THE DR. J.K. RANDLE COLLOQUIUM By Bashorun J.K. Randle - Paul Ukpabio's Blog

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Saturday, 19 May 2018

THE DR. J.K. RANDLE COLLOQUIUM By Bashorun J.K. Randle


We were rather modest regarding our expectation when planning the Colloquium to mark the 90th Anniversary of my grandfather late Dr. J.K. Randle who died on 27th February, 1928.

It would have fallen right in the midst of Lent. Hence, we moved the date to 29th March, 2018 and tagged the colloquium “RESURRECTION,TRIUMPH AND HOPE” with Health and Education (the areas of special interest to the man whose life we were celebrating) as the sub-theme. The venue was none other than the Chief J.K. Randle Memorial Hall, next door to the Island Club, at Onikan, Lagos. Since 24th September, 2017 the government has been trying to demolish it but it is still standing – STRONG, UPRIGHT and INDESTRUCTABLE!!

It has become a tourism destination for all those who are fascinated and beguiled by the victory of faith over wickedness and vindictiveness.
The spontaneous deluge of interest from near and far, well beyond the shores of Nigeria was so overwhelming that we had to extend the Colloquium for an extra day – Good Friday, 30th March, 2018 with the solemn undertaking to put the GOOD back into Good Friday ahead of April Fool’s Day(1st April).

It was most unfortunate that our Guest of Honour, Professor Stephen Hawking could not join us. He died on 14th March, 2018.
Professor Hawking was an internationally regarded theoretical physicist who made vast contributions to general relativity — our current description of gravity. In 1963, Hawking contracted Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to the University of Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professor. Despite having such an affliction that many experts expected to have killed him decades ago, he went on to become a vital and one of the most influential voices in the scientific community till date.The late Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Albert Einstein; the German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science.

Unknown to the public, Professor Hawking had surpassed himself – far beyond his mega best-selling book: “A Brief History of Time” and his “Black Hole Theory”. Only a few trusted colleagues at Cambridge University were privy to his most profound discovery – “TRANSAUG” {Transpordation and Augmentation). His theoretical concept was that if you could collapse both time and space which are the two elements which act as “re-agents” to distinguish and separate one individual from another, automatically there would be two indistinguishable versions of each individual. Hence, for us to be in two different places millions of miles apart would be as easy as a walk in the park!!

As previously agreed with Professor Hawking the Colloquium provided an excellent opportunity to test the efficacy of TRANSAUG.Mrs.Jane Hawking, who is anauthor and teacher, suggested that it would simplify matters to call it “FIZZING” which is more likely to resonate with the generality of the public, rather than the somewhat insular Cambridge academic community.
Although, we had invited both Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, President of Nigeria and Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, there was no confirmation that they would honour our invitation.
To our utter surprise, both of them turned up but apologised that they were actually on their way to another Colloquium at Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island.
In his opening remarks, President Muhammadu Buhari declared for the umpteenth time:
“I belong to everybody; and I belong to nobody.”
Then he dropped a bombshell which took all of us by surprise:
“My second term bid is based on clamour by Nigerians”
In response, I thanked him for his generosity of spirit which he demonstrated by sending me a goodwill message, which has gone viral on the internet, on my 74th birthday on 13th January, 2018.
Unknown to most people, President Buhari values friendship and he is loyal to his friends. Ironically, one of his closest friends was neither Fulani nor Hausa. It was late Adebayo Belo (our mutual friend) who was from Lagos but died in London on 5th December, 2015 after a protracted illness. Till the very end and during the funeral ceremonies General Buhari displayed exceptional caring and concern. May Bayo’s soul rest in peace. Perhaps we should add that General Buhari and late Major-General Shehu Yar’Adua were course mates and when Yar’Adua acquired a substantial piece of land in Kaduna, he gave part of it to his beloved Buhari as a token of friendship. How Buhari who was also very close to late General Sani Abacha was able to manage the tension between his two friends is a subject for another day.
In March 1995, when Abacha was the military Head of State, he arrested both General Olusegun Obasanjo and Major-General Shehu Yar’Adua for treason. They were tried by a military tribunal headed byGen. P.N. Azizaand were both sentenced to death. General Olusegun Obasanjo’s sentence was later commuted to 30 years imprisonment and that of Major-General Shehu Yar’Adua was commuted to life imprisonment.
Yar’Adua died on 8 December 1997 under suspicious circumstances in Abakaliki prison. It was not until after Abacha died on 8 June, 1998 that General Obasanjo was released. On 29 May, 1999 Obasanjo became the President of Nigeria.
It is instructive that regardless of their differences, both President Buhari and former President Obasanjo have retained the friendship of the Yar’Adua family.
Another huge surprise was the presence of Lt-General T.Y. Danjuma GCON who would neither subtract from nor add to what he said at Taraba State University, Jalingo:

“The armed forces are not neutral. They collude with the armed bandits that are killing people
You must rise to protect yourselves from these people, if you depend on the Armed Forces to protect you, you will all die
If you are depending on the armed forces to stop the killings, you will die one by one.
This ethnic cleansing must stop in Taraba, and it must stop in Nigeria. These killers have been protected by the military, they cover them and you must be watchful to guide and protect yourselves because you have no any other place to go
The ethnic cleansing must stop now otherwise Somalia will be a child’s play
I ask all of you to be on your alert and defend your country, defend your state”



Even more remarkable was the return of Bill Gates who had departed from Lagos after attending the dinner hosted by Alhaji Aliko Dangote in Lagos to commemorate the wedding of his daughter Fatima to Jamil Abubakar, son of former Inspector General of Police, M.D. Abubakar on Friday March 23, 2018.
Gates did not retract even a single word or sentence from what he said at the Special Session of the National Economic Council heldon Thursday March 22, 2018 at the Presidential Villa.
For good measure, he added:

“Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth, with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world, ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Chad. One in three Nigerian children is chronically malnourished.”
The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies “investing in our people” as one of three “strategic objectives.” But the “execution priorities” don’t fully reflect people’s needs, prioritizing physical capital over human capital.
Here you can see Nigeria’s per capita GDP growth from 2000 until today. If current education and health trends continue—if you spend the same amount in these areas and get the same results—per capita GDP flatlines, with economic growth just barely keeping up with population growth.
In 1978, Dr. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, who later became the Nigerian minister of health, helped establish primary health care as the global standard. Tragically, 40 years after Dr. Ransome-Kuti helped other countries set a course for the future, the Nigerian primary health care system is broken. The evidence for this can be found in the epidemic of chronic malnutrition, or stunting.”
I really think that of all the countries I have seen, it really hangs in the balance. If they can get health and education right, they can be an engine of growth, not just for themselves but for all of Africa.”
However, he hesitated somewhat when he came to the penultimate paragraph of his address:
These young people are entitled to not only dream, they deserve the opportunity to actualise their dream.
This was followed by the impromptu intervention of Professor Kingsley Moghalu,who declared:
“I am here in person. No “FIZZING” for me. My presence at this epochal event is by the grace of the Almighty in order to enable me to launch my presidential ambition as a contestant in the 2019 Presidential Election. My manifesto is “BIG” – (Build, Innovate and Grow).
I am fully in support of Bill Gates. Our programme of economic rebirth will decentralize the national grid and shift power generation towards renewable energy sources. We will undertake a fundamental reform of our healthcare and education systems.
The Nigerian Diasporawill play a central and institutionalised role in the building of our human capital.
Nigeria is now the poverty capital of the world. According to the World Poverty Clock, we overlook India in February 2018 as the country with the greatest number of people who live in extreme poverty.
India has a population six times the size of Nigeria’s.”

Regardless of the fact that Nigeria’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs (from 1992 to 1993) and Minister of Defence [Navy] (from 1961 to 1965) died on February 6, 2012, he turned up to declare his witness statementlive on the genesis of corruption in Nigeria:

“I was shocked to the marrow to discover that the Nigerian government refurbished an old ship for £18,000,000 (eighteen million pounds). This was shortly before I left the Ministry of Defence, where I was the Minister for the Navy. The Minister of Defence, Alhaji Muhammad Ribadu (grandfather of the current First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari. He died in 1965) approved £6.5 million for the flagship which I purchased for the Nigerian Navy for £2.8million from the Netherlands, thereby saving the nation £3.7 million.
In addition to the ship, the then Netherlands Minister of Defence, Piet de Jong who was my friend also gifted two ships to Nigeria as his country’s contribution to the Nigerian Navy.
In essence, what I delivered was not only a befitting flagship for the Nigerian Navy for £2.8 million after a special discount of £3.7 million but the retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension have issued an auditor’s report which confirms that the £2.8 million would be paid back over ten years, interest free.
Thereafter, kickbacks and corruption became the order of the day (and night!!). It was one of those ships that was used as a conduit pipe to siphon £18 million from the government treasury.”

When the Inimitable and indefatigable Bishop Matthew Kukah, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto took the floor, he caught us all off guard. We thought he was about to offer prayers. Instead, he proceeded to read his “Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari”:
“Mr. President, I have decided to speak to a cross section of Nigerians, beginning with you and going right down to the many nameless men and women who do not even qualify to be classified as the ordinary man in the street because they live on water and have no streets on which to walk.
I believe that this country is so split both vertically and horizontally today that all of us must honestly identify our many sins of omission and commission so that we can honestly seek a solution.
This is a time for us to genuinely face what looks to me like an impending calamity.
The gathering clouds are clear for us to see and even those who cannot see can hear the rumbling and rolling sound of thunder. We ignore them at our own risk. I therefore state as follows:
You know Sir, that you rode into town like a knight in shining armour, carrying the joys, pains, anxieties and fears of a people whose broken dreams had littered and turned the landscape into a kaleidoscopic scenery of desolation and despair.
In your campaigns, you had promised to restore a sense of national pride in us by slaying the dragon of corruption, banishing the retrogressive scourge of Boko Haram, bringing back our daughters from Chibok and making our country and citizens truly safe.
We waited in hope right to the end of the first year, but somehow, amidst some hazy weather, all we heard was the sound of screeching tyres with the plane carrying our hopes seemingly unable to take off.
It finally did but we had barely gained altitude when sickness struck and you spent the better part of a year seeking healing. The nation prayed for you and miraculously, you recovered. Evidently, you had been saved for a purpose. Our prayer is that this realization will help you understand that you have a date with history and divine judgment.
For now, before your eyes and in your hands, our country, our communities, our people are all in a state of stupor. We have never felt so alienated from one another. The bogeyman of religion, region and ethnicity, which we thought we had overcome by the sheer nature of your support base, have come back with a vengeance to haunt and threaten the very foundation of our existence.
Mr. President, you are too distant from your people. There is a sad feeling that you do not share in the pain and suffering of your people.
You must very quickly find a way of connecting with your people before the devil takes over the space. For taking on this challenge and connecting with Nigerians, happy Easter.”


