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Kaycee Madu, Nigerian-born lawyer, appointed justice minister in Canadian

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Kaycee Madu, Nigerian-born lawyer, appointed justice minister in Canadian

Kaycee Madu, a Nigerian-born lawyer, has been named the minister of justice and solicitor-general of Alberta, Canada. But it is not just any other appointment.

With his elevation from his previous role as minister for municipal affairs, Madu is the first African to be appointed minister of justice — a “strong statement,” according to Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta. His appointment has been described as one that would bring the “needed perspective” and change in the justice system.

Madu accepting his new role

In the words of Kenney, “at a time when we are all more sensitive to the reality of racial prejudice, I think it is a strong statement that Alberta will have its first justice minister of African origin; first Black Canadian justice minister, attorney-general or solicitor-general.

“He is a man who has experienced racial prejudice first hand, and can bring that sensitivity to this important role.”

Since he left Nigeria 15 years ago, Madu has served in different capacities. He has worked for Legal Aid Alberta, and volunteered with the Edmonton Community Legal Centre and the Lawyer Referral Program of the Law Society of Alberta.

UNILAG LAW GRADUATE

The lawyer had his tertiary education at the University of Lagos where he studied law before he was called to bar in the early 2000s.

In 2005, he and his wife — who also studied law — migrated to Canada where they have been practising.

Tisel Law Office, their law firm, was established to “provide high quality client-focused legal services as we place the client first, and will work with you to find the best solution for your legal issues.”

‘AWARD OF EXCELLENCE RECIPIENT’

In addition to his legal practice, he has also acquired years of experience in the public service in Alberta; he once worked as a senior technical advisor for the Government of Alberta in areas of legislative and regulatory reviews, operational and strategic public policies, issues management and stakeholder consultation.

He was elected to the legislative assembly of Alberta in April 2019, and was later appointed minister of municipalaffairs. In 2009, barely four years after arriving in Canada, he was part of a team that received the Premier’s Award of Excellence award (bronze medal category), a recognition preserved for “Alberta Public Service employees as well as select boards, commissions and agencies for superior client service and business-excellence practices.”

‘A ROLE MODEL TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY’

Madu speaking at Nigerian Leadership Retreat in Edmonton

Dunia Nur, president of the African Canadian Civic Engagement Council, described Madu as a role model for the black community which “celebrates him.”

She also said Madu is fit for the new role, “not only because of his background as a lawyer but also because he is an active member of the African community.”

“Historically, these are positions that have been occupied by white men that have no understanding of the disproportional impact of the justice system and what Black communities experience,” she said.

“Whether we agree with one party or another that doesn’t really matter, especially for the Black voice right now.

“What matters is effective Black people that are educated, that have integrity, that also have education background, are the ones that are occupying the space.”

REMEMBERING THE BIAFRAN WAR VICTIMS

In one his Facebook posts, Madu remembers the Igbo who were killed during the Biafran was that lasted from 1967 to 1970. In the post, in which he talked about the Black Ribbon Day – set aside to remember victims of totalitarian, communist, Nazi and fascist regimes – Madu also spoke about how starvation was used as a state policy during the war.

He wrote: “As a Nigerian born, I also remember with sadness and grieve the Nigeria-Biafra civil war that killed more than three (3) million Igbos, one million of whom were children who died through the state policy of starvation, including those from present day South-south of Nigeria.”

‘NO NEW TAXE BURDEN DURING THE PANDEMIC’

Madu during the donation of food to feed 56,000 Albertans.

As if he has been following recent events in parts of Nigeria where the federal and state governments are pursuing an upward review of taxes, Madu recently campaigned against increasing taxes during the pandemic, citing “tough times” for people as a reason not to make such move.

“Businesses and citizens are going through tough economic times right now due to the pandemic and the global financial crisis. The last thing we need is increased taxes,” he said in an August 7 Facebook post.

