Legal Practitioner Faults FG’s Committee On SGF, NIA DG’s Investigation

A legal practitioner, John Oloyede, has faulted the Federal Government’s idea of setting up a committee to investigate issues surrounding the suspension of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir Lawal and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.

He said in Nigeria, committees are set up to cover up lies. “There is a lie and you need a bigger lie to cover it up”.

“Why should the Vice President be heading a committee to investigate an allegation of crime against two individuals.

 Dead On Arrival

“Secondly, the Attorney General and even the Presidency authored a response to the allegations by the Senate, giving the Secretary to the Government of the Federation a clean bill of health previously.

“The clean bill of health was on the basis of a report that was submitted by the Attorney General of the Federation. You now set up a committee; that committee is dead on arrival.

“If you suspect that there is some proof that something untoward has been done and is an infraction of the law, the proper procedure is not to set up a committee that is dead on arrival.”

The lawyer therefore stated that the President should have taken a different step, rather than setting up a committee headed by the Vice President.

Let EFCC Investigate

“In Nigeria, you set up institutions and decapitate the institutions,” he said, while also noting that “what Professor Sani said, is playing out. You do not move two different sets of rules to fight corruption.

“If there is an allegation of crime against somebody, first and foremost, where did the first report come from? Now that it has become apparent to you (Mr President), that there is a problem with this particular person or persons, aren’t there institutions that are presently fighting the war on corruption? The EFCC, DSS, Police? He questioned.

“That administrative step should not be in public domain, it is not our business,” Oloyede added.

According to him, “the important thing now is that once a person is suspended, the EFCC should do their work.

“Let them investigate this person, just like they are investigating and charging other people to court. Why have two sets of rules for the same kind of crimes.”

He holds the belief that since the AGF had absolved the SGF before, he could easily do same this time around as he would not want to double speak. However, if he does otherwise, then his previous report would be questioned.

“If he says this man is guilty as charged, then we’ll say where did you get your false report before, why didn’t you do a thorough investigation? The chief law officer, involved in double speak, that is untoward,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, other reactions have continued to trail the suspension. The Chairman of the Senate’s Ad-hoc Committee on Humanitarian crises in the North East, Shehu Sani, however, stated that the suspension of Mr Babachir Lawal will not interrupt its ongoing investigation of the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

Budget Padding Is Unknown To Law, Lawmakers Committed Forgery – Oloyede

John Oloyede, Budget PaddingA legal practitioner, John Oloyede, has condemned the choice of words – budget padding, used to describe the ongoing controversy over the House of Representatives’ handling of the 2016 budget.

The lawyer who was the guest of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, said that there is no offence known to Nigerian law called padding.

“Now you have a situation where self-confessed fraudsters – people in the National Assembly are coming on air to say ‘we padded’. No they did not pad, they forged and forgery is known to Nigerian law,” he said.

He condemned the manner in which different persons, particularly lawmakers, have tried to define the meaning of the word padding.

He recalled instances where lawsuits against some prominent Nigerians were set aside because the offences were not known to Nigerian law.

Mr Oloyede advocated the need to strengthen the institutions. “If the Police was strong enough, all these people should be in handcuffs; from the person making the allegations to the person sitting as Speaker in the House of Reps.

“Why is it that the institutions that are supposed to curb crime find it so easy to go after ordinary Nigerians in respect of stealing a goat but when these self-confessed criminals come out to say ‘I’m a thief, I forged the Nigerian budget’, nobody is talking, they are waiting for petition from one of those who forged?”

Power Of Oversight

There have been arguments that the practice of tinkering with the budget has been a culture of the House and cannot be referred to as illegal but Mr Oloyede maintained that the job of the legislature does not include changing the budget.

He argued that they are only expected to scrutinize the document in order to point out areas they agree or disagree with and make recommendations to the executive arm of government.

In explaining where the power of the House stops, he said, “They have the power of oversight, they have power to ensure that the budget is implemented as passed. They do not have power to allocate funds.

“In the first instance, it is the executive that knows the monies that are available for the execution of projects within a given year.

“So when they pass the budget, the oversight function dictates that the members of the respective houses can monitor the implementation.

“They can go to places where the projects are being implemented to ensure that every kobo that was allocated in the budget was spent on that project.

“You have no business moving money around.”

Mr Oloyede went hard on the idea of constituency projects. He referred to it as a means of stealing.

“The fight here is not really about honour, dignity or principles, it is about ‘you are trying to eat more than I am eating’.

“The law is clear, all these people are criminals,” he said.

