Chief VE Otomiewo (Former Attorney General of Delta State) - Guest Speaker
Prof. Temi Akporhonor
Emmanuel Gbahabo (NAS Cap'n)
Dr. Roland Oritsejafor (Former Minister of State for Defence)- Chairman
On the 26th day of September, 2018, I received a terse call from my very good friend- Misan Ukubeyinje demanding that I give my consent to the ORDER That I perform the task given to me this morning. I had no choice and/or moral reason to turn down his request. This is as a result of the FRIENDLY and/or mutual understanding between myself and Misan over the years. This is particularly at the social level.
Apart from the command, I was not even allowed the luxurious options the choice of the topic for the discussions. I was just simply and humbly command to make my ugly voice available for the topic “DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY FROM ELECTED POLITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS”
2.0.1. I was at once thrown into a quandry. My anguish was complemented and/or compounded on 28th of September, 2018 when the letter of request and/or invitation arrived and the today was reiterated and /or emphasized.
2.0.2. My Dilemma-
- I am a lawyer. The little knowledge I have about accountancy was derived about FOURTY (40) YEARS AGO at ESSI College. The knowledge has been tempered over the years by human factors
- I am not a politician
- Since 1979, I cannot remember any election conducted in this country in which any “Political office holder” can beat his or her chest and say righteously and/or proudly that he or she was elected in the real sense of the word
3.0. I will try my best as a lawyer and/or an affected and/or helpless citizen of this country as well as from the perspective of my experience in the best SIXTY (60) YEARS, to do justice to the topic.
4.0. THE POSITION OF THE CONSTITUTION AND OTHER RELEVANT LAWS ON ACCOUNTABILITITY VIZ-A-VIZ POLITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS.
SECTION 1(1) of the constitution of the federal republic of the Nigeria in 1999 as (amended) provided as follows
“This constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the federal republic of Nigeria”.
Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the same constitution provides for the legislative executive and judicial powers of the federation. We are supposed to be practicing “DEMOCRACY” and the framers of the constitutions made us know straight away that our type of democracy is borrowed one. It is not derived from our traditional and /or cultural mores and /values. It is a house built on the culture, traditions and religions of our colonial master. Nevertheless, I remembered being taught in 1976 in Edo College by one of my government master, that: “FOR THE MASTER FORMS OF GOVERNMENT, LET THE FOOLS DEBATE, WHAT IS BEST ADMINITERED IS BEST”.
It is instructive to note that the heading of part of the constitution containing section 4,5, and 6 is titled in PART 11 as “POWERS OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA” , in other words, ALL the powers of the federal of Nigeria was donated to the THREE arms by a fiat and/ or military decree. It was donated by the people themselves. The result of this donation is what we are experiencing today in all the three arms of government, political parties, Christian and Muslims Religions e.t.c
5.0 It is instructive to point out at this juncture that after collaring the powers of Federation in the THREE arms mentioned above and not in the people per-se, the constitution now created in chapter 11, what frames called “FUNDAMENTAL OBJECTIVE AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY”
The Economy of time and space shall not permit me to set out the provision out here seriatim. There are TWELVE sections and or items listed in this chapter, they include: -
Section 13- fundamental obligation of the government
Section 14- The Government and the people
Section 15- Political Objectives
Section 16- Economics Objectives
Section 17-Social Objectives
Sections 18-Educational Objectives
Section 19-Foreign Objectives
Section 20- Environmental Objectives
Section 21- Directive on Nigerian Cultures
Section 22- Obligation of the mass media
Section 23-National Ethics
Section 24- Duties of Citizen
Lofty and ideal to any civil society as the above provisions and irrespective of the fact that the above objective is taken for granted as given and/ or provided for in Europe and countries like Malaysia, Dubai, Singapore etc.
The same constitution in section 6(6) provides as follows: -
“THE JUDICIAL POWERS VESTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS OF THESE SECTIONS: -
Shall not, except as otherwise provided by this constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act or omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the fundamental objectives and directives principles of state policy set out in chapter 11 of this constitution.
So much for accountability and state principles and objectives, After the constitution has by its own provisions referred to above, rendered the most relevant objectives of governance non- justifiable, it Now went further in chapter IV to donate empty and / or ineffective FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ‘’ to a helpless citizenry. The provision of Chapter IV of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are hereunder reproduced;
Section 33-Right to life
Section 34- Right to Dignity of Human person
Section 35- Right to Personal Liberty
Section 36- Right to fair Hearing
Section 37- Right to Private and Family Life
Section 38- Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion
Section 39- Right to Freedom of Expression and the press
Section 40- Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association
Section 41- Right to Freedom of Movement
Section 42- Right to Freedom from Discrimination
Section 43- Right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.
