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THE COURTROOM APPRECIATES YOU! YES YOU!

It all started with an outstanding panache, rolling down precarious questions from the temple of justice to the Judges; EDOSA’S TEAM: A FAILED ADMINISTRATION?
The Nation was getting too hot, so we took off for ROME FIUMICINO International airport and we landed in the Vatican City to ask the question in front of the Conclave; IS IT TIME FOR AN AFRICAN POPE? The Cardinals paid for our trip down to the Ivory Tower and we debated about the twists in the Students’ Union elections: WAS INDY HALL JUSTIFIED OVER SEN. ENOCH? Before anyone could answer, the nation was faced with; NYSC NEW POLICIES: JUSTIFIED?
We were sent by the God of Justice to x-ray ADEWOLE’S ADMINSTRATION SO FAR: A SUCCESS OR A FAILURE? While Prof. Adewole was trying to get a panacea to the headache caused, we were flabbergasted to see the whole nation thrown into a loch of melodramatic giggle courtesy of a comical NSCDC boss and hence the debate topic: SHOULD MY ‘OGA AT THE TOP’ (SHEM OBAFAIYE) BE PUNISHED?
Reeling in the euphoria precipitated by the results of the Students’ Union Elections, the sitting of the SRC raised a great question as pertaining to Babatunde Badmus; HAVE WE ENTHRONED A MAD MAN? A trip to the Federal Capital Territory allowed us to meet Stephen Oronsaye and his team about their recommendations to the Presidency: SHOULD UTME, NECO BE SCRAPPED?
The actions in the Ivory Tower just after the commencement of a new Students’ Union administration under Babatunde Badmus made us to ask the conglomerate of the Executives and the Legislatives: WHO ARE THE DEVILS: THE SRC OR THE EXECUTIVES? The ASUU Strike came like the mighty overflow of River Niger as it paralyzed activities on campus but it never stopped us from investigating the only exam which was held during the strike: UI LLB ULTIMATE EXAMS WRITTEN IN SECRET AS OTHER FINALISTS ROT AT HOME: JUST OR UNJUST?
11 Cases and yet you our Judges are not tired of Us, we say thank you. Without you, our readers we might not have made it this far, all the Press Organisations who accepted us, starting from Law Press Organisation, we say thank you. To Tech Press, Mellanby Hall Press and Zik Hall Press, our locals, we are forever grateful. Appreciation to Psych Press, AFAS Press, Veterinary News Organisation, History Press, Kuti Press, Tedder Press, Maths Press, thank you so much.
To all those who followed us “bumper to bumper” via Press boards on campus, via our blog dcourtroom.wordpress.com, we say thank you. To our readers out there on the blog from sixty countries of the world especially the United States, United Kingdom and Nigeria, we say thank you. To all who stayed by to drop a comment or more especially our top commenters on the blog; Adelabu Adeola (Labzy) and Ladele Olabisi, your constructive comments have been a source of motivation. To Joseph Olajide who reblogged us on Homezone media and the Ivory Talk family (Tojola Bolaji and Paul Alasiri), we say gracias. To those who rejected us, we sure do understand.
Though we met late, we still love to say thank you to Sultan Bello Press and NUESA Press. To our Mother body Union of Campus Journalists [UCJ], we say Merci. To AgroPress who finally accepted us after strict Bureaucratic Editorial examination, adupe o. What shall we say of the first female hall that accepted us, Queen Elizabeth II Press, we say thank you. To the great maidens of the Benin kingdom; Queen Idia Hall Press, our appreciations are immense. To Obafemi Awolowo Hall and all Post graduate Halls, we sincerely anticipate your invite.
Unending Ovation goes to the Great Bertrand Elochukwu Okafor, for the Prices, the deals, the free printing on days when we were totally broke and couldn’t print 3 coloured pages for 15 Press Organisations. We are forever grateful.
To all unsung heroes, who silently fought to see victory attained, we say “nagode”.
Thank you very much, we hope to see a brighter path this 2014. Thank you for 2013, Happy new year, wishing you an excellent 2014.

—OSHO SAMUEL AND TIJANI ‘MAYOWA

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LAGOS DOCTORS: IS FASHOLA JUSTIFIED?

 

FASHOLA IS NOT JUSTIFIED!

OSHO SAMUEL

 

It is a common saying that: Democracy is the government of the people for the people, by the people. It is common but it is the bitter truth. What is the essence of a government that deprives her people of its dividends? What is the usefulness of a government that does not provide for the basic amenities of the people? What is the importance of a government that will make 788 doctors homeless in a night without a prior notice? Do I here you call that kind of a government democracy? It must be a ‘crazy demo’ as professed by the late Nigerian artist: Dagrin.

During Fashola’s first term as governor of Lagos State, he received plaudits from far and near about his sudden transformation of the state, a state that was plagued by several anomalies turned overnight to be a London in Nigeria. Sincerely speaking I respect his intellectualism; I admire his demeanour and his immense contributions to the rapid development of Lagos State. Inasmuch as Fashola’s achievements are laudable, yet his sacking of 788 doctors is not tenable by a government that is driven by the passion to cater for the needs of the masses.

According to the doctors, the bone of contention was the non-payment of Consolidated Medical Salary Scale that was approved by the Federal government. The doctors want the state government to enact the salary scale, the government refused and they decided to sing the song that gives them dancing shoes; industrial action. It is imperative for you to know that the sacking of the doctors while on strike is a violation of the Trade Dispute Act.

The sacking of 788 doctors in a single swoop when patients are lying critically ill on the sick bed calls to question the compassion the government has for the masses. The case becomes more pathetic due to the fact that 788 homes were dumped into the abyss of unemployment, all in one night! You would ask why LASG forced the doctors out of their official quarters. It simply makes no sense because this is a pure nonsense.

Furthermore, it becomes saddening when you discover that among the sacked doctors are veterans in the professorial cadre of the medical profession, world renowned consultants and many more. I wondered where he would get a suitable replacement for these doctors; this would cause a massive brain drain of doctors in Lagos. This is not ethical for the prospect of the health sector of Lagos state. If Fashola continues this way he might lose the support of his fans and those who gave him mandate because last year he also increased the tuition fees of Lagos State University by more than 100%.

In the courtroom of public opinion, Raji Fashola has failed and let down the masses with this highly unprecedented move. In 2008, in his speech to Eko Club International, which was on a medical mission to Lagos State, Fashola had said: “I recommend to all Nigerians in the Diaspora, the time to come back home is now”. They heard the clarion call and came back home, I guessed he must have forgotten those words because his recent actions does not depict a man who is on a medical mission to save the masses. Sacking 788 doctors in a single swoop has been the largest dismissal in the history of any developing nation. Therefore, Fashola is not justified.

 

FASHOLA IS JUSTIFIED!

 

TIJANI ‘MAYOWA

 

“PRIMUM NON NOCERE”

The quote above is the fundamental statement in any oath taken by those in medical practice of any nation of the world. The quote simply translates to “FIRST, DO NO HARM”. The Hippocratic Oath is the binding force for all in the medical practice and put the life of the patient before anything else. The Oath taken by Nigerian Doctors has a portion that goes thus: “do everything possible to preserve human life”.

The long Saga between The Lagos state government and the Medical Guild over salary increase has battered the Medical Profession. It has brought about a drain in the Medical Profession. The way these doctors go on industrial actions has removed morality from the highly revered profession. Masses who believe Fashola has taken a dictatorial approach don’t have the Total picture of the situation at hand.

Did you know that these doctors gave a 24 hour Notice before going on a 3 day warning strike? This is against the Law.

Did you know that the government queried these Doctors, and they never responded to the query? This is also against the Law.

Did you know that they embarked on their indefinite strike without prior notice, which is also against industrial law? This particularly is inhumane and led to the death of many patients.

Did you know that the government employed about 100 doctors just to save lives? This is a more humane perspective.

Did you know that since 2008 till date [Under Fashola], Lagos Doctors have had their salary doubled? This has made them the highest paid Doctors in any state government by far? Little wonder why no state supported the doctors in solidarity struggle.

Did you know that a fresh graduate from the University in the Medical Profession known as house officers go home with a N174, 000 per month, without some allowances?

Did you know that Lagos state Consultant receive N802, 000 in 30 days, excluding teaching and some other allowances? This gives them a take home pay of about [N1, 000, 000] a million Naira per month.

Yet these Doctors still embark on strike action for a higher pay, forsaking their Hippocratic Oath. In my own Lingua Franca this is sheer GREED on the Doctors part.

