Ifunanya

Thousands of Nigerian Fans Still In Russia After World Cup

Russian Interior Ministry has confirmed that 1,863 Nigerians who were in the country for the last year’s FIFA World Cup are yet to leave.

The figure which was gotten from the FAN ID system adds to the more than

5,000 supporters who have remained illegally.

According to the ministry’s report, more than 12,000 World Cup fans are still Russia as of December 31.

“In the main, they were all law-abiding and left the country in their own time,” migration department head Andrei Kayushin had said last week.

Majority of the fans gained entry into Russia without visa, provided they held a FAN ID document.

Nigerians have the highest number followed by Vietnam (911) and Bangladesh (456) – neither of whom were playing at the 32-team tournament.

Senegal, who have an estimated 253 citizens still in the country.

The Interior Ministry has said that work to expel those in the country illegally will continue, and is expected to be completed by the end of March.

Around 650,000 foreign fans visited Russia during the tournament, according to the ministry.

I Wole Soyinka will not be voting for either the two so-called contesting parties.

In an interactive session that was held at the Freedom Park, Lagos, on Thursday, Wole Soyinka says the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are only worthy of “absolute rejection” as the country needs a new direction he stated this at the Citizen Forum

 He also stated that he was open to supporting an “alternative” candidate.

He said; “It is time for a totally new direction, and when an alternative emerges, we will give the candidate our backing.

“For the avoidance of doubt, let me make my position quite clear because I don’t want any ambiguity; I Wole Soyinka will not be voting for either the two so-called contesting parties. I find both of them worthy of absolute rejection.

“For a number of reasons which I will not go into here, I’m not interested in a comparative assessment. My position is simply that it is time for a totally new direction. And obviously, I’m not the only one; as I’m speaking, there is a coalition having its meeting in Lagos from which they hope to produce a consensus candidate.

“There is another group meeting in Abuja, also at the end would send us their consensus candidate. Things have been going on quietly in the background to try and change the direction of this nation in a very positive way, and to make the public understand that they do not have to be enslaved permanently to the old discredited order. It is my sole business in this election.

“I don’t believe in what is called negative vote, which means, for me, throwing your vote in a waste basket, I believe instead in a creative vote, not a protest vote, not a negative vote but a creative vote. And a creative vote means that the will to at least sow a seed through your vote that will germinate eventually. The pace of germination is beyond the control of everyone, but it is never too early to make a beginning. It has happened before in other societies. When a dark horse emerges from nowhere and trumps all the political juggernauts caterpillars and so on with their performers, worthless, their capacity for violence and treachery.”

New minimum wage: Reps approves N30,000, Ignore Burahi and Govs.

The House of Representatives has approved the sum of N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

The approval followed the adoption of the report by the ad hoc committee set up on the New Minimum Wage Bill presented to the National Assembly.

Public hearing on the bill was held by the committee,

The President had in the executive bill sought the approval of N27,000 as against the N30,000 agreed upon by stakeholders.

The Federal Government and state governors insisted on the N27,000 proposed in the bill but the Organised Labour and the Organised Private Sector insisted on N30,000.

Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who is the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum said at the hearing that the states, which had earlier proposed N22,000, had now concurred with the Council of State on N27,000.

The lawmakers amended Clause 3(1).

The old version read, “As from the commencement of this bill, every employer, except as provided for under this bill, shall pay a wage not less than a national minimum wage of N27,000 per month to every worker under his establishment.”

The amended version reads, “As from the commencement of this bill, every employer, except as provided for under this bill, shall pay a wage not less than a national minimum wage of N30,000 per month to every worker under his establishment.”

The lawmakers also amended Clause 10(2) to raise the fine for non-compliance with the proposed law by an employer.

It now reads, “Any employer who fails to comply with the provisions of the sub-clause 1 of this clause commits an offence and is liable on conviction to (a) a fine not exceeding N75,000 (against the N5,000 earlier proposed) and (b) an additional penalty not exceeding N10,000 for each day the offence continues.”

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Yusuf Lasun, who chaired the committee, explained why the lawmakers chose to accept the workers’ demand.

He said, “Sometime last week, the executive sent a bill to amend some sections of the Principal Act of the Minimum Wage Act, of which one of the most important amendments that we are about to carry out is moving the minimum wage from N18,000 to N27,000 that was recommended in the bill.

