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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Saatah Nubari: Dear Christian, COZA Won’t Be An Excuse On Judgment Day

I had tried keeping this to myself for some time now, or let’s just say since May this year. It has been my church since I entered the University, The Circle International Church. Located in the outskirts of Port Harcourt, and boasting of about 2,000 members every Sunday, I was proud to be a worker in that house of God. It all started when Mrs. Zelda, called me on a Saturday, to come to their house, to help her send some stuffs to some church leaders since her husband, Pastor Zelda Anselem was a guest minister in another church for a program. With the usual zeal to serve God in any way necessary, I dressed up and went to their house, which was opposite the Corpus Christi Cathedral, along Garrison in Port Harcourt.

On getting to the house, Mrs. Zelda brought out some boxes that contained church invitation flyers. After moving 4 of those boxes into the church car I was supposed to use in conveying the flyers, she asked me to come to the bedroom to pick up 2 more boxes in the wardrobe. I had nothing in mind; I didn’t see anything wrong in going into the bedroom of my pastor since I was only doing God a service. On getting to the room, she directed me to the wardrobe. As I picked the boxes and turned back so I could head for the door, lo and behold, there was Mrs. Zelda, the wife of my pastor, standing in front of me bla bla bla bla bla. You were expecting me to say naked right?

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, there’s no church with the name “The Circle International Church”, and neither is there any human being— let alone pastor with the name Pastor Zelda Anselem. I wanted to even use a name like Pastor Zenda, it was underlined red, and so I right clicked and chose Zelda from the list. The point is this is how simple it is to write a false story and castigate someone. I’m not saying Ese Walter confession is wrong, neither am I saying her heart felt story is right. I’m just keeping my options open; after all they are both human and are programmed to err.

Well the COZA scandal involving Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo and Ese Walter is no longer news. As I write this, Pastor Biodun should have mounted that pulpit to deliver a wonderful sermon. I don’t know if the allegations (as at now, there are more than one) levelled against him are correct, and honestly, I don’t care. Let me start by stating that I’m not a Christian. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also not a Muslim or atheist—as a matter of fact, I do believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. Being a Christian means you are Christ like, and we all know what Christ like means. To be Christ like, you have to be without sin, and I happen not to fit that description. So let’s just say I’m trying to be a Christian, i.e. Christ like.

I won’t say much. I’ll just remind us that this is a heavenly race; I think it is a marathon and not a 4×400. If it were to be a relay, we’d know that we have to make sure our team wins, so as to make heaven. Well, I’m sorry peeps, this is a marathon, and it is everybody OYO! (On your own).

When people say that men of God are not that important, and that we all have access to God, I laugh. They are not wrong; we do have access to God individually, but let’s look at it differently. Everything has a hierarchy, even Christianity. You’ve heard of Pastors going mad while trying to cast out demons, and you’ve also heard of pastors who have cast out demons, now what’s the difference? That a pastor went mad doesn’t mean he wasn’t anointed. It simply means him level no reach the demon own. Sorry for deviating from our COZA story. The point is that pastors are very important; they are like a link between us and God, mostly a link between people who have no link to God.

Let’s not judge anybody based on a story we read, let’s try to make heaven irrespective of what our pastor does, did or is doing. There was a reason God gave us the bible, if you think your pastor is not linking you to God the way you want, carry your bible, go on your knees and link yourself to God. When I pray, I don’t ask God for much. I have now started asking him for something different, I ask him to be fair on judgment day because he knows how easy it is to sin and how difficult or almost impossible it is not to sin. His son Jesus Christ was also tempted too. I also pray that he judges me last because I’d love to have a long laugh during the court proceedings, right before I go to wherever I’m judged to go.

