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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Akeredolu: Ondo poll marred by irregularities

Robbers kill five policemen in Ogun NEWS


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•‘Our supporters still being attacked’

•Others die in multiple robberies

VOL. 7, NO. 2287 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2012



Ex-governors Ciroma, Sanusi defend CBN’s autonomy

Sheila’s last moments, by son


HE remains of the late Mrs. Sheila Solarin, widow of the late Dr. Tai Solarin, will be interred in Ikenne, Ogun State, next month. Her son, Tunde, announced the date yesterday. Mrs. Solarin died at the Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ilisan, on Sunday. She was 88. News Page 8

ACKED by two former governors, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) fought valiantly yesterday to retain its autonomy, which is threatened by a new Bill. Besides the two former CBN governors, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria

From Victor Oluasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

(CIBN) gave their backing to CBN’s autonomy. They were at the public hearing of a bill by the House of Representatives to whittle down the powers of the CBN. The CBN told the public hearing by the House joint committee on Banking and

Currency and Justice why it should continue to be independent and financially autonomous, but the lawmakers wondered why the CBN was afraid to submit its budget to the National Assembly for scrutiny. “A bill for an Act to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria, Act 2007 No. 7 to appoint a person other than the Gov-

ernors as the Chairman of the bank, exclude deputy governors and directors as members of the Board, divest the board of the power of consideration and approval of the annual budget of the bank and other related matters, 2012” was opposed by most of the stakeholders at the hearing. They include the CIBN,

the NLC and two former Governors of the CBN Mallam Adamu Ciroma and Chief Joseph Sanusi managing directors of banks and others who insisted on financial and operational independence for the apex bank, for effective operations and policy formulation. Continued on page 6


Why Edo, Delta, Ondo, S Ekiti lost bid, by NCP

Uche seeks time for Eagles

PAIN -BASED striker Ikechukwu Uche has said Nigeria will shine at the 2013 Nations Cup if the new team have enough time to prepare. Uche has therefore demanded for adequate prepa ration for the Eagles ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Uche, who has lately averaged a goal-a-game for Nigeria...

Govt agencies defend sale of PHCN firm


HE Federal Government rose yesterday in defence of the power sector’s privatisation, after some governors said it was fraudulent. The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) are fighting off allegations of corruption, lack of transparency and opaque selection levelled by the governors, who promoted Southern Electric Distribution Company. Chairman of NCP Technical Committee, Mr. Atedo Peterside, said the company failed from the beginning by submitting multiple commercial bids - primary and alternative commercial bids. Besides, he said, the companies that make up the consortium are 90 per cent privately owned – not owned directly or indirectly by the governments of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo states. “Is it fair that a private sector group, 90 per cent controlled, to submit two

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

envelopes in violation of the rule and then drum up support of governors to cry foul over the process that was adjudged transparent by local and international observers? Did the consortium tell the governors that they submitted two bids? Is it right to call for a change of the rule after the game has been played? Perterside asked. The NCP said it became imperative to respond to the allegations because of its potentially damaging fashion at a time when the nation is undertaking its largest and most complex privatisation transaction ever and which could raise divestment proceeds of close to N400 billion. Governors Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), at a press conference in Abuja last week, said that the bidding for the distribution companies, which are part of the 18 successors of the unbundled Power Holding Company of Continued on page 6

Sports Page 24

Continued on page 6

Firms sue FIRS over N1.15b tax


•Senator Zanna addressing the media


SSS grills Senator over Boko Haram suspect •Sect commander: we worked for politicians in 2011


OR about five hours, the State Security Service(SSS) yesterday grilled a senator on his relationship with a suspected Boko Haram Commander, Shuaib Mohammed Bama, who was allegedly arrested last Thursday at his home in Maiduguri by the Joint Task Force(JTF). Senator Ahmed Khalifa Zanna, who was released last night, is expected to report to the SSS headquarters by 11am today. It was also learnt that the suspected Boko

The gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram, left a message that I must give them N10m or else they will kill me From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Haram Commander has confessed that he was recruited alongside others by politicians, including the Senator, for the 2011 polls. Continued on page 6

ICON Insurance PLc and 43 others yesterday in Abuja, sued the Federal inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the Tax Appeal Tribunal over the nonrefund of about N1.15 billion overpaid stamp duties. In an appeal filled by their counsel... Business Page 11

Nigerian High Commission broke


FFICIALS of the Nigerian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, are owed two months salary, it was learnt yesterday. A source said the situation was so critical that the High Commissioner, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, flew to Nigeria last week to meet ministry officials. Foreign Page 10









Good times Next year, the Federal Government plans to spend over N88 billion on the Amnesty Programme, N16 billion more than what it is spending this year, raising concern in some quaters, writes LEKE SALAUDEEN

T •Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole greeting former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon at a lecture to mark the General’s 78th birthday in Kuru, Plateau State... at the weekend. With them is Governor of the Central Bank Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

•Ebonyi State Governor Martin Elechi( right) , Minister of State for Education Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (second right) , Speaker, Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Chukwuma Nwazunku and Acting Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Prof. Charles Onocha (left) during the launch of the Federal Government's Back to School project for out of school children in Abakiliki...yesterday

•President, Partner Concepts Mr. Paul Cohen, wife of Cross River State Governor, Mrs. Obioma Lioye Imoke, NTDC DirectorGeneral, Otunba Segun Runsewe and Vice- President Arik Air International Robert Brunner at the 8th Akwaaba Festival in Accra

• Country Manager, West Africa, MasterCard WorldwideOmokehinde Ojomuyide (left) , Managing Director, Flying Dove Limited Ashok Jain (second left), Marketing Director, Flying Dove Nigeria Limited, Rohan Israni (middle), Acceptance Director, West Africa, MasterCard WorldwideKamil Olufowobi and Director, Account Management, West Africa, MasterCard Worldwide Obi Okwuegbunam at the Lagos Sony Centre store to celebrate the collaboration between MasterCard and Flying Dove Limited


Y the time this year ends, the Federal Government is expected to have spent about N72billion on its Amnesty Programme for repentant Niger Delta militants. This is more than what it spends to deliver basic education to children. Next year, it plans to spend more on the programme, largely because of a third phase, just approved by President Goodluck Jonathan. Over N88 billion will be sunk into the programme next year. Of this, 30,000 ex-militants will take home N23.6 billion as stipends. Another N35.4 billion will go into the re-integration of transformed ex-warlords. N3.699 is earmarked for what is described as ‘presidential amnesty programme’. Three years ago, attacks ranging from theft to bombings to kidnappings pummelled oil production to as low as 500,000 barrels on some days. So, the government began spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to maintain an uneasy calm in the oilrich delta. Production is now back up to 2.6 million barrels daily of low-sulfur crude. Another move government adopted to ‘buy’ peace in the region was to get the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to begin paying exmilitant leaders such as Mujahhid Dokubo-Asari to protect oil pipelines. Dokubo-Asari gets $9 million a year to pay his 4,000 former foot soldiers to protect the pipelines they once attacked. Gen. Ebikabowei "Boyloaf" Victor Ben and Gen. Ateke Tom get $3.8 million a year apiece to have their men guard pipelines. Government "Tompolo" Ekpmupolo maintains a $22.9 milliona-year contract to do the same. But, oil theft appears to be on the rise again. Shell estimates that more than 150,000 barrels of oil are stolen daily. Last month, President Goodluck Jonathan approved a third phase for the Amnesty Programme, a development which analysts say mean the country may commit millions of dollars to the programme next year. The Special Adviser to the President on Research and Documentation, Oronto Douglas, believes there is no better option than continuing to 'buy' peace. He said: "If it's too huge, what are the alternatives?" Through the programme, 26, 358 former Niger Delta militants have been trained in various vocational courses both at home and abroad. The Jonathan administration claims that the amnesty proclamation is the sincerest , boldest and most profound effort by any government of Nigeria since 1960 to address the agitation for fairness, equity and development in the oil- rich Niger Delta. The successful management of the post-amnesty programme, said government, has ensured the return of peace, safety, security and sustainable development to the region. But some analysts have disagreed with the government’s position. To them, the programme is selective and not in the interest of the majority of the people of the Niger Delta. They claim that the programme is only benefiting a few people. They believe part of the money could have been used in setting up industries to create jobs for the unemployed youths in the region and Nigeria at large. The Co-ordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group, Mr. Joseph Evah, said it has

failed to address unemployment, underdevelopment and bunkering. Evah told The Nation that those who have completed their training in various vocations sponsored by the Presidential Amnesty Programme are roaming the streets because they have no jobs. He said sending the ex-militants for vocational training without planning for where to absorb them after training has made the programme useless. Evah said: “The beneficiaries are becoming restive because the monthly allowances being paid them by government have stopped. If care is not taken, the youths in Niger Delta are likely to return to the creeks and foment trouble.” According to him, the relative peace in the region endures because the militant leaders and some of their followers were favoured by the Amnesty Programme. “But once the boys can no longer collect money from government, we will be back to square one in that region. “Failure of the government to establish industries that would create employment opportunities for the graduates of the vocational courses and the teeming unemployed youths in the Niger Delta is one of the shortcomings of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. The youths resorted to carrying guns and distruption of oil companies operation because of lack of jobs, they have no means of livelihood and no shelter on their heads, whereas, the oil companies are mining crude oil worth billions of dollar every day from the region. In the process of oil exploitation, the farmlands, the rivers for fishing and the wells that serve as water supply for the people are polluted. “Niger Delta is endowed with resources for the establishment of industries. If there is any region that should have monopoly of industries in this country, it is Niger Delta. We have the refineries located in the region. The bye-products of oil can be used in production of textiles, plastic materials, like chairs and foam. Commercial fishing is possible, given the proximity of the region to the sea. If properly utilised, Nigeria can provide the fish need of the West African countries. But all these potentials have not been translated into fortunes. No single effort was made by the Presidential Amnesty to create a single industry in the volatile region. “I am sure government has spent nothing less than $1 billion on the training of the ex- militants, with a view to reintegrating them. If government has used $500 million to set up industries, the situation would have been different. The economy of the Niger Delta region would have changed. The living condition of the people would have improved. What we need in that region is massive industrialisation that would impact positively on the economic well-being of the people.” Evah said the programme did not benefit all youths in the region. About 26,000 have benefited . “The programme should not discriminate against those who did not go to school. It should not benefit only militants but every able body in the Niger Delta. Those carrying guns are less than one per cent. You cannot rule out that those without guns would not spark one day. “The money is there but the government is not spending it on human resources and economic development of the region,” he said. Public Affairs analyst Emmanuel Aluede believes the amnesty programme is flawed, illegal and not in the best interest of the majority of the people of




for ex-militants in 2013


Niger Delta. Even though he believes the programme is necessary, he insists that the huge investment approach of the amnesty programme is not in the best interest of Nigerians. He frowned at the way the programme has been implemented to cost several billions of naira to benefit a few people that have committed crimes against the state. “If you take a look at the programme partners, you will notice no participants from the developed nations are involved, despite the fact that these nations are the biggest contributors for development aid and grant. These developed nations will be better placed to help groom militants to acquire skills. No disrespect to the other 21 nations involved, the majority, in my view, are not better than Nigeria, if we had leaders who put the peoples’ interest before self interest. “From information gathered from the various overseas training programmes, several hundreds of millions in US dollars must have been spent. I won’t be surprised if the government expenditure is beyond the $1 billion for the security stabilisation in the Niger Delta through disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and sustainable re-integration of exmilitants as pre-condition for medium and long term development. “Let’s assume that 50,000 will benefit from the programme at the end of its implementation. Compare this number to the total number of youths in the Niger Delta amount to several millions who remain law abiding despite unemployment. A good percentage of them have at least School Certificate or university degrees. Where is justice, fairness and equity in this programme by leaving behind law abiding youths, whilst a handful who chose the act of militancy to bring their message of marginalisation to the attention of the Federal Government are moving forward? “The over $1 billion to be expended on the programme would have been of greater value to the people of Niger Delta and Nigeria, if it was used to upgrade our higher institutions both across Niger Delta and Nigeria.” On the pipeline security contracts awarded to Niger Delta militant leaders, Aluede said the contract conflicts with the government’s policy of disarming the militants. The same government is empowering them as custodians for the security of the nation’s pipelines through lucrative contracts totalling $49.6 million annually. Another conflict here is that government has contracted out the responsibilities of the nation’s security agencies where several billions of naira is invested annually.




‘Balkans, Singapore top buyers of stolen Nigerian oil’


HE main buyers of the 180,000 barrels of oil that thieves steal from Nigeria each day are organised criminal networks in the Balkans and refiners in Singapore, according to a former presidential advisor who launched a campaign against the practice yesterday. Dele Cole, a politician from the oil-rich Niger Delta, at the heart of Nigeria’s two million barrel a day (bpd) industry, told Reuters that 90 percent of oil snatched was sold on world markets, based on estimates from oil firms and the ministry. Just 10 percent was refined locally by gangs operating in the creeks and swamps of the delta, he said. Oil companies say so called ‘bunkering’ — tapping into oil pipelines to steal the crude — and other forms of oil theft are on the rise in Nigeria, despite an amnesty that was meant to end a conflict there in 2009 over the distribution of oil wealth. Yet while local gangs hacking into pipelines to steal small quantities for local refining are the most visible sign, it is industrial scale oil theft involving collusion by politicians, the military, Western banks and global organised crime that is the real drain on Nigeria’s resources, he said. “International theft is diverting huge quantities ... and the sophistication of the exercise — from breaching the pipeline, to having barges, to knowing when ships are at the port, to being paid — is major,” he said. Cole, who has passionately argued for a global solution to the problem in the past, opened a campaign on Monday to raise awareness and try to nudge the government into action. “It’s been a problem for a long time, but when it was 50,000 barrels, people thought was tolerable. Now we’re at a totally different level,” he said. Nigeria relies on oil for more than 95 percent of gov“The award of pipelines security contracts to private entities puts the nation’s security at risk. It would have been better and more cost effective if a special military task force was set up to deliver a more efficient and effective role. Militants who choose to remain as such could be provided proper military training and discipline to take up created positions within the new Special Task Force that is made up of personnel from all our security forces”, Aluede added. But Evah did not see anything wrong in awarding the pipelines security contract to the militant chiefs.

A collosal waste Former Minister of Petroleum Prof. tam David-West said “the (amnesty) programme is good but it is being executed wrongly.” This is why little has been achieved, he said. “ The government is busy throw-

ernment revenues. The figure of 180,000 bpd stolen comes from the upper end of an estimate by Shell, the biggest operator in the country, which frequently complains about the practice. “Some estimates go as high as 25 percent of oil revenue. The oil companies are going to realise they’re working for these bunkerers and the government that its losing revenues to them.” Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in May that the government lost a fifth of its oil revenues to theft in April. Cole said much of the oil sold had been traced to criminal networks in the Balkans, especially Ukraine, Serbia, and Bulgaria, better known for things like cigarette smuggling or trafficking sex workers. “On the evidence we have, the Balkan mafia organisations are well represented in Nigeria ... You can’t chase these guys easily. They’re as slippery as the proverbial eel.” Singapore, the world’s top refiner, was also taking a large chunk. He urged Nigeria to confront Singaporean authorities. The 2009 amnesty sharply reduced militancy in the Niger Delta, a network of creeks and wetlands where the Niger river tips into the Atlantic, but bunkering has worsened since then. Part of what facilitates it, Cole said, is that neither the state oil firm, nor the government nor the oil companies were publishing transparent figures about how much oil they produced, making it much harder to detect missing cargoes. He called for better metering, accounting of ships coming to and from major oil ports, questioning crews of ships suspected to be involved and cracking down on collusion by the military. “We want to make bunkering a lot less attractive,” he said.

ing money all over the place as if that would make it work. You don’t buy peace with money. All the government needs to do is to talk to the militants at the level they understand. If you induced them with money, you are creating problem. Some of the militants told me government has stopped giving them money as they used to do. Government spoiled them with money and created more problems among the youth in the Niger Delta. “The programme has benefitted very few in the Niger Delta. Some of them are more comfortable because of the largesse from government. Imagine Asari Dokubo collecting $9 million annually in the name of protecting the oil pipelines. A university professor earns N5 million annually. “There can be no development until the fundamental problem of degradation of Niger Delta is addressed. To me it’s a colossal waste.

He said taking the ex-militants abroad for training is stupid. David-West said: “Taking them to foreign countries for vocational training is a stupid thing to do. Why don’t you organise training programmes within the Niger Delta, get the trainers from abroad to do the training on ground. Some of them have never being to Lagos, now you are sending them to Europe and Middle East. Look at the cost implication of sending thousands of militants abroad for training. Training is good but it’s being done wrongly.” He said the President cannot buy peace. “I have said it before that government believes it can buy peace with money. I can’t imagine giving out $49.6 million to the so called militant leaders for a job that could be done by a joint military task force. The best the government could do is to incorporate the militants into the task force.

We have done it before. The military with the support of the militants have policed the pipelines and went after those engaged in oil bunkering. Some of these militant leaders have no followership. The contract is like buying goods you have not seen.”

Life after training The programme has entrepreneurship scheme for 350 ex-militants in the Niger Delta. Spokesman of the programme Daniel Alabrah told our correspondent that the scheme was designed to equip and prepare the amnesty beneficiaries to become self reliant and employers of labour. Alabrah said rather than leave them idle after completing their vocational training, a three-week intensive entrepreneurship programme was designed for them preparatory to commencing their own business. He added: “For those in this pilot post-training entrepreneurship scheme, we are about to put them through a process where they can create their own small business places. We will brand it, give them branded equipment, seed money and see them become owners of small businesses scattered around the Niger Delta or any place they choose to do business in Nigeria.” Alabrah stated that there would be a 12-month monitoring and evaluation period for the beneficiaries when they were expected to maintain log books and monthly reporting to see if they were growing in the business. This, he further explained, would ensure that they go into profitable ventures without nursing the fear of failure. “We are collaborating with some banks to ensure proper funding and monitoring of the scheme. Beneficiaries will not be given cash but they will be required to state their business location, which will then be paid for and properly equipped with the tools or items for their chosen, he said. Apart from the entrepreneurship scheme, Alabrah disclosed that the Amnesty Programme is collaborating with government agencies to absorbing them. About 130 have been employed in private and public sectors. He said Jonathan has approved the inclusion of 3,642 ex-Niger Delta militants in the Presidential Amnesty Programme bringing the number of the former agitators undergoing reformation under the programme to 30,000.



NEWS Ex-governors defend CBN Continued from page 1

•From right: President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi and Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe at the Presidential Sports Retreat at the Villa in Abuja...yesterday

Why Edo, Delta, Ondo, Ekiti lost bid, by NCP Continued from page 1

Nigeria (PHCN), lacked transparency. Southern Electric Distribution Company, which the state governments promote. The governors said: “The bidding process as organised by the BPE on behalf of the NCP, leading to the commercial bid opening on Tuesday 16th October was not transparent and was even “fraught with corruption. That the use of the Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) loss reduction strategy as a commercial bid evaluation tool/ ranking is opaque, untested and not transparent. “That Vigeo Power Consortium which submitted bid alongside Southern Electric Distribution Company for the Benin Electricity Distribution Company that emerged with the highest loss reduction target at the bid opening exercise lacked technical competence, experience and

financial capability to manage such an extensive territory as covered by Benin Disco. Their states, said the governors, have invested in power production and therefore, they wanted the bidder which they preferred - Southern Electric Distribution Company - to be declared as winner, failing which they would not allow Vigeo to operate in their territory. Responding to the allegations, Mr. Peterside said: “The purpose of this is to present the full set of facts surrounding the ongoing power sector privatisation and to counter the very “weighty” allegations that the entire process was fraught with corruption. This allegation was widely publicised because it came out of a discussion/interview which the governors of Delta, Edo and Ekiti states had with the media on Thursday 18th October, 2012. The allegations of ‘corruption’ that I refer to were made with re-

spect to the privatisation of Benin Disco in particular, and the privatisation process of the PHCN successor distribution companies (Discos) in general. “It is pertinent to point out that Southern Consortium is the only one, of the 16 consortia that participated in the bid opening, to have submitted multiple commercial bids for the same Disco. Their envelope contained two different commercial bids, both of which were signed by a Mr. Matthew Edevbie. The first bid was dubbed the “primary” bid, while the other was dubbed an “alternate” bid. This was a clear contravention of the Request for Proposals (RFPs). We did not make a big issue of this on live TV because both the primary and the alternate bids fell below the bid submitted by Vigeo and so neither bid would alter Southern Consortium’s ranking on the large screen.

Instead, this matter was brought to the attention of the Technical Committee of NCP, which considered the breach and made recommendations to the NCP. “Therefore, on the allegation that the bid process was not transparent, I wholeheartedly affirm that the entire transaction followed due process and was governed by the provisions of the RFP.” “Incidentally, the submissions made by the Southern Consortium to the BPE show that the ownership of the Consortium is comprised of seven members as follows:Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (of India) (25% equity of consortium); Income Electrix Limited (of Nigeria) (25 %); Smartworks Global Resources Ltd (of Nigeria)(8.3%); Pinnacle Power Projects & Services Limited (of Nigeria) (31.7%); Fountain Holdings Limited (of Nigeria)[3.33%]; Citadel Nominees Continued on page 63

CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, represented by Deputy Governor (Financial Services Surveillance) Tunde Lemo, said the CBN Act requires no amendment. He said central banking independence is a concept that has gained global acceptance, adding that there is need for the CBN to be independent in four key arrears: financial, administrative, personnel and operational. “Right to determine its own budget, the application of the Central Bank’s specific accounting rules, clear provision on the distribution of operating surpluses, clearly defined financial ability for supervisory authority, “ Lemo said. He said this would allow the CBN to carry out the mandates of “maintenance of price stability, which would ensure non inflationary growth and sound and stable financial system. “Since inception, the bank’s administrative structure has been that the governor presides over the board of directors with executive directors or deputy governors as members. This arrangement has ensured easier, smoother and faster implementation of financial policies.” The CBN, however, said it was not opposed to giving a quarterly briefing to the National Assembly through the Banking and Currency Committees. Lemo told the lawmakers that the N620 billion intervention fund given to eight distressed banks in 2009 had been recovered. He described the fund as a loan given to the banks and not a bailout or unrecoverable fund as believed in some quarters. He, however, did not say if the loan was interest yielding or not. CIBN President Segun Aina said the exclusion of the CBN governor and deputy governors from the board “will re-

duce the import of the CBN”. Aina explained that in most countries of the world, the CBN governor is always the head of the board. “It gives room for independence. In other countries, there are no external directors on the board. We believe that the governor should remain the chairman of the board. What the bill proposes will be against the interest of the country.” He said it is dangerous for the CBN to submit its budget for external vetting because it will have a damaging effect on monetary policies in addition to reducing its effectiveness. “The CBN should retain the making of its budget to achieve independence and reduce politicisation,” he said. Ciroma a former CBN governor and one time Minister of Finance, said the reason for wanting to amend the CBN Act was suspect since it goes against the grains of international best practice. “When I looked at the proposal for changing the Act of the CBN to exclude the Governor and other senior members from the board, I ask myself, ‘what is the rationale’ because the effect is that it will be out of line with international best practices.” Continued on page 11

•CBN boss Sanusi

SSS grills Senator over suspected Boko Haram commander Continued from page 1

According to sources, the Senator arrived at the SSS headquarters at about 2.05pm for interaction with the Director-General, Mr. Ekpenyong Ita. The interrogation took about five hours. A source spoke on what transpired at the session: “He insisted that the Boko Haram Commander is the son of his sister. But he restated that he does not know whether the suspect is a Boko Haram member or not. “He admitted that as his nephew, the Boko Haram Commander has been coming to his house, but at a point he was uncomfortable with his behaviour; he banned him from visiting his family. “The Senator was also asked questions on what Bama had been doing in his house during the on and off shuttles to the place. He said he had refused to tolerate him in his house. “At a point during the grilling, the team asked the Senator if he has had any link with Boko Haram. The source quoted the Senator as saying: “My only encounter with Boko Haram is about preparation for this forthcoming Sallah. I gave one

Gunmen kill four, burn houses, 18 vehicles, schools in Yobe


UNMEN yesterday went on the offensive again in Yobe State. Four people were killed in what was clearly coordinated attacks in Potiskum, the commercial city of Yobe State. They also burnt down schools, houses and 18 vehicles. Among the houses burnt were those belonging to Customs Comptroller in charge of Katsina/Kaduna, Alhaji Yusuf Umar and House of Representatives member (Potiskum/ Nangere), Alhaji Abubakar Mainasara. The Director Finance and Supply, Yobe State Science and Technical Board, one Malam Ado Jespa, Malam Sagir and two security guards were of my aides N1.5m to buy rams. I was not around in Maiduguri but some gunmen went to my aide to demand for the money. “The man said I only gave them N1m and that he had exhausted the money buying rams. They took my aide to his house, ransacked the place and took N250,000, being cash left with him. “As they were going, the gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram, left a message that I must give them N10m or else they will kill me. That is the only link I have with Boko Haram, I have

From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

killed. The three schools torched are King Abdulazeez Model Islamic school, Government Science Secondary School where four vehicles were burnt and College of Administration Potiskum (CAPs) where 14 vehicles were burnt. Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lt. Eli Lazarus said: “We are aware of most of these attacks. We have advised the government to impose curfew in order to curb the crimes. The JTF in Borno State yesterday said the Boko Haram sect had employed the services of foreign mercenaries to cause mayhem in the state and its environs

no relationship with any of their members.” The SSS interrogators reportedly asked the Senator “why he did not tell the press this dimension on Sunday and at the National Assembly on Monday. “The investigators also asked if he had reported the death threats from Boko Haram to security agencies. He said ‘no’ because he was not in Maiduguri when it happened.” On the house where Bama was arrested, the source added: “The Senator said it does not belong to him. He said the

during the Eid El Kabir festival. JTF spokesman Lt.Col.Sagir Musa, said “Information available to the Joint Task force, Operation Restore Order, indicates that the Boko Haram terrorists are planning massive attacks on military and civilian targets during Eid el Kabir on Friday. “Consequently, the terrorists group has invited foreign mercenaries to assist them in launching the attacks. “The group has also advised members of the public to store enough food items and other routine household requirements as they believe that the JTF will impose curfew on Maiduguri in the event of a breakdown of law and order.”

suspect was not picked up at his residence. “But we will get a comprehensive brief from the JTF. And that is why the Senator will appear before the SSS by 11am on Tuesday for another round of questioning. There are some gaps in his statement. “So far, we have asked him to go home. We have no reason to detain the Senator because we invited him.” It was, however, a different story yesterday when Bama told the SSS that he and others were recruited during the 2011 general election, by some

politicians, including the Senator. The source said of Bama: “He told us that he and others worked for politicians of a particular party, including the Senator, during the 2011 poll. That was one of his confessional statements. “The Boko Haram Commander is still undergoing interrogation. He will also tell the SSS where he was arrested.” Following fears of reprisals from the Joint Task Force(JTF) in Maiduguri, the Senator had earlier said he might evacuate his family from his residence.

He added: “I am in the process of evacuating my family from my residence in Maiduguri because with what JTF has done, anything can happen to them. I will do that soon. “My only offence is that I said the JTF should withdraw if they are not going to operate according to the rules of engagement. “They are not there to kill people; they are to counter the insurgency of Boko Haram. Zanna said he decided to speak out because of the impression already created that he is a Boko Haram member. He added: “Of course, I have to talk because I have to redeem my image and I have to redeem the image of the Senate. “I have bad blood with the man I defeated; he wants me to be hanged.”

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NEWS ONDO ELECTION Youths lash PDP leaders for congratulating Mimiko

Governorship poll marred by irregularities, says Akeredolu

•Say election was scientifically-rigged

‘There were reports of the arrest of Labour Party chieftains and their sympathisers who were caught with voting materials, especially ballot papers, some few hours to the election. There was news of violence in many towns and villages in the state before, during and immediately after the election. Idanre is being mentioned for sundry reasons’

From Damisi Ojo, Akure


HE Ondo State Youth Assembly (OYA) yesterday decried Saturday’s governorship election, which declared Governor Olusegun Mimiko as the winner. It said the poll was scientifically-rigged. The group, which is one of those under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also condemned the national leadership of the party for congratulating Mimiko. It noted that the party’s national leadership had failed to study the election results and listen to the people before congratulating Mimiko, adding that it rejected the result. A statement by the group’s Chairman, Rasheed Elegbeleye, described the congratulatory messages as hasty and unacceptable. OYA alleged that the election was marred by irregularities in many local governments, including Akure South, Akoko North East, Idanre, Ilaje and Ese-Odo. It said: “The election was full of irregularities. In Ese-Odo Local Government Area, the leader of the ex-militants, who has been receiving N30 million every month from Mimiko for more than a year now, led a team of former militants from Balyesa State to disrupt the poll in three wards, the strongholds of the PDP in the area.

Observers fault governorship poll From Augustine Ehikioya and Faith Yahaya, Abuja


GROUP of election observers, the Project Swift Count (PSC), yesterday said the Ondo State governorship election was marred by irregularities. The group, comprising the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Justice Development and Peace/ Caritas (JDPC) and Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOMWAN) also said only 39.7 per cent of the electorate voted. While claiming that secrecy of the ballot was also a challenge during the election, the group said the flaws are not enough to undermine the overall result of the election. Briefing reporters in Abuja yesterday, the 1st Co-Chair of PSC, Dafe Akpedeye (SAN), said: “PSC estimates that the turnout for the Ondo State governorship election is 39.7 per cent, with a margin of error of 1.5 per cent. This is compared with Kebbi (51.8 per cent), Edo (44.4 per cent), Cross River (37 per cent), Sokoto (29.9 per cent), Adamawa (37.5 per cent) and Kogi (35.1 per cent).

Oshiomhole congratulates Mimiko


DO State Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has congratulated Governor Olusegun Mimiko on his victory in Saturday’s election. In a statement issued in Benin City, Oshiomhole said: “I wish to congratulate Governor Olusegun Mimiko on emerging victorious in the titanic electoral contest in Ondo State on October 20. “From the results, it is clear that the Labour Party’s candidate is the people’s choice, just as the standard bearers of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deserve praise for giving a good account of themselves. In the circumstance, it is only natural that one person will carry the day. “So, I also like to congratulate the duo of Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, of ACN and Chief Olusola Oke of PDP on a gallant showing.”



HE standard bearer of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday said there were irregularities in the poll. He added that the leadership of the party was studying the results and would take a decision soon. Akeredolu said in a statement he issued to reporters: “It is no longer news that the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the return of the incumbent governor as elected after the Ondo election. I am conscious of the expectation of our supporters and the public on our reaction to the outcome of the election. “Let me hasten to state that our party is studying the results and will take a decision on the reports of widespread irregularities from our agents and other witnesses. I have been inundated with tales of the brazen acts of violence perpetrated by thugs during the conduct of the election. I still find it difficult to believe that our security agents played the role of partisans of injustice in some ar-

eas of the state. There are, however, incontrovertible evidences of attempts at violence and actual perpetration of same against voters before, during and after the election. “I was informed of the arrest of the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Niran Sule, and the Caretaker Chairman of Owo Local Government, Prince Ojomo, by soldiers for being in possession of firearms and large sums of money in the morning of the election day. The news was widely circulated and was later confirmed by several people who witnessed the show of shame. I reliably gathered that the suspects were later released. “I also heard of the heavy monetisation of the voting process, particularly by the Labour Party (LP). I was told of the inducement of voters and violent attacks on those who refused to cooperate with them in virtually all the polling units in the state despite the intimidating presence of the security agencies deployed to protect life and property. Owo, my hometown, was practically under siege. My unit was, nevertheless, bombarded by agents of retrogression who insisted that they must

•’ACN ‘ll decide soon’ make a point with my contrived defeat in my ward. The resilience of the true sons and daughters of Owo ensured that I won. Adequate security was not provided in my polling unit as in most polling units all over the state as voters were openly suborned. My people still stood firm in anticipation of a change. News of the purported defeat in my ward had been sent to the Internet even before counting commenced. “There were reports of the arrest of Labour Party chieftains and their sympathisers who were caught with voting materials, especially ballot papers, some few hours to the election. There was news of violence in many towns and villages in the state before, during and immediately after the election. Idanre is being mentioned for sundry reasons. Voters were prevented from voting in some areas where results were returned. Two of our supporters were reportedly killed. “Many eligible voters could not find their names on the register provided at the polling units where they had previously voted. In some polling units, the number of accredited voters was less than the results released. Somebody has to explain the difference. “In view of these glaring evidences of irregularities, which characterised the exercise, the leadership of the party will meet to decide on the next line of action. “I must not fail to thank the good people of Ondo State who supported our aspiration to effect quality change in the system. Their unflinching support and encouragement sustained me throughout my campaign. I cannot forget the show of love and genuine affection. The patience and great expectation of change displayed by all those who came to meet us during our visits to all the nooks and crannies of the state, coupled with the mournful mien worn by many people consequent upon the announcement of the result by INEC, will propel us to defend their interest. “I thank you journalists for the wide coverage given my campaign tours and the liberal spaces pro-

vided for my interviews. I express my profound gratitude to all those who provided security for me when the level of intolerance displayed became threatening. “Let me also seize this opportunity to alert Nigerians that agents of the Labour Party have continued to attack my supporters. A party which has truly won an election need not resort to violence soon after victory. Let me sound this note of warning to the hoodlums who terrorise innocent people that they will not be allowed to escape justice. The power of incumbency will not be strong enough to protect banditry. “I call on the government of Ondo State to rein in the excesses of its agents to avert crisis. Our supporters must be allowed to go about their legitimate businesses. There is a limit to what human frailty can withstand. “We thank our party leaders for their commitment to the project of socio-economic transformation of the region. We fervently believe that their dream will be realised in a short while. An especial mention must be made of the Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, and the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We cannot thank them enough. “Our other leaders such as the governors and deputy governors in ACN-controlled states, senators, members of the House of Representatives and Houses of Assembly, party leaders at units, wards, local and state levels were of tremendous assistance. We praise them for their support. “As a lawyer of many years, impelled by the consuming passion to chart the murky waters of Nigerian politics, let me assure my friends and supporters that I am learning very fast. My undying belief in the country is sufficient to sustain me. I am equally an unrepentant democrat. I hold onto the ideals of democracy and the rule of law tenaciously. I will continue to join others who truly believe in these precepts to fight for good governance.”

Ondo poll: Myth of Mimiko’s landslide victory


VER since the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Dr Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP) as the winner of the October 20 governorship election in the Sunshine state, there has been a frenzy not just among the governor’s supporters but also in certain sections of the media. Many newspapers have been trying to outdo themselves in dramatising the scale of Mimiko’s purported landslide victory. The headlines have been creative, even entertaining. ‘Landslide Mimiko’. ‘Mimiko crushes ACN, PDP’. ‘How Olusegun Mimiko trounced PDP, ACN, Others’. One could go on and on. The objective is to manipulate public opinion and create the impression that Mimiko won an emphatic victory in the election. But accuracy of reporting is critical to the capacity of the press to help sustain and deepen democracy. Without accuracy of information, people could be easily misled into reaching wrong conclusions and innocently taking harmful decisions. The press must present and analyse the facts with scientific rigour devoid of partisanship. That is the only way it can effectively play its role as the watchdog of the people and facilitate the sustainable development of democracy in the country. Now, what do the statistics of this election tell us? The total number of registered voters was 1,546,081. The to-

From Segun Ayobolu

ANALYSIS tal number of accredited voters was 645,594. The total votes cast was 624,659 representing 40% of registered voters and meaning that there were 30,415 invalid votes. Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the LP was declared winner in 13 out of 18 local governments by INEC with 260,199 votes, which represents 41.6% of total votes cast. Olusegun Oke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared second winning in 2 local governments with 155, 961 votes representing 26.25% of total votes cast. Rotimi Akeredolu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was declared third winning in three local governments with 143,512 votes representing 24.15% of the total votes cast. A close analysis of these figures shows that more voters actually voted against Mimiko. Approximately 57% of total votes cast were actually against Mimiko and in favour of his opponents. He, therefore, did not get a majority of the votes and could not logically have won a landslide victory. To demonstrate this point further, let us examine the statistical implications of the July 14, 2012 governorship election in Edo state which returned Governor Adams Oshiomhole to office. In the Edo election, the total number of registered voters was 1,651,099.

The total number of votes cast was 647,698 representing 40% of registered voters. Governor Oshiomhole scored 477,478 votes, representing 73% of total votes cast. General Airhaivbere of the PDP scored 144,235 votes, which was 22% of total votes cast. The other candidates in the election recorded 6% of total votes cast. All Governor Oshiomhole’s opponents put together polled 152,621 votes, thus trailing the comrade governor by 324,857 votes. Oshiomhole won a majority of votes cast and it is this example that can be accurately and properly described as a landslide victory. A perceptive analyst, Mr. Emmanuel Aziken, graphically captured this point in his clinical dissection of the October 20 Ondo state governorship election result. According to him “In the end, the people of Ondo state decided to return Dr. Mimiko apparently based on what has been largely described as his credentials in office. However, it was a narrow escape. Yesterday’s declared results gave Mimiko 260,199 votes out of a total of 624,659 voters representing about 40%. He thus did not get majority of the votes. The PDP candidate, Olusola Oke who came second with 155,961 votes and ACN’s Rotimi Akeredolu who came third with 143,512 votes together mustered enough votes that could have probably sent Mimiko packing. However, the past history

of animosity between the PDP and ACN did not allow the two to form an alliance. Remarkably, Mimiko was returned to power by the Court of Appeal in 2009 which scored him 198,261 votes and his rival, Segun Agagu with 128,669. Then he had more than 55% of the votes. How the governor’s votes proportionally diminished between 2007 and 2012 is an issue for the governor and his handlers.” It is significant in this respect that the governor enjoys the advantages of incumbency. The PDP is crisis ridden. Believing that Mimiko was coming to join its ranks, the ACN allowed its structure to grow moribund only reviving its machinery a few months to the election. Interestingly, before Governor Mimiko headed to court in 2007 to challenge the election result, INEC had declared Dr. Segun Agagu winner with a landslide of 349,258 votes representing 53.2% of total votes cast. Mimiko was said to have scored 226,021 votes, which was 34.4% of total votes cast. Forensic investigation proved INEC’s declaration a fraud and Mimiko reclaimed his mandate. The results declared by INEC in the October 20 election will surely attract the interest of forensic auditors. The story may have just begun to unfold and the press should simply keep the people accurately informed.



NEWS Ladoja scores Ajimobi high


ORMER Oyo State Governor and leader of the Accord Rashidi Ladoja yesterday scored Governor Abiola Ajimobi high. He said Ajimobi “is meeting” his expectation with his transformation of the state. Ladoja hailed the governor for improving infrastructure and beautifying Ibadan, the state capital, within a short period. He gave the commendation during a live programme, Bulls Eyes, on Splash 105.5 FM Radio, Ibadan. The former governor said Ajimobi was living his dream because “he is executing projects he dreamt of for the state”. Ladoja said he had the dreams of building overhead bridges, circular roads and other structures to improve traffic in the city. He said he planned to extend the overhead bridge being built at Mokola Roundabout to Sango, when he was governor. Ladoja said: “I designed the overhead bridges. I also designed the circular road. It was a dream I had nursed for a long time. Otunba Adebayo AlaoAkala was there for four years and he did not touch it. Now, I see someone who shares my dream and I praise him and appreciate his efforts.

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

“As far as I am concerned, Ajimobi is living to up to expectations and he improving the aesthetics of the state capital. He deserves our support and commendation.” Ladoja did not say whether or not he is interested in contesting the 2015 governorship election, he simply said “only God can decide”. He said he contested the 2011 election to prove Alao-Akala wrong that his case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would prevent him from contesting. Ladoja said things have changed because he has a good relationship with Alao-Akala, adding that there is no permanent friend or enemy in politics. He said: “In 2011, I did not want to contest, but when AlaoAkala reported me to the EFCC and there was jubilation in his camp that the EFCC would not allow me to contest, I laughed and decided to run to dare him. Till today, no EFCC has come for me.” Reflecting on the 2011 polls, Ladoja said he contested against many forces, one of which was the Ibadan Elders Forum. He said: “Maybe they were afraid that Ladoja cannot be controlled if he is elected.”

LASU alumni to hold election


HE Lagos State University (LASU) Alumni Association will hold its national election on November 15 and 16 at the Alumni Relations Office at the Students’ Affairs Building in LASU, Ojo campus. In a statement, the association’s spokesman, Mr. Lateef Salami, said to vote or be vot-

ed for, members must pay their annual dues of N5,000. Nomination forms for the 12 positions are available at the Alumni Relations Office. The collection of the forms will close on October 26. Interested persons should contact Dr S.O. Sadiku on 08033019834 and Dr. Sola Oladipupo-Okorie on 08033539964.

Robbers kill five policemen, F two others in Ogun

IVE policemen and two others were killed on Sunday by a 15-man gang in two robbery incidents in Ogun State. Many others were critically injured. It was learnt that the hoodlums attacked a filling station in Ibafo around 8.30pm, dressed in police uniforms. They killed two policemen, who challenged them. A 12-year-old boy hawking sachet water, simply identified as Mubarak, was hit by a stray bullet. Sources said he died immediately.

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

It was learnt that the robbers stole an undisclosed amount of money from the filling station. At about 2.30am, the gang invaded the Vicarage of the Apostolic Church at Ijemo-Agbadu in Abeokuta, the state capital. It was gathered that members of the gang laid ambush for the Police Quick Response Squad

HE remains of the late Mrs. Sheila Solarin, widow of the late Dr. Tai Solarin, will be interred in Ikenne, Ogun State, next month. Her son, Tunde, stated this yesterday. Mrs. Solarin died at the Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), Ilisan, on Sunday. She was 88. Tunde said she would be buried beside her husband, who died in 1994. He said he is “very proud” to be the late Sheila’s son and described her as a “great woman, teacher” and “humorous person”. Tunde added: “The family has not decided on the funeral date, but it will most likely be in the next two weeks. It will be announced as soon as the family decides.” Reliving his mother’s last moment, he thanked Nige-

•Jonathan Obasanjo, Fayemi, others eulogise educationist

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

rians and the old students of Mayflower School for their support. Tunde said: “I was there a few minutes before she died and a moment after she passed away. Since I was not physically there at the moment she died, I can only describe what I saw half an hour before her death. “She was feverish and was trying to speak, while the doctors were trying to stabilise her, she had a heart monitoring machine on one side and the drip on the other. “There were a lot of medi-

Fayemi urges states on peer review


From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

sive and transparent government. Fayemi said his administration embraced SPRM to institutionalise transparency and accountability in governance. He said: “Though the report of the SPRM process identified challenges, the unwavering faith of the people in my administration has made us resolve to make the best of the transformational agenda.” The United Kingdom’s Department for International

they killed three policemen and injured two others. “The robbers positioned themselves at vantage points and the rescue team ran into their barricade. Two of our officers died instantly while the third died on the way to the hospital. The injured are being attended to at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), IdiAba, Abeokuta.” Adejobi said a suspect has been arrested.

Son relives Sheila Solarin’s last moment T

•From left: National Coordinator, State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM), Prof. Afeikhena Jerome; Adamolekun; Fayemi and a member of the SPRM Committee, Dr. Akachi Ezeigbo...yesterday.

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday urged more states to embrace the State Peer Review Mechanism (SPRM). He said the review programme is an invitation to all stakeholders to collaborate on a common platform to development their states. Fayemi spoke at the presentation of the Ekiti State SelfAssessment Report to the SPRM National Committee in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. He said his administration will continue to run an inclu-

(QRS) which was responding to the residents’ distress call, killing the driver of the patrol vehicle and two police inspectors. Other members of the police team were injured. Ogun police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi said: “The gang snatched a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and attacked a hotel on Abiola Way before heading for the Apostolic Church Vicarage at Ijemo Agbadu, where

Development (DFID) and the SPRM Steering Committee in Ekiti and the national level hailed the state government’s commitment to transparent and participatory governance. DFID Southwest Regional Coordinator Dr. Sina Fagbenro-Byron said the state government’s participation in the review programme is an indication of the “political will, progressivism and developmentorientation” of the present administration in Ekiti. He said participating states have more opportunities to

attract development partners and investors to their states because the review mechanism sells them to the public. World Bank consultant and member of the SPRM Steering Committee at the national level, Prof. Oladipo Adamolekun, said: “The 280-page report is very candid and well written, as it was prepared through a participatory process. “It shows the direction the present state government is headed in the second half of the tenure.”

cal equipment around her. The doctors did their best to save her, but the age at which she sustained such a serious injury made their job difficult.” President Goodluck Jonathan, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday commiserated with the Solarin family on Sheila’s death. Jonathan, in a statement, described her death as “a big loss” to the nation. He said Mrs. Solarin’s death has left a big vacuum in the education sector, adding that the nation would miss the “unparalleled commitment, discipline, expertise, prowess and astuteness” she brought to bear on the teaching profession and school administration. Jonathan said: “Her remarkably long period in running the popular Mayflower School, Ikenne and teaching English in that school, left an indelible impact on the generations of students, who today occupy prominent positions in all sectors of the Nigerian society.” The President said: “Her decision to carry on with the legacy of her late husband, even up to a very advanced age, speaks a lot about her indomitable spirit and is a great lesson for others to emulate.” Obasanjo said the late Sheila dedicated her life to the education of Nigerian children. He said: “Not only was the late Mrs. Solarin a dedicated educationist, she showed deep love for her adopted Ogun State and country, Nigeria, which she served for about six decades. “The late Mrs. Solarin’s dedication is truly worthy of emulation. She will be greatly missed. I commiserate with her children and the extended family and those who knew and loved this remarkable lady.” Fayemi described the late Sheila as “a selfless woman, who dedicated her life to the cause of humanity”. He said she was “a virtuous woman, an amiable personality, humble to a fault and deeply committed to the

•The late Mrs. Solarin

cause of education and development”. The governor said the deceased spent her entire lifetime campaigning for a better and egalitarian society through advocacy and philanthropy. He said: “Our hearts go out to the Solarin family, the Ikenne community, the government and people of Ogun State on this great loss.” Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Adeyemi Ikuforiji said: “Though Mrs. Solarin left us at a ripe age of 88, Nigerians would have loved to still have her around for more years, due to the marvelous way in which she carried on with the great job of empowering the nations youths, even after her husband passed on some years ago.” Ogun State Youths, in a statement, said: “This is a great loss to Ogun State and Nigeria. The late Mrs. Solarin, fondly called Mama, shaped the lives of thousands of Ogun youths in the right direction. “She was a disciplinarian and an educationist with great vision. She is an epitome of hard work and honesty, who speaks the truth no matter whose ox is gored. We commiserate with the family of the late Mrs. Solarin.” A political activist, Mr. Olawale Okunniyi, described the late Mrs. Solarin as an “unsung martyr”. He said: “At this glorious but painful exit of the true mother of the impoverished people of Nigeria, I solemnly celebrate the unwavering resilience of the Englishborn martyr Sheila, who was a dependable ally of her husband with whom she spent a lifetime fighting as a voice and defender of the Nigerian masses.”



