4—VANGUARD, TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2018 LAGOS — SMILE Telecoms, one of the telcos shortlisted in the bid process for 9Mobile sale, has described as “untidy” the manner in which Barclays Africa, financial advisors to the deal, has so far managed the transaction, and has called for a process review to ensure transparency. Smile’s position was contained in a letter addressed to Barclays Africa, dated February 21, 2018 and signed by Templars; the company’s solicitors. In the letter, Smile expressed displeasure with the selection process for the Preferred Bidder and Reserve Bidder, and wondered why the selection of the Preferred Bidder was announced before the stated deadline of February 26, 2018, as earlier stated in a process letter to interested parties. To ensure transparency in the bid process, Smile requested Barclays Africa to urgently provide a “practicable with verifiable (and preferably third-party authenticated) proof” that the party that has been selected as preferred bidder has indeed satisfied all the conditions precedent to that selection. However, a letter dated February 26, 2018, Barclays Africa replied Smile Telecoms, and promised to “be in touch with Smile to discuss any updates on the transaction, to the extent :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 9Mobile: Smile Telecoms tackles Barclays Africa, seeks bid review considered necessary.” Barclays lauded Smile’s continued interest in the transaction but noted that its clients exercised their rights at their sole discretion to pursue an alternative path to completion of the Transaction. Barclays restated its willingness to explore Transaction completion with Smile should the pending process not reach a satisfactory conclusion. Vanguard gathered from a reliable source close to Smile that Barclays Africa’s letter evaded the critical issues of due process and eligibility of the announced Preferred Bidder. The source wondered if the Preferred Bidder was able to meet the laid down requirements for the transactions that required it to reach agreement on any required financial accommodations with the Syndicate Lenders and the Trade Creditors. The requirement also entails the Preferred Bidder to have firm, unconditional and committed funding for any cash payments and to provide a binding offer that is unconditional, excluding the Formal Licence Approvals. Liberia seeks 6,000 teachers from Nigeria A BUJA—LIBERIAN President, Mr George Weah, has called on the Federal Government to provide 6,000 teachers to his country as part of the technical assistance agreement between the two nations. Speaking, yesterday, after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at State House, in Abuja, President Weah said his government inherited many problems, which could only be tackled with assistance from countries like Nigeria. Weah was inaugurated into office on January 22 after defeating immediate past vice president, Joseph Boakai, of Unity Party. Addressing journalists after his meeting with Buhari, the Liberian leader identified some of the urgent problems facing his country as youth unemployment as well as the need to revive the education, agriculture, mining and health sectors. He said: “Your sustained technical assistance for Hate speech: Lawyers, media group fault Senate on death sentence By Innocent Anaba, Abduwahab Abdulah & Bartholomew Madukwe LAWYERS and media group have faulted the bill before the Senate, which prescribed death by hanging for the offence of hate speech. Already, the controversial bill has passed second reading. Meanwhile, lawyers, among them Senior Advocates of Nigeria, who reacted to the development, said it portended danger for the country, with Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, saying the bill was unreasonable. Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman of Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, PACAC, said the whole thing was extremist. He said: ‘’I don’t understand this Senate at all because it is not only extremist but unreasonable and dangerous. How do you define hate speech? Let us start from there. If it is something that has no clear BRIEFING: From left, Director-General, Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo; President, Larry Ettah; first Vice-President, Dr. Mohammed Yinusa and second Vice-President, Mr. Terry Wilson, during NECA first quarter press briefing on global economic overview, in Lagos. Photo: Akeem Salau. definition, then people will be sent to death on the mere caprice and inclination of a judge? The whole thing is irresponsible. I don’t think it is all the senators that are in support of the bill, it could be only one senator." Prof. Joseph Abugu, Professor of Commercial and Industrial Law, University of Lagos, described the bill as a betrayal of people’s trust. He said: “When government proposes draconian punishment for what one would otherwise consider menial offences, it is the first time of totalitarianism. "It is unfortunate that this is coming from the Senate, which is supposed to be an appendage of the representative of the people. If the people’s representative now believe that by gagging the right to free speech is the best way to go, then we have a lot to worry for in this democracy." Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, said the National Assembly would, with this bill, destroy the system more, adding that “the National Assembly is trying to disrupt the system more than how they met it. "Let me put it this way, it is an unnecessary exercise because if they go through that path, they are going to increase the hatred among the ethnic groups." What'll be penalty for corruption then? —Tayo Oyetibo, SAN “What does that mean? If they can go to the extent of initiating a bill prescribing death sentence for hate speech, what about those people found guilty of corruption? "What of the people who steal the funds meant for the building of our highways that claim lives on daily basis, what will be their punishment? If they are not doing anything on those stealing billions of naira, what is the rationale for the bill on hate speech?" The idea is very dangerous —Babatunde Fashanu, SAN “I do not see it as a good idea. What is the definition of hate speech and what are the parameter to measure hate speech? The idea is very dangerous. If such bill is passed into law, it will be used against political opponents by the executive arms of government, which is to execute the law." It’s highhanded, outrageous —Chinonye Obiagwu, National Coordinator, Legal Defence and Assistance Project Limited, LEDAP “The bill to punish hate speech with death penalty is highhanded and outrageous. Death penalty has not deterred crime anywhere in the world and four fifth of African countries have stopped using death penalty. "We can’t be looking backwards while the world is moving ahead. There is always likelihood of mistakes resulting in killing a wrong person." Bill unconstitutional, unlawful —Carol Ajie, constitutional and human rights lawyer: “That hate speech bill is unconstitutional and unlawful to impede on citizen’s rights to freedom of speech despite the constitutional guarantee to free speech, a part of our Chapter IV Bill of rights, being hacked off like that, particularly in a mid-sized democracy, under the cover of legislating on hate speeches; when our statute books are replete with provisions that protect our names from unlawful damage i.e the law on libel. Our existing law you know punishes conduct that tend to result in death of others i.e unlawful death.""= Media group warns NASS against the bill Media watch group, International Press Centre, IPC, has warned the Senate against going ahead with the passage of a bill now before it which prescribes death sentence for ‘hate speech.’ The centre in a statement by Lanre Arogundade, its chairman in Lagos, warned that if passed, the bill would crush the right of Nigerians to freedom of expression as guaranteed by the constitution of the country. Arogundade advised NationalAssembly to convene a meeting with stakeholders to determine what could be regarded as hate speech. capacity building in these sectors is most welcome. For example, Nigerian teachers and medical volunteers to Liberia, under the Technical Assistance Corps, TAC, Agreement with Liberia, have been very crucial in boosting capacity development in Liberia, and it is my hope that this assistance can be considerably increased to address with urgency our most pressing socio-economic needs at this time. “More specifically, under the Bilateral Teacher Exchange programme, we are seeking 6,000 plus teachers to make up for the shortage of good teachers in our educational system.” Weah thanked Buhari for the invitation extended to him, adding that the delegation was on a mission of “gratitude and respect for the extraordinary and exceptional role that you, our Nigerian brothers and sisters, have played and continue to play in maintaining peace and stability in the West African sub-region, and more particularly, in Liberia.” Malabu scandal: Confusion as two attorneys represent FG for Italian trial THERE was confusion at an Italian court, yesterday, as two lawyers purportedly representing the Federal Government surfaced in the trial of Shell and Eni executives over alleged corruption in Nigeria. Online portal, Premium Times, gathered that although the Italian court postponed to May 14 the start of the trial, one of the lawyers, a certain Mr. Sedu, declared his intention not to ask for damages from Eni. It reported on Saturday the expected postponement of the trial and possible transfer to another court. The trial was originally expected to start yesterday but sources said the court might not be able to deal with the case because it had too many other cases. The case involves the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oilfield – one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks – for about $1.3 billion. Yesterday, two lawyers showed up in Milan to represent Nigeria, raising suspicion that the nation may not be recognised in the trial once the case comes up for hearing. The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, in a statement condemned the development, saying it exposed the nation to ridicule.