We don’t know how God will judge. We might be arranged ethnic group by ethnic group, sex by sex, age by age, continent by continent, colour by colour, he might even zone it—like North East first and all that, just like our political parties do. The thing is that we don’t know how it’s going to be, and who’ll make heaven of hell. God might have labelled it like this:

NAME                    –          DESTINATION
Sani Abacha           –          Heaven
Ibrahim Babangida   –          Hell
Sen. Yerima            –          Heaven
James Ibori              –          Heaven
Olusegun Obasanjo  –          Judgment in progress
Pastor Biodun          –          Heaven
Mrs. Biodun             –          Hell
Ese Walters             –          Hell
Saatah Nubari           –          Still typing this
Goodluck Jonathan    –          Buying a shoe (will be judged when he gets a shoe)

My point is that we should live our lives, serve God and don’t worry about the pastors, they are also in this race with us. That your pastor sleeps with a PCU (Pastoral Care Unit) member doesn’t mean God does not exist or that Christianity is a sham. Forget Pastor Biodun and our so-called repentant Ese Walter, go to church, worship God, read your bible and pray you make heaven. Your pastor won’t be your lawyer when court sits on judgment day—as a matter of fact, there are no lawyers. As for me, I have asked God to judge me last, and I’d be sitting with a plate of hot akamu, laughing when God asks you ”so it is because your pastor bought a private jet and you heard of COZA that you stopped believing in me?”

May we all make heaven, Amen!

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Opinion

 

Between Man And Beast – by Ademola Adegbamigbe

I was an undergraduate visiting Lagos in the 1980s when I experienced my first culture shock. That time, Oshodi was still a seat of bedlam where crime and grime walked on two legs.

Just across the rail line, I asked a molue driver the way to Nestlé Nigeria plc in Ilupeju. In order to practise my phonetics and speak English like the company’s late chairman, Ambassador Dove Edwin, I pronounced the word Nestlé. However, the driver whom I approached thought he knew better.

“That word is pronounced Nestu,” he corrected me, grinning, his kolanut and cigarette-stained dentition showing a gap which gave him a piratical appearanache. He looked around in a come-and-see-this-ignoramus, Johnny-just-come fashion. As if on cue, his colleagues and bus mates bent double with alcohol-reeking guffaws.

“Ok sir, how do I get to Nestu?” I asked again. He volunteered the description at the end of the day.

As I made to jump over the rail line, squadrons of flies flew from an object spread-eagled on the ground, as if protesting against my approach. For bad measure, my nostrils were assailed by a gut-wrenching stench.

How could a corpse lie in public and people move about unconcerned, some smoking, others calling for alms, while even many women were sucking oranges and eating corn or mouth organ? I asked myself, my jaw still hanging slack as I made my way to Nestlé or Nestu.

This scene flashed on my mind when I read a report in one of the Nigerian dailies that on Eld-el-Filtri day, an unidentified teenager drowned at the Bar Beach in Lagos. That day, there was a throng of humanity at the beach. Although two volunteers tried to rescue the boy, they could not, as billows of waves threw him up and down, his hands flailing as he was disappearing in the distance where the sky and the sea appeared to join. The boy was gone, never to be seen again.

What worried me and, I believe, many Nigerians with human feeling was this portion of the report: “Other fun seekers continued with their fun as if nothing had happened.”

There was another newspaper story last week about a 25-year old Aminu Jimoh who was arrested in Ibadan for burying his brother’s son alive for money making ritual. His herbalist, John Joseph and another accomplice, 27-year old Maliki Aderounmu, were docked at an Ibadan Chief Magistrates’ Court, after which they were remanded in prison custody.

Trouble started when the herbalist who holds court at the Osunrara village, Igangan, told the wealth seekers to bring a child for money ritual. Then something sinister took place in Jimoh’s delicate brain matter; he took away the son of his own brother. Jimoh and his brother live on the same premises, a situation that heightened the sense of this betrayal or crime.

Also in Adamawa State, the police paraded Bappa Alti, 24, of Gamji village in Gombi Local Government Area. His alleged offence: He beheaded his own five-year old son, Buba, for N1 million. What did he want to use the money for? To buy cows!

It was when he went to the farm with the boy and failed to return with him that Alhaji Guja Alti, his grandfather, became suspicious. He reported to the police which arrested the culprit.

Add these to the Boko Haram insurgents who, like the Mongol hordes carrying out the orders of Attila the Hun, leave corpses everywhere they visit. Students of tertiary institutions, who belong to one cult group or the other, snuff life out of their fellow undergraduates with no more effort than plucking a twig.