NEWS Awujale to Fed Govt: fix hospitals By Kelvin Osa Okunbor


HE Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, yesterday returned to Nigeria from the United Kingdom (UK), where he had gone for medical check up. The Awujale flew in aboard a chartered Bombardier Challenger aircraft. He arrived at a private terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, around 5pm. The monarch was received by traditional leaders, prominent Ijebu chiefs and politicians. Speaking with reporters, Adetona urged the Federal Government to fix health facilities in Nigeria. He said he would not have travelled abroad, if there were standard facilities at home. Adetona said: “The federal and state governments should overhaul medical facilities in Nigeria. This is very important. If government had done that, there would have been no need for me to seek medical help abroad. “This is one key area I think government must consider deeply, because it affects all of us.” He said this year’s Ojude Oba Festival will be better than previous ones. Among prominent persons at the airport were former Ogun State Governor Olusegun Osoba, Senator Gbenga Kaka and the Chairman, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Otunba Subomi Balogun.

•From left: Otunba Balogun, Oba Adetona, Ogun State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Bimbo Ashiru...yesterday

Akingbola closes defence on court order


ORMER Managing Director of defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc Erastus Akingbola yesterday closed his defence on the orders of the court. Akingbola is on trial for allegedly stealing N47.1 billion from the bank. A Lagos High Court, Ikeja, presided by Justice Habeeb Abiru held Akingbola accountable to a promise made at the last hearing that he would close his defence, if he failed to produce his witness, yesterday. Justice Abiru ruled that Akingbola should close his defence and file a written address within 14 days. The ruling followed the inability of the defence team, led by Felix

By Adebisi Onanuga

Fagbohungbe (SAN), to call more witnesses, despite his undertaking to do so. Akingbola and his associate, Bayo Dada, were arraigned by the Economic Crimes and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). At the resumed hearing yesterday, Fagbohungbe informed the court of the inability to produce their witness. He did not disclose the identity of the witness for what he termed “security reasons”. Fagbohungbe bemoaned the defence’ predicament in producing more witnesses, who he claimed declined to come for fear of the EFCC.

In addition, he referred the court to the proceedings at the Federal High Court where he said the prosecution was in the habit of harassing their witnesses. Fagbohungbe urged the court to adjourn to enable him produce the witness, who he said was sick, at the next hearing. But the prosecuting counsel, Godwin Obla, objected, saying it was a ploy to delay the trial. Obla said what happened at the Federal High Court was not part of the record of the court at Ikeja and that the EFCC has never asked for singular adjournment since the trial commenced. He said the allegation by the defence was deliberate to delay the trial and urged the

court to discountenance it. The judge asked the defendant if they have any other witness in court but Fagbohungbe replied that they have a material witness who is indisposed. The judge thereafter threatened to close the defence’s case if they are not calling another witness. But the defence maintained its stance that their “material witness” was indisposed. Justice Abiru ordered that the defence close their case and file their written address within 14 days to which the prosecution must reply in seven days. The judge thereafter adjourned till November 15 for adoption of written addresses.

Judicial workers sue governors, NJC, others


HE battle for financial autonomy for the Judiciary took a new turn yesterday when the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) filed a suit in the Federal High Court, Minna, Niger State, against the 36 governors, federal and states attorneys-general and the National Judicial Council (NJC). In the 28-paragraph affidavit, the union’s National President, Malam Marwan Mustapha Adamu, said the union is seeking the interpretation, declaration and enforcement of provisions of sections 81 (3) 121 (3) and 162

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

(9) of the 1999 Constitution. The suit urged the court to interpret the constitutional/ statutory provisions and determine ‘’whether the provisions of the constitution that the funds/amount standing to the credit of the Judiciary in the Federation Account/Consolidated Revenue Fund shall not be paid directly to the heads of courts concerned.’’ The union then sought for a seven-point relief that the defendants’ failure, neglect and or refusal to pay the funds/ amount standing credit of the states’ judiciary directly to the

heads of courts in various states’Judiciary is a constitutional breach. Adamu said the battle for financial autonomy for the Judiciary was not negotiable, arguing that the issue was constitutional. He lamented that most courts are in pitiable condition, while states' chief judges have to beg for funds from governors to carry out their duties. The JUSUN leader said over the years, states' executive arm of government have been dealing with the Judiciary with levity. According to Adamu, ''the

executive arm has been committing impeachable offence by not complying with constitutional/statutory provisions. “We will not take that again, that is why we approach the court for interpretation, declaration and enforcement of the constitution. “If Mr. President can respect the constitution by releasing directly funds standing credit to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) why can't our governors do same to the Judiciary? “We are ready for the battle. No retreat, no surrender until we secure financial autonomy for the Judiciary,'' Adamu said.

Senate to probe NCC, police row


HE Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Gilbert Nnaji, at the weekend said the committee is investigating the row between the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the police on the controversial sale of 450 Mhz Frequency Ban. The committee has directed the NCC’s Executive Vice-Chairman to provide a report of the transaction. The Inspector-General of Police and the Managing Director of OpenSky Limited are to appear before the committee. He decried the situation where government agencies trade words over issues “which can be resolved in-house.” “Such embarrassing and unnecessary feud is capable of undermining government’s effort to stem the rising tide of insecurity in the country.” Nnaji warned that the committee would not spare any person(s) found culpable in the matter. The Ministry of Police Affairs had alleged that the NCC resold the 450MHz spectrum licence originally allocated to it to a private firm, known as OpenSkys Limited. Police authorities claimed that the sale of the particular frequency, which was meant to support police security communications gadgets, had made it difficult for the police to roll out its security-based services on the frequency. The police claimed that the frequency valued at over $50million, and which had been occupied by it since 2009, was sold for commercial purposes to OpenSkys Limited for less than $ 6 million by the NCC September last year. But the NCC debunked the claim, describing it as an allegation based on misconception of how frequencies were sold and allotted by the commission. It said it followed due processes in the sale of the frequency.

Nigeria loses $500m to medical tourism From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja


HE Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) yesterday decried the estimated yearly loss of $500 million by Nigeria on medical tourism outside the country. Speaking in Abuja at the beginning of the 2012 Physicians’ week, the NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said over 5,000 Nigerians travel out every month to treat ailments that could be handled in Nigeria. He challenged political leaders and public office holders to show good example, by patronising hospitals in Nigeria with their families. Enabulele said: “Many Nigerians, including top political office holders, travel to other countries in search of medical care even for medical conditions that can be satisfactorily managed in Nigeria. “Available evidence shows that over 5,000 Nigerians visit India and other countries monthly for medical tourism. They are at risk of misdiagnosis, legal and ethical issues, exposure to infectious diseases, as well as other complications, particularly post-surgical complications. On the average, between $20 - $40, 000 dollars is said to be spent by a traveller on each health trip.”



NEWS Oshiomhole hails Gowon EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has congratulated former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon on his 78th birthday. He said the General remains one of Nigeria’s most inspiring leaders. In a letter, the governor said: “It is with great happiness in my heart that I write to convey the good wishes and felicitations of the government and people of Edo State on this auspicious occasion of the celebration of your 78th birthday. “We pray for your continued good health and wish you many more years of service to our great country Nigeria and humanity at large.”

Thursday, Friday are holidays THE Federal Government has declared Thursday and Friday as public holidays to mark the Eid El-Kabir celebrations. Minister of Interior Abba Moro, who announced this in Abuja yesterday, called on Nigerians to imbibe and emulate the worthy tenets of Islam as practised by Prophet Mohammed. A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of interior, Mrs. Daniel Nwaobia, quoted Moro as urging the citizens to pray for peace and prosperity.

Dana awarded best local carrier

Court refuses bail for Capital Oil boss, four others T D

HE Managing Director, Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, and four others being held by the police lost their bid for freedom yesterday. Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, refused their motion for bail. Ubah, Nsikan Usoro (Head of Trading), Godfrey Okorie (Depot Manager), Chibuzor Ogbuokiri (General Manager, Operations) and Orji Joseph Anayo (Executive Director, Operations) were arrested on October 9 by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos for allegedly defrauding the Federal Government of N43.291billion in the fuel subsidy fund. Justice Abang held that the motion filed under the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules by their lawyer, Joseph Nwobike (SAN), was incompetent, defective and so, incurable by amendment. The judge also held that

By Eric Ikhilae

Nwobike failed to inform the court that his clients were being held on a subsisting order of remand by Magistrate Martins Owunmi. He held that the fact of a subsisting remand order was not contained in the affidavit of urgency filed by the applicants before the court. The judge also noted that they did not inform the court that they had a pending bail application before the same magistrate’s court. “I have gone through the affidavit filed by the applicant counsel, and I find no place where it is stated that there was a subsisting order for remand by the magistrate’s court. “I cannot possibly comprehend why the learned SAN has chosen to hide this fact from the court,” the judge held. Justice Abang further held

that although the applicants could bring an application for bail before the court, they could not do so under the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules. “Where bail is refused an applicant at the magistrate’s court, he has the right to bring his application before a higher court, but he has to do so within the confines of the law. “I cannot make findings on the bail application of the applicants, brought pursuant to the Fundamental Human Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules. “The applicants cannot use this rule to challenge a subsisting order of court. Whether the magistrate had or exceeded its jurisdiction, is entirely a different issue. “The learned SAN should have employed either of three modes in bringing his bail application before this

court. “The applicant could have appealed against the order for remand made by the magistrate, before the High Court, pending their arraignment, or, apply to the high court for a fresh summons for bail pursuant to Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA). “I cannot consider counsel’s application for the applicants to be released on bail under the fundamental rights enforcement procedure, this relief cannot be sought under that law. “This is not a sentimental or emotional issue, it is an issue of law, because a subsisting order of court exist. “The police possess the constitutional right to arrest any person accused of committing an offence, even if it is based on suspicion. “In the final analysis, the preliminary objection of the respondent subsists in part and the application of the applicants struck out, with no order as to cost. I so hold,” the judge held.

REC:governors too powerful From Nichola Kalu, Calabar

THE Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River State, Mr. Mike Igini, has said governors have become too powerful such that whoever they want occupies any position in their states. Igini spoke at a constitution review parley in Calabar, the state capital. He said governors thwart electoral processes by the way they impose their desires and personal decisions on the system. “Governors do not respect electoral rules. There are situations where our governors alone decide what happens at elections. They decide who should be elected at local government elections. “They decide who should go as members of the House of Representatives or who should be a Senator, thereby thwarting the electoral processes.” He said the excessive power of governors should be checked in the on-going constitutional review. Igini warned against the inauguration of state police, saying governors would unduly influence them to their own benefit. He advised that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be properly strengthened through appointment of men of transparent dispositions who earn the trust of Nigerians. He also urged Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials of to work harder.

•The Chairman, House of Represenetatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa (second left), at a briefing on how to raise funds for flood victims... at the weekend. With her are the Head of Mission, The African Union, Diaspora Africa Forum, Amb Erieka Bennett (second right); Secretary-General, Africa Public Relations Association. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya (left) and Jide Oshinaike of Eco Bank PHOTO: SUNDAY OMONIYI

Nigerian High Commission in Canada ‘broke’


FFICIALS of the Nigerian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, are owed two months salary, it was learnt yesterday. A source said the situation was so critical that the High Commissioner, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, flew to Nigeria last week to meet ministry officials. The source said besides funds for salaries, the High Commission lacked cash to pay electricity and telephone bills. He said most of the officials use their credit cards to do what should ordinarily be done with the Commission’s funds. The source said the nonNigerian workers are not taking the situation lightly. Some of them, he said, are complaining openly. He said most of them thought the matter would be resolved with Maduekwe’s trip to country. The situation is the same in Geneva, Switzerland.

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Quebec

The embassy officials in Geneva, he said, have lost the chance of enjoying any credit facility “because they know as a Nigerian you will default in payment.” According to him, what Nigerian embassy officials do is to use Ghanaians as go-

between to access credit. He wondered why foreign affairs officials would not be paid when their counterparts in Nigeria receive their salary regularly. “Nobody has been able to tell us what the problem is. We expected Maduekwe to sort out the problem during his trip to the country as I

speak with you nothing has been heard. “We also expect Maduekwe, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, to know how to source money to run the Commission. “The situation is not funny. We call on the Federal Government to do something about this precarious situation.”

Why state of origin should be abolished, by Mark From Onyedi Ojiabor, Quebec


ENATE President David Mark has said the country must shift from state of origin and embrace state of residence. He said the enthronement of state of residence would cement inter-personal relations. Mark spoke to reporters in Quebec, Canada, yesterday after the opening of the 127th InterParliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, with the theme: “Citizenship, identity, linguistic and cultural diversity in a globalised world.” The Senate President said one of the issues that would be addressed at the constitution review is a shift from state of origin to state of residence. “You are resident in a place for 20 years and still, they don’t take you as part and parcel of that place.

“I think it’s a difficult task but in my opinion, I think if we have an open mind and we approach it from a nationalist perspective, rather than a small, clannish perspective, I think we would get it right. “Let’s forget the business of state of origin and go to state of residence. “Once you are resident in a place and you perform your civic responsibilities for the period, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t benefit, provided of course you don’t claim dual residency. The Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, said Nigeria should embrace principles that would enhance unity and progress. The Governor-General, David Johnston,

From Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

ESPITE the sad incident of June 3, the Federal Government has awarded Dana Airlines, the best domestic carrier for 2011. The airline emerged winner based customer service, passenger load and prompt payment of dues. Lufthansa was selected 2011 best international carrier. Dana Flight 9J 992 was Lagos-bound from Abuja before it crashed, killing 153 passengers onboard. The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Regional General Manager, Chris Bature, announced this at the Annual Workers’ Award in Abuja. He said the operator was selected because of its outstanding performance. Bature said: “Mode of selection includes passenger capacity. That is, passenger load, frequency of landing and take-off, their response to payment of bill and last year, it excelled. “So among the domestic carriers, Dana was the best. It had the best volume. It was punctual in its operations. “In all fairness, Dana did its best and we need to recognise that and encourage it to get back to its feet,” he added. Dana Station Manager Abuja Airport, Kayode Adeniran stated that the airline’s commitment to best customer service and timely departure earn it the award. According to him, it was an award well deserved. His words: “The June 3 incident is unfortunate. It was not deliberate. “In the aviation sector, you cannot rule out accidents but when there is an accident, it is the authority that has the power to investigate. “We thank God that the black box is being worked on at the Boeing Company in America.” Adeniran said the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is investigating to ascertain when the airline will fully commence operations. He said Dana has commenced demonstration flight as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The operation is expected to run until NCAA certifies the carrier to commence full operations.

New trauma centres coming From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos


HE Federal Ministry of Health has promised six more first class trauma centres across the country. The new centres will be in the six geo-political zones before the end of the year, to cater for emergency management delivery in the country. The Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, said this yesterday at the opening of a workshop on Enhancing Health Management Delivery in Jos, Plateau State. He said other areas of emphasis by the ministry are human capacity building and provision of state of the art equipment for emergency health services, which he said, entails pre-service and in-service training.





If we see investors who are ready to put in their funds, we can put in our funds and buy equity into the investment, but it must operate in Rivers State, so it can create employment opportunities for our people. - Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State

‘GAT does not belong to Bi-Courtney’ THE remodelled General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in the old domestic wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) does not belong to Bi-Courtney, the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, has said. Princess Oduah,who spoke yesterday through her Special Assistant on Media, Joe Obi, explained that the location of GAT has never been concessioned to BiCourtney, adding that the

Naira firms on Shell, NLNG dollar sales


HE naira firmed against the U.S dollar on the interbank market yesterday, supported by dollar sales by two energy companies, which boosted greenback supplies. The local currency strengthened to N157.30 to the dollar on the interbank market, firmer than the N157.40 it closed on Friday. "The market liquidity was boosted through dollar sales by Shell and Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) company, which provided support for the naira," one dealer said. Traders said the naira should remain stable around the present level as dollar inflows from month-end sales by energy companies and offshore investors buying treasury bills at an auction this week could balance out demand in the market. On the bi-weekly auction, the Central Bank of Nigeria sold $150 million at N155.76, same amount and rate at the last auction. The naira had weakened to around a three week low last week, pressured by demand for dollars from gasoline importers, but the local currency rallied on dollar inflows from oil companies and from offshore investors buying bonds.

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

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -10.5% 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 $35.8b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

• Fed Govt assures on air safety By Kelvin Osa Okunbor Lagos and Olugbenga Adanikin, Abuja

agreement with Bi-courtney has a survey plan clearly marked in square metres. Oduah said: “Information at our disposal indicates that Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, the Concessionaire to MM2, apparently threatened by the imminent opening of the newly reconstructed and remodelled GAT, Lagos, is mounting a media campaign in an attempt to blur, or diminish the unprecedented achievement of the Aviation Minister, in giving Nigerian airports a major face-lift and dignified ambience. “To be sure, the area where GAT is located has

never been part of the area concessioned to Bi-Courtney Limited. “The agreement with Bicourtney has a Survey Plan clearly marked in Square metres and the area of the GAT was never contemplated to be part of the area leased to Bi-Courtney. “Nigerians can vividly recall the dilapidated and decrepit state of the nation’s airports, including GAT prior to the assumption of office of the current Minister. Today, 11 airports, including the GAT are an elegant testimony of the desire and determination of the Minister to give Nigerians what they truly deserve - airports of their dreams that compares to any such facility anywhere around the

world,” the statement said. “It is inconceivable that anyone would not only contemplate, but also hold fast to the jaundiced belief that a nation as big and great as Nigeria ought not to progress beyond having a terminal like MM2,” it added. On allegations that there are court orders restraining anybody, including FAAN, the agency in charge of federal airports from developing GAT, the minister said the court cases were still ongoing. Meanwhile, Secretary to the Government of the Federation , Senator Anyim Pius Anyim said in Lagos yesterday that the Federal Government will continue to place high priority on the safety, security and comfort of travelling public across the nation’s airports as part of it’s

transformation agenda. Anyim said this while inaugurating the remodelled General Aviation Terminal(GAT) at the Murtala Muhammed Airport built at a cost of N648 million. He assured passengers that the Federal Government is not only interested in remodelling the nation’s airports, but also in building new ones across the country, adding that the safety and comfort of the passengers are “uppermost in our minds.” Anyim said the business of aviation is an international one and we would like to follow international best practices in Nigeria. He implored the private sector to collaborate with Federal Government so that they can replicate in other airports what has been done here in Lagos.

• From left: Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE); Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa,, member, National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and Chairman, Technical Committee, Atedo Peterside and member, NCP Ali Abdul-Razaq, at a press conference to refute allegations levelled by the Governors of Ekiti, Edo and Delta states against the privatisation of PHCN successor distribution companies in Lagos ... yesterday.

NICON, 43 others sue FIRS to tribunal over N1.15b excess tax


ICON Insurance Plc and 43 others yester day in Abuja, dragged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the Tax Appeal Tribunal over the non-refund of about N1.15 billion overpaid stamp duties. In an appeal filed by their Counsel, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), the insurance firms alleged that they paid the excess stamp duties to the Federal Government through FIRS between 2002 and 2006. They averred that the respondent acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” by refusing to refund the excess stamp duties to them. They said FIRS also erred in law, “in refusing to refund excess stamp duties paid on various increases on their share capital to the tune of N1.15 billion,’’ stating that the respondent erred in law in the decision that the appellants’ claims for refund of excess stamp duties paid by them on their respective statements of increase in share capital were time barred by virtue of Section 21 of Stamp Duties Act Cap S.8 Laws of the Federation, 2004. Sunday Oghayei, who stood in for Osipitan, said the appellants’ claims “are for a refund of excess stamp duties paid over and above the amount prescribed by relevant Statute/Money received by the respondent.’’ The appellants are seeking for a “declaration that the decision of the respondent that the application of the appellants for refund of excess stamp duty payments on increases in their share capital between it and FIRS is statute barred is incorrect, arbitrary, oppressive and a derogation of the appellants’ rights,” they said.

Ex-governors Ciroma, Sanusi defend CBN autonomy • Continued from page 6 He said rather than take such an extreme position, the lawmakers should think of how to rectify perceived faults in the workings of the CBN. “If the operating system has been so lousy, then we should ask ourselves the way to improve it,” he said. “The CBN is essentially the banker and economist of the government as well as the banker of the bankers. If the board excludes the governor and staff of the bank, it means the board is made up of people who are unfamiliar with the way the system operates. In my own view, there’s a great danger in excluding these people from the board of the bank as any mistake can bring about dangers and tragedies for the nation,” he said.

Sanusi supported Ciroma’s position. He said: “If you make your governor an executive on the board and not the chairman, you have immediately given him complex and others will immediately show superiority to your governor because they are all chairmen of their own board.” According to him, the House and the CBN were at loggerheads over the apex bank’s budgeting because of lack of communication. He suggested a forum whereby the two parties would meet so that the CBN could explain its administrative policies to the lawmakers. The Nigerian Labour Congress, represented by its Deputy President Comrade Isa Aremu, said the principle of separation of powers is what ought to ensure the in-

dependence of the CBN. He wondered why the National Assembly, having made a good law, would want to amend it. He urged the House to “go for the ball not for the leg”. But Victor Onyereri, chairman of the House committee on Banking and Currency, said: “The NLC represents only a very minor sector of the country. We represent the people; be rightly guided.” The lawmaker noted that the House is not out to emasculate the CBN, but to ensure accountability and transparency. He wondered what the CBN had to fear in the proposed bill. Committee members, including Minority Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, Rafiquat Onabamiro, Stella Dogu, Linux Okorie, Pally Iriase and Segun Williams,

questioned the CBN over its inability to stem operational abuses in the commercial banks, in spite of its independence. They quarrelled with the CBN structure which allows it to unilaterally approve its budget, salaries and allowances without approval or appropriation by the National Assembly. Gbajabiamila said while there is need for the apex bank to be independent, it must comply with relevant sections of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Constitution on remittance of revenue generated into the Consolidated Account. He also insisted that the budget estimates of the CBN must be submitted to the National Assembly through the Minister of Finance. The committee chair chided the representative of

the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Danladi Kifase, a Permanent Secretary, for not presenting any document. Kifase said he was at the hearing as a member of the CBN board, representing the Minister and not on behalf of the Finance Ministry. But kifase pleaded for more time to make a written submission. The board of the CBN consists of 12 members, made up of the governor, four deputy governors and seven non-executive directors, two of whom are institutional representatives (Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation, plus five other members appointed by the President.) The Bill under consideration seeks to reduce the membership to seven.






ursuant to the provisions of the Universities (miscellaneous provisions) Act No 11 of 1993 as amended by decree No 25 of 1996 and further amended in 2003 and 2012 respectively and other agreements contained in the 2009 FGN-Staff Union Agreement, the governing council of the Plateau State University, Bokkos hereby notifies the Academic community and the general public within and outside Nigeria that the council has commenced the process of the appointment of a vice Chancellor. Applications are hereby invited from interested and suitably qualified candidates for the position.

THE INSTITUTION The PLATEAU STATE UNIVERSITY, BOKKOS, a broad-based and conventional institution, was established via the instrument of law on 7th March 2005. On 29th April, 2005, the National universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, granted official recognition to the university to operate The philosophy, Vision and Mission of this equal opportunity University is carefully structured to uphold and practice the tenets of handing down knowledge, diligence, culture and values to enable the citizenry develop through an all round, practical, result-oriented and problem solving education in a competitive globalised world. The university is also conceived as an institution of higher learning in which staff and students from different backgrounds and with sterling intellectual, managerial and moral capacities would be harnessed to work together as a team for the realization of a modern secular education blended with high moral standards. The permanent site of the university, in Butura and Tarangol axis of Bokkos Local Government Area showcases the natural endowment of the state. Thus/ the scenic beauty, undulating landscape and clement. weather all combine to provide a conducive atmosphere for academic, research and administrative work. 1. VICE CHANCELLOR The post of the Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University, Bokkos has fallen vacant. Consequently, in accordance with the Plateau State of Nigeria gazette No. 3 Vol. 11 of 24th May 2006, which contains the Plateau State University Law No 4 of 2006, the governing council of the University wishes to commence the process for the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor for the University. By this announcement, applications are therefore invited from suitably qualified Candidates for the position of a substantive Vice Chancellor. 3. RESPONSIBILITIES; TheVice Chancellor is the Chief Academic and Executive Officer of the University, Chairman of the Senate and member of the University governing council. She/he shall exercise general supervision over the University and shall be responsible to the council for maintaining and promoting efficiency and order in the University. It shall be the duty of the vice chancellor to ensure that the provisions of the law and statutes ordinances and regulations of the University are observed. THE CANDIDATE; The candidate for the post of vice Chancellor of the Plateau State University must possess a good University education from a recognized University and should be of impeccable integrity and a good manager of human and material resources. Specifically, the candidate is expected to: 1. Be a highly distinguished scholar of the rank of professor of not less than five (5) years experience on that rank. 2. Have wide administrative experience; understand contemporary demands of leadership and in touch with dynamics of modern University administration to be capable of providing vision and direction towards sustainable growth and development of the University. 3. Be one with high scholastic and academic credentials (must be a Ph.D. holder or its equivalent), who must have outstanding accomplishments in academic and in public life generally. The candidate must also have a subsisting teaching or research position in a University, and should not be more than 65 years of age. 4. Command both national and international respect; particularly in the academic world to enhance the good reputation of the University and attract scholarship. 5. Be a person who is not likely to foster personal, racial, ethnic, political, religious or other sectional interests. 6. Exhibit entrepreneurial drive and ability to attract much needed funds and mobilize other resources 7. Be free from any form of financial embarrassment 8. Be of good health and a pleasant/strong personality 9. Be a courageous and assertive person who can take decisions on the merit of faith and principles and not on the basis of pressure from individuals or groups; and 10. Have not suffered any conviction (i.e She/he should not be an ex-convict). TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE APPLICABLE TO THE POST The vice chancellor shall hold office for a single and non renewable term of five (5) years only on such terms and conditions as may be specified in the letter of appointment. The remuneration and other conditions of service are as applicable to the post of Vice Chancellor in all Nigerian Universities/and as may be determined by the Government/Governing Council of the University as appropriate MODE OF APPLICATION (A). Each application should be made in thirty five (35) copies and be accompanied by thirty five copies of candidate’s curriculum vitea duly signed and dated indicating the following: 1. Full Name (Sure name First) 2. Date and place of Birth 3. Nationality and State 4. Marital Status 5. Number of Children and Date of Birth 6. Institutions attended with Dates 7. Academic and/or professional qualifications obtained with dates (enclose copies of certificates). 8. Areas of specialization and sub-specialization 9. Present Job status, description and salary. 10. Current contact address and phone number (s) and e-mail 11. Permanent address 12. Work Experience and Date 13. Conferences/Seminars/Workshops (Local and/or international attended) with dates 14. Publication of article. 15. Names and addresses of three (3) Referees. 16. Date of availability for duty (if appointed) 17. Any other relevant information. (B) Candidates should also enclose their Vision for the University in not more than 2000 words.

(C). Each application should include the Names and addresses of three (3) Referees, who should be able to attest to the candidate’s standing and abilities professionally, managerially as well as moral rectitude. One of the Referees must be from the candidate’s place of work. Each referee must be contacted by the applicant to forward, direct to the pro- chancellor, the confidential report in a properly sealed envelope marked POST OF VICE CHANCELLOR; REFEREE’S REPORT at the top left hand corner of the envelope. (D). All applications shall be submitted under confidential cover, sealed and addressed to: The Pro- chancellor and Chairman of Council Plateau State University, Bokkos P.M.B,2012 Jos, Plateau State. NIGERIA The sealed envelope (s) containing the applications or nominations should be marked POST OF VICE CHANCELLOR at the top left hand corner and forwarded to reach the Pro-chancellor/Chairman of Council not later than six weeks from publication date. 2.


THE POSITION/DUTIES. The Post of the Registrar/Secretary to Council of Plateau State University, Bokkos has also fallen vacant. Consequently, in accordance with the Plateau State of Nigeria Gazette No. 3 Vol. 11 of 24th May 2006, which contains the Plateau State University Law No 4 of 2006, the Governing Council of the University wishes to commence the process for the appointment of a new Registrar/Secretary to Council for the University. By this announcement, applications are- therefore invited from suitably qualified Candidates for the position of a substantive Registrar/Secretary to Council. The Registrar is the Chief Administrative Officer of the University and is responsible to the ViceChancellor for the day-to-day general administration of the University except the administration of University finances which falls under the purview of the Bursary. The Registrar by virtue of office is Secretary to Council, Senate, Convocation and Congregation. The Registrar is, therefore, expected to give positive leadership in the administration of the University’ QUALIFICATIONS/EXPIRIENCE. Candidates must possess a good honours degree and relevant higher or postgraduate degree from a recognized University or its equivalent, and least fifteen (15) years Post qualification experience, substantial part of which must have been in a University or other comparable institution(s) of higher Seaming. The Candidate must not be below the rank of Deputy Registrar currently. Possession of Membership of a Professional body in institutional management or other related disciplines will be an added advantage. The candidate must also have a subsisting working position in a University: Prospective candidates who have already attained the age of Sixty (60) years at the time of advertisement need not apply. MODE OF APPLICATION (A). Each application should be made in thirty (30) copies and be accompanied by thirty (30) copies of the candidate’s curriculum vitae duly signed and dated indicating the following:1. Full Name (Surname First) 2. Date & Place of Birth 3. Nationality & State 4. Marital Status 5. Number of Children and Date of Birth 6. Institutions Attended with dates 7. Academic and/or Professional Qualifications obtained with dates (enclose copies of certificates). 8. Area(s) of specialization and sub-specialization 9. Present job status, description and salary 10. Current contact address/including Telephone number(s) and e-mail 11. Permanent address 12. Work Experience and Date 13. Conferences/Seminars/Workshops (Local and/or international attendee) with dates 14. Publications (If any). 15. Names and Addresses of three (3) Referees, who should be able to attest to the candidate’s standing and abilities professionally, managerially as well as moral rectitude. Two of the Referees must be Authorities in the candidate’s field of study. 16. Date of availability for duty (if appointed) : 17. Any other relevant information (B). Candidates should also enclose their Vision of the Registry for the University in not more than 1000 words. (C). Each application should include the names and addresses of three (3) referees. Each Referee must be contacted by the Applicant to forward/ direct to the Pro-Chancellor, a confidential report on the candidate’s character, academic and managerial competencies in a properly sealed envelope marked POST OF REGISTRAR: REFEREE’S REPORT at the top left hand corner of the envelope, (D). AII applications shall be submitted under confidential cove’, sealed and addressed to; The Pro-Chancellor & Chairman of Council, Plateau State University, Bokkos, P.M.B.2012 Jos, Plateau State. NIGERIA. The sealed envelope(s) containing the applications or nominations should be marked POST OF REGISTRAR at the top left hand corner and forwarded to reach the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of council not later than six weeks from publication date. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLY THOSE CANDIDATES WHO ARE SHORTLISTED WOULD BE CONTACTED. REGISTRAR/SECRETARY TO COUNCIL Announcer



Tuesday, October 23, 2012


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


‘Dearth of mortgage finance bad for prospective home owners’

•Luxury flats at Parkview, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Mortgage banking plays a key role in the provision of affordable housing. It provides finance. Various statistics on housing and home ownership highlight the urgent need for development in the sector, in terms of financing and affordability. Mortgage bankers, under the aegis of the bMortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), have offered a fresh insight into how the 17 million housing gap can be bridged through mortgage. They spoke at their second Housing Finance & Investment Conference in Lagos. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE •CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 writes •Infrastructure development •Ilorin descendants • ‘How we’ll light up takes centre stage oppose land policy markets with wastes’ - PAGE 18

- PAGE 51

- PAGE 51




‘How we’ll light up markets with wastes’


HE Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) is set to convert biodigestal wastes to methane to propel electricity generation in markets. The Managing Director of LAWMA, Mr Ola Oresanya, said the agency has begun a pilot scheme in Ketu Fruit Market to convert the organic waste generated in the market to electricity through a 1.5 KVA generating set that supplies energy needs in the market. He said the market was chosen because it has 100 per cent

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

organic waste, which is easily converted to methane first, then, to electricity. He also said another method is thermal conversion, which makes wastes to burn faster in the process of generating electricity. He said the state was well-positioned to generate electricity from wastes due to its huge population of about 16 million people. Oresanya said the Olusosun

dumpsite was generating electricity through the landfill site gas project which it intended to replicate on all landfill sites.The LAWMA boss also said from next year, the state would start earning income through carbon credit in line with the Kyoto Protocol. He said LAWMA has created an enabling environment/platform for wastes recycling with the reclamation of land at Olusosun landfill site for interested investors. The most recent rehabilitation at the landfill is the 1.3-kilometre

service road begun in December 2011. It was completed last April. The road is composed of well- graded and compacted laterite fill to one metre thickness, and stone base of 1,000 metres, among other features. Practical gas extractor pipes are being installed and drilling is ongoing for more pipes installation. Also, the landfill site of about 42.7 hectares of land receives an average of 300 trucks of wastes daily. They are weighed to ascertain the quantity of waste going into the landfill.

•OLa Oresanya

‘Dearth of mortgage finance bad for prospective home owners’ •CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13


ACk of mortgage financing is the bane of housing. It is also the reason most measures by successive governments to lift home delivery have not impacted the sector, especially the low income earners. This was the view of mortgage bankers and industry experts, who spoke under tha aegis of Mortgage Banking Association of Nigeria (MBAN), at their yearly conference in Lagos at the weekend. According to them, housing is a socio-economic tool and an important aspect of microeconomic policy considerations, whose shortfall in the country has become a source of worry, especially with the dearth of long-term mortgage financing. They noted that the sector would need about N24 trillion mortgage funds to provide the 17 million houses to bridge the gap. To them, this amount should have been accessible if there were effective mortgage policies. Mortgage finance is put at a paltry five per cent in Nigeria leaving a huge gap in the financing of homes. However, it is a different story in some advanced countries. In the United States, mortgage accounts for 72 per cent housing finance; United Kingdom (78%), China (60) Korea (54) and 92 per cent in Singapore. They attributed the housing financing gap to inconsistent government policies, absence of a secondary mortgage system and the dearth of relevant professionals in policy decision that concerns housing. Managing Director/Chief executive Officer, the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr Gimba Ya’U kumo, said the percentage of mortgage financing has been hampered by people not being able to keep to the terms of agreements and other challenges, such as death, disability, loss of employment , failure of businesses, over extended credit and, sometimes by living beyond one’s means. He said to bridge the 17 million

•Jeje,Abimbola Olayinka and Kayode Omotoso, at the event.

housing deficit in the country, over N24 trillion was needed, at the cost of N2 million per unit. Also, N1 trillion would be required annually to to meet demand. Ya’U kumo regretted that nothing much had been done to get the sector to act as an employment generation catalyst to boost the GDP. He said: “The sector generates about 6.2 per cent of the aggregate employment in the United States, 22.3per cent in China and about 80 per cent in India.” The abysmal performance of the sector and widening funding gap has necessitated the urgent need for the development of a delivery

and effective marketing strategy to boost public confidence and demand, he said, adding that government guarantees, incentives and subsidies were needed to entice private sector funds targeted at low cost housing. Ya’U kumo stressed that the gap could only be filled with the commitment of government to the sector in terms of funding and other incentives. The Central Bank Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido, who spoke as a regulator, said some key factors identified as the bane of mortgage financing, which has led to the N24 trillion gap in financing were weak capital, dearth of long-

term funds, absence of mortgage refinancing or a secondary market and high cost of funds. The CBN boss, who was represented by the Director, Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department, Mr Femi Fabamwo, said other factors for the gap included titling challenges, poor legal framework, inadequate housing delivery systems and high cost of property transactions. He said the apex bank was working to institute appropriate legal frameworks, accelerated development of affordable housing, a mortgage refinancing or liquidity firm and a national housing mortgage intervention fund.

‘The sector generates about 6.2 per cent of the aggregate employment in the United States, 22.3per cent in China and about 80 per cent in India’

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, while encouraging the Federal Government to play its part in lifting mortgage financing, said his administration has introduced a Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme tagged LAGOSHOMS — a rent-to-own scheme targeted at first-time home owners. He said a legal framework was in place to protect the rights of the mortgagee and mortgagor. Part of the legal framework, according to him, includes Lagos Mortgage and Property Law 2010; Tenancy Law 2011 no. 33 vol 9044; Housing Arbitration Rules 2011 and creation of mortgage departments in the state High Courts, whose sole purpose is to hear mortgage foreclosure matters for expeditious dispenseation of such cases. Fashola, who was represented by the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Bosu Jeje, said there is a department supervised by the Ministry of Housing which regulates transactions in the real estate sector. He said their efforts have led to the construction of over 886 housing units in some areas of the state , such as Gbagada, Epe, Ikorodu, Ikeja, Mushin, Lekki and Badagry. “While some of the units are ready and inaugurated, other constructions are ongoing. For example, we have Gbagada Phases 2A and 2B, Igbogbo 2A and B and others,” he added. He said opportunities and prospects abound in the sector. Fashola urged the private sector to invest in low income housing if the gap must be filled and in good time too. The government, according to him, cannot bear the cost alone. On what constitutes proper housing, the experts referred to a staement by the United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, at this year’s Word Habitat Day celebration. He said:“Better planned and better functioning cities where everyone has adequate shelter, water, sanitation, health and other basic services; cities with good education and job prospects; cities with energy-efficient buildings and public transport systems; cities where all feel they belong are what is globally accepted.”

Lagos gives nod for 581 building plan applications AGOS State Government has re-engineered its planning authority to be more responsive to public demands. The Commissioner for Physical Planning & Urban Development Toyin Ayinde, said the ministry has restructured the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) to deliver on its mandate by ensur-


By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

ing that building approval plans are approved on time. He said the agency has subsequently approved a backlog of 581 building plan applications in just five days. Emphasising the importance of obtaining approval before construction, he said it is critical to the quality of life in terms of urban planning and development and the

ability of the government to provide services conveniently to well-planned areas with approved buildings. He appealed to members of the public who may have submitted their building plans for approval to check in the District Offices in the next few days. The Commissioner charged other officers to brace to respond to the expectations of citizens and continue to render selfless

service to the public. Ayinde warned that the government would not tolerate illegal developments, obstruction of road setbacks as well as building on drainage channels. According to him, the state government is desirous of bequeathing sustainable living environment to the present and future generations and will, henceforth, vigorously protect the use

of common paths and public highways for pedestrians use. He advised the public to submit their plans for approval through the appropriate channels and refrain from seeking short cuts, adding that the ministry was better positioned to process building plan applications for approval. He urged the public to engage professionals in the design and construction of their buildings.









As the power sector privatisation draws to a close, the protests over the emergence of preferred bidders for the distribution assets may rubbish thes exercise adjudged to be one the most transparent by local and international observers, EMEKA UGWUANYI Assistant Editor (Energy) writes.

Why power sector privatisation shouldn’t be truncated

•President Goodluck Jonathan


IGERIANS are increasingly getting expectant of the day electricity would be stable as the privatisation process of the power sector gets completed by the end of this month. The Federal Government as well as other stakeholders believes the takeover of operation and management of the electricity industry would remedy the age long problem of the sector. Since the past four decades the power sector has been owned and controlled by the government through the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), and despite enormous funds channelled toward improving supply and service delivery, no significant result has been achieved. This informed the government’s decision to privatise the industry.

The selection process To ensure that utmost transparency was applied and due diligence process followed in the entire privatisation process, Chairman, Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Mr. Atedo Peterside, said in his opening remarks of commercial bids for the privatisation of the PHCN successor distribution companies in Abuja on October 16, 2012, that all the prequalified bidders were given access to the virtual data room from 1st September 2011 to the proposal submission date of July 31, 2012. Pre-qualified bidders were also allowed to visit the distribution companies and physical data rooms that were located within the franchise area of each distribution company, he added. To further ensure transparency in the process, Peterside said that the NCP formed three committees to evaluate the bids that were received. Each of the committees had seven members drawn from the following agencies: BPE; Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission; Federal Ministry of Power; CPCS Transcom – advisers on the transaction; NEXANT—USAID-funded power sector consultants providing support to the BPE; and NIAF— DFID-funded infrastructure support programme to the Nigerian government. Besides, he said the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and Directorate of State Security Services (DSSS) also observed the process from bid submission to the conclusion of evaluation. They were therefore witnesses to the fact that all late-comers were turned back. Besides, the BPE said the reason the privatisation deadline was shifted from February to October

was based on the demand of bidders who had claimed they were not carried along on some issues. The Bureau also said because the privatisation was intended to be market driven, it shifted the deadline to make room for any investor to clarify any issue of his interest. Furthermore, state governments already have opportunity to own 30 per cent stake in assets within their areas and the Federal Government promised to release more stakes from its own to the states depending on the quantum of investment they made in the assets.

The protest The consortium to which the governments of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states have interests – Southern Electricity Distribution Company – was unable to score the highest mark in Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection (ATC&C) losses reduction, which was a major test for the bidders and consequently lost to another competitor, Vigeo Power Consortium. The governors of the four states had at a press conference dismissed the result of the privatisation exercise for distribution companies as fraudulent. “The entire process was a racket that is inconsistent with running a transparent government. The BPE used a set of criteria that have never been used before,” the governors said. Governors Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) in Abuja last week said that apart from the privatisation process lacking transparency, Vigeo Power Consortium lacks the necessary technical competence and financial capability to run the Benin Disco. Oshiomhole said the process was rigged to favour Vigeo because during the technical evaluation of the bid process, Southern Electricity scored 898 points as against Vigeo’s 847 points. He questioned how Vigeo emerged the preferred bidder at last. Fayemi said: “Our major complaint is competence. We are disappointed that the company that was awarded the preferred bid has no technical competence and the process by the BPE was not transparent. We are not going to sit idly and show lack of concern because the process was not transparent. We will take that up with those concerned. This is the handiwork of a racket.” The three governors said they had made their complaints known to President Goodluck Jonathan.

BPE’s position BPE, in a statement, faulted the governors’ position, stating that accusation of a flawed process and ir-

•Power transmission facility

regularities against the privatisation bureau was unfounded and reckless. “The bidding process was transparent and we followed the bible of our transaction in doing that. We did not deviate from the norm when dealing with the bidding. I think the governors are bad losers,” it added. In a bid to give the press an opportunity to ask questions about the allegations levelled against the BPE, the Bureau has also slated a press conference that held yesterday.

Vigeo’s defence Also reacting to the governors’ statement, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Utilities Management Company Limited (GUMCO), Mr. Abu Ejoor, said that his company, which is Vigeo’s local technical partner, has been involved in virtually all the public-private partnership initiatives in the distribution subsector starting from revenue cycle management (RCM). He said RCM is an outsourced management contract, which the company participated and ran in the Shomolu, Ikorodu and Ojodu districts of Ikeja Disco between 2002 and 2007. “During this period, the company was involved in the entire revenue cycle management from metering to revenue collection, assisting the zone to boost its revenue collection

and reducing commercial losses. “In 2006, GUMCO, under the National Prepaid Metering Programme, introduced prepaid metering and billing to Benin Electricity Distribution Company. It started from Benin City and later extended its operations to Warri, Asaba, Ondo and Ekiti. “Today GUMCO has presence in all the four states in Benin Disco, helping PHCN in the management of its commercial operations, including vending management. What the company does is to bring management and investment into improving the billing and collection of discos. “Of all the companies that bided, only Vigeo Power has local experience in utility management through its local partner GUMCO,” he added. On Vigeo’s foreign technical partner, he said the success of the Delhi model in the consortium is NDPL, a Tata Power Delhi distribution company providing efficiency. “We believe in the transparency of the process of BPE, the integrity of the members of the bid process, and the trust the president has in them to have given them this herculean task. So it is wrong for anybody to allege that we don’t have experience to run distribution companies,” he said.

The aggrieved governors should demonstrate good sportsmanship and work together with the preferred bidders to fix the power sector problems and provide reliable power supply to Nigerians

Besides, he said: “With the TATA partnership, a private interest operator in India, stakes for excelling are high. They operate a reform that the Nigerian power sector is modeled around. They have the objective to perform and are not saddled with the bureaucracy of government, the same reason the federal government is running from with the privatization. “The foreign technical partner, TPDDL is the success story of the Delhi Reform reducing ATC&C Losses from 50 percent to 11 percent within 10years. The only Industry leader in India and Asia that is known to the world and major international institutions is TPDDL, having won consistently in the last six years the Asian Power Award.” The company emerged the preferred bidder for the Benin Disco, for scoring an average technical, commercial and collection (ATC&C) loss reduction projection or efficiency ratio of 21.78 per cent, as against Southern Electricity’s 17.72 per cent. The Vigeo Power Consortium is made up companies with track records of successful performance, including Vigeo Holdings, GUMCO, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL).

Stakeholders’ perspective The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has urged governors of the states that lost out in the bid for the discos not to play politics with the privatisation exercise. The Chairman, NESG, Mr. Foluso Phillips, who spoke on behalf of the Group, questioned why the governors are trying to stall the •Continued on page 16




‘How to achieve sustainable growth in extractive industry’


NLESS stakeholders including the private sector and the government engage in transparency and accountability, sustaining economic growth in the extractive industries may be a tall dream. The High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, Chris Cooter, disclosed this at a seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the extractive industries in Lagos. At the seminar with theme: Sustainability in the extractive industries: Managing your value chain, Cooter noted that the bane of the extractive industries over the years has been the absence of early and open engagement among stakeholders including communi-

By Bidemi Bakare

ties, which are affected by oil, gas and mine operations. He said time has come for stakeholders to come together to ensure that most operations in the oil, gas and mining industries are carried out in line and accordance with international best practices and standards. Mr Cooter said the era of shrouding the sectors’ activities in secrecy has to be dispensed with if the desired growth is to take place through investments. He assured of his country’s desire to support Nigeria in its quest to entrench accountability and transparency in the management

and administration of its abundant natural resources by providing the template adopted by his country and other advanced countries for consideration for use. Besides, he said Canada is poised to bring more investments to shore up its $3billion worth investment that had already been made in the country. “So far, we have attained a major feat in our business relationship with Nigeria going by the kind of investments that we have brought here. The fact is that trade values have tripled during this period while investment is growing rapidly by the day. We are also expecting that significant new investments will come very soon to increase the $3 billion worth of investment that has been made al-

ready,” he said. He noted that the business relationship between the countries was expected to grow by the recent launch of the bi-national commission, which was signed in April. The High Commissioner said the commission, which focuses on security, economic and critical components of the economy, would provide the framework for adding momentum to the business relationship between the two countries facilitate opportunities, particularly in the extractive industries. The General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Chevron Nigeria Limited, Deji Haastrup, said the sustainance of growth in the extractive industries should not be left alone to private sector as the government and

other stakeholders including nonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs) have roles to play in ensuring that the huge revenues realised from oil, gas and mining are monitored and channelled into other worthwhile investments. He also said the country’s future lies in the diversification of the economy and the encouragement of entrepreneurship among the youth to reduce over dependence on oil. He enjoined stakeholders to work together so that the challenges militating against achieving transparency and accountability in the extractive industries, which include lack of respect for rule of law and sanctity of agreements, poverty, corruption and inadequate infrastructure, can be overcome.

