In Nigeria, the war against insurgency gathered momentum since the inception of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. In some quarters, it was stated that the appointment of Service Chiefs indeed contributed to the way and manner Nigeria was able to confront the Boko Haram Insurgents that occupied several swathes of land in North-East Nigeria and over 16 local government areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
It has been stated in numerous forums that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Turkur Buratai has led the battle for the soul of Nigeria with the display of an unalloyed commitment to the unity of Nigeria through the introduction of novel ideas in the operations of the Nigerian Army since 2015.
The recent is the revelation that 223 officers of the Nigerian Army have so far received training in various military institutions in Bangladesh under the Nigeria/Bangladesh military partnership.
It would be recalled that sometime in 2017, the Bangladesh Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Hug was in Nigeria where he met with key government officials to discuss bilateral issues relating to strengthening the relationship between the Armed Forces of Nigeria and Bangladesh. He stated that “Nigeria sends many officers to train in Bangladesh in different training institutions like the National Defence College and Defence Chief of Staff College all in Bangladesh.”
This strategic partnership has seen to the training of over 223 military officers from the Nigerian Army from the over 30 military training institutions in Bangladesh. This much was corroborated by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who himself at some point in his military career attended a National Defence Course from the National Defence University in Bangladesh.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has stated that the training he received from the National Defence University in Bangladesh equipped him better for the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. “My sojourn in Nepal during the period exposed me to how efforts of the Bangladesh Defence forces combined to defeat the insurgents and criminals of the Chittagong Hills.”
It can be stated that the impact of the strategic military partnership between Nigeria and Bangladesh has yielded multiple gains for Nigeria, especially in the war against terrorism. This is on the heels that the lessons learned from the Bangladesh experience in dealing with insurgency have been valuable in Nigeria. Moreover, coupled with the fact that Bangladesh and Nigeria are strong military contributors to United Nations Peacekeeping operations and both countries seek for and work for peace and stability in the international community.
The Nigerian Army has indeed fared well concerning the fight against insurgency with the level of training its personnel have been subjected to. The training received by officers of the Nigerian Army in Bangladesh is an indication of the leadership style of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai that is harped on dynamism especially in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.
According to Prof Stephen Bature of the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, he opined that the strategic Military partnership between Nigerian and Bangladesh has yielded positives in the sense that the training the Nigerian Army has received from the military institutions in Bangladesh have been somewhat brought to bear in the fight against insurgency in Northeast Nigeria.
The Chief of Army Staff stated this much when he received the High Commissioner of Bangladesh, Mr. Mohammad Shammeen Ashan during a courtesy visit at Army headquarters, He said that lessons he learned from Bangladesh as a student of the National Defence University in the art of counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism warfare contributed to the massive decapitation of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorist in the North-East by the Nigerian Army.
As simple as the above might sound, it must be noted that when military units participate in bilateral exercises with other countries, the interaction increases interoperability between the militaries, provides for cultural exchange and understanding, and offers an opportunity to expand each nation’s capabilities while exercising potential contingencies.
This is what the Nigeria/Bangladesh military partnership has brought to the table for Nigeria and it must to noted that the foresight displayed by the Chief of Army Staff, in seeing to the sustainability of the military pact with Bangladesh must be commended.
In an interactive session by Defence Correspondents in North-East Nigeria, it was stated that the strategies employed by the Nigerian Army in recent times have been quite alien to the Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters who have continued to suffer heavy casualties and retreating to the fringes around the Lake Chad Basin region.
“The operational strategy of the Nigerian Army in Northeast Nigeria is a blend exposure and the willingness to confront the Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters headlong and this has paid off handsomely as it has been stated in numerous forums that the Nigerian Army under the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai had made tremendous inroads in North-East Nigeria and other parts of Nigeria.”
It can be this stated that these are some of the positives from the strategic military partnership between Nigeria and Bangladesh are evident in the setback experienced by Boko Haram/ISWAP whose ranks have been highly decimated. Thus it has been put forward that the tipping point between muddling through and moving toward victory in Nigeria was the election of leaders who translated bold vision into action since the beginning of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015. Consequently, Nigeria has been able to transform its Army from an ineffective, garrison-bound band into an aggressive force that has crippled Boko Haram/ISWAP and other militant organization in the country.
The credit must go to the leadership of the Nigerian Army whose operational policies in ways too numerous to mention have brought about the much-needed bite in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency. The Chief of Army Staff admitted that what he learned from his study in Bangladesh indeed prepared him for the task ahead. This is indeed a welcome development, especially with the fact that he has been able to avail officers of the Nigerian Army that opportunity to benefit from the same training he received.
