Legal Practitioner Advocates More Co-ordination In Search For Missing Girls

malachy ugwumaduA legal practitioner, Malachy Ugwumadu, has called on security agents fighting against terror and searching for the abducted school girls to be “more coordinated” to “mitigate the pain, anguish and frustration suffered by the victims of this dastardly act”.

He noted that in rescuing the girls “there are two proposals (options)”, first “is in engaging these people (Boko Haram) with brute force and another is to negotiate with them” adding that both have their “merits and demerits”.

Ugwumadu, however, noted that “if you have at the back of your mind the safe return of these girls, you will go for the latter and that is to negotiate with these criminal elements”.

Speaking on Channels Television’s award winning breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, the legal practitioner noted that “even as sophisticated as the United States of America is, there are plethora of instances where they have had to negotiate, the least of which was just yesterday with just a single Sergeant in the US Army”.

He added that “if you apply that to this situation, you will find out that these girls have been taken in as shields and if you are going to make the mistake of that misadventure of trying to test the will of people who have clearly dramatized their bestiality, you will have these girls down”.

He also appreciated the “concern of the Nigerian people, the difficulty of government amidst the cacophony of voices that are coming from every angle”, maintaining an earlier stance, “that is why I said they should get a little more coordinated”.

He added that “given that discordant voices, there has been an attempt to coordinate the dissemination of information by all the security agencies”, and commended “virtually all the spokespersons of various security agencies who come together with a view to giving a coordinated information.”

Mr Ugwumadu, stated that false rumours making the rounds that a number of the girls had been found only “adds to the pain, frustration and agony” describing is as one which “exposes the gloomy picture of where we are”.

He also alleged that “it is almost certain that these people (military) will not be able to rescue these girls.”

Reacting to the calls that the Federal Government should negotiate the safe return of the girls, he appealed for the Government to “take steps to curtail what they have capacity to do almost immediately” when trying to swap the girls with yet to be de-radicalised members of the Boko Haram sect.

He further downplayed the idea of granting amnesty to the sect members, wondering what the chances were that all the variables that determine and fuel this kind of insurgency would not have yet another one after Boko Haram”

The lawyer recalled, “It was Shehu Sani who said that his fear really is that Boko Haram is not the most violent sect in the North presently; that the only difference is that these ones have crossed the line and they are carrying guns.”

 

Lawyer Paints Reps N45M Allownace Demand Different Shades Of Wrong

Malachy UgwumaduNigerian lawyer, Malachy Ugwumadu, on Thursday decried a reported demand of a total of N45 million naira quarterly allowance by members of the House of Representatives, stating that such a move would demoralise the people.

Members of the House had on Wednesday reportedly held a closed door meeting with their leaders to clamour for increase in the quarterly allowance, from N27 million per quarter to N45 million per Rep. Reacting to this development via a telephone interview on Sunrise Daily, Ugwumadu said the misalignment between the needs of the people and the activities of the operators of government was a “recipe for some form of very serious concern”.

The public affairs analyst said the figures being reeled out by the lawmakers was not in tandem with the reality of what the citizens earn particularly when placed against the backdrop of the minimum wage, “which is 18,000 naira, and the resentment which they also stand against policies and activities of government would ordinarily advance the well-being of the Nigerian people.”

He mentioned that the lawmakers were creating problems for themselves and that “even if they earn more than that 45 million naira per quarter, you cannot have the safety to enjoy it”.

“The country that has just concluded the rebasing system in which we are made to believe that Nigeria is now the biggest economy in Africa and one of the best in the world, that does not translate practically in terms of what the people are experiencing on daily basis,” he added.

He further stated that “those kinds of signals clearly point out to the fact that the government has become publicly animated to the welfare and well-being of the people.”

Ugwumadu also faulted the action on moral grounds, especially “when you arrogate the rights to fix your own emoluments,” stressing that the right to increase or fix salaries and emoluments was within the jurisdiction of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

It “is never the responsibility of those occupying those offices,” he added.

The lawyer advised that legal action be taken to deter the House from taking such a step.

“I think that beyond making these things campaign issues, organisations and institutions that have varying concerns with this development can approach the court and seek restrictive orders to prevent them (Representatives) from this recklessness that has turned us into a very country,” he said.

