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...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 61810

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ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com

N150

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

AU REVOIR!

Nigeria sacks Cote d'Ivoire

BY TONY UBANI, HENRY UMORU & EMMAN OVUAKPORIE

•Jonathan, Mark, PDP hail Eagles' victory •NASS 'll reward Eagles — Mark

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AGOS —IMAGINE this line up and their status in world football: Barry; Eboue, Zokora, Bamba, Tiene,Tiote, Romaric, Toure, Gervinho; Kalou, Drogba. Many favoured them and predicted they would overrun the line up below: Enyeama; Echiejile, Omeruo, Oboabona, Ambrose; Mba, Onanzi, Mikel, Moses; Ideye, Emenike. But shortly after beating Ethiopia for the Continues on page 5

Presidency to return budget 2013 to NASS •P.8

Ogun Police uncover ritualists' den •P.7

AFCON RESULT

Obasanjo, Jonathan worship at Aso Villa Sweetcrude chapel —P.8 I

Burkina Faso Togo

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SHOOTING TO SEMI-FINAL—Nigeria's forward Sunday Mba, second goal scorer, kicks the ball during the African Cup of Nations 2013 quarter final football match against Ivory Coast, yesterday in Rustenburg, South Africa. Photo: AFP.

N this month’s, Sweetcrude, read about how some oil majors denied Nigerians of benefiting from the $30.82 billion or about N5 trillion in dividend payouts in 2012, following their refusal to enlist on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Market experts speak on the share listing, and a PIB committee member explains all the hues and cry over the fiscal terms proposed in the PIB.

—See inside C M Y K

Mr & Mrs


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4 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

C M Y K


Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4 , 2013—5

POCKET CARTOON

MOMENT OF JOY—Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike, (C) being congratulated by team mates after scoring the first goal in the match against Ivory Coast, yesterday. Photo: AFP

Nigeria sacks Cote d'Ivoire Continues from page 1 quarter final tie against star studded Ivory Coast, Stephen Keshi said his team would adopt a different mentality, different tactical approach and hopefully would win the match. His words came to pass, yesterday when the Eagles proved that they could be super again. A team that had difficulties with ball possession, controlled the ball, kept their heads, looked for space and used it well. A team that passed most of their balls back,

found the need to go forward. A team that played poor free kicks, changed yesterday. A team that one couldn’t vouch for defensively, stood firm. And that was the story of Nigeria in the quarter final against Ivory Coast, yesterday. They won 2-1 and will now play Mali in the semifinal on Wednesday. “There are a lot of possibilities in this team and we just want to keep on progressing,” Keshi said in the post match press conference, yesterday. He commended the players and said that they reminded him of his days in the Eagles

LIFEWORDS

BY PASTOR ITUAH

The protection of God is critical in achieving your desired goals. Ask for it and you will receive it.

TAKE HEART

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BY ELLA RANDLE

F you don’t have anything good to say about someone then you don’t know them well enough to say anything bad — David Dayton Richard Templar in his writings concludes that, it is very easy to moan, to complain, and to criticise. It is much harder to always find something nice to say about a situation or a person. But think of it now as a huge challenge. Saying something nice is hard because our natural inclination is to moan. No matter how a person is, there is always something about them that is good. Your job is to find the good and highlight it. Obviously, if you are going to say good things, then refrain from back-biting, gossiping, telling tales complaining and being rude to people. Try to find a new rule everyday or at least occasionally. It’s one of those things that will amaze you on how you’re improving, you don’t have to take this statement literally, try it for yourself and see the difference in you.

“ when we fought and fought and fought.” Eagles fought hard yesterday. Early in the game they showed signs of what was to come. On the 10 th minute Victor Moses rifled a fierce strike from 25 yards towards goal to sting the palms of Ivorian keeper Boubacar Barry. The ball dipped and swerved but Barry did enough to prevent Nigeria from taking the lead. On the 28th minute another huge chance went begging for Nigeria. Ivory Coast carelessly lost possession in midfield to allow Ideye Brown to burst forward. He picked his moment to slip in Emmanuel Emenike, but he lost all composure to blast woefully high over the crossbar.

The game The dubious honour of the match’s first booking went to Nigeria’s Ogenyi Onazi who hacked down Salomon Kalou from behind to give away a free-kick in a dangerous position. But he was better than Fegor Ogude who missed the match on card offences. Those who followed his awful play would be thankful for the cards that made coach Keshi call in a better player. With Sunday Mba, Mikel Obi and Ambrose Efe effectively overlapping from the right back and Victor

Moses outwitting the opponents, the Eagles had the flair they had lacked since the competition started. The result came in the 42nd minute. What a strike it was. Victor Moses rolled a free kick to Emmanuel Emenike. He smashed a thunderous shot past Ivorian keeper Boubacar Barry. It was about 25 yards away. Simply superb. Emenike gave the Super Eagles a 1-0 lead with the super strike. Nigerians in the stadium went wild in celebration. On the balance of play, Nigeria certainly deserved their lead. The Super Eagles played with more energy and freedom than their more experienced Ivory Coast opponents. The Elephants looked pretty laborious but it changed in the early minutes of the second half. Didier Drogba is known for his falls. Sometimes he falls when air blows past him. It was his trade mark shortly after joining Chelsea. English press took on him and he changed a little bit. African referees are yet to master his tricks. The Algerian referee who was fair in his officiating, yesterday, fell for his trick when he earned an undeserved free kick which Cheick Tiote headed home. Four Ivoriens attacked the second post of the Eagles and they were un-

marked. Not good for Alderton Echiejile. Tiote scored his first goal for his country in the 50th minute. Thereafter, Ivory Coast appeared to be powering their way back but moments later, Victor Moses continued his runs which were a constant thorn in the Ivoriens’ side. In one moment he twisted and turned past left-back Siaka Tiene to engineer space to cross. It was far too strong for Emmanuel Emenike but the move rattled the Ivoriens and probably increased the confidence of the Eagles. Ideye Brown was also a menace for Ivory Coast with his aerial prowess. But he wasted another fantastic opportunity when he was left unmarked at the far post. Then the moment of magic came. It was a goal worthy of winning any match. And it did for Nigeria in the 78 th minute. Sunday Mba of Warri Wolves whom Rangers now claim is their player, created a chance with his dribbling, ran into the goal area and spun the ball past Elephants’ keeper Barry in a splendid way that won him the man of the match. It was a clinical finish that sent Nigerians into a party mood till this morning.

Jonathan lauds Eagles On his Facebook, yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan, reacting to the victory, wrote: “The Super Eagles played well in their match against Côte d’Ivoire. I am very proud of our able representatives at the ongoing AFCoN tournament. They showed the true Nigerian spirit. To coach Keshi and the players, we are all behind you and will cheer as you soar like the great Eagles to victory.”

Victory, sign of good things to come — PDP Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described the Super Eagles’ victory over the Elephants of Cote D’ Ivoire as an indication that Nigeria will soon surmount all its challenges under the present dispensation. The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, however, charged the team not to relax at this moment but to increase their zeal as they meet their next opponent in the semi final stage.

Tambuwal hails Eagles victory Meantime, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal has congratulated Super Eagles on their victory yesterday. Tambuwal in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mallam Imam Imam particularly paid tribute to the fighting spirit exhibited by the Eagles. He said the outcome of the match has demonstrated that if Nigerians can work together they will overcome all the challenges facing the country.

NASS will reward Super Eagles — Mark Also Senate President David Mark, yesterday, promised that the National Assembly will reward the Super Eagles for defeating the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire and pushing Nigeria to the Semi- final position. He however, thanked the team for emerging


Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013—7

6—Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

Robbers, kidnappers on the rampage in Delta zTwo policemen, woman killed zOru, PDP vice-chairman shot zKidnap attempt on Oru, Elumelu foiled zBandits attack Navy Commander zThree-year-old child vanishes zWe’re hunting for the perpetrators — CP BY EMMA AMAIZE, AUSTIN OGWUDA, EMMA ARUBI & FESTUS AHON

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GHELLI — IT was a gruesome weekend in Delta State as suspected kidnappers and bandits shot dead three persons, two police officers and a woman, wounded a police and naval officers and seized a Navy Commander. Two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, national vice chair, South-South, Dr. Steve Oru and member, House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, reportedly ambushed by kidnappers, miraculously escaped being kidnapped. However, Oru, who was shot by the hostage-takers, is currently hospitalised. Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State was said to have intervened and ordered the security agencies to fish the criminals. He has reviewed the security measures put in place by government and is reportedly coming up with a new strategy in the next few weeks to keep his security and peace agenda aflame. The State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, confirmed the attacks in a telephone interview with Vanguard, saying the police have launched a manhunt for the criminals. He did not give details, but said: “It was unfortunate, the police, both junior and senior officers, are looking for them. You know, the governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, gave us more vehicles and we have a special security patrol team working round the clock. We will get them.”

Kidnappers bundle Navy Commander However, Vanguard was informed that Navy Commander I. Mohammed, who is based in Lagos, was attacked between Ughelli and Patani on his way from Warri to Port-Harcourt, along the East-West Road by a sevenman robbery gang. A source said Navy Commander Mohammed tried to make a nippy u-turn when he sighted the heavily armed bandits, operating near Oru

Filling Station at about 3.00 p.m, Saturday, but the hoodlums, who had positioned themselves strategically, trapped him and opened gunfire on his vehicle. It was learnt that the N.5 million cash which was in the possession of the Navy Commander and GSM phones were stolen by the bandits. Reports said his car, riddled with bullets, was abandoned by the bandits, who bundled him into an SUV they used for the operation and turned in the direction of Warri, but apparently unsatisfied with their loot, they diverted to Agbarho. His orderly was allegedly shot on the chest region and was said to be in critical state. His actual condition could not be determined at press time.

PDP vice chair shot, orderly killed The bandits, Vanguard gathered, laid siege to unsuspecting travellers between Orhokpokpor-Agbarho and Uwiamughe-Agbarho on the East-West road at about 2.00 pm. According to a dependable source, the armed robbers attacked vehicles from both ends of the road, dispossessing their victims of their valuables. The source, who pleaded anonymity, said an unidentified woman was also shot dead by the dare devil robbers, as she attempted to escape into the bush, adding that the police orderly of Dr Steve Oru, simply identified as Ofor was also killed when he attemptede to engage the bandits in a shootout. Speaking further, the source said: “Dr Steve Oru was shot on his back as he was trying to run into the bush. Many others also sustained bullet injuries as the armed robbers shot sporadically. “As I speak with you, Governor Uduaghan is very concerned about the health condition of Oru and has directed that he be transferred to a more competent hospital (name withheld) for proper medical attention.”

Bandits lay siege to Elumelu Similarly, the police aide to Hon

Ndudi Elumelu was also killed between Orhia-Abraka and Eku, by suspected armed bandits who also laid siege to the Eku/Abraka road at about 1.00 pm on Saturday. A reliable source said suspected robbers, who opened fire, attacked the convoy of Elumelu but the lawmaker narrowly escaped death.

Police orderlies killed Commissioner Aduba told Vanguard that the suspected kidnappers had wanted to kidnap Oru and Elumelu, but the plot failed, as their aides fought gallantly but were killed in the ensuing battle. He confirmed that a policeman lost his life in the attack on Elumelu's convoy, while in the Oru incident, a policeman was killed and another injured.

Police finger Kelvin, most wanted kidnap suspect He fingered a notorious kidnap suspect, Kelvin, who had been declared wanted by the police as being responsible for the spate of kidnap and robbery attacks in the state. The Commissioner said some people in Kokori appeared to be shielding Kelvin from the police, as they were not giving the police useful information on his activities and whereabouts. Aduba said the police in the state would give out N2.5 million soon to informants at Abraka, Warri, Asaba and other parts of the state, who gave the information that led to the bursting of some kidnap and armed robbery gangs and commended Gov. Uduaghan for the assistance.

Increased patrol Vanguard observed, yesterday (Sunday) that the special security patrol introduced this year by the state government had intensified security checks in the state. A combined team of security personnel has taken over the Eku/ Abraka road with a view to tracking down the suspected hoodlums. At Sapele end of the Warri-

Ogun Police uncover underground ritualists' den

Benin road, yesterday, a heavy presence of the special security patrol team was seen by Vanguard, while the Delta segment of the road and WarriEku road have been under concentrated patrol by soldiers, drawn mainly from the 3 Battalion, Effurun, Delta State, headed by Lt Col Ifeanyi Otu.

zArrest three suspects BY DAUD OLATUNJI

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BEOKUTA — THE Ogun State Police Command, yesterday, said it had arrested three suspected ritualists and uncovered another ritualists' underground den in Idode-Imomo, Ijebu North-East Local Government Area of Ogun State. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, who stated this said the command had begun an investigation into the matter. According to him, the suspects, Kehinde Rufai,Debo Awonaya and one David, are

Three-year-old pupil abducted Meawhile, a pupil, Akachukwu Abatam, was allegedly abducted, Saturday, at about 2.00 p.m by unknown persons.He was said to be returning from his school, Green Height International School. PPRO, Mr. Ajieh, who confirmed the incident, said Akachukwu’s teacher was being quizzed over the matter.

