Tag Archives: Politics

The name ‘State of Osun’ is illegal, court declares

The name ‘State of Osun’ is illegal, court declares

Governor Rauf Aregbesola

Femi Makinde, Osogbo

An Osun State High Court sitting in Ilesa has said the changing of ‘Osun State’ to ‘State of Osun’ by the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola is illegal.

Justice Yinka Afolabi, while delivering the judgment on Thursday in a case instituted by Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ilesa branch, Mr. Kanmi Ajibola, challenging the legality of the “State of Osun Land Use Charge Law,” held that the law and its makers were unknown to the 1999 Constitution.

Aregbesola had changed the name of the state from ‘Osun State’ to ‘State of Osun’ in 2011; but the NBA chairman, who is a human rights activist, approached the court in 2016 and asked the court to declare as null and void all transactions done by the state with the name ‘State of Osun.’

Afolabi also declared that the makers of the law, who are currently serving as members of the State House of Assembly, were not sworn in as members of the ‘State of Osun House of Assembly,’ but as members of ‘Osun State House of Assembly,’ going by the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.

He said, “The executive governor of the state changed the name in 2011. The renaming of a state goes further and deeper for anyone to single-handedly do.

“To re-order the name of Osun State as “State of Osun” is hereby declared as illegal, null and void.

“On the oath of allegiance, I state that the Seventh Schedule is part of the law. It is not a mere draft or a mere oath. It does not give room for any alteration.

“After deposing to an oath of office, you cannot turn around to do otherwise,” Justice Afolabi stated.

The plaintiff had sought an order setting aside the “State of Osun Land Use Charge Law, 2016,” having been enacted by the legislative body that is not known to the Constitution and for the state not known to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). It is not enforceable in Osun State.

Among other reliefs sought, the plaintiff also prayed for “a declaration that Osun State Government, having been delegated with the power to collect Land use charge revenue by the provisions of sections 2(2) and (3) of the “State of Osun Land use charge Law, 2016,” sections 4(1), 8(2), 10(1) & (5), 16(c)(i) & (ii), 17, 18, 21(3) and 22 of the “State of Osun Land use charge Law, 2016,” are not operable without appointing the Commissioner of Finance in Osun State.

Justice Afolabi threw out all the arguments by the State Attorney-General, Dr. Basiru Ajibola, who was the counsel for the governor and the state government and that of the Director of Legal Services, Mrs. Rachel Ojinni, as he granted all the seven prayers of the plaintiff.

Ajibola said the state government would appeal the verdict at the Court of Appeal.
Source :


Atiku Abubakar and the PDP: Time to change the tales 

Atiku Abubakar and the PDP: Time to change the tales – Dr. Ugoji Egbujo

Atiku Abubakar

In 2015, Governor Fayose told us about his 74 year old mother and her diapers. He was desperate to paint the picture that a 73-year old would be too frail, too demented, to be president. He bought front pages of some national newspapers. He made Buhari the butt of deathly geriatric jokes. In a few months, he would return to the soap box. Fayose would ( tell people to vote for a 73-year-old Atiku. Atiku would be 73 in 2019. I believe Atiku is fit. But the Fayoses of the PDP would have to repackage their tales.

2019 can’t come too soon. The PDP would have to campaign without mentioning certificates. In 2015, the PDP had a candidate who flaunted a PhD. So they mocked Buhari. They said he didn’t have the required academic qualification to contest for president. They were not persuaded that he had passed the senior officer’s course at the United States War College.

In 2019, the PDP would have to sell Atiku and his certificates. Atiku Abubakar owns a miserable grade 3 WAEC certificate. His certificate was so pale it couldn’t keep him in the Police College where he had been admitted. Atiku Abuabkar had failed O level mathematics. The PDP and Atiku can burnish that diploma from the Kano school of hygiene. They could tell us that the Kano school of hygiene is an ivy league school.

