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Must Read: Germany Replies Buhari’s Gov’t With Indicting Letter Over Request To Prosecute Nuremberg Protesters

In a very indicting letter the German Foreign Minister replies to Nigerian government, calling it out for improvising the country and causing the mass migration of her citizens.

This letter is in response to letter from Buhari’s government requesting for the federal republic of Germany to prosecute those Nigerians who attacked former Senate deputy president, Dr Ike Ekweremadu in Nuremberg, Germany.

Below is the entire letter.

Heiko Maas
Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor
Federal Republic of Germany
Federal Foreign Office
Street address:
Werderscher Markt 1
10117 Berlin
Postal address:
Federal Foreign Office
11013 Berlin

August 20, 2019

Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari
President of Nigeria
Aso Rock,
Abuja FCT, Abuja, Nigeria.

Dear Alhaji,
Subject: Request for prosecution of Nigerian political demonstrators in Nuremberg.
I find it extremely provocative and unusually undiplomatic when a government that has created the conditions that exiled its citizens demands the same people’s prosecution by the host country for demanding justice and justice from its government officials.
Germany is a democratic country that grants asylum to refugees from all over the world. Freedom of association and the right to political protest are the right of all persons resident in Germany. I, Heiko Maas, have been doused by my voters with rotten eggs and tomatoes. It comes with the office. No protester was shot dead, imprisoned, killed or deported.
Every day, my ambassador to Nigeria, Bernhard Schlagheck informs me of the atrocities Fulani terrorist Herdsmen committed against unarmed, innocent Nigerians as part of an ethnic cleansing program and eventual rug- nization of Nigeria. These atrocities include abductions, rape, torture, mutilation, slaughter and evisceration. Obviously, the demonstrators have enough.
The German Government will respond to your request to prosecute the demonstrators who have requested their representative to do his work in Nigeria as soon as you have your Fulani terrorists detained.
If Senator Ike Ekweremadu has not slept at the workplace and performed his duties as a representative of his constituents, his constituents in Nigeria will eat Yam and not eat Yam in Germany. Yam roots do not grow in Germany. Creating a suitable environment in Nigeria would lead to a brain drain that would significantly accelerate development in Nigeria.
If my ambassador in Nigeria confirms that the Fulani terrorists have been appeased, I am glad to advise the Nigerians in Germany to politely treat Nigeria dignitaries. Political protest is not a criminal offense in Germany.

Yours sincerely,
Heiko Maas

Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of the
Federal Republic of Germany
ENGLISH TRANSLATION

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Elite Igbo Leaders Must Be Careful, More Stones Awaiting Us – Ike Ekweremadu Warns

Former Senate Deputy President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu

The former deputy Senate president, Dr Ike Ekweremadu gave a stern warning to Igbo elite leaders to take a cue from what happened to him in Nuremberg Germany or they may not live to tell their story like he did.

He warned them to stop disrespecting the youths and begin to deliver on good governance or else the season of retribution is underway.

Below are his words of warning cum confession.

“Top Igbo leaders should be very careful, more stones awaiting us, there’s a pain, there’s anger, and there’s the collective rage in the heart of youths in the Land.

Nigerians are empty of options and are seeking avenues for a purge; for catharsis. The season of retribution maybe upon us soon or later than we’ve imagined.

The physical abuse I had yesterday by some young able men cannot be overemphasized in Nuremberg, Germany, though condemnable, betokens the onset of nemesis that will consume us if care is not taken.

Whilst I was being lobotomized and assaulted, my abusers could be heard saying: “What have you done? People are dying. I managed to escaped yesterday, tomorrow maybe the turn of top Igbo leaders, they should be very careful, they might not be as lucky as I am.!”

Ekweremmadu speaks intensively and warns top igbo leaders of the danger of looking down on the youths in the land.

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Refusal To Attend Igbo Event In Spain Not Because Of Fear Of IPOB – Orji Uzor Kalu |The Republican News

Orji Uzor Kalu

Sunday Aborisade,  Abuja

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu, has said that his refusal to attend an Igbo event in Spain was not to avoid assault from members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, who may be residing in the country.

Kalu, a two-term governor of Abia State,  gave the explanation in a statement issued on Monday by his media office.

He described reports in some social media platforms that he suspended a medical trip to Germany following attacks on Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as totally untrue.

He said the report was untrue.

Ekweremadu was physically assaulted in Germany, on Saturday, by members of the IPOB.

The former Deputy Senate President was invited as a guest speaker at the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival in Nuremberg, Germany, when the assault took place.

Kalu explained that he has been in his country home, Igbere, interacting with members of his constituency since the National Assembly went on recess.

The Senator said he had held several meetings with the people of Abia North at his Camp Neya residence in Igbere.

