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INEC Not Our Friends; They Work More For PDP, Says Oshiomhole

Sahara Reporters - 14 February 2019 - 12:46am


Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of working for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He stated this at a media briefing on Wednesday, during which he berated the electoral commission for its position on APC fielding candidates in Zamfara State.

He also alleged that there are Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) working for the PDP. 

He said: “If anything, this INEC has been very unfair to the APC. But we just discovered that we have a responsibility. The fact that we are a governing party imposes on us a certain level of code that you can’t be seen to rubbish every institution, because if we rubbish everything, it would mean that we don’t want election. INEC believes everything the PDP says.

“As we speak, there are two Resident Electoral Commissioners who are virtually campaigning line by line with the PDP in the South-South. INEC, without giving us any explanation and without any concrete evidence, went ahead to say we can’t field candidates in Zamfara, thereby seeking to award, without any context and nullify democracy in Zamfara State.

“Is that the way your friends behave if they are your friends. INEC is working more for the PDP, based on evidence I can show. How can they explain that a court of competent jurisdiction gave orders in Zamfara to say this candidate is eligible to contest election and another high court in Abuja also gave a verdict saying APC did not conclude its primaries, but did not give order to INEC.

“There is no order issued by the Federal High Court in Abuja. The court of Appeal made a pronouncement on this matter today (Wednesday) that there was no order from the court in Abuja, but that there was a concrete order from a Zamfara High Court, which upheld the primaries that was conducted in Zamfara.

“The INEC Chairman has said that when there are two court orders, they will adopt the last judgment. In Zamfara State, the Abuja judgment came first and the Zamfara judgment came last even though it is the same day,” he said.
 

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Report Vote Buying During Elections And Get Reward, EFCC Tells Nigerians

Sahara Reporters - 14 February 2019 - 12:45am


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it would reward anyone who reports the buying and selling of votes during the coming elections.

Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the commission, disclosed this via a statement issued by Tony Oriade, the acting Head of Media and Publicity.

According to Magu, EFCC will work in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in that regard.

“We seize this opportunity to state that that EFCC, in collaboration with INEC, will reward any patriotic citizen that provides authentic information leading to the apprehension of any culprit of vote buying in accordance with the whistle-blowing Policy," he said.

The acting chair stated that those who undermined the electoral processes by buying or selling votes would be prosecuted, just as he threatened to arrest and prosecute any politician who engages in vote buying in any part of the country.

He said:” We wish to warn Nigerians against those who intend to engage in voters’ inducement. There are existing laws in the Electoral Act, 2010 (EA), which forbid voters inducement.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 124 of the Electoral Act, 2010 states that any person paying money to any person as bribe at any election is liable to punishment of N500,000 fine or 12 months imprisonment or both upon conviction.

“Section 124 of the Electoral Act, 2010 also states that any person receiving any money or gift for voting or to refrain from voting at any election will be liable to a maximum fine of N500,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both."

Magu urged Nigerians to resist inducement from corrupt politicians and vote for candidates of their choice.

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Unlike Other Tribes That Play Real Politics, The Igbo Play Politics Like Traders, Says Okorocha

Sahara Reporters - 14 February 2019 - 12:38am


Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, says the Igbo play politics like traders, unlike other tribes that play "real politics".

He also urged his people to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari or forget a chance at an Igbo presidency, even in 2031.

Speaking on Wednesday at the zonal rallies for Okigwe and Owerri zones, organised in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates for Saturday’s election.

He said: “Some people, especially our brothers, are campaigning now against President Buhari, saying he is Boko Haram and a herdsman.

“You can remember in 2015, I was telling the Igbo, to cast their votes for Buhari because he would win with or without the votes of the Igbo.

“I was called all sorts of derogatory names. Some said I was going to Islamise the whole Igbo. Is Igbo land Islamised today?

“Igbo, today, are playing politics with the mindset of traders, thinking only of the immediate benefits, unlike other tribes that are playing real politics.

“My people, listen to me and listen real good, whatever I tell you to do, do it as it will profit us. I’m telling you, today, that Buhari will win.

“On Saturday, if the Igbo support Buhari and he wins, in 2023, Igbo will have the right to demand Igbo presidency. Those who love Igbo nation must vote for President Buhari, because if we miss this chance, we may not get the presidency even by 2023, 2027 or 2031. The time is right for the Igbo nation to play the right politics, so as to have a clear chance by 2023.

“On Imo State governorship, the president advised that we all vote according to our conscience. Conscience in Igbo is ‘mee uche gi’, which translates to voting for Uche Nwosu. Nwosu is the only credible person among all those vying for the position. He has no dent or skeleton in his cupboard.

“His only sin is that he came from a poor background and by the grace of God married my daughter. Today, Action Alliance (AA) and APC have joined to form what is called perfect alliance.”

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Violence At Ogun Rally May Affect APC's Chances On Saturday, Says Campaign Organisation DG

Sahara Reporters - 14 February 2019 - 12:36am


Olusegun Osinkolu, the Director-General of the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Council in Ekiti State, says the alleged anti-party activities of Ibikunle Amosun, the Governor of Ogun State, could affect the votes of President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming elections.

He said this on Wednesday at a press conference in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.

On Monday, at the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign rally in Ogun State, party leaders were pelted with various objects as they attempted to endorse Dapo Abiodun as the Ogun governorship candidate.

He expressed concern about the anti-party activities of some state governors, describing it as "worrisome".

He called on the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to resolve all issue before going to the polls Osinkolu said: “We are worried that our members go as far as trying to stone a whole president. I am seeing a lot of anti-party politics playing out here in the South-West and it is not going to be in our interest.

“But the buck stops on the table of Governor Amosun, because he ought to manage that situation better, being the chief security officer of the state. He didn’t handle the issue very well.

“Whether you are a president or governor or holding any other position, the party is supreme, because the crisis was a fallout of the primary. Governor Amosun must repent and change his ways, because South-West is important to APC in these coming elections.”

