Obaseki, Shaibu bound for success – Edo leaders

 

  • Say no cause for fear

Prominent Edo State leaders on Friday described the campaign of All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as dull, cold and colourless.

The leaders also scolded Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for assaulting the sensibility of the populace with mundane rhetoric.

‘’Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has not convinced anybody why he should be preferred to the incumbent governor’’ the leaders said.

In a statement in Benin by the chairman, Obaseki-Shaibu Victory Movement (OSVM), Chief John Obanor, the leaders applauded Obaseki’s integrity.

They praised Obaseki and Comrade Phillip Shaibu for spreading the principles of peace.

‘’In the contest for political power, decorum, rule of law, decency and the need to allow peace to reign must be the guiding principle for those challenging the incumbent. Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu should emulate Obaseki and Comrade Phillip Shaibu’’

The leaders urged the opposition party in the state to eschew violence, thuggery, gangsterism and unnecessary mudslinging.

‘’The opposition party in the state is dishing out concocted lies. The party is pushing falsehood into the public domain. The good people of Edo State should not allow themselves to be held captive by men with unprecedented capacity for lies, mischief and treachery’’

The leaders praised Obaseki for showcasing his achievements in office, taking the real dividends of democracy to the electorate and transforming the existing infrastructure in the state.

‘’Governor Godwin Obaseki is an extremely honest man and an excellent model for all politicians in Africa’’ the leaders said.

They heaped praise on Obaseki for guaranteeing functional education, improving medical facilities, finding lasting solution to the menace of erosion and environmental devastation in the state, tarring roads, improving educational facilities, opening Edo State to foreign investors, linking the rural areas to the urban centres and boosting agriculture.

‘’Governor Godwin Obaseki has done very well. He has restored hope for the hopeless’’

They also commended Obaseki for showing admirable doggedness, commitment and perseverance against all odds.

‘’Governor Godwin Obaseki has been tested. He has rich antecedents and political pedigree’’.

Specifically, the leaders hailed Obaseki for introducing new vista in the history of governance in Edo State.

‘’A  quick look at the  quantum of important projects put in place by Governor Godwin Obaseki within the period he has been in office shows a man who is committed to alleviating the suffering of his people’’

They thanked the good people of Edo State for deciding to renew Obaseki’s mandate on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

‘’Governor Godwin Obaseki is serious minded, purposeful, people oriented and a leader that understands what governance is all about. We will deliver Edo State to the People’s Democratic Party. No dictator, no terrorist will stop Edo people who are determined to take their destiny into their hands’’

Obaseki, a cerebral, competent manager and good example of leadership in Africa, is expected to win the Edo State governorship election.

‘’We are bound for success’’ the leaders said.

 

 

 

 

 

 3rd Edition of National Maritime Quiz Holds September 14

  • Organizers announce rules
  • Speak on opportunities in the maritime sector

 

Ocean Ambassadors on Monday announced the rules of the 3rd edition of the National Maritime E-Quiz.

Secondary school students (S.S 1 –to- S.S 2) across the six geopolitical zones of the federation will compete to be the ultimate Ocean Ambassador in the 3rd computer-generated quiz scheduled to hold from 14th–to-17th September, 2020.

‘’The main objective of the National Maritime E-Quiz is to enlighten students on the career opportunities in the maritime sector’’ a statement by the Executive Director, Ocean Ambassadors, Olaitan Williams said.

 

The statement highlighted the areas of concentration for the quiz.

‘’The e-quiz is centered on key areas of the maritime which includes: maritime career opportunities, shipping, freight forwarding, history of the Nigeria Port Authority, maritime regulatory agencies and current affairs about the maritime sector’’

The statement urged students nationwide to participate in the competition.

‘’All students are required to fill the registration form, once the registration form has been filled, YouTube link to: lecture series, videos and other materials will be sent to the registered email address and notification on your registered phone numbers’’.

The statement also urged participants to click on the subscription bottom on the YouTube channel for more updates.

‘’A participant is required to click on the subscription bottom on the YouTube channel for more updates. And ensure to watch all the videos on the channel as well as read the materials that will be sent to him or her. The participant can research more’’.

The statement underscored other objectives of the competition.

‘’The competition focuses on ensuring a nationwide drive for young people’s inclusive participation in the maritime sector. It will also help students adapt to the digital learning environment through the use of E-learning platforms’’

Specifically, the statement emphasized the three phases of the competition.

