Still groping in darkness – Thisday editorial

Almost six years after the privatisation of the power sector, Nigerians are yet to know the difference between the old discredited regime of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the new one managed by the “euphoric” investors. This is despite the best efforts of the current Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola. Across the country, there is hardly any part that does not experience power failure on a regular basis.
In most places for several days and sometime, weeks, many people have no access to electricity to lighten the burden of living. Lack of electricity also limits their access to healthcare, education and other opportunities, including running their businesses. Many small and medium scale businesses have been crippled due to the prohibitive cost of generating their own power. Even the big business ventures, particularly the manufacturing ones, are also feeling the biting effect of energy poverty with consequences stretching to every part of the economy. This perhaps makes the country one of the toughest places in the world to do business.
Last week, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) in Aba threatened to disconnect power supply to houses whose landlords vowed not to pay bills until their houses were metered. The grouse of the power consumers, according to their leader, Chief Alphonsus Udeigbo, was that “the federal government told them (Discos) to give customers pre-paid meters because people are supposed to pay the worth of their consumption. They have been using us to meet their inordinate targets and we are agitating for payment of the worth of power supplied to us which is not what is happening to us right now.”
One of the main challenges in the power sector today is consumers being billed for what they do not consume. That was what compelled the House of Representatives to pass the Electricity Power Reform Act (amendment) Bill 2018 which prohibits and criminalises estimated billing. The proposed law, which has been transmitted to the Senate for concurrence, compels all electricity distribution companies to give prepaid meters to applicants within 30 days.
Aside the squabbling between the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) over the Eligible Customer Scheme (ECS), the power being generated from the national grid remains insufficient. But the main challenge is that of tariff. Today electricity is a commodity that can be made available at any place at different prices and at what the users are ready to pay. If the users are looking for electricity for economic purposes they are likely to pay for the right price. If the villages are to enjoy electricity for the most part of the day on government account, then there must be a structured regime of subsidy to account for that.
The federal government seems to have abandoned the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO). In fact, most of the stakeholders in the sector complain that the power reform has practically been put on hold since 2015 because the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is reluctant or unwilling to complete privatization of the industry. Whatever may be the problem with the owners of the Discos, it does not help that they cannot adjust price to cover cost. With enumerated data of customers, the mass market can be separated and subsidized while commercial houses and industries should at least be made to pay the economic price of electricity they consume.
The challenge is that we are still not able to read the trending dynamics of power supply and management systems in the world. And until we do that, Nigerians will continue to grope in darkness both in practical and metaphorical terms.


My thoughts beyond the 2019 presidential Elections by IkonAllah

For all those who are aggrieved about the outcome of the presidential and national assembly elections, They should allow the courts decide if they choose litigation which is the only civilized democratically accepted response. They should also refrain from making utterances or taking actions that will result to any upheavals as another round of voting is expected to hold next week. Its a known fact that political parties rig elections in their strongholds so both parties are guilty. Atiku also benefitted from such malpractice in the past,so I view his predicament as nemesis and karma. Buhari who was a victim in the past resorted to the judiciary so Atiku should do same.

The winners should face the task ahead and be fair to all parts of the country and constituencies whether they won or lost there, that’s the essence of elections in democracy, to Provide alternatives for choice. It is normal to expect the opposition to doubt the presidential election results released by INEC as a representation of the will of the electorates especially in Borno and Yobe because their voting day started with series of attacks believed to be lunched by insurgents who have been a security threat in the North east since 2009. Maiduguri was attacked in Borno while Buni Yadi and Gaidam were attacked almost simultaneously on the day polls are expected to be conducted to elect a president and members of the National legislature.

The GEJ administration was voted out in 2015 on his perceived lack of ideas stopping the insurgency. Buhari being a retired general was voted in 2015 with the believe he will end the crisis apparently that has not happened despite the declaration of a “technical defeat” to the insurgents announced six months after he took over. Of recent the insurgents seems to have re originated with more daring attacks on daily basis. This is one area where more efforts need to be put in place to end the Boko haram crises and others like farmers herdsmen clashes and armed banditry and kidnappings in the North west which is almost occurring daily.

