The Beko Rights Klub, BRK and the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL have added their voices to the appeal for by some military officers convicted and under various categories of punishment by various courts-martial to the Presidential Investigation Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement to hear their complaints against the Nigerian Army.
Mr. Debo Adeniran who made the appeal on behalf of BRK and CACOL said “we have consistently for the past two years been appealing to the authorities of the army and Federal government to grant former Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, Enitan Ransome-Kuti, who was demoted from the rank of Brigadier General to Colonel and others for their pardon.”
“We were especially pleased when he was released from confinement and with a sense of fulfillment because we had maintained that Enitan was innocent based on the fact that he acted more like a patriot and demonstrated a good sense of leadership with the decision he took which actually saved lives of many of our gallant soldiers that would have been lost in the Boko Haram ambush they retreated from.”
An exclusive report by The PUNCH yesterday revealed that some military officers convicted under various categories of punishment by various courts-martial have appealed to the Presidential Investigation Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement to hear their complaints against the Nigerian Army. Some were also dismissed by the Nigerian Army for alleged negligence of military duties; and 54 soldiers, who claimed to have been illegally tried and convicted by the court-martial for demanding weapons for counter-insurgency operations in the North-East geopolitical zone.
Mr. Adeniran said “we implore the Nigerian Army Council to reconsider its’ decision to demote Brigadier General Enitan to the rank of Colonel just as we add our voice the plea for pardon by the soldiers on basis of compassion and consideration for their patriotism. We believe they deserve pardon.”
“The revelations reeled out from the Arms procurement scandal and the DasukiGate confirm Brigadier General Enitan’s his innocence and patriotism when we recall the narratives that followed the Baga Massacre, in Borno state. In fact, we believe with those expositions, the actions of Brigadier-General Enitan and others are justiciable, reasonable and dialectical. What will a soldier do when his superiors have diverted funds meant to prepare him/her for an operation that involves risks of losing one’s live and troops, given that he/she also has been trained on the principle of self-preservation even in the fiercest battles? Saving the lives of troops that he led must have been imperative.”
“We therefore join our voices in urging the Presidential Investigation panel to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari to grant the gallant soldiers pardon. Section 198 of the Armed Forces as well as Section 175 of the constitution which grants the President powers grant pardon to any convicted person in Nigeria without condition and regardless of whether or not the convicts had pending appeals could relied upon to achieve this.” He concluded.
AN URGENT CALL ON PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI TO MAKE CHANGES IN THE FEDERAL CABINET TO REVAMP GOVERNMENTAL PERFORMANCE FOR SOCIO-POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Our organization, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL is up till December 28, 2016 known as Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders. CACOL is an aggregate of human rights, community based, and civil society organisations and individuals with anti-corruption and openness in governance agenda across Nigeria. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian, non-profit organisation.
Your Excellency, CACOL, heartily welcomes you back to active duty like all well-meaning Nigerians after your last trip for medical care in the United Kingdom; we also wish you full recuperation soonest. Indeed, the significance of your return at this auspicious time needs not to be over-emphasized given the state of the nation upon your return and arduous task ahead.
Your Excellency, we find it pertinent to call on you to urgently take steps to make some changes in the Federal Cabinet to reinvigorate the processes of governance on one handand delivery of service to the people on the other. Glaringly, after about two and a half years since the inauguration of this government, certain patterns have unfolded that has exposed mediocrity and incompetence within the ranks of the cabinet members with regard to their performances in lines of the duties assigned to them. This is reality is necessarily telling on the general performance of the government itself wholesomely.
Mr. President, in making our call for these expedient changes in the cabinet, we equally want to crave your indulgence to make our recommendations in terms of clearly nonperforming or ineffective Ministers. We recall that at the end of your first year in office, you sought for the opinion of the public on whether there was the need to make some changes in the cabinet which demonstrated your openness to accommodate views and make good use of them.
Predicated on the foregoing, our organization, CACOL is therefore recommending as follows:
1.The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing: The Ministry superintended over by Mr. Raji Fashola, (SAN), have over the past years made more noise than any practical achievement on the ground to justify the funds that has been ploughed into the three sectors under it. All the actions and policies of the Ministry have compounded the sufferings of Nigerians in multi-folds; from lack of power supply to the illogical hike in electricity tariffs, from continually decaying infrastructure to death traps as roads with a Housing sector that is ‘non-existent’ or in absolute comatose. The Minister is constantly at loggerheads with institutions, contractors and even the citizenry he is supposed to serve. The Minister keeps standing logic on its heads by asking the already impoverished Nigerians to bear the brunt of his failure by asking them to pay for services not rendered even up to the effrontery of hiking the tariff of electricity against a background of a country in perpetual darkness. He made history by achieving the lowest, ZERO, mega watts for more than 18 hours in history of power generation in Nigeria last year; with nothing to offer than damage, we call on Mr. President to ask him to honourably resign or he should be sacked!
