Saturday, 8 September 2012

News Report: Governor Okorocha’s Party Loses Court Battle to Stop Swearing-in of PDP Candidate

Governor Okorocha
Honourable Justice K.A Ojiako siting in an Orlu High Court has rejected an application from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Imo State chapter, seeking for a court order to prevent the swearing-in of Chief Eugene Dibiagwu, a Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Imo State House Of Assembly member-elect for Oguta Constituency.

The state is ruled by APGA.

The application was brought before the Court by Mr. Walter Uzonwanne, the defeated candidate of APGA.

The Court relying on section 285 of the 1999 constitution and section 133 of the electoral act of 2010 as amended ruled that post-election matters can only be handled by Election Tribunals.

The PDP candidate was declared winner in August by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but the swearing-in has on two occasions been postponed in controversial circumstances.

A vacation Judge, Justice Ngozi Opara had put the swearing-in on hold. The case was later reassigned to Justice Orjiako.

Justice Orjiako made an order that the PDP candidate should be sworn in immediately.

Article: Unresolved Issues Surrounding The Restoration Of Dana Airline Operating Licence

The Crashed Dana Airplane
By Nelson Ekujumi

Following the air crash involving Dana Airline Boeing McDonnell 83 in Iju Ishaga Lagos on June 3rd 2012 which resulted in the death of over 170 precious innocent lives and inestimable value in destroyed properties coupled with the traumatic agony that the families and friends of the bereaved as well as Nigerians and the rest of humanity were thrown into by this unfortunate accident, the Nigerian government in hearkening to civilized conduct and reasoning promptly suspended the operating license of the airline pending the outcome of investigation into the cause of the accident which was commendable.

Immediately after the crash, a lot of theories and reasons were advanced for the cause of the crash, chief of which was that lots of blame were heaped on the airline regulatory authorities because of the fact that previous air crashes report were not made public and which was fuelled by the suspicion that they were covering up their deficiencies which had always resulted in air crashes that have consumed lives and properties repeatedly. It even became public knowledge though unconfirmed officially that the Dana Airline in question had engine problem during its flight to Calabar and that it was supposed to have been brought back to Lagos for check up without picking up passengers but as in the character of inconsiderate capitalists, the management decided to pick up passengers enroute Abuja to Lagos which resulted in the crash in which lives were lost and properties destroyed.

While all these stories or rumours as one may call it were going round due to poor information management by the authorities, the management of Dana Airline put up spirited defense to puncture the arguments about the poor state of its airlines which were alleged to have been too old and couldn’t be in the skies in any country but only in Nigeria where anything goes. Lots of reasons were adduced for frequent air crashes in Nigeria of which we were absorbing all of this with the high expectation that the result of this investigation would be the turning point in making public this report and the reports of previous crashes with a view to preventing a reoccurrence if indeed we are serious as a people.

While Nigerians and the rest of the world were still expecting the report of the cause of the latest air crash as well as previous ones, we were all taken aback by the sudden restoration of the license of Dana Airline by the ministry of aviation on Wednesday 5th September 2012 without the crash report and with explanations that defies reasoning and logic. The whole world and indeed Nigerians had their hopes raised that at last we have a democratic government which had made so much noise that it was willing to take the bull by the horn to get to the root of air crashes in the country and even insinuating that reports of previous crashes would be made public until this latest insensitive decision.

Once again the Nigerian government has behaved true to type with its policies which are always indicative of putting the cart before the horse like this latest one. This government has continuously embarrassed itself with policy decisions that are not reflective with reality on ground. This government is used to committing what is called unforced error in lawn tennis that is embarrassing to us as Nigerians in the comity of civilized people. One has lost count of the number of times this error has been committed but can recall that the government committed this type of error with the removal of fuel subsidy issue as well as the attempted the name change of UNILAG and we were all living witness to the embarrassment engendered by those actions and now this latest one. Is it that unlike the rest of us, the Nigerian government is deaf and dumb to the lessons of history?

The question bothering yours sincerely like other Nigerians is, was it not this same government in its preliminary report which stated that the aircraft lost its two engines and now its saying its audit report on the airline was satisfactory? For an aircraft to lose two engines at a go speaks volume of the worthiness of such a machine and one doesn’t need to be an engineer to know this fact. These are some of the questions bothering many right thinking minds.

The Nigerian government ought to be aware that this latest action of it has further confirmed its insensitivity and I don’t care feelings for the bereaved, their families, friends and the rest of humanity. Yet, this same government would come up and be protesting the indecent treatment meted to Nigerians outside our shores as if outsiders don’t see that here at home the lives of Nigerians don’t matter to the authorities so long as the economic interest of the business partners of the government is buttered.

One can only hope that the rest of us will continue to agitate for the report of the crash to be made public just like previous ones to save our country from needless waste of human lives and properties, until that is done we should hold the Nigerian government responsible for any further air crash.

(Ekujumi is the Executive Chairman,
Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM)
26A Adesina Street , Ikeja, Lagos .
08023172694, 07033853232)