Rotimi Amaechi
Blackmail is another weapon Nigerians deploy to flaunt their innocence whenever they are at threshold of being nailed on any issue. Most times, the manner Nigerians resort to blackmail stands logic on its head, twist morality and offend laws of the land.

Although, several Justices in Nigeria are under investigation, but the case of the two embattled Supreme Court Justices John Iyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta’s whom the DSS raided, arrested and detained for alleged judicial corruption has assumed an asinine twist.

Conspiratorially, the duo rushed out in public domain to heap allegations of attempts to corrupt them by former Rivers State governor and Transport Minister, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi.

They mindlessly lashed out at Amaechi whom they accused of providing the grounds for their persecution for refusal to tinker with some governorship elections petitions before the apex court. They funnily want Nigerians to believe the refusal to be negatively influenced by one person forecloses the chances of accepting same request from another person.

Justice John Iyang Okoro started it all. Precisely, on October 17, 2016, he claimed in a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN) Justice Mahmud Mohammed that he rejected the offer of Amaechi to influence Justices to alter verdicts on the governorship tussle in favour of APC in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Abia states. The Justice expressed strong conviction that his present travails may not be unconnected with his snubbing of Amaechi’s request to tamper with the verdicts. And that he made a verbal report to the CJN on February 1, 2016, about Amaechi’s visit to his official residence.

“In that report, I told you my Lord that Mr. Amaechi said the President of Nigeria and the All Progressives Congress mandated him to inform me that they must win their election appeals in Rivers State, Akwa Ibom and Abia states at all costs,” he enthused.

Less than 48 hours after Justice Okoro’s publicized allegations on Amaechi, another embattled colleague also under the heat of DSS over judicial corruption mouthed the same allegation. What separated the two were the states involved- only Rivers and Ekiti states guber disputes.

Justice Ngwuta’s allegations were contained in a letter dated October 18, 2016, also addressed to the CJN. Lamenting his several unfriendly encounters with Amaechi, the Justice reeled out series of mindboggling issues, including alleged threats he received from Amaechi.

Interestingly, whatever problem the accused Justices have with the DSS is strictly their burden to resolve. But the hasty roping of Amaechi into their dilemma with the DSS based on such hazy recollections and projection of the abnormal belittles their status as Justices of the apex court.

By the submissions, it is quite discernible the judges have advertised issues intended to raise a podium to rubbish and blackmail Amaechi; except that they are poorly scripted in timing and factuality.

First, from the files of the DSS and the EFCC, at least 15 judges at various layers of the Judiciary are under investigation currently for alleged judicial corruption. The submission of Justices Okoro and Ngwuta in the letter to the CJN is forcing a baseless impression that the remaining 13 judges too could have possibly turned down Amaechi’s overtures to influence verdicts in their courts and thus, his invocation of “harassment” from security agents? It cannot be true.

And lets hypothetically agree that President Buhari is an interested party in any of the governorships disputes in the mentioned states, under litigation at the Supreme Court, but everyone knows it’s impossible for him to delegate Amaechi to influence any judge at his behest.

Ideally, he would rather parley with the CJN directly expressing his interest in the cases and it ends it all. But if he cannot condescend to the level of the CJN, the alternatives are clear and Amaechi is not in this reckoning by any stretch of imagination.

To further water the impression of the DSS’s arrest and detention of the Justices as vendetta for their refusal to compromise justice, the wailing Justices speak as if the Director-General of the DSS or the Chairman of EFCC take directives from Amaechi, so with his snap of the fingers to settle a personal grievance, the security agents rushed after the accused Judges.

But the Justices, especially those on the Bench of the Supreme Court are the final destination in the interpretation of Laws of Nigeria. Like the River State APC Chairman, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya averred in a public statement, the Justices should know better that the giver and taker of bribes commit criminal offences under the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offence Act 2000.

These learned Justices had the opportunity to brighten Nigeria’s perception of Buhari’s anti-graft war by publicly clipping the wings of Amaechi who sought to adulterate their verdicts with bribes. But they reneged; waited for months to be accused of judicial corruption before they remembered their uprightness or vow not to desecrate their sacred oath of office. These are tales far from the truth.

Additionally, a very senior Judge like Justice Ngwuta as disclosed in his distorted epistle to the CJN was threatened by a politician like Amaechi who came to his house and said ‘we shall see’ several times,” and he kept mum?.

It is conceivable that a Supreme Court Judge would bury obvious threats to his life and would not even document it with the National Judicial Council (NJC), but merely inform the CJN verbally. Is he saying the NJC forbids members of the Bench from taking legal actions against violators of their rights or when their lives are threatened?