Chibok Girls: Lawyer Says Nigeria Should Negotiate With Boko Haram

Sunrise Daily John OloyedeA legal practitioner, John Oloyede, believes that Nigeria should not find it difficult to negotiate with the Boko Haram sect for the sake of the 200 Chibok girls.

Mr Oloyede was on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, where he discussed the state of insecurity in the country, especially the search for the schoolgirls who were abducted from Chibok, Borno State.

He said that it was about time Nigerians stopped looking for whom to blame for what has happened in the past but focus on what could be contributed to help the situation.

He advised Nigerians that blaming the Federal Government would not be productive – referring to the abduction as a conspiracy that backfired – as one could equally blame the parents of the girls who had prior information about the abduction but chose to go to the Police, rather than going to immediately fetch their kids before the act was carried out.

The issue of conflicting stories from different groups and persons concerning the abduction was also mentioned by the lawyer, who noted that the several conspiracy theories have only shown that things were not right about the way the abduction of the girls was being handled by the Government and the people.

Oloyede also stated that negotiation should not be seen as an impossibility in the circumstances, explaining that if America could give 5 men of the Taliban for the sake of one soldier who had been in captivity for 5 years, then Nigeria could not justify its refusal to negotiate for the lives of 200 children.

“Africans are known to negotiate”, he stressed, adding that “We (Nigeria) are not setting any precedence” in response to the views that the negotiations would be sending the wrong signal of gullibility to Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.

Oloyede believes that the rise of Boko Haram and the need for Nigeria to negotiate with Boko Haram was a product of mistakes which had been made in the past and Nigeria had now reached a stage where it has to do what is required for the girls to be brought home safe, as any parent would do.

He disagreed with the call that the location of the abductors should be stormed.

The lawyer further posited that the sect’s plan was to use the girls as a bargaining chip. He wondered why the group decided to slaughter boys in an earlier attack in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, and decided to keep the Chibok girls alive.

He cited reports that some parents had been visiting the girls in custody of the insurgents, while the Military could not move near their camps.

He also cited the release of a recent video showing the girls speaking and complaining about their condition in the terrorists’ camps as proof that the Boko Haram had their plans well worked out.

He said that he believed that the insurgents knew that girls would attract more attention and they knew that killing them would bring out the wrath of the Nigerian Army, so their plan remained to push for negotiation.

Oloyede noted that Nigeria needs to develop a home-grown solution to its problems, because America and the international community would not have the capacity to help it solve the problem, as he maintained his position that the international community was responsible for the refusal of the Nigerian Government to negotiate the proposed swap by the sect.

Okupe Examines What Boko Haram Wants, Promises Victory

Sunrise Okupe BHThe Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe has admitted that the growth of terrorism in Nigeria may indeed be connected to the poor socioeconomic conditions in the country.

Dr. Okupe was the guest of Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise, where he was joined by Journalist, Sola Ojewusi, and a Legal Practitioner, John Oloyede to examine ‘What Boko Haram Wants’.

The group – whose official Arabic name translates as “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad” – says it is fighting to overthrow Nigeria’s Government and establish an Islamic state.

Dubbed Boko Haram or “western education is sinful” by locals for its rejection of European values, the sect was founded in the early 2000s by cleric, Mohammed Yusuf, and gained a steady following in the northern city of Maiduguri, preaching against secular values in a nation which is split between large Muslim and Christian populations.

Okupe, tracing the strength of the group back to the founding strategies of its leader, noted that the late cleric gained the loyalty of many youths because he was assisting them to solve issues bordering on their economic challenges, while teaching them his beliefs.

“In his method of recruitment, he stood in the gap, giving social services and helping young people.

“A young man whose parents are not wealthy and has gotten to the age of getting married and he hasn’t got the means to pay dowry and somebody helps him; that man becomes his mentor. So, poor economic conditions may have some measure of role to play in the festering of this phenomenon”, he said.

The provision of economic and social support by Boko Haram – which included providing meals and economic schemes, a youth empowerment programme, support for trading, as well as helping to arrange cheap marriages between sect members – has led some to ascribe the group’s growth to a failure of governance in Nigeria.

Mr. Ojewusi, however, noted that it would be too simplistic to attribute the growth of the sect to bad governance, as the issue of Boko Haram started way before the present administration, and looking at the history of terrorism, it was not new in Nigeria.

“What we are having is an offshoot of what has been from the beginning”, he noted.

While also admitting that Government indeed has a role to play, he explained that examining Boko Haram as an entity should not be done in isolation as it was not peculiar to Nigeria, being an international body. “You have to look at it from countries like Niger, Northern Cameroon, and Chad.

