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Notorious Kidnapper Voluntarily Surrenders Self To Police In Nasarawa

Sahara Reporters - Sat, 2020-01-18 11:16

Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, said that a notorious kidnapper operating in the state, Buju Bazamfare, has voluntarily surrendered himself to the Nigeria Police Force.

The governor, who said this when he visited the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, also stated that the kidnapper agreed to surrender the ammunition in his possession. 

The governor commended the police in the state for ensuring that peace and harmony reigns.

While describing the feat as a huge progress towards reducing crime and criminality in the state, Governor Sule thanked the IGP for all the support he continues to give the state. 

In his response, IGP Adamu, disclosed that a security summit for the North Central zone was scheduled to hold in Lafia on January 22, where stakeholders will come together to brainstorm and identify peculiar problems associated with security in the zone. 

The IGP said the move was preparatory to deploying community policing fully in the year, stressing however that community policing is not a regional initiative but a state based initiative. 

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NAPTIP Receives Woman Sold To Slavery In Lebanon

Sahara Reporters - Sat, 2020-01-18 11:12

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons has received a woman, Omolola Ajayi, who was trafficked to Lebanon. 

Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Oka-Donli, said her rehabilitation process will commence immediately with a view to putting her back on track.

She said, “23-year-old Omolola Ajayi who was trafficked to Lebanon has safely returned to Nigeria and is being handed over to officers of NAPTIP. I want to sincerely thank @nigimmigration @ToluSadip @Official_NSCDC and all other parties that made this possible.

“I want to sincerely thank the Chairman House Committee on Diaspora for her unwavering efforts in bringing Omolola back home safely. We will not relent in the fight against human trafficking."

Ajayi had cried out for help in a video that went viral, claiming she was sold into slavery in Lebanon.

The video was seen on many social media platforms where she was pleading for help, a situation that pushed the Nigerian Government to act and rescue her.


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Bail Hearing Of Ayade’s Critic Charged With Terrorism Adjourned Until January 21

Sahara Reporters - Sat, 2020-01-18 11:06

A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River, on Friday adjourned the bail hearing for Joseph Odok, a lawyer charged with terrorism and cybercrime for criticising Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State until Tuesday, January 21 at the instance of the prosecution.

Justice Simon Amobeda, who presided over the matter, in his ruling granted the submission of the prosecution counsel, Dennis Tarhemba which referred the court to its rules that grant a party up to a week to join issues on any process filed.

Tarhemba, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, had failed to appear in court on Thursday with Justice Amobeda ruling that the defense counsel, Oliver Osang, will be allowed to move the motion for bail should the prosecutor be absent.

On Friday, Tarhemba submitted that his office received the process two days back (on Wednesday) and was yet to file a response due to the fact he had travelled and returned on Thursday.

“We filed the motion on Wednesday and served them that same day,” Osang told journalists. 

He further averred that, “We will wait for them to join issues and see what they come up with by the next court date.”

Odok risks a death sentence if convicted for alleged acts of terrorism premised on a post credited to him on Facebook and remains remanded at the Medium Security Custodial Center in Calabar where he has spent 88 days so far.

He was arrested at his Abuja residence on September 26, 2019 and endured what family members say was a tortuous journey by road to Calabar where he was then detained at a black site facility.

He spent seven days in the facility before the police approached the Calabar division of the Federal High Court seeking an order to detain him for 90 days on October 4, 2019.

The prosecution counsel, Tarhemba, said the order will aid the police to travel with the defendant within and outside the jurisdiction of the court to retrieve items that will aid their case.

According to the application, Odok was charged with criminal conspiracy, rape, treasonable felony, terrorism and obtaining money under false pretenses.

Justice Amobeda in his ruling granted 45 days with an option for renewal.

However, 10 days later on October 14, the police filed two charges against Odok bordering on terrorism and cyberstalking.

