Crude Oil Slips to Below $40 as Iran Dashes Hopes of Output Freeze Fuel shortages persist as NNPC becomes sole supplier Ejiofor Alike in Lagos with agency report Despite the pledge by Saudi Arabia to cooperate with other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to stabilise
the oil market, the price of crude oil fell by almost three per cent yesterday after Iran dashed hopes of a coordinated production freeze in the
nearest future. Saudi Arabia and several fellow OPEC members had agreed with non-OPEC Russia to freeze output at January levels
in an attempt to prop up prices. President Muhammadu Buhari, who was in Doha, Qatar early this month, also told OPEC and non-OPEC
producers that low oil prices were no longer acceptable. During a bilateral meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani,
Agatu Killings: FG Vows to Deal With Perpetrators… Page
Buhari spoke on the need for the members of OPEC and Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) to cooperate to stabilise the oil market for the benefit of their people. Continued on page 10
Tuesday 15 March, 2016 Vol 21. No 7628. Price: N150
& RE A S O
Judge Orders Release of Dasuki's Military Aide, Accuses EFCC, Army of Acting Like Dictators… Page 41
Buhari Lobbies N’Assembly on Passage of 2016 Budget Meets Senate, House Appropriation Committee chairmen Audit report: NNPC, other MDAs failed to remit N3.3tn in 2014, over N2.8bn spent on hand sanitisers to combat Ebola Bolaji Adebiyi and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari has intensified efforts to get the 2016 budget passed into law without further hitches and delay by the National Assembly. THISDAY checks yesterday revealed that Buhari, in a bid to ensure that all impediments surrounding the passage of the
budget were laid to rest, met last Wednesday with the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, and his House of Representatives counterpart, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, seeking their cooperation on the smooth passage of the Appropriation Bill. Continued on page 11
How CBN Fraudsters Were Caught Obinna Chima More facts have emerged on how the fraudsters involved in the $414,200 scam at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were arrested by security operatives. The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, recently suspended the Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Dr. Okwu J. Nnanna, and four deputy directors over the incident.
But THISDAY gathered from a reliable source in the central bank yesterday that although the fraudsters succeeded in getting $191,000 through a Dubai-based bank, while the balance of $241,200 was stopped when the CBN became aware of the fraud, the criminals went ahead to push another scam e-mail to commercial banks requesting a total of N500 million. Continued on page 10
TALKSHOP ON KEEPING THE OIL VALVES OPEN
L-R: Executive Director and Co-founder, Sahara Group, Mr. Tonye Cole; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, at the sixth African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition in Abuja… yesterday
TUESDAY MARCH 15 2016 T H I S D AY
STATEMENT TO THE NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE AND THE SHAREHOLDERS ON THE EXTRACT OF AUDITED IFRS RESULTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2015 The Board of Directors of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc is pleased to announce the Group’s audited results for the year ended 31 December 2015 Statements of Financial Position as at 31 December 2015
Group Dec 2015 N’million
Group1 Dec 2014 N’million
Group1 Jan 2014 N’million
Parent Dec 2015 N’million
Parent1 Dec 2014 N’million
Parent1 Jan 2014 N’million
Income Statements for the year ended 31 December 2015
ASSETS Cash and cash equivalents 254,633 246,940 307,396 173,133 161,779 228,610 Financial assets held for trading 34,626 9,416 17,224 25,076 5,676 13,747 Derivative financial assets 530 170 530 170 Investment securities: – Available for sale 364,180 344,702 374,673 327,586 317,750 364,056 – Held to maturity 29,408 35,161 84,742 3,210 4,511 46,682 Assets pledged as collateral 61,954 39,179 28,443 61,946 39,174 28,441 Loans and advances to banks 1,052 5,696 5,596 639 31 17 Loans and advances to customers 1,371,926 1,275,681 1,002,371 1,265,207 1,182,393 926,967 Investment in subsidiaries 41,906 40,130 40,130 Property and equipment 87,989 76,236 68,306 79,193 68,042 61,420 Intangible assets 12,471 12,516 11,214 2,493 2,418 2,257 Deferred tax assets 3,244 2,358 1,946 Restricted deposits and other assets 303,111 307,462 200,765 297,240 304,174 191,869 TOTAL ASSETS 2,524,594 2,355,877 2,102,846 2,277,629 2,126,608 1,904,366 LIABILITIES Deposits from banks Deposits from customers Derivative financial liabilities Other liabilities Current income tax liabilities Deferred tax liabilities Debt securities issued Other borrowed funds TOTAL LIABILITIES
Non-controlling interests in equity TOTAL EQUITY TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIES
14,716 123,471 (4,754) 51,089 222,651
14,716 123,471 (3,988) 51,425 173,411
14,716 123,471 (2,047) 49,848 135,924
14,716 123,471 46,048 221,373
14,716 123,471 48,824 172,901
14,716 123,471 49,722 136,381
Group1 Dec 2014 N’million
Parent Dec 2015 N’million
Parent1 Dec 2014 N’million
Net interest income
Loan impairment charges
Net interest income after loan impairment charges
Fee and commission income
Fee and commission expense
Net fee and commission income
Net gains on financial instruments classified as held for trading Other income
Depreciation and amortization
Other operating expenses
Profit before income tax
Income tax expense
Profit for the year
Profit attributable to: Equity holders of the parent entity Non-controlling interests
Group Dec 2015 N’million
Group1 Dec 2014 N’million
Parent Dec 2015 N’million
Parent1 Dec 2014 N’million
Profit for the year
Other comprehensive income not to be reclassified to profit or loss in subsequent years: Actuarial gains and losses
Earnings per share for the profit from continuing operations attributable to the equity holders of the parent entity during the year (expressed in naira per share): – Basic
Total impaired Loans and Advances (N'million)
Total impaired Loans and Advances to Loans and Advances (%)
Net impairment charge on financial assets Personnel expenses
26,256 31,662 15,208 40 144 89 1,610,350 1,618,208 1,427,494 1,422,550 1,439,522 1,261,927 253 4 253 4 104,606 57,200 61,015 85,126 47,714 49,008 17,740 20,827 18,431 19,379 22,276 17,990 6,840 4,392 5,066 6,346 3,956 4,784 180,117 167,321 156,498 13,234 165,123 91,299 92,135 338,580 252,831 233,040 2,111,032 1,991,162 1,775,851 1,872,021 1,766,696 1,580,076
CAPITAL AND RESERVES Share capital Share premium Treasury shares Retained earnings Other components of equity Capital and reserves attributable to equity holders of the parent entity
Group Dec 2015 N’million
Operating lease expenses
Statements of Other Comprehensive Income for the year ended 31 December 2015
6,389 5,680 5,083 413,562 364,715 326,995 405,608 359,912 324,290 2,524,594 2,355,877 2,102,846 2,277,629 2,126,608 1,904,366
APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON 27 JANUARY 2016:
Income tax relating to actuarial gains and losses
Chief Financial Officer FRC/2013/ICAN/00000004318
Other comprehensive income to be reclassified to profit or loss in subsequent years: - Foreign currency translation differences for foreign operations - Income tax relating to foreign currency translation differences for foreign operations - Net change in fair value of available for sale financial assets - Income tax relating to net change in fair value of available for sale financial assets Other comprehensive income for the year, net of tax Total comprehensive income for the year
C.N. Echeozo Deputy Managing Director FRC/2013/ICAN/00000001319
J.K Agbaje Group Managing Director FRC/2013/CIBN/00000001782 REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT AUDITOR TO THE MEMBERS OF GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC Report on the financial statements
We have audited the accompanying separate and consolidated financial statements of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (“the bank”) and its subsidiaries (together “the group”). These financial statements comprise the statement of financial position as at 31 December 2015 and the statements of comprehensive income, changes in equity and cash flows for the year ended, and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes.
In our opinion the accompanying financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the financial affairs of the bank and the group as at 31 December 2015 and of their financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and the requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act and the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act.
Directors’ responsibility for the financial statements
Report on other legal requirements
The directors are responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and with the requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act and for such internal control, as the directors determine is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
The Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act require that in carrying out our audit we consider and report to you on the following matters. We confirm that:
ii) the bank has kept proper books of account, so far as appears from our examination of those books and returns adequate for our audit have been received from branches not visited by us;
Our responsibility is to express an independent opinion on the financial statements based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing. Those standards require that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform our audit to obtain reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement. An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgement, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity’s internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by the directors, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.
Total comprehensive income attributable to: Equity holders of the parent entity Non-controlling interests Total comprehensive income for the year
i) we have obtained all the information and explanations which to the best of our knowledge and belief were necessary for the purposes of our audit;
iii) the bank’s statements of financial position and comprehensive income are in agreement with the books of account; iv) the information required by Central Bank of Nigeria Circular BSD/1/2004 on insider related credits is disclosed in Note 46 to the financial statements; v) except for the contraventions disclosed in Note 47 to the financial statements, the bank has complied with the requirements of the relevant circulars issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Gross Earnings 1
For: PricewaterhouseCoopers Chartered Accountants Lagos, Nigeria Engagement Partner Daniel Asapokhai FRC/2013/ICAN/00000000946
25 February 2016
“The above statements of financial position, income statements and statements of comprehensive income and reports of the independent auditor are published in accordance with the requirements of S 27.1 of Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), For a better understanding of the financial position of the bank and its results of operation for the year, the above financial information should be read in conjunction with the full financial statements of the bank on which the auditor’s opinion was issued”
T H I S D AY TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
TUESDAY MARCH 15 2016 T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
CORONATION MERCHANT BANK 6
TUESDAY MARCH 15 2016 T H I S D AY
CORONATION MERCHANT BANK
(Formerly Associated Discount House Limited)
CORONATION MERCHANT BANK RC 207138
AUDITED ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2015 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
GROUP 31 Dec 2015 N'000
BANK 31 Dec 2015 N'000
Assets held for sale
11,746,851 12,611,114 20,086,561 2,475,468 203,258 388,435 1,732,500 5,217,194 78,232,124 48,756
11,746,851 12,611,114 20,086,561 2,475,468 203,258 388,435 1,732,500 520,260 5,217,194 78,752,384 48,756
16,402,421 8,332,907 32,296,487 413,078 194,887 44,207 165,106 4,184,550 74,074,489 48,756
16,402,421 8,332,907 32,296,487 413,078 194,887 44,207 165,106 520,260 4,184,550 74,594,749 48,756
Liabilities Due to customers Due to financial institutions Current income tax liabilities Other liabilities
34,877,290 22,852,261 137,911 176,677
34,877,290 22,852,261 137,911 176,677
20,620,987 36,645,218 96,382 233,301
20,620,987 36,645,218 96,382 233,301
4,854,118 3,331,241 3,968,782 (520,260) 443,156 60,948 8,098,756
4,854,118 3,331,241 3,968,782 443,156 60,948 8,098,756
4,854,118 3,331,241 3,002,062 (520,260) (43,828) 113,890 5,790,134
4,854,118 3,331,241 3,002,062 (43,828) 113,890 5,790,134
Total equity and liabilities
Assets Cash and balances with banks Financial assets held for trading Investment securities: Held-to-maturity Available for sale securities Pledged assets Loans and advances to customers Other assets Intangible assets Property, plant and equipment Investment in subsidiaries Deferred tax assets
Share capital Share premium Statutory reserve Treasury stock Available for sale reserve Credit risk reserve Retained earnings
GROUP BANK 31 Dec 2014 31 Dec 2014 N'000 N'000
The financial statements were approved by the board of directors on 28 January 2016. Signed on behalf of the directors by: Mr. Babatunde Folawiyo CHAIRMAN FRC/2014/NBA/00000006371 Abubakar Jimoh MANAGING DIRECTOR FRC/2013/ICAN/00000001481
Interest and similar income Interest and similar expense
GROUP 31 Dec 2015 N'000 9,949,388 (6,882,393)
Net interest income
BANK GROUP BANK 31 Dec 2015 31 Dec 2014 31 Dec 2014 N'000 N'000 N'000 9,949,388 10,923,949 10,923,949 (6,882,393) (8,736,442) (8,736,442)
1,263 2,183 (2,019,134)
1,263 2,183 (2,019,134)
(5,273) 5,476 (1,291,585)
(5,273) 5,476 (1,291,585)
Net fair value gains/(losses) on available for sale financial assets
Other comprehensive income for the year (net of tax)
Net (impairment)/ writeback on financial assets Net Interest income after impairment charge on financial assets Fee and commission income Trading income Net gains / (losses) from financial instruments at fair value Gain on disposal of subsidiary Other income Operating expenses Profit before tax Income tax credit / (charge) Profit for the period Other comprehensive income (OCI) net of income tax: Items that may be reclassified subsequently to profit or loss
TOTAL COMPREHENSIVE INCOME FOR THE YEAR Earnings per share for profit attributable to equity holders Basic Diluted
The statement of financial position, statement of comprehensive income, report of the independent auditor and specific disclosures are published in compliance with the requirements of S.27 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act.The information disclosed have been extracted from the full financial statements of the company and the group and cannot be expected to provide as full an understanding of the financial performance, financial position and financing and investing activities of the company and the group as the full financial statements. Copies of the full financial statements can be obtained from the Registrars of the company. In line with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) circular referenced FPR/DIR/CIR/GEN/01/020, the Bank received, processed and resolved nil (2014: 23) customer complaints during the year.
REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT AUDITOR TO THE MEMBERS OF CORONATION MERCHANT BANK We have audited the accompanying separate and consolidated financial statements of Coronation Merchant Bank (“the bank”) and its subsidiary (together “the group”). These financial statements comprise the statement of financial position as at 31 December 2015 and the statements of comprehensive income, changes in equity and cash flows for the year then ended, and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes. Website: http//www.adh-ng.com Directors’ responsibility for the financial statements
Report on other legal and regulatory requirements The Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act require that in carrying out our audit we consider and report to you on the following matters. We confirm that: i) we have obtained all the information and explanations which to the best of our knowledge and belief were necessary for the purposes of our audit;
The directors are responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and with the requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act and for such internal control, as the directors determine necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatements, whether due to fraud or error.
ii) the Bank has kept proper books of account, so far as appears from our examination of those books and returns adequate for our audit have been received from branches not visited by us;
iv) the information required by Central Bank of Nigeria Circular BSD/1/2004 on insider related credits is disclosed on Note 34 to the financial statement;
Our responsibility is to express an independent opinion on the financial statements based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing. Those standards require that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform our audit to obtain reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement.
iii) the Bank's statement of financial position and statement of comprehensive income are in agreement with the books of account;
v) to the best of our information, the Bank has complied with the requirements of the relevant circulars issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgement, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the company’s internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by the directors, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. Opinion In our opinion the accompanying financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the financial affairs of the company and the group at 31 December 2015 and of the financial performance and cash flows of the group for the year then ended in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and the requirements of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act and the Financial Reporting Council Act.
Chartered Accountants Lagos, Nigeria FRC/2013/ICAN/00000000980
24 February 2016
T H I S D AY TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
with an opportunity to earn a share from over N50m School Fees Support in Loyalty Reward every year.
TUESDAY MARCH 15 2016 T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016 • T H I S D AY
AI Accuses FG of Failing to Investigate Deaths of 640 Detainees at Giwa Barracks Says Buhari has reneged on promise to probe war crimes Tobi Soniyi in Abuja and Zacheaus Somorin in Lagos Amnesty International (AI) has accused the federal government of failing to conduct an effective, impartial and independent investigation into the killings of 640 recaptured detainees allegedly slaughtered by soldiers of the Nigerian Army two years ago. AI, in a statement yesterday, said the detainees – men and boys – were arbitrarily arrested in mass screening operations and were killed after they fled the barracks in Maiduguri, Borno State on March 14, 2014 following a Boko Haram attack.
“The majority were shot. The others had their throats cut,” AI alleged. To mark the anniversary of the massacre, AI said its campaigners would be gathering outside Nigerian embassies around the world to call for independent investigations and prosecutions. “It is shocking that two years after these horrific killings, there has been no justice for the victims and their relatives,” said Netsanet Belay, AI’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa. He added that “the lack of an independent investigation has meant that no one has been held to account for the
killings, strengthening an already pervasive culture of impunity within the military”. The rights group extensively documented the events of March 14, 2014, interviewing dozens of witnesses, verifying video evidence of the killings and the aftermath and confirming the locations of mass graves through satellite imagery. In June 2015, AI published extensive evidence of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity committed by the Nigerian military. The report found that the military extra-judicially executed at least 1,200 men and boys, and almost certainly many more,
between 2012 and 2014. It said that a further 7,000 detainees died in military detention as a result of starvation, disease, torture and a lack of medical attention. Amnesty alleged that torture was routinely and systematically used by security forces in Nigeria, during arrests and in detention, an allegation that was strongly refuted by security forces. The statement added: “Soldiers arbitrarily arrested more than 20,000 suspects since 2011 and detained the overwhelming majority of them without access to their families or lawyers, without formal charges and without ever
bringing them to court. “Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Government of Nigeria to initiate independent and effective investigations into its evidence of crimes under international law and to implement critical safeguards against human rights violations. “Yet, despite repeated promises by President Buhari and his government that Amnesty International’s report would be looked into, no concrete steps have been taken to begin independent investigations. “Many safeguards remain absent; for example, suspects continue to be held in military detention without access to their
lawyers or families, without charge and without being brought before a judge. “After more than nine months in office, President Buhari must take urgent action to provide justice for the thousands of victims and prevent such violations occurring again. “In the two years since the Giwa killings, the pattern of unjustified use of lethal force by the military has continued with no one held accountable.” It added that from Giwa to Zaria, from the Northeast to the South-east, “the time has come to break the cycle of impunity that has gripped Nigeria. This should start with justice for the Giwa 640”.
Some of the affected marketers told THISDAY that they had exhausted the little allocations given to them by the PPPRA. “In the fourth quarter of 2015, I was given an import allocation of 90,000 metric tonnes and I did 110,000 metric tonnes. So nobody would accuse me on nonperformance. But in the first quarter of 2016, I was given 40,000 metric tonnes, which I exhausted within the first month. The same goes for other marketers. So the product you see in the system belongs to the NNPC,” said one of the depot owners, who did not want his name in print. It was gathered that another challenge impeding imports and has fuelled the shortages, is the scarcity of foreign exchange, prompting PPPRA to slash the import allocations of the private marketers because of the challenge of sourcing forex. However, NNPC which has cornered a large chunk of the first quarter import allocation because of its capacity to access forex, does not have adequate reception facilities for its imported product. Though the corporation takes delivery of enough cargoes of petrol to meet domestic demand, the absence of logistics and storage depots for its product makes it difficult for these vessels to discharge the product for distribution. While the imported cargoes wait at the high seas, scarcity of petrol continues to bite harder on Nigerians who cannot access fuel from filling stations. THISDAY also gathered that the tight fuel supply situation has been further aggravated by the high incidence of vandalism along the pipelines linking the Atlas Cove-Ejigbo-Mosimi-IbadanOre-Ilorin depots, referred to as System 2B, and is the most active fuel distribution network that accounts for 60 per cent of supply in Nigeria. Under System 2B, imported products are stored in NNPC’s Atlas Cove depot in Lagos from where they
are pumped to Ejigbo depot in Lagos, Mosimi Depot in Ogun State, Ibadan Depot, Ore Depot in Ondo State and Ilorin Depot for tankers to lift from those depots. But vandals and oil thieves have damaged the connecting pipelines, thus putting excessive pressure on the private depots in Lagos as tankers from all parts of the country rely on Lagos. In order to address the problems, a meeting of the depot owners and marketers, which was convened at the PPPRA headquarters in Abuja recently resolved that the allocation formula would be changed in the second quarter import allocation round to give private marketers higher import volumes. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, recently disclosed that he had initiated consultations with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help marketers access forex to import petrol. The minister said the move would help ease access to forex, which hampers the ability of marketers to bring petrol into the country. He said the inability of private marketers to import was beginning to wear down the capacity of the NNPC to meet the country’s fuel consumption officially put at 40 million litres per day.
CRUDE OIL SLIPS TO BELOW $40 AS IRAN DASHES HOPES OF OUTPUT FREEZE A recent Saudi cabinet statement also disclosed that the kingdom was working towards stability in the oil
market and would remain in contact with all main producers in an attempt to limit volatility. The renewed cooperation between OPEC and nonOPEC members had led to a rise in the price of oil above $40 per barrel but that was still a fraction of the $115 per barrel of 20 months ago. But following Iran’s revelation on Sunday that it would only join the discussions for cooperation after its output has hit 4 million barrels per day (mbpd), the price of oil fell by about three per cent yesterday. Iran’s oil exports are due to reach 2mbpd in the Iranian month that ends on March 19, up from 1.75 million in December 2015, according to Reuters. Iran’s position has returned bearish sentiment over a supply glut that has sent prices crashing in the past 20 months. Global benchmark Brent crude, which hit a 12-year low of $27.10 per barrel in January and had risen
above $40 this month, fell back yesterday to below $40 a barrel, trading at $39.27, while US crude was down $1.09 trading at $37.41 a barrel. Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Sunday that it would join discussions after its output reached 4mbpd. Reuters reported that Zanganeh met Russian counterpart Alexander Novak in Tehran yesterday but talks focused on long-running discussions about an oil and gas swap mechanism. According to the Shana news agency, Zanganeh said Iran and Russia could cooperate on the swap, which would see Russia send oil and gas to northern Iran in return for Iranian supply to Russian customers in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia appeared to have stuck to a preliminary deal reached with some other producers to freeze output, as its crude production held steady in February at 10.22 million barrels per day (bpd), an industry source told Reuters. OPEC members and nonOPEC producers are likely to meet again in mid-April
in Doha to discuss freezing output, OPEC sources told Reuters. With Iran’s position, the scheduled March 20 meeting in Russia, which was part of an earlier plan, now looks unlikely. Meanwhile, fuel shortages persisted across the country, as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) became the sole importer of petrol into the country. THISDAY gathered that with the low fuel import allocation given to the private marketers by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) for the first quarter of 2016, all the marketers now depend on products imported by the corporation. Private marketers, who traditionally imported 60 per cent of domestic requirement, were only allotted 22 per cent in the first quarter, allocated that they have since exhausted, thus resulting in the current shortages. PPPRA approved the importation of 1.5 million tonnes of petrol for the private marketers and the NNPC for the first quarter, with the corporation getting 78 per cent.
With the tight supply, only major marketers and a few independents, that sourced petrol from the NNPC or those with throughput agreements with the corporation, were selling petrol in their depots at the weekend. For instance, of the 39 private marketers and depot owners that use to participate in fuel importation under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF), only 12 were selling petrol sourced from NNPC at the weekend. Investigations by THISDAY showed that of the 12 marketers, Forte Oil, Conoil, Mobil, Oando, MRS, Total and NIPCO are major marketers, while Zenon, Folawiyo, Capital Oil, Aiteo and Bovas were the only independents and depot owners with petrol stock. THISDAY gathered that majority of independent marketers and depot owners did not have petrol in their depots at the weekend. Those with dry depots included Integrated Oil, Eterna Oil, Heyden Petroleum, Rahamaniyya, Sahara Energy, Techno Oil, AA Rano, Ascon, A-Z, D-Jones, Fatgbems and Index Petroleum, among others.
were apprehended by security agents,” he said. He said one of the fraudsters was still at large but the security agencies were on his trail, adding with confidence that he would soon be apprehended. The acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, had in a statement last week explained that although preliminary investigations so far had not revealed any accomplices within the CBN, management decided to place all key personnel involved in the transaction on suspension. This, according to him, was to ensure a full and unfettered investigation. “This incidence has been reported to the relevant authorities. The CBN wishes to assure the general public that the security of the bank
remains intact,” the statement had said. Meanwhile, the central bank yesterday clarified the suspension of some of its personnel following the fraud uncovered and aborted by it last week in Abuja. A statement from Okorafor explained that the affected personnel suspended by the CBN’s management had to undergo the administrative procedure because they handled the routine processing of the said payment. Okorafor, who reiterated that preliminary investigations so far had not revealed any accomplice within the central bank, noted that management had to suspend the officers in order to allow unfettered investigation into the matter.
HOW CBN FRAUDSTERS WERE CAUGHT The source explained that in the fresh request by the criminals, they used the CBN governor’s cloned email address and demanded that the payments should be done through Unity Bank Plc (N150 million); Keystone Bank Limited (N150 million) and First Bank of Nigeria Limited (N200 million). “What the fraudsters did was to use a cloned e-mail from Emefiele requesting the amount. But the CBN governor was in China and Nnanna could not reach him. “But ideally, it is the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services that deals with such payments. When he (Nnanna) could not reach Emefiele, he ought to have gone to his colleagues (other deputy governors) for verification of the sum. “Also, the directors in
that department were also not around at the time this thing took place. So Nnanna used the deputy directors to authorise the transfers, because he allegedly didn’t have any reason to doubt the e-mail,” the source added. But when the scam came to light, he said Nnanna set up a ruse in order to catch the fraudsters. “The CBN lured the fraudsters who in turn requested that the payments should be done in the aforementioned three Nigerian banks. “It then got the three banks to play along by sending fake credit alerts, notifying them their accounts had been credited. “So it was when two of them went to one of the banks to withdraw the cash that they
TOP GAINERS NGN NGN CONOIL 1.68 18.24 TIGERBRANDED 0.27 3.01 UACN 0.99 20.95 NASCON 0.37 7.87 FCMB 0.04 0.86 TOP LOSERS NGN NGN SEVEN-UP 8.07 153.43 HONEYWELL 0.09 1.71 STERLBANK 0.08 1.62 UNIONBANK 0.28 5.70 UNITYBANK 0.03 0.67 HPE Nestle Nig Plc ₦690.00 Volume: 174.501 million shares Value: N1.406 billion Deals: 1.406 As at yesterday 14/3/16 See details on Page 44
% 10.1 9.8 4.9 4.9 4.8 % 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.6 4.6
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
Ese Oruru: Police Seek Secret Trial as Yinusa is Sent Back to Prison
Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Justice H.A Ngajiwa of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday ruled that Mr. Yinusa Dahiru, the alleged abductor of 14-year-old Ese Oruru, should be returned to a Bayelsa remand facility pending the determination of his bail application. The judge’s order followed the inability of both his defence team, led by Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, and the police prosecutors headed by Mr. Kenneth Dika, to present “cited authorities” in their arguments during yesterday’s hearing. Justice Ngajiwa held that the application for bail could not be fully heard since the counsel to both parties failed to furnish the court with all authorities cited in the case as directed by the court, especially whenever the lawyers’ processes are to be adopted. However, before the proceedings began, Dahiru, who is facing a five-count
charge of criminal abduction, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge, was brought into the courtroom at about 10 am accompanied by some prison officials. The Kano-born suspect, who wore a pensive look throughout the court session and seemed emaciated, was dressed in a green traditional attire. He was asked to climb down from the dock when it was obvious that his case could not proceed yesterday. The prayer by the prosecution that the judge should allow Ese, the alleged victim, to be quizzed or have her evidence taken in private was vehemently rejected by the defence team, which insisted that the teenager must appear in court in person. Dika, who made the oral application, noted that the victim was a minor and deserved the protection of the courts. But Olaosebikan opposed the application and urged the court to rule on the
bail request by Dahiru’s legal team, which aside Olaosebikan, included Audu Bulama, Oche Alex, Yahaya Sheriff and Huwaila Mohammed. But Dahiru's legal team argued that since it was a “bailable” offence, the judge should not have any inhibitions in granting the prayer of the accused. In opposing the bail application, the police noted that it was difficult to “retrieve”
Dahiru from the Muslim Council in Kano when he was first arrested, arguing that if the accused was granted bail, it would literally end the case. “It took the police from August till now to get the suspect arrested. If he is granted bail, he will not come back to this court because he is not even resident in this jurisdiction,” the prosecution argued. But Olaosebikan called on the judge to disregard the prosecution’s prayer, arguing that the statement was even an indictment on the police legal team. “It is preposterous that a member of the police force would say that they cannot retrieve Yinusa from the Muslim Council in Kano, when the members of that body are all civilians. The court should not rely on that argument,” Olaosebikan said. Justice Ngajiwa reserved ruling on the bail application till March 21 and ordered that Dahiru should be sent
back to prison. Outside the court room, the defence lawyers insisted that the case was that of “Romeo and Juliet”, noting that the argument that the girl should be shielded during court sessions was untenable. “Their reason is that they don’t want publicity for the girl, but our own position is that the matter is already in the public domain. The prosecution created a media nightmare for the girl. They dug the pit, let them wallow in it. “Our own contention is that what they are trying to prevent has already occurred. Even the trial started in the media. So they can’t stop what they started,” Olaosebikan said, insisting that his client had not committed any crime against the state. During the last hearing, Dahiru, who claims he’s 18 years old, admitted impregnating the teenage girl, but pleaded “not guilty” to the charges preferred against him.
“The sum of N31,324,952,239.87 was for the payment of subsidy on fertiliser and youth employment in agricultural programmes, while N2,395,851,978.00 was for the payment for the group life assurance premium for the Nigerian Armed Forces in 2013, but not backed by appropriation. “The sum of N500,000,000 was made as payment for agricultural programmes. These were variances with the purpose of the fund. No evidence of these lines of expenditure in the 2014 Appropriation Act,” the report stated. It also said the management of the National Assembly, headed by the clerk, made payments of N9,514,568,222.62, without raising payment vouchers, explaining that by this action, it had violated the nation's financial regulations. The report also disclosed how N1,162,009,305 was given to 112 members of staff of the National Assembly from its recurrent votes and 50 other staff from the general service vote between July and December 2014 for various purposes. The AuGF’s report also revealed how the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC, United States, realised $3,705,428 as internally generally revenue (IGR) between 2012 and March 2015, but failed to remit it. He recalled that a 22-storey building housing the Nigerian Consulate-General in the US, the National Boundary Commission of Nigeria and the National Intelligence Agency, was not only in a state of deterioration but also under-utilised despite the huge sums spent for its maintenance. The report recommended its immediate renovation while the building is let out for revenue generation. Also contained in the report was the indictment of the leadership of the Nigerian
Prisons Service (NPS) which it said, deducted N2,036,758,176.75 as pay as you earn (PAYE) tax, but failed to remit the money to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). According to the report, there was no proof of remittance neither was any document produced for audit confirmation. The report also showed that a vessel was purchased in Singapore on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for training programmes of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) in Delta State. It said part of the payment was not stated while the vessel had been abandoned in the last five years and already deteriorating in value. “The cost of the purchase and how much was paid before the vessel was abandoned could not be ascertained due to the fact that the contract was awarded without the involvement of the Nigerian mission in Singapore,” it added. The report also said about $1.6 million out of the contract sum of $2.3 million meant for the construction of a school by Nigeria in Haiti in an area that was not affected by the earthquake in 2010 had been paid but there was no project to show for it. “As of the time of inspection, there was no evidence of a memorandum between the Nigerian and Haitian Government for the construction of the school. More so, the location of the school was not affected by earthquake in 2010. Therefore, the purpose for which the money was given cannot be achieved,” it added. The report also revealed N3.8 billion in the ecological fund account that was not remitted to Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi and Sokoto States as grants for undisclosed reasons. It said the sum was changed to the capital vote in 2010. “Despite repeated demands for payment vouchers they were
not provided. We could not verify the nature of grants,” the report added. Ukura also warned that except the management of the Integrated Personel Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS) was quickly checked by the appropriate authorities, hopes of eradicating ghost workers would remain an illusion. While answering questions from journalists, Ukura said the password control access to IPPIS was not adequate because the database could be accessed from a remote location through the Internet, noting that the password for the access of the IPPIS database is usually valid for over 90 days, a situation he said made it possible for retired government officers to still use their password after leaving office. He also disclosed that some user names and passwords had been shared by several users most of whom he said used words like “consultant” or “technical” with no restriction on the number of sign-in attempts. Ukura further noted that his office had discovered about N330 million paid to 300,000 people without following the approved salary scale, while double payments of another N30 million was paid within three months. He said the imperfections in the IPPIS policy had led to the payment of N12 million each to 40 persons whom he said were not included in the payroll of the relevant MDAs, adding that 152 officers on IPPIS scheme did not have personnel files in their MDAs while N193 million was paid to unidentified persons. He also explained that N1.163 million was paid to 596 employees with income tax deductions from April 2012 to September 2013, while 2,000 employees had no pension deductions.
Police IG, Solomon Arase pending bail application, which according to him was filed on March 8. The seven-paragraph affidavit asking for bail was deposed to by Oladeji Maxwell of Olaosebikan and Co., while the defence team’s affidavit rejecting the bail application was deposed to by Debo Waheed, a member of the police prosecuting team. The prosecution prayed the court not to grant the
BUHARI LOBBIES N’ASSEMBLY ON PASSAGE OF 2016 BUDGET Both chairmen last week assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would pass the budget into law on Thursday. But dissatisfaction with the budget, particularly among legislators, and curiously also among some senior officials of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government, whose budget estimates had suffered cuts by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, continued to impede the passage of the budget presented to the National Assembly since last December. The president, according to sources in the presidency, appealed to the appropriation committee chairmen of both chambers to help him smoothen all the rough edges of the budget and lobby their colleagues to pass it into law without further delay. When Buhari was reminded that the budget proposal had several procedural defects, including many errors as well as glaring inconsistencies in item pricing, making its passage a herculean task, Buhari reportedly pleaded for the two committee chairmen’s understanding, asking them to do all within their powers to secure its passage this week as promised. “I recognise the difficulties posed by the mistakes and the indiscretion of our officials. But having made an open admission of this, I think it is only fair that you get your colleagues to show some understanding,” the president was quoted to have said. Buhari, according to sources, also made concessions to Goje and Abdulmumin to use their discretion to bring the estimates in line with “the National Assembly’s estimates of what is workable and implementable”, cautioning however that fundamental changes to the budget should be brought to his attention. “The president was so conciliatory. He asked the
committee chairmen to feel free to come to him at any time they felt his attention was required,” a presidency source familiar with the meeting said. Goje and Abdulmumin had at a joint press briefing last month stated that the budget was fraught with too many errors, making its passage very difficult. According to Goje, “We want to remove all ambiguities and paddings with a view to producing a budget that is in line with constitutional provisions. “During the budget defence, a lot of issues based on the padding of the budget, arising from over-bloated overheads and in some instances, cases of over-bloated personnel cost were exposed.” His House counterpart, Abdulmumin, agreed that the two committees would have to do a proper cleanup of the budget, adding that the task before the lawmakers was to pass a budget “that is implementable and acceptable to Nigerians”. According to National Assembly sources, some of the discrepancies in the budget include huge differences in the prices quoted for the same items by different MDAs. “On one particular brand of vehicle alone, we discovered a gap of almost N15 million between the lowest and highest prices quoted by different agencies and you find that on almost every item. There were also issues of arithmetical errors in which figures just do not add up,” explained a legislator. The source added that some of the ministers, including those who publicly disowned the estimates from their ministries, came back to the committees with proposals that were also at variance with the ones submitted by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning thus creating more problems for the National Assembly. A member of the Senate
Committee however praised both Buhari and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, for providing leadership and maturity on the issue. He said Saraki specifically told the committees to work closely with the budget ministry so as to resolve whatever differences that might have arisen during the reconciliation of the estimates. Meanwhile, a new audit report released by the federal government to the National Assembly yesterday revealed the misappropriation of funds to the tune of N3.3 trillion perpetrated by various MDAs and foreign missions in 2014. This revelation was contained in the 2014 annual audit report presented to the National Assembly by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation. The document revealed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) failed to remit N3,234,577,666,791.35 to the Federation Account Allocation Committee in 2014. The report, which was presented by the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Samuel Ukura, to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, also revealed that $235,685,861 from proceeds of gas sales accruable to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company, was not remitted to the Federation Account but transferred to some undisclosed escrow accounts. Ukura said the documents were not made available to his office for verification. Furthermore, the report said another N36,432,423,968.73 was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) for rehabilitation and construction of dams instead of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, adding that N2,894,531250.00 was spent for the procurement of hand sanitisers for schools and critical public places to tackle the Ebola virus.
TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016 • T H I S D AY
News Editor Davidson Iriekpen Email firstname.lastname@example.org, 08111813081
CJN Urges Judges to Use Administration of Criminal Justice Act to Speed up Criminal Trials
Tobi Soniyi in Abuja The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has called on judges to fully utilise the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). Addressing judges at the opening of the 2016 Refresher Course for Judicial Officers on Current Trends at Law and Administration of Justice, the CJN said the ACJA provided a chance for all judges to ensure speedy dispensation of justice. “I expect that the provisions will be fully utilised,” he added. He said the leadership of the judiciary would continue to introduce measures to make sure that the judiciary delivers on its mandate. Mohammed said: “Another development which I am excited about is the passage of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act into Law. “The purpose of the Act is clearly stated as follows: ‘The purpose of this Act is to ensure that the system of administration of criminal justice in Nigeria promotes efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice, protection of the society from crime and protection of the rights and interests of the suspect,
the defendant and the victim.” the trial is still not concluded, the He reminded the judges that the interval for adjournments will be judiciary has had to “endure intense, reduced to seven days each. largely unjustified and grossly “As such, the Act provides a uninformed criticisms regarding chance for all judges to ensure delay in the administration of speedy dispensation of justice justice.” and I expect that the provisions Despite describing the criticism will be fully utilised. against slow dispensation of justice “I must similarly urge your uninformed, the CJN said that he lordships to treat cases related to was proud that the “Judiciary economic crimes and corruption was well ahead of the curve when with the necessary urgency that the the 2013 Practice Directions on previously mentioned 2013 Practice Serious Crimes were adopted Directions mandate us to apply. as the directions were aimed at “Judges must also be stringent reducing criminal trial delays.” in applying the law strictly in order The CJN added that to render justice in a satisfactory nevertheless the new Act manner to all parties whether they strengthened the judiciary’s resolve to improve justice delivery as “it provides that applications for stay of proceedings shall no longer be heard in respect of a criminal matter before the court. “This unprecedented provision puts a stop to the delays occasioned by interlocutory applications to stay proceedings pending appeal on preliminary matters when the substantive issues are yet to be tried on the merits. “Upon arraignment, the trial of the defendant shall proceed from day-to-day until the conclusion of the trial, while each party is entitled to only five adjournments not exceeding two weeks each. Where
are the state, the accused or the victim.” Justice Mohammed pointed out that negative effects of corruption had been experienced by every Nigerian in one way or the other. He also told the judges that the judiciary had been judged harshly and on the receiving end of allegations of corruption in its operations. The CJN said: “At this crucial time in our nation’s history, we must show the red card to corruption, while joining hands as patriotic citizens to campaign for zero-tolerance for corrupt practices within our courts.
“We must not forget our noble duty as ministers in the Temple of justice to uphold the rule of law impartially and without fear, in order to establish and sustain public confidence in the judicial process, “Judges must live above board, shun corruption and avoid corrupt practices and misconduct.” While welcoming participants, the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute, Justice Rosaline Bozimo (rtd) said law reforms and innovations in the judiciary were a necessity for the purpose of enhancing and promoting judicial performance.
She said the Nigerian judiciary had experienced innovations and reforms in recent times, prominent among which she cited the passing into Law the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in 2015. According to her, the high point of this Act was the merger of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) and the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) into one principal Federal Act, which apply uniformly in all federal courts. She said: “While preserving the existing criminal procedures, it introduces new innovative provisions that will enhance the efficiency of the justice system.”
Shehu Sani: El-Rufai Wants to Supplant Buhari Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has been accused of “thinking of removing President Muhammadu Buhari.” In an explosive interview in the March edition of The Interview magazine, Sani said: “It would be counter-productive for the governor to start thinking of evicting Buhari in 2019 to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “El-Rufai should do his job and stop putting his eyes on the presidency.” The senator represents Kaduna Central and is in the same ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) with the governor. They have been at odds for undisclosed political reasons, leading to Sani’s suspension by the state branch of the party. Sani accused El-Rufai of ruling like “an emperor,” promising to “give him war or peace,” whichever he (El-Rufai) chooses. Also in the edition of The Interview, former military Governor of Kaduna State, Dangiwa Umar, a retired colonel, gave his first major interview in 23 years in which he laid in on Governor Adams Oshiomhole; of Edo State; Peoples Democratic Party chieftains, Edwin Clark and Tony Anenih, calling them “traitors.”
Responding to a question on the fortunes of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, after he was defeated last March, Umar said: “I compare them (Oshiomhole and co) to insects that cling to flowers. They are attracted by the nectar rather than by the beauty of the flower. “Oshiomhole, who generously praised Jonathan as a true democrat, suddenly turned into his most virulent critic.” Umar revealed that during Jonathan’s testy days as acting President, he advised him to sack his service chiefs, but that the former president was too confused and agitated to act. “He complained,” Umar said: “That the NSA had informed him that the service chiefs were disgruntled with the way the sick and bedridden Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was being treated and that he, the acting President, was most disloyal.” In the edition, which the Managing Director/ Editor-InChief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene, described as “deep and loaded,” Umar also revisited his role in the June 12 crisis, the agitation for Biafra and his relationship with Jonathan.
IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU IN MALABO
President Muhammadu Buhari (right), being received by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea at the Malabo International Airport as Buhari begins a two-day state visit for talks on maritime security... yesterday State House
UBA Reports PBT of N60bn, Pays Additional 40kobo as Dividend Goddy Egene United Bank for Africa Plc has recorded a profit before tax of N68 billion for the year ended December 31, 2015, showing an increase of 22 per cent compared with N56.2 billion in 2014. Similarly, the bank defied competition and macroeconomic pressures to grow profit after tax by 25 per cent to N59.65 billion, from N47.9 billion in 2014. This translated to a 20 per cent return on average equity. Following the impressive performance, the board is proposing a final dividend of 40 kobo per share, bringing the total dividend
for the 2015 financial year to 60 kobo per share. UBA had earlier paid an interim dividend of 20 kobo per share, following the audit of its 2015 half year results. Commenting on the result, the Group Managing Director/ CEO, UBA Plc, Philips Oduoza, said: “Our 2015 profit is a new high, reflecting the hard work and discipline of our Board, Management and Staff in creating value for all stakeholders. We remain committed to growing in a responsible manner that aligns with our vision of building an enduring institution.” He said the bank’s resilient
business model, geographic diversification, proactive strategies, and strong governance created an edge for it through the year. “We will continue to invest in our future whilst managing cost tightly to generate strong returns to shareholders,” he assured. Speaking in the same vein, the Group Chief Finance Officer (GCFO) of the bank, Mr. Ugo Nwaghodoh, said: “Amidst macroeconomic volatilities, we leveraged efficiency gains in our business development and operations to grow earnings. We improved on our balance sheet management and pricing, thus ensuring a strong 19 per cent growth in interest income as well as
an enhanced net interest margin of 6.3 per cent. Our improved service delivery and customized offerings helped in growing transaction banking volume, with attendant fee income. While we were exposed to some external cost pressure, we managed to keep our cost growth at five per cent (below the average inflation rate of nine per cent in Nigeria; our core market which represents three-quarter of our operations).” He expressed satisfaction at the performance of the bank’s Africa operations, particularly in synergy extraction and pursuit of scale economics to achieve market share and earnings targets.
T H I S D AY TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
N50,000.00 CONSOLATION PRIZE WINNERS (WEEK 13)
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
Group Politics Editor Olawale Olaleye Email email@example.com 08116759819 SMS ONLY
Osun and the Fear of New LCDAs Last Tuesday, Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola constituted 31 new LCDAs, three area councils and two administrative offices for ease of administration. Although the governor has dismissed fears that their creation would constitute a financial burden on the state, a majority of people think otherwise, writes Yinka Kolawole
he Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, last week reiterated that his administration would make judicious use of its revenues in such a way that the newly created councils would constitute no financial burden. This was even as he dissolved the management committees of the existing 30 Local Councils and Area Offices as well as their executive secretaries, deputy executive secretaries, members, special advisers and other functionaries. The governor said this in a statewide broadcast on the creation of additional 31 Local Council Development Areas, three area councils and two administrative offices. The request for additional local councils by the people after several legal procedures was sent to the state House of Assembly as an executive bill. The assembly in turn, looked into the bill, set up a committee and subsequently, a referendum was held on February 19, 2015, in which the people of the state overwhelmingly gave a Yes vote on the bill. The assembly passed the bill creating 31 new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), three area councils and two administrative offices, and subsequently signed into law by the governor. Aregbesola, while speaking on why the state had created more councils at this material time of financial challenges, held that his administration had given it sufficient consideration and had put in place, procedures that would cost less and save money, while at the same time, engender rapid development. He added that the primary responsibilities of the newly created councils are to bring development to the people, market management, revenue mobilisation and generation among many others instrumental to the yearnings of the people. The governor argued that the state would be saving huge cost with the new system, adding
The governor argued that the state would be saving huge cost with the new system, adding that the same number of staff would still run all the councils and no new appointments would be made to the existing ones. He hinted that the entire local government system would be managed by council managers for three months
Aregbesola...new LCDAs will make governance more effective at no cost
that the same number of staff would still run all the councils and no new appointments would be made to the existing ones. He hinted that the entire local government system would be managed by council managers for three months, who in turn shall be appointed and deployed by Local Government Service Commission from among the substantive grade level 14 officers in the local governments. “Many would be wondering and asking: why create more councils at this special time of financial challenges? We have also given sufficient consideration to this. With this new parliamentary system, it will cost less to run the new councils and save a lot of money for the government than in the past. “The primary responsibilities of our new local government system are sanitation, market management and revenue mobilisation and generation. This is consistent with local government administration worldwide. The beauty of this new system is its parliamentary nature, which requires the chairman and the vice chairman to be elected by the councilors from among their own ranks, thereby saving cost,” the governor said. He contended that the creation of additional local government should not be seen as alien in the sense that in advanced democracies, the local government controls the police and provides many municipal services to the people. The governor also highlighted other importance of the local government, saying the usefulness of this smallest tier of government cannot be overstated. According to him, “It is why the government is designed to be closest to the people. While you need to follow some protocols for reasons of security and tight schedule before having an audience with a minister, a state governor or the president, you can
walk in on your local government chairman or other officials of the council. “Also, because the geographical space of the local government makes it the smallest unit of administration, it is easier to get things done at this level. The local government is also the ideal training ground for political leadership,” he said. However, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has congratulated the people and government of Osun for the creation of new local governments announced by Governor Aregbesola. According to the party, “It is a joyful culmination of the long standing aspiration of the people to have government closest to their communities. The party especially congratulated the governor for painstakingly following the constitutional process required to create new local governments. This sentiment was expressed by the chairman of the party, Gboyega Famodun, in a statement made available to the media. Famodun said: “This is one great moment for Osun because the landmark achievements of creating new local governments will further enhance peace within and between communities of the state as well as increase the potential for more efficient internally generated revenue for the state as well as for the local governments.” He therefore said “The ball is now in the court of the people to demonstrate their appreciation through dedicated effort at keeping the new as well as the old local councils running.” He also called on the people “To stand firm and fully give their support to the government which in spite of the financial challenges the state is going through, Osun
is not standing still. It is not stagnant, but moving on with positive steps to bring the best it could afford to the people.” But a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Mr. Ajijola Nurudeen, said the action of the governor was not good enough, now that the state is critically sick, financially. He condemned the move and said Aregbesola seemed not to know what he was doing with the recent economic condition of the state, adding that for him to have taken the steps, he was not helping the state at all.
A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Mr. Ajijola Nurudeen, said the action of the governor was not good enough, now that the state is critically sick, financially. He condemned the move and said Aregbesola seemed not to know what he was doing with the recent economic condition of the state
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
Ocholi: Painful Exit of a Breadwinner
The death, penultimate Sunday, of a former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi (SAN), has left a huge vacuum in the life of his family and friends. Yekini Jimoh writes
he death of a former Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Chief James Ocholi, SAN, turned out a great shock to the people of Kogi State. The legal luminary was the only minister from the state, an outstanding lawyer, who hailed from Ogbabede-Abocho in Dekina Local Government Area of the state. Just as the people of Kogi were still mourning the death of the former governor of the state, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, whose victory at the last governorship election was almost a fait accompli before he was snatched by the cold hands of death, the death penultimate Sunday of Ocholi was yet a huge blow on the state, the deceased’s family and friends especially. Ocholi was reportedly on his way from Kaduna after attending a friend’s thanksgiving service alongside with his wife, Fatima and one of their sons, Joshua before the tragic incident occurred. Immediately the news hit the airwaves, the governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, chairmen of all the 21 local government councils led by the state ALGON Chairman, Aloysius Okino, were all at the National Hospital, Abuja to receive the remains of the departed. Ocholi died barely eight months before his 56th birthday. He was born on November 26, 1960 to the family of James Momoh Odoh at Idah, Idah local government council of the state. According to THISDAY findings, the late Ocholi lost his father at age 18 and became the family’s breadwinner at a very young age, fending for his siblings and others. He would also not have become a lawyer but for the scholarship he secured from the then Benue State Government. He graduated as a lawyer from the University of Jos in 1985, finished from the Nigerian Law School in 1986, and was called to the Bar the same year. Ocholi, a devout Christian, was said to have given his life to Christ in 1974 while in class two at Ochaja Secondary School. The story was told of how at an evening school, at the school assembly hall, a Christian staff nurse from a neighboring town came around to speak to the students about Christ and Ocholi heeded the alter call. He did not get his SAN title until a second attempt was made. Reports say in 2006 that Ocholi had applied for the conferment of the SAN rank but did not succeed and he reapplied the following year. And as fate would have it, he was conferred with the rank on December 12, 2007 as he stood among distinguished legal luminaries in the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to receive the honour. After close to a decade practice in Lagos, he moved to Abuja, where he practiced until he joined partisan politics. His late wife, Fatima from Ejinya, Okenyi District in Ankpa Local Area of the state, last year in an interview with one of the online publications, said she had a pictorial imagination of the kind of marriage she wanted in what has turned to be a short life. “I actually started planning my marriage ahead of time—I always knew what I wanted. I learnt a lot of things concerning marriage, and I kept the record in my mind and decided I will emulate the values that are right. I had respect for marriage. I came to the conclusion that it’s a good thing. “The secret is that I had planned my marriage pictorially ahead. I understood the fact that in marriage two people come to live together from different backgrounds. I understood that, and made allowances for mistakes, and that was what guided me principally, every day I tailor my actions towards the best to set my home in order,” she said. According to her, she met her husband while both of them were in school and such was the bond of love that James after graduating from the law school, moved to Ankpa, his wife’s town to practice. Both had planned to get married after James completed his National Youth Service Programme and start a family
Ocholi...gone too soon!
right away. In moving to Ankpa, a provincial town, James was fulfilling a promise he made. Though legal practice in Ankpa was not materially rewarding to James, his brilliance, however, shone beyond the small Igala town, up to Kaduna, where he met a senior Lagos lawyer, Kehinde Onafowokan, who invited him to Lagos to set up there. He did not just jump out of Ankpa. He said in an interview that he did so with the prayerful backing of his wife. A visit to the village of the former Minister by our correspondent showed that he was a man loved by hi people in Ogbabede community. Mr. Idoko Musa said they had lost an industrious son. According to him, when he was appointed as a minister, they were happy because when he was alive, he did so much for his people. He mentioned that he always visited the home of the deceased even before he became a minister, adding that many youths from the community were employed by him. Madam Ele Ojonugba said it would take a long time for the people of the community to recover from the shock. She said the late
The late Ocholi lost his father at age 18 and became the family’s breadwinner at a very young age, fending for his siblings and others. He would also not have become a lawyer but for the scholarship he secured from the then Benue State Government…Ocholi, a devout Christian, was said to have given his life to Christ in 1974 while in class two at Ochaja Secondary School
Ocholi while alive made the community proud as he was determined to assist people from his community. She also mentioned that the community is now in total darkness as a result of his death. Also, in acknowledgement of the importance of Ocholi, His Royal Majesty, Dr Idakwo Michael Ameh Oboni 2, Ata Igala and President, Kogi State Council of Chiefs, has postponed the celebration of his 3rd anniversary as Ata. A statement was made available to newsmen by Ottah Gabriel, Chairman of the 3rd Anniversary Invitation and Publicity Sub-Committee. The Ata expressed shock over the loss of Ocholi, His wife and child and prayed God to grant them eternal rest. He regretted the inconvenience this might cause the Igala sons and daughters who were in high spirits awaiting the date of the celebration. He has also asked all Igalas to observe Fasting and prayer for God’s mercy and intervention on the Igala Nation. Similarly, political leaders in the state have expressed shock and pain over the deaths of Ocholi, describing it as “a huge loss” to the state. Governor Bello, who declared three days of mourning in honour of the late minister said his death was a monumental loss to Nigeria. He described the late Ocholi as a pragmatic, dynamic, humane and brilliant law officer, who was known around the world for his dexterous approach to legal and political issues. The governor said the late minister was one of the most unswerving constitutional lawyers Nigeria has ever produced. He recollected with nostalgia, how Ocholi joined other progressive-minded individuals around the country to build the pillars of the APC. He further stated that the late minister was a detribalised Nigerian, who believed in the oneness of the nation and therefore summed up his death as an irreparable loss to Kogi State and the Nation at large. He then prayed for the repose of the souls of the departed minister. Also reacting, the immediate past governor of the state, Capt. Idris Wada commiserated with the people of the state and especially the immediate family of the former minister over the sudden demise of the respected legal luminary. He described his death as a big loss to the Igala nation in particular and humanity in general. In a condolence message signed by his Media Aide, Mr. Jacob Edi, the former governor extolled the virtues of the departed politician and urged the people to emulate his footsteps. He said his death occurred when he was most needed and that his transition would leave a big gap
in the country’s political and judicial space. Wada urged the people of Kogi State and other Nigerians not to be too dismayed by the incident, describing death as unavoidable and wished the deceased eternal rest and his family the fortitude to bear the loss. In the same spirit, the immediate past deputy governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Yomi Awoniyi, in a statement signed by Mike Abu, lamented the painful termination of the lives of Ocholi, his wife, Fatima and son, Joshua as well as the driver in the tragic accident. Commiserating with members of the late minister’s family, he said “Sad as the occurrence is, there is solace to be taken in the lives of the deceased.” He described as a cruel irony, the fact that Ocholi, who had striven to avail the state and the country his skill and experience has been taken away when the long pursued opportunity had finally arrived. He said his death was a corporate loss to Kogi State and a monumental loss to Nigeria. Awoniyi however appealed to the state and the federal government, family and friends to accord the members of Ocholi’s immediate family the maximum support in recognition of the worthy life and service that the late minister represented before his sad death. Senator Tunde Ogbeha described the deaths of the Ocholis as “Sad, very said.” He said the late Minister was “very cerebral and religious. He was an accomplished lawyer and erudite politician. I saw him as a Kogite, who was detribalised and believed he could turn around the fortunes of our state if he was ever elected the state governor. He was a gentleman. May the Lord grant him, the wife and son eternal rest,” Ogbeha further said. On his part, Senator Atai Aidoko Ali said by upholding Nigeria’s values of democracy and freedom, Ocholi has brought honour to the cause which he served till the very last moment. He therefore sincerely hoped the knowledge that he was an exemplary and extraordinary legal officer and a public servant, who died while serving this country, will comfort the people at this moment of great sorrow. He said Ocholi’s enthusiasm and devotion to duty as a legal officer and as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria marked him out as an outstanding figure. “If there is any consolation to be found at such a time, please know that Ocholi’s fine example as a citizen, custodian of free speech and democracy leaves to all of us a legacy from which we draw strength and courage for the struggle that lies ahead.” Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon Umar Ahmed Imam, on behalf of the entire Assembly members, condoled with the family. His reaction was contained in a press statement issued by Dr. Abdulsalam Bawa Dangana, Special Adviser Media to the Speaker. “We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences on the bereavement caused by the untimely death of our illustrious Son, legal icon and luminary, Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Barrister James Eneojo Ocholi (SAN). We all painstakingly pray that God gives you and your departed family members, eternal rest in perfect peace! Former Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, described the death of Ocholi as a tragic loss to his immediate family, Kogi State and the entire nation. In a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Michael Jegede, Senator Abatemi-Usman, who represented Kogi Central Senatorial District in the 7th Senate, said Ocholi would be remembered for his enormous contributions to law practice and democracy in Nigeria. “We received with great shock, the news of the untimely death of our brother, Barrister James Ocholi, an illustrious son of Kogi State and Minister of State for Labour and Employment. Kogi has lost a great man! Ocholi’s demise is not only a tragic loss to his immediate family, but also to Kogi State and Nigeria as a whole.”
TUESDAY MARCH 15 2016 T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL FOR
MHF Properties Limited (subsequently referred to herein as MHF), a subsidiary of the Dangote Group (which is a leading and one of the most diversiﬁed business conglomerates in Africa with a passion for excellence) is a service-oriented company that offers professional property development and management services. In her bid to become the leading property development and management service company in Nigeria, MHF has adopted the strategy of engaging and working with vendors in the maintenance services space for properties. MHF maintains an unbiased process for selecting and managing its pool of vendors. However, MHF believes that the implementation of a suitable vendor management system (VMS) will help improve the productivity and efﬁciency of its vendor management function, thereby helping it achieve its overall business objective. The VMS is expected to manage the automation of all or parts of the core and ancillary vendor management processes including: Vendor Registration and Proﬁling, Procurement, Requisitions, Request and Evaluation of Quotations and Tenders / Bids, Inventory Management, Vendor Performance Management, Risk Management, Asset Maintenance, Approvals, Cost Accounting, Invoicing, Reporting & Analytics Contract Management, Vendor Communications and Vendor Information Management. MHF therefore requests for proposals from interested vendors for the deployment of a suitable VMS. Kindly visit http://dangote.com/ourbusinesses/realestate.aspx for the Proposal Speciﬁcation, Guidelines and Functional Requirements for the Vendor Management System. Submission of Proposal closes on Friday, March 25th, 2015 by 4:00pm (GMT+1).
MHF Properties Limited (subsequently referred to herein as MHF), a subsidiary of the Dangote Group (which is a leading and one of the most diversiﬁed business conglomerates in Africa with a passion for excellence) is a service-oriented company that offers professional property development and management services. In her bid to become the leading property development and management service company in Nigeria, MHF has adopted the strategy of engaging and working with vendors in the maintenance services space for properties. MHF is seeking to expand its pool of vendors and therefore requests for interested vendors who provide goods and / or services in following categories to apply to the registration process: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.
Air Conditioning Electrical Generator Inverter & Batteries Plumbing Waste Treatment Fire Alarm & Extinguishers CCTV Lift / Elevator Rooﬁng Furniture & Fittings Household Items / Appliances (Blenders, Toasters, washing machines, refrigerators etc.) Interior Décor Swimming Pool Gym Equipment & Services Civil Works (Concrete, Tiling, Painting, screeding etc.)
17. General Services (Cleaning, Refuse Disposal, Gardening, Fumigation, Security, Toiletries etc.) 18. Ofﬁce Appliances (Computers, Laptops, Printers, Copiers etc.) 19. Ofﬁce Items & Consumables (Paper, Arch Lever Files, Staplers, Staple Pins etc.) 20. Diesel / Generator Fuel 21. Business Consulting 22. Technology Consulting 23. Property Consulting 24. Marketing / Branding & Publishing 25. Social Events Planning (Parties, Photography)
Kindly visit http://dangote.com/ourbusinesses/realestate.aspx for the Proposal Speciﬁcation, Guidelines and Functional Requirements for the Vendor Management System. Submission of Proposal closes on Friday, March 25th, 2015 by 4:00pm (GMT+1).
TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016 â€˘ T H I S D AY
Acting Features Editor Charles Ajunwa Email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Deadly Ethnic Clash Chiemelie Ezeobi writes that the ethnic clash between the Hausa community and its Yoruba hosts at the popular Mile 12 market in Lagos, broke a 17-year truce between both communities
Some of the arrested suspects
xcept for the few minutes that dark clouds covered the sky giving a hint of rain, it was supposed to be a good day for sales. At least that was what the traders at the popular Mile 12 Market expected. It was supposed to be business as usual. Fate however had another thing in store for them. In fact, the dark clouds should have been a warning of what was to come but sadly, nobody reckoned with it. The day was Thursday, March 4, 2016. It was the day the thin fabric that joined Hausa and Yoruba traders in the market tore irreparably. At the end of the clash, no fewer than five persons were killed in the ethnic clash, with scores left with varying degrees of injuries, as well as properties worth millions of naira destroyed. The fracas started off as a quarrel between Northerners and some Yoruba traders before it quickly escalated, claiming lives and properties, including the destruction of stalls and cars and it lasted for hours before soldiers of the Nigerian Army and police personnel drawn from Rapid Response Squad (RRS) and Area H, restored peace to the area but even two days after, the tension is still palpable with residents living in fear of the unknown. What Actually Happened The fight probably won't have happened at all if the right thing was done and the situation managed properly. According to eyewitness account, the clash was caused by an Hausa motorcyclist who hit a female trader and attempted to leave her unattended to despite pressure by passers-by to take her to the hospital. Egged on by his fellow Northern motorcyclists, who had by then besieged the
scene, the bikeman refused to budge, adding that the union of motorcyclist should do so. According to him, since the union was always quick to collect tolls from them, they should also take care of the hospital bills
These types of clashes do occur from time to time in a multiethnic city like Lagos and the government has responded appropriately....Let me assure Lagosians that the state is home to every tribe and ethnic group and nobody should give this disturbance any ethnic colouration whatsoever. Every law abiding citizen should go about their normal businesses
from accumulated tax. Angered by the standoffish attitude of the riders, an argument ensued and later led to a fight, after the Yoruba traders left only to regroup and come back. Having regrouped, they invaded the market, chanting war songs as they started attacking the Hausa traders, who were mostly at the area where tomatoes, groundnut oil, beans and pepper were sold. For hours, the rampaging factions armed with dangerous and offensive weapons like guns, broken bottles, cutlasses wreaked havoc on the market, destroying and burning down stalls. In the process, several stalls were burnt down with fire, while three Hausa traders who could not escape to safety were killed in cold blood, as well as two others. Expectedly, the fracas spilled over to surroundings like Ketu, Owode, and caused serious traffic snarl that grounded commercial activities in the entire area and its surroundings to a halt even though the army were deployed to the scene to assist the police to restore peace and they had even mopped up over 100 potential suspects. Aside cars that were burnt, scores of houses were also razed down during the bloody clash that led to the closure of banks and other business activities. Also, motorists, traders, commuters and passersby were forced to scamper to safety when the clash became bloody and weapons like axes, knives, cutlasses and other lethal weapons were used at free will. The warring factions were positioned at Mile 12 Market and Agiliti Bridge, armed with cutlasses, guns, and other dangerous weapons, although the police succeeded in arresting some of them.
A Repeat of the Past Call it a case of dĂŠjĂ vu and you won't be far off the mark. Although the Hausa and Yoruba community had sold peaceably with each other, they were bound to have skirmishes that were quickly resolved by their leaders. That peace lasted only until 1999 when the Ketu riot broke out on November 26, 1999. The cause of the fight was control for the heart and soul of the market. Since they were both major players in the market, it pitted both tribes against each other. Soon, the Odua People's Congress jumped into the fracas and unleashed mayhem that officially put the death toll at 30, even though statements from eyewitness account said the casualty rate was higher than the official figure. In response to the death toll, the Federal Government had ordered the police to shoot at sight any OPC member. But that was not enough for some Northern elders. Their reservations on the ability of the government to protect the lives and property of their members gave birth to the establishment of Arewa People's Congress (APC) to counter OPC and the congress was commissioned in Ibadan on December 27, 1999. Since that crisis up until now, both tribes who had witnessed and seen the effect of their previous clash, had been living and selling peaceably. Now, the 17-year-old truce has been broken, and both tribes have to begin the process of rebuilding trust and confidence again. Ambode's Intervention and Curfew Rising quickly to the occasion, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode started by placing a curfew in the area, even as
• T H I S D AY TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
FEATURES he vowed to deal decisively with criminal elements in the state. While ordering a temporary closure of the Mile 12 Market, Ambode also announced the restriction of movement on four streets in the area including Oniyanri Street, Maidan Street, Agiliti 1 and Agiliti 2 Streets. He said the decision to shut the market and restrict movement on the streets was to aid security agencies restore calm in the area. He said, “In order to further restore calm, I have ordered that Mile 12 Market be temporarily closed and urged traders, community leaders and other stakeholders to eschew violence; be calm and law abiding. Furthermore, I have also ordered a temporary restriction of movement in the following streets; Oniyanri Street, Maidan Street, Agiliti 1 and Agiliti 2. "The police and security operatives have been deployed to the area to quell the dispute, assuring residents that peace will be restored in the area. I have just been informed that some miscreants and criminal elements have exploited that dispute to cause a breakdown of law and order within the area. These types of clashes do occur from time to time in a multi-ethnic city like Lagos and the government has responded appropriately. “The public is hereby assured that we will not shy away from our responsibilities to protect lives and property and we will deal decisively with those criminal elements who fan the embers of ethnic strive. I have received reports from the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies who are on ground at the scene and the situation has been substantially put under control. The governor who also stressed that Lagos is and will continue to be home for every responsible Nigerian irrespective of their tribe or ethic affiliation said, “Let me assure Lagosians that the state is home to every tribe and ethnic group and nobody should give this disturbance any ethnic colouration whatsoever. Every law abiding citizens should go about their normal businesses." Police to the Rescue Still on the case of the abducted girls of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School (BMJS), when the news filtered in, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni in the company of RRS Commander, ACP Olatunji Disu and other senior police officers, had no choice but to deploy to the volatile area to help stem the tide. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmus, a Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the story then said, "There was a distress call that some groups of people are engaging in a free for all fight at the Agiliti area of Mile 12, Lagos. The police command mobilised men from the Rapid Response Squad, Mobile Unit and Area H Command to restore normalcy. "The Commissioner of Police in charge of Lagos State, Fatai Owoseni led the operation to restore peace. Right now, the police is restoring normalcy to the area while the CP is engaging the market people and community leaders in a peace talk. Investigations are ongoing to unravel the root cause of the fracas."
It’s unfortunate and lamentable that the monster of inter ethnic violence continue to rear its head at a time when the nation is on a change train on a journey to the future. Ethnic champions with passion for violence pose a serious threat to our peace and freedom and their isolated activities have a potential for a wider conflagration
Relics of burnt cars
Relics of burnt shops
Destroyed products at the market
Owoseni who was at the scene of the incident with over 300 patrol vehicles and Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), however confirmed that only three bodies were recovered, after they had peace talks with the market leaders from both sides. According to Owoseni and Badmus, the residents have to get used to the sight of the policemen as they will be permanently stationed there until normalcy returns to the area. Owoseni also said the police has brought the situation under control, adding that the police will move in right away to enforce the curfew order by the government. He said, “The restriction is starting right away and it will be so until the situation normalises completely. I was there personally I did not witness anybody killed. I was there all through before I came here. The situation is calm; people that were agitating have been cleared off the road. The roads are clear and as I am talking to you, substantial arrest has been made and I can assure the public that those involved in that violence will be brought to justice. "There was no fire outbreak in Mile 12 Market. Also, over 50 suspects have been arrested in connection to the dispute in the area. I am telling you what I saw and what I witnessed. As at the time I left the scene to come to this place, there was no fire at Mile 12 Market. It was within Agiliti where some vehicles were being burnt by miscreants and as I told you, those miscreants have been cleared off the road." Senator Flays Ethnic Crisis Joining his voice to hundreds of Nigerians who have condemned the clash, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt, Senator Shehu Sani, who represents Kaduna Central in Senate, said it was ethnic
champions with passion for violence that are bent on threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria, adding that they must not be allowed to truncate peace. In a statement he released, the senator who said all perpetrators must be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others, also stressed that, "The wanton killings and destruction of properties is an unacceptable crime and barbarity. The architects and perpetrators of the mayhem are enemies of peace and harmonious coexistence. “It’s unfortunate and lamentable that the monster of inter ethnic violence continue to rear its head at a time when the nation is on a change train on a journey to the future. Ethnic champions with passion for violence pose a serious threat to our peace and freedom and their isolated activities have a potential for a wider conflagration. “Hausa/Yoruba centuries of peaceful coexistence, cohabitation, commercial and family ties must not be allowed to be destroyed by the violent activities of a few. Nigeria should be home for all. For it to be home for all, our ethnic differences should be a variety of beautiful flowers and not an array of swords. Ethnic chauvinists and jingoists are inimical to peace and national unity. “The spirit of nationhood is nurtured in the safety, comfort, convenience and respect for every citizen’s constitutional right to live in any part of this country, in peace. We must as patriotic citizens harness our diversity for the prosperity of our nation and our people and stem its exploitation against our march to the future." House Calls for Market Relocation Lending their voice to the crisis, the Lagos State House of Assembly while describing the incident as unfortunate and avoidable,
called for the relocation of the Mile 12 Market to a more conducive place. Also condemning the killings and the inability of soldiers deployed to the market to prevent the crisis, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa said, "Soldiers have been stationed at the market since 1999, yet they have not been able to solve the problem. There is a police station there, what did the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) do, when the incident occurred?" About Mile 12 Market As popular as Mile 12 Market is now, it was first established around 1976 during General Murtala Muhammed regime at the Iddo area of Lagos State, but due to its rapid population growth and expansion of land, caused by increase visits from buyers of goods and services; the Federal Government directed that the market be relocated from Iddo to its present location at Mile 12 under the Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State. The market has so grown to accommodate Igbos, Hausas and Yorubas and even other ethnic groups. It is known for selling assorted food produces like vegetables, oil, pepper, onions, tomatoes, pepper, condiments and even fruits. Call it the food basket and you would have hit the nail on the head as the market serves as a focal point for all kinds of foodstuffs and poultry products shipped into Lagos from other states especially from the North. Another plus is that the foodstuffs often come cheaper that what is obtainable in other markets, so it's a selling hub for wholesalers who buy in bulk and sell to retailers. So with the clash, not only have the traders lost huge sums of money due to their burnt stalls, they have also had their businesses crippled until at least total peace is returned to the market.
