Man Arrested For Raping Five Year-Old

The Niger State Police Command has arrested a 20 – year – old man, Abdullateef Ibrahim, for raping a five- year – old girl.

Ibrahim confessed to the crime during investigation, pleading for forgiveness and confessing that he started raping children after his girlfriend left him.

He said, “Since my girlfriend left, I have been in the act and I enjoyed doing it, but at times I will ask myself ‘why am I into this mess and the urge still continues?’. It is quite unfortunate that I found myself in this hopeless predicament.” He begged for forgiveness and advised other youths to shun “ the wicked act that may mar their future. ”

The State Police Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Abubakar , said the victim had been taken to the General Hospital, Magama, for treatment. It was learnt that the victim was running an errand for her mother when Ibrahim dragged her to an isolated area in the bush and had sex with her.

It was gathered that the suspect had been involved in the heinous act for over two years before he was eventually arrested by police operatives. Ibrahim revealed that he had forcefully had carnal knowledge of more than six underage girls in the community. .

 

 

Nigerian Teenager Stabbed To Death In London

A murder investigation has been launched after a Nigerian teenager, Oluwadamilola Odeyingbo was stabbed and died from his injuries in Chislehurst, South east London.

Oluwadamilola who was 18 years old, died on Wednesday, January 10, of injuries he received during a reported fight in Empress Drive just after 9pm the previous evening.

Police were called on Tuesday, 9 January to reports of a fight on Empress Drive. Officers attended to the victim. He was taken by the London Ambulance Service to a south a London Hospital where he passed away.

A post-mortem examination began on Friday, January 12, but has not been finished.

As part of the investigation, an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday, and has been bailed until early February.

Police are appealing for information. Detective Chief Inspector Tim Wright said:

“We understand that neighbours and people passing through the area witnessed the incident on Tuesday evening. We are keen to speak to all witnesses and would encourage them to come forward as soon as possible. A young man has lost his life and we are doing everything we can to piece together what took place.”

According to Twitter user, Femo, his aunt,  the boy’s mother had left Nigeria to the UK to get a better life.

“My aunt traveled to the UK to get a better life Then some idiots went to stab my cousin and killed him God nawa to you o I know Twitter is a strong place and I know if y’all rt this someone would come forward and say something There were witnesses” he wrote

 

NYSC Suspends Orientation Course In Benue

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) announced that the 2017 Batch ‘B’ stream II orientation course scheduled to hold in Benue from Jan. 16 to Feb. 5 has been suspended till further notice.

The announcement was made on its official Facebook page in Abuja on Sunday.

It said that a new date would be communicated in due course to prospective corps members deployed to the state for the orientation.

“The NYSC management wishes to inform all prospective corps members deployed to Benue and Taraba states that the 2017 Batch ‘B’ Stream II orientation course scheduled to hold in Benue camp has been suspended.

“A new date will be communicated to you in due course. All inconveniences are highly regrettable,” the scheme said.

Earlier, the NYSC had issued a statement that the 2017 Batch ‘B’ Stream II orientation course would hold in only 15 camps nationwide.

The camps were in Abia, Bauchi, Benue, Delta, Enugu, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Plateau, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Rivers and the FCT.

 

 

Fifth Largest Diamond Discovered In Lesotho

Miner Gen Diamonds on Monday revealed that the diamond thought to be the fifth largest of gem quality ever found has been discovered in Lesotho and could be worth as much as $40 million.

Nigerian-Jewish diamond cutter and dealer, Thelma West, poses for a photograph with a selection of diamond encrusted rings in her office in London on March 11, 2016. “I’m the only Nigerian Jewish woman in the trade, and I don’t know of any other African women in the business,” she told AFP from her London base.

The company unearthed the D-colour stone at the Letseng mine in the landlocked southern African country and described the 910-carat find as of “exceptional quality”.

“Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letseng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds, including the 603 carat Lesotho Promise,” Gem Diamonds chief executive Clifford Elphick said in a statement. “However, this exceptional top quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date…

This is a landmark discovery.” Ben Davis, a mining analyst at Liberum Capital, speculated in a research note to investors that the diamond could be worth as much as $40 million (33 million euros). Gem Diamonds shares in London were up 14 percent from the market open to £0.92 a piece.

Male Models Accuse Mario Testino and Bruce Weber Of Sexual Misconduct

The latest development has shown that the fashion and modeling industry has not been left out from the Sexual misconduct scandal that rocked Hollywood for most of 2017.

More than a dozen male models and assistants are accusing two of fashion’s most powerful photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, of sexual misconduct. According to an article by New York Times, several male models alleged that Mario and Bruce made unwanted sexual advances towards them.