APC must also begin the process of choosing and grooming a successor to Buhari very early to avoid the last minute rancour by contending successors that will arise if delayed to the last minute.


l. About thirteen hours ago, I conveyed to Nigerians the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reschedule the 2019 general elections by one week. Presidential and National Assembly earlier scheduled for 16th February 2019 will now hold on Saturday 23th February 2019 while Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections scheduled for 2nd March 20i9 will now hold on Saturday 9th March 2019. The one-week adjustment was a painful one for INEC but necessary in the overall interest of our democracy.
2. Nigerians will recall that when this Commission was appointed in November 2015, we promised Nigerians two cardinal things. First, we shall work hard to consolidate the improvements made in the management of elections in Nigeria. Secondly, we shall always be open, transparent and responsive. We have strived diligently to keep these promises in very trying circumstances.
3. In keeping with our promise to consolidate the gains of the last two electoral cycles, the Commission has conducted 195 rerun and off-season elections across the country since the last general elections. Most of these elections have been generally adjudged to show progressive improvements in planning, execution and outcomes.
4. This commitment to continue to improve on election administration has informed our preparations for the 20i9 general elections. Our goal is to plan carefully, execute meticulously and bring stability into election management in Nigeria. Consequently, we announced fixed dates for elections in Nigeria to the effect that Presidential and National Assembly elections will always hold on the third Saturday in February of an election year, while the Governorship and State Assembly elections follow two weeks later. Having settled this, we began the planning quite early, with a Strategic Plan (SP), 3 Strategic Programme of Action (SPA) and an Election Project Plan (EPP). In fact, the plan for the 2019 general elections was ready in November 2017 and we subsequently issued the timetable and schedule of activities for the elections over one year ago on 9th January 2018. We carefully followed the timetable and implemented 13 of the 14 activities as scheduled. We kept to the timeframe and have not missed the date fixed for any single activity.
5. In preparing for the 2019 general elections, we have come face-to-face with the realities of conducting such an extensive national deployment of men and materials in a developing country like ours. It is said that elections constitute the most extensive mobilization of men and materials that any country could undertake in peacetime. The challenges of doing so even under the best of circumstances are enormous. Within a period of 16 months, we registered over 14 million Nigerians as new voters, collecting their names, addresses, photographs and their entire ten fingerprints. Beyond that, we prepared, printed and delivered their permanent voter’s cards for collection. It should be noted that of the 14.28 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) made available for collection, about 10.87 million or 76.12% have been collected.
6. It is often not appreciated the magnitude of activities that the Commission undertakes during general elections. Not only have we recruited and trained about 1 million young people to serve as ad hoc staff, the magnitude of materials mobilized for our elections is also enormous. For instance, the Commission has printed 421.7 million ballot papers for six scheduled elections, as well as 13.6 million leaves of result forms for the Presidential election alone. Indeed, managing 91 political parties and 23,316 candidates for whom votes will be cast in 119,973 polling units by over 84 million voters is certainly astounding. No doubt, preparations for the 2019 general elections have been extremely tasking for the Commission.
7. It is therefore not unexpected that such a tremendous national mobilization of men and materials will encounter operational challenges and we have had our own fair share of such challenges. There have been delays in delivering ballot papers and result sheets for the elections which are not unusual. However, 1 must emphasize that all the ballot papers and result sheets were ready before the elections despite the very tight legal timeframe for finalizing nomination of candidates and dealing with the spate of legal challenges that accompany it. In this regard, the Commission has been sued or joined in over 640 court cases arising from the nomination of candidates. As of today, there are 4differentnt court orders against the Commission on whether to add or drop candidates. The net effect of these is that there is usually roughly a one-month window for the Commission to print ballot papers and result sheets and either fly or transport them to several destinations until they finally get to each polling unit. Unfortunately, in the last one week, flights within the country have been adversely affected by bad weather. For instance, three days ago, we were unable to deliver materials to some locations due to bad weather. We, therefore, had to rely on slow-moving long haulage vehicles to locations that can be serviced by air in spite of the fact that we created five zonal airport hubs Abuja (North Central), Port Harcourt (South South and South East). Kano (North West), Maiduguri and Yale (North East) and Lagos (South West) to facilitate the delivery of electoral logistics.
8. Apart from these logistical challenges, we also faced what may well be attempts to sabotage our preparations. In a space of two weeks, we had to deal with serious fire incidents in three of our offices in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, Qu’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State and our Anambra State Office at Awka. In all three cases, serious disruptions were occasioned by the fire, further diverting our attention from regular preparations to recovery from the impact of the incidents. In Isiala Ngwa South, hundreds of PVCs were burnt, necessitating the recompiling of the affected cards and reprinting in time to ensure that the affected voters are not disenfranchised. I am glad that all the cards were quickly reprinted and made available for collection by their owners.
9. In Qu’an Pan Local Government Area, our entire office was razed, destroying all the materials prepared for the elections printed register of voters, ballot boxes, voting cubicles and several electricity-generating sets. ll Registration Areas and over I00 polling units were affected by the fire. We recovered quickly and have since replaced everything destroyed. In addition, we secured a suitable building from which to conduct the elections.
10. Perhaps the most serious was the fire incident in our Anambra State Office at Awka, which destroyed over 4,600 Smart Card Readers being prepared for the elections. These Card Readers take at least six months to procure. Despite this setback, we have practically recovered from this by mopping up every available one

