Senior Partner @EphesisL. Vlogger @ https://t.co/AbdLo78w7w Author/Poet, Tryptych (2013); From Light to Other Things- forthcoming
Sep 15, 2023 • 4 tweets • 5 min read
"You can despise the Obi-dients all you like, but they are what subsists as opposition politics in the country for now. They have been resilient. They stood up to some of the APC’s best foot soldiers who dipped their pens in toxic ink jars to denounce the Obi-dients until those ones fell on their own dictionaries and thesauruses"
Two developments that happened last week seemed disparate but were interconnected. First, it was the Bola Tinubu administration’s 100th day in office. That timeline used to be for an administration to glance back and celebrate its bold and decisive decisions that potentially set the country on track, but this one was rather muted. Several op-eds appraised how the (in)actions of the government foreshadow what is yet to come, but the atmosphere fell short of what one would expect from an administration that exaggerates its own worth. The second came during the Presidential Electoral Petition Tribunal when one of the judges, Mistura Bolaji-Yusuf, alluded to social media discussions bordering the election petitions. Since the petitioners could not have been the ones intimidating her on social media, her snide comment must have been referring to supporters of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi.
Here is how I view both incidents: We are at a time when organised political opposition and activism have seriously waned, and filling the lacuna is this diffuse band of disaffected citizens on social media called the Obi-dients.
In the wake of the PEPT judgment, I must have read a dozen articles putting down Obi (and his supporters) for daring to contest the election results. Interestingly—and maybe curiously too—the opprobrium at dragging the election was mostly reserved for Obi. It was almost as if the other petitioner, Atiku Abubakar, did not exist. Commenters, of course, have a right to their reflections, but then, it is always easier to attack what you do not like than to acknowledge its significance.
Pesky irritants they might be, if there is anything still called political opposition and activism in Nigeria now, it is the Obi-dients.
Political opposition in Nigeria takes more than a principled stand against the establishment; it is all shades of risks. Largely because Nigeria runs a mono-economy where all economic power is reposed within the single centralising authority of the presidency, occupation of the post sets you up for invincibility. We can argue that some checks and balances are built into democracy to counterbalance this overwhelming power, but they hardly function as envisaged where the president mostly controls resources. Without economic power, there is no political power, but there can also be no political power without economic power.
What allowed the All Progressives Congress and their band of so-called political activists to survive this impasse while they were the political opposition was that they had Lagos State right from the start. With the immense resources of the state, they set the place up as the organisational centre of political opposition. They could also commandeer the intelligentsia to endow an industry of self-interests with the sheen of principled oppositional activities. From academics to the commentariat, their foot soldiers nurtured regional disaffection while maintaining a superficially ideological stance against the Federal Government.
Aug 15, 2023 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
In my time we had the protection of progressive Deans of Law Faculties like Professor Itse Sagay (Benin) and late Professor Ebere Osieke (Jos). In Jos where I had my first degree, we had the fortune of producing 2 NANS Presidents; 2 General Secretaries within the spate of six years and local students leaders and activists. During Osieke's time and the Polish Professor of law before him, and with progressive lecturers like late Professor Igna Gabriel and Professor Onje Gye Wado, students leaders flourished. Then, late Professor Igweike arrived as Dean and things changed. He ensured my General Secretary repeated a year; made sure I had 2 Cs in six credits compulsory courses he taught and I narrowly missed 2/1. Frustrated me from going to the Law School.
A few years later while doing a fellowship in Holland I met him at the home of a university don. He apologised for all he did to me, claiming that he was also protecting his office from the military. That man made lose the grade class I worked, even with the pains of writing 21 courses in my final year, having lost a whole session, following my detention in Kirikiri Prison. He left me deciding whether or not to challenge my scores and automatically losing another year. I shocked them and collected my results and left Jos
Jul 13, 2023 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Activation of land banks. There is already 500,000 hectares of already mapped land to be used to increase availability of arable land fir farming
- Dele Alake, Intervention on Food Security
Certainly, this raises legal and constitutional questions
Whose land? Who owns the land?
"All lands comprised in the territory of each state in the Federation are vested in the Governor of that State and such land shall be held in trust and administered for the use and common benefit of all Nigerian in accordance with the provisions of the Act”.
