As a newspaper publisher, I am quite familiar with the famous journalism dictum: “Comments are free, facts are sacred.” What this means is that everyone has a right to hold and express his opinion without let or hindrance.
But while that is true, I haven’t found where it is written or stated that you can manufacture your own facts! That is what Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi attempted to do in his THISDAY article of Thursday, April 12, 2018.
He attempted to turn truth on its head in the piece entitled “Buhari and the Presidential Persuaders.” He started by accusing me of “gallivanting” all over the country for President Muhammadu Buhari, because there is an “anticorruption” case against me. Then, like an imperial judge, he circumscribed the president’s right to seek re-election.
I would not have dignified this misguided writer with a response but for the unsubstantiated allegations against my person, and the wrong premises he unjustly tried to malign those of us campaigning for the president. He claimed I was engaged in the campaign for Buhari because of my EFCC case.
I thought Segun was more intelligent than this. How can a man who has been in court for 11 years, and whose case is still being vigorously prosecuted and a robust defence rising up to the challenge, be said to be doing what he is doing because of alleged corruption charges?
The truth is, I have never intervened nor asked anyone to intervene on my behalf in the judicial process. I remain a firm believer in the rule of law and would rather the judicial process was fully exhausted in this matter.
I am convinced I haven’t stolen a dime while I was in government. I believe many people, including Segun, know that I am being persecuted for my principled and dogged stance against former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s evil third term agenda. On campaigning for Buhari’s re-election, I have no apologies whatsoever to give to Segun or anyone who believes I shouldn’t be doing it.
It is my inalienable right to hold and express an opinion or belief. I do not begrudge others theirs. I believe that Buhari’s re-election in 2019 will pave way for president of Igbo extraction in 2023!
It is obvious that the issue of 2019 and President Buhari’s interest in re-contesting for the office is what has brought out the ‘beast’ in Adeniyi, who, at a time, was spokesman to President Umaru Yar’Adua, who had the misfortune of dying in office some years ago.
That natural end cut short Segun’s romance with the office of spokesman to the president, currently occupied by Messers Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu. I guess that, if not for death, Yar’Adua would have asked for a second term, not necessarily because he was the best that Nigeria had at the time but because he would stand on his democratic and constitutional rights to seek re-election.
If nature granted him that opportunity, I have no doubt that Yar’Adua would have also given Nigerians the same reason Buhari has given to seek re-election. If divine providence allowed that to happen, I am certain there would be politicians who would go round Nigeria, on their own merit, to express their rights to freedom of association, and also to hold views that are contrary to ours.
They would also ask us to vote for him, irrespective of whatever anyone would say were his failings. While his boss was down, I did not read any article by Segun Adeniyi admonishing anyone within the corridors of power against making political capital out of the situation.
I also did not read him asking his boss to stand down. In fact, it took pressure from Nigerians for Segun to issue statements disclosing the whereabouts of his principal.
Prior to that, he sequestered himself in his cocoon even away from his media colleagues. How he expects Femi and Garba to act differently baffles me. But I understand that the better wrestlers are not always in the ring.
However, what struck me in Adeniyi’s article was the first paragraph, where he attempted to denigrate and impugn my reputation for expressing my democratic rights to hold opinion and express same; to associate and also move freely within Nigeria.
I find it quite disturbing that a journalist of Segun’s standing would descend so low in expressing his hate for Buhari. Segun finds it unhealthy for democracy, that a free citizen of Nigeria is spending his personal resources travelling round the country to seek to convince others to support Buhari’s re-election bid. For this, he works to suppress that fact that democracy thrives because it allows citizens to hold and express opinions like he did with his article.
The alternative to what Segun argued in the first paragraph of that article is a call for dictatorship, which Buhari had rejected by his style. Segun was free to author the article because we have democracy. If Buhari were such that would suppress freedom, I doubt if Segun would have the space to write as he suggested in the opening paragraphs of that article.
In betraying his pains through that article, Segun also showed his ‘hatred for Dr. Kalu.’ If Segun is free to hold the opinion he holds against Dr. Kalu, what then makes it immoral or undemocratic for Dr. Kalu to hold and express his views for Buhari? Is Segun suggesting that democracy is about seeing reality from his own lens? I used to think that democracy thrives on plurality of opinions.
So, what exactly is Segun’s angst against me who has proved himself to be an equal stakeholder in Nigeria, like him, but holds more in investments and job creation, such that I would prefer an economically progressive country where corruption does not retard development and business growth? In Segun’s view, I ought not to have expressed opinions in favour of Buhari.
