Sunday, 28 February 2010

Photonews: Horror On A Nigerian Road

Opinion: Media And Others Should Be Granted Access To President Yar’Adua

                                               [President Yar'Adua]

Nigerians have been driven to the smoky sludge of the beach of the unknown as some sycophantic cabal in the corridor of power are playing on our intelligence especially in the course to find out the true health situation and whereabouts of the Nigeria president, Umaru Yar’Adua.

One finds it quite knotty to understand that the real and exact medical situation of President Umaru Yar’Adua has yet not been disclosed to the innocent Nigerians even to the very person who ought to know, the acting-President Goodluck Jonathan and the media being the fourth realm of the estates and their roles as recognised in Chapter 4 of our Constitution.

It is consistent with human intellect to therefore reason that it is either the president is dead or he has been abducted, particularly when one consider the backdrops of frenzy manner in which the President’s handlers evacuated him back to the Country at dead of the night and kept him incommunicado with absolute secrecy.

This singular issue has revealed that the inner sanctum of power in the Nigerian scene is fraught with rot and political decadence, the reason is not far to seek as the entirety of the Nigerian and non-Nigerian citizenry have been wallowing in the thick darkness of ignorance as it affects the President’s state of health and the official stance of the presidency.

It therefore suffices to say that no degree of a cloaked defence can avail the Presidency unless and until the truth is told to the people of Nigeria who have saddled the President with the mandate to stir the course of this nation.

The President's handlers cannot follow the path of least resistance by perpetuating his continuous stay in an hibernaculum: a 1.2 billion Naira intensive care fitted comptraction and shielding him away from senior government officials, Nigerian People and the media.

Whatsoever maybe the President’s health situation there is no justification for shielding the President, a sovereign, no. 1 citizen of Nigeria and a foremost public figure in Nigeria.

In the foregoing of the above, I unequivocally demand that the President's real situation be made public with granting full access to our media to ascertain the seemly death of the President or the otherwise.

Its also pertinent to state here that failure to follow this request will be followed with an application to our court to compell those in charge of the President to so do accordingly.

There is urgent need to terminate the uncharitable, immoral and criminal infraction of the provisions of our constitution and its attendance crisis and apprehensions.

There is also an immediate need to reassure Nigerians and international communities that in Nigeria there is indeed responsive leadership to manage our several political, economic and security confrontations.

Thank you.

Kayode Ajulo, Esq.
Chairman, Egalitarian Mission, Africa

Saturday, 27 February 2010

News Report: Nigeria's Acting President Yet To Have Access To Category "A" Classfied Information Vault

Nigeria's Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, is yet to have access to the cateory "A" classified Information vault located in the inner chamber of the President's office. The unlock code of the vault is only known to Presidents and Heads of State of the Federation. Any President or Head of State can however, change the code.

Presidency insiders have revealed to chidi Opara reports that the President's office have remained under lock since the President left to Saudi Arabia on November, 2010 for health reasons.

We also learnt authoritatively that even when Dr. Jonathan became Acting President, the President's office where he is supposed to use as his new office is still under lock on the instruction of the President's Chief Security Officer, who is believed to be receiving instructions only from the President's first wife, Mrs. Turai Yar'Adua.

An attempt by the Acting President's Chief Security detail, acting on orders from Dr. Jonathan, to investigate the matter recently, we learnt, nearly resulted in a bloody clash between him and the President's Chief Security Officer. The investigation was reportedly, promptly stopped on orders from the Acting President.

One senior Presidency contact informed chidi opara reports that the meeting scheduled between the Acting President and Mrs. Yar'Adua has opening of the President's office for use by Dr. Jonathan as the main issue. "Even if he can enter the office, he cannot unlock the vault, except if the President reveals the code to him", our contact revealed. We have not been able so far to independently confirm if the meeting held or not.

The category "A" classified Information vault, according to high level security contacts, contains very sensitive Information which the President or Head of State needs to take very strategic decissions.

Our independent investigation revealed that the President's home coming against the advice of his doctors is mainly to forestall planned legal moves by the Acting President  to gain access to the President's office and the Information vault. chidi opara reports also learnt that denying the Acting President access to the vault has the blessing of Nigeria's former military Heads of State, some of whom we learnt have expressed fears that the Information therein may be put to "other uses", by the Acting President whom they still see as an outsider in the corridor of power.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

News Release From The White House

Good Morning,

This Thursday, President Obama will meet with Republicans and Democrats from both houses of Congress to discuss how to finally give the American people and small business owners more control over their health care choices.

To make this meeting as productive as possible, the President won't be coming empty-handed. He'll bring to the table a health insurance reform proposal that does just that.

The proposal reflects a broad array of input, including the best parts of bills passed by the House and Senate. In addition, on top of some of the Republican concepts that were already in these bills, the President includes even more Republican ideas -- some taken directly from their proposed legislation. Of course, he has also put in more than a few ideas of his own.

There are a few key components of the President's Proposal you don't want to miss:
• It sets up a new competitive health insurance market giving tens of millions of Americans the exact same insurance choices that members of Congress will have.
• It brings greater accountability to health care by laying out commonsense rules of the road to keep premiums down and prevent insurance industry abuses and denial of care.
• It ends discrimination against Americans with pre-existing conditions.
• It puts our budget and economy on a more stable path by reducing the deficit by $100 billion over the next ten years by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud and abuse.
• It provides the largest middle class tax cuts for health care in history, reducing premium costs for tens of millions of families and small business owners who are priced out of coverage today.

The President's Proposal also features some key improvements to existing issues you might have heard about:
• For America’s seniors, the proposal closes the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole" coverage gap.
• It improves insurance protections for consumers and creates a new Health Insurance Rate Authority to address unreasonable insurance rate increases and other unfair practices of insurance plans.
• A provision that gave additional funding to Nebraska to help the state expand Medicaid coverage now includes all states.

It is important to understand that this proposal isn’t meant to be the final say on the legislation. At Thursday’s bipartisan meeting, the President will continue to work with members of both parties to find common ground and look for the best ideas that will help American families and small business owners have greater control over their own health care.