Justice Amobeda in his ruling of December 16, 2019 refused admitting Odok to bail on the grounds that the defense had not shown exceptional circumstances to warrant the court to exercise its discretion.



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Nigeria's Ex-AGF, Kanu Agabi, Petitions Malami, Insists Police Must Obey Court Orders On Peace Corps

Sahara Reporters - Sat, 2020-01-18 00:19

Legal Practitioner and former Attorney-General of the Federation, Kanu Agabi (SAN), has called on current AGF and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), to prevail on the Nigeria Police Force to obey court orders.

This follows the agency's incessant disobedience to various court orders standing in favour of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, a youth organisation in Nigeria.

Though duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and accorded recognition by the Nigerian Government and international bodies; the PCN has had a running battle with the police and other security agencies, winning all 15 legal cases instituted against it with over N50m standing against various agencies as cost awarded in favour of the corps.

Despite subsisting judgments and orders from various courts, which were never upturned or appealed against, the Nigeria Police Force through the Ondo State Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie, on January 13, 2020 arrested the Ondo State Commandant of the corps, Alawoki Lukeman Oluwatobi, who was said to be at the CP's office on a scheduled visit alongside other affiliate bodies of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, the apex youth body in the country.

Agabi in his letter dated January 16, 2020, disclosed to AGF Malami that, "The essence of visiting the Commissioner of Police was to exploit ways of how youth leaders could compliment the effort of the police in curtailing crime in the state.

"Immediately the NYCN leader introduced our client's commandant in Ondo State, Alawoki Lukeman Oluwatobi, as member of the delegation, the Commissioner of Police instantly reacted by declaring that his organisation is illegal and that there was an existing circular to that effect from the Force Headquarters. He subsequently ordered immediate detention of the commandant."

The police also invaded the PCN office in Akure with heavy arms. 
Agabi averred that by sealing off the PCN's office in Ondo, the police had violated the right of the organisation, which enjoys consultative status with the United Nations and the African Union to acquire and own immovable property and disrupted its lawful activities.

Agabi is relying on section 150(1) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, as amended, to urge the AGF to direct the police boss "to comply with the subsisting and valid orders of various courts of competent jurisdiction in respect of this matter but not limited to the unsealing of our client's offices nationwide".

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Football Film Festival Beams Searchlight On Corruption, Exploitation

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 22:32


Football as a tool for social change and the issue of corruption which is endemic in African Football affecting the potency of the beautiful game was the subject of focus at this year's African Football Film Festival. 

The three-day festival was declared open on Thursday at the Marturion Cinema in Igando area of Lagos where over 100 young male and female footballers had the opportunity to discuss the effect of corruption on their football career and society at large with some social change advocates using creative works like film and documentary as case study. 

Ghana's award winning investigative Journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas' documentary "Betraying the game" Was the curtain raiser for the festival. 

This 55-minute expose of corrupt elements in the game of football in Africa was a shattering revelation, which brought some top football administrators like former Ghana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi to a disgraceful end of their football administrative career. 

Executive Director of Human and Environmental Development Agenda, a social change and human rights advocacy group, Olanrewaju Suraj, was one of the facilitators at the festival. 

He reinforced he need for a holistic approach in tackling the problem bedevilling Nigerian football and by extension sports.

He said, "The way forward is for every stakeholder to come together and fashion out how we want to reposition the sports sector in Nigeria, it is in comatose and what you see right now is facade."

Eze Alloysius, founder of the not-for-profit organisation that put together the African Football Film Festival in it's fourth year, said they will work more with stakeholders in sports to stem the tide of corruption in the sector. 

Meanwhile, screening of some of the films lined up for the festival will hold at Gowon Estate, Festac Town in Lagos and Abuja at a later date.

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Ondo Police Arrest Man Posing As Kidnapper Of Missing One-year-old Boy

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 21:29

Chibuzor Elike, a 39-year-old man posing as kidnapper of the toddler, who went missing at a popular church in Akure, Ondo State, Eniola Gold Kolawole, has been arrested by the police. 

