Savouring the riverine communities of Nigeria is alluring. The environment of these riverine communities is a combination of nature and beauty. You want to relax, you are invited over to Bayelsa State, Rivers State, Abia State, Imo State, etc.
October 17, 2017
ON THE GRAND CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS BY SENATOR HAMMAN ISA MISAU AGAINST THE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, IBRAHIM IDRIS AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION MR. MIKE OKIRO:
A JOINT CIVIL SOCIETY RESPONSE TO THE LINGERING ACCUSATIONS AND COUNTER ACCUSATIONS BETWEEN SENATOR MISAU AND THE IGP AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S POSTURE
We, the undersigned representatives of key civil society organisations spread across Nigeria, have watched with serious concern, the failure of the Federal Government to address the serious allegations of grand corruption made by Senator Hamman Isa Misau, representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District against the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission Mr. Mike Okiro, respectively.
In the past three months, through interviews in the media and on the floor of the Senate, Senator Misau has consistently accused the IGP of grand corruption, abuse of office and predatory sexual misconduct against serving female officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). He has also accused the Chairman of the Police Service Commission of complicity in the corruption and irregularities surrounding police promotion. Additionally, Senator Misau has accused both the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC of deviating from the guidelines for police promotion, discarding the requirements of merit and equity in favour of nepotism, favouritism and bribery.
In response, the IGP claims that Senator Misau, a former Police Officer, deserted from the NPF and forged documents related to his disengagement from the Force. The PSC in September confirmed that the Senator’s retirement letter was regular. The Senate has, nevertheless, established ad-hoc committees to investigate Senator Misau’s allegations and the counter-allegations from the NPF.
The Senate’s prompt response in setting up the ad hoc committees is welcome. We hope that the investigation will be prompt, impartial and exhaustive, and that the outcome will be made public.
Unlike the Senate, however, the Presidency has remained silent in the face of these grievous and lingering corruption allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC. Under the Constitution, the Police Act and the PSC Act, the President has primary supervisory responsibility over the IGP and the PSC. The police is the primary law enforcement agency in Nigeria. Fighting corruption is President Buhari’s signature commitment. Therefore, when allegations of crime and flagrant breach of the law are brought against the IGP, we expect the President to treat them seriously. Rather, his silence in this case has been deafening.
Senator Misau’s allegation reinforce similar allegation contained in earlier petitions to the President against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC by notable civil society organisations, including NOPRIN, Access to Justice, and CSNAC. None of these petitions were acknowledged. Curiously, as soon as the Senate set up the ad hoc committee into the allegations against the IGP, the executive responded by filing criminal charges against the Senator ‘for making injurious statements against the IGP Ibrahim Idris’.
The failure of the President to address these allegations is damaging to morale and discipline in the NPF and makes his anti-corruption agenda questionable. Police officers themselves have been grumbling and expressing their grievances through petitions over what they describe as irregularities and favouritism in police promotion which have seen many of them stagnate on the same rank for as long as ten and more years while their mates and even juniors are promoted, sometimes two or three times over them. It also has grave implications for public safety and security as disgruntled police officers are predisposed to taking out their frustrations on fellow citizens becoming predators rather than protectors and undermining national security.
We call on President Buhari to live up to his constitutional responsibilities and demonstrate commitment to genuinely fight corruption in the country by supporting efforts to get to the roots of the grave allegations against the IGP and the Chairman of the PSC and to ensure that they are appropriately sanctioned in accordance with the law if they are found culpable.
Okechukwu Nwanguma, NOPRIN Foundation
Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Spaces for Change
Abdul Mahmud Esq., President, Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL)
Z. N. Senbanjo Esq., Executive Director, Confluence of Rights
Uche Wisdom Durueke, President, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO)
Eze Onyekpere, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ)
Dr. Chima Amadi, The Centre for Transparency Advocacy
Olanrewaju Suraju, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
David O Anyaele, Executive Director, Center for Citizens With Disability (CCD)
Justus Ijeomah, International Human Rights and Equity Defence Foundation (I-REF)
Inibehe Effiong, Member, Steering Committee, Movement Against Corruption (MAC)
Walter Duru Ph. D, Executive Director, Media Initiative Against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIVOC)
Mimidoo Achakpa, Executive Director, Right to Education Project
Sam Akpologun Esq., Legal Practitioner, Human Rights Activist
Reverend David Ugolor, The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ)
Esther Proactive Gender Initiatives
Debo Adeniran, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL)
Justin Ijeoma, Executive Director, Human Rights Social Development and Environmenta l Foundation (HURSDEF)
Nma Odi, Alliance for Credible Elections
UNITED LABOUR CONGRESS OF NIGERIA (ULC)
15TH OF OCTOBER, 2017
ROCHAS AND ZUMA’S STATUE: AN INSENSITIVE ABERRATION
We observed with consternation and disgust the shameful event that was the erection of the statue in Owerri honouring Jacob Zuma the president of South Africa by the Governor of Imo state including naming a street in the state capital after the President. This is highly insensitive and contemptuous of not only the people of Imo state but also possess the danger of spreading its evil bile throughout Nigeria if not roundly condemned and excoriated by well-meaning Nigerians.