Thank you,

Nancy-Ann DeParle
Director, White House Office of Health Reform

News Report: Nigeria's Acting President Knew About President's Home Coming And Deployment Of Soldiers At Airport

                                              [Acting President Jonathan]

chidi opara reports can now report that Nigeria's Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, contrary to media reports, knew about the home coming of President Umaru Yar'Adua atleast twelve hours before the commencement of the journey from Saudi Arabia.

Reliable contacts in the Nigerian Presidency informed us that as soon as the President was discharged from hospital at the prompting of his first wife, Turai Yar'Adua and other close associates, the Saudi King phoned to inform the Acting President of the development. We also learnt that the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia also called to inform the Acting President.

chidi opara reports have confirmed that as soon as the Acting President learnt of the President's discharge from hospital, he sought to know when the President would be home, but no definite date was given to him. "They only told him that Mr. President would be back in a few days time", one contact revealed.

This lack of knowledge of a definite date, we learnt, did not stop the Acting President from making logistics available to the President's family. For instance, even though the Saudi King would still have made his private Air Ambulance available for the President's journey, he however, requested that the Nigerian government should officially request for it, which we learnt authoritatively that the Acting President did.

A low level but strategically placed contact at the Nigerian Army Headquarters informed us that the Acting President signed the instrument for the deployment of soldiers to the Airport at about 5.13pm on Monday 22nd february 2010. chidi opara reports was not able to access this instrument at the time of preparing this report.

We can however report that at the moment, the Acting President is still reaching out to the Yar'Adua group with pledges of  loyalty and co-operation especially in the forthcoming Crude Oil licenses bids. We also learnt that though the group does not trust the Acting President, they have however resolved to work with him.

An unconfirmed information at our disposal has it that there is a plan by an International crude oil syndicate with a cell in Nigeria, who have benefitted immensely from the Yar'Adua Administration to sponsor a military take over of government if Yar'Adua is edged out of government. This plan is allegedly been cordinated by an Italian Oil and Gas tycoon based in Portharcourt, Rivers State.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

News Release: Yar’Adua’s “Return”: SNG Insists On Section 144 Still

                                            [President Yar;Adua]

The Save Nigeria Group (SNG) comprising human beings with blood flowing in our veins welcome President Umaru Yaradua back to the country after 93 days of medical trip to Saudi Arabia.

But as citizens of Nigeria, we deplore in the strongest terms the way President Yar’Adua was smuggled into the country like a piece of contraband in the dead of the night and through mafia tactics by his kidnappers. Nigeria is portrayed like a medieval society where stone age (wo)men preside if a president who was away for 93 days could be brought back in secrecy and journalists and airport workers hounded by armed soldiers .

The reported parking of the aircraft that brought him in a bush path further showed that the cabal has no respect for Yar’Adua and would not give him the amount of care a sick dog deserves from the owner for as long as they use his sick body to feather their nests.

It is more curious that soldiers were deployed to the airport without the knowledge of the Acting President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces who was also not on hand to receive him.

When all is added up, it is clear that there is a sinister plot behind bringing a man who should be having his health attended to into the country. This has been evident in the fact that the Executive Council of the Federation has yet to commence its weekly meeting as we go to the press.

It has also been brought to our attention that a statement has been issued by Yar’Adua spokesperson, Mr. Segun Adeniyi to the effect that he has been discharged by his doctors and that the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan should act for him while he recuperates. Was it a slip that Adeniyi referred to Dr. Jonathan as “Vice-President” and not Acting President?

This is clearly unacceptable and a further confirmation that Yar’Adua and his handlers see Nigeria as his supermarket, which explains why he did not hand over in the first place while traveling out on medical trip. The constitution does not confere on him the right to verbally decide how Nigeria is run.

Nigerians need to see the man who is making this statement. He must address the joint sitting of the National Assembly, even if it’s only for five minutes, which shall transmit power back to him before he can begin to function as president again. In the alternative, he should address the nation on NTA and AIT to explain to the nation why he failed to respect the constitution in the last 93 days.

Inability to do this automatically means he is totally incapacitated and his coming home would not have changed anything, as our quarrel with him was not the location where he was but the fact that we are not sure that his body and mind can support the functions of his office. This as far has been confirmed by the fact that it took one hour twenty five minutes to dislodge him from the air ambulance into the Ford Intensive Care Unit ambulance and another one hour ten minutes to take him from the airport to the secretariat junction in Abuja where he proceeded to the Villa. All these point to permanent incapacitation.

Flowing from the above, the SNG insists that the process of empanelling a medical board as stipulated in Section 144 must proceed forthwith. And the Executive Council of the Federation has its job cut out for it, as they now have no excuse to fall on anymore. There is no need for any jamboree as Yar’Adua is now within the shores of Nigeria.

We have insisted on this conclusive resolution of the crisis so that Nigeria can avoid the political disaster the cabal is setting Nigeria for. We remain resolutely committed to the logical closure of this matter and we stick to our March 3rd deadline.

Finally, we call on our people to remember Yar’Adua in their thoughts and prayers so that he will sooner regain his health and be free from the pernicious hold of the heartless cabal holding on to his life.

Signed: (1) Engr. Buba Galadima (2) Mr. ‘Yinka Odumakin (3) Mallam Salihu Lukman (4) Hajia Najatu Mohammed (5) Mr. Mike Igini (6) Hon. Uche Onyeogocha (7) Ms Annkio Briggs

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

News Release From The White House: VP's Report To The President On Impact Of Recovery Act

                                                           [Joe Biden]

Good Morning,

A year ago, President Obama signed the Recovery Act, a bold initiative not only to rescue our country from a potential second Great Depression but also to build a new economic foundation for the future of our Nation. At that time, we were in an economic freefall -- hemorrhaging more than 700,000 jobs a month with the middle class under assault and financial institutions on the brink of collapse.

One year later, I’ve prepared a report for the President on the impact of the Recovery Act. Even though we have much more to do, the evidence is clear: the Recovery Act is working.

