Tag Archives: Nigeria

Restructuring and Chapter II of the Constitution

Restructuring and Chapter II of the Constitution

The Horizon By KAYODE KOMOLAFE, Email: kayode.komolafe@thisdaylive.com. Tel No: 08055001974

It is an important step in the restructuring debate when proponents call on President Muhammadu Buhari to seize the moment and give leadership in the process. At least, there has been a suggestion that the President should set up a commission on restructuring. In a way, that seems to be an expression of lack of confidence in the National Assembly where the business of constitutional amendment is already afoot. This is because on his return from his medical trip, Buhari directed those interested in restructuring to take their case to the National Assembly. The divergent approaches to solving the problem should interest the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.

After all, restructuring is ultimately a constitutional matter. While the proponents of restructuring are pushing for a new constitutional entirely to be legitimated by a referendum, the National Assembly seems comfortable to be addressing the extant issues of the Nigerian federalism by means of amendments of the 1999 Constitution. The huge deficit in both perspectives is that the focus is almost exclusively on the vertical issues of Nigerian federalism – devolution of powers (to the states or regions as the case may be); fiscal federalism, resource control, state police, contents of the legislative lists etc. There is hardly any corresponding passionate argument on the horizontal issues of the socio-economic rights richly embodied in the Chapter II of the Constitution. How many proponents of restructuring are making the case for socio-economic rights to be justiciable in their proposed Constitution of “True Federalism.” Why is there not so much agitation for the socio-economic empowerment of the people guaranteed constitutionally as proponents of restructuring push for greater powers for governors and state and regional parliaments? It is simply because making Chapter II work can only be a pan-Nigerian struggle and not an ethnic, regional or religious effort.

So when proponents of restructuring dismiss the 1999 Constitution as one imposed by the military they are silent on the remarkably humane content of Chapter II. They ignore the material power that Chapter gives to the people while they hanker after the powers of governors relative to that of the President and the powers of state/regional parliaments relative to those of the National Assembly. Even if the British imposed the welfare and humane content embodied in the Chapter II of the 1999 on Nigeria at their departure in 1960, it would be worthwhile for the working people of Nigeria to defend those provisions called the “Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy.” You don’t need any referendum to implement the policies of access to basic education, primary healthcare, social housing, food security, mass transit, water, sanitation etc. in Chapter II.

What is not being said in this debate is that merely redrawing the political map of Nigeria by means of a restructuring legitimised by a referendum does not on its own provide the magic wand for the achievement of the great objectives encapsulated in Chapter II. It requires massive political economy efforts including competent and modern economic management to realise those objectives regardless of the structure that may be finally agreed upon by the ethnic and regional champions. Otherwise, the real marginalisation will persist, that is the socio-economic marginalisation of the poor who constitute the overwhelming majority by the tiny minority of the economic and political elite. The poor and the elite alike belong to all ethnic groups, regions and religions. This is the yet-to-be- unanswered class question in the restructuring debate.

It is important to reflect deeply on the interplay of forces between democracy and federalism in the Nigerian context. Politicians and their publicists talk so much about “dividends of democracy”; yet the meaning of the phrase has become imprecise. Depending on who is engaging in propaganda, the meaning could range from the construction of an expressway to the filling of potholes on a road built 40 years ago. The dividend could also be massive waterworks providing millions of litres of water a day to some communities or simply the construction of boreholes. Similarly, there is a lot of imprecision about the benefits of restructuring as a democratic and federalist proposition.

However, those who at least still harbour some social democratic convictions should insist that the gains of democracy should not be trivialised or perverted. For the real dividend of democracy is freedom including freedom from poverty, disease and ignorance. Therefore, we cannot seriously talk of dividends of democracy in a social order in which the basic human rights are not protected.

It must be emphasised that these rights include the socio-economic rights. So when next a politician tells you his story about “dividends of democracy”, steer away the conversation from propaganda and ask him or her pointedly what he or she has done in terms of policy execution, articulation or legislation to ensure that the socio-economic rights of the people are adequately protected. The struggle for the protection of basic social economic rights guaranteed in the constitution is a legitimate struggle ultimately towards the inauguration of a humane social order in Nigeria.

The proponents of restructuring argue that “true federalism” would make Nigeria more democratic. But their idea of democracy does not envisage the social democracy guaranteed in Chapter II. It is the duty of lovers of genuine democracy and anti-poverty activists to stress the centrality of socio-economic rights to a “true federalism.” A few years back, this reporter made this point on this page when an anti- poverty bill was proposed in the House of Representatives. The bill was aimed at empowering the citizens to sue government officials for failing to provide basic needs in education, healthcare, security, water etc. These are the issues that should be raised with strident voices in the present conversation about Nigeria’s constitutional future. Of course, the social Darwinists in our midst (and some proponents of restructuring are among given their ideological background) would jeer at such a proposition and dismiss it as “utopian”.

The state and society do not owe anybody a living in their limited comprehension of the inherent contradictions in this inhumane social order. To those with this philosophical bent, socio-economic life is all about competition; those who cannot compete may as well disappear from the face of the earth. The authors of austerity budgets and theoreticians of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) abhor social spending. By the way, economic policies in the over 30 years in this country have been consistently ideological mutants of SAP. However, the fact they often ignore is that if the resources lost to massive treasury looting, corruption, leakages and other forms of economic crimes are applied to social welfare programmes, poverty will be reduced and society will be safer.

Inequality is not only regional or ethnic. The primary question is about social inequality. Even in the metropolis of capitalism, theoreticians are having a rethink about social inequality. Nobel Laureate in economics, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, once argued that when policies bridge gaps created by social inequality the economy will grow better. The policy process in favour of people’s welfare would be enhanced when the basic law of the land backs it up. That is why those who are not outraged that more than 13 million children are out of school or that thousands die yearly in remote villages because of lack of access to basic medical care that could cost less than N1, 000 should be reminded that there is a Chapter II in the constitution. It is part of the basic law of this country.

Millions of Nigerians are denied socio-economic rights that are fully guaranteed as “Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles” of policy in Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution that is currently under review. However, the weak point in the constitutional provision which those who are cynical about social justice always exploit is that these socio-economic rights are not “justiciable”. A six-year old citizen who is denied primary education cannot go court to enforce his socio-economic right to education.

That has been the obstacle to the advancement of the frontier of this aspect of human freedom in Nigeria. The National Assembly could make their process of constitutional amendment relevant by removing the obstacle in the way of the enforcement of socio-economic rights. The Senate and the House of Representatives should take the initiative of advancing this restructuring debate by deepening the socio-economic rights in the constitution. If the National Assembly toes this line, it would be making a significant contribution towards building social democracy. It is when socio-economic rights are made justiciable that democracy in this land would mean more than calling on the people periodically to queue up to vote for competing candidates in elections.

To be sure, there is no illusion here that the poor will have a better deal in a selfish society by merely amending the constitution to make socio-economic rights justiciable. It would take a greater battle to be waged against the predominant ideology of governance that is opposed to government’s investment in welfare programmes. It takes a genuinely anti-poverty president or governor to focus more on those policies that would democratise access to basic needs rather engaging in propaganda of executing “projects” all over the place. For instance, more than four years ago a civil society organisation, the Socio-Economic Right Accountability Project (SERAP secured a judgment against the federal government in ECOWAS on the child education.

