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The mirage inherent in expecting miracles from President Buhari

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Expectations from PMB? That is a tall dream. Nigerians’ expectations, not mine, are that PMB should first form and put in place a serious government properly so called before we begin to talk of PMB giving Nigerians democracy dividends. This is the most clueless, most directionless, most irresponsible and most corrupt government in the history of Nigeria since the January 1, 1914, Lugard’s amalgamation of Southern and Northern protectorates to form Nigeria.

It is mostly a “one chance” cabalistic government of incredible opaqueness, unique privatization of corruption and a government that freely spreads poverty, disillusionment, melancholy, hopelessness, sadness, pains, blood, and pangs. For the first time in the sad history of Nigeria, Nigerians spent Christmas at petrol stations, queuing for fuel, while government officials are shamelessnessly diverting and selling available fuel to their cronies and highest bidders. This is a government that continuously “fights” corruption within itself with sweet smelling sasarobia perfume, whilst fighting so called corruption of opposition and critics of government with insecticides, pesticides and herbicides.

This government protects its corrupt officials involved in mind bungling larceny of $25b dollars contracts, warehousing of 50b from TSA and shamelessly requesting for $1billion to fight a boko haram that it claimed to have defeated since December, 2015. Even if Boko Haram were to have been defeated, which is a lie from the pit of hell, being rated the 3rd deadliest terrorist group in the world, it simply led to the enthronement of and replacement by, a new monstrous regime of blood carnage and horrific savaging of innocent people’s lives by a deadlier terrorist group, the herdsmen. The Agatu massacre, the Nibo, Enugu State conquest, the Southern Kaduna mayhem and mindless extermination of over 1000 indigenes, the mass Shiites obliteration and recently, the Numan and Demsa pogrom.

Haba! When IPOD members demonstrated peacefully on the streets of South East with berets, whistles cudgels and flags of a desired Biafran Republic, the military were ordered to maul them down. Till now, no one knows the whereabouts of Kanu. The government keeps silent. Yet, after the Numan/Demsa bloodletting, the government promptly dispatched VP Osibanjo to go and “make peace” with murderers. With such blatantly discriminatory and segregating patronage by government of the day, national unity, inter-ethnic cohesion and patriotic zeal of the citizens naturally wane. To discuss this government is to engage in sheer banality and Baba Sallah’s Alawada Kerikeri histrionics and buffoonery. I dey siddon look. I dey laugh.

WHEN APC SWINDLED NIGERIANS WITH MOUTH WATERING ELDORADO PROMISES
INTRODUCTION
During the 2015 presidential campaigns, the APC, a conglomerate of strange bed fellows hurriedly cobbled together from the dying ashes of CPC, ACN, ANPP and a splinter of APGA (the Association has still not congilled into a real political party), took Nigerians on a roller-coaster jolly ride with mouth-watering eldorado promises out of this earth. They were determined to drive away President Jonathan and win the presidency at all cost. They suceeded. Because they were never ready for power, their hollowness and voidness soon manifested. Below are 41 promises contained in the APC Manifesto as published by the party prior to the Presidential election.

The promises below are extracted from the two official documents released by APC as their Manifesto titled ‘Securing Nigeria’s Future’ and ‘Roadmap to a New Nigeria’, all published by the APC and signed by the then Presidential aspirant, now President Muhammadu Buhari. Please note that some of the promises that do not require funds to be implemented are even yet to even be initiated.

SECURING NIGERIA’S FUTURE.
Initiate action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true Federalism and the Federal spirit. (This simply means that the APC actually promised to restructure Nigeria and entrench true federalism if voted into power).

Page 6; amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases. Page 6; require full disclosure in media outlets, of all government contracts over N100m prior to award and during implementation at regular intervals. Page 6; amend the Constitution to require Local Governments to publish their meeting minutes, service performance data, and items of spending over N10M.

page 6; consult and amend the Constitution to enable States and Local Governments to create city, Local Government and State Policing systems.

Page 7; bring permanent peace and solutions to the insurgency issues in the North-East; the Niger Delta; and other conflict prone states and areas such as Plateau, Benue, Bauchi, Borno, Abia, Taraba, Yobe, and Kaduna.

