Nigeria’s Election Management System Is Chaotic – Jiti Ogunye

Mr Jiti Ogunye



A legal practitioner, Mr Jiti Ogunye, has faulted the manner in which elections are being managed in the country.

He noted that the last two general elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were accompanied by a lot of challenges.

Ogunye, who was a guest on Channels Television’s special end of the year programme, 2019 End Of A Decade, on Tuesday decried the postponement of the elections.

He said, “Generally, I think we will all agree that our election management system is chaotic. Our country is diverse, it is big.

“People have pointed to India as the biggest democracy on earth that they conducted election in a business-like manner without much violence and all that; so, why can’t Nigeria do so?”

READ ALSO: Democracy ‘Would Have Collapsed’ In 2015 If Jega Had Caved In – Garba Shehu

“It is still very likely that even with the unfortunate postponement we had in 2015 and the one that we had this year; in the future, it is still possible that we are going to have that kind of problem,” the lawyer added.

He, however, called on the government to rise up to its responsibility and address the many challenges facing threatening the conduct of elections.

Ogunye proposed the adoption of a digital system to conduct elections, stressing that this would serve as a quick fix to some of the problems.

According to him, going digital will immediately eliminate the issue of ballot box snatching and make the conduct of elections cheaper and less cumbersome.

The lawyer said, “The point is that from what we can see, we will have to keep fit with the possibility of digitising our electoral system to solve many of the problems that we encounter while conducting an election.”

He listed some of the challenges to include logistics, violence, electoral malpractices and sharp practices by electoral officials and politicians among others.

Top Experts Review Nigeria’s Major Events Of The Decade



Issues relating to business and politics were discussed on Tuesday during a special 2019 End Of A Decade programme on Channels Television.

The programme is a special broadcast which reviews events in the last 10 years in the country, particularly those that had a significant impact on different spheres of the nation’s existence.

This last decade would probably stand out in the history of Nigeria’s return to democracy since 1999, as one that witnessed some of the most spectacular and unprecedented events, ranging from politics, security, the economy, health, environment, sports, and entertainment among others.

On the programme, Channels Television takes a look at some of the most significant happenings in these areas that have contributed to shaping the nation’s most recent history.

Some of the guests featured on the programme include the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, and legal practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, among others,

Watch the video below:

This Govt Does Not Fully Observe Rule Of Law – Ogunye

Human Rights lawyer, Jiti Ogunye


Human Rights lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, has criticised the President Muhammadu Buhari administration over its adherence to the rule of law.

Ogunye, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday, said the Federal Government does not fully observe the rule of law.

“ We have the violations of the rule of law with the spokespersons of the government in the executive branch of the Federal Government of Nigeria justifying these violations on all sorts of grounds, including the ground of national security.

“My take is that this government is not fully observant of the rule of law. We can’t be debating these issues as if we don’t know what we are talking about.

“There are clear cases of violations. Court will give orders in respect of clear cases, in respect of certain persons to be released and they are not released,” he said.

The legal practitioner explained further saying the court, rather than the executive, can determine what constitutes the interest of national security.

He also accused the Federal Government of not obeying court orders under the guise of national security.

Ogunye’s comments come three weeks after the Department of State Service (DSS) arrested the founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore for organising the ‘Revolution Now’ protest.

Sowore is being accused of attempting to topple President Buhari’s government, an act that has received widespread condemnation.



NJC Has No Capacity To Self-Reform – Jiti Ogunye

NJC Has No Capacity To Self-Reform – Ogunye


A legal practitioner, Mr Jiti Ogunye, says the National Judicial Council (NJC) lacks the capacity to reform itself.

He gave the opinion during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, where he called for a total reform of the nation’s judiciary.

The lawyer was reacting to the issues surrounding the trial of Justice Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

[READ ALSO] Onnoghen: Adesina, Oyeniyi Disagree Over Legality Of Procedure


He, however, said there was a need to carry along key stakeholders such as the NJC and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the reform process for better result.