We are not against honouring great men and women who have contributed positively to the development of the state to encourage them to do more but we know that whatever must have informed the choice of Jacob Zuma at this time must be everything but altruistic and patriotism. How he became a Nigerian or Imo state champion cannot be explained and beats our imagination.
Zuma is neither a Nigerian patriot nor has he contributed anything to the Nigerian project nor the Imo state effort at development. He is not Shehu Shagari nor, Sam Mbakwe, Awolowo or Zik of Africa neither is he any of those patriots from Imo state or other parts of Nigeria who are well-deserving of such honour and who has not been honoured. He is definitely not deserving a statue in Imo state talk less of naming a street after him.
ULC believes that it is highly insensitive for Okorocha to have chosen at this time to give such honour to a man under whose watch Nigerians have been murdered both by state agencies and the masses his leadership aroused by negative propaganda against Nigerians. What this means is that Rochas has endorsed the killings of Nigerians in South Africa under this man’s watch and is celebrating it here in Nigeria for all of us to see so that those who lost their loved ones in those unfortunate xenophobic attacks in South Africa will continue living in mourning as they wake up daily to behold the face of Zuma’s statue. Rochas is rubbing our faces in the mess!
We also wonder why Okorocha thinks that a man who has almost ruined the Economy of his nation and whose corrupt and itchy fingers have become documented to the extent that the South African Judiciary has decided a few days ago to resurrect the Hundreds of cases against him in the country. What will Nigerians and especially the people of Imo state learn from such a man? Perhaps Okorocha endorses and celebrates corruption which may be a sign of the way he has also governed the people of his state. This is truly unfortunate.
For a state Governor who is in the habit of owing workers’ salaries and worst still owing pensioners months in arrears including as alleged by some of issuing dud cheques to some of them, we wonder where he got the millions with which he embarked on this white elephant project thus path to infamy.
Giving Zuma a traditional title in Nigeria especially in Imo state is truly a celebration of mediocrity and xenophobia and should not have been allowed by a Government that has the interest of the people at heart. We ask; what is the benefit of this for the people of Imo state and Nigeria in general? What is in this for our democracy? What is in this for the war against corruption? What is in this for the promised change which was the mantra upon which the Government of Okorocha came to power? Has Okorocha put his personal ambitions and pursuits ahead of the interests of the people of the state or has he allowed his basal inclinations to overshadow the development of Imo state? We are indeed living in worrying times!
ULC urges the people of Imo state and indeed join other patriotic Nigerians who feel outraged over this very unpatriotic and treacherous act to immediately demand that Okorocha pulls down the infamous statue. As long as that statue stands, it remains a standing disgrace and shame to the perfidy which Rochas’ government has become to Imo state and indeed the whole of Nigeria. It becomes a living testimony to the apparent thoughtlessness of not only Rochas but most members of the nation’s ruling elite.
People of Imo should demand a return of the money used in this ignoble project and March to the Legislature to demand that Okorocha apologises to the citizens of the state for bringing this national shame and disgrace to them. We must not allow this mockery of our national values as typified by the action of the Governor to spread to other parts of the nation and that is our fear as a labour centre. Evil has a way of spreading fast and it is our duty to contain it before it does.
Once again the ULC demands that Okorocha removes the ignominious name of Zuma from the streets of Owerri and the ignoble statue dismantled immediately to avoid our mobilising against it and pulling it down ourselves. We cannot allow a reminder of corruption and governance ineptitude to continue staring us on the face daily. In trying to honour Zuma, Okorocha has brought dishonour to his father’s land!Nigerians cannot allow this insult to stand! That Zuma statue insults our collective sensibilities as a nation and diminishes our national pride and must be pulled down now!
Comrade Joe Ajaero
Corruption has been variously defined. I think that corruption is about abuse of office for any selfish or parochial or primordial interest and/ or purpose that disregards public policy and/or provisions of the law.
In Nigeria, the hyped fight against corruption is fight against financial corruption. Financial corruption is simply fiscal abuse and/or irresponsibility in public revenue or finance management. The situation presently is such that cases of abuse and irresponsible handling of public finance issues are treated selectively. One of the uninspiring ways of handling such cases is the government keeping silence. The fight is now seen as opposition targeted. This is making a huge mockery of the fight against corruption and diminished the fight.
The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) hereby condemn the invasion and demolition of Ekeukwu Owerre Market by the Imo State Government, despite a subsisting order of court restraining the Governor and his agents from demolishing the said market. This act of executive lawlessness should out rightly be condemned by all who believe in democracy and rule of law. It is disheartening to note that the Imo State Government is now reputed as having no respect for orders of court.
