Thursday, December 14, 2023

 World Bank Indictment: CNPP, CSOs Call For Forensic Probe of NNPC Limited

World Bank Indictment: CNPP, CSOs Call For Forensic Probe of NNPC Limited

World Bank Indictment: CNPP, CSOs Call For Forensic Probe of NNPC Limited


Conference Of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and its allied civil society organisations (CSOs) under the aegis of the Coalition Of Civil Society Organisations Against Inept Leadership, have called for forensic probe of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the defunct Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over years of unremitted and under remitted revenues. 

The CNPP and the CSOs were reacting to the indictment of the Federal Government owned NNPC Limited by the World Bank over lack of transparency in the financial gains from fuel subsidy removal as well as observations of the global bank on subsidy arrears that are still being deducted and the impact of subsidy removal revenues accruing to the Federation Account. 

In a statement jointly signed by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the CNPP, Comrade James Ezema and the National Secretary of the Coalition of CSOs, Alhaji Ali Abacha, the groups called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu “to think deeply and realise the overall negative impact this lack of transparency in the NNPCL over the years will have on revenue remittances from the oil and gas sectors and reconsider the reappointment of Malam Mele Kyari as the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of NNPCL. 

“We are happy that the Washington-based World Bank in its Nigeria Development Update, December 2023 edition titled, ‘Turning The Corner (from reforms and renewed hope, to results) re-echoed our position that the NNPCL management as appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari is unfit to remain in office. 

“We are also happy that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Wale Edun, has reportedly revealed that the government was ready to scrutinise the revenue flow from the NNPCL.

“For us, the continued borrowing to finance budgets since 2015 can be traceable to non-remittances, under remittances and outright stealing of government revenues annually. 

“It is shocking that calls for probe of the government owned oil and gas company, even after the revelation by whistleblowers and an order of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, compelling Malam Mele Kyari to disclose the whereabouts of the proceeds of sold stolen 48 million barrels of Nigeria's bonny light crude oil, stored in China and sold under the watch of the current Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), remain unheeded.

"By this, President Tinubu has already jeopardised the planned well-being of ordinary citizens in his Renewed Hope Agenda, which is what the reappointment of Malam Kyari will result into in the coming years in view of the track record of lack of transparency in revenue remittances. 

“According to the World Bank, in media reports, while revenue gains from the exchange rate reforms are visible, the bank strongly observed that more clarity is needed on oil revenues, including the fiscal benefits from the PMS subsidy reforms.

“In the interest of the economy and the suffering masses, it's time for President Tinubu to order public forensic probe of both the old NNPC and the current NNPCL to block revenue leakages if the gains of Renewed Hope Agenda will go beyond mere wishes”, the groups stated.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Multimedia Journalist, Mukhtar Ajelogbon Bags Osun Youth Ambassador Award 2023

Multimedia Journalist, Mukhtar Ajelogbon Bags Osun Youth Ambassador Award 2023

Multimedia Journalist, Mukhtar Ajelogbon Bags Osun Youth Ambassador Award 2023


Mukhtar Ajelogbon, the CEO of De-Moon Media Links and publisher of the OsunReporters News was recognized for his priceless efforts and contribution with an award of excellence at the 8th edition of Osun Youth Ambassador Award.

Osun Youth Ambassador Award (OYAA) is an initiative of Youth Reformer Initiative, the OYAA 2023 is the 8th edition of honoring Talents, resilience and excellent service amongst the Youths in Osun State. 

Ajelogbon fondly called De-Moon is a seasoned journalist with about two decades experience in Broadcast, Print and Digital media who is the Editor-in-Chief of the Osun Reporters News is known for his dugedness while carrying out his profession purely on fact, accuracy and timely based excellent contents.

He graduated from Adekunle Ajasin University with a series of leadership experience in students' unionism. He had served served both Osogbo (his hometown), Osun State and Nigeria at large through Osogbo national students' union (ONSU), National association of Osun State Students (NAOSS), while is professional experience spread across Ondo, Kwara and Osun State which gave many awards in print, broadcast and new media.

De-Moon was honored with Osun Youth Ambassador Youth 2023, on Sunday, 10th December, 2023 for his services and contributions through excellent journalism that can not go unnoticed since the inception of his chosen career.

While Speaking at the event, the guest speaker, Professor Sunday Babatunde Akinde from the Osun Osun State University commended the selection of the awardees as the most deserved people as they were carefully selected, urging Nigerian youths to always think beyond the box and think of how to develop Nigeria through their talents.

In his speech, the Royal father of the Day, Oba Abdulazeez Olatunbosun Adebamiji, Akire of Ikire in Osun State, gave kudos to the brain behind the Osun Youth Ambassador Award, urging other organizations to emulate the footstep of Youth Reformer Initiative as Mukhtar Ajelogbon and other awardees are purely professionals that merit the recognition.