The statement read in part, “I have been in my country home interacting with people from my constituency and settling disputes.

“The news that I suspended by planned medical check-up in Germany was not true.

“I was invited by an Igbo group in Spain to attend their function, I could not go because of the interaction with my constituents.”

He described the action of the IPOB members against Ekweremadu as uncivilised, unacceptable and barbaric.

He said the assault on the Senator was a slap on Igbo leaders regardless of party affiliation, describing Ekweremadu as a prominent Nigerian who deserves to be respected.

Kalu, therefore, urged the Igbo to respect their leaders at all levels and embrace peace, saying only then will the South-East region be prosperous and peaceful. (Punch)

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I Wholly Believe A Single Term Is Enough For President, Governors – Ekweremadu

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, on Wednesday, proposed that governors and president spend only a single term of six years in office.

Ekweremadu shared his thoughts on his social media handles, revealing that many nations across the world had adopted the single term presidency until their democracies were matured enough to transit to other options.

“In the 1970s, many Latin American democracies faced the same challenges we face in Nigeria today. As many of them transited from military and autocratic regimes to democratic regimes, they discovered that the politics of succession, including incumbents’ penchant for self-perpetuation, overheated their polities and threatened their democracies. They adopted the single term presidency until such a time their respective democracies matured and stabilised.”

He added that the proposal was shared in the national assembly, however, it wasn’t well received: “In Nigeria’s case, we proposed a single term for the President and Governors with several transitional options during the constitution amendment exercise in the 7th National Assembly.

Unfortunately, it was misunderstood by various political and sectional interests for various reasons and the proposal did not succeed.”

Sharing his stance, Ekweremadu said: “However, I strongly believe a single term of five or six years for President and Governors, even if for a stipulated period as was the case with several Latin American democracies, is something Nigerians should revisit after the 2019 general elections. This will substantially reduce the political tensions and executive excesses that come with self-succession.”

See his full statement as shared on his Facebook page:

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Saraki’s Time Is Over, Says Oshiomhole |The Republican News

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“I think Saraki’s time is over. He fails to understand that the Nigerian national projcect is not at his mercy or the mercy of his own dynasty.”

Excerpts of an address by the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE, at a press conference in Abuja last week

Basically, to respond to some of the issues raised by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the press conference he addressed two days ago. It is important we addressed some of the issues he canvassed so that the public is not misled into turning villains into heroes and twisting the facts that are really no secret to the Nigerian public. But it is important that we help the public to refresh their memories and arrive at their own individual judgement.

First, the Senate President raised the issue of the fact that he has always acted not on the basis of his own personal interest; that he has always acted on the basis of national interest. The truth is it is doubtful if the Senate President has ever acted either in the national interest or in the interest of his own political party before his defection recently.

Without going back to ancient history, suffice to start by looking at how, in the first instance, Senator Bukola Saraki became the President of the Senate. He decided, clearly against the party’s position, to enter into a deal with the opposition PDP and got a faction of the PDP and taking advantage of the provisions in the Constitution to side with him while the majority of the APC senators were having a meeting at the International Conference Centre in order to resolve the issue of leadership of the Senate and other principal officers of the Senate that is expected to be produced by the ruling party with majority senators in the Senate. Because he had put his personal interest over and above the interest of the party when he went into alliance with the PDP and he conceded the position of Deputy Senate President to the opposition in order to obtain the support of the opposition for him, Senator Saraki, to become the Senate President.

So, for the first time in our democratic history in Nigeria, we had a situation, which, whereas the APC has the majority in the Senate, the Senate went on to elect a PDP person as Deputy Senate President. This action alone portrays Senator Saraki for who he is; his personal interest comes before any other interest, including the national interest, including the interest of his political party. Having gone into this unholy alliance with the opposition and mortgaged the right of the ruling party, he proceeded to appoint opposition senators to head strategic committees whose activities can affect, either for good or for bad, the workings of the government and relationship between the government and the legislature. Senator Saraki did that in order to continue to protect himself against the wish of his party as Senate President. Again, that shows that the only thing that was always constant in the mind of Senator Saraki was how to cling on to power even if it means at the expense of his party or even of the country, and I will speak to that.

You do not need to be a political activist or a partisan politician to appreciate that, in an election year, every government around the world will do everything possible to ensure that it is seen to be working for the people of the country. So, like any other, the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians expected that it will do everything possible this year to make up for lost time in terms of budget implementation and addressing critical infrastructures without which sustainable development is impossible.

