SERAP Seeks Public Registers for Corrupt Governors, Others
By John Onah
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to Mr Abukabar Malami, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, urging him to use his good offices and leadership to: “move swiftly to develop and adopt public registers for corrupt state governors and other high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption since the return of democracy in 1999.
“We urge you to ensure that the public registers contain accurate data and are fully accessible and open to public scrutiny.Aspects such as the scope of the registers, who to include in the registers, and eligibility for removal from the registers, can be discussed in a consultative session with the civil society and other stakeholders. ”
In the letter dated 23 August 2019 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The proposed registers are far from severe, and would be a proportionate response to the grave crime of grand corruption and impunity of perpetrators and have a deterrent effect. There can be no reasonable expectation of privacy in matters already exposed to public viewing such as prior arrest, charges and conviction records.”
The organization said: “Public registers for high-ranking officials facing corruption charges and those convicted of corruption would be a pivotal moment in the fight against corruption by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the damage caused by graft to citizens’ human rights and Nigeria’s democratic process.”
SERAP also said: “The proposed registers for corrupt officials would serve a public interest purpose similar in some respects to the recently disclosed names and details by the United States Department of Justice of 80 defendants, most of whom are Nigerians, that have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and other charges.”
The letter read in part: “SERAP is concerned that corruption is so pervasive across many states and at several levels of governance and has remained a constant feature of Nigeria’s political scene since 1999, turning public service for many into a kind of criminal enterprise. Grand corruption has continued to fuel political violence, deny millions of Nigerians access to clean water, and even the most basic health and education services, and reinforcing police abuses and other widespread patterns of human rights violations.”
“The lack of public registers containing detailed information about high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of corruption since 1999 has allowed many politicians—often with impunity–to use apparently illicitly acquired wealth to fund political parties, build corrupt patronage networks, thereby preventing fair access to economic and political power, serving to further the wealth and power of ruling elites, and exacerbating inequality.”
“Registers would help protect the public from corrupt officials and their collaborators and improve the ideal of representative government, as it would assist the citizens to properly exercise their right to participate in their own government.”
“Public registers would improve transparency by making it easier for the public to track the government’s fight against corruption and make the government as open as possible in its anti-corruption efforts. SERAP urges you to push for legislation that will require public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption at the federal, state and local government levels to put their names in the public registers.”
“Everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state or by any other person, which is reasonably required for the exercise or protection of any rights, including those of citizens’ right to human dignity and freedom from corruption.”
“Registers for corrupt officials would also address the paucity of information about politicians and others complicit in the mismanagement of the country’s natural wealth and resources, with devastating consequences for citizens’ enjoyment of their human rights.”
“Many citizens lack knowledge and awareness of those charged with and convicted of grand corruption, and those that are complicit in the mismanagement of the country’s wealth and resources.”
“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in developing and adopting public registers for corrupt officials and proposing legislation on the matter, as appropriate. We would be happy to provide further information or to discuss any of these issues in more detail with you.”
Native Doctor Slaughters Mad Man During Treatment in Adamawa
From Yagana Ali, Yola.
A 48 – year old native doctor, Ezekiel Buba, is in police net for allegedly killing a mad man during treatment.
The suspect , who resides at Gombiyel in Shelleng Local Goverment Area,Adamawa state, was arrested by the police command for slaughtering the mentally derailed man known as Alamisa.
While narrating the ugly incident during interrogation at the police headquaters on Thursday, Ezekiel, blamed his demon for slaughtering the deceased brought to him for medication.
He said the deceased, who was suffering from mental illness and epilepsy, was brought to him by his elder brother, Yahaya Musa of Kambillam in company of other family members for treatment.
“I usually slaughter chickens for sacrifice to a blood demon in order to prevent it from tourching anybody. Failure to make sacrifice to the demon, a patient cannot get well”. Ezekiel explained.
He further narrated that while performing some rituals with a robe at his backyard, the demon descended in a whirlwind with knives tied on his leg and slit the throat of the patient.
” I saw the demon in the whirlwind but before I could reach where the patient is lying down to protect him, the demon over took me and slaughtered him”.he said.
“Initially, the demon had warned me and demanded that I should slaughter chickens and offer sacrifice of blood.
I was waiting for market day to buy the chickens for sacrifice as demanded.
He said that the family members of the deceased did not see the demon while coming down to the scene to kill Alamisa, saying that he was the only one who sighted it and rushed in to prevent it but to no avail.
He claim that he normally communicates with the demon which he inherited from his grand mother when asleep in the night in Koma Damti dialect in Jada LGA, saying that he has been using it to treat people in order earn a living.
The elder brother to the deceased, Yahaya Musa, blamed the native doctive for murdering his brother, saying that he was the one who slaughtered his brother and removed his throat.
The Police Public Relations Officer , SP Suleiman Yahaya Nguroje, said that the suspect was apprehended in connection with the crime and being investigated.