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
L-R: Technical Directors, Golg Profile Nigeria Limited, Mr. Chun Yang; Mr. Shanxi Saowen; Minister of state, Power, works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri and the CEO, Golg Profile Nigeria Limited, Mr. Pius Ajie, during a Courtesy visit to the Minister of State for Power Works and Housing, in Abuja....recently
L-R: Director, MTN Foundation (MTNF), Mr. Okeya Reginald; Director, Mr. Dennis Okoro; Executive Secretary, Mrs. Nonny Ugbonna; Senator representing Abia South, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and the CEO, JNC International Limited, Mrs. Clare Omatseye, during the MTN Foundation Maternal Ward Support Projects, in Lekki, Lagos……recently KOLA OLASUPO
L-R: Public Sector Leader, Deloitte Nigeria, Abosede Odeloye; Divisional Head Retail, GTBank Lagos/Guest Speaker, Adeola Ogunyemi; Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Nigeria, Fatai Folarin; Country Director, BNP Paribas, West Africa/Guest Speaker, Ronke Onadeko and Client/Industry Leader, Deloitte Nigeria, Marie-Therese Phido, during the 2016 International women day celebration by Deloitte, in Lagos….. recently ETOP UKUTT
L-R: First President, Ife Club 1, Lagos Branch, Chief Oyewole Olowomojuore; President, Mr. Moses Olaobaju; Ooni of Ife, His Royal Highness, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Hon. Ipoola Omisore and Chief Opeyemi Odunyemi, during a presentation of plaque to Ooni of Ife as the grand patron of Ife Club 1, in Ile-Ife……recently
Photo Editor Abiodun Ajala Email email@example.com
L-R: Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Wasiu Eshiloku-Sanni; a beneficiaries of Keke Marwa, Okachi Chekwube; receiving the key from Oba of Lagos, Oba Babatunde Rilwan Akiolu and the facilitator, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, during the 17th Edition of Senator Oluremi Tinubu Town Hall meeting and presentation of Empowerment tools to the people of Lagos central senatorial district, in surulere, Lagos…….recently KOLA OLASUPO
L-R: Chairman, Centre of Excellency in Malty Media/Radio, University of Lagos, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye; Head of Corporate Communications, Resort International, Omolara Wood; Author, Segun Adeleye and the Senior Special Assistant to Osun State Governor, Dr. Adeleke Ipaye, at the Inaugural of African Leadership Lecture/Launch of Segun Adeleye book, theme,” So Long Too Long Nigeria”, at University of Lagos, recently... SUNDAY ADIGUN
L-R: Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Jamiu Adewale Ashimiu; 2015 Miss Nigeria, Miss. Leesi Peter-Vigboro, and the Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Art, Mr. Folorunso Folarin-Coker, during a courtesy visit by Miss Nigeria to the Ministry, in Lagos….recently
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15 2016
BUSINESSWORLD OVERDRAFT PRIME NORMAL LENDING
R A T E S 17.9773% 20.3040%
LOAN PRIME LOAN
A S 18.0478% 20.7143%
GroupBusinessEditorChikaAmanze-Nwachuku Emailchika.firstname.lastname@example.org 08033294157
M A R C H
DEPOSIT/LENDING SAVINGS ACCOUNT STRICT CALL 7 DAYS
2.3119% 2.8642% 3.2102%
1 1 ,
60 DAYS 90 DAYS 180 DAYS
6.4400% 7.2438% 7.2417%
2 0 1 6
EXCHANGE RATE N155.70 US DOLLAR* *AS AT LAST FRIDAY
Quick Takes ExxonMobil Donates Clinic to LUTH
CELEBRATING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
L-R: Executive Director, Corporate and Transactional Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mrs. Yewande Sadiku; guest speaker, Captain Mercy Odushola Eghonghon; member representing Mushin I Constituency, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso; and Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc., Mrs. Sola David-Borha, at the 2016 Stanbic IBTC Blue Women Network event to mark the International Women’s Day, in Lagos...recently
Kachikwu: Nigeria to Become Exporter of Refined Fuel Says review of gas terms underway Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has said that Nigeria will begin to export refined petrol and other petrochemical products within the next four years if plans to ramp up the country’s domestic refining capacity work out well. Kachikwu stated this recently in Abuja when he briefed journalists on his plans for the country’s petroleum sector. He noted that if the plans to co-locate new refinery investments within the country’s existing refinery complexes in Kaduna, Warri and Port Harcourt become successful,
ENERGY and the private refinery owned by the Dangote Group comes on stream, Nigeria will produce more petrol than she needs and then export the excess. He explained that it would take at least three years to get the co-located refineries to begin production, adding that Dangote’s is expected to come on stream between 2019 and 2020. “The policy on the whole is that we must target a time frame of 12 and 18 months to get out of importation. “It is not good for the country, it is not a good im-
age, it does not create jobs and we lose tax when it comes to the government and creates a huge amount of quite frankly, emotional backlash when people have to queue looking for fuel,” said Kachikwu. He said that Nigeria, which imports most of her the petrol she needs for her domestic use was working feverishly to get joint venture partners who can come in and set up new refineries in the country. “We have advertised recently for co-located refineries and asking people to come and co-locate new refineries into our refineries’ premises so that they can share pipelines, tankages and we are working hard to see
that we can complete whatever refinery upgrade we are trying to do within the next 12 to 18 months and obviously for the co-located refineries which are the new ones, targeting to see that we are able to finish within two to three years,” he said. According to him: “If we do that, obviously we will have excess production capacity for refined products and bear in mind that obviously Dangote is also bringing in its refinery which probably is hitting up about 2019/2020. “At that point, we begin to look at export market and that really is what we should Continued on page 24
Lagos May Miss March 2016 First Oil Target from Aje Field Ejiofor Alike There are strong indications that the March 2016 target for first oil at the Aje Oil field located offshore Lagos, will not be realisable, a development that will potentially shift the date that Lagos State would join the oil-producing states, THISDAY has learnt. Crude oil production from the shallow water field was initially projected to commence at the beginning of December 2015 before it was later shifted to the end of January 2016, but this could not be achieved, hence the new target date of end of March. Located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 113 in the Dahomey Basin at the border with Benin Republic, Aje oilfield is situated
ENERGY in water depths ranging from 100 metres to 1,000 metres, and at about 24 kilometres from the coast. In geological parlance, the field contains hydrocarbon resources in sandstone reservoirs in three main levels – a Turonian gas condensate reservoir, a Cenomanian oil reservoir and an Albian gas condensate reservoir. With the field’s multiple oil, gas and gas condensate reservoirs in the Turonian, Cenomanian and Albian sandstones, geologists said the Aje field, which was discovered in 1997, has hydrocarbon resources similar to the nearby producing Jubilee field, offshore Ghana. The partners to the Aje field had in January 2014 submitted
the Field Development Plan (FDP) to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and this was approved in March 2014, primarily for the development of what geologists referred to as the Cenomanian oil reservoir. THISDAY however gathered from a source at DPR at the weekend that the March target for first oil may not be feasible, due to “the non-arrival of the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, non-completion of the anchor handling operations and noncompletion of the installation of the subsea equipment, including the manifold and flowlines.” “The construction vessel has not completed operation. Even if the FPSO arrives in Nigeria tomorrow, before it is hooked
up to the mooring system and risers, it will take weeks. And when this is completed, a test run of the production systems will still be conducted before we talk of first oil. We don’t think that achieving first oil will be feasible this month,” he added. The official, who did not want to be quoted, confirmed that the FPSO had since left Singapore heading to Nigeria, but will stop briefly in Cape Town, South Africa. Yinka Folawiyo Petroleum Company is the operator, with 25 per cent interest in the field. The other partners are Vitol, First Hydrocarbons Nigeria Limited, Energy Equity Resources Limited, Continued on page 24
Mobil Producing Nigeria, an affiliate of ExxonMobil, in Joint Venture with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, has supported the construction of a one-stop breast care clinic for women in Lagos, Nigeria, through the Run for Cure Africa (RFCA) Non-governmental Organization (NGO). The Breast Care Clinic is a ground-breaking facility which will provide reliable, specialized Breast care services for women in Lagos State and surrounding communities. For the first time, in Nigeria, women will be able to seek diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer in a single medical facility. “Mobil Producing Nigeria is pleased to be involved in the construction of the first exclusive breast cancer clinic in Lagos state.” said Doctor Bello Aliyu, Group Medical Director, Mobil Producing Nigeria. “It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this breast cancer clinic will endeavor to make the most of it. We expect that this clinic will be maintained and maximally utilized for the benefit of all.” The breast care clinic will provide a facility where women can receive both physical and psychological support when dealing with breast cancer. The clinic space was allocated by the hospital management at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), and was renovated through financial support from MPN, which also provided for the purchase of new equipment for the clinic.
ONGC Plans $5bn Investment
India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation said it will unveil an investment of around $5 billion by the end of March to develop a major gas asset in the east, with a view to tapping higher gas prices. The asset, which the state-owned company acquired in 2005 under a swap agreement with UK’s Cairn Energy Plc, can produce up to 17 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of natural gas and 75,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020. The level of output will make it ONGC’s second biggest hydrocarbon asset in India, D.K. Sarraf, chairman and managing director of the country’s biggest explorer, told reporters on Saturday. He indicated that the investment could be more than $5 billion. The announcement follows a government decision to allow producers demand a higher price for gas extracted from hydrocarbon basins located in the deepwater and ultra deepwater, where costs can be significantly higher. “With the new gas price announced by the government, our discoveries in the KG (Krishna Godavari) basin are now viable,” Sarraf said, adding that an investment plan would be announced by the end of March or by the first week of April at the latest. The new investment may boost ONGC’s natural gas output by a quarter and crude oil production by almost 15 percent over the next 4-5 years, a major leap for a company often criticized for failing to arrest a production decline from its ageing fields.
Brazil Prosecutors Seek $2bn
Brazilian prosecutors late on Saturday accused executives from construction conglomerate Odebrecht and state-run oil company Petrobras of misconduct and demanded they pay 7.3 billion reais ($2 billion) in damages. Prosecutors accused Odebrecht of paying bribes to win multibillion dollar contracts with Petrobras as part of a massive corruption scheme that implicated dozens of politicians and top executives. Odebrecht is currently under investigation for its involvement in the graft and influence-peddling scandal at Petrobras known as “Operation Car Wash.” Family member Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht, who ran the company since 2008 until recent months, was sentenced on Tuesday to about 19 years in prison in connection with the scandal.
“The policy on the whole is that we must target a time frame of 12 and 18 months to get out of importation”
Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
BUSINESSWORLD KACHIKWU: NIGERIA TO BECOME EXPORTER OF REFINED FUEL
be doing given the sort of behaviour of oil prices today.” The minister also talked about improving the incentives for private investments to come in and help upgrade the country’s gas production and supply infrastructure. He noted in this regards that works on new terms for gas businesses was already going on in the ministry. That, he stated would be discussed further with the oil majors to get their inputs. “We need to finalise gas terms. A team within the ministry is working very hard now to come up with gas terms and negotiate those gas terms with majors because if the gas terms are there, the investments will go in and once there is certainty we can grow those,” Kachikwu stated. He added: “Once we have parallel revenues that can come in from gas and some extent the petrochemicals, the reliance on crude oil revenue will ease, so gas is very critical not just in terms of our earning cycle but also in terms of our power mix, being able to supply power to the Nigerian public.” “I know that the ministry of power is targeting about 7000 megawatts for 2016 and some portion of 2017, and stranded gas is key”. LAGOS MAY MISS MARCH 2016 FIRST OIL TARGET FROM AJE FIELD
Panoro Energy ASA and Jacka Resources Limited. According to the field development plan, the development of the Aje Cenomanian oil reservoir will be implemented via two subsea wells, the new Aje-5 well and a re-completed Aje-4 well, and a leased FPSO. The initial 2 wells will produce an estimated 28.5 million barrels 41° API oil with production starting early 2016 at a rate of 1,100 barrels per day, net to Panoro Energy. Two further wells - Aje-6 and Aje-7, are expected to bring total Cenomanian oil production up to over 50 million barrels.
Group Business Editor
Chika Amanze-Nwachuku Maritime Editor
Capital Market Editor
Raheem Akingbolu (Advertising) Correspondents
Chinedu Eze (Aviation) Linda Eroke (Labour) Eromosele Abiodun (Cap Mkt) Ejiofor Alike (Energy) James Emejo (Nation’s Capital) Obinna Chima (Money Mkt) Reporters
Nume Ekeghe (Money Market) Nosa Alekhuogie (AgriBusiness)
NERC Receives over 47,127 Complaints against Discos Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has described as unacceptable, the over 47, 127 service complaints lodged by electricity customers against the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the last quarter of 2015. NERC said that the rather high figure was an indication of high customer dissatisfaction in the country’s electricity supply industry. It thus directed the Discos to improve on their service obligations to consumers in their network. Declaring open a training session on customer complaints handling organised for staff of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), in Keffi, Nassarawa State, the acting head of NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah, said that the Discos would need to cut down on such high incidence of customer complaints ahead of the next audit period. He said: “It is critical that electricity distribution companies should be alive to their duties of prompt resolution of complaints to ensure improved customer service satisfaction. “This will not only win the confidence of the customers for their service provider but also allow customers to benefit from gain of the privatisation of the power sector.”
Akah, who was represented by his Technical Assistant, Jonathan Okoronkwo, said that NERC in line with its enabling Act has put in place necessary guidelines and regulations that would assist the service providers to render efficient and effective electricity service
The long queues of motorists waiting to buy petrol, which resurfaced in filling stations few weeks ago, persisted during the weekend as independent marketers continued to violate the priced regulation by selling at exorbitant ex-depot prices, as against the N76.50 approved by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), THISDAY’s market survey has revealed. The current scarcity had started after the private oil marketing companies exhausted the little allocations approved for them by the PPPRA to import Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) for the first quarter of 2016. PPPRA had approved the importation of 1.5 million tonnes of petrol for the private marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the first quarter fuel import allocations. While the agency slashed the allocations for private depot owners and marketers by over 70 per cent down to 22 per cent, it increased NNPC’s allocation to 78 per cent. The development led to a tight supply situation as the NNPC, which claims to have the capacity to wet the country with products, is faced with logistics challenges as most of its stock of petrol is in vessels stuck at the high seas. THISDAY gathered that the private marketers, who now
Similarly, the Assistant General Manager, Customer Complaint in the NERC, Mr. Shittu Shaibu who was among the resource persons at the training, took the participants through the relevant regulations of the Commission as they relate to customer complaints
handling. Shaibu also stated that NERC would always hold the Discos responsible in adherence to the connection, disconnection and reconnection guidelines which it had issued to them for use in dealing with their customers.
R-L: Cross River State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr.; Managing Director, Infraxtruct Services Ltd, Dr. Paul Ibru; Cross River State’s Director General, Bureau for Public Private Partnership, Mr. Udiba Effiong Udiba, (standing); and the International Business Manager, China Railway Engineering Group Ltd, Mr. Chao Yang, during an interactive business meeting in Calabar…recently
Fuel Scarcity Persists as Marketers Violate Ex-Depot Price Regulation Ejiofor Alike
to their customers. He commended the management of AEDC for organising the training for its staff even as he encouraged participants to see the training as opportunity to be better equipped in the discharge of their responsibilities.
rely on NNPC, have resorted to selling at high ex-depot to third parties, after getting allocation at the normal ex-depot price of N76.50 at the NNPC-designated private depots. For instance, a market survey conducted by THISDAY at the weekend showed that while the independent marketers were selling NNPC products inside their depots at the ex-depot price of N76.50, the marketers that got the allocation were selling outside the depots to third parties at very exorbitant prices. The investigation revealed that at the gate of the MRS depot, petrol was sold between ex-depot price of N110 and N109.50 per litre; outside Folawiyo gate, PMS was sourced at between N106 and N107 per litre, while at Capital Oil, it was sold at between N107 and N108 per litre outside the gate. At Bovas, the price outside the gate was between N105 and N108 per litre, depending on the marketer’s bargaining power. However, the situation was different at the depots belonging to the major marketers as there were no third parties waiting to source for products outside the depots. THISDAY’s investigation further revealed that the situation stemmed from the fact that the major marketers have refused to sell products to other marketers, except their own filling stations.
NEMSA Bans Discos, Others from Using Substandard Poles, Kits Chineme Okafor in Abuja The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has banned the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) and other electrical contractors from using substandard materials and equipment in their operations within the country’s electricity industry. NEMSA also stopped the Discos and contractors from undertaking substandard and bad construction practices in the power industry and other allied industries and workplaces in the country. It said that the decision was taken to guarantee the delivery of safe, stable and reliable power supply to Nigerians, adding that instance of electricity related accidents are beginning to increase in the country. According to a memo which it sent to all the 11 Discos informing them of the ban, NEMSA’s Managing Director, Peter Ewesor said the ban was initiated because of identified hindrances to safe, stable and reliable power supply to Nigerians often caused by the use of substandard materials and equipment in the power systems and networks. Ewesor who is also the chief electrical inspector of the federation stated that the agency took the decision on the strength of several reports submitted to its field officers across the country after the monitoring and evaluation of the Discos networks and power systems
across the nation. He said: “During the exercise, the indiscriminate use of substandard materials and equipment and bad construction practices in NESI by the electrical contractors and Discos alike were discovered.” He thus warned the Discos and affected the electrical installation contractors against further use of the banned materials, as well as their substandard practices in the sector. According to Ewesor, some of the substandard materials are untreated wooden poles often used by Discos and contractors, untreated wooden cross-arms, un-galvanised channel and angle irons, as well as un-galvanised and improper tie straps. Also on the list of banned substandard electrical items is un-galvanized bolts and nuts. Ewesor noted that the Discos and contractors have mostly continued to use these substandard items, thus, disregarding extant safety guidelines. He explained that the frequent failures of these substandard equipment and materials usually result in sudden collapse of distribution networks and systems which have often put lives and properties at risk. Others according to him, include the Discos use of split conductors and cables resulting in sudden snapping of conductors and network collapses, use of undersize conductors and cables limiting electricity current carrying capacity and
the use of fake or non-copper (aluminium) cables for indoor wiring and installations. He also identified direct connection of up-riser copper conductor to overhead aluminium conductor instead of using bimetal line taps and use of extended cross-arms to raise or increase the height of electric concrete poles as some of the bad construction practices which have been condoned for long in the industry. Similarly, the use of conductors with joints over expressway roads and river crossings has been prohibited by NEMSA, as well as feeder pillars not bolted down on plinths, exposed feeder pillars and use of pieces of conductors as fuses by the Discos. NEMSA in the same vein signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Fire Service, to improve safety in use of electrical installations across the country. Within the content of the memo, both federal agencies would be able to team up against such practices of petrol service stations and other high-risk operations, operating with requisite fire and electrical installation certificates from both of them. Accordingly, both NEMSA and the Fire Service would have to inspect, certify and approve the electrical and safety installation plans of affected entities and industries, that way, instances of fire outbreaks and electrical accidents are better managed to minimise possible casualty levels.
NBA LEGAL SERVICES MISSION TO THE NETHERLANDS: OPENING NEW VISTAS FOR NIGERIAN LAWYERS
L-R: Mr. J.S. Pen, Mr. Reinier Russell, NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN and Mr. P.N. Van Regteren Altena at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands
Identification of an Accused must be Guarded Against Cases of Mistaken Identity PAGE 3
The Constitutionality of the Bill for Religious Preaching in Kaduna State PAGE 4
Lagos CJ Urges Closer Bar, Bench Ties PAGE 5
Odinkalu Urges Nigerians to Support Buhari’s Fight against Corruption PAGE 5
‘I cannot assure you that you will not be tempted with low-hanging fruits by unscrupulous persons to mortgage your integrity and the sanctity of this institution. Let me warn you however, that if you succumb and compromise, you can only have yourselves to blame.’ – Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello
A ‘ nti-corruption is yielding results as huge sums of money are being returned; the TSA has led to massive savings of over N3tn, but the question remains how do we use these milestones to stimulate the economy?’ – Former NBA President, Olisa Agbakoba
‘Being a Lawyer Comes with Many Benefits but that should not be the Primary Focus’ PAGE 6
Ocholi! Ocholi! Our James Ocholi SAN is Gone! PAGE 7
The Card Reader, Voter Register and the Supreme Court PAGE 10
COLUMNISTS MICHAEL JONATHAN NUMA The word“Canvass”in legal parlance means to discuss thoroughly, to advance an issue, to examine a question in details. This column will attempt to critically analyse trending legal issues across several jurisdictions bordering on topics making rounds at the material time, ranging from judicial decisions to policy statements guided political simulations and socio-economic matters to statutory interpretations by commentators within and outside the legal profession, proffering constructive criticism based on different well thought out perspectives. The writer, Michael obtained his LL.B (Hons) and LL.M (Hons) from Delta State University and Queen Mary University of London respectively. He is a member of the School of International Arbitration London, Member of the Chartered institute of Arbitration UK, Member of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys U.K. He is the Managing Associate of Messrs Karina Tunyan (San) & Co in F.C.T, Abuja. He is an Intellectual Property and a Private international law practitioner.
EMEKA AZINGE Emeka Azinge a.k.a Mr .Emedith holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Cardiff University, United Kingdom and a Masters of Law degree from the prestigious King’s College London, United Kingdom and is currently pursuing the prestigious Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) with the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. Emeka has been called to Nigerian Bar, and is also a certified soft-skills and entrepreneurship facilitator, coach and mentor, who equally coaches lawyers on legal soft-skills. He is a member of the International Association of facilitators (I.A.F) and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, U.K. Nigeria Branch. He is the Managing Partner, EMEDITH SOLICITORS, a Corporate and Commercial Law practice in Lagos, Nigeria, as well the Head-Consultant, EMEDITH CONSULTING- a personal development and soft-skills coaching firm. ‘Legal Catalyst’ is aimed at encouraging, motivating and inspiring legal practitioners around the nation and beyond grow, thrive within whatever environment they find themselves as well as maximize their potential essentially by gaining self-awareness about their skills, interests, and values, and amplifying these via a plan of action for achieving goals.
MAY AGBAMUCHE-MBU EDITOR JUDE IGBANOI DEPUTY EDITOR TOBI SONIYI ASSISTANT EDITOR AKINWALE AKINTUDE REPORTER TUNDE BUSARI GROUP HEAD OCHI OGBUAKU II ART DIRECTOR
Identification of an Accused must be Guarded Against Cases of Mistaken Identity
t is an established principle of law that, in criminal trials, where the case of the prosecution is hinged solely on the evidence of identification, the Court ought to caution itself and consider all vital and material evidence, in order to ensure that the accused person is not wrongly convicted. In the instant appeal, the Supreme Court applied this principle of law and allowed the appeal on the ground that the trial court erred in law, when it failed to consider all material and vital evidence.
Facts On the 18th day of February, 2003, at Gumi Town within the Gusau Judicial Division, the Appellant (‘2nd accused at trial court) and three other accused persons were alleged to have robbed Alh Buahri Abdullahi (“PW2 or the “Complainant”) and his two wives in his residence, while armed with two guns and a machete. After the robbery, the Appellant and the other accused persons escaped with their loot. Meanwhile, PW2 did not report the incident to the police, until about a month later, when he identified the 1st accused person in Zuru Town and caused him to be arrested by the police. Following the investigation of the 1st accused person, the Appellant and the 3rd accused person were also arrested by the police. All three accused persons were subsequently arraigned before the High Court of Zamfara State (the “trial court”) on a two-count charge, to wit, conspiracy to rob under Section 97 of the Penal Code Law and armed robbery under section 1(2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap 398 LFN 1990. The 4th accused person, although named in the charge, was not produced to stand trial. At the trial, the Respondent called three witnesses and tendered six exhibits. It was during the testimony of PW2, that he identified the Appellant for the first time as one of the robbers that robbed him in his residence. On their part, the 1st accused person and the Appellant both testified in their defence, whilst the 3rd accused person did not enter any defence. The trial court, placing reliance on the evidence of PW2, held that the Respondent had proved their case beyond reasonable doubt and convicted the Appellant and 1st accused for the offences of conspiracy and armed robbery. The 3rd accused was acquitted and discharged. Dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial court, the Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal, Sokoto (the “lower court”), which affirmed the conviction by the trial court and dismissed the appeal. The Appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court. Judgment and Court’s Rationale The Appellant, in his Brief of Argument, raised two issues for determination, to wit, (i) whether it can be safely said that the identity of the Appellant, as one of the robbers, was established beyond reasonable doubt by the evidence of PW2, as affirmed by the court; (ii) whether the lower court was wrong to have affirmed the decision of the trial court that the Appellant did not furnish sufficient particulars of his alibi for the police to investigate and as such, his defence of alibi failed. On the 1st issue, the Appellant argued that the lower court was wrong when it convicted and sentenced the Appellant based on the following points, that the identity of the Appellant, as one of the robbers, was not sufficiently established beyond reasonable doubt by the Respondent, there was no evidence of the Appellant’s identification prior to his arraignment and failure of the Respondent to conduct an investigation parade. The Appellant further argued that the failure of the Respondent to call the wives of PW2 who were at the scene of the crime and unnamed informants, to testify during the trial raised doubts as to the evidence of the identification of the Appellant and thereby, failed to establish the Respondent’s case beyond reasonable doubt. Furthermore, the Appellant argued that the failure of the lower court to consider the Appellant’s defence of alibi occasioned a miscarriage of justice and the criteria of armed robbery were not established by the Respondent. Based on this, the Appellant argued that the offence of criminal conspiracy also cannot be inferred against the Appellant, whose conviction and sentence should be quashed. In response, the Respondent argued that the lower court was correct in affirming the conviction and sentence of the Appellant based on the evidence of PW2 and that the identity of the Appellant was established beyond reasonable doubt. Thereafter, he argued that there was no miscarriage of justice as the law is clear that identification parade is not the only method of establishing the identifation of an accused and that an identification parade is not necessary where the witness had ample opportunity to identify the accused, he relied on EYISI v THE STATE (2001) 8 WRN 1 at 9 – 10 SC. Furthermore, he argued that the Respondent had furnished sufficeint evidence to fix the Appellant at the scene of the crime. The Court, in determining the first issue, stated the criteria that must be proved by the Respondent, to succeed in a charge of armed robbery; (i) that there was robbery or a series of robberies , (ii) that each robbery was an armed robbery (iii) that the Appellant was one of those who took part in the armed robbery and placed reliance on section 135 (1) of the Evidence Act 2011 and section
C.B Ogunbiyi, JSC
In The Supreme Court of Nigeria Holden at Abuja On Friday the 11th Day of December, 2015 Before Their Lordships Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad Muhammad Saifullah Muntaka-Coomassie Olabode Rhodes-Vivour Clara Bata Ogunbiyi Chima Centus Nweze Justices, Supreme Court SC.56/2013 Between Abubakar Sale .... Appellants And The State.......... Respondents Judgment Delivered By Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, JSC
138(1) of the Evidence Act 2004. The court then reiterated the established principle that, where the criteria of armed robbery have been established, then criminal conspiracy can properly be inferred and relied on BOZIN v THE STATE (1985) 2 NWLR (Pt. 8) Page 465 AT 469 and ARUNA v THE STATE (1990) 6 NWLR ( pT. 155) 125. The Court, subsequently, proceeded to consider whether or not the identification of the Appellant had been properly established. In carrying out this exercise, the court reviewed the evidence that had been presented by the Respondent and commented on the failure of the Respondent to ensure that ‘the wives’ of PW2, were produced to testify and how intriguing it was that PW2 did not deem it necessary to report the incident to the police, until one month after its occurrence. The court further stated that PW2 did not identify the Appellant to the police before the trial but only when the Appellant was summoned to the witness box. The court, thereafter, likened this case to the case of BOZIN v THE STATE (supra), where the suspect was produced for the first time at the trial for the witness to identify and commented on how this practice has a negative effect on the identification of an accused person. Thereafter, the court critically analysed the events that happened on the night of the incident, emphasising the fact that the event had happened within a short time in two separate rooms, in which one had light and the other did not. The Court further stated that PW2 was hit on the head with a machete and yet still claimed to clearly remember the events of the night. Having regard to the foregoing, the Court then inferred that PW2 must have been in a state of anxiety and fear during the course of the events and as a result, this could affect his version of what he saw and his memory of the events. The court then proceeded to addresss the absence or failure to conduct an identifation parade by the Respondent stating the established principle that an identification parade is a sine qua in the following instances; a) Where the victim did not know the accused before and his first acquaintance with him was during the commission of the offence, b) Where the victim or offender was confronted by the accused for a very short time, c) Where the victim due to time and circumstances might not have had
the full opportunity of observing the features of the accused. The court placed reliance on OCHIBA v STATE (2011) 17 NWLR 663 at 694 -695 In furtherance to the above, the Court held that the evidence of PW2 will not suffice in proving that the Appellant was indeed the one who committed the crime. Additionally, the Court restated the guidelines that must be followed in the identification of criminals, in circumstances in which eye witnesses claimed to have seen a suspect or defendant, to wit, (i) the length of time for which the witness claimed to have seen the suspect or the defendant; (ii) the lighting conditions at the time; (iii) the opportunity for close observation; and (iv) any previous contact between the parties. The Court relied on the case of NDIDI v STATE (2007) 13 NWLR (Pt. 1052) 633 at 651. Premised on the above, the Court held that, as a result of the events that transpired on the night of the crime, it would not have been possible for PW2 to accurately identify the Appellant and the Respondent ought not to have relied solely on the evidence of PW2, in identifying the Appellant. The Court, thereafter, held that the trial court should have exercised special regard for caution to avoid possible mistaken identity. The Court relied on NDIDI v STATE (Supra) and HAUSA v STATE ( 1994) 6 NWLR (Pt. 350) 281 at 322. In concluding the first issue, the court restated the established principle that the Respondent has a duty to call all vital and material witnesses to a crime and a witness becomes material if there was a vital point or aspect of an offence, which can be proved by the evidence of that witness. The court, thereafter, held that the failure of the Respondent to call all vital and material witnesses in this case, these being PW2’s wives and the unnamed informants, the Respondent’s case cannot be proved beyond reasonable doubt. The Court placed reliance on MILLAR v STATE (2005) 8 NWLR (Pt. 927) 236 at 252 and Opayemi v State (1985) 2 NWLR (Pt. 5) 101. The court also specifically referred to Section 167(d) of the Evidence Act Cap E14. 2011, which states that evidence which could be but is not produced, is presumed to be unfavourable to the person who withholds this and placed reliance on OGIZI v STATE (1998) 4 SCNJ 226 at 253 and OKPARJI & ANOR v OHANU & ORS (1999) 6 SCNJ 27 at 42 – 48. The Court further held that, the failure of the lower courts to consider the absence of evidence by the Respondent, was damaging to the Respondent’s case and had led to a miscarriage of justice. Finally, the Court held that the lower court wrongly affirmed the finding of the trial court, as the latter did not weigh the identification of the Appellant in accordance with the principles prescribed by this court, to lessen the likelihood of mistaken identity. The court resolved issue one in favour of the Appellant. In deciding the second issue, the court referred to arguments made by both parties. The Appellant argued to the effect that the police seemed disinterested in investigating the defence of alibi raised by the Appellant and based on this fact, the Respondent’s case was in doubt and therefore, not reliable. The Respondent, in his response, argued that the police did not investigate the Appellant’s defence of alibi because the Appellant did not provide sufficient information to enable the police to investigate. The Respondent further argued that, where there is unequivocal and consistent evidence on the part of the witness, an identification parade was not necessary. In addressing this issue, firstly, the Court defined the defence of alibi as a defence whereby an accused person alleges that, at the time of committing the offence for which he was charged, he was occupied elsewhere. The Court, thereafter, stated that for the defence of alibi to succeed, it must be raised at the earliest opportunity and the prosecution’s duty to rebut same. Based on the aforementioned, the Court held that the Appellant had fulfilled this condition, however, the police had shown no indication that they had further investigated the facts stated by the Appellant, to enable them reconsider the defence. Secondly, the Court referred to the record where it was stated that the Appellant had made his statement in Hausa because he had limited education and understanding. The Court, thereafter, held that the Appellant could not have known of the requirements of the law and it was the duty of the police to explain the implications to him. Thereafter, the Court agreed with the submissions of the Appellant, that the failure of the police to investigate the defence of alibi cast veritable doubt on the reliability of the case for the Respondent and thus, resolved the second issue in favour of the Appellant. The Court finally allowed the Appeal and set aside the two concurrent judgments of the two lower courts. The Appellant was acquitted and discharged. Representation For the Appellant: Mr. Ekemejero Ohwovoriole Esq., M. Ogbeifun (Mrs), E. Mudiaga – Odje and Mrs C.O.Ekwu For the Respondent: Dr J.Y.Musa , Aliyu Abdullahi Gusau (DPP MOJ Zamfara), Sirajo Abdullahi (DDCL MOJ), E.S. Oluwabiyi, M.O. Onyilokwu and Eko Ejembi Eko. Reported by Ibukunoluwa Omotorera Owa, Aluko & Oyebode Lagos.
The Constitutionality of the Bill for Religious Preaching in Kaduna State James Kanyip
he Kaduna State Governor has presented an Executive Bill entitled: “A Bill for a Law to Substitute the Kaduna State Religious Preaching Law, 1984” to the Kaduna State House of Assembly for its consideration and possible passage into Law. Presently, the Bill is at its Committee Stage awaiting public hearing and final presentation for its Third Reading. If the Bill is ultimately passed into Law, it shall be cited as: “Kaduna State Religious Preaching Law No… of 2016”. The Bill is a direct replication of the 1984 Law in form and substance. The minor differences shall be pointed out in course herein. The 1984 Law has been in existence all this while unnoticed. We wonder why this Bill has generated a lot of discussion at this point in time. If the Governor had put the necessary machineries in place for the implementation of the 1984 Law, we are sure it would have attracted less anxiety. Or, the Governor should have sent an Amendment Bill to the House of Assembly in which case the people would appreciate the fact that the Law on Religious Preaching has been in existence since 1984 and what he is seeking to do is just to amend it to bring it in tandem with current realities. To me, the 1984 Law had adequately covered the field. The Bill has 15 sections. Section 1 is the short title of the Bill. Section 2 contains the proposed date of its commencement. Section 3 is the interpretation section. Section 4 establishes the Committees of the two (2) major religious bodies in the State; to wit: the Committee of Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI) for the Muslims and the Committee of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the Christians and their respective composition. A third body which was not established under the 1984 Law has been added by the Bill, namely: the Inter-faith Ministerial Committee which shall exercise supervisory control over the JNI and CAN Committees. Section 5 empowers the JNI and CAN Committees to issue licenses approved by the Ministerial Committee which shall not exceed one (1) year to preachers; and a sponsored external preacher shall be issued a permit for the period of the event that brought him to the State. Worthy of note is the distinction between the issuance of a license and a permit. The 1984 Law had no such provision for a permit to be issued to a sponsored external preacher. Section 6 establishes Committees and their composition in each Local Government Area of the State to screen applications for licenses within their localities and make necessary recommendations to the Ministerial Committee for approval. Section 7 states the functions of the Committees of the Local Governments which include: to issue compliance with the terms of the licenses so issued; and to register accredited preachers of all religious groups and organisations operating in the Local Government Area. Section 8 empowers the Kaduna State Chapter of the JNI and CAN to keep records of all the Churches and Mosques including the data of all its preachers in the State. The 1984 Law had no such provisions. Section 9 restricts the playing of all cassettes, CDs, flash drives or any other communication gadgets containing religious recordings from accredited preachers in the following places only: inside one’s house; inside entrance porch (zaure, in Hausa language); inside the Church; inside the Mosque; and any other designated place of worship. The 1984 Law only restricted it to one’s house and porch only. Section 10 provides that any cassette containing religious recording in which abusive language is used against any person or religious organisation or religious leaders (past or present) is thereby prohibited. Section 11 provides for the payment of the allowances of the members of the Ministerial Committee.
Section 12 makes it an offence for any person who preaches without a license; plays a religious cassette or uses a loud speaker for religious purposes after 8pm in public places; uses a loud speaker for religious purposes other than inside a Mosque or Church and the surrounding area outside the stipulated prayer times; abuses religious books; incites disturbances of the public peace; abuses or uses any derogatory term in describing any religion; or carries weapons of any description whether concealed or not in places of worship or to any other place with a view to causing religious disturbance. We are of the view that sections 10 and 12 of the Bill should have extended “cassette” to include CDs, flash drives, and all other gadgets of communication as is provided under section 9. We are also of firm view that the blockage of public roads by Mosques and Churches and other acts constituting annoyance, nuisance and obstructions to the general public should be made criminal by the Bill as well. Section 13 provides that a person found guilty of any of the offences under the Bill shall be liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two (2) years or a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (200,000.00) or both; and may, in addition, have his license revoked if he a licensed preacher. The 1984 Law imposed a maximum prison term of five (5) years without an option of fine; and also the revocation of license. Section 14 vests the Sharia Courts and the Customary Courts with jurisdiction to try offenders or violators summarily. The 1984 Law had no such provisions. Section 15 seeks to repeal the 1984 Law. As we said earlier, this Bill has generated a lot of anxiety. This is not unexpected. Religion, the Marxists say, is the opium of the people. The spirituality attached to religion, especially in Nigeria, has taken both emotional and sentimental dimensions. It is deeply rooted in our way of life so much so that some kill in the name of religion, while some give their all in all for its sake. Some treat their religious beliefs with extremist and fundamentalist passion. The importance attached to religious freedom has made it find acceptance in our Constitution and, indeed, in the Constitutions of developed democracies in the world. Freedom of religion and religious belief has been abused by many. Proliferation in religious activities is uncontrollably worrisome. Public order and peace are seriously threatened by uncontrolled religious activities. Many precious lives and property worth billions of Naira have been lost as well. Kaduna State had, in the past, witnessed carnage as a result of religious intolerance. Presently, peace is fragile and relative in the State. Aside from the foregoing, religion is also being employed by some dubious and unscrupulous persons or preachers to perpetrate fraud on innocent and unsuspecting people. The need to balance between religious freedom and public order/ peace becomes very necessary in a religiously plural and volatile State like Kaduna. But, then, if this Bill is ultimately passed into Law in Kaduna State, will it be constitutional? My learned friends like Festus Okoye, Garba Shehu (the immediate past Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General of Kaduna State), Maxwell Kyon, and a host of others think that the Bill is unconstitutional. For instance, Festus Okoye, in his write-up entitled: “El Rufai and Religious Preaching Law” published in the New Telegraph of Wednesday, 2nd of March, 2016 is of the view thus: “Unfortunately, the Bill for a law to substitute the Kaduna State religious preaching law, 1984 is a direct affront on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and my candid advice is that the Bill should be withdrawn, properly aligned and cleaned up before it is presented to the State Assembly for passage into Law. “This is because almost all the provisions of the Bill are a direct affront to constitutional order and this may affect the positives of the Bill including the mischievous positioning and use and misuse of loud speakers in Mosques and Churches to the annoyance of others.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai
“I presuppose that the drafters of the Bill and our colleagues in the Ministry of Justice in Kaduna State are aware that the Constitution of the Federal of Nigeria is the Supreme Law of the land. They are aware that where the Constitution has covered the field in relation to an issue no State Assembly is permitted to legislate on and or refine or contradict its provisions. “They know that section 38 of the constitution guarantees that every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observation. “This particular Bill fails all constitutional tests and cannot for all practical purposes be said to be a Bill which when passed into law will be justifiable in a democratic society in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons…” With the greatest respect to my learned friends, we hold a contrary view. To us, the Bill, if passed into Law, will be constitutional. The freedom to religion is not just a human right, but it is a fundamental human right entrenched as such by section 38 of Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as follows: “38. (1) Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance. “(2) No person attending any place of education shall be required to receive religious instruction or to take part in or attend any religious ceremony or observance if such instruction ceremony or observance relates to a religion other than his own, or religion not approved by his parent or guardian. “(3) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any place of education maintained wholly by that community or denomination. “(4) Nothing in this section shall entitle any person to form, take part in the activity or be a member of a secret society.” Although the above provisions are fundamental human rights, they are not, as such, sacrosanct and absolute as we pointed out earlier. Indeed, no human right or fundamental human right everywhere in the world has no limitations. Also, one right cannot be used to suppress another right. This is why the adage goes that one’s right ends where another’s begin. Even the right to life which is the most important and cherished human and fundamental right is not absolute. It is our view that if people were to practice their religions truthfully, there would not be need for the entrenchment of human rights in
man-made laws like the Constitution. After all, human rights are supposed to be God-given rights that are inherent to the individuals as human beings. But because the practice of religion has been selfishly abused, misused and turned into a weapon of destruction instead of spiritual construction by some preachers and followers, the need to control it becomes necessary. It is because of the foregoing reasons and many more others that our Constitution provides for an avenue of religious control under section 45 (1) (a) as follows: “45. (1) Nothing in sections 37, 38, 39, 40 and 41 of this Constitution shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society“(a) in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or (b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom or other persons.” The Religious Preaching Bill of Kaduna State will find constitutional anchorage under the above provisions if ultimately passed into law. The Bill is not seeking to abolish, stop or derogate on the freedom of religion and religious beliefs. No, that is not its purpose. It merely seeks to control religious preaching and activities in the State for purposes of public order, public safety, and to protect the rights and freedom of other persons. Therefore, it is our view that it has passed the test of constitutionality under the above provisions. To this extent, we are in agreement with the Governor of Kaduna State for sponsoring the Bill, and the House of Assembly if it ultimately passes it into Law. Other more developed and similar democracies have equally placed restrictions on religious freedom and preaching. We shall give few instances. The First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees religious freedom. However, to safeguard the public from fraud in the guise of religion, laws are made in the component States that require the preachers to present proof of ordination, and to obtain preaching license. Article 52 of the USSR Constitution guarantees religious freedom. However, the 1997 Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Associations has placed some limitations on religious freedom and preaching in the USSR. The Constitution of China provides for freedom of religious belief. However, the Government restricts religious practice to government-sanctioned organisations and registered places of worship; and also controls the growth and scope of the activities of religious groups. Singapore has religious freedom entrenched in its Constitution, but went ahead to promulgate a law restricting the right in some circumstances. For instance, under the law the Government had deregistered the country’s congregation of Jehovah’s Witness in 1972 and Unification Church in 1982. India guarantees freedom to religious belief under Article 25 of its Constitution, but subjects the right to “public order, morality, and health”; and also subject to other provisions under the Article. Egypt has the Law No. 51 of 2014 which regulates sermons and religious lessons in Mosques; and imposes punitive sanctions for offenders. However, whether or not some sections in the Bill will pass the test of constitutionality will depend on other constitutional variables. A major area of concern in the Bill which has been pointed out by Okoye under section 4 thereof is the recognition of Islam and Christianity as the two (2) major religions in the State to the exclusion of other religious bodies and associations; and this is fortified by the establishment of the JNI and CAN Committees. Even with that, not all sects or denominations in Islam and Christianity are members of JNI and CAN. In the words of Okoye: “It is patently illegal and unconstitutional to elevate the Jama’atu Nasri Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to a preeminent position over and above every other religious group or Association. “The Jama’atu Nasri Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) enjoy the same incidents of registration and incorporation
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L-R: President, Lagos Court of Arbitration and Guest Speaker, Mr. Yemi Candide-Johnson SAN, Chairman, Chapel Hill & Denham, Mr. Olawale Edun and Hon. Justice Samuel Candide-Johnson at the first LCA ADR Speaker Series, tagged ‘Discussion with the President’ in Lagos
L-R: Mr. Jerome Finnis, Mrs. Rashida Abdulai, Anina Boshoff and Mr. Andrew Skipper at the Hogan Lovells Roundtable at Eko Hotel and Suites last Wednesday in Lagos
HURIWA Asks Buhari to Declare an Emergency on Human Rights Violations Tobi Soniyi in Abuja The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called for the declaration of a state of emergency on human rights. HURIWA's Executive Director, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko in a statement appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate measures to restore normalcy in many parts of Nigeria where violent armed hoodlums of different dimensions are unleashing blood curdling violence on innocent Nigerians. According to him, failure of government at all levels
to provide good security to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians is an impeachable offence because the deliberate failure to carry out the primary mandate which the Nigerian Constitution unambiguously spells out amounts to allowing impunity. He cited section 14 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution which states: “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice.” He commended Buhari for ordering an investigation into the killings in Benue state but said that such investigations should be extended to other
parts of the country where communal clashes have taken place. He also called on the president to make it mandatory for the leadership of the police and the State Security Services to prevent such violence. He stated that : "We note that President Buhari has only recently directed the relevant security agencies to investigate just one out of many cases of unprovoked attacks and mass killings of Nigerians by armed Fulani herdsmen. "What the Nigerian government should do is to dismiss both the IGP and DG of DSS for not nipping in the bud these
rampant killings. Nigeria Immigration Service and Customs must be reorganised and our borders fenced and secured to stop the inflow of arms. "We believe that Section 33(1) is very clear on why the Nigerian government must stop further bloodshed by bringing perpetrators of violence to effective prosecution and severe punishment. It states thus; “Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.”
