Friday, 15 December 2017

NEWS AND STORIES

The trial of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Raymond Dokpesi resumed Thursday with two prosecution witnesses telling a Federal High Court in Abuja that Dokpesi bought house hold items with funds allegedly paid to him by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Dasuki.

The witnesses – Peter Imoekor and Fabian Ozoemina – informed the court that they supplied generators, a transformer and security doors valued at millions of naira, to Dokpesi’s houses in Lagos and Agenebode, Edo State, and his offices at different times after N2.1bn was allegedly paid to him by the Office of the National Security Adviser between January and March 2015.

Dokpesi and his firm, Daar Investment and Holding Limited are standing trial on a six-count charge in relation to the N2.1bn they allegedly received unlawfully from the Office of the National Security Adviser between January and March 2015.

They are accused of engaging in money laundering and procurement.

Dokpesi and Daar Investments were said to have received the sum of N2.12bn from ONSA then headed by Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), as payment for a “purported contract on presidential media initiative”.

The two witnesses, who testified as the prosecution’s 7th and 8th witnesses, were led in evidence by prosecuting lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe.

Imoekor, who is the Administrative Manager of Mikano International Ltd, Abuja branch, was the first to mount the witness box. He said that he was invited by the EFCC in February 2016 “to clarify” some transactions which Mikano had with Dokpesi and Daar Communications Plc.

He explained how between February and August 2015 Mikano supplied four units of 140KVA, two units of 200KVA and a 500KVA electric transformer to Dokpesi’s house in Agenebode (Dokpesi’s hometown) and Daar’s offices in Sokoto and Gusau, Zamfara State.

He said “The transaction was in respect of four units of 140KVA Basic (open type). Each costs N3.5m and they all totaled N14m

“Daar made payment for all. The payment was made in two tranches of N7m each through First Bank drafts.

“On March 19, 2015, they came to exchange three of the ‘Basic’ generators with soundproof type and paid the difference of N6, 350,000 through UBA Plc.

“Then on March 30, 2015, delivery was made. We delivered them to Sokoto and Gusau, capital of Zamfara State.

“In the same March,they made a request for the purchase of two units of 200KVA basic generator and payment of N11,657,240 was made through transfer and delivery was made to his (Dokpesi’s) house in Otuake  Quarters, Agenebode in Edo State.

“In August 2015 payment for 500KVA electric transformer was made. The amount paid was in cash. It was N3,073,200. This time the receipt was issued in his name, that is, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi’s name.

“Then a memo was issued to the head office of Mikano International Limited for delivery in Agenebode Edo State. It was subsequently delivered,” the witness said.

He confirmed that the instructions for the transactions were from Dokpesi and that they were mostly carried out by the officials of Daar Communications.

While being cross-examination by Dokpesi’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), Imoekor said did not know the sources of the money paid by Dokpesi and his company for the supply of the products.

He also said he did not know about the income and expenditure of Daar and that there is nothing about the transactions which he considered abnormal until he was invited by the EFCC.

Ozoemina said the EFCC invited him sometimes in January 2016 and asked him what the money paid to my company was for and he said it was for security door.

The witness was later handed a document – a bank statement – and was asked to read from it.

He said, “The narration reads: inward clearing cheque in favour of Gilgal Concept Ltd, on January 27, 2015 – N5m. Inward clearing cheque in favour of Gilgal Concept Ltd on the same day, January 27, 2015 – N1,066,558.”

Ozoemina confirmed that the sums of money were paid into the account of Gilgal, his company.

He said the total sum of N6,066,558 was for installation of security doors at Dokpesi’s house in Agenebode.

The witness further said “We got a total of N6,066,558 for the supply and installation of steel security doors. We installed the security doors. They were installed at chairman’s project at Agenebode. It was installed towards the end of 2014 and early 2015.”

He confirmed that Dokpesi, whom he had known for close to 20 years gave the instructions for the transactions.

While being cross-examination by Agabi, he denied knowing the sources of the money paid by Dokpesi.

On whether he would describe Dokpesi, with whom he said he had related for the past 20 years as a good man, Ozoemina said the 1st defendant is.

The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho subsequently adjourned further proceedings to November 17.

Published in Business and Economy

Former Secretary General of the Common Wealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has said that Nigeria will fare better if the on-going call to restructure the country into regions is adhered to.

Anyaoku gave this view yesterday, shortly after paying a courtesy visit to Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at Government House, Benin City. He said that Nigeria’s economy was more viable and rate of development faster when it operated a regional system of government.

He described governor Obaseki as a visionary governor and Edo State is fortunate to have him. Responding, Obaseki said that given the cost of governance at the centre, restructuring is inevitable if Nigeria must make progress as a country.

He extolled the leadership quality of Chief Anyaoku, stressing that the former top scribe of the Commonwealth stands for good governance and part of the generation that did the nation proud while in office.

“He is an international personality who stands for good governance and diplomatic skills,” Obaseki said.

Published in Politics
A group, known as Concerned Professionals Initiative for Good Governance (CPIGG), is asking the Nigerian Senate to "totally and overwhelmingly reject the nomination of Aisha Ahmad as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the grounds that she is not qualified  to hold that office since she is lacking in experience and  integrity.
 
The CPIGG, with its headquarters in the North-Central city of Jos,  is just one of the many voices that have so far spoken against last week's appointment of Mrs. Ahmad, a former staff of Diamond Bank Plc by President Muhammadu Buhari, for the position of deputy head of the country's apex bank.
 