2.We recommend the immediate replacement of Mr. Malami Abubakar as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of this country to save this government and the country from further embarrassment and criticisms within the comity of nations. The mantra of this government and one of the campaign cardinal points of its party is ‘fight against corruption’. For any government to succeed in its policies, programmes and agenda, the commitment, professionalism, soundness and integrity of the Chief Law Officer of that government must be impeccable and consistent. We are afraid, based on recent happenings, the current Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has fallen short of these critical requirements and incapable of delivering any fundamental departure from the corruption ridden past of governance in the country. We noted the AGF’s unnecessary interventions particularly in cases high profile publicly exposed persons and the needless ‘rivalry’ with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, an agency under his Ministry and which ordinarily reports to him officially. The Attorney-General was publicly accused of meeting, negotiating, agreeing terms and collecting N50 billion on behalf of the government without recourse to both the regulatory agency and supervisory ministry last year. Local and international criticisms greeted the unprofessional conduct of the Minister and secrecy associated with his negotiation with MTN. These reasons, amongst others necessitate our call for the removal of the AGF and Minister of Justice.
3.The Minister in charge of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has been everything but impressive and constantly appears to be confused on policies and in-depth economic management. The economic terrain under her watch is riddled by contradictions, policy somersaults and uncertainties. It is our conviction that it is the concerted efforts of the Central Bank and other MDAs trying to diversify, particularly the Agriculture Ministry and with the increase in the price of oil that helped pulled Nigeria out of recession recently and not via the acumen of the Finance Minister. We recommended that she should be replaced with better competence and prowess.
4.The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources under the superintending Minister of State, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has no concrete achievement to showcase 2 years after the inauguration of this government. All the lofty promises of performance including making the refineries functional within 6 months and building of new ones given by the Minister at the assumption of duty has fallen flat on their faces, just as Nigeria sadly still import refined petroleum products. At this rate, this situation will persist till this tenure lapses, which will be totally unfortunate and unacceptable, thus it is time to replace the Minister for someone with greater acumen, necessary will and skills.
5.Quintessentially, we call on you, Your Excellency to relieve yourself of the position of the Minister of Petroleum Resources immediately. This is allow you to concentrate fully on the wholesome administration of the government which clearly can only be done conscientiously by your esteemed self and against the background of a National Assembly that apparently lacks diligence in its oversight functions preferring the mundane for the significant, it becomes expedient. We urge that you concentrate your energy on supervisory roles over all Ministries and the Presidential leadership of the country while a substantive Minister is appointed for the Petroleum Resources Ministry.
Your Excellency, as a matter of fact we recommend changes in almost all other Ministries; they are either prostrate or in comatose, some are even approaching non-existence in status. Nigerians can hardly tell what the Ministries of Education, Health, Aviation, Commerce and Industry, Solid Minerals Development etc. are doing in these very challenging times for the country. They all appear to have gone to slumber following the lack of clue on what to do.
Finally, Mr. President, we call on your good office to look into the activities of the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA with a view to making changes in the current leadership as they have continually failed in preventing incessant flooding across the country that has accounted for some many losses of life and properties. The NIWA is responsible for surveying, removing, and receiving derelicts, wrecks and other obstructions from in land waterways across the country by the Act that created it; why should be experiencing floods at the same locations repeatedly over the years if the Authority had been up and doing in terms of its duties? The leadership has definitely failed in designing anticipatory and preventive plans which would have forestalled avoidable disasters.
Once again, we say welcome back, Your Excellency; we wish you more energy, courage and strength.
Long Live, Nigeria!
Yours in service to humanity,
Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL appreciates and applauds the coming-out of economic recession recently achieved by Nigeria describing as an important achievement that must be built on for the overall development of the country.
The Federal Government had through the National Bureau of Statistics officially announced to the public in August, 2016 that the country was recession; a situation accompanied with high cost of living for Nigerians, majority of whom were already pauperized.
The Executive Chairman, CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran in welcoming the country’s new status of being ‘out of recession’, said “it is heartwarming that Nigeria is finally out of an economic recession that is arguably the worst that has ever hit the country, without any bit of doubt, the economy has made the conditions of living hard for majority of the citizens inadvertently.”
“The government must ensure that the gains of this achievement immediately begin to impact on lives of ordinary citizens in terms of giving succor for the pains they have had to bear all the while when the country was in recession. This is the only way it can be meaningful and impactful on the masses beyond statistics, figures, percentages, data and so on.”
A country’s economy enters into recession sequel to suffering contraction for two consecutive quarters. The NBS announced that in the second quarter of 2017, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew by 0.55% (year-on-year) in real terms, indicating the emergence of the economy from recession after five consecutive quarters of contraction since Q1 2016.
However, Adeniran averred that the Nigeria must ensure that the economy does not slide back into recession. “We know that it is fundamentally the rise in the international prizes of oil that has largely helped the country out which makes the economy to remain in a precarious situation based on the mono-economic practice of the past and present governments.”
“The only way we can keep recession at bay is to concretely and consciously diversify the economy beyond the ‘the scratch-on-the-surface’ approach we have been and still witnessing. Even though the government talks diversification, it certainly appears unserious about it wholesomely.”