Corps member killed A National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, member, identified as Akrigbe, was also shot dead on Saturday by suspected robbers, along Bomadi road in the state. The incident occurred at about 11.00 am around Ode Bridge. The corps member was travelling in an 18-seater Delta mass transit bus heading to Bomadi when tragedy struck. In another robbery incident at Oleh on Saturday, robbers raided a boutique at Old Emede Road, but the police mobilized and in a gun battle, one of the bandits was killed, while others fled. Ajieh told Vanguard that on a closer look, the police found out that the deceased robber “was a wanted person who snatched a Toyota Camry from a woman at Campus gate sometime in October 2012.” His words: “The police are combing the area for possible arrest of the fleeing gang members.”

Some suspected prostitutes arrested in Lagos recently: "Rapport between us and policemen is very cordial."

Mother of 4 arrested for allegedly killing hubby zAs Police foil bank robbery in Lagos BY EVELYN USMAN & BOSE ADELAJA

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AGOS — A MOTHER of four has been arrested by the Police in Lagos for allegedly killing her husband during a brawl over food, weekend, in Ikorodu area of Lagos. Vanguard gathered that the suspect, Mrs Folake AdekoyaOjo, was arrested following reports by her late husband’s relative,one Olaoye, who suspected she had a hand in their brother’s death,following which she was invited by policemen at Shagamu Road Division. The widow was said to have told policemen that her 37-year-old husband committed suicide by hanging himself on the ceiling fan, last Friday,while her in-laws insisted that their late brother was hacked to death. Consequently, policemen from the division were deployed by the Divisional Police Officer to inspect the late Emmanuel’s

corpse where it was discovered to have a deep cut in the head. On further interrogation, the widow reportedly admitted to have hit her husband with a stone during a scuffle. The widow explained that her husband came home at about 11p.m. that fateful night demanding for food. She said she served him amala and okro soup, only for him to complain that it was not properly served. Rather than doing his bid, the widow reportedly ate the meal, an action she said infuriated her husband. This, as gathered, generated into a fight during which she claimed she hit him with a stone on the head in defence. Mr Emmanuel, reportedly gave up the ghost at about 2.30 a.m.

Police foil bank robbery Meantime, armed bandits numbering over 10, weekend, engaged policemen from the Shagamu road division in a gun battle that lasted over 30 minutes

during an attempt to rob a second generation bank at the Odogunyan branch. The gunmen, as gathered, stormed the bank at about 3 a.m, in two vehicles which they parked poles away from their target. They were said to have gained entry into the bank’s premises and succeeded in breaking the door leading to the three Automated Teller Machines, ATMs. Just then, police sources at the Lagos State Police Command said operatives from the Shagamu road, who got wind of the robbers presence, stormed the bank in two Armoured Personnel Carriers and 20 patrol vehicles. On sighting the policemen, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Mr Bernard Odiagbonya, a Superintendent of Police (SP), the robbers said to have been armed with sophisticated weapons, opened fire on them. But they were reportedly overwhelmed by the number of policemen.

Police officer kills colleague at drinking joint BY DAYO JOHNSON

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KURE —AN Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kazeem Shehu, attached to the Ajagba Divisional Police Station in Ajagba town, Irele Local Government Area of Ondo State has shot dead his close friend also a policeman, Inspector Adelakun Lawal, over an argument at a beer parlour. Vanguard gathered that the unfortunate incident occurred, weekend, in Ondo town area of Ondo State. The shot police officer was attached to Yaba Divisional Police Station before he met

his untimely death in the hands of his colleague. The state Police Command image-maker Wole Ogodo confirmed the killing of the

ASP Kazeem Shehu, the suspected killer.

deceased by his colleague. Ogodo who said the suspect was in detention, pointed out that investigation into incident was ongoing. He said the suspect would face the full wrath of the law after investigation into the incident. Eyewitness account said the two friends went to a relaxation centre at Ejankole Street in Okerowo area in Ondo town at about 5 pm for a drink. It was later learnt that an argument ensued between them and this snowballed into a hot argument and altercation while all efforts by others at the centre to call them to order was rebuffed. The suspect, it was learnt,

after the hot argument reportedly drew out a pistol which was hidden in his pocket and shot his friend at a close range. The sound of the gunshot attracted others in the relaxation centre who rushed the victim to the state Specialist Hospital in Ondo town. Sensing the gravity of what he has done, the suspect in an attempt to flee from the area was apprehended by those present at the relaxation joint. Meanwhile, the corpse of the slain policeman has been deposited at the morgue of the Ondo State Specialist Hospital.

cooling their feet in police custody. Va n g u a r d gathered that the place was located between Ijebu-Ode and Atan, closed to the border area of Oyo, Ogun and Ondo states. An eye witness told Vanguard, however, that some youths discovered the ritualists underground den located in a forest after a 70-year-old man identified as

Kehinde Rabiu was declared missing. According to the source, residents of the area were shocked when they saw the underground den which has stairs underneath. The suspected ritualists were reported to have built a house beside the underground in the forest and planted indian hemp around the place. Speaking on the incident, Chairman of Community Development Association in the area, Kola Ologbode, described the three suspects as criminals. He said the trio had been known for criminal activities, adding that, he had overheard them saying they were looking for aged man for a business. Also speaking, the village head, D u r o j a y e Olugbode, begged the government for assistance to get rid of kidnappers in the area.

Entrance of the ritualists underground den.

16-month-old boy stolen from church in Imo BY CHIDI NKWOPARA

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WERRI — Sixteen-month old Emmanuel Onyekachi Alamanjo has been reported abducted from Saint Mary’s Catholic Cathedral Parish, Okigwe, giving the impression that hoodlums have again started kidnapping, snatching and stealing toddlers from churches in Imo State. Vanguard investigations revealed that the little boy was taken to the church for the 10a.m mass by his mother, Mrs. Salome Alamanjo. It was also gathered that little Emmanuel became very uncomfortable with the temperature inside the crowded church and because he was crying ceaselessly, his mother handed him over to his elder sister to take outside for fresh air. A lady was said to have offered to assist the little girl who was clutching her younger brother and thereafter tricked her to move to the church hall where members of the Catholic Biblical Instructors Union, CBIU, were giving children lunch, to collect some rice for her brother. “On her return from the hall, the little girl did not see either the lady or her brother and broke down weeping. She relentlessly searched and hoped to find the fleeing lady. This gave the baby thief ample opportunity to escape,” a woman, who simply identified herself as Ngozi, told Vanguard. The boy’s father, Mr. Sylvester Alamanjo, a native of Umuinem, Okigwe and the Administrator of Saint

Mary’s Cathedral, Okigwe, Rev. Fr. Gregory Osuji, confirmed the ugly incident. “It is most shocking that people can dare God so brazenly. The missing boy was baptized on August 12, 2011 and his date of birth was given as August 1, 2011,” Rev. Fr. Osuji said. He passionately appealed to the public to come forward with any information that would lead to the recovery of the little boy soonest. “Anybody with useful information on the missing boy can call 08062423712, report to the nearest police station or any Catholic priest,” Rev. Fr. Osuji pleaded.


8—Vanguard , MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

Obasanjo worships with Jonathan at Presidential Villa Chapel zEfforts in top gear to reconcile them BY BEN AGANDE

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BUJA—FORMER Pres ident Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday made a surprise appearance at the Presidential Villa chapel where he worshiped with the first family. The former president who has been a virulent critic of President Jonathan Goodluck Jonathan came into the Villa chapel in company of Femi Otedola and two of his children. Though details of his visit were not available, Vanguard gathered that the former President was invited to the church service by mutual friends of the president and Chief Obasanjo in an effort to secure a truce in the on going disagreement between them. The source who does not want to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the matter said "since the two (Obasanjo and Jonathan) are christians their friends feel that there is no better place to begin the reconciliation process than the church. It is a first step in a move that we hope will stop the altercation between the two leaders and their aides." An official of the presidency who attended the service said the former president took second reading at the service and accompanied President Goodluck Jonathan to the children’s church after which he had lunch with President Jonathan before leaving the villa. President Jonathan has come under scathing criticism from the former president who accused Jonathan of failing to guarantee security in the country. He particularly accused President Jonathan of not doing enough to tackle the Boko Haram menace which has significantly affected economic activities in the northern part of the country ,especially in Maiduguri and other states in the North East. Obasanjo’s criticism has opened a flood gate of criticism from his former officials, especially former Minister of FCT, Nasir El Rufai and Oby Ezekweseli who accused the president of incompetence and corruption.

BY SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH & HENRY UMORU

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BUJA—AFTER many meet ings between the National Assembly and the Presidency on the 2013 budget, there were indications yesterday that the Presidency might throw back the appropriation bill at the legislature. The Presidency is unhappy with the final packaging of the budget, which saw an inexplicable ‘padding’ of N63 billion by the lawmakers and zero allocation to the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, over irreconcilable differences with its Director General, Arunma Oteh. Jonathan had sent a proposal of N4.92 trillion to the National Assembly in October 2012 but when the lawmakers passed the budget in December 20, 2012, they jerked up the figure to N4.987 trillion. They are insisting that Jonathan must first sack Oteh in line with their resolution before any amount is appropriated for the commission. But Jonathan, who is reported to be in support of the embattled DG, is not in the mood to wield the big stick against her. Another sour point, which has reportedly irked President Jonathan and drawn his signature away from the document, is the controversy over oil benchmark, which the Presidency pegged at $75 per barrel in his submission to the National Assembly. However, before agreeing to pass the bill, the lawmakers fixed the benchmark at $79 per barrel, saying that the bright oil outlook had made it possible for the benchmark to be reviewed upwards.

$75 per barrel oil benchmark The Presidency, it was reliably gathered, had in the several meetings with the legislature drawn its attention to the three vexatious issues and asked them to rework the budget for him to sign. The President is said to have asked the lawmakers to revert the oil benchmark to his original submission of $75 per barrel, approve a commensurate budget for SEC and remove the additional N63 billion inserted by them into the budget before he appends his signature to the document. However, it was gathered that the lawmakers are also unwilling to shift their grounds on any of the three contentious items. Arising from the stalemate, the President has refused to assent to the bill, over a month after the lawmakers had passed it into law and dispatched the document to the Villa. But the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emordi, said she was neither aware of any budget row nor threat by the Presidency to return the budget to the National Assembly. Emordi did not, however, say

From left: Lazarus Angbazo, President and CEO GE Nigeria; Jay Ireland, President and CEO GE Africa; Jeff Immelt, Global Chairman and CEO GE; Aliko Dangote, President Dangote Group during signing of agreement between Dangote Group and General Electric in Lagos.

Presidency threatens to return 2013 budget to N-Assembly ...gives conditions for assent why the President had withheld his assent to the appropriation bill almost two months after the passage by the lawmakers.

I'm not aware of budget row — Emodi The lawmakers unanimously passed the bill on December 20, 2012 and had given hope to Nigerians that for the first time in many years, Nigeria would begin to run a budget from the first day of the New Year. However, the rowt between the lawmakers and the executive arm of government is gradually taking the nation back to its familiar path of budget delay and poor implementation. The Presidency had denied the receipt of the document from the National Assembly but when the lawmakers showed evidence that they had since sent it to the President, his officials were forced to admit that he was studying the budget Vanguard learnt that some lawmakers were already mobilising to see how they could pass the 2013 budget as an Act of the Parliament in the event that the President returns the bill to the National Assembly without signing it as stipulated by law. The law stipulates that a bill, which has been denied presidential assent after 30 days, may be passed as an act of the parliament by two thirds majority of the National Assembly. One lawmaker, who spoke to Vanguard in confidence, said the lawmakers were ready to challenge the presidency by passing the bill as an Act, if it is returned to the National Assembly. Another lawmaker pointed out that the days when the President took them for granted were over,

as they were now more united to work for the interest of Nigerians. The lawmakers, it was gathered, were confident they would win the budget war against the

Presidency given the rancour between PDP governors and the Presidency and the growing unity among members of the National Assembly .

