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OPINION

Imo: Evaluating the justice of the supreme court judgement in Hope Uzodinma, Emeka Ihedioha case, By Honesty Eguridu, Esq

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Honesty Eguridu

It is perhaps the most celebrated case of the decade and this is not surprising because of the politics of calumny by the Nigerian political class, the blame game by the two major political parties and politicizing of the issues leading to the removal of the former CJN and the appointment of the current CJN.

The social media community and the common man in the street jumped into the fray and everyone became a legal commentator berating the Supreme Court for perverting justice in favour of the ruling political party!

The views of political actors and their sympathizers notwithstanding, the decision of the Supreme Court in the instant case as usual is very sound and unassailable. My opinion on the soundness of the Supreme Court decision is not borne out of the age long maxim that “the Supreme Court is not final because it is infallible; it is infallible because it is final”.

The Supreme Court based its decision on the elementary principle of law that the court and the parties are bound by the issues joined in their pleadings.

Put in a lay man’s language, the court is bound to decide on the cases submitted to it by both parties. Senator Hope Uzodinma was the flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the March 8, 2019 governorship election in Imo State. RT. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was declared the winner of the election while Senator Hope Uzodinma took 4th position in the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Sen. Hope Uzodinma and the APC filed a petition at the Governorship Election Tribunal against the result of the election. Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the PDP and INEC were made 1st Respondent, 2nd Respondent and 3rd Respondent respectively to the petition.

The crux of Sen. Uzodinma’s petition was that in the course of collation of results in the Ward, Local Government and State levels INEC incorrectly stated the votes of Rt. Hon. Ihedioha and reduced the votes of Sen. Uzodinma by unlawfully excluding the results from 388 polling units where Sen. Uzodinma scored overwhelmingly majority of the votes cast.

Sen. Uzodinma also stated before the Electoral Tribunal that when the votes from the excluded units are added to the votes of Sen. Uzodinma and Rt. Hon. Ihedioha , Sen. Uzodinma will score 310,153 while Rt. Hon. Ihedioha will score 260,162
Expectedly, Rt. Hon. Ihedioha denied the allegation of exclusion of results made by Sen. Uzodinma and alleged in his pleadings before the tribunal that Sen. Uzodinma has embarked on a scheme to introduce false result sheets into the result of the election.

INEC on its part also denied the allegation made by Sen. Uzodinma and asserted that the results relied upon by Sen. Uzodinma are false. They pleaded that they will tender the genuine results in the course of the trial. In other words INEC never denied that elections did not hold in the 388 polling units.

And as noted by the Supreme Court, this is very crucial! Now after pleadings (which is the preliminary stage of exchanging papers by the parties), it was time to call witnesses to prove the allegations or otherwise averred in their respective pleadings. Sen. Uzodinma called 54 witnesses and tendered Form EC8A – E series which include the statement of results from the 388 polling units and ward collated results.

Rt. Hon. Ihedioha on the other hand called just four witnesses and tendered certified true copies of the Form EC8 series showing the results with which INEC declared him winner of the election. PDP called one witness and INEC did not call any witness nor tender any document!

Recall that Ihedioha and PDP alleged in their pleadings that Sen. Uzodinma forged the results of the 388 polling units. By making this criminal allegation, the law requires them to prove the allegation beyond reasonable doubt, as required in criminal prosecution, but they failed in this duty. As the Supreme Court noted, they never called any iota of evidence to prove this allegation!

INEC on the other hand never called any evidence or tender any document to show that what Uzodinma tendered was fake. In other words, Uzodinma’s evidence on the 388 polling units was uncontroverted! And when evidence is uncontroverted a court of law is bound to act on it!

The question Nigerians should be asking is why did INEC’s legal team not call some of the presiding officers posted to the 388 polling units to testify that the result tendered by Sen. Uzodinma was fake and what stops them from tendering the genuine results as averred in their pleadings?

Nigerians should also ask the legal team of Rt. Hon. Ihedioha why they failed to call their polling agents in most of the 388 polling units to assert that there were no votes in those units or that the results were cancelled whichever be the case!

The Supreme Court clearly acted on the evidence before it! It is obvious the legal team of Rt. Hon. Ihedioha probably did not consider the petition of Sen. Uzodinma to be of a serious threat for obvious reasons.

Sen. Uzodinma was declared a distant fourth position in the election and in the electoral history of Nigeria a candidate with such a low score has never successfully challenged the result of an election let alone declared a winner to displace the number one candidate. But this is a big lesson for all lawyers and litigants never to consider any case as infinitesimal.

Many commentators have criticized the judgment of the Supreme Court for ascribing any probative value to the results of the 388 polling units tendered by a police officer instead of an INEC staff. Rt. Hon. Ihedioha’s legal team obviously based the strength of their defence on the lack of probative value of these result sheets because they were not tendered by an INEC official.

A Deputy Commissioner of police was called by Sen. Uzodinma on the basis of a subpoena duces tecum et testificandum to testify as PW54.

The result sheets of the 388 polling units were tendered in evidence through the police officer. Paragraph 22(c) (i) – (vi) of INEC Guidelines for 2019 General Elections clearly states the steps a presiding officer shall take after the result of a polling unit has been collated thus:
(c) The Presiding officer shall then:
(i) sign, date and stamp the appropriate EC8A forms;
(ii) announce loudly the votes scored by each political party;
(iii) request the candidates or their polling agents where available
at the Polling Unit to countersign;
(iv) refusal of any candidate or polling agent to countersign the appropriate form EC 8(A) series shall not invalidate the result of the Polling Unit;
(v) keep the originals of EC8 series and the first pink copies for the Commission;
(vi) give to the polling agents and the Police, a duplicate copy each of the completed forms

The above provision of the INEC Guidelines for the 2019 Elections clearly makes the case built by the legal team of Rt. Hon Ihedioha to fall like a pack of cards. They have argued that the results tendered were not certified trues copies and that the police officer is not the right person to tender them. These arguments are not tenable in law because the results, as can be seen from the provision of paragraph 2 2(c)(iv) above, are duplicate copies of the originals which require no certification and the police authority is empowered by law to be in custody of the results.

