Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Malawi’s Path To An ‘Award-Winning Judiciary’

 By Chidi Odinkalu

Joyce Banda, Malawi’s fourth (and first female) president, was in Nigeria earlier this month as guest of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, Anambra State in South-East Nigeria, where she spoke at the 12th annual lecture in memory of the man after whom the university is named. It was also the 119th birthday of Nnamdi Benjamin Azikiwe, Nigeria’s founding president, and the month of the 26th anniversary of the death in 1997 of Malawi’s founding president. 

 At the lecture, Joyce Banda described Malawi’s judiciary as “award-winning” and many Nigerians in the audience, embarrassed by the contrast with theirs which wallows in infamy, broke out in spontaneous acclamation. The story of how Malawi’s judges became “award-winning” should be of interest to Nigerians.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Economic Consequences Of Ravaging Wars

 By Steve Obum Orajiaku

The concept of balance is encapsulated in Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, which is “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. Nothing can be further from the truth for certain feelers to claim that any raging war does not leave its indelible far-reaching impacts on the global spectrum. Sometimes, it could be quite devastating and demeaning that the effects can equal the recorded casualties of war.

The pain of loss of life and property (the former particularly) is inconsolable as it is irreparable. Then, when the dust finally settles and while the roundtable resolution talks are ongoing, the biting privation is grinding deeper to the marrow of the ordinary people. Indeed, when two elephants fight, the tender grass suffers. There has never been any truce talk that effectively restores or sufficiently replenishes all lost valuables on the battlefield.

Kogi, Imo And Bayelsa Off-Cycle Elections: Applauding Dysfunctionality

 By Alabi Williams

Year 2023 began with a lot of trepidation over the general elections. Nothing seemed very sure, especially as the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), prevaricated on its choices. That caused them to resort to self-help at different levels. In all, new experiences emerged and suggestions are being canvassed on how to raise the integrity bar in the next elections.

The three off-cycle elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa have also come and gone. Off course, there will be disputations at the tribunals on how the playing-ground was tampered with to make it cumbersome for some players. Some take-aways have emerged to further the conversation on the precarious nature of this democracy. For some, there were no elections in many places and the exercise was a bug joke. For others, it is the smart politicians that took the day.

Fixing Nigeria

 By Sola Ebiseni

ON this page October 31, with the title, “Now the day is over”, one of the favourite collections of the Songs of Praise in our days in Primary and Secondary schools, we sought to remind political actors of matters arising after the judgement of the Supreme Court ending the tortious journey of the 2023 presidential election.

We reasoned that vacuum is inconsistent with life which experiences perpetual changes even as it is ironically constant and permanent. Heraclitus it was who illustrated the reality of life’s perpetual flux with the phrase “you cannot step twice into the same river”. For those of us born and brought up by the riverside into which we revelled diving and swimming,  this allegory brings permanent memories and perfectly simplifies this ancient philosophy. 

Let Us Reset By Deporting Saudis

 By Owei Lakemfa

A dozen years ago when I first lodged at the prestigious Corinthia Hotel, Khartoum overlooking the confluence where the White Nile River and Blue Nile River are in eternal embrace, a waitress approached me. She was intrigued by my dressing and as such, could not place where I came from. I told her I was wearing a unique Nigerian dress. She told me I have a Nigerian brother working in the hotel who is always excited to meet Nigerians.

She gave me his name and the floor his office was located, and I checked him on my way downstairs. When I enquired about him, this Sudanese emerged from his office and when I introduced myself as a Nigerian, his face lit up. I told him he looks every inch a Sudanese. He said he was born Sudanese but that his father had migrated from Kano. As a Muslim trying to fulfil his religious vows to visit Mecca on a pilgrimage, his father had travelled by road to Sudan trying to reach Mecca. Unable to continue, he had settled in Sudan and raised a family. However, his father always told the children they were originally Nigerian.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Dimgba Igwe, The Enigmatic Born-Again Journalist

 By Onoise Osunbor

(First published in Sunday Concord, February 21, 1988)

“If there is one achievement I have successfully accomplished, it is to prove wrong the myth that you cannot be a successful journalist and be a born-again Christian.”  These are the words of Dimgba Igwe, the Sunday Concord Staff Writer among the prizewinners at the first UAC Merit Award for Journalists. 

*Dimgba Igwe 

People often perceive journalists as permissive, loving wine and women, but that is not the life of Dimgba who is deeply religious—a real born-again Christian.  Stylistically, he is an impressionistic writer who applies his pen like a brush in the hands of a painter, carrying the reader along as he tells his story.  One of his works is a masterpiece he wrote on Dakar, the capital of Senegal.  And he wrote it without talking to anyone.  He says: “The story I have done that I am likely to read over and over again is the one on Dakar.  