NAPIMS backs stakeholders’ alliance to sustain govt’s projects


•From left: President, Nigerian Gas Association, Mr Chima Ibeneche; his counterpart, Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, Dr. Mayowa Afe; Managing Director, Conoil Plc, Dr. Ebi Omatsola, and Vice-President, Gas Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ubaka Emelumadu, at the NAPE Preconference workshop, at the Eko Hotel, Lagos.

HE National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has said for government’s projects to be sustained, stakeholders including the benefiting communities, local and state governments, must be involved in protecting such projects. Speaking with The Nation during this year’s Shell’s sustainable development and community relations road show and exhibition, with the theme Delivering value together, held in Lagos, the Manager, Public Affairs Department, NAPIMS, Dr. Kennie Obateru, called for the collaboration. He stressed the need to engage more of the people who have the traditional responsibility to provide these amenities, including the local and state governments. He noted that those who provide these amenities to the communities cannot run the projects forever. According to him, there must be a kind of engagement whereby af-

Why power sector privatisation shouldn’t be truncated •Continued from page 15

privatisation exercise despite the fact that all the bidders were given equal opportunities. He said: “We had a bidding process in which everybody participated. If they (the governors) have a problem with the process, the issues should have been raised at the beginning of the process. Why is it that they are now complaining after the process had been concluded? “We are not in a military era. I don’t really know what they are complaining about because they already have 30 per cent stake in the project. Nothing should stop the privatisation exercise because the Summit believes in the deregulation of the Nigerian economy. The whole economy should be deregulated because government in all aspect has shown that it is not capable of running a commercial entity. “See what happened in the telecoms sector. We need deregulation so that the private sector can create good jobs and provide better services.” Besides, he said States and the Federal Government should not be allowed to be much involved in the power sector because they will not be able to add value. “If the states and Federal Government participate, it will be more complicated because they will start fighting themselves over who sits on the board instead of looking at the commercial entity,” he said.

Frontline financial expert, Mr. Bismarck Rewane also commended the Federal Government for opening up the power sector to private firms. Rewane, who is the Managing Director of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, stated that private owned firms were far better than public owned. “State monopoly is the worst structure in any country. As long as people are paying for what they using, Nigeria will be better off,” he said. Chairman, Technical Committee, NCP, Atedo Peterside has also challenged those that lost out to state the specific rules that were breached in the privatisation exercise. Peterside, who is also the Chairman of Stanbic/IBTC Bank, said if the losers read and understood the rules of privatization process, they would realize that rules were followed to the latter. He said: “It is sad that in year 2012 some Nigerians will not go and read the rules before they (losers) rush to make comments. The rules (Request for Proposal) are in 72 pages. They should sight which rules were breached. If they read and understood the rules, they will comprehend that the rules were followed to the latter from the very first day of the transactions. They all took part in a race and the final results have not been announced. So, if they are now faulting the entire process, it shows that something is wrong.” An engineer and former Executive Director (ED) of the PHCN,

Mr. Bisi Oyinloye also said the process for the selection of the Discos was very transparent and urged the BPE to muster enough courage to follow through the entire process.”From what I saw on the television, the process could not have been more transparent than that. Guidelines were given to everybody and they also took a risk. Some quoted low loss rates while others quoted high loss rates. So, I don’t know why the losers are kicking against the process. Nigerians will always be critical but the truth is that everyone was given the guidelines and they all had equal opportunities. The issue thereafter is if the selected distribution companies will be able to meet their loss rates,” he said.

Conclusion Given the transparent way the privatisation of the power sector is being handled, President Goodluck Jonathan should be commended for giving the BPE and the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the political will to privatise the power sector. Mr. President however, should not allow the process to be truncated by political pressure. The NCP under the chairmanship of Vice President Namadi Sambo, should also be commended for mustering enough courage to follow through the entire process diligently.

Some stakeholders are of the view that the 30 per cent allocated to states may be a cog in the wheel of Nigerians’expectations to see quick achievement of stable power supply. They noted that the 30 per cent given to the states can be detrimental to the privatisation process. The governors faulting and questioning the criteria for the selection process will draw the privatisation programme backward because the companies they promoted also had equal opportunities. The protest by the governors may also drive away both local and foreign investors needed for the power sector that needs an annual investment of $10billion for the next 10 years. The aggrieved governors should demonstrate good sportsmanship and work together with the preferred bidders to fix the power sector problems and provide reliable power supply to Nigerians or in alternative they (governors) should go to court of law to challenge the result instead of threatening to truncate the privatisation programme by making operation difficult for the preferred bidders. Also, given the fact the Vigeo Consortium is very familiar with the terrain, having been in operation for over 11 years, it makes logical and economic sense to allow the company to continue in a seamless manner that would further add value to the consumers.

By Ambrose Nnaji

ter the project had been delivered the local/state government that has the traditional responsibility to provide these amenities in the first instances could then take over and run the project that had been delivered. He said currently oil companies involve both the local and state governments in whatever projects they do, therefore, the state and local governments as well as the communities have to show appreciation by buying more into these projects through ensuring adequate protection. He said: “We get to see why they need to take over and impact of this. We still have instances where even if you go to the communities and ask the local government to provide security they ask you to bring money. I think they have to see themselves as partners rather than doing us a favour because it is about serving the people and they have the constitutional right to serve the people while we also have the responsibility to also give back to the community where we operate.” He added that the communities are allowed to pick the projects that they wanted while the company worked with them to deliver the projects The Team Leader, Education, Information, Communication and Capacity Building, Shell, Uwem Owomite, agreed that Shell had been in the forefront of the implementation of the Nigerian Content including the provision of finance to local contractors, who according to him, would otherwise not have had the money to do business. He said Shell doesn’t only give money to contractors doing business with it, but also to other companies that do business with it, which it would be able to use the finance to help to grow. Mr Owomite recalled that Shell had introduced a new scholarship programme called credit to career whereby every year the company takes about 60 brilliant students from host communities who according to him, would not have had access to basic education. He added that yearly about 2,700 secondary school pupils get the firm’s scholarships while another 750 students of universities are also awarded, adding that the idea of the road show was to create awareness on what Shell companies in Nigeria are doing. “Most often what people hear about Shell is the negative aspect but there are good and positive stories about what the company is doing in the communities and how much it has changed lives and transformed communities through the social performance projects, he said.





Women in US vote

Budget bickering •This is no time for intransigence and grandstanding between President Jonathan and lawmakers


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan may have sought to inter the ghost of tardiness that had plagued previous budgets when on October 10, he presented the 2013 budget outlay to the National Assembly for early consideration and passage; but he seemed to have underrated the resolve of the National Assembly to deal with the other half of the budget equation – the question of nonimplementation of budget. The issue, unfortunately, seems set to dog the consideration of the 2013 budget. Earlier in July, the House of Representatives threatened to serve impeachment notice to the President over his alleged failure to implement the 2012 budget. Three months after, the Senate has equally given hint of possible withholding of the passage of budget 2013 until the issue of 2012 budget implementation is settled. Speaking on the matter last week, Ahmed Maccido, the Senate committee chairman on appropriation contested the claim by the executive that it has implemented the budget appreciably when he disclosed that the figures collated from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation actually indicated that the 2012 budget “has not reached more than 30 percent implementation”. The Senate, he said “will not touch the budget again until such a time when we have finished our oversight functions”. The House report on its oversight is currently being awaited. Away from implementation, another sore point in the 2013 budget process is the issue of the benchmark price adopted in the computation of the revenue estimates. Whereas the executive branch projected $75 per barrel (the 2012 benchmark

price was $72), the House settled for $80 and the Senate $78. Whereas the executive maintains that its benchmark price reflected pragmatism given the volatility in crude oil prices, the National Assembly argues with equal forcefulness that the higher benchmark was realistic; it says that the higher price made better sense, particularly for a budget with an in-built deficit of nearly N1.5 trillion. If it seems disappointing that the two arms of government could not reconcile the basis of the budget despite the socalled pre-budget consultations, more worrisome however is that the basis of their disagreement actually reflects little that could be described as substance. Instructively, the 2013 budget retains the profile which has recurrent expenditure retaining a whopping 68.7 percent and the capital component a paltry 31.3 percent – sadly in a nation said to hunger for infrastructure renewal. Between an all-knowing executive branch and a grandstanding National Assembly, where is the one to choose from? Where is the substance in the ritual of hair-splitting over a so-called benchmark price which may or may not be realisable? Is that really the problem with the budget? Does the budget pretend to address the challenge of inclusive growth, the need to create millions of jobs for the army of unemployed youths which have remained elusive in previous budget cycles? What happens should oil prices suddenly dip? Presently, the nation’s budget process is in a mess mainly because of indiscipline and corruption. Unfortunately, both the lawmakers and the executive appear to believe that it is possible to build the nation’s budget process on this founda-

tion of filth. The National Assembly will do better to focus on curbing the wastes in government, particularly the countless holes in the bureaucracy through which public funds are siphoned. Better still, it will do well to help put in place the mechanisms to ensure that Nigerians get value for every kobo appropriated in the budget. Here, we are mindful of the fact that the problem with our budget isn’t so much about the quantum of money spent but the value delivered. For far too long, the National Assembly has tended to fight shy when issues come to cleaning the budget process. The current scrutiny of the status of Budget 2012 implementation offers the best chance to begin the process.

‘The National Assembly will do better to focus on curbing the wastes in government, particularly the countless holes in the bureaucracy through which public funds are siphoned. Better still, it will do well to help put in place the mechanisms to ensure that Nigerians get value for every kobo appropriated in the budget. Here, we are mindful of the fact that the problem with our budget isn’t so much about the quantum of money spent but the value delivered’

Illiterate legislators •Lawmakers who cannot read and write have no place in the National Assembly


R. Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President stunned the nation with his bombshell in Awka, Anambra State, when he said that some of his colleagues (legislators) can barely write their names. He reportedly bemoaned why the South-East “…still sends to the National Assembly some people who can barely write their names” despite its educational advancement. The occasion was the 2012 Zik Lecture organised by Anambra State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists where he delivered a paper titled: ‘True Federalism and the Political Ideology of the Great Zik’. Other than the fact that such a revelation came from the deputy senate president, we would have considered it to be a wild one that could not have hap-

‘Public debate on issues and policies relating to the country’s wellbeing and the people is pertinent here. Nigeria needs men of rigour and mental alacrity to wriggle her out of the current stillness in governance. Ignorance arising from mostly uneducated men in the corridors of power may be too costly if the nation intends to get to the Promised Land’

pened in the country this century. But the revered Senate’s number two man must have considered the implication of what he said about some members of that important arm of government. We want to believe that he was not just frivolous or grandstanding for that may generate undue public attention to his person and office. It is sad to know from someone that ought to know that some members of the hallowed Senate chambers cannot write their names and, by extension, may rely on aides to read and properly understand the proceedings going on in the chambers. Such legislators presumably will not be able to think beyond their immediate milieu and obviously may have nothing to offer not only their people but the entire nation. Something must be wrong somewhere before any member of the Senate in this age would not be able to write his/her name. Contrary to Mr. Ekweremadu’s position that pointedly accused the SouthEast of being guilty of this, we want to state that this educational absurdity could not be peculiar to that region. Further scrutiny would have exposed the educational farce in other regions. Expectedly, nations are governed by laws which regulate peaceful cohabitation and bring about developmental initiatives. Thus, the rigorous business of lawmaking should not be left in the hands of dregs in the society. But to now imagine a situation where law makers cannot read or write in the Senate is preposterous. How can the desired end of lawmaking and its amendment processes

be guaranteed if semi-illiterates or halfbaked literates are the people making the laws? We are aware that the standard of education has generally fallen in the country. Otherwise, how can anybody attain the enviable height of a federal lawmaker and he would not be able to write his/her name? The 1999 Constitution (as amended) in section 65(2a) provides that ‘A person shall be qualified for election under subsection (1) of this section if; he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.’ From the rattling revelation of Mr. Ekweremadu, and the obvious descent in educational standards in the nation where even some university degree holders cannot speak or write good English, being the lingua franca of the land, then, this constitutional provision on School Certificate qualification that also applies to election seekers into executive positions has become meaningless. The need to embrace a more civilised approach in determining the literacy level and suitability of prospective legislators and others seeking elective office in future must be earnestly considered in the on-going constitutional review exercise. Public debate on issues and policies relating to the country’s wellbeing and the people is pertinent here. Nigeria needs men of rigour and mental alacrity to wriggle her out of the current stillness in governance. Ignorance arising from mostly uneducated men in the corridors of power may be too costly if the nation intends to get to the Promised Land.


ARROWLY defined groups of women often become totems for entire US elections – think of “soccer moms”, “Walmart moms” and even Sarah Palin’s “hockey moms”. In contrast, the 2012 race is turning into a hunt for the whole gender, whether or not they are stay-at-home mothers. Among this broad demographic Barack Obama was considered to have a decisive edge on Mitt Romney. That may well be narrowing. Indeed, the president’s support from female voters is starting to look highly vulnerable. Yet both take risks in behaving as though 55 per cent of US voters can be singled out for pandering. In Mr Romney’s case, there is a lot of making up to do. In the debate on Tuesday, the former Massachusetts governor sparked hilarity when he said an aide had given him a “binder full of women” from which to make senior appointments. It immediately went viral and the Facebook “binders full of women” page is getting close to 400,000 followers. Mr Romney has also attempted to dilute the hard line he took against abortion in the primaries. At the convention in August, stay-at-home Ann Romney shouted out that she loved women. As appeals go, it was direct. But it did not compliment anyone’s intelligence. Mr Obama has based his appeal on two prongs – that Republicans have declared a “war on women”, and that Mr Romney is a heartless asset-stripper. On both counts, the president is taking a risk. From the Democratic convention in Charlotte to the swing state TV ads since, Mr Obama has bet that women care more about reproductive rights than all else. Yet opinion polls show that women are nearly as divided on abortion as the rest. On the second count, Mr Romney’s recent failure to live up to his almost diabolical image as a ruthless profit maker has softened up all voters, including women. Two polls show he has sharply narrowed Mr Obama’s lead with female voters since then. In this week’s debate, Mr Romney talked about giving women flexibility to go home early and cook dinner. Had he broadened that to men, he might have sounded less 1950s. And had Mr Obama given a more compelling picture of the economy of the future, he may have preserved his big lead with women. Indeed, were the two men to expand their pitch more often to the electorate as a whole, they would pique greater interest from both genders. To coin a phrase, there is a thick binder of stay-at-home voters out there waiting to be noticed. – Financial Times

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IR: Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, has been a screaming metaphor of governmental failure since the return of civil rule in 1999. The state capital has been on the wrong side of the developmental chart ever since. A good number of those who held sway as governor and public office-holders in the state during the locust era of the military, and under civil rule did not do more than pay lip service to the gnawing problem of development and the rot in the city. The result is that the city is languishing under the heavy yoke of bad roads and the twin problem of flood and erosion. What would have passed as an average effort by the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel to address this sore in the heart of one of Nigeria’s foremost cities ended in a fiasco, as people who were said to have been mobilized for major contracts in the city simply took a walk after collecting full payment for the jobs. Officials had always explained the failure of the government to address the plight of the city on the premise that Abeokuta is an ancient town whose plan is lacking in adequate implementation. However, the story is changing. At the inception of his administration last May 2011, Governor Ibikunle Amosun promised the people of Ogun that his administration would give attention to the challenges of wresting Abeokuta from infrastructural decay, flooding and erosion identified as the loudest sources of misery to the inhabitants of the city. He restated his resolve to ensure a holistic implementation of the Abeokuta masterplan, reputed to


Amosun and the changing face of Rock City be one of the most badly mauled plans in the country. He was shocked that the residents of the city, who complained about the menace of flooding and erosion had constructed structures, kiosks and containers to block the natural drains constructed by the founders of the city. During one of the visits, the governor promised that all illegal structures blocking the drains would be pulled down. Although few people believed the governor then, he has commenced a process in earnest to re-

move the shameful scar of rot from the city. He has also taken some practical steps to fulfill his promise to recreate the exploits of Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State in Ogun. He seems to be drawing his inspiration from transforming effect of creative governance in Lagos as shown by the conversion of Oshodi from a centre of filth and crime to a welcoming centre. In the past 10 months, Abeokuta residents have witnessed the noticeable impacts of governmental presence.

For the first time in Abeokuta, several people who had exploited the weakness of previous administrations to encroach on the right of way including the commercial Bank in the city, got the message and decided to embark on the expected corrective step of vacating the area and relocated. Those illegal structures built without government approval were sealed off by the State special Task Force on Bureau of Urban and Physical Planning (BUPP) under the programmes “Build Right.”


• Ademola Orunbon Abeokuta, Ogun State

The travails of Ifeanyi Uba


IR: The on-going trial of fuel subsidy scam bears similarity to the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to nip in the bud acts that are inimical to the economic well-being of the nation. This development has shown that the proceeds of crime will never bring forth good seeds; neither will the tracks of any such acts be forever covered. Last week, one of the subsidy fraud suspects, Patrick Ifeanyi Uba was remanded in prison custody on the order of Magistrate Martins Owumi of the Lagos State Magistrate’s Court. The order was sequel to an affi-

davit in support of an application for remand sworn to by Chief Superintendent of Police, Francis A. Idu and filed before the court. The court action was sequel to the report of the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Fuel subsidy headed by Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, which President Goodluck Jonathan set up to audit the report of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on the same subject, headed by Farouk Lawan. Uba’s Capital Oil and Gas was said to be culpable for fraudulently obtaining N42.291 billion from the Federal Government by falsely pretending that it imported and

sold 538.7 million litres of petroleum during the 2011 fiscal year through 26 transactions. Before now, Uba, like others before him, had endlessly struggled to ‘wash’ his new earned status as one of the nation’s billionaires through acquisition of traditional titles accompanied by excessive celebrations and opulent lifestyle. Until September 3, 2011, the name hardly rang a bell. However, on his 40th birthday anniversary, the smokescreen was lifted. Well over 100 pages of adverts were plastered in several newspapers to mark the day. The celebration was adjudged to have“broken all tenets of modesty and brought superflu-

Oshiomhole wrong on death row prisoners

IR: Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, recently ordered the execution of two prison inmates pending appeal of their suits before the courts. The characters of these inmates were described by the prison authorities in the state as “ unmanageable “. Despite being on death row, the governor failed to recognize that these inmates have their Rights to Life pursuant to Section 33, 1999

Across the city, landlords of such structures deemed illegal by the government have taken the initiative to embark on the demolition themselves. Those who have certificate of occupancy got their compensation from the state government for the demolitions. Even as the exercise continues a good number of roads, especially the major ones and streets would be stripped off in due course for roads reconstructions and expansions. With the first phase of demolition and the additional space added to the major roads like, Sokori/ItaEko/Totoro road and others, Abeokuta is like a bride waiting to be decked in colors of gold when the contractors complete the work at the site at the end of the rainy season.

Constitution. This section entrenches that everyone has a right to life and no one shall be deprived of this except under the circumstances permitted by law. Looking at the length and breadth of this section, the action of the governor has no legal backing for it is a breach of the law to execute someone pending appeal. Also affirming this right is Article 4 of the African Chatter on Human and Peoples Rights. To this

end and others, the right to life has received the status of a jus cojen. It is universally recognized. Taking a clue from the decision of the court in Nosiru Bello v. A.G Oyo State (in which the court held that the killing of the deceased was unconstitutional), I think this mishap should be re-addressed. Lucy Freeman, Amnesty International’s deputy program director for Africa, speaking on this, described this act as “ a deep disrespect for the judicial process”.

Not considering the fact that these two were convicted for murder, the constitution remains supreme (Section 1). The law will prefer 99 guilty persons freed than one innocent man killed. Since the deed hasn’t been done, there is still room to respect the grundnorm - The 1999 Constitution. • Ekpo Uduakobong Faculty of Law, University of Lagos.

ity to walk on all four.” Interestingly, just one year later, the façade of a nobility and hard working businessman he constructed round himself began to be lifted. Apart from the current travails, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) listed his company as one of the 113 corporate organizations heavily indebted to banks. The debt profile of Capital Oil is in the region of N48.014 billion, which AMCON said it had “restructured and awaiting performance.” The fact remains that Uba has made some meaningful contributions in employment generation with the establishment of his oil marketing firm. Its equally noteworthy to mention that his Capital Oil played a notable role in kerosene distribution at a time the cooking fuel was most needed in many homes. But it should be pointed out to our entrepreneurs that organisations all over the world are imbibing best business practices and good corporate governance that enhance sustainability. This is the way we expect our businessmen to go. His current travails should serve as lessons to all. • Alfred C. Nwachukwu Snr. Abuja.






ENJOYED your historical analysis veteran who fought on the side you titled “Albert agonistes”. I think of my people aged 15 in 1967, Prof. Achebe has forgotten Pa Awo remains a man after Nigerian history so soon or must have my heart for his high level of been suffering from hangover or discipline. But he was very senility or amnesia. Please post this wicked to the Igbos. Achebe article on the website to educate those has every right to write his of his like minds. – Chief Ayo, Ilesa. memoirs anytime he feels it is Achebe has long been writing in vain right for him. Olakunle for the elusive Nobel Prize. His latest +2347052461117. book showed he is filled with malicious Well done comrade. I suggest, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola rage and perhaps fractured mental people read the books, Brothers balance. Thank you for dissecting his at Warby John de St. Jorre despondency and silly belly-aching. – Anonymous (Faber and Faber Ltd, 1972) and Biafra Story by Frederick Those of you hiding Achebe for There was a Country are Forsyth (Penguin London, 1969). The other voluminous book Yoruba who think Awo is infallible. Achebe is eminently is Crisis and Conflict in Nigeria by AHM Kirk-Greene (a right to relive, as catharsis, his experience during that our documentary source book, 1966-1970, 2 Vols, Oxford dark episode ; just as Soyinka wrote hisThe Man Died, and he University Press, London 1971). The only solution to all is the – and we – his compatriots are the better for it! This is neither of a national conference. Thank you. – Col. Gabriel From the responses to “Albert agonistes”, Prof. convocation bigotry nor anti-Yoruba outburst. Awo didn’t deny that he A. Ajayi, +2348037258268. Chinua Achebe, with There was a Country, could didn’t order food blockade but he gave his reasons why he “Albert agonistes”, a breakfast well served. One wonders had to do that (The Nation08-10-12). My advice, however, is well have triggered a media civil war, 42 years why some people are held in perpetual bondage because of for Achebe to let go. There was a Country should act as the after the Civil War (1967-1970). Selected their unforgiving spirit of their own past mistakes, and the ultimate catharsis. - +2347068194122 of others. ‘Let go’ should have been the rhythm responses, edited for space, are served today. mistake I read your piece and reaction to the ridiculous assertions Achebe is dancing to now in quarter-to-end of his life, as Beware: this is combustible stuff! of Pa Chinua Achebe about the late Chief Obafemi against creating more civil wars within a conquered nation. – Awolowo, in his new book. Your postulation and analysis Yinka Ayanleye, +2348023178156. should continue to enjoy his self-exile, instead of throwing are inviting, realistic and academically stimulating. I have Please can you let Achebe and his ilk know that Col. “ethnic bazookas” that would continue to create needless Adekunle Fajuyi chose to die because of Ironsi, an Igbo man; some vital questions for Pa Achebe and his horde of blind tension at home. - +2348023185207. supporters: what would have been the fate of Nigerians if that Soyinka risked his life going inside Biafra to persuade I am worried about the approach and response of you guys in Ojukwu to recoil from war, and suffered solitary confinement the Igbo had won the war? –Dave Blankson, +2348058514944. The Nation to issues that have bearing on the Yoruba. Achebe’s Re: “Albert agonistes”. Ojukwu could not take orders from for 22 months because of Igbos; that not a single Igbo was new book which is not even in the market yet is being dissected killed in Yorubaland and my Igbo lecturer at the University Gen. Gowon and unlike Brig. Ogundipe who was the most and you guys are taking part for a whole. How do you review of Ibadan was most at home. Such a pity an 81-year old would senior military officer then, he declared a republic within a serious intellectual work from a mere excerpt meant to choose to foul the air before departing. - +2348065475303. Nigeria and dragged the Igbo and Nigerians into a war market the book? Please The Nation is a highly respected they were not prepared for. In war, there are casualties and The Yoruba intelligentsia got it wrong in your response to newspaper. Don’t destroy it – Dr. Sam Aghalino, Unilorin, Achebe’s book. I am happy that you agreed that the Civil collateral damages but Ojukwu should be blamed for this +2348039435843. and not Awolowo. Prof. Achebe will end up doing himself War was a gang-up against the Igbo but your allegation that Ripples: Thank you, Dr. Aghalino, but you, an academic of the Igbo ganged up against Abiola remains pure fiction, even more harm than good in his latest “tale by candlelight”! – all people, should know that informed controversies do not if a few of our leaders misbehaved. After all, we did not Kayode A, Abeokuta, +2348073821313. destroy newspapers. Rather, they help build newspaper brands. starve or reduce the Yoruba class to nothing with an It is very unfortunate that you chose to attack the As for your Yoruba/The Nation bother, my answer is simple: equivalent amount of 20 pounds. Igbo too were part and parcel personality of Achebe, instead of intellectual analysis and Nigeria is a federation and the media is federalised. So, let of the June 12 struggle, men like MCK Ajuluchukwu, Arthur constructive criticism. The issues raised: 1. Should every shade of opinion fly. starvation/deprivation be used as war tool, like Chief Nwankwo, Joe Igbokwe, Udenta Udenta and others. – Arinze The war came and went. But 42 years after, the atrocities and Igbueli, +2348058054767. Awolowo did? 2. When you declare “no victor, no other issues of the war are still being discussed. You know vanquished”, should the people (losers) be denied of their For those of you with the rare gift of intellectual pen power, why? Those things that led to the war are still with us. I may the truth which hitherto has been kept from the public is out. life savings in various banks, just like Awolowo did, giving not want to discuss Achebe’s position on Awo. Even as a Biafra What indeed triggered the pogroms was the provocative Igbo 20 pounds to each Igbo family irrespective of the amount they had in the bank? How about the banning of used clothes youths taunting northerners over the killing of the Sardauna. “Achebe’s latest book showed he is Can you please delve into the archives for the copy of Drum – the only cheap ones the Igbo could afford at that time, etc. I hope you can direct your pen to a professional debate and that featured on its pages the photograph of the filled with malicious rage. Thank you Magazine not on personalities. - +2348035181866. body of Sarduana derisively (between February and March for dissecting his despondency and 1966) by the Igbo. Please ferret the Drum edition out, for the I think your piece was educative and analytical with reasonable facts. With all due respect to Prof. Achebe, his sake of posterity. – John Jimoh, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, silly belly-aching” views are extreme, biased and lack analytical merit. Achebe +2347064370351.

epublican ipples

Civil War 2012 Re:Albert agonistes


HAT is in a name? In linguistic philosophy, name denotes as a sign for a thing, person or thought, or more accurately, of real or imaginary, mental or material phenomenon by which it is known. The sun, the earth, Osun State, the Emperor of Japan and the President of Nigeria are singular names that denote real things, including that of a person. In Yoruba language, a name not only denotes, but also has meaning (connotative). The same goes for Igbo and Hausa languages. Yoruba names are like sentences that have meanings. Thus we have Oluwabiyi (God has given birth to this (boy/ girl)), Babatunde (dead father has come back to life, like in reincarnation), Omosini (child buries his parent) and Oluwarotimi (God stands by me). In Igbo, Chukwuemeka (God has done very well), Chijioke (God is the keeper and sharer of gifts and fortunes) and in Hausa, Maigari (one who owns the land). “Osun” and “State” are concrete and nameable things. What precisely then is the meaning of Osun State when translated into Yoruba language? It is simply Osun Ipinle. What is the meaning of Osun Ipinle? I really don’t know, but Osun Ipinle is an unmeaning mark or label because it is non- connotative. The same applies to California State (California Ipinle), New York State (New York Ipinle), Columbia District (Columbia Àgbègbè) etc. But we can give proper meaning to Osun State (Osun Ipinle) by renaming it State of Osun ( Ipinle Osun i.e. Ipinle ti Osun) because, unlike the latter, the former does not denote anything. If, for the sake of argument we say “to be is to denote”, then Osun State or Osun Ipinle is only officially recognised on paper or in the mind or imagination, but does not exist in reality as it does not denote anything. “Ipinle Osun” is meaningful while “Osun Ipinle” is not, in Yoruba language. Similarly, we can translate California State (California Ipinle), New York State (New York Ipinle) and Columbia District, CD (Columbia Àgbègbè, Ileto) to meaningful ones like State of California (Ipinle California), State of New York (Ipinle New York) and District of Columbia, DC (Agbegbe Columbia). We are not expected to treat Osun, California, New York and Columbia as if they are adjectives qualifying the word “state” and “district” precisely because they are not attributive of any quality, property or accident of an object or thing.

Osun State or State of Osun? By Moses Makinde We can now see that “Osun” and “State” are both proper nouns and concrete names where one cannot be used as an adjective qualifying the other as in Osun State. But we can use one as possessing or belonging to the other, like the State of Osun (i.e. State belonging to Osun), just as the State of California, State of New York and District of Columbia (DC) as states belonging to California territory, New York territory and District belonging to Columbia territory respectively. Which means that, in Yoruba language and probably Igbo or Hausa language, what we erroneously call Osun State, Anambra State, Bayelsa State, or Kano State is actually the State of Osun, State of Anambra, State of Bayelsa, or State of Kano. Governor Rauf Aregbesola has done well by pointing out the erroneous naming of a state by those who use the name of that state to qualify the word or term “state”, like the controversial “Osun State”. We can understand why this confusion has arisen. English is a foreign language which we can easily distort, maim or kill owing to lack of understanding of the linguistic analysis of the English language and consequently of our own language(s). But if we fail to understand this much, why then do we fail to understand the linguistic analysis of our own language by simply comparing it to an analysis of a foreign language like English? The interesting thing is that this Aregbesola’s version appears to be the one used in more civilized countries like the USA, where the State of California (Ipinle California) or State of New York (Ipinle New York) translates to Aregbesola’s State of Osun (Ipinle Osun). One would have said that Aregbesola prefers the version State of Osun to Osun State in order to align with the more popular names like State of California, State of New York or State of Colorado but for the fact that he seems to have relied purely on Yoruba linguistic convention which led him to the understanding of Osun State (Osun Ipinle) as The State of

Osun (Ipinle Osun) or State of Omoluabi and not Omoluabi State. This is a result of original thinking which might have been the thinking behind the naming of states in the US. Perhaps the strong message Aregbesola wanted to send to all Nigerians is contained in his lecture entitled “Culture, Democracy and Good Governance” delivered at the prestigious Oduduwa Hall of the Obafemi Awolowo University on July 17, where he sees his state, The State of Osun, as Ipinle Omoluabi (the State of Omoluabi) as a state of virtuous people. Hence, the State of Osun (Ipinle Omoluabi) is to give emphasis to the meaning of Omoluabi as a state inhabited by virtuous people and equally ruled by people of virtue, freedom, wisdom and profound thinking (ìfogbóntáyése)”a state whose leaders are carefully selected to bring good things, by means of good governance, to the state and the black race. From the look of things, it appears that other states would have to follow suit if they are to give effect to the proper meaning of the names of their respective states. In this connection, the State of Osun is not the only Ipinle Omoluabi in the country. All the ACN states are naturally known as Ipinle Omoluabi which other states in the federation can emulate in rapid succession. Why then the unnecessary controversy? As I have said, it is probably because of our lack of sufficient understanding of the English language and its import about which we have a control that we quarrel unnecessarily about the naming of a state (the word state not being our language). It is, therefore, surprising that an important figure like the Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, came out with his sermon that Aregbesola’s adoption of the State of Osun instead of the previous Osun State was either wrong or unconstitutional. Happily enough, the energetic and brilliant, activist, lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), had dismissed Anyim’s argument with a shrift, and thrown his (Anyim’s) sermon to the dustbin of legal history. Falana in The Nation newspaper Sept 29, p60), “it is not stated anywhere in

the constitution that it is illegal to refer to any particular “state government” as “the government of a state” (italics mine). For the avoidance of doubt, he argued that Section 176 of the constitution refers to “the governor of a state” and not “a state governor” while Section 194 refers to “the government of a state” and not “a state government”. By the same token, Section 270 of the same constitution refers to the High Court of each state and not a State High Court; House of Assembly in each state and not State House of Assembly. He concluded that the Governor of the State of Osun, Aregbesola, has not violated the constitution while Aregbesola’s position is supported by the United States of America which, incidentally, operates a Presidential System of government which we claim to have copied. On a more serious note, I think if Anyim is to be taken seriously we should now talk of “President of Nigerian Federal Republic” instead of “President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”. If we are to go by Anyim’s position, “Nigeria Federal Republic” is the right name while “Federal Republic of Nigeria” is not! But the latter is what properly is in use, and not the former. I think we should give honour to whom honour is due, in this case to Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for telling us that he is better known as Governor of The State of Osun than Governor of Osun State, as Jonathan is better known as President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria than President of Nigeria Federal Republic. Other states should take a cue from Aregbesola’s insight and meaningful translation and consequent renaming of Osun State to The State of Osun. Enough of meaningless and misleading controversy that leads to nowhere. The bottom line is: The State of Osun or Ipinle Osun as Ipinle Omoluabi has come to stay. Anything to the contrary is a mere show of illogicality and primitive mentality on the part of politicians. • Professor Makinde is DG/CEO, Awolowo Centre for Philosophy, Ideology and Good Governance, Osogbo.





OW time flies! Mellanby Hall, the premier hall of residence in the permanent site of the Premier University in Nigeria, University of Ibadan, is 60 years already, and, as a great Mellanbite, who has always identified with members of that Great Hall since I graduated from that University 40 years ago, the Hall Master, Professor Agbede, the Hall Warden, Dr A. Fadoju and the Hall Executives invited me to deliver a speech, along with some other prominent Great Mellanbites on Saturday October 6. That event turned out to be an emotional occasion for both the present generation of Mellanbites being prepared for life in Nigeria and those Mellanbites who have long graduated into the world and impacted Nigeria with those virtues and culture with which they were equipped at Mellanby Hall. There are many reasons for us to celebrate that monument called Mellanby Hall, for, embedded in that celebration is the story and history of that great hall. Professor Kenneth Mellanby (seconded from Cambridge University) was the First Principal of the University of Ibadan and that perhaps explains the good sense in the University Council’s decision to name the great hall after him. Secondly, the National Universities Commission, in a recent country wide survey, adjudged Mellanby Hall as the cleanest and best kept hall, not only at the University of Ibadan but amongst all university halls of residence in Nigeria. Angels don’t come down from above to keep our buildings and institutions. We should therefore single out all those officials, from hall porters, executives, wardens and hall masters from 1952 till date for a special praise and appreciation. Thirdly, we may celebrate those unique and fortunate people who have had the good luck to pass through Mellanby Hall and have therefore been passed through by the culture associated with that great hall. Where do we start from? How many do we want to count in “Adepele’s Dentition”? Fellow Nigerians, please come along with me and let me share with you, a little bit of my own passage through Mellanby Hall. In our days, once your Higher School Certificate results were satisfactory, all you had to do was pick up an admissions form, fill it and send with your results to the admissions offices of the four existing universities at that time. Within eight weeks, your letter of admission would be sent to your house or postal address. You didn’t have to know any one in those offices, and you didn’t have to visit them either. A few weeks after


HAVE always believed that the bane of developmental democracy in Third World countries especially in Nigeria since 1999 is that some of those entrusted with leadership positions do not consider themselves accountable to the people while in office and would also not willing account for their stewardship outside public office. The anti-corruption agencies in the country appeared to have gone to slumber, while non-governmental agencies and civil society organisations in a bid to survive the prevailing economic hardship in the country have made their organisations available for disgruntled politicians to use in feathering their political nests at the detriment of rest of us. This is what has brought the country’s anti-corruption fight to its knees and it is quite unfortunate and too bad for the future of the country. If not so, how would one justify the baseless attack by Emma Onwubiko of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria HURIWA on the government of Abia State over its planned probe of the administration of Chief Orji Uzor Kalu as governor of the state between 1999-2007? Constitutionally, every Nigerian including the leadership of HURIWA knew that Abia State government has not done anything illegal in its plan to probe Kalu’s

‘Where was the HURIWA leadership and what were their positions and efforts in ensuring that the exgovernors charged for alleged corrupt practices were brought to book? There is need for nongovernmental agencies and civil society organisations to remain focused and steadfast in pursuit of their aims and objectives and avoid being used by politicians to achieve selfish political aims’

Mellanby Hall at 60: Some reflections By Olumuyiwa Runsewe your letter of admission, your Hall of Residence would be allocated and also sent to you by post, in addition to being pasted at the entrance of each hall. It was through this route and machinery of a superbly efficient university bureaucracy led by the Late Prof. Adeoye Lambo, the Vice Chancellor, and late Nathaniel Adamolekun, the Registrar, that providence and goodluck conspired together to “Jonathan” me into Mellanby Hall, from September 1969 to June 1972. Just like that British Constitution that is so uniquely famous for its being “unwritten”, each Mellanbite was expected, from day one, to adjust to a certain set of unwritten rules and regulations. You have to be a complete gentleman. If you talked too much or too loudly, you were quickly ostracized. You had to be serious and studious, otherwise, no one would identify with you. No matter how lowly and humble your background was, you had to dress well and neatly all the time. Having entered the university through the door of Loyola College, Ibadan, where, from Class 1, up to Higher School, we had been taught and brought up with the tradition that noise making belonged only to the jungle and that being loud and loud-mouthed was a manifestation of an inferiority complex, adjusting to those Mellanby’s unwritten rules was therefore a painless ritual for me. My sojourn in Mellanby Hall was a turning point for me. It was in Mellanby Hall I discovered myself and how to relate and get along with all tribes in Nigeria. I met many good and outstanding people and cultivated friendships that are still enduring till today. It was from those Mellanbites I got my nickname “Sir Muye”, and, within a short time, “Sir Muye” spread throughout the University Campus! I met Dr Edwin Madunagu, our Hall Chairman in 1969. A quiet and gentle giant, who although didn’t talk too much, his body language sometimes emitted loud and threatening signals which the hall authorities could hardly ignore. I met Akin Famodimu, Yinka Bada, (Students Union President 1969), Tayo Okubote, Adewale

Owoade, Dr Olukunle, The Okusami Twins, Tunde Jawando, Chichi Nwachukwu, Yinka Sogbesan etc. I met Kingsley Adeseye Ogunlewe, the ebullient politician and former Federal Minister (he probably doesn’t know or remember me anymore, but me, I know and remember him very well!). In spite of all those political “shakara” and outpourings, associated with frontline politicians in Nigeria, Adeseye Ogunlewe remains a true, unique and valuable Mellanbite. I met Tonnie Iredia, (which one be Tonnie Iredia sef? Your name is Anthony Iredia and I should know, because you were my Loyola classmate. Maybe your Loyola nickname of “Tony-Ray” was too much of a sweet melody to your spirit, and you had to change to Tonnie after Mellanby Hall. Abi?) Mellanbite Anthony Iredia is a complete gentleman, a hard worker, a humour merchant, with a rare ability to make the likes of Idi Amin, laugh out loudly, and at the same cut him to size with intelligent but diplomatic and embarrassing questions. He ended up his distinguished career in the service of the nation as Director-General of NTA. Have you ever heard of the name “Groove”? If you haven’t heard of “Groove”, have you heard of Prince Ladipo Sanmi Eludoyin? At times, he is fondly referred to as “O’sha”, but only a few inner circle of friends like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Pius Akinyelure, Afolabi Salami, Kayode Soyombo and some select members of the “Adeola Odeku Conclave” are licensed to call him by that acronym. Sanmi Eludoyin is the Enigmatic Boy Wonder, who, like the Glo Advert, is Ruling his World, with success that has touched many people and governments in many parts of the world. “Groove” Sanmi Eludoyin is very apolitical but ironically, most of the key decisions within South-west geopolitical zone and in some vital sections in the corridor of power in Abuja are never taken without his “for your information”. Ladies and Gentlemen, “Groove” is a distinguished Mellanbite, and I can tell you for free, that the management and students in Mellanby Hall are already making arrangements to honour him and some others with the

Distinguished Mellanbite Award” within the next few weeks. Let “Groove” go and “sit down somewhere” for now. I also met the late Yakubu Abdulazeez and the late Adekunle Adepeju. With due respect to the dead, Yakubu Abdulazeez had a dual personality. He was respected for his overintelligence and over-brilliance, but because of his penchant for cigarettes smoking, we didn’t appreciate that part of him, so much so, that if he stood in front of you and asked for an obligation, you were most likely to turn him down but if he went back to his room and put the same request into writing and sent back to you, you would most likely and enthusiastically get up to oblige him unconditionally. His talent and ability to pull the crowd with his writings was on display during the 1971 students riot, when, as the Public Relations Officer in the “Chairman Mao” Agunbiade/Tayo Ogungbemile Presidency of the Students Union, he wrote his controversial “A Call To Arms” which moved and incensed most students to obey that call and confronted the Police in a peaceful “face-to-face”. Unfortunately, a drunken and God-forsaken Policeman pulled the trigger and, who was the victim? That super-gentleman and easy-going Mellanbite, Adekunle Adepeju. That was the day the Nigerian Police lost its innocence and began to put on the garb of recklessness and impunity. May the souls of those two Great Mellanbites continue to rest in perfect peace, Amen. Saturday October 6, was a day full of Joy and fond memories I will not forget in a hurry. Meeting the Hardworking and selfless Hall Warden DR A. Fadeju, Prof Adeloye, Chief Tunde Oshobi, Hon Rotimi Agunsoye, a former Hall Chairman in 1987 and former Commissioner in Lagos State and his retinue of friends from the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mellanbite Idowu Sowunmi, the rising star writer at Thisday, who, is presently on loan as Senior Special Adviser, and also those young Mellanbites and their Hall Executives, headed by Stephen Omotayo all put together, was a thrilling experience. Mellanby Hall, I am glad and proud that I passed through you and also that you passed through me. Happy Birthday Mellanbites! Let me seize this opportunity to appreciate the V.C, Professor Isaac Adewole, who has done so much within his short tenure to contribute to the stature of Mellanby Hall as an enduring monument. • Runsewe wrote from Ogbogbo-Ijebu, Ogun State.

Abia’s planned probe of Orji Kalu By Jeremiah Kiri administration in the state. For HURIWA leadership to describe the probe as a carefully choreographed and graphically plotted political witch-hunt of Kalu by the state government raises a lot of question on the role of the organisation in eight years of Kalu’s administration in the state. Even as the probe has not yet started, HURIWA is already crying more than the bereaved, and had gone ahead to put the cart before the horse by blackmailing Abia state government for performing its constitutional role. The organisation’s leadership continues to launch misguided attacks on the state government, now it has gone further to show hatred and malice with their recent action. People entrusted with leadership positions should always be ready to account for their stewardship anytime, any day. Whether they have any skeleton in their cupboard or not is another issue altogether. If they feel that opportunities were not given to them to prove their innocence or otherwise before the probe panel, they can take their case to court. That is the rule. Meanwhile, linking the probe with 2015 Igbo Presidency campaign is nonsensical and immaterial because I do not see how Kalu can singlehandedly, even with support of his acclaimed allies, realise Igbo Presidency without the support of other major stakeholders in the zone especially the governors that control the resources and structures. If the present government in a bid to satisfy the yearnings of the people succumbed to pressure to probe of Kalu’s administration, Kalu should not be worried if he has not done anything wrong during his stint as governor. Governor Orji should equally know that his government is not immune from probe by his successor if he leaves office and the need arises. As a people, we should learn how not to politicise everything especially issues that have to do with the welfare of the people. Conscience is an open wound only truth can heal it no matter how long it takes. After all,

it is better late than never. Kalu’s probe is not the first of its kind in the country since the inception of democracy in 1999 and will not be the last. That is the beauty of democracy. There is need for accountability in governance and politicians should not be scared of such within or outside office. What the HURIWA leadership should have done is to wait for the setting up of the probe panel and monitor its proceedings closely to ensure that fair hearing is given to all parties involved before making a conclusion. The individual is not bigger than the state, so Kalu having ruled the state for eight years as governor should be ready to submit himself for probe to prove his innocence or otherwise. It is a responsibility he owes the people of the state for whom he managed their collective resources for eight years. Sentiment and emotion has no place in law, but evidence and facts are sacred. For HURIWA leadership to tag the probe a kangaroo one even when it has not taken off exposed their ignorance and bias. Has HURIWA leadership forgot that even Kalu as a governor of Abia state once set up judicial panel of inquiry that indicted some of his perceived political enemies in and outside the state? Where was HURIWA leadership then and what effort did they make to assist those that were indicted by the panel then? The leadership of HURIWA should not reduce the body to a platform for the campaign for Igbo Presidency just because it is led by an Igbo man. That is not what human right groups and civil society organisations are known for. In the same vein, aligning Kalu’s probe with the performance of the present government in Abia State lack substance, because the people of the state are in better position to assess the two governments and pass a credible judgment based on what they had experienced and seen on ground in the state. There is need for organisations to do their research and investigation very well before making a categorical statements on issues affecting the people or passing judgment on any issue, especially now that

Freedom Of Information (FoI) Act is already law, thereby making investigative journalism and research work easier. Everyone knows that if the present government in Anambra State set up a probe panel to look into the administration of Senator Chris Ngige during his time as governor of the state, Ngige will speedily and easily submit himself for probe without raising eyebrow knowing full well that he has nothing to hide. This is because the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under Mallam Nuhu Ribadu gave him a clean bill of health when he was removed from office as governor. This was despite the obvious political differences between him and President Olusegun Obasanjo then over the control of the state between him and his estranged godfather Chief Chris Uba who enjoyed Obasanjo’s support in the crisis. It was the same time that Ribadu told Nigerians that almost all the governors that will be leaving office in 2007 were corrupt and that they will be arrested and tried immediately they leave office. Ribadu, true to his promise arrested most of them including Kalu immediately they left office and charged them to court to face trial. But some of them who were in the good book of the then President of the country, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua worked with the Presidency under him to remove Ribadu from office to frustrate their trial. That was how the commission under Waziri went to slumber over the trials of some of the ex-governors and today it appears the commission is more docile than ever before. So when all these were happening, where was the HURIWA leadership and what were their positions and efforts in ensuring that the ex-governors charged for alleged corrupt practices were brought to book? There is need for nongovernmental agencies and civil society organisations to remain focused and steadfast in pursuit of their aims and objectives and avoid being used by politicians to achieve selfish political aims. • Kiri, a lawyer, wrote from Wuse, Abuja


Pg. 24


Sunshine drag Al-Ahly to CAF


Pg. 41


Sport Tuesday, October 23, 2012



to rule world in sports

– Jonathan P

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has identified adequate investment and proper governance structure as necessary ingredients for the country to be among the top sporting nations in the world. He stated that his administration is committed to Nigeria becoming the best sporting nation in Africa, top four in the Commonwealth and ultimately rule the world. The president, who was emphatic about the country's potential, stressed that Nigeria can turn the present situation in the sports sector around with a collective agreement by all the stakeholders. Jonathan spoke at the opening of the Presidential Retreat of the Sports Sector with the theme "Harnessing the Potential of Nigeria's Sports Sector: from Playground to Podium" held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa Abuja. The retreat which is as a result of recent disappointment recorded by the country in international competitions including the recently-concluded 2012 Summer Olympics in London and other competitions. The vision to rule the sports world, according to the president, was realistic and achievable with hard work, greater sense of purpose and dedication. He said: "Make no mistake; our commitment is to become the best sporting nation in Africa, be among the top four sporting nations in the Commonwealth and ultimately rule the world. "This vision is not only realistic, it is also achievable with hard work, greater sense of purpose, and dedication. "If we must achieve excellence and meet the objective

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja requirements for the rapid development of our sports industry, then we must broaden the finance base of the industry and create the right conditions for private sector funding and investment in sport. "Adequate funding of sports is very crucial to this endeavour but efficient and transparent management of resources is key." The president explained further that he has also set up a committee under the Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala to work out a strategy for sustainable management of funding of the sports sector. The president also underscored the importance of sport as a source of joy to people, a unifying and mobilizing factor and revenue generator. He therefore urged participants to brainstorm and strategise on how to reclaim the country’s past sporting glory. ``There is no gainsaying that apart from its obvious benefits in bringing joy to our citizens, especially when out teams do well, no other sector of our national life has a greater force for mobilizing and uniting our people around a common purpose, than sport. ``I remember very vividly as Vice President when we were to host a team that did well and the Chief of Staff then, Gen. Abdullahi, was emphasizing that we must receive the people very well because it is only sport and especially when we are

winning that Moslems and Christians don’t know the difference between themselves. ``They sing the same songs, dance the same steps and we must encourage sporting activities in this country,’’ he said The president said the country could not overlook the relevance of sports to national development and well being. He described sports as a viable socio-economic tool for youth development, nation building and instilling the core value of social justice. The president, who also recalled the superlative performance of Nigerian athletes at Atlanta 1996, in particular Chioma Ajunwa who won the first gold medal for Nigeria, and the Dream Team led by Kanu Nwankwo, decried the decline recorded in the sport sector over the years and called for ways to reverse the situation. He said: ``This retreat is timely, given the recent disappointing performance of Team Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and our recent lows in football competitions among others. This unacceptable trend points to systemic failures that urgently call for a drastic and holistic review of our sport policies.’’ The president also stressed that the retreat was not to apportion blame or point fingers, but to find solutions and create a framework for achieving national sporting excellence. The president tasked state governors to identify areas where they have comparative advantages in sporting events for development.






