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Showing posts with label Judiciary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Judiciary. Show all posts

Strike Action: Governor Adeleke Commends Judicial Workers, Says His Arbitration Yielded Results

Strike Action: Governor Adeleke Commends Judicial Workers, Says His Arbitration Yielded Results


Governor Ademola Adeleke has commended the Judiciary Workers Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) for calling off its three months old strike action, describing the resolution as “a direct outcome of his arbitration”


Speaking on the reopening of the court system in Osun state, the Governor noted series of positive interventions by the executive arm of government and affirmed that he almost breached the concept of separation of powers to get the dispute resolved.


“ We all know the executive should not intervene in judicial matters. We are all aware the issues are centred on human resource management and sundry operational matters. I believe all along that the judicial management in the state should take up the matter.



“This expectation was not fulfilled. So, I was compelled to act because the matter was degenerating and negatively affecting administration of justice in the state.


“ At first, I ordered fresh re-payment of the withheld salaries of some judicial staff, hoping this would put an end to the strike. But, the dispute persisted over other issues such as wardrobe allowance and other operational questions.


“ I was unjustly accused by many including of my brother comrade in Lagos until Chief Ozhekome voluntarily interevene to set the records straight. The fact was that the issue is basically an employer - employee dispute. 



“In response to public outcry and appeal from well-meaning Nigerians, I acted again by setting up a high powered Resolution Panel chaired by the Secretary to the State Government. I gave them a seven day ultimatum.


“On the seventh day, the panel got the stakeholders to sign a resolution agreement. To fast-track implementation, I immediately ordered payment of ward robe allowance, which is one of the key demands. I am happy the union called off the strike despite the fact that some of the items on the agreement are yet to be implemented by the management of the judiciary in the state”, the Governor narrated.


Governor Adeleke therefore appealed to signatories to the agreement to abide by its terms to ensure lasting peace in the judicial sector.


According to the Governor, all signatories must demonstrate good faith and ensure a new lease of life for judicial workers in Osun state.


Signed:

Mallam Olawale Rasheed,

Spokesperson to the State Governor


Governor Ademola Adeleke has commended the Judiciary Workers Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) for calling off its three months old strike action, describing the resolution as “a direct outcome of his arbitration”


Speaking on the reopening of the court system in Osun state, the Governor noted series of positive interventions by the executive arm of government and affirmed that he almost breached the concept of separation of powers to get the dispute resolved.


“ We all know the executive should not intervene in judicial matters. We are all aware the issues are centred on human resource management and sundry operational matters. I believe all along that the judicial management in the state should take up the matter.



“This expectation was not fulfilled. So, I was compelled to act because the matter was degenerating and negatively affecting administration of justice in the state.


“ At first, I ordered fresh re-payment of the withheld salaries of some judicial staff, hoping this would put an end to the strike. But, the dispute persisted over other issues such as wardrobe allowance and other operational questions.


“ I was unjustly accused by many including of my brother comrade in Lagos until Chief Ozhekome voluntarily interevene to set the records straight. The fact was that the issue is basically an employer - employee dispute. 



“In response to public outcry and appeal from well-meaning Nigerians, I acted again by setting up a high powered Resolution Panel chaired by the Secretary to the State Government. I gave them a seven day ultimatum.


“On the seventh day, the panel got the stakeholders to sign a resolution agreement. To fast-track implementation, I immediately ordered payment of ward robe allowance, which is one of the key demands. I am happy the union called off the strike despite the fact that some of the items on the agreement are yet to be implemented by the management of the judiciary in the state”, the Governor narrated.


Governor Adeleke therefore appealed to signatories to the agreement to abide by its terms to ensure lasting peace in the judicial sector.


According to the Governor, all signatories must demonstrate good faith and ensure a new lease of life for judicial workers in Osun state.


Signed:

Mallam Olawale Rasheed,

Spokesperson to the State Governor

Judicial Staff Strike: State Panel Meets, Reassures on End to Disputes

Judicial Staff Strike: State Panel Meets, Reassures on End to Disputes


The state panel on the resolution of Osun judicial industrial disputes has reaffirmed its readiness to resolve the industrial disputes within the judiciary within one week as directed by Governor Ademola Adeleke.


The panel chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon Teslim Igbalaye met for several hours on Monday and mapped out plans of action to resolve the disputes.


Members of the panel include the Attorney General of Osun State, Hon Jimi Bada, Esq; and five other members of the state executive council who are also legal practitioners.


The Attorney General briefed the meeting on the efforts of the Ministry of Justice to find solutions to the disputes, adding that “ it was a delicate incident as the executive arm is being circumspect on the industrial action.


“ The directive of Mr Governor was however a game changer. We are relating with all stakeholders to find amicable resolution. It is in the collective interest of all justice sector actors to find ways out”, he said.


Bada Esq said “we are already acting on resolution process, listing initial payments of withheld salaries of some judicial workers and the openness of the executive arm to support the payment of the outstanding wardrobe allowances


The panel Chairman, Hon Igbalaye affirmed that the committee has swung into action by reviewing the draft tripartite agreement between the judicial union, the head of judicial arm and the executive arm of government.


“We are happy to report that from the first meeting, we have made a lot of headway. We are also building on the great job already done by the national leadership of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria. We are resolved to ensure we implement the marching order of Mr Governor.


“I want to assure the public that there is no plan to interfere in the operations of the judiciary. Nobody is planning any mobile courts or any strange structures. We are sticking to the mandate of the committee which is to get the courts re-opened within seven days”, Hon Igabalaye was quoted as saying.


The SSG commends the patience of all actors within the judiciary, promising that “ the Governor has taken the bull by the horns to get the court up and running”


Signed:

Mallam Olawale Rasheed,

Spokesperson to the State Governor


The state panel on the resolution of Osun judicial industrial disputes has reaffirmed its readiness to resolve the industrial disputes within the judiciary within one week as directed by Governor Ademola Adeleke.


The panel chaired by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon Teslim Igbalaye met for several hours on Monday and mapped out plans of action to resolve the disputes.


Members of the panel include the Attorney General of Osun State, Hon Jimi Bada, Esq; and five other members of the state executive council who are also legal practitioners.


The Attorney General briefed the meeting on the efforts of the Ministry of Justice to find solutions to the disputes, adding that “ it was a delicate incident as the executive arm is being circumspect on the industrial action.


“ The directive of Mr Governor was however a game changer. We are relating with all stakeholders to find amicable resolution. It is in the collective interest of all justice sector actors to find ways out”, he said.


Bada Esq said “we are already acting on resolution process, listing initial payments of withheld salaries of some judicial workers and the openness of the executive arm to support the payment of the outstanding wardrobe allowances


The panel Chairman, Hon Igbalaye affirmed that the committee has swung into action by reviewing the draft tripartite agreement between the judicial union, the head of judicial arm and the executive arm of government.


“We are happy to report that from the first meeting, we have made a lot of headway. We are also building on the great job already done by the national leadership of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria. We are resolved to ensure we implement the marching order of Mr Governor.


“I want to assure the public that there is no plan to interfere in the operations of the judiciary. Nobody is planning any mobile courts or any strange structures. We are sticking to the mandate of the committee which is to get the courts re-opened within seven days”, Hon Igabalaye was quoted as saying.


The SSG commends the patience of all actors within the judiciary, promising that “ the Governor has taken the bull by the horns to get the court up and running”


Signed:

Mallam Olawale Rasheed,

Spokesperson to the State Governor

Osun Judiciary Strike: Adeleke Hosts Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Seeks Resolution of Strike Action

Osun Judiciary Strike: Adeleke Hosts Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Seeks Resolution of Strike Action


Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has again called for amicable resolution of the ongoing strike action by the Osun State Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, expressing unhappiness about the hold up in the justice administration due to the industrial action.


Mallam Olawale Rasheed who is the spokesperson to the Governor confirmed this in a statement. 


The statement reads in part;


Speaking while hosting a delegation of the national leadership of the judicial union led by its President, Comrade Marwan Mustapha Adamu, Governor Adeleke narrated his interventions to resolve the strike to include the payments of the withheld salaries of some judicial workers and negotiations with the union on their wardrobe allowances.


Describing the dispute as purely a judicial matter, Governor Adeleke said the subject matter of the industrial action has nothing to do with the executive arm of government, stressing that his intervention was to avoid further delay in the state’s justice administration system.


“I thank you for visiting Osun state. We value your interventions. I have tried to address some of the issues but most of them are not within my purview. Your presence in Osun will speed up the resolution efforts.


“As the national body, help us interface with all the parties to find amicable resolutions. You have my full support for this assignment “, the Governor told the team.


Responding, the JUSUN national president described the industrial action and the protracted paralysis of the Osun judiciary as ‘unfortunate’, citing his previous sickness as responsible for his late intervention.


“We are in Osun state to find a lasting solution. I will meet all stakeholders and I assure Mr Governor that industrial peace would soon be restored to the state judiciary”, the National President who was accompanied by his national.officers noted.





Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has again called for amicable resolution of the ongoing strike action by the Osun State Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, expressing unhappiness about the hold up in the justice administration due to the industrial action.


Mallam Olawale Rasheed who is the spokesperson to the Governor confirmed this in a statement. 


The statement reads in part;


Speaking while hosting a delegation of the national leadership of the judicial union led by its President, Comrade Marwan Mustapha Adamu, Governor Adeleke narrated his interventions to resolve the strike to include the payments of the withheld salaries of some judicial workers and negotiations with the union on their wardrobe allowances.


Describing the dispute as purely a judicial matter, Governor Adeleke said the subject matter of the industrial action has nothing to do with the executive arm of government, stressing that his intervention was to avoid further delay in the state’s justice administration system.


“I thank you for visiting Osun state. We value your interventions. I have tried to address some of the issues but most of them are not within my purview. Your presence in Osun will speed up the resolution efforts.


“As the national body, help us interface with all the parties to find amicable resolutions. You have my full support for this assignment “, the Governor told the team.


Responding, the JUSUN national president described the industrial action and the protracted paralysis of the Osun judiciary as ‘unfortunate’, citing his previous sickness as responsible for his late intervention.


“We are in Osun state to find a lasting solution. I will meet all stakeholders and I assure Mr Governor that industrial peace would soon be restored to the state judiciary”, the National President who was accompanied by his national.officers noted.




THE TRAGEDY OF THE CAPTURED AFRICAN MIND

THE TRAGEDY OF THE CAPTURED AFRICAN MIND





For us to know how colonized and miseducated we are as Africans, when you speak with a Lawyer, a Senior Advocate for that matter and you ask him or her, what is the name of the woman holding a scale and a balance which symbolizes Justice, Equity and Truth for the Judiciary? He or she simply tells you, “she’s the Lady of justice”. Many don’t know her name is Ma’at, the black goddess of Egypt who introduced the 42 laws or principles of Maat, over 2000 years before Moses and his 10 commandments were born.


 The 42 laws were what African Kings and Queens used to govern the world including Europe for 700 years. But today that same Black goddess is whitewash to be a white woman without reference to her as the Mother of Justice, just because she’s a back woman.


Ask any African Medical Doctor, who is the father of medicine? He will tell you is Hippocrates; the Greek physician but they have refused to research further to know that Imhotep, an African is the founder and father of medicine. He was the first in human history to cure over 200 diseases. Hippocrates came to Egypt to be tutored by Imhotep but today no medical student is taught about this great African who was so venerated during his time that he was worshipped like a god. 


If you ask an African Bishop or Pastor who originated the worship of one god? He will tell you is the Europeans that’s why their Jesus and Mary is white but the truth is that the first person that introduced monotheism or worship of one god which was then called the sun god or Aten, was an Egyptian Pharaoh named Akhenaten, a black man who brought about religious and political revolution in the world. Go and read about Akhenaten. It’s because of the introduction of sun god that Africans were called the Children of the Sun. It was after Akhenaten had introduced the sun god that the Germans introduced the word Gott and the English Oxford translated Gott to God in the 6th Century. So what this means is that the word God was man’s creation and everything about the so called Holy Book of the Enslavers religion whether Christain or Islam, were written by men for the purpose of control.


Unfortunately, Africans are so sick that they kill in defense of something that is man’s creation, I mean a religion created by their erstwhile Enslavers; a religion alien to their Ancestors.

Africans must wake up.


They said Christopher Columbus discovered America but went silence on the African king of Mali Empire in the person of Abu Bakr Mansa II who left his throne for his younger brother Mansa Musa and went voyaging with 200 ships with his men and discovered America, 180 years before Christopher Columbus set his foot on American soil. (the book “They Came Before Columbus by Van Sertima) and other accounts gave credence to this report about King Abubakar Mansa II. His successor King Mansa Musa later became the richest man that ever lived on Earth and his riches today is estimated to be 400 billion dollars.


May I remind us that the European tribe plagiarized everything introduced and done by the Black man, they lied about everything yet my African brothers and sisters continue to kowtow to their dictates.


How many of us know that it was Africans that taught Europeans how to take their baths? 

How many of us know that Africans built the first 600 toilets ever witnessed by Europeans in Europe. 

When Africans where giants in Architecture, Agriculture, Mathematics and Medicine, Europeans were living in caves.

Africans led the world before, Africans will lead the world again.

It's high time young Africans knows about their history. African Youths Leadership and Culture Summit (AYLCUS 2024) is beckoning! Be part of it...






For us to know how colonized and miseducated we are as Africans, when you speak with a Lawyer, a Senior Advocate for that matter and you ask him or her, what is the name of the woman holding a scale and a balance which symbolizes Justice, Equity and Truth for the Judiciary? He or she simply tells you, “she’s the Lady of justice”. Many don’t know her name is Ma’at, the black goddess of Egypt who introduced the 42 laws or principles of Maat, over 2000 years before Moses and his 10 commandments were born.


 The 42 laws were what African Kings and Queens used to govern the world including Europe for 700 years. But today that same Black goddess is whitewash to be a white woman without reference to her as the Mother of Justice, just because she’s a back woman.


Ask any African Medical Doctor, who is the father of medicine? He will tell you is Hippocrates; the Greek physician but they have refused to research further to know that Imhotep, an African is the founder and father of medicine. He was the first in human history to cure over 200 diseases. Hippocrates came to Egypt to be tutored by Imhotep but today no medical student is taught about this great African who was so venerated during his time that he was worshipped like a god. 


If you ask an African Bishop or Pastor who originated the worship of one god? He will tell you is the Europeans that’s why their Jesus and Mary is white but the truth is that the first person that introduced monotheism or worship of one god which was then called the sun god or Aten, was an Egyptian Pharaoh named Akhenaten, a black man who brought about religious and political revolution in the world. Go and read about Akhenaten. It’s because of the introduction of sun god that Africans were called the Children of the Sun. It was after Akhenaten had introduced the sun god that the Germans introduced the word Gott and the English Oxford translated Gott to God in the 6th Century. So what this means is that the word God was man’s creation and everything about the so called Holy Book of the Enslavers religion whether Christain or Islam, were written by men for the purpose of control.


Unfortunately, Africans are so sick that they kill in defense of something that is man’s creation, I mean a religion created by their erstwhile Enslavers; a religion alien to their Ancestors.

Africans must wake up.


They said Christopher Columbus discovered America but went silence on the African king of Mali Empire in the person of Abu Bakr Mansa II who left his throne for his younger brother Mansa Musa and went voyaging with 200 ships with his men and discovered America, 180 years before Christopher Columbus set his foot on American soil. (the book “They Came Before Columbus by Van Sertima) and other accounts gave credence to this report about King Abubakar Mansa II. His successor King Mansa Musa later became the richest man that ever lived on Earth and his riches today is estimated to be 400 billion dollars.


