House of Representatives or House of Embarrassment?

Accusations of Budget padding, gross incompetency, Sexual Scandals, corruption are a few of the many shades of mud the Nigerian House of Representatives have smeared themselves with. They have smeared themselves so much that they are nothing but a source of embarrassment to the whole Nation.
Budget Padding in the House of Representatives

Nigeria’s National Assembly is a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is made up of 109 senators – 3 from each of the 36 states of the federation and 1 from the federal capital territory, Abuja. The House of Representative has 360 members elected from the 36 states and Abuja. The number of members of House of Representatives per states is a factor of the population of the state.

Together, the Senate and the House of Representative is the highest law making body in the land. As Lawmakers, the senators and the members of the House of Representatives are believed to be men of impeccable characters. Hence the prefixes – Distinguished Senator and Honorable for members of the House of Representatives.

However, the crisis rocking the House of Representatives have shown that the so called honorable members are far from honorable. In fact, referring to them as dishonorable members would not be so out of place.

It all started with the budget saga. The Alleged padding of the 2016 budget by the executive which was widely criticized and condemned by Nigerians. What we didn’t know is that while we were attacking the executive, the house of Representatives was busy doing a padding of their own. Padding so widespread that virtually all members of the House of Representatives took part in an illegal allocation of our common wealth to frivolous projects which are nothing more than a cover for siphoning funds.

So how did the bubble burst on the Padding by the House of Representatives?

It all started with an allegation that Jibrin Abdulmumin, the chairman of the appropriation committee – the committee charged with the appropriation of funds have secretly smuggled project worth billions of Naira into the 2016 budget. In a bid to punish the Chairman of the Appropriation committee, the Speaker of the house, Yakubu Dogara removed Jibrin Abdulmumin as the chairman of the Appropriation Committee. That was when all hell broke loose.

Jibrin Abdulmumin will not be branded corrupt and made a scape goat for a crime that even the speaker and all ranking members of the house of representative took part in. So, Jibrin Abdulmumin started singing like a bird. He accused the speaker and a whole lot of members of the House of Reps of smuggling items into the budget. He even accused the speaker of bribing the members of the appropriation committee with huge sums of money. He went ahead and presented hard evidence to support his accusations.

Well, the speaker have threatened to sue Jibrin Abdulmumin if he does not retract the accusations. So far, nothing has happened. Nigerians are waiting to get the true picture of what really transpired in the House of Representatives and the extent of the padding. But the scandal have embarrassed Nigerians and have put the anti-corruption drive of this administration under immense scrutiny.

Can Donald trump pull a Leicester in American Politics?

Leicester City Football Club, a modest football club based in Leicester in the East Midlands of England stunned the football world when they won the English Premier League against all odd while English football giants like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspurs could only watch helplessly. Billionaire Businessman Donald Trump became the presidential candidate for the Republican Party against all odds this July. Can he go all the way and pull a Leicester in American Politics?

Like Leicester, Like Trump?

Regarded as an outsider who didn’t stand a chance when her first declared his intention to run for presidency, Donald J. Trump has seen off seasoned politicians like Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Ted Cruz and technocrats like popular neurosurgeon, Ben Carson to emerge the candidate of the Republican party in an astonishing and controversial manner. Trump Campaign was infamous for his controversial stand on hot issues like Immigration where he threatened to build a wall on the Mexican border and Security where he muted the possibility of a nuclear conflict.

Trump Campaign faced attacks after attacks. Millions of Dollars were spent in Television adverts in a campaign to stop him – The #NeverTrump campaign. He came under attack from within his own party. A huge chunk of his party’s hierarchy threatened to support the opposition than support Trump. They threw in everything in a bid to stop him from winning the Nomination. But the harder they try to stop Trump, the more unstoppable Trump became.

A social media enthusiast, Trump has a huge following on social media especially on Twitter. He is not shy to share his opinion on topical issues with his followers. And he is not afraid to get in the mud with anybody who comes for his head on twitter.

In my opinion, I believe his straight talking nature endeared him to millions of Americans who are tired of the Opaque establishment politics and believes that Trump is different from the others. Trump may have his flaws which includes his lose tongue, his obscene obsession with his net worth and the controversies surrounding his tax declarations. But right now, he is leading the fight against establishment politics and a lot of Americans are lining up behind him.

