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HURIWA Calls FG Out over NBC’s N2Bn, N500m Bribe @ MTN

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), one of the nation’s foremost pro-democracy and civil Rights organisations has described the recently signed executive order by President Muhammadu Buhari as unconstitutional and saying that the government has been very hypocritical with the fight against corruption.

 

HURIWA claimed that “under the President’s nose a minister allegedly mismanaged N2 billion from the National Broadcasting Commission for digitisation of broadcasting but till now both the minister of information and DG of NBC are walking the corridors of power free”

 

Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, national coordinator, and the Miss Zainab Yusuf, media Affairs director of the Rights group said that “under the nose of the President An allegation of N500 million bribery made against his chief of staff that he extorted money from MTN was swept under the carpet”

 

According to HURIWA, “Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation gave out contracts to some ghost companies to the tune of $26 billion without complying with Public procurement Act and when the minister of state for petroleum complained about this monumental heist the President simply asked the NNPC GMD and the minister of state for petroleum to go and work together”

President Muhammadu Buhari.President Muhammadu Buhari

“The President is the minister for petroleum but under the last three years several billions of dollars remained uncounted for to the extent that the governors of the 36 states of the Federation raised their voices to condemn this broad day light robbery” HURIWA noted.

 

HURIWA said that  it may institute a case at the Federal High Court to seek the nullification of the illegal and outrageously unconstitutional executive order targeted at opposition political office seekers.

 

The full statement read:

The Executive Order On Suspicious Assets Is Unconstitutional- Huriwa

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), one of the nation’s foremost pro-democracy and civil Rights organisations-  has described the recently signed executive order by President Muhammadu Buhari in which the perception or interpretation is being given that the executive arm has the power of law making, as unconstitutional.

 

Besides, HURIWA gave indication that it may institute a case at the Federal High Court to seek the nullification of the illegal and outrageously unconstitutional executive order targeted at opposition political office seekers.

 

 In a media release endorsed by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, National Coordinator, and the Miss Zainab Yusuf, media Affairs Director, of Rights group wrote as follows:

 

“Under the constitutional democracy in practice in Nigeria as clearly provided for in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended, sections 4, 5 and 6 have clearly demarcated the constitutional powers of each arm of government with section 4 ceding the power of law making in the to the National Assembly and state Assemblies.

 

Section 5 gives the President and the executive arm of government that he heads the power to implement policies and to exercise powers as specified in any legislation passed by the National Assembly and sign by him or if he withhold his assent the National Assembly can apply their power of veto to override the refusal of the executive head of government to sign the legislation and by the veto override the piece of legislation becomes a law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Section 6 gives the judicial powers of the federation on the Courts of competent jurisdiction.

 

With due respect, the President cannot exercise the powers that is not donated to his office by the Constitution.

 

Secondly, the so called Executive Order is a total duplication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Act which is an Act of parliament which contains several provisions regarding temporary or permanent forfeiture and how the forfeited assets have to be administered transparently but the power to grant such temporary or permanent forfeiture belongs to the Courts of competent jurisdiction because that is the forum for the interpretation of the laws.

 

The Executive head of government will be committing outrageous illegality if he is allowed to just wake up and sign what he calls executive orders which purports to seize the powers already domiciled in the Constitution or other pieces of legislations that were properly passed.

 

The executive order is possibly a politically tainted move to crush opposition politicians, take over their assets over nebulous charges and make them financially impotent to confront the incumbent President in the next year’s general election in which the incumbent plans to run.

 

Besides, the Constitution in section 36(5) clearly stated that a suspect or an accused person is totally innocent in the eyes of the law.

 

The executive order seeks to overrule this vital section of the Nigerian Constitution. The constitution is clear on what happens to any action of government that contradicts any relevant section of the Constitution.

 

The executive order on seizures of assets is null, void and of no moment.

 

I’m optimistic that Nigerians of goodwill will challenge this attempt to institutionalize dictatorship in the competent courts of law.

 

The Constitution recognises the rights of citizens to own moveable and immovable property in any court of the Country.

 

The government of Muhammadu Buhari cannot hide under the guise of declaration of state of emergency on corruption and deprive a citizen of his/her protected and guaranteed right.

 

Only the court has this kind of power and the accused must be guaranteed fair hearing.

 

The president is simply seeking to exercise tyrannical power to deprive his opponents of their assets to cripple their political activities.

