Buhari won’t accept Onnoghen’s resignation –Presidency

Buhari won’t accept Onnoghen’s resignation –Presidency

By Anule Emmanuel and Tunde Oyesina

The Presidency has confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari will not accept the voluntary resignation request from the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen. President Buhari had, on January 25, 2019, suspended the CJN on the orders of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) given on January 23. The CCT, last Thursday, convicted the suspended CJN and ordered for his removal from office, having breached the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) Act. The decision of the CCT came despite an earlier recommendation by the National Judicial Commission (CJN) to President Buhari, for his compulsory retirement from service.

Onnoghen had also reportedly sent his resignation letter to President Buhari barely 24 hours after the NJC concluded investigating him for various allegations of misconduct. A senior aide to the President, who prefers not to be mentioned in print, yesterday, told New Telegraph in an interview that the case of the suspended CJN was a closed matter. He said there is no way Onnoghen would have expected President Buhari to accept his resignation when the issues surrounding his case were already in court. The presidential aide also explained that the NJC, in its recommendation letter to President Buhari for compulsory retirement of the suspended CJN, failed to cite the issue of alleged gross misconduct. He said the NJC’s recommendation was not appropriate with regards to the matter as it affected the suspended CJN. “There is no way the President would have acted on the letter of the NJC which recommended for compulsory retirement of the suspended CJN. They were silent on the issue of gross misconduct.

“But the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is clear on the basis upon which the President can sack a CJN. They were silent on this. If the President acted on it, someone would have said that he acted against the Constitution. Some people would even say that he is looking for a short cut on the matter. “Now, he has been convicted by the CCT. The President will allow the court process to go on since Onnoghen himself has also filed an appeal at the Appeal Court,” the president’s aide noted.

The Federal Government had, in January, on the strength of a petition filed a six-count criminal charge bothering on nondeclaration of five accounts domiciled with Standard Chartered Bank on Onnoghen. About four months later, the Danladi Umar-led threeman panel of tribunal, last Thursday, convicted Onnoghen of the six-count criminal charge and consequently removed him as the CJN. The tribunal equally barred him from holding public office for 10 years for contravening the CCB laws on asset declaration for public officers. In addition, the tribunal also ordered the forfeiture of various sums of monies in naira, euros, pounds and dollars denominations found in his five bank accounts with the Standard Chartered Bank which he was said to have failed to declare.

The forfeited sums are N26.8 million, $137,700 and £13,730. However, not satisfied with the judgement, Onnoghen, who described his conviction as unconstitutional and premeditated, had approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division to challenge same. In his 16 grounds of appeal filed through his counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), Onnoghen prayed the court for an order that the lower tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain the case in the first place. He also prayed the court to make an order that the lower tribunal ought to have recused itself from the proceedings before it.

Onnoghen equally prayed the court for an order that the charge has become an academic exercise and should set aside the conviction of the appellant. He also wants the court to set aside the order of forfeiture of assets made by the tribunal. He equally prayed the appellate court to discharge and acquit him. There are about five different appeals filed by Onnoghen pending before the Appeal Court at the moment. Earlier, before the final judgement, the tribunal had refused Onnoghen’s no case submission, application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to entertain the matter and another application praying the chairman of the tribunal to recuse himself of the matter on the allegation of bias.

Credit: New Telegraph

Fawehinmi Would Have Been 81 Today: How Sapara Williams Influenced Him

Fawehinmi Would Have Been 81 Today: How Sapara Williams Influenced Him

Chief Gani Fawehinmi

By Ademola Adegbamigbe

The late Chief Gani Fawehinmi would have been 81 today. His birth anniversary was, last year, marked with two major events. The Lagos State Government unveiled a new statue to immortalise him at Ojota Park. Also, Professor Wole Soyinka gave a keynote address in his honour. Fawehinmi, popularly called Gani, born on 22 April 1938, the son of Saheed and Munirat Fawehinmi of Ondo, in Ondo State, was a lawyer, human rights activist and a nemesis of bad political leaders. He died on 5 September 2009 at the aged of 71.

This writer is one of those who will never forget Chief Fawehinmi. He was an interviewer’s delight in his Anthony Village Chambers and Ikeja GRA home, both in Lagos.

Before going there, a journalist had to be prepared. You must do your research well. You had to get your facts right. In fact it was always better to have more than enough questions. This is because, if you went there with five, by the time you ask number one question, Chief Fawehinmi would have answered all you had on your notepad and you would be there panting like a beached whale!

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Another striking way Fawehinmi granted interviews was his use of language. In an interview with TheNEWS, he described the late General Sani Abacha’s regime as “Nebuchadnezzaraic.” That was a reference to the brutal King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (605 BC – c. 562 BC). What’s more, Chief Fawehinmi would real out statistics to buttress his facts, a feat that would render the jaws of readers open.

I once asked who influenced him. He replied that apart from Lord Denning, an English lawyer and judge, it was Christopher Alexander Sapara-Williams, Nigeria’s first indigenous lawyer. No wonder, Sapara William’s eternal words adorned the walls of Fawehinmi’s Anthony Chambers: “The legal practitioner lives for the direction of his people and the advancement of the cause of his country.” That was exactly how Fawehinmi’s life and law practice could be summarised.

It was in acknowledgement of this that President Muhammadu Buhari, last year, paid tribute to Fawehinmi, describing him ‘‘as a true conscience of the nation, defender of democracy and people’s rights advocate.”

In the words of Buhari: “The late Senior Advocate of the Masses was not an arm chair-critic, nor a rabble rouser who fomented trouble for its sake; but a serious minded, articulate, cerebral and compassionate promoter of fundamental human rights, social justice, equity, fair play and national development.

“Gani was an extraordinary human being and a great reference for all progressive elements in society. He dared death and incarceration and was forced into prison 40 times without bowing to intimidation and molestation.

‘‘He fought for and stood by democracy with every ounce of his blood and immense intellect. He deserves a lingering respect,” the president said in his tribute.”

General Ibrahim Babangida, a former Military President, was quoted by Onigegewura, as saying this about Fawehinmi: “There was one vivid meeting that has remained in my memory about Gani, and that was in 1984. I was the Chief of Army Staff. Gani, in his characteristic manner, was as fearless as ever when we asked him to relate his own side of a particular issue as he blasted all of us irrespective of the fact that we were all generals in uniform and he was the only civilian among us and all what we did was to clap for him as we appreciated his courage.”

At a public function in Victory College, Ikare, Fawehinmi verbally attacked a former Ondo State military Governor in the Abacha years, Anthony Onyarugbulem, for having the cheek to badge in on and embarrass the late Chief Adekunle Ajasin (for hosting a meeting of the National Democratic Coalition in his Owo home). Fawehinmi’s boldness was legendary.

As narrated by Mary Odunuga: “Sapara-Williams had his roots from Ijeshaland. He was always proud of where he came from, he would fondly call it, ‘Ijesha wa’, meaning ‘Our Ijesha’. He did not love his roots only in words, he acted accordingly too by being instrumental to Nigeria’s decolonization. The part he played that wows me every time I read it was his condemnation of Seditious Offences Ordinances of 1909 and his collaboration with Herbert Macaulay to start the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society. Sapara-Williams had a voice and he made sure his voice was heard.”