Ogunye said, “Recommendations can be made time and again but when there are no factual situations that warrant stakeholders focussing on the subject so closely; we won’t then have these issues.

“Talking about how to reform, I want to recommend that the Federal Government holds this event in collaboration with stakeholders – NJC, NBA, and all that, who have to set up a grand commission to look at how to reform our judiciary holistically and comprehensively.”

“Not just about corruption, and I am saying this with all sense of responsibility; the NJC has no capacity to self-reform,” he added. “Part of the problem that we have to deal with on this occasion is that we had a CJN who was indicted presiding over an NJC that he single-handedly nominated or appointed 14 members of; a majority of them.”

“So, how can that NJC that is called upon to regulate itself in regulating the regulators perform optimally?” the lawyer questioned.

He was hopeful that if the issues raised were thoroughly considered in addition with some legislative interventions such as amendment of the Constitution, the judiciary would become better.

The lawyer also suggested that the nation’s judicial system be re-federalised, as part of the fundamental reform process.

According to him, the judiciary is unitary regardless of the various forms of the court such as the state and federal High Courts.

Ogunye decried the situation where a judge has over 700 cases to adjudicate, stressing that Lagos State does, for example, needed a minimum of 200 judges.


Defections Are Bound To Occur Close To Election Year, Says Ogunye

Jiti Ogunye


A legal practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, has said that the defection of lawmakers from a party to another is bound to occur close to every election year.

Ogunye stated this on Tuesday night during his appearance on Channels Television’s News At 10.

“It has always been like this when elections are approaching. It is like what happened in 2015 before the general elections,” he said.

Ogunye’s reaction comes hours after some lawmakers elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the National Assembly dumped their party for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Of the 14 senators that defected on Tuesday, 13 opted for PDP while one is undecided on which party to join.

Senator Dino Melaye, former Governor of Kano Rabiu Kwankwaso, Suleiman Hunkuyi, who was suspended by the Kaduna APC, Abdulazeez Nyako (Adamawa), Barnabas Gemade (Benue), and Ibrahim Dambaba were among those who defected.

Others are Senators Shaaba Lafiaji (Kwara), Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara), Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo) and Usman Nafada (Gombe) Ubale Shittu, Isah Misau, Suleiman Nazif, and Soji Akanbi.

Similarly, in the House of Representatives, 33 lawmakers joined the PDP while four joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC).

The defecting Reps are Danburam Nuhu, Mark Gbilah, Razak Atunwa, Ahmed Garba Bichi, Abdulsamad Dasuk and Zakari Mohammed, Sani Rano, Barry Mpigi, Ali madaki, Dickson Tackighir, Hassan Saleh.

Also, the Chairman of Rules and Business at the House of Representatives, Orker Jev has resigned from the APC but is yet to disclose which party he would be joining.

But Ogunye believes a situation whereby the politicians decide to leave the party that brought them into power for another is not good for Nigeria’s democracy

He, however, blamed the act on the perceived selfishness of some political figures rather than the desire to serve the people they represent.

“Politicians in Nigeria and this is very sad for us, are always interested in hunting for platforms and tickets and since the name of the game is power, and not ideology or adherence to party lines, oppositions are going to have something like this always,” he added.

Ogunye also disagreed with the comments made by APC’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, that neither he nor the party would lose some sleep over the development.

He argued that the party was obviously worried some few days back but it was “only trying to pull a bold face to it.”

The lawyer feels that events in the coming days would determine whether the mass defection would affect the chances of the ruling party in next year’s general elections.

Maina Should Prove His Innocence In Court, Not To Buhari – Jiti Ogunye

Legal Practitioner, Mr Jiti Ogunye, has asked the embattled former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, to present himself before the court rather than requesting to meet with the President.

Mr Ogunye described Maina’s comments and request to meet with the president as “cock and bull stories”, as well as an attempt to evade the justice system.

He made this known on Channels Television’s Sunrise daily, in response to an exclusive interview of Maina in which he insisted that he was innocent of the allegations preferred against him.

