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For Crying Out Loud

The time for genuine electoral reform is NOW!


THE spate of surprisingly unanimous yet lamentable 2015 governorship election petition decisions handed down by the Justice Mahmud Mohammed-led Supreme Court has made the case for genuine and lasting electoral reform a matter of national urgency, bordering on an emergency.

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What would it take for a politically exposed Nigerian politician to resign?

WHAT would it take for a politically exposed Nigerian politician to resign from office in protest of his or her averred honour? If ten trillion naira looted from the treasury was found stashed in his private vault? To stem the tide of public outrage following her purchase of five bullet-proof Bentleys purportedly for the comfort and safety of very important visitors to her ministry?

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Senate President Bukola Saraki  listening to Alh Lai Mohammed

Saraki: Endless saga of proving innocence by evading trial

Does Senate President Bukola Saraki believe he is innocent of the charges of false and anticipatory assets declaration filed against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal? If so, why has he chosen a most curious, if not downright dubious, manner of proving it? It is now half a year since he took his plea of “not guilty,”though not before a bench warrant for his arrest was issued to compel him to attend court.

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Supreme Court of Nigeria

The will of the Supreme Court as the basis of govt

THE recent spate of summary but affirmative decisions of the Supreme Court in hotly contested governorship election petitions gives dire warning of the urgent need for comprehensive electoral reform. Obviously, the Supreme Court relishes its image as a fearsome exponent of legal realism. Oliver Wendell Holmes, American jurist and avatar of this school, laid down its doctrine as “The prophecies of what the courts will do in fact, and nothing more pretentious” (emphasis original). Despite its capacity for judicial retardation and political cynicism, the Court has been gleefully torturing our civic sensibility with this doctrine for 35 years. One might say, “The votes of judges of the Nigerian Supreme Court, and no ballots more pretentious, determine elections.”

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Learning at the feet of a benevolent taskmaster (for BJ at 70)

EVEN before I had sat in the same classroom with Professor Biodun Jeyifo (BJ to his legion of friends and admirers), I regarded him as my teacher. He had been instrumental to my arrival at Cornell in 2001 to fulfil my long-nourished dream of taking a degree in literature-in-English. With a background in law, my best bet was to apply for a Master of Fine Art in poetry, having already published a collection of poems, finished the first draft of another, and freshly become a fellow of the Iowa International Writing Programme.

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Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, sandwiched between security operaives, leaving the court yesterday in Abuja.

Rule of Law as refuge

I WELCOME the controversy over President Buhari’sexplanation ofthe re-arrest and continued detention ofColonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), President Jonathan’s political ATM-machinewho went by the formal title of National Security adviser. If nothing else, it offers us the opportunity to ensure that the hallowed concept of rule of law will not become the refuge of scoundrels, of treasury looters whose kleptomania has the nation reeling from the mortal blows of grinding poverty, gross underdevelopment and threats to its corporate integrity. The president raised hackles when he said that Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu (leader of the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra)have not been released,despite subsisting courts orders granting them bail, because given “the kinds of atrocities” they have “committed against the country, if they are given the opportunity, they will jump bail.

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Buhari presents N6.08trn 2016 budget to NASS

Has Buhari banished budgets of recurrent corruption?

EVERYONE is hailing President Buhari’s first budget as an elected head of state. Everyone, it seems, except the bitter malcontents of the Peoples Democratic Party, better known by their rallying cry of “PDP? Share the money!!!” And quite some money-sharing they did for sixteen years, as the sheer cold-bloodedness of former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki’s free money madness has shown to the world.

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The God of money and the Nigerian gods of corruption

THAT you Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki whilst being National Security Adviser and Shaibu Salisu, whilst being the Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser on or about 17th April 2015 in Abuja dishonestly misappropriated certain property to wit: N750million belonging to the Federal Republic of Nigeria which sum was transferred to Reliance Referral Hospital Limited’s bank account in favour of one Aminu Baba-Kusa purporting same to be payment for organising prayers and . . . “

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NIGERIA @55— Third from left: Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President Muhammadu Buhari; Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Chief Justice of the Federation Mahmud Mohammed and others, cutting the cake to celebrate the 55th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida.

When will this independence finish?

IT was Prof. Tanimu Abubakar, I believe, of the Political Science department and Aminu Yusuf, a postgraduate student at Ahmadu Bello University, the one a stalwarth of the ABU branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the other of the campus student movement at the time, who (if my memory serves me well), were fond of repeating this intriguing question whenever the moment came to drop the gown and bring some town — nay, village — perspective to our discussions of how to save Nigeria.

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