[ Masterweb Reports ] – As the President prepares to announce his Ministers, competent information gathered that some Igbo technocrats who may make the list include Prof Pat Utomi, Dr Oby Ezekwesili and Engr Okey Nwagbara. Others are Prof May Nwoye, Chief Charles Okereke of Nigeria Masterweb, Chief Ikechi Emelike, a media mogul and former guber candidate in Abia state, Chief Okey Emuchay, a former Nigerian envoy to South Africa, Hon Chuks Ibegbu, a well-known author and ........Read More
*Photo Caption - As seen
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 18th August 2015)- Crimes globally are divided into two major categories of “mala inse” (crimes with global application such as murder, armed robbery and rape) and “mala prohibita” (crimes defined differently by different countries such as adultery and some categories of white-collar crimes). “Corruption” as a crime appears to fall under “mala inse” because of its global reprehension leading to the adoption of the United Natios’ Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) by the member-States of the United Nations including Nigeria in 2003. The UN Anti Corruption Convention entered into force on 14th December 2005 with 176 signatories and 140 full State-Parties. Nigeria signed it on 3rd December 2003 and ratified it on 14th December 2004.
“Corruption”, globally is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that evades a universally accepted definition. It involves misconducts in public and private sectors for the purpose of obtaining material and non material illicit gains or favors. To be punishable, it must pass through the process of criminalization by a written and known criminal law. Corruption, on its own, cannot constitute crime or an offense, except aided by its agents such as bribery, fraud, kickbacks, extortion and embezzlement. The general invisible crimes are called “white-collar crimes”, which corruption is an integral part of. “Invisible crimes” are so called because of difficulties in detecting them. They are very common in “white-collar” society or civil service or pen-culture society, dominated by government and corporate entities. The opposite of “white-collar crimes” are “blue-collar crimes” or “street crimes” (stealing, robbery, auto theft, burglary, youth crimes, etc), usually common in “blue-collar society” or commercial areas. To Prof Edwin Sutherland (1949) of the Chicago Criminological School, “white-collar crime” is a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his or her occupation. It arises from fraud, embezzlement, (computer crime), bribery, insider trading, kick-backs, contract inflation, over-invoicing, identity theft, forgery, etc. The concept of white-collar crimes was popularized by Prof Sutherland in 1949.
Recognizing hefty challenges and difficulties associated with detection and punishment of crime of corruption, the United Nations strongly recommended “Prevention” as the most effective approach at curbing it. The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) strongly recommended as follow: Corruption can be prosecuted after the fact, but first and foremost, it requires prevention. An entire chapter of the Convention is dedicated to prevention, with measures directed at both the public and private sectors. These include model preventive policies, such as the establishment of anticorruption bodies and enhanced transparency in the financing of election campaigns and political parties. States must endeavour to ensure that their public services are subject to safeguards that promote efficiency, transparency and recruitment based on merit. Once recruited, public servants should be subject to codes of conduct, requirements for financial and other disclosures, and appropriate disciplinary measures. Transparency and accountability in matters of public finance must also be promoted, and specific requirements are established for the prevention of corruption, in the particularly critical areas of the public sector, such as the judiciary and public procurement. Those who use public services must expect a high standard of conduct from their public servants. Preventing public corruption also requires an effort from all members of society at large. For these reasons, the Convention calls on countries to promote actively the involvement of non-governmental and community-based organizations, as well as other elements of civil society, and to raise public awareness of corruption and what can be done about it. Article 5 of the Convention enjoins each State Party to establish and promote effective practices aimed at the prevention of corruption. The UNCAC also recommended domestic criminalization of agents of corruption, international cooperation, technical cooperation and information exchange among Member-States.
We had in the first part of this all-important public statement condemned the corruption and bastardization of anti corruption policies by successive governments in Nigeria. To prevent and fight corruption, hands and characters of the country’s political office holders must be remotely and immediately clean and upright. Unfortunately, the present government in Nigeria has in its political camp dominated by “captains of corruption” and it is immorally capable to rid the country of the scourge of corruption. The general aim of our publication is to open the eyes of Nigerians and expose attempts by the present government to take them for granted using anti corruption mantra. The statement is also aimed at opening the eyes of ordinary Nigerians and their political leaders alike to the effect that “corruption” has several dimensions and agents or triggers.
Dimensions Of Corruption: Corruption is simply defined as the abuse of bestowed power or position for the purpose of acquiring personal gain or benefit. Corruption includes many agents such as bribery, embezzlement, manipulation of electoral process and abuse of office. Government or Political Corruption: This occurs when a public office holder or other government employees act reprehensively in an official capacity for personal or material gain. It is also official misuse of powers or public resources for personal gain.
Political Corruption is divided into electoral corruption, legal or legislated corruption, grand political corruption and petty political corruption. Legislated or legal corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gains such as outrageous allotment of public funds for overheads and allowances for the maintenance and sustenance of public offices and officials. Manipulation of permanent voters’ cards and use of millions of child or under-age voters during elections are all components of political corruption; likewise non public declaration of assets and non composition of the federal executive council or federal cabinet.
Agents Of Corruption: Fraud: An intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual. It can be criminal (criminal fraud) or anti social conduct. Types of Criminal Fraud: bait and switch, bankruptcy fraud, benefit fraud (committing fraud to gain government benefits), charlatanism ( psychic and occult), selling of counterfeit goods, confidence tricks, creation of false companies, embezzlement, false advertising, billing and insurance claims, forgery of documents and signatures, health fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, religious fraud, marriage fraud (obtaining immigration rights without entitlement), rigged gambling games such as the shell game, securities fraud such as pump and dump, etc.
Money Laundering: Process of recycling large amount of money obtained from crimes such as political corruption or embezzlement or drug trafficking in such a way as to make it seem as though it was derived from legitimate source. It is a key operation of underground economy. Money Laundering can be committed by public officials and non public officials as well. Terrorist Financing is a fundamental feature of Money Laundering.
Bribery: A payment given personally to a public officer or official in exchange of his or her use of official power. Bribery requires two participants (active and passive bribery): one to give the bribe and one to take it. Civil Extortion: A process whereby someone feels indebted against his or her will to another in order to receive an essential service or avoid legal consequences arising from a conduct unknown to law. Criminal Extortion (also called shakedown, outwrestling, and exaction) is a criminal offense of obtaining money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution, through coercion.
Embezzlement: Outright theft of entrusted funds by corporate and government officials. Forgery: Process of making, adapting or imitating objects, statistics or documents with intent to deceive. Kickback: It is an official’s share of misappropriated funds allocated from his or her organization to another organization involved in corrupt bidding.
Others are: Tax Evasion: Efforts by individuals, firms, trusts and other entities to evade payment of tax by illegal means. Tax Avoidance: Illegal utilization of the tax regime to one’s own advantage to reduce the amount of tax that is payable by means that are within the law. Confidence Trickery: This is also called different names such as “419” or “advance fee fraud”. It is an attempt to or defrauding of a person or group by gaining their confidence through exploitation of human characteristics such as dishonesty and greed. The victim is known as the mark while the trickster is called confidence man or conman or con artist or confidence trickster.