He stated that the escalation of the group in Nigeria showed that there was more than meet the eye and those underlying factors should be what Nigerians need to focus on, if they would find a solution to the menace.

The Legal Practitioner, John Oloyede, admitted generously.

“You cannot tell me that because America has had to contend with terrorism in Iraq is simply because the American Government does not know how to handle terrorism. Even the terrorists took the war to America and they had their way”, he said.

On the view that America differed from Nigeria in the sense that it was not dealing with home-grown terrorists owing to its higher economic standards, Oloyede disagreed, claiming that the situation in Nigeria was also not totally home-grown.

He argued further, “America has gone through the same situation we have now. You can take from history the case of Cuban refugees – those who were sympathetic towards the Cuban cause then. America was on fire, the Cubans were bombing all the places, the Government didn’t know what to do, it took like 10-15 years before they could nip that problem in the bud.”

Referring to an earlier statement by Dr Okupe that poor and unemployed people had become easy prey for the sect’s recruitment strategies, using the maxim “Devil finds work for an idle hand”, Mr Oloyede said: “Poor people cannot afford AK47; they can’t buy these arms and ammunition – anti aircraft guns – that we see, so they are not poor people, we need to clear that from our conscience, because Nigerians we are turning against one another – APC accusing PDP, PDP accusing APC.

“When Al-Qaeda struck America, the American people came together. These elements are using psychology, and we are doing exactly what they want us to do out of fear. We are blaming each other instead of us to see them as a common enemy and face them as such.

“We are blaming our military men that they are not doing the job, they are ill equipped, No. I don’t think President Jonathan or General Buhari is happy with what is happening; they just can’t do anything about it.”

The response and sensitivity of the Federal Government then came to the fore as Dr Okupe defended the President, stating that the case of America’s 9-11 attack should not be compared to Nigeria’s.

“For every attack that becomes visible and devastating, eight or nine have been stopped; but you know when an attack is foiled Government does not come to the air to talk about it.

Okupe, speaking on the demands of the sect, noted that their demands were clear on wanting full implementation of Sharia laws; he added that they also demanded that the Holy Quran becomes the guiding principles of the country amongst other requests which he said could be negotiated if the insurgents were truly representing Islam.

“Today we’ve got infiltration by actual crass criminals who are not really totally Nigerians complicated by political activists who also demand some other things. So it has become an appearance of incongruous gathering of people you cannot easily discern.”

He, however, stated that even as the country is at war with the Boko Haram sect, the Federal Government was working relentlessly to win the war but Nigerians need to understand that the war has been made difficult by the nations peculiar population and topography.

 

Politicians Have Turned Boko Haram Issue Into Campaign Rhetoric – Oloyede

A Nigerian lawyer, John Oloyede, has faulted the governor of Borno State’s comment that the Boko Haram was better motivated than the military, saying it was a wrong comment capable of dampening the morale of the military.

He said that some “politicians have turned Boko Haram issues into campaign rhetoric” and condemned the unjust killing of 29 pupils in Yobe State on Tuesday.

He said that Governor Kashim Shettima’s comments would reduce the motivation of the soldiers and prevent them from doing their best in curbing insurgency.

Speaking on Tuesday on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Oloyede questioned the motivation gotten from the sect and commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the effort he had made in the fight against terrorism and the closing of the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. He added that the soldiers had done their best in fighting the menace and should be commended.

Speaking on the National Conference, Mr Oloyede said that the bringing back of state police should be considered with importance before more damages were done.

“We cannot continue to run to Mr President for security, therefore we need state police to help us”.

He emphasised the need for the consideration of state police and further mentioned that “Nigeria is not ready for democracy”.

On the suspension of the the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Oloyede said that President Jonathan had the absolute power to remove or suspend the CBN governor, citing section 11(1) of the interpretation Act.

He also suggested that the Attorney General should explain the situation to the Nigerian public and stop the misconception.

Mr Oloyede insisted that the suspension of Sanusi also brought to question why the Group Managing Director of the NNPC should not be suspended pending when the investigation of the alleged $20 billion missing money was over.

“The rule should apply across board,” he said.

 

House Members Have No Moral Right To Defect- Legal Practioner

A legal practitioner, Mr John Oloyede believes the members of the House of Representatives that defected from the House of Representatives to the All Progressives Congress (APC) had no moral right to do so.

Speaking on Channels Television flagship morning show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Oloyede described the defections as “morally wrong”.

Speaking legally, he cited the Supreme Court judgment which gave Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state, the mandate to govern the state after a different candidate was fielded during the election by the party.