The court upheld the right of child to education; but the government has treated the judgment with contempt while not disputing the jurisdiction of the court. As the people’s lawyer, Femi Falana, often reminds his compatriots, even the idea of justiciability in the present situation should be tested.

For instance, the constitution guarantees right to life and that of free movement. But lives are being lost daily on scandalous roads including the so-called expressways because of the social irresponsibility of governments at all levels that refuse to fix these roads. There is constitutional right to life yet thousands of children are dying of hunger and preventable diseases. Yet all what our bourgeois lawyers can tell us is that the citizens who use these hazardous roads and starving children cannot go to court because the rights involved in these instance are not “justiciable”.

Hence, in several public interest cases, Falana has gone to court to test the justiciability of the rights. Such advocacy should be embraced by all those committed to making the people reap the real dividends of democracy.

Although poverty might not be merely legislated out of this land; yet the law could be employed as a weapon in the important anti-poverty war. Devolution of power to states or regions and resource control by governors would not automatically eradicate poverty. The structure of poverty plaguing this land should also interest the advocates of restructuring.
Culled from ThisDay


News Headlines Oct 13, 2017. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

News Headlines Oct 13, 2017. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

Compiled by Demola Adefajo

The Punch

IG asks court to stop Saraki, Senate from investigating him
$25bn scam: I approved NNPC loans, not contracts, says Osinbajo
Buhari asked us to focus on northern Nigeria — W/Bank
Probe Kachikwu, Baru face-off, ACF tells Buhari
Mob beats up man caught with human skull, body parts
Police arrest guard, cobbler for ‘abducting’ 15-year-old pupil
Five pupils feared dead in Kaduna boat accident
Lagos resident leads gang to rob, kill neighbour
Landlord, children kills tenant two days to wedding
Dismissed soldier nabbed for robbery
Ambode, Ashafa urge executive, legislative cooperation
Kidnappers of Lebanese nabbed in Oyo
PDP must unite to win Osun 2018 gov poll —Makarfi
EFCC recovered N29bn from whistle-blower tips —Magu
I don’t deserve deposition threat, says Olubadan
Cult killing probe: Rivers Assembly denies receiving police invitation
Alleged bailout scam: Fayose promises released commissioner, AG new cars
Buhari asked us to focus on northern Nigeria — W/Bank
IPOB: Lethal weapons recovered from Kanu’s residence, says Abia CP
Court jails man for sleeping with second wife
Woman kills three-year-old son for ‘looking like his father’, bags 33 years in jail
137th IPU: Saraki leads NASS delegation to Russia
Liberians await delayed results for new president
Reps recommend upward review of minimum wage
Buhari seeks Senate’s approval for CBN nominees
Govs want NASS to harmonise positions on review of constitution
Pension fund assets rise by N862bn
Growing cyberattacks raise demand for insurance cover
Interbank lending rate drops to 20% amid cash squeeze
Buhari reappoints Orji NSIA boss
Stakeholders unveil new funding initiative for mortgage banks
Amiesimaka tips Eagles to shine at Russia 2018
Bet9ja boosts powerlifting
Tornadoes set for Minna return
Pulev slams Joshua
Valcke faces criminal probe
Ozil, Sanchez could leave in January – Wenger
Fans take to Twitter to mourn DJ Olu as his body is laid to rest
Tagbo: God knows my hands are clean, says Davido
Don laments low level of ICT awareness in schools
WAEC to hold international summit on examination malpractice
FG introduces 780 adult education classes nationwide
NABTEB laments shortage of technical colleges, teachers
We have learnt our lessons – Queens College Principal
Over 20,000 teachers to sit qualifying exams in 26 states
Tagbo: Davido breaks silence, releases statement, CCTV footage
Full list of 2017 AMAs nominations
Men dominate American Music Awards nominations
UK police probe assault claim against Weinstein
A balanced diet is essential for hair growth
PCN arrests 20 illegal medicine dealers
ARC Nigeria partners states on vaccine storage
Sickle cell and the valley of the shadow of death
How entrepreneurs can use chatbots for business
Six Artificial Intelligence-powered tools for entrepreneurs
Editorial: Embarrassing condition of State House clinic
Sukuk: Sucker or succour?
Regulatory framework for foreign investment in Nigeria


At APC South-west Leadership Meeting, Akande Says Presidential Ticket Open to All
FG to Review Power Sector Privatisation
NNPC: I Did Not Approve Contracts But Loans, Says Osinbajo
ECOWAS Court Awards N18m against FG for Labelling Actress, Njemanze, Two Others Prostitutes
IG Asks Court to Stop Senate from Probing Him
ECOWAS Court Awards N18m against FG for Labelling Actress, Njemanze, Two Others Prostitutes
Supreme Court to Decide Dasuki’s Bail Appeal Jan 25
Saraki Leads N’Assembly Delegation to 137th IPU in Russia
Jack Warner Rejoices in US World Cup Flop
Intels Vows to Fight Back as NPA Terminates Pilotage Agreement
IMF Warns of Heightened Risks as Nigeria Seeks to Increase Foreign Debt
Police Say Weapons Were Recovered from Nnamdi Kanu’s Home
Buhari Re-appoints Orji as NSIA Boss
House Urges Buhari to Begin Negotiations on New Minimum Wage
Farmer to Die by Hanging in Delta for Stealing N170, Nokia Phone
IPC Condemns Continuous Attack on Journalists By Security in Kogi House
Monkey Pox: Disease Control Agency Denies Vaccination Exercise
NNPC Invites Investors to Partake in Oil Search in Seven Inland Basins
Allegations of Marginalisation Has Created Fear and Suspicion, Says ACF
National C’ttee on Export Promotion Meets, Targets Cocoa, Sesame Seeds
NERC Fines Ibadan Disco N50m for Misuse of CBN Loan
NMMA Award Marks Silver Jubilee, Opens Entries
Senate Refers FG’s $5.5bn Loan Request to C’ttee
C’River SuperHighway: BudgIT Warns against Another Unnecessary Debt Burden
Three Suicide Bombers Die in Failed Borno Hospital Attack
El-Rufai Presents N217bn Budget Proposal for 2018
FG Brokers Food Security Partnership with Brazil
With Low Spend on Healthcare, W’Bank Pledges Accelerated Investment in Human Capital Devt
NIRSAL, Moroccan Firms Sign Agreement to Expand Agric Insurance
Man Gets Life Imprisonment for Raping Girl at Gunpoint in Akwa Ibom
Ganduje Explains Why His Govt Will Not Sack 25,000 Unqualified Teachers in Kano
FRSC Personalises Number Plates, Recover 75 Stolen Vehicles, Says Oyeyemi
Mrs Osinbajo to Speak at 2017 African Gems and Jewellery Exhibition
Saraki Leads N’Assembly Delegation to 137th IPU in Russia
VCs Urge FG to Increase Investment in Education
Insecurity: NBA Threatens to Withdraw Its Services to Kidnappers, Robbery Suspects
Pension Fund Assets Hit N6.1 Trillion
ANAN Harps on Competence, Integrity
Fidelity Bank Sells $400m Eurobond
Shareholders of PZ Cussons Approve N1.98bn Dividend
Group Seeks Attitudinal Change among Nigerians
Poor Welfare: NDLEA Workers May Revolt, Call for Buhari’s Intervention
APC Finally Fixes NEC Meeting for Thursday
PDP Chairmanship: Delegates Should Pick a Man of Vision, Says Babangida
Kogi West PDP Heads Back to the Drawing Board
Royal Honour for Oshiomhole
Education for the Underprivileged
Celebrating Ogidi New Yam Festival
A New Vista for IDPs
Wenger Salutes Nigeria over Super Eagles Qualification
Nasarawa Amazons Battle Delta Queens as Curtain Falls on NWPL Super 4
Police Golfer Wins Ikeja Lady Title
Bet9ja Boosts Power-lifting as Waheed Wins in USA
‘Why MTN Organised Football Clinic in Lagos’
20 Teams to Vie for IGC Corporate Challenge Cup
The Rise and Fall of Nnamdi Kanu

