Monday, 18 March 2019

CCT Trial: My assets declaration forms tampered with, Onnoghen alleges

…as FG calls witness, tenders evidence
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The Federal Government, on Monday, produced its first witness, Mr. James Opala, a Senior Investigation Officer of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, to testify against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was accused of failing to declare his assets.

The Suspended Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen consulting with his Lead Counsel during the continuation of the hearing of his case by the Code of Conduct Tribunal at Jabi, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 11/03/2019

Opala, who is the star prosecution witness, was a member of a team of investigators that uncovered alleged infractions in asset declaration forms the CJN submitted before the CCB.
FG, through the witness, tendered the first set of exhibits it said would establish allegations it levelled against Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

Aside allegation that he failed to declare his assets as prescribed by the law, in the six-count charge marked CCT/ABJ/01/19, FG, alleged that Onnoghen operated five foreign bank accounts, contrary to section 15(2) of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar, SAN, the PW-1, tendered before the CCT, a copy of the petition that led to Onnoghen’s trial.
The petition dated January 7, 2019, which was sent to the CCB by a civil society group under the aegis of Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative, was admitted in evidence by the Mr. Danladi Umar-led three-man panel tribunal, and marked as Exhibit 1.
FG equally tendered in evidence, two asset declaration forms the suspended CJN submitted in 2014 and 2015.

Meanwhile, before the asset declaration forms were admitted, Onnoghen, through his lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, alleged that it was tampered with.

Onnoghen insisted that the Form 001 he filled in 2014 and 2015, were no longer the way he submitted it to the CCB.
He queried why the hitherto bound documents appeared “in loose form” before the tribunal, alleging that it was tampered with, with some of the pages missing.

Nevertheless, Awomolo said he would raise his client’s objection to the admissibility of the documents, in his final written address.

“We have some reservation on the documents, we will not object in the interest of justice but we have reservations that would be addressed at the end of the day”, he added.

Earlier, Apala, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, told the tribunal that: “On January 9, 2019, I was in my office at the Code of Conduct Bureau that morning when I received a call from my superior, Samuel Madojemu, who happens to be a member of the (investigation) team.

“He directed that I investigate a petition. Having done the required processes – routine investigation – case file was opened and investigation plan was drawn.

“The petition was authored by Chief Dennis Aghanya of the Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative, alleging breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers, including non-declaration of assets and false declaration of assets, against the Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“Thereafter, the team wrote to the Federal Political Officers Unit (of the bureau), Asokoro, requesting the defendant’s asset declarations received from 2000 to 2009.

“The department responded. The two asset declaration forms were examined and filed in the case file”, he added.
It will be recalled that the tribunal had in a bench ruling on March 11, granted FG the nod to call witnesses and tender evidence against Justice Onnoghen who was suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 25.

Relying on section 396(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, and Paragraph 5(5) of its Practice Direction, the CCT panel, said it would not consider the merit of objections Onnoghen raised to challenge the competence of the charge against him, till conclusion of the trial.

Insisting that it was empowered under section 396(3) of the ACJA to conduct day-to-day hearing on the matter, the panel, held that ruling on two applications the suspended CJN lodged against his trial, would be delivered alongside judgment on the substantive charge.

Decision of the tribunal to commence day-to-day hearing on the matter was however thwarted by the suspended CJN who failed to appear for trial on March 12 over a claim that he suffered toothache and high blood pressure.

His lawyer tendered a medical report that indicated that he was mandated by his Doctor to observe a 72-hour bed rest by his doctor.

The suspended CJN, same day, lodged an appeal to challenge the decision of the tribunal to proceed with the trial despite a motion he filed to challenge its jurisdiction to entertain the charge against him.

In his three grounds of appeal, Justice Onnoghen maintained that the CCT panel erred in law in its interpretation of section 396(2) of the ACJA, with respect to his application challenging the constitutional jurisdiction and competence of the proceeding before it, “when they deferred ruling on the application to the conclusion of trial when the issue of jurisdiction is a threshold issue which ought and must be determined immediately”.