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How Much Do You Need To Buy The 2019 Elections? By Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa​

Sahara Reporters - 14 February 2019 - 12:36am


“I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy: ”Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.'”- John Kennedy

This post does not celebrate the ugly incidence of vote-buying but rather tries to satirically view how much you need to buy each vote and become the Next President of Nigeria if you are rich enough. Statistics from the 2015 elections would be used again. Assuming everyone who voted in 2015 votes again but this time each person is paid. How much does a candidate need to win?

There is no unanimous cost of a vote. Usually, it is bought with rice, bread, recharge card and other such. In Papua, votes are bought with pigs or pork. You cannot really arrive at a general price for the vote. In some polling Units, as much as 5,000naira(13.70USD) or as low as 1,000 naira is used to buy votes. If items are bought and distributed such as rice, it makes the general cost of buying the election cheaper as you can buy rice in bulk and break into smaller units.

In 2015, President Buhari won with 15,424,921 or 53.96 of the total votes cast. In order to have this score, if you pay each voter 2,000 naira you are going to arrive at 30,849,842,000. Do you remember that Davido song? 30 billion for the account o! Yes, Davido is rich enough to buy the Presidential elections if his claim to having such amount is true and he is ready to spend all his money at a big risk to become President. But it is a risk that is worth it. Just some signatures and he is back to fortune as soon as enters office on May 29. He may need a bit more if you consider those given money might not give it to voters so they need to be bribed full first so that they can give out generously to others.

If you are not a rich music artiste and you want to contest, you can raise it through sponsorships. If you are lucky to find sponsors usually people in the business world that want the contracts when you emerge or foreign sponsors, you can rush down with 2k per voter and you are the next President. 

What if not so ambitious? You do not want to be President. You think ‘hey. I just want to be a Governor and be okay with that’. Which state do you want? It’s simple maths. Multiply the total number of votes you want by 2,000 and get a sponsor if you are not rich. It is a business sort of thing. For most states, you do not need more than 300million to 1billion. If you need 400,000 votes at 2,000 naira each, you will need 800,000,000. In most states in Nigeria, you do not need up to 400,000 votes to win the Gubernatorial. Being a Governor is cheaper! Why not contest for this?

It is sad that poor economic conditions have ensured people trade their votes for instant survival. Is it not even more shocking that one person in the country can buy elections if everyone was to sell?

It is more sad that the gap between the rich and the poor continues to expand and as such people who desire instant survival find it easier to trade their votes while those who are far richer make use of their economic strength to pull the strings within the political arena.

 

Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa is a Law student in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He writes news and opinion pieces for several reputable  media. He has a passion for Economics, Activism, and Human Rights. He is Director of Field Work, Center for Human Rights, Obafemi Awolowo University. He can be contacted on koyetolu@gmail.com and on Twitter @koye_tolu.

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Presidential Election Gives Nigerians No Choice By Bunmi Makinwa

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 1:04pm


If President Muhammadu Buhari figuratively rode on a horse back to assume office in 2015, as at today, he barely rides a three-legged donkey. A wobbling government has frittered away the goodwill of the expectant millions who brought him to office.

However, his main opponent, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, does not have a donkey to ride on. His questionable past and close embrace of proven and perceived corrupt political actors and ruinous leaders do not make him attractive. Despite the weakness of Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) party, Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party or PDP is not the shining star. 

Yet one of the two is most likely to emerge as president come the election of February 16, in a few days.
The PDP governed Nigeria from 1999 to 2015. Its three successive presidents, and with control over most of the states, reinforced a faulty political system where massive looting of government coffers became the norm. Provision of services and improvement of peoples’ well-being receded and disappeared in most of the 36 states and at federal government level.  Politics was the quickest gateway to wealth, riches and power. 

Under PDP rule, when political leaders have taken their large share of the official budget, the little that was left could not maintain Nigeria’s elaborate political and administrative systems. Infrastructures became dilapidated. Salaries remained little and unpaid in many states. Social tension heightened.

Nigeria’s political system is problematic too. The “investment” needed to win votes or buy oneself an elected position has kept rising. The demand presses elected persons in turn to hustle to recover their wealth, equip themselves and their acolytes for future political positions. Many elected officials aggressively privatize official funds to their pockets for use as future powerful political  king makers. 

Amongst the citizenry, high and low, a culture of primitive self-preservation and material aggrandizement developed. Reliance on system and order gave way to brazen self-reliance, hopelessness in hard work, and spiritual solutions to routine life issues.  

People scramble for “money by all means”, especially through political favours, in a situation where material well-being is a primary determinant of people’s self-worth. Absent the government, all basic needs are met by each prson according to whatever access is possible to any resources, state or privately-owned.  

On February 16 2019, Nigeria will pick either Atiku or Buhari to rule the country for another four years. It is not because there are no qualified, capable and exemplary candidates among the more than 40 other presidential aspirants. It is mainly because the political system is cast in stone, and only the candidates of a few major political parties can have the resources and means to meet the demands stipulated by the constitution, political tradition, and corrupt processes that produce candidates for political offices. 

Several of the other aspirants have qualifications, experience and drive that will make any country proud of its possible leaders. 

The political system is dominated by political parties that can afford enormous resources to set up structures, reach out to a sprawling, federated country of 36 states and one federal territory, use mass and social media that communicate with some 180 million population, and provide reliable security for themselves and supporters. 
Candidates for elections must dole out monies to members of their own parties and voters who have given up on what elected leaders do when they are in office. Rather, party officials and voters want immediate gratification – whatever materials, food and money that they can get from candidates during the election campaign. Elections are costly, not only for the official organizers, but also for candidates who must deploy huge amounts of money for every step of the election process, from seeking nomination of political parties to seeking votes of the electorate. 

For the coming election, Nigeria faces yet again the sad choice of having to choose between two leading politicians neither of whom can take the country to its level of development and realization of its potentials. 
The gargantum victory of President Buhari in 2015 over then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan gave Buhari a powerful entry. But his three-pronged campaign on corruption, a stronger economy and security with special focus on ending Boko Haram insurgency are nowhere near being successfully prosecuted.