De-Moon was awarded Osun Youth Ambassador alongside other people across all walks of life, such as;

Mukhtar Ajelogbon Abiodun; Jare Ismahil Tiamiyu; Ganiyu Suliyat Abolaji; Sowade Oluwakayode Adebayo; Ishola Modupe Olanrewaju; Samuel Olasubomi Ekundayo-Salawu; Oyeniyi Kawthar Adenike; Adeleke Rukayat Ayobami; Hammed Adekunle Raji; Yusuf Adewale Adetoyese; Luqman Yekeen Adewale; Oluwakemi Mojisola Aremu Waters; Ismail Afeez Olalekan; Abdulsalami Musiliu Olaitan; Comrade Oyedeji Faishat Adetilewa.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

BAFCON Sets New Date For Shock the World Concert In Support Of Bash Ali's World Title Quest

BAFCON Sets New Date For Shock the World Concert In Support Of Bash Ali's World Title Quest

 

BAFCON Sets New Date For Shock the World Concert In Support Of Bash Ali's World Title Quest

Bash Ali Fans Club of Nigeria (BAFCON), the supporters of the Cruiserweight Boxing Champion, who has never been defeated, Bash Ali, has announced the postponement of its earlier event tagged Shock the World Concert. 

In a public announcement signed by the President of BAFCON, Comrade Dickson Ayorinde Oshin, on behalf of the organising committee, the group explained that the postponement was due to “circumstances beyond our control”. 

The even is scheduled to hold on April 12, 2024 at the VIP Lounge of the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja. 

The concert was earlier scheduled for December 8, 2023 but didn't hold. 

The rescheduled concert will feature notable Nigerian artists such as Bongos Ikue, Onyeka Owenu, Stella Monye, and 2face Idibia fondly called 2baba, among others. 

In earlier statement, the President of BAFCON had stated that the concert was part of BAFCON's commitment to promoting the staging of a Guinness World Record Fight, an international bout between Bash Ali and a foreign challenger. 

He had noted that the purpose of the Shock the World Concert was to raise awareness about Bash Ali's life, work, and achievements, adding that the proposed Guinness Book World Boxing Project, a world boxing title fight, is expected to attract foreign investments to the country and will be televised live across the world. 

If Bash Ali wins the proposed fight in Nigeria, he will become the oldest boxer in the world to win a world title.

Christmas Vaganza: OPPO Slashes Phone Prices to Celebrate Yuletide Season with Customers, Fans

Christmas Vaganza: OPPO Slashes Phone Prices to Celebrate Yuletide Season with Customers, Fans

 

Christmas Vaganza: OPPO Slashes Phone Prices to Celebrate Yuletide Season with Customers, Fans

As the festive season approaches, OPPO is spreading the joy and love with arrays of unbeatable Christmas sales, as it is slashing prices on some of its most popular Smartphones.

Whether you're treating yourself or finding the perfect gift for a loved one, OPPO's limited-time offers are sure to bring the magic of technology into customers' festive celebrations.

Unbeatable Prices for a Limited Time:

OPPO is making this holiday season special by offering incredible discounts on a wide range of devices. These discounts are available for a limited time, providing customers with the perfect opportunity to experience the innovation and sophistication that OPPO smartphones offer.

Featured Devices and Prices:

1. Reno8 T 5G (8GB+256GB) - N439,900: Dive into the world of 5G connectivity with the Reno8 T, now available at an irresistible price of N439,900.

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3. A78 (8GB+256GB) - N219,000: Enjoy a perfect balance of power and style with the A78, now available for just N219,000.

4. A58 (8GB+128GB) - N164,900: Capture memories and stay connected with the A58, priced attractively at N164,900.

5. A58 (6GB+128GB) - N154,900: Unleash the potential of the A58 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, now at a festive price of N154,900.

6. A38 (4GB+128GB) - N139,900: Step into the world of efficiency and style with the A38, available at an affordable N139,900.

7. A18 (4GB+128GB) - N129,900: Embrace the perfect blend of performance and affordability with the A18, now priced at N129,900.

8. A17K (3GB+64GB) - N99,900: Explore the world of OPPO technology at an unbeatable price of N99,900 with the A17K.

Encouraging the Gift of OPPO:

This holiday season, OPPO encourages customers to treat themselves and their loved one with Reno8 T 5G, a gift of cutting-edge technology. Whether you're looking for a device with advanced camera capabilities, powerful performance, or sleek design, OPPO has the perfect smartphone for everyone.

Act Fast – Limited Stock:

With these incredible Christmas discounts, OPPO is making it easier than ever to bring the latest in smartphone technology into your life. 

However, stocks are limited offer end on 3rd of January 2024, so act fast to secure your favorite OPPO device at these unbeatable prices.

This festive season, OPPO is making spirits bright with its Christmas sales, offering customers the opportunity to enjoy the magic of OPPO technology at prices that are not too good to resist. Don't miss out on these limited-time offers – unwrap the gift of innovation and style with OPPO smartphones this Christmas!