I get N25,000 for local trips — Sanusi zSays I fuel my personal cars BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE

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HE Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said he collects N25,000 per night for trips within Nigeria and fuels his personal cars with personal funds. Responding to questions asked by Lagos Lawyer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, concerning recurrent expenditures on the CBN governor and his office in view of the rising cost of governance, Sanusi also said he does not charge CBN or the Federal Government any fee outside his remuneration. Early December, Sanusi, stirred the hornets’ nest when he suggested the reduction of the nation’s workforce by 50 per cent. Sanusi said a situation where the government spends over 70 percent of its annual budgets on recurrent expenditure at the expense of capital expenditure, mainly to service a few political office holders and public servants that account for about one million of the country’s 167 million population was unsustainable Sanusi’s comments, which raised dusts in the polity especially from Organised Labour made Aturu to ask 14 questions

pertaining to his remunerations on December 31 pursuant to the relevant sections of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011. In the response dated January 16 and signed by S.M Onekutu (legal adviser/director, Legal Services), Sanusi, however did not disclose his total remuneration because it “is a subject of litigation” and it will be prejudicial. He also did not disclose how much he gets per night for foreign trips. Reacting to the CBN governor’s response yesterday, Aturu said while he was not completely satisfied with the response, he would commend Sanusi “for not behaving like most public officials who would have simply ignored the request. We are of the view that the reaction of the bank to our request will encourage public institutions to conduct their affairs transparently.” He continued: “We intend to do a follow up to the request as it appears that the Bank misunderstands some of the questions contained in the request. When we requested for the monthly remuneration of the Governor we were not asking him or the Bank to comment on an earlier decision which the Bank is contesting. We are aware of that decision".


VANGUARD, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 9


10— Vanguard , MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2012

Capital Oil sues Access Bank over contempt BY INNOCENT ANABA

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AGOS — IFEANYI Ubah and Capital Oil and Gas Ltd, have initiated contempt proceedings before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, against Access Bank Plc, over its alleged refusal to comply with an order of the court, directing the bank to discontinue a suit it filed against Ubah and others at a London court. Capital Oil and Uba in the Form 48, “notice of consequences of disobedience to court order,” is warning the bank to obey the orders of Justice Okon Abang, failing which it will ask the court to commit the officers of the bank to prison with Form 49. Capital Oil and Ubah are contending in the proceedings that their step was informed by the alleged failure of Access Bank to withdraw the suit: Claim No. 2012 Folio 1300, it filed at the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench division, Commercial Court, London, in relation to the dispute between them over a purported loan. They alleged that rather than withdraw the London suit as ordered on January 28, 2013 by Justice Abang, the bank allegedly went before the London court on January 31 and got a fresh order against them.

Death sentence: Rev. King hinges hope on Supreme Court BY BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE

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AGOS — EMBATtled General Overseer of Christian Praying Assembly, R e v e r e n d Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, popularly known as Reverend King, weekend, expressed confidence that the Supreme Court would vindicate and set him free from the murder charge for which an appeal court has confirmed the death sentence passed on him

ACN accuses FG of diverting SURE-P funds ACN's claim laughable, mischievous — PDP BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI

LAGOS —

THE Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, weekend, accused the Federal Government of diverting the fund of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, set up in the wake of last year ’s partial removal of fuel subsidy. National Publicity Secretary of ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, claimed the Peoples Democratic Party,

PDP, controlled Federal Government had been using part of the funds meant for programme to empower the party’s cronies ahead of the 2015 general elections, instead of using it for the benefit of all Nigerians. ACN warned SURE-P’s head, Dr. Christopher Kolade, a respectable citizen, known for his transparency and integrity, not to allow the skewed and partisan implementation of the

programme by the FG to tarnish his hard-earned reputation. ‘’Ordinarily, SURE-P seems laudable as it is aimed at the empowerment of the citizens through job creation and infrastructure development, but in reality, PDP apparachiks have hijacked it for the purpose of empowering only the party’s members. They have created State Implementation Committees,

SICs, to handle the disbursement of SURE-P cash to party members as a strategy to arm them with a war chest ahead of the 2015 elections. ‘’To make matters worse, the PDP is denigrating the traditional institution by using traditional rulers in some states as the conduit to distribute SURE-P funds, ostensibly to empower Nigerians but in reality to put money in the pockets of PDP

From left: Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, Commissioner for Establishment and Training; Mr. Disun Holloway, Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Govermental Relations; Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Mr. Lateef Raji, Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on Information and Strategy, and others, during the inspection tour of projects at Vlekete Slave Market, Posukoh Quarter, in Badagry. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

Ground victims of Dana air-crash paid $30,000 each BY DANIEL ETEGHE

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AGOS — PASTOR Daniel Omowumi, the owner of the twostorey building where the Dana air plane crashed into at the IjuShaga area of Lagos State and

other ground victims have been paid USD 30,000 each as compensation. Earlier, Pastor Omowunmi in conjunction with the Committee for the Defence of Human Right, CDHR, Funmilayo Unit had

protested with other victims of the accident blocking the entrance to the Dana Air head office at Allen avenue, demanding the sum of N500 million for his property that were destroyed by the crash. Head Corporate Communication, Dana Airlines, Mr. Tony Usidamen who confirmed the payment Obanikoro won but, they said of compensation to the section 14 of the Lagos State ground victims, said electoral Act actually stipulated that Dana Air insurers were the judgment must be done within committed towards 30 days and that it took over a year ensuring that all in the lower court and so that on claimants were fully technical ground, they had to set compensated to the aside the judgment of the lower extent of their losses. Mr. Usidamen court “We did all that we were required however pointed out that although the payment of to do within the stipulated time. It was the ACN lawyer that was compensation to the delaying so much that even the ground victims took judge at the lower court once some time, it was done lambasted for that attitude. So, according to the laid what they are now making us to down processes by law suffer is price for the sin of the ACN and the settlement reached by all parties and its lawyer. "If the leaders of the ruling party concerned. According to him, “We who rose to the limelight through can confirm that payment fight against June 12, 1993 electoral injustice and election annulment of compensation for Iju-Shaga were the same people perpetrating affected residents has commensame in Lagos State Local ced and the process is Governments electoral process, still on-going." there is big problem”.

Obanikoro's LCDA election tribunal loss rattles PDP BY BASHIR ADEFAKA

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AGOS — THE judgment of Appeal Court sitting in Lagos which Thursday upturned the victory of Babajide Obanikoro, son of former Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro, has been generating discomfort in various Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, circles in the state. Stalwarts of the party and elite within the Eti-Osa Local Government and Ikoyi/Obalende Local Council Development Area, directly affected by the judgment were said to be brazing up for what next to do. According to the Chairman of PDP in Eti-Osa Local Government, Mr. Adeniyi Adams, “To use his word, the judge said, ‘The law is harsh but the law is the law. ’ S o , apparently they never faulted the lower court judgment that Jide

supporters,’’ ACN said. The party contended that only bodies created by law could disburse funds accruing to the Federation Account, and warned that since the SICs were not recognized by the law, it was an illegal body and its operations violate the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. ‘ACN continued:, ‘Money being spent on fuel subsidies was in the past taken out of the Federation Account, hence its is money that would have been divided among the three tiers of government in accordance with the revenue allocation formula. ‘’But by virtue of the SURE-P arrangement, the funds are now available for the FG to share freely by approving contracts, programmes and activities in accordance with its whims and caprices. The PDPcontrolled FG has now seen the accruing huge funds as money which may well be spent with special favour for its cronies and party affiliates. But South-West PDP has described as mischievous and laughable, ACN's claim that the SURE-P has been hijacked by the PDP to empower only the party ’s members, saying; “it is politics taken to a bizarre level and we hope these characters in the ACN won’t criticise God for creating human being in His own image one day. “Instead of making noise on the implementation of the Federal Government’s SURE-P, the party should rather account for over the N10 billion Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Edo's share SURE-P fund."


Vanguard , MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4,

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Constitution review:

Don't subvert collective interest of Nigerians, NLC tells National Assembly BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG

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AGOS — NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, weekend, said the signals coming from the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives on the review of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was disturbing. NLC in a statement by its President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, warned the House of Representatives not allow itself to be used by any political group or interest to subvert the views and collective interests of the Nigerian people in the final report of the sessions held nationwide on the constitution amendment. Congress said it hoped that the National Assembly was not yielding to pressure from the Governors Forum among others who had been reported to be against some popular proposals on critical sections of the constitution most Nigerians advocated should be included in the new constitution. According to NLC,“ we

reiterate our position that the new constitution provides for full local government autonomy as expected in a federation.” According to the statement. “The Local Governments are closer to the mass of our people and its only when they are fully independent that the Nigerian people can enjoy the benefits of democracy. "Rather than continue to tie the local governments to the whims and caprices of state governments, the constitution should ensure funds meant for local governments go directly to them and all funds and other resources generated by the local governments should be managed by the local governments and not the state governments. "This is one way we can deepen democracy in Nigeria and ensure a working federal system that will benefit the Nigerian people.” “The Nigerian people were united on this during the public sessions held last year in all the 360

constituencies where the Peoples’ Public Sessions were held by the House of Representatives in collaboration with labour and civil society groups in the country.

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AGOS — MINISTER Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, weekend, inspected ongoing works on Apapa-Oshodi expressway in Lagos State and directed the contractor to expedite action on the construction of the 450-capacity Trailer Park on the expressway to ease traffic flow. The Minister who was in Lagos on inspection of ongoing projects of his ministry gave the contractor, Boroni Prono Nigeria Ltd a deadline of 16 weeks to complete the Trailer Park located opposite Tin Can Port. According to a statement by Tony Ikpasaja, Special

numbering over 50 besieged the communities through the bush and started destroying any property in sight, killing eight inhabitants of the area majority of who were said to be farmers. According to an eyewitness: “ Nobody was aware of the attack. Some of us were under the tree and suddenly we heard some people screaming, shouting, calling for help. By then, the whole community was in confusion commotion, and everybody

PDP accuses Oyo ACN of hijacking LG funds BY OLA AJAYI

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BADAN — PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, in Oyo State, weekend alleged that the hijacking of local government funds by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, ruling government in the state was responsible for its refusal to conduct local government elections two years after it assumed power. State Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Omokunmi Mustafa, in a statement in Ibadan, claimed policies like indiscriminate towing of

vehicles from roads and imposition of heavy fines and “massive demolition of shops and offices without providing alternative parking spaces where drivers could conveniently park their vehicles was unbecoming of a truly p r o g r e s s i v e g o v e r n m e n t . ” According to him, " a truly progressive government as the ACN is always pretending to be would first put in place palliative measures that would cushion the effect of policies that may be harsh on the people.

interest of industrial peace and the principles of tripartism which promotes transparency, fairness, and result oriented collective bargaining.

Apapa-Oshodi Expressway Congestion: Minister gives contractor 16 weeks deadline

Fulani herdsmen kill 10, injure 15 ULANI HERDSMEN have reportedly killed 10 persons and injured 15 others as they attacked two communities in Nasarawa State Saturday afternoon. The attackers who were armed with guns, knives and axes were said to have taken residents of Iga and Rutu communities in Nasarawa Eggon and Doma local governments respectively unawares between 2 and 4p.m. as they left immediately after the attack. According to a source, the Fulanis

"The Nigerian people were also united that labour and industrial relations matters must remain in the exclusive list as it is in the 1999 constitution and must not be tampered with as it is in the

needed to run and hide somewhere”. The corpses of the deceased were said to have deposited at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia, the state capital. At Rutu village in Doma Local Government, it was learnt that the middle-age man who was an Eggon by tribe and farmer was shot alongside his son as he tried to move out some of their belongings from the community. It was gathered that the deceased and his son had successfully packed some of the belongings and were trying to escape on a motorcycle when the assailants sprayed them with bullets.

Advier (Media) to the Minister of Works, “the traffic gridlock on Apapa_Oshodi expressway, especially around

the sea ports is not only unacceptable, but also injurious to the nation’s economy."

Bakare slams CAN

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BY DAPO AKINREFON

AGOS — CONVENER of the Save Nigeria Group, SNG, Pastor Tunde Bakare, yesterday, slammed the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, for allegedly failing to criticise the Federal Government over the deploring state of the nation. Bakare who spoke in a state of the nation address at the Latter Rain Assembly church, in Lagos, also lampooned the Federal Government for taking on a former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili over her recent outbursts that government mismanaged $67billion. He said: “I have read most publications in Nigeria in the last week and I am yet to come across a word spoken by leaders of CAN on the weighty issues Dr. Ezekwesili raised on how the prodigal sons have run the country bankrupt."


12—Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

Soldiers warned against conniving with oil thieves BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME

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ORT HAR COURT—COMMANDER of Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Pullo Shield, Major General Barta Debiro, has vowed to deal with any soldier in the security outfit caught aiding illegal bunkering operations in the Niger Delta region. Major-General Debiro, weekend, when he addressed a special trained troop of the JTF for amphibious operations at a House boat on Bille water, said he would not spare any soldier caught aiding illegal bunkering. He also charged his men to put in their best in the anti-illegal bunkering crusade, stressing that they would continue to get all the needed support. The JTF boss said he was in touch with the oil companies operating in the region on security on their platforms, assuring that the JTF was set to wipe out acts of oil theft in the region.

Uzere natives dump reconciliation exercise

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HE people of Uzere, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State, have pulled out of the peace and reconciliation committee initiated by the Isoko South Council caretaker committee chairman, Delta State, Engr. Goodluck Idele, accusing him of bias. The community, in a statement by Mr. Godspower Ukpiki and three others, said: “Our people have since lost confidence in the caretaker committee chairman, who set up the committee for peace and reconciliation in the community.” They explained that the council chairman, Engr Idele, was a cousin and sympathiser of Mr. Askia Ogieh, who is adviser to the deposed king, Isaac Udogri, who is in court against the community.

