The skin that we speak: Thought on language and culture in the classroom.

In this elucidating book edited by Delpit and Dowdy (2002), one cannot but feel captivated by the current scientific critiques of language and learning. It is a rich collection of scientific-based ideas on school learning, language, politics and culture from many respected authors and educators. The key points that all the contributors upheld are: 

-   “no language form is better than another from a linguistic or cognitive standpoint”       (Delpit, 2002. p. 42).

-         -         All human linguistic systems whether spoken, signed or written, are fundamentally regular.

-         -         The distinction between “languages” and “dialects” is usually made more on social and political grounds than on purely linguistic ones.

-         -         Characterizations of Ebonics as “slang,” “mutant,” “lazy,” “ungrammatical,” or “broken English” are incorrect and demeaning (p.  223).

-         -         Language attitude is the issue at stake: “the feelings, the beliefs, the frustrations, and the dreams of those who belong and do not belong to a particular language community . . .” (Delpit, 2002. p. xxii)

With these key points in mind, this paper will be discussed under the following sub headings:

-   Link between language and identity

-   Link between language and political hierarchy

-   Link between language and cultural conflicts

Finally, the conclusion will hinge on the teachers’ role and responsibility in the classroom. Thus the need for the continuous education of those whose duty it is to teach in formal schools will be emphasized.

Link between language and identity

            “Language is one of the most intimate expressions of identity” (Delpit, 2002, p. 47). To reject our language of origin is to reject who we are. If one has his or her language looked down upon or worse overtly, or subtly institutionalized and disseminated as low class, primitive, uncivilized, and deficient, then we are saying the same thing against this person and his or her abilities and heritage.  This is the hard lesson Delpit had to learn from her personal experience with her daughter. From her  “painful ambivalence” (Delpit, 2002, p. 38) when she had the lesson brought home by Maya, her teenage daughter, Delpit got such a powerful lesson, conviction and conversion to start believing and practicing what she had been preaching all along.

This is emphasizing the intimate link between language and identity. Our first language or “mother tongue” (Delpit, 2002, p. 47) defines who we are. It deeply touches on what we hold dear, what we cherish and are emotionally attached to. So to speak out against the language that children bring to school is to speak out against their mothers, that their mothers are not good enough to be part of their school life and world. And, to talk about one’s mother in this way is the worst insult for African Americans.

That was why the debate on Ebonics touched off an explosive  national outcry and hot exchanges when it got ignited in the “Oakland Standard English Proficiency Project” ((Delpit, 2002, p. 42). That Ebonics’ debate seemed to have brought out the truth and clearest links between language and identity. It simply and undoubtedly reinforced the theorists of language who hypothesize that one’s first language is emotionally and intimately connected to one’s origin, heritage, loved ones and community. But as Maya, the daughter of Delpit demonstrated, for success and social integration with the popular culture, one has to learn “Standard Language” and then “know how to code-switch” (Delpit, 2002, p. 39) between it and the language of intimate, loved ones. I will revisit this learning when we discuss the role teachers should play.

Link between language and political hierarchy

            In the light of the above discussion, the link between language and the power structure needs to be addressed. “Language supremacy” (Wynne, 2002, p. 211) is continually being touted by the popular political class. But it has been observed that some teachers and parents are also accomplices in this. Even till today, many teachers and educators seem to show “no awareness that each dialect and language has an internal integrity unto itself; that one language clearly is not scientifically better than the other, but that one is politically more acceptable than the other -  for one dialect belongs to the power structure (Dorsett, 1997, Fillmore, 1998, Owens, 1996, Perry and Delpit, 1998). 

But the influence of the dominant ethnic group, who imposes their language on all others in the same multi-language community, has always been a big issue for school language and learning. In her introduction to the skin we speak, Delpit (2002) said, “The commencement of formal education is usually one of the first settings . . . African American language has had a particularly stormy  relationship with the educational power structure” (p. xviii). This stormy relationship stems from the degrading, oppressive, and suppressive efforts of the dominant European American language  group to perpetually put African American language in a lower class. This amounts to saying that their language is inferior, deficient, or even not a language at all. But thanks to the different language theorists who have come up to challenge this odious and wrong impression, or rather, non-valid notion of language. In the words of Stubbs (2002), “It is accepted by linguists that no language or dialect is inherently superior or inferior to any other, and that all languages and dialects are suited to the needs of the community they serve” (as cited in Delpit, et al. 2002, p. 70).

If this is the case, why then is African American language, sometimes called Black English or Ebonics almost always relegated to the margin of inferior, improper, and low class language family? The answer can be found in what Purcell-Gates (2002) described as “the relationship between class and power, language and literacy” (p. 124). The people in power, who occupy the ladder or hierarchy of the socio-political class from the middle to the top, generally look down upon, and impose their own language form as superior or as the standard.  This domination and imposition of  the language of the dominant, elite, ruling class is not the plight of African Americans alone.

However, such marginalization is found in almost all communities and countries of the world. Thus Purcell-Gates (2002) observed that he had seen such attitude on “. . . Appalachians . . ., and  Native American reservations in this country, in Israel toward the Palestinians, in England toward the lower classes and the immigrants, and in El Salvador toward the campesinos” (p. 134). In Africa too, especially, Nigeria which is made up of too many ethnic groups with their distinct cultures and languages, this attitude is also rampant. Hence, the adoption and imposition of the language of the British or French colonial masters as the lingua franca, remains very solid and strong today in Nigeria. The same experiences Dowdy (2002) and her siblings had in their native Trinidad, wherein their native language is suppressed and demeaned so that they can learn the “Standard or Queen’s English” (pp. 4-13) is very true of Nigeria and most African nations, even till today. So what makes the case a complicated issue here is that teachers and the top socio-political class are not the only ones imposing the “masters’ language” over the people, but members of the students’ families are also accomplices. Maybe this is due to the brainwashing effect which (Stubbs, 2002)  described as “the primitive language myth” (p. 71). Often confused with the parents’ over-ambition to see their children succeed in the neo-colonial mainstream society, this myth or brainwashing effect lives on despite the fact that “linguists long ago dispelled the myth . . . It is now known that there is no correspondence at all between simplicity of material culture and simplicity of language structure, and all the world’s languages have been shown to have vastly complex grammatical systems”  ( p. 71).

But the fact remains that the notion of one language as superior to the mother tongue or any other people’s language is a wrong and unfounded linguistic theory. This is where teachers should play important roles in the education of the so called minorities in their classrooms. These roles will be treated in more details in the concluding section of this paper. Meanwhile let us examine also the roles that cultural perceptions play in the rating of a people’s language.

Link between language and cultural conflicts

            Hilliard III (2002) aptly observed that:

Teaching and learning are rooted in and are dependent upon a common language between teacher and student. Language is rooted in and is an “essential and inseparable” aspect of culture. Culture is nothing, more nor less, than the shared ways that groups of people have created to use and define their environment (p. 89, words in parenthesis mine).

These words reaffirm what was confirmed by linguists in the discussion of the links between language, politics and identity. For, “Culture provides the social and material support through which individuals develop meaningful lives” (Feinberg, 1998, p. 63). Citing again the African American experiences as victims of degradation, especially, in the slave trade, the concerted efforts to downgrade their culture continues to come up. “Africans were said by some historians to have had no history, by linguists to have had inferior language, by political scientists to have had poor self-government, by psychologists to have had low intelligence, by biologists to have had inferior genes, and by theologians to have had no soul, among other things” (Hilliard III, p. 90). By such a grievous misrepresentation of historical and scientific facts, a stigma appears to have been appended to the African children and their kins and kith in diaspora. It is a known fact that language, culture, history, and oppression are inextricably linked together where African American children are concerned. Yet, “All cultures are intellectually complicated and cognitively demanding” (Hilliard III, 2002, p. 89). All people and all communities on earth have developed a culture, their culture. They have also created the language, which is an essential and inseparable part of that culture. To brand that language as inferior, is to put a serious inferiority dent on their person and culture, among other things. Like the language myth discussed above, this inferiority dent on the people’s culture is a grievous misconception. But unfortunately this misconception has been “internalized” by many including the professionals and even the African Americans themselves. This is because of the power structure treated above. And, unfortunately again, “teaching and learning are also rooted in environments shaped by politics” (Hilliard III, 2002, p. 89). What should be done to continue to ameliorate this bad situation? The answers lie in the continuous education of the teachers, parents, students, politicians, and the general public.

Conclusion - Teachers’ role and responsibility in the classroom and beyond.

The education of those whose duty it is to educate others is of paramount importance. Chomsky (1972) had always theorized that the ability to develop language is innate in all human beings. Hence, his position on language development is aptly described with the terms nativist, or inborn, and “universal grammar” (Chomsky 1965, p. 112). He also uses the term language acquisition device, to indicate that human beings are equipped for language from birth. This means that every child is born pre-wired for any language. Thus the child acquires language as a process of maturation (Chomsky 1965). Teachers should know these facts about language. They should therefore guard against the trappings of power, culture and politics and be ready to teach with humane sincerity.

However, it is important not to idealize or overemphasize the community in the community of learners.  Be realistic about what promotes learning for each group of students in their peculiar context. “It makes no sense, and it seems almost dishonest to ‘mainstream’ students across some dimensions of diversity and ‘integrate’ them across others unless the social organizations of classrooms promote the habits of speaking and listening from which positive inter-personal relationships across those differences can grow” (Cazden, 2001, pp. 133-4).

Hence, teachers should always acquaint themselves with the current and unbiased scientific findings. For instance they should learn and implement the following:

-         -         There is evidence from Sweden, the U.S., and other countries that speakers of other varieties can be aided in their learning of the standard variety by pedagogical approaches which recognize the legitimacy of other varieties of a language.

-         -         Involving parents in this enlightenment campaign and education should be intensified.

-         -         Wooing and constantly negotiating with politicians and policy makers, in order to ensure steady and adequate supply of funds for language education and research.

-         -         Teachers should dispose the students by the right attitude.

-         -         Teachers should also be properly informed or educated on the richness of Ebonics, or what ever language the students bring to class as a peoples’ language, which is also tied to their loved ones, cherished memories, and culture.

-         -         Over correction of dialect-related miscues increases cognitive monitoring of speech (Delpit, 1998), which impedes fluency and desired competence.

-         -         Over correction may also lead the student’s to silence.

-         -         Over correction may also affect the student’s attitude to the teachers.

-         -         Group identity issues may also affect the students to choose to stick to their cultural group than the “standard form” the teacher represents.

-         -         The language varieties are not signs of deficiencies but rather language differences (Coupland,  & Jaworski, 1997,  Delpit, & Dowdy, 2002, Labov, 1970, Owens, 1996).

-         -         The teacher should recognize that the linguistic form the student brings to the school is intimately connected with loved ones, community, and personal identity. At the same time it is equally important to understand that students who do not have access to the politically popular dialect form in this country are less likely to succeed economically than their peers who do. 

Perhaps, we have reached the developmental stage in which the American  populace and others should be willing to see beyond skin color, in order to access more intellectual competence, but unfortunately, there are as yet few pockets of people who can listen and accept the different others beyond language form and skin color. So the education of the educators and populace is still an ongoing process and struggle.



Cazden, C. B. (2001). Classroom discourse: The language of teaching and learning.

Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Chomsky, N. (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax. Cambridge: MIT Press.


Chomsky, N. (1972). Language and mind. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace.


Coupland, N. & Jaworski, A. (1997). Sociolinguistics: A reader. NY: St. Martin’s Press.


Delpit, L. (1990). Language diversity and learning. Perspectives on talk and learning.



Delpit, L. (1998). What should teachers do? Ebonics and Culturally responsive

instruction. In T. Perry, & L. Delpit (Eds.). The real Ebonics debate: Power, language, and the education of African American children (pp. 17-26). Boston, MA: Beacon Press.


Delpit, L. (2002). No kinda sense. In L.Delpit &  J. K. Dowdy (Eds.).

The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language  and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.


Delpit, L., & Dowdy, J. K. (Eds.). (2002). The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language

 and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.


Dorsett, C. (1997). Ebonics – 21st century racism? Website:



Dowdy, J. K. (2002). Language and identity. In L.Delpit &  J. K. Dowdy (Eds.).

The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language  and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.


Feinberg,W. (1998). Common Schools/Uncommon identities: National unity and cultural

 difference. New Haven: Yale University Press.