As confirmation that reading Nigerian newspaper is not to be recommended to the faint –hearted (or those who are afflicted with heart condition), it was Olusegun Adeniyi, Chairman of the Editorial Board of “ThisDay”newspaper who tasered us with his chilling account of the security situation in the country:
“BEYOND THE BANDITRY IN ZAMFARA”:
“While the security challenge is national, the gravity of the northern situation was brought to the fore in 2014 by respected retired federal permanent secretary, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, who is currently the Chief of Staff to the Senate President. While lamenting how rustlers carted away his herds, he also painted a pathetic picture of the security situation in many of the northern states: “For almost 400 square kilometres, from Abuja to Kaduna, Zaria and Birnin Gwari, there is hardly any farm with cattle [left]. It is the same in most parts of Katsina and Zamfara states. The backbone of the northern economy is farming and husbandry. Not anymore. We cannot keep cattle on our farms. Large scale farming is becoming less and less attractive. A huge swathe of the north is now bandit territory…
However, that the problem is not restricted to Zamfara can be glimpsed from what is happening in Kaduna State. When in February 2014, the Emir of Birnin Gwari spoke about criminality in his domain and the activities of cattle rustlers, he said: “They are in control of one village called Jan Birni. You can’t go there now if you are not a thief. If they don’t know you, they may kill you. These rustlers don’t care whether you put fire on your cattle, they will whisk them away. If your cattle are branded, they will slaughter them, cut them up and sell them in pieces. If you go to Birnin Gwari-Funtua axis, they are gradually taking over all villages and towns along the roads. They come out on market days and brandish their weapons without a care…”

Right on cue, the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, was on his feet – to fault Nigeria’s recent rating by Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index:
“Under President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, we have focused on fighting grand corruption
I think that by even Transparency International’s own assessment, Transparency International uses nine different indexes to come to a conclusion.
In four out of those indexes, Nigeria moved up, in another four Nigeria stabilized & dropped in only one index. So in aggregation, it (T.I) then decides that it has fallen in certain number of points below where we were.
I think the important thing to bear in mind about Nigeria’s anti-corruption fight is that the government has done what it ought to do by focusing on grand corruption.
Grand corruption is the type we experienced years before when, for example, $15 billion was lost in a defence contract. Two, three weeks to election, N100 billion in cash was taken out, and again $293 million in cash, two to three weeks to the election.
That’s the kind of impunity; and of course you are also familiar with the scam that went on in the NNPC at the time; the so called statutory contracts, that’s grand corruption. That is the corruption that crippled the economy of the country.
Let me tell you very quickly how you can recognize that we have scaled a good deal on grand corruption today: despite the fact that we are earning 60 percent less in revenue, we are actually able to spend more than ever before in the history of this country on infrastructure.
In 2017, we spent about N1.3 trillion on capital. That’s the highest in the history of the country. So, we are able to do far more with far less because we have controlled the impunity that went on, the grand corruption, and all of that.
But then, you cannot address the corruption as you go through our airports, our ports or as you go through government offices, in many cases. That’s where the whole perception emerges.
We must have a deeper and much wider way of dealing with corruption. How are you going to do that? You must have an efficient way of doing that; like automation, removing discretion from individuals,”
Asked what the institutionalized process of fighting corruption was, Osinbajo responded: 
“Institutionalization is not a one-off thing, it’s a process, and we are dealing with that, that’s exactly what we are doing.
For example, the TSA and being able to look at government accounts and all of that is one way of institutionalizing a process by which you can be sure of what people are doing, how this things are happening.
The process of allowing the EFCC to do its work without dictation, saying that ‘look, this is what the EFCC is doing’, and giving them every support that you can. These are ways of institutionalizing. And it is that same process that we are taking in the public service - automation.
For example, look at all that we have done in the ease of doing business. The whole point of doing that is institutionalizing processes, so that when you come into Nigeria you can get your visa after applying online; so that Customs don’t have to sit around the airport, that is why we are putting in the I-check and we are putting all sorts of other processes. That is to institutionalize; it’s not a one-off process.”
On the national strategy for anti-corruption war, he said: “The national strategy is to ensure that public officers in particular are not able to privatize public finances. And how do we intend to achieve that? We intend to achieve that by ensuring that there is consequence for corruption and also by automating processes, removing discretion from individuals because if you don’t remove discretion from individuals the individuals can have discretion as to whether or not they will grant certain approvals through certain processes; then you continue to encourage corruption at one level or the other.”

As for veteran banker Alex Otti, he unleashed a barrage of statistics (in total disregard of the warning by British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli:"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."):
“Recently, the world transparency watchdog, Transparency International came out with its current rating on the Corruption Perception Index [CPI] which ranked Nigeria as No. 148 out of the 180 countries ranked with a score of 28%. This is against our ranking of 136 out of 180 countries in 2016 with a score of 27%. This means we dropped twelve places below our ranking a year earlier.
Regarding Human Development Index [HDI], it measures health, education, income, livelihood and security in a country relative to others. It is contained in a UNDP report which is published annually. In the most-recent report which was released last year, Nigeria ranked 152 out of 188 countries. This was a drop from its 120th position the previous year.
Bill Gates was absolutely correct when he reminded us that in upper middle income countries, the average life expectancy is 75 years. In lower middle income countries it is 68. In low income countries, it is 62. In Nigeria, it is lower still; just 53 years.
30 per cent of our children are hungry. I stand four square with him that we have to create opportunities for human development in agriculture and small/medium scale enterprises. Agriculture which contributes over 40 per cent to Gross Domestic Product [GDP] is denied access to finance as only 4% of Nigerian farmers have access to loans to expand their business.”


Edward Dickson the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of “The Tribune” demonstrated uncommon commitment by personally delivering the front page editorial of his newspaper which was published on March 5, 2018.
Headline: “NIGERIA’S WORSENING CORRUPTION”
“Transparency International’s (TI) latest report shows that corruption is worsening in Nigeria. According to TI’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Nigeria ranked 148th out of the 180 countries surveyed in 2017 with a score of 28/100, whereas it ranked 136th in 2016 with a score of 27/100 out of the 168 countries surveyed. This means that Nigeria has not made significant progress in the fight against corruption. This is surprising given the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has anti-corruption as a priority objective of governance. Indeed, Nigeria occupies the 32nd position out of the 52 assessed countries in Africa in the 2017 ranking. In West Africa, Nigeria is the second worst country out of 17 countries, leaving only Guinea Bissau behind. Nigeria’s score of 27/100 is far below the African average of 32/100.
The report buttresses the claim by critics of the government that the anti-corruption war has been weak and targeted at critics of the government or opposition figures, and that grand corruption has been condoned within governmental circles, hence the persistence of nepotism, cronyism, favouritism and bribery at all levels in the country. In fact, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, stated at a book launch in honour of the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, in February that corruption had not reduced in the country. The Sultan decried the absence of statesmen in the country, adding that, these days, Nigeria only had “men of state.”  It should also be noted that in his press release earlier in January, former President Olusegun Obasanjo complained that the president’s inability to enforce discipline among those who were close to him had led to an increase in corruption, nepotism and clannishness, with adverse consequences for governance and service delivery.
The TI report provides some insight into the relationship between openness and corruption. In countries where openness and media independence are absent, corruption thrives. The report called on the government and private sector organisations to support free speech and media independence. Importantly, too, government must allow the opposition and civil society to engage it. The government must give life to the Freedom of Information Act which has not been allowed to operate because of hostility by public office-holders to request for information on the basis of that law. President Buhari assumed the reins of leadership on the back of a campaign promise to crack down on endemic corruption. His slogan was that “if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.” Now, he must ensure that corruption does not kill Nigeria by ensuring that graft is effectively sanctioned.
Since 2015 when the current government took the reins of power, very few high-profile corruption cases have been concluded. Convictions have been very scarce. The claim by the government that the judiciary has been largely compromised, thereby undermining the anti-graft war, cannot be a valid excuse. The government has to re-engineer public institutions to address corruption. The government must lead in transparency by proactive disclosure of important data such as budgets, company ownership, public procurement and political party financing through open data formats.
Although the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) claim to have recovered huge sums of money, the size, location, owners and basis of the recovered funds have not been provided for public scrutiny. Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State has challenged the government to make public the identities of those who have refunded stolen public money.  We support the idea.  Indeed, some Nigerians fear that such funds would likely be re-stolen by government officials who are shielded by the government. It seems that both the EFCC and the ICPC have become agencies for the recovery of stolen public money without detailed public accountability for such recovered funds. The fight against corruption must go beyond such claims. It must be done with openness. Above all, those found guilty of stealing pubic fund must be sanctioned.”

The audience was spellbound when Prince Nduka Obiagena the Chairman/Editor-In-Chief of “ThisDay”insisted on reading the front page editorial which his paper had published on the previous day with the bold headline: “THE RISING DEBT BURDEN”
– Borrowing could help, but better management of resources is needed
“Disturbed by the reckless accumulation of debts, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has consistently warned Nigeria of the consequences, particularly of the servicing costs which could consume substantial amount of government revenues. The federal government has, however, continued to sneer at the concerns as the amount of borrowing keeps piling up, raising the spectre of another debt trap in future.
Last week, data released by the Debt Management Office (DMO) painted a pathetic picture. It said the country’s external debt has risen to $18.9b (N5.8trn) while domestic debt has climbed to N15.9b, bringing the total debt stock to N21.7 trillion ($70.92b) as at the end of December 2017. Meanwhile, the nation’s total indebtedness stood at N12.06tn in March 2015 and N17.4b at the end of December 2016.
To compound the situation, many of the states have crossed the red line against debt accumulation. In 18 states, their debt profiles exceed their statutory revenue by more than 200 per cent. In Lagos, Osun and Cross River States, debts exceed revenues by almost 500 per cent. Lagos, Kaduna and Edo chalked up the most external debts running into billions of dollars. Expectedly, the Fiscal Responsibility Commission is most uncomfortable with the trend, as the development is contrary to dictates of the DMO on debt sustainability. According to the guidelines, the debt status of each state should not exceed 50 per cent of the statutory revenue in the previous 12 months.
However, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun is less worried, arguing that the country has the capacity to repay its debt obligations. The federal government is currently in the forefront of the extensive external borrowings in a bid to achieve 40 to 60 per cent foreign to local borrowing ratio. Adeosun has said repeatedly that Nigeria’s debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio is one of the lowest in the world. “I am not worried at all. Our borrowing is sustainable and well managed,” she said. “We took a decision to reflate the economy. When your income has gone down, the only place you can go is to borrow. We borrowed and invested heavily in infrastructure and then increased our revenue so that we could pay back the debt.”
To be sure, we have nothing against the federal government or indeed the states borrowing externally or from the capital market as this is the standard practice world over. The aim of borrowing is to help the government to attain their developmental needs in the areas of infrastructure, health, education, power and transportation. But it is one thing to raise these funds and it is another thing to ensure accountability and judicious use. Over the years the federal and states governments have accumulated huge debts at public expense which were largely frittered away.
Indeed, many of the current governors on assumption of office complained of inheriting heavily indebted states on account of funds taken from the capital market by their predecessors. Incidentally, many of those governors have gone to secure their own loans which they also expect future governments in their states to repay. Yet, at $19 billion, the external debt is less than 50 per cent of the crisis point we attained in 2005 when the country, under President Olusegun Obasanjo, paid $12b to the Paris Club of creditors for a debt relief of $18b.
Aside the fact that many of the states can hardly meet their routine obligations after servicing their monthly debts, most of the loans were not deployed to tangible projects. It is therefore incumbent on the authorities in Abuja and the 36 states to reflect on the implications of the debt burden on the future of our country.”

As for “Daily Trust”, it was its Chairman and CEO, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, who in the afterglow of celebrating his newspaper’s 20th anniversary dazzled by reading out the front page report which his newspaper had carried on the previous day (March 28, 2018).
Headline: POLICEWOMAN: ‘MY HUSBAND DEMANDS SEX, FAVOURITE FOODS AFTER BEATING ME’
“A policewoman, Folakemi Abe, has sued her husband, Temitope Abe, before the customary court at Oja-Oba, Mapo, Ibadan, alleging that he usually demands for sex and favourite foods after beating her.
Folakemi, who had sought an end to her marriage to Abe, alleged that this particular behaviour of her husband often happened whenever she could not afford to feed the family, especially when she could not provide him his favourite food.
She added she had to oblige Abe his demands on many occasions so she could keep her home because of the children in the marriage.
The policewoman disclosed there was a scary moment in the marriage when her husband allegedly attempted to kill her, saying she strongly believed that one of their children who died was a victim of her husband’s plot.
“My lord, separate us. I am fed up. My husband doesn’t care about the needs of the family. He doesn’t take care of me and our children.
The most scary thing that made me decide to want to divorce him was the mysterious death of my 11-year-old baby. When my husband got to the hospital where the boy was admitted during his sickness, he brought out something from his pocket and rubbed it on his body.  Immediately he finished, the boy died.
He has also threatened to kill me many times. Even last week, he sent a pastor to me that he won’t leave me alone and will deal with me if I make any further move on divorce,” Folakemi said.
The court learnt that Abe, said to be a businessman, had allegedly told the court attendant who served him the court notice that he wouldn’t honour its invitation.
The president of the court, Chief Ademola Odunade, dissolved the marriage and granted the custody of the four children in the marriage to the plaintiff.
He mandated the defendant to be responsible for the children’s welfare and also ordered him to pay the sum of N10,000 monthly as feeding allowance for the children.”

