[ Masterweb Reports: Adelanwa Bamgboye reports ] - Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has sent an open letter to Justice Mahmud Mohammed, Chief Justice of Nigeria in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC) seeking explanations on what “he and the NJC knew or had reason to know regarding the report to them on 1st February, 2016 by Justice John Inyang Okoro, Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the alleged visit by Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation to the official residence of Justice Okoro to allegedly discuss election Appeals in respect of Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State and Abia State.”
The letter dated 21 October 2016 and signed by SERAP executive director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, states that, “We consider these allegations as constituting a serious threat to the independence, impartiality and accountability of the judiciary, and should in the ordinary course of duties, have prompted action from your Lordship and the NJC to wit: undertaking prompt, thorough and transparent investigations, and where there is prima-facie evidence of political interference in the judicial system, to report the matter to the appropriate anticorruption commissions and agencies for further investigation and possible prosecution.”
The letter reads in part: “SERAP strongly believes that the NJC has a responsibility to support judges in dealing with alleged corrupt inducements that are offered or the threats they receive, such as the allegations in this case.”
“In this respect, SERAP wishes to pose the following questions to your Lordship and the NJC: First, is it correct to suggest that Justice Okoro reported to you and the NJC on 1st February, 2016 his alleged meeting at his official residence with Mr Rotimi Amaechi? Was Justice Okoro’s report documented by your Lordship and the NJC? If so, Nigerians would like to hear from your Lordship and the NJC whether Justice Okoro’s report was ever discussed, and what action, if any, was taken by your Lordship and the NJC to respond to the allegations raised in his report?”
“Second, is it fair to suggest that your Lordship and the NJC knew, or had reason to know, that the alleged visit by Mr Amaechi to Justice Okoro’s official residence would constitute a case of political interference in the judicial system and a corruption offence under Nigerian laws and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party?”
“Third, after the alleged visit was brought to the attention of your Lordship and the NJC, did your Lordship and the NJC take any step to promptly and thoroughly investigate the matter further? Fourth, would your Lordship and the NJC agree that the alleged visit to Justice Okoro’s official residence to discuss election Appeals has seriously undermined the public trust and confidence in the judiciary, and the image of the judiciary as the last hope of the common man?”
“Fifth, is it correct to suggest that it is part of the inherent and implicit constitutional duties of the NJC to ensure that the judiciary as a whole does not lay itself open to the risk of political interference, manipulation and coercion to act in a certain way? Is it also correct to suggest that such duties require the NJC to promptly and thoroughly investigate allegations of political interference in the judicial system, that is, when those in political power allegedly use their influence to force or induce judges to act and rule according to their interests and not in accordance with the application of the law?”
“Sixth, would your Lordship and the NJC accept that the alleged visit by Mr Amaechi to the official residence of Justice Okoro to allegedly discuss election Appeals was motivated, facilitated and encouraged by the apparent failure by the NJC to ensure, as part of its inherent and implicit constitutional duties: (1) that system was in place to ensure prompt and thorough investigation of allegations of political interference in the judicial system and where there is prima facie evidence, to refer such allegations to appropriate anticorruption commissions and agencies for further investigation and possible prosecution, in strict accordance with the standards of national laws and international law including the UN Convention against Corruption; (2) that any such system was operating in a continuous and effective manner?”
“Seventh, would your Lordship and the NJC proceed to establish a system to ensure prompt and thorough investigation of allegations of political interference in the judicial system, and then ensure that through such system the alleged visit of Mr Amaechi to Justice Okoro’s official residence is promptly and thoroughly investigated by the NJC, and where there is prima facie evidence of political interference, that the matter is promptly referred to appropriate anticorruption commissions and agencies for further investigation and possible prosecution?”
“Nigerians are eagerly awaiting clarifications from your Lordship and the NJC on the issues raised above.”
“According to reports, Justice Okoro in his recent letter to your Lordship stated that he reported to you the alleged visit by Mr Amaechi to his official residence to allegedly discuss how to win election Appeals in respect of Rivers State, Akwa Ibom State and Abia State. Justice Okoro also said that he told your Lordship about the visit of Mr. Umana Umana to his residence to allegedly make the same request of assistance to win the appeal at the Supreme Court.”
*Photo Caption - Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria Minister of Transportation
[ Masterweb Reports: Andrew Essien reports ] - Throughout the eight years of Peter Obi as governor of Anambra State, Chief Ben Obi, also from Agulu, Anaocha local government area of the state and the former governor were close allies. Though Ben was special assistant to the governor on Inter Party Matters; a position assumed not to be so high compared to some other positions in the ex-governor’s cabinet, Ben wielded powers and was considered as one of the closest aides to the former governor. It was even common knowledge that both men knew themselves more than some other aides in the cabinet did.
But since after the former governor appeared on The Platform on Independence Day, where he delivered what was considered by a section of the populace as a populist speech on how governments and indeed the leadership can cut cost and check excesses, using his template when he was in office, not a few people, especially from Anambra State, who know the inner workings that have been going on between the former governor and his successor, Chief Willie Obiano, believe that he was not on The Platform to merely express what he thought was a panacea to the country’s teething problem of wastage in governance, but as an opportunity to get at the government of the day.
Consequently, the general belief is that most of his assertions on The Platform were directed at the government of Obiano, who political onlookers say he has had a frosty relationship with, since the present administration came into office.
Former governor, Peter Obi appeared on The Platform, which incidentally coincided with the 56th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria. The Platform, a forum initiated by Pastor Poju Oyemade of the Covenant Christian Centre, has now become an avenue for frank and honest discussions on matters affecting the motherland over the years and it was here that he spoke on the culture of wastefulness by Nigerian leaders, using his 8-year stewardship in Anambra as an example of how to curtail government expenditure. It was no doubt a speech that made several headlines weeks after that.
But no sooner than the conversation had finished that Chief Ben Obi, picked holes in Obi’s presentation, saying they were direct opposites of what the former governor did while serving. During his appearance at The Platform, Peter Obi received huge encomiums, understandably for his performance even as his message resonated within the populace, but no sooner than he had delivered his speech that those who worked closely with him during his stewardship in Anambra began accusing him of hypocrisy.
In a recent interview granted journalists, Ben Obi revealed some of the ways his former boss and brother ruled Anambra which was very different from what he told his audience at The Platform.
Peter Obi, during his appearance at The Platform, had exonerated himself from some of the wasteful spending indulged by most governors in their states, saying throughout his tenure as governor, he never used outriders, bulletproof SUVs, and ensured that he never had more than five cars in his convoy.
He had said that the government house is not a place where people come to make merry and party all night, but a place reserved for the governor to work and tend the state from. He condemned the intake of expensive alcoholic beverages like champagne in most government houses, and the use of private jets by governors all at the expense of the state. He said he flew economy class while he was governor, to save Anambra money but regretted that governors embarked on wasteful and expensive trips which has no bearing with the development of the state.
Ben obi said Chief Peter Obi’s reference to his banning of alcoholic beverages such as Champagne at the government house is laughable. Ben Obi pointed to the Squash Court located inside the government house renovated by the Peter Obi administration and said it was utilised by Peter Obi as a makeshift warehouse for alcoholic beverages such as the drinks his company distributes in Nigeria. He explained that Peter Obi was storing expensive alcoholic beverages purchased with state resources.
Ben Obi expressed worry why Peter Obi utilises every opportunity available to castigate his successor, Governor Willie Obiano who he said has even humbled himself and begged Obi for forgiveness for any offense, known and unknown sin. “Still Peter Obi goes around talking about the Anambra Governor with disdain. Dr Chris Ngige did not vilify him the way he is trying to do to Obiano. It is not fair. Peter Obi should be careful the way he opens his mouth because we can expose him to the public enough to put him behind bars. Obiano does not want to probe him, so he should shut up,” Ben Obi submitted.
