Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has sued the Inspector General of Police (IGP) over alleged breach of his fundamental human rights following an “invasion and ransacking” of his house in Jos.
The governor, who filed his case before Justice Musa Kurya of the Jos Federal High Court, is demanding for N1.25 billion as general damages for the action.
Joined in the suit are Commissioner of Police Plateau, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents.
Okorocha, through his counsel, Mr Markus Saleh (SAN), had told the court that on May 3, the respondents had invaded his home in Jos and held his family members and staff hostage in a search conducted without any court warrant. He prayed the court to declare the action as “illegal, null and void’’ as there was no valid court warrant for such an exercise. Okorocha also prayed the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further doing anything as such in his homes across the country.
He further sought for an order declaring that only the Imo State House of Assembly had the constitutional rights and power to supervise, monitor, legislate, appropriate and demand accounting of public funds of Imo State from him.
Cultism As A Misnomer
A news report in The Tide (Wed. 30/10/2019) that “158 Cultists Surrendered Arms in Emohua”, makes it needful to throw some light into the cult phenomenon. It is in the religious angle that the cult phenomenon rightly belongs, representing break-away extremist, radical, resistant groups which can resort to terrorism to defend their beliefs and methods. Leaders of such break-away groups often claim to have some calling or illumination directing them to veer into unusual practices and beliefs. Cultism relates to epistemology.
In Nigeria currently, there are many such break-away sects who claim to have some unusual powers for healing, exorcism, miracles and wonders. Through serious investigations, one finds that there is an element of sublimation whereby the generative power is diverted away from sex and procreation into psychism. There are such groups like the Illuminati, the case of Rev. Jim Jones who led his followers into mass suicide in Guyana; Emmanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) who went into exploration of the psychic world, etc.
The case of Joan of Arc (1412-31) was a combination of altered state of consciousness (ASC) and anamnesis. Anamnesis is the recall of experiences of thousands of years ago, which can also come about through regressive hypnosis. Some people get fascinated with these claims and the exploration of the psychic world. Many who step too far into such project often lose their mind. Regression into insanity or witch-craft is an open invitation.
Really worrisome aspects of cultism come from secret activities of the security community and faddishness of fans of great celebrities in music, sports, films and other charismatic heroes. Despite the coming and going of chief executives in governments, national security outfits constitute a cult of cryptocrats of which only the topmost hierarchy are the patrons. Through research and experiments, series of brain-control techniques and mechanisms have emerged, through which means anyone can become a zombie.
Without going into how the cryptocracy works, let it suffice to say that secret service operatives world-wide enjoy a wide immunity and anonymity, making it possible for them to reach anyone and do anything but get away with it. What is cult if not secrecy, invincibility and mysteriousness!
From the angle of faddishness, youths can easily be influenced and carried away by charismatic stars and celebrities. Groups of fans soon turn into clubs, misnamed cults, whereby passions and fashions grow into attitudinal change, with some attendant change in mindset and life-style. The possibility of such groups of impressionable youths having a god-father, with cash and other largesse to dispense, can provide wide channels of expression.
There are various international groups fishing around for youths to entice for various purposes, including the possibility of injecting “occult blood” into them through various electronic means. Some of Nigerian youths, in and outside universities, as well as various political office holders, are not quite themselves. There are many factors responsible for behavioural aberrations among Nigerian youths.
From the angle of criminal fraternity, cultism develops because of devotion and deep commitment to what the patrons and barons present as the ideal. Because oath-taking is involved for the purposes of secrecy and protection, minions hired for covert activities are afraid to pull-out when they know more of what they are into. Fields of criminal operations include drug peddling, arms trade, smuggling, oil theft, terrorism including kidnapping for ransom, etc.
What we call cultism is the enthronement of gangsterism as a system of governance, whereby hustlers for political power engage and use groups of youths as vanguards and support team at grassroots levels. With money, arms and oath-taking, coupled with some fetish rituals, devotion, commitment, secrecy and solidarity develop among the footsoldier, misnamed cultists.
Recruitment and brain-washing of some youths became common during the Nigerian Civil War, whereby local youths, out of fear and the desire for protection, served groups of soldiers in some unethical errands. Even now, there is a belief in some quarters that force, gangsterism and arms-twisting are essential means to drive the society. Existence of various contending interest groups, coupled with mass docility, resulted in the creation, arming and buying of various groups of gangsters, misnamed as cult groups.
It is an interesting and instructive field of journalistic research to understand the antics and operational mechanism of cultism in Nigeria. For the younger ones who would fear to die, there is a limit they can go. Cultism has more to do with devotional commitment to some religious ideals, and for some people, these would include use of terrorism and gangsterism to achieve some goals. Thus, where the end justifies the means, no harm is done.
Perhaps, the features of belief, devotion, commitment, secrecy and solidarity account for the use of the term “Cult” for all kinds of extremism. Thus, cultism as a belief system would include all groups of terrorists and gangsters in the domains of religion, politics, crimes, etc, who see the justice of their methods in the end result of their activities. This idea cannot sell in a sane and democratic society.
