their accounts to fund their children’s / ward’s account. Doing this would go a long way towards growing the amount being saved which apart from teaching the children about saving, also comes in handy on rainy days, especially to offset school fees of the children”. As part of celebrations to mark the Children’s day; Dare said all the bank’s branches will be opened for children to visit on the 27th of May. Branches which have been decorated in attractive and child friendly manner to reflect the Children’s Banking month celebrations will host children to an educative and funfilled day as visiting children will be treated to light refreshments, role plays and financial education talks. Staff of the Bank will also be at various locations where children gather to celebrate the day to give career talks and financial education tips. Even though Children’s day is celebrated on different days around the world; it is the practice to celebrate and honor the children on whatever day has been set aside in each country. The children’s day celebration was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in 1925 and then established universally in 1954.

S part of its commitment to celebrating the Nigerian child, Ecobank has rolled out various activities for its MyFirst Account holders. MyFirst Account, is Ecobank’s savings account for Children and Teenagers not older than 17 years. This year, as parts of the Bank’s efforts to reward loyalty, deserving MyFirst account holders and their parents have been treated to a day at the cinemas at Ecobank’s instance. According to the Head, Liability Product, Adeola Dare, the bank has also made provision in all its branches to hold financial education talks to tutor children and their parents on the benefits of adopting a savings culture at an early age. She explained that it has become part of Ecobank’s culture to celebrate children all through the month of May. “We use this opportunity to reward our MyFirst account holders and encourage a

Stories by Collins Nweze

•Acting CBN Governor, Dr Sarah Alade

the event typifies Nigeria’s wealth in paradoxes. “Trading sentiments in the financial markets for now seem to have clearly ignored the tenuous security conditions in some northern states. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index (NSE-ASI) has dipped by just a little less than one per cent in the last one-month even amidst the negative headlines, while benchmark yields on government securities have held steady within the 11 per cent to 13 per cent range over the same period,” it added.

Euro falls as economic measures spur easing

T

HE euro fell for a third week as measures of manufacturing and business confidence in the region signaled uneven economic growth, bolstering bets on further European Central Bank stimulus in June. Australia’s dollar dropped the most versus the U.S. currency since January as the nation’s central bank meeting minutes signaled it was likely to maintain record-low interest rates. The 18-nation shared currency

reached a three-month low on concern euro-skeptic parties will gain ground this weekend in elections for the European Parliament. The dollar gained before a government report on May 29 that is forecast to show harsh winter weather led the economy to contract in the first quarter, the first three-month downturn since the same period in 2011. “The driver here, and for most currencies, is monetary-policy expectations,” Eric Viloria, a strate-

Tenor

Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year

35m 35m

11.039 12.23

19-05-2014 18-05-2016

yen after declining to 138.15 on May 21, the least since Feb. 6. The dollar gained 0.5 percent to 101.97 yen. The Brazilian real’s 6.2 percent gain is the largest versus the dollar this year, followed by the New Zealand dollar’s 4.1 percent increase, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The biggest losers have been the Swedish krona, down 3.1 percent, and the Canadian dollar, off 2.2 percent.

gist at Wells Fargo & Co. in New York, said in a phone interview. “The data we had this week, there were some mixed PMIs and the German Ifo was disappointing, and that just serves to reinforce these expectations that there could be monetary easing from the ECB.” The euro fell 0.5 percent to $1.3629 this week in New York, after reaching $1.3616 yesterday, the weakest since Feb. 13. Europe’s shared currency was little changed at 138.97

DATA BANK WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m 400m

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF

Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33

OBB Rate

Price Loss 2754.67

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day

Amount 30m 46.7m

Rate % 10.96 9.62

Date 28-04-2012 “

GAINERS AS AT 26-5-14

SYMBOL CUSTODYINS JBERGER UACN MAYBAKER LIVESTOCK RTBROSCPE FIDSON OASISINS UTC FLOURMILL COURTVILLE

O/PRICE 2.80 72.00 58.00 1.67 3.00 1.09 2.56 0.51 0.53 70.50 0.57

C/PRICE 2.94 75.49 60.80 1.75 3.14 1.14 2.67 0.53 0.55 73.00 0.59

CHANGE 0.14 3.49 2.80 0.08 0.14 0.05 0.11 0.02 0.02 2.50 0.02

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

NGN USD NGN GBP

147.6000 239.4810

149.7100 244.0123

150.7100 245.6422

-2.11 -2.57

NGN EUR 212.4997 NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) 149.7450 (S/N) Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)

207.9023

209.2910

-1.51

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

DISCOUNT WINDOWx Feb. ’11

July ’11

July ’12

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00%

LOSERS AS AT 26-5-14

SYMBOL

O/PRICE

ETERNA CAVERTON NEM OANDO AIRSERVICE PRESTIGE VITAFOAM NASCON LEARNAFRCA TRANSCORP

3.61 7.02 0.81 20.00 2.25 0.57 4.11 12.75 1.71 3.89

C/PRICE 3.26 6.34 0.77 19.02 2.15 0.55 4.00 12.41 1.67 3.80

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917

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

Exchange Rate (N) 155.75 155.8 155.7

Date 2-5-14 2-3-14 1-29-14

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX

NSE

6-2-14

28-10-11

% Change

CAP Index

N13.07tr 40,766.16

N6.617tr 20,903.16

-1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH BGL NUBIAN FUND BGL SAPPHIRE FUND CANARY GROWTH FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CORAL INCOME FUND CORAL INCOME FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND FBN HERITAGET FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FIDELITY NIGFUND INTERCONTINENTAL INTEGRITY FUND KAKAWA GUARANTEED INCOME FUND

Offer Price Bid Price 155.90 156.93 9.17 9.08 1.06 1.05 1.17 1.17 0.72 0.71 1.39 1.33 1,646.05 1,634.24 1,646.05 1,643.24 1,081.88 1,081.39 116.74 115.95 1,087.30 1,087.00 1.67 1.62 1.05 1.03

LEGACY FUND NIGERIA INTER DEBIT FUND PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND STANBIC IBTC ETHICAL FUND • UBA BALANCED FUND • UBA BOND FUND • UBA EQUITY FUND • UBA MONEY MARKET FUND

CHANGE -0.35 -0.68 -0.04 -0.98 -0.10 -0.02 -0.11 -0.34 -0.04 -0.09

Amount Sold ($) 399.9m 399.9m 399.9m

Movement

143.11

142.62

0.78 1,944.64 12.72 1.07

0.76 1,936.31 12.40 1.05

1.2655 1.3132 0.9270 1.1597

1.2543 1.3132 0.9098 1.1597

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000

8.5000

Movement


54

THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-05-14

DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 26-05-14


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

55

EQUITIES

Multiverse in 105m shares cross deal as profit-taking depresses equities

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ULTIVERSE Plc yesterday witnessed a relatively significant change in its shareholdings structure as investors swapped about 2.5 per cent equity stake of the quarry and natural minerals company. The Nigerian equity market opened with a tinge of bearishness with investors seeking to take profits from stocks that had recorded appreciable gains in the previous trading sessions. Against the background of the 2.08 per cent average gain recorded at the stock market last week, declines in share prices of several leading stocks highlighted the propensity of speculative investors to lock in their gains. A cross deal for 105 million ordinary shares of 50 kobo each of Multiverse valued at N52.5 million was the largest deal, by volume, yesterday. Market sources said the single deal on Multiverse was a cross deal, referencing that the buyer and seller had previously agreed on the transfer and merely formalized the transaction at the Nigerian Stock Ex-

Stories by Taofik Salako Capital Market Editor

change (NSE). The deal, which was struck at the nominal price of 50 kobo, implied transfer of 2.46 per cent equity stake of Multiverse. Multiverse had recently entered into a joint quarry production agreement with Unicontinental Engineering Company Limited, an international Chinese quarry company. The long-term joint production agreement involved granite stones in Multiverse’s entire quarry sites. The strategic arrangement covered technical, financial, equipment and production assistance. It was unclear yesterday if the cross deal has anything to do with a new major investor. The overall market situation at the NSE was largely negative, although most equities ended on the upside. Losses recorded by highly capitalised stocks in petroleum-marketing, building materials and manufacturing sectors coloured the overall market situation. While there were 29 advancers to

26 decliners, the All Share Index (ASI), the main index that tracks all quoted equities on the NSE, indicated average decline of 0.19 per cent, equivalent to a loss of N25 billion. The ASI slipped from 39,831.83 points to close at 39,755.47 points. Aggregate market value of all quoted equities dropped from N13.152 trillion to N13.127 trillion. Nestle Nigeria was the highest loser with a drop of N10.01 to close at N1,069.99 per share. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria followed with a loss of N2.44 to close at N110.06. Mobil Oil Nigeria lost N1 to close at N129. Oando dropped by 98 kobo to N19.02. Caverton declined by 68 kobo to close at N6.34. Dangote Cement lost 63 kobo to close at N222.99. Eterna dropped by 35 kobo to N3.26. National Salt Company of Nigeria (Nascon) slipped by 34 kobo to N12.41. Zenith Bank lost 30 kobo to close at N23.11 while Dangote Sugar Refinery dropped by 13 kobo to close at N9.72 per share. Some market analysts said they expected the profit-taking to continue

today, raising prospects of another negative overall market situation. Total turnover stood at 360.03 million shares valued at N6.52 billion in 4,819 deals. Financial services sector was the most active with a turnover of 152.47 million shares worth N1.11 billion in 2,317 deals. Wapic Insurance was the second most active stock with a turnover of 44.35 million shares valued at N34.91 million in 127 deals. Oando followed with a turnover of 35.11 million shares valued at N724.43 million in 563 deals. Meanwhile, Julius Berger Nigeria led the bullish stocks with a gain of N3.49 to close at N75.49. UAC of Nigeria followed with a gain of N2.80 to close at N60.80. Flour Mills Nigeria rose by N2.50 to close at N73. Cadbury Nigeria added N1.47 to close at N75.31. Presco chalked up N1.20 to close at N36.50. Total Nigeria gathered N1.01 to close at N157.01. Guinness Nigeria rose by 50 kobo to N179 while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria garnered 29 kobo to close at N9.99 per share.

