POVERTY AND CHILD ABUSE IN NIGERIA:


POVERTY AND CHILD ABUSE IN NIGERIA:

ABSTRACT
The study sets out to discover the relationship between poverty and child abuse in Nigeria and see ways of further complementing the roles of the government and other various agencies by drastically reducing the bench mark ratio of prevalent rates in the country. A situation where over 70% of Nigerians live below the poverty line is unacceptable; the time has come for all to forge alliance towards eradicating this evil meniac!

INTRODUCTION;
Poverty and child abuse in Nigeria cuts across various ethnic groups and nationalities. It goes further to show the level of decay our society had been subject to misrule often occasion by corruption, bad governance, greed and exploitation of the few elites against the poor masses of this country.

BACKGROUND TO OUR STUDY;
Poverty is no longer news in the country. It is on record that the poverty line in the country is far above 70%. Thus poverty and child abuse occurs in many forms and across all socio-economic groups. We know that most parents who live in poverty do not treat their children and parent affectionately, but research shows that children who grow up in poverty can be vulnerable to some forms of maltreatment, particularly neglect and physical abuse.
They also have an increase risk of adverse experiences and negative outcomes, both in the short and long term. These outcomes includes poor health (physical and mental), death from illness or accident, educational disadvantage and disaffection, unemployment, poverty during adulthood, criminalization for anti-social behaviors or offending, as well as becoming victims of crime. Children who experience both poverty and child abuse are doubly disadvantaged because the experience of child abuse may in turn further undermine life chances in the long term. While there is a vast amount of research on poverty and the link to child abuse, yet there appears to be no end in sight of the problem, who will lead us away from “Egypt” and bring us to the promise land?
The recent increases in the different forms of child abuse, exploitation and suffering in Nigeria are extremely distressing. Under the guise of tradition and poverty, Nigerian children continue to be exploited, oppressed and abused by so called adults whose job it is to protect them. Although child abuse and poverty exist else where, it is more prevalent here in Nigeria. Abuse of the Nigerian child takes many forms.
The phenomena of child trafficking for forced or compulsory labour as well as sex slaves are growing up so fast that most countries in Africa fit into one of three categories- sending countries, transit countries and receiving countries. Child trafficking has become a very profitable, multi billion dollar business for the organized syndicate involved. As they flee from poverty, Nigerian children are being increasingly exploited by traffickers who make billions of dollars a year by buying them for as little as $14 USD a head and sending them to slavery in Europe or the Gulf States.
According to a recent ILO report, an estimated 60% of sex workers in Italy are from Nigeria. In the words of meera sethi of the international immigration organization, Nigeria has become a “supplier of fresh flesh” for countries in the European Union, via paedophile and prostitution rings. Sethi said Belgium, Britain and Italy receive the youngest African girls, while Germany and Spain are major transit countries.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM;
What is poverty? There is no single definition of poverty but the two most commonly used concepts are absolute poverty and relative poverty. Absolute poverty refers to a state in which income is insufficient to provide the basic needs required to sustain life i.e. food and shelter. Whereas relative poverty defines income or resources in relation to the average, and recognizes that human adverse experiences and negative outcomes, both in the short and long term. These outcome includes poor health (physical and mental), death from illness or accident, educational disadvantage and disaffection, unemployment, poverty during adulthood, criminalization for anti-social behaviour or offending, as well as becoming victims of crime. Children who experience both poverty and child abuse are doubly disadvantaged because the experience of child abuse may in turn further undermine life chances in the long term.
Poverty and child abuse are twin problems which must be tackled squarely. Child slavery, in which children are forced to work in very abject conditions with little or no pay is spreading widely around the continent, more than ever before. UNICEF estimates that 200,000 children from western and central African countries are sold into slavery each year, notably for seasonal work such as harvesting cocoa and other cash crops.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROBLEM;
A number of prevalence and incidence studies highlight the link between poverty and child. Maltreatment incidence studies analyze the number of new cases occurring in a defined population over a specific period of time, usually one year. Prevalence studies also look at the proportion of a defined population affected by child abuse during a specified time period usually childhood. A United Nations alarming report on the poverty situation in the country reports an estimated 70% of the population live below these lines. The most comprehensive and methodological study conducted was by the defunct planned parenthood federation of Nigeria, Nigerian women council as well as other non-governmental organization.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS;
Our research questions on the subject matter centers on the high proportion rates the twin issues of poverty and child abuse has assume in the country. Our methodology to be adopted will outline the steps and directions to take in arriving at an acceptable data that will be acceptable and fair to all.
Some of the research questions can be addressed below;

1. Is poverty and child abuse visible in the country?
2. Can the problem of poverty and child abuse be confronted in the country?
3. Are we making any head way?
4. Is there any lasting solution towards tackling the twin problem of poverty and child abuse in the country?

