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CDS Irabor faults release of EndSARS report, says Army is “professional”



CDS Lucky Irabor
Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor,

Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said that the EndSARS report by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality, was not released properly.

The leaked report states that officers of the Nigerian Army shot and killed unarmed protesters without provocation while they were waving the Nigerian Flag and singing the National Anthem” at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of October 20, 2020.

The CDS while saying that he had not yet seen the official report, maintained that the Nigerian Army is a professional institution, peopled by Nigerians, hence if there are any issues, they will be addressed appropriately.

General Irabor, who spoke after a courtesy visit to the Edo State Governor in Benin-City, said that the Nigerian armed forces are committed to their constitutional mandate and do not engage in ignoble acts.

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He added that it would not be right to make disparaging remarks about men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces who have given their lives to maintain the territorial integrity of the country.

CDS Irabor said:

“I am sure those of you in the media must have seen a report that was released through, in my view, a wrong channel, that is making the rounds in the social media,” the CDS said.

“Whether it is a true report, I can’t tell. But I’d like to indicate that the normal procedure is to have such a report submitted to the convening authority. And then there will be a white paper that will be presented, based on which one can make informed comments.

“But whatever it is currently, I’d like to indicate that the Armed Forces of Nigeria is a professional armed force. We are peopled by Nigerians and we remain committed to the constitutional mandate. So we will not at this point think that Nigerians should make disparaging remarks regarding the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in the sense that we are a professional armed forces. If there are issues, of course, we address them within the ambit of the provisions.

“It would not be right to disparage men and women who have worked so hard to ensure that the territorial integrity of this nation is kept intact. So in the meantime, until I see the full extent of the report.

“I can assure that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are well-disciplined and we do not engage in any ignoble acts. If Nigerians do not trust us, then we won’t be doing what we are doing, and in any case, it is the Armed Forces of Nigeria; we are not talking of the police. So when the Armed Forces are called out, it is because there is a need; there is no one who doesn’t desire to live in peace.

“We need to understand that the Armed Forces are there to keep the peace, to provide the ambiance that will enable each Nigerian to live his or her desires in peace and harmony. So let us not make inciting comments that will put the entire space on fire. That’s not right.”


Ex-Air Chief, Dikko, Tells Court How He Acquired Properties Worth N4.7bn



Mohammed Dikko Umar

The trial of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, resumed on Wednesday before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, with the continuation of the cross-examination of the defendant by the prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir.

The defendant, Dikko, told the court that he bought properties worth N4.7 billion through estacodes earned through training and flying most of the African Presidents.

“For 36 years of my service my lord, I served in the Presidential Fleet for seventeen years. Most of the flights I took were external trips outside Nigeria, and I went for many training trips outside the country,” he said.

Dikko further disclosed that he flew all African Presidents during his years in service, except the Presidents of Cote D’Ivoire and Togo.

“I have earned a lot of estacodes, lots of foreign trips and two farms in Abuja with about 17 hectares of land and the other two in Kaduna are four hectares and 200 hectares respectively. I have been a farmer throughout my life”, he said.

Asked why he did not provide the court with documents to back up his claims about the estacodes, he said nobody asked him to do so. He, however, added that he mentioned it in his extrajudicial statement to the EFCC.

Dikko told the court that the Nigerian Air Force “has its own way of operation”, adding that the service had no e-payment system during his time.

However, documented evidence before the court shows that while Dikko was in office, he received his salary through the bank. Also, pages 22 to 472 in the exhibit, shows e-transactions for upkeep to some under-listed officers. And those transactions happened in August 2012, when the defendant was the Chief of Air Staff.

Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter till March 1, 2022, for the adoption of final addresses.

Dikko was first arraigned on January 25, 2017 on a 7-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7 billion. Six of the counts were dismissed following a no-case submission.

