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06/15/15

*An Update On Complaint Against Wrongful Allocation Of Results To Deceased Students & Related Issues – Part 3

By Intersociety

Ref: Intersociety/NG/06/015/003/Rector/FPO/AN

Prof Godwin Onu
Rector, Federal Polytechnic
Thro
The Deputy Rector (Administration)
Office of the Rector, Federal Polytechnic
Oko, Anambra State, Nigeria

Sir,

An Update On Complaint Against Wrongful Allocation Of Results To Deceased Students & Related Issues (3)

(Civil Liberties, Onitsha Nigeria, 15th June 2015)-Following our letters of 21st May and 4th June 2015 addressed to your respected office on the matter above underlined and reactions so generated, it is our resolution to write to update you and other stakeholders. Importantly, we have observed few errors contained in the two previous letters under reference.

Errors:

Contrary to our earlier letters, the affected students in the Department of Science Lab Technology-2012/2013 Session; numbering 400, are in the Ordinary National Diploma (OND) category and not HND. In other words, they are OND or ND Finalists; not HND Finalists. Also, late Citizens Offorbuike Ginika and Offorbuike Daniel with Registration Numbers FPO/SLT/ND/R11/012/160 and FPO/SLT/ND/R2/012/212 respectively, are some of the deceased or dead students awarded exam results in the said exams they did not take part. In our two previous letters, they were mistakenly mentioned as some of the students that left your respected School long before the exams were taken or held; but were awarded results of the exams.

School’s Position On Late Citizen Ezeh Uchenna:

The position reportedly canvassed by the authorities of the Oko Polytechnic under your headship to the effect that Ezeh Uchenna with Registration Number FPO/SLT/ND/R1/012/038 took the referenced examinations; is strongly refuted and challenged. The following is the irrefutable account of Citizen Ejidike Stephen(07064601819)-the Course Rep and leading complainant: the exams in contention (2nd Semester ND 1-2012/2013) were supposed to be taken in November 2013, but the protracted strike that started in April 2013 and ended in July 2013 and another that started in October 2013 and ended in July 2014; disrupted the exams. In August 2014, the exams were taken and during the exams, late Ezeh Uchenna called me from his hospital bed in my capacity as the Course Rep.

He pleaded with me to arrange myself or find someone to write the exams for him, but I told him I can’t do that to avoid being caught for impersonation. I advised him to ask his family to go and meet our HOD. Late Ezeh Uchenna was terminally sick and bed-ridden. Throughout the exams he was in the hospital and never seen near the exams hall. He later died in September 2014. Apart from the Course Rep’s account, the School’s reported position suffered another grievous damage on the account of late Citizens Offorbike Ginika and Offorbike Daniel’s involvement in the exams’ result award jamboree. The late sibling, who hailed from Oko; died in a motor accident at Nnewi in October 2013 during the campaign tour of one of the leading gubernatorial candidates in the November 2013 governorship election in Anambra State. But their names were included as those that took the referenced exams of August 2014; ten months after their tragic death. They were also allocated two and four results respectively.

Dead Students Allocated Results:

1. Late Ezeh Uchenna with Registration Number FPO/SLT/ND/R1/012/038. He was given upper credit or “3.05” and awarded 67 in Cell Biology (STB 121), 81 in Organic Chemistry (STC 121), 60 in Physical Chemistry (STC 122), 49 in Electricity & Magnetism (STP 121?), 44 in Optics & Waves (STP 122), 66 in Analytical Chemistry (STC 123), 70 in General Lab Techniques 111, 69 in Computer Packages 1(COM 123), 64 in Research Method (STC 201) and 52 in Citizenship Education (GNS 127). He died in September 2014; a month after the exams.
2. Late Offorbike Daniel with Registration Number FPO/SLT/ND/R2/012/212. He was given 31 in STC 122 (Physical Chemistry), 40 in STP 122 (Optics & Wave), 39 in GLT 121 (General Lab Technology) and 30 in Com 123 (Computer Packages 1). He died in a motor accident in October 2013, ten months before the exams.
3. Late Offorbike Ginika with Registration Number FPO/SLT/ND/R2/012/160. She was given 40 in STP 122 (Optics & Wave) and 14 in Com 123 (Computer Packages). She died with her brother in a motor accident in October 2013; ten months before the exams.
4. Late Maduabuchi Judith with Registration Number FPO/SLT/ND/R1/011/266. She was given 90 in STP 221 (Organic Chemistry), 48 in STC 221 (Maintenance & Repair) and 37 in STB 222 (Ecology). She died in July 2014; a month before the exams.

Award Of Results To Former Students:

1. One of the former students of the School awarded results of exams they did not take part is Citizen Ubah Peter with Registration Number FPO/SLT/ND/R2/012/209. He was given 30 in GLT 121 (General Lab Technology), 22 in STC 121 (Organic Chemistry) and 14 in Com 123 (Computer Packages). He left the School during the protracted strike in 2013 and went in private business and never returned to the School; yet he was awarded exam results of exams held in August 2014. His phone number is +2348039733335.

Further, the purpose of this letter is to reinforce your School’s ongoing internal investigation to enable it address the problem head long. As we have earlier demanded, all the missing and misallocated results should be traced and corrected and staffers or authorities responsible for the anomalies sanctioned. None of the affected students including Agu Oluchukwu (08089958161) and Ejidike Stephen (07064601819) should be maltreated or sanctioned.

We also frown at the earlier refusal of the Project Coordinator of the said Department of Science Lab Technology, one (Mr.) Onyejekwu I. to collect the projects of the duo of Agu Oluchukwu and Ejidike Stephen on the instructions of their HOD, one Dr. Mrs. Rufina Ogechukwu Muoka (08037503949); when the duo went to submit their projects on 9th June 2015. Though they were collected on 11th June 2015 on the intervention of the local authorities of the Department of State Security Services (DSS/SSS); but the action of the HOD is condemnable and sanction-able. Just the other day, some of our friend-journalists reported to us how she attacked them on phone cursing and abusing them in the presence of her students simply because they wanted to hear her own side of the complaint. She is still reportedly going about, threatening the affected students particularly the duo of Ejidike Stephen and Agu Oluchukwu.

We also understand that she was recently elevated to the rank of deanship and made a member of the School’s Governing Council. Our position is that she does not deserve the elevation and appointment. As a matter of fact, she deserves demotion and sanction; not promotion and conspiratorial protection from the School authorities under your headship.

Yours Faithfully,

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)

Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons) Criminology & Security Studies
+2348174090052(office)
info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., (LLB, BL), Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

CC:

The Director of SSS, Anambra State Directorate, Amawbia, Anambra State

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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06/13/15

06/08/15

*Nine Ways Buhari Can Remake Nigeria By Partnering With Private Sector

By Chuks UC Ukaoma

In his well-received inaugural speech on May 29th, President Buhari articulated his plans for solving the same ole problems facing Nigeria. These chronic challenges are epileptic power supply, bad roads, high unemployment, insecurity, environmental degradation, and yes, corruption.

Mr. Buhari also made this ambitious pledge in "My 100 Days Covenant With Nigerians: We promise not to leave any Nigerian behind in our determination to create, expand and ensure equitable and effective allocation of economic opportunities. No matter the amount of funds we generate, unless there is an efficient and effective utilization, it will only create few billionaires. Unless we fight corruption, the economy will only benefit the greedy in our society."

Most Nigerians agree corruption is an evil that needs to be exorcised. Buhari was elected to fight and made promises to win this war. For the record, I support harsh punishment for the perpetrators. However, I question whether fighting corruption should be Job Numero Uno of the new administration… Please hear me out! ( Continues below….. )

President Muhammadu Buhari

Photo Above: President Muhammadu Buhari

The sequence this administration pursues its agenda will be critical. The true mandate could be lost by fixation on corruption at the expense of other challenges that breed degeneracy. Neither the administration nor the people should assume the federal government could solve all these challenges without the private sector. Nigeria needs a boatload of new private sector jobs in a hurry! Ample jobs would help to ameliorate Nigeria's problems, including corruption.