STUDY AREA;
The study area mainly covers some selected suburbs in rivers state as well as Lagos state. The main vegetation type in these areas is the ever green forest with diverse species of flora forming a dense canopy with little or no undergrowth at the floor except for creepers that use the stems of the trees to access sunlight. Average annual temperature is 27c. The topography of the area is undulating with an average relief of 300-400 meters above sea level. Based on the 2006 census, the population of the area is 151,125 whose main occupation is farming, fishing and trading.

METHODOLOGY;
The study area delineated covered a total of 420.42km comprising three subs of Ajegunle and orile in Lagos state and diobu and rainbow communities in Rivers state. Questionnaire, personal interviews and direct field measurements\observations were applied.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSSIONS;
The results of our findings in these subs shows that there is a greater relationship between poverty and child abuse in the rural areas begging for attention compare to most urban centers. Nevertheless these results findings are subjected to further discussions based on the on going steps being taken by all stakeholders in alleviating the issue of poverty and child abuse in the country.

IMPLICATION OF POVERTY AND CHILD ABUSE IN NIGERIA:
Experts have blamed the sudden rise in child abuse cases on the terrible economic conditions in Nigeria as well as in the whole of Africa, which has lead to a high level of poverty especially in the poor, rural areas of the country. This means some parents, in order to relief their sufferings are often willing for their children to move away, sometimes to live with a better off relative. Ignorant of the possible dangers, they do this believing their child would be properly looked after. Usually, the opposite happens.
In a number of African communities, some instances of child abuse are actually not seen as such, but are considered an inherent part of the socio-cultural values and customs. In other cases, children are bonded to others to pay off debts incurred by their parents. Atimes, however, child abuse defiles any form of socio-economic reasoning and can be downright evil. All around us, we continue to see children being abused, oppressed, exploited and denied their basic rights as human beings, as children and free citizens of this country.
Why has poverty and child abuse in Nigeria risen to such a high level?
Only a determined fight against poverty, corruption, good governance and the implementation of the child rights act 2000 can see us through.

CONCLUSION;
A country like Nigeria blessed with huge human and natural resources has no business whatsoever with the ugly maniac of poverty and child abuse. It is time the relevant authorities in Nigeria to take up this challenge and face these problems in more practical approach toward eradicating them from our polity. I remember many years ago, the nations of the world under the auspices of the united nation came together and made a declaration that henceforth the rights of children all over the world should be protected from all forms of abuse. This declaration was never binding until the 20th day of November 1989 when the UN general assembly adopted the convention on the rights of the child (CRC), while the African Union Assembly of Heads of States. Nigeria should never been seen among the committee of nations as not putting enough to enforce this proclamation. The time is ripe for Nigeria to leap frog from poverty and take it enviable place in Africa and the world at large.
REFERENCES.

1. Aham Anyanwu, (2000): Research methodology in business & social sciences.
2. Miller, D (1979): Social justice. Oxford: Clarendon.
3. Musa, B. (1982): Struggle for social & economic change. Zaria.

NIGERIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY; OCTOBER 1ST 1960


NIGERIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY;

OCTOBER 1ST 1960

PREAMBLE:

The amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria into one union on January 1st 1914 is still seen and held as the true date of an INDEPENDENT NIGERIA. many sees this date a joy to celebrate and behold an new nation among the committee of nation, others gave their consents as an unholy forced union of various ethnic nationalities that are/were never as one with each other. Even the late(s) sir Tafa Balewa and chief Awolowo, sees Nigeria as the “mistake of 1914” and “a mere geographical expression”. One then begins to wonder if our independence date of October 1st 1960 cuts across all Nigeria?