“We had a public hearing which was aired live and it was there and then that we realised that the tripartite committee that was set up by Mr President actually did recommend N30,000 as the minimum wage. It was a public hearing that was well attended.

“Everybody is of the opinion that the time is right and that it is even overdue. So, in the executive bill that the executive sent, the only thing that was touched is the minimum wage itself.”

AGBADA CHANGETH NOT KHAKI UNIFORM By Ken Tadaferua

The philosopher, George Santayana enunciated the evergreen truism: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Many a Nigerian seem never to remember the past. It is a penchant that results in horrible consequences.

Nigeria’s political history is replete with coup-plotting army generals who exploit corruption and seeming frustration with court and legal processes as justification for truncating democracy and contriving legitimacy for dictatorships that they impose on the country. Again and again, each dictatorship delivers worse corruption, impunity and terrible governance. Yet, some citizens, blind to these lessons of history, applaud the disdainful truncating of democratic processes, till this day.

To put this in perspective, let’s look at excerpts of two speeches made 25 years apart, by army generals – Ibrahim Babangida on June 12, 1993 and Muhammadu Buhari on January 25, 2019. Get the full speeches and take note of the generals’ references to corruption and impatience with court processes. Yet, the irony is that they exploit contrived court rulings to murder democracy.  Read and ponder:

* Excerpts from the speech by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida on June 12, 1993 to annul the 1993 presidential election won by Chief MKO Abiola:

“It is against the foregoing background that the administration became highly concerned when these political conflicts and breaches were carried to the court. It must be acknowledged that the performance of the judiciary on this occasion was less than satisfactory. The judiciary has been the bastion of the hopes and liberties of our citizens.

“It was under this circumstance that the National Defence and Security Council decided that it is in the supreme interest of law and order, political stability and peace that the presidential election be annulled.”

 

“Therefore, when it became clear that the courts had become intimidated and subjected to the manipulation of the political process, and vested interests, then the entire political system was in clear danger. This administration could not continue to watch the various high courts carry on their long drawn out processes and contradictory decisions, while the nation slides into chaos.

“It was under this circumstance that the National Defence and Security Council decided that it is in the supreme interest of law and order, political stability and peace that the presidential election be annulled.”

* Excerpts from the speech by General Muhammadu Buhari on January 25, 2019 to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, head of one of the three arms of government:

 

“Instead, the nation has been treated to the sordid spectacle of a judicial game of wits in which the chief justice of Nigeria and his legal team have made nonsense of the efforts of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to hear the allegation on merit and conclude the trial as quickly as possible considering the nature of the times in which we live.

“It is against this background that I have received the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal directing me to suspend the chief justice pending final determination of the cases against him. It also explains why I am not only complying immediately, but with some degree of relief for the battered sensibilities of ordinary Nigerians whose patience must have become severely over-taxed by these anomalies.

“In line with this administration’s avowed respect for the rule of law, I have wholeheartedly obeyed the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal dated 23rd January 2019.

“Accordingly, I hereby suspend the Honourable Mr. Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen, GCON as the Chief Justice of Nigeria pending final determination of the case against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.”

Note that both the supposed court order which annulled the 1993 presidential election and Code of Conduct Tribunal order that suspended the CJN were not given in open court but were concoctions brewed and obtained under the sulfuric stench of judicial banditry. Worse, Danladi Umar, the CCT chairman who ordered the suspension, is himself facing corruption charges in court for receiving bribes.

It is a long, long road for Nigeria. The wolf in sheep clothing is still a wolf. The tin hat who removes khaki uniform for civilian agbada is still a tin hat.

Black Panther wins top prize at SAG awards

Black Panther

Superhero film Black Panther has won the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild awards (SAGs).

The box office hit picked up best ensemble cast award in a motion picture, the SAG ceremony’s version of the best film prize.

Asked if Black Panther had changed the film industry, lead actor Chadwick Boseman replied: “My answer to that is…to be young, gifted and black.”

The only British winner was Emily Blunt for her performance in A Quiet Place.

The actress picked up the prize for best supporting actress for the film, which was directed by and co-starred her husband John Krasinski.

She looked shocked as she accepted her gong: “I am going to share this completely with my husband, John Krasinski, because the entire experience of doing this with you has completely pierced my heart directly. You are a stunning filmmaker.”

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski

Despite four nominations, Oscars frontrunner A Star is Born failed to pick up an award.