Fillmore, C. (1998). Speech at UC Berkeley. http://www.cal.org/ebonics/fillmore.html


Hilliard III, A. G. (2002). Language, culture and the assessment of African American

children. In L.Delpit &  J. K. Dowdy (Eds.). The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language  and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.


Labov, W. (1970). The social stratification of English in New York city. Washington:

            Center for Applied  Linguistics.


Owens, R. E. (1996). Language development. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.


Perry, T. & Delpit, L. (Eds.). The real Ebonics debate: Power, language, and the

 education of African American children. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.


Perry, T. & Delpit, L. (1998). Rethinking schools. Boston: Beacon.


Purcell-Gates, V. (2002). “. . ..As soon as she opened her mouth!”: Issues of language,

literacy, and power. In L.Delpit &  J. K. Dowdy (Eds.). The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language  and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.


Stubbs, M. (2002). Some basic sociolinguistic concepts. In L.Delpit &  J. K. Dowdy

(Eds.). The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language  and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.


Wynne, J. (2002). We don’t talk right. You ask him. In Delpit, L., & Dowdy, J. K. (Eds.).

(2002). The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language  and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.


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The New York Times International  (culled 5/15/03)

Online Sellers Fall Victim to Counterfeit Cashier's Checks


IN a new twist on a fraudulent money-transferring scheme, a growing number of people who sell goods online are falling victim to con artists who locate their victims through mass e-mailings.

So far, at least seven state attorneys general have warned about the new ruse, in which the perpetrators, often from Nigeria, use the counterfeit checks to purchase items for sale online, typically overpaying for the goods and asking for the difference to be sent back before the victim or the bank realizes that the check is fake.

It is a new version of an old scheme known as advance fee or 419 fraud, a reference to the Nigerian statute that makes this type of activity illegal. While 419 fraud has often been perpetrated over the phone or by fax, mass e-mail has in recent years been a preferred method for finding victims.

It is impossible to say how many people have lost money through this type of fraud. But one victim, Shawn Mosch of Bloomington, Minn., who with her husband started an advocacy group called Scam Victims United (scamvictimsunited.com), estimated that she had heard about more than 500 cases since November. In March, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation warned banks about the use of counterfeit official checks to defraud online sellers.

Mrs. Mosch said that she and her husband, Jeff, had advertised a 1961 Buick for sale at several Web sites and were contacted in October by a man purporting to be a car dealer in Africa, Adebisi Julius. After agreeing on a price of $1,600, the buyer told the Mosches that a friend in the United States owed him $8,800 and that this friend would send them a cashier's check for that amount. They agreed to refund the difference to the buyer once the check cleared.

Although Mrs. Mosch said she was aware of other forms of Nigerian fraud and thought the terms of the transaction sounded suspicious, she deposited the check - seemingly issued by a Bank of America branch - and asked the teller when she would know it was good. "He said, 'Twenty-four hours ma'am, no problem,' " Mrs. Mosch recalled. She said she then waited 48 hours "to be extra safe" before withdrawing $7,200 and wiring it to an address in Lagos, Nigeria.

"When he said Nigeria, yes, red flags went up," Mrs. Mosch said, describing a phone conversation with the man who deceived her. "But then we looked at the cash in our hands and said, well we have the cash, they said the check had cleared."

But the check had not cleared: the Mosches got a call about a week later from their bank informing them the cashier's check turned out to be counterfeit and that the bank was deducting $8,800 from their savings account. (The Mosches still have the Buick, in which the fraudulent buyer was evidently not interested despite having promised to arrange shipment.)

Mrs. Mosch said she and her husband disputed their liability for the money deducted from their account, ultimately reaching an out-of-court settlement with the bank. The terms of the settlement prevent her from naming the amount or the bank, she said.

"The best way to stop the scam right now is to educate people about it," she said. Although a big part of that effort is alerting Internet sellers to be wary of buyers who overpay for an item and ask for the difference to be wired back - or those who, after sending a check, back out of the deal and ask for a refund - another goal is to dispel some misconceptions about cashier's checks.

"The tellers are looking at that check as if it were a legitimate cashier's check and not even considering that it might be fraudulent," Mrs. Mosch said. She argues that consumers and bank employees need to be educated about the difference between when funds from a cashier's check are available and when the check actually clears.

By law, banks are required to make funds available the next business day if an individual deposits a cashier's check into their own account, in person, dealing with an employee of the bank; if the bank later finds out the check is counterfeit, it can deduct the money from the depositer's account.

So the burden is largely on Internet sellers to make sure that any check they accept is legitimate before spending the money or sending any merchandise. Donna Gambrell, deputy director of the F.D.I.C.'s division of supervision and consumer protection, said, "One of the reasons why these scams can be so successful is because crooks know consumers trust these cashier's checks and money orders."

The F.D.I.C. advises Internet sellers to confirm a buyer's name, address and home phone number independently and insist that the check be drawn on a local bank or a bank that has a local branch. If that is not feasible, Ms. Gambrell said, the depositor should ask the bank if it will inquire about the check or directly contact the issuing bank to confirm that it is valid.

Beyond these measures, Ms. Gambrell said, "Don't wire money or hand over any merchandise until you deposit the check and your bank confirms that it was paid - even if that takes days or even weeks."

At least seven states - Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico and Pennsylvania - have issued warnings to residents about the scheme. In April, the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, which refers victims to law enforcement agencies, noted the emergence of this variation on 419 fraud in its annual report, saying that based on the reports it received last year - a fraction of actual losses - 74 individuals lost $1.6 million to some form of 419 scam.

Although automobile sellers seem to have been the initial targets of the counterfeit check variation, there have been reports of attempts to defraud people who are selling boats, furniture, horses, dogs and cats. Trading sites like americandreamcars.com, puppydogweb.com and equine.com have warned users about the scheme.

Mrs. Mosch said she had heard that people selling items on eBay had been targets of such ruses. Kevin Pursglove, an eBay spokesman, said he had not heard much about the trend and that eBay had not issued an advisory on that type of scheme.


Daily Independent Online.        * Thursday, May 15, 2003.

Robbers on rampage in Asaba

·  Two killed; perm sec, 14 others shot

By Tunke-Aye Bisina, Daily Independent, Asaba

Armed robbers yesterday carried out day-light operations in Asaba and Igbuzor in Delta State, killing two persons, while 15 others, including a federal permanent secretary and a police officer, received gun shot injuries. But police authorities in Asaba have remained silent on the number of casualties.

Confirming the incident to Daily Independent, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the state police command, Mr. John Mshelia said that the bandits also shattered two police vehicles when his men engaged them in a shoot-out.

The robbers, who caused pandemonium in the city, also robbed the Asaba branch of the First Bank Plc at Nnebisi Road and went away with unspecified sums of money.

A gang of bandits had invaded the city on Sunday night shooting about three persons.

Yesterday's operations defied security as the robbers, who carried out their operations from one end of the city to the other, held Asaba under siege for over one hour.

The robbers numbering about eight, who started their operations about 11.00am, were said to have driven from Onitsha direction through Jerret Road to the popular Mammy Market, Federal College of Education Road Junction opposite NITEL Territorial office, driving through the Nnebisi Road and through Director Labour Agency (DLA) road.

Eyewitness told Daily Independent that when the robbers got to the Mammy Market in a Golf Volkswagen car, they accosted a Delta State Ministry of Education Peugeot Station Wagon 504 car and asked the driver to hand over the key to them.

The driver, a young man, was said to have refused, prompting them to shoot him before snatching the car. He died on the spot. They were also said to have chased another Federal Government vehicle to the NITEL office area before shattering it with bullets.

A lady believed to be a federal permanent secretary, who sat at the back of the vehicle, sustained gunshot injuries while the driver escaped unhurt. She is said to be on danger list.

Daily Independent saw the car at NITEL office with the back and one of the side glasses shattered by bullet. The vehicle was marked FG06D07. The robbers later drove to the First Bank and held both customers and officials hostage, shooting indiscriminately while they operated for over 30 minutes.

A young man on a motorbike around the bank premises was shot to death in the process while several others also received gunshot injuries. Daily Independent saw about 15 exhausted ammunition inside the premises of the bank.


NIGERIAWORLD.COM   News Headline  Posted Thursday, May 15, 2003

By    [  New York, NY, USA ]

Nigerians in US demand prosecution as Halliburton defends self in $2.5m tax evasion

Halliburton, the American oil service company, formerly presided over by the sitting US Vice President Dick Cheney, is defending itself in the $2.5M tax evasion scheme against Nigeria by its subsidiary, KBR. The apparent tax evasion blew open last week in media reports that quoted the company's mandatory regulatory filings.

However, Nigerian lawyers, and professionals in New York 's famous financial district, the Wall Street are demanding that the company be made to face legal action as would have been the case if the company had been involved in the same incident here in the US.

In a statement released in answer to the inquiries of The Guardian, Halliburton's Public Relations Manager in Houston suggested on Wednesday that the real issue in the whole matter is that Halliburton's internal system works and that the company acted in good faith by immediately launching a probe once the impropriety was discovered.

According to the company spokesperson Wendy Hall "over a year ago, we self-reported this issue to the SEC and it has been in each of our publicly filed financial statements since then."

Hall noted that "while this is an unfortunate situation, the real story here is that our system works." She stated that the issue was uncovered by "our existing processes, it was immediately reported to the SEC, we immediately investigated the issue, and all the necessary actions were taken when the facts were uncovered, including the termination of those involved."

The Public Relations Manager continued: " Of course we all wish these things didn't occur, but with over 92,000 employees worldwide we know they occasionally do. We can all take comfort however, that on those rare occasions where our employees act improperly, we discover it, we get to the bottom of it, we hold people accountable for their actions, and we do the right thing by our shareholders, our customers, and our host governments around the world."

The Guardian asked particularly whether the company already informed the Nigerian government about the development and whether it would cooperate with Nigerian authorities on an investigation, but the response was not very direct.

All Wendy Hall had to say on that was this: "When Halliburton discovered the improper payments through a routine audit, it launched an investigation assisted by outside legal counsel and notified the SEC. Because the SEC investigation is not complete, we believe it is inappropriate to provide any further details at this time."

But the President of the New York- based Nigerian Lawyers Association, NLA, Mr. Shamsey Oloko said "it is quite ironic that a major company from the US has disclosed its complicity in the aiding and abetting of bribery in Nigeria." Oloko, who himself is a leading US taxation lawyer added that although Halliburton acknowledges the illegality of its conduct, yet there would be a need according to him for a criminal prosecution.

"It remains to be seen whether the principal actors will be properly subject to criminal prosecution," he says, stressing that the payment of bribes totaling $2.4 million in Nigeria "is a particularly egregious and unlawful behavior, under both Nigerian and US laws."

Oloko called on the US authorities to bring those involved to justice. " All involved thereof must be appropriately charged and brought to justice, as would have been the case if the misconduct took place in Halliburton's home country, the US."

A Washington DC attorney, who is also a Nigerian, Mr. Emmanuel Ogebe expressed worry that "this report is not very encouraging for the fight against corruption in Nigeria if a company linked so closely to a highly placed US official such as the VP did not have the good sense to avoid such a scandal."

Another Nigerian, who is a financial professional in New York, preferred anonymity being a representative of New York Stock Exchange, NYSE/NASD member firm. He said: "Normally publicly quoted companies must file all sort of documents to the regulatory agency such as SEC. Documents regarding their financial as well as stock transactions by "insiders" - major shareholders or subsidiaries as a matter of public record. " Observers say that punctured the impression of self-confession of Halliburton that it self-reported because the company had no choice.

He added that the filings "must reveal all pertinent information and according to recent laws the CEO's must attest to the truthfulness and authenticity of such information."

A Nigerian Stock broker in Wall Street, Mr. Tunde Aboyade-Cole however observed that "we should be grateful that this was found out because of the vigilance of the auditors and/or the relevant regulatory bodies. Cole argued that Halliburton would not have voluntarily confessed if the US company regulatory system or disclosure requirements had not compelled it to do so.

But he also noted that such practices are widespread in Nigeria "and it involves most of the foreign companies operating there. In fact, construction/engineering companies are notorious for bribery; contract inflation and serving as conduit for getting looted funds into safe haven like Switzerland. "

Aboyade-Cole hoped the Nigerian embassy will liase with the relevant investigating body to get the facts "so that we can conduct our own investigation and mete out our own punishment to our national that colluded with them."

He said the oil company would have to pay the outstanding taxes, which by its own reckoning may range about $5M.

