[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Being the text of a press release issued by OHANEZE Youth Wing after her emergency general meeting on the continued persecution of the Deputy Senate President by the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.
1. Having considered all the facts of the matter, the OHANEZE youth wing is convinced that the Deputy Senate President- Senator Ike Ekweremadu, CFR, is being persecuted by the Federal Government using the instruments of the Judiciary.
All available evidence points to the fact that Ekweremadu's prosecution nay persecution is politically motivated because he is an Igbo man, belongs to President Buhari’s 5 per cent, he is a member of the opposition party, and emerged, along with the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki against the dictates of those who want to run the National Assembly from their bedrooms.
Firstly, neither him nor the Senate President were mentioned anywhere in the report of the police investigation. So, how did they generate their names for prosecution and who did so?
Secondly, the principle of fair hearing, a fundamental aspect of our jurisprudence was not adhered to since Ekweremadu and Saraki were never interviewed by the Police till date.
2. We are not surprised that the AGF has written the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to conduct further investigation into the matter stating that the investigation was, in his word, “inconclusive”.
This then justifies the harsh tone with which the AGF was reprimanded by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja over what His Lordship termed a “gross abuse of legal process" and “desperate haste” to prosecute the case. He further stated that the prosecution of the duo while a case challenging police investigation into the Senate's affairs was still pending before him was an aberration of justice by the same man that should protect the interest of justice.
3. More importantly Malami, the AGF obviously has a vested interest in the matter since he was the lawyer to the Unity Forum Senators in the so-called forgery matter before his appointment as the AGF.
4. Therefore, in the interest of national unity, we demand that the Federal Government refrain from political witch-hunting and ethnic persecution so as to bring everybody together to pull Nigeria out of the doldrums. At this moment when Nigerians are suffering intensely owing to economic recession, there is need for closer collaboration between all arms of Government and bipartisan co-operation borne out of patriotism. As such, the ruling party- the APC must work with the opposition party-the PDP to move Nigeria forward.
5. In the light of the above, we call on Justice Haliru Yusuf of the FCT High Court to save the Judiciary from further embarrassment, take Justice Kolawole’s ruling into cognizance, and strike out the case for lack of merit and abuse of court process.
6. The AGF in particular should desist from bringing his revered Office to disrepute by endlessly shopping for cooked-up evidence to bring down Ekweremadu and Saraki in order to render the legislature toothless.
The AGF should honourably resign if he cannot separate his personal interest from national interest and the law.
Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro
Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth Wing
*Photo Caption - Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - To Punch Newspaper: We read the story with the above headline on your Saturday, September 24, 2016 edition with utter disbelief.
Not that we were taken aback by the underlying motive to whip up negative sentiments against the government, portray it in bad light as wasteful and inconsiderate especially in the face of growing economic hardship, we are particularly miffed by the utter lack of depth displayed in the publication.
It is particularly sickening and a show of editorial mishmash for a paper to list some of the vehicles personally owned and already in use by a governor far before he became a governor as instances of lavishing “billions on bulletproof cars.”
Does it not call to question The PUNCH’s sense of judgment that a vehicle in which Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was attacked in the well reported Oroki Day saga in 2006 is one of the so-called bulletproof cars it has accused the governor of “lavishing billions” on at a time of recession?
If PUNCH has forgotten that near-tragic drama, has its correspondent also forgotten that more than a year after Aregbesola assumed office as Governor, no official car was procured for his use?
Assuming without conceding that there are six bulletproof vehicles in the fleet of the governor’s convoy, how does that justify the basis for PUNCH’s story which is recession?
If recession was declared officially less than a month in Nigeria, is PUNCH suggesting that vehicles in the fleet of governors ought to be auctioned immediately?
In addition, is the PUNCH suggesting that because of recession, number one citizens of states saddled with delicate tasks of piloting affairs of their states must loose their rights to personal safety?
There are many questions begging for answers which the story raises.
For the umpteenth time, we can only advise The PUNCH to allow the promotion of an egalitarian society, truth and balance be the basis of its editorial output.
In 2012, The PUNCH in an editorial, accused Osun government of lavishing millions to procure exotic cars for traditional rulers in the state. The bought no bicycle for any monarch. This is among several other false stories written about the state and the governor. The story in question is another in the series of stories which call to question, The PUNCH's editorial judgment. END
Director of Publicity
Justice Now Foundation
*Photo Caption - An Armored Bulletproof Car
[ Masterweb Reports: Mark Truman reports ] – African countries have always opposed the idea of gambling; nonetheless, African citizens are very much fond of this way of entertainment. Thus, in order to prevent the spreading of illegal gambling, governments have started to introduce laws and gambling licences. Once several countries of the continent have opened themselves to both land based and online gaming - a new market was formed. As a result, players can find useful information regarding gambling in Africa at many sites such as the ........Read More
*Photo Caption - Map of African
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Leading African bank, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, has announced the debut of the GTBank Fashion Weekend which will hold in Lagos on the12th and 13th of November 2016. The two-day consumer focused event is themed “Promoting Enterprise” and is set to create an ultimate fashion experience, where the most promising and talented retail brands will showcase the latest fashion trends and products to a large and diverse audience of consumers, fashion aficionados and industry professionals.
