Nation Building: Mrs Osinbajo Tasks Nigerian Women On Unity

OsinbajoWomen have been advised to unite irrespective of political, ethnic and religious differences in order to achieve sustainable development and the much desired change for the nation.

The wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, said this at the 2015 Imo Women August Meeting which took place at the Heroes Square in Owerri the Imo State capital south east Nigeria, where she represented the wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari as the Special Guest of Honour.

She said that women play a key role in the growth and development of any nation and as such, when they unite in one spirit and goal, it would bring about the needed change in the country.

The programme, with the theme ‘Imo Women; Dare To Dream’ was hosted by the wife of the Imo State Governor, Nkechinyere Rochas. It had in attendance, women and dignitaries from different parts of Imo State with various colourful attires and costumes.

The host, Mrs Nkechinyere Okorocha, commended the Vice President’s wife for honoring the occasion with her presence which she said would go a long way to boost the actualization of the theme of the programme in the lives of Imo women.

She said that the theme was chosen to encourage Imo women to dream big and aspire to become anything they wish to become no matter their foundation or background.

The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was also present at the event, urged all leaders across the country to give women more chance in public service as well as increase women participation in governance.

He added that the people of Imo State would continue to support the President Buhari-led federal government in a bid to deliver the full dividends of democracy to all Nigerians.

Before her departure, Mrs Osinbajo commissioned some infrastructural projects initiated and built by the wife of the Imo State Governor, Mrs Nkechinyere Okorocha.

Anti-Corruption War: Osinbajo Refutes Witch-Hunting Claims

osinbajoThe Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has dismissed the reports that the present government of President Buhari is witch-hunting the immediate past administration.

The Professor made this revelation at the funeral of the mother of former Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Olorunnimbe Mamora.

Osinbajo said that the justice system in Nigeria is being reformed to make every Nigerian accountable, irrespective of class, tribe or influence.

He also said that Nigeria cannot continue to lose huge amounts to Nigerians who are corrupt, and the country remains in penury.

Professor Osinbajo insisted that the current fight against corruption is not targeted at any group, persons or administration.

According to him, “We are talking about our future. We are saying we must put in place a clear strategy going forward, not just about ensuring that people are made to pay for looting.

“Our system of justice must be fair that anybody who does anything is brought to account. We can’t allow impunity to continue, so it’s not about the previous government, it’s about any form of impunity”, he said.

Saraki Vows To Uphold Zero Tolerance To Corruption

Bukola-Saraki-Senate-President-NigeriaSenate President Bukola Saraki says there is no more hiding place for corrupt elements in Nigeria.

The Senate President made the remark on Monday in a meeting with the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Mr Ekpo Nta, held at the National Assembly.

Senator Saraki said most of the present problems confronting Nigeria were direct fall-out of the monumental corruption in the system.

He told Mr Nta that the Eight Senate was totally committed to the ‘zero tolerance for corruption position’ of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and that the Senate would do everything to make the job of the anti-graft agencies easy and successful.

In his inaugural speech on May 29 President Buhari had warned that his administration would not tolerate corrupt practices, stressing that the era of impunity was over.

Selective Application Of Law Causing Nigeria’s Challenges – Lawyer

Kenneth_OdidikaA Nigerian lawyer has attributed some challenges that the nation is facing to selective application of the rule of law.

Giving his opinion on Tuesday on the controversy surrounding the claims that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, is not qualified to contest in the February 14 election, Mr Kenneth Odidika, said that the ‘big man syndrome’ had led to the likely refusal of General Buhari to submit his credentials.

“We do not stick to rules in Nigeria and that is what is happening as regards the certificate controversy.

“We have a constitution and other laws with the constitution being supreme.

“The constitution has specified the needed qualification from every political party’s candidate but the APC has refused to give the leaving school certificate of his presidential candidate to the electoral body,” he said.

The certificate controversy had peaked when a spokesman of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign team, Femi fani-Kayode, insisted that General Buhari was not qualified to contest, demanding that the APC’s presidential candidates should present his credentials to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The APC had, in response, insisted that its candidate had the certificate, describing the fani-Kayode’s claims as ‘preposterous’ and capable of destroying the image of the Nigerian Army.

