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Dapchi 110: The Tragedy of a Nation TUESDAY WITH REUBEN ABATI — March 1, 2018

Dapchi 110: The Tragedy of a Nation TUESDAY WITH REUBEN ABATI

Karma is a bitch. Poetic justice is a bastard. Both have combined to wrong-foot the incumbent Buhari administration to make it look like a big mistake and an act of misjudgment by the Nigerian electorate. If Buhari had been disallowed from taking power in 2015, and those who advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to give a damn had their way, and Jonathan had remained in power and all the current problems had surfaced, it would have been said by Nigerians that Goodluck Jonathan truncated Nigeria’s destiny.

In 2015, the refrain, which was reaffirmed recently by those who authored it, was that Nigeria could only move forward with anybody but Jonathan. If Buhari was prevented from taking over power, Nigerians would have been very aggressive towards the Jonathan administration. It would have been said that the messiah was robbed of victory. It would have been argued that the man who would have saved Nigeria was prevented from doing so. It might have even been argued that under General Buhari, Nigeria could have become the greatest country on the surface of the earth.

Such was the impact of the propaganda. Such was the nature of the politics of the time. The Buharideens would never have allowed a post-2015 Jonathan government to work. Even if it did, the opposition would have imagined a greater possibility. But here we are, three years down the line: the messianic propaganda has failed. Their Saviour is not the Jesus Christ they imagined him to be. The country remains unsaved. Their promise of change has been no more than scaremongering. When the question is asked: are you better today than you were three years ago?, no ordinary Nigerian can answer that question positively: change has brought him or her nothing but agony and anguish.

Should they offer an answer, it would be a response marked by regret. The biggest tragedy that has occurred therefore is the demystification, the unmasking, the unveiling of a man who was thought to be a god but who has since danced naked and is dancing naked in the market-place. Strikingly, the Emperor is without clothes. Some of the most vociferous critics of old have also been exposed. Nasir el-Rufai deployed all the heights of his intelligence to demonise the Jonathan government on social media. No one else has been able to match the quality of his vitriol. Today, the same Nasir is busy demolishing the houses of anyone who dares to make a negative comment about him, or he takes them to court and threatens them with Armageddon. The same rights that he demanded for the Nigerian people, he now tramples upon.

There was also our beloved kinsman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He was the scourge of the Jonathan administration. He could issue five anti-establishment press statements in a day. There has been no one like him in Nigerian history doing the job of opposition spokesman. He was ruthlessly efficient. Nobody in the current opposition parties has demonstrated his capacity as an opposition figure, in part because all the opposition spokesmen have been harassed, blackmailed, dehumanized, and intimidated, but called to do the job, on the other side of the fence as Minister of Information, Alhaji Mohammed remains a study in self-contradiction. His five minutes of fame in the Nigerian political sphere has since ended.

He used to be creative and dynamic, but now faced with the challenges of the real thing, the only thing that comes out of his mouth is the dumb argument that Goodluck Jonathan is the source of all the problems of Nigeria or similar inanities. When the matter is not so phrased, we are told that the Jonathan administration stole the country blind. And yet whereas the government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) borrowed the sum of N6 trillion over a period of 16 years, the APC government has borrowed more than N11 trillion in 3 years! Is it possible all the oil wells have dried up and Nigeria no longer makes money? What has happened to the country’s revenue stream? The absurdity of the situation is further explained by the fact that when a gas cylinder malfunctions in the house of an APC member or there is a crisis in their other room, the man that is blamed is Goodluck Jonathan or the previous administration. They defend the impossible and the unintelligible. But that trick is no longer working. The other tragedy of the Buhari administration is how it has allowed itself to get involved in a Nigerian version of the popular “one-corner-dance”, a downward, self-denigrating choreographic exertion. The result is that right now, people have now moved from the anything but Jonathan corner to the anything but Buhari corner in Nigerian politics. Karma is a bitch. Poetic justice is a bastard.

Nothing illustrates this better than the title of this essay, the entry into which has been deliberately delayed, to prepare a setting and a mood for the crisis that Nigeria faces. One of the reasons the Nigerian electorate voted out the previous administration was because of its perceived inability to rescue the abducted Chibok girls. There was an international outcry about this. Bring Back the Chibok girls even became the most popular hashtag on international social media, and Jonathan, who had also signed the anti-same-sex bill into law became a villain in the eyes of the international community. The various interested forces, local and global joined hands together to pull down his government.

During the 2015 political campaigns, General Muhammadu Buhari was packaged as a morally upright statesman who would put an end to the impunity of the insurgents and terrorists. Jonathan was considered weak. Buhari was regarded as strong. And so on and so forth- let me just put it like that in order not to be accused of comparison given my own antecedents. But here is where the rub lies: President Buhari has failed the people in their expectations. He has frittered away their goodwill.

He promised Nigerians that Boko Haram will be defeated, and somewhere down the line, we were told the Boko Haram had in fact been “technically defeated.” The President even received a captured flag of the insurgents, together with the personal Quoran of Ibrahim Shekau, the leader of the group. Today, the Boko Haram gang continues to show that they have not been defeated. The Federal Government negotiated with these same insurgents and gave them money to secure the release of over 100 girls, some Boko Haram leaders were released, but the other Monday, Boko Haram abducted over 100 girls in Dapchi in Yobe state. This is sad and tragic. Whatever the government may have gained has been lost. The girls that have been released have been replaced. The fight against Boko Haram is back to square one.

The clay feet of those who thought they knew better than everyone else has thus been exposed. For President Buhari, this must be a personal tragedy. His strongest promoters indeed believed that under his watch, the problem of insecurity will be solved. But under him, more money has been spent on national security, with poor results, and the security situation has only worsened. The previous government had the Boko Haram to deal with, this government has its cup full: the herdsmen-farmers conflict, the low level insurgency in the Niger Delta, the crisis of self-determination in the Eastern region, the nationwide proliferation of small arms and ammunition, the notorious Boko Haram and the angst of a disappointed public. On all fronts, the government is found wanting.

Yes, it has been found wanting and in a suspicious manner too. It is in fact curious that security forces were withdrawn in volatile areas of Benue state, just a week before the criminal herdsmen struck. Who ordered that withdrawal? The Inspector-General of Police has also reportedly withdrawn the Special Forces sent to secure the same areas. The Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom is so incensed he is now saying he is willing and ready to pay the supreme sacrifice for his people. In Yobe state, soldiers were also withdrawn from high-risk areas just before the Dapchi 110 were abducted. The military has since defended itself. It has no capacity its spokesman says, to protect all schools in the Northern part of the country. And we can’t blame the military, can we? It is a sign of the calamity that the country faces that soldiers are the ones now protecting virtually every inch of the Nigerian space, internally and externally. Our soldiers are tired and overstretched, over-used and over-abused. The police are also similarly overwhelmed. It has never been this bad. Fact: the government of the day has been humbled. I once argued that Nigeria is a very difficult country to govern but when you claim to know it all, you are bound to face the contradictions. Every problem solved generates other problems.