© 2003 nigeriaworld.com


DAILY TRUST  Thursday, May 15, 2003

Private varsities now to establish N100m trust fund 

 -  By Ikenna Emeka Okpani

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has come out with new guidelines for the establishment of private universities and under the new arrangement private university providers are to establish a trust fund in their institution with a minimum of N100 million.

The suggestion which was endorsed by the management of the commission, according to the Executive Secretary, Prof. Peter Okebukola, is meant to serve as a cushion during periods of financial strain for such a university.

According to him, such trust fund will be managed by a Board of Trustees on which the National Universities Commission would be represented and would be expected to meet at least twice a year.

The NUC management also reviewed the minimum land requirement for private universities. The new minimum land requirement is now 50 hectares. The recommendation will later be presented to the board of the commission for approval.

Private universities and other stakeholders have been clamouring for some adjustments in the guidelines for the establishment of private universities, especially the land requirement.

Meanwhile, three more universities have given the indication that they would back out of the ASUU strike and resume lectures next week while the Senate of five others will be meeting this week to conclude the calendar for reopening.

According to Prof. Okebukola, the vice-chancellors of University of Abuja; Obafemi Awolowo University and Federal University of Technology, Akure have formally written to NUC conveying the decision to re-open their universities this week.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka; Federal University of Technology, Owerri and University of Lagos re-opened last week.

Daily Trust gathered that the government verification team that was out two weeks ago to confirm that lectures had started at Awka, Owerri, and Lagos have submitted a favourable report.

With the indication given by some universities to re-open next week, more universities will be opting out of the protracted ASUU strike.

The federal government last week declared a trade dispute with ASUU. The Minister of Education filed three applications to the Minister of Labour declaring trade dispute between the federal government and all three striking university staff unions- ASUU, NASU and SSANU separately.

In a letter copied to NUC, the minister directed the commission to follow-up the arbitration court process.

The action, he said, was based on legal advice received that, "in order not to create a confused lacuna for my successor on this matter in view of the impending expiration of the tenure of this administration, the matter should be referred to the Industrial Arbitration Court in the hope that all concerned will be willing to obey the rule of law which is the hallmark of democratic culture.

However, the ASUU President, Dr. Dipo Fashina, has blamed the government for the breakdown in the negotiation, claiming that it has continually misinformed the public on the position of ASUU.


ThisDay News   Dateline: 11/05/2003 12:17:17

World Airways Now in Nigeria  By Justina Okpanku

Without doubt, the public holiday declared by the Federal Government on May 1, Workers Day, offered Nigerians the chance to rest. But the travel industry operators were at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Lagos to celebrate the coming of World Airways.

At the World Airways/Ritetime/Travel Agents Forum , a gathering of big wigs in the private sector travel industry as they turned out flamboyantly dressed and waited patiently for what Mr. Yomi Jones, former Managing Director, Nigeria Airways described as good news because its a "major strategic operation tailored to meet the needs of travellers."

The good news is, World Airways and Ritetime Aviation of Nigeria will soon commence flight operations from Lagos to the United States of America. The two organisations will begin its weekly flights on May 28, 2003 from Lagos to New York, Atlanta and Houston using the latest model MD- 11 wide-body.

On offer are lower fares, for New York US$850; Atlanta, US$ 1100 and Houston US$1249 return.

Chief Executive of Ritetime/World Airways, Dr. Peter Obafemi said: "This is a product that will compete with any airline anywhere in the world and it will make customers happy because what other airlines would not do for you, we will do for you. We are giving in our Economy Class what other airlines give customers in their First Class".

"The weekly operation in Nigeria reduces a lot of pressure and stress," says Yomi Jones who is Ritetime/World Airways Marketing Consultant.

"As an international traveller, there is no need for transit visa, once you have a valid visa. It will save a lot of problems, especially for the business traveller".

World Airways was formed on March 28, 1948, by Benjamin Pepper with a fleet of three Boeing 314 Clippers.

World Airways introduced its first MD-11 in March 1993. Today, World operates 15 wide-body aircraft, eight MD-11's and seven DC 10-30's.

The list of airlines that World was said to have operated wet-leases for includes: Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic , Air France, British Airways, Malaysian and Philippine Airlines.

Ritetime/World Airways Office in Nigeria is situated at City Express Bank Building at Adetokumbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos and it maintains websites: www.flyritetime.com/promotions.

Meanwhile, five travel agents emerged winners of the raffle draw organised by Ritetime/World Airways during the forum.

The Managing Director of Emmanuella Travels, Mrs. Modupe Lawale said: " I pray that World Airways will be successful as all those who came and conquered."


LAGOS. NIGERIA.     Tuesday, May 12, 2003

 Soyinka, Christianity and the Pyrates By Muyiwa Awe

THE National Association of Seadogs, also known as Pyrates' Confraternity, recently celebrated what it tagged 50 years afloat 1952/53 - 2002/03. One of the activities to mark the event was a public lecture with the title: Cults, Counter-Culture and the Perils of Ignorance, which was delivered on December 13, 2002, by my friend Professor Wole Soyinka with whom I, and five other young men founded the Pyrates' Confraternity in the 1953/54 session at the then University College, now University of Ibadan, after we moved from the old, temporary site of the College at Eleiyele to the present permanent site. It appears the fifty years of the existence of Pyrates' Confraternity was celebrated prematurely, but that is a small matter.

I was invited to the lecture but I declined, given my current position as President of Fullness of Christ Evangelical Ministry (FOCEM), and Chairman of the University of Ibadan's Anti-Cultism Campaign Committee. I have only just had access to the text of Professor Soyinka's lecture and it makes interesting reading. What interests me particularly in Professor Soyinka's lecture were references to me and what he understands as my position in respect of the original Pyrates' Confraternity and the organizations we now call Campus Cults. Although he was building up his arguments in the earlier pages of his 18-page lecture, his direct reference to me and my Ministry (FOCEM) started from page 9 and continued for most of the rest of the lecture. After a careful reading of the text, my conclusion is that many of Professor Soyinka's statements illustrate very beautifully the last part of the title of his lecture namely: The Perils of Ignorance.

Since January 1946 when we grew up as classmates and friends in our old secondary school, to the founding of Pyrates' Confraternity at UCI, much water has passed under the bridge, and we have gone our separate ways spiritually and otherwise in the recent past. So I was amused when I read his statement that "the comments of our erstwhile colleague and personal friend, Professor Muyiwa Awe, stems (sic) from a deep spiritual questioning. All spiritual journeys deserve our greatest respect and support, and we can only pray that Professor Muyiwa Awe finds the peace of mind and sense of salvation that he so deeply craves." As a Christian, I have already found peace of mind in Christ and I have the assurance of salvation, so I do not have to crave for them.

Professor Soyinka wonders as to what constitutes a "cult" whether on campus or outside campus, or even outside the nation's boundaries where several chapters of the Pyrates Confraternity have been established world-wide. However, what constitutes a cult has already been discussed in FOCEM Newsletter Vol. 1. No.2, which was published by our Ministry in July 2002. In addition, in November 2002, we published the evangelical tract: All Manner of Cults. Also, many authors have already written books on the subject of cults both from Christian and non-Christian points of view, and so what constitutes a cult is already well-known or available to those who care to find out.

I relate well to many members of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS) which is an association registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). However, NAS also insists on calling itself Pyrates' Confraternity, a name not registered with CAC, and a name which it shares with virulent Campus Cults of the sort many of us are determined to eradicate for the well-being of society and the salvation of the souls of the cultists themselves. The Pyrates' Confraternity which still exists on our campuses as secret societies are as much cults as the Black Axe, Buccaneers Confraternity, Mafia, Lucifer Knights, and their female counterparts like Black Pants, Fine Girls, Amazons, Daughters of Jezebel, etc. When the National Association of Seadogs was being inaugurated, the plan was that NAS would ensure that Pyrates' Confraternity did not exist on campuses. This has turned out to be mere wishful thinking as the Association was not able to impose its will on the students on campuses.

The truth of the matter is in accordance with the word of God, the Holy Bible, which says: Thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee. Anybody can make a decree even as Professor Soyinka's Association has done, but the power to establish the decree is what is important, and the Association obviously lacks this power. Is Professor Soyinka really claiming that the Pyrates' Confraternity does not exist as a secret society on campuses? If so, the perils of such ignorance are what he and his Association ought to confront. These secret societies have shown that NAS has no proprietary rights over that name. This is the answer to Professor Soyinka's dilemma about a society which, despite obtaining a judgement in the law courts that unambiguously declares that this fifty-year-old organization is not a secret society, continues to perpetuate a gross libel. NAS has threatened libel action in the past, but the Association ought to know that such action cannot succeed as tertiary level institutions can easily provide evidence that Pyrates' Confraternity exists on their campuses.

The Holy Bible talks of those who are willingly ignorant. If Professor Soyinka and his Association decide to be willingly ignorant, they cannot force honest men and women to ignore facts staring them in the face. Did Professor Soyinka read what his colleague in the NAS, Ben Oguntuase, said sometime in August 1999, after the killings associated with cultists at Obafemi Awolowo University on July 10, 1999? Oguntuase's response to a question posed to him in a newspaper interview was: "I feel good being a member of Pyrate but I feel sad that the group we gave birth to have (sic) been hijacked. I wish the students understand the meaning of confraternity." The same Ben Oguntuase talked about "the fraternities you have today hijacked and turned to instruments of terror and brigandage" in his Open Letter to Nigerian Students on Campus Banditry, dated 13 July, 1999, which is available from NAS News Archive on NAS' Website.

We are all living witnesses to what has happened in the universities after the group to which the Pyrates gave birth was hijacked, and this is what we have tried to draw the attention of all well-meaning Nigerians to. If Professor Soyinka insists that there is absolutely no connection between what we founded almost fifty years ago and the present Campus Cults, he is welcome to his opinion. But if we agree with Ben Oguntuase that the group has been hijacked, the question may be asked: who hijacked it? Many of us have come to the conclusion that the hijacker is no one else but Satan, the god of this world. The reason we say this is that many of the well-known activities of Campus Cults are clearly satanic and evil. A tree is known by its fruit, and out of an evil heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness and blasphemies which are the earmarks of these cults. As Mr. Oguntuase has so perceptively indicated in his Open Letter, cultists are under the control of demons, and they need to be set free.

 To be continued

 Awe, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Ibadan is President, Fullness of Christ Evangelical Ministry.

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LAGOS. NIGERIA.     Tuesday, May 13, 2003


Soyinka, Christianity and the Pyrates (2)  By Muyiwa Awe

 Continued from yesterday

PROFESSOR Soyinka uses strong, vituperative words and phrases such as "intellectual dishonesty", "twisted reasoning", "morally deficient attempts", "providing the present society with a cheap alibi", "common sense and logic being turned on their heads" etc. This is vintage Soyinka for objects of his dislike. I can live with strong words when they are deployed in defence of a cast-iron case. If not, it is terrorism in language form. Just one example. On page 11 of the text of his lecture, he states as follows concerning what I was reported to have said in the January 2, 2002 issue of THISDAY: "By the time that we come to the end of this article, we are firmly persuaded that Professor Awe has the P.C. under reference when he says or is alleged to have said their names are kept secret, and those initiated cannot withdraw upon pain of death! This is precisely how the grotesque lie is born, nourished and expanded. This is how society is programmed into a self-cosseting intellectual laziness, incapable of the rigours of enquiry, analysis and discrimination".

To use Soyinka's own words, is it not grotesque that he is so firmly persuaded by what he admits might be an allegation? By the grace of God, I am still alive and well and he or any of his colleagues in NAS could easily have reached me for my views or a copy of my speech if there was doubt that I might have been wrongly reported in the newspaper. THISDAY was reporting on my speech as Guest Speaker at the launching of the book: Help for Cultists written by Pastor Barnabas Otoibhi. This event took place at the University of Lagos on October 13, 2001. Fortunately, my speech was typed, and the statement which has caused Professor Soyinka so much irritation (as reported) goes as follows: "Whatever may have been the intentions of those who started the earliest organisations (usually named confraternities or fraternities) which have now metamorphosed into the present cults, there is no doubt that these cults are now essentially evil with no redeeming features whatever. The cults recruit new members by enticement, inducement and where these fail, by intimidation. They are societies in which membership is kept secret and those initiated cannot withdraw upon pain of death".