I think Atiku is intelligent. He communicates effectively. He has good business acumen. He is urbane and tolerant. Atiku cannot be sold without a loss of face. That is what pettiness brings. The PDP commissioned documentaries into Buhari’s family life. Buhari was a retired army General. They portrayed him as an unrepentant dictator. Abubakar Atiku is a product of sin soaked Customs Service. The PDP can claim that the Customs is the home of discipline and order. Fortunately, the PDP doesn’t pretend to hate corruption so much.

The PDP likes to say that Buhari is misogynistic. They would like to tell more jokes about some, kitchen and the ‘other room.’ But that could hurt them. It is true polygamy is permitted by Islam. And Atiku has never exceeded four women at a time. But matched against Buhari, it’s not difficult to see who is a better example. Atiku has multiple ‘other rooms’

Sometime ago Fayose and the PDP came loose. The governor picked a microphone and announced that Mrs Aisha Buahri, the president’s wife could not visit America. He said she was wanted by the FBI. PDP supporters were excited. The freedom to enter and leave America became a measure of righteousness. Aisha Buahri entered the United States. Fayose and his media men said the pictures were doctored. Then Aisha held public events in the United States. Gov Fayose, shamelessly, offered no apologies.

That falsehood and the drama that followed it could tell on Atiku. Atiku, it appears is barred from entering the United States. Obasanjo says Atiku has questions to answer in the United States. Atiku has not had the courage to dare Obasanjo. Yes, the denial of entry by some Western countries cannot be disqualifying. But you have to have some sympathy for Atiku. He would be surrounded by people who love to mock anyone who can’t travel to America in peace. Poor Atiku, he claims he is innocent.

In the last two years, the PDP has lived on incendiary and divisive rhetorics. The party lost the 2015 elections and lost its orientation. And receded into dangerous sectional and religious brinksmanship. Yes, acts of political insensitivity by the Federal Government inflamed roiled tempers. But it was that recourse to naked demagoguery that took the nation to the brink. Atiku is Fulani. There are many who hate Buhari because he is Fulani. Many of them are now blowing Atiku’s trumpet. They may have to stop. That way their bigotry would have a little integrity.

Atiku has run for president in the past. This time he would be examined up close and personal. An intrusive standard that has been created in the last two years. Atiku says he can explain his wealth. He set up an Agric business while he was in the lower ranks of the Customs. The business failed. Agric businesses can be a little unsentimental.

There are no government privileges to leverage upon. Then he set top a huge trucking company. Since his father was poor and he inherited little, he may have to tell of his magic, to inspire the youths. He became the Deputy Director and miraculously ran into one Volpi , a foreigner. They hit it off, and set up a multimillion dollar logistics company. Atiku, the Deputy Controller General then, birthed a company to operate in the very ports he supervised. The company ate ‘growth hormones’ and became a giant in no time.

Atiku is a good businessman. But His company, Intels, largely lived on commissions for monies it collected, monopolistically, for the Federal Government. So much for hard work. I don’t know why many think Atiku is not that incorruptible. He is just a man with an eye for opportunities. Could it be a certain lack of discretion about conflict of interest? A certain knowing of rules and knowing the loopholes. While he worked in public service, he came to own companies that full time businessmen could only dream about. He says the law allowed him to own shares and that he was not engaged in day to day running of the outfits. He is right. They all did it.

He is right. At the kirikiri prisons warders own food vending companies run by their wives. These outfits monopolize the sales of foods to inmates. The warders would also say they are not involved in the day to day running of these companies flourishing within the prisons. It’s no use finding out how their ownership of these companies affect the quality of food budgeted by the government for the prison inmates.

Atiku has returned to the PDP. That’s heartwarming. The PDP was disoriented. Atiku is media savvy and resourceful. The prestigious Yaradua school of politics whose doctoral degree he must possess teaches pragmatism and a little ruthlessness. An Atiku came back at the right time. The nation needs a well resourced and ambitious opposition. President Buhari and company need anything that can rattle them out of conceitedness and presumptuousness. The president takes his public acceptance for granted. That is why he has slept comfortably on the Maina scandal, for a whole month.

