*Nigeria: Anambra To Strengthen Security
The Anambra State government has initiated more measures to further the State security network. Governor Obi announced this at the Town Union Executive and other Stakeholders on Security at the Women Development Centre Awka. The Governor said that henceforth each community must have a Vigilante of 20 members who are properly trained, with uniforms, and should work with lay down procedures of the State security system.
Governor Obi assured that government will find ways of supplementing them and will also maintain them with vehicles. The Governor, who said that Anambra remains the most secured State in the country today, pointed out that in the last four years there has never been any incidence of bank robbery and other violent crimes. ( Continues below….. )
The Chairman House Committee on Security and Member representing AnambraWest observed that Governor Obi has adopted proactive system of policing, involving communities in tackling security challenges.
Speaking, the Chairman State Security Trust Fund, Chief Ajulu Uzodike noted that Governor Obi had singlehandedly continued to raise fund for security in the State and challenged other stakeholders to complement the State Government in attracting funds for security and expressed satisfaction with the Governor.
Photo Above: Map of Anambra State, Nigeria.
*Power Must Shift To South East (SE) After Jonathan
By Chief Charles O. Okereke
Igbo Kwenu! Ohanaeze Kwenu! Ndigbo kwezuonu! Nke onye chiri, ya zara. Ndigbo, Ndi nwem, I stand gratefully here today, in my humble self, to address a nation whom God has abundantly blessed in love, wisdom and unbreakable unity. I stand here today to show my immense gratitude to Igbo who, even in the midst of great injustice and threat to slavery held-on in Nigeria, taking the lead in education and private enterprise. Age, experience and ‘Nzuko Igbo” have taught me that the spirit of Igbo is one that maintains progress in midst of grief and pain. Although it is over forty years since the Nigeria-Biafra war ended, you will all agree with me that, despite the continued unwritten law which militates against Igbo progress in Nigeria, through His Mercies, there still remain reasons to shout, once again, at the top of our voices: “Happy survival!”, “Our time is here!”.
A fair and equitable Nigeria governed by truth and justice calls for presidential power shift to South East Region after the completion of Goodluck Jonathan’s term either in 2015 or 2019 as the case may be. Ndigbo are not slaves nor third class citizens to be rendered impotent in the political equation by those who claim to have won an unjust war that should not have been fought in the first place. All the regions have taken turns in producing presidents that occupied the center for prolong periods. Northern regions (North East-5 years+, North West-15 years & North Central-18 years) have ruled Nigeria for 38 years; and Southern regions (South West-11 years+, South South-2 years & South East-6 months) for 13 years. Under the six geopolitical zones, four zones have had power for more than five years each, South East the least with 6 months. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a President, but he was not Head of Government-he did not form a federal cabinet. Azikiwe was only a ceremonial President. Tafawa Balewa was Prime Minister and Head of Government; he formed the federal cabinet. By 2015 after Jonathan completes one term of office, each geo-political zone with the exception of South East would have ruled Nigeria for at least five years. Equity and fairness call for the South East to take its turn after President Jonathan. After South East presidency, Nigeria can then decide whether or not to discard zoning and rotational presidency.
Nigerian president of South East extraction is a matter of “truth and justice” and not of concession. Nigeria needs a President of Igbo extraction to help stabilize the country from its falter and in addition foster development. An Igbo President will see the entire nation as his own homeland, since Igbos are in every nook and corner of the country. Such a president would evenly distribute developmental projects in the country. This means that if water runs in Umuahia, it must also run in Lagos and Kano.
I humbly, as our father, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu did several times before he passed unto Glory, make these passionate pleas:
1. That Igbo should, and as a matter of survival and living, must come, once again and forever, together in the spirit of Ahiara declaration, assert our basic rights in Nigeria.
2. That the Igbo take it upon us, from this very blessed and memorable day, to champion for Igbo presidency in Nigeria come 2015 or 2019 as the case may be with Jonathan’s full term.
3. That our leaders- in their different capacities- do whatever it takes, in the spirit of true federalism, to prevail upon our friends and neighbors from other tribes and ethnic groups within Nigeria on the need for an Igbo presidency after Jonathan. We, as Igbo nation, have severally, in the past, stood behind and seen to the successes of peoples from other tribes and ethnicities in Nigeria for the post of the presidency - a post no Igbo has occupied since we lost in a “no victor no vanquished” war.
4. That, in other to achieve this, every other matter and reason for disparity and disagreements amongst us should and must be relegated to the background and all efforts, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, resources and time be channeled towards communicating with, educating, and reaching agreements with our people in their different positions and beliefs in Nigeria.
5. That, this time, as a nation united unto eternity, we must speak with a voice to the rest of Nigerians of the need, justice and inevitability of accepting and having an Igbo presidency. Subjugation is not our inheritance and the spirit of slavery in times of great freedom is strange to us.
6. That every politics we play henceforth, no matter the party, be rooted in the conviction and steps towards producing an Igbo presidency after Jonathan.
7. That, in all wisdom, looking at the prevailing party in Nigeria today, and its zoning methods which have always rubbed us of our rights to the presidency since the war ended, it has now become pertinent and expedient to consider coming together and joining talents and resources in a party which agrees to true federalism and which supports, unconditionally, an Igbo presidency.
8. That, unlike decades gone, we should make it clearly understood by all and sundry in Nigeria that the rejection of an Igbo presidency would amount to Nigeria’s unfeeling of the Igbo pains and marginalization for over half a century. And making it clear that, should Nigeria and the elite who have and always would want an incapacitated Igbo in Nigeria, remain adamant on denying us our God-given rights in Nigeria, the only alternative left to us may be to lead our people out of a nation where we have remained rejected, robbed, marginalized and killed- despite our unrivaled competence and contributions towards a better Nigeria.
Thank you and God bless you all. Amen.
Chief Charles O. Okereke, B.S., M.S.
People’s Servant (Ps.)
Publisher, Nigeria Masterweb ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com )
Photo Above: Ohaneze President-General, Hon. Amb. Ralph Uwaechue( left ), Chief (aka People's Servant) Charles O. Okereke( right )
*Nigeria: South-South Summit As Tonic For NDDC
By Ifeatu Agbu
The Second South-South Economic Summit organised by the BRACED Commission on the broad theme: “Integrating the South-South for Sustainable Development”, has come and gone, leaving the oil-rich region with a challenge to audaciously march into an economically viable zone. BRACED, an acronym for the six states; Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states, has set the ball rolling.