“How we do diversify massively into agriculture, solid minerals, Mines and Steel Development etc with the huge infrastructural deficits bedeviling the system? None of these sectors can flourish to level of moving the country away from oil-driven economy without good roads, constant electricity, railways, silos, storage facilities, water etc. This is the enabling environment that government must create across board (rural and urban) in the country to make a success of diversification.”
“The government must halt its false pretenses at diversifying the economy and get real if it truly intends to match words with actions; funds must be ploughed into infrastructural development which will ultimately galvanize a very vibrant economy standing on multiple legs.” Mr. Adeniran concluded
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has backed Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, Chairman Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC’s criticism of the National Assembly, NASS.
The revered Prof. was reported have said “From the information I have gathered, a Nigerian Senator earns about N29 million a month and over N3 billion a year. Basic salary N2,484,245.50; hardship allowance, 1,242, 122.70; constituency allowance N4, 968, 509.00; furniture allowance N7, 452, 736.50; newspaper allowance N1, 242, 122.70.
In addition, Sagay reportedly said “Wardrobe allowance N621,061.37; recess allowance N248, 424.55; accommodation 4,968,509.00; utilities N828,081.83; domestic staff N1,863,184.12; entertainment N828,081.83; personal assistant N621,061.37; vehicle maintenance allowance N1,863,184.12; leave allowance N248,424.55; severance gratuity N7, 425,736.50; and motor vehicle allowance N9, 936,982.00.”
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, in reacting to Sagay ‘exposure’, said “Between the present NASS and Prof., we will choose the latter in terms of the zeal and dedication to the cause of ridding our society of corruption. We know that the PACAC Chairman’s integrity is a million miles ahead when compared that of present NASS.”
The Senate in responding Sagay has requested President Muhammadu Buhari to call the PACAC boss to order accusing him of spreading falsehood and making hate speeches against the federal legislature. They alleged that Sagay was fond of using every opportunity he had to make public speeches to disparage the National Assembly by using “uncouth and unprintable words” to describe the legislators and the institution they represent. The lawmakers described him as a man who cannot stand for councillorship election and win. They also challenged him to state what his contributions are in the election of President Muhammadu Buhari and what new ideas he has contributed to making the fight against corruption more effective since his appointment.
Adeniran reacting to the lawmakers response to Sagay said “It is extremely ridiculous to hear the balderdash the lawmakers are trying use to divert attention for fundamental issues raised by the Professor. They have for long shrouded their remunerations in deep secrecy in spite of Nigerians demanding to know. Even reliance on the Freedom of Information Act will not make them bulge.”
“If truly they are women and men of honour, the logical response from the Senate should have been the task to ‘disprove’ the figures put forward the Sagay. We had said before that the present NASS is apparently the most inept in the history of Nigeria with considerable number of members having corruption cases.”
“We know it is because of the vibrant role Sagay is playing as the head PACAC that always make the NASS shiver any time he sneezes.” He concluded
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately take decisive steps to resolve the apparent rifts between the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, EFCC on one hand and the one between Inspector General of Police, IGP and Senator Misau on the other.
“The media is awash with the banters, accusations and counter-accusations that are being exchanged in the ‘rifts’ and this definitely calls for Presidential intervention which will encompass thorough investigations, transparency, compliance with rule of law and of course discretion. As a matter of fact, it is long overdue.” The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran said when putting forward the position of the Centre on the AGF/MAGU and IGP/Senator Isah Misau ‘rifts’.
“The ‘feud’ between the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu must immediately be waded into and with absolute circumspection by the President, he is their employer; the buck stops on his desk and the issues at stake are of National and public interests.”
“We state unequivocally, that a divided approach in the battle against corruption, especially, spells only doom for the process like we are already witnessing with ejection of Nigeria from the Egmont group, a body which the country needs for international cooperation in the war against graft. Whatever obstacle/s that has led to the ejection of the country must be identified, interrogated and excised by the Federal government.”
“The required approach must prioritize the essence of institutions above personalities; it must look thoroughly into the validity of the accusations and counter-accusations and where unethical and unlawful activity is established, necessary punitive must be applied. There is no place for ‘hiding behind a finger’ if any reasonable and amicable resolution is to be achieved.”
“Beyond the present manifestations, inter-agencies rivalries have always encumbered government performance at many levels must be confronted. This is the imperative of circumspection in whatever approaches the government is adopting beyond the present AGF and EFCC boss example. Yet, it is these unnecessary rivalries that must be eliminated before they germinate to more embarrassing picturesque.”
“The ‘rift’ between the Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District in the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, Isah Misau, and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris calls for immediate intervention too. The Senator alleged that Idris collected about N120bn annually as payment for special security services rendered by the police to corporate organisations and very important personalities.”
“The IGP also accused Misau of being a deserter who was out on some mission. The allegations are serious and deserve to be treated in the same manner with the AGF/MAGU feud. The veracity or otherwise of the accusations and counter-accusations must be established such that anyone found culpable is made to face the wrath of law.” Adeniran concluded