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By Jude Ndukwe

“We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force” – Ayn Rand

Col Sambo Dasuki, rtd, was recently granted bail by an Abuja Federal High Court to the tune of N200m. As stringent as that bail condition was, Dasuki has been able to meet it, and as expected in a society where the rule of law is respected, he was expected to be allowed to go home while his trial continues until the case against him is concluded one way or the other.

Unfortunately, even after meeting his bail conditions, the federal government has refused to allow him go home as ordered by courts of competent jurisdiction. More unfortunate is the fact that the man who advanced reasons why the federal government cannot obey the court rulings on Dasuki’s bail, Mr Abubakar Malami, is not only a senior lawyer by the virtue of number of years of his post-NYSC experience at the Bar, he is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, the implication being that he merited his SANship by the virtue of the many court cases, sometimes very complex and difficult ones, he won, thereby proving his legal sagacity and judicial dexterity.

However, it was not only about his brilliance which citizens now question based on his recent statements and conducts which many consider injudicious to the judiciary and also grossly injurious to the peace and order of the nation at large, that made him; it was about the fact that court orders and judgements which Malami won were complied with by governments of the past.

So it is ironical and a tragic paradox that the same judiciary that made Malami is today being maligned by him, and the government he serves and advises, with gusto.

That the federal government would continuously disobey court rulings granting Dasuki bail including even the one by the ECOWAS court of which Nigeria is a prominent member is worrisome. Six times has Dasuki been granted bail, and six times has the government deliberately refused to comply with the court rulings.

There is nothing more dangerous to the corporate existence of a nation than this: when citizens are forced to resort to self-help because they feel the judiciary can no longer give judgements that would be obeyed by parties.

In advancing reasons for federal government refusal to comply with Dasuki’s bail rulings, Malami had claimed that it was done in the public interest. Hear him: “So, you have to look at it from this perspective. If the issue about an individual coincides with that, which affects the people of a country and you are now saying the government did not obey a court order that infringes on a single person’s rights. Remember,we are talking about a person who was instrumental to the deaths of over 100,000 people. Are you saying that the rights of one person are more important than that of 100,000 who lost their lives?”

This amounts to Malami and the federal government playing investigator, arrestor, prosecutor, jury, judge and jailor all in one. It is a dangerous phenomenon if allowed to either stand or continue. The dangers are too enormous that even the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter S.N. Onnoghen, recently warned against it.

As a guest lecturer at the First University of Lagos, UNILAG, Faculty of Law public lecture, at Akoka, Lagos, the CJN who spoke on the theme: “The Rule of Law as Panacea for Peace, Security and Good Governance”, said “Any government that is against the rule of law is by implication inviting anarchy into the system”. He went further to emphasise that “A democratic government must not only obey the law but also courts’ orders”.

This was from a man who should know and who indeed knows! It is hoped that Malami and those he advises at the presidency will take heed and do the right thing in order to save the nation from this looming judicial distress that blows no one any good wind.

If Malami felt that his case against the bails granted Dasuki by the courts was strong enough, he should have made it in court and convinced the judges. It is failure on his part for not being able to convince six different judges at six different courts against granting bail to the accused who by the letter and spirit of our laws, is presumed innocent until proven guilty, no matter how strongly the Buharis and Malamis of this world feel about it.

The law is not about the opinions and feelings of men, it is about the position of the constitution which is the guiding document for all citizens irrespective of class or social status or political office. When men begin to elevate themselves over and above our laws, our constitution and the judiciary, we descend speedily into a state of anomie and ochlocracy. There is no way Malami, despite being a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, can conduct himself in a manner as one who knows it all better than Justices Ademola Adeniyi and Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja and Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf and Peter Affen of the FCT High courts; the ECOWAS Court of Justice, and lately, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu who all, in their judicial eminence, granted Dasuki bail. As stringent as these bail conditions had been, Dasuki had always perfected them only for the self-ordained omnipotent government of Muhammadu Buhari to thwart it!

It is the same with Sheikh El Zazaky, the Shiite leader, who has remained in illegal detention having been granted bail by courts of competent jurisdiction. Like Onnoghen said, the disobedience of court order, particularly as it relates to El Zakzaky, has led to several protests by the Shiites, some which led to violence between them and the police in recent times. So rather than engender peace, the continued flagrant disobedience of court orders, actually endangers peace.