The number 223 might not sound like a big deal, but the implication is that these officers would in turn pass on knowledge to their various units and the consequent multiplier effect and boost on the morale of the troops in the battlefront.
Nigeria has indeed made substantial inroads in the fight against terrorism in the past four years, and this had been made possible through a combination of factors. Also, one of them is the strategic military partnership between Nigeria and Bangladesh. While Nigeria continues to bask in this partnership, it must be stated that the leadership style of the Chief of Army Staff came out glaring.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai is worthy of emulation by all and sundry who recently disclosed that the Nigerian Army would continue to explore the available opportunity for further training of its officers and soldiers in the areas of tactics, staff duties, and intelligence among others.
This is indeed a welcome development and an indication that Nigeria needs more of such partnership in the future.
Onmeje wrote this piece from London, United Kingdom.
Unseating Bayelsa Governor, Deputy, and Timi Alaibe’s Love for Legal Suicide – By William Jumbo
Former boss of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Chief Timi Alaibe’s bid to use the Supreme Court to unseat the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri and his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo is a legal exercise certain to end in futility, if his trajectory in the courts is anything to go by.
Recall that Timi Alaibe’s latest legal Oddessy began when he dragged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Douye Diri, then PDP Governorship candidate, to the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, challenging
the legality of the party’s primary election held on 3rd September, 2019. His disagreement was with the conduct of the adhoc delegates’ election which produced the three-man delegates. He also challenged the inclusion of
the then newly elected councilors, chairmen and their deputies as delegates.
However, after a Federal High
Court sitting in Port Harcourt and a Bayelsa State High Court declined jurisdiction and dashed his hopes of stopping the primary election, left in the cold like a rain-beaten chicken, Alaibe decided to participate in the election.
Sadly, after spending millions of dollars to buy up the delegates, Alaibe still lost.
After his monumental loss at the PDP primaries, Alaibe, quite unfortunately, joined forces with the All Progressives Congress (APC) a party he dumped less than a year earlier, to rejoin PDP for the sake of winning her governorship ticket.
Interestingly, after teaming up with APC, Alaibe yet again returned to the Federal High Court, urging the court to nullify the same PDP primary election he lost.
Shortly after filing the suit in September 2019, he abandoned same and began working with opposition elements in the PDP to rig the governorship election in favour of APC. Chief Timi Alaibe was among the many PDP chieftains, including some former deputy governors of the state, who on February 13, 2020, stormed Yenegoa as “Special Guests of Honour” for the swearing-in of the APC-led government of David Lyon slated for the following day.
Their joy and celebration was, however, cut short when the Almighty God
the ruler of the universe, performed the greatest miracle of the century by using the Supreme Court to give victory to the PDP.
Overwhelmed by shame and ignominy, and with tail between legs, Alaibe in March resuscitated the same case he abandoned at the Federal High Court, Owerri. He prayed the court to nullify the PDP primary election to pave way for conduct of a fresh election or that any of the several mushroom parties they’re sponsoring in the Bayelsa governorship election tribunal in Abuja, be declared winner.
Expectedly, Alaibe yet again lost at the Federal High Court, Owerri. Typically dissatisfied with Justice Ringim’s judgment, he rushed to the Owerri Division of the Court
At the Court of Appeal, Owerri, Alaibe engaged in a legal sommersault. Instead of demanding the nullification of the PDP primary he lost, he, curiously, prayed the court to order fresh primary elections in PDP! This clearly exposed his desperation, mala-fide and treachery.
Already in celebration mood with sponsor – Petro-dollar Junior Minister of Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, three ex-Bayelsa Deputy Governors, and certain
prominent traditional rulers from Ogbia – the Nigeria judiciary again rose to the occasion. Not only did the court dismiss his appeal, but unanimously upheld the cross appeal of the three
Respondents which included the PDP, Governor Douye Diri and representatives of the adhoc
Acting like a dog destined for perdition that will not heed the hunter’s whistle, Alaibe has lodged an appeal at the Supreme
Court. Obnoxiously, maliciously and deceitfully, he’s done another Volte-face, seeking entirely fresh reliefs different from the ones he sought at the High Court and the Appeal Court.