At the same time, Atiku will only be Atiku – focusing on further enriching himself, his cronies and beloved others. 
Those who strongly support Atiku claim that he is different from Buhari and will perform better given the weaknesses of the current government. They say that Atiku will make the expected noise to discourage the rampage  by herdsmen and organised  attacks on certain people and religious groups. He will choose his lieutenants from various parts of the country. He will enable the South-eastern part of the country mainly the Igbo ethnic group to contest strongly for the presidency. He will make public money spread around through his customary largesse. He will unite the country that appears to be fragmenting. Yet, the claimants have only weak arguments to explain how the expectations will be met. 
The strongest criticism of Atiku is that the popular demand to combat and at least reduce corruption will suffer greatly if he becomes president. But his supporters maintain that if corruption is the price to pay to have a more united country, a stronger economy and less structured federalism, it is time to let corruption continue under Atiku’s rule. It is a sad bargain to accept.

Whether 76-year old Buhari or 72-year old Atiku wins in the soon to be held election for the next president, Nigeria loses because neither of the two persons has the disposition, experience, appropriate mindset, nor determination to make Nigeria a better place for its people. The current political system presents only the rich and mighty, not the best that the country can offer.

Asked about February 16 election for the president, someone retorted: “Some people will vote for Atiku. Some will vote for Buhari. One of the two will win despite a large number of frustrated people who will spread their votes among the numerous other candidates. The status quo will remain because Atiku and Buhari are from PDP and APC which are two sides of the same coin.”

To buttress his point, the person explained that Atiku was in PDP before he joined APC, and then returned to PDP a few months ago to buy the political platform to aim for the presidency. The leadership of both parties boast of the same persons who have led Nigeria’s politics for the past 30 plus inglorious years. 

Bunmi Makinwa is the CEO of AUNIQUEI Communication for Leadership.

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NDCMB, NDDC Not Bankrolling Any Political Party For Elections, Says Ijaw Group

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 12:44pm


The Ijaw Pride Group (IPG) has faulted the claim by a Bayelsa-based Civil Society Organisation (CSO), known as the Association of Concerned Bayelsa Professionals (ACBP), that some government organisations are under pressure to bankroll elections in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the state and national levels.

According to the group, those behind the “false claim” against the authorities of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) are “engaged in acts of pull-him-down syndrome for personal gains”.

In a statement, the ACBP had accused the managements of the NDDC and NCDMB of being under undue pressure to release money for political campaigns for the APC in the Niger Delta region and at national levels.

However, in a statement by the IPG, issued by Comrade Ebiowei Akpeti, its Director of Publicity, the group condemned what it referred to as "the unfortunate recurring circle of acts of self-destruction by fellow Ijaws".

Akpeti said it was curious that the two federal agencies mentioned in the spurious allegation are both headed by illustrious sons of Bayelsa origin, noting that his interactions with the Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, shows a man of integrity and professionalism. 

"Here is a man that has been known and commended across the entire gamut of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria and abroad for his high sense of professionalism, integrity and prudence in financial management,” he said.

The statement, therefore, advised the general public to “ignore the unsubstantiated malicious allegations by ACBP against our illustrious sons”.

Meanwhile, Reuben Okoya, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, has urged the people of the state not to experiment with any new political party other than PDP.

At a press briefing in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Wednesday, he said the party has gone a long way in developing the state, and has empowered the people in some critical positions, especially by giving a son of the state the opportunity to rule over the nation as President.

He urged the electorate in the state to support all PDP candidates during the elections, and shun any act of violence.

“PDP is the party to be with. It’s a party to support. PDP has actually been in Bayelsa all this time and has done great work. We need to support our party all the way to sustain the gains made so far in the socio-economic development of the state. We are all working hard to ensure that PDP stays in the state for greater and better things to happen. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. We are all hopeful that we will all be a part of the development of Bayelsa for the children of the future," he said.

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'Oshiomhole Lied' — 10 Adamawa Gov Candidates Deny Stepping Down For Bindow

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 12:22pm


Ten governorship candidates in Adamawa State have denied endorsing Governor Jibrilla Bindow, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the forthcoming election.

Five of the candidates who addressed journalists on Wednesday in Yola, debunked the endorsement, saying: "We were tricked into the gimmick of the so-called endorsement of the APC candidate".

They accused Governor Bindow and Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, of twisting issues to gain political value.

"We were embarrassed to hear the Chairman announce that we have collapsed our political structures into the APC, to support Governor Bindow's reelection bid," the candidates said in a statement.

Simeon Frank Kwashihula, candidate of MPN, and spokesman of the candidates, said: "Oshiomhole lied to the gathering by the fraudulent announcement. We wish to state for the record that we attended the flag-off based on invitation, the same way we've attended flag-off of other contestants, who are members of the 'New Generation Governorship Candidates' Forum (NGGCF).

"Following the event, we approached Governor Bindow and asked him to retract. But he pleaded with us on condition of carrying out certain developmental projects. Therefore, this press conference has become necessary to deny the unauthorised statement made by APC National Chairman during the flag-off."

The candidates are: Engr. Nazeer Sa'ad (ZLP), Dr. Suleiman Bawa (YPP), Engr. Suleiman Frank (MPN), Lami Musa (PPN), Elizabeth Baldeno Isa (CAP). Others are Isa Dalhatu (NCP), Hassan Dantsoho (Accord Party), Wealthy Bulama (PPA), Umaru Bello Jada (ANP) and Isaac Sa'ad Badan (JMPP).

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Omoyele Sowore: Endorsed By Coalition Of Oppressed And The Poor Will Cruise To Aso Rock By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 12:21pm


Bayo Oluwasanmi

Bayo Oluwasanmi
The presidential election on Saturday is more than election. It’s going to be a referendum. Nigerians will have the opportunity to choose between good and evil, future and past, old reactionaries and visionary leadership, between more of the same or real change.

The old established candidates get rich for doing nothing for the country. They plundered our nation and brought it to its knees. Everything is in ruins. Nothing works. Nigerians are suffering. They are dying in droves like flies. Omoyele Sowore the African Action Congress (AAC) candidate, has rightly described Nigeria as a ground zero and a crime scene. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nigerians are hungry for real change. The coalition of the oppressed and the poor will vote out of frustration and fatigue. Their vote will be a punishment vote against Buhari and Atiku. They are ready to try  a new person and a new party : Omoyele Sowore of AAC.