I beg to disagree that the Fashola’s administration did not take any dictatorial action, but a lawful one. To start with, these doctors would be jailed for lying on Oath if the case is peddled towards that perspective. Also, these doctors are also guilty if industrial laws are brought into the picture. For me, Fashola was being merciful by just sacking them. If I were Fashola, I would sack them and sue them for lying on Oath of service to humanity and also for faulting industrial laws which led more loss of life than the number reported in the Dana Air Crash.

My Lords in this courtroom, I propose that Fashola is justified to have sacked them and as a SAN should have gone further to sue them for Damages. Correct me if am RIGHT.

CONCLUSION:

This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. Is the Fashola Justified?

Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813-224-5150 or 0813-697-3059 or dcourtroom12@gmail.com

 

SHOULD AL-MUSTAPHA BE KILLED?

Al-Mustapha must be killed!

OSHO SAMUEL ADETUNJI

‘What goes around comes around’ says the law of retribution. If you slay people by the sword of your tongue without mercy, expect the same to happen to you sooner or later. This was the case for Chief Security Officer of General Sanni Abacha, Hamza al-Mustapha. He was in charge of extrajudicial killings of those seen as a threat to Abacha’s regime and he was also given exceptional power considerably greater than that of his superiors.

After the demise of Abacha, he was arrested and tried for murder and attempted murder. On 30 January 2012, a Lagos High Court convicted Major Hamza Al-Mustapha over the murder of of Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola and sentenced to death by hanging.

The court ruled that it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that Prosecuting Witness 3, Katako drove the car that the killers of Kudirat were before PW 2 (Sgt. Rogers) opened fire on her.

“It is a fact that 1st defendant, (Mustapha) and the 2nd defendant, (Sofolahan) met, and it is also a fact that the 2nd defendant aided the killers of Kudirat with information to enable them carry out the execution. “The defendants are found guilty of conspiracy and murder and are thereby sentenced to death by hanging until you are pronounced dead,” the court said.

The court ruled that the same fate should befall Lateef Sofolahan who was accused with Al-Mustapha of taking the life of the late Kudirat. To the family of Chief Abiola it was relief, those 16 years after her murder justice has finally been done while Al-Mustapha’s relations wailed in court describing the verdict as unjust. They said that after he had spent twelve years in custody sentencing him to death was cruel. Why would they say such openly? Such a man does not worth to live after he has been convicted of taking another person’s life in a cruel manner. Assasination!

The impunity with which his master, Sanni Abacha treated the whole country still remains indelible to this present day. If Abacha was the devil then Hamza was the instrument of mass destruction in the hand of the devil. There is no Nigerian that could make boast of Abacha’s administration. Abacha was not punished by Nigerians but by God with a disgraceful death that was highly unprecedented. Abacha escaped but Hamza could not, then he should be used as a scapegoat.

Al Mustapha deserves to die due to other series of attempted murder of Alex Ibru, publisher of The Guardian and Abacha’s Minister of Internal Affairs in 1996. Another charge was laid against al-Mustapha for the attempted murder of former Naval chief Isaac Porbeni. Dictators and cruel leaders in the past such as: Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi were convicted of extrajudicial killings and they also died in an ignominious way. If he is being killed by hanging such an act will be a stringent warning to evil perpertrators.

In this country, we have had a myriad of unresolved assassination cases that have dragged the name of the country in the mud. One that Nigerians will never forget was the assassination of the then Attorney General of the Federation, Bola Ige on December 23, 2001. Al-Mustapha has dined with the devil and the devil is ready to take him.

Never stop hoping for justice because it will surely come one day and think twice before doing something evil.

Al-Mustapha should not be killed!

TIJANI ‘MAYOWA EMMANUEL

What do you call a judicial system which is unable to bring to book the people responsible for the demise of its own Chief Justice? What do you call a judicial system that sentenced a thief who stole N100billion to a year behind the bars and another who stole N500, 000 to Life in Prison?

The Nigerian judicial system has shown how insensitive she can be to cases that deal directly with National Security. It’s no news that Hamza Al-mustapha was sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Mojisola Dada at a Lagos High court. Many are of the opinion that the verdict was fair claiming that he who kills must also be killed.

I am of an opposite opinion; Al- Mustapha must not be killed for the following reasons:

-Al-mustapha is Military and was merely following orders given by his Boss, Sani Abacha, a man we all know wanted all June 12 activists to include Kudirat Abiola.

-From his confession; He pleaded for leniency before the Oputa panel saying he had to obey orders and do his duty.

– The evidence-in-chief that the verdict was based upon was recanted (Disowned) by the witnesses involved (Sgt. Rogers and Katako). Therefore the verdict was made on disowned evidence.

-For the sake of peace; it has been predicted by many forces of the world that our country will dis-integrate by the end of 2015. The death of Al- Mustapha will only hasten these predictions as it would foster the enmity between Northern and southern Nigeria as it is already being seen as such by the Northern Leaders and the “Great” Boko Haram Sect. For the sake of peace, the Nation should be lenient to Mustapha and at worst sentence to life in Prison.

Conclusively, if Mustapha be killed for following orders, then all military men who have killed in the name of orders should be sentenced to death by hanging.

CONCLUSION:

This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. SHOULD AL-MUSTAPHA BE KILLED?

Feel free to drop your comments

SHOULD INEC FORGET ABOUT PVCs FOR THE GENERAL ELECTIONS?
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YES, INEC SAVE NIGERIA FROM VIOLENCE
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As tensions reach its climax as regards the forthcoming General elections, there is a need to
avoid discrepancies which could emerge from any of the key players. The key players in the 2015 elections are: the aspirants of the two dominant parties, the electoral umpire; Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC), and the electorates. For the electorates to exercise their franchise; there is a need for them to register with INEC and possess a valid Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC). The bone of contention is the sudden crave of INEC for PVC
as the electoral umpire makes it mandatory for every voter to have one.

The build-up

During the registration for the 2011 general elections, Temporary voter Cards (TVC) were issued. For as many as could present the cards
to verify their identity at the polling units were allowed to cast their votes. INEC berated individuals who had double registration as their names were deleted and even threatened to prosecute such individuals. In 2011, the electoral umpire under the leadership of Prof. Attahiru Jega declared that it was processing the Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and it will be
issued for use in the 2015 elections. It is quite appalling to know that it took INEC 4 years to
produce the PVCs and not only that but they are yet to successfully distribute the cards to the voters. The implications of INEC’s body language concerning the general elections could
spell danger for the nation’s political terrain.

The verdict

Despite the uneven distribution of PVC, INEC has declared that without the PVC presented,
made it compulsory for every electorate to present their cards before they can vote.
Majority of the potential voters, don’t even have their names on the register talk less of getting PVC, this was due to the move of INEC in 2011 to delete names of individuals with double
registration. This set of people are technically disenfranchised which means that though they might have their aspirants, they cannot vote.
Looking at Nigeria’s constitution and the Electoral Act, INEC is not empowered to strip voters of their right to vote because of double
registration. They could have deleted the double, keep the details of the voter in the
register and probably prosecute the individual.
The distribution of the PVCs is also a source of worry to voters as it was supposed to hold for
three days and to be collected in INEC Local Council Offices. The feasibility of this method of
distribution is questionable. Only about 30% of the voters have collected their PVCs and this is
barely a month to elections. This means that electorates will need to travel to their different
constituencies where they registered to get the card. Take for instance Corps members
scattered all over the nation, how many will be
willing to travel as far as 10 hours to get the PVC? Why is INEC so adamant on PVC? The electoral body has failed in its responsibility to make the card available early enough and it should not be the electorates bearing the burden of their inefficiency. The voters’ register will always be available at the polling centers.
The voters’ register is biometric meaning that it
has the picture, fingerprints and details of the
voter; it can be used to cross-check the identity
of voters as they approach the polling booth.
This only means that there might be a
suspicious agenda behind the mandatory decree
of PVC usage.

The implication

In any electoral setting willing to witness a free
and fair election, one thing is required, and that
is a solid trust and confidence of the electorates
in the electoral umpire. This trust comes only
by transparency and objectivity on the part of
the electoral system. There is likelihood that
more than 50% of electorates will be
disenfranchised by the decrees of INEC and this
could lead either to violence or electoral apathy.
Electoral violence seems to be in the offing
because of the politically heated up atmosphere.
If the violence is not properly handled, it can
lead to the cancellation of elections. It will be
commonsensical and wise for INEC to allow
both PVCs and TVCs knowing that every voter’s
identity can be validated in the voters’ register
prior to voting. It is quite understandable that
the PVC is a smart card based voter ID which
stores information such as bio-data, biometrics
and facial image with security features which
abhors counterfeiting. Nothing is special about
these qualities since we have not even
developed to the extent of making use of e-voting. The electoral system of the nation needs
massive development and INEC all in the name of looking sophisticated should not take this
election away from the determinants; the
electorates. Let them exercise their power even if
it means postponing the use of PVC till 2019.