The decision of the Supreme Court also pointed out that this is not the first time the Court is relying on the copies of results in the custody of police officers to decide the validity of election results in Nigeria. The court cited the case of Nnadi Vs Ezike (1999) 10 NWLR (Pt. 622) 228 at 238. The tendering of the results through the police officer was to show that the scores recorded therein were excluded from the forms EC8B (ward collation results). It must also be reiterated that the police officer was summoned by the Election Tribunal to produce and tender the documents!

Lastly I must point out that Paragraph 12(2) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) places a burden of proof on the Respondent to an election petition of this nature. It states that “…. the respondent in his reply shall set out the facts and figures clearly and distinctly disproving the claim of the petitioners”.

And again the legal team of Rt. Hon. Ihedioha failed to discharge that burden of proof. According to them, Sen. Uzodima took 4th position so they don’t have to comply with that provision of the Electoral Act.

Once again the Supreme Court has shown by this landmark decision that it is indeed the last hope of the common man. What Nigerians and those having one interest or the other regarding this judgment should note is that the jurisprudence of justice dictates that there are three viewpoints of justice; justice from the viewpoint of the claimant, justice from the viewpoint of the defendant and justice from the viewpoint of the court.

But in all these viewpoints the substantive justice is the justice from the viewpoint of the objective man who is unbiased and having no emotional or sentimental attachment to the case. That justice from the viewpoint of the objective man is what the court is enjoined to dispense at all times and that is the kind of justice the Supreme Court has dispensed in this case.

It is obvious that most people berating the Supreme Court for this judgment are doing so without the right information. This article is intended to educate and correct the perspective of those with objective mindset.

Honesty Eguridu is a Legal Practitioner based in Lagos. He can be reached via his email address: honestyeguridu@yahoo.com

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OPINION

Idumuje-Ugboko: In a time of misinformation, facts correct! By Prince Walters Eziashi

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Idumuje-Ugboko: In a time of misinformation, facts correct! By Prince Walters Eziashi
Ned Nwoko with leaders of Idumuje-Ugboko

It has become important that I let the world know the exact events in Idumuje-Ugboko, from 2015 to date, particularly due to the falsehoods the public had been fed with in the last few days through the social media particularly Facebook.

These falsehoods are the handiwork of certain individuals being recruited to smear the name of an illustrious son of Idumuje-Ugboko, Prince Ned Nwoko. The townsmen know that God has continued to use Ned Nwoko to put smiles on the faces of both the indigenes of Idumuje-Ugboko and mankind in general.

 

INTRODUCTION

Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom, in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, was founded by Nwoko and others who migrated from Idumuje-Uno. A chieftaincy tussle that erupted in the 18th Century AD brought about the migration. The kingdom shares borders with other villages, which are Ekpon, Ewohimi and Ohordua communities of Edo State in the north; Igbodo and Ummunede Communities, both located in Ika North-East L.G.A, in the west. On its south, the kingdom borders Onicha-Ugbo Community, in Aniocha North L.G.A, while sharing boundaries with Idumuje-Uno and Ugbodu communities in the east, both of which are in Aniocha North L.G.A, all in Delta State. Idumuje-Ugboko is made up of four (4) federating villages, namely Ogbe-Obi. Ogbe-Ofu, Atuma, and Onicha-Ukwu.

As regards its traditional institution, Idumuje-Ugboko is headed by a king, who is to supported by four traditional chiefs. These chiefs are Iyase-Onowu, from Atuma; Odogwu-Abi and Ozah-Okita, from Ogbe-Ofu; Isama-Akwe, from Ogbe-Obi, and Uwolo-Agba, from Onicha-Ukwu. Each of them representing the four villages earlier mentioned. Aside the chiefs, the king, in consultation with the royal family, may elect deserving individuals within or outside the kingdom to be part of his governing council.

The role of these principal chiefs are as follow: the Iyase is the traditional prime minister. He is also the mouthpiece of the Kingdom and head over the other chiefs. In this wise, the Iyase is the king’s second-in-command. On his part, the Odogwu is the traditional defense minister. The others, being Ozah, Isama, and Uwolo, hold their designated titles till their deaths, except they are found wanting and removed from their positions. And where they are accused of any misdeed, the chiefs are given a fair hearing to make a defence. Equally, Omu is regarded as the spiritual head of the all women in the town and she is usually addressed as Her Royal Highness. The holder of Omu traditional title is nominated by the people of Ogbe-Ofu subject to the approval of the king (obi). Aside this, the Omu has control over markets and resolves disputes among women in the town. The distribution of roles among the traditional title holders is to ensure smooth administration of the kingdom. More so, the town’s traditional institution has other coordinating structures and responsibilities assigned to them. One is the Onotu, (in charge of land and other related matters). Members of the Onotu include Iyase Odogwu, Ozah, Isama, Uwolo, and others who are nominated by chiefs and the Obi. Another is Dibie, which is headed by Eze-Dibie and saddled with the role of handling spiritual matters in the kingdom. The other is Ikpala, a group of red cap chiefs occupying privilege positions and being exempted from communal works. Also is the Development Union, which oversees developmental efforts in the community. The head of the union is addressed as President-General and has other members, who form the National Executive Committee. The union has branches anywhere indigenes of the kingdom reside around the world. These branches are headed by Branch Presidents. In addition, the town has a Land Allocation Committee, which is headed by the Iyase (traditional Prime Minister). He is assisted by other principal chiefs and representatives of the four federating villages. The committee allocates community land to anyone or corporate organisation that applies to build any structure for developmental purposes and upon verification of such application. The categories of projects allowed for this purpose include schools, factories, recreational facilities, hospitals.

As regards decision-making, the highest policy-making organ of the town is the Town General Assembly, otherwise known as Izu-Ani. This organ comprises the Obi, the five principal Chiefs, other chiefs, members and representatives of the four federating villages. While participation in the meetings of the assembly is open to everyone, only representatives of the federating villages are allowed to vote anytime a decision is to be taken. Furthermore, ad-hoc committees are set up for specific purposes, if the considered necessary. Also, the modus operandi within individual federating units is to appoint a head, known as Diokpa. He has the power to summon village meetings, after consulting with major chiefs from the village and also with the heads of Idumus (Quarters), known as Diokpala-Eboh.

