A President, His Wife And Misogyny By Raymond Nkannebe

Aisha Buhari is no doubt a beautiful dame. Give it to her. But then history has shown that good looks accounts for almost nothing in the political chessboard. That is, when it comes to the turf of politics, beauty of whatever kind, takes the back sit. The only time as far as this writer can recall that beauty formed part of our socio-political discourse was in the early eighties. Precisely in 1982 when politicians spoiled for the 1983 elections. And it was when the fire eating strong man of Kano politics- late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi  was quoted to have said that “he was confident that his political party, the defunct PRP would win the votes of every Nigerian woman because of his handsomeness and that of his running Mate- Jim Nwobodo”.

That election would not hold as the military struck on the last day of December, 1983.furthermore, that the likes of Robert Mugabe, Olusegun Obasanjo, Emmanuel Uduaghan and Adams Oshiomole among others have held prolonged political offices despite what many would agree is a horrible look, is a testimony that Beauty is inconsequential in this thing called politics and politicking. In place of Beauty, it is wit and tact that matters. And that is why, when history will be written, Patience Ibifaka Jonathan would be remembered more than Aisha as the quintessential Thatcher, Merkel or even Queen Victoria. And that is the first take away dear reader, from today’s discourse.

Perhaps we should forgive Aisha Buhari. Unlike Patience Jonathan, she obviously does not know that power and politics is business. A monopoly of sort.  But if she does not know this truism, how come she also does not know that the Family too, is business? For if she had known, she wouldn’t have said the sort of things she said the other in that interview that has drawn much blood from the life of this administration and has kept many mouths occupied. For the sake of all that is good and just, who takes their husband’s dirty linens to wash in the full glare of the public? And a presidential ‘ogburu’ at that! It is in sheer agreement with the fact that family matters should not be made a public affair that even the Police in Nigeria came out with the coinage, “ Na family matter” to ward off complainants  who come to the police stations  intending to make it a pseudo-family court. Telling them to go back home and see how they can negotiate some peace. And as young couples are told, never discuss otherwise bedroom business in the markets of the state.

That is to say, on no account should family affairs be made a subject of public logomachy or objurgation. In Mario Puzo’s classic work: The Godfather, published in 1969, we learn that it is the height of folly to tell anyone outside the family what you are thinking. This is because everyday living is a continuous but subtle battle for the few resources up for grabs. And therefore telling anyone outside of the family what you are thinking, is akin to leaving your flanks open to attack and your continuous existence to the discretion of your opponent. The unwritten rule therefore is: however bad it may be on the home front, we are to carry on as though bliss is pervasive within while alternating divergent trouble-shoot mechanisms to earn the bliss. In the realm of politics, it is a no-brainer. You cannot spill the beans abroad.

Aisha Buhari in her naivety, seem not to appreciate all of this. And unwittingly constituted herself into an opposition element against her spouse goaded by the fact that she was speaking the truth but oblivious that in politics and power, honesty is not a virtue. In doing that, it became obvious that she, after 27 years of marriage to the Daura politician, does not understand the chemistry of the man she has shared the ‘other room’ with, for almost three decades.

Not only was her grouse with the spouse uncalled for, it was also not a legitimate one. She came across as an advocate of cronyism whining and crying that her Buhari would not imbibe the unofficial policy of “no contribution no chop”. She is not happy that those who made inputs into the presidency of her husband have been relegated to the background while those who were not instrumental in the process or even suffered the need to pick up their PVSs were literally woken up from their slumber to take up juicy positions in her husband’s government. Said the dame, “…That is what I am saying. Those that know they don’t have voters card, they should give chance to those that have; they are the ones that struggled and knows what we want to do…..they didn’t even work for it…” Nothing could be more infantile. Apparently, in saying that, she betrayed the fact that her husband’s plagiarized but popular “ I belong to everybody, I belong to nobody”  mantra at his inaugural address made no sense to her. For her, it was just another of those political platitudes. The traditional politics of settlement was for her, a rule of thumb. She was ready to compromise standards provided “those who worked” were happy.

She alleges that a cabal was running her husband roughshod and calling the shots within the presidency and tells us to watch our TV screens if we need to know them as she would not tell us the ‘essential ingredients’ of this cabal. She didn’t even put in a word for her husband’s lopsided appointment that is diametrical to the Federal Character Principle; what would have been a more nationalistic grouse, but rather was pained that cronyism was not imbibed by her husband. She signs off threatening not to support this spouse come 2019, if he chooses to throw his hat into the ring. In her delusion, she thinks her beauty was instrumental in bringing the government to power. Perhaps she must have thought the pictures of her (doing what she probably knows how, to in the kitchen—turning bean cake (Akara balls) in certain Nigerian suburb), that was widely circulated in the media during the campaigns moved many Nigerians into voting the Buhari-Osibanjo ticket. Altogether, she confirmed the fears of many- that she would go down as one of Nigeria’s most unpopular ‘first lady’.

But no sooner had she finished her political “insider trading” than her husband entered appearance. This time, in far away Germany, where at a joint press conference with German Chancellor, Angela Markel, in Berlin, true to his characteristic nature of committing colossal gaffes outside our shores, president Muhammdau Buhari in a political joke (assuming we want to concede the damage control spin set about by Garba Shehu and co.) that would not be forgotten in a hurry, told a stunning audience that she does not know what political party his wife belongs to. But most certainly that he was sure, “she belongs to his kitchen, the living room and the inner room”. Coming at a time when top contender for the United States president job, Donald Trump has been picketed and harangued for his obscene comments about the feminine gender, PMB carelessly enlisted his name in the annals of infamy. The Washington Post correspondent, Ishaan Tharoor would draw a parallel between Trump and Buhari saying in a post for the tabloid, “If you think Donald Trump has problems, consider those of Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari…”

Buhari’s rather brash reaction to say the least, was not only uncivilized to be heard of the leader of a country in the 21st century, it betrayed him as not being a good crisis manager. He should have known that family business must not be brought to the public domain even though they have political undertones. He could have shrugged the question and thereby saving himself the colossal pitfall that became his response.  He had more than a thousand ways to wriggle himself out of the corner he was boxed, but alas he was not the smartest of presidents. And in a rather misguided manner, shot himself in the foot in a never-before-seen answer to a question.

Whatever the presidential media team wants us to believe, truth is that Buhari’s riposte to his wife’s strictures on the trajectory of his government feeds from a rapacious and misogynistic maniac that labels the woman as an object to be thrown about with no need to be factored into the workings of the larger society. Little wonder why we have seen fewer women dotting the corridors of his government unlike the previous administration. That is to say, in Buhari’s social thought, the woman should be preoccupied with the tasks of cooking and making babies for her spouse—that myopic and often traditional perception of the feminine gender which is a stone throw from gender abuse.

At the end of the day, the first family made a mess of themselves to the consternation of too many country men and women with Aisha stirring the hornet’s nest. They did not only take care of their dirty linens in the local corridor, they did so through the international media making global headlines for the wrong reason. What would have been a successful outing in Germany was therefore eclipsed by the discordant tunes that the president and his Aisha traded offshore. And while we must blame both husband and wife for such faux pas of international magnitude, it is Aisha Buhari who should take the heavier knocks for not knowing where and when to ventilate her grievances. And whose moments of verbal incontinence set all these stones rolling.

 

Raymond Nkannebe, a Legal practitioner and Public affairs commentator can be reached via RaymondNkannebe@gmail.com. Twitter @RayNkah

 

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Taming The Excesses Of PMB’s Gestapo Police; The Urgency Of Now By Raymond Nkannebe

One of the major ideals that recommend democracy as a conventional system of government is the principle of Rule of Law as one of its cardinal pillars. British jurist and constitutional theorist, A.V. Dicey when he coined the concept at the end of the 19th century, described it as “one of the two basic principles of the English constitution” . He saw in it a veritable weapon for checking the excesses of governments who at the time carried on like lords of the manor with little or no respect for the triumph of laws. It is instructive to note however, that before Dicey popularized the concept, renowned philosopher, Aristotle already wrote 25 centuries ago in his work Politics III, that “the rule of law was preferable to that of any individual.”

This ideal has remained alive to the present day. Thus, the notion of “the free and lawful men and of the king being under God and the law” are to be found from the early times of the common law. The conception of the rule of law demands that all actions of government officials be justified in law and that no government official , however exalted in rank, be entitled to disregard the law in the name of “reasons of state”.  In Dicey’s words, “every man, whatever be his rank or condition, is subject to the ordinary law of the realm and amenable to the jurisdiction of the ordinary tribunals”. Quite more apposite to our discourse is the words of Herring CJ in the celebrated case of Arthur Yates & co pty Ltd v Vegetable seeds Committee (1945) 72 CLR 137 at 66, “it is not the English view of the law that whatever is officially done is law ….. On the contrary, the principle of English law is that what is done officially, must be done in accordance with the law”.

Of the five distinct branches of the principle, “Action According to Law”, finds more expressios and relevance to this intervention. This simply means that the organs of government must be subject to legal rules. This conception, being the simplest of the 5, can be found very early in the common law. Thus , King John promised in Article 39 of the ‘Magna Carta’ (1215) that “No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or desseised or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined , nor will we go or send against him except by lawful judgment of his peers or by  law of the land”.