‘’It starts with the inter-state level. A participant will be grouped into the state his or her school is located. The state where the school is located falls into a particular geopolitical zone. The inter-state competition stage is an elimination phase through a virtual timed quiz, where a participant will be required to answer selected questions within a specific time to test speed and knowledge’’.

‘’The three highest scores from each state qualify for the regional competition stage. It is expected to get 18 students representing the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria. From the regional stage, it is expected that 6 students will participate in a zoom E-QUIZ to get three Ocean Ambassadors 2020’’ the statement added.

 

SERAP asks Buhari to revoke assent to CAMA, send it back to NASS or face legal action

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari requesting him to “urgently rescind your assent to the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, [CAMA 2020], and to send the legislation back to the National Assembly to address its fundamental flaws, including by deleting the repressive provisions of the Act, particularly sections 839, 842, 843, 844 and 850 contained in Part F of the Act, and any other similar provisions.”

 

The organization is also urging him to “instruct the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, and Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, not to implement or enforce the CAMA 2020 until the legislation is repealed by the National Assembly, and brought in line with the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations.”

 

In the letter dated 22 August, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “With these provisions, the government now has overly broad and discretionary powers to arbitrarily withdraw, cancel or revoke the certificate of any association, suspend and remove trustees, take control of finances of any association, and to merge two associations without their consent and approval of their members.”

 

According to SERAP, “Rather than taking concrete measures to improve the legal environment and civic space that would ensure respect for human rights and media freedom, your government has consistently pursued initiatives to restrict the enjoyment of citizens’ human rights. These rights are protected from impairment by government action.”

 

SERAP said: “These restrictions, coupled with repressive broadcasting codes and Nigerian security agencies’ relentless crackdown on peaceful protesters and civil society, demonstrate the government’s intention to suppress and take over independent associations.”

 

The letter, read in part: “SERAP is concerned that the provisions would be used by the authorities to exert extensive scrutiny over the internal affairs of associations, as a way of intimidation and harassment, which would eventually unduly obstruct the legitimate work carried out by associations.”

 

“We would be grateful if the requested action and measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel you and your government to take these measures in the public interest.”

 

“Please note that SERAP has instructed its Legal Counsel Femi Falana, SAN to take all appropriate legal actions on our behalf should your government fail and/or neglect to act as requested.”

 

“Citizens’ decision to join with others in pursuit of a common goal is a fundamental aspect of their liberty. The right to freedom of association also plainly presupposes a freedom not to associate. This freedom is at risk if the government can compel a particular citizen, or a discrete group of citizens, to merge their associations.”

 

“Constitutional guarantees of freedom of association would be very limited if they are not accompanied by a guarantee of being able to share one’s beliefs of ideas in community with others, particularly through associations of individuals having the same beliefs, ideas or interests.”

 

“Similarly, freedom of association creates a forum for citizens in which they may freely seek, without any unlawful interference by the state, to move public opinion and achieve their goals. That “forum” cannot exist if the government is at liberty to treat one association as forming part of another or coercing one association to merge with another association.”

 

“By seeking to suspend and remove trustees, and appoint interim managers for associations, the government seems to want to place itself in a position to politicise the mandates of such association, and to undermine the ideas that the right to freedom of association and related rights are supposed to protect in a democratic society.”

 

“SERAP believes that the government granting itself the powers to suspend and remove trustees of legally registered associations and to take control of their bank accounts constitute an effective restraint on human rights.”

 

“Allowing the government to take control of the bank accounts of association would impact on the rights of the associations, and also seriously undermine civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights as a whole.”

 

“These rights are in fact parts of the attributes of citizenship under a free government. “Liberty” includes the right to enjoy the rights to freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly. Our constitutional jurisprudence and international standards allow only the narrowest range for their restriction.”

 

“Combatting fraud, mismanagement, corruption, money-laundering and other modes of trafficking by associations is legitimate. However, it is not sufficient to simply pursue a legitimate interest, limitations need also to be prescribed by law and be necessary in a democratic society.”

 

“Under the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights law, controls need to be fair, objective and non-discriminatory, and not be used as a pretext to silence critics. Your government has legal obligations to create an enabling environment in which associations can effectively carry out their legitimate activities.”

 

“These restrictions have no legal basis, as they fail to meet the requirements of legality, legitimacy, proportionality and necessity. The Human Rights Council has called on States to ensure that any regulations of associations ‘do not inhibit the independence and functional autonomy [of associations]’”

 

“We have also sent a Pre-Action Notice of a lawsuit pursuant to Section 17[2] of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, to the Corporate Affairs Commission to urgently initiate, promote and support deletion of Sections 839, 842, 843, 844 and 850 and any other repressive provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020.”