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Folabi Kuti: Commemorating an ascendance to the inner bar, By Lekan Alabi



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“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upwards in the night.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

The above evergreen admonition of the 18th Century American poet and educator, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is very apt in describing the jurisprudential journey of the man of the moment, and his legal stardom. I call him ‘Juris’ (jurisprudence because of the depth of his legal knowledge and immense ability to cite the latest decisions of legal issues of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the apex courts of other jurisdictions).
This legal giant among giants was born into the family of Aruna Olusoga Kuti, a school principal in his lifetime, and Madam Olaide Latifat Kuti, a matron and transnational textile dealer in her time. He is from Sagamu, in the old Remo Division of the present day Ogun State. By my interpretation of the economic ladder, he was born into a middle class family. Yes, there was a middle class in Nigeria before the siege of neoliberal economic policies by the ruling elite in the last four decades, which consequently widened the gulf between the extremely rich but few and the extremely poor but many. The economic reality of the Nigerian people has thrown up serious resistance from the downtrodden and non-state actors in the recent time. Indeed there was a country!
“Bi a ti se wa ye pe a o ri be e naa la a ri” (“man is the master of his destiny”, according to an Ifa oracular statement). The man being celebrated today designed his path to achieve today’s result very early in life; and as he once said: “Dad did not have money – just a sack of books/knowledge with which he nonetheless made food and other provisions available”. As far as I know, Folabi cherishes intellectualism in any area of knowledge. He reads widely, speaks eloquently and writes profoundly.
Truly, Folabi really burnt candles at both ends to attain his professional status today. The prediction of an eminent jurist and outstanding advocate has become a reality within a period of two decades. My lord, Honourable Justice Bendict Bakwaph Kanyip, president, National Industrial Court of Nigeria, curiously and incessantly enquired from the man of the moment that: “Folabi what is delaying your elevation to the Inner Bar.” Equally, the much respected Idowu Sofola Esq. SAN (may Allah be pleased with his soul) was a man who saw tomorrow when he authoritatively declared that Folabi would make a great advocate.
As far back as the year 2015, I was of the conviction that in no distant future, Folabi would be conferred with the rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Some of the following instances, among others, made my belief of the current event. In 2015, I was relaxing at the Officers’ Mess, Ikeja Cantonment after a court marshal proceeding with my ideological soul mate, Mike Kebonko Esq., when Folabi called and informed me that they (himself and other legal minds) just finished reviewing the judgments of the following cases I handled before Honourable Justcie Bendict Bakwaph Kanyip: Suit No. NICN/LA/624/2015: Irikefe Odiriverere Patience V. Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and Suit No. NICN/LA/625/2015: Adenekan Titilola Adejoke V. Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited. I did not attach any importance to the cases, except the moral victory of the oppressed employees of Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited. However, he drew my attention to a new ground breaking in the National Industrial Court on March 28, 2017, when my lord courageously declared: It is hereby declared that the failure of the defendant to remit the mandatory contribution to the claimant’s Pension Manager (LEADWAY PENSURE PFA LIMITED) from the year 2009 to the year 2013 is a violation of the provisions of sections 11(7), 89 & 90 of the Pension Reform Act 2004.
And the Honourable Court ordered that:

The defendant shall remit all the outstanding mandatory contributions belonging to the claimant to Leadway Pensure PFA Limited.

Folabi pointed out the uniqueness of the judgment of the honourable Court in the two cases regarding the reliefs relating to pension granted. In all honesty, I did not see it that way before he drew my attention to it.
Also in 2015, at a Chinese Restaurant in Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos, I was having a rendezvous with Toyin Owodunni Esq., Tayo Anuodo Esq., Folabi Kuti Esq., while hosting our colleague, Gboyaga Okunniga Esq., who came in from the United Kingdom. Tayo set the ball rolling by saying that it was his wish that our OAU Alumni Class 2000 should produce Senior Advocates of Nigeria. Responding to the wish of Tayo, Folabi innocently said that he received court judgments in the United Kingdom immediately they were delivered. Not only did he read the judgments, he equally reviewed them.
There and then, I concluded that Folabi had really covered a lot in his jurisprudential journey to greatness.