If Nigeria harnesses the power of the media, it would effectively win the war on corruption with little or no public funds and devoid of potential ethnic or selective prosecution. On this I will elaborate later.

Thanks to the cornucopia of evidence, Nigerians stated through the recent elections that derelict elected officials shall be voted out of office. Be warned politicians: going forward, it's all about performance, stupid!

Nigerians, including those of us abroad, need to coalesce to find solutions to our problems. No single group can solve them all.

Before expecting too much from the administration, people need to realize that democracy is an expensive form of government that is sustainable only when efficiently partnered with the private sector.

Positive change does not manifest overnight; it’s often incremental, albeit planned, steady, progressive and cumulative. If the new administration tries to do many things too fast too soon to assuage the voters, it could end up doing none of them well.

Nigeria needs a larger middle class to create a more stable and prosperous society. In turn that would reduce poverty, Boko Haramism, armed robbery, corruption, insecurity, substandard health care and roads, to name a few.

Per Buhari, the challenges of Nigeria are surmountable. No need to reinvent the wheel. Nigeria cannot fully adopt American-style democracy without mirroring the American institutions which foster that government in every level. America, with its glaring imperfections, is still a great country to emulate.

The past and present leaders of Nigeria have traveled to or lived in the United States. They know that a good way to liberate themselves (from the stress of insecurity) is to help create more employment opportunities for all Nigerians, especially the middle class and recent graduates.

The Buhari Administration can positively engrave its name in the history book by doing the following:

1 Housing (Specifically single family homes). "Nigeria is bedeviled with a housing deficit of about 17 million" houses. The private housing industry could create over 50 million good jobs, over time. This alone would solve Nigeria’s unemployment problem. The country can be transformed by establishing new well-planned mega cities near the six super highways (See #3 below and google my article: I am Here to Create New Jobs).

Nigeria should cease wasting money by patching ill-planned cities. Why continue to pour new wine into old wineskins? States should compete by building new cities with ample parks, schools, sports teams, places of worship and commerce, and yes, cemeteries.

The streets must be walkable, bikeable and motorable. The cities should have modern amenities like water, waste water, electric power, and technology network. These amenities are great job-creating opportunities.

As homeownership increases in a growing economy, the problems plaguing Nigeria today would shrink to manageable levels. When your homestead represents your largest single investment and the same is the case for your neighbors (and there is the rule of law), armed robbery and Boko Haram would not gain a foothold in that environment.

The solution is not more (Beverly Hills) Lekkis or Maitamas where homes are out of reach of the average person and where everyone is a billionaire. Rather communities need to be planned like our villages where big and small homes co-exist; and where people can put down roots and know their neighbors. Why live behind high insecurity walls of today's transient cities? People toil most of their lives without owning a piece of the city due to the high cost of real estate.

2. Communication: Nigeria should grant free licenses and provide low-interest loans for ten thousand mini-radio and -television stations. I called for 1000 mini radio stations in a previous article; that number needs to be upped to 10,000 stations to blanket the entire country.

Each station can be restricted to about a 10-mile range. This would make each station truly local. As these stations compete, the better managed ones would emerge and buy the weaker stations to form a network or expand into other media like television stations. Starting cost can be as low as $10,000.

The media is an essential vanguard of democracy. Too much lip service has been paid to corruption; pervasive media is an effective and efficient way of winning the war on corruption. When people have access to timely information on the activities of public servants, public pressure would force behavior modification. For example, if a public servant who makes certain amount of money has unexplainable assets far exceeding the salary, such person should be treated as a common criminal by society. The media is also effective in educating society and curbing crimes. The Chibok girls would have been found by now if Nigeria had tongues wagging 24/7 on 10,000 mini radio and TV stations.

3. Six major highway networks: The super highways should be as straight as possible (even if they bypass today's major cities) because well-planned cities would emerge along these super highways. Notice how the six highways would connect all corners of Nigeria:

A. Sokoto to Badagary,
B. Lagos to Calabar/Oron,
C. Maiduguri/Baga to Calabar/Oron
D. Maiduguri/Baga to Sokoto
E. Maiduguri/Baga to Lagos
F. Calabar/Oron to Sokoto

This would reduce population concentration while spurring development in every part of Nigeria over time. It would also promote trade with neighboring countries.

The private sector toll road system, used effectively in America and Mexico, can fund these six super highways.

If Spanish companies can own toll roads in Texas, international companies can be incentivized to build toll roads and bridges in Nigeria. Heck, the commercial city of Onitsha alone can use 10 bridges across River Niger to eliminate the current bottleneck while stimulating development on both sides of the river; just like Austin, Texas has 10 bridges over the Colorado River. This would free up public funds for other badly needed services like public safety.

A Nigerian (friend of mine, in full disclosure) named Ben Obaretin has a road construction business in Houston, Texas. Other talented folks inside and outside the country should be encouraged to contribute their expertise.

4. Let cities and counties have independent police departments. The police will become more accountable to the citizens when it reports to local city manager, mayor, or county commissioner. This is a more effective system than, say, creating more postage stamp states.

5. Let communities, religious organizations, well-to-do persons, establish for-profit schools (elementary, secondary, and college and university). Create several accreditation bodies with authority to validate any institution in the nation.

Let there be institutions on every corner, online, on the air, 24-7 as they are in Massachusetts and the Dominican Republic. Let them start with as few as ten students! Let the various levels of education compete in sports and academics to promote excellence while generating funds and creating jobs. Let the market determine the quality of education. That's how the Harvards and Stanfords and Oxfords of the world were created and are maintained.

Get the federal government out of owning/operating schools. US government per se does not own high schools or universities or commercial airline companies or sports teams. They are owned by the private sector, state, or local governments, individuals and religious and civic entities. Encourage wealthy Nigerians to build schools like railroad mogul Leland Stanford did for Stanford University (to memorialize his only son) or John D. Rockefeller did in 1891 for the University of Chicago. Rockefeller prophetically described the donation to establish the university as “the best investment I ever made.”

All that (legal or illegal) wealth should be invested in lasting legacies, not misused on disposable luxury cars, rarely utilized mansions without resale values, diabetes-inducing parties, foreign medical treatment travels, and culminating in, elaborate funerals.

6. Former River State Governor Rotimi Amaechi should be commended for promoting the Indigene Law. All states should establish the Indigene Law. The essence of this law in curbing tribalism and promoting unity cannot be overestimated. Nigerians and immigrants should be encouraged to have roots (and have full rights) in a new place in as little of one year of living there. When you own a piece of something, you protect and preserve that asset. This idea of being treated as an alien in one part of Nigeria because your parents were born in another part of the country is destructive to all parties.

7. Progressive Taxation: Everyone wants to receive benefits of taxes but no one likes to pay them. A good taxation system is paramount in the orderly development of a nation. We should support the work of every Zacchaeus because without them, we cannot adequately fund and sustain developments. The cities, villages, local governments and neighborhoods should have taxing authorities to provide the level of service residents demand. Taxation can be a powerful tool of governance and accountability. Where people pay their hard earned money in taxes, they demand better services, and severe punishment for those who embezzle communal resources. Also they welcome new productive residents to help them further develop and maintain that community.

8. Attract Immigrants to Nigeria: Natives are often threatened by foreigners who come in with nothing and through handwork become successful. Instead of being jealous, natives should encourage immigrants to not just come but to establish deeper roots. Immigrants being different bring unique drives, cultures, intellects, education, etc. Those are assets to be harnessed, not chased away.

The United States does this better than other countries. America has the generational benefits to prove it! Elon Musk is a South African genius who is creating scores of jobs in America. How many Nigerians have thrived abroad? The answer is thousands, if not millions. Why have they excelled overseas and not at home? Immigrants are the spice of life! Xenophobia is an ill wind that does nobody good.