The broad outline of the economic programme could pass for the summary of a regional development plan. Thus, the highlights of the communiqué issued by the governors were anchored on the re-arrangement of the Nigerian federation. The document declared: “The federation should be restructured and unbundled, including the review of the current revenue allocation formula, to give more powers, responsibilities and funding to states and local governments as centres of growth”.
The focus on regional integration was very well received at the summit and the governors of the Niger Delta region were quick to leverage on this by re-activating the necessary structures that would facilitate the effective implementation of development projects that would benefit the entire oil-producing region.
Apparently, the Asaba summit re-awakened the interest of the governors of the Niger Delta states on the need to key into the regional development Master Plan facilitated by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. It came as a pleasant surprise when the governors gathered in Port Harcourt shortly after, for a meeting of the Advisory Committee of the NDDC, which had hitherto been in comatose. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's South-South Region
The Act establishing the NDDC states in Part III, section 11 that “a Niger Delta Development Advisory Committee [in this Act referred to as “the Advisory Committee”] which shall consist of [a] the governors of the member states of the commission and [b] two other persons as may be determined from time to time, by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces”. It states further that “the Advisory Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of advising the Board and monitoring the activities of the commission, with a view to achieving the objective of the commission”.
Although the Act also requires that “the Advisory Committee may make rules regulating its own proceedings”, it was rather unfortunate that it had more or less been in limbo since the inception of the NDDC twelve years ago. In fact, the committee has met only on three occasions all these while.
Against this backdrop, therefore, it is heart-warming that the governors are beginning to rediscover their roles in making the NDDC to work optimally for the overall development of the Niger Delta region. By breathing life into the dormant Advisory Committee of the interventionist agency, which comprises the governors and the principal officers of the commission, the governors appear to be sending a message that they are ready for action.
At the Port Harcourt meeting, the governors mandated the new management of the NDDC to ensure that all on-going projects initiated by it were completed. They urged the commission to focus on projects that would promote regional integration and commerce. Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State, who has just finished his tenure as the chairman of the Advisory Committee, said it was imperative to turn attention to the completion of already awarded contracts and projects that would promote interaction among states of the region. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing Port Harcourt
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, who emerged as the new chairman of the Advisory Committee after the Port Harcourt meeting, also stated that his tenure would focus on ensuring that all projects that have been embarked upon by the commission, especially those with regional flavour, were completed.
For the NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh, it was his first opportunity of sharing ideas with the other members of the Advisory Committee. He underscored the fact that Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 encouraged regional development as a faster and more cohesive way of building the country. The NDDC boss said that the commission and the BRACED states must collaborate in the development of the south-south region.
“Regional integration is very crucial in development, hence the Federal Government established the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the unfortunate paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty and to complement the efforts of federal, states and local governments”, he said. Dr Oboh described the Asaba Summit as strategic to the overall development of the Niger Delta region. “For us this is a new dawn, we are excited; because a new tone has been set for the NDDC”, he declared. He said that as an interventionist agency, the commission does not operate in isolation, but works in synergy with other stakeholders, especially, member states to deliver on its mandate to the people.
It is expected that there would now be a more coordinated and aggressive approach to the implementation of the Master Plan which is being driven by the NDDC. Nothing could be better than having the governors on the same page with the NDDC in the arduous task of bringing rapid development to the long-neglected people of the Niger Delta. They should also work in synergy with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. Such cooperation of all main stakeholders is imperative for the rapid socio-economic transformation of the region.
Obviously, all hands must be on deck to realise the lofty objectives of achieving a truly regional economic integration. Of course, it would help a lot if the rediscovered Advisory Committee of the NDDC remains active by meeting regularly, say once every quarter. That way, the key stakeholders in the region would be able to harmonise their development programmes in the overall interest of the people. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria's Niger Delta Region showing its composite 8 states.
Niger Deltans have every reason to set their sights on big ticket projects. This is understandable, given the enormous sacrifice the people are making for the economic well-being of the country. The BRACED Commission has offered the governors a more formidable platform to put pressure on the Federal Government to expedite action on projects that would hasten the development of the Niger Delta. Some of the mega projects that the region is eagerly awaiting are the East-West road, the coastal road and the East-West railway.
Last year, Arch Sambo told the South-South governors and leaders of the region that extensive work (designs) had already been done on both the coastal road and the East-West railway. The Vice President responded to the concerns of the south-south governors as stakeholders in the region appeared to be running out of patience with the central government on its seeming unwillingness to take concrete actions to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta.
The South-South governors took steps that would hopefully ensure that the Asaba Summit was a worthwhile event. They directed the BRACED Commission to translate the recommendations at the summit into a measurable and achievable plan of action and engage the appropriate stakeholders on post-summit issues as elaborated in the presentations and discussions.
One such issue that needs to be urgently addressed is the apparent inconsistency in the nation’s policies regarding electricity. The South-South leaders had said in their communiqué that there was need to “review the current policies and regulations on power and gas to enable the states generate, transmit and distribute power to complement the efforts of the Federal Government and facilitate the utilisation of moribund capacity in the region.” In pursuit of this, the summit accepted the development of a Niger Delta Energy Corridor, a project with potential for connecting the people, industry and natural resources as well as creating jobs.
The proposed development of an energy corridor does not contravene any federal law and should, therefore, be implemented without further delay or pandering to the authorities in Abuja. Good enough, the powers that be in Aso Rock have agreed to cooperate with states that are looking for how to evacuate the power they generate. Arch. Sambo, assured that licences would soon be issued to states for the generation and distribution of electricity in their respective areas of administration.
Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
*Intersociety Alerts Jonathan On Letter To NPF, SSS, ICPC, EFCC
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
President & Commander-in-Chief
Federal Republic of Nigeria
The State House
A Covering Letter
(Onitsha Nigeria, Tuesday 21st day of May, 2012)-This is to bring to Your Excellency’s attention the attached copy of a letter we addressed to four relevant public criminal investigation agencies in Nigeria-the NPF, SSS, ICPC and the EFCC, requesting for immediate, thorough and conclusive criminal investigations of the duo of Honourable Justices Aloysius Katsina Alu and Ayo Isa Salami in their official capacities as the CJN and the PCA in 2011, during which they were accused of crimes bordering on public decency-forgery, fraud, perjury, corruption, bribery, extortion and abuse of office, frowned at by Section 15(5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and the Nigeria’s criminal statute. Our letter is geared towards ensuring the end of era of impunity in the Nigerian Judiciary.