Vanguard, TUESDAY MARCH 6, 2018—5 POCKET CARTOON OBASANJO @81—From left: Mrs. Bola Obasanjo, wife of the celebrant; Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, celebrant and Dr. Christopher Kolade, Chairman of the occasion, at the Special Prayer to mark 81st Birthday celebration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State, yesterday. Photo:Wunmi Akinola. SEE MORE PHOTOS ON PAGE 14. Charge any Fulani man with AK-47 to court—BUHARI Continues from Page 1 should be charged to court.” He spoke at Government House, Jalingo, and lamented lack of oneness and inability of the people to live together in peace as brothers and sisters. He said his reason to visit Taraba State first was informed by the large-scale killing at Mambila Plateau which he described as more than the number of those killed in Benue and Zamfara states He said he will soon embark on the same visit to Zamfara and Benue states, also to condole with those who lost their loved ones. The President called on the traditional rulers in the state to go to their chiefdoms and preach peace among their subjects for peaceful coexistence among their people. He said traditional rulers in Nigeria were the main land lords, while politicians like himself as the President and Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State were visitors who might not stay on their seats for ever. “Any Fulani man caught with AK-47 should be charged to court. You, the traditional rulers are going to remain on your stools till you die; Ishaku (the governor) and I may not last on our seats for long but you are going to be there till you die. “Please go to your domains and initiate peace among your people. These killings will not help us,” President Buhari said. The representatives of Yandan, Fulani and Mambila tribes who were allowed to speak on the occasion, called on the President to instil justice in the land for the people to live in peace. Earlier in his comment, Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku, appreciated the President for finding time to visit the state for condolences. Ishaku said the crisis in the state had hindered speedy development which the state government initially initiated. He pleaded with with the President to mobilize more security personnel in the state to forestall further crisis among the people. Buhari planning more visits to Benue, Zamfara, Yobe, Rivers President Muhammadu Buhari is planning more trips to Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Yobe and Rivers states, which have recorded different forms of violence in 2018. The development comes weeks after the President was criticised for not visiting the states to sympathise with the people. On Saturday, images of the President at a wedding ceremony in Kano sparked negative reactions on social media. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed news of the President’s visit to the state in a statement yesterday. This is even as Benue State Government stated yesterday that the visit will afford the people ample opportunity to table their problems before the President, as President Buhari started the assessment with a visist to Taraba yesterday. On the President’s proposed visit to the troubled states, Adesina said: “In view of recent terrorist attacks, criminal activities and communal clashes in some states leading to tragic loss of lives and kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls, Presi- Continues on Page 41 By Bose Adelaja, Bartholomew Madukwe & Frederick Okopie Senate Bill proposing death sentence for hate speech I don’t really think the proposed punishment will see the light of the day. Another thing we need to ask is: who determines hate speech? Can hate speech against an individual and against government be punishable by hanging? I think the National Assembly, NASS, is trying to limit hate speeches during 2019 electioneering campaign. *Scott Abeh, Graduate and Photographer. The National Assembly, NASS, cannot pass such obnoxious law on hate speech because many Nigerians may not be innocent. Why would they consider death sentence as punishment for hate speech?. NASS is even wrong to have thought of it in the first place. Lawmakers should think of better things that will benefit the people. Okolosi Newyear, Politician Having such law against hate speech is against the laws of international bodies like the United Nations, African Union, ECOWAS, Human Rights Charter and even the Nigerian constitution. It would amount to an abuse of human dignity if the law is passed. It is against the citizens of this country. It is advisable for the NASS to abandon the bill because it won’t work. Akatakpo FranK, Clergy It is a shame and a reflection of how low the country has descended. We have allowed political office holders to get away with anything for too long. The time has come for us to take charge of our destiny. What can the current government lay claim to since coming to power? Daniel Oto, Worker. Public officials are only trying to protect themselves with the law. It is obvious that the proposed law intends to muzzle the opposition. Those sponsoring the bill are aware of the dangers it would unleash in Nigeria. In fact, hate speech has been part of our system because Nigerians are known for speaking out in the face of oppression. Henrietta Ogboru, Business Woman. They are just trying to silence us so that we will not talk about the wrong things going on in the country. The NASS should go ahead and pass the bill. I have not seen where a government will put its people in a terrible condition. They have been trying to deprive us of our right to free speech as guaranteed by the constitution. We did not elect them for that purpose. Let the federal government define what is hate speech. Rejoice Omadudu, Consultant