People choose their governments and leaders because they believe they can lead and protect them. When that trust is betrayed, the legitimacy of the government is in question. In more than 20 states, salaries have not been paid for months. And it is a stupid point to say that the previous government stole all the money. How about all the money that has been earned and borrowed since then? Missing? What is responsible really for this drift, this cluelessness, this self-abuse, from a know-it-all team that took over Nigeria in 2015? My other concern is that beyond all the propaganda and the hypocrisy and blackmail, President Buhari’s team may not really love him at all; they may in fact have truly, set him up for his downfall. Buhari’s biggest stake is the legacy he leaves behind. The little I see of that legacy is not good at all. I once published a piece in which I alleged that Nigerians had hopped into a one-chance bus; I want to modify that and add that it is actually President Buhari who boarded a one-chance bus, and for that he has my heartfelt sympathy. Whatever bus brought him to power is a one-chance bus.

What has happened so far merely vindicates the Olusegun Obasanjo and Oby Ezekwesili groups. The former is asking for a Third Force, a Coalition of powers and forces. The other is wielding a Red Card. Both are united in this regard: they consider the two political parties that have ruled Nigeria since 1999, useless and ineffectual. They want a new dawn for Nigeria. They want a discontinuity of hypocrisy and opportunism. They acknowledge one significant point: that Nigeria has remained at one spot. Nothing has changed, the change agenda has failed, everything remains the same. Whether these groups are able to achieve, or motivate the real change the people desire is another matter, but the honesty with which they have reversed themselves is telling, and good for our democracy. You need not raise the point that both Obasanjo and Ezekwesili belong to the same elite that they now repudiate.

I sympathise with the parents of the Dapchi 110. It is sad that their only hope is in God, and the possibility of a miracle. Students get killed in the United States, due to gun possession issues in a psychotic society, but to send a child to school and have him or her abducted by terrorists is the grievous pain ever possible in Nigeria. What is clear is that the Nigerian leadership elite has failed the people. This is not a political party matter; it is about capacity, political will, leadership and commitment. This is probably why a body of opinion has developed to the effect that the two major political parties in the country – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have both failed the country. But can extant or any political parties, in their present shape, save Nigeria? I doubt, and that is my thoroughly non-partisan opinion.

The political party system in Nigeria has to be rebuilt, reformed and reconstructed. Beyond that, we need a new crop of leaders. The solution may not lie with Obasanjo or Ezekwesili or the Nigeria Intervention Movement but they have thrown up ideas about the national dilemma that cannot be ignored. Such ideas cannot be ignored because the biggest victims are not the ten per-centers or the men and women in high places who succeed not through talent or excellence, but mere opportunistic “faith”; the victims are young Nigerians, the same people we call the leaders of tomorrow – that tomorrow is already postponed, because that generation of the future is led by analogue leaders whose glory is trapped in the past. Nigeria needs to rescue tomorrow from the past and the present. Nigeria needs fresh energy, new ideas and a leadership revolution. Wherever they may be, may God protect the Dapchi 110, who have been failed by the Nigerian state. If Buhari rescues them, he may well succeed in rescuing his government a little from the devastating and ruthless onslaught of poetic justice.

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Digital Transformation Requires Total Organizational Commitment — February 19, 2018

Digital Transformation Requires Total Organizational Commitment

By now you’ve surely heard that moving forward, every company will be a software company, and that shift is happening now as companies large and small scramble to transform into digitally-driven organizations.

Wherever you turn, businesses are facing tremendous disruptive pressure. What’s interesting is that the theory about how firms should be dealing with this massive change is itself in flux, transforming if you will, as organizations come to grips with the idea that the most basic ways they do business are being called into question.

Just over a year ago when I researched this topic, I found that the general method for dealing with disruption was developing pockets of innovation inside a company using labs or incubators to prime the innovation pump. Today, when I explore the same issues, I’m finding that companies are taking a much more comprehensive approach that has to do with reviewing every department and business process in the organization.

The issue with the lab or incubator concept is how you move the kind of innovative thinking from that internal innovation test bed into the organization at large. The reasoning behind isolating innovation was sound enough, because those fledgling ideas would very likely be sucked up into the vacuum of existing business policies where they get lost forever in a haze of bureaucratic negativity. If you want to kill innovation, you just keep saying “no.”

The new thinking says you have to start looking at the big picture from the first day and you have to consider the impact that these changes are going to have on the entire organization. You have to figure out how to grease the skids of creativity so they don’t get slowed down by HR, legal, IT and by all the systems and departments that have been put in place to protect and limit these kinds of changes inside large organizations. Now the idea is to teach those well-meaning naysayers to get the heck out of the way and for them to also find new ways of achieving their goals and requirements as the organization marches forward into a digitally driven future.

Thinking Bigger Picture

As we’ve seen through the experience of implementing individual enterprise systems such as content management, ERP or CRM trying to get a large organization moving in the same direction across departments is a huge challenge. When you suddenly put your whole business model on notice, a pocket of innovation is just too incremental to deal with that scale of change.

Aaron Levie, CEO at Box is co-teaching a course this semester at Stanford with professor Rob Siegel called The Industrialist’s Dilemma where they explore the kinds of issues large established organizations face as they maneuver through these massive changes.

“What happens when you take a business that’s good at analog stores, and software can deliver new disruptive experiences? How do they respond? No product is more physical and analog than a retail store or car. We are seeing those [delivery models] inverted and flipped over by technology,” says Levie.

What happens when you take a business that’s good at analog stores, and software can deliver new disruptive experiences? How do they respond?

— Aaron Levie

When I spoke to Edward Hiaett, SVP of services at Pivotal and in charge of Pivotal Labs, at Web Summit in October, 2014, his company was one of those organizations working on the pockets of innovation approach, but he said his company’s thinking has evolved.

When he looks at a firm like one of his clients, Ford, he sees a company that has to completely change the way it does business. In the next decade it’s possible that many people won’t own cars in the traditional sense. In fact they might not even be driving them anymore as self-driven cars become more widespread. That means the whole firm has to start examining all of its long-established systems around how they design, deliver, market and sell automobiles.

And they need to start looking at these systems now before the delivery model changes, Hiaett says. It doesn’t mean it changes all at once, but if Ford is in the midst of pivoting from a business selling cars to one that’s in the  ‘the mobility business’, it’s clearly going to have a major impact on all of the company’s long-established business processes.