Judicial Mercenarism

By Chidi Odinkalu

In July 1977, the Organisation of African Unity adopted a Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa. It offered a definition of a mercenary to include someone who “is motivated to take part in hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and in fact is promised by or on behalf of a party to the conflict material compensation.” The drafters of the Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa probably did not foresee that it would encompass the conduct of judges.

Yet, at the beginning of this month, the immediate past president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olumide Akpata, took to the floor of the International Bar Association, IBA, conference in Paris, the capital of France, to invite the association to take an active interest in a new species of judicial subornation in Nigeria which can best be described as judicial mercenarism.

One For Zik….

 By Obi Nwakanma

Today, let us celebrate worthy men. This past Thursday, November 16, was the birthday of a giant of history; a man whom the colorful Ozuomba Mbadiwe could have called “a Caterpillar,” who showed the light, so that Africans may see the way. Incidentally, that was the motto of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s newspaper, the West African Pilot: “Show the Light, and the People will find their way.


It was the message at the core of his anti-colonial nationalist organizing. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe – “Zik of Africa,” as he was very fondly called – was the leader of the African anti-colonial Nationalist Movement, from 1937 to 1957, culminating in decolonization, with the independence of Ghana, that year, and home rule for the regions in Nigeria also that year, and full national independence subsequently in 1960. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Nigeria: Plunging Down A Dark, Bottomless Hole

 By Adekunle Adekoya

For the Tinubu administration and majority of hapless Nigerians, it is a long season of unending downpour in terms of misfortunes. Things were already bad, with no respite in sight before May 29, 2023. For the major part of Buhari’s presidency, things decidedly took turns southwards.

Insecurity worsened as bands of kidnappers terrorised the entire nation without let or hindrance; cultists unleashed an orgy of killings all over the country, while the nation’s lifeblood, crude oil, became fair game to cabals of oil thieves. Not that stealing of crude was new. Under Buhari, it just worsened to the extent that the nation could not even meet the production quota alloted it by the oil cartel, OPEC.

Economy: Falsehoods In Belt-Tightening Narratives

 By Andrew Erakhrumen

It will be a hasty generalisation to conclude that Nigeria does not have people (among politicians) with genuine positive intentions for the country, but they are in the minority, powerless and suppressed. The subsisting tragic experience is that those in criminal entrepreneurship are increasingly forcing their way to power!

We welcome those who disagree with us to give clear indices demonstrating that this country, through the activities of these stationary bandits (and their followers), has made sincere efforts towards moving forward in the last 20years; this is to simply limit their analyses to that brief period. All we are hearing of, and seeing, are shameful ludicrousness giving good reasons to people in other countries to scoff at Nigeria that has tolerated, and is now used to, mediocrity and inferior materials!

Masters Of The Game: Britain Plucks Cameron To Regain Balance

 By Owei Lakemfa

The British are known masters of diplomacy and politics. This is exemplified in the quote by its former Prime Minister Winston Churchill who said: “’Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

*Sunak and Cameron 

That was how Britain, an island in the North Atlantic Ocean ruled the waves and the world before its sun began to set from the injuries of the Second World War. Britain and its allies won that war, but it lost its position as the world power.

Zik’s Day Beckons!

 By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu 

The man fondly called Zik of Africa deserves his day. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s foremost nationalist and first president, deserves his birthday, November 16, to be slated as a national holiday.


It is a deserving honour for the pivotal leader who led the charge for Nigeria’s independence on October 1, 1960. 

As a result of his unparalleled efforts Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe would in the course of time become the only black Governor-General of Nigeria, the first President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the only Nigerian whose name appeared in a Constitution of Nigeria, the first Senate President, among many other sterling firsts. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, LL.D: Exit Of A Legal Colossus

 By Mike Ozehkome


The death, on Sunday, the 29th day of October, 2023, of Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN, brought to an end, arguably, the first generation of Senior Advocates of Nigeria. The first ever set of SANs in Nigeria comprised legal giants, Chief F.R.A. Williams and Dr. N.B. Graham-Douglass (both now late), who took the Silk on 4th March, 1975.

*Prof Nwabueze
There was a three-year period of interregnum between 1975 and 1st of December, 1978, when this academic and legal colossus was silked with 12 other legal titans such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, Mr. T.A.Bankole-Oki, Mr E.A. Molajo, Mr. Kehinde Sofola, Chief Richard Akinjide, Mr. G.O.K. Ajayi, Mr. Olisa Chukwura, Dr. Nwakanma Okoro, Dr. Mudiga Odje, Mr. P.O. Balonwu and Dr. Augustin Nnamani. Nwabueze was certainly the first from the academia, based strictly on his published works. His first love was the classroom and he bestrode it like the colossus he was. He was thus justifiably called “the Professor of professors”. He remained a teacher and mentor of many generations of legal academics, both in Nigeria and beyond, till his last breath. I am one of his beneficiaries who compared notes with him and drank from his inexhaustible well of knowledge and wisdom.