Out of malice, he’s praying the Supreme Court to declare him winner of the
PDP primaries and consequently, declare him winner of the Bayelsa State Governorship election
held on November 16, 2019. This is clearly a case of committing legal suicide- and by Ijaw
customs and tradition, whoever commits such sacrilege deserves to be buried in the evil forest. In fact, with this kind of legal rigmarole and inconsistency, even without any defence by the Respondents, Timi Alaibe is most likely going to lose his appeal at the Supreme Court for the following reasons:
First, it is a settled principle of law that parties must be consistent with their claims and case from
the beginning at the trial court to the end at the Supreme Court. Once a party becomes a legal
chameleon – like Chief Timi Alaibe – and allows its case change colour at every stage, the case automatically suffers a dismissal. In the case of ALHAJI IBRAHIM SHEKA Vs ALHAJI
UMARU BASHARI (2003) where his Lordship Justice Abiru JCA, stated that a party is therefore not
permitted to do a total volte-face at the Appeal Court from his case at the trial court. He must be
consistent from the trial court to the last stage of the appeal. This settled principle of the law was
upheld in the case of OZOMGBACHI Vs AMADI ORS. where the erudite Supreme Court Justice
Ejembi Eko JSC. held that the law is settled that a party must be consistent in the case he presents
at the trial court and in the appellate court – his appeal being a continuation on the case at the trial
court. He is not permitted to chop and change his case from one stage to another.
Equally, parties are bound by their pleadings and cannot in the middle of a trial or any stage of the
case change such pleadings. The changes in Timi Alaibe’s reliefs at the Court of Appeal and now,
the Supreme Court which automatically has led to a change of his pleadings, has again dealt a
deadly blow to his case. In fact, the little legal breath left in his case – if there was any – has been
snuffed out by this action of inconsistent reliefs and pleadings.
In the case of LADO & ANOTHER Vs
RT. HON. AMINU BELLO MASARI & 2 ORS (2019), it was held that it is an elementary principle
of law that parties are bound by their pleadings and evidence on matters not pleaded goes to no
issue. Equally see the case of OZOMGBACHI Vs AMADI & ORS where JUSTICE MARY PETER ODILI
JSC. held that it needs be reiterated that parties are bound by their pleadings and no party is allowed
to make a different case from what is set out from inception. So, for the appellants to seek to
depart from their pleadings and embark on a brand new case
is an act in futility. The obvious reason is that a case maintains its original nature from
commencement and the colour cannot change because it is on appeal since an Appeal or appeals are
merely a continuum of that matter that entered for the first time at the court of first instance. Based on the
above settled principles of law, even the most unenlightened Nigerian knows and will agree that
Chief Timi Alaibe’s case at the Supreme court is not only a exercise in futility but a nullity. As the
Nigerian Supreme Court is too erudite and incorruptible to be induced with pecuniary gains to jettison
this long-standing settled principle of Law set by her and has been maintained over the years.
Moreover, it is also a settled principle of equity that a man who has acquiesced can never be heard. Timi Alaibe who complained at the trial court that the ad-hoc delegates who participated in the primary election were illegal, and yet participated, has waived his right to complain about the purported illegality in the exercise.
This principle of law was well established in the case of Sylva VS Dickson, where the Supreme Court stated that a party who has participated in a particular act with the ultimate aim of benefiting cannot come back to complain if the anticipated benefits no longer accrued to him.
Also, the law does not permit blowing hot and cold at the same time. Alaibe cannot complain at the trial court that the primary election was illegal, complain at the Court of Appeal that the exercise be declared a nullity, only to come to the Supreme Court to ask to be declared the winner of the same primary election and be declared governor. That does not only amount to blowing hot and cold, but also chopping and changing his case which has no legal stand as the foundation is inconsistent.
Moreover, with the fourth alteration of the 1999 Constitution as amended, a party who did not
participate in all the stages of an election cannot be awarded an electoral victory by the court. See
the case of MODIBO Vs INEC (2019),where it was held that a party must participate in all the stages
of the election for him to be awarded an electoral victory in the court. In Alaibe’s case, though, he participated in the primaries and lost woefully. However, he did not participate in the general
election as a PDP candidate and therefore cannot be granted the reliefs being sought in that he
be declared winner of the Bayelsa State Governorship election and returned as
Therefore, all those gathering money for Alaibe and buying cartons of champagne and charging their
glasses to clink with the wild goose chase hope that the Supreme Court will decide in his favour should realize that Alaibe and his legal team have committed legal suicide. As far
as this case and the law is concerned, it is close to impossibility for the Timi Alaibe case to succeed.
