Weekly political notes

Victor Oye


Kano Assembly Suspends Probe Of Emir Sanusi After ‘Osinbajo, IBB Intervention’
The Kano State House of Assembly has called off its investigation of alleged misappropriation of funds, in addition to other infractions attributed to the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi.

The House resolved to drop the probe on Monday, following a plea through a letter by the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, which was read by the Speaker, Kabiru Alhassan Rirum, on the floor of the House.

In his letter, Governor Ganduje said he was calling for the investigation to be dropped as a result of interventions by highly placed personalities in the matter.

These personalities, according to the letter, include the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo; party leaders; former heads of state, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar; Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar; and businessmen and indigenes of the state, Aliko Dangote and Aminu Dantata.

Ganduje said although he was reluctant to interfere in the activities of the state’s legislative arm, he was appealing to the lawmakers to “tamper justice with mercy” and allow peace to prevail.”

Wawoo, wonders shall never end in this country. So, despite the Weekly Political Notes’ position last week, that Emir Sanusi’s probe does not need any anybody’s intervention, considering that as a renowned economist, Sanusi is expected to keep his books open and ready for inspection all the time, some people still went ahead to intervene secretly.

If one may ask; what was the intervention for? And what did those who intervened, especially the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo want to achieve or portray? Do they intend to save Emir Sanusi from being humiliated, help him to cover his malfeasance or are they supposed to make him account for his stewardship in office? This is confusing, disappointing and embarrassing, especially happening at a time the Buhari’s government has declared total war on corruption. With this, it is obvious that the government’s anti-graft war is for some people and not for everybody.

Besides, why did Emir Sanusi accept the intervention, when he was supposed to take the fight to the legislature? Why didn’t he insist on the probe to clear his name? Or, is he saying that all his previous outbursts, pontifications and sermons about morality and good governance are hypocritical and self-serving?

Well, with this, it is expected of Emir Sanusi to henceforth stop throwing stones as it has become obvious that he is also living in a glass house. So, there is no difference between him and “them.” Is that what he wants Nigerian to take home?

Fayose Seeks To Complete Tenure Aborted
By Impeachment
Ekiti State governor Ayo Fayose, said on Monday that he would contest his removal from office during his first term in 2006. The governor spoke on his monthly public enlightenment programme, “Meet Your Governor in Ado Ekiti.”

He said since the Supreme Court had ruled that his impeachment was illegal, null and void, he reserved the constitutional right to contest the removal.

According to him, since his tenure had been adjudged by the Supreme Court to have been illegally truncated, he had no option than to approach the same court to seek interpretation of the judgment.

The governor said the pertinent question to ask the court is whether by virtue of an earlier judgment in his favour, dismissing his removal, he has no right to seek to complete his remaining tenure of seven months.

Describing Fayose as cat with nine lives and a seeker of attention is not an overstatement. It will be recalled that Fayose has said before now that he would not contest for another term when his current tenure ends next year. While there could be nothing legally wrong in him changing his mind now on the issue, there is something morally wrong in being unstable. But what does one expect from a restless governor like Fayose, who says many things at a time and forgets many as well.

However, Fayose’s decision if followed to logical conclusion will not only enrich the country’s jurisprudence, it will also deepen the democracy. Who knows if Fayose will be third time lucky even though there are doubts in some quarters. After all, nobody gave Peter Obi chance when he won his tenure interpretation suit at the Supreme Court in 2008.

Govt Slams Gov. Al-Makura For Demolishing Private Radio Station
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Monday expressed shock over the demolition of a property housing Breeze 99.9 FM by Nasarawa State Government.“We are sad that a radio frequency serving as a platform for the airing of views has been destroyed,” France Ayetan, NBC Zonal Director for North-Central, said after inspecting the ruins in Lafia, the state capital.

Breeze FM, said to be the first private radio in Lafia, was demolished, barely two months after it commenced operations.Nasarawa State Urban Development Board accused the station’s management of failing to procure proper building approval.

“We brought down the radio station because its structures did not comply with approved land laws,” the board’s managing director, Adamu Sule, said in a statement.

But Ms. Ayetan raised serious objections to Sule’s assertion, saying that the state government officials were present during the commissioning of the station on March 31.

“On March 31, when we came to commission the station, the state government was fully represented,” Ms. Ayetan said.“If government had raised any reservation then, as a regulatory body, we would have waited a little more before inaugurating the station. But none was raised.”
Nawani Aboki, the station’s administrator, said the reasons adduced by the state were questionable and absurd.

The state government’s action is unprecedented, not even in the military era when proscription of media houses was a common practice. Also not tenable and acceptable is the government’s reason for demolition.

While it is true and constitutional that the land use Act confers on the state government the authority over any land in the state, it is expected that such power would be exercised with caution and human face. If truly the owner of the radio station violated building regulations as claimed by the government agency, why didn’t the government inform him earlier, give him time to relocate, or at worst, shut it down. Why the sudden outright demolition with a short notice? What went wrong?

While, government’s action is dictatorial, its motive seems vindictive, as it was alleged that the radio station has aired the outcry and plight of state workers that are being owed five months salaries. It is quite unfortunate and disappointing that this bizarre action is coming from a state governor who benefitted immensely from the media at the peak of the failed impeachment move against him during his first term in office.

Court Sacks APGA Chairman, Victor Oye
An Enugu High Court presided over by Justice A.R Ozoemena on Monday ordered the removal of the national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Oye and replaced him with Chief Martin Agbaso.

The judge ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop further dealings with Oye.The action of the court followed a suit by the Secretary of the party in Enugu State, Comrade Mike Alioke, who challenged the continued occupation of office by Oye after the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party affirmed his suspension on October 5 last year.

He had asked for the order of Mandamus compelling INEC to stop further recognition of Oye based on the suspension, as well as ensuring that the non-recognition was sustained by INEC.

He asked that the decision of the NWC should be upheld by INEC and allow Chief Martin Agbaso who was recognised by the NWC authority to function as the National Chairman of the party.

Justice Ozoemena, who had granted the three reliefs sought, asked the INEC to recognise Agbaso.While the timing of this development in APGA is suspicious and worrisome, considering that the Anambra governorship is fast approaching, it will take further judicial interventions to resolve it.

With the unfolding leadership tussle in the party, it is certain that if it is not resolved quickly, the party may be going into the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra as a divided house. Likely to be affected most is the Anambra state governor, Willie Obiano, who is seeking a second term on the party’s platform.

Meanwhile, it would be recalled that this kind of development occurred in the party ahead of the last governorship election in the state in 2013, when a high court sitting in Enugu removed Chief Victor Umeh as the party chairman. It took subsequent judgments from the appellate courts for Umeh to be restored before the election.

Whether the 2013 scenario will repeat itself remains unclear, especially as the two plots appeared to have been orchestrated by different forces with varied interests. But whatever will be the outcome will be dependent on the judiciary and time. Meanwhile, the earlier the issue is resolved, the better for Obiano and his party, having seen that they have a lot of forces to contend with in the election, the incumbency factor at their disposal notwithstanding.

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Ayo FayoseVictor Oye


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