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CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA 1999

Schedules  Fifth Schedule

Code of Conduct for Public Officers Public Officers for the purposes of the Code of conduct

Part I

Code of Conduct for Public Officers

General

  1. A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.
  2. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, a public officer shall not

(a) receive or be paid the emoluments of any public office at the same time as he receives or is paid the emoluments of any other public office; or

  1. The President, Vice -President, Governor, Deputy Governor, Ministers of the Government of the Federation and Commissioners of the Governments of the States, members of the National Assembly and of the Houses of Assembly of the States, and such other public officers or persons as the National Assembly may by law prescribe shall not maintain or operate a bank account in any country outside Nigeria.
  2. (1) A public officer shall not, after his retirement from public service and while receiving pension from public funds, accept more than one remuneration position as chairman, director or employee of –

(a) a company owned or controlled by the government; or

(b) any public authority.

(2) a retired public servant shall not receive any other remuneration from public funds in addition to his pension and the emolument of such one remunerative position.

  1. (1) Retired public officers who have held offices to which this paragraph applies are prohibited from service or employment in foreign companies or foreign enterprises.

(2) This paragraph applies to the offices of President, Vice-President, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Governor and Deputy governor of a State.

  1. (1) A public officer shall not ask for or accept property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties.

(2) for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) of this paragraph, the receipt by a public officer of any gifts or benefits from commercial firms, business enterprises or persons who have contracts with the government shall be presumed to have been received in contravention of the said sub-paragraph unless the contrary is proved.

(3) A public officer shall only accept personal gifts or benefits from relatives or personal friends to such extent and on such occasions as are recognised by custom:

Provided that any gift or donation to a public officer on any public or ceremonial occasion shall be treated as a gift to the appropriate institution represented by the public officer, and accordingly, the mere acceptance or receipt of any such gift shall not be treated as a contravention of this provision.

  1. The President or Vice-President, Governor or Deputy Governor, Minister of the Government of the Federation or Commissioner of the Government of a State, or any other public officer who holds the office of a Permanent Secretary or head of any public corporation, university, or other parastatal organisation shall not accept –

(a) a loan, except from government or its agencies, a bank, building society, mortgage institution or other financial institution recognised by law,; and

(b) any benefit of whatever nature from any company, contractor, or businessman, or the nominee or agent of such person:

Provided that the head of a public corporation or of a university or other parastatal organisation may, subject to the rules and regulations of the body, accept a loan from such body.

  1. No persons shall offer a public officer any property, gift or benefit of any kind as an inducement or bribe for the granting of any favour or the discharge in his favour of the public officer’s duties.
  2. A public officer shall not do or direct to be done, in abuse of his office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of any other person knowing that such act is unlawful or contrary to any government policy.
  3. A public officer shall not be a member of, belong to, or take part in any society the membership of which is incompatible with the functions or dignity of his office.
  4. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every public officer shall within three months after the coming into force of this Code of Conduct or immediately after taking office and thereafter –

(a) at the end of every four years; and

(b) at the end of his term of office, submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written declaration of all his properties, assets, and liabilities and those of his unmarried children under the age of eighteen years.

(2) Any statement in such declaration that is found to be false by any authority or person authorised in that behalf to verify it shall be deemed to be a breach of this Code.

(3) Any property or assets acquired by a public officer after any declaration required under this Constitution and which is not fairly attributable to income, gift, or loan approved by this Code shall be deemed to have been acquired in breach of this Code unless the contrary is proved.

  1. 1 Any allegation that a public officer has committed a breach of or has not complied with the provisions of this Code shall be made to the Code of Conduct Bureau.
  2. A public officer who does any act prohibited by this Code through a nominee, trustee, or other agent shall be deemed ipso facto to have committed a breach of this Code,
  3. In its application to public officers –

(a) Members of legislative houses shall be exempt from the provisions of paragraph 4 of this Code; and

(b) the National Assembly may by law exempt any cadre of public officers from the provisions of paragraphs 4 and 11 of this Code if it appears to it that their position in the public service is below the rank which it considers appropriate for the application of those provisions.