I also ought not to have embarked on this tour of Nigeria soliciting support for Buhari. I have searched our law books to find a clause that ousts my freedom to so embark and have found none.
This, to my mind, suggests that Segun is frightened by my abilities to move people to positive action. If that be the case, Segun should seek a better understanding. I am happy he said he had researched into elections.
He should also research into progressive activism, the type that Dr. Kalu has embarked upon for the sake of our country, whose today was raped yesterday by leaders, including those who Segun freely associates with.
On my ongoing matter with the EFCC, that matter is still being prosecuted and it would be sub judice to speak extensively on it. However, I would like to state that, in criminal jurisprudence, cases must be proved beyond reasonable doubt to achieve conviction. Until that is achieved, I remain a bona fide free citizen of Nigeria and as such free to enjoy my right of association, right to free movement and right to hold opinion, no matter how contrary.
I have also not interfered with the ongoing trial and at no point has my trial been adjourned because I was not available in court. If you check the records of court, I have always been present to face trial.
I even had to cut short my business trips to be in court. So, to make insinuations, like Segun did, is akin to attempting to force the hand of court. It also represents an effort to blackmail me to silence.
As someone who is versed in politics, as Segun claimed, I expect him to use his page to educate Nigerians more on the tenets of democracy and their rights and not to spread fear about the political profile of Dr. Kalu or his campaigns for Buhari.
Segun should know that, on election day, what happens to a man when he is left alone with an ink pad, a ballot paper and his thumb, is a matter of conscience; and that matters more than whatever one says, or does, on the campaign ground.I am just an individual Nigerian who un-derstands my rights as guaranteed by the constitution of my country and has decided to enjoy those rights. •Kalu is former governor of Abia State.
General Danjuma and the right to self defence (2)
Last week, we started this exasperated issue, though, not new, yet welcoming, in which ex-Chief of Staff and Minister of Defence Gen T.Y Danjuma, charged all Nigerians to defend themselves from any sort of attacks, including that from the herdsmen. Today, we shall continue our discourse, bearing in mind some of its legal restrictions.
From time immemorial, the right to self defence of oneself or another person against unjustifiable attack has been recognized. It is ancient. Russell on Crime states the rule as follows: “A man is justified in resisting by force anyone who manifestly intends and endeavours by violence or surprise to commit a known felony against either his person, habitation or property. In these cases, he is not obliged to retreat, and may not merely resist the attack where he stands but may indeed pursue his adversary until the danger is ended and if in a conflict between them he happens to kill his attacker such killing is justifiable.”
The right to self defence has been given statutory imprimatur in Nigeria, and has been codified in section 32 (3) of the Criminal Code applicable in the southern states of Nigeria and section 59 of the penal code applicable in the northern states of Nigeria.
Section 32 (3) of the Criminal Code provides that, “a person is not criminally liable for an act, when the act is reasonably necessary in order to resist actual and unlawful violence threatened to him or to another person in his presence.”
Section 59 of the Penal Code on the other hand provides: “Nothing is an offence of which is done in the lawful exercise of the right of private defence”.
Under section 60 of the Penal Code, it is provided that “subject to restrictions contained in the code, every person has a right to defend his own body, and the body of another person against any offence affecting the human body”.
One of the restrictions is that “the right of private defence in no case extends to the infliction of more harm than is necessary to inflict for the purpose of defence”. Under Section 65 of the Nigerian Penal Code, private self defence may, in certain circumstances, extends to killing another where the act being repelled falls in one of the following categories: (a) an attack which causes reasonable apprehension of death or causing grievous hurt; or (b) rape or assault with intent to gratify unnatural lust, or (c) abduction or kidnapping. These situations afford a person the right to kill another.
More significantly, the right to self defence is given constitutional imprimature by the provisions of section 33 (2) (a) of the 1999 Constitution. It provides that “a person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his life in contravention of this section, if he dies as a result of the use, to such extent in such circumstances as are permitted by law, of such force as is reasonably necessary, for the defence of any person from unlawful violence or for defence of property.”
Section 286 (1) of the Nigerian Criminal Code provides: “if the nature of the assault is such as to cause reasonable apprehension of death or grievous harm and the person using force by way of defence believes on reasonable grounds that he cannot otherwise preserve the person defended from death or grievous harm, it is lawful for him to use any such force to the assailant as is necessary for defence, even though such force may cause death or grievous harm.”