The Nation

Southwest APC demands more powers for states
$25b deals row: Presidency, NNPC board call for ceasefire
I approved NNPC loans not contracts, says Osinbajo
Lethal weapons found in Kanu’s residence, says police chief
World Bank urges govt to invest in Nigerians
Alleged N2.1b laundering: let my mum rest in peace, Patience Jonathan tells EFCC
How politicians grabbed power firms’ shares under Jonathan, by ex-minister
Home owner charter: No qualified applicant will be left out
Wenger Congratulates George Weah as President Elect
Photos: Osinbajo commissions multi-billion naira Bonny Bodo bridge
Minister lauds Armed Forces for defeating Boko Haram
Osinbajo’s denial: So who signed NNPC’s contracts?
2018 budget goes to NASS this month – budget minister
Tagbo’s death: Danger of mixing drugs with drinks
How politicians grabbed power firms’ shares under Jonathan, by ex-minister
LASU to admit 3,500 candidates in 2017/18 session
Student’s death sparks violence in Ekiti
ITTF confirms Quadri, 19 others for World Cupin Belgium
Aquatics Federation endorses Dolphin Swimming League
Gov’s Cup: Nigerian parents travel from Amsterdem for daughter’s debut
Lagos rumbles as Tornadoes, Akwa battle for AITEO Cup
We will not be blackmailed into making decisions- NBBF
This Eagles will make us proud in Russia – Amiesimaka
‘PDP can’t win in 2019’
Edo APC to begin biometric registration of members
What’s Obaze up to?
`D.J Cuppy’ Otedola’s daughter confirms split with Anichebe
Most expensive thing Efe bought from his N25m
Tagbo: Davido quizzed for ‘lying’
‘Good nutrition vital for child development’
WHO, NAFDAC partner on eradicating fake drugs
Commissioner: no room for quacks in Sokoto labs
Davido attends Dj Olu’s funneral
Tagbo: My heart is rare – Davido
Dismiss reports on post-UTME cancellation – Adamu Adamu
Unions canvass decent work conditions for workers
‘How market products, services in austere times’
Nigerians urged to buy local fabrics
FIIRO woos Unilever on R&D commercialisation


Bello Orders Investigation Into Assault On Journalist
NMA Begins Strike In Benue
10 Schools For Maiden Dolphin Swimming League
Reps To Probe Jonathan, Buhari Over N11.1bn Aso Rock Clinic Budget
APC Presidential Ticket For 2019 Election Still Open —Bisi Akande
Muslim Council Tasks INEC On Free, Fair Poll
PRP Candidate Cautions Against Money Influence
Nigeria Drops On FIBA World Ranking, Remains Africa’s Best
DTHA To Receive 2018 Appropriation Bill Before End Of Oct —Agas
Apapa Traffic Gridlock: Council Blames Operators, Erects Road Barriers
Labour Rejects FG’s No Work, No Pay Policy
Son Leads Kia Design Team In China
Tagbo: Davido’s story, by lawyer
NNPC $25bn contract award: Osinbajo disowns aide
I will restructure the EFCC when I become President – Fayose
Over 500 Keke operators block Imo govt House over ban
Senate begins consideration for Buhari’s $5.5bn loan
Why FG banned medical doctors from private practice
Seat belt saved my life — Aguero
Barcelona to hand Messi £80 m bonus
VP Boakai, George Weah lead in Liberia provisional result
I was not elected to be sharing govt money – Gov Jibrilla
New York, London police probing separate Weinstein assault cases
D.J Cuppy’ Femi Otedola’s daughter confirms split with striker Victor Anichebe
Rights Violation: ECOWAS Court orders FG to pay actress, 2 others N18m
First Lady and the Aso Rock Clinic
SON, electrical materials dealers collaborate to check substandard products
Police, LASG debunk rumoured demotion of Lagos CP, Edgal
Why JAMB may not reduce 2018 UTME fee – Oloyede
100 CSOs, Imo lawmakers demand for open budget system
Maternal health: $20m safe birth initiative for Nigeria, Ivory Coast

Daily Trust

 Yabatech marks 70th anniversary, graduates 9,021 students
Apple iOS 11: Six awesome features that you will love
Court jails 45 Boko Haram members
Yabatech marks 70th anniversary, graduates 9,021 students
Buhari: My discussion with World Bank boss twisted
Buhari for APC guber rally in Anambra
PDP Chairmanship: Daniel visits Obasanjo
Restructuring turning new form of opposition – presidential aide
President Buhari mourns tragic loss of students in Kaduna
Obiano offers automatic employment to 17 corps members
Returning IDPs home, our greatest challenge – NEMA
‘Li’ani’ new Hausa film to be released soon
Bauchi governor’s wife, NAFOWA to collaborate on women empowerment
Football coach goes naked to motivate team
Unilorin produces 89 first class graduates-VC
Sokoto :NIPOST enhances street delivery of mails
Science tech., innovation, key to economic development – Emefiele
Customs intercepts 27 hilux vans worth N432m in Abuja
Adopt Pidgin English as national language – UDP Chairman
Repositioning social workers for effective service
Labour ministry to partner prisons service on vocational training
Davido opens up on Tagbo’s death
NNPC shuts Kaduna, Warri refineries over operation costs, TAM
2019: South West leaders rule out auto-ticket for Buhari
Rohr targets 2019 Nations Cup ticket
Gov’s Cup: Nigerian parents proud of Netherlands-based duaghter’s debut
Truck rams into cars, okada, kill one in Gwarinpa
Commercial motorcyclist slumps in Kubwa
Police nab suspected car thief
Paradox: Teachers failing while their students “pass” exams
PDP and Fayose’s bid for the presidency
Building an Africa free from hunger and poverty
Re: President’s tacit indictment of Ganduje and others
The North in shadows of Kofi Annan’s prognosis
KENYA: Street protests banned amid election row
Editorial : Fix your state roads first
FG secures 55,000 hectares in 11 states for grazing reserves
Ondo cannabis passion devastating forest