Investors place premium on Seven-Up

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NVESTORS are willing to buy Seven-Up Bottling Company (7UP) Plc at above-the-market price as the soft drink bottling company prepares to release its latest audited report and accounts. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) indicated that two deals worth N250.2 million that were struck on SevenUp in off market trades were struck at about 8.7 per cent above its current market price at the Exchange. According to the NSE, a total of 2.69 million ordinary shares of 7-Up valued at N250.20 million were traded in two off market trades at N93 last Thursday, 8.7 per cent above the company market price of N85.58 per share. Seven-Up’s market price at the NSE remained unchanged at N85.58 per share at the close of trading this Monday, implying that there were no enough volumes to move up the share price. Stocks in Seven-Up’s category require 10,000 shares for any price changes. Seven-Up is expected to release its audited report and accounts for the year ended March 31, 2014 in the next four weeks, according to the corporate governance requirements for stocks listed on the main board of the NSE. Market analysts said the off market trades highlighted investors’ appetite for the soft-drink company and expectations on its impending results. Interim report and accounts of 7Up for the third quarter ended December 31, 2013 showed that it doubled pre and post tax profits, un-

derlining strong top-down growth and efficient sales and financing cost management. The nine-month report showed that the soft drink bottling company optimized appreciable increase in sales with efficient cost management to deliver its strongest growth in recent period. With nine-month earnings per share already 37.4 per cent above full-year earnings per share in the immediate past year, Seven-Up significantly scaled up performance during the period. Turnover rose by 23 per cent while gross profit increased by 32 per cent. Pre and post tax profits jumped by 191 per cent and 180 per cent respectively. The nine-month report under-

lined improvement in the profitability of the company. Gross profit margin increased to 39.42 per cent in 2013 as against 36.65 per cent recorded in comparable period of 2012. Profit before tax margin more than doubled at 9.28 per cent in 2013 compared with 3.91 per cent recorded in 2012. The latest report showed considerable improvement on the last audited report and accounts of the company, which was also hailed as a turning point. Audited report and accounts of the soft-drink company for the year ended March 31, 2013 showed that sales increased by 7.1 per cent but higher margins pushed profit before tax up by 27.5 per cent. Profit after tax rose by 70.3 per cent, underlining the in-

crease in basic earnings per share from N2.62 in 2012 to N4.46 in 2013.The improved bottom-line performance enabled the company to increase cash payout by 10 per cent just as its net assets value rose by 22 per cent. The company increased cash dividends to N1.41 billion in 2013 compared with N1.28 billion distributed for the 2012 business year. This implied a dividend per share of N2.20 in 2013 as against N2 in 2012. Meanwhile, the prospects for future dividend payment was stronger with a dividend cover of 2.0 times in 2013 as against 1.3 times in 2012. Both actual and underlying profit and loss indicators showed appreciable improvement in the profitability of the company.

Emerging stocks fall from 7-month high

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MERGING-MARKET stocks dropped from a seven-month high as industrial and utility shares snapped two days of gains, offsetting an advance in Russian stocks. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index slid 0.1 per cent to 1,041.78 in New York. Naver Corp, which operates South Korea’s most-popular search engine, was the biggest drag on the developing-nation gauge. Russia’s Micex Index advanced to a three-month high and Ukraine’s 2017 Eurobonds rose for a 10th straight day after billionaire Petro Poroshenko won Ukraine’s presidential election. MSCI Inc’s developing-nation gauge reached the highest since October on May 23, boosting the 14-day relative strength index to 72. A reading above 70 indicates to some investors that a security is overbought. “The markets are taking a breather, which is healthy,” Hertta Alava, the head of emerging markets at FIM Asset Management Ltd. in Helsinki, said by e-mail. “The relief rally is continuing in Russia as things haven’t got worse.” The developing-nation gauge has advanced 3.9 percent this year and trades at 10.8 times projected 12-month earnings, almost the highest level since January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The MSCI World Index has gained 2.5 percent and is valued at a multiple of 14.9. Six of 10 industry groups in the emerging-markets gauge fell today, led by utility, industrial and energy stocks. Isagen SA tumbled 4.6 per cent in Bogota trading after Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who opposes the sale of the government’s stake in the power company, led the first round of Colombia’s presidential vote. Naver slumped 4.0 per cent after Daum Communications Corp), which competes with the company in the Internet portal industry, said it will merge with Kakao Corp., South Korea’s largest mobile messaging service provider. Samsung Electronics Co, which has the largest weighting in the emerging-markets index, dropped 0.4 per cent after Apple Inc. sought an order to block the sale of some of the South Korean company’s phones. The Micex advanced 0.7 per cent to the highest level since Feb. 26 as OAO Gazprom and OAO Sberbank rallied more than one per cent. Poroshenko won Ukraine’s presidential election, drawing 54.1 per cent of yesterday’s vote with 81 percent of ballots counted, according to the election commission. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who doesn’t recognize the government in Kiev, has pledged to work with the victor.

Pfizer dumps $117b AstraZeneca takeover bid after rejection

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FIZER Inc yesterday walked away from its effort to buy AstraZeneca Plc for 69.4 billion pounds, about $117 billion, in what would have been the biggest deal ever in the drug industry. The offer represented “full value” for AstraZeneca, the New Yorkbased drugmaker said in a statement yesterday. AstraZeneca said it welcomed “the opportunity to continue building on the momentum we have already demonstrated.” Under United Kingdom (UK) takeover rules, Pfizer had until 5.0 pm London time yesterday to make a firm offer. The regulations require a cooling-off period of at least three months before talks can restart, giving both drugmakers time to figure

out their next move. Pfizer is hoping AstraZeneca investors will pressure the company’s board to come back to the table, while AstraZeneca may seek a revenue-generating acquisition of its own to help it fend off the larger company. “The probability of a future AstraZeneca acquisition is dimmed, but not entirely extinguished,” said Mark Purcell, an analyst with Barclays Plc, in a note to clients. Pfizer, the biggest United States (US. drugmaker, has declined to say if it will try again to buy London-based AstraZeneca after the UK company’s board rejected its last offer of 55 pounds a share. For talks to begin anew after three months, AstraZeneca must invite the discussion. Otherwise, Pfizer

needs to wait six months to make a new bid. “We continue to believe that our final proposal was compelling and represented full value for AstraZeneca based on the information that was available to us,” Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Ian Read said in the statement. “As we said from the start, the pursuit of this transaction was a potential enhancement to our existing strategy.” AstraZeneca fell 2.1 per cent to close at the equivalent of 42.51 pounds in Stockholm. Stock markets in the US and the UK were closed yesterday for holidays. Pfizer fell 0.6 per cent to close $29.49 on May 23. “We welcome the opportunity to continue building on the momentum

we have already demonstrated as an independent company,” AstraZeneca Chairman Leif Johansson said in a statement after Pfizer’s announcement. “We have attractive growth prospects and a rapidly progressing pipeline. In the coming months, we anticipate positive news flow across our core therapeutic areas, which underpin our confidence in the long-term prospects of the business.” Both companies set themselves up with massive expectations during a very public debate over the proposed deal. AstraZeneca has predicted sales of $45 billion by 2023, a 75 per cent increase from last year. The company has bet heavily on a new class of cancer drugs that use the body’s immune system to attack tumors, experimental drugs Pfizer has said it covets.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

56

NEWS (SHOWBIZ)

New film relays Kudirat Abiola’s struggle A FEATURE-LENGTH documentary film on the ordeal of the late Hajia Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late business mogul and winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Bashorun MKO Abiola, by an American filmmaker, may be released in Nigeria soon. Called The Supreme Price, the film, according to the director, Joanna Lipper, a lecturer at Harvard University, United States, traces the evolution of the pro-democracy movement in Nigeria and efforts to increase the participation of women in leadership roles. “I set out to make a film that honours the personal and professional sacrifices that Kudirat and other women activists make on a daily basis as agents of change in Nigeria,” said the documentary filmmaker. Lipper, in her new film, uses Hafsat Abiola has the central character of a story that talks about the challenges of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving women - a people considered as the most marginalised population. Hafsat, the eldest daughter of M.K.O and Kudirat, founded the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND). Determined not to let her parents’ ideals die with them, her experiences as an activist following the annulment of her father’s victory in the June 12, 1993 election and her mother’s assassination by agents of the military dictatorship, among other pro-democracy issues, form the substance of Lipper’s documentary. Kudirat Abiola, who was contesting the annulment of the June 12 election and subsequent incarceration of her husband, was killed in 1996 by gunmen believed to have been sent by Major Mustapha, the then CSO to former president Sani Abacha. Lipper’s movie engages prodemocracy activists such as Professor Wole Soyinka; Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, President, Women Arise for

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•Hafsat By Victor Akande

Change Initiative and Campaign for Democracy; Olalekan Yusau Abiola, eldest son of M.K.O and Nicholas Costello, Hafsat’s husband, among others, as notable characters . “What gave me the confidence to undertake this project was my access to Hafsat Abiola and her willingness to provide introduction to other family members, the staff of her NGO, KIND, and professionals she knew in the Nollywood community, who welcomed me and facilitated filming in Lagos and Ogun States,” said Lipper who teaches Using Film for Social Change in the Department of African and African-American Studies. Her work as a documentary filmmaker has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, ITVS, Britdoc Foundation, the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, Women Make Movies and Chicken & Egg Pictures. The Supreme Price received the Gucci Tribeca Spotlighting Women Documentary Award, while an extended trailer from the film was commissioned to launch Gucci’s Chime for Change Women’s Empowerment Campaign at TED 2013. Lipper, it appears, is consid-

ering making a film on the Boko Haram insurgency and the much-talked about kidnapping of over 200 school girls from Chibok, a community in Borno State. According to her, “Several years ago when I began working on my documentary, I had no way of knowing that, in the months leading up to the film’s premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Nigeria would be front and centre in news around the world. The horrific kidnapping of over 250 school girls in the northern part of the country is a tragic story that touches upon the film’s key themes: the need to protect, educate and empower women and girls; the need for increased numbers of women leaders in political positions of power to represent their best interests; the violent backlash in the face of progressive change when it comes to traditional gendered stereotypes that involve the oppression of women and the complete absence of a Nigerian government that is accountable to the masses.” She said two of the film’s major funders (the MacArthur Foundation and Ford Foundation) have offices in Nigeria and do extensive impact and outreach work both in the North and in the South. “In addition to these two alliances, I have established partnerships with Women for Women, Vital Voices and a number of Nigerian grassroots organisations, including the Mobile Cinema Initiative, KIND and Women Arise,” she revealed. She added: “I hope that this film will reach and inspire women who might not otherwise have the opportunity to see it, and that it will provoke conversations around the world about global solidarity amongst women when it comes to equal rights and leadership, while protecting the rights of the most vulnerable.”

South Africa leads AMAA 2014

T was a glitzy evening at the weekend when the 10th edition of the Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) held at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenogoa, the capital of Bayelsa State. The awards show, which rewards excellence in African cinema, was graced by dignatories from Africa and the Diaspora. There was a huge turnout of filmmakers, actors, actresses as well as top officials from Bayelsa State government. This year, the colourful event attracted over 500 entries, including short films, documen-

By Mercy Michael

taries, features and animation. Interestingly, there were new additions to the existing categories: The Madiba Award, which recognises any movie that foregrounds the principle of the late freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela and the Joyce Banda Award, which recognizes women empowerment. The 10th anniversary of AMAA was headed by one of Nigeria’s best known film and art critics, Steve Ayorinde. Other panelists include: Ayuko Babu, Dorothee Wenner, As-

antewa Olatunji, June Givanni, Prof. Hyginus Ozoemen Ekwuazi, John Akomefrah and Keith Shiri. The event, which has been described as the best in history of AMAA, scored a plus in so many ways. Although it has come and gone, winners in different categories will, for a long time, treasure the memory. In particular, South Africa literally stole the day, as a number of creative works from her movie industry clinched the highest number of awards at the ceremony.