9. Promote Food Safety And Natural Healthcare.

Everyone eats and needs good health to perform at optimal levels. Prevention is better than cure as we know. The safety of Nigerian food production should be improved. All foods for human consumption should be produced under sanitary conditions.

Nations like China and India are returning to their roots to promote good health. They realize the virtues of not believing solely in Western medicines at the expense of the true and tested traditional medicines. In Nigeria, Western medicine and religious beliefs have combined to give a bad name to traditional measures that sustained our forefathers for thousands of years.

This is not to advocate one method over the other; rather to opine that the good in both should be studied and allowed to co-exist based on their efficacy. Some Western medical professionals are now touting the benefits of herbs, mind over body techniques of yoga, tai chi, Pilates, meditation, etc. Let us preserve the positive aspects of our medical heritage in combination with scientific advancements of the modern world.

Religious denominations should establish more medical institutions in the communities they serve. These could be professionally managed for-profit institutions. They would prolong the lives of Nigerians, including those with warped habits of shuttling overseas for medical treatments.

The new cities with modern amenities would promote wellness. Too many Nigerians prematurely die from or are sickened by malaria, typhoid fever, asthma, obesity, and dysentery. These are diseases that are either caused or exacerbated by unsanitary conditions. Imagine the productivity loss from sickness and premature deaths! The bereaved suffer emotionally, physically, socially, and financially. Today's high funeral costs are fueled in part by poverty, crime, and corruption. The Federal Government, media, and religious organizations should educate Nigerians to reduce funeral costs. Let us repurpose these funds to improve the lives of the living around us. If elaborate funerals raised the dead, all the pharaohs would be alive today.

Chuks UC Ukaoma and his family reside in Texas, USA He has 20 years’ of experience in the new home industry.

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06/06/15

*Intersociety Files Complaint To Rector On Wrongful Allocation of Results To Deceased Students & Related Issues

By Intersociety

Ref: Intersociety/NG/06/015/002/Rector/FPO/AN

Prof Godwin Onu
Rector, Federal Polytechnic
Thro
The Deputy Rector (Administration)
Office of the Rector, Federal Polytechnic
Oko, Anambra State, Nigeria

Sir,

Complaint Against Wrongful Allocation Of Results To Deceased Students & Related Issues: A Call For Investigation & Redress (2)

(Public Issue, Onitsha-Nigeria, 4th June 2015)-Sir, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety, is an international rights organization formed and incorporated in 2008 with headquarters in Onitsha, Southeast, Nigeria. Intersociety thematically works for protection and advancement of democracy and good governance, civil liberties and rule of law as well as security and safety. Our advocacy activities and other information about us are available on www.intersociety-ng.org.

Sir, it is recalled that we have on 21st May 2015 written your respected office through the School’s Deputy Rector for Administration. Our friendly letter arose from several oral and written complaints to us by concerned students of the Science Laboratory Technology of the Higher National Diploma (ND 2) of the 2012/2013 Session or “ND Finalists”. The crux of the complaint-letter is the wrongful allocation of credit grade exam results to some deceased students as well as some students of the said Department of the Science Lab Tech who left the School long before the referenced exams ( 2nd semester of ND 1-2012/2013 Academic Session).

There was also gross mix up and missing results involving many students of the Department who took part in the referenced exams. As we write, the affected students are restless and in a state of fear, anguish and despair following uncertainties surrounding their fate as final year students. We have it on good authority that they will be leaving the School in less than two weeks. In all, 400 students, out of 700 students of the Department are affected by the anomalous results under reference. Reports also have it that the students particularly the likes of Ejidike Stephen (07064601819) and Agu Oluchukwu (08089958161) are being threatened and labeled rebels by the School authorities particularly by their Head of Department, one Dr. Mrs. Rufina Muoka Ogechukwu (08037503949). Sir, the first letter under reference, dated 21st May 2015, is reproduced as follows:

“In April 2015, some students of the Science Lab Technology of the Higher National Diploma (ND 2) of your respected Polytechnic made a complaint to our leadership in Onitsha, Nigeria concerning the above subject. The referenced students, who complained on behalf of themselves and their colleagues, belong to the 2012/2013 Session (ND finalists).

Complaint: That their 2nd Semester ND 1-2012/2013 Academic Session examination results contained fundamental omissions such as missing results, mis-allocation of results and allocation of results to the deceased and former students that never took part in the referenced examination. That prior to the referenced anomalies, your respected office and your person had the honour and privilege to address the students of your respected Poly including the student-complainants immediately the end of protracted public Poly strike of 2013; and assured them of the safety of their academic journey in your respected Poly including safety of their results and related academic records. The referenced assurances of your respected office followed possible misplacement and defacing of academic files and documents owing to the said unfortunate protracted strike.

The referenced students’ complaint followed anomalies found in their results when they were officially released. While some found theirs missing, others were awarded low marks. The most striking of it all was discovery made whereby some deceased students who died long before the referenced exams were held; were awarded excellent marks. Some students who left the respected Poly long before the referenced exams were also awarded favourable marks.

One of the deceased students awarded marks in exams he never participated is late Ezeh Uchenna with Registration Number FPO/SLT/ND/R1/012/038. He was given upper credit or “3.05” and awarded 67 in Cell Biology (STB 121), 81 in Organic Chemistry (STC 121), 60 in Physical Chemistry (STC 122), 49 in Electricity & Magnetism (STP 121?), 44 in Optics & Waves (STP 122), 66 in Analytical Chemistry (STC 123), 70 in General Lab Techniques 111, 69 in Computer Packages 1(COM 123), 64 in Research Method (STC 201) and 52 in Citizenship Education (GNS 127). Some of the students who left the respected Poly after the first semester of ND 1, but awarded the anomalous results are Offorbuike Ginika and Offorbuike Daniel with Reg. Numbers FPO/SLT/ND/R11/012/160 and FPO/SLT/ND/R2/012/212 respectively.

Internal Complaint/Investigation: Following the anomalies under complaint, the affected students made frantic efforts to draw the attention of their lecturers and head of department. They also reached out to the office of the Registrar of the respected Poly as well as Dean of Studies of the School of Applied Sciences. The referenced complaints were put in writing as advised by some of their lecturers. Sadly, their head of department, who is now a Dean, reportedly scolded them and terrified them for speaking out and putting their grievances in writing and availing them outside their department. They were also reportedly threatened with rustication and accused of being instigated by certain malicious persons.

On our part, on receiving the complaint, we reached out to our journalist-friends in the respected Poly’s Public Relations Office and they promised to intervene and get the issue resolved amicably and satisfactorily. But from the middle of April till this date, nothing assuring has come from the said promise.

Call: We call on your respected office to look into the matter and resolve same timorously. Strictly speaking, we see nothing wrong in students raising a complaint over their academic results fate. What ought to and still need to be done is to investigate their complaint with intent to finding merit or demerit in their referenced complaint and if it has merit, the anomalies should be corrected; if no merit is found, it should be communicated to them as well, with facts showing their complaint lacks merit. This is more so when the affected students said they have already conferred with some of the lecturers that handled the referenced courses and the exams, resulting in differences in the lecturers’ raw result score sheets confirming the students’ complaint.

This notwithstanding, there should be formal and comprehensive investigation into the complaint by your respected office or by a body delegated by your respected office. We also advise against meting out any punitive action against any or all of the affected students”.

The Purpose Of Our Second Letter: Our second letter to your respected office follows continuing threats on the lives and liberties of the affected students including the duo of Ejidike Stephen and Agu Oluchukwu, who are accused of being paid or hired by some lecturers to destabilize the School and attack and unseat the referenced Head of Department (HOD). The latter accusation has consistently featured in face to face contacts between the students including Ejidike Stephen and Agu Oluchukwu and the Head of Department under reference. One of such contacts took place on Monday evening of 25th May 2015, when the referenced students went to her office to remind her of their problem. She reportedly not only bashed them, but also threatened their human person forcing them to flee her office.