Code of Conduct Tribunal

  1. (1) There shall be established a tribunal to be known as Code of Conduct Tribunal which shall consist of a Chairman and two other persons.

(2) The Chairman shall be a person who has held or is qualified to hold office as a Judge of a Court of record in Nigeria and shall receive such remuneration as may be prescribed by law.

(3) The Chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal shall be appointed by the President in accordance with the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

(4) The National Assembly may by law confer on the Code of Conduct Tribunal such additional powers as may appear to it to necessary to enable it more effectively to discharge the functions conferred on it in this Schedule.

  1. (1) The tenure of office of the staff of the Code of Conduct Tribunal shall, subject to the provisions of this Code, be the same as that provided for in respect of officers in the civil service of the Federation.

(2) The power to appoint the staff of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and to exercise disciplinary control over them shall vest in the members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and shall be exercisable in accordance with the provisions of an Act of the National Assembly enacted in that behalf.

  1. (1) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, a person holding the office of Chairman or member of the Code of Conduct Tribunal shall vacate his office when he attains the age of seventy years.

(2) A person who has held office as Chairman or member of the Code of Conduct Tribunal for a period of not less than ten years shall, if he retires at the age of seventy years, be entitled to pension for life at a rate equivalent to his last annual salary in addition to other retirement benefits to which he may be entitled.

(3) A person holding the office of Chairman or member of the Code of Conduct Tribunal shall not be removed from his office or appointment by the President except upon an address supported by two-thirds majority of each House of the National Assembly praying that he be so removed for inability to discharge the functions of the office in question (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body) or for misconduct or for contravention of this Code.

(4) A person holding the office of Chairman or member of the Code of Conduct Tribunal shall not be removed from office before retiring age save in accordance with the provisions of this Code.

  1. (1) Where the Code of Conduct Tribunal finds a public officer guilty of contravention of any of the provisions of this Code it shall impose upon that officer any of the punishments specified under sub-paragraph (2) of this paragraph and such other punishment as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

(2) The punishment which the Code of Conduct Tribunal may impose shall include any of the following –

(a) vacation of office or seat in any legislative house, as the case may be;

(b) disqualification from membership of a legislative house and from the holding of any public office for a period not exceeding ten years; and

(c) seizure and forfeiture to the State of any property acquired in abuse or corruption of office.

(3) The sanctions mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) hereof shall be without prejudice to the penalties that may be imposed by any law where the conduct is also a criminal offence.

(4) Where the Code of Conduct Tribunal gives a decision as to whether or not a person is guilty of a contravention of any of the provisions of this Code, an appeal shall lie as of right from such decision or from any punishment imposed on such person to the Court of Appeal at the instance of any party to the proceedings.

(5) Any right of appeal to the Court of Appeal from the decisions of the Code of Conduct Tribunal conferred by sub-paragraph (4) hereof shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of an Act of the National Assembly and rules of court for the time being in force regulating the powers, practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal.

(6) Nothing in this paragraph shall prejudice the prosecution of a public officer punished under this paragraph or preclude such officer from being prosecuted or punished for an offence in a court of law.

(7) The provisions of this Constitution relating to prerogative of mercy shall not apply to any punishment imposed in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph.

nterpretation

  1. In this Code, unless the context otherwise requires -“assets” includes any property, movable and immovable and incomes owned by a person;

“business” means any profession, vocation, trade, or any adventure or concern in the nature of trade and excludes farming;

“child” includes a step-child, a lawfully adopted child, a child born out of wedlock and any child to whom any individual stands in place of a parent;

“emolument” means any salary, wage, over-time or leave pay, commission, fee, bonus, gratuity, benefit, advantage (whether or not that advantage is capable of being turned into money or money’s worth), allowance, pension or annuity paid, given or granted in respect of any employment or office;

“foreign companies” or “foreign enterprises” means companies or enterprises in which the Government, its agencies or citizens of Nigeria or whose policies are determined by persons or organisations outside Nigeria;

“liabilities” includes responsibilities according to law to satisfy a debt, duty or obligation quantifiable in monetary value, instant and contingent;