Clarity Of Vision

This means that the executive suite has to have a clear plan for the future, and a way to put the company on the road toward delivering on that vision. They can’t hide the innovation team in the basement. They need to inject innovative thinking into every process in the organization and that requires reconsidering every process, says Michael Krigsman, founder of cxotalk.com, a weekly web-based talk show on which Krigsman interviews leading tech industry executives.

“The successful executives are able to embrace change. This is a very key point and it’s really the most difficult thing about this. With the exception of startups, every company has an established business model and way they do business. Product lines, services and employees have been optimized for standard processes,” Krigsman told TechCrunch.

Executives require a particular set of skills and approaches as the organization shifts:

Digital CIO mIndset slide.

Levie says that he sees CIOs with these kinds of traits in his job as Box CEO, but he says he has seen organizations held back when there isn’t a unified front in the C suite.

“I think the majority of companies recognize how disruptive these trends are. A small percentage recognize this at the CEO level and board level. Me personally in building and selling enterprise software, we interact with a large percentage of CIOs that get it, but don’t always have the support from CEO and that makes it harder without top-down support,” Levie explained.

It’s A People Problem

As we tend to do in this business, we have been attacking this type of change by throwing different technologies at it, and while technology can certainly help, it requires a much more personal approach by management, one that takes the people who have to implement these massive changes into account.

Cartoon of board meeting with the caption: "What if, and I know this sounds kooky, we communicated with the employees."

 

Just last week Accenture released its annual 2016 Technology Vision Report and the consulting juggernaut says the success of any company going through fundamental digital transformation is understanding that it’s first and foremost a people issue.

Finding ways to help people across this digital divide and the culture shock that rapid change brings is going to be just as important as the technology we use to get there, says Marc Carrel-Billiard, global tech R&D Lead on digital transformation at Accenture.

“When we talk to clients, we usually start by talking about technology, but [typically] after 15 minutes, we shift gears. We start talking about people and the digital culture shock they are in. If [clients] want to be digital, it’s not just about technological change because it’s coming [regardless]. Companies need to think about people or it will not work at all,” he said.

How To Get There

One lesson we should have learned after all these years of trying to implement incremental change management is that it’s always been about people and managing how to deal with these changes. Today, the speed of change is coming so quickly, and the requirements are so daunting, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It requires companies to shift their mindset completely, Krigsman says.

“Companies that do this well are able to adopt a beginner’s mind set, taking an approach of looking at things from a fresh perspective,” he explained.

Companies that do this well are able to adopt a beginner’s mind set, taking an approach of looking at things from a fresh perspective

— Michael Krigsman, founder CXOTalk

This could involve, for example, having fewer impediments for customer service by implementing systems so that information flows more seamlessly from one department to another and across systems.

“What does that mean to customers and internal processes? It comes down to being willing to experiment and look at things through a new lens,” Krigsman said.

In fact, he recommends that companies partner with startups, which tend to be smaller, more nimble and creative. “The reason for that, the big challenge is how do you inject new thinking. And that’s a very hard thing to do because it comes down to several things, the ingrained behaviors of people who have been doing this job this way for a long time,” he said.

By injecting new thinking into a company, employees can start to see that there are different ways to handle those standard business practices and can begin to incorporate that type of creative thinking into their organizational philosophy.

When you consider that 88 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are now gone, it’s not hard to see that change has always been with us, but the rate of change is accelerating dramatically due in large part to the disruption brought about by digital transformation.

“The cool thing is that incumbents recognize that the same assets that can hold them back, can also be used to compete in a different guise,” Levie said. That means it’s not all gloom and doom, companies just have to start thinking much more creatively about their digital future and the effect that will have across the organization.

Buhari must Contest Second Term’ Gov Bello —

Buhari must Contest Second Term’ Gov Bello

Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yahaya Bello, insists President Muhammadu Buhari must seek re-election in 2019 as 24 governors of the All Progressives Congress governors are behind him.

Bello stated this on Saturday in the state capital Lokoja, where he was joined by the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at a rally organised to receive defectors into the party’s fold.

The governor maintained that APC remained the only viable party in Kogi State, saying  the development made members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to defect to the party, Punch writes.

“Presdent Buhari must contest second term because all the 24 APC governors are ready to support his reelection,” he said.

“All  the PDP members that mattered in the state have all decamped to the APC because they have seen the light and realised that APC hasbetter programme for the people of the state and Nigeria in general”

In his address, Odigie-Oyegun said the President had liberated the country from an impending economic doom.

“Nigeria, under President Buhari, no longer depends on oil to survive. Today, Nigeria, under Buhari, has taken the lead in the agricultural production and the nation is operating on a stable economic progression.”

Interestingly, some of the national leaders and six state governors billed to attend another APC unity rally in Minna, the Niger State capital, shunned the event, while all the state House of Assembly members walked out of the rally.

The APC has experienced internal wrangling recently, prompting President Buhari to constitute a national reconciliation committee chaired by party leader Bola Tinubu ahead of the 2019 elections

Portrayal of Nigerian Heroes in America’s News Media By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. Twitter: @farooqkperogi — November 7, 2016

Portrayal of Nigerian Heroes in America’s News Media By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. Twitter: @farooqkperogi

