February 21, 2014
A Lagos high court in Ikeja, sentenced to death, AkoladeArowolo for the murder of his banker wife, Titilayo, who he stabbed to death with a knife at their residence in Isolo, Lagos, on June 24, 2011. Justice LateefatOkunnu, in her judgment, held that even though there was no witness to the incident, the circumstantial evidence adduced by the prosecution proved the murder charge against the convict beyond all reasonable doubt. She pronounced the defendant guilty as charged and accordingly sentenced him to death. The 32-year-old Arowolo, in white short sleeve shirt and black trousers, broke down in the dock and shouted, “Jesus, I did not do this. Jesus, what will happen to Olamide, (their daughter)” he asked rhetorically. Everyone looked around, and there was no Jesus to stand as a witness. The convict, who came into the courtroom with a Bible and a diary, began speaking in tongues as he was being led out of the court room. He held on to the Bible and the diary even after the prison warders handcuffed him and led him out of the courtroom. The warders, who were assisted by the convict’s lawyer, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku, had tough time dragging him to the temporary detention cell within the court premises. Intermittently, Akolade would bow, while the warders tried to pull him up, he would say, “In the name of Jesus, I’m going to come out. I will not be condemned because I did not do this”. May God answer your prayer, brother. What is hidden to man is clear before God. If that eventually happens to be the end, then it’s unification.
CHIEF INENGITE NITABAI
February 22, 2014
Presidential hopefuls of the All Progressives Congress (APC), commenced a subtle campaign for the party’s most prized ticket. Even as the jockeying gathered momentum, the party’s hierarchy weighed the strengths and weaknesses of each of them while their considering president/vice-presidential pairing options. Sources in the party said that the battle for the presidential ticket intensified following the release of the 2015 general elections timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission. While the party said it was leaving all positions open to members from all the country’s geopolitical zones, political maneuverings within the party indicate that the APC presidential candidate may emerge from the north while the vice-presidential candidate may come from the South-west. Meanwhile, available information indicated that politicians, who hope to clinch the party’s tickets, had begun to lobby and reach out to various interests in the party. Prominent among such aspirants were a former military head of state, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.); former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso; and publisher of Leadership newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah. Some interest groups were also said to be pushing the presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in 2011, Nuhu Ribadu, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, to contest. In your own opinion, with the identified names, what would 2015 presidential election look like?
February 23, 2014
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, said the suspension of Mallam Lamido Sanusi as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria could hurt the nation’s economy. Tambuwal, who visited former president Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the action of President Goodluck Jonathan was capable of sending “wrong signals” to international investors about Nigeria’s financial institutions. Explaining that he was at the Hilltop residence of the former president to consult him on some key issues of “national interest,” the speaker stated that foreign businessmen must have confidence in a nation’s financial system before they could invest their funds. He said, “Well, whether Sanusi’s suspension is lawful, legal or illegal, the personality involved has told everybody that he is going to court and I believe that he is already in court on that suspension. On the implications for the economy; I’m not an economist but I personally feel that it will definitely send wrong signals to investors. This is because you need to have confidence in the financial institutions, particularly the independence of the financial institutions of a country, before investors will consider such a country worthy of their investments. So, I have my concern about that.” Aminu, be mindful with words o, or else, you could be labelled an enemy of the Federal Government.
Today appeared to be meant for Mallam Lamido Sanusi, the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as he described President Goodluck Jonathan as a simple man trying to do well but surrounded by “extremely incompetent and fraudulent” aides. How well he meant, that I don’t know. Sanusi said many of the people advising Jonathan were sycophants, who did not speak frankly about the extent of corruption in government. He said, “When you sit with the president, he appears a nice and simple person who is trying to do his best. His greatest failing, obviously, is that he is surrounded by people who are extremely incompetent, who are extremely fraudulent and whom he trusts.” Can’t he lay them off or he was just not aware of that? Whichever way, Jona, Sanusi has woken you from your slumber, get up if you wish or back to bed if you desire.