Abba Kyari: America, Europe again falling for easy lies over awkward truths culled from Thecableng

President Muhammadu Buhari has campaigned in this election exactly as he has governed since 2015, true to the values in which he has believed all his adult life: our security, a diversified economy and an administration free from the scourge of corruption and the sleazy mediocrity it fuels.
Buhari has not changed, and with good reason. Without these attributes, Nigeria will not know peace, prosperity or the rule of law: the only real foundations on which free and fair elections and genuine democracy can thrive. He is stubborn and resolute in defence of these values. This irritates quite a number in the elite, and especially those who, four years ago, thought that they could play the President and use his popularity to continue to steal and cheat the people.
These players have failed. They are angry but they have not yet given up. They have some unlikely allies. Our traditional friends in the US and Europe say they want nothing from Nigeria except free and fair elections. But if you look at what their representatives here actually do rather than what they say, the unmistakeable signs of a quite different agenda are plain to see.
It’s easy to forget where we were, a country falling apart, unable even to protect school girls and where corruption defined every aspect of so much of our public life and private business. Today our media ignore the revelations in a Milan court of how oil companies and fixers stuffed cash in suitcases and the nine-figure bank accounts of former PDP justice ministers and spy chiefs and Presidents. This failure goes beyond individuals or particular political parties, although it is true that our decline accelerated under the PDP after the end of military rule in 1999, a betrayal that Atiku Abubakar and many of his allies hope forlornly to revive and celebrate.
Our young people see only the devastation that has been visited upon them, too young to remember the vibrant rural economy that once gave us the wealth for the schools and hospitals we are only now beginning to revive.
They cannot imagine the rubber plantations where for decades Dunlop and Michelin made tyres for Nigeria and the world. The factories are long since closed. Our palm oil was once a world leader but it is only now, under this government, that we are reviving an industry on life support. We have timber, we have hardworking people – and yet we came to be importing even simple school desks and bedframes. We have so much of what we need for fertilisers, yet government after government preferred to let the plants we had already built go to waste for easy commissions on second-rate imports. Textiles used to employ thousands, and will do again, when we allow our talent fairly to compete on the international stage.
A major crude producer with four refineries that once delivered petroleum products for home consumption and export, Nigeria was reduced to importing petroleum products as if we were Burkina Faso or Bangladesh, not a leading member of OPEC. Our golden goose was starved. The military and the PDP took all the money, they didn’t pay oil partners what we owed and only now, after this government’s efforts, speaking plainly and finding real solutions, can we begin to grow exports that have stagnated for 30 years.
When our private banks collapsed (again) in 2009, the outstanding liabilities were N5.7 trillion. It is hard to imagine a sum of money, so vast, owed by so few, to so many. The list of decay is long. And yet this was the inherited culture of government – ‘to those that have, give more’ – that we have challenged, a culture where every declared reform was in fact a disguise to privatise profit and leave the rest of us with all the risk.
Nigeria has almost as many problems as we have people. But it also has all the resources to meet our needs, if they are properly managed and honestly marshalled. Think where we would be today, but for all the time wasted, the prosperity we would enjoy and the better partner we might have been to our friends in the region and further afield! Buhari is not a populist but he is popular because he is delivering on our most basic needs first.
Do our foreign friends simply not understand what is at stake, or do they actually want us to fail? We know we are not equal partners, and do not pretend to be so. In our own time in government, the US, the UK and the EU let us know subtly, and often not so subtly, what we should be doing on everything from currency reform to fuel deregulation and the import of toothpicks.
They have their own subsidies to protect key strategic interests, their farmers and steel plants, but condemn our own efforts to protect the poorest and most vulnerable from an unregulated market for food, transport and housing, or to create and protect space for new opportunities and innovation to flourish. This is not so much a question of policy, but integrity: we, at least, mean what we say. So many past governments in Nigeria did not.