Positioned as a sequel to the GTBank Food and Drink Weekend, the GTBank Fashion Weekend is part of the Bank’s initiative to strengthen small businesses in key economic sectors through non-profit consumer-focused fairs and capacity building initiatives that serve to boost their expertise, exposure and business growth.
The Weekend will be headlined by top fashion industry experts,trend setters as well as locally renowned designers and style authorities. Attendees will be treated to a series of fashion events such as Entrepreneurial and Fashion MasterClasses and Retail Exhibitions.
At the heart of the GTBank Fashion weekend are the fashion Master classes facilitated by renowned local and international fashion experts. This year’s Master Classes will cover relevant topics addressing challenges and opportunities across the entire industry value chain including: Fashion Entrepreneurship; Perfecting Design; Brand Positioning, Growth & Profitability; Product Development; The e-Commerce Leap and several others.
The Retail exhibition will showcase dozens of leading Small Businesses within the fashion and beauty industry, offering a diverse range of affordable and luxury apparel, footwear, accessories, beauty items, and much more. As part of the exhibition experience, there will be a craft section, featuring handcrafted indigenous garments and accessories. Culminating each day will be a series of Runway shows featuring collections by renowned Nigerian and African Fashion brands.
Commenting on the GTBank Fashion Weekend, Mr Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, said; “We are thrilled to be the first in the Nigerian financial sector to pioneer an initiative that will assist in unlocking growth opportunities for businesses in the fashion industry. We believe we have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that our customers have all the necessary tools to achieve success within the global economy. We will use our strength, global reach, expertise and relationships to make a positive impact for our customers and invariably our communities. We are committed to growing SMEs in a sustainable manner that is not driven by profits but focused on empowering our customers and growing our economy collectively.”
GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation
Social Media Manager
No 26 Oroleye Crescent off Abel Oreniyi Street.
Off Salvation Road, Opebi
*Photo Caption - A GTBank branch
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - It has come to our knowledge that a group of Nigerian Oligarchs who have for long held this nation hostage have been mounting pressure on the Federal Government to sell-off some of its national assets to raise cash to meet other national demands.
This organised group whose members cut acrose various socio-political and economic divides have come out openly to ask the Federal Government to do its biding having succeeded in creating and blowing the current hardships in the country out of proportion! For Example, after spending his luxurious holidays in Spain, Senator Saraki returned to Nigeria only to mock the suffering masses by telling them that he is also suffering!
The symbolic head of this very formidable group led by Senator Bukola Saraki, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and others are asking the Federal Government to sell-off its shares in all Joint Venture Companies, Liquified Natural Gas, Africa Development Bank etc knowing full well that they are the only ones who have the cash to buy them.
This is however coming at a time when one in every nine Nigerians donot have enough food to eat!
This is also coming at a time when 85 richest people on Planet Earth can buy 3.5 billion people with their wealth according to Oxfam.
While Nigerians are still suffering from the Federal Government Indigenisation Policy of 1971 which beqeathed the great wealths of Nigeria in to the hands of few whom the vast majority of the people are servants to their children and grand children today, their primogenitures are back calling on the government to sell-off the
remaining assets of Nigeria to them so that they can permanently mortgage the future of Nigeria having destroyed the chances of an ordinary Nigerian from climbing the socio-political and economic ladder without them.
This is a group who have destroyed the middle class in the country and blocked the possibility of any social mobility among the children of the poor, thereby creating extreme inequality in the system.
Therefore, we call on President Buhari who is a friend of the masses to ignore their calls. If President Obama who became President of America in the time of Economic Meltdown, had sold-off America's assets, there would not have been opportunities for people like Mark Zuckerberg to be richer that both Saraki and Dangote combined on the ground of his ideas. In America today, if you work hard, you can be whatever you want to be but in Nigeria, it is not so.
In the same token, we urge the President to introduce property tax and utility tax as a an alternative to selling national assets. This is because, if you should go to Maitama, Asokoro and Victoria Island areas of Abuja and Lagos, you will see alot empty houses and cars wasting while 18 million Nigerians are homeless.
Finally, we call on the President to constitute Tax Assesment Committee that will clampdown on tax dodgers and those who hide their wealth in tax haven coutries like Panama.