He, as Odunuga puts it, was Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association from 1900 to 1915. For him, the law is to be used as a force for positive social change and during his lifetime, he made this the basis of achievements and legacy to which we now remember him by. And the moral here is this: After you are long gone, make sure you make the history books – for good.”

Who Was Sapara-Williams?

Sapara-Williams, according to Wikipedia, was born on 14 July 1855. He was of Ijesha origin, but was born in Sierra Leone. He studied Law in London at the Inner Temple, and was called to the English bar on 17 November 1879. Returning from the United Kingdom, he began practising law in Lagos Colony on 13 January 1888. He had an unmatched reputation as an advocate, and had intimate knowledge of unwritten customary law. He enrolled in the Nigerian Bar Association on 30 January 1888, and was Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association from 1900 to 1915.

“Although Williams was the first indigenous Nigerian to formally qualify as a lawyer, he was not the only one to practice the law. Due to the shortage of qualified lawyers, until 1913 it was common for non-lawyers with basic education and some knowledge of English law to be appointed to practice as attorneys.

Political career

Williams was nominated to the Legislative Council, serving as a member from October 1901 until his death in 1915. In 1903 there was a crisis over the payment of the tolls that were collected from traders by native rulers, although Europeans were exempted. The alternative was to replace the tolls by a subsidy. Governor William MacGregor requested views from Williams, Charles Joseph George and Obadiah Johnson as indigenous opinion leaders. All were in favour of retaining the tolls to avoid upsetting the rulers. In 1903 governor MacGregor nominated Williams for a knighthood, but his recommendation was turned down.

In 1904 Williams moved that “the present boundary between the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria be re-adjusted by bringing the southern portion into Southern Nigeria, so that the entire tribes of the Yoruba-speaking people should be under one and the same administration”. Sir Frederick Lugard had opposed this proposal on the grounds of administrative convenience, and the eventual decision largely followed his beliefs. The principle applied was to group people who were at roughly the same political and social level into one province rather than to try to align the provinces with ethnic boundaries.

In 1905, Williams visited England. While there, he made several suggestions to the Colonial Office for changes to imperial policy. These included establishing a teachers training college in Lagos, and having more continuity of policy by the governors of the colony. Sapara Williams challenged the Seditious Offenses Ordinances of 1909, which suppressed press criticism of the government. He pointed out that “freedom of the Press is the great Palladium of British liberty … Sedition is a thing incompatible with the character of the Yoruba people, and has no place in their constitution … Hyper-sensitive officials may come tomorrow who will see sedition in every criticism and crime in every mass meeting”. Despite his plea, the bill became law. Williams encouraged Herbert Macaulay to convene an inaugural meeting of the Lagos Auxiliary of the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society on 30 August 1910, which gave Macauley a platform for producing popular opposition to colonial practices.

When Northern and Southern Nigeria were united in 1914, the new legislative council was headed by the Governor, and consisted of seven British officials, two British non-officials and two Nigerians, one of whom was Williams.” He died on 15 March 1915.

-This piece by Ademola Adegbamigbe, Editor, TheNEWS, was adapted from the one he wrote on the late Chief Fawehinmi on this platform exactly one year ago. molagbe63@yahoo.com. 08055002056

I killed my wife for saying she would remarry –Suspect

I killed my wife for saying she would remarry –Suspect

Enyioha Opara, Minna

A 30-year-old man, Danjuma Bisalla, has been arrested for allegedly killing his wife, Uwani, for saying that she would remarry if her husband died.

Uwani was said to have made the comment while Bisalla was sick.

The suspect, who is in police custody, told Northern City News in Minna, on Sunday, that he attacked his wife with a machete while she was sleeping, which resulted in her death.

The incident occurred on April 11, 2019, at Uddu village, in the Rijau Local Government Area of the state.

Bisalla told our correspondent that he killed his wife because of her comment.

He said, “I can’t imagine my own wife telling me that if I died, she would remarry. I lost my temper and inflicted injuries on her neck with a machete which led to her death.

“I don’t regret killing her since she wanted me dead. I killed her so that she would not remarry. She should not have said that to my hearing; there is power in the spoken words. Allah will send her to hell for that unguarded comment.”

The Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammad Abubakar, confirmed the incident, adding that the suspect admitted to the crime.

Abubakar said Bisalla inflicted injuries on the neck of the victim and she died, adding that the suspect had been charged to court.

Woman, husband sell their six-hour-old baby for N850,000

Woman, husband sell their six-hour-old baby for N850,000

Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri

OPERATIVES of the Imo State Police Command have apprehended five members of a child trafficking syndicate who allegedly sold a six-hour-old baby for N850,000 shortly after he was born.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Rabiu Ladodo, who paraded the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Owerri on Saturday, described the crime as “absurd and irritating.”

Ladodo said the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigation.

The CP noted that it was unbelievable that the mother of the newborn, Chinonye Oparaocha, 23, conspired with the other suspects to trade the child after delivery.

The other suspects are Confidence Anyanwu, 28; Duru Christian, 38; George Iyowuna, 38, and William Cynthia, 44.

Ladodo said the mother of the baby conspired with a nurse at the hospital where she was delivered of the baby to take the child to Rivers State, where he was trafficked for N850,000.

According to him, it took coordinated intelligence from his men for the baby to be recovered and the suspects arrested.

The CP said, “On February 8, 2019, at an undisclosed clinic on Nekede Road in the Owerri West LGA, one Chinonye Oparaocha was delivered of a baby boy.

“The woman immediately conspired with one Confidence Anyanwu, a nurse and native of Umuhu Okwuato in the Aboh Mbaise LGA, in company with her husband, Amanze Anyanwu (at large), and carried the six hours old baby to Port Harcourt in Rivers State, where one Duru Christian, was standing by.”

The CP explained that at Port Harcourt, Christian in company with Iyowuna, met them and took custody of the baby.

Ladodo said, “George Iyowuna met them at their hideout, took the baby boy and handed him over to a prospective buyer, William Cynthia and her husband, who eventually paid the sum of N850,000.

Driver steals company’s vehicle over threat of sacking
“On April 13, operatives of the Scorpion Squad of the command, after diligent investigation, arrested these five suspects, including the mother of the baby and the nurse, who delivered her of the baby.”

The CP said the suspects had given useful information to the police, adding that efforts were ongoing to arrest other fleeing members of the gang.

JAMB dismisses report on alleged reduction of UTME scores

JAMB dismisses report on alleged reduction of UTME scores

by Agency Reporter

Matriculation Board (JAMB) has described as fake, a trending report that scores of candidates who sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) are being reduced.

The board in a statement signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Dr Fabian Benjamin, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, said the report was false.

The report had claimed that scores of candidates who sat for the UTME and were found wanting by the board were being reduced by 100 marks.

JAMB said that an investigation carried out discovered that the fake news emanated from a gang who coordinated from a town called Igarra in Edo state with affiliates in Lagos and other states.

The board described the act as fraudulent and meant to extort parents and candidates.

“A gang being coordinated from a town called Igarra in Edo State with affiliates in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia, Anambra and Plateau states are circulating fake notice of impending reduction of UTME scores.