Welcome Atiku.
Culled from Vanguard 

Kidnapped Senator Ayo Arise regains freedom 

BREAKING: Kidnappers free Senator Arise

Senator Ayo Arise

Senator Ayo Arise who was on Sunday kidnapped by gunmen has regained freedom.

Sources said Arise himself told some people in the state that he had been freed.

Details of how he was released were still sketchy as of press time. It could also not be ascertained where he was released and if any ransom was paid.

Efforts to reach him on the telephone were unsuccessful while no family was available for comments.

By Thursday, it was gathered that the kidnappers had reduced their ransom from N80m to N50m.

However, the President of Oye Progressives Union which is the umbrella association of the indigenes of Oye, Mr. Akin Omole, confirmed the release of the All Progressives Congress chieftain.

“Yes, I’ve heard from him and he told us that he has regained his freedom. We are immensely grateful to God Almighty and to every one who acted one way or the other for his release,” he said in a telephone chat with newsmen.

Omole added, “Oye Ekiti is highly grateful and we are saying thank you. OPU on behalf of the Oye Ekiti community is grateful to everyone who contributed in several ways towards ensuring that our illustrious son is freed without being harmed.”

Arise was kidnapped on Sunday along Okene-Abuja highway while travelling back to Abuja from his country-home in Oye-Ekiti.

Source: The Punch 

How I helped FG to recover stolen N1tr – Maina 

Buhari okayed Malami’s meeting with me –Maina


Eniola Akinkuotu and Oladimeji Ramon

The embattled former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, says he helped President Muhammadu Buhari recover N1.3tn in January.

Maina, who is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said this in a video sent to Channels Television.

He further claimed that while he was out of the country, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), paid him a visit during which he (Maina) told Malami about the N1.3tn.

“When this government came in, the President (Buhari Muhammadu) gave the nod that ‘go and sit down with Maina, I’ve given you the approval.’

“They sat down with me after the security agencies had cleared me. Nobody has ever taken me to court in Nigeria, I want Nigerians to know; I have never been taken to any court of law. I have sued all the security agencies that they are talking about and I have won, I have four court judgments.”

Maina said, “As soon as this current government decided to sit with me, after the meeting, I told them that I would not allow them to return to Nigeria without giving them a gift. I told them I will give them something and the Minister of Justice (Malami) laughed and he asked what the gift was.

“I gave him a document and said go here and here; that there is N1.3tn which they want to steal because they have been stealing every year. He was shocked and said it wasn’t possible but I told him that sir, with all due respect, could you try what I said?

“The minister thought it wasn’t possible but when he got back, he realised that I gave him the correct information.”

The former PRTT boss urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give him some form of immunity which would allow him to appear before the National Assembly without being arrested.

He said if he testified in public, many secrets would be revealed.

Maina said some of the people working for the President were insincere and not telling the truth.

The former PRTT boss said, “People around the President portray themselves as saints but it is a lie. My team recovered N282bn in cash; aside that, we were able to bring information that led to the arrest of 43 pension suspects. N1.6tn cash investment and properties were recovered.

“They have threatened my brothers, sisters and even my lawyer. They said I would be killed. They said my family would be annihilated if I testify. I have asked the President specifically that if he wants to know the truth and wants to be fair to the nation, he should give me the opportunity to present (evidence).

“I am appealing to Mr. President. There are so many things that people are not telling you. If I get to that hearing, I will tell you some things that no one has ever told you because I have not had the opportunity to sit down with you and I am telling Mr. President that I will give you information and documents that will help you recover over N3tn now in Nigeria.”

 Source: The Punch  

Robert Mugabe to receive salary for life, wife gets half salary after his death

Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe ‘to receive £7.5m plus salary for life’ after being deposed

The autocrat’s wife Grace will reportedly continue to receive half his presidential salary if she is widowed with both able to live out their days in the lap of luxury

Rachel Roberts

  The Mugabes will be able to live out their days in Zimbabwe under the terms of a reported £7.5m ‘golden goodbye’ Getty

Deposed Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace are to receive £7.5m as well as immunity from prosecution as part of a reported “golden goodbye” package.