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NO, EXCEPT NIGERIANS WANT TO FORGET FREE
AND FAIR TOO

The Obvious

On Friday, at Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign rally in Enugu, the President said he was glad that Nigerians are getting conscious of the need to vote and the need to get their PVCs. He highlighted the progress in INEC as one of his
successes in government. INEC may not be the best it can be, but it is sure far from what obtained in 2003 and 2007, there’s now a more credible twist to the commission.
Over the past week, I was in the frontline of Permanent voter cards (PVC) observation across
the nation. On social media, I engaged @inecnigeria as regards PVC and engaged my
northern friends on the speed of PVC distribution in the North.
@inecnigeria said the registration for voter card across the Nation has closed, meaning those
who turned 18 in January or early February would not be expressing themselves at the polls
in February. On transfer of voter cards from one state to the other, the commission said the
cards may not be ready if transferred at time to close to the register declaration date.

The Obvious Unseen

On the other front, the news from my Northern friends hasn’t been impressive enough; a particular friend serving in Lafia said the case in some parts of the north was only second to pathetic, saying Nigeria may not have credible elections come February.
He said there are many villages in the north that have been ransacked by Fulani migrants, making it Impossible for INEC to mobilize corps members to those areas for PVC distribution,
and the ones given to corps members cannot be taken to those villages, so politicians approach
corps members and tip them into selling PVCs.
According to him, Corps members are no longer posted to ransacked villages for the fear of the
incessant attacks. To make matters worse, INEC
has declared time and again, that elections would not hold in three states in the northeast
except security operatives can guarantee the safety of its staff. Even when they can’t guarantee the safety of themselves!

The Obvious expectations

In the light of the foregoing, it is certain, that the elections would have numerous questions to
answer in the end, but those questions would be easy to answer. The questions that would
find no justifiable answers are the PVC based questions.
Many have requested that PVCs be scrapped and the voter registers be used for voting, with
the excuse that this would give all registered voters the opportunity to exercise their franchise
seeing that the process of PVC collection is cumbersome, and can been postponed till 2019.

The Attendant results

The PVCs currently given are made from details of biometric capture done from 2011 to 2014, yet there is news that some political parties are planning to clone PVCs to run the elections in
their favour. What would then be the case if the people are granted the opportunity to use those
paper-made temporary voter cards?
There would be no need to get professionals, IT experts to clone cards, anyone who can
successfully handle Microsoft word or Corel Draw can make voter cards for as many names that show up on the voters register.
This would go a long way in marring the outcome of the said elections. INEC has said it
would publish the names of all registered voters in January, meaning any political party can
access the list and make like TVCs for Nigerians who are not willing to exercise their rights, thereby making it possible for monkey to vote on behalf of baboon, seeing they have similar identities.
According to INEC, 38.7million people have collected PVC, this is evidence that the PVC collection process may be cumbersome, but its progressing slow and steady. If INEC is pressured into neglecting PVC for TVC or Voters
register, then Nigerians should forget about anything Free and fair or free of fear.

CONCLUSION: This column is about you , it presents the
two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “ Audi alteram partem ”
means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel , make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.
SHOULD INEC FORGET ABOUT THE PVCs FOR THE GENERAL ELECTIONS?

Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813- 224 – 5150 or 0813 -697 -3059 or dcourtroom12@ gmail.com

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WHO WILL WIN APC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES? : BUHARI OR ATIKU

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BUHARI WILL WIN THIS ONE

The political movie of Nigeria gets enthralling as new political twists emerge with shocking surprises; the completion of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial and National Assembly primaries. True loyalists of President Goodluck Jonathan; former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku failed to win the gubernatorial primary elections in Nasarrawa State as Musiliu Obanikoro lost PDP gubernatorial ticket to Jimi Agbaje in Lagos State. The much anticipated day beckons as APC Presidential primaries hold on December 10, 2014 in Lagos State.

Five aspirants have shown genuine interest in APC Presidential ticket; Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, General Muhammadu Buhari, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Sam Nda-Isaiah, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. There is no gainsaying that the two clear favorites are: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who hails from Adamawa State and General Muhammadu Buhari who hails from Katsina State. I belong to the school of thought which opines that General Muhammadu Buhari is the man to beat.

Political CV

Having a critical look at the political credentials of Buhari, he fits snugly into that political maestro who will be able to give Jonathan a run for his money and threaten his second term ambition in the Aso Rock.
During the military juntas, he had his own fair share of governance while serving the nation as a young vibrant military Major-General from Dec. 1983 to August 1985 as the seventh Head of State of Nigeria. Ever since 2003, he has been overwhelmed with an incurable desire to be Nigeria’s President. He contested the Presidential election twice under the aegis of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2003 and 2007. In March 2010, he founded the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and contested the Presidential elections in 2011 coming second to the eventual winner, Goodluck Jonathan. It is highly imperative to state that this is the first time Buhari will engage in a primary election in a bid to be the Presidential flag bearer of any party. He has always been a consensus candidate. Maybe that was why a group (Buhari Support Group) was formed soliciting for financial support.

APC Founding member

Buhari stands a greater chance of carting home the ticket because of his roles in the foundation stone laying ceremony of All Progressives Congress; the struggle for a new opposition party and sacrificing his own party CPC in the coalition with ACN, ANPP and a faction of APGA. A struggle which started on February 6, 2013 and was consummated by the official approval of APC as a political party by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on July 31, 2013. 71-year old, Buhari is a faithful loyalist of the Progressives and the party should feel more comfortable with him holding the ticket than 68-year-old Atiku who has been cross carpeting; from PDP to ACN, from ACN to PDP and then to APC. The Progressives are not quick to forget the defection tendencies of Atiku Abubakar who just joined APC on February 2, 2014. Atiku looks like an opportunist who came around after the meal was done and yet could not hide his greed for the delicious soup.

Atiku’s past

In the last general elections held in 2011, Atiku could not defeat Good luck Jonathan in the primaries of the PDP as he polled 805 votes compared to Jonathan’s 2736 votes. This is just a litmus test from the past to show that Atiku cannot stand the political dominance of Jonathan. The results of the 2011 Presidential election speaks for itself; Jonathan of PDP (22,495,187 votes) had 58.89% of the votes, Buhari of CPC (12,214,853 votes) had 31.98% of the votes, Ribadu of ACN (2,079,151 votes) had 5.41% of the votes, Ibrahim Shekarau of ANPP (917,012 votes) had 2.40% and APGA did not field any aspirant. This is the main reason why the Progressives have given all the aspirants a level field of play exuding transparency because it is obvious to the blind that Buhari owns this ticket. It only sounds logical for Buhari to earn the ticket at this moment when CPC, ANPP, ACN and a faction of APGA are now together as APC.

The Lagos Venue

The choice of Lagos State as the venue by the Chairman, All Progressives Congress Convention, Dr. Kayode Fayemi was highly unprecedented as the anticipated venue was Abuja. This venue should favour Buhari as majority of his social media supporters and followers reside in Lagos. Atiku has littered the social media with his 94-pages Policy document titled Building a Nigeria for all. He has travelled to almost all the 36 states of the Federation in the past one month, all what he is asking for are the votes of the people not their money. Buhari asks for both money and the votes of the people. He will win the hearts of men through this and hence get the ticket as he enters the boxing ring in a face-off with the power of incumbency.

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ATIKU WILL WIN THIS ONE

Abubakar Atiku, the 11th vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, would be going head to head with four other candidates for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday in Lagos. The flight however has long been predicted as a two-eagle flight between Atiku and former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari.

Amidst the two however, Buhari is seen as the preferred candidate, and going by the body language of the top guns in the APC, Buhari is favoured. Declarations! At the declarations of the two men, party leaders were obviously absent at Atiku’s declaration as against Buhari’s where all the big boys were in attendance. This and many other issues are up against Atiku, but I think Atiku can win the party’s primaries. Here’s why:

War Chest

A good number of primaries conducted in the APC and PDP has proven beyond reasonable doubt that elections are a function of money. According to Atiku, in an interview with TheCable, he has been a multi-millionaire in dollars as early as 1993.

“Long before politics, I was a successful businessman. I first declared my assets in 1993, I was a multimillionaire in dollars.
“My company, NICOTES was already the top oil services company in Nigeria far back as then. I was not a poor person…In 1998, I helped register the PDP, I spent over N500m getting the party sorted out.”

This tells us, he has enough to go round as delegates vote tomorrow. Buhari on the other hand took a bank loan to purchase the party’s form, there won’t be enough to go round.