Our transition has been difficult because Nigeria needs radical change, which we have been delivering, despite ingenious and often disingenuous resistance from vested interests and the business-as-usual brigade. Which begs the question: is there a difference between what suits Nigeria’s real national interest and what suits the interests of the Great Powers? The years of failure were characterised by hypocrisy and betrayal by our leaders, who were in turn easy targets for manipulation – much easier for foreign powers to manage than a government genuinely looking to repair and revive today so that we can build tomorrow. And tomorrow never dies.
I always knew that business-as-usual had a powerful self-interest in resisting CHANGE. I had hoped their tentacles did not stretch so far or so easily beyond our borders, that a good case, well made, would receive a fair hearing. In three and a half years in government, I have learned that decent argument and hard facts face stiff competition from vested interests that seem so easily to sway people who should know better. A convenient lie is not better than an uncomfortable truth.
Nowhere is this clearer than the contrived debate on the conduct of elections. Buhari’s commitment to the democratic process is a matter of record, time and again. All of the work to rebuild our public institutions, restore our values and recalibrate our future prospects can succeed only in a democracy in which the integrity of elections is sacrosanct.
Instead of judging Nigeria by our actions, it seems altogether too easy for foreign partners to be swayed by the expensive words of lobbyists. Riva Levinson has been hired by Bukola Saraki. She was trained by Paul Manafort and Roger Stone (both caught up in the probe into interference by foreign powers in the US elections in 2016) and guide earlier in her career to dictators like Siad Barre, unprincipled warlords like Jonas Savimbi, or frauds like Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi, the man who neo-conned the Bush White House.
We are meant to believe that Ms Levinson, like the others who are paid by one of the contestants, wants only to promote a free and fair race. And that it is only a coincidence that this language for hire is identical to what we hear from accredited diplomats!
By omission or commission, it appears it may actually suit our friends, deep down, below the pious words, to see Nigeria a basket case, begging bowl in hand, than the partner we could, should and will prove to be. And we have been here before. At the end of 1984, British diplomats predicted a coup against the then Buhari government, with whom London was quarrelling over everything from apartheid to economic policy (as we knew then, and as it turned out, Buhari was right). Glowing profiles of Ibrahim Babangida were prepared and telegrams of congratulation were drafted. Mrs Thatcher put the project on ice, at least for a few months, but it was not long before foreign powers concluded that their best interests would be served by people who told them everything they wanted to hear on democratisation and reform, but, as they could and should have known, meant precisely none of it. Nigeria lived through the consequences of this systemic deception. We lost so much in the 30 years after 1985, but nothing as precious as the loss of confidence in our values and what we as a nation could be.
In the 19th century, Lord Palmerston, Britain’s Prime Minister and one of the country’s most celebrated diplomats, observed that “nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” We have been delivering on a programme to restore the rule of law, to build democracy and strengthen security, to deal with corruption and to create opportunity in a new meritocracy. It is a platform that helps tackle violent extremism, illegal migration, trafficking and financial crime. These are the very issues that are central to the interests of our foreign friends, and we are producing results.
Nigeria will make its choice on Saturday. It has never before had a government that has more clearly demonstrated through words and actions its commitment to transparency and the rule of law, protecting good judges and decent public office-holders from the corruption of their peers. Voters are free to move forwards to a better future or back to the desperate past from which we are now beginning to emerge. Our election commission is independent and has all resources it needs to do its job. We should all be wise to the risks, including partial and premature announcements of unofficial results from unverifiable sources, especially when one party has already declared well in advance that it cannot lose unless there is rigging. There should be no interference from any quarter, including foreign powers who say one thing but do another – exactly the formula that their friends here have employed for years to bring us so close to despair