"As responsible and law abiding citizens of Nigeria, who are fully conscious of the powers of the Senate as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, we are writing to draw the attention of the Senate to the abnormality surrounding the nomination of Mrs. Aisha Ahmad as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)" and  "to appeal to  the Senate, through your good offices, to reject the nomination forthwith," it told the Senate President, Bukola Saraki in  protest letter submitted on Wednesday.
 
In the petition, titled "Wrongful Appointment of Mrs. Aisha Ahmad for the position of Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN): Appeal for intervention of the Senate,"  the group explained that as an organization committed to the promotion of good governance, equity, justice and fairness and the fight against corruption in the administration and governance of the country,  "we  are compelled to   seek the intervention of the Distinguished  Senate to reject the nomination of Mrs. Aisha Ahmad  pending before  Senate for confirmation as Deputy Governor of CBN."
 
According to the group, the petition, dated 10th October, 2017 and signed by its Convener/Chairman, Ebah A. Idikwu, Esq, was anchored on "the obvious aberration, fraud, injustice and abuse of office, which the  nomination of Mrs. Ahmad represents."
 
Outlining the "facts of the matter" for consideration by the Senate, the petitioners alleged that the nominee was not qualified for the exalted office of Deputy Governor of CBN because "less than a week before the announcement was made, the nominee was Head of Consumer Banking at Diamond Bank on the substantive rank of Deputy General Manager(DGM). The CBN Act however provides that to be appointed Deputy Governor of CBN, the candidate must have attained the rank of at least an Executive Director in a reputable financial institution. In the past, those appointed Deputy Governors were Managing Directors/ CEO of Deposit Money Banks. One example is Mr.  Tunde Lemo who until his appointment as Deputy Governor, of CBN was Managing Director of Wema Plc."
 
"Aware that Aisha Ahmad was not qualified for appointment as Deputy Governor, CBN, her sponsors hurriedly caused a highly fraudulent and unusual promotion to be made catapulting her from DGM Status to Executive Director on October 6, 2017by 5.22 PM, the same day her purported appointment was announced  by the Presidency (See attached circular marked Annex A). It means therefore, that the promotion was made after her appointment was made public, an after-thought to salvage a bad situation," the petitioner noted.
 
The petitioner further argued that the Diamond Bank Annual Report for 2016 contained the names and pictures of all Executive Directors on P. 32. "However, Mrs Aisha Ahmad’s name was conspicuously missing, which confirms that she was not an Executive Director of Diamond Bank and therefore, not qualified for the position of Deputy Governor of CBN for which she has been nominated."
 
"Our checks on the organogram of the Diamond Bank have revealed that apart from the seven superior officers of the bank, there are other seven Heads of Units and Departments placed in order of relevance and seniority out of which Mrs. Aisha Ahmad is the sixth. Therefore, it is unthinkable for Mrs Ahmad to overtake six other senior officers to be promoted to the rank of Executive Director. If the question must be asked, what special feat did she accomplish that merited her such an unusual promotion?," they added.
 
The petitioners further informed the Senate that Mrs Aisha Ahmad’s astronomical promotion at Diamond Bank was not approved by the CBN as required by law. "This evident is the circular announcing her appointment was fraudulently silent on CBN approval just as it was silence on whether the board of Diamond Bank sanctioned the applicant as required by the best corporate governance procedures."
 
"Most Importantly, the nomination of Mrs. Aisha Ahmad amounts to a gross violation of the Federal Character principle as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria since Niger state where Mrs Aisha Ahmad hails from produced a Deputy Governor of the CBN in the person of Mr Maiyaki who served for 10 years. In addition, Mrs Aisha’s Mother comes from Kwara state which also produced a Deputy Governor of CBN in the person of  Mrs Sarah Alade, who also held the position for ten (10) years. Going by the Federal Character principle therefore, the other North Central states of Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and FCT should also have the opportunity to produce a Deputy Governor of CBN," the petitioner posited.
 
The petitioners contended that from the foregoing, "it is clear that Mrs. Aisha Ahmad’s appointment as Deputy Governor of CBN was fraudulently conceived and made for purposes that are clearly far from the objective of ensuring the good management of the nation’s economy."
 
They warned that as a beneficiary of the skewed process of her promotion to qualify for appointment into the CBN, there was every reason to believe that Mrs. Aisha Ahmad would be morally unsound to defend skewed or corrupt process if allowed to function as Deputy Governor of CBN, saying, "she will be dangerous to the integrity of the CBN and the highly sensitive functions carried out by the apex Bank for the good of the economy."
 
"From the facts above, there are obviously very powerful interests behind the nomination of Mrs Aisha Ahmad as Deputy Governor of CBN. If the powerful interests could influence her abnormal promotion at Diamond Bank to pave way for her nomination as Deputy Governor of CBN, the same interests would work though her to compromise economic policies. To put it succinctly, Mrs. Aisha Ahmad will be an economic Saboteur. Nigeria can do without her," the petitioners said.
 
Insisting that  te appointment of Mrs. Ahmad was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and must not be allowed under whatever circumstance, the petitioners warned that it would be a negation of the anti-corruption stance of the Federal Government if Mrs Aisha Ahmad is allowed to manipulate her way to attain the high office of Deputy Governor of CBN, and that it would  not only set a bad precedent, it will destroy the integrity of the CBN and by extension destroy the nation’s economy.
 