False Pretense: This is any representation made by words, writing, or conduct, of a matter of fact, either past or present, which representation is false in fact, and which the person making it knows to be or does not believe to be true. Patronage: Undue favors given to supporters of government officials. Nepotism/Cronyism: Illegitimate act of favoring relatives and personal friends of government officials.
Approaching Anti Corruption With Dirty Hands & Institutional Bottlenecks:
From the foregoing analysis, which originated from the first part of this publication of ours (Intersociety), the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari may go the same way its predecessors did in the so called “fight against corruption”. It is not that corruption is uncontrollable in Nigeria, but those controlling it are “meta-corrupt” and grossly incompetent to nip it in the bud. Again, corruption in the country goes scientific day in day out. For instance, Nigeria’s corruption has now given birth to twin (lawful and unlawful corruption). Lawful corruption is also called “codified corruption”, such as billions of naira worth of cash and properties siphoned or acquired through legislated means under the guise of “allowances”, “overheads” and “monetization policy”. Unlawful corruption is illegal cornering of public resources and properties by public office holders and their cronies. At the center of these two monsters is “morality corruption” or lack of decency and character impeccability among most of Nigeria’s public office holders including many, if not most members of the present administration.
For instance, apart from the blatant refusal of the duo of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yomi Osibanjo to make their assets declarations public as equity seekers with clean hands, circumstantial perceptions in most social quarters indicate that most of those peopling the federally ruling APC are all living in criminal opulence and far above their legitimate incomes. They include those who governed Lagos and Rivers States at one time or the other.
Some of them were private legal practitioners before their appointments or elections into public offices. Others worked in some oil, gas and non oil and gas multi-national companies. Today, they are richer than companies that they worked for. How did they acquire the circumstantially evidenced multi-billion naira properties scattered at every nook and cranny in Nigeria and beyond the shores of the country? Yet, there are continual deafened noises about fighting corruption. It is a settled maxim in the world of science that “something can never be generated from nothing”. Which is why we held that “those claiming to be fighting corruption in Nigeria must first approach equity with clean hands or stop confusing and misleading Nigerians and members of the international community”.
Understanding The Real Anti Corruption:
There are serious challenges associated with the country’s social public institutions including criminal justice institutions and policies. For instance, what is the rationale behind sentencing a house breaker and stealer of a television to seven years imprisonment or more, whereas an embezzler of public funds amounting to N5billion or more is sentenced to two years imprisonment with sentencing luxuries? Why should Nigeria’s criminal codes still treating white-collar crimes including corruption as misdemeanor offenses, which on conviction, carry maximum of three years imprisonment with or without plea bargaining?
We challenge President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yomi Osibanjo to show Nigerians and members of the international community “how clean they are warranting their quest for equity, probity and accountability” by parroting “fight against corruption”. They are called upon to not only make their assets declarations public, on moral grounds, but also to send a bill to the National Assembly for the amendment of the Code of Conduct Establishment Act of the Federation 2004 to provide for public declaration of assets by all public office holders in Nigeria. All manifestations of “political corruption” and “morality corruption” rearing their ugly heads in the present administration including abuse of office and constitutional infractions must be discontinued.
The ICPC Act and the EFCC Act as well as related anti graft enactments in the country should as well be thoroughly overhauled legislatively. Acts of the National Assembly and Laws of the States providing for outrageous life remuneration packages including luxury houses in luxury places for serving and former public office holders should be repealed. Outrageous allowances and overheads for public office holders including “security votes” should drastically be reviewed and cut down by 60%.
All past and serving APC, PDP, APGA and Labor Party public office holders including presidential, gubernatorial, ministerial, commissionership occupants, and heads of boards and other government top bodies etc should be put under intelligence surveillance with respect to their moveable and immoveable properties and comparisons drawn using their previous and present assets declaration forms. Those found wanting should be prosecuted in fair trials and their illicit properties recovered.
For us at Intersociety, these, if dispassionately done, will mark the real beginning of genuine fight against corruption in Nigeria.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons) Criminology & Security Studies
Board Chairman (+2348174090052 (office)
Uzochukwu Oguejiofor-Nwonu, Esq., (LLB, BL), Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
*Photo Caption - Seal of The President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Onitsha Nigeria, 15th August 2015)-In late May 2015, the Government of Anambra State, under Governor Willie Obiano, announced the ban on the use of a number of public roads located in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi by the operators of private and commercial motorcycles in the State, for the purpose of reducing Okada related accidents and crimes. The public roads affected by the ban are Awka Road, Oguta Road, New Market Road, Old Market Road, Onitsha-Enugu Expressway and Onitsha-Owerri Dual Carriage Way, all in Onitsha. Others are Bank Road and Nnewi-Nnobi Road in Nnewi and Zik’s Avenue Dual Carriage Way and Awka-Enugu Express Way in Awka. The Government of Anambra State announced June 5th 2015 as deadline.
Legislation: There is no legislation put in place. The existing legislation (Anambra State Okada Control Law of 2009) was not amended to that effect. The former was enacted by then Peter Obi administration to limit or restrict Okada operations from 7.pm to 6.am for the purpose of curbing rising Okada related violent crimes. Like the instant case, the Law was observed in breach by officers of the Anambra State Police Command, who went about arresting private motorcycle owners (with intent to harass, detain and extort) in the guise of “enforcing the law”.
Sanction: The Government of Anambra State has in the instant case, directed that any defaulter if caught will have his or her motorcycle impounded and made to fill a defaulting form in the form of “first offender”; after which the sum of N5, 000.00/N6,000.00 will be paid before retrieving same. If caught again as a “repeat offender”, the defaulter’s motorcycle will be impounded and confiscated permanently and quarantined in Awka.
Enforcement: The enforcement process and procedure so adopted are poorly and amorphously designed. There are over 20 “enforcement bodies” engaged in the ill-fated policy implementation. These include: Local Government Areas (LGAs’) traffic control agencies, Anambra State Traffic Agency (ASTA),”OCHA Brigade” (created by the Governor) and “Willie Obiano’s Workforce” or “W Is W” (Willie is Working). There are also other taskforces working for the State Ministries of Works, Environment and Transport that are involved in the referenced enforcement all with instruments of “jungle justice”, clothed in impunity.
The police divisions of the Anambra State Police Command involved are Okpoko Police Station and Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) attached to Okpoko Police Station (Ogbaru LGA); Fegge Police Station, Inland Town Police Station, Central Police Station and Onitsha Area Command (Onitsha). Others are Awada Police Station and Ogidi Police Station (Idemmili North LGA), Awka Area Command and Awka Central Police Station (Awka), Nteje Police Station, Abba Police Station, Nnewi Central Police Station, Mmiri-Ele Police Station, Nnobi Police Station and Nnewi Area Command.