•South Africans celebrating the awards with the winner of the Best Actor in Leading Role at the 2014 AMAA in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State...at the weekend


57

THE NATION TUESDAY MAY 27, 2014

NEWS No Children’s Day in Gombe By Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe

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HE Gombe State government has said there would be no elaborate celebration of Children’s Day today due to the security situation in the Northeast. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare Hajiya Fatima Abubakar said children will gather at the stadium and pray for the release of the abducted Chibok girls and those massacred at the Federal Government College Buni-Yadi, Yobe State. She said: “This year, we are dropping all the fanfare and celebration. “The children would build on the efforts of others as similar prayers had been held in mosques and churches.”

Kwankwaso, Nyako, Adamawa lawmakers meet

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ANO State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, his Adamawa State counterpart Murtala Nyako, the Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Ahmadu Usman and 12 lawmakers met yesterday at the Presidential Lodge, Government House Yola. The outcome of the meeting was not revealed to reporters. Usman, who was the last

From Barnabas Manyam,Yola

to leave, refused inquires from reporters on what transpired at the meeting. Kwankwaso, who was waylaid, said: “Do I need a visa to visit Adamawa and see my elder brother? “If you say I came to discuss with him some perceived problems; let me tell you that there are no prob-

lems. “I was not sent by the northern governors to mediate between the House of Assembly and the governor because there is no problem between them.” Kwankwaso praised Nyako for the skills acquisition programmes in Adamawa State. Political pundits said the meeting was called because

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

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‘Treat victims right’ From James Azania, Lokoja

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HE Chairman of Northern Zone of Nigerian Orthopaedic Association, Dr Felix Ogedegbe, has decried the shortage of healthcare facilities in government hospitals where Boko Haram victims are taken to. He criticised the Federal Government for lack of emergency telephone lines in government hospitals. Ogedegbe, who is also Medical Director, Cedarcrest Hospitals, Abuja, bemoaned the lack of adequate facilities in government hospitals in the nation’s capital. He accused President Goodluck Jonathan of showcasing the country’s inadequacies in the health sector.

From James Azania,Lokoja

•Kwankwaso

of the frosty relationship between the House and the governor.

•Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam and his wife, Yemisi, displaying their permanent voter’s card... yesterday.

Governor’s pension bill passed into law HE Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has passed into law a bill seeking pension for life for the governor and deputy governor. The bill, which had earlier passed the first and second reading, was presented for deliberations yesterday The law also provided for the former governor funds to employ a cook, chauffeurs and security guards at a sum not exceeding N5 million per month and N2.5 million for the deputy governor. The former governor will also be entitled to free medical services for him/herself and spouse at a sum not exceeding N100 million per annum and N50 million for former deputy governor. The bill also sought to provide for the former governor a befitting accommodation not below five bedroom maisonette in either Abuja or Akwa Ibom. The bill also provided for yearly accommodation allowance of 300 per cent of annual basic salary for the deputy governor. The former governor would also receive a severance gratuity of 300 per cent of annual basic salary.

N400m lost to insecurity

PHOTO: UJA EMMANUEL

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Ize-Iyamu: Oshiomhole promised me governorship

FORMER chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said yesterday that Governor Adams Oshiomhole promised to support his governorship candidacy. He recently led some APC members to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Ize-Iyamu, who spoke in a local television interview, said the APC has become an “animal farm” in the state. He said he joined the PDP because he believed that the party was the best vehicle through which he would reach his destination. Ize-Iyamu said there was a desperate move by the governor to dismantle his structures, adding that his problem with the governor was

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

because he dared to speak the truth. His words: “The governor publicly and privately has come to me to say Pastor I appreciate the support you have given to me. “I know how competent you are. When the time comes I will support you to become the governor. If he denies it, it will completely show he is not a man of his words. “The issue is somebody has consistently promised me this but with the way the comrade has been going, by 2016, I don’t think there will be any APC again.

“APC today has become an animal farm. Everything we condemned is still in place. The governor wanted to conduct the congress in an undemocratic way by asking me to take five wards and the deputy five wards. “He was so petrified about Ize-Iyamu being in control that he wanted me to become a minority.” But the governor in a veiled response said it was Ize-Iyamu who insisted that he should unilaterally decree him as the next governor. Oshiomhole, who spoke at the APC State Congress, said such person could not fit in the change taking place in

APC. He said: “A rolling political stone cannot make a difference. Those who believe that their interest must come before the people there is no way they can fit into the logic of APC. “Those who insist we must do politics as usual where positions are appointed by one person, those who insist that I should unilaterally decree them as the next governor cannot fit in. “Those who insist I should appoint them as the chairman because they were chairman before, they cannot fit into the principle of change. We must assist them to move on. Those who insist that no man is God, may man continue to be their God.”

Ex-soldier sues Army over children’s arrest

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RETIRED soldier, Sergeant Burma Abdullahi, has sued the army at the Federal High Court in Lagos over the arrest of his children for allegedly belonging to Boko Haram. He is praying the court to declare their arrest illegal and to award them N10million damages. He said two of his children, including his seven-year-old ward, were arrested and paraded as Boko Haram members when they have nothing to do with the sect. Abdullahi sued on behalf of Ahmed Abdullahi (16), Mohammed Abdullahi (11,) Haruna Zarkya (18) and Yahaya Ibrahim (seven), a pri-

By Joseph Jibueze

mary school pupil. The Army, Chief of Army Staff, General Officer Commanding 81 Division and the Attorney General of the Federation are the respondents. In an affidavit, he said he temporarily relocated to Lagos from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, due to terrorist activities in the Northeast. According to him, on July 3 last year, while he was away in Maiduguri, some men in police and army vehicles stormed his residence and arrested his wards, including a minor. When he returned, he said he was shown a newspaper

publication of July 30, last year, in which the children were paraded as Boko Haram suspects. Abdullahi is, therefore, seeking a declaration that the arrest and continued detention of his sons, without reasonable suspicion of the commission of any crime, is a gross violation of their fundamental rights. He is praying for an order compelling the respondents to release the applicants forthwith from custody. He also wants the respondents to tender a public apology to the applicants for the humiliation they suffered. The applicants’ lawyer, Christopher Okafor, urged

the court to hold that the arrest of the applicants constituted a breach of their rights to personal liberty. He argued that it was illegal for the respondents to have embarked on such illegal arrest, where there existed no reasonable suspicion of the culpability of the applicants, in respect to any offence or terrorist activities. Okafor submitted that the suspicion of the applicants as belonging to Boko Haram was not only unreasonable but laughable, since they had only fled Maiduguri to Lagos for safety. Justice Okon Abang reserved ruling till September 26.

A GROUP, Kogi State Coalition of Professional Business Association, said yesterday that it lost over N400 million worth of investments, due to robbery, theft and burglary in the last 18 months. Its Chairman, John Alabi, urged the government and security agents to do more in providing adequate security in the state and called for synergy among security agencies. He said there was a need to create a platform between business owners and security agents. Alabi called on government to create more skill acquisition centres for youth development, saying moral education taught in schools will go a long way in solving the problem. He advised youths to shun activities which derail their future.

Club meeting on Saturday THE Annual General Meeting of the Iseri Mainland Club holds on Saturday at the club’s multipurpose hall in Magodo, Lagos. Chairman, Organising Committee, Festus Okubule, said there will be a review of activities of the past year and an evaluation of reports from various officers at the meeting. The club’s chairman, Olufemi Ariba, is expected to preside over the meeting, which starts at 5pm. “We are also going to discuss our new cool room and other infrastructures, among other crucial issues. Everything is set to make the event a grand one,” Okubule said.

Ahmed wins award KWARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has won the 2014 edition of the Hall of Grace (HOG) Governor of the Year Award. The award certificate and plaque were presented to the governor by former Information Minister and Grand Custodian of the HOG Awards, Chief Alex Akinyele, at a ceremony held at the Summit Centre, Ikeja. Akinyele described the HOG Awards as “a huge platform upon which deserving Nigerians are celebrated”. Editor and Managing Custodian of the HOG Awards Rupert Ojenuwa said Ahmed won because of his exceptional focus on human capital development. Receiving the award on behalf of the governor, the Special Adviser on Communication Strategy, Abdulraheem Adedoyi, thanked the organisers for the honour.


58

THE NATION TUESDAY MAY 27, 2014

NEWS

IYC rejects 13 per cent derivation From Bolaji Ogundele, Warri

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•The protesters.. .yesterday. PHOTO: OSAGIE OTABOR

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Youths shut down Benin Airport

CTIVITIES at the Benin Airport were paralysed yesterday when youths protested the non-appointment of an Edo State representative into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the

Pirates attack boat in Bayelsa

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

NDDC last December but stalled the appointment of the state’s nominee, Henry Okhuarobo, because of alleged political interest. The youths locked the gates leading to the airport. Policemen used tear gas to

the Presidency. Osazuwa said they were not concerned about who was appointed commissioner. He said they would shut oil wells in the state, if the commissioner was not appointed. “This state has been with-

out a NDDC commissioner for too long. Last time, we gave them 46 days. The sealing of the airport is the only way to get the President to answer us. “The police cannot intimidate us because they are fully aware that we are fighting for our right.”

Court strikes out Amaechi’s case against lawmakers

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RIVERS State High Court in Port Harcourt struck out yesterday the PIRATES ambushed yesterday suit by Governor Rotimi a passenger boat on the Amaechi seeking to stop Nembe-Brass waterways in members of the House of AsBayelsa State. sembly from impeaching him. The bandits raided the boat The court said the suit was at Obama Rice Farm, an area baseless and incompetent. located between Brass and A crisis in the state chapter Nembe. of the Peoples Democratic ParThe incident, which occurred ty (PDP) in April last year, led at 10am, temporarily halted to Amaechi’s suspension from movement of goods and the party the following passengers on the waterways. month. A source said the pirates Following his suspension, robbed their victims of their five lawmakers began moves phones, money, jewelries and to impeach him, by first atother valuables. No life was tempting to remove the lost in the incident. Speaker, Otelemaba Dan“The attack only created Amachree. fears among travellers and traders and stopped movement of boats on the waterways. The passengers of the attacked boats refused to embark on HE candidate of the their journey again. Democratic Peoples “It took the intervention of a Party (DPP) in the 2011 patrol boat of the Joint Task governorship election in DelForce to convince them to ta State, Great Ogboru, lost begin their journey again,” he again yesterday in his chalsaid. lenge of the victory of the PeoThe Commissioner of Police, ples Democratic Party (PDP) Hilary Opara, said gunboats candidate, Governor Emwere immediately deployed in manuel Uduaghan. the area. The apex court, in a ruling, struck out Ogboru’s application seeking to relist the appeals he filed against the decision of the Election Appeal Tribunal in the From Osemwengie Ben case. The court described the Ogbemudia, Benin application as absurd and an abuse of its process. CHAIRMAN of Edo State Oil It also came down hard on and Gas Producing Areas the applicant and his lawyer, Development Commission awarding a cost of N8million (EDSOGPADEC) Vincent Uwadiae has assured rainstorm (N2million per defendant) victims in Okokhuo communi- against Ogboru, but ordered that the cost should be paid to ty of government’s help. the defendants by his lawyer, Uwadiae, who visited the Dickson Osuala. area, said Governor Adams The defendants, who are to Oshiomole promised that benefit from the cost, are Udueverything will be done to aghan, PDP, the Independent ameliorate their suffering. National Electoral CommisThe chairman assured the people that Okokhuo Second- sion (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation ary School will be rebuilt. The councillor representing (AGF). Justice Walter Onnoghen, the area, J.O. Otabor, thanked who presided over the prothe EDSOGPADEC boss for responding to their plight. From Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

disperse the protesters and forced the gates open. The protesters later blocked the Airport Road and caused heavy vehicular traffic. Their leader, John Osazuwa, said their protest followed the expiration of a 46-day ultimatum issued to

