Prof. Olanrewaju Onadeko, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has recommended the creation of special courts among other reforms to strengthen the war against corruption in the country.
The professor of law made the recommendations while delivering an inaugural lecture on Thursday at Ajayi Crowther University in Oyo town.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lecture entitled, “Society in Dissonance -Enthrenched Laws, Order, The Judex and Imperfect Harmony”, was the 18th to be delivered at the university.
Onadeko lamented the low level of conviction in corruption cases, particularly those involving well known defendants, saying there was need for creation of special anti-corruption courts.
“From 2000 to 2017, more than 1,500 non-high profile convictions were secured by the anti-corruption agencies, but they secured only 10 high profile convictions within the same period with 167 cases pending.
“Of the 10 convictions, three were granted presidential pardon. I think President Obasanjo did two and President Jonathan did one.
“It has been noted that most corruption cases against high-profile offenders do witness delay tactics and tricks by the defendants to truncate their trials
“There is an emerging reality of captive justice system at the mercy of high profile offenders and their platoon of defence counsel,” he said.
The don called for the establishment of special divisions of the federal and state high courts to handle trial of corruption cases.
He recommended that judges deployed to the special courts must have uninterrupted tenure of not less than four years to ensure stable and seamless proceedings.
Onadeko said that deployed judges should be allowed to conclude all cases pending before change of deployment or elevation to higher bench.
The senior advocate said that the role of the law profession in the administration of justice was both ubiquitous and profound.
“No progressive and democratic society can continue to bask in the ever selling entrenchment of corruption and its consequences.
“The legal profession is a visible and key participant in the unending task of nation building.
“And if it is identified as being complicit in obstructing the war against corruption, the profession should introspect and find a way of getting back to what is expected of it,” he said.
Onadeko said that judges should be enjoined to put the justice of every case at the fore and be even handed in discharging their responsibilities.
He admonished judges to be wary of excessive display of academic prowess when faced with interpretation or construction of law in the face of overwhelming evidence culpability by defendants.
He called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to constantly monitor the progress of all corruption cases from time of arraignment of defendants to conclusion.
He said that the NJC should ensure judicial officers granting inordinate orders to prevent or restrain functionaries of anti-corruption agencies from their duties be sanctioned for misconduct.
Onadeko also stressed the need to modify the immunity clause in section 306 of the Constitution to serve its true purpose by introducing clearer words to define its overall extent.
He said that the major anti-corruption laws be kept under constant watch by the Attorney-General of the Federation with a view to introducing relevant modifications as circumstances necessitate.
The don recommended the creation of the law reform commission under the ministry to collaborate with anti-corruption agencies on quarterly basis.
NAN reports that the lecture was attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dapo Asaju, the management, staff, students, academics and family of the lecturer.
Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Wale Ojetimi
Atiku Support Groups congratulate Obaseki
The All Atiku Support Groups (ASGs), has congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as the governor of Edo on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group Chairman, Mr Fabiyi Oladimeji, in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja said Obaseki’s convincing victory was due to the resilience and steadfastness of the people of Edo State who did not give room for any manipulation by undemocratic forces.
“Nothing can be more dignifying than the stance and resolve of the good people of Edo for what they truly believed in.
“The good people of Edo state have demonstrated dexterity and spoken very loudly against god fatherism, against arrogance in power just as they have voted for progress and prosperity.”
Oladimeji commended the courage of Obaseki, his deputy, the State campaign council under the leadership of Chief Dan Orbih and all leaders of note in Edo State, Oladimeji said.
He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for maintaining neutrality in the election.
“We understand there cannot be perfection in any electoral process, but INEC by its conduct in the just concluded Edo election has shown that it is possible if we all decided to do what is right.”
Oladimeji said that the group would not take the role played by the security agencies in ensuring the smooth running of the elections for granted.
He said that although there was a full contingent of officers of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies on ground, no recorded cases of intimidation or harassment of voters were recorded during the election.
He also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the good people of Edo to have their say and way.
“Democratic process demands that people should be allowed to freely elect their choices, as democracy is all about the people.”
Oladimeji commended the doggedness of the Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council, Gov. Nyesom Wike, his Colleagues, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Seyi Makinde of Oyo state and all the National campaign council.
He also commended Atiku Abubakar for his timely intervention and support, as well as the Edo State Chapter of ASGs for mobilising voters for Obaseki’s re-election.