May I remind us that the European tribe plagiarized everything introduced and done by the Black man, they lied about everything yet my African brothers and sisters continue to kowtow to their dictates.


How many of us know that it was Africans that taught Europeans how to take their baths? 

How many of us know that Africans built the first 600 toilets ever witnessed by Europeans in Europe. 

When Africans where giants in Architecture, Agriculture, Mathematics and Medicine, Europeans were living in caves.

Africans led the world before, Africans will lead the world again.

It's high time young Africans knows about their history. African Youths Leadership and Culture Summit (AYLCUS 2024) is beckoning! Be part of it...


Supreme Court as Last Hope on the Judiciary

Supreme Court as Last Hope on the Judiciary


By Cyril I. Ujam






Justice Musa Dat­tijo Muhammad's valedictory speech upon his retire­ment from the Supreme Court was remarkable and yet not so remarkable. The alarm he raised -- that "the judiciary has become something else" --  should have come while he still served on the bench. He said nothing new. Every informed Nigerian has worried over the desecration of the temple of justice especially in election cases.


We observe court proceedings and how judges in other climes make efforts to deliver justice. They don't bother to wear long robes. They don't assume they know too much. We see them searching for the truth and not for technicalities that would enable them to satisfy their paymasters or save their jobs. Two illustrations are the cases of former Delta State governor James Ibori (who was discharged and acquitted by a Nigerian court but jailed by a UK court for the same offence) and former deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu (who is now in jail in the UK). Could any court in Nigeria have ever tried Ekweremadu much less jail him? While all the Nigerian culprits in the Halliburton bribery scandal are walking freely today, their  foreign accomplices are all in jail. 


Our judicia­ry's failure in administering justice is most blatant in election cases. You rarely see judges condemning the "Independent" National Electoral Commission, INEC, or its officials for organising fraudulent polls. In courts, INEC uses billions of naira belonging to taxpayers to defend those it rigged elections for. INEC no longer hides the fact that it is a biased umpire!


New justices of the Supreme Court have been sworn in since after Justice Dattijo Muhammad's valedictory speech. Will these new brooms sweep clean? Election petition cases have been concluded at the tribunals and appeal courts. And nobody in Nigeria needs to be told that, in most of the cases determined at these lower courts, judgements were bought and sold the same way traders buy and sell rice or beans at Kano or Onitsha markets. Some who "won" their House of Assembly seats told me they parted with N150m or more.


Only the governorship election cases terminate at the Supreme Court. And that's where the governorship candidates in Enugu, Kano, Plateau, Lagos, Nasarawa, Zamfara and other states have taken their cases. Of the lot, Enugu provides a perfect test on the credibility of the Nigerian judiciary once more. Kano comes close, as the certified true copies of the appeal court judgement betrayed the influence of cash: contradictory paragraphs obviously caused by bad editing in the course of rewriting a judgement. What is "clerical error"?


Every goat, dog or pigeon in Enugu State knows the winner of the governorship election held on March 18: Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, the Labour Party candidate. He won by a wide margin. But the then PDP governor and other influential kingmakers in the state, in a desperate move to save their "investments", have demonstrated the power of illicit cash. During the first round of elections held on February 25, LP cleared 85% of the Enugu votes; even the sitting governor lost a senatorial election! LP won seven out of eight House of Reps seats and 14 out of 24 Assembly seats in the state. 


After the governorship poll of March 18, LP's Edeoga won with over 11,000 votes after the collation of results in 16 out of 17 LGAs in the state. The margin of his victory over the PDP candidate would have reached at least 60,000 votes, but for the suppression and swapping of LP's votes with PDP's in several places. Then, in Nkanu East, the home LGA of the PDP candidate, Peter Mbah, the election fraudsters aided by certain INEC officials discarded the BVAS, ignored the 2022 Electoral Act and raised over 30,000 votes for the PDP candidate. Yet, only 15,000+ voters were accredited to vote in three elections that day at that LGA! When the returning officer, Professor Maduebibisi Iwe, tried to reject the result, he was summoned to INEC headquarters, Abuja. Billions of naira from the state moved to Abuja as well. A committee headed by Festus Okoye was to allocate almost 17,000 votes to PDP to enable its candidate to defeat Edeoga by 3,000+ votes.


At the proceedings of the election tribunal headed by Justice Kudirat Akano, neither INEC nor the PDP goons had any defence for the magical votes from Nkanu East. BVAS machines were reluctantly brought to court. INEC asked the court to rely on the CTC brought by the LP candidate, for information on the BVAS had been erased.


The last stroke that crippled PDP and its defenders was the appearance of the NYSC in court to prove, with documentary evidence, that PDP candidate Mbah had submitted a forged NYSC discharge certificate to INEC. While the NYSC director was still speaking, PDP supporters, one by one, left the court in shame! 


When the Justice Akano-led tribunal delivered its judgement, therefore, the length and breadth of Enugu State became like a funeral scene. No happy face. The only people rejoicing were in Government House -- the celebration began days before the judgement, after N3bn of public funds had changed hands. The Akano judgement contained no iota of law! Even the statement of the NYSC witness subpoenaed by the tribunal was not admitted. If you say something was forged, you must produce the genuine one (even if it doesn't exist), we heard.


The LP candidate went on appeal. When the venue was moved to Lagos, N5.5bn in state funds moved with it. At the appeal court, the facts of the case were laid bare once again. It was clear to everyone in court that justice had not been served in Enugu and a reversal was inevitable. A judgement already written had to be discarded hours to delivery time, however. Even the judge could not read her own judgement with ease, as if someone else had just written it for her. What had happened? Well, one woman in the appeal court allegedly confessed to her friend that Enugu's money offered her was irresistible. Indeed, champagnes were popped in Enugu a day before the judgement to celebrate the "sorting" at the appeal.


Now that the Supreme Court is about to sit on the matter, it is the last hope on the judiciary. Will the apex court help INEC to subvert the wish of the Enugu electorate? Will it reverse its earlier position on admittance of the statement of a subpoenaed witness? Will the court endorse certificate forgery and ignore section 182 (j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Or will it respect the wish of the Enugu electorate and keep certificate forgers away from exalted offices?


Whatever the Supreme Court decides becomes Nigerian law. There will be no further appeal -- except to God. May God save the judiciary and the country.


 _*Ujam, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja.


By Cyril I. Ujam






Justice Musa Dat­tijo Muhammad's valedictory speech upon his retire­ment from the Supreme Court was remarkable and yet not so remarkable. The alarm he raised -- that "the judiciary has become something else" --  should have come while he still served on the bench. He said nothing new. Every informed Nigerian has worried over the desecration of the temple of justice especially in election cases.


We observe court proceedings and how judges in other climes make efforts to deliver justice. They don't bother to wear long robes. They don't assume they know too much. We see them searching for the truth and not for technicalities that would enable them to satisfy their paymasters or save their jobs. Two illustrations are the cases of former Delta State governor James Ibori (who was discharged and acquitted by a Nigerian court but jailed by a UK court for the same offence) and former deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu (who is now in jail in the UK). Could any court in Nigeria have ever tried Ekweremadu much less jail him? While all the Nigerian culprits in the Halliburton bribery scandal are walking freely today, their  foreign accomplices are all in jail. 


Our judicia­ry's failure in administering justice is most blatant in election cases. You rarely see judges condemning the "Independent" National Electoral Commission, INEC, or its officials for organising fraudulent polls. In courts, INEC uses billions of naira belonging to taxpayers to defend those it rigged elections for. INEC no longer hides the fact that it is a biased umpire!


New justices of the Supreme Court have been sworn in since after Justice Dattijo Muhammad's valedictory speech. Will these new brooms sweep clean? Election petition cases have been concluded at the tribunals and appeal courts. And nobody in Nigeria needs to be told that, in most of the cases determined at these lower courts, judgements were bought and sold the same way traders buy and sell rice or beans at Kano or Onitsha markets. Some who "won" their House of Assembly seats told me they parted with N150m or more.


Only the governorship election cases terminate at the Supreme Court. And that's where the governorship candidates in Enugu, Kano, Plateau, Lagos, Nasarawa, Zamfara and other states have taken their cases. Of the lot, Enugu provides a perfect test on the credibility of the Nigerian judiciary once more. Kano comes close, as the certified true copies of the appeal court judgement betrayed the influence of cash: contradictory paragraphs obviously caused by bad editing in the course of rewriting a judgement. What is "clerical error"?


Every goat, dog or pigeon in Enugu State knows the winner of the governorship election held on March 18: Hon. Chijioke Edeoga, the Labour Party candidate. He won by a wide margin. But the then PDP governor and other influential kingmakers in the state, in a desperate move to save their "investments", have demonstrated the power of illicit cash. During the first round of elections held on February 25, LP cleared 85% of the Enugu votes; even the sitting governor lost a senatorial election! LP won seven out of eight House of Reps seats and 14 out of 24 Assembly seats in the state. 


After the governorship poll of March 18, LP's Edeoga won with over 11,000 votes after the collation of results in 16 out of 17 LGAs in the state. The margin of his victory over the PDP candidate would have reached at least 60,000 votes, but for the suppression and swapping of LP's votes with PDP's in several places. Then, in Nkanu East, the home LGA of the PDP candidate, Peter Mbah, the election fraudsters aided by certain INEC officials discarded the BVAS, ignored the 2022 Electoral Act and raised over 30,000 votes for the PDP candidate. Yet, only 15,000+ voters were accredited to vote in three elections that day at that LGA! When the returning officer, Professor Maduebibisi Iwe, tried to reject the result, he was summoned to INEC headquarters, Abuja. Billions of naira from the state moved to Abuja as well. A committee headed by Festus Okoye was to allocate almost 17,000 votes to PDP to enable its candidate to defeat Edeoga by 3,000+ votes.


At the proceedings of the election tribunal headed by Justice Kudirat Akano, neither INEC nor the PDP goons had any defence for the magical votes from Nkanu East. BVAS machines were reluctantly brought to court. INEC asked the court to rely on the CTC brought by the LP candidate, for information on the BVAS had been erased.


The last stroke that crippled PDP and its defenders was the appearance of the NYSC in court to prove, with documentary evidence, that PDP candidate Mbah had submitted a forged NYSC discharge certificate to INEC. While the NYSC director was still speaking, PDP supporters, one by one, left the court in shame! 


When the Justice Akano-led tribunal delivered its judgement, therefore, the length and breadth of Enugu State became like a funeral scene. No happy face. The only people rejoicing were in Government House -- the celebration began days before the judgement, after N3bn of public funds had changed hands. The Akano judgement contained no iota of law! Even the statement of the NYSC witness subpoenaed by the tribunal was not admitted. If you say something was forged, you must produce the genuine one (even if it doesn't exist), we heard.


The LP candidate went on appeal. When the venue was moved to Lagos, N5.5bn in state funds moved with it. At the appeal court, the facts of the case were laid bare once again. It was clear to everyone in court that justice had not been served in Enugu and a reversal was inevitable. A judgement already written had to be discarded hours to delivery time, however. Even the judge could not read her own judgement with ease, as if someone else had just written it for her. What had happened? Well, one woman in the appeal court allegedly confessed to her friend that Enugu's money offered her was irresistible. Indeed, champagnes were popped in Enugu a day before the judgement to celebrate the "sorting" at the appeal.


Now that the Supreme Court is about to sit on the matter, it is the last hope on the judiciary. Will the apex court help INEC to subvert the wish of the Enugu electorate? Will it reverse its earlier position on admittance of the statement of a subpoenaed witness? Will the court endorse certificate forgery and ignore section 182 (j) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Or will it respect the wish of the Enugu electorate and keep certificate forgers away from exalted offices?


Whatever the Supreme Court decides becomes Nigerian law. There will be no further appeal -- except to God. May God save the judiciary and the country.


 _*Ujam, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja.

JUSTICE SET BACK ON ITS HEELS: WHY JUDGES WILL SURVIVE ATTEMPTS TO INTIMIDATE THEM

JUSTICE SET BACK ON ITS HEELS: WHY JUDGES WILL SURVIVE ATTEMPTS TO INTIMIDATE THEM

By Ajiroba Yemi Kotun 


“My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” – Jane Austin


INTIMIDATION is an animal thing. Ethical people do not intimidate. Unlike English novelist Jane Austin (1775-1817), the author of “Pride and Prejudice”, 279 pages, a brilliant novel published anonymously in 1813, which Austin herself called “my own darling child”, and who is celebrated mainly for her six novels that tacitly interpret, review, and comment upon the British propertied aristocracy at the close of the 18th century, Nigeria’s stubborn losers in the February 25, 2023 presidential election that are now angrily, ignorantly, and cowardly trying to knock the stuffing out of the judiciary, take its breath away, make the judges’ hair stand on end, or scare the daylights out of them with their so-called “All eyes on the judiciary” covert threat, do not know that there is a stubbornness about the institution that “never can bear to be frightened at the will of others” <Refers to the 2014 paperback, “All Eyes On Me”, 234 pages, Barnes & Noble, by bestselling author Linsey Lanier>. 



Probably, the judges, too, who before now know that intimidators use fear and bullying as their foremost big sticks, are keen as mustard on their own to reply these ignorant and angry ‘tricksters’ inaudibly that: “Bring it on! We are falling for your hurricane eyes, but you do not know us yet because our real eyes will expose your real lies one by one in the Court's own good time <Refers to 1 Peter 3:14 - "...do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled">. Really, as you make your bed, so you must lie on it. Suitably, Hilary Clinton, 75, the 67th U.S. Secretary of State (2009-2013) and author of “State of Terror” (2022), 512 pages, Simon & Schuster, a novel of unrivaled kicks and unmatched insider knowledge, wrote “Extremism thrives amid ignorance and anger, intimidation and cowardice” <Refers to the 2016 Nollywood movie, "Intimidation", starring Mike Ezuruonye, Ini Edo, Koffi Adjorlolo, Tonto Dikeh, and Pat Asore>. Barking dogs seldom bite just as bullies are cowards. 


And since democracy will not compromise any of its salient elements, these coercing ‘democrats’ should learn a thing or two from Mo Ibrahim, 77, a Sudanese-British billionaire businessman and the founder of “Celtel”, who said frankly that “Intimidation, harassment, and violence have no place in a democracy.” They should also read less of such refined “intimidation” defenders as British-American media executive Anna Wintour, 73, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief since 1988 and the author of the 2021 book, “Wonderland”, 439 pages, Amazon, who tried to justify her “interest in getting things done” by saying “I think I’m decisive, and I like to get things done quickly. So if that comes across as intimidation, I’m sorry to hear it.” However, a worried blunt, hard-boiled, and galvanic Sandra Day O’Connor, 93, Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeal (1979-1981), the first female associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1981-2006), and the author of the 2004 hardcover, “The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice”, 352 pages, hit the bull’s eye when she wrote thus “The freedom to criticize judges and other public officials is necessary to a vibrant democracy. The problem comes when healthy criticism is replaced with more destructive intimidation and sanctions.” 


Democratic or autocratic, all governments dislike those who ride roughshod over others. This is akin to how Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013), the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1979-1990) who was pleased when a Russian newspaper nicknamed her “the Iron Lady” as many had doubted whether a woman would be strong enough to lead any big European or American country in this modern age, disliked British left-wing zealots whom she accused of having “often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it.”Just like these ones, the defeated former contenders of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, 71, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, too, think the ends always seem to justify the means and that intimidating the judiciary, keeping it at bay, or just riding roughshod over it with their indirect blackmails, subtle threats, or furtive pressure can yield them their hearts’ desires, turn the tables on the declared winner of the election, and deny him the sweat of his brow. 