Page 8; initiate policies to ensure that Nigerians are free to live and work in any part of the country by removing state of origin, tribe, ethnic and religious affiliations from documentation requirements in our identification of citizens and replace these with State of Residence and fashion out the appropriate minimal qualification for obtaining such a state of residency, nation-wide. Page 8; make our economy one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging at least 10-12% annually. Page 9; 5 million new jobs by 2019.

Page 9; put in place a N300bn Regional Growth Fund with an average of N50bn in each geo political region… to encourage private sector enterprise and to support places currently reliant on only on the public sector, to migrate to a private sector reality.

Page 10; amend the Constitution and the Land Use Act. Page 10; create an additional middleclass of at least 4 million new home owners by 2019.

Page 10; create a Social Welfare Program of at least Five Thousand Naira (N5000) that will cater for the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens upon the demonstration of children’s enrolment in school and evidence of immunization to help promote family stability.

Page 10; provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programmes.

Page 10; construct a 5,000km of Superhighway including service trunks and (b) building of up to 6,800km of modern railway completed by 2019.

Page 11; embark on PPP schemes that will ensure every one of the 36 states has one functional airport.

Page 11; speedily pass the much delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and ensure that local content issues are fully addressed.

Page 12; make Nigeria the world’s leading exporter of LNG through the creation of strategic partnerships.

Page 12; targeting up to 20% of our annual budget for Education. Page 13; provide One Meal a day for all Primary school pupils. That will create jobs in Agriculture, Catering, and Delivery Services.

Page 14; establish at least six new universities of Science and Technology with satellite campuses in various states.

Page 14; establish technical colleges and vocational centres in each state of the federation.

Page 14; increase the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world class standard by 2019.

Page 15; provide free antenatal care for pregnant women; free health care for babies and children up to school going age and for the aged; and free treatment for those afflicted with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Page 15; create an Insurance Policy for our Journalists as the nation faces hard times and our Journalists face more dangers.

Page 15; establish Zonal world class sports academies and training institutes and ensure that Nigeria occupies a place of pride in global sports and athletics.

Page 16; assist Nollywood to fully develop into world class movie industry that can compete effectively with Hollywood and Bollywood in due course.

Page 16; guarantee that women are adequately represented in government appointments and provide greater opportunities in education, job creation, and economic empowerment.

Page 16; use the Party structures to promote the concept of reserving a minimum number of seats in the States and National Assembly, for women.

Page 16; create shelter belts in states bordering the Sahara Desert to mitigate and reverse the effects of the expanding desert.

Page 17. To be continued.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“Leadership by deception isn’t leadership. It’s fraud.” (DaShanne Stokes).

LAST LINE
Hope Nigerians are reading, digesting and awaiting the next explosive discourse of Sunday Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb, LL.D.
Compliments of the season.

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The illegality of media parade by police of criminal suspects before their arraignment (2)

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CURTAIN CALL

Last week, we started the above discourse which we shall be concluding today. Thereafter, we shall commence a sequence, whether or not the Senate can legally summon the IGP (part 1). Being a customary practice adopted by courts across common law jurisdictions, it has received judicial affirmation and vindication in a number of cases.

 

The cases of Ani v State (2002) 1 WLR (pt 747) 217 and Bozin v State(1985) 2 NWLR (pt 8) 465,Uzoma v State(2016) LPELR – 26059 (SC), Adamu v State (2017) LPELR – 41436 (SC), Aichenabor v State (2015) ALL FWLR (pt 763) are apposite here. Notably, the practice of parading alleged criminals before arraignment is repugnant to our criminal justice system.

 

This practice gained currency during the military era when armed robbery incidents were rampant shortly after the civil war. For the Police to show their capacity and competence to combat such crimes, they gleefully paraded suspects before the public, to gain public approval and commendation for their “herculean” efforts. But the practice is certainly unconstitutional and therefore an illegality.