While Malami has conveniently found reasons to continue the illegal detention of Dasuki, saying it was because he caused about 100,000 deaths, one wonders what the government Malami serves has done about the thousands of other Nigerians who are almost daily being wasted in an orgy of violence orchestrated by criminal gangsters operating under the global tag of Fulani herdsmen terrorists throughout regions of the federation?

While Dasuki is being illegally held for purportedly causing deaths of thousands of citizens, an allegation which the federal government is yet to prove in court, hundreds of criminal elements are allowed a free reign of terror on the people. Not even leaders of these terror groups who have on several occasions come out to claim responsibility for this carnage with boasts of even more deaths on armless and helpless citizens have been arrested or prosecuted, but Malami’s preoccupation is a Dasuki who has not killed even a single soul!

It tells a lot about a government that carries on the business of governance with vindictiveness and vengeance; a government that cannot help itself to live above the mundane and crass levels of personal ego and perceived injuries of the past; a government that must exact vengeance on citizens by all means even if it means circumventing our laws and ridiculing our judiciary.

We are indeed back to the dark ages where the rule of law is supplanted with the rule of might and brute force with reckless abandon by agents of government. As it is with the judiciary, so it is, and even worse, with our legislature whose summons, motions and resolutions have been freely flouted and ignored by the executive, thereby completing the cycle of ridicule and humiliation of our democratic institutions. Like Ayn Rand said, we are getting to that stage where citizens can only act by the permission of the executive. That stage is the darkest period of human history and history will never be kind to those who brought us there.

Not only Dasuki but also El Zakzaky, Jones Ebiri and all those in the illegal detention of the executive must be released forthwith as a pointer to the willingness of the executive that they are true democrats who are not in the habit of using state power to intimidate citizens and ridicule our institutions before the whole world. The truth is that such abuses by the executive have gone too far, but then, it is not too late to reverse the trend and cause history to be kind to them in the future.

In all, Dasuki should be allowed to go home as directed by courts of competent jurisdiction. After all, he is still a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who is presumed innocent until proven guilty and must suffer the full consequences of his actions if eventually found guilty by the courts. But for now, the multiple court rulings granting him bail must be respected or we continue in our free fall into anarchy as a nation!

      jrndukwe@yahoo.co.uk; Twitter: @stjudendukwe

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COLUMNISTS

Saraki and the Tragedy of Victory

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By Jude Ndukwe

Since the National Assembly elections ended in Kwara on March 9, and the current Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, lost at the polls, those who have lived in mortal fear of one of Nigeria’s finest Senate Presidents ever in history, have not relented in their infantile attacks against a man, who against all odds, wrestled official tyranny to the ground and eventually became one through whom God has preserved what is now our fragile democracy from being turned into a full blown dictatorship.

They have unleashed all manner of media attacks against the one popularly called “Oloye” by his fans, using pliable men who are obviously satisfied with being slaves, even though they are and should be living as freeborn, as long as crumbs fall for them from their slave master’s table.

To prove that Saraki was nothing but only a victim of his own rightful ambition, those who are bitterly persecuting him today under one concocted anti-corruption guise or the other, are merely doing so because they could not stand the audacity of his ambition to be Senate President against the overbearing wishes of the “Bullion Van Hawker of Bourdillon” and his coconspirators in the seat of power.

O, they wailed, they wept, they convulsed in extreme anger and could not believe that Saraki, (who used to be) a member of their party, who also had the legitimate right to be SP, beat them to the game as a master and battle-hardened politician that he is.

From then on, they marked him for destruction but he conquered them all to their dismay. Every trap set against him was neutralised with his soft speaking nature and deft political moves. He navigated their mines expertly, handling the affairs of the National Assembly with so much class that no weapon fashioned against him in the last four years thereabout prospered.

Despite being distracted with spurious court cases, phantom corruption allegations, none of which could be proven in court till tomorrow, official harassment, intimidation and desecration extending to the national assembly as an institution just to weaken and humiliate him, Saraki still kept the senate together, and will be stepping down in great glory as the “Senate President no one could remove”.