In spite of its democratic structures, Idumuje-Ugboko has one king, whose heir apparent must not be seen nor heard while reign of his father-king lasts.

 

BACKGROUND

The people of Idumuje-Ugboko Kingdom, from 2015 till date, are in the tight grip of those claiming to be above the laws of the land and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. On 16th March, 2015, Hon. (Prince) Ned Nwoko through his company, Linas International Limited, applied to HRM Obi Albert O. Nwoko III, JP; (MON) for 90 hectares of land for the establishment of gulf course/university. He had earlier been granted 33 hectares for diary farm, thus the fresh application was aimed at extending the initial parcel of land granted him in 1999/20000. Aside the dairy farm, the parcel of land was also meant to host an international golf course and a sports university to be known as Stars University. Following, the king convened a meeting of the Obi-In-Council (hereinafter referred to as the Council) to discuss the request by Linas International Limited. This meeting held early April of 2015 and it was resolved that a meeting of the four federating villages, known as Izu-Ani, meet to take a decision. The meeting held with attendance of the traditional principal chiefs and Prof. Somayina Gabriel Nwoko OON, the Izu-Ani secretary. Also, the meeting was attended by the leadership of the kingdom’s development union, led by the then President-General (Late Mr. Bennet Odor). The project was lauded and other decisions taken are as follow:

  1. The application should be approved and a letter of approval be written by the king to Linas International Limited
  2. That rather than sell the land to Linas International Limited, the Kingdom should go into partnership with the company.
  3. That the land to be allocated should be mapped out from the kingdom development land and that the tenant-farmers on the land should be compensated.
  4. That an Enlarged Land Allocation Committee to be headed by the Iyese, be set up comprising representatives of the four federating villages and development union.
  5. The only terms of reference of the committee which will be headed by the Iyese was to workout modalities for the implementation of the decisions of the kingdom, locate/communicate the location of the piece/parcel of land and raise a memorandum of understanding between Linas Int’l on the one part and Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom on the other part. The role of Iyase as the head of Land Allocation and other Related Matters Committee is replicated across the sixteen communities in Aniocha North.

Based on this decisions, the king (Obi), wrote to Linas International Limited, through Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko, on 10th April 2015 communicating the community’s decision.

The Enlarged Land Allocation Committee met several times to discuss and search a land space conducive for the project. The land was inspected and found to be suitable. The land earmarked for development projects the Community covers form the kingdom’s boundary from Onicha-Ugbo through to Igbodo and Umunede towns. It’s from t this earmarked land that the community mapped out 90 hectares of land. The said land had earlier been a subject of dispute for 13 years between Onicha-Ugbo and Idumuje-Ugboko towns and was being adjudicated upon by the High Court of the Midwest. The legal dispute was finally settled and a consensus judgment was entered into in 1969 between the two ctowns. The judgement also had that anyone could farm the land but must not cultivate cash crops, and that farmer would not be compensated for any part earmarked for developmental projects provided the farmer was given time to harvest the crops so planted.

On 11th day of July, 2015, then President-General of the Community Development Union, late Mr. Bennet Odor convened a meeting of major stakeholders to discuss the setting up of the proposed golf course and university. At the meeting were former Presidents-General, chiefs, and notable indigenes including Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko. During the meeting, Prince Ned Nwoko explained the state of the project. Those at the meeting were delighted over the information and pledged support for the establishment of the gulf course/university. At the meeting, Mr. Sunday Felix Banye spoke glowingly of Prince Ned Nwoko and lauded his decision to site such projects in Idumuje-Ugboko. Following, the development union wrote to the Aniocha North Local Government Council 23rd November, 2015 to convey support for the project and the land allocated for it. Based on the allocation, Prince Ned Nwoko and Linas International Ltd compensated genuine tenant-farmers working on the land and paid the mandatory allocation Administrative fees. A handwritten acknowledgement copy, signed by Prof. Somayina Gabriel Nwoko, OON, is available. Having met all traditional requirements, Linas International Ltd, wrote an Application for Customary Right of Occupancy to Aniocha North Local Government Council. It is noteworthy that the proposed university project work is ongoing and being built to meet the standards being set by the National University Commission (NUC) Basic Mark (Bismarck). We are anticipating  take off of the university by 2020/2021 Academic session, after getting approval of the Nigerian University Commission, (NUC).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENESIS OF THE CRISIS AND CRIMES COMMITTED 

Crisis started in the community when Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko, a son of the late king (Obi), produced a letter disproving the allocation of the land for the golf course and university. The said letter, dated August 12, 2015, was circulated and read in churches, which is contrary to the custom and tradition of the community. The letter shocked community. The people behind this are Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko, Prince Ejimofor Fredrick Nwoko, Prince Richard Obiajulu Nwoko, Dennis Uwadiegwu Nwoko and their agents/privies. Notable indigenes sought to consult the king to ascertain the authenticity of the letter, but were blocked by the masterminds. At the time, the king had grown old, weak, and unaware of the plot to scuttle the projects. Based on this, Prince Walters Eziashi a former President-General of the community development union (2008 – 2012), on September 14, 2015, petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command. He demanded an investigation into the veracity of the two letters being claimed to have been written by the king. He also urged the police to unravel and prosecute the masterminds. The Police diligently investigated the petition and, on February 24, 2016, summoned Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko, Ejimofor Nwoko, Richard Obiajulu Nwoko and others indicted in the petition. Furthermore, the police forwarded the report of its investigation to the office of the Delta State Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, for advice. The DPP approved the police indictment and recommended prosecution of the masterminds. They were subsequently charged before Chief Magistrate Court 1. Asaba (with suit No SMC/420C/20016). The court granted the suspects bail, but subsequently revoked same due to the latter’s failure to keep to the terms. They had jumped bail since 2017 and failed to appear in court after the prosecution closed their case.