 

As a matter of fact, to parade suspected criminals in public amounts to subjecting them to inhuman and degrading treatment which is certainly contrary to the provisions of Section 34of the 1999 Constitution. Section 34 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended stipulates that “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of person, and accordingly no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment”.

 

Furthermore, Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that “every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty”. Similarly, Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights stipulates that “every individual shall have the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition of his legal status. All forms of exploitation and degradation of man, particularly slavery, slave trade, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment shall be prohibited.”

 

Having regard to the above provisions, it is crystal clear that media parade of suspected criminals is not contemplated in any of our extant laws and the Constitution, except it is an identification parade. A litany of courts pronouncements have since decried this obnoxious practice of parading suspected criminals publicly before trial, as unknown to any law in Nigeria. Cases such as Ndukwem Chiziri, Nice v. AG. Federation & Anor (2007) CHR 218, refer. In Nice’s case, at page 232, Justice Banjoko held that “the act of parading him (the suspect) before the press as evidenced by the Exhibits annexed to the affidavit was uncalled for and a callous disregard for his person. He was shown up to the public the next day of his arrest even without any investigation conducted in the matter.

 

He was already prejudiced by the police who are incompetent so to have such function; it is the duty of the Court to pass a verdict of guilt and this constitutes a clear breach of Section 36(4) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended on the doctrine of fair hearing”. Similarly, in Dyot Bayi & 14 ors. v. FRN (2004) CCJLER 245 AT 265, the ECOWAS court castigated the media trial of Applicants when it held that: “The court is of the opinion that for the fact that the Defendants presented the Applicants before the press when no judge or court has found them guilty certainly constitutes a violation of the principle of presumption of innocence as provided in the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

 

It is quite disheartening that despite these judicial pronouncements, the Police have continually turned a deaf ear and have persistently continued their unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional act of parading criminal suspects in defiance of the clear position of the law demonstrated in the above cases.

 

Ultimately, parading alleged suspects before the public without first getting final conviction of the suspects tars them with the hideous paint brush of guilt and criminality.

 

This is no doubt a traumatic experience for them, most especially if they are later found innocent of such allegations. Parading criminal suspects publicly amounts to gross violation of their fundamental human rights and remains unconstitutional as there is nowhere in our statutes that empowers the Police to humiliate a suspect, ridicule and disgrace him before a proper arraignment is carried out.

 

 

Although there is no legal authority legitimizing criminal parade of accused persons, it appears that the law does contemplate a possible scenario where an accused person, having given a confessional statement (in a criminal offence of outstanding notoriety), maybe subjected to a media parade, where he voluntarily recounts his confessional statement to the press.

 

This appears to be an exception to the rule in Ndukwem Chiziri and Nice Nice v. AG, Federation & Anor (supra). Even then, in any such of such parade, the accused remains a mere suspect and his confessional statement does not operate to negate or remove his protection of his right to fair hearcy  ing before a proper court of law.

 

THE SENATE CAN LEGALLY SUMMON THE IGP (Part 1)

INTRODUCTION

 

There has been much unnecessary hoopla as to whether or not the Senate of the National Assembly can legally summon the IGP to appear before it. Yes, it can, constitutionally and statutorily.

 

It possesses such powers under sections 4, 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution and under section 4 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act, LFN, 2004.

 

Those positing contrary views are merely urging, most unfairly, the IGP to disrespect and desecrate the important institution of the Senate, which, together with the House of Representatives, form the bicameral National Assembly.

The NASS is the Legislature which is the 3rd Arm of Government (Section 4), the others being the Executive (section 5) and the Judiciary (section 6), all of the 1999 Constitution. For the records, it is the absence of this crucial Legislature that erases democra-cy as we know it. Throughout successive military juntas in Nigeria, the Executive and Judiciary were always left intact.

 

The Executive, coming in the form of military oligarchy, always appropriated (better still, misappropriated), the lawmaking powers of the legislature, which it executed in the form of Decrees at the federal level and Edicts at states level.