“misconduct” means breach of the Oath of Allegiance or oath of office of a member or breach of the provisions of this Constitution or a misconduct of such nature as amounts to bribery or corruption or false declaration of assets and liabilities;

“public office” means a person holding any of the offices specified in Part II of this Schedule; and

“public office” shall not include the chairmanship or membership of ad hoc tribunals, commissions or committees

Part II

Public Officers for the purposes of the Code of conduct

  1. The President of the Federation.
  2. The Vice-President of the Federation.
  3. The President and Deputy President of the Senate Speakers and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Speakers and Deputy Speakers of Houses of Assembly of States, and all members and staff of legislative houses.
  4. Governors and Deputy Governors of States.
  5. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justices of the Supreme Court, President and Justices of the Court of Appeal, all other judicial officers and all staff of courts of law.
  6. Attorney-General of the Federation and Attorney-General of each State.
  7. Ministers of the Government of the Federation and Commissioners of the Governments of the States.
  8. Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff and all members of the armed forces of the Federation.
  9. Inspector-General of Police, Deputy Inspector-General of Police and all members of the Nigeria Police Force and other government security agencies established by law.
  10. Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of the Civil service, Permanent Secretaries, Directors-Generals and all other persons in the civil service of the Federation or of the State.
  11. Ambassadors, High Commissioners and other officers of Nigeria Missions abroad.
  12. Chairman, members and staff of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal.
  13. Chairman, members and staff of local government councils.
  14. Chairman and members of the Boards or other governing bodies and staff of statutory corporations and of companies in which the Federal or State Governments or local governments councils.
  15. All staff of universities, colleges and institutions owned and financed by the Federal or State Governments or local government councils.
  16. Chairman, members and staff of permanent commissions or councils appointed on full time basis.

Okotie behind my crashed marriage – Emeka Ike

Chris Okotie, Emeka Ike

Pastor of the Household of God Church, Lagos, Chris Okotie, has described an allegation levelled against him by Nollywood actor, Emeka Ike, that he is responsible for the crisis rocking his marriage, as rubbish.

Ike had, in a statement on Thursday, accused Okotie of stalling efforts he is making to save his marriage with Suzanne.

Trouble started in Ike’s home recently, when the wife accused him of assaulting him.

While the actor has repeatedly denied this, the woman is said to have filed for a divorce in a Lagos court.

Ike alleged that instead of Okotie, who he claimed to have admitted Suzanne to his church, to intervene in the matter, he was encouraging her to pursue the case.

He also claimed that the pastor gave the woman N500,000 to hire a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

He added, “Yes, Pastor Chris Okotie just absolved (sic) my wife into his church without making any effort to get in touch with me. If, as a pastor, your church member is having issues with her husband, and you fail to do anything to resolve it, what kind of pastor are you? When I called him, he refused to pick my call. He also failed to react to a text message I sent to him. Is that a man of God?

“Even, if you have a police case, they will make an effort to hear from you before taking a position, not to talk of the church. I want the whole world to know because there is a lot of misinformation out there. The lawyer which Okotie hired for my wife is also frustrating every attempt I make to resolve the matter peacefully.”

But speaking through his media consultant in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Thursday, Mr. Ladi Ayodeji, media consultant to Okotie, said Ike’s allegations were so baseless that the he was not prepared to dignify them with a comment.

Emeka Ike and wife

He said, “There is nothing to what he is saying. It is total rubbish. What is he saying? Why will the pastor be interested in his domestic issue? Will he say he wants to marry the woman?

“What kind of man will be saying that kind of things on the Internet? Why is it that each time any of them has any issue they always want to bring Okotie into it? Responding to the outburst will only make the guy feel important. The pastor can’t dignify him with any.”

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Cleaner caught with N53m at Lagos airport

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

An airport cleaner has been arrested with the sum of $271,135 (about N53m) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, it has been learnt.

The suspect was arrested by the aviation security personnel of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria while trying to carry the huge sum of money through the screening point.

The airport worker, named Mr. Tijani Owolabi, works with one of the cleaning contractors at the airport, according to a FAAN statement.