Friday, December 8, 2023

" A TRUE PATRIOT GOES HOME", Chief Peter Ameh

" A TRUE PATRIOT GOES HOME", Chief Peter Ameh

 

A TRUE PATRIOT GOES HOME

We received immense sadness, the departure of a true patriot who gave his all, including his freedom for the enthronement of democracy and justice in Nigeria.

We also remember the role he played and the bitter struggle he fought in his lifetime for the revalidation of annuled June 12, 1993 election.

Mr. Kokori was severally incarcerated by the military junta for his opposition to military dictatorships, but we are comforted in the fact that his struggle for democracy we practice today was not in vain, no matter how imperfect.

We that are alive owe him that huge debt of improving our democracy so that our votes will count on election days.

Our hearts and condolences go to the family he left behind, and may the Almighty God grant him eternal rest.

WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR SELFLESSNESS COMMITMENT AND COURAGE TOWARDS THE BUILDING OF PROGRESSIVE AND PROSPEROUS COUNTRY. 

Chief Peter Ameh

National Secretary CUPP

Monday, December 4, 2023

North Central Citizens Raise Serious Concerns over A'Court Judgments In Kano, Plateau, Zamfara Guber Cases

North Central Citizens Raise Serious Concerns over A'Court Judgments In Kano, Plateau, Zamfara Guber Cases

 

North Central Citizens Raise Serious Concerns over A'Court Judgments In Kano, Plateau, Zamfara Guber Cases

The North Central Citizens Council (NCCC), alongside other concerned individuals and groups, has raised serious concerns regarding the inconsistencies and contradictions in judicial decisions, particularly since the March 2023 governorship elections in most Northern Nigerian states. 

These decisions, they said in a statement signed by the Coordinator of the NCCC, Comrade Mohammed Eneji, have created general confusion and uncertainty across the North, exacerbating the disquiet caused by political opportunism and corruption. 

They noted that the “deliberate miscarriages of justice occasioned by the selective application of the law between the North and the rest of the country represent a much wider conspiracy to bring the North down on its knees by incapacitation and balkanization.

“The uncertainties and compromises in the judiciary pose a significant threat as part of a wider plot to destabilize the region, as evidenced by the inconsistent and contradictory decisions taken by the Appeal Court in states such as Kano, Plateau, and Zamfara.

“In the case of Kano State for instance, the Appeal Court's decision in the case of Abba v APC has raised concerns regarding the jurisdiction of the court in pre-election matters. 

“The principle that pre-election matters, including issues of nomination and sponsorship, fall under the exclusive purview of the Pre-Election matters is well-established in our electoral jurisprudence. 

“This principle has been reiterated in numerous judicial authorities, with the Supreme Court reaffirming it in the case of Peter Obi v INEC”, they said. 

The North Central citizens noted that the Supreme Court emphasized that “the issue of nomination is a pre-election matter and that only the Federal High Court has the jurisdiction to adjudicate over it. 

“Even the tribunal that initially decided the case in question correctly acknowledged that the issue of nomination is a pre-election matter. Although the tribunal found that Abba Kabir Yusuf was not a member of the NNPP at the time of the primary election, it admitted its lack of jurisdiction to make a pronouncement on the issue. 

“However, the Court of Appeal's decision in this case deviates from the established principles. This decision is erroneous and requires correction by the Supreme Court, which is considered the last hope of the common man. 

“The Court of Appeal's decision undermines the purpose of categorizing election matters into pre and post-election matters. One of the fundamental principles of law is certainty, and this decision creates confusion on an unprecedented scale in our electoral litigation. 

“Allowing this decision to stand will open a Pandora's box in our electoral jurisprudence, ultimately proving counterproductive to the system. 

“While it is necessary to ensure that political parties adhere to electoral guidelines, the decision to upturn the entire election in Kano raises questions about the legitimacy of the democratic process”, the group stated. 

Comrade Mohammed Eneji added that “Arguably, this ruling undermines the people’s right to choose their leaders and places excessive power in the hands of the judiciary. This controversy highlights the need for a balance between upholding the rule of law and respecting the democratic will of the people. 

“Furthermore, the controversies surrounding the discrepancies between the judgement read out by the court and the content of the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the Judgment in the Kano governorship election raised serious doubts about the transparency and integrity of the judicial process. 

“These discrepancies have led to confusion and speculation among the public, further eroding public trust in the judiciary.

“The Appeal Court’s decision to uphold the nullification of 166,000 votes from the NNPP’s tally in the Kano governorship election raised questions about the consistency and fairness of their judgments, adding that in this case, the court cited irregularities and non-compliance with electoral laws as the basis for nullifying the votes. 

“However similar irregularities were present in the case of Governor Adeleke, where the Court of Appeal ruled against nullifying votes. 