 

The current administration has been very hypocritical with the fight against corruption.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari spent 103 days on medical tourism in London at public costs but abused the law on transparency and accountability by failing and refusing to declare the exact amount spent on his health from public treasury.

 

Even when the Freedom of information Act allows a citizen to know how our funds are spent but President Muhammadu Buhari forced the central bank Governor to refuse the application for release of information on how much of public fund was spent treating the current President.

 

Under the nose of the current President, Nigerian national Petroleum corporation gave out contracts to some ghost companies to the tune of $26 billion without complying with Public procurement Act and when the minister of state for petroleum complained about this monumental heist the President simply asked the NNPC GMD and the minister of state for petroleum to go and work together.

 

The President is the minister for petroleum but under the last three years several billions of dollars remained uncounted for to the extent that the governors of the 36 states of the Federation raised their voices to condemn this broad day light robbery.

 MTN logop.jpg

Under the nose of the President An allegation of N500 million bribery made against his chief of staff that he extorted money from MTN was swept under the carpets.

 

Under the watch of the President $48 million was found in a flat in Ikoyi but till date no certainty on who owns the cash.

 

In the Nigerian Intelligence Agency over $250 million was diverted but till date the whereabouts of such huge funds are unknown and the Acting director general of NIA who raised the alarm as good whistleblower was physically harassed out of the place and I’m told he fled into the United States for his life.

 

Under the watch of this President the minister of communication was accused by his media adviser of corrupt enrichment running into multimillion Naira including purchases of choice housing assets in Abuja and Ibadan and state of the art Printing press but because the minister is campaigning for the re-election of the President that alleged crime had been concealed.

 

The disgraced SGF and Buhari’s friend embezzled nearly N500 million allegedly from North East reconstruction fund but he is not prosecuted.

 NBC_logo.jpg

Under the President’s nose a minister allegedly mismanaged N2 billion from the National Broadcasting Commission for digitisation of broadcasting but till now both the minister of information and DG of NBC are walking the corridors of power free.

 

The school feeding programme whereby over N500 bullion was budgeted and released is mired in widespread corrupt practices.

 

The President should perish the thought of witch-hunting his political opponents and allow the anti graft bodies to work by operating without political interferences. He should rather appoint a good Nigerian who is independent minded and free from corruption to head the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 

The signing of this illegal executive order shows that the President has lost confidence on the EFCC leadership which had in any case received damaging reports from Department of state services which specifically indicted the Chairman of EFCC of a range of corrupt enrichment allegations.

 EFCC1.jpg

The EFCC’S acting Chairman has also failed confirmation hearing twice and so can’t continue as head of that agency.

 

 Buhari has influenced EFCC to go after PDP regarding the Presidential campaign fund for 2015 but the APC which spent hugely to beat an incumbent is free from EFCC’S investigations.

 

The Executive order is therefore DEAD ON ARRIVAL. The National Assembly must not allow the President take over their legislative powers and Nigerians who love democracy and constitutionalism must head to court to quash this manifest illegality of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

We recall vividly that President Buhari signed what he termed the executive order on preservation of assets seized in connection with corruption and stated interalia that:

 

“Like I have said many times, if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will sooner-or later kill Nigeria,’’ President Buhari said while signing Executive Order No.6 to further strengthen institutions on curtailing and restricting illicit activities in the country.

 

“It has thus become necessary to re-kit and re-tool our arsenal to be able to effectively tackle corruption’s perilous counter-attack against the Nigerian State. Accordingly, the Federal Government of Nigeria has declared a national emergency to deal with that crisis.

 

“In this regard, the Federal Government of Nigeria in line with its anti-corruption strategy seeks to ensure that justice is not defeated or compromised by persons involved in a case or complaint of corruption,’’ he said.

 

We can also recall that the President said the viability and continuous well-being of the nation faces enormous threat from corruption, pointing out that, “Whilst there are many reasons why Nigeria has been struggling; regrettably, the most unfortunate cause of great disparity between Nigeria’s wealth and its poverty is endemic corruption.’’

 

 “It is in consequence of this that I have decided to issue the Executive Order No. 6 of 2018 to inter alia restrict dealings in suspicious assets subject to investigation or inquiry bordering on corruption in order to preserve such assets from dissipation, and to deprive alleged criminals of the proceeds of their illicit activities which can otherwise be employed to allure, pervert and/or intimidate the investigative and judicial processes.