Both men have denied the allegations but this has not stopped several fashion magazines from suspending work with them.

Mr Testino, 63, was the man who immortalized the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton. He was also the person who photographed When Madonna when she had her first daughter for Vanity Fair. He recently photographed the February cover of Vogue, featuring Serena Williams and her daughter.

Fifteen current and former male models who worked with Bruce Weber, whose racy advertisements for companies like Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch helped turn him into one of the foremost commercial and fine art photographers, have described to The New York Times a pattern of what they said was unnecessary nudity and coercive sexual behavior, often during photo shoots.

The men recalled, with remarkable consistency, private sessions with Mr. Weber in which he asked them to undress and led them through breathing and “energy” exercises. Models were asked to breathe and to touch both themselves and Mr. Weber, moving their hands wherever they felt their “energy.” Often, Mr. Weber guided their hands with his own.

“I remember him putting his fingers in my mouth, and him grabbing my privates,” said the model Robyn Sinclair. “We never had sex or anything, but a lot of things happened. A lot of touching. A lot of molestation.”

In accounts going back to the mid-1990s, 13 male assistants and models who have worked with the photographer Mario Testino, a favorite of the English royal family and Vogue, told The Times that he subjected them to sexual advances that in some cases included groping and masturbation.

The men making the accusations said they had only two choices; agree and be rewarded with lucrative ad campaign work, or reject the approach and risk destroying your career. Two models have also complained about Mario Testino’s behavior in the course of photographing Gucci campaigns in the ’90s.

“If you wanted to work with Mario, you needed to do a nude shoot at the Chateau Marmont,” said Jason Fedele, who appeared in those campaigns. “All the agents knew that this was the thing to excel or advance your career.”

“He was a sexual predator,” said Ryan Locke, who succeeded Mr. Fedele with Gucci.

Mr. Locke said that when he told other models that he was going to meet Mr. Testino, “everyone started making these jokes — they said he was notorious, and ‘tighten your belt.’”

The casting took place at Mr. Testino’s hotel. Instead of greeting Mr. Locke in the lobby, Mr. Testino was in his room, where he opened the door in a loose robe, Mr. Locke said. Then they got into a stalemate about whether the model needed to go fully nude for test pictures.

After Gucci hired Mr. Locke for an ad campaign, Mr. Testino was aggressive and flirtatious throughout, Mr. Locke said. On the last day of the shoot, as they were taking photographs on a bed, Mr. Testino said, “I don’t think he’s feeling it. Everybody out,” Mr. Locke recalled.

“He shuts the door and locks it. Then he crawls on the bed, climbs on top of me and says, ‘I’m the girl, you’re the boy.’ I went at him, like, you better get away. I threw the towel on him, put my clothes on and walked out,” Mr. Locke said.

Hugo Tillman who freelanced as a photo assistant for Mr. Testino in 1996 said Mr. Testino took him and his mother to lunch and told them he wanted to mentor him. Tillman said he really liked Testino and looked up to him. He moved to Paris and began working full time as Mr. Testino’s fourth assistant, and was soon promoted to third.

But, he said, “I was often made to feel uncomfortable on shoots, asked to massage Mario in front of other assistants, models and fashion editors.”

One night after a dinner, Mr. Tillman said the photographer grabbed him on the street and tried to kiss him. A few weeks later, while on a business trip, Mr. Tillman met Mr. Testino in his hotel room. Mr. Testino demanded that the assistant roll him a joint, then threw him down on a bed, climbed on top of him and pinned down his arms, Mr. Tillman said. Mr. Testino’s brother came into the room and made the photographer get off Mr. Tillman.

Lots of other male models and assistants spoke up about the sexual harassment they suffered at the hands of Werber and Testino, while many said they still would not speak publicly.

Representatives for both photographers said they were dismayed and surprised by the allegations.

“I’m completely shocked and saddened by the outrageous claims being made against me, which I absolutely deny,” Mr. Weber said in a statement from his lawyer.

Lavely & Singer, a law firm that represents Mr. Testino, challenged the characters and credibility of people who complained of harassment, and also wrote that it had spoken to several former employees who were “shocked by the allegations” and that those employees “could not confirm any of the claims.”

 

2019 Elections: The Clear And Present Dangers Ahead By Chima Amadi

Expectedly, and in keeping with its proactive approach to elections management, the INEC just released the schedule of activities for the 2019 elections. Going by INEC’s timetable, it is precisely thirteen months before the general elections, while official campaigns are supposed to commence on the 18th day of November. However, even when they make the rules, politicians being the rule-abusing clan that they are, have already started not too covert electioneering activities, way before the officially designated date. Well, it would be disingenuous to tar the political class with the brush of abuse of process if it is not stated among other things that the president did not set the force of personal example to adhere to rules.