The statement quoted the Deputy General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mr. Onyekwere Nnaekpe, as saying that some of the foreign currency was found on Owolabi while the rest was recovered from the sanitary bucket he was holding while trying to pass through screening machine.

Nnaekpe said the agency suspected that Owolabi was conveying the currency to an accomplice at the airside of the airport.

The statement by the FAAN read in part, “Aviation security personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria today September 3, 2015 prevented the trafficking of a total sum of 271,135 American dollars through the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.

“The sum was found on a worker with one of the cleaning contractors at the airport, Mr. Tijani Owolabi, during a pat down at one of the screening points at ‘D’ Finger of the international terminal.

“The airport cleaner who was suspected to be conveying the foreign currency to an accomplice at the sterile area of the terminal, was immediately apprehended by aviation security staff on duty and handed over to the appropriate security agencies at the airport for further investigation.”

The development came barely two weeks after an Arik Air flight attendant, Mr. Chika Udensi, was arrested at Heathrow Airport in London with 20 kilogrammes of cocaine.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency later arrested his accomplice, Oliver Ikechukwu Chibuzor Oliver, an Arik Air catering worker, who smuggled the drug among catering supplies into the aircraft for Udensi.

NDLEA and other security agencies said they had increased security surveillance at the nation’s airports, especially the international airports.

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Nigerian arrested with N1bn cash in Niger • Nigerien customs reject Nigeria’s request for seized cash

Buhari; Issoufou

 

The police in neighbouring Niger Republic have arrested a Nigerian carrying 4.6m Euros (N1.05bn) in cash. The man was arrested at the Diori Hamani Airport in Niamey, the capital of Niger, en route Dubai in the United Arab Emirate.

The Nigerien police said they suspected that the man was fleeing with the money in order to avoid being caught by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been prosecuting an anti-corruption campaign since assumption of office on May 29.

They also expressed worry that there had been an upsurge in the number of Nigerians trafficking huge sums of money in cash through the neighbouring country.

The police in Niger are already working on the suspicion that the money traffickers have accomplices in the country.

The arrest of the Nigerian has been a big news item in the Nigerien newspapers and television stations.

Curiously the authorities here on Wednesday claimed ignorance of the money seizure in the neighbouring country though the Customs officers in Niger were already kicking against repatriating the cash to Nigeria.

A media report in Niger on Saturday said the National Union of Customs Officers at a press briefing “denounced the request of the Nigerian authorities” to return the seized money.

The Customs official said there had been several similar seizures in Niamey from people trafficking money from Nigeria, putting the amount that had been so seized in several billions of naira.

They said the seized money had been mainly in dollars, euros and pounds sterling, asking the Niger authorities to allow the Customs officials to do their job without interference.

When contacted, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said he could not speak on the development because his brief was to speak for the President.

He therefore referred one of our correspondents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I speak for the President. On this kind of issues, I will advice that you speak with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the officials denied knowledge of the seizure in Niger Republic. The ministry’s spokesperson, Ogbole Ahmedu-Ode, said the ministry had not received official communication on the arrest of any Nigerian.

“I am hearing about this incident for the first time from you, we have not received any communication on the matter from any quarters,” he said over the telephone.

Calls to the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Emeka Obua, did not elicit any response.

He also did not respond to text messages to his mobile telephone on the issue.

The Nigerien embassy in Abuja could not be reached for comment on Wednesday as calls to the mission’s phone lines failed to connect.

The spokesman for the Nigerian Customs Service, Mr Wale Adeniyi could not be reached for comments as text message and repeated calls made to his mobile line were not replied as of the time (8.30pm) of filling this report.

But a senior official of the Service told one of our correspondents in confidence that the issue had yet to be brought to the attention of the agency.

The official said since the matter was a diplomatic issue, there were protocols that must be adhered to before the customs could step in.

The official said, “As we speak now, the matter hasn’t been drawn to our attention. This is a diplomatic matter that has to be treated with caution in order to avoid diplomatic row between both countries.

“The identity of the person in question has not been established and it is the Nigerian embassy in Niger that would verify that.

“After that is done, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be notified before other security agencies would be invited on the matter.

