Friday 31 August 2018

The Communique issued by NBA at the just concluded Annual General Conference:

✔Conference completely rejects the presidential statement subordinating the Rule of Law to National Security. The NBA restates that the Rule of Law is central to a democracy and any National Security concerns by the government must be managed within the perimeters and parameters of the Rule of Law.
✔As a corollary, Conference frowns at the present growing trend whereby government decides on which court orders to obey. The court has exclusive duty under a democratic dispensation to interpret the Constitution and other laws, and government and the citizenry must comply with court orders at all times until set aside.

✔Conference emphatically
Objects to the issuance of Executive Orders in respect to matters already in court and observes that any such order is a breach of the principle of separation of powers; and

✔Conference emphatically Counsels that Executive Orders be issued for good governance and to manage operations of government, and not to encroach or usurp upon the constitutional powers of other arms of government, lest Executive Orders become attempts at decree-making.

✔Conference reiterates its support for the war against corruption, but this war must be across aboard and not be selective. In this regard, the NBA will work with all law enforcement agencies with the common objective of promoting the Rule of Law, and therefore calls on its members to be vigilant and take necessary steps to prevent the molestation of legal practitioners when carrying out lawful duties

✔The NBA asserts that investigative institutions like the EFCC must remain impartial so as to engender confidence in their operations. This is particularly urgent as we enter into an election year .

✔Finally the NBA is committed to a united, indivisible and prosperous Nigeria where no man is oppressed.

Why We Wail..

Why We Wail..

The Arabian Peninsula has a very rich history dating 6000BC. The peninsula was occupied by Bedouins...the modern day Arabs. The peninsula is mostly sandy desert, hard rocky mountains, and wetlands around the coastal areas. To say this is one of the most uninhabitable places on earth is an understatement! Summer temperatures are so high that you'd be convinced your brains were being melted within your cranium; winter temperatures are so low you'd pray for global warming day and night! The desert is filled with sand boas, cobras, scorpions, goats and camels! It is a most uninhabitable peninsula!

The area was filled with Bedouin Tribes whom had formed pockets of Emirates over the peninsula. Over the centuries, they warred among themselves for supremacy...imagine fighting over vast areas of seemingly useless land? But they did! Life was hard!

In 1498, the Portuguese arrived, and took over the maritime and intermediary trade until their ouster in 1653. Along came the Dutch them the ubiquitous British that displaced the Dutch and signed "protectorate" Treaties with the numerous Emirates on the peninsula. Familiar?

For the British to thrive, they called a truce among the big Emirates along the North Eastern Coast. By 1853, permanent truce was signed and the states were called Trucial States...states in truce.

The British held sway on the peninsula. 

In 1932, the Al Saud Family had had enough of the British, carved a large portion of the peninsula for themselves, convinced three other Emirates to themselves and declared themselves sovereign! The British held on stronger to the Trucial States.

The Trucial States were Dubai, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Shajar, Fujaira, Abu Dhabi, Al Qawain amd Ras Al Khayima. They were all independent Emirates under the British rule; held down by the 1892 Treaty.

In August 1966, the Emir of Abu Dhabi (Sheikh Zayed) started convincing the other Emirates on the "need to have a federation of sorts and develop as other successful countries". By December 1971, the United Arab Emirates was birthed in that unforgiving piece of real estate on that peninsula! Oman, Bahrain and Qatar opted to be independent countries.

A most profound event of the formation of the United Arab Emirates was their study of the 1963 Republican Constitution of Nigeria...and the formation of a federation along the lines of our discarded constitution.

Every aspect of nationhood was argued even years after. But they built a strong and powerful country with regional autonomy and delineation of central and regional roles.

Since 1971 till date, the UAE has developed at a frenetic pace! And have preserved regional identity even with a jointly controlled centre.

Data Facts
Population: 9 million
GDP: $400 billion
Landmass: 80,000 square kilometers
Literacy: 98%

Did you notice the GDP? Greater than that of Nigeria that has 180 million people!!! By extension, the average citizen of the UAE is at least 12 times richer than the average Nigerian!

The landmass is just a notch larger than the Ala-Igbo Region of Nigeria and about half of that of the Odua Region (Yorubaland)! They have a population three times less than Ala-Igbo and about the supposed population of Kano! Only about 1.2 million of the population are actual citizens while the rest are resident non citizens including my humble self!

The UAE is a thriving country! The road network in Abu Dhabi would make you swoon, while Dubai would sweep you off your feet in an instant! Despite oil and gas, the country has a large manufacturing sector. Everything is regional; all regions fend for themselves! All regions are free to trade internationally, have international airports, seaports, power plants and refineries! I've been to several of those! 

The country basically developed before my very eyes. My apartment on Sheikh Zayed road was a desert patch known to me. The metro project (subway) started "in my very before" so did projects as Jumeriah Lake District! The Nuclear Power Plant in Abu Dhabi had some support from yours sincerely (started full operations about 4 months ago)...

The United Arab Emirates is a wonderful country! It is a country that shows you the "can do" spirit in motion! Despite being 75% Muslims, they hardly care about it! No non Muslim has ever been killed (to my knowledge) in the UAE! 

The country has 67% male population (Lol) hence the influx of our dear sisters all over the world to the Arabian Enclave to help in the "massage" industry (sic!)

Every company worth its salt, has a foothold in the UAE! The country is working, thriving, and an envy of many!