Earlier, Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko, Richard Obiajulu Nwoko, Ejimofor Fredrick Nwoko and others had approached the Issele-Uku High Court to challenge the decisions of the community. They sued Aniocha North Local Government Council, Prince Ned Nwoko, and Linas International Limited, claiming the process of the land allocation was false. The case, with Suit No. HCI/2/2016, is ongoing at the Agbor High Court as it has been reassigned to another judge by the State’s Chief Judge. Permit me to bring to your notice that on the 18/6/2019, the Court ruled in the defendants (Prince Ned Nwoko and Linas International Limited) favour and awarded a cost against the claimants (Chukwunonso and others). Also, it is noteworthy that one of the claimants, Prince Edwin Izeonyeunor Nwoko deposed to an affidavit at Issele-Uku High Court, withdrawing from the case. Prince Edwin Izeonyeunor Nwoko claimed he had been deceived by Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko into filing the suit. While this was going on, Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko kept petitioning the Inspector-General of Police against innocent indigenes of the Kingdom who were averse to his plot. In his several petitions to the IGP, Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and his cohorts, through their counsel ESENWAH & ESENWAH, accused Linas International Ltd, Prince Ned Nwoko, and others of forging Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko’s signature. They were equally accused of harassing, intimidating and threatening the life of Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko. The accused were arrested and release after the police found the accusations against them to be false. Despite their exoneration, the petitioners’ lawyer persisted by writing another six-page petition dated 17th March, 2017. In the fresh petition, they accused Prince Ned Nwoko, Chief Christopher Ogwu, Prince Walters Eziashi, Kennedy Iloh, Bennet Odor of harassment and forcefully entering and desecrating the palace. The accused were again invited by the police and subsequently granted bail after they were found to be innocent. The Umu-Omorhusi family held a meeting attended by Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko, Richard Obiajulu Nwoko, Ejimofor Nwoko, Dennis Uwadiegwu Nwoko Barr. Nbanefo Nwoko amongst others. At the end of the meeting, held in the palace on 8th December, 2015, a communique was issued and same was published in the Vanguard Newspaper of 28th December, 2015.

Based on the support of the family, the Kingdom, national leadership of the development union, Linas International Limited approached the office of the Executive Chairman of Aniocha North Local Government, applying for a Customary Rights of Occupancy to enable the partnership commence the process of meeting the preliminary basic requirement of the National University Commission (NUC) for the university project. Following, the Council Chairman, who was satisfied there was no dissension, issued a Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy on 16th February, 2016 and 20th July 2016, respectively. Unsatisfied, Mr. Samson Osakwe and two others filed a suit at the Issele-Uku High Court, Delta State, against Prince Ned Nwoko. They sought an order of court restraining the defendants but would later abandoned the suit after pre-hearing on Friday 10th February, 2017. The court subsequently struck out the case on the 26th day of April, 2018.

Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and others through his Junior Brother Barr. Prince Nbanefo Nwoko continued to use legal ambush by filing frivolous suits and writing petitions against the innocent to delay justice in a bid to deny the innocent people of Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom their right to fair hearing and justice which they believe they deserve. While the criminal proceeding against them was ongoing at the Chief Magistrate Court Asaba, they approached a Vacation Judge at Delta State High Court, Effurun in suit No.EHC/M/74/2017 claiming enforcement of their human right. In The Matter of An Application for an Order for Enforcement of Fundamental Right between Prince Martin Nwoko and 4 others for themselves and their family against the Inspector-General of Police and 5 others. They have consistently technically delayed this suit using same to stop Police from investigating their several crimes and criminalities as well as stopping the criminal proceedings at the Chief Magistrate Court, Asaba. Happily, for the innocent victims of Prince Chukwunonso, Mbanefo and their group’s heinous crimes against humanity, this case with Suit No. EHC/M/74/2017 was finally dismissed and struck out at the Agbor High Court on the 3rd Day of June, 2019.

 

DEATH OF THE KING.

While all these were going on HRM Obi Albert Nwoko III; JP; MON who has been kept incommunicado by this cabal headed by Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko (his son) and group, passed on as news filtered out that he died on 6th February, 2017, under questionable circumstances which is still under investigations by the police. Without recourse to the customs, tradition and culture of the Idumuje clan as embedded in the 1937 Intelligence Report of Idumuje Clan by R.B. Karr, Prince Chukwunonso, Prince Richard, Ejimofor, Barr. Nbanefo not only buried the king same day (6/2/2017) by themselves without the five principal chiefs present but Prince Chukwunonso Justin also appointed himself king within an hour of the purported burial forcing a 90years old man from Atuma village one Mr. Odinfono who holds no traditional title and or relevance in the community contrary to the traditions of the people to sit him on a chair he claimed was traditional stool as king. This action is not only a taboo but an abomination not only in Idumuje clan but in the entire Anioma land. This further polarized the kingdom from the criminalities of Prince Chukwunonso and his cabal.

Thereafter, Prince Chukwunonso the self-appointed king and his cabal began their reign of terror. First, if anyone disagrees with him, he ostracize the person from the Kingdom. He ostracized Prof Prince Somayina Gabriel Nwoko OON a retired Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan and the Community/Palace Secretary who later died under mysterious circumstances. Next  he purportedly ostracized the late oldest man and immediate past head of the Umu-Nwoko Royal family who owns the crown he purportedly took forcefully, Late Diokpa Prince Onwuamaonyeukwu Esuzor Nwoko, a Grandson of Obi Nwoko I,( the founder of Idumuje-Ugboko Kingdom), Hon, Prince Ned Nwoko, Prince Danny Nwoko (current fourth (4) oldest living among Umu-Nkeze Omorhusi where Prince Chukwunonso belong), Prince Akaba Nwoko (current third oldest living among Umu-Nkeze Omorhusi where Prince Chukwunonso belong) and forty-one (41) other members of the community. The only crime of these individuals was that they tried to redirect him and his gang from their acts of banditry and terrorism. He equally claimed he has ostracized the Iyase and Odogwu and Crown Prince Solomon Eziokwubundu Nwabuokei Nwoko (the Obi Designate and Real descendant of Nwoko), Prince Uche Nwoko (another claimant to the throne), Prince Walters Onyeisi Ugochukwu Eziashi (a Great-great grandson of Nwoko I) who he perceived as his major enemies because they condemned his banditry and many atrocious acts.