Now here are some facts from the report I hope you’ll share far and wide:

• 2 Million Jobs: Public and private forecasters ranging from the Council of Economic Advisors to Moody’s Economy and IHS Global now say the Recovery Act is responsible for about 2 million jobs nationwide.

• Economic Growth: We recently learned that our economy grew 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter -- the biggest gain in six years that many economists say is largely due to the Recovery Act.

• Tax Relief: The Recovery Act provided over $100 billion in tax relief for American businesses and families.

• Aid to Small Businesses: This past year, the Recovery Act supplied over 42,000 small business loans that provided nearly $20 billion in much-needed capital.

Building a New Foundation: The Recovery Act funded tens of thousands of projects nationwide this year that are not only creating jobs right now, but also laying a long-term foundation for economic growth, including investments in high-speed rail, health technology, broadband, a smarter electrical grid, clean cars and batteries, and renewable energy.

Obituary Announcement: Late Mrs Catherine Ngam Opara

                                              [Late Mrs. Catherine Ngam Opara]

The Opara'naku family of Umude Avuvu in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo state, Nigeria, hereby announce the death of the matriach of the family, Mrs. Catherine Ngam Opara, who died peacefully on saturday, 23rd february, 2010 at the age of 78 years.

Funeral Arrangement:
 (1) Thursday, 18th February, 2010: 6.00pm till dawn; wake-keep by Umude Avuvu womenfolk at her residence, Umude Avuvu, Ikeduru Local Government Area, Imo State Nigeria.

(2) Friday 19th February, 2010: 9.00 am; body leaves Holy Rosary hospital mortuary Emekukwu. 10.00am; arrives her residence for brief lying-in-state. 11.00am; goes to St. David’s Roman Catholic Church, Umude Avuvu for funeral mass. 12.00 noon; brief Christian funeral rites at the graveside in the Opara’naku ancestral home. 12.30pm; Interment.

(3) Sunday, 21st February, 2010: 9.00am; Outing mass at St. David’s.

Announcement by: Mr. Chidi Anthony Opara(son), Publisher/Editor-In-Chief, chidi opara reports

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Lagos Rating As 5th Worst City In The World: DPA Blames Fashola Govt.

                                           [Fashola, Lagos State Governor]

The Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPA) says it is not surprised at Lagos’ placement as the world’s fifth worst city, blaming it on the failure of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s regime to implement people-centered development.

“This city has lost its soul. And it is because the government has failed to place the individual person at the centre-piece of its policies,” DPA said.

An international survey of 140 cities by the foreign Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) at the weekend ranked Lagos 136th and one of the worst cities where “most aspects of living are severely restricted.” The study had considered each municipality’s performance based on the indices of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

 The party, in a statement by its Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, recalled that in 2008 Lagos had similarly been rated as the “costliest city in Africa” by the Mercer 2008 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, and said the studies provided unassailable proof that the government had failed to tackle issues that mattered, especially those capable of improving living conditions.

The party feared that such unsavoury international rankings would further discourage investment, provoke capital flight, hurt businesses and advance crime and corruption.

DPA said the government needed to tackle several of the city’s negative indicators, including mediocre education, inadequate housing, bad roads, high tenement and duplicated land use charges, soaring transportation costs, unregulated ground and accommodation rents, untamed high cost of doing business, untamed double taxation, crime, unbridled corruption and cut-throat transportation.

In the words of the party, “The government always rushed to the media to trumpet its few accomplishments, but the average Lagosian knows the truth, that this government has done very little to improve life, environment and welfare, despite the colossal sums budgeted year in year. We have always known and we have always pointed out that all the government’s claims to achievements are mostly media hype and razzmatazz. Now an independent assessor has come out with new facts that justify our crusade that Lagos has been shortchanged particularly in the last three years.”

DPA accused the Fashola regime of failing to place Lagosians at the heart of its programmes.

“It is a pity that the government prefers to accommodate flowers, trees and shrubs than cater for the welfare and wellbeing of human beings. In Mosafejo Oshodi, for example, the government demolished stores that for decades provided livelihood for hundreds of businessmen and women and replaced them with paving stones and flowers, without any compensation plan or rehabilitation,” DPA lamented.

DPA described it a shame that Lagos fell behind such African cities as Dakar in Senegal (130th position with 48.3 percent) and Douala in Cameroon (134 with 43.3 percent). Johannesburg in South Africa is the leading African city, polling 92nd position with a score of 69.1 percent.

According to the EIU, Lagos, which scored 39 percent, shares the bottom five slots with cities like Port Moresby (38.9 percent), Algiers capital of Algeria (38.7 percent), Dhaka (Bangladesh 38.7 percent) and Harare (Zimbabwe 37.5 percent).

Pointing out that the average Lagos-based business or individual had to unilaterally source his own security, motorable roads, electricity, good education for children, healthcare, water and other necessary infrastructure, DPA said: “We only hope that the survey will gear up government functionaries who have so lost touch with reality that they say that anyone who cannot stomach the official hardheartedness of Lagos should migrate out of the state.”

Felix Oboagwina
Director of Publicity (Lagos State DPA)

Sunday, 14 February 2010

News Release: NASS Resolution: SNG Insists On Section 144

                                            [Senate President, David Mark]

The save Nigeria Group (SNG) has carefully reviewed the resolution passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly on Tuesday 9th February 2010, invoking the ‘’doctrine of necessity’’ to pronounce Dr Goodluck Jonathan as the ‘’Acting President ‘’ of the Federal Republic of Nigeria .

The review meeting which had the convener of the Democratic Front for Peoples Federation (DFPF), Prof. Wole Soyinka and other critical leaders in attendance resolved as follows:

1. That the SNG’s protest marches in Abuja, Lagos, London, and New York were motivated by the need to restore the dignity of Nigeria and its people through a constitutional resolution of the power hijack by a cabal which kidnapped a sick man who is incapable of knowing what is going on and acting in his name to subvert the will of the people and orderliness in our Country, and not just an anyhow pronouncement of Dr. Jonathan as an ‘’Acting President’’,

2. That the pronouncement by the National Assembly making Dr. Jonathan ‘’Acting President” by a strange interpretation of a questionable BBC interview as a substitute for the written declaration the President ought to have made before leaving the country amounts to rigging and a manipulation of Section 145 of the Constitution. Only the unwary will not see through the booby trap in having an ‘’Acting President’’ who is not sworn in by those who got an outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria to swear in his successor.,

3 That while we want Dr Jonathan to assume full Presidential powers, his natural right by the constitution, We reject the extra constitutional invocation of the ‘’doctrine of necessity’’ , which is a dangerous precedent that could become handy to execute an unpopular agenda against the people in the future.