Nigeria lost N39.42trn to gas flare in Kolo Creek —Bayelsa govt BY SAMUEL OYADONGHA

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ENAGOA—SPECIAL Adviser to Bayelsa State Governor on Power, Engr. Olice Kemenanabo, weekend, said until the recent wake up call for gas utilization, the Kolo Creek in the state alone wasted N39.42 trillion through gas venting. He said the wasted gas, if harnessed, would have boosted the nation's revenue profile. Kemenanabo, a guest lecturer at the 12th Distinguished Electrical and Electronics Engineering Annual Lecture titled: Surmounting the Obstacles to the Development of Sustainable Power System in Nigeria: The Techno-Economic Approach, in Yenagoa, described as ironic and untenable, the story of lack of gas or any other feedstock for that matter, when the country has huge untouched fossil resources with potentials capable of exporting electricity to the entire sub-Saharan Africa. He noted with concern that since Nigeria struck oil in commercial quantity at Oloi-

biri in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state in 1956, gas flares had continued to be an associated part of life in the Niger Delta. He said: “Besides the attendant consequences, the unharnessed gas from 1956 till date can only be imagined in terms of wealth creation and employment generation. We simply burnt away a huge chunk of directly accruable

revenue and the regenerative potentials of that revenue.” He said Kolo Creek, where the first and largest independent power project by any state government was sited, flared about 80 million standard cubic feet of gas daily from 1962 until recently, when it was harnessed and gathered by Shell Petroleum Development Company at the Gbarain-Ubie

MEDIA CHAT: From left: Mr. Norbert Chaizor NUJ Chairman Delta State Chapter; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and his deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama, during a media chat with journalists in Asaba. Photo: Nath Onojake.

Delta community shuts down Chevron’s pipeline project …JTF arrests community spokesman, Chief Emami BY EMMA AMAIZE & EMMA ARUBI ARRI—MEN of Joint military Task Force, JTF, code-named Operation Pulo Shield, yesterday, arrested Niger Delta youth leader and businessman, Chief Ayiri Emami, over the shutdown of Chevron Nigeria Limited’s gas pipeline project in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State. The project was reportedly shut down by aggrieved indigenes of Ugborodo community, who were protesting the company’s failure to provide W

electricity to the town. Chief Emami is the spokesperson of Ugborodo Community Trust, a community development group. Ugborodo community, which hosts the multi-billion dollars Escrasvos-Gas-to-Liquid project, has had a running battle with Ugborodo community over electricity. The Presidency intervened in the feud last year when it summoned the company and representatives of the community to Abuja for a peace parley. At the meeting, Chevron was directed to supply stable and sustainable power from its tank farm

to Ugborodo and Gbaramatu communities, as part of its corporate social responsibility. Vice President Namadi Sambo and Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, played major roles in the mediation. Government, however, charged the communities to maintain the peace to allow for smooth and unhindered operations by Chevron. A prominent leader in the community, Ayiri, was arrested because he was believed to be one of the unseen powers behind the protest.

I'll leave solid institutional framework —Oshiomholethe State Government, Dr. Si- court cases that were decidBY SIMON EBEGBULEM

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ENIN—GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, weekend, vowed to leave solid institutional framework that will sustain good governance and development in the state even after his tenure as governor. Oshiomhole, at a reception organised in honour of the immediate past Secretary to

Gathering Facility. “From that time, 45 years till the wake up call for gas utilization, Kolo Creek alone wasted N39.42 trillion through gas venting while flares like the Nun River, Adibawa, Tebidaba, Clough Creek, Benesede, Rumukrushie and Yorla among others, have continued to “illuminate the environment” in a poisonous way that is unacceptable anywhere else in the world but Nigeria,” he said.

mon Imuekemhe, by Etsako Citizens Club, in Benin City, expressed appreciation for the support he had received so far from the people of the state and assured that he would not relent in his development projects. Represented by the state Head of Service, Princess Ine Ekhiowa, he said: “You are one of those that made it possible for us to have 18 over 18 in the governorship election. I also thank you for the support through the

ed recently. I need your support so that in the next four years, Edo State will be at its best and we shall all say, we came, we saw and we conquered.” Speaking to newsmen after he was honoured as an outstanding Etsako son, Imuekemhe, who commended the club for the honour, said Oshiomhole’s developmental stride was unquantifiable, describing him as a “material needed for our national reform.”

PIB: Northern, Southern Senators poised for battle BY HENRY UMORU

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BUJA—THERE are strong indications that the Upper chamber of the National Assembly will witness a stormy session soon as Senators from the North and South are poised to do battle when resumed discussions on the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB come up. A Bill for an Act to provide for Establishment of a Legal, Fiscal and Regulatory Framework for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria and for other Related Matters is presently before the National Assembly for deliberation after President Goodluck Jonathan forwarded the Bill to the lawmakers last year. It will be recalled that before the lawmakers went on recess last year, discussions on the Bill never came up, but the Senate, when it resumed, tried to look at it, just as it failed to progress with the second reading against the backdrop that Northern Senators kicked against it.


VANGUARD, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 13

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14—Vanguard , MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2013

Abia moves against tax defaulters BY ANAYO OKOLI

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MUAHIA—IN its determined effort to fight tax evasion, Abia State Government has constituted three revenue courts to try defaulters. The revenue courts are to sit in Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia. Chairman of Abia State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr. Udochukwu Ogbonna, the measure was to ensure the board met the state’s targeted Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, for 2013. He said that the board was ready to collect all payable taxes due the state for the 2013 fiscal year. Ogbonna appealed to Abia people to avoid acts that could lead to their prosecution by the courts. He enjoined all taxable adults in the state to pay their taxes and rates promptly no matter how small their business enterprise, reminding them that payment of tax and rates was obligatory.

Anambra introduces monthly welfare package for elderly BY VINCENT UJUMADU

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WKA—NON pen sionable people in Anambra State will soon be receiving monthly financial welfare package from the state government as a way of giving them a sense of belonging. Wife of the state governor, Mrs. Margaret PeterObi, who announced the package weekend in Awka, explained that the package would be for those aged 75 years and above. Mrs. Obi has already started what could pass as a pilot project of the programme as she gave grants of N10, 000 each to two elderly persons from each of the 21 local government areas of the state. Among those who received the money were 102-year-old Mrs. Theresa Osita Debo from Umukwa village, Awka in Awka South local government area and 99-year -old Chief Simon Okedo from Abubuno Nnewichi village in Nnewi North local government area. C M Y K

Alleged recruitment bribery: Reps probe Federal Civil Service Commission BY OKEY NDIRIBE & EMMAN

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BUJA—THE House of Representatives has concluded plans to probe the Federal Civil Service Commission, FCSC, over alleged bribe taking from job seekers into the federal civil service. The Green chamber of the National Assembly late last year passed a resolution mandating its Joint Committee on Public Service Matters, Employment, Labour and Productivity, Anti-Corruption, National Ethics and Values to investigate the allegations. Chairman, House Committee on Public Service Matters, Andrew Uchendu, PDP/Rivers, who disclosed this at the weekend, said that already, members of the Joint Committee had held preliminary meetings and decided to invite memoranda from the MDAs and Federal Civil Service Commission on the issue. He explained that the committee had requested the MDAs to send to it memoranda on all the recruitments they had undertaken between 2007 and 2012 as well as the procedures they adopted in these exercises. He said: “A number of Nigerians have written petitions com-

plaining that they have been shortchanged in various recruitment exercises into the public service. “We want to take a second look at some of our key policies such as federal character, quota system and zoning because experience has shown

that they have become indirect It would be recalled that reways of enthroning mediocrity in cruitment into some paramilitary the polity.” bodies late last year was smeared “We think that it is time for Ni- by allegations of bribery that geria to go back and enthrone even led to the sacking of meritocracy in the conduct of all Comptroler General of Immigraour affairs, particularly in the civil tions by the Federal Governservice which is the engine room ment. of governance.”

ELECTION: From right: President, Nigerian Union of Pensioners (First Bank unit), Lagos chapter, Mr. Samuel Adeta, 1st Vice President, Mr. Ignis Eribhogbe, Lagos, Second Vice President, Ibadan, Mr. Hassan Bamgbola, General Secretary, and Mr Cosmas Aligwekwe, after First Bank unit's general election into the National Executive Office in Lagos.

Fani-Kayode berates Abati zSays he seeks to ridicule those who served under Obasanjo BY EMMA UJAH, ABUJA

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BUJA—FORMER Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, under the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration, yesterday, carpeted the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, over the latter’s criticism of former aides of Chief Obasanjo who have been attacking President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration lately. Fani-Kayode who was reacting to an article written by Abati, titled “The Hypocrisy Of Yesterday’s Men’’ published in the media, did not only disagree with the President’s spokesman but also said Mr. Abati “sought to ridicule and demean” those who served under former President Obasanjo. According to the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Abati’s article is a smear campaign and an attempt to intimidate him and his colleagues. Ostensibly irked by Mr. Abati’s comment on the closure of Port-Harcourt Airport under Chief Obasanjo, Chief FaniKayode said the insistence on transparency in the administration of the nation’s foreign reserve had clearly annoyed the Presidency. He said: “Abati indulged in a response other than to say that, I

‘shut down Port Harcourt Airport for two years’ and ‘allowed grass to grow all over it. “This is false. It is a classic case of disinformation coming from a man that is obviously suffering from a very low self-esteem. It is clear that Abati, who is a journalist, has forgotten the

most important tenet of his profession which is that ‘facts are sacred and opinion is cheap.” In his explanation, the closure of the Port-Harcourt Airport was due to the Sososliso plain crash which affected the runway and was not deliberately closed by the government of Obasanjo.

Land dispute: Elechi threatens lawsuit against Rep

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BY PETER OKUTU

BAKALIKI—GOVER NOR Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State weekend threatened to sue the member representing Abi/Yakurrr Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mr. Bassey Ewa, over comments of allegedly sponsoring militants against the people of Adadama in Cross River State in a land related dispute. The people of Adadama had in recent times been locked in a crisis over land ownership with Ikwo people of Ebonyi State, which has claimed several lives. Elechi, who stated this during a town hall meeting organised by the state government when members of the Good Governance Tour team visited the state, described the allegation made by the Cross River State lawmaker

as serious. He said no amount of immunity should prompt a House of Representatives member to make such grave allegation without any evidence to substantiate his claim. The governor added that during the court proceedings, he would insist on proofs by the House of Representatives member, warning that withdrawal of the case would come with penalties. Elechi said: “Concerning the issue of a House of Reps member in Cross River accusing me of sponsoring militants against his people in his area, I have asked my lawyers to look into it because it is a serious allegation and no amount of impunity or rather immunity will excuse that and I will insist on a proof or else the withdrawal will come with necessary penalty.”

Pension thief: Group wants NJC to prosecute Judge BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAK-

WURU BUJA—ABOUT 13 differ ent church groups within the Christian Association of Nigeria, have called on the National Judicial Commission, NJC, to commence the process of trial and imprisonment of Justice Abubakar Thalba of Abuja High Court over his recent ruling on the pension scam to save the judiciary from further embarrassment. The group, operating under the umbrella of Tarayar Ekklisiyar Kristi A Nijeriya said the light sentence passed on the director in the Police Pension Office, John Yakubu Yusufu, amounted to a miscarriage of justice. Reverend Emmanuel Dzieggau, President of the group, who spoke to journalists yesterday in Abuja, through his Media Assistant, Mr. Sunny Oibe, described the judge as one of the bad characters spoiling the image of Nigeria before the international community.

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Vanguard, MONDAY MONDAY,, FEBRUARY 4, 2013—15

ACN, CPC merger c’ttee holds Hollande pledges to re-build Mali as inaugural meeting tomorrow troops pound Islamist camps BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU

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BUJA—THE merg er committees of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, will hold their joint inaugural meeting tomorrow in Abuja. Secretary of the merger talk committee for the CPC, Mr. Okoi ObonoObla, who disclosed this to Vanguard yesterday, said the joint committees of the two parties will, among other things, draft a new constitution, mission statement, vision and manifesto for the mega party as well as the new name. Obono-Obla, who observed that there had been speculations, especially from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the ambitions of the leader of CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari, and ACN’s Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would not allow the merger to work out, boasted that nothing will stop the merger from working out to rescue the country from the pit allegedly dug by the

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PDP. He said contrary to the speculations, the first inaugural meeting of the merger committees of both parties will take place tomorrow in Abuja. He said: “I can assure you that the two leaders, General Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Ahmed Tinunbu, and all the leaders of the two parties have agreed that the parties should merge to rescue Nigeria from the pit and no Jupiter will change it. “So, the merger committees are just meeting to fulfill all righteousness. We have agreed in principle that the parties will merge so the joint committee will work out the constitution, the manifesto and the name of the party because we

will not want to carry the names of the two parties over, we are going to have a new name completely.” On the suspected influence of Asiwaju Tinunbu and General Buhari on the new expected mega party as a result of the fusion of the two, he said: “Bola Tinubu is a democrat to the core, you know he was in NADECO, he was a senator, he was two times a governor, so he cannot impose his will on anybody. “Likewise General Buhari, he has contested presidential elections, he went to the Supreme Court three times, he has been the most vocal voice for change in Nigeria, so they are not going to impose their wish on anybody.”