How did a country that had no right to survive make it so good? How did a country that was next to nothing when Nigeria was the giant of Africa become such a formidable force in less than 30years? How come a country of less than 10 cities have more money and success than Nigeria with over 500 large cities? How could a country 32 times smaller than Nigeria be almost 15 times richer and 1000 times more developed?

Their Structure!

They discussed their constitution!
They agreed on regional autonomy!
They have regional fiscal independence!
They have freedom to enter or exit the Union!
They do not have a unitarized constitution!
They do not have ethnic domination tendencies!
They signed truce among themselves!
The right of each region is upheld!
They do not have allocations!
They have the equality of regions!

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi occupies 75% of the landmass of the country (the size of Benue State), has 60% of the oil & gas deposits, but has ONLY one vote in the Federal Advisory Council (Senate) and has no advantage whatsoever over a tiny emirate as Ras Al Khayimar (the size of Wuse District) with no mineral resources of worth!

The United Arab Emirates, a forlorn, forgotten and seemingly hopeless piece of desert on the unwanted part of the Arabian Peninsula, is a success story today. From a bleak outlook, they built a formidable country! Nigeria, with all the boasts, pride and obvious advantages, has wrecked the country into something so desolate that foreigners avoid it like plague and citizens cannot flee fast enough! We have saddled ourselves with an unworkable constitution and a ridiculous structure no genius on earth could make work!

We lie and deceive ourselves daily; rather than set out work, we hope for a Messiah to wave the magic wand and make everything alright! We clap for defectors and other goons in the political firmament, then hope that some "Sai Baba" or "Oloye Saraki" would yell "Open Sesame" and "Voila", development! It would never happen!

To be anywhere near nationhood, that despicable document called the 1999 Constitution must be destroyed first! We must enthrone regional autonomy, then start the journey towards nationhood! Afterwards, we could develop! But as long as this foolish structure persists, not only shall development elude us, we shall kill ourselves till no one is standing! Oh, the Boko Haram and Fulani Terrorists already started the killings? My bad!

We must #restructureOrBurst! No amount of electioneering would change our situation if we did not fight the right battles! 

Elections are not our problem; the structure is!

