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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Am A Political Prisoner

Written by Ephraim Emeka Ugwuonye

Torture and human right abuse are not something that only the military governments do. Civilian governments can engage in such atrocities as well. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, under Jonathan’s government commits these atrocities. My case is a striking example. As you all must have figured out by now, I did not commit any crime against the state. I did not violate any law whatsoever. My offense is simply because I refused

to participate in government’s effort to bribe judges in 2008.

On top of that, I refused to give kickback to the Ambassador from the fees paid to my firm. And then I committed the capital offense of speaking out publicly about their corrupt activities.

They have been searching for ways to pin something on me. All the crimes they have claimed I committed could only have occurred in the United States. But they know that they could never establish a case against me in the U.S. The only place they could attack me is in the dark and corrupt country of Nigeria. That’s why we are here trying as a crime an allegation of breach of contract in the US. They have used the EFCC to lie like monkeys against me. They are willing to spend all the money at the country’s disposal just to get me. Almost like over indulgent children, a whole government is obsessed with getting one man nailed to the cross.

Do not get carried away by the terminology of the offenses they charge against me with. They have charged me with the offense of Criminal Breach of contrary to the penal code of Northern Nigeria. There they charged me with Refusal to Declare Assets. And now they charge me with stealing. I wonder when they would charge me with the offense of terrorism or treason. They could even be funny and charge me with the offense of rape or armed robbery. So, it doesn’t matter what they call it, they simply can’t prove any of it in a fair and impartial court of justice.

How do these people work?

They work in the most primitive ways imaginable. They chose to use the most daft and corrupt set of officials – the leaders of the EFCC. They have imagined every dirty trick in the world. They knew that the 1.5 million dollars story was a non-issue. They sat together and planned to entrap me with the refusal to declare asset charge.

They sent some low level staff to ensnare me. But I saw through their tricks even before they showed their hands. So, I did not refuse to declare my assets. I put my position in writing. For them to change me with what didn’t happen really shows how desperate they are. They thought they could get me on Nigerian soil. But they are not smart enough.

To see how stupid they are, look at what is going on now. The charge they filed against me in the Federal High Court Abuja is coming up on December 16 for trial. The one they filed against me in FCT High Court is coming up on January 26. And here they are in Lagos telling the court to deny me bail and remand me in kirikiri. Assuming the court agrees with them, how am I to go to Abuja on December 16 to attend trial? So, they expect the prison authority to take me on a black maria death box from Lagos to Abuja and back? Or maybe the Prison authority will cough up the money to fly me to Abuja and back. Yet this is the absurdity that Festus Keyamo has been paid to seek for them.

In court last Thursday, they tried to get me sent to Kirikiri. They had paid money to some of the Press people who were there to report that the “American-based lawyer” had been sent to Kirikiri with pictures of me climbing the black maria. But they didn’t get that shot. Not yet. They had hoped to toast that night their to victory over Emeka Ugwuonye. Out of frustration, they decided to make life more horrible for me. So upon being taken back to the cell, they tortured me and placed me in solitary confinement.

Despite all the harm they have caused, you really can’t help laughing at these people. They are so idiotic. They don’t seem to be a part of this planet. You see human beings acting like animals. You wonder if it is all a dream or whether this could be happening in reality. And then it dawns on you that this is Nigeria. This is the same EFCC that said was going to fight corruption. You just weep for the country.

Though I have suffered all unimaginable hardship in the hands of these wild beasts, I have not really had the chance to cry for myself. I have been busy crying for the country. I have been busy crying for the poor Nigerians. I have seen a lot of them in the cells that I have been to. The officials of EFCC are just busy taking bribes and dumping poor innocent people in their cells. Two days ago, they arrested a 17-year old girl for an offense allegedly committed when she was 15 years old. Today, they took this secondary school girl to Abuja for further detention. This is no joke.

Out of consideration of decency, I shall not disclose the name of this minor. But that is the EFCC, you didn’t know about. Minors, even in cases of violent crimes, are not supposed to be treated like that. And with the emerging revelations that an EFCC official had raped and impregnated a female inmate, you can begin to understand the motive for the arrest and detention of a 17-year old girl.

As for the incident of rape of an inmate, I have managed to smuggle a petition to the Attorney-General of Nigeria.

A few months ago, an inmate of this cell died due to neglect and negligence of EFCC officials. The man’s name was Ayo. By 4:00 am of the day he died, he began to complain of acute pains to his head. Other inmates reported the matter to the guards on duty, who said they could not do anything until day light arrived. But the pain persisted and the man was rolling in excruciating pain to his head. By 6:00 am, the inmates went back to remind the guards. At the same time, the inmates were trying their best to help by soaking a piece of cloth in water and holding it to the sick man’s head.

That did not help. By 7:00 am the man passed feaces and urinated in his pant. The inmates carried him downstairs near the door hoping that some attention was coming. But the guards handed over to the next shift without any incident report for the next shift to attend to. By 8:00 am the new shift began to learn about the problem for the first time. No action was taken by the EFCC officials until 10:30 am. Even at that time medical attention did not arrive until 11:00 am. Of course, the man died before anything was done. He died of high blood pressure that was not attended to.

That was not the end of it. EFCC went ahead to cover up this incident, and asked inmates to lie about it. What happened to this man was exactly what happened with the rape case. They covered it up.

I cry for the people I see in detention here. Many of them have no hope. They were pleased to meet me. They have been happy to have a lawyer who could explain their rights to them. But now, EFCC has taken me into solitary confinement, away from any contact with these poor souls. However, I have requested my lawyers to mobilize and render services to as many of these inmates as possible - all at my expense.