Abba Kyari is the Chief of Staff to president Muhammadu Buhari

Illusion and Myth of Buhari’s Fight Against Corruption, By Mohammed Dahiru Aminu

…upon becoming president after four attempts to run for the office, Buhari’s leadership skills, and the rhetoric on corruption have been evidently more mythical than real. Perhaps, it can be charitably put that the president’s perception of the fight against corruption is but a mere figment of his imagination.

Muhammadu Buhari was voted into office as president of Nigeria in 2015 under the supposition that he had a character that was allergic to corruption. He had maintained the resolve as being intolerant to corruption since he ventured into partisan politics in 2002. But upon becoming president after four attempts to run for the office, Buhari’s leadership skills, and the rhetoric on corruption have been evidently more mythical than real. Perhaps, it can be charitably put that the president’s perception of the fight against corruption is but a mere figment of his imagination. However, what is more interesting amidst this rhetoric on corruption, is that both Buhari and the small band of cheerleaders around him have succeeded in creating some sort of illusionary (as opposed to realistic) truth effect. Judging from the performance under Buhari, one easily remembers Hitler’s top propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, who was attributed with the words: A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.

It is interesting that despite glaring examples which argue for the president’s disinterest in fighting corruption, many Nigerians are still convinced otherwise. It can be said that most of these people are within the demographic of the young, who may not have recollections of how the country fared under Buhari’s military regime. While that regime came about through unanimous support of his military colleagues at the time, who later led a coup that ousted him, this time as a democratic president, Buhari came to power by a popular vote that was aided by elite consensus from Nigeria’s major power blocs.

But then the first irony. A man who claims to be intolerant of corruption had to ride on the back of what appears as illicit funds to power. For example, no question has been asked about the source of campaign funds that brought Buhari to power, despite allegations that some of the financiers may have used public funds through the offices they occupied, in backing their principal’s political ambition. But that is not all of it. A foremost senator from Kaduna State, Shehu Sani, described Buhari’s fight against corruption as selective. He noted that when the president’s men are caught within the webs of graft, the presidential instrument used is a deodorant; however, when the president’s men are not involved in graft, insecticides are used on other people.