Precisely between May 18 – 25, 2017, Prince Chukwunonso Nwoko and his gang in a terrorist frenzy imported mercenaries, assassins, thugs and native doctors into Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom. The native doctors were to prepare charms to make the thugs invincible as they unleashed mayhem by attacking different homes, individuals, destroying properties, setting houses ablaze, shooting, vandalizing cars and beating up people including the second in command (2i/c) in the kingdom, Iyase (Traditional Prime Minister) Chief Christopher Ogwu and the Odogwu of the kingdom Chief Sunday Edemodu in a bid to silence opposition to his usurpation of the revered throne of Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom and this led to the murder in cold blood of one non-indigene motorcyclist (Okadaman) Cyprian Kumiolun a native of Benue State whose father Mr. Ugbolo Kumiolun and brother Moses Kuniolun appeared before the Obis at Idumuje-Unor recently asking for the copse of their son/brother who was murdered in cold blood in front of Idumuje-Ugboko palace. It will be noted also that Mr. Kennedy Iloh died as a result of the mayhem unleashed on him by thugs who kidnapped him and took him to the palace where he was subjected to turture. The thugs wielded dangerous weapons including guns, machetes, battle axes, daggers etc. The Police have since invited the suspects and the matters are in various courts of competent jurisdiction including the case of terrorism against the suspects in CHARGE NO. FHC/ABJ/11/19 instituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja. Four of the suspects were arrested and charged before the Federal High Court who has granted them bail on stringent conditions.

In a case with Suit No. HCI/6M/17, Between: MR, IIKHOMU OMEZI (APPLICANT AND INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE AND 5 OTHERS, a suit filed at the Delta State High Court, Issele-Uku by Ikhomu Omezi (a suspect in the mayhem), the Judge in his judgement delivered on Tuesday 12th December, 2017 ordered among other things that an investigation be carried out by the relevant authorities who should investigate the murder allegations and possibly prosecute the culprits.

Several Warrants of Arrest have been issued by Courts of competent jurisdictions against Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and his cabal since 2017 till date from the Chief Magistrate Court, Asaba, Chief Magistrate Court, Issele-Uku and the Federal High Court, Abuja. The latest warrant of arrest is dated 18th June, 2019. Thugs loyal to Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and his cabal also attempted to set Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko’s compound and the proposed university site ablaze but failed due to the intervention of security agencies drafted to the place.

Between the mayhem of May 18 – 25, 2017, there have been several peace efforts to address the crisis but Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and his group have rebuffed all such peace moves. First of such peace move was the Aniocha North Traditional Rulers Council, there was another peace move by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 5, Benin-City in a meeting held at the AIG’s Conference Hall, AIG Office, Benin-City on 1st June, 2017. Again was the peace move by the Obi of Idumuje-Uno (the clan head) which never held because Prince Chukwunonso Justin and his group refused to honour the invitation. Another peace move was by Anioma Congress. Some members of Umu-Omorhusi family under Prince Danny Nwoko and Prince Edwin Nwoko made moves to bring peace but rather than listening to these his uncles and kinsmen, Prince Chukwunonso Justin and his cabal ostracized Prince Danny Nwoko and members of his peace committee from the family and threatened to deal with anyone who associates with them. There were many other peace moves but all were rebuffed by the cabal. Furthermore, Prince chukwunonso Justin Nwoko and his cabal were alleged to have been selling off huge land areas belonging to Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom without approval.

 

KINGSHIP TUSSLE.

After the demise of HRM Obi Albert Okwuwadiegwu Nwoko III; JP; MON, the descendants of Nwoko (known as UMU-NWOKO) the founder of Idumuje-Ugboko, under the leadership of Diokpa of the family, held a meeting at the residence of the Diokpa Prince Onwuamaonyeukwu Esuzor Nwoko and deliberated on the issue of the kingship. They did this as rightful heirs to the throne. A communique was issued at the end of the meeting, held on 24th August, 2017. On the 3rd day of October, 2017, the Head of the Family Diokpa Onwuamaonyeukwu Esuzor Nwoko (a grandson of Obi Nwoko the founder of Idumuje-Ugboko) deposed to a three-page affidavit at the Delta State High Court, Issele-Uku affirming the decision of the family whose duty it is to present the crown Prince and Obi-designate to the community that PRINCE SOLOMON EZIOKWUBUNDU NWABUOKEI NWOKO, a great grandson of Obi Nwoko I, founder of Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom, is the legitimate heir apparent and Obi-designate. In line with tradition, as stated in the 1937 Intelligence Report by R.B. Karr on process for installation of kings in Idumuje clan, the Umu-Nwoko royal family in a letter dated 29th June 2018 to the Obi-In-Council presented PRINCE SOLOMON EZIOKWUBUNDU NWABUOKEI NWOKO as the King (Obi) designate of Idumuje-Ugboko. The Obi-In-Council in line with the functions of their office as tradition demands equally in a letter dated 2nd July, 2018 to the Aniocha North Traditional Rulers Council, conveyed the decision of the Umu-Nwoko Royal family for necessary actions. This letters were accompanied with an affidavit in support of Application deposed to by the Obi designate, Prince Solomon Eziokwubundu Nwabuokei Nwoko.

Prince Solomon Eziokwubundu Nwabuokei, the great grandson of Obi Nwoko I (founder of Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom) and his nephew Prince Walters Onyeisi Ugochukwu Eziashi a great, great grandson of Obi Nwoko I (founder of Idumuje-Ugboko kingdom) filed a case on the 17th of November, 2017 at the Delta State High Court, Issele-Uku with Suit No. HCI/38/2017, seeking among other things, a declaration that conceding Idumuje-Ugboko throne to any descendant of Justin Nkeze Omorhusi is an illegality. Also, to declared that the reign of Justin Nkeze as Obi Omorhusi II and later in 1942 as Obi Nwoko II and that of his son Obi Albert Nwoko III as kings of Idumuje-Ugboko was an aberration, an error and illegality that was contrary to and against the Native laws and custom and culture of the people as embedded in the 1937 Intelligence Report by R.B. Karr. The matter has passed pre-hearing stage and is ongoing at the Delta State High Court, Akwukwu-Igbo.