“By nullifying votes that were deemed to be irregular in Kano, the court has contradicted its own ruling in the case of Governor Adeleke of Osun state, where similar irregularities were present but not nullified. 

“This inconsistency in applying legal principles undermines the principle of equal treatment before the law and raises doubts about the court’s impartiality. 

“The controversial inconsistencies and contradictions observed in the Appeal Court's decisions in these governorship election cases have far-reaching implications for Nigeria's democratic system. 

“Firstly, they undermine the principle of equal treatment under the law, as similar cases are decided differently, leading to a lack of predictability and fairness. 

“Secondly, these inconsistencies erode public trust in the judiciary, as citizens question the impartiality and integrity of the court. 

“Thirdly, they create a breeding ground for political instability and social unrest, as aggrieved parties may resort to non-legal means to seek justice. 

“Lastly, the targeting of states such as Kano, Plateau, and Zamfara, where political volatility is more accentuated and troublesome, suggests a deliberate attempt to cause widespread regional crisis. 

This strategy could potentially lead to general unrest, which in turn could portend greater national conflict. 

“Moreover, these decisions aim to diminish the viability of the North and render it incapable of standing on its own two feet and competing favorably with other parts of the country. 

“The emerging trends in Nigeria's judiciary are pregnant with complications and unforeseen consequences. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must act swiftly to prevent the drift towards anarchy and bloodshed. 

“The Kano governorship election case, in particular, has attracted significant attention due to the contentious nature of the decisions made by the Appeal Court. 

“This erosion of public trust can have severe consequences, including social unrest, political instability, and a breakdown of law and order. As the leader of Nigeria, Tinubu has a responsibility to address these emerging trends promptly. 

“In this critical juncture, the Supreme Court, as the apex temple of justice in Nigeria, must play a pivotal role in restoring public confidence in the judiciary. It is imperative that the Supreme Court critically reviews the controversial decisions made by the Appeal Court in the Kano governorship election case and other states in the North”, the North Central citizens said. 

They explained that “By doing so, the Supreme Court can demonstrate its commitment to upholding justice and the rule of law, thereby restoring faith in the judiciary.

“The Supreme Court, must critically review controversial decisions to save the dwindling integrity of the judiciary. Failure to address these issues promptly could have far-reaching implications for Nigeria's stability and reputation. 

“Failure to act swiftly could result in dire consequences for the nation, including anarchy and bloodshed. It is imperative that the President recognizes the urgency of the situation and takes decisive action to prevent further deterioration of the judiciary's integrity.

“Furthermore, it is crucial to alert the federal government and the international community to the potential consequences of inaction. The responsibility for any momentous and terrible events that may occur as a result of the judiciary's compromised integrity would ultimately lie with those who failed to act when the warning signs were evident”, the NCCC said.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Abba Kabir Yusuf Vs APC: Coalition Of Yoruba Groups Tasks Supreme Court On Review Of Guber Case

Abba Kabir Yusuf Vs APC: Coalition Of Yoruba Groups Tasks Supreme Court On Review Of Guber Case

 

Abba Kabir Yusuf Vs APC: Coalition Of Yoruba Groups Tasks Supreme Court On Review Of Guber Case

A Coalition of SouthWest Groups, under its umbrella body, the Coalition Of The Yoruba Youth Network (YYN), comprising the South West Blossom Brigade (SBB), the Odua Youth Frontiers (OYF), the Yoruba Youth Empowerment Forum (YYEF), the Voice Of Yoruba Youths (VOYY), the Odua Progressive People Assembly (OPPA) and no fewer than fourteen other youth organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) have reacted to the Court of Appeal judgment on the Kano State governorship election petition between Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as it relates to the integrity of the Nigerian Justice System. 

The Coalition urged the Supreme Court of Nigeria, as the highest judicial authority in the country, to exercise its responsibility to safeguard the integrity of the judiciary by thoroughly reviewing the case. 

They noted that “by conducting a thorough review of these rulings, the Supreme Court can demonstrate its commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice for all.”

At a world press conference in Lagos, South West of Nigeria, the groups insisted that it will be detrimental to the principle of justice and democracy in the country. 

Speaking on behalf of the Coalition of Southwest Groups, Comrade Razak Olukayode, argued that a similar situation in Osun State, as presented itself in the Kano State governorship election petition, did not lead to the nullification of the election of Senator Ademola Adeleke. 

He said, “This coalition of Southwest groups is deeply concerned about recent controversial Appeal Court rulings on the Kano State Governorship election, which has raised serious questions about the integrity of Nigeria's justice system. 

“We wish to caution against compromising the nation's judiciary and emphasize the importance of maintaining its independence, transparency, and integrity. 

“In the case of the Kano Governorship election, the ruling of the Court of Appeal has raised doubts about the fairness of the nation's judiciary and the legitimacy of the electoral process. 

“This ruling severely jeopardizes the expected role of the judiciary as the cornerstone of democracy and justice in any nation.