The Integrity Burden

Buhari may not have money, but he has staunch supporters who would do anything within and perhaps outside the law to see him clinch the ticket. Such loyalist must have offered the 71-year-old N27.5m to purchase the form, but in order not to lease integrity, he chose the loan street. The same would likely happen at the primaries. Loyalist would offer to feed money-loving delegates to vote Buhari, but the saintly aspirants would turn down the offer preferring the votes going to his opponent than “selling his conscience”.

Asides that, it’s no news that there are litany of Nigerian politicians, within and outside the APC, who would do anything to ensure GMB, as he is fondly called doesn’t make it to presidency, so he doesn’t “remember their past sins”.

Buhari may be a “saint”, but sadly, the system is not. For him, integrity becomes a vice rather than a virtue. Have I said Atiku is a sinner? By no means!

Political Party Experience

Party experience is needful, ask Olasupo Shasore, who filled the pages of newspapers with campaign adverts, made posters and banner all over Lagos, got Babatunde Fashola’s support, and many other intellectual campaign strategy, only to amount to 121 votes.

Buhari has never participated in any primary election, for him he has always been “the chosen one”, even in his military days. He doesn’t have the lobbying acumen and knows little about the intrigues that come with elections.
Atiku on the other hand has a PhD in this matter. He was a founding and funding member of the PDP and ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria). He understands how Nigerian political parties work, he knows how primaries are run, he’d beat Buhari to it.

The Vice Presidential magic wand

Almost all political minds can take a guess on who becomes Buhari’s Vice President. Did someone say Rotimi Amaechi? That’s an option, Rochas Okorocha, who is also in the race for the Presidential ticket is also an option. Babatunde Fashola has also been fingered, though he has been considered a “no” due to his religion.

Atiku Abubakar doesn’t have that list, the only person who usually pops up as his likely VP is Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state. This is however not confirmed, everyone is running after GMB to get VP slot, but Atiku is at liberty to make a political deal with anyone strong enough to garner votes.

The hardworking disadvantaged

Buhari is regarded as favourite, Atiku is not. What this does is to make the likely loser to work harder to ensure he overcomes his odds. Atiku has been using all platforms possible to push his plans and agenda into the mind of every Nigeria.

Though we are not too close to the era when social media would determine outcomes of electoral exercise, but if social media would count, it would count for Atiku. He has been excessively active on social media winning more fans by the day.

He has been appealing to Osun state delegates on the platform of his wife, Titi, who is an indigene of the state, and if there’s anything 2011 elections taught us, it is that Osun state can deliver. 

Many more reasons exist, but based on these, Atiku should win the APC presidential ticket.

CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.
WHO WILL WIN APC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES? : BUHARI OR ATIKU.

Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813-224-5150 or 0813-697-3059 or dcourtroom12@gmail.com

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THE BETTER ONE FOR EKITI STATE: FAYEMI OR FAYOSE?

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FAYEMI; THE POLITICAL GENIUS

Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers – American singer and songwriter, Janis Joplin.

In the parlance of politics, there is a constant tussle in the corridors of power which is a battle settled at the polls on the day of election. The politicians parade themselves in the regalia of chameleon marauding as lovers of the people in a bid to win as many they could win knowing that the power for their victory rightfully lies bare in the hands of electorates. The electorates are the true and undisputable stewards of power. Majority of the electorates are however oblivious of this truth which has resulted to them being downtrodden by hypocritical rulers. If everyone gets deceived, should a conglomerate of intellectuals also be tricked into taking a beautifully decorated can of worms for dinner?

Ekiti State in the South-Western part of Nigeria is known as the fountain of knowledge and prides itself as one of the states in Nigeria with the highest number of Professors in Nigeria. Ekiti State can be regarded as a state of intellectuals as the indigenes are known for their intelligence, ingenuity and academic prowess of which I am one. It is evident to the eyes of the blind and loud to the ears of the deaf that Dr. Kayode Fayemi was the best option for them during the June 21, 2014 election. But Alas! The intellectuals did the unthinkable as they gave their mandate to Mr. Ayo Fayose and their action has precipitated a lot of questions.

After the struggle of 42 months for mandate as Governor of Ekiti State, Fayemi was inaugurated on October 16, 2010 as the Governor of Ekiti State. He started with his eight-point agenda; Governance, Infrastructural Development, Modernizing Agriculture, Education and Human Capital Development, Health Care Services, Tourism & Environmental Sustainability, Gender Equality and Empowerment. He took giant strides towards giving Ekiti State a new facelift and fulfilling his electioneering promises. He met a group of people who had lost trust in the government but he worked assiduously to earn their trust. Fayemi is an extraordinary politician who exuded so much brilliance in impactful governance which yielded positive visible results. He became the first governor in Nigeria’s present political dispensation to publicly declare his assets which was valued at N750million and his former deputy, Funmilayo Olayinka also declared her assets with her husband’s valued N1.2billion.

It was clear from the onset of his administration that his type of politician is alien to the Nigerian political clime. What qualified him to be the better person for Ekiti State is not in his organization, elegance, eloquence, pragmatism, listening ear but in the fact that he worked assiduously for the state and it was glaring in the outstanding projects he embarked upon. He was close to the people to know their problems with the tour of all the Local Governments he did in November 2011 where every town sent a representative to ask for at least three projects each community would like to be included in the 2012 budget. He assured them that at least one project would be granted for each of the town.

Fayemi’s loss at the polls did not only shock many but only confirms the words of English actor and journalist, Stephen Fry; “having a great intellect is no path to being happy”. With the commissioning of legacy projects between September 22 and October 15, 2014 which was scheduled to be a Thank You tour before his handing over to Fayose, one can perceive that the people of Ekiti State made the wrong decision which will definitely not make them happy. African Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka expressed his utmost dismay while commissioning the brand new state of the art Government House on the hilltop. Fayemi commissioned not fewer than 65 local government projects across the State during his last days in office after delivering his concession speech (rare in Nigerian politics).

Fayose’s tenure has barely kicked off when the serene clime of the State witnessed a spate of violence that has refused to abate. There is an ongoing crisis between Ekiti State House of Assembly and the governor. The crisis almost led to the impeachment of the Speaker when it was reported that 7 out of the 25 lawmakers of the House had a sitting in which they impeached him. It is a known fact that at least votes of two-thirds of the House is needed for the impeachment of the Speaker. Funny enough, 7 out of 25 do not even form a quorum.  

Fayemi’s reign in Ekiti was peaceful and calm as it was a moment of obliteration of political sycophants and lousy thugs. The election was more like a game of chess as the intellectuals gave their mandate for the man who could win the battle of the stomach. Fayose’s stomach infrastructure and radical closeness to the masses were the tools he used for his overwhelming victory. I am afraid that the myopic people of Ekiti State have sacrificed the pleasure of the future for the momentary satisfaction of now for a piece of morsel. 
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Fayemi and Fayose shaking hands

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FAYOSE; THE DIVINE BRAWN

“When PDP slaps you on the right, turn the left to Fayose-Old Ekiti proverb”— A vibrant Nigerian poet, Ibukun Babarinde

In the nearest future, I may have to be prostrating somewhere in Ekiti to get a bride, but when we get to that bridge, we would cross it. Presently, I’m at a bridge where I need to speak the truth to power, so my in-laws would be proud of me in the years to come.

I got admitted into a Nigerian secondary school in 2001, since then till date, I have always heard Ekiti state has the highest number of professors. I have never seen any credible source backing that claim, so I consider it “beer parlour gist”, but I have also not had any evidence to prove them wrong, so I reluctantly accept.

Kayode Fayemi is a good man, a vibrant youth in his days, an academic of worth, a journalist with class, but the “Ekiti-reject”. Fayemi is learned in History, politics, international relations, Strategy development among others. He lectured at Police College Sokoto, he was a strategist for London city challenge, a fellow at the University of Ibadan, an adjunct professor for National Defense University, Washington, and a journalist for the UK Guardian. And that’s just a few. He has such a peacefully intimidating CV. Perhaps the best intellectual in recent Nigerian governance, but Ekiti people said NO.

Fayemi was the first Nigerian politician to introduce welfare pay for the Elderly, which he did consistently, in Nigeria’s 3rd poorest state, Ekiti. In the build up to the divine ejection of General Sanni Abacha, some young men stood their grounds against Abacha’s oppressive tendencies, and Fayemi was one of those men. A courageous intellectual, with vision and integrity, yet Ekiti said NO.