4. That apart from placing one man and his kidnapers above the Nation, Nigeria has once again been presented with a Shonekan who was kicked out unceremoniously by General Sanni Abacha after a court declared the contraption he headed illegal in 1993. We are not ready to go that route anymore.

5. That it has become imperative that a logical and constitutional process of installing Dr. Jonathan as President with a Vice- President must commence immediately with the Executive Council of the Federation passing a resolution declaring Yar’Adua incapacitated in compliance with section 144 of the constitution. We insist that the session where the resolution would be taken must be beamed live on National Television.

6. That the invocation of section 144 will not only permanently resolve the log jam but will restore the esteem of Nigerians which has been badly damaged by all sort of lies which the criminal cabal has fed them with in the last 80days on the health of the President as we press for the prosecution of all those involved in the forging of the signature of the President on the supplementary budget.

7. That failure by the Executive Council of the Federation to carry out this demand by its next two sittings (February 17 and 24, 2010) will attract the wrath of Nigerians and SNG and its allies will storm Abuja in a big way to insist on doing the right thing to save our country from the snare of the cabal programming Nigeria for avoidable disaster.

(1) Pastor Tunde Bakare (2) Mr. Solomon Asemota (SAN) (3) Lt. Gen. Alani Akinrinade (Rtd) (4) Mr. ‘Yinka Odumakin (5) Hon. Uche Onyeogocha (6) Mallam Salihu Lukman

Friday, 12 February 2010

Article: Kayode Ajulo And His Constitutional Implication Of President Yar’Adua’s BBC Interview And Its Subsequent Publication By Nigerian Print Media.

It is only sad that the entire system of the Nigerian government has to be pressurized and put under tension before the National Assembly could finally decide to tailor the lucid path of our sacrosanct Constitution in declaring the then Vice President Jonathan Goodluck as the Nigerian Acting President, Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces pending the return of President Umaru Yar'Adua.  

In a petite stroll back to the track of history in the struggle to do justice to the prolonged absence of the President and the firm position of our constitution on same, its pertinent to make a basic recourse to the 'sui generis' Originating Summons filed by an Abuja based prodigious lawyer and human right activist, Kayode Ajulo shortly after the popular BBC interview granted by the president on the 12th day of January, 2010 and the argument of the learned attorney.

The suit was filed on the 18th January 2010 at the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/28/10 by Kayode Ajulo against the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representative and the Attorney General of the Federation, the processes sought for inter alia the Court's declaration that by the combined effect of the authorized and un-contradicted public declaration made by President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, on January 12, 2009, voiced thus;

"At the moment, I am undergoing treatment, and I'm getting better from the treatment. I hope that very soon there will be tremendous progress, which will allow me to get back home...As soon as my doctors discharge me, I will return to Nigeria to resume my duties...I wish, at this stage, to thank all Nigerians for their prayers for my good health, and for their prayers for the nation," 

It is the contention of the Plaintiff who is not only a well known cerebral lawyer and social commentator but the founder and financier of Egalitarian Mission, Africa, that the declaration was transmitted by a credible medium and subsequently transcribed and published by virtual all Nigeria prints media such as the Thisday Newspaper, Punch Newspaper, Guardian Newspaper, The Nation Newspaper, Sun Newspaper, Vanguard Newspapers, 234 Next and other newspapers that circulate nationally and internationally, the transcript of which the authorized public declaration was received and read by all including the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representative at both chambers of the National Assembly, President Yar'Adua has duly informed the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representative of his inability to perform the functions of his office and his consequential proceed on vacation owing to his ill-health and had therefore complied with the provision of Section 145 of the 1999 constitution.

The Plaintiff who is also one of the alter egos of Save Nigeria Group therefore prays for consequential Orders of the court directing the National Assembly to recognize and allow the Vice-President to begin, without any further delay, the performance of the duties of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in his own right as Acting President.

It is just apt to be informed that the hearing of this suit has been adjourned to the 22nd of February, 2010 before Hon. Justice Kolawole (who has summoned the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representative and the Attorney General of Federation) to appear before him at Federal High Court, Abuja.

No sooner had the leaders of the National Assembly been served with the processes in the suit than they, in their sittings on the February 9, 2010 unanimously passed separate resolutions to yield in tadem to the immutable reliefs sought in the matter and declared the Vice President as the Acting President.

It is interesting to observe the resolution of the Senate thus; "viewed from an ordinary reading of Section 145, we came to the conclusion that the President, through his declaration transmitted worldwide on the British Broadcasting Corporation, as furnished this parliament with irrefutable proof that he is on medical vacation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and has therefore complied with the provisions of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution.".

However, this constitutional and practical step taken by the National Assembly has been criticized by some politicians, lawyers, economists and even members of the National Assembly. Senator Garba Lado (PDP Kastina South) while opposing the motion to transmit power to Vice-President as Acting President reasoning thus; "…I do not understand the kind of teacher that will interpret a written declaration as what somebody speaks through the interview with BBC, to say that will serve as written document…"

The distinguished Senator is not the only person who had misunderstood the purport of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution and the time-long-settled legal, liberal and practical approaches to the convenient interpretation of the provisions of our grundnorm in the jurisprudence of constitutiona as the former Presidential candidate, Chief Olu Falae and Action Congress has also faulted the National Assembly's interpretation of Section 145 of the Constitution.

It is therefore necessary to make elaborate expositions of the legal spirit and purport of the constitutional provisions in question as canvassed by Kayode Ajulo in his suit against the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representative and the Attorney General of Federation. The provision of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution states thus; "Whenever the President transmits to the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his Office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President".