As for Professor Itse Sagay SAN, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption[PACAC], he insisted on personally delivering his evidence-in-chief as the conscience of the nation even if it meant relying on the front page of “ThisDay” newspaper of the previous day (March 28, 2018) which carried the teaser headline: SAGAY: “JUDGMENTS IN CORRUPTION CASES AGAINST JUDGES SHOW THERE’S ESPIRIT DE CORPS”
“The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itself Sagay (SAN), has said the outcome of corruption trials against some judges clearly showed that there is espirit de corps among the judges.
He disclosed this yesterday at a symposium organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch Human Rights Committee in collaboration with The Jury Justice and Rectitude Advocacy Initiative.
The theme of the event was: ‘Salvaging Nigeria’s Criminal Justice System: The Jury Option’
In his opening remarks as chairman of the event, Sagay said he came to this conclusion after coming out of the shock that enveloped him following judgments of the courts on corruption charges against some judges.
 “After my recovery from the shock, it dawned on me that legal knowledge could make judges prone to legal technicalities, creating a barrier between technical law and justice,” he noted.
The Professor of Law however suggested the re-introduction of the jury trial system as a better way to fight corruption in the country.
He noted that in recent years, a lot of evidence has established that some judges cannot be relied upon to uphold the integrity of the judicial system.
According to him, the usual excuses for huge deposits in judges’ account are marriage of judges’ daughters, death of judges’ relations like father, mother, auntie, uncle among others.
Sagay said he supported the abolition of the jury system in 1976 by the military because he believed that laymen could easily be influenced or subjected to other people’s interest and instructions and that a judge, more likely would uphold the integrity of the judicial system among other reasons.
Citing the judgment in the case of a judicial officer charged with corruption, he said judgment in the matter showed that there is es spirit de corps among the judges.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Taiwo Osipitan, gave a detailed explanation of the jury trial system and how it operates in some countries around the world, suggested that it should first be introduced in relation to capital offences in selected economically viable states.
Osipitan also suggested introduction of special bar and special bench for the system to work in the country.
According to him, the jury trial system can only be effective in a country with a mostly efficient and up to date data of its citizens.
“Foremost, Nigeria must first update its database system. The National Identity Card database and INEC database might be very helpful if the decision is to introduce jury trial in criminal cases,” he stressed.
Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission who was represented by Seidu Atteh, said the commission would accept any trial system that would assist it in fighting corruption cases successfully.
Earlier in her welcome address, the chairman of human rights committee of NBA Ikeja, Mrs. Carol Ibharuneafe, said the theme of the symposium was necessitated by the fact that society has not been aware of the inadequacy of the criminal justice system.
Ibharuneafe pointed out that with high profile cases amongst public officers, the lapses in the law has been exposed and necessitated review to make it work for our society.
Although there have been suggestions from various stakeholders, she said the facts remain that whether special or more courts, they will still be presided by only one person, the judge.
“Given the high propensity of some of our judicial officers to be compromised, those suggestions may achieve little or nothing, hence jury option,” she said.”

As for Professor Kingsley Moghalu, he was not done yet. He was back on his feet to elaborate on his election manifesto:“2019: TIME TO BUILD, INNOVATE AND GROW (BIG)”
“The choice that faces Nigeria in the 2019 presidential election is one between progress and retrogression, between scary poverty and the prospect of prosperity for millions of our citizens and not just the elite few, between our freedom and our continuing false imprisonment by the political elite that have brought us to our present sorry pass. I want to lead our country as its president because I have a BIG vision for the future of our children and youth.
On current trends of what passes for governance in Nigeria and despite our dynamism and resourcefulness as a people, that future is a bleak one.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has noted that poverty is increasing in our country and that our economic policy is “muddled”.
We remain the world’s greatest importer of Premium Motor Spirit (refined petroleum) while we export crude oil. How else shall we define madness?
Nigerians have become a conquered people, their dynamism and potential neutralized by politicians adept at obtaining power for its own sake but inept at governance and economic management.
We should now elect in Nigeria leaders with a vision, character, and the intellectual and technocratic competence required to confront our myriad problems of nation-building, poverty and insecurity. My vision stands on a tripod:
Women make up 51 per cent of our population of 186 million people, and there are 60 million youth aged between 18 and 35. Both groups will play a muscular role in my government. We will implement a 50:50 gender parity ratio in political appointments, well above the National Gender Policy recommendation of 30 per cent for women. Competent youth with relevant qualifications and experience will play important leadership roles in the government, ensuring the much-needed inter-generational change of baton in leadership without which any society will enter decline.”

The diplomatic corps were very well represented. They turned up in full force – Ambassadors/High Commissioners from the United States of America; China; Britain; Germany; France; Italy; Japan; South-Africa; Ethiopia etc. it was the Ambassador of Ethiopia who dropped a bombshell –
“Ethiopia is building Africa's largest dam called the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. When completed, the dam will generate 6,450MW of electricity! The entire project will cost $4.8billion. Ethiopia started work on that dam in 2010. The project is already over 60% completed as at today.
Meanwhile, Nigeria's biggest dam project (Mambilla) will generate 3,000MW and will cost $5.8billion! This is a project Nigeria conceived since 1982. Nigeria has still not achieved even 5% completion!
Compare both projects and countries and see for yourself.
Ethiopia is a landlocked, non-oil, agricultural based economy, yet it has witnessed steady economic growth than Nigeria. Have you heard of Ethiopian Airways, where is Nigerian Airways?”

Mr. Sam Amuka [“Sad Sam”] Publisher of “Vanguard” newspaper weighed in with the devastating front page headline: “BANK MANAGING DIRECTOR WHO BOUGHT 134 BUSES, 20 HOUSES WITH 11.4 BILLION SLUSH FUND ARRESTED BY EFCC.”
The audience were so shocked and incredulous that they pleaded that unless the report was supported with more facts and figures that they would not buy it. Being a veteran journalist (the vintage generation of Peter Enahoro; Alhaji Alade Odunewu; Chief Augustine Ayo; Chief Peter Osugo; Alhaji Mamam Daura; Mrs. Omobola Onajide; Dr. Haroun Adamu; Gbolabo Ogunsanwo; Mrs. Theresa Ogunbiyi etc.), “Sad Sam” opted for diligent pursuit of accuracy and integrity. He withheld publication until April 13, 2018.

In the meantime, vanguard released as its front page headline: “I’VE MADE OVER 100 MILLION FROM KIDNAPPING, SAYS HERDSMAN (MURITALA UMARU) IN EDO”
Confirmation was provided by “The Nation”newspaper which also carried it on its front page with a slightly different headline: “WE MADE OVER100 MILLION FROM KIDNAPPING, SAYS HERDSMAN”
“A herdsman, who the police claimed has been to prison several times, has said his gang made over N100 million from kidnapping.
An AK47 rifle with breech number KO340119 and 10 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition were recovered from him.
The herdsman, whose name was given as Muritala Umaru, was said to have been responsible for kidnapping in parts of Edo and neighbouring states.
He sang like a canary when he was paraded before reporters at the police headquarters.
Umaru said he became a kidnapper four years ago in Okenne, Kogi State and had participated in several kidnapping across Edo State.
He said he had cattle, adding that his gang had 10 AK47 rifles with which they carried out kidnapping.
He said it was somebody he described as a ‘Chief’ from an Edo community who gave them identities of their victims.
The kidnapper said they realised N10 million from one of their victims, pledging to cooperate with the police.
On what happened to some of their victims, he said it was his boss that was responsible for the killing of victims who refused to cooperate.
Umaru said: “I am married. I stay in Auchi, but I was born in Lokoja. I am into kidnapping. I have been a kidnapper for four years. I started in Lokoja. I have kidnapped over 50 persons. We kidnapped them when they were travelling. One man gave us target. I collected N3 million in our last operation. It is my boss that kills people. He had killed many people. We operate in Auchi, Ekpoma, Okenne and other places.
Police Commissioner Babatunde Kokumo described Umaru as a kidnapper who disguised as a herder.
“The man has been in an out of prison. He has kidnapped in Edo and other states. The prison official he kidnapped identified him.”
A welder, who was on Monday rescued from the kidnappers’ den at Afuze in Owan East Local Government, Mr. Idirisu Mohammed, has identified a herdsman, Abubakar Ilyasu, as one of his abductors.
He said he was rescued before Abubakar returned.
His words: “I am 51 years old. I am a farmer and a welder. On Monday morning, I was taking my workers to the farm. At Warrake road near Afuze, I saw herdsmen come out of the bush. They had guns. They collected our phones and used cutlass to attack us. They took us to the bush. It was a vigilance group, hunters and police who rescued me. They ran away and abandoned me when the rescued team shot at them.
This one that was nabbed was sent to buy food. Before he returned, the rescued team arrived and the food was with him.”
Abubakar said he left his cattle to buy food when he was arrested.”

Matters took a dramatic turn when Dr. Orji Uzo Kalu, the former Governor of Abia State and Publisher of “Daily Sun” newspaper rose to his feet to deliver his endorsement of the front page editorial of his paper.

Headline: “THE LAGOS LAND USE CHARGE CONTROVERSY”
“The public outcry that greeted the Lagos State government new Land Use Charge (LUC) is quite understandable. The increase, which was considered astronomical, came at a wrong time. Although the increase is believed to shore up revenue for infrastructural development of the state, the matter can still be revisited.
The drive by successive administrations to give Lagos a befitting status of a megacity is well known but it must be done gradually. While announcing a downward review of the charge, the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade, explained that the new charge was imposed because of the state’s desire “to build world-class infrastructure and improve the well-being of its citizens.”
The new charge, said to be as high as 400 per cent in some cases, affects all property owners across the state. Properties used for wholly commercial purposes attracted the highest percentage increase, while efforts were made to make concessions to the aged, pensioners and physically-challenged persons that own property in the state.
The government was highly criticised for introducing the high land charge at this period when the economy is struggling.  In fact, the new Land Use Charge Law 2018 would most probably go down as the most controversial law the Lagos State government has enacted in recent time.
Various interest groups, including the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the Lagos Chapter of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) embarked on mass protests against the new law. This resulted in a capitulation on the part of the state government but which many stakeholders still believe is not far enough. They want a return to the old regime of Land Use Charge.
In the bid to appease agitated Lagosians, the state government announced a downward review of the Land Use Charge by 50 per cent on commercial property owners. The reduction came on the heels of public outcry against the new charge and government’s intervention on the matter after a prolonged session at the State Executive Council presided over by the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode. In the same vein, properties occupied by owners and third parties in the same premises but used for commercial and manufacturing purposes would enjoy a 25 per cent discount while owner-occupier properties would get a 15 per cent discount on the earlier announced rates.
Government also explained that a commercial property valued at N20 million, which was earlier meant to pay N91,200 would now pay N45,600 per annum. In the second category, a N20 million property expected to pay N30,720 will now pay N23,040 per annum, while in the third owner-occupier category, the charge on the same N20 million valued property would now be N7,752 per annum instead of N9,120 initially proposed.
While these reductions are expected to placate aggrieved interests, the reality is that most property owners in the state want further reduction of the land use charge to a bearable level. They are interested in further negotiations with the government to ensure a win-win situation for all stakeholders. This is the area the state government should address now. It is true that the government is in need of funds for its development projects. But government should factor in the interests of the property owners, who are saddled with other taxes as well. The government must strike a balance between developmental drives and upholding the welfare of its citizens.
Moreover, the initial high increase could have had the negative effect of driving businesses to neighbouring states, which may provide a better enabling environment. At present, many businesses are already relocating to neigbouring Ogun State and elsewhere. This is a development that can hurt Lagos and which would be the exact opposite of what government may have intended with the initial LUC increase.
We enjoin the government to thoroughly interrogate its new proposals and allow the public, to examine them before passing them into law. In this contentious LUC case, there is ample evidence that the law was rushed through the Legislature without sufficient interrogation. Let government be open to more discussions and dialogue on the matter in the interest of all stakeholders.”