The jurisprudential import of this phenomenon is one that begs of no serious intellectual riguour before its tenets meet conprehension. In fact, it is what it says: rule according to laid down rules and regulations as a veritable tool to check the excesses of power which we are told by Lord Acton, that its absolutism corrupts absolutely. And who is despot other than one with acute reprehension for the institution of laws.

The concept of rule of law therefore, side by side its adjunct principle of seperation of powers, it could be said,  are the features next to enfranchisement , that have earned democracy as a system of government, its resplendent colours and arguably the reason why it has become a model for many nations in contemporary human society.

What follows from the foregoing therefore, is that a government which fails to institutionalise such and make it the raison d’etre of its administration is not worth its good name as a democratic government. Such a government becomes at best an authoritative one in democratic garb, flaunting democratic institutions , ostensibly to “fly the banner” of its democractic nature to the international community and citizens at home . That is, it becomes a democracy only in form but not in substance. And since substance in the equation of legality takes precedence over form, it would not be out of place to conclude that democracy is not practiced in such a clims but at best, a mockery of same.

It is therefore along this construct, that the uncivilized, militaristic, draconian and obnoxious manner, operatives of the DSS acting on “orders from above” (whatever that means), in a near nationwide brazen attacks cum invasion of the private residences of respectable judges of both the superior and inferior courts of records at the most ungodly hour of the day on Saturday, 8th of October 2016 must be situated. If anyone bought the narrative of the mercantilist spin doctors of President Muhammadu Buhari being a changed and democratised military dictator by the act of his taking the oath of office and swearing to uphold and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 29th of May 2015, that confidence must have been lost with the speed the coconut falls from its tree, when the media ran to town with the news of the exectuive rascality and highhandedness carried into effect by its Gestapo police.

And as for Buhari and the gullible ilk who bought the narrative of the spin doctors of “white wash” wizadry, this latest act among others provides an opportunity for their ranks to learn a thing or two from these age long proverbs to wit: The leopard does not lose its spots, no matter how much is expended to come about that, and that we do not learn to be left handed at old age. This much, PMB has proven times without memory.

For the records, there is nothing that can explain away the manner the DSS in the quintessential gestapo style set about their hatchet job the other day. No amount of explanation and justification can win it any acceptability. At law, we say that it is void ab initio and therefore, loses the chances of any legality deriving from it.

One is miffed and obfuscated over the manner and reckless abandon with which the SSS have carried on under the headship of Buhari’s kinsman, Alh. Lawal Daura so much that it has become a consistent pattern, snow balling into an unwritten law since the notorious invasion and arrest of the former National Security Adviser Alh. Sambo Dansuki in his house with no regard for standard procedures in its modus operandi. As of fact, it appears with each obnoxious act , they have only become more ferocious and brazen; a pattern that suggests some hands in the background patting them in the back and urging them on in their professional misfeasance.

It would be recalled that this same Gestapo police was reported to have invaded the government house of an incumbent governor at about the same ungodly hour of the day destroying, maiming and carting away properties including cash sums belonging to the government house without as much of a whimper from the presidency. An act never before witnessed in our chequered history. Similar scenario played out in  Rivers state during the re-run elections into the national assembly of the state. The same “Nazi police” has become notorious for  disobeying and flouting court orders with inpunity and unbriddled breach of the fundamental rights of too many a citizen from Nnamdi Kanu, to Sambo Dansuki through Robert Azibola among others.

What should worry all and sundry, irrespective of political persuasions in this particular incident is the choice of judges who are victims of this latest act of gross insubordination. Upon a closer look, one finds out that they in one way or the other have an axe to grind with the DSS in the discharge of their professional duties as the interpreters of our Laws and “bulwark of the liberty of the citizens”  in the words of Right. Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

Justice Adeniyi Ademola and Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division is said to have been raided for allegedly granting bail to retired Air Commodore Mohammed Umar of the presidential Probe panel on Arms. Another is said to have been raided for banning the DSS from coming to his court for unending flouting of its orders. Justice Pindiga who was picked at Gombe state, is said to be the first chairman of the election tribunal that upheld the election of governor Nyeson Nwike in Rivers State.

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the supreme court is also hounded for delivering judgments that have not been particularly favorable to the DSS and the presidency. In Rivers state, the governor would not such happen under his watch. We are told he had the nozzle of a gun pointed at him and went home with injuries. Altogether, one is presented with an ugly picture of the DSS resorting to inpunity as a weapon to itimidate the judges and send a word to the judiciary that the barrel of the gun is stronger than the gavel.

To justify and lend some credence to their stealth, they fly the Kite of corruption on the part of the judges in the discharge of their duties and allege the recovering of substantial amount of money in the apartments of their victims in a fit to earn popular support. But the corruptness or otherwise of our judges is not immediately in issue here . What is, is the resort to the commando style in the prosecution of a supposed legal duty. At law, an unlawful act done in the prosecution of a lawful duty remains a wrong.

In criminal jurisprudence, a criminal summons almost always preceed and arrest. With the latter  option always had recourse to, when a summon has been disobeyed. At no time atleast as far as we know, were the justices invited by the DSS for interogation neither is a search warrant which the operatives claim to have gotten executed at such ungodly hour of the day, save in circumstances where efforts to arrest an accused or a suspect within the window set by the law which is between 5am and 8pm has proved abortive. All of these cast serious doubt on the testimony or representation of the DSS and leave behind the impression of a sinister object by the DSS to itimidate and embarras the learned Justices.

No one says the judges that line our court both the superior and the inferior ones are paragons of decency or vintage cesar’s wives beyond reproach, but diplomacy and professional due deligence matters. The Nigeria judicial council (NJC) is not oblivious of the rot within the judiciary and only last week recommended the compulsory retirement of three judges of the superior courts including a chief judge to send the message that professional indiscretion and misconduct both in professional respects and otherwise, would not be tolerated within the bench.

In any case, the DSS cannot overeach it self by constituting itself into a busy body holding brief for both the EFCC, ICPC and NJC combined. No matter the amount of money found in the private residence of these judicial officers, it doesnt in anyway earn their stealth any justification, however they belabour the narrative. That can only be a story for another day.

Let it be said that our grouse is not with the personages or the personalities of the judicial officers – indeed the law remains supreme in any democratic institution. Our worry and fear is with the institutional victim of this affront. If the judicial arm of government in a state should at anytime become the object of ridicule, the victim of executive compromise or abitrage, then citizens in such a society have every course to be worried – for if the institution that is widely aclaimed to be the last hope of the common man comes under attack from the executivs not only is their independence compromised but also the civil liberties of citizens vanishes into the thin air like a gust of wind.

It is commendable therefore, that the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) under its new headship, A. B. Mahmud (SAN), and the Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC), have both voiced their opprobrium for the otiose and odious conduct of the DSS calling for the immediate release of the learned justices without more.

It is trite that two wrongs does not make one right. In the bid to rid our body politic of corruption that has become its by word, courtesy deserves and the law impresses it that such a general good must be prosecuted with equal respect for the laws shorn of any promiscuity and impunity so that we do not lose four running after eight.

President Muhammadu Buhari, may or may not have given the orders upon which such Gestapo-ic theatrics was executed but the buck still stops right at his table as the Commander in Chief of this Octopus of a nation.

At not time should any arm of our nascent and burgeoning democracy, or any of its institutions be subjected to such level of intimidation, harassment and embarrassment as witnessed last weekend if at all the idea of running a democratic system of government according to the dictates and sanctions of the law, still appeal to us.

It is high time PMB as he is popularly called heeded the voice of reason by taming what has overtime leapfrogged into a Gestapo police reminiscent of the dark era of Nazi Germany, as the consequences of a failure to, promises incalculable harm to both government, the citizens, our democracy and the ultimate goal of governance. This is not Banana Republic nor is it a “Hitlaristic” Germany. Enough said!

Dino Fiddling while Nigerians “Burn”

The ostentatious, opulent, controversial and profligate self – styled Anti-corruption crusader, senator Dino Melaye, Chairman Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, in an obvious show of nonchalance to the poverty, deprivation, indigence hunger and want ravaging many Nigerians in the face of a biting recession, bought himself a brand new Rolls Royce which media Reports say is valued at 180 million naira. When quizzed by press men as to the source of the money, the garrulous senator tells them, “he deserves some Privacy and ought to be respected”. Dino Melaye gives no hoot what anybody thinks and like emperor Nero, would rather fiddle while Nigerians especially members of his senatorial district, “burn”. Like the French Queen Maria Antoinette in the 17th century, he may as well ask Nigerians to go grab some cake if they can’t afford bread. What pity!

 

Raymond Nkannebe, a Lawyer and Public affairs commentator Can be reached at Raymondnkannebe@gmail. Twitter :@RayNkah

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On Sambo Dasuki And The Ruling Of The ECOWAS Court By Raymond Nkannebe 

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The ‘Tribulations’ Of Abdulmumin Jibrin And A Call To Action By Raymond Nkannebe

Nobody would have thought that a time will come in the history of this nation when a member of the National Assembly; an institution that has become somewhat synonymous with looting and plunder— would rise up to the occasion against its leadership, look the dis(honourable)  members in the eyes and say: you reek of filth. But the events of the recent past in the green chambers of the National Assembly seem to be proving our scepticisms wrong. Alas a messiah of sort has risen within the house and has left no one in any doubt as to his mission: like Hercules, to clean the augean stables and to slay the larnean hydra of corruption.