The Babachir David Lawal case is one of the most disturbing examples of corruption, which greatly affects the integrity of the president and suggests whether his attitude toward taming corruption is genuine or not. Lawal, who was the former secretary to the federal government was alleged to have been involved in multiple acts of corruption, including illicitly enriching himself with funds meant for the rehabilitation of people who were internally displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency. Despite being indicted by a Senate committee and later by a presidential committee headed by the vice president (Yemi Osinbajo), Lawal has seemingly gotten away scot-free, and he is in fact one of the henchmen working for the president’s re-election bid. It is interesting to note that it even took the president too long a time to be convinced of Lawal’s corruption and to relieve him of his position in government. Another example of the manifestation of corruption under the Buhari administration can be found in the Abdulaziz Maina case. Maina, who was the head of a task force on the pension scheme, was indicted of corruption and declared a wanted man by the country’s anti-corruption agency. Nonetheless, Maina, who went into hiding abroad, was brought back into the country by the Buhari administration and was reinstated into the nation’s federal civil service and promoted to the rank of a director. It took a lot of pressure from the people of Nigeria for the government to go back on its resolve on Maina. It is strange that a government which came to power with the intention of fighting corruption is now unable to take decisive actions against those who are involved in corruption — such that the government assisted a known fugitive back into the country and then promoted him. Even as Maina is nowhere to be found now, his case, it seems, has been swept under the carpet, never to be heard again.

But not to relent, as the 2019 elections approach, a new trend has since emerged. Opposition politicians who have corruption cases against them are trooping into the ruling All Progressives Congress, in order for them to be forgiven of all the crimes they have committed. The former minister of state for defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, seems to have had his corruption charges dropped immediately he assumed membership of the ruling party, even when there are routine pretensions of a trial around him. The former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, who had been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was seen on stage a couple of weeks ago in solicitation of the voting public for the president’s re-election.

Still, as the electioneering campaigns proceed, it is embarrassing to the note that the president uses every attempt to endorse politicians for re-election without reminiscing over such politician’s integrity with regards to the handling of the public trust. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State is a case in point. Ganduje was caught on videotape receiving kickbacks in cash from contractors who handled various projects within the State he leads. But despite the overwhelming evidence that give Ganduje away as unfit to continue in public office, the president recently went to Kano to publicly endorse the governor’s continuity in the same office. Perhaps President Obasanjo was right when he noted recently that Buhari’s supposed integrity is better put as a sanctimonious veneer of a bogus integrity.

And to further lend credence to the bogus integrity that Buhari and his cheerleaders claim in describing the man, others who knew him too well through close working relationships have been coming out to demystify that integrity. Buba Galadima, a Buhari insider from the very beginning, is constantly in the news showing us where the bodies were all buried. In newspaper interviews, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, the elder statesman and veteran politician from Kano State, had given stunning revelations on the Buhari character; of defending known thieves and loyalists, as well as his penchant for nepotism in government. Former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, recently narrated how he rigged the 2003 party primaries in favour of Buhari, with the latter’s full participation. Bafarawa also claimed that he gave Buhari money for campaigns in the aftermath of the primary elections ‘victory.’ Dr. Aliyu Tilde is another pioneer Buhari insider who has recently been hitting hard at the president, albeit in a politer language than other critics. As Vanderbilt University professor, Moses Ochonu, puts it, the claims of these insiders correlate with Buhari’s actions as president: approving, participating in, and accepting the political and financial proceeds of theft, while maintaining deniability. Professor Ochonu claims that Buhari is arguably the most successful political scam of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as most things about him are fiction, including his personal integrity and fight against corruption

The illegal suspension of the CJN by IkonAllah

1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Section 292. (1)
A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances –
(a) in the case of –
(i) Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.
(ii) Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, by the Governor acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State,
Praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct;
(b) in any case, other than those to which paragraph (a) of this subsection applies, by the President or, as the case may be, the Governor acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council that the judicial officer be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.

Based on the above constitutional requirements the president can only appoint or remove a CJN with a two third majority backing from the senate. The Suspension of CJN was not mentioned in the constitution.

Yes the CJN goofed and he should be held accountable but a procedure has been outlined in the constitution on how he should be held accountable. Why not follow the constitution? The offense was committed in 2016 and the entire process of his illegal suspension was done in less than a month in 2019 when the general elections are few days away without regard to due process. Several cases that preceded the CJNs case are still going through the system including an allegation against the CCB chairman accused of receiving bribes so why should the CJN be singled out with such speed not characterised by a government renowned for foot dragging in cases of corruption involving close allies like the grass cutter.

