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VOL. 7, NO. 2140 TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH

N150.00

•From left: Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, First Lady Abimbola, former Governor and National Leader, Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his wife Senator Oluremi Tinubu, former Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun opening the six-lane “Ogun Standard” Ibara-Sokori Governor Lateef Jakande and former Military Administrator, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (right) cutting the Totoro Road in commemoration of his one year in office…yesterday. Watching are former cake to commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the creation of the state...on Sunday. Governor Chief Olusegun Osoba (right) and the governor’s wife Olufunso. Story on page 10

Salami: President wrongly interpreted law, says Law Prof

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LEGAL expert said yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan and Attorney General of the Federation Mohammed Adoke wrongly interpreted and applied the Constitution in respect of the reinstatement of Appeal Court President Justice Isa Ayo Salami. Emeritus Professor of Law David Ijalaye (SAN) added his voice to the growing calls on President Jonathan to re-

By Adebisi Onanuga, Staff Reporter

instate Justice Salami. Ijalaye’s view reinforces that of former Chief Justice Mohammed Uwais who said the President has no say in Justice Salami’s reinstatement, because, according to him, the National Judicial Council’s decision is final. Justice Uwais is the longest serving chairman of the NJC and chairman of the 29-member committee, which recom-

mended Justice Salami’s recall. Lagos lawyer Femi Falana has also expressed the view – that the NJC’s position is final. Ijalaye, who teaches Law at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife said in a statement entitled: “The Honourable Justice Salami’s case; an imbroglio which must end soonest” that now that the judiciary has put its house in order, the President should waste no time in reinstating Justice Salami back into office.

MAY 29

DEMOCRACY DAY

We are all passengers in the same boat. So, we must pilot it safely so that the boat would not capsize. All we need is to ensure that the tripod of presidential system of government...are all alive and responsive to their assigned constitutional roles. –Mark

The distinguished Professor of Law said that the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, misinterpreted the constitution consequent upon which he said that the President had been applying it wrongly. He said that both the President and the Attorney General of the Federation wrongly interpreted and applied Section 21 (b) of Part 1 of the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution, which stipulates that “the

National Judicial Council shall have the power to recommend to the President the removal and the exercise of any other disciplinary control of officer specified in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph”. According to Ijalaye, the interpretation applied to this section of the Constitution is wrong. He said: “A careful reading of the current provision of the said section 21 (b) of part 1 of the third schedule of the 1999

Constitution directs the National Judicial Council to recommend to the President only the removal of the President of the Court of Appeal and other judicial officers. “The National Judicial Council can however unilaterally exercise other forms of disciplinary control, including suspension, over such officers without the approval of the President.” The erudite professor exContinued on page 4

INSIDE Struggling to grow economy, create jobs Governors: don’t write off democracy Outstanding governors in 2011/2012 SEE PAGES 2, 3, 4, 6, 17 & A1

Thirteen years of PDP leadership have seen us making little progress. We have had years of waste and little growth.... We have witnessed deficiency in leadership, intimidation and abuse of rule of law and transparent corruption. —Tinubu

•34 LAGOS DOCTORS REABSORBED •PG58

We must not allow preoccupation with the 2015 elections to confirm the view that our politicians are only interested in self-aggrandisement, with the result that our national politics is bereft of active ideas. —Anyaoku

•SPECIAL COURTS COMING •PG2

Continued on page 4


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

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NEWS

Struggling to In the last one year, the Goodluck Jonathan administration has tried, but unsuccessfully to grow the economy and create jobs for millions of skilled Nigerians, Deputy Business Editor SIMEON EBULU writes •From left: Chairman, Agric and Food Security Commission Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Chairman, Heirs Holdings Mr. Tony Elumelu and Chairman BGL Mr. Albert Okumagba during a seminar in commemoration of Democracy Day in Asaba... yesterday.

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ODAY makes it exactly one year since Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took the oath of office as president of Nigeria. In his inaugural speech, Jonathan seemed aware of the task ahead. He spoke about the problems facing the economy, the lack of jobs for skilled Nigerians and the epileptic nature of public power supply. Expectedly, he promised to make all these things of the past. One year after, some are of the view that things have become worsened; others argue that it is all motion without movement; and some others have said one year is too short to expect the president to solve problems that accumulated over the past decade. Something, however, seems clear in all the opinions: there are problems waiting for the economy management team led by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to solve.

Employment generation

•Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Miss Nigeria 2011, Oluwafeyijimi Sodipo and THE governor's wife, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun during the home-coming ceremony and official decoration of Beauty Queen as Ogun State Youth Ambassador in Abeokuta...weekend

The former President, Institute Of Directors, Dr. Olusola Dada, said unemployment remains a sore point of this administration, and regretted that government has not done enough yet. He challenged the administration to tackle the menace, saying the increasing level of unemployment, especially among the youth is unacceptable. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who has been an ardent crusader of the job creation policy of the administration, believes the administration is not sleeping o the matter. In pursuing the goal of getting Nigerians employed,

the Federal Government is seeking collaboration with the private sector and other critical segments of industry to make the jobs available, especially as they affect the youth, whose unemployment rate at the moment, is considered unhealthy. Over the past one year, the minister has used every fora to drum support for this project, advocating that a viable and thriving Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) regime is better suited to drive the initiative. At a meeting with the SME Desk Managers of the various financial institutions, he said the best way to checkmate the increasing rate of unemployment is to have a virile Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sub-sector of the economy, adding that in the developed economies, such as the United Kingdom, SMEs are the major employers of labour. Aganga said: “In the United Kingdom, their job creation strategy is heavily focused on SMEs. The assumption is that if they have four million SMEs and about half of those four million create a job every year, two million jobs will be created easily,” he said, adding that if only about a quarter of the 20 million SMEs in Nigeria create one job a year, that would mean about five million jobs created. Aganga said in the past year of the Jonathan’s administration, the results of new SMEs’ policies and schemes, in terms of job creation, have shown that given the necessary support, SMEs could provide the foundation for sustainable growth and poverty allevia-

Thumbs down for power supply •Lagos State Commissioner for Education Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye inaugurating the Rabiatu Thompson Memorial Primary School, Surulere rebuilt by Etisalat Nigeria under its Adopt-a-School initiative in Lagos. With her are: CEO, Etisalat Nigeria Mr. Steven Evans and member, Board of Directors, Etisalat Nigeria Mr. Kayode Sofola (SAN) PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

For reasons ranging from unavailability of gas, non completion of power plants and sabotage, the Jonathan administration has been unable to give Nigerians enough light to run their lives and businesses, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU

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• From left: Patron, Nigeria-Britain Association, Mr. Philip Obe, Marketing Executive, British Airways Nigeria, Mrs. Nneka Ukay, President, Shuga Lim Foundation (SLF), Mr. Akinloye Tofowomo, Secretary of SLF, Mrs. Maria Tofowomo, President, Nigeria-British Association, Mr. Tunde Arogomati and Mrs. Abimbola Okoya, during a party the Chidren's Day celebrations...on Sunday. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN

INCE Prof. Barth Nnaji assumed office last July as Minister of Power, eight top officials of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) have kissed their coveted seats bye. The last set include: Chief Executive Officer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Akinwumi Bada, Market Operator Uzoma Achinanya and Executive Director of Human Resources, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Olusoga Muyiwa. Nnaji, barely a month in office, eased out the chief executive officers of four electricity distribution companies. The affected CEOs are Justus Obilomo (Eko Distribution Company), Oladele Adeola (Ibadan Distribution Company), George Chiatula (Benin Distribution Company) and Kosiso Nwaoko (Jos Dis-

tribution). Nnaji replaced them with: Oladele Amoda (Eko ), Bolaji Mofoluso Oyesiku (Ibadan), Dr. Effiong Umoren (Benin), and Mrs. Vera Ngozi Osuhor (Jos). The CEOof Olorunsogo Generation Company, Mr. Mohammed Almu, also lost his job. He was sacked for his inability to articulate what was required to recover six of the eight turbines of the station that were out of work for years, which reduced the plant’s output from over 300MW to less than 50MW. One key factor in the sack of the eight big-wigs was their inability to advance the course of improving the power generation capacity of the country. The sack of Bada and co coincided with the sharp drop in power generation. Towards the end of last year,


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

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NEWS FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF JONATHAN’S ADMINISTRATION

grow the economy, create jobs tion in Nigeria. He added that the government plans to remove the major barriers to SMEs growth, such as access to affordable finance, low level of business support and high cost of operations, so as to boost the development of the sub-sector. He observed that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises remain the backbone in developing the economy and the driving force of national growth. He disclosed that there are currently about 17 million MSMEs, employing over 31 million Nigerians, saying they account for over 80 per cent of the total number of enterprises in Nigeria and employing nearly 75 per cent of the total workforce.

NASSI.” The CBN has approved the investment of N500 billion Debenture Stock to be issued by the Bank of Industry (BOI). It said in the first instance, N300billion would be applied to power projects and N200billion to the refinancing/restructuring of banks existing loan portfolios to Nigerian SME/Manufacturing Sector, adding that the guidelines are related to the N200billion re-financing and restructuring of bank loans to the manufacturing sector only.

The guidelines for eligibility to access the fund released by the CBN states: “A borrower shall be any entity falling within the definition of an SME, or manufacturer; a legal business operated as a sole proprietorship and must be a member of the relevant Organised Private Sector Associations such as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), National Association of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises( NASME), NACCIMA,

The Federal Government’s policy in reducing the number of its agencies at the ports from about 14 to seven, has improved on the number of days spent on cargo clearance. Before the policy was introduced by the President early in the year, it took importers about 30 days to clear their goods. But with the new policy, the cargo clearance time has reduced to seven. Operators said they are happy because the policy has impacted well

on their businesses. The President, National Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs agents (ANLCA), Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, said, although the policy was long over due, its implementation brought appreciable relief. “The unnecessary delay caused by the huge number of government agencies at the ports before they were streamlined by the President, caused untold hardship to many importers and clearing agents. The President behaved responsively by reducing their number,” Shittu said. Another good policy of the government is the dredging of the Lagos channel to over 13.5 meter draughts which has made it possible for large vessels to call at the Lagos ports. Before the current efforts, only small vessels that could carry more than 1,000 containers called at the port. With the dredging, large vessels that carry up to 4,500 containers have started calling at the ports and allowing Nigeria to benefit from the economies of scale. Importers of second hand vehicles also said they are happy about the increase in the age limit of vehicles that can be imported into the country. Before the policy was introduce, only vehicles under 10 years could be imported. But with the policy in place, vehicles above 15 years are allowed. Also, the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) has introduced a new policy guiding importation of vehicles into the country, to block revenue leakages, as the service said it generated over N800billion last year. The new policy requires all shipping companies to indicate the chassis number and the year of manufacture of all imported vehicles on their manifests to be submitted to Customs for proper declaration. Stakeholders agree that the policy will curb corruption at the ports.

the 11 distribution stations scattered all over the country would be taken over by private companies, with government only controlling minor stakes in the generation plants due to strategic national interests. He had looked up to the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) and some units lost in the existing assets of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to generate the 5,000 mega watts. He said: “We have set in motion plans to increase electricity generating capacity before the year runs out. The power stations nearing completion under the NIPP as well as existing power plants, would add about 600MW to the grid between now and December.” The minister’s plans have, however, fallen like a pack of cards. Perhaps as a back-up plan, the government signed a deal with Global Biofuels, a local biofuel producer, to build 15 biofuel plants in the country, costing about N414 billion (•2.02 billion). The project will power 15 states with 30MW each. A pilot plant will be built in Ekiti, with construction beginning within the next few months to be completed before the end of the year. Minister of Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga said the project has been researched over a number of years and feasibility and market studies had already been carried out. About 70 per cent of the total cost of the project will be financed by the Chinese government and the rest of the funds will come from other financial institutions, including the

Nigerian Export Import Bank, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, Africa Finance, Fond Gari of Togo and First Bank of Nigeria. But beyond the challenge of generating enough power to feed into the national grid, Nnaji’s biggest challenge so far is the uncooperative attitude of some staff of PHCN, who reports say, have become a major threat to the actualisation of the new power reforms. Several meetings have been held between Nnaji and PHCN workers’ union to work out adequate monetisation benefits and severance package to be paid to all the staff that would be affected by the inevitable lay-off. Nnaji also has the NIPP power plants to worry about. The Egbin Power Plant, which provides 25 per cent of the country’s electricity needs, has an installed capacity of 1,320 Megawatts, but now manages to generate 1,080 megawatts. The plant ought to be overhauled every five to six years. But this has not been the case. About three of the six units have been overhauled. The Egbin Power plant, said an insider, needs N1.5 billion for rehabilitation in order to add 220 megawatts to the national grid. About N33.6 billion is needed for complete overhaul of the six units. Olorunsogo Plant, which was started by the Obasanjo administration, was planned to increase power generation to 10,000mw on or before 2010. But the company suffers from inadequate funding. “The current level of funding is grossly in-

adequate. No appropriate budgetary provision from inception till date,” said its immediate past CEO. The plant is faced with a lot of challenges, the major one being limited gas supply. Of the about 120mmscf /day it requires, it only gets 40 mmscf. The plant relies on temporary gas supply line from Ewekoro. Its permanent gas line from Itoki is still under construction. The Alaoji Power Plant is also far from being completed. Of its four turbines only one is nearing completion. This can generate about 112.5 megawatts. Its gas need is also an issue which has not been sorted out and is bound to affect its operation. The Ihovbor Power Plant is also facing serious challenge. At the moment, the facilities are still at erection stage. Its Gas Sale Agreement is yet to be sorted out. Its transmission lines and substation that would evacuate the power are still under construction and are not likely to be completed. The Calabar Power Plant is also in the same condition. It is also doubtful if the Gbarain Power Plant will be completed this year as planned. Issues such as gas supply are expected to further slow it down. The Omotosho plant, planned to be ready this December, is also doubtful for similar reasons. Significantly, previous administrations could not fight the power battle successfully, a development which Jonathan has vowed to reverse. He started well, he has faltered and the question now is: will he be able to correct the damage of years gone by?

New funding framework for agriculture

Incentives Aganga said the government is providing bailout funds to the real sector, such that credit to the sector is at single interest digit It is also compelling Ministries, Departments and Agencies to source their consumables locally so as to aid job creation. He said as a key part of the industrial revolution embarked upon by the Federal Government, states, Ministries, Departments and Agencies will now be compelled to buy Made-in-Nigeria products in line with the local content provision for government procurement. He explained that the upward review of the local content of goods procured by government’s MDAs is aimed at increasing the productive capacity of local industries for job creation, wealth generation, and ultimately, economic growth and development. He said government is looking at the list of things that are procured since the state is the biggest spender in the economy, so that the local manufacturers are adequately patronised.

Financial services sector

• Nnaji

the Ministry of Power announced the achievement of 4,420MW generation. Nigerians confirmed that power supply across the country substantially improved. However, from the beginning of this year, the story changed. The development was attributed to inadequate supply of gas to thermal power plants. To address this, the Federal Government ordered the Ministry of Petroleum to ensure sufficient supply of gas to the power sector. This led to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) signing gas supply purchase agreements (GSPAs) with some of the oil giants to ensure uninterrupted gas supply to the plants. But by March, it became clear that the combined efforts of the

• Dr. Jonathan

The thrust of government’s policy in this sector, in the past year, is the stability of the banking industry, as well as positioning it to play its pivotal role of driving the economy through provision of credit to the real sector. On both fronts, the sector has been found wanting. However, the industry’s regulator has been up and doing, churning out policies and regulations to reposition it. In the course of the year, the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), has continued on the path of its reforms, started in 2008. The reforms are aimed, among other objectives, to sanitise the sector and reposition it to fund manufacturing and drive the economy and consequently create jobs. In doing this, the CBN has resorted to direct funding, through the provision of bailout funds, to some critical sectors of the economy. These include manufacturing, SMEs and agriculture. For manufacturing and SMEs, the apex bank has made available N200billion.

• Allison-Madueke

power and petroleum ministries to improve the power generation were not working. From March till now, power generation and supply have started dropping. The minister had planned to achieve grid stability of 5,000 mega watts last December. He also planned to add another 1,000 mega watts before the end of this year. This clearly is in consonance with the administration’s power reforms, which was unveiled in its comprehensive action plan christened: ‘Roadmap to power reforms’. The major thrust of the plan was the total unbundling of the PHCN into generation and transmission companies, which would be sold to private investors. If the plan succeeds, the six generation plants and

• Dr. Okonjo-Iweala

The apex bank indicated that part of the objectives of the bailout is to fasttrack the development of the manufacturing sector through improved access to credit by manufacturers; improving the financial position of banks, as well as increasing output. It listed other objectives as employment generation, diversification of the revenue base, increasing foreign exchange earnings and provision of input for the industrial sector on a sustainable basis.

Eligibility to access to fund

In no other sector, save banking and manufacturing, has the apex bank been more proactive than in agriculture. Over the past year, the CBN has restated its readiness to give its support to agric, as it sees it as a large employer of labour and a source of food supply and raw materials to industry. In the mean time, the CBN has introduced a new financial model for the sector. Its governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, called it the Nigerian Incentive–Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). He explained that NIRSAL is a demand driven credit facility, as against the supply driven funding.

Maritime


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

NEWS ‘Salami: President wrong’ •Rivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi reads to the pupils of State School, Mgbuitanwo, a rural community in Emohua Local Government Area of the State as part of activities to celebrate this year’s Children’s Day... yesterday. Listening is Mrs. Koko Kalango of Rainbow Book Club

Continued from page 1

plained that Section 21(b) of Part 1 of the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution clearly provides that “the National Judicial Council shall have the power to recommend to the President the removal from office of the judicial officers specified in sub-paragraph (a)

of this paragraph, and to exercise disciplinary control over such officers”. “I therefore sincerely plead with the President to support the judiciary which has now put its house in order by no longer preventing the reinstatement of honourable Justice Salami,” Ijalaye said.

Special courts to try corruption cases coming, says CJN

S Leaders to Nigerians: be hopeful

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IGERIANS got yesterday a piece of advice from their leaders – they should remain hopeful. Senate President David Mark, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and many others delivered the message of hope on the occasion of the May 29 “Democracy Day.” Mark enjoined Nigerians to participate actively in the democratic process and collaborate with the government to strengthen the institutions in order to reach the “Eldorado”. In a remark to mark the Day, according to a statement by his media aide, Paul Mumeh, in Abuja, Mark said it was by “deliberate decision and design that Nigeria chose democracy as the best form of government suited for our pluralistic society. “Nigerians owe it a sacred duty to nurture and sustain the democratic institutions,” he said. The Senate President said:

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Sanni Onogu and Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja

“Whether in or outside of government, everybody is a stakeholder in the democratic process. Both the ruling party and opposition parties are stakeholders in the democratic arrangement. Everyone is important and every role is relevant. “Therefore, we are all passengers in the same boat. So, we must pilot it safely so that the boat would not capsize. “All we need is to ensure that the tripod of presidential system of government; the executive, the legislature and the Judiciary arms are all alive and responsive to their assigned constitutional roles. “I am very convinced that if we all play our respective roles honestly and with the fear of God and putting the people at the centre of all our actions, this country will be a better place.” Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu also identified peaceful co-existence and speedy development as critical

factors in deepening Nigeria’s democracy. In a statement by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu, in Abuja Ekweremadu noted that “democracy is not an end in itself, but an end to the wellbeing of the citizenry”. “Several studies and experiences have established that democracy and socio-economic prosperity go hand-inhand,” he said, adding: “The plain message is that democracy does not thrive on an empty stomach, hence we must collectively work hard to reduce poverty and promote the quality of the life of Nigerians to strengthen their faith in the system.” Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, said that democracy remains the only option to resolve the challenges facing the country. Ndoma-Egba urged Nigerians to be stakeholders in the country’s future. He said while Nigerians have endorsed democracy as a system of government, it is more expedient to accept de-

mocracy as a medium of expression. Nigeria needs to chart a new course to move forward in solving her problems, Tinubu said. He said: “Nigeria is not moving forward. We are stuck in improving power generation. Millions of Nigerians are slipping into poverty. We must begin to chart a new course for Nigeria now. We must stop this reversal and rally all progressives to the national cause of liberating Nigeria.” Tinubu spoke on the opposition’s plan to win power and turn Nigeria in the direction of development. He decried the lack of capacity in governance, saying: “Without capacity, you will end up with a visionless and directionless government. Right now, we are headed in the wrong direction and our current leadership must apply itself to the task of nation building. Continued on page 58

OME Federal High Court Judges will be exclusively assigned to

try high profile corruption cases, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Dahiru Musdapher revealed yesterday. The CJN disclosed the plan at the swearing in of newly appointed Judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja. He said arrangements were being made to hear the cases from day to day without any adjournment. The 12 new judges sworn in, are Suleiman A. Aliyu, Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Kebbi State; Mrs. Oluremi Omowumi Oguntoyinbo, Mrs. Ayua Pheobe Msuean, Secretary, National Judicial Institute, Abuja; Nganjiwa Hyeladzira Ajiya, Musa Haruna Kurya, Deputy Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice, Gombe State; and Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Sokoto State. Others are Miss Uche Nma Agomoh, a lawyer; Mr. Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, the Chief Registrar, Federal High Court; Mrs. Evelyn N. Anyadike, Deputy Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice,Imo State; Mr. Fatun O. Riman, a lawyer; Mrs. Chinda Ruhuoma S. Adele, Chief Magistrate, Rivers State Judiciary and Mrs. Folashade O. Giwa-Ogunbanjo, Deputy Chief Registrar, Federal High Court. As part of reforms in the ju-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

diciary, Justice Musdapher said processes for appointment of Judges in the near future, “will be more rigorous and may include tests and interviews in order to choose the most suitable”. He urged the Judges to be dedicated and discharge their duties without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. Noting that their decisions will be subjected to public opinion, he urged them to remain resolute and upright. “For as ministers in the temple of Justice, we must do justice to the satisfaction of not just the parties but the publicans as well. We must remember that as we sit at trial, we also stand on trial. “We must never be complacent in our observation of moral values as the behaviour you exhibit in-curiae and excuriae is the foundation upon which the public will accord the institution of the judiciary respect or disrespect. As Judicial officers, your judgments and rulings will be tried in the court of public opinion and you will face numerous criticisms both in electronic and print media, to which you may not have a right of reply. I urge you to remain resolute and undaunted in the discharge of your duties. Therefore, you must always exhibit the highest level of decorum, integrity, independence, intelligence, wisdom, impartiality and temperament in the performance of our duties.”

Ex-Commonwealth SecretaryAnyaoku: focus on insecurity not 2015

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OVERNMENT and politicians should focus on the security challenges and other issues affecting Nigerians rather than dissipate energy on the 2015 elections, former Commonwealth Secretary General Emeka Anyaoku advised yesterday. Allowing 2015 to dominate national discourse now, he said, will only confirm the view that Nigerian politicians are only interested in self-aggrandisement. Anyaoku spoke as Chairman at the Democracy Day National Symposium held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja. He urged politicians and the media to shun the debate on the 2015 elections, for now. He said the main focus of public debates should be how to tackle the challenges of insecurity, development and job creation. President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo attended the symposium. Other dignitaries include House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, represen-

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

tative of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghie, former President Shehu Shagari, former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim and members of the Diplomatic Corps. Also present were Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Bamanga Tukur, former Director General of the State Security Service (SSS) Col. Kayode Are, Chief Edwin Clark, Guild of Editors President Mr Gbenga Adefaye and many others Anyaoku said: “I have only two messages in my brief chairman’s remarks. The first is to urge our politicians, and here I must also add our media too, to spare the nation the distraction of engaging now in public debate on the 2015 elections. This is only the first of a four-year political dispensation. “We must not allow preoccupation with the 2015 elections to confirm the view that our politicians are only interested in self-aggrandisement, with the result that our national politics is bereft of active ideas on how to uplift the country and improve the qual-

ity of life of our citizens. “ The main focus of our public debates at this time should be how to tackle the massively destructive challenges currently facing the nation. “Our democracy, like democracy in many other countries, has over the last year faced a number of serious challenges. “We - the government, the corporate sector, the civil organisations and the citizenry - must in all our activities be driven by the commitment and desire to work for the good of the majority of our citizens. It is only in this way that we can be confident of continuing to celebrate in years to come, our Democracy Day in a united and indivisible country,” he added. Anyaoku noted that the Jonathan administration had set the national compass in the right and inspiring direction, especially in the agenda set for power supply, agricultural development, roads and railway as well as macro-economic management. He called for the commitment of the corporate sector, the civil organisations and the citizenry in the realisation of the set goals. President Jonathan said the

Executive once contemplated approaching the Supreme Court for interpretation on whose prerogative it was to prepare budget. He also said for the nation’s democracy to yield dividends, the legislative and executive arms of government must work together for the good of democracy. House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal accused the executive of shunning the responsibility of assenting to bills passed by the legislature, saying this has been a challenge to lawmakers. They both spoke at the Democracy Day Symposium with the theme “Our Democracy: Progress and Challenges”. Jonathan noted that for democracy to be meaningful, the government must have a budget to manage the economy. He, however, said budgeting has always been a source of friction between the Executive and the legislature. He noted that every time the budget is sent to the National Assembly for approval, it is always distorted and this does not go down well with the executive that prepared it according to needs

and resources available. The President noted that the situation got to a point in 2008 when the Executive wanted to approach the apex court for interpretation on the budget appropriation. “For democracy to be meaningful to this country and for us not to have conflict and for us to render good service, we must have budget; budget is a law. The Constitution said the Executive must have a budget for you to be able to plan and manage the economy of the country. If you send your budget to the National Assembly and they tear it to pieces and package what they like to you, you start planning and managing the economy, we have challenges every year. “We even wanted to go to court, so that the Supreme Court would tell us if it is the duty of the National Assembly to plan the economy. This was in 2008. Let them do the budget, hand over to us we will implement, but if it is our duty, then they should listen to us because the executive arm of government has a ministry for planning and finance and work with the Central Bank. “Budgets are not created from the moon; it is based on

projections, commitments and funding and what you see sometimes could be disturbing. This has been a major conflict between National Assembly and the Executive, the Speaker mentioned it; that is why I am raising it. These are little things, if both arms of government work together. My plea is legislative and the executive arms of government of the same political party, must work together for democracy to be meaningful to Nigerians,” he said. The President added: “One other area is that we are still confused between the democratic government and military dictatorship. If we must practice democracy, no matter how bad you feel about any situation, you must follow the rule of law. “As we speak, we have about N185 billion judgment debt for this country. Most of them because of decisions taken by government not properly thought through but because people push you to take such decisions. When people go to court, the government is being fined, I have told the Attorney-General that we must stop this. Continued on page 58

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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

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NEWS Nigerian appointed London police first black commander

•Madam Rechael Osunsami, retired Justice Adesola Oguntade, Bishop Bayo Akinde and Chief Sola Dauda during Excellence in Christian Service Awards by the Anglican Diocese of Lagos Mainland at the closing ceremony of the second synod at St. Jude Anglican Church, Ebute Metta, Lagos. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS

EFCC can’t try us, say Hembe, Azubuogu

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USPENDED Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and other Institutions Herman Hembe and his deputy Emeka Azubuogu have asked an Abuja High Court to dismiss the charge slammed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Their demand came yesterday even as presiding judge, Justice Sadiq Umar, rejected an oral application by the prosecution counsel, Ojeffu Ibe, for the accused persons to enter the dock. He said the court must first clear the issue of jurisdiction as it once held in the case of “Mallam Nasir el-Rufai vs FRN.” Hembe and Azubuogu are facing a two-count charge of diversion of public funds, following an allegation by the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh. The allegation led to their suspension. In a separate preliminary objection, Hembe is challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the charge. Azubuogu is challenging the leave granted the anti-graft agency by the court to prefer the charge. Moving his application, Hembe’s counsel, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), said

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the suit, because the allegation is still being investigated by the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics and Privileges. Besides, he posited that the counter-affidavit, which contains “extraneous facts and purports to make the EFCC a respondent in the suit”, is contrary to the Evidence Act, adding that there is contrivance and falsification of information. He described the entire charge as an avenue to waste public funds. Okutepa said: “The prosecution is nothing but persecution and a waste of Nigeria’s public money. By virtue of Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution, it is the National Assembly that has the jurisdiction to investigate this matter.” Azubuogu’s counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), argued that, since the report of the House Committee investigating the allegation has not been released, it will not serve the cause of justice to try his client. He said: “There is a case of inadequacy of documents and so, there is no case for the 2nd accused person to answer to, especially as he sought to return the money through the Clerk of the House, only for the Director-General of SEC to ask him to keep the money, since there will

be another conference. The absence of the Director-General of SEC in this case exposes the complicity in it.” Citing Section 167 (b) of the Evidence Act, Ikpeazu submitted: “The prosecution is bound to produce all criminal documents to the court to warrant trial and the absence of the Director-General of SEC in this case exposes the complicity in it.” Objecting to the defendants’ prayers, Ibe urged the court to dismiss the two applications. He asked the court to establish whether the estacode was used for the purpose it was approved. Referring to his counter-affidavit, Ibe stated that the 1999 Constitution only gave the National Assembly lawmaking powers and not powers to investigate. Justice Umar has adjourned ruling till July 2. The two suspects allegedly converted to their personal use the sum of $4095 (about N600,000) each given to them by the SEC as traveling allowance to a conference in Dominican Republic in October last year. The offence is contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Count one of the charge upon which they accused persons may be arraigned reads: “That you, Hon

Iorwase Herman Hembe sometime in October 2011, in Abuja within the Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of $4095 (Four thousand, Ninety Five Dollars) being money given to you by the Securities and Exchange Commission as your traveling allowance to PUNCTA CANA, Dominican Republic to attend a conference which you did not attend and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 308 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under section 309 of the same code. Count two reads: “That you, Hon Azubogu Chris Emeka Ifeanyi sometime in October, 2011 in Abuja within the Judicial division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of $4095 (Four thousand, Ninety Five Dollars) being money given to you by the Securities and Exchange Commission as your traveling allowance to PUNCTA CANA, Dominican Republic to attend a conference which you did not attend and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 308 of the Penal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under section 309 of the same code.”

Don’t scrap EFCC, Borno governor urges Fed Govt

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ORNO State Governor Kashim Shettima yesterday asked the Federal Government to pull the brake on the proposed merger of anti-graft agencies. He cautioned against merging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), or their scrapping. Shettima, who made the call at the opening of a three-day retreat for Borno political office holders in Maiduguri, said the EFCC should be empowered to fulfill its mandate. He made the plea against the backdrop of Steve Oronsaye Committee’s recommendation that the anti-graft commissions should be merged. According to a statement on the retreat by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the governor said the commission has helped to check corruption in public office. Shettima said: “Today, the exist-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

ence of EFCC has brought about self scrutiny, probity, transparency, and consciousness on the part of political office holders who hitherto behaved differently. “I want to join other well-meaning Nigerians in calling for the strengthening of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC in a way that would make its scrapping or merger with any other anti-graft agency unnecessary.” He said the activities of the EFCC have continued to reinforce accountability in governance and institutional sanity in the country and that the nation stands to benefit more from its empowerment. Shettima urged Nigerians to continue to support the commission while promising to make the EFCC’s job lighter in his domain by ensuring probity and accountability. He added that the country could only move forward if concerted efforts are made by all to shun cor-

rupt practices. In his presentation, EFCC chair Ibrahim Lamorde said all the efforts being made to develop the country could only yield desirable results if the evils of corruption are frontally tackled. He said: “The fight against corruption, economic and financial crimes is an obligation for every responsible government and citizen. “Sustainable development and attainment of objectives of Vision 20-2020 will be difficult to realise without simultaneously and aggressively tackling corruption and economic crimes. He advised those in leadership positions to promote the war against corruption by being personally upright and taking bold steps aimed at blocking all avenues for corrupt acts. Fielding questions from participants, Lamorde, who was represented by EFCC’s Director of Finance, Mr. Bukar Abba, reiterated the commission’s unflinching de-

•Shettima

termination in restoring citizens’ confidence in business practices and governance, despite the challenges confronting it. He said the EFCC would never stop making inquiries and holding public officials accountable. Shettima: “It bears repeating here that time does not run out on criminal investigation and prosecution, so if you can escape today, using whatever means at your disposal, EFCC will be there waiting for you tomorrow.”

A NIGERIAN, based in the United Kingdom (UK), Mr. Victor Olisa, has made history as the first black commander for Baxley Local Council in London. Until his appointment, Olisa was a Chief superindent with the London metropolitian Police. Olisa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)“Policing runs in the family and I have always wanted to be a police officer and ethnicity does not affect that.” Olisa, whose grandfather was a police officer in Nigeria, said his focus was on the job rather than on being the “first black’’ adding that his ethnicity never affected the way he carried out his duties. He said: “I consider myself first and foremost a police officer. If (being black) is an advantage, then brilliant; If it’s a disadvantage, I will have to deal with that, I can’t hide it. “I am impeccably against anyone who uses racist language or behaves in a racist manner. This will not be allowed under my watch. “I believe that everyone should be treated with dignity wherever they come from.’’ Olisa, 52, born in Warri, Delta State, is one of the three chief superintendents from black minority ethnic background working for the Metropolitan Police. He started his career in Surrey Police in 1982 before transferring to the City of London Police in 1990 as detective inspector in the Fraud Squad. After a stint at the Home Office, he moved to the Metropolitan Police in 2006 as a superintendent in Southwark Council before his recent appointment.