Babayaro: Eagles’ defence still shaky


ORMER international Emmanuel Babayaro has advised the Super Eagles not to be carried away by their overwhelming victory over the Lone Stars of Liberia in the final round match of the 2013 Africa Nations Cup in South Africa. Speaking to NationSport in Abuja on Monday, Babayaro said: 'Let me use this opportunity to congratulate Coach Stephen Keshi for qualifying the team for that important championship holding in South Africa next year. “But I want to tell you that the victory against the Liberians does not mean that the team has arrived. The technical crew has a lot of work to do with the defence. That defence cannot stand the test of time. It cannot withstand consistent pressure from a very mobile team. I think more job should be done on the defenders. “But I think that the strikers have started jelling, so the job now will be on the defence line. Once this is achieved, I can bet you the team will give everything a fight for the






Nigeria national team. “I wish to play for the Eagles again; I can't decide on when that would be, but I am ready,” he said in an interview monitored on Monday. “Coach Amokachi has always been in touch with me to know how I am doing here. “And I am happy that we have now booked our place at the next Nations Cup, even though I didn't expect such a big win against Liberia but the team did well.” Apam was in full-game action against Motpellier at the weekend. Rennes beat the French champions 2-1. He featured for Nigeria at both the 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, but a nagging knee injury knocked him out of the country’s final squad to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The former Enugu Rangers central defender has also been capped at U20 and Olympic levels.

Yobo in fitness race for


Europa League

IGERIA skipper Joseph Yobo is questionable to face AEL Limassol in the M a r s e i l l e a n d B o r u s s i a Europa League on Thursday, the Mönchengladbach. official website of Fenerbahçe has hinted. The central defender did not feature for The Yellow Canaries in the 1 - 1 draw with Bursaspor this past weekend. And the Super Eagle is in a race against the clock • Yobo to be fit for the trip to Cyprus. Fenerbahçe have started preparations for the Europa League clash, and trained behind closed doors on Sunday morning. The match practice lasted for one and a half hours. Yobo did not train with the rest of the squad, as he is still receiving treatment. He has made two appearances in the Europa League, against former club

Sunshine drag Al-Ahly to CAF


From Andrew Abah, Abuja trophy,’ he said. The Super Eagles are expected to know their opponents in a Draws Ceremony that will be held in Durban South Africa tomorrow. Keshi will travel alongside NFF Technical Committee Chairman Chris Green to the former Apartheid enclave today.


NGOLA have proposed a warm-up game against Nigeria before the 2013 Nations Cup, officials have said. Angola Football Association vice-president, Joao Lusevikueno said in an interview on Monday they wish to test their readiness for the forthcoming AFCON in South Africa against Nigeria. “We have proposed to play a match against Nigeria and we hope it is come through,” Lusevikueno said in a radio interview. Both countries clashed in a similar game in January while Angola were preparing for the 2012 tournament in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The match against Nigeria’s home-based stars in Abuja ended in a goalless draw.


NFF praises Sunshine Stars


IGERIA’S flag-bearers in this year’s CAF Champions League competition, Sunshine Stars FC of Akure gave a credible account of themselves in the competition and deserve plaudits from Nigerians, says the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The second leg in Cairo was always going to be a tough turf for Sunshine Stars after the two teams battled to a 3-3 draw in the first leg in Ijebu-Ode a fortnight ago, and in the event, the Nigerians lost 0-1 on Sunday to bow out of the competition as Ahly reached the final. Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Emeka Inyama said: “We must commend Sunshine Stars FC for the

efforts it invested in the competition and also commend the Ondo State Government for the support they gave the team. “The same club got to the semi final of the CAF Confederation Cup last year and in its very first appearance in the CAF Champions League, was able to reach the semi final. This is no mean feat. “Surely, the team could have done better in the first leg against Ahly if not for the strike action embarked upon by the players before that match. We believe that with the experience the team has gained on the road, it will be better equipped next time to go all the way in any continental campaign.”

... mourns Sylva Eleanya


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has condoled Vanguard Media Limited over the death on Saturday night of ace photojournalist Sylva Eleanya. NFF spokesman Ademola Olajire, who worked with the respected photojournalist for almost 10 years at Vanguard, was visibly distressed: “The NFF is in grief over the death of Mr. Eleanya. A big tree has fallen. He was one of the very best in the photo sector. “We remember that Sylva Eleanya was always present at major events, and did his job creditably and professionally. He was a

prominent face in Calabar just a week earlier when the Super Eagles defeated Liberia to qualify for the 2013 African Cup of Nations. “Honestly, I am inconsolate. He was a personal friend and was always so jovial. We travelled together to several major international sporting events and he always excelled.” NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, said: “We send our most sincere condolences to the immediate family of Mr. Eleanya, Vanguard Media Limited and Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Lagos State chapter. He was a jolly good fellow and will be missed by all at the NFF and the entire Nigeria football family.”

Angola qualified for their seventh Nations Cup after they eliminated Zimbabwe. The Palancas Negras, who played hosts in 2010, beat Zimbabwe 2-0 at home to cancel out a 3-1 loss in Harare to go through on the away goals rule. Nigeria defeated Liberia 8-3 on aggregate to reach 2013 AFCON. They take on Venezuela in a friendly next month in the United States of America, while a training camp for players in the Nigeria Premier League has been planned for Europe before a final residential training most likely in Zimbabwe.

• Moses


Fijabi shines, talks tough ahead of Sport Festival


ATIONAL boxing champion and Team Lagos Captain, Olaide Fijabi, yesterday displayed a thrilling performance at an amateur boxing sponsored show in Lagos on Sunday. The fierce pugilist pummeled Saheed Lawal, a state champion, in less than two minutes of a knockout bout and grabbed the first championship belt of the maiden Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Boxing Promotion show. According to the 65kg fighter, who spoke with NationSport after the fight, the bout was a signal to his would-be opponents in the forthcoming 18th National Sport Festival to be hosted in Lagos State “Team Lagos are already in camp

Paul Oluwakoya and we are very serious about our preparations; today's show was just a local challenge to appraise our level of preparedness for the National Sport Festival. “In all my fights, I have never lost; I am confident not to let the state down and we aim to surpass the seven gold the team won in the last National Sport Festival. I would like to thank the sponsor of this show because it is an opportunity to rally support and convince our fans out there to still believe in us. “In the last festival, Ogun and Edo State boxers were tough, they really gave me a tough time, but this time round I want to retain my championship and set a new record, ”he said.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly, Honourable Kolawole Taiwo said: “The purpose of organising the boxing show was to develop youths in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, exhibit my passion to empower and to keep them busy. With the calibre of enthusiasm here today, I promise to make it an annual event.” Apart from Fijabi, other Lagos boxers also performed well as they defeated strong opponents at the one-day tourney, which featured eight bouts. Oladosun Rilwan outpunched Adisa Opeoluwa in the 62kg category, Riliwan Lawal defeated Kamoru Abiodun in the 62kg category and Yusuf Mosudi beat Yisa Abiodun in the 65kg category.


• Ike Uche


• Keshi

Apam: I’m ready for Eagles return ENNES defender Onyekachi Apam has restated his wish to return to the Super Eagles soon after a two-year absence. Apam, who was out of action for more than a year and a half due to injury, has since become a regular fixture for his French Ligue 1 side and he believes he will soon be handed another chance with the


Uche begs for time


PAIN-BASED striker Ikechukwu Uche has said Nigeria will shine at the 2013 Nations Cup if the new team have enough time to prepare. Uche has therefore demanded for adequate preparation for the Eagles ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Uche, who has lately averaged a goal-a-game for Nigeria, noted that the present crop of Eagles players needs more time together so as to play as a team. "It’s one thing for us to qualify and another for us to have a good showing at the tournament. We need time for early preparation because this is a new team and we need time to understand ourselves very well," said the Villarreal striker, who came off the bench to score against Liberia in an AFCON qualifier in Calabar. "But I am confident that we would have a wonderful tournament in South Africa." Meanwhile, coach Stephen Keshi has arrived in South Africa for the AFCON draw. The Eagles coach is in South Africa with team secretary Dayo Enebi and chairman NFF technical committee, Chris Green. The officials, according to a top NFF official, "would aside attending the draw, touch on other things the team need for a successful outing at the Nations Cup". The AFCON draw will take place on Wednesday night in Durban, South Africa.

Spartak sweat over Emenike for Benfica game


HE availability of Emmanuel Emenike f o r S p a r t a k M o s c o w ' s U E F A Champions League group game against Benfica on Tuesday remained unresolved. The Nigeria international striker missed last weekend's league match against Anzhi Makhachkala due to back pains. According to Russian media, the health of Emenike has not improved, and the Spanish coach of the red and white has disclosed. ''We will see how he (Emenike) will feel in the evening workout then make a decision whether or not to

include him,'' Unai Emery was quoted as saying by Emenike has netted thrice in his last four appearances in the Europe's top club competition.

UNSHINE International of Akure have filed a p r o t e s t a t t h e Confederation of African Football, following their 1-0 loss to Al-Ahly in Sunday’s second leg, semi-finals of Orange CAF Champions League in Cairo. The Director-General of Ondo State Football Agency, Mike Idoko maintained there were about 3,000 Egyptian fans at the stadium, which was contrary to CAF’s directive for the game to be held behind closed doors. Idoko maintained that the presence of fans at the arena greatly militated against his team’s bid to record a possible away win that would have seen the Akure-based club facing Esperance in the final. A 3-3 draw during the first leg at the Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu-Ode left Sunshine with an onerous task in Cairo. But their hopes of achieving the ultimate on the trip had been hinged on

the fact the game was going to hold without the hosts enjoying the support of their vociferous fans. however gathered that Sunshine’s script had been greatly unsettled by the presence of over 3,000 spectators at the stadium. Sunshine were not given an iota of a chance to survive the hosts’ blitz, going by the easy with which Al-Ahly put two goals behind them before rallying back to pull a 3-3 draw at home. But they yet proved to be good travelers in Cairo, where they hit the bar a couple of times en-route to the slim defeat. Before Sunday’s game, AlAhly had played all home games behind closed doors, being CAF’s punitive measure for last year’s crowd violence leading to wanton destruction and loss of lives during a league game.

Manu to pick 18 'warriors'

against Guinea

•No injury fear for Eaglets


ANU GARBA will pick 18 out of the 30 players in camp later this week for the crucial second round-second leg African Under-17 qualifier away to Guinea even as assistant coach, Nduka Ugbade has described the team as a bunch of warriors! The Golden Eaglets take a three-goal lead to Conakry but Coach Garba reckons that his wards are battle-ready and would scale the Guinean hurdle. "Our training and preparations have been going well and we are happy with the condition of the players,” Manu said after Monday morning training."The players have coped very well despite the tough schedule they have been going through." The Golden Eaglets failed to meet their high scoring standard of at least six goals per match as they squandered several opportunities in their first leg 3-0 win against Guinea in Calabar penultimate weekend. Speaking on that development, Coach Nduka Ugbade, who described the team as a bunch of warriors, stated that they would bode well in Conakry: “We created about 12 scoring chances in the first leg against Guinea but we were able to score only three goals,” stated the erstwhile captain of the Golden Eaglets. The Eaglets have scored a total of 13 goals in three qualifying matches but conceded a goal

which was a spurious penalty in the 4-1 win in their away game against Niger in Niamey. Altogether, the Nigerian youngsters have banged in 76 goals in 17 matches and Ugbade said he was confident that the team would make things difficult for the Guineans. “We are hopeful and our confidence is based on the fact that we can create chances and the more this is done the better for us," he noted. “I'm sure we should be able to score in Guinea and that would compound their problems based on the away goals rule." Meanwhile, there are no injury worries for the Golden Eaglets with confirmation from the team’s doctor, Ayodeji Olarinoye that all the players jostling to be part of the contingent to Conakry are in good health.

• Manu Garba

Raheem Lawal opens goal account

N • Emenike

IGERIA international midfielder Raheem Lawal scored his first goal for Adana Demirspor in a 2-0 win over Manisaspor on Sunday. The elated Lawal told that the goal has finally put behind him the troubles he encountered in his quest to quit Spanish club Atletico Baleares in the summer. Raheem Lawal scored a rocket of a goal from 20 yards in the 58th minute to put his Turkish second division club ahead in a game that they eventually won 2-0. "I am very happy to have scored the goal. I am a lucky guy because we have not lost any game since I started playing for them. I see myself as a key member of the team so I am doing my best to keep the team up,” he said.



Page 25


FCT airlifts 2,688 pilgrims - Page 27

Gwarinpa hospital gets imaging unit - Page 28

‘We need more food producers’ W A passion for kids and Dame’s return - Page 40

ITH flood washing off farmlands and homesteads in large parts of the country, the private sector has been urged to set up agrobased industries to shore up food supplies. Many farmers who would have been on their farms have been huddled up in relief camps alongside their families, posing grave danger not just for the moment but also next year. Already, prices of food items have gone up in several places,

From Bukola Amusan

a development from which Abuja residents are not insulated. That was why Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, called on the private sector to establish agro-based industries in the territory as part of efforts to increase food production. The minister, who made the call at the 2012 World Food Day

in Abuja, advised that food production should not be the sole responsibility of government. She noted that the new policy thrust of government was to empower the farmer groups and the private sector to drive the agricultural transformation process. “The challenge before us is to produce food for the teeming population in this country. This cannot be seen as the responsibility of government alone. The private sector should take up the challenge of establishing agro-

based industries in the FCT in particular, since there are tremendous potential and elaborate marketing outlets for these products,” said Akinjide, who was represented by her Special Assistant on Area Councils, Mr. Peter Fwa. She assured that the FCT Administration was ready to collaborate with any viable group to promote agriculture in the nation’s capital, particularly in •Continued on Page 26




FCDA warns contractors


•Women farmers •Continued from Page 25

the areas of improved farm inputs distribution, tractor hiring services, produce marketing and other value chain processes. “We have registered 8,000 cooperative societies of different economic backgrounds in the FCT. These include primary, secondary and apex co-operative organisations with total membership of about 1.2 million. “The FCT has already keyed into the Agricultural Transforma-


NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation (NGO) based in Abuja, Helpline Foundation, has concluded plans to award scholarship to indigent students. The group also said it will distribute clothing and food items to orphans and widows in the nation’s capital. President of the Foundation, Mrs. Jumai Ahmadu who disclosed this to reporters, also stated that the foundation is planning “clearance sales” at its Charity Shop in Kuje Area Council soon. Mrs Ahmadu also revealed that the sale is to enable the foundation raise funds to empower widows as well as pay school fees for the over 100 children under the

‘We need more food producers’ tion Agenda (ATA) of the present administration, and is at the forefront. Under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES), FCT has surveyed and captured over 50,000 farmers in its data bank. Of this number, a total of over 38,000 farmers have benefited from 3,279 metric tons of assorted fertilisers and improved seeds,” Akinjide revealed.

GES is one of the key initiatives under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda aimed at revamping the agriculture sector, ensuring food security, diversifying the economy, and enhancing foreign exchange earnings. The minister advised smallscale farmers to unite and form viable commodity groups to maximise their entrepreneurships. “The FCT Agriculture and Ru-

NGO caters for needy students, others Stories from Bukola Amusan

foundation’s scholarship scheme for children orphaned by HIV/ AIDS and some other vulnerable children. The event will be under the chairmanship of the wife of Kuje Area Council Chairman, Mrs. Paulina Etsu Zhin, pointing out that the climax of the year’s event will be a charity funfair. “We have concluded plans to assist the orphans and widows in our midst. “The event will take place in our

charity shop located at Kuje Area Council and the climax of this year event is a charity funfair to host our target group (widows and orphans in the FCT) at the Millennium Park Abuja as a demonstration of our love to these vulnerable people in our midst,” Mrs. Ahmadu stressed.

Mbora Phase 2 project


ESIDENTS of Mbora District of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja are in for better times, as the Federal Government approved the district’s Phase II contract. The job was awarded to an indigenous company, Messers Sammya Nigeria Limited Mbora District is the one between Gwarinpa 1 District (Life Camp) and Idu District. It has several mass housing estates with about 4,000 families. The project is to provide primary infrastructure which include storm drains, sewer lines, telephone ducts, water and power supply. It will also provide the major roads linking Ring road two with Karimo District and local access roads to plots in the district. The Phase I of the project which was awarded in February 2011 was also awarded to Messers Sammya Nigeria Limited at the cost of N6.6b and has reached an

ral Development Secretariat (ARDS) under the Farmers’ Technology Empowerment Programme and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement has procured 80 tractors with complete set of implements which have been distributed to FCT large scale farmers and farmers’ co-operative groups through the area councils for the farming season,” she added.

HE Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has warned contractors handling its projects against delay in completing their assignments. The Executive Secretary of the Authority, Mr. Adamu Ismaila who spoke with reporters in Abuja, said contractors had better sit and complete their jobs on time. His words: “The major issue is funding and once funding is steady, the projects will definitely be completed within stipulated time”. Adamu warned lazy contractors to resume work, saying that engineers of the FCDA have been mobilised to commence monitoring and supervision of the projects in line with the promise of the FCT minister. ”It is not a heavy task on me; we have the experts that will ensure first-class technical supervision,” he said. On the bad portions of some roads within the capital city, the executive secretary said plans have reached advance stages to rehabilitate the entire roads in Phase One of Garki and Wuse Districts, clarifying that work on the roads would commence before the end of the year. ”It is our intention to rehabilitate the entire roads in Garki and Wuse but it’s not going to be done at once but in phases and we are starting this year,” he said. He assured residents of Gwarimpa and some parts of Maitama and Asokoro of regular water supply by the end of the year, following the matching orders given to the contractors to complete the water project by December.

approved advanced stage. The second phase approved by FEC is awarded at a contract sum of N13.3b with a completion period of 36 months. The total project cost for the provision of engineering Infrastructure to Mbora District is N19.9b. The contractor, Sammya Nig Ltd is an indigenous company with several years of experience and currently carrying out various infrastructure projects in various states of the federation. The scope of work includes 35km of roads, 70km of water reticulation , 38km of sewer line, 2 NO”s 15MVA power station etc. The Public Relations Manager of Sammya, Otunba Teslim Alao told Abuja Review that the company would complete the two phases well ahead of schedule.


Other events lined up for the programme according to the president include: 2012 Little Miss Charity Beauty Contest, Best Mum Contest, Quiz Competition to identify three orphans to be included on the scholarship list and distribution of clothing and

food items. She called on well-meaning Nigerians to support the foundation by donating items such as food, cloth for both children and adults, gift items, prizes and sponsorship, even as she solicited the support of the media.




NTA D-G urges youths to embrace technology


HE acting Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Alhaji Musa Mayaki has urged youths to take technology seriously, explaining that a nation without it is dead. The DG stated this at the Children’s Exhibition of Science and Technology (Expo 2012) in Abuja. He said: “We want to bring technology to the forefront because Nigeria without technology is as if we are dead. There is nothing anybody can do over that; we are dead. ”So, we have to support these children who are coming up with these great ideas for the country.” This year’s exhibition was tagged ‘Power and Energy Generation for Sustainable Development of Small

We want to bring technology to the forefront because Nigeria without technology is as if we are dead. There is nothing anybody can do over that; we are dead

From Faith Yahaya

and Medium Scale Enterprises.’ The DG who explained that the theme is worth exploring, as it begs for solution said, “our children are here drawn from all over the country to proffer what they know that could best lead us out of the doldrums of unsustainable power and energy generation not only in the sphere of small and medium scale enterprises but the Nigerian Economy as a whole. While commending the effort of the children, Alhaji Mayaki said: “They have made us proud with the exposition here and we must encourage them in the trajectory of educational development they have chosen.” He further said: “ It would have been much more pleasurable to me and our great nation if mentors could emerge within the polity to divest the pathway of their development effort and make it devoid of limitations that could make the Nigerian nation follow an untoward direction in degrading the incidence of unsustainable power and energy generation. “I have said it before that maybe we are going to invite the President himself and it will then be a national event because once the president comes once, we will have it globalised and nationalised.”

•Musa Mayaki The General Manager NTA-ETV, Lloyd Okoko decried the negative effect unsustainable power has had on sectors of the economy. He said: “There is need for the developing nations like ours to approximate the concept of appropriate technology, in the bid to degrade the unsustainable status of power and energy generation efforts which as corollary negatively affects sustainable development in all the discernable sectors of our economy”.


RADITIONAL ruler, Oba Adeosun Babatunde of Olodo in Ogun State, has commended the National Unity and Peace Corps (NUPEC) for their commitment to peace and unity in the country. Praise also came for the Corps from members of Ishielu Local Government Council of Ebonyi State for brokering a truce between warring communities of Ezilo and Ezza-Ezilo of the council. In a commendation letter to NUPEC headquarters in Abuja, the traditional ruler, HRH Babatunde lauded the organisation for their ability to restore peace between the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen and farmers within his domain. The Commandant General, NUPEC, Prof. Humphrey Ogoegbunam confirmed that the organisation has succeeded in brokering peace between some warring communities across some states of the federation. Ogoegbunam said that Peace Corps is committed to promoting peace in the country, adding that the organisation, mandated by the National Assembly (NASS) in 2008 to serve as mediator, has been successful in its activities. In her remarks, Commandant Elizabeth Omini who is in charge of recruitment, said the organisation is statutorily permitted to function under the Ministry of Interior in a mediating capacity where there are crises in the country. However, Ogoegbunam ap-

Traditional ruler hails Peace Corps From Olugbenga Adanikin

pealed to the Federal Government and the public to support the organisation, stressing that it is being funded privately. Throwing more light on the rationale behind the formation of the organisation, the Deputy Commandant in Adamawa Command, Ojo Slyvester, stressed the imperatives of the organisation which include promoting unity and peace in the country.

The Commandant General, NUPEC, Prof. Humphrey Ogoegbunam confirmed that the organisation has succeeded in brokering peace between some warring communities across some states of the federation


HE Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide has confirmed that 2,688 Muslim pilgrims from the FCT have so far been airlifted to Saudi Arabia to perform this year’s Hajj. This represents 85 per cent of the 3,164 pilgrims approved for FCT for the Hajj. “The airlifting of Muslim pilgrims from the FCT for this year’s Hajj commenced on September 25. Six out of the flights allocated for FCT have successfully airlifted our pilgrims to Jeddah Airport from where they were transported to Madinah. “The sixth batch of 2012 FCT muslim pilgrims took off to Jeddah by Kabo Airline at about 4:35am on Tuesday, October 16 with 499 passengers on board. This brings the total pilgrims from FCT airlifted to Saudi Arabia to 2,688, out of 3,164 pilgrims expected to participate in this year’s Hajj,” the minister stated. Akinjide further noted that the two airlines approved for the FCT – Kabo and Max Airlines - were on ground at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to airlift another batch of 400 pilgrims to the Holy land on Tuesday night. She added that a 5-Star Hotel with capacity for 3,200 rooms had been secured by the FCTA for the FCT pilgrims around in Masfalah, few metres away from the ground Mosque in Makkah. Akinjide appealed to the pilgrims from the territory to adhere strictly to the operational guidelines and the laws of the host country governing the pilgrimage. “I beseech you to pray for peace and unity in the country and to support our leaders in prayers. Through prayers, Nigeria and the incumbent government will accomplish great things,” she said. The minister had last week intervened to resolve visa hiccups for some intending pilgrims and also ensure conducive environment at the Permanent Hajj for the pilgrims. A special team led by the Director of FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Surajo Ado Faskari had been in the permanent

•Intending pilgrims

FCT airlifts 2,688 pilgrims By Bukola Amusan

Hajj Camp along the Abuja Airport Road since the exercise commenced on September 25, 2012. The team, which has been able to ensure hitch-free documentation and smooth ferrying of the pilgrims to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, also includes

the Secretary, Ministerial Monitoring Committee on 2012 FCT Hajj Operations, Alhaji Kehinde Isiaka; Special Assistant to the Minister of State on Muslim Pilgrim, Alhaji Ibraheem Ibraheem and the Public Relations Officer of the FCT Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Aliyu Usman. The minister had on September

13, 2012 inaugurated the FCT 2012 Amirul Hajj Team led by Gen. Abdullahi Bagudu Mamman (Rtd). Other members of the team are: Alhaji Atiku Kurawa, Alhaji Mustapha Isma’il Khalifa and Alhaja Habeebat Babata-Sulaiman. The Amirul Hajj Team is to ensure that the pilgrims adhere strictly to the operational guide-

lines and the laws of the host country governing the pilgrimage. The terms of reference of the Hajj Team to include: general supervision and coordination of all activities of the entire operation from Nigeria and back to Nigeria; to ensure safety and security of pilgrims; to ensure adherence to all rules governing the Hajj Operation; to ensure effective implementation of the Administration’s policies and programmes as they affect Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board; and to submit a report on the 2012 Hajj Operations.




•The newly inaugurated Imaging unit


ESIDENTS of Gwarinpa, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, and its environs, were excited following the inauguration of an ultra-modern medical imaging unit at the Gwarinpa Hospital. The Secretary for Health and Human Services in the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya who inaugurated the centre, disclosed that before now patients requiring X-ray investigations in the area were sent mainly to Wuse General Hospital. He added that apart from loss of time, many of these patients do not come back to the hospital. He also said that the HIV/AIDS reach-out initiative of the hospital has caused a sharp rise in the number of patients that visit the hospital, noting that most of them suffer from severe chest infections especially pulmonary tu-

•One of the equipment in the hospital

Gwarinpa hospital gets imaging unit By Bukola Amusan

berculosis. The Secretary, while inaugurating the X-ray machine said it would help to reduce the morbidity and mortality of such patients. He also said that the provision of the unit in the hospital is a clear demonstration of Government’s commitment to the healthcare needs of the Gwarinpa community. “The importance of this imaging unit cannot be overemphasized. I therefore believe that the patients, the clinicians, the hospital and the populace of FCT will be positively impacted by the services of the unit and I look for-

ward to a healthier community as the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has promised to continue to support and motivate the health sector. The aim is to take the hospital to an excellent level,” he said.

The importance of this imaging unit cannot be overemphasised. I therefore believe that the patients, the clinicians, the hospital and the populace of FCT will be positively impacted by the services of the unit

Zuba residents cry out over fallen poles


ESIDENTS of Zuba in Gwagwalada area council of Abuja have cried out to the authorities and management of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to do something about the persistent danger posed by fallen electric poles in the area. They accused the authorities of toying with their welfare by not being proactive in tackling the danger that the fallen electric pole could pose to their lives. The latest of such incidents, it was gathered, happened at the weekend when two high-tension electric poles fell along ZubaMadalla Old Road after a heavy rainfall. Sources told Abuja Review that though no one was electrocuted, residents were shocked that the relevant agencies have failed to either pull up the poles or de-activate the cables five days after the incident. One of the residents, Ibrahim Dogo, an electrician said: “We were just here when the poles fell as a result of the heavy rain. Immediately, I called the PHCN staff. The man came and after he had inspected the damage, the

From Nwanagu Chinedu

officials cut off the light but since last weekend, they have not done anything to improve the situation. Thank God there was no light. If there are electric currents in the cables, it would have killed a woman plaiting the hair of a kid because these wires have more than 30,000 voltage capacity.” He urged PHCN to come to their aid by removing the fallen high tension wires and poles before an irreversible harm is caused to the residents. Another resident, Mrs. Anulika Ezeukwu disclosed that the incident occurred because of the weak poles which have been there for a long time. She added that it posed great danger among the people living around the area and that those in authorities at PHCN should come to their aid. We were just here when the poles fell as a result of the heavy rain. Immediately, I called the PHCN staff. The man came and after he had inspected the damage, the officials cut off the light but since last weekend, they have not done anything to improve the situation

The Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr Anthony Momoh, who stated that the hospital has passed through a lot of transformational improvement, commended the efforts of the Secretariat in elevating the health

•One of the dangerous poles

institution from where it is currently. He appreciated the consultants and staff for their patience during the periods when patients had to be referred to sister hospitals for those medical imaging services before continuing their health management on such patients. Dr Momoh stressed that with the hospital equipped with suitable equipment and qualified and experienced staff, the hospital is poised to serve the community and, by extension, the public with the available modalities while looking forward to the acquisition of more modalities and staff, especially imaging scientists.



the fact that Nigeria’s Gross Annual Expenditure ‘ Given on school books alone currently hovers around N100 billion, not to mention other print products, there is no doubt that the development of the printing sector will prevent perennial capital flight and keep trillions of naira within the economy See page 35


• Azinge (SAN)

Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) is the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS). NIALS is the apex legal training institution in the country whose contribution to the socio-economic, legal and political development cannot be over emphasised. In this interview, Azinge bares his mind on the state of the police, reformation of the judiciary, true federalism, specialised judicial track training programmes and other national issues. Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU met him.

‘Declare emergency in areas affected by floods’


HERE are persistent calls for state police as a solution to the incessant killings and wanton destruction of lives and property in the country. What is your reaction to this? The call for state police is in line with the principles of federalism; it is theoretically unassailable, but pragmatically flawed. Interestingly, this is not the first time we have

experimented with the idea of policing at local levels. It need not be overemphasised that the first experiment was a colossal failure. Does it mean that we cannot try it because the first experiment failed? Many, rightly, seem to argue that we have since moved on as a nation and the mistake of the past should not becloud our vision

towards realising our potential as a people and a nation. Presently, all security challenges seem to find solution in the introduction of state or community policing. Be it kidnapping, armed robbery, Boko Haram, cultism, political violence, banditry, breach of public peace and any other offence. The simplistic proposition is that the panacea lies in state police. So, what is your position on this matter? My position is that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as constituted has not been optimally positioned to realise its potential. Stripped of all parameters of achieving excellence, it is illusory to expect outstanding policing

from the Police. It is my view that a supremely motivated, properly remunerated, well respected and decently quartered Police can rise to the security challenges of our time. Let the truth be told: Nigerians still see the Police as a profession for school drop outs. That used to be the perception of members of the armed forces. But that has since changed. We must treat the Police exactly the same way we treat members of the armed forces? How do we change the perception of the Police? What they need is good education and •Continued on page 30

Inside: •NBA, commission partner on protection... P.32 Bakassi: Aftermath of the 10th anniversary of ... P.36




‘Declare emergency in areas affected by floods’ • Continued from page 29 capacity building; a well structured method of employment, modern barracks, satisfactory life insurance scheme, and excellent facilities in terms of equipment and office amenities, general welfare and prompt payment of salaries, allowances and retirement benefits. These are the factors that drive policing across the world. Without these factors, you have a police force that is non–committal, disconnected and grossly inefficient. We must first experiment with NPF, put all these factors in place and watch the results. If things fail to change, then we will be justified to canvass state police. But, until then, any argument in support of state police is merely an escape from reality. I need not add that most states of the federation cannot fund and equip the police independently. That, again, is a serious factor for determining whether or not to establish state police at this point in time. Legal education, like other sectors, has been on the decline. How has the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) improved as it pursues its mandates? I don’t suscribe to the view that legal education in Nigeria has been on the decline. Rather, there has been an explosion in the number admitted to the Bar in recent times, and the law faculties are churning out graduates in very large numbers. In such circumstances, you are bound to have the good, the bad and the ugly. Perhaps the decline is attributable to interactions with the not-go-good lawyers among the large number of very good ones. From my vantage position I can say unequivocally that there are many young talented Nigerian

law graduates who can hold their own anywhere in the world. In spite of this observation, NIALS has continued to deliver on its mandate of continuing legal education. There is always room for improvement in legal education and NIALS is ever prepared to assist in this regard. How do you achieve this? Our programme on legal writing skill, legislating drafting, specialised judicial track training programme, Advanced Course in Practice and Procedure, among others, have helped young lawyers to consolidate on what they learnt from the university and the Law School Some states have been facing serious flooding. How do you think we can use the law to address this? Let me first sympathise with Nigerians on the flood. It is highly regrettable that lives were lost and property worth billions of naira were destroyed. It is most unfortunate. I must, however, commend the government for the measures taken to assist displaced persons. The lesson is that climate change is real and not a fiction. It is something we have to grapple with for a long time to come. Furthermore, it is widespread and devastating and should be considered a national disaster. Against this background, it is expected that the government would have gone further to declare emergency in the areas badly affected by the flooding. The constitutional provision on state of emergency clearly provides for disasters of this nature and it is based on the premise that government can rightly invoke its authority to release money for the victims of the disaster.

• Azinge (SAN)

Is there no way we can use laws to regulate environmental issues? Federal and state governments must take, seriously, the town planning laws of various parts of this country. It is within this context that people must be directed to know where to build and where not to build. Also, arising from this experience, there should emerge legislations directing persons affected by the flood to relocate to new pastures. Ancilliary to this, is a law that will enable federal and state governments to dedicate enough money annually to controlling disasters of this nature. This could be either in the appropriation laws or any other new legislation dedicated specially for such. The truth which must be told is that there is bound to be a reoccurrence. This is the sad but obvious reality. Our demographers must be trained to read the flow of the tide and warn of flooding early for prompt reaction. How would you appraise the judiciary with respect to the reforms embarked upon by the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher (rtd). Fortunately, I was a member of the Judicial Reform Stakeholders Committee and I was privileged to be part of the body that made far-reaching recommendations for the reform of the judiciary. Happily, the erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, was able to submit the recommendations to the National Assembly for Constitution amendments. I am supremely confident that if these recommendations are incorporated, the judiciary will certainly become the reference point for judicial integrity and activism. What reforms would you like the CJN, Aloma Miram Mukhtar to pursue given that she has only about two years to stay? Time is not the parameter for determining how far one can go in bequeathing a lasting legacy to succeeding generations. My Lord, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Miriam Alooma Murktar (GCON) was an integral part of the reforms proposed by the Supreme Court and, therefore, can affectively drive the process of reforms. Happily, she touched on the mostintricate issue that Nigeria populace will want to be addressed, that is corruption, when she unequivocally asserted that she will lead by example. So, if she is able to entrench judicial integrity, speedy dispensation of justice and information technology-driven administration of justice, then she would have left a lasting legacy for all time. My Lord, enjoys tremendous goodwill for many reasons and the expectation is that all men and women of goodwill will strive to ensure that her two years in office is as remarkable as it is successful. I want to enjoin members of the bar and bench to give her all the support she deserves to make her

tenure a memorable one. The institute recently mounted a progrmme on Judicial Tracking, what is its essence? It is an innovation of the institute and we consider it trail blazing and ground breaking. After an exhaustive consideration of the challenges of performance by judicial officers, the institute came to a conclusion that a good number of judicial officers appointed to the Bench were neither prepared nor mentally or physically equipped for service. The institute is of the view that there is a need to create a specialised judicial track training programme for lawyers desiring to seek appointment to the Bench. The specialised training is designed to prepare them mentally and otherwise for Bench. What is the nature of the training? The training will encompass auditing over 30 courses within four months. Within this period, there will also be practical exercises including judicial writing, spontaneous ruling and test of endurance. The third segment will include attachment to the chambers of judges where by the candidate will learn the rudiments of art of judging. There will also be opportunity to expose the candidates to practices in other jurisdictions and to the experiences of distinguished judges both locally and international. The highlight of this novel programme is the admission process that will require a background check on the family, schools attended, employment and general suitability of the candidate to pursue a career on the bench. The institute has moved to restate our Customary Law, what is this about and how do you intend to use

it to enrich our legal jurisprudence? The essence of restatement is to develop a body of jurisprudence on Customary Law that will be easily accessible and authoritatively cited in our courts. Though restatement may not have the binding force of law, all the same, it will be documented that a law is codified. Undoubtedly, this will be a milestone contribution to our customary law jurisprudence and will clearly elevate our customary law to a pedestal that will give it respectability and recognition all over the world. What amendments would you like to see in the Constitution to guarantee true federalism? As it has been repeatedly pointed out, the term “true federalism” is a political jargon designed to satisfy the thinking of those not properly grounded in the principle of federation. Each federation has its own peculiarities and each country determines the basis of its federalism. Constitutionally, the 1999 Constitution has encapsulated the ingredients of Nigeria’s federalism. However, there is the thinking that the centre as represented by the federal government seem to have cornered more powers than the federating states. Consequently, the proponents of devolution of power have argued for redistribution of powers in a manner that will rework the exclusive legislative list contained in the constitution. I support the removal of prisons, railways, weight and measures and marriage from the exclusive legislative list. I do not subscribe to any argument for establishment of State Police for now. But I support fully the total restructuring and rebuilding of Nigeria’s Police Force for efficiency and effectiveness.

COSON withdraws suit against Silverbird Communications


HE Copyright Society of Nigeria(COSON) has withdrawn the multi-million naira suit it filed in July against Silverbird Communications Limited over non-payment of royalties to artistes whose works are being used on its television and radio stations. The withdrawal of the suit was announced in Lagos by COSON helmsman Chief Tony Okoroji. Okoroji said Silverboard Communications opted for an out-of-court

By Adebisi Onanuga

settlement with COSON. It has accepted to enter into an agreement with the society on the payment of royalties to artistes. Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos last week, Okoroji said COSON sued Silverbird to compel it to pay royalties to artistes and other workers in the music industry whose works are being used daily on STV and Rhythm FM stations across the country.

“At COSON, litigation is not the first step in resolving dispute. Indeed, it is usually the last. We will not file a case against an infringer except we have taken other steps and find the infringer is obstinate”, he said. The COSON chairman remarked that music costs a lot of money to make and that it is through payment of royalties that some of the investment is recouped. “When the artiste is old and no longer at his peak, collective man-

agement is usually an important source of income”, he said. In his remarks, the Group President of Silverbird Communications, Mr Guy Murray Bruce said his organisation was not against payment of royalties to artistes but was only waiting to see which of the warring groups would be appointed the Collective Management Organisation(CMO). Bruce expressed delight that the mandate fell on COSON and promised to pay whatever royalty is due

to the artistes whose works are being used on his organisation’s stations. The Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, who was represented by Mr Chris Nkwocha, praised COSON and Silverbird Communications for being able to resolve the issue of royalties outside the court. He said the agreement between the two parties was an indication that those in the music industry can now be reaping the sweat of their labour.




Adekeye, a celebration of judicial excellence


OR Justice Olufunmilola O. Adekeye (JSC), the public presentation of her book, Justice O. O. Adekeye, Landmark Judgements, a compendium of her selected leading decisions at the Supreme Court, from where she will soon bow out after about 40 years of service, last week, was a celebration of judicial excellence in the service of humanity, unparalleled honour and integrity in the service of her fatherland. The editor of the book, Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN), said the book was not the complete works of Justice Adekeye (JSC), rather, it was a selection of her lead judgments. Her sterling qualities could easily be gleaned from the comments of those who know her and have possibly worked with her. In his welcome address, Chairman of the occasion and former Chair-

By John Austin Unachukwu

man of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) Justice Emmanuel Ayoola (JSC) (rtd) said a judge can be tested on four virtues: impartiality, resistance to both external and internal pressure, industry and learning. Justice Ayoola said Justice Adekeye (JSC) passed all these virtues with distinction. Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar (CJN) said: “My Lord, Hon. Justice O. O. Adekeye has had an unblemished and impressive career at the Bench spanning nearly four decades. This collection of some of her leading judgments is a fitting tribute to her diligence, sagacity and industry” Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) commented as

follows: “Justice Adekeye is not only learned in real sense and by factual definition of the word, but also, unarguably one of the most forthright thorough, delightful, hardworking, diligent, productive, dutiful, well-cultured and good mannered Justices ever produced by the Nigerian Bench” Dr. Alexander Izinyon (SAN) said: “Justice Adekeye is a quintessential courageous enigimatic and an epitome of a quiet jurist with a powerful pen. I salute her. Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama described Justice Adekeye as an embodiment of patience, firmness of mind, integrity, courage and profound intelligence; qualities I can readily attest to, having appeared before her severally. She

is really an asset to the Bench”. In his preamble before reviewing the book, Justice Chima Centus Nweze (JCA) said: “In the first place, I believe that I speak the minds of the conveners if I assert that they did not convene this august assemblage of personages for the usual kind of celebration characterized by evanescent jollities” “This is a peculiar kind of celebration, the celebration of an illustrious career spanning two score years of industry, of the studious application of the mental faculties by one jurist, a jurist who rose through the lowly rungs of the Magistracy to the apex court in Nigeria, the first female Justice of the Supreme Court from the South West of Nigeria” “I bear testimony to my lord,

Adekeye JSC’s unflinching diligence; disarming and endearing sagacity, breath-taking industry, unparalleled commitment to judicial ethos and consummate attachment to collegial camaraderie” Justice Nweze stated: “She was my first Presiding Justice (PJ) at the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal. My colleagues and I found her an amiable PJ, a dependable leader, a likeable mother and enviable model of judicial values. There is no gainsaying the obvious fact that my lord’s disposition to work while in that division was infectious” “ At another opportune occasion, we shall, God willing, articulate her role in shaping our collective and individual judicial attitudes. For now, I return to the book, the subject of this convocation”.

• From left: Prof Akinseye-George (SAN); Justice Ayoola (rtd); Prince Arthur Eze; Justice Adekeye and Justice Mukhtar (CJN) at the presentation of the book.

• From left: President, National Industrial Council, Justice Babatunde Adejomo; Gbolahan Gbadamosi and Muheeb Akomolafe

• From left: Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Abia State, Hon. Umeh Kalu and Country Vice-President, FIDA, Hauwa Shekarau

• From left: Chairman, NBA, Abuja branch, Mazi Afam Osigwe; Bisi Soyebo (SAN) and Chairman, FIDA Abuja branch, Iyabo Ogunseye.

• From left: Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Ogun State, Wemimo Ogunde; Justice K.B. Akaahs (JSC) and Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN).




• Prof Angwe and Wali (SAN) (middle) in a group photograph with NBA National officers and management staff of NHRC after the visit.