Now, I cry for them. I hope to do everything I can to give these people justice. I must lift this burden and scourge of injustice and oppression which have been visited upon them by their own government.

Their problems are more acute than mine. At least, I know that those who detained me were wrong. Some of these inmates could not tell much about their conditions.

Engineer Francis, for instance, thought that Mrs. Farida Waziri was right when she told him there was an offence known as introducing somebody to somebody to collect a bank loan.

Maybe someday, I could have the luxury of weeping for myself. For now, I shall attend to those who hurt and suffer worse conditions that myself. The longer I face persecution by the government, the more defined my position becomes. And the more unease the enemy becomes. They are talking so much nonsense about how impossible it is for a person to fight a government. But what happens when a government has become an evil system, a cabal of death, a monster that sucks blood and ravages its own people?

How do we deal with a government so completely devoid of all notions of humanity, a government that lacks compassion, respect and rectitude? How do you expect me to relate with a group of leaders who have no regard for the fundamental objectives of human dignity and the well-being of their people?

The only way is to oppose them. Mine is a principled hostility. It will be impossible for me to turn away now after I have seen the degree of rot in this country and how shabbily our people have been treated by our government.

I am a political prisoner. I have no regrets for refusing to help them in their corrupt activities. I have no regret for turning my back to their corrupt money. Also, I have no regrets for deciding to speak out against them. No amount of punishment or blackmail will stop me.

By the way, did you notice that they are asking for my international passport so I wouldn’t go back to the U.S? What do you think is their goal? They don’t want me to return to Washington to testify in the case they filed against me in Washington. They are afraid of what I may say in that case. They don’t want an American judge to hear what I have to say. That was their entire objective for charging me to court in Nigeria, to use these Nigerian charges to keep me from talking to the Americans.

But who is fooling who?
Culled from www.elomba.com

Nigeria: Farida's Sack And The Challenge Of Anti Corruption Crusade

Written by Ugochukwu Raymond Ogubuariri

Only recently, the President announced the sack of Mrs Farida Waziri as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – EFCC. This move by the President has generated profound debate amongst Nigerians regarding the propriety – or otherwise – of the move and its implications for the anti-corruption crusade. In general terms, there has been a palpable tendency on the part of most analysts (and Nigerians at large) to individualize the anti-corruption discourse by laying an overwhelming focus and emphasis on the person heading the anti-corruption agency. At best, the debate about the extent of success of Nigerian’s anti-corruption struggle has been reduced to the singular variable of assessing the actions or inactions of the EFCC as an institution. The implication of this reductionism is that we have tended to ignore or discountenance the salient significance of certain intervening factors which ultimately define the context of operational efficiency and goal attainment of the EFCC.

It is generally agreeable by Nigerians that the cancer of corruption has become so deeply entrenched and devastatingly widespread in our body politic. If so, it logically follows that any serious effort to confront and surmount the menace must necessarily go beyond the tokenism of periodic replacement of the Head of the EFCC. It must be rooted in the realization that endemic corruption requires a systemic, holistic approach which is predicated on the cooperative and complimentary synergy between the anti-corruption agencies, the Judicial system, a committed political leadership, and most importantly, a patriotic citizenry.

Fundamentally, the attempt to mitigate the ravages of corruption in Nigeria will remain elusive and counter–productive for as long as the Presidency fails to bring some sense of critical urgency, impetus and exemplary leadership to bear on the fight against anti-corruption. Beyond the pretence of sacrificing periodically the Heads of corruption-fighting agencies like the EFCC, the body language and general disposition of the President in matters of political and economic corruption remain the ultimate decider of the level of seriousness to be attached to the fight against corruption by every other public official or government institution. When the President dissolves the Board and Management of a government agency implicated for corruption and mismanagement (as in case of the NDDC), and allow the indicted officials to go scot-free, he has invariably offered “presidential endorsement” for official corruption. When he appoints the wife of an ex-convict into the Board of a sensitive government parastatal (as in the case of Bode George’s wife), irrespective of the fact that the said appointee is also a member of two other Federal Boards, the President has simply propagated the idea that if you commit a crime against the Nigerian state, you will be “punished” with the reward of mouth-watering patronage from the Federal Government. When the President acknowledges that the petroleum industry is beset with insidious corruption as a result of the nefarious, traitorous activities of certain economic saboteurs whose identities are not hidden, yet, they are permitted to continue in their perfidious activities with unparalleled impunity, while some are even rewarded with membership of the government’s Economic Management Team, then the fight against corruption is in serious jeopardy. A presidential mindset which instigates or condones such negativities and arbitrariness can hardly be said to be supportive of the fight against corruption.

Any serious appraisal of the effectiveness of the EFCC in fighting corruption can hardly be

meaningful without relating it to the important roles played by such other institutions as the Judiciary and the Police Force as well as the legal system which defines their modus operandi, especially, in matters of criminal prosecution. The fight against corruption cannot take off, let alone succeed, if the country’s court system operates more like a shopping centre for all manner of black-market injunctions, protracted adjournments, and other contrived obstructionism often exploited by indicted corrupt officials to thwart and undermine judicial proceedings.