They are tired of APC and PDP excesses, corruption, manufactured crisis and chaos, instigated and perpetrated violence. The two parties have proved to be sworn enemies of our people and nation. Voting APC or PDP is like divorcing your wife to marry your mother in-law.

Within the short period of nine months, Sowore has won the love, respect, admiration, and hearts of millions of Nigerians by tapping into a deep well of resentment perpetuated by the status quo. Sowore has done everything possible to convince Nigerians that he’s the most credible, most qualified, most prepared, and most positioned candidate who can steer a country whiplashed by rising crimes, violence, corruption, unemployment, fear, insecurity, and poverty.

We have everything to become a great nation, instead we have become the poverty capital of the world. Sowore is a visionary with bracing honesty and evidence of his willingness to shatter the status quo. The way Sowore ran his campaign shows how he’s going to govern Nigeria as president: organized, transparent, accountable, lean,  efficient, prudent, effective, IT driven, purpose driven, people driven, and of course driven by fearless ideas.
The vitriol and outrage of Sowore on campaign trails, debates, town hall meetings, and interviews, as he crisscrossed the country, largely mirrored Nigerians’ dystopian mood. The coalition of the oppressed and endorsement of the poor will propel Sowore to Aso Rock. Here’s why:

They see Saturday’s election as an opportunity to elect a fighter and a doer who will fight their cause. They see Sowore as a man with a sense of destiny. Sowore communicates a sense of better future, the belief that they’re in this together. They see in him a man with a sense of family. He has been able to convince them that they’re joined together as a family by his mission - a vision of a better tomorrow. They see in him a militant spirit that will get the job done. He assured them that he’ll match his representation with a militancy that the urgency of the task ahead demands.

They love his connectedness with the pain and sorrow of the underprivileged. He speaks their language. He expressed empathy and compassion for their predicament and brings courage to their dreams and pursuits. They appreciate his fierce opposition to contagious selfishness of the oppressors. They believe in his courageous servant-hood. They seen in Sowore the resolve for results. 

The coalition of the oppressed and the poor know that by casting their votes for Sowore, they are creating a future that aligns with their aspirations, dreams, priorities, programs, and set a precedent for the future. They seem to be saying: “We’re voting Sowore. Our future is NOW... Let’s cruise to Aso Rock!”

bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

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AIB Releases Report On Osinbajo’s Helicopter Crash

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 12:12pm


The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has released a detailed preliminary report on how the helicopter that conveyed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo crashed in Kabba, Kogi State, on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

In the bid to forestall recurrence of such accident, AIB also issued two "immediate safety recommendations" to Caverton Helicopters, operators of the crashed chopper and the industry regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Briefing, Akin Olateru, the AIB Commissioner, in a briefing with journalists on Wednesday, urged NCAA to issue an advisory circular to all helicopter operators in Nigeria to be alert to the possibility and effect of brownstone, while appropriate procedures should be put in place to mitigate its effects.

In its safety recommendation to Caverton Helicopters, Safety Recommendation 2019-003 stated that the operator should ensure that flight operations are carried out in accordance with the company’s approved operations manual vis-à-vis the survey and proper safety risk analysis are done before dispatching any flight to unapproved landing posts.

AIB also released the preliminary accident report with 17 initial findings, among which was the occurrence of a brownout while landing.

Olateru explained that brownout in helicopter operations is an in-flight visibility restriction caused by dust or sand in which the flight crew loses visual contact with nearby objects that provide the outside visual references necessary to control the helicopter near the ground.

The preliminary report emphasised that the helicopter company did not conduct site survey of the landing field prior to flight, adding that the company did not also carry out a safety and risk assessment of the landing area prior to the dispatch of the flight.

The initial findings also indicated that the bureau could not conduct drug and alcohol tests on the pilots and according to the weather report obtained from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), the prevailing conditions were good, but that the aircraft hovered to land in a brown out condition.

Olateru, however, said the conclusive report would make a lot of other areas clearer, especially after analysis of data from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) information and the Flight Data Recorder (FDR), as well as analysis of data from the Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) and Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) coupled with interviews from witnesses and further inspection of the crash site.

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Bad News For Anti-Corruption War As EU Adds Nigeria To 'Dirty-Money Blacklist'

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 11:40am


Nigeria has been added to a blacklist of nations that pose global threat because of leniency as it relates to controlling financial activities of terrorists, as well as money laundering.

The European Commission also added Saudi Arabia, Panama, and other jurisdictions to the blacklist, the EU executive said on Wednesday.

According to Reuters, low sanctions against money laundering and financing terrorism, insufficient cooperation with the EU and lack of transparency regarding company beneficiaries, constitute the criteria used to blacklist countries.

Being on the blacklist does not only constitute reputational damage, it will also complicate financial relations with the EU, as the bloc’s banks will have to carry out additional checks on payments involving entities from listed jurisdictions.

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Ambush Marketing, The Nigeria IP Laws And The Future By Rockson Igelige

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 10:54am


Ambush marketing is a phrase coined to amplify a brand which connects itself to a particular event without paying any sponsorship fees to be an official sponsor. This was best demonstrated in the case of Usain Bolt at the 2016 Olympic in Rio Brazil where he kissed his Puma shoe after winning the 100 meters dash. Nike, the sportswear giants was the Official Olympics sponsor and a rival to Puma in the sportswear business. This is a clear case of ambush marketing. And it is this creativity and innovation being employed by the proponents of ambush marketing that has made our intellectual property laws in the different countries helpless in matters relating to ambush marketing.

The existence and manifestation of this phenomenon at global sporting events has become emboldened and deeply rooted so much so that legal experts are working around the clock to curtail this menace by devising other ways outside the known traditional intellectual property laws. But in Nigeria it is a strange practice and malady that is still unknown despite the fact that we have hosted global sporting events like the Junior World Cup and African Cup of Nations before now. It may interest us to note that one of the conditions of FIFA for awarding countries the right to host the World Cup deals with how ambush marketing can be tackled through the instrumentality of the law outside the known traditional intellectual property laws that have become deficient in this sphere. 

The existing traditional intellectual property laws of most countries including the ones of Nigeria tackle issues relating to the unauthorized use of a registered trade mark, logo or slogan, use of a copy of any artistic work protected by copyright or a deliberate misleading of the public.