No matter what anybody says, the fact remains that Saraki will be leaving the senate as Senate President on his own terms.

The ignominy which his traducers tried their best to rub him in did not work. He was one Senate President who walked through the valleys of the shadow of death and feared no evil, for, indeed, God was and is obviously still with him.

He was professional in his approach to duty that not even for once did he allow his persecution by the executive negatively affect his sense of patriotism in the discharge of his duties.

When passage of budgets has been delayed, it was because the executive either padded the budget with mind boggling figures or that the ministries and MDAs were nowhere to be found to defend their estimates. Because they have a leader who is either bereft of ideas of how the legislature works or he still sees himself as a military dictator who must not be subjected to another institution as president, they expect the national assembly to just pass the budget “as is”. Saraki frustrated their plans to turn the national assembly to just another appendage of the executive arm, or, into a mere rubber stamp.

The Senate under him have enacted laws and passed Bills that have far reaching positive effects on our polity.

Saraki might not have won his last election, he is a victor anyway. No man passes through what Saraki was subjected to by members of the executive, survives and still see himself as a loser!

Sadly, the real losers are those who won elections in Kwara at Saraki’s expense but lost their soul and beholden to tyranny in the process.

With the incessant killings, rise in terrorism, hardship, continued displacement of communities by criminal bands, extra judicial killings by security forces, perpetually rising inflation, job losses in millions, Nigeria becoming the poverty capital of the world etc, to the extent that even the wife of the president had to, in order to exonerate her husband from the mess our nation has become under Buhari, confess that it was no longer her husband that was in charge but about three others, these hack writers see nothing in any of the nation’s misfortunes to address but their headache is a Saraki they love to hate because he beat them to their own game and that of their masters to become the Senate President.

This is where victory is tragic, for those who celebrate the ephemeral triumph of gross incompetence, ineptitude and the embarrassment our nation has become since 2015, by chasing shadows and leaving substance behind just because, to them, the country may collapse as long as they keep getting peanuts for attacking Saraki, it is most unfortunate and the misfortunes of a degraded nation is their lot!

As for Saraki, he has fought the good fight of faith. Yes, faith, because faith demands that we must stand up to tyranny even if just to prick the conscience of the tyrant and constantly remind him and his foot soldiers that all faiths abhor the vindictive imprisonment of citizens for their political and or religious beliefs as we currently have today. He can go home with pride knowing full well that when our nation was at its lowest ebb, post civil war era, he stood up to be counted among the few who used their status and political office to engage tyranny and dictatorship in a head on collision and left the senate unscathed. He is, by all standards, a fulfilled man, a winner!

jrndukwe@yahoo.co.uk; @stjudendukwe

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Spectrum: Tragedy of too many lives

