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The Editorials: It’s not over with IPOB, arrest of reporter, safe water challenge and special courts


The Editorials: It’s not over with IPOB, arrest of reporter, safe water challenge and special courts

For Monday, September 25, 2017, below are a selection of what the editorial boards of some dailies are saying:

The Guardian addresses the Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB challenge from various angles;

  • The tardiness in the proscription affair, the discordant tunes from different government arms, and the failure of intelligence.
  • Questions the FG’s decision to send troops to the South West and South South when a “police action” may be a better alternative and worries that the strategy may hurt democracy.
  • Quote: “This newspaper supports a view that Kanu may have been lionised through mismanagement of this security challenge. He would have been an unlikely hero if the nation’s security and legal forces and stakeholders had not been indolent and slipshod in their actions and reactions. By incarcerating Kanu and failing to release him after several court orders, the Federal Government had inadvertently raised his profile. He became a symbol of the struggle, which the largely nascent youth-followership did not fully understand. To show the level of demagoguery which now follows Kanu, he claims to ‘bless people’ in the image of a messiah.”

Leadership newspaper condemns the arrest of a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reporter, Emmanuel Atswen, whose report highlighted the rot in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at the International Market in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

  • If anyone should be arrested, the paper says, it is the rogues who steal from the IDP camps not the journalists who bring the evil to public attention.
  • Quote: “The journalist who reported the diversion believed he was doing his duty of calling a spade by its real name which is that camp officials not only in Makurdi but across the country where there are IDP camps are nothing but incorrigible thieves. The police should arrest and arraign them for who they are.

Thisday looks at the challenge of access to safe water and sanitation, highlighting a new World Bank report which shows that “57 million people in Nigeria continue to live without access to improved water while 130 million people use unimproved sanitation facilities.”

  • Quote: Poor children are “said to be about four times more likely to get diarrheal disease than rich children and that public expenditure in water and sanitation was limited and of poor quality. Besides, across most water-utility indicators, Nigeria under-performed in comparison to African and global averages, according to the report which noted that nearly 30 per cent of water points and water schemes failed within their first year of operation in our country.”

Punch welcomes the announcement by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, last week that Heads of Courts should create Special Courts in their respective jurisdictions for speedy trial of corruption cases.

  • Points out that other countries like Indonesia have implemented special courts with resounding success (nearly 100% conviction rate from 2004 to 2011).
  • Will ensure speedy trials
  • Implementation needs to be clinical.
  • The vetting process for judges in Nigeria has to be as intense as it is in other climes like Kenya where a broad-based committee, consider: Pending complaints or other relevant information from any person or body, including the Law Society of Kenya, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and National Intelligence, among others, before the coast is cleared for the nominee.
  • Quote: “But Onnoghen does not need to be reminded that the taste of the pudding is in the eating. Against the backdrop of endemic corruption in the judiciary, well acknowledged by a legion of stakeholders, special courts in themselves hold no promise unless they are headed by judges “known for their integrity, honour, uprightness and unblemished records,” as Itse Sagay, Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, opined.”
  • Go Deeper: Read The ScoopNG’s report on the six strategies to be adopted by the Chief Justice of Nigeria in fighting corruption and delays.

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