[ Masterweb Reports ] - Chief Charles O. Okereke, CEO/Publisher - Nigeria Masterweb and Africa Masterweb, and other dignitaries were today accorded Universal Peace Federation (UPF) "Ambassador for Peace" Award by its Nigerian chapter. The award is in recognition of their past and on-going efforts as well as a new global commissioning to work toward the realization of a peaceful world for all. The international award was presented to nominees at Apo Apartments Hotel, Apo, Abuja as part of the special program of activities to mark the 10th anniversary of UPF.
An NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, UPF supports the work of the United Nations, particularly in the areas of interfaith peace-building, peace education, and the strengthening of marriage and family. UPF is the largest and most diverse network of peace leaders commissioned from dignitaries from all walks of life representing different races, religion, nationalities and cultures. It is dedicated to achieving world peace.
UPF advocates renewal of the United Nations, including a proposal that the UN creates an interreligious council within its structures. UPF implements its programs through her global network of Ambassadors for Peace.
*Photo Caption - Chief Charles O. Okereke
[ Masterweb Reports: Rev Obinna Akukwe reports ] - The Position of SGF has finally been ceded to the North East by President Muhammadu Buhari, after months of gang-up by Igbo politicians within PDP and APC against each other.
Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC), in a warning to Igbo leaders and the public, released through a well publicized press statement, gave hints that Buhari will cede the position to another zone if our house is not put in order. The principal blackmail target was Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, followed by Dr Chris Ngige
The leaderships of Igbo Mandate Congress even had audience with some of those mentioned in the said press release and warned of the intelligence reports that another zone might pick up the coveted position if the current blackmail continues. Now it has happened as forewarned, Engr David Lawal from Adamawa, North East Nigeria has been appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Those Igbo leaders in PDP and APC who sold each other before President Buhari should better keep their dirty mouth shut at this time before IMC exposes how their selfishness caused the Igbo the position of SGF.
Had President Buhari intimated a week before the appointment that Mr Kachikwu of Igbo extraction will be the GMD of NNPC, these political riff rats would have given 20 reasons why he is not as fit as their preferred choice for the top post, leading to the later being blacklisted.
For record purposes, Igbo Mandate Congress do hereby represent a copy of its press release of June 16th over the controversial issue of SGF.
SGF: Buhari and the PDP Gang-up Against Ogbonnaya Onu-IMC Raises Alarm
It is with deep sense of regret that the leadership of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) received reports of massive gang-up against Chief Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, President Buhari’s preferred choice for the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) by some elements within APC and opposition PDP.
Igbo Mandate Congress have followed the relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and the leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the South East notable among whom is Chief Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Senator Chris Ngige and Chief Rochas Okorocha, and we have it on good records that the incumbent President has respect for the trio.
The level of mudslinging, blackmail and campaign of calumny and gang-up against Chief Ogbonnaya Onu of recent has attracted the attention of IMC. Information reaching us has outlined those campaigning against Ogbonnaya Onu’s candidacy for the post of SGF as including;
1. Chief Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State who prefers his in-law, and former Imo State SSG, Prof Anthony Anwuka for the position
2. Chief Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State who believes that an Ogbonnaya Onu as SGF from Ebonyi State will dwindle the political fortunes of the PDP in the next dispensation
3. Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Nigeria’s immediate past SGF who was not able to make even his principal, Goodluck Jonathan execute any tangible project in the South East for the four years he was in office, the 2nd Niger Bridge and Enugu International Airport being ‘419’ on the Igbo Nation. This man believes that Onu’s influence will whittle down his own influence in the State
4. Chief Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, who is being pressurized to join the blackmail Ogbonnaya Onu campaign, so as to maintain the supremacy of the PDP in the Enugu-Ebonyi State axis
5. Chief Rotimi Amaechi, who is cashing in on the division within the South East, to position himself for the plum appointment.
Igbo Mandate Congress wishes to note that these men have contributed in one way or the other to move Nigeria forward.
1. Chief Rochas Okorocha had the foresight to drag a faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) into the Buhari-Tinubu alliance
2. Chief Dave Umahi, despite all odds, have proved from the Ebonyi State example, that a victimized Deputy Governor can defeat the candidate of a sitting governor, and emerge as a State Chief Executive-a feat not lost on lovers of democracy
3. Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, who through the act of God, benefitted from our protests after the 2011 elections, that Igbo be made Senate President which ex-President Jonathan compensated with an SGF slot
4. Chief Ike Ekweremadu, who through another act of God, secured a slot for the Igbo race in the 5th National Assembly, despite being in the opposition PDP
5. Chief Rotimi Amaechi, who refused Presidential impunity in Rivers State and set stage for a Southern platform of ‘Change’.
Igbo Mandate Congress believes that Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a former National Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and a consistent member of the opposition since 1999 is ably qualified for the position. This Ebonyi State born former governor was part of those who helped form a coalition that led to the formation of the APC. He also helped some Igbos in the north to remain and cast votes for the opposition.
