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Thursday, 5 December 2019

Wole Soyinka: What do Thuggery and Disobedience Have in Common? Everything

Renowned Professor and Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka has lashed out on the Federal Government in his open letter with the Title: Between Thuggery and State Disobedience.

The Nobel Laureate Started by narrating the tragedy behind the Death of a former Minister of justice and attorney General of the Federation Justice Bola Ige to the Barbaric Assault on Justice Adeyeye by Governor Fayose of Ekiti state, the Silence of the judiciary and the disobedience of the rule of law by the executive and other institutions of the state.



Prof Wole Soyinka in his open letter addressed the continuous detention of #RevolutionNow convener and renowned Activist Comr. Omoyele Sowore with the question IS SOWORE MIYETTI ALLAH? and ended his letter by asking; What do thuggery and court disobedience have in common? As he replied - Everything!



Between Thuggery and State Disobedience: Wole SoyinkaI have no hesitation in admitting that I have a, personal, formative interest in the health of the Nigerian judiciary, deeper perhaps than the average Nigerian.  At a critical junction in the life of this writer, a judge resolved to give primacy to the call of conscience, affirm his professional integrity and defend the supremacy of law in defiance of state interference. He refused to bow to external pressure in adjudicating a case whose conclusion, had this accused been found guilty as charged, would have been life imprisonment.  That individual, the late Justice Kayode Eso, has narrated the event in his autobiography – The Mystery Gunman – with his noted wit and judicial poise. The Deputy Premier of the then Western Region of Nigeria had summoned the judge to his residence, lectured him on his duty to protect the interests of the government against the accused. Justice Eso listened politely, re-affirmed his commitment to the rule of law, and took his leave. 
It would be most surprising if my own brush with the law has not crossed my mind since the predicament of Omoyele Sowole, journalist and former presidential candidate, began. The Nigerian judiciary was not thereby, nor is today, a model of perfection. Nonetheless, exemplars such as Justice Eso have succeeded in creating, in some of us, an exceptional respect for the Bench, instilled a conviction that the law, despite its lapses, demands respect, autonomy and obedience. Much of the judiciary across the continent remains constantly under siege – Nigeria is no exception. Needless to say, it often strikes me that the “learned brotherhood” could do more to protect, and assert itself. Apart from the obvious and numerous scandals of moral deficit that require constant internal purgation, there are instances where it does fail to protect itself even from putative and/or illegal power.

Take the assassination of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Bola Ige, on his way to a UN appointment. The presiding judge on that case cried out against unseemly interference from “least expected quarters”.  He kept a diary of coded names and times, two pages of which came into my possession. His cries petered out in void. Justice Abass, feeling vulnerable and isolated, bowed out of the case. The judiciary lamely acquiesced, certainly with a huge sigh of relief in some sectors.
 
A robust opportunity lost to burnish the image of the law. I was left aghast.
From tragedy to slapstick tragi-comedy – let us pull up an eyewitness account from the Nigerian PM News of Thursday, September 2014:
“Temperamental Ekiti State Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, slapped a court judge today for being rude to him and then ordered his thugs to beat him further.
The action of Fayose and his thugs triggered some pandemonium in the court, with judicial workers and others running into safety. The sitting of the Ekiti State Governorship Election petitions tribunal could also not hold.
Immediately, thugs numbering about 20 pounced on Justice Adeyeye, beat him up and tore his clothes, while his co-workers scampered and shouted for help.
Following the development, judicial workers hurriedly shut down the court premises thereby preventing any court proceeding for hours before the police fired tear gas canisters to disperse the hoodlums.”
 
For a week, two weeks, then forever, `I waited to see what would be the response of the judiciary. There came none. Naively, I thought , surely, this institution would rise and defend its very existence through some form of action, even if merely symbolic. Not a squeak. Not even after that governor left office and thereby lost his immunity. What to me appeared to be the collapse,  not just of a pillar, but of the edifice of human culture, appeared to be no more than a blip on the judicial  template.
 There are of course more effective ways of degrading a judiciary than merely brutalising  a judge, and leaving his judicial robes in tatters.  One of the most effective, increasingly optimised in Nigeria, is simply by not only ignoring, but treating its orders with disdain, encouraging its agencies to trot out cynical excuses for disobedience while laughing all the way to the citadel of power. In that regard, there does appear to be an undeclared contest among succeeding  governments, intensified since the return of the nation to civilian government in 1999, for placement in the Guinness Book of Records as the most notorious Scofflaw in the  field of democratic pretensions. Or could it be an anticipation of a proposal I made at the Athens Democracy Forum some months ago, calling for an annual award – such as an Order of Demerit – for such an achiever?
Perhaps, we have finally attained maximum saturation, and there is no need for any further record keeping.
 
