Connect with us


Atiku, Obi vs Tinubu: I don’t trust S’Court – Agbakoba *Too many ‘silly’ judgements



Olisa Agbakoba, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), is completely peeved with the quality of judgements coming out of the judiciary in recent times especially the Supreme Court, saying their supine and questionable decisions had dealt a heavy blow on their integrity and effectiveness as the last authority in matters of disputes.

Agbakoba, a renowned human rights activist and for President of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), who spoke on Sunday, as a guest of Law Weekly, a programme on Channels Television, told his host that nobody would have thought decades ago that the apex court would degenerate so low as to issue the type of pronouncements coming out of that level of judicial officers today.

He cited the recent decision of the apex court, regarding Ahmad Lawan, Senate President, who returned to claim a ticket for the Senate in Yobe State, after a failed bid at the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in clear violation of the Electoral Act, 2022, which made it clear that nobody could aspire to two positions within an election circle.

Apart from the case, which had raised a lot of dust in legal and public circles, the erudite lawyer and activist, also revisited the case of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, who was handed down his office in 2019, even after coming a distant fourth position in the election of that year, through the controversial decision of the Supreme Court.

Though he said the answered were clearly laid out and the issues very clear for judges that would wish to do justice, Agbakoba, who spoke on the issue of the current legal challenge being posed to the outcome of the recent presidential election by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi, against the victory of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the February 25 presidential election, said he had no confidence that the right decision would be taken to do justice to the matter, given the character of the current Supreme Court.

His words: “I’ve lost a bit of confidence in what the courts have been doing lately. There was a time you could say on the facts and the law, this is the likely outcome. Today you cannot because of all kinds of silly decisions. The most silly was that concerning the President of the Senate, who in order to become Nigeria’s President, rushed off to buy a ticket to be a presidential candidate of the APC and that means he did not take part in the senatorial elections.

“Lo and behold, he lost. He now ran back after the horse had bolted. Clearly to anybody who had any brain, including the justices of the Supreme Court might have had, and they said no, the man should be the senatorial candidate. That is the most ridiculous decision I’ve ever heard that the Supreme Court has delivered. So, that is why, of course I don’t want to talk about Imo State where everything was turned upside down. So, I don’t have the sort of confidence that I used to have in the judiciary and I’ll not be surprised if this thing goes one way or the other.

“I have the legal tools and the factual issues, so if If I put it into my computer, I know the answer it will give me. But I’m not a member of the panel. So, I don’t know if the justices will see it the way I’m seeing it. But I can tell you that from my own perspective as a lawyer of 45 years at the bar that the answers are glaringly obvious.

“But as Oliver Wendell Holmes said in the realist school of jurisprudence that it is the prophesy of what the court does in fact and nothing more pretentious that is the law. So, if you ask me, what will be the outcome of the petition, first of all, I cannot say, because it’s sub-judice, but second of all I cannot even say, because the Supreme Court is unpredictable.

“They ought to be predictable, which is now why people are now beginning to question – there’s a new school of thinking, which is saying, should the Supreme Court really be final? See what they’re causing now? Should they be final or should their decisions be subject to judicial review? It’s an argument that is now growing in judicial circles. The confidence that is eroding for people to begin to think, what’s the hell, can’t we do something to these people?

“That’s what is happening. Seven men just come out, sit down on a chair and read something and we say okay, that governor is sacked. Who are these people? It should be taken seriously. That wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago. When these people come out, you fear them when you see them come out. And when they speak, they speak without fear or favour. Is it the same thing now? I don’t know!”


Speak now! Catholic priests want Kaduna gov’s reaction to El-Rufai’s Islamisation comments



Uba Sani, must either officially distance himself or affirm the declaration of his predecessor Nasir El-Rufai that Muslim-Muslim executive branch leadership, have come to stay or stand up to denounce it immediately.

These were the demands from Catholic priests in parts of the North, who as they expressed disgust at the statement, which showed the former governor captured in a video, which went viral last week, practically celebrating the continuation of an arrangement, which he first introduced in 2019, and which has now been sustained with the new governor having a Muslim deputy.

Clerics from Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria chapters of the Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association (NCDPA), in a public letter to Sani, urged him to declare his position on what they described as political supremacism in Kaduna state and Nigeria, as part of their reactions to the video, which has raised a lot of dust.

El-Rufai, who in his speech to Muslim clerics in the state, had recounted how after instituting an all-Muslim executive in the state himself and made it permanent in the state, the arrangement was pushed through at the national level with the election of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, as President and Vice President, respectively on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Informing that while Nigerians were actually believed that religion was not the issue in pushing through with the ticket, when it was in fact the case, the former Governor, who spoke in Hausa, declared that the arrangement had come to stay and would last for the next 20 years at the initial stage after Tinubu, adding that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), had been defeated by the outcome.

But an apparently thoroughly upset Catholic priests, in an open letter on Thursday, said: “Having soberly considered the contents and implications of such communication by a former state governor who is known to be your close ally, we feel compelled to write you, to know where you stand with regard to the commotions Mallam El-Rufai intends to propagate and perpetuate in our state,” the letter reads.