Under the guise of wasteful commissioning of projects first in Ebonyi, and subsequently, in Anambra and Kano states, the president has already commenced campaigning for his not too secret ambition to seek a second term of office. The actions of the president have already opened the vista of politicking, horse-trading and conspiracies that is the routine of politicians.

However, in a departure from the last election circle, i.e. 2015, when during the same corresponding time, the polity was already abuzz with seismic realignments ala knew PDP and APC mergers, pontifications, posturing, and cross-fire barbs by political actors, there seems to be some graveyard peace. Perhaps, the political class, quite uncharacteristically, is showing deference to the veil of death and flow of innocent blood that has covered the land, from the plains of the middle belt plateau to the desert hinterlands of the North East. Any keen observer that mistakes this unofficial armistice as foreshadowing a peaceful 2019 elections is naïve at best.

As someone that has had the rare privilege of formally studying elections in Nigeria since 1999 as a Civil Society observer, this writer can without equivocation state that there are clear and present dangers lurking around the corner for the 2019 elections. These threats, accentuated through the examination of the history, profiles, actions and inactions of the strategic stakeholders during elections are the focus of this week’s discourse. It is hoped that this early exposé will help prevent avoidable pitfalls that can put the polls in jeopardy.

There are usually four key stakeholders in any elections in most climes, namely: The Election Management Body, the electorate or voters, Politicians/candidates, and security personnel. Given the peculiarities of the Nigerian body polity, this writer, now includes the judiciary to these key stakeholders and will shortly unpack the reason for their inclusion in this classification.  Since Nigeria started experimenting with democratic governance, and this time series goes back to pre-independence elections, the legitimacy and integrity of Election Management Bodies have always been called into question. However, no State institution, bar the Nigerian Police, typifies the rot that Nigeria has become like the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC). The INEC was cobbled together by the departing military in 1998 to quickly conduct elections that would usher in the Fourth Republic. The Junta had their preference of outcomes for the elections which the INEC was expected to effectuate. The dissatisfaction with the successive leadership of INEC and elections conducted by them led to the overwhelming clamour for a reform of the electoral process. It was in attempting to provide some form of credibility to the INEC that former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Professor Attahiru Jega, a man renowned for his integrity, as the INEC Chairman on June 8th,2010.

Jega realized very early in his tenure that the organization he was asked to lead was reeking with the foul and offensive smell of the Nigerian system. For instance, it is an open secret among stakeholder-circles that any Nigerian politician of means has moles in the INEC that provides him/her with information aimed at compromising the organisation and its operations. Rather than adopt a reformist approach in tackling the integrity deficits and severe dysfunction of the electoral body and system, Jega chose to whitewash or mask the defects by applying deodorant to the stench in the INEC. In the conduct of elections, Jega adopted the same principle that led to his appointment, he merely brought his professor colleagues from the various universities in Nigeria, many of them serving Vice Chancellors. Academics, especially of the professorial class are mostly considered to be politically aloof and bring some integrity along with them. He also dragged Youth Corpers into the process by using them as ad-hoc staff. All these moves merely peppered over the enormous cracks in the system, but given Jega’s integrity credit, he cashed-in efficiently and got Nigerians to trust the system. By introducing the limited use of technology in the last elections, which inevitably led to the defeat of the ruling party, Jega created a myth of someone that left behind an outstanding organisation and huge shoes to be filled by his successor.

Nothing could be further away from the truth. Without disrespecting the legacies of the eminent professor, evidence suggests that the 2015 election was the worst in the history of the conduct of elections in the Fourth Republic. Beyond the usual culprits of underage voting, logistical handicaps, etc., the number of cancelled and rerun elections ordered by the tribunals in the last election is not only unprecedented but outweighs all other cancelled elections in past combined. This article, written in Awka where a court-ordered rerun election took place, three years after the 2015 elections is one of the legacies of the Jega INEC. It is within this context that the current INEC leadership, headed by another eminent professor of no mean repute, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, was appointed to superintend the 2019 elections.  Professor Yakubu, in a sharp departure from his predecessor, adopted a reformist approach to the electoral process. But this has put him at daggers drawn with the establishment and entrenched interests in the polity. It is important to recall that following the string of APC losses of elections conducted by the INEC under Yakubu, the APC’s National Chairman openly accused him of being a mole of the PDP and an enemy of the ruling party.