It is extremely difficult to imagine a further lowering of the bar of disdain for law than we have witnessed under the present regime. The degree of cynicism in the conduct of state security agencies has attained a level of consistency that is surpassed by only one other previous government – but it is a close call. Not only does a security agency refuse to obey a court order to release a suspect after fulfilling his bail conditions, that agency manufactures one childish pretext after another, including a claim that no one had shown up to receive the detainee. “His sureties have yet to show up to collect him”, declared the DSS, prime candidate for special featuring in my “Interventions” series, periodically dedicated to the theme of  The Republic of Liars. Are we speaking here of a full grown adult, a journalist and former presidential candidate, or an overnight bag awaiting  the rightful claimant in a LOST AND FOUND department? 
The nation continues to undergo the chagrin of having the rug pulled from under her feet while waiting in the long queue for judicial redress against the strong-arm culture of state, as well as unlisted power interests. For instance, Lagos State, the former federal capital territory, and still the acknowledged commercial capital of the nation, once found herself denied statutory allocation for several years, despite repeated court declarations that such withholding by the central government was unconstitutional and should be remedied forthwith. That President took sadistic pleasure in simply playing deaf. It took his successor to end the abuse and restore the full entitlements of that state, a disobedience that went beyond mere churlishness but affected the development and welfare of the indigenes of that state. And so on, and on, waiting in vain for that day when the Rule of Law becomes commonplace, and its benefice is not doled out by the drop to famished mendicants. 
So, finally, what do thuggery and court disobedience have in common? Everything! They are both Scofflaw manifestations. Unilateral declarations of  Supra-Law delusions. One is simply a more structured, more hypocritical version of the other. One knows itself for what it is, while the other tries to camouflage its abnormality under a higher purpose, the more elastic the better. Such is that often specious alibi labelled “national security”. Is Sowore Miyetti Allah? As for those agencies that actually think to inhibit social revolution by fastening on the alarmist  association of the word ‘revolution’,  half the citizens of this nation should be in permanent detention.  From pulpit to minaret, from clinic to fish market, from student club to motor park, the wish for drastic transformation of this nation is staple discourse.  Perhaps, we should begin with its application to that institution whose decisions affect both society and individuals with such finality, for good or ill – the judiciary.



The Court has in another News  Fined the DSS and instructed the Department of State Services to release Sowore within 24hrs.


DSS Forced to Release Sowore as Court Slams Fine and a 24-hour Order

An Abuja Federal High Court, on Thursday, fined the Department State Services (DSS), the sum of N100,000 for disregarding the November 6 ruling that ordered them to release detained Sahara Reporters Publisher, and Activist Omoyele Sowore, after meeting bail conditions.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who presided over the case, also ordered the release of Sowore, and his co-accused, Olawale Bakare, a 21-year old student.



Comr Omoyele Sowore, who was arrested in Lagos on August 3, 2019 for planning to lead a protest tagged, #RevolutionNow, has been detained illegally for 125 days by the Department of State Services despite two court orders to release them after meeting bail conditions.

Report says that, protesters from Sowore’s hometown stormed the Court while the case was ongoing, carrying placards demanding that Sowore and Bakare be released.


The court also adjourned the trial of the case brought against them by the Nigerian Government till December 6 (tomorrow) for continuation.


Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Nigeria Law Makers Set To Abolish The Payment Of Acceptance Fees Into Tertiary Institutions


This development was following a motion moved by Hon. Emeka Chinedu Martins (PDP-Imo) representing Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency and adopted by the house, during the plenary presided over by the Speaker of the house, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday.
The motion is titled “Call for Abolishment of Acceptance Fees into Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria”.

The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency abolish payment of acceptance fees into tertiary institutions in the country.



Hon. Martins while moving the motion cited important facts which include; recent data from the National Universities Commission showing that only about two million people were enrolled into
 the universities nationwide out of a population of over 180 million.

He (Hon. Chinedu Martins) said that the estimates represented one per cent of the population which was an indication of the low attendance in tertiary institutions compared to
other advanced countries.



The law maker noted that additional data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board showed that out of the
10 million applicants that sought admissions into tertiary institutions, only 26 per cent gained admissions between 2010 and 2015.