Glenn Close beat The Favourite star Olivia Colman to take home the best actress prize for her role in The Wife, replicating her success at the Golden Globes.

Rami Malek achieved the same repeat success, picking up the best actor award for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Mahershala Ali was honoured with the best supporting actor prize for his part in Green Book, beating British hopeful Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

The SAGs also honour the stars of television and it was Amazon Prime series The Marvellous Mrs Maisel which swept the comedy prizes, taking the award for best ensemble in a comedy series, as well as outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series for Rachel Brosnahan and male actor in a comedy series for Tony Shalhoub.

The prize for best ensemble in a TV drama went to This Is Us.

Best actor went to Jason Bateman for Ozark, with Sandra Oh honoured with best actress for Killing Eve.

Other TV winners included Patricia Arquette for Escape at Dannemora and Darren Criss for The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

Black Panther also won best action performance by a stunt ensemble.

News credit; BBC News

Nigerians Must Resist President Buhari’s Attack on the Constitution. BY DR. OLISA AGBAKOBA, OON, SAN.

President Muhammadu Buhari`s suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen is the most brazen assault on Nigeria`s constitutional history. The President has obviously not listened to the advice of the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation or the Attorney General of the Federation has misadvised him or both.

President Buhari claims that the suspension of the Chief Justice Onnoghen is pending the determination of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT. This is simply not true. The CCT itself adjourned proceedings in respect of Justice Onnoghen`s matter in order to determine if it had jurisdiction to try Justice Onnoghen. The President`s decision contravenes the Ruling of the CCT.

There are at least six (6) pending cases in superior courts of Nigeria and one in the Court of Appeal. All these cases ruled that Justice Onnoghen should remain in office pending when all cases against him are resolved. These Rulings bind the President of Nigeria. In any case, Section 292 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria sets out the procedure for removing or suspending the Chief Justice of Nigeria. The power to suspend or remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria vests in the Senate side of the National Assembly.

For all these reasons the purported suspension of Chief Justice Onnoghen is the gravest insult to the Nigerian constitution in history.It is difficult to understand how President Buhari will expect my vote of confidence in the February polls if he wantonly denigrates and desecrates our Constitution.

I call on all Nigerians to take the strongest possible view of the President`s conduct. I am shocked that Mr Justice Mohammed Tanko would have offered himself to be sworn in as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

I call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to refuse to be pushed out of office. The NBA must rise to resist this assault to our constitution.

Our judges must rise; Civil Society Organizations must rise. This is potentially the beginning of our descent into constitutional anarchy.

Dr Olisa Agbakoba, OON, SAN.

Police detain Senator Melaye, file fresh 9 charges against him

The Nigeria Police Force has ignored the Federal Capital Territory High Court’s order to release Senator Dino Melaye (representing Kogi west senatorial district) on bail. Rather, the police on Monday, January 20, filed fresh nine charges against the senator.

A report shows that the fresh charges against Melaye dated January 14, 2019 was co-signed by Kehinde Oluwole, Malik Taiwo and Seyi Otunla, all of the force legal office, Abuja.

One of the nine charges read: “That you Senator Dino Melaye, 45years, representing Kogi West… at about 11am, at your residence… inform the public on Twitter that the police detectives are trying to plant guns in your cars outside, an information you know to be false… thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 392 of the Penal Code.”

The senator is accused of accusing the former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, of planning to “inject him to death”, obstructing and resisting arrest.

Senator Dino Melaye, was granted bail by a high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja. The presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, granted the bail on health grounds. Justice Halilu said Melaye should be granted bail because he cannot be arraigned on the stretcher or ‎on his hospital bed.

The senator was asked to produce three sureties, one must be a clerk of the National Assembly. The other two sureties must be owners of properties within the Abuja metropolis.

Onnoghen: Follow Due Process-NBA to Buhari govt

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called on the Federal Government to discontinue the prosecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, and follow due process.

The Federal Government is prosecuting the CJN at the Code of Conduct Tribunal for allegedly failing to declare his assets.

In a statement by the NBA President, Mr Paul Usoro, on Monday in Abuja, He urged the government to follow due process if its goal was to remove Onnoghen from office.

“Due process is not followed when the Executive Branch of the Federal Government files an Interlocutory Motion before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for the removal of the CJN.

“Such an application disparages, and assaults due process as enshrined in Section 292(1)(a)(i) of the 1999 Constitution.

“The said section is very explicit on the due process for the CJN’s removal,” the NBA president said.