Mr. Brown Justice
Convener, New Mandate Movement
*Photo Caption - Alhaji Aliko Dangote
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 22nd of September 2016)-It has come to the notice of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law that the Nigerian Security Forces particularly the Nigerian Army, are at it again. Our extensive investigations clearly indicate that ahead of tomorrow’s Sit-At-Home protest organized by leading Pro Biafra groups particularly the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB); there are heavy deployment of soldiers in all nooks and crannies of the Southeast and the South-South parts of Nigeria; with the Southeast being the worst affected.
By close-source and open-source information available to us, the most affected States are Anambra and Abia; followed by Imo, Ebonyi and Enugu. In the South-south are Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. Most affected cities now under siege are Onitsha and Aba. Others are Owerri, Enugu, Umuahia, Abakiliki, Asaba, Okigwe, Nnewi and Nkpor. As at this morning, there are heavy presence of soldiers in major areas of Onitsha and Aba.
As a matter of fact, we saw passersby retiring home from work and trade being frog-jumped and whipped by soldiers at Upper Iweka and Onitsha Niger Bridge areas of Onitsha in the evening of yesterday. Before now, there had been frightening number of military check-points mounted along major Federal and State Roads and other strategic junctions and intersections in the Southeast part of Nigeria. Most of these soldiers are of northern Muslim extractions with entrenched culture of ethnic bias and hatred.
Further reports have it that more reinforcements will be moved from the 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu between 10am today and 5am tomorrow morning to Onitsha, Aba, Umuahia, Port Harcourt and Abakiliki. Some road users have also informed Intersociety of long military convoys moving towards Onitsha, Aba, etc, from the Enugu 82nd Division of the Nigerian Army.
Totality of these is that Southeast is under siege despite total absence of non-State actor security threats. It alarms and worries us at Intersociety as why an indoor-protest will warrant such State obsessive and crude security reactions. Which is why we held and still hold correctly that the flooding of the Southeast and the South-south; particularly the Southeast with battalions of soldiers is for the purpose of repeating the May 30, 2016 Mayhem at Nkpor. It is recalled that dozens of innocent citizens numbering as much as 110 were massacred in hours and scores of others terminally injured by Nigerian Army, after which most of their bodies were picked and later buried in 15 mass graves inside Onitsha Army Barracks.
The most shocking and horrible part of it is that scores of those shot and killed were passersby, onlookers, artisans working in their work places; traders trading in their provision stores and citizens returning from early church services. For instance, three innocent citizens returning from their early morning mass service at St Edmunds Catholic Church along Umuoji Road, Nkpor were among those shot and killed; after which their bodies were picked and taken away by soldiers till date.
Though most members of the public including leading Christian bodies have since adjusted their programs for tomorrow in compliance with the Indoor or Sit-At-Home protest appeal, but the Nigerian Army has further aided same unprofessionally and crudely, by creating security panics and atmosphere most likely to result in mass murder or massacre of innocent members of the public; claiming that those shot and killed are those caught armed and enforcing sit-at-home or forcing people going about their lawful businesses back to their homes. These the Security Forces particularly soldiers will label “violent/armed IPOB or MASSOB Members”.
That is to say that the Nigerian Security Forces particularly the Nigerian Army have endangered any form of public movement tomorrow in the Southeast and the South-south parts of Nigeria, particularly in the cities of Onitsha, Asaba, Enugu, Nkpor, Umuahia, Owerri, Abakiliki, Nnewi, Aba, Port Harcourt and so on.
It is therefore too risky and death-prone for road users including traders, civil servants, school children, artisans, okada, keke and commercial bus drivers, etc to leave their homes tomorrow particularly in the Southeast part of Nigeria and South-south cities of Asaba, Port Harcourt, Uyo, etc. This is because they can get killed individually or in group by soldiers and their bodies taking away and bury secretly in mass graves. This is more so when most of the soldiers being drafted are serial ethnic cleansers and hate killers.
To avoid innocent members of the public being massacred by soldiers, navy and police personnel on their way to markets, offices, workstations, vehicular terminals and schools, all civil members of the public are called upon to stay off roads tomorrow and avoid risking their safety and lives. This passionate appeal should respectfully be fully complied with and acted upon and disseminated in all cities of the Southeast and the South-south parts of Nigeria.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc., Criminology & Security Studies; M.Sc. (c), Peace & Conflict Studies
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-INTERSOCIETY
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL; LLM (c)
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., LLB, BL
Mobile Line: +2347013238673
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Adesina Adetola reports ] - A digital training centre, WiFi Combat Academy, on Saturday, launched a digital entrepreneurship program designed to produce the next generation of Nigerian tech business owners. The Wificombat Tech Teen Mentorship Program is conceived against the background of the growing need for Information Technology professionals across all spectrum of the global economy.
