Jonathan Should Have Sacked Sanusi Long Ago – Mike Ozekhome

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, on Monday said President Goodluck Jonathan’s action against the suspended CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, was long overdue and should have been an outright sack.

Several arguments trailed the President’s decision to suspend the Governor without the required two-third vote from the Senate.

However, speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ozekhome argued that Jonathan followed due process under the law.

According to him, the power of the President to remove Sanusi is inherent in the power of an employer to suspend an employee and so it doesn’t even have to be written.

“The CBN Act simply talks about removal from office in Section 11(2F) but it did not dwell on the issue of suspension,” he said and stressed that suspension was a step towards removal or dismissal.

He commended counter arguments by some lawyers that “one of the legal principles of statutory interpretation is that whatever is not stated is excluded and since suspension was not specifically mentioned in the CBN Act, it means it was excluded.”

He, however, gave a counter argument saying “such argument forgets its sister principle of statutory interpretation that what is not forbidden or outlawed is allowed. In other words, if a law does not specifically say you cannot do this, it means you can do it.”

The lawyer went further to say that the suspended CBN governor, who was employed directly by the President under Section 8 of the CBN Act, failed in regards to the ethical and behavioural tendencies expected of him and that the autonomy of the institution was subject to the President’s leadership.

“Section 8 says it is the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that employed the CBN governor and the deputy governors” adding that “the CBN is autonomous to the extent that it reports to the President” he said.

Ozekhome further argued that the President had followed due procedure in removing Sanusi, as approval by the Senate should come after the deed had been done. “One comes before the other,” he said and maintained that; “dismissal takes place then you go to the Senate for confirmation.”

Ozekhome, who compared Sanusi to unpopular Governors in other countries of the world, said the position of the CBN governor was conservative and that he should not have criticised a government he worked for publicly. “A CBN Governor is supposed to be seen and rarely heard, if at all he should be heard.”

“If you must be a sentinel at the apex bank of Nigeria, like Caesars’ wife, you must be above board,” he said, insisting that “the right thing to do out of self-respect, character and dignity is to put in your letter of resignation” if he had differences with the system.

According to the senior lawyer, Sanusi’s criticism of the Federal Government led to disinvestment and the instability of the Naira. “That is why the Naira has been dancing a ‘yoyo dance’.”

He faulted Sanusi’s inconsistency in reeling out figures, insisting that it undermines the confidence in the economy and currency of the country. “As a CBN Governor he should be master of figures, he shouldn’t stumble because you are playing with figures in the realm of international politics.

“A CBN governor does not have to raise an alarm to the country. There are in-built mechanisms in any government.

“I don’t agree with you that when you work in a system, that the way to work in that system is to flip-flop with figures to the whole world which undermines the economy of that country,” he added.

APC Is Not Panadol – Akpabio

The Governor of Akwa Ibom state and chairman of the PDP’s Governors Forum; Mr Godswill Akpabio has described the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Alliance from the merger of some political parties as a substandard drug that cannot cure Nigeria’s ailments.

Mr Akpabio made this known during an exclusive interview on our breakfast progamme, Sunrise Daily in Uyo, where he likened the planned opposition party to a fake brand of the most popular pain killer drugs in Nigeria.

According to Mr Akpabio, “APC as a drug is our (PDP’s) model and that is why we brought out Panadol.”

“And if it is not panadol, it’s not the same as panadol” he stated using a popular line from an old advertisement of the pain killer.

He further affirmed that “APC cannot cure a lot of disease now and that is the simple truth” as he decried the party’s lingering crisis with the registration of the party’s name and acronym with the electoral body.

When asked if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is involved in the emergence of another APC, the African People’s Congress, Mr Akpabio replied, “it is all politics.”

“PDP does not have a hand in it but if PDP has a hand in it, I will say that is a good strategy because you (PDP) also have to make the opposition uncomfortable.”

“They are making you (pointing to himself as a PDP leader) uncomfortable, so why shouldn’t you make them uncomfortable” he asked cheerfully.

Confession To Election Rigging: ‘I Was Misunderstood’ – Akpabio

The Governor of Akwa Ibom state; Mr Godswill Akpabio has claimed that he was misunderstood for his recent confession that he struck out the name of a Senatorial candidate for Senator Etuk during the 2011 general election.

Mr Akpabio during an exclusive interview with Channels TV breakfast progamme; Sunrise Daily, stated that “I was misunderstood.”