According to Usoro, the constitution leaves no room, however, for the removal of the CJN from office, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, other than through the necessary due process.

The NBA president said that Nigeria was a country governed by laws and the government owed Nigerians a duty to comply strictly with provisions of the constitution for the removal of the CJN.

“We, therefore, urge the Executive Branch of the Federal Government to please retrace its steps and discontinue the entire proceedings before the CCT forthwith and follow the constitutional procedure,”

NBA president said that the NBA stood by its earlier statement that established judicial precedents, dictate that the allegations must be referred to and handled by the National Judicial Council (NJC).

”It is only after the NJC’s pronouncement against the CJN that the government’s prosecuting agencies can proceed against him before any Tribunal or Court of Law.

“For as long as the CJN remains a judicial officer, that process avails him and is mandatory of compliance by the government,” he said.

He maintained that the government must discontinue the proceedings at the CCT on the grounds that it constituted an assault on due process and undermined the rule of law.

Alex Badeh: Defence headquarters releases burial date for ex-CDS

The Defence Headquarters, DHQ, on Friday disclosed the burial date for former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, rtd.

In a statement signed by the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim, interment of Badeh will commence on Sunday with the Service of Songs scheduled to hold at the Nigerian Air Force Base Protestant Church in Abuja.

Agim also disclosed that the service of song would be followed by a church service expected to hold at the same venue on Wednesday next week after which he would be laid to rest later in the afternoon at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja.

See statement below:

As part of activities lined-up for the interment of the former Chief of Defence Staff, late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh. The general public is hereby informed of the following:
a. Service of Songs:
(1) Date: Sunday 20 January 2019
(2) Time: 1700hrs (5pm)
(3) Venue: Nigerian Air Force Base Protestant Church, Bill Clinton Drive Abuja
b. Church Service:
(1 Date: Wednesday 23 January 2019.
(2) Time: 1000hrs (10am).
(3) Venue: Nigerian Airforce Base, Protestant Church, Bill Clinton Drive Airport Road Abuja.
b. Interment:
(1) Date: Wednesday 23 January 2019
(2) Time: 123hrs (1230 pm)
(3) Venue: National Military Cemetery Abuja
2. In view of the above, you are please requested to detail your crew to cover the event and disseminate this information to the general public through your credible medium. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.

HURIWA speaks on Python Dance 3, says it’s an improvement.

A Prominent Pro- Democracy and Non-Governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked operatives of the Nigerian Army to maintain the cordial relationship it is enjoying amongst the people of South East of Nigeria especially as the Operation Python Dance three kicks off.

HURIWA spoke in Owerri, Imo State after an independent tour of the five South East of Nigerian States of Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi and Imo State to assess the mood of the people of South East of Nigeria towards the recently inaugurated Operation Python Dance three and also to encourage the prospective South East voters to participate massively in the February and March 2019 General elections so as to elect only credible political office seekers who will abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) and fundamentally rebuild the South East of Nigeria into an Economic and industrial hub.

The National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko who led a three member investigative team on the assessment visit to the South East of Nigeria stated that the general impressions the team got from a lot of residents of the South East Geopolitical zone of the Country is that this third phase of the military training operation by the Nigerian Army is geared towards assisting the Nigeria Police Force and other relevant law enforcement agencies to sweep off armed gangs and organized criminals terrorizing millions of law abiding citizens of the South East of Nigeria even as the national scope of the military exercise launched on Monday in Lagos by the Chief of Army staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai remains the trigger that comprehensively convinced the people of South East of Nigeria that the operation was not an isolated operation that is to target certain persons or groups of agitators in the South East of Nigeria.

HURIWA said the findings from the team which also coopted leaders of some Community based organizations in the South East of Nigeria show that unlike the previous OPERATION EGWU EKE 11 which specifically was perceived as an isolated operation that targeted sympathizers and perceived members of the pro-Self Determination campaigners of the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) and witnessed several conflicts between members and sympathizers of IPOB and the armed forces of Nigeria leading to fatalities, most people who spoke with HURIWA said the current OPERATION PYTHON DANCE 3 is acceptable provided the armed operatives will stay off unnecessary confrontations with unarmed persons and also not be deployed to manipulate the forthcoming elections. The people of the South East of Nigeria are ready and determined to actively participate in the elections which they see as the last opportunity to elect persons that will guarantee good governance in the zone. 