- S. 1 Land Use Act
Jul 5, 2023 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Something happened after I was granted bail. While waiting to sign the bond, a criminal matter was called up. The defendant, a poor old woman, arraigned for assault, had no lawyer. She told the court she couldn't afford a lawyer. The police prosecutor pressed on. I stepped up
"Your Worship, I recognise that I'm an accused person before this Honourable Court; but it doesn't extinguish my right to appear as a Friend of the Court. The right to legal representation is both a constitutional and procedural issue. Any proceedings arising from here
Jun 14, 2023 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Two things about the students loans I find disconcerting: 1. On banks' disbursement and management of students' loans. This has never worked in Africa. Ghana tried it after its initial attempt at students loan grants failed in 1974.
Poor recovery rates of loans/or poor repayments and banks unwillingness to undertake loans with long-term repayment made the government to scrap it.
Jun 14, 2023 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
We need a collaborative engagement, yes! Even during the military regime there were collaborative engagements over policies. You don't engage when you don't have policy positions. How does NANS jump on students loans when it doesn't have a position ( or even a position paper
on the crisis confronting higher education in Nigeria); how does it support something that it wasn't part of its enunciation?
During my time in NANS in 1990, NANS lauched the most comprehensive policy document on the crisis of Higher education in Nigeria called Academic Reform
Jun 12, 2023 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
30 years today following the annulment of the freest election in Nigeria. G.O has no intention of tweeting about the struggles that were waged after the annulment. A few years ago he documented his personal account that has been cited seventeen times in reputable journals
Today, he pays tributes to the memories of those who waged battles on the streets against IBB and Abacha and who, sadly, have gone ahead:
Chima Ubani, Igbo son of Ngwa stock, who led the battles as General Secretary of the Campaign for Democracy. May his soul rest in power
Jun 10, 2023 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
Now that SSS has grabbed Meffi, what next?
Come with the G.O.
1. There'll be constant radio contacts between Meffi's escorts and their controllers: "Hotel Ceicilia! Subject under control. Meffi, over"
The jargon continues until they get to the command-base.
2. While the escorts are supposedly on the way, Meffi's lawyers will likely be at the gates of the Yellow House waiting.
Those spooks can frustrate lawyers.
It is a waiting game for them, while Meffi is already seated inside - taken inside through one of the rabbit holes - gates
Jun 10, 2023 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
Typical. When SSS says it doesn't have you, you're surely with them undergoing interrogation - those endless hours in which you are asked to sign the margins of your written answers to its interrogatories.
For 3 months in 1991, the SSS told the world that it didn't have me, in spite of the insistence of Amnesty International and International Union of Students that it had me. When the pressure was on, it secretly transferred me and Bamidele Aturu to Kirikiri Prison under Decree 2
Jun 9, 2023 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
One thing G.O has learned in his 38 years of being involved in the struggle for a prosperous Nigeria is never to cede popular fronts to sponsored agents, even if popular struggles are lost.
Defeat is merely temporary.
The news of the election of YZ Yau as co-Convener (and others as Mma Odi) of the respectable Nigerian Situation Room is truly cheering and assuring. One day, I'll write about the fearsome Mma and Ene (out-gone Co-Convener of the Nigerian Situation Room).
Jun 8, 2023 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
People don't realise that economic empires die - not of any natural cause in a few cases; but as a result of changes in economic relations and decline in power in many cases.
Pretty sure many folks have not heard of ABOH. If you haven't, it is a town in Ndokwa, Delta State
Well, late into the 18th century, the lower Niger was a busy waterway, stretching from Aboh, Asaba, Onitsha to Idah. Between both ends- Aboh and Idah - of the lower Niger, Aboh and Idah majorly controlled commercial activities - markets, storage ports and home ports of traders -
Jun 7, 2023 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Sorry we dey the realm of procedural law under the evidence Act. But, let me break it down as follows: 1. Documents produced by INEC is are public documents. If they have CTC - hope you know what's CTC, who give (tender) it to the court?