INTRODUCTION:

The British occupation of Nigeria in the period 1820-1920 began on a small scale. It first began along the coast and subsequently went from strength to strength until it had spread all over the country. The occupation was progressive rather than sudden. Traders led the way and their motive was purely economic.

By the 1850’s and 1860’s British interest in Nigeria was stepping up. The period between 1825 and 1840 saw the Basel Methodist and Bremen missions. Their motive was to bring the benefits of western civilization to the people by educating them. To this end, they began to build schools and to admit pupils for training. Of particular importance was the role played by Thomas Birch Freeman, a Methodist, who arrived in the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and stayed there until after his death.

The church missionary society had arrived Nigeria by 1843 and only a year earlier the Baptist had establish themselves in Badagry. People who could read and write would no doubt be better placed to hold discussions with foreigners and this produced another factor of spreading British influence in both Nigeria and the Gold Coast. Alongside the missionaries, were also the philanthropists, whose main objective was to arrest inhuman traffic in human beings. These philanthropists or humanitarians made their impact felt in the British parliament and laws were passed by parliament forbidding slave trade in 1807 and slavery (1883) in the Gold Coast now Ghana and Nigeria.

At the Berlin conference of 1885, Britain got the other powers to recognize her rights of supervision over the waters of the lower Niger. Moreover, the Royal Niger Company held the area of northern Nigeria for Britain during the period of the scramble for Africa. And since the conference had laid down among other things, the rule of effective occupation, Britain like other powers hastened to conclude treaties through the agency of the Royal Niger company with places like Borgu (1894) and Nupe and Ilorin (1897) in the northern region of Nigeria. Such treaties served their purposes in subsequent conferences such as the conference of Brussels in 1890.

In 1906 the colonial office in Britain took over from the Royal Niger Company and the British government assumed direct control over northern Nigeria. In 1906, the protectorate of southern Nigeria and the colony and protectorate of Lagos were merged to form the colony and protectorate of southern Nigeria. Then in 1914, for administrative convenience, the protectorate of northern Nigeria and the colony and protectorate of southern Nigeria were amalgamated. In 1919, Britain took control of the northern and southern Cameroon’s.

Lugard left Nigeria and spent four years as Governor of Hong-Kong. He returned in 1912 as Governor of both administrations and by 1914 after the amalgamation he became its head with the personal title of Governor-General. The colony was placed under the control of an administrator and the northern and southern provinces were each administered by a Lieutenant-Governor. However some notable constitutional conferences were held in order to discuss the Nigerian independence, they includes…..

THE LONDON CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE OF 1957;

This conference was arranged mainly to correct some of the constitutional deficiencies of the Lyttleton constitution of 1954. The conference which was originally scheduled for 1956 was delayed till 1957 as a result of the political crisis which erupted in the eastern Nigeria.

The conference which later met between May 23rd and June 26th 1957 arrived at the following important decisions:

1. The eastern and western region would be granted self government immediately after the conference.

2. The northern region would wait till 1959 for their own self governance.

3. The office of the prime minister was created.

4. House of chiefs should be created in the eastern region.

5. A second chamber to be known as the senate to be created at the federal level.

6. Southern Cameroon’s should be elevated to the status of a region.

7. The police should continue to be a federal force and concern.

8. That the Governor should appoint the person who commanded a majority in the

house of Assembly as premier.

9. A commission of inquiry should be set up to look into the fears of the minority

ethnic groups.

10. That the Governor-General should appoint the person who commanded a

majority in the House of Representatives as Prime Minister.

THE 1958 CONSTITUTIONAL CONFERENCE;

This conference which became the last constitutional conference held before the attainment of Nigerian national independence in 1960, also took place in London from September 29 to October 27, 1958. The conference considered some main issues centered on states creation, minority fears and the granting of independence to the country. The conference agreed that Nigeria should become independent on October 1, 1960 and that plebiscites were to be held at the request of the United Nations in both the northern and southern Cameroon’s whether to join Nigeria of the republic of Cameroon. The results of the plebiscites held on February 11 and 12, 1961 showed that Southern Cameroon voted to join the republic of Cameroon on October 1, 1961, while northern Cameroon voted to remain a part of Nigeria June 1, 1961.
It was also agreed at the conference that the northern region should become self-independent by March 1959.