As the President & Commander-in-Chief as well as the chief anti-crime and anti-corruption officer of the Federation, we humbly request that Your Excellency should ensure unimpeded criminal investigations of the accused top judicial officers to ascertain their culpability or otherwise so as to end the age-long era of corrupt judges not going to jail in Nigeria and encourage Nigerian law-lords to live a life of cleanliness in the country’s Hallowed Temple of Justice.
If the duo of the top judicial officers are indicted at the conclusion of the criminal investigations demanded of, they should be prosecuted and sent to jail, but if they, or either of the two of them are (or is) exonerated, public apologies should be tendered to them or either of the two of them and the one indicted prosecuted and jailed.
For: Intersociety, Nigeria
Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0) 8037114869
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
*Intersociety Writes NPF, SSS, ICPC & EFCC To Investigate Alu & Salami
1. Mr. Mohammed D. Abubakar
Acting Inspector General of Police, Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House
Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja, Nigeria
2. Mr. Ita Ekpeyong
Director General, State Security Services
The SSS Headquarters, ASO Drive
Three-Arms-Zone, Abuja, Nigeria
3. Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde
Economic & Financial Crimes Commission
No. 5 Formella Street, Off Adetokumbo Ademola Crescent Wuse II, Abuja, Nigeria
4. Mr. Ekpo Nta
Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offenses Commission
Plot 802, Constitution Avenue
Central District, Abuja, Nigeria
A Request For Your Criminal Investigation Agencies To Carry Out Thorough & Conclusive Criminal Investigations Into Allegations Of Crimes Against Public Decency (corruption, bribery, fraud, forgery, abuse of office, etc) Levelled Against Honourable Justices Aloysius Katsina Alu (rtd.) & Ayo Isa Salami In Their Official Capacities As The CJN & The PCA In 2011
Above subject matter refers.
(Onitsha Nigeria, Monday 21st day of May, 2012)-In line with relevant provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended including Sections 15(5), 22 and Chapter 4 as well as other relevant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria such as the Access to Information, Police, SSS, ICPC and EFCC Acts, all recognized and protected by the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended, we, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety, write to your important public agencies to rise to your constitutional responsibilities by thoroughly and conclusively investigating the two top judicial officers over the serious allegations above mentioned.
By Section 15(5) of the Constitution, the Nigerian State is commanded by her Constitution to abolish all forms of corrupt practices and abuse of office, while Sections 22 and 39 of the Constitution empower the mass media and other non-state actors including the Intersociety to beam their searchlights on those holding legislative, executive and judicial powers so as to ensure their compliance at all times with the laws of public decency, and where the reverse becomes the case; to ensure that they are adequately punished for being in conflict with such laws.
As you know Sirs, the Nigerian Justice System is divided into criminal justice and civil justice administrations and in criminal matters, civil, advisory and administrative bodies like the National Judicial Council and the Nigeria Bar Association patently lack powers to dabble into such matters. Their roles are purely administrative and advisory. But recent events in Nigeria have clearly shown that the two bodies have practically taken over the functions of your important public agencies in matters of criminal investigations. The Nigeria’s NJC and NBA appear to have become the Nigeria Police, SSS, EFCC and the ICPC by dangerously dabbling into investigations with pure criminal contents.
In the area of crimes against public decency, they include bribery, corruption, abuse of office, extortion, fraud, forgery and perjury and are in consonance with Section 36(8) of the Constitution in that they not only constitute crimes in Nigeria, but also punishable under the Criminal Code, Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Act, Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act as well as the EFCC, SSS, Police and ICPC Acts, all laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In other words, within the confines of mala prohibita, these crimes are clearly rooted.
Revisiting The Subject Matter:
Sometime in 2010, the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Aloysius Katsina Alu (as he then was) reportedly ordered the stopping of the delivery of judgment in the Sokoto State Governorship Matter. Honourable Justice Ayo Isa Salami confirmed the alleged unconstitutional action of the CJN through his affidavit deposed to before an Abuja Federal High Court in a suit he filed in 2011 challenging his “compulsory retirement” as the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) by the NJC.
The delivery of the said judgment was stopped and delayed for months before it was delivered, which returned the incumbent, which, probably, would not have been the case if it were originally delivered as fixed. True to PCA Ayo Isa Salami’s allegation, CJN Katsina Alu clearly acted unconstitutionally. According to Section 246(3) of the pre-amended Constitution (old 1999 constitution), which was in use then, “the decisions of the Court of Appeal in respect of appeals arising from election petitions (other than pre-election and presidential election matters) shall be final”. This simply means that the CJN lacks both constitutional and administrative power to interfere in the appellate matter, more so when it is not a pre-election matter and even if it is, he should have allowed the matter to come to his apex jurisdiction by way of appeal. The second allegation against CJN Aloysius Katsina Alu (as he then was) was that he lied under oath about his real age (perjury). By implication, he also engaged, by allegation, in the crime of forgery. The allegation pointed out that CJN Aloysius Alu’s retirement age was supposed to be on May 28, 2011 and not 28 August 2011 when he actually retired.
PCA Ayo Isa Salami, on his part was gravely and scientifically accused of compromising himself, his public office and the gubernatorial judgments in Osun and Ekiti States delivered in 2010. The main and electronic substance of the grave allegation was contained in a petition sent to the National Judicial Council by the court-declared past unlawful governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Segun Oni and his political associates. For convenience and avoidance of doubt, the following is the main content of the two petitions in quote, written to the NJC in 2011 by Mr. Segun Oni (former illegal governor) and Mr. Sunday Ojo-Williams (Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Osun State, Southwest Nigeria). The excerpts are hereby attached and marked: “ Exhibit”. They can also be accessed online.
Further, the National Judicial Council is a creation of Section 153(1)(i) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended as well as Supplementary Section 20 of Part I of the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended. By virtue of Supplementary Section 21(b), it is to recommend to the President for the removal from office of top federal judicial officers including the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) over misconduct in line with Section 292(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended as well as other related provisions of the Constitution. The National Judicial Council is empowered by Supplementary Section 21(b) and 21(g) to exercise disciplinary control over the said top judicial officers and to appoint, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over members and staff of the Council.