The reason for this is not farfetched. Behind Professor Yakubu’s smiling façade is a stubborn and uncompromising insistence on respect for rules. This demand led to a series of inconclusive elections early on in his tenure. He just refused to budge on cases of proven disregard for the Electoral Act. However, he was severely burnt and exposed to the way of politicians during the Edo governorship elections in 2016 where while announcing to the world that the INEC was ready for elections, authorities in Abuja short-circuited him with a fait accompli that led to a shift in the elections. A change instigated mainly by the ruling party which ultimately benefitted from that adjustment. The current INEC’s reformist approach has seen some attempts made at clearing the Augean stable. For the first time, the INEC is carrying out an internal cleansing of itself. Over 250 staff members of the organization indicted for various election malpractices have been handed over for prosecution by the Chairman. It is understood that more have been penciled down for the same treatment.

Again, there is now a deliberate attempt by the INEC to respect the letters of the Electoral Act as intended. The registration of new voters has now become continuous, systemic and frequent engagement with stakeholders has been put in place, a test run of electronic transmission of results has also commenced. It is also noteworthy that the Card Readers, contrary to information being bandied about are now less cumbersome. In fact, during the Anambra elections, the number of faulty Card Reader machines that could not be rectified during accreditation was less than 0.01 percent of total Card readers deployed to the field.

The reforms are yielding fruits. No tribunals have thus far overturned any elections conducted by the Yakubu led INEC. History was made recently when all the candidates in the recently concluded Anambra gubernatorial elections accepted the outcome of the elections and congratulated the winner. This has saved the nation millions of naira in potential litigation cost.

To be fair to INEC’s thousands of staff, there are indeed a quiet majority who are honest, transparent, hardworking and genuinely want the system to work.  However, the active minority who collude with politicians to perpetrate electoral fraud are so entrenched that it would take more than just prosecutions to rid the Commission of rotten eggs in the system. The ease at with which political actors compromise INEC officials suggests that there must be a surgical, methodical and meticulous reorganization of the agency to position it for efficiency. The fact that there is no time for that as the elections are already upon us is a clear and present danger to the 2019 elections. The lacunae for compromise of electoral officers occasioned by the structural defects of the agency is reflected in the audacious governor Wike leaked audio tapes. A recurrence played out in the last Anambra elections were a suspected internal compromise nearly ruined the deployment of Corpers to the field but for a contingency intervention quickly put in place by the INEC. In 2019, when elections will be simultaneously taking place all over the country, I doubt that the INEC will have the capacity to carry out a timeous and efficient intervention in the event of sabotage of its operations from within.

The Nigerian voter experienced a euphoria at the ease of voting out an incumbent president and quickly realized the power of the Voters Card or PVC. The rapid collection of PVCs has reduced the number of outstanding and uncollected PVCs from the embarrassing twelve million that it stood at shortly after the 2015 elections. As at April 2017, there are 66.5m registered voters, out of which 54.43 have collected their PVCs and 7.8m yet uncollected. The impressive collection of PVC belies the fact that there is troubling and deep-seethed apathy among voters in participating in the electoral process. This indifference played out in 2015 where only about 25 million voted in the presidential elections. However, a more potent and dangerous threat to the outcome of the elections is the emergent trend of vote selling. This pattern became brazen during the Edo elections and have now become a norm. The Anambra elections witnessed an upsurge in this practice with parties colluding with officials to foreground this bizarre practice. Why is this a threat to the 2019 elections?

Shortly before the 2015 elections, the Goodluck Jonathan administration requested for billions of dollars to purportedly combat the Boko Haram insurgency. We now know that most of those monies went into manipulating the electoral process to seek re-election for the ruling party. Unsurprisingly, the current government seems to be picking a page out of that last administration’s playbook. Nigerians are bewildered at the request for 1 billion dollars to fight a supposedly “technically defeated” Boko Haram in an election year.  A little bit of statistical Arithmetic will drive home my point and show a possible nexus between elections, security votes and the dangers ahead. Based on observed patterns of votes buying in the most recent elections, the average cost of a vote in Nigeria is about one thousand naira. The margin of defeat between Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari in the last presidential election is nearly two million five hundred thousand votes. It will take just 2.5 billion naira to purchase that number of votes. Now, the National Bureau of Statistics in its 2016 economic outlook report declared that about 66 million Nigerians were living in abject poverty or below the poverty line of less than one dollar per day.

That number is just five hundred thousand short of the number of registered voters in Nigeria and a whopping 11 million higher than the number of Nigerians that have collected their PVCs. All other factors kept constant; if all Nigerians living below poverty line were to vote in the next elections, it would cost just 66 billion naira to buy their votes. At current dollar to naira exchange, the $ 1 billion (357 billion naira) requested by the president to fight Boko Haram is enough to buy the entire registered voters in Nigeria with still a large chunk left to cater for elite gratification and engagement of “prayer warriors” which cost the last administration about 4 billion naira.

