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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

EFCC files 27 more charges against Daniel

Alex Ibru’s burial Dec. 17



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•High Court fixes trial for January 19, 20

•Funeral details released

VOL. 7, NO. 1959 TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2011



•1.3m to vote in election, says INEC •AND MORE •Jonathan: revolution likely over unemployment •ANPP vows to win election without alliance

KOGI 2011



Legal experts advise sack of five governors

Excess crude account down by $2b From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


•Supreme Court gets three opinions on tenure dispute From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


WO legal experts have advised the Supreme Court to remove from office the five governors whose tenure has extended beyond May 29. The governors are Ibrahim Idris (Kogi), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Liyel Imoke (Cross River). The senior lawyers’ positions are stated in the brief of argument filed in an appeal by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate in Adamawa State, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa. The lawyers were invited as amicus curiae (friends of the court). Marwa is challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, which upheld the decision of the Federal High Court that extended the tenure of the five governors. He fought to contest for governor in Adamawa State before elections were postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the five states. Dissatisfied with the verdict of the appelContinued on page 4

•THE OLD AND THE NEW: Former EFCC Chairman Farida Waziri (right) handing over to the Acting Chairman Ibrahim Larmode ... yesterday. Story on page 7. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

TATES won a major battle yesterday, with the Federal Government releasing $2billion from the excess crude account for sharing. Minister of State for Finance Alhaji Yerima Lawan Ngama announced this after the meeting of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in Abuja. The FAAC meeting agreed to share N615.757billion for October, among the three tiers of government. The minister said $2billion is being released from the excess crude account, with the belief that “the various projects that have been started will be completed to put this economy on the path of growth”. The Excess Crude Account contained $7billion in April, an amount that was depleted to $5billion – after $2billion was transContinued on page 4

Ojukwu: MASSOB orders sit-at-home on burial day Obi declares seven days mourning, prayers

T •The late Ojukwu

HERE will be a sit-at-home in the Southeast when Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu will be buried, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) declared yesterday. Besides, a seven-day mourning next week for the late Igbo leader, MASSOB leader Ralph Uwazuruike told a news conference in Enugu at Ojukwu’s Casablanca

town, forbids burial in December. The Igbo are urged to observe the seven-day mourning and prayers Lodge home. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, which will be observed between Dewho showed up at the news confer- cember 1 and 7. Other Nigerians, who are willing to participate, ence, said prayers should be held during the mourning. SEE ALSO should also do, the governor said. No date has been fixed for “On the day Ezeigbo will be Ojukwu’s funeral but it was PAGES 2&3 buried, there will be a sit-atgathered that it might not take place before the end of the year because the home throughout Igboland. Nobody custom of Nnewi, Ojukwu’s home- should come out. Everybody should From Chris Oji, Enugu and John Ofikhenua, Abuja

stay at home as a mark of respect for the Ezeigbo. No date has been fixed for the burial. But why I am saying it now is for Ndigbo to get ready and know that on that day, every Igbo man should stay at home.” Uwazuruike said. The MASSOB chief said they want to give Ojukwu a befitting burial, “the best burial in Africa”. Continued on page 4





My life in exile, by Ojukwu The late Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, in his book, Because I am Involved, gave the Shagari administration, beleaa moving account of his years in exile. Excerpts: guered by opponents within and a


HE day had nothing special. The sun rose from the east and was wending its way westwards and surely into sunset. I had got up from bed in the usual hour of half past seven, taken my bath and completed my toilet by eight o’ clock. This morning ritual had not changed for many years: the fact of exile had not changed my daily routine—I go to bed very late and wake up late. For years, I had been content with five to six hours sleep every day. During the war, I made do with three hours sleep every night and on exceptionally calm nights, I managed a four-hour spell. As a habit, I do not take breakfast: a cup of coffee, a glass of freshly squeezed orangejuice. I drove down-town from Bingerville, where I had lived for seven years since I moved down from Yamoussoukro. I drove down-town to Cocody where I had my office. The short trip, the lagoon breeze, the lush green of the various plantations right and left, the sweet smell of ripening pineapple, the intoxicating odour of palmwine from the fallen palm tree trees along the way- the Ivorians only tapped wine from fallen palm trees- all these had the effect of completing my waking-up ritual. The day had begun as any other, the office had been the same: the sullen ‘good morning’ from the watchman, the reluctant grunts of my staff that passed for a good morning, the exhilarating and smile-full ‘good morning’ of my secretary. She was Beninoise. I thought for the umpteenth time that she deserved an increase in salary if not for her immaculate and devoted presentation of her work and herself, then for her charm. Work consisted of checking the previous day’s production figures, then the accounts, the various ledgers: work in hand and work in prospect. For years since I decided to engage myself in some productive enterprise rather than sit, vegetate and wallow in the self-pity, which was the normal fare of an exile, I dug up, washed and calibrated gravel, I dug laterite, I exploded granite rock, I calibrated granite gravel; I dug up and dredged up sand and delivered all to construction sites all around Abidjan. Sometimes, I would drive out to one or two sites. In the office, I met and discussed extensively with the international exile community, with Ghanaians, with the Voltaic, the Togolese, the Beninois, with exiles from Niger. I met with curious journalists, some diplomats and members of the various international organisations. In Abidjan, we maintained most scrupulously the fiction of my enmity with Nigeria – the Nigerian embassy avoided me like the plague. If by chance we met at any social occasions, we pretended total ignorance of each other’s presence. Sometimes, we might speak to each other through a third party as interlocutor. This, however, did not cut off my contact with Nigeria. I had, over the years, established a courier system between Abidjan and Lagos. I had also established a few telephone links with any part of Nigeria that had international telephone links. This is through contacts in the United States who cross-connected my calls. I h ad, in my service, offices in Lagos and Enugu. There was a

His last moments, by wife IANCA, wife of the late Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, has relived his last moments. She spoke in London when she received Dr Dalhatu Tafida, the Nigerian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, who led senior officials of the mission on a condolence visit to the family. “Like other times, I will always say I have seen him through very bad times,” the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Bianca as saying. “When the doctors would tell us he wouldn’t make it to morning, but he would always struggle and in the morning he would still be there. But this time, he didn’t struggle; he went peacefully.” Recalling Ojukwu’s last days, Bianca said he had just been discharged from the hospital and was doing very well. “I have never seen him look so well. He was interactive, very alert and aware, and we will sing him songs, crack jokes. “Very surprisingly, his situation which we thought had improved remarkably, suddenly took a turn for the worse. “I remember I was saying to him, it is getting very cold in this country and we must go home. Are we going to go home? He would nod very emphatically, but he never did make it home. “Nobody asks God what his intentions are, but we would have preferred he stayed on. I cannot ask God why at this time.” She expressed gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan, the First Lady, Patience, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra, Tafida and Nigerians for their prayers and support. Tafida had earlier described Ojukwu’s death as a great loss, not only to the family and Igbo race, but also to Nigeria as a country. “Ojukwu has helped to shape modern Nigeria, because it was through him that we were able to have states that we now call cells of development in Nigeria. “His loss therefore should not be considered as a loss to just one section of the country. It is a loss to the whole country, hence we unanimously decided that we should be here today to commiserate with you.” The envoy prayed God to grant the repose of his soul eternal rest and comfort the family.


CJN pays tribute to Ikemba From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja


HE Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Dahiru Musdapher has commiserated with Nigerians over the death of the Ikemba of Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu. In a statement by his Media Adviser, Muhamadu Adamu, the CJN said he has written two letters to the bereaved family and the government of Anambra State. The statement reads: “Justice Musdapher observed that the demise of one of Nigeria’s longest surviving illustrious sons right at the turn of its golden age is as momentous an event as it is a colossal loss. “The late Ojukwu, he said shall be missed by Nigerians not only for his love of country and for his pride in the tradition, culture and heritage of his people, but he shall also be remembered for his exemplary course of conduct as a youth when, even as a scion of the noblest aristocracy of his days and to whom joining the military was an aberration, the young Ojukwu selflessly put his life on the line by joining the Nigerian Army to serve his country. “He said that although the collapse of military esprit de corps and the failure of geo-politics regrettably resulted in Ojukwu taking up arms against his fatherland, his rebellion was no less motivated by patriotism than the action of patriots who rose to quell it was. Thus, he said the post-war declaration of ‘no victor no vanquished’ was equally an affirmation of ‘no hero, no villain’. “He observed that Ojukwu’s tenacity in the pursuit of his late father’s estate under the Abandoned Property cases exemplified his respect for the judicial process.”

constant relay of visitors from home: family, friends and colleagues. I was never short of news from home. I had become aware, since late 1980, that efforts had begun to crystallise and that sooner or later, I and my return to Nigeria would become a political issue. I had heard of Dr. Chuba Okadigbo but had never had the opportunity of meeting him. I was aware that he had taken it upon himself to spearhead the issues of my return home. I had followed from a distance his initially single-handed efforts to sow the seeds of discussion. I had become aware of his courageous and single-minded mobilisation of opinion both within his political party and without – amongst the Igbos and their friends. I was aware, for sometime, that for sometime this brilliant

political tactician had raised the issue of my continued exile from the status of the unmentionable to a subject of open national debate. So, it was that on this nondescript day, lacking in any distinction whatsoever, I got home from work to be informed that a certain Dr. Okadigbo had arrived from Lagos, was at the Hotel Ivoire and was anxious to meet with me. I turned right back and drove past my office once more, into the Hotel Ivoire. At the reception, I found a gentleman, I later recognised as Dr. George Obiozor. He was manoeuvering the French language with each of his five senses, his four limbs and anything that could move on his body. He recognised me with relief, abandoned his conversation with the reception and took me to see Dr. Oka-

•Mrs. Ojukwu

digbo. The first meeting was polite and very restrained and not until some two hours later in my sitting-room in Bingerville did the atmosphere relax. The drive home had been full of platitudes and probing questions. He divulged his mission over lunch and by the time coffee was served, Chuba and I had become as childhood friends-we spoke with joy without inhibitions. On that unauspicious, yet memorable day, I learnt for the first time that the President of my country had decided to put an end to the agony of my exile. When Chuba left many hours later-for we talked deep into the night – I decided to become once again a practising Christian. So it came that after that first visit, the speck in the desert that was so far away and that seemed so unattainable now began to move again – towards me. After many more visits to me from Lagos on the same subject of my homecoming, the speck moved faster-towards me. First, it became the size of a moth, a ping-pong ball, a cricketball, and just as I was going to reach out, feel and finally cuddle it, it disappeared. After thorough negotiations, the Federal Government agreed to announce that I could come home by December, 1981. That week, between Christians and New Year, 1982, was the longest week in my life. Then it happened. There was a coup in Ghana on the 31st of December. Now, don’t say: but what has that got to do with it? Plenty. Ghana and Nigeria have their history intertwined. They did two things one after their history: Independence and coups. Check the records since 1960. The first coup in Ghana took place in December, 1965, in Nigeria it was January, 1966 (cross-check). Ever since, it had seemed a tacit understanding between the two countries to outdo one another. So, this coup happened and naturally,

barely containable economic crisis, decided not to rock the political boat in whaever form. A wise thing to do, but where does that leave me? In the cold embrace of a lonely exile: I was happy that my young friend Jerry Rawlings had made it. I sent him a congratulatory message. Then I began to review my own situation – what had I done wrong? I reviewed the negotiations which ended in such an anticlimax. First, it was the visits to Abidjan by emissaries of the Shagari government. To me, the talks were at first mere ideas. Then, the ideas concretised into viable projects, and much later still, the project hardened into full-scale negotiations. I met and discussed with Alhaji Shinkafi, the boss of the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO) in London. The final details were presented to President Houphouet-Boigny who took particular interest in the proceedings. The Nigerian government, by this time, was warming up to the political advantage which my freedom could shower on it. The politicians, never a group to miss an opportunity to score political points leaked it to the press that I was to return to Nigeria a free citizen with no impediments whatsoever, and all my family assets held by the government since that concerned my homecoming was treated with utmost deliberation. At the final meeting, which was at the instance of President Houphouet-Boigny, the then Minister of Internal Affairs, Alhaji Ali Baba, was also present. The Nigerian government did consider announcing the freedom of Gowon and myself, to come back home, in one fell swoop! Government later changed its mind thinking it would be imprudent to make the two announcements at the same time for security reasons. t this point, I was actually asked whether or not I had any objectives. How could I raise objections? Gowon and I were not twins, in fact nor in deed. An eventual return home was infinitely better than no return at all. I, of course, answered that I had no objections. All indications had then shifted to an end of 1981 announcement for me. New year came and went in Nigeria and the expected announcement did not take place. So I waited. Finally, in May 1982, it happened. It was announced that I was free to return home. Was my ‘pardon’ conditional? Were there any conditions at all? No, nothing could be further from the truth; it is easy to say I would not have accepted such a condition, but this point was never in issue. The real reason for my ‘pardon’, as I see it, was not so much partisan and not so much a party affair. It was Shagari’s wish to be remembered as an active participant in the national reconciliation process. He wanted to go down in history as the President who closed the chapter on a painful national episode. By Shagari’s announcement, I was no more an exile. By that announcement, I became, in fact, a tourist in Cote D’Ivoire where I had spent thirteen most-hospitable years of my life. I prepared slowly for my home return. The preparations developed their own momentum and very soon, it became more a period of frienzied activity both physical and mental.





The first Nigerian Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the then Governor-General, Sir James Robertson and former Governor of the old Western Region, Maj-Gen Adeyinka Adebayo relived how he advised the late Biafran warlord, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, to join the Army, reports TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO

‘How I brought him into Army’ H

IS father did not want him to join the military. He did not even want him to work for anybody. As a millionaire, Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu wanted his son, Emeka, to work for himself. He gave him all he needed to achieve this. But his son had other plans. First he joined the colonial service. He later joined the Army. Yesterday, former governor of the Old Western Region, Maj.-Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd) recounted his role in getting the late Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to quit the civil service for the army. Adebayo said: “I met Chief Ojukwu for the first time at a cocktail party organised for the Acting Governor-General, Sir Ralph Grey who was the official Deputy Governor-General of the Federation who represented Sir James Robertson, the Governor-General at an official occasion at Umuahia when he was in England for an official duty in late 1957. I was the first Nigerian Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the Governor-General. Chief Ojukwu was Assistant District Officer then in Umuahia Eastern Region. I had a long discussion with Chief Emeka Ojukwu at the party about the Nigerian Army and I advised him to join the Nigerian Army. He kept his contact with me and later became one of the first set of young Nigerian graduates to join the Army as Cadet. He started his cadet training with others from Nigeria and Ghana in Teshie and Cadet School, Eaton Hall, in England. He later attended the School of Infan-

•Gen. Adebayo

•The late Ojukwu

try at Warminster and Small Arms School at Hythe and finally Joint Service Staff College (JSSC) at Latimer, Buckinghamshire, England. He served in various units in Nigeria and as an Instructor at the Royal West African Frontier Force Training School, Teshie, Ghana.” Maj.-Gen. Adebayo added: “He was a good and hardworking of-

ficer who rose rapidly to the rank of Lt. Col in 1964. He worked as Quarter Master General (QMG) in the Army Headquarters while Lt. Col Yakubu Gowon was Adjutant General (AG) and I was the first Chief of Staff (COS) with the rank of full Colonel in the Nigerian Army Headquartres under the command of the British General Officer Commanding (GOC) Sir Welby

Evarald. “When the military coup of January, 1960 took place, he was appointed the military governor of Eastern Region, with headquartres in Enugu. “When the last British General Officer Commanding was about to go, Major-General Aguiyi Ironsi was appointed to take over from him being the most senior Nigeri-

an Army officer and I continued to be the Chief of Staff, Army Headquarters until November, 1965 when I handed over to Colonel Kur Mohammed and I went on course to the Imperial Defence College in England. Few weeks after I left, the first coup took place and all the most senior Nigerian Army Officers were killed but General Ironsi was lucky to be alive and was made the Head of State. “Political tension mounted and the second coup took place on July 29, 1966 when Ironsi was visiting Western Region and he was killed with Lt. Col Fajuyi his host in Ibadan. “Fortunately or unfortunately I came home on consultation with the Head of State but could not see him and the coup plotters did not know that I was in town.” He said of the second coup: “The second coup of July 1966 weighed heavily on the Easterners and unfortunately Emeka proclaimed himself the Head of State and Commander-In-Chief of the Republic of Biafra. The declaration led to the civil war in the country which lasted for three years.” Maj.-Gen. Adebayo said Ojukwu lived a fulfilled life. He said: “We all must be comforted that Ojukwu lived a most fulfilled life and has left behind a record of very great contributions to the future notable modern Nigeria which for life will assure him a place in the history of our great country Nigeria. I will personally miss him because he was a great loyal officer from the date I met him.”

Okorocha, Clark, Northern governors, others mourn


MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha, former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark and the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) have paid glowing tributes to the late Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Okorocha, in a statement, said: “Ojukwu’s death has created a big vacuum in the Southeast and Nigeria, having fought against injustice and the emancipation of the Igbos. Ojukwu is a man of principle and a unique leader who, amidst all odds, remained steadfast with his people until death.” The Northern governors, speaking through their Chairman, Governor Babangida Aliyu, said: “The people of the 19 states of the North and indeed the entire country have lost a courageous man who would be sorely missed for his immeasurable contributions to national development. “Like most of our Igbo brothers and sisters who were born in Zungeru (former capital of Northern Nigeria), Ojukwu excelled in his sojourn on this side of the divide. He did well as a soldier and as a politician.” Clark, in a tribute, said the late Biafran leader was an activist and a foremost nationalist. He said: “The death of Dim Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu came to me as a rude shock. This is another loss to the nation of a man who could be described as an activist and foremost nationalist, who hates oppression

YCE, Uba, Ihedioha: he fought injustice By Tajudeen Adebanjo


HE Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha and Senator Andy Uba have expressed sadness over the death of Chief Emeka OdumegwuOjukwu. A statement by YCE President, Maj-Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo and National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olu Falae, said the Biafran warlord’s death came at a crucial time of national development. The group said: “Chief Ojukwu was a leader who devoted all his life to fight against injustice and oppression. He was a man of strong principle who remained dedicated to his conviction until his last breadth. He was a political icon and a man greatly needed by many people to build and enhance their respective political influences. He was forthright, courageous, outspoken and a true patriot.” “YCE sympathised with the immediate family of the deceased, the Governor of Anambra State, all members of his political party and the entire people of Nigeria on the loss of this illustrious son of the nation. Uba, in a statement, described Ikemba’s death as a great loss to Nigeria. “He was a great patriot and an embodiment of unity among the Ibos and a rallying point for all committed patriots,” he declared. Uba said Nigeria has lost a legend. “We would continue to remember him for his valuable contribution to the country,” he said. Ihedioha said Nigeria would surely miss this “bright Eastern star who shorn like a million comets in the galaxy of stars.” Ihedioha recalled the roles the late Ojukwu played in the evolution of the country’s socio-political history since his youthful days, his contributions in the Armed Forces, and his mobilising roles in crusading for a better deal for his people, noting that “love him or hate him, his landmark contributions in making Nigeria what it is today cannot be dimmed by his passage to the great beyond.” From Yusuf Alli and Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

and injustice, the voice of the voiceless, a courageous and credible man whose ideologies transcends monumentally. “By his death, a vacuum has been created which is difficult to

fill. However, we cannot question the will of God, he alone gives and takes. “Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu despite his background and achievements, fought and defended the ordinary Ndigbo man when he felt there was no protection and sanctu-

ary for his people hence it is not true to say that the Biafrans’ rebellion against their country was not without a cause! “He was one of the few Nigerian leaders who believed that to be part of a united Nigeria, you must come from a section of the country, you must be ready to defend and protect your people against any discrimination or oppression from the other part of the country. It will therefore be difficult to have another Ojukwu in Igbo land.” Also, the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) and the Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), have said Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was exemplary. ARF, in a statement, said: “Odumegwu was one of the most highly educated individuals that ever came out of Africa, he was an orator, a technocrat per excellence and a good manager of resources. As a polyglot, he spoke fluent Yoruba using Yoruba proverbs more than some of us Yoruba are able. Our celebration of this man of intellect cannot be complete, without his objective statement on Chief Obafemi Awolowo.” In a release by its Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, ACN said the death of Ojukwu should serve as a reminder to the nation of unresolved question of true federalism. The party said: “We were saddened that Ojukwu left at a time he did, when the issues that led him to take up arms against the Nigerian nation are yet to be re-

solved. We would have loved Ojukwu to live to witness the evolution of a Nigeria where justice and fairplay reign. But we are sad that the Nigeria at the time Ojukwu died has worsened from what it used to be at the time he decided to fight for his people. We are sad that the Nigeria at the time Ojukwu died has regressed into a quagmire where true federalism is alien and where freedom, justice and good governance have been banished, to the consternation of the people. “Ojukwu was a brilliant historian, a quintessential military man, a great politician and a proven leader who understands the heartbeat of his people and was ever ready to defend his people against any oppression and acts of injustice. He was a believer in true federalism and equitable distribution of power and resources, which is the cornerstone of ACN’s objectives in Nigeria’s politics. He was a firm believer in the rights of every Nigerian to enjoy the fruits of a working nationhood. It was a violation of this sacred right that led him to take up arms in 1967. It is sad and regrettable that the conditions that made him to go to war have deepened and the Nigerian is living to witness a callous affront on true federalism and individual rights of Nigerians today. “We call on Nigerians to intensify the fight for true and equitable federalism, from where Ojukwu left it.”




Excess crude account down by $2b Continued from page 1

•From left: Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori; Governor Rauf Aregbesola; Chairman, Board of Fellows, Institute of Strategic Management, Nigeria, Mr Ben Ewuzie and President of the Institute, General Leo Segun Ajiborisa, during the investiture of Governor Aregbesola as the Grand Patron of the Institute, at the Executive Chambers, Governor’s Office, Abere, Osogbo, Osun State ... yesterday

ferred into the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). With the latest withdrawal, only $3billion is left in the account. From the October allocation, the Federal Government got N250.18b, the states (N139.17 billion) and the local governments (N101.744 billion). Ngama gave the breakdown of the October allocation as follows: Value Added Tax (VAT), N51.640billion as against N60.739 billion distributable in the preceding month, making a decrease of N9.099billion. Distributable statutory revenue for the month: N440.471 billion, a decrease of

N112.672billion or 20 per cent compared with September; N113.398billion is proposed as augmentation as a result of the shortfall in distributable revenue. Total distributable revenue for the month (including VAT) is N603.444 billiion, a decrease of N8.009billion or 1.13 per cent compared to the amount distributed in September. But there was exchange gain of N4.046billion being the difference between the average rate and the budgeted rate. The minister said: “We met last week and we had to adjourn. We resumed today and we have already successfully concluded the meeting.” Asked why it took so long

Ojukwu: MASSOB orders sit-at-home on burial day Continued from page 1

Uwazuruike advised the government to use Ojukwu’s death to make amends and show the evidence of “no victor, no vanquished” as announced at the end of the Civil War in 1970. He said: “We have not seen that evidence since the war ended. Now that the Ezeigbo is dead, the evidence should be shown by giving him a befitting memorial and honour by the Nigerian government.” He said for Ojukwu’s soul to rest in peace, two additional states should be created in the Southeast to bring them at par with other sections of the country, adding that the creation of two more states

should be augmented with the number of local councils in the zone. He said the government should do this through the constitutional amendment. The MASSOB leader also asked for the declaration of the Southeast as a disaster area because of poor infrastructure, such as airports, seaports, Niger Bridge, roads and erosion, among others. “People of the East are not cowards. Our boys are angry over this issue of lack of infrastructure. The position of MASSOB on non-violence should not be taken for granted. That position of non-violence was sustained by Ojukwu. Any time there was problem, he would invite me to remind me of the non-violence position,”

Uwazuruike said. The final expectation from the Federal Government, the MASSOB leader said, is the immortalisation of Ojukwu. “It has been an insult to Ndigbo that Ojukwu was not immortalised alongside his colleagues who were given that honour through naming of some barracks after them,” Uwazuruike said. The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday paid tribute to Ojukwu, saying he lived and died fighting for a better Nigeria. In statement by the Head of Information and Public Relations Comrade Chris Uyot, the NLC said it received “with shock and sadness, the news of the death of one of

Nigeria’s most revered patriots and statesmen, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu– Ojukwu, who died after a protracted ailment in a London hospital on Saturday”. The NLC noted that although, the late Ojukwu took up arms against the Federal Government and was a principal actor in the Nigerian civil war, “he ranked as one of the best patriots and nationalists Nigeria ever produced. “The lessons from that war has certainly strengthened the Nigerian nation and the crave of its citizenry for national cohesiveness and unity. “In ending the civil war, we must acknowledge Chief Ojukwu’s personal commitment and conviction for a bet-

ter, stronger and healthier Nigeria. Beyond the war, he was a brave, intelligent, and focused soldier and politician. He had been very active in civil politics since his return from Cote d’Ivoire where he went on exile after the war, and was a strong believer in participatory politics and credible elections.” The NLC added: “We extend the condolences of all Nigerian workers to his entire family as we share in their moment of agony and pain. The late Chief Odumegwu – Ojukwu lived and died fighting for a better Nigeria and therefore the consequence of his death is a collective burden. We pray that God grants the family the fortitude to bear this national loss.”

to share the cash, he noted that the commissioners and governor are no longer comfortable with the soaring increase of subsidy of petroleum products. The minister explained that because the nation’s pump price is fixed, the Federal Government ends up in a situation in which the subsidy increases every month making the burden unbearable for the commissioners and governors who believe that the cost is unjustifiable. His words: “For sometime, we have been deliberating on this issue of petroleum subsidy. The commissioners are not comfortable with the rising cost of fuel subsidy. The government has it as a policy to subsidize petroleum products but because of the increasing amount of pump price and the fact that our own fuel pump price is fixed, we end up in a situation where the subsidy has been increasing from month to month. “And the burden has become unbearable for the commissioners. This is because whatever resources we raise we have a decision to make as to how to use our own revenue: whether to use it for payment of subsidy or to use our own revenue amenities for the provision of our physical infrastructure and provision of social for our citizens. The governors and the commissioners believe that the total amount that is devoted to the subsidy is so high and not justifiable.”

Legal experts advise sack of five governors Continued from page 1

late court, he applied to join in the suit as an interested party. The Supreme Court granted him leave to appeal the decision. The respondents are Nyako, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC. After entering the appeal, the apex court invited a former Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF), Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), a renowned constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) and Mr Olukanyinsola Ajayi (SAN) to give opinions on the case – as friends of the court. Akinjide advised the apex court to uphold the decision of the Court of Appeal, which elongated the tenure of the five governors. Sagay and Ajayi said the governors should not benefit from their wrongs. The appeal could not go on yesterday because counsel to the governors – Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), for Kogi Governor Idris and Chief Ladi Williams (SAN) for Bayelsa – said they were yet to be served the briefs of the amicus curiae. Opposing Marwa’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), argued that the appeal could be heard since all the parties knew the business of the day. But the seven-member panel, chaired by Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Dahiru Musdapher, adjourned till today and ordered that the briefs of the amicus curiae be served on all parties. The CJN urged the amicus

curiae to return today, stressing the need to expedite actions. In his brief, which was obtained by our correspondent yesterday, Sagay said: “I agree entirely with the Appellant’s counsel when he states at paragraph 5-50 of his brief that a court will not lend its aid to an immoral or illegal act, and that a party will not be allowed to benefit from its own wrong doing. It is against public policy for a governor to scheme and contrive to stay in office indefinitely. If this appeal fails, that exactly will be the state of the law.” “It is my humble view that the appeal should succeed. “Section 180(2) of the Constitution does not envisage a situation in which a person can physically occupy the position of governor for more than four years in a single tenure. “An election is only nullified effectively with effect from the date of judicial pronouncement. The decision of a court in an annulled election is constitutive of that nullity, and therefore cannot have a retrospective effect on the tenure and actions taken by the governor before the nullification order. “It follows, therefore, that both the pre-nullification tenure and acts flowing from it are recognisable by law as the valid legal effect of the annulled election. This means that the period spent in office as Governor by the person concerned must count as part of his tenure. “The Court will not lend its

aid to an immoral or illegal act; neither will it allow a person to benefit from his own wrong or a wrong in his favour. “Opening the constitutional gate to an indefinite tenure in office by governors is not only contrary to the provisions of the Constitution and public policy, but will lead to gross abuse in the Nigerian type of society.” Ajayi urged the Court to hold that by the combined position of Sections 180(1) and 182 (1&1b0, a person can hold the office of governor for only four years per term and that a governor has maximum period of eight years. He posited that the “nullification of the 4th Respondent and other beneficiaries of the decision of the lower court did not perforce result in the nullity of the oath of allegiance and oath of office taken by them as governors of other respective states. “The relevant period of the computation of the tenure of the 4th Respondent is May 29, 2007 when he took the first oath of allegiance and oath of office and not the second oath of allegiance and oath of office in 2008. “Lastly, the period the first respondent spent in office as the governor of Adamawa prior to the nullification of election that brought him to office should be reckoned with in the computation of his office. In the premises, this honourable court is urged to resolve this appeal against the 4th Respondent and vacate the decision of the lower court.”

Taking a different position on the issue, Akinjide said: “It is my view and I so submit that the Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office taken by the 1st Respondent on May 29,2007 based on the nullified election cannot be a valid reference point for the calculation of the four-year term of office. His four-year tenure started to run, in law, following the April 30,2008 Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office taken pursuant to the re-run election as ordered by the Court of Appeal.” “Subsection 2A of Section 180 of the Constitution (as amended) is totally inapplicable to this case. Subsection 2A of Section 180 of the Constitution (as amended) has no retrospective application and is only applicable to the tenure of offices in respect of elections conducted post-July 16, 2010. “I commend with respect, my views and submissions in this my amicus curiae brief and I urge this Honourable Court to determine this appeal accordingly.” Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court had in his consolidated judgment ruled that the tenure of the governors started in 2008 when they took a fresh Oath of Allegiance and Oath of Office after their victories in the rerun elections conducted by INEC. The rerun elections were conducted by INEC after Appeal Courts nullified their victories in the April 14, 2007 general elections. The Judge held that since the 2007 elections were nulli-

fied and set aside by competent courts, the oaths of office and allegiance subscribed to by the governors had been nullified. Following the judgment, which was upheld by the Court of Appeal panel of five Justices chaired by Justice Muhammad Garuba, governorship elections did not hold in the five states on April 26. The INEC subsequently fixed governorship election in Kogi State for December 3; Adamawa in January 2012; Bayelsa – February 2012, Sokoto (March) and Cross River (April), 2012. By the provision of Section 180(2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the Governor of a State shall vacate office at the expiration of four years from the date when he took the oath of allegiance and oath of office. Section 178 (2) of the Constitution as amended provides that, “An election to the office of Governor of a State shall be held on a date not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of the office”. While INEC is lukewarm in pursuing the appeals, the appeal is, however, being championed by Marwa, who is seeking to contest for governor of Adamawa State. His lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), made frantic efforts to persuade the Supreme Court to hear the appeals at the last hearing. Marwa was not a plaintiff or a defendant in the case

•Justice Musdapher

when it originated at the Federal High Court in Abuja. But because the verdict of the trial court affected his governorship ambition in Adamawa State, he applied to be joined in the appeal as an interested party. The apex court held that Marwa had sufficient interest to be made a party to the case. A Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, in the decision gave Marwa the right to appeal against the Court of Appeal decision which held that the tenure of Governor Murtala Nyako would terminate in 2012. Other members of the panel of the apex court that gave the decision included Justices Christopher Mitchel ChukwumaEneh, Muhammad Saifullah Muntaka-Coomassie, John Afolabi Fabiyi and Sulaiman Galadima.

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678



NEWS Agagu’s supporters join ACN

EFCC files 27 more charges against Daniel

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) members in Igbotako, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, the home town of former Governor Olusegun Agagu, yesterday joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The PDP supporters, said to be Agagu’s loyalists, were led by the local government and ward executives of the party to ACN. One of the defectors, Mr. Adeyehun Damilola, described ACN as “the only progressive political party in Nigeria”. Damilola said PDP is a conservative party with no political structure in the state. The new members were received by the ACN candidate in Southern Senatorial District, Dr. Paul Akintelure, and the party’s chairman in the council, Chief Ileola Olaloge. Akintelure said: “ACN leaders have proved that they are capable of bringing the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. That is why the party has gained ground in the Southwest. “The present structure of the party is enough to unseat the ruling Labour Party (LP). The people of the state now understood the reason Governor Olusegun Mimiko must not be given a second term. “LP has become unpopular, following the defection of its key members, such as Dr. Olaiya Oni and Saka Lawal, among others. “Supporters of the party thought Mimiko would impact positively on the citizenry, but he failed. This prompted people to dump LP and look for another party where they can achieve their dreams of ameliorating the suffering of the poor.”


•Court fixes trial for Jan. 19


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday filed 27 more charges against former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel, who is on trial for corrupt practices. This brings the charges against Daniel to 43. The former governor was arraigned on October 6 on a 16-count charge of allegedly stealing public funds, fraudulent conversion of Ogun State property to private use, illegal deduction of local government funds and failure to truthfully declare his assets as required by the constitution, among others. He pleaded not guilty. The fresh charges include fraudulent conversion of N2,636,940,099.20. The EFCC alleged that Daniel, in conjunction with Toner World Limited (TWL) (now at large), between 2009 and 2010, converted the said amount to the use of Toner World & Gas Limited (TWOGL). The anti–graft agency said the money was part of funds meant for the Ijebu–Ode Water Project, which was awarded by Daniel’s administration. Daniel and TWL were also accused of fraudulently converting N911,958,468.54 and state property to the use of TWOGL between March 8 and December 2, 2010. EFCC also accused Daniel and TWL of stealing N602,080,014.87 and a property of the Ogun State Government between August 28 and November 2009. The agency’s counsel, Mr.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

Rotimi Jacobs, said he was ready to commence trial. Daniel’s counsel, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, who appeared with two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) – Mr. Kunle Kalejaiye and Mrs. Titilayo Akinlawon, acknowledged receipt of the amended charges, but prayed the court to grant him more time to discuss the new charges with his client before trial commences. He cited sections 268 and 263 of the Criminal Code Panel and 36 (6) Paragraph B of the 1999 Constitution to support his request. “The accused has the right to study the charges before trial can commence. It took the EFCC 30 days to file the charges, so we are also asking for time.” Osipitan said the additional charges were lengthy and in two volumes, and he would require time to prepare his defence. Jacobs argued that the length of the amended charges was not sufficient to seek for an adjournment. Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje granted Osopitan’s plea for adjournment and fixed January 19 and 20, next year, for trial. Jacobs told reporters after the proceedings that the sack of the former EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, would not affect the case. He said: “It will not affect the case. EFCC is an established institution; it is not built around an individual.”

•Daniel in the dock...yesterday

Seven injured as building collapses in Lagos EVEN persons were injured yesterday, when a storey building situated at No. 144 Oba Akran, Ikeja, Lagos partially collapsed. The building belongs to Haano Industries, a major importer of frozen fish in Lagos. The incident occurred at about 10:15am, while workers were offloading frozen food from containers into the warehouse. An eye witness said the victims are casual workers, who are paid daily based on the number of cartons loaded into the warehouse.


From Miriam, Ndikanwu

He said: “As you can see, this warehouse was constructed recently by the management. Loading started about four days ago and each container contains 1,400 cartons of fish, with each carton weighing 25kg. As at yesterday, nine containers were loaded into the warehouse. “We resumed work early this morning because each worker here is paid 20,500 per container offloaded. A lot of workers came on time, so we had offloaded the first two containers and was on the next set when, suddenly,

the upper part of the building came down on us. “Unfortunately, the guys who were injured were on the ground floor. We thank God none of them died, but they sustained serious injuries.” The eye witness blamed the collapse on the pressure of the goods. He said: “Warehouses for cold rooms are not decked, the pressure of the products was just too heavy for the building and that could have resulted in the collapse.” General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) Mr.

Fayemi seeks reform of INEC, others


KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has called for a reform of key institutions. He said this would deepen democracy and restore the public’s confidence in governance. Fayemi spoke in Abuja yesterday at the opening of a twoday workshop of the Conference of Houses of Assembly Speakers. The workshop, which was facilitated by the Department for International Development (DFID), was attended by

the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, and Assembly speakers from the 36 states of the federation. Fayemi identified the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), judiciary, security agencies and political parties as some of the institutions that should be reformed. He said Nigeria’s stability and democracy are threatened by the brand of federalism practised in the country, where power and resources are “over-concentrated at the

centre.” Reviewing the different models of legislatures the country had experimented with since independence, Fayemi said experience counts in building the state and national assemblies. “Without experience, the legislature cannot do much in terms of capacity, he added. He canvassed the retention of old and experienced lawmakers in the assemblies to enhance performance. In his lecture entitled:

Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, who was at the scene, said three of those injured were taken to Critical Rescue International (CRI), while others were taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for treatment. He confirmed that no life was lost in the incident. A mild drama ensued when Oke-Osanyintolu directed a crane operator to pull down the structure. The workers almost mobbed him, but for the intervention of some mobile policemen. The angry workers said their belongings were trapped in the warehouse, adding that they had not been paid for the day’s job before the building caved in. One of them, who joined the team barely 24 hours before the collapse, claimed that he had N480, 000 trapped under the rubble. He said: “I am a music artiste. My elder brother gave me the money yesterday (Sunday) for the shooting of my music video. But since I was going to resume early this morning, I wrapped it in a black nylon bag and kept it somewhere safe, hoping to take it to the bank on Tuesday (today).”

ACN slams PDP over Ajimobi


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State has said the state is fairing better under the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi than it did under that of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, ACN said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no right to criticise the government, because its principal, Alao-Akala, is on trial for allegedly stealing about N50 billion public funds. The party said Ajimobi has successfully curbed the violent crisis of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), without taking sides like the Alao-Akala government used to do. It said the sustenance of peace in the last 200 days is an achievement of the ACN government. The party said Ajimobi would flag off his Youth Empowerment Scheme for 20,000 youths this week. It said many roads, which were shoddily constructed by the Alao-Akala administration, have been rebuilt by the Ajimobi administration. The ACN accused PDP of criticising the demolition of houses built on waterways to prevent a recurrence of the August 26 floods. It advised the PDP to stop its allegedly deliberate attack on the government.

Aregbesola to deliver lecture


SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola

will deliver the 40th Anniversary Lecture of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, tomorrow. The lecture is entitled: “Polythecnic education in Nigeria: the shape of things to come.” Aregbesola is an alumnus of the school. The school will gradu-

ate 6,512 graduands on Friday. This would make the the number of graduates produced by the school in 10 years 105,891. Chairman of the Convocation/40th Anniversary Committee Mr. Nathaniel Adebayo called on the school’s alumni to assist in improving the school.



NEWS Lawyer and lecturer, Mr Wahab Shittu, yesterday paid tribute to the late businessman and publisher of The Supreme Court empowers tribunal Guardian, Mr Alex Ibru. In a eulogy in Lagos, Shittu described the publisher as “a huge success”. to hear forgery cases From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

THE Supreme Court has empowered election petition tribunals to hear and determine allegations of forgery. The apex court noted that by community reading of Section 138 D of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, and Section 182 of the 1999 Constitution, election petition tribunals can hear and determine cases on forgery and non-qualification of candidates. A seven-member panel of the court, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Dahiru Musdapher, gave the verdict yesterday in an appeal filed by Benue Stata Governor Gabriel Torwua Suswam challenging the decision of the Court of Appeal, Makurdi. The Appeal Court had ordered that the petition filed by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and its governorship candidate, Senator Daniel Sarror, alleging certificate forgery against Suswam should be heard on its merit. The petitioners are contesting that Suswam, at the time of the election, was not qualified to contest the governorship position, having presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), contrary to Section 182 (1) (i) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). The allegations were premised on the ground that the governor, who won the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is in possession of three General Certificate in Education (GCE) O’ Level obtained in 1982 at the same sitting with the same candidate number. The petitioner alleged that two of the ceriticates bear the same number, different subjects and that where the subjects are common, the scores differ. The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, after upholding the preliminary objection of Suswam, dismissed the allegation of forgery against him as a preelection matter, which the court cannot adjudicate upon. But the Appeal Court upturned the decision of the tribunal and sent the petition back for a re-trial before another panel. It was the verdict by the Court of Appeal, Makurdi, that the PDP sought to set aside at the Supreme Court on grounds of mixed law and facts. At the hearing of the appeal yesterday, Justice Musdapher, who led other six Justices, upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal. He said: “To dismiss the case at the election tribunal at that stage without hearing the evidence is wrong.”

The Alex Ibru I knew, by lawyer


HE statement reads: “Since the death of Alex Uruemu Ibru on October 20, tributes have continued to pour in, and deservedly so. The encomiums have come from all over the country, and even from outside our shores. This is not surprising for Alex Ibru was a great man by all standards. I have decided to add my humble voice to the chain of tributes in honour of this extraordinary Nigerian. He was at a time my boss, first on the board of Consultancy in Africa Services Limited (CAS), a consultancy outfit with specialty on internationally funded engagements, where I served as a pioneer Company Secretary, Legal Adviser and later at Ikeja Hotels (Owners of Lagos Sheraton and Federal Palace Hotels) where I was privileged to render support services to the board. I recall that on the board of CAS were some other equally eminent Nigerians like Mr. Goodie Ibru, Mr. Yakubu Disu, Mr. Biodun Eke and the late Insurance guru, Chief George Taylor. Years later, when the consultancy outfit was forced to suspend operations owing to in-house restructuring to reposition the company, Mr. Ibru, having noticed my integrity in the process, promised to re-absorb me to the main group at the end of the exercise. Eleven months later, when the process was completed and I reminded Mr. Alex Ibru of his promise, he replied: “That was a commitment.” With those few words, he directed that I should be re-absorbed into Ikeja Hotels, owners of Lagos Sheraton and Federal Palace Hotels. For me, that was significant and it brought to the fore the stuff and character of the late Ibru. The man kept his word. That incident reflected the character trait of a man who was used to keeping his promises. No wonder he excelled so admirably in all his business endeavours locally and internationally. He was such a huge success that it is doubtful whether any of his peers can


Burial on Dec 17


HE family of Mr Alex Uruemu Ibru, Chairman and Publisher of The Guardian, who died on November 20, in Lagos, has announced his funeral. In a statement yesterday by Olorogun Oskar Ibru, the family said the funeral would hold in Lagos and Delta states. According to the statement, a service of songs would be held on December 14 in Lagos and a commemorative service on December 15. The Lagos events would be rounded off on December 15 with a lying-in-state at the Rutam House headquarters of The Guardian, from where the body would depart for the airport en-route Agbarha-Otor in Delta State. The statement said on December 16, there would be a service of songs at the Ibru Centre, Agbarha-Otor; while on December 17, there would be a lying-in-state at the centre. A funeral service would be held at the All Saints Cathedral, Ughelli, followed by interment at the Ibru Centre. The statement added that the funeral programme would end on December 18 with an outing service at the All Saints Cathedral, Ughelli, Delta State. really match his achievements. Clearly, his entrepreneurial and business acumen was legendary. There is another aspect of Mr. Ibru that I consider very striking. That is his sense of modesty and humility, even when dealing with lesser mortals. Again, let me recall a personal experience. When Mr. Ibru was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs and he had to report for his national assignment, away from the prestige of his luxurious office at the Federal Palace Hotels and there was the need to allocate offices to small elements like me and others. What did Mr. Ibru do? To my utter surprise, he offered that I should relocate to his prestigious personal office at the Federal Palace Hotels. He said: “The young man can make use of the space.”

This was significant for a person like me, coming from a very humble background. At the time, I felt intimidated to adjust to the opulence that was the hallmark of Mr. Ibru’s office at the Federal Palace Hotels. The question again is: how many rich Nigerians of Mr. Ibru’s status can surrender their personal offices to their subordinates in the manner he had done? I felt challenged by the gesture that I resolved to emulate his humility, despite his great accomplishments. Ibru was born on March 1, 1945, and was the youngest of the Ibru brothers who hail from Agbhara-Otor, Delta State. It is said that the Ibrus’ “entrepreneurship made the name almost synonymous with business in Nigeria.” The late Alex Ibru attended Methodist Primary School, Yaba, Lagos (1951-1957);

Ibadan Grammar School (1958-1960); Igbobi College, Lagos (1960-1963); and the University of Trent (formerly Trent Polytechnic) in 19671970, where he studied Business Economics. “After working briefly in the family business under the tutelage of his older brother and patriarch, Michael C.O. Ibru, Alex Ibru launched out on his own and soon became one of the most successful young businessmen in the country”. He founded The Guardian in 1983 with a mission to make it one of the five best English language newspapers in the world. It soon established itself and has since remained the flagship of the Nigerian press. Ibru is the Chairman of Trinity Foundation, the vehicle through which he did his massive philanthropy, giving support to the poor and the needy. He was also the founder of the Ibru Centre, which promotes ecumenism and religious harmony. Alex Ibru is a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club International. He was Minister of Internal Affairs and member of the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC), from 1993 to 1995. As minister, he was said to have introduced far-reaching reforms in the management of Nigerian prisons and the Immigration Service. He left the Sani Abacha-led government on principle, after which an attempt was made on his life, allegedly on the orders of the ruling military government. The case on that attempted murder is still in court.