Many Nigerians, especially those on social media, have by now read about Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, a Nigerian doctor in America who, along with his partner surgeon Dr. Darrell Cass, caused a baby girl to be born twice. A deadly tumor was first removed from the baby’s brain when she was just 16 weeks old in her mother’s womb, then she was put back in the womb, and was delivered again after she became a full-term baby.
I examined the reporting of this medical feat in America’s mainstream media and didn’t find references to Olutoye’s Nigerian nationality. (He got his medical degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in 1988.) The reporting on Olutoye recalled an article I wrote on July 16, 2011 titled, “Nigerian-Americans in America’s News Media.” Read below excerpts from the article: Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye America’s mainline news media deploy a really curious reportorial technique to narrativize Nigerians: They amplify our national identity in negative, unflattering news stories and suppress—sometimes even outright erase—it when stories cast us in a positive light. Three events in the past few weeks instantiate this invidious reportorial temperament. First, on June 11, CNN and other American news media excitedly went to town with the story of two American “Marines [who] showed extraordinary bravery ‘when the world became fire’.” It’s about two military men who were honored with the American military’s second highest honor for their uncommon valiance while on a mission in Afghanistan. The honor, called the Navy Cross, is second in prestige only to the “Medal of Honor,” the highest U.S. military decoration awarded for bravery and valor in action. It turned out that one these two brave Americans is a man named Capt. Ademola Fabayo. Although his name is noticeably Nigerian—or at least “non-American”—CNN didn’t disclose his natal nationality until toward the end of the story. Even so, his association with Nigeria was undermined with the tidbit that he regards himself as more American than Nigerian. “Fabayo was born in Nigeria,” CNN writes, “but considers himself a New Yorker.” Would CNN have respected his preference to be considered more American than Nigerian if he were a criminal?…. It is telling that all the American news media that reported on this award mentioned the original nationality of the marines [the other one is from Mexico] only in the last paragraphs of their stories. As media scholars and practitioners know only too well, we live in an “age of skimming” where people only read the first few paragraphs of a story and then jump to the next story. This seems like petty griping until you contrast this with what happened to another Nigerian-American exactly 19 days later. On June 30, the American news media overflowed with the story of a “Nigerian man,” identified as Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, who boarded a flight from New York to Los Angeles with expired and stolen boarding passes. The first sentence in The Associated Press’ reporting on the story reads: “A Nigerian man boarded a Virgin Atlantic airplane last week with an invalid boarding pass, according to the FBI.” For those who didn’t know, The Associated Press is America’s (and the world’s) biggest news agency…. Many headlines—in online, print, and broadcast media—identified Noibi as a “Nigerian man.” However, Noibi is actually an American citizen born to parents who are originally from Nigeria. He was born in the city of Ames in Iowa, a state in Midwestern United States. That means he enjoys what is called birthright citizenship. The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution states that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”… So, Noibi, an American by birth, was identified as a Nigerian on account of the nationality of his parents, but Fabayo who was actually born and raised up in Nigeria was identified merely as a brave (immigrant) American marine. His association with Nigeria had to wait until the last paragraphs. Even then, he was described as more American than Nigerian. I find this contrast intriguing. But, most importantly, from all indications, Noibi is clearly mentally disturbed. A Nigerian blogger has chronicled Noibi’s awkward Facebook status updates and incoherent rants on YouTube. He clearly cuts the picture of a brainsick loony, but the American media haven’t even pursued this angle. The media were, instead, initially interested in linking the man’s freaky behavior with Umar Farouk AbdulMuttalab’s 2009 attempted “underwear bomb” plot. But the realization that Noibi is a self-professed Christian evangelist destroyed this potentially sensational media narrative. Finally, on July 7, another stunning story involving a Nigerian by the name of Ikenna Njoku, who was unfairly racially profiled by a bank, came to the open. Njoku was arrested,sent to jail for four days, and had his car auctioned off when he went to cash a check. Njoku, a construction worker, worked hard to buy a home. The American government has a program called first-time home-buyer rebate, which gives back a large chunk of taxes to anybody who buys a new home. Njoku qualified to receive $8,463.21 (about 1.3 million naira) and got a check worth that amount, which was issued by Chase Bank, the very bank that caused him to be arrested! When he went to cash the check, the cashier looked at his foreign-sounding name. She didn’t believe a black man with a funny name could own a home much less qualify for a home-buyer rebate worth that amount. Instead of honoring his check, the cashier called the police on him. He was arrested and jailed for days until the bank realized that he was genuine. Meanwhile, he lost his job, his car, and never received an apology from the bank. He will certainly get millions of dollars in compensatory damages from the bank, especially because the national media are sympathetic to his travails. For some reason, however, the man has never been identified, even for once, in the mainline U.S. media as a Nigerian. He is simply called “an Auburn man.” (Auburn is a city in the northwestern U.S. state of Washington). Why is he not identified as a Nigerian? Is it because he cuts the image of a hardworking, honest immigrant who is the victim of an odious racial profiling, an image that doesn’t sit well with the media stereotypes of Nigerians? Had he been found guilty of check fraud, would the headlines still have referred to him merely as an “Auburn man”? I bet he would have been called a “Nigerian man” at best and a “Nigerian scammer” at worst. And he would have been linked with 419 scams. The truth, in the final analysis, is that every media formation is guilty of cultivating a set of narratives and imageries that it then tries hard to nurture and defend at all costs. The Nigerian media has its own peculiar sets of ethical infractions. But as a Nigerian living in America, I can’t help being miffed by the hypocritical portrayal of Nigerians in the American media.

Microsoft admits to messing up the Windows Phone — November 3, 2016

Microsoft admits to messing up the Windows Phone

The time for revenge has come
Castillos de naipes y de arena
Image: Backchannel

Microsoft admits to messing up the Windows Phone. Their little adventure with Nokia turned out to be a house of cards for the company. While it’s good to recognize, it’s also important to set a new course and seek new opportunities for Apple along the way. In the past, their primary battlefield has been design tools and the brand has stayed miles ahead of the competition. But that’s about to change. During their last conference on October 26, Microsoft revealed a powerful machine, the Surface Studio, with an i7 processor and features that (they hope) would make creatives around the world take notice and abandon their Macs.

On the other hand, Apple team members aren’t rocket scientists. Apple Watch sales have fallen due to poor user reception, making it unable to gain a niche following. To add to this upset balance, the iPhone hasn’t been selling well either. It’s time to see what they’ve got hidden up their sleeves. Apple seems thinks it will recover their losses with the release of a new Macbook Pro with integrated Touch ID. Time will tell

THE WEDDING PROPOSAL THAT IS BLOWING THE INTERNET —

THE WEDDING PROPOSAL THAT IS BLOWING THE INTERNET

DEAR JULIET, I AM SORRY I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE…

Dear Juliet,

 

I have pretended for so long that I am happy with what we have, what we share. I put up beautiful pictures of you, of us, online and people shower us with praises; some want what we have but what they don’t know, what you might not know is that all these years with you, I have been unsatisfied… my heart has always yearn for more, for something bigger, for something better.

 

I have buried my head in that pretense for long, wishing that someone will hand me the happiness, the fulfilment and the “more” that I need. Somewhere in the quite crevices of my mind I have always thought I deserve this “more” but the courage and resources to reach out for it has always eluded me… until I met Jiyoung Sok on the plane on my way from Hong Kong to South Korea recently.

 

It was love at first sight. She is beautiful in a way that defies elocution. Born of an Ethiopian mother and Korean father, she has a white skin that is embellished with voracious melanin. She looks like a resurrection of Cleopatra. Our eyes locked. I was petrified. She waved me a smile and like a robot, I reached out for her… Jiyoung flew into my arms and stayed there for a mighty long time.

 

Somewhere in the eternity of that hug, she pulled back and brushed her lips on my cheek. I melted into a solid awakening. That was my moment of epiphany. That was the moment I realized, dear Juliet that I don’t want what we share anymore. That is the moment I got the courage to reach out for the more I have always wanted. Jiyoung Sok’s hug has set me free.

 

I know you must have sensed that I wanted more, I must have hinted it somewhere in our discussions, and you must have sensed I am tired. Well, if you ever did, you are right… Juliet I am tired. I’m tired of the long calls. I’m tired of the Facebook romance. I’m tired of the smiles and goodnights. I love all of these but I want something more. Please let’s break this… let’s go for “more”… you deserve more too. Don’t you think?