“We observe that the Court of Appeal decision in the Kano case of Abba vs APC has deviated from established principles of electoral jurisprudence regarding the issue of nomination and sponsorship, which falls under the exclusive purview of pre-election matters. 

“Various judicial authorities, including the recent Peter Obi v INEC case, have emphasized that only the Federal High Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate over nomination issues”, the Coalition said. 

According to the groups, the “Tribunal in the Abba vs APC case correctly stated that nomination is a pre-election matter but could not make a pronouncement on the issue due to lack of jurisdiction. 

“We highlight the injustice of upholding the Tribunal's decision to nullify 166,000 votes from the tally of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and sacking the incumbent governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf. 

“The Appeal Court's decision to uphold the nullification of such a significant number of votes without proper justification undermines the democratic fabric of the nation and raises questions about the impartiality of the judiciary.

“The decision to nullify 166,000 votes from the NNPP's tally in the Kano governorship election raises questions about the consistency and fairness of their judgments. In this case, the court cited irregularities and non-compliance with electoral laws as the basis for nullifying the votes”, the Coalition added .

They further argued, however, that “it is essential to note that similar irregularities were present in the case of Governor Adeleke, where the Court of Appeal ruled against nullifying votes. 

“By nullifying votes that were deemed to be irregular in Kano, the court fails to address the contradiction in its ruling in the case of Governor Adeleke, where similar irregularities were present but not nullified. 

“This inconsistency in applying legal principles undermines the principle of equal treatment before the law and raises doubts about the court's impartiality.

“Furthermore, the controversies surrounding the discrepancies between the judgment read out by the court and the content of the Certified True Copy of the Judgment in the Kano governorship election raise serious doubts about the transparency and integrity of the judicial process. 

“These discrepancies have led to confusion and speculation among the public, further eroding public trust in the judiciary.

“While it is necessary to ensure that political parties adhere to electoral guidelines, the decision to upturn the entire election in Kano raises questions about the legitimacy of the democratic process.

“Arguably, this ruling undermines the people's right to choose their leaders and places excessive power in the hands of the judiciary. This controversy highlights the need for a balance between upholding the rule of law and respecting the democratic will of the people”, they further stated. 

The contradictions in the Court of Appeal's decisions, they said, “highlight the need for a comprehensive review of the electoral laws and the judicial process. It sets a dangerous precedent for future elections. 

“Nullifying the Kano votes and allowing those of Osun without clear and consistent legal reasoning can lead to a loss of public trust in the judiciary and the electoral process. 

“Moreover, it opens the door for potential abuse of power, as political actors may exploit these inconsistencies to manipulate election outcomes. 

“The court's role should be to provide clarity and consistency in interpreting and applying the law, rather than contributing to confusion and uncertainty. 

“The controversies surrounding these rulings also raise questions about the accuracy and reliability of the court's decision-making process, suggesting a lack of attention to detail and procedural irregularities. This further erodes public confidence in the judiciary.

“We emphasize the need for a review of these rulings to ensure that justice is served and the rule of law is upheld. By reevaluating the evidence and legal arguments presented, the Supreme Court can rectify any potential errors made by the Court of Appeal, thereby restoring public faith in the judiciary.

“The review of the Court of Appeal rulings on the Kano governorship elections is not only necessary to rectify potential errors but also to reclaim the threatened integrity of the judiciary. 

“The credibility and impartiality of the judiciary are fundamental to the functioning of a democratic society, as they ensure that citizens have confidence in the legal system.

“The Supreme Court, as the highest judicial authority in Nigeria, has the responsibility to safeguard the integrity of the judiciary. By conducting a thorough review of these rulings, the Supreme Court can demonstrate its commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring justice for all. 

“By rectifying any potential errors and ensuring that justice is served, the Supreme Court can reaffirm its commitment to upholding the rule of law and maintaining the principles of justice and fairness within the Nigerian democratic system.

The judiciary should exercise caution and impartiality when making decisions that impact the democratic process.

“In conclusion, we urge President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to act as a true statesman and renowned democrat by upholding the principles of separation of powers, particularly the independence of the judiciary. 

“By allowing the free, fair, and uninterrupted application of justice, President Tinubu will demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law and ensure the continued strength of Nigeria's democratic institutions. It is crucial for him to avoid any interference with the course of justice, keeping in mind that he himself has benefited from fair judicial adjudication.

“Interference with the course of justice poses a significant threat to the principles of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. Such interference can lead to a compromised justice system, eroding public trust and undermining the rule of law. 

“President Tinubu must be cautious not to allow his name to be smeared in the dirty game of interference, as it would not only tarnish his reputation but also weaken the democratic fabric of the nation”, the Yoruba groups argued.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Northern Elders Lambast Nigerian Judiciary Over Elections Petition Verdicts

Northern Elders Lambast Nigerian Judiciary Over Elections Petition Verdicts

 

Northern Elders Lambast Nigerian Judiciary Over Elections Petition Verdicts

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has said that it is deeply worried about the current state of affairs within the Nigerian judiciary, describing the current trends of verdict emanating from the elections petition courts as a significant threat to the country's democracy. 