He said it was an indication that about 75 per cent of the applicants failed to gain admissions every year and also reinforced that access to tertiary education in the country was low.
"The house is concerned that one of the factors contributing to poor access to tertiary education is the predatory admission policies being enforced by tertiary institutions, particularly the requirement for payment of non-refundable acceptance fees as condition precedent for admissions.
The house is also concerned that many federally-operated tertiary institutions charge as much as N30,000 per student, while some states and private institutions charge significantly more, as evidenced in the following:
"University of Ibadan, N35,000; University of Lagos, N20,000;  Ahmadu Bello University, N30,000;  Imo State University, N70,000;
and Lagos State University, N20,000."
The house is further concerned that applicants are expected to pay the acceptance fees within a short deadline despite having gone through the tortuous process of paying and sitting for the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) and making the cut off mark. 
If they are unable to meet the deadline, the applicants are surcharged for late payment with the risk of losing the offer of admissions."
The lawmakers also noted that the aspirations of prospective students would be cut short if the "exploitative admission practices of tertiary institutions in the
country are left unchecked".

The House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services was directed to investigate the admission policies and practices of tertiary institutions in the country especially regarding acceptance fees.




Thursday, 17 October 2019

ABSTAIN YOURSELF FROM AAU, EKPOMA CONVOCATION LECTURE: NANS BLOWS HOT

The National Association of Nigeria Students released a warning today to the Governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.



 The  Publication which was released by the Public relations officer of the Student Association; Comrade Adeyemi Azeez warned the Executive Governor against coming to Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.



The Governor was invited by the management of the institution to take a lecture at her 22nd convocation on thursday, 17th October 2019.



The convocation  was scheduled as follows:
 FRIDAY, 11TH OCTOBER, 2019
Jumat Service
Time: 2.00pm

SUNDAY, 13TH OCTOBER, 2019
Inter-Denominational Service
Venue: St. Patrick Catholic Church Chaplaincy
Opposite Faculty of Law, Main Campus

MONDAY, 14TH OCTOBER, 2019
I.   Collection of Academic Gowns by Graduands

TUESDAY, 15TH OCTOBER, 2019
II. Collection of Academic Gowns by Graduands



WEDNESDAY, 16TH OCTOBER, 2019
I.   Convocation Concert & Play
     Time: 10.00am
     Venue: Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Hall
II.  Football Match
     Time: 4.00pm
     Venue: University Sports Complex, Main Campus
     Time: 9.00am

THURSDAY, 17TH OCTOBER, 2019
I.   Convocation Lecture
     Venue: Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Hall
     Time: 2.00pm
II.  Chancellor’s Cocktail
     Venue: Vice-Chancellor’s Guest House, G.R.A. Ukhun Road, Ekpoma
     Time: 5.00pm

FRIDAY, 18TH OCTOBER, 2019
Installation of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Award of Prizes, Conferment of First Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates.
Venue: Cordelia Agbebaku Auditorium
Time: 10.00am

SATURDAY, 19TH OCTOBER, 2010
Launching of Endowment Fund, Award of Higher Degrees and Honorary Degrees.
Venue: Cordelia Agbebaku Auditorium
Time: 10.00am



 The letter from the student body reads:

ABSTAIN YOURSELF FROM AAU, EKPOMA CONVOCATION LECTURE; NANS TELLS FAYEMI.
The National Association of Nigerian Students wish to advise the Ekiti State Governor, Dr John Kayode Fayemi to in the interest of justice, recuse himself from the convocation lecture he plans to deliver tomorrow at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State.

The entire public would recall that in September, 2019, the wife of the governor while on political tour of local governments within Ekiti State caused the death of two promising undergraduates at Federal University, Oye-Ekiti.



Erelu Bisi Fayemi's orderlies mainly from the Counter Terrorism Unit of the Nigeria Police Force had in a broad daylight barbarism, shot at harmless students killing two and injuring many..
Till date, the Ekiti State first family had done everything humanly possible to cover up the sad incident.

One of the slain students, Joseph Okonofua hails from Edo state where Governor Kayode Fayemi is billed to address a convocation lecture.

We maintain our earlier ban placed on the first family of Ekiti state not to visit or attend any program or engage in any activity on Nigerian campuses. It is a strong warning that this leadership will not compromise until justice is done on the #FuoyeKilling.

NANS will not sit idly watching those who sacrifice the blood of Nigerian students for transient power sustainability to further insult the sensibilities of our colleagues.
That Governor Kayode Fayemi is known for arrogance of power and mindless blood letting is enough for him and his family to stay away from our campuses.