UNN Pro-Chancellor’s Removal: Senior Lecturer, Alumnus Disagree

A Senior Lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Tony Nwaezeigwe has claimed that the removal of the university Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Emeka Enejere, is indeed justified.

Speaking on Channels Television during the breakfast programme, Sunrise, he alleged that the UNN Pro-Chancellor led the clamour for the instalment of an indigene as Vice-Chancellor thereby destroying the prestigious image of the institution with his political inclination.

He also alleged that Dr. Emeka Enejere, lied that the Minister of Education instructed him not to confirm the appointment of 2 deputy VCs. In addition, Nwaezeigwe also claimed that the Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Emeka Enejere, suspended the University Bursar because he refused to approve the release of 5 million Naira to him.

However, an ex-student of the school and Legal Adviser to UNN Alumni in Lagos, Malachy Ugwumadu would not be bought by Dr. Nwaezeigwe’s arguments, which he referred to as lacking depth and facts.

He claimed that the removal of the Pro-Chancellor is not only unwarranted but the manner in which it was done is also irregular. He argued that the position of the Pro-Chancellor is not administrative and the allegation against him seems to be more of politics than facts.

He insisted that only the President can appoint and remove the Pro-Chancellor of a university.

He also claimed that there are many within the university system that are not happy that the Pro-Chancellor was removed, because he has been seen as someone on a rescue mission who is committed to changing the fortunes of his beloved university.

These views are however contrary to those expressed by Dr. Nwaezeigwe, who claimed that the Pro-Chancellor constantly attacked the good reforms that had been embarked on by previous administration of the school.

In a twist, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, UNN Chapter, Ifeanyichukwu Abada, who joined the discussion via telephone, stated that the allegations against the Pro-Chancellor which led to his removal are not known to them, and as far as they (ASUU) are concerned, there are no basis for his removal.

The argument at a point became heated when the Alumnus tried to question the authenticity of Dr. Nwaezeigwe’s claims since he has no direct dealing with the school’s governing council, but Dr. Nwaezeigwe threw counter accusations at him for “sitting in Lagos” and claiming to know more about the school.

Shouting Ugwumadu down on several occasions, he would ask him “when last did you visit the school?”

Both guests refused to agree on most issues raised and as the year 2014 goes by, students, lecturers and other stakeholders can only wait to see if there would be a resolution to the matter.

Legal Practitioner Commends Mark Over Call For National Conference

A legal practitioner and public affairs analyst, Malachy Ugwumadu  on Wednesday commended the Senate president for retracing his steps on the need for the constitution of  a national conference.

Ugwumadu said “ Senator David Mark is on record to have made very sensitive comments regarding the convocation of a national conference” adding that “this is on the heels of his admission too, that the country as presently constituted, needs state policing”.

Ugwumadu, who is also at the forefront of those calling for the convocation of a national conference, noted that “the views they toed in the past are no longer working” saying that “we thank him for that”.

He however noted that cynics already believe that “the sovereign national conference has actually started in a different form” saying that “if Boko Haram for instance has as one of its demands, the Islamisation of Nigeria; you will find out that it is in direct contradiction of Section 10 of the constitution.

The Niger Delta, for instance, had issues with resource control and for long no one was listening to them and they had to take up arms. Today we have started hearing amnesty for kidnappers, armed robbers and so on and so forth” he said, insisting that “Nigeria as presently constituted cannot move forward”.

He listed the “consolidation of the culture of impunity” as one of the dividends of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rule in Nigeria noting that “impunity only strives when you do nothing with respect to any transgression and people are emboldened to do more”.

He said the “contradictions that led to the emergence of that organisation as a political party are beginning to resolve themselves one after the other”  insisting that “there is an advancement in that style of rascality” citing the fracas that ensued in the National Assembly on Tuesday over the visit of the Baraje-led leadership of the PDP.

He said it is “interesting too that our women have also dramatised capacity in wreaking the same measure of violence’’ advising that she should have “engaged in the force of logic”.

He likened the situation to “debates all over the world, particularly the intervention of the western world on Syria” insisting that there is no link between what is obtainable in the United Kingdom and United States with what is obtainable in Nigeria.