Just two days ago-2nd June 2015, they were called and invited telephonically by the School security authorities to come and defend the letter Intersociety wrote to the School and defend their involvement over same. The students also informed Intersociety that their names have been forwarded to the School’s Anti Cult Brigade to be treated as common criminals and cultists. As a matter of fact, they have gone into hiding; operating amorphously to avoid being physically assaulted and held captive. Their state of mind is also psychologically battered leading to mental torture.

We regard these approaches as very uncalled for, reprehensible, despicable and condemnable. The School (Oko Federal Poly) under your respected midwifery must not be an outlaw and dangle with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 particularly its Sections 35 (personal liberty), 36 (fair hearing) and 39 (freedom of expression). Your School must also understand that the engine room of the corporate social responsibilities, which it is a party to; is founded on human rights. Students who complain of certain anomalies through duly constituted processes are not only sticklers of due process, but also entitled to fair hearing and free speech or expression.

It saddens our heart that till date, no reasonable investigation over the students’ complaint has been commenced and concluded by the School authorities. As for the referenced Head of Department, who was newly elevated to the academic rank of Deanship, we demand that she should be called to order and compelled to revisit the issue under complaint. As we have earlier demanded, no student of the referenced Department should be punished or maltreated over the issue.

The students’ position and assertion that the lecturers that handled the referenced courses and exams should be compelled to tender their raw result score sheets for the purpose of crosschecking results in their possession with those wrongfully published by the Department and the School authorities; should be commended and heeded. The recent order of the said HOD to lecturers of her Department to upload all continuous assessment works in accordance with published anomalous results; should be suspended until a full and conclusive investigation into the complaint is carried out and its findings made and communicated to the affected students.

Yours Faithfully,

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)

Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons) Criminology & Security Studies
+2348174090052(office)
info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., (LLB, BL), Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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05/28/15

*Woman Who Denounced Her Nigerian Citizenship To Become Spanish Insults Igbos

By Igbo General Assembly Spain

Igbo General Assembly (IGA) Spain hereby condemn in strongest terms the series of hate speeches and posts going viral in social media directed towards Igbos in Spain by one Mrs. Helen Mukoro (Helynn Harper). Mrs. Helen Mukoro in her articles posted on facebook and other media outlets accused igbos of bringing bad name to Nigeria. She wrote that all Nigerians in Spanish jails are Igbos, that Igbos never put off their eyes in quick and dirty money.

Contrary to her claims, the assembly reiterated that Igbos in Spain and the world at large have always been peaceful, law abiding, blessing and light unto the Nigeria nation and the entire human race. It regretted the dissemination of "malicious and derogatory" rumours which the assembly see as serving solely to involve the tribe in baseless scandal. Mrs Mukoro is not only insensitive, she has displayed her ethnophobia, racial and tribalistic naivety towards Igbos in Spain and the world at large.

IGA is saddened by these articles, some of which are intended to cause harm and to incite hatred, the only aim of which is to implicate the people in supposed infractions that have not been the case. It is surprising that such hateful attack is coming from a woman, from a section of a tribe that believes in making money through prostitution, human trafficking and it's related ritualism. Undoubtedly she is also involved in these nefarious acts.

This same woman claims she is now a lawyer and is contesting for the office of mayor in the Spanish city of Denia and she believes that the best way to run her campaign is by inciting hatred against an ethnic group. Such a person has no place in a democratic world and do not deserve a public office.

The IGBOS have worked hard to build their credibility in the world community. We are outraged that such irresponsible allegations were made by the likes of dubious Helen Mukoro(Helynn Harper). Mukoro tell the people of Denia how she came to Europe and what she has been doing in Padova,Italy before she came to Spain.

It is important for us to separate facts from fiction and point out the numerous discrepancies in the allegations laid against the leadership of the Nigerian mission in Spain by Mrs. Mukoro.

Firstly IGA is not in position to speak for the Embassy, but we must remind Mrs. Mukoro that Nigerian Embassies are not tribal institutions, rather national establishments saddled with the responsibility of catering for the needs of Nigerians abroad and representing Nigeria in the host country. Nigerian Embassy in Spain is not exception to this. In the past three years, Nigerians in Spain have witnessed changes for good in the way the embassy treat Nigerians. Citing reference to the case of a Nigerian who was illegally deported without due process, the embassy compelled Spanish authority to bring him back and till date he still lives in Spain.

Secondly, the case of two Nigerian families who their children were seized by Spanish authority, through the dynamic leadership of her excellency at the embassy they were released and sponsored them back to Nigeria.

Finally, the case of a Nigerian woman who was murdered by her Spanish boyfriend or client in Bilbao, the Embassy stood tough until justice was served.

All the people involved in the three cases above are not of Igbo descent, so how can someone in her right mind say that Nigerian Embassy is favouring one particular ethnic group?

The dissemination of these false allegations is irresponsible and absolute display of stupidity and ignorance, therefore Mrs. Mukoro owe Igbos unconditional apology.

Signed.

Frank Uche Ononiwu
Secretary-General
Email: doncapital2002@gmail.com

Sir Chris Offordile
President

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Photo Above: Igbo General Assembly (IGA) Spain logo

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Photo Above: Mrs. Helen Mukoro

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05/21/15

*Disastrous Performance Of The Seventh National Assembly Of Nigeria & Challenges Before The Eight National Assembly - Part 1

By Intersociety

((Parliamentary Accountability, Onitsha Nigeria, 16th May 2015)-The heart of the leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law is gladdened over the decision of the outgoing Seventh National Assembly of Nigeria to join the outgoing Government of Lagos State in heeding our recent calls for the account of stewardship of the outgoing executive and legislative arms of government in Nigeria including the Federal and State Executive Councils as well as the Federal and States Legislative Chambers. The call of ours under reference stems from the fact that whatever that has a beginning must have an end as well as the need to institutionalize at all times an enviable benchmark for public governance accountability in Nigeria.

For records, the Nigeria’s National Assembly made up of the Senate called the Red Chambers with 109 Senators and the House of Representatives called the Green Chambers with 360 Honorable Members (Reps) is categorized as follows: First Republic National Assembly(1960-1966), Second Republic National Assembly (1979-1983), Third Republic National Assembly (1990-1991/2), Fourth Republic National Assembly (1999-2003), Fifth Republic National Assembly (2003-2007), Sixth Republic National Assembly (2007-2011), Seventh National Assembly (2011-2015) and Eight National Assembly (2015-2019). The Third Republic National Assembly (1990-1991/2) was a diarchic parliament put in place Gen Ibrahim Babangida’s military regime, which was ousted by the Sani Abacha military coup of 1993.

Report Card Of The Seventh National Assembly: As reported by the Premium Times, the outgoing Seventh National Assembly of Nigeria said it passed a total of 106 bills into law out of 1,063 bills sponsored and brought to its legislative attention in the past four years (2011-2015). Despite earning the world’s record as the most expensive parliament in the world, the number of bills passed by the referenced National Assembly is considered very abysmal when compared to what obtains elsewhere including the United States where the U.S. Congress passed 297 bills between 2013 and 2014. The referenced number of bills of the US Congress is also considered to be one of the lowest in the country’s legislative seasons owing to the fact that the same Congress passed 604 bills in 1999 alone and 460 between 2007 and 2008 (Premium Times Report 2015). Legal bills associated with public order and good governance are usually higher in the developing countries than the developed countries owing to the latter’s development challenges and the former’s development maintenance challenges.

For records, legislative Bills are proposed public laws designed to control human conducts including relationships within persons, between persons, between government and persons, between government and groups, within groups, between groups and between groups and persons. They are also designed to control human excessive activities on the environment as well as effects of natural disasters on environment and the living. Challenges posed by science and technology including harmful chemical substances and excesses and hazards of Information Computer Technology (ICT) are controlled using bills passed into law.