The Sun

2019 presidency: No automatic ticket for Buhari –Akande
World Bank warns Nigeria against dependence on oil
Drama, confusion trail NNPC contracts
Police’ll continue to raid IPOB leader’s family house –CP
Kaduna: How 5 students died in boat tragedy 
Davido regains freedom as Tagbo’s family cries foul
Our efficient security has increased hospitality business by 70% – Obiano
FG denies monkeypox vaccination in South East
Genetically modified crops not harmful –ARCN
Olubadan to Ajimobi: I have done nothing wrong
Osinbajo to address NESH Oil & Gas roundtable
Internet users in Nigeria increase to 92m
Property Watch: Problem of foundation crack
Mistakes that pushed me out of Big Brother Naija –Soma
Buhari on Independence Day: A speech most divisive
Reported ‘sin,’ Kachikwu, Baru and Buhari
The US gun curse
That ill-advised search for oil in the north
Essence of Eagles team spirit –Obakpolor
Wealth creation in cottage industry
Drama, confusion trail NNPC contracts
Israel to withdraw from UNESCO following U.S., Netanyahu says
West African migrants dying in far greater numbers in the Sahara
Germany extends border controls for another 6 months
I spent two hours,10 minutes talking to Nnamdi Kanu at Kuje Prisons -Kalu
Anambra guber : Army free healthcare: Residents don’t trust military –Chidoka
Senate: Fresh row over Ndume’s suspension
CAF bigwigs to grace Akwa, Tornadoes FA Cup final
NBBF adamant on Kano Pillars, Gombe Bulls
Edo rolls out red carpet as NWFL Super 4 ends today
Property Watch: Lagos to deliver 20,000 housing units by 2018
EDITORIAL: The trial of Boko Haram Power play in NNPC
Essence of Eagles team spirit –Obakpolor
Wealth creation in cottage industry

Signing Kanu’s bail put us in trouble, says Senator Abaribe

Signing Kanu’s bail put us in trouble, says Senator Abaribe

Nnamdi Kanu

By Gordi Udeajah, New York, USA

Biafra Agitation Stopped Bulk Sale/Export Of Made-In-Aba Products

Leader of Southeast caucus in the National Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has explained that those who signed the bail bond for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of proscribed IPOB, from detention are now in trouble.

Abaribe also stressed that as a result of agitations by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra for a separate state of Biafra, bulk selling and export of Made-In -Aba products have been hampered drastically.

Abaribe, who represents Abia South senatorial district, made the disclosures last night in New York, U.S.A, while speaking at the Made-In-Aba Products Fashion Show held as part of the 2017 Convention of Abia State National Association of North America (ASNA) at Hilton Hotel JFK, New York.

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, was represented on the occasion by his deputy, Mr. Ude Oko Chukwu.

The Senator noted that bulk buyers and exporters of the products stopped coming to Aba due to security risks posed by Biafra agitation and the Operation Python Dance 11 undertaken by the Nigerian Army in the Southeast, which effects he said, hit Abia State the most.

He said: “I am a Nigerian Senator and not that of Biafra. We had advised Kanu, reminding him that his rights end where those of others begin. We are now in trouble, because we do not know where he is and how to contact him. Those that support Kanu’s agitation should think twice.”

Riding on his acclaim as ‘Made-In-Aba Senator’ Abaribe urged the people to be pragmatic and realistic, stressing that “we should trust that our leaders, both elected and not elected can get the best for us.

“We think we need Biafra, but this Biafra should be that of the mind that represents our ingenuity and our innate quality for hard work and enterprise, especially as oil proceeds keep dwindling.

“Igbo are largest and highest investors in the country, contributing to the development of wherever they reside and operate. In Lagos alone, we have built and developed about ten different markets from which over N3b are generated on daily basis.”

The Forgotten Conversations

The Forgotten Conversations

Simon Kolawole

A keen follower of the perennial debate on the state of the Nigerian union would have noticed some patterns by now: your diagnosis of the problem inevitably determines your prescription. If you think the problem with Nigeria is the 1914 amalgamation, your prescriptions will most likely be built around “de-amalgamation” or creating a loose union — what they call “open relationship” in the Western world. If you think the problem is federalism, you will vigorously push for “true federalism” and such like. If you think the problem is revenue allocation, you will fight for the Nigerian definition of “fiscal federalism” — by which is meant “higher derivation payment”.

If you are sold on the argument that the problem is the presidential system of government, your prescriptions will naturally focus on that. If you are convinced, like me, that the root cause of our underdevelopment is the absence of good governance, you will inevitably spend your time campaigning for quality leadership that will build strong institutions, design good systems and inspire patriotic followership. I have seen countries develop under various conditions and systems — unitary, federal, quasi-federal, presidential, parliamentary, democratic, dictatorial, homogeneous, heterogeneous, etc — but I am yet to see a country develop under poor leadership.

Your diagnosis logically determines your prescription. My bias is always evident in my writings. I always blame leadership. But I am not demanding that Nigeria should become like Japan by Christmas. I am a little realistic. All I seek is a leadership that is determined to deliver the basic things of life: potable water for the poor, hospitable hospitals for the lowly, good education for underprivileged, regular power supply and motorable roads. Pardon my naivety, but I do not think we need Sharia to end meningitis and cholera in Gusau, or balkanisation to build roads in Aba, or 1963 constitution to run good primary schools in Ibadan. But that’s me.

In any case, while we await the manifestation of the Nigeria of our dream — either the “balkanised” Nigeria, or the “1963 Nigeria”, or the “good governance” Nigeria — there are other critical issues we can devote a fraction of our energies to along the line. We just can’t fold our arms and do nothing simply because the Nigeria of our dream is yet to materialise. In the meantime, we can revive some critical conversations that focus on our common challenges, irrespective of “tribe and tongue”. I have chosen three of such today: one, the Armageddon in the education sector; two, the doom among the youth population; and three, the calamity awaiting the federation revenue.

Some statistics need to sink in properly. There are about 13 million Nigerian children who will never attend primary school — that is the highest number of any country in the world today. That is more than the entire population of the Republic of Benin. Among the lucky ones who attend primary schools, millions do not attend class regularly and the poorest don’t make it to secondary school. They terminate at Primary 4, 5 or 6. Where are they now? And about 70% of those who manage to write WAEC fail. Where do those who fail go? About 1.6 million candidates write UME every year, and only 450,000 places are available in the universities. Where do the rest go?

These statistics need as much attention as the clamour for state police and regionalism. In the year 2017, nearly 180 years after missionaries introduced Western education to Nigeria, there are still over 13 million children who will never see the four walls of a school. They will never learn to read and write. Over 13 million of them! If this does not tug at your conscience, nothing else will. What is the future of these illiterate generations? What will they become tomorrow? Are they among those we call leaders of tomorrow? Sadly, most of our leaders are busy accumulating obscene wealth while a horrible future unfolds before their very eyes.

And, I want to ask, even for those who attend school, what is the quality of instruction? How many teachers know what they are teaching? What is the quality of classroom infrastructure? Are there desks? Are there books? Do the poor pupils eat the basic proteins — meat, fish and milk — which are necessary for brain development? We are teaching Chemistry without chemicals. We have libraries without books. As Beautiful Nubia sang, “Why do we lie to the children about their future when we are not building good schools?” And we have many leaders — Muslim, Christian, north and south, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa — who are looting the treasury while our education system rots.
Our today is like this because of what we failed to do yesterday. But what are we doing today to prevent a more tragic tomorrow? We are already reaping the fruits of the wickedness in high places. The doomsday is no longer a prediction. Some 91 million Nigerians are under the age of 30. That is more than the combined populations of Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Niger and Burkina Faso. How many of our U-30s have the basic skills to make anything meaningful out of their lives? And among those who manage to pull through all the way to the university, where are the jobs? It is one thing to be unemployable; it is another for there to be vacancies.