 

Let’s break this and build from the fine blocks. Some of our friends and relatives might be disappointed, but hey dear Juliet, it’s our happiness we are talking about here. Let’s stop this please. Let’s go to that dark murky future and search for that more. I am not afraid anymore. No matter who I hurt, I want to do this. I deserve this. You deserve this too. Or don’t you?

 

And I want to do this once and for all. I don’t want to be going back and forth. No. I want to put a final close to where and what we are and have. I don’t want today to interfere with the tomorrow I’m reaching out for. Please don’t blame the Korean beauty, it’s not her fault, this is what I have always yearned for.

 

So please let’s do this properly once and for all. I will be back to Nigeria soon; so please can I come with my friends and family members to pay your bride price on the 15th of December, 2016? On that same day we will ask your father to bless us and usher us into that “more” that I yearn for.

 

And on the 17th of December 2016, I will be waiting for you in the church… will you come with your friends and family let’s take a vow breaking what we have and build “more” from the fine blocks?

 

I love everything you have given me, I enjoy everything we share and have… but I want more… I want a cute little 3-year old like Jiyoung Sok, hugging me every day and brushing her lips on my cheek. I want someone I can annoy for the rest of life, who will not have another house to rush to.

 

I want us to belong together to the sitting room, the kitchen and the other room… Oh the other room… and we will also conquer the world and impact lives… together.

 

Dear Juliet, will you come?

 

Your Boyfriend, who is begging to be your husband,

First Baba Isa.

 

12:15am, Thursday, 3-November-2016,

Seoul, South Korea.

Coming Petrol Price Hike and NNPC’s Subterfuge By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. Twitter: @farooqkperogi —

Coming Petrol Price Hike and NNPC’s Subterfuge By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. Twitter: @farooqkperogi

Another petrol price hike is coming. It’s not a matter of “if”; it’s a matter of “when.” So either brace yourself for it or get ready to fight it. Of course, I’d be the happiest person to be wrong about this. Every petrol price hike follows an unfailingly well-worn pattern in Nigeria. First, government flies a kite of an impending price hike through the bush telegraph and the traditional media, and then gauges the reaction of the public. If government sees that public reaction is intensely hostile, NNPC or some other government agency would issue a forceful but often wily denial, which lulls the people into a false sense of security and comfort. Weeks or months later, supply would run out either because importers refuse to import petroleum products or because some union decides to go on strike to drive home the imperative of “total deregulation,”—or suchlike sterile subterfuge. A biting artificial scarcity ensues, price of petrol skyrockets, and the country grinds to a screeching halt. Then an astonishingly fraudulent rhetorical rape of people, preparatory to the price increase, follows. The usual stale, sterile promise of “total deregulation” in the interest of the “masses” would be given. The masses of the people, we would be told, don’t “benefit” from low petrol prices. Faux anger would be whipped up against an intentionally unnamed, amorphous oil cabal and other elite groups that supposedly benefit from low petrol prices, which putatively robs government of the revenue it needs to build infrastructure and improve the lot of the people. Of course, we would be reminded that our low prices conduce to petrol smuggling to neighboring countries, which purportedly hemorrhages our economy, and that, in any case, most Nigerians already pay way above the official price for petrol. And so on and so forth. Government calls this rhetorical fraud “sensitization” of the masses as a prelude to the increase in petrol prices. Of course, the real name for that is propaganda; deceitful, scorn-worthy, mendacious propaganda. It’s probably the most bizarre and the most intellectually barren propaganda in the world not only because it’s been repeated verbatim since the 1960s but also because it seeks to convince people to accept that their own existential annihilation is beneficial to them, even when their lived realities give the lie to these cheap, stupid lies. This elaborately choreographed scam has started. On August 7, 2016, Sunday Punch reported oil marketers to have said that the current price of petrol wasn’t profitable for them. They said, “the actual or real cost of petrol was N151.87 when all the pricing components are adequately captured.” On September 4, we read again that all “former and present Group Managing Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,” after a one-day meeting with Minister of State for Petroleum Ibe Kackikwu, issued a statement saying, “the petrol price of N145/litre is not congruent with the liberalisation policy especially with the foreign exchange rate and other price determining components such as crude cost, Nigerian Ports Authority charges, etc remaining uncapped.” This emboldened marketers, two days later, to insist that the “real cost of petrol” is “N165 per litre.” The Punch of September 6, 2016 quoted an oil marketer to have said, “[R]ight now, most of us are getting the product from the NNPC; that is why you still see that there is product everywhere. It is an indirect case of subsidy. It means the government is subsidising it through the NNPC and we are buying at local price. Had it been that we were the ones that sourced the foreign exchange, we can’t sell it at N145.” Then on October 25, we heard that an NNPC Group General Manager by the name of Mele Kyari said at a conference in Lagos that “Sale of petrol at N145 is no longer sustainable.” In the aftermath of the panicky online chatter the statement inspired, NNPC was forced to deny that there would be an immediate increase in the price of petrol. But the denial was, as usual, double-tongued. You need to read the whole story of the denial closely to know what I am talking about. “According to [the NNPC spokesman],” the Daily Trust reported, “IF THERE IS GOING TO BE ANYTHING LIKE A PRICE HIKE, the agency responsible for fixing the price of petrol, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, WOULD DEFINITELY SENSITISE NIGERIANS ON IT AND GIVE REASONS FOR THE HIKE.” It’s the same sadly familiar trickery. Who the heck wants government’s “sensitization” and “reasons” for any impending hike? Government has been “sensitizing” and giving “reasons” for price hikes since the late 1960s, and they are all awfully the same: they are the same predictably fraudulent and flyblown clichés of elite lies and insensitivity that I identified above. “Sensitization” and “reasons” won’t mollify the hurt the increase would inflict on ordinary Nigerians. “Sensitization” and “reasons” won’t stop the cost of everything from food to transportation from escalating. “Sensitization” and “reasons” won’t increase the meager, stagnant, and irregular salaries of people who work for government. The statement from the NNPC is particularly ominous. It says, “AS FOR THIS MOMENT, there is absolutely no plan to do that and no need to do that, because we have more than enough supply, we have very robust stock of product in our custody.” So what of the “next moment” when the “robust stock of the product” in their “custody” is depleted? Got my drift? That’s called plausible deniability. I warned Nigerians before that the petrol price hikes would be never-ending as long as government refuses to invest in refineries and cut off the suffocating stranglehold of the fraudulent oil cabal once and for all. I said government would continue to put forth one unimaginative subterfuge after the other to justify bilking everyday Nigerians and hastening their descent into untimely graves. We had been told that government no longer paid subsidies, and that the money saved from the withdrawal of petrol subsidies would be used to build infrastructure and make life a little better for everyone. Now they have changed the story: they now say they are still paying subsidies. The next lie would be that subsidies are bad, unsustainable, and should be got rid of. They said they had totally “deregulated” the oil market and that only the forces of demand and supply would regulate prices. They even went so far as to say petrol prices would crash. Another big lie. The lies would get to the end of their shelf life soon, and the truth will come out. Brace yourself for the next price hike—and another after that. And yet another thereafter—until all vulnerable and helpless people drop dead, and Buhari and his vultures have no more poor people to feast on. Buhari’s Nigeria is the perfect neoliberal nirvana that even the compulsively evil IMF and World Bank never imagined could ever exist anywhere on planet Earth: a place where mass stupidity reigns so supreme that people would actually protest against protesters protesting government’s piecemeal death sentence on them. These low-IQ Buhari automatons “love” and “trust” their president who doesn’t care about them. Take this from me: Until Nigerians actually unite and resolutely resist this sneaky move, what will follow in the next few weeks would be artificial scarcity of petrol, which would cause prices to go through the roof. The government, in cahoots with oil marketers, would allow the artificial scarcity—and the extortionist prices that accompany it—to linger long enough for people to heave a sigh of relief when the actual increased price they have in mind is finally announced.