 

“In communication No. 1274/2004, the Human Rights Committee observed that ‘the right to freedom of association relates not only to the right to form an association, but also guarantees the right of such an association freely to carry out its statutory activities. The protection afforded by article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights extends to all activities of an association.’”

 

“According to the Committee, ‘the existence and operation of a plurality of associations, including those which peacefully promote ideas not necessarily favourably received by the government or the majority of the population, is a cornerstone of a democratic society.’”

 

“Under international law, the use of the term “democratic society” places the burden on States imposing restrictions on freedom of association to demonstrate that the limitations do not harm the principles of pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness.”

 

“The Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights has also called on states not to pass legislation that would ‘give the Government control over the right of associations to manage their own activities.’”

 

“Associations, as organised, independent, not-for-profit bodies based on the voluntary grouping of persons who pursue activities on a wide range of issues, such as human rights, democratic reforms, and social and economic development, are an integral part of democratic institutions.”

 

“The right to freedom of association is to be enjoyed alone or in community with others. Without this collective dimension, the effective realisation of the right would often not be possible. SERAP believes that the rights to freedom of association, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly to advance beliefs and ideas are inseparable aspects of the “liberty” assured by due process of law.”

 

“The right to freedom of association is interrelated with other human rights and freedoms, including the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, protection of property, the private life and correspondence, an effective remedy, fair trials; and right to be protected from discrimination.”

 

“A genuine and effective respect for freedom of association cannot be reduced to a mere duty on the part of the State not to interfere. Therefore, it is incumbent upon your government and all public authorities to respect and protect this right, and to guarantee the proper functioning of an association, even when they annoy or give offence to persons opposed to the lawful ideas or claims that they are seeking to promote.”

 

“Any limitations on human rights, including the right to freedom of association must be proportionate to the interest to be protected, and must be the least intrusive means to achieve the desired objective.”

 

“Implementing or enforcing these repressive provisions will have a significant chilling effect on legitimate activities of associations, and would seriously undermine their independence and operations.”

 

“SERAP considers the CAMA 2020 the most repressive legislation in Nigeria’s history, especially given the unlawful and impermissible restrictions contained in Part F of the Act.  Sections 831, 839, 842, 843, 844 and 850 of the Act are manifestly inconsistent with sections 36, 39 and 40 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999.”

 

“Under section 831[i][ii], the government through the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is empowered to treat any unregistered association as part of an already registered association, and without any lawful justifications whatsoever. The government also has the power to treat two or more associations as a single association on the flimsy pretext that the associations have the same trustees.”

 

“Section 839[1] and [7] of the Act also grants the government through the Corporate Affairs Commission the powers to arbitrarily and unilaterally suspend and remove the trustees of any legally registered association, and to appoint an interim manager or managers to run the affairs of any such association, if the Commission reasonably believes that there is “misconduct, mismanagement, and fraud” in the association, or on the basis of undefined “public interest.”

 

“The government will determine and decide what constitutes “public interest” in all cases. The exercise of the powers under section 839[1][7] is subject only to the approval of the supervisory Minister, a political appointee.”

 

“Similarly, sections 842, 843 and 844 grants the government through the Corporate Affairs Commission overly broad powers and discretion to arbitrarily, unlawfully and unilaterally regulate the finances of any association, and to take control and take over bank accounts lawfully belonging to legally registered associations under Part F of the CAMA 2020.”

 

“Further, section 850[2][e] empowers the government through the Corporate Affairs Commission to arbitrarily and unilaterally withdraw, cancel or revoke the certificate of registration of any duly and legally registered association.”

 

“These repressive provisions clearly and directly threaten and violate the rights to freedom of association, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, privacy, property, and other human rights guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

 

“SERAP notes that legally registered associations have also deposited their constitutions and other documents with the Corporate Affairs Commission under the now repealed and replaced CAMA 2004.”

 

“The Commission also enjoyed wide ranging powers under CAMA 2004 to regulate these associations, as the associations are required to periodically report to the Commission. Registered associations are also regulated under other existing laws, including anti-corruption and money laundering laws, the Criminal Code and Penal Code.”

 

 

 

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

23/08/2020

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.orgnews@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Kolawole Oluwadare on: +2348160537202