Jubilation, confusion trail ALSCON’s takeover BY SONI DANIEL, Regional Editor, North

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HERE have been wild jubilation and confusion in Akwa Ibom State, following the decision by the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, to effect the judgment of

the Supreme Court of Nigeria giving the ownership of Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigerian, ALSCON, in Ikot Abasi, to the American group, BFIG. BPE had, last Tuesday, written to BFIG, asking it to take over the plant in compliance with the apex court’s ruling of July 6, 2012, by preparing to pay the stipulated 10 per cent of the $410 million it offered for the purchase of the plant in 2006 as soon as the Share Purchase Agreement is signed by both parties. Vanguard learnt that Nigerian workers at the plant had been jubilating since they learnt of the transfer of ownership of the beleaguered plant to the rightful owner and had asked the government to take necessary steps to complete the process to save the plant from going under. On the other hand, the BPE letter is said to have hit the RUSAL management below the belt, prompting its top officials to virtually relocate to Abuja to press buttons towards preventing the transfer. A competent source said a very senior officials of RUSAL , who had got wind of the transfer letter before BPE released it to the media last Wednesday, tried to persuade Abuja to stall the release of the letter to BFIG.

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RENCH warplanes pounded Islamist rebel camps in the far north of Mali, military sources said, hours after French President Francois Hollande visited the West African country. Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French army in Paris, said on Sunday the overnight raids targeted logistics bases and training camps used by the al Qaeda-linked rebels to the north of the desert town of Kidal. “These were important air strikes,” Burkhard told Reuters. He said the bombing raids took place around the settlement of Tessalit, close to the Algerian border, one of the main gateways into the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains where the rebels are believed to be hiding after fleeing major towns.

Malian military sources said French and Chadian troops had clashed with members of the Ansar Dine militant group in the region around Kidal on Saturday. French attack

Blair warns UK against quitting EU

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ORMER British Prime Minister, Tony Blair has warned. That it will be a huge problem for the UK if people vote to leave the European Union. David Cameron has promised an in/out referendum before the end of 2017 if the Tories win the next election. He said the UK’s relationship with the EU needs to change. But Mr Blair said a

Assad accuses Israel of destabilizing Syria

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YRIA’S embattled President Bashar al-Assad has accused Israel of trying to “destabilize” his country. This is follows his first remarks on last week’s reported Israeli air strike in Syria. Syrian TV has shown images of the raid Damascus says Israeli jets carried out on a military research centre in Jamraya last Wednesday. US officials said the air strike targeted a weapons convoy bound for Lebanon. The Israeli defence minister has hinted his country was responsible. Ehud Barak told a security conference in Germany on Sunday

helicopters and transport planes carrying special forces left the city of Gao to reinforce the French and Chadian contingent stationed at the airport in Kidal.

that the strike was “proof that when we say something we mean it”. “We don’t think [Syria] should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon,” he told the meeting of top international diplomats and defence officials.

•Blair decision to quit would reduce the UK’s “weight” in the world and there would be “uncertainty” in the lead-up to the vote. In a speech last month, Mr Cameron promised an in/out referendum before 2018, following a renegotiation at government level. This came amid growing concern among many Conservatives over developments within the EU, particularly over the effects of increasing financial and political integration by eurozone member states.

Egyptian protesters confront PM

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GYPTIAN Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil has said that he was confronted by youths and troublemakers on Cairo’s Tahrir Square amid continuing opposition unrest. Mr Qandil said Saturday ’s incident “sheds light on the

Sheikh Moaz Alkhatib, President of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (R) meet for bilateral talks during the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich .

nature of people occupying the square”. He did not expand on the incident, but Egypt’s Dream Live TV said the prime minister’s car was pelted with stones. On Friday police and protesters clashed near the presidential palace, after a week of violence in which dozens died. In a statement Mr Qandil said he had been “accosted” by protesters on Tahrir Square on Saturday, adding that he “preferred to avoid a confrontation between them and security personnel”. The incident comes a day after riot police used tear gas and water cannon against rockthrowing crowds outside the president palace. One person was reportedly killed and more than 50 injured.


16 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 THE demand that portfolios should be attached to nominees for ministerial positions is a legitimate demand that falls firmly in line with the spirit of the 1999 Constitution, which insists that Ministers should be appointed to reflect the geographical, ethnic and other colourations that make Nigeria the vivacious country it has remained. When the Senate goes on rigmaroles in the name of screening, neither the Senate nor the public is able to benefit from the ability to ask pertinent questions that can help in arriving at reasonable decisions about the candidate’s suitability. Anyone resting on the Constitution to justify the non-inclusion of nominees’ portfolios is being legalistic without sparing a thought about the workability of the government, in order to achieve the constitutional provision in Section 14 (2) b, “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. The precedent set since 1999 is not helpful. How could the Senate ensure balance in the composition of the Federal Executive Council that Section 14 (4) of the Constitution

Screening By Guesses envisaged? Too much power is awarded the President when he gets blank approvals for his Ministers and portfolios he allocates to them. Nigeria did not come into existence in 1999. Former President Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari (1979-83) attached portfolios to nominees, even for ambassadorial positions, he included the proposed stations. Was that not how we knew a Russia-bound diplomat who knew only the old national anthem? Alhaji Shagari set a better precedent. How can the Senate screen nominees’ suitability for positions when they do not know what briefs the President would assign to them? What is the point of conducting a screening exercise when the Senate cannot ask

basic questions? We saw that again with the screening of two ministerial nominees to replace those who left the cabinet. The Senate should impress it on the President, in future, to disclose the portfolios for nominees and stations of ambassadorial nominees. The Senate would then drill them along the lines of their expected responsibilities to Nigerians. Sports is a veritable example. Sports Ministers since 1999 have lamented that they would have wanted to be elsewhere. They all come to sports to learn, during which they do more damage than their successors can ever repair. With all the hype about transparency, a ministerial list that does not disclose portfolios has too much to hide for the Senate to play along. What does the President have to hide? Why should the Senate encourage him? In the Oath of Allegiance, our senators and the President swore to, they all promised to work for the well-being of Nigerians. It is time to act beyond the words. The Senate should lead the way.

OPINION BY ADEWALE KUPOLUYI Continued from Friday viewpoints

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RONICALLY, these ‘christians’ find solace in the various worship centres and invest a large chunk of their ill-gotten wealth in church activities and programmes! This has been the moral burden for CAN, as the body has not been known to speak loud and clear against corruption and corrupt office holders. Besides, there is the accusation of materialism within the ranks of CAN officials. In the 1980s, about ten million naira was allegedly released to the national body of CAN, to build its ecumenical centre by the Babangida administration but which could not be properly accounted for. Some CAN leaders were accused of surreptitiously collecting money from political aspirants with a promise to influence their followers to give such aspirants votes. Following the series of criticism trailing the activities of CAN, the Catholic Church, through the President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama had communicated to CAN President, Ayo Oritsejafor, saying his group was suspending “participation in CAN meetings at the national level until such a time the leadership of CAN reverse back to the original vision, mission and objectives of CAN”.

Is CAN still relevant? (2) The Catholic bishops had argued that CAN had been politicised and was no longer being used to promote peace and unity in the country. “CAN is being dragged into partisan politics thereby compromising the ability to play its true role as conscience of the nation and the voice of the voiceless”, the bishops said. At one time or the other, notable Nigerians - who are not even Christians including a former minister of Petroleum and former education minister, ex-Senator Jubril Aminu had called for the banning of CAN. Similarly, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory and now chieftain of the Congress for Progressive Change, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has mocked CAN, calling it a branch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as he also flayed its president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor for accepting the gift of a private jet, which the congregation of Word of Faith Bible Church, of which he is Senior Pastor, allegedly gave him. Even, the controversial governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has equally called for the ban of CAN. In the same vein, the Senior Pastor, Latter Rain Christian Assembly and Convener of Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare, has equally criticised religious

leaders in the country for alleged corruption. Bakare alleged that religious leaders had contributed immensely to the level of corrupt practices in the country, when he insisted that it is irresponsible and sinful for religious leaders to amass wealth while majority of members of their churches cannot afford three square meals a day. He had asked people to query such religious leaders on the sources of their movable and immovable assets that run into billions of naira: “If the money is not from members in the church, definitely, it's from the presidency", he alleged.

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n the continued relevance of CAN, it is instructive to note that there are two competing voices in CAN: the ‘voice’ of political unity and the ‘voice’ of Christian unity. To any discerning mind, what pervades the nation now is the fact that the voice of political unity is undoubtedly louder, clearer and overwhelming at the expense of real Christian unity. Therefore, genuine Christian unity may be hard to come by as long as the quest for power and materialism continue to be the main preoccupation of the leaders of CAN, instead of its original objectives. For CAN to meet the expectations of Nigerian Christians that are more concerned about unity than political

affiliation, more efforts should be geared towards reawakening the various interests on the need to have a common sense of purpose in line with biblical teachings. More than ever before, the nation needs the contributions of CAN in its trying times. CAN should be formidable and a powerful body to make positive change in the nation going by the number of political leaders and followers that could have been influenced by the sterling qualities of Christ – the epitome of true and ideal Christian virtues. The body should be fearless, firm and always stand by the truth, irrespective of whose ox is gored. Rather than continue to swim in the present filthy ocean, the leadership of CAN should painstakingly identify what the different denominations have in common, work in harmony and explore the various scriptural texts that encourage Christian unity to its advantage. Such efforts should be geared towards entrenching mutual respect for the member churches of the association. This should be the priority of CAN. On a final note, government should stop interfering with the activities of the association – after all, we are meant to be a secular nation - it should allow CAN to carry out its statutory functions for the good of Christians and most especially, the sacred role of being the moral conscience of the nation.

Concluded. *Mr. Kupoluyi, wrote from Federal Varsity of Agric., abeokuta, Ogun State.


Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013—49

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Plea bargain deal The outrage started right there in court. EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, (SAN) was shocked to tears. I found that surprising. As the Commission’s lawyer, was he not taken along when the plea bargain deal was brokered? Did the EFCC go behind him to do it? Everything about this case is wrong. Why it that, 99 years after the Southern and Northern Protectorates were amalgamated; and 95 years after the Penal Code was enacted for Northern Nigeria while the Criminal Code became the legal basis of crime administration in the South, the dichotomy is the sustained? I ask this question, bearing in mind that the Judiciary is the only arm of government that has remained intact since the artificial creation of Nigeria. The Executive Branch has moved from the colonialists to indigenous civilians and from the military back to civilians, with a shift from Parliamentary to Presidential systems of governance. North and South legal codes: Each of

Beyond the thief and the judge

Ibrahim Lamorde, EFCC chair: Equally surprised by judgment?

these shifts required lengthy periods for people to get used to the new unfolding dispensations. The legislature has been suspended and restored several times. But the Judiciary has remained

Tampering with the people's future.

over the world. However, Justice Talba, for whatever reason, in his eagerness to grant Yusuf a soft landing, shut his eyes to the impact of such a ruling on society at large. Where is justice for the police officers and

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IGERIA is a country of one week, one outrage. That of last week had to do with John Yakubu Yusuf, the Assistant Director in the Police Pension Office, Abuja, who was fined N750,000 and allowed to go home after confessing his role in the stealing of 32.8 billion naira belonging to his office, along with six other accused persons who are still standing trial. Yusuf ’s lawyer had approached the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which was prosecuting the case, to enter into a plea bargain on behalf of his client. Yusuf confessed he stole 2.4 billion naira. He forfeited some 32 houses in Abuja and the sum of 325 million naira found in his bank account. In the end, the presiding Abuja High Court judge, Justice Mohammed Talba, convicted Yusuf on three count charges of stealing and abuse of office. He was sentenced to the maximum two years jail term or N250,000 per count which the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria prescribes for the charges under which EFCC was prosecuting him. Rather than send him to jail, Talba decided to let Yusuf go home if he parted with the N750,000 fine. The convicted man paid immediately and was driven home in his posh Mercedes Benzes sedan. It seemed as though Yusuf and his lawyer knew ahead of time what the fine was going to be, and they were ready with it.