 

“Or for acts of terrorism, financing of terrorism, kidnapping, sponsorship of ethnic or religious violence, economic sabotage and cases of economic and financial crimes, including acts contributing to the economic adversity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and against the overall interest of justice and the welfare of the Nigerian State,’’ .

 

We in the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) believe that the executive order is simply an exercise in futility because it’s inherently unconstitutional and is a political gambit to cripple political opponents because of 2019 Election which is only few months away.

 

*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko; is the National coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).

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Galaxy Backbone Bags Award for Digital Innovation in Federal Government

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The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), an Industry-led stakeholder organization, recently concluded their annual .ng awards ceremony.

Through the .ng Awards, NIRA seeks to recognize and acknowledge those who are contributing to the growth of the .ng domain name registration and promotion of the DNS Industry.

The awards, celebrates the achievements and innovation of Nigerian Internet initiatives.

At the 2018 Awards, Galaxy Backbone won the award for the organisation leading the pack in Digital Innovation in the Federal Government. This award, confirms Galaxy Backbone’s status as the Digital Infrastructure & shared services provider to Federal government Agencies.

In the last 5 years, Galaxy Backbone (GBB) has continued to drive digital innovation and inclusion amongst government agencies through the delivery of digital services that improve the way agencies engage and communicate with other agencies and the citizenry.

The 2018 .ng Awards serve to promote and commend the excellent achievements of members, stakeholders and the general public, who contribute towards building a sustainable economy using technology, uplift the image of .ng locally and internationally and stimulating the development of local content on the Internet space.

In 2016, GBB’s CEO Mr. Yusuf Kazaure, while delivering a speech at the 14th Innovation Africa Digital (IAD) Summit 2016 which held in Abuja stated Galaxy Backbone’s commitment to driving digital growth in the nation.

According to Kazaure, “We are fully conscious of the need to be in the vanguard of Nigeria’s digital growth especially within the public sector. Over the years, we have made significant investments in human and technological resources based on our vision to be the leading enabler of digital inclusion in Africa”.

With this award, we are further challenged to deliver world class digital services to agencies and parastatals in government. GBB will continue to operate, improve and upgrade its common services platform to meet international standards and deliver excellence in service to its Clients and stakeholder community.

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HURIWA Asks Buhari to Sack Adeosun, Others over Forgery

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Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance

The Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Kemi Adeosun, minister of Finance, and other members of his cabinet accused of certificate forgery.

 

The association demanded that President Buhari relieves from their offices such persons like Mr. Obono Obla, his senior Special Assistant on prosecution over the West African Examination Certificate.

 

HURIWA said the silence of President Buhari to damaging allegations amongst some of his top officials was an indication that Nigeria was becoming a country of fraudsters.

 

HURIWA also stated that such tendencies to accommodate persons with questionable academic credentials will rubbish the national policy on education, constitutionally enshrined in Section 18 (1), which emphasizes merit and honesty at all times.

 

HURIWA recalled that the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, on June 5th 2018, described as “altered and invalid” the results and certificate it allegedly issued to Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, chairman, Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Property.

 

In a statement forwarded to DAILY POST by Emmanuel Onwubiko, national coordinator, HURIWA recalled that WAEC whilst testifying before the House of Representatives ad hoc Panel investigating Obono-Obla’s alleged forgery, WAEC Registrar, represented by the Femi Ola, deputy registrar, said available evidence indicated that the results were “altered” and thus “invalid.”

 

“Considering the results, particularly on what is before me, I would say what I have brought here is the authentic and genuine one; his is not because it has been altered and such alteration renders it invalid,” Mr. Ola told the panel.

 

“From our record, the genuine candidate is Ofem Okoi Ofem, 09403/247 of Mary Knoll College, Ogoja.

 

“The exam number and number of subjects are the same. The difference is the grade in English literature in which he claimed to have scored C6 despite being marked absent in the true, certified copy,” he added.

 

HURIWA recalled that when asked by the National legislators how he would qualify Obono-Obla’s results, the WAEC Registrar said it was “fake, not genuine.”

 

HURIWA recalled that Mr. Aliyu Pategi (APC, Kwara), chairman of the Reps Investigative Panel, lauded WAEC for striving to maintain its “integrity and probity.”

 

Quoting news reports, HURIWA stated that the House committee Chairman added that the implication was that Obono-Obla gained admission to the University of Jos with a fake WAEC result.