Speaking at the event which was held at the Lagos Digital Village, Alausa, Lagos, the founder of the academy, Mrs Dele Tejuoso, said the goal of the programme is to build an interactive learning platform to train young aspiring tech entrepreneurs in entrepreneurship, business management and technical skills.
“We are launching the Teen Tech Entrepreneurship Program to empower our next generation to launch creative tech business ventures. It is our belief that in the face of the currently dwindling national economic fortune, the concept will help the youngsters to acquire knowledge that will launch them into the realm of economic independence and self-reliance”. She stated.
The event which had a good number of tech savvy youngsters and their parents in attendance, also have some distinguished guests who were the guest speakers. These include, Joseph Agunbiade, Co-Founder, BudgIT, Bayo Adekanbi, CMO, MTN, Fola Akinmolayan, CEO, NEO 2, Abiodun Stephanie Afolabi CEO, Emerging Africans Leaders Academy and Ahmed Bola Tijani, who represented the President of Computer Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter.
Meanwhile, presenting the inaugural set of students admitted for the program, Tejuoso declared that after the program, successful students don’t need to wait for jobs; they can resourcefully and profitably work for themselves from the moment.
“It is going to be tough but highly enticing. The students will be equipped with the necessary tools to nurture ideas into business ventures. There are a lot of opportunities therein. At the end of the program successful students will pitch their ideas to financial institutions and highly regarded organisations. They will also have opportunity for internship in different reputable organisations.”
“We believe education should be fun and not stressful, very soon there is going to be a paradigm shift in business globally. We don’t want Nigeria to be caught unaware; we have to start doing what will change the way Nigeria and Nigerians are being perceived by the international communities.” She said
The mentorship program which is for students who have attended the academy’s coding classes and have completed projects in coding, have 12 inaugural students which include, Excel Ojeimen, Tejiri Efevughor, Wonderful Adimeuan, Ayomide Tejuoso, Timilehin Orifa, Bajela Fikunayomi, Angela Osaigboro, Nnamdi Vincent Otione, Fortune Ezema, Jimoh Abdul, Gadi Yasun and Omodadegbo Samuel.
Wificombat Tech Teen Mentorship Programis a free, 6-month intensive program, designed for youngsters from ages of 12 to 18 years. Participants will go through certain modules which will include tech training, mentorship programme, team building, business tools and skill to develop products. All participants ought to have grounded in programming.
Adesina Adetola ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - From Left; Joseph Agunbiade, Co-Founder, BudgIT, Bayo Adekanbi, CMO, MTN, Fola Akinmolayan, Dele Tejuoso, Founder Wifi Combat Academy and Ahmed Bola Tijani, representative, Computer Society of Nigeria, Lagos Branch at the event.
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety writes world bodies for release of political detainees in Nigeria ] - Our name is: International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law; abbreviated as INTERSOCIETY. We are registered (Reg. No. 27239) rights based Civil Society Organization under the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. Our advocacy voice or thematic areas are: civil liberties and rule of law, democracy and good governance, and public security and safety. We are based in Onitsha, Anambra State, Southeast of Nigeria. For easy of reference, we can be......READ FULL LETTER BELOW.
OPEN LETTER TO:
(1) The Secretary General of the United Nations
(2) The President of the United Nations General Assembly
(3) The President of the United Nations Security Council
(4) The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(5) The United Nations Special Rapporteurs on :
(a) Truth, Justice & Reparation
(b) Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions
(c) Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatments or Punishments
(6) The Honourable British Prime Minister& Distinguished British Parliamentarians
(7) Distinguished European Union Leaders
(8) The President of the United States & Distinguished US Congressmen & Women
(9) Distinguished Canadian Leaders & Parliamentarians
(10) Other Internationally Distinguished Personalities:
(a) Human Rights Activists& Groups
(b) Former Heads of UN Bodies
(c) Former World Leaders
(d) Independent Experts on Justice, Peace, Security and Human Rights
Onitsha-430003: Southeast-Nigeria: Our name is: International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law; abbreviated as INTERSOCIETY. We are registered (Reg. No. 27239) rights based Civil Society Organization under the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. Our advocacy voice or thematic areas are: civil liberties and rule of law, democracy and good governance, and public security and safety. We are based in Onitsha, Anambra State, Southeast of Nigeria. For easy of reference, we can be electronically visited or accessed via www.intersociety-ng.org.
