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Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

Soyinka on Bakassi: let people decide

PDP accuses Ondo CJ of being LP chief


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•Court to rule on Friday

•Nobel laureate calls for plebiscite

NEWS Page 10

VOL. 7, NO. 2252 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2012



Boko Haram: Bloody days in Kano, Borno, Bauchi 20 die in clashes JTF: sect’s kingpin killed From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano, Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi and Osagie Otabor, Benin


UNS boomed in some parts of the North on Sunday and yesterday. Twenty people were killed in clashes in Kano and the Borno State capital, Maiduguri. Gunmen believed to be members of the Boko Haram sect stormed Bauchi, killing nine people on Sunday night. In Maiduguri, a gun duel between men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Boko Haram men led to the death of 10 gunmen. Some JTF members were injured and some houses burnt down. Yesterday, the JTF in Kano claimed to have killed a kingpin of Boko Haram (western education is a sin). It also declared two members of the sect arrested. Sources close to the Kano JTF said it killed Abu Qaqa, the Boko Haram spokesman, in Kano after which two others with him were arrested, but the sect had not reacted as at last night. A JTF official said Boko Haram spokesman and commander of its members in Kogi State were shot dead at a checkpoint at Mariri, Kano. The official said the men had come to Kano to seek medical attention for the spokesman’s wife, the BBC reported. Boko Haram has staged numerous attacks across the North, killing some 1,400 people. The military has previously claimed to have arrested Abul Qaqa, but this was denied by Boko Haram officials who said a wrong man had been detained. The JTF said it stopped a car suspected to be carrying some senior Boko Haram commanders in Kano. A source close to the military said one of the people in the car tried to escape and was shot. He died in the hospital. The source said some of the people in the car informed the military that the person shot was Abu Qaqa, the man who signs emails sent to the media on behalf of the group. Abu Qaqa is believed to be an alias. So, establishing his identity will not be easy.

All I saw with my eyes ‘was that some bodies littered the streets on Monday morning, even as some houses were still burning

Continued on page 4

•Dr. Adenuga receiving his GCON certificate from the President...yesterday

•Paralympics gold medallist Yakubu Adesokan being decorated by President Jonathan...yesterday

•Heirs Holdings Chairman and former UBA Group Managing Director Tony Elumelu PHOTOS: AKIN OLADOKUN collecting his certificate...yesterday

Unworthy awardees to lose honours


PPARENTLY reacting to the criticism that the National Honours are losing their credibility, the Federal Government vowed yesterday to withdraw the awards from individuals found to be of questionable character. According to President Goodluck Jonathan, all holders of the National Honours must not fall short of the people’s expectation. Honoured in the past are former police chief Tafa Balogun, former Oceanic Bank CEO Mrs Cecilia Ibru and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

tain Bode George, They have all been convicted for various offences. President Jonathan spoke at the 2012 National Honours Award Investure for 155 eminent Nigerians. The categories of the awards are: The Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), which had only one recipient – frontline businessman Dr. Mike Adenuga. Other categories are Commander of the Order of the Fed-

eral Republic (CFR), with 11 recipients; Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) had 25; Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) 24; Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) 38; Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) 38 and Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) with 18. The six Paralympics gold medallists stole the show at the event. Though they were not on the original list of awardees, their heroic performance in the just-concluded London 2012 Paralympics where the country won 13 medals, fetched them the honours.

They were applauded all through for redeeming Nigeria’s image in the sporting arena. The name of Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi, the deputy governor of Taraba State, who is facing impeachment, was struck off the list. Danladi, who was listed for the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), was believed to have fallen apart with his principal, Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai, who got Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). Continued on page 2





‘Paralympic gold


•Dr.Jonathan (third left), Vice-President Namadi Sambo (second left), Senate President David Mark (left), House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal (second right) and Justice Alfa Belgore...yesterday

HE Nigeria Paralympic Committee (NPC) has described paralympic gold medalists as true heros. It praised President Goodluck Jonathan for the national honours and the monetary gifts to members of the paralympic team to the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The six gold medalists were given N5 million each and national honours of Member Order of the Niger (MON). The five silver medalists received N3 million, while the two bronze medalists bagged N2 million each for their outstanding performance at the Games. Those who participated but could not win medals were also given N500,000 each. The Committee’s Secretary-General, Dr Frank Thorpe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos

on Monday that that gesture by the president was encouraging. He said the fact that the committee would be invited to participate in a national retreat to appraise Nigeria’s participation in the Olympics Games would be a departure from past practice. “The President has shown that he is a man of the people, of grassroots. When he hosted us (Paralympians) in 2010, I was there and when he was coming in I was trying to clear the disabled athletes to move so that he can pass, but he said ‘no! no! don’t touch them; I will find my way’. It is good to have character. “And that single act he did always push me to work hard; it’s not easy working with these people; but for a president to show compassion, it shows understanding and that gives us the strength to continue. “The whole programme was highly elating and I was very happy; all the athletes and officials were very elated. The

‘Questionable characters Continued from page 1

• Jonathan congratulating former Military Governor of Lagos State Brig-Gen. Mobolaji Johnson after his decoration with the GCFR...yesterday

•Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi (third left), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who was decorated with OFR (second left), his wife Omolara (left), Onisan of Isan-Ekiti, HRH, Oba Sunday Ajiboye, who got MFR and Prof. Funmi Olopade, OON... yesterday

•Jonathan decorating Grace Anocie, one of the Paralympians who won gold medal at the Paralympics in London with MON...yesterday

•Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (right) receiving his CON award.

Danladi’s name, which was number 51 on the list, was skipped. It was also not known if he was informed before the ceremony or if he was present. Justice Kayode Eso and Justice Andrews Obaseki, both retired jurists were absent at the event. Also absent was Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, but unlike the retired jurists, Ninge was represented by his wife. Jonathan said he had directed the National Honours committee to compile a list of peoples honoured but, have been found to be of questionable characters. He said the honours would be withdrawn from such individuals. The President argued that as an important part of the country’s symbols of value and pride, all holders must not fall short of collective expectations. The President also reminded the people that there were many more Nigerians who deserve the recognition. He said: “I have directed that the National Honours Committee compile a list of persons conferred with National Honours but that their current credibility is questionable. If they are found wanting, our prestigious Honours will be withdrawn. “This is essential in ensuring that holders of National Honours are truly worthy representations of our national values and honour, and especially are patriotic Nigerians or real friends of Nigeria.” Dr. Adenuga got the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON) for his contribution to the growth and development of the economy over the years.

President Jonathan said of him: “Mike Adenuga Jnr. has contributed immensely as a businessman and entrepreneur to the growth and development of our economy. He worked hard to establish Globacom as an international communications company which provides means of livelihood to over 100,000 Nigerians. “Today, across Ghana and Benin Republic, he has built a formidable brand, and is expanding footholds in Cote d’Ivore and Senegal. We will continue to honour our businessmen who do us proud in the world of international business while creating jobs at home.” The President also praised Muhammad Tahir Zakari, a Level 10 Officer in the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, who showed “remarkable honesty in returning an error payment to him of over N6 million in November 2011”. “This is a commendable behaviour that should be emulated,” he said. Jonathan lauded the six paralympians who won gold medals at the 2012 Paralympics Games in London. He told them: “Your achievement is a clear demonstration that hard work, determination, tenacity and resilience are building blocks for greatness.” President Jonathan also spoke on the need to reposition the country by engaging in value re-orientation and confidence building in the nation’s polity, stressing that the country needs to urgently “embrace positive attitudinal change in our collective resolve to make Nigeria a great nation. “Nation building requires the sacrifice of all citizens. On our part, we shall remain committed to promoting good governance, respect for the rule of law, due process, transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.” The President congratulated the awardees and told them to see such honours as “a privilege and not a right”.

•Justice Walter Onwoghen receiving the CFR award ...yesterday




medallists are true heroes’ monetary aspect was there; but beyond that; the recognition. “He said during the programme that he was going to have a retreat that would involve all stakeholders. That has never been done before. So, I think we are charting a new path. “All these ‘fire brigade approach’ we’ve been doing has not worked well. We have done well, but other countries are preparing seriously for Rio Olympics; so we shouldn’t be left behind.” Torpe appealed to all stakeholders to ensure early preparations for international competitions to enable the country’s representatives to perform well as other countries. He said the committee would like to introduce other sports, in which the country had potential. He, however, said that the committee would need the right infrastructure to be able to prepare the athletes well. In a statement in Abuja, a pro-democ-

racy group, Conscience Nigeria, said Jonathan heeded the call by Nigerians for him to reward and honour the paralympians. The Executive Director of the NGO, Mr Tosin Adeyanju, described the president as a “humble and listening leader’’. It noted that by the gesture, the president had encouraged the physically challenged sportsmen and women to do more in their career. Adeyanju said: “The honour will no doubt go a long way to revive the sports sector and restore its lost glory. “We are delighted by the President’s timely response; Jonathan deserves commendation from well meaning Nigerians. “We are particularly happy that the president listened to our call that the Paralympians be given national honour, while the team as a whole is rewarded for excelling.’’

• Jonathan congratulating Justice Mary Odili after her decoration with the CFR award

to lose National Honours’ His words: “I urge you to be beacons of hope and inspiration for Nigerians. You must continue to exemplify a distinct sense of responsibility and a commitment to the community that makes for a great nation. “A national award is among the greatest Honours a country can bestow on her citizens. A national honour carries with it a unique responsibility. While the honour recognises your unique contributions to Nigeria, let me state that it is also a call for greater commitment and sacrifice for furtherance of the development of our dear country.” Jonathan urged the awardees to sustain the tempo as it will provide hope for youths who look up to them as mentors and role models. With the honour, he said, the awardees have confirmed that success is possible with determination. He praised the chairman and members of the Committee and the event’s organisers for a job well done, urging them to continue “to be guided by the principle of faithfulness and integrity as well as the pursuit of excellence during the screening of prospective awardees”. Noting that the number of the awardees was small, compared to the size and population of the country, Jonathan was of the opinion that many more Nigerians deserve the recognition. He urged Nigerians to participate in the nomination and also expand the search processes to include all levels of the society. Earlier, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, had in his welcome address, noted that the National Award was informed by the need to recognise success, achievement , gallantry, honesty, and exemplary character in the life of every nation. The Award Committee, he said, worked tirelessly for two months to iden-

tify NIgerians who have demonstrated exemplary contributions to national development and growth. The Chairman of the 2012 National Award Committee, Justice Alfa Belgore, said 4,425 had so far been recognised and honoured since inception in 1963. They include the 155 that were honored yesterday. He noted that the awardees had in one way or the other touched the lives of some Nigerians. He pleaded that the present standards put in place be maintained so as to restore the glory of the award. While congratulating the awardees for their individual achievements, which brought them the honour, Justice Belgore urged them to see the honours as a call to higher dedication to the nation. He stressed the need to allow peace to reign in the country, saying our mission of becoming a great nation can only be achieved if we have more men and women living by example. The chairman enjoined Nigerians to support President Jonathan. “Let every Nigerian rededicate himself to the service of this nation,” he said, adding that we need a stable nation to progress positively. Responding on behalf of the entire awardees, Justice Mary Odili appreciated the president and government for considering them worthy of the honours. She also promised that they will work harder in their various fields to justify the honour done to them. She said: “Words are inadequate to capture this moment. We are grateful for what has happened today. We appreciate what you have done. We are, indeed, grateful and cannot forget this moment.”

•Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle (right) receiving the MFR award.

•Jonathan decorating the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Dikko Abubakar with his CON award

•Jonathan decorating Taraba State Governor Danbaba Suntai with the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) award ...yesterday.

• Jonathan decorating Chief Gabriel Igbinedion with his award...yesterday

• Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour (right) recieving the CFR award



NEWS Scarcity bites harder as filling stations go dry in Lagos


UEL supply situation in Lagos got worse yesterday with more filling stations closing shop to business. There were long queues that caused traffic jam at the few ones that solid product. Some motorists who spoke to The Nation said they had to leave their private vehicles behind and commuted to their offices and business premises in public transport. Apart from the distribution constraints being experienced as a result of the Arepo fire incident which affected a major supply line, the fuel scarcity situation, it was learnt, is made worse by the refusal of oil marketers to resume importation because the Federal Government owes them

•A row of vehicles waiting to be attended to at a filling station in Lagos...yesterday

Boko Haram: Bloody days in Kano, Borno, Bauchi Continued from page 1

The woman who was with them allegedly told security forces that the man killed was Abul Qaqa. Statements are often issued on behalf of Boko Haram in the name of Abul Qaqa, and someone identifying himself by that name has regularly held telephone conferences with reporters in Maiduguri. Earlier this year, security sources said a suspect believed to be Abul Qaqa had been arrested. At the time, a purported Boko Haram member confirmed one of the group’s high-ranking members was arrested, but refuted reports that the detained person was its spokesman.Boko Haram has been blamed for more than 1,400 deaths in the North. The group’s attacks have grown increasingly deadly and sophisticated, including suicide bombings at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in Abuja, the Police Headquarters and the Abuja office of ThisDay. JTF spokesman Lt. Ikedechi Iweha said an early morning operation was carried out in Hotoro Quarters. According to him, the suspects were raided and arrested following a tip-off from intelligence sources at an identified residential home in Hotoro Quarters. Asked whether one of the arrested suspects could be identified as Abu Qaqa, Lt. Iweha said, “All I know is that two people were arrested and I don’t know their rank. Therefore, I cannot know whether it is Abu Qaqa or not.” He said the suspects would be transferred to Abuja for further interrogation. The killing and the arrest of the two suspected Boko Haram members came barely 24 hours after gunmen believed to be members of the sect killed a Civil Defence Corps officer, alongside his wife, daughter and a visitor in his Hotoro Quarters home. Nine people were killed in Bauchi also on Sunday night. Governor Isa Yuguda yesterday condemned the killings and the wounding of 15 others in an attack on people at Zango in the Bauchi metropolis. The injured are receiving treatment at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi. Yuguda described the attack as an act of terrorism. His Chief Press Secretary Mr. Ishola Michael Adeyemi, spoke on his behalf in a statement. Yuguda said: “There is no way we will allow criminals and ter-

How govt is resolving crisis, by minister


INISTER of Interior Abba Moro, yesterday said the Federal Government’s dialogue with Boko Haram is achieving results. He also explained that the government has adopted three variables to deal with the sect. The variables are curtailment, managing consequences of violence and dialogue. He said he has written to the Police and the State Security Service(SSS) to probe allegation of gun-running against him. He said he wants security agencies to conduct a search in all his houses and if he is found guilty of stockpiling arms, he should be dealt with according to the law. Moro, who spoke in Abuja, said the ongoing dialogue with the sect has reduced attacks and violence in the north. He said: “Let me say that the Boko Haram situation is a very complex situation, it is a very unfortunate situation. I want to believe that this present administration, a democratically elected government, believes that it has responsibilities for all Nigerians that are law-abiding and going about their legitimate businesses without recourse to violence and Nigerians that one way or the other feel aggrieved and have taken the path of violence to express their grievances. rorists to continue living among us, terrorising innocent people. We must partner to stop these heinous acts.” The governor noted that terrorists’ acts are not directed at one direction because of religion, tribe and or political inclination, but every citizen is made a target. “We must come together to fight these evil men. They live among us and we must expose them at all cost. These wanton killings must stop now.” He added: “Let us allow security operatives to do their work and track down the criminals. We should please avoid anything that will lead to the loss of more lives and disrupt the peace that we are enjoying in the state.” The gunmen, operating on a tricycle (Keke NAPEP), opened fire on a group of people at Zango, at the Federal Housing Estate in Bauchi while they were relaxing. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack that took place a few metres from where an Islamic group, the Kala-Kato, staged a revolt in February 2009. Security in the area and in the state capital has been tightened. Bauchi Police spokesman ASP Auyo confirmed the killings. In Borno State, no fewer than 10 people died on Sunday night during the exchange of gun fire between men of the JTF and some suspected terrorists. Some houses were also set on

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

“With the evolvement of Boko Haram and its crises, the Federal Government took various steps and opened various options. One, the step of curtailment; two, the step of managing the consequences of violence and crises where they occurred; and of course, the noble cause of dialogue because experience has shown that in all war situations, at the end peace is only achieved through dialogue, through talking. “And so, the Federal Government has ordinarily made itself available for talking, especially if the proponents of Boko Haram and the crises open up and present themselves as people that can be easily identified and dealt with. “So, I believe that it is only in conformity with civilized norm that the Federal Government would continue to talk with members of the Boko Haram. And I want to tell you this. It is a combination of all these options that the Federal Government has taken (enforcing peace, enlisting support for peace through dialogue). “While we have not been able to come completely to grips with the Boko Haram crisis, you will agree with me that when you are talking, there is less violence.

fire. The gun duel ensued after a bomb explosion in Gwange ward of the Maiduguri Metropolis around 8:30am. An eyewitness, Mallam Usman Abdullahi, said: “An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) suspected to have been planted by some terrorists targeting a security patrol vehicle in Gwange Ward, exploded, injuring two JTF men. Abdullahi said: “Soon after the explosion, gunshots ensued, but the JTF after repelling the attack, quickly cordoned off the area. “I cannot say whether those killed were innocent people or the houses which were set ablaze belong to the suspected terrorists, but all I saw with my eyes was that some bodies littered the streets on Monday morning, even as some houses were still burning,” Adbulahi said. A hospital attendant at the State Specialist Hospital, who does not want his name mentioned, said he saw two patrol vehicles of the JTF with bodies, adding that each of the vehicle carried five bodies. This was yesterday morning. He said they came to deposit bodies of those believed to be killed terrorist. Also on Sunday evening at about 8:45pm, some gunmen and injured a business man and top ANPP stakeholder in Yobe State, Alhaji Mustapha Sheriff Mashidimami. It was gathered that the gun-

“And today, we are discovering that people have started accepting peace as the only option for even achieving the results that they want to achieve through violence. On allegation of gun-running and stock-piling of arms to intimidate political opponents in Benue State, the Minister said: “I am not a violent person, I am a democrat.” He said a similar allegation was made in 2005 for which he was arraigned in a High court by the SSS and he was discharged and acquitted by the court. Moro added: “They even went to the ridiculous extent of insinuating that I confiscated the arms donated to the Civil Defence Corp by the Nigerian Army. Statutorily, as minister of interior supervising the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corp. “ I went to take delivery of the arms donated by the Army to the Civil Defence Corp, symbolic delivery and from that point that I took delivery of the crates, they were loaded into the vehicles of the Nigerian Army, escorted by the Nigerian Army to the depot, to the armoury of the Civil Defence Corp, the first and the last that I saw of those arms was when I was taking delivery of the crates.

men who invaded the family house of the politician in Damboa road in Maiduguri, demanded some unspecified amount of money, but when they were not able to get their demands from the business man, they shot and injured him before they fled. JTF spokesman Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa and police spokesman Gideon Jibrin could not be reached because of lack of communication networks being experienced in the state for the past one week. A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Chris Alli yesterday said that for Nigeria to overcome the insurgency of Boko Haram, it must design its operations in a way that will make it impossible for members of the sect to have contacts with indigenes of communities. Gen. Alli canvassed a change of policy and setting up of operational command bases under the command of the President in areas prone to Boko Haram attacks. He spoke in Benin City yesterday at the 80th birthday celebration by Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia. He delivered a lecture on the topic: “Reshaping the Nigerian Army Changing Security Environment.” The former Chief of Army Staff called for the establishment of a foreign unit to monitor Boko Haram interaction with terrorists operating outside Nigeria. He said: “Activities of Boko Haram in the Northern part of Nigeria have become a major se-

•Governor Yuguda

curity threat, as the sect pursues an extremist ideology seeking to establish an absolute Islamic State starting with Borno State. “The sect’s objective is to destroy the present democratic practices and impose its own brand of government.’ Gen. Alli urged the government to provide medical services and basic amenities to individuals affected by Boko Haram activities as well as providing services that Boko Haram could not provide. He noted that Nigeria Army cannot execute many of its tasks because it lacks “significant airlift and sealift capabilities.” He said ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria could have been well managed by the police if not for the teeming jobless youths and proliferation of arms.

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

N200 billion in unpaid subsidy that accrued from fuel imported since last year under the Petroleum Subsidy Fund (PSF) scheme. Our correspondent also gathered that members of the various oil marketing groups including the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farms Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) have refused to import in fuel despite the truce it reached with the Federal Government last month after they threatened to go on strike over non-payment of their outstanding subsidy debt. The oil marketers said the government owed them N200 billion since last year, which is threatening their business and forcing them to cut down their workforce. The group had last month given the government seven days to pay up or face nationwide strike. The government quickly entered into dialogue with them and made a part payment of about N42 billion but it was gathered that government’s efforts didn’t pacify them and they continued to boycott importation. Executive Secretary of JEPTFON Enoch Kanawa, told The Nation that it doesn’t make sense to continue importing and doing business at a loss. He said business is currently so bad that some member-companies are working on their human resources to see how to reduce their workforce. He said interest on loans from banks continue to pile up, payment of staff is becoming very challenging as well as maintenance of the depots. The oil marketing groups said they control 90 per cent of functional facilities and market share of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry and the loans they got from banks attract interest charge of N3.7 billion per month. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in a statement said it has taken measures to end the scarcity being witnessed in Lagos and some parts of the country. The Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Mr. Fidel Pepple, said the fuel shortage is due to the shutdown of system 2b, a major pipeline that evacuates between nine to eleven million litres of fuel from Lagos to Ibadan, Ilorin and the north due to serious vandalism by oil thieves a couple of weeks ago. Pepple said to alleviate the problems resulting from the shutdown of the pipeline, the NNPC has stepped up distribution through tankers. “As I speak, we have raised the daily supply of fuel from Folawiyo tank farm from 150 tankers to 250 tankers, MRS from 100 to 200 tankers, Capital Oil up to 300 tankers, NIPCO up to 70 tankers and AITEO up to 100 tankers.” He noted that fuel delivery and supply to Port Harcourt, Aba and Calabar has also been augmented saying that bridging to the North has equally enjoyed robust supply adding that as at lastThursday, the NNPC had 32 days sufficiency of petroleum products.

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OBEL Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday flayed the Federal Government for trading off the disputed Bakassi Peninsula without regard for the wishes and interests of the people. He said the controversy has not ended because the inhabitants, who were not consulted, were seriously injured, pointing out that the United Nations has respect for the people’s dignity and feelings. Soyinka also spoke on the evils of capitalism, berating the state, which he described as an entrepreneurial arm of the society, for creating inequitable relationship between workers and employers of labour. The eminent scholar delivered a lecture in Lagos titled: “Corporate gains and human deficits”. The public lecture organised by a non-governmental organisation, ‘Women Arise’, was part of activities marking the 79th birthday of the revolutionary lawyer, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite. The event, which held at the Oranmiyan Hall, Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja and chaired by Prof Akin Oyebode, was witnessed by former Kaduna State Governor Alhaji Balarabe Musa, former Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) President Mrs. Priscilla Kuye, National Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Mr. Yinusa Tanko, rights activists Debo Adeniran, Mallam Shetima Yerima, Mr. Kunle Ajibade, Mr. Femi Kuti and Yeni Kuti. Braithwaite, who was accompanied by his medical doctor -wife, Simisola, cut his birthday cake, amid cheers by wellwishers. Former University of AdoEkiti Vice Chancellor Prof. Oyebode hailed the decision of the group, led by Dr. Joe OkeiOdumakin, to honour Braithwaite, stressing that it is better to celebrate heroes when they are still alive. Paying tribute to the celebrator, the legal scholar observed that, despite his noble birth, he joined the struggle for the liberation of the masses. Dr. Okei-Odumakin described the celebrator as a great activist, legal surgeon, role model and lifewire of the rights movement, adding that he is a man of constant conscience. Soyinka revisited the Bakassi Peninsula controversy, saying that it is a testing ground for corporate integrity. He lamented that the disputed settlement in Cross River State was traded off between Nigeria and Cameroun. The retired university don doubted if the wishes, feelings and interests of the people were considered by the International Court of Justice sitting in The Hague, Netherlands. He

Soyinka on Bakassi: people must decide where to belong •79th birthday lecture for Braithwaite holds in Lagos

•Prof. Soyinka (left), Dr Braithwaite, Dame Kuye and Dr Okei -Odumakin...yesterday. By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

said the attachment to the land by the displaced people superseded the government’s desire to trade off the settlement. Soyinka rejected the argument of stakeholders that military action could resolve the hurdle, warning that it could herald protracted litigations. He said: “There must be a plebiscite to decide where the people want to be. What the people of Bakassi want for themselves. Do they want to be Nigerians or Cameroonians. The people must be given a voice to express themselves”. The Nobel Laureate spoke on the evil of capitalism, which, he said, is characterised by the deadness of human feelings, adding that since it cannot put on a human face, its practice had led to upheavals and rupturing of the society. Alluding to the scenario in Pakistan where 200 workers who were locked up in a workplace to prevent work shift evasion died in a fire, he decried the societal laxity and penchant for accumulation which made the system to thrive. Soyinka lamented the killing of the cottage industry in the North by smuggling, recalling that since the garment industry was shut down, unemployment had soared in the re-

‘There must be a plebiscite to decide where the people want to be. What the people of Bakassi want for themselves. Do they want to be Nigerians or Cameroonians. The people must be given a voice to express themselves’ gion. He said unemployed youths have become willing recruits into armed robbery and extreme religious indoctrination. Soyinka juxtaposed the class division in capitalism with the apartheid experience in South Africa, noting that citizens whose psyche has been affected have never shown positive attitude to many who aided the historic liberation struggle. He said during these harsh times, the lowering of the unemployment ration, in Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia and other poor countries could boost security. The literary icon warned that danger would continue to loom as kidnapping has become a lucrative business undertaken by members of movements claiming to be fighting for genuine causes. Soyinka said it was also worrisome that sects indulge

in using the name of God to inflict pains, agony and sorrow on fellow citizens, warning that Nigeria may be on the verge of disintegration. He berated the acts of “corporate terror”, which has manifested in increased activities of “the destroyers of Northern Nigeria”. Stressing that havoc had been wreaked on the country since the outcome of the last presidential election, Soyinka added: “Boko Haram targets the masses, okada men and children. Complacency is no more an acceptable virtue. Armed robbers stopped a moving bus and raped passangers, including children. NYSC members are killed by animals. “Boko Haram has not really waged war against the state, but against the populace. The sect is wasting human asset as it has manifested in attacks on universities.” Soyinka paid tributes to

Braithwaite, saying that he is a stubborn, principled and great man. Oyebode, who spoke before the Nobel Laureate, said: “If Soyinka belongs to a wasted generation, then, I may belong to a lost generation because my generation came after his generation.” He hailed Braithwaite’s consistency, doggedness and commitment to a better Nigeria. He said his notable and enviable contributions as a lawyer and radical politician who intended to exterminate rats and mosquitoes from the country since the Second Republic were worthy of recognition. Oyebode stresed: “He had a mission to exterminate rats and mosquitoes from Nigeria. What he meant by that were the ‘10 percenters’, and exploiters who had let Nigeria down. Although, the Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP) did not fulfill its mission, he made his impact. But rats and mosquitoes have continued to fester. Corruption is on the increase. “Common thieves found their ways into the corridors of power. Ibori could not be convicted in Nigeria. He escaped Nigerian justice, but he could not escape British justice.”

PIB, Constitution Review, N5000 note top Senate’s agenda


HREE major issues are expected to top the agenda of the seventh Senate as it resumes legislative business for the second session today, it was learnt yesterday. The Senate’s eight weeks’ annual vacation, which began on July 20 ended yesterday. The quick consideration and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is leading the agenda. The upper chamber of the National Assembly had deferred action on the Bill following its late submission by the executive. Chairman of the Com-

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja

mittee on Rules and Business, Ita Enang, had assured the nation that the Bill would be given speedy consideration. He debunked insinuations that it would suffer the same fate like the last one. Another issue is the review of the 1999 Constitution. The Senators are expected to continue public hearings in the six geo-political zones to build consensus on issues that have been thrown up for alteration. The Senator Ike Ekweremadu-led Committee on Constitution Review went on a retreat in Asaba, the

‘The lawmakers had also vowed to take on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on his proposal to redenominate the Naira and introduce a N5000 note’ Delta State capital in preparation for the hearings. There is also the consid-

eration and passage of the 2013 national budget. This is, however, premised on the promise of Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the executive would present the budget this month when the National Assembly resumes legislative session. It would be the first time in about 13 years that the budget for the successive year would be presented to the National Assembly early for deliberation. The executive extended the time for the implementation of budgets to March because the documents

were not turned in early for consideration and passage before the end of December. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala condemned the practice and promised that the 2013 budget would be presented early. The lawmakers also vowed to take on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on his proposal to redenominate the Naira and introduce a N5000 note. Although Nigerians have condemned the proposal, saying it would cause inflation, Sanusi had vowed to go ahead with the action.

Jonathan challenges Judiciary From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

THE Judiciary has been urged to embark on a comprehensive reform to enhance capacity, efficiency and productivity. President Goodluck Jonathan spoke at the opening of a Federal High Court, Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital yesterday. He said this was one of the challenges the Judiciary has to overcome. Represented by Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio, the president challenged the Federal Court to meet the demands of prompt justice administration and strenghten the faith of Nigerians in the Judiciary. Jonathan said: ‘’It is the sacred duty of the Judiciary to help ensure stability within the polity through the promotion of the Rule of Law, strict guardianship of the Constitution, and constant and unfailing application of the principles of justice. The Judiciary cannot afford to compromise the essential principles set out in our Constitution to ensure justice for all Nigerians irrespective of their political disposition, tribe and race. ‘’One issue of constant concern to all our compatriots is that the wheel of justice, still grinds rather slowly in our courts. It is instructive, however, that the Federal High Court, has committed itself to turning the wheel faster and this we applaud and hope you will devote time to in your conference. Rest assured that we are prepared to support all efforts to enhance the dispensation of justice.”

NLC: Sanusi isn’t convincing on N5,000 note From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday described the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s plan to introduce N5000 note as a euphemism to formalise devaluation of the currency. The union called for the democratisation of the appointment of the Central Bank governor. The union’s Vice President, Comrade Issa Aremu, spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. He said Sanusi does not know you can’t win the argument without winning the heart of the people. He is winning the argument without convincing the people. He must learn to manage reform, but short therapy approach to reform is unhelpful. His words: “CBN has a right and autonomy to manage the country’s monetary policy, but there is a disconnect between the exercise of the autonomy and the broad wishes of the Nigerian people. “The introduction of N5000 note is the least resistant monetary policy, it is not bold. All the policy is doing is to legitimise and formalise the devaluation of Naira. When actually the bold policy of the CBN is to make sure that the value of the Naira is strengthened rather allow free fall of Naira. Naira has devalued more under Lamido Sanusi.



NEWS ‘Reason behind slow trial of ex-governors’ From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan


•Fashola (third right) with Hon. Justice Kazeem Alogba (right), Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi (third right) and other Judges at the Lagos Central Mosque...yesterday. PHOTO: ADEJO DAVID

Fanfare, prayers as Lagos begins new legal year


AGOS State yesterday began the new legal year amid fanfare and prayers. Religious services were held at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos and at the Central Mosque. After the services, the Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Ayotunde Phillips inspected a guard of honour mounted by the police at the High Court, Igbosere. She led the judges, who were dressed in their red flowing ceremonial gowns, to inspect the officers who thrilled the crowd with their synchronised marching steps. Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), speaking at the mosque, said the socioeconomic problems facing Nigeria has placed more challenges on judges, as they interpret the law. “Our country is at a crossroad and is facing


By Adebisi Onanuga and Joseph Jibueze

enormous challenges that put to test our self-governance and nascent democracy,” he said. According to him, laws are made for society’s good as regards national security and protection of lives and property, adding that the judiciary contributes in the working of the laws. “Our success depends on the success of the judiciary,” he said. Fashola cited the state’s new road traffic law, saying: “If there is traffic problem, a worker will not be able to get to his work timely. If he stays unduly in traffic, it will affect his health. “We work with the lawmakers to create law for good governance, so we should do justice no matter what it takes.” He urged the judges to

dispense justice with fairness. “You should give your judgment and do justice and ensure that nobody is unjustly punished. You are economic engineers, how quickly justice is dispensed with will definitely lead to several development. A lot is expected from the judiciary arm of government,” he said. Delivering a sermon at the Cathedral, Archbishop of Ecclesiastic Province of Lagos, Anglican Communion, Rev Adebola Ademowo, said the alleged killers of Cynthia Osokogu must be brought to justice. He said: “Nigeria has become a place where human life is no longer respected. In this country today, people feel they can do what they like but it is your duty as judges to interpret the law and make sure that such persons are brought to justice. “I am just waiting to see

what will happen to Cynthia’s killers. I am keenly interested and waiting to see what will happen to those guys because they should be heavily penalised.” The cleric urged the judges to be uncompromising, independent and fearless in the discharge of their duties. According to him, justice and righteousness are intertwined, adding that a good judge would never pervert the course of justice. “It is the duty of the judge to uphold the integrity of the judiciary, to serve as the voice of the voiceless and the hope of the common man”, Ademowo said. The cleric prayed God to heal the land, and asked for grace on the judges to do what is right always. He asked that God protects the judges, and that no evil should befall them. He prayed that the legal year be successful, and that

Lagos would continue to achieve greatness in all areas. For Justice Phillips, he prayed: “Your tenure will be peaceful, and you will experience monumental achievements.” The judges, magistrates, Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) and other lawyers, all robed, song hymns as their chorus reverberated around the large cathedral. The Chief Imam of Lagos State House of Assembly mosque, Alausa, Alhaji Abdul-Lateef Abdul-Hakeem in a lecture, urged the government to establish a marriage registry that would conduct marriage for Muslims in accordance with Islamic laws and tenets. He said such marriage registry should be empowered to issue marriage certificates that would still give room for Muslims who wants to take second wife to do so in line with their faith.