NBA, commission partner on protection of human rights


HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) last week in Abuja has partnered the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the protection, promotion and defence of human rights. The partnership was sealed when the NBA team led by the President of the association, Okey Wali (SAN) paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the Rights Commission (NHRC) in Abuja. Welcoming the NBA leadership to the Commission, the executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Ben Angwe praised Wali (SAN). Angwe said: ‘’Since I resumed work here as the Executive Secretary, I have not heard of or seen any serving president of the NBA visiting the commission, so with this historic visit, we have moved a step further in our efforts to promote, advance and ensure that the rights of Nigerians are respected by those in authority’’. He said: ‘’God will use us as instruments that can change the society for good.” He urged the NBA to deploy its resources of numbers, geographical spread, awareness and knowledge to make sure the rights of Nigerians are promoted

By John Austin Unachukwu

and protected. ‘’We need you more than you need us even though we are a government institution. NBA is stronger than us because it has a large followership, the commission is a strong partner, I urge the NBA to use the commission to promote the rule of law and ensure a better society. “We are partners in progress and the combination of our strengths and functions, will definitely advance the course of human rights and leave us as fulfilled and happy people’’. Angwe stated that President Goodluck Jonathan signed the amendment Act of the Commission into law and with this the powers, scope and jurisdiction of the commission has expanded and broadened. “The Commission now has power to review existing laws and recommend for the expunging of laws which are inconsistent with human right protection, promotion and enforcement’’. “The Commission can now review administrative actions, measures and policies of

government agencies and also recommend for the review of such actions and policies that are antithetical to the mandate of the Commission and protection of human rights. NHRC can now award damages and compensation which are enforceable by the courts in cases of human rights violation.” He regretted that today in Nigeria, nobody is insulated from rights abuse in the hands of law enforcement agents. He recalled the visit of the NHRC to the prisons in Lagos State where he gave the prisoners the opportunity to speak to the authorities because the NHRC represents the aspirations of Nigerians. ‘’The time has come for us to rise for our people, if there is no equality of rights for the citizens in the society, then what protection are you learning for your people when you are not there.” He stated that love for humanity is the only thing that will guarantee a better future for all of us and that the system we create today, is what will protect us in future. Angwe noted that over 70 percent of the people in Nigerian prisons are awaiting trial inamates,

Alex Ekwueme at 80 • Celebrating a life of distinction


R Alexander Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme (GCON) is no doubt a great son of Africa. In his native Nigeria , he is distinguished in many ways - his exemplary humility, his profound intellect and his personal contributions to the advancement of the common good. These are hallmarks of greatness. I first heard of his name from my father,Chief (Dr) F.C. Ogbalu (of blessed memory) sometime in 1979 when he extolled Dr Ekwueme's intellectual giftedness.Those were the early days of the National Party of Nigeria and my father was the NPN Senatorial Candidate for Awka zone.This brief statement just flashed through my mind but not without leaving some imprints. Three years later, while doing my National Youth Service in Jos, Plateau State, I was to come across some youth corpers who studied Architecture in the United States of America under the Scholarship Award Scheme of Dr Alex Ekwueme.Through them, I learnt that the scholarship was quite extensive [ in terms of the number of people covered ] and impersonal as some of them did not even know him personally. This depth of philantropy which had virtually nothing to do with personal pro-

By Dr Ije Jidenma

motion or advancement, struck me as something profound from a man of uncommon stock and bearing.He was later to singlehandedly build the 0ko Polytechnic at his hometown, Oko in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. This has been taken over by the Federal Government and is now known as the Federal Polytechnic Oko. This thread of self assurance based on inner conviction and determination seems to define his core personality .Alhaji Shehu Shagari, GCFR the first Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria couldn't have made a better choice of Vice President.As Chukwuma Soludo wrote in his recent treatise on Ekwueme,he was an intellectual power house in Alhaji Shehu Shagari's government,yet remained level-headed and most accommodating. Dr Ekwueme was publicly declared as leaving the office of the Vice President poorer than he came. Thus, he carved for himself a pedestal which many Nigerians living or dead could not lay claim to. He operated from a totally different paradigm; not given to squabbles or scrambles for our common wealth which greatly characterize

• Dr Ekwueme

the public office holders of today and even of his days. But Dr Ekwueme is not wealthaverse.He set up a highly successful professional services firm, Ekwueme and Associates on his return to Nigeria after his education and professional training in the United States of America and the United Kingdom.The multi-disciplinary firm of architects, quantity surveyors, urban planners etc was well established and a great proof that Africans can truly assume the commanding heights in the professions even in the construction industry which was hitherto dominated by expartriates. I can still recall with great nostalgia the return from London of an uncle of mine [ who left the shores of Nigeria the

some of whom have spent between 11 and 14 years in prison while awaiting trial. He said: ‘’When you detain a man for up to 14 years in prison without trial and you eventually release him, what level of compensation will make up for those years you detained and kept him in prison”. He regretted that when sentencing accused persons, judges don’t take the years spent in prison before sentence into consideration, rather such sentences start running from the date the judgment is delivered. Angwe urged the NBA President to turn all Nigerian lawyers into rights advocates. In his response, Wali (SAN) said: ‘’I have come with my team to partner with your commission for the benefit of Nigerians. The Nigerian Bar Association is for the masses and will always be on the side of the people. ‘’The NBA is for the people and we are determined to protect their rights at all times. Any office you occupy in life is for service and when you are in service, you don’t lord yourself over the people. ‘’The importance of the Commission cannot be overemphasized now in the light of se-

curity challenges and the actions of security agents is disturbing the NBA, so, the NBA has made up its mind that it needs to partner the NHRC to address this’’ He said: ‘’We have the quality assistance you need to enable you actualise your mandate, we have 100 branches across Nigeria covering every nook and cranny of this country. ‘’ The services of the NBA Human Rights Institute (HRI) is available for you , the services of NBA Human Rights Committees in all our branches are also available. Therefore, we look forward to a very strong and purposeful NHRC to protect the interest of Nigerians. As lawyers, we owe it a duty to Nigerians to make sure their rights are not only protected, but also promoted and enforced. “We must seize every opportunity to remind the government of its duties with respect to this together with problems of the awaiting trial inmates and other aspects of our National life. We expect a closer relationship with you, so feel free to call us whenever you need us, we are ready to work with you,” Wali said.

year of my birth ] Mr C.C. Chidebelu, a Quantity Surveyor, to join the firm in the late seventees. This is a good example of dilligence and dignity of labour with the inevitable fall out of wealth which is totally different from the prevailing mentality of 'sharing of the so called national cake' to the sheer detriment of the societal fabrics. Dr Ekwueme's personality deserves to be studied.Despite the great loss he suffered through the military intervention and unfair detention for over ten years,he braced up when our country was tottering during the Abacha years to come up with the G34 that later metamorphosed into the People's Democratic Party, PDP. Ekwueme, it was ,that first came up with the six geographical zonal structure proposal which was to fundamentally change the conception and perception of the geographical structure of the Nigerian state. Few men in history, have had the singular priviledge of successfully initiating profound changes such as this. I personally believe that Dr Ekwueme belongs to the annals of thought leaders even though he has somewhat managed to be part of both the think-tank and the players. Me thinks, his personality fits more into the former than the later. The culture of impunity that has pervaded the Nigerian political firmament has often left our Alex an outsider (or at best at the margins) from

the 'houses' he had conceived and built. But better to be at the fringes than to be contaminated .He had severally served as the moral compass of his party,the PDP where he had served as the Chairman of the Party and its Chairman of the Board of Trustees . Dr Ekwueme's lasting legacy by and large may actually be centred on the personality he brought to bear on Nigerian politics.An extremely humble man in the mould of two great Africans, the late Mwalumi, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Dr Ekwueme belongs to the class of philosopher kings , 'Nnukwu Onye nkuzi'. His degrees in five or six different disciplines attest to the premium he places on knowledge. I cannot conclude this tribute to Dr Alex Ekwueme, the Ide of Orumba, Anambra State without acknowledging how his path and that of my late husband,Arc Goddy Jidenma crossed.He was a great role model to him and interacted with him at a close range.I believe that Goddy would have played a greater role than this at Ide's 80th birthday were he to be around. Finally, by a providential twist, Ide's birth anniversary, October 21 is the death anniversary of my father. Happy birthday Ide and many happy returns of the day . • Dr Ije Jidenma, Executive Secretary-Goddy Jidenma Foundation,GJF.




Defamation of Ojora of Ijora: Court rules septugenarian has case to answer


LAGOS Magistrate Court, Yaba has dismissed a nocase submission filed by a septuagenarian, Chief Fasaasi A. Olorunlogbon, in a defamatory matter involving the Ojora of Ojora, Oba Fatai Aromire. The trial Magistrate, Mrs Oyin Ogala, in a ruling rejected the nocase submission of the defendant and held that Olorunlogbon has a case to answer. Olorunlogbon is facing a twocount charge bordering on giving false information and defamation of Oba Aromire. The prosecutor, Mr Cyril Mba, had alleged that Olorunlogbon, sometimes in June 2011 at Orile, gave false information to the Inspector-General of Police, which led to the arrest and detention of the monarch. Mba also alleged that the defendant caused a defamatory matter to be published against the monarch. He said the offence contravened

By Adebisi Onanuga

sections 125A(1)(b) and 375 of the Criminal Code, Cap 17, Vol. 11, Laws of Lagos State 2003. The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the two count charge and entered a no case submission in the matter. During trial, Mba called two witnesses and tendered a number of exhibits. However, rather than open his defence at the conclusion of the case of the prosecution, Olorunlogbon opted to file a nocase-submission. In an application, Olorunlogbon had told the court that the property lying and being at 3, Ogungbesan Street, Orile, Lagos; No. 6 and 7, Alhaja Adebowale Street, Orile, Lagos as well as 33, Alafia Street, Orile belong to him, submitting that there is unchallenged evidence before the court, which amounted to an admission. On the charge of writing a petition to the Inspector General of

Police where he reportedly defamed the royal father, Chief Olorunlogbon insisted that his decision to seek redress at the door step of the top echelon of the police cannot amount to defamation, but an exercise of his legal rights. But the trial magistrate Oyin Ogala, after considering the submissions of the prosecution and defendant and the position of the law, said: “The issue for determination is whether or not the prosecution had been able to make out a prima facie case against the defendant in respect of the charges proferred against him requiring him to make a defence”. Citing several decided cases, magistrate Ogala held that there is a ground for further proceeding in respect of the two count charges. “The submission of no case is, therefore, rejected by the court in respect of counts 1 and 2 which the defendant stands faced with. The defendant is now called upon to state his defence”, magistrate Ogala ruled.

Abuja demolition: Falana petitions NHRC


HE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has been urged to conduct an investigation into the recent demolition of Minanuel Investment Limited’s 372 houses by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to avoid a bridge of the company’s rights. Rights activist Femi Falana (SAN), who wrote the sevenparagraph letter stating the company’s position, said the demolition of his client’s houses valued at N2 billion was illegal and unjustifiable. He accused the FCDA demolition his client’s properties out of malice even as he maintained that other estates in the area were spared in the selective and discriminatory demolition exercise. Citing Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Human Rights Charter, Falana the FCDA violated his client’s right to fair hearing and took the law into its hands as it constituted itself into the complainant, the witness, judge and executioner of its own judgment. He said: “Our client is the owner of plots ED 1425, 1427, 1428, 1429 AND 1430 located at Kyami District, Lugbe Extension 1, along Airport Road, Abuja, which were acquired in 2004 from the Abuja Municipal Area Coun-

By Precious Igbonwelundu

cil (AMAC). “Our client was granted building approval by AMAC. He commenced and has completed the construction of 226 units of two-bedroom semidetached bungalows and 146 units of three-bedroom detached bungalows on the said plots. “Based on the recent purported allocation of our client’s property to the members of the National Assembly, the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory dispatched its armed agents who invaded our client’s estate and demolished the 372 housing units therein from September 29-30. “Without the issuance of a stop work order or any notice whatsoever, the Ministry engaged in wanton demolition of the houses which had been completed and ready for occupation by the various subscribers who had paid for the houses. “Our client’s properties valued at over N2 billion were destroyed out of malice as other estates in the area have been spared in the selective and discriminatory demolition exercise.” Falana said the illegal demolition of his client’s housing estate cannot be justified in view of the case of SERAC vs Federal Republic of Nigeria (2002) where the court upheld an individual’s right to shelter or housing in accordance with Articles

14, 16 and 18(1) of the Charter. He therefore urged the NHRC to investigate the circumstance with a view to ensuring that his client’s fundamental rights to fair hearing and property as well as freedom from discrimination are protected. However, the Director, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Development Control unit, Yahaya Yusuf, said the houses demolished in the estate were illegal structures Yusuff explained that the demolition became inevitable due to the recalcitrant attitude of the estate developer who continued to build on the plot of land based on back dated title documents from AMAC. He noted that AMAC allocation stopped being legal documents in 2004 while the building plan approval from AMAC also elapsed in 2006. Yusuff said even after an advertisement by the FCTA that developers should stop encroaching on lands meant for other purpose for mass housing, several developers failed to yield. His words: “Failure of the estate developers to heed the advertorials prompted the department to commence removal of such illegal structures. “We will not condone this act because these buildings are illegal, the developer was not supposed to erect buildings here,” he said.

NBA inaugurates committees tomorrow


HE Nigerian Bar Association NBA will tomorrow, at its secretariat, Abuja, inaugurate three committees to fast-rack the activities and programmes of the Okey Wali (SAN) administration. The committees to be inaugurated are the Legislative Advocacy working Group (LAWG) which has Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN) as the chairman and Arthur Obi Okafor (SAN) as alternate chairman. The committee on the review of

the 1999 Constitution has the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Edo State, Charles Edosomwan (SAN) as chairman while Chief Augustine Alegeh (SAN) retains his chairmanship of the Data Base Committee. In a telephone chat with The Nation, Wali said it has become imperative to inaugurate the aforementioned committees because of the urgent demand for their activi-

ties. He said the constitution is under review and the participation of the NBA in the process cannot be over-emphasised. Wali said the need to inaugurate the Data Base Committee was based on the fact that we need to know exactly how many we are and who is where, so that we accurately plan, budget and implement programmes and policies that will positively affect everybody.

Legal Dairy

Law and Development Lecture This year’s Law and Social Development lecture organised by Bamidele Aturu & Co will hold on October 29 at the Banquet Hall, Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, by 11 a.m. Topic: Social security: Taking the lives of Nigerians seriously.

Lawyers hold conference Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) will hold CLASFON South west Regional Conference from November 1 to 3, 2012 at the Royal Shekinah Hotel, Ilorin, Kwara State. Theme: The Trials and Triumph of our Faith. The conference would feature professional seminars, legal practice workshops and fellowship picnics

NBA to hold conference

The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Legal Practice (SLP) will hold its sixth Annual General Conference. Date: November 13 to 15, 2012. Venue: Jogor Centre, Liberty Road, Ibadan, Oyo State. Theme: Raising the Bar, International Best Practices in Legal Practice


with gabriel AMALU

Nature’s fury adds to mis-governance


Y the number of President Goodluck Jonathan’s beneficiaries of the flood disaster intervention fund, nearly all the 36 states are affected by the flood that has made further mincemeat of our disabled Federal Republic of Nigeria. Shamelessly, despite the billions of naira spent over the years on Operation Feed the Nation, to build tens of dams and idle silos, to empower tens of river basin authorities and to run a bloated federal Ministry of Agriculture headed by bow-tie wearing Ministers, Nigerians should brace up for serious food crisis next year. Considering our disability in normal times, arising from corruption and incompetence of our political leaders, Nigeria once again showed her unpreparedness for any natural disaster. From Bayelsa and Rivers states through Anambra and Delta to Kogi and Benue states, all the major food belt states abutting the over flowing rivers Niger and Benue, and several other adjourning states are having their days under the water. Several of the affected states were also buffeted by predicted intensive rain. As many internally displaced Nigerians affected by this calamity will confess, the idea of hell as only a burning fire may not be entirely correct. No doubt, for them, too much water can be hell also. Imagine an entire house, furniture, food, cars, books, electronics and even lives, submerged in water. You have everything today, and then suddenly tomorrow, the flood sweeps everything away and you become a beggar, in a country ruled by predators. As the federal government’s 2013 budget proposal shows, no lessons have been learnt. The occupants of Aso Rock are determined to enjoy their second chance, apologies to Dame Patience Jonathan, as much as they enjoyed their first chance. They and their friends are still engaged in a feeding frenzy, budgeting nearly a billion to feed the families of Mr. President and the Vice President. While billions of naira was budgeted for power generators this year, several billions of naira is again budgeted for the same generators next year. Never mind that Mr. President promised to cut down on his wasteful travels; he has gone ahead to increase the budget for next year’s junketing. At the end of the day, the recurrent expenditure is more than 70per cent of the budget, leaving nearly nothing for capital expenditure; and yet promises were made in the past to reverse this trend. Again shamelessly those who misled President Jonathan to disengage Prof Barth Nnaji, from his duty post at the Ministry of Power based on spurious allegations have quickly shared our common power patrimony amongst themselves. For them, the definition of conflict of interest must come with a prefix - applicable to others and not to us. While selling off the electricity distribution companies, they never bothered that some of the beneficiaries who offered to buy the legacy companies have serious questions to answer for their stewardship in power. Just like the infamy that underpins the several unsuccessful attempts to sell Nigeria’s telecommunications company, NITEL, this sale is likely to falter, and while the consumers suffer, they will go back to their beloved NEPA contracts, to continue to hemorrhage our common resources. For them, head or tale, they gain. Most of the states affected by flood will be in for a huge shock when a report of how much has been spent to cater for the displaced persons is rendered. Many of the Governors and federal officials will use the opportunity of the flood disaster to further steal from the scarce state resources, and any talk about whether their conscience will prick them to do it right, is like hoping to stop rigging in elections. Unfortunately most of the Governors remain unaccountable to neither the state assemblies nor the people. For this group, the resources of the state are theirs to spend as they please. These are the group that use such abnormal words as ‘my money’, when referring to the money belonging to the state, and who treat their commissioners and state officials as errand boys. As recently exemplified in Kogi, a group of lawless members of the state house of assembly with the apparent connivance of the state Governor shamelessly in disregard of the constitutional provisions, purportedly sacked the Speaker of the state assembly and other principal officers. The ordinary folks in turn borrow a leaf from their lawless power elites. For purportedly stealing sundry items, some idle and disgruntled people of Aluu community in Rivers state, turn themselves to jury and executioners, beating and burning to death, four young persons living in their community. Now that a film of the mindless murder is broadcast across the Internet, the shame is that of every Nigerian, as the international community will be wandering, what manner of people inhabits this part of the world. Again the blood thirsty members of Boko Haram and their allies in the Northern part of the country are continuing their efforts to turn that area of the country to a waste land. From the Mubi Polytechnic to the churches and the streets, the mindless murders of innocent Nigerians remain their pride. Of course all these in addition to the ugly business of kidnapping in the Southern part of Nigeria. In all this, the state security agencies remain overwhelmed. President Jonathan mimicking power and influence recently went to Mali to promise that the ECOWAS leaders will restore sanity in the northern part of that country. Yet he is unable to heal his own country of the same ailment. As the resurfaced President’s wife rightly said, there is a chance for a new beginning; and the way to go about it is to become sober and restore sanity to public governance; more so as nature’s fury seems on the rise across the world.




• Director General, NIALS, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN) and Chief Tony Idigbe (SAN)

•Prof. Paul Obo Ilornigie (right) and Chief Joshua Alobo

• Adejoke Adeniran and Lilian Uche

• Barrister Temilolu Olayiwolo and Dr Peter Olayiwola

•AO Mmbakwe and Odum Henry

• Sophie Udoh and John Tawe

• Mbajiorgu Kenechukwu and Oluchi Nwakaego Azoro

• Ete John and Osatohanmwon Nkiruka

• A presenter, Dr. Fatima Waziri Azi(right) and Shamayula Tersoo Samuel

• Gloria Nwanu and Ogochukwu Mgbakogu




EFCC, ICPC to prosecute fake document printers


HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have vowed to prosecute any printing firm which engages in production of fake documents as a way of tackling corruption. The agencies said they would work with the chartered Institute of Professional Printers (CIPPON), which regulates printing in the country, to identify printers who are not registered and who engage in crime. EFCC chairman Ibrahim Lamorde and his ICPC counterpart Ekpo Nta spoke at the 52nd Independence Anniversary Lecture organised by CIPPON and the Federal Ministry of Information in Lagos last week. It had the theme: Transformation Agenda: Fighting against Corruption; Generating Employment through Printing. Larmode, represented by Mr Osita Nwajah, said the fight against fake documents printing began with the raiding of the Oluwole market on September 1, 2005, where over 40,000 fake international passports, 50,000 assorted bank cheque books, thousands of travellers cheques, fake certificates, among others were seized. “Fraudsters destroy the country’s image abroad,” he said, urging CIPPON to report to security agencies once it has reasonable suspicion about questionable print job orders. “The EFCC is ready to work with you in ensuring that the problem of fake documents printing is brought to an end.” According to him, it is only when printing outfits are properly categorised that effective monitoring of their activities can be achieved. “For example, all members who fail to register should have their businesses closed,” Lamorde said. The EFCC boss said part of CIPPON’s criteria for registration should involve an undertaking by members that any fictitious entry brought by them for production must be reported to the institute. He added: “CIPPON should ensure that the full identities of the customer ordering a job is recorded including phone numbers and existing and verifiable addresses as a precondition for taking up printing jobs. This is more like the printers’ version of the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regime governing financial institutions. “It should also be made mandatory that all publications should carry the names and addresses of the printing outfit. CIPPON should embark on rigorous public enlightenment campaign. “Members of the public should also be informed that only accredited members of the institute should be patronised. Any printing outfit not displaying the membership certification of the institute should be reported to the law enforcement agencies. “A Printers’ Code of Ethics should be developed and circulated among all members and failure to abide by the ethics should be followed with sanctions. The institute

• From left: Lawal; Secretary/Acting Registrar Mallam N.I. Mohammed Abubakar and Oshunbiyi, who represented Maku.

• From left: Director of Re-branding, Ministry of Information, Jimoh Lawal; Representative of Minister of State, Trade and Investment Steven Amase and Nwajah, who represented EFCC Chairman, Lamorde

• Director, Lagos Operations, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Alhaji Bola Agboola; Head of ICPC, Lagos, Binga, who represented ICPC Chairman and Mrs Odutola, who represented Governor Babatunde Fashola. By Joseph Jibueze

can also introduce the pasting of large information posters that read for example: ‘We don’t print counterfeit products here,’ which should be seen at the business premises of all members. “Members should be encouraged to report all suspicious job orders to appropriate authorities.” Nta, represented by the Head, ICPC Lagos, Mr Shintema Binga,

said the commission would collaborate with CIPPON to prosecute acts of corruption in the printing industry. “ICPC is fully prepared to collaborate with CIPPON to ensure that corruption in whatever form in the printing industry is dealt with,” he said. CIPPON President and Chairman-in-Council, Mr Wahab A.O Muhammed Lawal, urged the government and all print buyers to cre-

ate a level-playing ground by complying with the Printers’ Act. He decried capital flight of printing jobs to foreign countries, saying it would continue to be the bane of increasing printing capacity if not checked. He added: “It is shameful to print textbooks outside the country for our children to read. How do you grow the economy?” Lawal said there would be more investment in the printing industry if the government patronises local

printers more, urging print buyers to go through the institute to identify printers who can guarantee security of materials, quality and timely delivery. On how stakeholders can abide by the CIPPON Act (2007), Lawal said: “CIPPON licence and certificates should form a part of the criteria for bidding for printing jobs, all over Nigeria. “CIPPON letter of introduction/ approval should be an acceptable means of identification to register printing business names by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and to open bank accounts. “Customs and Excise, Immigration and embassies should request for the institute’s letter of identification before clearing printing equipment, materials and approving travel documents, etc. “In case of a situation warranting capital flight of printing jobs, it must be by the institute’s licensed printing houses, while the institute must confirm the inability of such printing houses to execute the print order in Nigeria.” Information Minister Labaran Maku, represented by the ministry’s Director of Publications, Mr Olufela Oshunbiyi, said there is need to assist the printing industry with “a deliberate soft loan policy” by the Bank of Industry to stimulate investment in the sector, adding that a National Printing Industry Fund could also be created for easy access by investors. “Given the fact that Nigeria’s Gross Annual Expenditure on school books alone currently hovers around N100 billion, not to mention other print products, there is no doubt that the development of the printing sector will prevent perennial capital flight and keep trillions of naira within the economy,” Maku said. On corruption, he said: “It would be recalled that the recent controversy over subsidy fraud involved similar fake waybills and related invoices and receipts that were print-related. “Indeed, I believe the EFCC and ICPC should have and demonstrate greater interest in the coordination and development of the printing industry in order to enhance and catalyse the ongoing fight against corruption in Nigeria.” Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom, represented by Mr Steven Amase, said his ministry’s new strategy is to pursue a policy framework that would mobilise foreign direct investment and domestic investments for growth in the critical sectors, including the printing industry. “Government is coming up with an option of first refusal to indigenous companies in any local billings. A bill to this effect is already at the National Assembly and when passed, members of CIPPON stand to benefit immensely,” he said. Also at the event was Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information, Mrs Oluranti Odutola, who represented Governor Fashola (SAN).

Chief magistrate enters witness box on theft charges against judiciary workers


LAGOS Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Sherifat Iyabode Sonaike entered the witness box as a prosecution witness in an ongoing fraud case against two workers of the Lagos State judiciary, Mrs Bukola Adeosun and Mrs Funmilayo Kazeem Mrs Adeosun and Mrs Kazeem were arraigned before a Lagos State High Court by the government for perpetrating fraud while working as cashiers in the Probate section of the Lagos judiciary between the year 2007 and

By Adebisi Onanuga

2008 At the resumed trial of the defendants before Justice Lateefa Okunnu, Magistrate Sonaike who presides over an Ibeju Lekki court, stated that she got wind of the fraud on October 24, 2008 while serving as the Head of Probate of the Lagos state judiciary both at the Ikeja and Igbosere court premises. According to her, another staff, Alhaja Sanusi who was the direct supervisor of the defendants came

to inform her that they found anomalities in a file that Adreosun whose main job is to move files from one office to the other worked on. Magistrate Sonaike explained that a treasury cash receipt found in one of the files on October 24 was post dated to October 28, an act which she said does not conform with usual practice. She explained that when confronted, the defendant first denied knowledge of the act but later confessed to committing the crime.

The magistrate said a close scrutiny of files found on the defendant’s desk revealed that there were so many anomalities. “I moved all files in her desk to my office and noticed many anomalities in them and so many receipts in her handwriting. I took the files home to look through and discovered that contrary to the laid down procedure, the receipts were not carbonized. “Some receipts booklets were missing and the amount recorded on some was different from what

was recorded in the court records. “So I made a formal report and the Chief Registrar was instructed to inform the police through a petition and she was later arrested” she said. Magistrate Sonaike added that she does not know when the second defendant, Mrs. Kazeem was arrested as her name never came up until the police started investigations and the first defendant named her as an accomplice. Hearing in the matter will continue today.




Bakassi: Aftermath of the 10th anniversary of the ICJ judgment


HE 10th anniversary of the judgment of the International Court of Justice on October 10, 2012 is a watershed in Nigeria’s loss of the Peninsula to Cameroon. The song of nunc dimitis echoed in Cross River State prompting bitterness, anguish, sorrow, and other forms of emotional outburst to envelop the land. It is time for stakeholders to consider options available to Nigeria (and the Bakassi people) in the light of the ultimate reality – that Bakassi Peninsula is part and parcel of Cameroonian territory. I do not want to accept that there are no remediation measures, hence we should study and implement some or all of the options suggested in this piece. Nigeria should invoke the relevant provisions of the Green Tree Agreement in order to protect the fundamental human rights of Nigerians staying in the Peninsula and present a catalogue of violations of this bilateral treaty to the Nigeria-Cameroon Mixed Commission during their next meeting and follow them up for remediation. Nigeria should propose to Cameroon to purchase the Peninsula just as the United States purchased Alaska from Russian Empire in 1867 (This option has remote possibility of success because such purchases are rare in modern times especially where the place in question contains oil, the black gold). Nigeria should make representations to the United Nations Hu-

By Chukwuemeka Eze

man Rights Commission (UNHRC) and the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the human rights situation of the Bakassi people in Cameroon. The Bakassi people should be properly settled in Day Springs 1 & 2, Kwaa Islands, and Akpabuyo L.G.A. of Cross River State in line with the position of Senator Florence Ita Giwa. The Federal Government should build a new city for the people and cause President Jonathan to visit them in their Resettlement Camp in Akpabuyo L.G.A. and assure them that even though they have lost a substantial part of their territory, Nigeria will provide adequately for their welfare and security as provided for in section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution. The National Assembly should propose and pass a Bill known as Bakassi People Welfare Bill, 2012 that will empower the Executive to provide a special interventionist programme similar to the Amnesty Programme so as to divert the energy and anger of the people to positive ends. Nigeria should request for Advisory Opinion from the ICJ pursuant to section 65, Chapter IV of the ICJ Statute, on the vexed issue of whether there should be a Plebiscite in Bakassi to determine their preference whether to be with Cameroon or Nigeria just as it was done in Southern Cameroon in 1961.

Recently, the Republic of Kosovo sought and obtained an Advisory Opinion from the ICJ on the legality of its unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008. The Court advised that the independence declaration did not violate general international law. But this is not to say that Bakassi people should declare independence but that Nigeria should approach the ICJ for Advisory Opinion. The circumstances of Bakassi and that of Kosovo are entirely different. Any attempt by Bakassi people to declare independence from Cameroon may suffer a still birth like the case of Northern Cyprus, which, with the connivance of Turkey, declared unilateral independence from Cyprus, and the same was declared illegal by the United Nations Security Council in 1983. Recalling that the ICJ upheld Cameroon’s reliance on uti possidetis juris (that is, possession of territory based on colonial boundaries as established by treaties) as against Nigeria’s reliance on historical consolidation of title as regards the ICJ judgment in the Nigeria and Cameroon Land and Maritime Dispute ceding Bakassi to Cameroon. Therefore, a re-visitation of that judgment would have failed woefully. Bakassi, in the circumstances, has limitations to press its case as it has not satisfied the attributes of a State under international law as provided for in the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States (1933), which are that a State

• Eze

should possess: • A permanent population (Bakassi people are supposedly less than 60,000 people in population. They speak Efik and they can be said to have a permanent population); • A defined territory (For a long time, the delimitation of their territory had not materialised. But with the ICJ Judgment and the assistance of the United Nations to the boundary commissions of Nigeria and Cameroon, it is easier now to say that it has a defined territory but under international law, Bakassi may not successfully canvass this position of having a defined territory); • Government (This head does not favour Bakassi people because it was only the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria

that created Bakassi as a local government and this is not sufficient to conclude that Bakassi has a government that can be a player in the international domain); • Capacity to enter into diplomatic relations with other States (Certainly, Bakassi scores zero on this point. It does not have even the remotest capacity to enter into diplomatic relations with other States). These attributes are conjunctive and not disjunctive. It will, therefore, amount to daydreaming to think that Bakassi, under the prevailing circumstance, can rely on the right to self-determination contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Education, Social and Cultural Rights, United Nations Declaration on Right to Self-Determination, and the UN General Assembly Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to win back their territory from Cameroon regard being had to the overriding principle of territorial integrity of States under international law. So, the best way forward is for Nigeria to effectively rehabilitate the Bakassi people quartered in Camp in Cross River State, ensure the protection of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians still resident in the Peninsula through diplomatic manoeuvring and proceed to the International Court of Justice for an Advisory Opinion, a measure not caught up by the 10-year time bar for which ICJ judgments are susceptible to. In this manner, Bakassi would have been lost and won.

Re: Among Achebe, Awo, Zik, Balewa and Ahmadu Bello


HIEF Duro Onabule’s piece published in his column, DURO ONABULE TODAY, on page 23 of the Daily Sun of Friday, October 12, 2012 on the reaction of Awo’s “disciples” to Chinua Achebe’s book titled “There was a country” is not only the most objective comment on the subject so far but the most dispassionate. One is not so surprised considering his independent mindedness and ‘iconoclastic’ tendency. Before the vilification of his person by those who are more ‘Awoist’ than Awolowo begins, I humbly commend him for standing out in the crowd. Although it is difficult to believe, I am a very keen admirer of Awo, and I am still enamoured by his free education policy in the old Western Region and his 4-cardinal programme in the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) dispensation. I read about the former in books but I was a witness of the latter. Awo’s articulation of the 4-Car-

By Chukwuemeka Eze

dinal programme is yet to be equalled more than twenty years after UPN used it as mantra in political campaigns and governance. Not even the caricatures of today by our political parties as represented in the various 7-Point Agenda, 11-Point Agenda, or 15Point Agenda are comparable to the political conception of Pa Awo. It beats my imagination, however, that majority of the self-acclaimed supporters (or better called ‘disciples’) of the sage, their level of education or standing in the society notwithstanding, thinks that Awo lived an infallible life; that he was a man that had no Achilles heel. Blind followership of a leader is only comprehensible in religion. Great men like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Ghandi have been known to possess human foibles and committed slips that will only overshadowed by their great

deeds. Awo, therefore, cannot be different. Chief Onabule confirmed in his piece that Awo was widely reported in both the local and international media as saying that starvation was a legitimate weapon of war. If this be so, what critics of Achebe should do first is to study these published materials to confirm whether Awo actually made the statement or performed the act ascribed to him in Achebe’s book before shouting, “Crucify him”. I have also noticed a fallacy of faulty generalisation where some commentators have concluded that Achebe’s description of Awo’s Civil War role as an expression of his hatred for Yorubas! This imputation by persons who should know better, including some elders, who should have applied restraint in their comments, is quite unfortunate, egregious, and opportunistic. Onabule’s painstaking analysis of the issue has served as a balm on the fireworks from the opposing sides on the issue at

hand. Meanwhile, permit me to bring to Chief Onabule’s notice some errors or incorrectness of facts of history in his beautiful piece. I refer him to the statement: “…culprit Bosnia leaders were later tried at International Criminal Court, Hague for crimes against humanity. Ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor was also tried in the same court for alleged crimes against humanity in the Sierra Leone civil war.” The correct position is that the culprit Serbian leaders were tried at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sitting at the Hague while Charles Taylor was tried by the Special Court for Sierra Leone that sat at the Hague also. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has never put any European, American or Asian on trial. Only Africans have been referred to and indicted in this Court but this certainty excludes

Charles Taylor. Moreover, the ICTY was established in 1993 while the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court came into force in 2002. Before I sign off, I want to remind critics of Achebe’s book of the words of Antjie Krog in his book, Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa (Times Book Random House, 1998) 112, “If the truth is to be believed in this country, it must perhaps be written by those who bear the consequences of the past.” Indubitably, Igbos bear the consequences of starvation as a weapon of war and if the truth is to be believed in this country, the story of starvation as a weapon of war is best written by a credible Igbo man, and the lot has fallen on Achebe. So, why don’t we believe him (except we have superior facts)? • Chukwuemeka Eze is a Lagosbased legal practitioner.

• Members of Onitsha branch, NBA with NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN) (middle), during the wedding of Okey Wali’s daugther Oroma Frances and Olukayode Azeez in Port Harcourt last week.



LAW PERSONALITY Prince Adesegun Ajibola (SAN) is a chip off the old block . His father is a well respected former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, a former panel member of the International Court of Justice, Hague. Ajibola (SAN), in this interview with ADEBISI ONANUGA, expresses his views on some national issues begging for resolution.

‘Let the court make pronouncement to resolve Salami issue’


OW did you get into legal practice? The idea of going into the legal profession came from my father, Prince Bola Ajibola. I am what I am today because he molded me. Today, I speak of the legal profession as I refer to the idea of home training. Hardly could any of us avoid the impact or the idea, flavour or the taste or the smell of the legal profession in our house because my father monitored what we do. We could not help but be affected and influenced by his activities as a lawyer particularly when he became the NBA President and later the Attorney General of the Federation. So growing up, one is always influenced by what is around him. So I grew up in an environment in which the legal profession was thriving. Did you start by reading law or your interest was in another discipline? No, I did not start by reading law. My first love was actually music. My father was not fond of that. He really tried, dialogued, encouraged and directed me to become another thing. As I grew up, I realised if I really want to be his friend, I better find my way back into the law profession. How has it been in the legal profession? It has been challenging, intriguing, interesting, inspiring, rewarding and fulfilling. When I read what they are reading, when I look at it in Naira and Kobo, in terms of the working experience one has gathered, the exposure it has given me, the recognition I have and the name. When I look at all this, it is a God sent vocation for me. What have been your dull moments in the course of practising this profession? The profession exists as one among others in the world and as part of human endeavour, so there would be dull, be upsetting, disappointing moments. The law profession is not an exception. I dare say there are more ups and downs in law than I can imagine in any other profession but one tends to live with it and overcome one challenge and move on to the other. Of the cases you have handled so far, which one would you say has been the most challenging? Well, they all have their challenges. If I am to put them on a scale, it would be difficult for me to weigh because each case has its own demands and challenges. So, all cases are equally challenging either in terms of preparation for those cases, in terms of challenges in the court, in terms of enforcing the award of judgement you get from the cases in court, in terms of the challenges of the other parties and in terms of the challenges of the third party. There are so much multi-dimentional challenges that beset different cases. So, it would be unprofessional of me to portray one case as one not able to deal with. I think the beauty of the number of them, as I said earlier, is that one is able to meet those challenges and overcome them. No lawyer would tell you that they win all their cases because all the facts are not going to be in your favour. Even if they are, those who decide those matters, the judges, they don’t have the runs of the ladder of administration of justice in the country. Again, there are cases when you are on the border line. Nevertheless, you lose them and you wonder how that came to be. But then it is part of the ups and downs in the administration of justice that one has come to know over the years. Can you recall what your first day in court was like? Before my first day in court as a lawyer, I had the priviledge and honour of visiting a number of courts over the years either on my own out of interest or with my father on a number of occasions. I used to watch the pleadings and I took from that particularly when the Gani Fawehinmi and Akilu cases came up. I took particular interest in going to those courts regularly to watch those cases as much as I could. So in my mind, I had already began to rehearse my first day in court before I was called to the Bar. When I was called to the bar, I had to appear in one of my first cases, I found it a bit slow from the rehearse I had done at home to the reality in which I found myself as a lawyer in court for the first time. Often times, one has trepidations and anxiety of falling into errors for the first time and making nonsense of the case. At the beginning, it was a bit tricky but as time went by, one was able to take control of himself.

How would you rate governance in Nigeria? Poor. Certainly poor and very unfortunately poor. Having said so, I would not dismiss the general efforts as if nothing had been going on at all. There have been some efforts here and there but a number of them have come a bit too late. Most of it are insufficient and inadequate to deal with and we can see this reflected in every aspect of our lives, be it in security, in power and in all kinds of infrastructure. But then, there is a bright side which keeps us going and hopeful that things can get better. But in my own assessment, having lived most part of my life in this country, particularly in Lagos as I have said, I think the act of governance has been poor and this has been proved in recent times when you look at the style of governance particularly in this environment in Lagos. When you look at it in terms of the number of states in the south zone, one has a few reference points. But the reason why we don’t appreciate a lot of what is going on now is because things have gone so bad for too long. It has let people down and that is why there is so much apathy across the country. That apathy is an indictment on the kind of governance we’ve experienced over time. What is your take on corruption and insecurity in the country? I don’t think there is any country in the world where there is insecurity or corruption. I think in other clime, the credit they have been getting in that society is that they have been able to manage their own far better than we have. Look at the international transparent index, in their ratings, they said some countries are better off in their management of corruption against some other countries. This doesn’t mean that there is no iota of practice of corruption in those countries. But in this country, corruption has almost become a way of life. I must say it is a bastardisation of our own culture. Generally and internationally in this part of the world, expressing your gratitude to people in cash and kind was also the traditional way of doing things without any intention to corrupt you or induce you or to gratify you for giving them an unfair mandate. It is that culture that we bastardise that we now turn into what we now know as this corrupt practices and we have extended it beyond the scope. It has become one of the most dangerous problems affecting the society So, that is a major problem on our hand at this point in time and all efforts to tackle it is just breeding a higher version of that corruption. You have all the indexes in place. What is the way out of corruption? I think it requires the collective and concerted efforts of all of us. These agencies obviously will never, in my own views, be able to deal with the problem as dilligently as we may wish to. All we would have happening is that they would be busy and there would be more and more corrupt people being apprehended for one reason from time to time. Our courts will become congested, more people will be locked up, a lot will escape and the system will get bugged down eventually. So I think good governanace, proper reorientation or reorientation of our people will curb that and particular efforts to reduce poverty. The new Lagos state Chief Judge passed into law the Lagos Civil Rule 2012 which is geared in a way to decongest the prisons. What is your view on this civil rule? The idea of the alternative dispute resolution(ADR) process has been in the offing for quite some time, even long before the High Court 2004 Civil Rules was incorporated into the agenda and a number of private businesses now insert arbitrary clauses into their agreement and opt out of the general processes of taking them to court for donkey years. At the end of it, there might not even be any favourable adjudication because of the congestion and all the red tapes

• Ajibola (SAN)

and bureacracy that comes with the problems that judiciary has. And because of the need to fast track commercial transactions and settle disputes which regulary arises, people found out that to file applications in particular, has alternative means of doing so. Basically, my understanding is that it would decongest the volume of cases in the judiciary. I welcome the idea and I think the development posed to 2004 Rules in the new rules is that it has now given our judges the power to determine which cases qualified for speedy hearing over and above the desire of the parties. Is there any aspect of the new Lagos Civil Rule you don’t agree with? There is an aspect of the new rule which compels the parties to go for arbitration whether they like it or not and accept the outcome of that process as final determinant of their dispute. Where I quarrel with this process is that before now, arbitration was a matter of choice, a matter of option which the parties themselves agreed to go to. When you now make it a compulsory process, you are now bringing it closer to litigation kind of process where once you sue a party, whether he wants to go to court or not, he has been compelled by law to attend to that matter. If he doesn’t, he would suffer the consequences of his refusal. My fear is that we would take the same attitude in litigation to the arbitration and eventually, we would now suffer the same problem that we are trying to avoid and run away from. Again, the issue of access to court is a conditional matter. Section 6(c) of the constitution deals with our right to access our courts. I don’t think any rule or any legislation can impede the constitutional right of any party to go to court and have his matter dealt with. There is no arbitral process in the constitution. No part of our constitution says that a party must go the ADR. It does not debar either. But there is a room for a choice as to what process you want to adopt as disputant. The killings in Port Harcourt of the four students has brought about again the agitation for state Police. Will you support the creation of state Police? This is the first time I have heard this kind of outcry against such a system in a long time. When that started to happen, all of us turned a blind eye to it because it was safe to assume that anybody who was so accused deserve that kind of punishment because of the rate of armed robbery and insecurity in the country. But I think that we have allowed a very bad idea to cultivate for too long and it is now coming near and that is why we now feel we should do something about it and the sooner we do something very serious about it, I think all of us are in trouble. No sane society would ever allow such jungle, devilish thing to happen in its confines. It should never have been allowed to start, it should never have been allowed to continue to this very bad point of which we are talking about. It is unfortunate that this heinous event has to happen before we woke up to realise that we are playing with fire. However I am not too sure that state police is the answer to that event. For you to have a Police Force in place, it would require equipment, it would require training,

Man, 38, arraigned for N3.2m fraud


38-year-old man, Chukwuma Eugen, has been arraigned, before an Ikeja magistrate court for allegedly stealing a truck-load of petroleum product worth N3,238,000. The offense was allegedly committed at Rigid Park Nigeria Limited, Oba Akran Road, Ikeja on Saturday, July 7, 2012.

By Damilola Owoyele

Eugen is facing a four count charge bordering on stealing, obtaining goods by false pretense and fraud. The prosecutor, Samson Ekikere told the court presided by the Magistrate, Mrs. Taiwo Akanni that Eugen and others at

it would require a lot of infrastructure and all kind of things you can imagine, to put these together to make it a fighting force.. How much does a state have to do this in a country where some states have not even pay August salary. Where is the money going to come from? Where is the state going to find the resources, the time, the industry as it were, to set up an effective police force? A lot of these states are not viable and are you going to create a state police out of a state that is not viable? They will only end up creating a force which is also not viable. I think we should start by trying to improve on what we have on ground and then set a standard by which any state which is interested in doing so can do so. The Justice Isa Ayo Salami issue appears an unending one. How do you think the NJC should go about the matter so that it could be resolved once and for all? I am aware some aspects of the issue are still pending in the court and for that reason, I may want to blow a weak trumpet about that matter because it is a very sensitive and controversial matter. I noticed the efforts of the NJC to take a position on the matter and the difficulties that it is having. I think it is not going to be easy in addressing the matter headlong. I think there is a need for all that are directly concerned about the matter- the Federal Government, the NJC, Justice Isa Ayo Salami himself and anybody who is directly concerned, or interested in the matter to sit down in one room, perhaps at a table and address the issue once and for all because it looks like it is going to be a long drawn costly enterprise, the end of which nobody can predict. Unfortunately, if we are not careful, it may establish a precedence that is dangerous for the development of the judiciary itself. This is the first time in my own knowledge that we are having such a problem in our hand and it is proper for us to get it right now so that such a thing does not repeat itself in the future so that we don’t have a business of which may be bad example for other things that may come in the future. Giving the provision of the constitution that the President doesn’t have the power to appoint and fire judges,that it is vested in the NJC, what do you think this crisis portends for the future of the judiciary? When you have a constitutional problem or a question on the constitution and people are taking different views as to what it should be and how it should be applied, the forum which the constitution itself has given the mandate of determining that question, primarily is the court of law. That is where Justice Salami has taken his matter to. That has not been completely resolved. Perhaps we require a final pronouncement by our courts, as far as they can go, to give us direction in the matter once and for all and allow the rule of law to prevail in the matter at that point and then we abide by it. So, until we have a definitive position from our courts on the issue, I think we would continue to have all these discordant views, arguments, what should we do and what should we not do and what have you. On the issue of corruption, the EFCC said it discovered fat deposits in the bank account of some judges. How do you think the matter should be handled to ensure that it is not swept under the carpet? As you know, in our principle and of judges in this country, everybody is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I read that report in the paper and as far as I am concerned, it remains an allegation and it remains to be proven and established. And I am not aware of any judge who has been arrested since that report came out or any judge, retired or serving, who had been arraigned before the court of law. Really, it does not help the judiciary, it does not help the courts to make such pronouncements and then leave it at that. This is a very serious allegation and it goes to the root of the confidence people must have in the judiciary. If the reputation and the image of the judiciary is tarnished by a report of an agency of that level of responsibility, then you can imagine what we have in our hands. I would have liked that as a follow up to that announcement, certain steps are taken to put their money where their mouth is because It is dangerous to say so and leave it like that and everybody would have the feeling that the judiciary is corrupt. large on July 27, 2012 “fraudulently obtained one truck of petroleum products worth N3,238,000 from one Dr. John Umude”. The defense was alleged to have issued a post-dated Fidelity Bank Plc. cheque serial number 07143917 of Ellabam Nigeria Limited with the account number 4010550099 in the sum of N3,238,000, a representation said to be false.






FCT secretariat seeks more funds


•House demolition

NUJ tackles FCDA, Senate over demolition


HE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abuja Council, has expressed outrage over the demolition of over 500 housing units by the Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Development Authority. In a statement in Abuja, the council said it was saddened by the unfortunate incident, describ-


ESIDENTS of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been warned against building on designated green areas, flood plains and disaster-prone areas to avert the damaging effects of global warming. The Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, gave the warning in Abuja at the launch of 2012 FCT Tree planting campaign in Ushafa, Bwari Area council. The theme was: Planting, a solution of global warming. She stressed the need for aggressive

From Bukola Amusan

ing it as ‘callous, inhuman and a clear abuse of office. The statement which was signed by Comrade Chuks Ehirim, Chairman of Council, stated that the FCDA has become willing tool in the hands of powerful politicians who use it to

demolition when the Senate Committee had asked it to suspend action until all matters were resolved. “As a union and council, we find it objectionable and wish to let those involved in indiscriminate demolition of peoples’ homes that they will not escape God’s wrath if they are above that of man.