From Rosemary Nwisi and Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt

They are Evans Bipi (Ogu/ Bolo), Kelechi Nwogu (Omuma), Martin Amaewhule (Obio/ Akpor 1), Victor Ihunwo (Port Harcourt 3) and Michael Chinda (Obio/Akpor 2). Amaechi approached the court to restrain all the 32 lawmakers from impeaching him. The five lawmakers filed an application expressing their interest to join in the suit in separate capacities. They said their opinions differ from that of their colleagues. Justice George Omereji pointed out that the claimant mentioned the Chairman and

Secretary of the State PDP, Felix Obuah and Walter Ibibia Opuene, in the case for “criminal wrongdoings” without substantiating his claims against them. Justice Omereji said there was no way anyone, who was mentioned for criminal wrongdoings, would not be given an opportunity for fair hearing. “If the court goes ahead with its ruling on the persons mentioned in the suit without giving them opportunity to defend themselves, it would amount to unfair hearing,” he said. According to the judge, the claimant did not give reason-

able cause to show that there was a plot to impeach him at the Hotel Presidential, adding that it was in the mind of the claimant that such a plot was conceived. The court also pointed out that the “allegation of harassing, intimidating, abusing and threatening” the first set of defendants by Obuah and Opuene, was not on the claimant, and, therefore, was incompetent. The governor through the Chief of Staff, Government House, Tony Okocha, said he would look at the ruling before taking a decision . To him, the case has become a mere academic exercise.

Supreme Court throws out Ogboru’s case against Uduaghan

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Respite for Edo victims

•Orders lawyer to pay defendants N8m From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

ceedings, conducted by a panel of seven justices, said this was the third time Ogboru was filing similar applications, in which he sought the same prayers. He held that the court having dismissed the earlier applications, and ended the case in its earlier ruling, Ogboru was wrong to have brought back the same application, which the court had decided. Justice Onnoghene said the argument by Osuala that the court applied a non-valid law in reaching its earlier decisions was insufficient to clothe the court with jurisdiction to hear the application. “From the facts revealed in this case this is about the third time that the applicant is approaching this court for an order setting aside the decision of this court made on March 2, 2012. “Secondly, the applicant is contending that the provision of Section 285(7) of the 1999

Constitution (as amended) was not validly enacted and as such the court ought not to have applied same in striking out the consolidated appeals. “In conclusion, the application is a gross abuse of process of this court and consequently dismissed, with cost of N2million against the applicant and in favour of each set of respondents payable by Dr. Dickson D. I. Osuala personally. Motion filed on August 21, last year, is hereby struck out. Justice Tanko Muhammed described Ogboru’s application as akin to asking the court to beat a dead horse with the hope that it will wake up, a move he said, was time wasting. “We are not ready to have our time and energy wasted. We have a lot of work to do. There is no need beating a dead horse because you cannot revive it. “The application is a gross abuse of the process of this court. This is the last time this

•Ogboru

case should be brought to this court. Please respect yourself. There must be limit to litigation,” he said. Justices Bode Rhodes-Vivour, Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta, Mary Peter-Odili and Clara Bata-Ogunbiyi also agreed with the ruling.

HE Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has rejected the report of the Power Devolution Committee of the National Conference, which retained the 13 per cent derivation fund for oil producing states. IYC, in a statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare, in Warri yesterday, expressed disappointment in the committee members, especially its chairman, former Akwa Ibom State Governor Obong Victor Attah, for betraying the common position of the people on resource control. The statement reads: “Obong Victor Attah and other Southsouth delegates who served on the Committee on Devolution of Power and agreed to retain 13 per cent derivation did so on their own and not on behalf of Niger Deltans. “Niger Delta people have a common position on the issue of resource control which cannot be changed unilaterally by Obong Attah and his co-travellers. “The Niger Delta people would sanction delegates who are betraying the position of the region on resource control and derivation in the National Confab.”

Mark hails NDDC projects

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ENATE President David Mark has praised the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for delivering projects which have direct impact on communities in the region. Mark gave the endorsement at the inauguration of the 1.5kilometre Ndoma-Egba Road and erosion control works executed by the NDDC in Ikom, Cross River State. The Senate President praised the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, for collaborating with the NDDC to bring development to his people. “The cooperation between the NDDC and the Senate Leader is the kind of understanding that we ask for from the people of the various communities, because without such synergy, projects such as this will not have come on stream,” he said. Mark noted that development projects were sometimes hampered when communities come up with unnecessary demands on government agencies or contractors. NDDC Managing Director Bassey Dan-Abia thanked Mark for finding time to inaugurate the road and erosion control project, as well as inspecting the Specialist Hospital being built by the NDDC in Ikom.

Truck kills two children in Cross River

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From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

HERE was tragedy in Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State, on Sunday when a Hilux truck, which belongs to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, knocked down two children, killing them instantly. An eyewitness said the children, eight and 12, were coming from church. He said the driver, who was speeding, tried to avoid a pothole and rammed into the children, who were standing by the road. “The accident occurred at 3:30pm. The driver and his passenger, a white man, were beaten by the youths before policemen arrived. “The driver was later taken to the station. The white man, who was to resume at the Julius Berger Quarry at Akampa, was taken to the church for safety. From there he was taken away.”


THE NATION TUESDAY MAY 27, 2014

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NEWS

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NAMBRA State Governor Willie Obiano’s determination to rid the state of criminals has yielded result, as a suspected kidnap gang leader, Okechukwu Nnaegbo, has been nabbed aboard a South African Airways flight at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. Nnaegbo, who has confessed to being the shadowy figure behind the recent highprofile kidnap cases in the state, was on his way to South Africa to evade the onslaught against criminals, when a team of detectives from the Special Anti-robbery Squad in Anambra, in collaboration with their Lagos State counterparts, pounced on him inside the aircraft. Nnaegbo, who hails from Nri in Anaocha Local Government, is believed to be the leader of a gang of armed robbers and kidnappers, who made life miserable for Ndi Anambra until the recent launch of “Operation Kpochapu”, a special anti-crime task force, by the Obiano administration. Commissioner of Police Usman A. Gwary said the suspect was aboard the Johannesburg-bound plane when he was arrested by his men with the assistance of airport security operatives. Nnaegbo’s arrest climaxed a week of successful counteroffensive against kidnappers in Anambra, which saw members of the “Operation Kpochapu” demolishing two buildings that belonged to suspected kidnappers.

•The building before demolition

Suspected Anambra kidnap gang leader arrested •Obiano demolishes ‘den’ One of the buildings belonged to Nonso Mgbe, a 25year-old suspected kidnapper from Azia village in Ihiala Local Government, who is believed to have been responsible for the death of a former commander of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command. He was also said to have been responsible for other high-profile kidnap cases. As Mgbe’s storey building was being demolished, villag-

Minister, NNPC probe: Judge soft-pedals on summons against Reps

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•The building during demolition

From Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

USTICE Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, soft-pedalled yesterday on his earlier insistence that the House of Representatives or its representative appear before him to explain the source of an order it claimed restrained it from proceeding with its planned investigation of the allegation that Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, spent about N10 billion on hiring aircraft. The judge’s change of mind was informed by the apology tendered on behalf of the House yesterday by its lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN). The lawyer, who appeared in the case for the first time, admitted that his client, at a media briefing addressed by the Chairman of its Committee on Information, Zakari Mohammed, misrepresented the court proceedings when he claimed that the court issued an order restraining the House from probing Mrs Alison-Madueke. Mahmoud said he tried to ensure that the Mohammed attend court, as directed by the judge, adding that he could not make it to court because he was on a medical trip abroad. The lawyer said another official of the House, who ought to stand in for Mohammed, could also not make it. He pleaded with the court to forgive his client’s inadequacies. “I would like, on behalf of the second defendant (House of Reps) to tender an unreserved apology on the mixed-up. I believe it was not the intention of the lawmakers to misrepresent the proceedings and what the court said. I hope the court will accept this apology and lay the matter to rest,” Mahmoud said. Although Etige Uwa (SAN), the lawyer to the plaintiffs – the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Alison-Madueke and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) – said the court needed to protect its integrity by insisting that the House respect the court and halt all activities relating to the probe pending the determination of the suit, the court held that the apology was sufficient. Justice Mohammed said his earlier insistence that the House or its official appear in court to correct the misrepresentation was not because he was interested in seeing the faces of members of the House or those responsible for the misrepresentation. According to him, it was to ensure that they clear the air on the matter and put the records straight. Justice Mohammed ordered the House to organise another media briefing where it should correct the misrepresentation, since the earlier misrepresentation, which led to the misinformation of the world about the through position of the case in court, happened at a media briefing. The judge refrained from making an order that the court should halt its probe of the allegation against the minister, as canvassed by Uwa, who opposed an oral application for an adjournment by Mahmoud. The lawyer insisted that the business of the day was for the defendants to show why the court should not grant the interim orders of injunction sought by the plaintiffs. Uwa added: “The court should restrain the defendants from going ahead with the probe, having been served with the processes of the pending suit.” He noted that this was the only way the court could protect its dignity. “We may come back to this court next time and discover that what we are asking the court to restrain has occurred,” he said.

ers shook their heads. A nine-bedroom bungalow belonging to another suspected kidnapper, Okechukwu Amasiatu of Ezinifite in Nnewi South Local Government, was also demolished by “Operation Kpochapu”. He was suspected to have been behind the kidnap of highly-placed indigenes. He was also reported to have been the mastermind of the killing of five policemen at Emeka Offor junction in Oraifite, Nnewi.

•The building after demolition

Sources at Ezinifite said Amasiatu lived in Lagos but chose his village and the neighbouring towns and villages as targets to carry out his criminal activities. They said his elder brother, Chimaobi, was shot by the police in a shoot-

out, following a tip-off on the activities of his gang. Obiano said his administration was determined to rescue Anambra from criminals. The governor used the opportunity to reiterate his administration’s effort to discour-

age youths from committing crimes, saying a comprehensive databank was being compiled to give them jobs. He advised youths to participate in the exercise organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Okorocha to Jonathan: stop thinking about re-election, fight terrorism

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MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to stop thinking about re-election. He said the President should rescue the Chibok girls and fight terrorism. Okorocha said the cancellation of activities by the Federal Govern-

FCT’s CCTV functional, says minister From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja

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HE Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, has faulted claims that the multi-billion naira Close Circuit Television (CCTV) installed in parts of the nation’s capital has stopped working. The minister addressed reporters yesterday at a forum organised by The Newsworld Magazine. He said the facility had immensely assisted the security agencies in tracking criminals, including the suspected terrorists responsible for the bombings in Nyanya, a satellite town in Abuja. Although the minister said the CCTV had not covered Nyanya and some other towns in the FCT, he said efforts were ongoing to install a comprehensive CCTV coverage. Mohammed explained that security agencies were performing other levels of coverage of activities in the capital city. The minister said the CCTV was not only functional but was equally of high quality, contrary to some reports.