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By Anikulapo Macmillan

Sometime, death comes like a puritanical to us when we hear the news of our beloved passage. It is painful to lose family in a bizarre. And it is a bad feeling when the shock of such an untimely death comes to us as misfortune. So, an English poet, Robert Frost, wrote vividly in his poetry: ‘’ and be one traveller/ long I stood/and looked down one as far as I could/ to where it bent in the undergrowth’’
It was an event of grief when the world mourned the ill-fated airplane victims in Ethiopia. I was perplexed about the lives of those victims. And it was later in the evening a friend dropped; what I called a parcel of sadden news on my Whatapp. When I saw what he wrote; I was devastated. It was like a joke not until I saw the news spreading like a fume on twitter. That one of our columnist cum essayist had gone too soon.
Indeed the tragic news was the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed six minute after take-off from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all aboard, who were 157 people and Prof. Pius Adesanmi was visited by death. It is saddened to the world that we don’t pay attention to death than to giving priorities to imperfectness because this particular Boeing 737 Max 8 has once crashed six month ago.
So, unfortunate, that we lost two Nigerians, we lost two Irokos; one as an academia and the other one as a diplomat. I met Prof Adesanmi at the AKE Art Book Festival in 2015. His intelligence was overwhelming. He spoke with too much tenacity. Since then I have been following his writing and wanting to read his collection of essays title: Naija no dey carry last.
Well, death has made March to become significant. It has made the month to become a symphony to T.S Eliot’s poem, the wasteland. That March is now the cruellest month, breeding death out of land like what happened in Christchurch, New Zealand when unknown gunman killed 50 Muslims in their mosques.
When I heard this particular news on Friday and I saw the footage, I thought, it was scripted like grand theft auto game. Hence, I didn’t believe at first; and later I began to see trending news on twitter. This shows that our world is molested by racial people. Those who believe that killing is the best way to live a good life are mistakenly wrong. They have forgotten that it is not humanity.
However, let me say, that any kind of incessant killings like this or the one that happens in Kaduna over the weekend needs to be addressed not only by the government but by the whole world.
It is pertinent; that by now, the perpetrators of the New Zealand massacre have not been arrested. Are we saying no CCTV cameras in those mosques? Are they not human beings or do they come with a mask? Thank God for the Nigerian Iman, Lateef Alabi who made us to believe that the news was indeed truth.
Therefore, it is probably a theory of ignorance, when the police by now can’t identify the culprits. Yet, the world is still not finding ways to stop all kind of carnage; that is also an albatross to security policies. Well, this is not the fight of New Zealand alone because those who were killed have families. And the trauma could cause fratricidal or matricidal.
Maybe what an Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci said: ‘’ to tell the truth is revolutionary’’ which means, the United Nation needs to watch out for killings like this. It is awful. That people life does not mean anything anymore.
Well, in this same part of the world, it is still disparagingly wrong, that after our general election, what we should have next is what I called: blood relative in my poetry. Kaduna has become a death trap in our society. It has become a place where we mourn of envy and religion catastrophe.
Death even came like tidal wave with a tremulous wailing from residents and onlookers when a building collapsed in, Ita Faji area of Lagos Island. School pupils are mostly victims of the collapsed building. While some die, and few that survived where at the state hospital. Hence, it is so painstaking that the Lagos government and the ministry of housing are ignorantly not performing their functions. This was horrific event as many dead bodies were recovered.
So, the federal government needs to understand that causalities like this are not expected to happen in a society like Lagos. However, those pupils now have trauma of such a malign that bestow them. And the Lagos state government responsibility is to start a policy on building because the lives of those who reside in those buildings are part of the electorate.
In this vein, such a death replenished the atmosphere in the eastern Zimbabwe, killing at least 24 people. When I saw this news, I began to wonder why these tragedies come in March. Is it that the affected nations do not control their societal values? Meanwhile, the case of cyclone, In Zimbabwe and Mozambique, is that the two countries have not properly fund their weather science appropriately.
Perhaps, death that comes in March is a tragedy to humanity. It is also a worry to country like ours that we don’t know how to control our citizens and their heritage. Because I know, if our airlines are good enough, Prof. Adesanmi would have flown ours or if our country is good enough, Iman. Lateef Alabi would have stayed back than to face the gossamer of death in New Zealand.
We need to bring the country we want together and to make conversation because it is paramount to have a good system than to have death toil every month when citizens die like prey. Apparently, I think it is time we needed to provide security for our individualism— not to witness scourge.
A nation that refuses to understand the people’s welfare is already in precipice and it is a disgrace for Nigeria to fail even though her politicians are into the epiphany of misconception and all sort of imperial modulation. Still like theme of Jack London’s short story, ‘’to build a fire’’. We need not to build a fire but we need to build a monument for our country.

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COLUMNISTS

Spectrum: Tragedy of too many lives

Published

on

 

Anikulapo Macmillan

Sometime, death comes like a puritanical to us when we hear the news of our beloved passage. It is painful to lose family in a bizarre. And it is a bad feeling when the shock of such an untimely death comes to us as misfortune.  So, an English poet, Robert Frost, wrote vividly in his poetry: ‘’ and be one traveller/ long I stood/and looked down one as far as I could/ to where it bent in the undergrowth’’

It was an event of grief when the world mourned the ill-fated airplane victims in Ethiopia. I was perplexed about the lives of those victims. And it was later in the evening a friend dropped; what I called a parcel of sadden news on my Whatapp. When I saw what he wrote; I was devastated. It was like a joke not until I saw the news spreading like a fume on twitter. That one of our columnist cum essayist had gone too soon.