“What happened was, we had a political meeting before the primaries where the list of people were given to me-possible candidates for the Senate in my senatorial district. And I struck off the name of the person that was recommended to me and I said no that, I will prefer another person because the senatorial seat should be zoned to the minority local government.”

The governor emphasised that the name substitution was “before the primaries, long before the general election.”

A 48 seconds video which was uploaded on the internet, went viral as the Governor was seen during a reception for the Good Governance tour in Uyo, admitting that he struck out the name of a candidate in favour of Senator Aloysius Etuk, the current chairman of Senate committee on Pension Reform Task Team; so that his Senatorial district can produce the Senate.

Further explaining the situation around the cancellation of the name, Mr Akpabio described it as a “political meeting.”

“It was a political conglomeration where we converge and discuss the affair of who should contest the Senate within the rank and file of an in-house arrangement before the primaries” he said.

He emphasised that the ‘political conglomeration’ was “before the PDP primaries” and we were trying to decide who we should vote for and what area we should vote.”

“And somebody needs to know, this was not a general elction, not even a primary. It was not even an election we were talking about.”

When asked if the meeting was an internal arrangement, the Governor replied with an emphatic no. “It was before the voting where we were trying to decide who we will vote for at the primaries.”

“I am not INEC, even INEC cannot strike out somebody’s name and put another person’s name after an election result has been announced.”

A bemused Akpabio further stated that “Nigerians do not like to hear the truth” as he claimed he made

“Tell the admirers of the uncommon transformation (his administration’s motto), tell the admirers of Governor Akpabio that the governor is a democrat. I will never engage in that type of thing.”

The Governor also claimed that in 2007 he struggled to get the mandate for his election therefore, he was in no way capable of sticking out names.


Governors Forum Crisis: Amaechi Tried To Reinstall Himself – Akpabio

The Governor of Akwa Ibom state and chairman of the PDP’s Governors Forum; Mr Godswill Akpabio has revealed that the crisis that initially rocked the Nigeria’s Governor Forum  (NGF) was because the chairman of the forum Chibuike Amaechi was going to reinstall himself by seeking a second term which negates the constitution of the forum.

Mr Akpabio made this known during an exclusive interview on our breakfast progamme, Sunrise Daily in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, where he stated that “the only thing that happened in the governor’s forum is that our chairman, Governor Amaechi attempted to go for a second term, to reinstall himself and we said no.”

“The agreement we had that one (the chairman of the Governor’s forum) should go for only one tenure.”

He further adds that in trying to push on with the ambition, “a constitution was suddenly produced, which we disputed, we said no….”

According to Governor Akpabio, when the constitution for the NGF was drafted, all the members agreed that the chairman will only go for one term so that there won’t be acrimony amongst the rank and file of governors, “the southern part will do two years and the northern part will do two years for equity.”

The NGF has been engrossed in a somewhat crisis with the creation of the PDP’s Governors Forum which is headed by Mr Akpabio.

The Rivers state governor who is also a member of the PDP, has failed to attend or be part of the PDP’s Governors Forum since its creation.

Meanwhile, the 2013 election for the next chairman of the NGF is scheduled to hold in June.



Lawyer Says Confidence In Nigerian Judiciary Is Down, Not Nose-diving

A lawyer, Liborous Oshomah on Wednesday said the confidence of Nigerians on the Judicial system is completely down and not ‘beginning to nosedive’ as the Chief Judge of Nigeria (CJN) Alooma Muktar had asserted.

Mr Oshomah, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said confidence on a judiciary that had two alleged corrupt principal officer – former Chief Judge of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher and President of the Appeals Court, Justice Ayo Salami – can only be said to be down.

Speaking at a refresher course on how to write judgments organised for judges and Khadis by the National Judicial Institute (NJI) on Monday, the CJN said public confidence in justice delivery was beginning to nosedive.

She said: “Let us not deceive ourselves, the public confidence and trust in our work as judicial officers is beginning to nosedive.

“This is partly borne out from judgment emanating from our courts which the public or some section of it feels is rather unconscionable.”

Mr Oshomah however said, “Nose-diving is like begging the question. It is like trying to paint it in an appealing way. When you say nose-diving it means it is going down; it is already down.”

Boko Haram: Ijaw Leader Gives Conditions For Amnesty

Former President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Chris Ekiyo has opposed the calls for amnesty for members of the fundamentalist group, Boko Haram insisting that if pardon was the requirement to end criminality then it should be extended to armed robbers and hoodlums too.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ekiyo said it was wrong to compare the amnesty granted the former Niger Delta militants and that sought for members of the Boko Haram sect because unlike the former, the demands of the latter are unreasonable and ambiguous.