In an incredibly ordinary situation, the literal interpretation of this provision of the constitution would mean that, when the President had realized the fact that he has to vacate his office for any reason and reasoned that his vacation may cause a vacuum in his office and/or the President holds a conviction of his inability to discharge the functions of his office, one of the options therefore available for the President is what Section 145 has revealed. This is what the President has done by his authorized declaration via BBC thus:
"At the moment I am undergoing treatment, and I'm getting better from the treatment. I hope that very soon there will be tremendous progress, which will allow me to get back home...As soon as my doctors discharge me, I will return to Nigeria to resume my duties...I wish, at this stage, to thank all Nigerians for their prayers for my good health, and for their prayers for the nation."

It is the Plaintiff unequivocally submission that the President's declaration as published is not only read but has been presented and debated by the distinguished and Honourable members of both Chambers of the National Assembly on the 13th and 14th of January 2010 in which the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of the Representatives are in attendant and presided both Chambers respectively.

In the contention of Kayode Ajulo that the clear interpretation of "whenever" in Section 145 is once it is made known by the President of his vacation or inability to discharge for whatever reasons, the duties, functions and responsibilities of his office the PRESIDENTIAL POWERS AND DUTIES legally devolved on his Vice as Acting-President.

He also contends that it is envisaged and provided for by the Constitution that the President, upon being subsequently fit, can make a "declaration to the contrary" i.e., he can cause another contrary declaration to resume the functions of his office.

He also reasoned that the constitution never provided for a special mode/format by which the President should covey/transmit the written declaration about his incapacity and the resultant vacation to the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He also distinguished this from the procedure for proclamation of state of emergency and Resignations as provided in Section 305 and 306 of the Constitution respectively, where the procedures, manners and formats in which the President should make a proclamation of state of emergency and office holders under the constitution should declare their resignation respectively were specifically provided.

As further maintain that if the drafter of our constitution intended to provide a special mode for the transmission of this requisite written declaration for the president, they would have provided for it as done in Section 305 and 306 of the Constitution.

In effect he urges that to interpret Section 145, our Court should use a liberal approach when interpreting the provisions of our constitution, particularly when the same constitution did not provides which format or the form the written declaration should be as well as the mode of the transmission of the written declaration of the President.

As this is the reasoning of the Supreme Court of Nigeria per Uwais (CJN as then was) in the case of A.G. LAGOS v A.G. FEDERATION (2004) 18 N.W.L.R. (Pt 904) 1 at 75-76, paras, F-C thus;

"Be that as it may, it should be borne in mind that we are in this case concerned with the interpretation of the Constitution. The inconsistency and confusion notwithstanding, this Court has since laid down that in interpreting the Constitution we should avoid technicalities"
(SEE ALSO: NAFIU RABIU v KANO STATE (1980) 8-11 SC 130.)

He contends that it is the law that the publication containing the public declaration of the President has become a public document in the custody of the National Library. (SECTIONS 96 AND 97 OF THE EVIDENCE ACT & NATIONAL LIBRARY ACT)

He also submitted that the function of the constitution is to establish a framework and principle of government, broad and general in terms, is to be to applied to the varying conditions of the provisions of the Constitution.

He ended this argument with an observation of the Supreme Court in RT HON. MICHEAL BALONWU VS. GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA (unreported) Suit No: SC/233/2008 delivered on 4th December, 2009 Per Onnoghen JSC:  "It is therefore proper to hold that the intention of the legislature is to ensure continuity of government action in order to avoid a vacuum"

The National Assembly in total agreement with Kayode Ajulo's submission on Tuesday 9th of February 2010 passed a resolution to the effect that the Vice-President act as President and Commander-in-Chief of armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria, this resolution was immediately accepted by the Federal Executive Council.

However, the erudite lawyer despite the fact that his legal and ingenuous reasoning has save the country from constitutional crisis, has vowed that irrespective of the adoption of his arguments and prayer that ensure that the Vice-President becomes the Acting President, he will still go on with his case as he wants for posterity sake, the judicial interpretation of the provision of the Constitution.

By: Austyn Ogannah

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

News Release: Jonathan’s Conversion Is Bad Precedent, We Insist On Impeachment Of Yar’Adua


Afenifere berates the National Assembly for the step it has taken in passing the Resolution of Tuesday February 9, 2010 making the Vice President the Acting President. We are especially disappointed that members of the hallowed chambers hinged their decision on a broadcast gleaned from a foreign radio station that was not specifically addressed to them. This clearly departs from the clear provisions of Section 145 of the Constitution.

We appreciate the desperate and urgent need to close a dangerous and embarrassing vacuum, which drove the National Assembly’s Resolution. But we must condemn the way the Legislature has gone about this assignment. This disingenuous application of Jurisprudence is setting the foundation for anarchy and flagrant disobedience of Rule of Law.

The National Assembly cannot by a mere Motion convert the Vice President into an Acting President. The only option open to the National Assembly, if the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will not do the patriotic duty of declaring President Umar Yar’Adua permanently incapacitated, is to impeach the President.

By not sending a letter to the National Assembly before proceeding on his extended medical trip and keeping the Nation in the dark for more than 89 days about his health and his whereabouts, the President has effectively abandoned his office. And the only principled and constitutional action that the National Assembly can take in such a circumstance is to strip him of that office by Impeachment. Promoting Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to Acting President by a mere Motion is begging the issue. It is very unconstitutional. It is merely an attempt by the Senators and Honourable Members of the House of Representatives to escape their constitutional duty. Unfortunately, in the process they have created a bad precedent for the Nation.

Senator Femi Okurounmu
Afenifere General Secretary

News Report: Acceptance Speech of Nigeria’s Acting President; Dr. Goodluck Jonathan

                                           [Acting President Jonathan]

Fellow Nigerians,

1. As we all know, our dear President, His Excellency, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, has been receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia for some time now. Naturally, his absence from the country has generated considerable interest and a heated national debate.