The Senate under Saraki chose instead to delay the budget up to the end of the first half of the year, to coincide with the period of the rainy season such that those aspects of infrastructure such as roads, for example, cannot really be constructed during the rainy season. These were not errors of the head on the part of Senator Saraki’s leadership. They were clearly designed to frustrate the capacity of President Buhari’s government to address the physical infrastructural deficit without which the ordinary man in the street cannot feel the impact of governance. Again, I want to plead that I am not about to reveal anything. On receipt of the budget by Mr President, after going through it, Mr President cried out that the budget that was handed over to him by the National Assembly under the leadership of the Senate President was a clear distortion of the well-thought-out budget proposal that was submitted to the National Assembly. Whereas Mr President appreciates that the National Assembly could make some alterations in the budget, he did not expect that the budget would be completely rewritten and so grossly distorted as to make far more provisions for recurrent expenditure such that there is very little left for capital projects without which the Nigerian people cannot benefit from governance. And the President said this budget would be difficult to implement. You have all heard the stories of budget padding and no budget padding, but on this occasion, I would rather not delve into those.

So, when I say that the Senate President has never put Nigeria first, I support this statement by the deliberate delay of the budget and the deliberate manipulation of provisions in the budget in a way that it would compromise the commitment of the government to address critical infrastructure. It is by now not a secret that as, Senate President, he conspired with others to try to create a sense of division within the ruling party, having failed to truncate the convention, where they assembled a couple of people who were neither delegates nor contestants for any of the offices at the convention to purport
to have formed a political party. There is nothing for me to add to the illegality of this action and the false foundation that the Senate President tried to lay. However, upon his illegal defection, which he had to do hurriedly because of the number of senators who he was playing on their fears that they would not be able to return to the Senate or that if they return they would be heading to prison if President Buhari is reflected. So, he had a situation whereby about 36 senators, who were on his list to defect, but consequent upon our election and our assumption of office, we took pre-emptive steps to reassure those senators. Many of you would not have witnessed the fact that the first meeting we had, a day after the convention, Sunday, June 24, 2018, the first person we met was Senator Bukola Saraki, to try to listen to whatever his grievances were and this I did in the company of the Vice President. At least, he was able to confess to that, when I tried to listen to negotiable or verifiable grievances. But, however, his real grievances are not negotiable. Which is about ambition, about values, and conflicting values of him as a person and the values of the APC. However, when he defected, however illegal his action was, he went to Ilorin to tell Ilorin people part of the truth, when he said, among other things, that he was leaving for two major reasons. Number one was that he alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari gave out over 200 juicy jobs without allocating some juicy jobs to him. And, he chose to speak for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, that even Dogara also was not given juicy positions. Again, I would have thought that not being a union leader, it is not for him to speak for the Speaker. The Speaker is well capable of speaking for himself. That is aside from the key issue, which was that he lamented that he was not given a share of the so-called 200 juicy positions. I asked, giving Senator Bukola Saraki, Senate President, juicy position, does that coincide with Nigeria’s public interest? Does that coincide with the interest of the people of Kwara State or the interest of the people of Senator Saraki’s senatorial district? At no time did he refer to the interest of his own constituency or the interest of Nigerians. The second reason he gave was that he was being persecuted. Again, even that, the alleged persecution of his person, not persecution of his people. Again, he never pretended that any of these actions have to do with the good people of Nigeria, they have to do with his person, to the extent that the alleged personal persecution of his person, not that of Kwara State people, or the people of his constituency or Nigerians. But, I think the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, was more explicit in corroborating Senator Saraki’s claim when he said he, as a governor, and Senator Saraki as Senate President, was being linked to armed robbery cases as part of their reason for defecting. Again, nothing to do with the Nigerian project, nothing to do with Kwara State people. However, what is the truth, as he linked the Senate President to armed robbery? Was it the Federal Government or arrested armed robbers? It was armed robbers who were arrested that alleged that the weapons with which they carried out their heinous crime, including the killing of about 35 indigenes of Kwara State, somewhere in Offa, that those weapons were procured for them. They made that allegation according to a police report, which is now known everywhere, so it is not a secret to be declassified

In support of my thesis that the Senate President has never acted with the Nigerian national interest in view, my final submission is the way in which he adjourned the Senate about two weeks ago. The Senate calendar is not a secret to the presiding officer of the Senate. The Senate calendar that was known was that the Senate was going to adjourn on a Thursday. By Tuesday morning or Monday night, Senator Saraki used his guest house, wrote out names of senators with provisions meant for signatories, for senators to decamp to the PDP from the APC. Happily, some of the senators present refused to sign. And that was what frustrated his calculation that by the time he was done, he was going to turn APC into a minority party in the Senate. For careful observers, is it a coincidence that as the Senate President was reading defections, his counterpart in the House of Representatives was also simultaneously reading the names of those who defected. So, there was a coordination for defection day. But happily, the pre-emptive steps we have taken to address those with genuine grievances frustrated their number such that from 36, he could not get more than 14 senators to decamp. This was on a Tuesday, the calendar of the Senate stated that they were going to adjourn on a Thursday. So, between Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the Senate was expected, like I confirmed from the Senate Leader, to look into the supplementary budget for INEC. What INEC requirement is not the equipment you buy from the shelf. You must order them and make allowance for the manufacturers to produce them. You don’t buy them the way you buy a pack of cigarettes from the shelf. So, time is of the essence.