How INEC can conduct fair polls in 2015, by Opadokun

OR Nigeria to avoid future electoral disaster, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must be repositioned, pro-democracy activist, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, has said. Opadokun who is the Coordinator of Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reforms (CODER), said INEC under the leadership of Prof. Attahiru Jega may be an obstacle to free and fair elections in the country, unless urgent steps are taken to prevent the looming disaster. He told reporters in Lagos that the electoral process has not been sanitised in the country. Recalling that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, who acknowledged that the 2007 poll was flawed, set up the Uwais Committee to make suggestions on electoral reforms, he lamented that the report was thrown into the dustbin. Opadokun said: “I have my doubt about the bonafide of Prof. Attahuru Jega to preside over a credible electoral umpire. When he was nominated, despite the hailing by the leadership and their

•CODER chief urges implementation of Uwais Report By Emmanuel Oladosu

collaborators, I told Nigerians that Attahiru Jega could not be trusted and that he should not be hailed as the messiah that would conduct free and fair election in the country. This has been confirmed by what is happening in that body. “I was disappointed that President Goodluck Jonathan nominated him. He was a member of the Electoral

Reforms Committee led by Justice Mohammed Uwais, which recommended that no sitting executive, President or governor should appoint the electoral umpire that will supervise election in which he, his party or candidate will participate. If I was part of a committee that made that such recommendation, I will not be willing to accept, even if I was offered, the appointment through the wrong procedure and that is

what Attahiru Jega has done”. Opadokun said Jega was offered the appointment through the back door, adding that his acceptance of the offer contradicted his gentlemanliness and his claim to any principled stand. He alleged that, since he took over as the INEC boss, he had taken some suspicious steps. He added: “Because of the international focus on Nigeria’s electoral misfortune, European Union,

United States of America and a number of development partners did a lot of capacity building for INEC. But what was the result? N80 billion for computerised voters’ register. Do we have such a register now that is foolproof? He cannot deceive us”. The pro-democracy crusader said INEC’s capacity to hold credible elections has been in doubt, recalling that, if nongovernmental organisations and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the governor of Edo State, had not openly castigated Jega, the result of governorship election in the state would have been a different ball game.

Group to Jonathan: Deliver on your campaign promises


HE Foundation for Integration in Nigeria (FIN) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to deliver on his electoral promises. In a communiqué at the end of its Executive Meeting held at the weekend in Abuja and signed by its National President, John Aide, the group said: “We urge President Jonathan to deliver on his campaign promises in all its ramification to Nigerians or forget 2015 as Nigerians will decide his fate through the ballot. “The continued culture of corruption and the brazenness with which it is practiced is killing the economy of the country. Corruption is an enemy of development. Government should be sincere in its fight against

From Faith Yahaya, Abuja

corruption.” On the state of insecurity, it appealed to the Armed Forces and Northern leaders to live up to their responsibility . The communique reads: “We urge the Northern leaders to collaborate with the Federal Government to stop the menace of the bombing being perpetrated by the Boko Haram terrorist group and the Armed Forces of Nigeria. They should live up to their responsibilities by providing security to our facilities “We urge the political leaders who suffer from verbal diarrhea to stop making divisive/undemocratic utterances to allow President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to perform.”

ORRUPTION, not dearth of judges is behind the slow trial of former governors and prominent Nigerians, a civil society organisation - the Nigerian Voters Assembly, said yesterday. The organisation, in a statement by its President, Mashood Erubami, yesterday faulted claims by the panel of judges that insufficient judges and investigators as well as manual methods of handling judicial procedures are responsible for the delay in dispensing the cases involving such individuals. It stated that the country has enough laws and judges to try corruption cases where the political will is there to do justice, saying that there are well-trained investigators in addition to the courts and judges but that their effectiveness is allegedly due to an unholy alliance between the government and the court. The statement reads: “Contrary to the reasons given by the National Judicial Policy Committee on why the trial of some exgovernors, ministers and other Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) is slow, saying that inadequacy of judges, dearth of trained investigator and prosecutors was responsible, corruption is really at the root of the dragging. “The reluctance of government at all levels to make scape goats of those that are politically exposed, is one good reason why those who steal and should be prosecuted and put behind bars are walking free on the streets without shame.”

‘Table water price stays’


HE Association of Table Water Producers(ATWAP) Mowe/Ibafo/Owode Zone in Ogun State has debunked reports that the price of sachet water has been reduced to N60 from N100. In a statement by the Chairman, Mr. Kehinde Isijola and Secretary, Mr. Adefemi Olubunmi, the association urged members of the public to disregard the reports, which emanated from a publication by a group, Concerned Producers of Sachet Water. The association said: “ATWAP hereby warns members of the public to be wary of such assurances of price reduction because they are at variance with the reality facing producers of table water in Nigeria. “This group is alien to ATWAP and is illegal. Table water producers raised the price of a bag of sachet water to N100 in April 2012 to meet with the rising costs of production. “It should be noted that ATWAP remains committed to the production of table water that meets the strict standards set by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and will not compromise the integrity and investments of its members on the altar of any purported price reduction.




Akeredolu to Mimiko: your achievements cosmetic


HE Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday dismissed Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s achievements in the last three and a half yearsas cosmetic. It described as untrue the governor’s claim that the state’s tertiary institutions paid the least tuition fees in the Southwest and that its workers earned N22,000 minimum wage. In a statement in Akure, the state capital, Akeredolu said: “For us at ACO, this is another cheap propaganda by the drowning Labour Party (LP) to hoodwink Ondo State to vote for its candidate. “When ACN governors

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

reclaimed their mandates in Ekiti, Osun and later won in Ogun and Oyo states from the reactionary Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), what they did was to slash the high tuition fees imposed on the students. “For instance, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi slashed tuition fees by 75 per cent, irrespective of the course being pursued by the students. This has been applauded across the state. It is equally on record that Governor Rauf Aregbesola did the same in Osun State when he assumed office, apart from the massive infrastructures provided in the institutions. Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has prom-

ised not to increase tuition fees in Ondo State-owned tertiary institutions. “Besides, it is a notorious fact that while Mimiko was locked up in a battle of wit with Ondo State workers, the governors of ACN-controlled states had started paying minimum wage. It is, therefore, curious that a government that failed to pay N14,000 relativity salary could wake up to pay N22,000 minimum wage. “It is on record, based on the pay slips of workers in Ondo State, that after deducting taxes, an average worker goes home with less than N14,000. Therefore, where is the payment of the so-called N22,000 minimum wage? “It will also be interesting to note that the Mimiko ad-

ministration has shortchanged teachers when he cleverly claimed that he had paid them the 27 per cent increment agreed with them, whereas he only paid two per cent of it. “How could Mimiko claim that his education sector is the best in the Southwest, with the collapse of primary and secondary schools, as a result of the poor condition of the structures of these schools? “Mimiko’s government is yet to employ a single teacher in the last three and a half years. Infrastructure at the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU), the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic in Owo (ROGIPO), among others, are begging for attention while the workers of both

institutions have been protesting non-payment of their salaries and allowances in the last 28 months. “Mimiko claimed that ACN asked for his blueprint. Which one is he talking about? Is it the abandonment of N1.5 billion Doomdome? Is it the inability to construct a single road, among others? “Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State has been transforming the state, continuing where Asiwaju Bola Tinubu stopped. Even before he reclaimed his mandate, Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole was on the same path. Where did Mimiko develop the so-called blueprint that ACN governors are asking for?”

Group backs ACN candidate

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

SCORES of Akoko youths, under the aegis of Akoko Youth Alliance (AYA), at Ikare Akoko, the headquarters of Akoko North East Local Government Area, have backed the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN). The youths were from the four local government areas in Akoko Division. They unanimously promised to support Akeredolu with legitimate means to win next month’s election. AYA Coordinator, Mr Banji Adewunmi, berated the ruling Labour Party (LP) administration for not providing jobs for youths.

Ondo community vows not to vote for Oke

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure


group, Agbajowopo Omo Yoruba Movement Group (AOYMG), has said it is supporting Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), to win the October 20 election. The group said it would work for the success of the party’s standard bearer because ACN is the only political party that projects the agenda of the Yoruba nation. In a statement in Akure, the state capital, by its Chairman, Ayodele Falomo, and Secretary, Favour Ajulo, the group said it has constituted a mobilisation team for the success of the ACN candidate. The statement reads: “We believe that your party with its candidate is the best to work with in achieving our goals for the Yoruba race. We have examined other candidates and gone through their profiles and manifestos. Your candidate remains the best among them.” It noted that ACN is the only political party that has progressive ideas and is interested in developing the Southwest, like the late Obafemi Awolowo did during his reign in the defunct Western Region. The group said it supported the Southwest Integration Agenda championed by ACN and other Yoruba progressive leaders. It noted that several development projects have been executed in Lagos, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, and Oyo states. The group said: “We are tired of main stream politics. Our son was President for eight years, but the Yoruba race was only retrogressing. We are happy that a political party like ACN is championing how the Southwest can experience rapid development, like the late Awolowo, Adekunle Ajasin, Bola Ige did during their administrations.”

Youths back ACN candidate

•Akeredolu (middle) with Ifedayo Abegunde, representing Akure Federal Constituency in the National Assembly (left) and Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy of the Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) in Akure.

ACN chieftain urges support for candidate


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Campaign Director for Ose/Owo Federal Constituency, Mr. Oshati Olatunji Maxima, has urged ward chairmen and the two local government chairmen in the constituency to ensure that the party wins with over 80 per cent votes in the October 20 election. Oshati spoke at a meeting with the chairmen, where he explained the party’s position and its preparedness for the poll. He said the party’s standard bearer, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), hails from the constituency, adding that the onus is on them to work harder for his victory. The ACN House of Assembly candidate for Ose Constituency in last year’s election promised that the chairmen would

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

always be carried along in the directorate’s decisions. The party director hailed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and other leaders of the party for their wisdom and for believing in Akeredolu. He also thanked other senatorial zones for conceding the ticket to Owo/Ose since 1979, when the late Adekunle Ajasin led the state. The politician urged Owo/Ose residents, irrespective of their political affiliation, to vote en mass for Akeredolu to reap the benefit of Southwest integration. Also in attendance were: the State Constituency Supervisor for Owo 1 and 2, Mr Tosin Ogunbodede and Mr Tenuche Fatai; Mr Ogundinbola and F.O. Osedimibola, the chairman of Ose and Owo councils.

Tinubu is Yoruba hero, says Akeredolu


HE Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday said former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, is a hero who should be praised for standing by the Yoruba nation at its critical moment. The former Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) President said protesters against fuel price hike were molested by the Olusegun Mimiko administration in Ondo State. Akeredolu addressed reporters in Akure, the state capital, during an interactive session with members of the state chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ). In a statement by his

spokesman, Mr Idowu Ajanaku, the ACN candidate said: “Asiwaju Tinubu is a hero of our modern time. He should be crowned for providing leadership for the Yoruba at this critical point in history. “Governor Olusegun Mimiko said I would be an ajele (stooge) for Tinubu in Ondo State, but the same

Mimiko sought assistance from Tinubu when his (Mimiko’s) mandate was stolen. Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Segun Osoba, General Alani Akinrinade (rtd) are heroes who fought alongside other National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) leaders to enthrone democracy in Nigeria.”


Akeredolu: overhead bridges coming to Ondo


HE Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has promised to transform Akure, the state capital, to a new millennium city, if elected. A statement in Akure, by his spokesman, Mr Idowu Ajanaku, said the candidate

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

spoke during his campaign tour of Akure North. The former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President said: “Two overhead connecting bridges, which will decongest traffic on the Oba Adesida Road and other adjoining areas in Akure, will be con-

structed by my administration, if we are elected, as part of urban renewal programme. He promised massive construction of the inner roads in the city, adding that besides the Oba Adesida Road, which was built by the military over 30 years ago, there is no other good road in Akure.

RESIDENTS of Ala Goke in Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State have vowed not to vote for the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olusola Oke. They accused him of abandoning an electricity project contract, which he secured from the Olusegun Agagu administration in 2003. The residents drew the attention of Governor Olusegun Mimiko to the project during his campaign tour of the area at the weekend. They vowed not to vote for Oke or any of his party members in future elections until he completes the project. The people noted that by Oke’s action, the agrarian community has been in darkness since then.

Group to partner INEC A NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation (NGO), the Centre for Human Rights and Ethics in Development (CHRED), has said it would partner the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free and fair governorship election in Ondo State on October 20. The group hailed the electoral body for conducting a successful election on July 14 in Edo State. It noted that the outcome of the poll demonstrated that there could be transparent election in Nigeria, if stakeholders play their role according to the rules of the game. CHRED said as part of efforts to ensure that votes count, it has constituted an institutional framework, to be called the Stakeholders’ Consultative Advisory committee (SAC). It comprises the representatives of INEC, the media, political parties, security agencies, lawmakers, among others.





NEWS PDP accuses Ondo CJ of being LP member


N Akure State High Court will on Friday rule on a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the Chief Judge, Justice Sehinde Kumuyi, and Governor Olusegun Mimiko. The PDP took the action over the duo’s alleged involvement in the internal affairs of the party. Justice Kumuyi was alleged to be a card-carrying member of the Labour Party (LP) and accused of attending the party’s meeting, according to a letter written by the former Chairman of the party, Dr. Olaiya Oni. The PDP is praying the court to bar Kumuyi from presiding over any of its cases at the High Court or assigning same to any judge. The party averred that the CJ breached his oath of office when he allegedly joined the LP and had a meeting with Mimiko, where it was reportedly

Police disperse protesting ex-militants in Akwa Ibom

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

decided that the Kumuyi should grant certain orders to destabilise the party. At the resume hearing of the matter yesterday, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), opposed the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter on the ground that the action ought not to start with an originating summons. Justice B. F. Adeyeye adjourned the matter till Friday for ruling on jurisdiction.


HE police in Akwa Ibom State yesterday dispersed some exNiger Delta militants, who were peacefully protesting their exclusion from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) surveillance contract awarded to some ex-militant leaders. The protesters marched on Wellington Bassey Way in Uyo, the state capital. At the Government House gate, they sang war songs, but were prevented from going in by security operatives.

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

Their spokesman, Mr. Edohouqua Godwin, said the police fired tear gas canisters at them though the protest was peaceful. Godwin said they wrote several letters to the Commissioner for Police, Mr. Umar Gwadabe, seeking police protection during the protest, but it was not granted. He alleged that two of the protesters were shot by the police. Godwin said: “We wrote

the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Dieziani Alison-Madueke; the Director of the State Security Services (SSS); the National Security Adviser to the President; and the Akwa Ibom State Governor explaining our exclusion from the contract, but they all ignored us. “Under the programme, Bayelsa State was offered 3,000 slots; Rivers, 4,000 and Delta 5,000, while Akwa Ibom, which has the highest oil production quantum, was deliberately left out. “This lopsided decision

and deliberate neglect of our people will result in anarchy and revolt. “During our protest, the police shot at us and the Assistant Commissioner of Police removed his belt to chase us away. The police shot two persons, who are currently receiving treatment.” The group also decried the “poor” representation of Akwa Ibom State ex-militants in the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme. Gwadabe could not be reached on his phone.

ACN, PDP in war of words over defection from ruling party


HROUGH its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday criticised a claim by the Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party

(PDP) that those who defected to the PDP on Sunday were never its members. Reacting to the reception organised by the ACN for thousands of politicians to its fold in Ilorin, the PDP, in a statement by Alhaji Mas’ud

Adebimpe, described the defectors as political jobbers. But Mohammed, who picked a hole in the PDP statement, wondered the PDP concern if truly the defectors were not its members.

“Why are they jittery if the people that decamped are not their members? Why are they so concerned? Mohammed told The Nation last night on phone from his Oro, Kwara State country home. According to Mohammed, the ACN is warming up to receive more members from the PDP, saying some groups are holding talks with the ACN leadership. The leadership of the ACN had at a rally on Sunday received the former PDP members. The PDP statement described the defectors as attention-seekers, challenging them to list their contributions and value to the PDP in the state. “They”, (defectors), “are spent forces and liabilities.” Mohammed said the PDP was afraid of its shadow because it lacked legitimacy and lost the support of the people. He said four of the defectors, including former commissioners and council chiefs, confirmed their exit from the PDP by attending an ACN function at Omupo. According to Mohammed, it was illogical for a party that prided itself as the only party in the state to be afraid of opposition. His words: “Before now, they said there was no opposition in Kwara State. The stealing of council funds and

•Alhaji Mohammed

the general discontent led to a protest against the government. Yet it wants to pretend as if there is no opposition. “ It is unbelievable that workers have not been paid their July salaries in September. The issue of the massive deductions from the council funds is now a major scandal that has pitted the people against the government. They are booed at every function.” Mohammed and other ACN chieftains including the party’s governorship candidate in the 2011 election, Mr. Dele Belgore (SAN), the Secretary to the Government of Osun State (SSG), Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, former Ekiti Senator James Kolawole and Miriki Ebikibina were in Ilorin on Sunday to receive the defectors.

Kidnapped 80-year-old woman still missing From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi


N 80-year-old woman, Mrs. Roselyn Ughanze, who was abducted on June 24 from her home in Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, is still missing. When Mrs. Uganze was kidnapped, her Red Honda CRV was also stolen by the gunmen. The incident occurred six months after an earlier attempt to kidnap her failed. Her son, Mr. Uche Ughanze, has urged the InspectorGeneral of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to help secure her release. In the petition, Uche said attempts had been made to kidnap him and that he no longer has confidence in the Anambra State Police Command. The petition reads: “Your men in Awka discovered clues likely to reveal the identities of my mother’s captors. They were at the peak of the investigation when they dumped it, alleging that it had been thwarted by petitions addressed to the Zone 9 Police Headquarters in Umuahia by the attorneys of Mrs. Anthonia Ughanze, a suspect. “What is worse is that, in the last three months, I have been forced into hiding by these people. They want to kill me, so that no one would follow the case and expose them.” Anambra police spokesman Ralph Uzoigwe could not be reached for comments at the time of filing this report.





Naira falls on strong forex demand • Govt to raise N863b TBs in Q4


HE naira fell to its low est in a week against the U.S dollar on the interbank market yesterday, as strong dollar demand outpaced thin supply from an oil company and some offshore investors into local debt. The Federal Government also plans to raise N862.99 billion ($5.5 billion) worth of treasury bills with maturities ranging from three-months to oneyear in the last quarter, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said. The naira according to Reuters closed at N157.75 to the dollar, weaker than the N157.55 it closed at on Friday, but back at the level it was last Monday. Dealers said unit of Addax petroleum sold about $10 million to some lenders on Monday, while dollar flow from offshore investors trickled into the market, but not enough to stem the depreciation. The naira has been hovering at around N157-158 level for three weeks, owing to dollar sales by the state oil company, multinational oil firms and inflows from offshore investors buying local debt. Dealers said the naira weakened to as low of N157.90 intraday because of buying by some importers, but closed at N157.75 after Addax released its bid result. Meanwhile, the apex bank said over the weekend it would auction N220.04 billion worth of 3-month bill, N381.30 billion worth of 6month paper and 261.65 billion naira in 1-year note, spread over four auctions. The Federal Government also plans to issue N60 billion naira ($379.75 million) in local bonds, with maturities of between five and seven years at its regular auction on Sept. 19.

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 -N6.503 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£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

Across the continent, 15 countries lowered barriers to entry for new businesses, 23 facilitated access to credit, and seven made it easier to pay taxes. Nigeria is not in any of these leagues. - Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

‘Why we suspended flights’

NSE releases market making, securities lending guidelines D O

By Kelvin Osa Okunbor

NLY high net-worth individuals with at least net worth of N300 million and institutional investors can lend securities to borrowers under the securities lending programme just as the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) banned direct borrowing of securities by dealing members. In two circulars obtained yesterday on the operational guidelines for market making, securities lending and short selling, NSE outlined that in the meantime, only qualified institutional investors (QIIs) would be allowed to make their securities available for lending. Rule 350 of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) identifies qualified institutional investors to include an individual investor with at least personal net

By Taofik Salako

worth of N300 million excluding automobiles, homes and furniture. Other QIIs included fund managers, insurance companies, investment and unit trusts, multilateral and bilateral institutions, market makers, professionally-managed staff securities purchase schemes, trustees and custodians and stockbroking firms. The market making and securities lending initiatives takes off today. Head, broker-dealer regulation, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Olufemi Shobanjo, said the operational guidelines were meant to provide market participants with a guide on acceptable conduct in relation to the new initiatives. However, operators are still required to conduct their transactions in line with all relevant rules and guidelines of the Ex-

change and SEC. The NSE warned that any contravention of the subsisting rules and regulations as well as the new guidelines would be sanctioned. According to the guidelines, all market participants are allowed to sell short but in the meantime only market makers may execute a short sale transaction provided that they have borrowed the securities or have entered into a bonafide arrangement to borrow the securities which will be available on the date of delivery. All other dealing members must have borrowed the securities before executing a short sale transaction. However, naked short selling-the practise of selling a security that one does not own and has not borrowed, is strictly prohibited. “No dealing member other than a market maker may ex-

ecute a short sale transaction on the basis of a bona- fide arrangement to borrow the securities,” the guidelines noted. Besides, only Securities Lending Agents (SLAs) registered by SEC are permitted to engage in securities lending. Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and United Bank of Africa Plc are the only subsisting SLAs, although SEC has started considering new applications. Dealing members are also required not to borrow or make arrangements to borrow securities directly from investors without the intermediation of SLAs. Market makers are required to disclose any corporate involvement such as directorships or substantial shareholding above five per cent in companies in whose securities they engage in market making activities.

ELTA Airline’s Com mercial Manager for East and West Africa, Bobby Bryan said yesterday the carrier suspend its flight operations between Nigeria’s capital Abuja and Atlanta, on account of poor patronage, as well as the skyrocketing increase in the price of aviation fuel. Bryan explained that the high cost of aviation fuel in Nigeria is adversely affecting the operations of foreign carriers, adding that the Abuja flight service has to be suspended because the carrier could not continue with the operation. He said the carrier over projected the passenger traffic on the route. He said the airline would invest over $3 billion to enhance its global products, services and airport facilities, next year. It has also introduced full flatbed seats in its BusinessElite cabin onboard its daily service between Lagos and Atlanta. Delta will also begin offering in-flight Internet service on its flights from Nigeria to the United States in early 2013. The changes form part of Delta’s ongoing plan to invest more than $3 billion in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities.

Confusion in MMIA as FAAN shuts out agents By kelvin OSA OKUNBOR

T • From left: President Peadiatrics Association of Nigeria, Dr Dorothy Esangbedo, guest lecturer, Prof MCT Egiri-Okwaji and MD Friesland Campina Wamco Nig Plc, Mr Peter Eshikena, at the 7th Olu Akinkugbe Nutrition seminar held at Sheraton Hotel Ikeja, Lagos ... yesterday. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI

NLNG Train 7 project to generate N1.89t


IGERIA will attract fresh Foreign Direct Investment worth N1.89trn ($12billion) within the next four years through the proposed Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas project. The project is also expected to generate additional $3billion revenue for the government annually and create about 13.000 new jobs. Managing Director, Babs Omotowa, stated this when the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, paid a one-day facility visit

to the NLNG plant in Bonny Island, Rivers State, yesterday. He said: “We are expecting Foreign Direct Investment of $12billion from our proposed Train 7 plant, which we hope would be completed within the next four years. The project is expected to create 13,000 new jobs and generate $3billion revenue annually for the government.” Aganga in a statement, described the NLNG project as a big success story for Nigeria, saying the Ministry of Trade and Investment is committed

to providing the enabling environment to encourage the inflow of FDI into the country. “NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what the Managing Director told me, the company has invested $13billion so far since inception, and has become a pace-setter in terms of revenue generation for the government,” Aganga, said. “The purpose of my visit today is to assess the key areas that we want to diversify and increase our export base. Also,

we are looking for gas to help us develop the petro-chemical sector of the economy, which is critical because we cannot have a strong and virile industrial sector without a strong petrochemical sector which will support the growth and development of the automobile, textile, plastic, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.” The NLNG boss said the firm will continue to record impressive performance, adding that the management has concluded plans to expand its operations owing to the

We lost fibre to mast attacks, says MTN


OBILE phone car rier MTN Group Ltd. says attackers cut into its fiber-optic lines running through Nigeria’s northeast during attacks on telecommunication towers

in the region. In a statement yesterday, the South Africa-based MTN said the multiple cuts on the line had disrupted “the lives of millions” in the region. The company offered no estimate

on how much damage was done nor the cost of repairs. From Sept. 5, gunmen began attacking more than 30 mobile phone towers across Nigeria’s north, disrupting service for all telecommunication companies

in a nation that relies on cellphones. A radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram later claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying mobile phone companies had helped the government arrests its members.

HERE was confusion at the cargo axis of the Murtala Muhammed international airport,Ikeja, yesterday as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), shut out clearing agents and freight forwarders from the cargo terminal of the airport. The agents who vowed not to go to the alternate space allocated to them outside the terminal, alleged that the airport authority is not properly carrying them along. They said the place allocated to them is outside the terms of engagement. Following denial of access into the cargo terminal, scores of the the agents gathered outside the main gate of the cargo terminal, discussing in groups over what might befall their businesses. As at press time, neither officials of FAAN, nor the agents were on hand to comment on the issue, as they were attending a security meeting with the airport security committee on how to resolve the impasse. The Head, Public Affairs of FAAN, Victor Arisa, explained that there was nothing unusual about the agents being denied access into the cargo area, as their executives have earlier struck a deal with government to relocate them temporarily, pending the construction of the new terminal, which is being handled by a concessionaire.







Osaze: I don't

Supporters Club

Politicians don't scare me—Keshi T S UPER EAGLES Head Coach Stephen Keshi has revealed to NationSport in Abuja that his main focus now is to qualify the senior national team for next year's edition of the Africa Nations Cup holding in South Africa. The 'Big Boss' said that he is not bothered by the recent move by some powerful political stakeholders to cajole the Presidency on ensuring that a foreign technical adviser is employed to


From Andrew Abah, Abuja

lead the team. Speaking exclusively

from his home in Benin, the former International said: " I am not disturbed by whatever move anybody or group of people is making. My concern is to ensure that the Super Eagles qualify for the next edition of the Africa Nations Cup in South Africa. We were not at the last edition, I know the mood in the country. When I took over this job, I told Nigerians that I would return smiles to their faces, because I know very well that they are very passionate about the game. So, that is my preoccupation, because I know we will get there. But it will take time. The team we are building is a team of the future, and Nigerians should be patient enough with us". Continuing, the former New Nigerian Bank of Benin captain said: " When I heard the news that some people are making moves to replace me, I started wondering if those people have the genuine interest of the country at heart. We are still on course in the assignment given to us; we have not failed, and they are making efforts to distract us. I am a very focused person, I have the interest of the country at heart, and will continue in my little efforts to ensure I uphold it. It is Nigeria that made me what I am today, and I am very proud of it" he concluded.


Why Eguavoen won't join Sharks


ORMER SUPER Eagles and Enyimba coach, Austin Eguavoen may not join Sharks despite news making the rounds. Sources in Port Harcourt have told in an exclusive interview, that fans of the Garden City team have made it clear to Eguavoen and the management of Sharks, that the former Super Eagles defender will not be welcome in the city. The furore started the moment news filtered in that Eguavoen would be appointed the new coach of Sharks, begins our source. Even before he arrived in the city, tension was very high, and it was assumed that Eguavoen's safety would

HERE was a near pandemonium at the Mabo Street secretariat of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club last Saturday as the scheduled election of a new national executive was stalled by a court injunction. It was gathered that while the majority of the members were clamouring for change, a faction purportedly led by incumbent chairman, Isa Bashorun was bent on seeing that the status quo was maintained. Delegates also revealed that the court order that stopped the election was sought for, and obtained by the chairman’s faction after noticing the overwhelming support for a rival candidate. In a three-point communiqué issued at the end of a meeting of the state chapter forum in the aftermath of the abortive elections, the forum resolved that the electoral body headed by Elder Bankole must hold a fresh election within two weeks (25 – 29 September, 2012) The document, signed by top executive members of no fewer than 35 states also resolved that those behind the court injunction “should be duly suspended” until the Police and the court conclude the matter. However, the electoral committee would stand dissolved if within two weeks it fails to conduct a fresh election. The vice chairman, Vincent Okumagba who is contesting for the chairmanship of the club expressed disappointment at the turn of events, insisting however that he will continue in his quest to give the club a new direction. “Everybody is clamouring for change and I represent that change,” he said.

have been compromised. Sharks had to change the hotel booked for him twice, because irate fans kept calling the booked hotels, threatening that they knew where he was, and would come for him. The fans are said to have declared that they prefered Ere Dokubo, the man appointed to take temporary charge of Sharks. Dokubo was described as a "peace maker" who had brought sanity to Sharks and should be allowed to continue. Sharks had reportedly offered Eguavoen N25m to replace John Obuh at the Port Harcourt team. •Ladipo

Yobo eyes 100 caps with Eagles •To quit the national team, if...


UPER EAGLES captain, Joseph Yobo has revealed to NationSport that he would be happy and grateful to Almighty God if he could make 100 caps playing for the national team. He also disclosed a belief in a chance to even surpass the said target if the situation in the Eagles’ camp is conducive for him to carry on as one of the most experienced players in the team. “Reaching 100 caps will be a milestone and great and it’s something I will surely hold to my heart. So long as I am enjoying it and the national team is going towards the direction that I am happy with, I won’t quit the national team. But if the national team is going in the direction that I am not happy with and certain things can not be compromised and my opinion as the most experienced player in the team can not be heard, then I would quit. “I am trying to set a standard for others to follow. We have been in so many Africa Nations Cup finals without winning the Cup. So, with a good platform others can come and continue when we leave. But at the


EST BROM striker Peter Odemwingie believes he will face a challenge to regain a starting position by the time he completes his proposed three-match ban. The Nigerian hitman saw red against Fulham on Saturday after kicking out at Sascha Riether during the Cottagers' 3-0 victory, and as a result will miss the two Premier League games against Reading


and Aston Villa, as well as the League Cup tie with Liverpool. Odemwingie, who apologised immediately after the clash, is now fearing for his starting position as Romelu Lukaku and Chris Brunt will be looking to take full advantage of the opening up front. "We have a lot of good players on the bench and players that didn't even make

Taiwo, Ideye, Lukman D

result may influence the entire campaign. And for me personally it will be very interesting to play the opener against PSG." Taiwo played seven seasons at PSG's old rivals Marseille, winning the 2010 league title and the French League Cup twice, in 2010 and 2011. He played 271 matches and scored 25 goals. Last season Taiwo was bought by AC Milan but played only four matches in Serie A and four in the Champions League before joining English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers on loan. This season Taiwo switched to Dynamo Kiev, making his debut in the Ukraine league on August 3 in the match with Krivyi Rig which Dynamo won 1-0. He is the fourth Nigerian on the Kiev side's books. "I know all the Nigerian footballers who are playing with Dynamo and I hope it will help me adapt to life in Kiev quickly and successfully," Taiwo told AFP. "I am close friends with Yussuf Ayila. We spend much time together and his advice concerning life in Ukraine is really precious


for me." However, Taiwo failed to avoid problems on the pitch in his early matches in Ukraine. His schoolboy mistake against Vorskla Poltava, when he gifted the ball to Artem Gromov, who scored the winning goal, cost Dynamo all three points. But the 27-year-old defender, who has won 54 caps and scored five goals for the Nigerian national team, said he has forgotten the incident. "Only those people who don't do anything make no mistakes," he said. Taiwo added: "It's very important for me to play in the Champions League with Dynamo. I want to play for my national team and increase my experience of playing in the European events. Here, in Dynamo, I have an opportunity for that.”