Judicial Process: Judicial process is totally absent in the foregoing government conduct. By law, offenses under this policy are generally created as “traffic offenses” and judicially categorized as “strict and statutory liability offenses”, which are summarily tried by magistrate courts usually requiring no witnesses or formal judicial proceedings.
In sentencing category, they are referred to as “simple offenses”, which, on conviction, carry up to six months imprisonment or payment of statutory fines or both. The principle of constitutional democracy governed by the 1999 Constitution; forbids “criminal punishment without trial” premised on written law with defined crime and sanction. This is strictly for the purpose of ensuring due process and rule of law as well as checks and balances among executive, legislature and judiciary.
Policy Weaknesses & Abuses: The reasons for the referenced ban: curbing Okada related crimes and accidents are publicly grounded, but weaknesses inherent in the policy have made it to cause more public harm than public good. The policy lacks feasibility study grounded in existing social factors or realities. For instance, the inclusion of private motorcycles in the ban is totally condemnable. It is a fundamental derogation from the fundamental human rights provisions in the 1999 Constitution including rights to freedom of movement and ownership of moveable and immoveable properties. In the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, acceded to by Nigeria in 1981, it is against right to social development.
Grounded feasibility study would have not only exempted private motorcyclists; but also created “junction exceptions” for both commercial and private motorcycle operators. For instance, there is no way both commercial and private motorcycle operators can connect Fegge, Odakpu, Inland Town, Nsugbe “33”, Onitsha GRA and Woliwo Layout in Onitsha to Iyiowa Odekpe, Okpoko, Harbour Industrial Layout, Odor-Rubber and Nkutaku Layouts in Ogbaru Local Government Area, without accessing or crossing Onitsha-Enugu and Onitsha-Owerri Dual Carriage Ways. A grounded feasibility study would have allowed the use of service lanes and popular junctions like Onitsha Bridgehead, Lagos Park/ Upper Iweka Flyover and other crossings/diversions on Owerri Road, Zik’s Roundabout, Nkpor Flyover and New Tyre Market Junction and Building Materials Market in Ogbunike.
Also those private and commercial motorcycle operators living in Awada, Ugwuagba, Owerre-Aja, Omagba 1 &2 and Odume Layouts in Obosi and Nkpor; who trade or work in Onitsha Main Market, Bridgehead Market, Ogbaru Relief Market, Onitsha Electronics Market, Ochanja Main Market, etc have found it difficult to access these markets following the referenced ban. These, coupled with absence of judicial process and procedure have robbed the policy of legitimacy and exposed same as “triggers of corruption, human rights abuse and police roadblocks”. The policy also has a coloration of “political corruption, cronyism, nepotism and favoritism” following absence of statistics detailing the number of defaulters arrested, amounts collected and their whereabouts as well as its propensity to criminally enrich some supporters of the Governor of Anambra State and his top aides.
Criminal Involvement Of The Anambra State Police Command: Since 1999, the Anambra State Police Command had steadily beaten other commands as “the most corrupt and homicidal State Police Command in Nigeria”. The Command had featured severally in leading national and international police rights abuse and corruption reports.
For instance, in the CLO’s Rest In Pieces, Amnesty International’s Killing At Will, NOPRIN/OSIWA’s Criminal Force, Human Rights Watch’s Everyone Is On The Game (Police Abuse & Corruption), US Department of State’s Human Rights Report (2009) and Intersociety’s Police Corruption As Human Rights Abuse (2011) and Killing Outside The Law (2011); the Anambra State Police Command featured negatively in all of them. The Awka SARS mass murder of November 2004 and the January 2013 Ezu River mass murder in which same SARS including its Nnewi Unit was seriously accused, are cases in Point.
In the instant case, the Anambra State Police Command is at it again. Apart from defying the legitimate orders of its hard working Inspector General on nationwide roadblocks ban, the State Police Command has now abandoned its statutory duties of protecting lives and properties rested on “misdemeanors and felonious offenses” and converted “enforcement of gubernatorial Okada restriction” rested on “simple offenses” and civil deviance conducts into criminal enrichment and objects of extortion and bribery. This is also a fundamental derogation from their Command-In-Chief’s “anti corruption” policy. The worst part of it all is that other police divisions in the State have also embarked on indiscriminate arrest and impoundment of private and commercial motorcycles and their operators outside the roads and areas affected by the ban.
This they do under the guise of “Governor Obiano’s ban on Okada operation in Anambra State”. Apart from the fact that hundreds, if not thousands of private and commercial motorcycles are impounded and their operators extorted on daily basis in the restricted areas and environs by the State Police Command; there are also reports coming to us in torrents to the effect that motorcycles of private and commercial origins plying non restricted roads and areas are impounded by other police divisions particularly in rural areas. For instance, on 14th August 2015, we got a credible report that officers of Ekwulobia and Umuchu Police Stations mounted illegal roadblocks on some roads in the area and embarked on indiscriminate impoundment of private and commercial motorcycles, claiming that “Governor Willie Obiano has banned motorcycles in the State and ordered them to catch any motorcycle found on the road and bring it to Awka”. Our field observers specifically saw some officers of Ekwulobia Police Station impounding motorcycles along Uga-Ezinifite-Ekwulobia Federal Road by Ezinifite Junction on 14th August 2015 between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
Criminal Patterns Used: The roads and areas under the referenced ban as well as their environs are now flooded with officers of the State Police Command; who operate in mufti and mount summary roadblocks. Through their publicly provided patrol vans, they confiscate private and commercial motorcycles and sometimes arrest their operators. Defaulters willing to “negotiate and pay” are randomly extorted; ranging from N2, 000.00 to N3, 000.00, while those not willing or able to “pay” are taken to police stations where sums between N4, 000.00 and N5, 000.00 are extorted. Failure to “negotiate and pay” instantly leads to threat of permanent impoundment and dumping of same at Awka. Sometimes, the arrested “defaulters” are detained in the police cells for the purpose of double extortion in the form of “bail fees for the impounded object and its operator”.
For instance, Mr. Sunday Umejesi is a private motorcycle owner trading at Onitsha Bridgehead Market. He was arrested in the first week of July 2015 by some police officers in mufti at Awkuzu Junction near Awkuzu SARS headquarters in Oyi LGA of the State and accused of breaking “Okada road ban”. He was dragged towards the SARS headquarters’ gate and threatened with torture and detention. Out of fear, he parted with N4, 000.00 before his motorcycle was released.
Police divisions in rural areas also have their own patterns, which include mounting of roadblocks on popular traditional Igbo market days. For instance, police roadblocks increase on Nnobi-Igbo-Ukwu Road on Nkwo-Igbo Market day. On Eke-Ekwulobia Market day, police roadblocks increase on roads leading to the Market including Uga-Ekwulobia-Agulu Federal Road. On Orie-Uga Market and Nkwo-Umuchu Market days, roads around the areas witness a sharp increase in police roadblocks. At Nwagu-Agulu and Umunze daily market days; to mention but few, same thing happens.
