Weekly political notes
Ekweremadu Accuses Buhari’s Aide, Ex-chief Judge Of Theft
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, of stealing and manipulating his will.
Mr. Ekweremadu in a statement on Monday, said Obono-Obla in connivance with a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Innocent Umezulike, and a lawyer, Tagbo Ike, broke into the probate registry to steal the document.
He said the trio stole his will, leaving behind a photocopy, which had in it imaginary properties.
Ekweremadu said the presidential aide has started a campaign to smear his reputation, using an online medium.
The statement, which he titled “This Too Shall Pass” was signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu.
Ekweremadu, Ekweremadu, I hope as a lawyer and lawmaker you know the consequences of the weighty allegation you leveled against Obono-Obla and Umezulike? It is hoped that you will be ready to prove it when the need arises? If not, you better keep quiet and explain to Nigerians the ownership of billions of Naira properties alleged to be yours. Are you the owner of those properties within and outside the country as contained in the petition?
If you say they are not yours, then be ready to submit yourself to the anti-graft agency for probe and at the same time prove that your will was stolen from probate registry by your traducers. That is the only way Nigerians can believe your innocence, not by raising allegation against your petitioner.
Besides, Ekweremadu should be mindful of the fact that Umezulike is not an ordinary Nigerian, but an ex-Chief Judge of his home state, Enugu. It is possible that Umezulike may have been privy to some vital information about Ekweremadu’s investments before penning the petition. Meanwhile, the timing of the petition is suspicious and political. This is the reason Ekweremadu should be more prepared to fight a battle of his political life.
Dogara Backs Restructuring Of Nigeria
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed support for auditing and restructuring of the existing federal system to give a sense of belonging to all Nigerians.
Dogara spoke on Monday, in Abuja, at the third annual Political Summit on, ‘Reforming the Nigerian Federation: Which Way Forward,’ organised by the Save Democracy Africa.
He said that for true federalism to be achieved in Nigeria, a unique system of federalism that best suited Nigerian people and the local circumstances in the country should be created.
He added that this would be, in addition to having leaders who were visionary, selfless, prudent, intelligent and indefatigable and having integrity and honour.
Nigerians should not be carried away or deluded by what Dogara said right, but what he does right. How can the same Dogara who presided over constitution amendments in the House, where devolution of powers was rejected, come out to say that he supports restructuring? Is this not elevating political hypocrisy to high heaven to gain cheap popularity ahead of 2019?
Dogara should be reminded that it is still not too late for the National Assembly to include devolution of powers in the ongoing constitutional amendments. If Dogara is truly in support of restructuring, he should convince his colleagues to dissipate the same energy and passion on 2019 election sequence on restructuring. Enough of this lips service to restructuring by characters like Dogara. It is known that National Assembly members are not comfortable with the call and agitation for restructuring.
Police Accuse Melaye Of Arming Political Thugs, Arrest Suspects
The police have paraded two men they said were members of an armed gang terrorising Kogi State. The police said the suspects had confessed to being provided with weapons and financial support by Dino Melaye, a senator from the state.
A statement by police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, said the suspects, identified as Kabiru Saidu and Nuru Salisu, were paraded on Monday, in Lokoja, the state capital.
Moshood, an assistant commissioner of police, said the detectives arrested the suspects with a cache of arms that included AK-47 rifles and pump action firearms.
The spokesperson also said the suspects confessed during interrogation that they were sponsored by Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District. The criminal indictments were part of the reason the police is after Melaye,” Moshood said.
Hmmm, Melaye again!!! It seems it is now one week, one trouble for Melaye. From surviving an alleged attack on him, to near certificate scandal and escape from police arrest in court and now allegedly arming of thugs. Was it not last week Friday that the Appeal Court gave ruling for the continuation of his stalled recall process by his constituents and INEC?
While it is true that Melaye has before now survived many political battles, how and whether he will survive the latest ahead of 2019 will be seen in the days ahead. There is every need for Melaye to watch his back well, as it is obvious that there are plans against him. Melaye knows this and deserves nobody’s pity, because he is one of “them.” Even at that, Melaye should explain to Nigerians and the police what he knows about the arrested thugs, who alleged that he was their sponsor.