 
 
 
Published in Headliners
Saturday, 14 October 2017 01:11

By Anthony Chuka Konwea, P.E.: DANCE OF SHAME

A common joke on the Nigerian street has it that if all Nigerians were miraculously transplanted to Germany while all Germans were reciprocally transplanted to Nigeria, within five years Nigeria will look like Germany with well paved roads, 24/7 electricity and a disciplined society, while Germany will look like Nigeria with nonexistent roads, epileptic power supply and an entropic citizenry.

The moral of this idle speculation lends credence to Shakespeare’s observation speaking through Cassius: “the fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

As the wheels come-off President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparently ill-fated administration, it is apropos to point out that the fault lies not just in the vehicle and the overweight passengers but more so in the driver and the driving style. And I am not referring here to human biology over which no man but only God has total control.

You see with his eyes wide open President Muhammadu Buhari made some rookie mistakes from which no political administration in history has ever recovered. His may not be an exception.

On assumption of office, the President, not one to learn from History, labored and tragically still labors under three fatally misconceived notions. The first was that his own Fulani ethnicity was getting a raw deal socio-economically and deserved to be propped up using the instruments of the State at the expense of other sub-nationalities.

The second was that God and fate had given him an opportunity to deal with his erstwhile enemies using the administrative tools placed at his disposition by his new position. The third of course was a morbid dislike for the uber-competitive, republican, proud and increasingly garrulous Igbo ethnicity who ideologically, temperamentally and spiritually represent everything his beloved Fulani are not.

But critical observers make a mistake when they judge the President by normal standards believing that this will spur him on to improve his administrative performance. The President of Nigeria is not a Nigerian patriot. To suggest or imply that he is one, is a grand illusion designed, packaged and sold to the unsuspecting Nigerian public for the sole purpose of obtaining and retaining power. The President only masquerades and presents himself as a Nigerian patriot which he is not. A true patriot will love and act in the best interests of his country not just his ethnic nationality always.

The President is in effect an unrepentant Fulani ethno-patriot who administers Nigeria only from the prism lens of what he can obtain from the rest of the country for his ethnic Fulani people and not necessarily for what is best for the entire country irrespective of ethnicity.

And so, it is perfectly okay for him to be considered a failed Nigerian President provided his Fulani ethnicity (his base) are empowered to retain and maintain their chokehold on progress in Nigeria and provided the Fulani still consider him as a savior, walking in the foot-steps of the revered late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello.

From a critical view-point therefore, apart from age, religious and ethnic differences (one is Fulani, the other is Igbo) and the fact that the younger is a creation of the older, there is precious little to differentiate between President Muhammadu Buhari on the one hand and the youthful leader of the separatist Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu on the other hand.

Both are not Nigerian patriots. Both are unrepentant ethno-nationalists cum ethno-patriots and believe this or not, both are actively working in their own ways to ensure that Nigeria as we know it today ceases to exist. On this score alone, the actions or inactions of President Muhammadu Buhari are far more consequential to the future demise of Nigeria than the antics of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB.

It beats one hollow therefore to imagine that while the one, President Muhammadu Buhari is lionized (although he was chased out from his den in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa by mere rats!!!), the other Nnamdi Kanu is demonized for essentially doing the same thing – seeking the end of Nigeria.

In the typical hypocritical Nigerian fashion, while most commentators are busy condemning the speck in the neo-Biafrans’ eyes i.e. Nnamdi Kanu, they fail to see the log in Nigeria’s eyes i.e. President Muhammadu Buhari. They focus on the Divider, Nnamdi Kanu but are oblivious of the Divider-In-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Igbos are not fools. They know who serves their best interest. If President Muhammadu Buhari on assumption of office had reserved his administrative venom for judicially proven criminals such as kidnappers, armed robbers, ritualists, rapists, drug-barons, murderers, human traffickers and looters whosoever they might be, no sane person would criticize him.

If 100 proven kidnappers and armed robbers were caught, tried fairly and made to face justice, the Igbos would not cry foul if all the criminals essentially prove to be Igbo. Indeed, many Igbos resident outside Igboland who are fearful of returning home for brief vacation would be the first to sing the President’s praises to the high heavens.

Operating from the jaundiced view-point of ‘Fulani empowerment at-all-costs’ and ‘Igbo emasculation by-all-means’, the Buhari Administration failed to recognize that ‘transplanting all Nigerians to Germany and all Germans to Nigeria would only make the current Germany, the new Nigeria and the current Nigeria the new Germany’.

You cannot give what you don’t have and you cannot sustain a lifestyle without the requisite means. Indeed, as has been repeatedly proven by history, the administrative style of favoritism sets back the recipient much more than it does the non-recipient especially if the latter chooses to react by working harder.

However, the tragedy of the way Nigeria is currently structured is that progress and development is too often dependent on the whimsical caprices of the nation’s leaders. President Buhari bears a very significant share of the historical burden for the current state of Nigeria. Let us recall a few of these whimsical caprices which involve him.

During the seventies around the time when he was Federal Commissioner of Petroleum, a decision was taken by the Federal Military Government to build the nation’s third petroleum refinery in Kaduna in the far north far outside the crude-oil producing zone. There was no economic basis for this decision. It was purely political. To make matters worse, allegedly the refinery could only refine ‘heavy’ crude oil. Nigeria reportedly lost millions of dollars pumping ‘heavy’ crude up north for refining in Kaduna. Talk of ‘One Nigeria’.