The use of unconventional drugs, weeds, brute force, secrecy and chicanery to get results through the abuse of the human mind and free will, cannot be described as right or ethical. Various studies in the ways that power has been abused in human history reveal quite shocking strategies, ranging from abuses of the human mind and body, to the abuse of the Name of God. In the political front, alliances and cabals have used power for personal and group benefits, at the expense of the masses. From the angle of symbolism, cult is defined as the use of mask to carryout tasks and for ceremonial purposes. Include Yahoo boys and their mothers.
PDP Exposes How INEC, Police Helped APC To Win Kogi, Bayelsa Polls
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, has insisted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in connivance with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), forcefully seized power in Kogi and Bayelsa states during the just-concluded elections.
Secondus explained that the crime allegedly committed by APC, INEC and the police indicated that Nigeria’s democracy was threat.
The PDP national chairman stated this during a press conference in Abuja, yesterday while lamenting over the killing of some party followers during the just-concluded elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
He said: “We alert Nigerians and the international community that all is not well with our nation. A wave of terror is threatening our democracy; our constitutional order, national cohesion and safety of our citizens are now as at stake.
“As the world witnessed, the official conspiracies, bloodletting and mindless killing of innocent citizens by agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration in connivance with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to aid the forceful seizure of power in the November 16 Kogi and Bayelsa states’ governorship elections, clearly show that our democracy is under severe attack.
“In an apparent organized attack, government-controlled police and military, working for the APC, deployed dangerous assault weapons, including helicopters to coordinate the violent invasion of polling units with maximum force; shooting, killing and maiming unarmed civilians, who were called out by government to perform their civic responsibilities at the elections.
“The world watched with horror as killer security agents brutalized voters and carted away ballot boxes to government facilities were results were written in favour of the APC and handed to a heavily compromised INEC, which has become part of the crime, to announce.
“From the report reaching our party, no fewer than 30 innocent compatriots were killed and many more injured in this organized crime against humanity by the APC, the police and INEC.
“The only crime of the citizens was their expressed determination to vote for the candidates of their choice as governors of Kogi and Bayelsa states as clearly manifested in the results from the polling centres before the forceful seizure of the electoral processes.
“Most distressing is the gruesome incineration of one of our party’s woman leaders in Kogi State, Mrs. Acheju Abuh, in her home by APC thugs, a crime that was abetted by unscrupulous security agents.
“Our party holds that this electoral fraud and crime against humanity, including established culpable homicide committed by the APC, security agents and INEC cannot be allowed to pass.”
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has clarified that it has nothing against former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan over the just concluded Bayelsa governorship election.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan disclosed this in an interview with newsmen after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja, last Wednesday.
There were reports in the media that Jonathan may be sanctioned by the party following the defeat of PDP by All Progressives Congress (APC), at the November 16, governorship election in Bayelsa.
Ologbondiyan said that the issue of Jonathan was not part of matters discussed at the NWC meeting.
“The issue of former President Goodluck Jonathan did not come up at the meeting and it was not discussed.
“You must know about the procedure and processes in our party. If we do not have a report or an issue before us, we cannot delve into.
“As we speak now, we do not have any matter concerning Jonathan before us in the party,” he said.
Ologbondiyan said that the only issue discussed at the meeting was the November 16 election in Kogi and Bayelsa.
“We have taken a decision to go to court long before but beyond that, we are going to take other measures.
“We have not done a post mortem of the election. We have only weighed the circumstances that surrounded the election.
“We have also looked at the global condemnation of the election. We have reviewed the role of INEC and the role played by security agencies. Formally, the party will come up with a position,” he said.
He, however, denied insinuation that the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus was under pressure, saying the party was rather concern about the state of democracy in the country.
“We believe that as the main opposition party we have a responsibility to salvage democracy,” he said.
Ologbondiyan also said that there was no division within the NWC.
“All of us are here. Virtually everybody was here and we discussed freely,” he said.
Meanwhile, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the House of Representatives has called for the cancellation of the November 16, 2019, gubernatorial elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, saying the exercises fell below electoral standards.
The caucus accused the government of using the security agencies to intimidate the electorate and influenced the outcomes of the polls in the favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement by its leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda, the caucus said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC-led government has destroyed all known democratic tenets, norms and conventions in Nigeria.
The opposition caucus regretted that the government of the day had jettisoned significant changes introduced by the PDP government, accusing the Buhari of having plans to elongate his tenure beyond 2023.
The statement read thus: “Reports by the field agents of the PDP in both Kogi and Bayelsa, which were largely validated by the diplomatic and temperate views of both local and international observers, show the following:
“Card readers were largely ignored in area that President Buhari’s, All Progressives Congress (APC) thought it had comparative advantage while subjecting areas believed to be the strongholds of the PDP to the use of smart readers, which usually malfunctioned or were deliberately calibrated to frustrate voters not to vote.