In a press statement, NEF's Convener, Professor Ango Abdullahi, stressed the need for the judiciary to be cautious in its actions to prevent the erosion of its integrity, public trust, and confidence. 

Professor Abdullahi expressed dismay at the controversies surrounding several recent judicial decisions, particularly those concerning elections. Such occurrences, he noted, are disheartening and pose a significant threat to the future of democracy in Nigeria. 

"The potential consequences of these actions may ultimately validate the concerns raised by Retired Supreme Court Judge Dajjito Mohammed in his valedictory remarks about corruption and undue compromises within the judiciary. 

“The Northern Elders Forum recognizes the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary in upholding the rule of law and safeguarding democratic principles. 

“The judiciary plays a critical role in ensuring justice, protecting citizens' rights, and preserving the credibility of the electoral process. Any actions that compromise these principles undermine the very foundation of any democratic nation," Professor Abdullahi said. 

NEF, therefore, called on all levels of the judiciary to uphold the highest ethical standards and maintain impartiality in their decision-making processes. 

It urged judges to exhibit unwavering integrity and resilience when adjudicating cases, especially those pertaining to elections.

Professor Abdullahi expressed concerns about “the current trend that poses a threat of imminent judicial collapse has numerous Implications for constitutional democracy.” 

The trend, he said, poses a significant threat to the judiciary, the institution responsible for upholding constitutional democracy. 

He argues that if this trend continues, the nation risks descending into total anarchy. 

"The judiciary plays a crucial role in sustaining constitutional democracy by ensuring the rule of law, protecting individual rights, and providing checks and balances on the other branches of government. 

However, if the judiciary fails to fulfill its responsibilities, it can have severe implications for the stability and functioning of a democratic society. 

"The current trend may encourage politicians to view politics as a do-or-die affair. When the judiciary fails to effectively adjudicate disputes and hold politicians accountable for their actions, it creates an environment where politicians feel emboldened to engage in corrupt practices, abuse their power, and disregard the principles of democracy. This erosion of trust in the judiciary can lead to a breakdown of democratic norms and values, ultimately undermining the legitimacy of the political system. 

"Furthermore, a collapsing judiciary jeopardizes the safeguarding of constitutionalism, which is the cornerstone of any democratic society. The judiciary acts as the guardian of the constitution, ensuring that laws and policies adhere to the principles enshrined within it. Without a functioning judiciary, there is a risk of constitutional violations going unchecked, leading to the erosion of citizens' rights and freedoms. This can result in a loss of public confidence in the democratic process, as citizens may feel that their voices are not being heard or that their rights are being trampled upon," he said. 

Professor Abdullahi therefore warned that only through a robust and functioning judiciary can Nigeria truly safeguard its democratic values and prevent the descent into anarchy. 

"The fairness and transparency of the judicial system are vital for fostering public trust, confidence, and belief in the democratic process," Abdullahi said. 

The Northern Elders Forum also urges relevant authorities to conduct thorough investigations into any allegations of corruption and undue compromise within the judiciary. Any substantiated claims should be swiftly prosecuted, serving as a deterrent to others who may be tempted to taint the judiciary's reputation. 

"NEF believes that the judiciary should be an unbiased and independent arm of government, which is essential to the success of democracy and it should not be seen as compromising the integrity of its decisions particularly at a time when the nation is grappling with a range of challenges. 

"NEF therefore calls on the judiciary to consider the consequences of its actions and decisions, and strive to uphold the rule of law in all its activities to justify the confidence reposed on it by Nigerians. 

The NEF then called on the “public to remain vigilant in as to the direction the nation's judiciary is headed and not to hesitate to expose any perceived misconduct on the part of the judiciary. 

"It is our firm belief that a strong and incorruptible judiciary is crucial for the development and progress of our great nation. The Northern Elders Forum, alongside other concerned stakeholders, will continue to closely monitor the conduct of the judiciary and advocate for its ethical revitalization to safeguard the interests of all Nigerians," the Northern Elders said.

Political Parties And The Challenges Of Democracy In Nigeria; High Chief Peter Ameh

Political Parties And The Challenges Of Democracy In Nigeria; High Chief Peter Ameh

 

Political Parties And The Challenges Of Democracy In Nigeria; High Chief Peter Ameh

Democratic governance in every clime cannot be said to be totally rosy, while some are faced minor problems, some are battling with major challenges, depending on the political climate local to each clime, posing threat to its democracy.

Since democracy is an involvement of the citizenry in their state political processes and other accompanied democratic practices, the place of political parties cannot be overemphasized; and this write up will therefore address key concepts like political parties, democracy, credible elections, and challenges of democratic governance in Nigeria and the ways and manners these challenges which are fundamental roadblocks to the Nigerian democracy can be addressed.