Aisha Buhari and the Evil Aso Rock Cabal By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. Twitter:@farooqkperogi — October 24, 2016

Aisha Buhari and the Evil Aso Rock Cabal By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. Twitter:@farooqkperogi

Mrs. Aisha Buhari bucked tradition by openly criticizing the political appointments in her husband’s government. There is no precedent for this in Nigeria’s entire history. In fact, I know of no parallel in the world for a First Lady (or Wife of the President) to openly disagree with her husband through a foreign media outlet. This can only mean that although Aisha is formally married to President Buhari, she is actually isolated from him. This is consistent with what I’ve heard from inside sources about the relationship between the first couple. Buhari is held hostage by an evil, sneaky, corrupt, vulturous, and conniving cabal that ensures that his wife doesn’t see him even in the “kitchen,” the “living room,” or “the other room.” The BBC interview was Aisha’s vigorous ventilation of pent-up anguish against a cold, calculating, and corrupt cabal that has made Buhari a stranger to his own wife. A few months ago, a close Buhari aide who was unnerved by my all-out, no-holds-barred criticism of this government (which was inspired by my realization that this government is an elaborate anti-people fraud) called to assure me that Buhari hadn’t abandoned the pro-poor posture that endeared him to many of us. He said Buhari personally disagreed with the recent petrol price hike, the “floating” of the naira, the removal of subsides on fertilizer, and other anti-people policies that have become the signature of this administration. He called my attention to the fact that the president always travels out of the country each time this atrociously pigheaded decisions are announced. A few days after our conversation, as if to confirm what the presidential source told me privately, Buhari publicly disagreed with the devaluation of the naira. “How much benefit can we derive from this ruthless devaluation of the naira?” he told business leaders who paid him a visit in the Presidential Villa on June 27, 2016. “I’m not an economist neither a businessman – I fail to appreciate what is the economic explanation.” As I told my informant, this is terribly worrying. If Buhari is personally uncomfortable with the decisions that have come to define his own administration, it clearly indicates that he isn’t in control. It means he is a puppet controlled by inept, no-good puppeteers. But like most Buhari aides, my informant believes Buhari is metaphysically held captive by a potent, disabling evil spell that causes him to be easily susceptible to the wiles and devious manipulations of a vicious cabal in Aso Rock. He said efforts are being made to exorcise this spell. But that’s superstitious nonsense. Buhari is simply an infirm leader who cherishes and rewards loyalty even at the expense of truth, justice, fair play— and the nation. Yet, scores of his supporters go into overdrive to defend the policies of his government because they believe in him and imagine that all the policies churned out by this government have his imprimatur. Many of them would even justify and defend their own murder by Buhari if they have the chance to reincarnate to tell the story. This is the context that instigated Aisha Buhari’s unusual media outburst. When you are denied access to your husband, when your husband is held prisoner by a malevolent, shadowy, and predatory cabal, you can’t help but lash out through the most potent means available to you. So before you talk of the unprecedentedness of Aisha’s critique of her husband’s government, also remember the unprecedentedness of her husband’s critique of his own government, which clearly indicates his alienation from his own government. But let’s not be deceived into thinking that Mrs. Buhari is worried about the fate of everyday Nigerians whom her husband’s puppet government is killing piecemeal. She is fighting a personal battle of self-preservation. She is piqued that she is excluded from partaking in the rampant and unrestrained nepotism of this government. As I pointed out in a recent viral Facebook status update, most disillusioned Buhari supporters don’t care whether the president’s appointees are personally known to him or his wife—or whether or not they campaigned or voted for him. They are worried, instead, that many, perhaps most, of the president’s appointees are corrupt and incompetent, but are shielded from any consequences for their corruption and incompetence because of their loyalty to the president. Let’s start from the president’s first major appointments: Secretary to the Government of the Federation Lawal David Babachir is nicknamed “Cash and Carry” in government circles for a reason. Here is a man who once publicly bragged about receiving monetary gifts from the Ebonyi State governor. He has also been implicated in the N270 million “grass-cutting” contract scandal for internally displaced Boko Haram victims. The Chief of Staff to the President has been accused of accepting a half-billion-naira bribe from MTN to reduce the telecom company’s NCC fine from N1.04 trillion to N330 billion, among other allegations of sordid, avaricious sleaze against him. And the man is incompetent and lazy, to boot. It’s the same story all around members of the president’s “kitchen cabinet.” It took Buhari 6 months to appoint his ministers who have turned out to be the most underwhelming cast of characters to ever be in the Federal Executive Council. Among them is a minister of budget who doesn’t know Nigeria’s debt profile; a minister of agriculture (who, tellingly, is a former PDP chairman) who thinks the cost of rice is high because Nigerians consume too much rice; a minister of science and technology whose technological vision for the country is to start local pencil production in two years; a compulsively lying and comically foul-mouthed minister of information who says dressing and undressing masquerades is a strategy of job creation; a minister of youth and sports who is so incredibly clueless he makes you want to cry; a backward, prehistoric minister of communication who wants to tax Nigerians for calls they make and texts they send; a minister of Niger Delta Affairs who was indicted for fraud by a government commission in the 1990s but still keeps his job even in the wake of this revelation; a minister of finance who hides her incompetence behind a Cockney accent. The list goes on. Add that to the revelations of a series of secretive, illegal employment of the children and relatives of high-ranking political elites in this government, including Buhari’s, while millions of brilliant, hardworking but underprivileged people vegetate in misery amid a biting recession, and you know that Nigeria is wildly adrift. Neither the president nor his ministers have a clue. And they don’t care. If this trend continues, by the end of 2019, Buhari would be so unpopular that he would be chased out of Aso Rock with rocks by millions of his own erstwhile supporters. Aisha Buhari obviously doesn’t want this terrible fate to befall her husband. I don’t, too.