O C C E R E X i s d e l i g h t e d t o will all be speaking on different sessions announce a raft of footballing at the Seminar with the ultimate goal of legends and big business names developing football in West Africa. will speak at the Soccerex Seminar Lagos, 27-28 September. The latest footballing legends to have signed up for the Seminar, not only to discuss business in West Africa, but to relive their football glory days, will be former Nigeria international Sunday Oliseh, ex-Bayern Munich and Ghanaian legend Sammy Kuffour and exFeyenoord, Nottingham Forest and Netherlands legend Pierre van Hooijdonk. The Chairman of Nigerian Premier League, Victor Rumson Baribote, President of Fourteen SA and World-Cup wining ex-player Christian Karembeu, International Advisor to TP Mazembe Jerome Champagne and Managing •Sunday Oliseh Director of ASEC Mimosas Benoit You

The attendees will be speaking on a number of panels including ‘Developing Africa’s Next Star’ and ‘Successfully running a Professional League’, and moderating the key ‘Football in Nigeria’ session which will feature the Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association Seyi Akinwunmi and the President of the Nigerian Football Federation Aminu Maigari. Commenting on his involvement, Sunday Oliseh said: “It's with great optimism that I invite you to join me in welcoming the arrival of Soccerex to Nigeria. Nigeria is such a passionate, 'religiously' football loving country. There is an endless wealth of talent in Nigeria but there is still much work to do in order to create an appropriate environment for such talent to blossom. Soccerex is passionately interested in

playing its part in making this happen and thus I am delighted to contribute to the inaugural Soccerex Seminar in Lagos." Christian Karembeu added: “The Soccerex Seminar Lagos will play an important part in the development of football in Nigeria. I’m looking forward to seeing how the event offers international businesses a platform to develop new contacts and ultimately invest in West African football.” With the aim of promoting the development of football in West Africa, through providing focused learning and business opportunities, the Soccerex Seminar Lagos will feature a mix of football’s leading decision-makers joining business experts for an in-depth, two-day event made up of a conference, networking and social events.

with the way you have been carrying along with your assignments as if there are no challenges and we are happy about this,” he enthused. The self-styled 'New Nigeria Golden Eaglets' opened their African Under-17 qualifiers account towards the 2013 AYC in Morocco with a 4-1 away win against their Nigerien counterparts in Niamey penultimate Saturday. Yet team's coordinator, Suleiman Abubakar said the youngsters as well as the crew are not being carried away with the euphoria. "We appreciate all the good things being said about our team but we know we can't afford to get carried away," stated Abubakar, the erstwhile Team Manager of Abuja FC who starred for Niger Tornadoes in his heyday."We have resolved to keep working on our goals and without being told, we know how important is our coming game as such, we are focussed on the task at hand,” he added.

No club games, no call-ups

•Injury stops Ayila YNAMO KIEV Nigerian defender Yussuf Ayila has been omitted from the squad of 22 players nominated by coach Yuri Semin for the UEFA Champions League match with PSG today. According to the official website of the Ukrainian vice - champions, Ayila injured his knee on the eve of the game. Thus, he was not listed for Dynamo's 3 - 1 victory over Karpaty last weekend. In the roster are three Nigerian players Taye Taiwo, Haruna Lukman and in-form Brown Ideye who has netted 11 goals in all competitions this season including 3 strikes in the Champions League. Dynamo Kiev flew by chartered flight to the French capital on Sunday. The delegation are staying at Courtyard Paris Neuilly Hotel in Paris. Taiwo, who is about to renew his personal rivalry against Paris Saint Germain, believes today's Champions League clash in the French capital will be crucial for both teams' hopes of progress. "The opening match in any tournament is always very important," Taiwo said. "This


HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has once again commended the technical crew of the National Under-17 team over an uncommon camaraderie already established within the rank and file of the team. At brief dinner chitchat with the Golden Eaglets’ officials on Sunday, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, Director Technical at the NFF, said the federation has noted with keen interest the unity of purpose within the team, requesting them to consolidate on the healthy spirit in the camp. "Again, I’m conveying to you special greetings from the NFF because everybody is happy with the job you have done so far," Ikpeme said at the team's Princeville Hotel camp. "Of course, the federation has noticed the unity and bonding between the coaching crew and other backroom staffers which of course have rubbed off on the entire team. We are impressed


in Dynamo's C/League squad

Football chiefs, legends sign up S

the squad on Saturday and are very good," Odemwingie told the Express and Star. "I will work hard over the next couple of weeks to make sure I don't lose my position but it is a worry that I might not get my starting shirt back. "I feel like I've let myself down. It really feels very bad. I also let my team-mates, the club and fans down. I'm sorry."



From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja moment I am not considering quitting. I still have many competitive years ahead. “I am not really looking at the number of caps I have in Super Eagles colours because I know that I still have a lot to offer Nigeria. I pray that I stay fit and keep playing well. I am confident that my future is very bright. So if we speak about caps I think it might go a long way because I am still very competitive. I have signed a three-year deal with Fenerbahce and that means a lot for my playing ability and career. So, I still have a lot to offer both the national team and my club. “It amazes me when I realise the fact that I have put in 11 years of playing for Nigeria and other clubs and I feel very blessed. So, I feel privileged to be Joseph Yobo and to be in the position I am in and also grateful to the fans for their understanding. I was there when it was good and when it was bad for both clubs and country. I have been very consistent and I thank God for this”, the former Everton of England star summed up.

want to lose my shirt

NFF hails unity in Eaglets’ crew

•Brown Ideye

OACH Stephen Keshi has insisted that he will continue to encourage the home based players all through his tenure as Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, saying that they are the bedrock of any country's football development. The man popularly called the 'Big Boss' in his playing days, said: "I have said times wit hout number that our reb uilding process will amo unt to nothing if the playe rs at home are not encou raged. Ther e is no country that c a n develop its football b y laying emphasis on those players in the Diasp ora. We have to start at home, that is w h y people say that chari ty begins at hom e. We have quality players here at home that need to be encouraged, so we have to do that now. "I will never extend an invitation to a foreign-based player that is not regular in his team, at the expense of a home-

From Patrick Ngwaogu, Abuja based lad who plays regularly. That is injustice, and it would not augur well for the development we are talking about. Before such can happen, it means we do not have a capable hand here at home. "So I need to reiterate that for you to play for the national team, you must show 150 per cent commitment. If I invite you, and you throw away the chance, I will not call you again. You must show me that you are ready to play for the country before such an opportunity would be given to you. " The Big Boss further hinted that his camp may likely open for the homebased players by weekend, while the foreign based would join later. He however refused to disclose his likely team against the Lone stars of Liberia in the return leg match slated for Calabar on the 13th October. The Super Eagles need a draw in that match to make it to the next edition of the Africa Nations Cup holding in South Africa. The Eagles missed the last edition of the championship held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, after they were forced to 2-2 draw by the Guineans in Abuja.

Overseas trials: Rufai to sponsor two players


X-SUPER EAGLES goalkeeper, Peter Rufai, has promised to sponsor two players discovered at the 4th Sam Ethnan Airforce Base Commanders Cup football tournament overseas for trials. The players, who were not immediately named, were identified at the final of the competition on Sunday at the Airforce Base Training Ground in Ikeja. Rufai, who also donated the trophy for the tournament and jerseys to winners, Block M which beat Block Q 1-0, said it was his own way of giving back to the society. He said that it was also to encourage youths to engage in sports and make a living out of it. "I have decided to give out this trophy and jerseys because I got motivated by what the Airforce Base Commander has done to engage the youth through sports. "The talents I’ve seen within the Airforce Base are very encouraging, and I’m excited that this country still has players at the grassroots who will hopefully be

discovered. "That is why I have decided to sponsor two players to Europe from this tournament because these talents need to be properly harnessed,” Rufai told the News Agency of Nigeria. He commended the efforts of the Airforce Base Commander in organising the competition, adding that it was a brilliant initiative. "It’s a brilliant idea and it is really creating a niche for these boys to show their talent and thereby be scouted. A competition of this nature gives them hope. It has really brought out the best in the Base in terms of sports and engages the youth in meaningful things rather than those that are not good,” he said. He described the tournament as a success and called on private bodies to support the competition as well as other grassroots programmes. NAN reports that eight teams from eight residential blocks in the Airforce Base participated in the one-week competition.











IN THE HIGH COURT OF LAGOS STATE OF NIGERIA PROBATE REGISTRY, LAGOS DIVISION WHEREAS the person whose names are set-out in the first Column under died intestate on the date and place stated in the said Column. AND WHEREAS the person or persons whose names and addresses and relationship (if any) to the deceased are set out in the second Column here have applied to the High Court of Lagos State for a Grant of Letter of Administration of the Real and Personal Properties of the deceased. NOTICE IS HEREBY given that Letters of Administration will be granted to such persons unless a NOTICE TO PROHIBIT THE GRANT is filed in the registry within (14) days from the date hereof. S/N 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78.

NAMES OF THE DECEASED PERSON: Mr. Lawrence Oludimu Oyelola late of 8, Karimu Laka Street, Egbeda, Lagos who died intestate on 10th June, 2004 at Lagos. Mr. Okari Jacob Ejeh late of 3, Ogunsanya Street, Bariga, Lagos who died intestate on 2nd October, 2007 at Lagos. Miss Amaefula Pauline otherwise known as Miss Pauline Amaefuna late of 74, Ilogbo Road, Ajangbadi, Ojo, Lagos who died intestate on 8th May, 2009 at Lagos. Linus Chidi Nnadi otherwise known as Nnadi Linus late of 30, Salami Street, Mafoluku Oshodi, Lagos who died intestate on 16th March, 2011 at Lagos. Akpore Henrietta late of Block 6, House 6, Satellite Town, Lagos who died intestate on 11th January, 2012 at Lagos. Mr. Kupoluyi Anthony late of Flat 20 A – E Street, Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, Ikorodu, Lagos who died intestate on 27th June, 2010 at Lagos. Osagie Festus Olumese late of 21, Ferguson Osagie Road,Onikanga Ayobo, Lagos who died intestate on 29th March, 2011 at Lagos. Henry Adebayo Willoughby late of 31, Mcneil Street, Yaba, Lagos who died intestate on 10th January, 2012 at Lagos. Joe Unu Ukpoma late of 23 Charles Ifeanyi Street, Lekki, Lagos who died intestate on 10th March, 2012 at U.SA. Motajo Nurudeen late of 5A, Dada Street, Ojo, Lagos who died intestate on 4th March, 2012 at Lagos. Chief Monday Abaja late of 34, Mba Street, Oregie Ajegunle, Lagos who died intestate on 30th April, 2011 at Lagos. Li-Hameed Mikhail Olaide late of No. 8, Onikosi Close Ejigbo, Lagos who died intestate on 9th March, 2012 at Lagos. Adejare Bukade otherwise known as Adejare Bukky and Bukola John Adejare late of 183, Igbosere Road, Lagos, who died intestate on 27th November, 2010 at Ibadan Oyo State. Mr. Imeh William late of 2nd Gate Ikota, Ajah Lagos, who died intestate on 22nd January, 2010 at Lagos. Mrs. Benice Chioma Ndeogu late of House 18, 10 Close 21 Road Festac Town, Lagos who died intestate on 17th August, 2011 at Lagos. Augustine Emoh late of 119 Bale Street, Ajegunle, Lagos who died intestate on the 9th day of June,2009 at Lagos State. Yekini Jimoh known as Yekini Bankole Jimoh late of C Close House 18 Festac Town, Lagos who died intestate on 29th October, 2010 at Lagos. Mr. Suleman Zorro Ajibade late of 35, Ayenero Street, Okoya Ajegunle, Apapa, Lagos who died intestate on 25th January, 2011 at Lagos. Grace Ilori Adeleke known as Grace Addy and Grace Adeleke late of 6, Ganiyu Davies Street, Ojodu Lagos who died intestate on 14th April, 2011 at Accra Ghana. Samuel Oladipupo Olaniyan known as Olaniyan Samuel Oladipupo late of 25, Odunfa Street, Lagos who died intestate on 7th February 2011 at Lagos. Theophilus Odunlami known as Odunlami Theophilus late of 111, Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba, Lagos who died intestate on 7th May, 1998 at Lagos. Mrs. Abiodun Oladepe Sode late of 8A, Oladipo Diya Street, 2nd Avenue Estate Ikoyi, Lagos who died intestate on 27th August, 2010 at Abuja. Omodiale Ann Omoye known as Omodiale Omoye late of Owode Elede, Mile 12, Ikorodu, Lagos who died intestate on the 10th day of October, 2010 at Lagos. Mr. Solomon Wemimo Sodade known as Sodade Wemimo Solomon late of 31, Tapa Street, Ijeshatedo, Lagos who died intestate on 13th August, 2008 at Sagamu. Ajagunna Momoh late of 6, Abeokuta Street, Anifowoshe Ikeja, Lagos who died intestate on 6th July, 2011 at Lagos. Bernard Amaechi Mbah known as Mbah Bernard and Chief B. A.Mbah late of House 3, 7th Street, Osborne Foreshore Estate Ikoyi Lagos who died intestate on 22nd April, 2011 at Lagos. Francis Egonu Anichie known as Anichie Francis Egonu and F. E. Aniche late of 21, Molade Street, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos who died intestate on 14th January, 1980 at Lagos. Mr. Ambrose A. Anigwe l;ate of 38, Salami Street, Oworo, Lagos, who died intestate on 12th June, 2011 at Lagos. Alhaja Subedat Bashorun late of Plot 46, Animashaun Extension Adelabu Surulere, Lagos. who died intestate on 5th July, 1998 at Lagos. Olushola Wintola A.P. known as Wintola Olushola Asimiyu Paul late of 19, Ajara Tozunkanmeh Badagry who died intestate on 22nd October, 2011 at Lagos.. Mrs. Victoria Funmilayo Atoki known as Atoki Victoria Funmilayo and Mama Safeway late of 15, Safeway Cottage Sangotedo Eti-Osa, Lagos who died intestate on the 15th day of March, 2012 at Lagos. Biliaminu Adio Kazim late of 12, Hazel Way, Dunton Road London SE 5XL who died on 9th November, 2007 at London. Ayanwale Adetunji Jimoh known as Ayanwale Adetunji and Mr Tunji Ayanwale late of Ayanwale Crescent Alakuko, Lagos who died intestate on 21st November, 2010 at Abeokuta, Ogun State. Deacon Samuel Oyedele Ogunniyi known as Ogunniyi Oyedele Samuel late of 82, Oyedele Ogunniyi Street, Anthony, Lagos who died intestate on 11th July, 2008 at Lagos. Mrs. Funmilola Adebusuyi known as Mrs. Fumilola Elizabeth Adebusuyi late of 14, Sanyaolu Street, Ori-Okuta Ikorodu, Lagos who died intestate on 5th July, 2011 at Ikorodu, Lagos. Mrs. Grace Akintunde known as Mrs. Akintunde Grace late of 24, Arowolo Street, Iwaya Lagos, who died intestate on 19th April, 2012 at Ondo, Ondo State. Durojaiye Afolabi Godwin known as Mr. Afolabi Godwin Durojaiye late of Plot 14, Durojaiye Crescent, Otun- Akute Lagos, who died intestate on 2nd January, 2012 at Lagos. Jimoh Serifat Abiola late of 1, Serifat Abiola Abiola Street, Mowe, Ogun State who died intestate on 1st April, 2012 at Sagamu Ogun State. Afolabi Teslim Kolawole late of Oremeji House, Apapa Road, Akore Omoniya Ibadan who died intestate on 25th April, 2012 at Ibadan. Olubunmi A. Fasaye known as Olubunmi Ayodele Fasaye late of 5, Kwara Close Agbara Estate Agbara, Lagos who died intestate on 19th September, 2011 at Agbara. Ikezue Paul Chukwudi known as Ikezue Paul late of 4, Zion Close Ojodu Berger who died intestate on 27th September, 2011 at Lagos. Emeka Jude Ohuchukwu known as ohuchukwu Emeka Jude late of 13, Obaayoka Street, Iba Town, Lagos who died intestate on 4th August, 2010 at Benin Edo State. Mrs. Folashade Akanke Disu, late of 24 Olufunmilayo Street, Mushin Lagos who died intestate on 10th June, 2011 at Lagos. Poroye Christopher Akinola late of 25, Oloto Road Ilutitun Ondo State who died intestate on 9th September, 2010 at Owode. Mathew Joseph Ikoja known as Joseph Mathew and Mathew Joseph late of 9, Adeyanju Street, off Fellowship Idiroko Road, Ota Ogun State who died intestate on 21st May, 2010 at Lagos. Ibiamuko Clarke Eriomola known as Pauline Ifeyinwa Eriomola late of 107 Idewu Street, Olodi Apapa, Lagos who died intestate on 3rd April, 2003 at Lagos. Eze Osmond late of Site 5, Maximum Barracks Kirikiri Lagos who died intestate on 27th October, 2009 at Lagos. Usenbor Esemuede Gibert known as Mr. Usenbor Gilbert Esemuede late of 6, Opaleye Street, Ajegunle, Lagos who died intestate on 25th November, 2008 at Lagos. Dennis Nyor known at Nyor Dennis late of Block 7, Flat 6, Bar-Beach Police Barracks Lagos who died intestate on 21st September, 2011 at Lagos. Mrs. Julia Emmanuel Udo late of 1, Adeyeye Street, Alaja Road Magida Ayobo, Lagos who died intestate on 25th October, 2010 at Akwa Ibom State. Nwigwe Maria Onyema known as Nwigwe Maria late of Block 92, Flat 5, Ogba Ijaiye Estate, Lagos who died intestate on 2nd May, 2011 at Lagos. Mr. Samuel Orajiuka known as Mr. Orajuka Samuel late of 10, Ogunlade Street, Alaba- Oro Lagos who died intestate on 1st November, 2006 at Lagos. Rufus Atewologun late of 13, Mosuro Street, Abule –Oja Yaba, Lagos, who died intstate on 11th March, 1980 at Lagos. Fatoki Titus Oke known as Fatoki Titus late of 39, Olu Okewunmi Street, Ijegun Road Ikotun, Lagos who died intestate on 6th May, 2011 at Lagos. Amadi Simeon late of 51, Akanro Street Ilasamaja Mushin, Lagos who died intestate on 23rd November, 2011 at Nnewi. Edinor Peter late of Block 2 Room 6, Kayode Police Barracks Apapa, Lagos who died intestate on 8th October, 2011 at Lagos. Mrs. Sariat Motolani Mustapha known as Mrs. Mustapha Sariat late of Block 17, Flat 13, Alhaji Masha Road Surulere, Lagos who died intestate on 4th August, 2007 at Lagos. Collins Okechukwu Onuosa known as Onuosa Collins late of 32, Okelola Street, Afromedia Ajangbadi, Lagos who died intestate on 8th April, 2012 at Lagos. Mr. George Commander Oniko known as Mr.George C. Oniko late of House 85, Road 42, Victoria Garden City, Lekki Lagos who died intestate on 24th January, 2009 at Lagos. Augustine Chukwuemeka Umeadi late of 2nd Avenue 23rd Road T. Close House 42, Festac Town, Lagos who died intestate on 7th August, 2010 at Lagos. Mr. Onuora Christopher Igwe late of 13 Afolabi Dada Street, Lagos who died intestate on 26th August, 2007 at Lagos. W/02 Lateef Balogun known as Latifu Balogun late of 39, Ojo Street, Idi-Ora Mushin, Lagos who died intestate on 3rd May, 2011 at Lagos. Mr. Zaecheus Atanda Falana late of 7, Ogunsaya Street, Akute who died intestate on 12th January, 2007 at Lagos. Chukwu Igbokwe late of 46, Jones Waribe Street, Olodi – Apapa, Lagos who died intestate on 21st April, 2010 at Lagos. Mrs. Gloria Akanimo Sakey known as Sakey Gloria late of 39, Oladehinde Street, Aguda Surulere, Lagos who died intestate on 22nd February, 2012 at Lagos. Bakare Idowu Ahmed late of 9, Joseph Akinyoola Street, Oto –Ijanikin Lagos who died intestate on 6th February,2012 at Lagos. Okonkwo Lauretta Nkechi known as Okonkwo Lauretta late of 711 Road, ‘B’ Close, House 11, Festac Town, Lagos who died intestate on 19th November, 201l at Benin. Michael Eneh known as Michael Ene late of 62, Adejiyan Street, Amukoko, Lagos who died intestate on 2nd January, 2011 at Lagos. Revd. Alfred Oluwafemi Asesanya known as Adesanya Alfred Oluwafemi late of 10, Alfa Aminu Street, Pedro Somolu, Lagos, who died intestate on 12th August, 2011 at Lagos. Mrs. Zainab Shuaibu late of 37, Shaba Street, Agege, Lagos, who died intestate on 2nd October, 2008 at Lagos. Chukwuebuka Emmanual Okonkwo otherwise known as Okonkwo Charles late of 8A, Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, who died intestate on 7th April, 2012 at Lagos. Arch. (Chief) David Olaleye Kehinde known as Kehinde David late of No. 7B, Adekunle Fajuyi Crescent, Off Adeniyi JonesAvenue, Ikeja who died intestate on the 11th day of October, 2010 at Ikeja, Lagos. Col. Michael Olaina known as Olaina Michael late of Block 4, Flat 24, Bar Beach Tower, Victoria Island, Lagos who died intestate on the 24th April, 2012 at Ibadan. Lasisi Adekunle Akande late of 13, Odunsi Street, Surulere, Lagos, who died intestate on 10th December, 1978 at Lagos. Chief Israel O.Onyemaobi known as Onyemaobi Israel late of 35, Durojaiye Street, Lawanson Surulere, Lagos who died intestate on 10th October, 2005 at Umuahia. Kehinde Emmanuel late of 25, Akinnagbe Street Ketu, Alapere, Lagos who died intestate on 6th November, 2008 at Lagos. Ohanwe Agness otherwise known as Ohanwe Nene Agnes late of 3, Alli Ijaiye Street, Off Oseni Street, Lawanson, Lagos who died intestate on the 31st, October, 2011 at Lagos. Ayodeji Adewinle late of 11, Ajorin Street, Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos who died intestate on 14th day of April, 2006 at Lagos.

S/N 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78.


Abidemi Oludare Oyelola and Olusegun Oyelola of 8, Karimu Street, Egbeda, Lagos and 6, Lateef Onigemo Street, Gbagada, Lagos. Two of the children of the said deceased. Joseph Agada Ejeh and Mrs. Helen Okoh both of 26, Ogunsanya Street, Lagos. The brother and sister of the said deceased. Mrs. Patience Achumba of 74, Ilogbo Road, Ajangbadi, Ojo, Lagos. The only surviving sister of the said deceased. Mrs. Jacinta Nnadi and Mr. Anthony Ugwu of 58, Mafoluku Road Oshodi, Lagos and 3, Oyewole Street, Mazamaza, Lagos . The widow and brother-in-law of the said deceased.. Mrs. Helen Akpore and Mr. Andrew Akpore both of Block 6, House 6, Satellite Town, Lagos. The mother and brother of the said deceased. Mrs. Victoria Olabisi Kupoluyi and Mr. Ezekiel Olakunle Kupoluyi both of Flat 20 A – E Street, Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, Ikorodu, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Elizabeth F. Osagie and Olumese Stanley Osagie both of 21, Ferguson Osagie Road, Onikanga Ayobo, Lagos. The Mother and Brother of the said deceased. Julie Adetoun Willoughby and Andrew Babatunde Willoughby both of Loius Solomon Close, Victoria Island, Lagos. Two of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Ann Ukpoma and Miss Omonye Ukpoma both of 26, Charles Ifeanyi Street,Lekki, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Olakunle Wahab Motajo and Wasiu Oluwarotimi Motajo both of 5A, Dada Street, Ojo, Lagos. Two of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Queen Abaja and Chukwudi Abaja both of 34, Mba Street, Oregie Ajegunle, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Saheed Li- Hammed, Fasilat Li – Hammed, Khafid Li-Hammed and Jamiu Li- Hameed all of No. 8, Onikosi Close, Ejigbo, Lagos. Four of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Deborah Adejare and Mr. Johnson Adejare both of 183, Igbosere Road, Lagos. The mother and brother of the said deceased. Mrs. Maria Imeh William and Imo William Akpan both of 27, Alhaji Amoo Street, Ojota, Lagos. The widow and brother of the said deceased. Henry Asobie Udeogu and Kate Ahuruchi Udeogu both of House 18, 10 Close, 21 Road Festac Town, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Ifeanyi Emoh and Ugochi Emoh both of 402, Road C Close, Block 1, Flat 15, Festac Town, Lagos. The children and Administrator of the said deceased/ Saidi Jimoh and Funmilayo Jimoh both of ‘C’ Close, House 18, Festac Town, Lagos. Two of the children of the said deceased.. Mrs. Mosunmola Ajibade and Yusuf Suleman both of 40. Ayenero Street, Okoya Ajegunle, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Dr. Benjamin Folorunsho Fatomade and Mrs. Adenike Johnson both of 28, Ajoke Okusanya Street, Ago-Okota, Lagos. The daughter and brother of the said deceased. Mrs. Rebecca Olaniyan and Ololade Olaniyan both of 25, Odunfa Street, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Juliana Atunde and Mr. Olaitan Odunlami of 24, Funso Street, Onike Yaba, Lagos and 111 Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba, Lagos. The children of the said deceased. Rear Adm. Adetoye O. Sode (Rtd) and Adetoye Adetayo Sode (Jnr) both of 8A, Oladipo Diya Street, 2nd Avenue Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. The widower and one of the children of the said deceased. Omodiale Monday and Omodiale Abraham both of Owode Elede, Mile 12, Ikorodu, Lagos. The Widow and One of the Children of the said deceased. Mrs. Ronke Akinwole and Mrs. Oluwaseyi Sani both of 31, Tapa Street, Ijeshatedo, Lagos. Two of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Toyin Momoh Ajagunna, Adenike Momoh – Ajagunna and Funke Momoh-Ajagunna all of 6, Abeokuta Street, Anifowose – Ikeja, Lagos. The widow and two of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Apollonia Mbah and Mr. Obiora Mbah both of House 3, 7th Street, Osborn Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Mr. Emmanuel Iweka Aniche, Mr. Peter Ekenechukwu Aniche and Mrs Nkechi Ejilow (Nee Aniche) of Felix Obey Street, Ikotun and 21, Molade Street, Olodi – Apapa, Lagos. The children of the said deceased. Mrs. Nwadinaka G. Anigwe and Nathan C. Obasi both of 38, Salami Street Oworo Lagos. The widow and cousin of the said deceased. Mr. Olubosun Balogun and Ms Motolani Balogun both of Plot 46, Animashaun Extension Adelabu Surulere, Lagos. Two children of the said deceased. Wintola Helen Biola, Wintola Zainab and Wintola Taiwo all of Ajara Tozunkanmeh ,via Badagry. The widow and two of the children of the said deceased. Dr, Akinwunmi Atoki, Elder Joel Sola Atoki, Mr. Solafunmi Atoki and Mr. Ajewolemi Atoki all of 15, Safeway Cottage Sangotedo Eti-Osa Lagos. The widower and three of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Simiat Abeni Kazim and Mr. Muyideen Adeyinka Kazim of 12, Hazel Way Dunton Road London 5 x L and Plot 5, Rasheed Alaba Williams Road, Lekki, I, Lekki, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased.. Ayanwale Bosede Kehinde and Ayanwale Folashade both of 17, Powerline Oko-Oba Orile Agege,Lagos. The widow and daughter of the said deceased. Prof. Adesola Ogunniyi, Mrs. Taiwo Adeleke and Mrs. Kehinde Ogunfowora all of 32, Ayodele Ogunniyi Street, Anthony, Lagos. Three of the children of the said deceased. Pator Adesoji Samuel Adebusiyi and Miss Prescilia Temitope Adebusiyi both of 14, Sanyaolu Street, Ori-Okuta, Ikorodu, Lagos. The widower and one of the children of the said deceased. Olabanji Akintunde and Abiola Akintunde both of 24, Arowolo Street, Iwaya, Lagos. The widower and one of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Ibilola Folashade Durojaiye and Miss Adeola Durojaiye both of Plot 14, Durojaiye Crescent Otun Akute, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Olatunji Anifat and Ojelade Temitope both of 1, Serifat Abiola Street, Mowe Ogun State. Two of the children of the said deceased. Alhaja Afolabi S. Olajumoke and Afolabi Sodiq Tolulope both of Oremeji House, Apapa Road, Akoro Moniya Ibadan. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Adeayo O. Fasaye and Olumuyiwa O. Fasaye both of 5, Kwara Estate, Agbara Lagos. The widow and brother of the said deceased. Ikezue Bolaji Foluke of 7, Oluwatoyin Street, Akiode Ogba, Lagos. The widow of the said deceased. Mrs. Grace Ohuchukwu and Ikedichi S. Ohuchukwu both of 13, Obaayoka Street, Iba Town, Lagos. The widow and brother of the said deceased. Semiu Disu and Ganiyatu Disu both of 20, Shokunbi Street, Mushin, Lagos. The children of the said deceased. Poroye Adebayo and Oluwasegun Akinola both of 81, Record Office Nigerian Army Opposite Dams Army Barrack Owode. Two of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Joseph Nana and Mr. Joseph Ngbede both of 9, Adeyanju Street, off Fellowship Road, Ota Ogun State. The mother and brother of the said deceased. Joan Clarke Eriomola of 107, Idewu Street, Olodi Apapa, Lagos. The daughter of the said deceased. Mrs. Sylvia Eze and Pascal Chielozone Eze both of Site 5, Maximum Barrack Kirikiri, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Miss Patience Usenbor, Mr. Osagie D. Usenbor, Miss Gloria Usenbor and Mr. Adamu Momoh all of 6, Opaleye Street, Ajegunle, Lagos. The children and nephew of the said deceased. Mrs. Gloria Dennis Nyor and Mr. Terwase Dennis Nyor both of Block 7, Flat 6, Bar-Beach Police Barracks, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Anne Eme Adzuteh and Engr. Akanimo Emmanuel Udo both of 1, Adeyeye Street, off Alaja Road Megida, Ayobo, Lagos. The children of the said deceased. John Ifeanyi Oparaji and Peace Ebuka Nwigwe both of Block 92, Flat 5, Ogba-Ijaiye Estate, Lagos. One of the children and brother of the said deceased Ezeudegbunam Ebere and Orajiuka Chukwuemeka both of 31A Omobola Street, Lawanson Surulere, Lagos. The children of the said deceased. Gbolahan Atewologun and Mobolaji Atewologun both of 13, Mosuro Street, Abule-Oja, Yaba, Lagos. The nephew of the said deceased. Miss Funmilayo Fatoki and Bolarinwa Fatoki both of 39, Olu Okewunmi Street, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Amadi Stanislaus Chidi and Amadi Bernadine Uche both of 51, Akaro Street, Ilasamaja Mushin, Lagos. Two of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Grace Edinor and Wilson Edinor both of Block 2, Flat 6, Kayode Police Barrack, Apapa, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Mr. Akinshola Kamorudeen Mustapha and Mr. Olamilekan Adewale Mustapha both of Block 17, Flat 13, Alhaji Masha Road, Surulere, Lagos. The widower and one of the children of the said deceased. Edeafezino Larry Onuosu and Oviemuno Harrold Onuosa both of 32, Okelola Street, Afromedia Ajangbadi, Lagos. Two of the children of the said deceased. Ifoghale Abigail Oniko, Daniel Okeoghene Oniko and Majirioghene Enezi Oniko all of House 85, Road 42, Victoria Garden City Lekki, Lagos. The widow and two of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Ngozi Umeadi and Onyekechukwu Umeadi both of 2nd Avenue 23rd Road T. Close, House 42, Festac Town Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Uzoma Igwe and Ikem Mbanugo both of 10 Mbanugo Street, Ikate Surulere, Lagos. The widow and brother of the said deceased. Balogun Rafiu Adetola and Balogun Taofik Adeniyi both of 57 Old Yaba Road, Ebute-Metta, Lagos. The children of the said deceased. Mrs. Adefunke Falana, Mrs. Adebukola Falana and Olufemi Falana all of 7, Ogunleye Street, Akute, Lagos. The widow and sons of the said deceased.. Mrs. Ihuoma Igbokwe and Gabriel Kalu Ndubuisi both of Block 10, Flat 7, Sam Ethnam Air-Force BASE Ikeja . The widow and cousin of the said deceased. Mr. Akanimo Sunday. Sakay and Mrs. Helen Etebong Abia of 39, Oladehinde Street, Aguda, Surulere, LAagos and 4, Oseni Lane Itire Mushin, Lagos. The widower and sister of the said deceased. Sowah Hassanah Babani Bakare and Mr. Bakare Habib Kehinde of 16, Komolafe Street, Aiyetoro, Lagos and 9, Joseph Akinyoola Street, Oto-Ijanikin, Lagos. The widow and brother of the said deceased. Okonkwo Ikemefuna Patrick and Dr. Okonkwo Ikemefuna Patrick both of 711 Road, ‘B’ Close House 11, Festac Town, Lagos. The widower and one of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Ebere Eneh and Mr. Nnaemeka Eneh both of 62, Adejiyan Street, Amukoko, Lagos. The widow and one of the children of the said deceased. Eunice O. Asesanya, Samuel Asesanya and Emmanuel O. Asesanya all of 10, Alfa Aminu Street, Pedro Somolu, Lagos. The widow and two of the children of the said deceased. Mrs. Nimota Pemida and Sikirat Oriyomi Makiver of 22, Afisi Street, Itire, Road, Mushin and 8, Adewale Street, Ilorin. The sister and brother of the said deceased. Tochukwu Okonkwo and Nwamaka Okonkwo both of 8A, Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. The brother and mother of the said deceased. Chief Adebayo Makinde, Mrs. Josephine Bosede Kehinde, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Bosede Adefioye and Mr. Olawale David Kehinde of 7B, Adekunle Fajuyi Crescent, Ikeja, 48, Upper Drive, Palm Groove Estate, and 10, Otuyelu Close, Inner Okupe Estate. The Widow, Children and Friend of the said deceased. Mrs. Patience Z. Olaina of Block 4, Flat 24, Bar Beach Tower, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Widow of the said deceased. Muili Akande, Abdul –Lateef Akande and Abdul-Rafiu Samson Akande. All of 13, Odunsi Street, Surulere, Lagos. The children and brother of the said deceased. Chief Ogbonna Felix Onyemaobi and Benneth Onyemaobi both of 27, Isiama Afaraukwo Umuachia Abia State. The sons of the said deceased. Mr. Kehinde Samuel and Miss Kehinde Oluwaseyi both of 25, Akinnagbe Street, Ketu, Alapere, Lagos. The children of the said deceased. Anthony Boniface Kingsley Uche Ohanwe and Benjamin Obi Ohanwe both of 3, Alli Ijaiye Street, Off Oseni Street, Lawanson, Lagos. The Children of the said deceased. Miss. Folayemi M. Adewinle and Mr. Adeyemi J. Adewinle both of 11, Ajorin Street, Surulere, Lagos. Sister and Brother of the said deceased.