However, the Senate under Saraki’s directive adjourned without considering the matter that was before it, including the budget for INEC. Now, if Senator Saraki adjourned the Senate ahead of schedule to resume towards the end of party nominations, can that act be said to coincide with the national interest? If you decide to frustrate the INEC by denying it the funding that it requires, can you be said to be a defender of democracy? If INEC doesn’t get their funds and, therefore, are unable to conduct a credible election, would that not lead to further serious consequences for our democratic process and our democratic environment?

He also made an unsubstantiated allegation to the effect that the event of last Tuesday, that it was an attempt to carry out an illegal impeachment. How can a presiding office arrive at that conclusion that there was a plan to carry out an illegal impeachment? Until an action takes place how can you determine the status? If the act of impeachment is unlawful then you can probably understand where he is coming from. But, the truth is that it is lawful to impeach anyone including the President of the Senate, including the Deputy President of the Senate if the number required to do so is present. So, he cannot preempt that. As they say, you don’t have to be a pathological liar to understand this general saying that once you start with one lie you would need series of lies to support that one lie. I don’t want to use the word lies to characterise the action or the statements of the Senate President. Let us look at the facts. From their own statement, they said they were aware that the Senate President was illegally going to be impeached and, therefore, they mobilised thugs, their journalists, cameramen and video to the Senate building. They had told the world that they had adjourned till September 25. Meanwhile, about 15 PDP senators were in the Senate and for the effect they imported hundreds of thugs that molested one or two of our members that were sighted in the premises. And, in order to expose the lie, I ask you as defenders of democracy, did you find any APC senator in the Senate? So, if APC senators were not in the Senate and it was PDP senators that were in the Senate, what is the basis of the false claim that there was an attempt to carry out an illegal impeachment?

If he does not resign as Senate President, he will be impeached according to law, not by thuggery or anything that is undemocratic. He cannot sustain a minority rule in the Senate and that is what is hurting him as we speak. They have about 48 senators, we have 53 senators. So, how can 48 senators preside over 53 senators?

Let me conclude by saying that when I say the Senate President will be impeached, he will be impeached according to the law. And, the Constitution is clear on how a presiding officer can be impeached. And, because several impeachments have taken place, both on former Senate Presidents
and former Speakers, we are not about to witness what has never happened before; we have enough precedence to all back on.

I have looked at the Nigerian Constitution. It does not say that an impeachment, once mooted is by itself illegal. Until it is done and you look at how it is done, you cannot arrive at a conclusion whether the process was lawful or unlawful. I think Saraki’s time is over. The way he has manipulated the politics of Kwara State, he fails to understand that the Nigerian national project is far more complicated and it is not at his mercy or the mercy of his own dynasty.  (The Sun)

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South-East Senators Blame Ndume For Ekweremadu’s Difficulties |RN

IkeEkweremadu

Deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu

The accusations and counter-accusations among federal lawmakers assumed another dimension, also on Monday, as the South-East caucus of the House accused Senator Ali Ndume of instigating the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s investigation of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. They warned that the entire South-East geopolitical zone would hold him responsible should any harm befall the deputy Senate President.

The group accused Ndume of interfering with the work of the EFCC by making utterances and granting interviews suggesting that the agency was treating Ekweremadu with kid gloves.

The group said, “We have closely watched events around the National Assembly, especially the ruthless attempts to emasculate the opposition and unseat the Senate leadership by all means possible.

“We have also followed the ongoing investigation by the EFCC of the allegations levelled against the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. Despite our doubts, we have maintained our calm, hoping that the law will take its natural cause to vindicate the innocent.

“However, like every responsible and patriotic Nigerian, we have every reason to worry after reading the comments by Senator Ali Ndume, claiming that the EFCC is treating Ekweremadu with kid gloves. He canvassed Ekweremadu’s detention and indictment by the agency in spite of the obvious ill health of Senator Ekweremadu.”

The South-East lawmakers alleged that Ndume’s latest comments gave him away as the one behind the July 24 blockade of the official residences of Saraki and Ekweremadu by security agencies in Abuja.

The group added, “Indeed, reading Senator Ndume’s comments clears every doubt that himself and some other All Progressives Congress senators and cabals are behind the ordeal of the Deputy Senate President and that this investigation has to do with the remorseless efforts to unseat the Senate leadership.