The possibilities of a hijack of the process and inducement of the voting public to go against their will in exercising their franchise by money bags from the major parties represent a clear and present danger to the outcome of the elections. However, it will be too simplistic to opine that anyone with most enormous war chest should carry the day. If we have learnt anything from patterns of vote buying, especially during the Anambra elections, it is that the size of a candidate’s wallet does not always determine the eventual decision of who to vote by voters. However, the fact that money is a factor suggests that we may be saddled with another class of ruling elites whose mandate was bought. The implications of this scenario for development and governance is scary.

Elections are serious affairs the world over and present peculiar security challenges, even in more advanced societies. The security architecture usually woven around elections in any nation is determined by the security challenges and needs of that society. Since the life of this Republic, Nigeria has been bedevilled with several security challenges that have made it near impossible to conduct elections safely in specific areas. The Niger Delta militancy proved a significant bottleneck for officials especially in the movement of materials to far-flung creeks that served as the bases of many of the militant groups. The relative peace in that area has not made elections any more comfortable as the groups have now been transformed into standing militias for electoral violence and rigging. But worryingly, the flashpoints have transcended just the Niger Delta and has engulfed virtually most parts of Nigeria.

The resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in the North East, murderous internecine clashes in Adamawa and Taraba and the North Central states of Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa, a threatening Niger Delta Avengers, a rampaging cult/gang related deadly violence in Rivers, Lagos and Bayelsa and an underground but potentially lethal IPOB all have the capacity of inciting the political class to trigger Section 26 of the Electoral Act. For those who may not know, that section grants the INEC the powers to postpone elections if in its considered opinion there may be a likely breach of the peace or the occurrence of natural disasters of such ramifications that could jeopardise the conduct of elections. If this happens, we may witness the return of that famous “doctrine of necessity” that was used to install Jonathan as the Acting President in 2010. This time, it may be deployed to elongate the tenure of the sitting president.

Again, in our clime, where politics had obvious economic allocative implications over the course of the tenure of an administration and given the winner takes all structure of our polity, elections have become what some refer to as a “do or die” affair. Given these situations, the role and importance of security personnel in elections have become all too important. I make bold to say that the greatest threat to the 2019 elections is that posed by security institutions saddled with the responsibility of providing a safe environment for the conduct of the elections. In this regard, the role of the police and other sister agencies and their hierarchies need to be critically examined. While an institution like the INEC has made conscious efforts to improve on its performance in the conduct of elections since 2015, security agencies, mainly the police have merely ignored the call for a paradigmatic shift and are continuing with business as usual, even becoming a significant threat to the 2019 elections.

The Inspector General of Police(IGP), who perhaps was rewarded for providing the security cover that ensured that the APC was not blindsided in Kano state in the 2015 elections has shown a continuing lack of competence in the handling and management of elections security. His lack of foresight almost cast a pall over the credibility of the Anambra gubernatorial elections late last year. In an irritating, insensitively embarrassing and most reprehensible display of a lack of grasp of best practices in elections security management, the IGP withdrew the security detail of the governor of the state less than 72 hours to the conduct of the elections. He was rightly overruled by a visibly embarrassed president Buhari.

The IGP was to delay the commencement of a stakeholders meeting called to address election issues by over three hours when he was apparently in Awka. The meeting had to be declared open without him by a vexed INEC chairman until he sauntered into the meeting at an advanced stage. The same IGP without due regard for the security arrangements that were put in place for the Anambra elections, and without consultations, unilaterally changed all the Divisional Police Officers that had been trained for the elections, replacing them with new and completely ignorant officers less than 48 hours to the elections. This was after assuring officials of the EMB that no such move would be undertaken. This was apparently a repeat of the Edo elections strategy which he almost bungled.

The consequences of these actions played out in the field with the security architecture put in place for the elections collapsing midway into the elections. The mitigating factor that prevented a disaster was the resolve of the Anambra people to be peaceful and to conduct themselves in a most decorous manner. An IGP that has shown serial disregard for due process cannot be trusted to provide security supervision for the 2019 elections. What is more, his integrity has been called to question by the allegations of a serving senator. This writer was present at a meeting where the Senate President stated that the IGP had come to “beg” for leniency after the Senate commenced a probe of the allegations against him. However, rather than investigate the weighty allegations against the IGP, the government filed a case against the senator, charging him for peddling “injurious falsehood” against the IGP. The government chose to throw a blind eye to the weighty allegations.