ERA to NNPC: shut Warri Refinery THE Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to shut the Warri refinery. The group commended the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) for ordering the shutdown of the Warri Petrochemical Plant, insisting that its continued operation with the mammoth environmental hazards detected by the House spelt disaster for nearby communities. ERA, in a statement by its Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey, said: “ The House Committee hammer on the NNPC is welcome and rekindles our belief that the oil corporations cannot continue to evade justice. We however demand that the corporation must also take full responsibility for the impacts of its misadventure on Ajomata/Awhakpor including the health burden now on the people. ” “That the NNPC admitted that the plant in Warri is obsolete and ill-maintained yet it kept running it, rubbishes their so-called global best practice and reaffirms our position over the years that the oil industry expends more money on image laundering and should not be relied upon when it comes to disclosing the impacts of their operations in host communities.” Bassey expressed dismay that the NNPC tried to twist the issues by heaping blame on the victims of their pollution by claiming the people illegally occupied the land. He said: ‘We demand that the NNPC comply with the recommendations of the House Committee and take full responsibility for its misadventure in Ajomata/ Awhakpor community. We insist on nothing less.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

NEWS Anglican calls for reduced cost of governance THE Diocese of Lagos Mainland, Anglican Communion, has urged all tiers of government to reduce “the culture of waste associated with bloated governance”. Rising from its Synod at the weekend, the church urged the federal and other tiers of government to reduce the cost of governance “through the creation of unnecessary offices to satisfy political considerations”. The synod said such offices constitute a huge drain on the treasury. It decried the spate of violence, killings and sectarian disturbances in parts of the country and the menace they pose to Nigeria’s peace and stability. The church urged the Federal Government to do discharge its basic responsibility of securing Nigeria and Nigerians by fishing out the perpetrators of heinous crimes and bringing them to justice. In a communique by the Diocesan Bishop, Rev Adebayo Akinde and the Synod Secretary, Ven. Luyi Akinwande, the church decried youth unemployment, describing it as “intolerable”. It advised them to provide an enabling environment for self- and gainful employment. The synod frowned at the proposed electricity tariff hike from June 1. It described it as unjustified, if it is without corresponding improvement in supply. The church warned that such a move would “worsen the prevailing low industrial capacity utilisation and induce further flight of businesses from Nigeria to neighbouring countries”. It expressed concern over the “deteriorating educational system, as evidenced in the poor performance of pupils in the West African School Certificate (WASC), the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB)”. It urged governments at all levels to fund education adequately to reverse the trend.

Okotie urges govts to reduce people’s suffering THE Chairman of Fresh Democratic Party (FRESH), Pastor Chris Okotie, yesterday urged governments at all levels to alleviate the suffering of the people. In a statement in Lagos, the cleric-turned politician expressed surprise that after 12 months in power, the Goodluck Jonathan administration is keeping the masses waiting to enjoy dividends of democracy. He said: “There’s a serious deficit in executive service delivery across the country, not just at the centre.” The FRESH chairman noted that the ongoing debate over the 2015 Presidency is not what poverty-stricken Nigerians need. “The political class must also avoid inflaming religious and ethnic passions with their incendiary comments,” Okotie added.

•From left: King Sunny Ade, Moses Olaiya (Baba Sala), Fatai Rolling Dollars, Olori Iyabo Akinruntan, Oba Frederick Akinruntan and Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi at the Oleku Concert...on Sunday

Governors caution against writing off democracy

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•TUC, Osun ACN, others decry dearth of good governance

S Nigerians mark the 13th year of the return of democracy today, some governors have cautioned against writing off the dispensation, despite its hiccups. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and his Enugu State counterpart, Chief Sullivan Chime, believe there is hope in the future of democracy in the country. But the Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said Nigerians have not enjoyed dividends of democracy. Obi said Nigeria’s democracy cannot be said to be meaningless because of the nation’s unfulfilled aspirations. He described the prospect for the nation’s future as “challenging but promising”. Obi said: “We have made gains since 1999 and indeed in the past one year that are worthy of celebration. The fact that there are still areas of unfulfilled aspirations does not render our progress meaningless. Not even the so-called developed countries have stopped developing. They are still engaged with the task of transforming their societies.” Chime urged Nigerians to entrench democracy in the country by avoiding actions and utterances that can undermine democracy. He said: “Nigerians should make concerted efforts to preserve the dispensation and ensure that it is not only sustained but also becomes more beneficial to the people.” In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife, the governor also advised Nigeria’s political leaders to fulfill their electoral promises to the people. According to him, this would strengthen the people’s faith in democracy and good governance. The Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) urged Nigerians to remember May 29 with sober reflections and prayers for God to deliver the nation from “the slavery of perverted democracy, which was imposed by the military”. Nigerians have been called upon to register May 29, 1999 in their consciousness as a day of sober contemplation and earnest prayer to God for deliverance from

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu (Nnewi), Adesoji Adeniyi (Osogbo), Oziegbe Okoeki

the slavery of perverted democracy which was imposed on them by the military. “For it is only when we can muster the courage and strength from God to stand up against the evil that has befallen our people since then that we may stand the chance of experiencing true democracy in the country,” it said. In a statement by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, the party noted that though “Nigerians fought to have true democracy established in the country, what they got from the military in 1999 was a total betrayal of democracy”. “As it were,” the ACN said, “we were blindfolded into May 29, 1999, and handed a monstrosity of a Constitution, which was both a fraud and a perversion of federalism under which democracy can hardly survive.” Out of this contraption, the party noted, has developed the worst form of thieving politicians that Nigeria has ever known. “We cannot, therefore, in our right senses, experience this hopeless level of failure, the collapse of morals and ethics, the breakdown of law and order, the ascendancy of violence and corruption, including the eruption of poverty and misery, and still celebrate May 29 as Democracy Day. “Only the thieves, corrupt politicians and those who benefit from the criminality and kleptocracy of this warped democracy will have any reason to celebrate May 29.” The ACN noted that except Nigerians want to deceive themselves, “May 29 is the harbinger of misery, poverty, corruption and all sorts of evils, which the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has brought to bear on us”. It added: “There is a systemic collapse. Sectors, such as the economy, education and infrastructure have collapsed; the best brains PDP can offer cannot proffer any solution. Three of their presidents so far have also failed to infuse any enthusiasm for change...”

Ikuforiji yesterday said 13 years after enthroning democracy, nothing is working properly in the country. The Speaker addressed reporters in Lagos after inspecting the newly constructed ultra-modern legislative chamber of the Assembly. He said: “I must confess that the Federal Government could have done a lot better to win the confidence of the people, to make Nigerians really feel happy for the democratic dispensation. “I don’t know what the problem is over there. Even simple things that a mere fool can get done is not being done well. To construct and repair roads, to maintain existing roads, are some of the simplest things to get done, when the money is there. And the money has always been there for the Federal Government. So, I don’t know why the Sagamu-Benin remains a death trap till today. The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is nothing to write home about. From here to Abuja is like going from one end of the world to the other. It shouldn’t be so. “What does it take to construct a road? It doesn’t take nuclear engineering; it doesn’t call for super intelligence for you to do that. Any fool can have money and call for construction experts to construct roads. With the size of the Federal Government budget, Nigeria should be awash with roads.” The Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday urged governments at all levels and politicians to give Nigerians more gains of democracy. In a statement in Abuja by its President, Mr Peter Esele, and Secretary General, Mr John Kolawole, the TUC said: “We would have been happier if the Democracy Day was devoted to demonstrating the practical achievements and benefits of democracy. “Democratic practice, despite all its weaknesses and imperfections, have proved to be the most enduring and prevailing form of governance the world over.” It urged Nigerian leaders to emulate other countries where the citizens “have become apostles of this brand of governance, having experienced and benefitted directly from the impact of democracy”.

Lagos at 45: Fashola renews call for special status

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HE celebration of the 45 anniversary of the creation of Lagos State ended on Sunday, with renewed call on the Federal Government to grant Lagos special status. Governor Fashola who spoke at the colloquium/dinner by the state government at the Eko Hotel, said despite the relocation of the nation's capital to Abuja in 1991, Lagos has remained the nation's economic and financial capital. He noted that in other countries where the seat of power was relocated, the government does not abdicate its responsibilities to its former host because oftentimes, the former capital still holds some historical, cultural and socio-economic relevance. It was an event that saw

By Miriam Ndikanwu

former Governors of the State among who were Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe and Commodore Ndubusi Kanu, joining Governor Babatunde Fashola to celebrate the day. Others in attendance are Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola; Senator Oluremi Tinunbu, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, wife of the Governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola, and Mrs. Abimbola Jakande. Fashola said: "Despite our status, the Federal Government has left the state out of any attempt to increase its revenue allocation from the fed-

eral coffers refusing to confer it the promised special status. "We have grown in population without corresponding increase in infrastructure because funds are just not available and the Federal Government has refused to support the state with the wherewithal to do more. "To show that we have grown in population, at the last presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan returned 1, 281, 688 votes from Lagos State. This is the highest from any of the states. This I believe should qualify the state for a special treatment in the current administration. "Lagos accounts for 70 percent of the national maritime cargo freight, over 80 percent of international aviation traffic, 58 percent of domestic avia-

tion traffic and over 50 percent of Nigeria's energy consumption." "Last year, 1,167 cases were filed at the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal compared to 249 at the Ibadan Division which covers both Ogun and Oyo States. At the Jos Division, under which five states are managed, only 258 cases were filled in 2011." Corroborating him, Ashafa, who represents Lagos East Senatorial District at the Senate, based his argument on the fact that the state is a major sea port for international trade and has been historically so for centuries arguing that such status needs to be protected and enhanced by special allocations to the State by the Federal Government. Ashafa in a congratulatory

message to the state said, "Lagos is the destination of Nigerian citizens and those from the Sahel, the creeping desert on the fringe of the North of ECOWAS nations bothering the North East of Nigeria especially Chad and Niger. Migrants from all over Nigeria flock daily to Lagos as the El Dorado to earn a living and survive as human beings and the resources of the State alone cannot cope with the influx leading to high crime rate and pervasive insecurity". He said with a population of over 18 million people with different ethnic, religious and social groups out of the national estimation of 150 million the state deserves to be assisted in developing capacity that could accommodate its growth rate.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

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NEWS Ekiti Fed Poly NASU protests alleged exploitation From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

MEMBERS of the NonAcademic Staff Union (NASU) of Federal Polytechnic, AdoEkiti, the Ekiti State capital, yesterday staged a peaceful protest on the campus over alleged exploitation by the school’s authority. They gathered as early as 8am at the school’s entrance gate. Scores of NASU protesters, led by their chairman, Prince Adekunle Adeniyi, carried placards with inscriptions, such as: Federal Poly, Ado, is not St. Theresa’s College; NASU says no to non-existing minister’s approval; No retreat, no surrender; NASU says no to Anti-Pension Act 2004; On 60 months’ arrears we stand, among others. Chanting solidarity songs, the protesters took off from the main gate and marched through the departments. Adeniyi addressed reporters at the Central Administrative Block. He described as mindless exploitation “the refusal to honour the approval of the Federal Government by authorities of the school”. The union leader said the protest option became their last resort after “all other options of peaceful resolution of the issues have failed”. He accused the Rector of postponing the payment of areas on sundry benefits of NASU members, including field trip allowance, contributory hazard allowance, peculiar allowance and nonaccident allowance. Adeniyi said: “We are still talking of field trip allowance, which was approved for us since 2001 by the Federal Government. The struggle about this started since the time Prof. Olawumi Ajaja was the Rector. It even bothers me personally that the Rector has refused to pay a balance of 35 months of the allowance, which was originally 60 but which was reduced by 25 on agreement. “Our hazard allowance has equally been jacked up from N2,575 to N28,000, which we have confirmed is being paid in other polytechnics. But our own Rector, Mrs Theresa Akande, is paying us a gracious N333 across board. “The peculiar allowance of 5.4 per cent of our basic salary was also approved for us as annual benefits out of which we are being paid 1.2 per cent.” He complained about the school’s arrangement of Contributory Pension Scheme, saying: “Our findings from other federal polytechnics have shown that what they deduct from us here in regard of the pension is higher than that in other institutions.”

Olubadan to Alaafin: I remain Council of Obas chair T

HE Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I, yesterday faulted the claims by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, that he (Alaafin) is the Chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs. In a statement by Chief Isiaka Akinpelu, the Olubadan said he is the chairman of the council. The monarch described Alaafin’s chairmanship claim as “misleading and a clear misrepresentation of subsisting facts and circumstances”. The Olubadan said his chairmanship is in accordance with chieftaincy laws passed by the

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

former administration, which made the position rotational among himself, the Alaafin and the Soun of Ogbomoso. The monarch said he only complied with the new directive of the Abiola Ajimobi administration in deference to the office of the governor and for the peace of the state. Oba Odugade urged stakeholders to note this fact, saying any allusion to the Alaafin as the permanent chairman of the council has been repealed by a fresh law. The statement reads: “The palace wishes to make it abun-

dantly clear that such a claim has no basis in law and, as such, it is not only misleading but also a clear misrepresentation of subsisting facts and circumstances. “For the avoidance of doubt, the reigning Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Odugade I, is the current chairman of the council, in accordance with the relevant chieftaincy law passed by the past legislative House, which made the chairmanship of the council rotational among the principal three Obas in the state, namely: Olubadan of

Ibadanland, Soun of Ogbomoso land and Alaafin of Oyo. “While it is true that the Alaafin of Oyo is in court to challenge this law, it is also true that this law is still in force, despite the recent suspension of the council’s sitting by the Isiaka Ajimobhi administration, as there is no court ruling or order suspending the sitting. That the Current Chairman of the Council, His Royal Majesty, Oba Samuel Osundiran Odulana Odugade 1, appears to have acquiesced to this unlaw-

Fayemi assures Ekiti residents of better security •Army gets base in state From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

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• Governor Fayemi (middle); Secretary to Ekiti State Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi (left); Chief of Staff, 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Col. Mohammed Zubairu (second left); Brig.-Gen. Dan-Ali (second right); and Command Liaison Officer, Lt. Kenneth Ezenwa, during the visit in Ado-Ekiti...yesterday.

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Ondo PDP leader, 2,000 others join ACN

VER 2,000 supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akoko North West Local Government of Ondo State have defected to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). They were led by the party’s leader in Odo Irun/Oyinmo Ward and Salaja of Ilodi-Irun Akoko, Chief Gabriel Adamolekun. The PDP leader was a twoterm councilor, a former supervisory councilor and a former board member of Adult, Vocational and Non-Formal Education board during the administration of Dr Olusegun Agagu. Adamalekun said he joined the ACN to support a governorship aspirant, Saka Lawal. He noted that the former Special Adviser to Governor Olusegun Mimiko on Planning and Strategy is a strong personality with a lot of clout in the area. The former PDP chieftain said Lawal possesses the political pedigree to dislodge Mimiko, being a strategist who worked for the emergence of the governor. Adamolekun was received

Ebira community backs party

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SE, an agrarian community in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State has declared its support for Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the October 20 governorship election in the state. The community is populated by Ebira, an ethnic nationality of farmers. It joined the party though the Omoluabi Platform of Dr Olu Agunloye, a governorship aspirant. Chief Abdulkareem Abdullahi, who spoke for the community, said the people had assessed the party’s aspirants and settled for Dr. Agunloye because of his contributions to the development of the state. Abdullahi berated the ruling Labour Party (LP) administration for its insensitivity to the plight of the residents. He noted that though their village is on the bank of River Ose, yet there is no pipe-borne From Damisi Ojo, Akure

into ACN by the party’s chairman in the local government, Pastor Dayo Bello, and Lawal. Other PDP stalwarts who defected with him are: Elder S.A Oguntade, Mallam Zaud Absalam, Mr. Samson Ajayi, Mrs. Caroline Ajayi, Jejelowo Richard, Mrs. Bada Talabi and Elder Oso Aladesuyi.

water for people to drink. Over 300 politicians from the ruling LP and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defected to ACN through the Omoluabi Platform. On behalf of other defectors, Prince Abdulazeez Ahmed said the ruling party is out of reckoning in the community. He said since slogan of Governor Olusegun Mimiko is “one man, one term”, the governor should not change his own rule in the middle of the game. The politician promised to deliver all the units in the community to the ACN in the governorship poll. He noted that the LP has performed woefully in Ondo North Senatorial District, where he said 95 per cent of the roads are impassable. Dr. Agunloye urged the residents to work harder for the ACN in their wards and units to enable the party win convincingly.

At another event in Aponmu, in Akure South Local Government Area, a community leader, Chief Alade Kolawole, joined the ACN in solidarity with Lawal. Kolawole was received into the party by the Ward Chairman Babalola Tajudeen, Lawal and other party leaders in the community.

Other defectors are: Alade Kolawole, Oluwasetemi Bankola, Mrs. Ajimajasan Tinuola, Chief Akinlolu Omosebi, Augustine Michael, Afolayan Kolawole, Adedayo Oladipupo and Adoro Jegede. Kolawole described Lawal as God-fearing politician, who will transform the state and bring succour to the residents.

Ondo Poly workers threaten strike to get 16 months pay

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ful act by complying with this directive is only in deference to the Office of the Governor and in respect for the fragile peace and stability in Oyo State. “We are, therefore, calling on all, especially the media, to take note of the above development. Any allusion to the Alaafin as the Permanent Chairman has been repealed by a fresh law. Further reference to Alaafin as the Permanent Chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs is a breach of the law and a threat to the peace and orderliness of the state.” A spokesman of the Alaafin Palace in Oyo last night promised to get back to our correspondent when contacted. He failed to do so as at Press time.

ORKERS of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic in Owo, Ondo State, have threatened to begin a strike if the institution’s management fails to pay their 16 months’ salary and arrears. The workers gave a 21-day ultimatum to the school authority to prevail on the state government to settle the backlog of salary and allowances or face their wrath. The battle for the payment of a new salary structure led to the death of three union leaders of the polytechnic in 2010. They are: Pastor Joel Kolawole Ale, Chief Kehinde Akinwumi and Charles Iwetan. They died in a crash on the Akure-Owo road on October 5, 2010, after a meeting with the state government’s representative on their request for a new salary structure.

From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP), Mr. Oluwabanji Kumuyi, addressed reporters in Akure, the state capital, after a joint congress of the school. He was accompanied by his counterparts in the Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnic (SSANIP), Saibu Ifedayo, and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Agbi Nelson. Kumuyi said after the expiration of the ultimatum, nothing would stop the unions from embarking on a strike. He said the Olusegun Mimiko administration signed an agreement with the unions in November 2010, following the death of their colleagues during

the struggle to make the government pay the new salary. According to him, the unions have informed the government’s representatives on their decision. It was learnt that the workers are unhappy about a new tax regime, which the government recently imposed on the salary of the workers. A lecturer, who spoke in confidence, told The Nation that the workers might protest the new tax regime. He noted that though its introduction is in line with the law, the government has not put a palliative in place to cushion the effect of the tax. The lecturer said: “If you are a Dean in the institution, N60,000 of your salary will go for tax; gardeners may not take home more than N1,500, after the tax might have been deducted.”

KITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi has assured the residents of improved security. This is coming as the Nigeria Army plans to establish a base in the state. The governor said the complementary presence of the Nigerian Army with the police would ensure the safety of life and property, as well as stabilise businesses. He expressed delight that a new Artillery Brigade would oversee security in Ondo and Ekiti states, adding that this would prevent attacks by criminals. Fayemi noted that though the Nigerian Army is facing some challenges, it still remains one of the most professional military outfits in Africa and other parts of the world. The governor called for the expansion of the military presence in both states. He said: “It couldn’t have arrived at a much better time. Only last week, we faced what I would consider an unusual encounter in our state. Ekiti is known as one of the very peaceful states in Nigeria, but when we have an occasional opportunistic attack by armed robbers, such as the type we had in Ilasa, it calls attention to the need for reinforced support for the police. The police would always try their best but we do need a form of military reinforcement to that effort, particularly in an era where the police no longer have patrols all around the state.” Fayemi said the state would support the take-off of the Artillery Brigade. He urged its Commander to deploy soldiers in the state ahead of the establishment of the Army Regiment being proposed for the state. The governor spoke in AdoEkiti, the state capital, when he hosted the new Commander of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Mohammed Dan-Ali. Fayemi condemned last week’s armed robbery attack on a bank in Ilasa Ekiti. He said though the state has been peaceful, efforts of security agencies should be consolidated to prevent a recurrence. Dan-Ali hailed the Ekiti State Government, saying the new military formation would enhance socio-economic development of both states and the security of life and property.


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CITYBEATS Man arraigned for alleged car theft By Fisayo Ige

A 29-YEAR old man, Sunday Okubaye, has been arraigned at the Igbosere Magistrate's Court, Lagos Island, for allegedly attempting to steal a car valued N650, 000. The prosecuting Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr P. Okon, said the vehicle was stolen from Mr Godfrey Akhigbe, a police officer from Zone II Police Headquarters, Onikan in Lagos. Akhigbe claimed that the accused opened the car with a duplicate key and was about driving it away when he was apprehended. The prosecutor said Akhigbe had parked the car, a Mazda 626 salon, with registration No AD 891 AAA under the Eko Bridge. The police said the alleged offence is punishable under Section 401 (2) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011. Okubaye pleaded not guilty and was granted bail with the sum of N500, 000 by the presiding Magistrate, Miss Ali Balogun. The matter has been adjourned till June 21.

Lagos advocates regular ante-natal clinic attendance By Seyi Odewale

SPECIAL Adviser to the Lagos State governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, has described early ante-natal registration and its regular attendance by expectant women as the keys to safe motherhood, pregnancy and healthy babies. Adeshina stated this yesterday, at a public health education interaction with women at the Oyingbo market in the Lagos Mainland Local Government Area of the state as part of activities commemorating this year's Safe Motherhood Day celebration. She noted that most deaths and complication in pregnant women occur as a result of none and late ante-natal clinic attendance. The Special Adviser who was represented by the Director, Family Health and Nutrition, Dr. Jemilade Longe, noted that it is disheartening that many women die, not from diseases, but during the normal, life-enhancing process of procreation. She added that the public health education dialogue with market women is a strategy aimed at sensitising women on steps to be taken to ensure safe motherhood, safe pregnancy and healthy baby. She stressed that a country cannot fully develop without investment in safe motherhood. "That is why the theme of this year's celebration: Investing in Safe Motherhood for National Development, is apt and commendable particularly, in respect of efforts aimed at increasing the socio-economic potentials of the country and overcoming the incidence of maternal and child mortality," she said. Adeshina listed other factors that increase deaths in pregnancy to include lack of child spacing and family planning, stressing that the benefits of family planning cannot be overemphasised.

08033054340, 08034699757 E-mail:- ynotcitybeats@gmail.com

Doctor's Strike: NLC urges parties to embrace dialogue •Resident doctors plan warning strike

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HE Nigeria Labour Congress has urged the Lagos State government and the sacked doctors to embrace dialogue to resolve the on-going strike action, even as it declares its interest in mediating in the crisis in the interest of the people. Comrade Chris Uyot, Head of Information/Public Relations, NLC in a statement, said the crisis can be stopped if all parties are willing to embrace dialogue and consider the interests of the people in Lagos State as well as respect relevant national labour laws and conventions of the International Labour Organisation. The statement reads in part, "While the strike rages on, and the doctors and the government have been unable to settle the dispute, majority of patients have been denied access to medical services with dire consequences for the health delivery system in the state. "We believe that the crisis can still be apprehended if all parties in the dispute are willing to embrace dialogue and consider the interests of the people in Lagos state as well as respect relevant national labour laws and conventions of the International Labour Organisation." Uyot said contact has been established between the NLC President Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar and the Lagos State Governor Mr Babatunde Fashola, who has assured of the willingness to accept the intervention of the labour movement in resolving the stalemate in dialogue.

Sokoto NMA seeks Jonathan, Wamakko, Sultan's intervention AS the crisis between Lagos State striking medical doctors and the state government, enters its third week, the Sokoto State Chapter of the Medical Doctors' Association (MDA) has condemned what it described as unfair and inequitable tendencies of Governor Babatunde Fashola for sacking 788 of its doctors. It observed that the state government was not sincere by reneging on its promise, urging it to withdraw the "sack letters" issued the doctors in the state. Addressing a press conference in Sokoto yesterday, Secretary of the Association, Dr. Abubakar A.Panti, said the intimidation and harassment of their colleagues must stop. "The Doctors embarked on a legitimate strike to press home the demand for their rights. The Doctors are under paid and over burdened going by the population statistics of Lagos State," Panti said. According to Dr. Panti, those would be employees were merely fresh graduates just completing By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu, Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja and Duku Joel Damaturu

Meanwhile, the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD), yesterday gave the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to intervene in the crisis which has resulted in the sack of 788 doctors in Lagos State. Addressing reporters in Abuja, the

From Adamu Suleiman, Sokoto

their courses or are on houseman ship without specialisation and required skill. He said that "of those on strike, we have 4 Neuro-Surgeons, which are rarely found. Sacking 788 Doctors means subjecting lives of the people to danger and risk of been killed." The chapter, while in support and solidarity with the Lagos Doctors' action, called on well meaning Nigerians including President Goodluck Jonathan, Sultan of Sokoto, Governor Wamakko, the upper and lower legislative leaderships as well other prominent personalities to talk to Governor Fashola. "He should be told to render his ears and heed to the voice of wisdom and stop playing politics with lives of the electorate who voted them into power. Let them implement the agreement that was signed with Doctors in the state's employment as the only panacea to peace and withdraw their so-called" sack letters" issued to them," Panti said. National President of NARD, Dr. Achonwa Chiedozie, said doctors nationwide will embark on a threeday warning strike from May 31 to drive home its demands. He called on the Federal Government to ensure the recall of the sacked doctors and implementation of the earlier agreements within the ultimatum period or face indefinite nationwide strike. The decision, he said, is part of

Court okays extradition of Nigerian over alleged $30m fraud

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E was arrested and taken before a court in the United States in 2009. Rather than undergo trial, Godwin Chiedo Nzeocha, 54, escaped to Nigeria. In 2011, he was arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) upon a petition written on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), by the Legal Attaché to the United States Consular Office, Lagos. The FBI, in its petition, alleged that Nzeocha had a charge pending against him before a United States District Court in the Southern District of Texas, Houston over his alleged involvement in an Health Care Benefit Fund fraud involving $30 million. It sought Nzeocha's extradition to allow for his trial, a request that prompted the EFCC to initiate an extradition proceeding before the Federal High Court in Lagos. Ruling yesterday, Justice John Tsoho upheld the EFCC's extradi-

•Nzeocha (right) at the court...yesterday By Eric Ikhilae

tion request. The judge said he was convinced, based on the evidence adduced by the commission, that Nzeocha has a case to answer in the US. He gave the EFCC one month

within which to effect the extradition. EFCC told the court that Nzeocha worked with the City Nursing Services in Houston, Texas, USA as a Physical Therapist Aide between 2007 and 2009.

the communiqué issued at the end of NARD's Ordinary General Meeting in Port Harcourt, River State at the weekend. He said: "NARD therefore resolved to perfect its mandate by: (a) Giving the Federal Government a 14 day ultimatum commencing from Monday May 28 (yesterday) to prevail on the Lagos State Government to recall the Doctors and implement earlier agreements or face an indefinite nationwide strike of all Resident Doctors in Nigeria in solidarity with our colleagues." In the meantime, the Yobe State chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), has joined her voice in the call for a peaceful resolution of the on-going strike by Lagos doctors. At a press conference held at the General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Damaturu, yesterday, the State Secretary of NMA Dr. Adamu Umar said the state chapter of the association will not hesitate to join other NMA branches and affiliate bodies in the quest for justice for their Lagos colleagues. The Yobe State NMA equally call on the Lagos State House of Assembly and other well meaning Lagosians to press on Governor Fashola to reverse his action. "Yobe NMA is using this forum to call on the Lagos State House of Assembly, well meaning Lagosians and indeed all Nigerians to call on Governor Babatunde Fashola, to unconditionally reverse this unlawful sack and withdrawal of the query letters forthwith, in order to ameliorate this senseless pathway of self dissemination. "The experiences of some of the sacked doctors like the Neuro-surgeons who have put more than 20 years in service cannot be replaced by fresh graduates of medicine. I am aware that we have only one Neuro-surgeon in the whole of Northern Nigeria and Lagos has two but Fashola has sacked them", Dr. Adamu disclosed. There, he was alleged to have conspired with others and submitted claims worth $45million to the Medicare and Medicaid for health care services on behalf of some patients who are beneficiaries of the health insurance claims. Nzeocha and his accomplices were paid $30 million, but failed to remit the funds to the beneficiaries. Consequently, he was dragged before a United States District Court in the Southern District of Texas, Houston by the United States Department of Justice on October 19, 2009. He was charged with offences bordering on conspiracy to commit health care fraud, money laundering and mail fraud. Part of the charge exhibited before the court read: Count 1: Conspiracy to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying penalty on conviction of a fine of up to $250,000, or imprisonment of not more than ten (10) years, or both; supervised released of not more than three (3) years; and a special assessment of $100.00 for each convicted offence. Count 2: Indictment with health care fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347, carrying penalty on conviction of a fine of up to $250,000, or imprisonment of (10) years, or both; supervised released of not more than three (3) years; and a special assessment of $100.000 for each convicted offence.

LAGOS EMERGENCY LINES 1. Fire and Safety Services Control Room Phone Nos: 01-7944929; 080-33235892; 080-33235890; 080-23321770; 080-56374036. 3. LASTMA Emergency Numbers: 2. Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) 080-75005411; 080-60152462 Lagos Zonal Command Phone No:080080-23111742; 080-29728371 33706639; 01-7742771 080-23909364; 080-77551000 Sector Commander Phone No: 01-7904983 080-34346168; 01-2881304

STATE AGENCIES 4. KAI Brigade Phone Nos: 080-23036632; 0805-5284914 Head office Phone •Nos: 01-4703325; 01-7743026 5. Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Phone Nos: 070-55350249; 070-35068242 080-79279349; 080-63299264

070-55462708; 080-65154338 767 or email: rapidresponsesquad@yahoo.com 6. Health Services – LASAMBUS Ambulance Services Phone Nos: 01-4979844; 01-4979866; 01-4979899; 01-4979888; 01-2637853-4; 080-33057916; 080-33051918-9; 080-29000003-5.


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NEWS Church to hold Synod

Amosun opens six-lane road

By Aminat Adeshina

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HE Second Session of the Third Synod of the Anglican Communion of Badagry Diocese will begin on Thursday and end on Sunday. The opening ceremony will hold on Thursday at the Christ Church, Iworo. The Bishop’s charge will be launched by the Bishop of Badagry Diocese, Rt. Rev. Babatunde J. Adeyemi, by 11am on Friday at the same venue. The new Bishop’s-Court will also be dedicated on Friday at Kunle Gardens, Opposite Iyafin Junction, Badagry – Seme Road. The closing ceremony and thanksgiving service will hold on Sunday at Christ Church, Iworo. Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs. Adejoke OrelopeAdefulire is the Special Guest of Honour.

Ekiti gets chief judge

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USTICE Ayodeji Simeon Daramola has been appointed Chief Judge of Ekiti State. The House of Assembly confirmed his appointment at its sitting yesterday.

Youths are change agents’

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IFE of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun, at the weekend said youths are change agents. She said the desired change in the country can be achieved through community service and attitudinal change. Mrs. Amosun spoke at the home-coming ceremony and decoration of Miss Nigeria, 2011, Oluwafeyijimi Modupeola Sodipo, as the Ogun State Youth Ambassador. The event was held at the Arcade Ground of the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta, the state capital. The governor’s wife said the state government is

ready to offer leadership roles to youths in order to deepen their understanding of good governance. She said: “The world is looking unto youths to be active in the struggle to resolve the challenges of our times, such as creating jobs, promoting democracy and confronting extremism, poverty and various diseases. The Youth Ambassador is important in tackling these issues.” Mrs. Amosun described Oluwafeyijimi as a true representative of the new Nigeria and the positive attributes of a young Nigerian woman, who possesses elegance, talent, intelligence as well as beauty.

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GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday opened the six-lane Ibara/Ita-Eko/ Sokori/Totoro Road. He said the 2.4km road was built to meet international standards. Amosun said the contract for the four-lane 32km Sango-Ijoko-Agbado-Oke Aro-Akute-Ojodu Abiodun Road has been awarded to a Brazilian firm. He said the bid for 18 roads

•Awards more road contracts From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

has begun and the contracts would soon be awarded. Amosun said the roads are strategically located and would inspire economic development. He said: “It is a known fact that we inherited decayed infrastructure, as most of our roads were not motorable. The construc-

tion of this road is an integral part of our urban renewal programme. “It will open up the area to commerce, ensure easy access to other parts of the state and engender development. We are also using this particular road as a model of the type of roads that will dot the nooks and crannies of our state in the coming months.