No rush to war

Open up on Mrs. Jonathan •Presidency should not leave Nigerians guessing


RS Patience Jonathan, Nigeria’s First Lady left the country’s shores in cloudy circumstances since the first week of September and the public has been left guessing about her whereabouts and her mission for travelling. Before her latest rove, she noticeably disappeared from public glare after hosting the laughable African First Ladies Peace Summit in Abuja. Consequently, the media have been agog with conjecture regarding her state of health. We watch with amusement as tales of her alleged food poisoning, ruptured appendicitis to the comical abdominoplasty, a surgical procedure for tightening the abdominal muscles, popularly referred to as tummy tuck rent the air. Some even speculated that she lost her voice and was unconscious at the time she was moved out of the country, reportedly to Horst Schmidt Klinik, Wiesbaden, Germany. However, Mr. Ayo Osinlu, her spokesman, dismissed all these, ascribing her boss’ overseas travel to the necessity to take a “moment’s rest.” The Presidency has worsened the matter by keeping undignified silence. What is nevertheless clear is that Mrs. Jonathan, also a controversial Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa State Civil Service, has some health challenges, which to us, is human. What is abhorrent is the high secrecy with which the matter is handled as if making the issue a public one will sound the death knell of the president’s wife. This sadly is a repeat of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua episode when

even whilst the president was dying, the cabal in the Presidency, still erroneously believed that Nigerians did not have the right to know the state of health of their president. We have come to realise that leaders hardly learn any good lessons from the past; otherwise, the current hoarding of information regarding the state of health of Mrs. Jonathan is uncalled-for. This symptom is gradually becoming routine in the African continent where leaders conceal their health challenges from public glare, even when such is impeding the optimal discharge of the duties they swore to perform. Nigeria’s political leaders and their families habitually seek luxurious therapeutic attention abroad at state’s expense. The latest overseas adventure of Mrs. Jonathan is perhaps a continuation of this awful trend; that is sadder because the nation has at its beck and call, enormous resources that could have been deployed to provide better medicare infrastructure through prudent management. Recently too, David Mark, Senate-President, skipped the ceremonial signing of this year’s budget because he was in Israel to seek medical attention for his aching teeth and eye. Yet, Prof. Onyebuchi Nwosu, Minister of Health, reportedly cancelled overseas medical trips by public officers for treatment that could be handled by medical institutions in Nigeria? At barely 52 as an independent nation, we are not comfortable that no hospital

in Nigeria is considered good enough to handle food poisoning, appendicitis or even tooth problem that these two VIPs suffered from. The crass violations of this ministerial order by top ranking government officials and their families constitute an embarrassment to this administration. Nigeria reportedly expends annually, a colossal amount of $200million on medical tourism. We consider this to be a shame to a country that boasts of over160 tertiary medical that are largely under-equipped and maintained by powerful elements in government with despicable medical standard. We wish Mrs. Jonathan quick recovery despite official non-disclosure of where she is or what she is afflicted with.

‘We have come to realise that leaders hardly learn any good lessons from the past; otherwise, the current hoarding of information regarding the state of health of Mrs. Jonathan is uncalled-for. This symptom is gradually becoming routine in the African continent where leaders conceal their health challenges from public glare

Obi’s war on kidnappers •Good idea, but the government can do better by following the rule of law


FITE-ORAIFITE in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State played host to Governor Peter Obi of the state on September 5. But the visit was devoid of the fanfare usually associated with such gubernatorial visits. It was a business unusual trip undertaken in the governor’s efforts to rid the state of armed robbers, kidnappers and other undesirable elements that constitute a nuisance to law-abiding citizens in the state. Anambra State, like most states in the south-eastern part of the country has been seriously troubled by these outlaws. Indeed, they have almost become laws unto themselves, instilling fears into the minds of especially the rich that they kidnap for ransom or rob of their property. So, it was soul-lifting when the state police command made good the governor’s threat to make the state unsafe for the criminals

‘We appreciate the governor’s concern for security of lives and property in the state. But the rule of law must be followed ... As things stand, the preponderance of evidence seems to weigh against the suspects, but then, it is still the courts that should convict them and prescribe the punishment’

by arresting a suspect, Mr Olisagbo Ifedike, and another member of his gang on September 3. Then, on September 5, Governor Obi was in the town to personally supervise the demolition of two buildings belonging to the suspect, said to be a kingpin in the illicit business. It was alleged that the buildings were being used for criminal purposes. Of course, arms were also recovered from the buildings. These included 27 AK 47 rifles, one K2 riffle, two type-06 rifles, one General Purpose Machine Gun, one Rocket launcher, 17 rockets, six pump action guns, three dane guns, one Barrett pistol and 13 Rocket grenades, as well as 12,800 rounds of AK 47 live ammunition, 530 rounds of LAR ammunition, 95 rounds of GPMG live ammunition, 1,000 rounds of K2 live ammunition and 143 magazines. Security experts say these are enough to defeat a small army. The arrest of a suspect like Ifedike is expected to give people in the area some relief. Indeed, the people had themselves showed their disapproval of the suspect’s activities when an angry mob in the town burnt parts of his buildings, smashing the windows, doors and furniture even before Governor Obi’s arrival. When the governor arrived, he personally supervised the demolition of the structures believed to have been built with proceeds from kidnapping and other crimes in the presence of some members of his executive council. Given the gravity of the deprivations

and deaths that the criminals have caused, we may want to applaud the action. This is much more so that it has the legal backing of the state house of assembly. Our worry, however, is whether that state law can supersede the common law presumption that a suspect is deemed innocent until proven otherwise by a competent court of law. We appreciate the governor’s concern for security of lives and property in the state. But the rule of law must be followed, in spite of the circumstantial evidence against the suspects. There have been cases of people who suffered miscarriage of justice in the past; we have seen people that had been killed before the truth that they were not responsible for the crime over which they died surfaced. Indeed, this is a major argument against the death penalty. As things stand, the preponderance of evidence seems to weigh against the suspects, but then, it is still the courts that should convict them and prescribe the punishment. Moreover, the structures destroyed are legacies that could be converted into public use at the end of the case, instead of demolishing them. We agree with the governor that jobless youths in the area should take advantage of the various economic empowerment programmes of the government to earn a decent living. But it is important that traditional rulers as well as town union executives also show more concern for security in their areas.


MID the alarming violence in the Arab world, a new report about the costs of a potential war with Iran got lost this week. It says an attack by the United States could set back Iran’s nuclear program four years at most, while a more ambitious goal — ensuring Iran never reconstitutes its nuclear program or ousting the regime — would involve a multiyear conflict that could engulf the region. The significance of the report by The Iran Project is not just its sober analysis but the nearly three dozen respected national security experts from both political parties who signed it: including two former national security advisers, Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski; former Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering; and the retired Gen. Anthony Zinni. Yet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is trying to browbeat President Obama into a pre-emptive strike. On Tuesday, he demanded that the United States set a red line for military action and said those who refuse “don’t have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.” Later, Mr. Obama telephoned him and rejected the appeal. On Friday, Mr. Netanyahu suggested in an interview that Israel cannot entirely rely on the United States to act against Iran’s program. Leaders need flexibility and ambiguity, not just hard and fast red lines. And it is dangerous for Mr. Netanyahu to try to push the president into a corner publicly and raise questions about Washington. Is that really the message he wants to send to Tehran? There is no reason to doubt President Obama’s oft-repeated commitment to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon. But 70 percent of Americans oppose a unilateral strike on Iran, according to a new poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and 59 percent said if Israel bombs Iran and ignites a war, the United States should not come to its ally’s defense. Iran is advancing its nuclear program in defiance of the United Nations Security Council. That’s a danger to Israel, the region and all efforts to curb proliferation. But administration officials and many other experts say Iran is still a year or more away from producing an actual weapon, and, if it begins to build one, they will know in time to take retaliatory action. The best strategy is for Israel to work with the United States and other major powers to tighten sanctions while pursuing negotiations on a deal. It is a long shot, but there is time to talk. And that’s where the focus must be. – New York Times

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IR: Tension is currently running very high globally over the blasphemous movie trailer released in the United States of America which portrayed Prophet Muhammad in scandalous light. Personally, I am of the deep conviction that there are global forces consciously and systematically manipulating an onslaught on religion as a moral superstructure, in what can best be described as 21st century iconoclasm. Iconoclasm, described by the dictionary as the destruction of religious images used in worship, or opposition to their use in worship, has taken a modern form. Today, science wants to investigate every aspect of revelation as received by religious founders, and then go ahead to x-ray every minute detail of these founders’ lives, with the essential objective to demystify them, remove the haloes put on


Blasphemous video and the secular monster their heads over the centuries by their faithful followers, and then show that they were ordinary ‘sinful’ creatures like all of us, now living in this modern, ‘sin-filled’, era. In 2007, I watched with unmitigated interest, as the History Channel, a cable television channel, dished out to us an exposition series titled ‘Walking The Bible’, which was nothing but blasphemy coated with the syrup of ‘objective scientific investigation’ in reconstructing the lives of great biblical characters including the major at-

traction, Jesus of Nazareth. A casual observer might fall into the obvious temptation of ascribing the blasphemy to the handiwork of members of opposing religions, i.e. that a Muslim would produce a blasphemous flick about Christianity, and vice versa. But I am well aware of the hidden but very visible dynamic that is at work in these troubled times of heightened spiritual tension. The truth is that the West has chosen to be secular, and secularity has taken the form of a religion; not necessarily like Athe-

ism, Agnosticism, Hedonism etc, but as a force to pull down spirituality, and preach a new message which elevates science to the pedestal of religion. Charles Krauthammer, while writing in TIME magazine of April 3, 2006, averred that the ‘European man has convinced himself that in order to be modern and free, he must be radically secular’. Therefore, I dare propose that what is our modern day demon is no more than radical secularism, a deep desire to pull down the monolithic religions

committee is saddled with the mandate to resolve the crisis in dialogue and amicable manner. Luckily, the National Security Adviser (NSA) is from the royal family, and from the north. The committee constituted by the northern governors is to his advantage. Its a well known fact that insurgency and other forms of militia, can never be fought with the barrel of guns, hence, the need to include community leaders. If one is objective enough, he would really appreciate the fact that, the governors have gone great lengths to accommodate justice and fairness in their activities. For instance youths are given unprecedented support to be fully engaged

in different kinds of endeavors such as “Lafiya Jari” in Kano, youth’s empowerment programmes in Nasarawa and graduate empowerment in Niger State, to mention but few. Needless to say, in terms of providing social amenities, the northern states are doing their best despite the meager amount they receive from the federation account. It therefore borders on injustice to point accusing fingers at the governors. As an elder statesman, he should be admonished that remonstration of the governors in the newspapers is unhelpful. • Auwal A. Dankano. Kano

Ex-Sultan Dasuki not fair to northern governors


IR: I can recall vividly that Friday, a sunny day it was, Jumma’at prayer at Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna. The Imam for a reason unknown to us, couldn’t make it. Some portion of the people delegated someone to lead the prayers, while others were not comfortable with the delegation. It was chaotic. Then from no where appeared this gentleman, a close associate of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, former Sultan of Sokoto and a very respectful northern elder, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki. He led the prayers as every body followed obediently without incidence. Such a gentleman respected by all! But the exclusive interview granted by the former Sultan to the Daily Trust and The Nation newspaper of September 4, wherein he accused the Northern Governors of not doing enough on security was rather surprising. The former sultan must have been misinformed. While the giant strides by the Northern Governors to end the crisis is common knowledge, it is however unfortunate that our father could not appreciate the simple fact: his optimism, appreciation and of course blessing would definitely boost the governors efforts

to resolve the crisis. Despite the fact that security is an exclusive responsibility of the federal government as enshrined in the 1999 constitution, the Northern States continue to contribute immensely to the security of the nation. Its no news that the states donate vans to their respective state police commands. Since the governors were elected by their people, with uncountable expectations from the electorates, it can only be achieved on a peaceful atmosphere. The Northern Governors’ Forum, recently inaugurated a committee on peace and reconciliation headed by Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim, to look into the security situation in the north. The

and erect one’s eclectic desires – be it intellectual, material or spiritual – as the beginning and end of reality. This brings me to the foundational cause. Neo-liberalism is a political philosophy, arising in the 1960’s, that emphasizes the importance of economic growth and asserts that social justice is best maintained by minimal government interference and free market forces. This idea has opened up everybody’s borders to the infiltration of sundry items of social change, while labeling everything under the tag of commerce and economic development. It has elevated consumerism to the level of religion, and ended up making all of us fundamentally lazy. In fact, what is in vogue today is to follow the trend, without minding what is trending, as long as the producers and actors of the latest trend are able to sell it to us – via the internet, or our mobile phone, or the screaming and sultry bill boards. The current outrage over the American blasphemous video is just a window for us to take a peek into the state of the world as regards religion and spirituality. The video production is not necessarily a tool to downgrade Islam, but one of the implements of the secret forces that want to make the world self-destruct via religious tension. Personally, I believe that their ultimate aim is to prove that we are immature to exist as an evolving conscious civilization, and then introduce a radical abolition of liberal democracy and free worship, intended to be the next stage in this post-Enlightenment globalization era. •Greg Odogwu Wuse II, Abuja

That claim about wheat is untrue IR: I refer to the interview featuring Dr. Elemo, the Director General, Federal Institute of Industrial/Research Oshodi (FIIRO) which appeared in The Nation of July 25, pg 35. It is not true that wheat is not produced in Nigeria. Infact wheat is grown in the Chad Basin (Borno), Kano – Hadejia, sokoto – Rima River Basins and some states in North Central.


During President Babandiga regime, the wheat crop was banned and successfully grown by our farmers. This made Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) to enlist Nigeria as one of the wheat producing nations in the world. It is disheartening to note that Nigeria imported N635 billion of wheat last year despite its agricultural potential.

The local wheat varieties developed by our researchers are always fresh and nutritious. Laboratory analysis has also shown that the local varieties contain higher protein and less ash contents than imported ones. Our local wheat varieties moisture contents, water absorption and mixing tolerance also compare favourably with imported wheat.

I am appealing to the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to initiate moves to ban the importation of wheat to Nigeria now. The government should encourage our farmers to grow this crop with necessary incentives so that we can export the crop to other countries and for local consumption. • Shamsi Dabiri, Akute, Ogun State.



COMMENTS Falana ran tie, t’ara eni l’anran! (Falana, mind your own business!)


N 10 September 2001, Gani Fawehinmi (1938-2009), Nigeria’s first Senior Advocate of the Masses (SAM 1) became SAN; and cured the Nigerian legal profession of its open sore: of shutting Gani out of a well-deserved silk – at least in the eye of the hoi polloi. When the great and universal Gani eventually became SAN, it was clear the SAN institution needed Gani more than Gani needed that institution – for how could that body claim to be real when


epublican ipples, 08054504169 (Sms only, please)

Enter Femi Falana, SAM II

the greatest socially-conscious attorney of this generation, and perhaps for generations to come, was kept out of its ranks? As it was with Gani, so was it, on 12 September 2012, with Femi Falana, Nigeria’s second Senior Advocate of the Masses (SAM 2), when he took the silk. Like Gani before him, the institution of SAN needed Mr. Falana more than Mr. Falana needed it. True, Mr. Falana was not formally crowned SAM by scandalised University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) students, who felt Gani deserved the silk, for his stellar contributions to social justice, law as a tool for development, human rights and more. But the Gani-Falana parallels, en route a thorny road to SANship, is remarkable. Like Gani, Falana is a people’s lawyer. Like Gani, Falana is a legal iconoclast, especially when he jousts with the lawless, over-pampered ruling class, who like to play god with the lives of the rest of us. Like Gani, Falana is a courtroom dramatist: and the newspapers, ever on the side of the perceived underdog, respond equally dramatically with “Gani/Falana wins round one ...”, after clinching an opening injunction, even if the case is far from final determination. And like Gani, Falana, though a fire-belching courtroom revolutionary, is at heart a legal reformist who does the establishment a load of good by constantly reminding it of its dirty and stinking underbelly; and asking it to clean up or risk being cleaned out. Of course, a bullying panicky ruling class misconstrues this explosive activism as rebellion; misunderstands this fervent peaceful reformation, through the instrumentality of the law, as revolution through the back door. As a result, it reaches for the sledgehammer by denying such “radicals” their due. That logically explains Femi Falana’s belated admission into the SAN institution, like Gani before him, until the whole thing bordered on the ridiculous. Until September 12 when Mr. Falana got his due, 11 years after Gani’s belated elevation and three years, almost to the date, after his glorious passage (Gani died on 5 September 2009), the conclave of SANs


Olakunle Abimbola

AST week, I had some fun taking on Jacob Edi, Governor Ibrahim Wada’s Special Adviser on Media, over the eruption of hostilities between Kogi, my home state and Anambra after President Goodluck Jonathan’s magisterial declaration of Anambra as an oil-producing state. The dispute was a killjoy of sorts coming days after the fanfare of the commissioning of the Orient Petroleum facility, which for many Anambrarians was something of a dream come true. Of course, the spokesman of the Kogi State government would declare emphatically that the oil block at the centre of the presidential declaration is actually in Ibaji, Kogi State. He would in fact charge that President Jonathan was misled by the government of Anambra state. With my fairly good knowledge of the Orient Petroleum story, my gut reaction was to dismiss Kogi’s claim as an afterthought. After all, Anambra’s sustained interest in oil prospecting in the Anambra basin which spurred the investment in the facility is an open secret. Indeed, my preliminary comment was to put it to the raging virus of oil activism which has spread to states like Kwara, with its spurious (at least geologically speaking) claim of oil find at Aran Orin, and Sokoto, (which has equally announced its implausible discovery). The virus has led to the current situation in which states routinely regale us with their claims of oil find. Of course, the Edi interview aired on Channels Television was mainly to confirm the substance of the dispute. In the interview, the governor’s aide not only pooh-poohed Anambra Governor Peter Obi’s claim to ownership of the wells, but gave hints of dragging the matter before the National Boundaries Commission for determination. But more was to come later with the escalation of the dispute by the Ibaji community; theirs was laced with threats of showdown with the authorities should their oil-well be ceded to Anambra. My question to Edi –I mean the state government – was why it took them this long to stake its claim to the well. Did the state government just wake up to realise the existence of the treasure pot beneath its soil or was the interest prodded by the presidential declaration with the assumed benefits of unearned wealth it confers? The question is pertinent because the Anambra refinery project actually started way back in 2001 under the administration of Governor Chinwoke Mbadiniju. To that extent, Anambra could rightly claim to have put its money where its heart lay. In fairness to Edi, he provided some background to the story of the well in question. According to him, an earlier collaboration between the French firm – Elf and the state government to drill hydrocarbons in the Anambra basin was abandoned ostensibly because the product didn’t come in commercial quantities. That decision would play out to Orient’s advantage as the firm, in collaboration with the Anambra State government, in later years would plod on, aided by superior technology to extract oil from the basin.

without Mr. Falana looked odd. But when comes SAM 3, after Gani and Falana, the next brilliant legal mind to be denied his or her professional due, because of legal activism or radicalism? That, to be sure, is a humbling question for a society that sorely needs an equal opportunity reward system to snap out of the current paralysing mediocrity and pervasive corruption. Yet, neither Gani nor Falana could lay claim as the purest legal mind of their respective generations, which somewhat dovetailed. That honour without doubt belonged to the late Chief Fredrick Rotimi Alade (FRA) Williams, QC [Queen’s Counsel] and Nigeria’s first SAN. In every respect, the great FRA was a giant in law as he was in build. Indeed, FRA was worth every pound of law his massive frame could boast. He was not called “weight of evidence” by gawking peers for nothing! Indeed, FRA was the classical lawyer, a veritable approximation of the lawyer’s creed: that everyone is entitled to legal defence. So, in his long and remarkable career, his fixed ideology was to render legal services and apply his prodigious forensic intellect to whoever could afford them, was apolitical in taking briefs and, if law were not some codified morality, many would even wager good, old FRA of blessed memory was amoral: just an unfazed servant of the law, when it got to legal brass tacks. Indeed, a cynic once growled FRA would take a brief from our Lord Jesus Christ, would avail the devil himself the same privilege, and promptly plead the lawyer’s creed of legal representation to all! Strictly in law, he was right. But in the unlearned eye of the hoi polloi, he was fatally flawed.

“Falana ran tie, t’ara eni lanran! But this Falana, against conventional wisdom, has made it his professional business not to mind his own business, but that of the weak and the underprivileged that needed to be protected by law”

Policy Sanya Oni 08051101841

Crude oil in my backyard So the gripe is essentially about the geography of the oil block. That the oil well is located in Ibaji – a Kogi territory – although the refinery facility is sited on Anambra River – served as it were, by a network of pipelines. Another state, Enugu, coincidentally, is also locked in dispute with Anambra over the ownership of the well. Now, I need to be clear here that the people of Ibaji – and by extension Kogi State – would seem perfectly entitled to whatever benefits that accrue from the exploitation of their God-given endowments. After all, the holy writ enjoins that the husbandman should rightly be partaker of the fruits. The trouble, unfortunately, is the current activism seems to be borne of the usual obsession with unearned wealth. It is the reason why every state wants to be tagged “oil-producing”, part of the mindless aspiration into the oil-producing club. What does Kogi State stand to benefit as an oil producing state? Very little, if you ask me, compared to the hassles associated oil prospecting activities. In terms of employment, it can, even in the best of circumstances, deliver at most tens– not hundreds – of jobs. At this time, it is hard to know what the 13 percent derivation would amount to –I guess the Anambra State government was far-sighted in integrating their oil-block with the refining complex. So, the best that its Kogi rivalclaimant can get is rent! I need to amplify this point to help clear the illusion feeding the agitation which partly explains the do-or-die attitudes by the youths from Ibaji community and which can only distract from the more onerous challenge of good governance in the state. Oil, no doubt, is sweet, but like money, it is what one makes of it. The people of Kogi should be familiar with the parody of the rich but poor nation not to put their faith in a transient resource particularly a wasting one. Is Kogi State poor? The answer is yes and no. No – because,

But that took nothing from the sheer depth of his learning, the sheer breath of his brilliance, his sweeping contribution to legal scholarship and the sheer formidability of his advocacy skills, so much so that he was a near demigod in the courtroom, revered by friends, feared by foes and honoured by judges, the closest, if any, to the approximation of a living legal institution. Indeed, whoever growled over FRA’s latter-day legal

progression, and his apolitical professional bent would do well to study the politics of the First Republic, and capture how involved he was in the Action Group’s Awolowo-Akintola blowout. Did that scalding experience sober FRA and made him swear to ever after put politics at arm’s length? Still, these ratiocinations would only resonate with the legal patricians. To the hurting plebs, victims of military impunity and the dictators-wannabe of the intervening democratic republics, including the current Fourth Republic, all these must be empty air to justify the late FRA’s perceived social insensitivity in his law practice. It is in the streets therefore that the likes of Gani and Falana are kings. No one can take anything away from Gani’s profound scholarship, prodigious learning and Spartan character. The same can be said of Mr. Falana. Indeed, Mr Falana cut his teeth in the radical advocacy tradition of the Alao Aka-Basorun (in whose chambers he started legal practice) school. So far, he has stayed true to that narrow and risky path. Besides, the Falanas of the Nigerian legal cosmos reacted splendidly to the challenge of military rule with all its abuses; and made the piquant point that even the military could not claim to operate above the laws of the land which, by the way created the military establishment itself, ever before some smart alecs in Khaki dreamed up the profitable business of coups for personal fortune but collective ruin. That is the proud legacy of Mr. Falana. That is the crux of his “crime” against the establishment. That is the simple explanation of his scandalously belated admission into the apex professional conclave of lawyers in the country, which he thoroughly deserved. Though the battle was long, he has won his race – and gloriously too! Falana ran tie, t’ara eni lanran! But this Falana, against conventional wisdom, has made it his professional business not to mind his own business, but that of the weak and the underprivileged that needed to be protected by law – and many times, gratis! That is the abiding sweetness of the legacy of Femi Falana, SAN, SAM. May your tribe never shrink, however loud the establishment roars! with possible exception of those states in the Niger Delta literally swimming in oil, Kogi stands unequalled among others in material and natural resource endowments. Of course, the list of minerals is endless. I recall seeing tantalite literally harvested on the streets in different parts of Yagba West in those years of childhood. There is limestone in Obajana. Next door to it is Itakpe iron ore mines, and Ajaokuta, live reminders of the nation’s mismanaged iron and steel aspirations. To these, we can add the ivory tower – the Institute of Agriculture in Kabba, an affiliate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria which stands as a jarring reminder of the state’s rich agricultural promises several moons ago. Finally, there is the potentially alluring aura of the state capital – Lokoja, the confluence town where the nation’s diversity finds perfect integration in the unity of the two iconic rivers of Niger and Benue. How can one forget the Lugard House, presently, the seat of the state administration, a testimony of the power which the city once wielded as the nation’s capital? Kogi – my dear Kogi poor? The poverty, if it exists at all, is certainly of a different kind. Yes, the symptoms of poverty are everywhere. Twenty-one years after creation, the state capital cuts the image of an abandoned property, a state in regression. But then, Kogi is not poor because it lacks oil. It is poor because successive leaderships in the state lacked the wherewithal, the imagination, to put the state on the right path. The absence of an oil block will never explain why the capital’s waterfront, a potential tourist goldmine, is an eyesore and why the roads are in complete disrepair; clearly, it does not explain why the state is under the scourge of the men of the underworld. It is best explained by the absence of leadership, visionary leadership. By the way, I have not been in Lokoja in the one last year. From what I gather, the current administration under Governor Idris Wada is generally seen as being on course. His deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, an architect reportedly heads the committee to develop a new, befitting capital city from the current rot. The team, I hear, is doing a yeoman’s job of laying a new foundation for the state’s effective take-off. It will be tragic for the team to suffer the distraction over nothing – something they neither laboured for, nor toiled over!

‘Kogi is not poor because it lacks oil. It is poor because successive leaderships in the state lacked the wherewithal, the imagination, to put the state on the right path. The absence of an oil block will never explain why the capital’s waterfront, a potential tourist goldmine, is an eyesore...’