Lagos CJ Urges Closer Bar, Bench Ties ...Unveils Lawyers’ Changing Room
Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade has urged lawyers to maintain the highest level of diligence and integrity in the discharge of their professional duties. Justice Atilade made the call while unveiling the Lawyers’ Changing Room renovated for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos Branch by the Lagos State Judiciary. She noted that the Bar and Bench must work together to deliver justice to the populace, adding that a symbiotic relationship between the two arms of the justice sector is imperative if the wheels of justice are to run smoothly. She stated that “It gives me
great pleasure to have done this (renovation) to further cement the cordial relationship between the Bar and the Bench in Lagos State.” Justice Atilade then took a guided tour of the facility and also commissioned the state-of-the-art coffee-making machine donated to the branch by Patoreal Limited. Speaking earlier, NBA Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Martin Ogunleye commended Justice Atilade for fostering excellent relations with the Bar. He noted that the Lagos Chief Judge had earlier renovated the foyer used by the branch for its monthly meetings and other activities into a world-class facility and has now topped it with a
The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu emphasised that President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated a strong political will to fight corruption since he assumed office. Odinkalu however, advised the President against the violation of human rights in the fight against corruption.
He noted that the fight against corruption should not be for the President alone and urged Nigerians to join in the fight against the menace. Odinkalu at a one-day seminar organised by the Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja branch, with the theme “War against corruption and observance of constitutional rights: Striking a balance”, stated that “One thing that appears to have changed
THE DEPARTMENT OF JURISPRUDENCE AND INTERNATIONAL LAW HOSTS ROUNDTABLE ON WINNING THE WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION The Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Lagos is pleased to present a Round-Table on: Winning the War against Corruption. The high profile roundtable is to be chaired by Professor Itse Sagay SAN, Head Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption. The keynote address is by Mr. Femi Falana SAN. Participants are expected from academia, the Bar, judiciary, media, diplomatic community etc. Also part of the roundtable is the introduction of a newly published book: M.A. Ayoade and S.A.Igbinedion eds.“Legal Perspectives to Corruption, Money Laundering and Assets Recovery in Nigeria”.The book constitutes a major intervention in the anti-corruption debate and features experts from and outside Nigeria. Date: 31 March, 2016 Time: 11:00am Venue: Ayo Ajomo Hall Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.
Hogan Lovells: Building Strategic Partnerships with Nigerian Law Firms Jude Igbanoi
befitting Changing Room for Lagos lawyers. “My Lord is a shining example of how the Bench can support the Bar to drive reform and engender progress,” Mr. Ogunleye said. “We continue to receive tremendous support from Your Lordship on all fronts for which we are very grateful.” In his vote of thanks, the branch secretary, Mr. Stephen Obajaja stated that the new Changing Room would affect the lifestyle of lawyers, adding that it would positively reflect on lawyers’ work-life balance. He thanked Justice Atilade and her management team “for bequeathing this great edifice to Lagos lawyers and posterity.”
Among those who accompanied Justice Atilade to the unveiling ceremony wereJustice O. O. Oke, Justice Y. Idowu; Chief Registrar, Mr. Emmanuel Ogundare; Deputy Chief Registrar (Legal), Mrs. Femi Segun, and Deputy Chief Registrar (Administration), Mrs. S. Solebo. The event was also attended by a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Eti-Osa II Constituency, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu; the Executive Committee members of the branch and many Bar leaders including the immediate past branch chairman, Mr. Alex Muoka; Mr. Mbanugo Udenze, and Mrs. Tolani Edu-Adeola.
Odinkalu Urges Nigerians to Support Buhari’s Fight against Corruption Akinwale Akintunde
since the inauguration of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2015 is the appearance of a firm will to address the problem of impunity for widespread corruption in Nigeria. So far, some leading members of the legal profession appear also to have been at the receiving end of some of the more high profile “invites” by anti-corruption agencies. This has been disquieting to many at the Bar.
“The fight against corruption should not be left to the President alone, all Nigerians should support him", he further stated. Odinkalu also decried how some lawyers are being prosecuted for allegedly participating in corruption, adding that “the Nigerian legal profession has for long hardly done enough to address the perception that it is enhancing corruption and
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One of the fastest growing global law firms, Hogan Lovells was in Nigeria last week as part of its efforts to strengthen and further build its relationship with some leading Nigerian law firms. At a media roundtable at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Partner and Head of the African arm of the London based law firm, Mr. Andrew Skipper explained that the firm was in Nigeria, not to open a branch, but simply to strengthen its existing relationship with some leading Nigerian law firms it has partnered in the past few years. Skipper stated that the firm is interested in the huge potential in the African market of which Nigeria is the undisputed leader. The firm went global on May 1, 2010 in an unprecedented merger of two internationally recognised firms , U.S. based Hogan & Hartson and European based Lovells which is now Hogan Lovells with 45 offices worldwide. The firm according to Skipper offers a variety of services that the Nigerian market can benefit from, including legal services in corporate finance, government regulatory issues, intellectual property, pro bono, transactional deals, litigation and arbitration. Its only office in Africa is in Johannesburg, South Africa, it has worked with regional and international clients across Africa in various areas including
banking, investment, oil and gas, power, transport and infrastructure. Andrew Skipper who led the Hogan Lovells team to Nigeria is a specialist in corporate commercial practice and has been involved in numerous contracts across Africa. Also on the team was the firm’s Senior Associate in London, Mrs. Rashida Abdulai whose expertise is in international arbitration and litigation. Her particular interests are in telecommunications, energy and natural resources, consumer beverages and banking. Jerome Finnis is an international arbitration expert whose specialties include drafting arbitration clauses, staying court proceedings in favour of arbitration and challenging arbitral awards. He is the author of ‘Support and Supervision by the Courts’, a working textbook on arbitration law and practice. Anina Boshoff heads the South African office of Hogan Lovells and her specialty is in banking and finance, trans-border finance, off-shore investments, media, mining and energy. Speaking at the roundtable, Mr. Skipper said the firm is aware of the strict regulations in the Nigerian legal profession which makes it impossible for foreign law firms to set up practice in the country, but that despite such challenges, Hogan Lovells is keen on collaborating with Nigerian law firms to meet the needs of international clients.
A Mandatory Injunction is not Granted as a Matter of Course
n injunction is an equitable judicial remedy by which a person is ordered to refrain from doing or to do a particular act or thing. It is often seen as a restorative order invoked by the court to deal with a defendant who has no respect for the court of law. In most cases, a mandatory injunction is granted to undo what has already been done, that is why it is usually referred to as restoratory injunction. An injunction restraining the continuance of some wrongful act is called prohibitory or restrictive. An injunction to restrain the continuance of some wrongful omission or to do a particular act or thing is called mandatory. See OHAKIM v AGBASO (2010) 19 NWLR (Pt. 1226) 172 S.C. Nature and Effect: A mandatory injunction is grantable even though the act sought to be restrained has been nearly or entirely completed before the action is begun. The power of the court to grant a mandatory injunction must like in every injunction, be exercised with the greatest possible care. See Halsbury's Laws of England 4th Edition Vol. 24 paragraph 950. It is noteworthy that a mandatory order is usually targeted upon a completed act. Hence, the order may be made, for example to order a building which has been erected to be pulled down if it is established that the defendant erected it stealthily in order to steal a match on the plaintiff on having notice that an injunction was to be taken out against him. It is only in exceptional cases that the court will grant a mandatory injunction. See KWANKWASO v GOV. KANO STATE (2007) ALL FWLR (Pt. 363) 179 at 198 paras. D - F (CA); Mandatory Injunction and Interlocutory Injunction distinguished: A mandatory injunction is sometimes classified as an interlocutory injunction. However, it is a
different type of injunction, with its own features, and requiring a consideration of its own distinct principles. It is made to reverse a completed act. See ATTORNEY-GENERAL ANAMBRA STATE v OKAFOR (1992) 2 NWLR (pt.224) 396. An order of interlocutory injunction is, on the other hand negative and restrictive in nature and, so is made to preserve the res pending litigation or to prevent a breach. Also there is difference in the quality of evidence necessary to entitle an applicant to any relief in the two types of injunctions. See OBEYA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL v ATTORNEY GENERAL FEDERATION (1987) 3 NWLR (Pt. 60) 3725; In an application for a mandatory injunction, the courts have usually shown more reluctance to make the order. Before it is granted; the courts require a higher degree of assurance that at the trial it would still appear that the order of mandatory injunction was rightly made.: See BLAKEMORE v THE BLAMORGANSHINE NAVIGATION (1832) 1 my and VR. 155. Guiding principles to the grant of a Mandatory Injunction The law is well settled that an application for a mandatory injunction is not granted as a matter of course. The granting or refusal of a mandatory injunction is at the discretion of the court hearing the application. Hence, it is granted under exceptional circumstances and upon clear of evidence based upon a very high standard. See PRINCE DR. RASHEED A. MODILE & ANOR. v THE GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE (2004) 12 NWLR (Pt.887) 354. It is therefore dependent on the peculiar circumstances of each case taking into cognisance the convenience and fairness of the mandatory order to both parties. A mandatory injunction is a different type of injunction, with its own features, and requiring a consideration of its own distinct principles. The principles relating to the grant of a mandatory injunction as restated in the case of ABUBAKAR & ORS. v JOS METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT BOARD & ANOR. (1997) 10 NWLR (Pt. 524) p. 242 at p.246 are as follows:a) where the injury done to the plaintiff cannot be estimated and sufficiently compensated for
in damages; b) where the injury to the plaintiff is so serious and material that the restoration of things to their former condition is the only method whereby justice can be adequately done; or c) where the injury complained of is in breach of an express agreement; d) where the defendant attempts to steal a match on the plaintiff such as where, on receipt of notice that an injunction is about to be applied for, the defendant hurries on the work in respect of which complaint is made so that when he receives notice of an interim injunction it is completed. See NDIC v S.B.N. PLC.(2003) NWLR (pt.801) pg.311at 399-429 para.H-C This piece cannot be complete without recourse to the salient principles set out by our learned jurist, Chief Afe Babalola, OFR, CON, SAN, in his text “Injunctions and Enforcement of Orders” 2nd Edition, 2007, Ibadan, pp.128-129 as follows: 1. “The state of affairs which is complained of must be such that would have entitled the plaintiff to obtain a prohibitory injunction restraining the defendant from bringing it about; it has not occurred, unless a prohibitory injunction would have been refused only on discretionary grounds which for one reason or another are found no longer to arise or to be of defensive weight. 2. The state of affairs, which might have been prohibited from coming about must have arisen at the time which the material order is made, even though the acts in question have not been completed. 3. It must not have become impossible for the defendant to restore the earlier position. For example, if a defendant who might have been enjoined from disposing of land is shown to have sold it to a purchases for value without notice from whom it cannot be recovered, no mandatory injunction will be granted. 4. It must appear that damages and other legal remedies are not sufficient to put the plaintiff in as favourable position as if he had received equitable relief in specie. 5. It must appear in all the circumstances and particularly in view of equitable considerations such as laches, hardship, impossibility of performance or compliance and inconvenience as between the parties that the most just cause is that the mandatory order be granted. 6. The plaintiff’s case must be unusually
strong and clear. 7. Where it can be shown that the defendant attempted to steal a match on the plaintiff by rushing to complete the act, the mandatory injunction is seeking to undo or restore, mandatory injunction will lie to restore the plaintiff to the position he would have been.” The onus is therefore on the applicant who seeks for a mandatory order to show that his prayers come within the settled principles guiding courts in granting application for mandatory injunctions, otherwise the application may be refused. This includes, how these prayers have culminated in pre-eruptive acts against the Applicant vis-a-vis the substantive action thus making an order of mandatory injunction imperative requiring the respondent to retrace his steps. See EKANEM v UMANAH (2007) ALL FWLR (Pt. 367) 928 at 942; Para. E (CA). The act sought to be reversed must be weighed with the Applicant’s benefit against the Respondent’s corresponding injury/detriment, which the Respondent may suffer should the application for mandatory injunction be granted. In resolving this, the Court ought to pose two related questions: a) What is the benefit of the order to the Applicant if the application is granted? b) What is the detriment of the Order to the Respondent if the application is granted? The judge in providing answers to the above posers will allow himself to be guided by the facts before him. The law requires some measurement of the scale of justice to see where the pendulum tilts. See DR. RABIU MUSA KWANKWASO v KANO STATE (2006) 14 NWLR (Pt.1000) pg.444 Conclusion: The overall application of the above principles will form the basis of the decision of our Courts in refusing or granting a motion for a mandatory injunction. The paramount consideration is whether the order of mandatory injunction will produce a fair result between the parties. It suffices to say that once our Court makes a finding that the Applicant has not satisfied the conditions for grant of mandatory injunction or that damages is an adequate compensation, the proper order is to dismiss the application seeking for a mandatory injunction in its entirety. See ABUBAKAR v JMDB (1997) 10 NWLR (Pt.524) pg.242. Azubike Okoye ACIARB (U.K.)
Legal Personality of the Week Rudolf Ezeani
‘Being a Lawyer Comes with Many Benefits but that should not be the Primary Focus’ to authentication of documents by companies and company securities, especially debentures. Third, the impact of the judgment was far reaching; fourth, it involved very well respected and able Barristers on either side. On one side was Chief F.R.A. Williams CFR, CON, SAN of blessed memory and on the other side was Prince Lateef O. Fagbemi SAN. I was led by Prince Fagbemi SAN in that case.
My name is Rudolf Udochukwu Ezeani. I am the Principal Practitioner at Rudy Ezeani & Co. I was called to the Bar in 1991 and have been in Law practice ever since. Have you had any challenges in your career as a lawyer and if so what were the main challenges? I have had a few challenges, like everyone else. The main ones have been centered around getting started in practice, where to start, how to start, moving to Lagos and such. Other challenges have been about sustaining the practice, and challenges related to running partnerships. What was your worst day as a lawyer? I guess that would be the day I took the first Ruling in my career. I had opposed a Motion on Notice for Stay and lost. The client, who was the judgment creditor, did not find it funny when the judgment was stayed and he showed his displeasure- publicly, in the court premises. He queried me outside the court room and said all kinds of things, including that he would not have lost if my principal had handled the matter himself. My explanation that the processes filed and arguments I advanced had indeed been approved by my principal, did not satisfy him. I felt bad about that but my principal, then M A Onyiuke Esq. who later became a judge of the Anambra State High Court (now of blessed memory) handled the matter effectively. He managed to put the client at ease later and told me not to worry about the incident. What was your most memorable experience?
Writing the book –Law of Torts (With Cases and Materials) -with my dad has been the most memorable experience for me. Another memorable experience was the trial of FOLORUNSHO v ROSULA NIG LTD, Suit No FHC/L/CS/212/2001. It was a receivership case. A receiver was appointed over the company but when he tried to take over the company, he was rebuffed. We then applied for directions under S.391 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. I remember the case for several reasons. First, there was a significant amount of money at stake; second, it raised a number of interesting legal points arising from operation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act & relating
Who has been most influential in your life? My parents have been the most influential. I grew up in fairly stable circumstances at the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria. My parents took advantage of that serene environment. I think it gave them an excellent opportunity (i.e. apart from their own qualities) to teach me family values and the importance of virtues such as diligence, faith, justice, integrity and love. I am grateful to them but more importantly I thank God for blessing me with them. Why did you become a lawyer? I love the legal profession. It is one that exposes the practitioner to human life and its vicissitudes. It also gives immense opportunities to assist others. My parents are lawyers too and both of them served on the bench. You may say that I did not have to look far for what to do. What would your advice be to anyone wanting a career in law? I would encourage such a person. The
person has to be diligent and ready to work. Being a lawyer comes with many benefits but that should not be the primary focus. It comes with responsibilities too. Part of my welcome message to any new wig is to refer to the message of Abraham Lincoln contained in ‘Notes for a Law Lecture,’ one of many manuscripts collected and collated by his White House secretaries after his death and published in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, by the Abraham Lincoln Association. In the Notes, Mr Lincoln admonishes prospective lawyers to be honest. If I may quote him, he says: ‘There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal. Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.’ If you had not become a lawyer, what would you have chosen? I would have chosen to be a medical doctor. Where do you see yourself in ten years? God willing, I should still be in Law practice.
Ocholi! Ocholi! Our James Ocholi SAN is Gone! Awa U. Kalu
he peace of the nation was shattered on that fateful Sunday (6-3-16). The cause of the disquiet was the news of the sudden death of our own dear James Ocholi SAN who died in a ghastly motor accident with his wife Blessing and son Joshua. That unwanted news filtered through the internet –the super engine that spits all kinds of news, good and bad. In death, as in most circumstances, bad news travels faster than the good news. We remember that fateful Sunday was for all faithful believers in the Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion) a day dedicated to honouring mothers – Mothering Sunday. Alas, that was the kind of day on which death lurked around the Ocholis and struck our friend and colleague, his dear wife and son on their way from Kaduna to Abuja where they had attended a church event. Had that tragedy not happened, late Blessing Ocholi would like most women, have received sweet and delightful messages wishing her well as a mother of five lovely children. By a twist of fate, four of her children are presently receiving condolence visits and messages from all and sundry, including people that they do not know. Voltaire, the French writer and philosopher (1694-1778) in Oxford Book of Death (D.J.Enright), offered that “the human race is the only one that knows it must die and it knows this only through its experience. A child brought up alone and transported to a desert island would have no more idea of death than a cat or a plant”. Indeed, experience as they say, is the best teacher and so the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) has been recently visited by that surreptitious and clandestine mystery called death. Professors. A. Adesanya and M. I. Jegede, Dr. I.N. Ijioma, Chief Amaechi Nwaiwu, and a host of other illustrious Senior Advocates of Nigeria have bitten the dust in the past two or three years. Even then, two very eminent Senior Advocates revered and liked by their colleagues,within recent memory, had their beloved wives snatched by the cold hands of death! As if that was not sufficiently audacious, death contrived to swoop down on the camp of the Ocholis, taking at once, father, mother and son. I believe that this is probably the first time the Body of Senior Advocates is facing a calamity of such monumental proportions. Is this then why
Jean – Jacques Rousseau expressed the very strong and unequivocal view that “He who pretends to look on death without fear lies. All men are afraid of dying, this is the great law of sentient beings, without which the entire human species would soon be destroyed”. This piece is about James Enojo Ocholi SAN, born on the 26thNovember, 1960 in Idah presently in Kogi State. He received his pre-primary school education in Qua – Iboe pre-primary school, Idah between 1965 and 1967 from where he proceeded to the Anglican Primary School, Dekina from 1967 – 1968. His secondary school education was concluded at the Ocheja Secondary School (a missionary school) in 1978. His advanced level secondary education was at the School of Basic Studies, Ugbokolo. For his tertiary education, he was at the University of Jos, from which he graduated in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Nigeria, upon completing a stint at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, in 1986, and for which reason he had been in the embrace of the legal profession for thirty years before his career was cut short by the tragic event of Sunday, the 6th March, 2016. He reached the summit of his career at the Bar in the year 2007 when he earned a preferment as a Notary Public on the 1st of May and was then sworn in as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria on the 12th December of the same year. The career trajectory of the late James Ocholi SAN will be better appreciated when special attention is paid to the very significant milestones. The most uplifting and elevating part of the life story of late James Ocholi, SAN is that his sojourn typifies the motto: “Be what you can be” or in the mantra of the sports marketing giant, NIKE, “Just do it”. Behold, only in 1978, he was an Auxiliary Teacher at the Dekina LGEA Primary School, but had by 2015, become a Minister of State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In between, he had contested twice for the position of Governor in Kogi State under the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC). He was the Deputy National Legal Adviser of the APC and the state coordinator of the Buhari/Osinbajo Presidential Campaign Organisation. He served as member of the Commission of Inquiry into the inter – ethnic clashes at the Kogi Polytechnic, Lokoja in 2001 as well as the Secretary of the Kogi State Contract and Appointment Review Panel, in 1999. As far back as 1999, he had served as a member of the Steering Committee of the Family Support Programme (FSP) in Kogi State. When Kogi State was created, the
The late James Ocholi SAN
late legal luminary served as the first Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association in that State. His multi–faceted talents led to his installation as the Pro – Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of Salem University, Lokoja and in terms of his interest in ensuring discipline within the legal profession, he also served as the Chairman Disciplinary Committee of the NBA, Federal Capital Territory, between 2009 and 2010. In the manifestation of his faith, he had assumed the status of National Secretary and later National Director, Legal of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International, (FGBFI), a position he held until his death. To avoid verbosity, it would seem just to note that late James Ocholi led an active Christian and professional life for which he received his just rewards and honour. How many people have been able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps? How many godfathers can crawl out of the woodworks and beat their mighty chests, appropriating for themselves the honour, and glory and adoration that ought to go to our God Almighty, the author and finisher of James Ocholi’s life? There is “no killing the Beetle” as the adage goes and James was indeed the proverbial Beetle. He toiled and earned the success which came to him from his political life as well as his life as a lawyer. There is a list of serious lawyers who ventured into politics and faltered and in somecases faded. Happily, James Ocholi demonstrated that “life is nothing but the courage you bring to bear on it”. He was a lesson in humility. As a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he did not embellish his life in the uppity neighbourhood of Asokoro, Maitama nor did he indulge in self-delusion or aggrandisement. He was content to live in modesty in Kado Estate. He was not known for the flamboyance of the ‘African Big Man’. James Ocholi was James, down to earth, humane and affable exuding at all times the confidence of those who believe in God
Human Rights Group Decries Police Brutality on Suspects and Detainees Akinwale Akintunde A human rights group, Justice for All (J4A) has urged the Nigeria Police Force to respect the right of every suspect in their custody. The group also decried Police brutal treatment of suspects and detainees at various police stations in the country. Derinsola Kappo, J4A Alimosho Coordinator made this observation at a collaborative forum between the Nigeria Police Force and the Lagos Legal Advice and Monitoring Team of the group held at the Bar Centre of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja, “The J4A is to assist those detained at
police stations. Suspects sometimes come out of the police station and accuse the police of brutalising and extorting money from them. "We should make the police realise that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty by a court, hence they should be treated with dignity while in police custody, “she stated. “Sometimes, the police have accused us (J4A) of being overbearing but we want to assure them that we will work hand-in-hand with them to make their job easy”, she added. Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bariga Police Station, Ismail Amusa, noted that the Nigeria Police have been trained to respect
the rights of suspects but lamented that some police officers are yet to abide by that training. “Right from recruitment, we were taught about the rights of suspects. There is no law that says a suspect should be tortured. The Nigeria Police Force of today is more conscious of the rights of suspects. We do not torture suspects. Guest Speaker at the event, Mr. Olanrewaju Akinbo urged the police to abide by law and ensure the rights of suspects are upheld. “Whether the accused is going to be jailed or not, there is a presumption of innocent,” he stated.
Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things therein. Alas, our friend and colleague is no more. For us as lawyers, we must acknowledge that our late colleague, James Ocholi SAN was a model for all legal practitioners, whether young or old, genial, courageous and not afraid to confront challenges of our time through the instrumentality of the law. He was a litigator, fighting for the rights of those that had grievances to ventilate. He was a gifted mediator and negotiator which suited his deployment to the Ministry of Labour as a Minister of State. We can acknowledge that the late James Ocholi came to terms and was very conversant with the very pungent prescription for the lawyer made by the late Dr. T. O. Elias. Dr. Elias said : “never before in the long history of human thought has law had to face a more challenging situation than that in contemporary Nigeria.The prevailing social and economic forces calls for a type of lawyer who is at once a social engineer and an analyst, a Pericles and a plumber, capable of appreciating the values of existing institutions and mores and yet ever ready to make a dynamic contribution to the maintenance of a proper balance between the claims of the state and those of the individual”. The late senior Counsel, James Ocholi SAN was all of these. On this platform the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Abuja branch must emphasise the need to maintain “a proper balance between the claims of the state and those of the individual”. As Dr. Elias preached and as understood by our late brother and colleague James Ocholi “law and society should engage in a continuous dialogue both as to the choice of means and as to the end in view.If Nigerian law can fulfil the role of stimulating economic growth and social wellbeing, elevate the moral tone of the community, foster a spirit of unity among the diverse ethnic groups and become a common law for the country under which no man is oppressed, it will have made an important contribution in the world of ideas for the course of human betterment”. As our colleague and friend, we are able to confirm that James Ocholi enrolled as a lawyer, became conscious of the challenges identified by Dr. T. O. Elias, as well as other thinkers in our legal and judicial clime, and used his skills as a lawyer to make important contributions in the world of ideas and for the course of the betterment of Nigerians and all those who came in contact with his professional allegiance. James Ocholi SAN, public spirited and detribalised Nigerian, philanthropist, dependable ally of many, legal titan, epitome of humility and modesty and a shining example of many things good, we bid you farewell. We urge all who mourn to note what Shakespeare said in the book Macbeth, “life is but a walking shadow…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. To the young children that he has left behind, we say, do not fear for we are one with you. Adieu, James Ocholi, SAN, adieu. Awa U. Kalu SAN, FNIALS. For and on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Abuja Branch.
Cross Section of the delegates at the ICC
NBA Legal Services Mission to The Netherlands: Opening New Vistas for Nigerian Lawyers The Nigerian Bar Association recently embarked on its first ever Legal Services Mission in its history. Augustine Alegeh SAN led a delegation of lawyers to the Netherlands. The delegation visited the International Criminal Court, the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign Affairs and that of Security and Justice. The delegation also held high-level interactions with the Dutch Judiciary the legal profession and met with Dutch companies doing business in Nigeria. Jude Igbanoi who was a member of the Delegation reports on the mission.
he President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Augustine Alegeh SAN led a Legal Services Mission to The Netherlands, February 21 – 26, 2016. The purpose of the mission was to introduce Nigerian law firms to the Dutch market, to market Nigerian legal services to Dutch companies, to raise awareness about the Nigerian legal and business climate, and to further an on-going dialogue with the International Criminal Court on the human rights situation in the North East States of Nigeria. An important component of the visit was to identify best practices in the Dutch administration of justice that could be of benefit to Nigeria’s justice system. The Highlight of the visit was the meeting with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Court’s Prosecutor is Mrs. Fatou Bensouda from The Gambia. The delegation was pleased to know that Mrs. Bensouda graduated from the University of Ife and was called to the Nigerian Bar. Mrs. Besouda informed the NBA delegation that the ICC is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC is a court of last resort. It will not act if a case is investigated or prosecuted by a national judicial system unless the national
proceedings are not genuine, for example if formal proceedings were undertaken solely to shield a person from criminal responsibility. In response to a question from a member of the delegation on whether the jurisdiction of the court covers cases of corruption, the prosecutor informed us that the ICC only tries those accused of the gravest crimes. The jurisdiction and functioning of the ICC are governed by the Rome Statute and that matters of corruption was not within the purview of the mandate of the court. The NBA had sought audience with the office of the prosecutor to have a practical appreciation of the role and functioning of her office as well as discuss modalities for a possible partnership between the NBA and the Office of the Prosecutor. The NBA was in particular interested in seeking additional information on the fifth annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities published by the Office of the Prosecutor specifically as it relates to allegations of rights violations by the Nigerian Military. Under the Rome Statute, the Office of the Prosecutor is required to conduct an examination of all communications and situations brought to its attention in order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation. A number of human rights organisations had brought the human rights situation in the North -East of Nigeria to the attention of the ICC. The Office of the Prosecutor is presently conducting preliminary
examinations of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes relating to the situation in North East Nigeria. The prosecutor informed the delegation that the government of Nigeria is yet to respond to the request from her office to visit Nigeria in continuation of her investigation. She urged the President of the NBA to intervene to enable her office conclude the matter. In his response, Augustine Alegeh SAN informed the Prosecutor that the NBA was monitoring the human rights situation in Nigeria generally and specifically in the North East states. He informed the prosecutor of the NBA Human Rights Monitoring Programme in all the North East States of Nigeria. He said the programme was aimed at providing an interactive platform for people living in those states to report cases of rights violations involving security personnel to the NBA. He also said that the NBA is collaborating with the Nigerian Army on a number of fronts. He spoke about the Nigerian Military Forum of the NBA and also plans by NBA to support the continuous human rights education of military personnel. Alegeh also assured the office of the prosecutor that the NBA will meet with the Attorney- General of the Federation with a view to securing an appropriate date for the visit of the prosecutor to Nigeria. He assured the prosecutor that the NBA would be actively involved in the proposed visit. An important outcome of the visit was the proposal to support
the application of Nigerian Lawyers and Legal academics interested in International justice systems on internship with the ICC. Features of ICC 124 countries are States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Out of them 34 are African States, 19 are Asia-Pacific States, 18 are from Eastern Europe, 28 are from Latin American and Caribbean States, and 25 are from Western European and other States. The court is absolutely independent of any country or organisation, including the United Nations and enjoys a permanent and autonomous status. It is funded with voluntary contributions from state governments, international organisations, individuals and corporations. The ICC is not meant to replace regular state courts and their national criminal justice systems, but rather complements them, under the principle of Complementarity and priority is given to national judicial systems of each country. The jurisdiction of the ICC is time bound. It cannot exercise jurisdiction over events that occurred before July 1, 2002. No retrospective jurisdiction. The court prosecutes only individuals and not groups or states. The court cannot try any person under the age of 18.
COVER/9 The court does not recognise any form of immunity. So, heads of state enjoy no immunity before the court. The Court’s current president is Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi of Argentina. She is the first female president of the court. Esteban Peralta Losilla, a professor of International Law from Spain heads the Court’s Registry. A Nigerian, Chile Eboe-Osuji was elected as Judge at the ICC and would serve his tenure from 2012 – 2021. 600 lawyers, including 11 Nigerians have accreditation to appear before the court. Victims of crimes are allowed to participate actively in trials before the court. The NBA delegation visited The Netherlands Ministry of Security and Justice. The purpose of this visit was to enable the delegation obtain first hand knowledge of the administration of Justice System in The Netherlands. Officials of the Ministry informed the delegation that the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice is responsible for maintaining the rule of law in the Netherlands. That the essential focus of the Ministry is to ensure that all persons living in The Netherlands live together in freedom, regardless of their life-style or views. The delegation was informed that the broad mandate of the Ministry includes child protection and where necessary, divesting parents of parental responsibility, ensuring that convicted criminals spend useful time in prison as well as help prisoners return to society, providing support for victims of crime. It was noteworthy that a key phase that was constantly mentioned by officials of the Ministry was that in The Netherlands ‘the law is about people’. There was a discussion about the accountability of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. The delegation was informed that the Public Prosecution Service and the courts together make up the judiciary in The Netherlands. That the Public Prosecution Service decides who has to appear before a court and on what charge. It is the only body that can decide to prosecute someone. Its field of work is criminal law. The Public Prosecution Service’s main tasks are investigating criminal offences, prosecuting offenders, supervising the enforcement of sentences. On the issue of accountability, the delegation was informed that the Dutch Public Prosecution service is accountable to two separate authorities. First, the courts, which review the conduct of the Public Prosecution service and the police services. Second, the Minister of Security and Justice, who has political responsibility for the service’s conduct and performance, may be called upon to render account to both houses of the Dutch Parliament. The delegation learnt that the Minister of Security and Justice is concerned with general policy on investigations and prosecutions and rarely intervenes in individual cases. That if the Minister decides that a person will not be prosecuted, he has to inform Parliament of his decision. The delegation was also informed that there is one national police force in The Netherlands, led by one Commissioner. The force consists of ten Regional Units and one Central Unit, each with its own Chief Constable. The delegation was also informed that this was a deliberate policy of the Dutch government to reduce police bureaucracy so that officers have more time for primary policing. The Nigerian Desk in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitated meetings with Senior Officials of the Ministry, the International Chamber of Commerce and the
leadership of the Netherlands Bar Association. The NBA delegation was informed that the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs promotes the interests of The Kingdom of Netherlands abroad. That the Ministry coordinates and carries out Dutch foreign policy at its headquarters in The Hague and through its missions abroad. It is the channel through which the Dutch Government communicates with foreign governments and international organisations. The officials of the Ministry informed the delegation that The Netherlands is not simply concerned about its borders, but is committed to building a safe, stable and prosperous world. That the Dutch missions outside The Netherlands are actively involved in addressing issues such as poverty reduction, climate change, respect for human rights and the rule of law and eliminating conflict. On the issue of human rights and the role of the Dutch Government, there was a discussion on the need for the Dutch Government to do more in support of victims of business-related human rights and gross environmental abuses. The NBA delegation suggested that the Dutch government should give consideration to the enactment of legislation similar to the United States Alien Tort Claims Act, which in general allows corporate parents of transnational businesses to be held liable in the host countries for human rights violations by their subsidiary companies. There was a meeting with investment experts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of the Dutch Enterprise Agency and the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency. The main issue that dominated discussion was the ease of doing business in Nigeria. The NBA delegation and the Dutch investment experts agreed on the need for Nigeria to do more to ease investment in Nigeria. The absence of a single investment center in Nigeria where all issues relating to doing business in Nigeria can be dealt with speedily was identified as an important obstacle. Concern was also raised about the multiple Federal and State administrative protocols, the legal system and the perceptions of safety and security in Nigeria. The Legal Services Mission concluded with a Netherlands – Nigeria Lawyers Exchange hosted by the International law Firm of Russell Advocaten based in Amsterdam. Russell Advocaten is one of the leading law firms in The Netherlands and had been awarded the “Best Full Service Corporate Law Firm” of the Netherlands 2015 by the corporate finance magazine Acquisition International. The prize is awarded to firms that “through the quality services they provide and their commitment to moving the legal sector forward, established themselves as thought leaders and assumed their position at the head of the legal pack” The Lawyers exchange was an opportunity to share information on the state of legal practice and administration of justice in both countries.