Analysts aver that just as Obi still has a huge influence on the people of the state, Obiano is equally very much liked by the people because of his performance at a very short period. Mr Lawrence Nwangwuta, a commercial motorcyclist who though hails from Ebonyi State said, “I have been in Anambra for 10 years now, and I can tell you that Peter Obi did well in Anambra and Obiano is also following his footsteps.” Asked what he thinks of the feud between both men, he said, “Obi has done his work in Anambra, he should let Obiano also do his own. Obiano has even begged him to forgive him, so I think it will be bad for him not to forgive him, especially as people know him as a Christian here.”
The subject has therefore become a controversial issue in and around Anambra, and is discussed freely among citizens in the state. While most people affirmed to the former governor, a very humble personality, others believe that having had the chance to govern the state for eight years, he should move on and let his successor do it best for the state rather than attacking him. Some even point to other former governors in the country who have gone away quietly without interfering with the present governors’ administration as an example for Peter Obi to emulate.
Mr Bartholomew Ejike, a lecturer and a political enthusiast in the state said, “People just want to remain the only superstar in their locality, and I think that is why Obi is distracting Obiano. Anyone who watched Obi’s presentation at the platform will not be in doubt over who he was referring to. It was clear that Obiano is his target, and I think that was bad. No one is saying he should not go anywhere to present papers, but let him do his job without looking for a way to denigrate Anambra governor. He has served us to the best of his ability, and must let Obiano do so too. Except he fears that Obiano may surpass his achievement and become the next superstar in the state.”
Pundits agree that Peter Obi had performed creditably during his eight years in office but stressed his time has come and gone. They also added that he needs to leave the stage for the current governor to do his job as his insistence in interfering in Obiano’s administration lends credence to the rumour that even though he pretends to be otherwise, he personifies the old tradition of wanting to have his hands in the kitty. May be that is the issue or maybe not. But his body language is leading the public to think so”.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that following the failed reconciliation which was earlier brokered in Onitsha months ago, during the burial of Late Rev Fr Nicholas Tagbo, where Obiano had publicly begged Obi for forgiveness of whatever his sins may be, Catholic Bishops are making fresh efforts to reconcile Obi and Obiano once and for all. A source said the Bishops have been speaking with both Obi and Obiano separately, and are seriously working towards bringing both men into a room to lay bare their grouse. Until that is done, the gladiators and their aides will continue to throw darts at themselves at the expense of the state.
In the final analysis, the case in Anambra State now is a case of which of the “Obis” is telling the truth. Just as it is hoped that the leaders and others in the state will put their hands together to work for the common good of the people, the days and months ahead will be truly revealing even as the current governor showcases his achievements.
*Photo Caption - Goodluck Jonathan sandwiched by Willie Obiano & Peter Obi (Right)
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council has started compiling the list of non-performing Igbo Governors and political office holders. The list will also include Igbo political actors in the past who failed Ndigbo and pocketed the commonwealth of the people. It will name failed contractors and publish the photographs of houses , lands, cars , shops and other looted assets by past and present Igbo Governors and their hangers on. It will also reveal the accounts where the Governors ferried our money within and outside the country.
The list is comprehensive and will be shocking to Ndigbo and Nigerians when released. None of them will be spared as they have made life unbearable for Ndigbo.
We call on the EFCC AND ICPC to cross check the facts when they are released and take necessary actions against these enemies of the people who pretend to be ruling them.
MAZI ALEX OKEMIRI
CHAIRMAN OF ALL CHAIRMEN
OHANAEZE NDIGBO YOUTH COUNCIL
AND EBONYI STATE CHAPTER PRESIDENT
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Adekunle Olushola reports ] - The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) developed alongside the emergence of corporations more than a century ago and is now practiced by most companies and institutions around world. While corporations may vary in their level of commitment to CSR, their practice is largely focused on corporate philanthropy such as donating to charities, supporting causes or sponsoring individuals, groups and programmes. However, some companies, intent on making their CSR impact more effective, are rethinking this approach. Among these companies is Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) plc, a leading African financial institution headquartered in Nigeria and spread across sub-Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom.
GTBank has always been heavy on CSR. The bank maintains a clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy with targeted focus on Education, Community Development, the Environment and Arts. Among its landmark CSR programmes are the GTBank Adopt-a-School programme through which the Bank has taken over the provision of facilities to some public schools across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. The Bank also sponsors three annual secondary school football tournaments—The Lagos State Principals Cup, the Ogun State Principals Cup and the Masters Cup—all of which have become major grass-roots football competitions in the country. The bank’s backed Orange Ribbon Initiative is the foremost Autism-focused initiative in the country providing support and raising awareness for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Not resting on its CSR feats, GTBank is innovating how it gives back to its communities by going beyond traditional corporate philanthropies to intervene in key economic sectors to strengthen small businesses through non-profit consumer focused fairs and capacity building initiatives that serve to boost their expertise, exposure and business growth. The first big example of this new approach was the Food and Drink Fair which the bank organized in May. Although the event had all the flavours of Food festivals, with world-class chefs such as Marcus Samuelson and Raphael Duntoye serenading cooking masterclasses, its raison d’étre was to boost the enterprise of indigenous SMEs in the food sector. In that front it succeeded quite remarkably with over 25,000 guests attending the fair and the over 100 SMEs seeing record sales of their products.
GTBank is now looking to repeat what it achieved with the Food and Drink Fair in the Fashion sector. “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,” said the Bank’s MD, Segun Agbaje, in a Press Release announcing the GTBank Fashion Weekend set to take place in November. “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.” The Weekend, it is understood, will have all the glitz and glamour of fashion events but at its core will be the theme of Promoting Enterprise, which will be achieved through the Fashion MasterClasses for entrepreneurs and designers as well as retail exhibitions to boost the sales of local SMEs.
While in the process of organizing the Fashion Weekend, GTBank also announced the launch of its virtual arts gallery which the bank said will serve as a free platform for local artists to exhibit their artworks and achieve greater market exposure. “At GTBank we see art as an avenue for unlocking people’s creative potential and by creating ART635 we aim to expand the opportunities for art education as well as broaden the reach and viewership of the works of indigenous artists,” said Mr Segun Agbaje in a statement announcing the gallery’s launch. “Although African art goes back several centuries, the art industry in the continent is still young and largely untapped and we hope that with ART635 we can drive its evolution into a lucrative and vibrant economic sector,” he added.
Given the depressed economic situation in Nigeria, and indeed across sub-Saharan Africa, GTBank’s new approach to CSR is an apt response from a company keen on boosting the general economic fortunes of its community. Small businesses, on which the economic growth and development of most African states depend, need not just financial empowerment but also capacity building and access to market, aspects that GTBank’s CSR-tweak does address. The company’s new approach to CSR also shows that far from just innovating for business growth, companies and organizations must always evolve how they give back to their communities to ensure that their CSR programmes continually make its desired impact.
Social Media Manager
No 26 Oroleye Crescent off Abel Oreniyi Street.
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*Photo Caption – A GTBank branch
[ Masterweb Reports: Press Release For Immediate Release ] - Digital Marketing course enables you to harness the power of Digital Marketing as the core driver of your organization marketing strategy. Our Digital marketing Course is a 2-day training with 30 days post- training support which covers all the topics in online marketing. You will understand the foundation principles of Digital Marketing, and be able to distinguish how it differs from traditional marketing.
Who Should Take The Course?
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Interested but got questions? Call Margaret , your Course Adviser on 08187041441
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Our Digital Marketing Training will help you to:
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*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Uche Aguoru reports ] - Looking back at the state of affairs in our beloved state Abia after 25 years, our founding fathers both living or dead who gestated with the idea of carving out another state from our parent state Imo must be writhing in irrepressible agony.