And like all revolutionaries in history who set out to exorcise an ignominious past and enthrone a new beginning for the greater good of the greatest number true to the utilitarian model of the philosopher —Jeremy Bentham, he has become the butt of vilest affronts at the hands of a cabal for whom the green chambers has become a pseudo money market. With the latest act being an unceremonious suspension handed down by an Ethics and Privilege committee so called, whose manner of commissioning repudiates the very ethos of good ethics. How true the lingo, that corruption always fights back!

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, the member representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituencies  in Kano state at the House of Representatives and until recently the Chairman House Committee on Finance and Appropriation is no doubt in the eye of the storm. The circumstances leading to his present ‘troubles’ is one that has dominated public discourse in the public domain. His only fault as far as we are concerned was standing for the course of truth and transparency and speaking truth to power, but which his traducers say was against the extant laws of the House and has since shamelessly handed down a punishment to satiate their ego and prove a point. But all of those appear to be achieving the opposite and the man has since taken his case apart from the conventional courts, to the court of public opinion. A move that has continued to win him social currency and grass root support to the irk of the many who want him ‘dead’.

The trajectory of the crisis that crystallised into his suspension albeit by subterfuge, last week,  is one that needs no further adumbration as too many a Nigerian are now at home with the scandal that rocked the 2016 appropriation bill involving the principal officers of the House. But what provokes wonder and begs for decisive action is the extent the members of the house are willing and ready to go in bringing down the axe on a man who in saner climes should be deserving of praise.

At the resumption of plenary last week after a protracted recess, the near blanket show of support and veiled vote of confidence passed on speaker Yakubu Dogara choreographed by the infantile and agbero-ish adorning of “I Stand With Dogara” mufflers (mass produced by God-knows-who) by the Pro-Dogara camp was a testimony that ours is parliament where the virtues of integrity and good conscience have long been traded for both rascality and thuggery. By that ignominious act they unwittingly put the message across thusly, that an act only becomes a wrong for want of popular support. Therefore, whereas Dogara and co. May have padded the budget, they were not going to probe the weighty allegations simply because they ‘stood with him’. It was indeed a sad day for democracy in the entire sub-saharan Africa. However, they seem to have missed the plot.

It didn’t occur to the ‘honourable’ members so called, that the desperation with which they have churned out diverse strategies of buffeting the man only speaks to one thing: that he must have spoken the truth. And if not the whole truth, a substantial portion thereof. Of course, nothing else can explain the unbridled desperation with the latest act in the menu, being the surreptitious and clandestine manner the panel secured his suspension even though the man was absent. A process which many lawyers would agree was a mockery of the twin pillars of Natural Justice: Audi alterem patem and Nemo Judex in Causa Sua.

How could the committee have gone ahead to try the man when he had unequivocally stated his lack of confidence in its Nicholas Osai chairmanship? Why was the session not made open to the ‘public’ in accordance with the provisions of the constitution as provided in section 36(3)? And from whence did Dogara assume the moral justification to set a panel in motion given the enormity of allegations raised against him by Jibrin? Assuming the illegal suspension is not upturned, how does the house intend to carry on with holding plenaries without the presence of Jibrin knowing that the circumstance of his suspension was born out of contrivance and repulsive dislike for the truth? And where does the house place Nigerians in their shenanigans? Does the escapist act of calling a dog a bad name to secure its conviction a testament of bravado?

If the ‘quartet’ as Jibrin rightly dubbed them have no skeletons in their closet, is it too much of a thing to ask from them to step aside while investigation into the allegations are concluded? Is not a clear conscience, the best ‘candidate’ for a trial? Were it to be in a more serious nation, shouldn’t the likes of Yakubu Dogara, Yusuf Lasun, Ali Doguwa and Leo Ogor have stepped aside and wait to be given a clean bill of health by an independent committee of inquiry? Why then must a man who blew the proverbial whistle be made a victim based on the consensus of a ravenous cult whose hands are soiled?

Let it be said that Nigerians are not altogether oblivious of the magnitude of heist that has over time become the rule of thumb in both houses of the National Assembly. In no distant past several accusing fingers have been pointed at the legislative arm on allegations not too different from the type we are once again confronted with today.

Of these, two readily comes to mind. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has more than once described the members of the assembly as bunch of ‘rogues and armed robbers’ who only meet at plenary to share their loot. The erstwhile CBN governor and current emir of Kano state, Dr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi it would be recalled got involved with the National assembly four years ago after revealing to Nigerians that as much as 25% of Federal Government overhead cost ends up in floating the National Assembly describing the members as “corrupt and constituting a big drain to the national treasury”. It is instructive to note that on those two occasions the reactions of the members took the same confrontational approach that terminates in making a victim off the whistleblower or the pouring of expletives and vituperations on such persons.

That the current national budget could go down in history as the most corruption laden appropriation bill is no longer an issue for debate no matter what the national assembly wants Nigerians to believe. The signs are all too clear for anyone except the wilfully blind to see. And a reading together of the pieces of evidence that has become the rump of the budget presents the gloomy portrait of a budget process  midwifed under a climate of fleece. The stamp on this assertion being the birth of the term ‘budget padding’ in our political lexicography.

But the good news is that the man of the moment and certified ruffler of feathers— Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin, appears to be a different kettle of fish. He is not a man to be barked nor shoved off. He has spoken and reiterated that sycophancy is not the hallmarks of his personality and has harped his reprehension for fawning adulation. He calls himself a blunt and fearless extrovert who’ll stand firm for the cause of what he believes no matter the tyranny of the majority. This much, we have seen in his countenance since the battle line was drawn.

While his opponents see him as man chasing vendetta, he is on the contrary committed to legislative reforms; which is a supreme good and not the impotent claims of abuse of house rules that is bandied by Dogara and his ‘Ethics’ committee. And this is where his campaign must resonate with Nigerians— the ultimate victims of legislative malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance.

On the 27th of August he said on his twitter account, “when a new speaker emerges and the other principal officers replaced, I will write to the presiding officers of both chambers to commence a radical internal reform in the entire national assembly beyond budget, to cover performance, assessment, running costs and allowances, investigations e.t.c. If the reform so done by the national assembly is not made public latest by December, I will take it up and lay bare before the general public even if I am alone”. If only he had known that the Brutus and Cassius of our parliament were plotting his suspension from the house.

However, From this much, it becomes easy to glean that Jibrin feels the same frustrations and helplessness Nigerians have suffered under a National Assembly that has elevated impunity and incompetence to an article of faith and corruption a standard of conduct with little or no care for transparency.

Suffice it to say therefore that in the 17 years of the institution of the National Assembly since the turn of democracy in 1999, there has been no member with an acute distaste for corruption and an unbridled hunger for reforms and change like Hon Jibrin. He is not only the shining light of leadership with transparency and accountability, he is in the tiny league of elected public officials who reinvigorate the lost hope of many citizens that things may never get right here. He is our closest shot at enthroning a leadership culture that’ll not be guided by looting and rapacious plundering of national wealth but one that is anchored on transparency and accountability.

While the members have chosen not to stand with him, it is now for us to queue behind the man and call the bluff of the compromising lot that has chosen not to stand for truth and justice. While their numbers average the hundred mark, ours run into several millions. And our confidence should be renewed in the fact that absolute power resides with the masses in an ideal democracy.

Finally, how we handle the fleeting tiff between Jibrin and the leadership of the House will go a long way in voicing our true stance on corruption in high places. The options fortunately enough are twofold. Whether to keep silent in the face of the gargantuan injustice rocking the lower chamber of our national assembly crusaded by Dogara and the lot ‘standing with him’, or to join arms with the only symbol of revolutionary change— Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin who is set to turning around the crooked norms of the past and enthroning a leadership style and a parliament of our collective aspirations. The option we elect, may we not forget will be for posterity to judge.

AND TWO OTHER THINGS

Edo Botched Polls

Despite the controversial postponement  of the Edo state elections from the 10th  to the 28th of September ostensibly for security concerns, what transpired last week in Edo state assuming we want to call it an election could not be described as a model exercise that can be held out as a postcard for free and fair election unfortunately enough. It came with the full trappings of the impishness and rascality that have over the years become the poster of our electoral process to wit: ballot box snatching, monetary inducement of electorates by agents of political parties, visibly compromised security agents, intermittent problems with card readers, allegations of doctored results, police harassment and intimidation among a host of other shenanigans that put a huge question mark to the fairness of the process, if the reports in the media are anything to go by. While the electoral empire—INEC may have tried in making sure the process receives a clean bill of health with the introduction of the practice of voting immediately after accreditation , the influence of politicians have proven to be a huge storm to weather. It was therefore expected that the main opposition party— PDP would reject the result of the elections for what they believe was a stage managed exercise by Adams Oshiomohle hands in glove with the security agencies allegedly acting to the script of Abuja. But can it in all honesty be said that the PDP will be coming to equity with clean hands given reports of monetary inducement by their agents in their perceived strongholds and other places during the election? Couldn’t it have been a case of one party out-rigging the other? Whatever the case may be, It is indeed sad and most unbecoming that after spending huge funds in organising elections, political parties and their candidates still look to the election tribunals as the final arbiter of the fairness or otherwise of the process. What should be an exception have since become a standard practice in our electoral regime over time. What is wrong with us?