It also provided an opportunity to exchange expertise on all aspects of law- criminal, civil and corporate law. The NBA Delegation learnt that The Netherlands operates under a civil law system whose development has been heavily influenced and shaped by Roman and French Law. What distinguishes the Dutch legal system from most of its common and even civil law peers is its approach towards the relationship between domestic and international law which is stronger than almost anywhere else in the world, coming close to what academics would call a monistic conception of international law. The Netherlands is host to the most influential courts of international law – the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and International Criminal Courts – as well as many specialist tribunals, which emphasises its importance in the context of international law. In the international community, the reputation of the Netherlands with regard to the quality and fairness of its legal system is as strong as the presence of international institutions in the country. Quite unusually for a legal system founded in civil law and much more akin to their common law counterparts, the Dutch bar is highly centralised. The Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten, founded in 1952, is the institution, which governs the legal profession in The Netherlands. As of the date of the mission, there were 17,000 admitted members of the Dutch Bar, which is relatively small when measured by lawyers per capita and when compared to European neighbors or the United States. In terms of gender diversity, the Dutch Bar is again at the forefront of progressive development with the laudable percentage of around 40% of its members being female. Unlike in jurisdictions such as England and Wales or Ireland, the Netherlands draws no distinction between solicitors and barristers - in that sense, the Dutch legal profession can be said to be fused. The President of the Amsterdam District court presented an overview of the Dutch judicial system .The judicial system in the Netherlands is composed of the District Courts, Special Tribunals, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The Netherlands is divided into eleven judicial districts, each with its own court. Each court has a number of sub-district venues. The district court is made up of a maximum of five sectors. These always include the administrative sector, civil sector, and criminal sector and sub-district sector. Family and juvenile cases are often put into a separate sector, as is sometimes the case with the administration of the law concerning aliens. The NBA delegation noted that it is relatively simple for ordinary citizens to have their case heard in the sub-district sector. They have the right to argue their own case and do not need a lawyer to represent them in court. A single judge handles cases. The delegation was also informed that there
are three special tribunals in the Netherlands that are competent in specific areas of administrative law. The eleven districts are divided into four areas of Court of Appeal jurisdiction: The Hague and Amsterdam in the west, ArnhemLeeuwarden in the east and in the north and 's-Hertogenbosch in the south. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands is the highest court in the fields of civil, criminal and tax law in the Netherlands. An important outcome of the lawyers exchange was the commencement of discussions on how to deepen ties between the Nigerian Bar Association and the Netherlands Bar Association. As a first step the President of the NBA proposed an exchange of lawyers on an internship programme for young lawyers. The modalities of this proposal will be worked on by the NBA secretariat. The lawyers’ exchange concluded with a visit to the Amsterdam District Court where the delegation witnessed court proceedings and was also informed about court management and administration. Facts about The Netherlands Judicial System There are 2,400 judges in the Netherlands The judiciary hears about 1.8 million cases in a year. The Dutch Judiciary operates a yearly budget of 985 million Euros (N3.94b). Judicial appointments are advertised nationwide, followed by applications, selection, screening and final appointment. A Master’s Degree in Law is required for every applicant for judicial appointment. Two years working experience is required. Age bracket for applicants is between 28 – 35. A judge is expected to train at the district courts for a period of four years, while more senior and experienced lawyers train for two years before finally taking on full judicial duties. Netherlands has a Supreme Court, four Courts of Appeal and 11 district courts. The district courts (equivalence of Nigeria’s high courts) sit in a panel of 3, with one non-judicial member (non-lawyer). A judge can resign or retire and go back into full time legal practice, unlike in Nigeria. In the next few years, the Dutch court system will operate a paperless system. In the Netherlands as well as other European Union countries, death penalty is forbidden. Life imprisonment is the maximum sentence. After 30 years, a convict can apply for release. The Nigerian High Commission to The Netherlands facilitated the NBA Legal Services Mission. Her Excellency Grace Chia Sani, Chargé d'Affaires key staff of the High Commission were at hand to support the delegation as well as actively participate in several high level meetings.
Nigerian Army Opens Human Rights Office
he Nigerian Army has opened a Human Rights Office within the office of the Chief of Army Staff. According to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai who was represented at the unveiling of the office by the Chief of Civil-Military Relations
L-R: NBA Executive Director of Administration, Mrs. Ifueko Alufohai, Mrs. Evelyn Rogers, Mrs. Kelubia Ajose, Ms. Abimbola Adeleye, Mrs. Uju Udodi, Ms. Eyitemi and Mrs. Inima Aguma
of the Nigerian Army, Major General Rogers Nicholas, the need for the establishment of a specialised Human Rights office is a continuation of the process of professionalising the Nigerian Army. He said that the office was established to cater for the increasing interest of local and international human rights institutions in the Nigerian Army’s Human Rights footprints in general but specifically in areas of ongoing military operations in the North East. He said that the nature of inquiries and commentaries from these institutions is such that they require responses of a specialised nature by the Nigerian Army. General Nicholas, while acknowledging the support of the National Human Rights Commission and the Nigerian Bar Association in providing a conceptual framework for the Human Rights Office, said that the office will receive, documents and investigate complaints from individuals, organisations and Institutions alike on rights violations involving Army personnel; Make findings and recommendations directly to the office of the Chief of Army Staff; Produce an annual report or reports as necessary on the activities of the Human Rights Office; Review, update existing human rights training manual/policy for the Nigerian Army; Facilitate the participation of personnel of the Nigerian Army in local and international human rights training programmes as well as meetings of international and regional human rights institutions; Liaise and facilitate interactions with local and international human
rights organisations; Liaise with the office of information in the Defence Headquarters to provide current and relevant information on human rights footprints of the Nigerian Army in areas of operation; Develop modalities for a human rights audit of the Nigerian Army, including but not limited to recruitment policies, training, operations (detention centres), the military justice system. The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission Professor Bem Angwem said that the Human Rights Commission would continue to engage the Nigerian Army towards promoting best human rights practices in military operations. He said that the Human Rights Commission would shortly commence certificated human Rights programmes across the ranks of the Nigerian Military. Olawale Fapohunda, Facilitator of the Nigerian Military Human Rights Dialogue said that this is an important development and welcomed the decision of the Nigerian Army to set up the office. He said that the establishment of a human rights office for the Nigerian Army has been an agenda item on the meetings of the Military Human Rights Dialogue and it is good to note that the Chief of Army Staff has taken this important step. The next step according to Fapohunda is for human rights concerns particularly in Nigeria to work with the Nigerian Army to ensure that the vision for the office is met. He further said that efforts have been made to reach out to the Air force and the Navy for the purpose of setting up a similar office in those services.
The Card Reader, Voter Register and the Supreme Court Chuks Nwana
hen the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the incumbent Governors of Rivers State, Akwa Ibom and Abia in the hotly disputed gubernatorial elections in those states there was widespread disappointment not in the least because a lot of people believed that the elections in these states did not meet the minimum threshold to be considered free and fair. This disappointment was exacerbated by the fact that the Supreme Court did not immediately give the reasons for their decision and many people regrettably took the option of lampooning the Supreme Court and accused it of bias and misconduct. However when the reasons for the decision was eventually made known, it became clear to articulate legal minds that the decision of the apex court was right in all respects as it highlighted the unique interplay between policy and law and which one ought to take precedence. The power of the National Assembly to make laws for the proper conduct of elections is derived from the constitution and this has been the practice after every election cycle for the National Assembly at the prompting of the electoral umpire to effectively plug all manner of loopholes that may have been identified during the elections. It is for that singular reason that the Electoral Act of 2010 appears to be the most comprehensive in terms of the proper conduct of the elections, creation of electoral offences and the role of the judiciary in the very quick determination of election petitions in the aftermath of the Ngige situation where the decision of the tribunal came nearly 3 years into the tenure of the disputed elections and for which reason the gubernatorial elections in Anambra and some other states are not conducted at the same time with other elections . The Electoral Act also provides for appeals from election petition tribunals to the Court of Appeal and further provides that presidential elections should go all the way to the Supreme Court contrary to the provision in the repealed Act which terminated gubernatorial election petitions at the Court of Appeal. In hindsight this turned out to be a smart move because the contrasting decisions of the Court of Appeal in cases with similar facts was giving rise to uncertainty in the law. In effect the legislature has helped to broaden election
petition jurisprudence in our legal system. The Electoral Act under sections 9-24 expressly recognises the use of voter registers in the conduct of elections and goes ahead to provide how the register should be maintained to ensure that voters are not disenfranchised . Particularly section 10(4) of the Act provides that the official register of voters certified by the commission in accordance with the provisions of this Act shall be the official voters’ register for those elections and further provides in section 10(6) that the official register of voters for the purpose of any election conducted under this Act supersedes all previous registers. Thus the manual voter register remained the model recognised by law until Professor Jega decided to experiment with the biometrics voting system through the card reader technology to ensure that cases of rigging and multiple voting, stuffing of ballot boxes were reduced to the barest minimum. This was in itself a wise decision and a master stroke because the judgments of most of the electoral tribunals dealt with the issue of multiple voting and had to rely on the evidence of forensic experts to determine whether the infraction of the Electoral Act was sufficient to void the election. In the vast majority of the cases this formed the basis for determining the validity of the elections. Reference is made to the outcome of the election petition tribunal decision in Osun state where it was alleged and indeed established that all manner of names like Mike Tyson, George Bush and other fictitious names found their way into the electoral register. In effect it is difficult to fault the intentions of Jega, but however all his best efforts amounted to an omnibus effort not backed by law to ensure that the objectives of free and fair elections were met. INEC argued that the use of card readers accords with international best practices and ensures the legitimacy of the process and the outcome. Thus while INEC is charged with the duty of ensuring free and fair elections, there is no section in the Act where card reader, biometrics or electronic voting is mentioned. Indeed the suggestion for electronic voting was debated and rejected by the legislature. It follows therefore that for an election petition to succeed, the petitioner must prove other grounds other than the non-compliance with the card reader directive of INEC. It is to be recalled that the efforts of Jega to deploy biometrics and card readers for the elections came after the Electoral Act and no amendment was sought to include the card reader as a specific provision of the Act. Even if he had tried, he may not have been able to secure the amendment because of paucity of time and also because there was
no intention by the legislators to tinker with the law that had taken about 18 months to pass. Moreover nothing could have been more suicidal for our democracy if the Electoral Act and the amendment is caught in limbo that would have made the elections operationally impossible. For reason of the fact that the law was not amended to include card readers Professor Jega initiated it as a policy and obtained the consent of the commission’s hierarchy to test run the card reader technology and apply it during the general elections. It is common knowledge that in some locations, the card reader machines malfunctioned and at the risk of the apparent failure of the elections, Jega made a U-turn and instructed the Electoral Commissioners to allow the use of the manual voter registers which is recognised by the Electoral Act. In the Nigerian context, it was evident that the age old maladies of over voting, under age voting, stuffing of ballot boxes and multiple voting which assailed elections was bound to occur in an exponential manner because of the stakes involved in the elections. Many dispassionate observers noted that what happened in a majority of the South- South states and other areas of the North fell far short of the international best practices for the elections to be considered free and fair. In some of the states figures were allotted on the basis of the voters’ register rather an actual voting. From the foregoing, it is easy to understand why the Election Petition Tribunals and the Court of Appeal fell into the error of holding that the infractions of not applying the card readers were sufficient to invalidate the elections and in some cases declared the petitioner as validly returned.
THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE BILL FOR RELIGIOUS PREACHING IN KADUNA STATE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 as any other association registered under part B and C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. “They are associations just like any other association recognised by the Constitution and the Bill cannot confer them with a special status over and above any other groups similarly registered. For the Christian Association of Nigeria there is nothing that makes it mandatory that every Christian denomination must belong to the Association.” We appreciate the position of Okoye on this, especially if section 4 of the Bill is juxtaposed with section 10 of the Constitution which provides that the Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State religion. However, the practicability of these provisions in Nigeria now is seriously in doubt. Islam and Christianity have been notoriously, widely and generally identified in Nigeria as the two (2) major religions. Muslims and Christians prayers are offered in Mosques and Churches on almost all National occasions and ceremonies like the Independence Day, Democracy Day, Armed Forces Remembrance Day; the National Mosque and National Ecumenical Center are all built and maintained by the Federal Government; the Federal and State Governments have all
established the Muslims Pilgrim Welfare Board and Christians Pilgrim Welfare Board; a large chunk of our commonwealth is spent on sponsoring Muslims and Christians to pilgrimage to Mecca and Jerusalem respectively; Special Advisers and Permanent Secretaries are appointed and scheduled respectively to handle Muslims and Christians Affairs; we have Mosques and Chaplaincies in the Armed Forces, the Police and other Para-military bodies, with commissioned officers designated as Imams and Chaplains, we see both Federal and State Governments donating monies for the construction of Mosques and Churches, etc. It is our view that section 4 of the Bill merely seeks to identify Islam and Christianity as the two major religions in the State and not to adopt them as State religions. To identify simply means to recognise. To adopt in the context used under section 10 of the Constitution is to officially take up and practice; or to select or choose and follow as a practice. Certainly, the Bill does not seek to entrench Islam and Christianity as the two major religions in the State. Therefore, we do not find the provisions of section 4 constitutionally offensive. The problem with a Bill such as the Kaduna
State Religious Preaching Bill is not in its passage but its implementation, enforcement, and compliance. As we said earlier, the 1984 Law has been in existence in the Kaduna State Laws since 1984 but unnoticed. What assurance is there that if this Bill is passed into Law it will be sustainably implemented, enforced and complied with? We suggest that the Government should organise a widely publicized public hearing on this Bill to sensitise the people on its importance to public peace and order in the State, and to collate their contributions for consideration towards fine-tuning the Bill to enable it enjoy widespread acceptance. The Bill should take cognisance of other religions outside Islam and Christianity for purposes of control and adequate coverage. Also, the blockage of public roads by Mosques and Churches and other acts constituting nuisance and obstructions to the general public should be considered in the Bill as well. In the whole, we are of the view that the Kaduna State Religious Preaching Bill, if passed into Law, will be constitutional. However, only time shall tell whether it will be successfully implemented, enforced and complied with. James Kanyip
The Supreme Court rose up to the challenge and decided on the legal effects of the interplay between law and policy. Law will always supersede policy no matter how well intentioned the policy may be. The clear and unambiguous provisions of the law should override any policy and therefore the decision of the Supreme Court in those election petitions in the states under reference remains good law. In deciding these cases the Supreme Court merely followed the established tradition in a long line of cases to the effect that a statement of policy cannot wipe away specific provisions of the law and a decision of the court based on policy leads to uncertainty in the law. Policy may only be upheld where it is not in direct conflict with the law. See GISAU v COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF CUSTOMS & ORS (2014)LPELR ,23367 CA. It is for similar reasons that the fundamental principles and state policy as enshrined in the constitution as a policy is generally unenforceable. There are several issues arising from the decision of the Supreme Court on this matter and the first one is that the Supreme Court should despite the time constraints imposed by the Electoral Act endeavour to provide the reasons for its decision simultaneous to its judgment being read so that the rationale for its decision is immediately understood. Electoral petitions are sensitive and politicians are understandably passionate about them and in the absence of the reasons for the decisions at the material time, regrettable comments were made which tended to impugn the integrity of the justices and erode the dignity of the court. The second issue that needs to be urgently attended to is the amendment to the Electoral Act. I have made the point that the card reader came after the Electoral Act and there was no opportunity to amend the law before the elections. I therefore suggest that the ruling party should muster the courage to address these issues by proposing an amendment to the Electoral Act to ensure the specific inclusion of card readers and biometrics in elections. In the event that this is not done no useful purpose will be achieved by denigrating the Justices of the Supreme Court over a judgment reached on the basis of the prevailing law. Some credit must go to the former President for the close support that was given to the INEC in ensuring the passage of the Electoral Act and for making money available for the implementation of the card reader technology and the present administration is encouraged to build on what has already been achieved in the overall interest of our electoral process and our democracy. In the light of the past abuses of the system, the hybrid option of the card reader and electoral register should not be encouraged in the proposed amendment to the Act. It is my view that the card reader should be recognised as the sole benchmark for purposes of voting and INEC should be encouraged to fine tune the system through several test runs. In the final analysis the disenfranchisement of some voters is certainly better than an election that is massively rigged by either under-aged voters and over voting, ballot stuffing and outright falsification of results. We can learn a lot from the experiences of some other countries where free, fair and accurate elections are considered non - negotiable. I am happy that the House of Representatives have indicated an interest in amending the law on the heels of the Supreme Court decision. I encourage them to make haste with the effort as some elections that may come up before the general election will be a good test of the judicial attitude to the amendment. It is also inherently dangerous to initiate an amendment close to the elections as politicians will be looking to insert provisions that protect their vested interests. The time to strengthen our electoral process is now and it should be part of the change mantra. Chuks Nwana is a legal Practitioner and Policy Advocate based in Lagos.
Political Ideology and Law in Nigeria Joshua Olomo
t is said that law is the legal expression of a political ideology. Political Ideology (PI) and law are mutually exclusive concepts however inextricably intertwined. Law is a system of enforceable rules governing social relations and legislated by a political system and is thus connected to ideology. When we refer to both legal system and ideologies as communist, fascist, liberal etc. we are saying the law is shaped by a peoples’ political beliefs. For example, take the Nigerian conservative stance on homosexuality compared to the liberal western stance, on the other hand, look at the wests conservative approach to underage marriage and the liberal Nigerian approach to the same issue. There is a disconnect between the people, its politics and the governing law - evidence suggests that the Nigerian populous do not know what their parties political beliefs are, whether they are ‘Left Wing’, ‘Right Wing’ or even ‘Centre’. Are we for the people? If so what sort of people? Or are we for the corporations, if so what sort of corporations? In addition to this, we are unaware of whether we have a naturalist or positivist legal approach to the enforcement of such ideologies. Somehow somewhere we have forgotten the very bedrock of a political party and its governing laws is its ideology, I guess its time to go back to basics. What is Political ideology? The French thinker Claude Destutt de Tracy coined the term at the turn of the nineteenth century in his study of the Enlightenment and felt ideology was the science of ideas and their origins, he believed it shaped what people think and was of the opinion that this view could be put to progressive political purposes. PI is also seen as an action orientated system of beliefs, according to Daniel Bell, this is to mean since it is action orientated its role is not to render reality transparent but to motivate people to do or not to do certain things. Amongst the various definitions John Schwazmantel put it aptly like this- ‘political ideology is a set of ideas which is normative, setting out an ideal, aiming at arousing support on a mass basis for those ideas, seeking to agitate in their favor.’ He explains ideology as totalistic as it presents at least in its fullest form, a broad range of views which cover the central aspects of how society should be organised, answering such questions as what the role of the state should be and in the widest sense ideology provides answers as to what kind of society is desirable. Party Origins Prior to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) there existed three main political groups; the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), the Action Group (AG) and the National Council for Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC), with strong political ideologies. The NPC were very right winged in their style of politics, the AG due to its main head Obafemi Awolowo practiced neo-Marxism and democratic socialism (aka
Austromarxism) and the NCPC were liberal socialists. This was how they were identified and it was this cohesion that caused them to be vigorous and unmoving in a lot of their policies thus, creating cohesion and decamping was unheard of. From a legal perspective PI is like a company’s mission or vision statement. It tells us a little about the company. Then of course the article and memorandum of association are like manifestos, going into the detail of the policy of the entity; what they want to do, why they exist, who are its leaders and its plan for the future. The three above parties were distinguishable, there was no question as to what they wanted to achieve nor the future they wanted to create for Nigeria. Each group vehemently shaped by their beliefs, had ideas of how they wanted to run Nigeria i.e. the neo Marxist/democratic socialism AG that intended to spread the wealth and ensure education was limitless for the people regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. Further the NCNC with their conservative socialism intended for integration and again a more meritocratic system of government. This was very evident in the sorts of laws they intended to pass. Law and ideology for these parties was not so disjunctive, they worked hand in hand. How do we identify P.I.? The manifesto and their social, economic and foreign policies give them away, further the types of laws that are passed is a huge hinter as to the system of government they intend to run i.e. if their policies tend to always favor the working class to the detriment of the bourgeoisie, or if they tend to favor white collar corporations etc., it is all suggestive of how they intend to run the country for the next 4years. Further, the name also gives it away, famous party names i.e. Labor, Democrats etc. tend to suggest a more socialist ideology however, Conservatives, Republicans tends to suggest a more capitalist ideology and so be rest assured their policies would follow the same. Nonetheless, there is no singular ideology within a party; parties tend to have several mixed ideologies based on their social values i.e. take the US Republican party. Its core ideals are founded on conservatism, however its economic policies are founded on economic liberalism and its social polices mirror that of neo-functionalists. This perceptibly shows a party can never be fully one sided, although a lot of its policies may show otherwise, it has to be balanced, most especially in a democracy and if that government wants to avoid mutiny. Hence the phrases a political party is ‘middle left’ or ‘center right’ show that parties willingness to meet half way with a lot of its policies adapting and evolving to meet the needs of the people it intends to govern. Evidence of lack of a political ideology in Nigeria is shown when we vote. Research has shown that the majority of Nigerians did not vote based on ideology but rather by the personality of the individual(s) running for office. So is the ‘Peoples Democratic Party’, left? And ‘All Progressive Congress’ Right? Or is it the other way round? Not so clear is it. Lets not be too harsh on this style of government, there is some political ideol-
ogy and there have been laws passed to that measure, as the Ektiti State Governor rightly put it ‘stomach infrastructure’ style of government (suggesting his very right wing style of politics). The president, on the other hand, has a zero tolerance approach on corruption, suggesting he is perhaps neosocialist (his empowerment of the Judiciary to help him fight it, recognising the law still as a powerful tool). Political ideology and its accompanying laws allow us to see what a leader looks like i.e. Soviet Russia with Stalin and Trotsky and their laws governing socio-economics ensured the ‘doctor’ was paid as much as the ‘carpenter’ (focus being that they are as important as each other); and of course Uganda with Idi Amin and his rules or lack of that severely damaged the country economically. If your politics is not clear, your policies won’t be clear either, and your laws will be left vague and ambiguous and subject to inept interpretation. There is nothing more chaotic and unfavorable to a state than a leader who is unsure of what his political beliefs are and what he can achieve with the tools given to him. What Schwarzmantel exclaimed was PI presents a picture of what the state should look like, the desirable society. So as the US Republicans are in a bid to get into power their beliefs/ideas tell us what that state will look like in the next 4years of their office. A basic example of a socialist ideal expressed by the US Democratic party was its policy on health – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as ‘Obama Care’. Why is political ideology so important? PI binds the party members to one cause, goal and belief. There is a lot of decamping in Nigeria. A deeply rooted “lefty” won’t swing to a deeply rooted right winged party, if he does, it would mean they really did not believe in that cause and would be recognised as phony, unless by some ‘Damascus experience’ he changes over. This is also applicable to the style of laws made or passed. A naturalist legal perspective cannot later pose as that of a positivist. In an ideal world the person would probably not lead that party and be given a key political position for fear his or her policies would be contrary to the party’s main aims and objectives. To put it more simply, a Marxist switching to become a Capitalist, like hot and cold, like water and oil, like light and darkness, they donnot mix, however these are extreme examples and are found mainly in autocratic regimes i.e. South Korea. Former state Governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Abdulahi Bafarawa stated ‘lack of political ideology (in Nigeria) was the reason politicians were
cross carpeting’ he went on to say “unless leaders of political parties form and maintain political ideologies on their stand, cross carpeting from one party to another will continue to exist”. Scharzmantel states that if PIs present a picture of the desirable society, then it is hard to see how they could be dispensable. He further states that it mobilises people in support of the political projects designed to bring about ‘that’ particular kind of society. It builds within society a sense of patriotism. Positivist/Naturalist regulations Emanating from this we can discuss the legal ideological points of naturalist and positivist law. A natural lawyer (their beliefs stemming from Thomas Aquinas), would argue law is dependent on morality, a moral criteria, it is in a sense “the way the law ought to be”, i.e. the fact that we donnot have any laws governing competition in Nigeria would be said to be immoral by natural lawyers. Nonetheless, John Austin, a positivist has argued that legal legitimacy of law does not depend on a moral criteria, another positivist H.L.A. Hart has extended this and said the laws of legitimacy can be determined by a moral criteria outside of the law that might recommend disobedience, for instance issues stemming from public policy (i.e. raising the minimum age of marriage to 18). What Hart is trying to say is what the law is (14yrs old as acceptable marrying age) and what the law ought to be (18yrs old) should be kept distinct. This begs the question, what sort of legal ideology influences the passing of our laws in Nigeria? Without digressing into legal theory, the point here is ideology, once acknowledged, brings cohesion. What next? PI is the bedrock of a parties ecosystem, without it the party ‘fly’s blind’ in the face of serious legal, economic and political issues. Knowing whether a party is left winged or right winged is pertinent to what we envisage for the country’s future. Its economic, social, foreign, defence, health, education polices are given further clarity by their ideologies. For instance, a party with liberal socialist ideals on war may not have a robust military. Further, their policies on justice are stemmed from their naturalist or positivist views of law. What we have in Nigeria that identifies our style of governance are ethnicity, regionalism and of course money politics. Quintessentially, we need to be re-orientated to how effective and efficient a system of government can be when it is aware of its political ideals and its proficiency in ensuring they are enacted. Joshua Olomo is a legal practitioner, based in Lagos.
ODINKALU URGES NIGERIANS TO SUPPORT BUHARI’S FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 clothes those who perpetrate it with impunity.” He also berated public office holders who used their position to accumulate wealth, saying that such individuals betray public trust. “By so doing, they corrode the public authority and do incalculable damage to the capabilities of the state. In other words, grand corruption violates human rights on a grand scale and by ensuring impunity for those responsible for it, it also destroys the institutions of the rule of law and subverts the notion of equality before the law,” he asserted. He observed that “Nigeria does not have a choice between fighting corruption and respecting human rights. We must do both. The government has a responsibility to ensure that it does not throw legality overboard in its drive for accountability for grand corruption.” “Allegations of disobedience of court orders
have been well founded in some cases. This is unnecessary and counter-productive. The tendency to arrest first before investigating, which is prevalent in police operations, appears also evident in some of the work of the anti-corruption agencies,” he added. The NHRC boss, who described himself as a proponent of asset declaration stated that asset declaration saves one from all the lies and accusations against a public office holder, adding that whosoever does not want to declare his or assets should not go into public office. "The National Judicial Council should get ahead of the game and fish out and deal with corrupt judges before others do it for them. "It is no longer enough to merely retire judges caught with their hands in the till or to sanction lawyers who go about corrupting the judicial system. We need to put a few in jail.
"This said, the fight against corruption will not be won by merely brandishing the disciplinary or prosecutorial stick alone, as important and necessary as those are. This campaign must begin with running a competent and effective administration, a sound political economy and rebuilding the institutional capabilities of the bureaucracy.” Odinkalu urged. Former Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Samuel Omotunde Ilori (rtd), who also chaired the event warned the President against violating human rights in the fight against corruption. “The President has been fighting corruption and impunity since the beginning of this administration but he must do so within the confinement of the law and respect human rights,” Ilori stated. He also emphasised that educating Nigerians from secondary school on the provisions of
the law is key to fighting corruption. Sylvester Imhanobe, Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice highlighted measures the ministry is adopting in supporting the crusade against corruption, he stated that it had embarked on institutional and legislative reforms. Imhanobe, who was one of the Discussants noted that an administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Committee had been inaugurated by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed. He hinted that the prosecution committee had been set up comprising of 155 investigators, an established asset declaration committee. It provides compensations for witnesses as prescribed under the Witness Protection Programme Act and Whistle Blower Protection Law, among others.
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN led a 35-man delegation of Nigerian lawyers on a study tour of the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands. Here are some members of the delegation.
L-R: Chairman, NBA Ibadan branch, Mr. KGB Kazeem Gbadamosi, Chairman, NBA Ikeja branch, Mr. Yinka Farounbi and NBA General Secretary, Mazi Afam Osigwe
L-R: NBA-SBL Vice-Chairman, Mr. Olumide Akpata, Mr. Kelechi Onwu and Mrs. Evelyn Rogers
L-R: Managing Partner, Russel Advocaten, Mr. Reinier Russell, President of the Amsterdam District Court, Mr. H.C. Naves and NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN
L-R: Ms Eyitemi, Deputy Director General, Nigerian Law School, Professor Festus Emiri, Mrs. Kelubia Ajose and Mrs. Uju Udodi
NBA President Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN (left) and former Ekiti State Attorney-General, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda
L-R: Mrs. Uju Udodi, Mrs. Kelubia Ajose, ICC Chief Prosecutor, Mrs. Fatou Bensouda and NBA Executive Director of Administration, Mrs. Ifueko Alufohai
Chairman, NBA Ikeja branch, Mr. Yinka Farounbi, Mrs. Kelubia Ajose, Mr. Kelechi Onwu, Chief Gweke Akudihor and Mr. Jude Igbanoi
L-R: Mr. Kelechi Onwu, NBA Head of Protocol, Mr. Kazeem Nasir and former NBA Onitsha Chairman, Mr. Chidi Onyiuke
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
As Power Woes Worsen Following the recent revelation by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu that the repairs of the damaged Shell-operated Forcados subsea pipeline could last till May, Ejiofor Alike reports that the current instability in electricity supply in the country may not end soon Last Wednesday’s reported drop in power generation to 1,580.60 megawatts was the peak of the current crisis in electricity supply, which has been largely attributed to sabotage of the gas supply pipelines, especially the Forcados subsea pipeline, which began to leak on February 14, exactly 12 days after the country recorded 5,074 megawatts all-time peak in power generation. Though the weak transmission infrastructure has also contributed to the current load shedding as evidenced by the near system collapses recorded in recent days, gas constraints account for the loss of about 1,500 megawatts, according to a recent data from the National Control Centre (NCC), Osogbo, Osun State. With thermal power plants, which rely on gas, accounting for 81 per cent of the country’s power generation, any disruption of gas pipelines impacts heavily on electricity supply. The distribution companies, due to their direct interface with the public, receive the greatest bashing but recent findings by THISDAY revealed that the generation companies have also not done enough to put the machines in order even when there is improved gas availability. However, sabotage of gas transportation lines has remained the greatest impediment to improved power generation, even though the transmission network has demonstrated its lack of capacity to wheel power that is above certain limits. The Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) in the eastern Niger Delta and the Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP), in the western Niger Delta are the worst hit, among all the gas pipeline networks that are susceptible to attacks by vandals and oil thieves. For instance, between December 29, 2014 and February 9, 2015, there were six different attacks on these pipelines resulting to the loss of 150 million standard cubic feet per day of gas (MMScf/ d), an equivalent of 700 megawatts. In fact, the total closure of the Forcados pipeline alone in the first week of January 2015 due to sabotage had led to a drop in power generation by 1,500 megawatts as almost half of the country’s gas production was affected. Forcados is Nigeria’s major artery, accounting for 40-50 percent of gas production in the country. Nigeria produces about eight billion cubic feet of gas per day and 1.9 billion cubic feet is supplied to the domestic market daily for power generation and other domestic uses. Until recently, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had enjoyed honeymoon as there were no attacks on the gas infrastructure within the first seven months of the administration. However, the honeymoon seems to be over with the first attack on Escravos-Lagos Pipeline, followed by the bombing of the Forcados subsea pipeline. With the February 14, 2016 spill on Forcados subsea pipeline, which forced Shell to declare force majeure on February 21, the bubble has since burst, with the country losing over 1,000 megawatts to the damage. This has plunged the country into darkness in recent weeks after the February 2, 2016 peak generation of 5,074 megawatts. Forcados pipeline is a crude oil facility but once it is heavily impacted by sabotage or equipment failure, gas fields that supply gas to power stations are shut down because the liquid condensate they produce together with gas is normally evacuated through the pipeline. The pipeline, which is operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), belongs to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Shell had confirmed that its diving teams, which inspected the export pipeline reported extensive damage that was consistent with the application of external force, an indication that it was an act of sabotage. With the revelation by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu that the repairs on the NPDC’s pipeline could last up to May 2016, the current epileptic power supply will not end soon. With the poor generation, the distribution companies were allocated with what was available at the grid.
Allocation of epileptic power supply to the distribution companies on March 9
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola At the peak of the crisis Ikeja Electric was allocated 237.09 megawatts, representing 15 per cent of the generated power, Ibadan Disco and Abuja Disco got 205.48MW and 181.77MW, representing 13 per cent and 11.5 per cent, respectively. Eko Disco got 173.87MW or 11 per cent; Benin and Enugu got nine per cent each translating to 142.25MW each; Kaduna and Kano Discos got eight per cent each or 126.45 megawatts each; Port Harcourt received 102.74megawatts or 6.5 per cent, while Jos and Yola received 86.93MW and 55.32MW,translating to 5.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively. Poor state of power stations Apart from the inadequate gas supply to the power stations, THISDAY has also gathered that the generating companies, which have been giving excuses of gas constraints, have also not been doing enough to put the machines in operation as many units of the major gas-fired and hydro power generating states are still out either due to equipment failure. For instance, recent investigation revealed that at the six-unit capacity Egbin Power Plc, which is the biggest power station in the country, Unit ST1 was out due to generator circuit breaker trouble. However, Unit ST5 was out due to gas constraints. With these challenges, power generation at the 1,320 megawatt plant hovers around 800 megawatts. At the Kaniji Hydro Power Station, THISDAY also learnt that Unit 1G7 was out due to stator winding failure, Unit 1G8 was out due to what the operators called loss of supply to the auxillary, Unit 1G9
was out due to burnt 7.5MVA 33/0.415KV& 183.6mva 16/330kv Station service transformer and generator transformer. Investigation also revealed that Unit 1G10 OF Kainji Station was shut down due to thrust bearing temperature problem while 1G12 was out on rehabilitation. With only three units- 1G5, 6 and 11 working, the plant, which has a capacity of over 600 megawatts, was producing between 340MW and 334MW. THISDAY gathered that Jebba Hydro Station, which has almost the same capacity with Kainji was producing only 343 megawatts because Unit 2G3 was out on maintenance of the governor system, while Unit 2G6 was out due to burnt generator winding and AVR. At the Shiroro Hydro Power Station, it was learnt that only two of the four units were producing 300MW as Unit 411G1 was said to have tripped on emergency shut down lock out and DC short circuit, while Unit 411G4 was out for maintenance. Investigation also revealed that the Alaoji Power Station with a nameplate capacity of 1,074 megawatts was producing only 69.4 megawatts from the only one unit that was available because Unit GTG1-1 was out on what the operators called low lube oil; Unit GTG1-2 was out on maintenance, while Unit GTG2-1 was out for structural maintenance. It was also learnt that the old 434 megawatt capacity Geregu Power Plant, which was also privatised during power privatisation was not producing electricity because Unit GT11 was out on outage, Unit GT12 was shut down for major overhaul, while Unit GT13 was out on maintenance. However, the yet-to-be privatised 434 megawatt capacity Geregu Power Station built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) was producing only 133 megawatts because Unit GT21 was out due to gas constraints, Unit GT22 tripped due to high differential pressure, while GT23 was on spinning reserve. THISDAY also gathered that the two NIPP plants and the two privatised plants at Omotosho and Olorunsogo in Ondo and Ogun States, respectively, were producing far below installed capacities because most of the units were out due to gas constraints, vibration trouble, generator transformer isolator problem, or their generation was reduced due to high air inlet deferential pressure. Labour unrest Persistent labour unrest has also contributed significantly to the recent woes in electricity supply in the country. For instance, a one-day strike by oil workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum
and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) workers had paralysed gas supply to power stations, thus resulting to massive load shedding across the country by electricity distribution companies. Head of Corporate Communications, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Godwin Idemudia had told THISDAY that power generation had gone down due to the strike by the NNPC workers and aplogised to customers under the company’s network for the outage. “Presently, Ajah-Lekki axis, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Yaba, Apapa, Surulere, Mushin, up to Festac, Agbara and Badagry are affected,” Idemudia explained.. The strike was fueled by an announcement by Kachikwu that President Buhari had approved the restructuring of the NNPC into seven new divisions. Ikeja Electric had also apologised for the epileptic power supply across its network , and blamed the outage on the protest by the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Matters (SSAEAM). The company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Felix Ofulue attributed the poor service to the activities by some labour unions which were picketing the facilities of the company. According to him, the workers of the company were not on strike but were prevented by the protesting labour unions from gaining access to the facilities. NUEE and SSAEAM had commenced a protest against Ikeja Electric over the company’s alleged disengagement of 400 workers, lack of adequate safety equipment to safeguard workforce and other labour-related issues. But Ofulue said the company had employed 603 staff between January 2015 and February 2016, in keeping with its commitment to drive service excellence through robust human capital profiling and development, adding also that 74 others were promoted. FG apologises Apparently embarrassed by the poor power situation in recent weeks, the federal government, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed at the weekend apologised to Nigerians for the epileptic power situation. The minister blamed the situation partly to routine maintenance by the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC), which forced down power supply from an all-time high of 5,074 MW to about 4,000MW. ”The vandalism of the Forcados export pipelines forced oil companies to shut down, making it impossible for them to produce gas. Then, workers at the Ikeja Discos, who were protesting the disengagement of some of their colleagues after they failed the company’s competency test, apparently colluded with the National Transmission Station in Osogbo to shut down transmission,” he explained. “Finally, the unfortunate strike by the unions at the NNPC, over the restructuring of the corporation, shut down the Itarogun Power Station, the biggest in the country,” Mohammed added. The minister however said due to these factors, only 13 out of the 24 power stations in the country were functioning. It was not clear what the minister meant by Itarogun Power Station as the country has no such power station but the Utorogu Gas plant, which receives gas from NNPC’s Utorogu gas field in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 34. But all the issues that contributed to the worsening power situation were within the control of the government and could have been avoided if the government had fulfilled its responsibility to the people. Was it the labour issue that the government could not nip in the bud by carrying the unions along on decisions that have labour implications or is it vandalism that has defied all solutions? Nigerians are tired of excuses and nothing short of regular power supply would assuage the feelings of the people.