The moment General Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR stormed in, we knew we were due for fireworks. The former President and Commander-in-Chief wasted no time in delivering his nuclear weapon. The press were so taken back, (shell-shocked) that they waited almost a week before going to town with their front page headline on April 3, 2018.
i.)        “Nigerian Tribune”:“OBASANJO ATTACKS BUHARI AGAIN. SAYS HE’S A FAILURE”

ii.)        “Vanguard”: “OBASANJO ATTACKS BUHARI AGAIN. ACCUSES HIS GOVERNMENT OF BEING INCOMPETENT, INEFECTIVE.”

iii.)        “Daily Sun”: “FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UNDER FIRE OVER LOOTERS’ LIST. AGAIN OBASANJO RULES OUT APC, PDP. INSISTS PARTIES LACK CAPACITY TO RESCUE NIGERIA.

iv.)        “ThisDay”:    “AGAIN OBASANJO SCORES BUHARI LOW, SAYS HE’S FAILED NIGERIANS”
“In his usual characteristic manner, former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday, again picked holes in the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, stressing that, it reeks of failure and engaged in a needless blame game.
In addition, Obasanjo issued a warning signal to Nigerians not to reinforce failure as the country inches towards 2019 general election, while stressing that the two major political parties, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), cannot take the nation to the Promised Land.
To avoid falling into the booby trap of deceit and dishonesty ahead of the next general election to elect new leaders, the former president cautioned Nigerians not to allow themselves to be hoodwinked by the reforms promised by the ruling APC or accept the recent apology being tendered by the opposition PDP.”


From the audience, someone grabbed the microphone and identified himself as Professor Chidi Odinkalu, former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission [NHRC].
The camera zoomed on his wife but, she did not interfere with her husband’s missile attack:
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s actions and inactions have fuelled divisiveness, prejudices and subversion of the basic precepts of coexistence. He has failed to deliver on the cardinal promises he made in 2015. He is incapable of changing anything.
President Buhari ran on a mantra of change, but nothing has changed, not even the thinnest drop on his performance. He has changed nothing and is incapable of changing nothing. He is incapable of change, he is incapable of fighting corruption, he is not a person to unite Nigeria and he is not the person to transform the economy.”

It was the highly respected General Alani Akinrinde who insisted on reminding the Colloquium of the urgent matter of the restructuring of our nation.
He then proceeded to deliver the tribute which he had paid to Lt-General T.Y. Danjuma GCON when T.Y. celebrated his 80thbirthday last year:
“I remember, as if it were yesterday when we met at Depot NA Zaria for kitting and a few days’ bashing before resuming for Officer Cadet training proper at NMTC Kaduna. You were already a student at the Nigerian College of Arts and had participated in school CCF programme and so you were more attuned to the rigors, abuse and indecipherable language of our instructors. You had an obvious head start in the academic studies. The fact that only fifteen out of thirty-five of us will be selected for further training did not influence your penchant for assisting some of us with the academics just like again when we worked under General Gowon as staff captains in 1964.
It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and our determination to be the best in the profession taking our cue from the impeccable, strict but kind posture of our boss. There was a humorous side to everything in your dictionary. When we were the unlucky two manning the branch and had to take the bashing by Brigadier Zak Maimalari standing like wet chicken in the cold for the posting of Ifeajuna, his Brigade Major, you turned the whole episode into a joke when he left the branch. ”Ma Fred, Stand easy”. I laughed in panic and asked you what that was all about and you said to me “don’t mind him, he was looking for someone to torture and took the wrong turn”. On another occasion you froze when caught when making the sign of the cross while watching the ‘rear’ as you called it, of a nursing sister who passed our room after an interview with our immediate boss, Major Aniebo. ‘Ma Fred! Did you see that rear’? I, instead of you, got ticked off for laughing hysterically. Gowon got us the best schools for further training in 1965 and we never met again until late 1967 at Ikeja cantonment in the tensely confused aftermath of the coup d’état that brought Gowon as Head of State. You were focused, calm and when most of our colleagues were in panic, you were clear on what needed attention.
We did not fight at the same warfront but when I visited your headquarters at Umuahia in the company of 3MCDO division, General Olusegun Obasanjo, there was no doubt as to who was in charge. Obasanjo later told me that he wished you were the GOC because he didnot believe anyone besides you understood or was interested in the proposals for the final push which we came there to discuss. I reminded him proudly that you were my classmate. Events proved his observations right.
You have the knack for picking the best for every position and you lack patience for fools; but I am still trying to decipher how it was possible for you, at the same time, to be able to tolerate some incompetent officers.In fact, you drew them close to you. I am aware that you influenced my appointment as GOC 1ST Division and even returned me there after one year of absence.
You watched the backs of your subordinates consistently otherwise Olumuyiwa Abisoye; Gibson Jallo; myself and probably Martin Adamu could have come to grief early considering the posture of Obasanjo towards us. I hear you fought raging battles to ensure I succeeded you as Chief of Staff even if you had to trade in the position of a Deputy for the first time. You made strenuous efforts to reorganize the ragtag overpopulated army you inherited and despite all odds squeezed resources to dampen restiveness. Several initiatives including the complicated insurance scheme, the renovation and construction of new barracks, transportation, some limited demobilization of ex-servicemen, which had turned sourly emotional, and the ever neglected welfare of officers and men recorded some success. Training especially field training, abandoned for fear of embedded possibilities; your towering influence and clarity of thought most times dampened the propensity of Obasanjo’s government to overreact to thorny national issues. You were seen as the bridge to the North which accounted for your larger than life influence on the Nigerian political landscape and which led you to spearheading the imposition of Obasanjo as ‘civilian’ President. I felt your absence when you abandoned Committee for Unity and Understanding (CUU) and the very influential Association for Democracy and Good Governance (ADGN) which I believe could have prevented the annulment of June 12 and the calamity that resulted, but as years went by and the clouds start to clear, I very vaguely understand the dynamics and the subtle betrayals that necessitated your exit.
I have always enjoyed your friendship and generosity of spirit. Unlike you, I am irreligious but I admire your tenacity as a Christian faithful and your voluntary selfless contributions to the growth and preservation of the Christian faith and participation in using your means to support education through the Christian organisations. At eighty, you have devoted your entire life so far for the unity of Nigeria and maybe you will devote a little more attention to the thorny issues of restructuring this political system without which you have no guarantee of a good life for the majority of our people. You earned my respect and I am proud to be associated with you. I wish you longevity, good health and lots of happiness.
Happy Birthday ’Ma Fred’ and many happy returns.”


It was Professor Abiola Sanni a tax expert who teaches at University of Lagos Law Faculty who took a swipe at the new Land Use Charges in Lagos State:
“It would appear that, nothing prepared taxpayers generally for the increase. While the State House of Assembly must have done a public hearing to fulfil the constitutional ritual, it appears that critical stakeholders have not been carried along. No tax authority in Nigeria has the power to impose taxes on property that are situated outside Nigeria, since tax is territorial. However, Nigeria can impose taxes on incomes (rents) derived from properties situated outside Nigeria, if the owners of those properties are resident in Nigeria. If taxpayers in developed countries are not happy paying taxes; you can then imagine what the attitude would be in a society where taxpayers spend private funds to do or mend roads, provide security and other basic amenities. It is even worse, because of the pervasive corruption in the public sector, which makes it difficult even in accessing available public services.
In some cases, it is like daylight robbery. Imagine where a complainant has to facilitate the police to get them to act, or is made to pay a civil servant for “pushing” your file.”



As for the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike he vehemently declared:
“Nigeria is now completely directionless, with the country permanently on a dangerous downward slide.
I commend General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) for saying the truth about the security architecture of the country. I regret that the politicisation of governance has entrenched despair across the country.
State security has been deliberately compromised by security agencies in collaboration with the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Nigeria has got to a point that we don’t know where we are heading. I’m not used to fasting, but, I will fast for God to keep General Danjuma because he has said the truth. It is happening daily in Rivers State.”

It was Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru publisher of “The Guardian” who delivered the front page headline of her newspaper. According to her, there was an embargo until April 16, 2018. The advance copy carried the bad news.
“HOW 2015 POLL WAS RIGGED IN NORTH, BY TANKO YAKASSAI”
“Elder statesman and prominent politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, has disclosed that massive rigging took place in the North in the 2015 general elections.
Yakassai revealed the electoral fraud to journalists when he led the newly formed Northern Leaders Stakeholders Assembly to former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, at his Uphill Mansion in Minna, the Niger State capital yesterday.
He cited instances of manipulation in the elections. According to him, while the electronic voting was religiously observed in the southern part of the country, it was not so observed in the north.
He remarked: “When the electronic voting was introduced, I was in support of it, but I observed what happened in the 2015 general election and I changed my mind.
This is because it was religiously observed in the southern part of the country, but it was not so religiously observed in the northern parts of the country. It was from that moment that I began to have some reservations about the electronic voting pattern.
There are many ways of rigging election. What happened in 2015 where the majority of southerners resident in the north were scared away from their places of residence, where they had registered, to their place of origin and therefore could not have the opportunity to vote, was rigging.
Again some of the southerners who did not run away were afraid to come out and vote on the day of election. So scaring people from coming out to vote for the candidates of their choice is also a form of rigging.
The 2015 election led to the emergence of Major- General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), a northerner, as president while the then incumbent, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner, lost.”

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu was back on his feet to launch both a missile attack and robust defence, with Segun Adeniyi of ThisDay as the target.
“How can a man who has been in court for 11 years, and whose case is still being vigorously prosecuted and a robust defence rising up to the challenge, be said to be doing what he is doing because of alleged corruption charges?
The truth is, I have never intervened nor asked anyone to intervene on my behalf in the judicial process. I remain a firm believer in the rule of law and would rather the judicial process was fully exhausted in this matter. I am convinced I haven’t stolen a dime while I was in government. I believe many people, including Segun, know that I am being persecuted for my principled and dogged stance against former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s evil third term agenda.
On campaigning for Buhari’s re-election, I have no apologies whatsoever to give to Segun or anyone who believes I shouldn’t be doing it. It is my inalienable right to hold and express an opinion or belief. I do not begrudge others theirs. I believe that Buhari’s re-election in 2019 will pave the way for a president of Igbo extraction in 2023!”

It was Gbenga Adefaye General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard who chose to illustrate the hypocrisy, double standard and duplicitousness which has engulfed our entire nation by brandishing the front page story of his newspaper on March 26, 2018.
Headline: MAN WHO RAPED UNDERGRADUATE BLOWS HOT: I’LL DEAL RUTHLESSLY WITH ANYONE THAT RAPES MY DAUGHTER

Akure—“A 35-year-old commercial driver, Waheed Yusuf, married to two wives, paraded by the Ondo State Police Command for raping an undergraduate, last weekend, said he will harm anyone who rapes any of his daughters.
Waheed, who has three children, blamed the devil for his act of raping a 28-year-old undergraduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Asked what he will do if anyone rapes his daughter, he flared up: “I will not take it lightly; I will not only harm the person, but also deal ruthlessly with him.” He said someone in Osun State, who is not comfortable with his progress, must have cast a spell on him. He pleaded to be given a second chance.
Briefing newsmen in Akure, the image-maker of the Command, Femi Joseph, said the suspect committed the crime at about 8p.m. on February 25. Joseph said the suspect transported the victim from Agbogbo area of Akure to Ile-Ife. On getting to Ile-Ife, other passengers alighted from the vehicle and when the suspect noticed that it was the victim that was left, he drove her into the bush, where he raped her after threatening her with a knife.
The suspect was also alleged to have dispossessed the undergraduate of her valuables— a phone, an iPad and N4,000. Joseph said the victim, who sensed that her life was in danger, played along and later reported the incident to the Police. Police detectives tracked the suspect to Ogun State, where the victim’s phone was recovered from him before he was arrested. Joseph said: “A search warrant was executed in the house of the suspect and one flash drive with the iPad’s cover was recovered. The suspect has confessed to the crime, but blamed the devil. We will soon charge him to court.”