The cases of ambush marketing that has dominated sporting events in the last few years has thrown up a big challenge, thereby making mockery of the existing traditional intellectual property laws in place globally. Although frantic efforts have been made to curtail ambush marketing at the global level by using the existing traditional intellectual property laws, the limited number of case law on the subject outside this jurisdiction has proven that the existing institutional and legal framework are inadequate in the task of curtailing the practice. 

The traditional intellectual property and unfair trade laws cannot guarantee any protection because of the creativity of ambush marketers who know the wordings of the laws well enough not to breach them. Not even the intellectual property law plus that was initiated as a complimentary effort has been able to address this lacuna. 

The few cases against ambush marketing that were successful even though their claims were founded on traditional intellectual property laws were those brought under laws on the appropriation of trademarks or breach of copyright. A good example of this is the case of Arsenal Football Club and Matthew Reed. In this case, Arsenal Football Club filed an action against Reed for selling club merchandise without a license from the club. The merchandise had the club logo, which was trademark protected, on it. Reed’s argument that he used the logo as a mere badge of allegiance was rejected by the Court.

The ambush marketing cases that event owners and official sponsors find most challenging are those related to intrusion and association, given the fact that these practices fall outside the ambit of traditional intellectual property laws. The New Zealand “Ring Ring” case is a typical example of how imaginative ambush marketers can be in order to avoid breaching the laws; though upon close examination “Ring Ring” was found to be a clear reference to the Olympic ring symbol. Pepsi’ use of NBL team's home town instead of the team names themselves was done to avoid breaching trademarked names. The two instances cited above (Ring Ring case and Pepsi) show that traditional intellectual property laws are like a toothless bulldog in any fight against ambush marketing. There is need for far reaching legislation that would be a more effective weapon for tackling all aspects of ambush marketing. 

The reason(s) for ambush marketing is not farfetched. Global sport events like the Olympics and the World Cup have become battle grounds where marketers try every trick in their kitty in their bid to convince consumers of the desirability, if not usefulness, of the products or brands they promote. And the reason why marketers pull out all the stunts at these events is plain enough: they constitute the two largest global sporting events with mammoth broadcast reach, thus providing marketers the most advantageous occasion for advertising their products to consumers. The 2008 Beijing Olympics is a good example of the audience reach of the Olympic Games. It is on record that the games were beamed to a live audience of over 4.7 billion or 70 percent of the World population.

The tussle by different brands to outdo themselves at major sporting events like the Olympics or World Cup is linked to the commercialization of these events, with particular regard to corporate sponsorship.
Sport sponsorship is an attractive area for both companies and event organizers from the perspective that they provide the most coveted room for selling their brands to a wide audience. There is also the additional benefit of a boost to the image of a company for identifying with the event and the real sport heroes. The sole aim of sport event organizers is to maximize income, and corporate sponsorship is a very effective means of achieving this goal. 

Sponsorship takes different shapes and shades. It can be in the form of official sponsorship of the main event, or of athletes, or even a team. In most cases, companies that lose their bid to secure the status of official sponsor of the main event would opt for identifying with a particular team or athlete for a chance to showcase their brand to spectators’ sponsors. It is this interplay of differing forms of sponsorship that gave birth to the phrase, ambush marketing. While event owners and official sponsors see ambush marketing as detrimental to sporting events, those who engage in it see their action as squarely within the ambit of the relevant laws. But no doubt, if the activities of these ambush marketers are left on unchecked, they could lead to dire consequence such that sponsorship of major events like the Olympics and the World Cup would be difficult to secure.

From the above analysis, can we comfortably say that the Nigeria intellectual property laws can curb this menace? Before we proceed, we must note that the Nigeria legal system evolved from the United Kingdom, and by extension our intellectual property laws are almost the same as that of the United Kingdom. And the lacuna in both Countries’ laws are to a reasonable extent cemented by the international treaties that they are signatory to. While the Copyrights, Patents and Design Act, 1988 is the regulatory legal framework for intellectual property matters in the United Kingdom, the Nigerian Copyrights Act, 2004 is the one in Nigeria. A cursory look at the two laws of both countries show that the one of the United Kingdom Act has undergone serious legislative furnace than the other in matters relating to the handling of intellectual property matters. Inspite of this legislative height already attained in handling matters relating to IP by the United Kingdom, during the London 2012 Olympic, a sui generis legislation was put in place specifically to curb ambush marketing. And this helped in no small measure in reducing the parasitic activities of ambush marketers. 

In Africa, South Africa is already ahead of Nigeria in this sphere. The laws put together for the South Africa World Cup 2010 were so all-embracing that Ambushers found it very hard to explore loopholes.

The South Africa World Cup 2010 model of the fight against ambush marketing has become a ray of hope to future sponsors and event owners. Sport analysts are agreed that South Africa is the first country, arguably, to take the boldest step in this direction. The South Africa experience in the fight against ambush marketing shows how effective legal instruments can be when appropriate and all-embracing laws are in place and there is a willingness to enforce them.

The future of Sport in Nigeria especially as regards ambush marketing is in a special legislation being put in place to check the activities of smart ambush marketers. Our intellectual property laws are deficient in this area. If you are still in doubt then tell me the section of our intellectual property laws that you can invoke against Usain Bolt that kissed his Puma shoe? A sui generis legislation in place against ambush marketing will go a long way to encourage Sport sponsors and marketers.

We must act now. The future should be today. The World is leaving us behind. Our brother, South Africa has set the ball rolling since 2010.

ROCKSON IGELIGE, AN ENTERTAINMENT LAW LAWYER WRITES FROM OLEH,DELTA STATE.

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Tompolo: Buhari's Military Killed My Father — Why Should I Endorse Him?

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 10:21am


Fugitive Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has distanced himself from the reports that he has endorsed the reelection bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.

There had been reports that he had endorsed Buhari’s candidature earlier on Wednesday. Tompolo was said to have been part of five ex-militant leaders set to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari as its preferred presidential candidate.

However, he said he wasn’t aware of the said endorsement, coordinated by Ebikabowei Victor Ben, a.k.a. Boyloaf.