From the foregoing, therefore, the NJC only has disciplinary and administrative powers or controls over the Federal and State High Court Judges or their equivalents, Justices of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court as well as their administrative heads including the CJN and the PCA. The NJC, therefore, is expressly forbidden by the Constitution to dabble into matters with criminal contents particularly in the area of criminal investigations. From the past till the present, none of the NJC’s recommendations or disciplinary measures against its indicted top judicial officers has contained requests for the criminal investigations and prosecution of those indicted, thereby making it a usurper of legal powers not given including criminal investigative powers. It may be correct to say that the NJC has steadily used its advisory, administrative and disciplinary powers to truncate statutory criminal investigations and prosecution of its indicted members including Judges and Justices and their administrative heads.
In the matter under discussion, the NJC not only acted arbitrarily and unconstitutionally, but its later sub-committees as well as the Council itself were and still are peopled by the sympathizers of the two political parties that are at the center of the mess; the Peoples Democratic Party and the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Party with more sympathizers in the Council appeared to have carried the day during the recent reported voting in the Council upon which the “recommendation for the reinstatement of PCA Ayo Isa Salami” was arrived at, with reported difference of only two votes. The Council’s bias in its administrative and disciplinary handling of the three grave allegations is utterly manifest. Apart from being the judge in its own case, contrary to the doctrine of nemo judex in causa sua(no one should be a judge in his or her own case, the NJC abandoned the main substances in the three grave allegations and settled for “disrespecting the office of the CJN”, upon which PCA Ayo Isa Salami was indicted, which the same Council reversed via its recent letter of recommendation to the President for the PCA’s reinstatement. It is therefore our firm position that unless these extra-constitutional powers not given are curbed, otherwise members of the Bench and their top officers in Nigeria under the guise of “NJC” will end up being above the law, contrary to nemo est supra leges doctrine (no one is above the law).
Why Your Public Agencies’ Constitutional Powers Should Not Be Usurped Or Taken Away By The NJC & Its Associates:
In matters of crimes against public decency-bribery, corruption, abuse of office, extortion, fraud, forgery and perjury, which are defined, prohibited and punished by Nigeria’s criminal statute, your public agencies, and not the NJC or the NBA, are exclusively empowered to criminally investigate them and prosecute their offenders if indicted. The Acts establishing your public agencies as well as the 1999 Constitution as amended are very clear on this. For instance, in terms of forgery, fraud, perjury and abuse of Office, both the Director General of SSS and the Acting Inspector General of Police can constitutionally investigate and prosecute their offenders. For extortion, fraud, bribery and corruption, the Chairpersons of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission can legally and competently investigate and prosecute their offenders, using trained police crime investigators attached to them.
Why Honourable Justices Aloysius Katsina Alu & Ayo Isa Salami Must Be Criminally Investigated By Your Public Criminal Investigation Agencies:
When a crime is alleged to have been committed, the accused, the victim and the society become the candidates for the three-way justice; justice for the accused, for the victim and for the society, and in the crimes against public decency, when justice is done, the society becomes the double winners of justice having been victimized, compensated and cleansed. As a result of the foregoing, Honourable Justice Aloysius Katsina Alu should be investigated over an allegation that he forged his age of retirement thereby lying under oath (perjury) as well as his unconstitutional roles in the 2010 Sokoto State governorship judgment scandal. Criminal investigations against him should be centered on forgery, perjury, and abuse of office, bribery and corruption.
In investigating Honourable Justice Katsina Alu over his roles in the Sokoto State Governorship scandal, seven elements of crime must be included. For instance, did he interfere with, or stop the judgment (actus reus)? Was it with criminal intent (mens rea)? Was there any harming resulting from the act (harm)? Is the act forbidden by Nigeria’s criminal statute (legality)? Was there a cause of action (causation)? Did actus reus (guilty act) and mens rea (guilty mind) meet or concur in the act (concurrence)? And is the act punishable in the Nigeria’s criminal statute (punishment)?
Similarly, in investigating Honourable Justice Ayo Isa Salami over his roles in the Osun and Ekiti States’ governorship matters, focus should be centered on crimes of bribery, corruption, extortion and fraud with full application of the seven elements of crime as stated above. The DG, SSS should extraneously ascertain, very importantly, Honourable Justice Ayo Isa Salami’s real and sworn age(s) and probably, his years of service so far spent in the Federal Judicial Service so as to confirm whether he has, indeed, attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 or statutory years of service meant for Judges and Justices in Nigeria, having become a private lawyer in 1968(44 years), bearing in mind common knowledge in the public domain since 2011 that he was few months younger in the Bench than the now retired CJN, Honourable Justice Aloysius Katsina Alu who retired in August 2011. The Acting Inspector General of Police should carry out a general criminal investigation on the three grave criminal allegations leveled against the two top judicial officers within the confines of crimes against public decency. And to avoid unhealthy duplication and conflict of interests, inter-services meetings should be held by the four public criminal investigation agencies to adopt common grounds and strategic methods so as to ensure thorough and conclusive criminal investigations.
Ordinarily, criminal investigation means seeking to generate criminal facts or evidence over an alleged legally prohibited act. Apart from pieces of information that are evidentiary in the public domain such as the call-logs from a leading electronic network provider, the NJC’s public statement in 2011 acknowledging the allegation of age forgery against the then CJN and court affidavits, your public agencies can de-classify vital pieces of information about the accused, which many Nigerians believe, are traditionally in your agencies’ possession or custody. Also, there comes a time when some aspect of “state secrets” are divulged so as to move that nation forward. Your agencies’ expected criminal investigations are expected to generate further pieces of information nailing or exonerating the two top judicial officers once and for all. Other vital clues regarding the three grave allegations, which are in public domain are also “googleable”.
Outcome Of The Expected Criminal Investigations:
In the event of the conclusion of the criminal investigations into the roles of the two top judicial officers, they are not found culpable, then there should be written reports publicly exonerating them or either of two of them with public apologies tendered to them by the Federal Government and their accusers, but if they are indicted, they should be prosecuted and jailed to serve as deterrent to others in the Bench and the Nigerian society in general. In the course of the criminal investigations demanded of, the principle of fair hearing provided in Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution as amended must be applied to the later.