“This is with intent to extort and defraud parents and candidates.

“Candidates results would be received on their registered cell phones as soon as the ongoing scrutiny of the examination centers are completed and publicly announced.

“Only the fraudulent candidates or parents stand being defrauded on this matter,” the board said.

NAN recalls that Benjamin had in an interview on Sunday nwarned candidates not be carried away by rumours and misleading information in some sections of the media, especially the social media.

He also said that the board distances itself from such rumours about releasing results of candidates of the just concluded UTME and steps to check these results as being speculated.

NAN reports that the 2019 UTME was conducted nationwide from April 11 to 18.

More than 1.8 million candidates registered for the examination.

Police arrest man over theft of his child

Police arrest man over theft of his child

by Agency Reporter

A man who claimed that his five-day-old baby was stolen at gunpoint in his home in Ijagbe, Mopa-Muro Local Government Area, Kogi, is being held by the police as a suspect in the matter.

The man, Mr Tosin Ojuola, claimed that the baby was stolen 10 days earlier.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the incident occurred about 8 p.m. on April 11 when the gunmen invaded the home of the Ojuolas and forced the wife at gunpoint to surrender the child to them.

At Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Lokoja on Sunday, Ojuola told NAN that he left home barely 10 minutes when the gunmen invaded his apartment, beat up his wife and took away the child.

“I left home and was on my way to church for vigil on that fateful night when I suddenly heard my wife’s voice crying and shouting for help.

”I quickly ran back to my apartment and my wife told me that two armed men had forcibly taken our baby away and run into the nearby bush.

”I shouted for help and some youths immediately joined me to go after the gunmen to rescue my baby but all our efforts yielded no result as we were not able to get them.

”We searched all the nearby bushes to some kilometres away but because it was night, we could not go very deep into the bush,” he said.

Ojuola said he reported the matter immediately at the Divisional Police Station in Mopa, where the police promised to investigate and search for the baby.

Ojuola said that the following morning, more villagers were mobilised to search for the baby far into the bush, including farms and Fulani settlements, but that all efforts were abortive.

He explained that the police came to his house the following day to arrest his landlord and a Fulani man, who was a tenant in the house.

Ojuola said that the matter took a twist on April 14 when the police invited him for questioning and later detained him.

“The police told me that the community leaders demanded for my arrest, claiming that the village oracle (Ifa) revealed that I have a hand in the stealing of my own baby.

”Meanwhile, before my arrest, three of the community leaders came to my house on the third day and said that they were going to make sacrifice to their gods to expose the perpetrators and recover my baby.

”They asked me to provide axe, cutlass, hoe, palm kernel oil and fresh yam, which I did, and they asked me to take them to the spot where I buried the placenta of my baby.

”I took them there and they did some incantations and poured the oil on the spot and assured me that my baby would be found.

”To my greatest surprise and shock, it was the same people that asked the police to arrest and detain me for allegedly stealing my own baby,” he said.

Ojuola stated that the case was later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Police Headquarters, Lokoja, on Wednesday.

”I have since been in police cell for seven days without food and without any hope of finding my stolen baby. My image has been tarnished.

”Why would I do such evil against my own baby? I am a farmer, and a staff of Mopamuro Local Government Council, I have five children.

“The stolen baby was my sixth child. I am still owing N4,000 at the clinic where I took the baby to after he was delivered at home.

”I have spent over 11 years in the community, my aged parents are in the same community; I have never been involved in any crime in my life.

”I am innocent; I am a devoted and committed Christian. How would I steal my own baby, to do what and for what?” he asked.

”I am appealing to the police to conduct a thorough investigation and fish out the perpetrators and help me to rescue my baby because I am helpless,” Ojuola pleaded.

Shade Ojuola, his wife, in tears, expressed sadness over the incident.

She told NAN by telephone that she had bathed the baby, laid him in bed and was receiving fresh air outside with the landlord’s wife when the gunmen emerged.

“They flashed their torch light and commanded us to hands up.

”I started shouting when they brought out guns and ordered me to shut my mouth; they forced the door open and carried my baby away.

”My husband had just left the house for church not up to 10 minutes when the kidnappers came,” she explained.

Shade, who corroborated her husband’s earlier statements, called for immediate release of her husband to enable the family to continue the search for their baby.

”I am begging the police to please free my husband from cell in Lokoja because he is innocent; he can never do such a thing; he is a hardworking man and he fears God.

”We have been married for 11 years with five children and he loves me and all our children; I don’t want to lose him,” she said.

The aged father of Tosin, Mr John Ojuola, 74, told NAN by telephone that some people in the community were conniving with the police to implicate his son.

”The police should concentrate their effort on finding the real perpetrators of the heinous act against my innocent grandson and bring them to justice,” he said.

The traditional ruler of Ijagbe, Chief Amushin Adeleye, who also spoke to NAN by telephone, confirmed the incident.

He, however, denied any involvement in the arrest and detention of Tosin.

He said that Tosin had never engaged in any form of criminality, violence or social vice in the community.

The monarch further confirmed that the two people the community suspected after findings and consultations were Ojuola’s landlord, Samson Johnson, and a Fulani man, Umoru Isah.

He said that the community later reported Johnson and Isah to the police.

The traditional ruler appealed to the police to release the baby’s father and ensure that justice was done.

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Hakeem Busari, said that he was aware of the matter.

When told that the complainant in the case, Mr Tosin Ojuola, had been in detention at the CID Section, Busari expressed shock and asked for time to enable him to find out the real situation from the Officer in charge of the CID.

However, more than two hours after, the police Commissioner did not call back to tell NAN his findings.

Several attempts to re-establish link with him failed because he had switched off his mobile phone.

NAN

Police arrest man over theft of his child

by Agency Reporter

A man who claimed that his five-day-old baby was stolen at gunpoint in his home in Ijagbe, Mopa-Muro Local Government Area, Kogi, is being held by the police as a suspect in the matter.

The man, Mr Tosin Ojuola, claimed that the baby was stolen 10 days earlier.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the incident occurred about 8 p.m. on April 11 when the gunmen invaded the home of the Ojuolas and forced the wife at gunpoint to surrender the child to them.

At Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Lokoja on Sunday, Ojuola told NAN that he left home barely 10 minutes when the gunmen invaded his apartment, beat up his wife and took away the child.

“I left home and was on my way to church for vigil on that fateful night when I suddenly heard my wife’s voice crying and shouting for help.

”I quickly ran back to my apartment and my wife told me that two armed men had forcibly taken our baby away and run into the nearby bush.

”I shouted for help and some youths immediately joined me to go after the gunmen to rescue my baby but all our efforts yielded no result as we were not able to get them.

”We searched all the nearby bushes to some kilometres away but because it was night, we could not go very deep into the bush,” he said.

Ojuola said he reported the matter immediately at the Divisional Police Station in Mopa, where the police promised to investigate and search for the baby.

Ojuola said that the following morning, more villagers were mobilised to search for the baby far into the bush, including farms and Fulani settlements, but that all efforts were abortive.

He explained that the police came to his house the following day to arrest his landlord and a Fulani man, who was a tenant in the house.

Ojuola said that the matter took a twist on April 14 when the police invited him for questioning and later detained him.