Murderous Mass Persecution of Nigerian Shiites By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. Twitter: @farooqkperogi — October 17, 2016

Murderous Mass Persecution of Nigerian Shiites By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D. Twitter: @farooqkperogi

I am no Shiite. As the son of a Sunni Muslim scholar, I have irreconcilable theologicaldifferences with Shiism. But I would be remiss (and betray the true meaning of my name, which signifies one who distinguishes truth from falsehood) if I failed to speak up in the face of the heartrendingly murderous persecution of Shiite minorities in northern Nigeria. Shiites have had run-ins with Nigerian law enforcement agents for as long as I can remember, but the lamentably cold-blooded mass murder of hundreds of unarmed, defenseless members of the group by the Nigerian military in Zaria on December 12, 2015 took the cake. I was numb with horror for days on end in the wake of this bloodcurdlingly brutal mass slaughter of fellow human beings whose only crime was that they constituted themselves into a nuisance. Report of the government-appointed “Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zaria Clashes” said at least 348 Shiite Muslims were murdered by the Nigerian military, but members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria said nearly 1,000 men, women and children were butchered by the military.
The group’s leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, was shot several times, including in the eyes, publicly humiliated by being paraded half-naked in a dingy wheelbarrow, and has been in detention for nearly a year—in addition to the insensate murder of his wife and children and the destruction of his home. That was unmentionably horrific. But what was even more horrific was the complete absence of expression of outrage or even a tinge of moral compunction from Nigerian authorities. Not even President Muhammadu Buhari who is always quick to issue statements of solidarity and sympathy when even a single soul dies in a terror attack or a natural disaster in the West deemed it worth his while to express sympathy over, much less condemn, the heartless and unwarranted mass slaughter of his own citizens by soldiers he is commander-in-chief of. When the president was compelled to speak on the mass murder during a presidential media chat on December 30, 2015, he seemed to countenance it. “How can you create a state within a state?” he said. “There are some teenagers I saw stoning Generals [The commission of inquiry set up to investigate the crisis said this wasn’t true]. I don’t want to talk too much about it…
The people of Zaria came out openly to talk about what they have been going through in the last 20 years under the group.” Unbelievable. Just unbelievable! No one denies that Shiites, particularly in Zaria, are an intolerable irritation. They habitually block traffic and make life a living hell for road users. But that is no justification for the callous murder of their members. There is no proportionality of justice in killing people because they blocked traffic. In any case, Sunni Muslims, Christians, and other cultural groups in Nigeria also habitually block traffic for Juma’at prayers, Maulud celebrations, crusades, “owambe” parties, etc. But an even more insidious phase in the persecution of Shiites has just started. Late last week, Kaduna State governor Nasir el-Rufai, who is shaping up to be one heck of an intolerant, hypocritical pocket Nazi, issued a proclamation banning the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. This is the same group whose support he studiously courted in the run-up to the last general election and for whose sake he once called the Nigerian Army “genocidal.” “GENOCIDAL JONATHANIAN ARMY KILLS ONCE AGAIN: My sons were taken alive, then summarily executed by soldiers via Premium Times,” el-Rufai wrote in a July 26, 2014 Facebook status update. Look at this scenario and tell me if it’s not an open invitation to another avoidable insurrection: A government-backed army murdered hundreds of men, women and children of a religious minority group in cold blood for merely provoking soldiers and their head honcho. The army then shot, humiliated, and indefinitely detains the leader of the religious group. In spite of this extreme provocation, members of the group resist the urge to retaliate or take the law into their own hands, but are prevented by authorities from even exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful protest. Finally, government hands down a fascistic fiat banning the organizational platform of the religious minority group with the threat of “a penalty of imprisonment for seven years or a fine or both for any person convicted for belonging to an unlawful society.” That, right there, is the textbook definition of persecution, of fascistic persecution. History won’t be kind to anyone who endorses this vicious rape of a people’s liberty of conscience and right of association. But if you don’t oppose this injustice against a religious minority group because of the violation of its democratic rights, you should at least spare a thought for the short- and long-term consequences of this monstrous governmental oppression. We are witnessing the making of a Shiite version of Boko Haram. When you inflict incalculable physical, emotional, and symbolic injury on a small but determined and largely peaceful group and then proceed to proscribe the group or jail its members for insisting on exercising their liberties, you risk a violent pushback. The English say “(even) a worm will turn,” which means even the meekest and most docile person will fight back if you push him so hard that he has nowhere else to escape to. A dangerous corollary to the proscription of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is the unwitting authorization of jungle justice against Nigerian Shiites in northern Nigeria. That’s why scores of Shiites were murdered last week by remorseless, bloodthirsty mobs in several northern Nigerian cities. One of life’s enduring existential ironies is that most people will rather give up their life than give up their way of life. That’s why laws that seek to legislate people’s way of life never work. No legislation, imprisonment, or murders will stop the existence of Shiites—or any religious group. Repressive tactics historically only solidify groups and drive them underground from which they engage the state—and the society at large— in tediously protracted guerilla warfare. That’s how Boko Haram emerged. This is one avoidable self-injury we can’t afford to inflict on ourselves at this fragile moment in our life as a nation. This isn’t about Shiites; it’s about respect for the basic liberties of all people. Shiites are at the receiving end of fascistic repression today; you, yes you, could be next tomorrow. A society’s health is judged by how well it treats its minorities, it vulnerable members.
THE DSS STING OPERATION AGAINST SOME JUDGES AND THE REAL COLOUR OF THE TRUTH. —

THE DSS STING OPERATION AGAINST SOME JUDGES AND THE REAL COLOUR OF THE TRUTH.

A lot of people have approached this issue like we always approach everything: it’s either Arsenal or Chelsea, APC or PDP, Black or White, Yes or No, Right or Left… but as Aristotle will say, “Virtue resides in the centre, all others at the extremes are vices.” We need to stop and realize that most times progress and national interest is not in the right or left but in the middle; most times truth is not white or black but a shade of grey.My stance is a little bit of there and here…

Assuming and even partially conceding they are corrupt… Yes, the DSS has tons of evidence against them… Is this the proper way to arrest a justice of the Supreme Court or a judge? Even when a man is sentenced to death, there is a proper way to kill him. If a man has been sentenced to die by hanging, you can’t just take him out and gather your family members to stone him to death.