Nguroje, said that the Commissioner of Police, CP Afolabi Babatola Adeniyi, had ordered for discreet investigation into the matter as well as the prosecution of the suspect if found wanting.
Meanwhile, in another interviewed with SP Nguroje, the suspect confessed that he was the one who slaughtered his victim while treating him.
He explained that he was possessed by the demon at that time, hence his action, saying that he carried out the act when he was out of his senses.
Police Arrest Kano Lawmaker, 160 Others for Electoral Offences
From Longtong Ibrahim (Kano) & Gom Mirian, Abuja
The police command in Kano State has arrested 161 persons including a member state House of Assembly for alleged electoral offences during Saturday’s Governorship and States Houses of Assembly elections.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Usaini-Gumel, said this when he addressed newsmen at the command’s headquarters in Bompai Kano yesterday.
He said that the suspects were arrested by a team of security operatives after they were engaged in electoral offences like vote-buying and destruction of election materials among others.
“The suspects include a member representing Gezawa Constituency, Isyaku Ali-Danja, who allegedly led thugs and attempted to attack the Gezawa Local Government Area INEC Collation Centre and the Police Divisional Office in Gezawa,” he said.
Usaini-Gumel said that the suspects would be arraigned in law courts as soon as investigation was completed.
He said that a Special Investigation Team consisting of police officers, lawyers, prosecutors and trained investigators had been assembled by the command to speed up investigation on the suspects as directed by the Inspector-General of Police.
Usaini-Gumel assured residents of the state of their safety as collation of election results continued.
“The command in conjunction with other security agencies has embarked on serious confidence-building patrol and show of force to surmount any likely emerging threat.
“We call on the peace-loving Kano State residents to continue to give maximum support and cooperation, avoid spreading fake news and hate speeches capable of disrupting the peace in the state.
“When results are announced avoid all forms of reckless celebrations that may likely cause death, injury or damage to property,” Usaini-Gumel said.
EFCC Arrests 65 Suspects over Alleged Voter Inducement
The EFCC said it arrested 65 persons in 28 states over alleged voter inducement at the governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.
This is contained in a statement issued by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujiaren.
He stated that 20 of the suspects were arrested in Kwara, while 13 suspects were arrested in Kaduna State.
He added that 12 suspects were arrested in Rivers; four suspected arrested each in Akwa Ibom and Cross River, while others were arrested in Gombe, Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger states.
“Those arrested in Kaduna State were 10 males and three females. They were apprehended by EFCC operatives either working on intelligence reports or were chanced upon during monitoring.
“A suspect allegedly involved in vote buying was nabbed at School Road, Unguwan Rimi in Kaduna. The suspect, who initially resisted arrest, is however in custody pending the conclusion of investigation.
“Also in Kaduna, a team arrested a suspect with voter coupons, which he confessed would be used to trace and pay those who voted for his party,” Uwujiaren stated.
He added that the EFCC team monitoring voting around Local Education Authority School, Kabala Doki in Kaduna also arrested two suspects for vote buying.
He noted that upon arrest, N67,500, a list containing names of voters, their PVC numbers and bank accounts details were recovered from the suspects.
The EFCC spokesman stated also that investigation showed that the major modus operandi of the suspects was to give cash, transfer money, coupons or send recharge cards to eligible voters to induce them.
Uwujiaren said a search of their persons and phones showed that most of them had transferred money into the bank accounts of some voters on the lists recovered from them.
“Some of the items recovered from the suspects were voter cards, monies, lists containing names and account details of voters, and telephone recharge cards,” he stressed.
122 Males, Three Females on Death Row in Gombe, Bauchi – NCoS
The Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) has said it has no fewer than 125 inmates on death row in its facilities in Gombe and Bauchi States.
NCoS officials confirmed this while responding to a survey on death penalty in Gombe and Bauchi.
The Controller of Corrections in Gombe, Lawal Gusau said the Service has 94 inmates comprising 93 males and one female on death row in its facility in the state.
He said the inmates were awaiting execution of the death penalty.
According to him, there are 1,692 inmates in the state as at Feb. 28, 2023.
He said 94 of the 1,692 inmates were on death row and seven lifers while 770 convicted inmates and 821 awaiting trial.
In Bauchi, about 31 inmates on death row were awaiting execution in the state.
The Statistics Officer, NCoS, Bauchi State Command, DSC Abdullahi Usman said the 24 inmates comprised 22 males and two females.
He said that seven males of the 24 inmates were awaiting execution by stoning.
“Most of the inmates on death row in Bauchi are not indigenes of the state; they were brought in from other states.
“This is as a result of apprehension and pressure from the inmates’ family when incarcerated in facilities domicile in their state of origin,” he said.
He said the Service was waiting for Executive Order (EO) by the respective state governments before carrying out the execution as passed by courts of competent jurisdiction.
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