“This is what we now refer as the ‘Ogun State Standard’. We are setting a new standard. Good roads facilitate socio-economic development. The road has open and covered drains; pedestrian walkways and space for planting of trees and flowers to enhance the beauty of the environment. “Also, this road will soon be adorned with a pedestrian bridge to enable people cross the road freely.

Oyo ACN hails Ajimobi on first anniversary

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Oyo State has congratulated Governor Abiola Ajimobi on the first anniversary of his administration. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, ACN described the achievements recorded in the first year of the Ajimobi administration as unprec-

edented in the history of the state. The party said the government has touched all sectors. It said the governor’s prompt response to the security challenges hitherto facing the state has proved his commitment to the people’s wellbeing. ACN said: “There is no doubt that the first one year

of Ajimobi has been very productive. The rainbow coalition and the slow and steady approach of the ACN administration have been a huge advantage to the state. This is evident in the monumental achievements so far recorded.” The party thanked residents for their support and pledged never to let them down.

•Ajimobi

Akure PDP backs aspirant

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EMBERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday supported the governorship aspiration of Dr. Dare Bada. They decried the alleged marginalisation of the region in the sharing of political offices. The party members, drawn from Akure South,

From Damisi Ojo,Akure

Akure North and Ifedore local government areas, said the region has not produced a governor or minister since 1999. In a statement by their leaders, Chief Bode Kikiowo and Olomi Agunbiade, after a meeting in Akure, they said the time is ripe for the Akure division to produce the party’s governorship candidate.

Former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Dele Osakuade; former House of Assembly Leader Demola Babalola and former Majority Leader Kunle Agunbiade were at the meeting. The statement reads: “The PDP-led Federal Government, between 1999 till date, has appointed two ministers from Akoko, Okitipupa, Ondo and Owo divisions;

none from Akure division. “Other divisions have also produced governors, except Akure division. Politics is a game of numbers. It is paradoxical that Akure division, which has the largest population in the state and is home to one-third of registered voters, is in this situation.” The group urged PDP leaders to concede the governorship ticket to the division.


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TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as President exactly a year ago. Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU, who spoke with key stakeholders, examines the performance of the administration within the context of its transformation agenda.

Presidency as national burden W

ILL President Goodluck Jonathan roll out the drums today in celebration of another year in office? Observers contend that, if his one year in office as an elected President is marked with funfair, what is celebrated may not be any concrete achievement, but the survival of the administration, in spite of the challenges gradually drowning the country under his leadership. The President’s one year in office coincides with 13 years of restoration of civil rule. Within the period, the country has produced three civilian heads of state. Despite the high hopes and expectations, the period has passed with a speed of lightening without corresponding improvement in national wellbeing. The first Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd) began well, but ended badly with a curious third term agenda, which was an affront on the constitution. His successor, Alhaji Umaru Yar’ Adua, was slowed down by protracted ill-health, which eventually drew the curtains on his tenure. Jonathan, who succeeded him was accorded an undeserved goodwill by many Nigerians, who thought that he would make a difference. However, in the last one year, there has been obvious gaps between expectation and reality. The President cannot be described as an inexperienced administrator, having previously served as deputy governor, Vice President, Acting President and President, although they were brief tenures. As Acting President, Jonathan faced stiff opposition from elements who fueled tension between the constitution and zoning formula of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Nigerians protested before he was sworn in as Acting President. When he became President, he started presiding over a trembling polity under the threat of insecurity. Forging national unity is becoming increasingly difficult. The north is angry at the hijack of presidential power, as it were, which it erroneously perceives as its birthright by the President, who wields the power of incumbency. Also, the south, which endorsed him at the poll barely a year, is disappointed by the President’s abysmal performance. Following his election as President last year, Dr. Jonathan promised a transformation agenda, which was soothing to the ear. Jonathan outlined plans to revive the economy, fight infrastructure battle, curb corruption, promote accountability and build public confidence in government. Economists have argued that the President did not inherit a country in total economic ruins. Although foreign reserves were grossly depleted and foreign debt was just going up, Nigeria still had a promising financial base, which was only ruptured by soaring corruption. There were complaints about the high cost of governance at the centre, with severe consequences for capital expenditure. Under Jonathan Administration, youth unemployment has a time bomb, with graduates now enlisting in professional crime Infrastructure battle is being fought, as the government has claimed, but no proof of efficient social amenities. Fed up with the lack of improve-

• Dr Jonathan at his inauguration on May 29, 2011.

ment, an elder statesman, Sir. Olaniwun Ajayi, cried out that Nigeria may collapse under the weak President, who seemed to lack proper initiative and focus. He enjoined the President to act with speed, warning that the ship of state may hit the rock. It is an understatement. Many Nigerians believe that Jonathan Administration is yet to start pursuining a transformational agenda. This is because all the sectors are ailing. What may have pre-occupied the President’s mind is his second term ambition more than using the first term to add value to governance. “Instead of giving us electricity, they are giving us darkness and now, they want to increase electricity tariff, no way”, said former federal legislator from Kogi State, Dino Melaiye. Another right activist, Nelson Ekunjumi, lamented the state of federal roads, saying that they have remained death traps. “Nigeria has been under the bondage of the PDP administration for 13 years and there is no end in sight to national agony”, he added, urging Nigerians to liberate themselves in the next election. The greatest challenge confronting Nigeria today is insecurity. The National Security Adviser, Gen. Patrick Aziza, said the premise of Boko Haram’ revolt was the violation of PDP’s zoning formula. On October 1, last year, the President shifted the venue of Independence day parade from Eagles Square, Abuja, following threats by Boko Haram sects to bomb the venue. Many lives have been lost and property worth billions of naira destroyed by the sect. Experts fear that the menace would largely scare away foreign investors

from the country. The President has owned up that Boko Haram had penetrated his government, sending clear signals that the challenge of ensuring security has overwhelmed him. However, government officials said that the President is ready to confront the challenge headlong this year, citing the budgetary allocation to the sector. Some economists have flayed the government for lack of economic direction. They claim that budget is becoming a declaration of deceit, adding that the National Assembly has also complained about poor budget implementation and failure. This has also been the bone of contention between government and stakeholders. For example, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) alleged that government spend N1.6 trillion without appropriation by the National Assembly. The group, led by Pastor Tunde Bakare, is now in court challenging the breach of due process by government. “We shall use the court to compel an investigation into how the federal government ended up spending N1.6 trillion as against N240 billion budgeted for subsidy in the 2011 fiscal year”, Bakare said. Infrastructural decay also stares the nation in the face, although federal roads are now being patched in bits. Former Minister of Works and Housing, Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN), is alarmed at the impassble roads, which he described as death traps. “We need to undertake road studies. We need to return to the old, painstaking way of addressing the infrastructural problems” he said. A lot of accidents occur on these abandoned roads, especially the Lagos/Ibadan and

Sagamu/Ore/Benin Expressway. Although government has unfolded plans to rehabilitate the Lagos/ Ibadan road through concessionaire, no equipment is on site. Okunnu blamed the poor state of the roads on pressure by trailers in the absence of an efficient rail system. “If the rail system is functional, we will have less number of long vehicles on the road”, he added. Under the Obasanjo Administration, it was claimed that the teaching hospitals and medical centres were turned around. But the health sector also lay prostrate and only privileged Nigerians escape the horror by going to either India or Cuba for medical care. Malaria and communicable diseases are still rampant, to the disadvantage of child and mother mortality. However, the greatest headache is that electricity generation is at a low ebb. The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) generates more darkness than light. When Jonathan came on board, there was a slight improvement initially. However, the nation was back to square one barely three months after. Today, there is hardly a home in the urban centers without generators and environment is polluted by flames. Generator importation is booming. Due to power failure, the productive sector is crippled, making artisans and peasants to be jobless for most of the day. On many occasions, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) had warned that unemployment rate may double, owing to high cost of production. Apart from forced downsizing, private sector cannot meet the welfare needs of employ-

‘It is an understatement. Many Nigerians believe that the Jonathan Administration is yet to start pursuing a transformation agenda. This is because all the sectors are ailing. What may have pre-occupied the President’s mind is his second term ambition, more than using the first term to add value to governance’

ees because of running cost. Against public opinion, President Jonathan removed fuel subsidy and hiked petroleum for domestic use. The hike in fuel price increased the cost of living in the country. Prominent Nigerians cried out against the twin policies. Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka observed that government was shifting the burden of its ineptitude to Nigerians. Many are not happy that government has no plan to build refineries to enhance domestic fuel supply. “It is a shame that the sixth largest producer of oil in the world is in want of refined fuel”, said Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) leader, Dr Fredrick Fasehun, who added: “It smacks of insensitivity to the condition of the masses”. When protests persisted in Lagos and Abuja against the fuel price increase, the federal government used the opportunity of the weekend ceasefire to draft troops to Lagos. The President momentarily became a dictator using soldiers to harass Nigerians. Inter-governmental relation was ruptured, with Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) challenging the impropriety of troops invasion when the state is peaceful. Also, the Oba of Lagos, Aremu Akiolu, condemned the deployment because Nigeria is not under military rule. Finance Minister Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala and Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi defended the subsidy removal. They explained that government needed to do away with subsidy to earn more income for developmental purposes. Critics disagreed with the claim, saying that Jonathan has no record of prudent spending. Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) said However, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) said a government that budgeted N1 billion for food and cutleries in this year’s budget cannot be trusted. . Also, SNG spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said Dr. Jonathan has been held to ransom by cabals in the oil sector, wondering why he is reluctant to prosecute suspects in the fuel subsidy scam. The President of Trade Union Congress (TUC) Peter Esele said President Jonathan unilaterally forced the fuel price down the throat of labour. The new price wiped away the supposedly gains of N18 minimum wage. The uniform wage structure generated heat, with governors complaining that, in a federation, states are in a better position to enter into discussion with their workers on wage review, based on the financial strength of the states and other realities. Workers in some states are still at loggerheads with the governors over the uniform wage review, which did not take into cognizance the differences and peculiarities of each state. While in office, President Obasanjo was said to have disobeyed court orders. Taking a clue from his leader, Jonathan simply ignored parliamentary resolutions. Presidential spokesman Dr Rueben Abati had dismissed the national Assembly’s resolutions asking the President to halt fuel price increase as mere advisory, stressing that they were not binding. But eminent politician, Chief Richard Akinjide, disagreed. He said the President has not adjusted to the democratic requirements of his high •Continued on page 18


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POLITICS Akinola Awodeyi-Akinsehinwa is one the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship aspirants in Ondo State. In this chat with Deputy Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU, he speaks on his ambition and chances of the party at the October poll.

‘Aregbesola is a blessing’ By Musa Odoshimokhe

ACN set for power shift in Ondo S

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HAT informed your decision to contest for the governorship of Ondo State? I am an indigene of Owo Local Government Area in Ondo State, where I had my primary and secondary school education before proceeding to Lagos for my university education. Thereafter I ventured into energy business. I am a director of many companies. One of them is the recently privatised refinery that was brought to Ondo State few years ago under the administration of late Pa Adebayo Adefarati. My emergence had already been predicted over 30 years ago by the late sage, Pa Adekunle Ajasin during one of his second term campaigns. He emphasised the need for free education which was the focal point of his government. He said one day, one of the beneficiaries of the free education scheme would become the governor of the state. I was privileged to be there, he came down from the podium and held on to my hand and said “one day, this young boy will become the governor of this state.” Secondly, when I was delivering a lecture at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), one of the commissioners from Ondo State heard what I was saying and he came to ask me to come and do all the things I was saying for the state. He arranged a meeting between me and Governor Olusegun Mimiko at the Government House around 8pm. When the governorsaw me, he immediately recognised because we had met before. I told him that it was an opportunity for the state to be among the energy players. So, that Ondo State become a mini Dubai. After explaining to him, he said he was sorry that he could not understand what I was saying, he then called his Chief of Staff. I met with the Chief of Staff and he too told me he too had a limited understanding of the project. He then introduced me to the current Finance Commissioner Akinyele Abimbola Ogundipe, who was then the Special Adviser on Finance and Investments. We later agreed to form a 10-man committee, five from me and five from them. We were not successful due to the way it was handled. Then said if these people with little know-how can govern this state, why can’t I? That was what prompted me to aspire. Being a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), I went back to my party to explain the situation of things and my feeling. I also saw the crying and yearnings of the people; I then decided that this mediocre cannot continue to rule us. Do you think you have what it

•Awodeyi-Akinsehinwa

takes to impact positively on the lives of the indigenes? Right from the inception of my life, I was not born with a silver spoon. I went through the level of poverty and by the grace of Almighty God, I overcome poverty. I know what it is for someone not to have food on the table. Definitely, my government will industrialise the state. My government will bring security to the state. If you look at Akoko part of the state, recently the place was held hostage by robbers because there was no security. I am also going to tackle the problems in education by re-introducing the Ajasin’s style of policy, that every indigene of the state will have access to free education and good health services. The state has a large deposit of bitumen which will be harnessed. The state also has the largest waterways in the country. These are the potentials that are still lying fallow. My coming will bring global skills to local market. With over 30 aspirants contesting the seat, how do you intend to emerge as the party’s candidate? Many are called, but few are chosen. I pray that the chosen one should be me. But what I will want you to know is that we are all credible candidates because the ACN parades the best so far. The party knows how to run its affairs. Secondly, if you see numerous candidates like this, it shows the government of the day is not performing. If he is performing, no cabinet member will decamp to contest against him. You cannot see his party chairman and special adviser defecting to other parties to contest against him. In my party, we have a way of doing our primaries and our leaders know the best way to do this.

And by the grace of God, I will emerge victorious. How strong is your party at the grassroots? As of today, we can assure you that we only have two parties in Ondo state - the ACN and the others. Wherever you go in the state, all they are yearning for is change and it is only the ACN that can bring about the change. That is why you see everybody defecting to the party from former commissioners, ministers and even a serving senator, a serving House of Representatives member. I can assure you that between now and June, nothing less the seven to eight commissioners will leave the cabinet and join the ACN. So, we are the party to beat. What is the assurance that post-primary election crisis will not destabilise your party? Our leaders have a structure on ground and the structure of emergence by any candidate will be put in place. I can assure you that nobody will decamp if he does not win because we are a one big family. We are in one accord. God willing, once I win the primary, I can assure you that all the members will support me because I am the first aspirant to declare my ambition over two years ago and I worked closely with a former chairman to revamp the party. What efforts are underway to make the party structures and organs strong ahead of the election? If we take a careful look, the ACN still has the best party structures because the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State is in disarray. There is no Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Definitely, all the focus is on the ACN. If there is no structure, how would we be able to fight the LP in the state and give them a run for their money? We cannot say we are perfect; all we need to do is go to where things are wrong and make them perfect. Is a consensus candidate still possible in Ondo ACN? Well, I told you it is a family affair. We will all sit down since we are from the same state. Some of us are brothers and cousins. We will go to the drawing board and look at it holistically and the leaders will tell us which way to go. They can only assist us to put things right but I can assure you that the best candidate will emerge. What are the conditions that will likely lead to the emergence of a running mate? I will be very careful in answering that question because I am an aspirant in the party. The party structure will be the one to produce the running mate since I cannot dictate to the party.

• From right: Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Deputy Governor Segun Adesegun (left) and former governor of the state, Chief Segun Osoba while inspecting the newly commissioned Ita-Eko/Sokori/Totoro Road in Abeokuta ... yesterday.

PECIAL Adviser to the Osun State government on Environment, Mr Bola Ilori, has stressed the need for collaborative efforts to move the state forward instead of the diversion by some people. Ilori, who spoke with The Nation when he was honoured for outstanding leadership by the MetroCity People in Lagos, described 55 year-old Governor Rauf Aregbesola has a blessing to the state because of the laudable impacts recorded since he assumed office. He urged all hands to be on deck to ensure the success of government, advising those hell bent on disrupting the relative peace and progress enjoyed in the state to have a rethink. “Our governor is a performer, he is not someone who adopts cosmetic approach to issues. He made it clear that people should not place advert to congratulate him. He is dedicated to performance and does not make too much noise about what he does. Though the state is not very buoyant in terms of resources he has ensure that the people gets service.” The special adviser stated that it was barbaric for some people to be threateding to stop and search the governor’s convoy. This according to him is the most unfortunate statement that could be made by someone who called himself a leader. Ilori said: “There is no need to tell you that this character was behind the so-called security report that Osun State was being islamised. I am a member of the cabinet, if the governor has not been able to Islamise me, a Christian, how will he Islamise the whole of Osun? He futher noted that Osun State has witnessed massive infrastructural development despite the lean resources. This according to him, is to put the state where it should be in terms of standards that are obtained in other states where democratioc impacts are felt. The Special Adviser maintained that Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) will produce the next government in Ondo State because the people massively want a change. “They want to be part of the progressive agenda that is anchored on regional integration. “We are looking at regional integration, there are things to be done together, we are looking at the greater western rail lines, where you can live in Ado Ekiti and work in Lagos or vice versa. You can see that people are decamping from Labour Party every day, so if they are performing why are people leaving the party?” He stressed the need to support the regional integration programme because it was one of the ways the people can reap the fruit of democracy. “All we are advocating in this dispensation is true federalism where every segment of society can make its impact with fear of molestation from any unit or department.” • Ilori

Presidency as national burden •Continued from page 17

office. The former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice said it is unthinkable that the Prime Minister of Great Britain and United States President would ignore the resolutions of the Houses of Lords and Commons and Congress. This also irked Bakare. He said: “It was so shocking that the regime lampooned the resolutions of the two chambers of the National Assembly on the matter as mere opinions, forgetting so soon that the “doctrine of necessity”, which was invoked by the same National Assembly, less than two years ago after Nigerians trooped to the streets against the “power hijack” by the then cabal, was never ridiculed”. How has the administration also fought corruption? Critics feel that the government is now the greatest corrupter of society. The fuel subsidy and pension fund scams have dented the image of the government, although Jonathan Administration inherited the malaise. “Every aspect of the administration of this country is rotten and we cannot continue with it”, said foremost legal scholar Prof. Ben nwabueze (SAN), who joined the protest against troops deployment in Lagos. The courts have also come to encourage corruption, for while it set a former governor free over allegations of theft, the same politician was jailed based on the same offence by a London court. Human rights crusader, Abiodun Sowumi, is worried by the lack of transparency.”Contracts are inflated at will and when they are not completed, no eyebrow is raised and they just simply transfer it to the next budget. There is no parliamentary reprisal

for budget failure”, he lamented. During the fuel subsidy crisis, public pressure made government to own up. The Minister of Petroleum, Diazeni Allinson-Madueke, agreed that the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) should beam a searchlight on the activities of the ministry and NNPC. But, nobody has been prosecuted, despite the startling revelations during the House of Representatives probe of the scandals. It is also evident that the President is insensitive to the national questions germane to peaceful co-existence of the over 250 ethnic nationalities. He has openly opposed a Sovereign National Conference (SNC).The President and 36 governors are at loggerheads over the Sovereign National Wealth Fund. Dr. Jonathan’s views on other issues, including the restructuring of Nigerian Federation, return to true federalism as embodied in 1960 Independence Constitution, marginalisation and rotation of the Presidency, resource control and revenue allocation, and inconsistencies in the 1999 Constitution, are not known. Yet, he is expected to open up on the state police, agitations for special status for Lagos and the abolition of the Land Use Act, status of local government within the context of true federalism, repeal and abolition of Petroleum Act, review of the powers of the National Judicial Council, inclusion of national debt in the constitution, adoption of six zone structure, reform of the civil service and electoral process,, and fiscal federalism. The President has set up a constitution review panel. Can the review resolve these national questions?


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

19

EDITORIAL/OPINION EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

COMMENT

Failed leaders’ gallery? We wonder why it is now that the former rulers have the wisdom on what to be done

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HE advice of former leaders of the country at the recent Fourth Annual Conference of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies Nigeria (AES), on how the nation can work was self indicting. At the conference with the theme: ‘Strong systems: Necessity for Building a Virile Nation,’ they all exposed their belated wisdom on the way forward for the country. Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Head of Interim National Government were all in their oratorical best while proffering ways out of the present mess in the country. They all want systems and institutions they collectively contributed to destroying while in power or office to now be strengthened. Their voices of hypocrisy roared above those of other eminent Nigerians, including Justice Mohammed Uwais, former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Lagos State governor and Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), a legal scholar of repute, among others. Gowon, chairman of the occasion, declared that for Nigeria to grow, it must have leaders who”must recognise and be tolerant of opposing views. A leadership cannot make progress if it only relies on the echoes of its own voice.” Shonekan professed that: “Going forward, I believe the future of Nigeria is bright, if we can all build on the various institutions put in place by government and build on governance...’’ Obasanjo, characteristically roared: “We are concerned for Nigeria. Justice Uwais, I share your concern for

the judiciary… Is there hope for Nigeria?” We do not know how these former leaders want to be taken seriously because their tenures contributed largely to the corruption of the judiciary through their lack of respect for the rule of law and democratic institutions. Gowon postponed the return to civil rule until he was toppled i n a military coup in 1976, after spending about nine years in power. It was his regime that laid the foundation of inexorable corruption that is ravaging the country today. Obasanjo’s only achievement as a military ruler was his relinquishing power to the civilians in 1979. His second coming as democratic president in 1999 was marred with disobedience of court judgments, crude disrespect for the rule of law, election rigging, corruption of the democratic space and above all, contempt for constitutionalism. Obasanjo championed intolerance of opposition during elections in the nation as he nearly succeeded in turning the country into a one party state, destroying institutions of state in the process. Shonekan was a beneficiary of hijacked mandate. While in power, he proved to be a weakling whose only strength was in crass disobedience of a Lagos State High Court order declaring his ING as illegal, null and void. His actions and inactions acted as catalyst for the destruction of all democratic structures in the country in 1993. His acceptance of the ING job contributed largely to the retardation of state institutions. Like Gowon and Obasanjo, he listened

to ‘echoes of his voice’ alone until he was shoved aside by the late despot, General Sani Abacha. If these men had a good sense of history, they would realise that they are not competent to advice on ways of growing the country. We share Governor Fashola’s sentiment at the event when he said:”When institutions succeed, great people have succeeded and when institutions fail, it is also men and women that have failed… Institutions are determined by men with character and compassion that can build.” Definitely, Gowon, Obasanjo and Shonekan, because of failure of institutions during their tenures cannot be considered as successful leaders. Hence, they should stop dissipating energy on offering advice on how to move the country forward.

‘If these men had a good sense of history, they would realise that they are not competent to advice on ways of growing the country. We share Governor Fashola’s sentiment at the event when he said:”When institutions succeed, great people have succeeded and when institutions fail, it is also men and women that have failed … ” Definitely, Gowon, Obasanjo and Shonekan, because of failure of institutions during their tenures, cannot be considered as successful leaders’

An afterthought •The Presidency ought to have acted on subsidy probe report before now

A

FTER weeks of dilly dallying by the Presidency over the status to accord the report of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Management of Fuel Subsidy funds, there seems to be a ray of executive recognition for the damning report. President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly referred the document to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for supposed thorough investigation and possible arraignment of indicted persons and or organisations. The scandalous report was reportedly taken to the EFCC by Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation. The direct referral of the matter to the EFCC has foreclosed the challenge of harmonisation that led to the meeting of Ibrahim Lamorde, Barrister Ekpo Nta and Dr. Sam Saba, chairmen of the EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission

‘Nigerians and indeed the world is watching how this probe report will end and what the next move of government will be on fuel subsidy. However, one thing is clear, and that is the fact that the consequences would be dire should the government try to sweep this matter under the carpet’

(ICPC) and the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), respectively. The Presidency expects the EFCC to further probe, as specified in the report, 121 oil marketers, including: 17 marketers that allegedly did not obtain foreign exchange but claimed to have imported petroleum products; 15 marketers who obtained forex but did not import petroleum products; 71 oil marketers that are expected to refund N230.1billion and 18 oil marketers who allegedly committed other criminal infractions. The EFCC is also expected to probe how 3.171billion litres of petrol (PMS) got missing; and why not less than 3.171 litres of PMS allegedly subsidised were not supplied to the Nigerian market. The activities of some principal officers of the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are also to be probed to determine the veracity of their culpability in the subsidy thievery, and to ensure their possible arraignment in court. Other pecuniary discrepancies identified in the report would expectedly be probed and those involved made to face the full wrath of the law. It is pertinent to note that the report was not given the promptness it deserves; otherwise, it would not have been unduly delayed in the Presidency. Its referral to the EFCC can therefore be said to be an afterthought. We know that the Federal Ministry of Justice has the power to prosecute on behalf of the State, and acting appropriately with alacrity on the report would not have been ultra vires its power. Moreover, the government has not shown sufficient sincerity on the matter with Diezani Alison-Madueke, the

Minister of Petroleum, who was grossly indicted in the report still walking freely around, and presiding over the affairs of the ministry. As a matter of fact, she has even overseen the setting up of some committees ostensibly to turn things around in the sector. We doubt how this can be possible, considering her ministry’s alleged ignoble role in the mess. All these taint the presidential referral of the report to the EFCC, especially when it is feared that the anti-graft agency can be influenced by the minister who is seen as a powerful cabinet member, thus putting the entire process in suspicious cloud. This is much more so that the EFCC has now become another escape route for corrupt public officials. So, the Presidency’s sending of the report to the anti-graft agency is a further distraction, more so at a time when there is the speculation that President Goodluck Jonathan is planning to completely remove subsidy on petroleum products. We consider this presidential referral as a decoy to make Nigerians erroneously think that the president is doing something to block the holes in his obviously non-existent fuel subsidy regime. The ploy, ab initio, has failed because Nigerians, through the messy details that came out of the House probe, now know that what is officially termed as fuel subsidy is phantom, after all. Nigerians and indeed the world is watching how this probe report will end and what the next move of government will be on fuel subsidy. However, one thing is clear and that is the fact that the consequences would be dire should the government try to sweep this matter under the carpet.

Caught in the crossfire

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OW COULD Pakistan sentence someone to 33 years in prison for helping track down Osama bin Laden? Bending over backward to be fair, you might reply: Well, no country likes its citizens cooperating with the secret service of another nation. As Pakistani Ambassador Sherry Rehman told us, “Pakistan assisted more than anyone else, but this is an issue about the law, and we can’t have people contracting with foreign agencies.” Jonathan Pollard, an American, is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel, a U.S. ally. The differences outweigh the similarities, however. Mr. Pollard sold highly classified secrets. Shakil Afridi, 48, had access to no secrets. The United States enlisted him to help track down a mass murderer whom Pakistan was bound, under U.N. resolutions, to do everything in its power to apprehend. Americans wonder why Dr. Afridi is not being treated as a hero — and why no one in Pakistan has been punished for knowingly or unknowingly allowing Osama bin Laden to live peaceably in a military garrison town for so long. Much about the doctor’s case remains unknown to the public. He reportedly ran a fake vaccination campaign to obtain blood samples from people in the bin Laden compound so that the CIA could verify their identity. Apparently he did not manage to obtain samples, but whether he was helpful in any way is not clear. Whether he knew for whom he was working, or in what cause, is also unknown. How the Pakistani government learned his identity, whether the CIA offered to evacuate him in the days following the bin Laden killing — also shrouded in mystery. What is known is that Pakistani agents arrested him May 22, 2011, three weeks after the raid, and that a tribal court sentenced him Wednesday to 33 years in prison for treason after a secret trial in which he did not have the right to present evidence or be represented by an attorney. The government surgeon is a victim of U.S.Pakistani tensions. Pakistanis are affronted that U.S. forces entered their territory to hunt down Osama bin Laden without informing them. Americans are astonished that Pakistanis are more affronted by that infringement of sovereignty than they are embarrassed or disgusted that the bin Laden clan lived so easily in their nation for the better part of a decade. The Afridi case does not change the U.S. interest in Pakistan, which lies in continued, frustrating but essential efforts to bolster civilian institutions and target terrorist safe havens. But the United States has a responsibility to do everything within its power to see Dr. Afridi freed. The Senate Armed Services Committee was right to vote to make some aid conditional on that outcome. As ranking member John McCain (R-Ariz.) and committee chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said, “Dr. Afridi set an example that we wish others in Pakistan had followed long ago. “ Dr. Afridi has the right to appeal his conviction, Ms. Rehman said. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the United States will press Pakistan to release the doctor. That should be a priority. – Washington Post

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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

20

EDITORIAL/OPINION

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IR: I have read several inaugural speeches by Nigerian leaders; overtime I have come to believe that is either they don’t bother to read it afterwards or that the pressure and responsibilities of the job has become too complicated for them. If President Jonathan does it, he would have by now known that he has expressly failed Nigerians. Going through President’s inaugural speech again, I could not but conclude that he has nothing to celebrate in his one year in office. Ignore all those on-the-paper achievements being reeled out by his ministers; Nigerians are not fooled! Except if those achievements happened somewhere else or all Nigerians took a vacation and did not know Jonathan has done so much

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President should re-read his inaugural speech for them. Electricity is still bad! Potable water remains a dream! Insecurity is sky-high! What is it that the Jonathan administration would be celebrating? The scores killed by Boko Haram? The disoriented, hungry and willing but unemployed Nigerian youths? The pension scam or its twin, the subsidy probe roguery? The un-motorable roads?

We know he didn’t cause all the problems, but he did promise to fix them! It’s his job to fix them! Didn’t he declare in his inaugural speech that: “The time for lamentation is over. This is the era of transformation. This is the time for action... Let us all believe in a new Nigeria. Let us work together to build a great country that we will all be proud of. This is our hour.

Fellow Compatriots, lift your gaze towards the horizon. Look ahead and you will see a great future that we can secure with unity, hard work and collective sacrifice. Join me now as we begin the journey of transforming Nigeria. I will continue to fight, for your future, because I am one of you. I will continue to fight, for improved medical care for all our citizens. I will continue to fight

Why does truth hurt so much?

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IR: Nigerians are complicated people and I wonder if we are serious about our desire for a better country. As a people, we seem to have an inexhaustible knack to diagnose critical national issues inappropriately with the result that important ones are neglected and trivialities glorified. Events of the last few weeks have indeed proved that we prefer the cloak of sentiment to the voice of reason and foresight. On one hand comments made by retired Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo, both former leaders of Nigeria, drew the ire of an amazing number of Nigerians across all sections of the population. Ironically, no eyebrows were raised when Reuben Abati, President Jonathan’s spokesman, declared that the President has fulfilled all his campaign promises nor did anyone chide Christopher Kolade, head of the Subsidy Re-investment committee, when he announced that gains of subsidy removal are now apparent in the country. For the avoidance of doubt, Buhari is right to say there will be bloodshed if, and that is the conditional word we ignored – if, 2015 polls are rigged. Actually, Nigeria is almost saturated with blood particularly with the precision bombings of Boko Haram and if the desperation of the political elites in the North to wrest power from the South is anything to go by, we may actually witness more

bloodshed come 2015 as foretold. Desperation is a powerful motivating force that blinds reason and drives the desperate to extreme actions; the North, from where Buhari comes, is desperate for power. It is why three years from the elections and in the midst of a crippling regional economy induced by Boko Haram’s growing wanton killings, northern politicians and their elites are preoccupied with perfecting a grand scheme to bring power back to their base. And Obasanjo is right too for saying the National Assembly is dominated by criminals. I reckon he should know because he was once our president. For the self-seeking lawmakers the land is green and they feed fat at the expense of the hungry

population that voted for them; worst still, they do not visit their constituencies once they make it to the National Assembly. Of course our lawmakers are decent citizens who will not deign to the point of armed robbery but they are adept in crafty art through which they dubiously enrich themselves while the not so crafty simply remain silent waiting for pay day, either way the lawmakers are criminally complicit. But men like Buhari and Obasanjo, who try to draw our focus to the evil within and save us from folly of deceit we castigate and those who lie to us, like Abati and Kolade, we accept in the same manner the Jews accepted Barabbas, a convicted murderer, over Jesus and his message of salvation. Maybe we prefer lies and sentiments

because our psyche has been reprogrammed to accept deceit over reason and truth. Pray, Dr. Abati, what campaign promises have your principal accomplished? Is it the inglorious and ill-timed subsidy removal he gave Nigerians as New Year gift? Or dwindling economy or rising spate of insecurity? Can Dr. Kolade show us evidence of subsidy gains please? Where is the improved mass transit they promised? What of the better health care service sir? The time has come for Nigerians to put men of double standards in their place, embrace reason and demand the best from their government. • Ogunsanya Akintayo Adesoji Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State

for all citizens to have access to first class education. I will continue to fight for electricity to be available to all our citizens. I will continue to fight for an efficient and affordable public transport system for all our people. I will continue to fight for jobs to be created through productive partnerships. You have trusted me with your mandate, and I will never, never let you down. I know your pain, because I have been there. Look beyond the hardship you have endured. See a new beginning; a new direction; a new spirit. Nigerians, I want you to start to dream again. What you see in your dreams, we can achieve together,”? Oh yes! We believe in a new Nigeria, but the President has not given us much to believe in. Just fickle promises! Those are wearing us off! And Nigerians have risen from their dreams. Never again will they be sent to the dreamland of lies and clueless leadership! We believe in dreams, but not here, not now. And we believe in God also, but the President should stop pushing everything to God. If he fails, only he and he alone (not God) would be blamed. God has brought him from Otuoke village to Aso Rock in Abuja; it’s time for him to impress God! Wake up, Mr President. Time waits not for you. Soon your administration will become history. What will history and Nigerians remember you for? Pick up a copy of your inaugural speech and read it again! You would discover that your government is not even crawling; it is dragging its buttocks on the ground like a cripple. • ‘Dimeji Daniels Ado-Ekiti

Of Children’s Day and development

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IR: On May 27 of every year, Nigeria marks Children’s Day to reinforce the recognition of children as great forces of development, and to celebrate their life, time and fate.. The day is dedicated to make people to stay connected with the responsibility of caring, protecting, educating and entertaining children. Unfortunately, the directions the lives of many children in Nigeria are taking are becoming increasingly defined by tragedies, deaths,

pains, accidents, disappointments, sorrow, and other dangerous scenarios.Many, were and continue to be, victims of deadly bombings, catastrophic accidents, horrific armed robberies, deadly preventable diseases, horrendous election and post-election killings, traumatic rapes and other challenging conditions. Many children face constant torments, pains and horrors from the combined forces of poverty and hunger. Child abuse maintains its indefatigable offensive against a lot of chil-

dren. Many children spend long periods of their lives laboring, hawking, prostituting and begging to earn meaningful living. There are many factors that work to undermine and bring down the progress and future of Nigerian children. Corruption is a super factor in the evil act of the destruction of the future and lives of children. Bad governance at different levels also plays a significant role. Substandard parenting pushes children in the direction of malfunctioning society.