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
Endless War in Defence of Consumers As the World Consumer Rights Day is marked today around the globe, Crusoe Osagie reviews efforts of the Consumer Protective Council to stem the exploitation of the Nigerian consumer In Nigeria, the concept of the consumer and his supremacy hardly means anything to anyone. From large corporations to tinny sales or services outlet, they all seem to harbour either a deep contempt or a subtle disregard for the paying consumer. The list of common violations that have been prevalent in the market in Nigeria, across various sectors is endless. In this country, a major telecommunications company scammed the entire nation’s market for a couple of years, insisting that it was impossible to calibrate telephone bills per second. In those days, if you initiated a phone call and it was terminated in two seconds, probably due to a network failure, you were forced to pay for 60 seconds by the same telephone company whose inefficiency forced the conversation to end in two second. This was as low as it could get in Nigeria. The consumer had absolutely no voice and the agencies of government set up to defend their rights were often down right hapless. Several other blatant abuses of consumer rights still prevalent in the country can be found in the different sectors. For example, mobile phone service providers charge customers for all sorts of unsolicited services like call back tunes, automatic deductions of credit when internet subscription bundle expires, automatic switch to voice message when a caller can’t get to his intended receiver the list goes on. If you also look at the pay television segment, you also find a lot of rights violation. For instance, the weather is bad and you lose signal from your pay television service provider but you still pay for the period when the service was down. This violation of rights is not only peculiar to larger corporation. Even the small-time traders in the Alaba international market for example, refuse to return your money even when it is clear they have sold a faulty product to you. For them, all liabilities rests with the consumer once the product has been paid for. Even in cases when you are still standing right before the seller. Apparently to deal with these sorts of issues, beginning from the United States in 1962, the then president, John F. Kennedy, started to advance the course of customers. On March 15, which marks the date in 1962 Kennedy first outlined the definition of consumer rights, the day became known as the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD), an annual occasion for celebration and solidarity within the international consumer movement. WCRD is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers, for demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and for protesting the market abuses and social injustices, which undermine them. WCRD was first observed on March 15, 1983 and has since become an important occasion for mobilising citizen action. Consumer Rights Restoration Perhaps, until the current Director General of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mrs. Dupe Atoki, took over as the chief executive of the agency, consumers neither understood the boundaries of their rights nor did service providers ever give a second thought to it. With her coming on board however, there began an unprecedented running battle between the CPC and giant multinationals, Coca-cola and the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), over violation of consumer rights. The agency has also engaged the leading pay television company in the country, Multichoice, in response to various consumer complains. In the unprecedented confrontation with NBC and Coca-cola, the CPC, under the leadership of Atoki investigated and substantiated allegation of product defect and breach of safety standards; made far reaching recommendations for system change and standard compliance; embarked on the prosecution of both companies and their chief executives for
billing, arbitrary increase in electricity bills, non-supply of metres to consumers several months after payment and lack of proper consumer complaints redress mechanism. These issues are now being addressed by the operators most of who took over from the government-controlled power sector operators recently. In the banking sector, the agency commenced investigation of FCMB for charging arbitrary and excessive interest on loan facilities while the VIP Express Tourism Limited was investigated for allegedly exerting undue pressure on consumers and reneging on agreement to provide desired holiday destinations to consumers upon completion of their subscription payments In the process, the agency successfully redressed numerous consumer complaints from all sectors of the economy; carried out raids in different parts of the country, including Lagos, Awka, Abuja, Kano and Kaduna; won two different court cases at Federal High Courts in Abuja and Kano affirming the Council’s power to remove hazardous products from the market and secured Court Order to destroy defective products worth over multiple millions of naira.
Atoki flouting Council’s orders eventually came to a truce with the companies and got them to reaffirmed their commitment to product quality and consumer satisfaction. Since then, the intervention in the food and beverage sector has resulted in self-regulation by all players in the sector, which has brought about cleaner bottles and less complaints about half-filled cans and foreign particles in drinks.
In those days, if you initiated a phone call and it was terminated in two seconds, probably due to a network failure, you were forced to pay for 60 seconds by the same telephone company whose inefficiency forced the conversation to end in two second
Aviation Sector Intervention In the Aviation sector, the CPC has investigated the operations of Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Limited and found the company culpable for abandoning passengers overnight at Abuja Airport. Following the investigation an Order of Council was issued for the overhaul of its disruption/crisis management system and the award of compensation for the abandoned passengers All the customers who suffered that flagrant violation of their rights were duly compensated. Pay Television Intervention In the satellite television sector the agency carried out investigation of Multichoice Nigeria Limited, franchise owners of DSTV, for alleged consumer abuse At the end of the enquiry, the Council substantiated allegations of violation of consumer rights by Multichoice in the provision of its digital satellite television service. Responding, the agency issued far reaching orders to Multichoice, including suspension of service when consumers are away; release of free-to-air channels, even when subscription expires; compensation across board to consumers for lost viewing time; reasonable equitable spread of popular sports channels, among others, as well as introduction of local toll-free lines. Electricity Services Providers In the power sector, the CPC commenced investigation of distribution companies (DISCOs) over concerns of consumer rights abuse through different anomalies including estimated
Partnerships Under Atoki, the agency has signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to enable both agencies share information and intelligence in order to bring dubious businesses like mortgage companies, estate developers, forex and online scammers of consumers to book. There is also an agreement with the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) to provide technical data or advice with which the CPC can pursue redress for electricity consumers. As for the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), it is cooperating with the CPC in raising the awareness of electric power consumers, resolving consumer complaints, enforcing quality standards, enforcing the protection, compensation and provision of appropriate relief for aggrieved and injured electric power consumers, and sharing information on regulatory issues in the sector. The CPC and NERC have also resolved to jointly enforce the mandatory 60-day order to electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to either meter or stop billing consumers under the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme. CPC also has useful engagements with the management of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON); the Film and Video Censors Board Film; the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Challenges The CPC has made the above unprecedented improvements though faced with formidable challenges including poor staff strength, with a staff strength of 270 people to manage 170 million Nigerians. CPC therefore lacks the numerical strength to effectively protect Nigerians, particularly in removing hazardous products and enforcement of quality . There is also the lack of spread of offices in Nigeria with the agency currently having only eight offices in Abuja, Lagos, Oshogbo, Awka, Port-Harcourt, Minna, Katsina and Bauchi, which are grossly inadequate in tackling some deep-rooted consumer abuses in the country. Funding is also a major challenge for the CPC, with the agency remaining one of the most poorly funded agencies of the federal government, in spite of the need to adequately educate consumers, remove hazardous products from markets across the country and enforce the rights of consumers in Court.
T H I S D AY â€˘ TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
Still on Naira Devaluation Bode Olowoporoku The controversy as to whether to devalue the naira or not has taken the centre stage in the national discourse. One can pardon illiterates in economics especially primitive accumulators who are shouting for further devaluation of the naira. But when some professors of Economics and Ex CBN Governor and IMF have joined the chorus to continue to devalue the naira, then, something serious is amiss. The single reason they all gave is because the rate of Naira in the paralleled market has worsened. In the first place, Nigerians must know that the Dollar is not a legal tender in Nigeria. Only the Naira is our legal tender which facilitates the exchange of goods and services among Nigerian citizenry. I beat my chest that my former students who are now professors of Economics who went through my courses on theories and strategies of Economic Development at Ife can never make the mistake of joining the neoclassical scholars on this fundamental issue which is central to the economic developments of Nigeria. The history of nations that have developed shows that nations during their development process concentrated on the internal organization of productive sector and not the exchange of their national currencies against any foreign currencies. It was only during the gold standard that every country was legally compelled to relate their currencies to the value of gold which was like a legal tender in all countries. But since it was discovered that the expansion of different economies was put in straitjacket by gold standard and so it was abandoned. Every country was allowed to have its national legal tender and therefore no compulsion or pressure to fix any national currency to any external currency. Thus when Japan embarked on its historic strategic economic development, the Japanese Yen was about 1,000 to the Dollar. Today it is 112.86 to the dollar. It is the growing strength of the Japanese economy that has moved its currency to its present exchange rate level. Japan was not under pressure to devalue its currency, it ignored all external rates of the Yen and concentrated on increasing its productivity and productive capacity. China also ignored any exchange rate, devised visible and invisible walls round its economy in complete autarky. The Yuan that was unknown some years ago is now gradually becoming international currency. In fact, most big countries that have attained meaningful economic development, used autarky or semi-closed economy as strategic device during their infant years on the race to accomplish fundamental economic development. What is important is development. Countries which have developed models and strategies of economic Development have no time to be panicking about the exchange rate of their national currency to any other foreign currency. The concentration is on expanding the productivity and productive capacity of their country. It is the primitive accumulators coupled with neoclassical esoteric scholars that want to derail President Buhari from concentrating on how to get Nigeria started on the path to fast-track the development of Nigeria. Therefore, President Buhari is right for insisting that the Naira will not be officially devalued any further. It has been devalued twice or thrice from N150 to the dollar to its present official rate of N196 to the dollar. Despite this, the rate at the parallel or black market widens. It is above N300 to the dollar now. If the Government should start running after closing the gap between parallel market, it will develop into run away rate and this will be a disaster because the naira will soon become an object of rejection. It is the enemies of government who want to drive the government into the no end devaluation of disaster. I wish Buhari were a military Head of
CBN building, Abuja State so as to have power to ban the parallel market and let us see those who are used to Dollar as their own Legal tender who will run away from this country. It was a shame that Jonathan as President of Nigeria resorted to the use of dollar to the extent that Dollar became the legal tender in the Villa which made dollar to become the legal tender in the strategic institutions of Nigeria. In fact State Governors then opted that their monthly allocation should be in dollars, what a disaster that the regime inflicted on Nigeria. We are now reaping the agonizing fruits of the locust years of misrule of Nigeria. Those who are crying hoarse are thiefs, money launderers and other primitive accumulators who trade only in money and not in goods and factors of production. The most critical importance of foreign exchange is the effect on the external balance of trade/balance of payment. The bigger the deficit in balance of trade the greater the problem of the Country. Therefore the important countries of the World used all methods at their disposal to restrict imports and encourage exports so as to ensure favourable balance of trade which would also enhance productivity and employments. Some closed their economy completely in what is called autarky. Japan, China and Britain etc used autarky to curb imports and developed exports behind protective walls. If we devalue the Naira, the benefit should be to reduce import and increase export. But because we are a consuming nation there is nothing to export, therefore there is no gain to the Nigeria economy from such devaluation venture. Worse is that the appetite of Nigerians for foreign goods is inelastic which means that when devaluation makes foreign goods more expensive, this does not reduce the Nigerians demands for the goods. Therefore why should an enlightened Nigerian be excited that Nigeria will bleed on all fronts if we continue to devalue. The reason some people advance is because of round tripping by banks. It is a pity that President Buhari has not yet put radical economic revolutionary policies in place. Why must the CBN continue to distribute US Dollars monthly or weekly? Is that how Malaysia, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, Hong
Kong, Singapore, Turkey etc allocate Dollars weekly or monthly? It is this allocation that breeds corruption which destroys and distorts the productive apparatus of Nigeria economy. As part of President Buhariâ€™s economic policy, let a Commission be put in place with a mandate to diversify, increase the industrial capacity of Nigeria. A list of industries that can directly manifest the mission statement of the Commission be put in place. The dollar allocation should go to such industries and under the watchful eyes of the Security Agencies. Part of the dollar earned from oil should be used to boost our foreign reserve. Any other establishment that cannot operate within the confine of Nigeria development goals and targets can ship out. Those industries that have large employment absorptive capacity, and or export orientation must be adequately catered for in the allocation of the dollar whose value to naira will be determined to deliver the political economy of Nigeria from the shackles of underdevelopment. The only vacuum in President Buhari policy is that he has not unfolded meaningful economic policy vision that can refocus the psyche of Nigerians to an inevitable future that is full of reaping the benefits of the sacrifice being made now. Buhari cannot rule in a visionless vacuum. He needs economic vision which can get the citizenry to fast-track the development of Nigeria. National Conference cannot fix this for President Buhari. Economic Development is not costless, it has pains incorporated. But if the Government unfolds an Economic Policy that can make Nigeria know that soon, it will be comfort and happiness, Nigerians are willing to sacrifice. Only the elitist primitive accumulators who have stolen Nigerian wealth in a big way can almost go to war because Nigerians are being asked to sacrifice. They are the enemies who inflict injuries on the common man. If President Buhari must be the Messiah as countries which have developed have their messiahs at critical period of their development, therefore President Buhari must engage knowledgeable Nigerians to draw up economic development programme. The Budget is just a fiscal layout of revenue and expenditure of government. It is at best
an exercise in infrastructural guide of the nation. What we are talking in Economic Development is an integrated holistic program of total mobilization of the citizenry and remodeling their psyche to diversify and increase the production and productivity of the entire citizenry. To achieve this, all the Nigerian economy must be organized on Systemic Models, sector by sector with different academies that will outreach all programmes into the entire citizenry. Economic Development is not an esoteric theme of the neoclassical theory rather it is an empirical policy drawing and blending from similar historic and recent successful experiments. President Buhari must sit down and act fast so that detractors and scholars of neoclassical theory (which IMF represents) do not overwhelm him into permanent derailment. Because oil price dropped, therefore major source of dollar accumulation dropped and the value of naira to dollar inevitably dropped therefore some well placed Nigerians shout that there is economic crisis. But if there is shortage of water, cassava, yams, maize, there is no talk of economic crisis. The total foreign sector of Nigeria that must use Dollar as their Legal tender is not more than 15% (or less) of the Nigerian economy. It is in the interest of long run development of Nigeria to reduce the 15% for now until Nigerian Economy has grown the structures and capacity to export and compete in the World Market as Japan, China, India etc has done and as Britain did when it was trying to industrialize. It is not in the interest of Nigeria to leave gold standard and move to dollar standard. Lastly, I want to feel that it is not because of dollar crisis that an Economic National Conference is being called. This cannot be the alternative solution. The only solution to grow the Nigerian economy and it is the duty of Government to put in place economic programs that can expand the domestic economy of Nigeria. Experts in Economic Development must be called to bear the task. Olowoporoku (Ph.D Econ, Manchester), is a former University of Ife Lecturer in Economic Development and former Commissioner for Economic Planning and Statistics, Ondo State.
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
CherieBlairFoundationPartnersExxonMobiltoEmpowerNigerianWomen Ejiofor Alike The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women recently celebrated an innovative new initiative to empower women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Developed with the support of the ExxonMobil Foundation, Cherie Blair Foundation said in a statement that the Road to Women’s Business Growth project aims to inspire women owners of small businesses in Nigeria by building their management and financial literacy skills. Women entrepreneurs worldwide face significant barriers to accessing financial services. Research shows that women-owned entities represent more than 30 percent of registered businesses globally, but only 10 per cent of women entrepreneurs have access to the capital needed to grow their businesses. In Nigeria, there is a persistent gender gap in financial inclusion, with only 34 percent of women having access to a bank account versus 54 percent of men. The Road to Women’s Business Growth initiative aims to address this gap by building the business management and financial literacy skills of women entrepreneurs, empowering them with the knowledge and tools they need to grow profitable and sustainable businesses. The project was implemented
in collaboration with the Enterprise Development Centre of Pan-Atlantic University, Diamond Bank and Emerging360. The initiative kicked off at the end of 2015 in Lagos, Abuja and Uyo. To date, 500 women small business owners have received training in business management and financial literacy. The custom-built curriculum, which combines in-class instruction and online learning, is specifically designed to meet the needs of women owners of small businesses in Nigeria. Over the next six months, the women entrepreneurs will continue to receive support to build their businesses, with 100 of them receiving more intensive business support, including workshops, mentoring, and linkages to financial services, investments and markets. The Road to Women’s Business Growth initiative was celebrated today at a special event to mark International Women’s Day at the Enterprise Development Centre of PanAtlantic University in Lagos. Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and wife of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said, “Women entrepreneurs play a powerful role in their societies and economies, often succeeding against huge odds. My Foundation is committed to supporting women in developing and emerging
markets to access the skills, networks, technology and financial services they need to establish and grow successful businesses.” She continued: “Our Road to Women’s Business Growth initiative will empower Nigerian women entrepreneurs to unlock the skills and tools they need to drive growth in their businesses
and communities.” Government officials, community leaders and women entrepreneurs attended the special event. Approximately 250 women business owners participating in the program were also present, and celebrated completing the first phase of training in an afternoon graduation ceremony
with their families. Chairman/Managing Director of ExxonMobil Upstream Nigeria, Nolan O’Neal was also present for the celebration and spoke about the company’s commitment to help women fulfill their economic potential. “Research shows that expanding economic opportunities for women is integral to
global development and broader economic progress,” he said. “Today less than 35 percent of women in Nigeria have access to a bank account and many lack the capital needed to grow their businesses. This initiative takes an important step toward increasing financial literacy and access for women business owners,” O’Neal said.
Chinese Conglomerate Expresses Interest in C/River’s Signature Projects A Chinese conglomerate, China Railway Engineering Group has indicated a strong commitment to invest in the signature projects embarked upon by the Cross River State government. This was the outcome of a recent meeting between representatives of the Chinese firm and Cross River State government in Calabar. Leader of the group and International Business Manager, China Railway Engineering, Mr. Chao Yang, disclosed that the group has a pool of multi-billion dollar funds that is readily available to be drawn to fund any economically viable investment anywhere in the world. Yang said they were in Calabar “to undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the projects initiated by the state government as well as explore
other possible areas we can collaborate and invest in, given the enabling environment. We are looking forward to having a productive and a reciprocal cooperation with Cross River State to achieve a win-win goal in our brighter future.” According to him, “Our construction company is rated 84th amongst the world’s Fortune 500 companies and has access to a pool of funds worth 130 billion dollars to finance any viable investment project globally.” He disclosed that they were in Cross River because they felt “the state is moving in the right direction considering the type of projects it is embarking on,” noting that “it will be a win-win situation if we partner each other to actualize the 260 km superhighway and the 5000 housing units for the no-income
and low income earners as well as the Bakassi deep seaport projects,” which they noted hold great economic potentials for both Nigeria and other neighbouring African countries given its scope. “We are really looking for projects that are marketable globally that we can partner on a long term basis and from what we have seen on ground, Cross River State has what we are looking for, so we will study the master plan and kickstart the process as soon as possible.” According to Yang, “Our corporation has been around in the country for a while now and currently, we are handling some projects in Ivory Coast, it’s really more on housing space; we are working with the government to mix up social and affordable economic
housing as well and I hope we will be given the opportunity to key into the social housing scheme of the state.” In his response, Cross River State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong (Jnr), told the investors that the state was willing to partner any reputable organisation to actualise its lofty dreams because the state was in a hurry to be transformed socio-economically. He pointed out that the vision of Governor Ben Ayade is very clear, saying that “if you have a port, the deepest port in Nigeria in Calabar and you have a state-of-the-art road serving as an evacuation route with various arteries to the various local regions of Nigeria, it will automatically transform the state in terms of economic indices.”
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
‘Nigeria Has over 5000 Exportable Products’ Crusoe Osagie A Certified International Trade Professional and Managing Director/CEO Koinonia Ventures Limited, Mr. Olufemi Boyede, has observed that Nigeria’s quest to diversify her economy is a feat that can be achieved in no distant time if government creates the enabling environment. He made this observation during a press conference in Lagos announcing a one-day workshop on non-oil export billed for Sheraton Hotel, Lagos on March 16. Boyede who has been a great player in the non-oil export industry for close to three decades said what the country needs to do is to begin to explore the over 5000 exportable products in its kitty. According to him, “the 5000 products I am talking about is not my invention. It is the
result of a research carried out by Nigeria Export Promotion Council about 10 years ago. He said the council recently under its new zero oil plan, had also enumerated 21 products, which it believes if adequately developed and promoted can immediately replace oil as Nigeria’s leading revenue. Boyede who is also the President, Koinonia Global Services Inc., Canada said Nigeria should be looking at its processed fruits and vegetables, its entertainment industry, the handicraft sector and the manufactured products for the ECOWAS market. He noted also that the solid mineral sector if given the needed attention can solely replace oil as Nigeria’s foreign exchange earner adding also that the service industry in Nigeria is a huge potential for the global market if adequately
explored. On the non-oil export workshop he said: “Our aim is to develop Nigeria export industry by helping to prepare desiring entrepreneurs with the requisite knowledge of exporting. “We at KVL see exporting from three sides: The supply side, the finance side and the market side. The March workshop will address all these sides and deliver to participants all they need to know about exporting. He said the workshop will have in attendance one of the world’s top consultants on quality issues, Prof Ken Ife coming to deliver a hands on guide on international trade compliance issues. Boyede disclosed further that the office of the trade representative of the European Union would be represented at the workshop along with other stakeholders.
BOI Seeks to Cut down Unemployment Worried about the high level of unemployment among the Nigerian youths currently being put at 25 per cent by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Bank of Industry (BOI) has announced plans to reduce the double figures to about 8 per cent in the country. The acting Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, explained that the youths which account for more than 60 per cent of the nation’s population are not employed and therefore lack the opportunities to fulfill their dreams and aspirations. Olagunju stated that the Development Finance Institution (DFI) hopes to use its recently launched Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) programme to address the high rate of youth unemployment in the nation.
Olagunju during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with entrepreneurship capacity building facilitators to launch the YES initiative said: “In this YES programme, we will make all our funds available because we are talking about youth employment. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), defining unemployment as people seeking employment that will not get employment. In Nigeria the unemployment level is in double digits at about 25 per cent. We need to bring it down to single digit from 25 per cent to about 7 per cent like yesterday. We have lost many years in development. The youths account for more than 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population. If anybody comes up with a viable business
proposal, we are going to support the business.” At the Bank of Industry, we believe that every billion invested in Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), can bring over 4500 jobs because of its multiplier effect by the quality of investment in MSMEs is much higher than in large enterprises particularly in the agro business sector According to him, BOI has been assured by its shareholders and the federal government of their willingness to support any viable business proposals brought forward by youths under the scheme. He added that the YESProgramme is another initiative of BOI that is designed to address youth unemployment in Nigeria, maintaining that the initiative entails building the capacity of the youths.
Lead Advisory to Partner Switzerland Forum Lead Advisory, a specialised consultancy providing in-depth strategy, top level advice and sound execution guidelines to discerning corporate clients in Nigeria, has entered into a strategic partnership with WCF Davos Switzerland, for the 2016 World Communication Forum. Lead Advisory, a sister company of Olashore’s Lead Capital, is thus the first company in its class and the first ever business advisory consultancy to be a strategic partner to the 2016 WCF Forum, holding at the Davos Congress Centre, the same location as the World Economic Forum. The Chairman & CEO of Lead Advisory Prince Bimbo Olashore, stated that the Davos Forum was a perfect fit for Lead Advisory. “The spread of attendance, the high intellectual level of engagement and the focus of the forum to seek out practical communication solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges, all fall in harmony with Lead Advisory’s solution providing posturing.
“In addition, we see this Forum as a great platform to highlight the opportunities in Nigeria to a global audience and demonstrate how the business success fundamentals of market identification, effective communications and flawless execution can also be activated in Nigeria. Lead Advisory will also be sharing the core messages and learnings from the Forum with the Nigerian public. It is crucial that we stay well informed with key developments and trends around the world and evaluate their impact on the Nigerian socio-political landscape. “ WCF is the world’s biggest Communication Forum, which kicked off on March 8, in Davos Switzerland. Communication professionals, CEOs, representatives of ministries, global business practitioners and some of the world’s most influential communications personalities will get together to discuss the key trends in global business communications.
The programme provides a diversified content and publicity opportunities for experts with out-of-the-box vision for the future of the industry. The participants will find out how to add meaning, integrate interests, how to engage the globe, how to manage crisis situations and much more. The focus of this year’s edition of the forum will be on the global communication agenda. WCF-Davos’2016 includes a number of presently relevant topics, among which are: Country Branding, Communicating Inter-Governmental Brands, Education in Communications, Global Tourism, From digital evolution to Robot revolution and How to be prepared for the future WCF Davos. WCF is an annual global event held at the Davos Congress Centre in Switzerland. Initiated by an International Coordinating Committee, it has united a great number of acknowledged professionals from over 55 countries worldwide.
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
PROPERTY & ENVIRONMENT Odusolu: New Makun City is an Urban Intervention Project to Create new Commercial Hub The Ogun State Government is creating a new commercial hub on the Lagos-Sagamu stretch of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway with the development of a seamless urban project called the New Makun City. Mr. Babajide Odusolu, Managing Director of Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation and Special Adviser to Governor Ibikunle Amosun on property and investments, in this interview with Bennett Oghifo, says the project is a game changer in the real estate market. He also discusses MTR Gardens’ model and OPIC’s partnership with Lafarge, a seasoned cement manufacturer and building solutions provider… Tell us about New Makun City… New Makun City is an urban intervention project that is designed to create a new commercial hub and privatise development along this corridor. You are presently at New Makun City which is our newest intervention in the housing market designed to air a view between the issues of urban development and regeneration, and provision of affordable housing scheme across the country. This project is peculiar in that one the things we are trying to do is to effectively marry the private sector-led initiative with government supported deliverables. What I mean is, as you all know, we are in partnership with Lafarge and what we are doing with them is to partner to accelerate the model that will be used to further housing development. They partner with us to hopefully drive volume production of houses, because to meet the demands we are talking about, we are not talking about just typical construction but producing houses with large stocks that will last for a period of time. We partner with Lafarge to work on that, and the buildings you inspected are the trial units; we did all those buildings within a month from start to finish. From the time we moved to site and marked out the site till the day the furniture was put was exactly five weeks. We wanted to test and prove that it could be done. The first stage of the programme was officially flagged off by the vice president on behalf of the president and we are moving to the next stage which is the commercial phase where we are going to be doing this development in volume. OPIC by its nature is what we call the business side of government. We are a government owned business, and our mandate is both to generate revenue for the state and to also fast-track the intervention that the state might have in the urban sector. MTR Gardens… MTR Gardens is a commercial product designed to fit into the opportunity created by people, who have been to Lagos State, who want Lagosstyle living standards at Ogun State pricing. So, what we are doing in MTR Gardens is what we are doing presently in Abeokuta. We are to provide 600 apartments with all of the supporting infrastructure and there are going to be about six floors each on completion. They are taking a little time because the area has a lot more environmental issues because we are using an area that was usually seen as a wetland. Part of the issue is that OPIC is like a guinea pig for government; so if there is an area that government wants to sanitise or clean up, we are the ones that they send there to go do studies and know what can be done and how we can commercialised the area. We are developing MTR Gardens and New Makun simultaneously; both are designed to achieve similar objectives and create new commercial hubs and urban hubs in the state. The MTR Gardens is located in wetlands. How do intend to solve that problem? The interesting thing is that we have done this before when we were to build the Orange Valley Estate in Abeokuta, which had the same problem. There was a valley and that was where all the waste water along the Obasanjo Hill Top went into, and it was just left fallow. The first thing we did was to create a canal out
there that leads all the way from one end to another, about 3 kilometres. Everybody was wondering what we were doing, creating canal, as we are not ministry of works and as that is not our job, but we actually took equipment from ministry of environment. They were wondering where their equipment were, what have you done with our equipment because we had it for almost six months on site and we created a canal. While creating the canal what we wanted was to ensure that all the waste water along that axis had a directional flow and we were able to achieve that. The reason I’m illustrating this is that the problem with Isheri is not just the fact that it is wetlands, but the fact that there was no master plan for the area. There was one on paper but, incidentally, OPIC was the original custodian of the land in Isheri before the last administration distorted the master plan that had existed. When that was distorted, no one took notice of the issue so we had a lot of construction going where there should be drainage channels. However, we are already mapping out a lot of channels for the water and the idea is to ensure that we create proper drainage solutions around that community, which is the first stage. Secondly, there are the issues that are always making houses expensive; they actually increase the finishing level of the buildings. My opinion is that this is not rocket science; it is done all the time in Lagos, maybe because Lagos is more of a water-logged area so when you are building in Lagos, people tend to be more sensitive of those things and it is the same basic skill we tend to apply here. The foundations are about 2.1- 2.4 metres above natural ground level; now there is full concealed raft foundation and even the road itself is going to be raised by 600 metres and we are draining everything from the end of the site across the canal there into the canal which will then be channelised to ensure that people around us don’t have flooding issues. The whole idea behind MTR Gardens is not just to build those houses but we are actually building a 1.5 kilometre boulevard and it isn’t just for us but it is to serve the entire community. Before we started that project, they all were locked in, they had issue with security, and they also had issues with even the road network and, that road that we are building now didn’t exist. By the time we finish building that road it will decongest traffic so you don’t just have one point of entrance but two points of entrance
exist in the entire neighbourhood. What is OPIC doing about affordable housing? Been a government-owned corporation, it means we have what is called a good credit rating because we are backed up by the government and what we have done with that is you device flexible schemes that make it easier for people to acquire our homes and that is why we have what we call the OPIC advantaged plan, which is not a mortgage plan, it is a financing plan that allows you to spread the course of acquisition over a 3-4 year period. Most companies are not ready to attend to anybody who is not earning anything from a hundred thousand naira and above. These have regular income and are also fairly well educated. They have sources of revenue within a period and can pay for their own homes. In fact, most of such people buy land in year one, save money and do the foundation in year two and in year three finish the building and call everybody to a party but nobody builds over less than three years in that sector. So, for that market, what we have done is that instead of you taking all the burden, we will build in year one, and allow you to pay over an extended period of time, and that is what OPIC Advantage is all about. It is targeted towards that extended period of time; we believe that, easily, within the Lagos-Ogun market axis we have over 200,000 people that it affects. For them, affordability is about how to pay not what to pay; that is a smaller market, but the larger market is about cost and how to pay, which is where we are bringing in people like Lafarge and other banks we will introduce to you as time goes on. Lafarge wants to build houses but they want their money as fast as they can possibly get it, so we entered an agreement with Lafarge to build 100 houses for us and we are supposed to pay you, for the purpose of argument, N3 million per unit and pay in instalments over an agreed period of time. We can spread the payment a bit and we can get some form of credit from their system; so we get at a reduced rate and by getting at a reduced rate we are able to get those buildings to the aspiring owners in reduced prices but because of our own leverage we were able to double the flexibility we are giving the person to buy the home so the person can walk in and begin to say I am saving towards buying a 5-6 million naira home. They can save over this period
of time which is still not enough but we now think the last layer is getting some mortgage banks, who we are working with now, to create a product that will make it possible for such people to get, once they key into the scheme and if they show over a period of time that they are reliable and can be depended on to pay as and when due a 20-year mortgage loan, which will take us out and it then becomes a banker-mortgagee relationship. As you are all aware, Nigerians don’t like risks, the banks don’t want to come in from ground zero, even Lafarge doesn’t want to come in from ground zero. Everyone wants to have a degree of security that makes it possible for them to rate their risks and grade it. So, where we come in is to work with everybody to make it viable. Talking of the bungalows and the smaller houses, talking about two bedroom units and one bedroom units, we believe our goal is to try and get the houses to as low as possible and if possible let’s get our two million naira as construction cost. Let’s be candid, people want to build houses of N2 million which is not possible and for you to get a N2.5 million house, you are talking about an entire house not bigger than a room, the cost of construction is high, government doesn’t have unlimited resources. Ogun State is fortunate to have a number of agencies working together; we have ministry of housing, we have Ogun State Housing Corporation. All of us are working together but most other states don’t have that kind of setup. So, government can only do so much and if you look at the roads network within the New Makun City, they are very good even as we are micro-managing and twisting and cutting this and that. If this were a commercial project then we will be spending over N3 billion for infrastructures. When you talk about affordability of housing, you now begin to ask yourself how you can make it affordable. One of the things we wanted to do was to introduce multi-level units’ apartment but we were shocked that the market doesn’t want that. We still have that cultural thing that everybody wants his own separate space. I want to drive into my own space, I want to unlock the door to my own garden; so these are the orientation that can’t change easily. We have had meetings with a certain group and they wanted to do multi-level units, 7-8 floors and I laughed in the meeting and was asked why I laughed and I told them it is impossible that the market wouldn’t buy it. The only way you can do those kind of houses and sell them is to go and do them for the government who will then give them to civil servants, but that is not what we are talking about because that is now public housing and no longer affordable housing. We need to know that affordable housing, public or social housing are different things. If you are talking about affordable housing then you are talking commercial transactions that you make viable; that is a challenge. I know that Lafarge has done a lot of work trying on cost of construction, trying to bring in formworks and by using formworks you reduce the rate. They try to get you aggregate and aggregate goes in to reduce the cost but if you aggregate all of that then there is no way, as of today, you can get a house for less than N2.5 million, excluding profit and all other elements.
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
PROPERTY & ENVIRONMENT
Family Accuses RCCG of Land Encroachment, Calls for Amosun, IGP Intervention Akinwale Akintunde The Otasanya royal family, Alawun village, Sagamu, Ogun State, has alleged, that the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ajagungbale, and Chief Asiwaju Dauda Ayinla are currently encroaching on their family land. The royal family therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun, the Ogun State House of Assembly, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, and the Obas in Ogun State, to come to their rescue. According to a statement dated March 5, 2016, and issued on behalf of the aggrieved royal family by Prince JImi Olatunji, “The entire sons, daughters, chiefs, Baale, ijoye’s, omojas, and head of family of the Otasanya royal family of Alawun village, Sagamu Local Government Area (LGA) of Ogun State, hereby cry to the incumbent
president of the federal republic of Nigeria, governor of Ogun State, Ogun State House of Assembly, National Assembly, the Inspector General of Police, the Obas in Ogun State to rescue us from the hands of the Commissioner of Police (CP), Ogun State, the Area Commander, Sagamu Remo, AIG Zone ll, Onikan, Lagos, Chief Asiwaju Dauda Ayinla Adeleye, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), land speculators and a host of other persons hiding under persons so mentioned above. “We have been in Alawun land for over 300 years. But recently, and particularly on March 1, 2016, the person herein mentioned invaded the village with thugs, hoodlums, suspended members of the disbanded Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), who were all armed with guns and other dangerous weapon and started shooting sporadically, saying RCCG and Chief Asiwaju
Dauda Ayinla Adeleye sent them to take over our land. “The invaders were assisted and aided by policemen from Elewe-Eran in Abeokuta, Sag-
amu Area Command, Zone II Police Command, Mowe and Redeem Camp Police Divisions. “Members of our family were arrested, taken and detained
“Immediately after the judgment was delivered and even before copies were obtained and executed through the Deputy Sheriff/Nigerian Police, members of the Kuje Amuwo Community commenced a mindless destruction of the property of residents of Phase II, Festival Town, Lagos and the harassment/ intimidation of innocent persons in the disputed area. “This has put the residents in a state of fear as armed thugs continue to brandish knives, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons in the area. They have also embarked on the demolition of ongoing FHA approved projects in FESTAC Phase II, including the reclamation and sand filling of the area being carried out by the Federal Government approved concessionaire. “For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, by Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 54, Volume 62 of November 6, 1975, and Official Gazette No. 45, Volume 63 of September 9, 1976, the Federal Military Government acquired approximately 2,024.60 hectares of land along Badagry Expressway and lying between the Amuwo Odofin Scheme, International Trade Fair Complex and the Military Cantonment, known as Festival Town in the Badagry Local Government Area (as it then was) of Lagos State. The acquisition is covered by Survey Plan No. LS/D/BG/63. “Further, the Lagos State Government on May 11, 1988 granted an Indenture covering the Federal Government acquisition to the Federal Housing Authority. The tenor of the grant is in perpetuity for as long as the Federal Government or the Federal Housing Authority requires the land from January 1, 1974.
property. “They stationed themselves on the land. Some of our family members vehicles were taken away for no just reason.”