“It is now easier to link the hostage-taking of Senator Ekweremadu and the attempted hostage-taking of the Senate President on 24th July 2018 by agents of the State on a day both were supposed to be presiding over the Senate.

“Meanwhile, we are not restraining the EFCC from heeding Senator Ndume’s hate speech and prompting to act unprofessionally, detain Ekweremadu or act in ways inimical to his health and well-being, but we surely know those to hold responsible should anything happen to Ekweremadu.”

When contacted, Ndume said he would address journalists on Tuesday where the allegations would be responded to.

“I will respond officially tomorrow. I will not preempt my response now, I will address the press tomorrow on these endless allegations,” he said. (The Sun)

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22 Houses: Ekweremadu’s Not Entitled To Be Heard In Forfeiture Suit, FG Tells Court

Ike-Ekweremadu1
                  Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu

 

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Federal Government has urged the Federal High Court in Abuja not to hear the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in respect of the ex parte motion seeking an order for the interim forfeiture of his 22 houses.

The 22 houses are said to be subject to an ongoing investigation by the Okoi Obono-Obla-led Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.

The panel had said it was investigating Ekweremadu for breach of the code of conduct for public officers by failing to declare the houses to the Code of Conduct Bureau as part of his assets.

The SPIPRPP had on March 21, 2018, filed, on behalf of the Federal Government, an ex parte motion seeking an interim forfeiture of the 22 houses located in Nigeria and three other foreign countries pending the conclusion of the investigation of the Deputy Senate President.

But Ekweremadu, through his lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), had on March 26, 2018, filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the Federal Government’s motion and praying for an order declaring the SPIPRPP which initiated it as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

Since the motion filed by the Federal Government was “ex parte” and not “on notice”, Ekweremadu was not entitled to respond to it as of right.

He had to file a separate motion seeking the leave of the court to be allowed to air his objection to the motion.

The case was mentioned before Justice Binta Nyako for the first time on Tuesday.
During the proceedings, Mr Bala Dakum, who represented Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), the Federal Government’s lead counsel, said he had filed an objection to Ekweremadu’s motion seeking leave to be heard.

While Ekweremadu’s lawyer, Awomolo, argued that their motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction should be heard and determined ahead of other applications pending before the court, Dakum maintained that the court ought to first resolve whether or not to grant leave to be heard to the Deputy Senate President.   (Punch)

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Quit With ‘Unwarranted Inquisition’ Into Ekweremadu’s Life, Ohanaeze Tells FG |RN

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the pan-Igbo socio-cultural group, has asked the Federal Government to stop carrying out “unwarranted inquisition” into the life of Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu.

Speaking in Enugu yesterday, President of the group, Nnia Nwodo, said Ohaneze Ndigbo will resist any attempt to discredit Ekweremadu.

He said the allegation that deputy senate president, the highest ranking Igbo politician in the country, embezzled public funds without any prima facie case was inappropriate.

He said as a revered Igbo son, Ekweremadu had attracted a lot of developments to the Southeastern region without any previous accusation of embezzlement.

“Senator Ekweremadu is a revered Igbo son, whose public image is very high. He has attracted a lot of development to his area. He has never occupied any public office and accused of embezzlement.

“The idea of asking the senator to defend himself, instead of his accusers showing how he fraudulently enriched himself, amounts to turning the law upside down,” he said.

Nwodo queried the system of investigation where one is tried for “simply belonging to a political party while another is exonerated of an offence he committed for belonging to a political party or being in government.”

He alleged that a former governor of Enugu State, whose property was under investigation is now dining with the president after dumping his former party for the ruling party.

Nwodo warned that the apex Igbo group will no longer fold its arms while Igbo sons are being “systematically singled out for persecution in a country they have contributed so much to build”.

The federal government is about to charge Ekweremadu before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false asset declaration.

It has also commenced the process of confiscating some of the lawmaker’s property abroad.  (The Sun)

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This Too Shall Pass: Ike Ekweremadu Writes About Smear Campaign Against Him |RN

 

IkeEkweremadu2

Deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu

 

By Dr Ike Ekweremadu

There has been a sustained smear campaign against my person by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, using Sahara Reporters, and other unsuspecting media outfits in the past few weeks.

I would have continued to ignore them, but for the concern of my well-wishers. Therefore, the public may wish to know as follows:

In July 2016, former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Hon. Justice Innocent Umezulike, in his capacity as the Chief Judge of Enugu State at the time, together with his lawyer, and Barrister Tagbo Ike, in connivance with some politicians, broke into the Probate Registry, Enugu, took away my will and left behind a photocopy.

They copied the properties listed in the will and added many imaginary properties and started churning out baseless petitions to government agencies and officials.