The 93-year-old autocrat, who finally bowed to pressure to resign after 37 years in power, is said to have struck a bargain with the military to allow him and his wife to enjoy their retirement in the lap of luxury in Zimbabwe rather than being forced into exile.

Although ousted by a military takeover, Mr Mugabe will continue to enjoy full military protection as a former head of state as well as his full presidential salary of £112,500 a year until his death, local media reported.

Dubbed “Gucci Grace”, Ms Mugabe is known for her extravagant shopping habits, particularly her love of designer shoes. More than 40 years younger than her husband, she will continue to receive half of his salary after his death.

According to reports, Mr Mugabe negotiated the exit package for himself and his 52-year-old wife through a team of mediators who included a Catholic priest.

An unnamed source told the Zimbabwe Independent: “Government will give him a £3.75m lump sum and then the remainder will be paid out in instalments.

“Mugabe will also enjoy full medical cover as well as his monthly salary. In the event of his death, his wife will be given half (of his) salary per month.”

Sources claimed that shortly after Mr Mugabe tendered his resignation following the takeover and impeachment proceedings against him, Commander of the Presidential Guard, Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe, called for an emergency Joint Operations Command meeting with uniformed officers.

“We were told that the President had resigned, but that he was granted full immunity. Sanyatwe informed us that Mugabe will continue to enjoy protection as a former head of state,” the unnamed source reportedly told the newspaper.

Mr Mugabe’s 37-year rule, characterised by corruption and oppression, left Zimbabwe with an impoverished population, an unemployment rate of 80 per cent, a virtually worthless currency and crippling debts.

His successor, 75-year-old Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally in the ruling Zanu-PF party, was sworn in on Friday promising a new era, despite widespread fears he will offer more of the same. 

He has urged Zimbabweans not to carry out any type of “vengeful retribution” against the former president and praised the “immense contribution” Mugabe had made to the country.

Opposition politicians blasted the deal which will allow the Mugabes to remain in their sprawling mansion, known as the Blue Roof, in Harare, complete with domestic and security staff.

“We are not privy to any deal reached with Mugabe, and if there is any deal on money or anything else it is unconstitutional,” said Douglas Mwonzora, secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party.

“In terms of the constitution, Mugabe is a retired president and does not have immunity to criminal or civil wrongdoing committed while in office. In Zanu-PF, they can grant each other immunity, but the law does not authorise that.”

Ms Mugabe, her husband’s former secretary who married him and became First Lady in 1996, recently spent millions of dollars buying property and luxury cars in her native South Africa.

Although there remains a certain level of respect for Mr Mugabe among some people in Zimbabwe, particularly for the contribution he made to the country’s wars of liberation in the 1960s and 1970s, there is widespread disgust for his wife and their children due to their lavish spending.

The couple’s son, 25-year-old Bellarmine Chatunga, recently posted a clip on social media taken in a Johannesburg nightclub showing him pouring a £200 bottle of champagne over a £45,000 watch, bragging that “daddy runs the whole country”.

Ms Mugabe’s ambitions to succeed her husband as President finally led to his undoing, triggering the military overthrow after the First Lady and those around her orchestrated the firing of Mr Mnangagwa as Vice President.

At his swearing-in ceremony, Mr Mnangagwa vowed to hold “free and fair” elections by next August, telling the cheering crowds: “The people’s voice will be heard.”

Source: The Independent Online

Breaking: Mugabe fired as ruling party leader

Breaking: Mugabe fired as ruling party leader

Robert Mugabe

Harare – President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was fired as leader of the ruling ZANU-PF party on Sunday and replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the deputy he sacked this month, sources at a special ZANU-PF meeting to decide Mugabe’s fate told Reuters.

“He has been expelled,” one of delegates told Reuters.
“Mnangagwa is our new leader.” Three other delegates confirmed Mugabe’s dismissal.

Mugabe’s nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, said that the president and his wife Grace are “ready to die for what is correct” and have no intention of stepping down.