By bills passed into law by elected lawmakers, criminal and civil laws with their administrations are created, repealed or upgraded from time to time. Through mounting social, environmental, technological, cultural, political, economic and human identity challenges, laws originating from bills are moved back and forth. The hitherto rigidity associated with constitutional amendments is steadily fading owing to the mounting challenges aforesaid. Also, through bills passed into law, hash laws and policies as they concern politics, public security and safety, economy, culture, health, education, religion and ethnicity, etc are moderated and liberalized from time to time. It is also through bills passed into law that archaic and anti human rights laws are repealed or rebranded. Electronic navigation and upgrading in law, economy and politics are ensured using bills passed into law. These explain why the fundamental trust of lawmaking in Nigeria is to make laws for order and good governance in Nigeria or any part thereof.

Monetization Of Lawmaking Processes In Nigeria: As correctly reported by the Premium Times, the Seventh National Assembly of Nigeria recorded a monumental failure in its four legislative years. By the provisions of successive appropriation Acts of the Federation since 2011, the outgoing Seventh National Assembly received over N600 billion ($3 billion) in budgetary allocations on annual average of over N150 billion and this translates to N5.77 billion for each of the 106 bills passed into law. In other words, it took the outgoing Seventh National Assembly of Nigeria N5.77 billion belonging to Nigerians to get each of the bills passed into law. Of the said 106 passed bills, most of them are reported to be executive sponsored bills including appropriation (budgetary) and supplementary appropriation bills as well as bills authorizing the Presidency to borrow loans with reckless abandon. Of the 106 bills under reference, expert bills and public interest bills are very minute. Processes of initiating Private Member bills both at the Federal and State legislative levels are also characterized by fraud and bribery. In other words, to initiate a bill through a member of the National Assembly, huge sums of money must exchange hands in some cases. Corporate and professional bodies are hard hit.

Furthermore, monetization had since 1999 taken over legislative intellectualism and selflessness in lawmaking processes in Nigeria. The forefather of the outgoing Seventh National Assembly is the Fourth Republic National Assembly (1999-2003). Owing to the quackery and mercantilist composition of the 469-member National Assembly then dominated by white collar criminal class, military retirees, military contractors and military apologists; the Fourth Republic National Assembly laid a disastrous legislative foundation haunting the country’s legislative and executive governance till date. The quackery and mercantilist composition of the country’s National Assembly robbed it of lawmaking processes of international standards including losing the opportunity of relating with pro legislative advocacy bodies and campaigners, sometimes referred as parliamentary amicus curiae. At the State Houses of Assembly, the quality of laws passed is horrible and in most cases conflict with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and its subsidiary federal laws.

Till date, the chief business of the National Assembly including the outgoing Seventh National Assembly as well as the Houses of Assembly remains passage of appropriation Acts (federal) and Laws (States) as well as oversight civil probes of alleged errant government agencies and parastatals for purely mercantilist interest. These have taken precedence over their core lawmaking functions. At times, the statutory functions of criminal investigative agencies are stampeded or usurped by relevant Federal and State legislative adhoc committees.

Legislative witch-hunting is also very common in the Federal and State legislative chambers. This they do using denial or stifling of budgets of relevant government ministries, departments and parastatals during budget allocation and defense for the purpose of punishing unjustly their heads who dare to challenge their overbearing influence including constant threats and harassment.

At times also, they arrogate to themselves the executive functions through constituency projects execution and callous demand for the sack of head of any government agency that dares to question their overbearing influence. As a result of these, the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria, fathered by the Fourth Republic National and State Legislative Chambers of 1999 to 2003, have turned into business enterprises and parliamentary bazaar chambers. They are akin to the biblical Holy Temple of Jerusalem converted to the House of Trade and Commerce by its entrusted custodians.

According to the Salaries & Allowances for Top Public Office Holders Act of the Federation 2002 (amended in 2008), which is managed by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission (RMAFC); a total sum of N101.3 billion ($500million) is spent annually on the salaries and allowances of 1, 621 Federal and State lawmakers in Nigeria. That is to say N60.4 billion for the 469 Federal lawmakers and N40.9 billion for 1,152 State lawmakers. There are 469 Federal lawmakers and 1,152 State lawmakers in Nigeria recognized by the RMAFC and the political figures’ wage Acts under reference. Further breakdown shows that of this huge amount, N90 billion or 90% goes into their annual (criminal) allowances while only N10 billion or 10% is spent on their annual salaries. In the case of members of the National Assembly, each member is paid at least N128.5 million annually, out of which only N13 million is paid as his or her annual salaries. It is important to state here that Senators and principal officers of the two-chamber National Assembly receive more than the above highlighted.

In the case of the 1,152 State lawmakers, 90% or N36.8 billion is spent on their allowances while only N5.09 billion is spent on their annual salaries. Each of them gets minimum of N36 million annually from the said N40.9 billion annual legislative remuneration. This translates to N32.8 million or 90% as his or her annual allowances and N3.6 million or 10% as annual salaries. The principal officers of the States legislatures are paid higher than the above highlighted. A number of allowances attached to these lawmakers particularly those at the Federal level are criminal and provocative. In this computer and internet age, a Nigerian federal lawmaker still pockets over N1.2 million per annum as newspaper allowance. Some of the referenced allowances are also duplicated or blurred such as vehicle and vehicle maintenance allowances; housing, furniture and domestic allowances.

Furthermore, a total of N15 billion ($75 million) will be squandered by 29th May 2015 on the severance, housing and furniture allowances of the outgoing and the incoming Federal lawmakers and executives. While the President-Elect and Federal lawmakers elect will receive N9 billion furniture and housing allowances, the outgoing President and Federal lawmakers will receive N3.24 billion and N2.8 billion respectively as severance packages totaling N15 billion. The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed recently disclosed that it is costing the Nigeria’s commonwealth a staggering sum of N27 billion ($123.5 million) to build the official residences of the leaderships of the two-chamber National Assembly.

Criminal Overheads: Apart from the questionable allowance packages above highlighted, the National Assembly of Nigeria including the outgoing Seventh National Assembly in conspiracy with the Federal Executive Council has introduced criminal overheads to further fritter away the common resources of Nigeria and dry up resources badly needed for the infrastructural development and maintenance as well as provision and delivery of social services to other 170 million Nigerians and their landscapes.

Through conspiracy and legislative stampede, outrageous funds are cornered each fiscal year by the referenced national legislature in the form of overheads component of the recurrent expenditures leading to outrageous allocation of funds for the principal officers of the National Assembly including a criminal sum of N250 million allocated to the office of the Senate President in every three months. Despite the paltry allocations to the capital expenditures averaging less than 30% of the total federal budget each year, budget implementation has remained grossly lopsided with over 100% implementation for recurrent expenditures and about 50% for capital expenditures.

While the recurrent expenditures recorded steady and astronomical increase, the capital expenditures have remained steadily declined. In the recently passed Federal Budget of 2015 totaling N4.49 trillion, for instance, a staggering sum of N2.6 trillion was earmarked for non debts recurrent expenditures, while a paltry sum of N557 billion was set aside for capital expenditures. Of the said N4.49 trillion budget, the National Assembly got N120 billion while the N160 billion originally proposed for roads was drastically slashed to N11 billion. The budget under reference also recorded further recurrent expenditure increase of N135 billion totaling N4.49 trillion from the sum of N4.357 trillion originally proposed by the Federal Executive Council. In the same Budget, which has N953 billion for debts servicing and N231 billion for service-wide votes (?); the capital expenditure component abysmally went down to 12% of the total budget.