Elike was arrested at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, while trying to swindle members of the public by claiming to have the missing child in possession. 

Spokesperson for the police in Ondo, Mr Femi Joseph, told SaharaReporters that Elike wasn't behind the disappearance of the boy as he claimed. 

He said the suspect was already in custody of the State Criminal Investigation Department undergoing interrogation. 

He stated, "Chibuzor Elike is now in our custody and he confessed during interrogation that he heard about the kidnap of the boy via the social media and called some people. 

"He told us that he sent text messages to scam after claiming people that he had Kolawole Gold in his custody and will only release him after collecting N800,000.

"He said he was only looking for a cheap way to make money as he knew nothing about the kidnap or whereabouts of the little boy." 

Joseph disclosed that the suspect would soon be charged for prosecution.

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Military Attacks Bayelsa Community Over Killing Of Personnel

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 20:32

In what appeared like a reprisal attack, operatives of the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, have invaded  Bilabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over the death of some officers earlier this month.

A community member told SaharaReporters that no fewer than 19 gunboats loaded with soldiers invaded the area in the early hours of Friday.

According to reports, many thatched houses and buildings believed to harbour those behind the killings of the naval officers have been razed down while residents have also fled their homes. 

Military authorities are yet to comment on the issue. 

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Malami: Bring It On... Or Go To Blazes! By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 20:20

Bayo Oluwasanmi

Bayo Oluwasanmi


All things considered, General Muhammadu Buhari’s regime is an anathema. General Buhari as President, continues to govern Nigeria as a nation where the lion is led by monkeys.

Buhari’s attorney general of the federation Abubakar Malami, is one of the most infamous members of Buhari’s cabinet. Malami always search for a banana peel to step on. When he can’t find one to step on, he supplies his own. While we are yet to recover from his juvenile and primitive interpretation and application of court orders that granted Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare bail, he came out like a confused lost cow and declared Amotekun illegal.

Amotekun is the security outfit established by the six governors of south west states to protect lives and properties of their citizens. Amotekun was conceived and birthed due to the abysmal failure of Buhari’s regime to secure life and properties of Nigerians. Political science 101 informs us that any government that fails to discharge the primary function of protecting life and properties of its citizens should cease to exist.

Only cowheads like Malami, Ibrahim Babangida and other backward feudal herdsmen terrorists need be reminded that as oxygen is to life, so also Amotekun is oxygen to Yoruba people for security. Malami, from time to time, believes administration of justice should be rationed selectively to different parts of the federation. He sees the application of justice as his prerogative to dispense to the ethnic group or groups he favours or the ones his northern terrorists recommend.

Malami is the worst unintelligent and professionally crude attorney general in modern Nigerian history. Malami’s ethical and professional flagrant dishonesty in handling important national legal and constitutional issues that border on rule of law, equal justice, and the upholding of the constitution, shows how crooked the justice system has become under Buhari.

At every opportunity, Malami has managed to rewrite the constitution and redefine our laws: RUGA, court orders on bail, the supremacy of SSS, the illegal detention of Nigerians. The list goes on.

Malami has installed two systems of justice in the country - one for the south and another for the north with the north as superior to the south. As far as he’s concerned, the north should be treated with special favour. Few examples will suffice:  the security outfits of Hisbah and JTF in the north are legal and constitutional. Whereas Amotekun in the south is illegal and unconstitutional. Miyetti Allah is legal, but IPOB is a terrorist group.

Malami’s ethical nihilism, his utter indifference to ordinary norms of professional behaviour, and his prostitution of justice, spell doom for the unity and co-existence of multi ethnic, multi culture, multi religion of different groups that make up Nigeria. Malami as the arrow head of northern feudal jihadists, is carrying out the larger agenda of the northern emirates: to suppress, oppress and subdue the south and Islamise Nigeria. This is why he’s so concerned about the security and safety of northerners. But when it comes to the security of life and properties in the south, he’s not affected. He could care less!