Thursday 30 August 2018

Run Saraki Run

1.​Let me say, once again, how wonderful it is to see so many talented and purposeful young people at this first edition of the Public Dialogue Series with Political Parties on Youth Candidacy and Party Primaries. Looking at you, I see future leaders who present themselves as capable and worthy to take on the mantle of leadership in this country, and this gladdens my heart.
2.​From my interactions with many of you, and with your contemporaries across the country, I can see that we are blessed with a determined generation that stands ready to join with us to power a Nigerian renaissance. The quality of people I see here today affirms my belief that, indeed, you are Not Too Young To Run.
3.​I deeply appreciate this opportunity to share some of my ideas about where we are as a nation, as well as the challenges before us as we approach the great decider that is the 2019 General Elections.
4.​It is widely acknowledged that ours is a relatively 'young' country bursting with tremendous energy, ability and potential. More than 70 per cent of our population is under the age of 40.  You are indeed the future of this country. Ordinarily, such a young population would be the envy of many Western countries that are faced with ageing populations, but the dire state of our affairs tarnishes the youthful advantage that we have.
5.​Up and down our country today, Nigerians are crying out for succour. Many of our children are hungry. Many people are dying of avoidable or otherwise treatable diseases. Many have fallen below basic living standards, and are now among the 87 million that sealed Nigeria's position as the country with the highest number of people in extreme poverty. Our young people lack opportunities. The necessary education facilities and system to equip them for the future simply do not exist. We are not creating the jobs needed to usefully engage them in order to grow our economy. And too often, the youth feel shut out, prevented from having any say in the direction of this nation.
6.​The harsh conditions of extreme poverty faced by the people, fuels the state of insecurity all over the country. Hunger, lack of education and lack of opportunities push many Nigerians into criminal activities including terrorism. Many of our communities are paralysed with fear - due to incessant communal crises, kidnappings and other social ills, as well as the threat of terrorism. We are failing abysmally to tackle the problems of today and to prepare for the future.
7.​Our economy is broken and is in need of urgent revival in order for Nigeria to grow. GDP growth rate has declined. Diversification remains an illusion. Unemployment is at an all-time high. Businesses are shutting down. Jobs are being lost in record numbers, and the capital needed to jumpstart our economy is going elsewhere.
8.​Nigeria is perhaps more divided now than ever before. We are increasingly divided along regional, religious and ethnic lines. Nigerians are also divided by class, a festering gulf between the 'Haves' and the 'Have-Nots'. The fault lines of this nation are widening to an alarming degree. We must do something fast, and we must be brave about it.
9.​We must ensure the security of lives in Nigeria. As things stand now, no one is safe in this country. No one feels truly safe. We must restore the sanctity of the rule of law and strengthen democratic institutions in order to build a just, fair and equitable society for all. We must rebuild the trust of our people in government. We need a new generation of leaders that are competent, with the capability to rise to the challenges of the 21st century. We must pull this country back together and rebuild, block by block, with dedication and commitment.
10.​You will agree with me that this is an urgent task that requires the concerted efforts of each and every one of us. If we look around today, what do we see? What is the condition of our citizens? Where are we as a nation? How are we perceived locally and internationally? Why are we not making the expected progress? Why are we not growing? There is no time to waste. The time is now, to come together to stimulate growth in Nigeria, especially in the national economy.
11. The choice we face in the forthcoming election is either to keep things as they are, or make a radical departure from the old ways. To find a better way of doing things or keep repeating the mistakes of the past. To fix the problems or keep compounding them.
12.​It is with all these in mind, and taking account of the challenges that I have outlined, that I have decided to answer the call of teeming youth who have asked me to run for President. Accordingly, I hereby announce my intention to run for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the coming General Elections in 2019 on the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). I do so with the firm conviction that I have what it takes to secure inclusive growth for Nigeria and Nigerians.
13.​My Plan for Nigeria has inclusion in all aspects of the country's affairs as a central pillar. Every citizen has the inalienable right to feel a sense of belonging, no matter their background or creed, or what part of the country they come from. No matter who you voted for or what your convictions are, government must work for you.
14.​Your generation does not deserve to live in the poverty capital of the world. It is no longer an issue of how we got here, but how do we get out of this situation? I promise you that I will lead the fight and employ every God-given resource available to us in turning things around. I am determined to grow Nigeria out of poverty. We will stimulate the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as one of the ways of energising the economy and to create wealth for our people, especially the youth.
15. I want to see the youth play major roles at all levels, not only in government but also in the private sector and indeed in every area of Nigerian life. This will be a government driven by youthful energy, innovation and a pioneering entrepreneurial spirit. Nigerian youth will be given all the opportunities to realise their potential to the full within a national framework that guarantees inclusiveness.  For youth who have ideas and capacity, we will make sure that there is funding for their ventures; and we shall build on the Made in Nigeria legislation as part of our job creation drive.
16.​My plan is to secure Nigeria by redesigning our national security architecture, while adequately equipping our security agencies to fulfil their primary role of protecting lives and property.
17. I will address our infrastructural deficit through aggressive financing initiatives including mutually beneficial PPP arrangements, regular floating of bonds and other financial instruments, which will ensure stable, adequate and reliable funding to see to the completion of core projects especially road, rail and power.
18.​My plan is to protect all Nigerians and defend their constitutional rights and freedoms. I will stand for and uphold at all times the principle of the rule of law, which is the bedrock of democratic governance.
19. Ours will not be a selective fight against corruption. The emphasis will be on strengthening institutions, with a particular focus on deterrence. We cannot afford to compromise our institutions with proxy wars against perceived political opponents. We see the fight against corruption as crucial to Nigeria's economic development.  
20.​I offer leadership driven by empathy. Where leaders are responsive to the citizens. Where they know that government cares. We will not be indifferent or turn a blind eye to the real concerns of our people. Every single Nigerian life matters.
21. For me, the leadership we deserve is one that will be a source of pride to all Nigerians, one that will be respected and admired in Africa and around the world. It should be a leadership that can hold its own and stand tall anywhere in the world. That is the type of leadership I offer.  
22.​As a former two-term Governor and currently President of the Senate by the grace of God, I believe I possess a unique blend of executive and legislative experience to push for and implement reforms that will deliver real improvements in the daily lives of our people. I know what it takes to create jobs and grow the economy. I can make the tough decisions when it matters. I will spearhead a new agenda that can transform the lives of ordinary Nigerians in real terms.
23. Believe me when I say that it will not be business as usual. This will be a dynamic government of action that will pursue the growth of Nigeria with doggedness, determination and conviction. I will lead a result-driven administration. We shall set targets with clear timelines to ensure that anticipated deliverables are met. You can benchmark us and hold us accountable. In short, I assure you that I will deliver on all promises. What I envision is a new chapter in governance in this country. We will be driven by what is best for Nigerians.
25.​I have deliberately chosen the opportunity of being here with you, my Number One constituency who I see as the future of our great country, to make my intention known. I believe the Nigerian youth are critical to rebuilding and growing the economy, and restoring our national pride.
26. I therefore ask you and all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with me in this noble cause.
My brothers, My sisters, Let's Grow Nigeria Together.
God bless you all.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON.

Wednesday 29 August 2018

The State With The Highest Foreign Debt In Nigeria - Debt Management Office voxnews

The State With The Highest Foreign Debt In Nigeria - Debt Management Office 
Lagos State, the commercial nerve-center of Nigeria, has retained its position as the state with the highest foreign debt in the country, with a foreign debt put at 1.45 billion dollars as at June 30.

A document obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, from the Debt Management Office (DMO), on Wednesday in Abuja, titled: 'States, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Federal Governments' External Debt Stock as at June 30, 2018,' also detailed other states' external debts.

The document also stated that the external debt stock of the entire nation stood at 22 billion dollars with the Federal Government incurring 17.8 billion dollars, while the states and the FCT owed 4.28 billion dollars.

This means that the Federal Government accounts for 81 per cent of the country's external debt, while the states and the FCT account for 19 per cent.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that as at Dec. 31, 2017, Lagos State also had the highest foreign debt portfolio 1.47 billion dollars, but the figure reduced to 1.45 billion dollars by June 30.

Following Lagos in a distant second is Edo, which incurred 279 million dollars.

Others are Kaduna, 232.9 million dollars; Cross River, 193.7 million dollars; Bauchi, 134.9 million dollars and Enugu, 127.9 million dollars.