‘Big man syndrome’

But Mr Odidika said that the refusal to submit the certificate was outright disobedience.

“Selective application of the law is what Nigeria is facing. Big men refuse to subject themselves to the law.

“Big man syndrome is what Nigeria is suffering from.”

He also insisted that the INEC was culpable, accepting the forms without the certificate attached as stipulated by the law.

“They are supposed to submit the personal particulars of the person before they publish his name.

“If he had the certifications, he should have submitted them,” he said.

On Monday, General Buhari urged party members not to be involved in any violent act before, during or after the elections, a comment that was highly seen as necessary.

But Mr Odidika said the comment came a bit late and that an initial statement that the APC would run a parallel government if the election was rigged was insightful.

“What we say before something happens could be different and could contribute to why what will happen will happen.

“There have been statements from APC suggesting the necessity for violence.

“They said that if the election was rigged, they would form a parallel government. How do you determine if an election is rigged without going to the court. What that means is that once they lose, they will take to the streets to install a parallel government.

“Anything the candidates say means a lot to their supporters.

“Thank God Buhari said what he said. The Peoples Democratic Party and the APC must ensure that their members stick to the rule of the game,” the lawyer stressed.

On the challenges that the INEC had witnessed in the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) that the electoral body had insisted voters would only vote with, Mr Odidika said that there was the need for the INEC to consider allowing persons with the old temporal card to vote in areas where they had challenges issuing out the PVC.

 

Soyinka Likens Jonathan To Nebuchadnezzar

Wole SoyinkaThe Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has come hard on the present administration in Nigeria, criticising President Goodluck Jonathan on what he described as the reign of impunity under his watch and likening him to the biblical king Nebuchadnezzar.

Professor Soyinka, who spoke in Lagos on Tuesday, frowned specifically at the actions of the police and the interventions of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Sulieman Abba, especially in the incident at the National Assembly where lawmakers were seen scaling fences to access the assembly’s complex

Professor Soyinka said: “The recent choice of a new leader for the guard was clearly no accident, and this hitherto unknown enforcer, one Suleiman Abba, has wasted no time in inaugurating a season of brutish power. When a people’s elected emissaries are disenfranchised, cast out like vagrants and resort to scaling fences to engage in their designated functions, the people get the message”.

The Nobel Laureate, however, asked the President to “act what he says”, emphasising that leaders are judged based on their actions and not pronouncements, which he believed were often as reliable as electoral promises.

‘National Champion Of Impunity’

Meanwhile, President Jonathan’s Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe described the Professor Soyinka’s allegations as sad and unfortunate.

The presidency said it had observed that the close relationship between Professor Soyinka and the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi has affected the usually cerebral contributions of professor Soyinka to national discourse.

“Our eminent professor also sadly plays the ostrich as he failed to reprimand Governor Amaechi, who is the ‘national champion of impunity and official recklessness’. the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan prides itself as the most liberal, keeping faith with adherence to rule of law and tolerance,” Dr. Okupe further said.

He also stressed that it was interesting that Soyinka had chosen to ignore what he termed the immoral, indefensible and unlawful attitude of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, after his defection.

Dr. Okupe then accused Professor Soyinka of maligning the Inspector General of Police who he said only discharged his lawful duties.

Former Lagos Commissioner Kasali Faces Conspiracy, Murder Charges

NFFA former Commissioner for Special Duties in Lagos State, Dr. Tola Kasali, has appeared before an Ebute Magistrate Court on charges of conspiracy, murder and illegal possession of firearms.

Detectives from the Department of Criminal Investigation, of the Nigeria Police, Lagos Command, Panti, Yaba, charged Dr. Kasali to court on Tuesday.

Dr. Kasali, 62, who is also vying for the State governorship ticket to contest in the 2015 election under the platform of All Progressive Congress, was charged alongside Folami Musiliu, 65, a Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government, and Tobun Abiodun Lukman, 35, a Chief Security Officer to one of the political bigwigs in the state.

The three men were alleged to have conspired among themselves and with some others now at large, to kill one Musiliu Ogboye Lamidi, on November 9, at Akodo area of Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos.

They were also alleged to have been in possession of a pump action Avar Magnum gun with number 6381, without appropriate authority.