It is in this connection that the recent call by the new Chief Justice of Nigeria that all corruption-related cases be concluded within six months is considered as a welcome relief. The real challenge, however, is for the CJN to go beyond rhetoric and ensure that such a policy option is constitutionalized and given the force of law so that it can become binding and practicable. Additionally, the need for the creation of a special court for accelerated trial of corruption cases cannot be over-emphasized. Again, this is one area where the seriousness of the President in the fight against corruption will be strongly tested. For without the conscious resolve of the President to initiate positive measures geared towards the re-alignment of our judicial system to make it more attentive to the malignant scourge of corruption and supportive of the effort to combat it, there is hardly any magic that the EFCC – or any other anti-corruption agency for that matter – can perform.

By far, the biggest incentive for corruption in Nigeria is the avowed willingness of the general populace to tolerate it and edify those who perpetrate it. Due to the combined effect of poverty and ignorance, most Nigerians hardly appreciate the ominous connection which exists between their socio-economic predicaments and the autocratic incompetence and mindless corruption of their political leadership. The inclination of this set of Nigerians has always been to worship political power and glorify those who exercise and abuse it even to their own detriment. And when these treasury looters decide to mock their victims by throwing some crumbs of their booty at them, these Nigerians will have no qualms about going on their knees and praying God to bless their thieving benefactors and to grant them long life so that they will continue with their good works (of looting them blind).

What about those of us who claim to be educated and enlightened about our rights and obligations as citizens. Shockingly, our attitude and reactions to instances of official corruption is no less execrable than that of our ignorant and poverty-stricken fellows. Whenever we are confronted with the news of any case of monumental corruption, our general response has been to brush it aside with stoic indifference as if we are insulated from its deleterious repercussions. Often, we hurriedly and myopically assume the role of the devil’s advocate by justifying or rationalizing such cases of corruption and doing so through the hollow prism of ethnically-jaundiced arguments.

Corruption in Nigeria has festered and will continue to do so with alarming ferocity as long as we are engrossed with the mistaken idea of seeing the fight against corruption as the exclusive prerogative and responsibility of a particular individual or agency. The President may change the Head of the anti-corruption agencies for as many times as it suits his fancy. However, without addressing the structural bottlenecks and disarticulation in the polity which impede the smooth operations of corruption fighting agencies, it will be difficult to elicit from them the desired results. EFCC must be truly autonomous and independent for it to stand the chance of making meaningful impact in the fight against corruption.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ojukwu's Speech During The Nigerian Biafran War1&2

The Iroko tree of Igbo land is no more but his legacy will live forever.

Will the Igbos ever get a leader like Ikemba of Nnewi?
Klick on the video below and listen to the man who sacrificed a lot for his people.

Achebe and The Company He Would Not Keep

By Okey Ndibe

In addition to being one of the world’s most extraordinary writers, Chinua Achebe – the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of Africana Studies and Literary Arts at Brown University – has long served as one of Nigeria’s most clear-minded voices of conscience. In a lot of ways, the author of, among other books, the classic Things Fall Apart has become a man of the Nigerian people – a voice for the millions of Nigerians betrayed, debased and dehumanized by the country’s cast of confused rulers, past and present.
In 2004, Achebe spurned a so-called national honor that then President Olusegun Obasanjo sought to give him. He realized that, coming from a presidency that was at odds with the aspirations of Nigerians, the “honor” was tainted. In a letter to Obasanjo declining the bestowal of the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR), Achebe wrote: “For some time now I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom. I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance, of the Presidency.” Then he added: “Nigeria's condition today under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence.”

One of the most amazing things about those misgoverning Nigeria is their inability – or refusal – to learn from the past. Had Obasanjo quietly sent feelers to Achebe in 2004 prior to announcing the latter as a recipient of the CFR, he would have learnt that the author was far from impressed. He then would have saved himself the embarrassment of having his undesired gift thrown back at him.

Seven years later, President Goodluck Jonathan and his aides betrayed amnesia. Once again, Jonathan added the author on his list of more than 350 individuals on the 2011 edition of “national honors” roll. Given Achebe’s history of principled repudiation of questionable honorifics, you’d expect that Jonathan – or one of his aides – would have contacted him to ascertain his willingness to be included on the list of recipients.

There’s no question that Nigeria’s national honors register has been thoroughly cheapened, bastardized and drained of meaning. The annual conferral of national honors has become a farce, a charade that should provide great material for resourceful comedians. Each year, the list is dominated by men and women who have worked the hardest to undermine and destroy Nigeria. Many past and serving governors as well as ministers are insouciantly declared “Commander of the Order of the Niger” (CON), as if the Nigerian state stopped short of calling them by their proper names: con artists!

No Nigerian president has had the simple insight to halt the joke called national honors – until the country regains clarity on the distinction between honor and dishonor, heroism and villainy. If all the serving and ex-heads of state, governors, ministers, commissioners and top civil servants had rendered honorable service, Nigeria would not be in its present ghastly shape. So why persist in the mockery of venerating men and women who failed the nation?

Each year, a few truly honorable citizens are sprinkled into the fetid roster of honorees. These admirable recipients carry the burden of lending a smidge of legitimacy and credibility to the otherwise wishy-washy line-up. Still, these few good men and women pay a terrible price. In appearing in the midst of those who have sold Nigeria’s dream for their own profit, the few good ones risk being polluted and smeared. It is, then, akin to accepting a poisoned chalice. A man like Achebe knows better than to keep the company of fellows whose imagination is colored by lucre, and whose aspirations begin and end with primitive acquisitiveness.

In a country where men of questionable conduct and dubious credentials are garlanded, it’s hardly surprising that the Jonathan administration thought that anybody on their list would tremble with excitement. Perhaps it was this reason, or sheer arrogance, that accounted for their failure to find out if Achebe would accept their CFR. They paid for their lack of diligence.