Regardless of the risk of causing a huge diplomatic row, “The Guardian” newspaper devoted its front page on March 28, 2018 to indicting the United States of America along with the prospects of provoking a missile attack on “Rutam House” the flagship of the publishing house and it’s much cherished mission statement: “Conscience, Nurtured by Truth”
Headline: HOW U.S. EMBASSY SHORTCHANGES NIGERIANS IN VISA APPLICATION FEES
·           Makes N19 billion in one year, excess gain hits N4.5 billion
·           Official says consulate uses market-based exchange rate
“Though the Federal Government pegged the exchange rate at N305.25 to a dollar, the American Consulate in Nigeria exchanged N400 to a dollar in visa application fees for one fiscal year, until yesterday.
This was deduced from the visa fees and exchange rate published on the website of the American Consulate:http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ng/ng-niv-visafeeinfo.asp.
Consequently, at the exchange rate of N400 to a dollar, a Nigerian applying for the non-immigrant U.S. visa at $160 fee was made to pay N64, 000 instead of N48, 840. The N400-to-a dollar exchange rate allowed the U.S. Consulate to cream off excess gain of N15, 200 per applicant. Even at the black market rate of N370 to a dollar, which was sustained for months, the consulate made an excess gain of N8, 400 on each visa granted Nigerians.
According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 163,000 immigrant and non-immigrant visas were issued to Nigerians between March 2017 and January 2018.
The number of applicants denied visa in 2017 were over 130,000, representing 44 per cent of the visas granted in the fiscal year.
Therefore, at the exchange rate of N400 to a dollar, the consulate made nearly N19 billion in 11 months instead of N14.5 billion it would have made at N305.25 to a dollar. The difference of N4.5 billion represents 23 per cent excess gain.
Considering that other visa types such as H, L, O, P, Q, R, K and E attract higher fees, ranging between $190 and $265, the embassy’s gross earnings increased by a significant amount.
For instance, a religious worker travelling to the U.S. had paid N76, 000 for P-type visa instead of N58, 000; the same for athletes, artists and entertainers.
Adam Alqali, a reporter with an online newspaper, African News Page, said he felt cheated when he realised he paid $160 at N400 to a dollar rate, more so, when he was eventually denied a visa.
Alqali was offered a fellowship to attend Federation of Science Conference in San Francisco in October 2017, all expenses paid by his sponsor.
“Despite the fact that all my papers were valid, I was still denied a visa. That was how I missed an opportunity to attend the fellowship,” he said.
A visa applicant, Kayode Bello, described the exchange rate as “extortion.”
Bello, who was denied U.S. visa early March 2018, said the ideal for which America is known globally did not support taking advantage of people who want to travel to the United States.
“Not all of us are running away from Nigeria as the U.S. consular officers always like to assume,” he said.
Bello said he had written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asking the authorities to wade into the matter but there was no response.
In a mail sent to The Guardian, Darcy Fyock Zotter, the Public Affairs Officer U.S. Consulate, Lagos justified the exchange rate of N400 to a dollar.
“We note that there are multiple exchange rates listed for Nigeria. The U.S. Mission Nigeria uses a market-based exchange rate for the payment of U.S. visa fees.”
But Zotter did not explain how the Consulate arrived at N400 to a dollar rate.
Notwithstanding, more Nigerians are being refused the chance to visit America in the last three years.
The statistics published by the U.S. Department of State show that the refusal rate for B-visa has increased from 32 per cent in 2015 to 44 per cent in 2017, despite the rip-off.
One of the applicants denied B-visa recently, Paul Oletu, said he had been twice denied the permit in 2015 and 2018.
“At the last time, I did not spend more than two minutes with the consular officer before I was dismissed. I could not believe it happened so fast. I don’t know what the visa officer saw that made him to make such a quick decision. It was a group visa, and only two applicants in the group were granted out of 50 of us.”
Oletu said the news of his denial sent him into depression. “I could not go to work for three days after they denied me. I paid a total of N190, 000, including consultancy fees, all for nothing,” he said.
The Guardian’s effort to get reaction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was rebuffed.
Meanwhile, the exchange rate was lowered yesterday to N360 to a dollar.
In a mail sent to The Guardian yesterday, Information Officer at the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. embassy in Nigeria, Russell K. Brooks, confirmed the change.
He reiterated that naira-to-dollar rate changes periodically subject to market-based exchange rate established by commercial banks in concert with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Brooks also gave a hint that visa fees might increase soon.
“U.S. policy requires reciprocity with regard to visa fees. Discussions have been underway to ensure that the fees paid by U.S. citizens match those paid by Nigerians,” he said.”


Co-incidentally, on the same day the U.K. “Guardian” (no relation) carried on its front page: “FORMER EMPLOYEE INDICTS BRITISH COMPANY”
“A former employee (Christopher Wylie) has blown the whistle on Cambridge Analytica, a company based in London, U.K.
“The kind of work Cambridge Analytica team did in Nigeria for the Goodluck Jonathan camp during the 2015 elections was the kind of campaign that was our bread and butter. We’re employed by a billionaire who’s panicking at the idea of a change of government and who wants to spend big to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Companies such as Cambridge Analytica specialise in weaponising information, using it to spread falsehood, fear and misinformation, to manipulate people into a certain course of action.
Cambridge Analytica also had a hand in the fear mongering that produced Brexit and Donald Trump’s win.
“There were a lot of scared millionaires worried that Buhari would get in. it was voter suppression of the most crude and basic kind. It was targeted at Buhari voters in Buhari regions to basically scare the shit out of them and stop them from voting.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR was in a combative mood when he delivered a powerful verdict which was carried as BREAKING NEWS on CNN.
“In our own part of the world, we have not done enough for women. Since independence in 1960, we have never had any woman as President. Indeed, no woman has contested governorship election and won. In the coming dispensation, all organs of political parties should have 30 per cent slots for women, 30 per cent for the youth and 40 per cent for others (including the retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension).”

Like an angel, Pope Francis breezed in to deliver a cryptic message to young people:
“You have it in you to shout even if we older people and leaders, very often corrupt, keep quiet.”

It was the Chairman of Punch newspapers, Chief Wale Aboderin who delivered a powerful punch (!!) with his front page reports, which were embargoed until April 17, 2018.
Headline:“WE ARE PRODUCING LAZY PROFESSORS AND UNDESERVING PHD HOLDERS – EX-VC”
“A former Vice-Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike Abia State, Prof. Ikenna Onyido, has raised the alarm at the rate Nigerian universities are churning out what he called lazy professors.
He also condemned the way PhD certificates were being awarded to undeserving persons, describing such practice as more dangerous than the Boko Haram insurgence.
The ex-VC spoke on Monday as a guestlecturer at the 55th meeting of committee of Deans of Schools of Postgraduate Studies of Nigerian Universities held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
He tasked the committee to design iron-cast quality control and adequate sanctions to curb what he called “abuses that result in counterfeit PhDs which are more of an existential threat to the country than Boko Haram, in the long run.”
Onyido said, “Over time, universities, along with other knowledge centres, have come to be regarded as key agents of social change and development, allocated with the explicit role of producing highly skilled manpower and research output that meet perceived economic needs.
The ex-VC blamed the ivory tower for allowing mundane things in the larger society to influence it.
He added,” A very troubling phenomenon is the wholesale importation of the toxic values from the larger Nigerian society into the Nigerian university system, and the domestication thereof.
This negative philosophy has been adopted in our university system where I have spent more than 40 years of my life.
This is why we have vices in universities such as cultism, extortion, sale and use of narcotics, prostitution, sexual harassment, sex and money for marks and grades, examination malpractices, admission racketeering, absenteeism, lecturers with multiple teaching jobs in the name of adjunct lectureship/professorship, plagiarism.”
Onyido added, “Research in universities the world over revolves around professors. That is why one of the criteria for making professors, whether by promotion or by appointment, is the candidate’s ability to conceptualise and execute research.
But the way professors are made in some of our universities these days is nothing short of pure magic. Traditional rulers and men of influence in the society are known to have led delegations to vice-chancellors in order to plead for their son or daughter to be made a professor.”

The front page was shared with another headline: “NIGERIANS HAVE LOST CONFIDENCE IN THE MILITARY, MONARCH TELLS ARMY PANEL”
“The Aku Uka of Wukari and chairman of the Taraba State Council of Chiefs, Dr Shekarau Masa Ibi (Kuvyo II), on Monday said Nigerians had lost confidence in the military.
 The monarch made the comment when he received the Army Probe Panel investigating the allegations of military collusion with armed bandits in the attacks on residents of Taraba and other parts of the country.
Gen. Theophilus Danjuma had recently accused the Armed Forces of colluding with bandits to kill Nigerians and urged the people to defend themselves.
Aku Uka, who thanked the military leadership for setting up the panel, said, “It is a known fact that the citizens of Nigeria have lost confidence in the military, in spite of their track record of successful peace missions in other parts of the world.
I want to remind you members of the panel that Nigerians who are crying for justice are expecting much from you, so also the armed forces who are looking up to your report to help them to restore our citizens’ confidence in the Nigerian military.
As an umpire, Nigerians expect you to be just and fair in your assignment, and only a fair, just and transparent report of your panel can restore the lost image of the military.”
Presenting the position of the Wukari Traditional Council before the panel, the Adviser to the Aku Uka on Media and Legal Affairs, Danjuma Adamu, said the high expectations of the people of the area after the deployment of soldiers for the Exercise Ayem Akpatuma were not met as the attacks and killings continued.
Danjuma, who cited several cases of alleged military collusion, noted that on several occasions the soldiers deployed in the area refused to defend the farming communities despite pleas by the council chairman and the traditional council, giving credence to the insinuations that they were taking sides with the killer herdsmen.
He said that on October 19, 2015, Fulani militia attacked Sondi in the Kente district and killed 30 people, adding that residents of the village accused soldiers in the area of aiding the attackers.
On 10th April, 2018, Gbeji was attacked and five people were killed. On the same day Sontyo village was attacked and destroyed by herdsmen who took over the village and their cows are grazing there as their permanent abode.
The following day 11th April, 2018, the militia attacked Jandeikyula village killing over 25 people. The soldiers and policemen attempted to confront them but the militia escaped without a single attacker arrested.
On the whole, 200 people have been killed from April 2013 till date, 401 villages destroyed, thousands wounded or maimed and farmlands destroyed,” he submitted.
While alleging that the attacks and killings were meant to wipe out the indigenous occupants of the area to pave the way for a full Fulani occupation, the Wukari traditional council appealed to the Federal Government to pay serious attention to the crisis.
The Chairman of the Wukari Local Government Council, Daniel Adi, in his submission, also alleged the complicity of the military in the killings in the area. He urged the panel to check with the Police Area Command in Wukari for some of the case files showing military personnel aiding the movements of the attackers.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Probe Panel, Maj. Gen. Joseph Nimyel (retd.) sympathised with the Aku Uka over the loss of lives and destruction of property as a result of the crisis in the area.
He informed the monarch that they were in the state to investigate allegations of collusion levelled against the military by Lt.-General T.Y. Danjuma.
Nimyel said the panel would send its findings to the Army Headquarters in Abuja, the Taraba State Government and the Federal Government with a view to helping the authorities in their future dealings.”


As the colloquium was anchored on full audience participation the diplomatic community insisted on equal rights.
The Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington enjoined Nigerians to shift their focus from what will happen in the 2019 Presidential elections. Instead, they should concentrate on how to make the country better before the elections:
“I call on Nigerians as the “ship” to find solutions to their problems from within. They should place themselves above their leaders who are only at the helm of affairs for a while.
Many Nigerians will spend much of this year thinking about what will happen in 2019. My mind says that it is extraordinarily important for every Nigerian to spend this year thinking about what to do to make Nigeria more secure, peaceful, prosperous and united.
I don’t think Nigeria can lose a day or a year in its history by sitting down to find solutions to its problems and employment to that person looking for a job. We have a group called the Young African Leaders Initiative. Members of this movement exchange ideas about questions on development. The most important thing of all is each Nigerian.
In the first year of my stay in Nigeria, I travelled to all the 36 states of the country. Everywhere I reached, people said they have leadership challenge at the local, state and national levels. My first reaction to push back the question is that the nation is in a democracy, the people are the leaders; they are the government. You did it in 2015.
Two weeks ago, I was in Kaduna and I suddenly realised that there is a challenge because there are two sides to leadership; the leader and the ship. In a democracy, the people are the ship, the pilot is only there for a time but the ship remains. The most important thing is not what Nigerians will do in 2019 but what they will do now because they are the ship.
At the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, there is a project to combine entrepreneurship and agriculture with some of the forest products; 2018 is the year that the ship of Nigeria must move itself forward. It is not about politics alone but about the people.
I have been to the Wikki Warm Spring in Yankari Reserves. I have travelled through the lagoon from Lagos to Badagry. I have been to the forest of Obudu and the spot where the River Niger and River Benue meet. They are amazing. This country is beautiful, amazing but a lot of Nigerians do not know it.
I also enjoin you to review your interaction with the environment in the face of the diverse environmental problems threatening the continued existence of humanity. Practices that had the potential to wipe out the forest, including animal smuggling, must be discouraged.
I want you to think of the forest not as a forest but as a future. You must learn to use the existence of the forest to make money and life. Discourage those who sell bush meats by not buying, and use social media to expose those who smuggle animals that are endangered species.”