It is unfortunate that someone who is recommending investigative reporting to the newspaperman did not take the trouble of getting in touch with an old colleague and friend to ascertain what I was reported to have said, before making it the pillar of a public lecture. Perhaps the fact of the situation might have got in the way of his characteristic, trenchant prose. But as I have had occasion to tell him in the past, the fact that he holds strong views on a matter and expresses them repeatedly in strong language does not make those views right or true. It is clear from my statement quoted above that I made a distinction between the earliest associations and the cults that have metamorphosed from them. I do this in all my writing and speeches. I have discussed in many fora the reasons which have contributed to the menace of cultism in this nation and what is the way forward. I am glad to be associated with efforts being made at the University of Ibadan and elsewhere to curb and eradicate Campus Cultism. The efforts have already started to yield results, so I am not among those who "only wring (their) hands in helplessness". I thank God for how He is using men and women to confront this malignancy in our society. We know that victory is certain, in Jesus' name. Amen.

We must acknowledge the heroic struggles of those who confronted the Abacha dictatorship head-on. Among these are individuals and organizations such as those highlighted in Professor Soyinka's lecture. However, we must also acknowledge that in the end, Abacha was not removed because of the formidable opposition of human organizations which constituted serious irritants to the brutal dictator. He was not killed in a coup or swept out of power by a popular uprising. On the other hand, there were those who opposed Abacha on their knees. For the spiritually discerning, Abacha was neatly removed by God Himself, though this might be difficult for a humanist like Soyinka to grasp, comprehend or acknowledge. God, who has the power of life and death, took his life and Abacha expired with his dream of a life presidency over a terrorized populace.

I am not interested in being dragged into many of the issues Professor Soyinka raised about Christianity, Pentecostal Churches and pastors of various colours. However, Jesus had said: Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. The last religious views I heard expressed by my friend concern his belief in ecumenism of the human spirit and humanism. My faith as a Christian excludes these concepts which have no room for God. His sneering remarks about Christianity such as those contained in his lecture will also constitute stumbling blocks to fruitful discussion with someone who is so full of the wisdom of this world as he is. However, our God is a sovereign and merciful God who had said: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. The Holy Spirit can still touch Professor Soyinka so that he will recognize and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Our God is omnipotent, so nothing is impossible for Him. Besides this, Jesus died for him too and so, I will continue to pray that Christ's death on the cross will not be wasted on him. Amen.

Professor Soyinka states that he always thought that the Christian doctrine indeed preached the theology of charity. Beyond charity however lie justice, integrity and truthfulness. The implication of this statement is that he does not know that justice, integrity and truthfulness are Christian virtues which are loudly proclaimed on almost every page of the Holy Bible. These are the moral attributes of God which He desires to share with His people. Unfortunately, the Bible is a closed book to many who do not share the Christian faith. They are ignorant of its contents, and the perils arising from this ignorance have momentous consequences for now and for eternity.

In conclusion and for the avoidance of doubt, my position is that secret cults existing on many campuses and calling themselves Pyrates' Confraternity have brought disrepute to that name. The National Association of Seadogs ought to consider the wisdom of continuing to identify with that name on the basis of nostalgia for what happened about fifty years ago when seven, innocent undergraduates at the University College, Ibadan, started an idea from which a Frankenstein monster has now emerged. What this season demands from Professor Soyinka as the revered head of NAS is soul-searching, wise counsel and decision-making, not vituperation in elegant, English prose.


 Awe, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Ibadan is President, Fullness of Christ Evangelical Ministry.



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This day   ---   Dateline: 16/01/2003 11:01:45

Okadigbo Loses N8m to Fraudsters
By Chris Anucha

Former Senate President and the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP), presidential running mate, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, has lost about N8million to swindlers who posed as auctioneers.

THISDAY gathered that the mastermind of the fraud was Okadigbo's personal secretary, simply identified as Larry, who deceived him into believing that there were vehicles to be auctioned at the Apapa Wharf in Lagos by the Nigeria Customs Service.

The dupers were said to have presented forged documents to convince him they were the ones to auction the vehicle on behalf of the customs and that the fleet of cars shown to his (Okadigbo's) agents would cost N8 million.

Sources disclosed that the unsuspecting politicians, after studying the documents and based on discussions with the people directed that the amount be withdrawn from his bank account at Habib Bank, Apapa branch.

It was learnt that Okadigbo directed his personal secretary to withdraw the money in the presence of his driver, who was not part of the scam

Investigations showed that before he could realise that he was in wrong hands, the fraudsters had succeeded in carting away the N8million.

One of the principal suspects, John, has been detained at the State Crime Intelligence Department (SCID) as the police have spread their dragnet to track down the other two, Ode and Larry.




This day   ---   Dateline: 15/01/2003 08:42:24

419: Crime Panel Parades Two Suspects  -  By Andrew Ahiante


As the effort to rid the nation of financial crimes intensifies, the National Committee on Financial Crimes yesterday paraded two persons said to be Advance Fee Fraud (419) suspects.

The two suspects, Eze Udu Anakwe, and his brother, Kingsley Nnamdi Anakwe, still at large, were said to have impersonated Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi and his son, Sani, to dupe an American businessman, Mr. Milton Bernox of $5.5 millions.

Another suspect, Mr. Bolaji Bode-Thomas allegedly under false pretence collected N3.7 million from Seafood Company, Lagos between April and May 2002 for a plot of land at the Government Reservation Area (GRA), Ikeja.

The plot of land was later found to be the property of the Lagos State Government.

Parading the suspects, Chairman, Committee on Financial Crimes and Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos, Mr. Charles I. Akaya, said the syndicates featured Nigerians and expatriates, rendering fruitful investigations difficult.

Bernox was said to have been contacted by one Paul Oniama who posted as a director with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and imbued, with the capability to transact business in petroleum product in Nigeria.

As the deals intensified, Bernox was said have been invited to London where he reportedly met one Robert who later introduced one Alhaji Sani who posed a representative of the Nigerian High Commission in London.

Akaya said, investigations revealed that the deals began in 2000 and by 2002, $5.5 million has been collected from Bernox before he came to his senses.









VANGUARD  ---     Friday, January 17, 2003

FALLOUT OF PDP CONVENTION: Fraud incorporated ...How governors run their states aground    -  By Jide Ajani,Political Editor
A DEAL IS BORN  It is simply called a window or a vehicle.

At least within the circle of those who know what they want to achieve - and, make no mistake, it is indeed, a vehicle because it conveys quite a lot.

The commodity, cash.

This is how it works and has been working, but all that until recently.

A bank comes up with a facility which goes by the tantalising appellation, Infrastructure Development Facility, IDF. What this means is that the bank is providing a facility, a financial assistance - call it loan, which is what it really is - with a view to assisting the state in question develop its infrastructure. This could range from an assorted range of projects, from the real to the imagined, the serious to the unserious, the important to the not so important, the necessary to the outrightly frivolous, all that has to be done is to get the governor of the state and those who call the shots in the bank to agree to provide the facility. In some cases, the facility was provided at the instance of the bank, sensing the non-availability of ready funds to prosecute projects and in the face of demanding and contending needs of the state administration, as well as the quest by the populace to see the dividends of democracy. But in most cases, as have been discovered, the request for the provision of the facility has become something which the state governor has had to push and request for. Even the request, has had to do with the prompting of those who had enjoyed such facilities and who now felt the need to assist a fellow governor(s).

The request for the facility and the projects meant to be developed are almost always not cost specific - specific costs are not usually attached to each project. The reason for this is that it provides an elbow room for the government to dance around the issue of cost when the time comes, a time the relevance of which would be discussed later.

That way, a facility could be provided for say, four projects, and for this purpose, the following:

Public Toilets;

Stadium Complex;

Hotel Complex; and

Renovation of Government House Complex

Mind you, no cost has been attached to each of these projects; and it would appear to have been deliberate.

The sum being borrowed is N5 billion, hypothetically.

Once the facility has been provided, between the said bank and the state government (read governor), terms of repayment would have to be agreed upon and that is where the story begins to get interesting.


But somewhere along the line, a new but bombastic term is introduced just so the transaction takes an air of intricacy which is not actually needed - its only relevance being to confuse those who would want to take more than a passing interest.

In come a Note Issuance Facility, NIF. This is another matter entirely and its relevance is far-fetched but is nonetheless introduced. This gives the impression that the state government has issued, or is issuing a Note which members of the public are being asked to invest in. But it is all part of the game. The tenure of the NIF could be, say, 10 (ten) months. And that, in a way, is expected to be the official transaction and the mode of repayment by the state government.

But that is not how it really works. All that the introduction of the NIF is meant to take care of is the books of the bank as it affects the facility which it is providing to the state government. That way, the bank keeps its books clean and even when external auditors look into its books, they would have nothing to complain about because the bank has gone about the provision of the facility the best possible way just as it has taken appropriate steps to ensure that the mode of repayment is neither endangered nor injured.

In fact, for the avoidance of doubt that a real banking transaction is to take place or has taken place, the tenure of the NIF could be between the said 10 (ten) to 20 (twenty) months "from the day of first draw down", as the statement is couched.

In that same repayment agreement, the amount to be paid back to the bank would be stated along with the duration and it could be say at the rate of N650 million for the ten months.

But as would be discovered as the story progresses, all these are just meant to fulfill banking righteousness.


Now, because it is almost always better to seek to repay a debt from source, if there is an opportunity, the state government is almost always advised to allow for a payment pattern which would be sourced from source.

And to the Office of the Accountant General of The Federation they must go.

Another term, which has been featuring in the racket is acronymed ISPO, which means: Irrevocable Standing Payment Order.

What it means, as the phrase implies is that the Accountant General of the Federation, is by the payment order, being charged to effect a payment to a particular recipient which, in this case, would be the lending bank.

The ISPO would
normally read something like this that the AGF should transfer monthly, a particular sum of money (which is categorical) from the statutory allocation of the state from the Federal Government of Nigeria. It would be an ISPO in favour of Account number, say 080231223457, belonging to State ‘A’ at the said bank.

A state is at liberty to decide which bank its monthly allocations should be paid into.


Meanwhile, whereas the facility provided was meant to take care of the following:

Public Toilets; Stadium Complex; Hotel Complex; and Renovation of Government House Complex, the ISPO which the Accountant General of the Federation would receive from the said state government would be padded with at least three or four more projects.

The reason for this is to make the ISPO authentic and worthy of its statement.

Therefore, a facility which was originally intended to cater for four projects, at the cost of N5 billion, the re-payment of which was supposed to be at the rate of N650 million monthly for ten months, would now be conveyed to the Accountant General of the Federation in the ISPO as catering for seven projects. The sum borrowed may not even be stated as was discovered in the ISPO a South South State was alleged to have sent to the Accountant General of the Federation. In the particular instance, the state government was alleged to have procured a N2 billion from a new generation bank which is thriving. The state was said to have procured the facility with a view to repairing a turbine project, building of coppers lodge (which is purely a federal project), development of real estate sites and the construction of a new governor’s lodge.

However, information available to Vanguard points to an incongruity.

By the time the said state was to send its ISPO to the Accountant General of the Federation, it simply said a sum of N750 million should be deducted from source and paid into a particular account with a bank in order to enable it defray the IDF it had procured.

That was not all. The state was also said to have added two more projects in its ISPO to the Accountant General. The two projects were: Construction of College of Health Services Renovation of a General Hospital. The reason for this addition was with a view to justifying the deduction of N750 million monthly.

The condition was that the ISPO shall
remain valid until May 29, 2003.

However, there was to be another additional condition attached, which was that the ISPO stands irrevocable and shall only be reversed when the state government is no longer indebted to the bank and one which shall be confirmed by the bank. From the time the deductions started to the month of December, specifically, December 16, 2002, when the President Olusegun Obasanjo was said to have ordered the stoppage of such a deduction, over N12 billion had already been deducted.

But a confusion has since arisen as a result of the action. While information emanating from the Government House in the state insists that the state government is not owing any bank and that the issue deceiving the Accountant General to over deduct and remit to the account at the said bank was false and baseless, another group of stakeholders in the state were in court last week to push their case against the state governor and the bank.

That is not all.

So, on December 15, 2002, some leaders of the state took their case to the President, informing him of the alleged racket.

The following day, President Obasanjo was said to have called the Accountant General of the Federation, J. Naiyeju, to confirm whether or not such a matter was on. The latter was alleged to have confirmed, a confirmation which made President Obasanjo angry. He immediately ordered the stoppage of such deductions.


It was after the President had ordered the stoppage of such deductions, that the new feeling of apprehension set in for some governors. In fact, during the last presidential primaries of the PDP, one of the jokes against Obasanjo was that should he be allowed a second term, Nigeria’s jail houses would suffer a crisis of over-population. But for some governors who were taken in, their immunity would still be intact until...