Achebe has the magic flair of speaking volumes with the fewest of words. That attribute was displayed when, on November 12, he rejected Jonathan’s offer. This time around, his rejection letter contained three short, simple sentences: “The reasons for rejecting the offer when it was first made have not been addressed let alone solved. It is inappropriate to offer it again to me. I must therefore regretfully decline the offer again.”

Having received these chastening words, the presidency might have done some serious soul searching. Instead, presidential spokesman Reuben Abati rushed out a statement that combined incoherence and arrogance. Abati let us know that Jonathan still held Achebe in “very high esteem,” as if Achebe needed the imprimatur of presidential regard to retain his place as a patriot, writer and intellectual. Then there was the canard that Achebe’s rejection of the CFR “may have been borne out of misinformation as to the true state of affairs in Nigeria.” And then the spokesman drummed his employer’s alleged achievements as a champion of electoral reform.

Abati’s statement exemplified the profound alienation of those in power – a subject Achebe eloquently treated in his polemical book, The Trouble with Nigeria. That Abati and Jonathan would suggest that what happened in April this year constituted evidence of sound elections is disturbing. In retrospect, many Nigerians have come to realize that the ruling PDP simply deployed a new, more refined rigging technology to stun the opposition and befuddle the electorate. If Jonathan is the face of electoral reform, then Nigeria is more doomed than one ever suspected.

Even more scandalous is Abati’s recourse to a supercilious, pedantic tone in his statement. The suggestion that Achebe’s location abroad has robbed the author of correct information and perspective is at once foolish and misconceived. Any Nigerian can stay anywhere in the world – Siberia included – and get a fair measure of the state of affairs in her/his country. As far as information flow is concerned, the world has undergone a profound revolution. Abati must know that a man of Achebe’s stature has many ways of gathering information on any subject. The whole cult of “being on ground” is one of those facile treatises embraced by Nigerian officials who have little or nothing to show for all the nation’s resources at their disposal.

If Jonathan saw and approved Abati’s statement before it was issued, then Nigerians have cause to be deeply worried about their president’s sense of judgment. Rather than suggest that Achebe is less than soundly informed, Abati ought to realize that the globally famous author’s grasp of the text and context of Nigeria’s history far surpasses that of most Nigerians. If Abati is to properly serve Jonathan, he should first learn not to issue statements that come across as ludicrous.

Again, if officials of the government had a sense of history, they would have reckoned that the kind of glib, insolent response to Achebe was bound to backfire. And it did. The pathetic attempt to discredit the writer’s witness drew the attention of the international media. In numerous reports, print and electronic media around the world seized on the government’s reaction to underscore that Nigeria is besieged both by largely unchecked corruption and terrorist violence on a scale never before seen.

The Boston Globe even wrote a short, poignant editorial praising Achebe’s stance. The paper wrote: “The revered Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe says there is a moral obligation ‘not to ally oneself with power against the powerless.’ The author of the 1958 novel Things Fall Apart recently lived up to his words once again by rejecting one of his nation’s highest civilian honors for the second time in seven years as a protest against public corruption. It’s an inspiring example of how an individual can use his fame to hold governments accountable.”

Those are resonant words – but Jonathan may choose to ignore them. Still, he would do well to take a peek for himself at the various online sites that carried Achebe’s rejection of his CFR. If he did, President Jonathan would find that Nigerian commentators on those websites are virtually unanimous in applauding Achebe’s decision to distance himself from the CFR. He would also realize that most Nigerians agree with Achebe’s assessment that the issues he articulated in 2004 had not been addressed.

Follow me on twitter: @OkeyNdibe
Email: okeyndibe@gmail.com

Know Your Rights: Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

Police brutality


Human Rights-The Rights Every Person Has To Justice And Freedom.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and
rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act
towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth
in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race,
colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national
or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no
distinction shall be made on the basis of the political,
jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to
which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust,
non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Article 4
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the
slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person
before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any
discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to
equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this
Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent
national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted
him by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public
hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination
of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be
presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public
trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his
2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account
of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under
national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor
shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at
the time the penal offence was committed.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his
privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his
honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the
law against such interference or attacks.
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence
within the borders of each state.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including their
own, and to return to their country.
1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other
countries asylum from persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions
genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to
the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor
denied the right to change his nationality.
1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to
race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a
family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during
marriage and at its dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full
consent of the intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of
society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in
association with others.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and
religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or
belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in
public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching,
practice, worship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and
to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media
and regardless of frontiers.
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and
2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of
their country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in
their country.
3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority
of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine
elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be
held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social
security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and
international co-operation and in accordance with the organisation and
resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights
indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his
1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of
employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to
protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal
pay for equal work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable
remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy
of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of
social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for
the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including
reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for
the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including
food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social
services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment,
sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood
in circumstances beyond his control.
2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and
assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall
enjoy the same social protection.
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be
free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary
education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education
shall be made generally available and higher education shall be
equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the
human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights
and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance
and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and
shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance
of peace.
3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education
that shall be given to their children.
1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural
life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific
advancement and its benefits.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and
material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic
production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in
which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be
fully realised.
1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free
and full development of his personality is possible.
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall
be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely
for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights
and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of
morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised
contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for
any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to
perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and
freedoms set forth herein.
For human rights abuses call the human rights commission and for legal
assistance or if you know anyone that has a case but has no money to
hire a lawyer call legal aid council,
on these numbers and email addresses
HOTLINE: info@nigeriarights.gov.ng
08076974382-North-East Zone
08054707559-South-West Zone
08075383187-North-West Zone
08072763456-South-East Zone
08056513203-South-South Zone
08072449323-North-Central Zone
HOT-LINE: 08034175847