He said the Baraje-led executives of the party could not have visited the National Assembly to make their case without a “prior invitation” insisting that “I don’t think, as a private person, no less a factional leader of the ruling party, can just storm the National Assembly and just take over proceedings  in terms of been granted audience”.

He also said legislators should not continue to hide under the cloak of legislative immunity and cause bodily harm to each other.

Don’t Give Up, Keep Protesting, Lawyer Advises UniAbuja Students

A lawyer, Malachy Ugwumadu has advised the students of the University of Abuja to continue protesting the non-accreditation of their courses after spending at least 8 years studying, adding that “the students are wielding their legitimate right.”

Mr Ugwumadu, while discussing the issues surrounding the University of Abuja on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said that the whole brouhaha reeked of ‘corruption.’

Students in three different faculties, Vet medicine, engineering and medicine recently took to the streets to protest the non-accreditation of their courses, blocking the street and disrupting ongoing school examinations.

Speaking to Channels Television, the Vice Chancellor of the university, James Adelabu said that the issue of accreditation of medical programme is almost complete.

Corruption

However, Mr Ugwumadu voiced his suspicions of corrupt practices at the management level.

“I think that at the heart of this crisis is the question of corruption,” he said.

He described the issue as fortunate.

“It is one problem-too many. They have a recurrent student uprising.”

He ascribed the university’s challenges to its failure to relocate to the permanent site where larger facilities, infrastructure and basic necessities that will effectively qualify the faculty will be available. These are criteria the National Universities Commission (NUC) looks out for in accrediting an institution.

Compensation

The protesting  students of the institution have demanded monetary compensation of N10 million each as well as transfer to other universities, in order to progress in their academic pursuit.

Mr Ugwumadu agreed that money cannot compensate the number of years wasted but said that financial gratification might not essentially be the motive.

He said a transfer to another university “would also be a serious breach of the contract”.

The students should intensify their agitation. The students should reach out more effectively, the students should get much more organised.

He admonished them to be idealistic but  added that they shouldn’t throw caution to the wind. “You can effectively secure what you are entitled to.”

He called on the commissioner of police to advise the students on how best to get the attention of the presidency.

Banning Tinted Glass Car: Lawyer Queries Exemption For President, Others

A human rights lawyer and the former general scribe of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Malachy Ugwumadu has frown at the act exempting certain category of persons from the prohibition law on the use of tinted glass cars in Nigeria.

Mr Ugwumadu, who expressed his displeasure of the exemption act in an interview with Channels Television, said the President, Vice President, Governors, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and others exempted from the prohibition of the use of tinted glass car do not face more security challenges than the ordinary Nigerians.

He said, “These are people who are heavily paid, I mean the same category of people who are exempted, who receive what we call security votes, usually unaccounted for, usually running into billions.

“I was here the other thing and I said Governor Rochas Okorocha, in all fairness to him, disclosed to this country that what his predecessor was receiving before he came on board was N6 billion and that when people wondered why he (Mr Okorocha) was able to revive free education in Imo State; it was that he dedicated Four out of the N6 billion to the educational assignment.”

The activist said this is an example that the ordinary Nigerian, who do not have access to such fund, are more exposed to security threats than those exempted from the prohibition of the use of tinted glass car.

Mr Ugwumadu said exempting some people from certain law is discriminationary and violate section 42 of the Nigerian constitution which holds that ‘A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:

(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or

(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.

Ban Of Tinted Glass: There Should Be No Exemptions, Lawyer Insists

A legal practitioner, Malachy Ugwumadu has said that the ban of tinted windows for vehicles is a very clear appeal of discrimination in the country.

While speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast Show Sunrise Daily, Mr Ugwumadu said the public was banned from the use of tinted glasses, with exceptions.

He said those who were exempted were the President, Vice President, Governors, Deputies Governors, Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and House Minority leaders.

Mr Ugwumadu said he sorted for advice from  judicial officials in order to quash the directive given, he added that those that are exempted are the same categories of Nigerians, who are entitled to huge security votes, and have tight security officer drawn from different part of the world to protect them, he called this directive, an act of discrimination.