According to the DMO, other top debtors are Anambra owing 107.4 million dollars; Oyo, 106.34 million dollars; Ogun, 105.3 million dollars; Osun, 101.5 million dollars and Abia with 100.2 million dollars.

Following closely are Ekiti with 97.9 million dollars; Ondo with 81.4 million dollars; Rivers, 79.5 million dollars; Ebonyi, 67.9 million dollars; Kano, 65 million dollars; Katsina, 64.7 million dollar and Delta, 63.8 million dollars.

The statement also revealed that Imo incurred 61.2 million dollars; Nassarawa, 61.4 million dollars; Adamawa, 57.8 million dollars; Niger, 55.7 million dollars; and Bayelsa with 57.2 million dollars.

Others are Akwa Ibom with 48.3 million dollars; Kebbi, 46.7 million dollars; Kwara, 49.8 million dollars and Sokoto with 40.2 million dollars.

States with the lowest debt portfolio include Taraba, with 22.1 million dollars; Borno, 22.2 million dollars; Yobe, with 28.4 million dollars and Plateau with 29.6 million dollars.

Others are Kogi, with 32.37 million dollars; Jigawa, 32.80 million dollars; FCT, 32.83 million dollars; Zamfara, 34.2 million dollars; Benue, 34.7 million dollars and Gombe, 38.5 million dollars.

NAN reports that the Director-General of DMO, Ms Patience Oniha, had at a media conference on Aug. 14, said as at June 30, the nation's public debt stock increased marginally by 3.01 per cent from that of Dec. 2017.

"One of the beneficial outcomes is the rebalancing of the debt stock, the ratio of domestic debt to external debt inching towards the target of 60:40 and the target of 75:25 between long term domestic debt and short term domestic debt.

According to the figures for June 30 released by the DMO, the ratio between domestic and external debt stood at 70 to 30 compared to 73 to 27 in Dec. 2017.

Oniha said the ratio of 60 to 40 was important to ensure that the nation was not 100 per cent indebted externally, and that it was also easier to raise money domestically.

Oniha also said the Federal Government had been borrowing from the external debt market to refinance maturing local debts because of the lower interest rates obtainable from foreign sources

GT Bank MD Arrested for ‘Assault’

August 29, 2018

CBL suspends him for time indefinite

Although police spokesman H. Moses Carter's mobile phone had remained switched off up to press time last night, the Voxnews  reliably gathered that officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) are holding Ayodeji Bejide, managing director (MD) of Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) Liberia, in custody on the charge of physical assault against an employee of the bank.

Due to the severity of the wounds he inflicted on Edward Freeman, the assaulted employee who was on active duty, police will subsequently forward Bejide to court for prosecution.

On Tuesday, August 28, a video shared on Facebook shows Mr. Freeman bleeding from his lips in Bejide's office after Bejide reportedly threw a calculator at him, allegedly wounding him on his lips.

After reportedly wounding Mr. Freeman, Bejide was heard in the video telling the employee to calm down, threatening to dismiss him if he made any further comment.

Mr. Freeman then walked out of Bejide's office at the end of the video. The GT Bank MD, who is a Nigerian, is said to be in the constant habit of insulting employees, a situation which has led to series of resignations at the bank.

When contacted, Mr. Freeman declined to speak on the issue as he is seeking legal redress.  Many persons, who commented on the video posted on social media, expressed outrage at Mr. Freeman's ordeal.

They said Nigerian employers are often aggressive toward their Liberian counterparts, addressing them in any manner and form.

Former GT Bank Liberia employees (names withheld) who spoke to the Daily Observer via mobile phone, said Bejide is noted for verbal assaults against employees, especially Liberians.

But some employees informed this paper that victim Freeman was assaulted for not submitting a report on time as mandated by Bejide, following a review of the Board of Directors in its August 2018 sitting.

A female employee told the Voxnews that she resigned because of Bejide's behavior, especially toward female staffers. She said Bejide looks down on employees and senior staffers as though they are his kids, and addresses them however he feels, in spite of one's assignment and status.

CBL's Statement

A statement issued last evening by authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), announced that Bejide has been suspended for time indefinite from the bank, with immediate effect and without pay, "pending a thorough investigation by the Board into the allegations."

In the meantime, CBL has appointed Amazu Nwachukwy, GT Bank's Chief Operating Officer, as Acting MD until the investigation is concluded.

The release quoted Nathaniel R. Patray, III, Chairman of the Board of Governors and Executive Governor of CBL, that the appointment of Mr.Nwachukwu will remain in force until the conclusion of the investigation; submission to the CBL within 48 hours of the Board's intended course of action to address "this grave matter."

The CBL will henceforth, review the GT Bank Board's recommendations. Thereafter, it will ensure the strictest implementation of the Bank's mitigated actions.

According to the Central Bank of Liberia, the GT Bank Board has conveyed its deep regrets for the alleged incident, and has further informed the CBL that a senior executive from its parent company, GT Bank Nigeria, will arrive in Liberia on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, to assist in the investigation.

Labor Minister's position statement

At the same time, the Ministry of Labor (MoL) has also condemned Bejide's action, terming it as "unacceptable."

"We are not only deeply concerned by Bejide's alleged action, but have also contacted the Ministry of Justice through the LNP to thoroughly investigate the matter.

"The police have already taken the suspect into custody, considering the possible criminal nature of this case," the release said.