Uncertain Love

Written by Odimegwu Onwumere
You are the reason I am leaving
this romantic love note here,
because you are romantic.
You are sweet and make my heart sweet.
So, we are sweethearts.
I hope this will be a little surprise to you.
You have sentenced my heart
with a complete heartfelt, expressing love.
I tenderly love you, I don't know about romance,
except I am driven to do that.
There was nothing that I have not told you.
You are a woman beyond my dreams,
but I am afraid there would be a FUTURE without you,
even when you will be by the side pepping me up. She crackles.
You are always worried to end our love, but not the relationship.
This has been a thorn in your neck.
The more you try, the more addictive you say you become.
You don’t know why. But I do:
You are avoiding a situation where it does not get to
“If you leave me I go die.”
The few days we tried to distance each other were not cozy.
I had not only my heart broken, but all my body.
The fever it erupted was so intense.
The heat refuses to dry.
The memory refuses to go.
Your picture refuses to fade in my eyes.
Your laughter, good heart and wisdom have all been unique.
This is one time when I am not the strong man I used to be.
I don’t know if you have become the man that I have lost
or you are still the woman?
Till I met you, I didn’t know that
the memory of love is stronger than the memory of death.
One unique thing about you
is that you always try to explore
all your ingenuity in your life into the world.
You don't put your work into your talents,
but you put your talents into your work.
Others have a particular talent, but you have multiple of them.
With that, you teach us the power of persistence,
which nothing in this world can take its place.
Our passion is skyrocketing,
our hearts leaping in accord
with each other's rhythmic beats.
I have leaned on a few shoulders,
but I think your shoulder is different and special.
It is softer that I would have loved to lean on perpetually,
because you patiently listen to my numerous problems,
unlike those who jump into conclusion without listening to me.
I am happy to have you in my life,
even when my presence is mountaineering
numerous emotional problems on you.
We are meant to be for each other,
but I think not for each other.
Meeting you has taught me how to love again,
even though it seems that I am out of control.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855. Email:apoet_25@yahoo.com

Biafran Ex War Leader Chief Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu Is Dead

By Global Reporters Vienna, Austria

The Ikemba of Nnewi, the Eze Igbo gburugburu and the man who saw tomorrow in the amalgamation of Nigeria Chief Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu is dead.
Global Reporters were reliably informed that he died yesterday in his hospital bed in London.
A guru is gone and we will miss him dearly.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Breaking News: EFCC Chairman, Mrs Farida Waziri Sacked

By Global Reporters Vienna, Austria

Mrs Farida Waziri, the Chairman Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC has been sacked.

According to the president’s spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde has been appointed the Acting Chairman/Chief Executive of the commission.

In Praise of Dictatorship: President Jonathan and the rehabilitation of Justice Belgore

Written by Chido Onumah

This article first appeared on July 10, 2006, under the title In Praise of Dictatorship. It is excerpted from an upcoming book, Time to Reclaim Nigeria. It has been reproduced in light of President Jonathan’s choice of Justice Alfa Belgore to head the constitution review committee.

Two weeks ago, the Daily Sun newspaper carried a very disturbing story titled, “Belgore defends military rule”. Justice Salihu Modibo Alfa Belgore is the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). It is not often that you find such highly placed judicial officer making statements that undermine the essence of the judicial system. But that was exactly what the learned chief justice did when he praised the Nigerian military for seizing power, saying their intervention was necessary.

According to Justice Belgore who spoke at a book launch in honour of his predecessor, Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, the military seized power to cure some problems in our national development; they intervened to rescue the nation from disintegration and to remedy the leadership ineptitude of civilian administration. “People say they do not allow human rights,” the obviously bewildered chief justice noted: “They say their coming to power was illegal. Were they really dictators? They came to cure a malady in national development; malady of ineptitude, corruption, and divisive tendencies and so many other things.”

If you want to know why former military dictators like Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) have the nerve to assault the national psyche perpetually, look no further than the comments of Justice Belgore. I know there are people who think IBB can do no wrong. Over the years, we have seen many otherwise brilliant scholars who have fallen for the IBB charm. We know of former student leaders who were in the vanguard of opposition to IBB’s atrocious economic and social policies who have buckled under IBB’s spell. But when the chief justice of the federation puts up a spirited defence of Babangida and military regimes, we should all be concerned for the survival of democracy.

Interestingly, IBB was the chairman of the occasion where Belgore made his unpardonable gaffe. In a comical attempt to diminish the severity of his actions as head of a brutal military regime from 1985 to 1993, IBB referred to himself as a “former military dictator”. The chief justice took up the responsibility of justifying IBB’s position. He left no one in doubt that selling the IBB agenda was his primary objective. “Our chairman called himself a military dictator,” Belgore noted. “Well, every military regime must have some dictatorial tendencies because that is the only way they can be successful.”