Zik’s 119th Posthumous Birthday: Celebrating An Iconic Tall Image

 By Enyinnaya Appolos 

Today is the 119th birthday of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Owelle-Osowa-Anya of Onicha, affectionately called Zik of Africa, a remarkable figure in Nigerian and African journalism and political history. 


As the world marks Zik’s 119th posthumous birthday today, tribute must be paid to an iconic tall image who left an indelible mark in the nation’s sands of time. Dr. Azikiwe’s life and contributions as a journalist, politician and statesman are not only worthy of celebration, but the story about Zik should be religiously told and transferred to generations unborn, in remembrance of a Great Icon.

Lessons From Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan’s Victory

 By Ayo Oyoze Baje

“Success is not measured by the position you reach, but by the obstacles you overcome” – John Harold Johnson( late publisher of Ebony Magazine)

She is a rare breed; an iconic combination of brilliance, beauty, and boldness. But more than these, she has become a jinx-breaker of some sort, making history by becoming the first Ihima-born politician to climb up to the pedestal of senator-ship, in Nigeria’s chequered history of democracy.

Wike As FCT Minister: An Insult To Nigeria’s Sensibility

 By Olu Fasan

Let me say this unequivocally. A Southern-Christian is perfectly eligible to be Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Without a shadow of a doubt, a Christian from Southern Nigeria is as much qualified as a Muslim from Northern Nigeria to administer the FCT.


So, this intervention is not an endorsement of Sheikh Ahmad Gumi’s recent diatribe against a Southern-Christian Minister of Abuja. However, while a Southern-Christian is eligible to be FCT Minister, that Southern-Christian, just like any Northern-Muslim, must be a fit and proper person. I submit that Nyesom Wike, the rumbustious and self-regarding former governor of Rivers State, is not a fit and proper person to be FCT Minister. Why?

Effects Of Hardship, Hunger And Poverty On Mental Health

 By Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu

It does no one any good to dissimulate or dissemble our feelings in a bid to hide or escape the present-day realities in the lives of citizens all over the world. Yes, there is high inflation, food insecurity all over the world but the case in Africa and Nigeria in particular calls for serious concern and attention.

The level of hardship and hunger witnessed in Nigeria in recent times has never been imagined nor occurred to anybody as something that would come to be.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Hamas’ Mission Impossible

 By Ochereome Nnanna

On October 7, 2023, the Jewish State of Israel suffered the most painful, unprovoked terrorist assault on its innocent citizens who were holidaying. What an irony that they were attacked while celebrating the Festival of Sukkot, marking God’s protection of their Biblical ancestors in the desert on their epic journey from the land of enslavement, Egypt, to the Promised Land! It fell on a Sabbath Day, and people relaxed at home, while some youngsters attended a music festival at Kibbutz Re’im in Southern Israel.

It was on such a day that Hamas invaded Israel by land and air. They breached the border fences and flew paragliders through the Israeli airspace. They attacked unsuspecting, innocent and unarmed soldiers and civilians, massacred, slaughtered, raped, tortured and dehumanised Israeli citizens. The details of their atrocities are available in cybersphere for those who have the stomach to view them.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Governors, Thugs And Settlement Of Disputes

 By Owei Lakemfa

In 2011, we in the Trade Union Movement were worried that the new National Minimum Wage of N18,000 consented to by the Federal and State governments, and signed into law the previous year, was not being implemented.

Negotiations had gone pretty well with the Federal Government, but had hit a brick-wall when its team said on a note of finality it had reached the limit of the wage bill it could shoulder. We needed an additional N2 billion. Labour met directly with then President Goodluck Jonathan and he directed that the additional fund be added to the Federal wage bill.

Concerning Courts Of Electoral Kleptocracy

 By Chidi Odinkalu

In 1968, Stanislav Andrzejewski, the former Polish soldier and prisoner-of-war, who later founded the Sociology Department at the University of Reading in England, coined the word ‘kleptocracy”, which he defined as “a system of government [that] consists precisely of the practice of selling what the law forbids to sell.” He saw in the system of Nigeria’s First Republic, “the most perfect example of a kleptocracy” in which “power rested on the ability to bribe.” 

According to Andrzejewski, the defining characteristic of a kleptocracy “is that the functioning of the organs of authority is determined by the mechanisms of supply and demand rather than the laws and regulations.”