In the Republican Party convention, the party leadership tried to unite the party behind Donald Trump. Opinion polls shows there have been some successes. But there are still a lot of high profile Republicans who have not endorsed Donald Trump. Notable amongst them are Senator Ted Cruz,  John Kasich – the governor of Ohio, The two Bush Presidents and the Bush family, Mitt Romney – the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.

Hopefully, the party will be more united before the general election in November. But, whatever happens, Donald Trump is expected to put up a strong challenge in the general election and may possibly win. If Donald Trump wins the general election in November, it will be regarded as a political upset in the mold of Leicester’s amazing run to the English Premier League title. 

Lagos Mobile Courts: The Legal Supplement to Traffic watch and control.

Many people are unaware that the fines imposed by various traffic watch and control agencies in the country is illegal. It is now a norm for various traffic watch and control agencies like Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), Lagos State traffic management agency (LASTMA) and other state traffic control agencies to impose a fine on any motorist found to be breaking any traffic law. Sometimes, the car is impounded

New Lagos Mobile Courts

Unknown to many, this act is unlawful. Many motorist and well-meaning individuals have taken these agencies to court over these fines and unlawful impound of vehicles. And in most of the cases, the courts’ judgement is always against the traffic watch and control agencies. And the court awards damages to the victims.

Here is an example one of these cases; In 2011, Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Lagos, has declared that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, lacks the power to impose fine on traffic offenders while Delivering judgment in a suit filed by Mr. Jonathan Odutola. The judge also awarded Five hundred thousand Naira (N500,000) against LASTMA. The judge declare that LASTMA imposing fines and impounding cars is would amount to being a judge in your own case. The court declared that it is only a court that has the power to impose fines or impound cars.
The situation above brought the need for the creation of the mobile courts. With the mobile court in place, LASTMA and other traffic watch and management agencies in Lagos state can arrest any traffic offender and have them tried in front of a judge in the mobile courts and the necessary punishment imposed without breaking the law.

With the mobile court in place, traffic offenders in Lagos is in for a very tough time.

The Nigerian Rape Mentality

"Girls like to be forced to have sex so as not to appear cheap"
The above phrase is one of the most popular phrase you will hear amongst the adolescent and young adults in different area of Nigeria. This phrase is fast becoming an acceptable way of life amongst our young people. A trend if not addressed will lead to an increase in the already high level of reported rapes in our country Nigeria.

What is Rape?

The Nigerian Law in Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP 77, LFN 1990 defineds rape as:

“Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of false threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false or fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in case of a married woman, by personating her husband is guilty of an offence called rape”.

The United Nations (UN) defines rape as;

“Sexual intercourse without valid consent.”

While the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002 defined it as;

“Physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.”

The keywords in the definitions of Rape above is consent. All the definitions agree that sexual intercourse without a valid consent of the other party is rape.

Now the question is "What constitutes a valid consent?".

To answer this question, I will refer back to the definition of rape as contained in Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP 77, LFN 1990 with emphasis on the emboldened part;

"Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of false threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false or fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in case of a married woman, by personating her husband is guilty of an offence called rape”.
From the emboldened part of this law, obtaining consent by force or by means of intimidation of any kind is rape. So it is right to say that this ugly "girls like to be forced" mentality found in our youths today is rape mentality.

In many institutions of higher learning across the country, you will hear young men affirming the usefulness of this "girls like to be forced" mentality and encouraging others to try it. It is shameful and equally dangerous that this ugly mentality is gradually becoming a norm in our country Nigeria. In my opinion, more than 60% of women between the age of 18 and 30 have at one time or the other experienced this.

You might be tempted to ask "Why are they not reporting?". The truth is that when victims try to report such cases of rape in Nigeria, they are further victimized. You will hear statements like "Why did you go to his house?", "Didn't you enjoy it?". Hence, emboldening the culprits to continue in that path and encouraging others to try.

It is high time we confronted this ugly situation and nip it from the bud before it turns to something else.

WIkipedia on the go via whatsapp

The biggest online encyclopedia Wikipedia just added an impressive new functionality to help bring information to the millions of people out there who are seeking information. This new functionality allows users to receive information about any particular topic on as a chat message on their whatsapp. This translate to enhanced Wikipedia access to the four hundred and fifty (450) million users of the mobile messaging app - whatsapp.