Abia is a state that harbours great potentialities in human, material and mineral resources, a state that has produced great leaders and selfless politicians like the late premier of the eastern region chief Dr. M.I.Okpara, Chief Jaja Nwachukwu, Dr. Alvan Ikeokwu, Chief A.O Chikwendu,Chief J.J Okezie to mention but a few.
In business, Abia is reputed to have been the home of foremost Igbo business men and industrialists who traded in honesty and achieved wealth through honest business transactions, one must not fail to mention names such as Chief Nnanna Kalu, the stock fish merchant, Chief Onwuka Kalu, Onwuka interbiz, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, President master energy group and a host of others
In the Academia, we have great names like Prof. Eni Njoku, Prof. Ogbuagu, Prof. Anya O.Anya the list is inexhaustible while time and space won't permit me to mention all.
In the military Abia has produced a military head of state, a chief of army staff, military governors and fine military personnel that the Nigerian army are proud of, we have names like Major General Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, commodore Emeka Emerua, commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, General Ihejirika commodore Amadi Ikwechegh the list is endless.
We also have great Economists and administrators like the great (KIK) Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, Dr. Paul Ogwuma, (CBN Governor),Dr Mrs Okonjo Iweala the greatest finance minister Africa has produced (CNN), Madam Aruma Oteh and many others.
Abia state has mineral resources like the crude oil and other mineral resources in commercial measures that abound in virtually all parts of the state.
We have Crude Oil Oilfields at Imo River ,Obuzo, Owaza ngboko, Nkali, Odogkwa, Obeakpu and Isimiri, while Natural Gas deposits is found in Ohuru Ukwa East LGA.
We have Tar Sands/ Oilshales deposits in Ugwueme-Lokpanta axis in Umunneochi LGA, Lead,Zinc, and Copper is found in Lokpaukwu (Umunneochi LGA, while untapped Phosphate deposits are found in Amaeke in Umuahia and Ewe in Arochukwu LGAs.
Gypsum lies beneath the earth in Lokpaukwu and it's used by Cement manufacturers, pharmaceuticals and for the manufacture of chalk and plaster of paris, we also have large deposits of Limestone in Ewe- Arochukwu and Isuikwuato LGAs
Iron Ore is found in Isuikwuato LGA, while Kaolin is naturally deposited in Umuahia, Ikwuano and Isuikwuato LGAs
We have large deposits of Industrial sands in Ukwa, Aba and Umuahia,while Igneous rocks is a common site in uturu, Lokpanta and lekwesi all in Abia North state senatorial zone.
In Agriculture it is acknowledged that 70% of the rural dwellers in Abia are engaged in subsistence farming as the state is naturally blessed with arable lands and wonderful vegetation, while timber is found in commercial quantities in places like Bende,Arochukwu and Ikwuano LGA,s.
But in the midst of all these mind cheering blessings from above, Abia has been very unlucky in politics and governance, our political culture and behaviour has thrown up mediocres and encouraged them to run the affairs of the richly blessed state since 1991 when the state was created, one can hardly point at any leader who has shown some form of commitment to the development and welfare of the state beginning from the days of the military till today.
Leaders with blurred vision and stunted creative abilities has been left in charge of the destiny of Abians, the end result is the running down of the commercial pride of the South East, The japan of Africa, and city of the big elephant, Enyimba city.
Past and present administrations in Abia state have contributed in no small measure at ensuring that Aba a commercial town strategically located in the Abia South geopolitical zone with the potential of returning an upwards 2.5 billion Naira in IGR monthly if well managed has been left to rot, roads in Aba and Abia in general has been rendered inaccessible from one point to another, security has become a big challenge to investments and would be investors are scared away by governments demeanour towards the citizens.
The political system has always thrown up lazy, social and economic initiatively deficient people to over see the economic lives of our dear state, leaders who cannot think outside of the box to generate income but will rather depend on the federal government monthly allocation which is hardly enough these days to satisfy their personal greed and the outcome is their inability to meet up with the states monthly wage bill.
An Average Abia civil servant within the past one year and four months can hardly afford three square meal and cater for his family adequately because our political system paired us with an incompetent,careless, lazy, inept and clueless leader whose only quality is equity and he has succeeded in drawing the state back to the days that one will rather not wish to remember, crime and criminality that left Abia is now an every day story across the state, striking workers are no longer news in Abia, educational institutions are now resorting to self help by over taxing the students for survival, manufacturers are closing shops, contractors are relocating to neighbouring towns, touting has become the only industry that is still employing the youths.
What else will I say, today I join in prayers with fellow Abians to ask God to please have mercy on Abians and give us that man who has the vision and mission to turn back the lost fortunes of Abia,that man who has the economic creativity to make Abians rejoice, that man who has the genuine fear of God in him, that man who will not watch Abians cry while he indulges in expensive wine and parties, that man who will create employment opportunities for Abians,like the Master Energy Group instead of using them as thugs
God be the judge over the affairs of men and give us back our choice of a leader through the supreme courts, one who will restore sanity in the system and bring Abia back to reckoning amongst the comity of states.
Uche Aguoru ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes from Umuahia, Abia State.
*Photo Caption - Map of Abia State
[ Masterweb Reports: Dr. Peregrino Brimah reports ] - When there was supposed to be a Miss World beauty pageant in Nigeria, they looked for and killed Christians and burnt Churches. At every opportunity, for things that happen in distant places within and far from Nigeria, they have killed Christians in the north in glee. I am speaking of the takfiri fanatics.
Not too long ago in Zamfara state, they killed themselves while trying to kill a Christian who had luckily escaped.
It was because of this custom of killing Christians that when Boko Haram started bombing churches every Sunday, no one criticized the terror organisation and some even cheered them on...till Boko Haram became a monster and killed them too. Even then, until 2014 when Buhari began his campaign, very few northern scholars openly condemned Boko Haram. The Sultan did not and nor did Buhari. This is a fact. The few who did included the Muslims Against Terror organisation, Sheikh Gumi, Sheikh Pakistani, Jingi and a great scholar who paid dearly for boldly exposing Boko Haram's alleged roots, Sheikh Albani Zaria...among other unique sheikhs. Overwhelmingly the north was quiet. Perhaps Boko Haram would have ended long ago.
Takfiri: Point, Label and Kill
"Takfiri" refers to a strain of extremist foreign influenced Muslims who are indoctrinated to point, label and kill. They point at you, declare you a heretic, blasphemer or fake Muslim, then believe they have authorization to kill you.
Christians are fair game for them and tens of thousands of Christians have been killed by them through out Nigeria's lifespan. they can kill a Christian in Bauchi because another unrelated Christian drank beer on the street in Kano. Takfiri are thirsty for blood. They eagerly wait for any chance to take a life.
Boko Haram was for them a dream come true. A group that fulfilled their takfiri desires to annihilate "unbelievers" en mass. It is no surprise that today all of a sudden and in tandem with the state promoted persecution of Nigeria's Shia Muslims, Boko Haram has placed Shia Muslims as top target, as seen again in its latest video. Perhaps trying to receive pardon and blend in with the popular extremist northern drive and apparent government posture.
Today, encouraged by the actions in Kaduna last December and continued persecution by the Nigerian government that is yet to act 9 months later, against those indicted in the mass murdered Shia Muslims and secret burial of them, the Shia Muslims have come under the crosshairs of these takfiri extremists.
At first we thought it was the Islamic Movement of Nigeria the northern governor led by Kaduna's Nasir el-Rufai was attempting to ban, but when all Shia religious activities and centers and homes were invaded and obstructed by the police and accompanying hoodlums, it was clear that it was Shia Islam as a whole that was the target.
In what has been described as a state security promoted or supervised hack-down, across Nigeria's northern states takfiri youth had their fill of Shia Muslim blood during their marking of the Muslim Ashura Holy period. No less than one dozen Shia Muslims were killed by police, army and takfiri youth. Not a single violent takfiri youth was arrested and images even showed either plain clothes policemen with the clubs used to beat the Shia Muslims or armed takfiri youth riding on the backs of police vans. The police has not commented on these disturbing images.