 

Ouster clauses were whimsically and capriciously built into Decrees and Edicts to oust the jurisdiction of the courts, thus weakening the judiciary. With the Legislature annihilated and the Judiciary castrated, the military rode slipshod on the citizenry in the most brazen, tyrannical, dictatorial, autocratic, oppressive and repressive manner, putting human rights, rule of law, accountability and transparency in governance in retreat and abeyance. It is therefore very crucial that the authority, sacredness and sanctity of the Senate must be respected by all Nigerians, however highly placed.

 

To do otherwise amounts to executive lawlessness ad recklessness. (To be continued).

 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

 

“We need to make sure we’re all working together to change mindsets, to change attitudes, and to fight against the bad habits that we have as a society.” (Justin Trudeau).

 

LAST LINE

 

Nigerians, please continue to engage me in the national conversation whilst awaiting explosive topic of Sunday Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb., Ph.D, LL.D.

Follow me on twitter @ MikeozekhomeSAN

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Showdown in Kiev: Ronaldo, Salah draw attention

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  • Firminho, Mane pose threats to Madrid

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah will be the main focus in today’s Champions League final in Kiev and both players are tipped to play a decisive part in who wins the trophy. While Salah will be aiming to stake a claim as the new poster boy of European football, Ronaldo will be keen to push for the remarkable success he has enjoyed in the past years to edge his eternal rival Lionel Messi as to who is the best player of the current generation.

It will be an intriguing battle between an established legend of the game and another who is just establishing himself on the world stage. For Ronaldo, who returns to the ground where he captained Portugal to their glorious football achievement nearly two years ago, it will be the chance to build further on his achievements and mean he has claimed the trophy five times, four with Madrid and once with Manchester United, the same number as clubs like Barcelona and Liverpool have managed in all their history.

“I feel fine, I think my teammates are good and it will be fantastic to win, I love this competition,” Ronaldo said this week. Ronaldo, again this season, has planned his matches so as to arrive in tip top condition for the final and continues to break records having become the first player to score in all the rounds of the Champions League. Salah, aged 25, is from another generation, and has doubled his previous average for a season with 44 from 50 games and 10 of those have come in the Champions League.

He is only 175cms but has considerable pace, ability to cross the ball and a tremendous shot. It is no surprise that Liverpool have priced him at 200 million euros, which is up there with the world’s best, and the question is whether he can deliver now on the big stage.

“For me each game is just one match and I try to win them but I do not want to put myself under pressure to deliver,” said Salah. “I know this is a big game for everyone, a massive match.” Salah will be in the pole position to clinch the Ballon d’Or if Liverpool win this tie but former Liverpool star, Steve McManaman, has warned the Reds winger that Ronaldo will be out to “show who’s the king” when two of the biggest talents on the planet go head to head. “Cristiano will be thinking about that.

Mo has outscored him overall this season,” McManaman , who also played for Real Madrid told the ECHO. “Mo took Egypt to the World Cup and has had an incredible year. Everyone wants to speak to him. Cristiano will know all that but it won’t bother him. “He scores in finals – that’s what he does.

He will be relishing this opportunity to show who’s the king when he goes up against Mo. “He’s had personal battles with Lionel Messi every year and welcomes them. It’s a great battle between Cristiano and Mo.”

“Mo could have the Ballon d’Or off him this year but I think a lot will ride on the outcome of this final. It’s about stepping up and doing the business. What is certain is that two of the best forwards at present will go head-to-head in the Ukrainian capital.

In addition, There could also be the Roberto Firminho and Sadio Mane factor for the English side with both forwards already forming a deadly combination that has seen them score a record-combined 28 goals for the Reds.

Bookmakers are of the view that if the SFM (Salah- Firmihno-Mane) combined to a great effect they would outshine the BBC (Bale-Benzema-Cristiano) force and give the Merseyside team their sixth European title and if not then Madrid will continue with their great adventure in the greatest club competition in the world.

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Killer Spouses: Let’s halt the madness

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The alarming rate of spousal murder in our world calls for collective attention and action. The gruesome phenomenon is fast assuming frenetic dimension in our family life. One begins to wonder how and why lovers who voluntarily came together as husband and wife suddenly engage in extreme hostility with each other. Attending wedding ceremonies these days often agitate my mind as scary tales of abuse and violence that emanate from some of the new homes shortly after the fanfare are on the increase.