Let us leave President Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Rotimi Amaechi or Jonah Jang for a moment and reflect on our psychological make-up as contemporary Nigerians. What exactly is wrong that people no longer respect human life? How come many do not show sympathy, let alone, empathy?

What exactly is the difference between us, humans, who lay claim to reason, and beasts that roam the jungle?

I join John Wilmot, the poet who, in his, “Satire Against Mankind,” compares man and beast:

Which is the basest creature, man or beast?
Birds feed on birds, beasts on each other prey,
But savage man alone does man betray.
Pressed by necessity, they kill for food;
Man undoes man to do himself no good.
With teeth and claws by nature armed, they hunt
Nature’s allowance, to supply their want.
But man, with smiles, embraces, friendship, praise,
Inhumanly his fellow’s life betrays;
With voluntary pains works his distress,
Not through necessity, but wantonness.

The first problem is our erosion of values, so much so that wealth has become an end itself, notwithstanding the means of getting it. In the past, parents, villagers and traditional rulers asked questions about the origin of the riches of an upstart.

Not any longer. Once criminals can spread money like confetti, they will be honoured with chieftaincy titles, honorary degrees and can find their ways to governor’s offices and National Assembly.

Then the question remains: why do city dwellers behave as if they have no feeling?

My thesis: Perhaps, modernity has eroded the humanity in civilised man and he behaves like a machine.

My advice to village and city dwellers is this. In your solitude, ask the question: why am I here? Is there an Unmoved Mover behind creation to whom I will make explanations one day?

Lastly, parents should not shirk their responsibility in introducing their wards to correct religious precepts, folklore, moral literature and other concepts.

These can help build the inner man, a process that will make them different from ravaging beasts or ordinary automatons.

End of sermon!

@Femiolas

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Opinion

 

Palestine IT Guy Hacked Mark Zuckerberg’s Personal Facebook Timeline

In an embarrassing breach of security, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had his profile hacked into by an IT worker in Palestine. The hacker managed to write and share links on Zuckerberg’s private timeline, even though they were not Facebook friends.

Khalil Shreateh, an IT security researcher, had contacted the social network giant twice trying to report the glitch in Facebook’s security system, but had been told that there was no problem. Frustrated, he decided to hack into Zuckerberg’s profile to prove his point.

In the post, which has since been removed, he apologised for breaking Zuckerberg’s privacy, adding: “I had no other choice… after all the reports I sent to Facebook team”.

In less than a minute, Shreateh’s account was suspended and he was contacted by a Facebook security engineer requesting the details of the hack. Facebook pays a minimum $500 reward for any security flaws that a hacker finds. However, the company has refused to pay Shreateh for discovering the vulnerability because his actions violated Facebook’s Terms of Service.

Matt Jones from Facebook’s security team confirmed that the bug has now been fixed, admitting that the company should have asked more details after Shreateh’s initial report.

“We get hundreds of reports every day. Many of our best reports come from people whose English isn’t great – though this can be challenging, it’s something we work with just fine and we have paid out over $1 million to hundreds of reporters,” he said.

“However, many of the reports we get are nonsense or misguided. We should have pushed back asking for more details here.”

Shreateh has made a video explaining his misadventure and shared it online, where it has already been viewed over 140,000 times.

#Additional information from Information Nigeria

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Opinion

 

Affront To Nigeria From Backwater Malawi

Malawi is a very small country compared to Nigeria. With an estimated population of about 14,900,000 and landmass of just 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi), it is just unthinkable that Malawi would have the audacity to point the middle finger in the direction of any city in Nigeria. Referring to Calabar, one of the best cities in Nigeria, as lacking international flights, insecure and unfit to host its national football team and officials and referring to it with many unpalatable adjectives, show Malawi is lacking in information and education about Calabar.

In the words of Football Association of Malawi and its Belgian Coach Tom Saintfiet:

“There is security risk in Calabar where the match will be played, as reported by the Commonwealth Commission. The venue of the match is risky to our delegation and we would like FIFA to shift the match to Abuja or to a neutral country where our delegation will be safe. Calabar has been flagged as a high-risk security area and this alert cannot be taken lightly. Our Minister of Sports will be part of the travelling delegation and we do not want to take security risks by travelling to Calabar.

