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11/14/14

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Categories: News, Nigerian News, South East News, African Issue, Tellers and Global Viewers

*Intersociety Writes Police On Threat Of Breakdown Of Law & Order In Nnobi Community

By Intersociety

Ref: INTERSOC/AN/11/014/NPF/SE/AN/NG

1. AIG Usman Akila Gwarry
Assistant Inspector General of Police in-charge of Zone 9 Command
Nigeria Police Zonal Command Headquarters
Umuahia, Abia State

2. CP Hosea Karma
Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command
Nigeria Police Force State Command Headquarters
Awka, Anambra State

3. Retired IGP Mike Mbama Okiro
Chairman, Police Service Commission
The Police Service Commission Headquarters
The Federal Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Sirs,

Threat Of Breakdown Of Law & Order In Nnobi Community: A Call For Steady Maintenance Of Law & Order & Protection Of Recognized Traditional Institution & Community’s Association & The Entire People Of Nnobi Community

(Security & Rule of Law, Onitsha Nigeria 11th November, 2014)- The attention of our organization-International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) has been drawn to the above referenced subject.

Background Information: After the traditional ruler of Nnobi Community in Idemmili South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Eddy Ezeokoli joined his ancestors in 2003, the issue of selection of his successor fell on three quarters in the Community; namely Ebenesi, Awuda and Ngo. The Constitution of the Community had earlier in 1988 been amended to provide for rotational Igweship among the three quarters of Ebenesi, Awuda and Ngo. For administrative convenience, the Nnobi Community is divided into 72 administrative wards with each of the quarters given 24 administrative wards. While the late traditional ruler of the Community (late Igwe Edmund Ezeokoli) hailed from Ngo quarters, the Ebenesi quarters produced the Okpala who is also called the traditional prime minister. The Ebenesi quarters also has the king crowner called Isiani. The Igweship, the Okpala/traditional prime minister and the Isiani are three reigning royalties in Nnobi Community. The present Okpala/traditional prime minister has reigned for 38 years.

By the tradition and customs of the Community in consonance with its 1988 amended Constitution, the Ebenesi quarters having produced the Isiani and the Okpala/traditional prime minister cannot, in equity and fairness, produce the next Igwe likewise the Ngo quarters that produced the last Igwe. Chief Ebubechukwu Etudo, who claims to be the Igwe-elect, hails from Ebenesi quarters. It was on account of these that the present traditional ruler, His Royal Highness, Engr. Nick M. Obi (Igwe Omenyili), who is from Awuda quarters, was chosen in line with the customs and traditions of the Community embedded in the amended Community’s Constitution of 1988. As it stands presently, the three top royalties and the PGship are evenly spread among the three quarters of Ebenesi, Ngo and Awuda. While the Igweship has moved to Awuda quarters, the Isiani & the Okpala/traditional prime minister is retained by the Ebenesi quarters and the Ngo quarters has the present President General of the Community.

However, the Igwe-elect so called, Chief Ebubechukwu Etudo disputed the choice of Igwe Nick Moudum Obi and protested. In 2006, in suit number: HID/16/2006 filed before the Ogidi High Court of Anambra State between the Registered Trustees of Nnobi Welfare Organization & Chief Ebubechukwu Lota Etudo, an order was made by the presiding judge, Hon Justice J.C. Iguh, restraining him from parading or addressing himself as Igwe-elect of Nnobi. His effort to set aside the order at the Enugu Appeal Court was unsuccessful. He also accused, reportedly, the Awuda quarters of opting for an autonomous community; which he reportedly said made them lose right of claims to the Igweship of Nnobi.

But the Awuda quarters denied the accusation and their position was later strengthened by the Enugu Court of Appeal judgment of July 19, 2011 in Government of Anambra State v Anambra State Association of Autonomous Communities, which ruled against the existence and recognition of autonomous communities in Anambra State of Nigeria. Though another legal proceeding has reportedly been initiated challenging the presentation of the staff of office by the Government of Anambra State to the present Igwe, His Royal Highness, Nick Moudum Obi, but no superior court judgment is in force or obtained setting aside the status quo till date.

Roles of the Government of Anambra State: Following the said claims and counter claims associated with the traditional stool of Nnobi Community, the Government of Anambra State opted to mediate in the dispute. The State Government also took a long time (2006 to 2011) to carefully study the issues arising from the dispute bearing in mind the provisions of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Law of 1981 including its Section 20 (powers, rights and privileges of a recognized traditional ruler). On 4th July 2011, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, issued a certificate of recognition to His Royal Highness, Igwe Nick Moudum Obi as Igwe Omenyili of Nnobi and presented him with a staff of office. The State Government had earlier on 27th September 2006, through the office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government & Chieftaincy Matters, recognized the Nnobi Welfare Organization (NWO) as the official umbrella community organization for the Community. The Nnobi Welfare Organization has been in existence since 1943.

Recent threats on Law & Order in Nnobi Community: The violence of unprecedented magnitude that would have eclipsed the 2014 Asha-Olu or New Yam Festival in Nnobi Community was miraculously averted owing to civilized crisis handling style applied by the leadership of the present Igwe of Nnobi and his Nnobi Welfare Organization (NWO). Despite several public notices and security alert letters issued or addressed to the relevant security agencies and the State Government by the Nnobi Welfare Organization and the Igwe-in-council, security lapses were allowed leading to issuance of counter public notices for a parallel Asha-Olu festival by Chief Ebubechukwu Etudo culminating in erection of canopies for a parallel event at Afor-Nnobi Market square in contravention of Sections 19 & 20 of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Law of 1981.

In all the letters under reference, the present Divisional Police Officer, Supol Abdullahi of the Nnobi Division of the Nigeria Police Force was at the center of the storm. He was heavily accused of compromising the public security of the Community during the festival by taking sides with Chief Ebubechukwu Etudo in defiance of several government directives and recognition conferred on the present Igwe of Nnobi by the Government of Anambra State. The 2014 Asha-Olu festival took place between 24th and 27th September 2014.

Condemned action of the Police: Security lapses allowed or influenced by relevant police agencies particularly the Divisional Police Officer of the Nnobi Police Station are out-rightly condemned. We have also observed that indiscriminate police invitations to members of the Nnobi ruling royal and civil status quo have continued to rent the air. These amount to psychological harassment and triggers of self help dispute methodology. The indiscriminate police invitations under reference are also extortionist or money making in nature.

For instance, on Monday, November 3rd, 2014, the President General of the Nnobi Welfare Organization (NWO), Prof Eddy Akusoba (77 years old) and five other notable officials of the Community’s umbrella organization were put behind the counter where they were held for hours, at the instance of the Awka Area Commander, one ACP Yusuf. They were later granted bail with a reported payment of N120, 000 illegal bail fees. The information received from the Igwe palace indicates that N100,000 was paid cash before the bail was granted to them on Monday, 3rd November 2014 and the balance of N20,000 was handed down to the office of the Area Commander on Monday, 10th November 2014 when they reported as directed.

Calls: We call upon your good public offices to ensure that peace and security are maintained in Nnobi Community at all times. Enforcement of law and order in the Community should be ensured at all times as well. Also Sections 19 & 20 of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Law of 1981 forbid those not recognized as traditional rulers from addressing or parading themselves as if they are. They are also barred from holding or sponsoring or participating in community activities under whatever names called in parallel with or outside the consent or knowledge of the Community’s recognized chiefs or traditional rulers.

Contravention of the provisions of these sections attracts on conviction two years imprisonment without option of fine. We call upon your good offices to enforce these provisions to the letter. Constitutional protection of lives and properties in Nnobi Community including those of the disputants (whether the disputants are real or pretentious) is very fundamental to the safety and securitization duties of your good offices.