This move by the government raises intriguing posers. Is the IGP being kept around to midwife another ‘Kanoesque’ operation but this time on a much grander scale? Can a man who has so much baggage and skeletons in his cupboard be trusted to be fair to all, and to provide adequate security that will guarantee free and fair elections? A corollary to these posers would be to ask why the humongous number of personnel always touted by the police hierarchy as being deployed for elections is not reflected on the ground? Are funds for these, in my opinion, ghost deployments, being retired on paper? There are so many unanswered questions but if this IGP is left to supervise the security arrangements for the conduct of the 2019 elections, that in my opinion portends grave dangers ahead.

Another security anomaly confronting the 2019 elections is the infighting that is replete with the Buhari administration especially among the secret security agencies (this will be discussed in detail in a later article). Like many Nigerians know, there is no love lost between the Directorate of State Services(DSS) which is supposed to provide intelligence for the elections and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) that is supposed to coordinate all security agencies. This war of attrition between two security institutions whose covert operations help provide proactive intelligence for use in the planning of the security architecture for elections is a dangerous omen for the 2019 elections. Except of course the crises of confidence is deliberately left to fester for some advantage to the political class.

The political class, another critical stakeholder in elections, whether as candidates, party chieftains, godfathers, or campaign buffs are at the heart of the many process manipulations that have so far been discussed. Nothing more needs to be said about them apart from the fact that they will not change their colours in 2019 and as purveyors and apostles of the Machiavellian principles will do whatever it takes to seize and retain power. This desperation is dangerous enough to pose a threat to the elections.

Finally, the judiciary and their growing and expanding influence in elections also add to the jigsaw. The role of the Judiciary in elections is contained in the constitution and the Electoral Act and needs not be rehashed, but this writer’s interest is in the ignoble roles that a few within that arm of government is playing to derail elections and unwholesomely influence their outcome. Politicians have now mastered the act of “shopping for judgements”. We have suddenly awoken to anomalous behaviour of lower courts challenging and giving counter rulings to the rulings of courts of appellate jurisdictions. To buttress the danger inherent in this trend, we only need to recall that the Third Republic was truncated by a court injunction contrived and contracted by the infamous Arthur Nzeribe-led Association for Better Nigeria (ABN). If this example is part of our better-forgotten history, consider that INEC just conducted the Anambra Central Senatorial elections almost three years after it was meant to have taken place. That election was held to ransom by countless litigations spurred on by a complicit judiciary. It is not beyond politicians to use a corrupt few in the bench to derail the 2019 elections especially if they suspect that the will of the people at the ballot box may not go their way.

In conclusion, I want to state that this discourse intervention is by no means meant to be alarmist or aimed at conspiratorially constructing realities to suite a predetermined end, but rather an intellectual contribution to the course of better elections. Like the infallible wisdom of the sages would say, “it is better we start early in the day to chase a black goat before night falls “. The clear and present dangers of the 2019 elections highlighted herein can be averted.

Dr China Matthew Amadi, a 2016 Chevening Scholar in the Department of Government of the London School of Economics, is the Executive Director of the Centre for Transparency Advocacy.

Kayode Fayemi Barred From Holding Any Public Office For 10 Years

Former Governor of the Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi have been barred by a white paper released released by the state government from any public office in the state for 10 years.

The commissioner for Finance in the administration of Fayemi was also given the same judgment.  The duo were barred based on the report of the Ekiti Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which indicted them over alleged mismanagement of the state’s finances between October 2010 and 2014.

Fayemi who is now a Minister of Mines and Steel Development, was the governor during the stated period.

The report declared them “as unfit to hold any public office in the state.‎”

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Ekiti State Government to look into the financial transactions of the state during the administration of Fayemi, had said the former governor must refund N2.75 billion allocated from the N25 billion bond obtained by the government for the execution of contract for the construction of Ultra-Modern market in Ado Ekiti, which was never executed.

The commission of inquiry also said the contractor in respect of the furnishing of the Government House built by Fayemi’s administration should be made to refund N324.8 million, noting that the contract should not have been more than N280 million.
The panel said it found out that KITWOOD Nigeria Limited, to which the furnishing contract of over N600 million was awarded, had no traceable address and “the address on the Letter of Award is a virgin land at opposite the new Central Bank along new Iyin Road, Ado Ekiti.

The panel, set up by Governor Ayodele Fayose, was headed by Justice Silas Oyewole (rtd).
On the purchase of vehicles, the panel said “claim by Coscharis Motors that it supplied 235 and/or 250 vehicles was fraudulent and that fraught with so many contradictions.