56 Years of Independence Ahoy !

Two days ago, we marked 56 years of nationhood. 56 years of a political freedom that has since made us the boss over our affairs both domestic and international. Like every anniversary, it is a time for introspection and retrospection into the future and over the past respectively. Many writers have expressed divergent views on the state of the union 56 years after independence. While for some, there is nothing to celebrate being that every anniversary presents only a nostalgic fervour of the good old days against a gory picture of a country presently on the edge of a precipice courting a precipitous fall. Others like Reuben Abatti writing on the subject think there is a lot to cheer about despite the nefarious problems that have dogged our progress. Expectedly, the mood of the nation foisted a low-key celebration without the pomp and fireworks that normally characterise the day. For us, 56 years of Independence readily brings to consciousness years of wasted opportunities and untapped potentials and sadly this trend may continue if we do not return to the drawing board to chart a new course for man and country. The most glaring evidence of this is the picture of a nation at war with itself. Of a nation struggling to reinvent herself. With secessionist forces  east of the divide beating drums of war and calling for self-determination; a most potent insurgency North east of the divide by Islamic fundamentalists calling for a Shariah state with reports of captured parts of our territory and a ferocious militancy in the creeks of the delta denting the wealth of the nation and threatening war, it would be understating the point to say that we sit on the keg of a gunpowder and may be on our way to Kigali at the least confrontation. Having said this, our greatest challenge at 56 is not our economic doldrums but the battle for our sovereignty.  Current and subsequent administrations therefore must as a matter of urgency do all within the ambits of its powers to placate all centrifugal forces threatening the continuous existence of the country for it is only when we have a country at peace that every other dividends of governance can be enjoyed. This independence therefore calls for more introspection and efforts at fostering national cohesion and not any form of celebration. God bless Nigeria.

 

The writer is a Lawyer, public affairs commentator and a Pilot Member of the “WHAT IS THE NIGERIAN DREAM?” project. He tweets from @RayNkah. Comments and reactions to raymondnkannebe@gmail.com

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James Faleke’s Tortuous Dance with Providence by Raymond Nkannebe

Whatever your political persuasion or misgivings about him, truth is: Mr. James Faleke deserves our pity. But he also deserves our praise. Pity, because of the chain of circumstances that brought him face to face with providence and the blow it dealt him. A circuitous chord that has terminated adverse to his interest. And praise for the courage and gumption  which he took to wage  ‘war’ against his personal god. A battle which has been lost but not without shaping further our democratic experience and enriching our electoral jurisprudence; an area of our law in constant need of reforms. He comes across to us like the protagonist, Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, who said yes, while his personal god thought otherwise. His only wish was to become the governor of Kogi state. But the gods had other plans. And to achieve their aim, set in motion a series of event that leaves the man helpless like a fish out of water; what reminds one of the tragic character— King Adewale in Ola Rotimi’s classic work, The gods are Not To Blame. Would he not have been the governor today if Abubakar Audu’s death took place sometime after the supplementary election?  Why wasn’t he chosen to fly the flag of his Party after the demise of Audu? Why didn’t the courts find accommodation for him within the confines of section 187 of the constitution? The questions may never end. Providence alas, always finds her way.

Last Tuesday, anxiety hung on the air like the gathering of the cloud before a heavy pour. Ants ran amok in the pants of too many a kogi indigene. Though the sun may have risen in the east in its default style, but when it was setting in the evening, not everybody within the state enjoyed the ethereal beauty of the sunset. Why? A 7 man panel of the supreme court led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta (JSC) had earlier in the day upheld the election of the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello whose circumstance of emerging the governor of the confluence state, many would readily come to consensus was an act of sheer luck. And who says there is no element of luck in politics after the near legend of former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan?

By the time the learned justices finally rose from the bench, it was the Yahaya Bello camp that took the glory of the day, while poor Faleke and co. were left with the tail wagging the dog. The judgement had not gone his way. Driving the last nail in the coffin of his gubernatorial ambition. It was indeed a last straw which visibly broke his back.

Too many of us are now familiar with the facts of this electoral war fare that would read like a political thriller. But suffice it to rehash the facts as it comes to our mind for the benefit of those who may not be at home with the chain of events. We recall that James Faleke became the running mate to the late Abubakar Audu at the Kogi state gubernatorial election scheduled for the 21st of November 2015 after the late Audu successfully coasted to victory at the primaries conducted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) with Yahaya Bello the runners-up in that particular election.

However, events were to take a drastic dimension when the said election became a victim of crass irregularities leading to its inconclusiveness in some local governments and subsequent postponement for another two weeks for election to be completed in the Local governments by the electoral umpire— INEC. This was well after the Audu-Faleke ticket had amassed a mammoth 240,000 votes. Tension was rife and permutations fever-pitch. Not long after the media went to town with the postponement of the election did Abubakar Audu, the big name on the ticket suffer death in controversial circumstances thereby setting the stage for the poor Faleke to take on what arguably would become the greatest legal tussle of his political cycle.

As hours became days leading to the rescheduled election, the APC was to go and put its house in order by sending a new name to the electoral umpire as to who shall become its flag bearer in lieu of Audu. All manners of politicking and gerrymandering were let loose and when the dust settled, Yahaya Bello became the favoured man to carry on from where Audu had stopped. He had come second at the primaries but a lot more went into consideration in coming to the choice of his candidacy with the usual suspect: politics of zoning, top on the list. The Ebira, a dominant ethnic group in Kogi state had never produced the governor. Yahaya Bello happens to be from this tribe. Every other thing was at best, secondary.

To cut the long story short, the supplementary polls soon came and it was almost a stroll for Bello to victory. But just as many had feared, a legal battle was in the offing; gathering momentum all the while. Faleke, obviously feeling cheated as according to him, he ought to have stepped into the shoes of his would-be boss, Abubakar Audu in honour of the ticket and not relegating him to play second fiddle to a man he described as an “interloper” reaping where he had not sown. He would not accept to deputize for Bello and approached the courts, the supposed last hope of the common man to see if any respite may come his way. Meanwhile, Yahaya Bello would later be sworn in and went down in history as the only governor to have taken the oath of office without a deputy. Faleke would not be seen at the event amidst all the pomp, let alone consider acting as a mere lieutenant.

The journey through the courts from the tribunal to the appellate court and finally ending at the supreme court last week was no doubt, a long, arduous and tortuous one. Suffering defeats at the lower courts would not daunt the man. He seemed so certain that a glimmer of light might be at the end of the judicial tunnel given the novelty of the issue at trial. Perhaps his legal team must have urged him on. And when justice Ngwuta dropped the gavel last week, that glimmer of light never came. That ‘justice’ he vociferously sought was nowhere to be seen. He must go back to the green chambers where he is a lawmaker to continue the business of making laws. May be this time, more seriously. Perhaps sponsor a bill that would cover the lacuna in our electoral instrument that set him on collision course with fate.

The apex court would not give the full ratio for coming to its verdict. It adjourned that business to the last day of September to tell us why it didn’t marvel the nation as it did 8 years ago in the Ameachi vs. Omehia debacle. While we now await that considered judgment, we must not put the court on trial here and now. That would be a trouble for another day. But more importantly, a turf for legal academics, the NBA and the Civil Society to dabble; but suffice it to pose the following questions: Couldn’t the court had relied on section 187 of the constitution as lead counsel for Faleke, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) urged it , in order to secure a footing for Faleke? Why didn’t it heed the arguments of Chris Uche (SAN), legal practitioner to former governor Idris Wada , another party to the appeal in order to disqualify Bello for not having “gone through all the stages of the election” in the spirit of section 141 of the Electoral Act (2010) as amended? Could it be that the apex court merely invoked the “Ut res magit valuet quam peret” doctrine of Interpretation of Statutes to decide the matter as it did? Too many questions beg for answers, but let us not pre-empt the court.

Having said that, the biggest beneficiary of this legal warfare remains our democracy and legal jurisprudence. The case  would no doubt join the pantheon of  Ngige v Obi [2006]14NWLR(pt.999)1,Amaechi v INEC[2008]5 NWLR(pt. 1080)227, PPA v Saraki [2007]17 NWLR (pt.1064) 453 among other landmark electoral cases that have served to shape our jurisprudence and spurn a cavalcade of legal literature. For our democracy, it would send the message across borders that citizens still harbour confidence in the judiciary— that very important institution that gives life to any democracy, as the last hope of the common man and the bulwark of the civil rights of citizens.

The case further brings to fore, the pressing need for legal reforms. While it is true that there may never be a time when parliament would foresee every eventualities of everyday life of the society, parliament must remain proactive. The constitutional crisis generated by this case no doubt is a tacit mockery of our laws and the docility that has enveloped the institution that should churn out laws to keep the engine of state grinding. At a time when our senators are more interested in inanities such as budget padding and pointing accusatory fingers here and there, our laws must suffer the twin inexorable catharsis of redundancy and anachronism. This habitude must stop

James Faleke deserves our praise. The manner he bowed out is a stuff of legends. In reacting to the verdict the other day, the man went philosophical. Said him, “… I have no regrets challenging the decision to declare the election inconclusive as the step was taken in good faith to protect the interest of the over 240,000 electorates who voted for the Audu-Faleke ticket…” Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. His response is a lesson in standing for a cause we believe in, the enormity of odds notwithstanding. His resort the courts and not fomenting trouble qualifies him as a core democrat who believes in the rule of law and not might.