The idea of using or converting the dispute in the said Community into money making venture by way of indiscriminate and seeming frivolous police invitation or arrest and detention must be avoided. Police invitations and arrests/detentions should only be based strictly on reasonable commission or suspicion of commission of crimes of legal records or serious involvement in acts capable of breaking law and order in Nnobi Community. The roles of the Nnobi DPO, Supol Abdullahi in the entire episode should be thoroughly and punitively investigated. He should also be called to order henceforth. Also the N100,000 extorted from the PG of Nnobi Community and co at the Awka Area Command on Monday, 3rd November, 2014, as well as the remainder (N20,000) given to the office of the Area Commander on Monday, 10th of November 2014, should be investigated and refunded inexcusably and unconditionally.

The need by your good offices to maintain or protect the status quo until the contrary is established must be applied to the letter. That is to say that since no superior court of records has set aside the issuance of certificate of recognition & staff of office by the Government of Anambra State to Igwe Nick Moudum Obi as well as recognition of the Nnobi Welfare Organization (NWO) by the same Government, these government pronouncements must be protected and enforced by your good offices at all times until the contrary is established or otherwise.

Note: For matters of further investigation, questioning, enquiry or action, they should be channeled to the following respected members of the Nnobi ruling royal & civil status quo, namely 1. His Royal Highness, Igwe Nick Moudum Obi (Igwe Omenyili). 2. President General (PG) of Nnobi Welfare Organization, Prof Eddy Akusoba 08034344107. 3. Palace Secretary, Ichie Ezeobi Ajaghaku (former PG) 08037421569. 4. Cabinet Secretary, Ichie Basil Eruchalu 08037148661. 5. Secretary General of Nnobi Welfare Organization, Barr Isaac Ezenwelu 08037459016. Also, protocols are lowered here so as to copy relevant junior police formations under your good offices.

Yours Faithfully,

For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law Emeka Umeagbalasi (Criminologist & Graduate of Security Studies), Board Chairman
08174090052, 08100755939 (office only)
info@intersociety-ng.org, emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk

Barr Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

Barr Chiugo Onwuatuegwu, Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program

Barr Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program

CC:

1. His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Anambra State
2. The Hon Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly
3. The Inspector General of Police, Force Headquarters, Abuja
4. Attorney General of Anambra State & Commissioner for Justice
5. The Secretary to the State Government
6. Special Adviser to the Governor on Security
7. Special Adviser to the Governor on Chieftaincy & Town Union Matters
8. Director of State Security Services, Anambra State
9. The Executive Chairman of Idemmili South LGA
10. Chairman, Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council
11. President, Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU)
12. Hon Ebele Obi, Member Representing Idemmili South Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly
13. The Area Commander, Awka Area Command
14. The Divisional Police Officer, Awka Central Police Station
15. The Divisional Police Officer, Nnobi Police Station

Emeka Umeagbalasi

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

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11/10/14

*Ebola Scare Takes The Life of A Nigerian At Madrid Barajas Airport, Spain

By Uchendu Precious Onuoha (Masterweb Special Correspondent-Spain)

The fear of Ebola is the beginning of life. Ebola is the most dreaded terror and scourge to humanity at moment. It is no respecter of persons, color or race, white and black, it is without boundary. Mere glimpse of any sign of Ebola at a distance will make even the American Special Strike force to take to their heels. The best of medical personnel cannot stand at the sign of Ebola. So was the case on October 18, 2014 at Barajas Madrid Airport Spain, where a Nigerian drug peddler was mistakenly abandoned and left to stew in his own juice by the airport security and medical team because of Ebola scare. If not for the Ebola fear the life of the Nigerian may have been saved.

According to information gathered by our Special Correspondent at the airport, the 38 year old Nigerian, identified as Ikenna Nzeako from Owerri Imo state on the fateful day arrived on a Turkish airline flight from Istanbul to Madrid. As he was about to leave from the airport he started shivering and collapsed. The airport security men and the emergency medical team realizing he was a Nigerian felt scared and hesitated to attend to him. Time elapsed as he was left alone on the floor before a special medical team arrived and confirmed that it was not Ebola case. But was as a result of overdose of cocaine inside his body which has busted inside his stomach. Subsequently he died few minutes after the medical team attended to him. ( Continues below….. )

As labeled

Photo Above: Late Ikenna Nzeako

Our Special correspondent traced where he lived in Madrid and met with his live- in girlfriend who is the mother of his one year old baby girl. According to the lady who said that the deceased came to Spain in 2008 and they have lived together for almost three years. Responding to questions by the Correspondent, she said that the late Ikenna called her two hours before he died and was talking to her in Igbo dialect a language she could not understand as she is from Edo state. And she never knew that was his last word until she was called by the police to inform her about his death later. The late Ikenna came from a family of eight with his parents still alive with three elder brothers before him and two sisters all in Nigeria. One of the sisters in Nigeria, who spoke to our special correspondent on phone, said that they saw him last in 2012 when he visited Nigeria. She pleaded that the Correspondent should on behalf of the family appeal to the Nigerian Embassy and the Nigerian Community in Spain to help bring back the corpse, saying as we did not see him in life again let us see him at death.

Also the deceased fiancée who was carrying their one year old baby girl during the interview with the Correspondent requested for help from the Nigerian Embassy and the Spanish government for accommodation and financial assistance to enable her take care of the baby as she has no work now.

The Nigerian Embassy, in line with their citizen’s diplomacy was quick to react to the incident by demanding for explanation from the Spanish authorities on the circumstances surrounding the death of the Nigerian. According to the Ambassador, Bianca Ojukwu who spoke to our correspondent over the incident said that the facts had to be established clearly that it was not as a result of Ebola as was initially feared. She lamented that its quiet unfortunate the circumstances that led to his death. And the Ambassador condemned the act of Nigerian citizens who involve themselves in heinous crimes risking their lives and tarnishing the image of the country in their quest to make fast money. She said that its high time they withdraw themselves otherwise they stand the risk of grave consequences for their actions as the host country would not take it lightly with anyone who constitutes himself a nuisance to them after giving him residence and work permit. Ambassador Bianca appealed to Nigerians living in Spain to always respect the laws of their host country and stay away from crime. She encouraged them to look for work and engage themselves in meaningful activities.

A cross section of Nigerians who spoke to our Correspondent over the incident expressed their displeasure with the situation of things at home saying that due to corruption among those at the corridors of power and the mis-management of the country’s resources has forced Nigerians to migrate and turned to beggars abroad, compelling many to take to crime against their wish. They appealed to the Federal Government to set up measures that will alleviate the sufferings of Nigerian citizens in Spain and Diaspora.

If not for Ebola scare, perhaps the life of Ikenna may have been saved first, after which he would have faced the wrath of the law for his crime. However, Ebola “though like the toad ugly and venomous yet it wears a precious jewel on its neck” (Shakespeare). Nigeria has been certified Ebola free country by WHO, thanks to the rapid response the Government gave to that and the cooperation of the citizenry also. At least the Ebola fear has shown that things can work in Nigeria if we really want. If the approach that was used to combat the Ebola case is applied in all sectors of governance in Nigeria, the country will turn to a paradise overnight. Hence with the fear of Ebola, Nigeria will be free of corruption and the economy will recover. Nigerians will stay at home and would not migrate. Those abroad can go back home to enjoy the milk of the land and the likes of the late Ikenna would be saved from untimely death. Therefore let all the incoming politicians and office holders come 2015 take an oath and be sworn in by the spirit of Ebola. As the fear of Ebola that made the Spanish airport security and medical team to abandon the Nigerian citizen will scare away corrupt politicians from embezzling public fund and save the nation.

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10/25/14

*Ndigbo In U.S. Hold Rally For Endorsement of President Jonathan For A 2nd Term

By Masterweb News Desk

_________________________________________

SPECIAL NOTICE: January 15, 2015: The Igbo U.S. rally for the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term of office has been suspended by the organizers who now declare support for General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), presidential flag-bearer of opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). - Ignore the press release below - an updated Press Release reflecting the new stand of the organizers will be published soon.