As if these were no enough, the outgoing Seventh National Assembly magisterially passed a new bill making its principal officers-Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker of the House of Reps and the Deputy Speaker of the House recipients of Parliamentary Life Pension. Further to this shocking, despicable and condemnable scenario is introduction and institutionalization of criminal security votes. This, which started with the President, the Vice President, the Governor and the Deputy Governor has now spread like wild fire and extended to heads of key government tertiary educational and health institutions, chairmen and their deputies in the Local Government Areas as well as the leaders of LGAs’ legislative houses. Others are speakers and deputy speakers of the State Houses of Assembly, the Senate President and his or her deputy, the Speaker of the House of Reps and his or her deputy as well as key ministers and heads of government agencies, departments and parastatals. Totality of these swells the already bloated overheads of the Federal and State Governments and dries up funds needed for general development of the country or any part thereof.

Signed:

Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons) Criminology & Security Studies
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
+2348174090052
info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

Uzochukwu Oguejiofor-Nwonu, Esq., LLB, BL
Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Esq., LLB, BL
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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*NewsRoundup 21/5/15: Nigeria News Updates & Across The World This Thursday

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*NewsRoundup 20/5/15 - Latest Nigeria News Across States & Worldwide Update For Wednesday

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05/15/15

*Spanish Citizen Blackmailing Nigeria's Government

By Uchendu Precious Onuoha (Masterweb Special Correspondent-Spain)

According to the law of nations; each nation is a mistress of her own actions, when they do not affect the perfect right of others. Therefore, it is quite wrong for a Spanish citizen or a Spanish of Nigerian extract, for any reason to insult the Nigerian Embassy, her Ambassador and the Nigerian government through misleading provocative and ridiculous statements aimed at inciting Nigerians to chaos, stirring up ethnic strife among Nigerians, tarnishing the image of Nigeria and bringing the good works of the Nigerian Ambassador to disrepute. And above all putting Spain on a diplomatic collision course with Nigeria.

“Let them that live in a glass house don’t throw stone”

Somebody who decided to renounce Nigerian nationality and take up Spanish citizenship should not turn back to start insulting, blackmailing and painting Nigeria black outside the ambit of the bilateral laws because she has become Spanish. This attitude could lead to Spain making it more difficult to grant citizenship to Nigerians subsequently, if that is meant to breach her good relationship with Nigeria, as it appears that those that hold Spanish citizenship are quite ignorant of Spanish rules, laws, and their limitations to Nigeria the country they have renounced. “You cannot eat your cake and have it”.

I am a proud Nigerian citizen and I have confidence in Nigeria. I pledged to Nigeria, my country to be faithful loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all my strength, to defend her unity and uphold Her honor and glory wherever I may be. And I will not remain passive or turn blind eyes when the image of my own country is being smeared by a citizen of another country. “If a man comes into my hut and defecates on the floor, what do I do? Do I shut my eyes? No! I take a stick and break his head. (Chinua Achebe). And by virtue of my profession as a journalist, I am a societal watchdog, it lays on me the onus to inform and educate the public on some salient issues.

“Is it ignorance that makes the rat attack the cat”?

The recent publication in the social media by a Nigerian born Spanish citizen (name withheld for now), insulting and painting the name of Nigeria black by raining abuses, corrupt allegations against the Nigerian government, and the worst, against the Ambassador who has done exceptionally great works in Spain to earn the prestigious award as, African most outstanding Ambassador in Europe. And for a Spanish citizen to attempt to drag her name to the mud is a total affront and insult to all Nigerians in Spain and the Nigerian government. ( Continues below..... )

As labeled

Photo Above: Map of Spain

Before I proceed, I have to cite one of the malicious articles the Spanish lady posted on the social media on May 3, 2015, insulting the Nigerian government and the Ambassador. And for those who may be deceived to think that she is doing this for the interest of Nigerians, no it’s not for her love for Nigeria, because if you love Nigeria, you will not renounce it for another country, but because her selfish demands could not be granted by the Nigerian Embassy in Spain.

The Spanish lady who has been posting several articles in the social media blackmailing the Nigerian government and the Ambassador. In one of her malicious postings, she alleged that the Ambassador was in a 4 day visit to Malaga, a city in Spain preparing ID Cards for Nigerians there to vote, a misleading and erroneous information, when everybody knows that elections in Nigeria has been concluded. She alleged that Nigerian Embassy is ethnic and corrupt, malicious statements aimed at inciting ethnic strife and tarnishing to the image of Nigerian government. Her malicious articles and extortive demand letters to the Embassy would be cited in due course.

In respect to the above, it is important that all Nigerians in Spain and beyond should know the truth about this matter as not to be misled into believing falsehoods. In the cause of reactions by some concerned Nigerians to the ill-conceived and malicious articles the Spanish citizen who seem to be on rampage has unleashed on the Ambassador and Nigerian government, the attention of the Nigerian embassy was drawn. And from information gathered from the Embassy source, the lady who is identified as gunning for a public position in Spain presently, went to the Nigerian Embassy in Spain demanding for huge sums of fund that runs into thousands of euros from the Embassy and a staff, to finance her campaign bid. The Embassy declined her demand by letting her know that, Embassy is not authorized to finance election campaigns in Spain, Nigeria or anywhere in the world as it is against international diplomatic regulations. Owing to the decline, she went on rampage and resorted to a campaign of calumny through the social media to blackmail, label corruption, falsehood and malice aimed at discrediting the Ambassador and the government of Nigeria.

“He that knows, and knows not that he knows is asleep. Wake him”. (Arabic proverb)

May I wake her up and others who may not know the implications and limits of what Spanish citizenship implies? Spain does not grant dual citizenship to Nigerians. She needs visa to enter Nigeria. By virtue of her status as a Spanish citizen, she is not a Nigerian anymore and cannot act as the mouthpiece of Nigerians, a country she has renounced her citizenship for Spain. It’s like a dog eating her own vomit. Doing that is to deceive her conscience. Her actions amount to a serious breach of diplomatic protocol by attempting to spy on the activities of another nation and trying to extort money from a foreign mission to finance her political campaign, an act which is fraudulent and contrary to Spanish regulations.

“He that knows not, and knows that he knows not is a pupil. Teach him”

Nigerians in Spain, it is diplomatically wrong for Spanish citizens to champion your cause. It is wrong for those that hold Spanish nationality to be leaders of Nigerian associations. I have to mention that because “If an idol becomes too troublesome, it will be shown the tree from which it was carved”.

I am a Nigerian citizen, and I feel insulted by the Spanish citizen’s actions, because I value the integrity of Nigeria. And as Nigerians, we have not surrendered our sovereignty to Spain or her citizen to champion our cause. Nigeria is for Nigerians. She abated crime by giving bribe, and today she has the audacity to expose herself and actions through misguided utterances. It is the behavior of one that knows full well that she is breaking the law. This venom targeted at Nigerian mission, government and the Ambassador is as a result of frustration that her selfish interest which amounts to extortion and fraud was not granted. Spain, please answer me.

“When crocodiles eat their own eggs, what will they not do to the flesh of a frog?

Therefore it is extremely irresponsible for a non-Nigerian citizen who should spend more time seeking relevance as a Spanish, and concentrate on her cause, rather than meddling into Nigeria’s affairs by insulting a country that she has renounced. The latest diplomatic spat by the Spanish lady is not only unnecessary but extremely unhealthy and dangerous to Nigeria and its good relationship with Spain. Whatever her intention may be that warranted her perceived fury and salacious articles insulting the Nigerian government, followed by very harsh personal attack against the Ambassador and a cross section of the Nigerian people in Spain is undeserving and should be condemned by well-meaning Nigerians and Spanish government.

By her actions, it seems she wants to rock the boat of the strong and good relationship Spain has for a long time cultivated with Nigeria for the sole purpose of satisfying her selfish ego by insinuating and fanning the embers of xenophobia against Nigerians in Spain. The damage the publication may cause to Spain’s relationship with Nigeria, not to mention the deeply personal insults targeted at the Nigerian Ambassador are humiliations to Nigeria.