Peter Ayodele Fayose on the other hand, is what I would call a “divine-brawn”, quite far from what Fayemi is made of. He somehow has his way with the people since an HND, which he has, is enough to rule in the city of professors. He drinks “jedi” (local alcoholic drink) with the grass root sons of Ekiti, he drops “something” for woman roasting “boli” (roasted plantain), he’d go to a community in dire need of social amenities, and buy a car worth millions for the Baale, Oba, or whoever the head of the community is and drop a few hundreds of thousand for the “fans” who come to welcome him and the people would say, he’s the best man for the job. Give us peanuts; spend the monies for the amenities. He has divinely won two elections, in the state despite his “lack of quality”.

“In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”—Alexis de Tocqueville

“If indeed this is the will of the Ekiti People, I stand in deference to your will. If the result of the election is an expression of the voice of our people, we must all heed your voice”—Kayode Fayemi’s concession speech.

Fayemi lost in all of Ekiti’s 16 local governments, showing how much the people were willing to reject him, yet he said he must heed the voice of the people. What a man, yet Ekiti said NO.

This brings me to, “a people get the government they deserve,” since 1999, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has been slapping all Nigerians with a fair share of poor governance at the presidency, yet the Ekiti people are not satisfied with that share of bad leadership, they’re turning their left cheek to Fayose, to slap them with Violence, political thuggery, amongst other things that have characterized his government thus far.

I have a lot of Ekiti friends, ask them who is the better man for the job, they say Fayemi, then they add, but Ekiti people chose Fayose. Then I’d say who did you choose, they’d say they didn’t vote.

So tell me, who is the better man to deal sense into the heads of my Ekiti friends?

Fayose is the better man for current Ekiti state who only want professors in the Universities but not at the helm of affairs, Ayodele is the man to knock senses into the consciousness of the state that forsakes brain for brawn, Peter is indeed the man to teach my politically apathetic friends how to vote.

Fayose is the better man for Ekiti; so once again, let’s heed the voice of the people.

CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.

THE BETTER ONE FOR EKITI STATE: FAYEMI OR FAYOSE? Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813-224-5150 or 0813-697-3059 or dcourtroom12@gmail.com

NIGERIA @ 54: IS THIS THE FUTURE?

YES, BEHOLD THE GLORIOUS FUTURE
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It has been almost a score of weeks since I engaged in an intellectual battle of wits and words on the podium of debate but as an intellectual who knows about the bright future of Nigeria I cannot fold my hands and watch in stark oblivion as my dear nation groves for a torchlight in the dark trenches of indignations and invectives. A century after the conception of the fetus called Nigeria, the fetus is no longer a child but a matured man celebrating his 54th birthday with tremendous mirth. Sifting through the pages of history to learn from what the heroes and heroines of struggle have done. Indeed I can boldly share the gospel of the glorious future in which we find ourselves.

Facts are sacred and opinions are free. It is an acclaimed fact that every nation on earth has one challenge or the other. The most revered nations of the world; United States, United Kingdom, Germany and a host of others all have their peculiar problems and challenges. The rate at which a nation overcomes her challenges gives birth to success. The most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria successfully contained Ebola Virus Disease with eight deaths from 20 reported cases; EVD has now landed on the soils of North America and Europe with their experts screaming for help from Nigerian geniuses. The US is in hanky-panky over the dilemma of a possible outbreak of EVD but Nigeria in her glorious future is unperturbed.

Nigeria is gradually overcoming insurgency with headlines about bomb blasts and gunmen massacre getting obliterated from our tabloids. The US still faces threat from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Terrorism is Terrorism irrespective of where it occurs. With the glowing light of education flooding the dense darkness of ignorance that have permeated Northern Nigeria; the insurgency which is one of our greatest challenges will find its permanent place in eternal abyss. The Federal Government created 125 Almajiri model schools equipped with state of the art learning and teaching facilities with a target of reaching 400 model schools.

In a bid to heed to the words of one of Africa’s great minds, Nelson Mandela which says that; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, in the past 54 years Nigeria ensured that the mighty streams of education flowed to the nooks and crannies of the nation. Nigeria as at today has 40 Federal Universities, 39 State Universities and 50 Private Universities which sums up to 129 universities in 36 states. Nigeria’s educational sector has nursed literary sages, giants in intellectual corridors and iconic individuals like the first African Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Prof. Chinua Achebe, Ken Saro Wiwa, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Philip Emeagwali (1989 Gordon Bell Prize winner), Prof. Eyitayo Lambo and a host of others. A great future blessed with great minds booming with creativity and innovation.

In this momentous year; 2014, Nigeria emerged as the biggest economy in Africa and 26th in the world which depicts the growth in our economic sector. The nation is known as the largest exporter of crude oil in Africa and the United States’ largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and supplies a fifth of its oil (11% of oil imports). The US depends on an independent Nigeria for crude. Beyond the preponderance of oil deposits is the availability of invaluable mineral resources; gold, bauxite, coal, limestone, tin, iron ore, lead and zinc. Apart from the resources, 33% of Nigeria’s territory is arable which shows other sources of income to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, major emerging market operators (MTN, Etisalat, Airtel and Globacom) basing their largest and most profitable centres in the country. Nigeria has got wonderful prospects coupled with our growing population which means a growing market. 28% of Forbes’ 40 richest African entrepreneurs are from Nigeria which includes Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote who was among TIME magazine’s shortlist of 100 most influential people on earth for year 2014. A prodigiously gifted nation blessed with wealthy individuals.

The sweet memories from the memoirs of our heroes past remind us that our success is not momentary but ripe enough in this momentous year for the celebration of our glorious FUTURE. 

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Goodluck Jonathan

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NO, SOUNDS LIKE A JOKE
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It been quite an age, I smell dust in solemn romance with history, as the warm-images of the past stroke my vivid-memories of what the past held. This brings to remembrance the dreams I had for the future of this courtroom. Speaking of the future, my motherland is six years away from her diamond jubilee as she clocked 54. But the multi-billion dollar question still seems unanswered; Is this her future?

October 1, 1960, the midwives of our nation’s independence held the nation with so much optimism, joggling her left and right while singing the songs of hope and redemption. Like a barren woman who had just finally become a mother, the fathers of our nation recited to the listening ears of child-Nigeria, what they wanted her to become. They whispered in her ears the echoes of tomorrow, painting her a picture of her future, and telling her to believe in the beauty of her dreams.

Tafawa Balewa, the first man to bath child-Nigeria said to her in the independence-bathroom that day; “child-Nigeria, you’d play an active part in maintaining peace and preserving civilisation. I promise [on your behalf] that, you’ll not fail for want of determination”.

54 years down the line, the child has become the mother of the man, but not the kind of mother he envisaged. Preserving civilisation has become too burdensome a task, maintaining world peace still lies in “dreams-street”, she grapples with the ailing problems of survival.

What is civil in the rule of insurgents on Nigerian soil? What is peaceful about polarization along ethnic, religious and political lines? As we age-on, we are in motion and commotion? The “phoenixing” of Abubakar Shekau, the thrice dead Boko Haram leader keeps reminding us of how far we are from peace and security.

We are opposed to abortion, but on a daily basis there’s an abortion of our dreams. Many say we are in the future since the future started yesterday, but I say to them; tell that to the Chibok girls who have been held captive for over 160-days with no hope of freedom, and hear them lynch you with words of the how much they love to be in the past than in some sad future.

The world gives us a round of applause for our swift containment of the Ebola virus disease; Washington post refers Texas to us to learn how to curb the deadly virus. Rather than focus on how to convert this positivism to the betterment of our healthcare system, our insensate leaders are in a tug-of-war to decide who takes credit. PDP today, APC tomorrow; politics has become the terrorist responsible for the isolation of future and desolation of our destination.

The captains of the Nigerian ship sail with burnt maps and broken compasses, yet you ask why we are headed for the land of the unknown? 2015 has taken over the minds of political stalwarts, that today no longer matters to them. Lord Byron said, the past is the best prophet of the future, but sadly our past doesn’t prophesy our future-In 1980, a dollar was less than a Naira, with N1=$1.08, but today $1=N154.8. The withdrawal of the U.S. from purchasing Nigerian crude oil led to the dwindling of our economy, before big-brother-China came to our aid. Dependence in Independence!

Speaking of brotherhood, I hear our “little-brother” on the Gold coast wants to lighten our dark-paths, lest our future be without power. What are brothers for?

Malcolm X aptly expressed education, “as the passport to the future for tomorrow belongs to them who prepare for it today”. The situation remains sadly-sore as UNESCO emphasizes the over 10million Nigerian children who are still out-of-school, with another similar figure having access to nothing but crippling facilities, leaving us at the relegation zone of world education. If Education is the passport to the future, and Nigerian children do not even have the passport, don’t you think it’s rather illogical to say we are in Nigeria’s future?