Why We Write Your Public Criminal Investigation Agencies:
Our writing your public criminal investigation agencies is both constitutionally and legally grounded. Even if the President and Commander-in-Chief accedes to the NJC’s recommendation for PCA Ayo Isa Salami’s reinstatement, whether nominally or actively, it is still constitutionally and legally immaterial to the matter under discussion because the “presidentially exiled” PCA and other top judicial officers, both serving and retired including the retired CJN, Honourable Justice Aloysius Katsina Alu, are not immune from criminal investigations and prosecution neither can the NJC’s administrative findings constitute criminal findings for criminal prosecution or otherwise. Under the law, findings emanating from administrative and oversight bodies like the NJC, the House of Reps, the Senate, etc only constitute administrative and non-criminal findings and merely serve as clues for credible criminal investigations by relevant criminal investigation agencies such as your public agencies. In the subject matter under discussion (crimes against public decency), your public agencies have both collective and individual criminal jurisdictions. The Nigeria Police Force has general jurisdiction in matters of criminal investigations and prosecution in Nigeria by virtue of Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 4 of the Police Act and Regulations Cap P19 of 2004. The State Security Services, formed on June 5, 1986 by virtue of the National Security Agencies Act (Decree 19) of 1986, is also recognized by Section 315 of the Constitution and the Presidential Proclamation; SSS Instrument No 1 of 1999. Part of its duties is to “uphold and enforce the criminal laws of Nigeria and provide leadership and criminal justice services to both state and federal law enforcement organs.”
The ICPC is a creation of the ICPC Act of 2004, originally created in 2000 and rooted in Section 15(5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended to tackle corrupt practices and other related offenses by Nigeria’s State and non-state actors. The EFCC is also a creation of the EFCC Act of 2004 with its root in Section 15(5) of the Constitution to “combat financial and economic crimes and prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalize economic and financial crimes and enforce provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes as well as to curb the menace of corruption in Nigeria”. Therefore, our writing your public agencies and wanting you to invoke your criminal investigative powers over the three grave allegations against the duo of former CJN, Aloysius Katsina Alu and “presidentially exiled” PCA Ayo Isa Salami are well thought out and constitutionally grounded.
Finally, a corrupt judge is more dangerous and menacing than a mentally challenged man running amok with a sharp knife in a crowded market place. We must not continue to allow a situation where former governors, former and serving legislators and ministers and ordinary Nigerians are investigated and prosecuted for engaging in legally prohibited acts against the Nigerian society, whereas Nigeria’s corrupt judges have continued to evade criminal investigations and prosecution not minding that they are not immune from criminal investigations and prosecution. When some of them are rarely found culpable in administrative misconduct, they are merely relieved of their official duties and protected from criminal investigations and prosecution. This is an utter abandonment of the rule of law and institutionalization of the rule of lawlessness.
For: Intersociety, Nigeria
Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0) 8037114869
1. The President & Commander-in-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria :
The State House, Abuja, Nigeria
2. Chairman, National Judicial Council:
Supreme Court Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria
3. The Attorney General of the Federation:
Federal Ministry of Justice:
Plot 71, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja, Nigeria
*Tags: Nigerians, Intersociety, Council, Police, Service, Commission. Sack, Ringim, Africa, Masterweb
By Obinna Akukwe
Since Goodluck Jonathan ascended the throne of Nigeria as President after the demise of Yaradua , one of his favourite routine has been seeking the face of God in prayer. During the constitutional crisis leading to the death of Yaradua President Goodluck was made so uncomfortable by different power plays that he had course to receive prayers from different Christian groups genuinely concerned about the precarious fate of Nigeria. Thus one of the first things he did as Acting President was to call on Jasper Akinola, then Primate of the Anglican Communion to suggest names of those to guide him spiritually and oversee the chaplaincy of State House Chapel. Primate Akinola gave him three names from which he appointed a chaplain. On the 9th of May , 2010,days after the demise of Yaradua, president Goodluck walked into the presidential wing of his office for the first time in the company of close aides like Yayale Ahmed, then Secretary to the Federal Government, Ima Niboro, presidential spokesman, Mike Oghadiome, his principal secretary and the Chaplain of Aso Villa ,Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba who offered prayers to God for the peace and progress of the nation before the President performed his first official assignment . The attempt by President Goodluck to seek divine guidance in the handling of the affairs of Nigeria was hijacked by different groups of religious leaders especially from the different Orthodox and Pentecostal denominations who turned the exercise into a multibillion naira business. Immediately president Goodluck signified his intention to contest for the Presidency, coupled with the threat of PDP northern elders on zoning, a financial breakthrough came for those spiritual leaders. All manners of prophecies on how Babangida, Atiku and others wanted to kill the President was making rounds. They so much frightened the president with such theories and convinced him of the need to release hundreds of millions of naira to different prayer projects to secure his presidency.
The Christian Association of Nigeria, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and some groups under the Anglican Communion made brisk business out of the situation. Money ranging from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of naira was released numerous times for this prayer project. Some conferences were sponsored by the presidency.
Unknown to the President, he has become a source of mega financial breakthrough for some people. These religious leaders usually organize minister’s conference or pastors meetings and request all attendees to put down their names for onward transmission to the president. They baited the impoverished and unsuspecting pastors and church workers that the President wants to be paying them monthly for prayers for Nigeria. These undiscerning pastors will then struggle to put down their detail which is later forwarded to the presidential prayer coordinators as evidence of a standing prayer squad. Some collected the names of their church workers during workers meetings and forwarded to the prayer coordinators in the State House as evidence of a standing prayer group. They used this tactics to collect money running into billions of naira from the president’s inner campaign fund. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A Christian Church service
These some of these pastors prophesied to Babangida before the Ciroma Concensus Committee rejected him and preferred Atiku to run on behalf of the north. They then switched over to Atiku and when he was manipulated out of the PDP primaries, they switched over to Goodluck Jonathan. The only person they did not carry the prayer project to was Buhari because they know that only a ‘thank you’ greeting will come out of there. When one of the prophets had a brush with the then governor Ibro of Kogi over the looting of state treasury and the former governor was harassing him with police and security agents, it took a phone call from Nigeria’s evil genius from Minna before the governor withdrew his venom.
When the PDP convention was fast approaching President Goodluck personally visited some mega churches around the Lagos-Ogun axis for political prayers and sent high powered emissaries to others for prayer support. Those privies to those meetings and private discussions noted that there was no attempt by these religious leaders to equally convince the president of the need for a free and fair elections; neither did they impress it upon him to fight corruption, which is Nigeria’s biggest problem. They also failed to encourage him to muster the will to break the various cabals holding Nigeria hostage. They only anointed him with oil; some gave him special Bible, special oil and special handkerchief to use to defeat his electoral enemies. They delivered the message of triumph to him and failed to include the message of service to humanity.