In their petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, for instance, they claimed, in a demonstration of gross ignorance, that I was given money by the Federal Government to develop the South East geopolitical zone, but that I used it to purchase 32 properties.

They sent similar petitions to Mr President, the Vice President, Senate President, Attorney-General of the Federation, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Code of Conduct Bureau, Director-General of the Department of State Security, Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Police (Enugu), among others.

I do not intend to respond, for now, to the smear campaign related to the 2019 election, which is spearheaded by Okoi Obono-Obla, using Sahara Reporters. I will speak more on this subject at the appropriate time.

For now, let me state that Justice Innocent Umezulike has since been dismissed from service by the National Judicial Council and is facing trial in different courts. God is also on top of the matter in several other ways in the life of Justice Umezulike.

It suffices to add that with what is unfolding now, the current smear campaign championed by Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, is helping to expose those, who acted with Justice Umezulike, to steal my will. They have been peddling this so-called ‘discovery’ since July 2016.

Umezulike has also, in several other petitions, attacked my family and me. He also, at some point, accused me of killing several people, which the office of the Inspector-General of Police investigated; and probably, he will soon face appropriate charges bordering on false information.

Let me, therefore, call on all those, who are concerned about this smear campaign, not to worry. This too shall pass. History will vindicate the just and the wicked will never go unpunished.

You can follow me on social media on my handles

Twitter: @iamekweremadu

Instagram: @iamekweremadu

Facebook: @iamekweremadu

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Ekweremadu: Seven Years After, Nigerian Elite Heed His Lone Voice On State Police

Ismail Omipidan

Hwas not the one who began the campaign for the establishment of a state police in Nigeria. But since 2011, Deputy President of the senate, Ike Ekweremadu has been consistent in his campaign for what he now refers to as decentralised policing system in Nigeria.

Since then, he kept the debate in the front burner. He seizes every occasion offered him to canvass strongly for the enthronement of a decentralised policing system in Nigeria, insisting that Nigeria was the only country claiming to be running a federal system, but maintaining a unitary policing system.

As recent as last month while speaking at the Parliament of the United Kingdom (UK), where he was a keynote speaker of a lecture “African Politics: The Dynamics and Lessons,” hosted by Keith Vaz, member of Parliament and National Executive Committee of the Labour Party of the UK, as well as the Enugu State Diaspora, UK and Ireland, Ekweremadu, did not fail to impress it on his audience that Africa “must enthrone modern policing that is swift, active, and reliable. This will not only secure lives and property, but also will secure the confidence of investors and our nascent democracies.”

But it was at a gathering in 2013, that he had the opportunity to for the first time lay bare his own idea of a decentralised policing system.

On the occasion, Nigerians and other foreigners, drawn largely from the academic and diplomatic communities, gathered at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, auditorium, for the annual lecture of the university.

He spoke to the topic “Policing and National Security in Nigeria: The Choices before Us.” Ironically, apart from the police orderlies and other plain clothes security operatives, the police authority was not represented at the gathering.

And just barely 24 hours after the lecture, where Ekweremadu, brought to the fore the challenges of unresolved murder cases in Nigeria, listing at least 56 of such cases at the time, the Kwara State Police Commissioner and a native of Enugu State, Mr. Felix Asadu, was murdered in Enugu State.

And unless the police is ready to employ the services of native doctors, babalawos and marabouts to unravel the identities of the killers, as suggested by one of the discussants at the lecture, instead of employing the services of the Scotland Yard Police, Asadu’s death, may no doubt join the long list of unresolved murder/assassination cases in Nigeria.

According to Ekweremadu, one of the reasons it has increasingly become difficult to resolve some of these murder/assassination cases was because most times, the policemen sent to some of these states, have little or no knowledge about the environment and the people, as against a state/community policing system, where those who make up the police team are drawn from the immediate locality, as such, they not only know the criminals in their midst, but are better placed to checkmate the activities of the criminals in their midst.

At the gathering, he made it clear that his presentation and comments are his personal views and not that of the senate or its committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution, which he heads, till date.

Like an academic, he began his presentation with an overview of what role a state (country) need to play in the lives of its citizens. According to him, it was the Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, who said that “the state exists for the sake of life, and continues for the sake of the best life.”

He went further to say that even the constitution of the United States of America “succinctly captures the essence of government, when it says: ‘we the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.’ From this preamble, certain fundamental goals for the existence of government can be deciphered,” he added.

He listed some of the goals to include the facilitation of a more perfect union, establishment of justice, ensuring domestic tranquillity, provision of common defence, promotion of the general welfare and securing the blessings of liberty, adding however that “without prejudice to the rest of the goals, it appears clearly that security of lives and property is not only intrinsic in all goals, but all of them are indeed dependent on it.