Commending Shia Muslims For Their Tolerance And Patience
One must always commend the at least 7 million strong Shia population of Nigeria for their unprecedented and unrivaled behaviors of tolerance. Shia represent at least one in three Muslims in Nigeria's north. Had they been as intolerant as other groups, violence and terror would have broken loose since Jonathan first killed three of their prominent leader's sons and definitely after the Buhari government killed three more sons among hundreds of other faithfuls and blinded and arrested their leader and his wife after a protest.
Today as mentioned above, machete and log wielding takfiri youth were freely seen in images on the prowl after Shia Muslim blood and it was not a news item or issue for the same state security services who allowed them to spot and kill Shia Muslims across the north. We thought these security men had a disdain for those who were above-the-law? Apparently not so when it is takfiri youth or rampaging and colonizing Fulani/Libyan terror-herders.
May the patience of the Shia Muslims not wear out. Ameen.
Takfirism And Intra-Muslim Intolerance, Banned By Allah(s)
The Muslim Holy Quran specifically predicts this behavior and condemns it in no ambiguous terms. The Quran says what means that whoever kills and innocent person, it is as though he has killed the entire humanity.
An killing a believer is even worse: Quran 4: 93 And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell to abide therein, and the Wrath and the Curse of Allaah are upon him, and a great punishment is prepared for him.
On the attack of some Muslims by others. The Quran addresses and warns against it and predicts its impacts on Islam and the larger world in these two intriguing verses of the same chapter:
Quran 8:46 And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.
Quran 8:73 The Unbelievers are protectors, one of another: Unless ye do this, (protect each other), there would be tumult and oppression on earth, and great mischief (fitna). (Yusuf Ali)
Take a look at the Muslim world today and the truth of these verses is easily picked up. In a shame to Islam, millions of Muslims are fleeing to Europe as refugees due to intolerance. Even disbelievers can do it, Allah(s) says, why can't you? The Middle East (excluding Egypt) is roughly evenly divided between "Sunni" and "Shia" Muslims. Islam bans dividing the faith into groups.
Interestingly it was sheikh Mufti Menk who had just visited governor Nasir el-Rufai a day or so before he announced his persecutory ban, that brought these verses to my attention as he preached and cried for intra-Muslim tolerance and unity. I wonder if Mufti Menk knew of the atrocities and brought this up with the governor in whose soil at least 350 Muslims were buried in secret by his and army chief Buratai's hands.
But takfiris will not read these verses. They are misled by their takfiri scholars who are paid top dollars by foreign entities implicated in a battle for Muslim world dominance. A Podesta email just leaked by WikiLeaks pointed to America's concern with these foreign nations that sponsor Boko Haram, ISIS and other takfiri terror groups and terror scholars and governors.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Churchill Okonkwo reports ] - Political hypocrisy in Nigeria is so pervasive that it calls to mind the 1664 classic play Tartuffe which is centered on a hypocritical priest who, after giving great speeches of piety and self-sacrifice, is found to be stealing his benefactor’s fortune and trying to seduce his benefactor’s wife. Such political hypocrisy could be seen in Ayo Fayose (making empty noise against Buhari’ anticorruption crusade even when he pocketed billions through corrupt means); our President (preaching anticorruption but failing woefully to rein in on his corrupt aides); Ben Bruce (the commonsense crusader without commonsense) and now Peter Obi (the saint that sinned). They are all stealing our fortunes while camouflaging as the voice of the poor masses. This piece is on Peter Obi - an archetypical case of hypocrisy and his recent political pandering.
I strongly believe that in politics when someone calls someone else a hypocrite, he will have to provide a flaw between public assertion and equally public practice. Peter Obi’s hypocrisy summarized here therefore, involves the outward expression of a virtue concurrently with the practice of a correlative vice.
Peter Obi’s recent hypocritical talk that went viral paints a picture of an actor who portrays one persona for an audience, which clearly differs from his behavior when he wines and dines with his new political friends in Anambra State that include the likes of Andy Ubah and Stella Oduah. Stella Oduah bought bullet proof cars worth billions. Peter eulogized her as a model for Ndigbo. A man that championed Stella Oduah only to turn around and lecture us about wastefulness in the purchase of colorful cars by public office holders is a hypocrite. Full Stop. I need not talk about the conflicting ethical questions relating to his disturbing “love affair” with Andy Ubah.
Peter Obi is a hypocrite! A man that campaigned for the reelection of the most careless and the most dangerously corrupt government in the history of Nigeria is deceiving the gullible. We had a National Security Adviser that turned himself into a Father Christmas, but instead of giving the kids, he gave the fire-breathing monsters that plundered the national wealth. The same monsters Peter Obi vigorously campaigned to re-elect in 2015. Peter’s hypocrisy thus reminds me of politicians who according to Adlai Stevenson would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.
Peter is a Political panderer! How I wish Peter taught Oga Jona his wonderful epistle on fiscal conservatism. I wish Peter had given this wonderful speech against corruption and wastefulness as a former Deputy Director General of the Goodluck Jonathan presidential campaign organization. I wish he had talked about the need to scrap the office of the first lady in the face of Dame Patience in one of those their political campaign tours.
Here is a man who supervised the dissemination of finances across southeast and south-south to the extent of bribing resident electoral commissioners preaching about corruption. A man that supervised the bullying and financial inducement of the electorate and INEC officials during the 2015 presidential election has no moral authority to preach anti-corruption to Nigerians. Period!
Where was Peter when his colleagues in the Governors Forum insisted that we must squander every Kobo in the National Treasury? I wonder what the panderer Peter told his colleagues in Southeast that grew the size of their stomachs and pockets while Enugu-Onitsha expressway turned to gully erosion site.
Talking about spending for growth; the people of Anambra State has not forgotten how saint-emperor Peter made caricature of governance during his second tenure by “dashing” millions of Naira to amorphous groups while displaying bigger than life cheques. Please, go and listen again to Emperor Peter in the viral epistle. All you will hear is “I”, “I...” “I...” never “we”, never “my administration”, never “my commissioner”. No, he was the alpha and omega with all the state and local government federal allocations at his pleasure and mercy. Eh m, what is corruption again? Is that the standard of democracy and transparency we should be promoting?
Peter was a dictator that ruled Anambra State for 8 good years, without transforming or reforming a single government agency or ministry in the state. Worst still no single interest or investment to develop human capital in the state. An embodiment of selfishness?
I hope by now you agree with me that Peter Obi’s recent pandering is a classical definition of hypocrisy and political pandering. Tattered and battered by his prolonged battle with Victor Umeh and his estranged godson Obiano (after betraying APGA), he is now seeking redemption by riding under the economic downturn in the country to pander. So, don't let him deceive you that he is championing your cause. He is only repositioning himself.
Don’t get me wrong, I am against corruption and reckless spending. Campaign for fiscal conservatism with regards to lower levels of public spending is not however new in Nigeria. Many consistent political commentators and Editorial Boards of many national dallies have been advocating for that from Obasanjo’s era, through Yar’Adua, Jonathan and now Buhari. What is new is that the political jingoism in Nigeria has been so super-hyped that Nigerians who still believe the goat and the yam belong to the barn are swept off their feet by frivolities.
In 1st Thessalonians Chapter 5 verse 22, the apostle Paul gave some very a good advice to the Thessalonians on how to avoid becoming hypocrites, "Abstain from all appearance of evil". For me to take Saint Peter Obi serious, he MUST abstain from whatever is wrong starting with disassociating himself from the likes of Dame Patience, Stella Oduah and Andy Ubah.