_________________________________________

Ndigbo in the United States will in November, next month hold a rally for the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term of office. The event tagged “Igbo Rally For The Endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan For A Second Term of Office.” is scheduled to hold at OZAC Hall, 2417 York Street, Blue Island (in Chicago), Illinois, USA on November 14 – 16, 2014. November 14 is arrival of guests and the event holds the following day (November 15) from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm with gala night from 8.00 pm to 1.00 am. Attendees may depart Sunday, November 16 after town hall meetings/breakfast between 7.00 am to 10.00 am. Igbos, Nigerians and their friends from all walks of life in the U.S., Nigeria and worldwide, amongst them - important dignitaries, are to gather in Chicago and show their support for President Jonathan’s re-election. Dame Patience Jonathan (Nigeria First Lady), Gov. T. A. Orji, Engineer Arthur Eze, Mr. Peter Obi, Col. Joe Achuzie, Ambassador Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, Dr. Harold Molokwu (PDP-USA Chairman), His Royal Majesty Eze Eberechi Dick, His Royal Majesty Igwe Kelly and many others to be named later are among important dignitaries to grace the event. A delegation from the presidency is also expected to attend to show solidarity with supporters at the rally. Members of PDP-USA will also be there to show solidarity and support. Designations and roles of special guests will be announced soon. ( Continues below….. )

Huge crowd trail Buhari during a campaign rally

Photo Above: Huge crowd trail Buhari during a campaign rally

The rally will provide the platform in mobilizing Ndigbo in the U.S. in utilizing all available resources such as formation of committee of friends, campaign organizations, direct phone calls/sms texts in educating their relatives, friends and associates on the need to vote for President Jonathan. That Nigerians abroad cannot vote in elections does not mean they cannot influence their outcome. Nigerians in the Diaspora remittances are key financial relief to families at home and boost to Nigerian economy. In 2012, Nigerians abroad remitted whopping $21 billion to the country; this has grown over the years. This means Nigerians in the Diaspora are very much on the ground and relevant in elections only if they can reach out to friends, family and business beneficiaries on the right candidates to vote for. Igbos will be awakened at the rally to mobilize and gather votes at home for President Jonathan’s re-election. This is for continuity to enable him finish up the good job he is doing that has made Nigeria the largest economy in Africa and a no-go-area for the Ebola virus. Nigeria has been declared Ebola-free by World Health Organization – thanks for the stellar leadership of Jonathan.

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10/23/14

*Bianca Ojukwu Wins The Most Outstanding African Ambassador In Diaspora 2014 Award

By Uchendu Precious Onuoha (Masterweb Special Correspondent-Spain)

Once a winner always a winner, and a star cannot be shielded from its lights. Ambassador Bianca Olivia Odumegwu Ojukwu is like the Northern star whose light remains constant from her position in the firmament. Bianca’s star and winning streaks continues to follow her wherever she goes. Initially her appointment as a non-career Diplomat was received with mixed feelings in some certain quarters. According to Shakespeare, “The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Today, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone of the house. Bianca Ojukwu like a Trojan went to Spain, saw and conquered. Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu is a rare bird, bestowed with beauty, intelligence and wisdom. And her accomplishments have proved that one does not need to acquire all the qualifications in the world before you become a successful and good leader.

On October 17, 2014, she was honored with the prestigious award of, African Most Outstanding Ambassador in Diaspora 2014 in Netherlands by the Voice of Achievers. The Voice Magazine Annual Award Ceremony is one of the most prestigious and highly rated awards in Europe used to recognize and honor African Achievers and Friends of Africa who have distinguished and proven themselves in their areas of calling for the advancement of their countries, Africa and humanity at large. This year’s event which was held at HOTEL ALMERE, a five star hotel in the city of Almere in Netherlands was used to give various Awards to deserving Africans and Nigerians. Among them are, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Chief Peter Obi, former Executive Governor of Anambra state who received award as Personality of the year 2014, Bishop Mathew Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto Diocese Nigeria, Dr. Abdullahi Dikko, the Comptroller General of Customs in Nigeria, Chief Joop Berkhout, and Chairman/CEO. Spectrum Books, among others. Among former recipients of the Award before include; Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria, Professor Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma among others. ( Continues below..... )

As labeled

Photo Above: Amb. Bianca Ojukwu poses with others in a group photo after receiving award.
- CLICK for Enlarged Photo

Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu whose presence dominates and arrests her environment wherever she enters, was the cynosure of all eyes, as all guests were falling heads over heels to catch a glimpse of her and have snap shots. The award was presented to her by her counterpart, the Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Dr. N.N.Akanbi. Speaking during the occasion, Bianca thanked the organizers of the event and those who recommended her for the award. She dedicated the award to the staff of the Nigerian Embassy Spain whom she said that without their collaboration and support she may not have attained to that height. She also thanked the Federation of Nigerian Community Spain (FNCS) and all Nigerian citizens in Spain for their support. Accompanying her to receive the award was what could be described as the Operation Swift crack squad of the Embassy whom she humorously name tagged. Among them are, The Head of Chancery, Safiu Olukayode Olaniyan, she described as, the Pillar of chancery and facilitator of the renovation of the Embassy and Chancery buildings, Head of Consul L.D.G. Boko (absent for ill-health) Consul Nze Nnamdi, Coordinator and Investigator of the Embassy’s Rescue Operations, Joshua Luka (Accountant) she tagged as CBN of the Embassy, Adekemu Ajayi, the Mother of Rescued Nigerian Children, a known face at the Airport and could be mistaken as a child trafficker, as she is always carrying two or three Nigerian siblings rescued from adoption while accompanying them to Nigeria to their families. Others include, Ruth Dauda who is on attachment and Wendy Van Der Veen, a Dutch woman and Founder of the Black and White Association, a good friend of the Embassy.

Answering questions from our Special Correspondent Spain who was at the event, on how she feels and what the Award means to her? Ambassador Bianca, said that she feels happy and encouraged as this goes a long way to show that her pursuit and implementation of the Citizens diplomacy as was directed as a priority area of attention to all missions by the President while commissioning them as Ambassadors are yielding fruits. She stated that the Nigerian Embassy will continue to protect the rights and welfare of all Nigerian citizens in Spain and in Diaspora. She asserted that the Nigeria Embassy Spain is of the people, by the people and for the people. And that the Nigerian Embassy remains a Sanctuary for all Nigerian citizens in Spain. And she used the occasion to commend the Government for the efforts they made to combat and control Ebola in Nigeria. And called on all Nigerians to join hands with the Government to make Nigeria great and a better country for all.

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10/16/14

*A Case Against Return Of Criminal Entities At New Bridgehead Car Park

By Intersociety

Ref.: INTERSOC/05/10/14/ANSG/NG

His Excellency
Chief Willie Obiano
Executive Governor of Anambra State
Governor’s Lodge, Awka

Sir,

A Case Against Return Of Criminal Entities At New Bridgehead Car Park & Need For Protection & Maintenance Of Key Public Infrastructures

(Good Governance & Security, Onitsha Nigeria, 16th October, 2014)- Your Excellency will recall that conversion of un-tarred portions of the Onitsha-Asaba Dual Carriage Way at Bridgehead into a car park and construction of same endeared Your Excellency to the heart of the people in the area particularly the traders of the Bridgehead Market. The major aim of the noble project was to clear and reclaim the area from the hands of some criminal entities that go with various names including Ukwu-aziza squad or Ogbaru Youth, among others. Another aim was to sanitize the area and make it environment friendly since it is a gateway into Anambra State and Southeast. Part of the aim also was to decongest the area by providing a befitting parking space for traders and others in the area to park their private cars. Before now, private cars litter the area causing congestion and other traffic jams as well as defacing the area, which is a major entrance into the State. The last aim was to reclaim lost government revenues hitherto in wrong hands by collecting tolls from each parked car as well as provision of public security in the area.

Sadly Your Excellency, these noble aims are in a verge of being reversed, if not reversed already. Few days ago, the traders at the Bridgehead Market received with shock the ‘leasing’ of parts of the completed car park to some militant transporters leading to the return of the dreaded Ukwu-aziza terror motor park brigade. Two portions were leased to “Benin and Asaba route transporters”. The two are in between the government public restroom or toilet before the Niger Bridge. The one before the public toilet is “leased” to “Agbor/Benin route transporters”, while the one after the public toilet is “given” to “Asaba route transporters”. Our last checks as at Wednesday, 15th October, 2014, indicated that the remaining portions where traders park their cars have already been negotiated for similar ”leases”. The one undergoing construction is penciled down for owners and drivers of “heavy trucks” including 911 and Trailer Lorries.