THE MURDER CONVICT AKOLADE AROWOLO BEING ASSISTED BY PRISON OFFICIALS
February 24, 2014
Some unknown gunmen abducted President Goodluck Jonathan’s adopted father, Chief InengiteNitabai, in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, the president’s home state. Nitabai, who is said to be the compound chief of Jonathan’s family, was abducted by 10 suspected kidnappers. It was learnt that when the gunmen stormed the residence of the 70-year-old Nitabai, they initially met one of the victim’s children. The boy quickly ran into the house to alert his father and other members of the family because it was strange to see visitors at that time of the day. The source explained that six of the assailants, however, forced their way into the house, while the remaining four stayed outside. The suspected kidnappers ordered Nitabai, his wife, Owiya, Nitabai’s in-law, AkinobebhJin and Nitabai’s three children to go down flat on the floor and face down. The kidnappers took Nitabai to one side of the house, while others took Owiya to the upper floor. Narrating their ordeal, Jin said they asked Nitabai to bring money and when he told them he did not have, they used the butt of the gun to hit his head. She said it was when Owiya gave them N400,000 that they stopped beating the 70-year-old man. He added that they later whisked him away in his Sports Utility Vehicle. The spokesman for the Joint Military Task Force, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed the abduction. He said, “Information available to me is that a certain Chief InengiteNitabai was abducted by about 10 unknown gunmen about 9pm at Otuoke community in Ogbia Local Government Area using his private vehicle. “The vehicle was later recovered at Onuebum community waterfront. The Deputy Commander, JTF, Commodore Ime Ekpa, and a team of security agents have visited the location to assess the crime scene.” He said investigation was in progress to unmask the kidnappers and rescue the victim. The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hilary Opara, also visited the crime scene. Opara said he and his men had been working tirelessly since the incident. He further said that two suspects had been arrested in connection with the abduction. “The other two suspects saw my men and ran away. We will get them,” he said.
February 25, 2014
You won’t believe this; your congress men reduced corps members to maids and stewards. I no blame them o, some of them no kuku read book… Some National Youth Service Corps members’ serving at the National Assembly decried the shabby way they were being treated by members of the legislature. The corps members were disappointed after discovering that serving at the assembly was neither rosy nor challenging, contrary to their expectations. A male corps member, who expressed anger over the development said that members of committees had little regard for them. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said, “Many of us here are attached to committees but there isn’t much to do. The committees hardly allow us to carry out any serious assignment; officials just treat us like errand boys. That’s the word; it was from the horse’s mouth. “They seize the slightest opportunity to shout at us during committee assignments. It can get really embarrassing.” It was learnt that the hope of fresh graduates to serve as legislative aides to senators or representatives was dashed in most cases because the lawmakers had given out such jobs to their relatives or friends. But the National Assembly’s Director of Information and Publications, Mr. MonimaDaminabo, dismissed the claim of maltreatment of corps members. What did you expect, no be Naija we dey? They will deny all deniables. “The civil service is a disciplined and rule-guided system. Most of them came in largely untrained in the working of parliament; so, they need the assistance of superior officers to put them through. We have no tradition of discrimination in the National Assembly. Also, the authorities of the NYSC that posted them here have never reported to us that they received complaints from their corps members. So, if such cases exist, the authorities of the NYSC should know,” he said.