When he assumed power as Nigeria’s elected President in 2015, President Buhari decided to embark upon the reconstruction of the North-Eastern part of the country ravaged by the Boko – Haram insurgency. This was fair enough. The only problem was that the insurgency had not been completely crushed even though the insurgents were gleefully declared as tactically defeated. You do not claim to have killed a snake until you have crushed its head.

Beyond that in a strategic move to prepare the core northern region of Nigeria for the potential disintegration of the country (One Nigeria?), and against all reasonable advice, he unilaterally proposed to sink millions of dollars in petroleum exploration within the vicinity of the Lake Chad region – the very hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency.

At a time when the world was moving very rapidly away from fossil fuels (representing the past) and into renewable energy like solar and wind energy (representing the future), President Buhari unilaterally chose to invest Nigeria’s hard currency earnings at a time of depression in the past rather than in the future.

This poorly contemplated presidential directive was abruptly terminated when the supposedly ‘tactically defeated’ Boko Haram insurgents staged a dramatic come-back. They attacked and massacred almost the entire exploration team as well as their Nigerian army security detail. They took some members of the team into captivity in which they are still held to this day.

Talk of a whimsical presidential directive motivated by ethno-patriotic reasons, meeting a disastrous end at great cost in irreplaceable human lives. No one talks of petroleum exploration up north anymore.

The sole arrow in President Buhari’s bow, the anti-corruption drive has not fared better. As this writer pointed out in the past, you cannot claim to be fighting corruption (loosely defined as appropriating what does not belong to you or what you do not merit) when you are ipso facto engaged in corruption (unfairly empowering your own ethnic nationality at the expense of other ethnicities without recourse to merit and other acceptable national standards).

It is not surprising therefore that people around the President are being accused of corruption. The Secretary to the Federal Government, the Chief of Army Staff and the Inspector-General of Police all appointees of the President have recently been accused of corruption. The tardiness with which these allegations have been investigated has been noted by critical observers.

Contrasting this with the zeal and propaganda with which corruption allegations against members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party were handled is indicative of the fact that the anti-corruption drive of this Administration is currently mortally wounded.

On the human rights front the case of the illegally detained Shiite Sheik Ibrahim El Zakzaky, the case of the hapless Colonel Sambo Dasuki and the case of the neo-Biafrans currently in detention are some of the most glaring examples of socio-economic injustice and persecution in Nigeria perpetuated by the Buhari Administration. To this day no one has satisfactorily explained to the public the offence committed by Ibrahim El Zakzaky to warrant his continued incarceration.

When the reputation of this same President Muhammadu Buhari was savaged by the very same institution he served i.e. the Nigerian Army, during the run-up to the last election, this writer publicly rose to his defense in an opinion piece published under the ‘A Nation in Heat’ cycle of essays. I would do so again if I establish that he is being unfairly persecuted in future by his opponents. By the same token, I would be lacking in my patriotic duty if I fail to voice out my opposition to the tragically misguided decisions of this administration.

The current national pre-occupation with the antics of IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu is uncalled for. Nnamdi Kanu is a creation of the failed policies of the Buhari Administration. He shall disappear from the national radar when the failed national policies associated with the Buhari Adminstration, which led to his emergence in the first place, disappear. What are those failed policies?

The unnecessary escalation of national tension by the illegal detention of people with contrary opinion, religious beliefs or political views (refer to the comments above); the confliction of the Nigerian space by the tacit support given to murderous Fulani herdsmen; as well as the criminal marginalization of the Igbo heartland are some of the failed policies of the Buhari Administration which led to the emergence of Nnamdi Kanu as a national phenomenon.

To buttress the last point, apart from favoritism, nepotism and marginalization what makes the extension of a modern railway to Daura (President Buhari’s hometown) more strategic and important to the national economy than the extension of railway from Enugu to Onitsha and from Aba to Onitsha.

More insidiously, at a time when the Nigerian Army should be mobilizing more reinforcements to the North-East theatre to crush the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency once and for all, it is engaged under a futile whimsical Presidential Directive (a.k.a. Operation Python Dance II) to harass and intimidate the peaceful people of the South-East region. Who is the President of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army trying to impress or intimidate with this shameless exercise of raw-power? Unarmed citizens? Unarmed peaceful agitators for Biafra?

It is cowardly and would prove counter-productive. If anything, it would only strengthen the Igbo resolve to secede from Nigeria. Indeed, only cowards and brutish thugs resort to violence when they are defeated by superior arguments by their opponents. Refined peoples, governments and institutions face facts with counter-facts not with bullets or dancing pythons.

It bears repeating that the only way IPOB can lose in this battle of wits with the Buhari Administration (I have chosen my words very carefully) is if it allows itself to be provoked into descending into the shameful gutter of violence within which the Buhari Administration and the Nigerian Army is currently dancing. No matter the provocation, IPOB should maintain its discipline and immediately return to its denial-of-target command (DOT COM) phase. This is not cowardice, it is strategy.

Even though I currently do not support the IPOB agitation for outright secession, I support and will defend their right to peacefully express their views and opinions as bona fide citizens of Nigeria, neither superior to nor inferior to other Nigerian citizens. I will also fight for the equal treatment of all Nigerians and their homelands regardless of ethnic origins.