Do we ever make a link between these horrifying statistics and the growth of Boko Haram, IPOB, Badoo, Niger Delta militants, kidnappers, internet fraudsters, political thugs and armed robbers in the country? The jobless youth are getting employed somewhere! Do these statistics mean anything to us at all as we continue to focus our energies on “tribe and tongue”? Are these statistics significant enough to engage the energies of the political elite who are busy bickering over the distribution of plum jobs in government? How many of their children attend public schools? How many of their children are enrolled in Nigerian public schools with no desks and no teachers?

I have just highlighted the Armageddon in the education sector and the doom among the youth population, but we seem to have forgotten our conversation on the imminent calamity in the oil-based federation revenue. We had a foretaste in 2015 and 2016 when crude oil prices hit the floor and we could not pay salaries and the exchange rate went haywire and the stock market caught fire and the country fell on its knees. The message was very clear: without oil revenue, we cannot breathe. Only Lagos state could pay its workers without bleeding; the rest 35 states fainted. The federal government went into more debts. We were badly exposed as petro-parasites.

But that is just introduction to trouble. The real trouble is that the future of oil — which we have been talking about without really talking about it — is doomed. Many more countries are discovering hydrocarbon and reducing their dependence on imports while many are developing alternatives that are cheaper and more environment-friendly. To add insult to injury, some of the biggest energy consumers have set deadlines to phase out vehicles that use our oil. But you know what we are busy doing in Nigeria? We are looking for oil in Borno and Sokoto states. Who is going to buy it? We are still sleeping. We are not ready to wake up yet. It’s called the sleep of death.
If we are wise in this country, we should be worried that our future is under serious attack and begin to act immediately and collectively. Most of our public schools, from primary to tertiary, are a disgrace. We have an exploding youth population that is mostly unskilled, underemployed, unemployable and unemployed. We should be concentrating our energies on building the human resources that will take us a better future. We are still building our hopes on natural resources. We do not appear to care about tomorrow. Most of our conversations are contrived to heat up Nigeria. Those who should give us direction are leading us astray.

Most of the people who direct public discourse are hardly interested in these issues. They are more excited about ethnic and religious issues — that is where they get their adrenaline from. When you raise issues about potable water, maternal mortality, infant mortality, sanitation, roads, malnutrition, unemployment and police brutality, they say you are living in denial or trying to be politically correct. Their real interest is the elite struggle for political power and personal share of the national cake. Who cares about the tens of millions of unschooled children and unemployable youth all over the federation? Yet, these are the conversations we should be having.


My alma mater, the University of Lagos, represents everything that is wrong with Nigeria. After postponing its post-UME test, it still emerged that the school was not ready. Hundreds of teenagers were subjected to traumatic conditions on Wednesday at the test centres. After arriving at the school as early as 7am, many of the candidates did not write the test until 7pm. And to think some came from outside Lagos! Some of these youngsters, denied food and water, fainted. Many computers set up for the test did not work. Some candidates were beaten by soldiers for being “unruly”. And now we would be told the candidates failed. Is this a human society? Rubbish.

My star of the week is Zahra Buhari, daughter of the president. A few hours after she posted a message on social media criticising the sickening state of the state house clinic, there was a response from the appropriate quarters! Newspapers have been doing the story for a while, but the state house permanent secretary, Mr. Jalal Arabi, could not be bothered. Now he’s bothered! Can Zahra please drive on a few federal roads across the country and help us post the pictures? Can Zahra please help us comment on the state of other hospitals in Nigeria? A visit to ABUTH, LUTH and UNTH (yes, federal character) will help. Keep posting, Zahra, we love you. Impact.

Is Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, on his way out? His weighty letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the conduct of Mr. Maikanti Baru, NNPC GMD, paints the picture of someone who is frustrated and ready to call it a day. Truth be told: Buhari’s government is in disarray — there are too many cases of insubordination, power play and unpunished impropriety. As the chaotic APC government continues to mess up, I’m further amused that the pathetic PDP is equating the award of contracts by NNPC with the diversion of security funds to 2015 electioneering. But, then, what is the difference between APC and PDP? #OneChance.

What is happening in Edo state? It is one tale of woe after the other as criminal gangs unleash horror on the state. A professor was killed last week. Kidnapping is becoming rampant. It is believed that all hell has been let loose since Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the governor, began to dislodge touts and extortionist gangs from the streets. Meanwhile, the police commissioner, Mr. Haliru Gwandu, has a lot of question marks on him. He has been transferred out of the state since July but Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the inspector general of police, has chosen to retain him there for reasons we can only speculate, in the light of the weighty allegations against Idris himself. Bemusing.
Source: ThisDay

News Headlines Oct 6, 2017. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers 

News Headlines Oct 6, 2017. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers 

Compiled by Demola Adefajo 

The Punch

Kachikwu/Baru feud: PDP, SERAP call for suspension of Baru, Buhari meets minister today
FG releases N100bn to contractors for Ibadan-Ilorin road, 24 others
EFCC has frozen my late mother’s accounts, says Patience
Nnamdi Kanu has no means of livelihood, says army
Police invite Davido, others over Tagbo’s controversial death
Veteran artists ask Ambode to rebuild Awo’s statue
Monkey pox: Avoid eating bushmeat, says FG
How to spot fake Android apps
Wilder reignites Joshua rivalry
N1.5bn scam: APC chieftain,ex-SUBEB chairman remanded in prison
EFCC has frozen my late mother’s accounts, says Patience
Court orders arrest of witness in Egbegbe’s fraud case
APC, PDP are expired parties –Okupe
N22.8bn fraud: Ex-NAF chief, Amosu’s surety withdraws
Is public private partnership initiative working in Nigeria?
Zoning: S’West PDP wants pact on national chair respected
Broke Lagos factory worker invites gang to rob boss
Two most wanted cult leaders killed in Imo
CBN deputy governor, Bayo Adelabu, in road accident
Command arraigns teenager, others for stealing IBEDC cables
Gunmen kill UNIBEN professor
Al-Makura’s wife pays fines, secures 70 prisoners’ release
Police to investigate attempted suicide by poly student
Niger secretariat in blackout as hoodlums steal cable
Lagos Police recover Indian hemp worth N20m in Mushin
INEC releases timetable for Ekiti, Osun elections
Rivers, APC clash over pro-SARS rally
PFN backs restructuring, calls for equity, justice
INEC to deploy 6,200 card readers for Anambra poll
Protests as two Reps dump PDP, join APC
Appoint credible petroleum minister, Sani Shehu tells Buhari
11 Nigerians achieve distinction in Business School Netherlands
We’ll keep supporting ICT contest among pupils – Zenith GMD
Senate sets conditions for FG on 2018 budget
CBN to blacklist exporters for non-repatriation of proceeds
Stop surcharge on mutilated, dirty notes, Reps tell CBN
Lagos hoodlums clash over girlfriend, vandalise 150 vehicles
NNL fines Insurance N2m, bans officials
We are ready for Chipolopolo – Mikel
Zambia young strikers worry Rohr,
Moses warns Eagles
16 teams set for Fanz Championship Game Show
Job done as England reach World Cup, says Kane
Queen’s School old girls donate N10m building
207,818 unqualified teachers in primary schools – TRCN
NUT, TRCN tackle Kaduna on teachers’ test
Teachers demand 65 years as retirement age
Teachers quitting Niger State’s primary, secondary schools-NUT
British writer, KazuoIshiguro, wins Nobel prize in literature
British singer, Jay Sean, releases new video featuring Davido
Don undergoes 19 unsuccessful surgeries to remove rare face tumour
Regulators approve 39 new cancer drugs without efficacy evidence
Editorial: Fixing power sector once and for all
Obasanjo, BBC, and our brushes with western media
GarbaShehu and the discourse of settlement
Struck by cancer, but Americans didn’t Let Him Die