Speaking to Reuters from a secret location in South Africa, Zhuwao said Mugabe had hardly slept since the military seized power on Wednesday but his health was otherwise “good”.

An extraordinary meeting of the party’s central committee convened around 10:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) to consider removing the 93-year-old, four days after a military seizure of power ostensibly aimed at “criminals” within his entourage.

Separately, state television said Mugabe would meet military commanders on Sunday, quoting the Catholic priest who has been mediating in negotiations with the president.

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Harare, singing, dancing and hugging soldiers in an outpouring of elation at Mugabe’s overthrow.

ZANU-PF’s central committee is also expected to reinstate Mnangagwa as party vice-president, resurrecting the political career of the former security chief, nicknamed The Crocodile, whose sacking this month triggered the military’s intervention.

Mugabe’s wife, Grace, will be fired as head of the ZANU-PF Women’s League, the sources told Reuters, completing the demise of a 52-year-old former government typist who just a week ago stood in pole position to succeed her husband after Mnangagwa’s dismissal.

The pair’s stunning downfall is likely to send shockwaves across Africa, where a number of entrenched strongmen, from Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila, are facing mounting pressure to step aside.

In scenes reminiscent of the downfall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, men, women and children ran alongside the armoured cars and troops who stepped in this week to oust the man who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980.

Under house arrest in his lavish ‘Blue Roof’ compound, Mugabe has refused to stand down even as he has watched his support from party, security services and people evaporate in less than three days.

On Harare’s streets, few seemed to care about the legal niceties as they heralded a “second liberation” for the former British colony and spoke of their dreams for political and economic change after two decades of deepening repression and hardship.

“These are tears of joy,” said Frank Mutsindikwa, 34, holding aloft the Zimbabwean flag.

“I’ve been waiting all my life for this day. Free at last. We are free at last.”

The crowds in Harare have so far given a quasi-democratic veneer to the army’s intervention, backing its assertion that it is merely effecting a constitutional transfer of power, which would help it avoid the diplomatic backlash and opprobrium that normally follow a coup.

The U.S., a long-time Mugabe critic, said it was looking forward to a “new era” in Zimbabwe, while President Ian Khama of neighbouring Botswana said Mugabe had no diplomatic support in the region and should resign at once.(Reuters/NAN)

Ghost of PDP is haunting Buhari’s government

Ghost of PDP is haunting Buhari’s government

By Farooq Kperogi

Karl Marx famously started the Communist Manifesto with the following ominous words: “A spectre [i.e., a ghost] is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism.” When I think about the Buhari government’s enduringly monomaniacal obsession with PDP, I can’t help recalling Marx and saying, “A spectre is haunting Buhari’s government-the spectre of PDP.” Only that it’s a PDP it defeated in an unprecedented electoral upset in 2015.
Right from its inception to now, the Buhari government has spent its every waking moment quaking in its boots in debilitating dread of the ghost of PDP. The last few weeks have seen a particularly unexampled uptick in the evocation of PDP to explain away government’s incompetence and dishonesty. Let’s recapture a few of them.