L-R: Chief Executive Officer, RTC Advisory Services Ltd, Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje; Special Adviser on Housing to the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Biodun Oki; President Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce, Prince Adedapo Adelegan; acting Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Richard John Esin; and Managing Director, UACN Property Development Plc, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran at the NBCC Advocacy Round-Table… recently
Stay off FESTAC Phase II Land, FHA Warns Public NJIC Strike Paralyses on the matter, wherein he Bennett Oghifo granted the reliefs sought Construction Industry The Federal Housing Authority by the plaintiffs. (FHA) has warned members of the public not to transact business with anybody in respect of FESTAC Phase II land, regardless of a ruling of the Federal High Court in Lagos that the land was not properly acquired by the Federal Government. A statement, recently, by the Head, Corporate Communications, Tunde Ipinmisho, for FHA’s management said, “The attention of the Federal Housing Authority has been drawn to the growing tension and threat to law and order in the FESTAC Phase II portion of FESTAC Town, Lagos occasioned by the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos in suit No. FHC/L/ CS/1065/12 instituted by HRM. Oba Isaac Owolabi Olayemi, (Alamuwo of Kuje Amuwo, Amuwo Odofin) and 3 Others against the Federal Housing Authority. “In the suit, the plaintiffs, relying on Survey Plan No. KESH/L/1106 dated October 4, 1980, claimed that part of Phase II of Festival Town land (4.017 hectares) belong to the Kuje Amuwo Community and was not properly acquired by the acquiring authorities.” “The Federal Housing Authority will challenge the decision of the Federal High Court, Lagos on this matter and has filed a notice of appeal and as soon as copies of the judgment are available, the Authority will proceed to the Court of Appeal. “Members of the public are advised in their own interest against any dealing with the Kuje Amuwo family and its agents on the said land, as the case is proceeding on appeal.” The statement said, “On February 29, 2016, the Federal High Court, Lagos, presided over by Justice Okon Effreti Abang delivered judgment
at the Redeem Camp Police Division and Zone ll Command, while the land grabbers started bulldozing our family land and destroying our millions of naira
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Activities in the construction industry have been paralyzed by the strike action embarked upon last week by the National Joint Industrial Council (NJIC), the umbrella union of construction industry workers in Nigeria. The inability of the construction companies to meet up with the increase in salary demand may not be unconnected to the over N600 billion owed construction companies by all tiers of government. Prior to the industrial action, the construction companies had reasonably conceded a 39 per cent salary increment across board for their workers in November 2013, which was yet to be effected. Against this background, workers in most construction companies in Abuja, last week, down tools in order to press home their demands for the enforcement of the agreement they had with the companies. But the NJIC and the Federation of Construction Industry (FOCI) representatives, through its negotiating organ, the Civil Engineering Employers Association of Nigeria; in recognition of inflationary trend, had an agreement with the NJIC to review the Conditions of
Service in the engineering construction sector every two years. Meanwhile, credible sources said at the expiration of the November 2013 agreement, the NJIC in November 2015 demanded that the construction companies increase salaries in excess of 100 per cent. The source added that because a compromise could not be reached, the Union had to issue a 10-day ultimatum to the construction companies to accept and pay the demanded 100 per cent increment in salaries. However, at the expiration of the ultimatum issued to the companies, NJIC without further notice declared and enforced a strike which has practically grounded the operations of the construction companies across the country. Aggrieved workers, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, expressed serious concerns over the implications of the NJIC-ordered strike to the security of their jobs, given the current economic situation in the country. Some of the frightened construction workers advised very strongly that everything should be done reasonably for construction workers in the country to get back to their jobs as soon as possible.
Super Highway: FG Asks CRS to Stop Work, Await EIA Report Bennett Oghifo The Federal Government has asked the Cross River State Government to stop the on-going construction of the Calabar- Okwotung/Obudu/ Yara dual carriage super highway until the processing of the road’s environmental impact assessment is done. The government’s position is contained in a recent statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment titled, ‘ReComplaints/Concerns Raised By Stakeholders over the Proposed Calabar- Okwotung/ Obudu/ Yara Dual Carriage Super Highway by the Cross River State Government. The Federal Ministry of Environment, the government said “issued an Interim Environmental Impact Assessment Approval for the ground breaking, which enabled Mr. President to do the flag-off of the project. This approval does not convey project commencement of implementation. “In response to the commencement of work at the proposed site, and in line with Environmental regulations, notice was given for stoppage of work. “The Ministry wishes to advise the Cross River State government to abide by En-
vironmental regulations and EIA processes. The Project’s host communities and other stakeholders are enjoined to continue peaceful dialogue as we resolve the outstanding issues.” The statement said, “The Federal Ministry of Environment wishes to acknowledge the various concerns from members of the public, corporate organizations, Non-governmental organisations, international organizations and other stakeholders, raising environmental concerns over the proposed Calabar-Okwotung/ Obudu/Yara Dual Carriage Super Highway by the Cross Rivers State Government. We are particularly concerned about the protest by the Ekuri people and other host communities affected by the project. “The Ministry wishes to use this medium to inform the public of Government’s response as follows; The Ministry is confirming that the Cross River State government registered for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed Super High Way project; the Cross River State government is currently conducting the EIA studies which are at an advanced stage. The Federal Ministry of Environment is in communication with Cross River government on the EIA process.”
NBCC Forum Identifies Land Use Act as Obstacles to Mass Housing An advocacy forum organized by the Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) in Lagos to examine the issues in the real estate sector in Nigeria and how Nigeria can bridge the housing deficit put at about 17million has called for the review and liberalisation of land ownership in the country. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde
Fashola who was a Special Guest at the NBCC forum said the Federal Government is desirous to provide affordable housing to Nigerians and has written to the state Governors to provide lands with title in their states for government to commence the housing project. Represented by his Special Adviser on Housing, Mr. Biodun Oki, Fashola who is the im-
mediate past Governor of Lagos state, said he wants to replicate the Lagos state housing model during his tenure in Lagos state at the federal level. He said houses could be cheaper for the ordinary Nigerian if the cost of infrastructure such as land, roads, water and electricity are provided by the government and removed from the cost of the houses.
President of NBCC, Mr. Dapo Adelegan also identified the “bureaucratic process allocation and registration of charges on land as impediment to real estate development.” He sees other challenges such as bribery and corruption, low compliance to regulatory and environment laws as the causes for high incident cases of collapsed buildings in Nigeria.
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...helping to build a better Nigeria
TUESDAY MARCH 15 2016 T H I S D AY
T H I S D AY TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
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TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016 • T H I S D AY
Appeal Court, INEC to Discuss Conflicting Judgments on Electoral Disputes Tobi Soniyi in Abuja Worried about conflicting judgments emanating from courts on electionrelated matters and the implication for the stability of democracy, the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, will organise a national conference where stakeholders will meet to iron out all outstanding issues. Titled: ‘Election Petition Tribunals and Appeals: An Overview’, the conference is aimed at finding a lasting solution to conflicting judgments emanating from the various divisions of the Court of Appeal. It is being supported by Ifex. THISDAY learnt that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) whose work is being allegedly stifled
by these conflicting judgments would participate in the conference. The commission’s Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, is expected to lead a high-powered delegation to the forum which would take place at the Ceremonial Court Room of the Court of Appeal in Abuja on March16 and 17. Insiders at INEC told THISDAY that the commission found frustrating the role played by the judiciary with respect to various conflicting court pronouncements on elections, especially the National Assembly election in Anambra State. “The courts have turned out to be worse than the politicians. Except the judiciary put its house in order, it will end up being blamed for the chaos taking place in Anambra State,” a source at INEC said. Not even the Supreme Court is
Agatu Killings: FG Vows to Deal with Perpetrators Fani-Kayode accuses Buhari of condoning killings Shola Oyeyipo in Lagos and Bukola Esun inAbuja The Minister of Interior, General Abdurrahman Dambazau (rtd), has revealed that the federal government will deal with the perpetrators of violence in Agatu community in Benue State, where hundreds of people were killed weeks ago by Fulani herdsmen. Former Senate President, David Mark, had said that over 500 of his people were killed and 10 communities in Agatu Local Government Area razed in what he described as “genocide.” In a statement in Abuja yesterday, Dambazau, who commiserated with the government and people of Benue State, said the government would deal “decisively” with perpetrators. According to a press statement signed by the minister’s spokesman, Mr. Osaigbove Ehisienmen, “The Minister of Interior has received with shock the sad news of incessant attacks on innocent Nigerians in Agatu and other communities in Benue State by unknown gunmen.” The statement added that the minister had earlier directed the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr., Solomon Arase, to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the situation in the communities, saying the government would not relent in its responsibility to protect its people. He further stated that the perpetrators of the dastardly acts were “unwittingly testing the will and capabilities” of the government, and that the present administration would not fail in its duties to ensure the security and welfare of the people as enshrined in the constitution. Meanwhile, former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has pointed accusing fingers at President Muhammadu Buhari for purportedly not doing the needful to put an end to the mindless killings being carried out by Fulani herdsmen in Agatu. Fani-Kayode in a statement yesterday joined other Nigerians to bemoan the mindless killings that have claimed hundreds of lives without appropriate action
to put an end to it. “A friend of mine just came back from Agatu. He is an online journalist and he went with a team of his professional colleagues. He told me that at least 500 people were slaughtered by the Fulani herdsmen and militants in Agatu and no less than 9 villages were sacked and burnt to the ground over there. “Worse still the Fulani did not just kill their victims but they have also occupied what is left of their villages, towns and land. My friend actually saw the conquering and victorious Fulanis militants because they have taken full control of the land and towns of their victims. He and those that were with him were actually shot at by the militants when they sighted them. He said the whole area now looks like a major war zone and it is utterly destroyed and devastated. “What a mess. Yet no CNN, BBC or Al Jazeera coverage and hardly anything about it has been reported in our local media. Are the 500 Idomas that were killed in Agatu not human beings? “Thousands of people have been displaced and many families have lost their homes and loved ones at the hands these Fulani herdsmen and cattle rearers who come from another world yet no-one appears to care. “Meanwhile our president openly encourages this genocide and ethnic cleansing with his criminal negligence and complicit silence. Enough is enough. This bloodletting by the Fulani herdsmen is nothing less than a curse on our nation and the more we tolerate such destruction and mass murder and turn a blind eye to it, the more God will make us suffer as a people,” he alleged. He said further that: “Injustice and wickedness to others, particularly to the weak, innocent, vulnerable and defenceless in our society, attracts God’s wrath,” and that as such, “President Buhari needs to put a stop to the carnage that his kinsmen are unleashing on the Nigerian people. I am calling him out and I am speaking for those that do not have a voice and the victims of these barbaric acts.
blameless in the state debacle in view of its judgment that declared Ejike Oguebego-led executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the authentic executive in the state. Critics faulted the judgment, saying that it failed to take cognizance of the orders made by a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Evos Chukwu, which were later overturned by the Court of Appeal. Had the apex court appraised all the issues raised in the originating summons that resulted in the appeal, it would have delivered a better judgment. As it is, the Supreme Court judgment decided nothing, and that has further compounded the problem in Anambra State as well as opened up a gateway for another round of litigation. One of such new cases is the one filed by members of the National Assembly from state at the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop INEC from withdrawing their certificates of return. In another desperate move resulting from the ambiguity in
the Supreme Court’s judgment, the Oguebego leadership had also written to INEC chairman requesting him to issue certificates of return to all the candidates, including Chief Chris Uba, whose names were forwarded to it for different political offices in the state before the last election held. As a result of the seeming judicial confusion, INEC has had to postpone indefinitely the rerun election for Anambra Central Senatorial zone scheduled for March 5. While the commission is still battling to make sense of many courts orders on the Anambra State issue, some aggrieved parties had initiated a contempt proceeding at the Federal High Court seeking to send the chairman to jail for alleged disobedience of court orders. Before postponing the state election, INEC had pondered over several courts’ judgments and decided who would participate in the rerun elections it planned to hold in some other states.
An insider said coming out with the rerun timetable was a nightmare as the commission had to decide the implication of some of the courts’ judgments. Politicians and lawyers had expressed concern at the rate at which the various divisions of the Court of Appeal were churning out conflicting judgments. In December last year, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, expressed concerns over conflicting judgments emanating from the Court of Appeal. Addressing justices of the Court of Appeal in Abuja at the annual conference of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mohammed said: “As the guardians of the law, we must not only be just but also convey certainty in our justness. “My Lords, it reminds us that the overriding objective of every legal system in the world is to do justice. However, this cannot be achieved where there is confusion as to the state of the
law as pronounced by the court,” the CJN stated. He told the justices that they were not allowed to continue to shift the goal posts when the game was on. While advising them to adhere to certainty and stop creating confusion, Justice Mohammed said: “As your lordships will agree, where an aggrieved person perceives, whether rightly or wrongly, that they will not receive justice, such a situation can indeed bode ill for the community in which he lives and can lead to acrimony and anarchy. “We must not ignore the negative perception that is occasioned by conflicting judgments delivered at various divisions of the Court of Appeal. Such judicial contradictions only result in untold hardships to litigants in their quest for justice. They further cast your lordships in an unfavourable light and leave the judiciary at the mercy of innuendos, crass publications and editorials.”
LET’S REPEAL THE BILL
L-R: Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume; Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki; Chairman Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, during a one-day public hearing on a bill to repeal and re-enact the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of 1979 at the National Assembly in Abuja...yesterday.
Trial of Ex-CDS Suffers Setback, New Counsel Seeks Adjournment to Study Case File Tobi Soniyi in Abuja Trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for alleged diversion of funds meant for the Nigerian Air Force yesterday suffered a setback following request from his new counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) to study the case file. When the matter came up for hearing yesterday, Olujimi who was the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, informed the judge that he was engaged few days ago and needed time to study the case file to enable him defend his client properly. The federal government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on February 29, 2016 filed a 10-count charge against Badeh and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, a
company believed to be owned by him at the Federal High Court in Abuja. EFCC alleged that Badeh, while serving as Chief of Air Staff and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, between January and December 2013 did use the dollar equivalent of N1.1 billion removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase for themselves a mansion at Maitama, Abuja. After Badeh’s former lawyer, Samuel Zibiri (SAN) helped him secure his bail last week, the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang slated yesterday for trial. However, at yesterday’s proceedings, Badeh’s new lawyer, Olujimi sought an adjournment to enable him prepare adequately for his client’s defence. Olujimi submitted before the court that he had not been adequately briefed by his client. He added that the prosecution had also filed a new proof of evidence that would require time
for him to respond. Responding, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), opposed Badeh’s application for adjournment, saying the suit was fixed for definite trial. Justice Abang adjourned the suit till tomorrow, Wednesday, March 16, 2016 for day to day trial. The judge had last week admitted Badeh to bail in the sum of N2 billion and two sureties in the sum of N1 billion each. The offence, the EFCC said was contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act. Badeh and his company were also accused of removing from the accounts of the NAF, and did use Dollar equivalent of N650 million to purchase a commercial plot at plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone Ao7 Wuse ll Abuja. The offence, the EFCC said was contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of
money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act. The defendants were said to have between March 28 and December 2013, in Abuja used an aggregate sum of N878,362,732.94 removed from NAF accounts and paid into account of Rytebuilders Technologies Limited with Zenith bank plc for construction of a shopping mall in plot 1386, Cadastral Zone. It was equally alleged that the defendants removed the sum of N304million from the accounts of the NAF and paid it to Rytebuilders for the completion of the shopping mall and that he also used N260 million dollar equivalent removed from the NAF accounts and paid to one Oluwatoyin Oke through Platinum Universal Project and Construction to purchase for his son, Alex Badeh (jnr), a duplex at No 19 Kumasi crescent Wuse Abuja.
TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016 • T H I S D AY
Buhari: Africa Must Seek Realistic End to Gas Flaring Says Nigeria’s 2030 timeline is sacrosanct Chineme Okafor in Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said oil producing African countries must immediately set realistic timelines to end the practice of flaring natural gas at oil fields across the continent. Buhari said this when he opened proceedings at the sixth African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition (CAPE VI) which was organised
in Abuja by the African Petroluem Producers Association (APPA). He added that it was time for African oil producers to cash in on the values that proper use of natural gas present to her by taking a fixed resolution to put an end to flaring, an estimated 40 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The president was represented by his deputy, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. He noted that Nigeria which
Lekki Building Collapse: Ambode Sacks Head of Building Control Agency, Three Others
Says officers were negligent Gboyega Akinsanmi Following the collapse of the fivestorey building belonging to Lekki Gardens, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday approved the dismissal of the General Manager of the Building Control Agency (LASBCA) Mr. Adeigbe Olushola. The governor also approved the dismissal of the Head of Inspection and Quality Control, Adeoye Thomas Adeyemi, Zonal District Officer, Dosunmu Gbadebo, while the Zonal Head in Eti-Osa West, Mrs. Akinde Adenike Sherifat was compulsorily retired from the civil service. Ambode in a statement signed by the state Head of Service, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola, said the affected officers were dismissed having been indicted for negligence, which according to him, is an act of misconduct under the public service rule 040401. Rule 040401 of the Public Service Act for misconduct states inter alia: “A willful act of omission or general misconduct to the scandal of the pubic or to the prejudice of discipline and proper administration of the state government” should be visited with dismissal from the public service in line with the Public Service Rule 040503. The Head of Service said the disciplinary measure was the outcome of the recommendations of the Personnel Management Board to Governor Ambode, who was personally grieved by the high number of fatalities that occurred as a result of the building collapse. She also warned public officials, privatebuilding owners or contractors who violate or subvert building regulations that it would no longer be business as usual, saying that the dismissal of the officers would serve as a wake-up call to public servants. “It is also a clarion call to them to be alive to their responsibilities as any act of negligence will face sanctions, while hardworking officers will be rewarded appropriately,” the Head of Service said. On March 8, 2016, a building under construction at Lekki Gardens, Ikusenla Road, Ikate Elegushi, collapsed killing about 34 persons, and the state government immediately mobilised all its rescue team comprising the state Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), state Ambulance
Service (LASAMBUS), Rapid Response Squad (RRS), Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), among others, which led to the successful rescue of over 15 persons alive. Meanwhile, a civil society organisation, Citizens Rights’ Association (CRA), yesterday described as “unacceptable” an alleged shabby treatment meted out to the Managing Director of Lekki Garden Estate Limited, Mr. Richard Nyong, by the police when he appeared in chains before an Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrate Court last Friday. President of CRA, Adeoye Ogundunmade, in a statement in Lagos, said the action of the police was despicable as Nyong personally reported himself at the Ikeja Office of Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Fatai Owoseni last Thursday. “It is not right and the action of the police should be condemned by all lover of freedom and human dignity as the action of the police violently violated the rights of Nyong because an accused person is presumed innocent until otherwise proven.” Ogundunmade noted that contrary to reports, Nyong was not arrested by the police. “He submitted himself to the office Lagos State Police Commissioner in the company of his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), following an announcement by Lagos State Governor that those connected with the collapsed building should do so. “If he wanted to run away, he would have done so, but as a law abiding citizen, he gave himself up as he believed he had done nothing wrong. It is therefore, sad to see the police bring him to court in chains. “In fact, before he reported himself to the Commission of Police on Thursday, he had already reported himself at Maroko Police Station and Area “J “ command,Ajiwe,Ajah a day earlier. He incidented, the matter there and submitted a petition to the police authority seeking an investigation into the matter. “The people trapped in the collapse building are not staff or casual labourers working there. The company did not know how they got there in the first place. As matter of fact, construction work on the site was suspended four months ago when Lagos State Government came with a contravention notice,” Ogundunmade said.
recently announced a new timeline to end gas flaring at her oil fields was on course to see this out. He said: “The use of gas in Africa’s future energy mix has become imperative. If Africa must meet her future energy needs, the issue of the development of a robust gas infrastructure must be jointly addressed.” “In processing Africa’s hydrocarbon resource, environmental issues must be accorded huge priority. “Globally, over 150 billion cubic metres of associated gas is flared annually, of this figure, Africa flares an estimated 40 billion cubic meters annually. “In Nigeria, gas flaring amounts to about 23 billion cubic metres per annum in over 100 flare sites constituting over 13 per cent of global gas flaring,” he explained. The president added: “Nigeria
is a member of the World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GCFR) Partnership and with the support of our legislature, we will sign the United Nations Agreement of “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” although our national target is 2020. “I urge allAPPAmember countries to set realistic targets for gas flare-out in the region.” Buhari also tasked African oil producing countries on developing local capacities to matchAfrica’s desire to beneficially use her oil resources. The countries, he said should develop ingenious ways of promoting value addition and investment through sustainable policies in local content. According to him: “A common approach to local content will ensure that the whole of Africa benefits from economies of scale associated with our vast resources.” He noted that Nigeria already
has some level of advantages on this, adding: “In this regard I invite member countries to partner with Nigeria to derive more benefits from ongoing mega projects like the General Electric service centre for manufacturing rotating equipment in Calabar, the Ladol industrial free zone in Lagos – wholly indigenous, privately developed and hosting the largest shipyard in West Africa, the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) Dangote indigenous refinery in Lagos and the Samsung FPSO Integration Yard in Lagos; to mention a few.” Buhari stressed that the continent must recognise that the development of domestic refining capacity in oil and gas would remain critical to her sustainable economic growth. Also speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe
Kachikwu, stated that the conference offered African oil producers the opportunity to look deeper into their challenges and come up with realistic solutions. Kachikwu noted that among the continent’s producers’ challenges in mining oil, funding operations remains the most serious. He said in this regard: “It is a new dawn for Africa and we are excited about the development. We will continue to work collaboratively because there is a lot happening in the space but also a lot of challenges that we have to overcome. “ The major challenge is funding. Obviously skillsets are there already and technology is not an issue but funding remains key. Policies are also key because African governments have to develop policies that will enable backward integration into their own systems.”
LET’S TOAST TO PARTNERSHIP
L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Music, Prince Michael Chinedum-Obiekwe; Director, Shola Arogun; Founder, Orji Uzor Kalu; Chairman, Mr. Mascot Kalu; and foremost Nigerian actor, Mr. Uche Odoputa, at the launch of the company in Abuja....yesterday
Judge Orders Release of Dasuki’s Military Aide, Accuses EFCC, Army of Acting Like Dictators A judge of Abuja High Court sitting in Jabi has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Army (NA) to release a serving Colonel Nicholas Ashinze who was Military Assistant to former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. Ashinze, who was detained before resuming his new posting as Defence Attaché in Germany, has been in detention since December 23, 2015. In a judgment today, Justice Yusuf Haliru, directed the respondents to immediately release the applicant on self-recognition, saying his detention for over three months without trial, was “illegal, wrongful, unlawful and constituted a blatant violation of the fundamental rights of the applicant.” The court also ordered immediate release of documents and items the anti-graft agency seized from the house of the
applicant. Justice Haliru who cautioned the EFCC and the Army which he said acted as if Nigeria was still under military dictatorship said: “The EFCC is a creation of the law. The court will not allow it to act as if it is above the law. It is remarkable to note that the motto of the EFCC is that nobody is above the law, yet they are acting as if they are above the law. “The EFCC Act is not superior to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The respondents in this matter have not behaved as if we are in a civilised society. They have behaved as if we are in a military dictatorship where they arrest and release persons at will.” The judge said the constitution stipulated that any person so detained should be charged to court within reasonable time not exceeding two months from the
date of arrest. Justice Haliru stressed that under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, an accused person is deemed innocent until his guilt is established. He therefore asked: “Why has the 1st respondent kept the applicant without bringing him to court? Why was the applicant, being a serving military officer who could be easily reached, not granted administrative bail? Or is it that the applicant has been found guilty and already serving his jail term? “Nobody should be subjected to the whims and caprices of the EFCC. “The essence of the rule of law and constitutional provisions is to ensure a just balance between the ruler and the ruled, between the powerful and the weak. “Though the EFCC has the responsibility to investigate financial crime, it must however conduct its operations in accordance with the rule of law. “The court
is empowered to guard against improper use of power by any member of the society or agency, EFCC inclusive. “The detention of the applicant, for all intent and purposes, is not just unfair but unfortunate. We all support the fight against corruption but it must not be done with utter impunity and disregard to rule of law. The right to personal liberty is guaranteed every citizen of Nigeria by our constitution. Why has the first respondent failed to bring the applicant to court since December 2015? Is it that the first, second and third respondents already sentenced the applicant to jail in their own court. “The continued detention of the applicant since December is a blatant violation of his fundamental human right. The Justice Haliru thereafter declared that: “The respondents are hereby ordered to release the applicant.”
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
India-Africa Bilateral Trade Hits $72 Billion Jaiyeola Andrews in New Delhi The bilateral trade between India and Africa rose from $30 billion in 2008, to $72 billion in 2015. India Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. V K Singh (rtd), disclosed this on the first day of the 11th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership held in New Delhi, India. Singh noted that the relations between India and Africa had thrived for a long time “because of our commitment.” The minister added that the strength of the friendship had been on partnership in capacity building in the countries. “We trust each other to be able to build capacity that will stand the test of time. I hope we will take decision in this
conclave that will help us all. We are looking towards sustainable development, joint efforts and collaboration is needed and we must commit ourselves to work together, we must strengthen our bond of trade and friendship” Singh said. On his part, the Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah said it had become imperative for increased relations between Nigeria and India. He said the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had set 3-point agenda on economy, anti-corruption and security, which it had been pursuing vigorously. While explaining the rationale behind the removal of fuel subsidy by the Nigerian government, Enelamah also urged Indian investors to invest
in Nigeria as the government was poised to creating an enabling environment both for its people and investors. He said Nigeria and India has the similar ambition and aspirations in projecting home-made goods. Enelamah stressed that India-Africa trade relations must go beyond rhetoric to urgent action.He told the conclave that the federal government’s policy was the diversification of its economy away from oil, as well as moving up value change both in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. “We must focus on industrialisation and job creation given our large population” Enelamah said, adding that the government had been striving hard in creating enabling environment to foster economic development.
Fitch Affirms Helios Towers ‘B’ Rating on Planned Acquisition by HIS
Fitch Ratings has affirmed the long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of the pioneer of tower infrastructure sharing in Africa, Helios Towers Nigeria Limited’s (HTN), at ‘B’ with a stable outlook, following its planned acquisition by IHS Holding Limited (IHS). The global rating agency explained in a statement yesterday that it anticipates that the acquisition would lead to a stronger market position in Nigeria for the enlarged entity, saying that it does not expect the HTN ratings to be downgraded as a result of the transaction. According to Fitch, HTN’s operating and financial performance results for nine months ending September 2015 showed good progress in-line
with its forecasts. “We also do not expect HTN’s rating to be affected if Fitch’s Nigerian sovereign rating (BB-/ Negative) is downgraded by one notch to ‘B+’, as long as HTN’s cash flow generation remains robust and liquidity remains intact,” it added. IHS plans to buy the entire issued share capital of HTN from HTN Towers Plc, which is ultimately owned by HTN’s current shareholders including Helios Investment Partners. IHS is a private company, operating 22,600 towers in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia. It is significantly larger than HTN, which operates 1,212 towers, all in Nigeria. According to the companies, the net leverage position of the combined entity is likely to be approximately
50 per cent lower than HTN’s current leverage. “This transaction strengthens IHS’s position as the leading tower company in Nigeria. IHS believes combining its operations with HTN’s in Nigeria would result in meaningful synergies. Impact on HTN Bondholders IHS says it is committed to maintaining the existing relationship and position with HTN’s bondholders,” Fitch added. According to the documentation for HTN’s $250m senior unsecured bond due in 2019, following a change of control, bondholders have the option to be repaid 101 per cent of par value if at least one rating agency withdraws or downgrades HTN’s rating within 90 days of a change of control.
Union Bank Urges Customers to Adopt e-Banking Channels Union Bank of Nigeria Plc has advised its customers to always utilise its e-banking platforms, saying that it would give them the opportunity to carry out banking transactions from the comfort of their homes. The bank gave this advice in Imo State recently when it played host to five major communities during the unveiling of five of the bank’s newly upgraded branches. The five upgraded branches of the bank unveiled are located at Douglas road and Port Harcourt road both in Owerri; Bank Road Orlu, Okigwe road, Owerri and Union Bank at Ogbor Oboama Ezinihite branch in
Aboh Mbaise. Speaking at the event, the bank’s Transformation Director, Joe Mbulu, was quoted to have called on customers to partner the bank in utilising the e-banking platforms. Assuring customers of fast, secure and convenient banking services, Mbulu said, “these e-banking platforms were created to make banking simpler and smarter for customers to ensure that they have more time to engage in those things that matter most to them.” On his part, the Executive Director, Corporate Banking, Emeka Okonkwo, said the bank’s new outlook would
afford customers quality, reliable, secured and effective services. “We are here to formerly unveil our newly upgraded branches, which is part of our transformation journey. The journey started two years ago and we want to assure our customers that we are a simpler and smarter bank. “We have refurbished over 60 branches across the country and a lot has gone into the innovative propositions we are offering. The transformation of the bank is a response to customers’ desire and the bank’s commitment to serve its customers better,” he added.
Agbakoba Calls for Massive Public Spending Ugo Aliogo Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Human Rights Activist, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba has called on the federal government to revalue the naira and encourage massive public spending. He argued that revaluing the naira would make the nation’s currency stronger, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has no business trying to shore up the currency with the dollar.
Agbakoba said: “I think the argument should not be devaluation, but it should be revaluing the naira which actually needs to be revalued”. The former NBA president, who disclosed this at a media briefing in Lagos, said the creation of an official forex window by the CBN was a very big error. He expressed displeasure over President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that if Nigerians want to send their children abroad for schooling, they have to
provide the means because the government is not ready to support such course. He added: “We can all play in the forex market officially. The problem is that we have only less than $32 billion in reserves. So there is so much pressure and it is falling. The CBN Governor is worried. “The other thing is that when there is a recession, you will have to pump money into the economy. You need to have a massive public spending.
MARKET INDICATORS MONEY AND CREDIT STATISTICS
DECEMBER 2015 Broad Money (M2)
-- Narrow Money (M1)
---- Currency Outside Banks
---- Demand Deposits
-- Quasi Money
Net Foreign Assets (NFA)
Net Domestic Assets(NDA)
-- Net Domestic Credit (NDC)
---- Credit to Government (Net)
---- Memo: Credit to Govt. (Net) less FMA
---- Memo: Fed. and Mirror Accounts (FMA)
---- Credit to Private Sector (CPS)
--Other Assets Net
Reserve Money (Base Money)
--Currency in Circulation
3,954,802.55 • Source - CBN
MANAGED FUNDS Initial Price (N) Stanbic Balanced Fund
Stanbic IBTC NEF
Stanbic IBTC Ethical
Stanbic IBTC GIF
UBA Balanced Fund
UBA Bond Fund
UBA Equity Fund
UBA Money Market Fund
ARM Aggressive Growth Fund
ARM Discovery Fund
ARM Ethical Fund
ARM Money Market Fund
13.1030 (Yield % ) • Monetary Policy Rate - 13%
OPEC DAILY BASKET PRICE AS AT FRIDAY, 11 MARCH 2016 The price of OPEC basket of thirteen crudes stood at $35.62 a barrel on Friday, compared with $35.23 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. The new OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of the following: Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE) and Merey (Venezuela). SOURCE: OPEC headquarters, Vienna
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, march 15, 2016
Nigeria’s top 50 stocks based on market fundamentals
Price/ Book Value
01 Dangote Cement Plc
02 Nigerian Brew. Plc.
03 Nestle Nigeria Plc.
04 Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
05 Zenith Bank Plc
06 Lafarge Africa Plc.
09 Seplat Petroleum Dev. Co. Ltd.
10 Guinness Nig Plc
12 FBN Holdings Plc
13 United Bank for Africa Plc
16 P Z Cussons Nigeria Plc.
17 7-Up Bottling Comp. Plc.
18 Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc
19 International Breweries Plc.
25 Sterling Bank Plc.
26 Transnational Corporation Of Nigeria Plc
07 Forte Oil Plc. 08 Ecobank Transnational Incorporated
11 Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc
14 Unilever Nigeria Plc. 15 Access Bank Plc.
20 Mobil Oil Nig Plc. 21 Julius Berger Nig. Plc. 22 Oando Plc 23 Flour Mills Nig. Plc. 24 Total Nigeria Plc.
27 U A C N Plc.
28 Fidelity Bank Plc
29 Diamond Bank Plc
32 Cadbury Nigeria Plc.
33 Okomu Oil Palm Plc.
34 Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Nig. Plc.
35 Cap Plc
36 Mansard Insurance Plc
37 Custodian And Allied Insurance Plc
38 National Salt Co. Nig. Plc
39 FCMB Group Plc.
40 Skye Bank Plc
41 Honeywell Flour Mill Plc
42 Cement Co. Of North.Nig. Plc
43 Continental Reinsurance Plc
44 UACN Property Development Co. Limited
45 Unity Bank Plc
46 Wapic Insurance Plc
47 Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc
48 Resort Savings & Loans Plc
49 AIICO Insurance Plc.
50 Fidson Healthcare Plc
30 Presco Plc 31 Wema Bank Plc.
TOTAL MARKET CAP
% OF MARKET CAP Annotation - MA* = Simple Moving Average
Table 1 Market Statistics Mkt Indicators NSE All Share Index NSE Market Cap (N'Trillion) Thisday BGL 50 Index Thisday BGL 50 Market Cap (N'Trillion)
Table 3 Top 5 Gainers Stock
Open Close Change % 11-Mar-16 14-Mar-16
U A C N Plc. National Salt Co. Nig. Plc FCMB Group Plc. Zenith Bank Plc Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc
19.96 7.50 0.82 12.35 5.75
20.95 7.87 0.86 12.90 5.98
4.96% 4.93% 4.88% 4.45% 4.00%
Table 4 Top 5 Losers Stock
Open Close Change % 11-Mar-16 14-Mar-16
Honeywell Flour Mill Plc 7-Up Bottling Comp. Plc. Sterling Bank Plc. Unity Bank Plc Flour Mills Nig. Plc.
1.80 161.50 1.70 0.70 20.16
1.71 153.43 1.62 0.67 19.52
-5.00% -5.00% -4.71% -4.29% -3.17%
Reversal of fortune as market loses by 0.52% Market pulse on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today- Monday March 14th, 2016, was bearish due intense sell pressure and profit taking. This was further highlighted by negative performance from NSE Sub sectors; Insurance and Consumer Goods (Save Banking and Oil & Gas). Trading activities increased in volume as 310.65 million shares worth N2.06 billion in 3,010 deals exchanged hands today. This is an increase from the 214.95 million shares worth N1.35 billion in 3,327 deals carried out on Wednesday. Topping in volume terms was Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc and FCMB Group Plc, while Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc ended trading as the most active stocks in value terms. The All Share Index (NSEASI) closed negative with a 0.52% (-134.82) decrease to 25,853.58 from 25,988.40 the previous trading day. Market Capitalization depreciated in tandem to N8.89 trillion from N8.94 trillion of prior trading day. The Thisday BGL 50 Index followed suit with 0.67% decrease to close at 105.49 from 106.20 the previous trading day, while its market capitalization stood at N8.21 trillion from N8.27 trillion of the previous trading day. A total number of 16 stocks gained on the bourse today while 23 stocks declined, leaving 65 stocks unchanged. UACN Plc emerged the toast of investors as it topped the Thisday BGL 50 Index gainers’ list with a gain of 4.96% to close at N20.95 per share. It was followed NASCON Plc with a gain of 4.93% to close at N7.87 per share. Others on the gainers list include: FCMB Group Plc, Zenith Bank Plc and Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc while on the decliners’ list; Honeywell Flour Mill Plc led with a loss of 5.00% to close at N1.71 per share. It was followed by 7-Up Bottling Comp. Plc with a loss of 5.00% to close at N153.43 per share. Others on the losers list include; Sterling Bank Plc. Unity Bank Plc and Flour Mills Nig. Plc.
REQUIRED DISCLOSURE This report has been prepared by BGL Plc. BGL Plc does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should use this report as one of many other factors in making their investment decisions.