Questionable education, Insecurity garnished with insurgency, political insanity, social imbalance, economic dependence and so on. If this is the future, then I want to belong to the past! I rest.

CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.
NIGERIA @ 54: IS THIS THE FUTURE? Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813-224-5150 or 0813-697-3059 or dcourtroom12@gmail.com

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PATHFINDER TEAM OF COURSE!

wpid-Osho-Samuels-new-thumbnail.png It is an acclaimed fact that Nigeria cladded in the green-white-green fabric is one of the most blessed nations of the world. A nation gifted with diverse potentials ranging from human to natural resources. It is quite saddening that despite the vast resources at the disposal of the so-called giant of Africa, she still lies at the base of a stinking quagmire where mediocrity is being celebrated. Bad leadership has no doubt fuelled the ship of the country as it heads towards catastrophe. If the generations ahead have been regarded as a total failure, then the onus lies on the future generation to restore the ancient landmarks and rebuild the nation from her ruins. The youths of a nation are regarded as the future, where do we get the teeming populace of youths? Institutions of higher learning of course! The lens of Galileo’s telescope scans the University of Ibadan for the true colour of leadership that posterity will be proud to talk about.

After the resuscitation of the University of Ibadan Students’ Union in 2010, it has been a crisscross of administrations finding the best pathway to excellence. The Pathfinder team led by Tokunbo Salako came on board after 11 years of Students’ Union interregnum and took giant strides towards the sustenance of the Union. I have been saddled with a huge task of proving to all and sundry that the Pathfinder team is better than the sophomore team. The sophomore team was led by the erstwhile Students’ Union leader, Ekhator Edosa Raymond. The Pathfinder team laid the foundation but I am afraid if the Edosa led administration was opportune to build any structure on it.

Facts are sacred and opinion is free. The fact still remains that putting the Pathfinder team and sophomore team on the weighing scales of justice, Pathfinder team convincingly outweighs the sophomore team. Guess your next question will most likely be: What is your yardstick? Come along as I show you the intricate component of a Students’ Union team that was propelled by problem-solving techniques that was able to quench the fire of challenges on their way. The Pathfinder team might not be the most perfect team, they might not be the most united team but the end they say justifies the means. Their ending was greater and better than their beginning and this is the hallmark of any administration.

What is the essence of an organisation that cannot provide pertinent solutions to the problems bedevilling her members? It is of no use, it simply makes no sense. The Pathfinder team approached problems with the bravery of a lion and provided solutions as at when needed. Students cried out for electricity, they never hesitated to take to the streets as they fought for the rights of students and led a protest that will forever go down in the history of the University. Lo and behold! Students were indeed dazed when electricity walked on all fours to their doorsteps. Students had too much of electricity. The Pathfinder team catered for the welfare of students via their ability to give listening ears to the masses.

Renovated UISU Building

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tokunbo Salako, President of the Pathfinder team

Tokunbo Salako, President of the Pathfinder team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As starters in the jungle of Students’ Unionism, they ensured the renovation of Kunle Adepeju Students’ Union Building and brought sanity to the environs of the building that was in a state of absolute bedlam. The Pathfinder team was also responsible for other notable protests like: the Fuel subsidy protest and the Boko Haram/Examinations protest in which they stood tall as the voice of the students. Amongst the protests are many other achievements which clearly earmark their supremacy over their successors; reducing the Zoological garden gate fee, reduced transportation fares across the campus and the scrapping of Examination forms.

The success of the Pathfinder team is written all over the school and is evident to all. A child asks for bread from his father but his father ran away for no genuine reason that the child could understand. This clearly depicts the portrait of the sophomore team which remains imprinted on the hearts of students. How will you call such a father a good father when another father exists who never fails to give his child all he needs. The difference between a King and a Prince is beyond the crown on his head, it has a lot to do about his authority, eminence and majesty. Pathfinder team is no doubt better than sophomore team.

Sophomore vs Pathfinder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOPHOMORE FARED BETTER BY FAR

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“No man ever achieved worthwhile success who did not, at one time or the other, find himself with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure”—NAPOLEON HILL

#RIP_George_Egbuchulam, a great fighter in his times and clime, who fought Renal failure from time to time keeping through all the struggle till he conquered pain with his passage to the afterlife. I can hear George saying, God Bless the #Sophomore­­_team. A team that successfully raised N273,335 during the Save George Save Wasiu times and gave N135, 600 and N135,735 to both of them respectively. A team that could bring students of different strokes together all to achieve one goal of saving lives is worthy of praise and emulation! Pathfinder team should take notes!

Like every imperfect one of us, this team also had their flaws, but this cannot be compared to the glorious deeds of a team many of us expected little from. They were able to put the words of Lao Tzu to work, as he said; “Failure is the foundation of success, and a means by which it is achieved”. They came out of their failures to build the bridges of success for the next team to tread on.

At a point I look upon their failures and was highly disappointed but after all was said and done and they handed down the baton, and I saw all their achievements, I could do nothing, but give due respect. They cared for students’ welfare so much that I have to say “Melo la fe ka ninu eyin adepele” to much to speak of.

Ekhator Edosa Raymond, President of the Sophomore team

Ekhator Edosa Raymond, President of the Sophomore team

 

What shall I speak of? Of resuscitation of the Students’ Union Library? Of Town hall meetings that saw a lot of great ideas find fruition? Of town Hall meetings where students could confront the powers that be and speak their minds, exhibiting the bravery of a lion? Of Introduction of Student Union Football league that has evidently fostered unity amidst us all? Of Idia hall electoral order that even the Pathfinder could not find a path around? Of impeccable transparency with funds of the Union even to the famous 94 Kobo! An attempt to exhaust this list will transform this article to a PhD thesis.

Permit me to speak of the resuscitation of the Kunle Adepeju Memorial Lecture, which was a means of showing intellectual sagacity which the pathfinder team was arguably bereft of. Speaking of the Pathfinder team, most of their successes are very temporal and now invisible, #protest, #break_and_that’s all. In fact those protests cannot be duly seen as achievement per se, this is due to the fact that they were driven by group of students from Zik and Independence hall. Come to think of Kunle Adepeju Indigent scholarship scheme, though surrounded by some controversies, was a huge success. I was at the event to cover the story, save one or two students who we know not to be indigent, more than half of the recipient were truly indigent. Hence this team was able to lighten and put smiles on the faces of students like you and I.

Though I’m a “night crawler” I’m not a “night reader”, I perform best at the early hours of the day, I wake up around 4am to do my reading, but I am faced with challenges of not been able to access Kenneth Dike Library at 5am, and my hall’s reading room is always filled up at such hours, then I find it difficult to read. This has however stopped since the Capital project-oriented Sophomore team built the Students’ Union Reading room; a place I go to read from 5am till my classes start at 8,9 or 10am as the case may be.

UISU Reading room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You ask your father for bread, he has flour made into dough, he goes into the kitchen to bake, before he comes out, with freshly baked hot brown bread, you call him a bad father. Is he really a bad father or you’re the impatient child? On this note, judge thyself.

For the first time in a long time, a student body left over N200, 000 in her account for the incoming executives to find something to start up with. The Edosa led admin could have squandered the money on irrelevant travels like some of their predecessors did, afterall no one would question that, but they chose to leave our commonwealth for our common welfare.

Due to the electoral hiccups that got this team into office, we expected little, but here we are with so much to thank them for. The stone the builders rejected turned out to be the chief cornerstone; truly, Impossible is Nothing! I rest.

CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. WHO FARED BETTER; PATHFINDER OR SOPHOMORE TEAM?

Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813-224-5150 or 0813-697-3059 or dcourtroom12@gmail.com

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14 YEARS: A SOLUTION TO NIGERIA’S GAY PROBLEMS?

NO, ANOTHER MISPLACED PRIORITIES!

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As I commence, I would love to state categorically, that TIJANI, Oluwamayowa Emmanuel is not gay and by the grace of God would never be one. My family, Mellanby hall occupants, and a few ladies in the faculty of Law, Arts and Agric can bear me witness. Whatever the content of this article is, it is just a standpoint of a concerned Nigerian citizen who is as straight as a ruler!

The past few weeks has painted the elaborate portrait of the conscience of the Nation called Nigeria. For many years, she has attempted taking a stand on same sex marriages and relationships, but always bent due to pressure from the international community and Religious Nigerians. But all of that compromise came to an end on January 7th, 2014, as Dr. Goodluck Jonathan signed to law the proposed bill against all odds. Prior this time, I imagined a typical Yoruba owambe marriage, where Aso ebi would have been chosen, where dowry would be ready, where mogbo moyas would be poking in, all to witness the marriage of Samuel and Emmanuel, and all I could say was God forbid!