In Akpan V. State (1994) 9 NWLR (part 368) at p.347, Adio (Justice, Supreme Court as he then was), in interpreting section 286 of the Nigerian Criminal Code, held as follows: “When a person is unlawfully assaulted, and has not provoked the assault, it is lawful for him to use such force on the assailant as is reasonably necessary to make effectual defence against the assault. The force which may be used in such circumstances must not be intended, and should not be such as is likely to cause death or grievous harm. If the nature of the assault is such as to cause reasonable apprehension of death or grievous harm, and the person using force by way of defence believes on reasonable grounds that he cannot otherwise preserve the person defended from death or grievous harm, it is lawful for him to use any such force to the assailant as is necessary for defence even though such force may cause death or grievous harm”. This means that anyone attacked by an herdsman has the legal right to defend himself and repel the attack, even if such leads to killing that herdsman.
Section 60 of the Penal Code, provides that “subject to restrictions contained in the code, every person has a right to defend his own body, and the body of another person against any offence affecting the human body”. One of the restrictions however, is that “the right of private defence in no case extends to the infliction of more harm than is necessary to inflict for the purpose of defence”.
The Nigerian Penal Code’s approach is different from that of the Criminal Code. Under the Penal Code, killing occasioned by the use of excessive force in private defence is manslaughter only, not murder. Section 222 (2) of the Penal Code provides: “…culpable homicide is not punishable with death if the offender in the exercise (in good faith) of the right of private defence exceeds the powers given to him and causes death…”
However, under section 287 of the Criminal Code provides in part as follows: “When a person has unlawfully assaulted another or has provoked an assault from another, and that other assaults him with such violence as to cause reasonable apprehension of death of grievous harm, and to induce him to believe, on reasonable grounds, that it is necessary for his preservation from death or grievous harm to use force in self defence, he is not criminally responsible for using any such force as is reasonably necessary for such preservation, although such force may cause death or grievous harm. This protection does not extend to a case in which the person using force, which causes death or grievous harm, first began the assault with intent to kill or to do grievous harm to some person; nor to a case in which the person using force which causes death or grievous harm endeavoured to kill or to do grievous harm to some person before the necessity of so preserving himself arose, nor in either case, unless, before such necessity arose, the person using such force declined further conflict, and quitted it or retreated from it as far as was practicable”. (To be continued).
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“I am never proud to participate in violence, yet I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.” (Maya Angelou).
Hope Nigerians are reading, digesting and awaiting the next exploring discourse of Sunday Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb., PhD, LL.D.
Allegri, Sarri in managerial bat tle
…as Juve, Napoli t ango in Serie A decider
Tomorrow’s top-of-the-table clash between Juventus and Napoli at Allianz Stadium is expected to draw attention of football fans worldwide as Maximiliano Allegri and Maurizio Sarri – two of the best managers in Italy and, by extension, world football go head-to-head. While the global followership of the Italian Serie A has dwindled over the years owing to the slump of aristocratic clubs like AC Milan and Inter Milan, the global interest is being reawakened by the likelihood of Napoli ending the overwhelming dominance of Juventus who are on course to clinch a seventh straight scudetto. For the neutrals, it’s not just about the push to end the Old Lady dominance of Italian football but it’s about Napoli on the threshold of history to land their first title since 1989 when the great Diego Maradona steered the team from Naples, against the odds, to league glory.
Napoli, for the larger part of the season, led the table but a recent slump in form now means they are the one doing the catch-up. Second-placed Napoli are on 81 points while Turin-based league leaders Juventus are four points better after 33 round of matches. The Bianconeri are a side that have the experience when it comes to winning titles but Napoli have shown that they are as hungry to taste success as well.
Allgerri, 50, has enjoyed tremendous success in Italy and he seems to be bracing himself for another challenge as he stated a few weeks ago that he is ready to work outside Italy. However, the former AC Milan boss knows how damaging it would be if he concedes the title to Sarri, a 59-year-old chain-smoking maverick. Like Allegri, Sarri has also been strongly linked with a number of clubs including Chelsea and a resume which contains a Serie A title would enhance his growing profile.
Both managers showed how good they are in the Champions League and Europa Cup where Juventus reached the quarterfinal losing narrowly to defending champions Real Madrid and Napoli crashed to RB Leipzig in the round of 32. Allegri almost made what looked insurmountable possible as he led his side to a 3-0 lead over Real Madrid at the latter ’s Santiago Barnebeu stadium and was on the verge of forcing an extra-time before a last-gasp penalty by Cristiano Ronaldo shattered their hope.