In concluding this intervention, we turn to the word of the immutable and irrepressible legal and judicial colossus, late Justice Ckukwudifu Akunne Oputa on the finality of the decision of the supreme court subject however to the proviso of overruling itself or nullification of its decision by legislation, as was enunciated in the celebrated case of Adegoke Motors Ltd v Adesanya& Anor (1989) 2 NSCC327 where the cerebral justice observed,

We are final not because we are infallible rather we are infallible because we are final. Justices of this court are human beings, capable of erring. It will certainly be short-sighted arrogance not to accept this obvious truth. It is also trite that this court can do inestimable good through its wise decisions. Similarly it can do incalculable harm through its mistakes. When therefore it appears to learned counsel that any decision of this court has been given per incuriam, such counsel should have the courage and boldness to ask that such a decision be overruled. This court has the power to overrule itself (and has done so in the past) for it gladly accepts that it is better to admit error than to persevere in error

On the strength of the above, we take the verdict of the Supreme Court as it comes as the authority when next a similar set of fact presents itself again until such a time when the apex court considers it fit to overrule itself on the strength of a superior argument canvassed by counsel. But in the mean time, we must not forget that it was James Falekewhile ‘enthralled’ in a long dance with providence set all these legal stones in motion.

 

The writer, a legal practitioner and public affairs commentator wrote in from kano. Comments and reactions to Raymondnkannebe@gmail.com follow him on twitter @RayNkah

 

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Patience Jonathan And Her $31m; Of Crass Idiocy, Naivety And Honest Arrogance, By Nkannebe Raymond

Throughout the duration of her stint in the plum office of the First Lady (an office unknown to our constitution by the way), which she almost brought to a parallel with the more exalted office of the presidency evidence of which is had in the manner we are told she flexed her muscle around the seat of power something that reminds one of the late strong woman of Kenyan politics, Mrs. Lucy Kibaki (while her husband, Mwai Kibaki held sway in that east African nation), Dame Patience Ibifaka Jonathan has never left anyone in any doubt as to her stupendous senility and capacity to confound.

Ever since she lost the vantage position from which she thrilled Nigerians in her unofficial office as the chief comedian of the federation, Mama Peace as she is fondly called, with her notorious distaste for “Blood sharing” has obviously lost the spotlight of the media, for a woman who arguable love to make the headlines. But the lull in media attention was to end soon; only that when it came, it wasn’t for her infamous usage of the English language and the therapy it became for a nation that finds a way to make a joke out of anything.

Early last week, news filtered in that she was fingered to have lined millions of dollars to the tune of $31 million, in a certain dollar account she operates with four commercial banks, including Skye Bank Nig. Plc by the anti-graft agency EFCC. Reports also had it that the EFCC had since frozen the accounts albeit without a court fiat in order to secure the allegedly stolen funds while investigations continue. But Mama Peace is not the type to be silenced by the antics of the EFCC. She has since mounted a loudspeaker telling anyone who cares to listen how the EFCC is “finding her trouble”. She has also instituted a Fundamental Right enforcement action at the Federal High Court in Lagos claiming 5 billion naira in exemplary damages through her legal practitioners, First Law and Associates.

Never mind, she was only a permanent secretary and the first lady in those good days and God knows no one could have amassed a quarter of that sum, within that slim period without engaging in, and overseeing a never-seen-before-bazaar of sleaze and thievery. Could it be her own moiety of the DasukiGate? Or was she also engaged in the business of snake husbandary as events of the recent past in our polity has proven snake-rearing another cash-cow but which i wonder why many of our people are not making frisk investments in it .

But Mama Peace was not done: she said part of the money was for her medical bills which leaves us wondering whether she is an out-patient at some foreign health facility battling Pneumonia, ovarian cancer, HIV and Tuberculosis at the same time. One writer said, may no body ever spend such a sum on health concers. How much serving and ex public officials like to wave the health flag at the least prodding. Remember that Dasuki has sought times without number to be allowed to travel abroad to take one or two doses of paracetamol. Even Olisa Metuh at one time or the other waved the health flag before he finally secured his bail.

And so what do all of these tell us about this woman and the administration that ‘gifted’ her to us? Our good man, Sam Omatsaye has the answer. Writing in his column for The Nation Newspaper of 19th September, 2016, on the same character, he said, “…her revelations tell us two things among others. One, she unveiled how people in high places take away money in stealth, except that she is not prepared to hide hers, because she believes it is her money. Two, that her husband was not able to tame the wife. She is the shrew that got away. An English newspaper once wrote that President Jonathan lacked the ability to control his wife. He could not play the tamer in Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew where Catharine is made from a wild woman into a model of obedience…”

Mama Peace’s open admission of being the proprietress of these humongous sums which she has been barred from having access to, and the manner in which she has carried on about it, shorn of any remorse is both astonishing and mindboggling. It is the poster of her drunkenness with impunity. Her utterances for one, has made her come across as one who feels that her years of (dis)service to the nation earns her some perpetual immunity no matter the height of her undoing. This must be the delusion that leads her into throwing unveiled tantrums here and there prevailing on a beleaguered nation to believe that she earned such amount of money from doing almost nothing and hence shouldn’t be dispossessed of it. What only a palpable delusion and incurable idiocy can beget. Perhaps Mama Peace deserves to be told a thing or two. The GEJ era is long gone with its good and its bad, and a new administration has since taken over the affairs of the nation. While she obviously has eluded being tamed by her spouse, the Law is not the respecter of persons be they how ever so high.

Not only is she naive in her dispositions, she is also unskilled in her thievery. Of course she might have gone away with ‘her’ money. If she was subtle, calm and clinical, she might have carted away the money in guise as did others. She could have been a step or two further than the EFCC but even that too was so difficult to come by leading her into raining fire and brimstone like one cursed and struck by the gods.

But can we ever say a thing about Patience Jonathan, without mentioning his Goodluck whom she loves so much, but who also must bear the burden of the cacophony and otiose commentary generated by these revelations? At a time when the man is crowned and honoured across the globe for his democratic credentials; the only takeaway of his rudderless leadership, a wife who obviously proved difficult to tame continues to be a source of embarrassment even in his post- Aso Rock days.

Rather than go about in vainglorious chest thumping and a show of puff and ego, Mama Peace should rather go on her knees and apologise to Nigerians for the part she took in the pillaging of our common patrimony. She deserve to wake up from her trance and come back to reality whatever might have stung her. The law suits she has lined in virtually every court in the federation, would only serve to exacerbate and compound her woes. A better path is a visit to the EFCC to explain the circumstances bringing her in connection with such staggering sums and at worst, cutting a bargain. Anything short if this can only be at her peril.

We trust the anti-graft agency to follow this particular matter to a logical conclusion and once a prima facie case is made out, drag to court this unabashed and garrulous matriarch who carries on like one citizen whom the nation cannot call to order. Her arrogance offends. Her naivety, sui generis!

The writer, a legal practioner and public affairs commentator Writes from kano. Comments and reactions to Raymondnkannebe@gmail. Com

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National Restructuring and the Ambivalence of a Nation by Raymond Nkannebe

You will agree with us that since the early 80s, nothing has formed the subject of our national debates and engagements more than the chequered (mis) fortune of the word ‘Restructuring’. It has been accepted more than once as a friend; rejected as an enemy, and finally smuggled through the back door as an accomplice, in any national gathering. It is almost a song in our national struggle and often chorused now and again in governmental circles.

In the last two decades at least, one of the central issues of political debate in Nigeria has been the persistent call for a National Conference; a quotient of restructuring. The calls have always represented a strong desire to correct the ills that have befallen the Nigerian state and renegotiate the conditions, structure and rules that should guide the country. These calls represent an admission that the legitimacy and continuous existence of the state is in question.

The primary objective of any state is to provide security of the citizens and to guarantee a framework for the enforcement of laws. The ability of certain states to meet this mandate sometimes decline and a situation arises in which basic functions to wit: exercising sovereignty over a given territory, providing political identity and operating critical institutions of state can no longer be provided hence leading to political crisis that invariably snowball into anarchy.

More recently , the Boko Haram insurgency which remain a Gordian knot for the government, the ethnic crisis in the middle-belt, the Fulani-herdsmen crisis and militancy in the Niger-Delta have all gone to sustain the question of restructuring and send a message across that ours is a nation in dire straits begging for honest and holistic reforms.

But it is the ambivalence however, that has greeted efforts at restructuring in the past that leave much to be desired. It has become a case of knowing the root cause of a problem but lacking the requisite political will and gumption to set the solution in motion, or where it is put in motion, lacking the conviction to implement the recommendations. Perhaps nothing more can evidence this assertion than the series of talk shops which have been organised in the past by successive governments, both military and civilian but whose recommendations continue to gather dust in the archives despite the huge sums spent in convening them.

Most certainly, it is the ambivalence, represented by the discordant tunes among the diverse ethnic nationalities which make up the divide whenever restructuring is the colloquy, that is the albatross and the clog in the wheel. Most often, it is the morbid fear of the consequences that may ensue in the process that drives this ambivalence and fuels the suspicions. The North always do not want to hear it mentioned for some reasons bordering on Economic consequences while the south are always willing to go the pith and hog of it. While the North have always participated in these talk shops, they never hide their sentiments on the limits of the negotiations. And so often come to the dialogue with a narrow bargaining range. As for the minorities, their opinions seldom make it to the front burner and most often a hybrid of the sentiments of the big-three.

But this is where the regions are getting it wrong. Most often, restructuring is understood in the context of balkanisation— the extremes of any restructuring process usually resorted to, when dialogues can no longer travel. They do not situate it along the lines of reformation that’ll re-assign roles and do away with the unnecessary baggage which experience has shown do not perfectly fit into our system.