“Nigeria would like to play in Calabar because it is close to Cameroon in the south-east of Nigeria – not so easy to reach with the only connection via Lagos and Abuja but with no international flights. There are not so many hotels available so it will be very difficult to get there. I have one question also about security because the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office says it is a no-travel area. FIFA may have to think of shifting the match either to Abuja or to another place outside Nigeria because Calabar is obviously not the capital and it is not a big city. The accommodation is not good for such a big game”

It is just unimaginable that a landlocked country whose population cannot even match that of Lagos alone could be so daring.

I guess the country’s Foreign Minister is not doing his ‘foreign’ job very well. If so, he would have known that Calabar has befitting international airport, that Calabar is host to countless Westerners. He would have also known that Calabar is one of most important cities (and probably the neatest) in the oil-rich Niger Delta in Nigeria.

Football Association of Malawi and its Belgian Coach Tom Saintfiet need to be schooled that Calabar is the capital of Cross River State (and Nigeria’s First Capital City) and home to international seaport. It is also their lacking in information that blinds them to the fact that Calabar houses the headquarters of the Nigerian Navy Eastern Naval Command, that it is a city of numerous world-standard hotels and other befitting monuments such as Tinapa Resorts.

Why can’t they Google Calabar before their uninformed babbling!

http://www.google.com.ng/imgres?imgurl=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2658/3951096628_536e9bb0a8_o.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.nairaland.com/364691/beautiful-calabar-pictures&usg=__fUGPMKia0GxfN3p2wmjyJfuOo6M=&h=768&w=1024&sz=660&hl=en&start=1&sig2=KwjsEGlhePtsiHDT26zjjw&zoom=1&tbnid=v7Qhe_lTBrlgJM:&tbnh=113&tbnw=150&ei=_0AJUpHnPMWwhAek4YCoDg&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dtinapa%2Bin%2Bcalabar%26sa%3DX%26hl%3Den-NG%26gbv%3D2%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&sa=X&ved=0CCsQrQMwAA

http://www.google.com.ng/images?hl=en-NG&q=tinapa+in+calabar&gbv=2&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=ojgJUvL7O8S4hAeuv4F4&ved=0CD0QsAQ

http://www.google.com.ng/images?hl=en-NG&q=tinapa+in+calabar&gbv=2&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=ojgJUvL7O8S4hAeuv4F4&ved=0CD0QsAQ

The writer twits at @Femiolas

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Opinion

 

Strange: Kenyan Man Tries to Overturn the Death Sentence Of Jesus Christ

Kenyan lawyer Dola Indidis is on a mission: To get the International Court of Justice at the Hague to overturn the conviction and death sentence of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago.

The logistics, however, are proving a challenge. The target of his lawsuit are the government and religious leaders of Jesus’ day, including Roman Emperor Tiberius, the Roman King Herod, the Judean Governor Pontius Pilate, as well as the Jewish chief priest, elders, and teachers of the law. According to some reports, he also plans to go after the current governments of Italy and Israel, arguing that they inherited laws from the Roman Empire.

“I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” Indidis told the Nairobian. “His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.”

As a matter of law, Indidis’ efforts will fail. Indidis tried to bring the case to the High Court of Kenya in 2007, but the court refused to hear it, citing a lack of jurisdiction. At the International Court of Justice, it would be impossible to even consider the case, much less rule on it.

However, when it comes to contentious cases, the International Court of Justice only has jurisdiction to hear claims that are brought by one state against another state. As this claim is not brought by a state, the ICJ would lack jurisdiction over it. Even if the claim were to be brought by a state, it also needs to be brought against a state, which does not seem to be the case here. And, even then, the two states will need to have consented to the ICJ having jurisdiction to hear the type of case in question. […] In this case, it is not clear what international law might have been violated and, even if there was such a violation, it is not clear that the relevant states have consented to the ICJ having jurisdiction over the dispute.