Already, tents and canopies have been erected in the leased portions and the Ukwu-aziza terror brigade also called “Benin Garage Agbaros”, are back. Smoking of marijuana or Indian hemp is now the order of the day. In recent past, the place was a den for armed robbers and other violent crimes. A number of affluent traders in Bridgehead Market, who were abducted but regained their freedoms after payment of ransom, have traced their ordeal to the activities of the dreaded criminal entities. Traders also suffered sundry extortions in their hands as well as loss of their wares and personal effects in the hands of the referenced criminal gangs.

These explain why the traders of the Market saw Your Excellency’s initial moves as efforts in the right direction culminating in cluster analysis and commendation of Your Excellency’s bold step. But since Monday, 13th of October, 2014 when the news was broken, clusters have rented the air in the Market and its environs, condemning and casting aspersions at Your Excellency over unpopular reversion of the noble efforts leading to restoration of criminal entities and criminal neighborhoods. In the traders’ view, “Akpokuedike has killed us, by bringing back criminals to haunt us and hunt for us and by denying us a space to park our cars for a price (payment of toll to government)”. What angered the traders most was that it was Your Excellency’s Commissioner for Transport (Barr Chuma Mbonu) that is fingered as being behind all this. Traders also feared that very soon the entire area will be converted to shops and other brick structures and made criminal hideouts. Before this unpopular policy reversal, the criminal entities under reference have relocated and adjusted giving traders in the area a sigh of relief.

Protection & Maintenance Of Key Public Infrastructures: It is recalled Your Excellency that our maiden recommendation to Your Excellency on the need to mandate all the 21 LGA chairmen to clear and open all gutters and drainages in their areas in the State prior to coming of the outgoing rainy season paid off leading to smooth movement of water and flood to adjoining rivers and other water bodies. This simply effort of Your Excellency saved a lot of human and material costs for the State. Your Excellency’s acting on our recommendation and effort proper is very commendable. Following from the above Your Excellency, as the rainy season goes on its annual and traditional holiday, the need to mitigate its hazards particularly in the area of failed portions of roads and blocked gutters and drainages has again become inevitable. It is our recommendation that Your Excellency should direct all the 21 LGA chairmen and their councilors to go round and compile the list of all failed portions of State roads as well as Federal and intercity roads for immediate mitigation or repair; for it is cheaper to maintain than to build.

Your Excellency’s attention is also drawn to the collapse of the right side of “Ulasi Okija Bridge” in Ihiala LGA as well as the erosion menace at Ihembosi/Okija communities in Ihiala LGA leading to cutting off of the right lane of the all-important Onitsha-Owerri Dual Carriage Way. Our reason of drawing Your Excellency’s attention is for Your Excellency to draw the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as finding a way of effecting palliative measures before substantive solution could be found and applied. It is also our observation that the Contracting firm that reconstructed the Road (CCC Limited) did not comply with the relevant environmental laws such as Environmental Impact Assessment Act of 1992 leading to collapse of that portion less than two years after its completion. Your Excellency should protest this to the Federal Government so as to get the Company back to rework the two failed areas (Okija Bridge and erosion site).

Your Excellency’s attention is also direly needed in Aguata LGA where three major federal roads linking it with its communities are in tatters. The three major roads are Nnobi-Awkaetiti-Igboukwu-Ekwulobia Road, Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe Road and Agulu-Ekwulobia-Uga Road. The terrible state of these roads will create untold hardships for the people of the area particularly this coming Christmas period. It is our call on Your Excellency to draw the attention of relevant federal bodies including the Federal Ministry of Works and its Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency to the dire state of the said roads. FERMA body should be gotten to carry out thorough palliative works on the three roads pending when contracts for their proper reconstruction will be awarded.

Protection Of Key Public Infrastructures: There is steady need to protect key government or public infrastructures in the State. For instance, our recent investigation at Onitsha Upper Iweka indicates that a number of street light poles have had their lamps removed or vandalized. There are also similar acts of theft and vandalisation of key public infrastructures in other parts of the State. All the 21 LGA chairmen and their councilors should be tasked with the responsibility of monitoring all government infrastructures across the State. This should be done in collaboration with the officers and personnel of the Nigerian Security & Civil Defense Corps, who are constitutionally empowered to monitor, protect, arrest and prosecute vandals of government facilities.

Road Decongestion & Menace Of Militant Transporters/Street Traders: The incidence of loading and offloading of passengers and wares at center of the roads is on the increase particularly in Onitsha Upper Iweka, Owerri Road, Bridgehead and Nkpor. Heavy trucks also park indiscriminately at the unapproved portions of the roads particularly in Nkpor and Ogidi. Street or road side trading and defacing of environment is still on the increase in the State leading to indiscriminate dumping of refuse inside gutters and unapproved places. Efforts should be intensified to tame it.

Incidence Of Return Culture: Most, if not all the special security checkpoints mounted on Anambra Roads at the instance of Your Excellency particularly those in urban areas are engaged in collection of “returns” from transporters. From Niger Bridgehead to Uga Junction; Upper Iweka to Owerri Road; and Nkpor to Ogidi, etc, the story remains the same. This has hampered government efforts in road decongestion and other road safety and environmental activities as well as detection and control of other criminal activities. All the security personnel ranging from Police, Navy and Army are involved. Our field trips have seen at least five incidents. Civilians are contracted as agents to collect such returns from a taskforce working for the militant transporters. At times, as in Uga Junction, such returns are handed down directly to the Navy squad. In some cases, there are open tolls imposed on KEKE, Okada and commercial buses tagged “Police, Navy or Army Levies”.

Need to Monitor Government Appointees: Anambra State Government appointees have for decades earned notoriety in engaging in sundry criminal and subversive activities particularly in the area of creation and collection of parallel public revenues in Onitsha, Nnewi and their environs with intent to diverting and pocketing them. These have earned them sarcastic name “Hotel Commissioners”; meaning that the first aim of an average Anambra Government appointee is to build and own a hotel from criminal proceeds. Criminal and subversive activities of these public aides have become triggers of youth violence and militancy, touting and thuggery, extortion and criminalization of public revenue collection, etc. Efforts should be made to tame this. And such government efforts should include digitalization and consolidation of internal revenue generation as well as sacking and prosecution of any public appointee found involved.

Call & Commendation: Beautification works at the Niger Bridgehead and Zik’s Roundabout by Your Excellency are very commendable likewise work at the three pedestrian bridges at Nlkpor and Onitsha. The increase on the pace of work at Upper Iweka/Army Barracks portion of the Onitsha-Enugu Dual Carriage Way is observed and commendable likewise drastic reduction in the incidence of violent crimes of armed robbery and abduction in the State. The IDC Construction Company Limited should be directed as a matter of urgency to repair the failed Uga Junction portion of the Asba-Onitsha Expressway Service Lane and open its blocked water channels for proper flow of water and longevity of the Expressway.

As for the criminalization and touting of the new car park under reference, it is our firm call that the anti people’s policy should be reversed. Your Excellency is called upon to pay an unscheduled visit to the area so as to see things for yourself. We further demand from Your Excellency immediate and thorough investigation of the said role of the Commissioner for Transport or any other government appointee in the said “leasing” and criminalization of the car park with a view to meting out appropriate sanctions if found culpable. The car park should be fully designated for traders to park their cars in exchange for payment of a token to the Government of Anambra State and it must be fully controlled and managed by the Government of Anambra State. If for any reason a portion is carved out for Asaba or Benin route transporters, it has to be properly barbed wired and be rid of any form of garage touting and brigandage so as to safeguard the traders’ parked cars and attract more patronage. That is to say it has to be fully and solely controlled by the Government.