According to him, “The Chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal erred in law In the interpretation of Section 396 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 1015 when they ruled that the ruling on the applicant’s application challenging the constitutional jurisdiction of the tribunal and the application asking the tribunal’s chairman to rescue himself on grounds that he had demonstrated acts which showed bias and partiality in the proceedings against the appellant, shall be determined along with the final judgment on the merit of the entire case and thereby denied the appellant his right to fair hearing under section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended”.

Specifically, Onnoghen had in his objection, queried the validity of the six-count charge against him, contending that FG failed to respect established judicial precedents by not allowing the NJC to firstly investigate the allegation against him, before it rushed the matter to the CCT.

He argued that failure to channel the petition against him, as well as the outcome of the investigation that was purportedly conducted on assets declaration forms he submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, to the NJC, rendered the charge invalid.

He urged the CCT to abide by a subsisting Court of Appeal decision in Nganjiwa v Federal Republic of Nigeria (2017) LPELR-43391, to the effect that any misconduct attached to the office and functions of a judicial officer, must first be reported to and handled by the NJC, pursuant to the provisions of the laws

Nigeria Govt To Start Jailing Parents Who Refuse To Enrol Children In School

Adamu Adamu, minister of education, says the federal government will soon effect a policy to prosecute parents who refused to enroll children of school age in schools across the country.

Adamu made this known in Abuja while addressing reporters during the 9th edition of the weekend ministerial briefing.

He said parents who sabotage the efforts of the government to reduce the number of out of school children would soon be criminalised and would be made to face the wrath of the law.

“Unless the issue of parents who refused their children going to school is made a crime, and we start jailing parents, the menace of out of school children will not be resolved,” he said.

“There are many who are still working behind culture, religion. So the ministry is to effect this policy so that any parent whose child of school age refuses to take them to school will be jailed.”

Speaking on matching grant and other intervention funds for basic education in Nigeria, the minister said a total of N350 billion had been expended on the sub-sector as against N360 billion spent by the previous administration.

“In the six years preceding the Buhari Administration, between 2009 and 2014, the federal government spent about N360 billion worth of intervention on Basic Education covering textbooks, teacher professional development, construction of classrooms and library resources among others,’’ the minister said.

Adamu added that in 2015, matching and non-conditional grants disbursements to 15 states of the federation and the federal capital territory (FCT) amounted to N68.4 billion.

He also said in 2016, grants disbursements to 29 states and the FCT amounted to N77 billion.

Adamu added that stakeholders were awaiting the decision of the federal executive council (FEC) on reduction of matching grants for state governments.

“We have already submitted proposal on the reduction of matching grants and we believe between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the matching grant will be reduced as against the 50 per cent that states have been claiming is difficult to provide,’’ he said.

Gov Lalong Reveals What He Discussed with President Buhari Behind Close-doors

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, on Monday revealed that his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari was the usual briefing borne out of his passion for security and peace in the state.

Lalong, while speaking with State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, said that the last election in the state was peaceful and he would want INEC to also conduct peaceful supplementary elections.

On the recent attack in the state in which cattle were rustled, he said it had a political undertone but was under control.

“That was why I said I am concerned about security. Usually it starts like that; they start rustling and killing cattle and the next thing you will hear is that it is farmers-herders crisis.

“I know that I have addressed that issue for a very long time and the police are handling the issue.

“So, I informed the president that we are on top of the situation because we wouldn’t want that to escalate into farmers-herdsmen crisis.

“It is not farmers-herdsmen crisis; it is criminals trying to forment trouble after losing elections.

“I always say it has political undertone; why is it happening immediately after elections. It usually happens immediately before or after elections; why is it like that? It has some political connotation.’’

He said that getting reelected would mean continuation and completion of projects and initiation of new projects.

Lalong said that civil servants had been worried that they would go back to the era of being owed salaries again if he lost election.

“So we want to continue with payment of salaries, gratuities, completion of projects that were started before I came and the ones I have initiated.