Ethical dysfunctions in the society are destructively offensive to children. For Nigeria to have a sustainable development, Nigerian children must be groomed responsibly and ethically. They must be grown to be in good and positive actions, and be straightforwardly engaged in nation building. Nigeria should set off waves of change for quality and qualitative transformation of children. • Uchechukwu Agodom Katsina


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

21

EDITORIAL/OPINION

“E

R

NTER AG, the Leviathan”, the or maybe the president acted debut article on Republican Ripand asked his AG to provide ples, tackled the spectre of an and mouth legal justification. That was 18 August 2011. But emerging legal bully, of putative fascome 10 May 2012 when NJC cism, in a putative democratic repubreversed itself, the AG adlic. That was 4 September 2007. vised snail’s speed and caution President Umaru Musa Yar’adua (Al– or maybe it was procured lah grant him complete rest) had “won” legal cover for a president that a fatally flawed election. Chukwuma Olakunle had done whatever he wanted Charles Soludo, from victory to victory lordbeek@yahoo.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola anyway. The AG’s self-servduring the heady Obasanjo years, had ing sub-judice plea – a situation just galloped into a ditch, with his Stranot absent during the posttegic Agenda for the Naira aka Naira dehaste suspension – is a clear nomination policy. Bristling was afterthought. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, once-uponBut what is not so obvious is a-SAN, and President Yar’adua’s rulethe apparent political manoeuvring driving this inconsistency. of-law attorney-general and minister of Justice. Aondoakaa’s eventual ministerial junking, and finally his susAt Justice Isa Ayo Salami’s suspension, there were pending Dr. Soludo, in his full glory as Central Bank of Nigeria pension as SAN, perhaps the first in Nigerian history to suffer electoral cases, including Muhammadu Buhari’s challenge to (CBN) czar, had announced his new naira re-decimalisasuch professional ignominy. Well, just desert for a tragic President Jonathan’s election. Justice Salami had already emtion with the hauteur of he, who could not be challenged; legal Leviathan, even if there could be other reasons the expanelled a court to hear the suit. At his suspension, however, flashing the CBN Act that – or so he thought – guaranteed ecutive-judicial establishments moved against him! the acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu him absolute autonomy in monetary matters. Then enter Mohammed Adoke, SAN. Now, federal and probAdamu, disbanded the panel and set up a new one. Was the But Mr. Aondoakaa, flashing his own rule-of-law presiably state AGs had always rallied for political expediency, insuspension a decided ploy to get rid of a jurist of conscience, dential charter, hot, fresh and smoking, had nothing but stead of the law. Bayo Ojo, SAN, was heavily criticised for trying and replace the presidential election tribunal with pliant judges? contempt for the CBN czar. And he roared: to justify President Obasanjo’s penchant to disobey court orders. Now, there are gubernatorial elections in Edo (July 14) and “I, as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, hereby stop all Even the detached Akinlolu Olujimi, SAN, was accused of being Ondo (October 20) states, which would engender the normal actions on the re-denomination of the Naira. This is because the a tad too passive in advising his principal, the same Obasanjo, post-election adjudication. Is the reluctance to reinstate Justice action of the CBN Governor violated Section 19, sub-section 1 against his soldier’s instinct for executive lawlessness. Salami, pleading phoney sub-judice, a strategic move to judiand 2 of the CBN Act. Therefore, the actions must abate. All actions Still, the era of Aondoakaa and Adoke would probably go cially secure future electoral robberies? of the CBN in the re-denomination must be in accordance with the down as the lowest point in the roasting of the law, just for The tenures of Michael Aondoakaa (once upon a SAN) and CBN Act. So, until an approval is sought and obtained in writing political expediency. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), as federal AGs, have brought this from the president, all actions on the re-denomination must stop.” Like President Jonathan’s still breath of fresh air, the federal republic and democracy to a judicial brink. Hitherto unMr. Aondoakaa probably had a point, quoting as it were Justice ministry under Mr. Adoke still chokes with the Aondoakaa heard-of affronts are becoming trite: outgoing CJN Idris sections from Dr. Soludo’s CBN Holy Writ. But his moera fetid air of injudicious controversies. It was under Mr. Adoke Kutigi swore in in-coming CJN Aloysius Katsina-Alu, tive, by his use of the final “I” and the imperative “must” that James Ibori got his controversial Marcel Awokulehin clean against the separation of power doctrine; Katsina-Alu himwas clear: a rule-of-law dictator was here! bill of judicial health before the April 17 London conviction, self almost destroyed the judiciary as a parting gift, in a From then on, it was only a thin line between democracy even if His Lord Justice still maintains his conscience is clear. graceless projection of raw power instead of judicial majand fascism, particularly if he found due collusion in his But the Ibori saga would yet be the nemesis of many. Even as the esty and wisdom; and now Adoke is advising the president principal, the president. London court that convicted him declared that the accused freely – or is the president instructing Adoke? – to ignore NJC’s As it turned out, President Yar’adua would appear too ill pleaded guilty, Mr. Adoke as late as May 22, in his reaction to the decision on the Salami matter, a step that has absolutely no to collude with anybody. But not so his disparate lobbies, Salami saga, still claimed Ibori was convicted by plea bargain! basis in law; and again smashes separation of power in the who soon found a willing ally in Mr. Aondoakaa: the Nuhu That brings the matter to the quality of Mr. Adoke’s legal presidential system. Ribadu ouster (which was bound to come. For all his advice to his principal, the president; or maybe the politically Now, what next? The AG would advise the president to derring-do, Ribadu was too consumed by Obasanjo-era expedient diktat from the president to his chief legal aide, in dissolve the National Assembly? Adieu democracy! Welsense of the messianic to build systems and structures); the evolving sickening Salami drama. come fascism! The road to an outlaw presidency begins with the Ibori protection-at-all-costs project (hardly strange, for It is clear that the AG advised his principal to immediately tender legal infractions! who pays the piper calls the tune, given Ibori’s reported act on the National Judicial Council (NJC) suspension order – If all Aondoakaa wanted was be a legal bully for bragging bankrolling of Yar’adua’s election); and the greatest legal rights, Adoke has upped the ante to leading a drugged judiinfamy of all: Aondoakaa’s diktat that a fatally ill Presi‘The tenures of Michael Aondoakaa (once ciary to slaughter, on the executive altar. It cannot get any dent Yar’adua, in an overseas infirmary, need not hand upon a SAN) and Mohammed Adoke (SAN) worse for (un)civil rule, camouflaging as a democracy! over to anybody. He could rule from anywhere, the allas federal AGs have brought this republic Intra-judiciary collaborators in this evil scheme not only mighty AG thundered – even from the grave! dig their own graves, they also dig the grave of the demoThat was, of course, the final straw – and the sure process and democracy to a judicial brink. Hitherto cratic polity as we know it, aside from pushing the country of unhorsing Mr. Aondoakaa began: from AG to special unheard-of affronts are becoming trite’ over the brink. duties minister under Acting President Goodluck Jonathan,

epublican ipples

From Aondoakaa to Adoke

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HERE is a momentum in favour of the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN) in Ondo State, potent enough to rout the incumbent Labour Party and its sole Administrator Dr. Rahman Olusegun Mimiko from the seat of government in the October 20, governorship polls. It is also rigorously false to assume that the good people of Ondo State, already blighted by the rudderless drift under the Labour Party, are willing to substitute just another visionless and selfish leader for the fabled iroko administration in the name of a cosmetic change. Never. I have followed the various aspirants and their campaign pitch and none has been brutally frank and down to earth like Dr Olusegun Michael Abraham with a decent profile matching the party’s mission and vision and his unsurpassed assistance to the party consistently over the years irrespective of whether the party was in power or not. Abraham, from my assessment is a self made man with immense experience in execution of projects for the World Bank and his insightful knowledge of governance from years of association with the people of power stands him in good stead to right the wrong attitudes of our leaders and their indifference to the protection of our common patrimonies. Recently at Ifon and also at Idanre, I was privileged to listen to his address to executives of the senatorial zone of the party when he said he was not desperate to pick the party ticket and that if God, who knows the inner recesses of the heart of man knows that he would not impact on the lives of the people with power positively, he should not be picked by the party. The room packed full with party loyalists, wore a somber mood indicative of the fact that this message resonated well with the oppressed people of Ondo State and captured their collective aspirations. I became more curious to know more about this aspirant whom some other aspirants have despised as lacking in experience in government only to discover that he has been in the corridors of power longer than a dozen of the other aspirants. At one of the meetings in Oke Agbe, he made a mockery of the much touted government experience of some aspirants who hobnobbed with the military and have continued in their anti-people orientation as Dr. Mimiko when he said he would never wish to have the kind of experience they were parading which rather than elevate the poor pauperized them the more. What is more, it was pleasantly revealed to me that he and the late Dr. Rufus Giwa were instrumental to the success of late Papa Adebayo Adefarati way back in 1999 with their financial and physical support and not only that, he is and I stand to be corrected, the only aspirant who in

As ACN Ondo picks flag bearer By Yomi Idowu a modest way has been giving out scholarships to Ondo indigent students and the physically challenged in the last 12 years. The call for caution in seeding the flag to recent joiners of the progressive train of ACN is predicated on a few recent developments in the state. Sometime in 2005 under aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and barely towards the end of Dr. Olusegun Agagu’s tenure, three prominent members engaged in a succession brawl, Chief Tayo Alasoadura, then Commissioner for Finance and a current aspirant under the platform of ACN, Otunba Omolade Oluwateru, the Deputy Governor and of course Dr. Rahman Mimiko. These personalities never for once sought the views of their boss Agagu whether he wanted to continue for another legitimate term before bickering and scheming to the detriment of the government and other state functions. Their individual ambition was placed above the common good of the people. What the leadership of ACN must ask is “what has changed in their quest for power and stay in power?”Absolutely nothing has changed except that the good people of this richly endowed state have suffered a betrayal of trust from the ensuing change of actors in Alagbaka between the PDP and the Labour Party constituted by those who decamped from PDP. The list of aspirants today on the platform of ACN is no fewer than two dozen. A good number of them have vulture like instincts trailing where a kill has just been made and without regards for the perseverance of the hunter who denied himself while they hobnobbed with the other parties only for them to resurface where the pendulum just tilted to feast on the prey. From Owo, the Descendants group has shown a desire to stop any of their own who contributed in times past to humiliate their local idol Chief Adekunle Ajasin while a group of young professionals I met in the course of my assessment of the developments in the state, under the aegis of Sunshine Liberation Front, are primed to combat vultures in the ranks of ACN and allow only consistent and upright leadership to carry the flag of the party. The Owo group demands answers to the query on how any Owo indigene privileged enough to be in government felt

comfortable in his skin to watch without a whimper of protest, the rash and reckless intimidation of folk hero Pa Adekunle Ajasin by Military Administrator Onyegbulem over and above the old man of progressive credentials? They also demand answers to the issue of alleged opposition to the enthronement of the Olowo of Owo, Oba Olagbegi and not bring the burden on the party. It was even more instructive that a Mimiko, who only joined the government barely 14 days, was in the scheme and perfected the art of upstaging the incumbent without any reward for the people in all the three years. Similarly a Professor Borrofice after wresting the senatorial ticket and the coveted Asiwaju of Akokoland title from Dr. Agunloye read the incontrovertible mood of the people and the direction of the wind of change to berth in the ACN. Can the ACN afford to take a risk of fielding new entrants to the party? Dr Olu Agunloye’s shifty membership of the PDP and brief tenure as Minister saw him move to the Labour Party after he lost his ministerial appointment only to opt out after being vanquished by Professor Ajayi Borroffice in the Senatorial contest and ostensibly found the ACN a convenient platform to launch his ambition to be governor. The leaders of ACN must take into consideration the antecedents of these aspirants before handing over the priceless mandate of flag bearer. Any of the aspirants that have not shown enough understanding of the mission and vision currently driving the party should not be trusted with the party ticket. I would not be surprised if a good number of them quit the party after the primaries for reasons of failing to grab the ticket. The party must also examine the claim to party loyalty and leadership in the state being touted by Aspirant Sola Iji as his main credential and examine how the party was brought to such a low pass under his watch. Curiously, a couple of the aspirants have not been attending the security and strategy sessions voluntarily convened by the aspirants on their own volition to enable them present a common front. Keen observers are quick to point out that those who have been absenting themselves from such crucial meetings have ulterior motives to cause trouble after the party picks its flag bearer and as such are unwilling to commit themselves to a resolution to rally round the party choice. The party must therefore be careful to avoid picking another Adegoke who eloped with the people’s Democratic Party after picking the ticket of the party. Keen observers of developments in Ondo are praying that the Lord would guide the party leadership in the choice of flag bearer whose action outside the reins of power has shown as being compassionate like Dr. Olusegun Michael Abraham. •Idowu, a political analyst writes from Lagos


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

22

EDITORIAL/OPINION

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T speaks volumes to restate the fact again, and again, that Africa is the cradle of man, where every man on planet earth migrated to other parts of the world. And for thousands of years the people of the black continent have developed various means of survival to interface with nature. However, in the last 40 years, it has been stories of woes, starvation and death for lack of food resulting from perennial food shortages caused by draught, climate change, and desertification. It is useful to admit that sometimes the shortages were driven by poor agricultural policies by governments that could not plan for the people. For example in Ethiopia, the worst episode of drought occurred in 1984-85. An estimated 800,000 people perished. In the 1990s significant droughts occurred in 1991, 1994 and 1997 in many parts of Africa and were severe across Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and Djibouti drawing an estimated 11.5 million people to the brink of starvation. This grim picture must be playing in the mind of Tunde Ojei, the Acting Country Director of Oxfarm International, when he brought the truth home to Nigerians by drawing the attention of the Federal Government to a possible food shortage in Nigeria. At a function recently in Abuja, Ojei noted that the fact that some West African countries like Mauritania, Chad, Mali and Niger were already experiencing food shortages was a bad sign for Nigeria. Chad and Niger are contiguous countries. Again, if the problem is being driven by climate, it could spread to Nigeria. If driven by bad policies, Nigeria is not immune because its landscape is full of very poor agricultural policies. Ojei

‘We need to admit that in the past, the bane of the Nigerian agricultural policy has been politics and corruption. Graft particularly had made it practically impossible for subsidies provided by the federal government to assist farmers to reach them’

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N two years time, the office of the governor of Anambra State will be vacant. By then, Governor Obi, now in his second term in office, would have spent eight years, a rare opportunity others before him never had. That is because the state spurned such munificence and consistently yanked off, with some uncanny force, those who tried to exert compliance. Mbadinuju, Ngige, Andy Uba et al had great trouble applying themselves to that goal. From observation, leading the state for as long as eight years may not be as demanding as leading and satisfying its disparate interests, which are indeed legion. Those who bear responsibilities of elected office know this much. Few states, if any, can claim to be as politically rumbustious as Anambra. Even states on the nadir of riotous politics hardly provoke the kind of animus witnessed in Anambra politics at some point. The ignominious role played by godfathers in the politics of the state has remained a sore point in her annals. That phase in the political development of the state has continued to elicit a lot of jibes from Nigerians even as some states have since slipped into the same rot. Edo State for example, has in the run up to the July 14 governorship election become a hotbed for political violence. Brutes, probably godfathers, recently infiltrated the fortified ambience of the state government and wreaked havoc. Reports of violent political deaths ahead of the election show that Edo may in the end surpass states hitherto seen as bywords for violent politics. Governor Adams Oshiomhole seems already drenched in battle as he fights from every flank. His earlier claims of successfully sending all godfathers in Edo State down to Anambra have since become mere jokes. The resurgent political violence portrays either of two possibilities. One, either the governor is losing grip to the godfathers in the state as evident in the

Rethinking the agricultural policy By Kehinde Laniyan called on the government to put a policy in place to deal with the problem that may just find itself in our backyard unannounced. Such warnings, which are not new, should give policy makers and stakeholders in agricultural sector food for thought. Nigeria is not lacking in policy initiatives, but unfortunately most of these initiatives end up on the shelves gathering dusts after series of workshops and seminars. The initiatives and schemes usually attract very big names and appellations at inauguration but are usually poorly implemented. The situation has made many observers to be curious in knowing if the present initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan will make a difference in the agricultural sector. The new Minister for Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, talks with some impressive confidence that will disarm any skeptic. According to him the policy thrust of the present administration has been formulated in such a way that will make agriculture sector to generate jobs for Nigerians. He projected that with all that has been put in place, the sector will be able to create not less than 3.5 million jobs. And that to some observers is really a big chunk off about 14 million Nigerians that are in the job market, going by the figures released by the Bureau of Statistics. During the media briefing to mark the one year in office of President Jonathan on April 24, the Minister of Agriculture explained that the government is going to provide N300 billion as loans for farmers. He added that through substitution of wheat with cassava in the production of flour, demand will be generated for cassava production and processing and more jobs created. The Minister argued that Nigeria will henceforth have priorities of few agricultural commodities based on its action plan that will focus on commodities like rice, cassava, sorghum, cocoa,

cotton, maize, palm oil, diary, beef, leather, poultry and fisheries. The emphasis on rice production is worth looking into. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president and a farmer once remarked that Nigeria is at present spending colossal amount of N155 billion to import rice every year. Adesina said the government is utilizing N10 billion industrial credit facilities by the Bank of Industry to finance the establishment of 17 rice mills of which one plant had been commissioned in Ebonyi State. The Minister explained further that two rice mill projects are on-going, while investment into the remaining 14 rice mill projects with “additional 480, 000 milling capacity would be promoted through the Public Private Partnership arrangement.” The proposal to establish rice mills has been on the table since the time of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and unfortunately for more than five years, the idea has been flying with just one wing. Most practicing farmers would want President Jonathan to break the jinx that has created gaps between brilliant policy initiatives and actual implementation. This is the trap that has caught our initiative on rice self-sufficiency. Though, it is extremely difficult to fault the analysis of the present Minister for Agriculture on the matter but he should be reminded that he has got just three years to operationalise all his brilliant ideas. In another event recently, the Minister drew a nexus between food provisions for 160 million Nigerians and stability of the polity, reiterating that the greatest threat to democracy in Nigeria is lack of food. This is therefore indicative of the importance placed on food security by the government to curb poverty of the vast majority of Nigerians. However, with the President at the head of a Council on Agricultural Transformation that was established for the purposes of ensuring that at least five million farmers are lifted out of pov-

erty, Nigerians can begin to give a sigh of relief after 2015. One area where many will tell you that the policy reform in agriculture of the present administration has impacted on Nigerians is in the area of input supply that stopped direct government involvement in the procurement, supply and distribution of fertilizer and seeds to farmers. The scheme involved provision of 50% support for seeds and fertilizers for farmers and has largely it checkmated the graft in that sector in which fertilizers were cornered by some fertilizer cabals to the detriment of the farmers who were in the fields. The Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had remarked in December 2011 that with this new scheme, the government had recorded close to 70% efficiency in inputs distribution to the farmers. We need to admit that in the past, the bane of the Nigerian agricultural policy has been politics and corruption. Graft particularly had made it practically impossible for subsidies provided by the federal government to assist farmers to reach them. Another area the administration must focus on is political schisms between the ruling party at the centre and different political parties at the state and local government levels which have made collaborative schemes introduced by this administration unworkable. These are areas the administration of President Jonathan should look into to make the new transformation policy in agriculture to function properly. • Laniyan, policy analyst, wrote from Abuja.

‘However, with the President at the head of a Council on Agricultural Transformation that was established for the purposes of ensuring that at least five million farmers are lifted out of poverty, Nigerians can begin to give a sigh of relief after 2015’

Anambra ahead of 2014 By Ejike Anayaduba attacks, and therefore could not successfully execute his self-imposed charge, or that Anambra has since divested itself of the lures of political violence and therefore unattractive to those he purportedly sent. Political violence and godfather intervention in politics have remained largely the bane of our political development. Till date, few states, if any, are without one or two incidences. What may vary is the degree. Renascent Anambra was once a manifestation of unrestrained political violence that overlapped two administrations in succession. After the frenzies, the state lost enormous resources, both human and material. A sneak overview of the period showed that considerable benefits accruable to the state were lost. Apart from extra-judicial killings, there was also unabashed abduction of the then governor, and large scale destruction of the commonwealth. Anambra was literally in the news for the wrong reasons and has continued, over that one moment of indiscretion, to be a reference point until some couple of years back. It would seem from considerable insight that the greatest legacy the Peter Obi administration has bequeathed the state may not be in the number of bridges it constructed, the kilometers of roads built, the various schools renovated and equipped, hospitals built and accredited, infrastructure, transportation, judiciary, or its commitment to attaining, among few other states in the country, the MDGs by 2015. No. It is in the ability to rein in on wide-scale impunity and instill in the people the need to de-emphasize politics as profit-making business. Some have argued that the issue of political violence

was settled in the context of the failed abduction. But I dare say that the flight of impunity goes beyond physical confrontation of the bugbear. It was and still is a function of sustained subtle engagement. Arguably, a state that has been on a string of army of political merchants and upstarts cannot yank off, at a fell swoop, such control. It takes a combination of tact and prowess to hold the predators in check. To keep the state away from the pervasive course for six years and still counting is a function of complex political/economic strategy. Today there are no more gladiatorial theatres in the political space of the state, and Anambra has since moved on. There may still be some noticeable disquiet in the land, going by disparaging articles penned by opposition desperate to take office in 2014. But Obi has effectively tamed the monster at least in not slaking the desires of political merchants and hangers-on. Ahead of 2014 however, there is need for certain considerations to be made if the state must continue on the part of peace. To avoid a possible relapse, stakeholders, among who Obi himself, must strive to present to the people list of credible successors. If the sacrifices made by his administration are not to be made naught, the temperament of the person, as well as the political behavior of the state, must be considered. No longer will desperate politicians be shoehorned into positions as governors. The pedigree of who takes over from the governor is very important just to ensure that there is no invasion of error. For consolidation of the current gains, the state must dispense with luxury of lazy political habit. In electing a successor to the office the people must not abandon conviction in deference to popular clamour. The possibility of affronting

the reclaimed values is an ever present danger in the state if an unserious person takes over as governor. In this part of the world the dividing line between sane and irrational politics is very thin. Recidivistic politicians, those weaned off the succor of political office, will certainly resurge. Since the saying that interest is the only permanent thing in politics, it goes without saying that there will be consistent foraging of the office from politicians. On this note, it is only a focused and determined governor that can maintain the current trend. The tide of public sentiment alone should not be allowed to determine who takes over, but commitment and character. • Ejike Anyaduba Abatete

‘Political violence and godfather intervention in politics have remained largely the bane of our political development. Till date, few states, if any, are without one or two incidences. What may vary is the degree. Renascent Anambra was once a manifestation of unrestrained political violence that overlapped two administrations in succession. After the frenzies, the state lost enormous resources, both human and material’


25

PROPERTY

Tuesday, MAY 29, 2012

Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com

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

email:- property@thenationonlineng.net

A city behind walls •Eko Atlantic City gets tenants in 2015

•Eko Atlantic City

Much has been said about this city expected to rise from the sea. Its developers said it would be one of the best cities in the world. The Eko Atlantic City is on its way to attaining that status and much more. It is going to be walled round to protect it from the fury of the sea. The wall will be eight metres above the sea level, according to its Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reports. •CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

•Fashola urges allottees to •Lagos realises N11b from Land Use •Developer tasks Fed Govt on Mortgage Bank’s recapitilisation develop Lekki Scheme 11 Charge , says Commissioner - PAGE 26

- PAGE 39

- PAGE 40


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

Fashola urges allottees to develop Lekki Scheme 11

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HE Lagos State government is developing infrastructure in Lekki Scheme 11 site and Service Estate to encourage allottees to develop their land, Governor Babatunde Fashola has said. Speaking when he inaugurated nine roads in the estate, Fashola said the scheme was designed to satisfy the people’s yearnings to build their own homes. Designed in 1996, the scheme has 514.53 hectares comprising 3,095 residential plots, 64 commercial plots, 47 mixed development plots, 26 institutional plots and 17 recreational plots. Noting that allottees were gradually moving into the scheme, Fashola implored others to develop their plots according to the terms spelt out in the allocation letters or risk revocation of the allocation. He observed that after 20 years of allocation, some people had done nothing to take physical possession, wondering if they indeed needed to build houses or were merely land speculators. To encourage allottees, government, he said deliberately sited the Oba Elegushi Housing Estate as part of efforts to attract people to the scheme and populate it. He said the micro-water work that will supply potable water

• Fashola (right), Isiba, Bello and others at the event By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

to the scheme was completed and inaugurated in 2002 while substantial work has been done on the electrification of the

scheme. The erection and reticulation of electric poles, street lights and installation of transformers have been done. Fashola said government has constructed 97roads measuring

59.342 kilometres or representing 83 per cent out of a total of 125 roads proposed in the scheme. He said 13 roads measuring 6.982 kilometres or representing 9.8 per cent are under construc-

tion; while four roads measuring 1.690kilo- metres have just been awarded representing 2.3 per cent of the roads while the processes of awarding the balance of the 20 outstanding roads represnting 3.438 kilometres or 16per cent of the total length of roads have reached advanced stage, he said. Earlier, General Manager, New Towns Development Authority(NTDA), Dr. Adeyemi Isiba said government’s pursuit of the development of the scheme would attract allottees to develop their plots. He said the ever increasing population of the state is putting pressure on the government to provide land for people to build houses, hinting the government through NTDA will soon open new schemes. The new schemes, according to him, are Iberekodo Industrial Town, Ibeju Coastal City and Ibeju Mixed Development Scheme all in Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area; Meghoto City, Oba Akran City, Suntan Beach Scheme and Iya-Afin Scheme located in Badagry and IluTuntun Scheme, Ikorodu. He appealed to allottees to pay their Capital Development Levy as when due to encourage the government to provide infrastructure in the schemes to facilitate construction and occupation of the homes.

•CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25

A city behind walls E VERYTHING is being done to make it safe for habitation because of its extraordinari-

ness. It is a city to be reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean, so no stone is being left unturned to protect it from the fury of the sea. Before now, there had been concerns about the project. Build a city in the ocean? Questions were asked about the feasibility of the project, considering the havoc being wreaked on homes near the Bar Beach in Victoria Island, which is similar to the scheme. Well, the planners of Eko Atlantic City believe that there is no cause for alarm. They plan to wall the city round. The wall will be eight metres above the sea level. The planners’ decision was informed by the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out on the project site. The Eko Atlantic City is modelled after the skyscraper district of Manhattan Island, New York City in the United States (US) . It is planned on nine million square metres of land recovered from the Atlantic Ocean. The project was initiated in 2006 but the reclamation of land started in 2008. The land reclamation raised issues, especially about the EIA. But South Energyx Nigeria Ltd., developers of the city and the Lagos State government allayed such fears while unveiling the EIA. Presenting the EIA, Dirk Heliboer , a consultant with Royal Haskoning, Dutch marine experts and supervisors of the marine engineering activities of the project, said they adopted national and international rules in the process, using rainy and dry seasons as baseline. He said: “We carried out environmental and social impact assessment on the Eko Atlantic reclamation project. In view of the scale, the project will have major positive effects in restoring and protecting the shoreline with minimal side effects. We did this in collaboration with the federal and state ministries of envi-

ronment.” He said extensive consultation was carried out during the EIA, with sessions expanded to cover a wider range of stakeholders and local community leaders. He added that there are plans to consult and liaise with relevant parties. Heliboer said comprehensive EIA and Social Impact Assessment has been done on the entire land reclamation works and sea wall protection as required under the Nigerian Environmental Impact Assessment Act no.86 of 1992. The Federal Ministry of Environment in January gave EIA approval for Eko Atlantic reclamation works and sea-wall protection in accordance with established procedures, he said. The city, would be safe and secure behind the eight kilometre wall because it is constructed to the highest standard of marine engineering available in the world today. He said highly skilled coastal and marine engineering technics were applied in carrying out the project. He said the wall has been tested against extreme weather conditions including Tsunami and built to last up to 1,000 years. Commissioner for Water Front & Infrastructure Prince Olusegun Oniru said the city ranks among the best in marine engineering built by the Dutch. He dispelled fears about the safety and longevity of the city. He said Royal Haskoning, the Dutch experts have experience in handling such delicate and sophisticated job having worked extensively in their home country, Denmark, Holland and some countries in West Africa. He said the EIA took every essential item into consideration, pointing out that people have nothing to fear as the first tenants will take possession of their flats in 2015. The commissioner said the ongoing reclamation exercise in the city has nothing to do with the erosion experienced by coastal communities. He said the government is not

•Commercial district of Eko Atlantic City.

doing anything new but simply reclaiming what has been lost to the Atlantic Ocean in the last 100 years. Oniru said the city is of the highest international standards, with 24 hours dedicated electricity plant, water supply treatment and distribution plant, sewage and drainage network of service duct with post construction maintenance office. Managing Director of South Energyx Nig. Ltd, (Developers & Planners of the City), Mr David Frame earlier said the city’s design reflects his firm’s commitment to the environment. He said: “This will be a sustainable city, clean and energy efficient with minimal carbon emissions. The

EIA, he said, was approved by relevant international and local bodies including the Ministry of Environment in January. He said the city’s developers and marine engineers, Royal Haskoning of Netherlands are renowned consultants, architects and engineers, with rich history of success in projects such as Eko Atlantic City. The city, he said, gives its inhabitant space to breathe with tree-lined streets, green boulevards and breathtaking views of the ocean. A total of six square kilometres of prime land is for sale and available for development in seven districts. The business district will be a centre for international business, finance and com-

‘We carried out environmental and social impact assessment on the Eko Atlantic reclamation project. In view of the scale, the project will have major positive effects in restoring and protecting the shoreline with minimal side effects. We did this in collaboration with the federal and state ministries of environment’

merce. The imposing high-rise architecture will also house restaurants, bars and penthouse apartments for loving and socialising”. Frame added: “A reliable independent service will deliver power; drinking and irrigation water will flow through the city from a dedicated treatment plant with a secured and integrated telecommunications network. Traffic jams will be unheard of due to the well planned transport; a total ban on street parking will keep the streets open and clear. All vehicles will find space in the multi-level car parks or within the boundaries of developed plots of land.” But a Marine Biologist from the Institute of Oceanography in Victoria Island, Lagos, criticised the consultants for not doing extensive work before embarking on the project, especially as it affects marine life. He said studies have shown that some species of aquatic and animal lives have disappeared, adding that efforts should be made to encourage local studies on the project as the city is being used for doctorate thesis in the Netherlands.


TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

27

‘ E-mail:- law@thenationonlineng.net

We are not serious in this country in tackling corruption or other vices, especially on the part of public office holders. Yes, there is no constitutional provision that once you are being investigated, you should resign, but anyone with integrity should ordinarily step aside to allow those carrying out investigation do a fair job

• SEE PAGE 29

•OCJ Okocha (SAN)

How to revolutionise our courts, by ex-NBA president OCJ Okocha (SAN), a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has been appointed chairman of the Council of Legal Education, owners of the Nigerian Law School. In this Interview with Legal Editor JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU, Okocha speaks on developments at the Law School, its challenges, its 50th anniversary coming up next year, and the ordeal of Justice Ayo Isa Salami as President of the Court of Appeal, among other issues. •STORY ON PAGE 28 Inside: Reinstate Salami now, NBA, lawyers urge Jonathan -P.31 Lawyer seeks reforms in judiciary - P.32


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

28

LAW COVER CONT’D

‘How to revolutionise our courts ’

T

HE Nigerian Law School will be 50 years next year. What is your appraisal of the performance and development of the institution in the last 50 years? The Nigerian Law School has done commendably well. That is not to say that there have been no difficulties along the way. Even after I was called to the Bar in 1978, we had this challenge of increased number of students. It is fashionable these days for every university to have a faculty of law. And when these universities graduate their students, they don’t take into account the facilities available at the Nigerian Law School (NLS). So, what are you doing about this? What we are doing is to insist on quotas, so that the universities know that they cannot graduate more than a certain number of students, so with the facilities available in the Law School, we would be able to improve on the impartation of knowledge on the students. What about the Law School curriculum, is it perfect? Well, people have complained that most of the students who come out from the Nigerian Law School do not have the skills to practise law, that all the new lawyers have is the certificate that they have been called to the Bar, that they have passed their Bar final exams and have been called to the Bar and nothing more. We don’t feel that this is enough, so in the last three years, the law school adopted what they call a clinical method of teaching where more emphasis is being placed on practical application of knowledge and skills, but how far this is helping, may be too soon to say. Have you done anything about this since you became the chairman? At our inaugural meeting in March this year, everybody was of the view that we must do something radical to improve the quality of training that these young lawyers are receiving. I can confidently assure you that it is receiving attention. But really, the law school has done well, practically all our judges, practically all our magistrates, judges of superior courts of record, justices of the Supreme Court were produced by it. Some of them have been exported by this country to go and hold judicial positions in Commonwealth and African countries. I know some Nigerian trained lawyers, who are now working in Asian Pacific Region, Caribbean countries and so on. I strongly believe that the Law School has done very well. How do you think the alumni associations of the Nigeria Law School, can assist in the development of the school? It is a tradition worldwide that those who have received tutelage from institutions feel that they owe some pay back to their alma mater as they call it. It is, therefore, expected that when the alumni association, the various call sets of the Law School as you call them, aggregate themselves in their call sets, they will do a lot to improve and develop the school for the benefit of the society. Some of them have become multi millionaires from the training that they received from the school. Some of them have gone into positions of higher authority, some of them are in the oil and gas industry and so on. So, we believe that they appreciate the fact that the government cannot do everything for the Law School and so, they should contribute to the development of the school. We, as the call sets, the alumni associations of the Law School can also come together, do one thing or the other to improve the facilities there. In my university, the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) Ile-Ife, I know that the

alumni association contributed funds and built a hostel for the students. I believe that kind of projects will tremendously assist the Nigerian Law School. We have six campuses and most of the facilities are being provided by Federal and state governments, so it will be a welcome development for some alumni associations of the Law School. To say, look, we are going to Abuja to build a hostel; we are going to Yenegoa to build a theatre for mock trials; we are going to Yola to build an auditorium for lectures and tutorials. They can assist the law school and it will be a welcome development. As one of the fathers of the modern Bar, what is your appraisal of the development of the NBA from your time as President till date? As you know, we broke up after the Port Harcourt Debacle of 1998. It took us six years to regroup and immediately after regrouping, T. J. Okpoko (SAN) became our president. It is true that I became the millennium President of the NBA, and incidentally, I was the first home grown lawyer, who became presi(SAN) studied dent of the•Nwobike NBA, all others in England and came back to Nigeria to enroll in the Supreme Court. I would say without fear of contradiction that things have greatly improved, when I was the president, the funds of the NBA aggregated from all sources did not exceed N6 million. I am happy that it was during my tenure that we increased Bar Practising Fees from the lowest level of N200 to N2,000 and from the highest level of N2,000 for Senior Advocates of Nigeria, to N20,000. And with that, we had a boost in financial fortunes. The recent increment in practising fees by the General Council of the Bar is coming virtually 12 years after my administration did the first increase. Happily, NBA fortunes financially was improved and the presidents who came after me, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), Lanke Odogiyan, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) have all continued to elevate the NBA to greater heights. It is no longer the NBA we knew. I created 30 branches, yes, but •Tairu in last two years, they have created six to eight branches. We have established more structures; we have a massive edifice in Victoria Island, Lagos; we have virtually owned our building in Abuja etc. I give credit to my successors. How do you feel about the sections that you created? Yes, it is true that I created the NBA Sections, but they were on paper. It was only after I left office that they come into existence. The Section on Business Law (SBL) the Section on Legal Practice (SLP) and the Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL), they have all continued to take NBA to higher levels and I give them credit for it. The main worry we have is that we are not in control of the activities of our junior colleagues, indeed of all our colleagues. Some lawyers do not even pay their practising fees; some lawyers are not behaving as if they owe allegiance to the Bar. We just discussed it, we must find a way to make every lawyer answerable to the NBA. It is our one united organisation. We don’t have fragments even though we have small groupings here and there. There is one NBA to which we all pay our membership dues to. Which areas would you like NBA to improve in the coming years? I would like to see the NBA im-

•Dr Tahir Manman, D-G, NLS

•Chief Olanipekun (SAN)

•Olisa Agbakoba (SAN)

•Akeredolu (SAN)

•Lanke Odogiyan

•Daudu (SAN)

prove in application of information technology (ICT). We are still doing our things in the manual way. When I remember the native court judgment of the colonial days and realise that our courts, from the High Court to the Supreme Courts, are still recording court proceedings in long hands, they have not gone fully digital, it is a matter for regret. And the training of lawyers is still in that analogue state. Somebody said that it is important that we realise that the world has moved on. In other climes, you prepare a document today in your office and right there in your office, you file it in court electronically, but we don’t have that king of facility here. Most of our lawyers are not even computer literate; very few lawyers have e-mail addresses; very few of them have access to the internet but these things that should improve our skills. As lawyers in practice, as lawyers in government and as lawyers in any field of human endeavour and those in the courts,•Chukwuocha because when lawyers become Judges, we see them as lawyers who are judicial officers practising law in the courts and if the courts would adopt this ICT revolution, it will greatly improve the administration of justice in this country. Happily, the Chief Judges in Nigeria have set up a committee to recommend proposals for the full application of ICT and computerisation in our judicial systems and to record proceedings in courts. When this happens, you will see that the speed of justice administration in the country will greatly improve, not just for trials of courts of first instance, but also for appeals. You can lose a case today, tomorrow you already have the judgment and you have already filed you notices and grounds of appeal, the records are generated electronically and within 24 to 48 hours, the records have left the court and you are going on appeal. This will definitely improve the speed and the machinery that is now in place. How do you feel about this issue of discipline of lawyers? The machinery is too cumbersome. We have just one legal practitioner’s disciplinary committee sitting in the Court of Appeal complex in Abuja, in an office graciously donated by the former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi. If you cannot control lawyers, it is a very big problem and the best way

to control them is to apply the rules of professional conduct. A lawyer, who misappropriates client’s money or who does something that is professionally unethical is dealt with. This is the same thing we do when we talk about crime and punishment. The deterrence you can obtain in crime and punishment is that it is quickly, and effectively applied so that the next criminal will know that justice awaits him. So, when we have it in the legal profession, the discipline of our colleagues will be taken to that level where everybody knows that there is machinery in place to deal with him whenever he engages in any act of professional misconduct. The NJC has recommended for the recall and reinstatement of Justice Ayo Isa Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal, but the Federal Government seems not ready to do so. What is your reaction to this? Well as you know, I am a member of the NJC and it would be inappropriate for me to make any value judgment on the position taken by the Federal Government vis-à-vis the position taken by the NJC. Having said that, I can only advise the public to wait and see, things like this have many far-reaching implications if you see what has happened, the pros and cons of the arguments for the recall of Salami and so on. It took the NJC nearly one year to reach the position where they could recommend for the recall of Justice Salami. Now it is taking the Federal Government some time to act on that recommendation. I believe that at the end of the day, Justice will be done. How do you think the NBA will get the Justice Sector Bills it has before the National Assembly passed by the legislative chambers? The most important of those bills is the Legal Practitioners Amendment bill which is before the National Assembly since Chief Wole Olanipekun’s tenure as NBA President in August 2002. It is of great concern to us. By the amendments we have proposed to revolutionise the legal profession in Nigeria. When we talk of the stamp and seal, when we talk about the annual licensing of lawyers, when we talk about creating a more effective machinery disciplining lawyers who had breached the rules of the legal profession, they are all court aimed in that legal practitioners amendment bill.

I always appeal to the National Assembly to understand that bill is very important to us to revolutionise the practice of law in Nigeria. I appeal to National Assembly to give it the maximum attention that it deserves. There are also many others, the Legal Education Amendment bill is there which should also revolutionise the training of lawyers, those aspiring to be legal practitioners. There is no reason bills like that, which seek the improvement of professional bodies, in the instant case, professional bodies such as the NBA, the body that regulates all lawyers in this country should be bugged down for nearly 10 years and we keep on complaining. The reason we are complaining is that we can’t of carry out these revolutionary changes which we have conceptualised unless amendments are made to the Legal practitioners Act and the Legal Education Act. What is you view on this call for specialisation in legal practice? Well, that is the reality of the situation, you see, we haven’t been able to manage the practice of establishing sustainable partnership among legal practitioners. The number of lawyers in practice are more than what we used to have. So, it is a natural consequence of what is on ground. That you concentrate your energy on land law, you’ll be a specialist on land litigation and people will know you for that and you allow others to concentrate on other areas like intellectual property, etc. Some people are specialists on election petition matters, political cases, some in employment law and you know there was this confusion about the Jurisdiction given to the National Industrial Court. There is a lot of these labour disputes, industrial disputes, masterservant relationship, etc. When you have that kind of specialised courts, it naturally follows that you’ll find lawyers concentrating their efforts and knowledge on that area where they feel they will be more appreciated. So, it is a development, which the time has come and we will see more and more of it. I have decided not to do certain types of cases because I believe that they will waste my time and I will have more time if I leave those cases and concentrate on matters that engage me in such a way that I have fulfilment, have sufficient income to look after myself and look after my family.

•Adegboruwa


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

29

LAW PERSONALITY Taiwo Taiwo was elected Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) Lagos State Chapter in July 2011. A law graduate of the University of Ibadan, he also studied History at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State. In this interview with PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU, Taiwo speaks on the forthcoming national NBA election, his driving force and achievements as chairman, the proposed NBA Lagos Law Week, his tenure and others.

Financial independence will promote judicial harmony W HAT is your take on the Federal government’s refusal to implement the NJC’s recommendation for the reinstatement of Justice Salami? The Federal Government’s statement through the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke (SAN) is a very bad omen for democracy and the principle of separation of powers. I think the executive is usurping the powers of the judiciary by undermining the National Judicial Council (NJC), which is the highest judicial body in the country. Was there no case in court when the NJC recommended Salami’s suspension to the President, which he graciously assented to? Why did he not decline then that it will be sub-judice? I honestly think that politics should be left out of judicial matters. It is more honourable for the government to carry out the dictates of the NJC because the government has no moral right to decline the NJC’s directives on grounds of pending suits. It won’t surprise me if it turned out the politicians, who masterminded the issue are sponsoring those lawyers, who filed those frivolous suits against Salami’s reinstatement. If the NJC that suspended him now says you do not stand suspended anymore, why can’t the man take back his job? In our tradition, even if I have a case against you, it doesn’t mean we cannot settle. The earlier people understand that the NJC’s decision on judicial matters is sacrosanct, the better for this country. Are there disciplinary measures by the NBA on lawyers who engage in frivolous suits? You see those lawyers who have gone to court seeking that Salami should not be reinstated do not even know what they are doing because they are not directly concerned in the matter and have allowed themselves to be used to challenge the NJC simply because they want money. It is sad that in this country, we have not come strong against frivolous cases being filed by lawyers on behalf of whoever their clients are. I think it is time the NBA stood up on such issues to punish such lawyers. How much will they pay you to file a frivolous action? We (NBA) as a matter of fact need to look inward. We need to call ourselves and our members to order. A lot of people have come to me and argued that lawyers are the cause of the crises in this country, looking at the Salami issue particularly and other circumstances, one cannot but agree with them. People who do not want Salami back have their grudges against him but what I don’t understand is why lawyers chose to allow such political irrelevances truncate the decision of the NJC? Will the increase in Federal High Court judges from 70 to 100 by the National Assembly enhance justice delivery? It is a laudable step by the National Assembly and I believe it will enhance the speedy dispensation of cases at the federal high courts. Most of the judges at the federal high courts are over worked with cases, especially in Lagos division and other major cities. So, it is a welcome development although judges need to be

empowered with stenographers, verbatim reporters, motorcades and other necessities that will enable them to discharge their duties without fear or favour, as well as ease the onerous task of writing court proceedings in long hand. How can judicial independence be ensured? I have always said there is the need to guarantee judicial financial independence. That is the only way to avoid the judiciary going cap in hand to the executive for money. Why can’t the judiciary have its own vote independent of the executive or legislature? For instance some courts have been provided with electronic verbatim reporting gadgets, but as know you, we have a fundamental electricity problem in this country. Then of what use are those gadgets when the courts cannot provide diesel to power their generators throughout proceedings? Yes, the constitution stipulates separation of powers but how many governors allow for judicial independence? Also, very few Chief Judges most times assert this independence. Thank God in Lagos State, the Chief Judge has to a large extent asserted judicial independence, which other states should emulate for the interest of justice. But then, it also boils down to the kind of executive she has. Lagos has a governor, who is not just a lawyer but Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who understands separation of powers. What role has the NBA played to curtail judicial corruption? The NBA frowns at corruption. We do not encourage our members to give or take bribe and there are committees were corruption cases are trashed. But just as it is obtainable in the country, lawyers or even other people have failed to report corruption cases to the committee. I can tell you that in my branch, no one has ever come up to name be it a judge or magistrate or even another lawyer that demanded money from him or her. All we have heard are cases of registrars demanding money before giving enroll order, but still we have not got any actual charge against anyone. So, we have to separate fiction and bias from facts. There are cases where some lawyers may not like a particular bench officer and so decide to smear the officer’s name not because he is corrupt as they cannot prove the officer’s indulgence in corrupt practices but because they want to tarnish his image. The NBA is ever willing to follow any corruption case if the facts are there to its logical conclusion because we know that the sanity of the judiciary is crucial to the reign of justice and equity in any society. Your experience as the Lagos branch NBA chairman, since July 2011? It has been very good, challenging, educative and one that has given me an impetus to perform better as well as do more for the distinguished members of my branch, the premiere branch. I must confess that the successes we have recorded since assumption of office would not have been possible but for the very significant support we have received from majority of the members. What achievements have you recorded so far? Well, we campaigned with a

•Taiwo

‘The NBA frowns at corruption. We do not encourage our members to give or take bribe and there are committees were corruption cases are trashed. But just as it is obtainable in the country, lawyers or even other people have failed to report corruption cases to the committee’ manifesto and I stated some issues one of which was the resuscitation of some of our traditions such as the J.I.C. Taylor Memorial Lecture. By the grace of God, we have been able to achieve that. In late last year, I recall we had one of such lectures and had in attendance one of Justice Taylor’s children. Furthermore, we had our annual law week in December and it was acclaimed one of the best in the history of our branch. We have also had lectures from distinguished legal practitioners such as the one with Prof. Osipetan the New Evidence Act, among others. We have also engaged in some activities to make the younger lawyers more interested in bar activities. For instance, we sponsored some lawyers in an all-expense paid trip to attend the review of the election tribunal performance in Benin. The association paid their expenses throughout their stay and we hope that more people will be sponsored at different occasions. Moreover, my branch took part in the fuel subsidy removal protest and we have been able to give a voice to the branch on national issues. Was the anti-fuel subsidy removal protest a success, since the price was not reverted to N65 and the Federal Government is planning complete removal? As far as I am concerned, the protest was a success. It was successful not because the price was reduced to N97, but because Nigerians were galvanised into mass movement against a very unpopular government policy. This, perhaps, is lost to a lot of people. It was such a movement that forced the govern-

ment out of fear, to mobilise soldiers to crush the mass protest. That, to me, is a lesson to our leaders to stop taking the people for granted. Forget about the fact that they are planning total removal because I am sure when we get to that bridge we will cross it. Enough is enough for those who think they can shove unpopular policies down the throat of Nigerians. What plans are on ground for your chapter’s Law Week? Yes, Lagos chapter Law Week is next week and this year’s theme is “challenges, opportunities and new frontiers in legal practice in a growing mega city of Lagos State”. We have programmed lots of activities to make it a graceful starting with the Human Rights Day. On this day, we shall have a legal clinic where members of the public will receive free legal advice from the Lagos NBA. Also, we shall be visiting the orphanage as well as the Ikoyi Prison. At the prison, we shall take up take up cases of some unfortunate Nigerians who have been in detention unnecessarily or have been in detention for long without trials. As the programme proceeds, we will also have lectures on the theme by respected legal luminaries. We intend to honour some worthy Nigerians who have distinguished themselves, people such as former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as well as some lawyers who practised in our branch before becoming governors in their states. Why do public officers retain their positions when they are being investigated for corruption or

other allegations? The reason is very simple; we are not serious in this country in tackling corruption or other vices, especially on the part of public office holders. Yes, there is no constitutional provision that once you are being investigated, you should resign, but anyone with integrity should ordinarily step aside to allow those carrying out investigation do a fair job. Even if it is for one kobo, moral discipline requires that you step aside, and then if you are found to be above board, you will surely earn more respect from the people you are serving, but here, it does not happen. For instance, look at the the developments in the Stock Exchange Commission (SEC), the director-general, has even sort for and got tenure elongation after all the revelations during the probe. Does it mean they were just giving us a film show? Was it Nollywood, to give us respite from the problems of the country. Look at the allegation about the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs, it was claimed forged his school certificate, yet the man is still occupying his office comfortably and the Police has not even bothered to investigate the issue. And other cases, which all boil down to the lack of integrity in our system. Is it that there are laws for the rich and others for the poor? So, why do we allow some people to feel they are untouchable? That is why the country is not moving forward. We neglect salient things that are supposed to be vigorously pursued to nib corruption.


30

THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

LAW & SOCIETY LAW AND PUBLIC POWER

with gabriel AMALU email:gabrielamalu1@yahoo.com

Akpabio as an angry man

U

•Udofia (middle) flanked by some Editorial Board members of IKM at the event

Lawyer unveils children’s magazine

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OR the founding and managing partner, Lex Laurel (legal practitioners),Mrs.Uduak Udofia, there is no better way of giving back to the society than investing in the character formation of children. This she exemplified through the unveiling of Imaxel Kids Magazine (IKM) on Friday in Lagos, to motivate and inspire children to discover their talent. According to Udofia, the magazine is intended to revamp ebbing reading culture, encourage creativity and resourcefulness, celebrate everyday achievement of Nigeria’s kids as well as restore the pride in the nation’s heritage to create a better society for all. She said the maiden edition was entitled: Arise because it is a clarion call for children irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds, to wake up and pursue their dreams. “I am someone that is very passionate about children. From my school days, I realised I have a flair for serving them be it babysitting, sunday school, even running errands once kids are involved. “But of course, I started practice as a lawyer and I realised I didn’t have

By Precious Igbonwelundu

much free time to engage in things about children except during summer or law week programme when I do a few voluntary services by talking to kids on resource management. “It is not enough to accummulate wealth. There is the need for people to understand that the quality of children we have today will determine the leaders we have tomorrow. It is not enough to send our children to the best schools but we also have to come out of our comfort “So, I felt I wasn’t doing enough as I would love to. Then the idea of the magazine struck me while I was in London running my Masters programme,” she explained. Udofia disclosed that IKM is free and shall be produced quarterly, adding that schools and libraries in Lagos, Abuja, Cross River, AkwaIbom and Rivers will have regular copies to allow for easy access by children. “On the editorial board of IKM, we have children and also have children contributors who turn in articles. The whole idea is to encourage children to appreciate writing and reading, especially on issues that

affect them. It is not enough for parents to allow kids watch television programmes including those that will impact negatively on them. “I believe an exclusively character building kiddies magazine is a call to self-discovery for our children and I urge them to make the best use of the magazine. On how she intends to sustain the glossy 20-page and colourful publication, she said the magazine is not intended to generate profit, even as she called on like-minded individuals and corporate organisations to support IKM with adverts. The magazine focuses on such topics as career and counselling, values and morals, chidren and the law, health and nutrition as well as geographics, peoms and recreation. Some of the guests at the event included Greater Scholars School, Mrs. Comfort Ukpong; legal practitioner, Mr. Paul Daniel, Pastor Morin Obaweya of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Proprietress as well as Ubong King of Protection Plus Services Limited. Highpoints of the event were a musical presentation by kids from Raco Orphanage Home and students of Greater Scholars School.

Ben Nwabueze bags award

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MINENT Constitutional lawyer Prof Ben Nwabueze has bagged the Living Legend Award of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers (ANCL). The body officials he was given the award for his contributions to the academia and the law profession. The President of ANCL, Prof Christine Murray, said Nwabueze’s fame has gone beyond the country. She recalled how she first encountered and read one of his book at the university in South Africa in those apartheid days. The Dean, Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof Oyelowo Oyewo, said Nwabueze, was chosen because of his academic prowess. He noted that his books are probably the most widely read in the country. Receiving the award, which was conferred on him during the Fifth Conference of ANCL, which was held as part of the activities to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Faculty of Law, UNILAG, Nwabueze, who was overwhelmed with joy, said it

By Joseph Eshanokpe

was unique among the ones he had received in the past. He wondered if he was a truly a legend. He disclosed that at over 82 years, he still writes and keeps religiously to his four-hour sleep of between midnight and 4 am to do more writing. He promised that he would continue to write on constitutional law until he was tired. Reminiscing Nwabueze, who was a foundation staff member of the Law faculty of UNILAG, said it was the first dean of the faculty, Prof L. Gower, who recruited him in 1962. He said he did not want to pick the offer, but Gower encouraged him to do so, saying he would not regret abandoning his ongoing academic pursuit then for the job. He recalled: “When we came in 1962, to lay the foundation, UNILAG was a complete bush. There were no books on constitutional law. That was how I got to working on my first book.” He described UNILAG as a huge success, adding: “We must congratulate

ourselves for this great achievement.” On the theme of the conference, Nurturing judicial independence and accountability in African states, Nwabueze, who was the guest speaker at the event, canvassed appropriate remuneration for magistrates and judges, saying they are the ones who interpret the law and that the law does not interpret itself. However, he urged that judges must not be influenced by what he called the ‘money culture’. He said: “It is clear that today the judiciary has been contaminated by the ‘money culture’. Before it was only magistrates and high court judges,” adding that the problem has permeated other parts of the judiciary. Warning that the judiciary is the last hope of the common ma, he said if it is doomed, the nation is also doomed. On judicial accountability, the retired law teacher said some judges are not helping matters as they believe they are only accountable to themselves. He said this was wrong. He urged such judges to purge themselves of such mindset.

NTIL I watched a television programme showing Governor Godswill Akpabio literally spit bile as he received the Silverbird’s Man of the Year award some days back, I had always viewed him as one of those more of media grubbing than genuine public officials. My skepticism is because many of our new age public office holders misappropriate billions of naira to get unearned media approval, though they are no better than fraudsters. Now, ordinarily, a one off commentary by the Governor and the accompanying documentary on his achievements as shown by Silverbird Television is not enough to give the Governor a carte blanche. However, I was moved by the content of his acceptance speech, during which he reminded his audience that he was likely to be the boy shown at the beginning of the documentary suffering from kwashiorkor, during the Nigerian civil war. He also appeared genuine as he noted that the deprivations suffered by his kit and kin during the civil war, and the unsparing stark poverty still staring his people in their faces have made him a very angry man. The result is that as Governor he is determined to change the lives of his people positively. With Nigerian’s civil war veterans, General Yakubu Gowon and General T. Y. Danjuma in the audience, Governor Akpabio had his day as he pricked the conscience of the Nigerian nation with respect to one of the most significant unsettled issues of the Nigerian civil war – the mass pauperisation and legislative appropriation of the wealth of an ethnic group as a state policy - the 20 pounds statute. But that is not really why I will henceforth take him serious. I will take Governor Akpabio serious simply because despite the peculiar pretences of men in power in Nigeria today, he appreciates that he was nothing growing up, and he will amount to nothing if he fails to use the high office he now occupies to make a remarkable change in the lives of the people of Akwa Ibom state. Like I have argued before on this page, if you take a census of the household of the men and women who saw public office as no different from brigandage in the past, then you will appreciate the vanity of the present peacock days. Those who have forgotten their yesterdays and are using money meant for public welfare for private wellbeing will rue their misbegotten ways down the line. The law of Karma is as certain as nature. Again, Governor Akpabio also ruffled General Buhari’s feathers. He reminded the audience about the bomb blasts ravaging the Northern part of the country and wondered why after the ugly experiences of the civil war; Northern leaders are not speaking up against violence. As he spoke, the camera focused on the audience, and I could see the discomfort as General Buhari conferred with General Gowon and also the sardonic smiles of General Danjuma, fellow award recipients like Governor Akpabio. The trio of Ben Bruce, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Senator Daisy Danjuma who were waiting on the stage for the Governor to end his umbrage may have been praying for PHCN to take light. As an angry man, Governor Akpabio as my people will say, did not bother over whose death, the people were wailing. Akpabio’s thesis on anger as inducement for good governance is hereby recommended for every public official. Indeed I recommend anger as a state policy, with President Jonathan as the angriest man. There is the need for anger to tackle the economic problems of the country. For while with fanfare and glamour, a few hundreds of job is sought to be created under the ‘You win’ economic program; with disdain and distraught several thousands of bank workers are sacked as if there is a competition among the banks on who has the deepest guile to sack. Nigerians who have spent a better part of their lives serving these institutions are disengaged with ignominy and with nothing to show for their years of helping the banks win all ‘the awards’ there can be. There is the need for anger in tackling corruption, the power infrastructure and insecurity in the country. Nigerians want to see the stolen billions in the petroleum sector, otherwise called fuel subsidy recovered from the bandits. They do not understand why they should be subsidizing corruption and inefficiency, while the men and women who are paid to look after their interests are glamorising their incompetence. They want a genuine restructuring and accountability in the petroleum industry, not the type orchestrated by those who are also part of the problem. Nigerians earnestly await an improvement in the supply of electricity. They pray for anger on the part of the National Assembly to begin earnest constitutional and statutory amendments to allow states and private companies the legal regime to invest in the power sector and reap the benefits. They understand that unless the sector is unbundled, Nigeria will continue to be a laggard in the committee of nations. Nigerians what an angry President, who will arrest the massive insecurity in the country, so that they can go about the drudgery of their daily life with less stress.

Those furthering bad governance should pause and wander what could happen if the majority of the people left in a poverty quandary turn their anger against the system

Let Governor Akpabio’s anger boil over in more development for his people, so that Nigerians’ anger against bad governance will satiate. Those furthering bad governance should pause and wander what could happen if the majority of the people left in a poverty quandary turn their anger against the system. Those shouldering the responsibility to make Nigerians happy should not toy with that destiny; for if those enjoying the good things of life can still exhibit anger, it is better imagined the lot of the hungry and deprived Nigerians.


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

31

NATIONAL BAR

Reinstate Salami now, NBA, lawyers urge Jonathan

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AWYERS have called on President Goodluck Jonathan to respect the recommendations of the National Judicial Council (NJC) by recalling and reinstating Justice Ayo Isa Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal. They made the call last week at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) meeting in Lokoja. They scored the National Executive Committee( NEC) chaired by Lokoja high. Justice Salami was removed from office in

By John Austin Unachukwu

August last year following the recommendations of the NJC over Salami’s face off with the then Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu. Consequently, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher empanelled a 28-member Judicial Reform Committee which sat and recommended a serious overhaul of the judicial system. The NBA condemned the removal of Jus-

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BA President, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) said: “The NBA position is consistent with the Port Harcourt resolution that Justice Salami should reinstated. On the question of the matter being sub-judice, the NBA said nothing seems to have been done as the government did not follow that position. He said Salami was in court over the matter when he was removed and for them not to reinstate him because of prejudice amounts to using subjudice not only as a shield, but as a sword.The NEC has said it is in bad faith and they reiterated their earlier position.”

tice Salami from office and called for his reinstatement. Almost 10 months after the removal, the NJC recommended for the reinstatement of the President of the Court of Appeal. But the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke said Salami should not be reinstated because of some cases pending in court over his case. But the NBA at its NEC meeting in Lokoja last week frowned at the position of the Government, restating its earlier position that

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•Agi (SAN)

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OE Agi (SAN) said: “The NEC went on very well. It was successful, indeed, but on Justice Salami, nothing new was said. The NBA has merely restated the position taken at the Annual General Conference in Port Harcourt.

HAIRMAN NBA Ikeja Branch Adebamigbe Omole said: “The NEC meeting has come and gone. We thank God for his mercies. It has been so good. We have been able to hold a successful NEC meeting. On Justice Salami, I think it is the preponderance of opinion here. Salami must be allowed to come back to his position. You cannot interprete the law the way it suits you. Justice Salami was in court when the NJC recommended that he should be suspended with immediate alacrity, Mr President approved and suspended him. Now that the same NJC has reversed itself having looked at Justice Salami’s case thoroughly, and said he should be allowed to come back to his position. It is wrong for the Attorney-General to say that there are matters in court. He cannot speak from both sides of his mouth. We expect the Attorney-General to be upright in whatever he is doing. He is the Attorney-General of the Federation and not the AttorneyGeneral of the executive or that of the ruling party.”

•Daudu (SAN)

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ORMER General Secretary of NBA, DeleAdesina (SAN) said: “Well, this outing is not bad. The meeting is well-attended. As usual, which is characteristic of the presidents’ style, the meeting is well-conducted. “On Salami, I think that the position of the Bar is that legally speaking, we cannot deny the existence of cases in court, but the position of the NBA will remain what the Bar had said earlier, which is that of restoration of Justice Salami. “It is very important to work things out. One cannot deny that there are cases in court; one cannot deny the existence of the principle that when a matter is subjudice, you don’t appropriate what otherwise should be responsibility of the court in deciding those issues. We are lawyers. The decision may not be palatable. The decision may not be expedient, at times what is expedient may not be legal and what is legal may not be expedient.”

•Alegeh (SAN)

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UGUSTIN Alegeh (SAN) said: ”We didn’t really take any new position. For me, the NEC should take a position of settling this matter, but head or tail, if we are not careful, we will lose. “On the issue of the matter being in court, Salami was in court when he was suspended; now we say, recall him and you say no, we can’t recall him because there are matters in court, to me it is something that affects the judiciary and, all of us, we must find a way of settling this matter, it is not about Salami, it is about all of us.”

•Ikeazor

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ORMER First-Vice President of the NBA Akaraiwe Ikeazor said: My view has always been that Salami should be recalled. My view is also that the president does not have the constitutional powers to recall him. It is the NJC, which suspended him, that should recall him. “The constitution vests on the president the power to appoint a judge and to recommend a judge for removal but to recall one who has been suspended is not within his powers, let those who suspended him recall him. That is my standard. “As far as I am concerned, he stands recalled based on what has been happening in the past. He stands recalled; he should just resume his job as the president of the Court of Appeal. This episode has diminished the judiciary.”

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ORMER Chairman of NBA, Lagos Branch Mr Chijioke Okoli said: “The NBA position is correct, it is the proper thing to be done. The position of the Federal Government is regrettable because when you make a mantra of the rule of law, we expect that minimum standards of even compliance is obtained. But in this case, we are not seeing it. It is brazen, it is impunity. You can’t in one breadth condemn corruption, the brigandage of terrorists, the way they do things without due regard and at the same time have a government that rides so rough shod over common sense, legality and simple good sense.”

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HIEF John Ochoga said: “The NEC went on very well. There were a lot of apprehensions before the NEC but the president handled the meeting very well. On the recall and reinstatement of Justice Salami,” Ochoga said. “The position of the NEC is clear. The time he was removed, we were in Port Harcourt and we said he should not be removed.That has remained our position. He ought not to have been removed in the first place and, therefore, the status quo remains. The right thing is to call him back. We should save individual in giving us a bad name let him be recalled and reinstated.”

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ECRETARY NBA Lagos Branch Secretary Alex Muoka said: “The NEC meeting was a good one in terms of the issues canvassed and discussed. There are one or two things I had a different view on, but that is the beauty of democracy, once the majority takes a position we all stand bound by it.” “On Justice Salami, it has been over discussed and over analysed. The Bar has taken a position, which is well-considered I wish to state that we stand by the decision of the Bar, there is no reason to change it.”