And so since when Aalhaji Atiku Abubakar resurrected the ghost of restructuring few months ago, a lot of ruckus has been heard in the polity over the much vexed issue. While speaking at the late Gen.Usman Katsina Memorial Conference, with the theme: “The Challenges of National Integration and Survival of Democracy in Nigeria”, the former vice president said,” I suggest we resolve today to support calls for the restructuring of the Nigeria federation in order to strengthen its unity and stabilise its democracy. I believe that restructuring will eventually happen whether we like it or not. The question is whether it’ll happen around a conference table in a direction influenced by us and whether we’ll be an equal partner in the process or will it happen in a more unpredictable arena and in a manner over which we have little influence”.

Last week, Alhaji Waziri Tambuwal , governor of Sokoto state, appear to have stirred the hornet’s nest with comments attributed to him bothering on restructuring wherein he foreclosed the  negotiation of the unity of the country and made calls for fiscal restructuring by advocating for the allocation of more funds to the federating units in the spirit of true federalism. In reaction, Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko , obviously not impressed with the former Speaker’s comments, took him on terms for setting the bounds of restructuring. Elsewhere, the Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere through its publicity secretary, Yinka Odumakin has reacted in vehement opposition to the governor’s modalities for restructuring.

In a statement, the group said, “…it is therefore perfidious for anyone to tell us at this stage that the constituent units of Nigeria should be in their chains inside a suffocating cage with a little more meat added to the slave ration they currently enjoy. The federal government whose land is only the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which contributes nothing to the federation account outside a few grass that roaming cows feed on can no longer sit on top of the destiny of the federating units. We are at a loss as to what unity that the present order has produced that Tambuwal is selling us is non-negotiable. Is it the farmer whose crop is being eaten up by the herdsmen’s cow that is dancing at unity? What unity is there between those being slaughtered for their beliefs and the killers? How united are those being denied of access to their God-given resources and those raping them..?” As we write, nothing has been heard of the Pan-Igbo socio-political organization, Ohaneze Ndigbo. All of these discordant tunes informed by vested interests go to accentuate and bring to fore, the ambivalence and suspicion with which the subject of national restructuring has been received in the polity, to understate the point.

But if we must call a spade a spade, it is only the wilfully ignorant that would oppose calls for overhauling our entire system. We have slept on the job of routine maintenance and rejigging of the engine of state and the consequences have become a monster. What manner of restructuring do we speak of here? That has always been the tricky pony. Permit us to digress a little into corporate law practice to put the options of restructuring in proper perspective. At law, there are two broad categories of restructuring depending on the type of company and the extent of its corporate doldrums. Whereas the Internal options for restructuring like Arrangement and Compromise, Arrangement on Sale and Management Buy Out may not lead to a company losing its form and corporate name, the External options for restructuring to wit: Merger, Acquisition and Take Over may lead to the company balkanised or acquired by another bigger entity, thereby losing its corporate name and identity in the process. At best, it becomes a subsidiary.

From the picture painted above, an Internal Restructuring option is more apposite, less cumbersome to achieve with promises of a win-win situation for the different nations within Nigeria. A proper midwife of an internal restructure would guarantee a placation of the forces that invariably make external restructuring inevitable which in this equation amounts to a secession, or the different tribes taking to their tents like the Israelites under king Reheboam. So what are some of these internal forces within the system occasioning a centrifugal pull, and needing reforms? Those are what beg a no-holds-barred re-consideration without any fear and needing legislative footing to gain traction for them.

Our educational system is in dire straits churning out a generation of unemployable graduates and by extension occasioning educational tourism to more developed countries. Our federalism is jacobian, making sense only in form but not substance. It is almost a unitary system in the garb of federalism. What about our legislature? Must we have a bicameral house, and if yes, are the fortunes of the nation still sufficient to liquidate both? How friendly and accommodating is our business climate? Are there parameters set for wealth creation and distribution? Is the system as currently constituted skewed in favour of the “wallstreet” at the expense of the “Mainstret”? Do we have an active middleclass, and if no, how do we build an efficient middleclass since they are the drivers of any economy.

Is there a blueprint for job creation and employment that runs as a system? And our population has it become staggering against our resources? Should we toy with the idea of putting legislation on birth control? And here comes the elephant in the kitchen: resource control. Do we allow the states to refine their resources and pay back royalty to the centre? Is there an urgent need to increase the percentage on derivation for communities housing critical mineral resources in order to douse intermittent insurrections? What about the local governments and the unending hullabaloo over their independence from the states? Is it still amenable to logic that they should receive their revenues from the states and not directly into their own coffers? And this brings us to the vexed issue over state creation. Is there any justice in the south-east geo-political zone having only five states unlike other geopolitical zones having six?

How do we solve the intractable Fulani herdsmen and sedentary Farmers crisis? Does the solution lie in the legislation on grazing fields across the state or an introduction of compulsory cattle ranching by cattle merchants? What about our land tenure system? How much does it allow for land ownership and grants for rotational cultivation to enable food sufficiency? The current Land Use Act is a military document. The baby of a despotic regime; is it still a veritable legislation of our land tenure 38 years after it became a law?  Our public service; the engine room of any nation is comatose and bureaucratic —clogging the wealth of the nation and only succeeds in recruiting unmotivated staff who feather their nest. Does it not need a holistic revamp?

The foregoing (among other notorious national dilemmas), are the vintage albatross around our neck. And it is either we take the bulls by the horn with them, or we may never get it right. The good news is that much of what have been highlighted, form part of the over 600 recommendations of the most successful national conference in our history, organised by the last administration. The irony however is how it has not been muted by this government; not even in one of President Muhammadu Bbuhari’s Freudian slips. The very poster of ambivalence.

We submit that a holistic consideration of these issues and proper implementation of the consensus lie the solution to our national quagmire; we can only do otherwise to the detriment of both man and country. There is no need of any anxiety, fear or ambivalence over it. Continuous living in denial‘ll only foist a gloomy future on us.

In the final analysis, at the root of national growth and development is social justice, equity and good conscience. The great Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio once said, “A kingdom can endure with unbelief, but it cannot endure with injustice”. Therefore, government must entrench the ideals of justice in every aspect of its functions.  There must be near equality in the representation of the nations within Nigeria in the public offices of the nation in the spirit of the Federal Character principle. And in doing that, merit must not be compromised. A situation where appointments and project siting are lopsided in favour of the part of the country the president comes from cannot augur well for national cohesion in a pluralistic setting like ours. Even that too, needs restructuring.

Enough of the vacillation. We have had enough of the dilly dallying. The next generation is already here and we cannot bequeath our structure as currently constituted to them. This ambivalence must stop. A stitch in time saves nine. Onu’kwube!

AND TWO OTHER THINGS

Ooni of  Ife’s Sallah Gesture

A rare sight unfolded before our eyes the other day during the just concluded Eid Al Kabir celebration. It was a picture widely circulated in both the social and main street media of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi at an Eid prayer ground in Osun state with other Muslim faithful despite being a Christian. It was a rare sight; one that is a lesson in unity the divergence in dogma notwithstanding. The timing was also spot on; coming at a time the nation appear to be polarised along religious and ethnic lines. We commend the gesture of the young and indefatigable monarch and pray that his reign be long in the stool of his forefathers. Commendable!

Intellectual Theft within the Presidency

The “Change Begins with Me” campaign launched a fortnight ago by President Muhammadu Buhari may pass as the most unpopular campaign ever sold to Nigerians in the odd years of our independence. Still convalescing from the vehement and unveiled opposition by Nigerians, the campaign suffered another setback penultimate Friday when news filtered in that what Mr. President read in the 9th of the 16 paragraph address delivered on the 8th of September, 2016 was lifted ippisima verba  from President, Barrack Obama’s victory speech delivered on the 4th of November, 2008. The presidency swiftly reacted to the development; issuing a statement that it was the handiwork of an “overzealous staff” within the presidency who may have been relieved of his services as we write. This must be another huge image crisis for an administration losing its popularity among Nigerians faster than the speed of thought. It is one gaffe too many. A faux pas of alarming proportions which no amount of damage control may take away the odoriferous stench it has unleashed in the polity. Not even all the perfumes of Arabia.Pitiable!

 

The writer, Nkannebe Raymond is a Kano based legal practitioner and a public affairs commentator. Comments and reactions to 08068271477 (Text Message only)

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Postponed Edo Polls; Vintage Voice of Jacob and the Hand of Esau by Nkannebe Raymond

Fellow Nigerians, it appears not too many of us seem to appreciate the degree of political fraud that was pulled off last week by the (mis)ruling party in Edo state? hence, the seeming cold acceptance that has greeted the “democratic coup” (in the words of Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose) by the general public without much of a whimper as would have been seen were it to be in saner climes where citizens hold the leadership accountable for any executive recklessness, especially in matters of the ballot. Or perhaps, the recession which we are told is just a “mere word” in Kemi Adeosun’s thought has bitten so hard so much that it has grown into a phrase and nobody seem to give anymore hoot about the numerous gaffe of the current band of progressives (or if you like, retrogressives) in Abuja, which were supposed to be a beacon of hope and the very symbol of exemplary leadership. Many , we suspect may have since resigned to their fate waiting only to be heard more poignantly at the ballot when the general elections come around again.