HEN Libyans got rid of Colonel Muammar Ghaddafi the world joined the Arabs in celebrating the demise of yet another dictator in the mould of late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Taken rather cheaply by Libyans opposition after relentless military assaults on capital Tripoli, Ghadafi’s fall came on the heels of the toppling of Tunisian leader in an uprising that set the ball rolling for what was later to become the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring was to later consume Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and is currently threatening President Bashar Assad in Syria. The Tunisian uprising that began as a protest by jobless young Tunisians drew in hundreds of thousand others equally dissatisfied with the regime and ready to topple it. They were mobilized via the social media by the leaders of the protest movement and their success most have encouraged Egyptians next door who also employed Facebook, Twitters and the likes to mobilise to topple Mubarak. And before you know it, the social media had become a potent weapon of protest; a weapon of mobilisation; a weapon of freedom. While Twitter, Facebook and SMS were used to mobilize in support of the protest, You Tube, the television arm of social media

‘But if the authors of this video were wrong and Google culpable in the murder of the victims of the attendant riots, what would you say of those rioters purportedly fighting the cause of Islam and the Prophet and killing innocent people? As far as I am concerned they are murderers and should be treated as such and so punished according to the relevant laws’


DUCATION is that process of physical and mental culture whereby a man’s personality is developed to the fullest – Obafemi Awolowo For reasons that may not be hard to figure out, there were many inhabitants and outsiders in the State of Osun who had asked whether any good thing could issue forth from the landlocked state again. That was in the seven years that the wastrels from the People’s Democratic Party ruled and rode roughshod on the people. But since the glorious advent of the visionary Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the billow of doubt, despair and disillusionment that enveloped the minds of the people have given way to hope, joy, confidence, and assurance of a better secured future. With his Midas touch of people-oriented programmes, this governor has genuinely proven that he is not here for the riches of office but for the enrichment of lives! Among many others, the recently introduced callisthenics idea meant to enhance the production of mentally and physically healthy citizens attests eloquently to this claim. Anyone who witnessed the carnival-like atmosphere during the inauguration ceremony of the State of Osun School Callisthenics Programme would bear witness that the people of Osun are not only happy with their governor, but are also reaping bountifully from the different programmes of his administration. On that sunny Tuesday afternoon, the spacious bosom of the Osogbo City Stadium hosted a motley crowd of people from different parts of the state, who had come to witness the historic occasion. Neatly spread out before these happy spectators were the 8,000 resplendently attired students trained in callisthenics. As I stood there savouring the spectacular displays of these young minds, I felt a spring of satisfaction, happiness and pride welled up within me. I saw in the whole happening, a fulfilment of promise made. I saw in the event an evidence of a guaranteed future for the students in the state. It further dawned on me

Dangers of social media so to speak, was used to popularize the uprising especially outside the shores of the countries concerned and draw the attention and support of the rest of the world. From the comfort of wherever you were anywhere in the world then, you were able watch video clips of the uprising at Tahrir Square in Egypt for instance and made up your mind what was going on. Depending on who shot the video and uploaded it you had different perspective to the crisis. Put together, these different forms of social media were put to good use; to engineer a social change and the world applauded. I wonder what you think of the social media in the light of the Cynthia Osokogu’s case and the recent murder of the US ambassador to Libya Mr Chris Stevens. Cynthia’s tragic story I am sure you are familiar with. She was lured into a hotel room in Lagos by some friends she made on Facebook. Drugged, raped, robbed and murdered, her case is still unfolding as the suspects are currently facing trial in a law court. Equally tragic was the case of Ambassador Stevens. A friend of Arabs as we were told, Stevens was at the heart of all the western support for the Libyan opposition during the uprising that toppled Gaddafi. After helping the Libyans to secure their freedom from Gaddafi’s tyranny, Stevens was murdered by the same people he thought had become his friends. What a tragic irony? The event that led to his death he had no knowledge of or connection to. A group of Muslim haters somewhere in the United States made a low budget film depicting Islam’s highly revered Prophet Muhammed (SAW) in a manner that was offensive and blasphemous. They posted it on You Tube for the

whole world to see. In reaction, a group of extremist Muslims believing that they were fighting the cause of Islam or fighting on behalf of the Prophet, decided to attack western targets, especially American to punish the ‘infidels’. In Libya, they headed for the American consulate in Benghazi and attacked the building. Ambassador Stevens was there then, he was killed. About three other Americans were also killed when the safe house they were in was also attacked. Both attacks were believed to have been pre planned and probably had nothing to do with the antiIslam video. And apparently confirming this, Al Qaeda, the terrorist organisation fighting against western interest around the world in claiming responsibility said the attacks were in retaliation for recent western military action against it. But if the Libyan attacks were premeditated the ones in Egypt, Yemen and other parts of the world where anti west violence/riot had taken place were clearly in response to the video. Now ask why was the video made? The man behind it, an ex-convict in the United States is a Coptic Christian from Egypt. He said he wanted to use the video to highlight the plights of Christians who are in the minority in Egypt. If that was the case he didn’t have to speak ill of the Prophet of Islam to achieve this, and why use the social media, why not the main stream media? Could it be because he feared or knew the content of his low budget film would not make it through or escape the scrutiny of the well established media? Whatever was his motive, his decision to make the video was wrong, the content offensive and the release through You Tube was like entering the market through the

back door and calculated to cause the kind of damage, death and destruction it has caused. He has manipulated and misused the social media to achieve a sinister objective. This was an abuse of the social media that shouldn’t have been allowed. Couldn’t somebody have stopped him? Well, yes and no. The upload on You Tube could have been stopped if the owners, Google were so inclined but they are not. Even after the US government had advised them to pull it out of their network they refused citing freedom of speech or something like that. The only thing they did was to block access to the video in countries like India, Pakistan and Afghanistan considered volatile as to ignite riot against western interests. This is a tricky terrain for a journalist to speak on but then does freedom of speech not carry its own responsibility? Where do you draw the line between freedom of speech, press freedom and the likes and the responsibility for the good health, well being, security and safety of the society? The author of this video wanted to help people of his faith but in the process has brought sorrow, tears and blood to others especially innocent ones like ambassador Stevens, and has put millions of Americans and nationals of other states aligned with the US in danger. And by refusing to pull out this offensive video You Tube has contributed to the killing of Stevens and others. What purpose is that video still serving on You Tube? Why is Google so adamant and what/which interest are they protecting? But if the authors of this video were wrong and Google culpable in the murder of the victims of the attendant riots, what would you say of those rioters purportedly fighting the cause of Islam and the Prophet and killing innocent people? As far as I am concerned they are murderers and should be treated as such and so punished according to the relevant laws. The right response to that provocative video was not resort to violence. Extremists like them have been giving Islam a bad name for too long they need to be called to order by Islamic leaders around the world. Enough is enough. The West also needs to deepen their people’s understanding of faiths other than Christianity and respect other people’s religious sensibilities. Freedom is not absolute and carries some responsibilities. The social media is good, but we should not overlook the negatives therein.

Callisthenics display in Osun By Abraham Adeyemi right there that a leader with the right vision and the passion to translate it into reality would always make difference in the lives of his people. Aregbesola’s consuming passion, as the callisthenics initiative shows, is to develop in the state a new generation of students who are physically fit and healthy; mentally sound and socially well-adjusted. As he spoke on that day, interspersing his lucid speech with choice songs and uncommon virtuoso displays, I could feel that passion in his voice. He caught the picture of a man of purpose and vision who knows what he wants and has a clear method of how to accomplish it. For him, the quality reform his administration is carrying out in the once-moribund education sector of the state will be one-sided and incomplete without its physical development component. That the idea will be sustained through and through is an indication of the unpretentious seriousness that his government accords human capacity development. It is not surprising that the kind of educational development Aregbesola is irreversibly passionate about is of the type that the equally visionary and cerebral Premier of the then Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, fervently promoted and untiringly worked for to the acclaim of all and sundry. In a lecture given to teachers in 1947, Awolowo noted explicitly that the education that would ensure the full development of a person would involve the three main constituents of their entity, to wit, body, brain, and mind. In his view, “a man whose personality is fully developed never fears anything; he cringes not, and never feels inferior to anyone; he is selfreliant and will resist any form of enslavement until the last breath in him is exhausted”.

The sage further observed that the uneven development of body, brain, and mind is a potential source of danger. He said, “If the mind alone is developed and both the body and brain are neglected, then we have the sorry figure of a religious fanatic who condemns everything, and everybody but himself; and whose only prophecy is one of pessimism, catastrophe and gloom for mankind; he is a slave to imaginary fears, and drags into bondage with him, those who believe in his arrant doctrines”. Do the Boko Haram insurgents not confirm this? This three-fold development that ensures the emergence of well cultured, thoroughly refined and, sensibly patriotic citizens is the basic thrust of the functional education that the foresighted man at the helms of affair in Osun is providing for our children. I am happy that modern learning materials, school uniforms, conducive learning environment, and even quality food programme fervidly championed by this administration do much more to encourage our young ones to value the importance of the cultivation of brain and mind. The physical exercise initiative, beyond having the capacity to improve the mental health of students for effective learning, will also make it possible for them to delightfully learn the virtues of unity, harmony, and team work, which without any doubt are very essential for meaningful social interactions. A mind, brain and body so fully engaged cannot be a fertile ground for destructive pessimism, imaginary fears, and hobbling fanaticism. It is heart-warming that this administration has identified the path to the development of our people generally and the greatness of our state, and thus has elected to walk it without considering any sacrifice too great. My appeal is for all parents and stakeholders in the state education sector to

support the government in its efforts to revamp the sector for the future well-being of our young ones and the state. We must do all in our power, both collectively and severally, to be instrumental to sustenance of this productive programme of the government. Also, while there is no doubt that Aregbesola is passionate about human and material development in the most modern sense, I would like to encourage him to see to it that this callisthenics programme does not suffer the same fate like it was in the past. The JSS I and II students targeted must be reached as promised in all schools in the state. • Adeyemi lives in Osogbo, State of Osun

In a lecture given to teachers in 1947, Awolowo noted explicitly that the education that would ensure the full development of a person would involve the three main constituents of their entity, to wit, body, brain, and mind. In his view, “a man whose personality is fully developed never fears anything; he cringes not, and never feels inferior to anyone; he is selfreliant and will resist any form of enslavement until the last breath in him is exhausted”.








Page 25

NYSC decries increase of drug abuse - Page 27

Transcorp Hilton donates $3000 foodstuff weekly

‘Save us from park ticketing exploitation’

- Page 28


HE pains of motorists in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) come in different forms. They worry about bad roads and traffic jams. They agonise over smart robbers who have beaten just about every car security strategy. They also groan over the regime of parking lot firm charges. And it is not just that the charges are exploitative, they say, enforcing officers also seem to have devised some of the most inexplicale ways to exploit their preys. Car owners are, therefore, pleading for the intervention of the minister, Bala Mohammed on the matter. They want him to check what they call the excesses of parking lot ticketing firms before things get out hand. Resi-

“S The Nigerian in Jonathan - Page 87

From Dele Anofi

dents say officials of parking lot ticketing firms have been intimidating and causing them all sorts of grief. A visit by our reporter to the head office of one of the ticketing firms showed many angry motorists who claimed to have been unjustifiably punished by the ticketing officers. A private car owner whose encoding sticker was damaged as enforcing officers removed his number plates, threatened fire and brimstone. “Yes, I have paid the fine but you have to replace my encoding sticker because this is not how it was before you people re-

moved it. You must replace it, else there will be trouble,” he threatened. It took the intervention of one of the administrative officers before the car owner could calm down after the officer assured that the matter would be amicably resolved. Another complainant claimed that she has a prepaid card issued by the company which he displayed on the dashboard of his car only to find his car clammed before he returned to his car. The woman who felt cheated and embarrassed, questioned the essence of the prepaid cards, if carriers of such cards would always end up being penalised after displaying the card on the dashboard.

She said she was told to always display the card on the dashboard from where she bought the card. “I bought the card in order to avoid embarrassment like this; I displayed it where I was told to. So what is my fault? Now I have to pay N5,000 for what? Is that right? For them to now tell me that I should have displayed it on the window screen. Is that justice? Government has to call these people to order before they will cause trouble one day. This is outright injustice”. Also, another motorist accused the enforcing officers of pettiness and intimidation. •Continued on Page 26




Pains of parking lot ticketing •Continued from Page 25

According to him, he was in his car, not wrongly parked but had to sit in the car because he was dizzy while driving. “But to my greatest surprise, they removed my number plates before I could step out of the car to explain to the officers that I was just trying to get a little rest because I was not feeling good while driving before I got to that point. Before I was able to step down they had jumped into their vehicle and sped off. The question is, would they have preferred I crash my car and probably cause accidents for other road users because I’m afraid of parking to pay N50 for 30 minutes? Is it not absurd? They were not even there when I got there, and I took my time to park well only for them to appear from nowhere and slam me with N5,000 fine. What does it take them to knock on the window screen and at least ask what the problem was before taking such mean action?” Students of National Open University have been having a running battle with the operators of the parking lot ticketing scheme. Most of the students that stormed the office on that day explained that they were made to believe that there was an arrangement with the company on how and where the students can park their vehicles. However, it appeared as if the enforcing officers have the prerogative to interprete the arrangement as they deemed fit. One of the student explained that she actually asked a particular officer if she can park at a point only to find


HE Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in collaboration with the Primus Super Specialty Hospital in Karu are giving Garki traders free treatment. The free medical outreach, which according to the organisers, was to afford the common man the oppor-

•Parking tickets are a problem

her car clammed before she got back. It was the same story by other students that stormed the

office. One elderly man who could not be convinced about the reason for

Just take a look at all the charges on the paper, all penalties carry the same amount of fine, N5000. If it is wrong parking, its N5000, if it is non-display of ticket, it is still N5000. Just take a look at the paper, everything is the same. The officers will just look at you and tick whatever they feel like

being penalised, said he actually offered to pay the ticketing officer but was told that there was no change. According to him, he had to leave for his appointment only to discover that he was charged for not obtaining the ticket. “Now tell me what my offence is after I offered to pay and the lady told me she had no change. Now I have to pay N5,000. Is that how to generate money for the government, from the sweat of innocent people? Are they trying to pauperise us the more? They cannot provide basic amenities for us, yet they have to find evil ways to extort money from us.

Just take a look at all the charges on the paper, all penalties carry the same amount of fine, N5000. If it is wrong parking, its N5000, if it is non-display of ticket, it is still N5000. Just take a look at the paper, everything is the same. The officers will just look at you and tick whatever he or she feels like. There is just no justice in this country,” he lamented. Another complainant threatened to drag the agency to court if his number plate was not produced the following day because, having paid the N5,000 penalty, the number plates could not be found.

Hospital offers free treatment to traders Stories from Bukola Amusan

tunity to access health services. Flagging off the exercise, the Health Secretary, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya said that the collabo-

ration was a new dimension to the FCT administration’s health care programme to reach out to the people of the FCT. “Our intention is to bring health care services across to you, wher-

ever you are,” he told the participants, imploring them to make the best use of the opportunity. The Administration Director of the Primus hospital, Nitin Dewan told journalists that eight prominent doctors from the Primus Hospital team and 20 staff had been mobilised to the market for the exercise. He said the experts were at the market to conduct screening for orthopaedic, joint problem, spine injury and other general health problems. “We are giving free drugs to the traders here and whosoever comes can benefit from it. We are also giving free consultation on ECG, BP test, blood sugar, bone densitomity, spine problems, joint replacement and test on other gen-

eral problems like malaria”. He explained the gesture was “basically to help as many people as possible as part of our corporate social responsibility. We want to reach the people who cannot afford these services so we can help them”. The director said that the hospital had also put up a special arrangement with the market association to offer 50 per cent discount to traders with complicated health issues who come to the hospital for treatment. For other residents of the FCT, Dewan said the hospital was also offering a 50 per cent discount to them for consultation, 50 per cent discount for scan, radiology, 25 per cent discount for laboratory test and 10 per cent discount for surgery for the next one month.

67 vehicles impounded at illegal sale outlet


•A burning petrol tanker on Abuja-Lokoja Road

FFICIALS of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) have impounded 67

vehicles allegedly parked ‘for sale’ at illegal and unauthorised sales outlets in the FCT. DRTS Director, Col. Wilson Rotimi Alade (rtd), said the action is a continuous process. “We impounded 67 vehicles this week at Apo, Gudu, Area10, Maitama, Games village, Kado Estate and Gwarinpa,” he said.

The director also said that N50,000 might be paid as fine before each of such vehicles could be released. According to him, mobile courts will decide whether they will pay more than that amount.Alade also said that extra charges will be paid before towed vehicles will be released. The director further stated that the operation of the mobile court will ensure drastic reduction in perennial traffic problems on roads in Abuja metropolis and its environs.




•Wreckage of a demolished house in Abuja


LLEGAL kiosks and shanties were have been demolished in Yaounde Street, Wuse 11 Area of the Federal Capital Territory. Also, at Haigasa Street, four bungalows had their fences removed while another bungalow was marked for demolition because the developer failed to present the title document and the building plan

Demolition of illegal structures in Wuse 11 From Bukola Amusan

approval of the said structures. Mrs Christy Ogaba, the District Officer of the Area, however, said the marking of some structures in

the Area does not mean that they would be removed. “All we are asking for is that their developers should come to the office with their approval for some clarifications,” she said. She said the fence removed in the area was used to sub-divide a

single plot and it is not allowed in planning regulations. Ogaba added that the marked properties were being used for commercial purposes whereas they were meant for residential purposes. The Director of Unit, Yahaya

Yusuf, was sad that residents were still being caught unawares by the activities of the Department. He warned residents to stop putting up structures without approval as the department will not stop its clean-up activities.

try. He said, “This issue is really eating up the youth and we are the engine of the economy and without us, the country will collapse. The President made clarification on the notion that the consumption of drugs take out ones trouble. “There is this notion that when you take drugs, you will get off your worry but it is not true. It actually does not take out the trouble” he said. Also speaking, an Executive of the group, Samirah Mohammed

said “there is this drug issue in Nigeria now. Then it used to be amongst the male youth but now you will find out that the females are also into it, they take benylin with codeine.” “I was told that in Kano they stopped the production of benylin with codeine because of the rate of abuse. It is increasing year in year out instead of it decreasing and the government is not doing anything about it. And that is why we need to create awareness because it is getting too much”.

NYSC decries increase of drug abuse


OLLOWING increase in the rate of drug abuse among youths in the country, the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) through its Drug Free Community Development Service, (CDS) group yesterday embarked on a rally to sensitize people on the need for a drug free society. Supervisor of the group, Mrs. Busayo Yusuf spoke during the rally held at the popular Wuse market Abuja. The supervisor decried the increasing rate of drug users stressing that if not addressed; it will posit more danger to the society. Describing unemployment as one of the factors contributing to

Peer pressure is a cause of drug abuse because I have realised that most people don’t have the gumption to say no when somebody comes to introduce something to them; they should have the ability to say no. You have one life to live, so say no to drug abuse and say yes to life

From Faith Yahaya

the act, she called for a collective effort to peg the menace. She said: “The idle hand, they say, is the workshop of the devil, so I think idleness is one of it. Idleness is however a choice, if you choose to be idle, you will be. There are so many things we can do with our talents and our hands.” “Peer pressure is also one of it because I have realised that most people don’t have the gumption to say no when somebody comes to introduce something to them, they should have the ability to say no. You have one life to live, so say no to drug abuse and say yes to life.” “It is not only tobacco, alcohol, cannabis we are talking about, even panadol can be one of them if abused. The reason why we came to Wuse market is because most of the population here are the wheelbarrow pushers and they don’t really have a job, hence they are idle. After taking it, they go crazy and you begin to wonder, if this continues everybody will go crazy and the question is, who will be our leader tomorrow?” Mrs. Yusuf explained that everybody tends to blame the president for any problem but as a group they discovered that there is need for individuals to also make contributions. Speaking on some of the drugs and the risk involved, “The com-

monly abused drugs are tobacco, alcohol, cannabinoids, and the risk of taking them are chronic lung disease, Stroke, cancer of the mouth, addiction, violence, depression, hypertension, liver and heart disease, cough, frequent respiratory infection, possible mental health decline, dizziness, impaired co-ordination” She said. The President of the Drug Free CDS group Dashuwa Fwangmun also lamented that the issue is affecting the youth and if it is not addressed, it will lead to the collapse of the coun-





RANSCORP Hilton Hotel has shown its humanitarian side. The hotel’s new General Manager, EtienneCharles Gailliez, told reporters that the hotel has been donating food items worth $3000, every week for five years to a hospital in Kubwa as well as supporting HIV/AIDS activities at the Hearts Foundation. This gesture, he said, is a way of giving back to its host community. As part of its social responsibility initiative, the hotel recently held an International Youth Week, during which it educated youths on the running of a hotel. On his arrival, Gailliez said the country is on the verge of having its first seven star hotel in Abuja. He said he has garnered a wealth of knowledge which he hopes to employ in raising the hotel to a seven-star hotel. He explained that “a seven star is just the way you offer the services”. Some of the transformations he hopes to bring include refurbishments which, according to him, “are not just changing the tissue of the sofa, but in essence, answering such questions as, is this the design we want? Is this how we want it?” Etienne is looking forward to exploiting social networks, and sophisticated technology such as Ipads and smart phones, to make activities such as booking reservations and ordering meals a whole lot easier. He also looks forward to transforming the menus to ‘offer healthy food’. On the issue of challenges, he said the security problems in the country in the light of the recent bombings is ‘a part of political


ESIDENTS of Iddo Sarki community in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), have spoken out against what call the neglect suffered in the hands of their representatives. They said the representatives have betrayed the trust reposed in them. The traditional head of the community, Alhaji Adamu Hassan, who spoke through his secretary, James Bulus, said their representatives are only concerned about their selfish gains rather than the welfare of the community. He said that their farmland was confiscated from them by government on several occasions without compensations, and their repre-

•Transcorp Hilton, Abuja

Transcorp Hilton donates $3000 foodstuff weekly to hospital From Mercy Madu

life,” adding, “we have taken measures to protect our guests”. On the issue of reward and incentives for clients and staff,

Transcorp’s new General Manager said the hotel has a reward system called the ‘H-Honors’, whereby guests who enroll into the “frequent stay” are rewarded with air tickets and accommoda-

tion. Etienne said that Transcorp Hilton has the highest staff retention and that the hotel is re-negotiating new terms of service, which he said are the best any

‘Our leaders have betrayed us’ Stories from Bukola Amusan

sentatives didn’t speak against the action. “We the indigenes of this place don’t know our fate in terms of where to live; we are being denied our rights over our farmlands and our leaders are not saying anything,” he said. He said that the community is yet to enjoy the dividends of democracy promised by the leaders when they were soliciting for votes. According to him, the deprivations and victimisations faced by

natives of the Federal Capital Territory is due largely to the fact that people usually appointed to run the affairs of the FCT are non-natives. He appealed to the Federal Government to accord FCT a special status, such that natives of the territory are accorded the opportunity of overseeing the affairs of the territory. Bulus recalled that when the seat of power was still in Lagos, the natives of the state were accorded their full customary rights to land ownership and wondered why their case is different.

He complained that the road linking the community with other communities is in a deplorable state and appealed to the council authorities to do something about it. Bulus praised the authorities of the Abuja Municipal Area Council in the area of healthcare delivery, adding that the community has a

team member could possibly enjoy in Nigeria. Though the task ahead seems daunting, the new boss at Transcorp Hilton maintained there is reason to worry. ‘We have to show our resilience, take it one day at a time, and say yes, we are there, and ensure always that our customers have a safe place to stay. I think we can do that for the community’. functional primary health centre with adequate drugs as well as personnel. He however said that the community lacks potable water, adding that the water projects carried out by AMAC and the MDGs in the community have since broken down. In the area of agriculture, Bulus complained that farmers in the community have not been able to access the government subsidised fertilisers and other farm inputs.

We the indigenes of this place don’t know our fate in terms of where to live; we are being denied our rights over our farmlands and our leaders are not saying anything

Pharmacists crack down on illegal premises


•From left: Alhjai Mohammed Bashir, Permanent Secretary, Common Services, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation; Mrs Kehinde Anjoni, Permanent Sercretary, Change Management Office and Alhjai Ibrahim Bello Sali, Head of Service, at the inauguration of Change of Management Committee and Change Implementation team

HE Pharmacists Council of Nigeria has sealed two pharmacies at Gwarimpa for allegedly violating the council’s license registration and professional conduct rules. Mr. Peter Iliya, Head of Abuja Zonal Office of the Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria, expressed surprise that the proprietor of Justima Discount Pharmacy Ltd, who claims to have come from the USA, could break into a sealed premises in gross violation of extant rules. Iliya said the manufacture, retail and wholesale of pharmaceutical products are guided by rules and regulations hence the decision to re-seal Justisma Discount

Pharmacy and Fanprecare because they are both unlicensed premises. He said the operators require valid registration licenses duly issued by the Pharmacist Registration Council of Nigeria, while an inspection committee is supposed to inspect the premises of prospective operators in order to ascertain whether they have adhered strictly to laid down rules and procedures. “The affected parties will now face an investigative panel and later a disciplinary tribunal,” he added. Peter Iliya warned those without premises registration licence to stop operating or face sanctions from the council.



I trust the leadership of the Bar and believe the Bar will collectively and individually champion the case of democracy and good governance in our country especially this time we are facing a serious insecurity problem in the country. I pray that during the tenure of Okey Wali, SAN as the NBA President, the NBA will witness and achieve new and greater height • SEE PAGE 84


• Chief Justice of Nigeria Mariam Mukhtar

Chief Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar has expressed her displeasure over the increasing erosion of judicial independence, pledging to reverse the trend. How can she do this? Some lawyers proffer tips in this report by ADEBISI ONANUGA, ERIC IKHILAE and PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU.

How to ensure judicial independence, by lawyers T

HE judiciary is expected to be an institution that is beyond reproach. Sadly, like the other arms of government, it is caught in the web of corruption, misuse of power and arbitrariness plaguing every segment of the society. Rather than seize the independence that democracy offers, by virtue of the twin principles of separation of power and rule of law, the judiciary seems to have chosen to swim with the tide. In the process, it fell in to the morass which the political leadership has since sunk.

An ideal judiciary, in every democracy, is a bulwark against executive and legislative excesses and helps to uphold the rule of law. To effectively perform these roles, the judiciary must operate as an independent and impartial arbiter, held in high esteem by the people. Unfortunately, the Nigerian judiciary has over the years continued to be the opposite of an ideal judiciary. This development has resulted in the total erosion of all vestiges of judicial independence guaranteed by the Constitution. It has led to instances where judicial

Inside: Group takes Gambia to ECOWAS ... - P.81

officers give no regard to their codes of practice, despite the various noble provisions aimed at guiding against abuse. For instance, the preamble to the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers provides: “Whereas an independent, strong, respected and respectable Judiciary is indispensable for the impartial administration of Justice in a democratic State; “And whereas a Judicial Officer should actively participate in establishing, maintaining, enforcing, and himself observing a high stand-

ard of conduct so that the integrity and respect for the independence of the Judiciary may be preserved.” Also, in seeking to embolden judicial officers in the conduct of their businesses, the Constitution provides that: “The judiciary shall decide matters before them impartially, on the basis of facts and in accordance with the law, without any restrictions, improper influences, inducements, and pressures,


‘Nigeria suffers from lack of vision, national ...’ - P.85



LAW Cover CONT. • Continued from page 29 threats of interferences, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason. There shall not be any inappropriate or unwarranted interference with the judicial process, nor shall judicial decisions by the courts be subject to revision.” Despite these provisions, the judiciary is still striving to achieve a level of independence expected by the people. Instances still abound where respect for judicial pronouncements are not subjected to the discretion of the executive, judges tenure of office, financial security and appointment are dependent on the executive. For instance, while the nation’s judiciary’s highest decision making body, the National Judicial Council (NJC), asked that the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, be recalled, the executive has refused, hiding under some excuses. Under President Olusegun Obasanjo, court decisions were subjected to “executive interpretations,” and the government became notorious for choosing which court decision to obey. Some of such decisions included the voiding of the purported impeachment of former Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja and the Supreme Court decision in the seizure of Lagos State’s council funds by the Presidency. Issues preceding the exit of Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the growing erosion of judicial independence have prompted the quest for a fundamental reform in the judicial sector. This realisation, no doubt, informed the lamentation, last week, by the CJN, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar over the increasing attack on judicial independence by the executive; she pledged not to condone interference of any sort. The CJN, at the an event marking the commencement of the 2012/2013 legal year and the inauguration of 25 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria at the Supreme Court in Abuja, was quoted as saying “the judiciary under her watch will serve as a check on other arms of the government by interpreting the Constitution to determine their “extent and scope of powers and whether any action of any arm of government transgresses such limits. “It is the judiciary which has to ensure that the law is observed and that there is compliance with the requirements of law on the part of the government. Our courts should be independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law, which they apply impartially, without fear, favour and prejudice. Without judicial independence, there can be no preservation of democratic values.” Observers are of the view that it is not enough for the CJN to speak, by to follow same with actions. They observed that while the CJN was silent on instances of such interference, she also seemed not to be interested in building on the foundation for judicial reformation initiated by her predecessor. They noted that Justice Dahiru Musdapher sent a bill to the National Assembly at the twilight of his tenure, indicating about 52 areas of amendment to the Constitution, in an effort aimed at revitalising the court system. They identified practices that threaten judicial independence and encourage interference in judicial process. Some of these include the process of appointing judicial officers, funding of the judiciary, the subjection of judges’ discipline to executive assent, security of tenure and corruption. They contended that the current practice where the executive plays a major role in judges’ appointment makes it difficult for the emergence of courageous and independent- minded judges. They argued that it would be difficult for a judge, whose appointment was influenced by a serving governor, to be impartial in deciding cases involving the governor or in which he has interest. On security of tenure, observers argued that the unresolved Justice Salami case serves as a pointer to any serving judge that, at the instigation of the executive, one could be thrown out of his seat no matter how innocent of any allegation he/she is. They argued that a situation where funding for the judiciary is left for the executive to determine; where the Constitution requires the same executive to provide infrastructure for the judiciary and where the judiciary, mostly at state and local government levels, rely on the executive for the provision of basic necessities can hardly encourage independence, because he who pays the piper dictates the tune. The said the major threat to judicial independence is corruption, arguing that the situation becomes helpless in a society like Nigeria with a code of moral ethics and ethos that drive the national aspiration. To them, in a society where the misno-

• Daudu (SAN)

• Ade Ipaye

• Fagbohungbe (SAN)

• Obayuwana

How to ensure judicial independence, by lawyers mer has become the norm and ingredients of corruption form a component of any policy decision, and where corruption permeates every sector, it will be difficult to attain judicial independence. They contended that a situation where judges at tribunals, assist desperate politicians to assume office by turning logical legal reasoning on its head, such judges should expect less, because desperate politicians are in office to meet their selfish ends and will circumvent all constitutional provisions to achieve their aim. Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Joseph Daudu argued that judges constitute a threat to judicial independence. To him, “access to judges outside official channels appears to be the greatest harbinger or threat to the independence of the judiciary.” This argument is contained in a paper entitled: “The independence of the Nigerian judiciary in the light of emerging political and security challenges,” which he presented at an event by the NBA, Maiduguri branch. “The judiciary is not only the last hope of the common man; it is the only hope of government and concepts such as the Rule of Law. Modern democratic society as we

know it today will cease where confidence is lost in the judiciary. No one wants to go back to those days of autocracy and dictatorship. “However, there is a growing perception backed up by empirical evidence that justice is purchasable and it has been purchased on several occasions in Nigeria. Ultimately, should this state of affairs continue unabated, people will exacerbate recourse to self help and extra judicial measures. No wonder assassinations and unresolved killings have been on the rise in Nigeria. “The choice to go to the Bench is a conscious one. It is not taken just as a means of livelihood or as a last resort by well connected persons. It ought to be seen as a reverent calling. It is now commonplace to hear some judges complaining that legal practitioners charge high fees when they are not the ones who write the judgment. “This category of judges must perish such ideas. Lawyers go into legal practice without the cushion of an ascertained regular monthly salary; they may go for months without being briefed by prospective clients. It must never be a reason to collect gratification that lawyers charge high fees. The Bar and the Bench complement one another; together we stand as co-ministers in

‘It is the judiciary which has to ensure that the law is observed and that there is compliance with the requirements of law on the part of the government. Our courts should be independent and subject only to the Constitution and the law, which they apply impartially, without fear, favour and prejudice. Without judicial independence, there can be no preservation of democratic values’

the temple of justice. We destroy the temple when we tolerate corrupt practices therein,” Daudu said. Aside Daudu, other lawyers also proffered ways of assisting the CJN achieve her objective of ensuring an independent and impartial judiciary. They include Chief Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), Attoneys-General of Lagos and Edo states, Ade Ipaye and Osagie Obayuwana, Dr. Christopher Ilochukwu and former Chair, NBA, Ikorodu, Lagos branch, Anthony Ebeh. They praised Justice Mukhtar’s courage and determination to reform the judiciary, stop intervention and ensure its independence with a view to restoring public confidence in that arm of government. Fagbohungbe said: “Knowing the CJN, she is a judge with a difference. What I mean by that is that she is a very straight forward judge;, she is a well disciplined judge and very forthright. She is a no-nonsense woman. She doesn’t welcome interference like she has said, even when she was in the lower court. “I know that she is going to carry out reforms that will make the difference in the judiciary, different from what all her predecessors have been doing. She will put the judiciary on the right path. So, what she meant by that statement is that she wants the judiciary to be independent. She wants the judiciary to function in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. “The executive is a separate body, the legislature is also separate, and so is the judiciary. In other words, the judiciary should run its own affairs without seeking favour or help from other bodies like the executive or legislature. And what makes judiciary independent is the funding. The funding should not be coming from the executive. “Let the judiciary operates its own budget. Let the judiciary deals with its own affairs by itself, instead of having the executive to fund some of their activities, or to do things which they (judiciary) are supposed to do. “I believe she will not agree to that. I pray that people cooperate with her and support the reforms which she intends to carry out,” Fagbohungbe said. To Ipaye the CJN was not wrong in her statement although she could have been more specific. He said the usual harmful interferences are those by influential people in the society, who want to use money, power and sometimes even blackmail to determine the outcome of cases in court. “It could be from government or other rich people in the society. But the truth remains that we cannot have a truly functional judicial system unless there is absolute independence of the judiciary which includes non interference by any power whatsoever be it friends, family or people in authority. “The judiciary must be allowed to dispense it duties with all fairness and diligence in order to guide against corruption and impunity,” Ipaye said. Obayuwana contended that judicial interference comes from ‘godfathers,’ who occupy various positions in the society, both in and out of government. Interference, he added, could also come from politicians, who think they wield enormous influence to buy judges over and make them do their bidding. “It could also be from relations of judges, who may seek one favour or the other. It could also be from some rich businessmen who may have one interest or the other to protect and in other cases may as well come from within the judiciary itself. “The CJN’s statement is highly commendable because it is more of a signal to all judges to dispense their duties without fear or favour especially going by her own record as a woman with integrity. It stands to remind them of the secret oath they took themselves, the system and to God almighty, to uphold and dispense justice at all times,” he said. Ebeh argued that interference with the judiciary can come in diverse ways. It can be executive, political as well as financial. “Executive, in the sense that judges from top to bottom, are appointed by the executive arm of government in a process that is not only far from clear, but also shrouded in mystery. It is common knowledge that he who pays the piper calls the tune. “Political, in the sense that where politicians, their cronies and interests are involved, especially in criminal cases, terrible political pressure is brought to bear on the judiciary to decide cases in particular ways. “Financial pressure comes by way of the other two arms of government withholding budgetary allocations to the judiciary in order to extract predetermined decisions on sensitive cases,” he said. They urged the CJN to be steadfast and support her talks with actions.