MoL further said that in keeping with the relevant procedural laws of Liberia where criminal actions take precedence over civil actions, the ministry will be informed by the outcome of the ongoing criminal investigation in the matter.

Meanwhile, the ministry emphasizes to all employers and employees that the Decent Work Act of Liberia in Section 14.3 (d) reserves its most severe sanctions for persons who breach the fundamental rights of another employee or attacks, batters, threatens, or intimidates his or her co-workers.

The ministry said that they will not hesitate to effect the utmost penalties on persons who flagrantly violate the Decent Work Act, and calls on all employers and employees to behave in keeping with law.

GT Bank's Reaction

"We have received with total reprehension a report about the assault of one of our members of staff and wish to inform the public that we have immediately commenced a thorough investigation into the matter in accordance with professional standard and international best practices," the GT Bank said in release late Tuesday evening.

The release, which is written under the signature of Alexandra Zoe, Head, Legal/Company Secretary, said at GT Bank Liberia, "we do not condone any form of assault in the workplace nor do we compromise on our principle that every staff should be able to come to work without fear of violence, abuse or harassment from any member of our staff."

Indeed, at the core of our value is the premium we put on the welfare of our members of staff and their safety in the workplace.

As a law abiding organization and corporate citizen, GT Bank Liberia maintains a 'zero tolerance' attitude towards violence or assault of any kind and we will not hesitate to take action against any staff who is found to be in breach of the bank strict code of conduct, regardless of their position in the organization.

The bank also maintains very active structures to provide all necessary care and assistance to any member of staff who is a victim of assault.

Once again, "we wish to reassure all members of the public that the bank remains committed [to] ensuring a safe and conducive environment for its staff and providing best-in-class services to its customers."

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Ekiti: Court grants Oni’s prayer for substituted service in suit against Fayemi

A former Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni yesterday got the nod of a Federal High in Abuja to serve processes through substituted means on the state's Governor-elect Kayode Fayemi on a suit challenging his eligibility to contest the last governorship election.
By substituted means, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, in an ex-parte ruling, said the originating documents, filed by Oni, should be served on Fayemi through the head office of their party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Abuja.
Oni had alleged, in his motion ex parte, that Fayemi was evading service.
He sought the court's permission to serve him through substituted means.
Justice Dimgba, after granting Oni's prayer, adjourned till September 5 for a report of service.
Oni averred that Fayemi was not qualified to participate in APC's primary on May 12 on the grounds that he did not resign his appointment as Minister Mines and Steel Development, in line with the law.
Oni also claimed, among others, that Fayemi won the APC's primary on May 12 while he was still the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, a position he did not officially resign from until May 30.
The former governor queried Fayemi's eligibility for the primary on the strength of his (Fayemi) purported indictment by the Justice Oyewole Judicial Panel of Enquiry, set up by the state government to probe Fayemi's tenure.
The plaintiff, who came second in the primary with 481 votes behind Fayemi's 941, prayed the court to declare him the valid flag bearer of the party.
Oni also sought "a declaration that the claimant (Oni), having scored 481 votes, which is the majority of lawful and valid votes at the second defendant's (APC's) May 12 governorship primary for the purpose of determining the second defendant's candidate for the July 14 election for the office of governor of Ekiti State, is the person that was validly nominated by the 2nd defendant for the 14th July, 2018 election for the office of Governor, Ekiti State".
He also prayed the court to determine "whether by virtue of APC's constitution and particularly Articles 2 and 5 of All Progressives' Congress 2014 Guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office, as applicable to the APC governorship primary conducted on May 12, the first defendant, being a serving member of the Federal Executive and Federal Minister of Solid Minerals, Mines and Steel Development, having not resigned his appointment as a member of Federal Executive and Minister of Solid Mineral, Mines and Steel Development, at all or at least 30 days to the primary of May 12, was qualified to contest and participate in the said APC governorship primary of May 12 as an aspirant in that election".
He urged the court to determine "whether by virtue of APC Constitution and particularly Articles 2 and 5 of APC 2014 Guidelines for the nomination of candidates for public office as applicable to the APC governorship primary conducted on May 12 at Damilek Event Centre, Ado-Ekiti, for the purpose of determining or nominating the second defendant candidate for the July 12 Ekiti State governorship election, the first defendant, having been indicted by Hon. Justice Oyewole Judicial Panel of Enquiry, was qualified to contest and participate in the APC governorship primary of May 12, as an aspirant in that election."

Saturday 18 August 2018



Goodbye to a great man of peace and liberty-Aduwo

With the despairing news of the death of Kofi Annan, one of his quotes which has become my mantra came to mind;

"If one is going to err, one should err on the side of liberty and freedom"

This quote propels me to think of the dignity of the human race and the rights of every man which should never be denied. 

Kofi Annan was a man who had the people at heart and this cuts across all the people of the world. 
He was a man who promoted world peace and his life has been an inspiration to me.
Indeed, the world has lost one of its finest diplomats who will be remembered for reshaping and vitalizing the UN, giving priority to Human Rights, fighting for the control of the spread of HIV in Africa and his declared opposition to terrorism.
Being the first real Black African Secretary-General of the United Nations, he has set a pace at the fore front for Africans and we can only hope to keep up and maintain his stance.
Kofi Annan through his foundation, Kofi Annan Foundation has left a legacy which leaves its indelible marks on the shores of history. 