It was an identical experience for Sarri, who steered Napoli to a 2-0 away win at Leipzig after the German side had recorded a 3-1 first-leg win in Naples. And as pundits conclude, a win for Napoli will put life back into the season while, a reverse fortune means Juventus stranglehold will continue – at least for one more season.
Nuisances of daughters-in-law
While reactions to the penultimate week’s article: “Coping with Strict In- Laws” are still streaming in, I will anchor today’s topic on some of the questions that callers, especially men, asked about women whose attitudes provoked the reactions they get from the in-laws. Like I stated in the previous edition, ‘there are situations where the daughters-in-law do not help matters.
Some, if not many of them, are so daring, disrespectful and inconsiderate.’ The wife is a daughter-in-law in a family setting. She is a new adult entrant into her matrimonial family. As demanded by the convention, she will drop her father’s name for her husband’s. She becomes a ‘daughter’ or ‘sister’ or both to her in-laws provided she is a well-groomed, courteous woman. In the ages past, the relationship between families often lead to matchmaking their mature children for marriage. Parental involvement usually steady their children’s homes. Parents usually respond swiftly to their children’s needs in times of crisis.
If the couple has a problem with having children early in time, their parents often go through the waiting period with them. If they have festering disagreement, the parents will wade in. If they have financial or job challenges, parents will put resources together to assist and also leverage on their nexus to get job placements for them. In a well-todo family, they may decide to send the couple overseas for a new lease of life. Many well-cultured wives are the pride of her in-laws and their own families. Such a virtuous, adorable woman would add more laurels to the good name of her own parents as well as that of her in-laws. In applying native wisdom, she will choose to be closer to strategic members of the family while she is accommodating to all. She wouldn’t gossip. She would not be cantankerous, arrogant or saucy. She’s humble, calm and sagacious. She warms her way to the heart of her mother-in-law and eventually becomes the confidant of her sisters-in-law.
If anyone should ask, how many wives in today’s homes are so steeped in good manners? I will say a few! The reasons are not far-fetched: many of the so-called ‘bad wives’ or daughtersin- law are wrongly indoctrinated about their in-laws! They chose wrong mentors and bad friends within their in-laws’ families who taint their perceptions with negativity. There are those who, in trying to avoid falling cheap preys to the antics of selfish and imposing in-laws, overstepped their limits and consequently earned themselves more antagonists among their in-laws. Listening to bewildering and scary tales about the shenanigans of in-laws with verifiable evidences from aunts, neighbours, friends and on social media have injected perplexed pictures and combative mindset in the psyche of our young brides.
A 41-year-old woman is now at the verge of losing her home, no thanks to her ‘hostile’ in-laws who insist she must quit. According to the narrative, she’s actually responsible for her ordeal. For instance, whenever her mother-in-law comes visiting, she won’t allow her children to eat anything the grandma gave or bought for them. To cap it all, she won’t feed the grandma from the same pot her family is eating from. She will cook another soup of lesser quality for her mother-in-law and treat her like a total stranger. Her husband took note of all her attitudes towards his mother but feigned indifference. Early last month, one of her sisters-in-law came to announce that “very shortly, a more responsible, well-mannered woman” will be welcomed as second wife.
And if she’s not satisfied with the new arrangement, she is free to quit the marriage. To her surprise, her husband is involved in the plot. Whenever her own mother, siblings or relations come around, she will be at her best. Cooking delicious meals, renewing cable television subscription, allowing her children to go out with her people. Sometimes, her children do spend some weekends at her parents’ place.
The woman’s younger sister had warned that her husband would repay her with a shocking measure. Rather than take to correction, she accused her sister of trying to incite her husband against her. Now that the crisis has erupted, there is nobody to help or plead on her behalf. As you are reading this article, she had lost weight, always appearing in a remorseful mode, pleading for forgiveness and promising to change. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be interested in listening to her, not even her own mother who had warned her severally. At some point, her mother stopped visiting her place. She is a typical wife with prejudices against her in-laws.
The sour doctrine of hostility which she imbibed from her neighbours and friends have become her albatross. There are many daughters-in-law out there that have successfully ostracized their in-laws, alienated their spouses from their people and keep them in limbo of fantasy. In a matter of time, their cups of shenanigans will be full and their homes will be in crisis. The Word says a wise woman builds her own home; are you wise? Send your responses/private issues to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 08035304268 (SMS/WhatsApp)
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