But that has not stopped Indidis, appears to remain confident. He has a Facebook page asking for donations in support of his cause. He posted a picture of his law society of Kenya identification card, as well as a letter dated December 2011 when he first tried to take the case to the Hague. “Together we can win,” he wrote. “Yes we can.”

Ironically, the legal case of Christ began with questions of legal jurisdiction. According to the New Testament narrative, Jesus had been disturbing the social norms by performing miracles and challenging local authorities. Jewish leaders arrested him during Passover on charges of blasphemy because he claimed to be the Son of God. They brought Jesus before Pilate, who claimed he did not have jurisdiction in the case, and sent him to King Herod, who sent him back to Pilate. Pilate told the people, “I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him…I will therefore have him flogged and release him.” Crowds of people called for Jesus to be crucified, and Pilate gave in. Jesus was then crucified alongside two criminals.

As oddball as the case may be, the Indidis effort does raise a larger theological question that Christians have long debated: Why did Jesus have to die? Theologians have argued that his death was required for salvation to actually happen and that it was important for Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah, the God-Man, to experience human suffering and death.

What was the cosmic reason for his agony? What is its purpose, its divine calculus? How precisely does his death, usually referred to in this context as the atonement, lead to the salvation of humanity?

The atonement “is the centerpiece of Christianity, and it’s what distinguishes it from all other religions,” says Giles Gasper, a religious historian who has written a book about one of the topic’s great medieval interpreters. Without at least an intuitive comprehension of atonement, a believer stands little chance of making sense of the faith’s promises of redemption and eternal life.

It is a question believers will continue to ponder. But as the Apostle Paul explained, in the New Testament book of Romans, the atonement comes with rewards: “If we have been united with [Christ] in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

Source: Time Swanpland

@Femiolas

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Opinion

 

How a Defective Justice System Freed Major Al-Mustapha ¬- Femi Falana

Introduction

Under the Ibrahim Babangida junta, politically motivated killings were rife in several parts of the country. The refusal by the police to investigate such killings lent credence to allegations of official involvement. The gruesome assassination of a prominent journalist, Dele Giwa, by a parcel bomb in Lagos on October 19, 1986 was covered up by the junta. The gallant attempts by the late Gani Fawehinmi SAN to ensure the prosecution of those who were suspected to have masterminded the nefarious deed, were officially frustrated. However, the Sani Abacha junta devised a dubious method of shielding official assassins from being exposed. Whenever any opposition figure was killed by the Strike Force, accusing fingers were quickly pointed at the family members or political allies of the deceased. Thus, sequel to the brutal murder of Kudirat Abiola in Lagos on June 4,1996 by unknown gunmen, some members of the Abiola family and chieftains of the National democratic Coalition(NADECO) were hurriedly arrested, detained and interrogated by the police on suspicion that they committed the heinous crime!

The Indictment of the Murder Suspects

Upon the restoration of civil rule in May 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo instituted the Special Investigation Panel which probed the murderous activities of the Strike Force from 1993-1998. Some of the operatives made confessional statements on the murder of Mrs Abiola, the attempted murder of Chief Alex Ibru, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Isaac Poubeni et cetera. In particular, it was disclosed by the suspects that they carried out the iniquitous crimes on the orders of Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the ex-Chief Security Officer to the late maximum ruler, General Sani Abacha. Upon the completion of investigation, the Police charged the former Chief of Army Staff, General Ishaya Bamaiyi; the former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. James Danbaba; Major Al-Mustapha; Mr. Mohammed Abacha and Mohammed Aminu with the murder of Mrs. Abiola before an Ikeja Chief Magistrate Court in November 1999. The prosecutor in the matter was Nuhu Ribadu who later became the pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The case was taken over by the Lagos state ministry of justice in 2000 which terminated the matter at the Magistrate’s court and charged the defendants for the same offence at the Lagos High Court. In his oral testimony before the Honourable Justice Ade Alabi, the star prosecution witness, Sergeant Barnabas Jabila (a.k.a.Rogers) gave a vivid account and description of how he collected two uzi guns from Major Al-Mustapha. He also disclosed that Lateef Shofolahan gave information on the movements of Mrs. Abiola while Mr. Mohammed Abacha lent his Mercedes Benz car and allowed his driver, Mohammed Abdu (a.k.a Katako) to drive the killer gang to the scene of the crime. Although Mohammed Abacha did not deny the fact that he also gave $20,000 to two members of the killer squad to flee the country (to escape arrest and prosecution) the Supreme Court set him free in a split decision of 4-1.