He was a recipient of D.Litt honoris causa of the University of Port Harcourt. Alex Ibru was also a very simple man. He was not for extravagant life style or flamboyant dress sense. He wore simple white attires and this unique dress sense became a source of identity and as his fame and influence grew, a source of admiration for many, including my humble self. What of his attitude to professionals and professionalism? We need not search further. The Guardian and the Federal Palace Hotels and other investments, which he nurtured on the ideals of high excellence and standards, are sufficient testimonies of his high regards for professionalism and high ethical standards. He was clearly a man of excellence who subscribed to service delivery quality. The other virtue in Alex Ibru that I celebrate is his sense of brotherhood. This he shared with his siblings, including Olorogun Michael Ibru, Olorogun Felix Ibru, Chief Goodie Ibru, Late Bernard Ibru and of course their sister, amiable Mabel. The Ibrus, whose character traits Alex Ibru reflected, are a great lesson in brotherhood and this was really striking. Abrahim Lincoln probably had Alex Ibru in mind when on the eve of his death, he wrote: “The worthiness of life is deep-rooted in sacrifice to mankind. If one dies in the process he becomes a martyr” Alex Ibru was clearly a martyr. Adieu Great Mind, Great Spirit. Bye Alex.

Obasanjo lied about third term, says Atiku


ORMER Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has accused ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo of lying about his bungled third term ambition through a failed constitution amendment in 2006. Obasanjo has consistently

Two killed in Lagos clash TWO people were yesterday said to have been killed in a clash between rival groups at Orile-Coker, Lagos. The dead, whose identities could not be ascertained, were said to be members of the warring gangs. It was learnt that the groups had been at each other’s throat for weeks. Their rivalry reached an anti-climax on Sunday when they clashed.

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (second right); former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba (right) with the widow of the late Mr. Ibru, Maiden and son, Tive, during Fayemi’s visit to the Ibrus’ Ikoyi, Lagos home…yesterday

By Titilayo Banjoko

Policemen attached to Orile Police Division restored peace three hours after the incident. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Robinson Eregare, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was supervising his men when The Nation got to the scene. He said police responded to a distress call and restore order in the area.

From Gbade Ogunwale (Assistant Editor), Abuja

denied ever nursing the ambition, even in the face of overwhelming evidence at the time. In his latest denial in an interview, the former President insisted that he never made any attempt to perpetuate himself in office, saying he would have prepared a bill to that effect if he had wanted a third term. “If I wanted a third term, I would have prepared a bill that I would have sent. If a bill emanated from me, I would have made sure that I got it passed. But there was no bill that emanated from me in that regards,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying. But Atiku, who was Obasanjo’s deputy for eight years, kicked against the move, lead-

ing to a strained relationship between the duo. It also led to their parting of ways even before they left office in 2007. Obasanjo alleged in the interview that Atiku destroyed his chances of succeeding him in 2007. He alleged that Atiku was unreliable and lacked the vision, orientation and experience to step into his shoes. Reacting yesterday, Atiku referred Obasanjo to a recent book published by former United States (US) Secretary of State, Ms. Condoleeza Rice, in which she said Obasanjo confided in the former US President George W. Bush that he wanted to amend the Constitution to enable him seek a third term but that Bush advised him against it.

Rice reportedly stated in the book: “In 2006, when President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria sidled up to the President (Bush) and suggested that he might change the Constitution so that he could serve a third term, the President told him not to do it.” According to her, Bush told Obasanjo that he had served Nigeria well and that he should step down and become a statesman. Describing Obasanjo’s allegation as diversionary, Atiku said he was unbelievably shocked by the distortion of facts by his erstwhile boss, who he said is expected to speak honestly like a statesman. The former Vice-President said his problems with Obasanjo had nothing to do with


the charges, recalling that his opposition to the exPresident’s third term ambition was the beginning of his travail. According to him, Obasanjo had no succession plan from the outset because he wanted to be Nigeria’s Robert Mugabe by perpetuating himself in office.



NEWS 70,000 born annually with HIV, says NACA From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


HE National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (NACA) yesterday said over 70,000 children born in Nigeria annually are HIV/AIDS positive. The agency’s Director-General, Prof. John Idoko, broke the news at a briefing in Abuja yesterday to mark the World AIDS Day. To eliminate the trend of mother-to-child transmission, he said the Federal Government would soon introduce compulsory HIV/AIDS test for expectant mothers. The 2011 AIDS Day’s theme is “Getting to zero” with a focus on the “elimination of mother-to-child transmission”. Idoko said more women are living with HIV due to inequity in the social, political and economic status of women in Africa. He said: “We will try our best to make testing for HIV/AIDS available to all expectant mothers in Nigeria because it is unacceptable for between 60,000 and 70,000 children born in Nigeria yearly to be HIV positive. “The prevalence rate of HIV in Nigeria has reduced from 4.6 per cent (2008) to 4.1 per cent last year, according the latest sentinel survey. There is evidence supported by the United Nations that HIV is stabilising in some countries, including Nigeria. “While we have noticed a reduction in HIV prevalence in Nigeria, the high rate in some states is still a source of concern to the National HIV response. More women (about 1.72 million) than men are living with HIV in Nigeria as a result of inequity in the social, political and economic status of women in Africa in general and in Nigeria in particular.” According to him, the agency has established a national call centre for HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases in Nigeria which will enable subscribers from any network to access it using mobile service telecoms provider. “The national call centre for HIV and other related infectious diseases in its final stages of establishment received a huge boost as the National Communication Commission granted the allocation of an “off-net” short code (6222) for its operations.”

Lamorde to EFCC: no excuses


HE Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, yesterday told members of the staff that more professionalism, integrity and ethical conduct would be demanded of them. Lamorde, who spoke shortly after taking over from his predecessor, Mrs. Farida Waziri, said he would not accept any excuse from workers. He said the commission was entering a new phase and urged workers to brace up for the challenges ahead. He said: “The challenges are enormous and I want to solicit the support of everyone. “I will be making more demand from every worker, far more than had ever been made before. “I will not accept any excuse whatsoever for failure. Let us get back to work.” Lamorde said he would use the abundant skills in the commission and leverage on the goodwill of Nigerians to strengthen EFCC. He added: “Some three years ago, Mrs. Farida Waziri and I met in a very similar cir-

•Waziri: I have fought the good fight From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

cumstance. “It has been God’s will that I should be the one to receive handover notes from her, the same way she received from me in June 2008. “She accepted the call to national service; she came, she saw and she has contributed her own quota to building the EFCC. “However, President Goodluck Jonathan has challenged me to take it from this point. “Madam, I want to wish you the very best in your future endeavours.” Asked of his agenda, Lamorde said: “This is not a press briefing, I am not ready for any question. We will address all issues in the next few days.” In her farewell speech in the handover note, Mrs. Waziri said: “As it is normal in life, everything that has a beginning must surely have an end. “You will agree with me that life is a relay race and in this case, I started my own leg


•$9b looted funds

now at the CBN

of •450 No convictions


No of high profile cases in court

profile •1,500 Low cases in court of the hazardous race to free our nation from the stranglehold of the corrupt and today, I am highly honoured that I am handing over the relay baton to someone who is not new in the struggle. “Like the Apostle Paul had cause to say: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” She gave highlights of her achievements in office, including the recovery of over $9billion looted assets.

“We recovered $9billion. The $9billion recovered is in the recovery accounts in the Central Bank. Some have even been returned to the owners. “Over 450 convictions have been secured. Though we inherited about 10 high-profile cases in 2008, we have taken about 75 of such to courts with another 1,500 low profile cases pending in courts. “We championed the enactment of a non-conviction based assets forfeiture legislation to complement the present conviction-based regime. “The bill however did not sail through the National Assembly for passage into law. “This is in addition to championing the amendment of the Money Laundering Act and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which have both been passed into law.” Asked what is next on the card after her exit from the EFCC, Mrs. Waziri said: “I need a holiday, I am exhausted, I need some rest. I am a professional; I might go back to law.”

‘Why Jonathan consulted lawmakers on subsidy removal’ From Onyedi Ojiabor, Abuja


HE Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, has said President Goodluck Jonathan’s consultation with the National Assembly on the deliberation to remove fuel subsidy is a demonstration of his pledge to involve Nigerians in national issues. Mrs. Emodi also said Jonathan has resolved to tackle security challenges to enthrone peace and tranquility in the country. The presidential aide made the remarks when the British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Giles Lever, visited her in Abuja at the weekend. She noted that though Jonathan is not bound by law to involve the lawmakers, if he decides to withdraw subsidy, his option to seek their input is a mark of the President’s high democratic credentials and openness in governance. She said: “President Jonathan is a democrat. He knows very well that he could push the fuel subsidy issue without involving the National Assembly but instead of behaving like an autocrat he wants to bring everybody along. He wants to carry everybody along. The envoy noted that Nigeria is a very vigorous democracy, which shares the same ideals with Britain. He commended the Jonathan-led administration for strengthening democratic institutions.

Visafone launches promo


ISAFONE, the leading Code Division and Multiple Access (CDMA) telecommunications network, has launched a promotion for its subscribers. They now have the opportunity to win a car weekly as well as 50,000 consolation prizes. The promo will last for 12 weeks. VISAFONE’s Managing Director, Sailesh Iyer said: “The Xmas Showers is an initiative offering 12 lucky subscribers weekly opportunities to win 12 brand new Picanto cars. “A new or existing sub-

scriber will also have an opportunity to win one of over 50,000 other exciting consolation prizes such as generators, LCD TVs, home theatres, motorcycles, air conditioners, refrigerators, microwaves, airtime and others.” He explained that for a subscriber to get an opportunity to win any of these prizes, “new subscribers need to buy and activate a VISAFONE line and recharge with at least N200, while existing subscribers need to recharge a minimum of N500 every week to qualify for the weekly draw beginning today.”

NAOWA quiz final tomorrow


HE Nigeria Army Education Corps has concluded plans to hold the finals of the Nigeria Army Officers Wives Associations (NAOWA) quiz/debate competition for Command Secondary Schools and Nigeria military schools tomorrow and Wednesday. The competition, which is the fifth, will have Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola

as special guest of honour. The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azuibike Ihejirika is expected to be the guest of honour. NAOWA’s National President Mrs Gift Nnenna Ihejirika is the chief host. Brig Gen LMK Benjiram of the Nigeria Army Education Corps is the guest of honour. The event will kick off tomorrow at Command Day Secondary School Nigeria Army Cantonment, Ikeja at 10am.

•Cross section of Job seekers at the National Directorate of Employement (NDE) inter-faith prayer and job fair in Abuja...yesterday PHOTO:NAN

NDLEA intercepts 4.1kg of heroin in cooking pots


FFICIALS of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have apprehended three suspected members of a drug syndicate in connection with unlawful importation of 4.1kg of heroin from India. The drug, hidden inside cooking pots, was discovered at the arrival hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, during a routine search. It was allegedly imported by a suspected member of a drug cartel who was caught during the screening of passengers on Qatar Airline flight from Dubai. According to the NDLEA Airport Commander, Hamza Umar, the suspect, Nwokeocha Bartholomew Chimezie(43), was apprehended by NDLEA officials when the drug was discovered.

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

Umar said: “The drug, which was hidden in cooking pots, was found during a search and the passenger, Bartholomew Nwokeocha, was arrested. “Another suspect, Chidozie Alawoba (30), who was at the airport to receive Nwokeocha, was also apprehended. “Also, in a follow-up operation, Akeem Iyanda (46), another suspected member of the syndicate believed to be the pointman of the drug cell in Nigeria was arrested.” Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency Ahmadu Giade described the operation as satisfactory. He said: “This is a product of careful management of operational intelligence. This is very satisfactory and inspiring. “The man who brought the drug from India was arrested

•Three arrested together with two other members of the cell. “Our target of arresting all persons connected to drug crime and bringing them to book was achieved. More arrests are in the offing.” Nwokeocha is an auto parts dealer in Onitsha, Anambra State. He travelled to India on October 26 and left India with the drug to Dubai on November 11. The suspect is married with three children and his wife is expecting. He hails from AroNdizuogu in Imo State. He said: “I went to India for an eye surgery. In the process, I met a friend who gave me the cooking pots. “He told me that it was a gift for his sister in Nigeria that just put to birth.” Alawoba was deported from Libya in 2009. He is sin-

gle, lives in Lagos and hails from Orlu in Imo State. According to him, “while I was in Libya in 2007, one of my friends who lived in India called me on phone that I should assist him. “He asked me to receive the luggage from Nwokeocha and give it to Iyanda. “I do not know both men, I was only executing my brief.” Further investigation led to the arrest of Iyanda, who is believed to be the final recipient of the drug. He told investigators that his friend in Bombay called him that he had sent a luggage to him. “My friend in India called me that he had sent a luggage to me. I met the man in 2008 when I travelled to India”. Akeem who lives on Lagos Island with his wife and child hails from Ibadan, Oyo State. All suspects will be charged to court soon.



NEWS KOGI 2011 1.3 million to vote in Kogi From Mohammed Bashir Lokoja

ABOUT 1,333,312 electorate are to vote in the governorship election scheduled for Saturday in Kogi State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has hinted In a statement made available to reporters yesterday in Lokoja, the commission said a total of 2,548 polling units have been provided for every 300 eligible voters in each unit. The statement signed by the commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Emmanuel Umenger, stressed that only one governorship returning officer will be available during the exercise. Besides, Umenger also listed 239 registration area collation officers, 2,548 presiding officers, 4,444 poll clerks and 25 local government area supervisors as those saddled with specific assignments during the election. He noted that 19 candidates are contesting the governorship election. Assuring the people of its readiness to conduct a free, fair and credible election, the Umenger called on the electorate to conduct themselves in an orderly manner.

Jonathan worried over rising unemployment


ORRIED over the high rate of unemployment, President Goodluk Jonathan yesterday expressed fear the trend could trigger a revolution if unchecked. He said the time has come for government to create jobs for the millions of the Nigerian youths roaming the streets. Jonathan said: “ From next year when we will start to run our transformation budget, we must create jobs for our young people. “If we don’t create jobs, in the next four years, youths will revolt. We need capable hands to actualise our transformation agenda.” The President spoke in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, where he promised to accord the state priority in his administration’s transformation agenda. He was in Lokoja for the grand finale of the campaign rally of his party’s candidate in Saturday’s governorship election. President Goodluck

Fanfare, tight security as Jonathan graces PDP’s final campaign in Kogi


HERE was tight security yesterday in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital. President Goodluck Jonathan was in town to grace the grand finale of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship campaign. Many roads around the Lokoja Township Stadium, venue of the rally, were closed and vehicles were diverted to alternate routes. Armed soldiers and mobile policemen mounted guard at the various junctions, turning motorists back. The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), deployed their men to control vehicular and human traffic at junctions around the stadium. Not even the ubiquitous commercial motorcycles (popularly known as Okada) were allowed free passage into the restricted areas. Vehicles belonging to government and party officials were thoroughly searched before being allowed into the stadium. Supporters were forced to trek some disFrom Mohammed Bashir Lokoja

Jonathan urged the electorate to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in Saturday’s governorship election. The President was in Loko-

From Joseph Jibueze, Lokoja

tance to the venue. Everyone was searched and frisked by security agents at three points before being allowed into the venue. At the stadium gate, uniformed and plaincloth officers were busy screening the people. Those who wore caps were asked to remove them to ensure they did not hide anything under them. Women’s bags were also searched. Inside the stadium was a carnival, with different cultural dancers and musicians thrilling the guests with spectacular performances. They include: Mountain Black and Mad Melon (Danfo Drivers), Father U-Turn and Zule-Zu. Supporters, most of them dressed in white Tshirts emblazoned with the photograph of the PDP governorship candidate and his running mate, with caps to match, danced and applauded as party chieftains spoke about victory on Saturday. The stadium was filled to capacity and many stood in the scorching sun. Pockets of fight broke out as women and youths fought over handouts. At exactly 1.30pm, President Jonathan arrived.

ja, the state capital According to him, Kogi will be included in the Federal Government’s transformation budget for next year. His words: “We at the federal level of government want to include Kogi State in

our transformation budget. We want a governor who believes in our policies, a governor who has all it takes to carry out the transformation agenda. And we have the confidence that Idris Wada and his running mate have

ANPP’ll win without alliance, says party chair

Justice Party flays PDP for teachers’ woes

From Joseph Jibueze, Lokoja


From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

THE governorship candidate of Justice Party (JP) in Kogi State, Hajia Aisha Eleojo Audu said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government has no excuse owing teachers in the state. In a statement by her media consultant, Femi Soneye, Mrs. Audu flayed the government for neglecting the welfare of the teachers and not addressing their demands, a situation which she balmed for the five-month-old strike by teachers in public primary and junior secondary schools. She wondered why the state government refused to pay salaries and leave allowances to the primary and Universal Basic Education (UBE) teachers when other civil servants in the state have been enjoying same since June The statement reads: “It is only an irresponsible government that will keep her leaders of tomorrow out of school for upward of five months and will shamelessly be canvassing for votes. “Primary education is the foundation as well as the basics. Keeping pupils at home can lead them into becoming frustrated in future, as such a situation could lead to lack of self confidence, poor image perception and an unhealthy identification. The teachers are asking for salary relativity and leave allowances which are their entitlement. If the government is refusing to pay relativity by this time when will it implement the minimum wage for them.”

the capacity. “We don’t want somebody who will turn the state to his personal property. Not someone who will chase us away from the state. “There are a number of things that must be done to make our economy multiply. “Critical among these programmes is the rapid creation of jobs for the teeming youths. The youths will embark on revolution against government at all levels if we fail to do that. “In the coming years, youths will revolt against any President or state government if we do not come up with policies that will create jobs.” The President also promised to include the Northcentral state in its programme, during the celebration of the nation’s amalgamation in 2015. Speaking earlier, the PDP governorship candidate, Captain Wada (rtd), promised to consolidate on the development strides of incumbent Governor Ibrahim Idris. He also pledged to support the transformation agenda of the President.

•President Jonathan flanked on the right by Govenor Idris and PDP governorship candidate, Wada at the rally...yesterday

HE Kogi State chapter of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) yesterday said it does not need any alliance to win Saturday’s governorship election. According to its chairman, Alhaji Patrick Daudu, the party has not aligned with any party for the polls. Daudu said his party’s governorship candidate, Elder Ubolo Itodo Okpanachi is the man to beat, urging the electorate to vote for him to turn the state around for good. He said: ”I want to tell the people of the state that the ANPP is in no alliance with any political party. There is no such arrangement.

Tambuwal seeks financial independence for State Assemblies


PEAKER of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal yesterday enjoined speakers of Houses of Assembly from the 36 states to correct the mistake they made during the last constitution amendment when they rejected an opportunity to become financially independent. Speakers of the state houses had during the last amendment, refused to sign the provision in the amendment

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

that put them on first line charge, thus making them financially autonomous. Tambuwal, who spoke yesterday at a workshop for the speakers in Abuja, urged them to ensure conclusion of the issue of financial autonomy for Houses of Assembly in the states in the proposed amendment in order to guarantee greater independence

and efficiency of the state legislature. Represented by his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, Tambuwal said the lack of financial autonomy for state assemblies has reduced them to mere appendages of the executive arm of government which has further whittled down their powers. He expressed regrets that during the last constitution amendment, some state assemblies through the underground tactics of their state

governors, turned down the gesture and the commitment of the National Assembly to grant them financial independence. Tambuwal stated: “The three arms of government have undergone grossly inequitable developmental opportunities as a result of intermittent military intervention in governance. It is the legislature that is the worst victim, suffering total disbandment together with its bureaucracy at every such

interregnum. “The consequence of this intermittent disbandment is that the legislature is the most unknown, most misunderstood and most vilified of the three arms of government in Nigeria either due to genuine innocent ignorance or deliberate mischief by civilian or civilianizing leaders, politicians and analysts still hooked to ethos of dictatorship and gullibly supported by their co-travellers.”

ASUU accuses Fed Govt of insensitivity to education development


HE Owerri zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has described as inconsiderate the Federal Government’s failure to put into action the agreement it signed with the union to uplift varsity education in the country. Making this known yester-

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

day, the zonal co-ordinator in the zone, Mrs. Emylia Jaja told reporters in Owerri, Imo State, that there was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) where the Federal Government promised to implement

the FGN-ASUU agreement which was signed on November 22, 1999. While expressing regret over the deplorable condition of learning environment in the university system, the ASUU chief said that something urgent needed to be done so as to arrest

the situation. The zone, made up of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Imo State University (IMSU) , Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RUST), kicked against the poor level of funding in the

universities. She revealed that while the funding of varsities in the country have declined outrageously, other developing countries such as Ghana and South Africa have exceeded the UNESCO global average of 26 per cent with Nigeria at less than 10 per cent.



NEWS Sylva condemns arrest of his supporters

Rivers lawmaker’s mum abducted From Clarice Azuatalam, Port Harcourt


AYELSA State Governor Timipre Sylva has condemned the arrest and unlawful detention of 70 of his supporters in Lokoja, Kogi State. The governor’s supporters were intercepted about 5pm on Sunday on their way to Abuja to show solidarity with the governor at the hearing of the tenure case for five Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors at the Supreme Court yesterday. The supporters were travelling in six buses and a car. They were arrested and taken to the police headquarters in Lokoja where they were detained till 10pm. In a statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Doifie Ola, Sylva described the arrest as a sad reminder of Nigeria’s dark days of military rule. “Our constitution allows for the freedom of movement for every Nigerian as well as freedom of association. This is another in the series of recent happenings by agents of the Federal Government to trample democracy in the face and truncate the rights of Bayelsa people to freely decide their political future,” he said. The governor, however, pleaded with all his supporters to remain calm and law abiding in the face of undue provocation. The Bayelsa Youth Coalition (BYC) has described the arrest as “condemnable”. A statement by BYC spokesman, Egere Idogo, said: :”Our concern is further heightened by the fact that the Federal Government in spite of its much –touted commitment to preserving our democracy is deliberately flouting the laws of this land which allows for the freedom of movement and association. This is totally unacceptable.”

Suit against Edo Catholic Bishop withdrawn From Osagie Otabor, Benin


THE Benin Liturgical Group has withdrawn the suit it filed challenging the appointment of Catholic ArchBishop of Benin Cosmopolitan See, Rev Fr Augustine Obiora Akubueze. The group, led by 95 yearold Pa Osakue Vincent, had instituted a suit at a Benin High Court alleging discrimination in the selection of Akubueze ahead of bonafide and qualified priests of Benin descent. Their counsel, Charles Edosomwan (SAN), told Justice S. O. Aigbokie that the group decided to withdraw the case following the intervention of the Benin Monarch, Oba Erediauwa. Edosomwan said Akubueze’s appointment led to tension in the Benin Catholic community and has caused the community a lot of concern and anxiety. Counsel to the Catholic Church and Akubueze, Peter Eromosele who did not oppose the application said all parties involved have been brought to the Catholic fold. Justice Aigbokie thereafter granted the prayers of the petitioners for the withdrawal by striking out the case.

•The Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Ola Makinde assisted by Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor Nsima Ekere to cut the tape to open the Methodist Church Nigeria, Ikot Oboroenyin, Ikot Abasi...on Sunday

7,198 die in extra-judicial killings


EVEN thousand, one hundred and ninety eight persons have died in the last four years through reckless use of firearms by security agents, according to a report. Executive Director, Centre for Victims of Extra-Judicial Killings and Torture (CVEKT) Africa, Rev Tony Amarube gave this figure yesterday at the sixth CVERT Annual National Lecture in Asaba, the Delta State Capital. The theme of the series was “Nigeria: Sustaining Functional Democracy and the Challenges of Armed Insurgency.”

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

Amarube decried the rising cases of reckless use of arms by security agents resulting in extra-judicial deaths. CVEKT, quoting a report by Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), said the reckless use of arms has resulted in 7,198 extrajudicial deaths in four years across the country. CVEKT coordinator lamented that the police always rely on Order 237 of the Nigeria Police Force “which permits officers to shoot any suspect and de-

tainees trying to escape or avoid arrest as an excuse for committing extra-judicial killing with impunity.” According to him, NOPRIN reports that “authorities generally did not hold police accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody. “When investigation did occur, they are not thoroughly done. “Officers accused of extrajudicial execution generally are sent away on training or transferred to other states instead of being prosecuted. “Police often claimed that the victim was an armed robber

killed in an exchange of gunfire or killed while trying to escape from police custody.” Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who opened the workshop, said the state abhors crimes, such as robbery, kidnapping, militancy, religious uprising, youth restiveness and all acts of terrorism. Represented by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Charles Ajuyah (SAN), Uduaghan described the experiences of robbery, assassination, militancy and other acts of senseless killing of innocent citizens as “pockets of criminal activities.”

Witness indicts SSS in Akwa Ibom ACN case


HE first accused person in the trial of the deputy governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in A, yesterday told Justice Idongesit Ntem-Isua of an Uyo High Court that the statement tendered by the state prosecutor was dictated to him by the officers of the State Security Service. He said the statement was meant to implicate the ACN candidate, Ime Umanah. At the resumption of the trial-within-trial, the accused told the court that the SSS officers instructed him to write that Umanah prom-

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

ised to give him N10million to start a business by sending the threatening text messages to Governor Godswill Akpabio. He said: “They said if I cooperated with them, they will cooperate with me that the governor is ready to give me a job. “That they wanted to use me as a prosecution witness in a case against Umanah. “They said I should write that Dr. Umanah promised me N10million by sending the threatening text mes-

sages to the governor. One of the SSS officers brought out his phone and asked me to write what he dictated as my statement. “I obeyed him because I was afraid. I was hoping that if I came out alive, I will be able to correct whatever damage the statement must have done to Dr. Ime Umanah and I.” The duo of Umanah and Iyire are standing trial for allegedly threatening Akpabio. According to the charge sheet, the offence is contrary to sections 6 (1) (b), 6 (2), 10 (1) (C) and 10 (2) of the Akwa

Ibom Internal Security and Enforcement Law of 2009. Attempt by the Director of Public Prosecution, C. J. Udoh to cross-examine the witness was rejected by the defence counsel, Prof. Andrew Chukwuemerie (SAN). Chukwuemerie said in a trial-within-trial, an accused whose statement is being examined cannot be cross-examined by the DPP. Udoh urged the court to adjourn the matter in order to consult the authorities cited by the defence counsel. Justice Ntem-Isua adjourned hearing till Thursday.

Court insists LASTMA can’t impose fine


OVES by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to stay execution of a Federal High Court judgment, stripping it of the powers to impose fine on traffic offenders were rejected yesterday by Justice Okon Abang. In a ruling yesterday, Justice Abang held that LASTMA’s application for stay of execution pending the determination of its (LASTMA’s) appeal, lacked merit and dismissed it. He warned the transport agency to desist from im-

•Refuses bid to stay execution of judgment By Eric Ikhilae

posing fines on transport offenders, urging anyone, from whom LASTMA demand fines, to approach the court for the enforcement of the judgment. Justice Abang declared some sections of LASTMA’s Establishing Act as unconstitutional, null and void, and held that LASTMA lacked the power to impose fines on traffic offenders in Lagos. Jonathan Odutola, whose

car was impounded by LASTMA officials, approached the court for an enforcement of his rights. A fine was imposed on him for allegedly flouting traffic regulations. Justice Abang had held that sections 9, 11, 12 and 13 of the law establishing LASTMA are unconstitutional and of no effect. The judge not only awarded N500,000 against LASTMA, but stated that four sections of its law were contrary to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitu-

tion, which gives the right of fair hearing to every Nigerian. He held that while the agency has the power to arrest traffic offenders, it does not have the powers to impose fine, adding that instead, it is a court of law that has power to impose fines on anybody who contravenes the law. The judge ruled that the imposition of fines on any traffic offender by LASTMA amounted to being a judge in its own cause.

UNKNOWN gunmen yesterday kidnapped Madam Margaret Ewor, the 80-year old mother of the Deputy Leader of Rivers State House of Assembly, Nname Robinson Ewor. Madam Ewor was kidnapped from her home in Ahoada East Local Government yesterday. It was gathered that shortly after abducting the old woman, the hoodlums contacted her family to demand N20 million. Confirming the kidnap, the lawmaker wondered what his 80-year old mother had done to deserve such maltreatment from the hoodlums. Ewor, who represents Ahoada-East 1 Constituency, has appealed to the kidnappers to consider his mother’s age and release her unconditionally.

Union leader removed From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

MEMBERS of Okpe Union Worldwide from the four ruling houses in Okpe Kingdom at the weekend removed their PresidentGeneral, Ralph Karieren, for abusing his office. The union also barred him from contesting for other elective posts. The members unanimously voted for the removal of Karieren, following his inability to account for several millions belonging to the union and for using the union’s name to extort money. Speaking to reporters after the union’s monthly general meeting in Lagos, the group’s Secretary-General, Henry Ebireri, said the ordeal is over. “In this moment, our hearts are hurt. And it is very important to know that we have a duty, a mission to restore the faith of Okpe people in the integrity of the union. He appealed to Okpe leaders at home and abroad to support the Acting President General, John Ekpoke.

Support for Oshiomhole From Osagie Otabor, Benin

A POLITICAL group, Oshiomhole Solidarity Forum, has said Edo State needs the hero in Governor Adams Oshiomhole for things to turn around. The group said the days of sadness, godfatherism and hopelessness were over since Oshiomhole assumed power in 2008. The group’s President, Celestine Egbarewho, said the state groaned under bad governance before Oshiomhole’s emergence. Egbare said Oshiomhole deserves a second tenure having improved on many sectors in the state. According to him, “Oshiomhole project should not be reduced to one political party affair. It is a project for all of us. People are happy with the level of development in the state.”



NEWS Govt to resume schools inspection By Tajudeen Adebanjo


HE Federal Government will from 2012 resume funding the Federal Inspectorate Service of the Federal Ministry of Education. It said this would revive academic excellence and ensure that teachers and education administrators are motivated. Addressing Zonal Directors and Coordinating Directors from the 36 states in Abuja, the Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Wike said the renewed funding was in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s commitment to revive education. He said the 2012 Federal Budget would have a specific allocation, for the first time since 2008, because of the Federal Government’s commitment to improve survellance on teachers and school heads. Wike said: “The Federal Government will begin progressive funding of the Federal Inspectorate Service of the Federal Ministry of Education from the 2012 budget. The intention is to mobilise the education inspectors to dutifully carry out their responsibilities for the benefit of education.” The minister warned Federal Education Inspectors against writing false reports about schools to create the impression that everything is normal, when the nation’s education sector continues to degenerate. “We want the days when the fear of the visit of the education inspector was the beginning of wisdom for teachers and principals to return. All education inspectors should reciprocate the kind gesture of the Federal Government and put in their best to revive education,” he said. A statement yesterday by Simeon Nwakaudu, the minister’s Special Assistant said the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Nicholas Damachi, hailed Wike for ensuring the revival of the Federal Inspectorate Division. The Director of the Federal Inspectorate Service, Dr Elisha Kutara, said inspectors face funding challenges. He said these should be addressed to ensure improved performance. Spokesman of the Federal Inspectors from the 36 states, Mr. Anthony Thomas said Wike was the first top official of the ministry to hold a conference with them on challenges they face in their duties.

I’ll punish corrupt govt officials, says Kwankwaso From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


ANO State Governor Musa Kwankwaso yesterday said his administration would punish any official found to have engaged in corrupt practices to serve as a deterrent to others. The governor said his administration is determined to entrench prudent management of scarce resources available to it and ensure zero tolerance for corruption. Kwankwaso spoke at a twoday retreat on transparency and accountability in governance organised by the state Public Complaints and AntiCorruption Commission for top public servants and political appointees. Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, the governor restated his administration’s resolve to fight corruption. He reminded public servants to brace up for the challenges facing them, especially on corrupt enrichment. Kwankwaso noted that public servants and political appointees have the capacity to manipulate processes, adding that they should be educated on the values and rules on norms and sharp practices.


The governor urged the participants to acquaint themselves with the laws on corrupt practices and challenged them to come up with solutions that would assist the government, ministries and agencies to ensure fairness, probity and financial discipline in running their offices. The Director-General of the Public Complaints and AntiCorruption Commission, Akhaji Lawan Abdullahi said the retreat was part of the vigorous campaign being embarked upon by the Commission against corruption, mismanagement of public funds and other negative vices associated with public and private sector development in the society.

Anglican to dedicate building


HE Diocese of Kubwa of the Anglican Communion has announced the dedication of its St. Andrew’s Ultra Modern Church premises in site 1, Phase 2, Kubwa in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Chairman of the Planning Committee, Emmanuel Adekola said the diocese would also dedicate the new Bishop’s Court at St. Andrew’s Church premises of Site 1, Phase 2, Kubwa. He noted that the Cathedral International Conference

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

Centre at Cathedral Church of St. Bartholomew on 1, Oduduwa Crescent, Phase 2, Site 2 in the same Kubwa would also be dedicated. The Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Reverend Duke Akamisoko will grace the occasion, he said. But these entities, according to the planning committee, will be dedicated by the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria, the Most Revered Nicholas D. Okoh.

Violence: Over 250,000 displaced in Nasarawa •Three confirmed dead


VER 250,000 persons were said to have been displaced in Nasarawa State following renewed violence between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv communities in Benue State. Though some residents claimed that four persons were killed in the violence, the police confirmed three. Trouble started when some bandits allegedly attacked and killed four persons in Kadarko, on their way to the market in Nasarawa State. A Fulani and an Agatu man were said to have died in the attack. It was learnt that the attack resulted in reprisal attacks of other tribesmen, including Tivs and Madas. By last Wednesday, two Mada and Tiv people were said to have been killed in reprisal attacks on villagers at Angwan Yara Mada and Doka. These reportedly spread to Agbashi in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. One of the victims alleged that some Fulani herdsmen were moving on railways lines towards Angwan Yara Mada, Doka and down to Udei, near Doma in Doma Local Government Area. A lady said she was on her way to Rukubi to see her father but could not reach him on phone when she was attacked. She said there were two bodies on Rukubi road and that when the driver of the vehicle in which they were travelling sensed that something was wrong and attempted to make a U-turn, two Fulani herdsmen on a motorcycle, emerged from the bush and chased their vehicle. It was learnt that over 250,000 internally-displaced persons have fled the area and are taking shelter at a primary school

•Some of the displaced persons at a camp From Johnny Danjuma, Lafia

in Kadarko, about 30 kilometres from Lafia. The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Solomon Ihuman, has visited the displaced persons, promising government assistance. Those who escaped the violence and are taking refuge at Kadarko, said their homes have been razed with bodies littering everywhere in the bush. The Tiv Youth President, Peter Ibgacher, has said the state government should assist the displaced persons at Kadarko. He said others had fled to Benue State. Describing the situation as “senseless”, Ibgacher urged the government to bring re-

lief materials to the displaced to reduce their plight. He alleged that the state government defaulted when in June it promised to take relief materials to the displaced persons. A similar attack in June led to the death of 50 people, including a police Inspector and an Army officer. During a visit to the displaced persons at Kadarko, Ihuman said he was on an onthe-spot assessment of the situation and would report back to Governor Umaru Al-Makura for necessary action. He noted that after accurate figures of the displaced persons are compiled the government, through the state emergency relief agency, would give the displaced persons relief materials.

Police spokesman Cornelius Ocholi told The Nation yesterday that the casualty figures were exaggerated because of rumours. He said necessary measures were being taken to ensure that the fighting does not escalate. According to him, policemen, members of the State Security Service (SSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies would forestall any further breakdown of law and order. Ocholi said there was no cause for alarm, adding that the rumours were being peddled by those fleeing their areas. He said perpetrators of the violence would be brought to justice.

Two arrested over theft of N7.7m Rail materials


NIGERAIN Railway Corporation (NRC) worker and a transporter have been arrested in connection with the theft of rail rehabilitation materials valued at N7.7million. The two suspects were said to be members of a syndicate that stole materials for the ongoing Jebba-Minna railway rehabilitation scheme. They were arrested at Mariga and Bokani and transferred to Minna, the Niger State capital, for further investigation. Another member of the gang is said to be on the run.

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

The items allegedly found on them include iron slippers and hard planks. Luck ran out on them when a member of the Man-O-War attached to the NRC was travelling last Thursday from Kaduna State to the South. It was learnt that the ManO-War member, at Mariga, in Niger State, spotted a trailer, with registration number (Lagos) XB602FKJ, conveying the materials. He was said to have stopped and demanded for

the way bill of the goods from the driver. The driver reportedly ran during the interrogation while his conductor was arrested by the Man-o-War officer and handed over to a police constable. A source at the divisional headquarters of NRC in Minna, told The Nation that the Divisional Manager, last week, directed that the trailer and the stolen items be brought to the town for further investigation. It was learnt that thieves melt and recycle the materials for the production of iron

pots while the specially treated planks, used for rail lines, are smuggled out of the country. Police spokesman Oguche Richard, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said he was not aware of the arrest, but a senior railway worker, who spoke in confidence, confirmed the incident. “The incident happened and we have handed over the matter to the police for further investigation. We are conducting our in-house investigation,” the source said.

NYSC chief urges Corps members to focus on integration


HE Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi Affia, yesterday urged corps members to focus on national integration instead of dissipating their energies on issues that can jeopardise the essence of the scheme. Affia, who spoke after touring orientation camps across the country, urged the corps members to use the service year to plan for their future. He advised them to be selfemployed after their service

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

year rather than wait for the government to provide them white collar jobs. The NYSC chief said corps members should take their personal security serious and stop seeking relocation from where they have been posted. Affia said: “Management is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of corps members. A distress call centre is due to take off immediately after the orientation. You are to report any security

threats through the number of the centre and avoid night parties while in camp. “Ensure that you tell your colleagues where you are going to and as much as possible avoid passing through dark alleys and always walk in groups. Have a functional phone number of all principal officers in the secretariat in case of any emergency.” The NYSC chief reminded the corps members that payment of their monthly allowance would be subject to confirmation and satisfactory per-

formance through clearance letters from their employers. “Corps members are expected to integrate with their host communities, in line with the objective of the scheme. You should respect the norms, culture and religion of your host communities. Permission to travel out of the state can only be granted by the state coordinators,” he said Affia advised the corps members to discipline themselves, saying they should abide by the rules and regulations during the service year to avoid sanctions.





Naira loses 105k as CBN intervenes


HE naira weakened against the United States’ dollar on both the interbank market and at the official Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) window as demand for the greenback continue to outweigh supply, traders said yesterday. The naira eased to N160.20 to the dollar on the interbank, compared to N159.65 a dollar close on Friday. Traders, according to Reuters News, said the local currency eased to N160.60 to the dollar intraday after results of the bi-weekly auction showed a supply gap, but later firmed as the apex bank sold dollars directly to some lenders to curtail pressure on the naira. On the official window, the banking watchdog sold only $200 million at N157.26 to the dollar, short of the $315.63 million demanded. The regulator sold $250 million at 156.21 naira to the dollar at the previous auction on Wednesday. The apex bank moved its target trading band for the naira last week to +/- 3 per cent around N155, from +/- 150 due to prolonged naira weakness and high dollar demand. “There is still strong demand in the market and unless the Central Bank continues to intervene by selling dollars directly to the market, the naira will continue to be under pressure,” one dealer said. Traders said the apex bank came to the market shortly before the close of business with unspecified amount of dollars, sold to some lenders, which helped to calm the market. “It all depends on the central bank’s willingness to support the market with regular intervention, otherwise the naira will continue to weaken,” another dealer said.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$115.3/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

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.3% 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 $32.820b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL



0.2958 206.9 242.1 151.8 1.9179 238 40.472

Nigeria is a fertile land for investors and with the coming of the Saudi Arabian crown prince, we both have a lot to gain at the end of the day.. -Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group

NDIC: supervision can’t guarantee bank failures T HE Managing Direc tor, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Umaru Ibrahim, has said banks that are badly managed will always fail despite the level of supervision by the regulators. He said the regulatory/ supervisory authorities have at different times articulated and implemented necessary reform programmes aimed at enhancing the stability of the banking industry, yet, in spite of the reform measures, some banks still failed. The reason for this, he explained, was because by their nature, banks that are badly-managed, will ultimately fail. However, he explained that the dynamic nature of modern societies makes social and economic reforms inevitable, adding that different reforms have had to be introduced in the banking industry at different times. Speaking at the on-going Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) seminar in Jigawa

By Nduka Chiejina and Collins Nweze (in Jigawa )

State, Ibrahim said banking reforms do not, by any means constitute an antidote to bank failure, thereby making the role of deposit insurance system in banking reforms, crucial. He called for the establishment of more micro finance banks (MfBs), particularly in rural areas to enhance financial inclusion and boost the nation’s productivity, adding that the corporation is also collaborating with relevant regulatory authorities to develop a framework for integrated deposit insurance system as well as model for effective resolution of significantly important financial institutions (SIFIs). Ibrahim, who spoke on the theme: Banking Reforms in Nigeria: role of Deposit Insurance System, said one of the primary objectives of establishing a Deposit Insurance System is to enhance macro-economic and financial stability

by minimising or preventing incidences of bank runs. “This is done through an upfront promise to reimburse insured depositors a guaranteed sum in the event of a bank failure. Such promise, he reiterated, is aimed at building confidence in the banking system and reduce the impact of bank failures on depositors,” he said. The NDIC chief explained that arising from the effects of recent global financial crisis and the challenges posed by consolidation and other developments within the economy, the nation went through another bout of financial crisis in 2008/2009 as revealed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)/NDIC joint Special Examination carried out in 2009, which showed that 10 banks were in grave condition, which was capable of degenerating into systemic crisis. Some of the identified problems exhibited by the banks were weak corporate governance, massive insider abuse,

imprudent dissipation of depositors’ fund, undisclosed large credit exposures to related entities, inadequate capital, poor risk management, and poor liquidity position. The need to address the associated problems and stabilise the banking system prompted the regulatory authorities to apply some interventionist measures in 2009, including the replacement of the executive managements of eight of the banks and the injection of N620 billion. This was followed with the nationalisation of three of the banks (Afribank, Bank PHB and Springbank), through a bridge bank mechanism and establishment of three new banks (Mainstreet Bank, Keystone Bank and Enterprise Bank) in their place. The bridge bank option, he explained, was adopted in the interest of depositors and to prevent outright liquidation, which would have had dire consequences for depositors, employees of these banks and thus undermine public confidence in the banking system.

Ibrahim said the abolition of Universal banking system and categorisation of banks along functional lines and/ or geographical spreads, is intended to improve their capacities to intervene in the real sector of the economy and put in place strong corporate governance in regulatory agencies to stabilise the banking system. He said NDIC has assisted in the attainment of the objectives of the banking reforms through prompt claims settlement as demonstrated in the case of the 103 microfinance banks closed in 2010, creation of level playing field for operators in the banking system, by extending deposit insurance coverage to microfinance banks (MFBs), primary mortgage institutions (PMIs) and the non-interest banks when they come on board. He said the deposit insurance coverage levels were also increased from N200,000 and N100,000 to N500,000 and N200,000 for deposit money banks (DMBs) and Microfinance Banks (MFBs)/ Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) respectively.