HURIWA said thus: “Although as a platform that campaigns for constitutional democracy we had initially canvassed that the Nigerian Army should focus on battling the armed terrorists of Boko Haram in the North-East of Nigeria and ensure that Boko Haram terrorists are significantly degraded, decimated and destroyed, but most people interviewed  in the South East of Nigeria said the military training that is code named OPERATION EGWU EKE 3 is not a threat to the enjoyment of the fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and a plethora of International and continental human rights and humanitarian treaties, covenants, conventions, laws and agreements provided the armed operatives adhered  strictly to the global best practices, stick to their rules of engagement and stay off the polling and collation centers during the forthcoming elections because the people believe that the Nigerian Army as a professional institution created by the constitution in section 217(1) ought not to be used by politicians to deprive the people of their civil liberties and the fundamental human rights recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution and many other internationally  binding laws. We were told by the people that they are prepared to work and partner with the Nigerian Army to eradicate criminality and criminals who are creating insecurity in many towns and communities in the South East of Nigeria and discourage investors from locating their investments and businesses in the South East of Nigeria.  These people living and doing legitimate businesses in the South East of Nigeria told us that their wish is that the South East of Nigeria will become a viable commercial and industrial zone so millions of graduates and school leavers who are now without jobs can be gainfully employed and they said if the military operations can guarantee security of life and property it therefore means that the States of the North East of Nigeria will in no time be rapidly developed so the youth can be productively engaged and become constructive creators of legitimate wealth to turn around the area and minimize the consequences of mass poverty and declining standards of living”.

Specifically section 217 of the constitution states thus: “There shall be an armed forces for the Federation which shall consist of an army, a navy, an Air Force and such other branches of the armed forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly; (2) The Federation shall, subject to an Act of the National Assembly made in that behalf, equip and maintain the armed forces as may be considered adequate and effective for the purpose of -: defending Nigeria from external aggression; maintaining its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation on land, sea, or air; suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly; and performance such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. (3) The composition of the officer corps another ranks of the armed forces of the Federation shall reflect the federal character of Nigeria.”

HURIWA recalled that the Nigerian Army had disclosed that its annual training programme, the ‘Operation Python Dance III’, also known as Exercise Egwu Eke III, in South East States formations and units under 82 Division, Nigerian Army is meant for eradication of criminals and not to endanger lives and property of the citizenry.

HURIWA recalled that the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 82 Division Nigeria Army, Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Boman Kabuk, at the 302 Artillery Regiment, (General Support) Onitsha, Anambra State, when he paid a familiarization visit to the military cantonment, having resumed duties in Enugu on August 6, 2018 also assured the people that the sanctity of the human rights and dignity of their human persons would be guaranteed and protected.

HURIWA quoted the Military General as stating as follows: “Exercise Egwu Eke III, is a training exercise for troops of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and during the training, if there are criminal activities like armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities that distort peace and tranquility of the citizenry along the line, the Army will not close its eyes and watch those criminals activities to thrive.”

HURIWA recalled that the Military General further spoke thus: “Nigerian Army therefore urged all law abiding citizens of the country, particularly the people of South East to go about their legitimate, lawful and genuine businesses, saying that “those afraid of the exercise are criminal elements that do not want their activities checked and are just being afraid of the consequences of their heinous criminal actions.”

HURIWA recalled that  Maj. Gen Kabuk , who was accompanied by some senior Army officers from 82 Division, was led round the Onitsha military cantonment for inspection of equipment and facilities by the Commander, 302 Artillery Regiment, General Support, Col. Idongesit Akpan.

HURIWA recalled that General Kabuk also explained the exercise thus: “We want to let Nigerians know that if we are training, we are training to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria. So, the pro Biafra activists and killer herdsmen are also Nigerians who are misguided. We should not allow misguided elements to disturb our peace. What we want is for law abiding citizens to live in peace. If you are not law abiding, the law will take its course. That is all we are saying.”

HURIWA expressed optimism that the armed operatives taking part in the Operation Python Dance three will absolutely abide by the rules of engagement and not violate the human rights of the citizens just as the group asked the citizens to partner with the armed forces to build a better society that will ensure peace and stability which are necessary for economic growth of the society and progressive advancement of fundamental human rights of the citizenry. 

HURIWA promised to monitor the implementation of the operation python dance 3 to ensure compliance to the constitutional rights of citizens.