In the majority decision of the court read by Alfa Belgore (as he then was), it was held that “The Appellant (Mohammed Abacha), in normal matter of course visited the first accused (Al Mustapha) not in course of any business. He saw Al Mustapha whispering to Jaabila (a.k.a Rogers) but not knowing what they discussed. He saw two guns taken out of a bag and given to the Jabila. Al Mustapha was Chief Security Officer and Jabila worked with him. Certainly he would not know what the mission was… Katako drove to the scene with Jabila and others where the unfortunate and gruesome murder was committed by Jabila, at least on his own confession of firing the shots at Mrs. Abiola.”. All the other four Justices on the panel of the apex court made similar profound findings based on the proof of evidence before the trial court. Even the Late Olufemi Ejiwunmi, who delivered a dissenting opinion had this to say: “There was evidence that the Appellant allowed his driver Mohammed Katako to drive Rogers; and that the said Rogers fired and killed Kudirat while being driven by Mohammed Katako. The appellant had seen Al-Mustapha, the first accused hand over machine guns to Rogers and his boys.” In dissociating himself from the decision of his learned brethren that the appellant had no case to answer, Justice Ejiwunmi described the verdict of the court as “a tyranny of majority”.

Before the judgment of the Supreme Court was delivered on July 11, 2002, Sergeant Rogers had appeared before the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Panel on Human Rights Abuses which sat at the old National Assembly building at the Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos. In the detailed evidence given by him sometimes in 2001, Sergeant Rogers confirmed that he fired the shot that snuffed life out of Mrs Kudirat Abiola as part of the atrocities perpetrated by the Strike Force on the orders of Major Al-Mustapha. He revealed that General Jeremiah Useni who was in the hall visited him and other members of the Strike Force in North Korea when they were training on how to kill the “enemies of Nigeria”. When asked by the Honourable Justice Oputa if he regretted his action he said he did and he proceeded to ask for forgiveness as he burst into tears. Curiously, Major Al-Mustapha and others who were indicted by Sergeant Rogers could not challenge the witness even though they were present at the proceedings.

The Delay Tactics by the Defendants

Based on the unassailable evidence led at the trial court and at the Oputa panel on the brutal assassination of Mrs. Abiola, the defendants decided to prolong the trial by resorting to various dilatory tactics. After the prosecution had led seven witnesses in evidence in the case the defendants applied for several adjournments. The trial within trial lasted for over a year. Many interlocutory appeals and applications for stay of proceedings pending the determination of appeals were also filed by the defendants. In dismissing one of the bail applications fought all the way to the Supreme Court, the defendants and their counsel were cautioned by the Justices to cooperate with the trial court to bring the murder case to a speedy end “in the overall interest of the administration of criminal justice in this country.”

When it became clear that the trial judge wanted to proceed with the case, the defendants suddenly turned round to accuse him of having taken a bribe of $10 million to convict them. They also petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) which decided to investigate the allegation. In the circumstance, the murder case was suspended sine die to enable the panel set up by the NJC to investigate the alleged misconduct of the judge. At the end of the investigation which lasted for over a year, the NJC committee found that the bribe allegation was a fluke as it could not be substantiated. The NJC gave the trial judge a clean bill of health and directed him to proceed with the trial. On resumption of hearing, the trial judge was requested by the defendants to withdraw from the case on the ground that he was likely to be biased having been falsely accused by them. At that juncture, Justice Alabi recused himself from the case and it was assigned to another judge. Through such diversionary tactics the case lasted 13 years in the docket and was handled by five judges at different times before it was eventually concluded by Justice Modupe Dada.