If you're a lawyer addressing the court from the bar- where lawyers sit in court - you can give it to the court to accept (admit) it as evidence. 2. If the document is not CTC public document, you can only give it to the court through the witness you are calling
Jun 6, 2023 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
There's so much we can learn about our hills and mountains. On this specific subject, there are settled/established studies on such hills as Idanre, Ayanran ( formerly Kukuruku in Akoko, Ondo), Oban, Udi, etc
Kukuruku bounds much of northern Edo, extending as far as west of Kabba, and the surroundings of Kogi central. The peak is at Somorika, Edo State.
May 22, 2023 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
If it is true that INEC destroyed BVAS data in March to conceal the fraud it perpetuated during the presidential poll in February, two things have to happen.
Firstly, the police have to launch criminal investigation into the criminal act and bring those responsible to book
Secondly, the basis in which primary evidence is adduced from BVAS data is thrown into doubt; and the claim that BAT won the 2023 presidential poll doesn't then pass the legality test. The destruction of data completely erodes LAWFULNESS
May 21, 2023 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
"No marriage in Nigeria shall be made invalid by the act of the husband who presses or squeezes the bum of his wife. Consent of the wife is not required".
Section 10 (12) Marriage Act, 2023
Marriage under this Act shall, after consumation, be deemed invalid by reason of the fact that the act stated in subsection 13 above has not been complied with".
- Section 10(13) Marriage Act, 2023
Apr 16, 2023 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
That's another way. Perjury is a crime, but will the Police prosecute? Worth trying.
First, we've to ascertain the authenticity of the document and certified that it is genuine.
Two, do a criminal complaint to the police stating that the crime of perjury - lying on oath - has
been committed and demanding that the police act under Section 4 (a) Police Act 2020.
If the police fail to act, citizen can take out an exparte application for mandamus in the Federal High Court to compel IGP to prosecute; OR
Apr 15, 2023 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
I don't wish lawyers or families of victims of SARS to go through what I went through during the sittings of Judicial Panels in the SE. Those who followed me for two months - October through December 2020 - observed that by late December 2020 I was mentally and physically broken
Reading endless testimonies of survivors of SARS brutality; testimonies of families whose only sons were murdered by SARS; looking at photos of those who were murdered - youngsters barely out of their teen years - and looking at the weeping faces of parents who sought justice...
Apr 15, 2023 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
Re: Report of SaharaReporters concerning the gun-runner, CSP Nwafor Rtrd @DefenceInfoNG 1. Rtrd CSP Nwafor was indicted by the Anambra State Judicial Panel on Police Brutality 2020; 2. The Report of the Panel submitted to Gov Obiano and later received by Gov Soludo 3. Both Governors, particularly Gov Soludo, have hidden the Report from the public; 4. Rtrd CSP Nwafor was the security enforcer of Gov Obiano until he was exposed in October 2020, following ENDSars protests
Apr 14, 2023 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
..."qualification requirement” as it relates to membership of a political party “is in section 131(c) which provides that a person shall be qualified for election to the office of President if he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that party,...
...The quest by the Appellant to read into this clear and unambiguous provision what is not there” with the integral interpretation that ‘the person’s name must be on the Register of Members of the Political Party and must have been so for at least 30
Apr 12, 2023 • 9 tweets • 2 min read
I've explained this several times. The disqualifying grounds in Section 137(1(d) CFRN 1999 are quite rightly grounds of alternatives- each separated out by the conjunction, "OR".
Under Section 137(1)(d), you'll find the following disqualifying grounds/offences: 1. Death sentence imposed by a Court or tribunal in Nigeria; 2. Sentence of imprisonment; 3. Fine for any offence involving dishonesty; 4. Fraud; 5. Any other offence imposed by ANY COURT
Apr 11, 2023 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
The issue of non-joinder ( of PDP/Atiku) is of no moment to me really and it is for this reason I didn't bother to waste my time on it. The competent and necessary parties are BAT/APC to whom Obi seeks his declaratory and injunctive reliefs. See Akerele v Akerele (2020) -CA
Obi's reliefs have nothing to do with Atiku/PDP; and the orders that Obi is seeking are against BAT/APC, which to me means that the subject matter or cause of action existing between LP/Obi and APC/BAT can be sufficiently settled without PDP/Atiku being a party