Now that he has been conferred with the honour of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria in recognition of his distinction at the Bar, despite the thorny path in his professional career, may I ask from our learned senior, what are our expectations from the Juris?
It gladdens my heart that he has a legal relationship with the remnants of the hitherto radical Nigerian Labour Congress. It is my humble view that he will expound the law to arrive at a welfarist state prescribed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) for the Nigerian people.
Now that the current rulers have unapologetically and unpretentiously hugged the directive of Bretton Woods Institutions to remove the so called subsidy from unavoidable petroleum products, are we expecting the ‘Juris’ to be on the streets with the workers, like the late socialist thinkers and advocates, Alao Aka-Bashorun Esq. and Bamidele Aturu Esq. who were historically relevant in the workers’ struggles, in and out of the courts? Are we expecting a gentleman approach and dignity of the Inner Bar in his intervention in serious economic issues pertaining to workers, who have been consumed, according to Adebayo William’s description that, “mainstreaming is nothing but a buccaneer’s ethos, a shameless appropriation of the national patrimony by a privileged few.”
Folabi Kuti’s elevation comes at a time when the Nigerian state is fragile, delicate and insecure. Are we expecting a radical or liberal approach from the Inner Bar to make a genuine legal input to solve teething social political problems that refuse to vanish from our daily life?
As he enters the Inner Bar, is he going to align himself with the frontal position of the nouveau riche that the Inner Bar is full for now and no elevation should be carried out by the Privileges Committee or is he for the school of thought that says that the sky is wide enough for birds to flock?
As a legal hybrid who combines international exposure with local practice, what is going to be his position on our privileged seniors who challenge electoral malpractices in State A and make a 360 degree u-turn by defending the same electoral malpractices in State B? Do we call this conduct legal dynamism or economic opportunism? Is the law still certain in relation to embarrassing and conflicting judgments in our appellate courts, particularly on electoral matters?
As Folabi gets elevated to the Inner Bar, I am of unshakable belief that he has the knowledge, courage, character, principle, intellect and resources to add value to the Inner Bar for the betterment of our legal education. The quality of the Bench, most of the time, is a reflection of the quality of the Bar; it is against this background that he is urged to assist courts, irrespective of the side he represents in attaining the quality of judges, as stated by Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies 2014 Edition thus:
“A Judge is a pillar in the entire justice system and the public expects highest and irreproachable conduct from anyone performing a judicial function. Judges must endeavour for the utmost standard of integrity in both their professional and personal lives. They should be knowledgeable about the law, willing to undertake in-depth legal research and able to write decisions that are clear logical and cogent. Their judgment should be sound and they should be able to make informed decisions that will stand up to close scrutiny. Judges should be fair and open minded devoid of any kind of political fervour”
My Learned Senior, it is on this note that I thank Almighty God for His blessing on your life. The Almighty God and Mama Kuti have proved you wrong when you held that, “I wear my humble background as a badge of honour. Father, a school Principal and breadwinner, died in 1993. I was just about starting Year 1, Law in OAU. As he was being lowered, I remembered uttering words to the effect that ‘my Lord is gone forever. The world has ended’. Now his world has just begun; this is a new dawn, learned senior.

Lekan Alabi is a legal practitioner and consultant.


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Olaf Scholz Takes Over From Angela Merkel As Germany’s Chancellor



Olaf Scholz and Angela Merkel

Olaf Scholz Takes Over From Angela Merkel As Germany’s Chancellor

Olaf Scholz has been sworn in as Germany’s new chancellor, formally taking power after Angela Merkel’s historic 16 years as leader.

He promised he would do all he could to work towards a new start for Germany.

As she left the chancellery in Berlin, ending a 31-year political career, Mrs Merkel told her former vice-chancellor to approach the task “with joy”.

His centre-left Social Democrats will govern alongside the Greens and the business-friendly Free Democrats.

Mr Scholz, a soft-spoken 63-year-old, steered the Social Democrats to election victory in late September, positioning himself as the continuity candidate because he played a key role in the Merkel government as vice-chancellor.

The German parliament, the Bundestag, backed him as chancellor by 395 votes to 303, and he was then formally appointed as the ninth federal chancellor by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

After the vote in parliament, he was asked by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas whether he accepted the appointment and said “yes”. He later took the oath of office but – unlike his predecessor – left out the religious reference “so help me God”.

Since the election, Mr Scholz’s party has worked with the Greens and the Free Democrats on a coalition deal, which was finally signed on Tuesday. All 16 ministers took the oath of office on Wednesday, becoming Germany’s first cabinet to include as many women as men.

The new government has ambitious plans to fight climate change by phasing out coal early and focusing on renewable energy, but their initial priority will be tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Health authorities have recorded another 69,601 cases in the past 24 hours and a further 527 deaths – the highest number since last winter.

Mr Scholz is already a known and trusted face in Berlin and Brussels. He marketed himself to voters as sort of Merkel Mark Two, despite hailing from a different political party.

But it’s not all about continuity, and friends and trade partners of this rich and powerful nation will be watching closely.

Mr Scholz’s coalition government is a never-before-seen marriage of convenience. What unites them, they claim, is a determination to modernise Germany, while preserving the country’s treasured stability.



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