Indeed the tragic news was the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed six minute after take-off from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all aboard, who were 157 people and Prof. Pius Adesanmi was visited by death. It is saddened to the world that we don’t pay attention to death than to giving priorities to imperfectness because this particular Boeing 737 Max 8 has once crashed six month ago.

So, unfortunate, that we lost two Nigerians, we lost two Irokos; one as an academia and the other one as a diplomat. I met Prof Adesanmi at the AKE Art Book Festival in 2015. His intelligence was overwhelming. He spoke with too much tenacity. Since then I have been following his writing and wanting to read his collection of essays title: Naija no dey carry last.

Well, death has made March to become significant. It has made the month to become a symphony to T.S Eliot’s poem, the wasteland. That March is now the cruellest month, breeding death out of land like what happened in Christchurch, New Zealand when unknown gunman killed 50 Muslims in their mosques.

When I heard this particular news on Friday and I saw the footage, I thought, it was scripted like grand theft auto game. Hence, I didn’t believe at first; and later I began to see trending news on twitter. This shows that our world is molested by racial people. Those who believe that killing is the best way to live a good life are mistakenly wrong. They have forgotten that it is not humanity.

However, let me say, that any kind of incessant killings like this or the one that happens in Kaduna over the weekend needs to be addressed not only by the government but by the whole world.

It is pertinent; that by now, the perpetrators of the New Zealand massacre have not been arrested. Are we saying no CCTV cameras in those mosques?  Are they not human beings or do they come with a mask?  Thank God for the Nigerian Iman, Lateef Alabi who made us to believe that the news was indeed truth.

Therefore, it is probably a theory of ignorance, when the police by now can’t identify the culprits. Yet, the world is still not finding ways to stop all kind of carnage; that is also an albatross to security policies. Well, this is not the fight of New Zealand alone because those who were killed have families. And the trauma could cause fratricidal or matricidal.

Maybe what an Italian philosopher, Antonio Gramsci said: ‘’ to tell the truth is revolutionary’’ which means, the United Nation needs to watch out for killings like this. It is awful. That people life does not mean anything anymore.

Well, in this same part of the world, it is still disparagingly wrong, that after our general election, what we should have next is what I called: blood relative in my poetry. Kaduna has become a death trap in our society. It has become a place where we mourn of envy and religion catastrophe.

Death even came like tidal wave with a tremulous wailing from residents and onlookers when a building collapsed in, Ita Faji area of Lagos Island. School pupils are mostly victims of the collapsed building. While some die, and few that survived where at the state hospital. Hence, it is so painstaking that the Lagos government and the ministry of housing are ignorantly not performing their functions. This was horrific event as many dead bodies were recovered.

So, the federal government needs to understand that causalities like this are not expected to happen in a society like Lagos. However, those pupils now have trauma of such a malign that bestow them. And the Lagos state government responsibility is to start a policy on building because the lives of those who reside in those buildings are part of the electorate.

In this vein, such a death replenished the atmosphere in the eastern Zimbabwe, killing at least 24 people. When I saw this news, I began to wonder why these tragedies come in March. Is it that the affected nations do not control their societal values? Meanwhile, the case of cyclone, In Zimbabwe and Mozambique, is that the two countries have not properly fund their weather science appropriately.

Perhaps, death that comes in March is a tragedy to humanity. It is also a worry to country like ours that we don’t know how to control our citizens and their heritage. Because I know, if our airlines are good enough, Prof. Adesanmi would have flown ours or if our country is good enough, Iman. Lateef Alabi would have stayed back than to face the gossamer of death in New Zealand.

We need to bring the country we want together and to make conversation because it is paramount to have a good system than to have death toil every month when citizens die like prey. Apparently, I think it is time we needed to provide security for our individualism— not to witness scourge.

A nation that refuses to understand the people’s welfare is already in precipice and it is a disgrace for Nigeria to fail even though her politicians are into the epiphany of misconception and all sort of imperial modulation. Still like theme of Jack London’s short story, ‘’to build a fire’’. We need not to build a fire but we need to build a monument for our country.

 

@Babatunde_Mac

+2348076926109 or +2348090917041

 

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