Though the charges were read to the accused persons, their pleas were not taken and the police said the charges were punishable under sections 231, 211, 409 and section 27 (b)(1) of the firearm Act. Cap 28 laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2011.

The police prosecutors, Mr G. O. Osuji, Nosa N., and Inspector George Nwosu, had informed the court that there was an application for the remand of the accused persons pending when an advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) would be received.

A Senior State Counsel, Mr Femi Adamson, who announced his appearance as a prosecutor in the matter, also informed the court of the state government’s wish to take over the prosecution of the case from the police.

After a brief argument, the police conceded to the State Counsel’s request and stepped aside.

Just A Mere Rumour

Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Taiwo Ajala, however, urged the court to grant the accused persons bail on self-recognition because of their social status.

He told the court that the first accused, (Folami Musiliu), is a Special Adviser to the Lagos state government, and the second accused, (Tola Kasali), was a former Commissioner for Rural Development, and later for Special Duties, while the third accused (Tobun A. Lukman), is a Chief Security Officer to a political bigwig in the state.

He said the charges against them was just a mere rumour and that the accused persons were presumed to be innocent until otherwise proven by the law court.

Mr Ajala further stated that remanding the accused persons would draw back the service they rendered to the state.

Following this submission, the chief magistrate in his ruling said: “The court sees the accused persons as those who will uphold the law and order of the land, hence, the court has confidence in their ability to show up in court when they are needed.

“So, they are hereby granted bail on self-recognition”.

The Chief Magistrate, however, ordered the prosecution to duplicate the case file and forward it to DPP for advice, while the matter was adjourned till December 11.

Leaving Immunity Clause Will Promote Impunity – Maduka

Chris Maduka.A public affairs analyst, Chris Maduka, has condemned the decision of the Senate to leave the immunity clause that covers the President, Vice President Governors and their deputies from being tried while in office, saying the clause leads to impunity.

The Senate had on Wednesday, in a constitution amendment process, left the immunity clause that had earlier been removed by the House of Representatives during their deliberations.

Mr Maduka told Channels Television in an interview on Friday that amending that part of the constitution was key to ending corruption and financial misappropriation in Nigeria.

He insisted that the Nigerian Constitution was a product of a military regime and was centred on the interest of the military regime at that time.

“Everything in life should be about sincerity of purpose but in this part of the world we do things to suit us.

“The constitution was given based on parochial interest and when we talk about amendment, it flabbergasts me that people try to fight. But what we are trying to do is to make it better so that it can carry the people along,” he said, urging the lawmakers not to play politics with the constitution amendment.

“There are certain things you don’t play politics on.

“We need to get serious and we have to get certain things right if we must achieve the vision of being among the top 20 economies in the world.

“If you say that someone is a chief law enforcer and he is above the law. He has immunity and that sounds ridiculous to me,” he said.

Mr Maduka pointed out that “the first thing in every society should be that everybody is equal under the law”.

Stand Up And Ask Questions

He expressed concerns that with the immunity, political office leaders would not serve the people with the interest of the people at heart.

“With the immunity, they don’t get interested while doing the people’s work. They use it to turn the state into a private estate. So the intent and purpose is defeated.

“If you say you are a democrat and you belong to the civil society, All Progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party, you should vehemently come out and call for the removal of this immunity clause.

“Nigerians need to stand up at one point. You don’t just continue criticising Jonathan of other leaders. This is the time for the citizens to stand up and ask questions,” the public affairs analyst emphasised.

According to him, removing the immunity will trigger caution on the part of the leaders, as “immunity leads to impunity”.

“We need reality checks so that impunity will be checked.

“The people need to demand in a meaningful way, something that will bring change in Nigeria so that the future generation will look back and judge us calmly.

“It seems that the people that are enjoying this immunity do not realise that there is tomorrow.”

Asked why the leaders are not tried after their period in office, when they have no immunity covers, Mr Maduka explained that “there is usually a sense of indifference that Nigerians feel about the leaders that makes them lose interest in pushing for their trials”.

He also said that the judicial system was another reason they get discouraged in probing the leaders, as trials take over seven to eight years in some cases before they are concluded.

He suggested a wholistic reformation of the judicial system in order to ensure that cases are dispensed as fast as possible.