2. Today, the National Assembly passed a resolution mandating me to act as President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In following the extant provisions of the 1999 constitution to arrive at this decision, the leadership and members of the National Assembly have shown great courage, statesmanship and patriotism. I salute them all.

3. In the same vein, I will like to commend all the other political actors and national leaders, particularly the former Heads of State, Elder Statesmen, Governors of the 36 States and other leaders of political groups, civil society organizations, the media, and indeed all Nigerians, for their invaluable contributions and counsel. Our security services also deserve our special commendation for their loyalty and devotion to duty during this trying period.

4. The circumstances in which I find myself assuming office today as Acting President of our country are uncommon, sober and reflective. More than ever therefore, I urge all Nigerians as a people of faith in God, to pray fervently for the full recovery of our dear President and his early return.

5. The events of the recent past have put to the test, our collective resolve as a democratic nation. I am delighted to note that our nation has demonstrated resilience and unity of purpose. Today affords us time to reconnect with ourselves and overcome any suspicions, hurts and doubts, which had occurred. In all these, there are no winners and no losers, because by the Grace of God we have once again succeeded in moving our country forward. We have all shown that our unity as a people, our love for this country, and our hope for its great future cannot be shaken.

6. It is now time for us to move on in a more determined manner to tackle the various challenges which we face as a nation. Our march towards Vision 2020 is irreversible. Therefore, we see a need to prioritize on a few of the most critical areas which continue to plague our effort at engendering meaningful economic growth and development. Some of these critical sectors include power, infrastructure, security, generation of employment and business opportunities for our teeming young men and women.

Fellow Nigerians,

7. The Federal Government will take every step necessary to consolidate the gains of Amnesty in the Niger Delta and execute the post-Amnesty programme. I therefore appeal to all concerned to be patient, as there can be no meaningful development without peace and security.

8. As regards the Jos crisis, government will endeavour to sustain the peace and find a lasting solution to the recurring crisis in Plateau State. In the meantime, culprits of the heinous crimes committed in the recent incident will face the full weight of the law. I want to restate that government will not tolerate the culture of impunity that is fast becoming an unwelcome part of our socio-political life.

9. Our commitment to ensuring the security of lives and property in all parts of the country will also be pursued with renewed zeal. The Nigeria Police and other security services would be given new impetus to perform their duties, even while respecting the human rights of Nigerians. They are fully expected to produce corresponding results. There shall be no excuses for failure. Nigerians deserve to be fully protected at all times nationwide.

Fellow Nigerians,

10. One of the cardinal commitments of this administration is our commitment to Good Governance, Accountability and Transparency. We shall continue to pursue these policy objectives with all the seriousness they deserve. In particular, the war against corruption will be prosecuted more robustly. We will therefore strengthen the capacity of the anti-corruption agencies and give them a free hand to prosecute the anti corruption war.

11. Let me once again commend the people of Anambra State, for the successful conduct of the recent gubernatorial election. This has shown that Nigerians can conduct free, fair and credible elections. The Anambra Election has however exposed some weaknesses in our electoral system, and government is determined to plug these loop holes as we approach the next General Elections in 2011. I want to reassure all Nigerians and our friends around the world, that our determination to ensure that the sanctity of the electoral rights of our people shall not be compromised.

12. Let me on behalf of the Nigerian people appreciate the international community for their goodwill and understanding in our efforts at national development and consolidation of our democracy. Nigeria will continue to play a deserving role in regional and global affairs.

13. On a personal note, I am deeply humbled and honoured by this great call to duty. I am fully aware of the responsibilities reposed in me, and I want to reassure all Nigerians that this is a sacred trust, which I shall discharge to my fullest abilities.

14. Thank you and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Photonews: Anambra State Governorship Election; The Top Contenders

                                     [Peter obi]
                                    [Chukuwma Soludo]

                                            [Chris Ngige]

Editorial: The Dora Akunyili Hoopla

The Nigerian Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili recently wrote a memo to the Executive Council of the Federation, also known as the Federal Executive Council(FEC).

In the said memo, Professor Akunyili asked her colleagues to pass a resolution advising the ailing President, who have been out of the country since november, 2009 for medical reasons, to forward the necessary constitutional instrument to empower the Vice-president to assume duties as acting President to the appropriate quarters.

The Minister's memo is obviously a reaction to weeks of agitations by a cross-section of Nigerians calling on the sick President to follow the path of  constitutionalism by handing over authority to his deputy in acting capacity.

The memo which was leaked to the public before it could reach the Council, have been generating intense reactions, principal of which is the image of a defender of due process being pinned on the Minister.

Truly, Dora Akunyili's previous sojourns at the Petroleum Trust Fund(PTF) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control(NAFDAC), showcased her as a forthright public official.

This forthright image was however jettisoned when she was invited on board the Yar'Adua administration.

As Minister of Information and Communications, it has been the lot of Professor Akunyili to defend policies and programmes of the Yar'Adua administration, most of which are anti-people and a negation of what she hitherto stood for.

The present crisis is clearly a fall out of the President's refusal to hand over authority to his deputy before travelling to Saudi Arabia, this anomaly could not have been unknown to the Minister, yet we do not know of any efforts on her path to get the Council to advise the President to do the right thing.

Even when it became obvious that the President's stay in hospital would be long and agitations were on to force him to do the right thing, Madam Minister's voice was not heard. Now, after weeks of agitations by various segments of the citizenry both in the country and abroad, the Minister came up with her "courageous memo" and behold the nation is now abuzz with the Dora Akunyili hoopla.

chidi opara reports is of the opinion that the sooner Nigerians do away with this attitude of "flash in the pan heros", the better it would be for the nation.

Friday, 5 February 2010

A Communiqué From The “Save Nigeria Group"

On Power Hijack:
Meeting deplores the fact that Nigeria has entered 73rd day of offshore presidency with the cabal that has hijacked power still holding to the jugular of the nation and resolved as follows:

Commends the Senate for standing by its resolution that the president should respect the Constitution by transmitting power to his Vice.

Condemns the House of Representatives for working hand in gloves with the cabal that is pushing Nigeria towards the precipice by voting for the continuation of power hijack.