Malami has insufficient intelligence experience. As a lawyer and attorney general, he lacks the strong intelligence background to serve as attorney general. He does not represent the collective view of Nigeria’s intelligence community that believes in a fair, objective, and impartial one justice system for different ethnic groups in the country.

Justice security are key to a united Nigeria. Without justice and security, there can be no peace. Without peace, there’s no Nigeria. Malami cannot sit in the comfort of his Abuja office and decree who has the right to live, who to wipe out, who Fulani herdsmen terrorists to kill or spare, where to deploy the police, which security agencies are legal or illegal. Yorubas will defend Amotekun with their last breath. No one can stop Amotekun. Amotekun is here and here for good and for life. Malami, bring it on... or go to blazes!

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Group Gives Tinubu 24 Hours To Disclose Position On Amotekun

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 19:53


An association, Save Lagos Group, has given former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, 24 hours to reveal his position on the newly established South-Western security network known as ‘Operation Amotekun’.

Tinubu has remained silent on Amotekun since its launch by South-West governors last week.

Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had on Tuesday declared the outfit as illegal while the South-West governors have remained unfazed.

In a statement on Friday, Convener of the group, Adeniyi Sulaiman, said they were giving Tinubu 24 hours to speak up.

Sulaiman, according to a report by PUNCH to be courageous regardless of his rumoured Presidential ambition.

The activist rubbished threats by Northern groups like Miyetti Allah, which stated that supporting Amotekun may cost the South-West the Presidency in 2023.

He commended several personalities like Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka; Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Debanjo; legal practitioner, Femi Falana, SAN; Chief Olu Falae, Otunba Gani Adams and several others for speaking up for people of the region.

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Petrol Tanker Explodes In Onitsha

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 19:42


A petrol tanker on Friday exploded at Upper Iweka, Onitsha, Anambra State.

Confirming the incident, Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps in the state said the tanker loaded with 33,000 litres of petrol with no registration number caught fire about 2:30am.

No casualty was recorded.

He said, “The tanker caught fire due to electrical fault in the engine of the vehicle.

“But fire servicemen, FRSC officials and policemen responded promptly and the fire was extinguished. No casualty or injury was recorded.

“Officers of the FRSC are diverting traffic and cordoning the scene to avoid running into the carcass and the fire service vehicles.”


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TCN Restores Power Supply After System Collapse

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 18:27


Electricity galaxytvonline


The Transmission Company of Nigeria has announced that the national grid had been fully restored after a system collapse, which occurred at 4:15pm on Thursday.

According to TCN’s General Manager, Public Affairs, Ndidi Mbah, full restoration of the collapsed grid, which occurred while the grid was recovering from an earlier partial system slump, was fully achieved at 2:19am on Friday.

Further revealing that the grid was still supplying power to Port-Harcourt, Aba, Omoku, Yenegoa, Afam, among others at the time of collapse, it stated that the supply was through Afam IV, Rivers IPP and Omoku power stations.

She said, “Effort immediately commenced to synchronise other parts of the network but as restoration reached an advanced stage, the situation suddenly degenerated into a collapse of the nation’s grid.

 “Full restoration of the grid re-commenced immediately after the incident and by 10pm yesterday, most parts of the nation had been reconnected to the grid.

“At 2:19am, however, the grid was fully restored."

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JUST IN: Two-storey Building Collapses In Lagos Island

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 18:25

File Photo

File Photo

A two-storey building has collapsed around Agarawu area of Lagos Island, Lagos State.

Eyewitnesses say the building collapsed due to lack of maintenance.

Earlier on Friday, another building at 12 Alasepe Street, off Community Road, Ago Palace Way, Okota, Lagos, collapsed as well.

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PDP Holds Emergency NEC Meeting, Plans to Protest Ihedioha's Removal

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 18:24


Following the sack of Emeka Ihedioha as Imo State governor by the Supreme Court, the Peoples Democratic Party on Friday held an emergency National Executive Committee meeting to deliberate on the next line of action.