I don’t know which country Justice Belgore was referring to, but there is nothing “successful” about the role of the military in the Nigeria I know. From the intrigues of the military brass that led to an internecine civil war (1967-1970); to the corruption and waste that attended the Gowon regime (1966- 1975); to the anti-people regime of General Obasanjo (1976-79); to the highhandedness of the Buhari/Idiagbon regime (1983-1985); to the destruction of the economy and the social fabric of the country under IBB (1985-1993); to the murderous regimes of Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar (1993-1999), Nigerians have had to endure the inglorious actions of people whose calling is to defend the country and the constitution.

As the chief justice can see, the military has been in charge for almost two-thirds of the 46 years Nigeria has been independent. Today, millions of Nigerians are suffering the effects of the corruption, ineptitude, wantonness, and stagnation, associated with years of military rule. So, what are the maladies in our national development that the military came to solve? Is it the educational system that was destroyed by IBB? Or the economy and political system that were bastardized by Babangida and Abacha? Every aspect of the nation’s life has felt the canker called military rule.

If Justice Belgore needs a reminder, he should refer to the report in The Guardian, June 27, 2006, titled, “Azazi cautions army over 2007 polls”. It was a tacit warning -- one I hope they will heed. The chief of army staff, Lt. Gen Andrew Owoye Azazi, stated that the military had no business in the political arena: “You must remain loyal to your oath of allegiance; loyal to the president and commander-in-chief; and loyal to the constitution of the federal republic,” Azazi told officers and men of the Nigerian Army during a sensitization seminar on attitudinal change in Kaduna.

Yes, Mr. Chief Justice, there is something called the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the first chapter starts with these words: (1) This constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on the authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. (2) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this constitution. (3) If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution, this constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

Mr. Chief Justice, there is no legal basis for military rule in Nigeria and you should know, because you are, or ought to be, the custodian of the constitution. Certainly, the military’s “coming to power was illegal”. I am sure we can all agree on that based on the paragraph above. “Were they really dictators?” Of course, they were! And even more so in the case of IBB. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a dictator as one holding complete autocratic control; one ruling absolutely and often oppressively. This description captures the reality of military rule in Nigeria. And nobody needs to be reminded that our military rulers “don’t allow human rights”.

One of the notable achievements of IBB’s rule, in the opinion of Justice Belgore, was the “lasting legacy” in the judiciary. “So many other military regimes had abandoned the judiciary, but there is something that this gentleman (Babangida) did,” Belgore said.

“When Mohammed Bello came in as CJN in 1987, he asked for the opinion of the justices, that ‘what can I do to leave a lasting memory’ and nearly everyone said continue education in the judiciary. Bello toured the country, spoke to the governors that they should allow all judges, registrars, Grand Kadis to come together and share ideas and learn so that justice delivery would be stronger. It worked out. We all enjoyed it. In 1991, it was this same head of state (Babangida) that wanted a very high excellence in the judiciary administration and justice delivery and brought in a decree establishing the National Judicial Council (NJC). Everybody knows the value of the council today. It is a lasting legacy to his tenure as the president of this country.”

Let the Gani Fawehinmis and Femi Falanas handle this subject. It would be interesting to read their take on the NJC and IBB’s legacy as far as the judiciary is concerned. Nigerians would like to know, however, what the Chief Justice will do or how he will rule if some military officers seized power tomorrow and there was a case over the legality or otherwise of their action. Perhaps, it was in keeping with their philosophy of “might is right” that Justice Belgore and his colleagues in the Supreme Court failed to intervene in 1993 when IBB annulled the results of the June 12, 1993, presidential election.

What did the Chief Justice get for his trouble, or was it merely a payback for IBB’s largesse during the June 12, 1993, crisis when he (IBB) gave Mercedes Benz cars to the Justices of the Supreme Court? Thirteen years later, this is what IBB had to say about his action: “I was not perturbed, when sometimes in 1993 I had cause to show grave and genuine concern for the safety and well-being of our Supreme Court Justices by providing them a substitute for their 505 Peugeot brand official vehicles to that of Mercedes Benz brand. This simple, but necessary and highly deserving and caring well-placed gesture, was aimed at taking steps, within human limitation to preserve the lives of our justices.” IBB’s gesture served its purpose. It not only preserved the lives of our justices, but their “integrity” as well.

If Justice Belgore was hoping to use this opportunity to rehabilitate IBB politically, he failed miserably. His blatant disregard for the ideals of democracy, and the rule of law, deserves to be treated with maximum contempt.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The barbaric beating of an Owerri based Journalist by Governor Okorocha's Supporters

Written by Kenneth Uwadi


When I was a teenager, my Dad would take me to Leventis Supermarket in Port Harcourt with him on Saturdays. The very first thing he does was to ask for ice cream, and then we will stroll around the supermarket, making purchases, licking our ice cream. I still like ice cream. In a hungry search for one, I walked into Pick and Smile Supermarket, Wetheral Road, Owerri last week .It was 7 pm in the night. Pick and Smile reminds me of the then Leventis Supermarket in Port Harcourt.
Wao! Some white families shopping at night with their police escorts! At the entrance of the supermarket, I saw Chief Obinna and three body guards. Men and women were making purchases inside, children at the toys section. The shop was filled with customers. I was making my own selection when Chief Obinna walked in. Obinna is a staunch member of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), the ruling political party in Imo State. He is a dandy,clean-shaven, usually sucking on a cigarette. He covets media attention and has in the past six-months quenched his thirst for publicity by singing unmerited praises of Owelle Rochas Okorocha the governor of Imo State and asking that critics should give the governor more time before he can be criticized.

