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“I am not guilty”

By Kola Animasaun
When I returned from my United Kingdom trip on Monday evening, I did not see my neighbour.  He did not come to see me.  It was unusual not to see him.  At least I would meet him at prayers.

On Tuesday I had news that he had been detained and that was why I did not see him.  It transpired that he crossed some forbidden barriers and the KAI (Kick Against Indiscipline) agents napped him and he had to go to court.

I understand that fine is N20,000 the cost of unruliness.  If neighbour had pleaded guilty, he would have paid and come home.  Of course, he would have to ‘drink garri’ for many weeks for crossing the rail.

When neighbour got to the court, he was tutored by lawyers who had to make ends meet.  Those who know the lawyers call them ‘charge and bail’.  He was told to plead not guilty.  I have not had the privilege to ask him why he should plead that way.
Neighbour opened his eye and walked through a forbidden barrier.

Then his ordeal began.  There were a barrage of barriers to meet: tax clearance; NEPA bills and so on.  Whoever stand as surety for him would have to be sure “he was at home”.  In other words – money must change hands.  Of course, the magistrate cannot guarantee his presence in court.

As I write this, my neighbour is spending his fifth day in detention.  He was apprehended at Oshodi but he is spending ‘time’ at Badagry.  And his wife is perambulating between Dopemu and Badagry.  Some people are making fortunes from the misfortune of any unfortunate people.

We must domesticate justice so that people do not see it as an oppression.

Let LASU VC go
Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), Governor of Lagos, had a pleasant duty to do in the matter of Lagos State University.  He is The Visitor to the University and has had his duty to remove the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Lateef Hassain.

The Lagos Assembly Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said “It was very clear to us that since the present Vice Chancellor, Professor Hussain, took over the mantle of leadership a lot has happened.

“It is clear to us that after his initial success the lest of his administration has been characterised by falling academic standard, decaying infrastructure, poor human and material resources management, administrative ineptitude, poor human relations and victimisation in various forms leading to exodus of committed members of staff, especially the academic staff.”

According to Ikuforiji “The House has continuously and consistently intervened in the crisis engulfing the institution over a period making several recommendations, which the VC has neglected to the detriment of a sound academic environment.”

The House passed a vote of no confidence in the VC and asked the governor to remove him immediately and also immediately “address the requirement for re-accreditation of the courses that have been denied accreditation and also to ensure no other courses is denied accreditation in the future.

Hussain has been a square peg in a round hole.  And he has slowed down completely the progress of Lagos State University.

One of the star courses of the University is Law and that has been denied accreditation.  And all the friends of LASU are not very happy with what is happening there.

I hope the Visitor will agree with the Lagos State House of Assembly and let Professor Abdulateef Hussain go.

13 containers of arms, etc
Wonders will never cease.  Hitherto, arms were gotten to Nigeria through the borders.  Or they were stealthily spirited in small quantities.  And they were not in the quantities to overawe a country like Nigeria.

Not only was the consignment large, they were of many kinds.  There were 13 containers of 24 crates of rocket launchers.  There were hand grenades and other weapons of mass destruction.

As I go to press nobody has opened up to owning them.  I pray the battery of Police, Customs and various security agencies will not give us the excuse they have vamoosed into thin air.

The type of equipment are not for boy scout outing; they are used for large-scale war.  The purveyors may have used this consignment to test the waters and that is why the security agencies should get to the bottom of the matter.  Since they said they “were acting on a tip off.”

The elections are so imminent and Nigerians are not so comfortable with arms and ammunition floating without authority.
P.S.
Thank God we are back.  Redirect your mails to the address above – Kola.


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