Connect with us


Olu of Warri tussle: How armed thugs invaded court, chased out judge



A gale of condemnation has greeted Thursday’s invasion of the High Court of Justice, Warri by armed thugs.

The Nigerian Bar Association and human rights lawyer, Mr Oghenejabor Ikimi, denounced the protest as barbaric and contempt of court.

It will be recalled that thugs and women chanting war songs invaded the court where a suit challenging the emergence of Prince Tsola Emiko as Omoba was billed to commence.

Son of the immediate past Olu, Ogiame Ikenwoli, Prince Oyowoli Emiko, and his uncle, Prince Bernard Emiko and others, instituted the suit to challenge the emergence of the 37-year-old son of the Ogiame Atuwatse II (19th Olu) as Olu-designate.

“The court was listening to a case of ex parte motion for service when the pandemonium broke out. A date had not even been taken when the incident occurred and everybody scampered for safey,” a senior lawyer told our reporter.

Hon Justice V. Akpoje, the presiding judge, and Chief Efe Akpofure, SAN, were ferried into safety by officials of the Department of State Security (DSS) through the backdoor of the court.

It was gathered that prior to the invasion, Chief Akpofure (SAN), who is counsel to the plaintiff, had raised concerns about possible breach of peace in the premises, but was assured by a palace stakeholder, who is also a lawyer.

The Warri branch of the Nigerian Bar Association yesterday expressed shock over the invasion of the high court.

In a statement signed by the chairman of the branch, Chief Emmanuel Uti, and the Secretary, Joseph Omooseh, the NBA condemned the action by the protesters which disrupted court proceedings.

Judicial workers, litigants, lawyers, including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) were reportedly chased out of the court premises.

Describing the act as “despicable and a desecration of the hallowed Temple of Justice,” the NBA called on the Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to commence investigation into the matter and bring the perpetrators to book.

The statement reads: “The officers and entire members of the Nigerian Bar Association Warri Branch received with shock and sadness the news of the unprovoked attack and invasion of the High Court of Justice, Warri by thugs/hoodlums, which led to the disruption of the court proceedings in the suit challenging the succession to the stool of the Olu of Warri Kingdom on 17th of June, 2021.

“From the reports available to us, the proceedings were going on peacefully until it took a new twist when a crowd of thugs/hoodlums invaded the High Court of Justice 4, Warri, armed with dangerous weapons and chased away judicial staff, litigants, lawyers, including a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who was representing one of the parties, and disrupted the proceedings.

“The Nigerian Bar Association, Warri Branch, condemns in totality this unprovoked attack and barbaric behaviour by the hoodlums/thugs and therefore call on the Inspector General of Police, the Commissioner of Police, Delta State and the Director of State Security Services to immediately set up a team of investigators to unmask the perpetrators of this reprehensible act.

“We also call on the Security agencies to immediately set in motion measures to nip in the bud this ugly trend by providing adequate security in and around the court’s premises in Delta State, to prevent a reoccurrence of this ugly trend.

“We advise the players in the ongoing succession tussle to sheath their swords and allow peace and the law to take its full course, as we cannot afford to see our peaceful and loving Warri Kingdom engulfed by the flames of crisis.”

Speaking in the same vein, Oghenejabor Ikimi Esq, a human rights lawyer, described the invasion of the High Court as contempt, noting “that is not how to win a legal case,” even as he frowned at the perceived failure of prominent Itsekiri leaders to condemn the act.

Ikimi said the perpetrators might not be entirely of Itsekiri extraction, but could also include thugs and hoodlums from within and outside the area who were hired to disrupt proceedings.

He said: “The court is a solemn place and not one that should be invaded and disrupted by touts and thugs under any guise. What happened on Thursday is the height of lawlessness and it must be condemned by everyone.”

He expressed concern at the signal sent by those behind the action, stressing that their purported threat to deal with Chief Akpofure (SAN) could have instigated another tribal war in the Oil City, as the legal luminary’s kinsmen were already spoiling for war over the attack.

Reacting to the development, a community source claimed the people never disrupted the court proceedings.

“They did not disrupt court proceedings. The people were asking what the person who came to court was seeking justice for. The process which brought his father as king is the process that was followed to bring Prince Tsola Emiko as Olu-designate. So why go to court when the same process put your father there?”

Eldest son of Ogiame Ikenwoli, Prince Oyowoli and his uncle, Prince Bernard Emiko, younger brother to the immediate past Olu, had approached the court, seeking, among other things, the nullification of Prince Tsola as the Olu-designate of Warri Kingdom.