Lagos ‘LCDAs’: Constitutional federalism on trial


RITELY, the Courts have long settled the implication of the use of the word “shall” in any Statute. It is a word that confers obligation on the person or institution to which it is addressed. It connotes a mandatory performance of an act. It is a word that imposes a duty on the person to which it is addressed and it is not a word that permits of discretion. (See Bamaiyi V A.G Federation (2001) 12 NWLR Pt.727 @468, A.T. Ltd V A.D. H. Ltd (2007) 15 NWLR Pt.1056 @118, Sokoto State Govt. V Kamdex Nig. Ltd (2007) 7NWLR Pt.1034 @466). Consequently, the word ‘shall’ is what the 1999 Constitution employed, to mandate the National Assembly to make consequential provisions, with respect to the names and headquarters of States or Local Government Areas, after the States and people concerned have created them- in accordance with the Law. Under Section 8(6), the Constitution clearly establishes that a new LGA becomes instantly formed once the procedure outlined in Section 8(3) is fulfilled. That explains the usage of the following words; ...after the creation of more Local Government Areas pursuant to subsection (3)… under the said Section 8 (6) earlier quoted. Therefore, by rational inference, a new LGA is already constitutionally alive from the day a Law to that effect is validly passed by a State’s House of Assembly. The relevant State House of Assembly is thereafter duty bound to inform the National Assembly of the concluded creation. Such ‘information’ is not to be given before or during a new LGA creation- it is to come after a conclusive creation. It is thus grossly unconstitutional for the National Assembly to continue to act as though it has discretion to either approve or disapprove the decision to create new LGAs, already lawfully executed by Lagosians through their representatives. The Supreme Court in Bamaiyi V A.G. Federation (Supra) held that; The word “shall”, in the ordinary meaning of the word, connote a command and that which must be given a compulsory meaning. It has a preemptory meaning which is generally imperative and mandatory. It has the significance of excluding the idea of discretion, to impose a duty. Thus, where a provision provides that a thing shall be done, the natural meaning is that a preemptory mandate is enjoined (See also Achineku V Isagba (1988) 4 NWLR Pt.89 @ 411). From their Lordships’ quoted pronouncement above, it is clear the National Assembly has been treading an unconstitutional and visionless path, having neglected to pass the necessary consequential amendments, to list the already lawfully created additional 37 LGAs of Lagos State, since over half a decade that Lagosians democratically took their valid decision. A necessary conclusion to be drawn is that there is no point appealing to the National

• Akintayo By Iwilade Akintayo

Assembly as if they can exercise any discretion against the passing of the Consequential Amendment Act. It is a constitutional duty imposed on them by the Constitution and they must do it or risk the continuous unprovoked endangering of the prospects of the attainment of true and constitutional federalism in Nigeria. To preempt further needless argumentations in possible support of the National Assembly’s contemptuous unconstitutional path, we contend that the use of the phrase “power conferred on it”, under Section 8(6) of the Constitution, cannot be construed as permitting the National Assembly to exploit same for mischievous ends. Looking at the overall context in which the phrase was used and the preceding Sections, the phrase means nothing other than reference to the authority or mandate to give effect to the intendment of the Constitution. In effect, the said ‘power conferred on it’ merely articulates the authority to compulsorily acknowledge an already validly taken decision of any people for more autonomous units to lawfully govern themselves. Clearly therefore, no power for discretion is conferred on the National Assembly here. Even if argued conversely, as exemplified in another decision of the Supreme Court; A.T. Ltd V A.D.H. Ltd (Supra), that; …there is no laid down rule as to whether the word “shall”, when used in a statute, carries mandatory or merely directory connotation. Its real purport depends by and large on the particular context in which it is used…, one would easily observe the Court still

Legal Dairy

NBA holds Bar Leaders’ Summit THE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) will hold its Bar Leaders’ Summit on the Future of the NBA on Thursday. Venue: Lagos and Osun Meetings Rooms, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. Theme: Nigerian Bar Association: Past, Present and Future Time: Registration begins 9am, while the programme starts 9.30am. The first paper, entitled Professional Challenges of the Nigerian Bar Association in the 21st Century, will be presented by Aare Afe Babalola (SAN). The second paper, entitled Unethical Conduct at the Bar, will be delivered by the DirectorGeneral, Nigerian Law School, Abuja, Dr Tahir Mamman. Past Chairman, NBA Onitsha Branch, Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), will deliver the third paper: Institutionalisation of the Bar and Bench Relationship for Professional Development. The Paramountcy of the Welfare of Members of the Bar: Need for Versatility and Job Creation is the fourth paper to be delivered by Director-General, Ethics & Corporate Compliance, Institute of Nigeria, Sir Emeka Jideani. The fifth paper, Entrenchment of Qualitative Legal Education and Mechanism for Professional Progress, will be presented by Deputy-Director, Nigerian Law School, Enugu Campus, Prof Ernest Ojukwu. The second session of working groups (A-E) will begin at 1:00pm and end 2:30pm. The groups will be coordinated by former NBA President O. C. J. Okocha (SAN); DirectorGeneral, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN); former NBA presidents Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and Joseph Daudu (SAN). The third session (Group presentations) will be chaired by NBA President Okey Wali (SAN). A communiqué will be issued at 4:20pm.

further held, in the same case, that; Where in statute, the legislature has expressed no clear intention as to whether a particular provision is mandatory or merely permissive; the Court has a duty to impute into the legislation that intention which is most probable and most consistent with reason. Juxtaposing the two decisions (i.e Bamaiyi V A.G. Federation (Supra) and A.T. Ltd V A.D.H. Ltd (Supra), one may rationally ask whether it is probable and consistent with reason that the Constitution can permit the National Assembly to prevent the coming into operation of new LGAs when already lawfully decided and constitutionally created by the people concerned- the same Constitution having clearly left the creation procedure exclusively with the people concerned to initiate and conclude? It does not at all seem so. It can even be further distilled that the Constitution did not involve the National Assembly in the substance of a new LGA creation. The National Assembly is constitutionally mandated to do a mere clerical duty of listing a new LGA under the appropriate Schedule of the Constitution. The clerical duty does not permit the lawmakers to magisterially sit in false judgment as if they are empowered to approve or disapprove such a people-based decision. The clerical listing is itself not so much of an Act of Parliament which is often delayed by all sorts of legislative bureaucracies. The listing is simply to serve as a sort of constructive notice and advertisement of the coming into being of an autonomous decision of a Section of the Federation. Perhaps, for other entities within and outside the Federation to take formal note of; in the event of a future need for formal engagements with the newly created autonomous entities. The National Assembly therefore, by the provisions and spirit of the Constitution, is not empowered to sit in a judicial, regulatory or supervisory capacity regarding such a crucial decision of people forming smaller and more compact autonomous units to respond to their peculiar challenges within a Federal structure. Appearing to do so, for over half a decade, betrays a continous affront on the most elementary notions and visions for true and constitutional federalism in Nigeria. The incumbent President is advised to reflect and thereafter display a deeper grasp of the principles of true constitutional federalism embedded in the quest of Lagosians to create more compact autonomous units to govern themselves. Mr. President should challenge the narrow partisans within the National Assembly, who appear intent on a continuous subversion of the will of Lagosians to have more LGAs. In the circumstance, another Presidential letter may be written; this time to the National Assembly, to nudge the lawmakers off the stagnant unconstitutional course they have stayed on the Lagos LCDAs for over half a decade. While awaiting a more reflective Presidential intervention, Lagos State is advised to return to the judicial trenchesenroute the Supreme Court. While there, the full imports of the jurisprudential insights offered in Hon. Justice Uwaifo JSC’s

judgment in A.G. Lagos State V A.G. Federation (Supra) can be submitted for reconsideration and definitive re-pronouncement by the Supreme Court. The Learned Judge posited that... I strongly hold the view that the only purpose of the consequential provisions is to update the Local Government Areas as provided in Section 3 of this Constitution and in Parts I and II of the First Schedule to this Constitution. It is like birth registration under the provision of an Act. The delay in the formality of registration of any particular birth cannot ignore the fact that there has been a child born who is living. To my mind, it does not confer any supervisory authority on the National Assembly which it must use to delay, direct, control or frustrate the effect of a Law duly enacted by a State. It is a simple process of a simple formal consequence different from that of passing an Act for the alteration or amendment of a provision of the Constitution as laid down in Section 9 of the Constitution……….It is a duty imposed on the National Assembly and a corresponding right conferred on the House of Assembly to have the New Local Government Areas recorded. Drawing from the Learned Justice’s insight, it will be pointless for Lagos State to continue to engage the unyielding National Assembly partisans with worn-out partisan gambits. Rather, an order of Mandamus should be sought by Lagos State against the National Assembly, to compel it to do its constitutionally imposed duty of immediately listing the already validly created additional 37LGAs in the appropriate Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). If the National Assembly fails to immediately comply with the Mandamus order, Lagos State should seek an alternative equitable order which will subsequently deem as done what ought to have been long done. It is also wished that the noble Lords of the Supreme Court will be jurisprudentially disposed to modifying and enlarging the scope of the Court’s earlier but subsisting judgment on the status of the 37 Lagos LCDAs. This is more so since other States, such as OSUN, seeking to lawfully create new LGAs, will eventually have to contend with the lingering implications of the Constitutional stalemate still resonating around the 37 Lagos LCDAs. In the minimum, there ought to be a definitive Constitutional pronouncement; on what the legal status of properly created LGAs would be when a National Assembly needlessly refuses to do its largely clerical duty of listing same in the appropriate Schedule of the Federation’s Constitution. I reckon it would be a justified acquittal for true constitutional federalism in Nigeria if the Supreme Court unequivocally affirms that; listing new Local Government Areas, after valid creation by a State’s House of Assembly, is a mandatory constitutional duty imposed on the National Assembly and not one which permits of any treacherous exercise of pointless discretion. Such affirmation will appease the much abused spirit of Section 2(2) of the 1999 Constitution which has long declared that; “Nigeria shall be a Federation…” •Akintayo is a Lagos-based Legal practitioner Email:

Firm holds public lecture

The firm of J-K Gadzama & Partners LLP will hold its fifth public lecture on September 27. Venue/Time: Four Points (Sheraton) Hotel, Oniru Chieftaincy Estate, Lagos, by 9am. Theme: Nigeria in the Year 2012: The Vision of a Cashless Economy. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi will chair the event. Guest Speaker will be Director-General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Mr Frank Nweke Jr. Former head of Interim National Government Chief Ernest Shonekan and Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc Dr Alex Otti will be special guests.

Former NBA President Joseph Daudu (SAN), Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Chief Solomon Awomolo (SAN) at the swearing-in of new SANs in Abuja.




Nigeria as an emerging democracy: Dilemma, promise Text of the keynote address by Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah at the NBA Annual General Conference in Abuja • Continued from last week


HE minorities of the Middle Belt un fortunately or fortunately do not have the culturally homogenous and cohesive capacity to inflict injury on anyone. They did their part for one united Nigeria. So, truly, we are set for a new dawn. The challenge is how to bring that about. 5: Unity by Division: Balkanisation of the State. Whatever may have been the circumstances of our union, our history is not different that of other nations which were forcefully created or manufactured. The real challenge is how and why we have not been able to imbibe for example, the E pluribus, Unum, philosophy that has gathered a complex web of humanity like the United States is, into one nation. Under this principle, the Americans admitted their differences but argued that although we are many and diverse, we can aspire to be one. The challenge is to find the institutions to support this unity. Today, the United States with all its difficulties is a fine testimony of how a nation with differences can find common cause by creating a time tested Constitution. With hindsight, it is important for us to look back and appreciate why our difficulties have persisted. So far, it is not due to lack of good men and women, good will, good intentions, enthusiasm, even patriotism that Nigeria’s growth remains stunted. We have had our own fair share of good men behaving badly, but the problem is that we have relied on the dubious quest for good men and women rather than relying on creating institutions to support and make it possible for these humans to act rightly or to stop them from acting wrongly. Faced with the challenges of nation building, Nigeria did not choose the path of statesmanship, courage and resilience. Rather than follow through the roundtable discussions in Aburi, Ghana in 1966, clarify the issues and seek accommodation, we resorted to states creation as a solution to the problem of national unity. After slicing the nation into states, we then began came up with the mantra that; to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done! Even when we fought a war with no winners no vanquished, rather than return to the barracks and use politics to create consensus and rebuild our nation, the military stayed on, corrupted politics and destroyed the foundations of the unity it had preached and fought a war to protect. Thus the mantra, to keep Nigeria one was replaced with, To your tents o Israel! Under the military, states and local government creation became such a selfish exercise that military officers simply parceled out the country to themselves and their friends as tribal fiefdoms. This diminished a sense of national unity as more and more communities invented new identities amidst cries of freedom from domination. Thus, at the creation of each new state or local government area, yesterday’s brothers and sisters who speak the same language and share the same culture became enemies. Location of state capitals and local government headquarters, the citing of projects intensified these animosities and yesterday’s majority which became a new minority, now demanded its own space. While the country did not grow, these policies only further created new elites with a bloated and unproductive bureaucratic and political elites feeding off the system at the expense of the people. Even right till today, the debate about a new Constitution is merely a fig leaf for seeking further balkanization of the nation as states creation seems to be the most important item on the table with every

Senator seeking to deliver a new state to his or her people! For how long can we survive with this joke? 6: The politics of Land and Taxation: From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the issues of land reforms remain a major source of conflict and instability. From the colonial period, the appetite for choice lands dictated the options for settler or transitory colonialism. In places like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe for example, land has been the main source of conflict. The stories of the Mau of Kenya right up to the Zimbabwean veterans are within the same context. Little wonder the founding fathers of Sierra Leone decided to award the Order of the Mosquito as a sign of appreciation to the anopheles mosquito whose malaria bite kept the white man away from taking over their land. The issue of land remains a sore point in Nigeria. The conflict around indigene and settlers, land ownership laws and so on are still to be resolved. Closely tied to this is the question of taxation. The infamous Land Use Act of 1978 has thrown up problems that remain unresolved and since the political class have found this very beneficial, it is not surprising that the poor remain the victims of these unjust laws. Land Laws are fundamental to individual and community growth and development. It is even more so for government and investors. We should learn from the mistake of the Niger Delta and ensure appropriate legal measures that protect the investor, citizen and our country. It is one major way of engendering stability, harmony and growth. Every nation seeking development, growth and national cohesion must address the issues of land and taxation. One of the surest signs that our country has not been serious about democracy and economic development has been the issue of taxation. As the old saying goes, no taxation without representation. If we believe this, then, the lack of effective tax laws is a measure of how disconnected the government is from the lives of the people and their economic endeavours. Sadly, perhaps, aware of how little its impact is in the lives of citizens, the government has seemingly been lackadaisical about enforcing the tax laws. Without services, a government has no moral basis to tax its citizens. Clearly, the example of what is happening in Lagos is a lesson and a metaphor for our country. Sadly, fighting a thoroughly corrupt, incompetent and inefficient bureaucracy should pose the biggest challenge. The State as a Distribution agency: Professor Richard Joseph’s old characterization of the Nigerian state as the arena of prebendalism still holds good, then as now. One of the most egregious areas of this assault is the privatisation of state power where state resources and their allocation are privatised within a tiny circle. Today, the culture of the state as a domain of patronage persists. The saddest part of this problem is that the military Constitution has actually built this anomaly into the Constitution. Section 162 of the Constitution specifically states that: The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called the Federation Account into which shall be paid all revenues collected by

• Bishop Kukah

the Government of the Federation. The official Head chef, known as the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, presides over the slicing of this beef of state. It is further recommended that the distribution of this largesse shall take into consideration…. population, equality of States, internal revenue generation, landmass, terrain as well as population density. Subsections 3-8 continue with this iniquity which focuses on mere distribution of handouts with no clear mechanism for monitoring whether the allocations are properly used for the welfare of the people. We can understand why any census will always be contested and why communal crises over boundaries and new identities will persist in Nigeria. But what is even more invidious is the decision to tie local governments to apron strings of the state governors. It is now possible to appreciate why local government elections will remain at most a charade with the State Governors ensuring that chairmen are firmly under their control. As can be seen, there are hardly any states with more than a token presence of one or two local government chairmen or Women from the opposition Parties. For a long time, the so-called Joint-Account was the area where governors proved to be even more reckless. The State Assemblies are almost all the same in terms of membership of the party in power. What these present us with is a seriously compromised political atmosphere where accountability and transparency are the first victims. The governors literally anoint the speakers of the Houses of Assembly. So, with both local government chairmen and speakers each struggling to be governor’s favourite sons, there is no one left to speak out on transparency and accountability. There are no mechanisms for holding government responsible. The occasional hiccups and theatrical attempts at impeachment are merely a symptom of the rumbling of a hungry stomach. This is why our democracy remains so weak at the lowest levels. Leadership Recruitment and Capacity in Nige-

‘One of the surest signs that our country has not been serious about democracy and economic development has been the issue of taxation. As the old saying goes, no taxation without representation’

Lawyer earns asset recovery certification Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General-Secretary Ibrahim Mark has been awarded the Certified Specialist in Asset Recovery (CSAR) certification. The International Association for Asset Recovery (IAAR) said Mark, of the City Law Firm, Abuja, is among the select group to pass the rigorous CSAR certification examination. IAAR said in a statement that the CSAR credential is earned by individuals who pass the rigorous four-hour examination that provides a tough and objective measure of mastering

By Fisayo Ige

the challenging field of international asset recovery. “For the successful candidates, the CSAR designation is a powerful evidence of highly specialised expertise that is recogised and welcomed by law firms, corporations, courts, peers, government agencies and clients,” said the President and founder of IAAR and a former federal prosecutor, Charles Intriago. The certification programme is administered by the IAAR, the premier membership organisa-

tion of professionals in the field worldwide. IAAR said the credential is an assurance to employers, colleagues and clients that a CSAR holder is serious about increasing the sums recovered from fraudsters and financial criminals following the fall of their criminal empires. The exam was said to have been assembled over an eight-month period by a team of 40 leading international asset recovery professionals under the guidance of an independent psychometric firm. It is to ensure that the certifica-

• Mark

tion was technically sound and legally defensible.

ria: Elsewhere, in a paper I wrote for the Nigerian Leadership Initiative, I spoke on what I called, Power without Authority. My interest was to show that the leadership crisis in Nigeria persists because we do not as yet have criteria for ascent to leadership. From my analysis, it is clear that right from the first republic till date, every Nigerian President has literally come to power by good luck. More often than not, those who have prepared for office either by way of the quantum of resources accumulated, have never managed to make it. The result is that the country has not been able to develop a sound political culture. The real test that a country’s democracy is deepening lies in some level of unpredictability about electoral outcomes and fortunes. Thus, the issue of who or which Party will win the elections and who might win or lose a Gubernatorial or Senate seat should not be based on predictable outcomes such as patronage, god-fatherism, capacity to manipulate electoral body, its agents and results, the size of the political war chest, the recruitment and control of well heeled legal gymnasts or anointing of any sort. The notion that a state should look up to whom the President or governor will anoint as a successor, institutionalises corruption, indolence and cronyism. It kills ideas and principles and makes political contest a violent enterprise. By now, politicians would have come to appreciate the fact that this so called anointing is a waste of time because even before the oil of anointing has dried up, the godfather and godson are already at war. This is the story of our anointed Governors right across the country and as we know, only a few have mended their fences! But these quarrels are taking their toll on our people as supporters are constantly forced to move wherever and whenever their patrons change direction. Anyone familiar with the political history of Nigeria will appreciate the fact that somehow, when it comes to the Presidency of Nigeria, God’s rules of engagement for Nigeria are different. In the whole of our history, from Alhaji Tafawa Balewa till date, political power has always been a gift of charity from God. No one has become the President of Nigeria from the size of his war chest or connections. I am not sure whether this will remain our fate, but at least, if we are to take any lesson from all this, it is that we need to be more circumspect. Those in power therefore should remember that God has not changed His place on His throne and stop playing God by spending resources, bending the rules and deciding that they must anoint or appoint their successors. I am not saying we should leave everything merely to chance, but that it is important that we appreciate the fact that in nurturing our democracy, there is need to instill peoples’ confidence in the process. So far, for us, elections have always been a war or sorts. Although we are quick to blame the ordinary people and thugs, the truth is that it is the political class that is responsible for criminalizing the process. The lack of internal democracy among the parties, refusal by those at the top to respect the rules of engagement and the Party guidelines, forcing anointed candidates leads to the manufacturing of consent. All these merely stunt our growth and leave the process open to violence and abuse. We need to create the kind of space that can allow for people with ideas to persuade and influence public opinion to support their ideas. Although talent is important in any society, clearly, it is important that a nation creates institutions that can enable this talent to flourish. Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are clearly extraordinarily gifted and talented men. But they would not have nurtured their dreams if they did not have an environment that was wide enough and had the institutions to support and contain their visions which may have seemed crazy at the early stages. Mrs. Chioma Ajunwa was a natural talent, but it took the foresight of someone in the Police Force to rally around her and later, the vision of a Segun Odegbami to have nurtured that talent. Compare that with the situation today where we focus more on funding prayer warriors, sorcerers, magicians and some form of voodoo as the means for winning medals and other laurels in international competitions. • To be continued next week




Group takes Gambia to ECOWAS Court over two Nigerians on death row


WO Nigerians on death row, Michael Ifunanya and Stanley Agbaeze, have sued the Gambian government before an ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja, praying it to stop their impending execution. The suit was filed on their behalf by a human rights group, the SocioEconomic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). In the suit with the number ECW/ CCJ/APP/11/12, instituted on behalf of the plaintiffs by the counsel to SERAP, Femi Falana, (SAN), against the Gambian government, the human right body alleged that the threat of execution while they (second and third plaintiffs) have been denied the right to appeal, violates their human rights to life; due process of law; access to justice and judicial independence; fair hearing; appeal, and to effective remedy.” According to the suit, “The second and third plaintiffs are among 48 people on death row in The Gambia.The plaintiffs, therefore, in the reliefs sought, want the ECOWAS Court to declare the application of the death sentence as illegal and unjust, and to set aside the sentence of death.” They also want: “A declaration that the consistent and continue denial of fair trial and rights to the second and third Plaintiffs on death row and in prisons under dehumanising and harsh conditions in The Gambia violate Article 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 26 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”A declaration that the public statement and the threat by the government of the defendant to secretly execute the second and third Plaintiffs amounts to violations of plaintiffs’ right to life under Ar-

By Adebisi Onanuga

ticle 4 of the African Charter and the resolution moratorium on executions adopted recently by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the UN General Assembly.”A declaration that the public threat by the defendant to publicly execute the second and third plaintiffs amounts to deliberate and willful disregard of the request by the African Commission to the effect that African countries , including The Gambia that still retain the Death penalty should fully comply with their obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and guarantee to every person accused of crimes for which capital punishment is applicable, fair trial standards. “An Order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant and or its agents from carrying out the public threat to secretly execute the second and third Plaintiffs and other persons on death row in The Gambia. “An order directing the defendants to faithfully and fully implement its obligations under its own constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as resolutions on moratorium on executions adopted recently by the African Commission on human and Peoples’ Rights and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.” SERAP in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said: “Without allowing them to exhaust their right of appeal, the Gambian government has threatened the plaintiffs on or about August 15, 2012 to execute them and all other persons on death row in

The Gambia.The human right group said in spite of several appeals to the Gambian government by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and other organisations, the government carried out the threat and secretly executed nine persons on death row last month. It listed the nine persons executed by the government as Lamin B. Darboe; Alieu Bah; Lamin Jarju; Dawda Bojang; Abubacarr Yarbo; Abdoulie Sonko; Lamin F. Jammeh; Gibril Bah and Taraba Samba.” The Gambian government has threatened to carry out the secret and illegal execution of the Nigerians and other remaining persons on death row this month but the Gambian parliament has not passed any memorandum endorsing the execution of the Nigerians, as required by Section 81 of the constitution of the Gambia.” The plaintiffs, according to the suit, also argued that, the action of the Gambian government violates the resolutions adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the UN General Assembly requiring countries including the Gambia to adopt moratorium on execution of the death penalty. The resolution, SERAP said, also asked African Union member states including the Gambia that still retain the death penalty to fully comply with their obligation under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and guarantee to every person accused of crime for which capital punishment is applicable, fair trial standards; and to include in their periodic reports information on the steps they are taking to move toward the abolition of death penalty in their countries.

Community head accuses businessman of HE traditional head of Okothreatening the peace Olomi community, Ibeju-


Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, Oba Tajudeen Elemoro, has accused a businessman, Oluwafemi Bakare, of engaging in acts capable of threatening public peace. The accusation is contained in Elemoro’s counter affidavit to a fundamental rights enforcement application filed by Bakare and others before the High Court, Lagos. He averred, in a supporting affidavit, that as against the businessman’s claim, he was a victim of Bakare’s alleged violent activities. Bakare, the head of Eleku family, Tajudeen Mojeed Eleku and four others had sued Chief Shamba Elemoro, Ola Olowu, Semsi Elemoro and Molikiu Raji and accused them of instigating men of the Nigeria Police against them The plaintiffs accused Elemoro and others of petitioning the police and seeking their arrest for alleged violent conduct. They urged the court to restrain the police and their agents from in-

By Eric Ikhilae

viting, arresting and detaining them in respect of the petition purportedly written by the defendants. Elemoro averred that contrary to Bakare’s deposition that he and others have been exercising unhindered right of ownership over a disputed piece of land at Oko-Olomi village, Olowu who is the Baale of the village (and one of the defendants) was the victim of the violent activities of the applicants. Insisting that the disputed land belonged to his family, Elemoro stated that the said land was excised to their family by the state government. Elemoro further averred that the state government acquired all the land from Moaroko to Epe in 1981 and repeated the acquisition in 1993 but in 2007 the government vide a Gazzete dated 22 February, 2007 returned some of the land acquired from his family to them. “It is not, therefore, true that when

Oba Tajudeen Olowu became the Oba he planned to take over the land belonging to the applicants by using the police. Rather, the police were carrying out their lawful duties after a petition was written to the Inspector General of Police, complaining of the applicant’s violent activities. “The real intention of the applicants in filing this suit is to obtain an order of the court with which they can forcefully enter the defendants’ family land granted them through excision in the Gazette of 2007,” he stated. He further averred that Bakare was never arrested as claimed. He stated that Bakare was only invited by the Area Commander of Area J Police Station. He stated that after the businessman was interviewed by the police, it became clear that he is not a member of the Okunnu Eleku family and that the respondents have always reported his activities to the police. Justice A. Oluwafemi while adjourning the case to September 25 ordered that status quo be maintained.

• From left: NBA President Okey Wali (SAN), Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, his wife and Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adebayo Mutallab Ojo at the swearing-in of new SANs


with gabriel AMALU

Janathan’s unearned harvest from Southeast


HE parable of the sower as told by Jesus has been discountenanced by President Goodluck Jonathan in the Southeast of Nigeria. According to the Bible story, the seeds which fell by the wayside were devoured by the birds. Those that fell on stony places which did not have much soil immediately sprang up, but when the sun rose, they were scorched and withered away. For those that fell among thorns, they were choked by the thorns that sprang up. Only those that apparently based on concerted effort fell on good ground, yielded; some hundred folds, some sixty and some thirty. The Bible also says unequivocally, that what you sow is what you reap. But that didn’t reckon with President Jonathan. Indeed, in my local parlance, in the olden times; it will be totally strange to sow cassava during the planting season, and when it is time for harvest you are seen coming out from the farm with tubers of yam on your head. In those times, the ekwe would sound with the ferocity of the early rain thunder. Once the people gather and the story is recounted, the entire feet and fury of the people will move to the homestead of the culprit. Within seconds of reaching their destination, a public trial is conducted, and in the absence of a cogent and compelling explanation, a once convivial family is thrown into mourning, as the culprit is heckled to the fringes of the village, on the way to permanent banishment. But the whitemen then came with their bayonet, and as Chinua Achebe recounted in his epic novel, Things Fall Apart, the falcon can not hear the falconer, the centre can no more hold, mere anarchy is loosened upon the earth. Now people freely harvest, even when they never neared the farm, talk less of planting any type of crop during the planting season. You doubt it? Compare Jonathan’s performance and his endorsement by leaders of Southeast. Now back to the parable. President Jonathan, despite sowing only on the wayside, stony and thorny places, has harvested bountiful political support for 2015 in the Southeast. According to former Anambra State Governor Chukwuemeka Ezeife, the interest of Ndigbo in the Presidency must wait on that of President Goodluck Jonathan’s. He is not alone. The apex socio-cultural organisation of the Southeast, Ohaneze Ndigbo tongue is in cheek on the rules of harvest, to serve President Jonathan’s interest. Also Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State and most of his colleagues have remained at the vanguard of Jonathamania, employing all manner of subterfuge, even committing political patricide, so that President Jonathan may harvest where he has not sown. Recently a pregnant woman, who had the misfortune of travelling on the Anambra end of the Enugu-Onitsha dilapidated and abandoned expressway, lost her seed, which until the trip had fallen on good ground. Her faith may yet befall those that will travel through the Niger Bridge, during the Christmas period. About a month earlier, a promising young man from my village, travelling along the abandoned Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, was guillotined, as his vehicle and an oncoming articulated truck struggled for space along the narrow gauge that was formerly an expressway. As President Jonathan harvested political yams some weeks ago in Anambra state, just after sowing political thorns in the hearts of Ndigbo, in the ignominious way he sacked Professor Barth Nnaji, who had served him meritoriously; I became reassured that in our country, what you reap is what you can. Never mind what you sow, go after what your heart desires, after all the termites have eaten the ekwe. The celebration of President Jonathan’s visit, for coming to commission the same fathom port that former President Shagari also used as political gimmick in the 1980s, was like celebrating a man who just defecated in your sitting room. The President no doubt knows our love for commerce, particularly among Ndi Anambra. Also from reports reaching him from the fuel subsidy probe, he understands that in Nigeria, huge payments can be received, when nothing has been supplied, as long there are labour henchmen to heckle any person foolishly seeking probity. So the President came, and as we beat the drum, he gladly danced on our shame. Indeed when I read my colleague, Steve Nwosu’s recollection of the periodic political rapes of Ndigbo, recently in his column in this paper, I felt his pain, but doubt his logic. You don’t serially rape a person because of who he or she is, but because you are sure there will be no consequences. Again in this paper last week, a concerned Waheed Odusile, asked rhetorically, who will speak for Ndigbo? I guess the state of anomie in the country affects different races of Nigeria in peculiar ways, and the reactions are somewhat different. Ndigbo seems to have found solace in individual efforts, and that affects their chance of uniting against their oppressors. The North is stymied in violence and increasing regression into abyss. The South-West effaced after their recent pacification with an Obasanjo presidency and the recent gains of the progressives are slightly better for now. While Ndigbo deserve to be President of Nigeria, and should get the support of others, their political leaders need an alternate strategy. My worry for Ndigbo is that there is no alternative political platform. All our eggs are in President Jonathan’s basket. If the President continues to ignore his promises for which he was baptized Azikiwe, or orchestrates a disagreement once he again secures our support for 2015, we will remain mere spectators. My take is for a younger progressive leadership to emerge and team up with progressives in the South-West and North, to form a deterrent against itinerant harvesters.