“So, it is not something that the Customs will jump into and start investigating because the Customs in Niger don’t report directly to us in Nigeria.”

http://www.punchng.com/news/nigerian-arrested-with-n1bn-cash-in-niger-%e2%80%a2-nigerien-customs-reject-nigerias-request-for-seized-cash/

BUHARI MUST INTERVENE: Senseless killing through unsecured containers

I just don’t know how careless we are as people especially with life …and how unconcerned we are with other people’s welfare. MONEY and making more of it is more important to doing things correctly. There is no law or order, no codes of conduct and nobody is taking responsibility. Life is valueless in naija ..and I am very angry for this senseless killings. It can be anybody and it’s not a new thing. It is no more news that containers on trailers are killing easily because they are not well secured.

Many years ago I saw one in Ojota car park, a young man in jeep killed because the container was not secured. It took hours before it was lifted and his lifeless body was dangling in the jeep almost flat to the ground. I was on my way to Ilorin and throughout the trip I was thinking what of if it was me ..because we passed through the area on our way to see a friend. It can be anybody ..anybody, death is so cheap in naija.

The reason why I am boiling is because this is not new and it is the responsibility of the government and its agencies to make sure that proper law are in place to prevent future occurrence and the offenders are punished. That is how a society functions ..laws to improve on lapses in the system. I have observed in one of my trips (i wrote about it) the types of trailers in naija. Naija is a big junk yard for all the used trailers around the world. Is more than ‘leku leja’ is everything goes, which I think is part of the problem.

The people that supposed to enforce the law or compliance with it should do their job properly or get punished for allowing unfit/unsecured containers to kill at will on our roads. If there is no agency responsible for inspecting the trailers at our ports the responsibility should be given to one of them and held responsible for failure/accident. At least where the trailer is coming from can easily be traced and the officer on duty will be held responsible.

People who are responsible in killing and spreading death will go free after bribring the police ..and the family of the victim will take it as an act of God. Are we worthless people or why is our life is so cheap. God knows which family will cry tonight for senseless killing of innocent people..government MUST do something to stop this killing. Enough is enough!

Jobless politicians criticising Buhari’s appointments –Keyamo

Festus Keyamo

Lawyer and human rights activist, Festus Keyamo, has described those criticising President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments as “few jobless politicians.”

In a statement issued on Friday, Keyamo stated that those politicians depended only on government appointments as their means of livelihood.

He said, “The so-called ‘uproar’ over the perceived ‘lopsided’ appointments made so far by President Buhari is nothing but an orchestrated frustration of a few jobless politicians who depend only on government appointments as their means of livelihood and, of course, the noise of the latest opposition party in town.

“The majority of Nigerians want to see good governance, pure and simple, and care less about the ethnic origin of those appointed into positions.

“My worry is that the decade-long general division of government positions into ‘juicy’ and ‘non-juicy’, and the mentality that these few ‘juicy’ positions must be shared equally among the major ethnic groups was nothing but a contraption of the old order from which we have just liberated ourselves.”

Keyamo added that all government appointments posed an equal challenge to those appointed as a call to higher service of the country, saying that all public positions come with an equal responsibility to be honest, forthright and dedicated.

According to him, describing some positions as “juicy” and others as “non-juicy” is another way of identifying positions that have enough money from which to steal from those that are “dry.”

Therefore, any agitation from a section of the country to get “juicy” positions, the rights activist said, was only an agitation for their kinsmen to be appointed to steal enough from which they would benefit.

He said, “I therefore unreservedly condemn, in the strongest of terms, the so-called ‘uproar’ about ‘juicy positions’ going only to a certain section of this country. All sections of this country should be happy and content with whatever positions that the President deems fit, at the end of the day, to give to their kinsmen.

“After all, the President still has a long way to go with appointments. He has not even filled up to five percent of available positions. Please, let the President be.”

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I’m eyeing many women for marriage –Baba Suwe

Baba Suwe

Veteran Yoruba comic actor, Babatunde Omidina, popularly known as Baba Suwe, who lost his wife about six years ago, told Saturday Beats that he currently has some women in mind for marriage.

When probed further about when he intends to tie the knots and the identity of the lady he likes the most among all the women he is eyeing, the ace actor said no one should snoop into his private life.