• From left: Chairman, FBN Capital, Mr Oye Hassan-Odukale; Managing Director/CEO Osaze Osifo; First Bank of Nigeria Plc Chairman Ajibola Afonja, Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and First Bank Group Managing Director/CEO Bisi Onasanya during the maiden FirstBank Nigeria Capital Investors Conference in Lagos ... on Monday. PHOTO: OLUSEGUN RAPHEAL

Reps to compel telecoms, oil firms to list on Exchange


HE House of Representative is considering a legislation that will compel the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), International Oil Companies (IOCs) including Chevron and Shell to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The bill would also mandate telecoms firms, such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel, Etisalat, satellite service provider, Multichoice and others to list on the Exchange. Speaking at the National Assembly yesterday, the Chairman, House Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions,Herman Hembe, said the country is being cheated by the refusal of the oil and telecoms companies, which rake in bil-

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

lions of naira, but refuse to list on the NSE. “These companies make billions of naira and millions of dollars and much of the money they make is from Nigeria. It’s only sensible that they put some in the economy,” he said. The lawmaker said the effort of the committee on the listing of key players in the economy was in response to already growing public interest on indigenous growth. “The market in Nigeria is in a state none of us can be proud of. The All-share index that rose to 57, 990.22 points by December 31, 2007, with market capitalisation of N13.29 trillion with over 300 listed se-

curities on the exchange, has by 2011 witnessed a 56 per cent decline to 20, 202.50 points and market capitalisation value of N6.44 trillion,” he said. Hembe said the reason for the collapse of the market was because it was relatively small and unrepresentative of the size of the nation’s economy. He said to rectify the anomaly, the committee is set to get telecoms operators in country listed on the NSE. “This sector, with a starting market of less than a million in 2000, now caters for over 90 million users. These telecommunications companies make huge profits from Nigeria and are mostly not listed on our market. “MTN, for instance, got a licence in 2001 for $285 million mostly financed by Ni-

gerian banks. Between January and June of the same year, MTN repatriated some $5billion as profits from their Nigerian operations,” he noted. The lawmaker saidthe MTN Nigeria, which is listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange under the industrial - non-clinical services telecoms sector, is the largest contributor with the MTN Group as the largest player in the sector. “The Nigerian group accounts for 25 per cent of the headline revenue of the MTN Group listed on the exchange. The story is not much different with the other telecoms operators in the country. “Preliminary extrapolated figures indicate that the telecoms firms - MTN, Airtel, Glo and Etisalat- in

terms of market capitalisation could account for an average of N6.76 trillion (MTN –N2.4 trillion, Airtel-N1.55 trillion, GloN1.70 trillion and Etisalat N1.1 trillion) by Q2 2012, a figure far higher than the current market capitalisation of N6.38 trillion as at November 22, 2011.” The Committee chair said that apart from partnering with the relevant stakeholders to speed the passage of the Petroleum Industries Bill(PIB) to “foster the subsequent listing of major upstream players, the NNPC and other operators in the oil and gas sector, we will also legislate to get power generation and distribution companies listed once the process of their privatisation is completed.”



BUSINESS NEWS ‘Lagos loses N6.47b from coconut business yearly’

Flight Schedule MONDAY - FRIDAY LAGOS – ABUJA Departure Arrival 1. Aero 06.50 08.10 2. Associated 07.00 09.30 3. Air Nigeria 07.00 08.20 4. IRS 07.00 08.20 5. Dana 07.02 08.22 6. Arik 07.15 08.15 7. Chanchangi 07.15 8. Air Nigeria 08.15 09.35 9. Dana 08.10 09.20 10. Aero 08.45 10.05 11. Arik 09.15 10.15 12. Chanchangi 10.00 11.00 13. IRS 11.15 12.35 14. Dana 12.06 12.26 15. Aero 12.20 13.30 16. Air Nigeria 13.25 14.45 17. Chanchangi 13.30 14.30 18. Arik 13.45 14.45 19. IRS 14.00 15.20 20. Aero 14.10 15.30 21. Air Nigeria 14.50 16.10 22. Dana 15.30 16.50 23. Chanchangi 15.30 16.30 24. Arik 15.50 16.50 25. Aero 16.00 17.20 26. IRS 16.30 17.50 27. Arik 16.50 17.50 28. Dana 17.10 18.30 29. Chanchangi 17.30 18.30 30. Air Nigeria 17.35 18.55 31. Air Nigeria (T/TH) 18.30 19.50 32. Arik 18.45 19.45 33. Aero 19.20 20.40 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

LAGOS – BENIN Arik 07.30 Associated 08.30 Aero 10.50 Arik 11.45 Associated 13.00 Aero 14.25 Arik 15.30 Associated 16.00

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

1. Arik 2. Aero 1. 2. 3. 4.

LAGOS – CALABAR 07.30 11.20 12.50 16.00 LAGOS – JOS 10.55 11.15

LAGOS – KADUNA Aero 08.00 Chanchangi 10.00 Arik 10.00 Arik 15.10

08.30 09.10 11.50 12.45 13.40 15.20 16.30 16.40 08.50 12.40 14.10 17.20 12.15 12.45 09.10 11.00 11.10 16.20

LAGOS – PORT HARCOURT (CIVIL) 1. Aero 07.15 08.35 2. Arik 07.15 08.35 3. Arik 09.00 10.20 4. Dana 09.27 10.40 5. Aero 10.50 12.30 6. Arik 11.40 13.00 7. Air Nigeria 12.00 13.10 8. IRS 13.30 15.00 9. Arik 14.00 15.20 10. Dana 15.03 16.20 11. Air Nigeria 16.00 17.10 12. Arik 16.10 17.30 13. Aero 16.15 17.30 14. Arik 17.10 18.30 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

LAGOS – OWERRI Aero 07.30 Arik 07.30 Air Nigeria 13.40 Arik 14.00 Arik 16.30

08.40 08.40 14.55 15.10 17.40

1. 2. 3. 4.

Arik Aero Arik Aero

LAGOS – WARRI 08.15 11.50 11.55 14.55

09.1 12.50 12.55 15.55

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

LAGOS – KANO Air Nigeria 07.10 IRS 08.00 Dana 08.10 Arik 12.20 IRS 14.00 IRS 18.15

08.50 09.45 09.40 14.00 15.45 19.55

LAGOS – OWERRI 07.20 14.00 16.30

08.30 15.10 17.40

LAGOS – UYO 10.35


1. Arik 2. Arik 3. Arik 1. Dana

LAGOS – MAIDUGURI 1. IRS 11.15 13.15 2. Arik 15.50 18.00 LAGOS – ILORIN 1. Overland 07.15 2. Arik (M/T/TH/F) 17.30

08.00 18.00

LAGOS – ABUJA SAT/SUN Arik 7.15; 10.20; 2.20; 5.20pm – 7.30; 9.15; 10.20; 2.20; 4.50; 6.45 Aero 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 – 07.30; 09.35; 13.10; 14.50; 20.20 Air Nigeria 08.15; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30 – 08.15; 13.30; 14.30; 17.15; 18.30

By Daniel Essiet


• Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji; Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa; and member, Technical Committee of National Council on Privatisation, Mr Emmanuel Ijewere, at the Nigerian Electric Power Transaction and Industry Conference organised by BPE ... on Monday.

AMCON to recover 70% of N3.14tr non-performing loans • Okonjo-Iweala mulls forbearance for brokers


BOUT 70 per cent of the N3.14 trillion in non-per forming loans taken off the books of the banks rescued in 2009 by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) will be recovered, its Chief Executive Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi said yesterday. This disclosure came hours after the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the Federal Government was finalising arrangement for forbearance to brokers who incurred losses through margin loan. Mr Chike-Obi said the corporation acquired 9,000 non-performing loans and has so far recovered 15 per cent of the total value. Speaking at the opening of the FirstBank of Nigeria Capital Investors Conference in Lagos yesterday, he said the 200 biggest loans accounted for 80 per cent of the total debt. “We plan to recover 70 per cent of the money, but so far we have only done 15 per cent of the fund sunk into the sinking funds. We are in discussion with the borrowers and we plan to restructure the loans, which have been very complex and unique,” he said. Noting that a bank is expected to have 10 per cent non-performing loan, he explained that the affected banks had as much as 60 per cent

BY Tonia Osundolire

non-performing loans, and the cheapest way of recovering the money is through the AMCON. “AMCON’s intervention contrary to opinion is the cheapest compared to other methods, which the government would have used and this would have resulted into loss of fund by depositors whom the government is out to protect at all times,” he said. The corporation, he explained, has only received N10 billion, N5 billion and N5 billion from the Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and that does not intend to collect more money from the government. He disclosed that the corporation will cease to exist in the next 10 years.“We acquired three banks through a controversial process and right from the onset we don’t want anybody to lose his/her job. So after the turning around, any organisation that is coming to take them over will be made to sign a commitment not to lay off staff,” he added. Currently, he said the banks and other quoted companies are undervalued. Consequently, he said for the long term investors, this is the best time for them to invest in the market. Commenting on the naira, he said

the notion of describing the currency has being devalued should not hold. Rather, he said the naira has appreciated mathematically by 10 per cent in the last one year. The CBN moved its target trading band for the naira last week to +/- three per cent around N155, from +/- 150 due to prolonged naira weakness and high dollar demand. Meanwhile, official figures from the AMCON shows that the banks are exposed to the stock market to the tune of N2.1 trillion. The Minister of Finance stated that the government realises the importance of the stock market to the economy and its potential for making available long-term financing for development projects. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, who noted that the market has lost 67 per cent in value since its peak in 2008, also said the government will ensure that multinationals are encouraged to list on the market so as to ensure that the market is deepened. Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank of Nigeria, Mr Bisi Onasanya, said the target of the bank is to transform itself to an organisation that will be the delight of the investing public. Onasanya said the bank has been consistent with its dividend payout policy, adding the bank has been able to reward members with an average return on equity of 20 per cent.

Govt to complete equity transfer in PHCN firms next year T

HE decentralisation of the power industry is expected to be completed next year, Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, said yesterday. He also said the present administration has succeeded in adding about 1,300 MW of power to the national grid since inception. The minister spoke at the opening of the electric power transaction and industry review conference organised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) at the Banquete Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He said the process of transferring government equity in 17 of the 18 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies to core investors, PHCN workers and state governments would be completed before the end of the second quarter of next year. Already, the National Council of Privatisation has prequalified 212 firms to bid for the successor companies. About 331 Expressions of Interest were received when the BPE called for the 18 successor companies. The minister also confirmed that the bidding companies are from 38 countries, an indication of the enor-

• National grid gets 1300 MW more

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

mous interest, the international community has shown in the reform process. He said in the post-privatisation era, private sector is expected to hold 70 per cent equity; the Federal Government will hold 18 per cent; state governments 10 per cent and PHCN workers two per cent. Nnaji, who spoke with State House correspondents after the event, added that the exercise is expected to be concluded by the end of the second quarter of 2012. “ “The Federal Government will still be there and state government will now come in and become part of it and workers will take equity position, particularly in distribution companies. “The expectation is that in the post privatisation, 70 per cent of the equity for the distribution will go to private companies, the Federal Government may retain up to 18 per cent, state may retain 10 per

cent but can buy five per cent from the private investors and the workers will have two per cent,” the minister added. Nnaji also said the ongoing power sector would create greater employment and business opportunities for Nigerians as has been seen with the liberalisation of the telecommunication sector. Speaking further on the administration’s plan for PHCN workers in all the arrangements. He said: “We have in addition set aside enough funds for the swift payment of retirement benefits to all the PHCN staff when transfer of the ownership of the PHCN assets takes place. “Despite the considerable economic challenges facing the nation, President Jonathan graciously approved last May a 50 per cent salary raise for PHCN workers. “And he has also approved that some 11,000 PHCN employees who have for years been working as casual workers be converted to regular staff.

AGOS State loses N6.47 bil lion yearly from poor returns from coconut, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture and Co-operatives, Prince Gbolahan Lawal, has said. He disclosed this at the Coconut Growers’Association Stakeholders’ forum in Badagry yesterday. Coconut is the chief cash crop of the state on which about 10,000 farming families derive their livelihood. Coconut belt and grooves of the state is about 100,007 hectares with yearly production of 86,169,200 nuts worth N2, 565,860,000. The commissioner said the state government plans to establish a coconut processing factory and also open up the industry to foreign investors. He said the state has got new coconut seeds that are capable of producing between 150 and 200 nuts per tree. This, Lawal explained, will be distributed to farmers in the state. Nurseries and seed gardens, the Commissioner added, are established in various locations across the state to produce over 200,000 improved seedlings yearly. He said the state has a comparative advantage of 180 km coastline for the development of coconut industries, hence the need for the rehabilitation of the old coconut grooves.

N100b monthly target for Customs • CG seeks political support to fight smuggling From John Ofikhenua, Abuja


HE House Committee on Customs and Excise yester day gave the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) a N100 billion monthly revenue collection target. Chairman of the committee, Hon. Sabo Mohammed Nakudu, set the new revenue target during an oversight visit of the committee to Customs office and projects in Abuja. He noted that Customs, which increased its revenue from N30billion to N70billion monthly, has the potential to raise it to N100billion monthly. The committee commended C o mpt r o l l e r - G e n e r a l (CG) Abdullahi Inde Dikko for his performance. But the Customs chief appealed to the members to assist the Service in its fight against smugglers, adding that it was the battle against them that led to the increase in revenue collection. He lamented the long years of neglect due to allegations of corruption linked to the service. Nakudu along with 29 members of the Committee could not hide their joy when they visited the newly constructed NSC Command and Staff College in Gwagwalada. He said: ”It is very impressive that within two years of commencement of work here, the place is completed ... If all government agencies are working like this, Nigeria would be very far. “This facility will surely boost the training of officers as well as position them for better performance. Revenue generation is dynamic and the officers need to be up to date on all the changes to compete with others in the world. They have achieved their target revenue for this year since September and all that they are generating now is bonus,” he said. Dikko said the legal process and prosecution of offenders require the political support from the House committee.





State Government Of Osun, Osogbo

ONE YEAR OF BOLD STEPS & STEADY Progress of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s Administration

PREFACE TO THE NEW DEAL. “When the Lord restoreth Israel, we were like them that dream” This Biblical verse summarily fitted into the State of Osun situation since November 26, 2010. The siege that set almost all citizens on the path of stress was on while all indices of socio-economic growth were at the lowest ebb. The immediate past PDP administration left a deep gash in the heart of the citizenry in order to impose on them the legitimacy it lost through fraudulent election ab initio by abridging their rights through unjust detentions, harassments, maiming and killing. Criminality and immorality got official status and were almost becoming a status symbol as the actions of those in high places serve as impetus. That administration was unable to run government on the basis of any known acceptable minimum standard. Workers’ salaries were paid monthly through bank overdrafts. In fact, about a year to its exit from office, the regime took N18.3 billion loan to service unnecessary things but have most of it ending in private pockets of top members of the administration. It could not fix education as students and pupils at all levels were found to be grossly unfit. There was nothing to write home about in the health sector. There were many more menial job seekers in the state than ever before that inglorious and nightmarish regime. Osun people were groaning under the yoke of a government that foisted itself on them and was practically inept to apply itself to their service, even at that instance. This was the situation in Oyinlola/PDP seven and half years tenure. Indeed, it was these awful situations that set the tone for the people to yearn earnestly for a change. Hope soon came in Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, then the super performing Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Lagos State. The people of Osun largely bought in to the prompted aspiration of Aregbesola because of his antecedents, and more importantly, the vision/mission he talked about and passion of ‘it is possible’ which he exuded. It was the counter-poise the people needed against the lackluster situation available to them. Added as the icing on the cake of Osun people’s desire for Aregbesola was the manifesto he offered them in concrete terms. The manifesto which he christened “Six Point Integral Action Plan” include: to Banish Hunger, Banish Poverty, and Banish Unemployment (create work and wealth); Restore healthy living, Promote functional education and Enhance Communal Peace and Progress. Since the afore-mentioned issues were in a state of high depreciation and decay, and have really reached the level of been cankerworms that had eaten deep in to the fabric of the society, the Aregbesola offer is a very welcome relief. This was the scenario during the campaigns that led to the April 14, 2007 Governorship election. When the Oyinlola PDP regime stole the mandate freely given to Aregbesola at the polls, Osun people feel cheated mostly and expressed it with utmost anger, resistance and protests. Spontaneously, people responded in different cities and towns as they could not imagine a return to the immediate past wasted four years of misrule by the Oyinlola PDP government. Majority of Osun people became almost fanatical about Aregbesola and all that he stands for, especially as he launched the bid to reclaim their mandate through legal means. As the legal case moved on, so did the people’s faith and hope in Aregbesola grew. It was no surprise thus that on November 26, 2010 when news filtered in to Osogbo, and other towns and villages that the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan had returned the people’s mandate to Aregbesola, there was wild jubilation all over the places. Reports that people from other lands, near and far, were happy for the newest man of power who had shown that he is worthy of been entrusted with one’s faith and followed, even in the face of vicissitudes. Thus the strong bond between the people of the State of Osun and their Governor was emplaced. The expectations were too much and too high. One, the people were made to go through socio-economic and political

hardship of highest degree ever imagined in the filthy hands of the PDP. The people’s attempt at repudiating the sufferings imposed on them by the brigands in power was thwarted by massive rigging of votes and heinous electoral fraud ever witnessed anywhere in the world. They were harassed, witch-hunted, bruised, manhandled and some died in the attempt to reclaim their legitimate right. The situation was like the Israelite’s journey in the wilderness. Then a Moses came in form of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who offered the needed leadership that took them out of Egypt and to freedom. Much more miracles were expected from Aregbesola by his people who had done for them what any human being seem incapable of. They had expected MIRACLES. But the expectant and jubilant people seem not to take into cognizance the fact that miracles do happen only on conditions which have processes, procedures, time and provisions as their anvil. So, the stage was set on Saturday November 27, 2010 when Aregbesola took the oath of office as Governor amidst fun, fun-fare, pomp, pageantry and all that is good. Happiness was all over the place. People from near and far came to witness the epochal event. To many who followed, witnessed and experienced the three and a half years of legal struggle, preceded by a bloody robbery of the electoral mandate, RELIEF should commence immediately. Everything must fall in place promptly. The enthusiastic and hyper expectant people

now have their man, in whom they reposed so much trust and confidence at the helms of affairs. Aregbesola’s effusion of life more abundant, freedom for all as enunciateted in his Six Point Integral Action Plan should have taken place at once! Perhaps this was what the Lagos State Governor Emeritus, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, appreciated from the bastion of his experience and assured the people of Aregbesola’s competence and ability to perform but passionately requested of them for patience. Some of the people who responded to the elder statesman’s appeal in resounding affirmative then have, less than one year later, become inpatient and seemingly disenchanted. This was not because the nascent Aregbesola government had been in-active or less performing, but because the roads had been rough, and that the previous administration had not only reduced governance standard to ground zero but had even dug below into the ground. In fact, in many quarters where informed and quality analysis of intricacies of politics and governance is done, the activities and achievement of the one year old is more than what could be recorded for his predecessor. We, at this juncture, feel it incumbent to present some of the things which the Aregbesola government had put in place since three hundred and sixty-five days now: Building Communal Peace and Restoring confidence in Government – The essence of any government worth its salt is to ensure peace and stability of the society in the first place, sequel to which every other developmental efforts can be built. As earlier noted, the immediate past government failed woefully in this regard as it operated like a Gestapo, thus ensuring that people are always on the edge, stressed up and apprehensive of possible negative development that may become their lot any moment. The people were disoriented and apathetic towards anything that was government. However, when Aregbesola took over in November last year, he did the unthinkable. In serious contrast to the impostor before him, he allowed genuine rule of law to prevail in the social milieu of Osun. Aregbesola, a man who was not just victimized but had several deadly attacks on his life, permitted issues and situations to run their courses. He stated categorically on his assumption of office that he was going to ensure all indigenes and residents of the state have equal right and access to everything that government does. This was amply demonstrated in the recruitment of the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) when no special consideration was given to the Governor’s political party men as members would have wished and as was the case during Oyinlola led PDP regime. ***TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION – Aregbesola’s government, concerned about the social dislocation caused by the immediate past government made conscious effort to reconcile the society, especially with the government. The fact of that matter became clear when the commission received about 700 petitions on varying issues. The commission which has men/women of high integrity had turned in their report and government will soon make its position known. E N H A N C I N G COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF OSUN – Conscious efforts are on to establish markets of international standard for merchants to ply their wares more profitably in Osogbo, the state capital, which hitherto was a hub of commerce in the South-West. In specific terms, government had entered into agreement with the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) with a view to facilitate transportation of goods and farm products to and from Lagos free of charge. Such will eliminate transport cost on such goods and farm products which, invariably will translate to more profit for the farmers who will not pay for transport to ferry their products, reduced cost for merchants who brings goods to Osogbo and ultimately reduce the peoples’ financial burden. In the overall analysis, the economy of Osun gets boosted and life gets more


15 TECHNOLOGY (LAUTECH) – The state government successfully re-negotiated jointownership of the institution which was put in doubt by the misadventure of the ousted Oyo regime and its ultra conservative conniving counterpart in Osun.

State Government Of Osun, Osogbo ONE YEAR OF BOLD STEPS & STEADY Progress of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s Administration

abundant for the people. **In addition, government has worked out a cooperative system by which artisans, traders and small scale business men/women wherein, funds are provided in form of loans to them to facilitate better operation. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been instructed to organize participants into cooperative groups so as to monitor the disbursement and recovery of the loans given out through the scheme. There is no doubting the fact that this effort will add more value to the economy of the state. O’REAP: Effort at Mass Food and Crop Production – The Aregbesola government has frontally addressed the abandonment of agriculture over the years. The government has acquired 30,000 hectares of farmland across the state for the purpose of food crops farming. Farm implements and inputs were purchased and distributed to farmers. O’REAP also provides loan facility to the farmers who are provided with needed assistance rather than direct dishing out of money which may not be used for the purpose it was meant for. ***FARM SETTLEMENT – The Aregbesola government has massively rehabilitated the Farm Settlements in the state with a view to increasing farm products. A new set of Farm Settlements have been created. Mokore Farm Settlement, in particular, was established to enhance the rural integration programme of the administration. Aside the food production at the Mokore Farm Settlement, the South West axis where the settlement is located is being opened up to link the state with the neighbouring Ogun State in the Southern part. Mokore Farm Settlement has been given amenities which will make the farmers to be comfortable enough to make them achieve their set goals. O’YES: Engaging the youths for meaningful development – In fulfillment of his campaign manifesto, Aregbesola engaged 20,000 young men by the turn of his first 100 days in office. The programme christened Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (O’YES) came in a volunteer type and attracts a monthly emolument of N10,000 per participant. By that virtue, a sum of N200 million is injected into the economy of the state and expectedly, making difference in the socioeconomic life of the people. Civic and physical health training was part of the O’YES package, thus affording participants the opportunity of new orientation and correct perspective towards acceptable living. This programme has positively affected some other programmes of the administration which has made it attractive, so much that it is been copied by other states. ***O’YES-TECH – Recently, Governor Aregbesola took the foremost youth engagement programme steps further. He recruited about five thousand members of the present O”YES corps to fill some of the vacancies in the state teaching service. He had initially arranged some of them for exchange programme abroad. He was not done yet with his creative instinct on how best the youths could be productively engaged as he establish the Information Computer Technology (ICT) wing of the O’YES. The essence is to provide props and structure that will facilitate training of youths in the repair of computers, telephones, accurate usage and repair of internet facilities and other devices so related. Of course, the effort is part of the conscious attempt to re-orientate the state towards technological development and active usage. FLOOD CONTROL THROUGH CHANNELISATION. Sad loss of lives and properties yearly in Osun state due to flooding of the major rivers and streams was properly checkmated this year. The inept immediate past administration had claimed lack of solution to the perennial problem. But when Aregbesola came, he ordered the dredging of the affected river beds, thus providing adequate space for them to drain the excess water without spilling over to cause damages and calamities as was the case before. Those who live at the bank of those rivers and had always been exiled at the fall of rains were in their apartments this season without blinking an eye. To them, it was more than a miracle to be in their homes during the rainy season and sleep with two eyes closed all through. No anxiety! REVAMPING EDUCATION FOR GREATER TOMORROW – Prior to November 2010, statistic shows that only 3% of the students that write the West African School Certificate

Examination were passing to advance to higher institutions. Scandalously, the examination fees which the ousted administration was reluctantly paying despite the woeful result was not paid for the 2010 examination, making the examination authority to seize the year’s result. School buildings were eyesores while it was clear that there was no practicable education policy in place. The education sector in Osun State was in a shambles. This was the background to which Governor Aregbesola provided first leg answer to by organizing an Education Summit with a view to seeking expert opinions and suggestions by which the pathetic situation could be redressed. The education summit which attracted distinguished egg-heads provided the basis for comprehensive turn-around policy and steps which execution have commenced. In the alternative, the school system in Osun State has been restructured into three lags; viz: elementary, middle and high schools. The meat of it is that the elementary primary schools will be neighboring schools where pupil will spend the first three years, the middle school is where pupil will complete primary education and proceed to and complete the junior secondary school. The last three years will be spent at high school. The Aregbesola administration has concluded arrangement to change the structural face of the schools in Osun to comply with the new educational system and improve the teaching and learning environment. Huge sums have been saved up to facilitate this step. As at today, government has restored regular provision of meals for the junior schools while it intends to provide uniform for pupils in the middle high school. ***O’MEAL – The Aregbesola government has commenced recruitment of well trained cooks who know the worth of

a meal and will appreciate why quality food should be served growing up children. By the time they resume work, all the pupils in the elementary schools will be put through a diet regime that will be obviously beneficial to them. This is in contrast to the past administration’s programme which lacked form or substance. It was clear that pupils were fed with comparatively poor quality food prepared by cooks that has no essential wherewithal for the job. ***OPON IMO…TABLET OF KNOWLEDGE – This is another great stride in the bid to beef up the essence of schooling in Osun State. Apparently first of its kind in Africa, a computer system (more of an IPAD look) in which curriculum of about 39 subjects which are offered at the School Certificate level are contained along with treated past questions and answers. The importance of OPON IMO is to afford students the opportunity to study anywhere they found themselves, without the burden of carrying text/note books around. It has the added advantage of introducing students to basic computer knowledge. REDUCTION IN HIGHER INSTITUTION SCHOOL FEES – The Aregbesola administration, within the first six months in office ordered about 45 per cent reduction in the five higher institutions it solely owned. The impact of this is better imagined, but well appreciated by parents/ guardians whose financial muscles are very slim. ***CANCELLATION OF ALL FEES PAYABLE IN ALL PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS – The government, in pursuit of its free and functional education programme has ordered total cancellation of all payable fees in all its primary and secondary schools in the state. ***LADOKE




MAKING THE PEOPLE WELL TO BE WEALTHY – Health is wealth. The belief of Governor Aregbesola in this saying can not be over-emphasized. On his ascendance to the exalted position of Governor, he declared free health services, especially for adolescents and the aged who are considered most vulnerable in the society. A measured free health services is also provided for the age group that is considered strong. Arrangements are nearing conclusion to ensure that all needed props and structure for successful implementation of the free health programme. Ancillary needs such as provision of potable water and clean environment are being pursued while an interim eye surgical operations and supply of eye glasses christened AWO OJU OMOLUABI were carried out few months back, serving as a tip of what is coming. O’CLEAN : CLEANINGNESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS The Aregbesola administration has taken particular interest in and has ensured cleaner and beautiful environment. Perhaps, having in mind the fact that a clean, well maintained beautiful environment is a facilitator of good health, Aregbesola declared 90 days emergency sanitation period in which residents and indigenes were mobilized and motivated to clean their environment. As at today, skip eaters have been provided in local government for packing refuse off the streets and the immediate human environment. Also, arrangements are on to provide incinerator/s and establish recycling means for refuses. Government has also hinted of, in the ultimate, the introduction of Private Sector Participation (PSP) to ensure more effectiveness. INCREASED POTABLE WATER PROVISION – Within the last one year, holistic conscious efforts were made to improve potable water supply to the people. By estimation of the engineers installing the newly purchased water heads and other essentials to improve the daily supply volume for Ede Dam, greater relief will come the way of Osun residents in 20 local governments by April 2012 while alternatives are been worked out to fix supply in the remaining 10 local governments.

revenue earner.

O’TOURS: A REENGINEERING OF C U L T U R A L TOURISM – Government has identified other cultural out-posts, other than the famed Osun Osogbo festival within the boundaries of the state and marked them out for greater celebrations and e n h a n c e d presentations. Necessary contacts are been made while funds are been mobilized in this regard. It is obvious that by the turn of a few months when needed structures are emplaced, tourism will spin more money for the state, perhaps than any other

IPINLE OMOLUABI : RE-BRANDING THE ESSENCE OF STATE OF OSUN – In response to the general belief that there is a correlation between one’s name and his being, Governor Aregbesola decided Osun deserves a new face and identification. A re-branding of the state was embarked upon. The state was christened “Ipinle Omoluabi” while a new logo and flag, with various relevant elements were designed and presented. A song, serving as the state’s anthem was also adopted. The desire of the citizens of Osun to be identified as an Omoluabi is amazing and catching on like wild fire. YANKING OFF THE DEBILITATING DEBT BURDEN: N18.4BILLION LOAN RE-NEGOTIATED – In the twilight of the immediate past administration, a loan of N18.3billion was obtained from a commercial bank to service, obviously, the selfish needs of a few top echelon members of that regime. The debt and its interest made unhealthy the finances of government and the general economy of the state. It was clear to a discerning mind that the state might be in serious danger if something critical is not done. Governor Aregbesola rose to the occasion and got the loan re-negotiated at a more convenient serviceable rate. The loan, which carried killing rate has now been bought back and at a more beneficial interest rate. By that action alone, the financial muscle of the state has been strengthened and governance become a bit easier than it was in November 2010. CONCLUSION – It is clear that in just one year, Governor Aregbesola has made the necessary clean break with the lethargic past. He has stepped forward more surefootedly and boldly to take Osun State to greater height, with a view to making freedom available for all and life to become more abundant. If so much is attained in just 365 days, then... the people of Osun state can take to the popular song…..e o ti ri nkankan!




New terminals underway at Lagos, Abuja airports N EW terminals are under way for the domestic wings of the Muritala Muhammed and Nnamdi Azikiwe airports in Lagos and Abuja. The terminals are part of the Federal Government’s plan to transform the airports. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has begun the demolition of a section of the Lagos airport old terminal to facilitate work. At the general aviation terminal of the Lagos Airport, the old departure hall has been pulled down. FAAN has evacuated a commercial bank and cargo operators. According to an official of FAAN, who pleaded not to be named, construction work to give birth to a new terminal at the old domestic wing will be carried out in three phases, even as alternative arrangement has been made for those whose businesses could be affected by the construction of the terminal.

Stories by Kelvin Osa-Okunbor Aviation Correspondent

To mitigate the effects of the relocation of some businesses, FAAN is building a new office at the car park where the commercial banks and eatery will operate from. FAAN is also set to pull down the old domestic wing of Abuja airport and airlines ordered to relocate to the international wing. The resolve to build a new domestic terminal for the Abuja Airport comes on the heels of the limited operational space at the existing terminal where passengers struggle for space to purchase tickets and check in for their flights. The construction work for the new airport terminals is part of the 12 airports remodeling projects embarked on by the Minister of Aviation, Mrs Stella Oduah Ogiemwonyi, to make Nigerian airports one of the best across the globe.

On assumption of office, the minister had expressed concern over the dilapidated state of airport infrastructure, affirming that most of them were decayed requiring replacement. The minister also spoke of plans to give a face lift to at least 12 airports in a programme she christened: Special Re-Modelling Projects. The first phase will be completed in the next six months. Mrs Oduah Ogiemwonyi said the installation of the latest conveyor belts renovation of toilets as well as renovation of other facilities including powering the air conditioning systems would be embarked upon. She said : " The change that we desire, and which we are vigorously pursuing, cannot be funded from public resources alone. We need the private sector to partner with us to deliver the huge promise, which the aviation sector holds for the growth of the economy.

Air Nigeria, Delta collaborate AIR Nigeria in co-operation with Delta Airlines will launch nonstop service between Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and Accra’s Kotoka International Airport, Ghana, effective December 1. The service will operate twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, equipped with 36 Business-Elite seats, 29 seats in Economy Comfort and 143 seats in Economy. “Delta is delighted to offer a new service for our customers between Nigeria and Ghana, complementing our existing service to the United States,” said Bobby Bryan, Delta’s Sales Manager for West and East Africa. “With the on-going support of our partner Air Nigeria, this new service will provide more travel options for our customers as well as facilitate business and commerce between both countries.” “Air Nigeria is committed towards providing convenient travel options to boost trade relations in the sub-region, especially on the Abuja and Accra route and beyond to further enhance the service options available to the travelling public across Nigeria”, said Olumide Odebiyi, Air Nigeria’s acting Director of Commercial. He noted further that the partnership is poised towards making air transport accessible by developing new routes and linking same to its existing routes network to better serve the demands of passengers. Delta now operates to six African cities in five countries, having grown from 22 weekly departures to and from Africa in December 2006 to more than 44 weekly departures in 2011.

N500m secretariat for travel agencies THE National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) is launching a N500 million land project to build a befitting secretariat for its members in Lagos State with 18 months completion date. President of NANTA, Mr Dayo Adeola, in a press briefing in Lagos, said apart from building the structure for its members, the land would also serve as a means of revenue generation for the association, adding that it would be a four storey building. Towards the launch, he explained that the executive of NANTA had received the consent of the Board of Trustees for the project, adding that its 600 members nationwide are part of the project. He said: “The essence of this building is to generate funds for the association and to have a befitting structure. We are looking at a four-floor building. The ground floor is for the car park while the first and the second floors will be for let and the third floor will be used as a training centre for members while the fourth floor will be for the association. “We paid over N20 million for the land and we have also received the consent of the Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State, which makes it legal for NANTA. We have about five zones in the association and each zone is making a contribution towards the project. Lagos zone is spending between N100 million to N150 million for the project.”

Arik to expand flights ARIK will begin flights from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates; Bamako, The Gambia and Ouagadougou , Burkina Faso before the year ends. Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, its Managing Director, Mr Chris Ndulue explained that in the past years the airline positively shaped developments in the aviation industry, with the introduction of brand new aircraft, even as it has created jobs for over 2,000 Nigerians to add value to the air travel experience. Ndulue explained that in the past five years, Arik Air has connected major state capitals into Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, as well as Abuja, with the airline’s route expansion programme. He explained that with its over 120 daily flights, Arik remains the leading carrier in the domestic scene.

‘Statistical data will transform aviation’ •From left: Country Manager, Qatar Airways in Nigeria Jean-Francois D’Amours; Managing Director, Godspower Travel Mrs S. O. Lawal, winner of the Outstanding Contribution 2010/2011 at Qatar Airways Travel Agents Awards Nite at Oriental Hotel, Lagos.

Way out of aviation crisis, by experts OW can the aviation sector gain worldwide acclaim? It is when the country is safe and peaceful, say stakeholders. They spoke at the 15th National Association of Air Traffic Engineers (NAAE). Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Capt Chinyere Kalu said President Goodluck Jonathan’s government was trying to restructure the sector. She urged all agencies and professional associations to key into the government’s vision. She said the only way the country’s aviation sub-sector could remain safe was for the players to continue to embrace the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), stressing that through this means, stakeholders would be able to address challenges hindering performance . Capt Kalu encouraged NAAE members to continue to maintain safety standards in their operations by sending their personnel for training and re-training at NCAT, warning that if the college collapses, the aviation industry would


be in comatose state. Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau, Dr. Sam Oduselu, described aviation as a small community with the same applied standards across the world. Oduselu pointed out that since aviation is internationally regulated, professionals in the sector are expected to measure up to international standards. He decried the high insecurity in the industry in the last few years, which he said had further put it into disrepute, stressing that for insecurity to be addressed, it requires wholistic approach from all stakeholders. He said: “Because of the global trend of insecurity, security is now part of the key aspects of aviation. It is an international arena that you can’t quantify what you are doing in naira, but rather in dollars. This makes it a bit hard for our operators to operate profitably. “It is what you put into the industry that you will get back and ours at AIB is to make sure professionals and stakeholders in the industry get a conducive environment to do their job and by so doing, we will promote safety opera-

tions in the sector.” Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Nnamdi Udoh canvassed maintenance of international standards for all operators and urged them to discard bickering among themselves in a bid for the sector to move forward. “We need a peaceful environment to maintain ICAO standards and proficiency to make less work for AIB. The leadership of NAAE should not allow unscrupulous elements to hijack the association from it because we have left so much undone and opened our doors for those who should not be there.” Earlier, the President, NAAE, Mr. Isaac Orishaleye, observed that the aviation industry in the past few years had witnessed reduced accidents and incidents due to improved safety methods adopted by all players in the sector. He called for adequate training and re-training of professionals, noting that the sector was confronted with the challenges of manpower shortage and inadequate training.

THE aviation industry will be repositioned and transformed when accurate statistical data is made available promptly, to facilitate the implementation of government policies. This view was expressed by the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr George Uriesi at the second meeting of the Aviation Statistical Committee for 2011 in Ota, Ogun State. Uriesi challenged the committee to come up with a statistical data framework that would enhance decision making, and proffer solutions to challenges peculiar to the industry. He was represented at the event by FAAN’s Acting Director of Airport Operations, Mr Tope Tubi. He said the time had come for managers in the industry to rise to the major challenges in the industry, including dwindling resources, by managing more effectively and efficiently, statistical appraisals of the major activities of the various agencies in the industry. According to him, “detailed and constant information. ..will give the industry an edge over others, and enable us to weather the storm.” He praised the committee for its immense contribution to the development of the aviation industry.

Qatar increases operations QATAR Airways has further expanded operations in Africa with the introduction of its 16th destination, daily scheduled flights to Uganda. Its first flight arrived at Entebbe International Airport, near Uganda’s capital city of Kampala, to an impressive water salute performed by the local fire service over the weekend. The latest route is also the carrier’s third East African point in a regional network that already covers the Kenyan and Tanzanian capitals of Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, respectively. Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa for its abundant wildlife, natural lush green scenery and rich culture. From eco tours, white-water rafting, hiking, safaris and the country’s most famous attraction – the elusive and treasured mountain gorilla – Uganda has plenty to offer for leisure visitors. Kampala is also fast becoming a business hub. Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker said: “Passenger demand prompted this new route and I am excited that we are able to bring our awardwinning five-star service to Uganda for the first time.” The new daily services will give Ugandans the opportunity to explore diverse business and leisure destinations with a one-stop in Doha. These include London, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Delhi, Bangkok, Tokyo, Dubai and Melbourne.





Concerns mount over oil contracts renegotiation Experts are pushing for renegotiation of some deep water offshore oil production contracts to allow the governments impose higher royalties and taxes. DANIEL ESSIET reports.


OME deep water offshore oil production contracts, mainly from the 1993 bid round, have been renegotiated to allow the government to impose higher royalties and taxes. Royalty payments would be imposed on deep offshore oilfields previously exempted under production-sharing contracts signed in the 1990’s. The total government take from international oil companies’ (IOCs) stakes in deep water projects is expected to rise to an average of 72 per cent from 45per cent. But the government said this is still lower than similar projects in Angola, Indonesia and Norway. Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, said the contracts for oil companies to conduct deep offshore operations must be renegotiated because the fiscal terms are unfavourable to the West African nation. Multinational companies should “renegotiate this or get out,” Sanusi said to cheering attendees at an economic conference in Abuja, last week. “These discussions are not just economic discussions; they’re discussions that go to sovereignty.” “Unfair fiscal terms” for the deepwater operations, which account for 40 per cent of Nigeria’s oil production, cost the country $5 billion a year in lost revenue, and contribute to the decline of the foreign, currency reserves of Nigeria, he said. Fuel subsidies, which the government wants to end, total another $6 billion a year, Sanusi said outside the conference. Foreign currency reserves dropped 3.7 per cent to $32.8 billion on November 4 compared with a year earlier, according to CBN figures. The country imports most of its fuel products because of a lack of refining capacity, and spends foreign currency in biweekly auctions to support the

naira. Nigeria receives 20 per cent of oil companies’ profits from deep offshore wells, “which is calculated when the oil companies tell us what their expenses are,” Sanusi said. Sanusi said the proposal for changing oil industry regulation has been in the legislature for more than two years, stalling new projects in the industry as producers including Shell and Total hold off on investment until the law passes.“I don’t talk to companies, I don’t care what they think,” Sanusi said when asked how oil companies will react to such changes in their contracts. Experts’ Perspective Responding to this development, energy economist, Prof. Adeola Adenikinju, said in most countries, the government owns all the mineral resources, but will offer to foreign oil companies’ blocks to explore and develop. The host government gives the oil company the right to receive a share of the production (or revenue) in accord with a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) or Service Contract. The basic terms of a contractual system, he explained, is usually determined through legislation, but many aspects may be negotiated. The operating company at its risk performs exploration in a production sharing contract form of a petroleum fiscal agreement. Typically, a PSA has four components: royalty, cost recovery, profit oil and tax. He said the PSC arrangement governs the understanding between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ( NNPC) and all new participants in the new inland deep and ultra deep-water acreages. Its main features are that the contractor bears all costs of exploration and production without such costs being reimbursable if no

find is made in the acreage. According to him, Snepco, Esso, Elf, Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited, Addax, Conoco and Petrobas, Star Deep Water, Chevron, Oranto Philips, are operating the PSC in the country. He said transparency of oil revenues is essential to ensure that the funds are managed responsibly and in a manner that is accountable to the people. He said there was a need to review all oil contracts and renegotiate those that are deemed to fall short of international best practice. Supporting the CBN Governor, Oladele Oderinde, who is of Department of Economics and Business Studies, Redeemer’s University, Ogun State, emphasised that the fiscal regime has to be progressive in current money terms with respects to both oil price and development cost changes. He noted that fiscal terms is an important consideration in the assessment of the viability of an oil exploration and production investment project, particularly with the peculiar industry risk of the oil sector and the inherent uncertainty of the international oil market condition. According to him, the government fiscal objectives, must be optimised in the implementation of tax policies on petroleum production activities. As much as government wants to maximisation revenue from the off shore contracts, Oderinde noted that preservation of appropriate excessive incentives is necessary to encourage foreign investors to be involved in the exploration and development of petroleum resources. This entails balancing these objectives at optimal levels. He noted that an excessive revenue – seeking tax level will lead to over taxation, which will discourage investment in exploration, development and extraction and will eventually lead to fall in government future revenue. Oderinde maintained that efforts should be directed at designing an appropriate regime of taxes that will help maximise social wealth creation through the oil sector and this can it is better served by a

• Sanusi

• Adenikinju

process of robust analysis of the impact of their terms on the economics of oil exploration and production investment ventures. He said movements in oil price and prevailing environmental risk had significant effects on the economic viability of oil investment projects. On the balance, experts are of the view that the country has not laid much groundwork to manage future oil revenues transparently. Even though a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), said there has been dispute on transparency and accountability following verification and on records of payments and revenues from oil and gas. For watchers, the incapacity of the country to deal responsibly with potential oil revenues comes at an alarming time. Government has been involved in many licensing rounds to sell off exploration rights in offshore oil blocks.

turns from oil revenues to rolling back the crushing rates of poverty and unemployment among Nigeria. Since the discovery of oil, Nigeria has been rocked by scandals involving allegations of government corruption. In view of the mounting concern over the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), coupled with alleged alteration of the reform document, stakeholders recently converged on Abuja, under the auspices of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), with funding from United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through Pact Nigeria, for a dialogue on the bill. In a welcome address to the policy dialogue, which was anchored by ANEEJ Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Anicetus Atakpu, the Executive Director, David Ugolor stated that Nigerians could no longer rely on the Federal Government’s assurance, except reasonable and concrete actions were mounted on the National Assembly to pass the bill. He also noted that the dialogue was aimed at brainstorming and thinking out the relevant steps to take to further press for the passage of the bill. In his goodwill message, the Acting Country Representative of Pact Nigeria, Mr Ahmed Mohammed, who was represented by the Project Co-ordinator, CSO-GON Partnership on Anti-corruption, Pact Nigeria, Mr Yinka Lawal, stated that Nigeria’s citizens were still living below the poverty line, in spite of the huge revenue being generated by the country’s abundant natural resources. Lawal blamed this development on the mismanagement of resources and corruption and noted that “anomaly thrives because the operations of the oil sector, Nigeria’s highest revenue earners, have been shrouded in secrecy and thus susceptible to abuses and irregularities.” After extensive deliberations, it was observed that there is broad consensus on the need for reforms in the governance of the petroleum sector, which has over time been plagued by secrecy, corruption and inefficiency, leading to poor economic and social returns from the industry for the Nigerian government and people. It was also noted that the absence of transparency and accountability in the management of key oil agencies has seriously affected the access to petroleum products by Nigerians who suffer undue hardship as the result.