THE 1959 FEDERAL ELECTIONS;

In December 1959, a nationwide general election was held into the federal house of representative. In the election, no single party won an over all majority as was the case of 1954 and as a result, the NPC and NCNC agreed to form a coalition Government while the AG formed the official opposition.

THE INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION OF 1960;

The independence constitution of 1960 which came into force on October 1, 1960 made Nigeria a full-fledged sovereign state within the Commonwealth of Nations.

SOME FEATURES OF THE INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION;

1. Federalism was retained for the governance of the country.

2. The governor general was made a representative of the queen of England.

3. A parliamentary democratic system of governance was adopted.

4. Bicameral legislature was adopted.

5. The constitution became rigid

6. Executive powers were conferred on the prime minister and premiers at the

federal and regional levels and no more the Governor- general and Governors.

7. The federal and regional governments continued to divide power of government

accordingly.

8. Provisions that defined the Nigerian citizenship were contained in the

constitution.

9. The federal legislatures were empowered to make emergency laws during a

period of emergency like war.

10. The Governor was empowered to remove the premier if the premier had lost the

confidence of the house.

ADVANTAGES OF THE INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION;

1. It made Nigerian an independent state among the committee of nations.

2. A beginning of a new diplomatic era was born in which she join many international organizations like the United Nations.

3. It spelt out a clear cut foreign policy for the new nation to adopt and follow.

4. Employment opportunities were created as many Britons left back to their country and Nigerians were called upon to fill in those spaces.

DISADVANTAGES OF THE INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION;

1. The queen of England was still retain as the ceremonial head of the Nigerian

state.

2. The highest court of appeal was still the Privy Council in Britain.

3. Furthermore, the constitution was weak because members of the house of senate

were appointed by the regional governments and not elected. They therefore became

stooges and surrogates of the regional governments

4. Also, the constitution did not give adequate treatment and definition to the issue

of creation of more regions in Nigeria. This over-sight created problem when an

attempt was made to create a Mid-west region out of the Western region.

5. It was not entirely home made.

Lastly fifty years (50) gone by the drains we can all cheerfully celebrate and join the
euphoria that we gain independence on OCTOBER 1ST 1960!

NIGERIA’S APRIL 2011 GENERAL ELECTIONS; INEC LOSES 117 BALLOT BOXES TO SNATCHERS.


NIGERIA’S APRIL 2011 GENERAL ELECTIONS; INEC LOSES 117
BALLOT BOXES TO SNATCHERS.

The much awaited Nigeria’s April general elections suffered initial set backs when senate and house of representative elections billed for April 2, 2011 was cancelled. This was due to the late arrival of sensitive electoral materials to various polling units across the country. However, the country’s independent electoral commission chairman, prof. Attahiru jega apologies to the entire nation through a nationwide broadcast and reschedule the elections timetable, which will now commence by April 9, 2011.
Then comes the big day, April 9, 2011.the date set for the senatorial and House of Representatives elections. As usual, majority of Nigerians troupe out in their huge numbers to obey their fatherland and perform their civic responsibilities only to be greeted with wide arrear of electoral frauds. One begins to wonder where both the international and local elections observers get their reports and clips of a free and fair election in Nigeria.
Basking in the euphoria of encomiums trailing last weekend’s national assembly elections, the leadership of the independent national electoral commission (INEC) met with resident electoral commissioners (RECs) of the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Abuja. The commission used the meeting to take stock with a view to plugging all loopholes identified during the national assembly elections. A similar meeting he said would be held with the leadership of the 63 registered political parties, organized civil society groups and security operatives before the presidential polls.
A reputable national daily, the guardian newspaper, reported of numerous electoral offences. No fewer than 117 ballot boxes were stolen across the country during the national assembly elections, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, kayoed idowu, has disclosed. He said the commission was leaving no stone unturned to fish out the perpetrators of the theft of its materials, no matter how highly placed, adding that no INEC official would be spared if found to have connived with politicians to sabotage the electoral process.
However, idowu, who spoke in Abuja, assured that the commission would be better prepared to foil such malpractices in subsequent polls, starting with the presidential election billed for Saturday, April 16, 2011.
Nevertheless, chairman, inter-party advisory council, (IPAC), Emmanuel okereke, charged INEC to address issues bordering on ballot snatching and alleged indiscipline by some members of the national youths service corps (NYSC) serving the commission as ad hoc staff. Large scale incidence of ballot boxes snatching were witnessed and reported in states like Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Akwa ibom states

JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM AND FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST EFFECTIVE JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM IN NIGERIA.


JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM AND FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST EFFECTIVE JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION SYSTEM IN NIGERIA.

Nigeria’s system of juvenile justice which is modeled after the British system was established in 1914, although it has been modified in various locations to accommodate local customs.
Juvenile justice administration has been embodied under the country’s federal ministry of justice. For experts and lay people alike, this act underlined the level to which the administration of juvenile justice had sunk below in Nigeria.
The term juvenile can be describe as a legal term for those under the age of majority, which varies from country to country but it is usually between 18 and 21. Most civic and legal rights and duties accrue only at the age of majority: for example, the rights to vote, to make a will, and (usually) to make fully binding contract, and the duty to act as a juror. In Nigeria the age of majority for voting has been 18 years since 1979.
Juvenile justice administration system in Nigeria can be describe as a system of justice set up by the federal government of Nigeria to take care and charge of person (s) and people below 18 years. A separate court and system of administration can and is always established for them. This trend stem from the fact that numerous cases of juvenile delinquency exist and the present government is increasingly finding it hard to deal with their case or situation often referred to as ‘special cases.’
The justice administrations, especially the juvenile departments are concerned about protecting the rights of the underage children. Few of us want to dwell on the subject of sexual abuse of children. Parents and government shudder at the very thought of it. Such abuse, however, is a frightening and unpleasant reality in today’s world, and its effects on children can be devastating. These ideas could be traced to the very essence that the primary responsibility for protecting children against abuse belongs to parents, not to children.

The children and young persons Act is the major piece of legislation dealing with matters affecting children and young persons in Nigeria. Its stated purpose is “to make provision for the welfare of the young and the treatment of young offenders and for establishment of juvenile courts”.

This Act was first enacted in 1943 by the British colonial government for application in any part of the protectorate of Nigeria on the order of the Governor-in-Council. It was then specifically enacted for Lagos in 1946 and was later on extended to the Eastern and Western Regions of Nigeria in that same year. A similar law was enacted for the Northern Region of the Country in 1958. Subsequently, on the introduction of a state structure in the country, Lagos state (in common with many others) enacted its own children and young persons Law (hereinafter referred to as the CYPL).

Thereafter, Nigeria became a signatory to the convention on Rights of the Child, the Criminal Procedure Act and the children and young persons laws (CYPL) of the various states define juveniles as a special category of offenders; all persons under the age of 17 or 18, as the case may be, are juveniles in terms of these Act and Laws.
Under this law (CYPL) Three categories of children may be brought before the juvenile court and they are;
(i) Children alleged to have committed offences;
(ii) Children in need of care and protection; and
(iii) Children beyond parental control.

The word “juvenile” can also be seen in the Webster English Dictionary as “relating to youth or young people, meant for young people. A child or young person.”
The black’s law dictionary defines the juvenile justice system as the collective institutions through which a youthful offender passes until any charges have been disposed of or the assessed punishment has been concluded.

The CYPL defines a “child” to mean a person under the age of 14, while a “young person” is defined as a person who has attained the age of 14 and is under the age of 18. Except in respect of some punishments, there is little practical significance to these distinctions and for ease of reference it is proposed that whenever the word “child” or “juvenile” is used in this presentation, it refers to a person under the age of 18 who may be dealt with under the special provisions of the CYPL.
Most juvenile offenders are children, who have committed offences under laws which are also applicable to adults, children who play truant may be brought before the juvenile court in the exercise of it’s criminal jurisdiction under the CYPL, example: any child of primary or secondary School age who habitually fails to attend class or is found loitering on the streets or is found in any eating or drinking place, shop or public place of entertainment during school hours may be apprehended by the police or any other authorized person, be arraigned before a juvenile court and “if found guilty” be sent to a remand home for a period of not more than three (3) months.

Juvenile court proceedings take place in two courts a high court consisting of a single judge and a magistrate court composed of a magistrate and two lay persons, including one woman. Proceedings are formal and are intended to protect. In other words, the trial of juvenile must be held in-camera. This is because juvenile offenders are classified different category of offenders who ought to be treated differently from the adult accused persons.