READ ALSO: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Maina Breaks Silence, Begs Buhari For Chance To Prove Innocence

“Maina wants to meet with Mr Presdient over what? Do we even respect our court at all? Do we respect our judicial process? Do you know that in this country, Supreme Court justices are being tried in court? Who is he to be saying that he wants to recover money?

“Present yourself, you are a fugitive from justice. Have your day in court prove your innocence there – that is the law that I know. All this talk about I want to see the president – for what? He has seen the Attorney General of the Federation and he told us that he visited Maina to the knowledge of the National Security Adviser of Nigeria”.

Mr Ogunye, speaking further about the involvement of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, in Maina’s return and reinstatement, described the situation as a disgraceful and monumental scandal.

The AGF had denied having any involvement when he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, set up to investigate the case, last week.

READ ALSO: Letter For Maina’s Reinstatement Didn’t Come From My Office – AGF

He also gave a detailed report of recoveries made, as well as an existing pension fraud syndicate made up of politicians, legislators and retired civil servants, as well as Maina himself.

Mr Ogunye, however, stressed that “the AGF should concern himself with the role he played, whether legally, morally, ethically, even politically, it was correct for him to have played that role.

“In the course of his testimony before that committee, the AGF was forced to disclose that he visited Maina in Dubai.

“What is the business of the Attorney General of the Federation, visiting a fugitive from justice outside the shores of Nigeria,” he questioned.

“My presumption was that a deal was struck on how to bring Maina back into the country behind the back of Nigerians, reinstate him and then launder him back to service”.

According to Mr Ogunye, contrary to what Malami said, all fingers point at him as being at the centre of Maina’s reinstatement.

“What he said has been disproved by others including the head of service. According to them, he was the one who initiated, instigated and triggered the whole process by writing letters and issuing directives to the Federal Civil Service Commission.”

Giving a suggestion to the government on what should be done, he said rather than taking Maina seriously and having a sit down with him, the government should take itself seriously.

“The government should on the contrary, take Maina seriously by bringing Maina to justice,” he asserted.

Meanwehile, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Robert Clarke, who also spoke on the breakfast show, supported the idea that Maina should be given a chance to speak with President Buhari.

READ MORE: Maina Should Be Given A Chance To Speak With Buhari – Robert Clarke

Buhari’s Health: Presidential Aide’s Statement Is Disrespectful – Jiti Ogunye

Buhari's Health: Presidential Aide's Statement Is Disrespectful - Jiti Ogunye
Jiti Ogunye

A legal practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, has condemned the statement that calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose his health status is disrespectful.

Mr Ogunye stated this when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, a day after the presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, said the call was disrespectful and insensitive.

READ ALSOAsking Buhari To Disclose His Health Status Is Disrespectful – Presidential Aide

Onochie, the Personal Assistant to the President on Social Media, had made the comments on Monday hours after Concerned Nigerians, a coalition of youth groups, protested in Abuja, demanding that the President should resume or resign.

Lauretta Onochie

“That’s a sad statement, it’s even unfortunate and disrespectful of Nigerians that that kind of statement could be made. The right to protest is a fundamental right, Nigerians have the right to associate. So, what is disrespectful about that? the lawyer questioned.

Ogunye noted that although he did not support the call for the President’s resignation, political office holders should mind the way they address citizens who are exercising the fundamental rights.

He said, “The way people in government, including people who are on the fringes of power talk down on the people is disconcerting. Who are the hoodlums who are taking over? We may not agree with some people who are saying that Buhari should resign or resume, but they have the right to protest; they have the right to associate.”

The lawyer stated that the protest wouldn’t have taken place if Nigerians were adequately briefed on the President’s health status.

“You know; a lot of anomalies take place here. Look, if those who are managing information about the President’s health have come out to tell Nigerians that this is what is happening to the President, this is how long it will take him to go through recovery instead of having you come today you come tomorrow, Nigerians may wait patiently,” he said.

Concerned Nigerians staging a protest in Abuja

Also reacting to the dispersal of the protesters by the police, Ogunye believes the security operatives have realised that their action was unnecessary.