Condemns the Executive Council of the Federation for rejecting the memo by the Minister of Information, Professor Dora Akunyili asking it to do the Constitutional responsibility of asking the incapacitated president to step down from office. The level of dishonour among its ranks is so appalling by holding on to a lie that a president for whom life support machines have been imported is fit to continue to rule Nigeria.

Commends the people of Nigeria who have heeded SNG’s calls for rallies to protest the illegality going on in the country while shunning all entreaties and inducements by the beneficiaries of the power hijack to hold processions in support of using the name of an incapacitated president to continue to hold the country to ransom. Our people have shamed these elements to the point that they cannot hold one rally in any part of the country.

Calls on the military top brass who have alleged that some politicians are putting pressure on them to take over government to name such politicians so that they can face treason trial and advises them to stay put in their barracks and allow the Civil Society to humiliate the cabal through people’s power.

Demands the immediate inauguration of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President. The Jonathan presidency must immediately work on the following:
(a) Implementation of Electoral Reforms;
(b) Comprehensive War Against Corruption;
(c) Implementation of the Niger Delta Technical Committee Report.

Anambra Elections:
Meeting reviewed the processes leading to the February 6, 2010 elections in Anambra State and resolved as follows:
The illegal removal and replacement of the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Anambra State without the president who is the only person constitutionally empowered to do so is a worrying signal.

The refusal by the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, to allow independent local observers creates doubts about the body’s ability to conduct free and fair elections in the State. It is particularly disturbing that Professor Maurice Iwu, against all known conventions globally, has chosen to use paid observers among whom was somebody arrested for snatching ballot boxes in the Year 2007 elections.

The deployment of 38,000 policemen to conduct elections in 21 Local Governments, at the average rate of 15 policemen per polling booth, sends a signal of an atmosphere of terror and voter’s intimidation.

SNG stands by its promise to join the Anambra people to resist any possible manipulation of their electoral will on Saturday.

Finally, SNG enjoins the people of Nigeria to remain resolute in defending what is just and right. We are convinced that the darkest hour of the night is the one before daybreak. We have traveled this road before; and, just like we defeated the forebears of these ones, these too shall come to pass! Our sovereignty we must retrieve.

Engr. Buba Galadima,  Mr. ’Yinka Odumakin,   Mr. Osita Okechukwu,  Mr. Mike Igini,  Mallam Salihu Lukman,  Mallam Tanko Yunusa

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Open Letter To Nigeria's Parliament: Impeach President Yar’Adua

                                            [President Yar'Adua]

Attention: The Senate President/ Mr. Speaker

Your Excellency Sir,

Having watched with a mixture of disbelief, disgust and disappointment the unfolding events that have beset our Beloved Nation these past days, we wish to bring to your attention the need for the National Assembly to act promptly and decisively to stave off calamity arising from this disquieting drift.

Like anybody with any tinge of human feeling, we strongly wish Alhaji Umar Yar’Adua ultimate recovery from the ailment he suffers from. However, we wish to place on record that because of the impunity with which he has treated the Nigerian people and the Constitution that he swore to uphold, His Excellency has completely spent the goodwill of majority of Nigerians. Attitudes have changed from empathy to dissent principally because of his audacious disregard for simple provisions of the Constitution, an audacity that resulted in the unprecedented and unnecessary constitutional crisis he has thrown this country into. One man is holding 150 million people to ransom. He holds the country by the jugular as if Nigerians are too sedate, too stupid and too docile to decline one man’s act of impunity. This has all the trappings of banana republic.

The moment Alhaji Yar’Adua violated our Constitution, he invited himself for impeachment. But Nigerians, being what they are, decided to give him opportunity for self-realisation, self-realisation that he has not only discarded the Constitution, but that he has disregarded the Constitution for 70 whole days.

His action (or inaction) has earned us disdain, opprobrium and mockery. We have become a global laughing stock. Despite suffering various indignities from friends and foes, we chose to pray for his recovery and his safe return to his duty post. Well, time has come for the Nigerian people to take their own future in their hands. And this we have elected to do through our representatives.

Unfortunately, the two arms of the National Assembly behave as if they have been grafted as part of the conspiracy against the Constitution and the Nigerian people. Because of the National Assembly’s tardiness to act and comply with clear dictates of the Constitution of the land, they have exposed Nigeria and Nigeria ’s democracy to avoidable dangers. Can it be because of the various sums of money that some people insinuate have been shared to our legislative representatives? Is that mess of pottage enough to sell the soul of this Nation? All the National Assembly has done is issue invitations and finally issue an ultimatum.

At this point in time, Nigerians’ ultimatum to President Yar’Adua is belated.

This is so because despite the people’s outpouring of faith and loyalty, the President’s kitchen cabinet has denied them any modicum of reliable information on the true state of the health of an absentee President and Commander-in-Chief. While his handlers dither, Nigeria suffers myriads of maladies, including:
1. The breakdown of the erstwhile world-acclaimed amnesty programme in the Niger-Delta
2. Nigeria ’s inglorious listing on the terrorist watch list
3. Unconstitutional administering of official oath to key national appointees
4. A drifting economy heading for an inevitable crash
5. Unabated and inexplicable petroleum shortage
6. Pervasive insecurity and personal fear
7. Jos bloodbath
8. General lawlessness and disorder at all levels of our national life
9. Executive lawlessness
10. Lack of a 2010 budget two months deep into the New Year.

All these issues needed the firm intervention of a sitting President. Instead the ship of State drifts rudderless with nobody to control heads of MDAs in their indiscipline. Yet members of the National Assembly carry on as if all is well. Everybody behaves as if he only gained position in order to gain power and amass possession for himself. Nigerians say, Enough is enough.

Time has come to consider whether it is expedient for this Republic to perish for the sake of one man; or for it to survive despite one man and his kitchen cabinet.

The President’s sin is no longer that of refusing to hand over power temporarily to his deputy as the Constitution demands, but that of unbridled violation of the Constitution, that of ill-advised suspension of the Constitution and that of outright impunity. All these deserve impeachment. And time has come to do just that.