Final funeral rites for deceased Warri monarch begin in Delta

The final burial rites of the immediate past Olu of Warri, His Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli, commenced yesterday with a commendation and funeral service at the Aghofen, in Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State.

The ceremony is scheduled to last for 14 days with lots of fun fare in Ode-Itsekiri, the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people.

The former Olu of Warri, often described as a man of peace, had passed on last December, barely a week after his fifth coronation anniversary.

His death was announced on April 5, followed by the unveiling of his successor, Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko, son of the 19th Olu of Warri.

Renowned gospel preachers such as former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Papa Ayo Oritsejafor; Bishop of Church of God Mission, Warri, Curtis Fianu; General overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev. Sam Aboyeji, were present at the ceremony. The regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh, and some members of the Warri Traditional Council of Chiefs were also present at the occasion.

The chiefs who were present include Chief Gabriel Awala, Chief Brown Mene, Chief Dr. C. Ikomi, Chief Roland Oritsejafor, Chief Robinson Ariyo, Chief Kofi Kartey and Chief Michael Odeli among others.

In his biography, which was read by Prince Yemi Emiko, it was noted that Ogiame Ikenwoli ensured the “massive expansion and development” of Ode-Itsekiri.

In a brief sermon, Bishop Fianu harped on the need for everyone to “make good use of their lifetime”.

The sermon was followed by prayers for the immediate and extended family of the late royal father, the Itsekiri nation and Nigeria at large.

Continue Reading


We’ll not ban Almajiri qur’anic education, but reform it — Gov. Tambuwal



Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has said the state government was targeting the remodelling of the Qur’anic education system and not banning it.

Tambuwal stated this on Saturday at the closing of a two-day workshop for the adaptation of the Indonesian Pondok system into the Almajiri-Islamiyya educational system in the state.

He expressed government’s determination to ensure that the initiative was implemented to the letter, stressing that any recognisable success of the system would upgrade and improve the state’s educational system.

He said: “We are not aiming to ban the Almajiri qur’anic education system as some people have urged the Sokoto State Government to emulate other states.

“We are striving to provide reasonable solutions to the challenges and with the present initiative the time has come.”

Tambuwal assured of full implementation of the suggestions made by resource persons and the design of a programme that would surely be a solution to the educational challenges, especially bridging the gap of out of school children.

In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, urged the Federal Government and its agencies, including the Universal Basic Education Commission, to consider making financial provisions to the Almajiri qur’anic educational system.

Abubakar noted that when the implementation of the initiative begins, the out of school children figure will drop as well as curtail those roaming the streets.

The Sultan urged others states to emulate Sokoto state on the initiative, in recognition of its importance and suitability to Nigerian’s system of education.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Social Investment Programmes, Maryam Uwais, expressed delight at the initiative as it was in line with the President’s efforts at reducing poverty and empowering Nigerians.

Uwais said: “The huge numbers of marginalised youths and children, who have no education, school dropouts who have no skills, have contributed to the dismal outcomes of security challenges.

“The challenges also include females who faced incidence of gender based violence, along with cases of early marriages arising from lack of education, which leads to diminished opportunities.”

She noted that the Pandok system focuses on character development and addressing socioeconomic challenges that children faced, as well as improving educational levels which were all aligned with Sustainable Development Goals.

Uwais added that her office was working towards empowering between 30 to 50 youths in all the local government councils, to supervise and monitor others on valuable skills to be acquired, through various initiatives.

Earlier, the Executive Director, Sokoto State Arabic and Islamic Education Board, Alhaji Umar Altine, said based on the study conducted, the Pandok system of education in Indonesia were owned and managed by individuals or communities, regulated and assisted by the federal ministry of religious affairs.

Altine said the major sources of sustainability were Endowments (Waqf) and Alumni, noting that based on advocacy and sensitisation by the board, six Qur’anic schools had adopted the model.

In her presentation, UNICEF Education Specialist, Sokoto Field Office, Dr. Safiyya Tahir, said that no fewer than 1.2 million children were out of school in Sokoto State, noting that early children development centres were mostly owned by private schools, with only a small percentage owned by public schools.

Tahir said the Pandok system would be relevant to the culture of Sokoto people because they shared similarities with the Indonesians as many families prepared their children for enrolment in religious schools in early life.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that several resource persons made presentations at the occasion, including Dr. Bala Muhammad of the Mass Communication Department, Bayero University, Kano, and Prof. Abdullahi Sule-Kano of the Political Science Department, BUK.