Calls: The Government of Anambra State must review the ill-fated policy under reference and take a total recourse to due process and rule of law. The ill-conceived policy implementation under reference should be suspended immediately until constitutional, human rights and public friendly mechanisms are designed and put in place. Such mechanism must be legislated or codified and be clothed with judicial process and procedure. There shall be created “exemption junctions” and exemption of private motorcyclists.
The Inspector General of Police is also called upon as a matter of uttermost urgency and extreme public importance to declare the Anambra State Police Command as “a disaster command” for the purpose of curbing decisively its age-long corruptive and homicidal conducts and excesses. The State Police Command should be banned out-rightly from arresting and impounding private and commercial motorcycles and their operators in the name of “Okada restriction on roads”, which have resulted in gross human rights abuse and corrupt practices.
The Command should be made to face its statutory duties. Whenever the Government of Anambra State is done with the review under demand include creation of statutory courts to arraign the defaulters, the State Police Command can only assist the Government including the State Ministry of Justice when called upon. Under the law, any citizen including traffic officials of the Government of Anambra State can exercise power of arrest provided the arrestees are promptly and summarily arraigned. The law including the 1999 Constitution also gives the State Ministry of Justice power of prosecution including in the instant case.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - The thrill among the world leaders and policymakers as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) comes to an end on September 15 2015, is how to actualise Data Revolution for the grasp of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which takes effect by 2016 for all citizens of the world to acquire knowledge and information by 2030.
From America to Africa, from United Kingdom to United Arab Emirates, conferences are being held as the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon last year formed and assigned an assemblage of Independent Advisory Expert Group (IAEG) with the duty to look into profitable ways to arrest and make the agenda a success.
What this means is that philosophers, journalists, scholars, partisans, politicians and many others are looking for the merits and demerits of Data Revolution for Development; looking for ways to sensitise global publics on how to do away with untenable products and services, policies and behaviours.
Digging into this initiative, the leaders in Africa gathered in Addis Ababa on July 15 this year to carve a niche for the continent on the advantageous ways to tap into the Data Revolution initiative and apply same for developmental progress of their continent’s future.
Beyond Data Revolution
It is believed that the UN has to itemise elucidations on each of the SDGs, making all data open that would be shared across all divides. Specialists are worried that employees across all divides are in dearth of numerical prowess.
There is a suggestion that there should be a concentrated and incessant government effort to educate the governed with quantitative numerical education in schools and overhaul school curricula across the globe.
Robert David Steele Vivas, a public intelligence investigator, conversely, suggests that the world is measuring five stages of failure, as was relayed in the voice of Dmitry Orlov – financial, commercial, political, social, and cultural. Especially, in this season that the UN has made a god of data to check the world’s today and future progress.
Professionals are, however, of the opinion that the move by the UN is not bad, but the failures have to be addressed. Vivas adds: “This approach – pro-active and centered on ethical evidence-based decision-support – could – if implemented within the UN with a fraction of the promised funding for the SDGs – mobilise vastly greater resources; speed implementation of the seventeen SDGs, and therefore support the mission of the UN and its Member States in a manner much more effective than now possible.”
Ethical and societal impact
There are consequences right now that in any situation, the data that will be provided by Agency A, will be different from the result of Agency B.
A professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Sheffield, Tony Prescott, in a public presentation in 2013, says, "There is a huge amount of knowledge now that doctors can potentially have. Obviously they can't absorb all of it and they can't necessarily remember all of it."
Analyses are that there are data for medical experts that could examine and give positive results faster on the health of a patient, but the side effects are inevitable.
Many Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are worried that in the Data Revolution privacy and security may not be guaranteed since many of the intelligence reports will be divulged through the internet.
Prescott is worried if human race, because of the zest to attain improved services, especially in the healthcare, will want to abdicate some of its privacy.
The fear heightens that many of the data cannot be trusted, because of the quarter or person it’s coming from. For example, there is a fear that as computers and technologies are modified on daily basis, it is not certain to trust a data.
The Guardian Newspapers Education correspondent, Sally Weale on Thursday 25 June 2015, reports, "The government has been urged to tackle a numeracy crisis in the UK, which experts are warning threatens to hold the country back in the face of a global data revolution."
Investigation reveals that without "Data Innovation", “Data Revolution" is unrealisable. This is hinged on the fact that governance varies from country to another, so also, will the data of a country vary from the other.
This issue excludes no country or continent. There are more questions than answers to a successful checking and assessment of this accomplishment.
A social analyst, Lanre Rotimi, commenting of UN Data Revolution, says, “There is urgent need to fully understand the Sociology and Psychology of Community: Neighborhood to Global Leaders on both Developed and developing Countries sides as basis for understanding what is needed to effectively Change their Thinking and Strengthen them to effectively Promote and Protect Attitude and Behaviour required to achieve increasing convergence between Data Revolution and related Revolutions Vision Intention and Reality.”
It is believed by Vivas that the UN can achieve the Data Revolution initiative if only it can light-up true costs, educate the public, send corruption on errand, and complement field effect.
“The reality is that the Specialized Agencies (SA) and their information stove-pipes as well as their human networks are far removed from useful access and exploitation by the core elements of the UN responsive to the Secretary-General,” Vivas says.
An Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report suggests that since information is scarce in three areas: early childhood development and readiness to learn, diverse learning outcomes at primary and secondary education, and skills and competencies for youth and adults, including literacy, the UN must be ready to fill these data gap.
Odimegwu Onwumere ( Tel: +2348057778358; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), Poet/Writer reports from Rivers State, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - World map
[ Masterweb Reports: Uchendu Precious Onuoha, Masterweb Special Correspondent reports ] - “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” Ralph Waldo Emerson. That is truly Bianca’s case. Before she came to Spain as an ambassador, Spain held little or no appeal to head of missions and diplomats. But today after her work, Spain has become a hot cake, a beautiful bride and a delight for all would be ambassadors. It has become one of the most sought after destination in the world desirable by all the old and new ambassadors waiting for new diplomatic assignments and postings. And whoever that would be coming after her, would have less to accomplish but would really have much to do to sustain the structures she has already put in place for the welfare of Nigerian citizens in the kingdom of Spain.
Some people are born or groomed up to be more equal than others. Not in the balanced principles of doctrine of humanity before Deity and the law but in the significant imparts, visions they uphold, and contributions they make in their life and time. Bianca, as ambassador was a discovery, a revelation in the history of Nigerian ambassadors to Spain as none has made an indelible mark and accomplishments more than she did. And her footprints will always remain in the sand of time in the kingdom of Spain. She served a multi-purpose role and character to Nigerians in Spain. She was the Florence Nitingale the lady with lamp, saving lives. She was the mother Teresa, giving hope to thousands of her compatriots. And the good shepherd who cared for her flock.