It was most thoughtful of former President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babaginda GCFR to deliver a direct and vigorous response to the question: Is it true that people dismiss your word because of the annulment of June 12, 1993 elections which was adjudged to be the most credible election in the history of Nigeria?
“That is right. Nigerians no longer take me seriously. They say, ‘he cancelled the freest election in the history but he annulled it. Nobody gives me credit for conducting the freest election in the country.
I am hopeful that the younger generation would understand why we annulled the election.
We try to rationalise why we did what we did but nobody is prepared to listen to us. So, it is a matter of time. One day, the younger generation will say they have heard one side and want to hear the other side of the story.
Maybe by then we will have a better society that is prepared; that is well-informed of what happened within a period of their existence. They will then be able to say this is the true story.
No one hasever reflected the fact that I and the acclaimed winner of the election, MKO Abiola, were friends before and after the annulment.
As for publishing my biography, I don’t know. People may not read it because it is coming from a dictator. A lot will say ‘he is the one who cancelled June 12 and that will kill everything that I have to talk about.
I hope that one day God will spare my life so that I can discuss it because I still believe people don’t get what we were trying to do. Nobody has ever sat down to say the two personalities are friends, what went wrong.
I have never seen anybody write about this to try to give people another version of things. I knew his feelings and he knew my own. We even talked about it during the crisis itself.”

CNN’s Nimar Algibar promptly carried as BREAKING NEWS
“Former President General Ibrahim Babangida says nobody would want to read his autobiography because of his past.”
The camera then zoomed in on U.S. Ambassador Stuart Symington who said:
“Many Nigerians will spend much of this year thinking about what will happen in 2019. But I think it is important for every Nigerian to spend this year thinking about what to do to make Nigeria more secure, peaceful, prosperous and united. I don’t think Nigeria can lose a day or a year in its history by sitting down to find a solution to its problems and employment to that person looking for a job.
On Monday 30th April 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari will be in Washington D.C. as the guest of President Donald Trump.”

Next to speak was the National Chairman of Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and former presidential candidate, Ambrose Owuru.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid smacks of obsession with power. His second coming has shown that he is not the same Buhari that we knew and I don’t know the magic he wants to perform. Nigerians have come to understand that the mystery about him is no more.
I think he is in a position to exercise self-control that this country may have problems, if he continues in power. He has not been able to hold back Boko Haram and may not be able to hold back other groups. He couldn’t even touch the armed herdsmen. The rate of crime is getting bloodier. The kind of corruption you see is getting a bit more organised. Buhari does not feel anything. We are worse off now.”

Rather than leave matters to his Ambassador to Nigeria, Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda insisted on delivering his address personally:
“If our country ranks first in Africa, and the whole world is watching us today, it's not because we have the Vatican, the Kabba, the White House, the Elysee or the Taj Mahal here at home.
Not because you have a certain Paul Kagame as head of state, but rather because you have sons and daughters of Rwanda in this country.
Men and especially young people and Rwandan women who have forgiven each other, and who have taken the destiny of their country in hand embracing innovations and patriotism as the key to their progress and development . What we are doing here in Rwanda is not a miracle, nor is it impossible elsewhere, it is simply the commitment of an entire nation, especially Rwandan youth and women, but also political will.
Soon, we will have the best universities in the world at home (NYU, Harvard, London School of Economics, FIT ...) we will also have the best hospitals in Rwanda. The intelligence and competence of our children will be equal to or greater than that of the great powers, and our country Rwanda will be a new door of opportunity, knowledge, technology and innovation for all African children and the world who want to learn from us or still give us their knowledge.
Rwanda will not only be at the rendezvous of civilizations, but also of science and technology and all the cultures that will dominate the world.
Today, more than 40% of our agriculture is being dominated by technology. Africa as a whole can do better than us for essential food self-sufficiency.It is all about national interest and the African people.
Although we are now far from our past, let us make good use of the present to hit the future. Because, the most difficult is no longer where we come from, but rather the where we want and dream to go. In Rwanda, we desire and dream to go far, thanks to this people and to this now conscious youth”


It was at this juncture that Sam Omatseye the ever pungent Chairman of the Editorial Board of “The Nation” chose to share the report which he had reserved for next week Tuesday’s front page.
Headline: “MAN TO BE CANED FOR CALLING SISTER-IN-LAW PROSTITUTE”
“A Sharia Court in Magajin Gari, Kaduna yesterday ordered that Shuaibu Umar be given 80 strokes of the cane for calling his sister-in-law, Suwaiba Abdulkadir, a prostitute.
Abdulkadir, who filed a case of defamation against her brother in-law, said Umar called her a prostitute after a misunderstanding.   She said: “Shuaibu is my husband’s younger brother. We had a misunderstanding, we exchanged words and he called me a prostitute.
I want this honourable court to grant me justice, as what my brother-in-law said about me has tarnished my image.”
The defendant, who did not deny calling his sister-in-law a prostitute, said he spoke in anger and had no regrets.
I was hurt when she called me a drug addict and a thief. That was why I called her a prostitute. I won’t go back on my words,’’ he said. The judge, Malam Dahiru Lawal, ruled that Umar be given 80 lashes of the cane after giving the defendant a chance to withdraw his statement.
He said: “The defendant confirmed calling his sister-in-law a prostitute and is not ready to withdraw the statement. Therefore, I, Dahiru Lawal, rule that Shuaibu Umar be given 80 strokes of the cane.
This is in accordance with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, which state that one cannot accuse a person of adultery or fornication except one presents four witnesses, who have seen the activity.
He is to receive 80 strokes of the cane in place of the person he accused because he has defamed the person.’’

The nomads were fully represented at the colloquium. Professor Bashir Usman, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Nomadic Education jolted the audience when he disclosed that Nigeria has about twenty-two million cattle worth over N3.4 trillion which is equivalent to ten oil wells. According to him, cattle breeding is a huge source of revenue which offers huge potentials regarding the economic diversification drive by the Federal Government.
He could have added that in 1905, Argentina was regarded as the richest country in the world. Most of that wealthwas anchored on cattle-ranching.
Almost in despair, the Federal Government released an official document which was read out at the Colloquium.
Headline: How NEMA ex-DG; 7 Directors Looted Billions
“This is an authoritative report on how the former Director-General Mohammed Sidi, and seven directors of the National Emergency Management Agency [NEMA] allegedly stole over a billion naira, US$284,000 and £95,000. The Director-General maintained twenty differentaccounts in various banks despite the extant regulations pertaining to public servants. The alleged culprits have been on suspension but they had hurriedly and “illegally”(sic)taken the matter to the House of Representatives in a pre-emptive move to stonewall the on-going investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] in order to ensure a cover-up.
The report submitted to the Presidency by agencies involved in the investigations and activities of the suspended directors, revealed clear cases of abuse of office, graft and collusion on the part of the NEMA directors.
This is in direct contradiction to the impressions of innocence created last week regarding the seven suspended staff of the agency by the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.
The indicted officials indeed have genuine cases to answer; actually some of the officers have made confessional statements, while others could simply not explain the money and properties already traced to them.
Based on the facts contained in the report, their claim of innocence cannot be substantiated and the presumed understanding they are getting from the House of Representatives is indeed a true reflection of the current state of affairs in Nigeria, where the most corrupt often seek to cover their misdeeds by pointing accusing fingers at others.”
The House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Management had recently called for the immediate reinstatement of the directors, saying they we’re suspended without due process by the NEMA governing council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
But the Presidency official said Monday that details of the report “revealed that the affected persons, in league with the former Director General of NEMA may have formed an alliance with certain already identified House Committee members and illegally procured and stole various papers from NEMA files in their bid to exonerate themselves and challenge their suspension, claiming they were innocent whistle-blowers’ being victimized by the board.
While the impression at the House last week presents the indicted officials as victims of circumstance, “the reality is rather different and there is evidence now accruing to government that the action of the some in the House may be an attempt to protect the suspended directors in an unwholesome deal, which is already causing ripples even in the National Assembly.”
The query being raised in the Presidency is about the need for some in the House of Representatives to be involved in what is certainly an illegal removal of official documents through the staff and their acceptance by some in the House, when the House had the constitutional powers to access the document but resorts to other means.
The report submitted to the Presidency shows the enormity of the crimes committed by the officials which comprised misappropriation of public funds, frivolous claims of personal emoluments and conspiracy with the other officials to short-change the Federal Government of due revenues, among others.
Regarding the former NEMA DG, Mr. Sani Sidi, for instance, it was indicated that he maintained 20 different accounts in various banks, despite his public servant status.  EFCC found suspicious deposits amounting to 164,000 US Dollars in his domiciliary account at Standard Chartered Bank alone, all within 18 months, i.e., between January 2014 and June 2015.
This almost averages out at $10,000 per month. At the same time, he had up to £58,000 in his Pound Sterling Account. He faces allegations of misappropriation of public funds, frivolous claims of personal emoluments and conspiracy with the other officials to short-change the Federal Government of due revenues.”
The suspended Director of Finance and Accounts, Akinbola Hakeem Gbolahan, was also indicted for maintaining many bank accounts with questionable transactions adding that “EFCC, the report indicated, has noted in particular his account in GTBank where suspicious deposits were found, totalling N27,650,000 which is, in addition, the over £37,000 and $120,000 found in his domiciliary accounts, and his Naira account which has several suspicious deposits in excess of N50 million, much of which flowed directly from NEMA.
For the Ag. Director of Special Duties, Mr. Umesi Emenike, findings from the report revealed that funds meant for programmes and maintenance of the South-South Zone operations of NEMA under his supervision were paid directly into his personal accounts (14 of them have been discovered by EFCC in various banks), instead of the Zonal Office Account. And he was found to have withdrawn freely in cash, by electronic transfers or through ATM Machines, without any evidence of the money being used for NEMA activities.
Also according to the report, his subordinate, the Zonal Accountant, also made several cash lodgements into the personal account of Mr. Emenike. About N238, 000,000 has so far been traced from NEMA directly to Mr. Emenike’s personal accounts which were placed in fixed deposits and used freely by the Ag. Director.
The report also revealed that the Director of Risk Reduction, Mr Alhassan Nuhu, also maintained five bank accounts which were apparently used as conduits to receive and distribute money from NEMA coffers.
So far, Mr. Nuhu has not been able to give satisfactory account of the transactions, including NEMA Funds moving through him to a company called Dambo Farms Limited.
The case of the pilot in charge of NEMA’s Air Ambulance is especially interesting. His name is Mamman Ali Ibrahim. On his own, he commercialized both the NEMA Air Ambulance and Helicopter. The report further indicates that EFCC traced at least N285 million to him, of which only N63 million was paid to the Accountant General’s Office and another N11 million was paid to NEMA, but the rest cannot be accounted for.
According to the report, some of the money was however channelled to his family members through his company, Aerocare West Africa Limited, while others in foreign exchange were directly traced to the former DG’s accounts.
The report also indicted the Chief Maintenance Officer; Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa Deji who was in charge of fuel supplies to NEMA Generators and was found to have been receiving regular returns into his personal account from the supplier, Rekimat Global Resource Limited. It was also noted in the report that since Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa was suspended; the fuel that used to last for one week now lasts for more than a month.
There is also the case of M. Kanar Mohammed, the Director of Welfare. His six bank accounts were found to be replete with NEMA funds, including a N214 million meant for displaced traditional rulers in the North East, N184 million paid by him to one Crystal Chambers and N29.5 million paid by him to a former Minister, Abdul Bulama.
The report, however, indicated that all the indicted officers are still under investigation mainly by EFCC and their suspension was obviously to ensure they don’t remain in office to tamper with evidence in the process of due investigation.”
The presidency official said it was therefore expected that the final report of investigation would soon be ready after which the seven NEMA suspended directors would face criminal prosecution for sure.”