“The police told me that the community leaders demanded for my arrest, claiming that the village oracle (Ifa) revealed that I have a hand in the stealing of my own baby.

”Meanwhile, before my arrest, three of the community leaders came to my house on the third day and said that they were going to make sacrifice to their gods to expose the perpetrators and recover my baby.

”They asked me to provide axe, cutlass, hoe, palm kernel oil and fresh yam, which I did, and they asked me to take them to the spot where I buried the placenta of my baby.

”I took them there and they did some incantations and poured the oil on the spot and assured me that my baby would be found.

”To my greatest surprise and shock, it was the same people that asked the police to arrest and detain me for allegedly stealing my own baby,” he said.

Ojuola stated that the case was later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Police Headquarters, Lokoja, on Wednesday.

”I have since been in police cell for seven days without food and without any hope of finding my stolen baby. My image has been tarnished.

”Why would I do such evil against my own baby? I am a farmer, and a staff of Mopamuro Local Government Council, I have five children.

“The stolen baby was my sixth child. I am still owing N4,000 at the clinic where I took the baby to after he was delivered at home.

”I have spent over 11 years in the community, my aged parents are in the same community; I have never been involved in any crime in my life.

”I am innocent; I am a devoted and committed Christian. How would I steal my own baby, to do what and for what?” he asked.

”I am appealing to the police to conduct a thorough investigation and fish out the perpetrators and help me to rescue my baby because I am helpless,” Ojuola pleaded.

Shade Ojuola, his wife, in tears, expressed sadness over the incident.

She told NAN by telephone that she had bathed the baby, laid him in bed and was receiving fresh air outside with the landlord’s wife when the gunmen emerged.

“They flashed their torch light and commanded us to hands up.

”I started shouting when they brought out guns and ordered me to shut my mouth; they forced the door open and carried my baby away.

”My husband had just left the house for church not up to 10 minutes when the kidnappers came,” she explained.

Shade, who corroborated her husband’s earlier statements, called for immediate release of her husband to enable the family to continue the search for their baby.

”I am begging the police to please free my husband from cell in Lokoja because he is innocent; he can never do such a thing; he is a hardworking man and he fears God.

”We have been married for 11 years with five children and he loves me and all our children; I don’t want to lose him,” she said.

The aged father of Tosin, Mr John Ojuola, 74, told NAN by telephone that some people in the community were conniving with the police to implicate his son.

”The police should concentrate their effort on finding the real perpetrators of the heinous act against my innocent grandson and bring them to justice,” he said.

The traditional ruler of Ijagbe, Chief Amushin Adeleye, who also spoke to NAN by telephone, confirmed the incident.

He, however, denied any involvement in the arrest and detention of Tosin.

He said that Tosin had never engaged in any form of criminality, violence or social vice in the community.

The monarch further confirmed that the two people the community suspected after findings and consultations were Ojuola’s landlord, Samson Johnson, and a Fulani man, Umoru Isah.

He said that the community later reported Johnson and Isah to the police.

The traditional ruler appealed to the police to release the baby’s father and ensure that justice was done.

When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Hakeem Busari, said that he was aware of the matter.

When told that the complainant in the case, Mr Tosin Ojuola, had been in detention at the CID Section, Busari expressed shock and asked for time to enable him to find out the real situation from the Officer in charge of the CID.

However, more than two hours after, the police Commissioner did not call back to tell NAN his findings.

Several attempts to re-establish link with him failed because he had switched off his mobile phone.

NAN

My parents are from Sokoto and Jigawa — Atiku

My parents are from Sokoto and Jigawa — Atiku

Atiku Abubakar

By John Chuks Azu |

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and the party have stated that he is a Nigerian by birth as his parents both have roots in the North West and is therefore qualified to seek office of the president.

Atiku and PDP stated this in reply to claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, filed at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday, April 18, 2019.

The APC in its reply to Atiku’s petition had claimed that he is Cameroonian by birth and not qualified to contest the office of president based on the Nigerian Constitution.

The party had claimed that Jada in Adamawa State, where Atiku was born on 25th November, 1946, was part of the Germany administered territory of British Cameroons which became a mandate territory of the League of Nations following Germany’s defeat in World War I in 1918, and opted to join Nigeria in a plebiscite in 1961.

But Atiku in a petition by his team of lawyers led by Livi Uzoukwu (SAN), stated that his father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir was a Nigerian by birth who hailed from Wurno in present day Sokoto State, while his mother Aisha Kande was also a Nigerian who hailed from Dutse in present day Jigawa State. He said both were of Fulani tribe, indigenous to Nigeria.

“The birth of the 1st petitioner (Atiku) in Jada, in present day Adamawa State of Nigeria was occasioned by the movement of his paternal grandfather called Atiku who was an itinerant trader, from Wurno in present day Sokoto State to Jada in the company of his friend, Ardo Usman,” he said.

Atiku contended that he had served in the Nigerian Customs Service, and had been a presidential aspirant under the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992, contested and won the governorship of Adamawa State in 1999 under the PDP, and became vice president under the same platform in 1999 with President Olusegun Obasanjo and was re-elected in 2003.

He further averred that he was the recipient of the National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), and was the traditional title holder of Turakin Adamawa from 1982 to 2017 when he was elevated to Wazirin Adamawa.

Atiku contended that APC’s reply was incompetent because the counsel who signed it did not reflect his National Identity Number “contrary to the provisions of the Mandatory Use of National Identification Number, Regulations, 2017, made pursuant to the National Identity Management Commission Act, 2007.”

Atiku also countered Buhari’s submission that his petition challenging his qualification to contest the election was not a post-election issue which could be entertained by the tribunal, insisting that the matter was both a pre-election and post-election matter.

He said the issue of qualification of the 2nd Respondent (Buhari) to contest election to the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was a mandatory statutory and/or constitutional requirement that cannot be waived by the petitioners as erroneously averred in paragraph 499 (d) of the 3rd respondent’s reply.

Credit: Daily Trust

News Headlines Apr 22, 2019. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

News Headlines Apr 22, 2019. Headlines From Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