That to control the judges, they just have to instill fear in them or make them feel afraid. But, instead of making such enemies for themselves and looking like the bad guys or not really good at being the bad guys (like American professional wrestler Ric Flair, 74), since the hustings towards the last general elections began and ended and up till now, they should be thinking of winning more friends and attracting and swaying people to their goals, whatever those are. In the 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, 288 pages, American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), whose enduring principles are helping many people to achieve their maximum potential in the difficult and competitive modern age, wrote “We ride roughshod over the feelings of others, getting our own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticizing… without even considering the hurt to the other person’s pride.” Carnegie’s above book teaches “the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.”


Many people thank their lucky stars that they see everything in front of their eyes. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. Therefore, Nigerians are silently thanking their lucky stars for not having these kinds as their elected leaders who will rule by intimidation, possibly, because they have nothing else to bring to the table or contribute freshly. 


American attorney Michelle Obama, 59, who served as the first African-American First Lady of the United States (2009-2017) and the author of the 2009 hardcover, “Believe in the Possibility: The Words of Michelle Obama”, 128 pages, Goodreads, wrote aptly, confirming the foregoing thus “Leaders who demonize and dehumanize entire groups of people often do so because they have nothing else to offer.” We have on our hands disappointed people, who want to steal the presidency of ‘their country’ by using “lies, arrogance, and intimidation”, variegated with so much hate and rage. As Dr. Leslyn Lewis, 52 a Canadian lawyer and politician who has served as the member of Parliament for Haldimand – Norfolk since 2021, would easily recommend, after letting the dust of all this braggadocio settle, maybe part of what Nigeria will be needing going forward is a sweeping and truthful talk around the culture of rudeness, disrespect, disrepute, and intimidation that we have permitted to aggravate concerning the judiciary, our senior citizens, and other Nigerians at risk of holding poles apart views. Definitely, intimidation is one tool that decent people do not take in hand as a means to attain victory or success in any endeavor. 


We must tell ourselves the plain truth that a political culture of intimidation, bullying, pressure, coercion, fear, threats, or blackmails is no way to build a nation and no way a nation is governed. “Frightening other Nigerians” or intimidating and insulting them will not get any political party, group, tribe, or religion anywhere. According to Evangelist  Ugochukwu-Uko of the Igbo Youths Movement (IYM), "Nobody ever acquired political power by reining insults on those with opposing political views." Intimidation against people who hold different views from our own views has no justification whatsoever. It is headstrong and totally indefensible.


Nightcaps: 


1. Canadian politician Stockwell Day, 73, the Leader of Opposition (2000-2001) and Minister of Public Safety (2006-2008), also agreed that “Judges must be free from political intervention or intimidation.”


2. It is easy to be wise after the event. People who devise wild skills to embarrass their fellow humans inevitably blunder their own feelings <Denotes to the failed plot to humiliate the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwo-ola, 69, in March 2003 over the grossly fake, misleading and malicious story that he  disguised to meet then President-elect Bola Tinubu in London>.


3. Intimidation is a tradition. It first gets its own natural life before growing into a disorder.


4. Will history repeat itself again, why not?

By Ajiroba Yemi Kotun 


“My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” – Jane Austin


INTIMIDATION is an animal thing. Ethical people do not intimidate. Unlike English novelist Jane Austin (1775-1817), the author of “Pride and Prejudice”, 279 pages, a brilliant novel published anonymously in 1813, which Austin herself called “my own darling child”, and who is celebrated mainly for her six novels that tacitly interpret, review, and comment upon the British propertied aristocracy at the close of the 18th century, Nigeria’s stubborn losers in the February 25, 2023 presidential election that are now angrily, ignorantly, and cowardly trying to knock the stuffing out of the judiciary, take its breath away, make the judges’ hair stand on end, or scare the daylights out of them with their so-called “All eyes on the judiciary” covert threat, do not know that there is a stubbornness about the institution that “never can bear to be frightened at the will of others” <Refers to the 2014 paperback, “All Eyes On Me”, 234 pages, Barnes & Noble, by bestselling author Linsey Lanier>. 



Probably, the judges, too, who before now know that intimidators use fear and bullying as their foremost big sticks, are keen as mustard on their own to reply these ignorant and angry ‘tricksters’ inaudibly that: “Bring it on! We are falling for your hurricane eyes, but you do not know us yet because our real eyes will expose your real lies one by one in the Court's own good time <Refers to 1 Peter 3:14 - "...do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled">. Really, as you make your bed, so you must lie on it. Suitably, Hilary Clinton, 75, the 67th U.S. Secretary of State (2009-2013) and author of “State of Terror” (2022), 512 pages, Simon & Schuster, a novel of unrivaled kicks and unmatched insider knowledge, wrote “Extremism thrives amid ignorance and anger, intimidation and cowardice” <Refers to the 2016 Nollywood movie, "Intimidation", starring Mike Ezuruonye, Ini Edo, Koffi Adjorlolo, Tonto Dikeh, and Pat Asore>. Barking dogs seldom bite just as bullies are cowards. 


And since democracy will not compromise any of its salient elements, these coercing ‘democrats’ should learn a thing or two from Mo Ibrahim, 77, a Sudanese-British billionaire businessman and the founder of “Celtel”, who said frankly that “Intimidation, harassment, and violence have no place in a democracy.” They should also read less of such refined “intimidation” defenders as British-American media executive Anna Wintour, 73, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief since 1988 and the author of the 2021 book, “Wonderland”, 439 pages, Amazon, who tried to justify her “interest in getting things done” by saying “I think I’m decisive, and I like to get things done quickly. So if that comes across as intimidation, I’m sorry to hear it.” However, a worried blunt, hard-boiled, and galvanic Sandra Day O’Connor, 93, Judge of the Arizona Court of Appeal (1979-1981), the first female associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1981-2006), and the author of the 2004 hardcover, “The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice”, 352 pages, hit the bull’s eye when she wrote thus “The freedom to criticize judges and other public officials is necessary to a vibrant democracy. The problem comes when healthy criticism is replaced with more destructive intimidation and sanctions.” 


Democratic or autocratic, all governments dislike those who ride roughshod over others. This is akin to how Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013), the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1979-1990) who was pleased when a Russian newspaper nicknamed her “the Iron Lady” as many had doubted whether a woman would be strong enough to lead any big European or American country in this modern age, disliked British left-wing zealots whom she accused of having “often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it.”Just like these ones, the defeated former contenders of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, 71, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, too, think the ends always seem to justify the means and that intimidating the judiciary, keeping it at bay, or just riding roughshod over it with their indirect blackmails, subtle threats, or furtive pressure can yield them their hearts’ desires, turn the tables on the declared winner of the election, and deny him the sweat of his brow. 


That to control the judges, they just have to instill fear in them or make them feel afraid. But, instead of making such enemies for themselves and looking like the bad guys or not really good at being the bad guys (like American professional wrestler Ric Flair, 74), since the hustings towards the last general elections began and ended and up till now, they should be thinking of winning more friends and attracting and swaying people to their goals, whatever those are. In the 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, 288 pages, American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), whose enduring principles are helping many people to achieve their maximum potential in the difficult and competitive modern age, wrote “We ride roughshod over the feelings of others, getting our own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticizing… without even considering the hurt to the other person’s pride.” Carnegie’s above book teaches “the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.”


Many people thank their lucky stars that they see everything in front of their eyes. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. Therefore, Nigerians are silently thanking their lucky stars for not having these kinds as their elected leaders who will rule by intimidation, possibly, because they have nothing else to bring to the table or contribute freshly. 


American attorney Michelle Obama, 59, who served as the first African-American First Lady of the United States (2009-2017) and the author of the 2009 hardcover, “Believe in the Possibility: The Words of Michelle Obama”, 128 pages, Goodreads, wrote aptly, confirming the foregoing thus “Leaders who demonize and dehumanize entire groups of people often do so because they have nothing else to offer.” We have on our hands disappointed people, who want to steal the presidency of ‘their country’ by using “lies, arrogance, and intimidation”, variegated with so much hate and rage. As Dr. Leslyn Lewis, 52 a Canadian lawyer and politician who has served as the member of Parliament for Haldimand – Norfolk since 2021, would easily recommend, after letting the dust of all this braggadocio settle, maybe part of what Nigeria will be needing going forward is a sweeping and truthful talk around the culture of rudeness, disrespect, disrepute, and intimidation that we have permitted to aggravate concerning the judiciary, our senior citizens, and other Nigerians at risk of holding poles apart views. Definitely, intimidation is one tool that decent people do not take in hand as a means to attain victory or success in any endeavor. 


We must tell ourselves the plain truth that a political culture of intimidation, bullying, pressure, coercion, fear, threats, or blackmails is no way to build a nation and no way a nation is governed. “Frightening other Nigerians” or intimidating and insulting them will not get any political party, group, tribe, or religion anywhere. According to Evangelist  Ugochukwu-Uko of the Igbo Youths Movement (IYM), "Nobody ever acquired political power by reining insults on those with opposing political views." Intimidation against people who hold different views from our own views has no justification whatsoever. It is headstrong and totally indefensible.


Nightcaps: 


1. Canadian politician Stockwell Day, 73, the Leader of Opposition (2000-2001) and Minister of Public Safety (2006-2008), also agreed that “Judges must be free from political intervention or intimidation.”


2. It is easy to be wise after the event. People who devise wild skills to embarrass their fellow humans inevitably blunder their own feelings <Denotes to the failed plot to humiliate the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwo-ola, 69, in March 2003 over the grossly fake, misleading and malicious story that he  disguised to meet then President-elect Bola Tinubu in London>.


3. Intimidation is a tradition. It first gets its own natural life before growing into a disorder.


4. Will history repeat itself again, why not?

COMMUNIQUE: Afenifere calls on judiciary to ensure that all petitions of the Presidential election be timeously and justly resolved before the end of the Buhari administration

COMMUNIQUE: Afenifere calls on judiciary to ensure that all petitions of the Presidential election be timeously and justly resolved before the end of the Buhari administration

 *BEING THE COMMUNIQUE AT THE END OF THE REGULAR MONTHLY GENERAL MEETING OF THE AFENIFERE HELD AT THE RESIDENCE OF OUR LEADER CHIEF AYO ADEBANJO AT ISANYA OGBO OGUN STATE ON TUESDAY 25TH APRIL 2023.*


1. 000 PREAMBLE.

Afenifere held its Regular monthly General Meeting today, the 25th day of April 2023, at the residence of our Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State, which Meeting had in attendance delegates from the member states and presided over by our Leader aforesaid; and after exhaustive deliberations on the state of the Nigerian Federation, Observed and Resolved as follow:


1.0 ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

 


Afenifere reiterates our position that the emergence of a President of Southern and specifically South Eastern origin will guarantee equity, fairness and peaceful corporate existence of the Nigerian federation and for which we continue to support the victory of Peter Obi of the Labour Party in the 25th February Presidential election and all his endeavours in its realisation.


2.0 THE JUDICIARY AND THE 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.


 Afenifere strongly calls on the judiciary to ensure that all petitions in respect of the Presidential election be timeously and justly resolved before the end of the tenure of the Buhari administration as the only way the confidence of Nigerians in its intervention may be earned. Precedents in this regard have been laid even by less endowed countries in Africa. 


3.0 BUHARI’S MESSAGE OF FORGIVENESS TO NIGERIANS. 


3.1 Afenifere considers the request of President Buhari for pardon “by those he might have hurt along the line of his services to the country” as rather short in statesmanship which demands that such apologies be extended to all Nigerians who have been traumatised especially by the pervasive insecurity and marooned in economic quagmire which in the last 8 years have rendered life most uninspiring, nasty, brutish and short. 


3.2 That it is rather shameful and painful that the President would celebrate, as achievement, the purported containment of insecurity in Abuja where the sovereignty of the nation has been wantonly challenged by terrorists routinely routing the Presidential convoy, Correctional Centres attacked and emptied and some Local Governments in neighbouring Niger State in effective occupation by Boko Haram.


3.2 Afenifere further notes the President’s lamentations of his serial loss of elections until “God sent technology to my rescue through the introduction of the PVC” . It is rather more lamentable that the manifest desires of Buhari to improve on the efficacy of the technological processes, inherited from Jonathan, by assenting the 2022 Electoral Act with the BVAS and IREV components, were thwarted by the INEC and security agencies under his watch, while high level officers of his government were befuddled by partisan considerations to justify relapse to primitivity. 


4.0 THE 2023 NATIONAL CENSUS.


4.1 Afenifere bemoans the unthinkable insistence of the Buhari administration in conducting the 2023 National Census in spite of the objective realities which make such an important national exercise most inauspicious in timing and impossible in credible implementation.


4.2 Afenifere recalls that in a paper it presented at the National Consultative Forum on the 2023 Census held at the Banquet Hall, State House Abuja on the 11th August 2022, it reiterated the imperative of census in national development noting that the application and misuse of Census data had been our bane as a country where we lie to ourselves and the world about our number indulging in laughable projections sometimes based on assumed and fixed percentage of population growth across different parts notwithstanding glaring variables.


4.3 It is in the light of the importance of credible exercise that, in the August 2022 Conference, we strongly advised against the conduct of the Census which, among other reasons, we said could not possibly hold in the same year of a General election. 4.4 Other well meaning personalities and institutions including the UNFPA Resident Representative in Nigeria who at another Conference in PortHarcourt on the 26th-29th March 2023 and most recently the Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Calabar which all have raised concerns on the possibility of reasonable and genuine participation in an acceptable headcount in the current mood of the nation.


4.5 That Afenifere is particularly bemused that Government expects participation in headcount by citizens still incensed and distraught by the trauma of violence and brigandage of the elections or by those in IDP camps within their country in whose ancestral homes terrorists in occupation will now be counted as new indigenes.


4.6 That all factors considered, including its inability to supervise a transparent electoral process, a lesser headcount exercise, the integrity deficiency of this administration is abysmally compounded in conducting census which partisan disputes in Nigeria is often at the level of communities, states and ethnic nationalities having been politicised overtime.


4.7 Afenifere decries the most insensitive deployment of over 800 bilion Naira on this wasteful exercise as scandalous and an economic offence.


4.8. Afenifere conclusively says there is no compelling reason why the census must be held by the expiring Buhari administration and calls for all steps and preparations in that regards to be stopped FORTHWITH.


Issued and signed at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State this 25th day of April 2023.


Chief Ayo Adebanjo 

Leader


Chief Sola Ebiseni 

Secretary General.


 *BEING THE COMMUNIQUE AT THE END OF THE REGULAR MONTHLY GENERAL MEETING OF THE AFENIFERE HELD AT THE RESIDENCE OF OUR LEADER CHIEF AYO ADEBANJO AT ISANYA OGBO OGUN STATE ON TUESDAY 25TH APRIL 2023.*


1. 000 PREAMBLE.

Afenifere held its Regular monthly General Meeting today, the 25th day of April 2023, at the residence of our Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State, which Meeting had in attendance delegates from the member states and presided over by our Leader aforesaid; and after exhaustive deliberations on the state of the Nigerian Federation, Observed and Resolved as follow:


1.0 ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

 


Afenifere reiterates our position that the emergence of a President of Southern and specifically South Eastern origin will guarantee equity, fairness and peaceful corporate existence of the Nigerian federation and for which we continue to support the victory of Peter Obi of the Labour Party in the 25th February Presidential election and all his endeavours in its realisation.