“That Coscharis Motors supplied some vehicles outside Ekiti State especially, at Ibadan Liaison office when Ekiti State Government does not have a Liaison office in Ibadan. In respect of this, seven vehicles were supplied outside the State and signed for by unknown persons.

“That Coscharis Motors only supplied 219 vehicles to the Ekiti State Government and that 17 Joylong Buses were supplied to the Ekiti State Government as gift but later carted away.”
On the controversial N852.9 State Universal Education Board fund, the commission said it was clear that the Government of Dr. Fayemi hoodwinked the Federal Government into paying its own matching grant by obtaining N852, 936,783.12 loan from Access Bank on November 25, 2013 without perfecting documentation in respect of the loan, thereby flouting the provisions of Section 11(2) of the UBEC Act, 2004.

Osun Govt Accuses Opposition of Vandalizing Bridges

The State Government of Osun has accused the opposition of vandalizing some infrastructural projects being done by Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s admimistration in some parts of Osogbo, the state capital.

The accusation came on the heel of the vandalization of November 26 and August 9 bridges of the Osogbo-East bypass by some yet to be known vandals.

About six feet of the rod used for the expansion joint of the November 26 bridge on the Osun river was
cut away and street light armoured cables were also carted away by the vandals.

At the August 9 bridge, four cast iron which allow surface run off water on the bridge, according to the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Kazem Salami were also stolen.

Speaking at the inspection of the bridges, Salami who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, described the incident as a deliberate sabotage of the infrastructure by some ‘enemies of progress’.

Salami, who dismissed the rumour that the bridge was about to collapse maintained that the vandalized section of the bridge does not in anyway have structural defect on it, stressing that the bridges would last for 30 years before any maintenance work on them would be necessary.

He explained that the expansion joint vandalised was just to take care of the elasticity of the concrete on the bridge, stating that there is no structural defect on them.

The commissioner said: “This is November 26, bridge; some enemies of progress came about two weeks ago and removed all the armoured cable at the side of the parapet wall. They came again on the bridge and cut the binder cords that support the material for the expansion joint.

“They cut some section of the binder cord away. Concrete is a special material. It expands when there is heat and contrast when there is cold. That is why the cords are put at the expansion joint to prevent crack at the joint. But the vandals came, broke the asphalt and cut away the binder cords.

“The contractor has replaced the cords and that is why traffic is diverted for curing period.

“The enemies of progress just wanted to destroy Aregbesola’s job, and they cannot succeed. If any bridge is going to collapse, it is not any of the bridges Aregbesola constructed. The construction strength of these bridges is higher than others anywhere in Nigeria.

Commenting, Baderinwa, the commissioner for Information and Strategy said: “When you look at the kind of work being carried out as far as road construction is concerned in the state, you will appreciate the infrastructural development; only for ignoble people that would start vandalizing the projects. It is the most criminal thing for anybody to do! It is a deliberate sabotage by enemies of this government and the people of the state.

“After November 27th this year, the administration of Aregbesola will be over, but these bridges, like other projects in the state would remain for another 50 years unrepaired. If we have these kind of infrastructure and you think the only thing to do is to start sabotaging, vandalizing them, it is the most unfortunate thing. I pity those who are doing it.

“To establish the sabotaging theory, the opposition people are the ones that first broke the news that the bridge was about to collapse. They were the one that started talking about it. I am throwing it as a challenge to them, that they are the ones that wanted to sabotage the bridge, but God says it is not possible for them.

“I put it to the oppositions in the state that they are the ones that made the attempt. Going by what the commissioner for Works and Transport said, if you firebomb these bridges, they are not going to cave in, that is the reality. But they are not aware of that fact, that is why they are making petty attempts.

“We are challenging them to deny the fact that they are not the ones who first broke the news that the bridges was about to collapse. There is a Yoruba saying that a witch threatened yesterday and the child dies today; it is obvious the witch killed the child. They did it, they brought it to the notice of the public, they wanted to create crisis for the government and they wanted people to lose confidence in the projects being carried out. But unfortunately, as usual, they have failed.

2019: I Am Indeed Running But Not For Elections – Pastor Tunde Bakare

The Presiding Overseer, The Latter Rain Assembly (LRA) and Convener, Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare has said that his New Year vision is not a campaign for 2019 Presidential elections.

Bakare had shared the visions he had concerning the activities of the New Year among which is “Politics is not over for you. There is still one thing left for you to do: Run for President, I will work it out Myself and make it happen in due course.” directed to him.

This particular vision had trailed various reactions from people asking if it means the pastor would be contesting for the next Presidential election in the country.