Passage of PIB Nigerians are clamouring for independent auditing reports of all financial transactions associated with oil licensing. There has been complaints that government’s handling of oil bids has not demonstrated a model of oil revenue management. This follows the inability of re-

• Dr. Oluwole Oluleye, former Executive Secretary, PPPRA; Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Managing Director, Mobil Oil Nigeria PLC; Mr. Akin Fatunke, Head, Public Affairs, Mobil Oil Nigeria PLC; Olu Onakoya, immediate past Managing Director Mobil Oil Nigeria PLC; and Mr Henry Obih, Executive Director, Operations, Mobil Oil Nigeria PLC, at the OTL Africa Downstream Awards.




Kerosene scarcity worsens as marketers threaten supply scheme U

NLESS the government ur gently intervenes, the scar city of kerosene in Lagos State may worsen as marketers are threatening the starting of the second phase of the Kero Direct initiative by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). A source from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, who spoke in Lagos on a condition of anonymity, disclosed that some cabals among the marketers are frustrating the initiative. The source said the scheme, which takes kerosene to the nook and cranny of the country have not favoured some of the marketers who are diverting the product and selling above pump price. He, however, argued that the only way to ensure effective and efficient supply of the product in the country is for the government to channel distribution to faithful marketers, who will sell at pump price to the people without diversion, just as the Kero-Direct scheme is doing. “Most marketers don’t like the Kero Direct initiative because it does not give room for them to cut

By Bidemi Bakare

corners. “Marketers should allow government to start the second phase of the Kero-Direct so that Nigerians can benefit from the dividends of democracy,’’ the source said. The government official said to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians who depend on kerosene for domestic use, the government should make the product available to residents. “It is no longer news that the scarcity of the kerosene is biting even harder than expected, particularly in Abuja because of indiscriminate hoarding of the product by the independent marketers. “Efforts by the government to bring the situation to normalcy have proven abortive as the marketers have a way of causing unwarranted hardship for their fellow citizens,” he added. The source said many states have encountered this problem and the

only way to reduce the cost of the product, which has skyrocketed is for stakeholders to collaborate and embark on direct sale to those who need it. He said with the scheme having recorded success, there was need for government to hasten up distribution to independent stakeholders across the states to prevent a situation where the product will be sold at different high prices instead of government approved N50 per liter. When contacted on the matter, Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Capital Oil and Gas Ltd, Mr Ifeayi Ubah, refused to comment on the frustration of the schemes by some cabals. He, however, added that efforts are ongoing to kick-start the second phase of Kero-Direct scheme across the states again. Ubah said the scheme is an initiative of the NNPC and Capital Oil and Gas Industry Limited to address the supply and distribution of kero-

sene challenges to residents of Abuja and other parts of the country. However, Alhaji Tokunboh Korodo, Chairman,Western Zone of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers(NUPENG), told The Nation that loading of the product has dropped from 200 trucks to 10 trucks per depot as at last Tuesday while stock of kerosene is equally very low. Korodo said it is certain that the stock will dry up in the next few days leaving the tanker drivers with nothing to load for public consumption. “The stock of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK) has gone down drastically and there is nothing in sight to show that it would improve in the next few weeks. We don’t know whether the thing is indirect deregulation or the removal of subsidy game plan of the government. My member would load kerosene when it is available. “As it is now, the stock is fast fading away. And it is only the government that can explain the development. It is only the government that can do something about it,’’ he said.

Mr Olumide Ogunmade, Chairman, Western Zone Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said over a time, his members had no supply of the product. Ogunmade attributed the development to the monopoly being enjoyed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) on the importation of the product. He said as long as the NNPC continues to see itself as the sole importer of the product, there would continue to be a shortfall in the supply of the product. “It is not that the product is scarce but its demand is more than its supply in the country. “NNPC has not told us what happened to kerosene, they are the ones who should explain to Nigerians,” he said. He, however, added that the fear over the planned removal of subsidy may have caused a seizure in the supply of the product. A check on some filling stations in Lagos revealed that the majority of them do not have the product while few who have sold between N130 and N180 per litre.

Diesel becomes 'global issue' as premium soars


• From left: Director, MTN Nigeria Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi; Executive Secretary, MNF, Ms. Nonny Ugboma; and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, during a working visit by officials of the Foundation to the Governor's office, in Ado-Ekiti.

OARING demand for diesel and gasoil around the world is depleting stockpiles, sending United States prices to the highest level in three years relative to gasoline. US diesel and heating oil supplies have fallen 16 per cent in eight weeks, according to the Energy Department. Stockpiles in Singapore in the week ended November 9 were the lowest since July 2008, according to International Enterprise Singapore, a unit of the trade ministry. Inventories in Europe's Antwerp-RotterdamAmsterdam hub were the smallest in almost three years at the end of October, data from PJK International BV show. Rising fuel imports by China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, are combining with increased heating demand during the northern hemisphere

Fashola orders closure of mining sites in Badagry

Expert seeks functional policy on mining


HE Federal Government has been urged to reinforce the mining policy to boost higher productivity in the industry. A don, Prof. Zacheus Opafunso, made this call at 11th Annual General Meeting and Conference of Nigerian Society of Mining Engineers (NSME) in Kaduna . Opafunso, who is the first Nigerian professor of Mining Engineering, said the sector has not witnessed tremendous growth because operators cannot afford the high level of investment and sophisticated technology required. For this reason, he noted that there was unbalanced growth in the sector, adding that this has affected employment generation. Opafunso, who is Dean, School of Management Technology (SMAT), Federal University of Technology, Akure, called on the government to take measures to redress the low contribution of the mining sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). He identified challenges in the sector to include low integration with other sectors of the economy, little contribution to the GDP compared to the sector growth and low capacity of the government to effectively regulate and administer the sector. Financing and managing capital projects in the sector, Opafunso said, was a challenge because of the huge capital outlay.

By Daniel Essiet

To worsen it, he explained that the global crash in the prices of mineral commodities, drastically reduced operational cash flows and ability of mining operators to selffinance capital programmes. The don observed that many large-scale mining operators have reduced capital programmes. Some, he said, are delaying projects,while others have abandoned them. This, the expert, noted was not in the best interest of growth. Opafunso said the interest rates offered by banks are too high for mining operators to survive. The mining expert called on financial institutions to develop special loan schemes at affordable and competitive pay back rates that will assist mining operators. The government, Opafunso observed, has been putting in efforts to revive the mining sector following fall in global oil prices and decline in crude oil production due to surging violence in the Niger Delta region, which weaken Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, he noted, successfully negotiated a $120 million World Bank assistance package in 2004 to revive the solid minerals sector. The six-year project that was concluded in 2010 has been the most serious attempt by far at sustain-


• Opafunso

able management of Nigeria's mineral resources. The government of the late President Umaru Yar'Adua, he said, pursued a micro-grants programme for the mining sector, and succeeded in getting commercial banks to provide seed funds and loans to small and medium-scale mining companies. To boost productivity, Opafunso implored mining operators to acquire modern machines and improve their capacities to enable them compete with other players at the world market. “They should study the market to know when to invest in medium and longer term and what types of cost control measures to adopt to reduce cost,” he added.

winter to curb supplies. Heating oil futures climbed to 62.69 cents a gallon more than gasoline on the New York Mercantile Exchange on November 14, the biggest difference since November 2008. "It's a global issue," Edward Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in New York, said in a telephone interview November 11. "And it could be worse. We don't know what the weather is going to do and, if China has need for diesel-fired generators as they did last winter, it could tighten gasoil inventories." Heating oil, which trades as a proxy for diesel, fell 7.55 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to $2.9591 a gallon on the Nymex , while gasoline dropped 4.41 cents to $2.5177, leaving the difference at 44.14 cents.

HE Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has ordered the suspension of all surface mining in Badagry till further notice. The order came on the premise of a petition received by the governor on the monumental damage being done to the environment by the miners. Preliminary investigation on the petition is to start immediately. Disclosing this to reporters, the state Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Taofik Tijani, said the decision became necessary to prevent an imminent Tsunami- like disaster in the state. Tijani noted that the government being a responsive and responsible one couldn’t have done otherwise in the overall interests of the residents of the state. According to him, the petition included pictures of sand mining operations performing very close to the water table - a situation that could prompt the overflow of the ocean onto the land surface in that area. He said: ”The governor got a petition from an indigene of that area detailing the uncontrolled mining activities going on in Badagry. The petition was accompanied by pictures as substantial evidence. The pictures showed how sand is being mined to an unacceptable depth. Some places were excavated far below the surface level. This action,

By Bidemi Bakare

the governor felt, must be stopped if we must avert any impending danger that may arise from mining. Such disasters, like Tsunami and excessive flooding are likely to occur if nothing is done urgently. So, it was for this reason that the governor gave an executive order that all surface sand mining should be suspended in Badagry,” he said. He, however, said the shallow waters are exempted from the suspension, urging miners in the area to explore this frontier and perform due diligence for the mining of sand. He assured that the state government was ready to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to ascertain the effect of mining operations. Responding, Badagry Miners Association, Alhaji Ibiyemi Sadiq, said as a law abiding association they are all going to conform to the executive directive by stopping mining activities in the area. He said the association is going to verify if the claim by the petitioner is actually true or not. The association he added, is aware of the enormity of damage that mining can do to the environment and inhabitants and so we do everything to ensure that its members comply with stipulated rules and guidelines of mining.





Regrettable losses •Decades after discovery of oil in Nigeria, we are yet to know the nitty-gritty. Sad


N a subtle but typically thought-provoking manner, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has dropped another ‘bombshell’ about the inexplicable leakages in and around the oil industry; the mainstay of the national economy. This time, it is about the recurring but unpardonable stream of losses totalling about $5 billion being recorded annually in the badly managed sector, particularly, the offshore exploration businesses. As usual, this revelation has not only generated intense debate but continues to elicit resentful comments from the public. However, unlike the rapturous applause which greeted previous weighty, policy-probing comments from the CBN governor, a measure of caution has crept into the response profile of the public. It is becoming increasingly clear that the approach of the CBN governor has no respect for civil service ethics.The CBN is a creation of the Federal Government and as such, functions within the ambience of the administrative and policy agenda of the government. While we appreciate Sanusi’s whistle blowing, which is people-oriented, the destabilising effect of a reckless dissemination of government information could be catastrophic.The fact that specific contracts for deep offshore oil operations were wrongfully sealed without recourse to favourable fiscal terms is bad enough; but that such matter is released to the public before the various government ministries, departments and agencies involved are officially notified, smacks of ethical indiscipline, a lack of both team work and pragmatic synergy among gov-

ernment bureaucracies. Although Sanusi did not mention for how long this anomaly had persisted, it is painful to imagine that such waste is going on even as the Federal Government struggles to run deficit budgets every year, at the expense of better living standard for the citizenry. No doubt, previous governments, particularly those responsible for the faulty contracts in question could not be absolved from this scandal. However, what is most important is whether the present regime has the requisite political will to fight corruption and right the wrongs of yesteryears. The point is that such blatant economic rape was made possible because, in spite of decades of oil exploration in Nigeria, its technology was neither transferred nor effectively domesticated; and that is the crux of the matter. This explains why Nigeria receives only about 20 percent of oil companies’ profits from deep offshore wells which is calculated after the foreign oil companies would have declared their running costs and other miscellaneous expenses, all of which Nigeria has no known credible means of verifying. There are no two ways about it; Nigeria will remain a fringe player in the oil exploration business if nothing is done to improve the critical manpower limitation and corruption in the oil industry. We hope the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be passed by the National Assembly forthwith, to ameliorate the ‘selfinflicted’ lapses causing untold losses in the Nigerian oil Industry and, by extension, continued pauperisation of Nigerians.

All said, Mallam Sanusi has repeatedly shown that this government runs an administration that is in apparent disarray. Therefore, it is not only difficult to locate the central policy focus of the Federal Government, it is almost impracticable to readily measure its performance on a development benchmark or continuum; save the avalanche of failed policies and the attendant staggering development projects that are comatose, all of which have heightened fears among Nigerians. A very good example is the poor recovery record of the banking sector under the watch of the apex bank governor, and in spite of diverse reform packages introduced since 2009. The systemic imperatives made it impossible for the banking sector to function in isolation; an ailing sector therefore means an ailing system. This is why Sanusi must work with others as a team.

‘Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has dropped another ‘bombshell’ about the inexplicable leakages in and around the oil industry; the mainstay of the national economy. This time, it is about the recurring but unpardonable stream of losses totalling about $5 billion being recorded annually in the badly managed sector, particularly, the offshore exploration businesses’

Poison as potassium bromate •Nigeria must take tough measures against bakers using the chemical


HY are bakers in the country so recalcitrant to official directive stopping the use of potassium bromate? This question becomes pertinent in view of the continual use of the chemical by bakeries across the country, despite the danger such poses to human health. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has ceaselessly campaigned since 2007 against the use of potassium bromate. As a matter of fact, some bakeries were closed down for flouting the order, but over four years after, NAFDAC’s efforts seem not to be yielding much positive results as most bread makers, in flagrant disobedience of its directive, still rely on the chemical in their production. Dr Paul Orhii, the agency’s directorgeneral at a recent sensitisation and interactive workshop tagged, “Health and Safety in Bread and Bread products” bemoaned the nonchalant attitude of bakers through their unyielding posture in the use of this deadly chemical in the baking of bread, the most staple food among Nigerians. Bread bakers often use the chemical as flour improver; they also use it to strengthen the dough and to allow for higher rising. But medical research reveals that potassium bromate when consumed is toxic to the kidney and can in fact damage it. It is also linked to cancer, nervous system disorder and renal damage. We equally acknowledge further re-

searches that showed that potassium bromate, usually in form of white crystals or powder, causes permanent deafness in animals and man. It is worthy to note that the chemical as an oxidizing agent is harmful if consumed because of its carcinogenic effects. This must have informed why it was banned from food products use in the European Union, Canada, Brazil, Peru and some other countries. Sri Lanka and China banned its use in 2001 and 2005, respectively. Nigeria joined the group in 2007 and has since been battling to achieve effective compliance by bakers. We notice that there have been increasing cases of kidney-cum-renal failure in the country and the probability that potassium bromate might be a contributory factor, is very high. The Master Bakers Association of Nigeria (MBAN) cannot feign ignorance of the unscrupulous conduct of its members that is gradually sentencingsome Nigerians to the graves early. Due to its members’ arbitrary urge for huge profits and lack of patriotism, they would stop at nothing to sustain themselves in the bakery business. The umbrella body for bakers in the country must have complementary role with government so as to rid the bakeries of the use of potassium bromate. MBAN must act now to save Nigerians from untimely deaths. More importantly, the government must

quickly come out with laws that will criminalise using the chemical to produce edibles. This will go a long way in checking its spread. Also, concerted efforts must be made to rid the market of the toxin called potassium bromate through intensified enlightenment campaign by government. In addition, all bakeries in the country must be forced to boldly inscribe “free of potassium bromate” on their bread wrappers to assure and dispel the fears of bread consumers. NAFDAC on its part must, more than ever before, be ready to go after erring bakers, get them arraigned and duly sanctioned according to the laws of the land. The time to completely rid bakeries of this perilous chemical is now.

‘It is worthy to note that the chemical as an oxidizing agent is harmful if consumed because of its carcinogenic effects. This must have informed why it was banned from food products use in the European Union, Canada, Brazil, Peru and some other countries ... Nigeria joined the group in 2007 and has since been battling to achieve effective compliance by bakers’

Legal education reform


MERICAN legal education is in crisis. The economic downturn has left many recent law graduates saddled with crushing student loans and bleak job prospects. The law schools have been targets of lawsuits by students and scrutiny from the United States Senate for alleged false advertising about potential jobs. Yet, at the same time, more and more Americans find that they cannot afford any kind of legal help. Addressing these issues requires changing legal education and how the profession sees its responsibility to serve the public interest as well as clients. Some schools are moving in promising directions. The majority are still stuck in an outdated instructional and business model. The problems are not new. In 2007, a report by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching explained that law schools have contributed heavily to this crisis by giving “only casual attention to teaching students how to use legal thinking in the complexity of actual law practice.” Even after the economy recovers, the outsourcing of legal work from law firms and corporate counsel offices to lower-fee operations overseas is likely to continue. Belatedly, some law schools are trying to align what and how they teach to what legal practice now entails and what individuals and institutions need — like many more lawyers who can serve as advocates for the poor and middle class. Instead of a curriculum taught largely through professors’ grilling of students about appellate cases, some schools are offering more apprentice-style learning in legal clinics and more courses that train students for their multiple future roles as advocates and counselors, negotiators and deal-shapers, and problem-solvers. With new legal issues arising from the use of computers in business and government to manage information, some schools are teaching students software code as well as legal code to solve systemwide problems. Some are exploring ways to reduce tuitions and make themselves more sustainable. Potential business models include legal degrees based on two years of classes, followed by third-year apprenticeship programs. In American law schools, the choice is not between teaching legal theory or practice; the task is to teach useful legal ideas and skills in more effective ways. The case method has been the foundation of legal education for 140 years. Its premise was that students would learn legal reasoning by studying appellate rulings. That approach treated law as a form of science and as a source of truth. That vision was dated by the 1920s. It was a relic by the 1960s. Law is now regarded as a means rather than an end, a tool for solving problems. In reforming themselves, law schools have the chance to help reinvigorate the legal profession and rebuild public confidence in what lawyers can provide. New York Times TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye •General Editor Kunle Fagbemi •Editor, Online Lekan Otufodunrin •Managing Editor Northern Operation Yusuf Alli •Managing Editor Waheed Odusile

• Executive Director (Finance & Administration) Ade Odunewu

•Deputy Editor Lawal Ogienagbon

•Advert Manager Robinson Osirike

•Deputy Editor (News) Adeniyi Adesina •Group Political Editor Bolade Omonijo •Group Business Editor Ayodele Aminu •Abuja Bureau Chief Yomi Odunuga •Sport Editor Ade Ojeikere •Editorial Page Editor Sanya Oni

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IR: When the contempt laws are not used where the law is breached, it only discredits the law as a whole. Under Nigeria’s laws, contempt of court is a punishable offence. Contempt of court law is to protect the court from undue interference that may delay or interrupt the course of justice for the public, the accused and the victim/s both in criminal and civil cases. The Contempt of Court Act 1981 was enacted following a decision of European Court of Human Rights that English contempt law contravened Article 10 of the convention. It was intended to give greater protection to freedom of speech. The Act introduced a strict liability rule. The strict liability rule indicates that conduct tending to interfere with course of justice – particularly legal proceedings – may be treated as a contempt of court regardless of whether there was any intent to interfere. The strict liability rule applies to publications. They include any speech, writing, broadcast or other communication in whatever form which is addressed to the public at large or any section of the public. Two important limitations on the impact of the strict liability rule are; it applies to a publication which creates a substantial risk that the course of justice in the proceedings will be seriously impeded or prejudiced; and, it applies to a publication if only the proceeding are active. The ongoing saga between EFCC and a Nigerian attorney, Emeka Ugwonye accused of professional misconduct has received so much public intervention particularly in internet chat rooms. There are various written evi-


Between freedom of expression and contempt of court dences and published documents in public domain in favour of and against the Nigerian attorney but maligning to the administration of justice in Nigeria. What I find disturbing about some of these written documents and comments, is that they are written and produced by qualified law-

yers and solicitors who should respect the law and observe the boundary between court process, contempt of court and freedom of expression. The shame these dishonourable acts have brought on the Nigeria judiciary is enormous. While the case is in court, various publica-


•Oluwo Kola Abiola London

Abia non-indigene policy and elite hypocrisy


HE mud raked up, especially by the Nigerian elite, on the radical overhauling

of the Abia State civil service which affected mainly non-indigenes of the state is baffling. There is no doubt that these are no good times particularly for the economically downtrodden. That is not to say, however, that those who should know better, the Nigerian elite, do not understand that most states have gone under financially, no matter what the elite vested interests may be. What I see everyday seem to be an elite, who deeply understand what high stakes there are, but choose to play to the gallery. True, Abia State decided to trans-

fer non-indigenes in her civil service to their states of origin. The next questions that ought to have been asked are: what informed the decision and how rational is the policy? But instead of asking these questions and extracting the right answers, cross sections of the Nigerian elite dwelt, and may still be dwelling on sentiments in their reactions to the development. To this writer, what happened in Abia is a carry-over of the Nigerian question, which has remained unaddressed for ages. It is, for example, not different from the notorious “Abandoned Property” ruse which Rivers State especially revved up to dispossess non-indigenes of their state of their hardearned property in the 1960s and

For a crisis free LASU IR: We of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Joint Campus Committee(JCC), Lagos Axis have been following the trend of things at the Lagos State University(LASU). It is with utmost dismay that we receive the unfortunate news of consecutive blows at the peaceful and progressive Students Union of the Lagos State University. First is the suspension of the LASU Students Union over its

tions, and written documents either against or in favour of the accused is an ‘undue interference’ Will the public, the victim and the accused be able to get justice under this continuing intervention? It is evident that most Nigerians lack confidence in the administra-

tion of justice in Nigeria; will this lack of confidence not become a major concern to an investor who may want to invest in Nigeria? President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Justice of Nigeria Dahiru Musdapher and Nigeria law makers have two options: either they let this case against Ugwonye ridicule their capacity to deal with complex cases or they use it to build new confidence in those who might be interested in investing in Nigeria. For those who might need a reposed confidence in Nigeria, they really want to be assured that they will get justice when they are involved in similar case in Nigeria.

rejection of the decision to hike school fees which is unjustifiable. Second is the closure of the university which is ill-advised and infamous. We condemn these actions. It only attempts to plough crisis where there is none. We wish to stress that these actions are unjust and illegal by all laws of the land and all norms and practice of civil Society. We call for an immediate stoppage of all acts of executive

lawlessness and abject official recklessness as characterized by the actions of Prof. John Obafunwa. Immediate reversal of the socalled suspension of the LASU Students Union and the status-quo should be maintained on the school fees. We believe that this will go along way in ensuring peace in LASU and other institutions in Lagos State. •Com. Bello Ibrahim Adesegun , NANS-JCC, Lagos Axis.

1970s. It is not also different from the biting Structural Adjustment Programme introduced during former military President Ibrahim Babangida’s regime that cost the jobs of millions of young, vibrant Nigerians. In any case, when Nigerians agitate for fiscal federalism, more percentage from the derivation fund, fresh revenue allocation formula and the like, what do they mean? When state governments want excess crude funds shared or reject the forceful imposition of a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), or refuse to pay their 50% counterpart fund to access their share of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) funds, what do they aim at? Right now, according to very recent reports, about N34.155 billion of UBE funds are rotting away because some states cannot afford to pay the statutory counterpart funds to claim their own share. The aim of those gunning for fiscal federalism, as was the case in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the insistence of governors for more money from the centre, is to make states become more viable and real development centers. More so when the Federal Government can wake up at its leisure and clamp a policy with outrageous financial implications on the states, like the latest minimum wage policy.

Are the Nigerian elite not aware of this? If in the place of more money from the centre, and with the endemic corruption in the public sector, which translates to fund leakages and poor internally generated revenue, a state is at the verge of financial collapse, and decides to cut its coat according to its size, what is wrong with that? Should Abia indigenes be the first victims? Who says that indigenes may not even be affected in the long run if things continue the way they are, or grow worse? Let us not talk about the fact that most states had implemented similar policies in the past here, since it is incontestable. The issue is that the Nigerian elite should stop misleading the poorly educated and the less privileged because very few people in the whole world, if any at all, would prefer to feed visitors fat and go hungry. The only condition this writer will blame Governor T. A. Orji is, if after implementing the policy, his government fails to make visible impact by way of job placement in the state civil service for unemployed Abians and the improvement of infrastructure in the state. •Ogadi Ngalari Rumuokoro Port Harcourt, Rivers State.






HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governors in the South West are in peculiar positions. One, Lagos Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, is in his fifth year, and already has established himself as a gold standard in gubernatorial performance. Two, Ekiti Governor, Olakunle Kayode Fayemi and Osun GoverAbimbola nor, Rauf Aregbesola, just marked, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) their first years in office. The remaining two, Ogun’s Ibikunle Amosun and Oyo’s Abiola Ajimobi, just crossed the “100 days” mark. Despite the differences in tenure lengths, however, all the five governors are united on one score: they them in the next elections. In the quicksand of Yoruba politics, are all condemned to perform. Since the halcyon days of the six that is easier said than done. Alliance for Democracy (AD) governors at the advent of the The electoral sands of Oyo/Osun axis are especially treacherSecond Republic in 1999, it is doubtful if any brood of governors ous, with a relay of low-level political intrigues and counterhave been faced with such high-octane expectations. intrigues. There, Adegoke Adelabu’s Penkelemesi spirit triumphs, Back in 1999, the military had wreaked so much havoc, and when the peculiar mess of that zone’s politics forces even the the AD governors were so full of messianic zeal, based on their brightest and the best to abandon the rarefied air of logic and ideological affiliation with the old Awo Action Group (AG) and clinical analysis to play the politics of crass emotion and cynical Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), that the voter might well be intrigue. permitted to expect sheer magic from their new governors. On the other hand, the Ondo/Ekiti axis is always a bedlam of It is moot point if that magic ever came. And that explained high-level disputations. It is no coincidence the old Ondo Provthe electoral clear-out of 2003 when, a combination of then Presiince, later old Ondo State and now Ondo and Ekiti states, is dent Olusegun Obasanjo’s grand treachery and crisis of voter dubbed the Petition Headquarters of Nigerian politics. expectation swept out five of the six governors, leaving only The Lagos/Ogun axis had been much more predictable: Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos standing. because of established track record of progressive governments’ Like the pre-1999 military, the conservative Peoples Demostellar performance over the years; and Ogun due to the Awo cratic Party (PDP) governments had wreaked so much havoc in factor, being the home state of the avatar of Nigerian progresthe region, between 2003 and 2007, before they were finally sive politics and people-oriented governance, the great Chief erased in April. Two (Ogun and Oyo) lost out on the electoral Obafemi Awolowo. front; while three wo (Ondo, Ekiti and Osun) had earlier been So, it is hardly any wonder that the gubernatorial banana peel judicially forced to surrender stolen mandates. has been much more pronounced in the Oyo/Osun and Ondo/ It is doubtful if the magical expectation of performance from Ekiti axes. In 1983, during the Second Republic, Dr. Omololu the current ACN governors could match the 1999 level, given Olunloyo trumped the immaculate Bola Ige, though there were the mood of general disillusionment in the land. But expectaallegations of massive electoral heists. tion is high enough, should they fail, for the people to feel Now, Dr. Olunloyo could intellectually hold his own anymassive disappointment. So, the ACN Five are condemned to where. But it took the combination of the “Omo a ni, e je o se” [He perform! is our son, vote him] Ibadan emotive nationalism campaign, But how do they bail themselves out of this positive “conlaced with federal-backed electoral shenanigans, to power him demnation”? By upping the performance stake, such that it would into the Agodi Government House. Even then, since Dr. be sheer electoral suicide for the opposition to venture against Olunloyo’s three-month tenure, no Oyo governor has had a second term, despite a relay of Ibadan indigenes, aside from the comically Oyato one ousted in April, Adebayo Alao-Akala, an ‘A South West economic integration Ogbomoso indigene. holds the key to up the ante, banish the It has been no less slippery on the Ondo/Ekiti axis. Despite political reactionaries from the region and Chief Akin Omoboriowo’s failed bid to steal Pa Adekunle Ajasin’s mandate in 1983, neither Ondo nor Ekiti had since given avert repeating the ruinous history of rean elected governor a second term. Olusegun Agagu indeed actionary take-over of 1983 and 2003’ stole a second term in 2007. But it all ended in a judicial sack. Only in Lagos have the people kept faith all along. But

epublican ipples

that was due to unimpeachable performance: Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Second Republic Baba Kekere and famed Action Governor (1983), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu aka last man standing (2003) and Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, the Actualizer (2007). This grim historical analysis is to show that the ACN governors have their jobs cut out for them. There is no doubt progressive governance, because of massive gains in the past, holds a special place in the heart of the Yoruba South West. But it is also true that the people hold no prisoners, once they sense their yearnings are not being met. Now, add the always treacherous federal authorities, and with President Goodluck Jonathan showing a sly and treacherous hand of his own, the next set of elections are bound to be testy – though many insist it is early days yet. Both Dr. Fayemi in Ekiti and Ogbeni Aregbesola in Osun just turned one year. Their friends say they have posted superlative results. Their foes counter with a yawn, insisting they have done “nothing”. People in-between say, well, they have tried their best, being new on the job. But to weather the storm to come, independent opinion, free of rapturous spin doctors and antagonistic partisan naysayers, must point to solid, superlative performance. That was the only way Jakande, Tinubu and Fashola were able to earn themselves second terms, despite an ogling, plotting and treacherous federal ruling party, who wanted to add the economic crown jewel of Lagos to their electoral trophy chest. Ogun’s Amosun and Oyo’s Ajimobi appear to still be testing the waters after the first three months in office, though Amosun’s e-foot soldiers have been doing quite a helluva of internet battle with e-warriors of the Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD) ancien regime. It might be early days yet, but both governors must think of ways to soar clear with unimpeachable performance. Then, the South West economic integration question. Both Fayemi and Aregbesola have been most activist on this score. Ondo’s Olusegun Mimiko, neither a bird nor a bat, chips in a chime for political survival. The other three have been tacit at best, and quiet at worst. Yet, a South West economic integration, with Lagos as the shaft as brilliantly espoused by Aregbesola, holds the key to up the ante, banish the political reactionaries from the region and avert repeating the ruinous history of reactionary take-over of 1983 and 2003.

Condemned to perform


OR his piece titled LASU fees and the state of our schools, my colleague and chair of the Editorial Board Sam Omatseye must have thought that he had a contribution to make in the aftermath of the dusts raised by new regime of fees introduced at the Lagos State University. Let me say that I was not in the least surprised that our legion of internet warriors and their allies in the popular media saw in it an opportunity to pillory Sam for daring to express what they considered contrarian views. Suffice to say that he was accused of “rationalising” the outrageous fees imposed by the Lagos State University management for which the virtual jurors promptly issued a fatwa for an assumed ideological apostasy! Trust reason to take flight where emotions rule, discussions on the attempts by LASU and by extension the Lagos State government to make the beneficiaries of its tertiary education system come to terms with current realities of funding is now akin to sacrilege. In other words, we are not supposed to discuss the fiscal farce – let alone explore new paradigms outside of the existing framework – that has reduced the university idea to the current ignoble level! Now, I appreciate all the fancy arguments about the new regime of fees at LASU being steep. That seems fine by me except that the argument is responsible for feeding some of the myths that have brought education, particularly at the tertiary level, to this sorry pass. I guess it is time to explore some of the myths if only to strip them bare of their exaggerated assumptions. My views may appear satanic to some, I take solace in that African saying that a little wresting in the mud does not kill a sturdy youth more so now that mucks are being thrown all over the place! Let me start by saying that I do not claim to know how the authorities in LASU came by the current figures – said to be a 275 percent jump over the previous fees. It seems to me however that a more productive argument is to actually establish what the per capita cost of training a university student is. I say this because, without that parameter being established in the first place, the idea of

‘To my Aluta comrades in LASU, I have done quite a bit of wondering on how to prepare a good meal of omelette without breaking an egg. If you have any ideas of how, let me know’

Policy Sanya Oni 08051101841

LASU in season of unreason building some fancy models on some opaque statistics seems at best an illiterate way of presenting an argument. This is where, I think, both parties in the debate have clearly missed it. My view is that you do not say a commodity is overpriced until input costs are not known! I love the idea of our universities aspiring to be world class –with excellent research and teaching facilities. The much that I know is that world class institutions require world class funding! Part of the problem – in my view – is this tradition of romanticising the golden past of our university system even when the imperative of change looms so large on the horizon! Isn’t it about time we sat down to address the problem of university funding once and for all? Now, where do I stand on the LASU fees imbroglio? Simple. Let’s have the figures. Thereafter, we can go to debate who bears what portion of the burden. Having said that, the point remains that it is hard to fault the principles of redistributing the burden of getting the university going which is what the new LASU regime of fees is all about. Those principles are beyond question, sound and pragmatic. While it may sound satanic to some, I call it practical economics! And the alternative? Science laboratories without reagents; ill-equipped libraries; overcrowded lecture rooms and hostels that qualify to be described as pig sties – translating into what I describe as the slow lynching of the university idea! I haven’t said anything about government shirking its responsibilities in the area of funding. Of course, I get wearied each time the talk is about minimum standards – yet another symptom of the stupendous lack of ambition – in our university system. But the greater crime is what I

Ripples goes on leave

After three years of active service and rigorous debates, this column goes on vacation from December 1 to January 9, 2012. Loyal readers, thanks for your constant support and critiques these past three years. Do have a merry Christmas and a fantastic new year. Looking forward to more penetrating and intellectually engaging rippling as we meet again, by God’s grace, in 2012.

prefer to call the culture of denial of the responsibility to make the desired changes particularly when it calls for sacrifices on the part of the recipients of tertiary education. If I may put it in a simpler way – it is time to set the boundaries on entitlement! Basic education is a right – an entitlement. Tertiary education should not qualify – rather, it should be seen as a privilege. Liberalisation of access – yes! University for all – impracticable! Much of the current debates appear to have been informed by the problematic of distinction! (I can hear some people calling for my head). Fact is – no amount of liberalisation of access would make everybody a university graduate! There is an inescapable law of natural selection that takes care of everything. That above leads to the other issue – the fear that the new fees would price university education beyond the reach of the poor. Good point there. Question is – who is going to be the ultimately losers at the rate we are going – with mushroom institutions awarding worthless certificates? Isn’t it the so-called poor who cannot afford to send their wards to universities in Ghana or wherever? We delude ourselves to imagine that the world is not paying attention to our declining standards; I hear that foreign institutions are already demanding recertification of our diplomas. Just how bad would things need to get before they get better. I go to the final point – the tendency to understate the heroic contributions of the so-called poor in what is infinitely their relentless struggle to break the shackles of poverty through investment in education. Coming from a rather humble background myself, I perfectly understand the painful sacrifices made by my folks to get me through university education. I know a father who sold the family’s prized Raleigh bicycle to pay for son’s school fees. As it was in the past, so it is today – perhaps till kingdom come. No matter how it is presented, the idea of contributions or sacrifice to education is certainly nothing new or particularly alien. Surely, our people know that nothing venture, nothing gain! Does that imply that states should not offer assistance to indigent students. Good question. This is where the responsibility of the state and local governments comes in to help the poor and indigent students achieve their dream of quality education through the grants of scholarships and bursary awards. What I find appalling is the seductive populism which insists that we overlook the economics of funding tertiary education. To my Aluta comrades in LASU, I have done quite a bit of wondering on how to prepare a good meal of omelette without breaking an egg. If you have any ideas of how, let me know. As they say in these parts – good soup, na money kill am!





FTER a protracted illness, the Ikemba of Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu finally breathed his last on Saturday November 26, aged 78. The breaking news on AIT that morning jolted my senses back to consciousness as I was just about going into a well deserved sleep after a night long work. The sleep naturally disappeared and the reporter in me took over. So the Ikemba is gone. I asked myself. What an end to an era. An era that took Nigeria to the edge but could not push her over; an era that raised so much hope for the Igbos but delivered little; an era with so much fury but little fun. You could also add that it was an era full of action but little or no movement. An era of monumental misadventure called Biafra. My first real life encounter with Eze Igbo Gburugburu was in 1987 at the Park-lane residence of the then recently deceased Chief Obafemi Awolowo in Apapa, Lagos. Awo, we knew who he was and Ojukwu, still enjoying his super star status as the leader of the Igbos was at the late sage’s residence to commiserate with the family and indeed the nation, on the loss of a great Nigerian. As a reporter then with National Concord, I heard of Awolowo’s death at 10 pm, that Saturday night, I think on May 9, 1987 on the network service of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria. It rained heavily that night in Lagos accompanied with sporadic thunderstorm, so I couldn’t do much, but the following morning I had to rush to the office for further briefing. I was duly assigned to the Awolowo residence at Apapa. I was there for a couple of days and on one of those days the Ikemba walked in and like a film star brought glamour to an ordinarily somber environment. While speaking with reporters Ojukwu later paid glowing tribute to Awolowo describing the late elder-statesman as the best president Nigeria never had. This was about the best tribute to Awo and coming from the leader of a group supposedly opposed to the Asiwaju of Yoruba land it reverberated across the land. This epitaph for Awolowo had since endured. I’ve not heard or read anything as colourful about the Ikemba since his passing on but as a great leader of his people, I think he more than deserves such. Judging from the stories about Ojukwu, the

As Ikemba bows out warlord, that we were fed with as kids growing up on the other side of the 1967-70 civil war and the pathological hatred we were told Igbos have of Yoruba, especially Awolowo, one was surprised that Ojukwu could say such a thing about a Yoruba man. Could all those stories be true? I asked myself. Or was the man being painted black just to cast him as a devil because he chose the path of secession to liberate his people from oppression and/or extermination? I was confused. If the man truly wanted to fight the cause of his people why did he team up with their so called persecutors again after he was granted state pardon by second republic president Alhaji Shehu Shagari, for his role in leading a rebellion to dismember Nigeria? Was this not a contradiction? Why join the northern dominated National Party of Nigeria (NPN) the ruling party at the centre then, as against the mainly Igbo Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP) led by the great Zik of Africa, Igbo foremost citizen, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe? Was it the lure of mainstream politics and the cakes that would naturally follow that led him into NPN or the man was truly a nationalist, a detribalized Nigerian at heart who was pushed into Igbo irredentism by the politics and policies of the then Federal Government of Nigeria? These are issues that I found contradictory in Ojukwu after he made that famous comment about Awolowo and since then I began to pay closer attention to his actions and utterances. He was indeed a great man who held on to his belief irrespective of what others might think of it.

He went to war against an oppressive and unfair Nigerian state when he felt his people were not getting a fair dealing from this geographical expression called Nigeria. They were, in his view, not getting the protection expected from a state to her citizen. He went for Biafra and he failed. Whether he should have done that at the time he did was another matter entirely, but if what happened to the Igbos then in Nigeria were to repeat itself in today’s Nigeria, it would amount to genocide and the United Nations would have cried foul and may be the Security Council would have sanctioned a Libya type intervention. So, shall we then say in retrospect that Ojukwu was right to have levied war against Nigeria in defense of his people? I strongly believe that Biafra was a disaster because it was not meant to or destined to succeed. I also strongly believe that Biafra was premature as the Igbos were not well prepared for it. I equally believe that the international community was not ready for a dismemberment of Nigeria then and probably now, so whatever Ojukwu was doing then was doomed to failure from the beginning. More importantly, I believe the Biafra project was not about liberating the Igbos from Nigeria’s oppression and creating a separate nation for them, but taking over the leadership of Nigeria itself. Or how else can it be explained that the Biafran army did not stop its conquest after the Niger Bridge or Asaba, Agbor or even Benin but was heading to Lagos, the seat of the Nigeria government, other than an attempt to overrun the rest of Nigeria and take over the reins of government. I think this was where Biafra and Ojukwu lost the plot. By not holding

on to Igbo land during the war but extending the frontiers of Biafra to other non Igbo areas, Ojukwu gave himself out as someone pursuing a personal agenda, an agenda to rule Nigeria, after all he was senior in rank to the then Head of State, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon. This naturally created fear in some of his supporters and admirers outside Igbo land especially the non Igbo nationalities in the then eastern region of Nigeria. The seed for defeat I believe was sown here. May be the Nigerian army would have tired out after some time if Ojukwu had restricted his army to Igbo land. May be the Nigerian government would have conceded the eastern region to him. But these are big ifs, with no guarantee that they would have happened, so the debate over whether Ojukwu was right to have led the Igbos to Biafra or not can never be won by either side. Unfortunately for all his sterling qualities history would only judge Ojukwu by his Biafra misadventure even when he meant well for his people. For this misadventure, Igbo leaders and intelligentsia of that time and not only Ojukwu should take the blame. Where were the elders when the young man decided to lead his people into war without a second thought? Couldn’t they have found a better way out and prevail on the 30 something year old general/leader to stop beating the drums of war? After all Gowon reportedly wanted all northern officers and men in the Nigerian army to return to the north in the aftermath of the first military coup, but was prevailed upon not to make that move. Today the northerners are the better for it while the Igbos are still being punished by the Nigerian state for daring to go to war against the state. This is the truth, the tokenism of high level appointments here and there for Igbos by the Federal Government notwithstanding. This is unfair to our brothers across the Niger. The war has ended and now that the symbol of Biafra has gone the only thing we as a people and nation can do to appease his soul is to embark on true reconciliation, rehabilitation, reintegration and reconstruction of Igbo land and people as promised then by Gowon. Let’s begin with an Igbo presidency. Ojukwu would be happy in his grave. Good night Ikemba. You fought a good fight. We’ll never forget you.



Daniel and Afenifere leaders: matters arising

IGERIA today no doubt is at crossroads and many citizens at home and abroad are looking for credible voices that can chart the cause for a truly great nation. With the orgy of violent attacks and bombings which have claimed hundreds of lives and properties, coupled with the spate of kidnappings, robberies and other vices which our dear country is grappling with, it seems the nation suffers dearth of leaders who can rise to the challenge and restore sanity to the country. This penchant for compromise, and sometimes, connivance of some of our leaders are some of the things that propelled elected and public officials to shamelessly and openly rape the citizens, depriving them of their constitutional rights as well as outright stealing of their common wealth. Taking the South-west geopolitical zone as a case study, it will not be out of place to accuse those referred to as the Afenifere leaders of looking the other way when the collective mandate of the Yoruba people offered progressive politicians in the region was stolen by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2003 governorship elections, with the exception of Lagos state. Following the electoral magic that threw up PDP taskmasters as governors in the Southwest in 2003, it was frightening the manner some notable erstwhile Afenifere leaders jumped ship to partake in the reactionary political equation. The world saw an inexplicable spectacle of Afenifere leaders wearing ill-fitting progressive robes on the likes of Olusegun Agagu, Gbenga Daniel, Ayo Fayose and others. By the time the macabre dance had its curtains drawn, the hapless people of Yoruba nation have been so mindlessly robbed of their sweat that it would take a miracle for many families to ensure descent meal for their members, good qualitative education for children of school age, and adequate healthcare delivery system for all among others. The situation is so bad that present progressive governors of the region are forever scratching their head for a way out of economic depression.