During her three years of exciting and memorable stint as ambassador, Bianca had answer to the needs of Nigerians in Spain. Through her laudable activities Bianca’s presence and fame loomed all over Spain and beyond, and she was like a sweet song in the lips of Nigerians, Africans and a delight to the Spanish. She towered high above all other African ambassadors in the kingdom of Spain. According to the Kenyan and Gambian ambassadors in Spain, Bianca is not just a Nigerian ambassador but African ambassador, we are so proud of her. That was even before she won the award as the best and most outstanding African ambassador in Europe in 2014. Like the queen of Sheba, from Austria, Holland, London, Germany and other parts of Europe, Nigerians trooped in to herald Bianca’s magic wand in Spain. Engrossed in her job, day and night did not make any difference to her as far as duty called.
It’s not the number of years that one occupies in a position that counts, but the ones occupied how much was gained. Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu’s three years were indeed gain for Nigerians in Spain. In what way one may ask. But in many ways. I would start the chronicles of her feats in Spain by making reference to the symbolic connotation of the veil of the tabernacle during the history of Israel in the wilderness. The veil was a barrier to make sure that man could not irreverently enter into God’s awesome presence. A place no ordinary person could enter. So the presence of God remained shielded from God’s own people. However Jesus death on the cross changed that and the veil was thorn in half paving way for God’s presence to be accessible to all His people. Bianca removed all barriers that made the embassy inaccessible to Nigerians. And she made Nigerians who before dreaded to come to the embassy because of the way they were treated, to realize that the embassy is their last sanctuary and she said to them, come, we are here to serve you. Among the things Bianca would be remembered for in Spain are.
She made Nigerians to obey the laws of the host country and Spain in return to respect the rights of Nigerians in their midst.
She stopped the deportation of Nigerians by Spain without proof of evidence of having certified all the due process binding the two countries in that respect. In one occasion, she ordered a Spanish security officer out of her office for asking her to sign a document for deportation of some Nigerians. The officer who said that’s how they used to do that before was dumb founded when she asked for the court order and proof of all other applicable measures that must be fulfilled before that could be carried out.
In another occasion, on getting report about a Nigerian citizen that was deported without the due process, after investigations, she prevailed on the Spanish authorities to repatriate the citizen back to Spain. A rare feat unheard of by any Nigerian mission anywhere.
She reduced the price of passport fee for Nigerians in Spain.
She arranged for Nigerian police to come to Spain to prepare police report, a requisite for obtaining Spanish residence permit thereby alleviating the problems Nigerians who do not have legitimate documents to travel to Nigeria may encounter in that respect. Subsequent to that, to save Nigerians of the pains of the police report, she made a strong case on the need for the Spanish authority to issue a certificate of good conduct as an alternative for the police report. A matter which is receiving favorable attention by the Spanish government before her exit.
She rescued and recovered dozens of Nigerian children whom their parents due to their economic down turn, involuntarily handed over their siblings to the Spanish people for adoption. She said to them these are Nigerian citizens we need them. And these children sometimes with their parents were taken back to their families in Nigeria. Also she rescued dozens of Nigerians who were wasting away there lifetime, living as restitutes and have lost hope in life. Like a mother who cannot forget her suckling child, she recovered dozens of such Nigerian citizens from the streets of Spain and sent them back to their families in Nigeria for rehabilitation.
Bianca made it possible that in the event of deportation of any Nigerian by the Spanish government, his properties and all he has labored for was secured and handed over to him before he is taken back to Nigeria.
She established an emergency rapid response team. A crack squad of embassy staff who responded rapidly to cases of Nigerians in dire need of attention and assistance in all parts of Spain. This squad visited Nigerians in detention, prisons, and death incidents, among others and made sure that they were not unjustly detained or their rights acts citizens infringed upon.
She visited instantly the spot of a murdered Nigerian girl in Bilbao (Ada Otua) by a Spanish Shaolin martial arts master. And she made the authorities concerned to realize that the life of any Nigerian citizen is valued much and ensured that adequate compensation was given to the victim’s family and adequate punishment given to the culprit according to the law.
She renovated the Nigerian embassy and chancery buildings and made them befitting structures comfortable for the citizens staff and diplomats alike.
Bianca reached out to Nigerians in Spain by holding town hall meetings where she had interactive sessions addressing their problems and educating them to make the best use of opportunies offered by the host country to improve their lives and to always remember that Nigeria is their home. Time and space will fail me to continue to highlight on the numerous giant strides and feats the dynamic ambassador accomplished in Spain.
The news about Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu‘s exit was like sunset at dawn to Nigerians in Spain. There was gloom all over their countenances. Many wished that it was a dream not comes true. Who else would do for us what Madam has done for us some asked? She was so nice. No doubt, Nigerians in Spain would really miss her while her footprints will ever remain in the sand of time.
*Photo Caption - Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu speaking at an event.
[ Masterweb Reports: Obinna Akukwe reports ] - Dayo Olutaayo, Senior Pastor of Good Tidings Bible Church International (GTBCI) has displayed traits and unction which qualifies him to be addresses as possessing an apostolic dimension of divine favor.
Dayo Olutayo is the controversial in-law to Bishop David Oyedepo, by reason of being the younger brother to Faith Oyedepo, the wife of Nigeria’s richest and most generous pastor. He is a mechanical engineer by training. Dayo Olutayo and her elder sister Faith Oyedepo came from a family where good Christian ideals are highly espoused, such that even their father, who died at ripe old age, was still very spiritually sound till death.
Dayo was introduced to ministry work by Bishop Oyedepo where he served as a church assistant and actually lived with the Oyedepos for a few years , until his boss felt he was matured enough to pastor a branch. His first official posting as a Resident Pastor was the Maiduguri Branch of Winners Chapel. He showed ministerial grace and excellence which earned him another foreign posting to Nairobi Kenya in 1995. It was on record that within three years, a church started from the scratch was able to erect a 3500 seater auditorium, built debt free and dedicated in 1998, a feat never experienced in the history of church building projects of any other church, in the entire nation of Kenya.
The Grace of God upon his life earned him another posting to Abuja to supervise the transition from Area1 to Durumi District and subsequently he was consecrated a Bishop. Bishop Afolabi, Bishop Dickson and Bishop Adjeman and Bishop Olutayo formed the third level of Hierarchy in the Bishopric office under the Ministry.
The normal wind of transfer associated with Living Faith Church came calling in 2004 and Bishop Dayo Olutayo was sent to Port Harcourt. This decision of his boss and in-law to remove him from the lucrative Abuja Diocese to make way for a hierarchically senior colleague, Bishop David Abioye, to replace him, did not go down well with him. He introduced Bishop Abioye to his flock, jetted down to Port Harcourt, took over from the man there, returned back to Abuja, ostensibly to prepare to relocate finally to the new territory, and he ended up relocating finally out of Winners Chapel.
Dayo Olutayo shortly after his return from Port Harcourt circulated a leaflet where he denounced his Bishopric Office and described it as a title under ‘Living Faith Church’, resigned from the church and started Good Tidings Bible Church. The controversy generated by his resignation almost tore the former church apart and many disappeared from the Abuja church such that the halls were half empty. It took the special grace upon Bishop Abioye for Durumi Church, depleted by his exit, to gather back multitudes.