But, why do voters give hypocrites a pass? Why do fans of Buhari fail to point at his hypocrisy when he is saying one thing on corruption and doing another on acts of corruption under his watch? Why are Fayose’s fans eulogizing his ‘purity’, yet, conscious of his corrupt acts? Why are some Nigerians eulogizing the fraudulent pretense in Peter Obi’s “saying” element at the same time ignoring the “doing” element of hypocrisy in his behavior? Why are we not coming up with the same conclusion that is straightforward? – these politicians are hypocrites.
If you have been clapping to the pandering of a hypocrite Peter Obi, pretending he said what you don’t already know or have never heard in your political life, then my advice to go look in the mirror. Are you all hypocrites? Yes. Please help Nigeria make the number one less.
Churchill Okonkwo can be reached at Churchill.firstname.lastname@example.org
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety writes AGF ] - Excerpt: It is with deepest dismay that the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law: INTERSOCIETY write your public office through this public or open letter to inform you and other Nigerians and international watchers that the 1999 Constitution and the Rule of Law under your watch as “the Law Officer of the Federation” are gravely threatened, undermined, disrespected and battered particularly by the authorities of the Department of the State Security (DSS). It saddens us, too, that the........READ LETTER BELOW.
OPEN LETTER TO:
Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN
Attorney General of the Federation And Minister for Justice
Office of the AGF, Federal Ministry of Justice
Federal Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way
Central Area, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
Nigerian Constitution Still Wails At 56: Exposing Unconstitutional And Long Detention Without Trial By DSS Of Nigerian Citizens Including Comrade Chidiebere Onwudiwe And Other Unarmed IPOB Activists.
(Onitsha Nigeria, 2nd of October 2016)-It is with deepest dismay that the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law: INTERSOCIETY write your public office through this public or open letter to inform you and other Nigerians and international watchers that the 1999 Constitution and the Rule of Law under your watch as “the Law Officer of the Federation” are gravely threatened, undermined, disrespected and battered particularly by the authorities of the Department of the State Security (DSS).
It saddens us, too, that the Nigerian Constitution, presently known as the 1999 Constitution, is still wailing after 56 years of its existence. As a responsible advocate of human rights, rule of law and constitutionalism in Nigeria, we stand condemned divinely, earthly, humanly and conscientiously if we watch idly and see the 1999 Constitution and the Rule of Law being systematically ridiculed, battered and bastardized with reckless abandon by the authorities of the DSS and other lawless security agencies in Nigeria.
As you may know, Dear AGF, we are fully aware of the state of criminal justice in Nigeria and its midwifery by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011, otherwise called “the 1999 Constitution”. Our writing you and your public office as “the Attorney General of the Federation” is not to ask for a favour, but to clearly and unambiguously remind you of your constitutional and statutory powers and duties as Nigeria’s Attorney General and task you to exercise the powers and perform the duties which the 1999 Constitution mandatorily direct you to do.
For the avoidance of doubt, Dear AGF, Section 150 (1) of the 1999 Constitution clearly provides as follows: there shall be an Attorney General of the Federation who shall be the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and a Minister of the Government of the Federation.
Further Sir, Section 174(1) of the 1999 Constitution directs that: the Attorney General of the Federation shall have power:
(a) To institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nigeria, other than a court martial, in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National Assembly;
(b) To take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person (i.e. DSS); and
(c) To discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted by him or any other authority or person.
Section 174 (2) further directs that: the powers conferred upon the Attorney General of the Federation under subsection (1) of this section may be exercised by him in person or through officers of his department.
Section 174 (3) also states: In exercising his powers under this section, the Attorney General of the Federation shall have regard to the public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.
Our writing your public office therefore, is formidably predicated on the foregoing. This letter, too, comes on the heels of the 56th Independence Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is one of the most important periods in the history of the country. The referenced Anniversary should also be a stock-taking by Nigeria’s present political leaders particularly as it concerns cessation or stoppage of regime atrocities against the citizens such as the one warranting this letter.
To make the matter worse, Dear AGF, the constitutionalism and the rule of law being battered and bastardized with reckless abandon by the DSS and other lawless security agencies today are the foundation upon which Nigeria as an independent country was laid on 1st October 1960. As it was boldly written in the Independence Constitution of 1960, so it is in the present 1999 Constitution where its Preamble sacredly holds that “the Federal Republic of Nigeria is founded for the purpose of promoting the good government and welfare of all persons on the Principles of Freedom, Equality and Justice; and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of all Nigerians”.
Specific Reasons For Writing Your Public Office: Your public office may be aware that the Nigerian security forces particularly the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force and the DSS had since August 2015 launched a widespread violent crackdown on nonviolent and unarmed Pro Biafra activists particularly members and supporters of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leading to the death of as much as 250 of them and wounding of over 300 others. Over 100 of them are still languishing in various security prisons and detention facilities across the Southeast and the South-south of Nigeria under “committal proceedings” or “Holden Charge”. Dozens of others have also gone missing or disappeared. Scores have been killed in detention; while 4.8 out of every 5 Pro Biafra activists arrested by the DSS, the Army and the Police are gravely tortured.
The massacre of as much as 250 Pro Biafra activists particularly IPOB members took place in eight different locations in the Southeast and the South-south of Nigeria. Two most horrible of the massacre was carried out in Aba, Abia State on 9th of February 2016 when the security forces forced their way into a perimeter fenced public secondary school compound where IPOB activists were singing and praying and opened fire on them, killing at least 22 and injuring over 30 others. The second most horrible, which is also most bloody of all took place at Nkpor in Anambra State and Asaba in Delta State on 30th of May 2016 during which as much as 140 Pro Biafra activists and other members of the public who converged to mark their heroes day were massacred; with over 130 others terminally shot and injured. Pieces of evidence abound.
As if that was not enough, the security forces particularly the DSS have gone further to clamp down surviving IPOB activists in Nigeria leading to indiscriminate raiding of their homes and sleeping abodes particularly in the dead of the night or hours of the blue law. Those abducted in their sleep by DSS are detained incommunicado for months without trial. Because the DSS finds nothing incriminating on them on account of their group’s nonviolence stance, the authorities of the DSS are strongly believed to routinely torture them to self-criminate themselves of being “terrorists”; a stigma DSS uses to hunt and abduct them.
Some of those abducted are shot and wounded at sight before they are taken away and detained incommunicado for months without trial. Recently, a list of wanted IPOB activists compiled by the DSS in Abuja was leaked to the media; containing 45 IPOB activists and their wives who reside locally and internationally. For instance, the nursing mother and wife of detained IPOB leader, Mrs Uchechi Kanu was among those in the DSS wanted list. The link below contains the referenced wanted list: http://www.igberetvnews.com/67487. http://www.otimestv.com/2016/09/shocking-sss-releases-list-of-wanted.html.
IPOB Activists Being Held Without Trial: (1) Comrade Chidiebere Onwudiwe: A Mechanical Engineer by training, he is the National Coordinator of IPOB in Nigeria. He was arrested in his sleep by DSS operatives in the late night of 22nd of June 2016, in Rumukurushi area of Port Harcourt, Rivers State in South-south Nigeria. Comrade Chidiebere Onwudiwe has been held incommunicado and denied access to his family and lawyers till date; a period of 100 days. On 30th of July 2016, the authorities of DSS issued a public statement, labeling him “a terrorist”; claiming that “he was arrested while planning to bomb Computer Village in Lagos”; a claim strongly resisted by human rights groups and the media. Mr. Chidiebere Onwudiwe is not only unarmed and nonviolent, but he is also well known to local and international human rights groups and media as well as members of the diplomatic community. Till date, the authorities of the DSS have neither granted him administrative bail nor charged to court. It is most likely he is undergoing intense torture to self-implicate himself and admit being “a terrorist” as he was so labeled. The link below contains the DSS statement declaring him “a terrorist”: http://www.sirkenayo.com/dss-uncovers-plans-by-ipob-members-others-to-bomb-computer-village-lagos-attack-worship-centres-parks/
(2) Comrade Justice O. Udeh: An IPOB official in Aba, Abia State, Southeast Nigeria. He was abducted in his sleep by the DSS operatives in the late night of 13th of July 2016 in a place he had gone to pass a night near Port Harcourt in Rivers State. He has been held incommunicado and denied access to his family and lawyers since then; a period of 80 days. He is strongly believed to be undergoing intense torture to force him admit falsely of being a “terrorist”. Till date, over 80days in DSS custody; he has neither been charged to court nor granted administrative bail.