President Taps Aishah Ahmad as CBN Deputy Governor Nominee
British Writer, Ishiguro, Named Nobel Literature Laureate
NBS: In 47 Years, Nigeria Produced 32.70bn Barrels of Oil Valued at N118.49tn
Osinbajo: Nigerians Haven’t Shown Enough Outrage Against Corruption
Akwa Ibom Gov Redeems Pledge to Eagles
NIMASA Remits N21.805bn to Federal Government Coffers
Senate to Probe Baru over $24bn Contract Awards, Insubordination
FG to Shut Down NERFUND over N17.5bn Bad Loans
Adewole, Bayelsa Commissioner Call for Calm over Suspected Monkey Pox Outbreak
Again, Patience Jonathan Drags EFCC to Court, Seeks N2bn Damages
SERAP Asks Buhari to Suspend Baru over Kachikwu’s Letter
Synagogue Building Collapse: Defendants File No case Submission
DSO: FG Commissions West Africa’s Largest Set Top Box Plant in Calabar
UNICEF Commends Military for Release of 752 Children and Women
House Asks CBN to Halt Surcharge on Mutilated Banknotes
Nigeria at 57: ANN Calls for Sober Reflection
FG Needs $16bn to Fix Transport Sector, Says Apapa Gridlock Disappears December
House Ad-hoc C’ttee on Political Agitations Unveils Work Plan
Air Peace Workers Resist Unionisation as Labour Pickets Airline
Ohanaeze: We Demand for Restructuring, Not Biafra
NUT Calls for More Recruitment of Teachers
Union Demands Abrogated Allowance
Amosun Promises Promotion
JAMB 120 Cut-off Mark Ridiculous, Says NUT
Nestlé MILO Introduces a Ready-to-drink Nutrition Beverage
Indian Firm to Open Generating Power Showroom in Lagos
CBN to Blacklist Exporters over Non-repatriation of Forex Proceeds
BOI, SMEDAN, NEXIM Appoint Ratings Agency for MSMEs
TEF to Host Third Annual Entrepreneurship Forum
Unity Bank Partners Foundation
Equities Market Gains N143bn as Bulls Extend Control
NIMASA Remits N21.805bn to Federal Government Coffers
Ekiti, Osun Guber Election to Hold July 14, Sept 22
Mild Drama as Two PDP House Members Defect to APC
Enugu and Utilisation of Paris Club Refund
Beauty of Africa International Pageant to Hold
Breast Cancer: Ondo Governor’s Wife Launches N200m Treatment Fund
Warri Stands Still as Olivia Agbajoh Bags Itsekiri’s Chieftaincy Title
Ambode, Fayose to Bag Honours as Gender Friendly Governors
Rotary Club of Ikoyi Metro Organises Family Health Days to Improve Health Delivery
HMO Restates Commitment to Promoting Healthy Living among Nigerians
Egypt, Tunisia Eye World Cup Places
Benin Agog as Edo State Hosts NWPL Super 4
NPFL: El Kanemi Warriors Sack Bosso
No Guarantees Nigeria Will Beat Zambia, Says Moses
NSA Announces Shortlist for 2017 Awards
Memo to El Rufai: A Prologue

The Nation

Buhari under pressure over $25b NNPC deals, others
CBN to blacklist exporters withholding forex proceeds
Ohanaeze: Igbo should forget Biafra
Fed Govt releases N100b to contractors
Ekiti, Osun governorship polls hold July 14, Sept 22
Govt needs $16b for Warri, Bonny deep seaports, others, says Amaechi
NLC, NEITI, others: NNPC ‘scandal’ must be investigated
Germany, England Qualify for 2018 World Cup 
Patience Jonathan slams N2bn suit on EFCC
AITEO CUP: Niger Tornadoes, Rivers Angels reach final
INEC announces dates for Ekiti, Osun governorship polls
Ohanaeze frowns at inflammatory speech by Igbo youths
FIFA Banned Equatorial Guinea for Fielding Nigerian at Rio 2016
Woman in transit delivers baby on Lagos – Ibadan Expressway
Court dissolves radio presenter Toke Makinwa’s marriage
Kano Pillars confirm Musa as technical adviser
Partners enthusiastic as Edo State hosts female soccer fiesta
Alex Iwobi: Zambia’s Nightmare
2017 GCLT : Babalola, others begin battles in preliminary round
‘Local council is not third tier’
Group declares loyalty to Obiano, unveils book
Ogun PDP caretaker committee ‘is biased’
‘Gula’ teaches discipline
AY, Gordons, Helen Paul for ‘Beauty of Africa’ pageant
Skye9 launches low data movie app
Hospital to offer free mental health screening
WHO: the world is running out of antibiotics
30m suffer hypertension, says cardiologist
Woman in transit delivers baby on Lagos – Ibadan Expressway
Frank Isoh: In pain, need N1.4million for surgery
Court to resume trial of Amosu, others Nov. 7
Court docks man for dangerous driving
Don’t participate in the d**k or p*ss* challenge
MTV EMA 2017: Davido, Wizkid battle for award
Meet the Face behind TSTV
I am here to stay (Get Motivated!)
Group urge youths and teens to stand out
TEF to host 1,300 African entrepreneurs in Lagos
Govt to close NERFUND over N17.5b loans
Agro exporters lose $25m to Apapa traffic
FirstBank’s payment card issuance hits 10m


Lagos And The ‘Resurrected Awo’
Corporate Governance, Responsibility, Sustainability And Accountability: Implication For Nigeria
ASUP Calls For Adequate Funding Of State Polytechnics
When Lagos Partners LCDA To Boost Education
$25bn NNPC Contract Award: PDP, NLC, SERAP, ANEEJ Call For Baru’s Probe
Terrorism: We’ll Stand By Nigeria To Defeat Boko Haram, UK Assures
Group Commends INEC, Police Over Preparedness
Why We Lost To Nigeria Last Year — Zambian Coach
Nigeria V Zambia Clash: It’s Fire For Fire – Mikel
Eagles’ Qualification More Important To Me Than My Goals – Ighalo
Judiciary Workers Endorse Gov Ugwuanyi For Second Term
LG Polls: Jite Promises To Key Into Okowa’s SMART Agenda
$25bn NNPC contract award: PDP, NLC, SERAP, ANEEJ call for Baru’s probe
Terrorism: We’ll stand by Nigeria to defeat Boko Haram, UK assures
$25b NNPC scam: Nigerians can now see the hypocrisy in Buhari’s anti-corruption fight – PDP
World Teachers’ Day: Buhari gives best teacher, Nwoye, Nissan car
Breaking: Reps in rowdy session as 2 PDP members defect
Ezenwa vows to put up a flawless performance
Uruguay kept waiting after Venezuela stalemate
Money not our motivation — Ighalo
Group commends INEC, Police over preparedness
Umahi accuses Ebonyi civil servants of illegal collection of leave allowance
Ohanaeze frowns at inflammatory speech by Igbo youths
Entertainers lie on social media just to boost their image- Mayowa Bae
`Felabration’ opens in Lagos with schools debate
Exposure to radiation in pregnancy may cause cancer in children— Onchologist