“The 1999 constitution of Nigeria underscores this when it declares that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.’ However, whereas it is the primary responsibility of government to ensure the security of lives and property of its citizens, let me clarify that, I do not think that security is like a good which the State (Country) delivers to its citizens without the citizens’ inputs. A security system therefore entails all that the state (country) and citizens do from individual to institutional level to ensure the security of lives and property.”

Tracing the evolution of the Nigerian Police, from the 19th century to date, Ekweremadu submitted that until the fall of the First Republic, Nigeria operated a decentralised policing system.

He was however quick to add that, though it was the General Yakubu Gowon’s administration that first abolished the decentralised policing system in Nigeria, it was first “entrenched in a democratic system of government by Section 194 (1) of the 1979 constitution and sustained by the 1999 constitution.”

He went further to say that in spite of the general feelings among Nigerians that the country seemed to have enjoyed some respite in violent crimes, in the last half of 2012, than in previous years, the picture was still “very worrisome,” adding that the concern forced him to carry out a content analysis of three national newspapers: The Sun, The Nation and Daily Trust, of violent crimes in Nigeria, from July 1, to December 31, 2012.

“In the period under review, there were about 486 violent crimes, ranging from terrorism to violent robberies as reported by The Nation, Daily Trust and The Sun newspapers. Given a marginal error of between five and ten percent, the figure includes robbery, rape, kidnapping and assassinations that took place within the same period. These figures were carefully selected from the three newspapers, while effort was made to ensure that follow-up activities that did not involve any form of violence were omitted. Care was also taken to ensure that in making the selections, similar stories reported by more than one of the three newspaper was not included to avoid duplication. These activities, especially bombings and other terror activities appeared higher between October and November. In all, cases of rape and assassinations were the lowest crimes in number within the period under review. The figures show that Nigeria continues to live in the throes of violent crimes, especially, terrorism, robbery, and kidnapping,” Ekweremadu said.

He was however quick to add that “since its incursion into our national life, terrorism as championed by the Boko Haram in particular remains Nigeria’s Public Enemy No 1. It is a multi-headed monster that has exposed our security failings. This is demonstrated by the table below highlighting some terrorist acts as it affect various sections of the society.”

While listing at least 23 of such terrorist attacks, from 2009 to 2013 at the time, the deputy president of the senate said that the worrisome aspect of the trend is that “the police and other security agencies who are supposed to protect the citizens have been the target and at the receiving end of these merciless attacks. As the preceding table shows, not only have so many police stations been attacked and police personnel killed by the nefarious activities of the sect, even the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force have been brutally attacked in a brazen display of defiance.”

He said further that although the national assembly has appropriated unprecedented amount of money to the security sector, which led to some successes that were recorded in the fight against terrorism, such as the arrest of some high profile members of the sect, Nigerians, he noted appear not convinced that the federal government at the time, especially the police have lived up to its many promises of being “on top of the situation,” adding that “when the hunter becomes the hunted, then there is obviously fire on the mountain.”

To this end, he further argued that the current centralised policing system being operated in Nigeria is one of the major factors that have been blamed for the insecurity in Nigeria.

While highlighting some of the factors for and against decentralised policing system in Nigeria, with examples drawn from other foreign countries to buttress his points, Ekweremadu said “I think the strongest arguments or fear among the opponents of a decentralised police system is the likelihood of abuse by interests, notably the state governors. The problem with this paranoid disposition, however, is that it looks at the state police as the property of the elites, especially the governors rather than as an institution of state. As such, it still sees Nigeria from the prisms of the colonial era and early years of independence, thus failing to take cognisance of the transformations that have taken place in terms of awareness and laws over the years.”

He further noted that the other pertinent question to ask was whether the solely federal police have not also been grossly abused by the high and mighty. He said “I do not think Nigerians, especially Anambra people will forget in a hurry the attempted coup here in Awka in 2003. A top brass of the police physically supervised the abduction of an incumbent state governor and purported chief security officer of a federating unit from office. This, to me is the height of abuse of the police force. My answer to this would therefore be that if the governors are likely to abuse the state police, then make provisions in law that will make it impossible for them to do so. Make stringent provisions in law that can mete out sanctions where such abuses occur.”

On the argument that states in Nigeria would not be able to fund decentralised policing system, Ekweremadu again said “Whereas some states are financially constrained due to our highly entrenched culture of ‘feeding bottle federalism,’ this argument is perceived to be incongruent with the constitutional provision that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. So, a state government that allocates security votes running into hundreds of millions to a governor on a monthly basis, but claims to lack the financial capacity to fund the primary purpose of government must be a strange one.