2.0 THE JUDICIARY AND THE 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.


 Afenifere strongly calls on the judiciary to ensure that all petitions in respect of the Presidential election be timeously and justly resolved before the end of the tenure of the Buhari administration as the only way the confidence of Nigerians in its intervention may be earned. Precedents in this regard have been laid even by less endowed countries in Africa. 


3.0 BUHARI’S MESSAGE OF FORGIVENESS TO NIGERIANS. 


3.1 Afenifere considers the request of President Buhari for pardon “by those he might have hurt along the line of his services to the country” as rather short in statesmanship which demands that such apologies be extended to all Nigerians who have been traumatised especially by the pervasive insecurity and marooned in economic quagmire which in the last 8 years have rendered life most uninspiring, nasty, brutish and short. 


3.2 That it is rather shameful and painful that the President would celebrate, as achievement, the purported containment of insecurity in Abuja where the sovereignty of the nation has been wantonly challenged by terrorists routinely routing the Presidential convoy, Correctional Centres attacked and emptied and some Local Governments in neighbouring Niger State in effective occupation by Boko Haram.


3.2 Afenifere further notes the President’s lamentations of his serial loss of elections until “God sent technology to my rescue through the introduction of the PVC” . It is rather more lamentable that the manifest desires of Buhari to improve on the efficacy of the technological processes, inherited from Jonathan, by assenting the 2022 Electoral Act with the BVAS and IREV components, were thwarted by the INEC and security agencies under his watch, while high level officers of his government were befuddled by partisan considerations to justify relapse to primitivity. 


4.0 THE 2023 NATIONAL CENSUS.


4.1 Afenifere bemoans the unthinkable insistence of the Buhari administration in conducting the 2023 National Census in spite of the objective realities which make such an important national exercise most inauspicious in timing and impossible in credible implementation.


4.2 Afenifere recalls that in a paper it presented at the National Consultative Forum on the 2023 Census held at the Banquet Hall, State House Abuja on the 11th August 2022, it reiterated the imperative of census in national development noting that the application and misuse of Census data had been our bane as a country where we lie to ourselves and the world about our number indulging in laughable projections sometimes based on assumed and fixed percentage of population growth across different parts notwithstanding glaring variables.


4.3 It is in the light of the importance of credible exercise that, in the August 2022 Conference, we strongly advised against the conduct of the Census which, among other reasons, we said could not possibly hold in the same year of a General election. 4.4 Other well meaning personalities and institutions including the UNFPA Resident Representative in Nigeria who at another Conference in PortHarcourt on the 26th-29th March 2023 and most recently the Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Calabar which all have raised concerns on the possibility of reasonable and genuine participation in an acceptable headcount in the current mood of the nation.


4.5 That Afenifere is particularly bemused that Government expects participation in headcount by citizens still incensed and distraught by the trauma of violence and brigandage of the elections or by those in IDP camps within their country in whose ancestral homes terrorists in occupation will now be counted as new indigenes.


4.6 That all factors considered, including its inability to supervise a transparent electoral process, a lesser headcount exercise, the integrity deficiency of this administration is abysmally compounded in conducting census which partisan disputes in Nigeria is often at the level of communities, states and ethnic nationalities having been politicised overtime.


4.7 Afenifere decries the most insensitive deployment of over 800 bilion Naira on this wasteful exercise as scandalous and an economic offence.


4.8. Afenifere conclusively says there is no compelling reason why the census must be held by the expiring Buhari administration and calls for all steps and preparations in that regards to be stopped FORTHWITH.


Issued and signed at Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State this 25th day of April 2023.


Chief Ayo Adebanjo 

Leader


Chief Sola Ebiseni 

Secretary General.


RE-PRESIDENCY : THE SUPREME COURT HAS RESOLVED FCT 25% QUANDARY - MIKE OZEKHOME

RE-PRESIDENCY : THE SUPREME COURT HAS RESOLVED FCT 25% QUANDARY - MIKE OZEKHOME

 *(Read and understand why Tinubu needs to get 25% of votes in Abuja.)*


INTRODUCTION


In an article titled, “Presidency: Supreme Court has resolved FCT 25% quandary: (https:// the eagleonline.com.ng), my younger friend, Dr Kayode Ajulo, specifically mentioned my name (amongst other senior lawyers), whom he respectfully referred to as “revered to be authorities in their fields”. He even generously described us as “legends of Inner Bar (who are) jurists who have become oracles of constitutional law whose names have refused to leave the pages of law reports”. I thank Ajulo for his kind effusive words of praises and adulation.


Were this kind recognition all he said about me and the other “oracles of constitutional law”, I would not have bothered to write this rejoinder. But, he soon thereafter most unfairly descended on us with unrestrained upbraiding as follows: 


“And when they lend their respected voices to public issues, their words are taken as gospel by laymen who lack the qualification and the intellectual rigour to interrogate their opinions of these senior lawyers as Yeah and Amen”.


“However, this electioneering season has been an eye opening one for some of us. It has been a season of unraveling and miracles as to how some legal professionals have, either by deliberate action or absence of proper research, interpret one of the simplest provisions in our Constitution as regards election to the Office of the President and requirements of the candidate for that highest  public office in the land”.


“We have seen those that should know and those who have held exalted and enviable positions hold curious opinions on Constitutional issues that embarrass our industry and harass ones intellect”.


“For some of them, politics have been mixed with law in order to please certain quarters of the political class. But this is a dangerous mix. There is politics, and there is law. While they can sometimes intersect, they should not be muddled up when discussing pertinent legal issues that affect the nationhood of the country and the collective development of her citizens”.


This write-up of mine should, therefore, be seen as my RIGHT OF REPLY of (see section 39 of the 1999 Constitution, as altered). I honestly believe Dr Ajulo went too far in categorizing all senior lawyers whose views are not in tandem with his as holding “curious opinions”, either “by deliberate action or lack of proper research”. He also accused us of being tainted by partisanship or politics, merely for expressing our views. And to think that such views to him constitute “curious opinions on constitutional issues that embarrass our industry and harass our intellect”, was far too rude, self-opinionated and too vainglorious to be swept under the carpet. He erroneously (perhaps, arrogantly), elevated his personal views over and above all others’. Where is that coming from? Narcissism? Politics? godfatherism? I do not know. Or, do you?  The truth is that it is, rather, Ajulo’s views that were not only political, but heavily politicised. His entire piece read like a piece of a political party’s manifesto. It failed woefully to exhibit the attributes of the rigours and intellectual breadth and depth of scholarly research which he so gleefully talked about in his needless diatribe.






My simple take on this is that when a debate on a serious controversial national issue gets to a crescendo such as we now have it, various dimensions of and opinions on the issue under discourse must be vigorously pursued, explored and interrogated. Consequently, as regards this raging ruckus and scrimmage as to whether the 25% votes required by S.134 (2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution ( as amended) is applicable to the FCT, Abuja, I have now decided to navigate further, some uncharted routes, by going mathematical to find X. This will surely emphasize to Ajulo, and others who hold similar or same views as his, that this matter is not just about to go away, or be buried, or swept under the mat, until it is, perhaps, finally laid to rest by the Supreme Court. Even at that, Scholars and Analysts will, for centuries to come, still interrogate it, in the same way, that the debate over the case of AWOLOWO V. SHAGARI & 2 Ors (1979) LPELR-653 (SC), still rages till date (44 years later!).   


Contrary to the simplistic and cavalier manner with which Ajulo dismissed the 25% compulsory requirement (even while paradoxically also extensively discussing it himself), it will not vanish into thin air just like that! He gravely errs in thinking that the debate is simply about how to “interpret one of the simplest provisions in our Constitution”. We must tackle it headlong. Let us therefore now take the argument further. I have always believed that it is in the clash of ideas that the truth- the naked truth– finally emerges.


There is no doubt that the provisions of section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution is rooted in mathematics. It requires that a winning presidential candidate shall have “not less than one-quarter of the votes at the election in each of at least two-third of all the states in the Federation AND the Federal Capital Territory Abuja”. (Emphasis supplied).


As lawyers, we should not shy away from embarking on this mathematical pathway to resolve the steaming controversy. Yes, mathematics is part of lawyers’ job in resolving disputes; and Nigerian courts are not strangers to mathematical judgments. Afterall, the 1979 Presidential Election involving Shagari and Awolowo was wholly litigated, won and lost on the basis of the Supreme Court’s mathematical interpretation of what amounted then to 2/3 of the then 19 states of the Federation. The Supreme Court, in delivering judgment in favour of Shagari, ruled that the requirement of votes to win the Presidential election was 25% in 12 states, and no more. It cautiously avoided the attendant fractionalization of Kano State, so as to avoid absurdity in interpretation. My deep research has just thrown up a judgment where the court was called upon to interpret and translate 1.00 to percentage. The Honourable Justice Nelson Ogbuanya of the National Industrial Court, in resolving the mathematical legal question, held that “1.00 of an amount means one whole number and not a fraction; and when converted to percentage, it means 100% and not 1%”. See “https://guardian.ng/features” law Court rules that 1.00 base salary to mean 100% in mathematical judgment” – The Guardian 26th November, 2019). 


Let me therefore state very clearly here, that contrary to what is being peddled by many commentators as purportedly settled judicial decisions on the status of FCT, Abuja (many of them critiquing my earlier write-up (see www.”ruebenabati.com.na-(opinion)- The 25% of FCT, Abuja conundrum-Mike-Ozekhome; Barristering.ng.com”) such decisions are not authorities for the very recondite and recherch├ę issue posed by the 2023 Presidential Election results, which border on mathematical interpretation of the provisions of section 134(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, as altered, regarding the required percentage of votes which must be secured by a candidate in the Presidential Election in relation to the 36 states of the Federation and FCT, Abuja. There is no known judicial authority which has decided and settled this abstruse, arcane and enigmatic legal puzzle which is similar to the one that was thrown up in the aftermath of the 1979 Presidential Election. But that era differs remarkably from the current scenario, as, unlike section 126(2) of the 1979 Constitution which ended with 2/3 of all the states in the Federation, the 1999 Constitution added a fresh, rider, “And the FCT, Abuja”. Both the 1979 Constitution and the unused Babangida’s 1989 Constitution never added FCT, Abuja, since although same was created by Decree No. 6 of 1976, on February 5, 1976, by the assassinated General Muritala Mohammed, it came into existence on December 12, 1991, after the 1979 Constitution had been promulgated; but before the 1989 Babangida Constitution which never saw the light of day.


There is also no doubt that the FCT, Abuja, is not, strict sensu, a State (it has no State-like governance structure). However, by S.299 of the 1999 Constitution and many judicial decisions, it is “to be treated as a State“:  See BABA-PANYA V. PRESIDENT FRN (2018) 15NWLR (Pt 1643)423; BAKAR V. OGUNDIPE (2021) 5 NWLR (Pt 1768) 9. A Community reading of section 2(2), 3(1)(4), 134(2)(b), 297, 298, 299, 301 and 302 of the 1999 Constitution shows that the FCT is accorded a special status as quite distinct from that of a normal state; notwithstanding that it is to be “treated as a state”.  


In dealing with this my new vista which now takes on a mathematical dimension, there are agreed parameters to note and apply, as answering  a mathematical question requires patiently adopting  methodical approach, using certain  laid down formula. This is what is called ‘operation show your work before putting QED on your answer’. The mathematical question thus posed by S.134 (2)(b) of the Constitution is this: what does it mean when it requires a winner of the presidential election to secure not less than (i.e at least) 1/4 ( 25%) of votes  in each of at least 2/3 of all the states in the Federation (36 states) AND the FCT, Abuja? The first step is to note that there are two parts- the variable and constant figures. In mathematics, while constant is a fixed figure, variable figures are imprecise. But, the variables must, nonetheless be ascertained before proceeding to conclude or ascribe a fixed figure in a given arithmetical equation. It is this inability to ascertain the variable figure that usually makes some students afraid of, and intimidated by, mathematics. In the end, they always failed to find X (the constant), with the resultant hatred for mathematics. To find X, the variable figure must be worked out and ascertained in a fixed figure, such as the constant figure. 


It is clear that while “2/3 of all the states in the Federation” is the variable figure, which if worked out would give 24 states and thus become a constant figure, the “FCT, Abuja”, is always the constant figure, which stands as 1. 


Working out the equation to show that the two parts (both variable and constant figures) are separate and distinct in their respective values must be applicable to the 25% votes requirement. This would be subjected to the BODMAS (Bracket, Order of power or roots, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction) Rule. This Rule is employed to explain the order of operation of mathematical expression. 


Here, Bracket plays the role of “AND”, which serves as coordinating conjunctive verb in English syntax, to ascertain the two parts separated by bracket: See BUHARI v. INEC (2008) 19NWLR (Pt 1120) 246 (for the definition “And”); and EYISI & ORS V. STATE (200) LPELR-1186 (SC) (for the definition of “Each”).


In applying this formulae: 


The number of states =36;


2/3 of 36 as variable =24; 


FCT, Abuja as constant =1


So, the 25% of 24 States AND FCT, Abuja (1), will be expressed as: 25 % (24)(1) in mathematics. This is interpreted in English as 25% of 24 and 1, but not 25. The 24 represents states, while 1 represents FCT, Abuja. 


The intention of the lawmaker is quite clear here. 


The FCT, Abuja, is the seat of power of the Nigerian leadership. It is a cosmopolitan convergence of all federating units of the nation. It is to be merely treated like a State; but not as a State for the strange purpose of counting the total number of States to become 37 instead of 36 States and the FCT, Abuja, as wrongly argued by some analysts. The FCT, Abuja, is the political nerve centre of Nigeria. It has been imbued with such a special status as a miniature Nigeria in such a way that any elected president must have to compulsorily win the required 25% vote in the FCT, Abuja, after winning 25% votes in 24 States.


The reasons for this are not far-fetched. FCT, Abuja, is the melting pot which unites all ethnic groups, tribes, religions, people of variegate backgrounds; and other distinct qualities and characteristics in our pluralistic society. It is indeed a multi-diverse and multi-faceted conglomerate of the different and distinct peoples of Nigeria, which according to Prof Onigu Otite, has about 474 ethnic groups which speak over 350 languages. The FCT, Abuja, is thus regarded as the “Centre of Unity”, which is a testament to its inclusiveness of all tribes, religions, ethnic groups, languages; and peoples of different backgrounds. Simply put, FCT, Abuja, is a territory or land mass that is made up of individuals from every State and virtually from all the Local Government Areas in the country. It is itself made up of 6 Area Councils, quite distinct from the 768 LGAs in Nigeria, thus bringing the total to 774 LGCs in Nigeria. Consequently, scoring 25% of votes cast in the FCT, Abuja, is a Presidential candidate’s testament to being widely accepted by majority of the Nigerian people. The President is not expected to be a tenant in his seat of power. Will he pay rent to the 24 states he scored 25% votes? I do not know. Or, do you?


The framers of the 1999 Constitution certainly desired for Nigeria, a President that is widely accepted, with national spread; and not one that is a regional kingpin with support only from of his tribe, region, or ethnic group. The provisions contained in section 134 of the 1999 Constitution are meant to reflect this. In the same vein, the framers of the 1999 Constitution viewed the FCT, Abuja, as a melting pot; a sort of mini-Nigeria. Thus, like a commentator aptly posited, the position or status of the FCT, Abuja, assumes that of a COMPULSORY question that a presidential candidate must ANSWER in the electoral examination. With the FCT, Abuja, serving as the seat of the Federal Government-with all ministries and MDAs situated in it – it represents a Dolly Parton’s “Coat of many colours”. This is why the Federal Character provided for in sections 14(3),(4); 153(1); and 318(1) of the 1999 Constitution is also reflected in the administration of FCT, even though the Gbagyis are the original Aborigines of the FCT.