Nigeria is bigger than any one person no matter how highly placed. Nigeria is far bigger than the ego of the current President of Nigeria. The President of Nigeria should humbly acknowledge to the nation that his administrative policies have failed.

If the President loves his Fulani ethnicity more than he loves Nigeria (I do not criticize him for this), it is more honorable for him to resign his position as President of Nigeria and become the President-General of the Fulani nation. Otherwise he should act like the President of all Nigerians while realizing and conceding that like himself, other Nigerians have their own individual ethnicities which they may equally love and be proud of.

Right now the sound we want to hear from the Federal Government is the sound of bulldozers and workmen repairing the dilapidated roads and infrastructure in the Igbo heartland, not the sound of tanks, armoured personnel carriers and troops dancing shamelessly like devilish pythons on the nonexistent roads of the South -East region.

THE END -

Published in Parliament
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 21:44

PHOTOS: Kachikwu, Baru meet

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe kachikwu, on Tuesday met the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru at the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.

Baru and kachikwu 1 Baru with Kachikwu Baru-Kachikwu-shake-hands2 Baru-Kachikwu-shake-hands3

Published in Headliners
Monday, 09 October 2017 16:36

Ex- Army chief Victor Malu is dead

A former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Victor Malu, is dead.

Malu, who was Army chief  during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s  administration died on Sunday in a Cairo hospital in Egypt.
 
A relation of the deceased, Ben Adoor, who confirmed the development, said on the phone  “Yes, General  passed away  yesterday at the age of 70 in a Cairo hospital.”
Published in Headliners

The war of words between Senator Isa Hamma Misau (Bauchi Central) and Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris deepened yesterday, with the Senate opening a probe into the senator’s allegations against the police chief.

The lawmakers constituted a special panel to investigate the police boss for alleged misappropriation of funds, illegal promotion and posting of senior officers and bribery.

Misau also brought up an allegation of infidelity against the IG.

The panel is also empowered to investigate claims that the IG put an officer in the family way and secretly wedded her in Kaduna.

Senate President Bukola Saraki named Senate Deputy Chief Whip Francis Alimikhena (Edo North) as the chairman of the special panel.

Other members are: Senators Nelson Effiong, Binta Garba, Obinna Ogba, Faseyi Duro, Abdulaziz Nyako and Suleiman Hukunyi.

The special panel is to probe the corruption allegation against the police boss. The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions is to investigate claims of professional misconduct made by Misau against the IGP.

The committee is to submit its findings and report in two weeks.

Saraki said: “We have listened to our colleague and we cannot ignore the allegations. We have a duty to fight corruption. These matters are weighty and we have to investigate the allegations. We will set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate these allegations and report back to the Senate

“The ad-hoc committee we will set up will deal with all the allegations about misappropriation of funds made against the IGP. We will refer the other issues about personal misconduct against the IGP to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to for investigations. “

The row between Misau, a former police officer and the IGP blew open in August, when the Bauchi lawmaker, in an interview, claimed that police officers paid bribes to get favourable postings and promotions.

The police dismissed the claim as the ranting of a disgruntled deserter.

The IG, through Force spokesman Jimoh Moshood, said Misau’s claims were unfounded.

Moshood added that Misau was only out to discredit the institution of the police.

The police image maker added that Misau deserted the Force and that he would  soon be declared wanted so that he would be made to respond to a disciplinary committee set up to investigate him.

The police claimed: “Misau dubiously absconded and deserted the police on September 24, 2010, when he was redeployed to Niger State Command, consequent upon which he was queried, in line with the Public Service Rules.

“The police also alleged that Misau had previously faced disciplinary investigation when he refused to proceed on Junior Command Course (JCC) 49/2008 at Staff College, Jos, between January 15, 2009, and June 19, 2009.”

Rising on Order 45 on the floor of the Senate yesterday, Misau told his colleagues that the police boss was yet to respond to all the allegations he made against him.

Misau said that rather than address the issues he raised, the police authority was busy dealing with trivialities, including insulting him and his father.

He added another dimension to his claims when he told his colleagues that the police boss hurriedly married an officer after he put in the family way.

The officer, Misau said, was already four months pregnant when the IGP hurriedly arranged a marriage ceremony in Kaduna State.

He said that the officer used to serve in the office of the IGP.

Misau claimed that the expectant officer was promoted despite her lack of qualifications.

The Bauchi lawmaker noted that the marriage between the police boss and the officer contravened the code of ethics of the police.

Misau said: “During the recess, a lot of things happened between me and the office of the IGP. I am a retired police officer and served for 10 years and my father was in the police too and served for 34 years. In fact, my father joined the police even before I was born.

“So when I speak about the police, I know what I am saying. When I speak about the police, I speak on authority. I was concerned about what was happening in the police in terms of bribery which led the IG to be scared.

“I called three serving officers and they confirmed to me that people pay much more than N500,000 to get promotion. Even the revenue the police is generating we know. Police is not supposed to generate money. Meanwhile companies pay money to police to provide security for them. This is an open secret. It is obvious that even people with questionable character have police backing with siren all over the place.

“One police officer is supposed to be for 400 people, but in Nigeria, it is one police officer to 800 people and an oil marketer, for instance, will have over 30 policemen, thereby depleting the few police we have while the ordinary citizens are left without adequate protection.

“Another thing I found out is that there is illegal diversion of funds by the IGP. Under the 2016 budget, there is a place where IG ought to buy Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), but he bought luxury cars without virement.”