Yours Faithfully,

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

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman

Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

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

Emeka Umeagbalasi

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09/19/14

09/15/14

*Sponsorshi​p Of Nigerian Insurgency Violence: Why Your Distinguis​hed Criminal Court Must Not Be Misled & Misinforme​d

By Intersociety

Ref.: Intersociety/04/09/014/NG/Insurgency/ICC/Int.

Ms. Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor
International Criminal Court (ICC)
Chief Prosecutorfs Office, Maanweg, 174
2516 AB The Hague, the Netherlands

Dear Chief Prosecutor,

Sponsorship Of Nigerian Insurgency Violence: Why Your Distinguished Criminal Court Must Not Be Misled & Misinformed

( Security & International Justice: Onitsha Nigeria, September 14, 2014)- Recall a letter addressed to us by your respected office, dated 2nd day of June 2014 in response to our two-part letter to Mr. President of Nigeria, dated 29th and 31st May, 2014, which we copied your respected office. The remaining parts three and four of the letter as well as related subsequent letters and publications updated up to July 2014 were also sent to your office, which it duly received and acknowledged. The correspondences between your office and ours were in respect to commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide by the State and non-State actors in Nigeriafs insurgency violence (Boko Haram terrorism) and a demand for your bodyfs intervention.

Our writing your respected office again is not only to remind your office that we are still waiting for the official announcement from your revered office of its commencement of its substantive criminal inquiry into the above named atrocity crimes with a view to apprehending and prosecuting their offenders; but also to alert your office of well coordinated attempts by those at the center of the Nigerian Insurgency sponsorship and their collaborators to politicize, misdirect and misinform your office and divert the international attention as per those bankrolling the heinous criminal activities of the leading terror groups operating in the country, which include Boko Haram and Fulani terror groups. We are also not ignorant of a number of credible challenges delaying your officefs prompt intervention. These include gmunicipal and international referralh procedures Articles 14 of the ICC and 7 of the UN Charter). We are aware that the challenge supposedly posed by the gprinciple of complementarityh is already overcome because Nigeria has grossly shown its ginabilityh and gunwillingnessh to municipally sanction the atrocity criminals under reference (Article 17).

Therefore, our writing your respected office is on the issue of the sponsorship of the Boko Haram terrorism in the country. We understand that a number of petitions from individuals and groups including latent groups said to represent the countryfs civil society community have been forwarded to your office particularly in the angle of the Boko Haram terror sponsorship. The issue under reference was recently brought to bear and made a public discourse in Nigeria. Reason being a recent development (July 2014) before the British House of Commons where a prominent member of the Parliament, Mr. Andrew Rosindell questioned the UK Foreign Secretary, Mr. William Hague, on the countryfs engagement with Nigeriafs leading opposition bodies and leaders over the Boko Haram menace and its sponsorship.

The Cable News online had broken the news on its site on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The Online news further reports: gThis came after a debate in the Parliament in which Labour MP Sandra Osborne sought to examine allegations of links between the bodies under reference and the insurgents. The increasing questioning of the UK government by MPs on the issue may force an enquiry into the allegations. Hon. Andrew Rosindell, a conservative who represents Romford and is a member of the influential foreign affairs committee, sent in his written questions „Ÿ called gnoticesh „Ÿ on Tuesday, July 8h.

gMr. John Hague (foreign secretary) is mandated to formally respond to Rosindellfs questions in the coming weeks on behalf of the British Government. The questions, listed under gnotices for written answerh, were published on the website of the UK Parliament. Rosindellfs queries relating to Boko Haram, as listed, are: 1. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will commission an inquiry into the international support network for Boko Haram in Nigeria and Cameroon; and if he will make a statement (Notice no. 204402). 2. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions (a) he and (b) other Ministers in his Department have had with leading members of the Nigerian opposition party and its leaders; and if he will make a statement (204401)h.

Others are: 3. gTo ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the rise in Islamic terrorism in Nigeria (204387). 4. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department plans to offer to Nigeria in tackling the threat of Boko Haram (204388). 5. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of links between Boko Haram and other Islamic extremist groups in Africa (204389). 6. To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will discuss with his counterpart in Cameroon the need for constructive dialogue between that country and Nigeria in tackling Boko Haram; and if he will make a statement(204390)h.

This marked the beginning of a barrage of reactions particularly from the opposition bodies and leaders resulting in denials, accusations and counter-accusations. Fierce local and international propaganda machinery was commissioned. The machinery was drawn from sections of local and international media (including paper, audio, audio visual and ICT) as well as civil society community. The climax of the fierce and well coordinated propaganda under reference was the gDavies Stephen Strawmanshiph. Dr. Stephen Davies is a self acclaimed ginternational negotiatorh said to have been hired to negotiate the release of the held Chibok Girls. His strange and perceived roguish style of gnegotiation rolesh in which he utterly took side and made wild and spurious allegations against some persons gave us every reason to investigate him, which we did and found his roles and utterances to be quackery. We also saw him as a gstawmanh. In our public statement, issued on September 7, 2014 over the issue, his credibility and status were criminologically investigated and analyzed in the context of streamlined roles of a third party conflict negotiator particularly as its concerns gneutralityh, gimpartialityh, gconfidentialityh, hreliabilityh, gtrusth and gstatesmanshiph.

Following questions were asked in the course of our criminological investigation: Was Dr. Stephen Davies engaged to negotiate the release of abducted Chibok girls or to interview Boko Haram Commanders to ascertain their sponsors? Can a hostage or conflict peace negotiator validly break his or her oath of neutrality and confidentiality as Dr. Davies has recklessly done? Are there not terms of reference for Dr. Stephen Davies to operate? Can a third party negotiator be one sided? Who actually hired him? What benefits do the Boko Haram Commanders stand to gain by naming their sponsors? Did the Boko Haram Commanders actually name their sponsors in their so-called interactions with Dr. Stephen Davies?

Others are: Did Dr. Stephen Daviesf hostage negotiation deal for the release of Chibok girls fail on account of the sponsors and sponsorship of Boko Haram terror insurgency? Is Dr. Stephen Davies truly a third party hostage/conflict peace negotiator? What about his past success or failed stories in matters of hostage or conflict peace negotiation if any? Are his talkativeness and wild allegations in line with the international best practices in matters of conflict peace third party negotiation? Can it be said that Dr. Stephen Davies is a confirmed quack hired by Nigeriafs merchants of death for bloody enrichment and deadly political-and-ethno-religious goals?

The so called gDr. Stephen Davies of Australiah has been widely quoted in both local and international media as accusing some prominent Nigerian citizens including the immediate past Army chief and a former governor of Borno State in the Northeast of Nigeria of sponsoring Boko Haram terror group. He also raised issues that are clearly not connected with the ongoing insurgency violence in the country, thereby raising further credibility question of his true social identity. All these are carefully designed so as to divert the attentions of Nigerians, your office and the international community with respect to real sponsors and sponsorship of the Nigeriafs ethno-religious terror brigands including Boko Haram killer brigade. Your respected office should not be surprised to have received a barrage of petitions from groups believed to have been oiled to distract, mislead and misinform your office over the issue. Petitions sent to your office between August and first week of September 2014 most likely fall within this category. Eagle eye should be used while considering them.

Lastly, relevant provisions of the ICC including Article 28 empower your respected office to investigate and prosecute criminal State actors in Nigeria whose conducts in the course of prosecuting counter-insurgency violence are found to be outside the provisions of the ICC Statute and the Geneva War Conventions. But such State atrocity criminals including sponsors of the Insurgent terror group should not be tried by gordealh or on the basis of ghearsay pieces of evidenceh. They should be independently identified using your officefs competent criminal investigation human and material resources. Any call on your office either written or oral to see and treat anybody named by Dr. Stephen Davies and his perceived sponsors as war crimes, humanity and genocidal criminals or suspects should be out-rightly rejected and discarded. This is because whatever he has said in that respect is corrupted, contaminated, crude, unreliable, unsubstantiated, unscientific and unverifiable.