By Sola Lawal No doubt, the leaders of Afenifere have in the last 11 years not lived up to the expectation of the founders of the group in the pre-independent era. In the forefront of the struggle for independent was Chief Obafemi Awolowo who evolved a formidable South-west dominated political party, the Action Group (AG). And for the purpose of helping the Yoruba people identify with AG through a familiar local symbol, the Afenifere identity was born. Right from inception, from Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s leadership of Afenifere, through Late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin era to late Senator Abraham Adesanya’s tenure, Afenifere has given a good account of itself as the defender of the defenseless, voice of the voiceless and protector of Yoruba people’s core values of dignity, honesty, selflessness and courage. But alas, the demise of Adesanya has opened a floodgate of charlatans as leaders of Afenifere. So much so that younger elements of the group thought enough was indeed a enough and hence the formation of Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG). If anyone had thought that these Afenifere leaders had learnt anything from their misadventure with PDP in the past, their recent visit to Ex-Governor Gbenga Daniel following his detention and current trial by the Nigerian anti-graft agency put a lie to that. The ill-fated visit led by led by Chief Reuben Fasoranti had Chiefs Ayo Adebanjo and Olaniwun Ajayi among participants. Going by the old time-tested Yoruba tradition and values, the venue of the visit of these leaders to Daniel-Asoludero mansion in Shagamu- should have been a no-go area to credible Yoruba leaders because the land on which the mansion stands had already been declared stolen by the former governor from the people. In other words, these Afenifere leaders visited Daniel in an alleged stolen property of the people. It is worrisome that these same leaders did not deem it necessary to visit erstwhile Governor of Lagos state and national leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who is also a front-

line Yoruba leader and high profile activist of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) which championed the fall of the military governments of Babangida and Abacha when he was recently a victim of a politically motivated trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal for operating dormant foreign accounts while in office. It will be recalled that similar misjudgment caused factionalization of Afenifere and its erstwhile political baby, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) when, in the aftermath of the emergence of Chief Bisi Akande and Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa as factional leaders of AD, the leaders hastily recognized the latter as authentic chairman. On October 19, 2004 Daniel had accused Osoba of masterminding the attack of some students against himself and his wife at Ilaro with the aim of killing them, an allegation which resulted in the brief detention of Osoba by the Police which released him on a bond N500 million. The Afenifere leaders did not think it was necessary then to go on a fact-finding mission to Osoba. Similarly, these leaders of Afenifere did not deem it fit to seek for facts when Daniel as governor of Ogun State, instigated the arrest and trial of the Ogun State Governorship candidate of the ACN, the late Otunba Dipo Dina and I in 2006 on a trump-up charge of voucher theft. Fasoranti and his team fraudulently claimed, in apparent struggle to launder the image of Daniel, that Daniel as governor was good to party members. Nothing can be more contestable. Daniel might be good to certain leaders of Afenifere who possible benefited immensely from his patronage but to the generality of progressives, he was an incurable enemy as governor. A case in point is the 2004 hounding into detention of some young progressive youths who were arrested and caused to be rusticated from the University of Ado-Ekiti by Daniel for protesting the irregular conduct of the Local Government elections in the Waterside area of the Ogun state in that year. As if this is not enough assault on the Yorubas, these Afenifere leaders have launched an onslaught against some prominent kinsmen with

the aim of making them drown with their man. To add insult to injury, the leaders rationalized their self-serving mission by claiming that Daniel is an Afenifere member who is merely being persecuted. Cheekily, Chief Fasoranti in a recent newspaper interview went on to claim that former governor of Ogun State and a stalwart of Afenifere, Chief Olusegun Osoba indeed forced Daniel out of the Afenifere fold over “some issues”. Fasoranti could not have gotten this right as it is on record that Daniel’s private company, Krastal Laurel, enjoyed government patronage during the tenure of Osoba. A serious security project like the installation of the lift in the Government House as well as contract for the supply of power generating sets to the governor’s office and the OPIC Plaza in Lagos were some of the contracts given out to the firm. Rather than add to the pain brought on the people of the South-west by the immediate past PDP governors, these Afenifere leaders should not only join hands in the attempts to reclaim the wealth of the zone frittered in the last 11 years but also with sound moral and wise counsel pilot the current dynamic and promising ACN governors who have demonstrated that with the scare resources available to them, they are capable of restoring the lost glory of the South-west. • Lawal was special assistant to the late Afenifere leader, Senator Abraham Adesanya

‘Rather than add to the pain brought on the people of the South-west by the immediate past PDP governors, these Afenifere leaders should not only join hands in the attempts to reclaim the wealth of the zone frittered in the last 11 years but also with sound moral and wise counsel, pilot the current dynamic and promising ACN governors’








West Brom leads Nwosu wants a hungrier Dream race for Onuoha Team V against Senegal


ANCHESTER City defender, Nedum Onuoha is a top target for West Bromwich Albion. The Mirror says West Brom boss, Roy Hodgson is keen to strengthen his defensive options and City’s Onuoha is a loan target. Onuoha is also wanted by Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and QPR.


ORMER Green Eagles player, Henry Nwosu has tasked players of the Dream Team V to put the 01 lost to Morocco behind them and come out more energized as they entertain the Junior Teranga Lions of Senegal today in the CAF Under-23 Championships in Morocco.

A/Ibom commissioner lauds Mobil on Schools’ Athletics


OR sustaining track and field competition in schools and colleges for 10 consecutive years, Mobil Producing Nigeria, operators of the NNPC/MPN Joint Venture have been commended by the Akwa Ibom State government. At a press function put together to discuss this year’s competition scheduled for December 9 and 10 at the Eket Stadium, Sports Commissioner, Oyong Asuquo said he was delighted, over the programme especially the, catch them young, syndrome, which is the future of our sports. “ This time last year, we told you how proud we were to partner with a good corporate citizen that had decided to give back to the community in which it operates. “This year, we are gladly back to be part of the continuation of that sponsorship after a decade of catching them young. For us in Akwa Ibom, this is a concept after our heart, given the resolve that we must endeavour to put a machinery in motion to help replace the fading stars of our sports. “This determination was clearly manifested during, the 17th National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt when a young Akwa Ibom State contingent stunned the whole country by placing eight overall despite the presence of the so called heavyweights of our sports. .” Our confidence,hope and aspiration is built on the presence of athletes like Wisdom Benjamin, who was discovered during the Mobil Schools Championship, and who by being introduced in Port Harcourt will be ready to explode in the next two years. “The Ministry of Youth and Sports is therefore resolved to continue to show great interest in this grass roots and developmental championship that will guarantee the return to the days of Utit Ofon Nkanta, nee Ukoh, Ekong Okpon, Eno Smart Ekpo and other renowned national athletes that this great state of ours had produced.


From Tunde Liadi, Owerri Nwosu, while giving his analysis of the teams undoing in the opening match stated that the players lost out to stage fright owing to lack of high profile friendly matches enroute the Olympics qualifiers. He, however, beleives a hungrier and more composed Dream Team V will take Senegal to the cleaners and revive their Olympics dream in today’s all-important tie in Tangier. He said: “I didn’t watch the match but feelers gotten from those that watched it showed that the players experienced stage fright and lost their composure because of the nature of the match. I still believe that all hope is not lost. I think they will beat Senegal and try to salvage something against Algeria in order to qualify for the semi final. They need our prayers and I believe they can still do it.” Three qualifying tickets to the Olympics in London next year are up for grabs at the end of the championship while another may also be added if the fourth placed team cross a playoff hurdle. Dream Team 1V got a silver medal at the last Olympics in 2008 in Beiljing, China.

Go for victory, Glo urges Dream Team T ELECOMMUNICATION giant, Globacom, sponsors of the National teams has called on the National under - 23 team (Dream team V) to work assiduously towards winning the remaining two group matches at the ongoing CAF U-23 Championship in Morocco. Globacom in a statement in Lagos yesterday advised the lads to forget the loss to Morocco in the opening match and concentrate on the remaining encounters against Senegal and Algeria in Tangier and Marrakech respectively. The Nigerian team lost 0-1 to hosts Morocco in the opening match on Saturday. The organisation exhorted them to play as a team, tackling each successive match with determination to win and with focus on the final berth. Globacom also appealed to the Technical crew of the team to go for the fittest players in their selections in order to ensure that the team wins the next match, which according to the company will motivate them to go far in the

competition. The Dream Team are playing in Group A along with Morocco, Senegal and Algeria in the 1st edition of CAF U-23 Championship holding in Morocco between 26th November and 10th December, 2011. The top three teams in the competition will represent Africa at the football event of 2012 Olympics in London. Globacom then assured the team in its capacity as the major partner of NFF and official sponsor of the National teams that the company will continue to sponsor and encourage the national teams in their quest to win laurels for Nigeria in world football.


Hapoel stops Nosa Igiebor

Dream Team vows T to fight back

•Udoh resumes training •Players promise victory


IGERIA’s Dream Team have vowed to bounce back in the 2012 Olympic qualifiers against Senegal after they lost their opening game to hosts Morocco. Tuesday’s late night match-up is a must-win for both teams after Senegal also lost 1-0 to Algeria in their first game in Group A. The Dream Team V lost to a 28th minute penalty by Abdelaziz Barrada after Emmanuel Anyanwu upended Soufiane Bidaoui inside the box. And Kingsley Udoh remarked later: “To lose this match was very painful and heartbreaking because we let Nigerians down. But we believe that since it’s the first game we lost, we can prepare for the second game against Senegal and cross the hurdle ahead. “What I would tell Nigerians is to keep praying for the team and I’m very sure we will not let them down against Senegal.” “We will go all out to win this game,” added goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye, one of the few players to come out of the Morocco defeat with their reputation intact Coach Austin Eguavoen has equally remained upbeat despite the setback against Morocco. “We knew from the onset that it was going to be a difficult game against the host nation. We were unlucky but that’s football for you. All we have to do now is put this game behind us and begin to prepare for the games ahead,” stated Eguavoen, who has now been ordered to work with Eagles’ coach Stephen Keshi. “I have to start working on the

psychology of my players; to put them in the right frame of mind for the game against Senegal. But one thing I’m confident about is that we will pick a ticket for the Olympics,” Eguavoen reckons. Senegal are a largely unknown quantity but captained by Stephane Badji they were outplayed by Algeria in their first game in Morocco and should have lost by a bigger margin but for the poor finishing of Algeria skipper Mohamed Chalali.

A pointer to how much Algeria dominated was that goalkeeper Ousmane Mane was outstanding for the West Africans as he was forced to pull off several saves to keep his team in the game. As part of their build-up to this tournament the late arrival to Morocco drew twice with their Egyptian counterparts in Cairo. Coach Abdoulaye Sarr is in Morocco without three of his foreign-based pros who were not released by their clubs.

HE President of Hapoel Tel Aviv Football Club of Israel, Hapoel Ussishkin has officially stopped the release of their Nigerian import, Nosa Igiebor to play for the country in the ongoing London Olympic qualifiers in Morocco. NationSport gathered that efforts made by the officials of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to secure the release of the player hit the breaks, as Ussishkin turned down the request laying to rest the speculations that the midfielder may join the Dream Team V against the Teranga Lions today. Meanwhile, injured defender Kingsley Udoh has started training with the rest of the team and is really working hard to fit into the coaches’ strategy to win the match against Senegal. But from all indications, Udoh

Chukwu backs Aiyegbeni’s return



HRISTIAN Chukwu believes the planned return of Blackburn Rovers' striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni to the Super

Eagles is in order. Nigeria head coach, Stephen Keshi had hinted earlier this month that he is ready to hand Yakubu, 29, a recall to the team after over 12 month of absence. And Chukwu, a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee said Keshi can go ahead with his plans since he is in charge of the team. He said: "The truth about this is that Stephen Keshi is the coach of the team. If he wants to call up Yakubu Aiyegbeni I don't think that should generate this kind of debate because he feels Yakubu deserves to be part of the team. "Apart from that when you look at our players abroad, Yakubu has done well this season and without sentiments any coach will give him the chance to play for the national team based on his current form. Right now he's one of our best performing players."

Chukwu, a former Nigerian captain, added that rebuilding a team does not "necessarily mean inviting new players entirely." "When people talk about rebuilding a team you can't start inviting new players for every position because it does not necessarily mean inviting new players entirely. Instead you look at players that suit the kind of style you want to play and bring the kind of players that suit that style as a coach. "Every coach will come with their own approach, and you can't fault them until when the results come," the former Enugu Rangers' defender told Keshi's plan to recall Yakubu has attracted comments of mixed reactions following the striker's unforgettable miss at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa against South Korea.

From Florence Nkem Israel, Port Harcourt honours in the African Junior Swimming Championship would be subjected to doping tests. This was hinted by the Chairman of the Main Organising Committee (MOC), Chief Fashina Thomas, at the MOC meeting in Port Harcourt over the weekend. He said the swimmers would be randomly picked for doping tests, under the Anti-Doping Agency Law of the international body, FINA. Chief Thomas revealed that Dr Nwachukwu of Rivers State Ministry of Health and a member of the African swimming body, CANA has been commissioned to handle the doping exercise. Also, Two ambulances have been acquired from the Ministry of Health and the State Teaching Hospital as the official medical facility for any emergency, during the four day tournament. The MOC chairman, Chief Fashina thanked the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi, who he said saved the face of Nigeria by accepting to host the African Junior Swimming Championship.

Tunisian referee for Senegal vs Nigeria


UNISIAN referee, Jedidi Slim will be in the centre when Nigeria takes on Senegal on Tuesday, in a must win game inside the Grand stade de Tangier. The Dream team V, after falling to host nation, Morocco on Saturday need to post victory, today to keep London 2012 Olympic qualification hopes alive for the country. Tunisian Slim, will be assisted by Jason Damoo (Seychelles) and Hmila Anouar (Tunisia). The Man, who was in the centre when Nigeria lost to Morocco, Kirwa Sylvester (Kenya) is the reserve referee for the Match. Nigeria will file out in all green and Senegal in all white. The Match Kicks off by 8.30GMT, 9.30pm Nigeria Time.

Mikel, Yak eye semi-final tickets


IGERIA duo of Mikel Obi of Chelsea and Yakubu Aiyegbeni of Blackburn will set their sights on the semi-final slot of the English Carling Cup tonight. Chelsea will be at home to Liverpool for the second time in nine days, hoping to avenge the disappointing 2-1 defeat in which Glen Johnson’s late strike sealed three points for the Reds from Merseyside. This game has cup progress, rather than points, riding on it and it is of course extremely likely that both club’s will field fairly different line-ups in aiming to reach the semi finals of the Carling Cup, which is of course wholly looked up as the fourth and least most important competition. Kenny Dalglish was even seen advising Liverpool fans not to travel to the Bridge and has promised to put out a weakened side, mainly in protest at how the game will be played little over 48 hours after their important Premiership clash at home to runaway leaders Man City, a game in which they drew 1-1. For Mikel who was missing in the match against Liverpool may have the opportunity of proving to manager Villa-Boas that he can still be relied on to man the Chesea midfield. Smarting from last Saturday's 3-1 defeat

•Win $50, 000.00 each THIOPIAN athletes were the cynosure of all eyes at the 2011 Obudu Mountain race yesterday in Cross River State, Nigeria, dominating both the male and female categories. In the men’s event, Ethiopia’s Mesfin Hunegnaew was $50,000 richer when he beat other contestants, recording a time of 41:50mins in this year’s edition of the Obudu Mountain race to emerge as overall winner. Following closely in second and third place were Mesfin’s compatriots, Tesfaye Tsegay, who ran a time of 42.12mins and


•Dream Team V in training ahead of Senegal clash


Ethiopia’s Hunegnaew, Yalew emerge winners


IGERIA Premier League top scorer, Jude Aneke says he is hoping for a better outing when Nigeria squares up to Senegal in its second group game of the ongoing Africa Under-23 Championship holding in Morooco. Aneke saw 90 minutes of action in the Olympic Eagles first group game against Morocco but was unable to post a shot on target for the Dream Team V. “We are expecting to play a crucial match against Senegal on Tuesday, so hopefully I will try to do my best” he said. He added that “hopefully the connections will be right from the midfield to the attack, from the wings to the attack and hopefully by the special grace of God, we are going to win on Tuesday (today).” Kingsley Udoh, still remains a doubt for the game against Senegal but the Olympic Eagles medical team are upbeat that the rock solid defender would make the cut for the game. “Udoh’s situation is fast improving. As at noon he has gone way above 50% chance of featuring in Tuesday’s game. So let’s all just stay positive, but remember his selection for the game will be at the chief coach’s discretion.” stated team doctor, Samuel Ogbondeminu.

by Stoke, Aiyegbeni and his teammates will aim to lift Blackburn to the semifinal of the Cup at the Cardiff City Stadium against Cardiff City. With speculations of his return to the Super Eagles’ fold still making the rounds in Nigeria, Yakubu will be gunning to consolidate on his splendid performance so far for Blackburn tonight.


Aneke upbeat against Senegal

S/Africa, Namibia arrive Port Harcourt


may only be fit enough for the final group match against Algeria. In the same vein, players of the Olympic Eagles have begged Nigerians for the loss against Morocco, while promising a better outing today against Senegal in second Group A fixtures.

•Jedidi Slim

AFRICA JUNIOR SWIMMING TOURNEY OUTH AFRICA and Namibia are the first two countries to arrive Port Harcourt for the African Junior Swimming Championship which kicks off on December 1 in the Garden City. According to Chairman, technical Committee, CANA, Captain Olugbenga Lawal, South Africa flew in 28 swimmers and nine officials, while Namibia has eight swimmers and two officials. He also noted that, four parents accompanied their children from South Africa. Meanwhile, about 55 officials are being expected to take part in the four-day championship and according to Capt Lawal, eight officials from CANA member countries, eight Technical Committee members from Nigeria, six National officials from outside Port Harcourt are expected to handle the competition while the rest officials would come from within Port Harcourt and its environs. The CANA officials and the Nigerian officials are expected in Port Harcourt on Monday. He added that, the bulk of Nigerian officials, who attended the FINA officiating school, Abuja, last month would also be used for the swimming championship. Meanwhile, Swimmers vying for

From Ade Ojeikere, Morocco


•1st Men Mesfin Hunegnaew of Ethiopia

From Stella Bamawo, Obudu Molalign Beke posted a time 42;30, mins. While Tsegay carted home $20,000, Beke was $9,000 richer. In the women’s catehory, Ethiopia’s Ganet Yalew ran a time of 48:45mins to place first, smilling home with $50,000. Yimer wude(49:10) of Ethiopia also cartered home a cash prize of $20,000 after placing second while Kenya’s Wangari Margaret(49:52mins) was 3rd. It could be recalled that the Obudu mountain race was conceived as one of the vehicles to drive world attention to one of the finest tourist destination in the world.



Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Website:-

* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes *Real Estate


Plaza of comfort, work Victoria Island is fast confirming her place in real estate development, in terms of style and innovation. It provides the best of residential and office spaces to a sophisticated class. The Victoria Mall Plaza 2 (VMP2) on Bishop Aboyade Cole Street contributes to the rich portfolio of real estate development in the area. The plaza combines space and comfort. It is promoted by UACN Property Development Company Plc (UPDC) on a fiveyear lease agreement with KPMG. OKWY IROEGBU reports.

•Victoria Mall Plaza 2



• Declare emergency on roads, Jonathan advised - PAGE 26

•‘Environmental degradation •Fashola decries menace of poses challenge’ tanker drivers, okada - PAGE 39

- PAGE 40




Declare emergency on roads, Jonathan advised From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


HE parlous state of roads requires an emergency solution, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has said. Chairman, Kwara State branch of the NSE, Kamil Olalekan, disclosed this to reporters in Ilorin, the state capital, as part of activities to mark this year’s engineering week. He added that the dilapidation of the roads had impacted negatively on the socio-economic wellbeing of the country. The theme of the week is Engineering infrastructure: Tool for consolidating good governance. His words: “Nigeria is at crossroads when virtually nothing is working. Talk of roads; our roads have become death traps where scores of lives are annihilated every day because the roads are in dilapidated condition. “Some of the roads have outlived their existence and are due for rehabilitation and reconstruction. The progress and development of any country is premised on its investment on infrastructural projects that would better the lot of the common man. “This is not a privilege, but a right that every citizen must enjoy. As Nigerians, we must have access to motorable roads, elec-

tricity, shelter, potable water supply. “This is what the government exists to do. In all these, engineers have a great role to play in ensuring that projects are accurately designed and constructed in line with specifications and best standards.” The engineer added that the failure by President Goodluck Jonathan to address infrastructural challenges facing the nation would make nonsense of his much-trumpeted transformation agenda. He said: “The singsong of the present administration in the country is transformation. This transformation agenda will make no sense if the government fails to address the infrastructural challenges by providing the basic amenities that will make life meaningful for the ordinary man on the street. “It is unfortunate that despite the huge investments on this sector by successive administrations, the situation of electricity has remained the same and the swansong of darkness unchanged the overnment must wake up to change the status quo to save the country from the present precipice. “Nigerians have continued to

•A bad portion on Benin-Ore Road

groan and grumble over the pervasive darkness in the country.

This is due to poor electricity generation and distribution, which has

‘Nigeria is at a crossroads when virtually nothing is working. Talk of roads; our roads have become death traps where scores of lives are annihilated every day because the roads are in dilapidated condition’

also resulted in the skyrocketing of unemployment rate in the country. “There has been mass exodus of companies, which ought to have relieved the government in terms of providing employment for the teeming unemployed youths.” The NSE chair charged government at all levels to judiciously use their allocations to tackle infrastructure decay in their domains.

Plaza of comfort, work •Continued from Page 25

ICTORIA Mall Plaza 2 is a premium office space sitting on a land area of almost 3,000 square metres. It comprises 15 floors with a gross floor area of about 16,000 square metres and lettable space of about 7,500 square metres, in the upscale Bishop Aboyade Cole Street in Victoria Island, Lagos. The Nation learnt that UACN Property Development Company (UPDC), promoters of the edifice, has entered into a lease agreement with KPMG for five years and that 54 per cent of circulation and service space defines the premium the promoters of the plaza places on effective space distribution for their clientele. Speaking at the inauguration of the building last week, the Managing Director of UPDC, Mr Hakeem Ogunniran, said the building not only re-affirms UPDC’s position in the sector, but also demonstrates a commitment to providing comfortable and modern office accommodation and development in the country. He said: “In keeping with our mission of creating comfortable living and work environment for our customers, we set out to develop this contemporary office complex in September 2009 with planned project duration of 24 months. Gladly, we achieved the projected completion schedule within budget.” On the infrastructure provision, he said: “The building comes with a designed load of 1665KVA, however, two numbers 1000 KVA caterpillar sound proofed generator with a total load output of over 2150KW. It is important to also note that this capacity is expandable as there are infrastructure to accommodate additional load requirements of our tenants.” Others are a water treatment plant with a capacity for producing 10 cubic metres of water per hour, a sewage treatment plant with capacity for processing 42 cubic metres


of solid and liquid wastes per day, PABX , card key and access control system, close circuit cameras for enhanced security, water sprinklers in addition to smoke detectors on all floors of the building. He stressed that UPDC builds for sustainable value. Underscoring the need for the curtain wall made from pastel green powder and green reflective glass, Ogunniran said it is indicative of the company’s resolve to ensure energy preservation in tandem with the company’s’ green’ initiative. However, he urged the government to reconstruct the road, noting that as good corporate citizens, the company has also fulfilled its obligation to the government and the society at large. Chairman, UPDC, Mr Larry Ettah, said the VMP was conceived as a four-phase project comprising residences, offices, shopping mall, multi-level car and a nine-floor multi-level commercial car park. He revealed that when fully completed, the facility will be an integrated facility for work, play and activities similar to such found in major cities of the world. We are convinced that VMP will change not only the landscape of Victoria Island, but also that of Lagos in general, he said. Ettah observed that it was gratifying to note that his company has maintained less than one per cent void in all their properties. He also commended KPMG for the lease of the building for five years. He urged the Lagos State Government to explore site and services scheme with them, envisaging that it would be mutually rewarding, especially in view of the mega city status of the state and the fact that UPDC has established itself as a reliable real estate developer of choice, providing best-in-class and comfortable commercial and residential properties for customers in selected product categories. The UPDC chairman also tasked the government on the construction or rehabilitation of the road where the VMP is situated in addition to other infrastructure provision.

Responding, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu, said the state government will leverage on UPDC’s success of working within budget and adherence to time schedule to bridge the huge gap in the housing sector. He commended the company for delivering on their promise as against some other developers who obtain land from the government on false pretence only to come back to ask for change of use, distorting planning regulations. She disclosed that the government has embarked on several reforms in land administration in process-

ing and turnaround time for building approvals and obtaining of titles. She assured that the administration is willing to do more, but only hamstrung by limited resources competing for multiple needs. She said the road remains top priority of the government, but had to delay a bit to allow UPDC to finish with its building construction

because of the heavy movement of trucks to avoid the road being clumsy for its users. The commissioner reiterated the government’s desire to partner with the private sector, especially those who are strategic to infrastructure development, more so when it has provided an enabling environment for them to thrive.

‘The administration is willing to do more, but only hamstrung by limited resources competing for multiple needs. The road remains top priority of the government, but had to delay a bit to allow UPDC to finish with its building construction because of the heavy movement of trucks to avoid the road being clumsy for its users’

•The just-completed Katsina State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja.




The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, stoked the fire when he spoke against plea bargain.The concept was first adopted in the Lucky Igbinedion case and the former Edo State Governor got away with a N3million fine after being convicted for abuse of office. Is plea bargaining ideal for our system? Yes , says Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN). In this interview with JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, Ozekhome spoke also on other issues.

‘Plea bargain good for our criminal justice system’

•Ozekhome (SAN)


HAT is your reaction to the position of the NBA on the removal of fuel subsidy? The NBA is not totally opposed to the removal of subsidy, in perpetuity, that is not what the NBA is saying. What then is the NBA saying? What I understood the NBA to be saying is, yes, we can remove subsidy on petroleum products but the time is not ripe for that. In other words, timing is very important. So, when will it be ripe to remove the subsidy?

In jurisdictions where subsidy is removed, the infrastructure are in good shape, hospitals are in good shape and the roads, very good. There’s water, abundant health facilities and educational opportunities. Capacity building and employment opportunities are there. But, in the case of Nigeria, the common man is already bearing the brunt of impoverishment within the society. To remove fuel subsidy now is to further impoverish that common man. Some people argue that there is no fuel subsidy, what is your take on this? The NBA agreed that there is a cartel, a

cabal that has been siphoning the so-called subsidy which has now amounted to N1.3 trillion annually; that is enough annual budget for about 15 African countries. The cabal has not been dealt with. They obtain licences to refine petroleum products, they never built refineries, they never refined any fuel because it pays them to rely on government subsidy and import fuel thus, making huge profits. So, how has the subsidy benefited the common man all these years? It has always benefited a few people and, for us to remove the subsidy now, the com-

mon man will be trampled upon. So, the NBA is saying some of infrastructural facilities should be put in place before the subsidy is removed. But people have canvassed the deregulation of the sector like telecommunication sector, what do you think about this? The removal of oil subsidy is another way of deregulating the oil and gas sector. Yes we deregulated the telecommunications sector and we are all seeing the benefits today. When only NITEL was here, we had •See page 29

•Call for enchanced women empowerment- P.32 • Rep seeks nullification of REC’s appointment - P.36






‘Plea bargain good for our criminal justice system’ •Continued from page 27

less than 30,000 lines across the country but, today, some of the service providers and individual carriers have over 5,000,000 to 15,000,000 lines. And when we started this GSM business 10-15 years ago, you had to have between N10 and N25,000 to get a SIM Card. Today, SIM Cards sell for N100. Some even beg you to take it free. This meant that when the deregulation began, it was tough. But, gradually, market forces assumed their position and the price was forced down. So, what are you saying? I believe that this is how the deregulation of the oil sector will be. The deregulation of the oil and gas sector will, again, bring prices down. Why then do we oppose it? In Nigeria, economic forces do not appear to obey or honour the Newtonian Law of motion. The law of motion propounded by Isaac Newton states that everything that goes up must come down. But, in Nigeria, when it goes up, it continues to go up, up and up. But the telecommunications industry deregulation has shown that new domain law could be broken. So, what the NBA is saying is that, we agree that the oil subsidy would be removed, but phase it in a time line of about seven years doing A, B, C and D; break the backbone of the cartel and build more refineries, remove corruption and leakages. Then begin to repair the existing refineries, licence more private people to build more refineries. After all, the Igbo were refining crude oil during the civil war. And they were using it to run their vehicles. So, what happened, 41 years after the end of the civil war in January 1970, that we cannot refine our oil. What is happening to the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) now Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)? There is a cabal of generator importers that doesn’t want PHCN to work. So that they will continue to enjoy the system. That is another sector when eventually deregulated and people build private power plants (PPP) the prices of the tariffs will come down and peak at a level. So, in all these what is your view? My argument is subsidising your products is a misnomer. A farmer does not subsidise his yam to be able to eat it. If we produce crude oil, we should be able to enjoy crude oil as a God-given gift, without having to pay the same rate which obtains internationally because it is an advantage that we have oil. We cannot live buy the river and still wash out hands with spittle.

•Ozekhome (SAN)

But, from all indications, it appears that, at the end of the day, whether today or tomorrow, or five years time, there is no way we cannot deregulate this sector of the economy because that is the norm across the world. But, first, put in place facilities that will cushion the inevitable inconveniences and suffering that will emanate from subsidy removal. The government should also ensure that corruption that has always beset the sector. Between 1981 and 1982 when I was a youth corper, I bought a small Subaru car, I was fuelling it with 20 kobo from Lagos to Agenebode. But, today, you need an average of about N10,000 to fuel the same car. The question is: Why has there been a geometrical increase in the prices of oil without a comparative geometrical increase in the comfort and living standards of the people? The debate has started; we should all participate, thank God President Goodluck Jonathan said they are putting it on hold from January 2012. Let them listen to the various debates across the polity and, at the end of the day, they will fine-tune their strategy and know what to do before they think of the removal. Plea bargain has been criticised since its emergence in our criminal justice system. What does this concept mean and how can we effectively use it to enhance justice delivery? Plea bargaining is allowed in many criminal jurisdictions across the world. There is nothing wrong in it as a concept. It is meant to save the cost of litigation, to reduce the time and pressure of litigation, to lead to quick dispensation of justice and to allow criminals who have become repentant and remorseful of their crimes to say, state, I am sorry. I have committed an offence, forgive me, let me give back to you what I have illegally enriched myself with. That is the meaning of plea bargaining. Is that all? It means, plead guilty and, in return to that, you have a consideration, a legal terminology of saying instead of giving you 19 years jail term, we now jail you for six months because you have agreed that you’re guilty, you’re sorry for your sins and have repatriated to the state and made full recompense of what you stole from the state. So, it’s not bad. But, the fear of Nigerians is that it has been used in a way that is not too wholesome where some people with criminal tendencies have ran away with a slap on their wrists. Some of them who embezzled billions of Naira may be acquiring more 50 houses in the process. Under plea bargain they say: Ok! make some frivolous returns, we give you six months or one year jail

•Ozekhome (SAN)

term, which the suspect may have served and he goes home a free man, that is what people are crying against. So, what is your view on this? I think the concept should be fine-tuned within the Nigeria milieu to make it workable. I do not totally agree with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) that it should be eliminated entirely. Even suspended sentence, which the CJN also clamours for, is another concept likely to be abused here. But, again, it has been successfully used in America. There are certain extenuating circumstances under which you committed this crime, but crime is a crime because ignorance of the law is no excuse. We are not going to put you to jail now, go home and sin no more. So, we suspend the sentence. If within the years you ought to serve the term you commit a similar offence or any other offence at all, you do not show yourself to be a good citizen, you will go to jail. The sentence is still there, it is still hanging but it has been adjourned or postponed to a future date to watch your behaviour. If it is good enough you will enjoy it, if it is not, then you’ll return to jail. That is the meaning of suspended sentence and I think that it is good for our criminal justice system because it allows total decongestion of our prisons. There are many people in our prisons who ought not to be there. We can use suspended sentences for crimes that are not felonious, simple offences. The judge can say well, go home and sin no more, but we are watching you. I think that these are concepts that can be fine-tuned and used within Nigeria’s criminal jurisprudence to make life easier for everybody, decongest our prisons, make criminals pay for their conduct. The odium of being convicted, whether they call it plea bargain or not, the truth is that under the Constitution, you are an ex-convict. So you cannot hold any public office, you go to some events people will whisper in hush tones and say that is an ex-convict. Also, the shunning by society alone is there. So, it is not a bed of roses but it does save the government and tax payers a lot of money, a lot of time, decongest prisons and make life generally better for everybody. What is your reaction to the removal of Mrs Farida Waziri as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and what type of leadership would you like to see in the commission?

The EFCC is a very good tool for anticorruption. It started very well with a good foundation. But, somewhere along the line, it started getting subverted, even under Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, before Mrs Waziri came in. It ought to have been an institution built on strong foundation to be able to tackle corruption so that even when a weak leader comes into the place, the institution itself will be self evolving and self operational. But it has not been like that. The EFCC has been approximated with the leadership so that a bad leadership gives us a bad EFCC and a good leadership gives us a good EFCC. What do you mean by this? You can deal with corruption and still allow your strategy to wear a human face. Under Farida Waziri, EFCC became more of a hideous, monstrous visage that was devilish. It was operating without the milk of human kindness.What is the effect of the non constitution and inauguration of the board of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)? Well, talk bad of General Sanni Abacha as you may, he did two good things in Nigeria. One was creating the six geo-political zones which are not constitutional creation, but which he created and upon which Nigeria has been resting its federation since Abacha died. What is the Second one? The second one is the creation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He created it. Now when you leave that board unpeopled by the necessary officers, you’re more or less saying don’t operate. I do not see why the National Assembly should not have quickly confirmed the names. The names are before them, I saw the list, it is a very salutary list. The chairman designate, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu is a young man who passed through us, myself and Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) in Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) in those days, in the 80’s and 90’s. That is a young man who has paid his dues in human rights and civil society dispensation. He knows the routes, he knows what to do to take the NHRC to a higher altitude. I advise the National Assembly to give that list approval very quickly so that we do not send wrong signals to the world that we do not want a vital organ, which is not with the government to work because of certain vested interests.





Victims seek conviction of two over alleged unlawful sale of arrested vessel


HY would a defendant in a suit dissipate the res (subject matter of a case) despite the pendency of the case? Or why would a ship owner whose ship is held down by a court order proceed to sell the ship without the consent of the court? Could there be a coincidence in the similarity between the surnames of the buyer and the lawyer representing the ship owner? These are part of the hidden issues to be unearthed when a Federal High in Lagos opens trial in a contempt proceedings initiated by some victims of the June 2006 explosion in Lagos involving a ship M/T Tutuma, against the ship and its owners. Seven out of the 24 member crew reportedly died from the explosion, which occurred on June 20, 2006 at Obat Jetty, Ibru Yard, Apapa, while others sustained various degrees of injuries. The applicants, 21 in all, led by Abdulazeez Abdulkareem, are praying the court for “An order committing Prince Akinfemiwa Akinruntan of 20B Thompson Avenue, Ikoyi and Mrs. Igbokwe of Fix Bolingo International Nigeria Limited to prison for selling and buying the M/T Tutuma” (named as the first defendant in the main suit) which was arrested and detained by virtue of a subsisting order made by Justice Ibrahim Auta. Grounds on which the relief is sought include the court’s order arresting and detaining the ship is still subsisting; the alleged contemnors, being directors/officers of the second defendants in the main suit and the buyer, willfully and with the intention of disobeying the court’s order sold the vessel fro scrapping even when the suit is still pending. They stated that the alleged contemnors despite being aware of the pendency of the suit, having been represented by Mike Igbokwe (SAN), allegedly sold a res which is under arrest, in a bid to destroy a vital evidence. The applicants, in further justifying the need for the court to grant their prayer, stated that the alleged contemnors were, at the moment, “rapidly scrapping, cutting and melting the vessel” without any permission from the court or an authorisation by the Admiralty Marshal of the Federal High Court. They contended that it was the law that a vessel under arrest and detention is firmly under the custody of the Admiralty Marshal of the court and that any attempt to remove, sell or interfere with such a vessel constitutes a gross act of contempt. Justice Auta of the Federal High Court, had on November 16, 2006 upon a motion ex-parte by the plaintiffs, made the said order for the arrest and detention of the ship pending the payment into court by the defendants, N527, 788,000 to cover the plaintiffs’ claim in the substantive suit instituted a day earlier. The intention was to prevent a possible dissipation of the res prior to the determination of the case. The plaintiffs averred in a supporting affidavit to the motion dated November 23 that aside that the defendants had allegedly refused to pay the money as ordered by the court and held down proceedings in the substantive case by filing frivolous applications, they (the defendants) sold the said ship

with gabriel AMALU

By Eric Ikhilae

on May 3, this year without the court’s consent. They further averred that the defendants allegedly sold the ship to Fix Bolingo International Nig Ltd at N20million, who initially paid with two Diamond Bank cheques issued in the name of Obat Oil and Petroleum Ltd. The plaintiffs, who exhibited copies of the cheques, alleged that to conceal his involvement in the sale of the ship, Prince Akinruntan instructed the buyer to rewrite the cheques in the name of another company – Fargo Oil and Gas Ltd, which the buyer allegedly did. Aside initiating the contempt proceedings, the plaintiffs have also, through their lawyer, Queen Ukadike, have also petitioned the Admiralty Marshal of the Federal High Court and the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), seeking punitive measures against the sellers and buyers of a ship under arrest. The plaintiffs had instituted the substantive suit numbered: FHC/L/CS/ 965/2006 owing to what the described as the defendants’ insensitivity to their plight and their refusal to compensate them, being victims of the said explosion, dependants and family members of those who died in the accident. They averred in a supporting affidavit that the explosion occurred as a result of the ship’s owner, represented by Akinruntan, to heed the advice by experts on board the ship. They stated that the ship, bearing Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) had berthed at the Obat Jetty, Ibru Yard on June16, 2006. They added that while discharging the cargo, the workers noted that a large volume of fuel had leaked into the ship’s engine room, through the cargo pump driving and the stripping pump shafts. The plaintiffs further averred that the development allegedly caused by defects in the ageing equipments of the ship and general unseaworthy state of the vessel, prompted the Engineer on board to order an immediate stoppage of all activities. They averred that Akinruntan did not only refuse advice by the Engineer on Board, Benedict Uzofo, that the leaked fuel be evacuated first before the discharge of the cargo could be recommenced, he allegedly fired him and ordered others back on board to resume the discharge. “On June 20, 2006 while the second defendants (ship owner) were (against all experts’ advice) using shore light to pump out the fuel, a spark occurred and there was a devastating explosion. The impact was so severe that everything in the carbines caved in and collapsed. “The devastating explosion caused the lives of seven of the crew men. Abdulkareem Ismial died while he was trying to escape, while John Edareno’s body was blown apart as he was running from the blast and one of his legs severed from his body. The corpses of the other five fatalities are still trapped in the vessel,” the said. They urged the court to compel the defendants to pay them N527, 788,000

A National Assembly without moral authority


•Justice Auta

being the total of unpaid salaries, allowances, entitlements and benefits, treatment and burial costs, among others. The defendants have denied any wrong doing and urged the court to dismiss the suit for being incompetent. They also queried the court’s jurisdiction to hear it, arguing that the suit is misconceived. In a statement of defence filed by their lawyer, Mike Igbokwe (SAN), the defendants averred that as against the plaintiffs’ claim, the ship was in seaworthy state as at the time of the incident. They admitted the explosion, denied responsibility and stated that it was an unavoidable accident which occurred not because of defective equipments, as alleged by the plaintiffs. They admitted that seven seamen died from the incident, but denied that their death resulted from the defendants’ negligence or the un-seaworthiness of the ship. They also denied that any of the corpses of those who perished in the explosion were still in the ship. The defendants denied that Akinrutan is not the Chairman/Managing Director of M/ T Tutuma and never ordered the workers back on board in disregard of the purported expert advice. They admitted there parties had made moves towards amicable settlement, but denied being responsible for the failure of the efforts to settle. They contended that since they were not the employers of the 13th to 21th plaintiffs, the defendants owed no duty of paying wages or compensation to them. They argued that the death did not occur as of their fault and as such could not be compelled to compensate victims’ dependants. The defendants challenged the plaintiffs’ locus standi (right to initiate the suit), arguing that they (the plaintiffs) were not the legal personal representatives of the dead crew and as such the court was incompetent to entertain the suit.

‘Seven out of the 24-member crew reportedly died from the explosion, which occurred on June 20, 2006 at Obat Jetty, Ibru Yard, Apapa, while others sustained various degrees of injuries’

UT for the fact that the national well-being is substantially in their hands, most times when the National Assembly members are exercising the powers conferred on them under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 constitution, you would think that they are no different from the great Baba Suwe in comedy. As an aside, Baba Suwe is now even greater in life for his leading role in the movie, produced by the NDLEA. For that role, the drug authority should quickly pay the renowned Yoruba actor his N25 million earnings as ordered by the court, and save that key organisation from further embarrassment and shame. It is the same money wasting comedies we see when our legislators shout themselves hoarse about how they will use their constitutional powers to arrest the minister for petroleum or other ministers of any of the choice ministries. I get the impression that the legislators are never tired of this same old worn out tactics. These movie actors are more in the House of Representatives than in the Senate. With several committees overseeing the same ministry, you hear such names as downstream, upstream or mainstream; all seeking the appearance of the minister of petroleum at the same time; as if they are contending to beholden her with anybody. When at this gyration they give the impression they are working for Nigerians, you hear such funny orders as, this is the people’s representatives, and the minister must appear before us tomorrow, and if she dose not appear, we will order her arrest, or similar hogwash. Most times I feel a sense of shame for our representatives, because they fail to disguise their business interests masquerading as national interest. Now how do you order unfailingly the appearance of the Minister or anybody for that matter as if you are a bunch of dictators? For goodness sake, even the courts usually ask a litigant or the solicitor to choose a date for appearance in courts, of course insisting on reasonable time frame. Sometimes both chambers will order the appearance of the same official at the same hour, and shortly after a comic appearance, when nothing of national significance is achieved; nothing is heard again about the problems they claim must be attended to, otherwise all hell will let loose. If our legislators must know, Nigerians are aware that they have turned oversight functions to police check points; mere opportunities to check benefits into their pockets. Otherwise how come despite all the oversight functions on the ministry of petroleum for instance, no body knows how much we have spent on the so called fuel subsidy this year; or how our turned around refineries, turn back immediately to in-operation, after billions of dollars are paid for the mere spin. Or how come even the Senate President has confirmed that many of the millennium development agencies have never submitted an audited account since the beginning of our current democratic enterprise. Indeed how come despite the huge resources expended over the years, our infrastructure is still a national shame. The reason lies in the hands of an ineffective national assembly, which has lost the moral authority to call the executive to account. It is a national assembly whose immediate past speaker, Hon. Dimeji Bankole unilaterally (well with his deputy) increased the earning of his colleagues by unconstitutional means by more than three hundred percent, in a democracy; apparently to keep the house quite. While the former speaker and his deputy is reported not to have benefitted directly from the largess, we have conveniently forgotten that the current speaker and his deputy hugely benefitted. Now who will forget hurriedly the threats by the then committee on power led by the present chairman of the committee on Health, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, during the last National Assembly? The weightiness of the threats by the then committee members for Power probe was such that we were led to believe that our problems in the power sector would be solved by their share patriotism. Savouring the cameras and media, many Nigerians were sold the dummy that our African spring was afoot, and that the humming train would crush all corrupters and corrupting agencies as the train hoots out prudence, due process and transparency. Alas, after all the grandstanding and hullabaloo, what Nigerians had was more hearth ache. DIM IKEMBA EZEGBURUGBURU-NDIGBO CHUKWUEMEKA ODUMEGWU OJUKWU (1933-2011) The iconic leader of men and women, Gen. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, joined our ancestors, last week. Unarguably, the most influential personality of the Igbo race in the 20th century, Ojukwu at death would have metamorphosed into a fearful deity, but for the influence of Christianity. Ikemba Nnewi was clearly among the pantheon of the greatest Nigerian personalities of the 20th century. His followers reverenced him, while his contemporaries and his enemies feared him. Ojukwu is what in Igbo mythology would qualify as a single three that will compare to a forest - an Iroko tree. Here is wishing Ndigbo my sincere condolences, as they seek a path in the national labyrinth. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the ACN National Leader is absolutely on target when he said that, Ojukwu’s death should remind us of the unfinished business of Nigerian federalism. Like death, a restructuring project is inevitable for Nigeria to assume its destiny in the comity of nations. The alternative is to hope that a bolekaja could through share drudgery win a motor race, just because we wish it.



LAW & DEVELOPMENT Text of the lecture delivered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, at the Fellows’ Day of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja.