Political expediency i guess. The code of conduct has no power to recommend the suspension of the CJN when its jurisdiction has not been established . The NJC is the statutory body recognized by the constitution to do that. Even if the CCT convicts the CJN for breaching the code of conduct it will write the NJC who will recommend his removal after obtaining two third votes in the senate. Unless the constitution is amended, this is the only way to remove a CJN anything short of that is arbitrary and illegal. Those quoting GEJs removal of justice Salami must understand that his suspension was recommended by the NJC as stipulated by the constitution not an agency under the executive.Buhari has been accused of so many infractions in office yet he did not step aside. No arm of Government has the power to remove the head of another other arm according to the doctrine of separation of powers . The CJN or Senate president cannot suspend the president so how can the president be able to suspend the CJN or Senate president? Using this logic Saraki should have been suspended by the president during his CCT trial.

The rule of law and the constitution are bedrock of democracy and any deviation is dangerous no matter the motivation. What if a corrupt person becomes president and decides to unilaterally remove the CJN to support his corruption? The rules of law if followed will prevent anybody taking the system for a ride. This is non negotiable no matter who is president. GEJ removed justice salami based on recommendations of NJC as required by the constitution yet all men of goodwill condemned the political undertone related to salamis sack. Same principle that motivated my stand on salami applies to CJNs illegal removal.

Muhammadu Ribadu: Nigeria’s First Minister of Defence BY AYOMIDE AKINBODE

After independence, Nigeria’s first Minister of Defence was Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu (1910-1965).
The Minister of Defence of Nigeria is a senior cabinet official in the Nigerian Federal Executive Council in charge of the Nigerian Ministry of Defence. The Defence Minister’s main responsibility is to manage all branches of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to maintain a modern, competent, and professional military force for the protection of the national territory, maritime interests, airspace, and constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Alhaji Ribadu was born at Bulala, in present day, Adamawa State. He was active in Politics in the Northern Region and entered the Northern House of Assembly in Kaduna in 1947.
Thus began a political career in which he rose rapidly. He soon became a leader of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), founded in 1949 as a cultural organisation but soon turned into a political party in order to meet the requirements of the Macpherson Constitution.
Under the leadership of the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji (Sir) Ahmadu Bello (1909-1966), the most powerful politician during his era, the NPC won all the Northern seats in Nigeria’s first general elections of 1951-52 and Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu was one of the Northern candidates who won the election to the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos where he was appointed Minister of Natural Resources. He was previously a director of the Nigerian Produce Marketing Company, but resigned this post on becoming a Minister.In 1954, he was appointed Federal Minister of Land, Mines and Power; he served in that ministry until 1957 when he was transferred to the portfolio of Lagos Affairs. He was second Vice-President of the NPC, and of the most influential leaders of the NPC-dominated regime in the Federation.
He received a British decoration, being awarded the Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1952.
While serving as Minister of Defence, Ribadu presided over a rapid expansion of the Nigerian Army, Navy as well as the creation of the Nigeria Air Force. He established the Defence Industries Corporation in Kaduna, the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna and a Second Recce Squadron in Abeokuta.
No doubt, Alhaji Ribadu was a towering figure. A giant among men. He was in all but name, the deputy Prime Minister. He was powerful and intrepid. His colleagues often refer to him as “power of powers”. He completed the Nigerianisation of the Nigerian Army. Till today, he’s still being remembered as one of the most outstanding Defence Minister Nigeria ever had.
Historians believe that had Ribadu been alive, the January 15, 1966 coup wouldn’t have happened.
On May 1, 1965, he was to be honoured along with the then Prime Minister, Alhaji (Sir) Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1912-1966) by the then Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello with gold medals of the Usmamiya order in Kaduna but died on the morning of that day at the age of 55.