Your respected office should also be careful on news coming from the country in respect of the subject matter. Such news should be independently verified with further extensive investigation before attaching any substance to it. We have a duty not to allow your revered office to be misled, hijacked, politicized, distracted, misinformed and misdirected. Our position firmly remains that in the course of your officefs criminal investigation being awaited, searchlight should be beamed in the directions of both State and non-State actors. Your investigation at the end may most likely reveal that the insurgent terror groups and their sponsors are responsible for about 90% of war atrocities, while the belligerent State actors account for the remaining 10%.

Yours Faithfully,

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

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
+2348174090052 +2348100755939(office only)
emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk, info@intersociety-ng.org

Emeka Umeagbalasi

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
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*Creation Of New Polling Units: Why Nigeria’s Roguish Electoral Demography Must Be Reviewed & Evenly Re-Distrib​uted

By Intersociety

Ref.: Intersociety/09/05/014/FGN/ABJ/NG/INEC

1. His Excellency
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria & Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
Thro
Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of the Federation
The SGF Office, Shehu Shagari Complex
Three Arms Zone, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

2. Senator David Mark, President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Senate Chambers, National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Zones, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

3. Honourable Aminu Tambuwal
Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria
The House of Reps Chambers, National Assembly Complex
Three Arms Zone, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

4. Professor Attahiru Jega
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission
The INEC Headquarters, Plot 436, Zambezi Crescent
Maitama District, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria

Sir,

Creation Of New Polling Units: Why Nigeria’s Roguish Electoral Demography Must Be Reviewed & Evenly Re-Distributed

( Democracy & Good Governance, Onitsha Nigeria, September 11, 2014)- It has come to the notice of the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded plans to embark on the creation of additional polling units of 30,029 for Nigerian electorates. Using the existing six geopolitical zonal arrangement, the Commission says it would allocate 21, 615 polling units to the north and 8, 414 to the south. The total figures were further broken down per geopolitical zone as follows: Northwest 7,909 polling units, North-central 6, 318 polling units, Northeast 5, 291 polling units, Southwest 4, 160 polling units, South/south 3,087 polling units and Southeast 1, 167 polling units. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is to be given 1, 120 polling units. The Commission has gone further to give reasons why the creation of the additional polling units is necessary as well as justification of its distribution formula.

Having carefully listened to the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega and critically analyzed the contents of his Press Conference in response to wide criticisms trailing the proposed exercise, we write to your important public offices to reject in its entirety the said proposed exercise. Our rejection of the exercise under reference hugely has to do with its timing, modality and distribution formula. The electoral demographic need for such exercise in the country is hugely incontestable owing to a number of genuine factors including voting accessibility and convenience, population growth, poll transparency, credibility and popularity. But timing it less than sixty days to the official commencement of the all-important electioneering for the early 2015 general polls is highly suspicious. The planned exercise is more political than demographic. It is violence-prone and has the capacity of overheating the already charged political season in the country.

Apart from the fact that such important exercise is best suited during administrative and non-election seasons or times, there is important need to critically and evenly review the existing 120,000 polling units and 8,809 electoral wards in the country before thinking of creating additional ones. As revealed by the INEC Chairman, the existing polling units and electoral wards were created by the worst electoral regime in the history of Nigeria: called “National Electoral Commission of Nigeria” (NECON) under one “Chief Dagogo Jack”. They were also created during the worst military regime in the country under maximum dictator, late General Sani Abacha. The five existing political parties then were called “five fingers of a leprous hand” (apologies to late Chief Bola Ige). They were also grossly lopsided and prone to systematic poll rigging.

Today in Anambra State, for instance, the river-line areas of the State still have the highest concentration of polling units designed then for massive polling rigging. This is because the area’s road network then was horrible making the area prone for poll rigging and very difficult for credible poll stakeholders to access polling units and other electoral facilities in the area. Similar sharp practices also marred the National Register of Voters particularly between 1996 and 2010. Before then, over half of the names contained in the Register were non living objects given human names and demographic codes. The same patterns were adopted during the pre-2011 national voters’ registration and revalidation exercises, which were responsible for the roguish outcomes of 2003 and 2007 general polls.

Therefore, we are shocked that the INEC did not see anything wrong in the existing polling units and electoral wards especially their composition and demographic distribution patterns. The existing polling units and electoral wards under reference have also followed the age-long roguish pattern of population counting and distribution criminally and abominably designed to de-populate some parts of the country including the Southeast and over-populate others including the core-north. Pieces of evidence available to us also showed that the present INEC leadership appears to have adopted a more advanced and technical approach since the 2011 national voters’ registration and subsequent revalidation exercises with a view to maintaining the roguish electoral demographic status quo.

The widened gap between the number of registered voters and those who voted in the 2011 presidential poll is a clear case in point. During the said crucial poll, the level of voter apathy was only high in the Southwest particularly in Lagos State, where out of a total registered voting population of 6, 108, 069, only 1, 945, 044 voted in the presidential poll. This is because the zone felt it was not in the contest for the presidency of the country having not fielded any major candidate. But in the three sub-regions of the north (northwest, northeast and north-central and the FCT), the voter participation was huge because of their insistence on producing the next president then. In the Southeast and the South/south, the voter participation was also very high because of the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan, who hails from the area.

However, the failure of the so called “higher number of registered voters” in the north to fairly measure up their polling units voting capacities clearly raised a number of critical questions and cast a serious doubt on the credibility and genuineness of the figures allocated to them in the National Register of Voters. For instance, according to information on the official website of the Nigerian Elections Coalition with respect to the official results of the 2011 presidential poll, out of 9, 474,404 registered voters in the six States of the South/south zone, 6, 339,216 voted. Out of 19, 803, 699 registered voters in the seven States of the Northwest zone, only 10, 790,085 voted. In the North-central zone with six States, out of 10, 584, 017 registered voters, only 5, 149, 057 voted in the said crucial presidential poll.

Further, out of 10, 749,059 registered voters in the Northeast, which has six States, only 5, 826, 645 voted. In the Southeast zone with only five States, out of 7, 577, 212 registered voters, 5, 082, 321 voted. But in the Southwest zone with six States, which was technically out of the 2011 presidential contest, out of 14, 296, 163 registered voters, only 4,613,712 voted in the said crucial poll. In Lagos State alone, out of 6, 108, 069 registered voters, only 1, 945, 044 voted. This means that 4,163, 025 registered voters did not turn up in the State during the presidential poll of 2011. In its 2011 governorship poll, only 1, 863, 513 voted. Even in the FCT, out of 943, 474 registered voters, only 398,094 voted. In the entire north, out of 41, 136, 775 registered voters, only 21, 765, 797 voted in the crucial presidential poll in which they fielded Mr. Mohammed Buhari.

Following the foregoing, therefore, we regard the explanations offered by the Chairman of INEC during his Press Conference held in Abuja on September 10, 2014 as watery, unsatisfactory and grossly unsubstantiated. The Commission also messed up its ongoing continuous voters’ registration and revalidation exercises by its reliance on the 2011 post AFIS (automated finger print identification software) figure of 70, 383, 247 for its planned additional creation of the controversial polling units. It is a public knowledge that the Commission’s continuous voters registration and revalidation exercises are meant to capture more registered voting population including those that relocated from or fled the troubled zones and got settled in new areas either in their ancestral or host zones or communities. Part of this includes the voter’s card transfer exercise.

On the other hand, they are to capture those that have died naturally or unnaturally and get them deleted from the National Register of Voters. At the end of these exercises, the Commission is expected to announce to Nigerians the new total number of living registered voters including the deleted number of dead and fictitious voters. Part of the INEC’s expected announcement is the fate of the voting populations who are still in the troubled zones (areas affected by the ongoing insurgency violence) as in the eligibility of their areas in participating in the forthcoming general polls. Any creation of additional polling units and wards must come after these and certainly not periods close to the national polls. It is sad and shocking that instead of toeing these defined and noble paths, the Commission turned around to organize a phantom and pro-rigging exercise in the context of ethno-religious lopsidedness. This includes bogus allocation of 5,291 polling units to the violence prone Northeast zone, which populations are unsettled and scattered outside the zone.