On his claims that the IGP put an officer in the family way, Misau said: “I am aware that the IGP has impregnated a female officer in his office. Because he wanted to save his face, he hurriedly went ahead and married the woman. The wedding ceremony was held in Kaduna State.

“The female officer was already four months pregnant. This is against the rules of the Police Service Commission. You cannot marry another police officer while you are still serving. But the IGP has flouted that law.”

Published in News & Stories

IT is not very often that a state helmsman gets more popular after office, certainly not in this clime. But that is the story of Rahman Olusegun Mimiko, astute medical practitioner, politician and visionary. The Ondo-born, University of Ife- trained Mimiko turns 63 today and he and his multitudes of admirers home and abroad can look back with pride, and to the future with renewed optimism. This is not just because the story of his unparalleled landmarks in various sectors are still being told, often with awe, by the appreciative public. The heart of the deal is that up and coming politicians and political leaders are learning how to lift the people out of the morass of despair by replicating the Caring Heart agenda evolved and institutionalized by Mimiko in Ondo State.

Since leaving office in February 2017, the former Ondo State governor, widely acknowledged as one of the most iconic achiever-governors that the Nigerian nation has ever produced, has become the toast of local and international organizations. He has been to the United States to preach the gospel of free maternal healthcare, among others, offering refreshing paradigms and drawing wide applause from specialists, governments, eminent individuals and organizations. He has also travelled to the United Kingdom on two separate occasions, showing that with the right ideas and the political will, progress is possible. And by progress he means self-evident development: taking the people away from the realm of statistics in government departments and agencies into the realm of active participants in the development process. This is why, as he turns 63 today, the gist is not that he achieved milestones in governance—that is taken for granted by fair-minded observers all over the world—but that he is showing the pathway to a greater future.

For instance, speaking penultimate Friday at the Chatham House, London, after delivering a paper on “Improving Access to Health Services for All” using his achievements in maternal and child health as a case study, Mimiko called for a major stakeholders’ meeting where there will be an agreement on a universal health package that every state in the country can afford, with eligibility criteria created for those who build on it. Just who will debate the point that “safe motherhood is a gender parity tool”?

In any case, delivering the Keynote Address during the Maiden General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Association of Fetomaternal Medicine Specialists of Nigeria(AFEMSON) held at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja on July 21 this year, Mimiko had insisted that to address the perennial tragedy of deaths during childbirth in Nigeria, the federal and state governments must ensure universal health coverage for every Nigerian, beginning with women and children’s health issues. His gospel: every Nigerian should have access to the healthcare that they need, not the one they can afford, and without engaging in catastrophic spending. Hear him: “Evidence abounds today that the issue of maternal health is regarded as a human right. In Nigeria, if you add the unpaid work of women to our GDP, you will realise that women rule our society. We must accept the morality that government has a responsibility to finance universal health coverage, beginning with maternal and child healthcare. Our shared humanity places the burden on us to have shared responsibilities for safe motherhood.”

That was no empty talk: the Abiye programme of his administration provided free healthcare from pregnancy to delivery. Pregnant women were given free phones through which they accessed the health rangers who treated them for free at home. Even Caesarean operation, where needed, was free. It is no wonder then that Abiye became the World Bank’s benchmark for maternal care in Africa. That is not all. During the 51st Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the International College of Surgeons (Nigeria National Section) held at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Mimiko provided a strategy for saving the lives of victims of road traffic accidents in the country. He further pointed out that road traffic accidents are the greatest killer of Nigeria’s young adults from age 15 to 29. The former Ondo helmsman showed how comprehensive emergency medical services could be deployed to curb the public health epidemic. First, Mimiko said, at the level of attitude, over-speeding, drunk-driving, not using safety belts and all such habits must be tackled. In Ondo State, Mimiko built a model motor park with a waiting room, and with no alcoholic beverages on sale. This changed the psychological environment of motor parks in the state. If, as Mimiko argued, the number one trigger of road transport accidents in Nigeria is the psychological environment of motor parks, then it follows that this environment has to be re-engineered. This is the preventive strategy.

Next, in designing roads, as a preventive measure, there should be walkways for pedestrians and motorcyclists must wear crash helmets. Then, there must be appropriate infrastructure: the nation must have base stations where ambulances with advanced life-saving gadgets are appropriately located round the townships. There must be communication centres with universal numbers that anybody can call in case of accidents. Then, there must be trained paramedics and extricators/rescuers with the kind of advanced equipment that the Mimiko government used in Ondo State, which can tear apart any vehicle and rescue accident victims. After rescuing the victims, there must be designated trauma centres with the necessary personnel. More important, every victim of road traffic accidents must have universal, unfettered and unhindered access to care, especially in the first few hours after accidents. Here, treatment comes before payment. If you doubt that all of this is possible, just visit the Trauma Centre in Ondo, Ondo State. You will marvel at the network of advanced life support ambulances located in stations specially constructed to allow them access to the highways. Whenever there is an accident, within 10 to 15 minutes of receiving a distress call, the ambulances are at the accident scene, with paramedics and extricators/ rescuers. And so lives are saved.