The presidential prayer project was elevated to another proportion when some religious leaders with prophetic anointing were brought into the picture. This group led by a young prophet based in Port Harcourt but who frequents Abuja for special programme at the Women Development Centre, mesmerized the president and his inner caucus with prophecies, calling people by their names, phone numbers, account numbers and other family secrets. By the time he was over he collected his share of the national cake in hundreds of millions of naira which he used to buy a house in Maitama, Abuja. This young prophet confirmed the speculation making rounds in pastoral circles in the nation’s capital that he was given N500 million naira ($3.3million dollars) as National Breakthrough Offering.
His equally young friend and prophet based in Abuja who married a pretty lady with a lavish, celebrity laden wedding reception at Thisday Dome in 2011 was reported to have collected up to N450 million naira ($3million dollars) as prayer offering. Another Abuja based Pentecostal Bishop from Taraba State was accused of collecting hundreds of millions of naira for a section of the prayer project. He was also rewarded with a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep by the President. He has finished a stately designed compact cathedral in the outskirts of Abuja. When some pastors who mobilized their members to constantly pray for the peace of the nation out of patriotism confirmed that indeed billions of naira flowed for prayer project without their knowledge, it created disaffection and some cried foul. The same prayer business that took place in Abuja was replicated all over the country. Religious leaders of all denominations used various styles to benefit from the prayer national cake through links to the president The funds used to sponsor all these prayers were drawn from the inflated subsidy bills which released abundant resources to prosecute the elections.
Weeks before the removal of fuel subsidy, these prayer tycoons saw another opportunity to take their already enhanced financial status to the Bill Gates level. They frightened the presidency with prophecies of how Buhari, Bakare, Babangida, Atiku, Tinubu and Fashola wanted to sponsor fuel subsidy protests and how God wants to deliver him from these evil men. They prescribed prayer and fasting for the president and his inner caucus before the removal of fuel subsidy. President Goodluck and his inner caucus observed days of fasting and prayers between the 26th and 31stof December, 2011. The principal purpose of the fast was to frustrate the intended fuel subsidy removal protest. When these prayer machines gave enough signals that God have taken control, the announcement of subsidy removal was effected ( Continues below..... )
President Goodluck was shocked at the level of resistance to the fuel subsidy removal. He was equally frightened at the security reports that a continuation of this protest into the second week could precipitate a revolution with unpredictable consequences for the thieving elites. When Nigerian Labour Congress capitulated under controversial circumstances and suspended the mass protests, the prayer groups praised their prayer prowess for labor’s sudden volte-face. They were handsomely rewarded again for averting the popular Occupy Nigeria protest and a possible revolution. For some that managed to scramble a sort of prayer, the focus was on how God should deal mercilessly with Pastor Tunde Bakare and his group of rascals from the kingdom of darkness. Some of them were rewarded with some board appointments especially the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme Board in their various states of origin and zones. Others got their cronies into choice appointments in various boards of government parastatals.
The constant harassment of the nation by Boko Haram has become another spiritual money spinner. Various groups are receiving prayer money running into billions of naira in the name of securing the President against Boko Haram attacks. They failed to impress on the president to expose his fellow party men linked to Boko Haram. This spiritual stance of pampering Boko Haram sponsors while the nation is on fire is a source of disagreement between the national leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and some of the prayer tycoons. CAN leadership believe that the President is too timid in his handling of terrorism while the merchants believe that the president’s security is of paramount importance. God is yet to give these prayer merchants answer on how the nation can overcome Boko Haram but they have insightful revelations on how the president can escape Boko Haram attacks.
This prayer business has become a multi billion naira breakthrough from the time President Goodluck signified interest in contesting for the presidency. They failed to give Jonathan the much needed spiritual guidance on how to bring about a transformed Nigeria, devoid of corruption, mediocrity, lawlessness and injustice. They failed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as illustrated by Apostle Paul in Romans Chapter 8 verse 9 which says that ‘’ For the earnest expectation of creation awaits the manifestation of the sons of God’’ implying that impoverished Nigerians believed that probably President Goodluck is the much awaited God sent leader who will pull down the cabal that had feasted on the collective commonwealth of Nigerians. They see divine visions on how all the enemies of Goodluck will be crushed but no vision yet on how to bring peace to the troubled nation. This is indeed a season of breakthrough for these servants of God.
*Nigeria: Ojukwu, Obi Receive Award
The Ikemba Nnewi, Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu has received a Posthumous Award of Grand Commander, from the Nigerian Red Cross Society. The State Chapter of the organization who presented the award during a ceremony to mark the 2012 World Red Cross Day at its State Headquarters Amawbia, also invested Governor Peter Obi with the Grand Pillar of Solferino Award.
Presenting the awards, the state Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Red Cross, Dr. Peter Katchy recalled Dim Ojukwu’s selfless and dedicated service to humanity and remarkable contributions in uplifting the Red Cross Society during and after the Civil War. Dr. Katchy said the late Ikemba’s heroic and exemplary character wasan enviable legacy to Nigeria and Africa.
He observed that Governor Obi’s commitment and empowerment of the Nigeria Red Cross has enabled the State Chapter to carry out its activities and responsibilities to the people. ( Continues below….. )
Responding, Governor Obi, while thanking the organization for the honour, said humanitarian services had remained part of his preoccupation and recalled that apart from leading the Nigeria delegation to Haiti, he was equally a member of the united mission to Afghanistan and Rwanda.
He disclosed that he has personally attracted another financial support for the people of Haiti and stressed the need for leaders to take decisions that add value to the society. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu
Another Awardee and Commissioner for Health, Professor Amobi Ilika noted that Governor Obi gave the Nigeria Red Cross a life-line by, among other things, completing its abandoned State Secretariat building which he said had become a model in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, provided it with fully equipped life ambulance and regular annual grant-in-aids.
The Chairman, State Local Government Service Commission, Sir Godfrey Moutolu said Governor Obi’s people-oriented leadership reflected the principles of the Nigeria Red Cross.
Others honoured at the ceremony include the wife of the Governor, Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi, who also received the Pillar of Soliferino Award. Governor Obi used the occasion to present a cheque of two million naira to the organization as part of its annual grants-in-aid.
*Ndigbo In Geo-Politics of Nigeria Lecture Now Holds at NUJ Press Center, May 25
Lecture with title "Ndigbo In Geo-Politics of Nigeria" holds on a rescheduled date ( 25th May, 2012 ) at Enugu, Enugu State.