(3) Comrade Sunday Chuks Obasi: An IPOB official in Nnewi, Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria and coordinator of the Nnewi-Ichi IPOB Unit; he was abducted in his sleep by DSS in the late night of 16th of August 2016 in his Amuwo-Nnewi residence, after he was trailed from Port Harcourt in Rivers State. He was shot at his two legs before being abducted by the DSS operatives. He has been held incommunicado and denied access to his family and lawyers till date, a period of 46 days; he has remained in the DSS custody without trial/charge or administrative bail. His gunshot wounds and general health conditions have also remained sketchy till date.
(4) Comrade Ikechukwu Ugwuoha: He is the Abia State Coordinator of IPOB and was arrested barely over two weeks after he, alongside 19 other IPOB members including six married women were released from the Aba Prisons on 11th of August 2016 after remanded for over five months for their involvement in the 9th of February 2016 prayer rallies in the Premises of the National High School, Aba, during which soldiers stormed the venue and opened fire, killing 22 of them. Comrade Ugwuoha, alongside four others was trailed from Gwagwalada area of Abuja by DSS where they had gone to see the detained leader of IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu at Kuje Prison.
Their commercial bus was trailed to Ugba Junction near Aba in Abia State and ambushed at about 7.30am on 26th of August 2016 by the operatives of the DSS, supported by soldiers and police. Comrade Ugwuoha, alongside four others, was moved to the temporary headquarters of the 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army and tortured for hours before they were taken to the Umuahia Directorate of the DSS; from where they were moved to the Abuja Headquarters of the DSS and detained incommunicado till date. He has been held for 36 days without trial or administrative bail.
(5) Comrade Ugochukwu Asochukwu: He was arrested alongside Comrade Ikechukwu Ugwuoha and three others by the DSS on 26th of August 2016 and held incommunicado without trial or administrative bail; a period of 36 days.
(6) Comrade Sunday J. Okafor: He was arrested alongside Comrade Ikechukwu Ugwuoha and three others by the DSS on 26th of August 2016 and held incommunicado without trial or administrative bail; a period of 36 days.
(7) Comrade Ekene Onuoha: He was arrested alongside Comrade Ikechukwu Ugwuoha and three others by the DSS on 26th of August 2016 and held incommunicado without trial or administrative bail; a period of 36 days.
(8) Comrade Joseph Okorie: He was arrested alongside Comrade Ikechukwu Ugwuoha and three others by the DSS on 26th of August 2016 and held incommunicado without trial or administrative bail; a period of 36 days.
Other names contained in the DSS list of wanted IPOB activists are: Sunday Onyekachi, Ogechukwu Obiorah, Ann Okafor, Amaechi Sunday Kanu (Sheffield, UK), Dickson Ekene, Ndidi Ojukwu, Emma Powerful, Emma Nmezu, Uchechi Kanu (London, UK: Nnamdi Kanu’s wife and nursing mother), Sidney Okoli (Mollorca, Spaiin), Andy Obeche, Ifriam Ezeiwu, Chukwuemeka Mfon, Ikenna Sunday Egono, Chijioke Ekwueme, Godwin Osinachi, Udoka Amarachi (Dortmund, Germany), Uche Martin Doludo, Nduka Enuma, Ambrose Ero and Clifford Mbamere.
Others are: Andy Obina Okafor, Stephen Oko (Uk), Onyeka Joseph, Eric, Dike Benson, Uche Emmanuel Uche, Udoka Okechukwu David, Martins (Austria), Michael Chidi Okafor, Daniel Ifeanyi (USA), Roland Abumere, Kenneth Uche Opara, Emenike Anyanwu, Obinwanne Markson Chukwujekwu, Chukwu I Ojiugo, Ezinwanne Mba, Jeff Amechi, etc. The link to the DSS list of wanted IPOB members is contained here: http://www.otimestv.com/2016/09/shocking-sss-releases-list-of-wanted.html#more.
As we write, the authorities of the DSS have refused to communicate the families and lawyers of the detained citizens as it concerns offences under which they are being held without trial or put them on notice of any court process undertaken. As a matter of fact, none of the detained citizens has been arraigned or put on trial till date. No records of court remands have been traced to any court in Nigeria.
Dear AGF, by the combined provisions of Sections 150 and 174 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011, you are not only “the Chief Law Officer of the Federation”, but also “the Chief Prosecuting Officer of the Federation”. That is to say that it is your duty, mandatorily and constitutionally, to ensure that “all officers of the law” in Nigeria are compelled at all times in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution to conform to, observe, apply and obey the provisions of the 1999 Constitution in the course of processing citizens taken into custody on suspicion of committing criminal offences. This is more so when the Constitution in its Section 174 (3) firmly directs you to “prevent abuse of legal process” and give due regard to public interest and interest of justice in the course of carrying out your duties and exercising your constitutional powers.
As you are aware Sir, Section 3 of Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act of 2004 clearly provides for three categories of offense in Nigeria. They are: felony, misdemeanour and simple offences. The Criminal Code Act further defines felony as any offence which is declared by law to be a felony, or is punishable, without proof of previous conviction, with death or with imprisonment for three years or more.
On the other hands, Misdemeanour offences attract judicial punishment of maximum of three years imprisonment or less; and Simple offences such as strict and statutory liability offences attract a maximum of six months imprisonment or less. In other words, crimes in Nigeria are categorized according to their sentencing categories.
As you are further aware Sir, for a crime or an offense (i.e. felony and misdemeanor) to be alleged to have been committed by a citizen in any part of the world including Nigeria, there must be alleged guilty act (actus reus) and alleged guilty mind (mens rea). Also for an offense to be truly called offense or a crime truly called crime; there must be presence of seven elements of crime: harm, legality, actus reus, mens rea, causation, concurrence and punishment. For an act or omission to be called a crime or an offense, there must be concurrence and concordance of actus reus and mens rea. In other words, where there is criminal intention (mens rea) without criminal act (actus reus), an offense has not been committed; except in strict and statutory liability offenses such as traffic offenses; where only guilty act (actus rea) is judicially required to secure conviction or sanction.
By Section 36 (8) of the 1999 Constitution: no person shall be held to be guilty of an offence on account of any act or omission that did not, at the time it took place, constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence heavier than the penalty in force at the time the offence was committed.
By Section 36 (12) of the same Constitution: subject as otherwise provided by this Constitution, a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and penalty therefore is prescribed in a written law, such as an Act of the National Assembly or a Law of a State.
Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution (right to freedom from discrimination) expressly and inexcusably forbids your public office and subordinate processors (i.e. Police and DSS) of accused, arrested and detained citizens in Nigeria (i.e. detained IPOB activists) from processing or detaining their captives on grounds of their ethnic group, place of origin, religion, sex, class or political opinion.
Very importantly Sir, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended in 2011 is supreme and above all other laws, authorities and persons. It is also the general overseer of all other laws in the country. The inferiority of all other laws in Nigeria to the 1999 Constitution is expressly contained in Section 315 of the 1999 Constitution, which clearly directs as follows: subject to the provisions of this Constitution, an existing law (i.e. an Act of the National Assembly, a Law of a State, a Decree, or an Edith) shall have effect with such modifications as may be necessary to bring it into conformity with the provisions of this Constitution.