Obinna was selecting among the meats in the refrigerator and talking with another guy. They were boasting happily about how Henry Ekpe an Owerri based Journalist was pummelled mercilessly at the premises of Imo State election petitions tribunal. They discussed about how Ekpe was kicked and slapped and thrown into a nearby gutter. "That's what you get for writing useless reports about governor Okorocha' the guy said. 'It will get to all of them soon. All the useless critics of our people's governor will get it very soon' Obinna boasted. I wandered around the ice cream fridge listening to their 'yanyanpu.'

For those of you who don't know, on Saturday 12th November 2011,Henry Ekpe was savagely beaten in Owerri by APGA loyalists. Ekpe is the Editor-in-Chief of Owerri-based Trumpeta Newspapers. Ekpe has been a critic of the Okorocha government. Section 22 of the 1999 constitution empowers a media worker like Ekpe to demand responsibility and accountability of the government to the people. The press is there to watch the excesses of any government anywhere in the world. The press is the guardian of the people as the fourth estate of the realm.

Beating up a Journalist is reminiscent of the dark days of military jackboot absolutism. The attack on Ekpe is a move against free speech in Imo State. We must condemn this brutal, insensitive and utterly inhuman treatment on Ekpe .It is another indicator of the no respect that governor Okorocha has for press freedom. It is a clear case of moral collapse of governance in Imo state.

I laughed at Obinna's rotten threat about similar treatment awaiting other critics of governor Okorocha.I would have replied him “gbaaa break! ochu nwaokuko nwe ada' but for his body guards. When i got home that night, I told a couple of friends and they asked me to watch my back.
Harassing critics for demanding good governance from a governor violates Nigerian constitution and international norms on freedom of expression.1999 Nigerian constitution in section 24 stated that the duty of every citizen is to make positive and useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides.The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
We will continue to demand for accountability, civility and good governance from Owelle Rochas Okorocha.We will continue to speak out against the corrupt, anti-poor Okorocha's government.For the past six months Governor Okorocha has been clueless, directionless, visionless and vindictive. For the past six months he has been oppressing the people. For the past six months he has been selling the collective entity of Imo State to himself and siphoning council funds with his stooges as SOLAD of the state's LGA's.For the past six months he has been rendering Imo citizens jobless and has not been able to provide security for Imolites.

Imo state is now like a war zone. The teachers are suffering. The civil servants are suffering. Business men are suffering. Even the traders are suffering. This man is bereft of any idea of how to rule or move the state forward. What we have now in Imo State is the more you look the less you see and yet they boast of dealing with unfriendly journalists.

Okorocha has exhibited a woeful ignorance about the role of a governor. Like someone who did not studied the three branches of government or "checks and balances" in secondary school, he unilaterally announced the sack of elected Council Chairmen and Councilors of Imo state and appointed SOLAD and is busy rescuing his pockets by siphoning LGA funds. A Nigerian governor has no legal authority to sack elected LGA Chairmen . They are democratically elected officials of Councils and have specific period to be in office. This dissolution of elected Council officials and appointing his boys as SOLAD runs contrary to the Constitution that recognizes Councils as the third tier of government. Okorocha is holding Imo LGA's hostage. Imolites will only recognise elected officials in the council not selected errand boys.Okorocha should free our LGA's.
Also like a Papa Ajasco politician ,Okorocha unilaterally announced an unconstitutional fourth tier of government in Imo state. Anything outside the Constitution is gross indiscipline. We have to operate by rules and procedures. If you don't like the rules, amend it. So, if you want to create a 4th tier government, amend the Nigerian Constitution.The 4th tier leaders selected by Okorocha are unacceptable to Imolites as they are not backed by the law.

Why won't we criticise him when he is actually running Imo State down. He will make promises without action . His policies change like the British weather. He sacked 10,000 Imo citizens since June this year and has adamantly refused to reinstate them.The 10,000 sacked workers are undergoing untold hardship as a result of the suspension of their jobs. They have severally staged an nzogbu-nzogbu protest march to government house to see if they can get their jobs back but no way.
We demand that Okorocha should recall the sacked 10,000 legally employed civil servants in Imo state. Have we not pushed 10,000 persons into kidnappings and armed robbery? It is highly insensitive to unjustly sack workers in a situation when labour market is already over-saturated. The sack of 10,000 workers in Imo state has gone down in history as a testimony of Okorocha's anti-poor, pro-rich programmes. This is the highest singular sack of workers in one full sweep in Imo State history by any government.

We demand that Okorocha should stop selling Imo public corporations to himself. He sold Adapalm to himself ,he has also sold ITC and is going to sell more. As a policy ,the Okorocha's government has repeatedly told whoever cares to listen that, “government has no business being in business” and it thus creates basis for Okorocha to sell off Imo state owned corporations to himself for peanuts. This is at the expense of the poor working masses, whose future and that of their teeming dependants are constantly jeopardized as a result of the harsh economic condition that will arise from these sales.
We call for a public probe of the unwholesome sale of public properties in Imo state.The sale of Adapalm and ITC is criminal. This is an act of insensitivity by Owelle to the interests of the poor masses.Imo State government should come out with details of transactions as per Adapalm and ITC. Selling Imo state owned properties at midnight is day time robbery. We know that there is never a time a secret transaction made by a few will be in the interest of the majority. The sale of Adapalm and ITC is robbing the people of their public establishments by the officials they entrusted to make them work. Save us O' God

Kenneth Uwadi, Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria

Chairman And Publisher “The Guardian” Newspaper Ibru Is Dead

By Global ReportersVienna, Austria
Chairman And Publisher “The Guardian” Newspaper Ibru Is Dead
Chief Alexander Ibru, Chairman and Publisher “The Guardian” newspaper is dead. News reaching Global Reporters said that the respectable gentleman died around 2:30pm Sunday November 20 after a brief illness.
He was aged 66.
May God grant his soul internal rest, Amen.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nigeria’s Crisis Of Underdevelopment And The Search For Foreign Investors

 Written by Ugochukwu Raymond Ogubuariri.