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

ment was not enough to address insecurity. The governor, who spoke at the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport, Owerri on arrival from Abuja, enjoined President Jonathan to summon an emergencymeetingofgovernorsandstakeholders in Borno State to brainstorm

oninsecurity. Said he: “Nigerians have done enoughprotestsandmourning.What is required now is action to see that the girls are freed and to curb insecurity.” Okorocha noted that despite protests,therehavebeenbombingsinJos, Borno State and other areas in the North,addingthatcancellinggovern-

ment activities would not solve insecurity. He advised leaders to leave the comfort of their homes, meet and exchange ideas on how to save the nation. “This is the time to act rather than thinking about re-election,” Okorocha added.

‘Make May 29 national day of fasting, prayer’

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religious group, One Call has urged every Nigerians to observe May 29th, ‘Democracy Day’ as a day of national humility, reflection, fasting and prayers to solve all the crisis rocking the nation. The coordinator of the group, Mr Francis Madojemu, made the call yesterday while addressing journalist at NUSTREAMS Conference centre, Ibadan, Oyo State capital. He said:”Nobody will say he or she is not aware about all the challenges confronting this nation now, and that is why no

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

matter your religion denomination we should all agree in one voice and intercede on our country’s behalf and cry to God in prayers for a way out of this crisis between 12:00 am and 12 midnight as long as its done that day. This is a day when we unite home, offices, or places of public worship to humble ourselves before God solemn fast, reflect on our state as a nation and take action” According to Madojemu, democracy day, May 29 commemorates the restoration of democ-

racy in Nigeria, it has reflected our hopes and aspiration as a nation not just as a successful democratic nation, but in practical terms. He said it is time to take responsibility for the nation from the hands of a fwe misguided people supported by forces of darkness that have laid claim to our country and take it back to God’s original plan and purpose. The coordinator of the group stated that:”Everybody has a role to play on the day of national humiliation, reflection, fasting and prayer.

•L-R: Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, chatting with the Group Managing Director and Group Chief Executive of Notore Chemical Industries Limited, Mr. Onajite Okoloko at the Ogun State Investors Forum


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

NEWS

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Children’s Day: Ahmed, Saraki bemoan insecurity

WARA State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has urged parents and guardians to show more commitment to the proper upbringing of their children and wards, especially in the face of prevailing security challenges in the country. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ecology and Environment, Dr. Bukola Saraki, advised the Federal Government and security agents to provide a safe home for the Nigerian child. Ahmed, in a statement yesterday in Ilorin by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, was commenting on this PUBLIC NOTICE OYEFUNMILOLA I formerly known and addressed as Miss Atilola Adereti Oyefunmilola, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Atilola Adereti Akinlome. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

year’s Children Day celebration. The governor said Nigeria was passing through one of the most challenging and traumatic periods of its chequered political history. He decried the spate of bombings, kidnappings and other forms of crimes in the country. Ahmed said the society should ensure that the Nigerian child, especially the girlchild, lives peacefully to facilitate her for growth and wellbeing rather than under the present state of insecurity in the country. The governor admonished

PUBLIC NOTICE

I, Neena Rajeeva Tripathi W/O Rajeeva Devtadeen Tripathi, R/0 Flat No, 104,Upvan Apartments, 4276-3 Parwati Bagia Road, Kanpur -208002 Utah Pradesh,India do hereby inform to one and all that I have changed my name from Neena Rajeev Tripapathi to Neena Rajeeva Tripathi.

the Nigerian child to strive for excellence. He urged parents to instil religious and moral discipline in their wards so that they can be better members of the society. According to him, religious leaders need to pray for peace and harmony in the country so that the nation can achieve its full potential. Saraki stressed that “every child deserves a safe home”. The former governor urged all stakeholders to “use this occasion to show love and protect the children’s interest and invest in them towards the realisation of their full potentials”. He added: “As the senator repLOSS OF DOCUMENT

This is to inform the general public that the title document of Mrs. Fagade Adepeju Roseline located at Ayobo within Lagos State is missing. All efforts to trace it proved abortive, If found please contact the undersigned. Mrs. Fagade Adepeju Roseline 5, Jumat Olukoya Street Ogudu, Ojota, Lagos.

resenting Kwara Central, I pledge to continue to use my good office to advocate for the children’s welfare and contribute meaningfully to their growth and development in all ramifications. “This is the right time to honour our children, who deserve much more than what our country currently present to them. “In the past one month, our children have been the focal point of our collective struggle; to grant them freedom from the dens of their abductors and provide an enabling environment for them to become the future leaders of tomorrow. “ LOSS OF ORIGINAL DEED OF CONVEYANCE 78/78/1552 This is to inform the Lagos State Lands Bureau and members of the general public of the loss of the original Deed of Conveyance dated 1st day of April, 1976 belonging to Alhaji Folorunso Rasaq Aremu Akanni (a.k.a FRA Akanni), in respect of the property situate at No 34 Ilori Street, Ire Akari Estate, Isolo, Lagos registered as No. 78 at Page 78 in Vol. 1552 at the Lands Registry, Alausa, Ikeja Lagos State. All efforts to trace it proved abortive.

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20,000 LITRES PMS (LAGOS – APP876FST) @ 500,000 NAIRA 33,000 LITRES AGO (RIVERS – XB269KPR) @ 1 MILLION NAIRA 33,000 LITRES PMS (I.S IDE LTD) @ 1 MILLION NAIRA 33,000 LITRES OF DPK (RIVERS – AH879ELM) @ 1.2 MILLION NAIRA 5) 35,000 LITRES PMS (LAGOS – XT121KSF) @ 1.1 MILLION NAIRA LOCATION: NSCDC JOINT OPERATIONS, STATE SECRETARIAT, OPOLO ROAD, YENEGOA. ENQUIRIES:

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to inform the General Public of the loss of the Original Deed of Assent dated 27th May, 2004 and Registered as Number 73 at Page 73 in Volume 2089 of the Lagos State of Nigeria Lands Registry in the office at Ikeja belonging to Mr. OlumuyiwaOladimejiFagbola of 3082/3083 Festac Link Road, AmuwoOdofin, Lagos State. This publication is for official and record purposes

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There will be auction sales of some scrap items of the Nigeria Custom Services such as: - Hilux, - Peugeot, - Generator, and - Store items. It will take place on 30th May, 2014 at Niger/Kwara/Kogi Area command and Oyo/Osun Command. Auctioneer’s Name: Lateef Lawal and Associates. Phone No: 08030745872

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LBS alumni association to hold 20th president’s dinner

REPARATIONS are in top gear for June 7 Lagos Business School Alumni Association (LBSAA) President’s Dinner at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. LBSAA President, Mr Demola Aladekomo, said: “This year’s President’s Dinner, which is the 12th, will be attended by some of the institution’s alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields.’’ He said the dinner would also create formal and informal platforms for the sharing of business ideas to help move the nation forward. It will also highlight the

By Tonia ‘Diyan

school’s leading role in fostering the development of business leadership, entrepreneurial skills and job creation . According to the Director, Alumni Relations, Mr Henry Onukwuba, the dinner will feature networking sessions with some of the best in corporate Nigeria; change of the LBSAA leadership, as well as awards to deserving individuals and alumni. There will also be entertaining performances by the award-winning Ekemini Dance Troupe from Akwa Ibom State, OLO the drummer cum musician and BJ Sax.

Falode’s son: Govt orders further probe

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HE Federal Government has directed the Nigerian EMbassy in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirate (UAE) to further investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Oluwadamilola Oloruntoba Falode, son of TV broadcaster, Mrs Aisha Falode. This followed the disatisfaction expressed by the family of the deceased. Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi stated this yesterday in Abuja. He assured the family that the Embassy would continue to engage the Dubai authorities with utmost professionalism and in a diplomatic manner mindful of the cordial bilateral relationships which exists between the two nations. “Government is acutely aware of the pains and grief the family of the late Mr. Falode is going through at this

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

time. We share in this grief and join in praying for the repose of the soul of the departed,” Uhomoibhi said. He explained that in March, the Nigerian Mission had requested for a full report from the local police authorities through the normal diplomatic channel, the host Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “In response by the 8th of April, 2014, the host Ministry of Foreign Affairs obliged, enclosing copies of the police report and the forensic medical report. These were promptly made available to the family of the deceased,” he said. Uhomoibhi also said the Mission, from the beginning had intervened appropriately with local authorities in fulfilment of its consular responsibilities including issurance of all documents for the repatriation of Mr. Falode’s remains.

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

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ello everybody and welcome. This week features the third installment of our new product discussions. The first of these products to be discussed today are novelties that enhance our vital sexual features to create sex appeal and boost our selfesteem. As you may know, the way we look affects our sexual confidence and the way we feel about ourselves. That is why looks are important and every adult out there must be committed to taking care of him or herself. So first in line of our new products for today is the Pheromone Firming Bust Gel for women. No matter how beautiful a woman’s breasts look, they are bound to develop wrinkles and sag with pregnancy and age. That is why breasts need to be taken care of and the Pheromone Firming Bust Gel does that. This pheromone infused gel tones the skin and makes the breasts firmer. It also makes the breasts appear younger by removing wrinkles and smoothening the skin. And of course, it is a sexual attractant as well because it has pheromones in it, so women will love it. Like they say, bigger is better. So today, we have two new penis pumps for men. They are theMachismo Pump and the Precision Pump with Erection Enhancer. Penis pumps essentially do two huge things for men. They enlarge the penis and facilitate greater blood flow to the penis to ensure a firm erection when a man needs it. So in the two above products, men everywhere will find solutions to penis enlargement and erectile dysfunction (men suffering from a lack of erection or an erection that is too soft for penetration). Next on the list are products that enable us get the best out of our love lives. By this we are talking about novelties that aid sexual satisfaction. There is no man anywhere that is happy to experience premature ejaculation, because it affects his ability to enjoy intercourse and satisfy his female partner. For this, we

have a sex toy for stopping premature ejaculation called the Cock Xtender Sleeve. It is the best looking penis sleeve I have ever seen. It is thick, realistic and brown like the color of our skin, is reusable and prevents quick ejaculation. The Cock Xtender Sleeve also adds three inches length and some considerable width to the wearer to make him appear much bigger than he actually is, and it stretches to fit most adult men. So this is an important and exciting new product for the men. And for the women, we have new vibrators that will leave big smiles on their faces after use because of their quality. Theyare the Cyberskin G Spot Buzzer and My First Jack Rabbit Vibrator. Any woman who claims not to enjoy intercourse is one who has never used a good vibrator. These two top of the range vibrators offer women unparalleled pleasure and multiple orgasms when used. This is a big deal because the value of sexual satisfaction cannot be quantified. But we all know how good it makes us feel and what it does for our relationships. Let us now answer a few questions from our readers. I have this girl that I was engaged to marry. I trained her through school, paid for everything and the day she graduated, she disappeared. Months after, she invited me for her wedding to another man. I was good to this girl. How do I trust women now? Mike Dear Mike, I am sorry to hear your story. Men and women have always deceived each other for ages. What happened to you can happen to anybody. Only luck can bring the right person into our lives. My advice for you is to date a woman who already has a job. That way, she wouldn’t need to depend on you for money. It is easier that way to know if a girl really likes you or your money – Uche That’s it for today. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08171912551 or 08027901621for help or visit www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers all over Nigeria. For enquiries email us at custserv@zeevirtualmedia.comUche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