He said, “When I would get married is nobody’s business. It could be this year or the next but whenever it happens, everybody would know about it. I have numerous prospects that I can pick from. It is not just one person I am eyeing. I would soon remarry and it is when I am ready. I know I have numerous female fans and God helps me to handle them well because if one is not careful about women, he could land in trouble. I know how I handle my female fans.”

He also said that he can never quit acting and he has been away from the movie scene because he has been resting.

“I can never quit acting. People have not seen much of me because I am currently resting at home. I just finished my new movie, Alfa Nla,” he said.

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All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Osun: Gov Aregbesola not guilty of indebtedness — House Speaker,Salaam

Says our state is not bankrupt

SPEAKER of Osun State House of Assembly, Mr.  Najeem Salaam, in this interview speaks on unpaid salaries in the state, Justice Oloyede’s petition against Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the proposed summit being championed by a group among other issues.

By Gbenga Olarinoye

THe  insolvent status of Osun appears to have grounded the business of governance. Are you not worried about this?

Bankruptcy is declared when a state or an institution has gone under. Osun has not gone under. Yes, we have financial challenges but they are temporary.  We are working around it.  I must acknowledge the unalloyed support of the people and some section of workers who think beyond the box.

Osun is passing through a phase and it is so because Osun just like others is a constituent unit of a troubled nation, which was raped badly by the ousted Peoples Democratic Party,PDP.

Economic planning

And  if President Muhammadu Buhari could describe the country as an Augean stable that must be cleaned up, what do you expect Osun as an integral part to do? The predicament  is not the making of the governor or as a result of poor economic planning.  It is a structural problem and not until the top gets it right, the federating units would still be contending with epileptic economy.   The kind of federalism we practise is what I call ‘feeding bottle’ federalism.   Osun is the least paid in terms of allocation  and now that our allocation has fallen short of what we are used to, what can we do? We are  Strategizing on how to wriggle out. It will  take time, but we have to do it.

Some  believe the governor  dragged the state into this condition of indebtedness. How do you react to this?

Najeem Folasayo Salaam.

Aregbesola and Omisore

People are entitled to their opinions, but it would be unfair to hold the position of the  opposition as statement of facts because their insinuations are full of fallacies and innuendoes. Let it be known that the executive doesn’t do anything without the knowledge of the legislature.  So, when some people say the governor has done this or that, the impression is that the governor has the power of life and death.  Governor Rauf Aregbesola came to Osun and was dissatisfied with the state of under-development he met on ground. He  vowed to change the sedentary life of the people, reawaken its commerce and position the state among the comity of performing states. He began with infrastructure, education, agriculture and youth engagement. Look, we should be careful not to make crime out of the zeal to serve because it is convenient for Aregbesola to pay salaries and flashes some substandard projects. But he chose to work and the  opposition are talking.

On debt profile: Tell me of any individual who intends to be great that would not incur debt. When I wanted to build my house, I took loan from a bank and I suffered to pay back. When an industrialist wants to establish an industry, he approaches a bank or consortium  for fund.  Then, what is the issue in approaching financial institutions to source for funds to finance public infrastructure? America with its might has a debt ceiling of over 17 trillion dollars.   We have to be fair to ourselves when criticizing a government. Of course, it could have been a different ball game if the those monies were borrowed to finance consumption.

It saddened me that we have to resort to borrowing to offset pension and salaries, but for the fact that the banks could not lend us for now as a result of vindictive directive given  by the Jonathan administration, people are shouting that the state can not pay salaries.

A serving judge in the state judiciary recently  petitioned the legislature to investigate Gov Aregbesola for alleged financial recklessness. How do you see that?

We have more than one petition  against the governor and we have inaugurated an investigative panel headed by my deputy, who is a lawyer, to work on the petitions.

But the minority leader opposed  the composition of the committee,  protesting the exclusion of opposition members…

Those who wrote the petitions knew that the House of Assembly under my watch is credible and they have faith in the process. Besides, it is my prerogative to constitute the committee.  As the Speaker, I see all members as honourable men, but all of them could not be appointed into the committee. Moreso, ranking and experience count in legislative business. The chairman has been in the House for more than six years and he is very competent to head the committee.  So, it is a committee that is carefully put together  to serve the interest of the people. As for the minority leader, he is playing his role and does not have to agree with us on everything.