The child’s Rights Act and Childs Rights laws of the various states also have provisions for establishment of the family court for the purposes of hearing and determining matters relating to children.

Section 149 of the child’s Rights Act, 2003 establishes the family court for each state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Section 150 provides that the family court (in the Act referred to as “the court”) shall be at two levels-
“(a) the court as a division of the high court at the high court level; and
(b) the court as a magistrate court at the magistrate level”.

So much premium is placed on the protection of the rights of the child that the Act specifically stipulates that the personnel of the court shall be afforded professional education, in service training, refresher courses, among other things, to promote and embrace the necessary professional competence they require.

These days, it seems that the juvenile courts are not allowed anymore by the ordinary courts to exercise jurisdiction over all children who are accused of criminal offences except those children who are charged jointly with adults and children who are charged with homicide who may be tried as adults in the ordinary courts.
From the various report we got recently, and complaints from parents whose children are young persons from the Act’s definition of a young person, the position of the juvenile justice administration in Nigeria now is so poor that I think it needs a reform.

In a recent prison visits by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, he pointed out that there is a great number of juveniles in prison some of them even awaiting trial.
According to him, “those young persons supposed to be in remand homes and not adult prison because the adult prison would definitely harden them and make them worse criminals”.

A child offender should only be remanded as last resort when that is the only way to protect both the child and the society. The trial of such a child should not take place in a regular court setting which is likely to intimidate the child but it should be in a very informal and child friendly setting.
However, certain criteria can be identified as numerous factors militating against the effective administration of juvenile system in Nigeria. They include:
1. Improper justice system: Lack of proper justice system in Nigeria’s administrative system can be viewed as one of the key factors affecting juvenile system of administration in the country.
2. Constitutional defects: the non inclusion of certain child’s right act into the constitution of the federal republic has impedes on the growth of an effective juvenile administration in the country.
3. Lack of juvenile court judges: the absences or lack of juvenile court judges and lawyers has greatly affected the administration of juvenile. The case of were children are abuse or molested but don’t have judges or lawyers to defend is increasingly becoming an embarrassment for the nation.
4. Funding: lack of funds especially from the government and partners have hinder juvenile system of administration in the country. Funds are needed in prosecuting and making the cases of abuse children heard in the outside world. If these trends continue, I fear we will still continue to live in limbo!
5. Attitudinal and cultural changes: the kind of parental and societal attitudes attach to children behaviours in our present world today can be seen as our ‘normal way of life’. We tend to put cultural ties to the defends of child’s character if infringe upon.

CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA; COURT ORDERS ARREST OF PENSION OFFICIALS OVER 12 BILLION NAIRA SCAM!


CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA;
COURT ORDERS ARREST OF PENSION OFFICIALS OVER 12 BILLION NAIRA SCAM!

The federal high court, Abuja division, yesterday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of two embattled officials of the pension office, Mr. Aliyu Bello and Abdullah Omeiva, following their alleged complicity in a 12 billion naira pension scam.
Justice Adamu bello issued the warrant for Bello and Omeiva after counsel to the economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC), Godwin Obla, had informed him that the arraignment of 33 persons allegedly involved in the pension scam could not proceed oweing to the absence of the 3rd and 7th accused persons (Bello and Omeiva).
Obla said the duo, who were granted administrative bail by EFCC after due interrogation several weeks ago and were served notice to appear in court for their arraignment, did not send words to the agency or the court to explain their absence.
He said that the accused persons were served with the charged on march 23 and April 4, 2011.
Accordingly, Obla made an oral application as provided for in section 351 of the criminal procedure act, praying the court to issue a bench warrant to compel their appearance so that trial could commence on a latter date.
The judge acceded to the request for bench warrant against the 3rd and 7th accused persons and consequently ordered the inspector general of police to produce them on May 7, 2011, for their plea to be taken.
The duo are among the 33 accused persons to be tried by EFCC on a 136 – count charge of corruption, abuse of office and theft. The accused include a former director of the pension and Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in kogi state, Dr. S.T. Shuaibu, his former deputy, Mrs. Phiana chidi and his personal assistant, Aliu Bello.
Others include officials and those allegedly served conduit-pipes for the siphoning of the said sums from the system.
EFCC had reportedly claimed that earlier investigation into the alleged pension scam led to the discovery of a secret personal bank account containing 1.5 billion naira, believed to have been diverted from the scheme. The discovery brought to 12 billion naira the money allegedly stolen from the scheme and said to have been lodged in three secret accounts by shuaibu, chidi and Bello.
One becomes so perplexed when all that can be seen from our own democracy is pains, greed, and corruption. Nigeria has continue to behave as if it is not part of the modern world but as a place where you can do anything to become anything. Once you have money by any means, you can buy everything including life and heaven will fall. What other societies will consider a crime is always the norm in Nigeria. We don’t care whether others are watching us. This is a society where a single person will park more than 20 cars in his compound and having houses in all major cities of the world and still be looking to acquire more as if he has 10 lives to live, as if he can sleep in two rooms at the same time and as if he can ride in two different cars at the same time. This kind of behavour has been the bane of our present democracy, political system and our society. Corruption still strives in Nigeria.