The supremacy of the 1999 Constitution over all other laws, authorities and persons is expressly contained in its Section 1 (1), which provides as follows: this Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Constitution further directs in its Section 1 (3) that if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to extent of the inconsistency be void.
Honourable AGF Sir, it plainly follows that (1) where an Act of National Assembly rises in conflict with provisions of the 1999 Constitution, the 1999 Constitution expressly prevails and the said Act fails woefully; (2) where an existing military decree rises in conflict with an Act of the National Assembly and the 1999 Constitution, the former fails woefully on two fronts; and where a Law of a State or an Edith rises in conflict with an Act of the National Assembly and the 1999 Constitution, the former fails woefully on two fronts as well.
For the avoidance of doubt Sir, Section 4 (5) of the 1999 Constitution expressly holds as follows: if any Law enacted by the House of Assembly of a State is inconsistent with any law validly made by the National Assembly, the law made by the National Assembly shall prevail and that other Law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void. In the area of decided cases, it is not different. For instance, in the Supreme Court of Nigeria’s landmark verdict in: Abacha and Others v Fawehinmi (2001) AHRLR 172 (NgSC 2000); it was declared that “the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights (ACHPR) is superior to any ordinary legislation in Nigeria, but subject to the 1999 Constitution”.
From the above extensive constitutional and statutory citations Sir, it is elementarily clear that Nigeria’s body of laws contain clear procedures and processes within modern democratic practices for processing citizens accused of committing crimes of whatever category; yet those charged with the application of these laws have chosen to observe them in breach with reckless abandon and under your watch; to the extent that the hallowed supremacy of the Constitution has been grossly undermined and torn to shreds by the authorities of the DSS with your public office watching and doing nothing.As it is expressly observed from the above citations, the Nigeria’s body of criminal laws totally forbid trumped charges or accusations or trial-by-ordeal; yet the authorities of the DSS are applying them with reckless abandon particularly in the instant case.
By Nigeria’s body of criminal laws and the 1999 Constitution, citizens accused, arrested and detained on suspicion of committing misdemeanours shall not be detained for more than 48hrs without trial and those accused, arrested and detained on suspicion of committing offences (i.e. treason, treasonable felony, terrorism, asportation (“kidnapping”), armed robbery, etc) involving grievous punishments (i.e. death penalty, life imprisonment or 14yrs imprisonment and above) shall not be detained without trial or court bail for more than 60days.
If they are accused, arrested and detained without trial for 90days, the Constitution directs for their discharge on assumption that “they have no case to answer or that the State has no indictable evidence to try then”. The long period of detention in the latter instance is designed to give criminal investigators enough time considering the gravity of the offences alleged to have been committed; provided such detention is sanctioned by a law court with exhaustible period of time.
For the avoidance of doubt Sir, Section 35 (4) (a) (b) of the 1999 Constitution (right to personal liberty); clearly states as follows: any person who is arrested or detained in accordance with sub section 1 (c) of this section shall be brought before a court within a reasonable time, and if he is not tried within a period of:
(a) two months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who is in custody or is not entitled to bail;
(b) three months from the date of his arrest or detention in the case of a person who has been released on bail, he shall (without prejudice to any other further proceedings that may be brought against him) be released either unconditionally or upon such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears for trial at a later date”.
The literal meaning of the above is that no citizen shall be held or detained by any policing or securitization agency in Nigeria continuously for 60days without charge or trial or bail; and if such citizen is granted bail, but not tried within 90days, he or she shall be discharged of the accusation.
Further Sir, Sections 293, 294, 295 and 296 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015, are our further guide in the instant case. Your attention is drawn to its Detention Limits of Arrested Citizens in Part 30. Section 293 (1) provides as follows: A suspect arrested for an offence which a Magistrate Court has no jurisdiction to try shall within a reasonable time of arrest be brought before a Magistrate Court for remand.
Section 293 (2): An application for remand under this section shall be made ex parte and shall:
(a) Be made in the prescribed “Report and Request for Remand Form”, as contained in Form 8, in the First Schedule to this Act; and
(b) Be verified on oath and contain reasons for the remand request.
Section 294 (1): Where the Court, after examining the reason and for the request for remand in accordance with the provisions of Section 293 of this Act, is satisfied that there is probable cause to remand the suspect pending the receipt of a copy of legal advice from the Attorney General of the Federation and arraignment of the suspect before the appropriate Court, as the case may be, may remand the suspect in custody.
Section 294(2): In considering whether “probable cause” has been established for the remand of a suspect pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the Court may take into consideration the following:
(a) The nature and seriousness of the alleged offence;
(b) Reasonable grounds to suspect that the suspect has been involved in the commission of the alleged offence;
(c) Reasonable grounds for believing that the suspect may abscond or commit further offence where he is not committed to custody; and
(d) Any other circumstance of the case that justifies the request for remand.
Section 295: The Court may, in considering an application for remand brought under Section 293 of this Act, grant bail to the suspect brought before it, taking into consideration the provisions of Sections 158 to 188 of this Act relating to bail.
Section 296(1): Where an order of the remand of a suspect is made pursuant to Section 293 of this Act, the order shall be for a period not exceeding fourteen days in the first instance, and the case shall be returnable within the same period.
Section 296 (2): Where, on application in writing, good cause is shown why there should be an extension of the remand period, the Court may make an order for further remand of the suspect for a period not exceeding fourteen days and make proceedings returnable within the same period.
Section 296 (3): Where the suspect is still in custody on remand at the expiration of the period provided for under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, the Court may, on application of the suspect, grant bail in accordance with the provisions of Sections 158 to 188 of this Act relating to bail.
Section 296 (4): At the expiration of remand order made pursuant to subsection (1) or (2) of this section, and where the suspect is still remanded with his trial having not commenced, or charge having not been filed at the relevant court having jurisdiction, the court shall issue a hearing notice:
(a) The Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF); or
(b) The Commissioner of Police of a State (CP) or of that of FCT or the AGF as case may be; or
(c) Any relevant authority in whose custody the suspect is or at whose instance the suspect is remanded, and adjourn the matter within a period not exceeding fourteen days of the expiration of the period of the remand order made under subsection (1) or (2) of this section, to enquire as to the position of the case and for the IGP or the CP and the AGF to show cause why the suspect remanded should not be unconditionally released.
Section 296 (5): Where the IGP or the CP and the AGF show good cause pursuant to subsection (4) of this Section and make a request to that effect, the Court:
(a) May extend the remand of the suspect for a final period not exceeding fourteen days for the suspect to be arraigned for trial before an appropriate court; and
(b) Shall make the case returnable within the said period of fourteen days from the date the hearing notice was issued pursuant to subsection (4) of this section.
Section 296 (6): Where good cause is not shown for the continued remand of the suspect pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, or where the suspect is still on remand custody after the expiration of the extended period under subsection (5), the Court shall, with or without an application to that effect, forthwith discharge the suspect and the suspect shall be immediately released from custody.
Section 296 (7): No further application for remand shall be entertained by any court after the proceeding in subsection (6) of this section.
Sir, the literal meaning of the above is that no citizen arrested of any grievous crime, whether true or false, shall be detained in any detention custody in Nigeria without a valid court remand grounded in legitimate legal process and fair hearing (i.e. putting the detained citizen’s lawyers and family on notice). The maximum period allowed for such detention for the purpose of continuation and conclusion of investigation is a total of 56days segmented into “four-two weeks” and that if at the expiration of the said maximum of 56days, the citizen is not put on trial before a High Court of a State, a High Court of the FCT or a Federal High Court, he or she shall be discharged by the Court that issued the remand order and no further application for remand shall be entertained by any court in Nigeria.