“What I think has taken place now between yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday) is that a kind of 24-hour sense recovery process has taken place with the police. Why did they break the protest yesterday as mild as it was and why didn’t they do so today? Maybe they’ve had some rethink because it is unnecessary,” he said.

Legislative Power Not Used For Peace, Good Governance – Jiti Ogunye

jitiA legal practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, has said that legislative power in Nigeria, largely at the centre, is not being used for the order, peace and good government of Nigeria even though that is a constitutional requirement.

“The basic reason why you have the legislature is to promote peace order and good governance.”

He made the statement while giving his views on the recent happenings in the Senate such as the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume, and the summoning of Professor Itse Sagay.

Mr Sagay in reaction to the directive, had declared that the Senate had neither the power nor authority to summon him to appear before it; a comment which Mr Jiti strongly agreed to.

“They know they don’t have the authority. When you are using the legislative process, it is an abuse of power for self-aggrandizement to witch-hunt your opponent and you are trying to kill the right to freedom of speech,” he stated.

Also speaking on the level of sanction meted out on Senator Ndume, for the alleged offence of bringing the Senate to disrepute, he said: “There was no offence, It was a scam”.

He described as “sad”, the situation in which the legislative arm appears to be used largely to blackmail the system; “as if the legislature has a veto power over the executive”.

According to him, it is a disservice to many of the Nigerians who had fought so hard and lost their lives back in the military era.

He expressed his disappointment and frustration over the goings-on in the Senate and the nation as a whole, adding that the it would give democracy a bad name.

The lawyer posited that many would as a result of the frustration, begin to go to the extremes of suggesting a return to military rule.

Presidential Committee On Corruption Presents Report      

Corruption, Itse sagayOne year after its inauguration, the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, has come out with its recommendations.

In its report from August 2015 to July 2016, the Executive Secretary, Bolaji Owasanoye, highlighted areas of concentration.

Amongst are the things that the committee maps out as sentencing guidelines for high profile cases where huge monies are trapped.

He decried the amount of monies that the Nigerian government has lost to such cases and its effect on the economy.

“If we do simple arithmetic of all those high profile cases, just add the sums and see how much you will come up with, it will be far above two trillion and because the state has not recovered the money, we will see the effect on the economy,” he said.

The chairman of the committee, Professor Itse Sagay, also added that Nigeria needs an upright judiciary without which the nation’s democracy would collapse.

The sudden raid of the houses of some judges by the DSS and the subsequent arrest of the judicial officers drew a plethora of reactions recently.

But Professor Sagay described the anti-corruption campaign of the President as right, while describing the criticism from Nigerians as totally wrong and shocking.

“We need the judiciary but we need an upright judiciary. Without that, one arm of government will collapse and democracy will collapse.

“Let us think of the implication of what is going on. If we don’t put the judiciary right or have a judiciary in which we have confidence, with integrity and honour, with moral authority, then we have no government and we have no democracy,” he said.

Judges’ Arrest: Former British Cop Berates Execution Of ‘Sting Operation’

vince-onyekwelu-judges-arrestThe arrest of some court judges by a combined team of Police and DSS officials in the early hours of Saturday, October 8 has continued to generate reactions.

While various judicial stakeholders have criticised the government for the arrest, a former British police officer, Vince Onyekwelu, has picked holes in the level of expertise displayed by the DSS during its execution of the operation.

The security analyst told Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily how the arrest should have been carried out, since it was believed to be a sting operation.

“We have to understand (that) one of the major concepts of a sting operation is deceit.

“When you talk about deceit, sting operations are planned to have this element of propaganda, element of treachery, element of ‘make believe’ (and) element of trying to deceive a potential criminal,” he explained.

Outer Shell

Speaking on Thursday’s edition of the programme, Onyekwelu expressed disappointment that Governor Nyesom Wike was able to interrupt the arrest of one of the judges at his residence in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

He stressed the importance of the strategy that ought to be used and questioned if the security operatives were capable and competent to carry out such operation.