Finally, our purpose of writing your important public offices is to bring this unpopular and widely condemned exercise to your attentions and demand its immediate cancellation. By this singular despicable act, INEC’s readiness to conduct free, fair and popular polls in 2015 is seriously in doubt and under threat. We foresee situations whereby results for troubled areas in Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe Kaduna and Plateau States will be written in places of public politics and worship in Yola, Maiduguri, Dutse, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna and Jos. Should the INEC Chairman go ahead with the controversial polling units creation against the outcries of Nigerians and grounded criticisms from respected Nigerians and bodies, the Presidency is called upon to direct him to resign.

Yours Faithfully,

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

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
+2348174090052 (office only)
emekaumeagbalasi@yahoo.co.uk, info@intersociety-ng.org

Barrister Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Head, Campaign & Publicity Department

Barrister Obianuju Igboeli, Head, Civil & Rule of Law Program

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

Emeka Umeagbalasi

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09/12/14

*The Sermon of Bianca Ojukwu To Nigerians In Spain During Igbo Carnival

By Uchendu Precious Onuoha (Masterweb Special Correspondent-Spain)

The Igbos in Valencia Spain recently organized a colorful cultural carnival on August 23, 2014 in the city of Valencia Spain. The festival which was organized by the Igbo Union in Valencia was used to display a variety of Igbo cultural dances. The event which was a delight to watch attracted many Igbo personalities in Spain, Europe and Nigeria.

The highlight of the occasion were the children presentation in Igbo language, the scintillating Abriba war dance of Abia state in Valencia which held the guests spell bound with their wonderful display. Other groups that performed in the occasion include, the Orlu Cultural Dance of Imo state, the Anambra State Cultural Troupe, Enugu State Cultural Troupe, and the Delta State Cultural Troupe all in Valencia. The ceremony was also used to present awards to those nominated by the Igbo union.

Part of the activities during the event were, Panel Presentation, Nigeria at 100, from Amalgamation to Unification, The Position of Ndigbo by His Royal Majesty HRM Eze (Dr) Cletus Illomuanya, who was represented by his son. Lectures from Dr.Joe Illoh and Amb. Kennedy Onyeke. In his welcome address, the president of Igbo Improvement Union Valencia, Hon. Kingsley Obi thanked the guests who came from far and wide to grace the occasion. He remarked that it was the first of its kind in the history of Nigerians in Spain where the Spanish Authorities granted a whole street to be closed to traffic for a cultural festival by foreigners.

Among the dignitaries that witnessed the occasion include; Her Excellency Amb. Bianca Ojukwu, Nigeria Ambassador Spain, who was the Special Guest of Honor. Eze Ndigbo Warri Delta State, Eze (Sir) Peter Chukwu who was Chairman of the occasion, HRM Eze (Dr) Cletus Illomuanya, represented by his son. Hon. Uchendu Precious Onuoha, Ohanaeze Youth Chairman (OYC) and Master web Special Correspondent. Others include, Nwanne Campo, African Diaspora Woman of the year, Chief Nnanta, Ambassador Ndigbo in Diaspora, and Jennifer Diorgu, the First Lady Aesthetician and Cosmetologist in Spain among others. ( Continues below..... )

As labeled

Photo Above: Amb. Bianca Ojukwu poses with others in a group photo at the carnival.
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In her speech which was like an epistle to Igbos and Nigerians in Spain, Amb. Bianca congratulated the Igbo union in Valencia saying that they have always been in the lead to unite Igbos in Spain. And to showcase the Igbo rich culture to the host, also of importance to teach the children in diaspora Igbo culture for them to know their root. Reminding them that when there is problem, the ultimate place to run to is Igbo land. The culture of a people distinguishes and makes them unique in the society. She said that the Embassy is aware they are faced with many challenges which revolves around the future which approaches faster than many are ready to accommodate.

20 years from now, what will be our future? What are the elements that distinguish us as a people she asked? Our family unit is threatened, and all over the world the family unit is threatened. Our strength is the family structure, and it is our duty to keep the family structure together. It is up to the women to preserve the family structure. To the men she said, if a man does what he is supposed to do as a man, a woman will respect him. What you are doing here is very important for the children. She further advised that they should keep their eyes at home and make sure that the money they send home is properly utilized. She mentioned the notion that Igbos doesn’t love themselves is caused by a few. And she asked the Igbo community in Spain to desist from unwarranted leadership tussles among them. And she urged Igbos in Spain to resist and stay away from crime.

She further highlighted on embassy duties, saying that embassy work is not just for passports. She asked Ndigbo and Nigerians in Spain to always inform the Embassy about Nigerians who are in trouble. She used the opportunity to inform Nigerians about the effort the Embassy is making to solve the problem of police report, stating that efforts has been made to obtain approval from the Spanish authorities to grant approval for the Embassy to issue Certificate of good conduct, as that would reduce the expenses involved and alleviate the problems Nigerians in Spain go through in that process. She informed that the Spanish police has endorsed that, but remaining he approval of other relevant ministries.

The Ambassador, spoke on the issue of Ebola, saying that it is a new trend in Nigeria, and seem to be stronger than Boko Haram. But the way it is reported by the European press is not the way it is in Nigeria. She expounded that Ebola did not originate from Nigeria, and Government has tried to inform Nigerian masses especially through the ministry of health about the true position and the efforts to combat it. She said that it lies on Nigerians in Spain to disseminate the correct information about the situation in Nigeria. She further stated that Europe is no longer what it used to be. And therefore urged Nigerians to tell the truth to people at home for them to know the true position.

Lastly she reiterated that the Embassy will continue to implement the mandate given to them to protect the human right of every Nigerian in Spain. And she used the opportunity to convey the President’s goodwill to all Nigerians in Spain.

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09/01/14

*Masterweb Interviews Kingsley Ojugberu, Suspect of Acid Attack On Wife, Mabel Mark

By Uchendu Precious Onuoha (Masterweb Special Correspondent-Spain)

It’s said that “it takes two to make a tango” and there is always two sides to a coin. In that respect efforts were made by the Nigerian Embassy Spain for our special correspondent in Spain to have an interview with Kingsley Ojugberu, the alleged suspect by Mabel Mark his wife for acid attack on her in Nigeria. Below is Kingsley’s side of the story in an exhaustive interview held at his base in Las Palmas Spain. [ Click to Read Mabel Mark’s Interview by Our Special Correspondent-Spain ]

Could you please tell me a little about yourself?

My name is Kingsley Ojugberu from Delta state, 38 years, School cert holder and a fashion designer by profession. I have a big fashion house named Kings Fashion with about 22 workers in Egbeda Lagos.

When and how did you know Mabel?

I knew Mabel in 2006 through her friend that came to my house in Lagos whom I helped to go back to Europe. When she saw how gentle and industrious I am, she told me about her best friend and said she would like me to know her. She gave my number to her and we started talking from 2006 till 2008 when she came to meet me in Lagos. ( Continues below..... )

As labeled

Photo Above: Mabel Mark After Acid Attack by Husband
- CLICK for Enlarged Photo

When did you come to Spain?

We got married in 2008 and I came to Spain in December 2010

Did you have traditional marriage?

No traditional marriage, only court wedding in Lagos. Both families witnessed the wedding and the mother signed the certificate. They never wanted her to get married. Before we got married, Mabel told me that the greatest problem she has is her family. There is nothing she does that pleases them. After our marriage, the two sisters, Blessing and Dorcas called me from Benin and asked why should I go and marry their family investment? When my wife heard that she called her mother and asked why they should be telling her husband such? I tried to settle the case before she travelled back to Spain. Everything I am telling you God is my witness.

What can you tell me about the acid attack incident on Mabel in Nigeria?