It is therefore shocking as to where the authorities of the DSS derive powers and authority to arrest and detain citizens for over 60days without trial or administrative bail. The source of powers under which the DSS detains citizens incommunicado without access to their lawyers and families is also unknown to the 1999 Constitution. The Constitution in its Section 36 (5) (6) guarantees the arrested and detained citizens their inalienable rights to fair hearing including access to their lawyers and families and presumption of innocence until found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Even if the authorities of the DSS claim that Comrade Chidibere Onwudiwe and his colleagues are being held incommunicado under the infamous Section 27 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended in 2013, which unconstitutionally provides as follows: the Court may, pursuant to an exparte application, grant an order for the detention of a suspect under this Act for a period not exceeding 90 days subject to renewal for a similar period until the conclusion of the investigation and prosecution of the matter that led to the arrest and detention is dispensed with; it is dead on arrival.
This is on account of clear provisions of Section 1 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, which directs that: if any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to extent of the inconsistency be void. The infamous provision under reference is also grossly inconsistent with Section 35 (4) (a) (b) of the Constitution as well as Section 293, 294, 295 and 296 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
1. In view of the fact that Comrades Chidiebere Onwudiwe and Justice O. Udeh are no longer triable having being arrested on 22nd June and 13th July 2016 and detained incommunicado for 100days and 80days respectively; your public office is called upon to direct the authorities of the DSS to release them unconditionally and discharge them as well. Your office should also ensure that they are not tried in any court in Nigeria and specifically file Nolle Prosequi (we shall no longer prosecute) application where reverse is the case.
2. Direct the authorities of the DSS to free other IPOB members held in their custody including Comrades Sunday Chuks Obasi, Ikechukwu Igwuoha, Ugochukwu Asochukwu, Sunday J. Okafor, Ekene Onuoha and Joseph Okorie and ensure cessation of the DSS clamp down on IPOB activists across the country particularly in the Southeast and the South-south of Nigeria.
3. File Nolle Prosequi (we shall no longer prosecute) applications in any court in Nigeria where Pro Biafra associated cases are pending and get over 100 Pro Biafra activists languishing in various prisons and other detention facilities freed unconditionally.
4. Advice the authorities of DSS, Army and Police against criminalizing and stigmatizing constitutional rights to peaceful assemblies and associated constitutional liberties in Nigeria and channel their energies towards curbing the ceaseless menaces of armed opposition groups like Boko Haram and Fulani terror groups and other violent entities in Nigeria.
5. Direct all the security and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to adhere strictly to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Principles of the Rule of Law in processing their arrested and detained citizens and ensure that their detainees are not tortured or killed in custody or detained for periods not allowed by the Constitution.
6. Direct same to stop all forms of indiscriminate arrest and detention of Nigerians without trial and ensure they refrain from shooting citizens who are unarmed and nonviolent at the point of their arrest or in the course of exercise of their constitutionally guaranteed liberties such as rights to personal liberty, movement, expression, association, assembly, etc.
7. Direct same to ensure at all times that their detainees are allowed access to their families and lawyers as well as ensuring that they are detained under good sanitary conditions and giving them access to proper medication.
8. Identify all inconsistent and incoherent laws insulting and rubbing shoulders with scared provisions of the 1999 Constitution such as infamous Section 27 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011, as amended in 2013 and forward them to the National Assembly by way of Executive sponsored Bills to get them amended or modified in accordance with Section 315 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.
Note Sir: This open letter is communicated to you through your personal email as well as your office email.
Yours in the Service to Humanity:
(a)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
(b)Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL; LLM (c)
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Mobile Line: +2348034186332
(c)Chinwe Umeche, Esq., LLB, BL
Mobile Line: +2347013238673
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports ] - The failed Major Nzeogwu led coup was meant to install Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Prime Minister of Nigeria. This was stated by a core progressive and former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife at the second day of the Igbo-Israeli Economic Summit titled South East Youth Economic Summit 2016 (SEYES 2016) which ended in Enugu yesterday. Dr Ezeife while clarifying further stated that the Nzeogwu coup of 1966 was never an Igbo coup.
According to Ezeife “it is not true that Igbos plotted the 1966 coup. The coup was planned by some elements within the military disenchanted with the drift of Nigeria who felt that Awolowo was in the best position to move Nigeria forward. The problem was that the execution of the coup got awry at some axis and everybody now claimed it was Igbo coup”
He stated further that “the coup failed and General Ironsi carved provinces in Nigeria to help each group govern themselves better. They said that he was running a unitary system and killed him, yet Nigeria s practicing the same system for which Ironsi died”
Dr Ezeife while responding to question on the issue of menace of Fulani herdsmen said that the there is no need for grazing reserve even in the north. He stated that there are different ranching methods that will ensure, just like the green house, that some grass could be grown within the same ranch using high tech mechanisms and used to feed the cattle without disturbing anybody.
Rev Dr Obinna Akukwe, Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress, IMC, in his second day overview of the programme remarked that Igbos should stop complaining about what people did to them and concentrate on how they can open up the economic space of the zone through learning different skills relevant in the global world markets which the Israelis are willing to assist. He also reminded the audience on how Dr Ezeife stood for Igbo interests when Boko Harm was harassing Ndigbo in the north. According to Rev Akukwe “ when Boko Haram was terrorizing Sabon Gari area of Kano, and killing Igbos at random, Dr Ezeife was the link between myself, Barrister Okplaukwu and Chief Tobias Idiga , putting pressures in certain quarters, until the terrorists left Igbos in Kano alone”.
Rev Akukwe stated that “when the position of Senate Presidency was denied Ndigbo after massively voting for Jonathan in 2011, I led groups of protesters to Ezeife’s house and he was forced to urgently leave for Aso Villa that very day to register our displeasure with President Jonathan, and by the night of that day, the President decided to placate Ndigbo with the post of Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Okwadike came back to give us situation report”
Former Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo reiterated again that the youth of the South East can achieve greatness economically if they are willing to learn. According to Prof Nebo “ It is what you believe that you are that you actually become. Our youth should learn to survive with or without government patronage. They should learn skills that will make them relevant in every occasion. The Israelis who are her today are giving us ample opportunity to do just that” Prof Nebo believes that whatever happens in Israel economically can be replicated in Nigeria if the people are willing to learn.
Dr Kaspi Yoram told the audience that the second day of the event coincided with the commemorative day of the famous Six Day War which took place in June 6th, 1967. Explaining the circumstances of the war Yaspi said that “it took the Israelis only six days to win that war. This was because God was with us and secondly we didn’t have a choice.” Dr Yaspi expressed willingness of Israeli investors to come to the South East and establish the best medical diagnostic centre in Africa that will help in early detection of medical issues.
Dvora Anat Perl spoke on how the people of South East Nigeria can develop their rural areas using simple models which have been tried worldwide. He expressed the readiness of Israeli investors to partner with the South East on rural development.
Architect Emeka Okoye, a pastor and New York based leading real estate consultant spoke on wealth creation and how the South East can leverage on numerous opportunities to industrialize the zone. According to Arch Okoye “we should stop talking of marginalization by Hausa Fulani and start investing. Stop whining, competition does not know your calling. We can create economic power in the South East” He also stated that “we need to be righteous in our dealings because righteousness exalts a nation. And kick starts economic progress”
Bishop Dr Obi Onubogu, former President of Pentecostal Fellowship told the participants not to lose this opportunity that brought the Israelis to the South East. He led the session in prayer and worship for the progress of the South East.
Rabbi Gavriel Ogugua of Redeemed Israel Tabernacle based in Florida, US, advised Igbos to realize their identity with Israel. While Rev Bon Aneke prayed for the progress of the Igbo race. The well attended event has the youth, investors, business leaders and government officials in attendance. Ambassador Uchechukwu Ekpere Paul thanked the participants on the behalf of Diamond Youth Transformation initiative.
*Photo Caption - Rev. Dr. Obinna Akukwe speaking at the smmit (insert Dr. Ezeife).