“In addition, in areas where the APC thought it did not have much support, it unleashed violence on the people. Some instances burning of PDP women leader etc regrettably, these dastardly acts were done with the connivance or complicity of security agents. The inability of the security agencies to protect the sanctity of the electoral process even when there was an offseason election.
“We have no hesitation in aligning ourselves with the conclusion of the Nigerian Civil Society situation room that the elections fall below the standards expected for free, fair and credible elections.
“Kogi State election represents a major dent on Nigeria’s democratic process.
“We are therefore joining our voice to the clarion call across the land and even internationally, for the cancellation, in its entirety of the Kogi State elections conducted on November 16, 2019.
“The novel and indeed, criminal conduct of ‘community voting’ in Bayelsa State, a situation where political entrepreneurs with the active connivance of security agencies force people to vote for preferred candidates offends the fundamental human rights of people to choice as well as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which all security agents, President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC officials unclose swore to protect.
“This by any stretch of the imagination cannot be regarded, like an election. There is, therefore, no reason to allow the Bayelsa elections to stand. These elections make Nigeria a laughing stock!!”
“Unfortunately for Nigeria and Nigerians, the major beneficiary of the electoral reform, President Muhammadu Buhari used the greater part of his tenure to relentlessly work to undermine the credibility of the electoral process, reduce democratic space, destroy press freedom and as well destroy the little that is left of the integrity of the Judiciary.
“You will recall, Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, that President Muhammadu Buhari, has jettisoned the innovation of the smart card reader, which weeded out fake voters.
“After the Supreme Court ruled that card readers are alien to the electoral law, the 8th National Assembly sought to correct that by empowering the INEC to use the card reader but for four times President Buhari vetoed the Electoral Act on flimsy and inexcusable grounds.
“As a matter of fact even after the National Assembly conceded to all his suggestions, he still vetoed the bill.
“Little did we know that he had planned on returning himself to power willy-nilly. We have now found out that we were wrong to have assumed that the abuse of power and desecration of the electoral system and our values will end with the Presidential elections. Now there is no reason why we should not seriously consider the wild allegations that the APC is rehearsing strategies for tenure elongation.
“Those who thought that because he had won the second term, President Buhari would make a casual and perfunctory gesture for electoral reforms have been thoroughly disgraced and disappointed by the unprecedented violation of the right and dignity of the peoples of Kogi and Bayelsa states.
“The wanton destruction of properties of the people, as well as the denial of the right of the people to choose for themselves, reflects the degeneration. The reformed electoral system inherited by President Buhari has been completely eroded since he emerged as President.”
“Furthermore, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to take actions that will stop the slide of the country into anarchy! The growing sense of insecurity and injustice will definitely give birth to the lawlessness that Nigeria can ill afford to joke with, especially as our unemployment figures keep soaring and the economic fortunes of the country keep dwindling.
“For a start, the President should forward an executive bill to the National Assembly, on electoral reforms, which must include the compulsory use of card readers in all polling units.
“Ladies and Gentlemen given the networked nature of the present global system, there is no doubt that the growing insecurity will have a spill-over effect outside Nigeria. The comity of nations needs to be concerned about Nigeria, for it also has the moral obligation and the responsibility to protect Nigerians from the flagrant abuses of human rights, including wanton killings of innocent people, often perpetrated by secretary agents.
“We are therefore calling on all nations that wish Nigeria well to join the USA and immediately consider, the imposition of Visa bans and travel restrictions on all individuals within the Independent National Electoral Commission, security agencies, and politicians of all political parties who are involved in any form of electoral offences and violence. This will prove to Nigerians that the world is standing with them, and deter future occurrences.
“We wish to condole the people who lost their family members in the last week’s show of shame and we call on Nigerian’s to stand fast on democracy and keep sacrificing for us to have a Nigeria that is free and prosperous.”
36 Speakers Seek Executive Order On Legislative Autonomy
The Speakers of the 36 state Houses of Assembly have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an Executive Order on the implementation of full autonomy for state legislatures.
The Speakers led by the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, Hon Mudashiru Obasa, made the demand when they met President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the meeting, Obasa said though the amended 1999 Constitution had incorporated the independence and financial autonomy for state legislatures, it was not being implemented in many states.
According to him, a presidential intervention by way of an Executive Order would fast-track the implementation across the federation.
“So, we are urging Mr President to intervene and speed up the implementation,” Obasa told reporters.
“We urged the President to come in by an Executive Order for this implementation to move faster.”
The speakers also called for the devolution of powers to the states and local governments through a review of the Exclusive Legislative List.
Speakers of Edo, Bayelsa and Oyo States’ Houses of Assembly were conspicuously absent at the meeting.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, were also in attendance.
Also in attendance were the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jamil Arabi, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters.
The meeting started about 11am when the President entered the chamber and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, announced that the Speakers were on a courtesy visit to the President.
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