When the microphone was handed over to Nigeria’s High Commissioner in Britain [Court of St. James’] for his views on the establishment of special courts or tribunals to handle corruption cases, he announced his name as Ambassador George Adesola Oguntade, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He then proceeded to deliver judgement on the matter before the colloquium:
“What I will suggest is that the judicial department be expanded, bring in more judges instead of bringing special courts. Judges who sit regularly over cases are bound to know more and to be more compliant with the regular laws than lawyers brought in on emergency to come and handle very technical matters. Don’t forget that after adjudication, there are possibilities that appeals would follow. It’s much better that this judicial process is channelled through the well-known procedure: from the High Court to the Court of Appeal, to the Supreme Court. That is the process I know could be expanded to ensure that cases are more speedily disposed of.
 And perhaps what we could do is to make service on the bench easier for judges by providing the needed support like good residences, good assistants in court, good secretaries and good lawyers too who have been properly schooled as to the times we are in, the times of emergency, the time when the country is under stress from negative people who want to ruin the economy.
So, the judiciary should be able to make a stand that the government should give support in that direction. That is to say police (security) protection for judges. And don’t forget that the trial of cases must not begin until the police have finished their investigation. So far, we hear that the police in Nigeria are doing very well. We should encourage them and see that the cases are speedily disposed of. But the problem, if any, is general. You cannot settle for a group as those causing the problem (of delay in corruption cases). It is a general problem in Nigeria.”

It was left to the legal luminary and former president of the Nigerian Bar Association [NBA] Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN to plea bargain for the poor and underprivileged:
“I urge wealthy Nigerians and leaders to be concerned about the plight of the underprivileged. They should stop being self-centred, self-opinionated, narrow minded, and so restrictive in reasoning. I am not excluding myself from the wealthy class. Nevertheless, we must admit that the wealthy are guilty of neglecting the poor. I also urge politicians and leaders to alleviate poverty by providing good governance and employment for the teeming population of unemployed Nigerians.

Furthermore, I urge government at all levels to pay the new minimum wage of N56,000 per month being canvassed by the Nigerian Labour Congress [NLC].
My greatest worry about Nigeria is that government at various levels are lukewarm about unemployment. It is my worry and this worry is genuine. Thousands are graduating every year, when we are churning out these graduates, as a pro chancellor of a university, I am saddened that years back during our own time, jobs were waiting for us as we left school but today, you don’t find such jobs many years after graduation.
Unemployment is a scourge more painful than corruption, in fact, it is more painful because unemployment festers corruption.
I agree with the NLC on its demand for the new minimum wage. No government in this country should pay less than that. Government at all levels must take the issue of unemployment very seriously.
We play politics not of ideas, not of issues but of abuse, propaganda at all levels and irrespective of any political parties at the expense of our own people. I see myself as an elder, and one committed to our survival and the good if this country.
Successful Nigerians are self-centred, self-opinionated, narrow minded, we are so restrictive in reasoning, we want our own children to survive but we don’t want an army of other Nigerian children to succeed. This is why poverty thrives here.
You alleviate poverty by giving good governance, by stopping stealing, by giving employment, by not snatching ballot boxes, the ballot boxes should be seen as a sacred box, don’t touch it; you must respect it. It is a collective conscience of all of us. It is a corporate surrender of all of us and it is sacred. Don’t buy election or give money to buy voters to your side. Woe betide those who loot the treasury but looting can be prevented with adequate government policies and good governance. By bad governance we are encouraging looting.”

Alhaji Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] (and permanent foe of the Senate!!) was on his feet to claim another victory.


“ANOTHER ONLINE FIRM DEFRAUDS NIGERIANS OF 3 BILLION”
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recovered 216,402,565.05 from Swiss Golden Company Limited, an online investment that purportedly deals with buying and selling of gold bars.
The recovery was sequel to a petition the commission received from thousands of complainants who alleged that they invested in Swiss Golden Company Limited, which was advertised as an online investment that deals in the buying and selling of gold bars.
The petitioners further alleged that after investing over a billion Naira into the business, Swiss Golden refused to pay them any dividend or pay them back their capital.
Upon receipt of the petition, the commission swung into action by first inviting the petitioners where they volunteered statements. Through intelligence, the commission picked up one Maxim Lobaty, a Russian and two Nigerians, Austin Emenike and Dickson Nonso Onuchukwu, in Lagos. The trio were, subsequently, conveyed to the Kano operational zone of the EFCC for further investigation.
Swiss Golden, which is headquartered in Hong Kong, was discovered through investigation to be a Ponzi Scheme designed to defraud innocent victims of their hard earned money. After being drilled at the commission’s Kano zonal office, Maxim and his co-suspects consented to the refund of the investment. It is through that, a total of 216,402,565.05 has now been recovered.
Investigation into the alleged fraud is still on going and all efforts are being made to recover the money involved and the alleged suspects brought to justice.”

However, foremost lawyer and Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council of Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State Dr. Tunji Abayomi was adamant that Nigeria is a mere geographical expression, hence the spirit of patriotism or nationalism is considerably weaker than that of ethnic allegiance.
“Building a nation is not a difficult task. It is not expected that monumental challenges of social cohesion, economic dislocation, development pain and growth anxieties would not confront the generations that succeeded the originators of Nigeria.   But was it expected and could have been intended that Nigeria of their dream would be this troubled by insecurity, suspicion, corruption, under development and low world rating?
But then what manner of Nigeria did the founding fathers create? Did they hear the voice of the people when they established the foundation of the Nigeria nation? Did they examine the spirit of unity or disunity prevailing at the time? Did they work well on how the nation of their dream would grow rich and avoid uncaring poverty? Did they take a road that they ought not to have taken considering the nature of relationships in the land?
The founding fathers appear to recognize that with the inherent diversity of nationalities, suspicions among ethnic groups in Nigeria, a loose federalism was the best governmental system. The idea of regional government emerged not only from their deep thought on Nigeria but also their hopes for her emergence in peace and good Judgement.”
It was left to Senator Anthony Adefuye to echo the spirit of the Dr. J.K. Randle family.“Nigerians must unite against the forces of evil and live as a united people.Our founding fathers became heroes because of their relentless efforts in building a nation.
We must make the ultimate sacrifice made many years ago by our founding fathers towards a better nation and create the atmosphere where equal rights and justice is accorded to every citizen."

As for Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti, armed with a blunt axe, he went straight for the jugular:
“President Muhammadu Buhari must stop blaming past leaders for his inability to fulfil his campaign promises. It appears he has forgotten that he is among the past leaders of Nigeria because blaming past leaders for the country’s economic problems amounts to blaming himself. The negative foundation the likes of President Buhari laid caused the problems of the country.
It is appalling that Buhari, who at a very young age was Military Governor of a North Eastern State; Petroleum Minister, Head of State and later Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, under the Abacha administration, is the same person that is blaming past leaders of Nigeria.
What difference did he make as Governor of the North Eastern State? What was his role as Minister of Petroleum and Chairman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, when it was created in 1977?
It is on record that it was during President Buhari’s tenure as Minister of Petroleum that N2.8 billion went missing from the accounts of the NNPC in Midlands Bank in the United Kingdom. N2.8 billion as at that time, is like $2.8 billion, over N1 trillion, now.
It is also on record that President Buhari was a key player in the Abacha government that the country is still recovering its loots up till today. Interestingly, our Mr. Integrity President once said that Abacha never stole.
Fact that the President must face is that he has blamed everyone, including the late President of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi. He is now blaming himself as part of the past leaders of Nigeria, it is shameful.
If the President is someone who faces reality, he would have realized that his goodwill has declined to the lowest level. He will also realize that in 2015, Nigerians did not really vote to elect him as President. Rather, it was a vote from the North against PDP’s failure to pick a northern candidate that made him President.”


It was the turn of Eric Teniola to remind us of our past glory as well as misdeeds:
“No doubt the regions were doing well. Tragically on February 21, 1966 General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi, the military Head of State, told the nation that it had become apparent to all Nigerians that rigid adherence to “regionalism” was the bane of the last (civilian) regime.”

Chief Olu Falae, who is the chairman of the Social Democratic Party and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation blasted President Muhammadu Buhari [PMB] and insisted that as “PMB” has not performed well, he does not expect him to seek re-election in 2019.
“The current administration has failed in its primary responsibility of protecting lives and property, Nigerians are being slaughtered daily and government could not stop the ugly trend.
Though Buhari is my friend, I fault him on his reluctance to embrace restructuring having promised to do so during his campaign at the Adamasingba Stadium in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State in 2015.
I advise Buhari to do a critical analysis of his administration and retrace his steps from seeking re-election in 2019.
You know and I know that the present government has not done well. The primary responsibility of government is to protect the lives of its citizens. This government is not doing so. People continue to be killed and slaughtered every night and any government that cannot stop that has failed.
President Buhari is my friend. Once upon a time, you will recall that I raised his hand at the Adamasingba Stadium in Ibadan, asking people to vote for him because he said he would restructure Nigeria. So, it is not a personal matter.
The truth of the matter is that he has not done well and I was hoping that he himself would look at the situation as a very honest and right thinking person and do himself and us a favour by saying that in the light of what had happened and given the state of affairs, he was not going to contest. That’s what I thought he would do but he didn’t do so.
I am sure that most, if not all right thinking Nigerians, would see the need for all of us to work together to ensure that there is a good, beneficial, peaceful and progressive change in Nigeria. We want a change from massive unemployment which we have now; a change from continuous harassment and killings by Fulani herdsmen; and a change from the fear and threat of Boko Haram.
We want a change froma situation where farmers are afraid to go to their farms; a change from the riots that are all over the place because of frustration and loss of hope and a change from the present situation of depression and failure to revive the economy of Nigeria.
Most Nigerians are united in wanting a change for the better, and in doing whatever is possible to ease out President Buhari for his own sake and for the sake of Nigeria.
What I am taking away from here is a confirmation on the fact that most Nigerians are united in wanting a change for the better and in doing whatever is possible to ease out President Buhari for his own sake and for the sake of Nigeria.”

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu [BAT], former Governor of Lagos State and a stalwart of the All Progressives Party APC “Batted” (!!) furiously and vigorously in defence of the Buhari administration:
“Our nation resides in a period of historic transition. We struggle to give birth to a better Nigeria. This means we struggle to eject the malpractices of the past. That which is good contests against that which is not.
Democratic governance is more than going through the motions of mimicking certain processes and functions that have been deemed to connote democracy.
We must come to a better understanding of the moral and social principles that underlie these processes and functions. The existence of parties and of elections does not of itself mean democracy is present.  For form without substance is but an empty box, a hollow gift, not worth the giving.
Democratic governance must not only stick to proper form, it must bear proper fruits.
It must work for the betterment of the people and give them the chance to realise the best of their individual and collective aspirations in an atmosphere of peace, justice, and fair enterprise.
To me, this is what sets apart the current administration from prior governments of that other party.
The APC (All Progressives Congress) government may, at times be, imperfect but, we are far from the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party), which has perfected the malign craft of giving selfish ambition primacy over the public good.
Consequently, the President Muhammadu-led Buhari government has spent inordinate time cleaning the rot and plugging the holes in the corrupt system the others had institutionalised as their strategic policy and national direction.
The APC has been working to steer our national ship from this awful direction in order that we may bring the people and their welfare into safe harbour.
Had the billions of dollars and trillions of naira that were stolen by past governments been used for the people, the nation would have been able to acquire the infrastructure and implement the programmes that would bring greater development and economic justice to all.
Instead, the select few ate more than their bellies could contain. Distorting the cause of justice and hijacking the means of national welfare, they wildly enriched themselves and left the average Nigerian to dine on the passing wind.
Due to the drop in oil prices, this administration has had less money than those which preceded it. However, it has done more with less.
The government has launched school feeding and stipend programmes for the poorest among us. These programmes have enabled millions to eat at least, one solid meal a day and for countless children to attend to their education instead of allowing the world to pass them by at an early age.
The programmes have also increased local economic activity by boosting consumer demand.
These things were done with the welfare of the people in mind.
When someone can do for you in three years what another did not even try in sixteen, any person with an open eye can see the difference between giver and taker, between friend and thief.
Of course, more needs to be done. I envision a time of even bolder action that modernises national infrastructure; implements an industrial plan that revives the textile sector and builds new industries; agricultural reform that provides farmers minimum incomes and greater access to credit; mortgage reform that opens the door to affordable housing for millions of families; pension reform that insulates our aged from poverty; and an expansion of the school feeding into every state and local government.
With regard to ‘Party ideology and supremacy’, let me state that ideology and principle must hold supremacy over party supremacy.
Calling for party supremacy by and for its own sake is nothing but an invitation for people to install and then perpetuate themselves in positions of authority in the party.  They will arrogate power so that they come to dictate to the rest of the party instead of serving the collective will of party members.
Recent events in our party confirm this observation. Party discipline is vital but even more vital is adherence to humane and democratic ideals and principles.
With such principles, a party exercises internal democracy, which better enables it to govern democratically.
Without such adherence, a party becomes a vehicle to lord over its members, instead of a tool to empower its members to realise good and beneficial aims.
We must always remember that the political party is meant to serve the people and not the people to serve the party.”