The Conviction and the Acquittal

After the trial had lasted for over a decade due to ceaseless adjournments mostly at the instance of the defendants, Justice Dada rejected all fresh strategies designed to frustrate the trial. Curiously, the witness protection arrangement put in place by the federal government was discontinued. Not unexpectedly, some of the witnesses who had earlier on testified refused to show up in court. The star witness, Sergeant Rogers testified but decided to contradict himself by alleging undue influence on the part of the prosecution. In his own defense, Major Al-Mustapha alleged that the trial was politically motivated by two former heads of state. The late Pa Abraham Adesanya (who narrowly escaped Sergeant Rogers’ bullet) and Chief Bola Ige (who was gruesomely assassinated by unknown gunmen in December 2001) were alleged to have collected millions of pounds, dollars and naira from General Abdulsalami Abubakar to betray the June 12 mandate. But when the video recording of the much touted bribe was shown during the trial it turned out to be a ruse deliberately designed to divert the course of justice.

In her considered judgment, Justice Dada rejected the retraction of the confessional statements of the two prosecution witnesses in line with many decisions of the appellate courts to the effect that a trial court can still convict on a retracted confessional statement as long as the judex is satisfied with the truth of the statement. Having watched the demeanour of the witnesses when they testified before her, the trial judge came to the conclusion that the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt that both defendants were guilty of the murder of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola. Accordingly, her ladyship convicted and sentenced them to death by hanging. Completely dissatisfied with the verdict, both convicts challenged it at the Court of Appeal.

Upon a critical review of the case, the Court of Appeal found that the prosecution’s case was riddled with contradictions which ought to have been resolved in favour of the appellants. While condemning the shoddy investigation conducted by the police in the case, the Court discharged and acquitted the appellants. As if that was not enough their ladyships descended on the trial judge for “allowing herself to be caught in the web of the conflict”. But convinced that justice has not been done to the deceased the Court of Appeal concluded thus, ” Assuming the culprit is at large, there is nothing hidden under the sun that will not be exposed. The Law of the Lord is perfect. His judgments are true and righteous altogether–Psalm 19:7–9″.

With profound respect to the Court of Appeal, it does not appear that “the culprit is at large”. Hence the Court criticized the prosecution for fielding Sergeant Rogers “as a prosecution witness instead of being charged with murder” when he had initially confessed to the shooting of the deceased. In Abacha v the State (supra) the Supreme Court had equally noted, with dismay, that “the criminals have not been charged”. In particular, the court observed that “Sergeant Jabila (a.k.a Rogers) gave a graphic description of his involvement that if voluntary must amount to confession . He has not been charged with any offence”. While the Lagos state government has indicated its wish to challenge the judgment of the Appeal Court in the Al-Mustapha’s case at the Supreme Court, it is high time that Sergeant Rogers and the members of the killer gang were charged with conspiracy and murder of Mrs Abiola. After all, there is no statute of limitation with respect to the offence of murder.

Beyond The Acquittal of Major Al-Mustapha

Some members of the public who were not privy to the deliberate frustration of the trial by the defendants joined in the political campaign for their release while the trial was in progress. As impunity has become the order of the day, the Lagos state Attorney-General was under tremendous political pressure to file nolle prosequi with a view to aborting the trial. No doubt, the judges and the prosecutors should be blamed for allowing the defendants to exploit the loopholes in the criminal justice system to drag the trial for 13 years. Ironically, following their conviction by the Lagos high court, the defendants ensured that the appeal filed against the judgment of the trial court was heard and determined within 15 months in spite of the congestion of cases in the Lagos division of the Court of Appeal.

It is however pertinent to note that the Al-Mustapha trial has compelled the Lagos state government to amend the criminal procedure law. Thus, under the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2011, stay of proceedings pending appeal has been prohibited while the courts are precluded from entertaining preliminary objections filed by defendants until the prosecution has closed its case. Furthermore, confessional statements made by suspects are required to be video-recorded to avoid retraction by the defendants which often leads to trial within trial. Adjournments by parties designed to prolong criminal trials have also been banned. It can therefore be said that the case has put an end to the brazen manipulation of the criminal justice system by rich defendants and their lawyers.