The party’s National Chairman, Uche Second us, who spoke during the emergency NEC meeting on Friday, proposed that the party embarks on a protest against the judgment of the apex court that sacked Ihedioha.

Secondus said that the mandate given to the party by Imo electorates had been snatched from them.

According to him, the declaration of the court producing candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Hope Uzodinma, as Imo State governor was a miscarriage of justice.

Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jubrin, who also expressed his displeasure, said Nigeria is at ‘war.’

He stated that the party had not recovered from the alleged injustice.

He said, “Nigeria is getting to an end if we continue this way.”

Also, the 2019 PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said the party and the G34 fought and brought democracy to Nigeria.

He said, “Our party governed very well from 1999 to 2015. As true democrats, we handed over party to the ruling party, hoping that it will deepen democracy, alas we have been disappointed.”

Atiku called for the constitution of a committee to review what happened at the last election and make necessary recommendations.

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Lagos Task Force Injures Motorcyclist, Woman During Raid

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 18:21


The Lagos State Task Force on Thursday at about 09:45am knocked down a commercial motorcyclist and a female passenger along Charity bus-stop, Oshodi, during a routine raid. 

Rather than tend to the victims, the task force officials seized the motorcycle and left the rider and woman reeling in pains from injuries sustained. 

"I was shocked by this human terror I just witnessed in broad daylight, and I will not be able to live well as a human if I didn’t do anything about this horrific incident.  Rider

"While the lady was taken to the hospital, I had to go to task force office at Bolade alongside the motorcycle rider, Celestine.

"They didn’t allow me access when they saw Celestine with me. 

"After making a statement, they threatened to detain me or even seize my phone. That was how terrible the experience was," an eyewitness, Mr Ishola, told SaharaReporters. 

Management of the task force could not be reached for comments as of the time of this report. 

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Missing Toddler: Court Fails To Grant Bail To Ondo Prophet, Remains In Custody

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 15:30

Alfa Babatunde

Alfa Babatunde

Babatunde Alfa, founder of Sotitobire Miracle Centre, Akure, Ondo State, has been sent back to prison custody after failing to secure a bail in the case of a missing one-year-old boy, Eniola Gold Kolawole. 

The little boy had on November 10, 2019 went missing during a Sunday service held at the church located at the Oshinle Quarters, Akure.  

Alfa was remanded by the Chief Magistrate Court, Oke Eda, on Friday at the resumed hearing of the case of the missing boy.  

The prophet was docked alongside six other members of his church. 

The members include Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Motunrayo, Esther Kayode. 

Another suspect, Peter Anjorin is said to be at large after being accused by prosecution of tampering with evidence relating to the case. 

On December 23, 2019, the Department of State Services had dragged Alfa and the six suspects to court after spending two weeks in custody.

They were earlier arraigned for six counts bordering on felony, conspiracy and aiding the kidnap of the toddler at the headquarters of the church. 

At the court on Friday, Director of Public Prosecution hinted of an application for bail on the case at the court after it was agreed that the magistrate had no jurisdiction to hear the matter. 

Counsel to the the defendant, Barrister Olusola Oke, had argued that there are no evidences linking the prophet to the offences relating to the case.

In her ruling, Chief Magistrate, Charity Adeyanju, ordered that the prophet and the other suspects be remanded at the Olokuta Correctional Centre until February 5, 2020 pending the hearing on notice of the case at the High court. 

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Court Removes Ifeanyi Ubah As Senator

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 15:24


A High Court sitting in the Bwari area of Abuja has removed Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Progressives Party from the National Assembly. 

FLASH: Court Sacks Senator @Dr_IfeanyiUbah Having Used Forged NECO Certificate @NGRSenate.

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) January 17, 2020

The sacking of Ubah, who represented Anambra South district in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, follows the removal of Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo State by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. 