Oladimeji appealed to all stakeholders in the PDP to embrace the same strategy adopted and apply same during the upcoming Ondo Governorship election, Lagos senatorial by-election and Anambra governorship election.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Kiriji War: Leaders to celebrate 134 years of Yoruba unity
A coalition of Yoruba groups, prominent monarchs and leaders of thought will converge in Ibadan on Wednesday to celebrate 134 years of peace and unity in Yorubaland after the Kiriji War.
The Kiriji War, also known as the Ekiti-Parapo War, was a 16-year-long civil war between the Yoruba people where all the sub-ethnic groups either supported the Ibadan or the Ekiti.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the war came to an end on Sept. 23, 1886, which marked the beginning of unification of Yoruba Land as one.
Prof. Banji Akintoye, Convener of the event and President-General of Yoruba World Congress (YWC), said in a statement that Sept. 23 will now be celebrated as Yoruba National Day annually.
Akintoye said prominent Yoruba monarchs and warrior families would on Tuesday revisit the battlefields in Igbajo and Imesi Ile, Osun, and Oke Imesi Ekiti to pour libations and dedicate foundation stone to peace in Yoruba Land.
The YWC leader described the event as a reawakening and restoration of Yoruba history and culture.
He said that Afenifere Chieftain, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu of Yoruba Unity Forum, Justice Ademola Bakare (Rtd), Chairman, Yoruba Council of Elders, and Prof. Adetoun Ogunseye, National Council for Yoruba Women were among eminent Yoruba leaders of thought that would grace the occasion.
According to him, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, are among prominent Yoruba monarchs expected at the ceremony.
“The purpose of the two-day ceremony is to unite the people of Yoruba Land towards achieving prosperity and development.
” The Owa Ooye of Okemesi, Oba Gbadebo Adedeji, Owa Ooye of Imesi Ile, Oba Ademola Akinyemi, the Owa of Igbajo and Oba Adeniyi Fashade, are the Chief Hosts of the event in their various communities on Sept. 22.
“The traditional rulers would also converge to address the Yoruba people at Okemesi, Ekiti, Igbajo and Imesi Ile in Osun, respectively, where the war started and where the peace treaty that marked the end of the war, was signed.
“The Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji who is the Chief Host, would celebrate the day on Sept. 23 in Ibadan,” he said.
According to Akintoye, all the first class Yoruba traditional rulers from Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Kogi, Kwara, Edo, Oyo and Lagos States would be in attendance for the anniversary.
He urged all Yoruba sons and daughters worldwide to make their presence felt at the events, both physically and morally.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Wale Ojetimi
Renown Ibadan-born businessman, Adegoke joins APC officially in Oyo
He made the announcement while addressing his supporters on Sunday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adegoke, a political disciple of Sen. Rasheed Ladoja, is the Ajia-Balogun Olubadan of Ibadanland.
NAN also recalled that Adegoke contested the House of Representatives seat for Ibadan South-West/North-West Federal constituency in 2015 on the platform of Accord Party (AP) and lost.
He was also part of those who worked for the emergence of the present administration of Gov. Seyi Makinde under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Adegoke, who is eyeing the Oyo South Senatorial seat, said his decision was after several consultation with his political associates, leaders and supporters across the 33 local government of the state.
Adegoke thanked his supporters for their concern on the matter, saying there was no cause for alarm.
According to him, “Few days ago there was a fake news story that I, Olooye Adegboyega Taofeek Adegoke has decided to stay back in the PDP.
Supporters expressed joy over the news coming from their political leader and benefactor.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni
NAWOJ National Election: Akingbehin launches campaign Oct. 2
Senior Editor Ayaba Omobolanle Akingbehin, who is contesting the Vice President’s seat, Zone B, of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), is to launch her campaign on Friday, Oct. 2.
The NAWOJ election is to hold on Nov. 11, in Minna, Niger State.
A statement by Akingbehin-For-VP Campaign Council, announced on Sunday in Lagos that Mrs Abosede Adelaja, the Assistant Secretary, NAWOJ, Lagos State chapter, is the Campaign Coordinator for Lagos.
It said that Modupeola Sobukonla, Chairperson, Ogun NAWOJ, would coordinate other states in the zone that comprises of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti.
It said that the candidate’s vision was to ensure that NAWOJ South-West, B-Zone, remained an indivisible entity while focusing on training and retraining of the female journalists in the zone.
“l will focus more on developmental programmes and trainings.
“When elected, l will ensure that NAWOJ South-West, B Zone, stands on truth and fairness,” the statement quoted Akingehin as saying.
She appealed to other contestants across the country to make their campaigns issue-based and avoid attack on personalities.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan and Ephraims Sheyin