“He that knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool. Shun him”

Her actions clearly acknowledges that she has prepared herself to become discredited, isolated, pariah, and persona non grata to well-meaning Nigerians. And I call on the Nigerian Embassy in Spain not to hesitate to report her nefarious activities to the appropriate authorities in Spain. Also, I appeal to Spain to call her citizen, who may be unaware that she is dwelling in “ignorance is bliss” state to order and tender an unreserved apology to the Nigerian government as to forestall any diplomatic row this reckless behavior may cause.

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05/11/15

*Unpaid Workers’ Salaries & Allowances In Nigeria: Why The Debtor Governors Should Be Impeached

By Intersociety

(Special Investigation On Good Governance In Nigeria, Onitsha Nigeria, 9th May 2015)-A series of vindication have come the way of International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law in recent times over its research based positions on burning national issues in Nigeria. From its projection that INEC has already rigged the 2015 general polls (presidential poll in particular) per skewed and lopsided PVC distribution, to criminal borrowings & governances in Nigeria; the list is endless. All these are attributed to our insistence on feeding Nigerians and the global community with factual and un-adulterated opinions on social, political and economic issues as they concern public governance in Nigeria or any part thereof, without caring whose ox is gored.

Public Salaries & Allowances In Nigeria: The major trust behind the invention of the art of government and governance in the world is to ensure steady and un-impeded provision and delivery of social services to the people leading to remarkable improvement in their standards of living and environments as well as facilitation of happiness to the greater number of them at all times. Through art of public budgeting, government is allowed to aggregate and congregate all public earnings and apportion them dually in the context of capital and recurrent expenditures. Of this, government is allowed minute percent of it for running and maintenance of the government. This is called recurrent expenditures which include overheads or cost of running government machineries and personnel costs or cost of maintaining the personnel of government through monthly payment of their salaries and allowances. The public or civil retired workforce is also accommodated through retirement benefits and pensions.

On the other hand, the capital expenditures is created in the referenced public budgeting and tasked with retaining the lion’s share of the budgeted. It is through this that the feeling of government among the people is ensured. Through this, unimpeded and unhindered social services are provided to the citizenry. Key public infrastructures like roads, bridges, primary, secondary and tertiary educational and health institutions, stadia, airports, seaports, railways, physical security, food, tourist facilities, etc are provided and maintained. Provision and delivery of these are called social contract fulfillment.

Sadly and shocking too, the reverse has remained the case in Nigeria particularly since the return of democracy in the country in May 1999. While Nigerians were yet to recover from the traumas of the military’s inglorious epoch, the criminal class and military apologists with their military retirees’ cronies who hijacked the new civil rule criminally enacted some nocturnal laws and signed into their pockets chunk of the public earnings in the country. One of such socially abominable laws is called “Salaries & Allowances for Top Public Office Holders Act of 2002”. The obnoxious Act under reference categorized and recognized 17, 474 (17, 500) top elective and appointive public offices and officers in Nigeria. The top officers are 472 federal executives, 469 federal lawmakers and 142 federal judicial officers. At the State level, there are 2, 664 State executives, 1,152 State lawmakers and 792 State judicial officers. At the constitutionally recognized 774 Local Government Areas, there are 3,096 LGA executives and 8,692 LGA councilors.

When the infamous Act was enacted in 2002, a whopping sum of N755 billion was set aside from the Federation Account to service their annual salaries and allowances and when it was reviewed upwards and amended in 2008, the amount got raised to N1, 125 trillion. As if that was not enough, the criminal class and their cronies under reference went further to introduce criminal fiscal appropriation particularly at the Federal and State levels. Through criminal fiscal appropriation, they introduced criminal overheads, criminal monetization, criminal allowances and criminal security votes. The totality of these swelled and bloated the recurrent expenditures and dried up funds meant for capital expenditures. When the leaderships of the country’s organized labour discovered the foregoing, they opted for accomplice comradeship.

Rather than confronting the criminal class and their cronies headlong until the mercantilist policy is reversed for overall public interest, the organized labour demanded for their own share of the cartel deal in the context of criminal allowances. This led to further astronomical increases in government wage bills; leading to serial borrowings holding the country’s economy to ransom till date. As Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria’s Finance Minister) recently disclosed, N1 trillion is spent annually in the payment of the allowances of the Federal civil servants. In the first four months of this year, a whopping sum of N473 billion ($2.35B) has been borrowed to finance the Federal recurrent expenditures or wages and overhead component of the 2015 Federal budget. The totality of these is responsible for poor and criminal governances in the Nigeria’s three tiers of government leading to steady socio-economic retardation and under-development afflicting the country.

How N1,125 Trillion ($5.1B) Is Shared Among 17, 500 Nigerian Political Figures Annually: While it is possible that the said Salaries & Allowances Act of 2002 (amended in 2008), has been secretly amended and reviewed upwards in recent times say in 2013 or it is informally amended using the budget or appropriation Acts (federal) and Laws (States) per criminal personnel and overheads; it is very important to highlight how the whopping sum under reference is shared among a paltry 17, 500 Nigerian Public Office Holders who constitute about 0.010% of the estimated population of 170 million citizens of the county. It is also shocking to observe that of the referenced amount, salaries take only 10% while allowances take staggering 90%. At the Federal level, out of a total sum of N98.3 billion spent on 472 federal executives annually, N89.7 billion is spent on their allowances as against only N8.6 billion spent on their salaries. Out of N60.4 billion spent on 469 federal lawmakers annually, N54.2 billion is spent on their allowances as against only N6.1 billion spent on their salaries. Out of N14.8 billion spent on 142 top federal judicial officers annually, N13.1 billion is spent on their allowances as against only N1.7 billion spent on their salaries.

Furthermore, at the State level, out of N300.5 billion spent annually on 2, 664 State executives, N272 billion is spent on their allowances as against N28.3 billion spent on their salaries. Out of N40.9 billion spent on 1,152 State lawmakers, N38.8 billion is spent on their allowances as against N5.09 billion spent on their salaries.

Out of N18.5 billion spent on 792 State top judicial officers, N15.4 billion is spent on their allowances as against N3.1 billion spent on their salaries. At the 774 Local Government Areas’ level, out of N592 billion spent on 11, 788 LGA executives and councilors annually, a whopping sum of N550.9 billion is spent on their allowances as against only N41.8 billion spent on their salaries. There are also over 24, 000 personal assistants hired and paid by the referenced 17, 500 political figures from the government coffers.

They are called “senior special assistants”, “special assistants”, “executive assistants” and “personal assistants”. Other than “Special Advisers” and upwards, these “personal assistants” are not recognized by the Constitution of Nigeria 1999. Average “Special Assistant” in Nigeria working for a governor, deputy governor, minister or a State/ Federal lawmaker is paid N150, 000 monthly. As a result, it is possible that Nigeria spends N3.6 billion monthly and N43.2 billion annually in servicing its more than 24,000 personal assistants.

How Nigeria’s Three Tiers Of Government Squandered N56 Trillion ($280B) On Recurrent Expenditures In Nine Years: According to the seminal findings of the Vanguard Newspaper of January 13, 2013, out of a total sum of N80 trillion ($400B) shared among the Federal, States and 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria between 2005 and 2013 fiscal seasons; a period of nine years, a whopping sum of N56 trillion ($280B) was spent on recurrent expenditures as against only N24 trillion ($102B) spent on capital expenditures. The Federal Government’s share of the N80 trillion was N32.121 trillion. The Federal Government’s recurrent expenditure component of the 2012 budget was 71.47% of the total budget, while that of 2013 was 68.66%. Further breakdown of the referenced seminal report shows that in the period under review, the three tiers of government in Nigeria spent N1.1 billion hourly, N24.35 billion daily, N740.74 billion monthly and N8.89 trillion yearly.