Judiciary as bastion of constitutional democracy •Continued from last week

N the case of the other branches of government, this stance is consistent with the separation of powers. Besides, it is within the province of the ministries of justice and other relevant legal departments to give legal advice to the other branches of government. More importantly, the issue in respect of which legal advice is extra-judicially sought from a Judge might eventually become the subject of litigation and cause embarrassment not only to the Judge concerned, but to the entire system of administration of justice. It is not enough that the Judge in question declines to handle the case because of his/her prior advice. The mere idea of Judges cuddling with the functionaries of the other branches of government, other than in connection with judicial matters, raises suspicion of impropriety. I must not be misunderstood as saying that the judiciary should antagonise the other branches of the government. On the contary Chief Henry Frankfurter’s regular morning walking companion, told the Senate that the “intimate and notorious friendship” of the President and the Justice “did harm to the public reputation of both the Court and the Justice.” According to Acheson, while he could vouch that Justice Frankfurter was not in the President’s pocket, “I cannot expect those who did not know him to share this opinion”. As Chief Justice Jay of the United States pointed out as far back as 1793: “These being in certain respects checks upon each other, and our being Judges of a Court in the last resort, are considerations which afford strong arguments against the propriety of our extra-judicially deciding the questions alluded to, especially as the power given by the Constitution to the President, of calling on the heads of department for opinions, seems to have been purposely as well as expressly united in the Executive departments. We exceedingly regret every event that may cause embarrassment to your Administration, but we derive consolation from the reflection that your judgment will discern what is right, and that your usual prudence, decision and firmness will surmount every obstacle to the preservation of the rights, peace, and dignity of the United States. “ I warmly commend this wise counsel to all Judges, especially heads of courts. In keeping faith with my commitment at the commencement of the new Legal Year to reposition the Nigerian judiciary for optimal performance, I have constituted a Judicial Reform Committee, convened a Stakeholders Forum and engaged a renowned international judicial reform consultancy firm to painstakingly x-ray the judiciary and propose innovative ways through which to strengthen its capacity to optimally respond to the yearnings of the “consumers” of justice. I have further mandated the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Nigerian Law Reform Commission to, in furtherance of their mandate, beam their searchlight in this direction. Without prejudging the outcome of these initiatives, permit me to lay out a broad outline of some proposals which I, in consultation with my colleagues, have put together towards bolstering the capacity of the bastion of constitutional democracy to discharge its mandate in a manner that is credible and consistent with democratic ethos. We envision a judicial system that is simple, fast, efficient and responsive to the needs and yearnings of the citizenry. In this respect, we shall ensure full computerisation of our operations. The benefits of computerisation and online access are, of course, obvious. In specific terms, it will, inter alia: •Ensure efficient and speedy processing of court documents; ·•Make it possible for court processes to be filed electronically (e-filing) thereby saving valuable time; •Simplify and fast-track case management; •Fast-track compilation (and transmission) of records of proceedings and other vital documents; •Make it possible for a Judge, with the click of a mouse, to find out if new pro-


cesses have been filed and give appropriate directions; •Enable court registries to post decisions of the courts and other relevant information online; •Enable Judges, litigants, lawyers, researchers and the general public to have easy access to online legal databases; •Enable court registries to devise electronic mailing lists through which the larger society is kept abreast, through alerts, of current judicial developments; •Provide a veritable platform for networking; •Engender an informal system of peer review of judicial decisions, given that judges of comparable standing in other jurisdictions can access our judgments; and •Provide a platform for comparative jurisprudence. We are conscious of the fact that this will require revision of some of the Rules of Court and we are determined to expedite action on this. We are also conscious of the fact that we need to build our own capacity and the capacity of our support staff in ICT, in order to leverage the infinite possibilities of the InfoTech Age. We further enjoin the political branches of government to address the parlous state of our infrastructure, especially the power sector, to enable us fully realise the goal of our computerization initiative. As I stated on other occasions recently, we advocate for an amendment of section 233(2) of the Constitution to compulsorily require leave of the Supreme Court before an appeal may lie from decisions of the Court of Appeal. This will engender a filtering mechanism that ensures that frivolous appeals do not continue to clog our cause list and thereby cause undue delays and backlogs. The statistics are staggering: During the 2010-2011 Legal Year alone, the Supreme Court disposed of 163 cases, consisting of 78 judgments and 85 motions. However, 1,149 civil appeals, 58 criminal appeals and 177 motions are still pending before us. It is clear that given current realities, even if we have a full constitutional complement of 21 Justices of the Supreme Court, it will certainly take several years before we clear the backlog. In the light of this, a situation where most of the appeals that come before us beg for the determination of settled issues that do not provide reasonable grounds to support a departure from well established principles is clearly untenable and unsustainable. Again, on the appointment of Judges, we are also of the respectful view that there is considerable merit in the call to diversify the pool from which judicial appointments to superior courts are made. We are concerned by the declining intellectual depth and overall quality of the judgments of some of our Judges as well as the frequency with which some Judges churn out conflicting decisions in respect of the same set of facts. A wider diversity of experience will undoubtedly add quality to judicial deliberation in our courts. We enjoin the Judicial Reform Committee, and the other bodies which we have empanelled, to devise objective and transparent criteria for the actualization of this objective. In the meantime, I assure you that under my watch, we will subject the process of appointment and elevation of Judges to the highest standards of probity, accountability and transparency. Consequently, only paragons of integrity, the best and the brightest will be appointed and elevated under my watch. Ethics is at the heart of probity at the Bench. In view of the fact that today’s Judges were yesterday’s lawyers, I urge the faculties of law and the Nigerian Law School to pay greater attention to ethics in preparing new entrants into the legal profession. Similarly, the Nigerian Bar Association should ensure that the Rules of Professional Ethics in the legal profession are strictly adhered to by all lawyers. We shall also introduce “Intelligent Performance Measurement Systems” for both judicial and non-judicial staff to weed out those who are unproductive. As part of the efforts towards engendering integrity and transparency on the part of Judges, we propose that Judges who have held office for

‘We shall also introduce “Intelligent Performance Measurement Systems” for both judicial and nonjudicial staff to weed out those who are unproductive. As part of the efforts towards engendering integrity and transparency on the part of Judges, we propose that Judges who have held office for at least 12 years and retired as prescribed by the Constitution should be entitled to pension for life at a rate equivalent to the annual salary of the incumbents of their respective offices’ • Justice Musdapher

at least 12 years and retired as prescribed by the Constitution should be entitled to pension for life at a rate equivalent to the annual salary of the incumbents of their respective offices. With a view to reinforcing the framework for capacity building, the National Judicial Institute and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies should intensify efforts at building the capacity of judicial officers and their support staff. We shall, by way of strategic planning, put in place a National Judicial Policy and Development Plan, after a thorough SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and bolstered by a robust M & E (Monitoring and Evaluation) Mechanism. The Bar and the Bench are partners in progress. We, therefore, look forward to constructive, mutually reinforcing and productive engagement with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other stakeholders in the justice sector to actualize our reform agenda. We shall sustain and raise the bar of our collaboration with international organisations, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime control, especially in the area of strengthening judicial integrity and capacity building. We further enjoin the Judicial Reform Committee, and the other bodies which we have empanelled, to explore the following issues: •How best can we fortify the independence of the judiciary?; •How best can we insulate Judges from political manipulation and control?; •Should serving Judges continue to undertake ad hoc assignments, such as election petition cases? What are its implications for delays in handling regular cases? Will such assignments make them vulnerable to corrupt practices?; •In addition to the measures we have proposed above, how best can we fast track justice delivery?; •In the absence of infirmity of the body or mind, should Justices of the Nigerian Supreme Court, as is the case with, for instance, Justices of the US Supreme Court, hold office for life? •How best can we strengthen the mechanisms for disciplining erring Judges?; •The propriety of introducing the American-style system of judicial clerkship into our judicial system; •The propriety of establishing a Constitutional Court. In exploring these issues, it is advisable

to also consider the report of the Hon. Justice Kayode Eso-led Judicial Panel on the Reform/Reorganisation of the Judiciary, 1994. However, I am confident that at the end of our reform agenda, we shall hold our heads high, reinforce and justify the view that: The judiciary is the mighty fortress against tyrannous and oppressive laws…The importance of the judiciary cannot therefore be overestimated…It is not an overstatement to assert that an independent Judiciary is the greatest asset of a free people. The judiciary by the nature of its function and role is the citizen’s last line of defence in a free society, that is, the line separating constitutionalism from totalitarianism. 21 •I must reemphasise the urgent need to address the speed of justice dispensation and the backlog of cases pending in our various courts. This is a cardinal aspect of the ongoing reform programme. •It is safe to assume that the demands on the justice system are bound to increase, due to increasing enlightenment and education, complexity of transactions, population growth, etc. We must, therefore, embark upon reforms that address not only the present problems but also rollout the infrastructure that would enable us cope with foreseeable future challenges. •The solution does not require reinventing the wheel. Not long ago, making a simple phone call in this country was a big undertaking. Making an international call required physically going to the telephone company and queuing up to make the call. That was when only a few had access to phones and yet the process was extremely cumbersome, inefficient and ineffective. Today, exponentially much more citizens have access to effective and efficient telephony. We may also recall the long queues in banking halls across the country, just to withdraw a small sum of money. No one now needs to even visit the bank for small withdrawals. Deployment of appropriate technology was the solution. Courts can do the same and obtain similar results. Appropriate technology will enable our courts render speedier and more effective and efficient justice. In order to get a clear perspective, permit me to look at another country of comparable population and perhaps complexity too, Brazil, with approximately 190 million inhabitants, had 85.6 million lawsuits pending 2010. Approximately 20.6 million new cases are filed yearly. In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, 1.5 million new cases were filed in the year 2008, a proportion of 14 new cases per 100 inhabitants. •To be continued




Forum seeks sustained fight for women empowerment T HERE is hardly any profession today where female participation is prohibited. But be that as it may, the glass ceiling inhibiting her rise to the highest level of her career like her male counterpart is yet to be totally shattered. Today, appointment to companies’ boards is still mostly skewed to favour the male gender. Is the total elimination of gender discrimination possible? How can the success recorded so far in the fight to eliminate all forms of decimations against women be sustained and improved upon? These were issues that dominated presentations last week in Lagos at the opening session of the 34th Convention of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), held under the theme: “Women through the ages and sustainable empowerment.” Speakers agreed that a remarkable achievement has been made in the struggle to eliminate all forms of discrimination against the female sex. They however noted the need for a concerted and sustained efforts to ensure a world blind to any forms of discrimination against the woman. Speakers include Prof Chidi Odinkalu of the Open Society Initiative (OPI); Governor Raji Fashola (SAN); of Lagos State, President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Joseph Daudu (SAN), FIDA’s President, Mrs. Stella Obiageli Ugboma and Mrs. Folake Solanke (SAN). Mrs. Ugboma acknowledged the successes recorded so far in the gender equity struggle. She, however, lamented that despite the achievement, there is still victimisation against women. She identified the various forms that victimization against the female sex has assumed to include domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment and exploitation among others. The FIDA President, who urged other female lawyers to support every effort against victimization against women, wondered why there were few women on companies’ boards. “FIDA members should fight for the right of women and act as their hope,” she said. Odinkalu, who acted as the keynote speaker, sought enhanced effort at curbing the rising cases of domestic violence in the country. He called for the criminalising of such acts, noting that it was only few states that have enacted laws directed at punishing culprits. Odinkalu, who stressed the need for such offences to be taken seriously said domestic violence and related crimes could only be curbed if existing laws are made to bite. He noted the progress made globally in the struggle against gender discrimination, citing examples of how women, through persistent push and determination, were able to assert their rights and demolish discriminatory practices against women. Deploring the continued existence of

By Eric Ikhilae

laws that promote discrimination against women, Odinkalu cited a provision in the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Establishment Act, seeking to regulate the right of female staff to marry and enter relationship. He also deplored government’s policies that seek to single out female gender related issues for attention rather than addressing issues that affect every member of the society. Odinkalu queried the rationale behind the establishment of the Ministry for Women Affairs, a development, he said, creates an impression that the women folks are segregated from the society. He called for prompt disposal of cases bordering on rights abuses and the creation of capable human rights institutions to always work and help victims access remedies and redress. Mrs. Solanke, first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), expressed reservation over the said discriminatory provision in the NDLEA Act. She urged FIDA members to study the law and seek ways of ensuring that it is “knocked down.” She also frowned at the establishment of a separate ministry for women, noting that such practice is discriminatory in nature. Daudu urged women lawyers to help contribute to the war against corruption and corrupt practices in the country. Represented by the Chairman, NBA, Lagos branch, Taiwo Taiwo, Duadu urged FIDA members to support the on-going effort by the NBA to reform legal practice. Governor Fashola told the gathering that the society was confronted with two major problems of crime and unemployment. He noted that while his government has created a trust fund aimed at addressing the challenge of crime, it required assistance to curb unemployment. Represented by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye, Fashola stated that his administration has surpassed others in favouring women in its key appointments, particularly on the High Court and Magistrates’ Court Benches. He observed that despite the existence of laws in the state against domestic violence, victims still do not seek remedy, applying such laws because of cultural considerations. He urged the gathering to help evolve ways of eliminating domestic violence and related crimes. Fashola told the gathering that the state has developed a mode of punishing male culprits of domestic violence that emphasizes non-committal sentencing, with lessening the burden on female victims and their dependants, who would have been denied the continued support of the husband, where the male culprit is the bread winner.

•Phil Nneji and Vera Chinwuba of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)

•From left: Chair person, FIDA, Abuja, Iyabode Ogunseye; former Secretary; NBA, Hairat Balogun and Ijeoma Agwu

•From left: Ms Benedikter Molokwu, Chief Funke Arthur-Worrey and Dr Katia Ekesi

•From left: Mrs. Oprah Benson, Mrs Stella Ugbona and Mrs. Marie Fatayi-Williams

•From left: Zainab Liman, Nachamada Shattha; Vice-Chair, FIDA Abuja, Ozioma Izuora and FIDA Anambra, Okwy Igwebe




•Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Akwa Ibom State Chief Assam E. Assam (SAN) (left) and President, NBA, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN)

•From left: Paul Erekoro (SAN); former President NBA, Lanke Odogiyan and Anozie Obi


left: Chairman, NBA Enugu, Nenna Ukoh; Ngozi Udoh and Chikelu Anya

•Fromleft: National Publicity NBA, Emeka Obegolu and former President NBA O.C.J. Okocha (SAN)

•From left:Emeka Ngige (SAN), Festus OKoye and Chairman,NBA Kaduna Branch, OlumuyiwaOlowokure

•From left: Welfare Officer NBA, Sule Usman; former Publicity Secretary, NBA, Abdu-Rasheed Muritala and Director, Administration, NBA, Osit Okoro

•Chairman NBA Ikorodu Branch, Kazeem Adekunle Adebanjo (left) and former Chairman, NBA Ikorodu Branch Nurudeen Ogbara

•From left: Chairman, NBA Lagos, Taiwo Taiwo; former Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice Rivers State, Okey Wali (SAN) and Lady Debby Obodoukwu

•Adesina Ogunlana (left) and Chairman, NBA Ikeja Bamigbe Omole

•From left: Mamman Mike Osuman (SAN); Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN)





•Prof Egbeke Aja, DVC Administration representing the V.C , UNN, Prof Bato Okolo and Head, legal unit of the University, M. A. Obayi • Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho and his wife, Chief Mojisola

•From left: Mrs Josephine Ahonaruogho, Lady Sunbo Soremekun and Chief Yetunde Morohundiya

•From left: DVC (Administration), Prof. John Aroye Okhuoya, who represented V.C. UNIBEN ?Prof. Godwin ? Oshodin,? Akparawa? Nse Ubeh? and his wife ? Ufok ? ? ?

•Prof. Olubunmi Abayomi Dr. May Ifeoma Nwoye

•Director, Centre for Cultural Studies,UNIUYO, Prof. Johnson (left representing the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Comfort Ekpo and Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Edo Delta Command, Oduaran Igho

•A cross section of the members of the executive committee taking the oath of office PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU




NBA suspends decision to boycott NJC T HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) held its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on November 24 the year in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. At the end of the meeting, which considered many pressing issues confronting the country including government’s desire to remove the ‘fuel subsidy’, the general security challenges, the state of judicial services and its own internal matters, the body adopted some positions which were condensed into a communiqué. On the proposed removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, the body adopted the position articulated in an earlier address presented by its President, Joseph Daudu (SAN) that the NBA will not support the removal of petroleum subsidy, which is said to amount to N1.3 trillion. “Without beating about the bush, the foregoing shows that the situation is dire, on the one hand, the idea of the fuel subsidy has its utilitarian values as it was intended to give the average Nigerian access to cheap petroleum products; on the other hand however there are flaws in the policy in that it has become a drainpipe for the country’s resources and an avenue to enrich a few people in and out of government. “In our view, raising the issue of fuel subsidy removal by the government at this stage is with respect suspect. Government knows the proposed policy is anti-Nigerian. That it is not an argument they will win or a policy that can be implemented without imposing considerable long-term hardships on Nigerians. “Removing what is considered as subsidy will cripple the economy and lives of Nigerians. The benefits of the removal, which is the investment of N1.5 trillion into public sector works and poverty alleviation programmes are if anything mere palliatives that will have only a long term effect. “In between Nigerians will suffer and unmanageable socio-political upheavals will erupt, the magnitude not seen anywhere in the world in recent times. It, therefore, appears as if government has raised the issue of subsidy removal knowing that it will resisted by the people and the status quo will continue thereby further entrenching the monopoly to stupendous riches enjoyed by a few Nigerian oil moguls. It recommended among others that if the government is sincere about tackling the mess in the economy on this issue then it will do the following: •Government must evolve or design a seven year staggered phased removal of petroleum subsidy. •Having regard to the major objectives of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency Act 2003, which are (a) determine the pricing policy of petroleum products; (b) regulate the supply and distribution of petroleum products and which effectively means that government still determines the price of petroleum products; the continued retention by government of such a price intervention mechanism in the name of the PPPRA reveals the premature and rather hasty nature of the decision of government to remove petroleum subsidy. Government must as part of the phased measures of subsidy removal repeal the PPPRA Act. •Government must also cause the repeal or substantial rewording of the provisions of sections 3 and 4 of the Petroleum Act which prescribe inter alia (a) the vesting of petroleum in government, (b) the exclusive rights to issue licenses for the establishment and operation of refineries and (c) the issuance of licences for the sale, storage or distribution of petroleum products so as to lift any restraint (subject only to enabling regulations) on the sale, pricing and distribution of petroleum products and thereby pave way for a true deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector. •Government must implement the deregulation of downstream sector as conceptualised by the Obasanjo administration or in a better mode. This includes the complete reactivation or Turn-Around of the 4 existing refineries. When they start production to their optimum capacity their yield will be deducted from the total volume of imported petroleum products. Government will then reduce commensurately the volume no longer needed that has been displaced from internal production. If the government cannot turn around four refineries, is it with the management of 1.3 trillion subsidy bonus annually that it will be trusted to faithfully apply to the achievement of

MDGs? •Government must licence and ensure the commencement of production by private refineries to obviate any need to resort to the importation of petroleum products. Government must divest from the downstream sector of the oil industry; consequently, it will need to divest its interest in the production and retail end, which should lead to the scrapping of the NNPC. Government should limit itself to providing policy and ensuring the maintenance of standards in the industry. •Government needs to adopt exceptional strategy to minimise the effect of corruption. With that monster at large in Nigeria, no policy of Government will succeed. There must be total re-orientation of the attitude of the people to corruption. •That in order to promote transparency in the petroleum sector government should in the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act disclose the names of companies and concerns that are engaged in the importation and distribution of petroleum products, the cost of subsidy paid over to these persons and other benefits enjoyed by them such as import duty waivers and tax holidays. •That the cost and profit made in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) sector over these years must be disclosed by government. •Government must understand that for the policy to work it will first have to create strong institutions and structures within the sector that will ensure the success and sustainability of the policy. Though critics of the subsidy acknowledge that the policy will in effect open up the sector (through new investment) to competition which will cause efficient resource allocation and eventually drive down the price of fuel in Nigeria government must realise that actualising the policy depends deeply on patience and constant re-evaluation of the process. •Nigerians are being asked to give the policy six months after the subsidy is removed so that the market can adjust to the entry of new producers to the market. This is reverse reasoning; new producers must enter the market before the subsidy is removed. In the end the policy must create an environment where the consumer wins. On the dispute between British Airways and Nigeria: NBA/NEC noted the proactive response of the Federal Government through the Minister of Aviation in the matter of allegations of discriminatory treatment meted to Nigerian passengers and airlines as it relates in the main to ticket pricing differentials and landing slots respectively by British Airways and British Aviation Authorities. It reiterated the point that the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians must at all times be paramount and resolved to take a further look into the matter with a view to determining whether there are other factors which make the Nigerian route more challenging to operators of foreign airlines. On NBA boycott of the National Judicial Council (NJC), the body, after being informed that the judiciary will support the removal of the dichotomy between legal practitioners on the NJC and other members of Council (as at today can only sit in Council in respect of appointment of judges) when the 1999 Constitution is subjected to the proposed amendment, reviewed its decision taken at the Port Harcourt Annual General Conference by suspending its directive on her members to boycott forthwith participation in the National Judicial Council. NBA/NEC also clarified the point that it was not overruling the decision of NBA Conference (the highest decision making organ of the association) by suspending the boycott. The decision of conference was that the boycott order could be reviewed within months. “Consequently as appreciable progress has been made in the quest for the removal of this unfortunate dichotomy, coupled with the fact that good relationship now exists between the judiciary high command and the NBA, together with the need not to cripple the due administration of justice, the directive of NEC to suspend the boycott was not in conflict or in disobedience of the decision of conference” it said.

On disruptions in the justice delivery sector:

•NBA/NEC notes and regrets the acute disruptions to the justice delivery system caused by over concentration of most superior courts and election tribunals in the determination of election cases as a result of long absence of Judges from their regular beats, (ii) complete

isolation of other critical cases i.e. cases of commercial nature, crimes, torts, land, civil appeals, status, family, fundamental rights, criminal appeals etc to the detriment and disadvantage of other teeming suitors of justice, (iii) Reassignment of judges from regular courts to election tribunals with neither replacement of the judges nor reassignment of cases handled by those Judges to other courts; and (iv) the superimposition on all other cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court by election cases, which are only of value and concern to politicians, which has led to massive denials to Nigerian citizens and other judicial stakeholders of their right to a speedy determination of their cases in court. •NBA/NEC also notes and regrets the nonappointment of chief judges in Adamawa and Abia states and observes that this situation had impacted negatively on justice delivery in those states. In order to prevent the imminent collapse of the administration of justice in those states NBA/NEC, therefore calls on the most senior judge in the states affected to take responsibility for assignment of cases and other non-statutory duties as interim administrative measure pending the appointment of substantive or acting Chief Judges.

On democratisation of local governments:

•After very extensive debate on the state of local government administration in Nigeria today particularly with regard to the appalling unconstitutional measures being taken by state governors in (i) appointment of caretaker committees of local government councils, (ii) appointment by some governors of staff and aides for local governments and Local Government Chairmen and (iii) manipulation of SIEC in states (the foregoing being actions being contrary to Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution as amended which stipulates and guarantees a system of democratically elected local governments) NEC notes with dismay, the near total failure in Local Government Administration in Nigeria and calls for immediate democratisation therein as a matter of national imperative and emergency. NBA/NEC reiterates the resolution taken at her mid-year Katsina meeting that branches or groups of branches are authorised to begin public interest litigation against state governors that install caretaker committees to run local government councils in their states as being contrary to the letter and spirit of the 1999 Constitution.

On its in-house dispute resolution

NBA/NEC frowned at failure by NBA members to utilise in-house dispute resolution mechanisms with particular reference to the threat of the Midwest Bar Forum to boycott the NBA if their demand to produce the President of the NBA in 2012 is not met and resolves that elders and leaders of the Bar should look into this demand as well as look into other pressing matters affecting the Bar in the interest of our collective unity and cohesion. On the practice of making of public statements by branches and other persons on behalf of the association:

•NBA President Daudu (SAN)

The attention of NBA/NEC was brought to the growing trend of branches issuing press statements and other releases on national or other allied matters in utter disregard of NBA resolution which clearly states that the NBA President is the sole spokesperson of the Nigerian Bar Association. NBA branch officers are advised to desist forthwith from issuing public statements on national and or professional issues. NEC notes that branches may issue statements on local and other domestic issues affecting them directly. But where there is any doubt that the proposed press statement may have dual implication such statements shall be forwarded before-hand to the President and national secretariat for clarification. In conclusion: NBA/NEC commends G) and the good people of Akwa Ibom State for successfully hosting NEC and in particular, further commends him on the solid infrastructural progress made in the State since the last NEC in Akwa Ibom state four years ago, whereby transformation progress in the nature of statewide durable dual carriage roads, the existence of a modern international airport, hospitals, schools, prisons and an enabling environment for the promotion and establishment of industries in Akwa Ibom State.

NBA holds JIC Taylor Lecture tomorrow


ORMER President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mustapha Akanbi will tomorrow deliver the Eighth Justice John Idowu Conrad Taylor Memorial Lecture. It is being organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos branch. JIC Taylor was the first Chief Judge of Lagos State. A statement by the NBA and signed by the Chairman, Planning Committee, Mr Martin Ogunleye, said the lecture will take place at the City Hall, Lagos. It has the theme: Restoring confidence in the Judiciary - the role of the Bar and the Bench. Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Inumidun Enitan Akande, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye and Mr. Yele Delano (SAN), will be special guests of honour. NBA said: “Justice Taylor was one the Nigerian judicial legend, whose great passion for justice and fair play was balanced by his judicial conservatism which favoured an un-

By Joseph Jibueze

sentimental strict interpretation of the law and a rigid adherence to precedent. “In 1960, he became Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and, in 1964, Chief Justice of the Federal Territory of Lagos. However, when Lagos State was created in 1967, he became the first Chief Justice of the new state. In 1967, Justice Taylor became Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, a position which he held until his death in 1973 at the age of only 56. “He was an advocate of judicial restraint and a passive approach to developing the law, and was completely opposed to judicial law making by activist judges. He was the first Chief Justice of Lagos, Nigeria (1964–1973). He was notable for his courage, independence, judicial boldness and integrity,” it said.




Why Gbajabiamila seeks court’s nullification of RECs’ appointment


AN President Goodluck Jonathan validly appoint known members of political parties as either Electoral Commissioners or Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs)in view of the provision of Section 156 (1) (a) of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended)? The resolution of this poser forms the kernel of a suit instituted at the Federal High Court, Lagos by the House of Representatives Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila. Named as defendants in the suit include President Jonathan, the Senate, its President, David Mark, the Clerk of the Senate, the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its Chairman. Gbajabiamila is, by the suit, challenging the legitimacy of President Jonathan’s recent appointment of some individuals as RECs for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and his subsequent submission of their names for confirmation by the National Assembly. It is the plaintiff’s contention that the appointment of people, who are mostly members of political parties, one of who is a former Speaker in Cross River State’s House of Assembly, violated the provision of Section 156(1)(a) of the Constitution (as amended). The section provides that: “No person shall


By Eric Ikhilae

be qualified for appointment as a member of any of the bodies aforesaid - listed in Section 153 (1) - if he is not qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives, provided that a member of any of these bodies shall not be required to belong to a political party, and in the case of the INEC, he shall not be a member of a political party.” He also argued that the President’s action violated the Electoral Act 2010 which provides that the appointment of officers of INEC shall exclude political party members. Gbajabiamila, in an originating summons filed for the plaintiff by his lawyer, Seni Adio of the firm of Copley Partners, sets a single question for the court to determine. He wants the court to decide whether Section 156(1) (a) or any other section of the Constitution authorises or empowers the President, the Senate, its President and the Clerk of the Senate to appoint and/or confirm the appointment of persons who are members of political parties as RECs and ECs. The House Minority Leader averred in a supporting affidavit that the said appointment made in October, included persons who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He gave their names as Ambassador Mohammed Anka, Major -General Bagudu Mammman, Alhaji Yakubu Shehu and Mr Eddy Nwatalari. He added that some of the appointees even contested elections and had held offices in their parties. Convinced that the President has acted against the provision of the constitution, Gbajabiamila proceeded to ask the court for an order nullifying the purported appointment of the named RECs; a perpetual injunction restraining the President, the Senate, its President and the Clerk of the Senate from further appointing and/or confirming the appointment of political party members as RECs or ECs of INEC. Gbajabiamila also wants the court to declare that the Constitution did not empower the President, the Senate, its President and the Clerk of the Senate to appoint party members as either RECs or ECs, and a declaration that the purported appointment of the said PDP members as RECs is unconstitutional. He has also filed an application for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the President, the Senate, its President and the Clerk of the Senate from further appointing or confirming party members as RECs or ECs pending the determination of the originating summons. Last week, Justice Okechukwu Okeke refused an ex-parte application with which Gbajabiamila had sought to stay further actions in respect of the RECs’ appointment pending the determination of an interlocutory application he earlier filed. The judge instead, ordered that court processes be served on the defendants. He adjourned to December 8 for hearing.

Fed Govt charges 11 over alleged cloning of NIMN logo HE Federal Government has filed charges against some former senior officials of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) over their alleged complicity in the alleged cloning and faking of the institute’s logo. An amended four-count charge dated November 11 and signed by a senior official in the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Elizabeth Alabi, accused them of conspiracy, stealing, forgery and impersonation. They were said to have, while serving as NIMN officials between 2010 and this year, cloned the institute’s logo, its website and purportedly impersonated members of NIMN’s executive. Those named in the charge include Femi Odufowokan, Rilwan Aderinto, Micheal Onuoha, Salihu Yahaya, Olu Ige, Daniel Ayozie,Rasheed Alade Abdulai, Gabriel Sanusi, Gbede Gbadegesin, Adeyemi Ayoade Mabayoje and Rotimi Adeyeye. In count one, they were accused of conspir-


By Eric Ikhilae

ing to clone the institute’s logo and website, while count two alleged that they committed illegal act by allegedly cloning the said logo and website with the intention of organising programmes and conducting of professional examinations. They were, in count three, accused of impersonation by allegedly presenting themselves as executive members of NIMN, an offence contrary to section 484 of the Criminal Code. Count four accused them of forging the institute’s “letter headed paper with the intention that it will be used as genuine,” an offence contrary to section 2(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17. Their planned arraignment before Justice Fatima Nyako of the Federal High Court, Lagos was stalled owing to the judge’s absence and their non-production in court by the Police. Their arraignment has been rescheduled for January 18, next year.





Recent judgments by the Governorship Election Tribunal in Katsina and the Court of Appeal, Kaduna have spurred profound joy and hot tears for petitioners, respondents and their party faithful in Katsina State. ISAH IDRIS reports.

Mixed reactions over verdicts by Katsina tribunals S

HORTLY after the declaration of governorship election results in Katsina State on April 27, the governorship candidates of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr. Usman Bugaje and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, filed separate petitions against the election of Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema, asking the governorship tribunal to reverse the result in favour of their respective candidates. Similarly, the nine candidates for the House of Representatives who contested on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) prayed the National Assembly Tribunal in the state, to upturn the victory of the respective CPC candidates. At the pre-hearing sessions of the petitions in May at the governorship election tribunal comprising Justice D. Z. Senchi, Justice J Teetito with Justice C Ijeoma Jombo-Ofo as chairman, the petitoners laid their cases. Also inaugurated were three justices including, Justice V. I. Ofesi, Justice Suleiman and Justice S. A. Akinteye as members of the National Assembly Election Tribunal. Justice Jombo-Ofo along with Justice Teetito and Justice Senchi dismissed Bugaje’s petitions, while upholding Masari’s during the prehearing session. They sealed the petitioners’ fate threw same to the trash for lack of merit. Defending his position, the lead counsel for Shema, Mr Uyi Iguma contended that, the petitioner did not file a reply to the 3rd respondent’s reply made on June 6, 2011 in which case the petitioner was left with only five days to reply. It was filed on June 13, thus rendering it invalid. He further argued that the petitioner failed to file application for issuance of pre-session notice within stipulated time of seven days from June 6 after the respondent filed his reply which elapsed on June 13; instead, the petitioner filed his application June 15. The petitioner, however, insisted that so far the 1st and 2nd respondents, reply was served on them after the 3rd respondent, they are within the time limit. Delivering her ruling, Justice Jombo held that Bugaje failed to file notice for pre-hearing session within the time stipulated in the Electoral Act 2011 as amended. While considering the evidences of the petitioner and respondents and relying on sections 18 (i), 5 and 11 of the Electoral Act 2011 as amended, Justice Jombo-Ofo ruled that the petitioners should have filed their prehearing notice, calculating their seven days form the day the 3rd respondent served his reply on them and so, she dismissed the application and the entire petitions of the petitioner. At the pre-hearing session on the petition by Masari on July 18, 2011, Yarima, counsel to the petitioner, filed an application, seeking the leave of court to grant him an order to call additional witnesses Mr Roland Otaru, the counsel to the 1st, 4th and 5th respondents represented also challenged the competence of the tribunal. Justice Jombo-Ofo, relying on paragraph 18 (1) (2) and (3) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act that laid


out requirements for the initiation of pre-hearing session, affirmed its competence to hear the petition. She ruled: “The application has merit and I hereby grant the petitioner leave to file witnesses and statement on Oath. This is a pre-hearing session, so every application that has to be brought before it by way of motion must be supported by affidavit”. At the hearing session, however, the defence counsel to CPC candidate led by, Mr James Ocholi (SAN), prayed the court to upturn Shema’s election on grounds that he failed to record lawful votes, corrupt malpractices involving distribution of wrappers and money to INEC staff and voters to earn their support before and during the elections. The petitioner also contended that Governor Shema failed to score the required 25 percent of the two-thirds of votes cast during the April 26 governorship elections and so was declared winner in error. Thus, he prayed that the petitioner be declared winner. The petitioner argued that the in-


stances of mutilated and stuffing of ballot boxes with ballot papers was real, making the PDP and Governor Shema the 1st and 2nd respondents recording votes in excess of accredited voters, using curfew imposed to hinder movement of the opposition, including CPC supporters, and so perfected unregulated rigging. The lead counsel to Governor Shema, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), punctured the petitioner’s claim for failing to prove beyond reasonable doubts, how the alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act substantially injured the outcome of the elections. Justice Jombo-Ofo, citing the case of Buhari vs Obasanjo and that of jolly Iyame vs Dr. Jalingo, said the petitioner fell short of proving the case of fraud and unlawful votes allocated to Governor Shema to earn him victory. She also cited the case of Anozie vs Richard to pacify the petitioner that the burden of prove of how he was short changed in his votes scored was a herculean task and it lies heavily on him but failed, especially how


votes were allocated to 1st and 2nd defendants through intimidation of petitioner’s supporters during the elections. The judge frowned at the petitioner’s claim of mutilation of ballot papers and ballot stuffing as no Polling Agent was called to testify. He also blamed the petitioner for his failure to link his bulk of evidence submitted, especially forms EC8, a, b, c and d to various relief sought to earn him victory. The proof of evidence to substantiate alleged intimidation arising from curfew imposed by state for security reasons and how it negatively affected the petitioner’s agents and supporters in their electoral tasks was inexhaustive and so the case must be dismissed, said the Judge Justice Jombo-Ofo lamented the inadequate evidences and failure of the petitioner to prove his case beyond reasonable doubts and so, was left with no evidential doubt than to affirm Governor Shema as the authentic winner, having scored 25 percent of the required two-


thirds of the overall votes cast in the April 26 general elections. Counsel to Shema, Mr Napolion Idelala and party supporters applauded the verdicts. Geoge and Ijeoma, counsel to Masari, however, expressed reservation, saying: “The Judge has tried; in any matter there must be a decision, the Judges have tried their best, that is their opinion. But we are not satisfied with the decision, we will proceed on appeal”. However, Judges of the National Assembly Tribunal, led by Justice S A Akinteye on September 28, 2011, granted the prayers in the petition filed by the three PDP senatorial candidates and nine House of Representatives members against CPC lawmakers which led to the annulment of elections of the two senators and nine CPC House of Representatives members by the National Assembly Tribunal. The only exception was the the petition by Ahmed Jikanchi against Sen. Abu Ibrahim. Hence, the two senators, Sen. Ahmed Sani Stores (Katsina central), • Continued on page 38

• Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State with the honorary degree awardees of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, (ESUT), Mr Innocent Akuvue, Senate President, Senator David Mark, Chief Innocent Chukwuma (right) and the new Chancellor of the school, Amb. (Dr) Alhaji Hassan Adamu, the Pro Chancellor, Chief Chilo Offiah, during the 14th convocation ceremonies award of the school ... yesterday




Governance on course in Borno, says Bwala Borno State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Inuwa Bwala explains how the Shettima administration has been coping in the face of the security challenges in the state.


HAT is the govern ment doing to arrest the security challenge and what is the situation like in the state now? Yes, we have been in the news for the past months not for the good of it. People tend to portray Borno as a war zone, where no one is safe. It is true that our dear state has been under virtual siege, and, as a government, we have been worried. Every patriotic Nigerian should be worried with the issues of security in some states in the North, especially Plateau and Borno states. As a government concerned about the security and welfare of our citizens, we cannot afford to fight, because we do not even have the instruments to fight. We prefer dialogue, believing it to be the most viable option available to us. We have been pleading with our citizens to show understanding in the prevailing circumstances, due to the introduction of certain security measures that may have tended to curtail their freedom. Inconvenient as they may be, the presence of security operatives on our streets have become a necessary evil, with which we may have to contend. Part of the measures we have so far introduced include, among others, the purchase and distribution of 5000 tricycles to our teeming unemployed youths, so as to make them less vulnerable as willing tools in the hands of mischief makers. We have provided 100 air-conditioned buses for intra town service, all in an attempt to make up for the ban on the use of motorcycles that were hitherto the dominant means of livelihood among our youths. How can the government guarantee the security of citizens given that there are still some incidents of insecurity? Government is alive to its responsibility of protecting lives and property of Nigerians living in Borno State, irrespective of their tribe, religion, creed or class. While the Federal Government has chosen to adopt a carrot and stick approach, we prefer the carrot option. And without prejudice to what the federal government does, we believe that the matter will eventually end on a roundtable. Suppressing an insurgency of the magnitude we have experienced takes its toll on our resources, both human and material, but we have never failed to support all efforts targeted at arresting the situation. Beyond our efforts, Nigerians have been praying, and I know God listens to a prayerful nation. In the long run, Government is planning to identify the socioeconomic and political conditions that gave rise to the initial insurgency and others like it, with a view to addressing them, and creating a free environment for citizens to manifest their potentials. We thank God today that normalcy is beginning to return. Normal activities have resumed, the schools have opened and people’s confidence is being rekindled. We thank the citizenry for their un-

derstanding and cooperation. We pray that all the infrastructure affected by the crisis will soon be rebuilt. Given the plethora of your challenges, hasn’t it slowed administration in implementing its programmes in the state? Fortunately, we have a governor who is well intentioned for repositioning Borno State. Alhaji Kashim Shettima is a rare breed politician, who many have attested to his capabilities. He came in with a very pragmatic agenda, he has assembled a credible team, and we have been forging ahead even in the face of the challenges we have been facing. I must confess to you that it has been very costly managing the situation, but the pace of governance has not slowed down a bit. I can see Borno rising from the ashes to become even greater than states that never had crisis. I know for one that great societies go through one ugly experience or another, their ability to survive defines their rate of development. In Borno state, very good job is being done, and we are succeeding in the face of challenges. We believe that what we are going through is a temporary phase, and we shall one day look back at it as one dark spot on our journey to greatness. We have not been slowed down by the situation we find ourselves in; rather, we are spurred to give our best to put our detractors to shame. As a professional journalist and Information Commissioner, what are the challenges you are confronted with? The challenges are indeed daunting, but we have the capacity to surmount them. We need time to create the desired impact, and given my experi-

‘People tend to portray Borno as a war zone, where no one is safe. It is true our dear state has been under virtual siege, and as a government we have been worried ... As a government concerned about the security and welfare of our citizens, we cannot afford to fight, because we do not even have the instruments to fight. We prefer dialogue, believing it to be the most viable option’ • Bwala

ences as image maker to three different Governors and the cooperation I have been receiving from His Excellency, Governor, Honorable Kashim Shettima, I hope we shall deliver. The expectations are very high from the government and from my professional colleagues. The citizenry is expectant, and we are not unaware of these. We are facing some security issues occasioned by the recent insurrection, which had instilled fears in the hearts of our people. People have capitalized on the situation to commit all forms of crimes, which they attribute to Boko Haram. As a state we are in the opposition party and there is a serious gang up by others to undo us. We have

some habitual mischief makers, who never see anything good in government irrespective of who is in charge at a particular time. Some have even attempted to cajole some media houses into writing opinions calling for the declaration of a state of emergency in the state. These are some of the manifest challenges. How over whelming are these challenges? We are equal to the task. As a government, we can beat our chest as having surpassed our inaugural promises to the people of the state. When as a government you showcase things one can practically see or touch, you have little fear of laying your balance sheet before your citizenry. That the government

of Kashim Shettima has demonstrated sufficient will power to deliver with practical evidences of achievements, in a very short time is not in doubt. The hospitals we promised to commission are there for the sick to visit and testify to their effectiveness. The tractors are being hired out to farmers. The boreholes are there, the taps are running once more, for one to open and drink from. Beneficiaries of the poverty alleviation projects are witnesses to the government. We have flooded the transport sector with 5000 tricycles and 100 commuter buses. You can see that even within this short period that we came on board there are practical evidences of achievements which all one needs to do, is to attract attention to, and the job is almost done. My brief is to publicize government activities, and if the world can get to know about half of the things the Government has done, within so short a time, even critics of the government will appreciate that there are really no issues to criticize the government about. Perhaps what I need to do is to throw a practical challenge to those who lampoon the government to come forward for a practical verification of our submissions to the effect that we have done that which is expected of a government. By all standards, Kashim Shettima’s government is living up to expectations. By this you will agree with me that, the raw materials for the job have been provided. Perhaps what I need to do is to seek for partnership with my colleagues who will help me tell the world that a good job is being done in Borno state, but mischief makers will not allow the world to appreciate the work.

Mixed reactions over verdicts by Katsina tribunals • Continued from page 37

Sen. Abdu Umar Yandoma (Katsina north) and the nine Rep. members proceeded to the Court of Appeal Kaduna after their cases were dismissed. Consequently, the Court of Appeal in Kaduna led by Justice Amina Adamu Augie, along with Justice Abdu Aboki and Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua, moved its sitting to Katsina for the judgments emanating from the tribunal it delivered on Nov. 15, 2011. The judgment which drew tumultuous joy in the camp of CPC in Katsina, no doubt, inflicted deep pain as manifested by hot tears that flowed uncontrollably in the PDP camp. Four of the eight judgments delivered by the Appeal Judges were written by the presiding Justice, while the rest four were written by Justice Abdu Aboki, leaving about nine other appeals emanating from tribunals in North West standing. One thing is certain, the Appeal Court judge, Justice Amina Adamu Augie kept emphasizing on the reckless audacity with which the National Assembly Tribunal usurped jurisdiction of the conventional courts in deliberation on pre-election matters and more painfully, on the appeal decided by Court of Appeal but now resting at the Supreme

Court. On November 15, on the appeal by the two CPC senators and six House of Representatives members, Justice Augie frowned at the tribunal’s judgment which dabbled in to the case that was a pre-election matter, whereas the election tribunals were set up purely for post-election matters. justice Augie lamented that the tribunal wasted days in futility deliberating on issues that transpired before the election, instead of the main ground of the petition. The presiding judge thoroughly reviewed an appeal filed by a CPC member in the Federal Parliament representing Daura/Sandamu/ Mai’adua Federal Constituency, Hon. Adamu Katsayan against PDP candidate and one-time Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly, Saidu Sani Fago, whose appeal quashed the tribunal judgment as his election was accordingly upheld. Nomination or sponsorship of the CPC candidates has already been decided at the Federal High Court and the Appeal Court and is now pending at the Supreme Court with all documentary evidence before the tribunal, the judge affirmed. She therefore exploded as she read the verdicts written by Justice

Aboki: “This brings us to the judgment of this court, which the tribunal relied upon to assume jurisdiction over what is clearly a pre-election matter”. She explained that there was a dispute as to who was CPC candidate for the general election held on April 9, 2011, the dispute which the Federal High Court in Abuja gave judgment in favour of the appellants. Its verdict was however contested in the Appeal Court and the table upturned as this court set aside the judgment declaring that, the appellants were not the right candidates as decided on April 20, 2011 after the general elections. Justice Augie said: “The decisions of the Court of Appeal must be enforced in any part of the federation by all authorities and persons and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Court of Appeal”. She said: “The tribunal has a duty to abide by, apply or enforce our court decisions,” asking rhetorically: “But who appointed the tribunal the ‘enforcer’ of this court decision?” She further said: “The tribunal has its path well cut out for it; it is not an all purpose court that can entertain just any claim; it is created for election matters only.” None of the parties is disputing the fact that it is only a regular court that is empowered with the necessary jurisdiction to hear and determine the issue of nomination of a

candidate for an election, which is clearly a pre-election matter. “If these facts are not premised on the nomination and sponsorship of the appellants by a political party, which is obviously a per-election matter, I don’t know what else can exemplify what a pre-election matter is. “Where a court jurisdiction is challenged, it is usually better to settle the issue one way or the other and then proceeding to hearing of the case on their merits. “What the tribunal in this cases succeeded doing was to mix up the objections challenging its jurisdiction to entertain the petition with the petition itself; much like a pot of soup with all the ingredients thrown in.” She therefore expressed disgust that the tribunal had made the job of determining who is right and who wrong a complex one. “As all it succeeded doing was muddling up the objections with the petition” thus a thankless job. The presiding judge therefore quashed the tribunal judgment that annuled the elections of Sen. Ahmed Sani Stores, Sen. Abdu Umar Yandoma, Hon. Muntari Dandutse, Hon. Adamu Katsayan, Hon. Tasiu Doguru, Hon. Aminu Ashiru, Hon. Umar Abdu Dankama, and Hon. Musa Salisu, thus, upholding their elections.