The only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the above is that sections 134 (2)(b) and 299 are not mutually exclusive or contradictory, as some commentators posit. Rather, section 299 actually supports and complements section 134. 


Whether FCT, Abuja, is regarded as a super-state, full State, pseudo-State, quasi-State, or semi-State, is to me, immaterial. Even if it is none of these, what matters is the clear intention of the Constitution-makers. 


Had the law makers intended that the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, will be treated simply as a “State” and no more in section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution, they would have simply stopped there. There was no need to specifically add the new phrase, “AND the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”, as in section 134(2)(b). The Constitution would simply have provided for “two-thirds of all the States in the Federation”, and stopped there. But, it did not. 


From a historical perspective (I am a student of history), recall that the AWOLOWO V. SHAGARI case and section 299 of the 1999 Constitution which states that its provisions shall apply to the FCT, Abuja, “as if it were one of the states of the Federation; including the BABA PANYA and BAKARI cases (supra), often cited with ├ęclat, but out of context, did not deal with the issue of elections, or what percentage of the votes was expected of a presidential candidate. They merely dealt with the issues that were presented in those cases. No more. It is trite law that a case is only an authority for what its peculiar facts present: BABATUNDE v. PASTA (2007) 13 NWLR pt. 1050 pg. 113 @ 157; ADEGOKE MOTORS v. ADESANYA (1989) 3 NWLR (pt. 109) pg. 250; UWUA UDO v. THE STATE SC. 511/2014; SKYE BANK PLC. & ANOR. V. CHIEF MOSES BOLANLE AKINPEJU (2010) 9 NWLR (Pt LL98) 179; OKAFOR V. NNAIFE (1987) 4 NWLR (Pt 64)129; PDP V. INEC & ORS (2018) LPELR-44373(SC); LAGOS STATE GOVT. & ORS V. ABDULKAREEM & ORS (2022) LPELR-58517 (SC); ILA ENTERPRISES LTD & ANOR V. UMAR ALI & CO. NIG LTD (2022) LPELR-75806 (SC).


For example, when section 48 of the 1999 Constitution provides that the “Senate shall consist of three Senators from each state AND one from the FCT, Abuja”, why didn’t these canvassers of FCT, Abuja, being merely a state, argue that once we have three Senators from “each state”, we should discard the “AND” which gives one Senator to the FCT, Abuja, and thus deprive the FCT, Abuja, of its Senator? This provision is one amongst several others which shows that the FCT, Abuja, is to be treated distinctly and separately from the other 24 states. There is no ambiguity in section 134(2)(b) such as to bring in aid, existing canons of statutory interpretation, such as the “Golden Rule”, “Mischief Rule”, etc. It is axiomatic that all sections of the Constitution must be wholly and holistically construed together so as to avoid leaving out some portions, or rendering them nugatory. See THE ESTATE OF ALHAJI N.B. SOULE v. OLUSEYE JOHNSON & CO & ANOR (1974) LPELR-3169 (SC). The reason is that law makers are presumed not to use superfluous, otiose or extravagant words in provisions of the Constitution or statutes which they make.


CONCLUSION


It is my considered opinion that the scope of consideration of the FCT, Abuja, as a state, only applies to the enjoyment and vesting of Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers by relevant bodies in the FCT. It does not apply to all matters, extents, and for all purposes. Further, an interpretation that Section 299 of the Constitution applies for all purposes is too narrow. It is not holistic or inclusive. It will render many other parts of the Constitution redundant, futile, unproductive, meaningless and therefore, unnecessary. Certainly, such could not have been the intention of the Legislature or law makers. 


Section 134(2) of the Constitution must therefore be interpreted to mean that for a candidate to win the Presidential election, such a candidate must obtain 25% of the votes cast in two-thirds of all the States in the Federation (24 States); AND further, in the FCT, Abuja. This is a compulsory requirement for a valid return as President. It seems to me that INEC was not properly legally guided when it declared a President-elect. The Nichodemus announcement and declaration was obviously too hasty, premature and rash.


A great writer (Onwa Nnobi) was most apt when he stated:


“If 5 credits AND English Language are prerequisite to gaining admission into a higher school of Learning; and you make 10As in 10 subjects, but get F9 in English Language, does it qualify you for admission? It is not just commonsense and logic. It is incontrovertible”. I cannot give a better example. But, let me try two more examples of mine: 


If I request to see 24 Corpers in my law firm AND OKON, it means I want to see 25 persons in all; but Okon must be one of the 25 persons. So if 24 or 25 persons in my law firm show up, without Okon, have I had all the persons I wanted to see? The answer is NO. To satisfy my request, Okon must show up in addition to the 24, thus making the 25 persons I desire to see. Okon is a Constant; 24 Corpers is a variable. The variables must be worked by BODMAS-Rule to find the constant. 


As a second example, if I tell my dear wife to treat Andrew (my ward living with us) “like my son”, does that really make Andrew my biological son? I think not. Let me end this piece in response to Ajulo’s apophthegym of the “unwrinkled face (which) is not good for a resounding slap” with some words of advice.


Ajulo ought to know, from the deep recesses of his conscience and inner mind that what we witnessed on 25th February, 2023, was not democracy in practice. Abraham Lincoln, who made his famous Gettysburg speech on 19th November, 1863, had described democracy as government of the people, for the people and by the people. He must be turning in his centuries-old grave. The last election was nothing but a sham and shambolic election of “first-kill-maim-allocate-thumbprint-ballot-papers-select-and-win-at-all-cost-and-let-them-go-to-court”. It was not democracy, but “electionocracy” and “selectocracy” in action.


The new refrain in town has since become “GO TO COURT”; an obvious addition to our warped political lexicon. The election in my humble view, was the shame of a country that has been held down for decades by the jugular by insensitive and insensate elite state captors. It was a purported election in which a supposed Nigerian president-elect allegedly scored 8,795,721 (only about 9.409% of the registered 93.40 million voters). And WITHOUT THE FCT, Abuja! So, that means less than 3.998% of the entire population of the Nigerian people comprising of 220.075.973 million people as at 27th March, 2023- the very people he seeks to govern! That is a mere 454,163 votes more than Chief Abiola’s votes scored about 30 years ago, when Nigeria’s population was only 102.8 million people. It was virtually half of President Buhari’s 15,191,847 votes in 2019; and even far less than the votes of the then runner-up, Atiku Abubakar, which was 11,262,928. What an election! If Ajulo does not recognize this odorous putrefaction and stone-age retrogression, in our electoral system, then it is him, more than any other lawyer, that belongs to one of the “senior lawyers” he so derogatively, perjuratively and derisively referred to as those who “give certain legal opinions that they do not believe in, just because they have been tainted by politics”. I totally agree with his conclusion that “it is the common man on the street that suffers this dangerous game of deliberate obfuscation and misinterpretation of our laws”. Welldone. Mercifully, I am very proud to announce to Ajulo and others that going by my very well known antecedents which are self-evident (simply google me), I do not belong to such a lowly class of ego-masseurs. I am certainly not one of those cheap obsequious fawners, brown-nosers, or toady characters that hang around political merchants and buccaneers of corridors of power. Not being a card-carrying member of any of our existing political parties, I am simply a patriotic Pan-Nigerian who interrogates issues and speaks truth to authority and power, with history and posterity as my goal. My parting proverb to Ajulo, more in the form of an anecdote or epigram, is this: 


Once upon a time, an exuberant youth beat his drum so loudly, proudly, ceaselessly and fascinatingly with such reverberating noise that an elderly man sitting nearby told him to reduce the noise. The youth told him pointedly that he bought the drum with a huge sum of money. He exhibitionistly announced the name of the rare drum. The elderly man smiled, shook his greying head slowly, and calmly told the young man the name of the very animal whose skin was used to make the drum. Let us watch our words and actions, no matter how trying and tormenting the times are.


- By Prof. Mike A.A. Ozekhome, SAN, CON, OFR, FCIArb, LL.M, Ph.D., LL.D, D.Litt.

 *(Read and understand why Tinubu needs to get 25% of votes in Abuja.)*


INTRODUCTION


In an article titled, “Presidency: Supreme Court has resolved FCT 25% quandary: (https:// the eagleonline.com.ng), my younger friend, Dr Kayode Ajulo, specifically mentioned my name (amongst other senior lawyers), whom he respectfully referred to as “revered to be authorities in their fields”. He even generously described us as “legends of Inner Bar (who are) jurists who have become oracles of constitutional law whose names have refused to leave the pages of law reports”. I thank Ajulo for his kind effusive words of praises and adulation.


Were this kind recognition all he said about me and the other “oracles of constitutional law”, I would not have bothered to write this rejoinder. But, he soon thereafter most unfairly descended on us with unrestrained upbraiding as follows: 


“And when they lend their respected voices to public issues, their words are taken as gospel by laymen who lack the qualification and the intellectual rigour to interrogate their opinions of these senior lawyers as Yeah and Amen”.


“However, this electioneering season has been an eye opening one for some of us. It has been a season of unraveling and miracles as to how some legal professionals have, either by deliberate action or absence of proper research, interpret one of the simplest provisions in our Constitution as regards election to the Office of the President and requirements of the candidate for that highest  public office in the land”.


“We have seen those that should know and those who have held exalted and enviable positions hold curious opinions on Constitutional issues that embarrass our industry and harass ones intellect”.


“For some of them, politics have been mixed with law in order to please certain quarters of the political class. But this is a dangerous mix. There is politics, and there is law. While they can sometimes intersect, they should not be muddled up when discussing pertinent legal issues that affect the nationhood of the country and the collective development of her citizens”.


This write-up of mine should, therefore, be seen as my RIGHT OF REPLY of (see section 39 of the 1999 Constitution, as altered). I honestly believe Dr Ajulo went too far in categorizing all senior lawyers whose views are not in tandem with his as holding “curious opinions”, either “by deliberate action or lack of proper research”. He also accused us of being tainted by partisanship or politics, merely for expressing our views. And to think that such views to him constitute “curious opinions on constitutional issues that embarrass our industry and harass our intellect”, was far too rude, self-opinionated and too vainglorious to be swept under the carpet. He erroneously (perhaps, arrogantly), elevated his personal views over and above all others’. Where is that coming from? Narcissism? Politics? godfatherism? I do not know. Or, do you?  The truth is that it is, rather, Ajulo’s views that were not only political, but heavily politicised. His entire piece read like a piece of a political party’s manifesto. It failed woefully to exhibit the attributes of the rigours and intellectual breadth and depth of scholarly research which he so gleefully talked about in his needless diatribe.






My simple take on this is that when a debate on a serious controversial national issue gets to a crescendo such as we now have it, various dimensions of and opinions on the issue under discourse must be vigorously pursued, explored and interrogated. Consequently, as regards this raging ruckus and scrimmage as to whether the 25% votes required by S.134 (2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution ( as amended) is applicable to the FCT, Abuja, I have now decided to navigate further, some uncharted routes, by going mathematical to find X. This will surely emphasize to Ajulo, and others who hold similar or same views as his, that this matter is not just about to go away, or be buried, or swept under the mat, until it is, perhaps, finally laid to rest by the Supreme Court. Even at that, Scholars and Analysts will, for centuries to come, still interrogate it, in the same way, that the debate over the case of AWOLOWO V. SHAGARI & 2 Ors (1979) LPELR-653 (SC), still rages till date (44 years later!).   


Contrary to the simplistic and cavalier manner with which Ajulo dismissed the 25% compulsory requirement (even while paradoxically also extensively discussing it himself), it will not vanish into thin air just like that! He gravely errs in thinking that the debate is simply about how to “interpret one of the simplest provisions in our Constitution”. We must tackle it headlong. Let us therefore now take the argument further. I have always believed that it is in the clash of ideas that the truth- the naked truth– finally emerges.


There is no doubt that the provisions of section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution is rooted in mathematics. It requires that a winning presidential candidate shall have “not less than one-quarter of the votes at the election in each of at least two-third of all the states in the Federation AND the Federal Capital Territory Abuja”. (Emphasis supplied).


As lawyers, we should not shy away from embarking on this mathematical pathway to resolve the steaming controversy. Yes, mathematics is part of lawyers’ job in resolving disputes; and Nigerian courts are not strangers to mathematical judgments. Afterall, the 1979 Presidential Election involving Shagari and Awolowo was wholly litigated, won and lost on the basis of the Supreme Court’s mathematical interpretation of what amounted then to 2/3 of the then 19 states of the Federation. The Supreme Court, in delivering judgment in favour of Shagari, ruled that the requirement of votes to win the Presidential election was 25% in 12 states, and no more. It cautiously avoided the attendant fractionalization of Kano State, so as to avoid absurdity in interpretation. My deep research has just thrown up a judgment where the court was called upon to interpret and translate 1.00 to percentage. The Honourable Justice Nelson Ogbuanya of the National Industrial Court, in resolving the mathematical legal question, held that “1.00 of an amount means one whole number and not a fraction; and when converted to percentage, it means 100% and not 1%”. See “https://guardian.ng/features” law Court rules that 1.00 base salary to mean 100% in mathematical judgment” – The Guardian 26th November, 2019). 


Let me therefore state very clearly here, that contrary to what is being peddled by many commentators as purportedly settled judicial decisions on the status of FCT, Abuja (many of them critiquing my earlier write-up (see www.”ruebenabati.com.na-(opinion)- The 25% of FCT, Abuja conundrum-Mike-Ozekhome; Barristering.ng.com”) such decisions are not authorities for the very recondite and recherch├ę issue posed by the 2023 Presidential Election results, which border on mathematical interpretation of the provisions of section 134(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, as altered, regarding the required percentage of votes which must be secured by a candidate in the Presidential Election in relation to the 36 states of the Federation and FCT, Abuja. There is no known judicial authority which has decided and settled this abstruse, arcane and enigmatic legal puzzle which is similar to the one that was thrown up in the aftermath of the 1979 Presidential Election. But that era differs remarkably from the current scenario, as, unlike section 126(2) of the 1979 Constitution which ended with 2/3 of all the states in the Federation, the 1999 Constitution added a fresh, rider, “And the FCT, Abuja”. Both the 1979 Constitution and the unused Babangida’s 1989 Constitution never added FCT, Abuja, since although same was created by Decree No. 6 of 1976, on February 5, 1976, by the assassinated General Muritala Mohammed, it came into existence on December 12, 1991, after the 1979 Constitution had been promulgated; but before the 1989 Babangida Constitution which never saw the light of day.


There is also no doubt that the FCT, Abuja, is not, strict sensu, a State (it has no State-like governance structure). However, by S.299 of the 1999 Constitution and many judicial decisions, it is “to be treated as a State“:  See BABA-PANYA V. PRESIDENT FRN (2018) 15NWLR (Pt 1643)423; BAKAR V. OGUNDIPE (2021) 5 NWLR (Pt 1768) 9. A Community reading of section 2(2), 3(1)(4), 134(2)(b), 297, 298, 299, 301 and 302 of the 1999 Constitution shows that the FCT is accorded a special status as quite distinct from that of a normal state; notwithstanding that it is to be “treated as a state”.  