Compiled by Demola Adefajo

The Punch

CMDs lament inadequate funding of teaching hospitals
Saraki, Dogara padded budgets for four years – Tinubu
Onnoghen removed from NJC membership list
I killed my wife for saying she would remarry –Suspect
I’m Nigerian by birth, says Atiku
Imo Rep-elect rejects kinsman, backs Gbajabiamila
Next Bayelsa gov will emerge through prayers, consultations –Dickson
Explosions at Sri Lanka hotels, churches, kill 207
Police officer kills Ogun resident
Third Mainland Bridge safe for motorists –FG
Killings: Buhari sleeping on duty, says Yola bishop
Woman, husband sell their six-hour-old baby for N850,000
Ronaldo first to win EPL, La Liga, Serie A titles
Remove or keep fuel subsidy and die
Ogun poly rector suspended
Driver steals company’s vehicle over threat of sacking
NDLEA intercepts men plotting to traffic cocaine to Saudi Arabia
Policemen lament disparities in salaries, arrears payment
Police, Lagos task force arrest six traffic robbers
Four suspected Boko Haram members arrested in Edo
Command arraigns woman as accused jumps bail
APC insists PDP lawmakers not needed to elect National Assembly leaders
‘APC new members back Gbajabiamila to uphold party supremacy’
Buhari, APC regretted 8th NASS leadership mistake – Gbajabiamila campaign
Ekweremadu donates palm oil processing machine to constituent
Dangote refinery’ll reduce fuel imports in West Africa –OPEC
Nigeria’s oil exports threatened as Aiteo declares force majeure
FG pays 2,777 pensioners N1.48bn arrears
Sovereign Trust’s profit before tax rose by 167%
NCRIB urges govt on fresh economic ideas
Cops quiz fan who mocked Sala’s death
Uganda coach tips Nigeria as AFCON favourites
Everton put four past woeful United
Ighalo scores sixth goal in Shenhua draw
United foreign stars claim English players favoured
Nollywood actor Jim Iyke poses with son
Cyberattacks, data breaches top concerns of IT experts
Glo links 400,000 new users to network upgrade
CcHUB, Google to link African start-ups with Asian suppliers
Expert highlights benefits of business mobility technology
Editorial: Need to crack down on sham constituency projects
Our dying eagle and their ferocious tiger
Open all statutory transfers
Zamfara gold: A threat to national stability?

The Nation

Tinubu defends his role in Assembly leadership battle
Hundreds killed in Sri Lanka Easter attacks
N24.39tr debt: Nigeria not in debt crisis, says Fed Govt 1
Senate leadership: APC governors step in
Arewa, others preach unity, love at Easter
I’m a Nigerian by birth, Atiku replies APC
Alaafin urges Oyetola to boost Osun’s IGR
‘I killed my wife because she planned to remarry’ 1
Local meter manufacturing up by 100%
Fire: Aiteo declares force majure on Nembe creek trunk line
Hundreds killed in Sri Lanka Easter attacks
N24.39tr debt: Nigeria not in debt crisis, says Fed Govt
Seven Nollywood movies for Easter fun
APRIL
How internet users can be protected from cybercrime, by NCC
Why Southwest should present House Speaker, by Lagos representative
Gbajabiamila being rewarded for hard work, loyalty, says colleague
UTME results: JAMB warns candidates against fraudsters
‘Off-grid, mini-grid solution to Nigeria’s energy problem’
Bayelsa urges youths to shun crime
Firm sues NCDMB, Mobil, others for violating local content law
Police arrest six suspected traffic robbers
Ohanaeze youths canvass for Igbo House of Reps Speaker
Forum backs APC’s endorsement of Gbajabiamila as Speaker
Abiodun: New dawn, new challenges in Ogun
Rivers polls: Mistakes INEC could not avert
Akeredolu’s suspension from APC, mere rumours
APC youths demand 40 percent appointments
Easter: Dickson preaches love, peace
Fashola certifies third mainland bridge safe for use
I don’t regret playing for Nigeria, Nwakali insists
Onyekuru omitted in Galatasaray’s 3-1 win
Omotayo, Toriola suffer defeat
Abiodun, Offiong rout opponents in opener
S.W Park wins 2019 IBB Golf Captain’s Cup
Everton hit four in win over Manchester United
‘Nigeria not serious about nuclear power’
Weststar unveils Marcopolo Paradisio 1350
SON stresses importance of accurate measurement
Ivanka Trump promotes businesswomen after Ivory Coast cocoa farm visit
Efekoha mulls paperless insurance firms
Oyingbo street traders beg for affordable shops
‘He shouldn’t die like this’
Christians, others urged to imbibe Jesus’ virtues
Kudos as Tinubu plans to immortalise Fasinro
Hotel guest jailed one year for theft
Family donates to destitute home
Suspected cultists rob, kill ASP
Palm oil producers cry out over price slide due to illegal import
NiMet predicts cloudy, sunny, rainy weather for Monday
Rivers always in the news for wrong reasons, says Amaechi
EFCC probes N8.7billion fraud in JAMB
Goldberg signs Olamide as brand ambassador
Kaffy, others for World of Dance Nigeria
Jide Harmony to drop dance medley
Avengers movie for Lagos premiere April 24
Arcadia Premium TV brings new television experience
BET Africa bids farewell to ‘Being Mary Jane’ April 25
The devil’s juice
Editorial: Dangote alert
A notable intervention

ThisDay

Ukrainian Comedian Zelensky Wins Presidential Poll
Explosions in Churches, Hotels Kill 200 in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday
Subscribers Decline in February, as Glo Maintains Steady Growth
editor 20 mins ago 0
Dickson: How My Successor will Emerge
Easter: Ugwuanyi Preaches Peace, Unity, Progress
Pay Workers’ Salaries, Pension Arrears, CAN Urges Kogi Gov
Made in China
Adebise: Banks Must Be Innovative to Remain in Business
SIFAX Launches New Subsidiary
LCCI Urges Buhari to Sign CAM BILL 2018
MAN Calls for Dialogue on Fuel Subsidy
Boosting Growth through Diversity in Financial Leadership
WTO Boss Urges Finance Ministers to Address Economic Imbalances
FG May Sell BoA’s Bad Loans to AMCON
Heritage Sends-off CCO
LCCI to Hold Mining Summit
UNMASKING RESOURCE CONTROL
A Parliament Filled with Dramatic Events
IGBO PRESIDENCY AS A MORAL BURDEN
Oduduru Breaks Obikwelu’s National 200m Record, Runs Sub-10 In 100m
AFCON U-17 2019: Golden Eaglets to Meet Guinea in S’finals
ITTF OPEN: Nigerian Debutant, Ojomu, Sparkles in Budapest
NPFL: Gombe Utd Holds Pillars in Kano
Heineken’s Lush Lagos Party Wraps up UCL Tour
Liverpool Return to Summit as Arsenal, Man Utd Crumble
Anthony Joshua’s Opponent, Miller Fails Second Drug Test
Liverpool Back at EPL Summit after 2-0 Win at Cardiff City
LATEST EDITORIAL
POLICE AND MOVEMENT OF CONTAINERS