‘Environmental degradation poses challenge’


HE Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafia, has warned that environmental degradation can lead to insecurity. She spoke when Commissioners from the 11 Northern states visited her in Abuja. She said desertification, erosion and flooding are major environmental challenges facing the country. She noted that environmental issues often contribute to conflicts in some parts of the country, particularly in the Northern, stressing that after so much erosion and land degradation, farmers may be forced to go the extranile to protect their limited piece of land. She said: “As a country, we are faced with three major challenges depending on the geographical divides. In the far North, we have desertification, which is threatening every aspect of our lives. “In the Southeast, we have enormous cases of erosion, which is

From Augustine Ehikioya and Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

very frightening with alarming magnitude and recurrent. In the South west,we have a lot of issues with flooding.” “Consequences of environmental degradation can lead to insecurity. We have a lot of cases of clashes between farmers and Fulani’s in the north. “We have a lot of issues in the south east and southwest because most of the land is eroded so the little land you have, you can stake your life to protect it.” Stressing that the country could lose chances of creating employment if the trend continues, she said there was the need to merge forces address the natural disasters. To this end, she called for plantation of trees in the affected regions to protect the environment from further deterioration.

She urged commissioners to continue to distribute seedlings to people in their various states, including children and market women for planting. “Our emphasis in the frontline state is aforestation. We want to reclaim lands. We can do that by taking queue from what other countries have done,” she stated While stating that the proposed initiative could also contribute positively to the economy by creating wealth and job opportunities, she believed that in subsequent years, the states would have covered up to 20 kilometres of green land plantation, adding that the green wall ought to cover 1,500 kilometres. The commissioners under the aegis of Nigeria Frontline States Action Initiative Against Desertification (NIFSAID) identified drought and desertification as a common threat to the memberstates.

•From left: Obot, Opene and Majekodunmi

NCF, Chevron collaborate on Niger Delta


EADING environmental group, the Nigerian Conser vation Foundation with support from the Chevron Nigeria Limited is to establish Niger Delta Conservation Centre (NDCC) to mitigate the effect of climate change and other environmental challenges facing the oil rich region of Niger Delta. Chairman of National Executive Council,Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, disclosed this at a press conference to mark the 21st Anniversary of the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) in Lagos. Represented by the Chairman, NCF Fundraising and Awareness Committee, Mr Desmond Majekodunmi, Hamzat said the Foundation has concluded plan with Chevron Nigeria Limited to establish the centre in any of the Niger Delta states, adding that the centre would be a good example of how a sustainable environment should look like. ‘’It is a demonstration of Chevron and NCF partnership on conservation initiative in Nigeria in view of the environmental challenges facing our country, he said. Hamzat said further that the LCC is a conservation initiative to protect wildlife found in southwest coastal environment of the country in the face of sprawling urban development. ‘’This 21year-old conservation education centre has continued to attract

By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor

both local and international interests. The centre has served as an education and resource centre to varieties of group’s majority of which are schools and tourists. “There is no doubt that the project since establishment 21 years ago has promoted environmental protection and has served as a tourist centre for local and international visitors. Let me added that continuous environmental education and awareness; and research activities are carried out in the Reserve.” Speaking with reporters, the Executive Director, and Prof. Emmanuel Obot said the Foundation faced a lot of challenges in protecting the remaining forest of Lekki ranging from funding and technical equipment, but very happy with achievements recorded so far. The centre in the past 21 years had tried to educate the youth, students, tourists and visitors on the need to conserve nature even in an urban mega city such as Lagos. The Chairman/Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr Andrew Fawthrop, represented by Head, Environment and Safety, Mr Alex Opene, said the LCC’s 21st Anniversary coincides with Chevron’s 50 years of operations in the country.

Imo zoo to get facelift


•From left: Toyin Gbede and Luc Viatour, at the event

‘How to check influx of fake products’


IGERIANS have been advised to insist on profes sional endorsement of building materials before buying them. He said this would help to reduce the number of fake and substandard materials imported into the country. Managing Director, Nigerite Nig Ltd, Mr Jean-Luc Viatour, stated this at the launch of their fire retardant ceiling, partitioning and cladding products named ultimate autoclave and aluco bond. He said the event was to educate not only the public, but professionals too on how to use the new products. Luc Viatour revealed that in developed economies a product cannot circulate or be in use except it carries an endorsement by the relevant professionals, but regretted that here people import substandard products, which find presence in the market and also patronised. He said they invited professionals in the building sector and the artisans to enlighten them on how best to use it and seek their endorsement from their professional conviction on the credibility of the substance of the products. Stressing the nature of fire occurrence, he advised that it should be guarded against with products

•Nigerite launches fire retardant ceiling products By Okwy Iroegbu Asst. Editor

proven locally and internationally as not only of superior quality, fire retardant but also environmentally friendly. He said: “This is part of our social responsibility to educate the public on the consequences of using fake and sub-standard materials prone to fire and also protect those who may be patronising the products as to the danger to their health.” The Marketing Director of the firm, Mr Toyin Gbede, said they

‘This is part of our social responsibility to educate the public on the consequences of using fake and substandard materials prone to fire and also protect those who may be patronising the products as to the danger to their health’

included safety and health components in their products and challenged professionals at the launch to do a study and come up with their findings on the various fire retardant products on display as done overseas and the varieties in the market imported from some Asian countries. He regretted that poor quality building materials flow into the country unabated because of poor implementation of enabling laws on the importation of fake products and decried the losses in human and material resources Safety, Health & Environment Manager, Mr John Bamgboye, stressed that the product demonstration was to underscore his firm’s position on safety in the work place and the veracity of their claim on the fire retardant products. The products, put on a furnace, were heat up to 438 degrees and was witnessed by representatives of the Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Professional Carpenters Association, Fire Service, among others.

HE Imo State Government and the ACI Environment and Resources Limited, a Federal Ministry of Environment accredited consulting firm, are partnering to redevelop and upgrade Nekede Zoological Gardens in Owerri. The Nation gathered that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entails the concessioning of the foremost gardens in the east to meet global standards. The two organisations have mobilised their resources for the job. Managing Director/Chief Executive of ACI Environment and Resources Limited, Dr Chika Ukwe, revealed the redevelopment will incorporate the globally accepted Leadership for Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of the gardens and Ecotourism Park to enhance biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, wealth creation and tourism development in Imo and the Southeast region. Ukwe said his firm would create a 21st Century Botanical/Zoological Garden and Ecotourism Park as well as a conservation learning centre in Owerri. This, he said, would not only capture the beauty and diversity of the Southeast geopolitical zone, but a people’s relationship to an inheritance and their interactions with the environment in time and space. The garden, he revealed, will be designed to have the capacity to

By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor

sustain itself, inform, educate and entertain a large number of first time and returning visitors, as well as preserve the rich biological diversity of Imo and the southeast region for future generations. He said it would have several features, such as a comprehensive collection of plants from Imo and the southeast, each identified and catalogued; a garden of healing plants; a collection of different species of animals housed in pens/ cages depicting their natural environments; an interactive website/ portal to expand the reach of the project; an educational curricula for online visitors. Others are eco-lodges/tourist accommodation as well as a modern conference centre with facilities for hosting local and international conferences, wedding receptions and social events, environmental friendly and energy efficient (LEED certified), a standard museum, art exhibitions, a library, gift shops and restaurants, and a movie theatre. He also said that the re-developed garden and park would become an integral part of the evolution of Owerri as an international city, building upon its foundation as the cultural, intellectual, tourism and entertainment capital of the southeast geopolitical zone while promoting ecotourism as a feasible alternative livelihood option that will also encourage the protection of natural resources.




Fashola decries menace of tanker drivers, okada • Inaugurates luxury flats in Apapa


AGOS State Governor Mr Babatunde Fashola has launched an upscale estate built by the State Property Development Company (LSDPC), in Apapa. The estate is named after a prominent Lagosians HAB Fashinro. Expressing his happiness over the speedy completion of the project, he noted that it is symbolic for some reasons. The project, he said, addressed the housing needs of the upper strata of the society aand validates government’s position that providing shelter for the people is an important issue. “It is not only the low-income strata of our society who have needs for comfortable accommodation. The upper and middle classes also have that need. As a government that is elected by the votes of both the rich and the poor, we remain mindful of the needs of those that we represent. “So, we are addressing this issue across board. But what this means for us is that through this initiative, this government can earn some profit by serving the privileged and from there; it can fund the needs of the underprivileged. We promised that we would be tackling the housing problems of our people from a multi-strategic approach. This approach in Apapa by which we built for the rich will enable us to get profit to subsidise those provided for the less-privileged among us,” he said. Governor Fashola maintained that “pursuit of the multi-strategic culture remains the most ideal for reducing the housing deficits and increasing access to shelter. What is instructive is that all of these choices have one

By Okwy Iroegbu and Chinaka Okoro

thing in common which is continuous stimulation of economic activities in our state, creation of jobs and addressing the issue of unemployment.” In the circumstances, he disclosed that as the construction of the H.A.B. Fashinro Court lasted, it gave opportunities for many service providers and professionals of different calling. Stating how the project offered job opportunities to many, Fashola noted that “40 people worked to provide water tanks, 20 people were employed for roofing, 80 people were employed for cleaning and beautification, and 20 people were employed for painting works. “The external works and beautification provided jobs for 150 and 180 people respectively while the main contractor had about 2, 000 workmen throughout the construction of this site. In all, on this project site of 1.635 hectares, about 2, 558 earned a living here during the construction period. This is the kind of public spending that government must pursue at a time of economic difficulty.” Promising that his administration would embark vigorously on such projects that have direct and positive impacts on people’s lives dur-

ing the implementation of the 2012 budget as soon as it is passed, Governor Fashola stated that if the government doesn’t lead in economic drive in times of recession depression, private sector will not venture. “It is clear that, using this matrix in which about 2, 558 people were employed on one site alone, it means that if we have 10 sites, more than 20, 000 people will be working and this is what we commit to do next year,” he said. He expressed his dissatisfaction over what he called difficult situation in which residents of Apapa live, even as he said: “The condition has been exacerbated by okada riders, trailer and tanker drivers who are operating at the Apapa sea port. He advised residents to work with the local and state governments through their community development committees or associations. He said: “They should rise up and assist government to regain this neighbourhood. Very soon, government will be announcing policies that will help us deal decisively with the problem of okada. They are abusing our hospitality. They are stretching our patience and we will respond in a very significant manner.” The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of LSDPC, Mr Biodun Oki, said the estate sits on 1.635 hectares consisting of 10 blocks

•HAB Fashinro Estate, Apapa

of six unit three-bedroom flats making 60 flats. Noting that in conceiving the estate, we are mindful of the prevailing land use within the district; our target was the executives, who have had to wade through Lagos traffic daily to get to their offices. “Moreover, for us, it was an opportunity at income redistribution. This is the process of building for the upper income class and then utilising the profit to do more affordable units for the generality of Lagos residents.

‘We have taken time to complement the blocks with necessary external works, such as water treatment plant, paved driveways and walkways, drainage, street lighting, and lush greenery’

“We are giving Lagosians that the LSDPC has not abandoned the lower income segment of the market. While we will, from time to time, make incursions into the upper segment of the property market, we are not unaware that the most vulnerable group affected by the housing shortage is the lower and the middle income group. Currently, we are plans are on to make housing units available to cater for the needs of this income group,” he said. He, however, regretted that inasmuch as the corporation strives hard to make its presence felt in all local government and local council development areas, it is constrained by shortage of land. Describing the estate as elegant, Oki disclosed that his corporation adopted a layout design that enhances and fosters the sense of community while retaining for each block, adequate space for services and parking. Continuing, he said: “The flats have been luxuriously designed to meet the taste of

the target market. Each three-bedroom flat has a large master’s bedroom with a design that allows a smooth flow from the sitting and dining areas with modern quality finishing. The kitchen is fitted elegantly while all the bedrooms are en-suite. “Attached to each flat on the rear side is a maid’s room with its convenience. The price of each flat includes the cost of maintenance and insurance cover for three years, as well as cost of preparing the Deed of sublease. “We have taken time to complement the blocks with necessary external works like water treatment plant, paved driveways and walkways, drainage, street lighting, and lush greenery. “There is neighbourhood centre with mini-mart, salon, pharmaceutical shop and a gym. Back-up power generator is also provided to complement the services of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to ensure 24-hour power supply for common facilities.”

REDAN plans 400,000 housing units


•From left: Joseph Zeiton, Taofik Popoola, pointing out an area of interest and Mustapha Kankia, Katsina Commissioner of Works, at the inauguration of Katsina State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja.

RESIDENT, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Mr Olabode Afolayan, has said the association is planning to build 400, 000 housing units nationwide by the end of December. He said the houses would be built from the various jobs handled by his members nationwide in the year. According to him, the number of houses produced by the assosciation members nationwide in 2010 was 80, 802, but promised that progress would be made this year. He said: “Last year, we accomplished 80, 802 housing units with few major developers; 400, 000 will not pose much problem, especially with many developers doing something nationwide. “Some of our members have estates at various stages of completion. Some are financed by Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) loans and others by cus-

By Okwy Iroegbu, Asst Editor

tomer finance schemes.” The REDAN chief said about 40 major developers used state organs to develop about 2,000 housing units each, which would account for 80, 000 housing units alone. He said some of his members were active at state levels because the governments wanted to use housing to provide dividends of democracy to the people. Afolayan said the association decided to have a land bank, for the members, to handle challenges posed by land acquisition. He said the association was also working out modalities to enable members to access funds from Shelter Afrique and encouraged FMBN to develop an Internal Land Registry to enable the members to access FMBN Estate Development loans.






•Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime (left) congratulating the new Chancellor, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Amb. Hassan Adamu, during the 14th convocation ceremonies of the institution... at the weekend

•From left: Delta State Governor Emmanuel Udughan; Bishop of Issele-Uku Diocese, Most Rev. Michael Elue; and Prof BIC Ijeoma, after the thanksgiving service marking Prof Ijeoma’s 75th birthday in Asaba.

•From left: Nigeria-Britain Association (NBA) President Tunde Arogunmati, MTN Nigeria Chairman Pascal Dozie, and the British Deputy High Commission in Nigeria, Peter West at the association’s dinner dance at West’s residence in Ikoyi, the weekend.

•Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha addressing reporters at the Presidential Wing at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos...on Sunday. With his is the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

•Some stranded Nigerian pilgrims at Jedda, Saudi Arabia PHOTO: NAN

•Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Archbishop John Onaiyekan receiving a thanksgiving banner from Miss Ozomgbachi during the harvest thanksgiving of Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Abuja...on Sunday PHOTO:NAN •Oni of Ife Oba Okunade Sijuwade (right), Mr Akin Osuntokun and his wife Ronke during 50th birthday celebration of Akin Osuntokun at Chapel of Christ University of Lagos at weekend. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

•The Ololla of Olla, Dr Joseph Ajayi (left) presenting Otunba Gbadero of Olla Land chieftaincy certificate to the Director of Marketing, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Chief Jide Adebayo during his conferment of the title in Kwara the weekend. PHOTO:NAN

•Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (middle) during the conferment of a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causal) degree on him by the Benue State University, Makurdi PHOTO: UJA EMMANUEL







Malnutrition is a ‘silent’ killer, says UNICEF A

GLOBAL organ, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is worried about the havoc being done by malnutrition, which it describes as “silent emergency”. According to UNICEF, malnutrition kills hundreds of children yearly and saps the long-term economic vitality of children”. At a workshop in Owerri, Imo State, last week, to examine Nigeria’s preparedness in emergencies, UNICEF categorised the effects of malnutrition as wasting and stunting. Wasting is acute malnutrition; stunting is chronic malnutrition. Children, who suffer from acute malnutrition, have high risk of dying as their condition will deteriorate. Malnutrition is a state of being poorly malnurished. It is not a case of little food, but of a combination of factors – unavailability, inaccessibility and under utilisation of food. ‘Malnutrition’ technically includes under nutrition and over nutrition.

Without addressing malnutrition, the nation may not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), especially those related to health, hunger, and poverty. According to a Nutrition Specialist, Dr Isiaka Stevens Alo, malnutrition is involved in about 40 per cent of the 11 million deaths of children under five in developing countries. He added that lack of immediate and exclusive breastfeeding in infancy causes an additional 1.5 million of these deaths. “Countries may lose two to three per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a result of iron, iodine, and zinc deficiencies,” he said. Dr Alo said experiences have shown that from the emergencies reported in the country, children have been found to suffer from malnutrition, “Which is hidden and silent, and victims not aware or the signs recognised. More than half of children’s death in Nigeria is associated with malnutrition.

LASUTH begins major heart surgery


ATIENTS with heart problems no longer have to travel abroad for treatment. The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has started conducting major heart surgeries. The hospital started open heart surgery in January, last year with several cardiac missions between 2004 and 2009. According to the Head of LASUTH Cardiac Team, Dr. Bode Falase, major heart surgeries can now be carried out in the hospital. Falase, who spoke at the flag-off of the open heart surgery, said the government is interested and committed to the surgery, adding that it has completed an ultra-modern Cardio-Renal Centre at Gbagada.

‘Without Vitamins and minerals, children develop birth defects, blindness and an inability to learn properly, among other long-term disabilities’

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

By Wale Adepoju It is to be opened soon. On the cost of surgery, Falashe said, it is between N1 million and N1.5million per patient, pleading with corporate organisations, non-governmental organisations and individuals to come to the aid of people living with heart problems. A Consultant Cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore, Dr. Rehan Sayeed, said Nigeria should empower its primary health care system to enable citizens at the grassroots access health care, adding that the personnel at the Primary Health care Centers (PHC) must be welleducated.

•Dr Alo Reduction of malnutrition could decrease child mortality in Nigeria by 50 per cent and the burden of peadiatric disease by 20 per cent. “Reducing malnutrition has more impact than any other inter-


ITH a N10million donation to two organisations in the prevention and care of blindness, more Nigerians are to benefit from ophthalmology care. The Nigerian Society for the Blind and Sight Savers International got the donation from Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), Nigerian as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The donation was realised from the bank’s Seventh “Walk for Sight” in support of its Seeing is Believing initiative. The project is the bank’s initiative to help tackle avoidable blindness in communities around the world, 90 per cent of which is found in the developing world where the bank’s business is rooted. Started by SCB staff in 2003 to way celebrate the bank’s 150th anniversary, Seeing is Believing has raised over $37 million and im-

vention. We need to focus on the three high-impact actions; Micronutrient fortification and supplementation including deworming; community management of acute malnutrition, and promotion of optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding”, he said. Explaining this, he said: “Vitamins and minerals, also known as micronutrients, are a critical com-

ponent of good nutrition. In particular, folate (vitamin B9), iodine, iron, vitamin A, zinc, and other B vitamins including thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (B3), cobalamin (vitamin B12) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) are important for healthy and productive populations. “Without them, children develop birth defects, blindness and an inability to learn properly, among other long-term disabilities. Each year, more than one million children under five die from vitamin A and zinc deficiencies. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies affect up to two billion people globally. Access to food and the maintenance of an adequate nutritional status are critical determinants of people’s survival in a disaster. Many families and individuals are forced to leave their homes. There is increase in number of people in the host communities (refugees and host population). Often times, the displaced are moved by government to Internally Displaced Place (IDP) or Refugee Camps.”

NGOs get N10m to fight blindness By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha pacted over 25 million people to date, including over 2.5 million who have benefited from sight restorations. The Chairman, Governing Council, Nigerian Society for the Blind, Mrs Biola Agbaje, praised the bank for the gesture, saying: “We have received unwavering support from Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria for quite a few years. Without this support, it would have been extremely difficult for us to achieve the objectives of our Vocational Training Centre for the Blind in Oshodi. Over the years, the bank has provided us with

amazing financial, infrastructural and administrative assistance.” The Country Director for Sight Savers International, Mr Sunday Isiyaku, said: “We are quite pleased with the generous support we have received over the last few years from Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria. Over the last six years, investment by the Seeing is Believing programme in Kwara State has meant that human resources have been developed, the number of surgeries performed each year has increased, awareness about eye services has been created and there has been an increase in the number of people accessing services.

Free treatment for cleft lip patients


LEFT lip or cleft palate patients are to benefit from free treatment, courtesy of a non-government organisation (NGO). The Medical Director of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Dr Wahab Yinusa, said the corrective surgery has been paid for by The Smile Train. According to him, a patient with the defect can come into the hospital to be treated under the arrangement because a total of $28, 000 is available for such. Initial grant of $16, 000 and additional $12, 000 was given by the NGO to the hospital, he said. “It is with the hope to eradicate the condition in the world, more so in the third world country that Nigeria is part of. So that no child with it will go into adulthood with same. Many patients are moving into the nook and cranny of the country without knowing the availability of the free financial provision,” he said. The Head of Burns, Plastic and

By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha Reconstructive Surgery, Dr Folake Abikoye, said the hospital has performed over 70 free surgeries for patients with cleft lip and palate. “And we have energetic staff and resources, both human and facility to perform more. It is a matter of bring in such patients and we will deploy all of the energetic and resources,” said Mrs Abikoye. “Some of the initial beneficiaries expressed appreciation to the SmileTrain Team and urged other parents to present their children out for the free surgery. We did not pay any amount and am, indeed, a happy person seeing God’s perfection through SmileTrain,” said Olajide Odusanya. To Mrs. Margaret Ubong, mother of threeyear-old Sharon, Dr. Abikoye and her team are God-sent for her first child who has both cleft lip and palate surgery. “She can talk fluently and she is looking beautiful. I thank God and Dr. Abikoye and her SmileTrain

•Dr. Yinusa (3rd left) with his team, staff, parents and benefiaciaries of the free treatment. team. Mrs. Falilat Hassan was full of praises to the SmileTrain team and enjoined other mothers in her situation to bring their kids to National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi

(NOHI), for the free surgery. “We did not pay because I could remember that we were still wondering how we will raise theN 251,000 one doctor asked us to pay when somebody directed us to NOHI.”




‘Blood donation too low in Nigeria’ W

HY are Nigerians afraid of donating blood? This is the puzzling question to which doctors are yet to find an answer. Doctors are, however, worried that there are few blood donors. A Consultant haematologist, and Acting Executive Secretary, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC), Dr Uwen Olusola Oyekan, said it is worrisome that blood donation by Nigerians is poor. It is less than the 10 per cent okayed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Mrs Oyekan spoke at a workshop organised by LSBTC for medical laboratory scientists and others on current trend and quality service in blood banking. The theme is Quality assurance in blood banking. She said the essence of the workshop was to improve the quality of blood service in Lagos State. “The LSBTC was set up by the government to supervise, by monitoring blood transfusion services in the state. One of our functions is to train the staff, health workers, on quality in the blood transfusion services. This is the why we have organised the workshop,” she said. On enforcement, she said: “The fact is that some people don’t really do the exact thing that they know how to do. We just want to emphasis the need for us to maintain good manufacturing practice (GMP) because the blood that we produce is a product being used by

•Mrs Oyekan the doctors to save patients’ lives. So, we need to be sure of the standard of the product we are producing. We have national guidelines and what we are doing is to remind them of what the guidelines say. On misconception about donations, Mrs Oyekan said: “People have misconception. They are afraid to donate blood. Some would say they would lose weight if they give blood. Others would say they would collapse. Some are even afraid that their blood might be used for rituals which are unfounded. Surprisingly, some men even habour the fears that they might lose their manhood, if they

•A cross section of participants donate their blood. Deputy Director and Donor Care Manager, Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service, Mrs Temilola Alayande, said the lecture was to

instill quality in donor care management. “If you recruit commercial donors, they are likely to come up with transmissible infections or

have HIV virus, or hepatitis virus which are just manifesting, and when the blood gets to the screening centre it will be negative,” she said.

Unilever enters Guinness Book of Records with hand washing


•Alonge, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs Omowunmi George, Brand Building Director, Mr David Okeme; Category Brand Director, Bolanle Lawal and Mabe showing off the N10m cheque received.

NILEVER has entered the Guinness Book of World Records. It achieved the feat when it made 37, 809 children wash their hands at the same time and at the same venue (Tafawa Balewa Square) in Lagos. Managing Director, Unilever Plc, Thabo Mabe, said the company’s achievement of its target was confirmed when over five million Nigerians through the Internet pledged to defeat diarrhea by signing leaflets to demonstrate their support. He spoke at a press conference to announce Lifebuoy soap’s winning of Guinness Book of World Records for hand washing. He said Lifebuoy soap was the brand that projected Nigeria, adding that it was the practical demonstration of how the company

Stories by Wale Adepoju

helps people to take small steps that brings great difference. Mabe said the people now know the efficacy of hand washing in combating diarrhea and other diseases, adding that the company knows the negative impact of diarrhea in the country. Director, Family Planning, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Jemilade Alonge, said the company has moved from corporate social responsibility to corporate development. Her said hand washing was important to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), saying that it prevents pneumonia and nutrition-related diseases as well as helping to manage diarrhea and HIV/ AIDS.

‘Nigeria has only 10 occupational therapists’ •Expert condemns brain drain


IGERIA has less than 10 occupational therapists, the Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr Abdulrahman Lawal, has said. He said the shortage of occupational therapists is a worldwide phenomenon, pointing out that Nigeria is worse because of brain drain. Lawal spoke at the World Occupational Therapy Day (WOTD) and the 2011/ 2012 Matriculation of the Federal School of Occupational Therapy (FSOT), Lagos. Lawal said the institution is the only one in West Africa that has been supplying graduates to hos-

pitals, prisons, among other places. Lawal, a product of the school, noted that some of the students were already doing well in the institutions abroad. “The prospect and potential of occupational therapy is limitless. That is why we want secondary school pupils to take a career in it,” he said. He said the 28 matriculated students were admitted after thorough screening, adding that standards must not be compromised. The idea is for us to have students that we can be proud of, he said. Lawal said awareness is poor on the prospect and potential of the profession.

•A cross section of matriculating students.

He said when the students finish, they would proceed to the university to further their studies. A member of the Medical Reha-

bilitation Therapy Board of Nigeria (MRTB), Mr Joe Nwegwu, said the Federal Government should do something about lack of occupa-

tional therapists in the country. He said too much attention was given to medicine leaving other health professions to suffer.




Jonathan to open Customs College T

HE Nigerian Customs College in Abuja is no longer a dream. With its inauguration billed for next month, the college has finally become a reality. Its inauguration by President Goodluck Jonathan will coincide with the nation’s hosting of 42 customs administrations, 25 international organisations and operators between December 7 and 13. The college has facilities, such as classrooms, lecture theatres, clinics, lecturers’ quarters, commandant and deputy commandant’s quarters, hostels, clinic, mini-supermarket and E-library. There are also facilities like auditorium, officers’ mess, sporting facilities for squash, gym, mosque and church. The school has also been approved by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), to serve as a regional college to western and central Africa. The approval was given by WCO at its headquarters in Brussels recently, between its Secretary-General, Kunio Mikuriya. Nigeria’s success story at the Brussels meeting did not only end with the collaboration agreement on the regional training centre, but the country also made away with the hosting right of the WCO meeting in December, out of the 30 countries which competed for the hosting right. The meeting was hosted by China in 2010, but by the December 7, the 42-member countries of the WCO and 25 businesses and international organisations, will be in Nigeria for seven days. The meeting is a week-long event, where the organisation would work out its roadmap for next year. These two achievements, according to operators will, signpost the dawn of a new era and they are in fact epoch making.The institute, they said, would open new vistas to foreigners who have never been here and their visit will disabuse their minds of the negative information that they hear about the country. “I am sure that those who used to think that Nigeria had nothing to offer would have a change of heart when Mr President inaugurates the college,” said, one of the operators, and Chairman, Global Shipping and Oil, Sunday Afolayanhe. During his working visit to Nigeria in February, this year, Mikuriya inspected the Customs Command and Staff College among other projects and gave the school international recognition. Mikuriya, who had gone round

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

the institution was delighted and expressed satisfaction with the level of work done, describing it as the first of its kind in the region. He praised Dikko for embarking on such a laudable project which he noted would go a long way in capacity building of officers and men of the NCS. Speaking while inspecting the construction works in the college last week, the Comptroller-General, Alhaji Abdullahi Diko, said the Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada is ready with several facilities for capacity building for officers and men of the service. Dikko explained that the college which had a regional status would serve the purpose of training Customs officers in the West and Central Africa sub-region and also be useful for retreat and research by other government institutions and other organisations. According to him, the dual purpose of establishing the college was for capacity building and to cut costs incurred on foreign training. “There is nothing at international level that cannot be got in the college,” he said. Investigation conducted by The Nation, however, revealed that beginning from next year, the country would host middle level Customs officers from West and Central Africa, who are due for one training or the other. This follows the recent endorsement of the Customs Command and Staff College as the regional training centre for the 23 Customs administrations which make up the West and Central African region, by WCO. Following the agreement, a formal collaboration in the area of training and capacity building for Customs officers in the region, between the WCO and the NCS was sealed. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mikuriya expressed the gratitude of the world body to the Nigeria Customs for providing a centre for training of Customs per-

•Customs officers during training

•President Jonathan

sonnel in the West and Central African sub-region. Dikko, who led the Nigeria Customs Service delegation to the council meeting, re-stated the commitment of not just the NCS, but of Nigeria, to accord top priority to capacity building in its ongoing modernisation programme, which gave birth to the Command and Staff College. Speaking with The Nation on the establishment and the importance of the Staff College, the National President, Association of the Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents

(ANLCA), Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu said before the coming of Dikko, the belief among Nigerians was that the Customs is only there to make its officers millionaires at the expense of service to fatherland. But when Dikko assumed office, Shittu said his style of administration convinced even the cynics that he meant well for the service and country. For instance, he set out agenda aimed at redefining NCS to make it effective and service-oriented. “The establishment of the Customs college at Gwagwalada, Abuja, will arguably remain one of his most enduring legacies,” Shittu said. Also, the image maker of the command at the Tin-Can Island port, Lagos, Mr Chris Osunkwo, said since Dikko’s assumption as the helmsman of the NCS, over 13,000 officers and men have been trained by the service for productivity. In July, for instance, Osunkwo said, 38 senior officers were in Toronto, Canada, for a transformational leadership programme tagged “Becoming a multi-Dimensional Leader.” “Since Dikko’s assumption of office, he made sure that every Customs officer who deserves training in his field is on queue

‘Nigeria’s success story at the Brussels meeting did not only end with the collaboration agreement on the regional training centre, but the country also made away with the hosting right of the WCO meeting in December’

to attend one course or another. No one has been left behind and his intention is to have all officers and men of the service trained. When the trainees return from courses, they imparted that knowledge on their colleagues and that has spread the training broadly. Everyone has been trained including me. The CGS takes training in valuation seriously because he wants officers and men of the service to operate in the same vein as any customs administration anywhere in the world,” Osunkwo said. Investigation revealed that the college, when inaugurated, will produce well-grounded, rounded and gallant officers of high repute in the mould of the Kaduna-based Nigeria Defence Academy, where young military officers are trained. A senior government official in the Federal Ministry of Finance, who crave anonymity, said the involvement of the Customs apex governing boby in the institution would not only improve Nigeria’s image abroad, but their input and material contribution would enhance the quality of training that would be received from the institution, where trainees would learn the traits to offer responsible and responsive leadership. When contacted, Dikko, who spoke with The Nation through the NCS’Public Relations Officer, maintained that the training embarked upon by the service since his assumption of office was already bearing fruits as revenue collection was now at an all time high of over N60 billion monthly collections, as against the inherited all time high of N30 billion monthly collection.

Local ship owners lament as foreigners dominate shipping


NLY about 60 of the 600 vessels in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry are owned by indigenous operators. The General Secretary of the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Captain Niyi Labinjo, told The Nation in Lagos that out of these 60 vessels, only about six are doing business in the offshore sector. The rest are anchored without jobs. Labinjo disclosed that each vessel participating in the offshore operations collects at least $5,000 daily. This according to him, is the least collected by foreign vessels doing business in the nation’s waters. He said with the situation, the

country is losing about N2 trillion yearly as capital flight. Said Labinjo: “We have plenty of hydrocarbons. As at today, it is 37 billion barrels, but our government is working towards making it 40 billion. That is our proven reserve. We are said to be the 10th world producer of oil. The world everyday uses 84 million barrels per day of oil and Nigeria produces 2.5 million barrels every day. For gas, we have 24 trillion reserves. “We have the best shrimps in the world, called tiger shrimps. That is why you have very many Indian fishing companies in Nigeria. All the tiger shrimps are exported. We import into Nigeria every five million metric tonnes of cargo, 100 million metric tonnes of general goods. We

import 65 million litres of petroleum products every year. “In the oil and gas industry, Nigeria has close to 500 oil wells that we are drilling all over the place. For each well, there is a rig

which is supported by a minimum of five ships, and they are called oil support vessels. As at today, for ships that earn $5,000 and above per day, there are about 600 of them. There are those that even earn

$150,000 per day. You have 60 belonging to Nigerians out of the 600. Those 60, if you go to our waters, you will see them there; they have no jobs. So, for offshore we are not just there,” he said.

NPA tackles traffic congestion


HE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has devised means to clear the traffic congestion on the access roads of the ports in Lagos. At a meeting between the Nigerian Ports Authority Management, Shipping Lines and Terminal Operators, it was agreed that shipping companies should, henceforth, ensure that all empty containers come into the port

only at night from their holding bays. Other measures agreed upon include curbing the stripping of containers and sale of used vehicles (Tokunbo) along the port area, the removal of abandoned vehicles from the access roads and acceleration of the repairs and construction of the access roads. Similarly, following a joint meeting between the NPA, the

Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and Amalgamated Association of Truck Owners (AMATO), it was agreed that trucks should not be parked in industrial areas or climb the hard shoulders of the road. Also to be addressed within the next three months is the minimum standard condition of trucks operating at the nation’s seaports.




‘Why price of rice is high’ T HE price of rice is high because of the high duty on its importation, stakeholders have said. They urged the Federal Government to lift the ban on the importation of rice through the land borders in the interest of the masses. Investigation conducted by The Nation revealed that both rice importation through the land borders and rice smuggling have reduced due to the high landing cost of the commodity because of the surveillance put in place by the Customs. Speaking with The Nation at Badagry, the importers said the price of rice has gone up geometrically and alleged that majority of those importing rice through the seaports are shylock traders working against the interest of the country and the common man. The importers refuted the claim that they were shortchanging the government through duty evasion, saying they were ready to pay Customs duty at every border before bringing in the commodity. The spokesman of the group, Bolarinwa Badero, said rice is one of the nation’s staples.He urged President Goodluck Jonathan to reconsider the position by allowing them import the commodity through the land borders. Badero said the landing cost of rice through the nation’s seaports is expensive compared to that of neighbouring ports. Another member of the group, Seye Adetula, said they were aware that rice importers were required by the law to pay 20 per cent Customs

By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

duty in addition to a 20 per cent levy, a condition she said they always complied with. “It is bad for those in the government to tag us that are doing our legitimate business and paying the necessary duty to Customs as smugglers. We are not smugglers, but importers and rice merchants. “We prefer to import through the neighbouring ports because we cannot compete with the local importers that use billions of naira to import the commodity. “With as little as N3 million and N4 million, you can import rice from Cotonou or other neighbouring countries. But that is not the case in Nigeria. That is why the government needs to assist us to feed our families and pay the school fees of our children. “Those who engage in smuggling are still in business. They have their routes and know how they convey their rice to the market. “We are not smugglers since we don’t go into the bush to bring our rice to the country. We import our rice through another ports, load it on trucks and bring it through the Customs approved road and pay the stipulated duty,” he said. “It is the smugglers that are evading duty, to sell at the true market price and make excessive profits; or sell slightly below the actual market price and spoil the market for honest importers who imported their commodity and paid correct duty to the govern-

ment before going to the market to sell.” A 400-level student in one of the universities in Lagos who helps her mother to sell rice at Agboju market, Foluke Daramola, said since the government banned the importation of rice through the land borders, the price has been sky-rocketing. She urged the Federal Government to revisit the policy. She urged the government to review the duty payable to Customs to bring down its landing costs, to make the commodity more affordable to Nigerians and reduce poverty. A consumer, Seyi Agbabiaka, said the market price of rice, has increased since the Federal Government banned rice importation through Seme, Idiroko and other land borders. Some of the consumers who spoke with The Nation attributed the high cost of rice to the new tariff regime introduced by the Federal Government. A rice merchant at Alaba Rago Market in Lagos, Alhaji Sheu Yahya, told The Nation that when the ban on rice importation through the land borders was lifted early last year, the landing cost of 600 bags was put at N2,700,000 and was later increased to N2,800,000. He said the same 600 bags of rice now cost N3,650,000. Yahya said he has been in the business for over 20 years and expressed fear that the price of the commodity may not fall except the Federal Government reduces the tariff payable on the commodity.

Maritime Watch

German delegation at ports Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent


BUSINESS delegation from Germany has visited the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on a fact-finding mission to seek areas of economic co-operation between Nigeria and Germany. In his opening remarks, the head of the delegation, Dr. Oliver Liersch, said that the aim of the visit was to exchange ideas with the Nigerian Business groups, particularly in oil and gas, tools, manufacturing, agro-allied, shipping/logistics and automobiles. While welcoming the delegation, the NPA Managing Director, Omar Suleiman, who was represented by the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Aina Egharevba, thanked the members of the business delegation for considering Nigeria as a special area of interest worthy of investments in view of its tremendous potential. According to her, the creation of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment by the government is a practical demonstration of its desire to promote and attract investments in all sectors of the economy. He enjoined the trade delegation to take advantage of this gesture. The representative of the Managing Director used the occasion to inform the trade delegation of the transformation of the authority from a government monopoly to a private sector-driven economy controlled by 24 concessionaires, which handles cargo operations.

Port expansion


HE Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar and the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have been urged to encourage deep seaport development as it is done in other maritime nations. Nigeria, he said, needs a seaport of draught not less than 40 metres with better facilities that can berth and accommodate bigger marine vessels. The need, they said, is in line with increased cargo traffic nationally and internationally as global logistics trends and practices. The result of global trends in port development, the stakeholders said, showed that out of over 100 seaports projects being executed across the world, about 75 per cent are deep seaports or terminals. The balance, they said, is mostly inland water way ports and jetties. The Managing Director, Maritime Energy Base, Mr Charles Irabor, said maritime transportation is a key sector that needs to be developed by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. He urged Umar to see to the rapid transformation of the sector so that it would impact positively on cargo handling capacity of the sea ports and increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the end of his tenure. He said the country, as the largest importer and exporter of cargo in West Africa, needs at least one deep seaport as a hub for West and Central Africa based on an increase in its maritime and general trade volumes. The cargo throughput handled by the seaports, he said, increased from 66,908,322 metric tonnes in 2009 to 74,910,284 metric tonnes indicating a 12 per cent increase. The benefits of attaining a regional hub status, Irabor added, included the potential to create directly and indirectly,approximately four million jobs over a five-year period and a 70 per cent cut in vessel turnaround time as well as guaranteeing increased revenue from berthing to handling charges for the trans-shipment of cargoes.

‘Enforce Shippers Council Act’

T •The vessel

‘Vessel explosion no cause for alarm’


HE management of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Lagos has assured that the water ways are safe and that there was no cause for the nation to entertain any fears. Speaking with The Nation in his office at Marina last week, the Area Manager of the agency, Mr Joseph Ororo, said the nation’s waterways are still the safest means of transportation and encouraged Nigerians to continue using the waterways for their movement and for the transportation of their goods as it is the cheapest and safest means of transportation. This declaration and re-assurance became necessary to allay the fears of the people following an explosion that occurred aboard a vessel at the Marina in Lagos last Monday. The explosion was reported to have caused the death of at least one person while some were said to have been injured as well as a number of cars parked at the car park of a bank headquarters nearby were reportedly damaged. According to an eye witness, who

By Uyoatta Eshiet

did not want his name in print, the explosion threw the area into total confusion as commuters and motorists ran helter skelter to protect their lives fearing that the dreaded Boko Haram was at work. The explosion, according to the witness, was said to have occurred when a welder was undertaking repair works on the tanker. The NIWA boss debunked the fears that the explosion was a bomb. He said: “The explosion is not something that happen everyday”. Speaking further he said: “I am sure it was an accident that may have been caused by one error or the other.” He recalled that a similar event occurred sometime during the late Abacha’s regime when some people were carrying out welding work in a tank that had not been made free of inflammable materials. He said if any vessel that was used in carrying inflammable materials is not washed thoroughly and freed from the substances and

tested and confirmed to be free and then any welding or hot work is done within it, it could result into an incidents, such as the explosion witnessed at the Marina. He said Nigerians should not be afraid because of the explosion, that such incidences are not a regular occurrence. “It is something that happened in the course of some work, therefore, there is no cause for alarm”, he assured. On the water hyacinth that has covered the waterways, a yearly occurrence, Ororo said it is a seasonal issue and they multiply very rapidly, that is why the massive manifestation is witnessed, he explained. He said: “We have the machines. We are waiting for funds and once the funds are available, we will start clearing them. On the possibility of stopping it permanently, he said it is not possible because the waterways criscross Nigeria and other neighbouring countries. Its origin, he said, is not Nigerian. He said water hyacinth was not known to Nigeria a few years back.

HE Federal Government has been urged to enforce the provisions of the Act that established the council. The Act stipulates that for the running of the council, it is expected to charge one per cent of freight, in and out of the country. Briefing reporters on the activities of the council, Biu lamented that nobody is paying the council one per cent of freight as stipulated by the Act. Speaking with The Nation in his office last week, the Managing Director, Badmus Shipping Company, Mr Fola Badmus, said the council recovered N1 billion through the operations of its Cargo Defence Fund. Over 400 financial claims by aggrieved shippers, he said, have also been settled by the council in the last 18 months. The shipper, therefore, lamented that inadequate funding was seriously affecting the operations of the council.

Chamber advocates manpower devt By Uyoatta Eshiet


O ensure that the advantages of the Nigerian Local Content Law are fully taken care of by indigenous operators, the Nigeria Chamber of Shipping said that it has embarked on a process that will further result to the training of local operators on how to maximise their potentials and benefit from the law. This was made known at the membership evening of the chamber, which it put together in conjunction with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). Speaking at the event, the Director-General of the Nigeria Chamber of Shipping, Mrs Ify Akerele, harped on the need to develop manpower for the local operators in Nigeria. According to her, Nigeria is blessed with enormous resources and hardworking people, yet the local content business operators are still at a disadvantage, compared to the foreign investors. She reiterated the commitment of the chamber to manpower development in the oil and gas and the maritime sectors, saying that the chamber is already in discussion with an oil and gas organisation that will lead to training of Nigerian operators. “Recently we have been talking with the Oil and Gas Trainers Association of Nigeria (OGTAN); a fellow member of the NCCF to explore ways of addressing the manpower development needs of the oil and gas industry,’’ she stressed. The members evening drew participation from both the local and foreign operators in the oil and gas sector and also the maritime sector.



















NEWS Ebonyi arraigns 54 sanitation defaulters

Tribunal to rule on Ebonyi, NPC suit January 11 From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

THE Census Tribunal sitting in Abuja has reserved January 11 for judgment in the case brought before it by Ebonyi State Government, challenging the conduct of the 2006 National Population and Housing Census in the state. State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Ben Igwenyi spoke in Abakaliki yesterday. He said the state filed the suit to protest what it described as improper its population by the commission. “The government filed a suit against the National Population Commission at the tribunal for alleged failure to properly count people of the state during the exercise. “During the 2006 National census, Ebonyi State was not properly counted in our own assumption because the enumeration officers were not enough.”

CAN honours Ihedioha THE Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha has been installed the Grand Patron of Southeast Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN). YOWICAN President Pastor Eches Divine Eches said the honour was in recognition of Ihedioha’s godly lifestyle, leadership qualities and laudable achievements as a public servant. “You have, without doubt, contributed to the unity and development of Nigeria. After a careful study of your achievements, we are obliged to identify with a positiveminded leader like you for your efforts towards taking Nigeria to a greater height.”

Govt gets aid against terrorism By Jude Isiguzo

THE Centre for Criminal Justice Reform and Citizen Awareness in collaboration with Nigeria Institute of International Affairs and Access Bank Plc will convene a National conference on terrorism. The conference is aimed at curbing terrorism in the country. The theme of the conference is: The Challenges of Terrorism in the 21st Century Global Community”. The conference holds today at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Ikoyi, Lagos. Chief Criminologist/ Security and Counter Terrorism Advisor of the Centre for Criminal Justice Reform and Citizen Awareness Dr Paul Obianaso said the organisation would assist government in checking the situation before it escalates to other parts of the country.