Igbo Mandate Congress believes that anybody can pursue his political ambition of being the SGF, and believes that Senator Chris Ngige and Prof Anthony Anwuka and indeed others are not inferior choices but ganging up against a particular person and putting undue pressures on the person of President Muhammadu Buhari to jettison his preferred choice, using instruments of blackmail, is not in the best interest of the Igbo race.
Igbo Mandate Congress is known worldwide as a stakeholder in the ‘Change’ being celebrated in Nigeria today, and participated in ensuring that Igbos in the North rejected some directives form Ohanaeze and compromised Igbo Leaders to vote for the expired “Transformational Agenda” in concert with Ohanaeze Ndigbo in the 19 Northern States and as such has the moral right to call erring leaders to order.
Igbos in the APC should pursue their ambitions without pulling down others. They should promote their preferred candidate without rubbishing the efforts of others. Let this mudslinging politics stop for once.
We have reliable information that President Buhari is wearied of all these recurring Igbo antics and may cede the position to another zone if the pressure becomes overbearing.
That was the nonsense that made Igbo produces five Senate Presidents in eight years while another zone (North Central) produced one senate President in eight years. Those misguided Igbo leaders must carefully avoid a situation whereby President Muhammadu Buhari wearied by scandalous lobbying cedes the coveted SGF position to another zone.
In the event that President Buhari cedes this position to another zone, and cries of marginalization starts, IMC will reveal all the details of the self-inflicted calamities and hold the players responsible. They must not gang up with the PDP to pull down Chief Ogbonnaya Onu before Buhari to become SGF or anything they wish.
Rev Obinna Akukwe
Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC)
*Photo Caption - Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu
[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Public Security & Civil Liberties, Onitsha Nigeria, 28th August 2015)-The attention of the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is drawn to a recent public warning issued by the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command, Mr. Hosea Karma over the reckless use of sirens and covered plate numbers by private citizens particularly politicians and business moguls of credible and banditry backgrounds. CP Hosea Karma had in the warning statement blamed members of the public as being solely responsible for the abuse and disclosed that he had ordered his officers to commence manhunts for their “defaulters”, and that any defaulter caught will be arrested and prosecuted. He also, by his statement exonerated his officers from any responsibility and culpability. The link below credited to a leading online newspaper ( Nigerian News Express) is the referenced public statement: (http://www.newsexpressngr.com/news/detail.php?news=14467&title=Police-warns-against-use-of-siren,-covering-of-plate-number-%E2%80%A2Begins-clampdown-on-defaulters-in-Anambra).
Having carefully studied the statement, it is our total conviction that CP Hosea Karma’s headship of the State Command is police roadblock friendly. It is also a common knowledge that the sole intent of the police roadblock in Anambra State is extortion and negative security powered by “police return culture” (stratified sharing of roadblock extortion proceeds). It is recalled that Intersociety had in its recent statement on similar issue observed the resurgence of police roadblocks on Anambra roads. Independent observers also told Intersociety recently that over 100 illegal police roadblocks have resurfaced in major parts of the State under the watchful eyes of CP Hosea Karma.
Flimsy excuses such the one being complained and condemned (abuse of sirens and use of covered plate numbers) have periodically been devised by the authorities of the Anambra State Police Command now under CP Hosea Karma to flood Anambra roads with police extortionist roadblocks. Just recently, the State Police Command flooded Anambra roads with its officers in utter disregard to the superior orders of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase; claiming that “ it is enforcing Governor Willie Obiano’s restriction of public and private motorcycles on a number of roads in Anambra State”. Some officers of the Command were seen in several places that have nothing to do with restricted road areas, arresting and extorting with reckless abandon. The Command also engages in negative security (punishing and maltreating citizens for being law abiding under false criminal accusations).
As condemnable and despicable as the reckless use or abuse of sirens and use of covered plate numbers are, our several investigations have steadily shown that the authorities of the Nigeria Police High Command and the Anambra State Command in particular, are solely behind the abuse of sirens and use of covered plate numbers. For instance in the State, other than siren installed vehicles or buses donated by the Government of Anambra State particularly under Mr. Peter Obi administration to selected public and social service oriented bodies like vigilantes, hospitals, red cross, security oversights civil society groups, etc; others who use covered plate numbers and abuse sirens are all known to the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force including the Anambra State Police Command. None of the former uses covered plate numbers or abuses sirens.
The latter are fully backed by the Nigeria Police Force particularly officers of the State Command. They steadily constitute public nuisance on the roads by operating like criminal gangs escaping policing manhunts. For instance, banks bullion vans squads are escorted by the Police using their siren blaring hilux trucks. Their menace on the roads is shocking and alarming. Most of them operate with covered plate numbers. Again, business moguls and politicians in long convoy are also escorted by armed police personnel using publicly procured siren blaring security trucks; blaring sirens and engaging in driving styles and speeding with reckless abandon.