Daily Trust

Gbajabiamila being rewarded for hard work, loyalty — Lawmaker
PDP chairmanship aspirant assures Kogi people of liberation
Ndume’ll make better Senate president — Group
Buhari’ll leave a legacy — Bulama
3 Nigerians wanted by police for kidnapping diplomat
Abductors of Kajuru Castle workers demand N60m
Easter: Lawan urges Nigerians to heal wounds, reunite
Some creams are causing cancer, diabetes, hypertension — NAFDAC
Father of quintuplets seeks help
Insurgency: CAS urges NAF personnel to maintain highest level of readiness
JAMB: No results released yet
Heatwave hits Borno, Kano, Adamawa, Katsina, others
PoliticsSee More
INEC appoints new DG for Electoral Institute
Ighalo extends scoring run to five games
Rohr warns Nigeria not to underestimate Burundi, Madagascar
Nigeria Customs generates N311.2bn revenue in 3 months
No fire incident at Abuja airport – FAAN
‘How NRC plans to confront rising demand on Abuja-Kaduna train service’
Third Mainland bridge safe for use by motorists – FG
FG hands over road, erosion control projects to Kurudu residents
Ex-Gwagwalada chairmanship candidate defects to PDP
Clips from my old notebook
FG, Nigeria’s debt profile and IMF
ILO: Towards the centenary (II)
Life’s marketplace at Easter
Gulf: S/Arabia, UAE to send $3bn in aid to Sudan
Libya: Tripoli forces push opponents back
Ukraine: Comedian Zelensky ‘wins presidency by landslide’
Man, 28, sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for vandalism, attempted theft
Two teenagers, 3 others nabbed over robbing in Lagos traffic
Police raid Imo communities, arrest 4 suspected cultists
Editorial: Enduring lessons of Easter
FG, Come Clean on Fuel Subsidy
Clear domestic debts first
NSITF board chair: NLC, NUPENG against Kokori’s substitution
IMF advice to remove fuel subsidy is ill-conceived — Oil workers
NSCDC staff lament lack of promotion
Cheaper, safer processed fish underway
Palm Oil Plantation: Dufil compensate 1,628 farmers in Edo
Yobe agro-allied company devices onion preservation technique
BREAKING: JAMB speaks on release of 2019 UTME results
Oke Ogun Poly: Rector, Principal officers suspended for alleged financial misconduct
Tsangaya schools advised to incorporate English, other subjects in curriculum
Jim Iyke shows off his new baby boy on Instagram
Kannywood’s Zango set to marry for sixth time
Why Ishaya Bako’s ‘4th Republic’ is a must-see movie
Third Mainland Bridge safe for public use – FG
It will rain on Easter Monday: See NiMet predictions
Lagos explains water disruption in Iyana-Ipaja, Egbeda, others

The Sun

Borrowing headache: IMF, World Bank restate fears for Nigeria
3rd Mainland Bridge safe –FG
Sharia Council angry over security situation
NASS leadership: I’ve no ulterior motive – Tinubu
My parents from Sokoto, Jigawa –Atiku
Anambra to relaunch Operation Kpochapu
Attack on Mali army base kills 11 soldiers
Oil spill claims 2 in Ogoni
Easter: Don’t compromise your faith, Kumuyi tells Christians
Edo: Obaseki insists on reclaiming 6, 000 stolen artefacts
Easter: Eschew bitterness, veteran journalists urge political class
Ebonyi traders sue govt over moves to demolish market
Atiku being vice president not qualification to contest presidency -Ajulo
Osun speakership zoning: The politics
Pencom probe: Why they’re after me -Agbonayinma
Restructuring: Buhari should implement El-Rufai’s report —Olatujoye
2019: APC, PDP rigged elections -Azubuike
Easter: Ikeja Electic assures customers of efficient service delivery
Poor infrastructure, price as disincentive to gas production
Nigeria’s concessioned port terminals ISPS Code compliant
NigerStar 7 announces acquisition of pipelay vessel
Why Lagos ports may never be free from congestion
Dickson wants INEC to shift Bayelsa governorship polls
U17 AFCON: Eaglets to face Guinea in semifinal
Ighalo strikes season’s sixth goal in China
AC Milan leads in Osimhen race
PSG retains Ligue 1 title
Fognini lands maiden Masters title
Mourinho: Spurs, Ajax can win Champions League
Lagos hosts Dodo Mayana Soccerthon grand finale
F/Eagles coach pencils down Chukwueze for WYC
No regrets playing for Nigeria, says stranded Nwakali
Europa League rating: Chukwueze dusts Hazard, Aubameyang
Solskjaer: I don’t know if Man U players care
Rohr considers Ebuehi for AFCON 2019
Actor, Jim Iyke welcomes baby boy
Pop singer Adele parts with husband
Lost love rebounds on DStv’s One Night With My Ex
Alibaba, Ice Prince storm Seriously Funny with Efex today
Musings on Nigeria at Easter…
Beyond reforming the kill-and-go police
Bloodstains on the flag
Who do you listen to?
Saudi Arabia, UAE grant $3bn support to Sudan
Fidelity Bank showers N1.65m rewards on 4 customers in Ebonyi
EEDC salutes customers, reaches out to motherless babies, old people
Access Bank: More winners emerge in DiamondXtra savings promo
NSE: IPO drought at NSE enters 4th month
GT Bank shareholders approve N2.45 dividend
African Union must ensure Sudanese army return to the barracks –Ojo

Tribune

Policeman allegedly kills man in Ogun
British Female tourist killed in Kajuru ― Police
How Edo Police arrested four Boko Haram suspects in Auchi
FG allays fear over third mainland bridge
World leaders react to Sri Lankan Easter bombings
Easter: AAC candidate congratulates Christians, Ajimobi, Makinde
S/West PDP petitions Lagos CP, DSS over Adewale, declares him non-PDP member
Persons living with HIV not to be pitied, 2030 target to end AIDS achievable ― OYSACA
2019 UTME: JAMB says no results released yet, warns candidates against fraudsters
Ukrainian comedian, Volodymyr Zelensky elected president
Benue varsity to investigate death of 2 students in River Benue
Institution to invest over $20 million in household solar in 5 countries
Better days ahead for Virgin Atlantic passengers
NAWORG tutors business women on accessing bank loans
The kidnap of Nigeria
Eight bomb blasts hit Sri Lanka churches, hotels, leave 140 dead, 560 injured
Over 700 environmental activists arrested in UK
US supports tech-driven solutions to disability issues
Shells kill seven in Libya as Haftar’s siege intesifies
Ondo and politics of ministerial appointment
Eighth Assembly: Parting shots of a troubled Senate
Sultan: A nation and the fear for the future
NASS leadership: South-West, North-Central in epic battle

Leadership

We Won’t Quit For Gbajabiamila, North Central Aspirants Declare
PMB, World Leaders Condemn Sri Lanka Killing
Police Confirm Killing Of Briton In Kajuru
APC Supporters In Sokoto Civil Service Being Victimised– Chairman
‘We’Il Continue To Inspire, Encourage Nigerian Youths’
Emirs Laud Liman’s Appointment As Fire Service Boss
Atiku Vs PMB: Arise Offers To Stand As Defence Witness
Abe To Oshiomhole: Stop Promoting Illegality In Rivers APC
Alaibe Condoles Dickson Over Killing Of Two Aides
Ekiti: Fayemi’s Long Walk To Victory At Supreme Court
80 Percent Of Sokoto Civil Servants Behind APC–Chairman
Aiteo Declares Force Majeure On Member Creek Trunk Line
WiFi Technology Adds $2trn To Global Economy
Dangote Refinery To Boost World Oil Production Stability – OPEC
‘Poor Power Supply Major Setback For Metallurgical Industry’
BEDC Connects Omozogie-Uteh To National Grid
Giannis Antetokounmpo: Greek-Based Nigerian NBA Player
Dangote Refinery To Boost World Oil Production Stability – OPEC
How We Are Retooling Christian Pilgrimage– Uja
Alaibe Condoles Dickson Over Killing Of Two Aides
Ekiti: Fayemi’s Long Walk To Victory At Supreme Court
EDITORIAL: Still On Xenophobic Attacks
Women In Politics: Miles To Go Before Parity Is Achieved
2019 UTME: JAMB Yet To Release Results – Official