• From left: Femi Falana (SAN), Chuka Agbu (SAN) and Henry Ogbodo (SAN)

• Claudius Aduroja (SAN) left and Luke Ilogu (SAN)

• Chief Cornie Aremu (SAN) and former Kano State Commissioner for Justice and AttorneyGeneral, Aliyu Umar (SAN)

• Charles Obishai (SAN) (left) and N. N. Azuoma (SAN)

• Prof Yemi Akinseye-George (SAN) left and Dr. Garba Tetengi (SAN)

• Selekeowei Larry (SAN) and Joy Adesina (SAN)

• Adekunle Oyesanya (SAN) and Oluseye Opasanya (SAN)

• Chief James Onoja (SAN) and former Plateau State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Dakas Clement Dakas (SAN)

• Paul Ananaba (SAN)

• Raji Ahmed (SAN)

• Lawyers at the ceremony.




• Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) and Institute Secretary James Bathnna

• NIALS Librarian Mrs Funmi Lamikanra and Justice Chima Nweze of the Court of Appeal

• Justice S.U Dikko (left) and Justice James Abundaga of the Nasarawa State High Court, Lafia

• June Obozuwa (left) and Basharu Faruk of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

• Cosmas Ugwu (left) and Ushie Okom of the EFCC

• Dare Funsho and Bethy Ugwueze of the Public Complaints Commission

• Nkwor Momah and Juliet Rone of the Delta State Ministry of Justice

• Omolade Olomola of the Faculty of Law, University of Ibadan and Peter Dabup of the EFCC

• Suzzie Onyeka Ofuani (left) and Uzoma Prince-Oparaku of NIALS

• Ubanda Kenneth of the Nigeria Police Force and Maitumbi Duvihrum of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission Abuja. PHOTOS: JOSEPH JIBUEZE



LAW PERSONALITY Mr Steve Ononye is a former Assistant Financial Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). He speaks on his expectations from the new NBA leadership, the proposed N5000 banknote and how to achieve speedier court process in the new legal year. Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU met him.

‘Why Nigerians must reject N5000 banknote’


HAT are your expecta tions from the current leadership of the NBA? The NBA as you know is the umbrella that covers all the Lawyers in Nigeria and we hold same in utmost candor and respect. May I congratulate the new President of the NBA Okey Wali SAN and other members of the executive because it is without doubt that the Nigerian Lawyers in sincere recognition of their priceless contributions towards a better and more progressive NBA feels it honour-bound to elect them to various positions in the NBA Exco. I know without a flicker of doubt that the leadership of the NBA will in a humble, but forthright and honest manner steer the affairs of the NBA. I believe that as the President of NBA proceed to saddle the responsibility of the office, he will bring to bear his wealth of experience and impress the same in the discharge of this great and challenging national assignment. How best should NBA engage the government? I have confidence in the leadership of the NBA and it is indubitable that the entire members of the Bar that entrusted the leadership of the Bar on Okey Wali SAN are convinced enough about his ability and suitability to steer the leadership of the NBA. The NBA at this threshold will do well by engaging the government of Nigeria in a constructive dialogue on the meaning, scope and relevance of its rule of law. Without any doubt, the rule of law agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan requires clarification and sustained examination. The leadership of the Bar must therefore ensure that the rule of law agenda move beyond the realms of theory to concrete deliverables for

the people of Nigeria. Achieving this requires sustained campaign around issues of respect for human rights, independence of the Judiciary and enhancing access to justice. All these and more I am confident that the leadership of the Bar is better equipped and competent enough to achieve. What role should it play as regards good governance? I trust the leadership of the Bar and believe the Bar will collectively and individually champion the case of democracy and good governance in our country especially this time we are facing a serious insecurity problem in the country. I pray that during the tenure of Okey Wali, SAN as the NBA President, the NBA will witness and achieve new and greater height. There is so much worry about the introduction of N5,000 notes. What is your view about this? The NBA has spoken its mind on this issue and I think that is my view and the view of other right thinking lawyers in the society. What is the view of the NBA in that respect? The NBA has resolved that the planned introduction of the N5,000.00 currency note is a shallow, poorly thought-out hare brained initiative by the Central Bank, which will devaluate the Naira, diminish the lives of Nigerians and push corruption and money laundering to new unimaginable heights. The argument of the Central Bank of Nigeria that this innovation will not promote inflation does not hold water. It will certainly promote inflation and devalue the Naira wholesale. How will this policy affect Nigerians? This measure I strongly believe

will affect the lives of Nigerians in many ways. This plan by the CBN will rather distract Nigerians from the pressing national dilemma of insecurity and corruption. The problem we have in this country is not the introduction of N5,000 currency, one wonders how the introduction of five thousand Naira Note will help to put food on the tables of millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to feed themselves daily. It will rather worsen their condition. I don’t know what is wrong with Nigeria. New legal year has just started. What new improvements do you expect in our legal system? There is need to improve on some of our laws so that it will be in line with the current trends in the world.There is also need to harmonize all the High Court rules in Nigeria and may be to unify them to make the practice of law less cumbersome. There is need to improve on the caliber of persons being appointed as judges. For instance persons of integrity, who are knowledgeable in law. With particular reference to Anambra State where I practice, there is need to appoint more judges at the High Court of Anambra State. In our various courts in Anambra State we still experience congestion of cases. There is need to appoint more judges to help decongest the cases and improve the quality of judgment being delivered by the judges in the State. We have a serious problem in Anambra State with particular reference to Onitsha High Court where some Courts have over 20 cases to handle in a day. We need at least nothing less than 20 new Judges in Anambra State. You mean a judge has over 20 cases in a day to handle?

• Ononye

This is no joke, Lawyers in Anambra State have a serious problem, if you are not a senior Advocate or a very senior Lawyer in the State especially in Onitsha High Court, you may spend the whole day in Court without achieving anything. I seriously urge the Anambra State Governor to play his own part to see that more Judges are appointed in Anambra State and he should take it seriously. I do not know why Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State believes that all is well with the

Anambra State Judiciary. Something need to be done in that respect this new legal year. What office are you vying for in NBA Onitsha Branch, and what is your programme? Well, I am vying for the office of the Secretary of the Onitsha Branch of the NBA. I have informed members of Onitsha Branch about my welfare package for members and I do not wish to say more. I believe I will serve the members of Onitsha Branch well because I have the experience.


• From left: Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Bello Adoke (SAN), NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN) and former President of NBA, Thomson Opoko (SAN)

• From left: Former NBA President, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN)

• From left: Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN), former Defence Minister, Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN) and former President of NBA, Joseph Daudu (SAN)

• From left: G. Ofordile Okafor (SAN), former General Secretary NBA, Lawal Rabana (SAN) and J-K Gadzama (SAN)




‘Nigeria suffers from lack of vision, national goals’ Being text of a paper by former Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Chief Phillip Asiodu at the Mohammed Lawal Uwais Public Service Award lecture by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in collaboration with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA)


FEEL greatly honoured to have been in vited to speak to you today on this very important subject. The Public Service and the Transformation Agenda: Redefining the Rules of Engagement. I thank the DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof. Epiphany Azinge and the Organizing Committee for inviting me. Severe Challenges Confront Nigeria These are still very anxious times for most citizens of Nigeria. Massive challenges confront the country today – on issues of security of persons and property, political stability, economic growth and development. There are also the challenges of poverty alleviation, power infrastructure, education, health and the war against corruption. It is the role of the national leadership and the Government to address all these issues and to deliver services which will lead to improvements in the standard of living and quality of life of the general citizenry. The Public Service led by the Civil Service is the main instrument for implementing the policies and decisions of the Government. The members of the Public Service are often the only concrete manifestation of government for the citizens whether in the urban centres or in the remoter rural areas. The efficiency, effectiveness, conduct, fairness, integrity of the public servants often determines the citizen’s opinions about the Government. It is important therefore that the Government should clearly articulate and canvass its programmes and policies to enable the Public Service to commit to them and to deliver. The question immediately arises whether

By Chief Philip C. Asiodu

we have a new context for pursuing national development. President Goodluck Jonathan in his inaugural address to the nation pledged that he would provide a leadership that would be “decidedly transformative” in all critical sectors. He re-affirmed the commitment to Vision 20: 2020 first made by the Yar’Adua Administration. Vision 20 : 2020 was elaborated under the Present Administration, the goal being to make Nigeria one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020AD and meanwhile to ensure the achievement before then of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), a drastic reduction of the proportion of Nigerians living below the poverty line, and significant improvement in Nigeria’s HDI score. It was agreed to have three Implementation Plans for the realisation of Vision 20 : 2020 covering the periods : 2010 – 2013, 2014 – 2017, 2018 – 2021. The 2010 – 2013 was developed in full detail. Subsequently, the Jonathan Transformation Plan 2011 – 2015 was elaborated which is coherent with the 2010 – 2013 Plan and anticipates part of the 2014 – 2017 Plan. The Need for a Vision or Agreed National Goals It is a critical necessity for a developing country to be inspired by a Vision – which clearly articulates uplifting goals and objectives, especially in a country like Nigeria inhabited by a large number of different ethnic and linguistic groups organized into a Federation where the development and cohesion of the nation is still very much “work-in-progress”. The absence of such a

Vision to which the leadership and all the people were committed largely explains the floundering and sub-optimal performance which Nigeria has suffered over the past three and a half decades. The philosophy and goals of the leaders of the struggle for Independence, the promise of pro-people programmes that would follow the attainment of Independence inspired the remarkable progress achieved in the decade before Independence and the immediate post-independence years. One should recall the very rapid expansion of educational facilities, the introduction of free primary education, farm settlement schemes, and the beginning of industrialization, the formulation and implementation of the First National Development Plan with the economy growing under the 1962 – 66 Plan later extended to 1968 at over 6% per annum. Unfortunately, there were serious political problems, particularly the longstanding demand of the minorities in the three regions of North, East and West for three separate states, one in each Region. In January 1966, some elements in the Nigerian Army carried out a coup d ‘etat which ended Civilian Rule and the First Republic in January 1966. Political parties were proscribed and their assets confiscated. However, the coup makers failed to capture power. The rest of the Nigerian Army rallied round the G. O. C. Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi. We would never know if the coup makers had worked out a coherent long term programme for running the country and if they had beforehand identified a corps of convinced and dedicated persons who would execute the programme. There is no evidence that was the case. Cer-

tainly, the Military Administration of Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi which assumed power had not planned the coup and had no programme to be implemented on seizing power. Similarly, the coup of July 1966 which ended the Ironsi Administration and which installed the Gowon Administration was not inspired by a desire to implement any carefully articulated Plan for national development. What Type of Public Service? Fortunately for Nigeria, the Ironsi and Gowon Military Administrations left intact the professional, non-partisan, disciplined, merit-driven Civil Service developed over decades by the British Colonial Administration similar to the Civil Services inherited at Independence by the older Dominions like Canada, and Australia and never ones like India, Pakistan, Ghana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, etc. We may recall that the type of Civil Service suitable for Nigeria was discussed during the Constitutional Conferences leading up to Independence. The British Government representatives had recommended to the Nigerian leaders the British system. In January 1954, after careful consideration, the Nigerian leaders of the political parties in government and in the opposition, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (NCNC), Sir Ahmadu Bello (NPC), Chief Obafemi Awolowo (AG), Mallam Aminu Kano (NEPU) and Prof. Eyo Ita (UNIP) signed the following joint-statement: “We fully support the principle that all public service questions including appointments, promotions, transfers, postings, dismissal and other disciplinary matters should be kept completely free and independent of political control. • To be continued next week

• From right: Former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais, Former Vice President, Chief Alex Ekweueme and Former Economic Adviser, Chief Philip Asiodu during the Award Ceremony by Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Nigerian Television Authority at Shuhu Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja yesterday.

• From left: Minister of Labour,Chukwemeka Wogu and Head of Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali during the Award Ceremony by Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Nigerian Television Authority at Shuhu Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja yesterday.

• Information and Communication Minister, Faruk Lawal (left) and Dr Goody Edozie

• Director-General, NIALS Prof Epiphany Azinge (SAN) and Director-General NTA, Mayaki Musa

• Hon Justice M.S. Muntaka Coonassie, Hon Justice I.T. Muhammad and Hon Justice Mahmud Mohammed

• Senator Ben Obi and Obiamiju Azinche.





• Former Minister of Information, Prof Jerry Gana(middle); Group Managing Direc- •From left: Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide; Chairman, tor, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu(right ) his Abuja Association of the Deaf, Abdulwasiu Mabawonku and Ex -Chairman, Lawrence Idemudia wife, Sarah during a dinner in honour of Engr Yakubu and Dr Peter Nmadu in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the minister in Abuja

• Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat, Stephen Evans (middle) with students of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State, at the presentation of Etisalat Merit Award in Abuja


HE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has set up a 25-man committee to tackle deforestation in the Federal Capital City (FCC) and the six area councils. Chairperson of the Deforestation Committee and Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, said that the committee was established to fashion out a holistic approach to the hazards of deforestation in the FCT. Akinjide, who inaugurated the committee, explained that the FCT was faced with various environmental problems such as excessive heat, erosion, bush

•Public Enlightenment Education Officer, Federal Roads Safety Commission, Jonas Agwu (right) giving out hand bills to drivers during the take-off of the Commission’s Road Show National Awareness campaign in Abuja PHOTOS: ABAYOMI FAYESE

FCTA tackles deforestation Stories from Bukola Amusan

burning, flood, and loss of soil fertility which has contributed to food insecurity. “The effects of deforestation in FCT today cannot be over-emphasised since it is witnessed by all and sundry. It is evident in the increased FCT daily temperature in recent times. Few years ago, the highest daily temperature was as low as 27 degrees C but now is between 34 degrees C

and 37 degrees C in some months of the year. “My attention has also been drawn to the increasing rate of deforestation in FCT which is seen in heaps of firewood, bags of charcoal along our major roads, piles of timber exploitation from already over-exploited forests,” she stated. The minister urged members of the committee to identify the immediate and remote causes of deforestation in the FCT and also

proffer effective ways of enforcing the existing forest law in the territory. She also directed the committee to recommend possible areas of interdepartmental collaborations with a view to curbing deforestation and ameliorating its effects. “The inauguration of the committee will no doubt help to foster a harmonious relationship with our environment and lead to achieving a sustainable

Minister to help the physically challenged


IGERIANS should be sensitised on the need to give equal opportunity to everybody, including the physically challenged, in order to build a compassionate society. The call was made by the Minister of State, FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, in her office during a courtesy visit by members of Abuja Association of the Deaf. Oloye Akinjide decried the situation whereby the less privileged in the society are stigmatised and treated as second-class citizens. She said the quintessential performances of the physically challenged at the just concluded Paralympics has shown their commitment, discipline and dedication which essentially made them to put Nigeria’s name at the epicentre of the global map through their world breaking record. Oloye Akinjide added that President Goodluck Jonathan having recognised the historic achievement of the Nigerian contingent to the Paralympics, has decided to honour the athelets for making the country proud.

Earlier in his address, the leader of the delegation and chairman of Abuja Association of the Deaf, Mr Mabawonku Abdulwasiu, sought the minister’s assistance particularly in employment, economic empowerment, participation in sports and politics and equal treatment. Mr Abdulwasiu also called the minister’s attention to the imperative of government to provide sign language interpreters to interpret news on the NTA network news for the benefit of the deaf. He also requested the minister to assist the organisation towards the success of the forthcoming International Week of the Deaf (IWD) which will be celebrated in Abuja from October 13 to 20 . The association’s chairman remarked that there is need for minister’s intervention in the areas of quick passage of Disability Bill, establishment of disability desk in the FCT offices as well as provision of affordable housing and transportation to solve problems besetting his members. Replying, Oloye Akinjide who directed Social Development

•The physically challenged Secretariat under her ministry to look into the requests made by the ssociation with dispatch, also emphasised the essence of forging a partnership with the association

in order to address their challenges. Abuja Association of the Deaf (AAD), an affiliate of the Nigerian National Association of the Deaf, was established in 1998.

environmental development especially now that the entire world is facing the menace of climate change/global warning that are having negative effects on the environment and man,” she added. Members of the committee include: Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat in the FCT, Mrs. Olvadi Bema Madayi; Secretary of Area Council Service Secretariat, Alhaji Yahaya Ibrahim; Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Hon. Micah Jiba; Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Hon. Peter Yohanna; Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Hon. Danladi Etsu Zhin; Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon. Zakari Angulu Dobi; Chairman of Abaji Area Council, Hon. Yahaya Musa Muhammed, and Chairman of Kwali Area Council, Hon. Joseph Shazin. Also on the list of members are: Director of Engineering Services, FCTA, Mr. Adamu Abu; Director of Urban and Regional Planning, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman; Director of Satellite Towns Development Agency, Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim Bakori; Director of Parks and Recreation, FCTA, Mr. Ologun Rowland; Director of Development Control, Mr. Yahaya Yusuf, and Director of Compensation and Resettlement Department, Mr. Francis Okechukwu. Other members of the committee are: Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Alhaji Isa Shuaibu; Director of Federal Department of Forestry, Mr. John Auta; Director of Agriculture in the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of FCTA, Mr. Adamu Wakili Zinze; Deputy Director (Agric Services), Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of FCTA, Mrs. Margaret Gwamma; Director of FCT Fadama III, Alhaji Danladi Salisu Ibrahim; and representatives of Minister of Environment, Green Tree Africa Initiative and Abuja Green Society.





RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan arrived late Tuesday night to preside over the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Council contrary to insinuations in some quarters that he was to sneak to Germany to see his ailing wife, Dame Pateince who is said to be in hospital in Wiesbaden. The President had departed for Malawi and Botswana on a threeday official visit and was scheduled to return to the country on Wednesday. His spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati explained his sudden return, saying that after concluding all he had to do, the reasonable thing for the President to do was to return. But many are of the opinion that the president’s sudden return was to also prove those who think they have details of his movement wrong. It was also a day the president shunned his traditional Southsouth attire for the Southwest outfit, something he does occasionally, which underscores his true Nigerian orientation. He looked quite dashing in the white lace, complete with a matching white cap. Also, at the weekly meeting, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke was reported to be in a London Hospital for an undisclosed ailment. But while in Malawi, the President played the big brother’s role by expressing the readiness of the Federal Government to create a market for Malawi rice. He has also asked that rice from the country be imported into Nigeria. The country has been importing rice from Asian countries before this new dispensation. “I would like to take this opportunity to ask Malawi to start supplying us with rice. I understand that this country grows a lot of rice which can be exported to Nigeria,” Jonathan was quoted as saying. He was said to have also pushed for the exchange of scientists between the two countries in order to maximise production of the rice and cassava, saying, “this mutual agreement would see both countries doing fine economically in the long term. As part of the exchange, Jonathan was also reported to have promised that his government would provide technical personnel to Malawi to help in the fuel-survey project on Lake Malawi, the country was undertaking. Not done, the President also promised to assist the Zimbabweans to train their electoral body. Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo made the pledge during an audience with the Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Thokozani Khupe who was on a courtesy visit. He said the

The Nigerian in Jonathan From the Villa By Vincent Ikuomola Federal Government would always promote free, just and fair election and that Nigeria is ready to support Zimbabwe to achieve its electoral success through training of their electoral officers by our independent electoral body. At the FEC meeting, 44 projects were approved for implementation in the nine oil producing states by the Federal Government, Information Minister Labaran Maku announced. This followed a memoranda presented by the Niger Delta

Development Commission (NDDC) on phased development of infrastructure in the oil bearing states. The nine states are Cross River, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Imo, Abia and Ondo. The council also approved N13.3 billion contract for the provision of second phase of primary engineering infrastructure at Mbora District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Also approved was the inclusion

of military retirees and their immediate families in the National Health Insurance Scheme’s (NHIS) benefit package. The Federal Government approved N3.6 billion in the first year for the Defence health maintenance organisation. The approval followed the recommendation of the technical sub-committee set up by Ministry of Finance and Health to include the military retirees to boost officers’ morale. The scheme was initiated in 2001 by the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The committee had argued that the non-inclusion of retirees in the NHIS would negatively affect the moral and dampen the enthusiasm of those still in service with adverse security implications for the country. The President seems to be cock sure about the destiny of the country as he was also quick to tell the outgoing Austrian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Stefan Scholz that the country will overcome its present challenges. Besides, the President also assured that Nigeria will emerge as a very strong, united, stable and economically progres-

sive nation. The presidency also in the course of the week reeled out the list of the 149 imminent people listed for the 2012 National Honours Awards with Business mogul Mike Adenuga leading the pack as he joined the exclusive list of holders of the Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON). Aliko Dangote received the same honor last year. Other notable names on the list include the highly respected jurist, Kayode Eso who was listed for the CFR category, which also include the Inspector General of Police, Mohammad Abubakar, Gabriel Igbinedion. There are eleven people in this category. Governor Gabriel Suswam also led other three governors in the Commander of the Niger category, which also include senators, ministers and businessmen. There are 26 people in this category. House of Representatives leader, Mulikat Akande leads 24 other on this list which also include immediate past Deputy Governor of Lagos, Sarah Sosan.

Epidemic looms in Nyanya


• Heaps of refuse on Nyanya Road

HE Nyanya area of Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory is being taken over by trash, no thanks to the heavy downpour the country experienced in the past weeks. The roads in the area are in a bad shape as motorists suffer hardship anytime there is heavy rainfall. Poor drainage and refuse not evacuated by contractors have worsened the situation. Our reporter who moved round the community, noticed overflowing bins by the roadside at Mopol Junction and near the market. Garbage littered major streets in the area. Roadside traders near Nyanya main market ignored the stench and displayed their wares near the bins to sell while passersby covered their noses to run past the area. A resident said if such dumps are not cleared urgently, it might cause an epidemic in the community. He blamed officials of Abuja Environmental Protection Board

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

(AEPB) for not monitoring the sanitation situation in the area. “The AEPB should be proactive in their functions,” he added. Another resident, Sumaila Yusuf, blamed the sanitation challenges in the area on some residents who, he said, throw waste on the streets indiscriminately. He said even when bins are filled up, such people pour dirt on the roads. “Sanitation officials in mufti should go on surveillance duties to apprehend such offenders so that they cough out huge fines,” he added. At AEPB office, an official told our reporter that Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) is in charge of sanitation issues in Nyanya and directed our reporter there. An official in AMAC office, who pleaded anonymity, said the council is using youths as direct labour to clean up the streets. He assured that the bins will soon be cleared.






























Profit-taking moderates equities’ rally


HE Nigerian stock market opened this week with modest gain as substantial profittaking transactions moderated the bullish rally, sending several stocks to the downside. The All Share Index (ASI) inched up by 0.14 per cent to close higher at 25,373.83 points, reflecting addition of N11 billion to aggregate market capitalisation of all equities, which closed at N8.077 trillion. Although there were still more gainers than losers, the long list of losers and inclusion of many high-cap stocks such as Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Cadbury Nigeria and United Bank for Africa moderated the bullish outlook at the market. There was however, upsurge in buy orders for banking stocks as some 73 per cent of the entire sector closed on bid while the remaining 27 closed on offer. Those on bid include Access Bank, Diamond Bank, First Bank, FCMB, GTBank, Skye Bank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA, Unity Bank, Wema Bank and

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Zenith Bank. Six banking stocks were on high demand of which four were on bid while two others where on offer. First Bank recorded the highest demand with 67.777 million shares followed by Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, Skye Bank and Sterling bank. Besides the banking stocks, market analysts also factored in gains posted by major capitalised stock; Dangote Cement. International Breweries extended uptrend to 12 consecutive days to close at N14.28. This was dated back to March 7th, 2008 when it opened and closed at N14.39 and N12.60 respectively. On the price movement tables, 48 equities recorded price change with 31 appreciating while the remaining 17 reduced in value. Royal Exchange led the gainers’ table with a price increase of N0.03 to close at N0.63 followed by International Breweries with price appreciation of N0.68 to close at

N14.28. Others with relatively high volume were Roads, Diamond Bank, Union Bank of Nigeria, UAC-Property, Fidson, Cutix, Transcorp and UPL. On the losers’ table Cadbury led with a drop of N1.07 to close at N20.37 followed by May & Baker with a slide of N0.08 to close N1.57. Also with price drop were NPF Microfinance Bank, AG Leventist, Sterling Bank, Ashaka Cement, Bagco, PZ, Livestock and UBA. Meanwhile, Guinness Nigerian yesterday announced a revenue growth of 2.12 per cent for the financial year ended June 30th, 2012. Though, profit dropped to N14.67 billion compared with N17.93 billion posted in similar period of 2011, it recommended a dividend of N8 per share and bonus issue of one for every existing 33. The qualification date is on the Friday, October 5th, 2012. Payment dates is on the November 2nd, 2012 while AGM is scheduled is slated for November 2nd, 2012 in Abuja. However, investors traded a total of 361.669 million shares worth N2.581 billion across 4,636 deals. The Financial Services sector was the most sought after with 306.275 million shares worth N1.955 billion in 2,756 deals.





CBN to facilitate coins dispensing ATMs T HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will facilitate the introduction of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that can dispense coins to encourage Nigerians imbibe the culture of spending them. Head of Shared Services at CBN, Chidi Umeano,

told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on that this plan was in tune with the currency restructuring exercise. He said that the coins dispensing ATMs would hasten the acceptance of coins by Nigerians and change misconception

about their use. “To achieve this plan, what is needed is to facilitate the inclusion of a process called “add-on” to the ATMs. “Good enough, the existing ATMs have the “add-on“ feature that will easily make them adapt to coins dispensing, “ he said.

Umeano said that the apex bank would ensure that newly deployed ATMs had the “add-on“ feature among others. “It is very possible to achieve Automated Teller Machines that will dispense coins. “This “add-on” feature can be activated on the

Analysts forecast 12% interest rate retention


HEAD of today’s meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), analysts have forecast that the Central Bank of Nigieria (CBN) will leave both the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 12 per cent, until broad-based macroeconomic stability has been achieved. MPR is the benchmark rate by which the CBN determines interest rate while CRR is a portion of banks’ deposits kept by banks with the CBN. Head Africa Research at the Standard Chartered, Razia Khan forecast that the interest rate for both the MPR and CRR will remain unchanged, adding that the seeming improvement in inflation following revisions to some of the back data, as well as recent naira strength, has given new impetus to calls for some easing. “For our part, we think there are important reasons why interest rates are unlikely to change just yet, although the risk of some change to the CRR may have increased: On a 12

Stories by Collins Nweze

month smoothed basis, core inflation remains at 13.3 per cent any attempt to cut interest rates right now may still be premature,” she said. The expert said that understanding Nigerian inflation trends remains complex. “Suffice it to say that our charts of headline and food Consumer

Price Index for Nigeria look meaningfully different to any of the other markets under coverage for Sub Saharan Africa,” she said. Khan explained that the worst of the volatility in the interbank market appears to have settled. However, she said such does not necessarily imply that easing should be imminent. “Despite Nigeria’s potential index inclu-

sion, which has led to strong inflows allowing the currency to strengthen, global risks remain. Any downside shock to oil prices would still leave Nigeria vulnerable,” she said. FBN Capital also corroborated Khan, saying that the MPC will leave its policy rate unchanged at 12 per cent for the sixth successive meeting. It said there are clear signs that the fuel

Five banks sign MoU with Shell IDELITY, Access, FirstBank, Citi Bank and Standard Chartered have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Shell Exploration and Production Companies in Nigeria (SEPCiN) for the support of contractors towards the actualisation of Nigeria’s Local Content project. In a statement, Fidelity Bank said the initiative was aimed at placing Nigerian contractors at the front line for service delivery to the oil and gas industry. Managing Director and Country Chair, Shell Compa-


Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Reginald Ihejiahi described the venture as a national challenge, which must be met. He said that the bank is proud to be associated with the initiative. He called on more private sector-led initiatives in the economy. Ihejiahi also explained that the bank has the capacity to support the project, with over two decades experience in financing contractors to the IOCs and existing contract finance facility that ties into the Shell Proposed Fund.

nies in Nigeria, Mutiu Sunmonu said that Shell is committed to supporting the federal government’s efforts to reform the industry especially through the local content policy. He noted that the scheme will address the issue of access to funds, which is is a major concern to operators in the industry. “Financing of projects has traditionally been a major challenge to contractors’ growth and participation in the delivery of goods and services to the oil and gas industry” Sunmonu said.


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

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012




0.60 13.60 9.74 3.27 7.18 10.50 1.05 1.51 0.89 4.36


0.63 14.28 10.22 3.43 7.53 11.01 1.10 1.58 0.93 4.55

O/PRICE 21.44 1.65 1.05 1.35 1.37 12.70 1.89 24.74 1.48 4.67

C/PRICE 20.37 1.57 1.00 1.29 1.31 12.22 1.84 24.16 1.45 4.59

By Oziegbe Okoeki

budget due to the non-inclusion of the facility in the 2012 Foreign borrowing plan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “To redress this situation it has become necessary to increase the bond Issue as provided for in the budget to N80 billion and delete the provision for World Bank loan of N30 billion, leaving the aggregate borrowing unchanged”, the commissioner said. According to the commissioner, the state has secured the necessary inprinciple approvals from the Federal Ministry of Finance for N80 billion Bond Issuance this year. The commissioner said favorable consideration of the request from the lawmakers will avoid any disruption to the infrastructure delivery programme of the state government. The request was subsequently committed to the House Committee on Economic Planning and Budget for consideration and it is to report back to the House on Thursday.

CHANGE 1.07 0.08 0.05 0.06 0.06 0.48 0.05 0.58 0.03 0.08

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%



0.03 0.68 0.48 0.16 0.35 0.51 0.05 0.07 0.04 0.19

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m 113m


LOSERS AS AT 17-9-12


AGOS State Government has requested for an increase in the bond issue provided in the year 2012 budget from N50 billion to N80 billion. In a letter addressed to the State House of Assembly by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Ben Akabueze, said the increase has become necessary since the state may not be able to access the N30 billion World Bank component of the 2012 borrowing provided for in the budget. The letter states: “You will recall that the 2012 Budget provided for deficit financing of N66.430 billion, representing 13.5 per cent of the total budgeted expenditure. The two major components of new borrowing in the Y2012 Budget were Bond Issuance (N50 billion) and World Bank (N30 billion). “However, it has become evident that the state might not be able to access the N30 billion facility provided for in the

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

Currency OBB Rate Call Rate

Lagos seeks approval for N80b bond





•CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido



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

ATMs at any time by the CBN and this is not new because it is being practiced in advanced countries. “This proposal is in consonance with our cash-less policy and also in line with the CBN’s effort to encourage Nigerians to appreciate coins, “he said.

Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 124.96 113.71 0.74 1.10 0.91 1,709.59 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





UNIOSUN road gets lion’s share in Osun N1.15b contracts


HE Osun State Government has awarded three contracts for N1,153,921,807 to build an access road to the Osun State University (UNIOSUN) main campus, gate and gate houses and beautification/landscaping of the Government House. The contracts also cover the identification and verification of artisans, traders, school children and other residents. The contract to rebuild the access road to UNIOSUN was awarded to Kudwin Investment Nigeria Limited for N621,708,661.60; the Government House’s premises went to Red Project Services Limited, for N64,963,146.82, while Chams Plc got the contract to verify and identify arti-

sans, traders, school children and other residents for N467,250,000. The three contracts were awarded last Thursday at the 54th State Executive Council (Exco) meeting in Osogbo, the state capital. Addressing reporters after the meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere, explained that the government awarded the contract for the university’s access road, because the existing road was bad. The commissioner said the contract is on contractor-financing arrangement, adding that it would be completed in nine months. He said the contractor receive 15 per cent mobilisation. Akere said the reconstruction of the gate/gate houses

and beautification/landscaping of the Government House premises would enhance security and improve the environment. The commissioner said the contractor would be paid 30 per cent mobilisation fee, adding that it would be completed in four months. According to him, the Exco considered the engagement of a contractor to identify artisans, tradesmen, school, children and other residents to improve government data, statistics and demography details. He said: “It will be a unique forge-proof identification system and provide online verification of identities at point of service.” Akere said this would enhance government service

delivery, adding that no fluctuation or variation claims would be entertained in the contract. The commissioner said its Special Ambulance Authority would soon begin operation to attend to emergencies. He said it is the first time any state government would have an ambulance service that would always be on a standby at strategic locations. Akere explained that this would reduce casualties in any emergency. The commissioner also said 220 Sherif Guards from the state’s Youths Empowerment Scheme (OYES) have been posted to hospitals and other health facilities. He urged health workers to always wear their name tags for easy identification.