In dealing with this my new vista which now takes on a mathematical dimension, there are agreed parameters to note and apply, as answering  a mathematical question requires patiently adopting  methodical approach, using certain  laid down formula. This is what is called ‘operation show your work before putting QED on your answer’. The mathematical question thus posed by S.134 (2)(b) of the Constitution is this: what does it mean when it requires a winner of the presidential election to secure not less than (i.e at least) 1/4 ( 25%) of votes  in each of at least 2/3 of all the states in the Federation (36 states) AND the FCT, Abuja? The first step is to note that there are two parts- the variable and constant figures. In mathematics, while constant is a fixed figure, variable figures are imprecise. But, the variables must, nonetheless be ascertained before proceeding to conclude or ascribe a fixed figure in a given arithmetical equation. It is this inability to ascertain the variable figure that usually makes some students afraid of, and intimidated by, mathematics. In the end, they always failed to find X (the constant), with the resultant hatred for mathematics. To find X, the variable figure must be worked out and ascertained in a fixed figure, such as the constant figure. 


It is clear that while “2/3 of all the states in the Federation” is the variable figure, which if worked out would give 24 states and thus become a constant figure, the “FCT, Abuja”, is always the constant figure, which stands as 1. 


Working out the equation to show that the two parts (both variable and constant figures) are separate and distinct in their respective values must be applicable to the 25% votes requirement. This would be subjected to the BODMAS (Bracket, Order of power or roots, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction) Rule. This Rule is employed to explain the order of operation of mathematical expression. 


Here, Bracket plays the role of “AND”, which serves as coordinating conjunctive verb in English syntax, to ascertain the two parts separated by bracket: See BUHARI v. INEC (2008) 19NWLR (Pt 1120) 246 (for the definition “And”); and EYISI & ORS V. STATE (200) LPELR-1186 (SC) (for the definition of “Each”).


In applying this formulae: 


The number of states =36;


2/3 of 36 as variable =24; 


FCT, Abuja as constant =1


So, the 25% of 24 States AND FCT, Abuja (1), will be expressed as: 25 % (24)(1) in mathematics. This is interpreted in English as 25% of 24 and 1, but not 25. The 24 represents states, while 1 represents FCT, Abuja. 


The intention of the lawmaker is quite clear here. 


The FCT, Abuja, is the seat of power of the Nigerian leadership. It is a cosmopolitan convergence of all federating units of the nation. It is to be merely treated like a State; but not as a State for the strange purpose of counting the total number of States to become 37 instead of 36 States and the FCT, Abuja, as wrongly argued by some analysts. The FCT, Abuja, is the political nerve centre of Nigeria. It has been imbued with such a special status as a miniature Nigeria in such a way that any elected president must have to compulsorily win the required 25% vote in the FCT, Abuja, after winning 25% votes in 24 States.


The reasons for this are not far-fetched. FCT, Abuja, is the melting pot which unites all ethnic groups, tribes, religions, people of variegate backgrounds; and other distinct qualities and characteristics in our pluralistic society. It is indeed a multi-diverse and multi-faceted conglomerate of the different and distinct peoples of Nigeria, which according to Prof Onigu Otite, has about 474 ethnic groups which speak over 350 languages. The FCT, Abuja, is thus regarded as the “Centre of Unity”, which is a testament to its inclusiveness of all tribes, religions, ethnic groups, languages; and peoples of different backgrounds. Simply put, FCT, Abuja, is a territory or land mass that is made up of individuals from every State and virtually from all the Local Government Areas in the country. It is itself made up of 6 Area Councils, quite distinct from the 768 LGAs in Nigeria, thus bringing the total to 774 LGCs in Nigeria. Consequently, scoring 25% of votes cast in the FCT, Abuja, is a Presidential candidate’s testament to being widely accepted by majority of the Nigerian people. The President is not expected to be a tenant in his seat of power. Will he pay rent to the 24 states he scored 25% votes? I do not know. Or, do you?


The framers of the 1999 Constitution certainly desired for Nigeria, a President that is widely accepted, with national spread; and not one that is a regional kingpin with support only from of his tribe, region, or ethnic group. The provisions contained in section 134 of the 1999 Constitution are meant to reflect this. In the same vein, the framers of the 1999 Constitution viewed the FCT, Abuja, as a melting pot; a sort of mini-Nigeria. Thus, like a commentator aptly posited, the position or status of the FCT, Abuja, assumes that of a COMPULSORY question that a presidential candidate must ANSWER in the electoral examination. With the FCT, Abuja, serving as the seat of the Federal Government-with all ministries and MDAs situated in it – it represents a Dolly Parton’s “Coat of many colours”. This is why the Federal Character provided for in sections 14(3),(4); 153(1); and 318(1) of the 1999 Constitution is also reflected in the administration of FCT, even though the Gbagyis are the original Aborigines of the FCT.


The only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the above is that sections 134 (2)(b) and 299 are not mutually exclusive or contradictory, as some commentators posit. Rather, section 299 actually supports and complements section 134. 


Whether FCT, Abuja, is regarded as a super-state, full State, pseudo-State, quasi-State, or semi-State, is to me, immaterial. Even if it is none of these, what matters is the clear intention of the Constitution-makers. 


Had the law makers intended that the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, will be treated simply as a “State” and no more in section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution, they would have simply stopped there. There was no need to specifically add the new phrase, “AND the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”, as in section 134(2)(b). The Constitution would simply have provided for “two-thirds of all the States in the Federation”, and stopped there. But, it did not. 


From a historical perspective (I am a student of history), recall that the AWOLOWO V. SHAGARI case and section 299 of the 1999 Constitution which states that its provisions shall apply to the FCT, Abuja, “as if it were one of the states of the Federation; including the BABA PANYA and BAKARI cases (supra), often cited with ├ęclat, but out of context, did not deal with the issue of elections, or what percentage of the votes was expected of a presidential candidate. They merely dealt with the issues that were presented in those cases. No more. It is trite law that a case is only an authority for what its peculiar facts present: BABATUNDE v. PASTA (2007) 13 NWLR pt. 1050 pg. 113 @ 157; ADEGOKE MOTORS v. ADESANYA (1989) 3 NWLR (pt. 109) pg. 250; UWUA UDO v. THE STATE SC. 511/2014; SKYE BANK PLC. & ANOR. V. CHIEF MOSES BOLANLE AKINPEJU (2010) 9 NWLR (Pt LL98) 179; OKAFOR V. NNAIFE (1987) 4 NWLR (Pt 64)129; PDP V. INEC & ORS (2018) LPELR-44373(SC); LAGOS STATE GOVT. & ORS V. ABDULKAREEM & ORS (2022) LPELR-58517 (SC); ILA ENTERPRISES LTD & ANOR V. UMAR ALI & CO. NIG LTD (2022) LPELR-75806 (SC).


For example, when section 48 of the 1999 Constitution provides that the “Senate shall consist of three Senators from each state AND one from the FCT, Abuja”, why didn’t these canvassers of FCT, Abuja, being merely a state, argue that once we have three Senators from “each state”, we should discard the “AND” which gives one Senator to the FCT, Abuja, and thus deprive the FCT, Abuja, of its Senator? This provision is one amongst several others which shows that the FCT, Abuja, is to be treated distinctly and separately from the other 24 states. There is no ambiguity in section 134(2)(b) such as to bring in aid, existing canons of statutory interpretation, such as the “Golden Rule”, “Mischief Rule”, etc. It is axiomatic that all sections of the Constitution must be wholly and holistically construed together so as to avoid leaving out some portions, or rendering them nugatory. See THE ESTATE OF ALHAJI N.B. SOULE v. OLUSEYE JOHNSON & CO & ANOR (1974) LPELR-3169 (SC). The reason is that law makers are presumed not to use superfluous, otiose or extravagant words in provisions of the Constitution or statutes which they make.


CONCLUSION


It is my considered opinion that the scope of consideration of the FCT, Abuja, as a state, only applies to the enjoyment and vesting of Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers by relevant bodies in the FCT. It does not apply to all matters, extents, and for all purposes. Further, an interpretation that Section 299 of the Constitution applies for all purposes is too narrow. It is not holistic or inclusive. It will render many other parts of the Constitution redundant, futile, unproductive, meaningless and therefore, unnecessary. Certainly, such could not have been the intention of the Legislature or law makers. 


Section 134(2) of the Constitution must therefore be interpreted to mean that for a candidate to win the Presidential election, such a candidate must obtain 25% of the votes cast in two-thirds of all the States in the Federation (24 States); AND further, in the FCT, Abuja. This is a compulsory requirement for a valid return as President. It seems to me that INEC was not properly legally guided when it declared a President-elect. The Nichodemus announcement and declaration was obviously too hasty, premature and rash.


A great writer (Onwa Nnobi) was most apt when he stated:


“If 5 credits AND English Language are prerequisite to gaining admission into a higher school of Learning; and you make 10As in 10 subjects, but get F9 in English Language, does it qualify you for admission? It is not just commonsense and logic. It is incontrovertible”. I cannot give a better example. But, let me try two more examples of mine: 


If I request to see 24 Corpers in my law firm AND OKON, it means I want to see 25 persons in all; but Okon must be one of the 25 persons. So if 24 or 25 persons in my law firm show up, without Okon, have I had all the persons I wanted to see? The answer is NO. To satisfy my request, Okon must show up in addition to the 24, thus making the 25 persons I desire to see. Okon is a Constant; 24 Corpers is a variable. The variables must be worked by BODMAS-Rule to find the constant. 


As a second example, if I tell my dear wife to treat Andrew (my ward living with us) “like my son”, does that really make Andrew my biological son? I think not. Let me end this piece in response to Ajulo’s apophthegym of the “unwrinkled face (which) is not good for a resounding slap” with some words of advice.


Ajulo ought to know, from the deep recesses of his conscience and inner mind that what we witnessed on 25th February, 2023, was not democracy in practice. Abraham Lincoln, who made his famous Gettysburg speech on 19th November, 1863, had described democracy as government of the people, for the people and by the people. He must be turning in his centuries-old grave. The last election was nothing but a sham and shambolic election of “first-kill-maim-allocate-thumbprint-ballot-papers-select-and-win-at-all-cost-and-let-them-go-to-court”. It was not democracy, but “electionocracy” and “selectocracy” in action.


The new refrain in town has since become “GO TO COURT”; an obvious addition to our warped political lexicon. The election in my humble view, was the shame of a country that has been held down for decades by the jugular by insensitive and insensate elite state captors. It was a purported election in which a supposed Nigerian president-elect allegedly scored 8,795,721 (only about 9.409% of the registered 93.40 million voters). And WITHOUT THE FCT, Abuja! So, that means less than 3.998% of the entire population of the Nigerian people comprising of 220.075.973 million people as at 27th March, 2023- the very people he seeks to govern! That is a mere 454,163 votes more than Chief Abiola’s votes scored about 30 years ago, when Nigeria’s population was only 102.8 million people. It was virtually half of President Buhari’s 15,191,847 votes in 2019; and even far less than the votes of the then runner-up, Atiku Abubakar, which was 11,262,928. What an election! If Ajulo does not recognize this odorous putrefaction and stone-age retrogression, in our electoral system, then it is him, more than any other lawyer, that belongs to one of the “senior lawyers” he so derogatively, perjuratively and derisively referred to as those who “give certain legal opinions that they do not believe in, just because they have been tainted by politics”. I totally agree with his conclusion that “it is the common man on the street that suffers this dangerous game of deliberate obfuscation and misinterpretation of our laws”. Welldone. Mercifully, I am very proud to announce to Ajulo and others that going by my very well known antecedents which are self-evident (simply google me), I do not belong to such a lowly class of ego-masseurs. I am certainly not one of those cheap obsequious fawners, brown-nosers, or toady characters that hang around political merchants and buccaneers of corridors of power. Not being a card-carrying member of any of our existing political parties, I am simply a patriotic Pan-Nigerian who interrogates issues and speaks truth to authority and power, with history and posterity as my goal. My parting proverb to Ajulo, more in the form of an anecdote or epigram, is this: 


Once upon a time, an exuberant youth beat his drum so loudly, proudly, ceaselessly and fascinatingly with such reverberating noise that an elderly man sitting nearby told him to reduce the noise. The youth told him pointedly that he bought the drum with a huge sum of money. He exhibitionistly announced the name of the rare drum. The elderly man smiled, shook his greying head slowly, and calmly told the young man the name of the very animal whose skin was used to make the drum. Let us watch our words and actions, no matter how trying and tormenting the times are.


- By Prof. Mike A.A. Ozekhome, SAN, CON, OFR, FCIArb, LL.M, Ph.D., LL.D, D.Litt.

COURTS CLOSURE: HOLD DAPO ABIODUN RESPONSIBLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS - FESTUS OGUN

COURTS CLOSURE: HOLD DAPO ABIODUN RESPONSIBLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS - FESTUS OGUN









The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), last week, called off its strike action that lingered for about two months. They embarked on the industrial action as a result of the government’s refusal to pay judiciary workers their full salary. 


While we are pleased that courts across the state are now opened, it is important to note that the strike action should not have happened in the first place if the leadership of Ogun State was indeed committed to an efficient administration of justice, independence of the judiciary and respect for human rights. It is an aberration that courts are closed in a democratic society.


A great number of presumably innocent citizens were detained unjustly as a result of courts closures. The police, courts and correctional services were left helpless because little or nothing can be achieved when the courts are under locks and keys. Police cells were overcrowded and prison detainees who should access the courts for their liberties were left to their fates. Consequently, the closure of courts has aided gross human rights violations and the government seems unconcerned about the plight of victims of its failure. This is totally unacceptable.


We will hold Prince Dapo Abiodun responsible for all forms of human rights violations that occurred as a result of courts closure in Ogun State. We will never allow such an assault on human rights to pass without consequences. Those who swore oaths of office to protect the dignity and liberty of the people cannot continue to recklessly encroach on human rights through terrible policies. 


Holding Governor Abiodun accountable will be a lesson to other political office holders who believe they can treat the judiciary with contempt and disregard. 


The sacred nature of human rights and civil liberties will never allow us shy away from the inefficiency of the Ogun State Government. We will not fold our hands and allow state authorities to ride roguishly on the fundamental rights of our people. 


FESTUS OGUN, ESQ

27/9/2021









The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), last week, called off its strike action that lingered for about two months. They embarked on the industrial action as a result of the government’s refusal to pay judiciary workers their full salary. 


While we are pleased that courts across the state are now opened, it is important to note that the strike action should not have happened in the first place if the leadership of Ogun State was indeed committed to an efficient administration of justice, independence of the judiciary and respect for human rights. It is an aberration that courts are closed in a democratic society.


A great number of presumably innocent citizens were detained unjustly as a result of courts closures. The police, courts and correctional services were left helpless because little or nothing can be achieved when the courts are under locks and keys. Police cells were overcrowded and prison detainees who should access the courts for their liberties were left to their fates. Consequently, the closure of courts has aided gross human rights violations and the government seems unconcerned about the plight of victims of its failure. This is totally unacceptable.


We will hold Prince Dapo Abiodun responsible for all forms of human rights violations that occurred as a result of courts closure in Ogun State. We will never allow such an assault on human rights to pass without consequences. Those who swore oaths of office to protect the dignity and liberty of the people cannot continue to recklessly encroach on human rights through terrible policies. 


Holding Governor Abiodun accountable will be a lesson to other political office holders who believe they can treat the judiciary with contempt and disregard. 


The sacred nature of human rights and civil liberties will never allow us shy away from the inefficiency of the Ogun State Government. We will not fold our hands and allow state authorities to ride roguishly on the fundamental rights of our people. 