Residents warned against building on green areas From Bukola Amusan and Kate Donald

sensitisation on tree planting as the only natural solution to the menace of global warming. In maintaining ecological balance, Akinjide noted that the FCT Agric and Rural Development Secretariat in July this year freely distributed assorted seedlings of different species to the Young Forester

Rent regulatory agency for FCT T

HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has concluded plans to introduce a rents regulatory agency (RERA) to control what many have termed the prohibitive rents in the Territory. It was gathered that the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has concluded plans to establish the agency, which will be backed with necessary laws that will require property owners to collect rents on monthly or quarterly basis instead of the current annual or bi-annual arrangement. Recall that Mohammed had hinted on this move while responding to questions from FCT residents recently. “Together with property tax, Senator Smart Adeyemi said the FCTA intends to sanitise the system in the real estate sector, kill the black market in that sector, make housing affordable and rents sustainable and more importantly; it will boost the economy,” a source said. One of the stakeholders in the real estate sector who spoke to Abuja Review in confidence noted

forcefully take away people’s lands and re-allocate same to them. Ehirim specifically accused a Senate Committee of collusion in the demolition of the already built houses, challenging it to come clean on the matter. The NUJ chairman said it is remotely possible for the Development Control to go on with a

HE Secretary for Social Development Secretariat, Mrs Blessing Onuh, has appealed for more funds in the 2013 budget of the FCTA budget to execute its projects. Onuh, who made the appeal while receiving the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight Function to her secretariat, said lack of funds stalled some of its project in 2012. The House of Representative members praised the Federal Capital Territory Social Development Secretariat over what it described as proper budget implementation and its people-oriented programmes. The Chairman, House Committee on FCT Area Councils and Auxilliary Matters, Hon. Kamisu Melantariki said the Social Development Secretariat has performed well in several areas that touch life of ordinary people in the FCT Area Councils such as women, youths and vulnerable children. He, however, charged the secretariat to do more, saying that records are meant to be broken. Also speaking during the oversight visit, a member of the committee, Hon. Adenekan Taiwo urged the secretariat to upgrade the FCT Museum at the Cyprian Ekwensi Centre for Art and Culture to international standard to attract both local and foreign tourists.

that the move will curb corruption and will be in the best interest of the majority of the FCT residents, especially the middle and low income earners. The source said: “It is good for middle and low income earners as it protects them against shylock landlords. Lagos is implementing it and you can see Lagos has the highest internally-generated revenue (IGR). “On its economic effect; it will improve welfare, consumption and disposable income because majority of the populace earn monthly salary with little upfront payments. So, it is inconceivable how they survive by paying two, three, or one year rent in advance to landlords.” Another source also warned FCTA to brace up for stiff resistance; especially from the property owners who are mostly the powerful elite should the proposed property tax and rents regulatory agency be introduced. This is in spite the fact that it will boost the economy.

Club in 20 schools and colleges which were planted in schools as part of measures to raise the FCT vegetation cover. In ensuring a secure and safe environment in the city, the minister said that the administration inaugurated a committee on the September 13 this year to check the menace of deforestation in the federal capital “Tree planting is a continuous and daily exercise if we are to make any meaningful impact in curbing

•An Abuja green area

the menace of environmental degradation. I urged all FCT residents and visitors to imbibe the culture of planting trees especially around their homes”, Akinjide urged In her welcome address, the Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Olvadi Bema Madayi, said that in a bid to sustain tree planting programme in FCT, the forestry Unit has established three forest nurseries in Bako, Kwali Area Council, Karshi in Municipal Area Council and

Bwari Area Council of the FCT. The secretary added that the assorted seedlings raised in these nurseries are distributed free to FCT residents, religious organisations and various non-governmental organisations. “I enjoin everyone of us to imbibe the healthy habit of planting, at least five trees whenever we remove one, the habit will not only beautify our environment but will save the environment from the evil of deforestation,” Madayi added.





WO things that were not known to the public about President Goodluck Jonathan were revealed in the course of the week. First was the divine intervention that kept him and his only surviving sibling out of nine children of his parents. The other is his unhidden love for his wife which he publicly displayed on her arrival from Germany. The week started off in the Presidency with the President telling all who cared to hear that his personal experience was the reason for his desire to end child and maternal mortality in the country. The occasion was the launch of save one million lives programme, where the country also got a boost of $25m from the Norwegian government. Jonathan, for the first time, revealed that his mother Eunice had nine children. Out of these, only he and his elder sister made it through infancy stage while the rest seven died in infancy. “On the issue of saving lives of women and children I’m passionate because my mother had nine of us but seven died as infants with my elder sister and I surviving. That I’m alive today is not because of any intervention but by God’s hand.” However, the return of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan happened to be the biggest event in the Presidency in the past week. Her arrival which was carnivallike outshone every other event that took place in the Presidency. She went out of the country unannounced but her return was with fanfare. The drum was rolled out for her. Members of the cabinet, albeit, female ministers were on hand to welcome her back into the country after over one month stay in Germany. No doubt, President Goodluck Jonathan and, by extension, the Presidency missed her. There was a burst of excitement at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja where the Presidential jet that brought her back landed. Dame Patience threw her two hands up in the air as the crowd of government officials, governors’ wives, politicians and women groups hailed her arrival. Her face beamed with a smile, glittering white beads dangling from her neck. The First Lady spoke of her joy to be home. Though she was said to have gone on a medical trip, Mrs. Jonathan denied visiting any hospital. She was received with more cheers at the Presidential Villa. At the head of the reception party was President Jonathan, with whom the First Lady was locked in a long embrace. All smiles, Dr. Jonathan planted a kiss on his wife’s face. The crowd cheered. Members of the Presidential household, including the President’s mother Eunice and Mrs.


NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation (NGO), the Beautiful Nigeria Project (BNP), has stressed the need for behavioural change for the country to move forward. The founder of the NGO, Pastor Buchi Thomas, made the call during the formal launch of the group in Abuja. Thomas noted that the he is out to restore values, virtues and ethics in the country. He said: “Nigeria is God’s gift to us and whatever we do to this great inheritance in our hands shall be accounted for. “It is just a question of time. “Because of our children who are watching, because of the children who are listening, let us put our differences aside and join hands together to support the transformation programmes of the government. “The children can see the future,

A passion for kids and Dame’s return

From the Villa By Vincent Ikuomola Jonathan’s children, wore T-shirts with images of the First Lady. Authorities have refused to say publicly why Mrs. Jonathan left the country. But an official said she fell ill with “food poisoning” and needed to be hospitalised in Germany. This was followed by various speculations about all kinds of ailments she was believed to be suffering from. She was said to be undergoing treatment at Horst Schmidt Klinic in Wiesbanden, Germany. This she denied. The return of the First Lady was not the only noteworthy event that shaped activities of the Presidency

in the past week as the President also visited some of the flooded areas in the country, including his home town, Otueke, Bayelsa State where the flood showed no iota of respect for the President. His house was also submerged like any other person’s in the state. The water, according to the President, is up to the window level. The President also summoned all stakeholders in states with records of fresh cases of polio to a meeting at the Presidential Villa where he told the gathering which had in attendance governors and local government chairmen of the affected states that there will be no sleep un-

til the scourge is eradicated; adding that the country does not have any reasonable excuse to still be suffering from the scourge. Another of the major news at the Presidency was the hint of the possibility of Nigerians in the Diaspora voting in the 2015 general elections. The President gave the hint in Niamey when he addressed Nigerians living in Niger Republic during his working visit to the West African country. The National Assembly is currently looking at the possibility of amending the 1999 Constitution and the President says the final decision on Nigerians in the Diaspora voting would be taken in 2013 when the amendment process is expected to be completed. According to the President, a proposal from the Presidency is already before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to enable it study and look at the possibilities of making it happen. The President said he proposed Diaspora voting for Presidential and Governorship elections only because it would be easier to manage. Also, Nigeria and the Republic of Niger agreed to an immediate take

off of the joint border patrols along the border between the two countries. The agreement is part of the efforts to curb the activities of the Islamic Fundamentalist group, Boko Haram in the North East of Nigeria and other terrorist groups within the region. Besides, the two countries also agreed to equip their National Boundary Commissions with requisite logistics to ensure rapid completion of the re-demarcation of the Nigeria-Niger International Boundary. The agreement was reached at the end of the sixth session of the High Authority of the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation held in Niamey, the capital of Republic of Niger. President Goodluck Jonathan who led the Nigerian delegation is also a co-chair of the session where issues ranging from security to trade were discussed between both countries. Jonathan is the first Nigerian President to visit Niger in the last seven years after former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s visit in 2006.

NGO seeks behavioural change From Sanni Onogu

they are eager to embrace it, they can feel it, they are watching if the legacy will be shown to them. “We all owe this nation the responsibility to change it; don’t join the band wagon of the corrupt. “Don’t put your name in the record of the spoilers of Nigeria. “Be patriotic, be a change agent, be agent of transformation.” The Associate Pastor of Graceland Christian Centre, Akowonjo, Lagos added that the country is known for its peaceful, loving, blessed, tolerant and happy people. He said: “We are beautiful and great people. “The Beautiful Nigeria Project has

come to restore our values, virtues, and vigour as African pride and hope. “Friends, the process of refining pure gold is not the same as refining Bronze. “The when of when is when we all begin to change our mindset, behaviour and attitude about this great nation Nigeria. “Are you a plus or a minus in the

process of making Nigeria beautiful?” He lamented that Nigeria has faced many discouraging challenges that could have made the nation to collapse. “If it had not been God on our side when corruption and the likes ravaged our fatherland, by now, Nigeria would have been a forgotten brand in the comity of nations.”

Because of our children who are watching, because of the children who are listening, let us put our differences aside and join hands to support the transformation programmes of the government

He said the BNP has chosen entertainment as orientation strategy to reach the youths. “The youths have been left out of governance over the years, though we can see changes in this administration, but we are advocating for full involvement of our youths in governance,” he said. The Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Mrs Sarah Jibril called on youths to buy into the project for a better country. Sarah, who was the special guest of honour at the event, noted that transformation can only come if people change their orientation and imbibe better ways of doing things. She lauded the initiator and founder of the NGO, saying the gesture signposts hope for the country.

"I have an issue in terms of picking the team. Hopefully, I'll get it right."

Manchester United coach, Alex Ferguson weighing his options for tonight's UEFA Champions League home match against Portuguese side, Sporting Braga.

Terry to wear anti-racism armband


AVING escaped the hypocrisy of wearing a Kick It Out T-shirt due to his four-match ban, John Terry will be asked to wear an anti-racism armband during tonight's Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk. The campaign by UEFA coincides with the Kick It Out campaign in England which has received much publicity this week after some black players, including Anton and Rio Ferdinand, refused to wear T-Shirts with the charity's name on it before the weekend's games. That stance, first aired by Reading striker Jason Roberts, was due to the perceived inaction against racism in the game, including the drawn out nature of Terry's racism case against Anton Ferdinand, and the length of punishment given to the Chelsea captain. Terry was banned for four games for racially abusing the QPR defender, a suspension which happened to coincide with the Kick It Out campaign, thus allowing the 31-year-old to avoid the hypocrisy of wearing a T-Shirt.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012



Celtic stand no chance B

ARCELONA star Andres Iniesta cannot see Celtic springing an upset in tonight's Champions League clash at the Nou Camp. The man who scored Spain's World Cup winning goal in 2010 insists the La Liga side's technical ability will be too much for the Scottish champions to contend with. Iniesta also believes his team's narrow home win against Spartak Moscow combined with their battling 5-4 win against Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend will stand them in good stead. Iniesta said: “Barcelona are superior to Celtic and we have the experience with Spartak. We saw how an error changed the game and on Tuesday we will be 100 per cent concentrated." The Spanish star knows all about the threat posed by Greece striker Georgios Samaras, but stressed that Barcelona will have done their homework about the whole of the Celtic team. “People speak about Samaras, but


Champions League Fixtures GROUP E FC Nordsjaelland v Juventus Shakhtar Donetsk v Chelsea GROUP F BATE Borisov v Valencia Lille v Bayern Munich GROUP G Spartak Moscow v Benfica Barcelona v Celtic GROUP H Galatasaray v CFR Cluj Manchester U. v Braga

Celtic showed in Moscow they possess a lot of players who can win matches,” he said. “But we got our warning against Spartak and now it is impossible to fail against Celtic.” Iniesta underlined Barcelona's European ambitions, while insisting that Neil Lennon's side will pose a challenge over the next two games. He said: “One of our main ambitions is to win the Champions League. “We are looking to wrap up qualification from our group so we can focus on other domestic objectives. We know if we can beat Celtic it would put us in a good position at the top of the group and would give us a bit of breathing space. “I know Celtic came through the qualifying rounds and won't be an easy rival. “Scottish teams normally play quite conservatively and it isn't an easy system to break down.”

dropped from Lahm: Bayern Munich Braga game are unbeatable


ANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the T-shirt row with Rio Ferdinand has been resolved, although the defender will play no part in today’s Champions League clash with Braga. Ferdinand, 33, came under fire from Ferguson over the weekend for choosing not to wear a T-shirt supporting the ‘kick it out’ campaign without notifying his boss. But the 70-year-old has insisted that his reason for leaving Ferdinand out of the squad is purely for tactical purposes. "I'm not playing Rio. I'm making a few changes. I'm leaving out Rio and Patrice Evra. We have a big game against Chelsea [to think about on Sunday]," he told reporters. "We've got Ashley Young back and he'll be involved tomorrow. We've got Nani, Valencia, Giggs... plenty of wide players. I have an issue in terms of picking the team. Hopefully I get it right."


HILIPP Lahm believes it's going to be very difficult for other teams to end Bayern Munich's winning streak if they can keep up their current form. The Bavarians have won their opening eight Bundesliga games, and Lahm feels the hard work of players such as Mario


Mandzukic and Franck Ribery in attack have played a key role in their successful season so far. "Mandzukic's on fire and is the type of player who works hard for the team. I'd like to stress though that the team as a whole switched between attack and defence very well in Düsseldorf," Lahm told the official Bundesliga website. "Likewise, I find the way Ribery is working defensively outstanding. It's going to be difficult to beat us if we maintain this attitude week in, week out. "It's obviously great to be the first team to start the season with eight wins. And we certainly won't object if that winning streak continues. "We're in good shape, as we've proved in recent weeks. We just want to carry on winning, starting with the upcoming Champions League encounter." Bayern are currently preparing for the Group F clash away against Lille tonight.

preparation Spartak in must-win forthan-ideal the game, losing 2-1 to Russian league leaders against Benfica Anzhi Makhachkala on an own goal from Juan


PARTAK Moscow's Champions League campaign is very much alive despite two defeats in their opening two games, coach Unai Emery insisted Monday ahead of his side's win-orbust match against Benfica. The Russian side sit bottom of Group C and host the Portuguese giants tonight knowing anything less than three points will spell the end for this season's European adventure. Last month Spartak lost 3-2 to group leaders

Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and by the same scoreline at home to Celtic earlier this month to leave them teetering on the brink. "I think the game is decisive for both teams," Emery said. "Barcelona are the favourites, but the three teams are battling for second place." "Tomorrow's game will be crucial for two reasons. Firstly we are playing at home, and secondly we are fighting for that second spot." Spartak have had less-

Manuel Insaurralde on Saturday. Star striker Emmanuel Emenike and No. 1 goalkeeper Andriy Dikan may be back for tonight's Champions League match after missing the Anzhi game through injury. Benfica, meanwhile, lie third in the group with a 20 defeat to Barcelona and a 0-0 draw with Celtic behind them. A Barcelona victory at home to Celtic tonight combined with a Spartak win will see the Russians leapfrog Benfica into third.





Senator Ike Ekweremadu is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution Amendment. In this interview presented by the Managing Editor, Northern Operations YUSUF ALLI and Group Political Editor BOLADE OMONIJO, the Deputy Senate President highlights the review and presents an interim report on the committee’s activities.

‘We’ll produce people’s constitution’ I

F you look at the 1999 Constitution, there is no position on how it should be amended. What is the thinking of your committee? First, we have done a number of amendments in the past and we are now doing a more elaborate amendment that will be all-encompassing. Secondly, Nigerians have been very concerned about the way the 1999 Constitution came about through a military process. I think if we make provision in the constitution for how a new provision can come into force, it can take care of that concern so that subsequent constitution can also be subjected to, probably, a referendum; a more elaborate process of consultation and possibly, a conference. There is the example of Kenya . Beyond the countries we have visited, we may still have to go to Kenya to study their own system. Kenya had the same problem and what they did was to amend their constitution to make certain provisions on how a new constitution can come about. Having got that, they also set up a commission for the implementation of those processes. It took them a long while but they were able to achieve it. When people are talking about sovereign national conference or a referendum, you ask yourself, what is the authority for this? How can we achieve this when the law does not make provision for it? Section 1 of the constitution makes it clear that you can’t do anything outside the constitution. Otherwise, you will be subverting it. Very soon, we will begin to think about making provision in the constitution. I will share the view with my colleagues and if they feel strongly about it, I am sure that this kind of amendment can also take care of it. Given that the 2015 elections are approaching, do you think you would have concluded the review before then? As far as we are concerned, we will finish sometime in 2013 and if we do, then we still have two years before the elections so that most of the things that we have done would have taken shape ahead of 2015. However, even if we don’t finish as early as we are prepared to, it will not really affect the conduct of the elections in 2015. Does it mean you don’t have a timeline to complete the assignment? We pasted guidelines since January this year and we have been following it religiously. We stated that we were going to have publications inviting people to a public hearing in the month of May, we did that. We said we would hold retreats in April, we did that. We said we would hold public hearing in October, it was held. We will be having another public hearing in November. In the first quarter of next year, we will hold a retreat. After that, within that first quarter, in the National Assembly, the debate will start in earnest. Hopefully, by July which is the third quarter, we are hopeful that the business of amendment would have been treated. Section 7, of the constitution provides for the independence of the local government system, but what obtains now seems to be contrary to what is provided for in the constitution. What should Nigerians expect from the amendment? It is one of the issues we intend to address. In addressing it, we have to first agree as to what would be the status of our Local Governments in Nigeria. We need to ensure that they get their money directly from the Fed-

• Ekweremadu

• Ekweremadu

‘Every Nigerian will get the message on most of the issues in the form of questionnaires by SMS. It will be a two-way traffic. We would have paid for the SMS so that they won’t spend any money in answering those questions. We are setting up a website where Nigerians will have an opportunity of baring their minds in respect of these areas. On the whole, every Nigerian will be a part of this process’ eral Government without passing through a joint State/Local Government account. Recall that those who put the joint account in the constitution meant well. The idea was for the money to go into a specific account in which the State Government will contribute from their internally generated revenue and then share to the Local Governments in such a way that they will get more money than was actually paid to them by the Federal Government, but we have noticed that instead of putting money into this account and sharing to the council areas from it, some states actually take money away from the account before sharing. On the whole, beyond that amendment, it is important that governance at the state level should ensure that Section 7 of the constitution is complied with in terms of making sure that elections are held at the local government level as independent as possible. Your committee is said to be planning a foreign trip. Is this necessary? Some of our colleagues have gone to Canada to do a comparative study of our federal system and that of Canada . They came back with a very revealing result. People like Senator Attahiru and a number of other Senators were there. We believe that we also need further information, especially from those who are on the same level of development as we are, like India. We are also hoping that we will go to Brazil and we will study more advanced system like the United States of America . America is a very complex society like Nigeria . But as complex as it is, they are able to secure the territory of America while we cannot take care of our own. Canada is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country, yet the people are able to live together. It is the same with India , yet we cannot manage our own affairs.

What are those things that are happening there which are not happening here? These are the things that we need to have practical experience of and share with our colleagues to enable them to make an informed opinion at the appropriate time. This is a globalised world. No country can live in isolation. That is why problems are easily handled these days because you can easily find examples from many places as regards how they have been able to solve their own problems. It is important for us to see how others are doing their things and getting better result. That is why it is important for us to study these areas and follow the best examples. How many memoranda has your committee received? At the last count, we had received about 240 memoranda outside the basic states’ demand. We have acknowledged these memos and these submissions and in July we had a retreat in Asaba, Delta State. There we looked at all these memos and tried to summarise them. Most of them deal with similar issues; so, we identified the specific issues which we are concentrating on; those which we considered to be thematic, we will bring them out during the national public hearing so that Nigerians will begin to make contributions towards them. We believe that every Nigerian will have an opportunity to say his or her own mind on the areas identified from the memos they have submitted. We have thrown it open to the public and I am happy that for two days, we had very useful discussion and input from various people of Nigeria . We intend to further take it to the zones so that people who are unable to attend the national public hearing will have an opportunity to bare their minds on these specific areas. Beyond that, we

intend to engage our constituents. We intend to take our colleagues to their various districts so that they hold meetings with the people of their respective constituencies. Every Senator will be involved in this, but the members of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review will also organise a stakeholders’ meeting in their respective states to explain to them what we are doing and probably get their input. We are hopeful that every other Nigerian will be engaged through the electronic media, communication systems, probably by SMS. Every Nigerian will get the message on most of the issues in the form of questionnaires. It will be a two-way traffic. We would have paid for the SMS so that they won’t spend any money in answering those questions. We are setting up a website where Nigerians will have an opportunity of baring their minds in respect of these areas. On the whole, every Nigerian will be a part of this process. We have never had state creation under democratic setting. Do you think this National Assembly can break that jinx? From the memos submitted so far and from the contributions of Nigerians in the public hearings, I think there is the desire of Nigerians to have states created and we are representing the people and ours is to give meaning to the expressions of Nigerians. To that extent, we will vigorously pursue the issue of state creation. If it succeeds, fine. If it doesn’t succeed, we would have done our job. But some believe that you are too slow on the state creation matter. Creation of states is a work that needs every hand to be on deck. It requires the vote of senators and members of the House of Representatives; we also have to take it to the states so any person who believes that we sit

at one place and decide on any issue including states creation does not seem to understand how these things work. Bakassi is a part of Nigeria as engrained in the constitutution. How will the issue of be handled during the amendment? The Bakassi thing is still a developing study. I don’t think it is concluded. We have heard just one aspect of it which is the ICJs judgment which we were unable to review because of timeframe and of course, because as the Attorney General has said, we didn’t have any ground to canvass. There are still other options available to Nigeria including but not limited to plebiscite for those people there to determine where they want to stay. Of course, we are also aware of the human rights violation that is happening in the peninsula right now to which Nigeria is entitled to petition and get Cameroun to answer for it. These are some of the things that are still outstanding. It is also likely that one day, that peninsula will still become a part of Nigeria. The issue of citizenship and residency is a very complex one. Have people raised that matter with your committee? Yes, a lot of concerns have been raised and we have received a lot of memos on that but speaking for myself, I don’t think the issue is that of legislation or constitutionalism. I think it has to do with our value system, our ability to live with one another. It has to do with the issue of accommodation and patriotism. These are the things that will address the issue of citizenship and residency. Beyond that, Section 147/3 of the constitution says for you to be minister from a state, you have to be an indigene of that state which I’m sure must be a mistake on the part of the framers of the constitution. No other part of the constitution makes that kind of provision. Section 42 of the constitution deals with the issue of non-discrimination. It provides in very elaborate terms that no Nigerian should be discriminated against on account of where he comes from, his ethnic base, religion, sex and so many other conditions. If we put that into focus, it means that the constitution has made sufficient provision and protection for every Nigerian in every part of Nigeria . The Supreme Court has gone further to establish that. For instance, you are in Sokoto or in Enugu and they have two regimes of school fees, you can go to court. I have not seen any Nigerian who has taken advantage of this. I am not aware of what needs to be amended in the constitution to protect Nigerians more that what is provided in Section 42 of the constitution. We are talking, so we will allow Nigerians to come up with views on how this could be addressed. Don’t forget that in the 60s, we had Mayors in the East who were from the North and don’t forget that Zik won elections in the South West and was heading to become the Premier of the Western Region. If we have sustained that attitude, by now, any person could have been governor of Sokoto State whether from South East or Southsouth. Maybe Kwankwaso would have been in Enugu as Governor. Don’t forget, too, the experience withthe late Chief MKO Abiola’s election, where we had a Muslim presidential candidate and a Muslim vice •Continued on page 40



POLITICS The political arena in Kaduna State has been busy with the rumoured presidential ambition of Governor Ibrahim Yakowa, but, to him, such is coming from his political adversaries. TONY AKOWE reports.

2015: Speculations on ambition unsettle Yakowa


HE 2015 presidential election is well over two years away, but prospective contenders have started flying their kites; some aimed at creating bad blood among friends and party members and others purely for the purpose of testing the waters in order to know how to make their political calculation ahead of the elections. Although the northern socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said it oftentimes that it was too early to begin campaign for 2015, political jobbers have continued to hint on possible candidates for the elections. Names that have been mentioned especially in the north include Senate President David Mark, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido. In a recent interview with The Nation, ACF spokesman Anthony Sani asked people to stop talking of the presidential election on zonal basis, pointing out that the election of President Goodluck Jonathan by the Nigerian people in 2011 killed the politics of zoning. He also believes that bringing the 2015 politics to the front burner at this point in time will be a distraction to qualitative governance. While the nation is yet to come to terms with the talk of a Sule Lamido/ Rotimi Amaechi ticket allegedly being floated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, political jobbers have gone to town with a Yakowa/ Ladoja ticket even when Ladoja is yet to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A group which called itself Northern Democratic Alliance took a paid advert in Kaduna-based weekly newspaper to announce that a group of civil society organisations, youth organisations, trade unions and religious organisations had met and decided to endorse Yakowa for the 2015 elections. The faceless group did not mention those organisations that decided to endorse an unwilling person who has not declared any intention for an office. Interestingly, a few weeks earlier, security agents in Kaduna were said to have uncovered a plot to flood the streets of Kaduna with posters of the governor aspiring for the Presidential seat. That was a few days before President Jonathan visited Kaduna for the passing out parade of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA). With that discovery, Yakowa, at a media parley, said he had no interest and had never shown interest in the presidential race. He said at the parley that there was no sense in thinking about another election when he had not even spent half of the four-year mandate given to him by the people of Kaduna State. That seems to have done the magic as the sponsors of the poster held them back, but apparently decided to come in another way to drive home their point. They took a paid advert to announce their plan.

• Yakowa

But in a swift reaction, the governor warned those responsible for such an action to desist from it. The governor said his primary attention at the moment was how to deliver on his electoral promises to the people of Kaduna State and was therefore not interested in contesting the nation’s presidential election in 2015. Thus, he warned against dragging his name into the race. Speaking through his media assistant, Reuben Buhari, Yakowa described those behind the said publication as mischief makers, pointing out that the attempt at dragging his name into the 2015 presidential race was a deliberate and calculated mischief aimed at pitching him against President Jonathan and Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo. The statement read: “The motive of the sponsors of this mischievous advertorial is to pitch His Excellency, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa against President Goodluck Jonathan and His Vice, Arc. Namadi Sambo. Dragging the name of Governor Yakowa into the 2015 presidential race, when the governor is yet to reach the half-way line in his first tenure is a deliberate and calculated mischief. The real intention of the promoters of this ‘tale by moonlight’ is to portray the governor in bad light, as a disloyal party member and to also justify their own mischievous intention. The governor has made it very clear that everybody has the constitutional right to contest for any political office he is interested in, but such ambition should not be built on the destruction of His Excellency’s hardearned reputation as a trust-worthy and loyal party member. “The sponsors of such write-up should feel free to market themselves to the people with whom the final decision rest but should leave the governor out of it as he has never shown interest in the 2015 presidential race. For the avoidance of doubt, the focus of Governor Patrick Yakowa is the continued delivery of democracy dividends to the good people of

Kaduna State through his three widelyacclaimed agenda of Security, Unity and Development. This explains the award last week of N28 billion contract for 31 new roads, in addition to about 684 kilometers of roads at various stages of completion, the purchase of equipment of about N200 million for the Kaduna State Public Works Agency for the maintenance of failed roads, and the first phase of the conversion of the Barau Dikko Hospital to a University Teaching Hospital at the cost of N474 million among other critical projects in the education and agricultural sectors.” It explained further: “To do more than he is presently doing, the governor has embarked on an aggressive Internally Generated Revenue. As a law-abiding citizen, the governor is exploring the options of legal actions and a formal report will also be lodged with the Nigerian Press Council, in view of the professional issues involved in the matter. The governor will at all times remain a friend of the press, whose contribution to national development can never be questioned but will always frown at mischievous write-ups.” He pointed out that the phone number of the signatory to the advertorial was traced to a woman in one of the south-eastern states. Investigations by The Nation revealed that the sponsors of the advertorial may have been acting a script which aides of the governor believe is aimed at destroying the existing relationship between Yakowa and the Presidency with the aim of running him out of the 2015 governorship contest in the state. It is an open secret in the state that there are moves to ensure that Yakowa does not contest the 2015 elections. However, a group which called itself Kaduna Democratic Watch believes that those behind the advertorial endorsing Yakowa is like shaving a man’s head without his permission. According to them, aspiring to political offices no matter how small or how big is supposed to be a personal decision, adding: “It is the right of every individual to aspire to any office. Even though consultations are necessary in any contest, these consultations must be done with the person aspiring for any contest and not behind him by people who pretend to have his interest at heart and behind his back. The fact that they did not even do their home work to know that the former Oyo state governor, Senator Rasheed Ladoja who are they proposing as Yakowa’s running mate is not a member of the PDP. Ladoja is, in fact, a member of Accord Party that is forming an alliance with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo state to fight the PDP in the state.

‘It’s turn of Anambra North for governor’ Chikodi Anarah is the leader of Igboadagbe Peoples Forum, a group championing the clamour of Anambra North Senatorial Zone for the governorship seat of the state in the 2013 poll. In this interview with Correspondent NWANOSIKE ONU, he explains why the zone should produce the governor.


OW would you react to the view by many people say that zoning or power rotation is undemocratic and have cited the United States of American as an example that should be emulated? It depends on the kind of information which such people have at their disposal. Power rotation is not a setback, rather it strengthens democracy. The problem is that some people attempt to copy verbatim, programmes that are country and culture specific into places they cannot fit in. the United States is a homogenous federation with special qualities. Those qualities make the country different from ours and they include high literacy level; good record of fundamental human rights and rule of law; and the pursuit of planned and equitable development. In the US also, a strong sense of national unity is prevalent. In fact, unity is not a setback for the relationship among groups. Also it is not a setback for national development and progress. Even where differences seem to exist, they are just superficial because the prevailing social forces do not allow for marginalization or conscious exclusion of groups from dividends of democracy. What do you think is the problem here? What makes the difference here is the question of unity. Unity is the major challenge here and groups are mutually suspicious. There is marginalization and there is conscious effort to deny dividends of democracy to unfortunate groups. That is the problem. Our system of laws and the prevailing social forces are not such that groups are adequately protected. Our low level of literacy does not even support sufficient knowledge of our fundamental human rights. If you don’t know your rights, how do you pursue them? Whether there is planned and equitable development is as good a guess of yours as mine. How does that give rise to zoning? Of course the result of marginalization is a feeling of discontent whose eventual expression is breakdown of law and order. But if a group is sure that at a certain point its people will occupy those positions that can give it a sense of belonging, its agitations and cries against marginalization will become less if not extinct. The most constructive plan to tackle such problems we have in this respect is power rotation. You may call it zoning or anything. The most important thing is to give people a sense of belonging and achieve stability in the system. This is why the forum I am spearheading insists that the north senatorial zone should produce the next Governor of Anambra State. People say that the north senatorial zone is not blessed with rich and competent people who can contest and win the position of Governor. What is your take on this? I have heard this outrageous lie before. You even bring in more confusion because I don’t know whether I should talk about the rich or the competent. About richness, Anambra State is not for sale. And let me ask you,. How rich was Mbadinuju before he became Governor? How rich was Ezeife or Ngige? Mr. Peter Obi could be said to be rich but not the richest. We should really not talk about richness. on the other hand, if we talk about competent people from the north, the entire newspaper pages cannot contain their list. They have people in the political class who are also professionals, bureaucratic, industrialist and so on. All the people that have served or are serving in government now from the zone are all competent. Don’t you know about people like Stella Oduah, Joy Emordi, John Emeka, Paul Odenigbo, the Obazes, Chinedu Emeka, Frank Oramulu, Stella Odife, Margery Okadigbo, Dr Alex Obiogbolu so on. Talk of industrialists and other professional like Willy Obiano, Chike Obidigbo, Patrick Obianwu and so on. The list can continue endlessly and they are qualified and competent. The Igboadagbe Peoples Forum has already commenced an exercise of research and opinion poll to know the stand and status of all the people they consider competent for the race and this will cut across all the major • Anarah political parties.

‘We’ll produce people’s constitution’ •Continued from page 39

presidential candidate and they won, defeating a Muslim candidate in his own town in Kano . Those are the attitudes we need to build upon. No amount of legislation can help the matter except we change our attitude. The Senate appears to be driving the process alone. Since the amendment process involves concurrent action by the two chambers, what are you doing to get the House as actively involved as the Senate? I am happy that we don’t have bickering with the House of Representatives presently on the issue of consti-

tution amendment. We have a peaceful system where we are working with the House, even though independently. Shortly, we will have a joint meeting with them to streamline our operations and our timeline so that nothing will drag us back. As soon as we finish our zonal public hearing, we will be able to conclude on the basic areas we are focusing on and also send copies to the House of Representatives so that members can align it with what they are doing. I am also aware that very shortly, they will be doing their own public hearing. That means we will meet at some point in the very near future.

• Members of Adamawa State PDP Elders Forum addressing a news conference in Yola to declare support for the appointment of a caretaker committee for the state chapter of the party... yesterday.





‘Sitting for long can cause sudden death, others’


IGERIANS working in offices, business outlets and banks, among other places, sit for many hours. Many often complain of back pain. For others, it is numbness or joint problems. The question is: Does sitting for long affect people’s health? Does it pose any health challenge? Experts said it can. Sitting posture and the kind of chair one sits in are factors which can trigger health challenges. According to an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, Dr Charles Uzodinma, seating for long can cause muscle problems and even kill. He said: “While sitting, the bent knee and waist may delay the flow back of blood to the heart where they are coming from. It can cause numbness. The going down of the blood can make it clot. When this happens, it can cause blockage to the blood pipe in the lung and the person can die instantly. “This is why experts tell people that when they get to a particular age, they should walk around, from time to time, to prevent blood clots, particularly, in those who constantly experience numbness. For example, people on a long distance air travel should get up once in a while to stretch out, so that blood can flow freely.” He said seating for endless hours could cause muscle and musculoskeletal problems. Uzodinma said: “When somebody is sitting, the weight of his whole body usually rests on the spine. The backbone sits on top of each other. The

• A diagram illustrating correct sitting posture Stories by Wale Adepoju

waist which, carries the whole body, can be burdened. The backbone, which is surrounded by ligaments and muscles, has a shock absorber. It usually gets stressed when pressure is too much on it. “The major problem with bad posture usually occurs when you are sitting on the backbone. This can cause backache among other muscloskeletal conditions. When you sit for a long time, even in the correct posture, the adverse effect will be there but it may not be as much as when your posture is bad; you still get affected all the same. “The correct sitting posture is

with your back bending backwards and your stomach coming out a bit. The lower back of the waist is pushed forward while your upper part is moved backwards. That is the correct sitting posture,”he said. A surgeon, Dr Steve Ayanruoh, corroborated Uzodinma. His words: “Sitting for long can cause numbness. But when the person gets up and stretches the body, it goes away.” He said it could also slow down the movement of blood and “blood vessels may be affected.” It could also cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot that forms in a vein.

“Blood clots occur when blood thickens and clumps together. Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. They also can occur in other parts of the body. A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. The loose clot is called an embolus. It can travel to an artery in the lungs and block blood flow. This condition is called pulmonary embolism, or PE. PE is a very serious condition. It can damage the lungs and other organs in the body and cause death.” Ayanruoh advised that people should learn to stand and stretch after sitting for a while. He said it usually leads to deep vein thrombosis, especially in fat people because of the amount of that they have in their body. “Correct posture helps your body perform against the forces of gravity, in motion and at rest. Supportive furniture and a firm posture base, with feet on the floor, encourages the right seated position. Sitting posture is especially important to desk workers and people who use wheelchairs. If you experience pain in the shoulders or low back after prolonged sitting, your posture and your support systems may need overhauls. “Sitting up straight requires a stable, balanced position of the pelvis. Along with this, you need to develop awareness of ideal body alignment to strengthen core muscle (Core muscles hold you up-

Nigerian invents cure-all equipment


RIVEN by the desire to help the sick and make health care accessible and affordable, a Nigerian based in the United States, Dr Steve Ayanruoh, has invented an equipment capable of diagnosing major health challenges. “Hospital in a box” is the first of its kind across the world. Ayanruoh said electrocardiogram, spirometer, nebulizer, automatic syphgomanometer, pulse-oximeter, thermometer and a hand-held device that can examine any part of the body such as ears, eyes, nose and mouth, among others, are installed in the equipment. His passion, he noted, is to ensure that people have access to quality and cheap health care. “As a paediatrician working in the US, I went to work, one winter morning, only to find out that I was the only one in the clinic to attend to about three patients at the same time. So, I said to myself, if only I could do, something that will aid their treatment. This was my motivation,” he said . Born in Okitipupa in Ondo State, the Delta State indigene said his invention took him about eight years to achieve. “I met major computer firms but they turned me down. It was not until I found one that agreed to buy into my dream of the equipment. I was asked to deposit $10,000. From there, I knew it would become a reality,” he added. He said it was not a smooth ride as he, at some point, depended on his extended family back home in Nigeria, for finance to fulfill his desire of an equipment that can bring good health to people’s home. According to him, the electrocardiogram can be used to examine how well people’s heart is doing. “The equipment

By Adepoju


also helps to diagnose fast or slow heart rate, diseases of the heart and its sac. It can diagnose enlarged heart, heart attack, heart failure and fluid in the sac covering the heart. “No special EKG is needed, which means it can save about $5,000 worth of EKG paper yearly.” The spirometer, Ayanruoh said, can be used to examine how well people’s lungs are functioning. The lung can have diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive disease, bronchitis, bronchilitis, croup, pneumonia, hard lung tissue among others, he said. The nebulizer, he said, is used to measure blood pressure. It can also be used to diagnose high blood pressure (HBP), low blood pressure, systolic hypertension, dizziness due to changing blood pressure with changes in the patient’s position. “The pulse-oximeter measures oxygen level in the blood and heart rate. It can help to differentiate lung disease such as asthma. Also, it helps to diagnose cardiac disease such as TOF and endocrine disease such as DKA. Not every panting patient has a lung disease just as not all bluish patients need oxygen,” he stated. The thermometer, he said, can be used to measure the temperature on the forehead in seconds. It can be used to diagnose fever, low temperature and febrile seizures, he added. On its usage, he said everybody could use it, adding that they only needed to receive the training. “On the desktop are icons for all the examinations that the machine can perform. When each examination is performed the result are stored in each individualised folders which is also on the desktops. These results can either be stored in a flash drive or

right.) “The position of your lower body is important for good sitting posture. Your knee and hip joints should make a 90 degree angle. If your chair allows, and if you need to, adjust the height of the seat until these joints are at right angles. Your feet should be flat on the floor,” he said. While sitting, he said, body weight is transferred from the pelvis onto the chair. “On the bottom of the pelvis are two knobby bones called sitting bones. Check if your weight is transferring onto your chair in front of the sitting bones, in back of them, or if you are right on top. If your weight is forward, your low back may be arched, which can tighten up muscles. If it’s back, you are probably slumping. Slumping can cause pain, strain or disc injury. To get on top of the sitting bones, gently rock back and forth on them. Pause in the centre, between the two end positions. “Most of us have a slight curve in the low back. Spinal curves (in several areas) help maintain upright posture. You should be able to slip your hand in the space between your low back and the back of the chair. Problems arise when we over arch the low back. It can cause muscle strain or spasm. If you over arch, try to let the pelvis drop into a neutral position so that you are right on top of the sitting bones. If you slump, you may benefit from a lumbar cushion. A lumbar roll placed between your low back and the back of the chair can support your natural curve if your muscles are weak or tired,” he said.

Committee blames Fed Govt for delayed funding


• Ayanruoh demonstrating how to use some of the installations in the hospital box

sent through the internet to assigned server. Doctors assigned to the locations where the machine is being used can log into the server to review the results and send their recommendations to the site provider. For example, if there is a trained provider using the machine in La-

gos, he could send his results to a server in Kano or Maiduguri and the assigned doctor and the assigned doctor who is vacationing in Enugu can log into the server to review the result and send recommendations back to Lagos,” he added.

HE Seventh National Assembly’s House Committee on Health has blamed the Federal Government for delaying the appropriated funds in the budget for the execution of hospital projects. It said the poor execution of projects was the fault of government, which has refused to release funds to complete most of the ongoing projects in hospitals in Lagos. The committee, led by Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, rated the executed projects 30 per cent due to inadequate funding. Ossai, who was among the six members on oversight function to the Southwest, said in Lagos that the government should take the blame rather than hospital administrators, who work with what they get. He said the essence of the committee’s visit to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi (NOHIL), Lagos, Federal Neuro Psychiatric, Yaba and the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute Metta, was to uncover corruption and ensure judicious use of tax payers’ money. Ossa said sighting the projects being executed would ensure that the institutions did not contravene the Appropriation Act, which states that money should be spent on specified projects. “We want to ensure that appropriated funds for this year are used correctly before the 2013 budget is released,” he added.




UN recommended commodities to save 6m lives by 2015


HE United Nations (UN) Commission has recommended essential and life-saving commodities for women and children to save six million lives in Nigeria by 2015. Its Resident Co-ordinator in Nigeria, Mr Daouda Toure, said this in Abuja during a conference on UN commission on life-saving commodities for women and children. According to him, the UN is to collaborate with the Federal Government to contribute its quota to saving six million lives by year 2015. He said the UN Commission recommendations are of great importance to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 and in providing the basis for sustainable development. Responding, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammed Ali Pate, said the implementation of the UN commodities will improve lives of women and children across the world. The UN Commission, he said, has listed 13 life-saving commodities. They are oxytocin and misoprostol used to reduce bleeding after delivery. Others are magnesium sulphate used in reducing

Olatunde Odebiyi

pregnancy complications, high blood pressure and convulsions. Also, there are injectable antibiotics for blood infection, antenatal corticosteroids for breathing difficulties, chlorhexidine for new born cord care, resuscitation devices for shortage of oxygen, amoxicillin for pneumonia, oral rehydration solution and zinc for diarrhoea, females condoms, contraceptive implants and emergency contraception for family planning and contraception. “Saving lives is the ultimate goal for the collective efforts in the health sector and this should be the yardstick for measuring success, increasing access to, and utilisation of quality cost effective basic health services and commodities aimed at saving at least one million lives by 2015,” he added. The Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Prof Babatunde Osotimehin said young people below the age of 30 make up 60 per cent of the country’s population, adding that it is crucial that the health, education and reproductive health of this category of people should be the main agenda of Nigeria.

•From left: Osotimehin, Pate and Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) at the event. Photo: Olatunde Odebiyi

80, 000 Nigerians die yearly from cancer


EN Nigerians die every hour from cancer, the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), Mass Medical Mission (MMM), has said According to NCPP, 80,000 people die yearly from the disease, with 100,000 new cases diagnosed. The Lead Coordinator, Port Harcourt Cancer Centre, Dr Kin Egwuonwu, who spoke at a briefing in Lagos, said NCPP was building the first cancer institute in Nigeria in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He said the reason for choosing the Southsouth was because of the environmen-

‘Hand washing will reduce mortality NMA embarked on a 21 OT less than 3.5 milby 50%’ and days campaign to instill lion under-five chil-


dren die yearly due to preventable deaths from infections, among other causes, especially by poor hand hygiene. This, experts said, can be reduced by 50 per cent by washing the hands regularly with soap and clean water. According to the President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele, diarrhoea, typhoid fever, pneumonia and cholera, among other childhood killers can be prevented. Enabulele, who spoke at the launch of Reckitt Benckiser’s Dettol antiseptic soap in Lagos, said diseases are easily transmitted from the hand to mouth. The NMA President, rep-

By Wale Adepoju

resented by the Chairman, NMA Committee on Nigeria Medical Students Association (NIMSA) Affairs, Dr Martins Momoh said a lot of diseases can be prevented through a simple and easy step of washing hands with soap and water. “One child dies every 30 seconds from diarrhoea worldwide. Hand washing is among the most effective and least expensive way of stopping germs,” he added. He said about three million children across Nigeria have been taught to wash their hands with soap and water. “Research has shown that children develop habits in three weeks, so the company

hand washing morals into them. A laboratorian and Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mr Oyebanji Oyenuga, said the importance of disinfestations cannot be over-emphasised. “As a laboratory expert, you wash your hand in every procedure to ensure you prevent germs.I am happy the company is doing that to stop the epidemic. Cholera and diarrhoea among other diseases are transmitted through the hand.” Hand washing, he noted, will bring down the rate of pathologies. “Re-introducing this practice will improve overall health of the children and adults,” he added.

By Gbemisola Jimoh

tal hazard in the region. Egwuonwu said the project is the first cancer centre to be built in West Africa, adding that $63 million was needed to complete the project. “The centre will be of great benefit to cancer patients in Nigeria and across West Africa,” he said. He urged Nigerians and

corporate bodies to assist NCPP financially, adding that poor cancer patients should be considered because they don’t have money to travel abroad for treatment. Egwuonwu urged all Nigerians to stand up to attack cancer and never forget that the disease is a great killer. Coordinator, Lagos State NCPP, said cancer is the num-

ber one killer across the world, saying: “One-third of the disease can be cured while some can be prevented.” Dr Nzelu said early detection is important. Cancer can be prevented by self-examination, clinic test examination, and can be reduced when a mother breastfeeds her child for at least one and a half years, he added.

100,000 children abused in Lagos, says group BOUT 100,000 children are abused in Lagos daily, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Child Protection Network (CPN), has said. Its Secretary General, Mr Taiwo Akinlami said this has left them with stigma, inferiority complex and low self-esteem. Akinlami briefed journalist at the body’s stakeholders meeting on cases of child abuse in Lagos State. He said children as future leaders should be given a voice. Children should be allowed to participate in matters that concern them in the state, he added. He said CPN’s aim to discuss issues and actions that complement and contribute to strengthening the overall protective environment for children in Lagos State. “CPN has served over a million children through their various projects. There were 15 pregnant teenagers at Oshodi,


Olatunde Odebiyi

who have been receiving counselling and support from CPN. They were residing under the bridge before we stepped in. Their intention to leave Oshodi was reported to WAPA. And in the process of rescuing them, we picked 22 of them to WAPA shelter,” he said. He said the organisation is committed to promoting a cohesive and coordinated approach to the design, implementation and resourcing of child rights advocacy and child protection responses at the state, LGA and community levels. This, he added, will contribute to the knowledge and understanding of child rights and child protection through sharing of evidence-based practice and development of common strategies, training and communication materials. Akinlami said the

organisation will enhance the participation of children in policy, advocacy programmes that have to do with their health and wellbeing. “This will contribute to the development of national child protection policy and related state/ LGA-level planning process,” he stated. Its Lagos State Coordinator, Mrs Ngozi Ekwerike, said parenting a child is the responsibility of all parents. She said: “There is the need to take proper care of our children as they are the future of the country. Mothers should, therefore, give their children quality education about their rights.” A don at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Odun Oruoma called for more awareness on the indigenous language to educate children on their rights to avoid any form of abuse.