What is a political party?

In every democratic environment, political parties are always the same although with different ideologies and programmes. A political Party simply put is an assembly of citizens with the same aspiration and interest to capture power and govern in the best interest of the people. In a multi-party democracy like ours, Political Parties are grounds where different interests of citizens are articulates and aggregated and structured into electoral choice as an active participants in political process of their nation, which is the ultimate reason of their coming together as a political party.

Functions of a Political Party:

1. Government and political recruitment

2. Interest articulation and aggregation.

3. Political communication and education.

4. Goal formation

5. Link between government and people.

6. Structuring of electoral choice.

7. Political representation of the electorates in the best possible way.

8. Making government accountable.

With above enumerated functions of a political party, it is obvious no democracy can be said to be a democracy without Political Parties.

DEMOCRACY

According to Wikipedia, Democracy (Greek: demokratĂ­a, literally "rule by people") is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Going further, it also said "who people are and how authority is shared among them are core issues for democratic development and constitution.

A democracy is either direct or representative. In Nigeria, we practice a representative democracy where Nigerians elect their representatives who are to deliberate and execute decisions on their behalf on key constitutional issues, definable developments, freedom of their assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, electoral justice, right to life and majority and minority rights.

Democracy can best be expressed practically in these ways below:

Freedom of ethnic, religion, racial and other minority groups as well as historically excluded majorities to practice their religion culture, and to participate equally in a social and political life.

Right of all adult citizens to vote and run for office if they meet the requirements.

Openness and competition in electoral arena enabling any group that adheres to constitutional issues to contest for office.

Legal equality of all citizens under a rule of law in which the laws are publicly known, clear, universal, stable and non- retroactive.

An independent judiciary to neutrally, consistently, independently applies the law and protect individuals' card and rights.

Due process of law and freedom of individual's torture, terror, and unjustified detention, exile or interference in personal life by the: state and non- state actors.

Institutional checks on the powers of the elected officials by an independent legislature, court system and continuous agencies.

Real pluralism in term of the presence of institutions that enables people to canvass their views.

Also include control over the state fund and security agencies, for the benefit of all citizens.

CREDIBLE ELECTION AND DEMOCRACY

No democracy can thrive without people-powered mandate surrendered through elections. Hence, the need for free, fair and credible elections, for foundation, expansion and deepening of democracy at all given times.

Below are few nexus between elections and democracy.

Institutionalization: Elections help to institutionalize the process of democratic competition and participation by creating a legal administrative framework for handling and providing a platform for proper backing of candidates and policies, through rights of eligible adults to vote and be voted for.

Legitimization: Elections are instruments of legitimizing a government, having enjoyed majority support from the citizens to have power and authority to form government.

Mobilization: Election are used in democracy to mobilize popular support for government and development in a competitive fashion

Conviction: Opportunity to participate in election helps to convince citizens that government is responsive to their needs and wants, which indirectly increases it legitimacy

Responsiveness: Elections in democracy bring out responsive attitudes in government. Because if they act otherwise, the citizens will use election to remove them from power, thereby delegitimizing the power and authority vested in the government.

Education: Elections in democracy are another vital avenue for educating the masses. It is another democratic utility of election, where voters are educated on how their part of democracy, governments and how they are the only ones permitted to put in place, keep and change governments and policies at any election period.

Power: Elections empowers ordinary citizens to choose among contestants to public offices. Allows active citizens to shape and reshape their government.

Accountability: Elections are vital tool for development in a democracy. A credible election allows the citizens to hold the governments accountable; and allows offices holders to be caution that sovereignty resides in the people.

Sovereignty: Election resides sovereignty in the people, free, fair and credible elections are the sole means of effective positioning of sovereignty in the land in the people.

 Political Participation: Elections in democracy allow and provide grounds for citizens to fully participate politically in the democracy of their land.

CHALLENGES OF DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA

As important and germane as democracy is to every nation, it cannot be Said to be without its challenges, and this also includes its practice in Nigeria.

These challenges are encountered at the foundational, expansion and deepening levels.

Foundational Challenges:

1. Socioeconomic inequality (only money bags can vie or those they sponsor).

2. Ethno-religiosity.

Expansion Challenges:

1. Electoral insecurity (because politics is lucrative)

2. Interference in electoral process (because of appointive powers of political stakeholders)

3. Rigging.

Deepening Level:

1. Corruption (because of access to state funds)

2. Parties internal democracy.

3. resource allocation rivalry. Etc

POLITICAL PARTIES AND CHALLENGES OF DEMOCRACY

Political parties being the only vehicle or link between the people of Nigeria and their form of democratic environment and participation, successes and challenges of democracy cannot also be far-fetched from these important platforms which are recruitment grounds for those who are to represent the people in the democratic assembly.