The purpose of this Open Letter to your highly respected personalities is to seek for freedom of detained Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by name: Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and other victims of regime atrocities in Nigeria. This we respectfully seek through your informed voices, wise counselling and unbiased diplomatic interventions, to be appropriately and timely directed to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by name: Mr. Muhammadu Buhari. Means through which Mr. Muhammadu Buhari can be reached or communicated are available at the diplomatic missions of your respective countries in Nigeria or the Nigerian Permanent Mission at the United Nations (i.e. New York, USA).
This international justice appeal particularly comes on the heels of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, comprising of 193 Member-States, at which President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has been slated; likewise other world leaders, to address the UN General Assembly on 21st of September 2016, in line with the General Assembly’s 2016 session theme: Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World; which seeks a strong link between sustainable development, peace, security and human rights.
It is our informed observation that 70%, if not more of international travels undertaken by President Muhammadu Buhari since he became the President of Nigeria on 29th of May 2015 took place in the countries of your highly respected personalities or at the UN headquarters in New York, USA and a number of its other meetings and conferences elsewhere. Just recently, too, the US Secretary of State, Senator John Kerry visited the President and extended his visit to a number of places designated for him to visit by his host President.
We are technically aware of the modern workings of international relations. We are further aware that modern international relations are extensively driven by Democracy and ICT-powered Globalization. We also know as a fact that modern democracy is driven by the rule of law; just as the justice aspect of the rule of law is chiefly driven by the two Latin doctrines of nemo judex in sua causa and audi alteram partem; which simply mean that someone should not be a judge in his or her own matter and must hear the other side before drawing a conclusion; otherwise called fair hearing.
It is our knowledge that the modern UN System is strongly built on the principles of democracy, equality, rule of law and human rights; which in turn, lays a strong foundation for advancement of international peace and security. As your highly respected personalities are aware, these are fully embedded in the Principles and Purposes of the United Nations. We are aware too that your highly respected personalities are the guidance and custodians of democratic traditions in your respected countries and have further worked hard at ensuring the sustenance of the hallowed principles at the UN System and global level.
Your highly respected personalities are aware too that unless these hallowed principles are guided jealously at all times, otherwise their opposites will set in and consume the world, leading to eruption of municipal, regional and international insecurity and violence; otherwise called complex humanitarian emergencies. That is to say that sustainable development can never find its root under complex humanitarian emergencies powered by regime atrocities and gross human rights violations perpetrated by errant and violent Member-States. The crisis in Syria, for instance, has since gone beyond domestic and regional problems. It has long become a global headache with most territories under the watch of your highly respected personalities and the UN System bearing major brunt including incurring emergency expenditures of billions of dollars to cushion the effects of influx of Syrian refugees with associated public security threats.
We have always paused to ask ourselves and other international watchers how the world including your highly respected personalities’ countries and the UN System will look if Nigeria with estimated population of 174million people goes the Syrian way or erupt into complex humanitarian emergencies. That is to say that if Syria with less than 25million population could have approximately half of its population displaced, leading to generation of 3.9million refugees and 6.3million internally displaced persons just in five years; what then will happen if Nigeria is to explode in a like manner going by ongoing intensification of triggers of widespread violence; occasioned by current policies of militarism and militarization of the Government of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari?
We have carefully studied the ongoing diplomatic interactions and relations between your highly respected personalities and President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and found them commendable. But in spite of their commendable outlook, we still find such interactions and relations lacking in one key area: regime atrocities and abuse of office. That is to say that your highly respected personalities have in the course of the diplomatic interactions and relations under reference; turned blind eyes to ongoing regime atrocities in Nigeria under the Presidency of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari. Many Nigerians see this lukewarm attitude as aiding and abetting of regime atrocities in Nigeria.
Regime Atrocities under democracy are taken to mean State-actor promotion and enforcement of gross rights abuses including widespread State killings outside the law, disrespect to judicial pronouncements, criminal stigmatization and trumped up charges. Others are executive interference in judicial affairs and castration of the independence of the judiciary; political domination, exclusion and segregation; nepotism and favouritism; ethno-religious cleansing and adoption of State religion; widespread insecurity, morality corruption and abuse of office as well as general governance failure. These are State-triggered structural violence culminating into deep societal divisions which can snowball into complex humanitarian emergencies. In quick consequences of these, both negative peace (absence of physical violence) and positive peace (absence of structural violence) have grossly eluded Nigeria.
Therefore, our writing your highly respected personalities is generally predicated on the above with particular attention centred on the ongoing persecution of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and other victims of regime atrocities by the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari. It is shocking to inform your highly respected personalities that till date, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is not standing trial in any known court in Nigeria.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Edition (2009), defines a criminal trial as a formal judicial examination of evidence and determination of legal claims in an adversary proceeding. In other words, a criminal trial is a proceeding preceding issuance of a judicial notice about intended legal claims and accompanying evidence (charge) before a judge by the accusing authority (i.e. AGF, Police or DSS) against an accused citizen in which the veracity of legal claims and accompanying evidence is determined through formal judicial examination. It is extremely important to inform your highly respected personalities that none of the foregoing has taken place in Nnamdi Kanu’s Matter till date.