 

RECENT CRIES FOR JUSTICE BY THE OPPRESSED

On 8th day of February, 2018, the helpless people of Idumuje-Ugboko after suffering the mayhem unleashed on them between 18 – 25 May, 2017 engaged the services of M.A. ABDULRAMAN & ASSOCIATES CHAMBERS who on their behalf sent an S.O.S to the Inspector-General of Police in a letter dated 8/2/2017. As law abiding citizens of Nigeria, a petition was written to the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in a letter dated 16th July, 2019, captioned: REPORT OF DISCRIMINATORY HIGH-HANDEDENESS LIKELY TO CAUSE PUBLIC BREACH OF PEACE, TOTAL BREAKDOWN OF LAW AND ORDER AND RIOTS WITH POSSIBLE LOST OF MANY LIVES AND PROPERTIES IN IDUMUJE-UGBOKO KINGDOM OF ANIOCHA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT ANREAI OF DELTA STATE, NIGERIA. In the petition the aggrieved people requested the Honourable Minister’s intervention and investigation into these human rights abuses including the recent murder of an innocent okada rider , Mr. Cyprain Kumiolun, death of Mr. Kennedy Illoh and a result of the turture he received in the hands of the thugs and many other atrocities of these individuals who parade themselves as being above the law.

Upon the petition to the office of the Human Right Commission of Nigeria as well as to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation through a letter dated 12th July, 2018, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation in a letter dated 27th June of 2018 to the office of the Inspector-General of Police to carry out a diligent investigation into the matter. Prince Chukwunonso and his cabal were severally invited to appear before the Inspector-General of Police but in their usual characteristics, rather than honour the invitations, they rushed to the High Court, Issele-Uku where they instituted a case of fundamental human right against the Inspector-General of Police and others in Suit No. HCI/4M/2018. All in a bid to avoid Police arrest, prevent Police investigations and possible prosecution by the authorities. But because justice cannot be caged or denied, the case with Suit No. HCI/4M/2018 was dismissed and struck out by the Court in a Ruling by Justice C.O. Ogisi of the Delta State High Court, Issele-Uku on 10th day of October, 2018. The Police, armed with this Enrolled Order of Court commenced investigations and due diligence investigation reported back to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation where a case of terrorism was established against Prince Chukwunonso Justin and ten (10). We were notified of the charges preferred against the suspects in CHARGE NO FHC/ABJ/CR/11/19. The suspects have consistently in the gangster’s frenzy refused to appear in court. The Federal High Court issued Warrant of Arrest against them. Four out of the eleven suspects have been arrested and brought before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

At the peak of Prince Chukwunonso and his cabal’s brutality on the people, eighteen members of the kingdom approached the Kwale High Court in Suit No. HCK/61/2018, seeking the enforcement of their fundamental human right against Prince Chukwunonso Justin and others. The Court in a ruling on the 30th day of July, 2018 granted an Order of Injunction against Chukwunonso Justin. Among the Relieves granted were: Restriction from parading himself as an Obi (king); Restriction from suspending the Chiefs and or ostracizing any member of the community. Unfortunately, Prince Chukwunonso Justin has blatantly refused to obey these Orders of Court of Competent jurisdictions. Prince Barr. Mbanefo Felix Nwoko (Junior brother and Counsel to Prince Chukwunonso Justin Nwoko, who addresses himself falsely as the Counsel to the Royal Family and Idumuje-Ugboko community, a position nobody appointed him to and a position he does not occupy) has severally boasted to the members of the community that as long as he lives he will ensure that his senior brother Prince Chukwunonso reigns over all no matter whatever means he uses. He has thrived in falsehood against the ethics of legal profession. He has a case of forgery against him in Charge No.CMA/420/2017 COP V Nbanefo Felix Nwoko pending at the Magistrate Court Asaba. The activities of Prince Barr. Nbanefo Felix Nwoko became so embarrassing that the integrity of the legal profession became threatened hence a petition was raised against him to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, NBA House, Abuja. Correspondences on the petition has been exchanges and investigation is ongoing.

 

CONCLUSION.

The revered throne of Idumuje-Ugboko has been vacant since the demise of the last occupant Obi Albert Okwuwadiegwu Nwoko III on 6th February, 2017. For anyone to address Prince Chukwunonso Justin, whose grandfather changed their family name from Omorhusi to Nwoko in 1942 as king is an abomination against the land. There are traditional procedures for installation of an Obi in Idumuje clan,in particular and Anioma land in general. The traditional installation of an Obi is only done by an Onihe after he has been cleared by the royal family and not by any old man who holds no traditional relevance and or title. If anyone is to be address as an Obi of Idumuje-Ugboko, that person is none else but Crown Prince Solomon Eziokwubundu Nwabuokei Nwoko, who has been presented by the Umu-Nwoko Royal family before the Obi-in-Counsel and before the Aniocha North Traditional Rulers committee in 2019. The Aniocha North Traditiona Rulers Committee has suspended all actions on recommending anyone to the governor of Delta State as obi-designate of Idumuje-Ugboko until the courts rules on Suit No. HCI/38/2017 ongoing at the Akwukwu-Igbo High Court.

It is also the height of wickedness and inhumanity for anybody to accuse Hon Prince Ned Nwoko of any involvement in the ongoing suits before the courts, particularly the terrorism case at the Federal High Court Abuja. This is because Prince Ned Nwoko is neither a complainant nor did he recommend the prosecution of the suspects.

All the people seek is justice.

 

By Prince Walters Eziashi wrote from Idumuje-Ugboko, Delta State, Nigeria.

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OPINION

Re: Isa Pantami and ministerial arrogance, By Adewunmi Olaoluwatomi

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Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy, IBM partner to train Nigerians on digital skills
Dr. Isa Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

[The article ‘Re: Isa Pantami and ministerial arrogance, By Adewunmi Olaoluwa’ corrects a recent publication by an online newspaper against Dr. Isa Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.]

 

 

“When one person makes an accusation, check to be sure he himself is not the guilty one. Sometimes it is those whose case is weak who make the most clamour.” – Piers Anthony

It is evidently and surprisingly clear that Nigerian online columnists are resorting to distortion, falsification and misuseof their God-given talents, instead of penning on government policies that make impact to citizens. Unfortunately, few and many others avail to be agents of misinformation and manipulation in their quest to gain cheap popularity. Although the Freedom of Information Act gives one chance to comment on matters affecting the nation, it also stated clearly that unfounded and baseless allegations are not to be entertained.