The Guardian

Breaking News: Comedian Zelensky wins Ukraine presidency in landslide
Government mindful of borrowings, nation safe, says minister
Nigeria’s sluggish economy in web of subsidy conundrum
New infrastructure project triggers rise in property values
One killed, many injured as police officers open fire in Ifo
Rep raises concern over import of Chinese prisoners to work in Nigeria
Kwara TUC urges governments to curb irrational increase in commodities’ prices over minimum wage
Over 138 die as Sri Lanka’s blasts hit churches, hotels
FG assures motorists of Third Mainland Bridge’s safety
Husband kills wife over plan to re-marry after his death
Fognini defeats Lajovic to win Monte Carlo Masters
All Africa Senior Badminton Championships begin today in Port Harcourt
SG Elite trains underprivileged girls, canvasses help for community service providers
Jomby beats Kalenichenko to win Dayak Open title
OAU to host NUGA’s FISU Games trials from Wednesday
Sloppy Arsenal’s top four bid rocked by Palace
Disquiet in APC over alleged move to foist national secretary
Bayelsa 2020: Shape of things to come
Editorial: Buhari’s curious lamentation about medical tourism
‘Cameroonian Atiku’and other Tales
Ita Faji and politicisation of national tragedy
Bloody gold in Zamfara: Threat to stability or development opportunity
Foursome sex addicts, drugs and pornography
NCRIB tasks FG on fresh ideas to run nation’s economy
Shareholders okay GTBank’s final dividend of N2.45 per share
Sanwo-Olu urged to embrace insurance policy in management of Lagos State
‘Dubai’s real estate sector key source of economic growth’
Nigeria Pharma Expo begins on August 28 in Lagos
Understanding causes of stroke
Botanist leads innovative research on renewable energy using microalgae
Professionals tasked on new trends in construction industry
Nigerian mortgage, property sector set to tap into diaspora market
NIQS urges government to establish construction industry board
FG sues for peace in Ogoniland

Vanguard

ACUTE HUNGER: Outrage As IDP Children Feed On Onion Leaves
3 Die In Ondo Auto Crashes
Buhari Is Right; Fuel Subsidy Is A Fraud
Ninth Reps Speaker: Gbajabiamila’s Ambition, A Joint Task – Campaign Organisation
I Make N100,000 Daily From Sales Of Stolen Phones — Robbery Gang Leader
Why Power ‘Ll Not Shift To South In 2023 – Senator Ogunlewe
Wema Bank To Deepen Retail Banking Footprint With New ALAT
Credit To The Economy Rises To N30.5trn
I’m Yet To Recover From The Shock Of Our Daughter’s Demise —Late Adaobi’s Father
YPP Seeks Urgent Review Of Electoral Laws
How Internet Users In Nigeria Can Be Protected From Cybercrime — NCC
Oshodi – Apapa Exp Way: FG Insensitive To Our Plight — Motorists, Commuters
Food Security: We‘ll Make Law On GES To Boost Farm Inputs — Reps
Remembering Gani Fawehinmi
Atiku Replies APC, Says I’m A Full Blooded Nigerian
Katsina Children Parliament Demands Speedy Passage Of Child Protection Bill
Fresh Oil Spills In Ogoni Kill 2, As Army Invades Community
Easter blasts at Sri Lanka hotels, churches kill at least 207
Speakership: No surprise Buhari, APC backing Gbajabiamila – Lawmaker
Bloody Easter: Buhari expresses sadness over killing of Christians
How 6 hours old baby was sold for N850,000 in Imo
Inspection of election materials: INEC fault Akpabio’s legal team claim
Rising Debt: We are mindful of our borrowings, says FG
South-south elders, chiefs condemn military invasion of Ateke’s home
Neglecting Christ is a fatal transgression
Senate President: Between Lawan and Ndume
Between Atiku’s petition and APC’s comedy of mischief
Atiku’s petition, Buhari’s defence and INEC’s righteousness
APC insists on Gbajabiamila as defiant APC members-elect fight on
Crystal Palace put Arsenal’s top four bid in jeopardy
Kante warns Chelsea to curb second half slumps
Everton vs Man United: Toffees too good ‘4’ Solskjaer’s men
There’s no quit in Amir Khan insists McGuigan
Coming face-to-face with your ex after the breakup!
The husband who left his young marriage for an older woman!
GidiFest 2019: Shina Peters, Patoranking, others shut down 6th edition of Gidifest,Nigeria’s biggest music festival
Actor, Jim Iyke welcomes baby boy
Gospel musician, Adenuga Oluwakemi to celebrate Easter with worship concert, ‘Kara Africa’
Many Nigerian pop stars are yet to find their sounds — Guchi
Being body positivity advocate, lands Monalisa Stephen endorsement deal
Warri women write Buhari, Osinbajo over $6m, N1b Ugborodo fund
Infinix unveils Zero 6 smartphone
Nigeria’s ‘severely wasted children’: The inside story

The search for the Nigerian Dream

The search for the Nigerian Dream

Simon Kolawole

In July 2005, aboard an Egypt Air flight from Cairo to Lagos, a number of Nigerians spent hours discussing the state of the nation. We were from different parts of the country and different religions. We discussed virtually every topic — from the horrible roads to the unending importation of petroleum products, from the inhospitable hospitals to the abysmal education sector. We spoke extensively on corruption in public institutions across the country, the bazaar of contract awards, the hyperinflation of contract costs, as well as the obscene lifestyles of civil servants, politicians and political appointees. I was fully charged as passengers narrated their experiences.

Then something happened: we could not land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The pilot said a cargo aircraft had broken down on the runway and flights were being diverted. He announced that we were going to land in Kano. That clearly meant we would spend the night there. The first question I asked was: is there only one runway at the Lagos airport? Someone, who seemed to know a lot about the airport, said there were two but the other one was undergoing maintenance and had been shut down for a while. We were all frustrated because spending the night in Kano was not part of the plan. It added one day to our journey.

And then a young man from the Niger Delta dropped a bombshell: “All this nonsense will not stop until there is resource control! Nigeria is paying for the injustice being meted out to the Niger Delta! The rest of Nigeria will continue to suffer too!” I was shocked. The cabin initially went quiet, and suddenly we started arguing over the outburst. It soon became a bitter exchange about how the rest of Nigeria was a parasite on “our oil”, how the federal government needed to urgently organise a sovereign national conference to take a final decision on how to divide the country, and so on and so forth. I was disappointed. I gently withdrew from the discussion.

My disappointment stemmed from just one fact: for nearly two hours, we had discussed as Nigerians and reached a consensus that we had a serious leadership problem. We agreed that the political and economic mismanagement of Nigeria at all levels was at the root of our backwardness. We complained about how our council chairpersons were not up to scratch and how the governors were having fun at our expense. We agreed that the federal government was failing in its responsibilities. We went as far as saying all Nigerians, irrespective of “tribe and tongue”, were victims of this gross mismanagement. I was delighted that we could discuss so frankly without bitterness.