Venue: NUJ Press Center, Rangers Avenue, Independence Layout, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria.
*All efforts by detractors and saboteurs to prevent the event from holding failed. Igbos should show massive support for the event by coming from wherever they are to the venue in solidarity.
Date: 25th May, 2012.
Time: 10.00 am prompt
Programme: *SEE BELOW
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezife, former Anambra State Governor.
*Chairman of the occassion is Amb. G. A. Onyegbula, a distinguised retired diplomat, while President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is expected to be Chief Guest.
Other Speakers - Among those to speak are: Dr. Arthur Nwankwo, Col Joe Achuzia, Barr Uche Okwukwu, Chief Ifeanyichukwu Enemchukwu, Chief Charles Okereke, Dr. Kema Chikwe, Mr. Osadebe Ibegbu, Chief Inyama - President, Igbo Development Association 19 Northern States, Prof Ben Obumselu, Prof Ralph Nwokedi, Dr. Okey Emordi, Prof Pat Utomi, Chief Bob Ogbuagu, Pa Onyenso Nwachukwu, Prof Julius Onah, Dr. Uma Eleazu, Prof Emeka Enejere , Udenta Udenta, Chief Mrs Kate Ezeofor , Prof Uzodimma Nwala, , and several other distinguished speakers.
Col J.O.G Achuzia (Air Raid) will lead a powerful delegation of Anioma Igbos and Igbozurume group to the Enugu epoch-making lecture. Rivers Igbos will be led by Barr Uche Okwukwu, a notable Ikwerre lawyer and Obi Wali Jnr.
For participation, support or co-sponsorship please contact -
Nigeria: Chuks Ibegbu Phone: +234 8035410176, Email: email@example.com
Overseas: Chief Charles Okereke Phone: +1 4148070329, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The THEME OF this lecture is "Ndigbo in the Geo-Politics of Nigeria, the way foward" while the sub-theme is "Ndigbo After Ojukwu". The keynote speaker is HEX DR CHUKWUEMEKA EZIFE (OKWADIKE), former Executive Governor of Anambra State. Among many other noteable speakers are Col J.O.G Achuzia (Air Raid) who will speak on Ndigbo after Ojukwu, Chief Charles Okereke, composer "God Bless Africa" - an African Union award winning anthem, and CEO Nigeria Masterweb ( www.nigeriamasterweb.com ) - a very popular online publication, will also present a paper by proxy at the event. All our speakers are distinguished in their respective fields.
Lecture Organized By Nigerian Presidency of South East Extraction Movement (NPSEEM) and Igbo Unity Forum (IUF), and sponsored by Igbo World Assembly (IWA).
Arrival of Guests 8.00 am - 10.00 am
Introduction of Guests 10.00 am - 10.30 am
Opening Ceremony 10.30 am - 11.00 am
Goodwill Messages 11.00 am - 11.40 am
Keynote Speech 11.40 am - 12.00 noon
Cultural Dance(s)and/or Music 12.00 noon 12.10 pm
Paper Presentations(15 minutes each) 12.10 pm - 2.30 pm
Question And Answer Session 2.30 pm - 3.30 pm
Refreshment And Cultural Dance(s) 3.30 pm - 4.00 pm
Closing Remarks 4.00 pm - 4.10 pm
Vote Of Thanks 4.10 pm - 4.20 pm
Closing Ceremony 4.20 pm - 4.30 pm
Photo Above: Ndigbo In Geo-Politics of Nigeria Lecture Symbol Illustrator
By Nwaorgu Faustinus
The attack on the convoy of the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega while emerging from the palace of Emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Hussaini Adamu in Jigawa State is unwarranted. One now questions when it has become a crime to attend or honour wedding invitation of an Emir whose daughter is being wedded.
Reports said that trouble started around 12:30 pm when the INEC chairman emerged from the Emir’s palace and was identified by the youths who have gathered at the place to witness the ceremony, where upon “a young girl allegedly led the attack when she collected sand and threw it at the vehicle in which the INEC chairman was riding”.
According to Sunday Vanguard, the youths “began to hurl stones at Jega’s convoy. Several cars in the convoy were said to have been damaged and their glasses smashed. Sources said the situation would have been worse but for the intervention of security forces. The youths sang war songs alleging betrayal on Jega’s path”.
For me this is not the best way to express one’s anger or protest for alleged election rigging as according to the youths and as reported in the Sunday Vanguard of May 20, 2012: “You cheated us, you cheated the North, you declared falsed result, you denied General Buhari the chance to be the president of Nigeria, it was injustice, we will not forgive you”, some of them said. 2015 is not too far a period, these youth should have waited till 2015 to massively vote for Buhari that is if he clinches his party’s ticket to run for the highest office in the land rather than attacking Prof. Jega. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria
Needless to say that this shameful act is the aftermath of the alleged inflammatory and inciting remarks made by Buhari who has been belligerent, frustrated and angry for not being able to occupy Aso Rock, having contested four times for the seat and failed.
If I were Buhari, I would have invested energy, time and money in more useful ventures than to continue to waste huge amount of money that would have impacted positively on the lives of his numerous supporters rather than chasing the wind. He should borrow a leaf from the likes of the Dangote’s, as his past records which are negative do not speak well of him. It can only be imagined what Nigerians can benefit from a coup plotter and executioner, anti-journalists, regionalist, non-conformist, alleged advocate of the sharialization of Nigeria etc. Let it be known that Buhari will be a hard Presidential aspirant to market to Nigerian electorates as he is being pursued by karma every step of the way in his bid to be president of Nigeria.
The attack on Jega should not be treated with kid’s glove as it is an indication of the alleged potency of Buhari’s remarks in the minds of his supporters.
Nwaorgu Faustinus writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Mobile: +2348035601312. Email: email@example.com
*How Much Is Life Worth In Nigeria?
By Francis Chigozie Moneke.
Insecurity has indeed assumed an epidemic dimension in Nigeria. What with recurring instances of bomb explosions, wanton armed robbery attacks and other mindless acts of violence across the country, there is a tangible feeling of insecurity and profound fear of criminal victimization – hardly a day passes without one horrid and gruesome story or the other of human carnage, invariably with multiple casualties. Human life is worth but little in this atmosphere of perennial bloodbath, so much so that virtually every morning one wakes up to a fresh narration of gory killings of innocent persons in the hands of the now ubiquitous purveyors of violence, and probably also reads or listens to the traditional presidential pledge to bring the perpetrators to justice. But that is usually how far the ritual goes until yet another incident of human butchery.