“That is the Next Level in Plateau,’’ NAN quoted him as saying.

I Can’t Go Down Alone, Each APC Governor Paid INEC Chairman 1B (One Billion) Each To Rig The Election For Buhari, Atiku Should Fight For His Mandate – Rochas Blows Hot

He said that since the cabals in Aso rock has refused to grant his request by giving his son-in-law ticket, he will exposed their secrets one after the other.

Recall that the National Working Committee of the ruling All Progressive Congress, subverted Hope Uzodimma as against his choice candidate Uche Nwosu. This has created a serious rift between the National Chairman of the party and the embattled out-going governor of Imo State.

Also it was reported that the Sultan of Sokoto was seen kneeling down to beg Rochas not to reveal the secret concerning the man in Aso rock (Muhammadu Buhari).

This report came 24 hours after the governor threatened to expose all their secret since they have given deaf ears to his request.

Opinion: Imagine If Mandela Was A Nigeria, Someone Fought Bloodily for the South Africa you're enjoying today - Activists Writes Less concerned Nigerians

By Ikemọgụ Ojinnaka

While many comrades were killed by the apartheid government in South Africa, Mandela and some other comrades spent 27 of their productive years in life inside solitude jail in Robin island to free their people.

Today, many black Africans and Nigerians in particular are benefitting from that bloody sacrifice. Thousands of Nigerians are in South Africa for business and education because Mandela and his comrades paid the price.

Today, when i look at some beneficiaries of that bloody sacrifice in South Africa touting IPOB and playing unconcern about their people's freedom back home, not even supporting such a noble course, I wonder what would have become the fate of black South Africans and other African nationals living there now.

It's unfortunate that some of our people who managed to escape the jungle don't care about those who are still trapped in the jungle called Nigeria. They only care about their individual and family comforts. Shame!

You ran away because you can run, what about those who cannot run? You're in South Africa, USA and other free nations selfishly playing unconcern about Biafra sovereignty struggle and the collective freedom of your indigenous people, just know that some people paid with their lives for you and I to be there save and free.

These high rate of individualism and "Who cares " attitudes about the freedom of Ndigbo and Biafrans in general will hurt everyone at last when this conquest is completed.
As you're safe in other free nations  that your extended families and distance relatives are still there in that jungle.

These false sense of safety by some One-nigerianists and their ignorant follwers are temporal as there are more than one thousand ways to die a nigerian. It is extremely difficult to avoid 100 of them.

Check the road, air, water, healthcare, collapsible buildings, herdsmen, bokoharam, criminals, rituals, soldiers, sars, economy, frustration, depression, etc. Too many ways to die a nigerian.

Las Las, I know that true freedom fighters are born, they are not made.They can't stand the unjustice and cruelty of man to fellow man because of colour and race.They will rather die than to watch such evil to continue. They are unbribable and can't compromise.

So if you can't fight for your people's freedom at least support those risking everything, life and comfort zone to free your people. Stop enabling the oppressors and enslavers by your unnecessary attacks and insults on those in the struggle. Stop demoralising those in the struggle. Stop being instrument in the hands of our collective oppressors. Stop it.

●Ikemọgụ Ojinnaka

Practically every crisis in Nigeria since independence has its roots from Yorubas ----Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

The Yoruba elite were the first, in 1962, to attempt a violent overthrow of an elected government in this country---Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

When Buhari jailed UPN governors like Ige and Onabanjo, the South-Western press castigated that good government and provided the right mood for IBB to take over power. As soon as IBB cleared UPN governors of charges against them in a politically motivated retrial, he became the darling of the South-West. When IBB annulled the primaries in which Adamu Ciroma and Shehu Yar Adua emerged as presidential candidates in the NRC and SDP, he was hailed by the South-West. When the same man annulled the June 12, 1993 elections in which Abiola was the front-runner, the South-West now became defenders of democracy.