For those pushing this joke, there was a tinge of irony in it— though they may not have been aware of it.

To many, what was not clear was that there was another under current. Not a few governors had one way or another attempted the scenario painted above. And at a time in 2001, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had to bar banks from providing spurious facilities to state governments. To those who did not have any idea of what the CBN had envisaged, they could not understand the wisdom embedded in such a move by the CBN. But the CBN knew exactly what it was attempting to nip in the bud.

So, in Abuja, after the president had ordered the stoppage of the deductions, the governors came to town for the convention after two weeks of the deductions. When the story of the rebellion first started, it started like a rumour but it was real. Some of the governors who were not sure how Obasanjo would react to their own brand of peculiar mess were worried. In fact, Vanguard learnt that the meeting between the governors, Vee Pee Atiku Abubakar and Obasanjo on Friday, January 3, only tangentially touched on the issue but it could not really be openly discussed because of the opprobrium which such would emit. But the governors did attempt to create soft landing of sorts for some of their other colleagues who appeared to be in deep shit. For instance, and still from the South-South, one of the governors was said to have requested that a very powerful director in a Federal Government agency who is seen as very influential and a threat to the governor should be dropped. Some of the governor’s other colleagues shared the view not necessarily because they loved their colleague but because a run on a colleague could open up the flanks of the others. At the end of the meeting, nothing concrete was really achieved other than the fact that Obasanjo eventually won the PDP ticket.


The excess of the deduction are siphoned by awarding highly inflated contracts to bogus companies, the companies then go to the bank to collect money, that way the difference in the deductions is taken care of.


What this typical deal exposes is the high level of unconstitutionality which goes on in the states and perpetrated by some governors. The unconstitutionality lies in the fact that hardly do their state Houses of Assembly approve of the deductions from source to facilitate repayment. The purpose for requesting the facility is also almost always kept vague for manouvring. The projects ought to be cost specific. The intention was deliberate and was meant to deceive and cheat. When a state says there is a Note Issuance Facility (NIF), it means that it is issuing a note into which people are investing. The tenures are contradictory and are so done to leave options open. Things would soon blow open; and some people are threatening to go before Justice Mustapha Akanbi anti corruption commission to spill the beans.



ThisDay   --   Dateline: 16/01/2003 11:02:12

IMF Insists Naira is Over-valued

·  CBN to introduce daily OMO
By Ayodele Aminu

In spite of the drastic depreciation of the naira against other major currencies of the world over the years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the Nigerian currency still remained over-valued.

This was contained in a staff report of the Fund during the 2002 Article IV Consultation discussion with Nigeria.

Between 2000 and 2002, the naira which presently exchanges offically at N127.11 per one United States dollar, has lost a N7.06.

The fund also harped on the need for the CBN to lower the mandatory liquidity reserve of bank which presently stands at 40 per cent, stressing that this severely limited the banks ability to effectively intermediate savings, imposed an explicit tax burden on banks as well as encouraged false reporting.

Instead, the IMF'' urged the CBN to rely more on indirect instruments and move towards Open Market Operations (OMO) on a daily basis, which would help improve the functioning of the secondary market for treasury bills and reduce the reliance of banks on the discount window for liquidity management''.

In response, CBN noted that the bank was gradually moving toward reliance on more market-based instruments and that steps were being taken to harmonise discount window operations with OMO.

To this end, the CBN maintained that it ''intends to begin OMO on a daily basis in the period ahead, and an on-line trading desk is being put in place''.

The OMO is one of the windows through which the CBN controls the amount of liquidity in the system by selling treasury bills at the Government Securities Trading through which the Federal Government borrows indirectly from banks, thereby mopping up their excess funds.

As regards the over-valued naira, the CBN emphasised that

''further flexibility in the exchange rate may be required to safeguard Nigeria's foreign exchange reserves''.

The IMF also underscored that the improvement in the functioning of the foreign exchange market since the re-introduction of the retail Dutch Auction System (DAS) had resulted in the narrowing of the spread with the parallel market rate.

On the DAS, the apex bank agreed with IMF that once sufficient experience had been gained, ''the CBN should consider moving to the next stage and fostering the development of a wholesale auction, which would greatly enhance the effectiveness of the inter-bank market for foreign exchange''.

While recognising the burden that volatile and expansionary fiscal policy placed on monetary policy, the fund noted that there remained scope for enhancing effectiveness of the latter.

Accordingly, the IMF advised that interest rate be allowed to adjust to market conditions, stressing that ''this would reveal more clearly the consequences of an expansionary fiscal policy and that the CBN stood ready to tighten monetary conditions in order to achieve its monetary and inflationary targets, as needed''.


Naira loses 300 kobo to the Pounds sterling

Monday, 1st July, 2002

By Babajide Komolafe

THE nation’s currency Naira, suffered another severed depreciation in the parallel market last week as it lost 300 kobo to the British pounds sterling.

AT the close of business last week, the exchange rate of the pounds buoyed by intense demand pressure jumped to N200 from N197 in the previous week.

Investigations revealed that the impact of the demand pressure was so severe in some areas with N201 exchanging for one pounds sterling.

According to Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators, the demand pressure was embarrassing with many forex and users angrily went away because their demands for pounds could not be met.

Although the increase in demand started in the previous week, pushing the exchange rate to N197.5, it subsided early last week with the rate returning to N197.

However towards the end of Thursday last week the demand for pounds became more pronounced.

A BDC operator who confirmed this development to Vanguard stated that BDCs across the country are being bombarded with telephone calls with request for the British currency.

The intense demand pressure according to some market operators might be due to the preparation by those travelling to the United Kingdom for the summer period which is around the corner. Others however rejected this explanation saying that the diversity of the demand among others indicates there is more to it than preparation for summer travel "otherwise, it means everybody is travelling for summer."

Vanguard investigation however revealed that the increasing demand pressure for the pounds might not be unconnected with the successive increase in the official exchange rate of the dollar from N117.55 to N119.85 within two weeks by the CBN.


ThisDay --   23/06/2002

Airport As Robbers' Den
Several successful armed robbery attacks at the domestic wing of the
Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, have raised questions on the safety of airport users.

Ndubuisi Francis examines the trend

A den is the natural habit of the lion. It provides shelter to the animal and infiltrators instantly meet their waterloo. When the lion chooses to leave its den, it quite often does not go for excursion. It is usually propelled by the quest to search for prey and when one crosses its path, it grabs with fervent venom, not in a hurry to let go.

An airport is supposed to be a haven for air travellers, airline operators and sundry aviation stakeholders, among other civil users. It is not designed to have the character of violence or blood-letting. At least, this has been the norm the world over.

And this is why airport users feel secure whenever they are within the precincts of any airport.

Until recently, the biggest menace air travellers in Nigeria had to contend with was that posed by touts who deploy all antics in their arsenal to outwit travellers to patronise them under the guise of helping to secure flight tickets or other forms of usually unsolicited assistance. Many air travellers had, in many instances, lost their luggage and sundry personal effects to these "good Samaritans."

It is, however, to be pointed out that touts inflict no physical harm to their victims (travellers) when they chose to deprive them (travellers) of their personal effects. They usually mix up with the crowd in the departure halls and disappear into thin air, leaving their victims with mental agony. Events in recent times at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, have thrown up an orgy of violence occasioned by armed robbery attacks.

But, the activities of touts have been dwarfed by the menace of armed and violent robbers. They(robbers) have indeed literally turned the airport into their den. They operate with enormous venom and confidence resembling that of a lion in its den.

Sometime in March (on a sundry), a robbery gang had, after a successful outing at Ajao Estate, Lagos decided to use the road linking the international and local wings of the airport as escape route. They crossed the busy airport toll gate which usually has a team of policemen around, proceeded towards Besam Bus Stop and almost in front of the Beesam Police Station, they struck. Their victim(s)? A police patrol truck with two policemen on board was making a u-turn at the junction near the police station oblivious of the robbers' presence. The robbers thinking that the policemen were on their trail, opened fire immediately. A policeman (the driver of the truck) laid dead. The robbers sped off, passed through the road which has a number of Air Force units, barracks and a couple of police check-points unmolested before making good their escape.

Incidentally, the killing of the police officer by the robbers coincided with the arrival of the new Inspector General of Police (IGP), Tafa Balogun to the airport. It was his first maiden visit to Lagos after his appointment. While he was alighting from the plane at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT 2) of the local airport, his men were facing armed robbery attack on the other side of the airport.

The following day (Monday), the armed robbery attack on the policemen was a major story in the newspapers. A particular newspaper did, in fact, dramatise it: "Robbers Welcome New IG to Lagos." What a way to welcome the nation's number one law enforcement officer! As if the robbers had just discovered a fresh fertile ground for their daring business, they again struck April 7 (another Sunday) at the domestic wing of the airport.

This time, their target was the mosque located adjacent the burnt terminal which some elements from the northern part of the country have turned into an illegal enclave to exchange all manner of currencies. The robbers numbering five, two of them ladies, had arrived the mosque in a Mercedes Benz car and the currency exchange operators (often called black marketers) had swooped on the car's occupants without an inkling that they were harbingers of death.

No sooner had the black market operators swooped on the car did it dawn on them that the strangers were neither on courtesy visit nor on any mission to exchange money. They were there to take money, albeit violently. On sighting one of the robbers who disembarked with a sophisticated gun, the operators did not need the gift of clairvoyance to tell them that their 'visitors' were on another mission. Pronto, they held a speedy dialogue with their legs Even then, two of them were mowed down that Sunday afternoon.

Again, the robbers riddled the entire mosque with bullets as they shot sporadically before carting away large sums of money in different currencies valued at about N10 million. Curiously, while the robbers were operating, some armed Air Force personnel manning the gate of a unit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) which was next door could not put up any resistance, not even when the robbers had finished their "assignment" and were bidding 'farewell' to their victims. They took the toll gate end of the airport and made good their escape.

Some Nigerians believe the daylight robbery at the Lagos Airport would not happen in another country. Their argument is that in a country where security-consciousness is the watchword, all the Air Force units, the police stations at the airport and sundry law enforcement agencies at the airport would have blocked all exit and entry points at the airport immediately the gunshots were heard. Such officers would then be on alert to find out why the gunshots and the source.

In such a situation, the robbers wouldn't have found any escape route since they would have been confronted by the combined firepower of the Air Force and the Police, among others. After that robbery incident, the Commandant of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Command of the Nigeria Police, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Hezekiah Dimka who had boasted on assumption of office few weeks before the robbery, to stamp out all forms of crime at the airport was dumbfounded.

He, nevertheless, found an easy way out: The usual boast of fishing out the robbers. After this robbery incident, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN), Engineer Mohammed Ibrahim did said that it was a vindication of the authority's insistence that the mosque where the foreign exchange operators use as their base, should be demolished.

Ibrahim noted that a new mosque had already been constructed at the international wing of the airport for use as worship centre. But the attraction is not worship. The mosque at the domestic wing which robbers attacked that Sunday, April 7 is a beehive of activities, a lucrative spot for the money-changers. Efforts to eject them from that mosque has come to nought. They were said to have often resorted to taking refuge under the influence of the Sultan of Sokoto and other northern figures who prevailed on the authorities not to eject them. They are still there today The most violent robbery at the airport was to come on another Sunday, May 26, 2001. The robbers not only had a successful run as usual but humiliated the police after their operation.

Numbering four, the robbers had, perhaps, based on insider information, arrived the car park at the GAT 2 of the domestic wing of the Lagos Airport and waited for about two hours.

A Peugeot station wagon with registration number Lagos BK 441 MUS belonging to Inland Bank had arrived the park with some police escorts to cart money made from ticket sales by Bellview Airlines to the bank. The police officers had sat back in the car waiting for the sack containing the money to be loaded in the boot, oblivious that robbers were lurking around. No sooner had the eagle-eyed robbers noticed that the money was being loaded into the boot of the car did they strike. With utmost ease, one of them, with the swiftness of a gazelle and the venom of a lion baulked of its prey, made for the jugular of the seated police officers.

In a most dastardly manner, he shot and killed the three police officers at close range, turning their visage into a monstrous wreck. Another police officer was critically wounded while the driver of the car was also killed just as the robbers injured a female staff of the airline. The staccato of bullet shots threw the entire airport environment into pandemonium that Sunday afternoon. Potential air travellers, airline officials and other airport users were involved in a race of their lives as they scampered for safety.