Ladies and Gentlemen, when you critically juxtapose the non –justifiability of the provisions of chapter 11 with the Fundamental Right provisions contained in chapter IV, the provision of Chapter 1V and some other provisions of the constitution are rendered prostrate and totally worthless if not completely useless. For examples, what use is a right to life for those resident under the bridge opposite Shoprite or the right to dignity of human person and right to personal liberty to the army of ‘’Iiron damage’’ master degree holders operating ‘’Okada and or Keke Napep ‘’ Droves of young boys and girls travelling by road and through the Mediterranean to eke a living prostitution and menial jobs in Europe; the despondent and hopeless youths hooked on marijuana and feeds on tramadol, codeine, rephenol etc. How do you want the aforementioned persons to demand for accountability?
The point I am trying to convey above is that the constitution itself has laid practically the foundation for criminality and /or impunity, thus making the demand for accountability almost an academic exercise and / or practically impossible,
6.0. A PEOPLE WILL SURELY GET THE TYPE OF LEADERSHIP AND / OR GOVERNMENT THEY DESERVE AND / OR DESERVE A GOVERNMENT AND OR LEADERSHIP THEY GET.
It is immutable, it is divine, it cannot be debated. It is the law of nature applicable to every creator and /or in every creation. It is not subjected to any religion, colour and / or creed. Whatsoever a am soweth that he shall reap. Birds of the feather will surely bond together
Gentlemen and ladies, it is divinely impossible for a good leader to emerge out of a corrupt and / or bad followership. It is therefore not possible for a Nelson Mandala to emerge from any other place but South Africa. Fidel Castrol can only
Emerge out of Cuba, Mahatir Muhammed can only emerge from Malaysia KUAN YEW from Singapore, Jerry Rawlings from Ghana, Meles from Ethiopia, Kagame Rwanda etc.
On the other hand, Awolowo cannot be a leader in Nigeria without an Ahmadu Bello and / or Obasanjo arising to frustrate him. A Murtala Mohammed can only function for six months before a Dimika will kill him etc. In other words, how can a people who are divinely corrupt and /or morally bankrupt demand for accountability from their equally corrupt leaders. Our own democracy is what SAM OMATSEYE in one of his contribution in the national newspaper called’ DEMOCRACY OF DUNCES”. If the democracy of dunces, consider the following latest scenario: -
- A semi – literate Patience Jonathan, a public servant before husband was “made” the president of Nigeria, had in one of her numerous account- $8. 4 million and N7.4 Billion. A stupid Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has been justifying the stupendous loot in court for THREE YEARS NOW and to booth at each court day about one hundred (100) dredge of the society, the victims of this unprecedented and heartless looting are conveyed from Yenagoa and Port Harcourt in uniform attire to clamor for the return of the loot to Patience Jonathan
- State Governors met in Abuja and told Nigerians that they cannot pay Nigerian hapless and impoverished workers and the poorest people on earth N30,000.00 per month: -
- One of the Governors at the meeting and who was very vociferous in the rejection of N30,000.00 as minimum wage got home and appointed additional Special Advisers/ Assistants, bringing the total number of his aides to 4,000 idle persons paid from government coffers. The governor was honoured with a thanksgiving party and three-page advert for his magnanimity by the same people whose salaries has not been paid for almost two years now.
- Another was so dazed by the death of one the author of our miseries that he donated the state allocation for the burial ceremony of a man who was at his- a billionaire.
- The clown in Imo state constructed a statute in honour of a man who is standing trial for graft in his country and he had enough crowd among his people to cheer him on the day of the unveiling of the statute. Some workers even took expensive pages in national newspapers to celebrate the Governor.
- Another one in Cross-River State is preparing to parade half-clad prostitutes along the streets of Calabar in the name of carnival and the name of negatively impact economic impacted citizen of the state will in a procession cheer him on even on empty stomach and at the risk of the education and health of their children.
“Without prejudice to any laws or existing suits or any other rights arising out of in respect thereof, all assets of any Nigerian citizen within the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, or within the possession or control of any person known to be a current or former government official, a person acting for and on behalf of such an official, any politically exposed person or any person who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in corrupt practices and other Related Offences are forthwith to be protected from dissipation by employing all available lawful or statutory means, including seeking the appropriate Order(s) of Court where necessary, and shall not be transferred, withdrawn or dealt with in any way until the final determination by a court of competent jurisdiction of any corruption related matter against such a person”.