Also, HURIWA asked president Buhari to sack with immediate effect the Finance Minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun for making use of allegedly forged NYSC discharged certificate which amounted to a serious misdemeanor that should fetch her a criminal prosecution and jail if proven in the competent court of law.

 

“The current administration must desist from polluting the international image of Nigeria by toleration many persons of questionable academic credentials who are working in the federal government of Nigeria when there are millions of highly qualified Nigerians from diverse fields searching frantically for employments.

 

“The silence of the current government to the cacophony of allegations of certificate forgery involving top rated government officials shows that the corporate image of the country is imperiled and if this silence and failure to act persists, then the rest of the world will see Nigeria as a country of certificate forgers.

 

“Corruption also includes such crime like forgery of academic credentials which runs contrary to section 15 (5) of the constitution which makes it obligatory that government must abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.”

 

HURIWA disclosed that it has briefed some patriotic lawyers to head to court to secure the legal sanction of all the identified persons in government with fake certificates just as it has started drafting a bill to compel the forensic investigations of all the academic qualifications tendered by all federal government officials to weed off the holders of forged certificates and sanitize the federal government.

 

HURIWA reminded Buhari that the Black’s law dictionary clearly identified certificate forgery as a grave criminal offence and as a specie of fraud even as the Rights group wondered why a government that makes heavy weather of its anti-corruption campaign is the same that accommodates top officials with highly questionable academic credentials.

 

HURIWA told Buhari that “both the Criminal and Penal Codes that apply in the southern and northern parts of Nigeria prohibit forgery, citing Sections 463 of the Criminal Code which provides for three years imprisonment for forgery while sections 362 to 364 of the Penal Code deal with forgery with punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment with option of fine or both.”

 

“It becomes life imprisonment if, amongst others, the thing forged purports to be a document which is evidence of title to public debt of Nigeria or a state, or of another country, or forges a document that purports to be a debt of Nigeria, or signature of the president or governor of a state.

 

“Also, both forgery and perjury are criminal offences, the Criminal Code views perjury as an offence whether made under judicial oath, that is a court proceeding or document or not, while under the Penal Code, perjury must be an evidence given under oath or under express provision of law compelling a person to state the truth.

 

“Forgery and perjury are both criminal offences that go to one’s integrity and credibility.

 

“It vitiates the moral and legal trust that public service demands. It calls to question a person’s qualification and competency. And we must etch new paradigms in public services by proceeding in the Courts of Law against forgers and those who lie under oath.”

 

 

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Nigerian Wins Ericsson’s Girls Who Innovate Competition

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Ericsson through its ninth annual participation in the ’Girls in ICT Day’ across the Middle East and Africa recently hosted the second edition of the annual ‘Girls Who Innovate Competition’ under the theme ‘The Future of Education’.

This year, 10-year old Kambinachi Kanu, a final year primary school pupil of Temple Preparatory School, Ilupeju, Lagos, Nigeria emerged the global winner in the 9-12-year-old category.

The initiative aims to support the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, especially Goals four and five – Quality Education and Gender Equality respectively.

Ericsson received many enthusiastic entries from young innovators aged 9 to 18, who competed to win job shadow days, an Ericsson blog feature and a 1,000 EUR star prize.

Their entries showcased different ideas on how technology could shape the future of education globally. From the Middle East and Africa, two other entries from the United Arab Emirates (13-15 category) and Ghana (16-18 category) made it to the finals and emerged regional winners but Kambinachi made it all the way and became the global winner in her category.

Kambinachi’s winning idea is the donation of fairly used tablets to children in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Nigeria thus ensuring the continuation of their education in a safe environment.

Classroom learning will then be limited to days when security is assured and continuous communication with tutors will take place via an e-learning platform.

Girish Johar, Head of Human Resources within Ericsson Middle East and Africa says: “Ericsson remains committed to advancing and promoting technology innovations in the Middle East and Africa. On a global scale,

“ we’re also working towards ensuring that girls interested in pursuing a career in ICT are empowered to overcome discrimination, stereotypes and other gender norms the society might throw at them.

“This is because we believe that the more diverse and inclusive we are, the more innovative and visionary will we be as a company and building the next generation of ICT leaders is just one step in that direction.”

Ericsson has a worldwide mandate for its workforce to be made up of at least 30% women by the year 2020.

The company also supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, two of which relate to diversity and inclusion. Girls in ICT day is supported by International Telecommunication Union – United Nations specialized agency for ICT.

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