EFCC Witness In N2.3b Corruption Case Against ex-Gov. Kalu Flees Nigeria
Akpan Udoh, an accountant in the Abia State Government House, who was scheduled to testify in the alleged N3.2b fraud trial of former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, has relocated to Cameroon.
The counsel to the prosecution told a Federal High Court in Lagos on, Tuesday, that Udoh was listed as a witness for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC had on October 31, 2016 slammed a 34-count charge bordering on N3.2 billion fraud against Kalu and his former Commissioner for Finance, Ude Udeogo, as well as Kalu’s company — Slok Nigeria Ltd.
Kalu and others allegedly committed the offences between August 2001 and October 2005.
Nawaooo, So because the witness has relocated to Cameroon, the trial should be stalled again? This is one trial that has lingered for too long. Is it that the barber lacks skill or the blade is not sharp? Does it mean that this trial will remain inconclusive forever, having commenced since Kalu left office as governor in 2007?
Let it not be that since Kalu joined the ruling APC, the anti-graft agency EFCC has decided to play politics with his trial. This insinuation is rife in the public domain. Let EFCC and the ruling party dispute it with evidence.
There is no doubt that Kalu’s case may end up as one of justice delayed, which is justice denied. If that will be case, why won’t public office holders continue to loot public fund, knowing that the anti-graft agency and the court lack the capacity to diligently prosecute them?
Birthday Gift: NULGE Endorses Ugwuanyi For Second Term
Workers in the 17 local councils in Enugu State under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and pensioners have endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as their candidate for the 2019 governorship election in the state.
The Enugu State chapter of NULGE made the declaration during the colourful and well-attended solidarity rally in support of good governance in Enugu State, held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu on Tuesday. The event, which coincided with Gov. Ugwuanyi’s 54th birthday anniversary was attended by the national president of the union, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel Abdulkadir, who described the governor as a leader with “huge humility, vision and comradeship.”
Keen followers and observers of governance in Enugu, since Ugwuanyi assumed office would not be surprised by this development. It is expected, considering that the governor on assumption of office made workers’ welfare one of his major priorities.
Apart from paying salaries every 23rd of the month, he has promoted those of them whose promotions were stalled for years. His government has provided affordable housing scheme for workers, where some of them are living today. Apart from the endorsement, different workers’ unions in the state have on different occasions conferred different awards on him such as the workers’ most friendly governor in Nigeria.
Ugwuanyi is one governor in Nigeria who has quietly made positive impact on the lives of his people. That is why his government enjoys the massive support of the people, even those in opposition.
Nigeria Can’t Survive Without North-ACF
Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Ibrahim Coomassie, has called on the Federal Government to stop the incessant killings and kidnappings in northern part of the country, saying Nigeria cannot do without the North.
Speaking when the leadership of Jamiyar Matan Arewa paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna, on Tuesday, Coomassie said the negative narrative about the North must be changed.
He said: “We all know that without the North, Nigeria can never survive. We still stand by it. But now is the time to walk the talk in the interest of our people.”
Coomassie has spoken like a typical Northern irredentist, even though he is entitled to his opinion. His narrative is not different from what his fellow Northern hegemonists have said. But what they fail to realise is that the North needs other tribes in Nigeria more than they need the North. They know this, but have always feigned ignorance of it in their unguarded utterances.
If Coomassie is convinced that the North is indispensable, let him pressure the National Assembly members from the North, who are in majority to tinker with the Constitution to pave way for restructuring. Northern leaders cannot be opposed to restructuring and at the same time claiming that Nigeria cannot do without them.
It is clear that with restructuring, the lopsided advantage being enjoyed by the North politically and otherwise will fizzle out and the world will know who is indispensable. But as it is now, Northern leaders can say whatever they like. After all, it appears they hold the yam and knife and whosoever they give, will eat. This is the irony of the 1914 amalgamation.
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