FESTUS OGUN, ESQ

27/9/2021

#FreeDunamis5: Lawless DSS still keep #BuhariMustGo youths in custody after fulfilling bail conditions

#FreeDunamis5: Lawless DSS still keep #BuhariMustGo youths in custody after fulfilling bail conditions

Nigerian mainstream media are complacent and complicit in the  quest for state violations of human rights - Sowore



The five young persons arrested by Dr. Paul Enenche’s Dunamis church security and handed over to Yusuf Bichi-led lawless DSS remains in custody after fulfilling their bail conditions.


The mean stream media in the country have seen no need to call out on the anti-democratic regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari, says Omoyele Sowore on Tuesday.

" Let me say it here that the Nigerian mainstream media are complacent and complicit in the  quest for state violations of human rights by the tyrannical Buhari regime, not because of the people I know who are victims but because they will never raise a finger even when their colleagues are abused."

The AAC National Chairman said: "These days you can count on your fingers how many media outlets would ever report on human rights abuses!"


The Buhari led lawlessness and pro terrorists regime is known for human rights violation and total disrespectful for court and rule of law.


 #Revolutionnow #Buharimustgo

Nigerian mainstream media are complacent and complicit in the  quest for state violations of human rights - Sowore



The five young persons arrested by Dr. Paul Enenche’s Dunamis church security and handed over to Yusuf Bichi-led lawless DSS remains in custody after fulfilling their bail conditions.


The mean stream media in the country have seen no need to call out on the anti-democratic regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari, says Omoyele Sowore on Tuesday.

" Let me say it here that the Nigerian mainstream media are complacent and complicit in the  quest for state violations of human rights by the tyrannical Buhari regime, not because of the people I know who are victims but because they will never raise a finger even when their colleagues are abused."

The AAC National Chairman said: "These days you can count on your fingers how many media outlets would ever report on human rights abuses!"


The Buhari led lawlessness and pro terrorists regime is known for human rights violation and total disrespectful for court and rule of law.


 #Revolutionnow #Buharimustgo

FreeOduduwa12 NOW: Nigeria's Lawless DSS produces 8 of #Oduduwa12 in court

FreeOduduwa12 NOW: Nigeria's Lawless DSS produces 8 of #Oduduwa12 in court

 Nigeria's Lawless DSS forced to produce #Oduduwa12 in court today in Abuja but they only came with 8 of them.





 Nigeria's Lawless DSS forced to produce #Oduduwa12 in court today in Abuja but they only came with 8 of them.





#FreeDunamis5: Lawless DSS, AGF MALAMI served with court orders ordering the unconditional release of 5 captives in their custody

#FreeDunamis5: Lawless DSS, AGF MALAMI served with court orders ordering the unconditional release of 5 captives in their custody

On Thursday, the Nigeria's Lawless DSS and the AGF Abubarka MALAMI were been served with court orders given by a Federal High Court ordering the unconditional release of 5 youths who wore #BuhariMustGo T-shirts to Dr. Paul Enenche’s  Dunamis International Gospel Centre church on July 4 2021 in Abuja.


The youths were first arrested and brutalized by @dunamis church security before they were handed over to the DSS. 


Upon realising they’ve gone to the Federal high court to enforce their fundamental rights the DSS rushed them to a Magistrate court in Mpape where they backdated the time and date of filing the charges. 


The impunity of Major General Muhammadu Buhari regime is unprecedented and anyone partaking on it now should be reminded will not go unpunished, including the three lawyers at the DSS that took them to a lower court in violation of the orders of the Federal High Court.

 #RevolutionNow #BuhariMustGo







On Thursday, the Nigeria's Lawless DSS and the AGF Abubarka MALAMI were been served with court orders given by a Federal High Court ordering the unconditional release of 5 youths who wore #BuhariMustGo T-shirts to Dr. Paul Enenche’s  Dunamis International Gospel Centre church on July 4 2021 in Abuja.


The youths were first arrested and brutalized by @dunamis church security before they were handed over to the DSS. 


Upon realising they’ve gone to the Federal high court to enforce their fundamental rights the DSS rushed them to a Magistrate court in Mpape where they backdated the time and date of filing the charges. 


The impunity of Major General Muhammadu Buhari regime is unprecedented and anyone partaking on it now should be reminded will not go unpunished, including the three lawyers at the DSS that took them to a lower court in violation of the orders of the Federal High Court.

 #RevolutionNow #BuhariMustGo







Federal High Court judge orders Lawless DSS to produce 12 IGBOHO associates illegally detained by the agency

Federal High Court judge orders Lawless DSS to produce 12 IGBOHO associates illegally detained by the agency

An Abuja Federal High Court judge has ordered the Lawless DSS to produce #Oduduwa12 illegally detained by the agency by next week Thursday per Justice Obiora!



The Court on Friday granted the applications of the 12 detained aides of Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu in his ruling on the ex parte application before the court, ordered that the Department of State Service should produce the detained aides of Sunday Igboho in court on the next adjourned date.

Justice Egwuatu also ordered the DSS to show cause why the applicants should not be admitted to bail.

The matter was adjourned to July 29 to take place during the court vacation.

Recall that the 12 detained associates of Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, had instituted a suit against the Department of State Services and its Director-General, Yusuf Bichi.

The applicants’ counsel, Pelumi Olajengbesi, moved his ex parte motion praying the court for an order “mandating and compelling the respondents to produce the applicants” to enable the court “inquire into the circumstances constituting grounds of their arrest and detention” since July 1, 2021 and where it seems fit, grant applicants bail.”

They also sought the order of the court mandating and compelling the respondents to produce the applicants before the court and “show cause as to why the applicants should not be granted bail in accordance with the provision of Section 32 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and other extant laws in Nigeria.”


Olajengbesi argued that the applicants are citizens of Nigeria with inherent rights.

The ex-parte motion was supported by an eight-paragraph affidavit, exhibit, 11-paragraph affidavit of extreme urgency, affidavit of non-complicity of action, and a written address.


 #RevolutionNow #NoRetreat #NoSurrenderNoRetreat #BuhariMustGo

An Abuja Federal High Court judge has ordered the Lawless DSS to produce #Oduduwa12 illegally detained by the agency by next week Thursday per Justice Obiora!



The Court on Friday granted the applications of the 12 detained aides of Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu in his ruling on the ex parte application before the court, ordered that the Department of State Service should produce the detained aides of Sunday Igboho in court on the next adjourned date.

Justice Egwuatu also ordered the DSS to show cause why the applicants should not be admitted to bail.

The matter was adjourned to July 29 to take place during the court vacation.

Recall that the 12 detained associates of Yoruba Nation activist, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, had instituted a suit against the Department of State Services and its Director-General, Yusuf Bichi.

The applicants’ counsel, Pelumi Olajengbesi, moved his ex parte motion praying the court for an order “mandating and compelling the respondents to produce the applicants” to enable the court “inquire into the circumstances constituting grounds of their arrest and detention” since July 1, 2021 and where it seems fit, grant applicants bail.”

They also sought the order of the court mandating and compelling the respondents to produce the applicants before the court and “show cause as to why the applicants should not be granted bail in accordance with the provision of Section 32 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and other extant laws in Nigeria.”


Olajengbesi argued that the applicants are citizens of Nigeria with inherent rights.

The ex-parte motion was supported by an eight-paragraph affidavit, exhibit, 11-paragraph affidavit of extreme urgency, affidavit of non-complicity of action, and a written address.


 #RevolutionNow #NoRetreat #NoSurrenderNoRetreat #BuhariMustGo

#RevolutionNow: Sowore’s treason trial starts afresh as judge abandons case

#RevolutionNow: Sowore’s treason trial starts afresh as judge abandons case

Sowore: AGF Abubakar Malami, DG DSS Yusuf Bichi shopping for pliable judges, putting pressure on one of my sureties so that they can revoke my bail, re-arrest and detain me



The Major General Muhammadu Buhari ledled Fede government trial against the convener of Revolution Now movement Omoyele Sowore, and Olawale Bakare has suffered a setback at the Federal High Court in Abuja, according to reports by the national dailies.

According to the Punch newspapoers, the presiding Judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, has been transferred to Calabar and has informed the Chief Justice, Justice Tsoho, that although she would continue with other cases, she would no longer preside over Sowore’s case.

By the regime tactics, this implies that the case marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/235/19, will have to start afresh for the second time as they have nothing to prove against the activists.

This is just as two other judges have refused to take up Sowore’s case due to its ‘sensitive nature.’

Nigeria' Department of State Services had arraigned Sowore and Bakare before Justice Ojukwu for treasonable felony for organising the ‘Revolution Now’ protest on August 5, 2019, which the government saw as an attempt to disrupt peace in the country.

Justice Ojukwu subsequently ordered that Sowore and Bakare be released on bail but the DSS disobeyed the order for several weeks. After granting him bail, the DSS re-arrested Sowore inside the court, causing commotion which made the judge flee.

He was, however, released following nationwide condemnation.


In February 2020, the Office of the Attorney-General took over the case, amended the charges and re-arraigned Sowore and Bakare.

The judge ordered the Federal Government to pay N200,000 as the cost to the defendants for the frivolous application for adjournment and adjourned till February 13.

Following Justice Ojukwu’s transfer to Calabar, lit waa learnt that she was given the option of continuing some other cases. A court official said the judge picked a few cases and returned some others to the CJ including Sowore’s case.

“It seems some of these judges feel intimidated. They don’t want Federal Government trouble. The case is high profile and controversial. So, they have been avoiding it,” she said.

Also it was informed that another criminal defamation case instituted by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), involving Sowore, which is being handled by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, will also have to start afresh as the judge has returned the case file to the CJ.

“The case, Incorporated Trustees of Global Integrity Crusade Network – suing on behalf of Abubakar Malami – VS Omoyele Sowore and three others which is pending before Justice Taiwo Taiwo has also been returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment despite the fact that all the parties have filed all the processes and ready for final hearing before judgement,” the court official said.

Accordinf to the PUNCH reports, it was learnt that a fundamental human rights suit instituted by Sowore against the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 1469/2019 for unlawful detention, which is pending before Justice Inyang Ekwo, has also been returned to the CJ for reassignment after several adjournments.

“I have never seen this sort of thing before despite serving in this court for many years. No judge is willing to sit on Sowore’s case. This never happened even during the military era,” the court official said.


Sowore in a confirmation statement has said 
Federal Judges retiring and returning his case files in droves.


He alledged that the Nigeria's AGF Abubakar Malami and the DG DSS Yusuf Bichi are shopping for pliable judges and the duo are putting pressure on one of his sureties so that they can revoke his bail, re-arrest and detain him. 


Sowore said that they’re scared but they can’t escape the upcoming revolt of the massively oppressed people of Nigeria.


"Federal Judges retiring and returning Sowore case files in droves, meanwhile AGF Abubakar Malami and DG DSS Yusuf Bichi are shopping for pliable judges and putting pressure on one of my sureties so that they can revoke my bail, re-arrest and detain me. They’re scared! But they can’t escape the upcoming revolt of the massively oppressed people of Nigeria! #RevolutionNow #BuhariMustGo"




Sowore: AGF Abubakar Malami, DG DSS Yusuf Bichi shopping for pliable judges, putting pressure on one of my sureties so that they can revoke my bail, re-arrest and detain me



The Major General Muhammadu Buhari ledled Fede government trial against the convener of Revolution Now movement Omoyele Sowore, and Olawale Bakare has suffered a setback at the Federal High Court in Abuja, according to reports by the national dailies.

According to the Punch newspapoers, the presiding Judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, has been transferred to Calabar and has informed the Chief Justice, Justice Tsoho, that although she would continue with other cases, she would no longer preside over Sowore’s case.

By the regime tactics, this implies that the case marked, FHC/ABJ/CR/235/19, will have to start afresh for the second time as they have nothing to prove against the activists.

This is just as two other judges have refused to take up Sowore’s case due to its ‘sensitive nature.’

Nigeria' Department of State Services had arraigned Sowore and Bakare before Justice Ojukwu for treasonable felony for organising the ‘Revolution Now’ protest on August 5, 2019, which the government saw as an attempt to disrupt peace in the country.

Justice Ojukwu subsequently ordered that Sowore and Bakare be released on bail but the DSS disobeyed the order for several weeks. After granting him bail, the DSS re-arrested Sowore inside the court, causing commotion which made the judge flee.

He was, however, released following nationwide condemnation.


In February 2020, the Office of the Attorney-General took over the case, amended the charges and re-arraigned Sowore and Bakare.

The judge ordered the Federal Government to pay N200,000 as the cost to the defendants for the frivolous application for adjournment and adjourned till February 13.

Following Justice Ojukwu’s transfer to Calabar, lit waa learnt that she was given the option of continuing some other cases. A court official said the judge picked a few cases and returned some others to the CJ including Sowore’s case.

“It seems some of these judges feel intimidated. They don’t want Federal Government trouble. The case is high profile and controversial. So, they have been avoiding it,” she said.

Also it was informed that another criminal defamation case instituted by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), involving Sowore, which is being handled by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, will also have to start afresh as the judge has returned the case file to the CJ.

“The case, Incorporated Trustees of Global Integrity Crusade Network – suing on behalf of Abubakar Malami – VS Omoyele Sowore and three others which is pending before Justice Taiwo Taiwo has also been returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment despite the fact that all the parties have filed all the processes and ready for final hearing before judgement,” the court official said.

Accordinf to the PUNCH reports, it was learnt that a fundamental human rights suit instituted by Sowore against the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 1469/2019 for unlawful detention, which is pending before Justice Inyang Ekwo, has also been returned to the CJ for reassignment after several adjournments.

“I have never seen this sort of thing before despite serving in this court for many years. No judge is willing to sit on Sowore’s case. This never happened even during the military era,” the court official said.


Sowore in a confirmation statement has said 
Federal Judges retiring and returning his case files in droves.


He alledged that the Nigeria's AGF Abubakar Malami and the DG DSS Yusuf Bichi are shopping for pliable judges and the duo are putting pressure on one of his sureties so that they can revoke his bail, re-arrest and detain him. 


Sowore said that they’re scared but they can’t escape the upcoming revolt of the massively oppressed people of Nigeria.


"Federal Judges retiring and returning Sowore case files in droves, meanwhile AGF Abubakar Malami and DG DSS Yusuf Bichi are shopping for pliable judges and putting pressure on one of my sureties so that they can revoke my bail, re-arrest and detain me. They’re scared! But they can’t escape the upcoming revolt of the massively oppressed people of Nigeria! #RevolutionNow #BuhariMustGo"




Derek Chauvin Is Sentenced To 22 1/2 Years Over George Floyd's Murder

Derek Chauvin Is Sentenced To 22 1/2 Years Over George Floyd's Murder

BILL CHAPPELL



Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison Friday, over the murder of George Floyd. He's seen here addressing the court at his sentencing hearing.


A Minnesota judge sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in prison Friday for the murder of George Floyd — a punishment that exceeds the state's minimum guidelines but falls short of prosecutors' request of a 30-year sentence.


As he issued the sentence, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said Chauvin will be credited for the 199 days he has already served.


In April, a jury found the former Minneapolis police officer, who is white, guilty of murdering Floyd, who was Black, last year. The killing triggered massive protests against racial injustice and also prompted reviews of the police use of force — including how much the law should protect officers when someone dies in their custody.


As in earlier proceedings, the sentencing hearing was livestreamed from the courtroom. The sentence announcement followed emotional victim impact statements from Floyd's family, as well as a heartfelt message of support from Chauvin's mother.