Again, it was a smooth sail for the robbers. They escaped unmolested in an airport with FAAN security, regular police presence, Air Force units, police check-points and stations.

The next day, the airport bank manager of Inland Bank and some others became prime suspects of the robbery. They were quizzed. That is how far the police has gone.

But theories have been awash as to why the Lagos Airport which has over the years enjoyed robbery-free ambience has suddenly become the haven of robbers. There is also the insinuation that is becoming rife that the dexterity and confidence of the robbers leave room for suspicion that they could be either serving or retired law enforcement or armed forces personnel.

The theories and insinuations are buoyed up by the ease with which the robbers operate amid the presence of the police stations, Air Force units and other law enforcement units. These speculations could have some logic in them considering the fact that each time they struck, no whiff of resistance comes from the police or the Air Force.

Although it is true that the Air Force statutorily stands for the defence of the nation's territorial boundaries aerially, but as an armed force, nothing prevents its personnel from helping to ward off attacks on innocent people within an airport environment?

Another sour grape in the robbery attacks is that the Airwing Unit of the Nigeria Police is located right inside the domestic wing of the airport. In fact, it is just a shouting distance from the scene of the May 26 robbery. Yet, no resistance came from there. Would there have been any escape or hide-out for the robbers if the Airwing of the police at the airport sprang into action after any such attack?

Incidentally, the May 26 robbery almost produced a national drama. The Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim was coming to the

airport at the same time the robbers were striking. His convoy just zoomed into the VIP lounge of the airport shortly before the robbers' gunshots assaulted the atmosphere.

What if the robbers had, in their characteristic bravado, confronted the Senate President's convoy? What if in their bid to escape they had ran into the number three man's convoy? What would have been the attitude of the Police Airwing and the Air Force units at the airport?

THISDAY made several visits to the Police Airwing to see the commissioner in-charge but the visits were unfruitful. However, what was on the ground at the Airwing base does not elicit cheer and confidence in that arm of the police. Several helicopter carcasses and many others that need maintenance dot the whole environment. But even under this situation, serviceable and airworthy planes were equally available there.

The question, however, is why the authorities at that arm of the police do not find it necessary to patrol the airport, particularly on Sundays when the robbers are usually on the prowl. Does the Airwing need an Act of the National Assembly or approval from Obasanjo in a period of exigency or expediency before reacting.

The robberies at the airport have very successfully rubbished the "Fire For Fire" campaign of the Inspector-General, particularly when viewed against the backdrop of the cold-blooded murder of his men in the May 26 airport robbery.

It poses a gargantuan question mark on the professionalism, security consciousness and alertness of the men of the police. A policeman is supposed to dream and talk security ceaselessly. But for three policemen to feel that there was no problem at the airport car park on that May 26 day and therefore relaxed in a car while money was being loaded into the boot of a car left much to be desired about their alertness.

Those robbery operations have recommended the need for cooperation between FAAN securitymen, the Air Force, Police and all other arms of the security apparatus present at the airport. others must now say no to robberies at the airport.

There is also the suggestion of the need for the Federal Government to revisit the issue of arming the FAAN securitymen at the airports. The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) has reinforced the need for arming civil securitymen at the airports, particularly after the September 11 incident in the United States.

The authorities of FAAN have sent a proposal to the government to approve arms for securitymen at the airports. The government may have started making efforts to restore normalcy in the airports security arrangement.

The Department of Transport(DOT) and Federal Airports Administration (FAA) of the United States have started extending assistance to the Federal Ministry of Aviation in several areas, including security.

According to the Director of Airport Operations, FAAN, Captain Henry Omeogu, efforts have been intensified to equip FAAN security at the airports in such a way that they could be compared with their counterparts elsewhere. Re-equipping the airport security system may come in the area of arms and communication. One fact that should not be glossed over is to probe deeper into why the airport robberies have incidentally happened on Sundays.

It should also be established why the police pick-ups and officers that usually stay on top of the bridge linking the airport and Bank Anthony Road would always disappear when robberies are carried out at the airport.


VANGUARD    -   Bandits disrupt funeral procession

Monday 24th June, 2002

MASAMA, KEBBI — A FUNERAL procession in Masama village of Gwandu local government area in Kebbi state, was on Saturday night forced to flee as it came face to face with robbers operating in the area. The bereaved villagers, in compliance with Islamic tradition to bury the dead immediately, were on their way to the grave yard when they were confronted by a group of about 20 armed robbers who were "on duty" in the area at about 10 p.m.

An eye witness said in Birnin Kebbi that the procession was confronted by a group of robbers, who directed them to stay clear because the area was not safe since a robbery operation was being carried out.

According to the eye witness account, the funeral procession was on its way to bury their deceased mother, hajiya Ladi, when they run into the hoodlums who immediately directed them to keep clear of the area.

The 20 armed robbers were operating in the house of one Alhaji Dabo Maigoro, when the mourners emerged in the area. "The robbers asked where the people were going in the night in such large numbers and the bereaved persons answered that they were going for funeral rites of their mother," the witness said. He said that the mourners attempted to proceed to the graveyard but the robbers told them that they were operating in the area and they should leave, but the mourners stood their ground. In response, the robbers opened fire in the air and the mourners abandoned the dead and took to their heels. The mourners reconvened later to conclude the burial ceremonies after the robbers had finished their operations having carted away property and money running into several thousands of naira from their victim.



LAGOS. NIGERIA.     Thursday, June 27 2002

Police arraign suspected killer officers
By Ben Akparanta, Alex Olise and Odita Sunday-Fortune

SEVEN of the eight policemen on duty during the shooting incident in Lagos in which two students were killed last weekend, were yesterday arraigned in court.

One of the slain victims, Morakinyo Akerele, was also buried yesterday, while a senior police official, in an apparent unexpected side-tracking of procedure called a press conference to condemn the prosecution of the killer suspects.

The suspects were arraigned on a three-count charge at a Yaba Magistrate Court in the state.

The policemen had allegedly shot dead Akerele and Nnamdi Ekwuyasi at a checkpoint at Falomo, Ikoyi junction in the state. A week earlier in the same Lagos, another policeman in similar circumstances killed a 17-year-old female student, Oluwatosin Adelugba.

The policemen arraigned for the Ikoyi incident are Moses Asowata, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Sergeant Lawrence Nwaiwa, as well as Corporals Dennis Asoikhia, and Gideon Luka.

The others are police constables Bonny Iweru, Cletus Aku and Gabriel Adekunle.

They were arraigned without Corporal Ikpi Eyong who is believed to have pulled the trigger and is said to be on the run.

The accused persons who have already been dismissed from the police, were brought before Mrs. B.O. Osunsami of the Yaba Magistrate Court and charged with felony, conspiracy and murder.

Prosecutor, Mr. Adegoke Akinlabi alleged that the seven policemen and others now at large, on June 22, 2002 at the Falomo Black Spot did conspire among themselves to commit felony to wit murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code cap 32 Vol. 11, Law of Lagos State Nigeria 1994.

The magistrate adjourned the case to July 15.

Meanwhile, the remains of the late Morakinyo were yesterday interred at his Festac, Lagos home by the bereaved family.

Accoridng to the deputy commissioner of police in charge of operations, Mr. Nibo Komenibo, who confirmed the burial, the parents insisted on having a quiet burial, away from public glare, for their late son.

According to the deputy commissioner: "The family wanted the burial extremely quiet and did not want publicity at all, adding that it was for only close friends and relatives."

But hours after the policemen were arraigned, however, Mr. Tunde Sobullon, a superintendent of police who is also the Commander Mobile Police Squadron 20, Ikeja told journalists at a press conference that the prosecution was wrong. In his view, "the policemen only did their duty."

Sobullon who is tasked with providing daily security to the state Governor, Bola Tinubu, also told reporters.

"I understand the difficulty the Police leadership faces. They are under pressure to prosecute these policemen who have done so much to reduce crime in Lagos."

He spoke further: "The victims who were shot by the Police did not stop when ordered to do so because we are in a country where people dare the law and the police.

"Today the wives of these policemen that are in custody are temporary widows their children temporary orphans."

Sobullon noted that robbers had killed five of his men while on operation since the new security enhancement began in the state. Therefore, Police Officers are at alert and now sensitive to motorists who disregard signs to stop.

Meanwhile, the bereaved families are still in deep mourning. One of the slain students, Akerele was a student of Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, while the late Ekwuyasi was at Informatic Computer College in the state.

Ekwuyasi's relations want the government to do justice to their late son

Speaking with The Guardian, the deceased's uncle and guardian, John Ekwuyasi urged government to ensure that an end is put to wanton killing of citizens by policemen.

The late Nnamdi lost his father seven years ago.

According to John, "our demand is not to the Police but to the Federal Government. We are demanding that the government should look into the matter on ground."

He spoke further: "We demand this not just because of the immediate incident, but for the greater interest of the nation; the whole process of police action, in our lives, in our daily living and I therefore call on President Obasanjo to make a pronouncement for a re-orientation of our policemen."

On the deceased, John Ekwuyasi said: "My son, Nnamdi was a quiet and gentle young man who finished from Federal Government College, Ijanikin with good grades and was getting set for the University only to be killed just 200 yards to his house."

John added: "We lost Nnamdi's father (my brother) seven years ago and now we have lost his son."

Condemning the allegation that the deceased might have been drunk and disobeyed police instructions, Ekwuyasi said: "My son Nnamdi never drank."

According to him, "On this particular night, he was coming from his friend's house. They can attest to that. He was being dropped-off, Morakinyo's sister had been dropped-off at the University, Nnamdi himself was being dropped-off when he was killed, 200 yards to his house."

The slain 17-year-old Nnamdi, according to his uncle will be missed by the entire family especially his aged grandmother who has been badly hit by the report of the boy's killing.


VANGUARD    -   Thief reports self, accomplice to police

Monday 24th June, 2002

JALINGO —FOLLOWING a breach of agreement between him and the receiver of his loot, a 22-year-old man, Noel Paul, who allegedly stole a generator belonging to a High court Judge in Jalingo, has reported himself and the buyer of the stolen item to tshe police.

The Police Public Relations Officer in Taraba, ASP Atiku Nagodi, said in Jalingo, that the suspect stole the generator from the home of Justice Nuhu Adi of the state high court and later sold it at N3,700 to a technician.

The PPRO said that Dauda, gave the buyer an advance payment of N700 with an agreement that the balance of N3,000 would be given to him later, but that the buyer refused to cooperate when paul came for the balance.

Angered by this development, Paul reported the incident to the Jalingo Police Division, where he confessed stealing the generator and selling it to the buyer at N3,700, but that he paid only N700.

Paul told the Police that the buyer had refused to honour the agreement to pay up the balance forcing him to report the matter to the police for neccessary action. The PPRO said that the paul’s confession led to buyer’s arrest and that subsquent police interrogations had confirmed that they committed the offence. The PPRO stated that as soon as investigation was completed,the two would be charged to court.


This Day  News   -   Naira in Free Fall as CBN Withdraws N28.2 Billion
By Ayodele Aminu

Like a recurring decimal, the Nigerian currency, the naira, suffered another setback at the Inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market (IFEM) Friday as it depreciate by 25 kobo.

The naira's depreciation is coming in the heels of Friday's withdrawal of a total sum of N28.25 billion from the economy through the sale of treasury bills to the banks, discount houses and to the investing public by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

At the close of business Friday, a dollar exchanged for N120.10. This is against the N119.85 per dollar which prevailed since Tuesday.

It would be recalled that the naira was equally depreciated by 30 kobo on Wednesday. This brings to two the number of times the naira has been depreciated within a period of five days.

The naira which opened the year at N113.45 per dollar has therefore lost a total of N665 kobo or N55.86 per cent of its original value within the first six months of this year.

In the last couples of weeks market operators have continued to express concern about the manner in which the naira is being depreciated against other major currencies like the United States dollar.

The reason usually given for the depreciation of the naira by the monetary watchdog is demand pressure. But lately the average daily demand have been within the region of between $30 million - $35 million.

Although efforts to get Friday's trading results from the CBN proved abortive, THISDAY checks in the industry however indicated that there was no demand pressure. This brings to fore the rationale behind Friday's depreciation of the naira.

The most visible reason for the persistent depreciation of the naira according to THISDAY investigations, is to prevent further depletion of the countries' external reserves which has continued to drop since last year. It fell from $10.116 billion in January 2002 to $9.793 billion in February. It dropped further to $9.546 billion in March, from where it dipped further to $9.226 billion in May ending.