However In his speech delivered at the Latter Rain Assembly, End-Time Church in Lagos on Sunday themed, “It is time to renegotiate our union”, Bakare revealed that he is indeed running but not for elections.

“On the first day of the year, I shared twelve prophecies regarding the nature of the year 2018 as I had received from God. However, the twelfth prophecy has become the theme of myriad speculative interpretations and enquiries. While it has brought excitement to some, it has brought anxiety to others.

“However, nowhere in that declaration did I mention running for election. It is, however, not surprising that politicians and the politically-minded have interpreted it as such.

“I am indeed running, but not for elections; it is a race of destiny and the destination is certain. The certainty of this destination is reminiscent of the statement Jesus made before Pilate.

“Some may ask, How then can it happen, if not by elections?” My simple response is that there are biblical precedents, including the stories of Joseph, David, Nehemiah and Daniel; there are also historical precedents, including the case of George Washington whose unanimous election was merely an endorsement, and Gerald Ford who, under the terms of the 25th Amendment, took the oath as Vice President on December 6, 1973, and, following the resignation of President Richard Nixon, was inaugurated as the 38th President of the United States on August 9, 1974, without a single election;

“The important point to note is that it is my destiny to shepherd this nation into her prophetic destiny, and the time is at hand. The method by which God intends to do it is up to Him; I am neither flagging off an election campaign nor building political alliances. Like David, I will continue to shepherd Gods flock and, in His time and manner, I will shepherd the nation according to the integrity of my heart and the skillfulness of my hands.”

Lamenting the current situation of the country, the Pastor urged Nigerians to become united so as to take the country to the promised land. He also urged the Federal Government to become more sensitive to the people’s needs.

“It is time for a DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION. The season for complaints and complacency is over. We must seize this opportune moment to translate our collective national disappointment into a uniquely Nigerian REBIRTH.” Bakare added.

Court Remands Husband In Prison For Battering Wife

By Nofisat Marindoti

A 47-year old housewife, Olagunju Temitayo, has dragged her husband, Hammed Abiodun aged 45, before a Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo, State of Osun capital, over alleged battering.

Prosecutor, Fagboyinbo Abiodun told the court that the accused assaulted Temitope by beating her on 13th of January, 2018 around Dada Estate area in Osogbo where she sustained varying degrees of injury.

Abiodun said the offense contravened section 355 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, volume II, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2003.

Temitayo who was also in court, showed her roughly scarred body to the Magistrate, saying that she had left her husband’s house in March last year when the battering became unbearable.

The mother of two added that the accused had come to her new house on the said day and had dragged her down from a moving motorcycle before pouncing on her.

When his charge was read to him, Abiodun pleaded guilty of the offence, saying he only wanted to beg his wife to come back home on the fateful day before he eventually had to beat her again.

In his ruling, Magistrate Mary Awodele remanded the accused in Ilesa prison custody and adjourned the case till February 6, 2018 for sentencing.

She also ordered that the accused person’s relatives appear before the court on the adjourned date.

Former Comm. For Finance, Bolorunduro Mourns Late S.A On Works, Oladepo Amuda

Condoles APC, Aregbesola, Oluwo

By Nofisat Marindoti

The Former Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning in the State of Osun, Dr. Adewale Bolorunduro has expressed grief over the demise of his former colleague in the State Executive Council, Engineer Sabitu Oladepo Amuda who died on Sunday.

Bolorunduro in a statement he personally signed and released by his media office in Ilesa, stated that “he is shocked by the sudden departure of the accomplished engineer.”

According to him, “I recall how tirelessly we worked together on ensuring that construction of roads and school buildings took off once funds were available and reminiscence on how we debated ideas and cross checked facts at State Tenders’ Board Meetings and the weekly Exco Meeting, knowing I also had my first degree in Engineering.”

Bolorunduro further noted that “the Late Oladepo Amuda was completely gentle, unassuming and never looked down on anyone even as he was always ready to take responsibilities for his actions and that of others. I am deeply shocked to hear about the loss of such an erudite brother, I will personally miss him for his sterling qualities.”

Bolorunduro thereby commiserated with the immediate and extended families of the deceased, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Rasheed Olawale Akanbi, the Oluwo-In-Council and the entire people of Iwoland over the sudden demise of the Jagunmolu of Iwo Oke even as he condoles particularly with the All Progressives Congress, Governor Rauf Aregbesola as well as the government and people of the State of Osun over the transition of the Former Special Adviser on Works and Transport.

Bolorunduro prayed that the Almighty Allah forgive the late Amuda and grant his soul eternal rest among the righteous in Al-Jannah Firdaus.