I'm sure with the aim of the foundation which is to promote better global governance and strengthen the capacities of people all over the world to achieve a fairer and more peaceful world, his struggles cannot easily be forgotten.

The office of the Secretary General of the United Nations is number one technically skilled expert office in the world; it is the ultimate enviable seat, when Kofi Annan occupied the position, he never compromised on his standards and beliefs, instead he fought for what he believed in, regardless of the oppositions he encountered.
However, it's regrettable to noticed recently that most people who I can term as opportunists, who once they've occupied an office change entirely and compromise all they've fought for. This should not be so, we should have a heart for the people, make our stand known and never compromise on our beliefs. These I have learnt from Kofi Annan.

Apart from visual public occasions and conferences where we've met, it's saddening that I never got the chance to have a one on one interaction with this great man before he passed on, but one thing I cherish most is his passion and the premium he placed on democracy and freedom for all. And this is what Nigeria needs to run with and focus on at this point in time with the elections coming up next year.

At this point, though it is saddening, but death is inevitable, I join the family, friends and the whole world at large to say good bye to this great man of peace.


Olufemi Aduwo
Rights Monitoring Group and Centre for Convention on Democratic integrity Ltd /Gte 
(Permanent Representative of CCDI to United Nations )

Ex UN Chief ,Kofi Annan is dead

Former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kofi Annan has died at the age of 80, his foundation said on Saturday.

Kofi Annan

Annan, a Ghanaian national, died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland, in the early hours of Saturday, two of his close associates said.

In Geneva, the Kofi Annan Foundation announced his peaceful death with "immense sadness" after a short illness, saying he was surrounded in his last days by his second wife Nane and children Ama, Kojo and Nina.

Annan served two terms as UN Secretary-General in New York from 1997 to 2006 and retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside.

"In many ways, Kofi Annan was the UN. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, whom Annan had chosen to head the UN refugee agency, said in a statement.

As head of U.N. peacekeeping operations, Annan was criticized for the world body's failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.

"The U.N. can be improved, it is not perfect but if it didn't exist you would have to create it," he told the BBC's Hard Talk during an interview for his 80th birthday last April, recorded at the Geneva Graduate Institute where he had studied(Reuters/NAN)

Dubai’s Model for Nigeria?

By Voxnews

Of course, economies go through booms and busts. And several nations have gone through situations similar to Nigeria's and emerged for the better.

A case in point is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As one of the seven emirates making up the UAE, Dubaihas been through its own economic boom and bust. It is now a world destination for tourism, a center of commerce and a model for major oil exporters seeking to diversify their economy.

Like Nigeria, Dubai wasn't always so savvy in economic principles. In the 1900s, the main stay of the Dubai economy was pearl trading and pearl diving. However, following the emergence of artificial pearls from Japan in the late 1920s and the Great Depression of 1929, Dubai's economy took a downward spiral.

Dubai © Shutterstock

A parallel can be drawn here with the current situation in Nigeria. Not only has the country lost a major customer for its crude oil in the United States, but Nigeria also has to face stiff competition and price wars from the Arabian Peninsula in the battle for market share. While the robust economies of the Gulf Cooperation Council allow them to offer discounts to Asian buyers even in the face of dwindling oil prices, such tactics do not come easily for Nigeria. As it stands, Nigeria faces problems financing its 2015 budget, while the naira is losing value.

Just like pearl divers in Dubai learned to cast their nets for fish rather than jump in for pearls, Nigeria would be wise to seek other sources of revenue while the oil market gains some form of stability. Perhaps it is time for Nigerian leaders to seek lessons on how to jumpstart an economy — and Dubai is probably a good place to start.

What makes the emirate worthy of emulation is that despite being in a region bedeviled with crises and an arid landscape, Dubai has gone from being a desert to a world-class state, dazzling and ambitious in development. Dubai shows how sincerity of purpose, true leadership and strong institutions contribute to economic prosperity.

Nigeria's biggest problem is corruption, which likely stems from insincere governance. Since the discovery of oil in the 1950s, Nigerians have remained poor while oil wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. This is the result of one thing: a failure in leadership.

To prosper, nations need leaders who put in place strong institutions that guarantee security of lives and property; leaders who coordinate and promote economic growth; and leaders who provide critical public infrastructure, formulating laws that facilitate trade and private participation.

The absence of constant electricity has been a major impeding factor to an industrial revolution in Nigeria, and successive governments seem to have no idea how to change the trend. When oil was discovered in 1966, Dubai's leaders chose to quickly use the receipts from oil rent to finance mass infrastructure, building large ports and 5-star hotels that would one day make the emirate a major trading hub and tourist destination.

While the judicious use of Dubai's oil receipts were probably due to the fact that its oil reserves were not as vast as Abu Dhabi's, the fact remains that having sincere and visionary leaders helped put Dubai on the path to prosperity. Indeed, Dubai's leaders could have pocketed the cash from oil rent or shared the funds among a select few, as most corrupt leaders often do.

So, as harsh economic realities beckon, it is time for Nigeria to overhaul its corrupt institutions, revamp its educational system, invest in critical infrastructure and perhaps revisit the cocoa plantations and groundnut pyramids the country was once known for. And just as Dubai learned from its mistake of depending on a major source of revenue in the early 20th century and instead diversifying its economy when oil was discovered, Nigeria must not be complacent at a time when respite does come.