He said “the Supreme Court ruled that the party won the mandate, but that was fielded did not win the primary election” adding that “the platform on which you contest, remains the owner of the mandate not you as a person” insisting that “it is a precedent and it ought to be followed”.

He noted that except there is a difference in the cases, the precedent must be maintained.

He further noted that “it is unfortunate that today the PDP as a party is now feeling the brunt and that’s why there is so much noise” mentioning “situations in the past where people cross-carpeted from their parties- APGA, APP- to PDP and there have been pronouncements too, nothing happened to those people”.

Mr Oloye berated the lack of political ideology in the country describing  it as a “Nigerian phenomenon” and insisting that “there are no ideological basis for joining any party in Nigeria anymore in Nigeria”.

He maintained that the PDP is divided from recent happenings there in but was quick to add that “that is not to say that any member of PDP as presently constituted will see it as a division” agreeing that “it remains one big family”.

He went further to note that “there is no party that is not divided in Nigeria” citing cases of internal wrangling between members of APGA and APC.

He said the debate on whether the defecting members have the right to do so should not be the bone of contention at this level of our democracy. Mr Oloyede noted that the law permits every citizen to join any political party he so wishes to.

He however wondered if after joining political party and securing the people’s mandate on the platform of the party “can you retain that mandate as an individual?” insisting that “that is what is up for interpretation.

 

 

Give Proposed National Dialogue A Chance — Oloyede

John OloyedeA legal practitioner, Mr John Oloyede, has urged Nigerians to give the proposed National Dialogue a chance instead of condemning it.

He said that “condemning the dialogue before it is held will not change the state of affairs in Nigeria. Should we fold our hands and continue the way we are because past dialogues did not work?”

He said: “I don’t agree with politicians, who some years past were clamouring for a discussion, suddenly saying the proposed conference is coming too close to an election year. What election? Are you talking about an election that is already a subject matter in the court of law? People are already saying the siting president should not contest. Why are people saying that we should wait till after the election? Is anybody sure that the election will actually hold with the state of affairs?

He insisted that there was nothing wrong with coming together to talk and suggested that Nigerians should ensure that the proposed dialogue was not politicised.

“Ethnic nationalities should be adequately represented.

“It should be a bottoms-up situation where people are actually chosen by their people from the grassroots to go and represent them,” he stated.

He emphasised the role of traditional rulers and village council meetings in choosing the representatives.

Choosing individuals from the grassroots, according to him, would remove the problem of lack of trust, which he identified as the cause of the problems in Nigeria.

Justice Talba: Don’t Suspend Bad Judges, Sack Them, Lawyer Tells NJC

A lawyer, John Oloyede has described the recent suspension of Justice Yakubu Talba by the Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC)  as “a middle line option” insisting that what the judiciary needs now is a complete overhaul.

While speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast Show Sunrise Daily, Mr Oloyede said the real rational of the NJC suspending a judge for 12 months and telling him to come back is a bit confusing, he said in the justice system there is nothing like a middle line option its either the judge is good or his bad.

He added that “if the NJC could find reasons to suspend him for 12 months they could as well tell him to go forever”

Oloyede said that in justice a judge must have credibility because people putting their disputes before a judge believes a judge can solve it, he called the suspension an act of indictment.

He also added that “the moment NJC starts taking the actions of an Appellate court then Nigeria is doomed.”

 

Okah’s Sentence, Perfect Example Of Justice – Oloyede

A lawyer, John Oloyede has disagreed with claims that the judicial procedure involving Henry Okah, leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is a travesty of justice.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Oloyede stated that “in fact, that’s what justice should be like.”

The lawyer who stated that ‘justice delayed is justice denied,’ lamented the typical practice in the Nigerian justice system whereby criminal cases are adjourned instead of being attended to expeditiously.

He said such cases are usually flooded by frivolous appeals and applications which tie the hands of the judge.

Commenting about the silence of the Nigerian government regarding Mr Okah’s sentencing, he said that “the position of the government is to maintain sordid silence.”

There’s a big problem with the country’s Judiciary – Legal Practitioner

With focus on the judiciary on how justice is being administered, John Oloyede a legal practitioner admitted that there is a big problem with the judiciary in the country at the moment.

He said on our breakfast show Sunrise Daily that it is not just about the daily workings of the judiciary but the overbearing influence of the politicians on the judiciary and the non-implementation of the laws.

NYSC programme is still relevant – Lawyer

Legal Practitioner, John Oloyede said on Thursday that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme has not outlive the puprose for which it was created.

My Oloyede, who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily advices the Federal Government to retain the programme but make some modifications that will comply with the reality of the current security situation in Nigeria.