It brings the matter to the doorstep of another realm of reasoning. Almost all the raided, arrested and detained judges are alleging innocence and judicial persecution by the Presidency. They have also qualified the raids of their houses, arrest and detention as illegal and unconstitutional. It implies the DSS and its principals have infringed on their fundamental human rights as Nigerians.

But they are unprepared to explain to Nigerians what is restraining them from challenging DSS action in court, if they are convinced of their innocence. Or are they implying that laws governing the NJC also forbid Judges from seeking legal redress over personal injuries or infringements on them by individuals, government institutions or the government itself?

These Justices should go back to their factory of doubtful tales and bark out something more convincing to Nigerians. For now, their rehearsed fables with the glaring intent of blackmailing Amaechi nay the FGN to inspire public sympathy has failed to impress anyone and hit the rocks.

Odoma is a guest columnist and public affairs commentator.

Obafemi Martins Buys World FASTEST Bentley SUV
The Nigeria international has got himself a Bentley SUV which is claimed to be the fastest in the world with a top speed of 301 km/hr

Shanghai Shenhua forward Obafemi Martins apparently needs to maintain his yard of pace as he approaches the peak of his career with a sassy 301 kilometre per hour new ride, the 2017 Bentley Bentayga which is worth $281,170.

Martins has netted nine times in 17 appearances for the Shanghai club since joining them from MLS side Seattle Sounders in February, making him the second top scorer for the Hongkou stadium outfit after Sengalese Demba Ba this year.

 The 31-year-old's latest ride complements his speed on the ball with acceleration from 0-60m in 4secs.

Bentley Bentayga is also the first to receive Bentley's new twin-turbo W12 engine with a 8-speed automatic transmission that drives all four-wheels.

PAKISTAN: 48 Police Trainees Killed In Fresh Attack By Gunmen
Photo Credit: Associate Press
AP - Gunmen stormed a police training center late Monday in Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province and detonated explosive vests, killing at least 48 police trainees, authorities said.

Baluchistan's top health official, Noorul Haq, said at least 116 people were wounded — mostly police trainees and some paramilitary troops.

A security official put the death toll at 51. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media,

Major General Sher Afgan, chief of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, told reporters Tuesday that the attackers appeared to be in contact with handlers in Afghanistan. He said the attackers belonged to the banned Lashker-e-Jhangvi Al-Almi group, an Islamic militant group affiliated with al-Qaida.

Neither Lashker-a-Jhangvi nor any other group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Islamic State group and breakaway Taliban faction Jamaat-ul Ahrar have claimed responsibility for past attacks in Baluchistan. Lashker-e-Jhangvi has mainly targeted members of minority Shiite sect of Muslims.

The attack started when between four and six gunmen opened fire as they rushed the hostel at the police training center in a suburban area of the provincial capital of Quetta.

"They were rushing toward our building firing shots so we rushed for safety toward the roof and jumped down in the back to save our lives," one of the police trainees told Geo television.

Security was tight Tuesday morning around the training center and hospitals.

Haq, the top health official, said many of the trainees were killed when the gunmen detonated explosive vests. He said the death toll was expected to climb as many of the injured were in critical condition.

General Afgan said the attackers may have had inside help, although he did not give details. "This is an open war and when you have enemy inside and outside, they can easily exploit the situation," he said.

He said the security forces and police were clearing the area and searching for any possible hidden attackers.

Baluchistan has been the scene of a low-intensity insurgency by Baluch separatist groups for more than a decade. Islamic militants also have a presence in the province that borders Afghanistan.

The provincial home minister, Sarfaraz Bugti, said one attacker was killed by security forces and two died when they detonated their explosive vests.

He said that about 700 trainees were at the base when it was attacked.

Baluchistan police chief Ahsan Mahboob told reporters that four gunmen attacked the training center, attempting to enter the hostel housing the trainees. A gun battle erupted when the guards resisted, he said.

A statement issued by the military put the number of attackers at up to six.

Footage shot by local television showed ambulances rushing out of the main entrance of the training center as fire engines rushed to put out fires set off when the gunmen threw incendiary devices.

Most of those being treated at city hospitals had gunshot wounds, although some sustained injuries jumping off the roof of the hostel and climbing a wall to escape the gunmen. Nearly all of the wounded were police, authorities said.

Local television reported that two explosions were heard, but it was not immediately clear what caused them.

Violence is common in the province, and the attack came hours after gunmen shot and killed two customs officers and wounded a third near the town of Surab, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) south of Quetta.