Mall celebrates Children’s Day By Tonia ‘Diyan

FIVE days after it commissioned a link bridge within its premises, Leisure Mall in Surulere, Lagos, will today join the world to celebrate the annual Children’s Day. Among dignitaries present at the commissioning of the bridge linking the mall and another, AOS, last Friday were representatives of the Lagos State Property Development Corporation (LSPDC); representatives of the owners of the mall and those of the Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, tenants of both malls and customers. The mall’s Centre Manager, Feyi Shoyinka, had said: “The exciting thing is the obvious pleasant surprise and delight on the faces of the customers who saw it as a brilliant initiative that would seriously improve the ease of shopping within the mall and others. A shopper, Mrs. Biola Ogunsheye, said: “My family can now buy groceries within AOS Mall and still come into Leisure Mall to sit and watch movies without stress.” On the Children’s Day celebration, Shoyinka said: “Part of our efforts to cater for specific needs of our diverse customers is our much-anticipated Children’s Day celebration. Here, we are have series of fun-filled activities lined up for the day. Some of these include, but not limited to distribution of free gifts, printing and sharing of tickets with very valuable gifts to be won; bouncing castle for kids, face painting, joyful rides and other activities that are aimed at creating a memorable experience, particularly for the children, all within a safe environment.” He added that the mission of Leisure Mall is primarily “to create a family entertainment environment where teeming customers can catch fun while feeling secure and well treated. We are fully dedicated to strictly keeping to these standards without wavering or compromising.”

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CITYBEATS LINE: 08023247888

I saw hell, says kidnap victim

T was a joyful Mrs Oluwatoyin Oyeleye who called this reporter on phone last Saturday, announcing: “We have found Bamidele o!” Hours later, the reporter met with the happy family to hear from the lost-but-found 19-year-old boy. Narrating his five-week ordeal, the victim said: “From the point of my kidnap, I was moved to two places. On April 11, I had gone to do carpentry work with my boss with whom I have worked for three years. We went somewhere in Ayobo after Ipaja, to work for a woman; but she was not ready for us. We left the place and parted ways at Oluwaga Bus Stop at Ayobo in Ipaja. He then gave me N50 to add to my bus fare and left me there. “I joined the first bus that was calling Iyana-Ipaja by Jakande Estate, expecting the bus to pass through the estate around Akinyele so that I could alight at Adefemi Bus Stop and just walk into my street. But when we got to Akinyele, the bus did not enter Jakande Estate. So, we asked him why? Instead of explaining to us, some men just slapped us and ordered us to shut up. I was the youngest in the bus and I became afraid. So, we all kept quiet as we were too terrified to say anything. “All I knew later was that they took us to a place with a very high fence. We were thrown into the middle of a big compound and made to sit in the hot sun. Even in the night, we sat outside and were tied down till morning. We were like that for three days with no food or water. But we were not allowed to sit together. Later, they brought to me a local sponge with black soap and asked me to undress to bathe. I told them I had a bath before leaving home that morning. One of them slapped me and told me to just obey their orders. I took the sponge and had the bath in the open. Later they gave me my trousers and asked me to sit down close to where I had the bath. They left all of us in the hot sun. I almost died. They later said that we would know our fate when their boss arrived. After some time, they came out again. One of them put a knife to my throat, trying to kill me. But

•Family thanks The Nation, police, others

They left all of us in the hot sun. I almost died. They later said that we would know our fate when their boss arrived. After some time, they came out again. One of them put a knife to my throat, trying to kill me. But another one stopped him, insisting that they should wait for their boss .... The boss said they should “transfer” me that I was not useful...

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• Bamidele By Joke Kujenya

another one stopped him, insisting that they should wait for their boss.” His co-captives were later paraded before the “boss” and then came Bamidele’s turn. Then, he got a pleasant shock. “The boss said they should “transfer” me that I wasn’t useful to them. I didn’t know what “transfer” meant. But they still left me in their compound for some days more. I think I spent over one week with them. One day, they came and gave me my cloth to wear and bundled me into another bus and we travelled for very long,” he said. The journey, he said, took them to Ijebu-Shagamu, where he was handed over to another set of kidnappers. Luckily, they rejected him because again, he would not be useful to them. He recalled: “So, they beat me with belts (showing the stripes), pushed me out and told me to find

‘Beware of land speculators’ LEADERS of Olofin Royal Family of Isheri-Oke community in the Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State have warned the public to be careful not to buy land from fake landowners in the town. The family’s spokesman, Prince Bashiru Kudoro, who addressed reporters, urged members of the family to come out and absolve themselves because of the unscrupulous attitudes of some members of the community. “Ours is a family with integrity and it is a characteristic tradition that has run in the family for ages. This is why we must do everything possible to sustain the virtue,” he said. He stated that the absence of a monarch in the ancient town has continued to create a great vacuum in the community. “The last Oba passed on several years ago and the kingmakers have not been able to select a new Oba because of various litigations,” he added.

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CITYBEATS

• Mrs Oyeleye

my own way back to my family. But I didn’t know anywhere in that area. That was after three weeks or so. I started walking about in Ijebu-Shagamu. I was afraid. I didn’t know who to talk to. But one day, I saw one Muslim cleric praying. I went to him and explained my ordeal. The man was very shocked and took me into his house. He introduced me to his family and they gave me water to bathe and food to eat. I felt very sick and the man took care of me. When I felt better, he said he did not want police troubles. So, he handed me over to one woman to help me and she took me to work in a bakery. I don’t know how many days I worked there. She would give me only a loaf of bread and sachet water to eat each day. I could not call my parents and I didn’t know their numbers off-hand. “I was working in the bakery,

when a customer saw me and asked if I was a “missing person”. Surprised, I replied “yes”. The person asked if it was my person that a newspaper wrote about. I said I didn’t know because I did not see it. The person told me to be ready the next morning that I would be taken to where my family would see me. Next morning, (last Friday), the person came, showed me my face with that of my mother in the newspaper (The Nation). I recognised my mother’s face and mine. I was then told to quietly go and wait somewhere, and from that spot, the person took me to OGTV where they showed me and it was after that my father and our church leader came to fetch me. Now, I feel very sick.” His elated mother, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Oyeleye, who could barely wait for her son to round off, said: “We saw him on Friday, May 16, but because we brought him home sick, we had to first keep him away to take care of his health before we could announce it to the world. It is nine days today that he was brought back home from Ogun State about 12am. My family is thankful to God, our church, the police, The Nation newspaper, AIT and OGTV and every concerned parent.”

‘Our member isn’t a robber’

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• An elderly woman who hawks in traffic knocked down by a hit-and-run driver on Saturday at the CMS Bus Stop, Marina, Lagos ... surrounded by sympathisers PHOTO: UDEMMA CHUKWUMA

HE Galaxy Club of Owode, Yewa Local Government Area of Ogun State, has debunked the allegation that its member, Mr Olusegun Oke, popularly known as Lekutty, is a robber. The group’s spokesman, Mr Sulaimon Azeez, told reporters that Oke is a law-abiding person who was only being framed up for what he knew nothing about. “The allegation is frivolous. Every member of our association is subjected to scrutiny and background check before being admitted into our fold. Lekutty (Oke) has built a fairly successful transport business and his relative success must have turned him into the envy of some elements where he resides in Owode. He is not a robber and has never been involved in any criminal activity. He was framed up by some unscrupulous elements and was subsequently exonerated and released by the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Eleweran, Abeokuta, on March 31, 2014,” he said. Azeez said the association has the duty to ensure that its name is not unduly tarnished by misguided

• Oke By Kunle Akinrinade

elements, adding: “It is unreasonable for anyone to insinuate that a 40-year-old businessman cannot own property and succeed in life. Why frame someone up because of his relative success in life? Lekutty (Oke) is an unassuming person and he is into a legitimate business. He should be left alone by his detractors.” A community leader, Alhaji Wasiu Akanmu, said: “How can a respectable and law-abiding person be linked with a crime like robbery? Lekutty is not a robber and that is the truth. We thank God that the police carried out their findings and found him to be innocent of the wicked allegations by his detractors.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

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FOREIGN NEWS Pope visits Jerusalem holy sites on last day in Middle East

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OPE Francis has visited the most important holy sites for Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem’s Old City on the final day of his Middle East tour. At the al-Aqsa mosque compound, the Pope urged people of all religions to “work together for justice and peace”. He then prayed at the Western Wall, which lies just beneath it, bowing his head as he touched the stones. The pontiff has been feted by Israel and the Palestinians, and has invited their presidents to the Vatican. Both Israel’s Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas have given a positive response. Pope Francis began the third day of his trip by visiting the compound, considered the third holiest site in Islam.

Known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and Jews as the Temple Mount, the status of the site is one of the most contentious issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Pope Francis took off his shoes to enter the Dome of the Rock, from where Islamic tradition says the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven, then walked to the nearby alAqsa Mosque. Speaking to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the Pope deviated from his prepared remarks to call on Christians, Jews and Muslims to “love one another as brothers and sisters”. “May we learn to understand the suffering of others. May no-one abuse the name of God through violence,” he said.

Ukraine: Troops, pro-Russia rebels battle to control Donetsk airport

Enter Narendra Modi as Indian prime minister

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ARENDRA Modi has been sworn in as India’s new prime minister in a ceremony in the forecourt of the presidential palace in Delhi. Mr Modi took the oath before thousands of guests, including his counterpart from rival Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif. It is the first time since the two countries won independence in 1947 that a prime minister from one state has attended such a ceremony in the other. Mr Modi led his BJP party to a landslide win in the recent election. The BJP won the biggest victory by any party in India for 30 years, gaining a majority in parliament and trouncing the outgoing Congress Party. The grand presidential palace was a spectacular setting for what was an impressive cere-

mony. As the sun went down, the stage was set for a seamless transfer of power. There was an air of excitement among the thousands who had gathered to witness the historic event. Politicians mingled with celebrities and business leaders, many of whom had backed Mr Modi’s campaign. There was a large contingent from Gujarat, Mr Modi’s home-state, delighted to be there. But the highlight was the presence of the eight Asian leaders. A warm applause greeted the arrival of Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, who took time to exchange words with the outgoing PM Manmohan Singh. But the biggest cheers broke out when the man of the moment made his appearance. Narendra Modi was applauded as he walked down the red car-

pet and then cheered as, moments later, he was sworn-in as India’s 15th PM. Senior BJP and Congress leaders as well as Bollywood actors and top industrialists watched Mr Modi take the oath as the 15th prime minister of India. “I, Narendra Damodardas Modi, swear in the name of God that I will maintain the integrity of India,” Mr Modi said in Hindi. “I will work without fear, anger or hatred and will do justice to all as per the constitution.” Forty-five MPs, including seven women, from Mr Modi’s BJP party and their allies have also been sworn in as ministers, although they are yet to be allocated their ministries. Monday’s grand outdoor ceremony was attended by the leaders of all seven South Asian

•Modi

countries as well as Mauritius. But all eyes were on the presence of Mr Sharif, who is expected to hold bilateral talks with Mr Modi on Tuesday. The two nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars in the past 60 years, and Mr Modi’s BJP party advocates a tough stance on Pakistan. It is a great moment and a great opportunity,” Mr Sharif told the NDTV network on his arrival in Delhi for the swearing-in ceremony.