On October 25, 2017, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Malam Garba Shehu said, in spite of irrefutable evidence to the contrary, that PDP was responsible for reinstating and promoting alleged pension fraudster Abdulrasheed Maina. “[S]ome influential officials loyal to the previous government may have been the invisible hand in the latest scandal that saw the return of Maina to the public service, despite being on the EFCC’s wanted list,” he said in press statement.
Well, now that a leaked memo from the Head of Service of the Federation, which hasn’t been disclaimed, has revealed that President Buhari was aware of, and actually signed off on, Maina’s recall and promotion, who might these “influential officials loyal to the previous government” whose “invisible hand” actuated the Maina scandal be? Perhaps, Malami, Dambazzau, or even Buhari himself?
On October 28, 2017, Colonel Hameed Ali, a Buhari confidant and Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs service, said, “Today, with all sense of responsibility, I want to say that we have 50 per cent of PDP in our government. How can we move forward with this load?…Today, we have members of the PDP calling the shots.”
On October 31, 2017, Personal Assistant to the President on Social Media by the name of Lauretta Onochie said PDP isn’t just 50 percent of the present government; it’s actually omnipresent and omnipotent. “That brings me to those in this government who are here to serve themselves [that] colonel Hameed Ali… called PDP. They said that there is about 50 percent of them in this government, but I say no they are more than 50 percent. They are everywhere; they are in the presidency, they are in the National Assembly, you can find them in the judiciary, they are in the law enforcement agencies…”
On November 2, 2017, Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha, who is the sole APC governor in the southeast, said, “It is not that 50 per cent of PDP are running this government alone, but that PDP members are holding major plum jobs in the country which, if it were PDP government, they won’t have allowed. They are getting fattened as a result and ready to fight us.”
And on November 3, 2017, Femi Adesina, the president’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, implied that PDP is the reason Buhari goes to London for medical treatment. “The question is, ‘What did they do with that money? Why didn’t they fix our hospitals in all those years that we had boom?’” he said during an appearance on an AIT news show called “Focus Nigeria.”
It makes you wonder if PDP is also responsible for the Buhari administration’s inability or unwillingness to equip Aso Rock clinic with basic medical equipment more than two years after being in power and after budgeting billions of naira for it.
On October 9, Mrs. Buhari had cause to lament the appalling state of Aso Rock Clinic. “Few weeks ago I was sick as well,” she said. “They advised me to take a first flight to London. I refused to go. I said I must be treated in Nigeria because there is a budget for an assigned clinic to take care of us. If the budget was N100 million, we need to know the way the budget is spent…. There are lots of constructions going on in that clinic but there is no single syringe there.”
Mrs. Buhari’s fulmination came in the wake of her daughter’s Twitter outrage a week earlier. Why didn’t anyone tell them that they were barking up the wrong tree? They should have been told to complain to the ghost of PDP, which is apparently still dictating the direction of the current government.
As the reader can see, the opinions of key players in this government appear to coalesce around the consensus that PDP is still in power and is responsible for all the actions and inactions of the current government.
It is entirely in the realm of plausibility that the Buhari government spokespeople and officials will find a way to spin the latest $1.4 million military contract scam involving, according to TheCable of November 8, “Mansur Dan-Ali,… minister of defence, Danjuma Nanfo, the immediate past permanent secretary in the ministry, and LYM Hassan, a brigadier-general and coordinator of peacekeeping” and link it to the PDP.
At this rate, PDP may even be accused of metaphysically inhabiting in Buhari’s very body since he is, in many cases, directly or indirectly involved in several of the scandals PDP is blamed for!
None of what I’ve written is intended to make light of PDP’s disastrous 16-year rule. PDP was unquestionably a monster of depravity when it held sway, but APC is not any better. Plus, it’s in power now and has all the legal instruments it needs to summarily dislodge, if it so desires, the faintest vestige of PDP wherever it exists.
In fact, even the PDP itself expected to be dislocated, isolated, and contained as soon as it lost power. Senator Silas Zwingina notably said in the run-up to presidential election in 2015 that it was imperative to stop Buhari from winning because he would send crooked PDP politicians like him to jail. “As you know, there is no way you will hold office in Nigeria and go scot free if the authorities want to get you,” he said. “Buhari is determined to send people to jail and even APC governors are not comfortable with him, and that’s why many of them are not following his campaign team.”
More than two years on, Buhari hasn’t only embraced the very people who dreaded him, his officials now say those same people are the engine of his government. What stops the government from removing all the PDP members it says still constitute the bulk of its personnel and are responsible for its underachievement? Of course, everyone knows the answer: “PDP” is merely a bogeyman, a deceptive rhetorical crutch that functions to deflect attention from the government’s failures, incompetence, and unpreparedness to govern.
An English proverb says a bad workman blames his tools. We can rephrase that to: an incompetent, unprepared government blames the ghosts of the opponents it has vanquished.

Source: Daily Trust