He has been detained without trial for a period of eleven (11) months or since 14th of October 2015. The circumstances under which he is held are unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional and an aberration to modern international human rights and justice norms. Your highly respected personalities may recall that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu is the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of a UK registered Radio Station by name Radio Biafra London (RBL). The IPOB is registered at the United Nations as a body advocating for the indigenous rights of indigenous people located in the Southeast and the South-south parts of Nigeria. Both IPOB and RBL earned their recognition and registration on account of their nonviolence methods in accordance with the UN mandate or principles.
As your highly respected personalities are aware, under the UN System, Rights to Self Determination, Development and Identities are recognized and enshrined provided their proponents do not use or advocate for violence. Where violence is resorted to by their proponents leading to widespread violent conflict between their proponents and the host political territory, the conduct of such is strictly governed by the Laws of War or Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Protocols. The enshrinement of these rights is internationally done by way of Treaty Laws or International Conventions; which are legally binding on Member-States that are parties to them.
Regionally and globally, the Federal Republic of Nigeria has willingly acceded to these treaty laws and accepted to be bound by their provisions and obligations. Till date, Nigeria is a party to the UN’s Covenants on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) and Economic, Social& Cultural Rights (ICESCR). As a matter of fact, Nigeria ratified them in 1993. Nigeria is also a party to the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights (ACHPR), which it ratified and domesticated in 1981. Several decided cases by Nigeria’s courts of competent records or jurisdictions have also upheld their admissibility and enforceability in the Nigerian Legal and Justice System.
In these three important treaty laws cited, rights to self determination, development and identities are fully enshrined. Nigeria’s assent to them is intact till date. Under the International Law and the UN system, Nigeria is also under inexcusable obligation to be bound by these treaty laws as well as the Principles and Purposes of the United Nations particularly in the areas of respect for human rights and its obligation in the maintenance of international peace and security. Perpetration of regime atrocities particularly gross human rights abuses and reckless disregard to rule of law is the greatest threat to international peace and security as well as sustainable development.
Nigeria is further bound by the ten basic standards of the International Law including tolerance and peaceful management of nonviolent and peaceful assemblies; fair trial of citizens held under whatever guise; prohibition of solitary confinement or long detention without trial of detained citizens; prohibition of torture and custodial killings as well as bringing errant law enforcement personnel involved in gross violation of human rights to account for their conduct atrocities.
Under the UN’s Customary International Law with its principles of substantial uniformity of practice by a substantial number of States and Opinio Juris(i.e. a general principle that holds that a non-treaty rule is legally binding on all member-States of the UN); Nigeria as a member-State of UN is inexcusably bound by fundamental rules of the United Nations and International Law. Where the ruling Government in Nigeria or President Muhammadu Buhari pretends not to be in the know of all these, then the moral and diplomatic responsibility turns to your highly respected personalities to do so. The authorities of the UK Government, which colonized Nigeria and co-inhabits Mr. Nnamdi Kanu as one of its legal citizens, are morally and diplomatically obligated, exceptionally speaking, to do so; likewise the top leaders of the UN.
Allowing a gross abuser of human rights to be dinning and winning with your highly respected personalities without calling him to order morally and diplomatically is nothing but aiding and abetting. It is also an international conspiracy and encouragement of citizens’ militancy and violent resistance. It is like an abomination in human rights community whereby a human parts dealer is asked to join an organization that is defending human rights. This position of ours follows our informed observation that your highly respected personalities are steadily failing in your moral and diplomatic obligations to the good people of Nigeria particularly as they concern their liberties, lives and collective security.
We respectfully inform your highly respected personalities further that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu who is has been detained for eleven months having been arrested on 14th of October 2015 by Nigeria’s Secret Police by name DSS (Department of State Security) is treated sub-humanly by the Presidency of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari. Apart from the fact that offences slammed on him are trumped up, the conduct under which he was arrested and detained is also criminally stigmatized. There is nowhere in the civilized world or law that voice conduct without force of arms or physical violence of any form constitute criminal offence not to talk of offences carrying capital punishment.