In fact, with the current erudite status of the Supreme Court Justices, they are most likely going to dismiss the appeal without even considering
any defence by the Respondents.
A word, they say, is enough for the wise.
The sponsors of Chief Timi Alaibe should realize that wishes are not horses. Otherwise, beggars would ride.
Jumbo writes from Warri
RUGA: Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje kept to his Promise – By Dr. Mike Uyi
The neglection of Grazing Reserves Law of 1965 by the succeeding governments after the First Republic in Nigeria has led to farmers and herders clashes/conflicts due to struggle over limited scarce resources such as lands, water, crops and grasses.
The clashes/conflicts made the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the introduction of Ruga settlements plan in Nigeria.
Governor Abudullahi Umar Ganduje in his wisdom said the country cannot afford to continue to witness senseless killings in the name of Fulani herdsmen and farmers clash over lack of grazing land while we have a place like the Falgore Game Reserve underutilised.
Governor Ganduje made it a priority to ensure that Fulani, notwithstanding their origin, do not face stigmatisation or outright rejection on the basis of their nomadic exploits.
The Kano State government under the able leadership of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje took the lead knowing fully that Ruga settlements plan will increase income generation to people of the area, Kano state and the country at large.
Governor Ganduje has worked tirelessly to make Kano State more attractive to investors and launch initiatives to improve the economy, infrastructure, and unemployment in the state and in his generosity invited herdsmen from across Nigeria to come to Kano and enjoy the benefits of the state government’s new Ruga Settlements.
In September 2019, when other northern govs adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), Ganduje said apart from tackling insecurity, the RUGA settlement project will change the socio-economic status of Fulani herdsmen and open new revenue outflow to government.
Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in July 2019 constituted a 16-man committee for the establishment of Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) to look at the possibility of creating Milk Market for the teeming wives of Fulani herders who face difficulties selling their milk, because of lack of storage facilities, adding that already some private investors have indicated interest to partner with the state government on the establishment of the market.
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje deserves an applause for keeping his promises in inaugurating 200 Ruga Housing Settlements at Dansoshiya village in Kiru Local Government Area of the state for Fulani cattle herdsmen.
The establishment of RUGA by Ganduje is a clear indication that the governor feels Nigeria at heart. This singular act sends hope to the Fulani communities across Nigeria and Africa in general that Kano meant very well for Fulani herdsmen.
In his efforts to keep this dream alive, Ganduje’s administration has sponsored 74 Fulani children to Turkey to study cow milk processing.
In keeping to his promise, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje on June 6, 2020 launched the first Ruga settlement situated at the Dansoshiya forest in Kiru Local Government Area of the state.
The settlement will be a total of 200 units of houses, schools, hospital, police station, earth dam for cattle rearing among others.
He explained that “We engage in this project for three fundamental reasons, first and foremost is to avoid clashes between farmers and herders, secondly to avoid movement of herders which is the source of conflict and to avoid cattle rustling.”
He added that “It is absolutely necessary to improve and modernize the breeding system for Fulani cattle. As it is clear that a gallon of milk is more expensive than one gallon of petrol, it is, therefore, necessary for us to utilize this great opportunity.
He noted that “the second RUGA project will be in Falgore forest where we have recently inaugurated military training ground.”
He called on the federal government to put a halt to the movement of herdsmen from other African countries to the country.
We at the Global Peace Movement International (GPMI) UK commend Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje for taking the leading position in setting the pace for developing all communities in the state and in the country. Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is indeed an exemplary leader, who is focused and determined to bring development to his people irrespective of social status.
GPMI congratulates Ganduje for the way and manner he took up this matter by way of changing the approach of the cattle rearing industry, from socio-cultural to socio-economic, with vast economic opportunities.
His approach is highly commendable and exemplary, which calls for replication by other states, particularly Northern states of Nigeria.
With this magnanimous gesture of Governor Ganduje, we at the GPMI are calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria and other stakeholders to as a matter of urgency encourage all Fulani’s in Nigeria to move to Kano to benefit from this historic project by Governor Abudullahi Umar Ganduje.
Dr. Uyi is the President General Global Peace Movement International World Wide Based In United Kingdom, London.