“We write you today because we are responsible stakeholders in the affairs of our beloved state with our own congregations and followers. Mr governor, we do not intend to conclude that you are in agreement with all the content of the former governor’s utterances, as you have given no explicit reason to suggest so (yet), even though you were present at the occasion! We therefore earnestly expect your direct official reaction to the utterances of your predecessor in office.”

Continue Reading


Buhari spent more than $19billion on revamping four refineries without result – Nasarawa gov



Barely two weeks after his exit, the records of former President Muhammadu Buhari, have come to to the fore with one of them indicating a damning verdict, as he was said to have sunk a whopping $19billion in trying to rehabilitate the nation’s four refineries, without anything to show for it.

Abdullahi Sule, Governor of Nassarawa State, who used the former President abysmal failure to make a case for supporting the removal on petroleum products, compared the huge wastage to the amount Dangote refinery, cost to give Nigeria a facility with the single chain production in the world.

None of Nigeria’s four refineries, located in Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Warri is currently operational despite the huge amount sunk to resuscitate them, most of the funds borrowed from foreign lending agencies, the latest being the securing of $1.5million loan for that of Port Harcourt.

Bemoaning the situation, the governor, said: “Look at how much the President Buhari administration spent on fixing the refineries. In the eight years, he spent more money than the $19 billion that Dangote spent in building a refinery. That is one and a half times the size of our three refineries combined.”

A guest on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programm of Channels Television on Thursday, Sule, pinned the payments of subsidy on Nigeria’s non-functional refineries, adding: “From the government side, I think we didn’t do a good job. When the (former) President (Buhari) came in in 2015, prices of crude oil dropped by less than 30 dollars. At that time, there was zero subsidy.

“Our three refineries in Nigeria today have a total of 450,000 barrels per day, Dangote is 650,000. He spent $19 billion on building it. We spent, not building a new one, but in maintaining these refineries; more than $19 billion in eight years, yet they have not been maintained.”

The Dangote Refinery, Africa’s biggest oil refinery, which took off in 2017, drew Nigerians and global personalities in different fields of life, including four African Presidents at its commissioning on May 22, 2023 by Buhari.

Sule, who also lamented the complexity of maintaining the refineries due to their diverse components, added: “The refinery is actually a component for water, crude, and diesel, about five or six different components that constitute a refinery. The moment the government says we are going to spend $2 billion this year on the refinery. The $2 billion is spent and as far as the President is concerned, they have given $2 billion.

“Now when it goes to the three refineries that we have in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna. Then they say, you now take $700 million, you now take $800 million – by the time they take that, it goes to fix maybe only one component out of the four components that are all bad. The ideal resolve would have been to allocate the major funds to one of the refining states to fix it totally before allocating the remainder to the other states.

“So, zero work is done. These are the true realities of what is happening, and that is why none of the refineries is working. These are truly the problem, we have not really managed this thing well.”

Continue Reading


Japan goes tough on asylum seekers, enacts new law to check abuse



Despite desperate attempts to block it, including a ruckus, which broke out in parliament Japan went ahead on Friday to enact an immigration law that would see the government deporting failed asylum seekers, even with members of civil society, joining in the pushback.

The law gives refugees only three chances to try after which they would face deportation, unlike before when applicants could stay in Japan during the decision process, regardless of the number of attempts they made to secure refugee status, reports, say.

The revised law will “protect those who must be protected while strictly dealing with people who have violated rules. There are many people who misuse the application system to avoid deportation,” Justice Minister Ken Saito, was quoted as saying, adding that this had persisted even when such people were not fleeing danger or persecution.

Last year, Japan accepted just 202 refugees out of some 12,500 applicants, and separately allowed 1,760 people to remain in the country due to “humanitarian considerations,” including more than 2,400 evacuees from Ukraine under a different framework.

Activists staged rallies against the revised law, but a protest from the opposition bloc in parliament was voted down by the ruling coalition, which holds a commanding majority.

“It is intolerable to deport people, even if they have criminal records, to countries that may violate their human rights” and where “their life and freedom would be in danger”, the Tokyo Bar Association said this week.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party says the revisions will bring better access to medical care and accommodation options for people whose asylum applications are pending.

Japan’s immigration detention conditions have been under scrutiny since the 2021 death of Wishma Sandamali, a 33-year-old Sri Lankan woman.

Sandamali was not an asylum seeker but had been held for overstaying her visa after seeking police protection, reportedly to escape an abusive relationship.

Her family are seeking compensation of more than $1 million from the government over her death.

Sandamali reportedly complained repeatedly of stomach pain and other symptoms, and campaigners allege she received inadequate medical care.

Controversy and political pressure over the incident led ruling lawmakers to drop a push to enact similar legal changes to immigration rules two years ago.

Shoichi Ibusuki, a lawyer for Sandamali’s family, told AFP on Thursday that the revised bill was “equivalent to having a button to execute those who seek refuge by deporting them”.

“Japan’s refugee recognition system is not working,” he said, with officials turning down applications quickly, sometimes without face-to-face interviews.

Amnesty International also said in March that Japan should scrap the proposed revision to immigration laws, calling the country’s detention policies “harsh” and “repressive.”

Continue Reading