President Muhammadu Buhari was in opposition politics for over a decade and was noted for mobilizing several assemblies against successive administrations. In his several public speeches then, he was noted as a violent political campaigner, periodically threatening the authorities and rest of Nigeria, yet he was never arrested for one day. This was on account of relatively culture of political tolerance of the referenced past administrations, but months after he became President, he criminalized peaceful assemblies and ordered his security forces to shoot and kill any group of people gathered to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of association and peaceful assemblies. On account of this, as much as 250 Pro Biafra activists were gunned down and mass-murdered in about eight different locations by Nigerian security forces between 30th of August 2015 and 30th of May 2016. Till date, the perpetrators are still on the prowl.
As if these were not enough, President Muhammadu Buhari made a public speech on 30th of December 2015 during which he vowed to ensure that Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and ors spend the rest of their lives in prison custody. This signalled the beginning of persecution of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu. On account of Mr. President’s open bias and threats, the Judiciary became frightened and terrified. A search for an amenable, conformist and pro establishment judge to actualize President Buhari’s open threat commenced and seemed successful, leading to the choice of one Honourable Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division. The Judge as expected became bias and hostile; threatening and undermining the rule of law and its hallowed principles of nemo judex in sua causa and audi alteram partem; which simply mean that someone should not be a judge in his or her own matter and must hear the other side before drawing a conclusion; otherwise referred to as fair hearing.
Apart from holding Citizen Nnamdi Kanu for eleven months now without trial, four orders of the courts of constitutional records given for his bail and discharge were all flouted. This is attestation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s meddlesomeness and castration of the independence of the Judiciary. Citizen Nnamdi Kanu was kept in detention for months while the Buhari Presidency was busy searching for a conformist Judge to jail him at all costs. Since then, it has been one pre-trial arraignment and gimmickry to another.
As we speak, the scripted trumped up judgment against Mr. Nnamdi Kanu may most likely have been written long ago; waiting for a makeshift trial using masked witnesses; an infamous request from the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari which Justice John Tsoho initially turned down but later upturned following a circumstantially obvious directive and pressure from the Presidency. Citizen Nnamdi Kanu’s Case (still at pre-trial stage) is scheduled to resume on 26th of September 2016 and despite calls by well meaning Nigerians and other informed observers on Hon Justice John Tsoho to hands off the case for obvious bias and hostility, he has refused to disqualify himself and is bent on doing President Muhammadu Buhari’s bidding. Citizen Nnamdi Kanu’s lawyers, too, have spoken out and written several protest letters.
As advocates of rule of law and human rights, we are not in opposition to judicial processes, provided they are credible, open and transparent. What we oppose at all times is the State efforts to use judiciary to pervert the course of justice and perpetrate gross abuse of the fundamental human rights of the citizens and undermine democracy and constitutionalism. Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011; likewise the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the Ten Basic Standards of the International Law and the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights contain express provisions entitling citizens to fully enjoy their rights to personal liberty and fair hearing.
These sacred provisions include unhindered access of the accused citizens to their lawyers, adequate time for accused citizens to prepare their own defence, timely availability of records of proceedings for perusal and other lawful uses by the accused citizens, custodial detention within the period legally allowed, trial of the accused citizens in the open court, accused citizens’ right of appeal and their presumption of innocence until they are pronounced guilty by courts of competent records.
Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky; leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) is another major victim of President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime atrocities. Sheik Zakzaky had been detained incommunicado for over nine months or 270 days after he was shot severally, battered and blinded by soldiers, during which as much as 809 of his followers were also massacred. The massacre took place on 12th and 14th of December 2015 while they were peacefully and nonviolently marking their annual religious event in Zaria, Kaduna State of Northwest Nigeria. The Government of Kaduna State had publicly admitted burring in mass graves of 347 bodies of the massacred IMN followers alone. Till date, the blinded Sheik has neither been produced publicly nor put on trial in any court in Nigeria; a period of over 270 days and none of errant soldiers that perpetrated the heinous crime has been arrested and put on trial.
We hereby call on your highly respected personalities to:
1. At all times, manually and electronically, advice and task President Muhammadu Buhari on modern workings of democracy, human rights and rule of law.
2. Investigate and condemn all forms of human rights abuse particularly unprovoked attacks and killing of unarmed citizens, criminalization and stigmatization of rights to freedom of association, peaceful assemblies and freedom of expression; and reckless use of State violence in public governance approaches.
3. Task him to preserve and protect at all times the sanctity and independence of the Judiciary and the National Assembly as well
4. Task President Buhari to publicly renounce his abominable pronouncement made on 30th of December 2015 during his maiden Presidential Chat; upon which the Judiciary has been frightened and become terrified to the extent of conducting its proceedings (i.e. Hon Justice John Tsoho in Nnamdi Kanu’s Case) according to the dictates or whims and caprices of the President
5. Urge President Muhammadu Buhari to steer clear of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s ongoing Court Case and allow a level ground for the accused and his accusers (Buhari’s Presidency) to proof their cases.