A statement signed by Paul Bebenimibo, media adviser and consultant to Tompolo, read: “It must be pointed out that Tompolo has not been in touch with Boyloaf since 2015. Tompolo is not into endorsement politics. Tompolo is presently troubled with the way and manner his kinsmen in Gbaramatu kingdom are being harassed and intimidated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s military on a daily basis.

“This same military harassed, brutalised and killed his father, Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo, in 2015, and up till now President Buhari has not made any statement by way of apology to him. And so, what will be the reason for Tompolo to endorse him? To further kill his kinsmen? Tompolo has been in agony since 2015, as the present government is after him for unsubstantiated allegations of corruption.

“It is not true that Tompolo is part of those who are set to endorse President Buhari in Port Harcourt. Therefore, President Buhari and the general public should disregard the news as it is purely fake news.”

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The 'According To...' People By Adeyeye Olorunfemi

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 10:09am



In the last eight years of my engagement with political discussants online and offline, I have had serious clashes with the 'educated ones'; those who unfortunately shape opinions for others in national conversations. I have at various times, noticed that most Nigerians especially young people are regurgitators. They swallow everything without critical thinking and vomit them without critical assessment. They are the 'According to...' people. 

'According to Professor Wole Soyinka, you must not sleep with your eyes closed at night'. 'Femi Falana SAN said a lawyer that wants to be successful must read 200 books in a day'. These are witty examples of  'quotables' you hear these days even at this electioneering period. This is not to deride any of the mentioned personalities. For no reason would I. But don't we find it nauseating that young people even quote someone as backward as Dino Melaye? 

My encounter with these opinion shapers has made a lot of them- Doctors, Lawyers, Businessmen to block me and break relationship with me. I am unperturbed. Going forward, I would have to lose a lot of links with these because they mislead a lot of people who follow them and would always believe their stances on issues either right or wrong. Many people believe them because of their statuses in Society or their financial appearance. 

Isn't it rather embarrassing that a Senior Advocate of repute like Olisa Agbakoba would be a proponent of 'Anybody but Buhari'?. Wasn't it the same mantra in 2015 that brought us here? It was 'Anybody but Jonathan' in 2015. Today, Jonathan is looking like a Pope and Wizkid compared to Buhari. 

Isn't it worrisome that the SAN does not understand that even if a Jesus comes under this kind of system that we run, he would mess up big time. It is not just changing the 'who'. It is changing the 'what'. 

I agree with the 'Anybody but Buhari' mantra but what we must major on is finding another system besides this system that impoverishes the poor to continue enriching the rich. A man who wants to sell NNPC to enrich his friends falls under the 'Anybody  but Buhari' category. He is Atiku. But we all know who his friends are. I and that woman who sells pepper at Oshodi market are not his friends. We can't buy NNPC. The gap between the poor and the rich would only be widened by such policy. Why isn't the SAN talking about this? Or talking about the person posing another idea? His name is Sowore. He is not selling any national asset. He is even proposing how to 'take them back' from greedy individuals.

Dear SAN, 
In the 2019 Presidential elections, it must be both 'Whom to Change' and 'What to Change'. 

- Adeyeye Olorunfemi

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Victory At Last As Appeal Court Ruling Paves The Way For Zamfara APC Candidates

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 9:20am


A Court of Appeal sitting in Sokoto, capital of Sokoto State, has dismissed the appeal filed against the judgment of a Zamfara High Court that directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to field candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State for elective positions.

There are two conflicting judgments on whether candidates seeking elective positions in Zamfara should be allowed to contest elections.

While the Zamfara High Court had ruled that INEC recognise the candidates, a Federal High Court in Abuja countered the state High Court judgment on the same day.

However, by the ruling of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, Zamfara APC candidates can contest in elections in the state.

The judgment was given by a three-man panel of the court after the withdrawal by the appellant, Aminu Jaji.

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Ambrose Alli University ASUU Chairman Suspended Over Sex-For-Marks Scandal

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 9:06am


Professor Monday Igbafen, Chairman of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has been suspended by university authorities over allegations of sexual assault.

Igbafen, an Associate Professor of the Department of Philosophy, was suspended after his arraignment before a disciplinary committee on allegations of sexual misconduct.

News of his suspension was contained in a statement signed by Edward Aihevba, the university’s spokesman, which noted that Igbafen had been arraigned before the Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee (SSDC) on allegations of gross misconduct bordering on sexual harassment and threatening students to have sex with him in exchange for marks.

According to the statement, Igbafen was found culpable by the university’s investigative panel. A relative of one of the victims had threatened to take the institution to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, if Igbafen wasn’t prosecuted.

The statement read: “On receipt of the petition, the university management asked for his comments. His response was found unsatisfactory. He was therefore arraigned before the SSDC. As due process demands, he has been suspended from the university, pending the determination of the allegation levelled against him.

“He is therefore not allowed to participate or involved in any university duties or functions except those related to SSDC during the period of his suspension.”

On his part, Igbafen said the suspension is a blackmail by the vice chancellor, and an attempt to destabilise the union.

Speaking to The Nation newspaper, he said: “It is a grand plot that will fail. The VC is desperate because he has so many things to hide. He is looking for a weak ASUU to manipulate. That petition was written against two of us when I was a Lecturer II in 2011. I answered it that my hands are clean. Is that why he is denying me of my promotion?

“All these things are plot to destabilise the union. It is cheap blackmail. The VC is desperate to decimate ASUU. I know he is behind all the petitions against me.”

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The Victim, The Mob And The Bystander By Vweta Chadwick

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 8:24am


Last night, my phone pinged with a WhatsApp video of a woman being stripped naked and beaten by what appeared to be an angry mob of men, I was appalled. I stopped watching halfway through and went online to read up what information I could find. The commentary described how she was further subjected to violence and humiliation, with no one stepping in to help.

Naked bodies smeared in charcoal and red mud paste, snail shells tied around bared waist, sticks and stones striking the victim from every angle as the crowd jeered and booed at their heels.