Ex-Osun Speaker threatens to sue Commission of Enquiry


FORMER Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Adejare Bello, has threatened to sue the Commission of Enquiry, if he is indicted in its report. He accused the commission of bias. The commission was set up by Governor Rauf Aregbesola to examine how loans and other major fi-


I have no time for allegations

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

nancial transactions were obtained under the government between May 2003 and November 2010. Addressing reporters at the Osogbo High Court venue of the panel’s sitting, Bello said it was wrong of the six-member commis-

sion not allow him give evidence before it ended its sitting. The commission, last Thursday, accused Bello, who was Speaker from 2007 till 2011, of refusing to appear before it. The former Speaker acknowledged that though the panel invited him, he was

shocked that it had hurriedly wound up. The panel chairman, Prof. Femi Odekunle, told reporters on phone that he was not a politician and had no time for the former Speaker’s allegations against the panel. He said Bello was invited to give evidence before the commission, adding that he was said to have travelled abroad. Odekunle said the commission obtained the information Bello was to give from the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation when the N18.3 billion loan was procured.

Court orders release of Ondo ACN members


N Akure High Court, presided over by Justice B. F. Adeyeye, has ordered the release of two arrested Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members. They were arrested in the convoy of the party’s governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), and arraigned for alleged robbery and unlawful possession of firearms. The ACN legal team, led by Titiloye Charles and Victor Olatoyegun, approached the court to bail the accused after the Chief Magistrate Court in Akure declined jurisdiction on the matter. It ordered that the accused, Folagbade Dapo and Oluwasola Sunday, be remanded in Olokuta Prison.

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

Akeredolu’s convoy was attacked by suspected Labour Party (LP) thugs on July 28. Rather than arrest the thugs, the police arrested the ACN members. The police anti-robbery unit, however, washed its hands off the matter, saying it was not properly investigated and that it should be withdrawn. The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, took over the matter. He averred that the accused have a case to answer. The Justice Commissioner issued a legal advice, which directed the trial of the accused for alleged robbery.

UI don sues four for alleged threat to his life


HE Director of the General Studies Unit of the University of Ibadan (UI), Prof. Adewale Dasylva, has sued four men over alleged threat to his life. In the suit filed before Magistrate P.O. Adetuyibi, the don is seeking an order mandating the defendants to sign an undertaking that he would not be harmed by them under any guise. He alleged that he had circumstantial evidence to prove that the suspects, led by Femi Eyiowuawi, had the intention to intimidate, harass and even kill him. The professor of English, who was led in evidence by the prosecutor, Adamson Ocheni, told the court that the suspects were allegedly after his life because of the role he is playing in two cases of admission

From Bisi Oladele and Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

fraud against them. The cases, which are being heard by courts in the same jurisdiction, involves a suspected syndicate of six persons that specialises in “admission racketeering.” Though he admitted that he was not around when the suspects invaded his office last month, the don averred that the telephone calls he received earlier from some unidentified sources convinced him that his life was in danger. He dismissed claims by counsel to the respondents, Titilola Dauda, that the suspects wanted to see him over other cases, adding that 6pm to 8pm could not be the right time to do so. Hearing continues in the matter today.

Ondo Poly workers begin three-day warning strike •Activist backs workers’ action


ARELY a week after non-teaching staff of the Adekunle Ajasin University (AAU), Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, began a three-day protest over alleged poor conditions of service, their counterparts at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo (RUGIPO), yesterday began a three-day warning strike. The workers said the Olusegun Mimiko administration refused to pay their 16 months arrears, despite losing three of their union leaders to “the struggle” in 2010. In a joint communique by the Chairmen of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Mr. Oluwabanji Kumuyi; the Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnic (SSANIP), Saibu Ifedayo; and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Agbi Nelson, the workers said they would go on an indefinite strike, if the government refused to address their grievances. The ASUP Chairman told reporters that the 21-day ultimatum given by the workers to the government had expired and that the Mimiko administration was yet to address their requests. He said the unions in-

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure and Musa Odoshimokhe

formed the government’s representatives of the workers’ decision to begin the strike, adding that they had held a series of meetings with the governor’s aides though without result. Kumuyi said: “It is legal for workers to embark on a strike, if their demands are not after necessary consultations. The government is owing us 16 months’ arrears. Do you expect us to keep quiet?” Rights activist Mr. Morakinyo Ogele has said the strike by the workers’ unions was justified. The lawyer urged the unions to continue the strike until their demands to the management of the institution are addressed.

He said: “The university has become the private property of the Labour Party (LP). The national chairman of the LP is the Pro-Chancellor of the university; Governor Olusegun Mimiko is the visitor.” Ogele said it was bad that the governor’s brother, Prof Femi Mimiko, is the Vice-Chancellor of the university. He said: “The money that the state government is spending on …thuggery is enough to pay the members of the union. I am going to mobilise all the students, market women, artisans and youths to reinforce the union’s action.”

Jonathan mourns Adeosun


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has said the death of former banker, Chief Oluwole Adeosun, was a sad loss. The President said the late Adeosun’s contributions to the nation’s development as the Secretary of Transport, Aviation and Communications under the Interim National Government (ING), headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan in 1993, were commendable. In a statement by his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, the President said: “As Chairman of the National Pensions Commission (PENCOM), Chief Adeosun contributed immensely to pension reforms. The nation will no doubt miss his uncommon experience and expertise.”



NEWS Court stays order on Umeh

Don’t go on strike, Orji begs teachers


BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has urged the state’s chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) not to go on strike as directed by the national body. NUT is planning to go on strive over the non-payment of the new Teachers’ Salary Structure (TSS). Orji said the state is willing to pay the new salary structure, but cannot afford it. He said it would be paid as soon it can. Orji spoke in Umuahia during a meeting with the union’s leaders, led by the Chairman, Mr. Olua Omeoga, on how to

From Ugochukwu UgojiEke, Umuahia

prevent the strike. He said Abia pays teachers higher than most states in the country and urged the teachers to negotiate with the government. The governor said labour has the right to agitate for better pay and the government is not interested in fighting the union over the payment of TSS. He said: “NUT has listed Abia among the 14 states that have not paid the TSS. There is no crime in owing, so long as one is willing to pay, and we have never said that we will

not pay. We will pay when our economy improves. “On level five, we are paying N23,062, while other states around us are paying lesser, except those who have started paying the TSS. The only states paying higher than Abia in the Southeast are those receiving higher allocation from the Federation Account. “If Abia gets the type of allocation its rich neighbours are receiving, we will pay higher.” On the arrears of the minimum wage, Orji said they would be paid. They later went into a closed meeting, after which Omeoga

said the union has reached an agreement with the state government. He said: “I will not tell the public what we discussed and the agreement we reached until I relay our discussion to the national body. “Our problem with the state government is a national issue. After our meeting with our national office, we will get back to the governor. “We are not going on strike and the schools have reopened. We do not just go on strike; we act on written documents from our national office.”

From Chris Oji, Enugu


N Enugu State High Court yesterday refused to vacate the exparte order it made on July 25 restraining the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, from convening the national, state or local government executive committee meeting of the party. The court presided over by the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Innocent Umezulike, gave the interim order following a suit filed by a member of the party, Mr. Ichie Okoli. Okoli alleged that Umeh was occupying the office illegally and his actions were capable of causing anarchy in the party. Yesterday, Justice Umezulike refused to vacate the order on the grounds that it was pending before another court. He said Umeh has approached the Court of Appeal, sitting in Enugu, praying it to vacate the interim order. Justice Umezulike said: “I am bound to wait for the decision of the Court of Appeal as to whether the interim order was right or wrong. I should not be seen to be locking horns with the Appeal Court in this matter.” He said the court would continue to entertain the originating summon, which sought to explain some sections of APGA’s Constitution. The Court adjourned the case till September 24 for final arguments in the originating summons. Umeh had told the court through his counsel that the plaintiff lacked locus standi in the matter, adding that APGA was not a party in the suit. He also argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit, insisting that it was APGA’s domestic matter. But the plaintiff, in his counter motion, said he wanted the court to interpret the provisions of APGA’s constitution as it relates to the plaintiff and the defendant. Okoli said Umeh’s tenure expired in 2010, but the embattled chairman has continued to remain in office without organising a convention. The interim order aborted the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting slated for Abuja on August 1. The meeting has not been rescheduled due to the order.

MTN donates five vans to Anambra From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

T From left: Oshiomhole; Ogbemudia; his wife, Yetunde and former Delta State Governor Felix Ibru at the launch of the Ogbemudia Foundation...yesterday.

Jonathan hails Ogbemudia at 80


ORMER Governor of the defunct Midwest and later Bendel State, Dr. Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, clocked 80 yesterday. In a congratulatory message to Ogbemudia by his media aide, Mr. Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan praised the former governor for his “enduring patriotism, courage, productive leadership and uncommon administrative acumen”. The statement reads: “I write on behalf of my family, the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to express my warm felicitations to you on the occasion of your landmark 80th birthday. “Your administrative acumen over the years has earned you a prestigious place of honour in the annals of our national development history. “Decades after you left office, your astounding achievements as Governor and Minister continue to be acknowledged with reverence and nostalgia. It is a testimony to your abiding faith in Nigeria that continue to willingly give of yourself in active

•Ex-governor prepares his grave From, Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

service of our fatherland and avail the younger generation of your wise counsel.” The President wished the retired army general a happy birthday, God’s blessings and good health. During the celebration yesterday at his home in Benin, the Edo State capital, Ogbemudia said he has prepared his final resting place within his compound. He said: “Outside there, you will find a nice building with a cross on it. There are two graves inside it. One belongs to my mother who died in 1968 and the unoccupied one is for me. It has been there for a few years now. “When I was younger, whenever I was told that somebody was celebrating 80 years, I used to think of the disadvantages of being an 80-yearold man, especially memory loss. “I thank God for giving me him good health, a sound

mind and good memory. God has been extremely kind to me.” Ogbemudia said at a time, he thought his strict up-bringing was a punishment, but later appreciated his parents when the discipline inculcated in him became useful to him in the army. He urged parents to train their children to face future challenges, adding that “the only immunity against hunger is hard work”. Ogbemudia hailed Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s achievements and said the state has enough resources to make life meaningful for its citizens. He said: “Many people have been coming to my house through this beautiful road. As a governor, I could not build the road, but somebody felt I deserved to have a good road leading to my house and did it. “I repeat without any apology that what I have seen in terms of development in the last three years is something

that many people that will come later cannot equal.” Ogbemudia urged leaders to show good examples and thanked his guests for coming. He said he used 80,000 pounds meant for him as the Military Governor of the defunct Midwest State to build the Cemetery Road in Warri, Delta State. Edo State Deputy Governor Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu; the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri; former Deputy Governor Lucky Imasuen; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Osarodion Ogie; former Secretary to the State Government Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Chairman, Bendel Newspapers Co. Ltd. Board of Directors, Mr. Josef Omorotionmwan were at the event. Also in attendance were a former minister, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire; former President, Edo Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Joseph Olubor and Chairman, Transition Committee, Orhionmwon Local Government Area, Dennis Edomwonyi.

One dead, hundreds displaced in Ebonyi floods


NE person has been killed by flood in Ebonyi State, following two days of heavy rainfall. Hundreds of people have been displaced and property worth millions of naira were destroyed in the floods, which ravaged 15 communities in Ikwo, Izzi, Abakaliki and Ohaozara local government areas. The communities include Ogbe Hausa, Umunaga Uburu, Igbagu, Alike, Achara, Inyimagu, Akunakuna, Igbudu, Ndieche, Ndinkoshi,

Okwerike, Ekahufu, Obegu and Ekpomaka. Speaking with reporters in Ikwo Local Government Area during a tour of the affected areas, Commissioner for Environment Dr. Paul Okorie said the state government, through the World Bank, is putting measures in place to prevent further casualties. Dr. Okorie said: “The state government sympathises with the bereaved family on the loss of their loved one. We are here to see things for our selves and we have taken note of the houses, the household appliances, the livestock and the

farm produce that were destroyed. The level of destruction is most unfortunate. “The state government is collaborating with the World Bank to put in place mitigating measures to prevent further casualties. The task of putting in place a permanent measure against flood in Ebonyi is beyond the state government, but the state government would do everything within its reach to alleviate the suffering of the people.” Dr. Okorie praised the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for its regular warning to flood-prone areas across

the country. He said the warnings have greatly reduced the number of casualties. The commissioner said the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) would compile a list of the property destroyed and give relief materials to the victims. The victims urged the Federal Government to find a permanent solution to the floods, which have become an annual occurrence. Mr. Ifeanyi Mbam, a farmer, said he lost everything he had to the floods and is squatting with his relations.

HE MTN Foundation yesterday donated five patrol vehicles to Anambra State to boost security. Handing over the vehicles to Governor Peter Obi at the Government House in Awka, the state capital, MTN Foundation’s Director Mr. Akinwale Goodluck said security is crucial for growth. Akinwale said: “Today may probably be my third visit to Awka. The passion demonstrated by the governor regarding things that concern Anambra State is unparalleled. Every time he reads the newspaper and sees something that the foundation is doing, we get a phone call. “The governor is always looking for something for Anambra and we are always looking for something to come and do here. His Excellency has

made the state safe for business. We cannot operate a business such as ours without security and that is why we have come to support the state today with five Hilux vans. “These vehicles are specially made for security work. They come with state-of-the-art radio and a few other things. We have put in place a plan to ensure that these vehicles remain on the road and enhance security.” Obi thanked the company for its continuous support to the state. He urged MTN to assist Anambra in erosion control.



I, Jonathan Ugochukwu Joseph, wish to inform the general public that I have applied to Isolo Local Development Area, that the street situated and lying close to Martin Saliu Street in Green Field Estate, Ago, Lagos be named as Jonathan Ugochukwu Street, in my favour. This is for the information of Isolo Local Council Development Area and the general public.

I, Oshinachiadinma Fidelis Ugwuegbu, wish to inform the general public that I have applied to Isolo Local Council Development Area that the street situated and lying close to Owho Street behind Richfield school, Ajao Estate, Lagos be named as Oshinachiadinma Close, in my favour. This is for the information of Isolo Local Council Development Area and the general public.


I,formerly known and addressed as Miss Oluwabusayo Mosope Bammeke, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oluwabusayo Mosope Thomas-Adeniyi. All former documents remain valid. General public should please take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE YORUBA BRIDGING YOUTH CLUB This is to inform the general public that the above named Club has applied to the CAC for Registration under Part C of CAMA, 1990. TRUSTEES ARE : 1. Gbenga Omolawon 2. Ariyo Taiwo 3. Lasisi Kehinde AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE CLUB. 1. The creation of fund towards the assistance of its members (if any) for productive purposes 2. To secure, promote and defend the rights, interest and privileges of members of our club locally and international. 3. Any other measure designed on the club is principles to encourage among its members the spirit and practice of mutual help and assistance aid. 4. To standardize the affairs of the club both at State and National level 5. To encourage social activities among members Any objection to the above registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General CAC, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. ADEMOLA AKINLEYE, ESQ. 08034989237 PP: Solagbade and Associates



NEWS 3,000 displaced in Kaduna


•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (third right); Niger State Chairman, Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Alhaji Isa Ibrahim (third left) and other executive members of the party from Niger State, when they visited Aregbesola at the Government House, Osogbo...yesterday.

Flood kills nine, destroys property in Bauchi


LOOD has killed seven people in Gamawa Council and two in Zaki Local Government Area of Bauchi State. It also destroyed property worth millions of naira. Governor Isa Yuguda, while on a condolence and assessment visit to the areas, said the solution to the flood is to complete the Kafin Zaki Dam started by the Shehu Shagari administration. The governor was accom-

From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi

panied by a delegation from the Federal Ministry of the Environment. He appealed to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to assist the affected communities with essential items. The NEMA Director Mohammed Sani Sidi commiserated with the victims. He advised people not to build houses on water ways, to avoid disaster.

He said the Federal Government delegation was in the areas to assess the extent of damage. About 5,627 hectares of farmlands and 6,120 houses in nine villages of the 11 in Zaki Local Government have been destroyed by the flood. The Caretaker Chairman of the local government, Muhammad Babayo Katagum, told Governor Yuguda that the flood destroyed farm produce, primary school buildings, health fa-

cilities, houses, domestic animals and birds. He said the Ministry of Special Duties has provided 14 canoes to ease transportation, and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has donated essential commodities. Areas most hit by the flood include, Burshi, Gadai, Katagum, Mumur, Kafin Larabawa, Gumai, Mainako, Sakwa, Maiwa, Madufa, Kadabdu, Bajuwa, Gauya and Kwayamri.

Kwara gets Acting Chief Judge Bamgbola


WARA State Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed yesterday swore in Justice Ayinla Bamgbola as the Acting Chief Judge. His predecessor, Justice Raliat Elelu-Habeeb, bowed out of office last Friday, having attained the retirement age. Ahmed urged the new chief judge to carry the judiciary workers along. Judicial workers in the state under the aegis of the Judicial Workers Union of Nigeria and the former chief judge had a running battle over alleged non-payment of work-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

ers’ benefits. The governor said: “Your appointment is based on our belief and respect for constitutionalism, rule of law and responsiveness to quick dispensation of justice. “You are charged to maintain the reputation of the judiciary and motivate judicial officers to accord priority to trials that will accelerate the decongestion of prisons. You must carry the judicial officers and other workers along in your operations.

ORE than 3,000 persons have been displaced by flood in the Kaduna metropolis following a torrential rain. Over 750 families were rendered homeless. The Nation learnt that property worth millions of naira were also destroyed by the rain, which lasted for several hours. The affected areas are Ungwan Romi, Trikania and the communities along the river bank. Narrating his ordeal, a victim, Lucky Inanse, who claimed to be a public servant, said his home was submerged. He described the incident as a tragedy. Residents of the Lusawa areas of Romi and Turaki, Musa Yarima, Ayuba Bako, Zarmai and Wambai streets were affected. About 200 persons are taking refuge at the Government Day Secondary

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna School, Romi. The village head of GoninGora, Mr. Yusuf Doma, said 60 buildings were affected and 180 families and 900 people displaced. He said most of the victims are staying with relatives. Babatunde Adebanjo, who claimed to be a naval officer in Port Harcourt, said: “My credentials and other property were submerged.” The Commandant of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, Charles James and the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Ishaku Dogo Makama, confirmed the incident. The Public Relations Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ali Zakari, said the flood has wreaked havoc. They assured that the relevant agencies would assist the victims.

Group canvasses Salami’s reinstatement From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin


GROUP, the Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation (AGF), has joined those calling for the reinstatement of the suspended Appeal Court President, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, as recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC). It described Salami’s predicament as a political agenda of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cabal dissatisfied with his uprightness at the bench. The National coordinator of the group, Akanbi Afonja, spoke with reporters yesterday in Ilorin after the inauguration of its state branch. He said AGF is a coordinating body of young democratic loyalists of the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) across the world. His words: “Our group’s stand has been that of our leader’s, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. People know that Salami has not done anything wrong. His suspension is nothing but a political agenda. They did that because his judgments did not favour them. Salami should be reinstated. “We are expecting much from President Goodluck Jonathan. When he was campaigning, his mantra was transformation, but now none of the transformation agenda has been executed.”

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


ood day Uche. I think I might have been infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Last week I noticed a painful sensation while urinating. I also noticed some months ago that I could not go more than one round of sex even when the urge is there due to abnormally weak erections and sometimes premature ejaculation. Could these all be related? Thank you – Chima Dear Chima, the burning sensation you just described sounds a lot like urinary tract infection. In any case it is a matter for your doctor. A simple test and the right anti biotic will get you sorted out in no time. According to you, your weak erection and premature ejaculation problems started months ago so I don’t see a connection here. After treating your infection, try having sex again but with protection this time. If the weak erection is still there, then take an erection supplement. I recommend Cockstar. Cockstar is very powerful and will restore hard erections and lift your overall performance. For the premature ejaculation, use Max Attract Delay Spray minutes before intercourse. It will help you last longer for sure – Uche Hello sir. Each time I am having sex, I always feel like urinating. How do I cure this problem? Katherine Katherine you don’t have a problem. The sensation you experience merely indicates that you are about to ejaculate. It is not urine. It is called a Squirting Orgasm or female ejaculate and you are lucky to be able to experience this. A squirting orgasm is the peak of sexual pleasure for a woman. No other kind of orgasm compares to it. So the next time you feel it coming don’t hold back. Allow your body to ejaculate and enjoy this gift of nature. Very few women experience this. You will feel better afterwards and intercourse will be a lot more satisfying for you – Uche My wife is undergoing the period of menopause characterised by dryness in her private part. This makes the game painful and uninteresting and we are still in our early fifties. Kindly assist on possible solution. Thanks – Ogadi

Dear Ogadi, tell her to apply a water based lubricant before intercourse. This will get rid of the dryness and enable you enjoy intercourse again. Look for Climax Burst Lubricant – Uche Sometimes when I ejaculate, the sperm is so small that I worry if I can get my wife pregnant like this – Oseigba You will need a supplement that boosts sperm production. Get Max Load supplement. It will increase the volume and thickness of your sperm and intensify sexual enjoyment for you as well – Uche My wife and I have problems. Me I never have energy for second round and she does not enjoy sex. When I touch her to stimulate her, she just lies there with no feeling. We need solution – Eric Dear Eric, a natural energy boosting supplement will help you. Take Mojo Boost one hour before intercourse. Mojo Boost is a natural performance boosting drink that will give you hours of energy for endless intercourse. This will help you and her too. Your wife also needs stronger arousal mechanisms so I suggest combining a movie, a supplement and a love toy for her. For the adult movie, look for Twisted Tales or Wild Things on the Run. For the supplement, let her take Climax Dietary Supplement. And for the love toy, get the Vibrating Vaginal Pump. A combination of all these stimulants will ensure both biological and sensory stimulation that will enable her enjoy intercourse for sure – Uche Sir, I have no money but I am interested in penis enlargement – Gene The cheapest organ enlargers are the ones that give temporary but instant results. Ask for Plump Cream or Max Width Cream – Uche That’s it for today. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08027901621 or 08051924159 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.












VOL. 7 NO.2,252

TODAY IN THE NATION ‘Kogi is not poor because it lacks oil. It is poor because successive administrations in the state lacked the wherewithal, the imagination, to put the state on the right path. The absence of an oil block will never explain why the capital’s waterfront, a potential tourist goldmine, is an eyesore...’ SANYA ONI



F Abuja has a favourite time of year, it certainly cannot be September. Not on account of the rains, however, though they have been unusually heavy this year, causing flooding from the desiccated Sahel through the savannah all the way to the coast. Nor does the unease with September stem from fear of Boko Haram, which remains alive and is even thriving, months after they said they would have erased it from our consciousness September, remember, is the month leading up to the October 1 National Day celebrations. It is the time of year when they will have to confront their record for the previous year, manufacture achievements, invent excuses and solemnly announce the same goals they had ritually announced in years past, all in an effort to create the illusion of momentum. Just how many times can you warm up yesteryear’s tired platitudes and pious declarations of intent and serve them as fresh inspiration? How many times can you celebrate a phenomenal annual growth rate of 7.8 percent when those around you see only decline and blighted hopes, with prospects of more of the same? September is Abuja’s nightmare. And it is already living up to that billing. Abuja has announced that, as in years past, the National Day will be celebrated on a modest scale or, to use their words, on a low key. Realistically, given the national condition, can the occasion be celebrated in any other way? Can you roll out the drums and bring on the trumpets and the cymbals? One aspect of the celebration that should have renewed confidence and optimism has instead evoked fresh disappointment; instead of signaling a clean break from a past that often valued ascription over achievement, it kept that tradition alive and even reinforced it. I have in mind the National Honours List for 2012 published last week, the designated recipients of which have been decorated at an investiture staged as part of the National Day celebrations. To be sure, the List contains a good number of worthy individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their field of learning, carried aloft the banner of Nigeria, and generally helped to uplift society. It is especially fitting indeed that Jelani Aliyu, the car designer who is the toast of Detroit and indeed the motoring world, has been accorded an MON. And to think that he came out of Birnin Kebbi Polytechnic, in Birnin Kebbi, the historic but – at the time — largely unprepossessing town in which I earned my first paycheck teaching high school physics and chemistry? Genius will out, as they say.



That dread month, again

•National Assembly

The Selection Committee also deserves praise for nominating Dr Olufunmilayo Olopade, the University of Chicago distinguished professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and authority on cancer risk assessment prevention, whom President Barack Obama named to the U.S. National Cancer Advisory Board last year. But the Honours List is bloated, unwieldy, prodigal. Do they have enough medallions to go round this time? More than a few of the individuals on the slate do not belong there at all. The padding, no doubt to satisfy all kinds of interests, among them party bigwigs, campaign donors, and federal character, has had the unfortunate effect of casting serious doubt on the worth of the entire exercise. By lumping the clearly unworthy and the marginally worthy with the eminently worthy, you tarnish the awards and embarrass, even if unwittingly, the wholly deserving by putting them in company they would certainly not keep if they had a choice. To cite just one example: One deputy governor who has been served with impeachment notice for conduct unbecoming was slated for the OFR. The impeachment is not a foregone

conclusion, to be sure. But would it not have been more prudent to await the outcome before even considering him for any award? What qualifies him more for the award than the high-achieving Governor Babatunde Fashola who has changed the face of Lagos metropolis almost beyond recognition, or for that matter Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State who, by all accounts, has been ploughing the oil revenues accruing to the state into raising the living standards of the residents? Given Boko Haram’s continuing depredations and the general insecurity in the country, should the Inspector General of Police be getting the same award as in whatever case as retired Supreme Court Justice Kayode Eso, one of the finest jurists ever to grace the Bench in Nigeria? For that matter, should some recently translated senior judges be accorded the same honour as Justice Eso who had already earned a national and international reputation well before those judges entered Law School? Take again the case of Ambassador Dr Patrick Dele Cole who, following a stint in academia, has chalked up a long and distinguished career as a public servant, media administrator and diplomat. He is getting the OFR, whereas some political adventurers who rigged themselves or were rigged into the legislature where they have served mostly as bench-warmers and freeloaders are getting the CON. There is good reason for many of the awards, but overall, there is no rhyme to them, and no proportionality. Progress toward a re-design of the architecture of the Nigerian state would perhaps have lifted the public mood as we face October 1. There is broad agreement that, as it stands today, the architecture is so gravely flawed that it cannot be salvaged by mere fine-tuning. Nothing less than a Constitution warranted by “We, the people” can inspire Nigeria to step into the future with confidence and optimism.


The Jonathan Administration thinks otherwise. It thinks the people cannot be trusted to make a Constitution for themselves, and that one must be foisted on them by committees whose members he hand-picked, to deliberate on terms of reference he defined. He will then refract whatever emerges from the reports of the committees through the prism of his own interests and the interests of those he serves, before passing it on to a rubberstamp National Assembly, whose members for the most part represent only themselves, to enact into law. At a recent meeting with labour leaders, ethnic nationality chiefs and civil society groups, Dr Jonathan declared: “A Constitution that can guarantee true democracy must flow from the ideas and experiences of the people, not just the people in the corridors of power, but also the people in the market places and in the public squares.” But before you could congratulate him on his epiphany, he added that constitution-making or review in a democracy, while not being an exercise for the elite, should be “processed through a strategic and far-reaching consultation with the people”. For him, “That is the spirit of democracy.” Consultation. There you have it. But where are “the people” in all this? The whole thing is a charade, a transparent subterfuge, to borrow a term Wole Soyinka coined for an earlier journey to nowhere that military president Ibrahim Babangida took Nigeria through. Also casting a long shadow over the National Day celebrations is the uncertainty over the health of the inimitable First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, an uncertainty that has bred all kinds of speculations, from the ribald to the morbid. Few outside the Dr Jonathan household even knew that anything was amiss until the online journal Saharareporters said she had been evacuated to Germany for medical treatment. The Bayelsa State Government, in which Dame Patience serves as a permanent secretary, has called for prayers, but Aso Rock has maintained an undignified silence after it was forced, literally, to admit the substance of the Saharareporters story. The speculations will not go away, and it would be best to dispel them through occasional medical bulletins. It is remarkable, nonetheless, that through all the speculations, Dr Jonathan has gone about his duties with calm composure and nary a sign of fretfulness. He has kept his presence of mind and sense of occasion under the strain arising from his wife’s illness. Nor has he buckled under the mountain of unremitting criticism. Add steadiness, and grace under pressure, to the personal attributes of the Jonathan they still don’t know. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Free speech and its expanding list of subtle enemies


HESE are not the best of times for free speech. The killing of four American diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 by an al-Qaeda affiliate, the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has brought to the fore in all its ugly ramifications the difficult, if not impossible, relationship between humanity and freedom of expression. The killings, if AQAP’s claims are believable, were ostensibly to avenge the killing by US drones in June of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a top ranking alQaeda militant of Libyan descent. Libyan authorities seem to think that much more than any other reason, AQAP’s explanation is closer to the truth of what happened in Benghazi last week. The Americans are still piecing clues together, but they seem to believe that the killings were connected with the protests by Muslims in many parts of North Africa and the Middle East against the film, Innocence of Muslims, produced and posted on the Internet by an American citizen, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. YouTube hosts a 14-minute clip of the film that is considered by most people to have excessively denigrated Prophet Muhammad. Protests against the film have spread like wild fire in Arabia and some countries even in Europe. While many African countries south of

the Sahara have been largely equanimous about the film, public officials in the US and Europe have struggled on one hand with genuine outrage and veiled contrition, and on the other hand with a steely determination to sustain the constitutional freedoms, especially that of speech, that have become integral to their civilisations. It is unlikely they will be able to easily resolve the quandary the hated film has put them. In 1988 when Europe was confronted with The Last Temptation of Christ, an award-winning film by Martin Scorsese, state officials were more successful in resisting any temptation to meddle either in restraining the film’s producers or in censoring its availability to cinema houses. Perhaps, too, because of Europe’s sophistication, protests against the film were not too successful. In fact, when a cinema house showing the film in Paris was fire-bombed, a French Minister of Culture at the time remarked that: “Freedom of speech is threatened, and we must not be intimidated by such acts.” However, the controversy over Scorsese’s audacious film pre-dated 9/11 and the al-Qaeda phenomenon. Since 2001, when al-Qaeda bombed targets in the US, the issue of free speech has assumed more alarming dimensions. In September 2005, a Danish medium, the Jyllands-

Posten, published 12 editorial cartoons that depicted Muhammad contrary to Islamic injunctions. The newspaper said at the time that the publication was its own contribution to the debate regarding criticism of Islam and self-censorship. The ensuing riots that greeted the publication and its reprint in more than 50 other countries led to the death of about 100 people and the burning of many Western embassies. After the current gale of protests subside, the world, especially Western societies, will have to grapple with the volatile issues relating to freedom of speech. They will once again begin an examination of the difficult question of where free speech ends and intolerance begins, and how to disaggregate blasphemy in a world of shifting mores, values, interpretations and reassessment of religious principles and practices. The world will also have to examine whether the reactions to the Basseley film are just one more landmark in the so-called clash of civilisations between Western culture, or perhaps Christianity, on one hand, and Islamic values on the other hand; or whether the conflicts between the two civilisations merely mask geopolitical struggles in which Israel is at the core. What cannot be denied is that the West is

finding it difficult to react with the same equanimity with which they often tackle problematic issues relating to the freedoms that underpin their societies. Like the deliberately provocative Danish cartoons, and now the Basseley film, there will be yet more provocations, some fairly harmless, and others quite lurid, to test the frontiers of free speech. Western societies do not think free speech must be circumscribed by borders when it comes to religion. Arabia and many Muslim societies think there is a red line that must not be crossed. The current furore will, therefore, not be the last in a world that seems to be growing increasingly and overtly less tolerant. Countries like Nigeria may be unable to contribute meaningfully to the debate, given its peculiar religious tapestry, but advocates of free speech must feel relieved to know that there are still parts of the world that allow or enable challenges to the orthodoxies of the day, whether those orthodoxies are religious, political or cultural. For in the end, it must be obvious to all that the world did not start out as either Christian or Muslim, or as any other religion for that matter. What religious texture the world will wear at the end of history, if indeed history will end, remains to be seen.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. WEBSITE: E-mail: ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation September 18, 2012  
The Nation September 18, 2012  

The Nation September 18, 2012