For more details go to www.thisdaylive.com
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016
GTBank Records N99bn Profit After Tax, Declares N52bn Dividend Goddy Egene and Eromosele Abiodun Guaranty Trust Bank Plc yesterday became the first bank to release its financial performance for the year ended December 31, 2015. Contrary to high apprehension over likely poor bottom-line by banks due to headwinds in the financial sector, GTBank
Plc ended the year with higher profit and has recommended a final dividend of N1.52 per share. GTBank posted gross earnings of N298.8 billion, showing an increase of 8.1 per cent compared with N276.4 billion in 2014. Net interest income grew by 12.3 per cent from N142.4 billion to N159.9 billion. As was expected, impairment charges grew by
T H E MAIN BOARD
74.8 per cent from N7.1 billion to N12.4 billion. Operation expenses were flat at N96.4 billion, compared with N94.7 billion in 2014. Profit before tax rose marginally by 3.7 per cent to N120.7 billion from N116.4 billion, while profit after tax grew by 5.3 per cent to N99.4 billion, up from N91.4 billion. The directors recommended a final dividend of N1.52 per
N I G E R I A N QUANTITY TRADED
STO C K
VALUE TRADED ( N )
Daily Summary as of 14/03/2016 Printed 14/03/2016 14:37:13.013 Daily Summary (Bonds) No Debt Trading Activity Daily Summary (Equities) Activity Summary on Board EQTY AGRICULTURE Crop Production OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. PRESCO PLC Crop Production Totals Livestock/Animal Specialties LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. Livestock/Animal Specialties Totals AGRICULTURE Totals CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATION OF NIGERIA PLC U A C N PLC. Diversified Industries Totals CONGLOMERATES Totals CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Infrastructure/Heavy Construction JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. Infrastructure/Heavy Construction Totals Real Estate Development UACN PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT CO. LIMITED Real Estate Development Totals CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Totals CONSUMER GOODS Beverages--Brewers/Distillers CHAMPION BREW. PLC. GUINNESS NIG PLC INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. Beverages--Brewers/Distillers Totals Beverages--Non-Alcoholic 7-UP BOTTLING COMP. PLC. Beverages--Non-Alcoholic Totals Food Products DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC NASCON ALLIED INDUSTRIES PLC TIGER BRANDED CONSUMER GOODS PLC Food Products Totals Food Products--Diversified CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. Food Products--Diversified Totals Household Durables VONO PRODUCTS PLC. Household Durables Totals Personal/Household Products P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. Personal/Household Products Totals CONSUMER GOODS Totals FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ACCESS BANK PLC. DIAMOND BANK PLC ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INCORPORATED FIDELITY BANK PLC GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. SKYE BANK PLC STERLING BANK PLC. UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA PLC UNION BANK NIG.PLC. UNITY BANK PLC WEMA BANK PLC. Banking Totals Insurance Carriers, Brokers and Services AIICO INSURANCE PLC. CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC CORNERSTONE INSURANCE COMPANY PLC. LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. AXAMANSARD INSURANCE PLC N.E.M INSURANCE CO (NIG) PLC. WAPIC INSURANCE PLC Insurance Carriers, Brokers and Services Totals Micro-Finance Banks NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC Micro-Finance Banks Totals Mortgage Carriers, Brokers and Services ASO SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC Mortgage Carriers, Brokers and Services Totals Other Financial Institutions AFRICA PRUDENTIAL REGISTRARS PLC CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED PLC FCMB GROUP PLC. STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC UNITED CAPITAL PLC Other Financial Institutions Totals FINANCIAL SERVICES Totals HEALTHCARE Pharmaceuticals EVANS MEDICAL PLC. FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER NIG. PLC. MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC.
share, having paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo, bringing the total dividend to N1.77 per share or N51.33 billion. A further analysis of the results indicate that despite the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the federal government, the bank’s customer deposits remained relatively stable with a marginal decline from N1.62trillion in 2014
12 8 20
128,458 16,334 144,792
4,191,232.08 587,370.64 4,778,602.72
26 26 46
907,522 907,522 1,052,314
1,112,678.65 1,112,678.65 5,891,281.37
91 42 133 133
13,102,288 4,055,095 17,157,383 17,157,383
15,336,376.96 84,804,240.25 100,140,617.21 100,140,617.21
8 8 12
10,492 10,492 13,489
54,486.21 54,486.21 185,065.50
13 56 5 64 138
3.00 112.79 18.50 97.00
821,000 112,093 6,145 344,122 1,283,360
2,372,155.00 12,331,247.56 111,989.45 33,077,064.80 47,892,456.81
34 86 35 14 119 288
6.01 19.52 1.71 7.87 3.01
261,283 705,677 757,064 547,307 7,456,280 9,727,611
1,562,216.98 14,182,920.00 1,331,179.53 4,302,984.09 22,424,665.72 43,803,966.32
19 55 74
104,691 57,929 162,620
1,798,487.38 39,401,869.32 41,200,356.70
11 51 62 598
15,030 325,673 340,703 11,670,388
369,715.00 9,186,876.86 9,556,591.86 165,647,900.45
105 97 33 106 510 58 32 166 24 12 45 1,188
4.50 1.48 18.01 1.24 16.61 0.99 1.62 3.41 5.70 0.67 0.85
5,660,879 14,202,818 3,409,865 7,523,248 21,585,635 2,590,266 3,221,269 10,927,867 368,116 1,420,243 5,504,840 76,415,046
25,152,069.06 20,290,924.80 61,394,898.50 9,364,101.60 363,643,007.18 2,533,017.07 5,224,400.37 36,946,439.33 2,105,088.63 951,562.81 4,698,134.95 532,303,644.30
3 1 1 1 7 4 15 32
0.81 0.92 0.50 0.64 2.14 0.77 0.50
164,400 3,980 5,000 10 698,109 152,500 1,528,153 2,552,152
131,994.00 3,661.60 2,500.00 6.20 1,510,484.35 116,375.01 764,076.50 2,529,097.66
82 15 172 26 37 332 1,557
3.30 3.81 0.86 14.75 1.62
2,527,774 173,018 12,001,914 468,902 2,308,801 17,480,409 96,503,507
8,407,494.39 661,657.60 10,307,175.09 6,975,040.38 3,795,154.56 30,146,522.02 565,039,355.98
1 5 16 12
0.50 2.70 24.98 0.95
12,000 158,955 59,886 363,470
6,000.00 421,511.25 1,424,946.84 347,207.70
to N1.61trillion in 2015. Commenting on the performance, the Managing Director/CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje said: “That the bank’s financial performance in 2015 is an indication that we have earned the loyalty of our customers and an attestation of the hard work and dedication of our staff, management and Board. The group has
delivered a respectable Profit Before Tax of N120.7billion despite an extremely challenging business environment in 2015. As a bank, we will continue to actively partner with our customers and grow our business in a sustainable manner that is not only driven by profit objective, but with an increased focus on empowering our customers with a view to growing Nigerian economy.
E XC H A N G E
MAIN BOARD NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICALS PLC Pharmaceuticals Totals HEALTHCARE Totals ICT IT Services TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC. IT Services Totals Processing Systems E-TRANZACT INTERNATIONAL PLC Processing Systems Totals ICT Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials ASHAKA CEM PLC BERGER PAINTS PLC CAP PLC CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC LAFARGE AFRICA PLC. Building Materials Totals Electronic and Electrical Products CUTIX PLC. Electronic and Electrical Products Totals Packaging/Containers BETA GLASS CO PLC. Packaging/Containers Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Totals OIL AND GAS Energy Equipment and Services JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SERVICES PLC Energy Equipment and Services Totals Integrated Oil and Gas Services OANDO PLC Integrated Oil and Gas Services Totals Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors CONOIL PLC ETERNA PLC. FORTE OIL PLC. MOBIL OIL NIG PLC. MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. Petroleum and Petroleum Products Distributors Totals Exploration and Production SEPLAT PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD Exploration and Production Totals OIL AND GAS Totals SERVICES Automobile/Auto Part Retailers R T BRISCOE PLC. Automobile/Auto Part Retailers Totals Courier/Freight/Delivery RED STAR EXPRESS PLC Courier/Freight/Delivery Totals Hotels/Lodging IKEJA HOTEL PLC Hotels/Lodging Totals Media/Entertainment DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC Media/Entertainment Totals Printing/Publishing ACADEMY PRESS PLC. Printing/Publishing Totals Transport-Related Services AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC NIGERIAN AVIATION HANDLING COMPANY PLC Transport-Related Services Totals Support and Logistics C & I LEASING PLC. Support and Logistics Totals SERVICES Totals EQTY Board Totals Daily Summary (Equities) Activity Summary on Board PREMIUM FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ZENITH INTERNATIONAL BANK PLC Banking Totals Other Financial Institutions FBN HOLDINGS PLC Other Financial Institutions Totals FINANCIAL SERVICES Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials DANGOTE CEMENT PLC Building Materials Totals INDUSTRIAL GOODS Totals PREMIUM Board Totals Equity Activity Totals
VALUE TRADED ( N)
4 38 38
105,572 699,883 699,883
75,989.74 2,275,655.53 2,275,655.53
4 4 5
62,000 62,000 63,215
192,510.00 192,510.00 194,466.15
6 3 10 6 41 66
24.00 9.42 38.50 8.88 84.05
8,849 5,000 5,599 14,782 672,995 707,225
213,032.45 46,024.00 211,589.56 132,277.50 57,147,365.81 57,750,289.32
1 1 68
800 800 713,025
34,592.00 34,592.00 57,793,131.32
16 3 4 12 3 7 45
18.24 1.85 293.23 171.00 47.18 150.00
97,376 28,971 125 5,087 585 271 132,415
1,770,874.03 53,824.32 34,821.25 796,257.00 26,225.55 39,860.00 2,721,862.15
18 18 413
150,175 150,175 14,477,369
52,703,290.50 52,703,290.50 133,310,661.18
12 27 39
510,000 218,438 728,438
1,068,100.00 888,003.63 1,956,103.63
4 4 57 2,927
122,854 122,854 1,067,246 143,417,819
61,427.00 61,427.00 2,346,721.93 1,032,824,856.62
237 237 668
10,084,282 10,084,282 30,649,963
38,154,745.04 38,154,745.04 302,445,909.11
37 37 37 705 3,632
433,574 433,574 433,574 31,083,537 174,501,356
70,807,104.88 70,807,104.88 70,807,104.88 373,253,013.99 1,406,077,870.61
1 1 1 1 2 1 7 7 7
8.45 2,411.00 2.52 5.92 11.69 20.01
5 40 10 5 3,805 10 3,875 3,875 3,875
42.25 96,440.00 25.20 29.60 44,518.45 200.10 141,255.60 141,255.60 141,255.60
Daily Summary (ETP) Exchange Traded Fund Name LOTUS HALAL EQUITY ETF NEWGOLD EXCHANGE TRADED FUND (ETF) VETIVA BANKING ETF VETIVA CONSUMER GOODS ETF VETIVA GRIFFIN 30 ETF VETIVA INDUSTRIAL ETF Exchange Traded Fund Totals ETF Board Totals ETP Activity Totals
TUESDAY MATCH 15, 2016 • T H I S D AY
Cote d’Ivoire Attack: Death Toll Rises to 18 The casualty toll in an attack by Islamist militants on a beach resort in Cote d’Ivoire rose to eighteen yesterday, Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said. Three Islamist militants who stormed the resort in the town of Grand Bassam east of the commercial capital Abidjan were also killed, he said at the end of a cabinet meeting. Soldiers armed with assault rifles patrolled the deserted beaches
yesterday, with the raid being described as the third high-profile attack by Islamist militants in West Africa since November, but the first in the country, the economic powerhouse of the French-speaking region. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said it was responsible for storming the beach hotels in Grand Bassam, a weekend retreat popular with Ivorians and western-
IS Fighter from US in Custody in Iraq An Islamic State fighter from the United States was taken into custody in northern Iraq after emerging from territory controlled by the militant group in Syria, media reports said yesterday. CBS News, citing two sources with the Kurdish peshmerga military force, said the apparent American defector was trying to return to Turkey. He was identified as Muhammad Jamal Amin, 27, of Virginia, it said, citing Kurdish news organizations. The Pentagon said it could not immediately confirm the incident. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad also could not
confirm it, CBS said. CNN, which also reported the incident, said the fighter was captured near Sinjar and handed over to Kurdish authorities in the region. Peshmerga forces initially fired warning shots when they saw the man on concerns he was a suicide bomber, but he identified himself as a former member of Islamic State who wanted to turn himself in, according to CBS. Amin, whose father is from Palestine and mother from Iraq, had fought with the militants for a couple of months, it said, citing Kurdish reports.
ers about 40 km (25 miles) east of the commercial capital Abidjan. Swimmers and sunbathers were targeted, as well as visitors eating and drinking by the shore at lunchtime. Foreign citizens from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, France, Germany and Mali were among the victims, according to the interior ministry. Two soldiers and six attackers were also killed. Also yesterday, there was no sign of the street hawkers and vendors who usually sell necklaces and bathing suits near the beach and resort hotels. Soldiers patrolled up and down the oceanfront, stopping to speak with hotel and restaurant staff who were at work but had no customers to serve. The attack is a heavy blow for
Ivory Coast, a country recovering from more than a decade of political turmoil that culminated in a civil war in 2011. President Alassane Ouattara won a landslide election victory in October, promising to attract foreign investment to boost the economy. It also provides further evidence that Islamist militants in Africa are expanding beyond their traditional zones of operation in the Sahara and the arid Sahel region in an increasingly ambitious campaign of violence. It raises fears over where they might strike next and poses serious security questions for former colonial power France, which has thousands of citizens and troops in the region. “I saw all the customers running
But attacks in Ankara and in Istanbul over the last year, and the activity of Islamic State as well as Kurdish fighters, have raised concerns among NATO allies who see Turkey’s stability as vital to containing violence in neighboring Syria and Iraq. President Tayyip Erdogan is also eager to dispel any notion he is struggling to maintain security. “With the power of our state and wisdom of our people, we will dig up the roots of this terror network which targets our unity and peace,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter. The Turkish military said 11 warplanes carried out air strikes on 18 targets in northern Iraq early on Monday, including ammunition depots and shelters.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has instructed his armed forces to start pulling out of Syria, over five months after he ordered the launch of a military operation that shored up his ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Putin, at a meeting in the Kremlin with his defense and foreign ministers, said Russian military forces in Syria had largely fulfilled their objectives and ordered an intensification
The PKK has its bases in the mountains of northern Iraq, controlling operations across the frontier in Turkey. A round-the-clock curfew was declared in three southeastern towns in order to conduct operations against Kurdish militants, local officials said. Many locals fled the towns in anticipation of the operations Victims of Sunday’s attack included the father of Umut Bulut, a footballer who plays for Turkey and Galatasaray, the Istanbul club said on its website. Turkey’s government sees the unrest in its southeast as closely tied to the war in Syria, where a Kurdish militia has seized territory along the Turkish border as it battles Islamic State militants and rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.
P U B L I C N OT I C E
of Russia’s diplomatic efforts to broker a peace deal in the country. But the Russian leader signaled Moscow would keep a military presence; but did not give a deadline for the completion of the withdrawal, saying Russian forces would stay on at the port of Tartous and at the Hmeymim airbase in Syria’s Latakia province. Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Putin had
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ODAFE RICHMAN VENTURES 08136688353, 08055475734
In the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court In the High Court of Justice Virgin Islands Commercial Division Claim No. BVIHC (COM) 2016/ 0012 IN THE MATTER OF THE INSOLVENCY ACT, 2003 AND IN THE MATTER OF TADEMA SHIPPING & LOGISTICS INC NOTICE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an application to appoint joint liquidators over TADEMA SHIPPING & LOGISTICS INC c/o Elian Fiduciary Services (BVI) Limited, Nemours Chambers, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands (the Company) by the High Court of Justice, Virgin Islands, was on 22 January 2016 presented to the said Court by the Applicant, D’Amico Tankers Limited, c/o Harneys, Craigmuir Chambers, P. O. Box 71, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and subsequently amended. The application originally fixed for hearing on 8th March 2016 has been adjourned to the 21st day of
162 of the Insolvency Rules 2005. A copy of the application will be furnished on request to any director, member or creditor of the Company by the undersigned on payment of the appropriate charge for the same.
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oppose the application shall give notice of his intention in the manner stated below pursuant to Rule
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the Russian military... the Syrian armed forces and patriotic Syrian forces have been able to achieve a fundamental turnaround in the fight against international terrorism and have taken the initiative in almost all respects,” Putin said. “I am therefore ordering the defense minister, from tomorrow, to start the withdrawal of the main part of our military contingent from the Syrian Arab Republic,” he added.
Islands. Any person intending to appear at the hearing of the application, whether to support or
This is to inform the general public that the person whose photograph appears above is under investigation
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telephoned Assad to inform him of the Russian decision. The move was announced on the day United Nations-brokered talks between the warring sides in Syria resumed in Geneva. “The effective work of our military created the conditions for the start of the peace process,” Putin said. “I believe that the task put before the defense ministry and Russian armed forces has, on the whole, been fulfilled. With the participation of
March 2016 at the Commercial Court, High Court of Justice, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin
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citizens still live in the country. France, which intervened militarily in Mali in 2013 to try to restore stability after a rebellion in 2012 by ethnic Tuaregs that was later hijacked by jihadists linked to al Qaeda, has 3,500 troops in the region from Senegal in the far west to Chad. A French military base in Chad, manned by about 600 soldiers, serves as a logistical hub for the country’s regional operation against Islamist militancy. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will travel to Ivory Coast on Tuesday to offer logistical support and intelligence, French diplomatic sources said. Counter-terrorism officials have also been sent to help the investigation.
Putin Orders Forces’ Withdrawal from Syria
Turkey Retaliates, Strikes Northern Iraq Turkish warplanes struck against Kurdish militant camps in northern Iraq yesterday after 37 people were killed in an Ankara car bombing that security officials said involved a female fighter of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Sunday’s attack, tearing through a crowded transport hub a few hundred meters (yards) from the Justice and Interior Ministries, was the second such strike at the administrative heart of the Turkish capital in under a month. Security officials told Reuters a female member of the outlawed PKK, which has fought a threedecade insurgency for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey’s southeast, was one of two suspected perpetrators. A police source said her severed hand had been found 300 meters from the blast site. Evidence had been obtained that suggested she was born in 1992, was from the eastern city of Kars near the Armenian border, and had joined the militant group in 2013, they said. Violence has spiraled in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast since a 2-1/2 year ceasefire with the PKK collapsed in July. The militants have so far largely focused their strikes on security forces in southeastern towns, many of which have been under curfew.
with their crying children. I asked and they said ‘They’re there on the beach shooting’,”said Souleymane Ouadreogo, who works at the Assoyam Beach hotel and restaurant. “We never thought it would happen here. Abidjan, maybe. But here? Never.” The two other recent attacks in the region were also claimed by AQIM, working with other militant groups. In January, gunmen killed dozens of people in a cafe frequented by foreigners in neighboring Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, and also attacked a hotel. Militants attacked a hotel in the Malian capital Bamako late last year, killing 20. The attack is another setback for France, a major player in West African security. Some 18,000 French
The general public especially customers, suppliers and associates should be accordingly advised about the risk of any business with her as the company will not be responsible for any conduct or misdemeanor committed by her Thank you
Signed: Harney Westwood & Riegels Legal Practitioners for the Applicant Craigmuir Chambers, P. O. Box 71 Road Town, Tortola British Virgin Islands (HWR Ref: 040258.0047) NOTE:‐ any person who intends to appear on the hearing of the application must send to the above named notice in writing of his intention so to do. The notice must state the name and address of the person giving notice and his contact details, if any; whether it is his intention to support or oppose the application; and, if he is a creditor, the amount of his debt or, if he is not a creditor, the grounds upon which he supports or opposes the application. The notice must be sent so as to reach the above named by no later than 16.00 hours on 18 March 2016 or on the business day before the hearing in the event that the application is adjourned.
T H I S D AY • TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
Group Sports Editor Duro Ikhazuagbe
AFCON 2017 QUALIFIERS
NFF Mulls Paying Eagles’ Bonuses in Naira As dollar scarcity bites
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja The acute shortage of USA dollars has forced the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to consider offsetting Super Eagles’bonuses for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt in naira, THISDAY learnt last night. Although the leadership of the federation is believed to be making overtures to the country’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on the possibility of getting the needed foreign exchange at the official rate, the resort to Eagles opening naira accounts with local banks is its Plan B. Nigeria and Egypt will confront each other on two fronts on March 25 in Kaduna and March 29 in Alexandria, for the leadership of Group G of the AFCON 2017 qualifiers. Gabon is to host the tournament proper. An inside source at NFF, lamented that the inability of the federation to source forex at the official rate of N197 to a dollar could grossly undermine the country’s objective to qualify for the Nations Cup. The source further revealed that the Glass House was thinking of paying the foreignbased players in Naira equivalent to mitigate against the shock of buying dollars at the parallel
market. Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia invited 21 players from abroad for the two ties against the Pharaohs, one of Nigeria’s traditional rivals in African football. About $210,000 (N41.3million at CBN rate or N73 million at the black market rate, which translates to $10,000 per person is required to offset the players’ bonuses for the engagements. THISDAY learnt that the disparity between the official and parallel rates is a source of concern for NFF. The American green back, as the dollar is called is selling for N350 to one at the parallel market. The match bonus is just an isolated case study as the general cost of prosecuting the matches in question is a matter for prolonged brainstorming by officials. For instance, the flight ticket refund for each of the 21 players from Europe and America at $8,000 per player totals $168,000 (about N33 million at official rate of N197.) The same tickets sells for N59 million if sourced at the parallel market. This is also aside the daily camp bonus of $200 per player or what the federation will incur on a charter flight to Egypt on March 28.
Keshi: Invite All Past Super Eagles’ Coaches Former Super Eagles manager, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, has said calling another former national coach, Sunday Oliseh, to a hearing by the National Assembly through the Sports Committee of the lower chamber would not help the growth of Nigerian football and sports. Speaking through his Manager, Emmanuel Ardo, Keshi said it will be unfair to all the former managers of the national team, who have been sacked to be called and asked why they were asked out. “Most of the coaches in the past, he reasoned, “were sacked but Oliseh chose to resign, so why the special interest on him,” Keshi reasoned. The former Togo and Mali gaffer said he would like to be called for a meeting on why he
was asked out of the national team. “Right from coach Adegboye Onigbinde, through Christian Chukwu, Shaibu Amodu and Austin Eguavoen, all former coaches of the Super Eagles should be called to account for their stay in the national team while it lasted. “I might be mourning the exit of my life partner (his late wife) but the fact remains that Nigerian football is being unduly distracted and the only way to get it back on track is to ask the real stake-holders to come together and talk. Whether they are coaches, exinternationals or sports politicians, it is about time to talk and talk seriously,” concludes Keshi on way forward for Nigerian football.
FROT Group/Edo FA Cup Draw Holds Today The draw for the 2016 Edo FA Cup is scheduled for the media centre of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City today, the Edo Football Association announced at the weekend. The draw will involve 24 teams, which include defending champions, BJ Foundation. “It’s going to be a glamorous event as we aim to move Edo football forward. We are very grateful to our sponsors, FROT Group, for their financial support for the competition and we pledge to make this year’s edition of the competition a
memorable one,” Edo FA boss, Frank Ilaboya, said. He added that President of FROT Group, Frank Momoh, would grace the draw ceremony. Winners of this year’s edition of the competition will receive a cash prize of N500,000 while the second and third-placed teams will get N300,000 and N200,000 respectively. Ilaboya said all the 24 teams would also receive prizes. “The first 10 teams will be given jerseys branded by our sponsors, FROT Group, while the remaining ones will get branded balls,” Ilaboya added.
Super Eagles Gbolahan Salami (left) is mobbed by team mates during the Nigeria vs Chad clash in Kaduna last year. Eagles are back in Kaduna for Egypt FA C U P S H O C K E R
Ighalo Glad to See off Arsenal Nigeria international striker, Odion Ighalo, has said helping Watford to knock out the reigning champions of the FA Cup, Arsenal, is a“dream come true.” Ighalo scored once as the Hornets tore the form books to shreds to shock the holders at their stately patch and he is now looking to strut his stuff at Wembley. The Super Eagles forward last scored for Watford on January 23 but Ighalo said he received words of encouragement from the club’s manager, Quique Sanchez Flores. “It’s a dream because I’ve never
played at Wembley before. It’ll be a dream come true for me to play there. Not only to play there but to win and play in the final would be great. “We came here with confidence and worked hard together as a team, and we got the result. Although I haven’t been scoring for the last couple of games, I keep on working hard because I know strikers go through what I’m going through. “But I keep my head up and keep on working because I know the goals will start coming again. I hope it’s a start of goals
coming again. “Goals always give confidence to strikers. When you’re not scoring you think about a lot of things and do things you shouldn’t do. But the gaffer has always said that I’m doing everything right and that I just need to keep working hard and doing what I’m doing, and the goal will come. “Sometimes I feel like I’m letting the team down by not getting the goals because when you don’t score goals you don’t win games. So that’s why every time I want to do my best and try to score.
“The gaffer told me that I’m not letting the team down in anyway, I’m working hard and I should keep working hard and the goals will come,” he said. Ighalo has now scored 16 goals for Watford in all competitions this season.
Fixtures TODAY (8.45pm) Atletico v PSV Man City v D’ Kiev WEDNESDAY Barca v Arsenal Bayern v Juventus
ITF/CAT Junior C’ship: Nigeria’s 3,200 Officers to Participate in 2016 Police Games Osewa Shocks No. I Seed Adetunji, McLeod, Marylove crash out of singles Nigeria’s Michael Osewa caused the biggest upset so far at the ongoing 39th ITF/CAT Africa Junior Tennis Championship in Pretoria, South Africa by beating tournament’s number one seed, Younes Adnane of Morocco 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to qualify for the quarterfinal of the boy’s 14&under. The sixth-seeded Osewa started the tournament on a losing note as he fell 6-4, 6-4 to Eliakin Coulibaly of Cote d’Ivoire but bounced back to contention with back-back wins over Salum Mutabazi of Burundi and Codie Van Schalkwyk of Namibia to set up a last-16 clash with Adnane. The game at the University of Pretoria High Performance Centre seems to be heading the way of form book as the Moroccan
took the first set in a convincing manner, defeating series of winners for a 6-1 triumph. However, Osewa, a semifinalist at the last edition in Tunisia, took the second set 6-3 forcing Adnane to lose his unblemished record as he was yet to drop a set before. Osewa completed a memorable encounter in a 6-2 final set to set up a quarterfinal meeting with Jason Espitalien of Mauritius. Team Nigeria had on Sunday recorded seven wins out of the nine matches they featured but yesterday was not all rosy as Gabriel Friday was knocked out by South Africa’s Kholowalm Montsi 6-4, 6-4. It was the same fate for Christopher Bulus and Barakat Quadri who both lost their round of 16 matches.
Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja The Nigeria Police Force has said that about 3,200 police officers will participate in this year’s Police Games scheduled to begin next Monday, March 21. Also, the Police High Command stated that it would give back to indigent Nigerians as part of activities to mark its week. This was disclosed in Abuja yesterday by the Chairman, Central Committee on Police Games and Week, Assistant Inspector General (AIG), James Caulcrick. According to Caulcrick: “A total number of about 3,200 officers will be participating in this year’s Police Game and it is our anticipation that the
scheduled 2016 police games will further help Nigeria discover more of her sport potentials thereby competing on equal pedestal with other nations at a global stage. “The police week which will commence on the 21st of March, 2016 is going to be a potpourri of social ingredient ranging from career talk, quiz competition, walk against crime, medical and community outreach,”he noted. Speaking on the outreach, he said: “The Police Officers Wives Association (POWA) community outreach and the Police medical outreach will render free medical services to many indigent Nigerians, donate foods, drugs, toiletries and render financial support to widows of deceased police officers during the week.”
T H I S D AY TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2016
Tuesday March 15, 2016
& RE A S O
MISSILE Buhari to MTN
“The concern of the federal government was basically in the area of security and not the fine imposed on MTN. You know how the unregistered SIMs are used by terrorists and between 2009 and today at least 10,000 Nigerians were killed by Boko Haram, at least 10,000. That was why the NCC asked MTN, Glo and the rest of them to register all subscribers.” President Muhammadu Buhari blaming the lateness of MTN in complying with the Nigerian Communications Commission’s directive on the registration of all subscribers on its network for aiding Boko Haram in carrying out its attacks.
One Day, One Death in Wike’s Rivers
ince the process leading to Nyesom Wike’s election as governor began, the story from Rivers State has not been a pleasant one. It’s been a story of violence, blood, and death. And there seems to be something ingrained in Wike’s politics, if not his governance style, that ignites and fuels the serial bloodletting that has re-launched Rivers State as the treasure base of political violence. Indeed the politics of Rivers has almost always been ruled by violence. Between 1999 and 2007 when Peter Odili was governor, kidnappings and cult wars and political killings were so rampant that oil companies relocated their offices from Port Harcourt. And in the earlier years of that administration, militants – guns, amulets and all – usually drove in a convoy to the Office of the Secretary to the State Government for their own “monthly allocation”. However, the Rotimi Amaechi administration declared war on the militants, drove them out of town and restored peace to the state. That was the situation until about two years before the April 2015 elections when then Minister Wike, with the backing of the federal government, became the de facto power, following Amaechi’s opposition to the re-election of then President Goodluck Jonathan. Since then, Rivers has been gripped by violence and bloodshed. The situation is now so bad that it would not be out of place to describe today’s Rivers as one day, one death. In the last few weeks for instance, Franklin Obi, a local leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Omoku was shot. Perhaps to be doubly sure he didn’t survive the gunshots pumped into his body, Obi was beheaded in a primitive display of violence. His wife and son were also killed. Before Obi, some 24 persons had allegedly been killed in Omuku. There was an attack on the military in Yeghe. And in Bori, the campaign office of Senator Magnus Abe was torched. From the report of one politician clubbed to death in Opobo, to that of another beaten and set ablaze in Buguma, to yet another buried alive in Yeghe, it has been one gory incident after another. Wike has repeatedly denied APC accusations of being the sponsor of the violence ravaging the state. However, as chief executive, Wike must accept more than vicarious responsibility for the violence and bloodbath that have befallen Rivers lately. And in four key areas below, Wike’s actions and utterances have been less than noble.
1) When the hood makes the monk: How do you assess a man whose total education and upbringing is limited to the confines of a single community? How do you see a politician who has done very little or nothing in his adult life outside of politics? Wike suffers from these two debilitating handicaps. Having studied Political Science at the University of Port Harcourt, and Law at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, also in Port Harcourt, Wike worked for only one year as a Junior Associate with the law firm of Emmanuel C. Ukala. Then he joined politics, and with an unlikely experience of having
managed a budget of even N1 million in his life, he was between 1999 and 2007 an elected chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government, one of the richest councils in the country where he had to superintend over a budget of nothing less than N1 billion (the council’s budget for 2013 fiscal year was N6.3 billion). After serving two terms as council chairman, Wike was appointed Amaechi’s Chief of Staff, from where he became Jonathan’s Education Minister, until his election as governor. For a man born in 1967, Wike did not work or live outside of Port Harcourt until his appointment as minister. At the time, he was already 44. And throughout his ministerial tour of duty, so at sea was he in Abuja that he used to, by his own admission, travel to Port Harcourt every Friday for the weekend. In the process of his political sojourn, Wike has acquired stupendous wealth. Essentially therefore, Wike not only has a limited exposure to other cultures, he sees politics as the be-all and the end-all, having done almost nothing outside of politicking in his working life. Herein lies the danger. Politicians of Wike’s ilk, who though have no pedigree, yet have done so well for themselves in politics, would have no inhibitions sacrificing anybody and anything to realise their ambition. To compound the situation, Wike operates on the extreme right of Odili School of Politics, where money, and aggression (what some would rather call violence) are essential requirements for political success. Perhaps this is one reason Wike is hardly moved by the violence and killings ravaging his state. Dismissing the allegations that recent killings were politically motivated, Wike was quoted as saying: “”When cultists die from a feud, some people will start shouting that they are killing their party members. Have you asked … why no known politician has been killed or even a known person?” This is an unfortunate statement from a state chief executive. So those killed have to be known for their death to matter? By his bearishness in comportment, in words, and in action, Wike empowers the purveyors of violence in Rivers.
2) When politics is personal: In saner climes, politics is never personal. When campaigns are over and the election is won and lost, the winner moves ahead with
the business of governance and the loser moves on with his life, until another election cycle when knuckles are, once again, bared. This is not necessarily the case with our politicians. But even weighed on a scale of the general political pettiness, Wike, like the Babylonian King Belshazzar (Daniel 5:27), has been found wanting. He seems to think about nothing else but Amaechi. Were the regularity of the crude verbal fireworks always from the other side, one would have dismissed it as the groaning of a frustrated loser. But then, having been declared winner and sworn in, and having had his electoral victory affirmed at the highest court in the land, what else does Wike want? Shouldn’t he tone down his war rhetoric and personal attacks on his predecessor and be the father of all which his office confers on him? But even in church, at a supposed thanksgiving, Wike was still wickedly belligerent. “I pray,” he told the congregation at St. Peters Anglican Church, Rumueprikom February 7, 2016, “that my enemy should continue to have permanent high blood pressure. I wouldn’t pray that God would heal them. My own has come down now, and for seven months it was high. It is time for their own to rise.” Why such expression of bitterness to the point of wishing political opponents un-healable ill health at a thanksgiving ceremony in church? In wishing his political opponents permanent high blood pressure and not wishing they received healing, wasn’t Wike saying he would be happy to see them dead? And wasn’t that enough encouragement for the militants and cultists and hoodlums and other apostles of violence to kill, maim and burn? Any wonder why there is so much-bloodbath under Wike’s watch?
3) In Ogoni, a déjà vu: Following the attack on the military in Yeghe community, and the touching of Senator Abe’s campaign office, a cross section of Ogoni youths and apparent supporters of the APC embarked on a peace walk on the streets of Ogoni. That was on 2nd March, 2016. The protesters condemned what they called Wike’s hate speeches and expressed support for the presence of the military in Ogoni communities to arrest the insecurity in the area. A few days later, another group, obviously supporters of Wike’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) organised a counter protest, condemning what they called “military invasion” of Ogoni communities. The PDP Senator Lee Maeba, and Kenneth Kobani, Secretary to the State Government in the Wike administration, addressed the second group of protesters. Had Wike been a leader who has a sense of history, he should have resisted the temptation to organise a counter protest. His resort to divide and rule may advance his political objectives in the short term, but disrupt peace in Ogoni communities in the long term. And history is there as a guide. In the mid-90s, four Ogoni leaders (OGONI 4) including Edward Kobani, the father of Wike’s SSG, were murdered in a protest the MOSOP (Movement for the
Survival of Ogoni People) organised. The military administration of the late Gen. Sani Abacha arrested, secretly tried, convicted and executed writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight MOSOP leaders (OGONI 9) in what was globally described as judicial murder. It wasn’t too long ago that the Ogoni communities cast away the shadows of mutual distrust and suspicion resulting from the murder of Ogoni 4 and the state execution of Ogoni 9. Wike, with his politics of divide and rule, should not allow history repeat itself.
4) A vote against peace: The regularity of the violence and the gory nature of mindless killings without any arrests being made, indicate, if there were any doubts, that the police are totally helpless. Of course, we all know that because men of the Nigeria Police Force are sharply short in equipment and manpower and structurally immobile, they are easily overwhelmed when confronted with the superior organisation and firepower of some criminal gangs. The received wisdom has always been to invite the military to assist in internal security situation in any part of the country the police have been unable to cope. That was the situation in the immediate past administration in which Wike served as minister. Wike’s opposition to military deployment to Yeghe in pursuit of some outlaws is therefore difficult to understand, particularly when a large cache of arms was reportedly recovered from the residence of Solomon Ndigbara, a former militant. Expressing his opposition to military deployment for internal security, Wike said: “Nigeria is a democratic society. … Army is to protect the territorial integrity of the country. If there is a problem in any part of the state, police should be sent there. Anything outside this is not acceptable”. Really? So Wike is comfortable with the unbridled violence and bloodfest going on in his state, which the police have been unable to arrest? As chief executive, he’s not worried by the barbaric killings in some Rivers communities? Or his people’s lives do not matter to him so long as his party is victorious in the rerun elections to State and National Assemblies just as it won the governorship under the cloud of fear and anarchy? The bedrock of leadership is statesmanship. As governor, it behoves Wike to initiate moves capable of healing the wounds eating away a bitterly divided political family, and leaving in its wake death and destruction. The people of Rivers do not deserve the serial mourning of loved ones in the name of politics. It is said politics is not about permanent enmity, but interest. That being the case, there is nothing wrong in Wike suspending his petty differences with Amaechi and collaborating with him for the greater good of Rivers State. In no distant time, Wike’s tenure will be over. And if he does not re-examine his politics, he would be remembered not by how many lives he touched as governor, but how many people were butchered to get him elected. And keep him in office.
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