•Omole

•Chief Ochoga

•Adesina (SAN)

Salami should not have been removed in the first place. According to the NBA, since the government removed Salami from office on the recommendations of the NJC even when he was in court challenging their actions, the refusal of the same government to reinstate him on the recommendation of the NJC amounts to using the issue of subjudice, not only as a shield, but also as a sword.

•Okoli

•Uko

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ORMER Assistant National Publicity Secretary of NBA, Mr Ike Uko said: “The NEC meeting has been dynamic, a lot of strong views expressed and canvassed. “On Salami, there was no position taken by the NBA except to restate its earlier position in Port Harcourt in August last year. “The NBA feels that when Salami was suspended from office, there was a matter in court. At that particular time, there was no issue of the matter being subjudice and then now they are talking about the matter being in court. It is neither here or there. “The issue really as a former Chief Justice of the Federation was quoted as saying is that the NJC does not need the president or the executive arm’s permission to do what they needed to do. They have agreed at their meeting that the man should be recalled; they should go ahead and do so.”

•Muoka

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AC Enamhe said: “As far as I am concerned, it took Mr President less than one second to endorse the suspension of Salami. The same NJC that recommended his suspension is now saying recall him. And in Port Harcourt, the NBA took a position that he should be recalled The NJC through a majority vote said he should be recalled I think it is only fair that he is recalled. In the interest of fairness, Justice, equity, Salami should be recalled so that those who think that they have a case can genuinely petition and be heard. “Let every wrong be righted for the interest of the country. I always believe in the old motto of the NBA, which is where there is a wrong, there is always a right. If the NJC now feels that there is a wrong meted out against Justice Salami, and not think in its wisdom with eminent members of the Bar. The NJC in its wisdom, where we have our five seasoned and experienced Senior Advocates of Nigeria namely OCJ Okocha (SAN), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN). Chief Judges, Judges of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court Justices and the CJN as chairman, feel it is necessary to recall him, let him be recalled. So, that we have faith in the government of the day because as it were, it looks as if they obey and implement the judgments and decisions that pleases, them while those that do not favour them will not be implemented.”

•Enamhe


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

NATIONAL BAR

Lawyer seeks reforms in judiciary

NBA lifts ban on politics

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HE Nigerian Bar Association (N BA), last week, at its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Lokoja, Kogi State, lifted the ban on political campaigns, for the forthcoming delegates conference and election of new national officers for the association. This follows the report of the Chairman of the Electoral Committee and former president of the association, Lanke Odogiyan. At the close of nominations, the Odogiyan Committee received a total of 34 nominations. The sealed nominations were opened by the electoral committee of the NBA at the associations National Secretariat Abuja on May, 14 in the presence of the candidates, their agents or representatives and some bar leaders including past president and secretaries of the association. “At the end of the screening, 24 nominees were qualified to contest, 10 were disqualified for various reasons, ranging from not being qualified by post-call years, or nonproduction of some vital documents; for example, evidence of prompt payment of practising fees for three consecutive years, either for the nominee or for the nominator or seconder or failure to produce letter of

Stories by John Austin Unachukwu and Precious Igbonwelundu

good standing from the Branch Chairman, as stipulated in our constitution. Three nominees were required to bring the originals of their practising fees’ receipt on or before Friday, May 18, because the copies supplied were not clear. The result of the screening of these three would be added to this address. The details of the result of the screening is also attached to this report. Among those of cleared to contest are Okechukwu Wali (SAN),Emeka Ngige (SAN), and Blessing Ukiri for the President, Folusho; Fayokun, O. J. Erhabor, Caleb Dajan, Awoniyi Alabi for the Office of first Vice-President, E. A. Haruna, Emeka Obegolu, O. O. Olowokure were cleared to contest for General Secretary, Nurudeen Ogbara was disqualified from contesting this same office for not attaching a letter of good standing and evidence of payment of Bar practising fees for 2011 and 2012. He vehemently protested this development, appealed to the Committee immediately and supplied the requisite documents. The committee assured him that he would hear from them soon.

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan.

A •General Secretary, NBA, Olumuyiwa Akinboro

From the screening, observers say it seems obvious that the office of the president, first vice-president and the general secretary are going to be the major attractions in the election. The NEC urged the candidates to conduct their campaigns with decorum and do so within the provisions of the electoral guidelines.

ICCN urges Nigerians to embrace arbitration

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HE need to embrace arbitration as an alternative dispute mechanism to save time spent on regular court processes has been emphasised. Chairman, International Chamber of Commerce Nigeria (ICCN), Commission on Arbitration Prof Gabriel Olawoyin (SAN) made the call during a media parley ahead of the launch of the Revised Rules of Arbitration 2012 (ICCN), slated for tomorrow at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. “The new rules address areas of concern to users, including the control of time and cost in arbitration, emergency arbitrator provisions, arbitrations involving multiple parties/consolidation and changes to facilitate the handling of disputes arising under

investment treaties and free trade agreements. “Thus, the Revised Rules take account of current requirements and developments in Arbitration Practice and Procedure. “The event will serve an opportunity for participants to acquire knowledge about ICC Arbitration in general, its Arbitration Commission in particular and the work of its various task forces as well as developments in Arbitration,” he noted. Àccording to him, the Rules, which were recently revised after a study spanning, four years was to ensure that Ít continues to meet the needs of users. “The launch under the auspices of the ICC Nigeria Commission on Arbitration is expected to provide enlightenment through

facilitation by renowned international and local experts on the new provisions in the ICC rules,” he said. He said the Commission, made of experts in International Arbitration is committed to ensuring the expeditious and effective resolution of International Business Disputes. Those expected at the event include the Secretary-General, ICC International Court of Arbitration, Mr Jason Fry; Mr Simon Greenberg of Clifford Chance Paris, ICC Director, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East andAfrica, Sami Houerbi; Chartered Arbitrator, Mr Tunde Fagbohunlu (SAN), Mr Tony Idigbe, (SAN) and Mr Chikwendu Madumere, FCIArb.

•Igwenyi

•Wali (SAN)

for Welfa Secretary and Unachukwu John Echezona for Assistant National Publicity Secretary. Others adopted, who were disqualified by the Electoral Committee are Paul Ebiala for First Assistant Secretary, Cecilia Ugbuji for Assistant Financial Secretary and Ifeany Udenze for Legal Adviser. In a chat with The Nation, the Secretary to the EBF, Mr O. O. Igwenyi said the forum

will not leave any stone unturned to ensure victory for its candidates. He stated that forum will collaborate and work with sister forum in the Bar to make sure candidates adopted by the fora coast home with victory in the elections. Other fora in the NBA include the Egbe Amofin O’odua and Arewa Lawyers Forum and Mid-West Bar Forum.

NBA elections: Eastern Bar Forum adopts Okey Wali, others

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HEAD of the delegate’s conference and election of new officers to steer the ship of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the next two years scheduled to hold in Kaduna on July 17-18, the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) has adopted Okey Wali (SAN) as its presidential candidate for the election and other members for different elective positions in the association. The forum made the adoption at its elders meeting held in Ahaoda, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, but kept it close to its chest pending the outcome of its petition to the NBA President, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN), to remove the guideline that prohibits regional and ethnic adoption of candidates for the election from the electoral guidelines. The offensive clause was removed at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the NBA, in Lokoja because of EBF’s petition and the ban was also lifted on political campaigns in the association within the limits and provisions of the guidelines.. Others adopted by the EBF for the election include: Joyce Oduah for Treasurer Francis Ekwere for Third Vice-President, Afam Obi for Publicity Secretary, Uzo Felix Nnaemeka for Second Assistant Secretary, Kelvin Ejelonu

SENIOR Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Adebayo Adenipekun has called for urgent reforms of the court system to ensure speedy adjudication of cases from the magistrate to appeal courts. Adenipekun, Managing Partner, Afe Babalola and Co, also identified the failure of the country to carry out court reforms as one of the major problems facing the judiciary. He spoke with The Nation in Ibadan, Oyo State. The senior advocate said the major challenge facing the judiciary was the delay in the dispensation of cases. He argued that the earlier something urgent was done to address the problem, the better for the society. He noted the reform to tackle delay in the dispensation of cases was even more important than any other reforms that anyone may be advocating in the judiciary , adding that in the past, various governments have tried to addresses this problem but they have not achieved the desired result. Adenipekun said: “You can imagine in a commercial case, somebody is owing N10,000, I take it to the High Court. The case is there for about 10 years. Imagine the effect it will have on the life of the people. “Even if it is not a commercial case, a divorce matter where the husband and wife are at each other’s neck. You take the matter to court to be settled and the matter is dragging on for several years. How do you get a better society in that circumstance? So, the delay in the dispensation of justice is one of the major problems we are facing that must be addressed.” According to him , the judiciary can be one of the best in the world if things are done the right way with all sincerity and honesty of purpose . “I believe if we can copy the example of what is done overseas, the first thing we need to do is to reform the court system. Do you know as I am speaking to you, that some judges are still writing in long hand. Until we change that, we will continue to have problems in the judiciary. “The world has gone to the level where when you get to court overseas, the judge will just be watching the proceedings just like any other person because the thing is being recorded, and within a short time , he is seeing the thing from the computer and he can decide so quickly. But here the judges spend time writing in long hand. And this is not the best for this country,” he said. The court system, he noted, must first of all be computerised while judicial officials should be given adequate training on the use of computers to achieve the desired result of speedy dispensation of cases in the courts. “Our judges don’t have to write in long hand. So, we need to computerise our courts. We need to train our judicial officers to use these computers and we need our system to work, because I can see in many courts these computers are there but they are not working. That is one major reform I can suggest that should be done as a matter of urgency in order to solve this problem. No matter what rules of courts, once this one is not done, then it cannot work,” he said. When this is achieved, Adenipekun said the judges would not only decide cases within a limited time period, but the society would be better.

NBA steps into Ikeja Bar election crisis

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HE National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has mandated the leadership of Ikeja branch of the association to resolve the lingering crisis in the branch following the election of Mr Monday Onyekachi Ubani as the branch chairman. The President of NBA Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) frowned that the branch •Omole

could not resolve the electoral issues the association before going to court. After listening to the position of the branch Chairman, Adebamigbe Omole and Dele Adesina (SAN) on the matter, the NEC mandated them to go home, put their house in order and resolve the problems. It stated the the NEC might be compelled to take a drastic action if the crisis is not resolved within a reasonable time. •Adenipekun (SAN)


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

LAW & SOCIETY SUMMIT ON ENTHRONMENT OF CONSTITUTIONALISM AND GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA, AT TRANSCORP HILTON, ABUJA

•From left: Chief Ferdinand Agu, representing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim and D-G NIALS, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN)

•From left: Prof Jerry Gana; Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) and Chief Edwin K. Clark

•From left: Prof B. I. C. Ijeoma; Prof Sam. Oyovbaire and Prof Ignatius Ayua (SAN)

•From left: Mrs Mercy Agbamuche; Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and former IGP, Sunday Ehindero

•Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) and Dr Valerie Azinge

•From left: Solomon Edojah; Col. O. N. Taiwo and Major-Gen. Agha Okoro, representing the Chief of Army Staff

•Institute Secretary James Bathnna (left) and Godwin Adilakwu Atsu

•From left: A. B. Mahmoud (SAN) and Chairman, Law Reform Commission, Prof Cyprian Okonkwo

•CP Bayo Ajileye (left) and Director of Research, NIALS, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye

•Ufuoma S. Akpeh (left) and Head, Information and Public Relations Dept., Nigerian Law PHOTOS: JOHN AUSTIN UNACHUKWU School, Chinedu Ukekwe


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THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

NATIONAL BAR

Criminal justice reforms, panacea for ailing justice sector T

HE nature of criminal justice system of any nation may be a fair guide as to her level of civilisation. Man has made great transition from the era when jungle justice was meted to suspected criminals. We have left for good the agonising, dark era when people were burnt at stake after trial by ordeals. However, the modern era itself does not boasts of uniform criminal jurisprudence across the globe. At one end we have countries that have made tremendous strides while at the other ends there are still countries whose systems have made barely little progress from the Dark Age. In between these two extremes are numerous countries with varying degrees of attainments using the criteria of modern standards. In Nigeria for instance, our criminal justice dispensation is an integral part of the wholesome received English law. But while the land whence we copied the said law has made laudable progress engineered by frequent and continual reviews of the law to meet the everexpanding challenges of the modern times, our criminal justice dispensation has remained stagnant. For example, at least four of our laws on criminal justice, viz, Criminal Code, the Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Act, and the Criminal Procedure Code are still out of sync with modern realities – a fact which makes it difficult for our justice system to function with effectiveness and efficiency one would have expected from a country with our kind of human legal expertise. This stagnation has weighed down on our system to such an extent that stakeholders were unanimous that strategic, if not revolutionary reviews are needed to bail out our justice dispensation. The extant problems rocking the criminal justice sector include, prison congestion, the notion of holding charge, courtroom congestion, prolonged delay in prosecution of offenders, non-availability of basic infrastructure and resources like police and prison vehicles to convey offenders to court, lack of access to justice by the poor, the granting of questionable orders by judges and magistrates, the persistent issue of the holding charge (where the police charge suspects to courts that are not statutorily empowered to handle them), the use of torture by the police to extort extra judicial confessions, and allegations of corruption against judicial officers. It is, therefore, the desire to reform our penal justice system and find solutions around all these legions of problems and challenges that inspired the Nigerian Bar Association to convene the inaugural convention of the Criminal Justice Reform Conference which held in July in Abuja last year. One may confidently say we have already started to reap in concrete terms the benefits of last year conference in some ways. It is heart warming to note that our basic procedural law, the Evidence Act, was amended to bring it up to date. This has introduced phenomenal improvement to our system, for example the controversial issue of non-admissibility of the computer-generated prints-out, among other technology-based evidential materials. It redounds to the success of the last year inaugural Criminal Justice Reforms Conference which held in Abuja last year that some of the recommendations made in-

•Murray

•Mahmoud (SAN)

By Muritala Abdul-Rasheed

spired the National Assembly to expedite amendment of the Evidence Act which was eventually signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan. Furthermore, anyone that attended the last conference would readily attest to its informative enlightening, stimulating and generally enriching character. If last year’s conference was successful, this year edition offers promise of greater latitude of success. The Second CJRC is scheduled to hold between June 2 and 5, this year at the Delta Convention Center, Asaba Delta State. The chief host will be the Executive Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan while the conference would be declared open by no less a personality than the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher (GCON). This conference is designed to be a consolidation of the last year version which had the theme “Transforming the Crimi-

nal Justice System in Nigeria-A Reform Agenda.” The theme for this year’s conference is “Effective Nationwide AntiCrime and Security Coverage through the Justice System in Nigeria” it is seeking to set agenda for effective nationwide anti crime and security coverage through the justice system by seeking and ultimately providing concrete suggestions and recommendations for reforming the policy, practice and procedure in achieving efficacious criminal justice delivery in Nigeria. The objective of the conference, according to the NBA, include “enabling the stakeholders, discuss the administration of criminal justice in Nigeria and to review the administration ,procedure and policy of the criminal justice sector; identifying obstacles in the apprehension and prompt prosecution of offenders, setting guidelines for sentencing, formulating practice direction for prosecutors and a total revamp of criminal trials with a view to enhancing the speedy dispensation of

‘One may confidently say we have already started to reap in concrete terms the benefits of last year conference in some ways. It is heart warming to note that our basic procedural law, the Evidence Act, was amended to bring it up to date’

justice, and ensuring protection of the society from crime”The keynote speaker is Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN),Governor of Lagos State whose state has recorded a major landmark in the rejuvenation of the criminal justice Administration. Resource persons for the conference are drawn largely from Presidency, State Governors, Judiciary, Legislature, Academia, Legal practitioners, Law Officers from the chambers of the Attorney-General of the Federation and states’ Attorneys’-General, law enforcement agents, and State Security Services (SSS) operatives. Some of the dignitaries expected to grace the conference and provide perspectives on some issues in our criminal justice jurisprudence are Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN); Speaker of the House of Representatives; Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR (Hon. Bencher); and the, President of the Senate, Dr. David Mark (GCON). Others include a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN); the Executive Governor, Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN); and the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Anselm Odinkalu. Seven governors would also form a panel as they engage in critically stimulating discussions on aspects of our justice system and the role of executives in fostering a working justice paradigm. These governors include, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, Mr. Dickson Seriake of Bayelsa State, Dr Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and Mr. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State. At another panel of the richly packaged conference, the resource persons would include Hon. Judge, High Court of Lagos State, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole; the Chairman, Nigeria Law Reform Commission, Hon. Justice Umaru Kalgo (JSC Rtd); a revered scholar from the Department of Public Law, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof Taofeek Ladan’ and the Chairman, Criminal Justice Conference Planning Committee, Mr A. B. Mahmoud (SAN). Some of the cogent issues that would form the subthemes within the general thematic focus are topics like: Is Nigeria ripe for state and communal Police; Effective and efficient policing in Nigeria: inadequacies problems and obstacles; Redefining the roles of security and anti -crime agencies in the attainment of criminal justice; The purpose of policing in Nigeria; Re- harmonising all courts procedures; and Federalism and the operation of a uniform Criminal/Penal Code, is it feasible? There is no doubt that with these arrays of seasoned speakers/discussants/panelists the conference would be an intellectually stimulating forum. More importantly, it will spawn quality recommendations for advancing our criminal jurisprudence and inspire landmark reforms. The organisers have also promised a hitch-free conference. • Abdulrasheed is the immediate past National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association.

LEGAL DIARY

Supreme Court, firm hold lecture

O •Mobolaji Kuti, CEO, Optimum Publisher

PTIMUM Law Publishers Ltd, publishers of the Nigerian Monthly Law Reports (NMLR) in conjunction with the Supreme Court of Nigeria will hold the maiden NMLR lecture on June 7. The event will hold at the Executive Room, International Conference Center, Abuja, by 11.00 am. Lord Robert Carnwath of Notting Hill is the guest speaker. He will speak on the topic: Judicial prece-

dent; taming the common law. Carnwath is a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The lecture’s organisers said he was chosen for his pedigree as a brilliant jurist as well as being well versed in the topic judicial precedent. The firm said the topic is very timely at this time when there are so many controversies on the certainty of our laws. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Jus-

tice Dahiru Musdapher, will be the chief host and chairman of the event. On the law report, the firm said: “NMLR is a concise and accurate law reports that carefully extracts ratio decidendi of Judgments and highlights same. It was revived by the law firm of Babalakin & Co through its publishing arm of Optimum Law Publishers Ltd. “The Reports, which is printed and leather bound by Sweet &

Maxwell and contains a free CD, reports judgments of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the Federal and states’ High Courts. “Since its re-launch on May 13, 2010, the NMLR has gradually become a companion for judges in the preparation of their judgments and a ready tool in the hands of a diligent researcher. Practitioners have also found the NMLR to be very helpful to their practice.”


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MARITIME

Over 8,000 bags of rice smuggled into Nigeria daily, survey shows N

O fewer than 8,000 bags of rice worth over N56 million are smuggled into the country daily, it was learnt, over the weekend. They are smuggled through Ere River in Ado–Odo/Ota in Ogun State. The river, which links the country with Cotonou to Owode-Apa and Ado-Odo/ Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, also links Gbaji and Badagry Lagoon up to the Atlantic Ocean. When The Nation visited the area last week, locally made boats carrying more than 1,000 bags of rice each, were being used to ferry the commodity into the country. Ere River is a rice smuggling point, yet to be discovered by Customs and other security officials posted to the area. The boats were seen offloading rice to vehicles that would carry them to places, such as Agbara, Sango-Ota, Ifo and AlabaRago Market, Iyana-Ipaja. The smugglers have been using the river for their illicit business for years. A motorcyclist, who took The Nation’s reporter to the river, alleged that some Customs officials are aware of the smugglers’ activities, but are handicapped because of the calibre of the people involved. “The reason I agreed to take you there is to tell you that there is nothing government can do to stop smuggling unless those in power provide employment for the youth. “I graduated from the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education more than six years ago but I have not been able to secure employment since I finished from the school. I make my money through the number

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By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

THE Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) plans to revive the Koko Port in Delta State, its Managing Director Mr Omar Suleiman has said. He told The Nation in his office that NPA is collaborating with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other investors to turn Delta port round. NPA, he said, is committed to making the ports the preferred destination for cargoes for West and Central Africa by providing the required infrastructure for their operations. He said the dredging of the Escravos channel, which leads to Warri Port, was included in this year’s budget, adding that when approved, it would attract merchant ships into the Delta Port. “We are going to do everything possible to revitilise the Delta Port. It is one of our priorities and we are determined to achieve it by spending part of our budget for this year on it,” Suleiman said.

Shipowners lament domination • Customs Abdullahi

CG,

Dikko

By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

of rice I convey to the market per day. “I am not the only youth involved; we are many. We use our motorcycles to survey where the Customs are staying at a particular time before we ask our vehicles to bring the rice to the road. “If you counted the number of people we met at that place, you will notice that they are no fewer than 80 and they are more than that. A majority of them are exsecurity officers and the few serving ones have access to arms and ammunition and that was why I told you that it would be dangerous for you to use your camera. “The people you saw there are very deadly and they have wasted so many people that have threatened their business,” he said. A Customs officer from the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of Zone A at AgbaraLusada road, said the Customs mounted surveillance in the areas because it suspects the smugglers have a hide-out there. Several bags of rice, he said, have been intercepted

•Bags of rice

by hire teams on the axis. “Although, I don’t know where the river you mentioned is located, but we cannot deny that smuggling is going on around this place and that is why many of our officers have been posted to curtail the unpatriotic activities of the smugglers. “My experience since I was posted to this area is that there is the need for the Federal Executive Council and the Minister of Finance to address the issue of high port charges, which created incentive for tariff avoidance and smuggling, and support the good efforts of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi. “Those of us posted to curb the nefarious activities of smugglers in the border areas are not finding it easy. “It is a difficult task because a majority of those involved are youths from the area and they know the area very well. Don’t forget that we, security officials, are strangers and we are not

expected to detect all the routes that smugglers use in a few days. So, if you have detected a new route, it is your duty as a journalist to inform us before telling the public,” the officer said. The smugglers’ activities, was also learnt, are crippling the business of those importing the commodity through the ports. Last year, the country was said to have lost N16.3 billion to smuggling. A Customs officer at a check point mounted by the Customs before the Agbara Bridge popularly called death trap (Koto Orun) told The Nation that the number of youths now into smuggling has grown because of unemployment. Smuggled goods include second hand vehicles, textile materials, used cloths, bags, shoes, tyres, rice, frozen chicken, frozen turkey, vegetable oil, soap, furniture sweets, cigarettes, apples, pineapple and palm oil.

CVFF beneficiaries to get $25m each

ENEFICIARIES of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) will get $25 million each, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said. The agency pegged the amount to save the fund from extinction. Its decision, it was learnt, was informed by how the Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund (SASBF) of the defunct National Maritime Authority (NMA) was killed. A senior official of NIMASA, who craved anonymity, told The Nation that the experience of its management in the disbursement of the SASB fund, showed that while some genuine shipping operators borrowed the money and paid back on time, others have yet to pay back the principal and accumulated interests. He said many of those who benefited from the SASB fund diverted the money. NIMASA, the official said, is taking precautions to safeguard the CVF fund. Findings revealed that the management of the agency has issued the criteria for

NPA to revive Delta port

By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

participation in the CVFF, as it affects ship owners. According to the criteria, each applicant must own at least one classed vessel with P & I coverage; have a structured shipping company, which is verifiable and registered with NIMASA; must provide the company and staff profile;

the vessel must be Nigerian-owned and must have five years experience. The requirements listed by NIMASA for ship agents wishing to participate in the CVFF are: •Proof of having husbanded at least 10 vessels (both local and international) within the last three years; • Must have a fully established and veritable office;

and • Must provide the company and staff profile. NIMASA demanded that applications should show the type of vessel to be purchased/chartered or the guarantee required, and the amount being applied for not exceeding $25 million. Applicants were given a two-week ultimatum, which will expire on June 5.

Terminal operators decry govt’s decision on container depots

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HE Indigenous Bonded Terminal Association of Nigeria (IBTAN) has criticised the Federal Government’s plan to establish new Inland Container Depots (ICDs) in some parts of the country. The association said it is another attempt to kill the indigenous Bonded Terminals which had been struggling to survive since operations at the ports were handed over to concessionaires in 2006.The association

By Uyoatta Eshiet

said it found it hard to believe that the government will be considering such plan when Indigenous Bonded Terminal Operators and their N1 trillion investments are dying. The Minister of Transport Senator Idris Umar said at a forum in Abuja that the government would license more ICDs to make for efficient cargo delivery. Its Secretary General, Mr. Haruna Omolajomo, who

spoke on behalf of the association, said there are six ICDs in the country which are not working years after they were issued licensces. He wondered why the government is now talking about licensing new ICDs while the other ones are not working.Haruna listed problems confronting the ICDs to include lack of funds, political factors and lack of functional railway system.

ONLY about 60 of the 600 vessels in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry are owned by indigenous operators, the General Secretary of the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Captain Niyi Labinjo, told The Nation in Lagos, has said. He disclosed that a vessel into offshore operations collects at least $5,000 daily. This, according to him, is the least amount collected by foreign vessels doing business in the nation’s waters. As a result of lack of indigenous ships, he said the country loses about N2 trillion yearly. He said: “We have plenty of hydrocarbons. As at today, it is 37 billion barrels, but our government is working towards making it 40 billion barrels. That is our proven reserve. We are said to be the 10th world producer of oil. The world everyday uses 84 million barrels per day of oil and Nigeria produces 2.5 million barrels every day. For gas, we have 24 trillion reserves. “We have the best shrimps in the world, called tiger shrimps. That is why you have very many Indian fishing companies in Nigeria. All the tiger shrimps are exported. We import into Nigeria every five million metric tonnes of cargo, 100 million metric tonnes of goods. We import 65 million litres of petroleum products every year. “In the oil and gas industry, Nigeria has close to 500 oil wells. For each well, there is a rig which is supported by a minimum of five ships, and they are called oil support vessels. He said each of the foreign ships earn $5,000, while others earn $150,000 per day.”

Operators fault ship policy OPERATORS in the maritime industry have faulted the Federal Government’s policy on ship repairs. Speaking with The Nation in Lagos, the operators said the government has not offered special incentives for the sector to promote and enhance efficiency in shipping-related services and make the country a logistics hub. One of the operators Mr Funsho Badmus said ship building is capital intensive and urged the Federal Government to make special provisions for capacity building. He said local ship owners face difficulties in raising funds to facilitate improved business prospects. He said the facilities at the existing shipyards were highly inadequate when compared to what is required at international level. He said ship repairs is highly competitive and should be supported by national policies and subsidies, adding that without government’s support, the growth of the industry would be difficult. He expressed concern over the inability of government to support coastal trade with incentives while other countries do, adding that for the sector to grow, there should be incentives such as lower taxes to offset the costs.

Union holds workshop THE Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria and Senior Staff Association of Communication, Transport and Corporation (SSACTAC) branches of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) have organised a three-day workshop to prepare their retiring members for life after service. The workshop entitled: Life after work: A worthy priority, which held in Apapa, Lagos, was arranged by the two house unions for their members that would be retiring this year. The SSACTACPresident Mr Jimoh Umar told reporters that the workshop was needed to prepare re-orientate their members. Umar also said the intention of the two associations is to sustain and hold similar workshops quarterly. On his part, the NPA Branch President of the Maritime Workers Union, Comrade Adeleke Sanni, said the two unions put together the workshop to honour their members and recognise their contributions over the years.


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PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

Lagos realises N11b from Land Use Charge monthly, says Commissioner

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BOUT N11 billion of the N 25 billion generated internally by the Lagos State government monthly comes from the Land Use Charge, Commissioner for Finance Adetokunbo Abiru has said. The Land Use Charge was introduced following the government’s desire to harmonise four hitherto existing charges, such as tenement rate, development charges, ground rents and neigbourhood improvement charges into one single charge to be administered through a Trust Deed on behalf of the state and local governments. Abiru said the government has moved from property enumeration to comprehensive billing of enumerated properties in order to increase expected revenue from land use charge based on some parametres.

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

He said if government must provide development projects it implemented the land use charge religiously to rake in interest fee fund to provide needed services to the public. The government, he said, adopted three parametres for payment to encourage not only homeowner but also encourage businesses. A house owner may not need to see the officers, he said, that assess his property but can go online and fill the necessary forms and submit same with five documents such as National ID card, Power Holding Company of

Nigeria(PHCN) bill, voter’s card, Driver’s license, survey plan and water rate bill. The adoption of the parametres reflected on the revenue as out of 637,569 properties enumerated, 583,458 were billed, representing 91 per cent of the enumerated properties, warning that defaulters would be dealt with according to the provisions of the Act. The commissioner attributed the visible improvement on general infrastructure to the level of compliance, saying that non-compliance will attract sanction. He said: “Our mission of achieving the target of internally generated revenue this year would be vigorously pursued and hopefully achieved. “Emphasis would be on invok-

ing necessary provisions of the law and visiting its compliant imperatives on both recalcitrant and evasive citizens who may deliberately choose to disregard their civic responsibilities of paying their taxes as should be expected of them.” Abiru said measures would be taken to ensure optimum revenue generation by government so that on-going projects of government can be executed. According to him, the present administration will maintain financial strategy which is premised on sustaining funding priorities more to capital projects than overhead expenditure in the staunch belief that economic growth is better accelerated by adequate funding of physical and enduring qualitative capital projects in line with inter-

national best practices. He pledged government’s readiness to maintain funding preference for capital expenditure more than overhead expenditure, while ensuring that adequate funds made available for capital projects are sustained. Estate surveyors& valuers are however criticising what they call a lack of clear-cut parametre and arbitrariness of implementation. They also accused government of not consulting widely before implementing it. They claimed that their professional training placed them above others where land is concerned, adding that their input must be considered in matters that are core to their professional practice. Abiru said the avenue for lodging complaints by any person is open as officers of the lands ministry have been trained to entertain and handle such enquiries.

ture, Dr. Femi Hamzat said the road projects have directly generated over 600 jobs within the communities during the constructions. He stated that the total length of the roads being commissioned is 13kilo metre and all were built to meet the State’s standard specifications as to width, provision of service ducts, walkways, drainages

and streetlights. The network of roads handed over to Alimosho communities are Association Avenue, ShashaOrisunbare, Ejigbo road, Agodo Community roads, Niyi Street, Owolabi Street, Adeyinka Street, Old Otta Road, Rufai/ Yekini/ Church Streets among others.

Lagos targets inner roads

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AGOS State Governor Babatunde Fashola has restated plans to undertake massive rehabilitation and reconstruction of inner roads. Speaking at the Orisunbare end of the newly constructed Shasha Orisunbare-Ejigbo Road,Fashola said his administration would continue to deliver critical life changing and impactful projects. He handed over 13 kilometres of roads constructed within Alimosho Local Government Area of the state. Fashola said: “Some people have said we are tired and losing steam. Let me assure you we are not tired. Our team will deliver more at a faster pace. We will give you unqualified service.” He said the completion of the Alimosho master plan would ensure the development of a high quality shopping mall like the ones in Lekki and Ikeja, adding that his administration will expand the focus of development across the state. Declaring that Alimoso is coming alive and will have its potential unleashed, Fashola said the

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

new Iba Town is a development that will be comparable to these highbrow areas of the state. He urged the people to stop encroaching on government land, stating that such encroachment impedes government ability to deliver on projects. According to the Governor, there is a need for the people to embrace ideas and attitudes that will promote proper usage of setbacks and walkways. He charged the people to shun establishing shops and workshops on the sidewalks and setbacks. He noted that encroachments on lands have remained a challenge to investors’ confidence as it usually creates unnecessary delays in the realisation of projects and proposed developments. While calling on the Landlords Associations, Community Development Committees to take ownership of projects located in their communities by protecting public infrastructure, Fashola noted that such ownership is a win-win” situ-

•Shasha Orisunbare Ejigbo Road

ation for both government and citizens.” Describing as the people’s part in the Social contract payment of taxes, obedience to law and keeping the peace, Fashola charged the people to obey planning laws in the overall interest of the State. Earlier in his remarks, Commissioner for Works and Infrastruc-

Developer urges action on Mortgage Bank’s recapitilisation

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HE Chief Executive, First Rotech Group, Chief Austin Oguejifor has called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the N100 billion recapitalisation of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, to enable the bank tackle the acute housing problem. He spoke during the flag off of the construction of 850 housing units at the Luxury Place Estate being handled by his firm. He said housing delivery would remain a mirage if there is no vibrant and robust mortgage system to drive the sector. He said: “The nation’s current deficit of over 16 million houses, the FMBN’s current N2.5 billion capital base was insufficient and cannot make any reasonable impact in tackling the housing challenges confronting Nigeria. “Bank management should ensure the commencement and process of integration of the informal sector into its National Housing Fund, NHF, using cooperative societies’ structures as is in practice in other parts of the world. “It is expected that under this scheme, Nigerians in the informal sector like the akara

•Model of Luxury Place Estate, Abuja From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

seller, bricklayers commercial drivers as well as the road side motor mechanic etc, will have the opportunity to own their residential houses. “It is worrisome that a coun-

try like Nigeria cannot house its citizens adequately. There is need for concerted collaboration between the government, private sector and the beneficiaries to reverse the ugly trend in the sector,” he stressed. Oguejifor, while challenging

estate developers to help the government achieve the desired result of provision of affordable mass housing for the citizenry, said the entrepreneur should do something to help to put in place infrastructure like roads and electricity within the estate. He said that it is the respon-

sibility of the government to provide infrastructure linking the estate with the highways. He appealed to major players in the sector channel their resources toward building for the teeming poor in order to achieve the ideal egalitarian society.