Chauvin was seen on video pressing his knee onto Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd lay facedown on the asphalt outside a convenience store with his hands cuffed behind his back. The police had been called to the store after Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill to pay for cigarettes.


The guilty verdict against Chauvin was hailed as a civil rights victory. Since then, his prison sentence has been awaited as a possible affirmation of that victory.


Under Minnesota law, people sentenced to prison become eligible to be considered for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence, as long as they've had no disciplinary problems while in custody.


Chauvin was in court for Friday's sentencing hearing, wearing a suit rather than a prisoner's uniform by a special order of the court.


Chauvin offers condolences in a brief statement

Chauvin, who did not testify during his trial, addressed the court in remarks that he said would be kept brief as he is still facing other legal issues — including federal charges.


"I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," Chauvin said as he looked toward Floyd's relatives in the courtroom.


And in a cryptic moment, the former officer added, "There's going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some, some peace of mind. Thank you."


Chauvin "is the first white officer in Minnesota to face prison time for the killing of a Black man," according to member station Minnesota Public Radio.


Floyd's daughter, 7, gives her victim impact statement


Floyd's loved ones delivered four victim impact statements in court. The first was a video conversation with Floyd's seven-year-old daughter, Gianna.


"I ask about him all the time," she said, adding that she wants to know, "How did my dad get hurt?"


Gianna said her father is still with her in spirit. When she sees him again, she said, she wants to play with him.


"I miss you and I love you," she said she would tell her father, adding that every night, he used to help her brush her teeth.


The girl added that other people have helped her father, after "those mean people did something to him."


Floyd's brother asks Chauvin: "Why?"

"This situation has really affected me and my family," Floyd's brother Terrence Floyd said.


Addressing Chauvin in the courtroom, Floyd said he has some questions.


"Why? What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother's neck?"


He then took a moment to compose himself, after growing emotional.


He went on to describe how, in one of his last conversations with his brother, they had been planning playdates for their daughters.


Asking for a maximum penalty against Chauvin, Terrence Floyd said there should be "no more slaps on the wrist."


Philonise Floyd, who has become an outspoken advocate for his brother after his death, then told the court that he has relived Floyd's death repeatedly in the past year. He no longer knows what it feels like to get a full night's sleep, he said.


"My family and I have been given a life sentence" to live without George Floyd, Philonise Floyd added.


Chauvin's mother says she supports her son "100 percent"


Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, spoke in court on his behalf and for her entire family, she said.


All their lives changed forever the day Floyd died, Pawlenty said.


Her son is not an "aggressive, heartless and uncaring person," or a racist, she said. "My son is a good man," Pawlenty said, noting his years of dedication to being a police officer.


Saying that she supports her son 100 percent, she added that the past year has taken a toll on him.


"When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me," Pawlenty told the judge. She noted that if her son serves a long prison term, his parents may not be alive when he is released.


Addressing Chauvin, Pawlenty said she is on his side and told him to be strong.


"Remember you are my favorite son," she said.


Lawyers argued over aggravating factors

Minnesota guidelines called for Chauvin to be sentenced to around 12 1/2 years for second-degree unintentional murder, given his lack of prior criminal history. But state prosecutors pushed for a 30-year term, saying Chauvin "acted with particular cruelty," among other aggravating factors in the case.


The prosecution also cited Chauvin's abuse of a position of authority and Floyd's killing in front of children and other witnesses, saying his punishment requires an "upward departure" from the guidelines. Cahill agreed, saying that aggravating factors had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


Eric Nelson, Chauvin's defense attorney, asked for Chauvin to be sentenced to probation along with time already served, saying that Chauvin, 45, would likely be a target in prison. He also says that with the support of his family and friends, Chauvin still has the potential to be a positive influence on his community.


Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. But he's being punished only for the most serious charge: second-degree murder while committing a felony. In Minnesota, a person convicted of multiple crimes that happened at the same time is typically only sentenced for the most severe charge.


The state's maximum prison term for second-degree unintentional murder is 40 years, although the sentencing guidelines for second-degree unintentional murder largely taper off at 24 years.


Chauvin also faces federal charges


Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listens to verdicts at his trial in April for the 2020 death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter charges in state court and is scheduled to be sentenced June 25.


Weeks after Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd, the Justice Department announced federal criminal charges against him and three of his fellow former officers over Floyd's death.


A federal grand jury indicted the four on charges of violating Floyd's civil rights, with Chauvin accused of using excessive force and ignoring the medical emergency that ended in Floyd's death.


The other former officers — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — are also accused of not getting immediate medical help for Floyd, with Kueng and Thao facing an addition charge of failing to intervene and showing "deliberate indifference" to Floyd's predicament.


The grand jury also indicted Chauvin over an arrest he made in 2017, in which he allegedly used a neck restraint and beat a teenager with a flashlight.


No trial date has been announced for the federal charges.


The three other former officers were already facing a state trial in August, on charges of aiding and abetting. But that trial has now been postponed until March of 2022.


All four of the Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd's death were fired days after the incident.


Nelson had asked the state court for a new trial for Chauvin, saying intense press coverage tainted the jury pool. He also alleged prosecutorial misconduct, related to issues such as sharing evidence and handling witnesses. But Cahill denied Nelson's motion on the eve of Friday's sentencing.


Jordan and Royal Pacheco view a mural of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Friday, as a Hennepin County court weighed the sentence to impose on former police officer Derek Chauvin.


Police killings rarely result in criminal charges

Floyd's murder and other high-profile cases, such as the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., have put intense scrutiny on the police use of deadly force against Black people, particularly by white officers.


An NPR investigation from early this year found that police officers in the U.S. shot and killed at least 135 unarmed Black men and women since 2015, and that at least 75% of the officers were white.


Law enforcement officers in the U.S. killed 1,099 people in 2019 — by far the most in any wealthy democracy in both raw numbers and per capita, according to the Prison Policy Initiative.


Those killings result in only a small number of officers being charged with a crime each year, and convictions of police on murder charges are very rare.


Last year brought a spike in the number of officers who died on duty, but as in most years, traffic incidents accounted for the largest share of those deaths.


Chauvin case propelled calls to change policing in the U.S.


The uproar over Floyd's death has helped change how some police departments train officers to use force, particularly chokeholds or carotid restraint holds.


But as NPR reported last summer, bans on neck restraints have been mostly ineffective or unenforced. Chauvin's actions against Floyd, for instance, were described by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo as violating the department's policies on the use of force, as well de-escalation and rendering aid.


Advocates of police reform also say it's time to limit or revoke qualified immunity — a legal doctrine established by the Supreme Court in 1967 that has been used to shield officers from facing liability for egregious actions while on-duty.


Demonstrators gather outside Cup Foods in April to celebrate the murder conviction of former 


"The people pushing for this change say the Supreme Court has tightened qualified immunity so much in recent decades that it's become nearly impossible for courts to recognize even blatant examples of police misconduct as illegal," NPR's Martin Kaste reported last year. "But police see things very differently. For them, qualified immunity has become a necessary safe harbor in a fast-paced, often dangerous job."


Qualified immunity's critics range from far-left activists to the libertarian Cato Institute.


A federal judge joined the critics last year, saying that while an officer in a case before him was protected by the doctrine, qualified immunity should be tossed into "the dustbin of history."


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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison Friday, over the murder of George Floyd. He's seen here addressing the court at his sentencing hearing.


A Minnesota judge sentenced Derek Chauvin to 22 1/2 years in prison Friday for the murder of George Floyd — a punishment that exceeds the state's minimum guidelines but falls short of prosecutors' request of a 30-year sentence.


As he issued the sentence, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill said Chauvin will be credited for the 199 days he has already served.


In April, a jury found the former Minneapolis police officer, who is white, guilty of murdering Floyd, who was Black, last year. The killing triggered massive protests against racial injustice and also prompted reviews of the police use of force — including how much the law should protect officers when someone dies in their custody.


As in earlier proceedings, the sentencing hearing was livestreamed from the courtroom. The sentence announcement followed emotional victim impact statements from Floyd's family, as well as a heartfelt message of support from Chauvin's mother.


Chauvin was seen on video pressing his knee onto Floyd's neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds as Floyd lay facedown on the asphalt outside a convenience store with his hands cuffed behind his back. The police had been called to the store after Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill to pay for cigarettes.


The guilty verdict against Chauvin was hailed as a civil rights victory. Since then, his prison sentence has been awaited as a possible affirmation of that victory.


Under Minnesota law, people sentenced to prison become eligible to be considered for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence, as long as they've had no disciplinary problems while in custody.


Chauvin was in court for Friday's sentencing hearing, wearing a suit rather than a prisoner's uniform by a special order of the court.


Chauvin offers condolences in a brief statement

Chauvin, who did not testify during his trial, addressed the court in remarks that he said would be kept brief as he is still facing other legal issues — including federal charges.


"I want to give my condolences to the Floyd family," Chauvin said as he looked toward Floyd's relatives in the courtroom.


And in a cryptic moment, the former officer added, "There's going to be some other information in the future that would be of interest. And I hope things will give you some, some peace of mind. Thank you."


Chauvin "is the first white officer in Minnesota to face prison time for the killing of a Black man," according to member station Minnesota Public Radio.


Floyd's daughter, 7, gives her victim impact statement


Floyd's loved ones delivered four victim impact statements in court. The first was a video conversation with Floyd's seven-year-old daughter, Gianna.


"I ask about him all the time," she said, adding that she wants to know, "How did my dad get hurt?"


Gianna said her father is still with her in spirit. When she sees him again, she said, she wants to play with him.


"I miss you and I love you," she said she would tell her father, adding that every night, he used to help her brush her teeth.


The girl added that other people have helped her father, after "those mean people did something to him."


Floyd's brother asks Chauvin: "Why?"

"This situation has really affected me and my family," Floyd's brother Terrence Floyd said.


Addressing Chauvin in the courtroom, Floyd said he has some questions.


"Why? What were you thinking? What was going through your head when you had your knee on my brother's neck?"


He then took a moment to compose himself, after growing emotional.


He went on to describe how, in one of his last conversations with his brother, they had been planning playdates for their daughters.


Asking for a maximum penalty against Chauvin, Terrence Floyd said there should be "no more slaps on the wrist."


Philonise Floyd, who has become an outspoken advocate for his brother after his death, then told the court that he has relived Floyd's death repeatedly in the past year. He no longer knows what it feels like to get a full night's sleep, he said.


"My family and I have been given a life sentence" to live without George Floyd, Philonise Floyd added.


Chauvin's mother says she supports her son "100 percent"


Chauvin's mother, Carolyn Pawlenty, spoke in court on his behalf and for her entire family, she said.


All their lives changed forever the day Floyd died, Pawlenty said.


Her son is not an "aggressive, heartless and uncaring person," or a racist, she said. "My son is a good man," Pawlenty said, noting his years of dedication to being a police officer.


Saying that she supports her son 100 percent, she added that the past year has taken a toll on him.


"When you sentence my son, you will also be sentencing me," Pawlenty told the judge. She noted that if her son serves a long prison term, his parents may not be alive when he is released.


Addressing Chauvin, Pawlenty said she is on his side and told him to be strong.


"Remember you are my favorite son," she said.


Lawyers argued over aggravating factors

Minnesota guidelines called for Chauvin to be sentenced to around 12 1/2 years for second-degree unintentional murder, given his lack of prior criminal history. But state prosecutors pushed for a 30-year term, saying Chauvin "acted with particular cruelty," among other aggravating factors in the case.


The prosecution also cited Chauvin's abuse of a position of authority and Floyd's killing in front of children and other witnesses, saying his punishment requires an "upward departure" from the guidelines. Cahill agreed, saying that aggravating factors had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


Eric Nelson, Chauvin's defense attorney, asked for Chauvin to be sentenced to probation along with time already served, saying that Chauvin, 45, would likely be a target in prison. He also says that with the support of his family and friends, Chauvin still has the potential to be a positive influence on his community.


Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. But he's being punished only for the most serious charge: second-degree murder while committing a felony. In Minnesota, a person convicted of multiple crimes that happened at the same time is typically only sentenced for the most severe charge.


The state's maximum prison term for second-degree unintentional murder is 40 years, although the sentencing guidelines for second-degree unintentional murder largely taper off at 24 years.


Chauvin also faces federal charges


Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listens to verdicts at his trial in April for the 2020 death of George Floyd at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter charges in state court and is scheduled to be sentenced June 25.


Weeks after Chauvin was found guilty of murdering Floyd, the Justice Department announced federal criminal charges against him and three of his fellow former officers over Floyd's death.


A federal grand jury indicted the four on charges of violating Floyd's civil rights, with Chauvin accused of using excessive force and ignoring the medical emergency that ended in Floyd's death.


The other former officers — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — are also accused of not getting immediate medical help for Floyd, with Kueng and Thao facing an addition charge of failing to intervene and showing "deliberate indifference" to Floyd's predicament.


The grand jury also indicted Chauvin over an arrest he made in 2017, in which he allegedly used a neck restraint and beat a teenager with a flashlight.


No trial date has been announced for the federal charges.


The three other former officers were already facing a state trial in August, on charges of aiding and abetting. But that trial has now been postponed until March of 2022.


All four of the Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd's death were fired days after the incident.


Nelson had asked the state court for a new trial for Chauvin, saying intense press coverage tainted the jury pool. He also alleged prosecutorial misconduct, related to issues such as sharing evidence and handling witnesses. But Cahill denied Nelson's motion on the eve of Friday's sentencing.


Jordan and Royal Pacheco view a mural of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Friday, as a Hennepin County court weighed the sentence to impose on former police officer Derek Chauvin.


Police killings rarely result in criminal charges

Floyd's murder and other high-profile cases, such as the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., have put intense scrutiny on the police use of deadly force against Black people, particularly by white officers.


An NPR investigation from early this year found that police officers in the U.S. shot and killed at least 135 unarmed Black men and women since 2015, and that at least 75% of the officers were white.


Law enforcement officers in the U.S. killed 1,099 people in 2019 — by far the most in any wealthy democracy in both raw numbers and per capita, according to the Prison Policy Initiative.


Those killings result in only a small number of officers being charged with a crime each year, and convictions of police on murder charges are very rare.


Last year brought a spike in the number of officers who died on duty, but as in most years, traffic incidents accounted for the largest share of those deaths.


Chauvin case propelled calls to change policing in the U.S.


The uproar over Floyd's death has helped change how some police departments train officers to use force, particularly chokeholds or carotid restraint holds.


But as NPR reported last summer, bans on neck restraints have been mostly ineffective or unenforced. Chauvin's actions against Floyd, for instance, were described by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo as violating the department's policies on the use of force, as well de-escalation and rendering aid.


Advocates of police reform also say it's time to limit or revoke qualified immunity — a legal doctrine established by the Supreme Court in 1967 that has been used to shield officers from facing liability for egregious actions while on-duty.


Demonstrators gather outside Cup Foods in April to celebrate the murder conviction of former 


"The people pushing for this change say the Supreme Court has tightened qualified immunity so much in recent decades that it's become nearly impossible for courts to recognize even blatant examples of police misconduct as illegal," NPR's Martin Kaste reported last year. "But police see things very differently. For them, qualified immunity has become a necessary safe harbor in a fast-paced, often dangerous job."


Qualified immunity's critics range from far-left activists to the libertarian Cato Institute.


A federal judge joined the critics last year, saying that while an officer in a case before him was protected by the doctrine, qualified immunity should be tossed into "the dustbin of history."


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