So How does this work?

  • Step 1: Save this phone number +91 90434 89211 as wikipedia on your phone
  •  Step 2: Create a new whatsapp group with group members being just yourself and the wikipedia contact you created in step 1
That's all. You are now ready to turn your whatsapp into a mobile wikipedia. To get information on any topic, All you have  to do is type "wiki" before the topic/question and you will get your answer almost immediately.

Pretty interesting huh?


Gender Equality: The Journey so far

One of the hottest topic of the twenty first century is gender equality - Soliciting greater roles and investments for women in areas traditionally reserved for men. The topic is still raging on.The argument that women needs increased participation in a range of areas from politics to business to sports is still very much on going. But in this post, we will examine how far we have come in achieving gender equality.

Zhang Xin at the World Economic Forum
The stellar performance and compelling presentation of Zhang Xin, the co-founder and CEO of SOHO China in the just concluded World Economic Forum in Davos motivated me to write this article. She believes that though there are still gaps, a lot of progress have been made in the area of gender equality. Zhang herself is a testimony of women in incredible positions. Positions that you would'nt have imagined women holding barely thirty years ago.

Yes, there are still areas were women are still yet to break into as exemplified by the shameful way Helena Costa was treated at Clermont Foot in what was the first time a woman to manage a professional male side. But the progress has been tremendous. We have Christine Lagarde leading the IMF. We have Hilary Clinton gunning to become the president of the United States. We have the likes of Zhang Xin, Sheryl Sandberg and Folorunsho Alakija leading and coordinating multi-billion dollar businesses. We can go on and on and on.

Saudi women were allowed to vote and be voted for in 2015
Just last month, women were allowed to contest in Saudi municipal parliamentary elections for the first time in the history of Saudi Arabia. About 900 women contested in the elections out of which at least 18 women won seats across the country. This is happening in a country where women were not allowed to drive a car or vote. For a lot of women in Saudi Arabia, Voting in the December, 2015 was an unprecedented achievement. It is indeed an unprecedented milestone in the journey to achieve gender equality.

It is indisputable that a lot of progress have been made as regards gender equality that we are beginning to take these progress for granted. In Zhang Xin's own words, "While there remains a long way to go to reach parity, it’s worth taking stock of the small victories too."

Concerning Ice Prince and his Embattled Lover.

Ice Prince's relationship saga has yet again displayed the problems inherent with celebrity romance and relationships. Especially the ones in the public domain. But then, by the virtue of being a celebrity, everything you do more or less becomes public no matter how hard you try to keep things private.
So, Ice prince's relationship with Maima became public and in a twinkle of an eye, people dug mud and went to town with stories of her past/present. Mixing up everything so badly that one can not possible isolate the facts from the fallacy. But that's none of my business. I am not interested in what is the truth and what is not. I'm only interested in the lessons to be learnt from this saga

  • Ice Prince's Defense and Loyalty: Just like in the Trojan wars when countries went to war for queen Helen of Troy, Ice Prince has shown such ancient loyalty. When an abuse on your woman is an abuse on your honour and integrity. Ice Prince defended his woman and continues to defend her and rightly. It was literally an "us against the world" situation. Which in my opinion is highly commendable. Family must always come first. And no matter what, you must defend their interest in public and leave the bashing for the bedroom.

  • Mr Akin's Shamelessness: While Ice Prince was ready to lock horns with the whole world in defense of his woman, Mr Akin was deliberately and willingly dragging his family's integrity to the mud over some stupid bragging right of bedding and taking care of a girl who is not your wife.  For God's sake, many married men who keep mistresses try to be as discrete as possible to avoid disrespecting their wives and family. But Mr Akin blew the whistle on his own infidelity all in a bid to score some cheap point. Because I honestly do not understand his motive for putting up that picture. Is it to show Ice Prince that his woman was his left over? or He is unhappy the poor girl seems to be happy with Ice Prince? or Is he so Addicted to the girl that he can not afford to let her go? Whatever be the case, all I can say is "What a Man!!!!"

  • Nigerians and Aproko: The way the blogosphere and social media was saturated with this saga makes you wonder if there's a prize for the blogger that digs the biggest mud. This is a private matter for Pete's sake. These celebrities, no matter how much we love them and how much of a public figure they are, they still have their private lives. And Private live should be kept private at all cost.