However, in view of the incendiary statement credited to the factional leader of the Oodua People’s Congress, Frederick Faseun, to the effect that Major Al-Mustapha is a victim of injustice, he may wish to persuade his new political ally to sue the Lagos State Government for malicious prosecution. It is however doubtful whether Mr. Faseun has come across the comprehensive report of the Oputa Panel which specifically named Major Al-Mustapha as one of “perpetrators of gross violations of the rights of citizens under military rule”. Based on the unwarranted brutality meted out to many innocent persons by such torturers, the Panel recommended that “those of them not yet retired or relieved of their jobs should be so retired forthwith”. On the suspicious death of Chief M.K.O Abiola and other politically motivated killings which characterized the darkest chapter of our political history, the Panel recommended that the Federal Government should re-open such cases for “proper investigation”. But out of sheer class solidarity with the indicted characters, the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration could not muster the political will to implement the recommendations of the Oputa Panel.

CONCLUSION

Those who have expressed genuine concern over the discharge and acquittal of Major Al-Mustapha and Mr Shofolahan should be reminded of the fact that General Ishaya Bamaiyi, Mr James Dambaba, Mohammed Rabo Lawal and Mohammed Aminu who had been tried for the attempted murder of Chief Abraham Adesanya and Chief Alex Ibru had been freed due to the fact that the witnesses who had made confessional statements decided to make a u-turn. In the same vein, those who were charged with the assassinations of Pa Alfred Rewane, Chief Bola Ige, Harry Marshal, et al were left off the hook on the ground that the charges brought against them were not proved beyond reasonable doubt. With respect to the cases of Dele Giwa, Bagauda Kaltho, Jerry Agbeyegbe, Toyin Onagoruwa, Aminasoari Dikibo and several others, the police did not even charge any suspect to court. Since the criminal justice system of the neo-colonial state has virtually collapsed serious cases involving rich criminal suspects are usually lost in court due to either shoddy police investigation or prosecutorial irresponsibility.

But suffice it to say that under the criminal justice system, only the poor are successfully prosecuted for murder and sundry offences because they lack the resources to manipulate the criminal justice system. Ours has become a banana republic that is managed by a ruling class which cannot even protect the lives of its own members. As for the rest of the society it has become a case of everyone for himself and God for us all. Hence, extra-judicial killing of unarmed citizens by security personnel and unofficial killer gangs is on the ascendancy. Instead of resigning to fate in the circumstance, concerned individuals and organizations should be prepared to struggle for the establishment of a new society where impunity will be consigned to the dustbin of history. And the struggle should begin with a call on the Federal Government to disarm and disband the Strike Force and other killer groups set up by the State and well-connected politicians for the violent elimination of their political opponents.

Source: Premium Times

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Opinion

 

The New Wonder Bra For Women

While London’s busy Regent Street certainly sees a colourful cross-section of life in the capital, it is doubtful it has ever seen anything quite like this. Shoppers today were treated to the sight of 10 women striding down the street wearing blue jeans, high heels… and very little else.

The stunt was part of the promotion of InvisiBra: a new strapless, backless bra that all the women were wearing to maintain their dignity.

The bra claims to be a backless, strapless, self-adhesive bra that will lift and enhance cleavage but won’t slip off.

Models parade down London’s busy Regent Street wearing their bras to celebrate the UK launch of Lavalia’s InvisiBra

Despite of their minimal attire and the downcast weather, the girls kept a smile on their face as they posed for the waiting cameras

THE INVISIBLE BRA: HOW DOES IT WORK?

1. It is the clasp of the InvisiBra that makes it different, the firm says.
2. The stickiness is a special glue from Germany that regenerates itself every time it is washed.
’3. The shape of the cups for InvisiBra are unique and the way they are placed on the bosoms and then clasped together in the centre gives the wearer support and lift.
4. ‘It is the only self-adhesive bra that gives you a cleavage,’ they say.
5. Handwash only, each bra can be reused up to 200 times.
6. InvisiBras are made from medical grade silicone with fabric or lace placed over the cups.
7. Invisibra say their silicone is medically proven to be safe for the skin.

Source: The Herald

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in True Life

 
 
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