NIGERIA’S APRIL 2011 GENERAL ELECTIONS; PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN 16 LIES TO THE ELECTORATES TO BE VOTED INTO OFFICE.


NIGERIA’S APRIL 2011 GENERAL ELECTIONS;
PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN 16 LIES TO THE ELECTORATES TO BE VOTED INTO OFFICE.

A media publication sponsored by Rocheba Law Publishers and IKANG conglomerate Nigeria ltd listed sixteen lies on which president Good luck Jonathan should be voted by the masses. They claimed they want some Fresh Air, based on the new face of Nigerian democracy. They listed the following sixteen lies which they termed reasons to vote Jonathan on April 16th 2011.
After having observe these so called sixteen ‘reasons’ I wish to state categorically that having seen the best of president Goodluck nine months stay in office, I came to disapprove on the listed reasons and called on Nigerians to vote for a northerner, based on the zoning arrangements made by certain principal members of the ruling party, the peoples democratic party (PDP) and other well meaning leaders of thought in the country in 1998.
Former president and vice-president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar, and not forgetting that our current Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan was present at the gathering and even signed the agreement allowing power to return to the north after the expiration of the eight year term of chief Olusegun Obasanjo by 2007. The rest that follows after that is now history….
The 16 reasons which made President Goodluck Jonathan to be reelected were all false and too confusing in the eyes of the Nigerian masses. They include;

1. IS TRULLY HUMBLE AND HONESTLY SINCERE;
How can President Goodluck Jonathan be sincere when he reneged on the agreement and arrangement of the zoning formula for power to revert back to the northern part of Nigeria in 2011. What can we tell of these?

2. HAS KEPT HIS WORDS ON CREDIBLE ELECTIONS;
Their was nothing so special as free and credible elections in the just concluded April general elections, where their were wide spread cases of electoral fraud ranging from ballot boxes snatching, rigging and snuffing of ballot papers, intimidation of opposition political parties and so on. These elections will record a high rate of petitions compare to any other in the history of electioneering in country based on the offences committed.

3. REDEFINED NIGERIAN DEMOCRACY IN 9 MONTHS;
How can we say democracy has been redefined in Nigeria when common primaries of major political parties’ candidates were handpicked or selected by godfathers and political associates. Most candidates without the right ‘connections’ to high and powerful government places were screened out. Voters’ registration and card that was done electronically was on the day of the election not used to ascertain the true nature of the voters as well as in the verifications of final result collations.

4. REFORMED THE PETROLEUM SECTOR IN 9 MONTHS;
How do we explain reforms in this sector when Nigeria, an important oil producer keep importing fuel overseas? We should not be carried away by the disappearance of fuel scarcity in our country. It was a tool designed by the corrupt ‘godfathers’ who continuously enriched theirselves from the gains of hike in the petroleum product whenever they create an artificial scarcity. Infact, we should not see the so called amnesty programme as a key to describe the ratings in the present petroleum sector in Nigeria. After the general elections, let’s wait and see if ‘long’ fuel queue will not resurface in our petrol stations again!