When it seemed Sani Abacha was sympathetic to Abiola, the South-West supported his take-over. He was in fact invited by a prominent NADECO member to take over in a published letter shortly before the event. Even though Abiola had won the elections in the North, the North was blamed for its annulment. When Abdulsalam Abubakar started his transition, the Yoruba political leadership through NADECO presented a memorandum on a Government of National Unity that showed complete disrespect for the intelligence and liberties of other Nigerians.

Subsequently, they formed a tribal party which failed to meet minimum requirements for registration, but was registered all the same to avoid the violence that was bound to follow non-registration, given the area-boy mentality of South-West politicians. Having rejected an Obasanjo candidacy and challenged the election as a fraud in court, we now find a leading member of the AD in the government, a daughter of an Afenifere leader as Minister of State, and Awolowo´s daughter as Ambassador, all appointed by a man who won the election through fraud.

Meanwhile, nothing has been negotiated for the children of Abiola, the focus of Yoruba political activity. In return for these favours, the AD solidly voted for Evan Enwerem as Senate President. This is a man who participated in the two-million- man March for Abacha´s self-succession. He also is reputed to have hosted a meeting of governors during IBB´s transition, demanding that June 12 elections should never be de-annulled and threatening that the East would go to war if this was done. When Ibrahim Salisu Buhari was accused of swearing to a false affidavit, the Yoruba political elite correctly took up the gauntlet for his resignation.

When an AD governor, Bola Tinubu, swears to a false affidavit that he attended an Ivy League University which he did not attend, we hear excuses.

For so many years, the Yoruba have inundated this country with stories of being marginalised and of a civil service dominated by northerners through quota system. The Federal Character Commission has recently released a report which shows that the South-West accounts for 27.8% of civil servants in the range GL08 to GL14 and a full 29.5% of GL 15 and above. One zone out of six zones controls a full 30% of the civil service leaving the other five zones to share the remaining 70%. We find the same story in the economy, in academia, in parastatals.

Yet in spite of being so dominant, the Yoruba complained and complained of marginalization. Of recent, in recognition of the trauma which hit the South-West after June 12, the rest of the country forced everyone out of the race to ensure that a South-Westerner emerged, often against the best advice of political activists.

Instead of leading a path of reconciliation and strong appreciation, the Yoruba have embarked on short-sighted triumphalism, threatening other "nationalities" that they ( who after all lost the election) will protect Obasanjo ( who was forced on them). No less a person than Bola Ige has made such utterances.

To further show that they were in charge, they led a cult into the Hausa area of Sagamu, murdered a Hausa woman and nothing happened. In the violence that followed, they killed several Hausa residents, with Yoruba leaders like Segun Osoba, reminding Nigerians of the need to respect the culture of their host communities. This would have continued were it not for the people of Kano who showed that they could also create their own Oro who would only be appeased through the shedding of innocent Yoruba blood.
I say all this, to support Balarabe Musa´s statement, that the greatest problem to nation-building in Nigeria are the Yoruba Bourgeoisie. I say this also to underscore my point that until they change this attitude, no conference can solve the problems of Nigeria. We cannot move forward if the leadership of one of the largest ethnic groups continues to operate, not like statesmen, but like common area boys.
iii.The Igbo Factor and the Reasonable Limits of Retribution.

The Igbo people of Nigeria have made a mark in the history of this nation. They led the first successful military coup which eliminated the Military and Political leaders of other regions while letting off Igbo leaders. Nwafor Orizu, then Senate President, in consultation with President Azikiwe, subverted the constitution and handed over power to Aguiyi-Ironsi. Subsequent developments, including attempts at humiliating other peoples, led to the counter-coup and later the civil war. The Igbos themselves must acknowledge that they have a large part of the blame for shattering the unity of this country.
Having said that, this nation must realise that Igbos have more than paid for their foolishness. They have been defeated in war, rendered paupers by monetary policy fiat, their properties declared abandoned and confiscated, kept out of strategic public sector appointments and deprived of public services. The rest of the country forced them to remain in Nigeria and has continued to deny them equity.