I have written articles to address some knotty marital issues that do result in the untimely and painful death of the spouses. Initially, only women were usually the victims of domestic violence. Somewhat, the hunter has now become the hunted as wives now do hack their husbands to death in the course of fighting or as reprisals. Our media is daily being inundated with sour news of one form of spousal death or the other.

Since the June 24, 2011 case of Akolade Arowolo who stabbed his banker wife, Titilayo, to death, over a score of such dastardly spousal murder cases had been reported in the media.

This is aside the unknown or covered-up cases especially in the remote places. An autopsy report revealed Titilayo was stabbed 76 times. However, the culprit did not escape the full weight of the law. He was sentenced to death February 21, 2014.

The new lethal fad these days seems to be spousal killings perpetrated by the wives. The Nigerian Police recently confirmed the arrest of Maryam Sanda for stabbing her husband Bilyaminu Haliru Bello to death. Reports claimed she killed her husband by stabbing him multiple times after seeing text messages in his phone which suggested that he was engaged in an extra-marital affair. Also, there’s the recent case of a lawyer, Mrs. Udeme Odibi, who, after stabbing her husband to death in his sleep, cut his genitals and placed them in his right hand while his stomach ripped open with the intestines spilling out.

These are just a tip of the soaring cases of spousal murder dotting our marital landscape these days. I keep wondering what usually go wrong in loving, sweet, and honey-like affairs that now end in tragedies.

Does it mean that sweet words and ecstatic moments of romance are superficial? Despite costly wedding ceremonies, how come this sad end? I hereby offer a four-prong suggestions as a way to stem this mournful scourge:

i. The parental roles must be reactivated right from the platonic (nonsexual) friendship level as parents must care to know who their children are moving with. In the ages past, parents often determine which families their children would marry from. Customarily, they will investigate the would-be in-laws’ lineage to know if there’s any illness, mental case, premature death, poverty, bareness, marital failure, spiritual issue or social stigma that was common in the family.

More often than not, children rarely reject the choices of their parents because they knew parental decisions were in their best interest. Virtually all the marriages midwifed by parental arrangements in that era endured.

Despite challenges, the marriages survived the odds because the parents were the ‘sureties’ and arbiters at every point of need or crisis. Respect for parents, desired to be responsible couples, fear of stigma in case of divorce, protection of children and family names or reputation were pivotal to the success of marriages at that time.

Regrettably though, Titilayo’s father, Mr. Oyakhire, confessed that the Arowolos’ marriage had been characterised by violence and abuse but he never envisaged it will end in the death of his daughter. Keeping people together in hostile relationships or marriages will ultimately end in regret. Parents must get involved henceforth!

ii. The Church or religious leaders must find a solution to these murderous tendencies in the society. I want to suggest that fathers of faith should replicate what the Apostles did in Jerusalem (Acts 15) when they met to resolve the doctrinal issues bothering on circumcision.

As Holy Spiritfilled oracles of God, decisions should be reached as to how long warring or violent partners should stay together to avoid untimely deaths. Pretending not to allow separation in the name of being sanctimonious is an act of cowardice.

Couples that die during assaults or physical combats might not make heaven because they die in bitterness and wrong frame of mind. iii. The society should stop stigmatizing separated or single parents.

This wrong perception do ‘force’ couples to remain in abusive or acrimonious relationships. Neighbours and people around disputing couples should please wade in quickly to avoid stories that touch the heart.

For instance, before lawyer Odibi stabbed her husband to death, her neighbours confirmed that Mr. Odibi had earlier alerted his friends and his mother that his wife threatened to kill him which eventually happened. Police should have been invited immediately Odibi raised the alarm. Perhaps the story would have been different today.

Please let’s be our brothers and sisters’ keepers. iv. Disputing couples should seek help from relationship counsellors. Family and friends should encourage them to do so in order to salvage the families in crises.

 

Send your responses/private issues to: mikeawe@yahoo.co.uk or 08035304268 (SMS/WhatsApp)

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