However, the passage of the anti-gay bill to law, which has raised a lot of eye-brows, is also not the solution to our gay problems. This legislation may on the long run do us more harm than good, due to the fact that it infringes on private lives of all Nigerians gay or straight. Since that bill was passed into law, it has given Law enforcement agencies passport and visas to our private live to pry into what goes on in and out of our “bedroom”.

A very disturbing part of this legislation is the outright abuse of the Nigerian constitution which happens to be the supreme Law of the Land. In the 4th chapter of the Nigerian constitution, there is right to Private and Family Life, it states expressly: “The Privacy of citizens, their homes, correspondence, telephone conversations and telegraphic communications is hereby guaranteed and protected.” This of course is gone.

The constitution in the same chapter also gives right to peaceful assembly and association, saying: “Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests…” We can’t belong or form any association fighting for human rights in the homosexual directions without having 10 years up our sleeves, which obviously means we are straying the constitution, and trampling human rights.

Science has it that some persons are born with genetic dysfunction which makes them exhibit some gay traits, these persons though few, exist in our communities. This begs the question; should these persons be sentenced to 14 years in prison by virtue of their birth when our constitution expressly states that; “No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by REASON OR CIRCUMSTANCES OF HIS BIRTH” I trust you know this is a gross neglect of the legal document that binds us as a Nation; the constitution!

Even when we decide to overlook all of these excesses, the 14years in jail is definitely not the best punishment for such offenders. History has taught us, that the best of homosexual activities take place in prison yards, so jailing homosexuals is giving to them the best grounds and situation to perpetrate their pre-supposed vices. Therefore I can say with outright confidence that this law is nothing but another episode of misplaced priorities from our brothers in the corridor of power. Gracias!

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YES, A GOOD AND FAIR PANACEA
    

When a vertical stream of audacity falls over the edge of a steep place, it creates eddy currents which are enough to generate statements capable of extinguishing flames of cowardice. The recent political statements made by President Good luck Jonathan has once again proved his critics wrong; the critics who believe that he is a General who revels in the loch of pusillanimity. His stand and stance about the same-sex marriage has generated a lot of disparaging comments from world leaders, majority of them emanating from the West.

It all started in May 2013 when Nigerian lawmakers passed a bill outlawing same sex marriages; the bill was however signed into law on January 7, 2014. Nigeria’s new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill bans gay encounters and clubs and threatens public displays of same-sex relationships with up to 10 years in prison. Person who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union face 14 years prison if convicted. The New law emphatically states that: “Only a marriage contract between a man and a woman shall be recognized as valid in Nigeria”.

The anti-gay law has been widely received by Nigerians as a tow in the right direction as it conforms to the ethical, religious and cultural beliefs of Nigeria. Despite the fact that Nigerians are against the same-sex marriage; a miniscule proportion of Nigerians believe that the punishment for those caught in the act is to the extreme. They are of the opinion that fourteen (14) years is not in direct proportion to the offence and that it cannot even stop them from being gay.

Lending from the words of Theodore Roosevelt which says that; “To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society”. It is a known fact that once liberalism is on the increase, it downplays the results of morals. To have a developed country, there is a need for an informed and disciplined citizenry coupled with accountable and transparent leaders. To have leaders and followers that will make up a great nation, an acceptable standard of moral ethics is required. The so-called harsh anti-gay law is focused at ensuring that the country is devoid of all acts of ludicrous immorality. It is an act of ensuring that citizens see the education of morals as a compulsory subject.

Inasmuch as the lawmakers have deemed it fit to attach 14 years of imprisonment as the worthy punishment for those who partake in same-sex, it will be unfortunate for citizens to downplay the efforts of the government by tagging the law as being extreme. It will serve as a deterrent to law breakers and curb the obnoxious acts of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender in Nigeria. If compared to the life imprisonment proposed by the lawmakers of Uganda for the same offence, it is an understatement to call Nigeria’s stand as a fair one.

For those who have decided to feel sentimental about people involved in LGBT all in the name of likely victims of hormonal disorder. From every day dealings with different individuals, it is believed that a minute of existent humans have such medical dysfunctional behavior. The other cases are majorly psychological and entrenched in the strongholds of addiction. This addiction to an ignominious act of this magnitude is similar to smoking which implies that it is injurious to the health of the person involved. It is only commonsensical for such people to seek for help from medical professionals and consultants in a bid to escape the grave consequences of same-sex marriages. A rethink about the significance of 14 years which can be used for secondary school education (6 years), First degree (4 years), M.Sc and PhD might jolt the LGBT community to their normal senses.

CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.
14 YEARS: A SOLUTION TO NIGERIA’S GAY PROBLEMS?
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ASUU STRIKE: WAS IT WORTH IT AFTERALL?

YES, IT WAS WORTH IT AFTERALL!

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Education is the Passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to them that prepare for it today—MALCOLM X
He who does not know the past is likely not to respect the present and of course, may be punished by the future. Anyone who did not know Nigeria in the days when there were no mobile phones, may really not appreciate the “miracle” of receiving a call from a brother who arrived Lagos and called to say; “I am now in Lagos”. Those days, my Dad was a frequent traveller, and once he travelled on Monday, we would just have faith that he would arrive safely. Though our hearts will not rest until he arrives on Friday! We who have experienced this miracle would work towards greater miracles in the future, unlike those who see it as a norm.
The same applies to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU. Many persons who do not know the plight that characterized the past of this Union will not really appreciate the most present realities and her “little” victories. But if you happen to be a student of history, a passenger of time, and a scholar in tune with the annals of posterity, you would agree with me that the six month strike was worth it afterall.
The principal reason why many students and pundits do not agree with the fact that the strike was worth it, is due to the fact that many persons opine it has wasted a lot of time and that this would consequently affect the future. But here is what history teaches; “if you don’t learn a lesson, history would not repeat you, it would only repeat itself”. If we don’t relax and win a battle over incessant strike actions, we would only be postponing evil days. It is on record, that in 1984, ASUU was concerned about the moral and political decadence that beclouded the Nigerian future and she cried out in a publication tagged; “how to save Nigeria”. In this publication, the union diagnosed the problems of the Nation and proffered solutions. But as usual, the plan was short lived as the government of the day played deaf to the rumbling sounds of agidigbo, the proverbial drum. This decadence was sure to find its foot in the academic sphere of the nation and this was exactly what ASUU was ready to stand against.
However, this led to the victimization of ASUU officials back then. The likes of Late Prof. Festus Iyayi, Attahiru Jega and other officials back in the day were arrested, detained, tortured and even had their international passports seized over this same matter. Yet there were little or no results to show for those struggles. Little wonder why the Late Iyayi wrote: “THOSE WHO CARRY THE CROSS FOR SOCIETY ALWAYS GET CRUCIFIED IN THE END!” He was more or less “crucified” in the struggle but his death however gifted the union an unprecedented zeal to continue in the struggle, so much so that even his wife, Mrs Grace Iyayi said; “Though Festus is gone, the struggle must continue”.
What did you lose to this strike that made you think it was not worth it afterall? You lost your time? Your plans were disrupted? You probably lost a scholarship? But my question for you is this; did you lose a life? If persons laid down their all even to the point of making the supreme sacrifice just to get a result, which was gotten, then it would be a disservice to posterity if we say such a quest was not worth it afterall. If Education is the passport to the future and our passport is faulty now, then the future we are rushing to will be nothing but a mirage. The strike was worth it. I rest!