“Instructively, our states spend heavily on funding the Nigeria police through logistical supports like patrol vans, etc. So, many states are already funding various types of state police under various guises. They include vigilantes which are very popular here in Anambra. We have the Hisbah in Kano and in many other states, just as we have various forms of state-funded security/vigilante outfits across the nation. We have also had the Bakassi Boys in most states of the south-east which were not regulated by law. Importantly, a state that is too poor to fund the protection of the lives and property of its residents cannot be compelled to own a state police force.”

What to do about the constitution?

If and when Nigeria’s government decides to buy into his dream and vision of a decentralised policing system, especially because according to him, state police has not only been justified, it has become imperative, Ekweremadu suggested laws and policies provisions that would allay the fears of the antagonists of a decentralised policing system.

Some of these laws and policies provisions include but not limited to: amending the Section 214 and 215 of the constitution that empowers the federal to exclusively control the police force, removing of police from item 45 of part 1 of the second schedule to allow states to establish state police Service under approved guidelines, giving the national assembly power to provide the framework for the establishment, structure and powers of the state police, the powers of state governors should be limited to making policing policies and should not extend to the operational use and control of the police-just like the National Judicial Council-NJC, and that the Federal Police Service should exercise a level of oversight over the activities of state police among others.

He concluded his presentation by saying “the choices before us are clear. One is to continue doing things the old way and continue to get the old result. The other is to embrace a change by facing the realities on ground and by borrowing a leaf from other vast and pluralistic federal states that have nevertheless been able to secure their territories. While the choice is ours, let us never forget that the choice we make today will shape our future.”

The discussants

Among the distinguished personalities that discussed Ekweremadu’s paper were Mr. Brian Browne, former Consular, US Embassy, Nigeria; Professor Cyprian Okonkwo, Commissioner, Nigeria Law Reforms Commission, Abuja; Prof. Nuhu Yakubu, former Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja and at the time vice chancellor, Sokoto State University, Sokoto, Professor OBC Nwoliseh, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ibadan and Mr. Simon Kolawole, former Editor, Thisday Newspapers.

Instructively, the host governor at the time, Mr. Peter Obi who was physically present at the event, also made his own contributions to the discourse, where he said among other things that once the country’s kind of federalism undergoes restructuring, and is made to conform with values and attributes of federalism, the world over, funding a decentralised policing system in Nigeria, would not be a problem.

Interestingly, only Professor Okonkwo was opposed to the establishment of a state police. But even at that he canvassed support for community policing, while making his intervention, a thing that forced Professor Nwoliseh, to conclude that were it to be a debate, he would have said that Okonkwo argued on the side of those of them canvassing support for the establishment of a state police.

Nwoliseh, also suggested that native doctors, Babalawos and Marabout should be co-opted into the country’s security intelligence, code-named Strategic Spiritual Intelligence (SSI), to help resolve the numerous unresolved murder cases in Nigeria. This is even as he called on the federal government, to restructure the National Planning Commission, and give it the mandate to create 2,000 jobs annually for the army of unemployed youths in the Nigeria, insisting that that was the only way any investment in the security sector could be meaningful, adding that provision of infrastructure like roads, must form major components of security in the country.

The new song on state police

The unwieldy nature of Nigeria’s brand of federalism has always been a subject of debate. But Ekweremadu, since becoming a senator in 2003 has left no one in doubt as to where he stands on Fiscal federalism, just as his views on decentralised policing system, which some want to refer to as state police, is unmistaken. He had apart from calling for the diversification of the country’s economy in the past, also canvassed strongly that the current 36 states system the country runs, was not viable.

 However, each time he made the call, he was usually condemned or ignored, only for those condemning him to later return to his prescription of problem solving, at a later date. For instance, virtually all those who condemned him in the past, including a former Kano State governor, for calling for a decentralised policing system are today making case for it. The Neighbourhood Watch, launched in March 2017 by the Lagos State government, is a major component of decentralised policing system, as espoused in the past by Ekweremadu at several public fora, including in his latest book, “Who Will Love My Country.”

 It was therefore not surprising when last week the federal government threw its back behind the agitation for the establishment of a state place, saying it was clearly the way to go in the face of multifaceted security challenges confronting the country.

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, gave the hint at a summit on national security organised by the senate in Abuja.

According to him the nature of the country’s security challenges are complex and known, adding that “securing Nigeria’s over 900,000sq km and its 180 million people requires far more men and material than we have at the moment. It also requires a continuous reengineering of our security architecture and strategy. This has to be a dynamic process.

“For a country of our size to meet the one policeman to 400 persons prescribed by the United Nations would require triple our current police force; far more funding of the police force and far more funding of our military and other security agencies.

“We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. State police and other community policing methods are clearly the way to go.”  (The Sun)

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