We shall in this engagement put in the proper perspectives the notoriety of that voice of Jacob, resident in Abuja, properly carried into action through the hands of the Esaus of this clime, aptly represented by the Gestapo police in furtherance of the spirit and letter of the script. We shall also bemoan the consequence(s) it behoves for our nascent and burgeoning democracy.

Perhaps no other gift would have come in good taste for the good and peace loving people of Edo state, than the gift of being allowed the latitude and space to freely exercise their franchise by electing a new resident for the government house in Edo state; side by side catching up on the Eid celebrations for a state with a considerable population of Muslim faithfuls. But that, as we later found out, was not to be. Some pundits and analysts we learnt, were of the view that the handwriting on the wall for the Oshiomole camp was not looking bright enough and so something had to give. What happened next was a combination of mendacity, fabrication and falsehood and before one could shut the windows, last minute steps were taken to shift the goal post meters further and to buy more time for Oshiomole’s anointed stooge, aka, Godwin Obaseki and also to throw more money at the system.

Of course they didn’t need to solve a hard algebra to come about that. All they needed was to come up with an ostensible reason and they found that with the unholy bride: Insecurity. Borrowing from the antics of their colonial masters-PDP( we have argued times without more in previous engagements, that there is nothing  to choose faced with the dilemma of making a choice between PDP and APC. Both of them are one and the same; the only difference lying in mere nomenclature), at the last general elections, they played the ‘insecurity card’ and surreptitiously stormed the electorates who at the time were already in high spirits for the polls; Nigerians and members of the international community who were already either in Abuja or within the state to monitor the process, by postponing the elections for another two weeks.

In a joint statement on Wednesday, 7th of September, the police and the Department of State Security (DSS)——— who have since become handmaids of the current establishment shamelessly told Nigerians that, “credible intelligence indicates plans by insurgent/ extremist elements to attack vulnerable communities and high population soft targets during the forthcoming sallah celebration between 12th and 13th of September, 2016….” And we ask, were the elections scheduled for these dates? Isn’t a gubernatorial election expected to be a day exercise save in inconclusive polls? But they were not finished. “Edo state”, the statement continued, “is amongst the states being earmarked for these planned attacks by the extremist elements…” among other mendacious representations signed by one DCP Don Awunah for the police and Garba Abdullahi, for DSS.

Let us recall that the Inconclusive National Electoral Commission (INEC), (we are told that is the moniker they have earned for themselves from consistent and palpable failures in the past), had refused to buy the alibi of insecurity when the rumour mills went to town to test the water, as according to Professor Mahmud Yakubu, the head of the commission, “ they were ready to go ahead with the exercise” only to be arm-twisted and ambushed by the Brigadier General Sule Kazaure camp, the Director General of NYSC, who apparently, was a partner to this ‘grand theft’ who  told the commission that he could not guarantee the security of the corp members who constitute a bulk of  INEC ad-hoc staff and without whose inputs, holding the elections becomes a sheer impossibility. With these successive developments, Mahmud and his commissioners ambidextrously handicapped, couldn’t do more but bow to the well organised coup-plotters and reviewed the exercise forward for the next two weeks; by rescheduling the polls for 28th of September, 2016  as provided by the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).

But the good news about the whole shenanigan is that one need not be a political wizard to smell the rat here. It is very clear to even a blind man that the arranged postponement was the grand scheme of reactionary elements with vested interests operating from somewhere in the federal capital territory, not minding the consequences, material and financial for the nation and the psyche of the people of Edo state.

In the midst of the whole quagmire, one is moved to ask, whether the misfortune of insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria has become a double-edged sword such that it is now exploited and used as a fodder to perpetuate social and civic vice on the polity? That Insecurity, a common denominator that frustrates just about anything has been witnessed here in alarming proportions , does it give us the temerity to now capitalise on it  to score some parochial gains even when such threat do not exist? From whence did the so-called “credible intelligence” emanate from and since when did our security outfits become the CIA in Intelligence gathering and arrest? Was not the crème de la crème  of the present administration in Edo state, a day or two before this execrable act of postponement in last minute campaign razzmatazz for the APC candidate, Obaseki? Where was this Intel at the time? Or perhaps the imagined terrorists were more interested in “soft targets” and not their hard counterparts.

While there is a legal basis for the postponement of elections, as provided in section 26(1) of the Electoral Act, such an option is not and cannot be as a matter of course as such threats must be subject to “cogent” and “verifiable”  reasons for postponement. Gentlemen, permit us to produce verbatim the provisions of the law on which the Police and DSS induced Mahmud and his co-travellers in Inconclusiveness to postpone the election. Section 26(1) of the Electoral Act provides thus:

Where a date has been appointed for holding an election and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct the election as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies, the commission may postpone the holding of the proposed election, provided such reason is COGENT and VERIFIABLE” (Emphasis Ours).

Now it is our suspicion that the “Credible Intelligence” of the police and DSS combined; was everything but cogent and verifiable in contrast to the spirit and letter of section 26(1). It was vague, baseless, cosmetic, unsubstantiated and without foundation. A case in point: it didn’t tell us the other states “earmarked” for the planned attacks by extremist elements or the source of the information. While the security operatives, we understand, reserve the right to be circumspect with some of these details as with protocol, we submit that the occasion wherewith it was invoked, demanded that at least it should be told, if anything to foot the bill of  cogency and verification in the language of the draftsman of the law. Reading the statement, you could see and smell the conspiracy with which it is laden. You could see through the insincerity of purpose and intention. It was not just a sad day for Edo indigenes who had travelled home to participate in the exercise; it was a sad day for the law too, as it was used as an engine of fraud contrary to a cardinal maxim of equity to wit: Equity will not suffer the Law to be used as a cloak of fraud.

In any case, what was all that 25, 000 police men, 10,000 operatives of the DSS, 10, 000 members of the Civil Defence Corps, a DIG of Police and his assistants , among other security apparatchik billed to cordon the election for a state of a paltry 18 local government areas expected to be doing assuming there were no security threats? Since they cannot repel any attack during the election. Take selfies? See what the state looks like and drink palm wine or maybe buy garri and plantain for their wives; as the commodities appear to be cheaper in that part of the country. Or were they just mere mercenaries to help rig the process?  Or is sending large troops into a state for an election just another form of electoral tradition? We have to begin to get serious in this country to say the least.

The elections might have been postponed, and the reactionary elements already one point ahead as far as the election goes. Bitter as the pill may come, many have already swallowed it. You won’t blame Edolites so much. For a people visited with an unprecedented hardship reminiscent of the Egyptians with the plague, as with many other Nigerians but for Bayo Onanuga and his famous “pot of soup”; one cannot ask much from them. In just about no time, two weeks would have rolled over and the ballot shall have its time. Maybe it would speak loud enough. May be not. But the circumstances leading to the postponement’ll not be defaced by time and will forever find a pride of place in the annals of history. The consequence is not only dire for our democracy; it is also a mockery of our democratic institutions and at the extremes, a travesty of justice.

Whichever way the pendulum of the election tilts, is not the immediate concern of this writer. That should be the trouble of the career politicians and proprietors of our national malaise. What remains to be said however, is that APC; hands in glove with the PDP have written into our political books a sad chapter which leaves a sour taste in the mouth. It is a system of politicking that compromises the security outfits and leave them at the mercy of their handlers; gory sight for any democracy. It is a do or die tactics to power  and an undemocratic disposition that provokes wonder.

Let us conclude. An African aphorism goes; that those whom the gods want destroyed, they first make mad. We saw traces of this sort in the actions of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and his PDP, few years ago, the circumstance of their calamitous fall needs no adumbration here. APC must therefore thread with caution or else court the anger of the gods sooner than they ever estimated. On no account shall the mockery of our sensibilities, be put on national display again. Onu’kwube!

AND TWO OTHER THINGS…

Kelechi Iheanacho’s Manchester Derby Heroics

Over the weekend, we made out time to watch the Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City, at the Old Trafford, aka, Theatre of Dreams. It was indeed a repackaged notorious encounter with the new entrants into annual pulsating footballing experience between the two neighbours. With all the verbal exchanges between the uncouth Jose Muorino and somewhat circumspect Pep Guardiola, the new coaches to the two sides going into the fixture, it was a Must Watch to understate it. But at the end of 90+5 minutes of  an engaging encounter, it was our own Kelechi Ihenacho, who decided the day. With a brilliant assist to Kevin De Bruyne and a fast finish within the area all in the first half, he proved to be a worthy substitute for Kun Aguero; the man he came in for, no thanks to the latter’s ban. At the final whistle, Manchester United were only able to pull back one goal, and it was to Ihenacho that the city dwellers must  turn to, for gratitude. Heroic!

Much Ado Over Who Change Begins With.

The other day, president Muhammadu Buhari flagged off a campaign code named: ChangeBeginsWithMe in Bauchi state in collaboration with the ministry of Information and Communication through its minster, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. It is a campaign that look very much like the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) during the military interregnum of President Muhammadu Buhari but this time, in a democratic garb. It is a campaign brought to bear to instil in the consciousness of Nigerians that Change does not start and end with the government, but instead a product of twin efforts of the leadership and the led. Since after the flag off, Nigerians have vehemently rejected the gesture which many have seen as a way of the Burahi government that promised Change, passing the buck to the masses who are already suffering from disaffection from a rudderless economic reality. The hair-splitting and unending debate over whom the burden of Change rests has continued even as we write. For our reaction to this burning issue, dear reader, please make recourse to our Facebook page as we have said much on that in one of our posts there. Ike gwuru!