In the past three Christmas seasons of 2012, 2013 and 2014, investigations carried out by Intersociety revealed that 80% or more of business moguls and prominent politicians that include white collar bandits residing abroad, who returned for Christmas holidays; were escorted by officers of the Nigeria Police Force including those of the Anambra State Police Command, using publicly procured siren blaring security trucks. Some of them went as far as hiring military personnel for security, intimidation and show off. We consider these as a height of commercialization and abuse of public security by the authorities of the NPF including Anambra State Police Command. It saddens and surprises us that the same Police Command of Anambra operational base could turn around and point accusing fingers at innocent civil citizens, with intent to harass, intimidate and extort.
Similar to these is the introduction of commercialization of the so called “tinted vehicle glasses” by the same Nigeria Police Force (NPF) particularly the Anambra State Command. The NPF has till date, maintained a culture of commercialization of public security through all sorts of infantile security excuses including authorization to use tinted glasses and sirens, possession of fake driver’s license and vehicle papers, roadblocks, nipping points, suspicion of criminal wrongdoing, etc. In the case of use of tinted glasses, any sun shielding windscreen is categorized as “tinted glass”. Sadly and shocking too, politicians and business mogul of credible and banditry backgrounds are exempted because of their proneness to brown envelopes and bribery. Each ordinary private vehicle owner with factory fitted sun shielding windscreen is coerced into spending between N30, 000 and N45, 000 as case may be, in the hands of the NPF, in obtaining the so called approval for tinted glass.
Other than the foregoing, the Anambra State Police Command under CP Hosea Karma has also bounced back with utter alacrity in all sorts of extortionist activities powered by illicit police roadblocks across the State particularly in Onitsha and Nnewi commercial cities. At Upper Iweka/Aba Park area, corrupt officers of the Okpoko Police Station operating mostly in mufti are in charge. Generally across the State, open extortion of commercial motorists, tri-cyclists and motorcyclists are still going on though in a reduced speed following reduction in police roadblocks and changes in extortion patterns, which have now been shifted and heavily placed on private motorists; in the form of checks of drivers’ licenses and vehicle papers. General or official checks on vehicle particulars done announced and periodically have been replaced with random, unannounced and frivolous checks; all with intent to intimidate and extort innocent members of the public.
Finally, we wish to warn for the very last time the Anambra State Police Command under CP Hosea Karma to put its house in order and purge itself of all sorts of extortionist and corruptive activities particularly on the State roads. In the world over and in modern science of crime, crimes are not fought by mounting reckless and indiscriminate roadblocks. This is because police roadblocks are confirmed triggers of crime and corruption, which in turn, lead to unlawful homicidal conducts including torture and extra judicial killings.
The State Police Command must obey the firm directive of its Inspector General of Police by dismantling with immediate effect all roadblocks on Anambra roads other than those belonging to the Federal Highway Police and special ones created and designated with spots by the Government of Anambra State for its control of violent crimes. Since the Buhari administration says it is fighting corruption, we have expected the anti corruption posture to first show in the faces and conduct of the Nigeria Police Force particularly the Anambra State Command under CP Hosea Karma.
As for the CP’s order to his officers to flood Anambra roads with roadblocks so as “to catch the defaulters of reckless use of sirens and covered plate numbers”, we demand the immediate reversal of the directive owing to its unpopularity and derogation from the IGP’s guided police road presence policy. Importantly, the CP Hosea Karma-led Anambra State Police Command should beam its searchlight inward or towards its own confines as the aider and condoner of reckless use of sirens and covered plate numbers. Members of the public in Anambra State must not be subjected to undue police roadblock harassment, intimidation and extortion and punished for misconducts that are unknown them, but known to the State Police Command in all intents and purposes.
This stern warning of ours has monumental administrative, legal and image consequences if ignored by the warned. Our capacity and competence to shake the foundation of the Anambra State Police Command locally, nationally and internationally if these clarion calls go unheeded, have no iota of doubt. The panned actions of ours and other grounded rights based civil society organizations in the State and beyond will include compilation of number of unapproved police roadblocks mounted across the State roads, capturing in secret cameras of their extortion scenes and acts, exposition and internationalization of corrupt practices of the Command, joint press conferences for the removal and administrative quarantining of senior commanders of the State Command including CP Hosea Karma, official petitions or written representations against the leadership of the Command to the appropriate quarters, and public interest litigations aimed at exposing and curbing the corruptive and homicidal conducts of the Command.
As a leading public security oversight civil society organization in Anambra State, recognized and encouraged by the Government of Anambra State and beyond its borders, Intersociety will no longer allow the State Police Command to have a field day as it concerns all manners of policing misconducts including the issue under reference, which amounts to “arresting and punishing John over the drunkenness of Peter”.
Note: The attached pictures are those of officers of the Anambra State Police Command caught by Intersociety extorting N50.00 notes from commercial motorists on Onitsha-Enugu and Onitsha-Owerri Dual Carriage Ways in November 2011.
Emeka Umeagbalasi (B.Sc., Criminology & Security Studies)
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Uzochukwu Oguejiofor-Nwonu, Esq., LLB, BL, Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Esq., LLB, BL, Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
*Photo Caption - Police officer extorting N50.00 from a motorist, November 30, 2011
[ 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: email@example.com ), 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: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Christian Symbol