5. MADE AIR TRAVEL SAFER IN NIGERIA IN 9 MONTHS;
When we still have rusty air craft and unsecured airport, we cry to say air transport is now safe in Nigeria. Compare the high cost of aviation fuel as well as what the charge per one flight from one city of Nigeria to the other. The fact that our airports are safe today lies in the fact that the ‘evil’ minded ones have not looked towards that direction. Let’s not forget what various media houses have been saying that ‘BIN LADEN’ men are here in Nigeria, very soon they may start hitting us hard. May God continue to save us all.

6. RESURRECTED RAIL TRANSPORTATION IN JUST 9 MONTHS;
How many Nigerian ply the train stations to make a trip from one place to the other? Have the pension of the rail way workers been paid? The much talked about mono rail is a political talk, has it seen the light of the day?

7. ESTABLISHED 9 FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES IN 9 MONTHS;
How can we say we have established Nine New universities that are yet to become operational even in terms of structures? At times the country makes me laugh. I see adverts and broadcast from close friends and political associates of President Goodluck Jonathan using this as a campaign tool. We are establishing new universities when the formers ones keep producing graduates that are yet to be employed. Haba!

8. HAS GIVEN SURE HOPE TO THE NIGER DELTA IN 9 MONTHS;
What hope is in a region yet to witness any developmental changes within the last 9 months? You only gave the trouble youths in the region who claimed at first to be freedom fighters and now militants a patry amnesty deal we called rehabilitation programme. How can you be paying close to 80,000 naira to unemployed aggrieved ‘repentant’ militant when millions of Niger delta graduates and others from other parts of the country went to school for between 4-7 years, serve their fatherland under the NYSC scheme where they were paid a patry 9,775 naira monthly for ten months and now unable to find a job? Why not the same allowance(s) be paid to them also? So we are saying except the unemployed youths in the country becomes aggrieved and take up arms in the country, then an ‘AUSTERITY’ programme will be launch for them. We should not forget what happen in Tunisia hastily.

9. IMPROVED POWER FROM 1500-4000MW IN 9 MONTHS;
Must we be using availability of electricity to Nigerian as a campaign tool? After all it is the corrupt Nigerian leaders that have stalled the steady supply of energy across the country due to their selfish gains they derived from the importation of generators in the country. When other countries are boasting of 20,000 or 50,000 mega watts, we are singing praises high above the heavens for just 4000mw. Na wa o!

10. INCREASED MINIMUM WAGE FOR WORKERS IN NIGERIA;
Increased minimum wage to what? A patry 18,000 naira that is yet to be implemented, that even most states are shouting they can’t afford to pay. A minimum wage that is yet to be implemented or paid to a single worker across the country, yet it has become a campaign tool. How do you explain the over 13 million naira earned by our legislators monthly that accounts to 25% of our yearly national budget, yet they shout over 18,000 to pay workers monthly!

11. OPENED POLITICAL SPACE FOR ALL TO ASPIRE IN 9 MONTHS;
Which political space? Instead the political space was overheated with slogan of ‘WANT SOME FRESH AIR’. What can we say about the post election violence that swept the northern part of the country? We should watch it in Imo, Bayelsa and Adamawa States, it could boil soon!

12. ACHEIVED 3 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS IN 9 MONTHS;
Under state security, a new constitution can be produce within 90 days, so why do we celebrate an amendment that would even benefit them the political class?

13. IS NOT INTIMIDATED BY POLITICAL VIOLENCE TO LOSE FOCUS;
Did we experience any major violence in the country before the elections or after the elections, let Nigerians answer for me?

14. APPOINTED JEGA SOLELY TO ACHIEVE CREDIBLE ELECTIONS;
Their we go again. Even the electoral umpire was appointed by him so why wouldn’t he do his bidding. How are sure that the much talked about direct data capture machines (DDC) were not electronically tampered?

15. BELIEVES A RULING PARTY NEED NOT RIG TO STAY IN POWER;
But almost all the party candidates rigged their respective elections to win and stay in power, so what are we talking about.

16. DOESN’T INFLUENCE ELECTION RESULT FOR FRIENDS OR ENEMIES;
The sun is still high, let wait till night falls. Until a forensic investigation is carried out on all alleged claimed votes across the country then we will all know who influence or those that did not influenced. Only time will tell us. When other countries say, may God bless them; I can only shout may God save Nigeria!