Someone might argue that dying is dying and killing is killing. But such a submission will be bereft of legality and logic. So, sir, stop waiting for whether they will come out squeaky clean. Even if they don’t come out clean, the procedure adopted by the SSS is faulty prima facie; please note that I didn’t say illegal, we will come to that.

There are salient and noble reasons why procedures for investigating and punishing erring judicial officers are put in place. And one of the reasons is so that the bench should not be shamed and demystified, for want of a better word. A judge should first be removed as a judge before he should be arrested and made to stand criminal trial.

Once a judge, like every other person, is arrested for a crime, the Constitutional presumption of innocence kicks in, meaning such a judge will most likely be released on bail and he continues to be a judge, presiding over cases, while attending his trial. And most of those cases the judge who was arrested by the DSS, the judge standing trial and prosecuted by the DSS, will be brought and prosecuted by the same prosecutors, the DSS. In other words, his prosecutors will be appearing before him as a judge to prosecute other cases. Can you imagine that?

That is why a procedure is put in place to first remove these erring judges through the instrumentality of the National Judicial Council before they are arrested and prosecuted. It is not because they are better than the rest of us, it is for the sanity of the system.

Procedural law is the fuel that drives substantive law to birth justice. You cannot copulate procedural law in the mouth and expect substantive law to birth justice… That might be a waste of national and administrative sperm!

But what if this faulty procedure leads to an unraveling of heavy corruption… As might already be unfolding? Should will throw away the truth because the procedure was faulty?Is the sting operation even illegal? This is where the truth begin to take the colour of grey. Not white. Not black.

I have already stated in clear language that there is procedure of disciplining erring judges. The National Judicial Council is saddled with this responsibility. This is an admirable procedure for the reasons I gave above. But here I am, perusing the Third Schedule, Part 1, Paragraph 20-22, that establishes and outlines the function and powers of the National Judicial Council and I can’t see anywhere here, where it is expressly stated or remotely implied that because of the existence of the NJC, our law enforcement agents cannot arrest a judge for an alleged crime. If you have seen it, please show me.

 

The NJC as a body is not even empowered to remove a judge, they only recommend a certain punishment to the executive arm of Government to be meted out to the erring judges. So nothing prevents the executive arm of Government from enforcing the law against judges suspected of committing crimes.“The National Judicial Commission (NJC) is responsible for the appointment, discipline/punishment of judicial officers only in respect of breach of judicial ethics, and not crime. Even where a judicial officer has been sanctioned by the NJC for any misconduct, the state still reserves the right to prosecute the erring officer if his misconduct amounts to a crime.”

 

A corrupt judge cannot be allowed to hide under the procedural cloud of the NJC to evade arrest. We cannot sacrifice justice and the fight against corruption in the judiciary on the altar of decorum.

 

Breaking down doors and arresting judges in the middle of the night is not the decorous thing to do, infact it is shocking and disgusting but that it is shocking and disgusting doesn’t make it illegal; thus inputting illegality to the DSS operation is nothing but grand mischief designed to tell an already story or play out a script.

 

The DSS executed their search/arrest warrant as empowered under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJA). Section 144 provides for the issuance of search warrant and this warrant may also empower the officer to arrest. Section 148 of the ACJA states clearly “A search warrant may be issued and executed at any time on any day, including a Sunday or Public Holiday.” So those saying it is illegal to arrest them by 1:00 am in the morning are talking out of their imagination and not within the purview of our extant law.

 

I never thought a day will come when I will see the door of a Supreme Court Justice broken down to effect his arrest. But that day came. But as sad as I am, I will not allow my emotions prevent me from showing us what the law says in this regard. Section 149 (1) of the ACJA states that: “Where any building liable to be search is closed, a person residing in or being in charge of the building, thing or place, shall on demand of the police officer or other person executing the search warrant, allow him free and unhindered access to it and afford all reasonable facilities for its search.” And when unhindered access is denied, what happens?

 

Go and do a community reading of Sections 9, 10, 12, 13 and 149 (2) of the ACJA  and you will see that a law enforcement agent executing a search warrant and/or arrest warrant is empowered to “break open any outer or inner door or window of any house or place” where unhindered access is denied. So if the suspects (judges) denied the agents unhindered access, sad as it is, the hacking down of the door is lawful.

 

Now to the point of whether the DSS has the statutory responsibility to carry out the raid. A very senior lawyer even claimed that he has read the Act establishing the DSS and nothing therein empowers them to arrest the Judges. Really? Let’s see for ourselves.

 

Have you forgotten the SSS Instrument 1, promulgated by General Abdulsalam Abubakar? This instrument was promulgated pursuant to the powers conferred on the Head of State by Section 6 of the National Security Agencies Act (the Act that created the DSS). Section 3(1) SSS Instrument 1 states that:“For the purpose of facilitating the discharge of its function under this instrument, personnel of the State Security Service are hereby conferred with the power of Superior Police Officer in respect of searches and arrests”

 

And before you accuse me of quoting a law made by the military, this instrument has been anointed by section 315 (5)(C) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria; and what the Constitution has blessed no man can curse.

 

Section 12 of Police Act defines a Police Officer to include, “any officer of an equivalent rank in other security agencies”Section 7 of the same Act states unequivocally that, “police officers, custom officers, any member of the Armed forces and Security Agencies can arrest without warrant, any person committingan offence prescribed by law”. So I don’t know where some persons conjured the submission that a DSS operative cannot arrest.

 

We all feel bad about the arrest but the arrest is lawful. I don’t want to belong to a profession where judges are hounded, intimidated and arrested like common suspects by security agents; but I don’t also want to belong to a profession where judges sell justice like yams in a bazaar to the highest bidder.

 

I want the law enforcement agents to hold off until a judge has been disciplined by the NJC before they can make arrest and prosecute but if the NJC is glossing over petitions, being tardy and letting off corrupt judges with a slap on the wrist then by all means let the law enforcement agents swoop on the judges.

 

Break down the door if you must but by all means stop corruption on the bench. I am a young lawyer and the law is my life. I burn the midnight candle to be the best for my clients and to get to the apex of this profession but my hard work won’t stand a chance before a corrupt judge who sells justice like oranges.

 

But don’t just break the doors of judges, break the doors of some ministers, break the doors of some legislators, break the doors of some politicians, break the doors of some military officers, break the doors of some law enforcement agents, break the doors of some activists… go on, break doors; maybe we will have enough wood from the broken doors to build the broken fabric of our nation.

 

First Baba Isa (FBI) is a Legal Practitioner and the President of Lawyers For Peace Initiative; he writes from Abuja

@firstbabaisa

07037162029

meandisa@gmail.com

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