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HEALTH THE NATION

E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

‘How to reduce IVF risks’ C

ONTRARY to the belief in certain quarters, risks associated with In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), such as multiple births, can be reduced, a reproductive endocrinologist, Prof. Oladapo Ashirru, has said. IVF is a process whereby couples with challenges are assisted to have children. Noting that infertility is a major problem in the country, Ashiru said it has caused many couples physical, psychological and social heartaches. Even then, “In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF) has played a major role in reducing the burden among infertile couples,” he said. “However, despite the role of IVF in solving infertility in Nigeria, it is important to address the issue of rising rates of multiple births from IVF. Also, to create a balance between the number of embryo transferred and easing the burden couples face from infertility,” he added. He explained that premature death of the neonatal is a principal factor. “Prematurity is a major cause of neonatal death with a record of 50 per cent of twins and 90 per cent of triplets dying. “Also, there is higher risk of spontaneous abortion, cord prolapsed,discordant growth (IUGR), intracranial haemorrhage, locked twins (conjoined twins), Cerebral palsy and other congenital anomalies.” Ashiru added: “For instance, to keep infants born at 39 to 42 weeks alive, would be $9,803;

From Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha

infants born 25 to 27 weeks$280,146; twins born 25 to 27 week -$560,292; triplets born 25 to 27 weeks- $840,438 and quadruplets born 25 to 27 weeks $1,120,584.” Ashiru, a former visiting professor at the Department of Anatomy and Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Illinois, Chicago(UIC), United States established the two IVF programmes for the institution in 1996 acclaimed to be one of the best IVF centres in the US. He became the pioneer director of the University-based IVF programme in Chicago in 1996. He suggested that other practitioners in IVF should look at how to improve their skills, which will make more infertile couples embrace it and “as the IVF process becomes more efficacious, fertility centres in Nigeria will not need to transfer up to four embryos to have a positive pregnancy; and as a result, they can move towards two to single embryo transfer.” Citing example from the US’ 1998 Mortality Rate of per 1,000 live birth, Ashiru, who obtained the licentiate of the American Board of Bioanalysis in High Complexity Laboratory Director HCLD (ABB) in 1997, said: “For singletons, the survival rate of infant from birth to one year is 11.2; neonatal, birth to day 28 is 7.8 and postnatal from day 29 to one year is 3.4. For twins, infant is 66.4; neonatal, 55.9 and postnatal 10.5. For triplets, in-

Survival rate

•Prof Ashiru

fant is 190.4; neonatal, 168.8 and postnatal, 21.6.” He said those involved in the IVF should be mindful of the cost of keeping the born infants alive by their parents, as many infertile couples would be better off if not having to spend extra

Mortality rate

‘Those involved in the IVF should be mindful of the cost of keeping the born infants alive by their parents, as many infertile couples would be better off if not having to spend extra amount after a successful breakthrough with IVF’ amount after a successful breakthrough with IVF. Ashiru pioneered the IVF programme in Nigeria in 1984 and his team successfully delivered the first test tube baby in Africa in 1986.

‘30.5% of married men use condoms’

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NLY 30.5 per cent of married men in Nigeria, who patronise sex workers, use condoms, Dr Taiwo Ijawogin of the University of Ibadan has said. In a research conducted by him, he noted that infections in low risk relationships are aquired from high risk sexual encounters. Citing the outcome of the research during the presentation of PreExposure Prophylaxis (PreP) by the United States Mission in Abuja, Director (Prevention’, care and Treatment) at Health International (FHI) 360) Dr Hadiza Khamofu said the study showed that of the 1,396 and

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From Austin Ehikioye, Abuja 459 married male respondents, who reside in urban and rural areas, only 137 had patronised commercial sex workers in the past six months prior to study, out of which only 63 men had used condoms at the last visit. Stressing that the outcome of the study showed that the burden of HIV is still high in the country, she said the ante-natal care prevalence rate of 4.1 per cent exists among the nation’s population of 160 million people. She pointed out that pregnancy

periods present higher risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV infection. Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) Prof. John Idoko said PrEP is the newest developed HIV prevention tool by the US mission. It involves the use of Truvada, an antiretroviral to prevent HIV infection. According to him, the roadmap for moving forward the agenda on PrEP access in Nigeria aims at identifying areas of collaboration on policy, regulatory, delivery and implementation. About 62 per cent of new infec-

tions, he said, occur among persons perceived as practising “low risk sex”including married sexual partners. One of the three approaches that will aid the implementation of PreP, he said, included remodelling with data analysis, adding: “We want to do a feasibility study in four states. PrEP access aims at fostering an exchange of information on the challenges and opportunities of behaviourial and biomedical interventions that could be included in a combination prevention strategy to reduce HIV incidence.”

Global Fund budgets $1.6b to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, others

NEW financial forecast by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria estimates that more than $1.6 billion will be available for projects from 2012 t0 2014. This followed strategic decisions taken by the Board, freeing up funds that can be invested in countries where there is the most pressing deman. Like any forecast, it is subject to fluctuation and change in coming months. “This forecast is better than expected, and it comes from the fantastic response we are getting to our transformation,” said Gabriel Jaramillo, who became General Manager of the Global Fund in February 2012. He said: “But we need

more to get the job done. Countries that implement our grants are saving more and more people, but demand for services is still enormous. With more money, we can save more lives.” Jaramillo will report to the Board of the Global Fund on a sweeping reorganisation, focusing on the core business of grant management by significantly increasing the number of staff working in that area while streamlining staffing in supporting departments and taking steps to radically improve management. Renewed confidence in the effec-

tiveness of the Global Fund has led to new donations from some countries, and accelerated donations from others. Still others volunteered to forgo some funds in favor of less fortunate nations that have more pressing needs. A first portion of the available funding can be put to work as soon as up to $616 million in grant requests are reviewed by the Technical Review Panel and then approved by the Board. Investing the additional $1 billion most effectively will be the subject of consultations with countries and partners.

Continued from page46

The enhanced forecast will enable the organisation to accelerate funding in a more continuous and effective way to support a more rapid implementation of the Global Fund’s new 2012-2016 Strategy. “By getting ourselves onto a sound financial footing and transforming the way we do business, we can now accelerate funding and we can make significant progress towards the Millennium Development Goals,” said Simon Bland, Chairman of the Board of the Global Fund. “If we continue to get the support we need, we can make an enormous difference.”

NHIS demands medical services’ review

T

HERE is need to review the cost of medical services, the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Abdulrahman Sambo, has said. He spoke at a meeting with the Country Director of Management Services for Health (MSH) Mr Barry Smith and his team in Abuja. He said such a review would make health care more accessible. The review should be made uniform and acceptable to NHIS accredited facilities Mr Smith said MSH is a nonprofit organisation that renders technical support to organisations in Nigeria. He assured that his organisation would develop appropriate costing of medical services. He solicited the scheme’s support for promoting universal health care.

Ogun, MTN, FRSC partner on emergency mobile phone

T

HE Ogun State Ministry of Health is partnering with telecoms giant MTN and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to provide emergency health care services. The Commissioner for Health Dr. Olaokun Soyinka said the partnership agreement would cover provision of mobile clinics at different strategic points in the 20 local government areas of the state. Soyinka said the government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with its partners to render medical services through mobile clinics that would cater for people requiring urgent medical attention. He said the mobile clinics/emergency health care would curtail deaths associated with dearth of emergency medical services. According to the commissioner, the emergency services also cover call centres that will respond urgently and effectively to cases of emergency through the mobile emergency number 122, FRSC toll free emergency phone number.


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NEWS

•Some pupils celebrating during the Go back to School programme organised by Oando Plc at MUSON Centre, Lagos...yesterday

PHOTO: JOHN OBHOTA

•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (middle) assisted by his wife Florence, members of the executive council and some pupils cutting the Children’s Day anniversary cake in Ibadan...at the weekend

•The Anglican Arch-Bishop of Enugu Province, Most Rev. Amanke Chinelo Madu (right) blessing Anambra State Governor Peter Obi at the second session of the fifth Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Oji River at St. Marks Church, Amankpunato – Achi, Oji River Local Government Area, Enugu State...at the weekend

•Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza (third left); Group Country Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, VISA Card, Mr. Gerald Hawkins(second right); Yinka Adedeji, Divisional Head, e-Banking, UBA Plc(left left); Ade Ashaye, Country Manager, West Africa, VISA Cards(second left) and Douglas Henderson, Head, Emerging Products, VISA Cards, during the visit of VISA to UBA Plc in Lagos...at the weekend

•The Archdeacon, St Paul’s Anglican Church, Somolu, Ven. Christopher Aiyejoto (with flower girl), welcoming Bishop Peter Adebiyi to the church...at the weekend. With them are the church’s Warden Mr A. Ogunfowora and Layreader Mrs A Ojo

Pupils of Oregun Jnr. High School, Ikeja, Lagos with Communications Manager, Dana Group, Mr. Tony Usidamen (left), Capt. Segun Omole (middle) and others on a “Kidz Fly trip’’ from Lagos PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE -Uyo, Akwa Ibom State organised by Dana Air to mark the Children’s Day...at the weekend


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EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 28-5-12

MRS’s net profit drops by 65%

M

RS Oil Nigeria Plc recorded significant decline in profitability in the first quarter as the petroleum-marketing company continued to struggle with high costs and sluggish top-line. Interim report and accounts of MRS for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012 made available yesterday showed that pre and post tax profits dropped by 66 per cent and 65 per cent respectively just as sales inched up by 9.1 per cent. The three-month report showed a turnover of N19.18 billion in 2012 as against N17.58 billion recorded in comparable period of 2011. Gross profit however dropped to N1.38 billion compared with N1.43 billion in 2011. Profit before tax nosed down to N236.51 million in 2012 as against N688.65 million in comparable period of 2011. Profit after tax also declined from N349.07 million in 2011 to N123.27 million in 2012. The decline in profitability also impacted negatively on the capital base of the company as shareholders’ funds dropped from N23.43 billion to N23.79 billion. MRS Oil Nigeria had suffered considerable declines in

•Stock market opens negative By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

profitability and balance sheet strength in 2011 as sluggish sales and huge loans orchestrated a major reversal that shaved about 44 per cent off net earnings and returns to shareholders. Audited report and accounts of the company for the year ended December 31, 2011 had showed a highly leveraged company struggling with declining margins amidst rising costs. While sales, profit before tax and profit after tax dropped by 5.1 per cent, 30 per cent and 44 per cent respectively, pre-tax profit margin shrank from 3.9 per cent to 2.9 per cent. The gross profit margin held constant at 9.9 per cent, underlining the fact that midline costs and inefficiency exacerbated the negative bottom-line. Total sales dropped from N74.78 billion to N70.95 billion. Gross profit also slipped from N7.39 billion to N7.04 billion. Profit before tax contracted to N2.03 billion compared with N2.89 billion. After taxes, net profit also dwindled from N1.85 billion to N1.04 billion. Consequently, net earnings

per share fell from N7.27 to N4.08, which obviously underscored similar decline in cash payout to shareholders from N1.25 for 2010 to 70 kobo for 2011. Gross dividend had dropped by 44 per cent from N318 million to N178 million. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) opened yesterday on the negative with the benchmark index dropping by 0.24 per cent. The All Share Index (ASI) slipped to 22,180.02 points from its opening index of 22,232.36 points. Aggregate market capitalisation of all equities also dropped from N7.090 trillion to N7.073 trillion. Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria topped the losers’ list with a drop of N1.14 to close at N41.20. Nigerian Breweries followed with a loss of N1 to close at N107. Cadbury Nigeria dropped by 55 kobo to close at N15.45. Ashaka Cement lost 38 kobo to close at N10.12 while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria slipped by 24 kobo to close at N5.05 per share. On the positive side, Oando led the advancers with a gain of 79 kobo to close at N16.75. Union Bank of Nigeria gained 17 kobo to close at N3.72. Vitafoam Nigeria added 15 kobo to close at N3.45. First Bank of Nigeria gained by 9.0 kobo to close at N11.50 while United Bank for Africa (UBA) chalked up 8.0 kobo to close at N4.08. Total turnover stood at 215.77 million shares valued at N1.51 billion in 3,648 deals.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 28-5-12


THE NATION TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012

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MONEY LINK

IMF advises Nigeria on fiscal tightening measures Stories by Akinola Ajibade

N

IGERIA’S ability to sustain its fiscal tightening programmes is dependent on a robust Excess Crude Account (ECA) and Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) policy in the future. The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Senior Resident Representative in Nigeria, Scott Rogers, has said. Speaking during a programme with the theme: Sustaining Growth amid Global Uncertainty: Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Sahara

Africa, Rogers said the ability of the government to maintain its fiscal tightening programmes would be determined by the future direction of the excess crude account and sovereign wealth fund initiative of the government. He said the decision of the government to conserve its foreign reserves, among other measures taken to tightening liquidity in the system is good for the economy.

He cautioned the government against relaxing its fiscal tightening policy, arguing that the development would impede on the growth of the country. He said: “Only with fiscal tightening and structural reforms that Nigeria simultaneously achieves low inflation, low interest rates, rising international reserves and exchange rate stability.” He urged the government to take advantage of the huge prices of crude oil, by building its ex-

cess crude account and sovereign wealth fund. He said the development would enable the government to run fiscal surpluses in future, and further bring about meaningful economic developments. He said Nigeria can only enjoy a rise in fiscal surpluses in the future, once it can show enough expenditure restraint now. According to him, Nigeria must keep monetary policy tight until inflation has declined considerably. The IMF’s official said the country must increase investments, while at the same time engaging itself in fiscal tightening

Union Bank fetes 300 future leaders

U

NION Bank of Nigeria PLC, yesterday hosted a party for over 300 selected Lagos based, children nicknamed “future leaders”, in commemoration of 2012 International Children’s day celebration. The event took place at the bank’s ultra modern Sports complex in Surulere Lagos. Other side attractions are games such as basket ball stand, Galileon, carousel, bouncing castle/slide, orient express train, face painting, among others really gave the children a treat. Speaking at the event, the Bank’s Executive Director, Commercial and Con-

sumer Banking, South, Mr. Adekunle Adeosun, congratulated all the children and urged them to have fun. He said the bank will consistently attend to their needs to make them future leaders. The future leaders are children who are holders of Union bank Future Leaders account, a savings account that allows the lodgment of cheques, dividend warrants, once two referees are in place. According to Adeosun, the opening balance for prospective customers is just N1000 and minimum daily balance of N500.He said that the account attracts interest rate of one percent above the pre-

vailing savings interest rate, as well as Accident insurance for parents and undergraduates up to N250, 000 in case of disability after six months of account operation with a minimum account balance ranging from N25, 000-N 250,000 and above. The account also gives access to credit facilities to pay school fees of up to 200 percent of account balance by the parents or guardian backed up by collateral while the children take part in a quiz promo for scholarship award of maximum N100, 000 for two best students who have operated the account for more than one year.

BGL, MFBs sign MoU on credit

B

GL Group and the National Association of Microfinance Banks, Lagos State Chapter (NAMBLAG), yesterday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable the banks access funds for their operations. Known as NAMBLAG/ BGL Trust Fund, the development is aimed at providing short term, medium term and long term funds at a single-digit rate for onward lending to the active poor. Speaking at a formal rollout of the memorandum of placement of NAMBLAG/ BGL Trust Fund in Lagos, the Chairman, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMBs) Lagos State Chapter, Olufemi Babajide, said the initiative would help in improving the liquidity base of the banks, and further enable them to withstand competition in the sub-sector. Babajide said the banks need a

Enterprise Bank upgrades IT platform

E

NTERPRISE Bank Limited has upgraded its information technology (IT) system in order to provide value added service to its customers. The bank, in a statement, said that t the thrust of the systems upgrade is to improve service delivery and make its customers happy. It said: “we have upgraded our IT infrastructure to give us the necessary speed and flexibility to serve our customers faster and better.”

The bank said it has replaced its former e-mail system with a more robust Microsoft Exchange, noting that the issue has significantly improved internal and external communications as well as staff productivity. The bank said a credit risk management system solution, and Enterprise CRIM has been developed and implemented, to provide a twenty-hour services to its customers. The bank said old servers in the system have been replaced by much more

modern IBM Power seven servers, while the bank has migrated to a higher and more robust version of Finacle in order to boost operations across the branch network. “There has also been a thorough revamp of the bank’s data centre to conform to the industry standards, as well as providing the right environment to protect the bank’s IT investments. Also, the bank will continue to feed stakeholders with developments in the emerging financial institution,” it added.

FGN BONDS Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

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 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011

GAINERS AS AT 28-5-12 SYMBOL

OANDO UBN VITAFOAM TRANSCORP GTASSURE UNITYBANK FIDSON REDSTAREX UBA GOLDINSURE

O/PRICE

15.96 3.55 3.30 0.90 1.56 0.52 0.80 2.93 4.00 0.61

C/PRICE

16.75 3.72 3.45 0.94 1.62 0.54 0.83 3.00 4.08 0.62

113m

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

Current Before

O/PRICE 0.60 2.80 3.22 3.93 5.29 10.50 16.00 1.02 42.34 6.66

C/PRICE 0.57 2.66 3.06 3.74 5.05 10.12 15.45 0.99 41.20 6.49

CHANGE 0.03 0.14 0.16 0.19 0.24 0.38 0.55 0.03 1.14 0.07

29-2-12 27-2-12

113m

155.7

22-2-12

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

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11

July ’11

Dec ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

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% 12.6%

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

NSE CAP Index

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

Date

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

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

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

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name

LOSERS AS AT 28-5-12

SYMBOL JAPAULOIL LONGMAN ETERNAOIL UPL CCNN ASHAKACEM CADBURY LIVESTOCK WAPCO ACCESS

Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

CHANGE

0.79 0.17 0.15 0.04 0.06 0.02 0.03 0.07 0.08 0.01

113m

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

INTERBANK RATES OBB Rate Call Rate

strong financial footing before they can be able to serve the 65 per cent about 100 million of the unbanked population in the country. He said: The banks have no access to bailout packages when facing crisis. This informed the decision to establish a trust fund that would meet their liquidity challenges. It is the first private fund initiative in Africa, and its going to be a landmark success in the industry.” He said the fund is packaged with the active support of international donors, agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and corporate bodies that are willing to support poverty alleviation, empowerment of the active poor, and provide banking services to the under banked. He said parties to the fund to include BGL Group, CDL Assets Management Limited, GTB Trustees, and Credit Registry.

DATA BANK

Tenor

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

programmes. He advises the government to involve in investment and structural reforms in order to increase labour productivity and further promote export diversification. He said CBN has been increasing interest rates since late 2010, adding that the development has helped in containing pressure on the exchange rate in the country. He said growth is expected to stay strongest in oil exporting and low-income countries including Nigeria in 2012-2013. He said countries in the Sub-Sahara Africa would are going to have a growth rate of 5.4 per cent in 2012 and 5.3 per cent in 2013.

Offer Price

Bid Price

ARM AGGRESSIVE 9.17 KAKAWA GUARANTEED 1.00 STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE 123.93 AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND 105.00 THE LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL 0.75 BGL SAPPHIRE FUND 1.08 BGL NUBIAN FUND 0.89 NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. 1,710.94 PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND 9.42 CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST 1.39 CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST 1.87 STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY 7,690.48 THE DISCOVERY FUND 193.00 FIDELITY NIGFUND 1.67 • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED • STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

9.08 1.00 123.81 104.34 0.73 1.08 0.88 1,703.76 8.96 1.33 1.80 7,486.02 191.08 1.62

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011

Bank

8.5000

8.5000

P/Court

8.0833

8.0833

Movement


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BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

The goal of the National ICT policy is to provide a framework for streamlining the ICT sector and enhancing its ability to help address some socioeconomic and development challenges.

- Mrs Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology

Lagos woos investors

PIB to outlaw gas flaring

By Miriam Ndikanwu

T

HE newly drafted Petroleum Industry Bill, which is close to being finalised, mandates that oil firms must stop flaring gas by the end of this year, and that if they don’t they can be fined. Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, has long pledged but failed to end flaring, and although officials say it has fallen in the past decade, Nigeria remains the world’s second biggest burner of gas associated with crude oil production after Russia. Many see the new target date to end flaring as unrealistic. “Natural gas shall not be flared or vented after December 31, this year, in any oil and gas production operation, block or field, onshore or offshore, or gas facility,” except under exceptional and temporary circumstances, says a new draft of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). “Any licensee who flares or vents gas without the permission of the Minister in (special) circumstances, shall be liable to pay a fine which shall not be less than the value of gas.” Nigeria flared some 30 billion standard cubic feet of gas in January, according to the latest figures from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). That is equivalent to a third of the yearly consumption of an industrialised country like the United Kingdom. Of that, ExxonMobil topped the list, flaring 9.85 billion cubic feet out of 38.64 billion produced, while Chevron flared 8.25 billion cubic feet out of 19.23 billion. Leading operator Shell, which runs Nigeria’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, flared 5.44 billion cubic feet, a relatively small part of the 76.4 billion it produced.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil - $123.6/barrel Cocoa - $2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold - $1,800/troy ounce Rubber - ¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion

RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL

-

FOREX

0.2958 206.9 245 156.4 1.9179 241 40.472

T

•Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (second left) flanked by his deputy, Mr Nsima Ekere (left); Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Dr Chris Oboh, and Managing Director, Mobil Producing, Mr Mark Ward holding the tape during the inauguration of Mobil Office’s Extension ... yesterday.

Sanusi, Ciroma, NLC others: CBN must retain its autonomy T

HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, yesterday told the National Assembly to resist the temptation to tamper with the autonomy of the apex bank. Sanusi said tampering with the autonomy of the CBN under any guise would classify the bank in the eye of the international community as one that is not independent. The CBN Governor made the observation at a one day public hearing on a proposed amendment of the CBN Act to compel the bank to submit its budget to the National Assembly for approval. Sanusi noted that the bank, since its inception, has complied with the provisions of Sections of its Act by ensuring that “the accounts of the bank are prepared and audited two months after the end of the year. “Two internationally recognised/reputable accounting firms audit the bank’s

From Onyedi Ojiabor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

account each year; “The audited financial statements are submitted to the relevant National Assembly Committees and the Presidency; “The Auditor-General of the Federation audits the accounts as provided for in Section 49(2) of the Act. “The Bank appears before the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly to explain any issue that may arise from the audit.” He said the world has moved into enhanced central bank independence and warned that “taking away the financial autonomy of the Bank is in effect a proposal to limit its ability to fulfill its lender-of-last resort function of providing standby loans to distressed banks and will in essence constrain the ability to achieve its mandate of ensuring financial system stability.” He added: “By removing this

function from the Bank, the proposed amendment will increase investor’s perception of risk in banking industry, reduce overall confidence in Nigerian banks and therefore, reduce the growth of the sector and hence, the economy, ultimately affecting the country’s overall global rating as a place to do business.” He noted that because of the autonomy of the CBN, there is a distinction between the assets of the government and assets of the CBN. The implication, he said, is that the court cases in which injunctions were received on the funds of the Federal Government, “nobody can have access to the assets of Nigeria because they are CBN assets but once the CBN loses financial autonomy, those assets are government’s assets.” According to him, “once the CBN loses that autonomy, there are consequences and we should not go into amend-

ment that will have negative consequences.” Sanusi said the Board of Directors of the CBN is responsible for its policy and general administration. He said seven of the 12member Board are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. He said it is also worthy of note that the appointment of the members of the Monetary Policy Committee of the bank is subject to confirmation of the Senate. The provision, he said, underscores the significant role that the Senate plays in the governance of the bank, especially because the Senate determines who can or cannot be on the Board of Directors or Monetary Policy Committee of the bank. He said the 2007 Act ensures good corporate governance in the conduct of the bank’s affairs by putting in place institutional and administrative safeguards.

Society praises Jonathan on mining

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HE President, Nigerian Mining and Geoscientists Society, Chief Akin George, has said the President Goodluck administration has stepped up development in the mining sector, especially exploration of bitumen. George, who spoke with The Nation on telephone yesterday, said investors are already trooping into the country to own a stake in the nation’s bitumen deposit, adding that the action is an indication of government’s commitment to diversify the economy from oil. The European Geoscientists Engineers (EGE) of which George is a member, has evaluated and rated the development of the mining sector in the last one year high,

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

he said. He recalled that the Minister of Mines and Steel Development Musa Sada took the formalisation of the Artisanal and Small Miners to a greater height by encouraging the formation of 650 co-operatives societies. George added that the ministry has in the last one year revived the professional bodies in the sector, such as the Council of Mining Engineers and Geoscientists (COMENG). The Chairman, Miners Association of Nigeria Alhaji Sanni Shehu said President Goodluck Jonathan has made history by approving the establishment of the Solid Minerals Develop-

ment Fund, adding that there has been advancement in the sector in the last one year, which has culminated in increased mining titles from 300 to 10, 000. He said: “The impression that the mining sector was contributing less than one per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was corrected when it was realised that the revenue from mining was deposited in a different account.” Local mines, Sanni Shehu said, were opened up by the Federal Government in the last one year. He noted that the Minister of Mines and Steel Development and other stakeholders returned from a tour of minefields in Kogi State. He noted that the increase

in the generation of geological data in the last one year has attracted both foreign and local investors to the industry. The chairman stated that mining regulation which other administrations commenced was only completed by President Goodluck Jonathan last year. He also explained that the Ministry now consults the stakeholders in the sector for major decisions. Sanni Shehu however accepted that there is still room for improvement, adding that government should intervene in the assistance of small and mid-tier miners. He called for the continuous assistance of the sector for data generation.

HE Lagos State Government has assured about 40 foreign investors prospecting in the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) and Industrial parks of secured investment in the state. The government said it has put up a legal and regulatory framework to make publicprivate partnerships thrive. Special Adviser/DirectorGeneral, Office of Public-Private Partnerships, Ayo Gbeleyi, gave the assurance during an interactive session with a Japanese Trade Mission to the State. Gbeleyi told the visitors that investmentopportunities abound in the development of independent power plants in industrial clusters, such as the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Matori Industrial Estate, Shomolu Printing Community, Ilupeju Industrial Estate and Ikorodu Industrial Estate. He assured prospective investors of secured and profitable returns on their investments in the state, adding that the state, which requires infrastructure investment of about $50billion has looked beyond internally generated revenue, debt issuance programme and multilateral financing, to public-private partnership as a public finance instrument of bridging infrastructural gap in the state.

Reps order NNPC to shut Warri Refinery By Emeka Ugwuanyi

T

HE House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to shut the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) because of dangerous emission of carbon black soot into the environment. In a statement the Chairman of the committee, Dakuku Peterside, gave NNPC the directive after a meeting with stakeholders over the lingering crisis between WRPC and Ekpan community. The suspension order followed a petition entitled: A save our soul appeal written by Ajomata/Awhakpor Landlords Association of Ekpan. The landlords had on May 24, presented its petition to the committee, urging it to sanction NNPC over the life-threatening carbon black soot emission into their environment. Meanwhile, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has suspended First Deepwater Limited, an indigenous oil marketing company from importing premium motor spirit (petrol), pending the completion of the agency’s investigation into irreconcilable documents on previous fuel imports submitted to PPPRA by the company.


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NEWS NLC opposes planned electricity tariff hike

Cassava bread: Farmers storm National Assembly

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

T

From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja

CASSAVA farmers from parts the country yesterday protested at the National Assembly the rejection of cassava bread by the House of Representatives. The peaceful protesters carried placards with inscriptions, such as Please don’t kill cassava; Who is patriotic, NAFDAC or House of Reps - (Agbekoya); Save our jobs; Don’t starve Nigerians who elected you; You ate cassava to grow up; Foreign food means foreign debt; I eat cassava I dey kampe; NAFDAC drug agency says yes to cassava; Don’t starve Nigerians who elected you, among others. The lawmakers, on May 23, opposed the Executive bill seeking the compulsory inclusion of cassava in the production of all flour in Nigeria, when the bill was slated for a second reading. The lawmakers argued that over 30 per cent of Nigerians above 40 years are diabetic, adding that making it compulsory for flour manufacturers to include cassava would be detrimental to their health. According to them, most diabetic patients are restrained from cassavabased meals because it will not only endanger their lives but also violate their human rights. But the farmers faulted the lawmakers’ stand, saying they were unpatriotic and without scientific knowledge. Leader of the protesting farmers, Prof Alfred Ihekoronye, who is also the Executive Director of Agro Development Technology Initiative, said the position of the lawmakers was regretful.

N32.8b pension scam trial stalled From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

THE trial of six persons for alleged diversion of N32.8 billion Police Pension Fund was stalled yesterday. This followed their applications seeking the quashing of the 16 counts charge. They are claiming that the proof of evidence did not disclose any prima facie case against them. The accused are a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Atiku Abubakar Kigo; a director, Esai Dangabar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira. They are facing a 16-count charge of criminal breach of trust slammed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The alleged offence is punishable under Sections 97, 115 (ii), 119, 309 and 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap. 532 Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007. Justice Talba Mohammed has adjourned proceedings till June 26.

•Members of the association during the protest ...yesterday

PHOTO: NAN

600 ECOWAS troops deployed in Guinea-Bissau

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HE 600-strong mission of the West African bloc ECOWAS has been deployed in GuineaBissau to facilitate the return of constitutional rule and military reform after the April 12 coup, according to reports. According to the report, “The military personnel and police came from Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Senegal in replacement of an Angolan mission deployed in the Portuguese-speaking country more than a year ago. The MISSANG mission of Angola, also a Portuguesesepeaking country had trouble with the military junta, which seized power citing secret agreement between An-

golans and the government under former prime minister Carlos Gomes Junior. Under negotiated deal between ECOWAS and the junta, the bloc took over the

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mission and supervised the one-year transition. “The Angolan troops will probably begin to retreat from Bissau tomorrow, (today),” the military sources

disclosed. The ECOWAS said that the pullout would take three to four days during which the Angolan personnel would be protected.

Salami: Tinubu is just looking for lost HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has relevance, says PDP described the restlessness in the camp

of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on the reinstatement of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami as a confirmation of veiled vested interest. “The desperation of the Action Congress of Nigeria which peaked today with an unreflecting statement from its leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu amounts to a frontal attack on both the President and our great Party and is further confirmation that ACN has a differ-

ent agenda in the Justice Salami saga than its touted role as an evangelist of the rule of law.” In a statement signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party said that “for Tinubu to describe as a coup on the rule of law, the engagement of due process in the resolution of Justice Salami’s re-instatement, sketches a graphic effigy of a hypocrite in a desperate agenda to re-shape facts.”

Ex-Commonwealth SecretaryAnyaoku: focus on insecurity not 2015

•Continued from page 4

“Nigerians should encourage us to follow rule of law to get to where you want to go, we will follow the rule of law in our transformation programme and as we progress. “In any government, the first year is more of a planning year. For you to succeed you must plan; we have planned and carried out a number of programmes. I believe Nigerians will agree with us that we have tried.” Adefaye, who spoke on behalf of the media, praised the administration for expanding the scope of democracy by identifying with the media. He said the gesture demonstrated the realisation of the government to the fact that the media is a major pillar

•Continued from page 4 “Thirteen years of PDP leadership have seen us making little progress. We have had years of waste and little growth. How can Nigeria still be flunctuating between 1,200 and 4,000 megawatts. We have witnessed deficiency in leadership, intimidation and abuse of rule of law and transparent corruption.” Tinubu said Nigeria is worth dying for and urged all Nigerians not to give up on the country. “Democracy remains the best framework within which we can resolve our differences, choose our leaders and send some packing and, above all, develop our country,” Tinubu said.

for democratic development. Adefaye lauded the passage of the FOI law by the administration, noting that the law has promoted citizens participation in governance and greater than any other material development. He urged the government to pay more attention to the security, employment generation and development of key infrastructure, particularly power. Mr Frank Nweke jr, on behalf of the private sector, said the administration in the past one year had witnessed increased private sector participation in the development and provision of key infrastructure. He called on Nigerians to

support the administration’s reform programmes for the power sector, noting that it would encourage private investors to invest and develop the sector. The Interim president of National Youth Council, Ajani Olawale, decried the level youth employment and attributed it to national insecurity. He noted that it is only in an atmosphere of peace that the nation can develop. National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) President Mrs Nkechi Mba praised Jonathan Administration for appointing women as ministers of key sectors, such as Petroleum, Finance and

Aviation among others. Mrs Mba said the decoration of the first woman pilot combatant and the anticipated appointment of the first woman Chief Justice of Nigeria after the expiration of the tenure of the incumbent CJN are credit to the administration. She also commended the National Assembly for the appointment of a woman as Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. Are, identified the primary goals of any government as the security and welfare of the citizenry. He advised that government should avoid selective enforcement of laws, policisation of security matters, as well as partisan and sectoral interest in dealing with security issues.

HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday restated its opposition to the planned increase in electricity tariff on June 1. Its President Abdulwahed Omar said “this move to increase energy tariff without improved power supply is not only uncalled for, but insensitive to the prevailing plight of workers and the people. “It is amazing that a sector that has shown lack of capacity in providing basic facilities with poor services could contemplate increase in its services.” Omar, in a statement recalled that a year ago, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had ruled that meter maintenance fee was illegal, but up till now, we are doubtful if this has been fully effected, with consumers paid back their money. The statement reads: “The position of NERC that the sector requires substantial increase in tariff for investment to be possible is not tenable, so is the assurance that the working poor and rural poor would not be adversely affected by the increase. Experience has shown that deregulation has never benefitted the Nigerian poor, rather the corporate class rip off the people. “We call on the Federal government to put on hold any future increase in electricity tariff until all the issues raised against such move have been dealt with”.

34 Lagos doctors reabsorbed

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HIRTY four of the sacked 788 doctors were re absolved yesterday by the Lagos State government. They were among those who applied for a review of their cases, whose recall was recommended by the Health Service Commission and approved by Governor Babatunde Fashola. According to the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Mr. Hakeem Bello, “the door is not closed yet to any of the doctors seeking the review of his case.” According to him, the cases of many of the doctors being considered will be decided after the Democracy Day holiday and “those with genuine cases will be recalled as appropriate.”

Leaders to Nigerians: be hopeful He said the politics of 2015 must not be used as an excuse to distract us from putting the feet of those in power to the fire. He harped on electoral reforms saying the INEC of today under Jega is far from being independent. “INEC gradually is becoming the appendage of the ruling government, PDP. “We must return to the Justice Uwais Panel’s report on Judicial reform. It’s the blueprint we need,” Tinubu said. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar urged the Nigerians not to lose faith in the current democratic order and system of government, despite the challenges facing the country. In a statement by his media

office, Atiku said that it is natural for disappointed expectations to lead to despair; but urged Nigerians not to give up because democracy remains the best form of government, despite its limitations from one society to another. “The tendency of leaders forgetting their oath of office or their covenant with the people can lead to disillusionment, a situation which should not be allowed to dampen popular morale about democracy,” Atiku stressed. “Nigerians didn’t come out to vote for the sake of it. They voted because of the belief that the democratic process can transform their lives for the better,” he stated.

Atiku urged elected leaders at all levels to welcome constructive criticisms as a means of improving the quality of democratic governance. He urged the government to revisit the electoral system with the view to tackling rigging, stressing that: “without tough punishment, election fixers might continue to act with impunity” “With effective prosecution of electoral offenders, no matter their status, the country would be able to achieve the much-needed deterrence against this evil, which continues to undermine democracy” Atiku reiterated the call for electoral disputes or petitions to be resolved before leaders

are sworn into office, pointing out that litigations bring a lot of distraction for leaders and diversion of public funds by politicians to fight their legal battles. He urged INEC to be proactive rather than adopting a supine posture on the grounds that its hands are tied, especially on enforcing internal democracy among political parties. The former Vice President said the Justice Muhammadu Uwais report gave a lot of hope on reforming Nigeria’s electoral system, adding, however, that political action is needed to give teeth to these well-articulated recommendations.


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NEWS Aliyu rejects defence of man with 86 wives From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

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IGER State Governor Babangida Aliyu yesterday accused civil societies and human rights groups of unjustly defending a Bida-based polygamist and Islamic scholar, Malam Abubakar Bello Masaba, instead of protecting the rights of his 86 wives. He said the wives of the cleric “need deliverance.” Describing the defence of the cleric as un-Islamic and immoral, Aliyu said instead of the groups defending Masaba, they should have risen in defence of the violated rights of the women. Speaking at the World Bank facilitated National Gender Dialogue session in Minna, the state capital, the governor said the action of the cleric should be condemned in the strongest terms because none of the major religions allowed anyone to marry more than four wives, adding, “for a Muslim to marry four wives, the husband must be ready to be just and fair to all the women.”

FCT ACN advises Jonathan

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HROUGH its Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter Chairman, Mr. Farouk Osuma, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday appraised President Goodluck Jonathan’s one year in office. He urged the Jonathan administration to provide basic amenities for the citizenry. Speaking at the media interactive event for Democracy Day in Abuja, Osuma said the so-called potentials in the country have

Unknown gunmen attack Muslim worshippers in Yobe U NKNOWN gunmen on Sunday shot Muslim worshippers outside the home of a cleric, killing at least two persons and injuring others, the military authority and residents confirmed yesterday. The attack in Potiskum, Yobe State, occurred outside the cleric’s home, but it was not clear whether he was around at the time of the shooting. Residents said he was on the scene of the attack but he was not harmed. The military authority said he was out of town. The cleric is said to be a

critic of the Boko Haram sect. He has also reportedly decried a military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the area over a recent attack that resulted in the destruction of the city’s cattle market, leaving at least 34 people dead. “Some unknown gunmen attacked Shia worshippers this evening, killing one and injuring four,” the commander of the JTF, Col. Dahiru Abdussalam, told reporters. He went on: “Soldiers and

policemen were deployed in the area and they cordoned it off with the intention of arresting the gunmen.” Residents and a nurse said two people were killed and five injured, adding that the cleric’s brother and driver were killed. “The incident occurred around 6:30 when the cleric was leading his followers in the evening prayers. “The gunmen came in four cars. Apparently, the cleric

was their target, but they mistook his brother for him because of their resemblance. They shot him dead and his driver was also killed,” a resident said. He said the “attackers then opened fire on the worshippers after which they entered their cars and drove away.” A nurse at a Potiskum hospital confirmed that two dead bodies were brought along with five wounded victims, all with gunshot wounds.

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

not be harnessed even as irrigation and processing plants have not been provided for sustainable agricultural development. He said: “What we suggest is that government should provide basic amenities which the citizens need. Government should look at how to tackle this. Under the Land Use Act, no farmer has land. Kuje in the FCT is the largest producer of plantain, but there is no processing plant built to encourage the farmers.”

Benue gets cancer screening centre From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

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ENUE State Governement has awarded a N100 million contract for the construction of a modern cancer screening centre. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Allagh, made this known at the ministerial press briefing organised by the Ministry of Information and Orientation in conjunction with the Nigeria Union of Journalists to mark the Democracy Day celebration. She said:“It is expected that when this project is completed and put to use, Benue women and the general public will be saved the agony of deaths that occur as a result of late identification and diagnosis of this killer disease. “Work has begun and is moving at an impressive, healthy pace.”

Fasuan loses wife

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RONTLINE Ekiti leader Chief Deji Fasuan has lost his wife, Clara Funke. The late Mrs Fasuan was regarded as the matriarch of the family. She died in a private hospital in Lagos on May 23. She

was 70. Mrs. Fasuan was the Iyalaje of St. David’s Anglican Church, Afao-Ekiti. She is survived by children and grandchildren. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

NGO holds praise night

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HE Counselling Ambassador (TCA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that caters for the less privileged and the down-trodden in the society, holds its annual praise, dance and thanksgiving evening tagged: “Perpetual Praise”, today at Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos. Founder/President of TCA, Mrs. Regina Iyabo Obasa, said: “The annual praise giving day is an avenue to thank God. It is usually a day that the spirit of God moves in the course of praises and dances and the hearts of people are touched to make an impact in the lives of those who are under our counseling programme to make something out of their career, businesses, homes and spiritual existence.”

Funeral for retired principal

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ETIRED principal of Odua Comprehensive College, Imoru, Ogun State, Mr. Olatunbosun Osibanjo, is dead. He was 62. A service of songs will be held for him today at his home, 93, Bonojo Street, Ijebu Ode by 5pm, while Christian wake is slated for tomorrow at the same venue at 5pm. Funeral service will hold at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour, Italowajoda-ijasi, Ijebu-Ode by 10am and interment follows immediately at his home. He is survived by children and grandchildren.

•GOC 3 Division, Maj.-Gen. Jack Nwaogbo, speaking at the inauguration of the general court martial of some officers of the Special Task Force and Operation Safe Haven, at the 3 Division Headquarters in Jos...yesterday.

14 soldiers arraigned before military court

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OURTEEN soldiers comprising two officers and 12 recruits have been arraigned before a special military court set up by the 3 Armoured Division, Maxwel Khobe Cantonment, Jos, Plateau State. The accused members are those of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Maiduguri and the Special Task Force (STF) Jos. The soldiers are being arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on negligence and miscellaneous offences both punishable under Section 62 (B) and Section 58 of the Armed Forces Act CAP (A) 20 Laws of the Federation 2004. Presenting the accused persons for the inauguration, the General Staff Officer, Personnel Service, Lt. Col. Stephen Andow, said: “The accused soldiers are those of the 3 Armoured Division serving in Maiduguri and Jos.” The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Armoured Division, Maj.Gen. Jack Okechukwu Uwaogbo, while inaugurating the general court martial at the Rhino Officer’s Mess in Jos yesterday, said:

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

“The setting up of the general court martial was basically to try officers and men of the special task force code-named ‘Operation safe haven’ in Jos and those of the ‘Operation restore order’ in Maiduguri.” He said: “The action of the 3 Division in setting up the special court is one of the procedures in the Nigerian Army to right the wrongs of

its personnel. “This general court martial is meant to try the alleged men of the Nigerian Army serving within the seven states of the Northeast. “This is not to declare the accused persons guilty of the allegations. “I am not in a position to declare them guilty. The accused are presumed innocent until the judgment of the general court martial,” the GOC said.

The president of the general court martial, Brig.-Gen. Ademoh Salihu, promised fair hearing, adding that he would come up with an incorruptible judgment at the end of the trial. The prosecuting counsel was led by Col. Adekunle Ariyibi of the Legal Department of the 3 Division, while Agana Kitusu, James Attah and Pebi Dusu are some of the counsel to the accused.

Ahmed gives scholarship to indigent WARAState Govern- Aviation College students

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ment has given scholarship to six poor indigenes of the state to enable them study at the International Aviation College, Ilorin. Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed announced the gesture yesterday in Ilorin, the state capital, at the opening of the flight training at the aviation college located near the Ilorin International Airport. Ahmed, who expressed delight over the successes so far recorded by the college,

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

noted that the initial pessimism about the project initiated by his predecessor, Senator Bukola Saraki, had given way for hopes and greater achievements in future. He said the school had become the second aviation college in the country to be licensed to train commercial pilots. Governor Ahmed added that the college was en-

dowed with instructors, students and facilities which had earned it recognition from far and near. According to him, the state would soon witness increase in trade and commerce because of the aviation college and the nearby cargo terminal at the Ilorin airport. He restated the commitment of his administration to the creation of a Free Trade Zone (FTZ))in the state to boost agriculture.

Kwankwaso targets 2015 as mass literacy campaign is launched

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ANO State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has launched this year’s Mass Literacy Campaign with a commitment to ensure that people in the rural and urban areas become literate by 2015.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

He directed that adult literacy classes should be established in the 8,074 polling units in the state, and equal number of literacy instructors to man the classes should be

provided. Speaking during the launch of the exercise at the Government House in Kano, Governor Kwankwaso said under the building and learning society initiative of the government, the tutors would be

given monthly allowances, while the 44 local government administrations in the state would recruit 10 supervisors each to monitor the implementation of the programme. He said the adult literacy programme would be con-

ducted within six months during which participants were expected to be able to read and write, adding that the students would also be taught religious and civic education. The governor, who directed that the adult education tutors

should be given specialised training to enable them handle their job efficiently, said the female and male students should be taught in separate classes and handled by teachers of their gender to enhance training.


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NEWS Free books for Delta bans motorcycles Edo schools From Okungbowa Aiwerie,

Akpabio: let’s invest in children From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

KWA Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has called on governments at all levels to give equal opportunities to children. He noted that his administration declared free and compulsory education to give children equal opportunity to excel. The governor made the call during an inter-denominational service marking Children’s Day and Democracy Day at Ibom Hall Grounds, in Uyo, the state capital. He said last year, his administration rescued about 650 children, who were branded “child witches and wizards” “We accommodated, fed and gave them free education.”

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‘We’ll improve quality of education’

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IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has said the government will improve on the quality of education. He said this is why his administration would ensure that only qualified teachers are employed in the new schools built by his administration. Amaechi said this yesterday at the State School, Mgbuitanwo in Emohua Local Government Area,where he led primary school pupils to read as part of activities marking Children’s Day. The governor read to the pupils, Little Snake and Little Frog, written by Gabriel Okara. The event is to encourage the reading culture among pupils. According to Amaechi, “we want to reassure the kids that we are employing more teachers, we now have the conducive atmosphere. The problem now is how to impact knowledge and that will be the responsibility of teachers and the government,”he said.

Politicians using our uniforms, say police From Osagie Otabor, Benin

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DO State Police Command yesterday raised the alarm that desperate politicians are sewing police uniforms ahead of the July 14 governorship election. It said some wealthy politicians have recruited thugs to unleash terror in the state, which will lead to destruction of government properties. Commissioner of Police Balogun Olayinka said some politicians were planning to destroy billboards and posters of opposition parties. Balogun said the police also discovered plans by some politicians to import arms into the state. The police boss said armed youths from neighbouring states were being recruited for the election. He vowed that the police would rise to the occasion by ensuring that those named in the allegations are arrested. Balogun noted that the police will ensure success of the election in the spirit of oneman- one-vote.

•Oshiomhole and Master Omonua Victor of Emmanuel Education Foundation Centre.... yesterday.

DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday donated branded books to pupils of public and private schools as part of activities to mark Children’s Day. Oshiomhole said his administration would continue to invest in public schools to enhance the future of the children and meet international standards. He spoke at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin, where the activities were held. He noted that the eloquence and confidence in which the children spoke showed that public schools have been repositioned to compete with private schools. “If we want to secure the future of the nation, we have to directly invest in the children because the future of our country is the hands of the children. “The state of education then made even the children of the poor to run to private schools even though they were substandard,’’. ``We need to create the right incentives for the children to learn and we have already abolished all form s of fees in schools.

Oshiomhole denies impregnating teenager

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DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday denied reports that he impregnated a 16-year-old girl. The governor spoke while testifying at a Benin High Court in a suit against Dockland Communications Limited, publishers of News of the People Magazine. Oshiomhole asked for an unspecified amount of money as damages, alleging libel by the publication. He told the court that the content of the publication which was published last year on the front page “Oshiomhole’s Sex Power Exposed: Impregnates

•Testifies in libel suit against magazine From Osagie Otabor, Benin

young girl six months after death of wife.” The governor told the court that in the publication he was said to have bought the girl a Sports Utility Van and that he was interfering in the affairs of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, on behalf of the girl. Oshiomhole said the publication claimed he used sexual performance enhancement drugs and that he married the girl in a traditional ceremony. His words: “The publication coincided with the preparations of one of his

daughter’s wedding. “I’m suing because this report caused me and my children psychological trauma, just six months after the death of my wife. “When I called a brother governor to sponsor my daughter’s wedding, the governor said he was confused, and asked me if I was the one getting married or my daughter. “That day, this governor said he was reading a magazine with the report that I was getting married to a university student, and that the bride was pregnant.”

Oshiomhole said he could not have been preparing for another wedding six months after his wife’s death. He added that the report claimed he had marathon sex in Lagos, with his partner fainting. Justice Efe Ikpomwonba adjourned the case till June 25. Oshiomhole was accompanied to court by the Chief of Staff Osarodion Ogie, Majority Leader Phillip Shuaibu, Chairman State Law Reforms Committee Wole Iyamu and Chairman State Economic Team Godwin Obaseki .

Oil firms accused of insincerity in crude oil theft

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ECTOR Two Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Pulo Shield Brig.-Gen. Tukur Burutai yesterday accused oil multinationals in the Niger Delta of insincerity in crude oil theft and bunkering. He said weeks after his command told an oil firm about 56 bunkering sites on its facilities, nothing had been done to fix the situation. Burutai spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday. His words: “The major stakeholders in the oil industry are not sincere in their ap-

From Bisi Olaniyi, Port Harcourt

proach towards fighting oil theft in the Niger Delta. “ If all the oil companies and indeed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will cooperate, I want to assure you that we are going to stamp out oil theft in the Niger Delta. “We discovered over 56 bunkering sites on the facilities of an oil company; the NNPC is a major shareholder in that company. “Unfortunately, as I speak to you, I have not been told that anyone has been arrested.

“So, where will you get the solution to bunkering? “If the oil companies are playing their part very well, we are going to stop oil theft and bunkering. “We in the military will provide the security.“ Burutai said an officer of the JTF was shot in the Cawthorne Channel. He said: “Our men stood there throughout the night but around 5am, the suspects attacked our troop. “Fortunately, we were able to get one of them, recovered their boats and we are still searching for the rest.

Amaechi decries impunity in Rivers

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IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has decried the impunity with which people develop property in Port Harcourt and vowed that he must end it before leaving office in 2015. Amaechi spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt during the State Land Summit 2012 organised by the Ministry of Lands and Survey. The governor said to bring sanity to the state, he would go after structures erected on government land. He directed that all houses developed in Rumuokwuta Girls Baptist High School and

From Clarice Azuatalum, Port Harcourt

Sandfill areas be demolished without notice, arguing that when people developed the structures they did not notify the government. The governor also warned that a year before he leaves office, he would roll out bulldozers to demolish all illegal property across the city. In addition, Amaechi lamented that the problem of Niger Delta states is that of boundary adjustment which is being fuelled by Federal Government agents, who keep adjusting the boundaries and ceding oil wells from one state to another.

“If you talk of the connivance of the army, I will tell you that we are not involved in oil theft. The army is not involved at all.”

Asaba

THE Delta State Government is to enforce the ban on the use of commercial motorcycles, known as Okada, operating in the state. The ban, according to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, will take place before the end of October. Uduaghan said the government has acquired more than 1,000 tricycles to be used for transportation. He said the tricycles would be inaugurated soon, adding that they would be distributed to individuals for transportation in major cities. His words: “The acquisition of the tricycles is intended to discourage the use of okada in our cities. “We know that tricycles are more comfortable with roof to protect passengers from rain and sun.’’ He said the government had procured boats for marine transportation, as well as buses to strengthen mass transit system in the state.

Youths warn NDDC From Damisi Ojo, Akure

THE Niger Delta Youth Movement (NDYM) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan and management of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prosecute board members responsible for shoddy jobs done by contractors in the region. The group also called on the commission to prevail on its representatives to organise pre-stakeholders forum in their states before the general meeting. This, according to the group, is to enable the commission harmonise genuine ideology that would enhance its efficiency. Its National Officer, Bright Ojubuyi, who spoke to reporters yesterday in Akure, berated the commission for not involving stakeholders, who monitor NDDC projects.

PUBLIC NOTICE MUSLIM COMMUNITY OF LAGOS STATE The general Public is hereby notified that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Alhaji (Dr) Senator Hassan Adisa Babatunde Fasinro OFR 2. Alhaji Chief Sakariyawu Olayiwola Babalola OON 3. Alhaja Adiat Abimbola Fahm 4. Alhaji Lateef Olufemi Okunnu SAN CON 5. Alhaji Justice Ibrahim Ishola Olorunnimbe OON 6. Alhaji Sheikh Hafeez Abou 7. Alhaji Barrister Rafiu Olayinka Oyenubi 8. Alhaja Sidikat Alafia 9. Alhaji Mbashiru Bamidele Ogunniyi 10. Alhaji Sheikh Abdul Majeed Akapo AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1) To promote and protect the doctrine of oneness of Allah and the other ideals of Islam. 2) To be an umbrella organization and apex body for all Muslim Organizations, Associations, Communities and individual Muslims in Lagos State. 3) To foster unity and cooperation amongst Muslims in Lagos State and to collaborate with other relevant institutions and bodies in Nigeria to strive towards the achievement of consensus on issues that affect Islam and Muslims in Nigeria. Any objection to the registration of this organization should be forwarded to the Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED BY: ISIAQ ADEDAYO ESQ (Solicitor) 08035026178


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NEWS

Jega: lack of internal democracy is challenge to INEC

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NDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega has identified the absence of internal democracy among the political parties as a major challenge of the commission. Jega spoke yesterday in Abuja at this year’s Democracy Day National Symposium held at the State House. The theme of the symposium is: Our Democracy: Progress and Challenges. A former Secretary General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, was the chairman of the event. Jega accused political parties of abusing the provisions of Section 31(1) of the Electoral Act 2010, which gives the final power to the parties on which candidates to choose for elections. He said INEC is working to expunge an amendment to the section. Jega noted that the section “has been abused by political parties, viz …provided that the commission shall not reject or disqualify candidate(s) for any reason whatsoever”.

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

According to him, INEC has made progress in conducting free, fair and credible elections, citing the 2011 polls as a yardstick. He identified the prosecution of electoral offences as another key area that should be perused with the creation of a Special Electoral Offences Tribunal. Jega said over 870,000 multiple registration cases were recorded during last year’s elections, adding that INEC has prosecuted only 200 of them. The academic noted that it is difficult conducting a flawless election in Nigeria because of its size and ethno-religious challenges. The INEC chairman said last year’s polls were conducted under difficult circumstances with the commission grappling with sundry challenges. Despite the challenges the commission faced, Jega said it successfully concluded the polls with the support it re-

ceived from the National Assembly. He also expressed delight at the approval granted by the Federal Executive Council for the establishment of a Special Electoral Offences Tribunal, which he noted will be able to deal with impunity by electoral offenders. While assuring that INEC was more determined to improve on the electoral process with a view to conducting more credible and transparent election in 2015, Prof Jega called on the legislature to fast track legal framework for the Tribunal to take-off. Prof Jega said “things have been so far for so long”, he however regretted that Nigerians were in a hurry to get things right, saying that all must be committed to improve the electoral process. He however assured that INEC was intensifying effort at ensuring that politicians change their attitude, adding that electoral body was more determined to ensure conduct of credible and transparent election come 2015.

•Former Governor of Kaduna State Balarabe Musa greeting Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola at the Inaugural Lecture of the late Comrade Ola Oni at the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding, Osogbo...yesterday. With them is Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin

Workshop on fish production

T

HE Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON) is set to organise a fish production workshop, aimed at training stakeholders and provide them with necessary tools to monitor the health of farmed fish. At a pre-workshop brief-

By Adline Atili

ing in Lagos, its National President, Dr Abba Abdullah, said the workshop, to be held in Lagos and Abuja , would teach fish farmers the safe practices required to maintain healthy stock of farmed fish, to prevent

outbreak of diseases. He noted that abuse of drugs by farmers in treating sick fish was alarming, saying, “Drugs such as antibiotics are used indiscriminately in some quarters without recommendations and guidance.

JAMB to monitor admission rules, says Registrar

T

HE Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) would soon start to monitor universities to ensure that they complied with 2011/2012 admission regulations, its Registrar Prof. Dibu Ojerinde said yesterday. Ojerinde spoke when the Senate Committee on Education visited JAMB office in Bwari yesterday as part of its oversight functions. He said the 60:40 per cent ratio admission for science

and arts courses must be adhered to by the universities. Ojerinde said although most universities attributed the delay in admissions to fuel subsidy removal, “the board would still monitor the admission processes.’’ He said the board would start monitoring from state universities to ensure strict compliance with ratio and quota regulations. The registrar added that all applicants would soon get the opportunity to be ad-

mitted to any Nigerian university, although not their first or second choices. He said this was to prevent them from staying without admission as their courses of choice could be studied in other universities. Senator Uche Chukwumerije, the Chairman of the committee, urged the board to adhere to the timetable for admissions. He urged the board to make judicious use of funds allocated to it.


WHO SAID WHAT

www.thenationonlineng.net

TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

‘We must do justice to the satisfaction of not just the parties but the publicans as well. We must remember that as we sit at trial. We also stand on trial. We must never be complacent in our observation of moral values’ VOL. 7

NO.2,140

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

I

DON’T envy President Goodluck Jonathan and his Administration. He should by right seize the first anniversary of his tenure as substantive president as an opportunity to review his record, point up significant achievements, remark on-going effort, identify the challenges ahead, and chart the way forward in a spirit of optimism. Dr Jonathan will have to approach this task with sobriety, if not diffidence. For the record of achievement is thin, the challenges are daunting, and judging by his showing thus far, the prospects are far from reassuring. That explains why commentator after commentator has been dumping on him, many of them from I-told-you-so triumphalism, others from schadenfreude, and still others from pained disappointment. There is indeed much to be disappointed about in the Jonathan record. In assessment after assessment, the resonant words are: Failure, lack of focus, incompetence, clueless, out of his depth, and much worse. The summation is harsh, to be sure, but not wholly unmerited and certainly not malicious. The office of president was literally thrust upon Dr Jonathan, following the death of his principal, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. In his first coming, he was more or less a caretaker, serving out what remained of Yar’Adua’s term. He had to tread ever so warily so as not to hurt the sensibilities of those who felt that Yar’Adua’s death had cheated them or their geopolitical bloc out of a preferment forged by consensus. Yet, Dr Jonathan had enough room, and more than enough public goodwill, to launch the nation in a new direction and put a personal stamp on national affairs. When he set up a Presidential Advisory Council with General TY Danjuma as chair and Professor Ben Nwabueze as vice chair, the public took that move as a signal that he would be guided not so much by what he wanted to hear but by what he ought to hear and know. For when it comes to forthrightness, to speaking truth to power, Danjuma and Nwabueze have few equals. Danjuma would in effect enunciate a theme for a fledgling presidency in search of an agenda when he said at the inauguration of the Advisory Council that Dr Jonathan had been presented with an opportunity to be a transformative leader. The distinguished scholar and international public servant, Professor Ladipo Adamolekun, dwelt at length on the imperative of national transformation in a nationally televised lecture that was a ma-

OLATUNJI DARE

AT HOME ABROAD olatunji.dare@thenationonlineng.net

When will the transformation start?

•Dr Jonathan

jor event in the programme of activities organised around Dr Jonathan’s inauguration as elected president. Jonathan embraced the term as a principle but has in practice reduced it to a slogan and a ritual chant. Instead of transformation, stasis is what has thus far defined the Jonathan presidency. There has been plenty of motion on many fronts, but little movement. Nigeria today resembles a stalled caterpillar, its antennae probing in so many directions but its body inert. My former Rutam House colleague Sonala Olumhense has with his accustomed diligence published an inventory of the promises Dr Jonathan made last year while campaigning for president. The inventory is a study in talking without thought and with-

RIPPLES NIGERIA WON’T BREAK UP, says Jonathan

Yes, what OIL has joined together

out counting the cost. It includes building an airport in every state that does not have one, a highway and rail link from Lagos to Calabar, small dams across the North in the next four years to stimulate “massive irrigational farms,” expanding and developing the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry to provide about one million jobs, and making Nigeria an exporter of rice. Also included is a promise to set aside N50 billion in the next federal budget to facilitate youth employment, building car manufacturing or assembly plants, resuscitating old refineries and building new ones. And to those who thought these were no more than the promises the average politician seeking election make more from habit than from conviction, Jonathan said: “I do not make empty promises in my campaign because whatever I promise to do, I had already carried out adequate study to make sure I can accomplish it in the next four years.” In only a few of these areas can the Jonathan Administration be said to have made a promising start. And the indications are that it cannot fulfill these pledges in the next three years. The country may not be broke, but as Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has indicated, the treasury is nearly depleted. To meet just a fraction of its obligations, the Federal Government is increasingly resorting to borrowing. In whatever case, after the election, Dr Jonathan quickly forgot his trainload of promises and embarked on programmes that had not featured in his election campaign. There was, for a start, a self-serving campaign to extend the presidential term from four years to six, which is for all practical pur-

HARDBALL

A

S far as speeches and sermons go, the remarks by both President Goodluck Jonathan and former Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Revd. Jasper Peter Akinola, shook the rafters of the National Christian Centre – the former by his plaintive pleas for support, and the latter by his defiant categorisation and dismissal of the Boko Haram terrorist group. Though he acknowledged that the country’s problems were enormous, the president was however confident that if he retained the support of the public, his transformational agenda would not miscarry. Said he in his customarily emotive language: “The only request I ask of you in these trying times is stand by me.” And because he sets great store by prayers, though the unjustness of many of his decisions often vitiated the effects of his and others’ prayers, he declared: “I thank all of you for your prayers. That is why we are hopeful that even though we have challenges, we shall overcome.” But what the president said that really shook his audience, if not the idiomatic rafters, is his likening the beginnings of the Boko Haram problem to the entrance of a thief in the night, apparently inappropriately borrowing from Jesus Christ’s own depiction of His salutary second coming. In the sense the president used the thief’s entrance, he should have understood that it indicted his government and those of

DAHIRU MUSDAPHER

poses a campaign for a “third term” by another name, through a process riddled with manipulation Then there was the duplicitous and vexatious campaign to cut a phantom subsidy on gasoline, the implementation of which blew in his face and provoked protests that paralysed Nigeria for more than a week. In vain did one look up to Dr Jonathan, a trained scientist, to illuminate the debate with solid, irrefutable data. He was content to parrot the bogus claims of officials who have since been shown to be grossly incompetent, conniving, and deeply compromised. And then, there is Dr Jonathan’s obsessive drive to compel Nigerians to eat cassava bread, expressed most poignantly in a bill he sent to the National Assembly, which debated and roundly rejected it, and in exceedingly dubious projections of savings and employment generation from eating cassava bread that Agriculture Minister Dr Akinwumi Adesina has been peddling. Dr Adesina says no such bill was ever prepared or sent to the legislature. From where, then did the proposal debated by the House of Representatives issue? If it was faked, why has the government not swung into action to identify and punish those behind it? As he starts his second year as elected president, Dr Jonathan must re-order his priorities. He must devote his energies to fulfilling his constitutional duties as president of Nigeria rather than to scheming to position his ruling PDP and himself for political advantage. Each morning, he should ask himself: What can I do for the people today? And as he retires for the night, he should ask himself: What did I do for the people today? Few questions should weigh more urgently and persistently on his mind. He must rest the claim that the economy posted a 7.3 percent growth last year. For in the face of persistent and growing unemployment, poverty and the general deterioration in the human condition in Nigeria over the same period, one has to wonder which country’s economy he is talking about. Many of those who have had to do official business at close range with Dr Jonathan will tell you that he rarely shows mastery of his brief; that his capacity for rigorous thought and analysis and exposition is slight, as is his capacity for sustained attention. This anniversary must serve Dr Jonathan as a wake-up call. He must end the drift and dedicate himself in earnest to the urgent task of transformation. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

Jonathan wants us to stand by him his predecessors for their lack of preparedness and resolve in the face of terror. Again, hear the president in his own words: “As a nation, we have a major challenge – terror, which we never expected…We shall overcome by your prayers and commitment. We are doing all we can do. We were caught unawares. They came like a thief in the night.” If terror indeed came like a thief in the night, Jonathan ought to know it implied the government was sleeping. Would to God Jonathan had been as laconic as his late predecessor, Umaru Yar’Adua. If the president was inured to the anomaly of asking Nigerians to stand by him when he routinely abandons then to the vicissitudes of a troubled or possibly failing economy, was his response to Akinola’s energetic and impassioned denunciation of the perpetrators of Boko Haram terror any better? The former Anglican Communion Primate had in his address drawn a nexus between the pre-colonial Islamic jihad in the northern part of Nigeria and Boko Haram’s modus operandi, and warning the government to beware of setting a dangerous precedent negotiating with the group. To this Jonathan launched into a

spirited declaration that Nigeria would never disintegrate. Just by saying so or wishing it? Well, apparently, according to his historical notes, because “our forefathers worked hard to unite us.” Nothing could be more erroneous. Which forefathers was the president referring to? Oyo Empire, Sokoto Caliphate, Benin Empire, Kanem-Bornu Empire etc.? Perhaps the president meant the nationalists who fought colonialism. Even if this was his intention, he was still wrong, for their major objective was decolonisation, not unity. Or maybe he was referring to the Yakubu Gowon generation. If so, amiable Jack and his fellows hardly qualify for the label of forefathers. Anyway, the faithful who gathered at the National Christian Centre in Abuja on Sunday for the interdenominational service to mark Nigeria’s Democracy Day got their time’s worth in the exchange between the Most Revd. and the president. Even if it is an exaggeration to say the rafters shook, at least their addresses warmed the cockles of the worshippers’ hearts, most of whom were invited for political reasons, being obviously far removed from the typical penitents deserving, as Akinola hoped, of the sort of truth that sets free.

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The Nation May 29, 2012  

The Nation May 29, 2012