No doubt the most worrisome security challenge in Nigeria today is the menace of the villainous Boko Haram sect whose terrorist activities have claimed no less than a thousand innocent lives. The sect has effectively defied the feeble efforts being made by the federal government of Nigeria to protect the lives of citizens, thus putting a big question mark to the capacity of the government to live up to its primary responsibility of protecting its own people. It is against this background that the statement recently made by President Goodluck Jonathan to the effect that Nigerian army is inefficient having failed to reign in the dreaded Boko Haram sect is at the same time valid and self-indicting. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: People gather to view ThisDay Newspaper Jabi - Abuja office building heavily damaged by Boko Haram suicide bomb attack.
The constitutional guarantee of the right to life has become largely atrophied in this era of absolute insecurity. Section 33 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that “every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria”. This Constitutional provision guarantees the right to life and intends that human life must not be taken arbitrarily. Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights is in all fours with this Constitutional safeguard of the right to life. It provides that “human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right”. These provisions impose a duty on government not only to ensure respect for the right to life but also to take effective measures towards ensuring that that right is not violated by either State or non-state actors – that is the obligation to protect.
The principle of state obligation to protect human rights especially right to life is rigidly enshrined under international human rights law jurisprudence. That principle was fully highlighted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in consolidated Communications 48/90, 50/91, 52/92, 89/93 Amnesty International & ors. vs. Sudan wherein the Commission addressing the contention that executions of people in Sudan were not effected by State agents, held that “in addition to the individuals named in the Communications, there were thousands of other executions in Sudan. Even if these were not all the work of forces of the government, the government has a responsibility to protect all people residing under its jurisdiction”. The Commission thus found that the government of Sudan was in violation of the right to life enshrined under Article 4 of the African Charter as a result of its failure to protect the lives of people under its jurisdiction.
The Nigerian Supreme Court has indeed affirmed the principle of duty of government to protect citizens in the case of AG Adamawa vs. AG Federation (2005) 18 NWLR pt. 958 where it held that the citizens of Nigeria have a right to seek protection of their human rights from the government. This is a reverse way of stating that the government of Nigeria has a duty to protect Nigerian citizens, because if the citizens have a right to seek protection from government, it follows that a duty is imposed on government to provide such protection. Also in Nkpa vs. Nkume (2001) 6 NWLR pt. 710 pg.543 the Supreme Court held that every person resident in Nigeria has a right to go about his or her lawful business unmolested or unhampered by anyone else, be it a government functionary or a private individual. Thus, any manifestation of arbitrary power assumed by anyone over the life or the property of another must not be tolerated. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
The provisions of Sections 130 (2), 215 (1), 217 (2) (c), 218 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), would suggest that the buck for insecurity in the country stops at the doorstep of the President who is the Chief-Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, because in him is vested the power of control over the security paraphernalia of the Federal Republic, and thus empowered to deploy such security outfits for public safety and order, which primarily contemplates protection of lives and property. Consequently, the President by observing the inefficiency of the military in the face of the Boko Haram insurgency has not succeeded in absolving himself of responsibility in that regard. Fair enough, the President is not bent on abdicating his primary duty as the C-in-C, thus his pledge to seek the assistance of foreign countries in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.
Seeking assistance from other countries must however be premised on satisfactory answer to two critical questions. First, why have our security agencies failed woefully to bridle the calamitous terrorist activities of the Boko Haram? Second, what is the condition precedent for effective engagement of the assistance of foreign countries in the fight against terrorist bombing and allied activities?
It is often credited to the Nigeria Police and Army that they perform well when sent on foreign combat or peace-keeping missions. But the story is usually different whenever they are saddled with the task of maintaining law and order within the country. It does seem that whenever deployed for foreign peace-keeping mission the few officers to be so deployed are adequately equipped, properly motivated, positively oriented and painstakingly trained. Back home however, everybody is on his own as it were. Resources made available for the capacity building and equipment of security personnel are corruptly commandeered by a few individuals. It is mere folly to expect performance from an ill-equipped police or army – no one gives what he has not, and you can’t place something on nothing and expect it to stand. With what superior intelligence can our security personnel outwit the dare-devil suicide bombers if they are no trained on scientific intelligence gathering and equipped with sophisticated hardware that would enable them pre-empt the terrorists and criminals. Corruption, is the bane of security in Nigeria (as with other public service institutions). Addressing the problem of corruption within the security and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria is therefore the surest way of making progress in the fight against terrorism. ( Continues below….. )
Secondly, the President can seek assistance of foreign countries to rescue this nation from the deadly clutches of the Boko Haram. However to enjoy maximum co-operation from such foreign countries from whom assistance may be solicited, it is important that Nigeria signs up and ratifies the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing. 1998. Article 10 (1) of the Convention states that State parties shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with investigations for criminal or extradition proceedings brought in respect of the offences set forth in Article 2, including assistance in obtaining evidence at their disposal necessary for the proceedings. Article 2 makes it an offence to deliver, place, discharge or detonate explosives or other lethal devices in public places, government facility or other infrastructural facility. It follows that signing up to the said Convention and becoming a member thereof will enormously benefit Nigeria at this challenging time, since it can then enjoy the automatic assistance and support of other member countries, instead of the present untoward situation where the President has in desperation admitted to the world that Nigeria can no longer handle the menace of a small faceless group of terrorists and therefore needs the assistance of any ‘good Samaritan country’ to deal with the problem.
Finally, the President has not shown sufficient political will to deal squarely with the nagging insecurity in the country. Sometime ago the President insinuated that members of the Boko Haram sect had infiltrated his government. Beyond those weighty words of mouth one has not seen a genuine determination to investigate and fish out those bad eggs in his administration and allow the law to take its due course. There is no doubt that the Boko Haram sect enjoys the support and patronage of very powerful and highly placed individuals in the country. Looking away from these financiers and patrons of the Boko Haram is a clear indication of lack of genuine commitment to bring the activities of the group under control. The President must also manifest such genuine commitment by ensuring that victims of terrorist activities and their families are adequately taken care of and duly compensated.
(Francis Moneke holds and LLM degree in International law and Human Rights from the University of London. He is the Executive Director of Human Rights & Empowerment Project; and also the Editor/Founder of Monthly Report of Supreme Court Judgements).
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