And even in politics, the man popularly called Iroko is becomimg more popular. The people of Ondo State are now appreciating him better for his strides in health, education, urban renewal, industrialization, sports and culture, among others. They know that he served them eloquently well, and are thankful to God that even at 63, he is still rearing to go, demonstrating an incredible burst of energy. A loyal and unrepentant disciple of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mimiko is arguably the most consistent advocate of the restructuring of Nigeria among the nation’s governors since the return to civil rule in 1999. Time and again, he has shown that Nigeria can only work when the component units are given the freedom to chart their paths to the future within a federalist framework.

Speaking in August at a colloquium organised by the Island Club, Lagos, Mimiko averred that the agitation for restructuring should not be viewed as an attack on the North but an attempt to decentralise power. He said: “Restructuring is not about the North against the South. Restructuring is decentralising power to make way for distribution and consumption arrangement so that every federating unit can increase its fiscal resources for development. We need to have state and local police to protect the lives of citizens and property. Let the states control their resources.” This is a point with which all true progressives in the country are in agreement. As he adds another year today, it is clear that Mimiko has demonstrated to a large extent that he came to Ondo State to serve the people. In so doing, he has become a reference point not only in Africa but the world at large, which is why, for instance, the United Nations honoured him with its UN Habitat Award in Italy. The sun, truly, is still shining for this gentleman who gave his all to better the lives of his people.

Akinmade is a former Information Commissioner, Ondo State.

http://www.tribuneonlineng.com/mimiko-63-still-shining/

Published in Parliament

One of the things I love doing is driving through the streets and towns of Ekiti State. It was a dream when I was a boy with no hope of ever getting behind the wheels of a car. It’s a hobby now that I am an adult. I love to drive as the soft morning breeze wafts through the air. Ekiti is a small state blessed with green vegetation. The morning air is pure and does wonders to the soul. Our elders used to say if you listen well, you could hear the voice of the angels whistling through the winds.

You can drive the length and breadth of my beloved state in an hour. If you’re an indigene of Ekiti or a resident of the state or someone who has had the good fortune of visiting with us, you will know what I mean. You think better driving the length and breath of the state as the sun rises over those glorious hills and mountains. Our towns have different names, from Omuo to Efon, from Emure to Iye but we are one.

I enjoy the easy banter with folks in the towns and villages. Our people are welcoming and prosperous. All they need is a chance, an opportunity. It takes me back to a time not too long ago, a time when boys could dream of bright futures and girls shaped their destinies.

I am a poster child for what is possible in Ekiti. I was born with little. Try hard as my parents did, we couldn’t afford much. But, we had something money couldn’t buy. We had hope. And, it wasn’t just me. It was most of the kids I know on the streets and in school. We knew if we kept good grades, we will keep moving forward.

But, those days are long gone. These days, driving through the streets is not the joy it once was. You have to cut through the cloud of gloom and doom that hangs over the state. Then you have to deal with the hopelessness etched across the faces of the children, youth and elders.

This is not the Ekiti of my youth. It is not the Ekiti of my dreams. And, we don’t deserve to live in this Ekiti fostered by a man who forgot the spirit of brotherhood that moved the state to the cusp of greatness before the vultures came.

The future of any society lies in its children and youth. Sometimes I wonder what sort of future are we leaving to them. Our fathers laid a great foundation for us to build a better future. That future is today. But, has our leadership in Ekiti laid a good foundation for the children and youth of today? Can the emperor really say he’s leaving the leaders of tomorrow a fair legacy?

I talk to a lot of the youth. A lot of times they seek me out – all over Ekiti and outside the state. I get tons of emails from many outside the country. Sometimes I seek them out. And they all have two questions – how did we get here? How do we get away from here?

How do you sow hope in the midst of crushing bleakness? How do you tell a child to hold on a while longer and that better days are coming? How do you convince the youth that there’s something at the end of the dark tunnel and it’s not the brainless insanity of the last few years?

It’s tough to preach hope when the emperor who specialises in doom snatches opportunities provided to the youth and children and dump them in his basket of failures. Take the case of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme of the Federal Government, for example. This was a no-brainer. The Federal Government had designed the programme to encourage kids to go to school by providing them a free meal, nourish them and improve their performance. It was designed to increase school enrollment and encourage local farmers to go back to farm and increase food production.

Our kids in Ekiti were denied that opportunity until I started screaming for all to hear. I had to challenge the Governor in the presence of the Vice President about it for reason to sink into him. And, it’s not just our children that were losing out. The entire state was. We have lost dozens of months where our farmers could have earned income providing the food for the children, our caterer could have been employed cooking the food and the lives of the people would have been tremendously better.

I often wondered what would have happened if I was born into this age of gloom, when the only thing that seems waiting at the end of the tunnel is doom. These kids know leaders who are everything but leaders. I knew leaders who were men and women of honour. Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Pa Adekunle Ajasin. Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. Professors Banji Akintoye and Sam Aluko, Ewi Aladesanmi Anirare and Lady Deborah Jibowu.

These kids these days have not been that lucky, especially in the last few years. So, when some kids came to me the other day lamenting our great State and the future, how they love the State but don’t like the way it’s been dragged through the mud, how they’re tired of being the laughing stock of the nation, my heart bled for the State. But, that wasn’t all of it. One of the kids asked me, what would I tell the children of Ekiti.

How can I convince the youth that tomorrow will be better? It was a question that gnawed at my soul. These are kids who just want their state and their leadership to do right by them. They don’t want too much. They just want to be able to live in a land of opportunity because they know when there is hope, with their sweat and determination they will create plenty.