This was a common punishment for alleged thieves in the primary school I attended and on the streets where I spent some of my formative years playing in Benin City. My teachers said this barbaric act was meant to serve as both punishment and deterrent, a community intervention to get the victim back on the straight and narrow – I don’t know about that, but I recall never seeing classmates/schoolmates who’d undergone this in school – thinking about it some 20 odd years later now, I never heard about them again. I am left to wonder how their life turned out. Were it not for my parent’s intervention, I may have grown up to normalise this behaviour that justified the treatment of another person this way.

This violent mob action has made a major comeback and it seems, we are all guilty bystanders.

As I ponder the video from last night, and recall the events of my childhood, I wonder how we’ve become so desensitised and if acting within a mob emboldens us to act in ways we ordinarily would never consider or condone?

The mob, jury and executioner

I was discussing with a friend a few years ago about a video of another woman who had been stripped naked, beaten and sexually assaulted by an angry mob after she was accused of stealing stock cubes. Why are they so angry, why do they act out like this, I asked? After a long pause, my friend answered, “Because we are angry, frustrated, unseen, unheard, disempowered. No one cares, what options do we have? We can’t reach the politicians robbing us blind, or the police that are so corrupt they make arrests for profit… so we take it out on each other.” How true this was and still is. The ‘common thief’ we can reach and beat and burn has become a symbol of every person who has treated us unjustly, and in burning, maiming, hurting them, we claim just a bit of revenge for all we’ve been made to endure.

Very easily, people who’ve harboured unresolved grievances without an outlet erupt into violent crowds, taking on the identity of the mob. It doesn’t take long for them to be whipped into a murderous frenzy.

These lynchings are both the cause and symptom of a bigger societal problem. We do not trust the criminal justice system to investigate and prosecute criminals, hence, may not see the need in handing over alleged criminals and because we believe the system to be corrupt, inefficient and ill-equipped, we are emboldened within a mob to act in cruel ways, in their stead, as we are almost assured we will get away with it – even in the age of social media and videos going viral.

It remains to be seen if the anti-mob lynching Bill, that recently passed its second reading in the Senate will be a strong enough deterrent when passed into law.

Though there seem to be no rhyme or reason to how people turn into victims of jungle justice, it is evident that those most at risk are the poorest, most vulnerable among us. For example: old women and very young children, disabled people, people with undiagnosed mental illness, poor people, marginalised groups like the LGBTQI community. Accusations can range from being a harbinger of bad luck, witchcraft, stealing, blasphemy or something as innocuous as being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A powerless bystander?

In 2017, a nineteen-year-old girl from Ohio, USA was sentenced to nine months in jail for filming the rape of her 17-year-old friend and posting it online. 

This seeming disinterest in crime happening around us is described as the bystander effect. It is not new.

Coined in the 1960’s in the aftermath of the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese, the bystander effect is a social phenomenon that states that people are less likely to intervene in negative or dangerous situations if they are part of a group rather than when they are alone.

Researchers found that the more people who witness a crime, the less likely any are to respond, as others assume someone else will step in to help or conclude there may not be a problem if someone else hasn’t intervened already.

The advent of social media has seen the bystander effect take on a new form. While in the past, our options were limited to one of these two: step in or not step in, today however, a third option – pull out our phones and film – has presented itself, thereby creating a ‘safe and sterile’ distance between us and the victim, between us and the crime, between us and the solution.

Technology and social media have proved to be indispensable in solving crimes, long after their commission, which begs the question ‘what role do they play in the criminal events as they unfold?’ Has technology turned us into dispassionate observers lacking empathy, who believe the only real power we have, the only real change we can make is by documenting events on our cell phones?

Some have argued they feared for their safety hence their reason for not intervening, and this is and should be a real concern; others say they needed to film instead of intervene for evidence but I argue that if we feel emboldened enough to film, surely, we must have been able to call the police or others for help?

So what can we do in the absence of these overt actions? According to Dr Jackson Katz, there is a third way. We can change attitudes and minds by speaking with those nearest to us, and challenging and interrupting others – friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances when they engage in or evidence these behaviours. After all, the people who murder, violently assault and abuse others as part of a mob do not exist in isolation, they live, breathe and walk among us.

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BREAKING: Boko Haram Opens Fire On Borno Governor's Convoy

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 7:54am

Boko Haram insurgents have attacked the convoy of Kashim Shettima, Governor of Borno State, SaharaReporters has been told.

Shettima's convoy was travelling from Maiduguri, the state capital, to Gamboru-Ngala when the insurgents struck, dividing his convoy into two and raining gunshots on the one behind.

The incident occurred between Dikwa and Ngala highway. A security source told SaharaReporters that Shettima was billed to campaign at Gombomru town before the incident happened.

"Many people were killed and dozens are still missing," he said.

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No Politician’s Ambition Is Worth Our Blood, Say Delta Youth

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 7:12am


Youth of Delta Central have said “no politician's ambition is worth the blood of any Urhobo youth”.

They have also resolved to rise against political violence before, during and after the 2019 elections.

The youth, under the umbrella of Delta Central Equity Group (DCEG), stated this on Tuesday at Ughelli in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state, during an enlarged appraisal meeting of political events, which followed the endorsement of Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, for a second tenure.

Speaking on behalf of the youth, numbering over 5,000, Morris Idiovwa, convener of DCEG, said: "We must take our destiny into our own hands, and we must reject the antics of politicians taking advantage of the youth to cause crisis during the elections.

"The era of politicians giving peanuts to the youth to cause mayhem during elections is over. We must say no to spilling of blood during elections. So many of our brothers have been killed during elections, and we must say no to violent elections. Apart from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa whom we have endorsed for second tenure, no candidate of any party will be imposed on anyone. We won't impose candidates on our people. We are working across party lines, and anyone contesting elections in Delta Central must campaign and tell the people his manifesto.

"Our group was formed on the strength of equity, defending our rights and based on that, we are throwing our support behind Okowa for the sake of equity. Any candidate we are working for must give us the benefit of doubt that such candidate will not disappoint the people. The peanuts the politicians give to you the youth is not worth the killing and spilling the blood of your own brother. The painful aspect of it is that after elections you don't see the politicians again till the next four years.