In addition to depleting external reserves is the drop being recorded in the Federal Government revenue. Already, the Federal Government has recorded a N93.27 billion budget deficit in the first five months of this year (2002). The deficits were financed from excess of crude proceeds and borrowing from the banking system.

Meanwhile, the N26,494 billion sold at the Government Securities Trading last week, indicates a dip of 7.9 per cent or N2.066 billion against the N26.494 billion sold in the previous week. This indicates that there is a relative liquidity in the money market.

At the Primary Market Auction, a 91 days tenored investment with September 26, 2002 as its maturity date, all the N16 billion worth of bills placed on offer were purchased at the successful bid and offer rates of 20.0000 - 20.6450 per cent per annum.

Bid rates ranged between 20.0000 - 22.5000 per cent, repaid bills amounted to N15.358 billion, putting the net sales/ purchase position at N642 million. the true yield stood at 21.7659 per cent, while total public subscription was N23.963 billion.

At the Open Market Operation (OMO), a 42 days tenored investment with August 9, 2002 as its maturity date, bills amounting to N12.560 billion were sold at the successful bid rates of 20.3000 - 20.4000 per cent per annum.

The true yield stood at 20.8909, bid rates ranged between 20.3000 - 20.4000 per cent, repaid bills stood at N9.915 billion, bringing the net sales/purchase position to N2.645 billion.

The Minimum Rediscount Rate (MRR) however remained unchanged at 20.5000 per cent per annum.


This Day    28/06/2002

NECO Introduces O'Level Exams

Like the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), which organises the November/De-cember General Certificate of Examination (GCE) for private students annually, the National Examination Council (NECO) has introduced its own private ordinary level examinations.

Mrs Juliana Adetoun, Lagos zonal co-ordinator of NECO, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos that forms for the NECO senior secondary certificate examination were already on sale in 15 banks.

The banks, she said, included UBN, Afribank, Assurance, Equity and WEMA, adding that each form costs N2,300.

Adetoun explained that the examination was to create opportunities for deserving external candidates to obtain ordinary level qualifications and to enable students to combine two NECO certificates for university admission.

She said this year's NECO private/external examination would begin on November 9, and end on December 3, pointing out that the subjects would be written in the afternoon to avoid disrupting normal secondary school studies.
The zonal co-ordinator said that the council had sent out security agents to monitor the sale of the forms to avoid hoarding and unauthorised increases.


VAGUARD   -   Tuesday 25th June, 2002

Enugu judge loses car to robbers

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ENUGU—A GANG of armed robbers has attacked the administrative judge of the Enugu State judiciary, Justice C.C. Nweze, dispossessing him of his official car.

Justice Nweze, an administrative judge of the Enugu State High Court, Nsukka judicial division however did not suffer any bullet attack from his assailants.

However, armed robbers, after taking possession of the car at about 6.00pm asked the high court judge to be thankful to God for not being stubborn with them to warrant raining bullets on him.

His chauffeur who drove the car also suffered no physical injury .

Although details of how Justice Nweze lost his official Peugeot car to the armed robbers were yet hazy as at press time informed sources confided in Vanguard that the armed robbers attacked him during broad daylight while driving home during the week from the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

The judge and his chauffeur were both commanded out of the car at gun point, the source also added..

It was good Samaritans that took the judge and his chauffeur to a nearest police station in Enugu where the matter was incidented.

The police though waded into action immediately a formal report was made, no clear clue as to the whereabouts of both the car and the snatchers has emerged.

But the judge was reportedly assured that the long arms of the law would catch up with the armed robbers soon.

When Vanguard visited the official quarters  of Justice Nweze in Enugu, over the incident, he kept a sealed lip.

The Enugu state government, Vanguard learnt, is uncomfortable with the development, and is currently working on the police to track down the perpetrators of the crime on time.

=======++++++++++++THAT’S IT FOR NOW++++++++++========

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This Day News  -  Dateline: 16/08/2002 18:32:48

George Innih Dies at 64
Former military governor of Kwara and old Bendel states, Maj. General George Agbazika Innih (rtd) is dead. He was 64 years old.

Family sources said he died in Germany yesterday of complication resulting from an accident he had in around Auchi on his way from Abuja Wednesday last week.

The sources said after the accident, Innih was admitted at Benoni Hospital in Benin. But when his condition worsened, the Presidency made an aircraft available to convey him to Abuja where he was admitted at the National Hospital.

He was flown to Germany, Wednesday night accompanied by his wife who was in US when he had the accident. He was said to have arrived Germany about 5.00 a.m. yesterday and died shortly after.

Born on September 25, 1938 at Agenebode, Etsako East Local Government area of Edo State, the late Innih had his military training at Mons Officer Cadet School, Hans, England (1962), Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England (1962-1964), and Staff College, Camberly, Surrey, England (1972).

He was at various times Platoon Commander, 4 Infantry Battalion, Ibadan (1964-65) Deputy Military Secretary, Supreme Headquarters, Lagos, Colonel General Staff 3rd Marine Commando (1968-69), Brigade Commander, 5 Infantry Brigade, Onitsha 1974-74, Military Governor of old Bendel State (now Edo and Delta) 1975-76 and Kwara state. (1976-78).

He was Quarter Master General, Nigerian Army (1978-79) General Officer Commanding, I Infantry Division, Nigerian Army (1979-80). He retired voluntarily in 1980 to set up his private business. He was Chairman/Managing Director Niger Valley Agro Industries Limited, Chairman / Managing Director Tamsaks Nigeria Limited and Chairman Bridgestone Finance Limited among others.

In 1998, he was awarded Honorary Doctor of Law degree by the University of Ilorin. A knight of Saint Mulumba, he was also honoured with the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR)

He was involved in the recently formed Midwest Forum.

He is survived by a wife and six children.


BBC  -  Friday, 16 August, 2002, 17:01 GMT 18:01 UK

SA police net internet fraudsters

The web site appeared to belong to South Africa's Central Bank

A group of suspected internet racketeers, who fooled people into sending them money by pretending to be from the central bank of South Africa, have been arrested.

A spokesman for South Africa's elite criminal investigations unit - known as the Scorpions - said 15 Nigerians had been detained, and would appear in court on Monday.

He said the gang, operating via email, promised to pay its victims a commission for looking after $10m, and directed them to a website which looked similar to that of the South African Central Bank.

The fictitious website then asked for advance payments to cover insurance and other costs.

When money was paid, it was never seen again.

Fast growing

Gerhald Nell, spokesman for the Scorpions said: "The web site gave the scheme legitimacy."

He said the gang diverted phone calls and created fictitious email addresses to fool people.

Nigerian money offer's like this have been described as the fastest-growing type of internet fraud.

Reports of e-mailed Nigerian money scams - designed to obtain recipients' bank account details by offering to transfer large sums to them for safekeeping - rose by 900% between 2000 and 2001, the NCL, the main US consumer lobby, have said.

Scams of this kind, which often emanate from Nigeria or other African countries, have been circulating for years through the post or by fax.

See also:

22 May 02 | Business

Top 10 e-mail scams exposed </1/hi/business/2003264.stm>

17 May 02 | Business

Software pirate gets jail sentence </1/hi/business/1994617.stm>

05 Feb 02 | UK Politics

Online voting fraud warning </1/hi/uk_politics/1799883.stm>

23 Nov 01 | Europe

New net crime accord </1/hi/world/europe/1671680.stm>

29 Nov 01 | UK

Online shopping 'safer than high street' </1/hi/uk/1682071.stm>

20 Mar 01 | Business

Dish washer 'cleaned up in internet fraud' </1/hi/business/1231825.stm>

20 Feb 01 | Business

Credit card fraud rises by 50% </1/hi/business/1179590.stm>

Internet links:

National Consumers League <http://www.nclnet.org/>
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Top Africa stories now:

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SA police net internet fraudsters </1/hi/world/africa/2198480.stm>

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Nigerian women stage new oil protest </1/hi/world/africa/2198103.stm>

First Rwanda census since genocide </1/hi/world/africa/2197359.stm>

'HIV test for African nurses' opposed </1/hi/world/africa/2198351.stm>

Chiluba judgment in two weeks </1/hi/world/africa/2196436.stm>

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.

From  CNN.com  (Culled from Nigeriaworld.com accessed Aug. 9 2002)

Nigerian Police Free 46 Captives

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - Police freed 46 captives - many of them chained and badly beaten - in raids on five ``torture centers'' run by a feared Nigerian vigilante group, a police said Thursday.

The vigilantes, known as the Bakassi Boys, were initially considered heroes by many here for their campaign against robbers in the country's crime-ridden southeast.

But human rights organizations, and some residents, say the vigilante groups are out of control, and have denounced them as ruthless killers.

Police arrested 33 people and seized dozens of guns, police spokesman Haz Iwendi said.

Police and the Bakassi Boys exchanged gunfire during Wednesday's raids in the southeastern towns of Umuahia, Ossisioma, Akwete, Ogbor Hill and Aba in Abia state, he said.

One bystander was killed and 11 officers were injured in the sweep, he said.

Many of the people released by the police were bleeding from severe beatings and needed hospital treatment, Iwendi said. They included eight women.

Amnesty International says the vigilantes have executed more than 1,000 people since forming in 1998. The New York-based Human Rights Watch says they have also tortured hundreds of people to force confessions.

Wednesday's raids came as Bakassi Boys in neighboring Anambra state decapitated and burned suspected criminals in the southeastern market city of Onitsha, police said.

On Thursday, residents said the vigilantes left at least three decapitated bodies burning in the streets of Onitsha.

© Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.                08/09/2002 03:46


TENNESSEAN.com         -    Tuesday, 08/06/02   

Mother, daughter killed inside home; estranged husband hospitalized, faces charges, police say  By CHRISTIAN BOTTORFF   Staff Writer

Charles Emesibe parked his taxicab early yesterday morning on Blue Hole Road and walked in the dark to the house he once shared with his estranged wife, according to Metro police.

He somehow entered the home at 132 Brian Circle, shot and killed his wife, Ibiene Emesibe, 38, then shot and killed her mother, Leticia Abili, 57, after a struggle, police said.

Police said they think Abili shot Charles Emesibe in the neck with his own weapon during the fight.

The Emesibes' children, Patterson, Galvin, Melvin, Kennedy and Mercedes — ages 4 to 12 — were in the house, along with two of Ibiene Emesibe's nieces, ages 1 and 2, who were visiting from California, police said.

None of the children was injured. The five Emesibe children are in state custody, and the mother of the nieces is coming to Nashville to get them, a state Department of Children's Services official said.

Charles Emesibe, 44, in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center last night, faces homicide charges pending an investigation. He was found bleeding on the home's front porch when police arrived, alerted by a very brief, unintelligible 911 call from the home at 3:46 a.m. A panic alarm from the residence went off soon after, police said.

When officers arrived, they knocked on the door, which was answered by a 12-year-old boy, police said. As the door opened, they saw Ibiene Emesibe dead just inside the doorway. Abili was found dead in an upstairs bedroom.

Police want to ask Emesibe why he went to the home yesterday but said the slayings are ''part of an ongoing domestic dispute.''

The slayings followed a bitter, 10-month divorce dispute in which both sides leveled claims of infidelity, according to records in Davidson County Circuit Court. The Emesibes' troubled domestic history also includes five police reports of abuse, in September and October. In each case Ibiene Emesibe accused her husband of hitting, threatening or harassing her.

He was arrested twice, on Sept. 18 and 26, 2001, the first time accused of domestic assault and the second of violating an order of protection, police said. On two other occasions that month and the next, the wife did not press charges. After a third complaint on Oct. 24, he left before officers arrived.

The day following that last report, Ibiene Emesibe swore out a warrant accusing her husband of violating an order of protection by stalking and harassing her. The warrant still has not been served.

In a petition signed Sept. 18, 2001, asking for the order of protection, Emesibe asked that her husband be prohibited from abusing or threatening her, contacting her or stalking her.

According to court records, Charles Emesibe is a native of Umuahia, Nigeria, who has lived in Tennessee for more than 20 years. The records indicate he was then a driver for Allied Cab Co. Ibiene Emesibe, from Lagos, Nigeria, was an employee of the state Department of Correction, records show.

Charles Emesibe filed for divorce Sept. 28, asking for custody of the five children and that child support be paid by his wife, whom he accused of infidelity. He also asked for the home on Brian Circle. The couple was separated Aug. 31, 2000, according to his petition.