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BREAKING: Physically Challenged Persons Protest In Abuja, Demand Implementation Of Disability Act

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 13:43

SaharaReporters Media

Irked by non-implementation of  Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act one year after it was signed into law, scores of persons living with disabilities have staged a protest in Abuja to call for its implementation.

The protesters under the platform of Center for Citizens with Disabilities, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action and implement the disability act.

Addressing journalists during the demonstration, Executive Director of CCD, David Anyaele, expressed displeasure at the lukewarm and insensitive attitude of government towards the implementation of the act.  SaharaReporters Media

The protesters visited various government offices including Ministry of Justice and office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation to register their demands.

 They vowed to inspect all public buildings to ascertain the level of compliance as contained in the act and threatened to shut down all offices yet to comply with the provision of the act.

The act prohibits discrimination against the physically challenged persons in public transportation facilities, including seaports, railways and airports, and compels service providers to make adequate provisions for them.

It also enforces their rights and privileges to education, healthcare, priority in accommodation and emergencies.

President Buhari had on January 17, 2019 signed the bill into law following its passage by the National Assembly.

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One Trapped As Building Collapses In Lagos

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 13:35


An unidentified man has been trapped as  uncompleted three-storey building collapsed in Okota area of Lagos.

The building, which collapsed on Friday, was situated  at 12 Alasepe Street, off Community Road, Ago Palace Way, Okota.

Confirming the incident, Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, who revealed that efforts were ongoing to rescue the yet-to-be identified man trapped under the collapsed building.

Further stating that the impact of the collapse affected other adjacent structures around the scene of the incident, Dr Osanyintolu added that once the recovery operation was completed, the remaining parts of the collapsed building would undergo a controlled demolition exercise.

 He said, “Upon arrival at the incident scene, it was observed that a three-storey building approaching completion had collapsed.

“An adult male is presently trapped under the rubble and we have commenced a rescue operation.

“The impact of the collapse has affected the adjacent structures but the resultant crowd is under control.

“Extrication and recovery of the trapped man is ongoing using all emergency light tools at our disposal. Once completed, the remains of the structure will undergo a controlled demolition exercise.”

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Imo Gubernatorial Judgment: When Number Four Became Number One By Achike Chude

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 13:29


There were those who called him a mad man. Others wanted him kept away from their children to avoid corrupting them. After all he wore pants (underwears) not just in the inner sanctum of his home but sometimes very much in the public space. But he also did other things that were a menace to public morality and decency. He smoked Igbo or Indian hemp everywhere he went even though it was a criminal offence. 

But all these, as bad as they were said to be, were not the apogee, peak, zenith or culmination of his corruption of the public space. He eventually crossed the line of public morality when he married a whopping 27 women in one day. His enemies were plenty and included those pharisees with their false sanctimoniousness who were pious by day and engaged in licensious debauchery by night. They were ordinary men and women, church and Islamic clerics as well as those in uniform all of whom he excoriated most vehemently for their swollen bellies while majority of the people went to bed hungry. Many of these elites were united in their hatred and condemnation of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the Abami Eda, the voice and conscience of Nigeria for such a long time and one of the greatest sons of this country. 

The unconscionability and hypocrisy of these class of people found expression in their secret admiration of the man whom they hated publicly. They admired his ingenuity so much that senior military, police, custom and immigration officers, after hounding Fela by day would go secretly to Fela's shrine at night to listen to his musical vitriolics and diatribe against them for the harm they had done to Nigeria. 

But Fela had another more insidious, egregious enemy whose help was always needed, co-opted or coerced whenever trumped up charges were brought up by the government to send Fela to his prison confinements. This was the judiciary, sometimes made up of judges who shook in their boots when the less intellectually endowed military junta leaned on them to pervert the cause of justice. Some of them were perhaps compensated by financial rewards while others were promoted up the judicial ladder. So, time and time again Fela ended up in prison where he was totured severally for talking about oppression, corruption, and poverty. His favourite targets were former president Olusegun Obasanjo, incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, acknowledged June 12 1993 winner, Moshood Abiola, and former Chief of Army Staff, Shehu Musa Yar Adua. The first two are still alive while the latter two have long departed the land of the living.