Bayelsa Dep Gov NYSC Certificate Saga, Sylva And DSS Credibility Crisis – By William Jumbo
Since its creation 34 years ago, on 5th June 1986, the credibility of the Department of State Security (DSS) has never been called to question as it currently is, especially concerning the unfolding drama and Shakespearen movie on the alleged forgery of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate of the Bayelsa State deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
It is common knowledge that the DSS was the last man standing in terms of credibility among the investigative security agencies. However, recent reports of alleged financial inducement of some of her officials by PetrolDollar-Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, to manipulate the investigation report on the Deputy Governor, leaves much to be desired.
In fact, this singular act has dealt a huge blow on the credibility of the DSS that citizens no longer trust the agency.
Although the testimony of the DSS Director of Legal Services in court was understandably manipulated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) propaganda machine (The Nation) the fact remains that the DSS was everything except being professional in their role in the whole drama. The reason, facts revealed, is that the DSS that appeared and claimed to have conducted an investigation on the alleged certificate forgery, never invited Deputy Governor Ewhrudjakpo for questioning.
Aside this amounting to shaving a man’s head in his absence, the DSS testimony was a clear abdication of professional responsibility, a breach of the right to fair hearing, and giving a dog a bad mame in order to hang it.
Even as ineffective as the Nigerian Police is perceived by many, there’s no way they would have conducted and concluded an investigation without inviting the suspect to hear his own side as demanded by the rule of natural justice.
Equally, it has been revealed that the DSS investigation is not only illegal but a clear case of straying from their investigative role assigned by the law setting it up. The law setting up the DSS does not cloak it with the powers to investigate forgery.
Similarly, the Area Court, on whose order the DSS claimed to have conducted the investigation, lacks the locus to order such investigation because it doesn’t have criminal jurisdiction. Besides, its proceedings with regards the alleged certificate forgery has been declared a nullity by the FCT High Court. In fact, contempt of court proceedings has already been filed against the said Area Court Judge before he issued the order.
Furthermore, investigations revealed that the NYSC had in a letter dated 10th March, 2020 with reference number NYSC/DHQ/CCD/GEN/01/Vol. 11/316, and said to have been received by the DSS on the 18th March, 2020, clearly exonerated the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor of any forgery.
Unfortunately, some compromised officials of the DSS are attempting to ruin the otherwise sterling reputation of the investigation agency by writing another report three months after the NYSC’s and after being served with a subpoena by the tribunal in May.
But for compromise, mischief, and mala fide, how can an agency as respected as the DSS write a report dated 27th May, 2020- just two days after receiving a subpoena to testify in this case? It should be brought to the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Timipre Sylva that their inordinate ambition, avarice and greed to control one of the oil-rich states of the Niger Delta – at all cost – shouldn’t make them destroy sacred and reputable state institutions like the DSS.
Every discerning mind, and even the least enlightened, would agree that the purported report of the DSS after two days of being served a subpoena to testify is nothing but a smokescreen to deceive the general public and the tribunal. It is rather disheartening that some officials of the DSS would so easily collect money and do sordid things, not minding the backlash on the reputation of their agency.
They should realize that politics will cone and go. What should be constant is an overriding need to preserve our sacred national institutions.
That said, the appearance of the Deputy Governor, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, whom his accusers never allowed to testify, has further tarnished the reputation of the DSS and shredded the credibility of their report.
There’s no man who, fully aware that he’s guilty of an offence he’s being accused of, would so brazenly appear and display in open court the same documents he’s alleged to have forged.
It is unheard of in the history of democracy in Africa, and Nigeria in particular, that a serving government officer who enjoys immunity will waive such immunity and present himself for cross examination in an open court. The practice has been to hide behind such immunity and even go to court to get judgement to protect such officials from appearing.
This again reinforces the claim that Vijah Opuama, and his sponsors, particularly Chief Timi Alaibe and the two former Deputy Governors of Bayelsa State had no case at the tribunal. All along, they had been revelling in media trial and defaming Deputy Governor Ewhrudjakpo.
The humility and obedience to court order displayed by Deputy Governor Ewhrudjakpo, defying the odds and the elements, and the risks associated with COVID-19, to travel by road from Yenagoa to Abuja for a tribunal session should not only serve as a lesson to other leaders, but also clear all doubt and show the world that, indeed, he has no skeleton in his cupboard.
Finally, we hope the tribunal and the entire Nigerian judiciary have properly discerned and learned great lessons from this saga where a man’s accuser absconded at sighting him. It is a settled principle of law that once an accuser cannot accuse and confront the accused in his presence, then the accuser has no accusation and there’s no accusation.
A clear conscience, they say, fears no accusation.
Jumbo writes from Warri
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