In subsequent paperwork, Ibiene Emesibe denied claims of infidelity, also asked for custody of the children, along with the house and its contents. She also sought temporary child support from her husband, alimony and attorney's fees.

During the dispute, the state Department of Children's Services came to the house three times to investigate allegations of child abuse. Nothing that would have required the state to intervene was found, DCS spokeswoman Carla Aaron said.

The state's most recent investigation at the Emesibe home came July 18 after a referral that involved allegations of physical abuse. The investigation was still incomplete as of yesterday, said Aaron, who declined to provide detailed information on any of the investigations. ''There was nothing in any of our records that showed the propensity for this type of violent behavior,'' Aaron said.

Lucy Glavan, Ibiene Emesibe's next-door neighbor, who has lived on Brian Circle for 12 years, said yesterday afternoon that she hadn't seen Charles Emesibe near Brian Circle for two or three months until yesterday. She said she heard four or five gunshots at the home yesterday and she could hear a child crying. Then, she said, she heard Charles Emesibe scream, ''This is my house!'' ''And that was it,'' Glavan said. ''Just silent.''

Staff writer Rex Hall Jr. contributed to this report


ThisDay  Aug. 6, 2002    

Darego Dazzles them in Germany By Bolu Johnson  Before the return to democratic rule in Nigeria, the country suffered a battered damage.   And till date, many Germans still associate Nigeria with military rule even three years after the ascension of democracy.  But one of the unnoticed but effective steps at redeeming Nigeria's image was taken about three months ago when the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and reigning Miss World, Agbani Darego were star members of the delegation led by Nigeria's Tourism Ambassador and First Lady, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo to the international tourism fair in Berlin, Germany.  Agbani sold Nigeria to millions of opinion leading Germans and foreigners on leading television channels. First she was hosted by Pro 7 on the programme "TV total with Stefan Raab". This programme is a must-watch for celebrities.   The Miss World spoke very positively about Nigeria as a safe and peaceful country. She also appeared on RTV television, on ZDF's Sabine Christian political talk show which has a viewership of approximately two million each week. She was also in Cologne for a radio talk.  In fact, Agbani's presence and that of the First Lady spread like fire in Germany with their good words about Nigeria, which resulted in a better perception of the most populous African country.   Miss World's photographs adorned Nigeria's stand in Berlin. Her presence was magnetic as exhibitors momentarily abandoned their stands either to have a glimpse of the beauty or sign autographs. Her pictures and stories were positively and lavishly used in the German media. Germany's mass circulating newspapers, Berlin Kurier (circulation: 340,000) and Berliner Morgenpost (circulation: 150,000) ran stories with positive headlines. Giant photographs of the queen adorned Nigeria's stand at Berlin.   A leading newspaper, the Frankfurter, in an article reported the press conference that was held by Mrs. Obasanjo; the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ms Boma Bromillow-Jack and Miss World.  The First Lady had at the press conference mentioned Nigeria as the cradle of African culture which needed to be discovered again as a tourist destination. The article also explains Nigeria as a democratic country since 1999, stating that the message must be passed round as most Germans still associate military dictatorship with Nigeria.  A very positive article about Miss World and Nigeria appeared in the Berliner Morgernpost of March 18, 2002 which described the beauty of Agbani as she was walking down the street, while people stopped and milled round her.  The article, which is titled 'The most beautiful woman on earth bewitches Berlin' mentioned the sprawling Nigeria's stand at the fair ground and the delegation led by the First lady.  Johnson is a Geneva-based Nigerian journalist


ThisDay News  -  August 5, 2002

Catholic Church Adopts Curriculum on Sex Education -

The Catholic Church in Nigeria has evolved a curriculum on sexuality education for use in homes and parishes, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The adoption of the curriculum was the outcome of a recent workshop on sexuality education organised in Enugu by the clerics in collaboration with Community life Project, a non-governmental organisation.

The curriculum gives guidelines on how to teach sex education to married couples, adults, youths and couples preparing for marriage.

A copy which was made available to NAN stresses the need for sex education to be taken more seriously by priests and bishops to improve the understanding of the subject.

Among the topics listed are sacrament of matrimony, importance of the family, menopause, woman sexuality in married life and marital love life.

Others are HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, managing family finances, practice of christian virtues, rights of the family, love and friendship as well as many other aspects of sexuality education.

The curriculum makes it obligatory for the priests to include sex education in their preachings.

About 100 delegates drawn from the 50 dioceses of the Catholic Church in Nigeria attended the workshop.

Catholics contitute one of the major faiths in the country, and have established primary and secondary schools as well as a university.

The federal government has introduced population and family life education into secondary schools.

Earlier in an address at the workshop, the bishop of Minna diocese, Most Rev. Martin Uzoukwu, called on Nigerians to imbibe self-discipline to curb promiscuity, while parents should be role models.

Using the teaching of Jesus Christ as an example, he urged the participants to be careful as they are being looked upon to set examples.

Also speaking, Prof. Mike Azuzu, a lecturer in public and community medicine at the University of Ibadan, observed that self permissiveness had been the driving force on individual rights and freedom.

Azuzu, who spoke on ``sexual revolution and its consequences on families and the society,'' recalled that since the French revolution of 1789 on population explosion, the world has witnessed ``sexual decadence.''

He pointed out that in the developing countries such as

Nigeria, where the notion of individual rights and freedoms was not deep rooted, the sexual revolution is rather driven by various socio-economic and environmental factors such as poverty, migration and urbanisation.

The effect has led to various types of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS, he said.

He reiterated the need for the church to teach abstinence and place emphasis onnatural family planning method instead of using other forms of contraception.


allAfrica.com   -   3 Students Flogged Unconscious   -   July 29, 2002
P.M. News (Lagos)    -   Posted to the web July 29, 2002

Stephen Oladupo & Adeyemi Adebanjo  (Lagos )

Three senior secondary school students of Ikeja High School were on Friday beaten to a state of coma on the order of the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Professor Idowu Sobowale. The commissioner reportedly supervised the beating.

The SSS2 students of the school were among several others beaten at the commissioner's office at Alausa for embarking on a protest over what they (students) described as their general failure in the examinations conducted by one of their teachers. Some of the students who spoke with P.M.News said the teacher failed at least eighty-five per cent of the SSS2 students in the examination, a situation which did not go down well with the students, prompting them to protest their failures.

The students were alleged to have written a protest letter to their Principal, Mrs. M.M. Olateju and equally embarked on unruly behaviour, a development which earned them a week's suspension.

Sources told P.M.News that after the expiration of the suspension, the students were asked to report to the commissioner's office where they were given six strokes of the cane each as a further punishment for their unruly behaviour. It was in the course of being beaten that three of the student fainted.

According to eye witnesses, the students who fainted were not immediately given medical attention by the officials of the ministry, until other students began shouting and rushed out of the office. The students then in protest destroyed louvres at the commissioner's office.

Men of the Lagos State Emergency Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS), it was further learnt, were immediately invited to convey the three students who were already gasping for breath to the hospital, while their colleagues and parents, who came with them, protested the unfortunate incident.

A visit to the school this morning revealed the presence of police vehicle belonging to the Lagos State Environmental (Special) Offences Tribunal stationed at the gate, while some parents were seen at the principal's office. Efforts to speak with the principal proved abortive as she was said to be attending a meeting with the parents.


Ethelbert E. Kari     [eekari99@hotmail.com]   Thursday, August 15, 2002

The thieves at NIPOST: A personal experience


My first encounter with the evil at NIPOST was when two copies of my book entitled 'Degema' were auctioned at NIPOST Territorial Headquarters, Port Harcourt in 1998. Copies of the said book were sent to me by airmail by my German publishers, LINCOM EUROPA. I received a slip dated 7 May 1998 from NIPOST Territorial Headquarters, Port Harcourt on 23 November 1998. On receiving the slip, I rushed to the Territorial Headquarters on the same day to collect my parcel only to be told that the parcel was opened and the books auctioned on Thursday, 19 November 1998. The reason given for the auctioning of the said copies of my book was that I was late in going to claim the parcel. But how could this have been when I got the slip, stamped on 7 May 1998, in November 1998? I was very bitter not only because copies of my book were auctioned but also because the slip I got from NIPOST Territorial Headquarters, Port Harcourt did not have my complete address, which explains the delay in my receiving the slip.

I wrote to the Post Master General to complain about the illegal auctioning of my books, and to tell him about the ineptitude and negligence on the part of some of his workers. To cut a long story short, the two copies of the said book were later retrieved from their alleged buyers and given to me. I thought I was relieved but I was wrong.

Things have not changed for the better since 1998. On the 29 October 2001, I sent a surface mail from Japan to one of my friends in Lagos, Nigeria. Faceless people at NIPOST intercepted the mail, opened it, cut out my email address and my telephone number, redrafted the contents, and reposted it to my friend with the intention of duping him of N90,000.00 (Ninety thousand naira). My friend quickly contacted me because the idiots forgot to cut out my postal address. It was alleged in the redrafted mail that I sent my friend a cheque of 1000 pounds through one Joseph Efuribe which my friend was to claim with N90,000.00. The dupes did not succeed as my friend was well acquainted with the happenings in Nigeria. My immediate conclusion after this incident was that registered mails were safer than unregistered ones but, again, I was wrong.



On the 29 November 2001, I sent two draft copies of my Ph.D. dissertation, weighing 2660 grammes, by Express Mail Service (EMS) to one of my teachers in Nigeria. Normally, it takes a maximum of 14 days for an EMS parcel from Tokyo, Japan to arrive Port Harcourt, Nigeria but up till the moment of writing this piece, the said EMS parcel has not yet arrived its final destination. The post office at which I posted the parcel investigated the non-delivery of the said parcel and found out that the parcel got lost somewhere in Nigeria. I thought that the parcel was intercepted because of its bulkiness, and concluded that lighter EMS parcels were less suspect than bulkier ones but this time too, I was wrong.


The thieves at the NIPOST are at it again. The last EMS parcel I sent to Nigeria, weighing 114 grammes, was on 4 July 2002. This parcel, which contains application forms for one of my brothers, has not arrived its final destination up till the moment of writing. This time it is not because of the weight of the parcel. These 'guy men' at NIPOST have come to the wrong conclusion that there is money in every letter that has overseas stamp on it. For this reason, many letters to Nigeria never get to their final destinations. This shameful handling of mails has become a way of life for dubious NIPOST officials.

What exactly is happening at NIPOST? How long do people continue to loss valuable mails to thieves at NIPOST? By which other relatively cheaper and safer means can people abroad send mails to Nigeria? It is by DHL or UPS? How many people can afford to send their mails by these later means? Can the Post Master General claim that he is not aware of the dirty things that are happening in his department? His answer will certainly be 'yes'. He might even take an oath on behalf of the criminals at NIPOST, and say that they are the best workers that he has ever had. But it will not be long before he is proved wrong.

Whether we admit it or not, the truth remains that the bulk of mails to Nigeria, be they sent by air or by sea, pass though NIPOST. If some people want to play safe by refusing to send mails to Nigeria through NIPOST, will such people not be sent mails through the same NIPOST? What is happening in Nigeria, as a whole, is sad. Wherever one turns to, there is one evil or the other. The people are just not ready for any positive change. Like every other institution in the country, NIPOST needs to be overhauled.

How long will the thieves at NIPOST continue to have a field day? Have they stopped to consider the effect of their nefarious activities on the image of the country at home and abroad?

Do these faceless people know that some post offices abroad no longer accept EMS and other registered parcels sent to Nigeria because of their evil deeds, as they will have to pay for the loss of such registered parcels like EMS? What is the whole talk of laundering Nigeria's image abroad all about when inside the country is full of rotten eggs? The inside should be cleaned first and then the outside will automatically be clean. The bad eggs at NIPOST (and in other sectors of the economy) need to be identified and flushed out immediately to save our postal system.

The Post Master General must act to save his department now or never.


GUARDIAN Aug. 20, 2002

Igbinedion University Gets Accreditation To Train Doctors

IGBINEDION University, Edo State, last Thursday, added a feather to its cap as the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria granted the college a pre-clinical accreditation.

The accreditation letter which was duly signed by the Registrar of the council, Dr. C.O. Ezeani and sent to the Vice Chancellor of the institution in line with the regulations has given the college the go-ahead to administer its first professional examination to the medical students to enable them proceed to the clinicals.

The accreditation was granted in line with the commendable effort of the university in providing excellent facilities. This was well attested to by the visitors from the council who visited the university.

The university is the first private university to receive the council's accreditation for training medical students at any level.


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