While political parties cannot be totally whole, these bodies have been striving to be at least ideal, but the political environment as was laid down from the foundation has been making it difficult for this to be achieved accordingly.

Nigeria came back to democracy in 1999 without the citizens owning the political parties, and this till today has created the socio-economic inequality in getting people elected into positions (since only money bags who are the owners of the parties can vie or those they sponsor).

Nigeria is also yet to recover from the way it came into democracy right from the first republic. In the first republic, we have parties like Northern Elements Progressive Union, NEPU, founded in Kano on 8 August 1950 and thereby became the first political party in Northern Nigeria solely for northerners; the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, NCNC, which became largely identified with Igbo interests and Action Group founded by Awolowo and his associates which also became the dominant party of the Western Nigeria then.

These ethnic or religious biases that set in right from time is yet to be wholly dealt with as we can see from our experiences.

In a bid to feign expansion of our democracy, we have been engaging in electoral insecurity. Politics became so or die because it is lucrative.

We have times without number recorded political interference with our electoral process from those with appointive powers; to the extent the late president Umar Yar'Adua admitted the election that brought him in was not free, fair and credible.

At the deepening level, access to state fund by members and structures of ruling parties is a great challenge to political parties in general both ruling and in opposition and this has led to resource allocation rivalry etc.

Conclusion and Recommendation

The above itemized challenges are what have posed a major threat to democracy in Nigeria, and by extension affecting involvement of the citizens of Nigeria in the state political processes and other democratic practices of their land. I thereby recommend.

Recommendations for the review of our Country’s Electoral System; 

1.The establishment of a new method of appointing Member of the Nigerian election management body (EMB) from the whims and caprices of the President of the Federal Republic in order to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the status of a truly independent National Electoral Commission.

2, The unbundling of Independent National Electoral Commission INEC as fellows;

i) Election management Body (IBM) (Solely responsible for the conduct of elections and nothing more)

ii) Election and related offenses commission 

iii) Political Party registration and management commission

3) Election Disputes constitutional Complaints Commission.

The regular Judiciary should have nothing to do with electoral disputes. We need a Constitutional Court or Constitutional Commission just as we have the Electoral Commission. Most disciplined Judges would be elated through a thorough and rigorous process to get rid of the nuisance of dealing with corrupt politicians that are bent on destroying our Electoral jurisprudence.

4, burden of proof should be placed on the Commission to show how they arrived at announcing a winner for the election by making sure that all results sheets are available within 5 working days after the declaration of a winner. 

5. All election must be conducted in one day to get rid of the Bandwagon effect after the announcement of the winner of the Presidential contest. 

6. Reduce the time frame for hearing and conclusion of electoral litigation to 60 days and ensure that no swearing in takes place until all litigation relating to the election under review are concluded and judgement entered.

High Chief Peter Ameh,

Former National Chairman inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria. (IPAC)

Thursday, November 9, 2023

All CBN Issued Banknotes Remain Legal Tender, Says Apex Bank, Reassures Of Adequate Supply Old/New Naira Notes

All CBN Issued Banknotes Remain Legal Tender, Says Apex Bank, Reassures Of Adequate Supply Old/New Naira Notes

 

All CBN Issued Banknotes Remain Legal Tender, Says Apex Bank, Reassures Of Adequate Supply Old/New Naira Notes

Nigeria's apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated that old and redesigned notes issue by it remains legal tender and must not be rejected by anyone in the country. 

This was contained in a statement issued by the Director, Corporate Communications, at the CBN, Dr. Isa AbdulMumin. 

The CBN also reassured Nigeria residents that there are sufficient cash stocks in all locations across the country for normal economic activities. 

According to the statement, the CBN was reacting to reports of a scarcity of cash across some major cities in the country despite assurances of sufficient cash stocks in all locations across the country. 

The CBN's spokesperson, equally noted that there have also been reports of anxiety among some members of the public over the legality or otherwise of old Naira banknotes. 

“For the avoidance of doubt, while reiterating that there are sufficient banknotes across

the country for all normal economic activity, we wish to state unambiguously that

every banknote issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) remains legal tender and should not be rejected by anyone, as stipulated in Section 20(5) of the CBN Act, 2007.

“Accordingly, branches of the CBN across the country have been directed to continue

to issue different denominations of old and redesigned banknotes in adequate quantities to deposit money banks (DMBs) for onward circulation to bank customers. 

“We wish to restate that all denominations of banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) remain legal tender. 

“In line with Section 20(5) of the CBN Act, 2007, no one should refuse to accept the Naira as a means of payment. 

“Consequently, members of the public are advised to accept all CBN-issued banknotes currently in circulation and guard against panic withdrawals”, the apex bank stated. 

The CBN then reaffirmed that “there is sufficient stock of currency notes to facilitate normal economic activities.

“Furthermore, to reduce the pressure on the use of physical cash, members of the public are again advised to continue to embrace alternative modes of payment”, the CBN said.