May we warn our Honourable mandate holders that should they wait and let anything sinister break upon our country, they may find it difficult to escape the sting of the bee. A word is enough for the wise.

If you still have the national interest at heart, please, act today. Don’t leave the needful till tomorrow lest extraneous forces overtake you and take over.

Save Yourselves.
Save the Republic.
Save the Nation.
Impeach President Umar Yar’Adua now.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria .


Dr. Frederick Fasehun
Founder/President Oodua Peoples’s Congress.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

News Release: Afenifere’s Resolutions On The Yoruba Legacy Forum And President Yar’Adua

                                            [Obafemi Awolowo]

The Afenifere at its caucus meeting of Tuesday February 2, 2010 at the National Secretariat, Jibowu Street, Yaba, Lagos, presided over by its Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti:
1. Noted the formation of the Yoruba Legacy Forum at Ikenne on January 14, 2010 and
2. Is delighted that the Forum does not seek to substitute for Afenifere or in any way detract from Afenifere’s relevance as the foremost Awoist socio-political organisation in Yorubaland.

The Afenifere thus resolved to intensify its grassroots mobilisation effort to further spread the Progressive ideals as enunciated by its Founder, Pa Obafemi Awolowo, and to recapture its dominance as the voice of all Progressives in Yorubaland.

The organisation further notes that it is the right of the Nigerian people to know the state of health of their President. And where the President appears no longer able to perform his duties due to ill-health, all constitutional processes must be activated without delay to ensure there is no vacuum of leadership at the highest level.

Afenifere therefore calls on the Federal Executive Council to act promptly on the Senate resolution in this regard and save the Nation further tension.

Senator Femi Okurounmu
General Secretary.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Rejoinder: Re-Terrorism comes in many forms

                                        [The Christmas Bomber]

Although I wrote the original of the article above it's to some extent distorted by The Journal's editor (s). At no point or time did I say "As a result, Nigeria, his country of origin, was unfairly placed on a list of nations with higher risk of terrorism." My position is that Nigeria isn't unfairly placed on that list just as America and other nations of the world aren't guiltless of the inhuman acts of terrorism, as the records or content herein shows. Importantly, the "underwear bomber" is no doubt a Nigerian despite where he's claimed to have been radicalized or trained.

The illegal importation of paragraph two is a misrepresentation of my opinion. It thus distort the context in which I've written. See paragraph five for confirmation: it contradicts paragraph two. I also used the exact quote from Obama:"Systemic failure," but they thought I didn't know what I was talking about so changed it to "systematic failure." They refused to get back to me for verification before publication, maybe in an attempt to undermine my reasoning or intellectual power. In short, there are several issues with this piece caused by editor's review and it's unethical and unfortunate. I hope they don't act this way henceforth, because I am known for my clear thought, fearlessness and consistency among other writing traits.

Thank you.

Bariedoora Ikari.

Note: The article in reference published on this site was culled unedited from "The Journal".

News Release: Anambra Polls: It’s Time To Say “Enough Is Enough”

As the good people of Anambra march to the polls on February 6, 2010 to elect their Governor, SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG), is calling on all stakeholders to ensure that the chequered history of electoral contests in Nigeria must turn a new leaf.

The greatest bane of the electoral process in Nigeria has been the outright manipulation of the will of the people starting with the 1964 elections down to the 2007 general elections.

The 2007 polls became the high point of electoral manipulations in the country as both local and international observers spoke with one voice that the polls were nothing but fraud.

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) said in its report:
“The 2007 State and Federal elections have fallen far short of basic international and regional standards for democratic elections… They were marred by poor organization, lack of essential transparency, widespread procedural irregularities, significant evidence of fraud, particularly during the result collation process; voter disenfranchisement and different stages of the process, lack of equal conditions for contestants and numerous incidents of violence.”

The International Crisis Group (ICG) in its report had this to say:
"The elections were the most poorly organized and massively rigged in the country's history. In a bitterly contentious environment, President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) acted with unbridled desperation to ensure sweeping winner-takes-all victories not only in the presidency and federal legislatures but also in state governorships and assemblies. Characterized as a “do-or-die” battle by Obasasnjo, the campaigns and elections also witnessed extensive violence, including over 200 people killed.”

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Richard Gozney said this about the same elections:
“It was not just a question of disorganization but there was outright rigging and the results were frankly not credible”

We are still dealing with the fall-outs of those shenanigans called elections in 2007. As Anambra prepares to go to the polls, there are still several cases in the tribunals over elections conducted about three years ago.

Anambra itself is a sore thumb in our electoral shame. That the state is holding governorship elections solely is as a result of the electoral banditry that has been carried out their by the ruling party in the last 10 years.

We are devalued as a people the moment our right to freely choose those who should govern us is taken away. Part of the reasons for the impunity in the land and the sheer disrespect with which our people have been treated over the years is the illegitimacy of most of our political office holders. Those who don't owe their offices to the people cannot feel obligated to them.

This is why the Anambra polls is so important to the whole country and not just the people of Anambra alone. It serves as a prelude to what could happen in 2011 given the fact that most of the court ordered re-runs in recent times have not fared better than the 2007 polls.

Given the foot-dragging of the National Assembly over the Electoral Reform Agenda as encapsulated in the Uwais Panel report, citizens vigilance now appears the most potent weapon to achieve free and fair elections in our country as we continue to push for institutional reforms.

In this regard, the SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) calls on all security agencies not to allow themselves to be used to thwart the will of the people this time around. They should discharge their duties in line with their constitutional duties and not the whims of any political party or individuals.

We also appeal to all contestants in the election to fight for votes in a free and fair atmosphere devoid of intimidation, harassment, killing and maiming of the same people they profess to serve.

We call on the people of Anambra to rise as one man and insist on clean, free and fair elections. They must say on behalf of all Nigerians that “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” of votes manipulation. They must silence the culture of impunity once and for all. They should rest assured that SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) is standing by to join forces with them to resist the manipulation of their electoral will should it come to that!

Long live Anambra!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.