Earlier Monday, two gunmen on a motorcycle killed a police intelligence officer in the country's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said Khalid Khan, a local police officer.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack. The group's spokesman, Muhammad Khurasani, said in a statement that the shooters returned to their hideout after the attack.

Pakistan has carried out military operations against militants in tribal areas near Afghanistan and in cities across Pakistan, but extremists are still capable of staging regular attacks.

Femi Fain-Kayode
Punch Newspaper - A former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode slumped in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Saturday, his spokesperson, Jude Ndukwe, has said.

Ndukwe said in the statement on Monday that Fani-Kayode’s family and his lawyers had raised concerns about his health when he was re-arrested by the anti-graft agency on Friday, but their concerns were ignored.

The statment read in part, “We made known our fears that Fani-Kayode’s life was in dire danger as long as he remained in EFCC custody or in the custody of any agency of the federal government based on discreet information available to us.

“This is apart from the fact that his health has been badly affected since his incarceration for a whopping 67 days based on some questionable ‘detention orders’.

“This fact is well known to the EFCC as Fani-Kayode’s lawyers have written several letters to the Commission reminding them of the health condition of the former minister of aviation.”

Ndukwe said contrary to the expectation that the letters from the former aviation minister’s lawyers about his medical condition and that he had yet to complete his “therapy” following his earlier detention, the EFCC refused to release.

“It is therefore little wonder that based on the history of his medical condition which the Commission is very much aware of, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode slumped while in detention on Saturday, 22nd of October, 2016,” he said.

“But for the quick and professional intervention of the medical team in the EFCC medical facilities, the story could have been different, it could have been fatal.”

He called on the EFCC to release Fani-Kayode pending his arraignment for the charges against him, warning that there would be consequences should anything happen to him.

Following Mrs. Pauline Tallen's rejection, there are indications that Usman Bugaje, an ambassadorial nominee from Kastina state, has turned down his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, report according to TheWill suggests

Bugaje, a former National Secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), is the second nominee to reject the offer, after Pauline Tallen, former Deputy Governor of Plateau state, turned it down as well.

Bugaje was Political Adviser to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from 1999 to 2003. He represented Kaita/Jibiya Federal Constituency, in House of Representatives 2003-2007, where he chaired the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

While Tallen announced her decision to decline the appointment in public, Bugaje was prevailed upon by top government officials not to announce his rejection of the offer in the media.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accused Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim of attempting to compromise the Ondo State Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Mr. Olusegun Agbaje.

The commission also restated its earlier position that there was no truth in Ibrahim’s allegation that its Acting Director, Legal Services, Mrs. Toyin Babalola, demanded $1 million from him to comply with court order recognising him as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Ondo State governorship election. Ibrahim had, at a press conference on Sunday, alleged that Agbaje “requested to hold a meeting with him (Ibrahim) in London in the United Kingdom.”

He, therefore, called for Agbaje’s removal as Ondo REC as he would not conduct a credible election on November 26. But in a statement yesterday by Prince Adedeji Soyebi, National Commissioner in Charge of Publicity, INEC said Ibrahim was economical with the truth. According to the commission, it was Ibrahim, who through an intermediary, tried to arrange a meeting with the Ondo State REC in London.

“This, Mr. Agbaje promptly declined and insisted that if Mr. Ibrahim wanted to see him (Agbaje), he was free to do so at the Ondo State INEC office during official hours.

“Therefore, Mr. lbrahim’s allegation cannot be the correct account of what actually took place,” the statement added. The commission also said there was no time when Babalola demanded $1 million bribe from Ibrahim before she could act on Justice Okon Abang’s court order.

It added that preliminary investigation revealed that “Mr. Ibrahim turned up at the INEC headquarters, Abuja unannounced, made his way to Mrs. Babalola’s office, brandished a copy of the court document and insisted that INEC should accept him as the official candidate of the PDP for the Ondo governorship poll.

“On sighting the unexpected guest, Mrs. Babalola called three other lawyers in her department to witness her encounter with Mr. Ibrahim and politely told him that the commission was already in possession of the court document.

“At no time during the encounter that lasted less than 15 minutes did Mrs. Babalola ask for $1million. “Therefore, the allegation by Mr. Ibrahim is false.” INEC noted that court orders/judgements are served by court bailiffs and not individual parties.

It also added that the commission only receives nomination papers from the national chairmen of political parties or their designated officials and not aspirants. The commission assured that it will never succumb to any form of blackmail or intimidation, but will remain focused on its determination to deliver free, transparent and credible elections, based on the rule of law.

Source: New elegraph

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