See gbege… Anger dripped from the reply of governors and stakeholders in the oil-producing states to the 19 northern governors’ demand for a review of the revenue formula to give more funds to them. Nonsense, they said. The South-South governors said such a call smacked of insensitivity to the plight of the zone, evident in it’s over 50 years of marginalisation and environmental degradation and advised northern governors to develop their revenue base as each state had a resource to develop. Similarly, Niger Delta activists said states in the north should find ways of generating revenue to run their states as the region once did through groundnut pyramids, rather than seeking more allocation from oil. The Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, on behalf of his colleagues, asked for a review of the revenue formula that “reflects current realities.” Aliyu stated this during the inauguration of Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation Advisory Council in Abuja. He bemoaned how his state got between N4.2bn and N4.5bn as monthly allocation whereas some other states received 20 times the amount. He said, “The revenue allocation formula should be looked at. We are hoping that within 2014, there would be discussions and review of the allocation formula. It will not serve everybody well if certain parts of the country are not doing well while some parts are doing exceptionally well. So, the pressure will continue until we are able to find a solution.” But irked by Aliyu’s clamour, the Rivers State Government said his comment was unfair and lacked appreciation of the fact that the oil-producing states were, the “goose that lay the golden egg.” It added that every state had resources it could develop and generate revenue and that “nobody should be worried when some concessions are given to oil-bearing states.”
BABANGIDA, BUHARI, OBASANJO IN A HANDSHAKE WITH PRESIDENT JONATHAN AT THE CENTENARY CELEBRATION
February 26, 2014
There is no sentiment here. This is common sense and just reasoning. Against all expectations, the Federal Government continued preparations for celebrations of 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation, despite the killings in some parts of the country, most especially, the fresh killing of 43 pupils by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, when they attacked the Federal Government College in BuniYadi, Yobe State. The insurgents, who were said to have arrived the college at about 2am, when the students were already asleep, reportedly set locked hostels on fire before shooting and slitting the throats of those who tried to escape through the windows. Some were burnt alive. The incident was said to have brought to 300 the number of civilians so far killed in Boko Haram attacks this year alone. That is apart from the number of security agents that were killed. That same day, the attack on the school was carried out, Vice President Namadi Sambo led dignitaries to the Nigeria Centenary Charity Ball which held at the Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. And the next day, the government went ahead with the accreditation of delegates and journalists for the International Conference on Human Security, Peace and Development scheduled to hold on Thursday (today) at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, as part of activities for the centenary celebrations. This won’t happen in advanced countries where they attach much value to the lives of their citizens. The colonial masters that amalgamated Nigeria will not even dare that. I think the Nigerian government and leaders need orientation from the western world.
February 27, 2014
Family of the late human rights icon and legal luminary, Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), rejected an award meant for the deceased Senior Advocate of Nigeria as part of the country’s centenary celebrations. The family said the late legal icon would not have received any award at a time that insurgents are killing innocent citizens in the north and when the nation is in the throes of debilitating corruption as in the case of missing $20bn oil funds. In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, the family also said it could not receive the award because of the inclusion on the list of recipients a former dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, “who, as military president, severally detained and tortured our late father.” The letter was signed by the first son of the late legal icon, Mohammed. You go fit do the same? Like father like family.
That is why I love the bar; they quickly used punishment to correct disobedience, unlike the Federal Executive Council. Two judges, Justice Gladys Olotu of the Abuja Federal High Court and Justice U. A. Inyang of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, were suspended for gross misconduct after the National Judicial Council forwarded a recommendation to President Goodluck Jonathan for their dismissal. The president was expected to approve the sacking of the two judicial officers. A statement from the Acting Director of Information in the NJC, Soji Oye, explained that the council, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, took the decision at a meeting, where the two judicial officers were suspended, pending the approval of their dismissal by the president. The recommendation for compulsory retirement of the two judges was based on findings by the NJC after investigations into allegations contained in petitions brought against them.
February 28, 2014
For the first time in recent times, all living former heads of government of Nigeria gathered under the same roof to join President Goodluck Jonathan in celebrating 100 years of the nation’s amalgamation. The venue was the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where the centenary anniversary presentation and award night/dinner was held. 100 persons, both living and dead, believed to have contributed meaningfully to national development, were honoured at the colourful event. The well-attended come and chop was witnessed by Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), former presidents Shehu Shagari, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.), Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar and former president Olusegun Obasanjo.