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KRAINIAN troops have launched air attacks to regain control of Donetsk airport from pro-Russia rebels. A fierce gun battle ensued, and smoke can be seen rising from the area. The fighting comes as the man tipped to become Ukraine’s new President, Petro Poroshenko, said he wanted to talk to Russia to end the crisis. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was “open to dialogue” with Mr Poroshenko but military action against separatists must end. Mr Poroshenko said he hoped to meet Russian leaders early next month, after a trip to Poland where he will meet the US president and EU leaders. However, he warned he would take a tough line on armed militiamen. Petro Poroshenko: “Without Russia it would be much less effective or almost impossible to speak about the security in the whole region”

•One ot the crime scenes Rodger left in his wake ...yesterday. Some of the scenes have become shrines. PHOTO: AFP

Egypt votes amidst tight security

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ILLIONS of voters are casting ballots across Egypt to choose a new president, for the second time in two years. A huge security operation has been mounted by police and the military, amid fear of attacks by militants seeking to disrupt the polls. Former army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last year, is standing against left-wing candidate Hamdeen Sabahi. Mr Sisi is forecast to win by a comfortable margin. The elections are being held across two days, with unofficial results expected hours after polls close.

Shortly after polls opened, Mr Sisi cast his vote at a polling station in Heliopolis, Cairo, amid a throng of reporters and spectators. “The Egyptians are coming out to write their history and chart their future,” said the 59year-old, dressed in a dark suit and tie. Mr Sisi appeals to Egyptians who crave stability after years of political upheaval and anything else than an easy win for him would be a source of astonishment, says the BBC’s Kevin Connolly in Cairo. The scale of turnout will be seen as an indication of the strength of endorsement of the winning candidate.

Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone confirms first deaths

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OUR people have died of Ebola in Sierra Leone, the first confirmed cases in the country following an outbreak in Guinea, the health ministry has said. They died in the eastern Kailahun district, which borders southern Guinea where the outbreak started in March and has killed more than 145 people. There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola - one of the world's deadliest viruses. But people have a better chance of surviving if it is identified early and they get supportive medical care. Ebola can kill up to 90% of those infected and is passed on through contact with the fluids of infected people or animals, such as urine, sweat and blood. Dr Amara Jambai, the director of disease prevention and control at Sierra Leone's health ministry, said a health worker was among the four people who had died of Ebola. The deaths had occurred over the last three to four days, he said.

Libyan journalist Meftah Buzeid shot dead in Benghazi

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ROMINENT Libyan journalist Meftah Buzeid, known for his fierce criticism of Islamist militias, has been shot dead in the city of Benghazi. He was the editor of the Burniq newspaper and had regularly appeared on television challenging the rise of such groups since the 2011 revolution. Earlier this month he supported a military campaign of a renegade general to crush Islamist militias. Benghazi has been plagued by violence since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted.

California gunman’s parents ‘raced to stop him’

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HE parents of a gunman who killed six students in California tried to stop him after receiving an email minutes before, says a family friend. They raced to Isla Vista but heard radio reports on the shootings as they drove, friend Simon Astaire told US media. Elliot Rodger, 22, warned of his intentions in his emailed manifesto and a YouTube video posted the day before. Hundreds gathered at a memorial service in the college town to mourn the dead. Three more of the victims were named on Sunday night Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, George Chen, 19, and Weihan Wang, 20, were stabbed in Rodger’s apartment. They were his first victims before he killed three more and

wounded 13 others in a shooting rampage. Rodger died after speeding through the town in his black BMW, exchanging fire with police, authorities said. He was found dead in his car from a gunshot wound to the head, believed to be self-inflicted, with three legally purchased semi-automatic weapons. Moments before he began opening fire, Rodger emailed his parents, therapist and others to inform them of his intentions in a 140-page “manifesto” entitled Day of Retribution. His mother Li Chin called the police before she and ex-husband Peter Rodger raced to Isla Vista from Los Angeles in separate cars, but heard en route about the shooting, family friend Simon Astaire told US

media. In a video posted on YouTube on Thursday, Rodger spoke of his plan to “slaughter” women at a sorority house at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He described the rejection he felt because he had never been able to attract girls, and how he intended to exact revenge. Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said his department had visited Rodger at the end of April at the request of his family when they saw disturbing videos he recorded but officers found him to be polite and courteous, and no further action was taken. Rodger had seen therapists off and on since he was nine years old and possessed “an underlying sadness”, Mr Astaire told Reuters. There was no sugges-

tion he had any interest in guns. In his manifesto, he said he feared police would foil his plot when they visited him. “I had the striking and devastating fear that someone had somehow discovered what I was planning to do, and reported me for it,” he wrote. “If that was the case, the police would have searched my room, found all of my guns and weapons, along with my writings about what I plan to do with them. “I would have been thrown in jail, denied of the chance to exact revenge on my enemies. I can’t imagine a hell darker than that.” Katherine Cooper, 22, Veronika Weiss, 19, and Christopher Martinez, 20, were earlier named as Rodger’s shootings victims.

Thai coup receives royal endorsement

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HAILAND’s military leader has received royal endorsement at a ceremony in the capital, Bangkok, after taking power in a coup last week. Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha was formally appointed to run the nation at the army headquarters. The 86-year-old monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, did not attend the ceremony. The military seized power in the South East Asian nation last week, saying it planned to return stability to Thailand after months of unrest. The move followed six

months of political deadlock as protesters tried to oust the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. At least 28 people were killed and several hundred injured over the course of the protests. But the coup which removed an elected government - has drawn widespread international criticism. Small anti-coup protests took place in Bangkok over the weekend, despite a military ban on gatherings of more than five people. Experts have also warned that the coup is unlikely to heal divisions in a nation in which politics have become highly po-

larised. Gen Prayuth, dressed in white military uniform, received the royal endorsement on Monday morning. “To restore peace and order in the country and for sake of unity, the king appointed Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha as head of the National Council of Peace and Order to run the country,” the royal command seen by AFP news agency said. The monarchy is highly respected and royal endorsement is seen as key to legitimising the takeover. Speaking afterwards, Gen Prayuth said the most important

thing was “to keep peace and order in the country’’. Elections would take place as soon as possible, he said, but gave no timeframe. He also said he would have no choice but to use force if protests continued. The ruling junta is expected to set up a national legislative assembly that will draw up a temporary constitution with a new prime minister. Since taking power the military has summoned and detained dozens of key political figures, including Ms Yingluck. Journalists and academics are also among those who have been called in.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014

63

SPORT EXTRA

Eagles train in London T

HE Super Eagles got cracking yesterday, training in London ahead of the World Cup in Brazil next month. The team trained at the Fulham FC training grounds. All the 30 players invited except for Brescia of Italy midfielder Nnamdi Oduamadi and France based Sunday Mba, were in camp yesterday. They were at the training yesterday. Team secretary, Dayo Enebi Achor said that the duo had hitches with

•Mba, Oduamadi in flight hitches •Teammates celebrate Yobo, Osaze their travelling documents and were scheduled to make it to the team’s camp any time from now, a development Head Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi frowned at. However, the technical crew was happy with the entire squad response to arrival in camp and the comradierie that existed among all the players. “It’s one big family here and

this is the spirit we should carry to the World Cup,” declared Lille of France goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. There are also no injury worries with the team as all the players have been visiting the gym to maintain fitness before training starts on Monday evening. The players were also very happy with the recall of team

captain Joseph Tambarin Yobo and Osaze Odemwengie. Yobo, said at breakfast that he was overwhelmed by the love shown him by his teammates. “I am humbled and I pray that I will justify the confidence reposed in me,” he said. Osaze spoke in a similar vein, adding that it was a family reunion that is bound to affect the fortunes of the team at the World Cup. “We will do our best in Brazil to justify this unity that we have in camp”.

2014 WORLD CUP

I can be Nigeria’s Messi —Babatunde Michael

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UPER Eagles’ invitee, Babatunde Michael has said that he might emerge as the Nigeria’s version of Argentina’s star, Lionel Messi when the World Cup 2014 gets underway in Brazil next month if he makes the final cut. Michael’s invitation has recently been greeted with lots of criticisms, but the former Heartland of Owerri player told NationSport that he is head bent on justifying his inclusion in the team by fighting for a place. He said: “Great players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and others gained their international recognition starting as inexperienced players but today they have matured and doing well. It’s all about having the right chances. As a matter of fact, it

By Innocent Amomoh will be an opportunity to repay the coaching crew for the confidence reposed in me.” “World Cup is a good platform for young players like me to exhibit our potentials. I am ready to work hard and prove that the decision by the coach was right,” said Michael.

•Babatunde Michael

Omeruo agrees new Chelsea contract

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IGERIAN World Cupbound defender Kenneth Omeruo has agreed a new three-year contract with English Premier League side Chelsea, AfricanFootball.com can exclusively report. “We have agreed a new threeyear contract for Kenneth,” disclosed his adviser Chika Akujobi to AfricanFootball.com “We have all seen the draft of the improved contract and the boy is happy about it. “It’s a good contract and we are all happy about how Chelsea have warmed up to him and made him feel very

•Super Eagles in London

much at home.” Akujobi added: “Everything is not all about money because Chelsea have really taken care of the player.” The Chelsea negotiation team was led by sporting director Michael Emenalo, who incidentally was a former Nigeria World Cup star. He further informed that Omeruo will resume with the Chelsea main squad after the World Cup in Brazil. Omeruo’s contract at Chelsea was to run out in June 2015. He now has a deal running till June 2018.

Chrisantus gets La Liga offers

Yobo, Osaze’ll shine for Eagles—Ka’Oje

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ORMER Sports Minister, Bala Bawa Ka’Oje has tipped Super Eagles returnees, Joseph Yobo and Osaze Peter Odemwingie to be the jokers in the pack in the Nigerian team and predicted that the striker will score against Scotland in a friendly match slated for Cottage Craven in England tomorrow.