When he dragged his spiritually sound biological father to Good Tidings Bible Church, months after his exit from Winners Chapel, ostensibly to ward off perceived spiritual attacks from some quarters, out of protest over his controversial exit, I refused a passionate invitation from a close friend privy to the information that Dayo’s father will be in Church Service on Sunday, to see this aged man who have raised children of no mean spiritual stature.
I was personally against his resignation and told some persons very close to him then that severing a gospel work practice under such controversial and acrimonious manner does not augur well with the body of Christ. Secondly, Port Harcourt Branch of the Church is equally lucrative and is regarded as the third highest in terms of income in Nigeria.
The feedback I got was that Olutayo had earlier informed Bishop Oyedepo that he wants to be released to start a new gospel work, and the later told him to hold on, and in the process of waiting, a transfer he believed was laden with hidden agenda was hoisted on him. This was happening at a time when Bishop Adgeman forcibly took over the Ghana Branch of the Church and converted it to his private inheritance, a matter Presidents Obasanjo and Kufour of Nigeria and Ghana respectively, were unable to resolve. It was the same 2004 that a strange illness came near her sister Pastor Faith Oyedepo, ostensibly to take her life. I viewed these catalogues of events with suspicion and as such vowed not to support anything that looks as an accomplice.
However, one cannot prophetically deny that Dayo Olutayo has the calling of God upon his life. His followers have also attested to unusual favor they get whenever people flock round him. What is favor? Favor is ‘Unusual delight in the personality of someone’. This unusual delight can attract unusual contracts, promotions, finances, gifts, helps, assistance and even association. Therefore, nobody can deny that this man has such flowing around him.
In Good Tidings Bible Church, testimonies of favor have become so common that it is no more celebrated. Persons have been astronomically promoted, businesses suddenly turned around, miracle jobs, miracle marriages, and mega contracts through processes that show only a magnetic influence of delight associated with God’s favor. Isaiah 66 vs 2 says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” Amplifying further, 2 Chronicles16 vs 9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” This simply means that divine favor is God showing himself strong to people who are humble, contrite in spirit and tremble at his word, to ensure that they get what their natural prowess, ability, connections cannot get. This is a summary of the grace OF God upon Pastor Dayo Olutayo.
Dayo Olutayo also gets involved in feeding the poor and helping the less privileged in the society irrespective of religious leanings. Muslims, Christians and Pagans have all benefited from his ministry of rehabilitating the poor and needy in Abuja in dimensions never exhibited by any other church in the city. What he introduced years back as a process of feeding the poor has metamorphosed into a Lifegate Care Centres located around Abuja where the poor are fed occasionally. In addition, a quarterly programme of feeding, clothing and rehabilitating the poor and needy called Kingdom Welfare Day (KWD)has become a regular feature in the church. Diverse categories of scholarships are also given out to the less privileged, in dimensions not witnessed around the city.
Dayo Olutayo has been able to organize the numerous wealthy and highly placed personalities in Good Tidings Bible Church into utilizing their God-given privileges, opportunities and wealth into making the larger society a most habitable place to be. He teaches Christian leadership and corporate responsibilities and believes that a man’s worth is what he gives out to the society, not what he receives.
The massive and architecturally crafted cozy church auditorium which runs two Sunday services is situated at Utako Area of Abuja also has a primary and secondary school.
Dayo Olutayo is an Apostle of Favor and at this time when the devil is unleashing arrows of stagnation, shame, frustration and disappointments and failure at faithful church members especially around Africa, heavy doses of Apostolic favor is necessary to counterbalance the onslaught.
Obinna Akukwe ( Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Christian Symbol
[ Masterweb Reports: Odimegwu Onwumere reports ] - The name, Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, is making wave in the media since 2013, but in the wrong direction, especially in the social media. Anyone who does not review an issue before buying into it, would take the criminalisation of the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, to be true.
One does not read in-between lines these days on the name, Diezani K. Alison-Madueke, without seeing a mention of this stolen billion dollars or that laundered billion naira associated to it. Her issue had kept some of us in the media thinking.
The irony of it was that you would also read that she left for the London or USA or Germany to plead with the international community to beseech on her behalf, so that Major General Muhammadu Buhari, would not imprison her.
The recent nuisance making the rounds on her name was that she was begging to refund a certain billion dollars to Buhari, in order to allow her be. Then, one is flummoxed to ask, why the criminalisation of Diezani K. Alison-Madueke who until her tenure as Minister of Petroleum Resources, never plunged the country into fuel scarcity, especially during the season of yuletide.
This scintillating beauty called Diezani K. Alison-Madueke (Nee Abiye-Agama) born 6 December 1960, had always distanced herself from such devious accusing fingers on her. One is not sure if it is only in Nigeria that this woman is a ‘criminal’ because as the first female President of OPEC, elected at the 166th OPEC Ordinary meeting in Vienna on 27 November 2014 and sundry, this international body is not accusing Diezani K. Alison-Madueke of pilfering into its coffers as the president.
As once Nigeria's minister of transportation on 26 July 2007 and was later moved to Mines and Steel Development in 2008, until her appointment as Minister of Petroleum Resources on April 2010, Diezani K. Alison-Madueke was the perfect minister of all. It was on quote that Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.
What might be working this far against Alison-Madueke was propaganda. But in Nigeria, one is forced to say that tribal ulcer and cancer are the worst. There is yet to be democratic civilisation in Nigeria. As if he was the Auditor General of the Federation, the first person to cast the dye against Alison-Madueke, was the loquacious former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Lamido Sanusi.
Sanusi was saying that there was missing $20 billion oil money, without giving recourse to how the Nigerian state had explored crude oil from the South-East and South-South zones, since 1956 and the north benefitting from the proceeds since 1967 it bounced on superintending Nigerian affairs, without any commensurable development in these zones.
Rather, the northern accomplice, West, started deafening our ears through its propaganda media, of how the north had been impoverished during Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency, as if northerners have not ruled Nigeria for nearly 40yrs, and the outcome of their rule is the poverty we can see around the country till date.
Sanusi did not care to tell Nigerians and the international community of how his fellow Northerners have grown fat with the oil proceeds in the Niger Delta. It’s obvious that 90% of oil blocs in the Niger Delta, were being controlled by northerners.
The northern propaganda machine against Alison-Madueke, cooked up by Sanusi, sold that lie to the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians, that Alison-Madueke was a ‘thief’. The question many of us are asking is, was it Alison-Madueke who certified the oil blocs from the Niger Delta to some northern personalities like Rilwanu Lukman, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB), Abduklsallam Abubaker, Danjuma, and the rest of others?
What the Sanusis would not see about Alison-Madueke, it was the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who last year saw the good works that Alison-Madueke was doing in office and wrote a full-page essay on her, published in The Sun.
Kalu classified Alison-Madueke as (1) The Quintessential Minister of Petroleum Resources and, (2) The Mother of Local Content. In his wisdom, Kalu attested to, that Alison-Madueke had done very well in line with her occupation.