A corruption-riddled economy like ours tends to attract the wrong kind of foreign investors. It is the kind of economy where the big time hustlers and mafias direct their predatory attention to. They come in, hit and run. They use the weak judiciary and corrupt public officials to work against the system, make their killing and vamoose

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unmolested by externally or politically induced change. Why has it failed to develop into an institution that every Nigerian can look up to for protection and justice? Why has it maintained separate legal codes for North and South? Some lawyers have tried to mount a spirited defence of Justice Talba’s strange magnanimity. Their main plank is that the EFCC, seeking to reduce cost and reclaim as much of the police funds from Yusuf as possible, as well as getting more facts from him to nail his other adamant six accused accomplices, settled for a softer treatment for him. This, in all honesty, is the main spirit behind the plea bargain option all

other ranks who as a result of the looting of their pension fund, are going to suffer when they retire? A policeman, who probably was forced to bribe someone to be recruited, bought his own uniforms and boots, studied in decrepit training institutions which we saw recently, endured dehumanising conditions of service and still served to the best of his ability. He will retire and cannot access his pension because a group of officials whose job was to manage his pension chose to steal it, and were not even jailed! For him the judiciary can no longer be trusted to do justice. Some might decide to go and extract justice by themselves, their own

way, and thus plunge society into anarchy. Talba also did not reckon with the fact that the six other accused persons and their lawyers were watching with keen interest how Yusuf’s case would end. Other officials still managing workers’ pensions and retirement funds, which run into trillions of naira, are also watching. Without a resounding deterrent factor in crime administration, corruption will become uncontrollable. Talba’s judgement greases the cogs in the wheels of crime and corruption.The implication for the economy as a whole is obvious. A system that encourages corruption will never allow the common man to enjoy the benefits of good governance. Since the end of military rule in 1999, the economy of Nigeria has continued to grow. Annual incomes have bloomed from year to year due to rising prices of crude oil in the international market, and yet the poverty level is worsening. Corruption is the main culprit. Corrupt economy: A corruption-riddled economy like ours tends to attract the wrong kind of foreign investors. It is the kind of economy where the big time hustlers and mafias direct their predatory attention to. They come in, hit and run. They use the weak judiciary and corrupt public officials to work against the system, make their killing and vamoose. If we are really serious about playing in the economic big league in the world, we must upgrade the laws and overhaul the judiciary. The courts must become the temples of justice. Right now, the perception is that Nigerian lawyers and judges are not prepared to make the court a temple of justice but an arena to make money, pander to the interests of the rich and powerful and trample upon the poor and lowly. Nigerians are beginning to look to foreign courts for justice. Someone up there should be perturbed enough to do something about it.

DISCLAIMER Please note: My email has been hacked. Kindly ignore the use of it to solicit financial assistance by fraudsters. Thank you. —Ochereome Nnanna.

OPINION BY ERIC TENIOLA

Continued from Fridayviewpoints

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E sent his emissary, Alhaji Isa Keita to Lagos to brief the then Prime-Minister, Sir, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa(1912-1966) of his decision, in 1963. ‘You can’t do it for Kano will be of fire’,the Prime Minister told Alhaji Keita. In the presence of the then powerful Minister of Defence, MuhammaduRibadu (1910-1965),Alhaji Isa Keita replied’ Sir, I am here to inform you not to seek an approval for the Sardauna had made up his mind and there is no going back’, adding that it was the Northern Region constitutional responsibility and not that of The Federal Government. The Emir’s son, Aminu, who was a diplomat in Cairo in Egypt, rushed home to plead on his father’s behalf but it was too late. The emir was dethroned and sent to Azare in the Katagun province where he died. He was succeeded as Emir by Alhaji Muhammad Inua. Alhaji Inua reigned for less than a year before he too died,only to be succeeded by the then Nigerian ambassador to Senegal at that time, Alhaji Ado Bayero,who is still on the throne. Alhaji Sanusi’s son,Aminu later rose to become the Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign affairs, and Aminu’s son Lamido, is the present Governor of Central Bank. Sir Ladipo Samuel Ademola was the Alake of Egbaland between September 27, 1920-1962), C M Y K

The old lion roars back (2) following the death of Oba Gbadebo. He was crowned on 27 September 1920 at a spectacular ceremony attended by the British governor and crowd of 10,000. Although annexed to Nigeria in 1914, Abeokuta retained much of its earlier traditional system, which nevertheless was altered by the early impact of Christianity and Western education. Oba Ademola is recalled as having fitted well the somewhat unusual requirements of the natural ruler of the Egbas, who in 1930 celebrated under him the centenary of Abeokuta. Educated men were appointed to traditional positions by the Oba. And he favoured Western Education allowing his own son Adetokunbo (born in 1906) to go to England to complete his education, and providing help for others’ schooling. In 1935 he was awarded the CBE. In 1948, a protest against him by market women led by Chief (Mrs.)FunmilayoRansome-Kuti (19001978),daughter-in-law of the Reverend Josiah Ransome-kuti who had been a friend to the Alake led to the Alake’s temporary exile on July 29 1948. The then British Resident deported him to Oshogbo in the interest of peace. The Alake’s deposition was followed by major reforms in the taxation policy of the Egba native authority which brought relief to the market women.

Oba Ademola came back to regain control of his throne after two years in exile, he later became a senior member of the Western region house of chiefs. He died in 1962. The last of the independent rulers of the Edo kingdom of Benin was Oba Ovonramwen. During the nine years he reigned (1888-97), he sought to preserve the sovereignty of the Edo state as well as well as its economic interests which,in the end, led to the British armed invasion of Benin in 1897. The Oba lost the battle and was dethroned and banished into exile for life while his kingdom was merged into a wider political unit under British administration. By 1912 that unit, the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria had been fused with the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria to become the entity of Nigeria. In 1914 the monarchy was restored under Ovonramwen’s eldest son, Eweka II, who was succeeded in turn, in 1933, by Akenzua II. Like Dasuki, King Pepple of Bonny was dethroned in 1854, Jaja of Opobo in 1887 and Nana,the King of the Itshekri was also dethroned in 1854. King Federick William Koko (1853-1898) who led the people of Brass and Ijaw was dethroned in 1896. He fled from Nembe,and went into exile at Etiema. He died on 25 February 1898 having apparently committed suicide. Concluded

*Mr. Teniola, a retired director in the presidency, wrote from Lagos.


50 — VANGUARD, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

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VANGUARD, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 — 51


52—Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

A BOOK YOU MUST READ

Conscience and History - My Story, by Peter Odili •An Autobiography by Dr. Peter Otunuya Odili HOW IT ALL STARTED: THE PLOT-THE GREAT GANG UP

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Free school bus scheme We built 1200 low cost houses across the State in our first 100 days in office in 1999. We introduced ‘Free School Bussing Scheme’, free education at primary and secondary levels, and free medical treatment for under 6 years and over 60 years. The other high point of our first term was the commissioning of the first independent power plant, Trans-Amadi Phase 1, designed, built and made operational by any State Government in Nigeria under the Obasanjo administration. The commissioning ceremony was performed by the President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on the 2nd of October, 2002. This plant brought 36 Mega Watts of electricity into the national grid. In 2003 I declared my intention for a 2nd term, contested and won and was sworn in for the 2nd term on the 29th day of May, 2003 with minimal changes in my team. We set out in continuation of the restoration and consolidation programme. The details are set out elsewhere in the book. From 1999-2006 there were of course C M Y K

Dr. and Justice (Mrs) Peter Odili and children: Adaeze, Peter (Jnr), Chinelo and Njideka

challenges that every Government in developing and even the developed world must encounter (details of some of these challenges are set out elsewhere in the book). We confronted these challenges and made successes out of them. But it is significant to note that at no point in the period 19992006 was the executive branch under my leadership investigated by the State Assembly whose constitutional responsibility it was so to do, or by any other body or organ of Government legally charged to do so. ‘THE PLOT’: With the failure of the constitutional amendments which included tenure elongation, campaigns for the presidency in 2007 took off about the 3rd quarter of 2006, across the country. By October/November my campaign, led by Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, had penetrated every state in the Federation and it became obvious that the Odili candidacy had attained national acceptance and had become a movement. Odili was seen as the front runner, the candidate to beat. Traditional Rulers, Emirs, Tribal leaders, Labour unions, Stakeholders, etc had embraced and were favourably disposed to Odili. For some inexplicable reason, the plot to stop him, by some people, became pathologically ‘urgent’. The PDP convention for

nomination of the Presidential Candidate was slated for 16th December, 2006.

Biggest power plant The commissioning of the Omoku Power plant of 150 Mega Watts, and 120 km double circuit Transmission Line to Port Harcourt, by President Olusegun Obasanjo, took place on the 5th December, 2006. This again was the biggest power plant designed, constructed, completed and functional, by any State Government, between 1999 and 2006, the second by Rivers State Government under Dr Peter Odili. We were lauded very generously and extolled for the unprecedented feat. Exactly one week later, 12th December, a spurious and anonymous petition was posted in the internet from a questionable ‘source’ alleging CORRUPT practices against the Rivers State Government under me. These allegations were converted into a petition by the EFCC under Nuhu Ribadu’s hand, to the President same day. On the 13th of December, 2006 Mr President directed EFCC to investigate. On the 14th day of December, 2006, EFCC submitted a so-called “interim” report to the then President who promptly minuted for my response on the same 14th December,

2006, but forwarded to me on 15/ 12/06, a day to convention vide ref. PRES/44. I assembled what was left of my cabinet team, a few having been arrested and kept at the EFCC office in Lagos within these few days of urgent dramatic action. We submitted our response on the 15th day of December, 2006 by which time it had

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, DR. Peter Otunuya Odili, be came the elected Governor of the new Rivers on the 29th day of May, 1999, after a well contested and won election against a strong opponent Chief Ebenezer Isokariari who was the then immediate past Secretary to the State Military Government under Gen. Sani Abacha regime. With my team of appointees, we set out on a “Restoration” agenda in fulfillment of my campaign promises - “Letter to Rivers people.” We made a success of the programme and the details of our performance are set out elsewhere in this ‘book’. The highpoints were that in 2002 a team of over 500 journalists in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information under Prof. Jerry Gana, after inspection tours of executed projects by State Governments across the country declared Rivers State the best performing State Government and Dr Peter Odili was presented with the Gold Trophy as the best performing-Governor in Nigeria. The trophy was presented by the then Vice President Atiku Abubakar on behalf of President Obasanjo. No other credible contest has taken place since then.

This became lucidly clear with the instant release of my staff who were being detained in Lagos by the EFCC as soon as I voluntarily and wisely withdrew from the contest. There was jubilation at the EFCC office immediately the news of my withdrawal broke and all my staff were asked by EFCC to go home immediately. This was on the 15th of December. Then came the ‘D’ Day 16th December, 2006 - the date of the convention. I was invited for morning prayers with the President at the Presidential Villa and after the prayers I had a brief chat with the then President in his private study at the residence. He acknowledged my letter of withdrawal from the race and informed me of his intention to get Umaru Yar’Adua - the now expected winner of the upcoming primaries at the Convention, to make me his running mate. I thanked him for his kind thoughts and assured him that I bore no grudge or ill-will for the turn of events and that all through my campaigns I had ended my speeches on the note ‘let God’s will be done’. I left him on that note at about 7.30-8.00am. The convention was to start at l0am. As at 12.30pm the venue was literally empty. I was informed that most of the delegates who were in support of my candidature were upset and unwilling to go to the venue. It took the extra-effort and persuasion of my campaign organisation leader, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, and some key Directors

For maximum mischievous damage this contrived so-called ‘interim report’ was hurriedly uploaded into the internet, but when our response to the spurious allegations was submitted on the 15th of December 2006, it was not accorded the same treatment

become clear what the whole exercise was about - “Get Odili out of the race for the Presidency, at all cost.” For maximum mischievous damage this contrived so-called ‘interim report’ was hurriedly uploaded into the internet, but when our response to the spurious allegations was submitted on the 15th of December 2006, it was not accorded the same treatment. Why, you may ask? Some sense of fair hearing isn’t it? Till date the innocent uninformed still make reference to that judicially nullified and voided report.