Ans. me and my wife we never have problem in our marriage, until Blessing and Dorcas that have been fighting us from Nigeria came. They were living with us in the same house and anything we do they used to tell their sister Florence in Benin. And that is when our problem started. Before I came my wife had an African shop. I am a businessman, an international man. The shop was small. My wife had in her account 350euros when I came to Spain. That is what she showed me she has in her account. I started booming the shop. I bought an industrial sowing machine; God was so good to us. The African shop grew. I sow clothes for Nigerians; we now made it a joint business. We have the same account. We didn’t hide anything from each other. When we make a certain amount of money, we take it to Nigeria to invest for the future. I and my wife we have a love contact.

You mean a love covenant?

Yes a secret between me and her that we will never hurt each other. We travelled to Nigeria in 2011 and bought a property at Ogun State.

Before you bought this property, has she any property before?

She bought two houses in Benin. The first 8 rooms flat were before I married her and the family never allowed her to see the building until I got married to her. I am the one that carried her to see the building. She was disappointed because is not what they told her. The second one, I am married to her.

We went back in 2013 that is when the problem started. Before then these two girls have been calling the sister in Benin telling her that I am the one controlling everything. Gloria works in the same place with Dorcas and she lives in the same house with us. and she told us that Dorcas said our marriage will not work and that she used to call her people in Nigeria telling them are they sleeping, that they should go out, that I am the one controlling everything. My wife got angry and asked Dorcas but she denied. ( Continues below..... )

As labeled

Photo Above: Mabel Mark Before Acid Attack by Husband

While in Nigeria, Florence called my wife to come to Benin. Her sisters finished our marriage. They were not happy with our marriage because they are not from the same parents with my wife. These girls are evil. But may God fight them… We didn’t know they have set us up with a Babalawo. (Voodoo man) I did not have anything in mind because I and my wife love each other. We have love covenant. We prayed for better for worse. This woman has been praying that even if she dies and come back again she will look for me as a husband. This woman used to tell me sweet words and I used to tell her sweet words. If I talk lie may I not see tomorrow, this woman is a good wife to me…

Florence said that we should come to Benin because Babalawo said my wife is Ogbanje. We went to Benin with another girl that came from Spain and Florence took us to the Babalawo house. This Babalawo name is Clement Okobu. He has two wives. When we were there, I don’t know what they did to me. The next thing my wife did was to sit on the lap of the Babalawo, I thought that was Europe style; the wife opened the curtain and saw them and went back. I don’t know who told the Babalawo that my wife is pregnant. And the Babalawo asked who is pregnant here? And I said that my wife is pregnant and what about it. He said that the pregnancy is a problem.

How long did you stay in the Babalawo’s house?

I won’t lie to you I stayed there for 2-3 days and during these period I never came close to my wife. He told me that he is seeing accident for me as I drive. And he put us in a hole like a grave and bath us with some concoctions. I never knew that it was for us to hate ourselves. He collected from us (N380, 000) cash to do the Ogbanje for my wife. And the other girl from Spain told me she paid almost ( N1,000 000). My wife stayed in the house of this Babalawo for 7 days. And he put her in a room and said that is only him that will be seeing my wife for these 7days for that is the procedure. If I talk lie thunder fire me… This Babalawo has tugs in his compound. Those who bring girls to Europe take the girls to swear juju before him. And he sends the tugs to disturb the parents of the girls if the girls refuse to pay in Europe. Please I want government to fish this man out. Dorcas told me that this man wanted to marry her before she came to Europe but she refused. I want thunder to start firing all of them…

I went back to Lagos without my wife. 3 days later my wife told me that she is coming to Lagos with the Babalawo and Florence. I said for what? She said that there is something that the man is coming to do in the land we bought in Ogun state. My wife paid flight ticket for the Babalawo to come to Lagos. By this time my wife is no longer my wife, she has changed totally. My wife lodged in a hotel with the babalawo and Florence in Lagos. The Babalawo said to me that my wife told him that she wants to die, that he should help her…She has given this woman different concoctions that I cannot understand.

After the Babalawo went back, I tried to make love to my wife and she said I should go for a harlot that there is something the Babalawo put in her that she should not make love to anybody. My wife was behaving like a mad person. I managed to come back to Spain with her. Back to Spain, my wife could not sleep at night. The Babalawo and Florence were calling her for her to come back to Nigeria and finish what she has to do.

I called the Babalawo and told him to stop disturbing my wife. And he told me that I should stop calling that woman my wife because she is not my wife. I collected the voodoo she gave my wife even the one she baths with, I pissed on them and flushed them in the toilet I contacted two pastors to help me and pray for my wife because she has totally changed. Two weeks after we came back, my wife bought ticket to go back to Nigeria. I tried to stop her by hiding her passport but she insisted and left leaving me with our daughter who is to have her birth day in 2 days’ time.

She called me from Lagos and said that I blocked account and she could not collect money. We have a joint account in First Bank and both of us must sign before money is withdrawn. I sent 3000euros from the shop through Dorcas to her. My wife is not a bad woman, we love each other, and it’s the family that finished us with the Babalawo. She sent a me a text message before the incident saying ,my husband I am sorry for everything I have done to you please forgive me I have seen all their plans towards me. I showed this message to a member of Nigerian association when I went to visit my wife at the hospital.

Two days after, Blessing called me from my working place and said that something has happened to my wife, that they poured her acid. Immediately, I called my wife’s number in Nigeria and somebody picked and the person said that she is the sister and that I cannot talk to her, I should call back in 30 minutes. I called after 30 minutes and the phone was switched off. I called the mother and she said I should not call her. Here in Spain, the two sisters were fighting me, saying that the Babalawo said I am the one that sent somebody to pour acid on Mabel. Two days after, my wife was flown back to Spain, she is the one who called me and said I should come to the hospital. Dorcas was there when I reached the hospital. I saw my wife and burst to tears, I could not recognize her. Her face was totally black. She was crying and I was crying too. Let this God that nobody can hide something from bear me witness. You can lie to man but you cannot lie to God…

Did anybody try to prevent you from seeing your wife in the hospital?

How can somebody stop me from seeing my wife that was sick at the hospital? Is the person crazy? I snapped her, it’s in my phone. It was in the presence of Dorcas, she said I should forgive her. Camera recorded it. She told me her family said she should say it’s me but she knows it can never be me.

When and why were you arrested and detained by the Spanish authorities?

On the 8/06/13, I was arrested at home by police. They said I was reported by Dorcas and one retired police officer that used to come to our shop. They showed me the picture of my wife that was poured acid and said I am the suspect.

How were you treated by the police during detention?

They assaulted me, calling me black pig, and all sorts of names, forcing me to write statement, no type of treatment they did not give me which is against their law here. I was taken to court and you know this a developed country. They investigated everything about me here and in Nigeria even my phone conversations and they saw I was innocent of this matter. I was taken to prison for maltreating a woman because my wife lied that I used to beat her.

How did the Nigerian Embassy come in?

I am the one that wrote, that I want to see officials of the Nigerian embassy . I have been put in prison before the Embassy came. And they asked me what they can do for me. I told them the only help they can do for me is to help my wife, because these two girls and the Babalawo are still controlling her.

What efforts have you made towards her treatment and recovery?

I just came out from prison, and by their law here, everything I have has been given to her both our bank account. I don’t have anything; I am just living on friends. And as I came out I learnt my wife has put in for divorce. Because they said she cannot get help here without divorce. That’s what I am facing now.

Have you been served the divorce paper?

They have served me. But for me to know what happened to this woman, I will never sign the divorce. I will give her time because she is not herself yet.

You have spoken at length, lastly what else do you want to say?

I know, you journalist need confirmation, please tell the police to investigate the phone conversion between Mabel and my brother Eddy who is now in Germany between December 23 – 30, 2013. My wife said that the family in Nigeria told her, that the two wives of the Babalawo confessed that it is not her husband that planned the acid attack on her but the first wife of the voodoo man who contacted another Babalawo who arranged with the boy that poured acid on my wife. That even the boys killed somebody in Benin and escaped. And I want the police to act fast and arrest this Babalawo, and Nigerians should help so that this people will not go free. Also please I want T. B. Joshua and Chris Oyakhilome to pray for my wife for deliverance. [ Click to Read Mabel Mark’s Interview by Our Special Correspondent-Spain ]

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