•Says Stoke forward may score against Scotland From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja “I will predict something that is likely to happen on Wednesday in Eagles’ friendly against Scotland, the Captain of the team Joseph Yobo will play the match of his life against Scotland as well as the

Wheelchair Tennis: Nigeria withdraws from World Team Cup

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IGERIA’S growing reputation in global wheelchair tennis has suffered a huge blow following the country’s withdrawal from the BNP Paribas World Team Cup which served off Monday at the Nieuwe Sloot Tennis Centre in Alphen, Netherlands. The World Team Cup is wheelchair tennis version of the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup. Nigeria won the African qualifiers held in March in Kenya by beating Morocco and there was widespread optimism that the country could grab a promotion to the World Group I following the rapid improvement of the game in the country which was highlighted by the nation’s participation at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and the 2012 Olympics in London which makes the development a major setback for the game in the country. The triumph in Kenya was the third in a row for the country’s men team which

By Stella Bamawo makes them Africa’s topranked nation but the gap between them and their nearest rivals, Morocco will get closer at the end of the tournament due to their unexpected absence. Nigeria’s place was occupied by Romania following Sunday evening’s draw which has Canada and Italy in Pool 4. At the finals of the CBN championship which served as the last phase of preparations for the 31nation tournament featuring 52 teams, some of the players had complained about lack of motivation but promised to make a mark in the tournament as a way of securing sponsorships and also getting more domestic tournaments. Aside the CBN, the only regular tournament the players have is the New Era Tournament, bankrolled by the foundation of Senator Oluremi Tinubu but was last held in 2010.

other two friendly matches against Greece and USA. “These guys didn’t expect their return to the team and now that they have found their way in there, they will definitely put everything they have into the games the Coach will feature them in so as to prove their worth to be in the final squad for the World Cup “You can quote me; Osaze will score against Scotland and Yobo will be the best defender on parade in the match in London if Keshi includes them in the team that will play against Scotland on Wednesday. The two players are very experienced and have been in the World Cup before so they know what it takes to play at that stage and their inclusion in the final team will do a lot of good to the younger but hungry players who are also eager to impress at the world stage. “Yobo as the Skipper and the leader of the team will be able to guide the other players well, while Osaze will also add bite and experience to the forward line of the Super Eagles. I also see Osaze scoring couple of goals in the three friendly matches if he is included in the team”, Ka’Oje told NationSport in Abuja. The former Minister also hailed the Nigeria Football Federation for organizing the friendly matches which he said will help Keshi a

great deal to put his team to the required level for the World Cup. “In as much as I am confident of a 2-0 victory against Scotland, the essence of the friendly matches is not to win all of them but to put the players in good shape for the World Cup. But I see the Eagles coming tops in all the friendly matches. Victories in these matches will be a morale booster for the World Cup”, the ex-Sport Minister disclosed.

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ORMER Golden Eaglets striker Macauley Chrisantus is attracting offers in the Spanish top league, according to a source in Spain close to the Nigeria youth international. The La Palmas of Spain striker is on free transfer, and also attracting offers from other clubs all across Europe. The source, who will not disclose the names of the clubs, told NationSport that Chrisantus already turned down La Palmas contract extension last season despite scoring several goals that almost helped the second division team gain promotion to the La Liga. It is also believed that the former Hamburg of Germany striker could sign for a La Liga club before the transfer window

By Innocent Amomoh closes. Our source also revealed that clubs from Turkey, Ukraine and Switzerland are also monitoring the lanky forward. With all things being equal, Chrisantus will prefer fulfilling a dream to compete with top strikers in the La Liga in what is termed a new down for the former youth international. “Two clubs in the La Liga are interested in bringing Macauley Chrisantus to boost their attacks,” the source further revealed. “I was in touch with the Sporting Director of one of the club and he asked me some questions about Chrisantus, he further said he likes his movement with the ball and will want him in his squad.”

•National U-17, Golden Eaglets Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke was a surprise guest on Sunday at the camp of Team Nigeria for the Milo U-17 African Championship at the International Sports Academy, Wasinmi, Ogun State. Photo shows the former Super Eagles and Barcelona FC of Spain player leading the lads out to training.


TODAY IN THE NATION

TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL.9

NO. 2859

‘President Jonathan, before you go, let’s have a robust and effective fighting machine called the Nigerian Armed Forces; the ones that can defend WAHEED ODUSILE us and we’ll be proud of.’

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

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S long-time followers of this column know, “Matters miscellaneous” is the rubric under which it tries in short takes and with broad strokes to catch up on the glut of occurrences, lest some people feel ignored. I was mightily relieved that President Goodluck Jonathan chose not to go to AdoEkiti to help rouse the PDP faithful and mobilise them behind their candidate in next month’s governorship election. If the President who could not visit Chibok on a mission of sympathy and solidarity with the parents and relations of the more than 200 abducted school girls and communities in the area traumatised by Boko Haram terror were to headline a political rally in Ado-Ekiti, he would have brought upon his own head something far worse than the domestic and international sandbagging he has already suffered – nothing less, to be sure, than maledictions of the blood-curdling kind. Dr Jonathan and his advisers got it right this time. Fayose is putting a bright face on it, but I hear that, deep down, he is sorely disappointed. There will not be, at least for now, an infusion of the Federal Might, plus the planeload of cash that he was counting on to animate his ho-hum campaign. Many Ekiti residents are distressed too, I gather. They had been counting on Dr Jonathan to demonstrate up-close, for their benefit, the intricate azonto dance steps he had performed so splendidly in Kano the other day at a rally to welcome back under the PDP umbrella some prodigals who had migrated to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). Residents of Ekiti will now have to wait for another opportunity. There were also those who were expecting that First Lady Dame Patience would also be on hand to enliven proceedings with the captivating routine that has endeared her like nothing else these past weeks to the global television and social audiences. I have bad news for Ekiti residents who might still be looking forward to a re-enactment of the bullying and the wailing seen and heard across the world: It won’t happen. Herself the Dame doesn’t do reenactments. She is always striving for something different, fresh, more riveting. But there is no guarantee that the première will be staged in Ekiti. In light of the Jonathan administration’s exceedingly maladroit handling of the international fallout from the Chibok abductions, I found myself wondering whether

OLATUNJI DARE

AT HOME ABROAD olatunji.dare@thenationonlineng.net

Matters miscellaneous

Nigeria has a foreign minister. Surely there must be such an official, I reasoned. But I found I could not put a name to the title. So, I looked it up. And sure enough, there is indeed such an official, and he is by no means an obscure personage. He is Aminu Wali. He is more politician than career diplomat, but having served as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and before then as the country’s ambassador to China, he surely must have along the way garnered considerable skill in international crisis management. So, how come he was allowed to go missing in the handling of the Chibok fallout? Why also was the much-accomplished Professor Viola Onwuliri, Minister of State (1) for Foreign Affairs, shut out of the matter? And where was Minister of Foreign Affairs (II) Dr Nurudeen Mohammed while all the fumbling was going on? Why was the entire Ministry of Foreign Affairs missing in action while Nigeria and its leadership were being savaged daily in news networks across the world? It was left to Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to fill in the gap, as if her double-barelled designation as Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, to say nothing of her playing host at the on-going Abuja World Economic Forum on Africa, was not enough burden. It has to be said

RIPPLES

NIGERIAN ECONOMY NOT GROWING–Exper t

It can’t grow...too many HUMAN RATS!

‘In light of the Jonathan administration’s exceedingly maladroit handling of the international fallout from the Chibok abductions, I found myself wondering whether Nigeria has a foreign minister. Surely there must be such an official, I reasoned.’ to her credit that she did a commendable job under the circumstances. When it mattered most, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, also went missing. First, he agreed to be interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. Then, he did not show up. Did he duck, or was he held up by more pressing matters of state? In whatever case, he must have learned from his few encounters with the international news media that mouthing slogans

HARDBALL

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RESIDENT Shekau and Parliament Boko Haram? Imperative questions, given the latest presidential direc-

tive. The subject, of course, is still the Chibok girls, now in Boko Haram kraal. The other day when Citizen Oby Ezekwesili and other patriotic braves made the move to go march on Aso Villa and ask President Goodluck Jonathan the latest on our missing girls and adorable daughters, the president asked them to direct their appeal to Boko Haram! So, Boko Haram is now the authority in Nigeria? That might not be wrong, if a sitting president tells his hurting compatriots to go appeal to Boko Haram. However the Chibok kidnap affair is resolved, its mishandling by the Jonathan presidency would mark the final unravelling of the president. On Chibok, it appears one day, one gaffe. To start with, what president flees from his people in the time of crisis? When the marchers announced their intentions, Mbu Joseph Mbu, peculiar former commissioner of Police (CP) for Rivers but now CP for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sprang on the double to ensure the citizens never met

and throwing tantrums at high decibels is not the best way of conducting government business or winning friends for one’s course. Within several hours of a crisis breaking in the United States, the President appears before the nation on television, flanked by the officials charged with handling the matter. He makes a brief statement, then yields the podium to the officials to brief the public about what is developing and what is being done. The President and the officials take a few questions, and then depart to face the crisis at hand. Periodic updates follow. If the Chibok abductions had happened in the United States, President Barack Obama would most certainly nave appeared on national television flanked by the Defence Secretary, the FBI Director, the National Security Adviser and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in full military regalia. That spectacle communicates strength and resolve, if not control. It reassures the American people that even if the authorities are not “on top of the situation,” to employ a locution that has become highly discredited in these parts, they are grappling with it hands-on. It may well be that the Minister of Defence and the National Security Adviser and the military top brass were at work behind the scenes devising strategies for freeing the Chibok abductees from their diabolical captors, without the benefit of television cameras. But in this age of what the Americans call “optics,” it is not enough to be doing something; one must be seen doing it. In the event, it was as if they too went missing when it mattered most that they be seen in action. Finally, some self-indictment, at least in so far as it relates to my constituency and my calling: the Nigerian news media. Chibok, and indeed Boko Haram’s mindless campaign of murder and mayhem, was a domestic story, our story. And yet some of the most insightful reporting across the print and electronic media, and the best film footage, have come from the foreign media. They should have been quoting us as sources and for background. Instead, we have been quoting them, sometimes without the nice sense of discrimination the situation calls for. In a sense, therefore, it can be said that the Nigerian news media largely went missing over Chibok. •For comments, send SMS to 08111813080

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

President Shekau? their president. Was the CP doing his policesecurity duties or reverting to his Rivers role as Chief Politician (CP) in uniform? Whatever was it, hurting Nigerians that gave Jonathan his much crowed about “panNigeria mandate” have suddenly become too dangerous to see their president. Chai, there is God o! The same president that cannot receive citizens in his fortified Abuja — for security reasons — cannot also go to empathise with distraught parents in Chibok. The president, of course, didn’t have to go to Chibok. The girls are not there, silly! They are in Boko Haram’s mine-rigged Sambisa Forest. So, what would the president go to Chibok to do? And even if he hugs or clutches the parents, quaking with tears, and rolling on the ground, would that conjure up the girls? Nigerians must thank Jonathan for that wise presidential reminder! That jungle is too dangerous for the commander-in-chief. But how about the citizens that still call that place home? Well, they are on their own — after all, even the com-

mander-in-chief has voted with his feet! Chai, there is God o! With that clear hint, the C-in-C was, of course, free to display his might abroad, sharing champaign — not “bloods” — at the Zuma second term inauguration in South Africa: only to be reminded of the Chibok affair at home! But Reuben Abati has said his principal was cheered, not jeered in the land of Nelson Mandela. Hardball believes him! Shekau the lunatic that leads Boko Haram, the band of murderous loonies, might indeed be delusional. But it would appear he is not delusional enough. By Jonathan’s presidential charter, he is now the president and his deranged band the parliament. The duo are the ones Nigerians signed a social contract with in 2011 — or why else would the purported president direct protesters to Boko Haram? So, when next you want to march, o patriots, head for Sambisa Forest. There, President Shekau and Parliament Boko Haram would give you a prompt answer. Chai, there is God o!

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The Nation May 27, 2014  
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