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of my campaign to get most of the delegates out to the Eagle Square. By 3pm the venue became fairly full. I was persuaded to go and accompany Umaru to the venue. I had been informed earlier in the day that the news of my pairing with Umaru was in the air and that ‘some people’ were already ganging up to oppose the proposed pairing. It was, however, noteworthy that when I got to the Katsina State Lodge to join Umaru to proceed to the Eagle Square I met him downstairs in the comContinues on page 53


Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013—53

A BOOK YOU MUST READ Continues from page 52 pany of some party leaders - Chief James Ibori, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Nassir El-Rufai. Their conversation stopped when I walked in but I read nothing sinister to the gathering or reaction to my entry. Umaru quickly took me upstairs and thanked me for coming and assured me of his happiness at the prospect of our working together. He called his wife Turai into the room and introduced us. We later proceeded to the Eagle Square together and were joined by other colleagues in walking round the square. Convention started after the arrival of all dignitaries and convention events proceeded peacefully. In the course of the night I was invited to the VIP Guest Room at Eagle Square and was privileged to sight the typed copy of Umaru’s prepared acceptance speech. It was clearly stated that he had nominated Dr. Peter Odili as his running-mate for the Presidential race. This was at about midnight or so. In the course of the next few hours information started reaching me that there was strong pressure to drop me from the ticket. Since I did not lobby for it, I wasn’t bothered - I remained with my State delegates. At about 3.30 am or so, I was again invited to the VIP Guest room at the Eagle Square and informed that there was a strong challenge to my being the running-mate based on ‘some fresh

Rev. Fr. N. C. Tagbo, former principal of CKC Onitsha with Dr. and Mrs. Peter Odili

Conscience and History - My Story By 4pm Sunday 17th December, 2006 Dr Jonathan was announced as the running mate to Umaru Yar’Adua. By Monday 18th December I congratulated Umaru and Jonathan and urged all my supporters nationwide and Rivers people to support the ticket. Odili was out of the race and the ticket. At the general election in April, 2007, Rivers State under my Leadership returned the highest votes in the country for Yar’Adua/ Jonathan ticket for the Presidency. But ‘how did water enter mel-

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What was the genesis of the fight against the possibility of an Odili Presidency? Who was threatened by that possibility and why? Whose decision and when was it made to stop Odili by all means possible?

information’ just received, from Nuhu Ribadu, that would need to be sorted out later in the day. I took the information in my stride and went back to my Rivers Delegates stand and didn’t say a word about it to anyone. By the close of convention at dawn only two State delegate Stands were still full- Katsina and Rivers all others were either empty or had one or two people left. The result was announced Umaru was the winner and he promptly read a handwritten acceptance speech that excluded my name. He announced that further consultations were being made on the matter of his running mate. End of Story. The plot had worked. This confirms what Russel Wayne Baker, an American Columnist said in 1925 in “the sayings of Par Russel”: “The dirty work of Political Conventions is almost always done in the grim hours between midnight and dawn. Hangmen and politicians work best when the human spirit is at its lowest ebb." C M Y K

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lon’? Let’s try to find out. So many conspiracy theories emerged in the days and months that followed. Since nothing is hidden under the sun someday God will reveal the truth. What was the genesis of the fight against the possibility of an Odili Presidency? Who was threatened by that possibility and why? Whose decision and when was it made to stop Odili by all means possible? Who was the fulcrum of the execution of that decision? How come that for seven and half years nothing was raised by EFCC or any relevant agency against Odili’s Government in Rivers State and suddenly on the ‘eve’ of the PDP Presidential Primaries all conceivable vile allegations were unleashed? When did we Nigerians acquire such meteoric and forensic expertise and competence to produce a report within 36 hours of instruction to investigate? Just in time for the deadline - December 16th 2006. These are questions yawning for answers. God’s time will tell.

THE EFCC ROLE On Sunday the 17th day of December, 2006 at about 3pm I was invited to the Villa to see the President. When I got there I met him sitting in his private study at the Residence with Chief Tony Anenih then Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali then Chairman of the party, the Late Yar’ Adua then flag-bearer of the party and Chief Bode George then Deputy National Chairman of the party. It was there and then I was informed that Nuhu Ribadu had informed the President that some ‘Foreign Missions’ in Abuja will not be happy to see me on the PDP ticket on the basis of the so-called “EFCC interim Report” which had been circulated to them. I was now formally told that I have been taken off the ticket. I thanked them, congratulated Yar’Adua, wished him well, assured him of my support and then said to President Obasanjo to please now close the EFCC chapter since it was clear the aim had been achieved.

Driving out of the Villa He in no uncertain terms assured me that he would ensure that was done. On that note I left the Villa. As I was driving out of the Villa gate ‘then Governor’ Goodluck Jonathan was driving in at about 3.40pm, December 17th, 2006. A few moments later the announcement of Goodluck Jonathan as the running mate to Yar’Adua hit the air-waves. Mission accomplished. I got back to Port Harcourt at about mid day Monday the 18th December, 2006 and addressed the press urging and declaring support for the Yar’Adua/Jonathan ticket. At the new year 1st January, 2007 banquet at the new Government House Port Harcourt, I assured the public that the (false)

and contrived allegations maliciously made against me and my administration were untrue and that ‘we shall be vindicated in due course.’ This statement appeared not to have been kindly received in some quarters because a few days into the new year, January, 2007, I was informed that EFCC operatives had invited some of my officials to Lagos for interrogation. I allowed them to go, to show that we had nothing to hide. I promptly informed the Presidency of the development and was assured that the unnecessary harassment would be stopped.

Seizure of documents The EFCC menace, rather than cease, increased with the seizure of documents from some ministries by EFCC carting them away to their offices. I again lifted no finger to stop them, just to show that we were not afraid of anything. I, however, decided to go and speak to the President in Abuja. In my presence Nuhu Ribadu was supposedly called on the phone and instructed to stop the contrived operation in Rivers State. The President again reassured me and I left back to Port Harcourt. A few days later more stories of EFCC rampage in my ministries got to me. I once more made contact with the President and expressed my displeasure and dissatisfaction with this matter. I was again assured by him that nothing would happen. By this time I was beginning to smell something sinister. I thought through the entire saga from December 12th, 2006 to about the end of January, 2007. I decided it was time to take care of the developing situation. I got my legal team together and we looked at the whole picture. It became clear that having concocted and contrived a spurious petition, produced a pre-determined and malicious report, achieved the goal it was meant for and now,

afraid of the possible repercussions of an evil agenda, it was now imperative for the plotters to find a way to justify their action by finding ‘something’ against Odili. Logical. The only thing to do was to work backwards from the already predetermined and executed end to find ‘something’. Common sense. I was ‘frightened’ by the sudden realization that human beings could be this perfidious and evil. I prayed over the situation with my family and, with that, set my legal team to work.

Principle of self preservation I decided to legally fight back invoking the principle of “self preservation”. Within a few days our papers were ready for various judicial battles. Out of a sense of patriotic commitment to a Government I was considered a friend of, in the public eye, I told my legal team to stay action. It was after a very astonishing meeting at the Presidency over the matter of my successor as Governor of Rivers State that I instructed my legal team led by the Attorney General Odein Ajumogobia SAN, to commence legal action first at the State High Court and then at the Federal High Court , Port Harcourt, against EFCC . The first case went through full trial at the High Court of Rivers State, with all parties fully and properly represented. Trial lasted several weeks and judgment was delivered on the 16th day of February, 2007. Following is full reproduction of the judgment SUIT NO: PHC/114/2007 BETWEEN: ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR RIVERS STATE Claimant/Applicant AND THE SPEAKER, RlVERS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY & 36 OTHERS} Defendants JUDGMENT By his originating summons issued and dated 31st January 2007 the Claimant seeks from this court, ten (10) reliefs. The first six are declarations, while the remaining four (4) are injunctive reliefs: They are as follows: i) A declaration that the House of Assembly for Rivers State (now consisting of the 1st to 31st DeContinues on page 54


54—Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

CONSCIENCE AND HISTORY - MY STORY

Conscience and History - My Story fendants) is not entitled to surrender to any person, body or organization (including the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; or any other investigative body), is not entitled to share with any person or abdicate its powers of control over the public funds of Rivers State as vested in it by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. (ii) A declaration that under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, only the House of Assembly for Rivers State is entitled to direct or cause to be directed an inquiry or investigation into the disbursing or the administering of moneys appropriated or to be appropriated under any appropriation bill passed by the House, (whether for the purpose of exposing corruption, inefficiency or waste) and that the said House of Assembly is not entitled to share, surrender or abdicate the constitutional powers so vested in it with, or to any other person, body, agency or organization no matter how described.

Public account of a state (iii) A declaration that under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 the power to audit the public account of a state of all offices and all courts of Rivers State is vested in the Auditor-General for Rivers State and that the said Auditor-General in the exercise of the constitutional duties is not subject to the direction or control of any authority or person and is not entitled to surrender its powers, abdicate or share its powers with any person, body authority or organization no matter how described. (iv) A declaration that under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the Accountant General for Rivers State is the only person entitled to prepare and present the financial statement and annual accounts of Rivers State to the AuditorGeneral (who in turn presents the same to the House of Assembly) and not any other authority, person, body or organization and accordingly the Accountant General of Rivers State is not entitled to submit financial statements, report of annual or other accounts of Rivers State, documents, or vouchers or other financial records/statements of Rivers State to any other authority, person, body or organization (including the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; the Economic and Financial C M Y K

Crimes Commission, EFCC; or any other investigative body). (v) A declaration that the 35th and 37th Defendants or indeed any other bank or financial institution are not entitled to submit to, to release to, or in any manner whatsoever to disclose to any person, body or agency (including the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; or any other investigative body) any document, financial statement/ records, statement of account, cheques, vouchers or any information relating to the Bank Account(s) of the Rivers State Government other than to the House of Assembly for Rivers State in strict compliance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. (vi) A declaration that the power of removal from office of a Governor or his deputy vested in the House of Assembly for Rivers State under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 is to be exercised independently by the House of Assembly and that the said House of Assembly and its members are not entitled to act in collusion with, or under coercion, inducement or influence of whatever nature from any authority, person, body or organization (including the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; and other such related bodies.) (vii ) An order of injunction restraining the Defendants by themselves or by their servants, agents, and privies from surrendering their constitutionally assigned roles, sharing their constitutionally assigned roles, including the power of control over the public funds of Rivers State, the duty to direct or cause to be

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Continues from page 53

restraining the Defendants by themselves or by their servants, agents and privies from submitting to, surrendering to, or in any manner whatsoever disclosing to any authority, person, body, agency or organization (including the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission- EFCC) any document, financial statement or information relating to the public funds of the Rivers State other than in strict compliance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. (ix) An order of injunction restraining the 36th and 37th de-

gether, facts upon which this summons is founded. The claimant is the Attorney-General for Rivers State. He instituted this case in such capacity on behalf of the Government of Rivers State of Nigeria. The 32nd Defendant is the Legislative arm of the Government of Rivers State, while the 1st-31st Defendants are its elected members. The 33rd De-

From left: Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Iche Ndu, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, SAN; Governor Peter Odili and his wife, Mary, and Justice Elizabeth Membere shortly after a special court session at the High Court Complex, Port Harcourt fendants by themselves or by their servants or agents from disclosing any information relating to the bank account(s) of the Rivers State Government, from submitting any document, financial

The grouse of the complainant is that in spite of these clear constitutional provisions, the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Auditor General for Rivers State as well as the 35th Defendant, the Accountant-General for Rivers State, have begun to show signs of surrendering these constitutional responsibilities, and abdicating same to other bodies foreign to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

,

directed the investigation of the disbursement and administration of moneys appropriated or to be appropriated under any appropriation bill passed by the House of Assembly or as enabled under the Constitution. (viii) An order of injunction

count(s) of the Rivers State Government, to any person, body, authority, organization or agency (including the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; and other such bodies) other than to the House of Assembly for Rivers State and in strict compliance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 or from acting in or continuing to

statement, record, statement of account, cheque or voucher in respect of or relating to the bank account(s) of the Rivers State Government or in any manner whatsoever releasing or allowing access to any document or information relating to any bank ac-

act on the instruction of any other person, body or organization (including but not limited to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) other than the duly authorized signatories of the Rivers State Government in respect of all accounts of the Rivers State Government kept in the 36th and 37th Defendants Banks. (x) An order of injunction restraining the 1st and 33rd Defendants by themselves or by their servants, agents and privies from commencing or continuing with any process or proceeding for the removal of the Governor of Rivers State or the Deputy Governor of Rivers State from office at the behest, prompting or advise of any authority, person, body, agency or organization (including the Police, the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC; the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC) other than in accordance with strict compliance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. From the affidavit filed in this case, this court is able to put to-

fendant is the Chief Administrative Officer or Clerk of the House. The 34th Defendant is the Auditor-General for Rivers State, while the 35th Defendant is the Accountant General for Rivers State. The 36th and 37th Defendants are commercial banks and they hold some Accounts of the Rivers State Government.

TOMORROW Justice I. N. Buba gives judgment in Suit No. PHC/114/ 2007 between Attorney General for Rivers State and the speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly & 36 other defendants


Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013 —55

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ICTP lauds Nigeria on innovative Tourist Products

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HE International Coalition of Tourism Partners, ICTP, yesterday, congratulated Nigeria for introducing tourist visa card to ease the burden of tourists carrying cash while in the country and a biometric registration system for the tourism industry workers. This follows a meeting at FITUR between Mr Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation and Minister Alain St.Ange of the Seychelles. In a statement released in Madrid, Spain by the organisation, a co-founder of the internationally acclaimed body, Mr. Alain St.Ange, also commended Nigeria for its efforts at curbing fraudulent tendencies in the industry. Mr. Alain St.Ange, who is the Minister of Tourism and Culture of Seychelles lauded these efforts at repositioning the tourism industry in Nigeria with international standards and best practices. He said: “We in ICTP are very pleased with these development and innovations in Nigeria. We believe these new products are good for tourism growth in the continent.” Ange noted that ICTP was encouraging other countries in Africa to do what Nigeria has done for the growth of tourism in their countries, adding: “We encourage other countries in Africa to introduce these products to ease the movements of tourists who would not carry cash because people don’t carry cash across borders any longer” On the introduction of biometric registration, Ange said the ICTP said it viewed the development as a right step forward at instilling confidence in tourists in line with global standard and best practices. He said: “The biometric registration will ensure that the CV of hotel staff are always available to all tourism establishments prior to recruitment of new applicants. This will remain an internal confidential data base for the tourism industry. It is an innovative system and Africa will be watching how it develops as it will ensure hotels have the latest information on the tourism workforce. We are pleased Nigeria has taken this step, we hope other countries would do same.”