Others were: Prof. Maryam Koko of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto; Prof. Suleiman Khalil, Sociology Department in UDUS; Prof. Bashir Galadanci; and Prof. Muhammad Junaid.

The Eagle Online

Continue Reading


Resident Doctors Vote to Continue Indefinite Strike



Striking resident doctors in the country have resolved to sustain their ongoing industrial action until their demands are met by the federal government.

The strike by members of the National Association Resident Doctors (NARD) has entered its seventh week, with their parent body, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), also threatening to embark on solidarity strike if the dispute is not resolved by next weekend.

The resident doctors are demanding payment of arrears of salaries of their members on GIFMIS platform as well as approval of new hazard allowance for the health sector, among other demands.

Rising from its Annual General Meeting (AGM) that ended yesterday at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi State, NARD said that it had unanimously resolved by vote to continue the total and indefinite strike action.

A new national leadership also emerged at the meeting with Dr Dare Godiya Ishaya as the new president of NARD.

NARD said that: “After critical appraisal of the performances of both federal and state governments on all the issues that led to the ongoing strike as stated above, the AGM unanimously resolved by vote to continue the total and indefinite strike action until our minimum demands are met”.

In a communiqué jointly signed by NARD President, Dr. Dare Godiya Ishaya; Secretary General, Dr. Suleiman Abiodun Ismai; and National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alfa Yusuf, the doctors said that federal government should ensure that their demands are urgently met before normalcy would return to the health sector

The resident doctors said they are demanding the payment of the Medical Residency Training allowance within 72 hours since the money meant for it is available and verification of the list for payment has been completed.

They also demanded payment of the arrears of salaries of their members on GIFMIS platform within 72 hours while the migration process continues.

Other demands of the Resident doctors include: “Withdrawal of the case against us in court in the interest of peace; and payment of our withheld August and September salaries”.

NARD said that federal government should prevail on various state governments to urgently “pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed our members in the state tertiary health institutions as stated above”.

In the communiqué, NARD said they were committed to the smooth running of the health sector, but can only do so when their welfare is given the desired attention.

“We, therefore, call on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government to set aside all technicalities as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari and resolve the aforementioned demands in the interest of the masses and our members who are currently suffering because of the ongoing strike action,” it said.

Earlier during the AGM, the doctors bemoaned the delay in payment of death-in-service insurance benefit to the next-of-kin of the fallen heroes despite their sacrifices to the country.

They expressed concerns over the conditions of their members under different state governments’ employs, especially Abia, Imo, Ekiti and Ondo states, where their members are being owed 20 months, six months, four months and four months’ salary arrears, respectively.

They meeting also observed with serious concerns the poor response of most state governments in domesticating the Medical Residency Training Act of 2017 while commending states like Delta and Benue for adopting the law.

In particular, NARD expressed appreciation to the governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who has paid its members the 2021 MRTF during the ongoing strike.

The meeting lamented the acute manpower shortage in most tertiary health institutions and the attendant burnout effects on its members.

The communiqué said that NARD observed with serious concerns that despite several meetings with the presidential committee on salaries and other top government stakeholders on the review of hazard allowance for health workers, the hazard allowance still remains a paltry N5,000.

It also noted the non-payment of COVID-19 inducement allowance to some of the members in federal and most of its members in state tertiary institutions.

Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Thisday News

Continue Reading


BREAKING: IPOB orders sit-at-home on October 1, removal of all Nigerian flags from southeast



The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has declared a sit-at-home across the Southeast on October 1.

IPOB said the October 1 sit-at-home is to show its rejection of Nigeria and all the country stands for.

In a statement by its spokesman on Saturday, Emma Powerful, the group also declared the commencement of “operation no Nigerian flag begins in Biafra land from October 1st.”

Powerful said the sit-at-home order was declared to celebrate Ambazonia Independence Anniversary.

The statement reads partly: “IPOB has declared 1st of October 2021 total shutdown in Biafra land as a sign of our rejection of the evil construct called Nigeria and there shall be no movement in Biafra land on this day.

“Also, IPOB has declared from today 25th September 2021 that all Nigerian flag mounted anywhere in Biafra land must be brought down, Banks exceptional, IPOB leadership will communicate to Banks directly and give them reason they must peacefully bring down Nigeria flag in their banking premises before we do it ourselves in our own way.

“Every body must strictly adhere to this directives from IPOB leadership, we want to let the world know you that Biafraland is not Nigeria and shall not be. Don’t say I don’t know, a word is enough for the wise.”

Seun Opejobi, Daily Post

Continue Reading