Effective Border Policing Will Promote Made- in- Nigeria Products – Osinbajo
Monkey Pox Outbreak: FG Calls For Calm
We Have Reduced Insecurity To Barest Minimum – Ortom
Reps Directs CBN To Stop Surcharge For Mutilated Naira Notes
Senate Halts FG’s N135bn Virement Request
Govs Raise Concern Over Teachers’ Addiction To Drugs
PMB Nominates New CBN Deputy Gov, 4 MPC Members
Protesters Ask UK To Produce Kanu For Trial
FG Realises N118trn From Crude – NBS
FG Needs $16bn To Complete Eastern Flank Of Railway – Amaechi
N17.5bn Bad Loans: FG To Shutdown NERFUND
Fagbenle: Tribute To The Pundit Emeritus
N17.5bn Bad Loans: FG To Shutdown NERFUND
El Kanemi,Bosso Part Ways
…No Chiejile’s Injury Scare for Eagles – Rohr
FG Approves Payment Of N26bn Electricity Debt To DisCos
Only 5 Parties Complied With Financial Regulations Post 2015 – INEC
Senate Probes $25bn NNPC Contract Allegations

The Guardian

 $25 billion NNPC fraud is for Buhari’s re-election, PDP alleges
Nigeria earns N362.43bn from crude oil export in June
NCC says USPF on course for availability, accessibility & affordability services
Buhari appoints Ahmad new CBN deputy governor
Ohanaeze denounces call for Biafra Republic
Amosun pledges commitment to promotion, approves leave bonus
Why 2018 budget may exceed N10 trillion, by Saraki
Southern, Middle Belt leaders root for equitable federal system
Dogara seeks improved welfare, stakeholders urge empowerment, training
Argentina in peril as World Cup race goes to wire
We will do our talking on pitch, says Leon Balogun
Sport gets a chance at the economic roundtable
Ambode, Udom battle for Nigerian Sports Award’s Governor of the Year plaque
Lagos police boss wants to use golf to fight crime
Gernot Rohr plans big surprise for Zambia
Etihad appoints new Group CEO
The thin line between electoral credibility and political stability in Kenya
Wearing African fabric will resuscitate Nigerian economy, says Jonathan-Ojei
Lagos airport restricts parking as 1,300-lot facility opens
Sport gets a chance at the economic roundtable
 Editorial: CBN and financial inclusion growth speed
 Lewdpapers or newspapers?
Ibadan chieftaincy moving from ancient to modern
Nigeria’s unity and the conquest mentality
Nigeria’s anti-NGO bill: Contextual inaccuracies
South-West insists on producing national chairman of PDP
Nigeria at 57: Facing challenges of constitutional issues
INEC announces dates for Ekiti, Osun governorship elections, deploys 6,200 card readers for Anambra
 10 Easy Ways To Be Kind To Others
Kazuo Ishiguro Wins 2017 Nobel Literature Prize
Hollywood mogul Weinstein apologizes after sex harassment claims
Chike Okoli Foundation marks World Heart Day
Complete recovery from AIDS
Just one hour of physical activity per week could prevent depression
Skipping breakfast doubles risk of heart ailment

The Sun

2019 presidency: Fayose on his own –Makarfi
•South West leaders urge NWC to uphold Port Harcourt agreement
Buhari intimidating Nigerians –Southern, Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum
•Charges president to initiate processes on restructuring
FG plans $16bn deep seaports in Bonny, Warri
INEC right on Melaye –Agbakoba, Olanipekun
… Fixes July 14, Sept 22 for Ekiti, Osun governorship polls
Nwodo, Obiano, Nwachukwu, others praise Anyaoku
• Ex-Commonwealth secretary-general points way forward for Nigeria
Dickson, Wike meet on regional integration
Nigeria’s our only country –Rivers gov
Ohanaeze Ndigbo: We want restructuring, not Biafra 
Obiano should be allowed to go for second term –Ekwueme
FG plans $16bn deep seaports in Bonny, Warri
NPA spends N150bn of N170bn annual revenue, alleges Senate panel
• ‘We’ve breached no law’
NNPC $25bn scandal: Money meant for Buhari’s re-election campaign –PDP
Hollywood power producer accused of decades of sexual harassment in explosive revelations
Alleged rights violation: Patience Jonathan slams N2bn suit against EFCC
FG to shut down NERFUND over N17.5bn bad loans
•We’re not aware –Finance ministry ‘Nigeria’ll lose N10bn, 25,000 jobs in proposed border closure’
Boko Haram: We stand with Nigeria –UK
Death of US soldiers: French, Nigerien forces in counter-attack
Saudi’s king on historic visit to Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin Anambra guber: 17 candidates present manifestoes
Anambra guber: Group commends INEC, police preparedness
…Urges candidates, parties to play by the  rules
Verbal attacks: You’re unfair to Orji Kalu, Obetta, ex-IPOB counsel tells group
How to create best house designs
2017: US most expensive homes
Buhari appoints new CBN deputy gov, MPC members
Sports Awards: Moses battles Quadri
Eagles: Udom promises more dollars
EDITORIAL: Bob Ogbuagu

New Telegraph

We won’t speak on NNPC $25bn scandal – APC
I’ve the experience to pilot PDP affairs – George
Teachers lament unpaid salaries, stunted growth
$25bn NNPC contracts to fund Buhari’s re-election –PDP
Wike, Dickson agree to deepen cooperation
Monkeypox infects doctor, 10 others
Amaechi: FG needs $16bn to transform transport sector
N1.5bn scam: APC woman leader, ex-SUBEB chair, others remanded
15 bodies recovered on Lagos waterways daily – Police
FG to shut down NERFUND over N17.5bn bad loans
Monkey Pox: Don’t eat dead animals, bush meat,  FG warns
Prison officials swap convicts in exchage for money – Falana
No cause for alarm over outbreak of “monkey pox” virus – Bayelsa Govt.
Akeredolu to residents: Don’t panic over Boko Haram infiltration
Wike, Dickson agree to deepen cooperation
Zambia match tricky –Moses
Adegbenro: Four years not enough to address Nigeria’s problems
FG releases N100bn Sukuk bond for 25 key roads
IPOB not fair to Kalu – Obetta
NBBF annuls Kwese Super 8 results, awards
Adebanjo, Clark, others charge Buhari to initiate process of restructuring
UNIBEN lecturer shot dead
FirstBank celebrates customer service week
EAGLES v CHIPOLOPOLO:Aina ready for Nigeria debut
Four killed as police, hoodlums clash
I’m ready to play from the bench –Iwobi
NNPC records $471.9m export receipts in one month
World Teachers’ Day: Okowa lists challenges to 21st century teachers
Bull run persists on NSE
NPWL Super 4: Akogate waters to dole out N1m to bronze medallists
Nigeria Sports Awards: Moses, Oshoala, Quadri top lists
Buhari appoints new CBN deputy governor
Kalu is right, IPOB should do a rethink
Amaechi: FG needs $16bn to transform transport sector
Mikel: Eagles’ll do the talking on pitch
‘A’Ibom holds future of Nigeria’s Football’
Tackling TB scourge the Ogun way
Export proceeds remittance: CBN set to blacklist defaulting exporters
N1.5bn scam: APC woman leader, ex-SUBEB chair, others remanded
FG upbeat on Russia World Cup ticket
Dogara hails sacrifices of Nigerian teachers
FIFA bans E’Guinea from 2019 Women’s World Cup
Eagles: Ezenwa urges NPFL stars not to give up
Nigerian security agencies still crawling@57
When age disparity doesn’t matter
Reps ask CBN to stop surcharge on mutilated notes
I killed 84-year-old grandfather with iron bar – Suspect
Muslim group demands ousting of corrupt leaders in 2019
Ogun’s debt profile now N103bn, says Amosun
15 bodies recovered on Lagos waterways daily – Police
Wife bathes hubby’s sexual organs with hot water
Marriage dissolved as DNA reveals child’s paternity
Fight for the ‘Queen of Central Africa’ begins at AFRIMA
S’West PDP insists on chairmanship slot
Group storms British embassy, demands Kanu’s extradition
N50 bribe: Inspector lynched for killing passenger
Court orders Army to pay N85.5m damages for murder
Obesity linked to 13 different types of cancers
PFAs invest N601.15bn in banks, real estate
Re-basement trails agriculture
Edo to residents: Living under high tension cables risky
Senate counters Finance Minister on borrowing request
Senators kick against budget virement
Reps review Nigeria’s membership of ECOWAS
Osinbajo tasks stakeholders on urban water supply
Nigeria realised N118trn in 53 years from crude – NBS
Ita-Giwa, Ojikutu, others in fresh women’s revolt to save motherland
EFCC coerced me to forfeit my property, INEC staff tells court
Customs impounds 23 containers of rice in Onne