Last Friday 27thMarch, 2020, a faceless columnist appeared on Sahara Reporters (online newspaper) to maliciously discredit one of Nigeria’s famous and revered technocrats in person of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM.

The writer, knowingly or unknowingly, failed to set aside his irrationality to at least outline the achievements of the Honourable Minister in the Information and Communications Technology sector of Nigeria.

I wish the writer of that unfounded and ill-nurtured article, Emmanuel John, is known to the Nigerian public so that his-behind-the-scene ulterior motive to engineer a rift between highly respected personalities could be revealed.

At this point in time, the likes of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, should be encouraged, emboldened and cheered for the wonderful job he has been doing since his appointment as Minister by Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The author of that piece seemed to be oblivious to the current realities at the Ministry and Parastatals it supervises.

He has brought himself so low in his move to venomously undermine the personality of Dr Pantami.

The author un-assiduously claimed that the Honourable Minister blocked Professor Umar Garba Dambatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), from making a complete speech during the Launching and Commissioning of some projects supervised by the Ministry. He arrogantly stated that, “the EVC’s

Speech was about the complex and how it came into being. The minister, who had earlier evidently lied to the President that it was him who built the gigantic project, could not allow the EVC to tell the President the truth.”

This assertion is false and aimed at damaging the international reputation of Dr Pantami. To set the record straight, the Honourable Minister has never claimed building the said project, but rather asseverated that it was supervised by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy as enshrined in Nigeria’s law.

The author negated his trustworthiness (if he has any) in throwing tantrums, not knowing that it was paramount that whenever Mr President happened to be at an event, timing must be strictly adhered to. In a situation like this, speakers cling to the time allocated to them and limit their presentations.

One will be flabbergasted on the manner the author is trying to create chaos and conflict between the already established synergy among sister Agencies under the Ministry.

In a saner society, faceless Emmanuel John lacks moral and intellectual prowess to comment on matters pertaining Digital Technology, especially to someone whose outstanding professionalism and integrity earned him the highest recognition in the global IT industry: The Fellowship of the British Computer Society (FBCS).

Dr Pantami, as a man for the job, who has served as an IT Consultant to many National and International industries, is also a fellow of the Institute of Information Management (FIIM).

Only fools will sit down and be looking at the sky, believing that it will fall. Dr Pantami’s unmatchable contribution and impact to the growth of Information Communications Technology in Nigeria, through his extensive knowledge and vast experience, earned him elevation to the position of Minister. Because of Dr Pantami’s technical-know-how style in the IT sector, saw the need and recommended to Mr President to rename the Ministry’s name and expand its mandate to align his commitment with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Change Agenda as well as be in line with global best practices. He is largely responsible for the renewed vigour and focus in the industry. He has sustained an unprecedented level of professionalism and compliance in the sector.

To say that under Dr Pantami, either the NCC or its Executive Vice Chairman is being undermined is the highest intellectual turbulence one could have ever imagined. People with accurate mindset will never make such baseless allegations with buttress.

The writer should have checked his words before going to press. His piece contained malicious and dangerous declaration that may land him in jail. Nay, personalities like Dr Pantami are always after the progress of the nation, not stooping to the level of low-key bonehead and jackass.

NCC has recorded tremendous achievements under the supervision of the Honourable Minister, only dickhead could shamelessly deny that. Since Dr Pantami was sworn-in as Nigeria’s new Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, he has been working with strict compliance and cooperation from all the Chief Executive Officers under his Ministry.This led to the directive given to the NCC to block all unregistered Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards.

The NCC, through its Director of Public Affairs, Henry Nkemadu, has since informed Nigerians that the Commission has successfully deactivated over two million (2m) unregistered SIM cards across telecommunication networks in the country. This action has significantly curtailed the menace of kidnappings and other crimes perpetrated using SIM cards. This has clearly shown Dr Pantami’s working experience and synergy with Parastatals under his supervision.

In today’s world, especially at a time Nigeria is moving towards diversification from resource-based to knowledge-based economy, the need for effective teamwork is critical for the business. This is what Dr Pantami exhibited in matters relating to his relationship with all the Agencies and Parastatals under his purview. The ability to simultaneously perform as an individual and together with your colleagues or employees in effective teamwork is key to attaining growth and success.

The Minister’s achievements can be seen even by a blind man, which is why the President himself commended him for bringing the Agencies and Parastatals to work together as one, align them to work harder, cooperate and be supportive of one another. He even thanked him for the high level of synergy that has been created amongst the parastatals under the Minister’s supervision.

Nigerians are living witnesses to testify on what Dr Pantami, the Honourable Minister, is doing. He has rejigged the Ministry and realigned its work schedule, encouraged mutual support and shared goals, cooperation and provides workplace synergy among the Parastatals. With this, Agencies and Parastatals are able to feel a greater sense of accomplishment, collectively responsible for outcomes achieved and feed individuals with the incentive to perform at higher levels.

Dr Pantami has become steering wheel in leading Federal Government of Nigeria on strategic implementation of programmes aimed at diversifying the economy. Oil and gas can no longer be dependent upon because countries around the world, especially the developed ones, are switching to digitalization in almost all their means of activities, including transportation.

Dr Pantami’s unprecedented achievements in ensuring that Nigeria lifts itself to reach the required level in the Global Information Technology Development Index can never be overemphasized. He is leading a rescue mission of Nigeria’s migration from natural resource economy to ICT-based economy. As true Nigerians, it is our collective responsibility to stifle any nincompoops trying to distract the Minister; we must not let that happen.

Olaoluwatomi wrote from FCT, Abuja. She can be reached via olaoluwatomia@gmail.com

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OPINION

Isa Pantami: The gang-up against saviour of Nigeria’s digital economy, By Hashim Suleiman

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Isa Pantami: The gang-up against saviour of Nigeria’s digital economy, By Hashim Suleiman

Events have passed in the past week during the Commissioning of the Emergency Communication Centre among other projects associated with the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. Such events have as usual attracted interests from mischievous Nigerians as is always is with progressive stories. The question is: When are we going to learn to be more critical for crying out loud?