Nigerians urged to donate blood


IGERIANS have been urged to engage in voluntary blood do-

nation. This, the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee (LSBTC), said would help to save lives. Its Scientific Officer, Mrs Olayinka Animasaun, said this during a four-day voluntary blood donation exercise by the committee at the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Ikeja. MrsAnimasaun said the committee has carried out the exercise in schools, local governments, agencies and government parastatals, among other places, to ensure that there is enough blood in the

Olatunde Odebiyi

state’s blood bank. According to her, donors will have the opportunity to know their health status such as HIV 1 and 2, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, blood group and genotype free before making donation. “Donating blood helps donors to shed out the old red cells to produce new ones. This exercise helps them to look fresh and help the bone marrow to function effectively,” she added. An official of the body, Mr Solomon Eke said the exercise ensures there is access to blood in time of emergency and it reduces time wasting, thereby, helps to save lives.

He said people between the ages of 18 to 65 can engage in the exercise, but discouraged donation by expectant mothers and the sick. Eke said donated blood is useful for people with sickle cell anaemia, cancer and accident victims and those having surgery. Director, Special Duties, LIRS Adekunle Oseni said: “I believe in voluntary blood donation so that there would be enough blood in the blood bank in case of any emergency.” He urged the people to imbibe the culture of non-remunerated voluntary blood donation, saying it is a crucial way to saving lives.

NAFDAC sets deadline for MAS compliance


•Reckitt Benckiser’s General Manager for Central Africa, Mr Ashok Bhasin teaching some school children the correct way of washing their hands

HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has set January 2, 2013 as deadline for manufacturers, importers and marketers of anti-malaria drugs to implement the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS)

also known as Short Message Services (SMS) or face the full wrath of the law. According to the agency, this step will ensure that only genuine anti-malaria and antibiotics are found in circulation. In a statement, the agency

added that all antibiotic drugs marketed in the country must also carry MAS (Scratch and Text) label by March 2. This, it said, is in pursuant to the performance agreement reached with the Minister of Health, Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu.




PowerCell plans $2m investment in UPS equipment


N indigenous power solutions company, Powercell Limited, said it plans to invest $2million in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) equipment to ensure that corporate organisations and individuals don’t lose data as a result of power failure or fluctuations. UPS system is a device that supplies battery backup power to computers, servers and network equipment, among others. The Managing Director of the company, Mr Tayo Balogun, said UPS power backups subsector is grossly underutilised as about 85 per cent of the sector remains untapped. Balogun, who addressed reporters in Lagos, stressed the importance of UPS in safety of electrical materials and data. He said Powercell is partnering with Newave, which recently teamed up with ABB Group, which is globally known in power construction and equipment. Newave is globally known for UPS and it pioneered production of modular UPS – a new technology in the UPS world, which is capable of sustaining small and medium companies and currently, Powercell is the only company licensed to sell its products. Balogun said the company has standalone UPS and modular UPS, which exists in single and three phases of 10KVA to 2.7MVA as well as other ranges, adding that before end of this month the first set of products will arrive Nigeria. He said: “On capacity building, we are sending our sales engineers to Switzerland for train-

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

ing. Our products are user and pocket friendly because we will sale, maintain and promote Newave products in Nigeria. In the long term, we are also looking to bring Newave to open shop in Nigeria, assemble and manufacture its equipment and some components here. It will help to stall capital flight. “At the moment, we are partnering the best power back-up company in the world, Newave, which is a subsidiary of ABB Group. All Newave products are of highest quality and modular UPS is the king of UPS because it enables the user to expand.”

•From left: Alex Illah, Chairman, International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Nigerian Chapter; Olushola Ismail, Head Sales and Marketing, Oando Energy Services; Ernest Nwapa, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board, and Bandele Badejo, CEO, Oando Energy Services, at the inauguration of the Nigeria Chapter of the IADC in Lagos.

UK Group to establish oil and gas firm in Koko


OSS Group, an oil and gas company, made up of three investors from the United Kingdom is set to establish a project in Delta State in response to the Federal Government’s call for increased investment in the industry. The Chairman/Chief Executive of the company, Mr Steven Igbinose, who disclosed this during an interview with The Nation, said the firm would sanitise the sector by introducing a transparent and people-oriented business. He said: “We are in Nigeria to throw light on what we intend to do in the country. It is an investment, an oil and gas project that we are about to establish in Koko, Delta State. We are building six mega ultra-modern oil tank farms in that oil rich community.” He said a careful study of oil business environment revealed that the Koko town is both strategic and central for such business because a major chunk of Nigeria’s oil is produced in Delta State. Consequently, he said cit-

By Bode Monogbe

ing the project in the community would make things easier for the oil firm and more beneficial to Nigerians. On how the company would operate, Igbinose said he envisaged a departure from the norm because they intend to separate the oil company from the rest. “But the main purpose here is that we are trying to establish a business that would be based on pure transparency, which is what will stand us out from other existing firms in the oil and gas industry in the country. The ultimate purpose for our investing in Nigeria is for us to introduce a different business brand that is out of normal in Nigeria.” He explained that his group was encouraged by Federal Government’s efforts in addressing some salient issues relating to investment and economic development. He said he would bring his global experience in oil and gas matters to bear on the ini-

tiative. He said: “We intend to go global with my experience and the right contacts that we have. Having stayed in England for many years and considering the efforts of the Nigerian government in addressing certain anomalies in various sectors, I was inspired to come home and contribute to the economy of our great country. And with me in Nigeria are my friends and co-investors, Neoclis and Garey. They came down with me from the United Kingdom.” Igbinose said the firm would be involved in bulk sales and broking as well as developing a network of retail service stations. “There would be a loading gantry with six product pumps that have the capacity to dispense 150,000 litres of petroleum product each per hour. Our oil tanker that is already on ground and the oil tanker fleet is ready too, which will facilitate ship to ship bulk transfer. “We are also planning to establish MOSS leisure and wellness centre, medical centre as well as a boxing centre where our youths would be offered interna-

tional standard training in boxing alongside normal national curricular. We shall also provide the best fire safety system and equipment within the Koko community,” he added. He said the project would provide jobs for many and bring development, social welfare and innovative healthcare to the people. “We also intend to go global with our subsidiary firm in UK. With my international investors that will take care of the leisure and ultra-modern boxing school respectively and the right fund at our disposal, we will not disappoint Nigerians. That will be our uniqueness,” he said. Explaining reason for choosing Koko, Igbinose said: “I realised that the Koko community is an investment area with rich potentials that were just lying untapped. So, I immediately thought of putting up an oil and gas firm there. I pursued the business idea and got it registered in 2008 as MOSS Petroleum. And being a native, it will afford me ample opportunity to make some positive impact on my people.”

New Petroleum Industry Bill: An analysis By Efuru Obua

•Ms Obua •Continued from October 17


ECTION 195 states grounds for revocation of licence, ss (1) states that the Minister on recommendation of the Inspectorate may revoke a licence or lease under certain circumstances. The Minister is empowered amongst others to; revoke a licence or lease where it has been obtained or acquired on the basis of false representations or corrupt practices or where it is owned or controlled by a former or present public officer who has obtained the licence or lease through misuse of public office. Issues: These are far reaching provisions to check corruption and sharp practices in the industry, They give the Minister total powers to revoke a licence or lease in the circumstances stated there under. However section 196 allows for representations to be made to the Minister following revocation. It appears that the Minister has the final say and that there is no right of appeal from the decision of

the Minister. This may lead to abuse of office by the Minister. Protected Objects - Sections 198 and 199: Two novel provisions on protected objects are created. They state that compensation is payable where there is damage or injury to a tree or object which has commercial value. Environmental quality management – Section 200: Ss (1) provides that “every licensee or lessee engaged in petroleum operations shall within one year of the commencement of this Act or within three months after having been granted the licence or lease, submit an environmental management plan to the Inspectorate for approval. ss(2) states that “the environmental management plan shall contain the licensee’s or lessee’s written environmental policy, objectives and targets and commitment to comply with relevant laws, regulations, guidelines and standards. Issues: This is a welcome provision in view of the reckless conduct of some operators in the industry who do not have a vibrant environmental management plan or an effective system for expeditious remediation. Financial contribution for remediation of environmental damage – Section 203: Ss (1) states “as a condition for the grant of the said licence or lease and prior to the approval of the environmental management plan by the Inspectorate, every licensee or lessee shall pay the prescribed financial contribution to an environmental remediation fund established by the Inspectorate….” Issues: This is a welcome develop-

ment given its obligatory nature and will ensure early remediation of damage to the environment. National Strategic Stock – Section 225: Ss (1) states that “the Agency shall administer and ensure compliance, distribution and storage of the National Strategic Stocks of petroleum products in accordance with regulation set by the Minister on the advice of the Agency. Issues: This will enhance security of supply and check scarcity of petroleum products arising from irresponsible conduct of some marketers and agencies. Offences and penalties for damage to infrastructure, plant or equipment belonging to a downstream products or gas licensee including but not limited to fittings, meters and equipment – Section 265: It states that any person convicted of intentionally committing an offence is liable to a penalty not exceeding one hundred million naira as well as reimburse the licensee for any petroleum products or gas illegally taken and for any damage to the licensee’s equipment. ss (2) (1) provides that where such a convicted person is unable to pay the penalty or reimburse the licensee, he or she or officer of the company shall be liable to imprisonment for a period of not less than two years and not more than five years… Issues: This provision with its stiff penalty will send a clear message to arsonists and other similar minded people who engage in reckless destruction of property. Domestic Gas Supply Obligation Section 269: Ss (1) states: “The Inspec-

torate shall regulate the sector in accordance with the National Master Plan for Gas (National Gas Master Plan) Issues: This provision will ensure government’s continued interventionist approach in the domestic gas market to boost local production. An obligation is placed on holders of PML to produce a certain percentage of gas as part of their operations, the overall effect is increased production of domestic gas which will meet demand for all the strategic sectors especially for power generation, a penalty is prescribed for failure to meet the obligation. This again is in line with international practice. Gas Flaring (Prohibition and Punishment): Section 275: It states that natural gas shall not be flared or vented after a date to be prescribed by the Minister … in any oil and gas production operation, block or field, onshore or offshore, or gas facility e.g processing treatment plant with the exception of such permits granted under section 253 (1) (b). Issues: The language of the law is total prohibition subject to exceptions with stiff penalties for non compliance, the requirement for a gas utilisation plan will ensure that natural gas which is produced in the course of oil production is utilised or re injected. Oil producing communities are enjoined to report incidents of gas flaring to the Inspectorate. It is expected that these measures will finally end the ugly and illegal practice of gas flaring which has caused extensive damage to the environment. It is suggested that fixed penalties be introduced.

Compliance with environmental health and safety laws Section 290: Every company engaged in any activities for which a licence, lease or permit is issuable in upstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry in Nigeria, to comply with all environmental health and safety laws, regulations, guidelines and directives as may be issued by the Ministry of Environment or the Inspectorate. Issues: There is an obligation on all operators to observe and comply with all environmental laws and regulations adopting a precautionary approach. A duty is placed on them to restore the environment as far as is practicable in the event of damage save where such damage is caused by an act of sabotage. The Inspectorate is empowered to determine whether damage is an act of sabotage where there is doubt, however this may not be an easy process given that the resources to monitor operations closely may not always be available leaving a loop hole for operators to attribute every damage especially oil spills to acts of vandalism or sabotage. Section 272 provides for compensation in the event of damage but does not make a clear stipulation on the quantum of damages which again leaves a gap in the law. •Ms Obua, a solicitor with over 20 years experience, is from the University of Dundee. She practices in the UK and also a partner at EN&N Legal Practitioners Victoria Island Lagos and can be reached at •To be continued next week









PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT Ilorin descendants oppose state land policy


HE Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), a socio-cultural organisation, has demanded the abrogation of the Kwara State Legal Notice No 17 of 2009, which declares Ilorin and the Ilorin Emirate an urban area. IEDPU stated this in Ilorin, the state capital, at a public hearing in the House of Assembly, at the weekend. The group, in a paper signed by its National President, Justice Saka Yusuf (rtd), said: “That the Kwara State Legal Notice 44 published in the state Gazette No 17 Volume 43 of September 24, 2009 is not a law passed by the Kwara State House of Assembly and it is not even a resolution of the House of Assembly; that the legal notice being an order issue personally by the governor, does not require the involvement of the state House of Assembly before it could be amended, suspended or withdrawn by the governor; that the legal notice, in so far as it declares the whole of Ilorin Township and, in fact, the entire emirate, as an urban area, is unacceptable to the people of the emirate, bearing in mind the unsavoury implications which that declaration has within the context of the Land Use Act. It said these include: “The power of issue customary right of occupancy on customary land, which the Land Use Act confers on local governments in the emirate is ousted by the legal notice; that the legal notice has denied the ordinary people of the emirate access to area courts on customary land matters.” IEDPU’s position, which was presented by a lawyer, Yahaya Saadu, added: “Inheritance of land or succession to customary title to land is abrogated by the legal notice; the legal notice denies indigenes of the emirate the right to repair existing residential buildings, erect new buildings or farms even at their backyard without the consent of the governor and the legal notice has turned

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

the customary land owners into tenants liable to pay prohibitive rent to government on their land.” The Director-General of the state, Bureau of lands, Mr Tope Daramola, in his submission, said the agency has not acquired any land in the state without abiding with the law on land acquisition in the state. He said the bureau has not acquired the llorin Eid praying ground and the Emir’s palace as being speculated in some quarters. Daramola denied insinuations that the bureau acquired lands for building of religious houses in some part of the state. Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Razak Atunwa, stressed that the exercise was not meant to review existing laws, but to get suggestions which it would send to the governor. His words: “It has been suggested that the Bureau of Lands has indiscriminately carved out and sold various institutional land. It has been suggested that the Yidi Prayer Ground, parts of the Emir’s Palace and land belonging to educational institutions, have been sold by the bureau. There is no evidence before the House that there has been any such sale. “The suggestion that the Yidi Prayer Ground and part of Emir’s Palace have been sold are not only preposterous and ludicrous, they are mischievous. The Kwara Central Senator, and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly are devout Muslims with deep family roots in the emirate and have the highest reverence for Islam and respect for the emir. “The governor also has strong affinity with Ilorin and a devout Muslim. It is, therefore, unthinkable that all three will stand idly by and watch any desecration of those lands.”

Lagos agency, group to train concrete workers By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor


ISTURBED by the incidence of collapsed buildings, the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory (LSMTL) and Building Collapsed Prevention Guild (BCPG) are planning to train concrete producers and workers in the state next month. BCPG has been championing the campaign against building collapse while organising bricklayers, concrete producers and workers in Lagos in the last four years. Speaking with leaders of the workers in the state on the modalities of the training, Chairman, BCPG, Mr Kunle Awobodu, said workers, operators and other artisans in concreting on construction sites, comprising iron welders, carpenters and bricklayers would be part of the seminar. He said BCPG was out to correct the problems in the sector. He appealed to the stakeholders to check the excesses of their workers.He told them that they have a role to play by refusing to work on any site where owners or developers fail to provide adequate materials. The Managing Consultant, LASMTL, a monitoring agency, Mr Shola Famakin, urged concrete mixers to always liaise with the Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB) on training that would enhance their jobs. He assured them that his agency would be part of the training scheduled for Ikeja, Lagos. He said: “There is need to go back to the basis and do the right things that people have abandoned. There is need for us to have standards for casting of concrete for decking and

house columns. “With the look of things, he said it would be made mandatory for engineers, concrete mixers and operators on construction sites to sign certification document before embarking on concrete works on sites, urging that there was need to collaborate to get good results. Chairman, NIOB, Lagos chapter, emphasised the need for quality work. Another staff member of the Lagos LSMTL, Mr Gboyega Abisogun, said there was need for stakeholders in the industry including builders, engineers, iron benders and concreters to work together to correct various anomalies in order to move the sector forward. He blamed concrete workers for shoddy mix of materials in most construction sites, saying impatience on their part was responsible. Leader of concrete workers from Mushin, Alhaji Owonimess, said it was the first time professionals in the building sector were planning such a training for concrete workers. He said: “I have been on the job since 1968. It is what we threw away before now that we are coming back to. I have observed that the houses we did the concrete works in the past have not collapsed but the new ones. Something must be wrong. “We are going to work with BCPG and government to end this embarrassment.” Another leader, Alhaji Olarewaju Alabede, promised that concreters would talk to themselves, saying: “It is the right time to do the right thing.”

•Proposed legislative building in Amuwo Odofin LGA

Infrastructure development takes centre stage in local govt AGOS State has become a reference point in infrastructural development in the country. This is as a result of the dynamism of Governor Babatunde Fashola, which has impacted on some areas in the state, including Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area. The local government is, probably the first in massive housing development, such as the FESTAC Housing Estate and the Durbar Hotel (now Golden Tulip Hotel), among others. Before now, the infrastructure development in this all-important axis that serves as the gateway to other West African countries was derelict until the massive infrastructure upgrade in the area recently. The Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area Council pushed the frontiers of transformation to a point where even the opposition and critics of the government applauded its drive. In the past four years of the administration, there have been alot of changes aimed at improving the lives of the people and preparing the environment for private sector investment that will not only enhance the revenue profile of the council but also create jobs and empower the people. The Local Government Chairman, Mr Ayodele Adewale, he said: “There are some things that the government needs to put in place to improve their living standards because government is all about the people.” “In preparing the local government to attract both local and foreign investments, Ayodele said the administration has, among other things, improved on its overstretched infrastructure; tightened security and also assisted in the education of its citizens who are expected to provide the needed manpower to feed the incoming investments. “This administration has executed many projects that have direct impact on the lives of the people and also geared towards attracting private sector investment. A major project in this drive, he said, is the rehabilitation and resurfacing of 21 Road (Phase One) starting from 11 Road Junction to12 Road and the interlocking of same.” He listed some of the road projects he completed as 72 Road, 24 Road, 51 Road, 52 Road, 31 Road, 71 Road, 32 Road and 4th Avenue. Others were the beautification of 41 road, First Gate, First and Sec-


By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

ond Avenues. ”In the same vein, we have provided 15 modern toilet facilities with boreholes, water treatment plant and 6KVA generators to power each plant,” he added. Ayodele revealed his administration intends to embark on more capital projects in his second term, including the rehabilitation of schools, encouragement of sport and investment in ICT to help reposition the youth to face the competition of the jet age. “The council,” he said, “has embarked on the renovation of 22 primary schools and the construction of one block of six classrooms at Igbologun. Importantly, this administration has also distributed 500 freeUTME forms and 600 GCE forms to indigent students in the last three years. Underscoring the importance the council put on education, the chairman said they went to the extent constructing a new one.” He also built an office for the Head Mistress at Sagbokoji Primary School and engaged the services of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) members to organise free tutorials for pupils, and renovated and refurbished the Abule Ado Vocational Centre. He recalled that former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was at the local government to inaugurate executed projects and also lay the foundation of proposed ones which would be private sector driven. On his projections for the local government in the future, he said: “We have a plan to develop a stadium, an industrial park and recreational centres. We also have plan to go into some form of real estate development that will yield two and three-bedroom apartments to accommodate the middle class and the expatriates that will work at the industrial areas.”

‘We have a plan to develop a stadium, an industrial park and recreational centres’

On the funding, he said because the council has a market, the private sector was willing to partner with them. According to him, a microfinance institution has invested about N30million in real estate. He appealed to more developers to take advantage of the healthy investment climate and invest the area. On transportation, the local government chairman said his administration has moved to fill the gap following the ban on commercial motor cyclists and tricycle operators in FESTAC Town by the state government, by discussing with Ashok Leyland to release 100 buses to close that gap. He revealed the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) Department is supporting the administration in bringing investment to the local government, which include a private sector investment of over $800 million in the power project. “So many of these projects and investments are nearing maturity stage; what is delaying them is the legal framework all things been equal we expect to roll out the first 50 buses that will be carrying at least 42 passengers each,” he said. The chairman said when these projects and investments mature and are operational,they would have the capacity to create many jobs that would empower the people. According to him, over 3,000 jobs will be generated from the transportation, the industrial area, the recreation centres, among others. There would be ample job opportunities for drivers, support staff and artisans such as vulcanisers, mechanics and even cleaners who will ensure the bus is clean always.The transportation sector will also employ administrative staff, including IT specialists, who will be engaged to monitor the movement of the buses, including legal and account staff. On health, he said his administration operates a health policy that provides free drugs to vulnerable age groups (0-16; 60 and above), and dispenses drugs at 10 per cent discount to others outside it; increases the number of doctors in its Primary Health Centres from one doctor to 21. “We have three major partners, including Profis Pharmaceutical, Sunlab and El-lab in our health drive. These are investors that are interested in our health care sector and they are really happy about their investment,” he added.




Reps blame FERMA, contractor for state of N300m road project


•Flooded: An area of Benue State.

NESREA introduces regulations to combat environmental disaster


OLLOWING floods in some parts of the country, the National Environmental Standards Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has introduced four new regulations to combat the menace. The regulations were rolled out at the Annual Regulatory Dialogue in Abuja by the Minister of the Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafia. She attributed the flooding to non-compliance with rules. She said: “The environment functions as source of raw materials and energy, a provider of services, such as maintenance of climatic system and ecological cycle and a sink for waste. Unfortunately, the functions of the ecosystem are under threat arising, particularly from disregard for environmental laws and regulations. “The key environmental challenges facing Nigeria include water pollution, indoor and outdoor air pollution, industrial pollution, biodiversity loss, erosion, flooding, land degradation, desertification, sprawling urban solid waste, open bush burning, noise pollution, environmental pollution and wildlife crimes, climate change, ozone depletion, etc. these can be situated in failure to keep the laws and regulations, man-made or natural.”, she explained The four new regulations are: National Environmental (Quarrying and blasting species) regula-

From Olugbenga Adanikin and Faith Yahaya, Abuja

tions, 2012; National Environmental (pulp and paper, wood and wood products) regulations, 2012; National Environmental (Motor vehicle assembly and miscellaneous assembly) regulations, 2012; and National Environmental (alien and invasive species) regulations. Mailafia, who was represented by Dr. Modupe Odubela, described environmental regulations as a body of rules that ensures sustainable use of resources and for the social and economic development of the society. According to her, environmental protection flows from a principle of a moral and ethical belief that citizens should protect the air, water and land. “Environmental governance is not all about government. As citizens of this country, we have a key role to play in promoting environmental governance and in ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment, she added. NESREA Director-General, Mrs. Ngeri Benebo stated that the laws are to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. She called for a collective effort, stressing that the guideline will place stakeholders on the same page as individuals, governments, academia, and cooperate body. “We need to do something to better the environment, to care

for it because we are all stakeholders of the environment. Let us put regulation that will stand the test of time,” she added. Speaking on flooding, the director-general stated that the recent flood is because of torrential rainfall and blocked drains. “Once there is going to be torrential rainfall and the drains are blocked, we will definitely have flooding but if the rain is not so much, with time the drains will flow but because government, state government, local government, some persons, you and I have, refused to clean our drains and torrential rainfall comes, then we will find out that there is problem. This is one of the things that contribute to flooding,” she said. She urged the citizens to shelve the idea that government has to do everything for them. “We should go away from the mentality that government has to clean the drain, government cannot clean the drain for you because you messed it up. Government made the drain for water to flow but you decided to put your trash in it, and that is not government duty” “Government had to take from its resources to start ensuring that there is succor for those affected and all these would have been avoided or the magnitude would have been reduced if we had done what we were supposed to do”, she added.

NSE, firm donate software to 12 varsities


HE Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and MIDAS Software have presented software and licences to 12 universities for training and research. The universities include: Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Unversity, Bauchi; University of Maiduguri, University of Ilorin, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Others are: Federal University of Technology Owerri, Bayero University Kano, Ahmadu Bello Univesity, Zaria; Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcour;, University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and University of Benin. During the presentation in Abuja, NSE’s President Mr Mustafa Balarabe Shehu said more varsities would benefit in the future. He said: “NSE has selected 12 Nigerian uiversities across the six geo-po-

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

litical zones as centres for training, application and research on these Midas software applicable in civil, structural, geotechnical, mechanical and special projects. “Midas IT is donating 25 licences of the software to each university, a total worth of over US$1.7milion (N272million) to the 12 selected universities for training and research programme. “This is special and should be part of history both for the NSE and the Nigerian education sector in promoting engineering education and learning as well as enhancing professional competence and development of Nigerian engineers and students of engineering. “These universities are advised to provide the enabling environment that will promote the programme among engineering researchers, students and practising engineering in their zones.

Note that the NSE branches and the headquarters will be working with the universities on this programme to ensure sustainability. “I want the management of these universities and the executives of the various NSE branches to assiduously work together in their zones, so as to actualise the noble objectives of this initiative of improving the skills and competencies of Nigerian engineers for the development of engineering and technology in the country, while NSE will continue to monitor the progress and result of these programmes,” he said. Regional Manager,MIDAS Software, Ravi Kiran, said they were using use the gifts to expand their business in Nigeria. “It is basically a Korean software, which we are introducing into the market. We intend to start with the universities because they need it the most right now,” he said.

EMBERS of the House of Representatives’Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) have expressed shock over a project in Niger State that has not been started, despite that the contractor has been mobilised to move to site. The lawmakers were on an oversight function in the state to ascertain the level of implementation of this year’s budget. Four of five projects allocated to the state have been awarded and mobilisation paid by FERMA. However, on-the-spot assessment of the projects contradicted the reports given to the committee, which showed that work had started on one of the roads as the contractor had been mobilised. But the contractor handling the project, Enerco Nigeria Limited, claimed it has not been mobilised. A member of the committee, Abdulrazak Zaki, said: “We are angry because they misled us. We were told that work has commenced on site only to get here and discover that it was at zero level. We would not have embarked on this tour if documents presented to us by the agency showed otherwise. While he questioned the essence of the oversight, the lawmaker alleged connivance between the agency and the contractor on the state of the project. “What is the essence of our coming here? We are not happy and our job is to let Nigerians know what is happening. We are not here to cover anything up. To me, the so- called fight against corruption by the Executive is just a farce because they give cover to corruption,” he added.

From Dele Anofi, Abuja

Another member, Dr Abiola, said the discovery has supported the need for physical inspection of infrastructural projects across the country by the lawmakers. “It is rather unfortunate to have travelled all the way from Abuja, over such a long distance only to see nothing and all we could hear was that the contract was awarded two weeks ago and nothing to show for it. “When the legislators are showing concern over the level of budget implementation for 2012, that it is nothing to write home about, it is for occurrences like this. “It shows insincerity on the part of the agency, because I want to believe that there is no reason for this lack of activity if they have been given money. I just don’t understand the reason we should be taken to where nothing is happening. That is just the most ridiculous aspect of it,” she said. Chairman of the Committee, Gregory Chukwuegbo, who also expressed disappointment, however, corrected the impression of being misled to a zero performance site, saying: “ I believe why we were brought here was that we requested for the 2012 budget, but the on-going Mokwa project was for 2010/2011 budget year.” According to the Chief Maintenance Engineer, who disclosed that about N300million would be spent to recover the 20km affected portion of the 165km road, the project was to make the road motorable and prevent it from collapse. The committee promised to return to the site before the end of the year to ascertain progress of work.

Minister warns land buyers HE Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ms. Amal Pepple has advised land buyers in Abuja to be careful. The Minister gave the advice during the commemoration of the World Habitat Day in Abuja. The said at the event entitled: Changing cities, building opportunities, that when buying lands in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), they should make ensure that the land papers including the titles were in their hands. She said: “I would advise people to be careful with how they buy lands, and where they build their houses, with the recent demolition on Airport road, Abuja, an estate like that should have a title. “Demolition can be an answer for so many reasons, like when people build on waterways, or transgress by building on properties that do not belong to them. Then demolition can come in. But there should be a human face to all this. “This 2012 alone, the ministry has given out 89 lands to private developers in all parts of the country, yet I can still tell you that there are challenges with some of the lands given to these developers. Some of the houses or lands that have had challenges through the ministry, it is making arrangement to pay back the


From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

money, but not immediately.” She also said: “We cannot build enduring, inclusive, functional, livable and resilient cities if our preoccupation is with the planning and development of mega cities only. “On the contrary, we need to maximise the opportunities available in intermediate cities and small towns by ensuring the proper planning and utilisation of their territorial spaces before they degenerate fast into slums and inhabitable human settlements. “This requires taking a holistic and futuristic view of planning rather than the otherwise myopic planning of our national agenda on urban development, which we are committed to implementing with all the key stakeholders in the housing and urban development sector through the instrumentality of the recently approved National Housing Urban Development policies by government.” She said the most important need for harnessing the opportunities in the cities was to ensure peace and security, adding that the bad experience being faced by some urban dwellers in some parts of the country caused by violence was alien to our culture. The Senate Committee Chairman on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Senator Buka Abba Ibrahim, pointed at the negative public perception, apathy and ignorance about the need for developing the cities to provide good opportunities for growth and development.


CITYBEATS Arowolo: Motorcyclists on the rampage Absence of MTN stalls in Lagos C trial


08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:-

By Adebisi Onanuga

THE trial of Akolade Arowolo, charged with the murder of his banker wife, Titilayo Omozoje, could not go on yesterday due to the absence of a prosecution witness from a telecommunication network provider, MTN Nigeria. At the resumed hearing, the prosecution, led by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, told the court that they have not seen the witness from MTN. Ogungbesan said they had subpoena the telecommunication company to appear before the court to testify on some issues and had expected them to be in court yesterday. The DPP could not adduce any reason for the absence. “We served MTN Nigeria Ltd with a subpoena and we expected them to be in court today. “We have asked around the court but they are not here this morning,” she explained. The DPP then asked the court for a short adjournment to enable it bring the witness to court at the next hearing and close its case. “My lord, I crave the court’s indulgence for an adjournment for the last time, to enable us find out from the legal department what went wrong. I promise that at the next sitting, the witness will be here and we will close our case,” she pleaded. Justice Okunnu therefore, adjourned hearing till November 19. The judge informed Arowolo’s counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, to be set to open the defence’ case on the said date.

OMMERCIAL motorcyclists, popularly known as ‘Okada riders’, went on the rampage in various parts of Lagos yesterday. They were protesting the ban by the government from plying 475 roads in the metropolis. The protesters marched on Onipanu, Ikorodu Road, Isolo, Ikorodu, Ejigbo and Mushin. They were singing solidarity songs. The motorcyclists were holding sticks and irons. About 10 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses were vandalised at Onipanu on Ikorodu Road. While motorists and BRT passengers scampered for safety, a team of Rapid Response Squad (RRS), was deployed to quell the protests. The Nation gathered that some arrests were made by the police, although the number could not be ascertained. At Isolo, major roads were blocked, causing a traffic jam as the protesters carried leaves and chanted anti-gov-

•Destroy BRT buses By Oziegbe Okoeki and Precious Igbonwelundu

ernment songs. They rejected the ban because, according to them, it would cripple their businesses. The spokesman of the Isolo Chapter of Motorcyclists Union, Mr Azeez Rashid, said the action was to make the masses empathise with them. According to him, the government is giving a flimsy excuse that criminals use motorcycles for their nefarious activities, adding that members of the association would not work until the ban is lifted. Some commuters said the government should devise means of regulating commercial motorcyclist instead of

outright exclusion from ‘juicy’ routes. Lagos police spokesperson Ngozi Braide said the police moved in on time to quell the protests. But she could not confirm if arrests were made. The House of Assembly threatened to ban the operations of commercial motorcyclists if the operators refuse to desist from acts of brigandage and vandalism of government properties. The House, at yesterday’s plenary under matter of urgent public importance raised by Moshood Oshun, drew the attention to destruction of BRT buses and lanes on Ikorodu and other roads by protesting Okada riders. Condemning the act, the House urged the state government to mobilise all secu-

rity agencies not only to ensure the law is maintained, but provide necessary and adequate security of lives and property of Lagosians. The lawmakers pointed out that the activities are politically-motivated by enemies of the state who are trying to use them to destabilise the state. Oshun, who moved the motion, warned that if the destructive act of the riders is allowed to continue it will be an invitation to anarchy. “It is a law of the state and it should be obeyed, until the law is either repealed or reviewed, it must be obeyed,” Oshun said. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho (Mushin 1) said the riders’ action showed they are lawless and irresponsible, “which goes to prove all the unlawful acts which many people have complained against them.” She called on the police to arrest those perpetrating the destruction and be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Eid- el-Kabir: Ram prices rise in Lagos


ITH a few days to Eid-el-Kabir, the prices of rams have gone up in some markets in Lagos, just as prices of some food items have increased by about 25 per cent. A market survey conducted yesterday indicated that, on the average, a big ram now costs N85, 000 against the N65, 000 it sold about one month ago. At the Bariga market, a medium sized ram goes for N60, 000 from the earlier price of N45, 000. A small ram now costs between N30, 000 and N25, 000 from the old price of N16, 000. A fairly big ram at Gbagada ram market, now goes for

N75, 000 compared with earlier price of N66, 000. The medium and small size rams now cost N90, 000 and N35, 000 against the previous price of N45, 000 and N16, 000, respectively A big ram in Apongbon ram market is now sold for N80,000 against N65, 000 which obtained one month ago. The price of medium and small size rams ranged between N70, 000 and N25, 000 against N45, 000 and N16, 000 a month earlier. Mr Musa Abdulahi, a ram seller at Bariga, attributed the increase to higher cost of transporting the rams to the south due to flooding.

He said that they were paying more than N200, 000 to transport 50 rams from Niger Republic to Nigeria. “The increase is due to the high transportation cost as it cost more now to bring rams to Lagos,” Abdulahi said. Mr Yinusa Dauda, another ram seller at Agbongbon, said that the security challenges in some parts of the North had made it difficult for traders to bring many rams into Nigeria. NAN reports that the high transportation cost has equally affected other food items and ingredients. Mrs Rukayat Fatai, a tomato seller at Mushin, said that a big basket of tomatoes now

cost N6, 800 against the former price of N4, 000. She said that the traders had to increase the price in order to recoup their investments. Mr Bayo Olikan, a beans seller at Oyingbo market, said that there had been no significant increase in the price of beans between September and October. Olikan said that the four-litre paint tin measure of beans was now being sold for N1, 300 against N1, 200 last month. Mr Ejike Eze, a groundnut oil seller at Oke Arin market, said that 25 litres of groundnut oil was now N7, 800 against N7, 000 one month ago.

Lagos to promote safety education THE Lagos State Government has said it would continue to promote safety consciousness. Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), Mrs. Dominga Odebunmi, spoke at the weekend. She said safety remains the key to continued peaceful coexistence in the state. It was while receiving an award of excellence for pioneering safety innovation, given to the Commission by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Information Chapel of the Ministry of Information and Strategy. Mrs. Odebunmi, who said safety education would remain the focus, added that the commission would continue to advocate strict safety compliance to safety regulations by members of the public, corporate organisations and government establishments to make safety the primary concern of all workers. She said: “We have resolved to strengthen our advocacy for safety consciousness in our various homes, schools, offices, business places and public places,” Mrs Odebunmi said. Lagos State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Adebisi Ibirogba, presented the award. He praised the Commission for the work done to bring safety issues to the front burner of public discourse. “LSSC under your leadership has continued to blaze the trail and has now synergised government’s efforts at ensuring compliance to safety across the many sectors of the economy,” Ibirogba said. The Chapel Chairman, Mr. Mukaila Sanusi, said the award, which formed a part of this year’s press week, was in recognition of the pioneering efforts of the Commission in bringing safety awareness to the people.

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


lease I have a girl who experiences much pain during intercourse. We have visited many gynaecologists and done many tests but they said she has no problem. But we cannot make love because of pains especially at penetration. Is there anything you can suggest to remedy the situation? Ade Ade your girlfriend is suffering from Vaginismus. It is a health condition characterised by vaginal tightness during attempted intercourse. This tightness causes discomfort, pain, penetration difficulties and the inability to have intercourse. Vaginismus is caused by fear which triggers the body to protect itself by shutting down. This shutting down manifests in the tightening of the pubic muscles of the vagina in an effort to avoid any kind of foreign invasion especially penile penetration. The causes of this fear vary such as the anticipation of intercourse pain, fear of tissue damage, fear of getting pregnant, performance pressures, negativity towards sex, distrust, emotional detachment, guilt, past emotional/sexual abuse, inadequate sex education, rigid parenting and unbalanced religious teachings among others. It is a long list. Can Vaginismus be treated? Yes it can. There is a treatment programme that medical experts offer which involves the use of a kit known as a vagina dilator set amongst other things. We have been able to import this kit for people like you. The one we have is called the Basics Intimate Dilator Set. As you know, we are not doctors so we can only provide you the kit. It is a pity that the doctors you visited don’t even know what the problem is. I suggest you buy this kit and then go to the internet to read up additional curative procedures on – Uche What do you advice for hard erection? Viagra or Sex Voltz? I have heard so much about the two – Chidi Chidi they are both good but Viagra is a synthetic drug and can only be prescribed by a medical doctor. Sex Voltz on the other hand is a natural herbal supplement so I recommend that. Natural supplements are safer and you do not need a doctor’s prescription to take them, provided you are not hypertensive. Sex Voltz gives strong erections,

the stamina to perform multiple times and the ability to get a second erection quickly after ejaculation. Sex Voltz also intensifies sexual pleasure while increasing sperm volume and one capsule works for three days – Uche That Mega Me Penis Enlarger you suggested is working. My penis is getting bigger and heavier. Sorry for saying it is 419. I have had bad experiences with other penis enlargers before – Jubril You are welcome. We only talk about products that work. I have used Mega Me and it works – Uche I have watched adult videos where women climaxed multiple times in one sexual session. Is that real? I have been sexually active for years and I have never climaxed like that – Linda Linda it is real. These adult performers know how to enjoy sex and get the best results because they are experts. If you want to learn how to climax like them, buy the movie Advanced Toys for Great Sex. You will also need a very good vibrator like the Dual Rotation Rabbit and an orgasm gel. Go for the Swiss Navy 2 in 1 Orgasm Gel. The trick is to know what they use and how to use it– Uche I have been married for five years and still can’t last up to 2 minutes in bed. It is terrible – Isa Isa this is a big problem for men. We talk about it every week. The best solution still remains delay creams. Apply the Emperor’s Delay Cream before intercourse and you will last longer – Uche Thank you for the Mega Me Penis Enlarger. It is working and I am so happy - Fred You are welcome Fred. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08191978308 or 08027901621 or any other number here to order or they can order online at Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.




Profit-taking depresses equities



THE Nigerian stock market opened this week on a negative note as profit-taking transactions by investors angling to lock in recent substantial capital gains shaved off 0.09 per cent from market capitalisation. The benchmark index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the All Share Index (ASI) contracted by 23.78 basis points to close at 27,272.57. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities also lost N8 billion to close at N8.690 trillion. Market analysts said the signal for profit-taking unfolded when majority of banking stocks received mixed activities dominated by offers for sales.Throughout trading hours, investors maintained the supply pressure, pushing the closing market position to the negative. Analysts said the profittaking was expected given that most equities had garnered substantial gains in

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

recent period. The market had witnessed constant growth for four consecutive days. The decline was exacerbated by losses suffered by highly capitalised companies including United Bank for Africa, Access Bank, Dangote Sugar, Nestle Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria and Guaranty Trust Bank with price drop of N0.17, N0.20, N0.11, N2.00, N0.01 and N0.01 to close at N5.04, N9.20, N5.70, N682.00, N17.00 and N20.29 respectively. Altogether, out of the 47 equities that recorded price changes, 21 inched forward while 26 reduced in value. Other losers included Fidson, which lost N0.08 to close at N1.15. AIICO followed with a drop of N0.04 to close at N0.66. Others with price drop include IPWA, AG Leventist, CAP, Livestock, Wapic, UBA, Ac-

cess Bank and RT Briscoe. On the gainers’ table, DN Meyer led with an increase of N0.29 to close at N3.22. It was followed by Custodian and Allied Insurance with a gain of N0.08 to close at N1.48. Also on the list were Evans Medical, Port paint, Cutix, Prestige Assurance, Continental Reinsurance, Wema Bank, Cadbury and Vitafoam. Investors bought 278.745 million shares worth N2.702 billion in 4,552 deals. The financial services sector, as usual, dominated the activities chart with 238.842 million shares worth N2.240 billion in 2,745 deals. Others actively traded were Conglomerates, Consumer Goods, Health Care, Oil & Gas, Industrial Goods and Services. Meanwhile, Zenith Bank Plc reported its third quarter earnings. It grew both gross earnings and profit after tax by 25.18 per cent and 43.92 per cent at N229.16 billion and N61.41 billion respectively. On every N1.00 put into use within the period, 15 per cent were returned as equity profit. The report further stated that the third quarter earnings per share of N2.02 were posted compared to N1.34 attained in similar period 2011.





ANAN seeks Financial Reporting Act execution


HE Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) is seeking for full implementation of the

Stories by Collins Nweze

Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria’s Act. In a statement, ANAN appealed to President

Unity Bank CEO gets CIBN Fellowship award


HE Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Unity Bank Plc, Ado Yakubu Wanka was last weekend, conferred with the Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB). The award was bestowed on him by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) at an elaborate ceremony held in Lagos. President/Chairman of Council, CIBN, Segun Aina described Wanka as a distinguished banker and resourceful member of the banking industry. The CIBN boss said the award confines on the recipient, all rights, privileges and obligations that come with it. He advised Wanka to always inspire young professional bankers as such would improve the quality of manpower in the banking sector while also carrying out his duties with integrity, competence and uprightness. Wanka on his part promised to abide and protect the CIBN Act, remain diligent in his work and contribute to the growth and professionalism of the sector. “I affirm that I will abide and support the CIBN Act, Codes and adhere strictly to the ethics of the banking and finance industry. I promise to be diligent and contribute to

Public Procurement should be put in place to formulate policies that will guide government agencies in procurement and ensure sanitisation of the process of awarding contracts’’, the participants said. They agreed that the government’s transformation agenda could become more realistic if regulatory agencies are given all necessary support to mid-wife the desired result. They said that a consistent process of value reorientation of the citizens

Goodluck Jonathan to aside seeing that the Act of the Council is fully executed, to also constitute the Board of the Council. This was part of the resolution in a communique issued at the end of its 17th Annual Conference held in Abuja. The participants said the constitution of the Council was necessary to enable it formulate policies toward the realisation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the country. “The Board of Bureau of

the programmes and activities of the CIBN,” he said. The bank CEO said he was overwhelmed by the gesture, adding that it was expected after putting in over 30 years of service in the banking sector. He said the award remains an incentive to work with the Institute to ensure that professionalism is promoted above mediocrity in the works of bankers. Wanka said that the banking profession is noble and must be practiced with trust and integrity at all times to earn the confidence of regulators and customers. “It is a very big honour for me after being in the industry for close to 30 years, I have seen it all. And then I am being recognised by the Institute, it is a great honor. I am sure that it is the biggest honour one can ever get,” he said.


HE integrity of Guaranty Trust Bank’s alternative banking channels received a boost recently with the bank’s receipt of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification (PCIDSS). The bank explained in a statement that the PCIDSS certification is a security standard maintained by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council

(PCISSC) to detail acceptable technical and operational requirements. This, it said would help organisations that process card payments prevent credit card fraud, hacking and various other security vulnerabilities and threats. A certificate of compliance has since been issued to the Bank validating its compliance as a level


commendation at a cocktail reception organised by the CBN in her honour on yesterday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja. In a statement, she said that of the 17 countries that signed a commitment to set up financial inclusion strategy in their respective countries, the CBN remains the first to have designed a strategy, that is being launched

Amount N

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

Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m 350m 113m

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012




2.93 1.40 1.20 3.62 1.35 0.50 0.82 0.57 29.90 3.57

O/PRICE 1.23 0.70 0.64 1.57 31.19 1.70 0.58 5.21 6.40 1.89

Earlier, the CBN Governor, welcomed the Princess and stated that the essence of the gathering was to share with her what the CBN had done and planned to do in order to throne financial inclusion in Nigeria. The Princess, who came into the country yesterday, will today launch the National Financial Inclusion Strategy at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja.


3.22 1.48 1.26 13.80 1.41 0.52 0.85 0.59 30.89 3.68


0.29 0.08 0.06 0.18 0.06 0.02 0.03 0.02 0.99 0.11

C/PRICE 1.15 0.66 0.61 1.50 30.02 1.64 0.56 15.04 9.20 1.85

CHANGE 0.08 0.04 0.03 0.07 1.17 0.06 0.02 0.17 0.20 0.04

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8 155.7

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


NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

July ’12





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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days


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

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


LOSERS AS AT 22-11-12


on Tuesday, October 23, 2012. She said that so much is going on in the Ministries and donor agencies and urged for a more coordinated programme in order to work together to achieve financial inclusion. The Royal promised to watch the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi closely on what he is doing or not doing to promote financial inclusion.



Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

and reliable. This has influenced the various new service offerings we have pioneered recently and the security upgrades our internet banking platform has undergone. I am happy to say that this channel is now at par with platforms of foreign banks and our savings account customers have been performing 3rd party transfers and other transactions via the channel’.”

UN lauds CBN’s Financial Inclusion Strategy

HE United Nations Secretary General’s Advocate for Inclusive Finance for development, Her Royal Highness, Princess Maxima of The Netherlands has commended the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for being the first to launch the National Financial Inclusive Strategy. Princess Maxima gave her


Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

1 Acquirer and Issuer under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, version 2.0. Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje assured customers that the bank’s card products, internet banking platform and other alternative channels are safe and reliable. He said: “We will continue to ensure that our channels are safe



OBB Rate Call Rate

The participants said that MSMEs, known in both developed and developing nations as contributors to employment generation, wealth creation and poverty alleviation needs strong support. The participants explained that fiscal indiscipline and lack of transparency are responsible for the abandonment of many projects and bud-

getary non-performance. They suggested that leadership at all levels must be responsible and ensure accountability and transparency in governance. “Accordingly, professionals are called upon to rise up to the challenge of prudence in budget implementation to actualise set goals. ‘Accountants should, therefore, discharge their responsibilities effectively to their organisations and to all other stakeholders,’’ the participants said.

GTBank’s online platform certified




and operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) must be pursued with vigour and the right attitude instilled in people.

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 124.96 119.60 0.76 1.10 0.91 1,726.86 9.94 1.33 1.80 8,411.80 191.08 1.62



Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833





Boko Haram: Anambra community buries father, daughter, apprentice

Defence College hails Obi on security From Nwanosike Onu, Awka


•The body of Ifeoma being carried for buried...yesterday

•The sister being consoled

•The late Azodo


MUNNACHI, a community in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State was in tears yesterday. The residents were burying 65-year-old Basil Okonkwo Azodo, his daughter, Ifeo-

•Ifeoma From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

ma, and his apprentice, 21year-old Sunday Ezechukwu. They were killed by suspected Boko Haram members in Bauchi State. Ezechukwu hailed from

GUS Episode 3 From Grace To Grass

•The widow, Virginia Okonkwo

•The father’s casket...yesterday.