The CLO condemn the use of soldiers by the Imo State Government in effecting the demolition exercise. This is unwarranted and illegal. There is no basis for the use of soldiers. By the constitution, our soldiers are meant to protect the country from external aggression. They are not for internal security duties except in clear and special circumstances. The demolition of Ekeukwu Owerre does not require the presence of soldiers. There is no gainsaying that the Police Force and the Civil Defence Corp are both well equipped to provide security during the demolition exercise. It is therefore necessary that the use of soldiers in the demolition exercise be investigated by the military authority.
The demolition of Ekeukwu market is a brazen act of impunity by the Imo State Government and a clear showcase of utter disdain to the wishes of the people who rejected the planned demolition and had called for restraint on the part of the Government. The Ekeukwu Owerre market is not just a thriving economic centre but also part of the remaining cultural heritage of the Owerri people. So, the issue touches on the cultural right of the Owerri people.
It is obvious that the destruction of the market will badly affect the economy of Imo State. It will increase the population of the unemployed in the State which will impact on the poverty situation in the State. More families will start missing food on their tables. The obvious consequences of the demolition include likely increase in socio-economic crimes in the city and its environ as many people who, daily, depended on the market for their livelihoods have now been displaced without any functional or visible alternative to move into and continue their lawful businesses.
From reports, the demolition exercise did not only witness destruction of properties worth Hundreds of Million of Naira but also loss of lives. This has led to increased insecurity in the city with its attendant militarization. It is important that those responsible for the killings of the three innocent citizens are fished out and brought to law. The families of those killed should be adequately compensated by the Imo State Government too.
In view of the large scale opposition to the destruction of the market, the CLO hereby call on the Imo State Government to halt further demolition and develop a strategy of engaging a cross strata of the stakeholders on the subject matter for healing and finding sustainable and peaceful pathway to the issue.
The CLO equally urge the public not to do anything that will escalate the situation or change the narrative.
Uche Wisdom Durueke Esq.
Strike action by workers is a potent weapon. This is historically validated. However, in Nigeria, it seems that it is not so potent in the public sector. This is because the striking unions and the Government seem to have a ‘magical’ way of coming to a truce when there is a strike . Naturally, you do not expect ‘magical action’ to last. It is just a mirage. When there is a strike, agreements are usually reached between government and the unions, but are hardly implemented by the government. One continues to wonder why striking unions call off their stiles without the Government, first, demonstrating sufficient part performance of the terms in view of the experience of the past.
The incessant strikes in the country validates the point that leaders of this country – past and present – have never had regard for faithfulness. This country makes a lot of money but our public educational and medical centres are underfunded. Even the little given to them, more than half are misappropriated and/or stolen by persons appointed by the same leaders and nothing happens. It is irritating that majority of our people are blind to these acts of evil. Some who have opposed the evil, now try hard to defend the evils because they want power. Please, read the reasons for ASUU’s imminent nation wide strike, you will find them not selfish. I am not a lecturer. One is shocked that the Government is applying ‘deaf and dumb’ strategy on the issues. This is not the way to go.
Our leaders keep on underdeveloping the country by their careless and arrogant styles of leadership. They are not engaging ASUU to forestall the strike. Watch out tomorrow, the strike will be described as politically motivated. They will start playing the sentiment card. Why won’t the Government honourably set in motion the implementation of the core terms of the agreement and/or start negotiating those aspects of it that require new inputs? The Acting President was a lecturer. Has he forgotten? Just like Jonathan. Hahahahahahaha! Naija dey make person laf well well ooooooo! Isorite!
The insecurity in the country is increasing because we have security agencies that are not contemporary in securing the country: in thinking and in acting. There is little or no creative or proactive approach to our internal security issues and challenges. They still undertake or approach internal security matters the same old ways. Corruption has, also, aided the decay and near collapse immensely. The first duty of every government under our constitution is the protection of lives and properties. So, there is an urgent wake up call, if the situation will start changing in the country.
Presently, there is high circulation or movement of light weapons in the country. You ask what is our Police, DSS and Custom Services doing to abate this deadly situation? I am not aware of any major initiative to frontally reduce the dangerous level of illicit arms in the country. As long there is dangerous level of illicit arms in the country, how can we talk of improving or fixing the situation? Fixing an internal security where bandits are so well armed like military troops? If we are serious, we should put the search light on our security agencies to know in practical and realistic terms why they are not optimally performing.
The country needs preventive policing to improve our mutual security and not the present reactive policing. Proactive policing will be difficult, if our Police is not restructured and our policing strategy overhauled. I am still reflecting at the Preliminary Investigation Report of the Police as to the cause of the massacre. The puzzles to me are: Did the Police know? They might not. However, one thing is sure, they knew that there was a violent conflict brewing in the area between the parties they are pointing to. So, what did the Police do because a serious crime was involved?
The incident ugly should not be politicised or skewed for any parochial or primordial goal or reason . The security agencies should be top of their job. We need thorough and nationalistic zeal in them trying to unravel what actually happened and the perpetrators as several theses and stories already in the public domain. We need peace and security in the country. Insecurity has no ethnicity or gender.