Nigeria Today

Supreme Court of Nigeria

The Supreme Court and the ordinary man

Not many people know my uncle, Sir Ajayi Edobor that I often refer to in this column because of his impact on me as a young man. It was from him I learnt the technique of the communication of the deaf which I later found to be popular in government which behaves as if it does not hear what the people say. He has in earnest always served as my ever-ready barometer for measuring how the ordinary man sees every government policy.

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Congrats Governors Wike and Ishaku, but….

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike must have been greatly relieved when the Supreme Court last Wednesday confirmed him as the rightful winner of the 2015 governorship election in his state. The Apex Court upheld the elections of Wike with a unanimous decision by a seven-man panel whose lead judgment was read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun. Not-withstanding that the details of the judgment will not be available until February 12, 2016, it is only fair at this point for Wike’s critics including this column to congratulate him for emerging victorious in the laborious venture called election in Nigeria.

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File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly.

Now that the budget has been found, what next?

Can the 2016 budget change our fate? We hope it does. Anyway, now that the alleged missing document has been found along with the thief, there is no need for prosecution; instead let us merely use its content for the benefit of Nigerians. We are not even sure if the theft would not be beneficial in due course. In this regard, the rumour that the Presidency has reduced the allocation for exotic cars by N7billion is heart warming. So is the other story that the allocation to the State House Medical Centre has also been rationalized. But who uses the centre – is it the same people who fly abroad to treat headache or is that one of changes we should look out for?

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Let’s take steps to tame our political class

The Bayelsa state governorship election has finally ended with the declaration of Governor Sieraki Dickson, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the winner of the election. Before the contest, a number of perverse things took place. One of them was the reported bombing a few hours to the election of the country home of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson, which was attributed to the handiwork of some masked men.

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ARMS PROBE—From right: Former National Security Adviser, NSA, to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd); former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; former Director of Finance, Office of the NSA, Mr. Salisu Shuaibu; former Director at Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Aminu Baba Kusa and former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, after their arraignment at an Abuja High Court by the Economc and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.

The other side of the Dasuki probe

With the judiciary already handling allegations by the present Federal Government that a huge portion of the funds for fighting insurgency was diverted by its predecessor, the subject is hardly ripe for comments by columnists who appreciate the rule of law. In the meantime however, there are a number of instructive statements in the public domain which we cannot ignore. A good example of such statements is the one credited to Dr. Peter Odili, a former governor of Rivers State.

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Who are Vehicle Inspection Officers?

In one of his town hall meetings with the people of Kaduna State, the Governor, Nasir El-Rufai stated among other things that he was set to tackle youth unemployment. To this end, he announced that every year, ten people would be recruited from each of the 255 wards in the state to work as vehicle inspection officers, traffic warders, and environmental inspectors adding that the first set will be initiated before the end of this year.

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NEW APPEAL COURT JUDGES: Cross section of the newly appointed Justices of the Court of Appeal, during their swearing-in ceremony by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, at the Supreme Court in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.

Politicians who abuse judges are unwise!

Nigerian politicians are probably the freest in the world as they now and again do whatever pleases them with no one able to call them to order. Anytime a judge is assaulted or being abused in the country, it is always the handiwork of a politician or someone acting on his behalf. The only politician that does not abuse a judge is the one who secures a favourable court judgment.

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It is time to support the Nigerian Military

In January 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan in his own wisdom, decided to appoint Air Marshal Alex S. Badeh as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Almost immediately, a United States-based Nigerian journalist Abiodun Ladepo circulated an opinion on the web suggesting that Badeh was too fat to head our military. I thought my colleague’s opinion particularly his assertion that Badeh was “the most out of shape officer” he had ever seen was rather harsh and uncharitable. When Badeh assumed office, he spent ample time pointing accusing fingers at a section of the press for being anti-government.

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Are our legislators the opposite of Buhari?

At the opening of a 2-day retreat for our 36 incoming ministers last Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari made the point again that his administration would run a lean government at all levels, to avoid wastage of public funds. The president therefore charged the participants to key into the change agenda of government, as they constitute the main vehicle that would administer the change to Nigerians adding that the administration would be assessed based on the number of Nigerians it is able to lift out of poverty. The President could not have put it better.

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