Aguleri Otu in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State. Suspected members of the sect had killed Azodo’s first son, 31-year-old Christian Nnaemeka Okonkwo, on April 18, last year. The father, daughter and apprentice were killed on October 14. Residents of Mgbuke village in Umunnachi broke down in tears yesterday as the caskets bearing the bodies of the deceased were being conveyed to the church for a service. The widow and mother of the deceased, Virginia, was inconsolable. She looked lost in the tragedy that had befallen her. A funeral service was con-

ducted by the Vicar of Saint Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Umunnavhi, Rev. John Manafa. He was assisted by Azodo’s brother, Rev. Fred Uche. Rev. Manafa said nothing can happen without the knowledge of God. The cleric noted that God had prepared the way for the victims. He said: “My only regret is not that these people died but because of those who will go to Hell because of them. The most important thing is where we go when we die. “But we have to be very careful about what we do or say in life. Instead of crying for the deceased, we should pray for the repose of their souls. Let us stop crying like a people without hope.”

The Transition Chairman of Dunukofia Local Government Area Onochie Okagbue said Azodo was a man of the people. He said: “From what is happening here today, you can see that the man was a man of the people. He never wronged anybody. He was a man of peace. This is a great loss.” The deceased’s first daughter, Mrs Blessing Ezemanari, told The Nation that it was as if the family had come to the end of the world. She said the family was mourning the killing of the first son when the trio was killed on October 14. Mrs Ezemanari said her father was arranging to relocate to Anambra when he was killed.

Navy arrests merchant vessel with arms


TTAINING the exalted status of Gulder Ultimate Search contestant attracts several benefits which many ordinary citizens can only dream of. On arrival in Uyo, AkwaIbom, the host state for Gulder Ultimate Search 9; the 12 contestants were ferried off to the Le’ Meridien Hotel; a 5 – Star Hotel & Resort, where they were lodged. Next, they hobnobbed with the Executive Governor ofAkwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Godswill Akpabio, who treated them to a banquet. The governor’s entourage included the Deputy Governor, Obong NsimaEkere, the Secretary to the State Government, Head of Service, several commissioners and other political appointees. The Marketing Manager – Lager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Tony Agenmonmen, led the Nigerian Breweries delegation for the courtesy call on the governor, who thanked the state governor for the hospitality accorded the Nigerian Breweries delegation and formerly handed over the contestants into the care of the state government. The obviously elated governor described this year’s contestants as: “12 strong, intelligent, ambitious, ebullient, handsome and beautiful Nigerians.” Not only did the contestants wine and dine with the First Citizen of the host state, they were also treated to sonorous songs by a band. Next stop was the Ibom Tropicana Complex. They all looked dapper in their

traditional Akwa Ibom outfits as they danced away, munching and drinking, obviously oblivious of the fate that awaited them. The daring 12’ arrived Usaka in the dark. Chidi Mokeme,Gulder Ultimate Search 9 Anchor man, welcomed them and gave them two important instructions: they were to locate their campsite and also build it. With their mouthsstill agape, they were also relieved of all luxury items in their possession. They arrived Usaka in the rain. The path they treaded as they searched for their camp had turned swampy. They waded through thick mud in the search for their camp. Finally, they sighted a hoisted red flag, mats and their bag packs which indicated their camp site. They commenced the task of building their camp tent, utilising the bare essentials of nature – bamboo sticks and leaves; and man-made materials provided for them – machetes, mats and mosquito nets. When they could not find materials to serve as ropes to tie bamboos together, they resorted to shredding their once cherished wrappers. As the wet mud, which they passed through, dried up on their bodies, they had to dip their bodies in a nearbystream to wash off the dirt. At night, the mats served as their beds and they slept on their first night cramped like sardines. The show continues tonight on AIT, African Magic World (DSTV) and Real Star (Star Times) by 10pm.


HE Nigerian Navy has arrested a Merchant Vessel (MV), Myre Seadiver, carrying assorted AK47 rifles and 22 Benelli MR1 20 Barrel rifles. MV Myre Seadiver was intercepted by the Navy’s patrol boats at the Lagos Roadstead on October 20 following suspicions that it was carrying arms and ammunition. The vessel, which was docked at the Nigerian Navy Beecroft’s harbour, Western Naval Command, Apapa, allegedly had assorted AK47 rifles with 3, 643 ammunitions, as well as 22 Benelli MR1 20 Barrel rifle with 4, 955 ammunition. Confirming the arrest, Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Rear-Admiral Ameen Ikioda, said the vessel had a 15-man mostly Russian crew. He said: “Part of our activities in the Lagos area is

By Precious Igbonwelundu

to ensure that we create a conducive maritime atmosphere to promote legitimate maritime business and anytime we see something that infringes on that mandate, we always strive to see how best to avert it. “Yes, we intercepted an MV Myre Seadiver on the suspicion that it was carrying arms. “The vessel had a mixed 15-member crew, but most of the crew members were Russians. “The vessel belongs to Moran Group, Moscow and it was flying a Dutch Island flag. “We discovered that the vessel came into our waters without due notification and on further facts, we realised it had weapons inside, which is an infringement on the laws of this great country,” he said.

Ikioda said investigations were still ongoing to ascertain the number of weapons that were there. “So far, we have uncovered 14 AK47 rifles and 22 Benelili rifles.” Investigation, however, revealed that the ship, which is a Det Norske Veritas (DNV) marked E5U2529 is from Cook Islands and was sighted in Lagos on Friday. Information available on the ship company’s website revealed that its International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number is 6505662. We also gathered that the vessel, which was last received at the Atlantic South, has had its operations suspended following the arrest. With its DNV number 04795, official number 1618, Myre Seadiver Avatiu was built in 1965 and operates at a speed of 7.5\6.4 knots.

EMBERS of Team Six Course 21 of the National Defence College, Abuja, have hailed Anambra State Governor Peter Obi for the low crime rate in the state. The team spoke at the Governor’s Lodge in Awka, the state capital, when it presented its findings to Obi at a cultural night organised for its members after a week of study tour in the state. Its leader, Rear Admiral Samuel Orie, noted that the Obi administration had given security agencies support, encouragement and motivation that led to improved security. He hailed the pace of industrial growth in the state, especially at Nnewi. The team urged other governors to emulate Obi in patronising Nigerian products. Orie said the governor had created the right environment for trade and commerce to flourish. The Naval chief also noted that Obi’s initiative in agriculture had widened employment opportunities for youths. He added that his handing over of schools to missionaries had increased the standard of education. Another member of the team Colonel E.A. Atu said the tour afforded them the opportunity to get first-hand information on Anambra State. Obi said his administration enthroned civility and order in governance as well as sustainable fiscal discipline. The governor said these enabled the state to remain financially stable without borrowing or owing anybody.

Aliyu urges Mimiko to run inclusive government


IGER State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has congratulated Governor Rahman Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State on his victory in the governorship election held on Saturday. A statement signed by Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo and made available to reporters yesterday described Mimiko’s reelection as well deserved. Aliyu urged Mimiko to use the fresh term of four years to consolidate on the good work he started during his first tenure. He advised the Labour Party (LP)-led administration to extend a hand of fellowship to those defeated at the poll, saying only an all inclusive government can bring about the desired change for a better Ondo State. Governor Aliyu thanked the people of Ondo State for their orderly conduct throughout the period of the election, urging them to continue to keep faith with Dr. Mimiko. The statement urged those who lost out in the election to join hands with Governor Mimiko in the overall interest of the development of Ondo State.



NEWS Army trains officers’ wives From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos


HE Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim, has said the Army would alleviate poverty in its barracks across the country. Ibrahim spoke in Jos, the Plateau State capital, at the 3 Armoured Division headquarters, Maxwel Khobe Cantonment, when he opened a skill acquisition training programme for wives and wards of military officers in the division. Represented by Brig.-Gen. David-Buba Shajaba, Ibrahim said: “The skill acquisition training is an economic empowerment programme of the Defence headquarters. It is aimed at reducing poverty among wives and dependants of military personnel. “The programme is in tandem with the Federal Government’s Reformation Agenda initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan to achieve the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “It is my strong belief too that if families of military personnel are engaged in productive ventures, the level of crime, idleness and other social vices will reduce. “The overall goal of the training is not only to educate participants but to also empower them in such a way that they will be provided the tools to start practising the skills immediately.”

National Assembly shuts down Kogi Assembly T HE National Assembly yesterday intervened in the crisis at the Kogi House of Assembly following the impeachment of Speaker Abdullahi Bello last Tuesday. The House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the crisis that followed the impeachment ordered the suspension of plenary at the Assembly pending the outcome of an investigation into the matter. The Assembly replaced Bello with Lawal Jimoh of the Okene 11 constituency. The committee was in the state to investigate the crisis. It said it would not recognise either of the two lawmakers claiming to be the Speaker until the end

From Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja

of the investigation. The committee, therefore, suspended legislative activities at the Assembly. The committee’s Chairman Mukhtar Mohammed Ahmed spoke in Lokoja, the state capital, after a meeting with both groups in the Assembly. He said the committee had the approval of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to tighten security to forestall law and order at the Assembly. The lawmaker explained that plenary would remain suspended until the committee submits its report to the National Assembly. He assured that the com-

mittee would do a thorough job. Ahmed urged members of the Kogi Assembly to cooperate with the committee, adding that the Constitution allows the committee to take over the affairs of a House of Assembly, if it has an unresolved matter. The lawmaker explained that the National Assembly’s concern on the matter was in the process of the impeachment and not what led to the removal of the Speaker. He said the document specifying how the nation should be governed must be protected. There was a mild drama at the Assembly yesterday

when a supporter of the embattled Speaker was accused of signing the impeachment notice and abandoning the matter. Gabriel Daudu, who was said to be among the movers of the impeachment motion against Bello, alleged that the new Speaker, Lawal Jimoh, from Adavi Constituency, signed the impeachment notice in his house. But another member, Abdullahi Lawal, denied the allegation. He said a private house is not an assembly complex. The lawmaker said he could not have done such a thing. Thirteen members from Bello’s camp and three of Jimoh’s supporters attended the meeting with the committee.

Police plan crime-free Sallah in Kano From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano


HE Kano State Police Command, in collaboration with other security agencies and stakeholders, has promised to ensure a hitch-free Eid-elKabir celebration. Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris has held a strategic meeting with security agencies, traditional and religious leaders, as well as vigilance groups. They laid out measures for a crime-free festival. The police chief presided over the meeting in which the stakeholders focused on how to improve security during and after the Muslim festivity. Idris urged the stakeholders to be committed to ridding the city and other parts of the state of criminals. The police chief appealed to religious and traditional leaders to monitor their domains during the Sallah period and fish out the “bad boys”. Idris said the police and other security agencies would restore peace through improved security in the city. According to him, the stakeholders need to support security agencies with useful information about the activities of criminals. The police commissioner said security agencies are not magicians, adding that they require information to serve the people well.

•From left: Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Modupe Arowojolu; Pro-Chancellor, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN); Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adewole, and Registrar, Mr Olujimi Olukoya, at the inauguration of Faculty of Dentistry’s office complex and auditorium in Ibadan…yesterday PHOTO:NAN

Ayu not ACN member, says Waku


ENATOR Joseph Waku has denied a report which said former Senate President in the aborted Third Republic, Dr Iyorhcia Ayu, is a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The report had said Ayu was planning to defect to the Peoples Democratic

•‘Don’t drag party’s name into his politics’ From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

Party (PDP). In a telephone chat with The Nation from Abuja, Waku said Ayu had never been a member of ACN, adding that he could not defect from a party he did

not belong to. He said: “To the best of my knowledge, Dr Ayu has been a dormant PDP member. Let him just say he is now looking for relevance and they (his supporters) are organising a reception for him to be re-

admitted into the party and gain more popularity.” Waku said Ayu had been a member of the PDP, adding that if he wants to reunite with the party, he should not drag ACN’s name into it.

Kwankwaso, 10 other governors get NEPAD awards


ANO State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and 10 other governors have won the maiden NEPAD Business Group Nigeria (NBGN) Award on Excellence and Good Governance. NBGN Chairman Goddie Ibru said the awardees were chosen by six experts, who gathered and analysed information about the activities of the governors in their states. Kwankwaso received the award at a ceremony at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. Represented by his Special Adviser on Economic Affairs, Alhaji Aminu Mukhtar Danamu, the governor noted that the honour

•‘We’ve succeeded in many areas’ From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

was a testimony to the commitment and transparency of his administration. He said his administration has achieved much in fiscal discipline, education, women empowerment and youth development, among others. Kwankwaso said: “In the area of education, 21 new institutes, including a university, are being established by the government in less than two years. More

roads and a flyover are being constructed in Kano city and across the 44 local government areas.” These, the governor said, have helped to restore the people’s confidence in governance and translated into higher national as well as international recognition for the state government. Thanking NBGN for the award, Kwankwaso hoped it would encourage his administration to take the state to greater heights. NBGN Award of Excel-


lence and Good Governance was instituted to appreciate and motivate governors to deliver dividends of democracy and accomplish the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in their states.

Yobe spends N6.5b on workers’ housing From Duku JOEL, Damaturu


HE Yobe State Government has spent over N6.5 billion on houses for its workers. The Commissioner for Housing, Alhaji Mohammed Ago Dala, told reporters in Damaturu, the state capital, that the government has provided 1,179 housing units in the last four years. The commissioner explained that the houses are given to civil servants at 65 per cent subsidy. Dala said: “The Yobe State housing policy is a prototype of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) initiative of providing housing for all. Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has graciously subsidised the cost of houses to 65 per cent for civil servants in the state. “We have a sharing formula, which is not discriminatory, because anybody living in Yobe can still apply and get these houses. We issue these houses to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), individuals and federal agencies. “You will agree with me that Yobe is a pace-setter in this regard, because no other state government has done this. Unlike other states, which practise Private Partnership Participation (PPP), Yobe State is making landlords. “Apart from individuals, who have only the grace of two years to pay for the houses, civil servants are given the grace of 10 years. The state government takes over the payment, if a civil servant dies within the period.”

Sallah: ‘Boko Haram employs foreign mercenaries’ From Joseph Abiodun, Maiduguri

HE Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State yesterday said the Boko Haram sect has recruited foreign mercenaries to cause mayhem during the Eid-el-Kabir festival. In a statement in Maiduguri, the state capital, JTF spokesman, Lt.-Col. Sagir said: “Information available to the Joint Task Force, Operation Restore Order, indicates that Boko Haram terrorists are planning massive attacks on military and civilian targets during the Sallah period. “Consequently, members of the terrorist group have invited foreign mercenaries to assist them in launching the attacks. The group has also advised the public to store enough food items and other routine household requirements as they believe that the JTF will impose curfew on Maiduguri in the event of a breakdown of law and order.” Sagir urged the public to report any suspicious person or movement to the JTF to guarantee security during the festivity.





Suspected ritualists kill woman in Cross River A PRIMARY Health Care Coordinator in Bekwarra Local Government Area of Cross River State, Mrs. Helen Ilonge (51), has been murdered by suspected ritualists. The victim, who lost her husband 12 years ago, has five children. It was learnt that a commercial motorcyclist, simply identified as Ifeanyi, a.k.a. Koboko, was given N10,000 by ritualists to provide them with a woman. Sources said the late Mrs. Ilonge, who was returning from a church programme in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, to Ukpe, a village on the Ogoja–Ikom highway, boarded Ifeanyi’s motorcycle and was taken to the ritualists. A neighbour said: “She deceased phoned her daughter, Victoria Agah, at about 9pm

From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

that she was at Okpogrinya Junction and was taking a motorcyle to Igoli. “After that call, the phone was unavailable until a couple of days later, when the kidnappers phoned demanding N50,000 ransom, which they said should be sent through MTN and Glo recharge cards. “The caller, who said they were at Ishi Eke near Abakaliki, claimed that he needed money to run away from his master, who he said was a ritualist. He said once he gets the cards, he would release Mrs. Ilonge. “Her daughter could not raise the money for the recharge cards and she went to the Bekwara Council Headquarters, where the Head of Aadministration, Mr. Bisong

PUBLIC NOTICE CLOSURE OF IGANMU OVERHEAD BRIDGE This is to inform all motorists that the Iganmu Overhead Bridge leading to the National Theatre will be closed on Saturday October 27, 2012 and Sunday October 28, 2012 between 7am – 12noon. It is to allow for the erection of pressurised beams for Lagoon Bridge structure over Eric Moore. All motorists using this overhead bridge are requested to use alternate routes during the hours. Management China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

Bogbo, and the Council Chairman, Mr. Linus Edeh, provided the money and sent the cards to the kidnappers online. “After receiving the cards, the kidnappers stopped calling. Ifeanyi was located by the police through a tracking device on the phone. He was arrested in Abuochiche, where he was selling the recharge cards. “Ifeanyi led the police to the mastermind of the kidnap and he too was arrested. They confessed that as at the time Ifeanyi demanded the recharge cards, the woman had been butchered and her remains buried in a swamp. “They said the woman was wasted because the oracle they took her head and private parts to rejected them and they were thrown away.” Commissioner of Police Osita Ezechukwu said: “We have made several arrests and those found guilty would be prosecuted. “Those involved in her abduction have been picked up and detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). Investigation is methodical and we have to use scientific equipment and other means to establish the truth. We will soon conclude our investigations and arraign the suspects.”

Waziri leads NGOs to donate drugs, foodstuffsto flood victims From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

•Mrs Waziri


FORMER Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs Farida Waziri has urged well-meaning Nigerians and friends of the country to assist victims of flood ravaging parts of the country. Mrs Waziri made the call yesterday when she led some international organisations to donate relief materials such as drugs, foodstuffs, water, mattresses, clothes and others to flood victims in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. The former EFCC boss had on Sunday led top officials of her Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Women, Youths, Children and Crime(WYCC) and its partners Helping Hands Foundation (HHF), Primus International Super Specialty Hospital and others to visit the affected areas and relief camps before handing over the relief materials which were received on Monday by the Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani. Lawani led members of the state executive council to welcome Mrs Waziri and her team.

Presenting the materials, the former EFCC boss quoted former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who once said: “you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give” to challenge other Nigerians, organisations and friends of the country to stand up and identify with the victims of the flood disaster. She said: “I am encouraged by the fact that I know I can contribute, and I therefore believe I can volunteer my contribution. This is equally in the spirit of the call by President Goodluck Jonathan that all Nigerians and organisations both local and international should give a helping hand to governments at all levels to alleviate the sufferings of those that have been affected by this natural disaster. “As someone committed to service, I believe that in or out of government, we should strive to make a contribution

to better the lives of others. As a result, we have to reach out to other like minds who have given us drugs, food stuffs, cloths and other materials necessary for the wellbeing of children and women especially. Replying, Lawani thanked Mrs. Waziri and her team for identifying with the displaced persons. “We have received a couple of donors but, this is the first time we are having a foundation like this coming to support us. Because of the nature of what your organisation is doing, the state government will like to partner with you on how to resettle the victims. Your visit today is a good omen for us because we just learnt that President Jonathan will also be visiting us this week”, he added. On Mrs Waziri’s team were Beverly Nelson, Delitta Whitfield and Louisa Walter of Helping Hands Foundation; Dr Nilesh Vishwakarma and Dr Jojo Vaighue of Primus Hospital, among others.

Akpabio for honour


KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio will be honoured at the Annual Youth Summit and Merit Awards of the Nigeria Youth Organisation (NYO) slated for December 6 to 8 in Uyo. He would be conferred with the award of “Grand Patron of Nigerian Youths (GPNY)”. The President of Niger Republic, Muhammed Yusuf, will also be honoured. Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda; Senator Sodangi and the Emir of Gumel, Jigawa State, Alhaji Ahmed Sani, are expected at the event.

Uduaghan celebrates birthday with flood victims


ELTA State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan yesterday celebrated his 58th Birthday with flood victims in the state. He said he was happy to see them looking radiant and healthy. Uduaghan said: “It is difficult to believe that you are flood victims. I am happy that you are looking so well.

I am here to celebrate my birthday with you and to assure you that I want your happiness and will always care for you. “There are some people who do not have the comfort of their beds to sleep on, clothes to put on or any material to boast of, those are the people I want to mark my birthday with.

“The best gift anyone can give me is to provide relief materials at any of the rehabilitation camps.” Uduaghan said he was celebrating his birthday with the victims to put smiles on their faces and give them a sense of belonging. He visited all the relief camps in the state. At each of the camps, chil-

Oyo awards N29.3b road contracts


HE Oyo State Government yesterday awarded N29.3 billion contracts for the dualisation of five major roads. Commissioner for Information Bosun Oladele; his Works and Transport counterpart, Alhaji Yunus Akintunde; the governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, and his Information and Orientation counterpart, Mr. Gbolagade Busari, announced this in Ibadan, the state capital, while speaking with reporters after the weekly State Executive Council (SEC) meeting. The dualisation of the 4km Ibadan-Oyo Expressway/ Iseyin-Oyo Junction to Owode; the expansion of the

2.5km Owode-Akesan-Palace Road and the sectional repair of a 3.8km portion of the Old Ibadan-Oyo Road will cost N7,785,840,123.47. The dualisation of the 6.32km Ilorin Expressway Junction-Ikoyi-Takie-Palace-Ogbomoso Grammar School will cost N5,695,147,363.60. The contract for the dualisation of the 6.2km Ibadan-OyoIseyin Junction-Iseyin/Okeho Junction Road, Iseyin will cost f N6,092,448,322.40. The dualisation of the 7.4km Dugbe-Magazine-EleiyeleAleshinloye-Onireke/Agbarigo Road in Ibadan was awarded at N7,066,762,166.86. The construction of the dilapidated Ijokodo-Apete Road

and its two bridges, including the Apete Bridge, whose contract was revoked earlier, were awarded at N2,649,420,593. Oladele said the projects would be completed within 18 months. He said they are a fulfilment of the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration’s promise that all roads leading to major towns and cities would be dualised. Akintunde said the contract sums include compensation to those whose property would be affected; relocation of facilities, such as water pipes, electricity poles and telecommunications facilities and consultancy cost.

Fed Govt to review abandoned contracts


ONTRACTORS who neglect Federal Government projects will have their contracts revoked. The Mr. Forte Dike-led House of Representatives’ Committee on Works said this while inspecting the BodoBonny Link Road in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State. The contractor, Gitto Construction Firm, was not on

site. When the company’s spokesman, Mr. Jason Ossai, was contacted, he could not explain the firm’s absence from site. Dike directed that the contract be reviewed. He said: “Most of the contractors have been paid, yet they are not doing any work. This cannot continue. We recommend that all the contractors that

were not met on site should be removed.” The committee inspected other federal road projects in the Southsouth. At the access road to the Port Harcourt Refinery, 40 per cent of the work had been completed. It was learnt that the contractor is waiting for the Federal Government to allocate funds for the rest of the project.

dren and adults sang happy birthday songs and cut cakes with the governor, who was accompanied by his wife. The victims, who previously wore long faces, were gaily dressed and danced with enthusiasm. More relief materials were donated to the camps by concerned citizens in the state. The governor assured the victims that the materials would be evenly distributed. He thanked all individuals, groups and organisations that have been assisting the victims.

Woman remembered


HE Samuel Ayangbola family of Awe town in Oyo State has celebrated the one-year remembrance of their wife and mother, the late Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ayangbola. She was also remembered by members of the Club House of Itire, Lagos. Spokesmen of the club, Mr. Olutosin Peters and Mr. M.O. Okerinde, described the deceased as a loving wife, dutiful mother and hard working woman.

•The late Mrs Ayangbola







There was a country: Ogbunigwe, Abagana ambush; Achebe, Okigbo and Ifeajuna

HE OGBUNIGWE BOMB: Commonly known as Ogbunigwe during the Biafran war, its fame and mystique travelled wide on both sides of the divide. Considered a technological breakthrough of Igbo during the war, the bomb, which may well be a higher version of today’s I.E.Ds (Improved Explosive Device) was deployed to great effect by the Biafran army. With the economic blockade of Biafra having a telling effect, the people turned inward, devising survival strategies and apparatuses. Apart from extracting and refining their own petrol; they also had improvised armoured tanks and piloted their planes. The renowned Professor Godian Ezekwe led a team of scientists in what was known as the Biafran Research and Production Unit (RAP). This think-tank group is said to have developed rockets, bombs and telecommunications gadgets. According to Achebe, quoting another great author, Professor Chukwuemeka Ike, the Ogbunigwe was put to so much devastating effect against the federal troops that the fear of the explosive was the beginning of wisdom for them; to the extent that Biafra succeeded more with it than any imported weapons. Ike, in his book, Sunset at Dawn: A novel about Biafra, captures it thus: “You must have heard that the Nigerians are now so mortally afraid of Ogbunigwe that each advancing battalion is now preceded by a herd of cattle.” Boasting about this feat in what is regarded his last official wartime speech, Ojukwu said: “ In three years of war, necessity gave birth to invention… we built bombs, rockets, and we designed and built our own refinery, and our own delivery systems and guided them far. For three years, blockaded without hope of import, we

By Steve Osuji

maintained all our vehicles. “The state extracted and refined petrol, individuals refined petrol in their back gardens. We built and maintained our airports, we maintained them under heavy bombardment… we spoke to the world through a telecommunications system engineered by local ingenuity. “In three years, we had broken the technological barrier, became the most advanced black people on earth.” THE ABAGANA AMBUSH: March 25, 1968 probably remains one of the most memorable days in the Nigeria–Biafra war. It was the day the Nigerian side suffered the heaviest single loss in the war. Known as the Abagana Ambush, the Second Division of the Nigerian Army led by Col. Murtala Muhammed had finally crossed the Niger Bridge after failing in the first attempt (having been repelled by the Col. Joe Achuzia’s guerrilla army and suffering heavy casualties). Having crossed into Biafra, the plan was to link up with the First Division led by Col. Shuwa penetrating the Igbo heartland through the north from Nsukka. As Achebe notes: “The amalgamation of these two forces, the Nigerian Army hoped, would then serve as a formidable force that would ‘smash the Biafrans’”. Col. Muhammed was said to have assembled and deployed, a convoy of 96 vehicles and four armoured cars to facilitate this plan on March 31, 1968. However, Biafran intelligence was said to have got wind of the move and a Major Jonathan Uchendu was charged with working out a counter-

NEWS Okorocha’s, Imo Speaker’s row deepens


HE reported rift between the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and Hou-se of Assembly Speaker Benjamin Uwajumogu has worsened. It was learnt that the leadership the ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) is bent on changing the Speaker. It was learnt that the governor is angry with the Speaker for caving in to pressure and swearing in a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Chief Eugene Dibiagwu, as the member representing Oguta Constituency in the Assembly. Okorocha, a source, who spoke in confidence said, has started shopping for a replacement for the Speaker. The Nation gathered that the rosy relationship between the Governor and the Speaker took a plunge immediately Dibiagwu was sworn in last month after the lawmakers returned from their controversial South African trip. Dibiagwu had received the Certificate of Returns from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but was disallowed from being sworn in on two occasions by the Speaker. PUBLIC NOTICE ODEYINDE: I formerly known and addressed as Oluwakemi Olushola Odeyinde now wish to be known and addressed as Oluwakemi Olushola Olu-Obashoro. All former documents remains valid. General public should please take note.

From Okodili Ndidi, Owerri

Another source close to theAssembly said Okorocha wanted Uwajumogu to frustrate the swearing-in but was disappointed when the Speaker bowed to pressure and swore in Dibiagwu. This, it was learnt, caused the strained relation between the governor and the Speaker. Uwajumogu was said to be responding to a court order, which directed that Dibiagwu be sworn in. The Speaker was said to be wary of a case between Okorocha and the 27 local government chairmen in the state. The Appeal Court reversed the verdict of a lower court in favour of the sacked council chairmen in the matter. It was also learnt that the Speaker wanted to avoid the PDP, his former party, which reportedly has a pending case in court against his defection to APGA. The source said: “PDP has instituted a case against the Speaker and other members, who won election on the platform of the party but defected to APGA. “The Constitution of Nigeria is against any candidate defecting to another party after winning an election on the platform of another party. Though the court process is slow now, but those of them who defected to APGA will lose their seats very soon.”

•Prof. Achebe

attack strategy. With a 700-man team, a counter- attack plan was hatched that essentially sealed off the Abagana Road while the troops lie in ambush in a nearby bush waiting patiently for the advancing Nigerians and their reinforcements. Achebe writes that “Major Uchendu’s strategy proved to be highly successful. His troops destroyed Muhammed’s entire convoy within one and half hours. All told, the Nigerians suffered about 500 casualties. There was minimal loss on the Biafran side.” It was probably the most resounding battle ever won by Biafra in the entire war. ACHEBE, OKIGBO AND MAJOR IFEAJUNA: Christopher Okigbo, the cerebral poet and Achebe had known

from their Government College, Umuahia days. Though Okigbo was two years junior to Achebe in class, they struck up friendship very quickly and maintained the closeness till Okigbo’s tragic end in the war front. After Umuahia, they were to meet again at the University College, Ibadan, and while Achebe was in the Nigerian Broadcasting Service in Ikoyi , Lagos, Okigbo was West Africa manager for Cambridge University Press. Their friendship was such that Okigbo was godfather to one of Achebe’s sons and on many occasions during the ensuing tumult in Igboland, Okigbo played ‘father ‘ role to the Achebe house-hold. When the war was in full force and all the Igbo personalities had returned, Enugu was the natural settlement for most of the elite returnees in the early days before the ancient town was bombed into submission by the federal forces. It was in Enugu; precisely on Michael Okpara Avenue, that Achebe and Okigbo set up their publishing outfit called Citadel Press. It was indeed the idea of Okigbo who thought out and even worked out the whole project before getting Achebe to come on board. The crux of it all was to publish educational materials, including children’s books and books that would capture the ongoing crisis. The first book Citadel Press worked on was, How the Dog Became a Domesticated Animal, by John Iroaganachi. Achebe and Okigbo chose to rework the folktale and turn it around to become, How the Leopard got its Claws. This book never got to see the light of the day before the shelling of Enugu became unbearable and most

people had to scamper and relocate further into the hinterland. While Citadel still functioned, Okigbo had brought a manuscript from Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna, one of the five majors who plotted the January 1966 coup. The twain were thoroughly disappointed with Ifeajuna’s account of that critical event of Nigeria’s life. Hear Achebe: “I read the treatise through quickly and became more and more disappointed as I went along. Ifeajuna’s account showcased a writer trying to pass himself off as something that he wasn’t. For one, the manuscript claimed that the entire coup d’etat was his show, that he was the chief strategist, complete master mind, and executer, not just one of several. He recognized the presence of his coconspirators but did not elevate their involvement to any level of importance.” Chukwuma Nzeogwu, one of the chief protagonists of the January 1966 coup called the manuscript a lie while Achebe and Okigbo thought it too irresponsible to deserve publication. The manuscript was later to vanish to the regret of Achebe who thought it could have been preserved at least as a version of what transpired on that fateful January of 1966. Christopher Okigbo who had become a Major in the Biafran army was to be felled in the war front in August 1967, in Ekwegbe, close to Nsukka. Achebe who had fled from Enugu under the hale of shelling returned to Citadel Press after the war to find the small building reduced to rubble. It was instructive that a number of buildings in the vicinity had been unscathed by the conflict, but this one was pummelled to the ground. It was the work of someone or some people with an axe to grind, he thinks. TOMORROW: THE ECONOMIC BLOCKADE AND STARVATION; EPILOGUE


NEMA evacuates 215 Nigerian fishermen from Gabon T HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has evacuated 215 stranded Nigerian fishermen from the Republic of Gabon to Nigeria. The evacuation became necessary after the Gabonese authorities issued an eviction notice to Nigerian fishermen living on Nende, Mouka and Kenza Islands to move away, though the majority of them have lived there for decades doing their legitimate businesses. The returnees, who are mostly from Bayelsa State and a few from Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Abia states, were flown to the PortHarcourt International Air-



FORMER head of Israel’s intelligence service Mossad yesterday

•Lawmaker condemns deportation From: Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

port before onward journey to their states. The fishermen had signified their willingness to be returned with their families after the eviction notice. Before the execution of the evacuation process, the Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant agencies had undertaken onthe-spot-assessment of the situation before a chartered

aircraft was deployed for the evacuation. In an effort to ensure full rehabilitation of the Nigerians and to protect their belongings, NEMA will also ship their outboard engines, fishing nets and other working tools to Nigeria. The respective state governments have been communicated on the development. The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has de-

scribed the deportation of 215 Nigerian fishermen from the Republic of Gabon as unwarranted hostilities against Nigerians doing legitimate businesses in Gabon by the Gabonese government. Saying that the deportation was illegal and inhuman, the lawmaker regretted the action of Gabonese government and described it as insensitive and un-African In a statement yesterday, Dabiri-Erewa said she was not against the deportation of any Nigerian who ran foul of the law of the host country, but definitely not those doing legitimate businesses.

Israel’s former spy chief supports dialogue with Iran, Obama policy

urged the West to solve the nuclear dispute with Iran through diplomacy rather than military action. Efraim Halevy expressed backing for U.S. President Barack Obama’s approach to Iran, saying that Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s antiIran rhetoric closes the door to dialogue. His interview with Israel Radio came hours before the third and final debate between Obama and Romney, which will focus on U.S. foreign policy. Halevy called Obama’s

policy “brave’’ and said sanctions against Iran were a “success’’’ because they have caused a severe economic crisis. “The goal of the sanctions is not to prepare the ground for a military operation, but to convince Iran’s leadership to abandon its nuclear programme,’’ he said. Halevy served as Mossad head from 1998 to 2002. The New York Times on Saturday reported that the U.S. and Iran had agreed in principle for

the first time to hold one-onone negotiations on the disputed nuclear programme, but the White House has denied the report. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday in a statement that Israel had “no information’’ on the reported secret contacts, adding that Iran was using talks to “buy time.’’ “I have no reason whatsoever to believe that in talks with the U.S., Iran would act differently,’’ he said.

Six killed in Guinea Bissau firefight

IX people were killed in a gun battle near Guinea-Bissau’s capital overnight in an apparent counter-coup attempt, sources have said. The West African state is in the midst of a messy recovery after the army overthrew the government and derailed elections in April. “It appears to have been a failed counter-coup,’’ one diplomatic source said of the fighting, asking not to be named. “The military

is checking vehicles around Bissau, mostly vehicles that are leaving,’’ he said. Military officials said the fighting erupted overnight near an air force base just outside the city, adding six “rebels’’ were killed and several others detained. Some of the attackers were from an ethnic group, Djolla, common in neighbouring Senegal’s southern Casamance region, they said, asking not to be named.







NEWS ‘Govt to review criteria for granting school licences’

Why Edo, Delta, Ondo, Ekiti lost bid, by NCP Continued from page 6

(of Nigeria)[3.33%]; and NJ Services (of Nigeria) (3.33%),” he said. On the allegation of Vigeo having little knowledge about the environment in which it wishes to operate, Peterside puntured the governors’ argument, saying there has never been a distribution licensee in Nigeria, apart from the Federal Government-owned distribution companies. He also noted that the information at NCP’s disposal indicates that GUMCO, a member of the Vigeo Consortium has participated in both the Revenue Cycle Management and National Prepaid Metering programmes since 2006. “It also introduced prepaid metering and billing to the Benin Disco. It started from Benin City and later extended its operations to Warri, Asaba, Ondo and Ekiti. It is worth noting that none of the members of the Southern Consortium has such a record. On the criticism of ATC&C loss reduction strategy, Peterside said the current ATC&C losses sustained by the various distribution companies in Nigeria are estimated at between 35 and 40 percent of the power wheeled to them. These levels of losses are very high. He noted that the privatisation strategy that the NCP chose for the Discos was aimed at addressing the identified problems within the distribution segment of the sector.

“Accordingly, bidders were told from the onset that they would compete on the basis of a trajectory of technical, commercial and collection loss improvements for the first five years of operation. Furthermore, this method is built around the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) 2 issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) - the industry regulator. “It is important to emphasise that all the bidders who participated in the Commercial Bid Opening had obtained scores in excess of 75% when technical evaluations were being scored some weeks ago. It is also imperative to point out that the NCP approved the privatisation strategy for the Discos, based on the use of ATC&C loss reduction proposal as a basis for core investor selection, as far back as 11th June, 2010. The advertisements that ran in December 2010 soliciting for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from prospective core investors emphasised that the BPE would use this strategy. So, Southern Consortium knew the rules of the race before it joined the contest. “It is also apt to point out that even when the BPE solicited feedback from prospective investors about the bid process and the industry and transaction documents last year, Southern Consortium did not raise any concerns about the use of this strategy,” he added. Besides, in respect of the 20

Disco bidders, which NCP approved that they fully met the RFP requirement which specified that in order to have its commercial proposals opened each bidder must have a tangible net worth of a minimum of $100 million and competent technical partners, both Southern Consortium and Vigeo had competent technical partners from India. On the allegation of Vigeo having little knowledge about the environment in which it wishes to operate, Peterside said there has never been a distribution licensee in Nigeria, apart from the Federal Government-owned distribution companies. He also noted that the information at NCP’s disposal indicates that GUMCO, a member of the Vigeo Consortium, has participated in both the Revenue Cycle Management and National Prepaid Metering programmes since 2006. It also introduced prepaid metering and billing to the Benin Disco, starting from Benin City and later extending its operations to Warri, Asaba, Ondo and Ekiti. It is worth noting that none of the members of the Southern Consortium has such a record, Peterside said. He said that Vigeo Power Consortium has technical and financial capability, noting that Section 93 of the RFP states that: “Those bidders with proposals that have successfully achieved the benchmark technical score 75% will be considered eligible con-



tenders, and the ranking of the bidders for each distribution company will be determined solely based on the technically qualified bidders’ Commercial Proposals.” Peterside insisted that the process was transparent as it was evaluated by a team whose members were drawn from the BPE, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission; the Federal Ministry of Power; CPCS Transcom advisers on the transaction; NEXANT—USAID-funded power sector consultants providing support to the BPE; and NIAF—DFID-funded infrastructure support programme to the Nigerian government. It was observed by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Directorate of State Security Services (DSSS).

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday directed the Ministry of Education to include sporting facilities in the criteria for approval of public and private primary and secondary schools nationwide. Jonathan gave the directive at the close of a one-day “Presidential Sports Sector Retreat” in Abuja. The theme of the retreat was, “Harnessing the Potential of Nigeria Sports Sector from Playground to odium”. He said that for any place to be called a primary or a secondary school, it must have at least a field or a pitch where students could engage in exercise and sports. Jonathan decried the current situation where in many high density areas in the country, storey buildings without any space were being converted to schools. He noted that such a situation would make it impossible to discover talents at a young age and thereby affect the development of sports in the country. “When next the Ministry has a national Council, I expect the minister of Education to discuss with the commissioners of Education in the states; there is a need for us to review the criteria for approving primary and secondary schools. “Because, taking our children to these choked areas and they cannot even have a yard where they can practise running throughout their primary and secondary school career, I think

it is not the best,’’ he said. The president said that government would consider a review of some existing legislation, particularly the law on lottery, for sustainable funding for sports. He agreed with the participants at the retreat that lottery was a major avenue that could be tied to sporting activities to generate fund for the development of the sector. Jonathan assured that government would henceforth ensure that money for any tournament would be released in good time to ensure its judicious use. “What I have noticed is that sometimes, we wait till the eleventh hour to release funds for sporting events, and of course people will just eat the money. “Probably the money is meant for training period for a very long term, and people are not trained until a day to the tournament and then you release the money, and of course they will eat the money. “And in that case you may say you have spent N8 billion or N10 billion, but how did we spend it. That is why we are talking about sustainable way of funding sport, including releasing money as at when due,’’ he said. The president restated the commitment of his administration to wipe out polio in the country notwithstanding that the medals won at the London Paralympics were by disabled athletes, who are victims of the scourge.






AST week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond signed an agreement to put the Union of England and Scotland consummated back in 1707 to the ultimate test: To hold in Scotland, no later than 2014, a referendum to determine whether Scotland will leave to form a separate, independent country, or remain part of the United Kingdom. Not a few Nigerians desirous of correcting or revising what the former premier of Northern Nigeria Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, famously called “the mistake of 1914,” will find this arrangement an attractive model. It is unlikely to happen here in their lifetime. But as they contemplate this development, those who are forever declaring that the “unity”of Nigeria is “not negotiable” — those making feverish preparations, no expenses spared, to celebrate and consolidate the “mistake of 1914” — ought to take a deep breath. If a Union forged more than three centuries ago among people who have a great deal in common and among whom there is nothing like the mutual execration that is the hallmark of the Nigerian experience, is to be subjected to a referendum, who can in good faith assert that an arrangement foisted by British imperialism on the peoples inhabiting a space the colonialists created principally for administrative convenience and commercial exploitation is sacrosanct and should remain so for all time? The Scots may yet elect to remain part of the UK, as indeed most Nigerians are likely to elect, I suspect, if presented with the same choice about their country. Polls suggest that only 28 percent of the population of Scotland favor outright independence, whereas 58 percent favour staying with the UK, with more powers for the Scottish government on defence and the economy. But nothing is foreclosed. The exercise will be transparent and wide-open, and both parties have pledged to abide by the outcome. Compare that with the charade that major political actors in Nigeria are staging in the name of effecting “amendments” to a Constitution so shot through and through with defects, the best authorities have said, that nothing less than a new one can respond adequately to the needs, hopes and fears of those whose lives will be governed by it. The proper forum for preparing such a document is a constituent assembly. President Goodluck Jonathan has chosen, instead, to co-opt a trainload of committees comprising for the most part handpicked members, with a remit to prepare a draft for the approval of a National Assembly whose members are concerned more with the benefits of office than with the attendant duties and responsibilities of office.



The news from Scotland

•The Scottish Parliament

This process will produce, according to Dr Jonathan, a “people’s Constitution,” though “the people” are largely absent from the scheme, invisible. Civil society groups, which Dr Jonathan has hailed as the “true representatives of the people” figure in his scheme only as a notion, and a token one at that. Theirs is not to suggest the way forward, but to lend a patina of credibility to the scheme. Even the leadership of the Nigerian news media has been co-opted to lend tacit approval to a process that the news media should subject to searching questioning because it is so manifestly underhanded, as has apparently the leadership of the Bar. The best that can be expected is that the exercise will paper over the cracks and conveniently leave fundamental problems of Nigeria’s existence for another time, thus driving existing wounds inward, there to fester. A committee of former chiefs of the Ni-






PHCN customers in Festac owe N1.5b News

VOL. 7

‘Public debate on issues and policies relating to the country’s wellbeing and the people is pertinent here. Nigeria needs men of rigour and mental alacrity to wriggle her out of the current stillness in governance. ’

geria Police Force, now vested with unassailable wisdom despite the unflattering record of their performance in office and of the institution they once headed, says that the police establishment should continue to be centralised in a country that is supposed to be a federation. One of them has even gone so far as to declare that the establishment of state police would lead to a civil war. Case closed, based on substantially on the supposed authority of these experts, on the objections of some state governors in the North, and on the claim that it would be “abused.” Is the present centralised system not abused daily, and abused egregiously? In whatever case, what makes abuse by state authorities more objectionable or invidious than abuse by federal authorities? Why not institute measures that would minimise and punish abuse? Rejecting the demand for state police on the ground that it will be abused is akin to



URING a recent visit to the national headquarters of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja, the Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, told his hosts that N300 million daily was stolen from the Police Pension Office “through fictitious cheques prepared in the names of fake pensioners.” So far, he continued, investigators had been able to uncover pension fraud totalling some N36 billion. In addition, and more worrisomely, he also added, investigators had only covered about 40 percent of the pension scam. As if this gargantuan scam was not enough nightmare for everyone, the Pension Reform Team also told the ICPC that far more frightening scam had been uncovered in the Local Government Pension Funds where some N3.3 trillion had been deducted without proper accountability between 1976 and today. The scale of the mismanagement of pension funds is unimaginable. What should the country expect when

King Solomon’s (pension) mine investigations are completed? And in spite of the exposure of the seedy details of pension scam, is anybody discouraged from following the same criminal path? Indeed, going by past scams of this magnitude, is anyone behind bars? It can hardly get juicier or racier than these, except perhaps you are a fan of Victorian adventure novels such as King Solomon’s Mines (1885), in which, complete with maps and other tools, you embark on a journey in search of hidden treasures. It is in fact doubtful whether the author of King Solomon’s Mines, Sir Rider Haggard, would not have been overwhelmed with inspiration had he lived in modern Nigeria. Here in Nigeria, no one needs maps or any other tools to locate where the treasures are, and they are not even hidden. After completing tentative investigations into the fuel subsidy scam, the National Assembly

preventing a child from taking those first, faltering steps on the ground that it would fall and injure itself, perhaps badly. When will it learn to walk? It has also been contended that the establishment of state police would also lead to setting up of state prisons. The answer to that is: So what? In the First Republic and in the era preceding it, there were no regional prisons. But there were Native Authority prisons, and they served their communities quite well. Dr Jonathan is not interested in a fundamental re-ordering of the governance of Nigeria. The existing set-up is given, and all that can be done is to tinker around the edges. A full-time bicameral federal legislature that consumes a sizeable portion of the nation’s recurrent expenses but contributes very little to the well-being of the public is apparently to remain in place, a return to the parliamentary system that some very thoughtful Nigerians have proposed having been foreclosed. It has been argued that the composition of the Senate gives concrete expression to the equality of the states. Thus, Bayelsa has the same number of senators as Lagos and Kano. Can’t a less burdensome arrangement be devised that expresses the principle in ways more beneficial to the and at a much smaller cost? There is continuing talk of creating more states even as some states are finding it increasingly difficult to render basic services, much less engineer meaningful development. But there is no thought of providing an avenue for states desirous of doing so to coalesce into larger units that can better meet the needs of the populace. This past September, Philip Asiodu, one of a handful of the Yakubu Gowon-era civil servants consecrated by the media as “super permanent secretaries” because of their enormous contribution to, and influence on public policy, presented a public lecture in Abuja that is sure to rank among the most thoughtful, informed, and wide-ranging discourse on public service in Nigeria in recent memory. Given its provenance, the discourse was far from radical. Rather, it was a comprehensive agenda for reform, but one that is far more insightful than anything Dr Jonathan’s trainload of committees has produced thus far. There was a great deal in Asiodu’s lecture that those who have settled for a review rather than a re-write of the Constitution should have embraced. But did they even bother to read it? To them, it is far more rewarding to keep the country on the trajectory of an evershrinking circle. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above discovered that many oil merchants had broken the law. Most of the suspects already charged in court are said to have fraudulently converted billions of naira of subsidy funds. One is even being investigated for fraudulently converting over N40 billion subsidy funds, a sum estimated to be approximately the monthly allocations of 11 states. Pension funds and fuel subsidy payments may be the most lucrative avenues for corrupt enrichment modern Nigeria has known; in reality, however, this most dystopian of countries has become a huge mine, far more lucrative than any other known route to wealth. As the poor opt for armed robbery, kidnapping and Internet scams, the elite will apparently continue to concentrate on pension and subsidy scams. Pension and subsidy scams may not seem like real mines where gold, silver and platinum are extracted; but they are nonetheless mines yielding inexhaustible treasures any Victorian novelist would have loved to be inspired by. Perhaps Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island) and Sir Rider Haggard lived before their times.

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The Nation October 23, 2012  
The Nation October 23, 2012  

The Nation October 23, 2012