Right on cue, Gbenga Omotosho editor of “The Nation” took a swipe at “IBB”
Headline: “BEHOLD BABANGIDA’S “NEWBREED”
“Though hugely discredited, and his eight-year political transition programme remembered more for sowing the seeds of the nation’s present woes and systematically destroying its value system than for anything else, former military president Ibrahim Babangida rarely misses an opportunity to sound off as elder statesman dispensing political wisdom.
With help from assorted careerists in the academia, the public service and the armed forces, he turned Nigeria into a vast laboratory for hare-brained political experiments with the goal of manufacturing a “newbreed” political class uncontaminated by a past he painted relentlessly as dark and unedifying.  After undergoing tutelage under his watch, this new class would take over the reins of power and lead Nigeria to enduring peace, prosperity, and democratic bliss.
The scheme, which has aptly been described as “one of the most sustained exercises in political chicanery ever visited upon a people,” gulped some N40 billion and left Nigeria much worse than before on almost every indicator. It wobbled on for some eight years until it collapsed under the weight of its own duplicity.
It is a mark of Babandiga’s overweening conceit that, years after annulling Nigeria’s fairest and freest election for reasons that have little to do with honesty of purpose or nobility of character, he sought to enter the political process he had eviscerated with such brazen contempt for Nigerians and run for president. Withering public hostility forced him to retreat on the threshold.
Since then, Babangida has sought to re-invent himself as an elder statesman, on whose experience and wisdom the nation could draw to solve its pressing problems. Whether holding court at his reclusive Hilltop Mansion in Minna, Niger State, or speaking at public functions to which he gets an occasional invitation, he inveighs against members of his generation still active in partisan politics.
All of them had failed, he says. They had overstayed their time in power. They had nothing new to offer. It was time they stood aside and left the turf for the younger generations.
Behind every statement or act of Babangida’s, there is always a larger agenda, often hidden but sometimes manifest. Babangida’s latest call on members of his generation – code for army generals who have served as head of state — was aimed squarely at Muhammadu Buhari.
Other Nigerians have made the same call, citing Buhari’s health, age, job performance, and intellectual disposition. But coming from Babangida, it is gratuitous. It is notorious that he spent eight years in power virtually unchallenged and would have held on if civil society and some of his fellow officers whose names he had been taking in vain had not forced him into an ignominious retreat.
To seek a second term or not:  that choice belongs exclusively to Buhari. The Constitution grants him the right to seek a second term. We hope he will exercise it informed by the concerns that have been voiced across Nigeria about his overall fitness.
Even so, that choice alone does not guarantee him a second term. Buhari still has to win the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) ticket, and thereafter the presidential election. If he clears both hurdles, he would have won a second term. Those bent on supplanting him might not like that outcome, but if they truly believe in democracy, they should be prepared to abide with it.
A free and fair election begins with keeping the field open for every qualified aspirant and adhering to the rules of selection, including the “newbreed” of Babangida’s fancy.
If only he would put his fabulous riches to work to breed this dream species, or beam them down from fairyland.
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) which Babangida recently endorsed in his usual slippery manner has at its vanguard some of the most durable characters in Nigerian politics – Chief Olu Falae, Professor Jerry Gana, and Professor Tunde Adeniran.
All of them had figured significantly in Babangida’s transition programme, or had been content to serve in any government, no matter its colouration.
All of them belong to his generation. Yet Babangida did not urge them to vacate the political scene for the younger generations as he had urged Buhari and others. So much for his earnestness and his capacity for pointing the way forward.”


It was Ntufam Hilliard Eta, National Chairman (South-South) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who chose to expand the battlefield/war zone over:
“SENATOR OVIE OMO-AGEGE'S 'SUSPENSION' IS WRONG AND HAS TO BE URGENTLY REVERSED”
“The All Progressive Congress (APC) in the South-South Zone wishes to and hereby issues this statement in response to recent happenings in the Senate of the Federal Republic, leading to the reported suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who represents Delta Central Senatorial Districtof the South-South Zone.
1.0. We are deeply concerned about matters of suspensions and threatened suspensions of APCSenators in the APC-controlled Senate of the Federal Republic and wish to strongly advise thatthis is unhealthy for our democracy and the polity. The Constitution of the Federal Republic ofNigeria, 1999 (as amended) mandates every Senator, irrespective of political party membership, to represent his or her people for a senate term without any hindrance.

2.0. We note that first, it was Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) who was suspended for 90 legislative days. Now, it is Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta). Also, there are reported threatsof suspension hanging on more APC Senators, particularly Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa) and others in the Parliamentary Support Group (PSG) for President Muhammadu Buhari. These cannot engender peace in the Senate or bring dividends of democracy to our people.

3.0. It is particularly disturbing that Senator Omo-Agege was said to have been suspended for theopinions he expressed on a controversialamendment to the Electoral Act regarding the sequence of general elections. He was alleged to have said, 'there is a perception out there that the proposed amendment is targeted at Mr. President (Buhari)’. However, on April 15, 2018, Thisday newspaper paraphrased Senator Omo-Agege's thoughts when it stated that "the target of the reordering of the (election) sequence was the presidency..."The suspension is just too harsh. It denies the people of Delta Central their constitutional right of representation. Mutual respect isimportant in institutions where the main operatives are co-equals.

4.0. In any case, as a man of impeccable character and courage, it is on record that on our Party's advice, Senator Omo-Agege promptly apologised to his colleagues for any ethical wrongs that may have been occasioned by his said comments. It should have been better if the Senate took this rarehumility into good account in handling this matter. This is much more so when it is considered that Senator Omo-Agege actually spoke within the ambit of Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution which grants“every person ... freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

5.0. On the report that the Senate called for the disbandment of the PSG, we believe this is inconsistentwith Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution that guarantees every person the right to “assemble freely and associate with other persons..."? Insisting on the disbandment of the PSG would gravely violate a right guaranteed by the constitution and unduly prolong the matter. There is nothing unlawful about forming a political group to support Mr. President's re-election.

Finally, we call on everyone to summon the spirit of patriotism and respect for constitutionality and the law. The supposed suspension of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and call for the disbandment of the PSG are wrong and violate rights guaranteed by the constitution. The right step to take is for the Senate to urgently resolve the issues with full respect for legality and good conscience. Senator Omo-Agege deserves to continue his exceptional and excellent work in the 8th Senate for hisgood people of Delta Central who have clearly stated that this is their wish and demand.”

Gbenga Omotosho also delivered a preview of his newspaper’s (“The Nation”) front page report: “EFCC SUMMONS AKPABIO’S EX-FINACE COMMISSIONER OVER CURIOUS N30 BILLION VOTE
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned a former Commissioner for Finance, Sen. Albert Bassey over a curious N30billion vote for direct labour projects during the tenure of ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio.
The said cash was suspected to have been laundered into some private accounts.
But the Government of Akwa Ibom State has refused to cooperate with the EFCC in getting relevant documents on how the N30billion was spent.
Also, the ex-commissioner who is now a Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East District, has not responded to the invitation of the anti-graft agency.
There were indications that he might be arrested after the EFCC has secured the relevant warrant from a court.
A fact-sheet from the EFCC said: “The Senator was Commissioner for Finance during the administration of ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio. He was also the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee.
About N30billion hit the account managed by the committee during the tenure of Akpabio. The funds came from Internally Generated Revenue and statutory allocations.
Following allegation of massive wiring of the cash into private accounts, the EFCC decided to invite Sen. Albert Bassey to come and give account. This agency is looking into allegation of money laundering against Bassey,
Detectives have uncovered how contracts worth N618million were awarded to two companies namely Bay Atlantic Energy Services Limited and Sahel Energy/Power between 2010 and 2014. The companies belong to the owner of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited, Chief Jide Omokore
At about the same period under investigation, vehicles worth N303million were given out as gifts to Bassey by the owner of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited especially between July 30, 2010 and January 8, 2014.
From investigation by detectives, there is correlation between the transactions and the gifts. The Akwa Ibom State Government has refused to make relevant documents available to EFCC.
The ex-commissioner was invited at the preliminary stage and he honoured the invitation. But he has been summoned twice for interrogation but he did not show up. He was given an appointment on Monday, he refused to meet with EFCC officials. The commission may apply for a warrant of arrest for Bassey accordingly.
A top source said: “If not for the attitude of the state government, the probe of N30billion would have signalled the investigation of petitions against the administration of Akpabio. Since 2017, the state has shielded its officers from appearing before EFCC teams.”
On March 7, 2017, the Commission had written to the Secretary to the State Government asking for the release of Mr. Effiong Efiakedoho, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Special Duties, to appear before the EFCC on March 13. He was summoned specifically in respect of matters related to Four Point by Sheraton Hotel, Raffia City Plaza, A 342 Highway. There was no response.
An 8th May 2017 letter requesting the Accountant -General of the State to appear at the Idiagbon House on May 18 was also ignored. The Accountant -General was specifically summoned in respect of an aspect of the investigation relating to a company, Sindeng Nigeria Limited
The Commissioner for Works was also invited through a letter of 19th May, 2017 and asked to report to the Commission’s zonal office in Port Harcourt in respect to a road construction contract awarded to Nigturks Civil Technologies Limited. He too failed to honour the invitation.
A May 26, 2017 letter to the Secretary to the State Government to release the Accountant General of the state for interrogation June 5, over the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme, was also ignored.
The Commission in two separate letters on June 7, 2017 re-invited the SSG and Efakedoho, PS Housing and Special Duties; and the Accountant General for interrogation on June 19 2017. For the second time, the three state functionaries failed to honour the invitation.”
A top source said: “Whilst investigative activities were ongoing,   the EFCC wrote a letter to the Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government sometime in 2016 requesting for the release of some serving officials of the State Civil Service for questioning at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja
However, in response to the letter of invitation sent by the EFCC, the Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State resorted to filing suits against the commission with a view to stalling investigation.”

Eze Anaba, editor of “Vanguard” followed suit with a preview of his newspaper’s front page report which in bold capitals headlined:
“WHY I WON’T WRITE MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY” – IBB 
·        Says Nigerians may not believe him due to June 12, 1993 saga
·        Relives cordial relationship with M.K.O. Abiola even during crisis
·        A young Nigerian in the mould of Awo, Zik, Ahmadu Bello, Obasanjo must lead in 2019

Aare Afe Babalola SAN the Founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State zeroed in on the problems which have adversely affected the smooth operation of Local Governments in Nigeria and how they have as a result been unable to serve the purpose of bringing government close to the people.
“In organised climes across the globe, councillors (or their equivalents) serve on part-time basis with periodic sittings. Not only that, professionals and seasoned retired administrators and captains of industry willingly participate in local administration as they see service at this level as a golden opportunity to serve and affect positively the lives of the people at the grassroots.”

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode FCA, the Governor of Lagos State could no longer conceal his frustration and despair over Apapa gridlock:
·        Why We Are Unable To Remove Trucks, Tankers Off The Road
·        Seeks Security Agencies’support to end gridlock
·        Says construction of 3,000 capacity truck terminal ready soon

“The traffic situation in Apapa is totally unacceptable; it is not acceptable that they (trailers and tankers) would decide to block all lanes that lead to Apapa.”

Bashorun J.K. Randle is a former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and former Chairman of KPMG Nigeria and Africa Region. He is currently the Chairman, J.K. Randle Professional Services. Email: jkrandleintuk@gmail.com

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