The facts laden report also investigated the budgets of the States within the period and observed that eight States of Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Bayelsa, Kaduna, Kano, Oyo and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) within the period became “trillionaire budget States”, by spending a total of N17.58 trillion ($85.3B) in nine years (2005-2013). Lagos State came first with N3.28 trillion, followed by Rivers State N3.079 trillion, Akwa Ibom N2.651 trillion, Delta State N2. 371 trillion, Bayelsa State N1.708 trillion, the FCT N1.336 trillion, Kaduna State N1.096 trillion, Kano State N1.059 trillion and Oyo State N1.045 trillion.

At the six geopolitical zones, South-south became the biggest budget spender under the said 2005 to 2013 fiscal periods with N11.503 trillion, followed by the South-west N7.30 trillion, North-west N5.386 trillion, North-central N5.197 trillion, Northeast N3.752 trillion and Southeast N3.45 trillion.

In the past eleven years; that is to say from 2005 to the outgoing 2015 fiscal year, our investigation shows that the Southeast geopolitical zone has budgeted and spent a total of N4.520 trillion ($22.6B). Imo State came first with N1.269 trillion, followed by Anambra State N912 billion, Abia State N884 billion, Ebonyi State N732 billion and Enugu State N721 billion.

Further breakdown shows that Imo State budgeted and spent N35.7 billion in 2005, N37 billion in 2006, N43.40 billion in 2007, N112.9 billion in 2008, N134 billion in 2009, N127 billion in 2010, N124.4 billion in 2011, N178.6 billion in 2012, N197.7 billion in 2013, N137.6 billion in 2014 and N141.2 billion in 2015 totaling N1.269 trillion budgets and expenditures in eleven years. In the case of Anambra State, it budgeted and spent N29.20 billion in 2005, N35.87 billion in 2006, N54.25 billion in 2007, N60.58 billion in 2008, N78.53 billion in 2009, N67 billion in 2010, N66.90 billion in 2011, N103.20 billion in 2012, N110.89 billion in 2013, N145 billion in 2014 and N164.4 billion in 2015 totaling N912.82 billion budgets and expenditures in eleven years.

In Abia State, it budgeted and spent N24.10 billion in 2005, N34.60 billion in 2006, N46.70 billion in 2007, N57.98 billion in 2008, N55.53 billion in 2009, N75.30 billion in 2010, N105.10 billion in 2011, N129.95 billion in 2012, N137.20 billion in 2013, N115.3 billion in 2014 and N102.4 billion in 2015 totaling N884.16 billion budgets and expenditures in eleven years. In Ebonyi State, it budgeted and spent N21 billion in 2005, N28.67 billion in 2006, N31.20 billion in 2007, N57.74 billion in 2008, N73.05 billion in 2009, N76.20 billion in 2010, N73.50 billion in 2011, N86.86 billion in 2012, N104.37 billion in 2013, N99.8 billion in 2014 and N80.01 billion in 2015 totaling N732.39 billion budgets and expenditures in eleven years.

In Enugu State, it budgeted and spent N25.10 billion in 2005, N31.10 billion in 2006, N38.38 billion in 2007, N60.71 billion in 2008, N60.46 billion in 2009, N67.86 billion in 2010, N89.60 billion in 2011, N74.99 billion in 2012, N82.90 billion in 2013, N93.2 billion in 2014 and N96.7 billion in 2015 totaling N721 billion budgets and expenditures in eleven years. Other than Anambra State from 2006 to 2014, the referenced budgets and expenditures of the States in the Southeast were substantially loan-based. The 2015 budget of N164.4 billion of Anambra State is most likely loan-based.

Impeachment Of Debtor Governors Over Unpaid Workers Salaries: The governors of the States where salaries and other workers’ monetary benefits are owed should be impeached without further delays in accordance with the gross misconduct provisions in Section 188 (11) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended in 2011. Owing workers’ salaries and other entitlements amount to gross misconduct or fundamental breach of the provisions of the Constitution. It is also a glaring abdication of the constitutional duties entrusted on the elected governors particularly as they concern the Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of the State Policy contained in the Chapter Two of the Constitution. Specifically, the affected governors including the Governor of Imo State have grossly observed Sections 13 and 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution in breach and should be impeached as a matter of uttermost urgency and public importance.

From the thorough investigation of ours above, no elected governor in Nigeria has any justifiable reason to owe his or her serving and retired workforce their wage entitlements. This is more so when none of the political appointees or elected public officers including the governor is owed a dime in the form of monthly security votes, allowances, etc. Many of the governors collect as much as N1 billion each month as security votes leading to paucity of funds for payment of workers’ salaries, allowances and execution of capital projects.

The governors also mindlessly breach Section 7 of the Constitution (independence and democratization of the Local Government System) by seizing and diverting statutory allocations of the Local Government Areas. This they do by exploiting and manipulating Section 162 (6) of the Constitution (State-Local Government Joint Account). Between the 2005 and the 2015 fiscal years, at least, N15 trillion ($75B) had been allocated to the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria from the Federation Account and it is correct to say that up to 70% of these huge sums has been diverted by the governors to God knows where; yet they have the audacity to owe their workers and impede the general development of their States with impunity.

Statistically speaking, between 1999 and 2007, the referenced 774 LGAs received at least N3.8 trillion from the Federation Account. In 2008, at least N1.05 trillion was allocated to them. In 2009, another N1.2 trillion was allocated. Between 2010 and 2012, at least N3.8 trillion was allocated. In 2013, at least N1.4 trillion was allocated and between 2014 and 2015, over N3 trillion has been allocated to the all important third tier of government system in Nigeria totaling at least N15 trillion or $75 billion (US$-N200,00).

It is therefore alarming, shocking, despicable and condemnable for the likes of Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to blame the Federal Government for his woefully failure to pay workers working for his administration despite budgeting and spending total staggering sum of N779.72 billion or $3.9 billion in the last five years of 2011 to 2015. The Governor should be held wholly responsible to account for this or be impeached without further delays. It is an elementary knowledge to every Tom, Dick and Harry in Nigeria that the common revenues of the Federation of Nigeria are not kept in the Account of the Federal Government of Nigeria, but in the Federation Account. The revenues’ sharing formula is also not determined by the Federal Government. It is agreed upon by the three tiers of the Federal, State and Local Government and codified.

The Federal Government has no right to determine how statutory allocations accrued to every State are to be used. It is the duty of the State Executive Council and the State House of Assembly of the recipient State to determine how they are used. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State also inexcusably owes the people of Imo and Nigerians a detailed explanation as it concerns how his total budgets of N779.72 billion since 2011 was used to the extent of failing to pay workers working for his administration running into over twelve months. Statistically speaking, Governor Okorocha budgeted and spent N124.47 billion in 2011. In 2012, he budgeted and spent N178.63 billion, N197.74 billion in 2013, N137.68 billion in 2014 and N141.20 billion in 2015 totaling N779.72 billion. The funding of the huge budgets under reference also attracted huge local loan borrowings.

What The Organized Labour & Other Civil Stakeholders Must Do: The organized labour including the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Nigerian Union of Teachers, the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees and the Trade Union Congress, etc in the States with backlog of serving and retired workforce wage arrears must articulate all categories of unpaid wages and publicly present them to their State Houses of Assembly for immediate investigation and commencement of impeachment proceedings against the debtor governors.

The unpaid wage arrears to be articulated include workers’ salaries, pensioners’ pensions, promotion arrears, retirement gratuities, statutory allowances and related benefits of the State and Local Government workers. The organized labour should also demand firmly from their governors, armed with the Freedom of Information Act of 2011, to disclose publicly the actual amounts of loans borrowed locally to fund the budgets under reference. This has become necessary owing to the fact that in most of the referenced States including Imo State, huge bonds or loans were secured locally to finance the budgets dominated by recurrent expenditures. Other civil stakeholders like rights CSOs, media, academic bodies and religious bodies should also join in demanding for public disclosures of where these huge budgets have gone into as well as whereabouts of LGA funds.

Signed:

Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons) Criminology & Security Studies
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
+2348174090052
info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

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

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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