Meanwhile, the report would be submitted to the House for debate and the minority leader will have his say on it, but if he is part of the committee, he would be barred as a matter of rule, to speak on it when the report is presented. So, he should know that we have done him a favour by reserving a room for him on the floor when the report is ready. I chose to toe that part to prevent tyranny of the majority.

– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/07/osun-gov-aregbesola-not-guilty-of-indebtedness-house-speakersalaam/#sthash.dXICEDDw.dpuf

Ailing graduate still needs N5m for surgery

Babatope Oguntoyinbo

Thirty-four-year-old Babatope Oguntoyinbo is critically ill. The young graduate has called on Nigerians to support him to seek medical treatment in India.

Oguntoyinbo is down with a spinal cord injury that doctors say could render his cognitive functions ineffective if he does not undergo an urgent surgical operation in the Asian country.

According to his medical report, Oguntoyinbo has Case 2 level lumbar disc disease and the condition has led to his inability to control his bowel and bladder.

The disease, our correspondent gathered, also caused damage to his lumbar and spine.

Mrs. Funke Olanipekun, who spoke on behalf of her ailing brother, said his health had so degenerated that he no longer walked or eased his bowel without assistance.

Before the disease hit him, Olanipekun said her brother worked with a security firm in Lagos.

She added, “Initially, he complained about knee pain in November and he went to the hospital for treatment. Though the pain occasionally resurfaced, it did not stop him from going to work at his office in Ajah, Lagos, till it got worse this February. Now, he is helpless because he cannot urinate or eat without assistance and support.”

Olanipekun urged Nigerians and corporate organisations to support the cost of his treatment in an Indian hospital.

“ We have only been able to raise N110,000 so far. We need help.”

  • To assist Oguntoyinbo, please call: 08029304788

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Politicians should rise above personal interests –Fayemi

Kayode Fayemi

The Immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has advised politicians in Africa to place the general interest of humanity above their personal interests.

Fayemi said doing this would enhance good governance in the continent.

The former governor gave the remark while delivering a lecture organised to commemorate the death of a former President of Ghana, the late John Attah Mills, in Accra, the Ghana capital, on Tuesday.

The text of his speech was made available to our correspondent.

Fayemi said, “We need politicians willing and able to rise above their own power interests, or the particular interests of their political parties or states, and act in accord with the fundamental interests of today’s humanity – that is, to behave the way everyone should behave, even though most may fail to do so.”

Speaking on the topic, “Intellectuals in Politics and Governance in Africa: The lessons and legacies of John Atta Mills”, Fayemi lauded the contributions of Atta Mills to the socio-economic development of Ghana during his short tenure in office.

Fayemi told the gathering how the late Atta Mills predicted President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory when the two leaders met in Ghana shortly after the 2011 general election in Nigeria.

He said, “A good politician need not be an intellectual but he should be able to explain, without seeking to seduce; he should humbly look for the truth of this world without claiming to be its professional owner; character and integrity should be more important to him than academic intelligence; he should alert people to the good qualities in themselves, including a sense of the values and interests which transcend the personal, without giving himself an air of superiority and imposing anything on his people.

“In the realm of such politics, intellectuals should make their presence felt in many ways. They could – without finding it shameful or demeaning – accept a political office and use that position to do what they deem right, not just to hold on to power. Or they could be the ones who hold up a mirror to those in authority, making sure that the latter do a good thing and that they do not begin to use fine words as a cloak for evil deeds, as had happened to so many intellectuals in our continent and elsewhere.

“Am I then suggesting that an intellectual necessarily belongs to politics? Put that way, an impression is created that I consider it the duty of every intellectual to engage in politics at all cost. That is not my view. However, it is my profound conviction that Africa requires more than ever before, enlightened, thoughtful politicians with character and integrity who are bold and broad-minded enough to consider things which lie beyond the scope of their immediate influence and benefit.”

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All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.