We wish the entire Muslim Ummah a wonderful and Rahama filled Eid celebration.

Nkannebe Raymond is Lawyer, a social critic and public affairs commentator. He tweets @RayNkah.Comments and reactions to 08068271477 (Text Message Only)

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N2.1bn Fraud: EFCC Re-arraigns DAAR Owner, Raymond Dokpesi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday re-arraigned Raymond Dokpesi, former chairman of DAAR communications Plc, before Justice John Tsoho of the federal high court, Abuja.

Dokpesi was first arraigned before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the same court in December 2015.

On Wednesday, he pleaded not-guilty to a six-count charge of criminal breach of public procurement law to the tune of N2.1bn – the same charges filed against him in December.

Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the EFCC, had told the court there was a need for Dokpesi to take a fresh plea.

“My lord, we would refer that this matter was transferred to your lordship, there is need for a fresh plea, my lord,” he said.

Wole Olanipekun, Dokpesi’s lawyer, prayed that the court should allow the accused person maintain the bail granted him by Justice Kolawole on December 14.

He said his client had been of good behaviour since the bail was granted. After listening to the counsel, the judge ruled that the bail granted Dokpesi be maintained. He adjourned the case to March 2 and 3 for commencement of trial.

Dokpesi is alleged to have received N2.1bn from Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Sdviser (NSA), for the media campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The money is said to be part of funds meant for arms purchase and allegedly diverted to other purposes by the former NSA.

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Pastor Adeboye: A Prophet Or An Imposter – A Candid Look At His 2016 Prophecies By Ijabla Raymond

Pastor Adeboye’s prophecies for 2016 are no different from his previous ones – he has managed to keep everything fuzzed up and has avoided being specific so as not to incriminate himself in the future. However, there is one item on his list that requires scrutiny because I believe it shows Pastor Adeboye to be a manipulative person. I shall return to this in a moment.

First, let us build a quick picture of the man. Pastor Adeboye is probably the most influential pastor in Nigeria. His church has branches in almost 100 countries around the world, with an estimated 14,000 churches in Nigeria alone. The Redeemed Camp is responsible for perennial traffic congestion on the Lagos-Ibadan motorway because of where it is situated and the sheer size of the congregation that worships there. Whether the church has done enough to forestall this problem and alleviate the sufferings of road users is a subject for another day.

Pastor Adeboye’s fund raising methods are a cause for concern. He announced plans in 2013 to build a church auditorium of approximately 3km in length. To fund the project, he told his followers: “We need N1 billion from ten people . . . We also need N100 million from those who can afford it. Please see my secretary.” How many hard-working people with unquestionable source of income would dole out money on a project like that which will not yield any returns for them? This behaviour encourages corruption – the thieves who steal our commonwealth will see this as an act of buying penance from God. Pastor Adeboye is importunate – he never tires of using mental gimmicks to persuade his members to give him money. Only last month, he was reported to have told them: “Let me tell you the truth, the only reason we still take offerings is to get you out of poverty. When you give offerings you’re sending money to heaven.” A few years ago, he claimed that he drove his car without fuel from Ore to Lagos to a thunderous applause from his congregation. It beggars belief that anyone would believe this story.

To complete the picture, take a look at his 2015 prophecies and decide for yourselves whether he made any ground-breaking predictions or if he just played safe by refusing to make specific statements. (https://secure.saharareporters.com/2015/01/02/end-year-prophecies-ijabla-raymond#.VKbHn0sJtN4.wordpress). Notice that he had prophesied: “Daddy (referring to God) says all over the world insurgencies will be considerately weakened.” The terrorist activities of jihadi groups like ISIS, Boko Haram (BH) and al-Shabab in 2015 do not support this prediction. This observation alone completely invalidates his claim of speaking the mind of God.

Let’s return to the 2016 prophecies which can be found on the church’s website: http://rccg.org/prophesies-for-year-2016/. Pastor Adeboye prophesied that, “a new sexually transmitted disease will surface.” But he does not disclose that he received this revelation from newspapers and medical journals. British researchers announced late last year the discovery of a “new” sexually transmitted disease (STD) called mycoplasma genitalium (http://www.nhs.uk/news/2015/11November/Pages/New-sexually-transmitted-infection-MG-may-be-widespread.aspx). It is worth noting that pastor Adeboye does not give the name of the new STD and its causative organism like researchers always do. Does God whom he claims to speak for not know this information? Why does he not specify where, how and when the disease will surface? How bizarre for an omni-benevolent God to announce the emergence of a new disease but not the cure? Curiously, God was also silent about BH and the abducted Chibok girls, the fall in the price of crude oil and its effect on our economy, the agitation for the state of Biafra, climate change, the conflict in Syria. Pastor Adeboye’s prophecies portray God as someone who is always silent on the issues with real implications for our daily existence. That, of course, is based on the assumption that God exists and that He speaks to the pastor. I could never understand how someone can know the mind of an entity they cannot even prove exists. What is obvious is that pastor Adeboye, like the rest of his fellow prophets, relies on the BBC, CNN and other news media to formulate his prophecies.
The reason this situation bothers me is because literally tens of millions of Nigerians believe that God speaks through this man. Accordingly, the choices they make in life are guided by every word he speaks. Collectively, Adeboye and his fellow pastopreneurs have turned a generation of Nigerians into magical thinkers and have destroyed critical thinking. Even our universities and other centres of learning are not immune from their destructive influence – believe it or not there are professors who believe that prayers can make a car drive without fuel just as pastor Adeboye proposed; that diseases can be caused by evil spirits; that witches and wizards are responsible for infertility; and so on.

Thankfully, the days of lying to Nigerians are drawing to a close. Information is the greatest weapon against ignorance, fear, superstitions and exploitations. Nigerians now have access to the internet and can easily cross check facts. By this time next year, we would know if a new STD has been discovered and if indeed God speaks to pastor Adeboye.

Ijabla Raymond is a medical doctor and he writes from the UK. He can be contacted at ijabijay@me.com or Ijabla.Raymond@facebook.com

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EFCC Combs Abuja Residence Of DAAR Communications Owner, Raymond Dokpesi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Wednesday combed the Abuja residence of the former Chairman, DAAR Communications Plc, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, in continuation of its investigation into the controversial disbursement of $2bn arms procurement funds by the ex-National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

It was gathered on Thursday in Abuja that Dokpesi was taken to his house in Abuja, where the operatives of the anti-graft agency searched the businessman’s residence for certain clues that might aid its probe.

It was not clear what the operatives looked for in the residence and if they succeeded in taking away any document.

After the search, the suspect was taken back to the EFCC headquarters, where he was kept overnight.

Dokpesi, had, in a statement on Wednesday, said the N2.1bn he collected from Dasuki’s office, was meant for publicity and media campaigns during the 2015 general elections, describing it as a contractual transaction.

A 13-man committee set up by the Office of the NSA to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and defence sector from 2007 to date had unearthed alleged illicit and fraudulent financial transactions on the purchase of arms during the period.

The committee had submitted an interim report to the Presidency.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, after the submission of the interim report, the total extra budgetary interventions so far articulated by the committee was estimated at N643.8bn

The committee also put the foreign currency component of the arms contracts at $2bn, an amount, it said, excluded grants from state governments and funds collected by the DSS and Police.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has arrested a former Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Marine Safety, Air Vice Marshal Salihu Atawodi (retd.), for alleged N600m arms scam.

It was learnt that the retired military officer was invited to the commission’s Abuja office by 11am on Thursday and was grilled for several hours.

A top operative of the commission said Atawodi was invited to the commission’s headquarters for alleged conspiracy, abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds.

He was alleged to have awarded contracts to the tune of N600m to one Alhaji Rabiu’s Hypertech Nigeria Limited for the procurement of military boats, which were not supplied.

The source said, “The commission is of the view that the contract for the supply of the military boats, which were awarded for N600m, were not supplied.

“He is being interrogated in connection with the alleged scam.”

The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest and the ongoing interrogation of the AVM.

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Former DAAR Communications Chairman, Raymond Dokpesi Arrested By The EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it has arrested the former Chairman of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

He was picked up in Abuja at about noon on Tuesday and was accompanied to the office of the EFCC by his son Raymond Dokpesi Jnr., who is the current Chairman of Daar Communications.

The Head of Media in the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, told Channels Television that Chief Dokpesi was arrested in connection with money disbursed from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

He said that there was no explanation about what the money was meant for and it was pathetic that the office of the NSA was used as “a warehouse to dish out money to people”.

He added that very worrisome is that this hard-earned money is taken from the coffers of the country.

When contacted, Mr Mike Ozekhome (SAN), lawyer to Dokpesi said that it is a return to authoritarian regime as only last week Daar Communications Holdings, not Dokpesi, was invited by the EFCC to explain alleged contracts to the company from the office of the former National Security Adviser and that tax payments and other documents should be supplied to EFCC.

He said that as far he knew, no contract was gotten from the office of the NSA but that he sent a lawyer from his chamber, Barrister Justine Omogbemeh to accompany Dokpesi to the EFCC office.

“I do not regard this as an arrest. If you are invited by the EFCC that is not the same thing as an arrest. We got this information through a mere phone call. There is no warrant of arrest and as a well-respected obedient nationalist, Chief Dokpesi decided to go and answer the invitation,” he said.

– ChannelsTV

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