8:00 Ladies and Gentlemen, do you believe that the most vociferous critics of this Order consists majorly and in majority the same persons the president indented to protect by this Order. At this stage, let me commend to you a write up I downloaded from my WhatsApp written by Michael Sam.
- NIGERIA IS AN IMPOSSIBLE COUNTRY TO GOVERN IF YOU ARE NOT A THIEF
- HOW DO YOU GOVERN A PEOPLE WHO CELEBRATE CORRUPTION AND THEN CRY WHEN THE DAMAGE IS DONE, AS IF THEY HAD NO IDEA WHERE IT CAME FROM?
- A COUNTRY WHERE TREASURY LOOTERS ARE WORSHIPPED AND EXPECT TO BE BRIBED TO DO THEIR JOB OR ANY JOB
- HOW DOES A GOOD MAN GOVERN A COUNTRY THAT STILL CELEBRATES A PRESIDENT WHO PRESIDED OVER THE WANTON PILFERING OF ITS RESOURCES AND SOME OPENLY WISH HE COULD COME BACK TO POWER
- A COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE SPEND MORE TIME ON THEIR KNEES THAN THEY DO ON THE JOB. A COUNTRY WHERE WORK SCHEDULE RUNS FROM 7:30AM TO 4:30PM, BUT WORKDAY ENDS AT 12 NOON ON A VERY GOOD DAY.
- HOW DO YOU FIX AN ECONOMY THAT IMPORTS EVERYTHING FROM TOOTHPICK TO TOILET PAPER AND MAKES NOTHING? AN ECONOMY THAT HAS FOR YEARS AND EVEN DECADES HAD ONLY ONE CURRENCY- CORRUPTION
- HOW DOES A GOOD MAN GOVERN A COUNTRY THAT HAS MORE PLACES OF WORSHIP THAN FARM LANDS OR FACTORIES AND EVERYONE SEES CORRUPTION AS MEANS TO GOD&RSQUO;S BLESSING?
- A COUNTRY WHERE GETTING RICH FROM PRAYER AND NOT WORK IS A DAILY SPIRITUAL DIET AND MEN OF GOD OPENLY FRATERNIZE WITH CERTIFIED AND INDICTED THIEVES AND DROOL OVER THEIR LOOT
- A COUNTRY WHERE HARDWORK IS DERIDED AND EVERYONE SEEKS WEALTH AT ALL COST
- A COUNTRY WHERE POLITICIANS HAVE NO IDEOLOGY AND POLITICS A COMPETITION BETWEEN THIEVING PARTIES THAT ARE ONLY UNIFIED BY THEIR COMPETITION FOR THE COUNTRY'S RESOURCES
- A COUNTRY WHERE THE PRESIDENT MUST BRIBE THE LEGISLATORS TO GET HIS BUDGET PASSED
- HOW DOES A GOOD MAN GOVERN NIGERIA WHERE EVERYONE HE SEES AROUND CANNOT WAIT TO GET RID OF HIM SO THEY CAN START STEALING AND THEY ALL SEE HIM AS THE STUMBLING BLOCK TO THEIR DESIRE TO LOOT THE TREASURY
- NIGERIA IS NO COUNTRY FOR GOOD MEN AND GOOD MEN IN POWER ARE OXYMORONS
- IT TOOK MAHATHIR MUHAMMAD 22YEARS (1981-2003) TO FIX MALAYSIA
- IT TOOK LEE KUAN YEW 8 CONSECUTIVE TERMS IN OFFICE FOR 30 YEARS (1959-1990) TO FIX SINGAPORE
- IT TOOK JERRY RAWLINGS 26 YEARS (1981-2002) TO FIX GHANA
- IT TOOK MELES ZEWANI 12YEARS (1995-2012) TO FIX ETHIOPIA
- BUT THEY WANT NIGERIA TO BE MIRACULUOUSLY FIXED IN 2 YEARS
HMM! NIGERIANS ARE EXCEPTIONALLY WONDERFUL PEOPLE
9:00 Ladies and Gentlemen, I have avoided drawing a conclusion, what I was mandated to do is to provoke a discussion. The conclusion and solution are for all of us. My task in my own humble opinion is done. Let the discussion begin, let the debate continue.
LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
LONG LIVE DELTA STATE!
CHIEF V.E. OTOMIEWO