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NO, IT WAS A MERE WASTE OF TIME!
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The year 2013 will go down in history as a year that the rotten state of education in Nigeria got exposed for all and sundry to see its dimensional qualities; how deep in quagmire it has been, for how long it has been in financial dire straits and how the stench of its archaic squalor stings a healthy nose. The Public Universities in the country experienced a highly unprecedented strike which lasted for 5 months and 2weeks. The members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) started the record-breaking industrial action on July 1, 2013. Meetings upon meetings, several committees were setup and myriads of conclusions were reached at different times until the strike was finally called off on December 17, 2013.
The strike is over but it leaves behind the trails of apparent negative effects and potential positive proceeds. Many opined that the strike is a struggle for a better educational structure in Nigeria and that the proceeds will at least help students in the future. I would say that the strike has done more harm than good to the students and universities at large. As we all know that the only qualification needed for enrollment in the Devil’s workshop is to be idle. The strike ensured that students were kept idle for more than five months and some of them became victims of vices. They might have gotten involved in menacing activities just because of the idleness that was in the atmosphere. The strike crept in when it was least expected. It happened in a subtle manner because it seems like it was going to end soon.
Another obvious deleterious effect of the ASUU strike is the massive disruption of school calendars. Taking students of the Faculty of Law as case study; some final year students of Law from other schools did not get as lucky as their counterparts from the University of Ibadan as they missed out on Law School admission. The strike ensured that these final year students missed a whole year and their chances of meeting up with next year’s admission date is in doubt. The slots available for admission into Law school are limited and it gets complicated when the penultimate class battles with the final year students for the limited slots. The strike resulted into postponed graduation dates, delayed matriculation ceremonies and prolonged internship periods.
The fact remains that the problem bedeviling the educational sector of Nigeria goes beyond the issue of money; it is a clear picture of a dent in the administrative prowess and dearth of intellectual property. Majority of the brilliant heads in the University have been stolen by the government to oversee affairs of the Public. There is an excessive involvement of academicians in governance which in itself results to an intellectual community bereft of sagacious minds who can positively impact the coming generation. ASUU lamented about the lack of infrastructures in Public Universities and I wondered how these Universities have managed to get accreditation for their courses. Is money really the problem? I doubt it. The Universities must have bribed their way through the accreditation processes which depicts the height of corruption experienced in the educational sector. If the broom of transparency and accountability is not used to sweep the corridors educational sector clean of corruption, then the dividends of the strike may never come to fruition. The wait is not worth it because these thorns of corruption were not uprooted before the seeds of progress were sown.

CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. WAS THE STRIKE WORTH IT AFTERALL?
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UI LL.B ULTIMATE EXAMS WRITTEN IN SECRET AS OTHER FINALISTS ROT AT HOME: JUST OR UNJUST?

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LL.B ULTIMATE EXAMS; ITS NO INJUSTICE 

Even though it passes through the valley of the shadow of the Amazon jungle or it moves through the mountains of the Nepal Tibet; the color never changes, the texture remains intact and its effect still overwhelming. I speak of nothing else but the TRUTH. There is a saying that; “Don’t believe everything you hear, there are always three sides to a story; yours, theirs and the truth”.

Amidst the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, the ink of my pen flows on papyrus in a bid to erase the squiggles of injustice written in the hearts of men. It was first a rumor but all of a sudden it turned out to be the truth that final year students of the Faculty of Law were writing their final exams. After the exams; ecstasy was written on the faces of the Law students who were once in a state of dilemma couple of weeks ago.  Many are of the opinion that this move by the Faculty of Law to conduct exams behind closed doors is a pure act of injustice. I beg to differ as I brandish my identity card which shows that I am from the school of thought which believes that this is not injustice at all.

Over the years, final year students from the Faculty of Law are known for their fast academic calendars as they need to meet up with their Admission into Law School. Law school resumes session by October 21, 2013; the results of the students are expected to be ready and must have been directed to the right quarters. The proposed calendar for the final year students of Law stated clearly that they were supposed to start their second semester exams on July 29, 2013. In a bid to meet the target, they resumed lectures almost immediately after their first semester exams. They never envisaged that there would be a strike. However, ASUU strike paralyzed major activities on campus and stopped the lectures of these students. They were thrown into a state of quandary as uncertainty about the next move looms. At long last, after much deliberations and meetings; they were allowed to sit for their exams. They wrote the exams because they were ready for it. Majority of final year students chanting that this move is injustice are yet to start second semester lectures. If we claim to be a friend of progress, then nothing whatsoever should stop us from giving full support to these hardworking students. A question comes to mind and it goes to the other finalists out there; how many of you would like to sit for your final year exams right now? The answer is NO! Then, what reasons do you have that you think is enough to stop the Law students from writing their exams? The difference is obvious; this is not about partiality or favoritism.

These students paid the price of staying in school after the first semester to attend lectures when others were at home enjoying the mid-session break. They made the sacrifice because they had to meet a target. The consequence of missing admission into Law school is grave. It means waiting at home till next year’s admission (1year and 2months). University of Ibadan has 150 slots in Law school every year. If they do not get admitted into Law school this year, the Faculty may not be able to fix up the backlog in the next five years. The present finalists are close to that number and the lower levels are also in the same range.

This implies delaying these enviable jewels of destiny the opportunity to pursue their dreams of becoming a practicing Lawyer. To a large extent, the impending delay is in itself not fair at all and also portrays an act of injustice. Always go for Gold, Go for the TRUTH. The truth will never paint an act of goodwill intended for progress a color which connotes injustice. Writing the LLB Ultimate Exam means justice upheld while not writing the exam depicts injustice.

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LL.B ULTIMATE EXAMS;INJUSTICE AT THE BAR!

“FIAT JUSTITIA RUAT COELUM,[LET JUSTICE BE DONE, THOUGH THE HEAVENS FALL!]”—MOTTO, UI FACULTY OF LAW!

I laugh at hypocrisy in high places, I cry at injustice in the temple of justice, I see lawyers in words but liars in deeds. I hear the University of Ibadan’s Faculty of law, has the aforementioned maxim as its motto and all that comes to mind is a mirage! Deception! I would suggest the motto be changed to; “Ours must go to law school, though the heavens fall”

I hear people say, the exams had to be done, don’t you know the Adenirans, the Bamgboses, the Aiyelaagbes, the Kolawoles of this world must go to Law school? I smile and ask, is my University this nepotic? Well, i dont want to thread that lane today. Nepotic or not, let fate be the Judge. My drive today is from a cultural maxim; “bawo lobo se se ori ti inaki o se?” Roughly translated as, “what makes the difference between the head of a monkey and that of a gorilla?”   What makes the difference between a 500 level law student and a 500 level Civil engineering student? Why should one write final examinations and the other rot at home as his dreams face assasination? Ain’t all animals are equal?

Here goes the story of a young man whom you may know too well, he, just like these law students is a 500 level student of the department of Food Technology, who eagerly awaits his final exams. He won a post graduate scholarship from a U.S. based newsfirm [which he writes for] to study in any University in the United State. He used the resources of the scholarship to apply for “International Food Law” at Michigan state University, one of the very few Universities taking the course in the world. He was gracefully admitted to resume in september, due to expected hitches, he wrote the University that he may be resuming late and he was given an extension of 28days, after which the admission is lost if not deferred. The news firm made necessary payments and days began to count.

ASUU bumped into his dreams and by every passing day, the fear of losing his scholarship worth N5Million in Tuition, N1.8million maintenance fee, and about N1 million on other expenses all set in. He earnestly wish he could write his exams and move on with his dreams as soon as possible. If he is allowed to write his exams just as this law students, he would meet up but as it stands, about N8 million worth of scholarship is gone with the wind. Assasination of dreams! He is just one out of thousands of students in the University whose dreams are shattered by every passing day.

Assuming our dreams do not matter to you, what about your dreams? Many of the students dream of becoming voices for the voiceless, givers of justice and men and women to be looked upon for liberty. But what justice can you deliver, when the foundation of your career was built out of meting out injustice on other students? The faculty’s dream of being the greatest around this clime, cannot be achieved in the face of injustice!

Perhaps you don’t believe it is injustice for Law final exams to be written in secret while other students are deprived of such priviledges, then sinserely answer this; is it justice?

Is it justice to Post graduate students who were at the tail end of their examinations when the strike began and their exams were disrupted and one year loss stares them in the face? Is it justice for Medical students who were set to swim through the waters of MB II come July 25 [earlier than law’s July 29], before the industrial action took its toll?  Despite all these, the faculty of law thinks the heads of the monkeys are too precious to be scrapped, unlike that of post graduate gorilla and medical chimpanzee. They pay lip service to ASUU, sabotaging its effort at total comprehensive strike. Hypocrisy in high places! This injustice divides ASUU UI, tarnishing the ivory image of the Ivory tower.

Peradventure a soul is left, who thinks this deed of secret examinations for monkeys is just, while other animals of this animal kingdom rot in their respective stables, such soul should consult that verse of the University anthem which says; “social justice, equal chances”. Then come out to prove to us, that this is a case of social justice and equal chances.

My Lords, I leave you with the eternal words of the great sage Plato; “He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it”. I rest.

THE COURTROOM DUO SEIZES THIS OPPORTUNITY TO CONGRATULATE ALL UI LAW GRADUATES [2008-2013] ON COMPLETION OF THE MUCH ANTICIPATED ULTIMATE EXAMS.

CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. UI LL.B ULTIMATE EXAMS WRITTEN IN SECRET AS OTHER FINALISTS ROT AT HOME: JUST OR UNJUST?

Send reservations, comments and suggestions to 0813-224-5150 or 0813-697-3059 or dcourtroom12@gmail.com