Human rights lawyer, Dr Kayode Ajulo has called on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to boycott the courts if the Federal Government fails to honour the latest court order granting bail to the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Mohammed Dasuki.
Ajulo in a statement in Abuja yesterday said the continued flouting of court orders by the Federal Government in respect of bails for Dasuki was a danger to democracy and the rule of law.
According to him, “The Federal Government should not be allowed to decide which orders it will obey because by so doing, it endangers the authority of the judiciary as an arm of government and offers little hope to citizens that their fundamental human rights can be guaranteed”.
According to him, despite assurances by President Muhammadu Buhari not to encroach on the functions of the other two arms of government in his inaugural address on May 29, 2015, the president has not kept faith with the promise as his administration has continued to decide which court orders it should obey or not.
“Three years down the line, this solemn vow seems to have been kept in the breach as the Presidency is intent on having its way on court rulings it feels are not according to its liking.
“I hope the Federal Government will obey the latest court order by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on bail for former NSA. I must emphatically point out that the failure of the Federal Government to allow Col. Dasuki enjoy bail which has been granted to him severally is a danger to our nascent democracy and those of us who are ministers in the temple of justice ought to cry out before we are buried in the sands of impunity.
“Take note that if Dasuki, who is part of the few power elite could be treated with such impunity, then there is no such guarantee that other Nigerians/clients who are granted reprieve by the courts to the dissatisfaction of the government will be allowed their liberty as granted by the courts”, he said.
Ajulo said if the Federal Government fails to honour the bail order by Justice Ojukwu within seven days of fulfilment of the bail condition as stipulated by the court, the NBA should boycott the courts and urged the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) to resign his position.
He stressed that even if the NBA fails to act in this direction, he will boycott the courts and galvanise like minds to press home his demand to show that Nigeria is not the Banana Republic.
Ajulo further said that the Federal Government cannot be allowed to cherry pick which judgment to obey, adding that, it is an irony that FG finds it expedient to obey an order of the court on the NFF, but not on Dasuki?”
Recalled that Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the federal high court sitting in Abuja on Monday granted bail to Dasuki, bringing to six of such bail orders, all of which the federal government has refused to honour.
Dasuki was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in 2015 over alleged diversion of $2.1billion arms funds.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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