What makes one wonder even more is how much such writers do without researched information or understanding of how governance should be in the 21st century. Poorly written pieces laced with terrible grammar are what you see and some of them may suggest to you that it is a paid plot from very less strategic individuals who wish to drag every effort by the superstars of the Buhari Administration for trying to ensure the success of the administration of Mr. President in tandem with the loads of the expectations of the people. Such sponsors don[t have any business being in governance; their motive is other than progress.

People like me would have chosen to ignore such cheap shenanigans of politicisation of every little intent, but I won’t because my love for Nigeria has refused me to be beclouded by sentimental or political considerations on critical matters that pertain to national development and of which my nation so desperately require.

I read opinions suggesting why the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy would not enforce discipline in his Ministry even when the cardinal belief of his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, is discipline. I wish there would be more Ministers in this administration who would take the matter of indsicipline as much as Dr Pantami does. Those cheap opinions only go to show how much indiscipline has eaten deep into us and we must do something about just like I am doing now.

Have we forgotten so soon how some of the populace were insisting on Buhari to be a little more harder on Nigerians as that was the only way we could get Nigerians into shape? Unfortunately, the man was guided by the principles of democracy and resorted to taking things easy. Even at that some people still complain of the fact that he is slow in his approach and what notch. Some others also think he is autocratic and all of them are various opinions of how confused we can be sometimes regarding what we really like and something to further indicate how difficult it is for leaders to bring about change in our society.

Going specifically into the event of the commissioning which created so much buzz, Mr President only chose to showcase his democratic part by allowing his appointees to do what is appropriate in correcting anomalies that he himself abhors. How then are people trying to mischievously pitch the Minister and his principal on the enforcement of the belief of the latter? Can’t you all see yourselves.

I heard and read the speech of the President and in it you could clearly see how he highlighted the synergy that the Honourable Minister had been able to create amongst the Ministry and agencies under its supervision. You could also see that the event that took place there was an idea that had been muted long before then during the unveiling of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, during the e-Nigeria Conference last year. He appreciated the efforts of the Honourable Minister so far in terms of the efforts being put at trying to redirect Nigeria towards the non-oil revenue earner. Dr Pantami or any other well-meaning leader would not allow all such achievements to be rubbished on the alter of politics or indiscipline. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is today arguably the Ministry with most synergy between it and its agencies. These successes could be the reasons some people, both internal and external, are not happy about.

Talking about who built the facility, even if it was Mango Park that built the facility and is standing with no usage, no sensible leader would come and start to bore people with stories of how it came by, the interest must be of how it was going to be utilised and in this case the matter was under the purview of the Communications and Digital Economy which Dr Isa Ali Pantami superintends over. Was there supposed to be arguments over who did or who did not? How has writing an article become this cheap for God’s sake? We should be bigger than that.
As a matter of education, let me share my little understanding of a Ministry while growing up. Ministries were all in all of the government, every aspect that pertains to issues relating to a particular Ministry were always championed by such Ministry and all correspondences to the President on such matters must be communicated appropriately.

Unfortunately, the recent leaders of the past who themselves were bereft of indiscipline and have also transferred same to the citizenry have reduced ministries to be lower than some parastatals. These issues cannot be disconnected with corruption in terms of which the CEO settles the most if you know what I mean. It is high time such is stopped and we should even be thanking Dr Pantami on efforts to restore the pride and essence of ministries rather than denigrating him.

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is the Honourable Minsiter of Communications and Digital Economy and his responsibilities are those of the management of the Communications and Digital Economy sectors of Nigeria. We cannot then choose to drag him down over his attempts to make sure the sector works. Everyone has agreed to the fact that things have changed regarding the responsiveness of all of the arms of that sector and I can challenge anyone to an open public debate on the matter. Researchers and those sensible Nigerians who wish well for the nation would easily agree with me on this. From the NCC to NITDA and NIPOST, this is exclusive of the so many that are on the pipeline and that some of us are privy to. Is this the person we would want to denigrate for reasons bordering on insidcipline which we the citizenry are also absolutely guilty of? Capital NO!

The Honourable Minister before assuming the Ministerial position has had this Digital Economy idea in him as showcased through his performance as the DG/CEO NITDA. For those of you who are blinded mostly by politics and mischief, you will do yourselves and the nation good by visiting Higher Institutions of learning around the country to find out NITDA’s intervention in ICT. One was just recently commissioned at the University of Port Harcourt. Not to mention areas like Data Protection and Regulation Frameworks, Smart Agric policies, Cyber-security and securing for NITDA the ISO27001 certification amongst others. Little wonder why he made commensurate recommendation for the appointment of a Director General who would, in synergy with him and others, help to actualize a digitalized Nigeria. I have once heard where he has said NITDA’s books were open for the public to check and recent checks by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives gave a clean bill to the Agency with commendation too. These are physical achievements and not rhetoric.

He has then catapulted to the Ministry and is trying hard in areas like broadband and SIM security. He has brought the various components of the Ministry to help achieve the very important mandate that does not require jokes, indiscipline and incompetence.

This is also an opportunity to call the attention of the President to the plot of these kinds of individuals, they whip up all kinds of nonsense by trying to take his mind away from the ball. They attack the shining lights of his administration so there can be a failure that they and their paymasters will latch on during elections or for the sole purpose of seeing appointments as avenues for amassing wealth or arena for display of indiscipline and impunity. Indiscipline and obedience of lines of duties must be enforced and the time cannot be farther from now.

Finally, let me call on the citizenry during this season of COVID-19 pandemic to understand that it is time for reflection over the activities of our beloved nation. The lack of certain critical infrastructure is today hunting us and majority of it was the lack of discipline in governance. We cannot as a nation continue to condone indiscipline and corruption, therefore we must be careful the kinds of things we defend or even waste our time on. All energies must be channeled towards identifying people in the likes of Dr. Pantami and support them to continue despite the much resistance that people like those who wrote on the matter present. We must quit the Pull Him

Down attitude and imbibe the Lift Us Up one.

By the way, I still insist on a public debate on this matter because it is no joke and its only through very critical engagements that peoples brains can be developed, not cheaply politicising every issue of development.

  • Hashim Suleiman writes from Abuja. oneheartnaija@yahoo.com
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