By: Farooq Kperogi –
Nigeria politics and lifestyle!
News that Buhari has approved the payment of pension to ex-Biafran police officers who served on the rebel side during Nigeria’s 30-month Civil War from 1967 to 1970 is heartening. It is little symbolic gestures like this that nurture national cohesion.
National cohesion won’t magically emerge out of thin air because some leader proclaimed that Nigeria’s unity is “settled” and “non-negotiable”—or that the question of Nigeria’s unity had been settled with some dead rebel leader at a private meeting. Nation-building is never “settled” and is always in a state of negotiation and renegotiation.
Unity is consciously sowed, watered, and nourished by acts of kindness to the disadvantaged, by equity and justice to all, by consensus-building, by deliberate healing of the existential wounds that naturally emerge in our interactions are constituents of a common national space, and by acknowledging and working to cover our ethnic, religious, regional, and cultural fissures.
If Buhari, from the incipience of his presidency, had offered this sort of olive branch to parts of Nigeria that didn’t vote for him, we won’t have the current disabling fissiparity that is threatening to tear down the very foundation of the country. But it’s never too late to do the right thing.
By: Andy Akporugo Jr –
If I wasn’t a Nigerian I would look closely and make certain intelligent deductions as people of other civilizations would do, on the evaporation of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
I would adjudge the total silence of his kinsmen [for whose benefit he apparently agitated] and indeed every Nigerian, as regards his whereabouts, as indicative of their comfort over his well-being or conversely as proof of his rejection as a human being with rights, even if they are those which he appeared to disapprove of, so far as they lay in the Nigerian Constitution; and in either situation, I would worry that there is a loud conspiracy to break the law or silent connivance following it.
It doesn’t just make any sense. How can people who so loudly question the naming of IPOB as a terror group simply lose their voice over the sudden disappearance of its leader a whole 30 days since!
But I am Nigerian and we have our ways which majorly do not offer much intelligence to the rest of the world!
Na wa ooo!
By; Andy Akporugo Jr & Paul C Nwabuikwu
I’m tired of hearing what Frederick Lugard said or thought or did. The man and his girlfriend/wife, Flora Shaw died a long time ago. If Nigeria breaks up, it would be mainly our fault, not theirs.
So what if we started out wrong? Australia began life as a British colony of prisoners and prostitutes. Not every country enjoyed the privilege of being midwived by revolutionary-philosophers like the US.
But as with individuals, the beginning doesn’t have to dictate the trajectory of life or the timing or the end. So it’s time to stop blaming Lugard. The man was a patriotic trader who did the best he could for his empire and his firm, the Royal Niger Company.
And out of the process, Nigeria emerged – clumsily, messily but surely. Here we are, for good or ill, a country.
If we are going to fail, let’s at least have the dignity of failing honestly. It’s time to stop blaming Fred and Flora. They did their manipulative, imperial best for their fatherland. What are we doing for Nigeria?
By: Mr. Solomon Ukhuegbe
I should add a disclaimer from the outset that I do not necessarily support the government decision to approach the Federal High Court for the order. I believe the move is premature and unnecessary at this time.
However, I have no doubt that the order issued is fully compliant with applicable law. The suggestion that the process is legally incompetent because IPOB is supposedly a body unknown to law is, with respect, misconceived.
1. The applicable law is Section 2(1)(c) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011, which lays down the SPECIAL procedure for obtaining a judicial order proscribing “any entity” for terrorism. This law is the lex specialis.
There is no room in the section 2 process to seek a prohibition order against individuals. Nor is it required that the process be taken against representatives of IPOB, unlike in regular civil procedure. Lex specialis derogat lex generalis. An application under section is sui generis and cannot be equated with ordinary civil actions.
2. There is nothing novel about the order obtained yesterday. There is precedent for it. Boko Haram and Ansaru were proscribed vide Suit No.FHC/ABJ/CS/368/2013 on 24/05/2013, granted Kafarati J of Federal High Court No.2 Abuja and published in
Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 34, Volume 100
No one asked then, and rightly so, about the registration of the two organizations under Nigerian law! The legal status of the prohibited organization is immaterial in the section 2 process. Otherwise the whole purpose of the law would be defeated.
3. Section 2 provides only for an application to a judge in chambers with the consent of the President. The judge gives his ruling based on the information exhibited with the application. This supposes an ex parte application. It was unnecessary for the Attorney General to title the process “Attorney General (Applicant) v. IPOB (respondent).” The title could have been “Application under Section 2(1)(c) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011. In re: Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).” Section 2 does not envisage a “respondent” to the application.
4. The order merely proscribed an organization and it operates PROSPECTIVELY after gazetting and publication in two newspapers. That is when member of IPOB becomes a criminal offence.
Also, it does not, and cannot, affect the holding of any political beliefs (self-determination, Biafra etc) by any person. See section 2(3)(ii).
5.The ease, as we have seen, with which a prohibition order may be obtained under the Act shows how dangerous the legislation is. When it was passed in the face of terrorism unleashed by Boko Haram, little thought was given to the possibility that powers under the Act may be equally applied to non obvious cases. Therefore, I expect that a prohibition order under section 2 is reviewable by a higher court. Secondly, the constitutional guarantee of fair hearing justifies, in spite of the terms of section 2, a judge to whom an application for a prohibition order is made should in appropriate circumstances be able to order that the affected party be given notice and an opportunity to respond.
The constitutionality of the section 2 process is therefore suspect and perhaps should be tested, if an appropriate plaintiff can be found. But once the order is gazetted and published in two newspapers, by section (2)(3), any “person who belongs or profess to belong to a proscribed organization” is liable to 20 years imprisonment.
6. Finally, even if it was the case that the order granted by the court was defective by reason of process or jurisdiction or any other reason whatsoever, it is a subsisting order of a competent court and is valid until set aside by a higher court. And it does not appear that the court that granted the order can vacate it. Section 2(5) gives the Attorney General the power to revoke the order, with the consent of the president, if he is satisfied that the proscribed organization has ceased to engage in acts of terrorism. It is curious though why this provision requires the affected organization to file an application ON NOTICE for this purpose when it is not a court process. Or is it? Put whom on notice? The Attorney General? But it the Attorney General, not a judge, that will make the necessary determination. The process seems ministerial rather judicial. The drafting is convoluted.
By: Andy Apkorugo Jr
Will the law allow a man profit from his own wrong doing? Will the law forbid Boko Haram from being proscribed on account that it’s not registered?
Is the smartest way to affront a society’s laws to keep an organization faceless and unregistered and in that protection wreak unremediable havoc on society? Is law to exist as a hater of society and as an antithesis to good sense? Should we not trust a fool to have better sense than to expect a terror group to seek and obtain registration before it can be said to exist, in spite of trails of blood it leaves? Are we going to use the excuse of a claim that IPOB is unregistered to clothe Boko haram with legal protection by default? Is law a vehicle to justice or a sole representative of justice by itself?