We know that Kalu doesn’t clap for the wrong things. He appraised Alison-Madueke as one Minister of the industry who had expressed clear dignity to work from the day-one on her duty post, by localising and indigenising the industry, particularly as it matters to the local content proposal.
However, when the Jonathan presidency opened up on the audit report by PriceWaterHouseCoopers (an independent firm) on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, into the alleged missing $20 billion oil money, it was obvious that Alison-Madueke was vindicated. Although, the report which had been ready since September 2014, was not published, but a highlight of it relayed by the then presidency, did not indict Alison-Madueke.
(Wait for Part 2).
Odimegwu Onwumere ( Tel: +2348057778358; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), Poet/Writer reports from Rivers State, Nigeria.
*Photo Caption - Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan-LEFT; Diezani Alison-Maduekex-RIGHT
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Public Safety, Onitsha Nigeria, 19th July 2015)-Following the official statement issued last night (Saturday, 18th July 2015) by the Service Management of the Department of State Security Services (SSS) as it concerns its unpopular invasion of the residences of the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Retired Col Mohammed Sambo Dasuki, the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has carefully studied the statement and observed that the country’s Rule of Law and by extension; its democratic pluralistic composition are at crossroads; save the coercive instruments of the State are forced popularly to revert to their original democratic roles. We also thank the Service Management of the DSS for exercising its corporate rights to freedom of expression and fair hearing as guaranteed by Sections 39 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution.
For the records, the Service Management of the Nigeria’s Secret Police called “DSS”/”SSS” had on Thursday, 16th and Friday, 17th July 2015 carried invasion operations on the residences of the trio of Retired Col Sambo Dasuki (immediate past NSA), Retired Col Bello Fadile and Mr. Gordon Obua (immediate past Chief Security Officer-CSO to former President Goodluck Jonathan). Most of the operations were carried out at the hours of the blue law (late evening and unofficial hours). For instance, Retired Col Dasuki’s residences’ invasion took place around 6:40pm.
While the invasions of the duo of Col Sambo Dasuki and Gordon Obua (serving senior police officer)’s residences were carried out on Thursday, 16th July 2015; that of Col Bello Fadile took place on Friday, 17th July 2015. Of the three popular citizens targeted, Mr. Gordon Obua is still held in the dudgeon of the Secret Police in Abuja. Retired Col Mohammed Sambo Dasuki served as the National Security Adviser under former President Goodluck Jonathan and briefly served under Buhari’s Presidency before he was removed alongside Service Chiefs on Monday, 13th July 2015. His three residences were invaded barely 72 hours after he was relieved of his NSA post.
According to the statement of the SSS under reference, the Service acted based on “credible intelligence linking the immediate past NSA, Mohammed Sambo DASUKI (Col Rtd) with alleged plans to committee treasonable felony against Nigerian State”. The SSS further revealed that it recovered during the invasions of his residences as follows: seven (7) high caliber rifles, (high assault weapons), several magazines and military related gears, twelve (12) new vehicles, out of which five (5) were bullet proofs. According to the Service, these vehicles which are all exotic vehicles were retrieved from SAMBO’s residence having failed to produce evidence of ownership. For instance, what could he be doing with five (5) bullet proof cars as a retired NSA?
The Service further said in its official statement: “the search operations was planned to be simultaneously conducted, but DASUKI, refused the operatives entry into his main residence located at No. 13 John Khadya Street, Asokoro, despite being presented with a genuine and duly signed search warrant. Consequently, what was to last not more than two (2) hours, lasted more than ten (10) hours, up till the early hours of 17th July, 2015?
Indeed if not for the sense of maturity and professionalism of the officers and men assigned this task and the very good understanding and timely intervention of the new Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Y. BURATAI (Maj Gen), there would have been a clash between the Army operatives guarding the house and Service operatives, as SAMBO directed the soldiers on duty not to allow any movement into his house, despite the subsisting court order”. Below is the link to the SSS official statement (https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-found-incriminating-evidence-dasukis-residence-says-sss). Further links below are the media reports of the invasions of the residences of the duo of Col Bello Fadile and Gordon Obua (http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/186862-sss-raids-bello-fadiles-home-seizes-computer-hard-drive.html, https://www.thecable.ng/sss-detains-jonathans-ex-cso).
According to media reports, a number of vehicles and computer sets belonging to the duo of Sambo Dasuki and Bello Fadile were confiscated by the invading Secret Police. Also, while the Service has alleged the offense of treasonable felony (military coup or insurrection) against Col Sambo Dasuki, it has failed till date to disclose criminal reasons or offenses against the duo of Retired Col Bello Fadile and Mr. Gordon Obua. Holding Mr. Gordon Obua without public disclosure of criminal offense(s) he is alleged to have committed as well as detaining him for five days without trial is tantamount to “jungle justice or trial by ordeal”. Cumulatively speaking, this is a fundamental breach of the 1999 Constitution.
Others Constitutional & Statutory Blunders Trailing The Invasions:
The hanging around the neck of Col Sambo Dasuki an offense of treasonable felony is totally militarist and dictatorial in color and outlook. It confirms our fears that Nigeria has returned to Presidential Dictatorship, where “treason”, “treasonable felony”, and ”sedition” are commonly and recklessly used to root out and mow down political opponents and independent voices. It is also akin to reckless use of “armed robbery” and “kidnapping” by the Nigeria Police Force to inflict painful torture and summary death on Nigerian citizens, hiding under “Police Order 237”.
As for vehicles recovered from Col Dasuki’s residences including five bullet proofs, our question to the SSS is: has all official (returnable) properties in his possession been returned considering the fact that he was summarily removed as NSA barely 72 hours before the invasion of his residences? As for “seven high caliber rifles” said to have been recovered; our questions are: what about the soldiers guarding his said residence? Are they guarding with batons? Can’t guns be validly found in his house owing to circumstantial factors including his immediate past post as NSA? What is the standard practice in Nigeria with respect to NSA job? Can’t guns be found in the residence of a Commissioner of Police, not to talk of an immediate past NSA, who is yet to complete official property handover having been removed less than 72 hours? Is there any provision in the law that permit an individual of Col Sambo Dasuki caliber to possess “prohibited firearms” provided he has a presidential license or approval? Is it only “treasonable felony” that can be slammed on any individual found possessing “high caliber guns”? What about the offenses of “unlawful possession of firearms” (prohibited or personal firearm) or gun-running (trading in firearms)?
For the records, the Offense of Treasonable Felony is defined by Section 41 of the Criminal Code as follows:
1. Any person who forms an intention to effect any of the following purposes that is to say:
A. To remove during his term of office otherwise than by constitutional means the President as Head of State of the Federation and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces thereof or
B. To likewise remove during this terms of office the Governor of a state or
C. To levy war against Nigeria in order to put any force or compel the President to change his measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon, or in order to intimidate or overawe any House of the National Assembly or any other legislative or legislation authority or
D. To instigate any foreigner to make any armed invasion of Nigeria or any of the territories thereof. Manifestation of such intention by an act is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for life
By the provisions of the Firearms Act, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004, its Section 3 provides as follows: No person shall have in his possession or under his control any firearm of one of the categories specified in Part I of the Schedule hereto (hereinafter referred to as a prohibited firearm) except in accordance with a license granted by the President acting in his discretion.