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Disobedience To Court Orders, Arrest Of Judges Are Highlights Of Daura’s Tenure


The news of the sack of Malam Lawan Daura, Director General of the Department of State Services, came like a flash. But it was real. The man who presided over the nation's spy agency was relieved of his appointment by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo Tuesday.

Though no official reason was given for his sack, a statement later by Acting President Osinbajo condemning what he called "The Takeover of the National Assembly", showed the nexus between the invasion of the parliament by the DSS operatives on Tuesday morning and Daura's sack.

Coming two days after he turned 65, Daura's sack brings to an end a tenure marked by controversies and criticisms.

Below are some of the highlights of his tenure:

1) Invasion of Judges' Homes

In October 2016, the nation was alarmed by the news of the invasion of the homes of judges, including those of justices of the Supreme Court – the highest court in the land – by operatives of the DSS. The invasion carried out in Gestapo style was vehemently criticised by the opposition and many Nigerian's who saw it as a desecration of the officers of the temple of justice and a prelude to massive clampdown on the opposition. Following public outcry, the judges were released on administrative bail, but for several months, no charges were filed against them. Some of the judges who were later arraigned on charges of corruption and money laundering were discharged and acquitted by the court.

2) Invasion of Benue House of Assembly

Following the defection of the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the Peoples Democratic Party from the All Progressives Congress, and the impeachment of the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, by 22 of the 30 members of the Assembly, operatives of the DSS were deployed in the Assembly to aid the minority eight lawmakers who attempted to reconvene the House for the purpose of impeaching Governor Ortom.

On the day the eight lawmakers reconvened, the 22 lawmakers who were clearly the majority were prevented by DSS operatives from entering the Assembly premises. The eight lawmakers later served a notice of impeachment on the governor and sent a letter to the Chief Judge of the State to set up an impeachment panel.

The actions of the eight lawmakers and the support of the DSS were strongly criticised by Nigerians across political divides. The presidency had to issue a statement dissociating President Muhammdu Buhari from the DSS action.

3) Disobedience to Court Orders

A major highlight of the DSS under Daura's watch was the wanton disregard for court orders. For three years, the DSS carried on as if the agency was above the law. It chose which court order to obey or disobey. The indefinite detention of the former National Security Adviser, Ibrahim Sambo, and leader of Shiite in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, are two of the examples of DSS' disregard for court orders. The duo had been in DSS detention for over two years and there had been several judicial pronouncements granting them bail. None of those court orders were obeyed by the DSS under Daura's watch.

4) Opposing President's Request

Perhaps the most controversial action of the sacked DSS DG was the letters he wrote to the National Assembly opposing the request of President Muhammadu Buhari for the confirmation of EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu. His letters exposed the rivalry among leaders of critical state agencies. Based on his security report, the Senate refused to confirm Magu as substantive EFCC boss.

5) Siege to the National Assembly

On Tuesday August 7, 2018, DSS' impunity under Daura reached its climax with the siege to the National Assembly – the nation's highest lawmaking body – apparently in an attempt to assist lawmakers plotting to impeach Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Lawmakers, National Assembly staff and journalists were prevented from entering the premises. A day earlier, the National Assembly, which is currently on recess, had announced that a meeting of its leadership would hold at the complex to discuss election budget. The National Assembly leadership was also billed to meet with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission on the same day. But DSS operatives were deployed early in the morning to prevent lawmakers from entering the premises.

Following condemnation of their action, the DSS operatives later allowed lawmakers to enter the premises but staff of the National Assembly were disallowed. While the DSS operatives were at the National Assembly, there were reports that the leaders of the ruling APC were meeting with pro-executive senators and collecting signatures for the removal of the Senate President. The actions of the DSS consequently portrayed the agency as partisan and working for the ruling party to weaken opposition in the parliament.

The Enforcer Meets His Waterloo

In a twist of events, Daura's tenure came to an abrupt end Tuesday with the announcement of his sack by Acting President Osinbajo, who in another statement condemned the invasion of the National Assembly.

The two-paragraph statement announcing his sack read: The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has directed the termination of the appointment of the Director General, Sate Security Service, Lawal Musa Daura, with immediate effect.

"Mr. Daura has been directed to hand over to the most senior officer of the state security Service until further notice."

Lawal Musa Daura – A Brief Profile

Born in Daura on August 5, 1953, the sacked DSS DG attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1977 – 1980. He began his career in the Department of State Services in 1982 and rose to the rank of director.

Between 2003 and 2007, Daura was Deputy Director, Presidential Communication, Command and Control Centre, at the Presidential Villa Abuja. He was also state director at various times in Kano, Sokoto, Edo, Lagos, Osun and Imo States

Monday 6 August 2018

Buhari And Corruption.

Press Conference By The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), today Monday, August 6, 2018, at the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja.

'Where Is President Buhari's Fight Against Corruption?

Gentlemen of the press, we have called you up today to, through you raise serious posers for which we demand immediate response from President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC), whose administration has scammed Nigerians and the international community in the last three years.

President Buhari and his APC deceived Nigerians to secure power on the promise of transparency, accountability and zero tolerance for corruption. Little did Nigerians then realize that they had boarded a "one chance bus" driven by vicious and vengeful liars, scammers and a falsehearted and heavily corrupt leaders, parading as saints and messiahs.