"Okowa is one of the most humble and accessible governors ever produced in Delta State. My fellow Urhobo youth, we must be able to define our future and defend our rights and we shall not allow any of our brothers to be killed in this elections. We must maintain peace and preach peace to avoid blood bath and violence during the elections, especially the March 2 elections. As a group, our primary purpose is to endorse individuals, not political parties, and based on that, we have endorsed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for a second tenure.”

According to Idiovwa, those plotting to rig elections would be disappointed.

"No youth will support or promote violence in Delta Central during election," he added.

In his remarks, James Ibori, a former Governor of Delta State, who accompanied Okowa to the meeting, commended the youth for the solidarity.

On his part, Okowa commended the group for the show of support, just as he appealed to all and sundry to maintain peace, vote and defend their votes.

"The youth will not be forgotten for the support. We must all try to give peace a chance. Continue to follow peace so that dividends of democracy can reach you all," Okowa stated.

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PREVIEW: Moghalu, Soyinka's Anointed, Elites' Favourite

Sahara Reporters - 13 February 2019 - 7:01am

Kingsley Bosah Ayodele Moghalu was born on May 7, 1963 in Lagos. He is the first of five children. His father, Isaac Chukwudum (now late), was a Nigerian Service Officer. Moghalu’s father happened to be one of a small group of promising young Nigerians inducted into the Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs after Nigeria’s independence in 1960.  His mother was a schoolteacher who later became a professional dietician. Moghalu’s father was posted to Geneva, Switzerland.

The father did not spend a year in Switzerland before moving to Washington DC in 1964 when Moghalu’s father was posted to the Nigerian Embassy there. In 1967, when Nigeria was on the verge of the civil war, the family moved back to Nigeria to serve in the Eastern Region Civil Service. Moghalu’s father later rose to become a Permanent Secretary in the Civil Service.

EDUCATION

Because of the peripatetic nature of his father’s job Kingsley’s education did not all happen in Nigeria. However, he had his secondary education in different secondary schools—Eziama High School, Aba; Government College, Umuahia; and Federal Government College, Enugu.

After completing his tertiary education, he went to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He obtained a degree in law and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987. In 1991, he left Nigeria for his post-graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Massachussets, USA, where he got a master’s degree in International Relations in 1992. While he was at the university, he was given the Joan Gillespie Fellowship, which is a scholarship award in the university. He had a dream to work in the United Nations while doing his master’s degree.

Eventually, the dream was fulfilled when he was worked in the United Nations in Geneva. While still with the United Nations, he embarked on a part-time study for a doctorate degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics in 2005. He also did Risk Management at the UK Institute of Risk Management, London. His academic odyssey took him to Harvard University, John.F.Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School, and the  International Monetary Fund

CAREER BEFORE POLITICS

After he completed his tertiary education he did his compulsory one-year National Youth Service as a Legal Officer at the Shell Petroleum Development Company Ltd in Lagos. When he finished his National Youth Service, he worked, acombining his legal profession with Journalism. He worked as the General Counsel to Newswatch, the leading news magazine of the time founded by the late Dele Giwa and others. He wrote a lot of incisive opinion articles for the Guardian Newspaper. He also served as a special correspondent in Nigeria for several US and European newspapers like Africa News Service and the Christian Science Monitor. In 1992, he got the job to work in the United Nations Secretariat where he rose through the ranks from entry level Associate Officer to the higher career rank of Director. While he was at the UN he was in involved in legal, strategic planning and executive management at the UN headquarters in New York, in Cambodia, Croatia, Tanzania and Switzerland.

Moghalu was among those appointed by the former (now late) Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan, to do a core UN management reform. The five members of the high-level Redesign Panel on the UN Internal Justice System, which he was part of, overhauled the regulatory compliance, accountability and dispute resolution framework that governs the global workforce of the UN. He was also at the frontline in the project to design a comprehensive risk management for the $20 billion Global Fund in Geneva. Moghalu was the Head of Global Partnerships and Resource Mobilization and a member of the Risk Committee.

In January 2009, he resigned his permanent appointment in the UN to start his own company in Switzerland. He started the company, called Sogato Strategies — a risk advisory firm — in Geneva with the minimum capital of 100,000 Swiss francs.

In 2009, at the behest of the former President Of Nigeria, now dead, Umaru Yar’Adua, Moghalu was made the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Of Nigeria. He spent five years at the CBN managing the systemic risks to Nigeria’s financial system. He led the team that executed the controversial banking sector reforms initiated by the then CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. He also was in charge of Financial System Stability (FSS) and was a member of the Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) and the bank’s board of directors. He left the CBN in 2014.

POLITICAL ANTECEDENTS

Moghalu has never held an elective position before; the closest he ever came to the corridors of power at any level was his time as the CBN Deputy Governor.

STRENGTHS

Mixed parentage and background. His middle name, Ayodele, shows that Moghalu is of ‘mixed’ parentage. Nigeria is a deeply fragmented country riven with ethnicity and religion. These fundamental fault lines become accentuated when it comes to deciding who should have what in national matters especially through votes. Moghalu’s descent straddles two major ethnic groups — Igbo and Yoruba — gives him some advantage.

Moghalu is from a privileged family. Going by social stratification, he belongs to the upper class; it can be argued that he rode on the influence of his parents to have most of the achievements he lays claim to. This factor may endear him to the elite in the country, as they may consider him one of their own.

He has exposure and credentials. He is a man who has travelled far and wide; he is also well-read, with formidable academic credentials. This factor may make him the darling of academia and other people who often ascribe academic qualifications to soundness of mind.

His long CBN years. Without bothering to inquire what transpired during his years at the CBN, some already think he should have a deep understanding of the economy and the Midas touch to turn the country from a basket case to a boom town.

Finally, he is being backed by some powerful Nigerian elites, among whom are Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Emir of Kano and former CBN Governor.  

WEAKNESSES

He’s a political greenhorn. The fact that he has not held any political office before or got involved in any political “struggle” before may make some people doubt his ability to steer the ship of the state to the desired destination or be able understand the nuance of the Number 1 political city in the country.

Moghalu does not have the political clout that spreads across the length and breadth of the country, the kind that can ensure his victory at the poll.

Also, having been CBN Deputy Governor, some people consider him as one of the people who brought the country to its present position economically. Some people may even see him as somebody that had taken his bite of the national cake.

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