The Ekiti State Governor would do well not to dare the resolve of Nigerian students by coming to AAU, Ekpoma as students within and outside Edo state are fully mobilized to stop the sacrilege Fayemi is about to perform.

No Nigerian, however powerful should take the life of another and still roam the nation in search of goodwill when his cloth is soaked with innocent citizens blood.
What impactful lecture will Governor Kayode Fayemi who is unfeeling, uncaring and mafioso in nature deliver in an academic environment?
Should we wait after his exit from Ekpoma to begin to count numbers again?
The deaths around Kayode Fayemi is enough for any of us to become wary of his unsuspecting solicitation for sacrifices.

The management and senate of AAU, Ekpoma should find, immediately, a suitable replacement for Governor Kayode Fayemi as NANS would resist his entrance and stop him from killing more students whose blood he satisfactorily  donate to his oracles in renewal of earthly powers. We insist that we can no longer accept loss of students.

The leadership of NANS hereby directs immediate mobilization for the stoppage of Governor John Kayode Fayemi whose wife superintended over the killing of Joseph Okonofua and Kehinde Dada.

Should the Governor remain adamant, he should prepare more of his CTU officers so as to stroll on the blood of Nigerian students whose lives he cherishes for  his blood consuming deities.
AAU, Ekpoma is certainly the best place to ask pertinent questions as to why Fayemi's wife is licensed to kill people's children, cover up the killings with her privileged status and for Nigerian students to ensure the long awaited justice.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed!

Justice delayed is Justice denied!!

Signed:
Comr. Adeyemi Azeez
National PRO, NANS.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Black Wednesday as Petrol Tanker explodes at Onitcha killing Scores and Burning down shops (Images and Video)


It was a horrible sight at the early hours of today, Wednesday the 16th of October,
2019 as scores met their end  at Onitcha the Economic hub of the Nation as a fast racing petrol tanker lost brake and explodes to flames.
Video:







The tanker which fell at Upper-Iweka had its  content leak through the drainage from Upper-Iweka to the popular Ochanja Main Market.
Eye witness report recorded that the fire outbreak trapped and killed many within their stores and residence in the market area not sparing women and children.
Stores worth billions was raised down by the fire as residents called and prayed for the fire service to come to their rescue to no avail.

Reactions has since been trailing on all social media as nigerians mourn the death of fellow citizens and property while calling on the Government to create proactive measures to arrest emergencies



Friday, 4 October 2019

ABOUT THE 2019 ZONAL CONVENTION NANS ZONE B(SOUTH SOUTH/ SOUTHEAST)

NANS logo

The Convention Planning Committee of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) South-South/South-East Zone has announced the date of the 2019 election.



This announcement was made through a signed  Notice by the Convention Planning Committee Chairman; Comr. Nwankwo Ezekiel and Secretary; Comrade Edwin Emakpor.



The Convention is said to hold at the University of Nigeria at Nsukka in Enugu State on  24th to 27th of October 2019.



The convention notice which was served to all Union Presidents in the zone, Joint Campus Committee(JCC) Chairmen and Stakeholders of the zone is scheduled as follows.
Official invitation to zone B 2019 Convention
Thursday 24th October, 2019 would be the date for arrival of all involved while a convention lecture with the Theme Nigeria of our Dream;the role of Nigeria Students would hold on Friday, the 25th of October 2019 with the registration and accreditation of Senators.

The convention lecture would hold  at exactly 9:00am at the university of Nigeria Nsukka Campus.



Saturday, the 26th day of October 2019 would be the date for the election of new zonal executives while the Association would hold a world press briefing on Sunday the 27th.

The press brief would mark the end of the convention while all senators(Union Presidents) are expected to vacate the convention to their various campuses.

The convention is a gathering of all comrade sand student activists and it is supposed to be a gathering of intellectuals and key opinion makers as far as student unionism and activism is concerned.



Aluta News interviewed some key comrades of the zone on their expectation for the zonal convention; one of the foremost contestant for the office of the zonal secretary and a one time director of mobilization of the zone, Comr Chika Kessy Ossai who in a phone interview said:
"we are expecting the best because the best hands ever in the zone and the best administrators NANS has ever produced. these Leaders; Comr Ezekiel and Edwin are encyclopedias as far as our journey is concerned and they have learnt overtime from the experiences and lessons of past conventions and i am of the believe that this year would be the best so far."
Comr. Chika Ossai
Aluta News would be fully on ground to cover the event.