The Buhari Presidency and the APC-led Federal Government have been doing all to divert public attention from their ocean of corruption and primitive stealing including launching a brutal attack on the opposition, hounding innocent Nigerians for no just cause and seizing the airwaves to brand everybody else as corrupt, while underneath they shamelessly pillage our nation's resources, stealing money in trillion, under President Buhari's official cover.

Today, the Buhari Presidency has been busted. Today, the very leader, who hitherto paraded as pro-poor and saintly has now been exposed to be at the head of the most corrupt administration that our nation ever had since independence.

If President Buhari and his Presidency are not corrupt; if the APC is not a party of corruption, the PDP challenges them to address Nigerians on their complicit in the exposed acts of humongous corruption thriving in the high places under their watch.

*The PDP challenges President Buhari to explain why his anti-corruption fight has not been extended to investigate the corruption from the leaked memo detailing alleged underhand oil contracts to the tune of N9 trillion ($25billion dollars) at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, which are under the direct supervision President Buhari as Minister of Petroleum Resources. Why has investigation into this scam been suppressed?

*The PDP challenges President Buhari to explain to Nigerians whose interest he is protecting by refusing to allow an independent inquest into the alleged corruption in the handling of the N1.4 trillion oil subsidy regime allegedly involving officials at the Presidency, particularly those benefiting from alleged N58 hidden tax per liter which Nigerians have continued to bear since the fuel price increased from PDP subsidized cost of N87 to presumably unsubsidized cost of N145.

*The PDP challenges President Buhari and the APC to explain whose interests they are protecting by suppressing investigation into the alleged use of 18 unregistered companies to lift and divert N1.1 trillion worth of crude oil in 2017. Who are the owners of these companies? Are the companies linked to President Buhari or any of his relatives or even APC leaders?

*Furthermore, the PDP challenges the Buhari Presidency and the APC to explain to the world why his anti-corruption fight has not been extended to the internationally reported diversion and alleged stealing of N18 billion out of the N48 billion approved by the National Assembly for the rehabilitation of millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and rebuilding of six northeast states ravaged by insurgency in the 2017 budget.

Can the Buhari Presidency and APC claim to be unaware of the damning report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a public document which detailed how officials were using bulk of the resources meant for the IDPs on contracts that were found to have immensely benefitted officials of the APC Government including the sacked Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal?

Can the Presidency and the APC claim to be unaware of the motion by Senator Baba Kaka Garba from Borno Central, who exposed how persons, known to have connections with the APC, fraudulently cornered N1.2 billion from the Federal Government under the guise of supplying items to IDPs?

*The PDP challenges the Presidency to explain why his 'famed' anti-corruption dragnet has not been cast on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) despite widely reports of alleged stealing of over N25 billion meant for the health need of the people from the account of the Scheme in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) by APC agents.

Can President Buhari, the African Union anti-corruption champion, explain why his Presidency recalled and reinstated the indicted Executive Secretary of the Scheme, Prof. Usman Yakubu, while he was still being quizzed by the EFCC for alleged corruption?

*The PDP and Nigerians would also want President Buhari to explain why his anti-corruption crusade has not been directed to the discovery of unremitted revenue from sale of crude by the NNPC under his watch as well as the undisclosure of revenue accruable to states for which there have been deadlock at the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC). Why are these areas immune from the anti-corruption fight or are the interests at the highest places involved in the messy deals.

*Moreover, it is a settled saying that birds of the same feathers flock together. The fact that President Buhari comfortably surrounds himself with persons indicted for corruption, sundry frauds, common scams as well as forgeries is very revealing on the phoniness of his administration's fight against corruption.

*President Buhari has no other explanation for engaging and rewarding corrupt individuals as ministers, including a certain individual whose state's judicial panel of inquiry had in 2015 issued a government white paper indicting him of looting over N90 billion through alleged illegal sale of the assets belonging to the state. After all, the said white paper further alleged that N40 billion out of the looted N90 billion was diverted for APC's 2015 Presidential campaigns.

*It is no longer news that one Obono-Obla, President Buhari's Special Assistant on Prosecution and Chairman, Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property in Buhari's anti-corruption team has been indicted for forging his WAEC certificate, yet his boss, Mr. Integrity has refused to investigate him.

*The same goes for Buhari's Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who has been accused of dodging her compulsory national service and allegedly forged the NYSC Exemption Certificate. Despite her inability to deny the allegation, she is still the minister of finance under Mr. Clean.

Currently, the Buhari Presidency in its corrupt proclivity is seeking to force the reopening of the Senate contrary to Section 12 of the Senate Standing Rules for which the Presidency and the APC are offering lawmakers from both chambers an inducement of the sum of $1 million each with the aim of impeaching Senate President Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.

The PDP has been informed that one of the heads of the security agencies is the arrow head of the Buhari Presidency's agents charged to coordinate this heinous design, which has the unlimited capacity to throw our nation into anarchy and ultimately destroy our hard-earned democracy.

The question today is, where is President Buhari's fight against corruption?

The APC and Buhari Presidency has turned Nigeria into their cash cow while manipulating our laws and rules to favour their selfish designs. 

However, the PDP restates a commitment to the Nigerian people to expose the Buhari administration and fight for the unity, stability, indivisibly and prosperity of our dear nation.

Nigeria belongs to all of us and nobody, no matter how highly placed has the right to continue to subvert our laws, beguile, intimidate or even attempt to subjugate our citizens at any time. 

Thank you

PDP National Secretariat, Abuja
August 6, 2018