Still, in spite of the malfeasance of the judiciary in those days, to compare the judicial warts then and the monsters in today's halls of justice would be like comparing day and night. But it would be cruel and untrue to forget great judicial minds back in the day that showed great courage and boldness despite what the military threw at them. The philosopher judge, Chukwudifu Oputa was iconic.Justice Samuel Omotunde Ilori was a man of character. Justice Niki Tobi was historical, Justice Kayode Eso was an institution. Justices Pats Acholonu, Muhammed Uwais and Louis Mbanefo were all people that brought faith and belief in our judicial system.

Today, the current debate over the controversial Imo gubernatorial election decision by the Nigerian Supreme Court says it all about how low the courts have sunk in Nigeria. It is a decision that had nothing to do with justice and equity but from all evidence a decision that was geared towards a political expediency. 

Some have argued that the basis of judicial pronouncements is built around evidence and proof. Perhaps, but this position or argument is predicated on the premise of the judges being absolutely above board and ready at all times  intrinsically to do justice to the matter before them. It presupposes that the presiding judicial officers are imbued and motivated by the right and proper moral rectitude that implies that their reasonings, justifications, conclusions and judgements are most times unassailable and above reproach. It implies that the judges will be bound by a proper and correct interpretation of these evidences when the respondents bring such materials before their worships. 

Why do we suppose that Nigerians have speculated, conjectured, surmised and been intrigued by this Imo judgment the way and manner they have done? It is because Nigerians have long come to the painful and unsavoury realization that the judiciary is no longer largely seen as the temple of justice and the judges, the dispensers of justice and equity. Unfortunately, those who still have hope in the judiciary seem to establish a quality and character trait for the judges that they unfortunately no longer have. We have seen them over the years come up with the most egregious of judicial pronouncements that leave the people confused, angry and suspicious while lawyers are left scrambling to either debunk or conform to the judgement. The Imo gubernatorial Supreme  Court judgment falls into this category and further undermines the already tarnished image of our courts. But what is clear now is that the kind of judicial officers who wounded Fela so grievously are still parading our judicial hallways with impunity.

The Supreme Court has been an embarrassment to us all over this issue. The saying is common that justice should not just be done to be seen but should be seen to be done. Judgments like this seem to bring once more to the surface, the previous suspicion over the removal of former CJN Walter Onnogen. 

Long have we suspected this perfidy. Long have we spoken about the total renounciation and abnegation of any form of political morality by the All Progressive Congress in the political equation of the country. Nihilism and outright marchiavellism have become the guiding principles and ideological compass of the party when it comes to political power acquisition and retention. For this very reason of odious electoral heist were the houses of judges raided at night to cow,  shock, and awe. Some discerning people saw in that action and subsequent actions attempts to reach a political goal that had nothing to do with judicial uprightness but everything to do with political power in its raw and basest form. And for this to happen they posited, the old judicial culture, though not above stain but unpredictable, had to give way, to be replaced by a more pliant and conformist deadly culture of judicial banditry would reign, ushered in by the inordinate, unseemly, unwholesome and dangerous quest by a tiny few to forcefully impose their will on all of us. They argue that it was for this very reason that Tanko was brought in as chief justice of Nigeria (CJN). Well, in the light of the judicial phantasma that has just played out in Imo state, it is difficult to argue.

Now number 4 has become number 1 in Imo state. Thanks to the Supreme Court. Another torrent of tears for Nigeria.


Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Achike Chude Disable advertisements : 

Can Amotekun Really Cost South-West 2023 Presidency As Miyetti Allah Warned? By Fredrick Nwabufo

Sahara Reporters - Fri, 2020-01-17 12:34

Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

In my article of January 6 – a riposte to Isa Funtua’s prejudiced utterance on the Igbo — I wrote: ‘’Funtua’s statement reeks of corpulent arrogance, bigotry and acute sense of entitlement. It reinforces the stereotype that his section of the country bullies any region that does not kiss the ring of the caliphate.’’

I was not surprised that Arewa Consultative Forum reacted hysterically to the piece because the beneficiaries of the disequilibrious status quo will always seek to maintain it.

It is common knowledge that swathes of territories in the North have been overrun by bandits. At the peak of the menace — in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 — these grim reapers killed citizens in hundreds in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Kano. But what did the governors of the region and the federal government do in the face of this challenge? They took a pacifist perspective to it. Instead of facing the problem headlong, they invited murderers to a parley.

Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police, was in one of such meetings with these bandits. In fact, he said this in one of the ‘’peace meetings’’: “We will take measures to dialogue with the bandits to become better citizens….’’

Also, it was even reported that the bandits were bribed to keep the peace. But this approach did not stop the killings. That fact is, the atrophic security threat assailing the country cannot be tackled by pandering to the whims of the antagonists. When there is no retribution for crime it festers.

And while the government was still ‘’dialoguing’’ with the bandits, they were spreading their tentacles into other parts of the country. Not long afterwards, the South-West became a flashpoint of banditry and kidnapping. The highways in the region became the quickest routes to hell. In July, 2019, Funke Olakunrin, daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere leader, was killed savagely by bandits on Ondo road. Many other citizens had been killed in a similar pattern in the region. And the killings continued unabated.

So, it is natural that the governors of the south-west, who are the chief security officers of the region, will rally to check the scourge. However, instead of appeasing the bandits like the governors of the north-west did, they dispatched ‘Amotekun’ to secure their area. I think, Amotekun, an ingenious security initiative, is the South-West’s response to the government’s propitiation of bandits.

Regarding the legality of the security outfit, I know the right to life is the crux of all human rights. You cannot fail to defend me, yet asks that I should not defend myself against certain death. If the government was alive to its responsibility of securing citizens, there would be no ‘Amotekun’. Though I admit there may be constitutional limitations to the purview of the outfit, there is no evidence that the recently launched operation has overreached itself in any way.

Also, the South-West governors have made it clear that the security outfit will not perform police functions. So, why the hue and cry?

As a matter of fact, the protest of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to governors of the south-west region over Amotekun reinforces the stereotype that the north bullies any section of the country which does not bend to its thrall. It also accents an acute sense of entitlement.

Really, it is upsetting that Miyetti Allah is asking the region to decommission Amotekun or risk losing the presidency in 2023.

To share in my despondence please read the statement of Alhassan Saleh, national secretary of Miyetti Allah.

“This Amotekun scheme is political and is not the solution to the problem of insecurity. What the South-West governors should have done is to continue to push for state police. Where did they expect to get the funding from at a time some of them are struggling to pay salaries?

“It is best they give up on this idea because it may affect the chances of the South-West to produce the President in 2023. The thinking is that if the South-West, a major stakeholder in this government, can be toying with this idea now, they may do worse when they get to power.”

“We are in agreement with the AGF that Amotekun is illegal. In fact, we are unhappy that it took the AGF this long to react.”

But can Amotekun cost the south-west 2023 presidency? To me, it is not for a group or even a section of the country to decide. It is the decision of all Nigerians. In 2011, a president emerged from the south-south, even from an ethnic nationality that is considered a minority in the country, against all odds. President Muhammadu Buhari himself had run for office thrice but failed. If it was possible for him to be president solely by the votes and ‘’machination’’ of his section of the country at those times he vied for office, it would have happened.

The point is no one region holds the ace to power in Nigeria. The perception that there is a ‘’kingmaker region’’ is only but a myth. All Nigerians are equal stakeholders in this entity.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.



Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Fredrick Nwabufo Disable advertisements :