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NIGERIA vs IVORY COAST AFCON 2013 QUATER FINAL MATCH IN PIX BY AFP

IT’S A GOAL . . . Super Eagles forward Emmanuel Emenike (C) celebrates after scoring the first goal in Nigeria’s 2-1 win over Ivory Coast in the AFCON 2013 quarter final match in Rustenburg.

NO WAY . . . Eagles forward Brown Ideye ( R ) holds on to his own as he vies with Ivory Coast’s midfielder Didier Zokora (L)

CROSS FIRE . . . Ivory Coast’s forward Didier Drogba (2ndR) kicks the ball despite Nigeria’s defender Kenneth Omeruo ( R) C M Y K

CONTEST . . . Ivory Coast’s midfielder Cheick Tiote (L) vies with Eagles forward Emmanuel Emenike

HEADER . . . Ivory Coast’s forward Didier Drogba (R) heads the ball in front of Nigeria’s defender Elderson Echiejile in Rustenburg.

CELEBRATION . . . Super Eagles forward Emmanuel Emenike (C) is congratulated by teammates after putting Nigeria ahead of Ivory Coast during their AFCON 2013 quarter final match


60 — Vanguard, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013

Eagles sweep awards Super Eagles midfeilder, Sunday Mba yesterday won the Man of the Match award in the AFCON quarterfinal match against Cote D’Ivoire at the Royal Bafikeng Stadium in Rustenburg. Mba, an home-based player with Warri Wolves of Delta State, scored the second goal as they Eagles ran out with a surpirse 2-1 win over the highly rated Ivorians, featuring the likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Cheik Tiote. His goal was simply stunner, as he raced in to launch a ferocious shot which landed in the back of the net of the Ivorians. The contribution of the attacking midfielder in the match, was very significant as he cut of passes to the likes of Toure and Drogba. Adding his name to the list of award winners was central defender, Kenneth Omeruo, whose partnership with Godfrey Oboabona of Sunshine Stars, held the Ivorians at bay, won for him the fair play gong.

I'm not the Special One — Enyeama

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UPER Eagles goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama yesterday added a lighter side to the 2-1 win of the Super Eagles over the Ivorians, when he said that he didnot consider himself as the Special One. Enyeama played down talks about his record of never losing in any quarterfinal match at the Afcon he has appeared in. The 30-year-old

ON THE RUN......Nigeria’s Victor Moses (L) beats Ivory Coast’s Cheick Tiote during yesterday’s match in Rustenburg. Photo: AFP

They wanted to sack Keshi, Amanze tells President “Many of those Jonathan commending Stephen

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ORMER Vice President of Nigeria Football Association Amanze Uchegbulan has sent some words to President Goodluck Jonathan.

Keshi Continues from BP emotional Keshi, said that he was confident that his team were going to reach the final of the next Sunday. “I thank God for this wonderful victory. Sincerely, I thank my players for everything that they did today. They were simply great.. There are lots of possibilities for this team. I hope that we keep going this way to the final”, said Keshi, who added that the Ivorians brought out the best from his Eagles. “It was not an easy game. We had to speed up at times and catch players like Drogba and Yaya Toure off guard. I am glad that my team is progressing. There is great discipline in the team and everything worked out well. “Before the game, maybe 20% of people gave us the chance of winning but my boys showed great character. They fought and we are going to fight, fight

goalkeeper when asked about his record of never losing in the quarterfinal of the Afcon he said: “I don’t know how it happens as I’m not the Special One.” He further said: “I can only thank God for all of the achievements as I don’t care about statistics.” The former Enyimba goalie has made more than 70 appearances for Nigeria since his debut in 2002.

and fight till we win something. When the Ivorians equalised, we had to push our players to play and not allow the heads to drop”, added Keshi. On the goal scored by Sunday Mba, an homebased player with Warri Wolves of Delta, the former Togo and Mali coach, said that he was happy for the young player, adding that as a show of appreciation that he might kiss him.. He however added that it was not individual game but a collective performance that won the game for Nigeria. “I am happy for Mba. It is not individual thing. We just wanted to win the game. May be, when I go back to the hotel, I will go and kiss him and say thank you”, added Keshi, who said that it was shameful that Nigerians do not have patience with home-based players. “It is a shame that that where I come from, we do not have patience with these boys”, he said.

Keshi yesterday for Nigeria’s victory against Ivory Coast had concluded plans to sack him.” Amanze was referring to the sports minister Bolaji Abudullahi who pressed hard on the football federation to disengage Keshi on the grounds that he was not good enough to manage the Eagles. At a time, they were even considering sacking Keshi in South Africa. Later, they wanted to sack two of Keshi’s assistant coaches. “Look at the game the Eagles played today. Great game. Great game. I told them that Keshi is building a team and that he was on the right track. But the minister wanted him out and the federation bought his plan. I wish the Presidency could have somebody who understands sports and who will help in advising them on the right way to run sports. Many of the people congratulating Keshi now including the minister wanted to sack him. They have concluded that he would go after the Nations Cup. But look at the game Nigeria played under Keshi today. Superb game. Please, let them leave them to continue the good work that they are doing. It takes time to build a solid team and Keshi and his colleagues are doing the right thing.”

SORRY BOY: Nigeria's Godfrey Oboabona (R) consoles Ivory Coast's Didier Drogba after the match in Rustenburg. Nigeria won 2-1. PHOTO AFP

Uduaghan congratulates Eagles •As Pa Ojidoh says, victory restores our national pride

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HE Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan has sent a congratulatory message to players and officials of the Super Eagles after their historic victory over pre-tournament favourites, Ivory Coast in yesterday’s Afcon 2013 quarter final match in Rustenburg, South Africa. Uduaghan who is an ardent football follower and a popular fan of the national team told the Eagles that “after that hard-earned and well deserved victory over the Elephants, Nigerians are waiting for the trophy.” The Governor who is the chief financier of Warri

Wolves FC, the club of Sunday Mba , scorer of Nigeria’s winning goal yesterday said the midfielder’s performance demonstrated the fighting spirit and high level of discipline that should characterise Nigerian players. “He is our true ambassador,” the Governor said. Warri Wolves were, at a time, to be disbanded but Uduaghan continued funding the club as his contribution to Nigerian sports. He is also at the moment, driving track and field and college football. Mba is a product of Wolves. Meanwhile, veteran

football referee, Pa John Ojidoh has commended the Super Eagles of Nigeria for edging out Ivory Coast in the quarter final of the Africa Cup of Nations yesterday, saying “the victory has restored our national pride and confidence.” Speaking after the epic encounter, the retired referee said, “the Eagles have given us a new brand of football and I must commend the performance of Sunday Mba, a home based player who, together with Oboabona has justified the confidence Keshi has in them and the other NPL stars in the team.”


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We’ve not arrived yet — Amiesimaka cautions

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ORMER Nigeria international, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka has congratulated the Super Eagles for yesterday’s victory over the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire but cautioned against being carried away by the feat. He said, “Congrats to Nigeria!But,we have not ‘arrived’ yet. “Part of our challenges in this country is that when we play reasonably well in one match,we conclude prematurely that we’ve won the championship. Cote d’Ivoire had a similar mentality and were just not in this match. Apparently, they were carried away by their ‘No.1’ ranking in Africa. And they lost. There are still issues with organisation in our defence. In a setpiece situation,you don’t leave an opponent unmarked in your penalty box. “We did that and conceded a goal. We should correct that and note too that we do better when we are in ‘AT TACK’ mode as in this match. And we will do best when we spread defenc-

es thin by using entire width of the pitch. Furthermore, kudos to the local league player for

The best team is going home — Antunes

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APE Verde Islands coach Lúcio Antunes says the best team in the tournament are going home. Antunes was referring to his side that fell to a 20 loss at the hands of African powerhouses Ghana in their Africa Cup of Nations match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

KEEP THE FLAG FLYING: Coach Lucio Atunes of Cape Verde with his country's flag, after leading the Blue Sharks to the Afcon 2013 quarter final berth. Ghana knocked the them out 2-0, Saturday.

Ghana used experience to KO Cape Verde — Gyan

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HANA captain Asamoah Gyan says the team’s rich experience helped them to eliminate Cape Verde at the Africa Cup of Nations. The Black Stars were second best to the Blue Sharks in their quarter-final clash on Monday but did what mattered by winning 2-0. Second half substitute Mubarak Wakaso scored a brace-the first from the spot and struck an injury C M Y K

our second goal. But that doesn’t mean our league is still not very sick.”

time goal. Gyan, who won a penalty for the opening goal, admitted they had to struggle to dispatch the Cape Verdians. “The first half was a bit frustrating,” Gyan said in post match conference. “We couldn’t go through their defence. But what made the difference in our victory, was the penalty. When we scored, the game became opened.

The Islanders dominated large parts of the encounter, and the game changed just after the break when Ghana were awarded a controversial penalty and The Black Stars never looked back. Cape Verde threw every player forward in desperate search of an equaliser and were caught out on the break, handing Ghana their second goal. “Today we watched a beautiful game of soccer, unfortunately the best team is going home tomorrow so the tournament is going to lose a little bit of shine,” said Antunes after the game. Antunes went on to question the match officiating. “Today was our fourth game of the tournament, never were there questions of the first, second and third. Now the questions come.” Antunes sarcastically said nobody would want to watch Cape Verde in the last four and that is why the Ghanians were going through. “Although the score was 2-0 Cape Verde really did put Ghana under pressure, especially in the second half they had a lot of stress. Do you think this result is fair? “The result is fair because Ghana win the match. I don’t think there would be very big interest for the tournament if Cape Verde for example was to play with Togo in front of maybe 200 spectators. It is important for the tournament that Ghana stays on to the semifinals.”


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Keshi: We will battle to the final M

Keshi celebrates with Sylvanus Okpala after the match

OMENT after seeing Nigeria secure a Nations Cup semifinal ticket at the expense of Cote D’Ivoire, Coach Stephen Keshi has hailed his dogged Eagles for their fighting spirit and strong character, in the 2-1 win at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. Speaking at the postmatch conference, Keshi, who was close to tears, said that there were lots of possibilities with the team, who play Mali in the semifinal on Wednesday. While thanking God, his players and the media for the 2-1 victory over the Ivorians, an Continues from P.60

Uduaghan congratulates Eagles — Pg 60

JOYOUS.....Eagles celebrate Sunday Mba's winning goal against Ivory Coast in Rustenburg yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

They wanted to sack Keshi, Amanze tells President Jonathan — Pg 60 QUICK CROSSWORD

TODAY'S

PUZZLE

FRI DAY'S FRIDAY'S

ANSWERS

ACROSS 4 Elude (5) 7 Surplus (6) 9 Epoch (3) 10 Scuttle (3) 12 Elbow (5) 13 Labour (4) 15 Flat (5) 17 Suit (6) 19 Snare (4) 20 Encourage (5) 22 Finish (3) 24 Revolved (7) 27 Enclosure (3) 28 Wear away (5) 31 Bird (4) 33 Wandered (6) 35 Object (5) 37 Desire (4) 38 Swift (5) 39 Tear (3) 41 Queen (3) 42 Flood (6) 43 Trivial (5)

DOWN 1 Feverish (6) 2 Writer (6) 3 Tree (3) 4 Sea-eagle (4) 5 Cellar (5) 6 Demeaned (8) 8 Unaccompanied (4) 11 Behaviour (9) 14 Ogle (4) 16 Opening (4) 18 Harvest (4) 21 Waver (8) 23 Consider (4) 25 Period (4) 26 Sketched (4) 29 Hateful (6) 30 Resounded (6) 32 Fool (5) 34 Parched (4) 36 Whirlpool (4) 40 Favourite (3)

FRIDAY'S SOLUTIONS

ACROSS: 1, Neat 4, Nip 6, Akin 9, Den 10, Fracture 11, Once 14, Tic 16, Entry 19, Vertical 21, Panic 23, Location 24, Tally 27, Net 31, Dive 33, Assemble 34, Lag 35, Fete 36, Aid 37, Near.

How to Play Sudoku

THE VIGILANTE

DOWN: 2, Earn 3, Tact 4, Nautical 5, Prey 6, Adorn 7, Ken 8, Incur 12, Overt 13, Frail 14, Tip 15, Canon 17, Toxic 18, Young 20, licensed 22, Cat 25, Agile 26, Liege 28, Saga 29, Omen 30, Plea 32, vat.

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C M Y K

AU REVOIR! - Nigeria sacksCote d'Ivoire  

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