He said, “Everybody who wants this amnesty thing are saying that because the people of the Niger Delta enjoy this amnesty, it should be given to Boko Haram. But I am saying if you do that, you have sent the wrong signal out.”

Mr Ekiyo said unlike the Boko Haram members who have demonstrated traits of terrorism, the former Niger Delta militants were mere rebels and not terrorists. He insisted that ‘people have the right to rebel’ against perceived injustice but not to fight and kill innocent people.

According to the Ijaw leader, there are three basic conditions that must be considered before amnesty is discussed with leaders of the Boko Haram sect.

Watch the complete interview in the video below for the conditions Mr Ekiyo gave before members of Boko Haram are granted pardon.

Nigerians Have The Right To Express Their Rights – Osadolor

Osadolor Isioma a legal practitioner, speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily, said that Nigerians are allowed to express their opinion; “we are practicing democracy everybody will not concur with the presidency, we should be cautioned and reflect about what the laws says about pardon”.

While airing his views about the state pardon granted by President Goodluck Jonathan, he added that the Nigerian constitution is very simple and strikes on this matter.

Tthe power of Mr. presidency that flows from Section 175 of the constitution states “the president may grant pardon out of his benevolent to anyone he chooses fit, is to be done in consultation with council of states”.

Osadolor stated that Nigerians are expressing their rights which they entitled to in a democratic sector.

He also made it clear that the president’s exhibition of his executive power is not an indication of trying to propagate corruption. He added the president has made it clear that Nigeria is trying to fight corruption however he is being misunderstood.

Lawyer Wants Penal, Criminal Codes Amended To Discourage Fraud

Following the recent trial and sloppy conviction of a former director at the Police Pension office, a legal practitioner, Chris Akiri has condemned corruption in Nigeria insisting that the scourge is rife in the country.

Mr Akiri, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the sentence handed to Yakubu Yusuf, who pleaded guilty of embezzling pension monies worth over N23 billion was  a slap on the faces of Nigerians.

He said Mr Yusuf was arraigned before the Abuja High Court under the provisions of section 309 of the penal code of the FCT Abuja 2007 which stated that “whoever commits criminal misappropriation shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.’’

Mr Akiri advised that the National Assembly amend both the penal and the criminal codes in order to provide stiff penalties that would discourage corruption among public officials.

See the complete interview with Mr Akiri in the video below:

Stop Patronising Quack Engineers, COREN President Warns

The President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Ibikunle Ogunbayo has warned against patronising unregistered engineers for any form of construction work.

Mr. Ogunbayo, who on Tuesday was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, said although most Nigerians are not aware that it is illegal to patronise engineers who are not registered under CORE, yet those who know flagrantly disregard the laws.

He said, “We still have governments in this country today who use unregistered engineering personnel. Yes, the populace may not be fully aware but certainly every government institution in this country knows because we write to all of them on a regular basis.”


Leadership is Nigeria’s core problem – Ekeh

A legal practitioner and public affairs commentator, George Ekeh on Monday said the major problem Nigeria is faced with is that of committed and selfless leaders.

Analysing the Independence Day speech of President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Ekeh said the 1 October speeches of successive Nigerian presidents is becoming a ritual with a disconnect from the reality on ground in the country.

Mr Ekeh, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the solution to the problem of leadership in Nigeria should start from electoral reforms.

Jonathan is not interested in deceiving Nigerians – aide

The Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Research, Emeka Onwuocha on Monday said the presidency and the administration in power is not interested in deceiving the populace and is only interested in building a standard nation where people based on competent, development and ideas can come together to build a strong country.

Mr Onwuocha, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said President Jonathan has embarked on fundamental reforms as opposed by window dressing of the previous administration.

He said those that criticize the administration of President Jonathan do so based on political and sectional bias.

Watched the video below for the complete interview with Mr Onwuocha.

At 52, Nigeria is wobbling – Arogundade

As Nigeria celebrate the anniversary of its 52 years of independence from colonial power, a public affairs analyst, Bose Arogundade on Monday said though the country is standing, it is still wobbling.

Ms Arogundade, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said considering all the level of infrastructure development in Nigeria, the country still have a long way to go.

Analysing the Independence Day speech of President Goodluck Jonathan, Ms Arogundade said although the president mention some indices of growth and development, these indices are mere theoretical.