By Section 28 (1) of the Act: Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act specified in paragraphs (a), and (c) of this section, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction-(a) as to any offences under any of the following-(i) section 3 of this Act, (which prohibits the possession or control of firearms or certain categories)-(ii) Section 18 of this Act, (which prohibits the importation or exportation of firearms or ammunition other than through prescribed ports)-(iii) Section 19 of this Act, (which restricts the importation or exportation of certain firearms or ammunition), and-(iv) Section 23 of this Act, (which prohibits the manufacture, assembly, or repair of firearms and ammunition- to a minimum sentence of ten years imprisonment.
2. Apparatus for the discharge of any explosive or gas-diffusing projectile.
3. Rocket weapons.
4. Bombs and grenades.
5. Machine-guns and machine-pistols.
6. Military rifles, namely those of calibers 7.62 mm, 9 mm., .300 inches and .303 inches.
7. Revolvers and pistols whether rifled or unrifled (including flint-lock pistols and cap pistols).
8. Any other firearm not specified in Part II or Part III of this Schedule.
From the foregoing, therefore, it is has been clearly established that the Service Management of the SSS acted ultra vires and unconstitutional. By the foregoing citations, it is indisputably established that an individual of Col Sambo Dasuki caliber (as former or serving NSA) can possess “prohibited firearms” provided the President granted him the permission. Till date, the Service Management of the SSS has failed to disclose publicly the social and securitization circumstances of the so called “high caliber guns” recovered from Col Dasuki’s residence warranting the leveling of “offense of treasonable felony” against him, including as whether he has a presidential license.
Also, possession of “high caliber guns” does not automatically make the possessor “a treasonable felon”, as there are lesser offenses like “offenses of unlawful possession of prohibited firearms” or “gun-running” (without statutory license). The SSS also appears to have earned notoriety in making sweeping and unsubstantiated allegations against groups and private citizens without successful court prosecution. One of such populist accusations was its November 2014 invasion of the APC Office (APC Data Center) located at No. 10, Bola Ajibola Street, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria. The SSS had accused the APC of “cloning of Permanent Voters Cards with intention to hack INEC Data Base”. Till date, Nigerians are not in the know of the conclusion of the matter and successful prosecution and sentencing or acquittal (if any) of the culprits.
In the instant case, the SSS also over-stepped its statutory bounds. By law, the Service is fundamentally in-charge of Nigeria’s internal intelligence gathering, while that of counter-intelligence (foreign) appears to have been left in the hands of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Another statutory task placed in the hands of the SSS is protection of “very important personnel” like top public office holders and foreign dignitaries. “Law Enforcement Duties”, which the Service carried out at the residences of the refernced three public figures, are not part of their fundamental duties. Intelligence gathered can be transmitted to the law enforcement arm of government like the Nigeria Police Force in the spirit of inter-service agency collaborations and for onward execution.
Also, the SSS had in its statement said: “these vehicles which are all exotic vehicles were retrieved from SAMBO’s residence having failed to produce evidence of ownership. For instance, what could he be doing with five (5) bullet proof cars as a retired NSA?” Are they not bought with tax payers’ money? By this statement, the SSS encroached on, and usurped the statutory jobs of the Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force and anti corruption duties of the EFCC and the ICPC.
As a matter of fact, this is a clear “witch-hunting” using frivolous and yet-to-be substantiated criminal excuses. We challenge the SSS to prove its allegation of “treasonable felony” leveled against Col Sambo Dasuki by successfully prosecuting him before a court of competent jurisdiction. The Service Management of the SSS must also release Mr. Gordon Obua (former CSO to Goodluck Jonathan) or charge him to court immediately. The Service must end its harassment of the three key figures under reference and other citizens it has already penciled down in its black book.
Activities such as the foregoing have been responsible for most of the ongoing 568 armed conflicts around the world and 167 on African Continent.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
*Photo Caption - Nigeria State Security Service (SSS) logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman reports ] - In liberal political theory, it has long been noted that the relative neglect of the internal life of political parties is due to the notion that they are private associations, which are entitled to govern their own internal structures and processes. This laissez faire approach, unfortunately, has led to internal divisions because, among other reasons, the leader has too much power to the extent that everything in the party revolves around him.
The “privatization” of political parties has had devastating consequences on their survival. Can you think of how many political parties died after the exit or death of their leader? Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s APGA? Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa’s DPP? Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s LP? Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s AD? The list is endless. In the case of APC, will the party survive after President Muhmmadu Buhari tenure? Who build and unprecedented record of integrity that transformed into a political tsunami that swept the PDP government out of power?
But all this can be avoided if political parties can strengthen their internal democracy. One of the major strategies is to allow ordinary members to express their views on matters of policy and strategic planning. This can be done by establishing forums within the party that hear directly the concerns and wishes of the people. Related to this is that the party leaders, instead of living in the comfort of their cocoons, need to be accessible to ordinary members so that they can know what is happening on the ground.
What makes political parties lose their touch with the people is that they tend to work like bureaucrats who mainly communicate through memos, emails and telephone calls. Such communication channels, although useful, lack a human face and often do not reach the rank and file. You need to have a critical mass of dedicated cadres or “foot soldiers” that are always in touch with the people. And in this day and age of digital technology, the party should have a website or hotline which can be used to communicate directly between the people and its leader(s).
A critical strategy that can promote internal democracy in a political party is to allow vigorous advocacy by non-governmental organizations and individuals, such as Churches, Mosques, students’ organizations, professional organizations, trade unions, farmers’ organizations and others. Once these bodies are given a hearing, the party is likely to speak the “voice of the people”. This strategy is emphasized by most European countries constitutions, which states: “Political parties are the expression of political pluralism; they contribute to the formation and expression of the will of the people and are a fundamental instrument for political participation”.
Internal democracy within political parties can also be enhanced by establishing qualified research teams that look into various economic, political and social issues. For instance, the research team can investigate why there is voter apathy, electoral processes, a declining support base, land redistribution, unemployment, the quality of education, internal factions, etc. Like any business enterprise, political parties need to look at their marketing strategies, including the quality of their leadership which stands as a brand for the party.
Finally, in order to foster greater internal democracy in the party, there is need to adopt a deliberate policy of a quota system which reserves a certain percentage for ethnic minorities. This should also include a gender quota which defines the minimum percentage of female candidates in the party leadership as well as representatives in parliament. The quota system can also be extended to the youth who form the largest segment of the population. In this way, any political party that wants to avoid being consigned to the museum of antiquities, can gain greater cohesion and be able to march into the future with greater confidence.
Comrade Ahmed Omeiza Lukman ( Email: email@example.com Phone: +380639279059 ), reports from Kiev Ukraine.
*Photo Caption - All Progressives Congress (APC) logo