The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have conspired to keep the Igbo out of the scheme of things. In the recent transition when the Igbo solidly supported the PDP in the hope of an Ekwueme presidency, the North and South-West treated this as a Biafra agenda. Every rule set for the primaries, every gentleman´s agreement was set aside to ensure that Obasanjo, not Ekwueme emerged as the candidate. Things went as far as getting the Federal Government to hurriedly gazette a pardon. Now, with this government, the marginalistion of the Igbo is more complete than ever before. The Igbos have taken all these quietly because, they reason, they brought it upon themselves. But the nation is sitting on a time-bomb.
After the First World War, the victors treated Germany with the same contempt Nigeria is treating Igbos. Two decades later, there was a Second World War, far costlier than the first. Germany was again defeated, but this time, they won a more honourable peace. Our present political leaders have no sense of History. There is a new Igbo man, who was not born in 1966 and neither knows nor cares about Nzeogwu and Ojukwu. There are Igbo men on the street who were never Biafrans. They were born Nigerians, are Nigerians, but suffer because of actions of earlier generations. They will soon decide that it is better to fight their own war, and may be find an honourable peace, than to remain in this contemptible state in perpetuity.

The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have exacted their pound of flesh from the Igbos. For one Sardauna, one Tafawa Balewa, one Akintola and one Okotie-Eboh, hundreds of thousands have died and suffered.

If this issue is not addressed immediately, no conference will solve Nigeria´s problems. By Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

Being Excerpts from A Paper Presented At The “National Conference On The 1999 Constitution” Jointly Organised By The Network For Justice And The Vision Trust Foundation, At The Arewa House, Kaduna From 11th –12th September, 1999.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Trouble: Christians Under Siege: Attacks Claim 120 Lives Since February - CBN news cries Out

At least 120 people have been killed in a series of alleged attacks by the Fulani militia on Christian communities in the Adara chiefdom of southern Kaduna in Nigeria since February, according to the nonprofit group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

The organization reported 52 people were killed and 100 homes were destroyed last Monday in the latest attacks on Inkirimi and Dogonnoma villages in Maro, Kajuru Local Government Area (LGA).  The victims included women and children.

Survivors of the attack told CSW that their assailants divided into three groups. One group shot and killed people, another set fire to homes as people ran away, and the third waited in the bush to intercept fleeing villagers.

Later that same day, dozens of people were injured and 43 houses were destroyed in another attack by militant Fulani herdsmen on another village.

The Fulani herdsmen, also known as the Fulani militia, are a semi-nomadic group herding cattle over vast areas, living in the central regions of Nigeria. The majority of the herdsmen are Muslim and have fought with Christian farmers over grazing land for centuries.

Disagreements between herders and local farmers over land, grazing areas, and water are said to be the major source of the ongoing conflict between the two groups,according to the BBC.

Thousands of people have left their homes as a result of the recent violence. The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir el Rufai, ordered a dawn to dusk curfew.

CSW's Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas appealed to both Nigeria's state and federal governments to bring a quick end to the violence.

"The relentless death and destruction is a sad indictment of the continuing failure by both levels of government to fulfill the primary mandate of protecting all its citizens impartially," he said in a statement.

Militant Fulani herdsmen killed thousands of Christians last year, The Christian Postreports.

Nigeria ranks as the 12th worst country in the world for Christian persecution, according to the Open Doors USA's 2019 World Watch List.

I’m scared of my children’s future in Nigeria –Kemi Afolabi

Popular Nollywood actress, Kemi Afolabi, recently shared her frustrations with the deplorable state of a government hospital she recently visited in Lagos. In an interview with Saturday Beats, she noted that she was scared for the future of her children in Nigeria due to the irregularities in some significant sectors in the country, like health.

After she shared her frustration on her social media platform, some people noted that they were shocked she uses a government hospital, but she said it was sad people judge celebrities by what they see in movies.