I told them what my father once told me. That when all the chips are down, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and go to work. I am rolling up my sleeves and getting ready to go to work. With our sweat and determination we will make Ekiti great again. I told them to spread the news – tell every kid in Ekiti it is time to roll up their sleeves and sing songs of freedom. Hope is coming to Ekiti.

http://guardian.ng/opinion/ekiti-time-to-roll-up-our-sleeves/

Published in Parliament

Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
-William Jennings Bryan American lawyer and statesman.

 
Moods come and go, but greatness endures.
-George H.W. Bush

The vote is the most powerful instrument ever derived by man for breaking down injustice.
– Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
-George Bernard Shaw.

The next election is fast approaching as horse trading has started between registered political parties and individuals seriously interested in participating in one election or the other. Thus, it is an election year in which many winners and losers will emerge. Eligible voters must realise that the type of government they have in vogue is the totality of their decisions.

Australia is a country with the highest voting turnarounds in the world. This is because the country insists that voting is a civil duty of citizens and not just a privilege. Any voter who failed to vote during an election and without acceptable reasons pays a fine. I wish such an enviable principle is established in our constitution for every citizen to accept voting as a civil duty and not just a privilege. Thus, if you did not exercise your voting right, then you should be told to ‘Shut-up’ when you dare criticise the running of government or join the group of people who say ‘politics is dirty’ a statement credited to Woodrow Wilson, Ph.D, LL.D, 28th president of United States of America (1913 – 1921). We must remember that the candidates who win elections have the power to change your life by the laws that they pass during their regimes.

In the future elections, we must vote for people that are considered as honest, with moral visions, concerned with clues of solving our social problems and will not ‘eat the national cake alone’. It is always advisable to find more about political candidates from friends, neighbours, internets, newspapers, and so on, before voting for them. It is a known fact that politicians are completely different human beings when it comes to requesting for votes from people. Some of their campaign slogans and promises are full of deceits, lies, dirty tricks, slanders and insults, including character assassinations; with the intention of mocking their rivals, that they consider as political ‘puppets’ just to win votes.

They play fast political games and come out loose with actual truths while using different tactics to portray themselves and party in the best possible light, portraying their opponents as fools who will lead the country to political ruin if elected. They have enough and unaccountable looted funds to advertise themselves in local and foreign newspapers, television programmers, magazines and as well organized social gatherings for distribution of money with dubiously acquired resources while their political rivals are masqueraded as enemies of progress. By so doing, the morality of politicians is grossly debased while intense campaign of calumny blinds people for the purpose of votes catching.

At the end of votes counting, electorates will see different alignments cropping up. The tension for seeking votes has gone and politicians calling themselves different names are now sitting at both sides of the political table to dine together while the poor voters are neglected like a dirty pond and without further recourse for decision making. The next brazen item on the political agenda is corrupt political bargains and betrayals at the electorates’ expense. Unfortunately, we could hardly find credible alternative in a highly traumatised political setting like ours. When we examine the past records of politicians knocking at electorates’ doors for votes, they are bunched under recalcitrant group of those making unending and unfulfilled promises with enticing envelopes to buy voters’ conscience. With this political development in Nigeria, we must be sorry for ourselves and the nation at large.

We are rightly informed that political elections are the sure foundation of democratic society to provide legitimacy to the government. Also, they are meant to give reasonable opportunity to the entire citizens to participate in the democratic process. From the perspective of electioneering process and candidates’ eligibility (qualifications, nominations, dispute resolutions, etc.), involvement of electorates cannot be pushed aside in a jiffy.

Therefore, it is the right time that Nigerian electorates stop regarding elections as mere window dressing national affairs that do not deserve their attention or participation. When electorates ignore sensible reasons to cast their votes, criminally-minded politicians can make dubious arrangements to ‘stuff up’ election boxes with ‘ghost votes’ or jettison the actual results to announce dubiously motivated and overwhelming victory. Nobody has the will to fight after the ruling government is swept from power following a free and fair election. This is not only peculiar to Nigeria but also advanced countries. In Japan (where Democratic Party that held power from 1955 to 2009), the government was defeated by the opposition and that situation resulted to serious in-fighting. Similarly, there was an election dispute in United States of American when the Republican party (1861 – 1933) was replaced by the Democratic Party. This teaches us that voting during elections is the right of citizens to change their leaders.

Today, there are many angry Americans are or in the ‘near state of despair’ with themselves on the last presidential election in which president Donald Thump won. Even though Sir Winston Churchill once commented that “democracy is the worst form of government”, we were told that other forms of government that were tried before have not been better. It has shown that democracy “is not just essential but also noble, and in fact, worthy of our devotion.” The African American federal appellate judge once noted that democracy is “becoming, rather unbecoming than being itself. It can easily be lost and never was it fully won. Hence, the essence of democracy itself is the eternal struggle.”

Our voting pattern is not different from what obtains in other democratic countries. People sometimes vote for their preferred parties while others vote for personalities. It is a known fact that voting consumes time and money that do not come easily to many people. Hard earned money is never easy to ‘waste’ on elections. the consequence is that many unpopular candidates are presented for elections because they can raise required funds for sponsorship.
To be continued tomorrow.

Okunrinboye wrote from Washington D C.

http://guardian.ng/opinion/nigerian-election-as-basis-for-political-struggle/

Published in Parliament
Page 1 of 3

Africa Reporters Television (ARTV)

Newsletter

- Advertisement -



Ads