AGF rules out bringing back Diezani to Nigeria,  says former Minister should face UK trial first 

Attorney General rules out bringing back Diezani to Nigeria,  says former Minister should face UK trial first 

Diezani Alison-Madueke

…says ex-minister should face her UK case

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Wednesday said there was no need for the Federal Government to bring a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, back to Nigeria to face corruption charges.

Malami, in an interview he granted State House correspondents in Hausa at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the move was not necessary since the United Kingdom was already investigating the former minister.

Alison-Madueke had urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the AGF to bring her back to Nigeria from the UK, where she travelled to shortly after leaving office in 2015.

She said she would like to appear in court in Nigeria to defend a criminal charge, bordering on alleged laundering of N450m, where her name had been mentioned.

The main defendants in the charge are a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Belgore; and a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman.

But Malami said the UK authorities were already taking appropriate steps on the matter.

The minister however said if the Federal Government later saw any reason to bring the former minister back, it would not hesitate to do so.

He said, “The truth of the matter is that steps have been taken by the United Kingdom authorities on issues bothering on corrupt practices involving Nigerians.

“If Nigeria feels strongly that there is need to bring  Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke here to face charges of corruption, government will not hesitate to do that.

“As things are  now, there is no need for that since the UK Government is already investigating her and government will not take any decision that will jeopardise what the UK Government is doing.”

Malami said the government was working hard on issues of corruption and litigation in Nigeria and outside the country.

He said it would be wrong to conclude that the government was not doing anything on the matter, considering the fact that there is an existing understanding between Nigeria and other countries especially UK on the recovery of stolen funds.

When asked if Alison-Madueke can get fair hearing in Nigeria, Malami said, “Well, the issue is not about fair hearing now. We are talking about investigation first and is not within Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke powers to ask the Federal Government to bring her to testify in any case in Nigeria.

“Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke is facing charges of money laundering and acquisition of properties in United Kingdom. So, it is important to face the charges there than for her to come as a mere witness in a case in Nigeria.”

Source: The Punch

Diezani begs court to order Attorney General to bring her back to Nigeria

Order AGF to bring me back to Nigeria, Diezani tells court

Oladimeji Ramon

Diezani Alison-Madueke,

A former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to compel the Attorney General of the Federation to bring her back to Nigeria from the United Kingdom, where she travelled to shortly after leaving office in 2015.
She said she would like to appear in court in Nigeria to defend a criminal charge bordering on alleged laundering of N450m, where her name was mentioned.
The main defendants in the charge are a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Dele Belgore; and a former Minister of National Planning, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman.
Belgore and Suleiman were charged before Justice Rilwan Aikawa for allegedly collecting N450m from Diezani and laundering same in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which filed the charges, claimed that the N450m was part of a sum of $115m which Diezani allegedly doled out to compromise the 2015 general elections.
The SAN and the professor were arraigned on five counts, wherein Diezani’s name was mentioned, but she was declared as being “at large.”
At the resumed proceedings in the case on Tuesday, one Obinna Onya, a lawyer from Abuja, appeared before Justice Aikawa with an application seeking the joining of Diezani as one of the defendants in the charge.
The application, filed pursuant to Section 36(1),(5),(6 (a)-(e) of the Constitution and sections 216 (1) (2) (3) (4); and 217 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, sought an amendment to the charges against Belgore and Suleiman, so as to join Diezani as one of the defendants.
The lawyer contended that contrary to the declaration by the EFCC that Diezani was at large, the former minister was in the UK and was willing to return to Nigeria so that she could appear in court to take her plea and defend the charges..
The lawyer argued that since Diezani’s name had been mentioned in the charge, it would be against her right to fair hearing for the case to proceed without affording her the opportunity to defend herself.
“The statement made by the prosecution means that the applicant (Diezani) is going to be convicted without being given the opportunity to defend herself,” Onya told Justice Aikawa.
The application prayed for an order “mandating the Attorney General of the Federation, being the agent of the complainant, to facilitate the prompt appearance of the applicant in court on the next adjourned date, to take her plea and to defend the allegations made against her in counts 1, 2,3 and 4 of the charge, numbered FHC/L/35c/2017.”
Onya urged Justice Aikawa to hear and determine the application before proceeding with the case on Tuesday.
But the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed him, saying the application was not ripe for hearing, as he had yet to be served.
However, Onya told the court that he had attempted to serve Oyedepo on Tuesday morning on the court premises but that the prosecutor declined, adding that his effort to serve the application at the EFCC office on Friday was also frustrated.
But Oyedepo advised him to go and serve the application at the registry of the EFCC, assuring him that the application would be accepted.
Responding, Justice Aikawa said the court could not entertain the application until all the parties had been properly served.
Meanwhile, the trial proceeded with the second witness for the EFCC, Usman Zakari, continuing his testimony.
Through the witness, Oyedepo tendered two letters written to the EFCC in relation to the case Standard Charted Bank Nigeria Limited and Guaranty Trust Bank.
The court admitted the two letters as exhibits in evidence against the defendants.
However, Oyedepo’s attempt to tender a trail of electronic mail communication between Diezani and the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank was resisted by the defence counsel, Mr. Ebun Shofunde (SAN) and Olatunji Ayanlaja (SAN).
They contended that the document was not admissible as, according to them, it did not meet the requirement of the Evidence Act.
Oyedepo sought an adjournment to counter the objection by the defence.
Justice Aikawa adjourned till Wednesday, October 4 for continuation of trial.
In the charges, Sulaiman, a professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Abuja; and Belgore, a former governorship aspirant in Kwara State, were accused of conspiring between themselves to commit the offence on March 27, 2015.
The duo were accused of making a cash transaction of N450m on March 27, 2015, without going through any financial institution.
But they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges. ‎
Source: The Nation