Only recently, the governor of Abia state - T.A. Orji, came back from a long vacation abroad and declared to the people of the state that he used his vacation to meet with investors in the United States and elsewhere. He explained that one of them would be coming to build a dialysis centre in the state. He further disclosed that he had made contacts with investors in the oil and gas industry. Sadly, this declaration from the governor vividly illustrates a major sickness which seem to have possessed Nigeria’s governing elite. It is a sickness which I choose to describe as “the investment paradox.” This refers to a condition in which Nigeria’s political elite mismanage the affairs of statecraft, loot the treasury, and squander the enormous resources meant for developing their country. They stash away their ill-gotten booty in foreign bank accounts, buy up exotic mansions and set up industries (such as refineries) outside the shores of Nigeria. In short, they “invest” the proceeds of their corruption and criminal looting in the economies of foreign nations!
Having bastardized governance and created the objective conditions for Nigeria’s approximation to “a failed state,” they turn around and begin to make an elaborate show of “seeking for foreign investors” to come in and invest in our ghastly, beggarly, cadaverous economy. Amazingly, Nigeria’s ruling elite has made (and continues to make) an interesting religion out of their neurotic search for foreign investors. From the local government chairmen, to state governors, federal ministers, and worst, president, the mindsets remain tragically the same.
In the guise of seeking and waiting for foreign investors, the country’s elite has ran the nation’s healthcare system aground and have left our hospitals ill-equipped, under-staffed, and poorly funded. At the slightest suspicion of malaria, they jet out to foreign countries to give themselves – and their families – the best of hi-tech Medicare. While they are busy searching for foreign investors, they have deliberately and mindlessly supervised the virtual destruction of public educational system in the whole of the country. True to their character, they have awarded to themselves and their cronies, the exclusive prerogative of running elitist private secondary and tertiary education to facilitate the inculcation of reactionary and conservative values in the minds of a marginalized generation of youths, while also ensuring that their drive for primitive accumulation through unscrupulous profiteering continues unhindered. By this singular tragedy of privatising education, the hapless, unlucky children of poor and middle-class parentage are effectively locked up in the pigeon-hole of oppressive ignorance, mediocrity and cyclical poverty, incapable of making any rational judgement in regard to the ominous connection between their wretched existence and the harrowing misgovernance of political leadership.
Unarguably, the autocratic incompetence and moral corruptibility of Nigeria’s ruling class has defeated all prospects of societal progress and transformation. However, it is in the sphere of manufacturing and industrialization that their ineptitude and visionlessness have had a most devastating impact. By sabotaging (through corruption) the provision of steady power supply and other critical infrastructures (such as an efficient transportation system), coupled with the creation of an operating environment that is inhospitable and insupportable to private business, they have effectively driven a nail in the coffin of the nation’s industrial sector, leaving an ever-diminishing number of surviving manufacturing concerns with the only option of relocating in droves to neighbouring countries. In effect, this sad trend has inevitably reinforced our import dependency and growing marginality in global trade, escalated our debilitating unemployment level, and created social tension and widespread instability, as well as deep-seated pain, misery and palpable anger amongst the citizenry. Surprisingly, in the midst of this horrific record of leadership performance, Nigeria’s political leadership persist in their obsession with the necessity of “attracting foreign investors.”
On countless occasions, I have had the misfortune of being inundated with the heroic achievements of governor T.A. Orji in Abia state. Realistically, if the governor has been so fantastic in his state in a period of almost five years that he has been in the saddle, why would he abandon the “Wonderland” that he has made of Abia state in preference for a sabbatical refuge in saner and better-organized societies abroad – societies that have been developed and transformed by leaders with spine, spirit, vision and statesmanship? Why didn’t the governor go to Aba, Ohafia, Ohuhu, Arochukwu or Ibeku to have a wonderful vacation? Of course, in a state where kidnapping has become the only flourishing industry, even the governor knows that doing so would be as costly as committing political suicide! And if a governor does not feel safe in a state in which he governs, or does not feel the need for relaxation in his own state, or even to patronize any of his state’s hospitals, schools and other public facilities, why dissipating energy and public resources travelling abroad ostensibly to go and invite strangers to come and “build a cathedral in the desert?”
In summary, it is a shocking commentary that those saddled with the task of developing the Nigerian society have, in their confusion, abandoned their historic responsibility for the socio-economic transformation of the country, and  have shifted the burden to “perennially elusive foreign investors.”  Our political elite has contrived a dubious impression which glorifies the “white man” as full of charity and altruism. They have projected him as loving Nigeria more than Nigerians love themselves or their country. Invariably, this odious notion reinforces the belief that without the commanding presence of this illustrious foreigner, without the assurance of redemption that comes from his talismanic investments, our situation is totally helpless and irredeemable.
Ironically, while we are busy awaiting (in vain) for the messianic arrival of this saviour called “foreign investors,” the home economies of these much-awaited investors continue to bubble with the looted funds and other priceless economic assets stolen and stashed away in such distant territories by our debauched, sybaritic, rapacious and corruption-personified politicians and their surrogates in the private sector.