“It is sad that people judge us by the way they see us in movies. I am not rich, I am just a thriving career woman who wants the best for herself and her children. I believe that as an individual, I can walk into any government establishment of which the hospital I went to was one of them. I live in Ikeja, so going to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital wasn’t a bad idea. The government has a whole lot to do.

“There should be government hospitals in residential areas; it doesn’t cost the government anything to do that. The government owes the masses adequate health facilities and good health care. I am going to make more noise about this; they need to start renovating these hospitals. A hospital should be a place where people go to and feel comfortable, not going there and coming back with another ailment. I am sure the government is disbursing funds to the health sector, but it is probably being embezzled.

“I saw a lot of people sleeping on the floor, the drip stands were not sufficient. It is not mere hearsay, I saw these things myself. Bed spaces were not even enough, basic things need to be provided. These are minor things that the government needs to look into. I don’t even think the doctors are properly paid.

“I am extremely scared of the future of my children and the generation to come in this country. I am doing this for the next generation. These people are just wicked, they go to treat themselves abroad and they know how things are done over there. I have lived abroad for about five years and I know how things are done.

“Here, even the air you breathe in the government hospitals is irritating. This is for the future of our children; I was abroad because my husband was based there. I had to come back to focus on my career. For people that have not come back, they have their reasons. When they even hear about the bad things happening in this country, will they want to come back?” she told Saturday Beats.

Speaking about her recent movie, she revealed that she was discouraged by some people when she decided to take it to the cinema. She further talked about why she chose to shoot an all-female cast movie, adding that she used it to address some issues surrounding women and relationships.

“If we can watch other movies in the cinema, then we can also see Yoruba movies. My distributor told me he was surprised by the performance of the movie in the cinema. We can’t even speak the English language properly like the owners so we need to embrace our culture.

“I got the idea for my recent movie when I saw the need to reach out to women going through one phase or the other in their relationships and with their spouses and the likes. I wanted to reach out through this medium to proffer my own solution. I wanted to give women a voice. I wanted them to know that there is a reason why God created men and women to coexist. I wanted them to know that we need one another, regardless of how bad a person’s character is.

“At some point, break-ups and people walking out of their marriages due to domestic violence and other vices were becoming rampant. I had to reflect to see how marriages were handled in the past. For example, my grandpa had seven wives and my grandma was the fourth.  I thought to myself that how did grandma cope in that kind of scenario; I realised that patience is a virtue.

“It is not everything that happens in a home that should make people want to walk out of their marriage, we have to learn to coexist and handle our relationships by dealing with each other with wisdom. If women continue walking out of relationships, they don’t know what they are going to face in the next relationship.

“Above all, patience is key. I am happy the movie is doing very well, even though it is in the Yoruba genre. I wasn’t scared of being tagged a feminist. People even told me the movie won’t be accepted in the cinema because it was a Yoruba movie but I wasn’t discouraged,” she said.

Just In: Fatal accident in Sapele, Woman and kids survived (See Photos)

Eco City Reporters Obtained a report following a fatal accident that took place in Sapele, Delta state which there was no casualties but keke napepe got completely damaged beyond repair.

According to information, this accident happened along new ogoredo road opposite ECOWAS office, Sapele. The victimized individuals where a woman with her two kids and keke driver but known of them were dead base on the terrible incident.

See photos below:

Breaking: Tension Erupts Delta Community As Suspected cultists killed a man, investigation still on ground - Report

Suspected cultists in the early hours of Sunday axed to death one Harrison Mukoro in Emevor community, Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State.

The victim sustained serious injuries on his neck and other parts of his body from the cultists who waited until he breathed his last.

Details as to why the assailants brutally murdered him was still sketchy as at the time of this report.

It was learnt that the dastardly incident has left the people of Emevor community in a state of mourning and fear.

When contacted, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Adeyinka Adeleke said in a telephone chat with DAILY POST, “Yes, it is true but there is no much details on the matter yet.

According to CP Adeleke, “The victim was axed to death in a manner that appears to be cult-related.

“The Police are still investigating the matter and once we are done, I will furnish you with more details.”