Certificate forgery: Lawmaker knows fate January 25 F

USTICE Salisu Saliu of the Federal High Court in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, has fixed January 25 for the final ruling in the petition filed by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the April National Assembly election, Alphonsus Nwali. Nwali alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Tobias Okwuru forged certificate. The APGA candidate had filed a petition at the Federal High Court alleging that the PDP candidate representing Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives was not

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

qualified to contest the election having presented forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Counsel to the plaintiff Gabriel Amadi had filed an affidavit for originating summons on the matter on May 25 and filed another one on November 18 in support of the originating summon. When the matter came up on November 22 for adoption of written addresses of the two parties, Amadi told the court that Okwuru was not qualified to contest the

Ezza South/Ikwo Federal Constituency election having allegedly submitted fake certificates to INEC. “The issue we are really canvassing is that the 2nd defendant presented fake certificate to the 1st defendant (INEC), which is contrary to the Constitution of Nigeria and as a result of this, was not qualified to contest the election. The non- possession of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) discharge or exemption certificate is a non-possession of university certificate because nobody can have a valid university certificate without corresponding NYSC certificate.

“The university certificate is compiled from the graduating list of a university and when a student’s name is not contained there, his or her certificate must be fake, even if a student’s name was omitted in the graduating list, his or her name must be indicated in the subsequent convocation,” Amadi said. Counsel to the 2nd defendant S.O Odii argued that the plaintiff’s counsel had failed to pin his argument on any law. Justice Saliu said the authorities of the institution would be summoned to give evidence and reserved the ruling for January 25.

Anambra tribunal rules in favour of Akunyili over jurisdiction •APGA candidate to know fate Nov. 30 •ACN moves to appeal


HE application filed by Senator Chris Ngige over jurisdiction to entertain his election matter after the expiration of the constitutional 180 days, suffered a setback yesterday. The tribunal ruled that it will go on with the case. The Court of Appeal, sitting in Enugu, had ordered the retrial of the case between Ngige of the Actions Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Prof. Dora Akunyili of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on merit. When the case came up last week, the three-man Election Petition Tribunal (1) in Awka, led by Justice Onajite

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka Kuejibola, adjourned till yesterday after listening to submissions of counsel. The tribunal ruled that it will start a fresh hearing on the case on Tuesday. But counsel to Senator Ngige and the ACN, Chief Emeka Ngige, told reporters yesterday that he will appeal the ruling. He said what the tribunal did amounted to amendment of the which, according to him, it had no right to do. But Prof Akunyili, who was representedat the tribu-

nal, told reporters that she was gladdened by the ruling. She said the era of technical justice had gone, adding that the life of the matter started again”de novo” on November 16, when the Court of Appeal ordered for fresh trial on merit. Akunyili said very soon, thw world would know that she won the election convincingly, adding that she had always believed in God. Meanwhile, the applivcation by the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) challenging the jurisdiction of the panel four, led by Hon. Justice Nasi Gumi to entertain the


case between Hon Victor Ogene and Hon. Chukwuka Onyema was adjourned till November 30 for ruling. S. O. Ibrahim, Chief Legal Officer of (INEC) and counsel to Ogene Hippo Onwuneme had cghallenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal on citing several cases while Chuma Oguejiofor for Onyema and Clems Ezika, opposed it.

Obi empowers hospitals with N3b grant


GOVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra State has disbursed about N1 billion grant to selected mission hospitals in the state. It is part of the N3 billion the state government set aside for the provision of hostels in the hospitals and facilitate the accreditation of their courses. The benefiting schools are School of Midwifery Iyi-Enu; School of Nursing, Iyi-Enu; School of Midwifery, Our Lady of Lourdes, Ihiala; School of Nursing, Our Lady of Lourdes, Ihiala; School of Midwifery, Ani and School of Midwifery, Waterside, Onitsha. The governor donated medical equipment to 105 health facilities. He also donated N400million to Iyienu, Borromeo, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Joseph’s Adazi hospitals at the Women Develop-

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

ment Centre in Awka. The governor said his administration would reposition the hospitals to meet the health needs of the people and discourage going abroad for treatment. “At the inception of this administration, Anambra State had a completely collapsed health sector. The situation was so bad that we did not even have a single accredited hospital or health institution. “Today, the Onitsha General Hospital has been accredited. Ekwulobia and Amaku General Hospitals will attain the same status within the life span of this administration. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Nkpor and School of Health Technology,Obosi, among others, have been ac-

Onitsha traders fault MASSOB on robbery victims


OME traders at the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State, yesterday faulted the claim by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) that the families of the two victims of an armed robbery attack on Ifejika Street of the Onitsha main market were not compensated. MASSOB’s National Director of Information, Comrade Uchenna Madu,had said the movement rejected the

From Adimike George, Onitsha

N300,000 compensation by the traders for the funeral of two of its members who were killed during the November 7 robbery incident. But the Chairman and ViceChairman of the traders under the aegis of Millennium Merchant and Importers Association Obiora Nwankwo and Vincent Ezechukwu said the traders paid each family of the victims N150,000.

credited. “Recognising that government needs to partner those organisations which have the interest of the people at heart, we are expanding our rela-

tionship with some agencies. Today, we have lots of hospital equipment, under the Millennium Development Goals, to be distributed to selected hospitals,” he said.

IFTY four sanitation defaulters were at the weekend convicted by the Ebonyi State Environmental Sanitation Court sitting in Abakaliki. Those arraigned included an immigration officer, a policeman and a pregnant woman. Magistrate Chinwe Ukwa convicted the two security officers following their failure to participate in the state environmental exercise. The immigration officer, who pleaded not guilty, said he was returning from a church programme when he was apprehended by sanitation inspectors. The police officer, who was also arraigned in court for flouting sanitation law, was later discharged by the court. He stated that he was returning from an official duty when he was arrested. Some of the defaulters were ordered to pay a fine of N4,000 or serve two months imprisonment. While some paid the N4,000 to secure their freedom, three others were remanded at the Abakaliki Prison. Ukwa warned top government functionaries to desist from flouting sanitation law. Commissioner for Environment Paul Okorie also decried the violation of sanitation law.

PUBLIC NOTICE ADEPOJU I formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwakemi Opeyemi Adepoju, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs. Oluwakemi Opeyemi Akiode. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.

LOSS OF DOCUMENTS This is to notify the general public and Federal Housing Authority (FHA) off Badagry road, Lagos that all original personal and official documents on the property described as flat 6, block 2 ‘K’ close, 721 Road (3 Bedroom single balcony) 7 th avenue belonging to OLOKEOGUN, PAUL YOMI, won with ballot no 1034, 1977 were lost to an overnight fire disaster in my residence No. 7 Adesina Street, near Araromi market, Oyo Oyo state, Nigeria on the 17-18 January, 2008. Details: * counterfoil Nigeria postal order (5000) * Original winners list booklet * Letter of award/acceptance offer * Booklets of monthly mortgage payment * Receipts of # 12,000 bulk payment (1993/1994) * Receipt of outright and full payment (2007) * Other Documents issued during the exercise. Federal Housing Authority and general Public Should take note






Financial, oil, gas stocks bullish as market opens bearish


No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 1 0.50 2,000 1,000.00 1 2,000 1,000.00 AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC 1 0.50 2,955 1,477.50 LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC 2 0.50 2,726 1,363.00 PRESCO PLC 4 7.40 7,500 56,259.00 Sector Totals 7 13,181 59,099.50 AIR SERVICES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC 29 5.11 245,107 1,245,558.18 Sector Totals 29 245,107 1,245,558.18 AUTOMOBILE & TYRE Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC 2 0.50 40,600 20,300.00 R. T. BRISCOE (NIGERIA) PLC 9 1.27 58,319 76,412.11 Sector Totals 11 98,919 96,712.11 BANKING Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) ACCESS BANK PLC 65 4.90 626,262 3,050,853.16 DIAMOND BANK PLC 38 3.00 11,550,255 33,788,547.06 ECOBANK NIGERIA PLC 25 1.98 1,321,150 2,612,842.88 FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC 50 4.38 5,375,970 23,096,891.00 FIDELITY BANK PLC 71 1.36 7,932,044 10,942,560.48 FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC 447 9.57 10,989,615 105,108,232.51 GTBANK PLC 313 14.31 18,385,184 263,024,358.18 STANBIC IBTC BANK PLC 36 7.50 603,900 4,567,925.00 SKYE BANK PLC. 89 4.35 8,261,976 34,687,558.23 STERLING BANK PLC 14 1.15 959,488 1,093,296.00 2.52 4,386,767 10,792,217.29 UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC. 166 UNITYBANK PLC 39 0.51 7,234,128 3,788,512.40 WEMA BANK PLC 40 0.52 2,298,650 1,237,406.84 ZENITH BANK PLC 219 11.60 17,141,046 198,821,435.17 Sector Totals 1,612 97,066,435 696,612,636.20 BREWERIES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) GUINNESS NIGERIA PLC 74 202.00 224,926 45,262,405.20 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC 1 6.00 3,300 18,810.00 NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC 173 90.01 1,380,891 124,304,874.96 Sector Totals 248 1,609,117 169,586,090.16 BUILDING MATERIALS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) ASHAKA CEMENT PLC 50 14.00 250,647 3,438,007.65 CEMENT CO. OF NORTHERN NIGERIA PLC 20 4.95 632,000 3,119,807.12 DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 26 105.10 24,104 2,524,748.96 LAFARGE WAPCO PLC 22 39.01 222,641 8,685,296.46 Sector Totals 118 1,129,392 17,767,860.19 CHEMICAL & PAINTS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) BERGER PAINTS NIGERIA PLC 12 8.52 306,642 2,513,749.46 CHEMICAL AND ALLIED PRODUCTS PLC 23 16.11 43,976 737,695.16 Sector Totals 35 350,618 3,251,444.62 COMMERCIAL/SERVICES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PLC 2 0.50 7,000 3,500.00 RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 13 2.30 264,890 593,768.20 Sector Totals 15 271,890 597,268.20 COMPUTER & OFFICE EQUIPMENT Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. 6 8.87 6,600 60,346.00 6,600 60,346.00 Sector Totals 6 CONGLOMERATES Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) PZ CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC 28 30.00 175,085 5,061,951.00 SCOA NIGERIA PLC 1 5.81 200 1,104.00 TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC 34 0.61 3,353,500 2,092,921.33 UAC OF NIGERIA PLC 107 29.05 1,094,578 31,717,129.48 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC 37 26.00 98,059 2,546,516.20 Sector Totals 207 4,721,422 41,419,622.01 CONSTRUCTION Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) JULIUS BERGER NIGERIA PLC 11 38.43 54,765 2,103,252.45 MULTIVERSE PLC 2 0.50 10,750 5,375.00 Sector Totals 13 65,515 2,108,627.45 ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) CUTIX PLC 1 1.70 22,500 38,250.00 Sector Totals 1 22,500 38,250.00 FOOD/BEVERAGES & TOBACCO Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 7-UP BOTTLING CO. PLC 23 48.00 23,755 1,134,301.38 CADBURY NIGERIA PLC 31 11.45 566,469 6,567,816.22 DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 42 5.26 197,072 1,038,802.24 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 50 4.76 615,215 2,912,146.38 FLOUR MILLS NIGERIA PLC 28 62.50 226,141 14,130,841.73 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 9 2.85 548,822 1,563,300.50 NATIONAL SALT COMPANY NIGERIA PLC 11 4.20 94,123 398,331.24 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC 7 403.50 14,806 5,974,221.00 NORTHERN NIGERIA FLOUR MILLS PLC 1 21.48 7,797 159,136.77 TANTALIZERS PLC 1 0.50 2,000 1,000.00 Sector Totals 203 2,296,200 33,879,897.46 HEALTHCARE Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) EVANS MEDICALPLC. 6 0.73 177,980 128,435.66 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 7 1.14 255,000 289,050.00 GLAXOSMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC 15 25.50 124,783 3,098,101.71 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 7 2.07 21,700 42,749.00 MORISON INDUSTRIES PLC. 1 9.05 20 172.00 NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC 9 1.30 200,740 260,862.00 PHARMA-DEKO PLC 2 3.50 550 1,925.00 Sector Totals 47 780,773 3,821,295.37 INDUSTRIAL/DOMESTIC PRODUCTS Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) B. O. C. GASES NIGERIA PLC 3 6.80 12,674 90,330.60 VITAFOAM NIGERIA PLC 13 4.80 236,867 1,141,482.85 Sector Totals 16 249,541 1,231,813.45 INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Company Name No of Deals Quotation(N) Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) STARCOMMS PLC 7 0.50 85,500 42,750.00 Sector Totals 7 85,500 42,750.00


INANCIAL services and oil and gas stocks were divergent to the negative stock market situation as losses by some highly capitalised stocks and consumer goods stocks coloured the opening market position. Broad indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed negative outlook yesterday but sectoral indices tracking the banking, insurance and oil and gas subsectors indicated a bullish start for the segments. The All Share Index (ASI), the common index that measures prices changes of all quoted companies and doubles as the country index for Nigeria, slipped to 20,103.22 points from its index on board of 20,122.14 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of all quoted equities dropped by 0.08 per cent to N6.326 trillion from its opening value of N6.332 trillion; reflecting losses by a handful of highly capitalised stocks; especially in the food and beverages segment. The NSE 30 Index, which gauges the pricing trend of the 30 most capitalised companies, dipped from 897.16 points to 896.12 points just

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

as the NSE Food and Beverages Index slipped from 564.91 points to 561.72 points. However, the NSE Banking Index trended upward to 276.42 points as against opening index of 275.52 points. The NSE Insurance Index followed the uptrend at 147.16 points compared with its opening index of 145.15 points. The NSE Oil and Gas Index also improved from 244.13 points to 245.05 points. The outlooks in the financial services and oil and gas subsectors reflected the gains made by Forte Oil, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank and Sterling Bank Plc. Forte Oil topped the gainers’ list with a gain of 73 kobo to close at N15.52 per share. ETI added 52 kobo to close at N10.94. UAC of Nigeria rose by 25 kobo to N29.05. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria chalked up 21 kobo to close at N4.95. FCMB gath-

ered 13 kobo to close at N4.38. UBA added 10 kobo to close at N2.52. Zenith Bank gained 9.0 kobo to close at N11.60 while Diamond Bank and Sterling Bank added 5.0 kobo each to close at N1.15 and N1.14 respectively. On the negative side, Nigerian Breweries recorded the highest loss of N1.69 to close at N90.01. Cadbury Nigeria dropped 60 kobo to close at N11.45. Stanbic IBTC Bank and GlaxoSmithKline Consumers Nigeria lost 15 kobo each to close at N7.50 and N25.50 respectively. Dangote Flour Mills dropped by 9.0 kobo to N5.26. Ecobank Nigeria slipped by 7.0 kobo to close at N1.98 while Fidelity Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank dropped 7.0 kobo to close at N1.36 and N14.31 respectively. Total turnover meanwhile, stood at 129.47 million shares value at N1.02 billion in 3,116 deals. Banking subsector remained the most active with a turnover of 97.74 million shares valued at N700.1 million in 1,662 deals. Insurance subgroup was with a turnover of 14.84 million shares valued at N8.83 million in 123 deals.


Overall Totals


Quantity TradedValue 7,667,922 1,556,000 316,000 715,850 110,600 60,000 4,126,500 26,027 3,600 2,000 258,875 14,843,374

of Shares (N) 3,922,523.13 1,415,720.00 698,950.00 377,400.50 167,380.00 30,000.00 2,063,270.00 25,987.00 1,800.00 1,000.00 129,437.50 8,833,468.13

Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 20,065 14,848.10 20,065 14,848.10 Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 2,814,809 1,881,119.63 2,814,809 1,881,119.63 Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 253,000 126,500.00 390,000 341,000.00 643,000 467,500.00 Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 845,838 1,458,517.92 3,000 41,820.00 848,838 1,500,337.92 Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 16,000 8,000.00 13,099 794,716.33 9,820 338,059.26 57,899 193,375.19 128,224 1,988,463.25 62,674 8,837,813.00 520,658 13,404,667.91 3,750 712,500.00 812,124 26,277,594.94 Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 520 1,144.00 9,000 34,020.00 9,520 35,164.00 Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 30,779 377,959.33 30,779 377,959.33 Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 100,000 5,000,000.00 100,000 5,000,000.00 Quantity TradedValue of Shares (N) 287,699 3,123,757.13 287,699 3,123,757.13 129,424,918





ADMISSION INTO PRE-DEGREE SCIENCE PROGRAMME 2011/2012 ACADEMIC SESSION APPLICATIONS Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for admission into various courses in the PreDegree Science Progrrame of the Faculty of Science, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. B. THE PROGRAMME The Programme is a two-semester each of 15 weeks duration, designed to prepare candidates for admission into degree programmes in the following disciplines: EARTH SCIENCES • B.Sc. Geology MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES • B.Sc. Mathematics •

B.Sc. Statistics

B. Sc Computer


B.Sc. Applied Zoology


B.Sc. Physics with Electronics

B.Sc. Geophysics


B Sc Biochemistry

CHEMICAL SCIENCES • B.Sc. Pure Chemistry •

B.Sc. Industrial Chemistry


B.Sc. (Ed.) Mathematics

B.Sc. (Ed.) Physics

B.Sc. (Ed.) Chemistry

B.Sc. (Ed.) Biology

B.Sc. (Ed.) Sports Science

B.Sc. (Ed.) Health Education

AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES • B.Sc. Agric Cooperatives and Business Management •

B Agric. Animal Production

B Agric. Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology

B Agric. Crop Production

B Agric. Agricultural Economics

B.Sc. Home and Hotel Management



INTO THE DEGREE PROGRAMMES (i). Eligibility into these programmes at the 100 level will depend on the criteria specifically set out by the Departments. (ii). Candidates who successfully complete the course and who possess the minimum matricula tion requirements for pursuing degree programmes in science and related courses will be given a certification of result which qualifies them to apply and be offered admission into the degree programmes in the University. D.


REQUIREMENTS INTO PRE-DEGREE SCIENCE PROGRAMME (i) Holders of the WAEC/NECO/GCE/’O’ Level/SSCE Certificate with a credit in English Language and credits in four (4) other subjects at not more than two sittings. Two of the four subjects must be from Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Biology (Geography may be considered for candidates applying for Geography and Regional Planning). (ii) Candidates intending to major in Geology must satisfy both the University and Faculty of Science admission requirements respectively. Such candidates must have five credits at ‘O’ Level which must include credits in Mathematics, English Language, Chemistry, Physics and either Biology or Geography. E.

APPLICATION FORMS: (i) Application forms can be obtained by hand from the Pre-Degree Science Office, Olabisi Onabanjo University , Mini Campus, Ago-Iwoye (ii) Prospective applicant is required to obtain an admission form on payment of N8000.00 (Eight Thousand Naira) bank draft from any of the following Banks: OOU Microfinance Bank, First Bank, Wema Bank, Union Bank and Afribank, payable to ‘The Pre-Degree Science, Olabisi Onabanjo University , Ago-Iwoye.’

All completed application forms must be submitted with: (a) Entry Credentials (b) 2 self-stamped addressed envelopes, to the Pre-Degree Science Office, Faculty of Science, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye.





Congo poll marred by killings, attacks

Huge crowd at Egypt’s postMubarak vote LARGE numbers of Egyptians have turned out to vote in the first elections since former President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February. Voting has been extended to cope with the high turnout and few security problems have been reported. There had been fears the vote might be delayed after deadly protests against the interim military rulers who replaced Mr Mubarak. Protesters occupying Cairo’s Tahrir Square have boycotted the vote.



EARS that violence would mar voting in Democratic Republic of Congo were realized yesterday with reports of five killings as well as attacks on polling stations. This is Congo’s second election since its 19982003 war. Gunmen opened fire on a truck carrying voting materi-

als in Lubumbashi, and later attacked voting centres, the interior minister, Bikanga Kazadi, told the Associated Press. The army was called in and a firefight left four assailants and one policeman dead, he added. There were also logistical delays, claims of intimidation of voters and allegations of fraud as Congo held the second truly inclusive election in its history. In West Kasai, locals burned down three polling stations and police fired shots to disperse around a hundred people who gathered outside the mayor’s office in the town of Mbuji-Mayi, complaining they did not know were to vote. One female election observ-

er was seriously injured after being attacked by crowds claiming fraud in nearby Kananga, Francois Badibanga, spokesman for Congolese electoral monitoring organisation Renosec, told Reuters. “The situation is not good. We are in the hospital with our observer, she is between life and death,” he said.Polling stations had been expected to open at 6am, but by Monday afternoon some precincts were still waiting for voting materials to be delivered, officials admitted. In the capital, Kinshasa, Human Rights Watch said weekend violence left nine dead and 76 injured, and rain meant people had to tread through mud along potholed roads on their journey to the polls. Voters com-

plained of confusion over where they were meant to be voting due to polling stations being moved and errors with voter lists. There were also allegations of fraud and cheating. At a school hosting a polling station in Kintambo district, the Guardian witnessed an election official being beaten by a furious mob who claimed he had tampered with presidential ballot papers. A policeman tried to intervene but shouting and physical aggression continued. In Tshangu, where more than 1,500 candidates are running for 15 seats, there was an equally noisy and voluble crowd who pressed what they claimed were fake ballot papers to the windows of cars

carrying election observers. Shreds of the papers were scattered about. Some complained that they had waited several hours or were not being allowed to vote at all. Unemployed Julie Biuma, 41, with a baby tied to her back, said: “I came with a baby for nothing. “Since six o’clock this morning I wanted to vote but they won’t let me. I don’t know what to do. It’s really tough. The organisers made a lot of mistakes; there is disorder.” Denis Kipupa, 40, and unemployed, said: “It’s badly organised today. Some people got here at 5am but voting started at 9am. There should be 28 ballot boxes here but there are only 16. We don’t know where the other 12 are.”


Supreme Court dismisses suit against Uzodinma

‘Akala not our leader’ DESPITE the reconciliation of the feuding Oyo State People’s Democratic Party { PDP} leaders in Lagos state last week, one of the principals , Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi yesterday rejected the Alhaji Dejo Afolabi led PDP state exco . The PDP chieftain also rejected the leadership of former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala. He hinged his rejection on the National Working Committee’s decision to conduct fresh state congress in December where new executive members would emerge . Notable leaders in the Oyo state PDP were last week invited to Lagos on the instance of some members of the NWC to reconcile the feuding members of the party which include Senator Teslim Folarin, Senator Lekan Balogun , former governor Adebayo AlaoAkala and his former deputy , Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi, amongst other leaders in the party.


HE Supreme Court yesterday dismissed an application to review a judgment in favour of Senator Hope Uzodinma for lacking in merit. Dismissing the application filed by Senator Osita Izunaso, a seven-member panel chaired by Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Dahiru Musdapher said the court was not disposed to granting it. It dismissed the submissions of the applicant’s counsel, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) who argued that the judgment was obtained by fraud. Oyetibo had contested that the Court was deceived that the National Working Committe (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cleared Uzodinma for the primary election. According to him, the purported letter clearing Uzodinma for the election was forged because there was no sitting of the NWC on that date referred to by the letter. Refusing the submission, the CJN said “this court is not in a position to establish that

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to notify the general public of the Loss of the Original Copy of Deed of Conveyance dated 24th March, 1978 and registered as No. 63 at page in Volume 63 1705 at the Lagos State Lands Registry Office, Ikeja, covering all that property situated at No. 2B, Eloseh Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos State consisting of an area of approximately 618.065 Square yards, belonging to MR. SIMEON OBIORA ONYEKA. General Public to please take note.

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

it was deceived or not”. Justice Musdapher suggested to the applicant to go to the trial court to prove that the letter was forged before he could have any hope of reaping from the benefits. He awarded the cost of N150,000 to each of the respondents against the applicant. Reacting to the Judgment, Oyetibo told Journalists that he came for a review of the judgment based on the decision of the court in Dingyadi V INEC. He insisted that the NWC never met as claimed, adding that it is left for his client to advise on the next line of action. The PDP National Legal

Adviser, Olusola Oke said what the applicant sought to do was to reopen his case. “It is a cunny way of reopening the issue. There must be an end to litigation. I sat at the meeting of the NWC that took the decision. It is not for someone who was not at the meeting to say we did not take that decision. It is only a person who was at the meeting that can say otherwise. The apex court had in a unanimous judgment delivered on May 5, 2011, set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal which affirmed the judgment of Justice Abdul Kafarati of a Federal High court that Izunaso was the candidate of the party for the senatorial seat. In that suit, Izunaso through his counsel Patrick Ikwueto (SAN) was challeng-

ing the declaration of Uzodinma as the party’s candidate. He claimed Uzodinma was

not duly cleared by the screening committee to take part in the said primaries.


NVAKAOHIA RUMUEKPE ELF PIPE LINE LANDLORDS ASSOCIATION This is to inform the general public that the above named Association has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part ‘C’ of the Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. CHIEF DENNIS ORJI - CHAIRMAN 2. CHIEF FYNEFACE IGWE 3. PRINCE ONYEBUCHI SUNDAY EGBUFO - SECRETARY 4. CHIEF ANTHONY ODIGIRI 5. OVUNWO SUNDAY AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. The protection of oil and gas facilities in the host communities. 2. Maintaining the existing and cordial relationship between the multinational and host communities. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: CHIEF DENNIS ORJI (Chairman)

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PUBLIC NOTICE TIBERIAS CHRISTIAN MINISTRY The general public is hereby notified that the above named organization has applied to the registrar general corporate affair commission Abuja for registration under ‘part c’ of the Companies Allied Matters Act Cap 1 of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Apostle Olushina Kayode Peters - General Overseer 2. Pastor Mrs. Elizabeth Adenike Peters 3. Adeleke Adeniyi Sunday 4. Wale Olasupo 5. Segun Taiwo 6. Elizabeth Adunni Taiwo 7. Asimolowo Jumoke 8. Rev. Joy Elizabeth AIMS AND OBJECTIONS 1. To propagate the good news of the holy bible 2. To conduct deliverance, healing, breakthrough and salvation 3. To take care of the motherless babies and windows 4. To engage in any other charitable activities Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the registrar general, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 568 Ndola Square P.M.B 198 Wuse Zone 5 Abuja. Signed: Sylvester U.okoihue Esq. OKOIHUE, OKOIHUE & CO No. 6, Arowojobe Street, Mafoluku, Lagos state Tel: 08033293036




22 Mortgage institutions insolvent, says NDIC


HE Managing Director, Nigerian Deposit Insur ance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, has said 22 out of the 100 licensed Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs) are technically insolvent. Umaru, said 16 companies have since closed shops. This means that the affected financial institutions could not advance credits for housing purposes and meet other obligations, due to their weakened financial capacity. Umaru, in a report titled: ‘Baseline Statistics on Insured Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs),’ and delivered in Lagos, said 41 out of 100 mortgage firms have furnished the corporation with reports on their financial activities in line with regulatory demands. The NDIC boss, said the total assets of the firms have peaked at N228.10billion, while the ratio of mortgage loans/ total assets was 32. 11 per cent, adding that total deposits and the insured deposits of the companies stood at N127.69 billion

By Akinola Ajibade

and N42.52 billion respectively. Others include earning assets of (N180.10billion), Shareholders’ fund (N46.54billion),

course of reviewing the operations of the companies. The Executive Secretary, Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), Kayode Omotoso, said he could not offer any comments on the de-

mortgage assets (N73.25billion), and total loans of (N102.66billion). He said the firms recorded provision for loan losses of N1.85 billion, adding that the data were obtained in the

Corporation to assist Savannah, SGBN


HE Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr. Umaru Ibrahim, yesterday said that the corporation will assist Savannah Bank of Nigeria (SBN) and Societe Generale Bank of Ni-

He explained: “We are talking to both Savannah Bank and SGBN and we are doing everything possible to help them open their doors to business in the interest of the banking system and the economy in general. I cannot give a tentative or actual date

By Collins Nweze

geria (SGBN) return to business. Ibrahim, disclosed this yesterday during an interview with newsmen in Jigawa at the corporation’s seminar for Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN).


USTOMERS of Keystone Bank and other members of the public can now pay their taxes and other remittances at any of the 200 branches of the bank across the country. This development stemmed from the admittance of the bank


NITY Bank has recorded growth in its balance sheet in key areas of Customer Deposits and Loans and Advances, a third quarter result released to the Nigeria Stock Exchange has shown. The release, signed by the Assistant General Manager, Corporate Communications, Aliyu Ma’aji, indicated that the Customer Deposit grew by eight per cent from N22 billion as at De-

into the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), tax collection scheme and paydirect platform. A statement from the bank also indicated that Keystone Bank, by the FIRS admittance, is now licensed to collect Stamp Duties, Pay As you Earn, Pre-Opera-

tional Levy and Nigerian Information Technology Development Fund. The bank will also now be able to collect corporate Income tax, education tax, value added tax, withholding tax and capital gains tax. The Chief Executive of Key-

cember 31, 2010 to N239 billion by the end of September, this year, while Loans and Advances grew by nine per cent from 113 billion to 123 billion in the same period. Also, the overall Balance Sheet size recorded a significant growth of 44 per cent from 309 billion in December, last year, to 446 billion in September 2011, in line with the bank’s objective of increasing its market share

The bank’s Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) to Total Loans Ratio, declined significantly from 34 per cent last year to slightly under 10 per cent, or 9.6 per cent approximately. It is expected that the ratio will come below five per cent before December 2011 considering the initiatives being implemented that would put the bank on the path of sustainable growth and profitability, the bank, stated.

given the challenges of competition in the industry. It said, while Operational Income grew by 27 per cent, expenses remained flat, even as Gross Earnings and Profit Before Tax (PBT) recorded declines of 25 per cent and 70 per cent. respectively attributable to huge recoveries from bad accounts in the previous year’s figures which were mainly one-off transactions.


Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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


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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%


Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 10.42 14.79 0.87 1.09 1.10 4.74 2.42 1.50 4.25 2.92

C/PRICE 10.94 15.52 0.91 1.14 1.15 4.95 2.52 1.55 4.38 3.00

CHANGE 0.52 0.73 0.04 0.05 0.05 0.21 0.10 0.05 0.13 0.08


O/PRICE 12.05 1.43 2.06 0.53 0.63 7.65 0.53 0.54 91.70 5.35

C/PRICE 11.45 1.36 1.98 0.51 0.61 7.50 0.52 0.53 90.01 5.26


Offered ($) Demanded ($)


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

stone Bank, Mr Oti Ikomi, has described the development as a welcomed one and hinted that the bank has already “put necessary measures in place in all the bank’s branches to ensure that our customers are attended to speedily and in line with the bank’ s experiential banking culture. “For us, banking is about adding value to our customers. We are continually challenging capacity to increase customer satisfaction in a bid to create better solutions for everyone and this would continue until Keystone Bank becomes a reference point in payment of taxes and remittances. The Chief Executive of the commercial bank, which began operations on August 5, also said that “Keystone Bank can be trusted to provide best in class customer service because of its focus on focus on technology solutions”



OBB Rate Call Rate

for achieving that. We have a joint committee with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and these banks and we are talking. I can say that they are making all efforts to make sure that they have credible investors so that they can come back to business.”

FIRS appoints Keystone Bank revenue collector

Unity Bank grows balance sheet, operational income


velopment in the sub-sector, until he accesses the NDIC’s report on the issue. Activities at the mortgage banking sub-sector has been at a low ebb, following the recent downturn in the economy.



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%





July ’11

Aug ’11





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 118.85 98.43 0.76 1.04 0.88 1,642.73 8.24 1.39 1.87 7,351.90 193.00

9.08 1.00 118.69 96.65 0.73 1.04 0.87 1,635.25 7.84 1.33 1.80 7,149.37 191.08


CHANGE 0.60 0.07 0.08 0.02 0.02 0.15 0.01 0.01 0.69 0.09


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011











Aneke eyes improved outing N

IGERIA Premier League record scorer, Jude Aneke is hoping to improve his game when the Under-23 Eagles face Senegal in Tangiers at the ongoing Olympic qualification. The Kaduna United striker knows the game is "crucial" to his side's ambition to reach the football event of the 2012 Olympic. Aneke is also looking forward to an all-round improved display from his teammates today. “We are expecting to play a crucial match against Senegal, so hopefully I will try to do my best. “Hopefully, the connections will be right from the midfield to the attack, from the wings to the attack and hopefully by the special grace of God, we are going to win on Tuesday,” he said. The striker played all 90 minutes in his side's defeat to hosts, Morocco on Satur-

day. Nigeria needs an outright win to stay in contention to pick a semifinal place at the

Under-23 CAF Championship, which also serves as the Olympic, qualifiers. Three teams will qualify

automatically for the Olympics while the fourth place finisher will face an Asian side in a playoff.

Trophies arrive for 43rd Asoju Oba Cup


HIPPED in from its usual destination in Tokyo, Japan, the trophies for the 43rd annual table tennis championship tagged Asoju Oba Cup, arrived the country with the competition scheduled to serve off December 5 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. The customized trophies are ordered yearly by the sponsors for the competition, which has been adjudged the most consistent tournament in Nigeria that has produced most of the country’s top players like Atanda Musa, Yomi Bankole, Bose Kaffo, Olawunmi Majekodunmi and Funke Oshonaike. The chief sponsor of the competition for the past 43 years, Chief Molade Okoya-

By Innocent Amomoh Thomas has reiterated his desire to ensure that the competition continues even after his death. He said: “As long as I live, I will continue to sponsor the tournament and if for any reason I am unable to do what I had been doing, I have instructed my children to continue. I also want to thank God for what He has done for me to be able to give my little contribution towards elevation of the standard of sports in the state and Nigeria as a whole.” The business mogul however, lamented the neglect of former sports stars by successive government, saying it is surprising that some of these heroes are living in abject poverty after serving their father-

land whole-heartedly. His words: “I have held several positions both in the state and at federal levels for the development of sports. Let me state here that it is a pity that we forget very quickly in our country those who have done us very proud in the field of sports for several years. Some of these people are still living and to my dismay, some of them wallow in abject poverty with no help from anybody.” The maiden edition of the championship was held in 1968 with former national coach, Babatunde Obisanya emerging winner. Other past winners include, Olasumbo Dele alias Malawi, Musa, Seun Ajetunmobi, Tajudeen Jegede and Ganiat Ogundele among others.

Airtel renews interest in football development


EADING telecommunications service provider, Airtel Nigeria has expressed its commitment to assisting the country develop its youth football, even as it promises to improve on its under-17 grassroots soccer programme, Airtel Rising Stars, next year. The organisation’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Executive Director, Deepak Srivastava disclosed this recently in Lagos at a reception in honour of the players from the just concluded Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Tournament in South Africa. According to the COO, the development of the Nigerian youth is a big project for which Airtel Nigeria has well positioned itself through the evolving of robust, youth-focused initiatives. He said, “Airtel Nigeria has taken a special interest in Nigerian youths. We are not only in Nigeria to stay but we are also here to help develop talented youngsters

and assist them to achieve their dreams. In pursuit of our vision of empowering youths in the country, we have rolled out specific marketing programmes for the young people and the young-at-heart” Speaking on the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Tournament, which recently wound up with a weeklong training and development programme at the prestigious Institute for Sports, Cape Town, South Africa, Srivastava said the platform was a Special Purpose Vehicle for identifying, nurturing and developing talented footballers (both male and female) in Nigeria. His said, “The Airtel Rising Stars platform is our own Special Purpose Vehicle of identifying, nurturing, and developing talented footballers (both male and female) in Nigeria. The first edition, which just rounded off, is a big testimony of our intention to provide youngsters with a valid passport to stardom.” He also added, “We will definitely seek more ways to be relevant in the lives of Nigerian youths.”


‘We expect our youth to spend six hours in school but neglect to nourish and protect their brains and bodies. No books, no posters, no learning aids!’ TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2011 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL. 7




MONG his many business holdings, it was The Guardian that came to define Alexander (Alex) Uruemu Ibru who died last week, aged 66. Among his many corporate titles, the one he cherished most was publisher of that newspaper. And it is The Guardian that will most likely stand as his great legacy. Yet, in a way, The Guardian was a product of chance. It was certainly not the newspaper Alex Ibru had planned to set up. As he told me one day in October 1989 as we drove from Rutam House to the Ilupeju home of Chief Rotimi Williams, who was to chair The Guardian Lecture that year, with military president Ibrahim Babangida as special guest and Professor Ben Nwabuze at the lectern, he had planned to set up a newspaper, to be called The Voice, to look after the interests of the sprawling business empire of the Ibru family and serve more or less as its corporate organ. He had turned to his friend Dr Patrick Dele Cole, lately managing director of the Daily Times. for help and advice. Dr Cole had then commended Dr Stanley Macebuh, of blessed memory, to Ibru for the task. Macebuh was not your traditional newspaperman. In fact, he had no background in journalism, except in an osmotic sense, his father having served as editor of a Port Harcourtbased newspaper owned by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. But what he lacked in media experience was more than compensated by his profound erudition, by an abiding liberal temperament in the finest sense of that term, and by a sociological imagination. As editorial adviser, Macebuh had transformed the Daily Times from a staid newspaper into a vibrant intellectual forum and a formidable journal of informed opinion. The experiment ended when the NPN government of President Shehu Shagari took office in 1979 and turned the paper into an insipid party organ. So, this was, for Macebuh, a second chance, an opportunity to continue the failed experiment at the Daily Times, this time on a fresh canvas and in an altered political setting. He went to work, assembling some of the best and the brightest from other newspapers to run the news operations, and a team of like-minded intellectuals from the universities and the policy community for the Editorial Board, which he envisioned as the cranium of the newspaper. He then crafted the editorial policy in that limpid prose of which he was a master, and with it proclaimed the audacious goal that The Guardian would strive to rank among the world’s five best English-language newspapers within ten years. To state all this is to take nothing away from Alex Ibru. He could have stuck to his original vision



Alex Ibru: A publisher’s legacy

•The late Ibru

of a family newspaper. He could have invested the resources in ventures that promised quicker and heftier returns. He could have trimmed down Macebuh’s blueprint and demanded a more cautious entry into what is treacherous territory even at the best of times. Rather, he mobilised the necessary resources and put them at the disposal of Macebuh and his team. It is a tribute to the soundness of the preparatory work, the robustness of the support in financial and other assets, and the brilliance of execution, that The Guardian broke even 42 days after it became a daily, having operated for the previous six months as a weekly. I was not present at the creation. I was completing doctoral studies at Indiana University, in the United States, when The Guardian hit the newsstand. I was so impressed with two early editions that reached me, courtesy


....and the LIES, too!

of some friends in Nigeria, I resolved that I would on my return seek to join its fold of contributors. In 1985, on the invitation of Dr Macebuh, I took a year’s leave of absence from my teaching job at the University of Lagos to serve on the Editorial Board of The Guardian. I never went back. The pay was as middling as the monetised benefits were piddling. As editorial page editor, chair of the Editorial Board and executive director, my medical allowance for one year was N4,000. No, this is not a misprint: N4,000 a year. I did not even know this until an illness in the family caused me to draw on the benefit for the first time in 1995. But the work environment was nurturing, the job stimulating. Each day was different. There was the immeasurable satisfaction of having a platform from which one could, according to one’s measure, help shape the standards of sense and sensibility at crucial periods in Nigeria’s history. Even on Sundays, I looked forward to going to the office, to the extent that at some point, my wife began to wonder whether there was not much more to the whole thing than editorial work. To calm her fears, I told her she could come see for herself, and that she did not even need to warn me in advance. The day she came, she found that I was not the only one in the Editorial Board offices. A good many of my colleagues who were under no obligation to report were also in their rooms. The work was simply addictive. Alex Ibru himself sometimes stopped by on Sundays. Ibru’s contribution to establishing The Guardian’s identity, it bears re-stating, went far beyond the financing. His self-effacement, unusual for wealthy men in these parts, his sobriety,and his quiet dignity, were stamped on every page.



WO Saturdays ago, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), led by its Acting National Chairman Abubakar Kawu Baraje, paid President Goodluck Jonathan a birthday visit. As usual, the President chose the occasion to make a lofty pronouncement on issues of national importance. The issue of the time was the Bayelsa governorship primary, which was enmeshed in controversy. There had been published reports that the primary was influenced by the President. So, on the occasion of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) visit, the President mocked what he said was a national penchant to view every outcome in a political contest as the handiwork of the leader of the party. This is a phase in the political history of the nation, says the President, as he tried to make light of the catatonic events of the past few weeks in Bayelsa State. The summary of what the President was telling the PDP leadership and by inference, the rest of the country, was that he did not influence the governorship primary in the state. How does the President interpret influence? Does he, by any means, view influencing an outcome only in the sense of


He was that rare publisher who made his point but in the end deferred to the collective wisdom and judgment of the professionals in Rutam House. “You are the experts.” he never tired of saying. He would rather absorb the blows and rebukes that often came with some of the paper’s editorial positions the authorities considered disagreeable than rebuke those involved or seek by overt means to curb their enterprise. When the storm had passed, he would reveal that the authorities had seen the publication of a particular editorial or column as an unfriendly act and had protested vehemently. “But I took care of that,” he would say ever so softly, by way of reassurance. All this was before Ibru was coaxed into accepting to serve as Abacha’s Minister of Internal Affairs. Thereafter, everything changed. It became increasingly difficult to keep The Guardian faithful to its editorial policy, and to maintain the air space it had always sought to keep between itself and the Establishment. In August 1994, The Guardian was shut down for its editorial outspokenness by the Sani Abacha regime. When the ban was lifted more than a year later in circumstances I could not reconcile myself with, I resigned. The Guardian’s travails did not end with the unbanning, however. Abacha’s goons went after Ibru with murder on their minds, but Providence supervened. The tensions generated by Ibru’s association with Abacha’s brutish regime on the one hand – he did not resign, by the way, as is now being claimed; Abacha dissolved his cabinet, effectively sacking his ministers — and on the other by the resolve of The Guardian’s professional leadership to uphold an editorial policy grounded on Liberalism, is another story. But all things considered, I count my Rutam House years among the most fulfilling of my life. Thank you, Alex Ibru for creating the opportunity. Adieu, “Fine Boy”, as some of us called you behind your back, in admiration of your boyish, handsome looks and your exquisite grooming. When Stanley Macebuh was leaving The Guardian, casualty of a brutal shuffling in the executive ranks, his parting entreaty was that the way we could best honour him was to sustain the standards he had helped establish. Alex Ibru never missed an opportunity to declare that The Guardian is a public trust, and an institution far greater than himself. The best way the Ibrus can honour the memory of their illustrious scion and our great compatriot is to run The Guardian like a public trust and sustain its striving for excellence. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Jonathan’s plausible deniability rigging an election? Or does he mean influence to be one in which the party leader is visibly seen to be dictating the direction the party should be heading in matters as delicate and sometimes controversial as a governorship primary? Whatever the interpretation the President gave to influence wielding, he did not say exactly how he supposedly distanced himself from the Bayelsa governorship primary. Though it is, in fact, possible that he kept a discrete presidential distance from the process, it must be observed that he seemed unperturbed that the public felt he was deeply involved. Even if everything Jonathan did before the primary pointed to his involvement, we must be careful not to read meanings to his actions. But there is no denying the fact two Saturdays ago, on the occasion of his birthday, that he was very pleased with the outcome of the Bayelsa primary. He enthused: “I commend the party; continue to follow due process and don’t be intimidated by anybody as long as you are on the right course. And I believe PDP will lead the country to where

Nigerians want it to be.” As President, Dr Jonathan cannot claim to be unaware that there are many ways presidential aides read both the mind and lips of a president. They know what he wants, and they would do anything to bring about a desired outcome for him. Aides worth their salt know when and how to please the president. The best aides, in fact, know how to get rid of things making the president unhappy while shielding him from blame. It is called plausible deniability. President Jonathan is PDP party leader, one who by tradition we know to be willing to use his enormous powers. He says Nigerians think party leaders always love to influence party direction or decision. He is right. But he tries to give the impression that he did not influence the Bayelsa primary. This column is blind to the aspiration of any of the contestants, but it is not easily deceived that the President, either directly or indirectly, does not want a particular outcome, however that outcome is procured, with or without due process.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation November 29, 2011  
The Nation November 29, 2011  

The Nation November 29, 2011