We collectively reasoned that ordinary Nigerians did not have problems with one another; we were just victims of elite manipulation for political purposes. We concluded that Nigerians needed a united front to confront the leadership deficit pervading the land. We all appeared to be on the same page! Then the Niger Delta “activist” dropped his bombshell — despite having been part of the “consensus” we had reached at the impromptu “national conference” on the flight. My spirit dropped. How could someone ruin such a beautiful conversation by introducing a divisive item on the agenda? Why are some people never satisfied until they play up our faultlines and frailties?

A few minutes earlier, the “activist” had been complaining about how the governors of the oil-producing states were wasting the 13% derivation payment and leaving the people of the Niger Delta poorer and poorer. He was complaining about a state governor who had bought up houses in Lagos, Abuja, UK and the US. He said some Niger Delta governors were arming militias to take out their political opponents. Virtually all of us made damaging allegations against our governors. Abruptly, the Niger Delta “activist” arrived at another conclusion that it was lack of “resource control” that led to the breakdown of an aircraft on Lagos airport runway.

In my previous article, “Nigeria and the Hegemony Ideology” (April 14, 2019), I adapted the theory of “cultural hegemony” propounded by Antonio Gramsci, the 20th century Italian Marxist philosopher and communist politician, to explain how the Nigerian elite class has successfully diverted the public agenda from bad governance and, instead, got us talking about our ethnic and religious differences every minute and every second of the day. This they do through institutionalised processes, with their intellectual sidekicks and pressure groups using up prominent pages in the newspapers to discuss all issues — except the ones that impact directly on the welfare of ordinary Nigerians.

As a follow-up to my proposal that we need a new generation of “thought leaders” in the media, academia, civil society and polity that will focus public discourse on issues of development and stop blaming Lord Lugard for all that is wrong with Nigeria, I would love to argue that there are several things Nigerians already appear to agree upon which should form the basis of our engagement with the political system. If we are able to discuss these issues openly and sincerely, we may just be able to evolve the Nigerian Dream and arrive at a consensus on the best way forward. I have not met a single Nigerian who says this is the best Nigeria can be. We aspire to have a better country.

I will point out at least three plagues most of us seem to have agreed upon as impediments to the progress of Nigeria, and these cut across ethnic, religious and regional lines. The first is “leadership without conscience”. Contrary to what you might have been led to believe, we run a multi-layered leadership structure in Nigeria: federal, state and local council. Each layer has its responsibilities and failings in the underdevelopment of Nigeria. However, if we are ruled by men and women of conscience, I believe our story would have changed. A moral morass is severely plaguing Nigerian leadership — and that includes commissioners, ministers and perm secs, to name but a few.

It takes only a dead conscience to see the poor state of public utilities and look the other way. The roads are bad, so the leaders buy Prado SUVs to be able to navigate the potholes deftly rather than fix them. Kidnappers are on the prowl so the leaders get a detachment of security officers for protection rather than attack the problem frontally. The schools are bad so they send their children to the best institutions around the world rather than fix the education system. The hospitals are horrible so they treat themselves abroad rather than make them world-class. Any leader with human feeling will not look the other way: the welfare of the masses will always be priority.

The second plague is “leadership without competence”. I do not mean paper qualifications. You can be a professor and be incompetent in leadership. The skill set for political leadership is different. One basic definition of leadership is “getting people and using resources to achieve results”. How can you develop a country, a state or a council when you don’t have a “vision of society” — a mental picture of where you want to take it, the same way an architect designs a structure before you begin to build? Most of the people who end up in public office in Nigeria do not have this basic competence. And it cuts across all divides, although we often limit this to a section of Nigeria.

The third plague is “leadership without accountability”. In Nigeria, public officers have unfettered access to state resources with little or no accountability. This has led to untold corruption and waste of resources. This works mainly through collusion. The constitution allows state lawmakers to remove governors for corruption and abuse of office, but that is only on paper. A minister can be fired for corruption but how often does that happen? How many can sincerely say they scrutinise their state budgets the way they talk about federal budgets? The thought leaders would rather we discuss Sharia and true federalism. That is how the status quo wants it.

I have listed three plagues that we seem to agree are hurting the development of Nigeria. Imagine a Nigeria governed by leaders with conscience, leaders with competence and leaders with accountability at ALL levels? Imagine the direction we would be facing! Many of my critics have repeatedly accused me of campaigning against restructuring. This is a wrong reading but I have given up trying to explain myself. I believe in restructuring. My point of departure is that it is a different thing we need to restructure — our mindsets, first and foremost. We have been bewitched to think our problem is the “tribe and tongue” of a fellow victim of poor governance.

We can have a consensus on critical issues that affect the ordinary Nigerian and begin to push an all-encompassing agenda for national development. Divisive agenda will only poison public discourse, as we saw with the “activist” on the flight from Cairo. I do not seek to silence the agents of sectional agenda — everybody enjoys freedom of thought in a democracy. They probably have their own convictions that drive their arguments. But I am afraid that we cannot construct the Nigerian Dream and achieve our aspirations for as long as those who believe in playing up our differences continue to dominate the public space. Remember we all are victims of poor governance.

AND FOUR OTHER THINGS…
MINIMUM VALUE

President Buhari has now signed the new national minimum wage of N30,000 into law. In 1999, President Obasanjo inherited N3,500 as the minimum wage and increased it to N7,500 in 2000, while President Jonathan raised it to N18,000 in 2011. Many have argued that we are a federation and each state should determine what to pay, but most — if not all — countries have a national minimum; sub-national governments and businesses can decide to pay higher. The big issue, for me, is the value of the wage. In the 1980s, when minimum wage was N125, the value was roughly $200. Today’s N30,000 is worth $80 only. But N30,000 is still better than N18,000. Consolation.

ROUGH JUSTICE?

An African proverb says once the snake became pregnant, you knew it would give birth to a ‘long’ child. That Justice Walter Onnoghen was going to be convicted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over alleged false declaration of assets was predictable from the beginning. The CCT chairman never hid it. Ordinarily, Nigerians should be happy that even the chief justice has not escaped justice, but the smell of the alleged political persecution has so much polluted the air that Nigerians cannot even have a consensus on what is right or wrong again. But let us cheer up and take this as a wake-up call — our culture of “too big to touch” is being broken. Precedent.

Justice Onnoghen

SUBSIDY SINK

By some estimates, we spent $5 billion on fuel subsidy in 2018 alone — the highest ever. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been less than transparent in its dealings in recent years — and that is saying a lot for an organisation that historically stinks from lack of transparency. The Buhari administration has also been playing games on the subsidy issue, preferring to call it “under recovery”, as if calling a spade by another name changes anything. The time has come to have an honest national conversation on this subsidy issue, no matter how bitter it would be. Truth is: our finances are going under. Inflammable.

AND FINALLY…

Abayomi Shogunle, the oga for the Public Complaints Rapid Response Unit (PCRRU), don talk am say make we no dey blow big big grammar for police dem when dem dey ask us question. Some pipu laff when him talk am but na the truth the man talk o. Me I sabi police pipu well well bicos I don dey research dem no be today. The pipu wey we dey call officers for road think say dem oga for office no dey treat dem well. To come add insult plus injury, dem think say Nigerians no dey respect dem at all at all. Everything come join dey vex dem, so when we come dey form say we sabi Queen’s English plenty plenty, we sef dey put petrol for fire. Kasala!

Source: TheCable