6. Allow constitutionalism to be strictly followed in Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s Case including the need for the proceedings or proposed trial to be conducted in the open court in accordance with Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011, as well as the ICCPR and the ACHPR Treaty Laws.
7. Urge President Muhammadu Buhari to end his obvious meddlesomeness in Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s Case and the Judiciary and direct his Attorney General to proof the Federal Government’s allegation that Citizen Nnamdi Kanu is a treasonable felon or an insurrectionist; or withdraw the bogus charges against him for want of evidence.
8. Urge President Muhammadu Buhari to produce publicly dead or alive the Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim Zak El-Zaky, who was shot and battered and detained incommunicado since December 14th 2015; a period of nine months or 270 days.
9. Urge President Muhammdu Buhari to refrain from making further mockery of the rule of law and citizens’ constitutional liberties by arresting and clamping citizens into detention for over three months without trial; contrary to Section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011.
10. Urge Mr. President to end his clamp down, indiscriminate arrest and long detention without trial of Pro Biafra activists across Nigeria or any part thereof, particularly members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and release all their members languishing in various DSS cells across the country without trial.
11. Urge President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reverse himself concerning his violence prone style of governance particularly his anti human rights stance, divisive and sectional governance as well as his policies of militarization and militarism.
Yours in the Service to Humanity:
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc., Criminology & Security Studies; M.Sc. (c), Peace & Conflict Studies
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-INTERSOCIETY
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL; LLM (c)
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., LLB, BL
Mobile Line: +2347013238673
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - African Basketball League (ABL) star John Owhe who plays for the Lagos Warriors Basketball Club, sent two kids; Egbabor Prosper and Rosemary Odebunmi -on a sports scholarship- to Ribet Academy, located in Los Angeles, California.
Beforehand, the Forward who hailed from Delta State gives back to his community by occasionally visiting orphanages; and last year hosted a basketball camp through his foundation OWHE CARE AND SUPPORT FOUNDATION, OCASF.
Now on a STAY IN SCHOOL Project, OCASF with the help of Coach Alexander Ujoh (Project Director) propelled the first set of kids to broaden their minds on the game of basketball; and more importantly, Education.
“Big thanks to God almighty and thanks to Project Director Coach Ujoh for making things happen.” John Owhe said with delight.
Greater things to come as the founder prepares for the second edition of his basketball camp and next ABL season coming up later this year.
African Basketball League (ABL)
*Photo Caption - John Owhe
[ Masterweb Reports: Nwabueze Okonkwo reports ] — The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State on Political Matters, Hon. Arinzechukwu Awogu has expressed concern that Ndigbo might declare former governor of the state, Mr. Peter Obi a persona non grata for his provocative utterances against Ndigbo at the just concluded World Igbo Congress, WIC held in New York City, United States of America, USA.
He quoted Obi as saying at the WIC that the “identity’ given to Ndigbo by former President Goodluck Jonathan was more important than bringing infrastructural development to the zone.”
In a press statement issued in Onitsha, Awogu noted that considering the level of anguish commuters and other users of Enugu-Onitsha Expressway and other dilapidated federal infrastructure in the South-East go through on daily basis, one would ponder how the identity Mr. Obi allegedly said that Jonathan gave Ndigbo became better than rehabilitating Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Second Niger bridge, Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway and other critical infrastructure Ndigbo need. “What really is the identity? Does it mean Ndigbo never had identity before the advent of former President Jonathan’s administration? Mr. Obi should tell Ndigbo the identity he is talking about. And where is the ‘identity’ in the present day situation of Ndigbo in Nigeria?”
According to Awogu, “will Ndigbo not ostracize and declare persona non grata, anyone that stands before Igbo global audience to say that former President Jonathan gave Ndigbo ‘identity’ and that the identity given to Ndigbo was better than building Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, 2nd Niger bridge and any other infrastructure Ndigbo can think of?”
As a matter of fact, beyond the neglect, deprivation and total abandonment suffered by infrastructures in Igboland under former President Jonathan, Ndigbo may be getting to know those responsible. If Mr. Peter Obi could suggest that ‘identity’ given to Ndigbo by former President Jonathan was better than building roads and other infrastructures in the South East, then, Ndigbo won’t have to think long before knowing where the infrastructural neglect they suffered under the past administration came from”.
Awogu stated: “such views are in real sense anti-Igbo and I wonder how infrastructural needs of Ndigbo could be slaughtered at the altar of “identity,” for Ndigbo. “It’s mind boggling. May be Ndigbo are oblivious of Obi’s brand of identity which the infrastructural needs of Ndigbo were substituted with, under former President Jonathan’s administration which he (Obi) was an integral part of”
*Photo Caption - Peter Obi