“For example, there is what we call ‘the outer shell’.

“You have to block the entrance (and) position men at critical areas.

“It makes me to ask questions how come the Governor had access to go through this outer shell (and) come to the epicentre that he was able to influence what was going on there.

“You’re supposed to have an outer shell that is well-trained to contain and to stop any kind of politically exposed person that have got so much power.

“He (Wike) can tell you his concerns (while) you record them in your notebook and promise to get back to him in the next 24 hours, but not to give him access to influence what is going on,” he stated.

Although the DSS later justified its action by giving reasons for the arrest, the operation attracted criticisms from several notable Nigerians and professional bodies, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which asked the executive to release of the detained court justices.

Human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana

Human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, however, blamed legal practitioners for the harassment of judges.

The agency subsequently released all the judges on self-recognition one day after their arrest but they are to report at the agency’s office when requested to, as the investigation and preparation to charge them to court continue.

The judges are accused of misconduct, corruption and had been under investigation by the DSS.

Lawyers Responsible For Rot In Judiciary – Itsey Sagay

Itsey Sagay, JudiciaryLawyers, especially the senior ones are responsible for the rot in the judicial system. That is the view of a professor of law, Itsey Sagay.

In an exclusive interview with Channels Television, Professor Sagay said that the senior lawyers corrupted the judges and are largely responsible for the corruption in the system.

He condemned the reaction of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), saying the body lacked the moral premise to criticize the activities of the DSS which he said is lawful.

On whether the National Judicial Council has the capabilities to deal with the corruption in the bench, the law professor said that the NJC lacks the capacity because it is an emergency situation which demands unusual approach.

Judges Arrest: I Have No Objection To DSS’ Action – Abu Hamisu

Dr. Abu Hamisu, As reactions continue to trail the arrest of some judges over the weekend, a lecturer at the University of Abuja, Dr. Abu Hamisu, says he has no objection with the involvement of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the arrest.

The lecturer at the Political Science Department is of the opinion that if the government feels the DSS could play a crucial role in its anti-corruption campaign, there is nothing wrong with it.

“We’ve been advocating for collaboration and synergy building in such a way that all the security agencies can tap into the professionalism of one another depending on the case they want to prosecute.

“If (the) EFCC, ICPC and the government of the day feel that the DSS can be really decisive in the fight against corruption in this country, I have nothing against that,” the political scientist said.

Speaking on Tuesday on Sunrise Daily, Dr. Hamisu believes corruption is the cause of Nigeria’s underdeveloped stage, reiterating his stance on the DSS’ involvement.

“The most important thing is to ensure that corruption is really dealt with because the basis of our underdevelopment as a nation up to this very moment is corruption.

“For me, it’s something that has to do with those that are leading us and if they feel that they can give us result and DSS can play a role in this, I have no objection,” he insisted.

The academic warned that the future of the Nigerian child was at risk and called on stakeholders to tackle its menace headlong to ensure a brighter future.

“All we want is to ensure that we have a better future for our children.

“The future that we did not enjoy, the future that corruption denied us because some people were saddled with responsibilities that they abused and perverted,” he lamented.

Face-off With Wike

Dr. Hamisu’s remarks followed a face-off between the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and some DSS officials who were on an assignment to arrest a Federal High Court judge in Port Harcourt.

Governor Nyesom Wike prevented the arrest of a judge in Rivers State

On getting wind of the planned arrest, Governor Wike went to the residence of the judge with the aim of averting the arrest.

He stated that it would not be appropriate to arrest a judge at an odd hour when he has not been declared as a criminal, but invited to have a chat which they said was the motive of the arrest.

The arrest caught the attention of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which asked the executive to release of the judge and some order court justices.

While a human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, blames legal practitioners for harassment of judges, the DSS gave reasons for the arrest.

The DSS subsequently released all the judges on self-recognition.

However, they are to report at the agency’s office when requested to, as the investigation and preparation to charge them to court continue.

The judges are accused of misconduct corruption and had been under investigation by the DSS.