“Folks and businesses are suffering – they need a break from higher taxes. Plus, the days of fiscal reckoning will soon be upon us as a consequence of the pandemic’s economic ruin and the extraordinary financial measures by the province to protect lives and livelihood.”

‘I AM BEYOND HUMBLED’

Madu with Premier Jason Kenney

In a statement published via his Facebook page, Madu — who is expected to bring his legal training and policy experience to use in implementing key democratic reforms including a review of Alberta’s Police Act — said he was “beyond humbled” over his new role.

He said he is determined to make sure Alberta’s justice system represents all its citizens “in a way that is fair and accountable.”

“As I reflect upon my new appointment as the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, the importance of carrying this ministry forward amid these difficult social and economic times weighs heavily on my mind,” he said.

Madu with family

“My fundamental belief that every soul deserves equal access to justice has always informed my legal work, and that will never change.

“I spent my entire professional career fighting for those who lacked means, including at Legal Aid Alberta, Labour, Immigration, and Human Rights Tribunals, and in the courts. My views on the application of justice and equality will always be integral to who I am as a father, husband, citizen, lawyer, and politician

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Reubenabati.com

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BREAKING: SANWO-OLU TO ABOLISH PENSION FOR EX-GOVS, DEPUTIES

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BREAKING: SANWO-OLU TO ABOLISH PENSION FOR EX-GOVS, DEPUTIES

By Sodiq Oyeleke

Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday announced his intention to repeal the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies.

He made this known while presenting the 2021 budget to the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Sanwoolu said the bill would be sent to the Lagos Assembly for legislative approval.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the abolition of pension for former governors and deputies will reduce the cost of governance.

He said, “Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members of the House, in light of keeping the costs of governance low and to signal selflessness in public service, we will be sending a draft executive bill to the House imminently for the repeal of the Public Office Holder (Payment of Pension Law 2007), which provides for payment of pension and other entitlements to former Governors and their Deputies.”

Detail later…

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EndSARS CELEBRITIES, PROMOTERS MUST FACE LAW, GARBA SHEHU SAYS

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EndSARS CELEBRITIES, PROMOTERS MUST FACE LAW, GARBA SHEHU SAYS

The Central Bank of Nigeria had recently frozen the account of some protest organisers in a bid to stop further protests from occurring.

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that all Nigerians and celebrities, who promoted protests against police brutality in the country must face the law.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had recently frozen the account of some protest organisers in a bid to stop further protests from occurring.

The Nigeria Immigration Service also seized the travel passport of Modupe Odele, preventing her from leaving the country for providing legal aid to arrested protesters.

The Nigerian Government irked by the protests had in October hired thugs to hijack the demonstration, plunging the nation into chaos in a bid to blame it on peaceful #EndSARS protesters.

While speaking on why the CBN froze the account of the protesters, Shehu while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics said, “This country has only one President and has only one constitution. President Muhammadu Buhari is responsible for his government. The buck stops on his table.

“We are a country governed by law. There is a constitution —under section 33— that clearly defines the rights of citizens to freely protest in a peaceful way but where a peaceful protest turns into riot, violence and looting, there is a law and order duty to be performed.

“Everyone witnessed the massive looting of public and private properties particularly in Lagos, Calabar, Plateau, Taraba and some other states, even the FCT.

“Now, the laws of the country must be allowed to decide, to rule on wrongdoing on the part of anybody.

“I am not particular about any celebrity or promoter but this country has been harmed enormously and people should be prepared to account for what they did.”

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Garba Shehu Classic FM, Abuja.

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PRESIDENT BUHARI: DISBANDING OF SARS FIRST STEP TO EXTENSIVE POLICE REFORMS

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PRESIDENT BUHARI: DISBANDING OF SARS FIRST STEP TO EXTENSIVE POLICE REFORMS

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja declared that disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is the first step to extensive police reforms by his administration.

Speaking at the launch of the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), aimed at creating 774,000 jobs across the Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country, President Buhari also directed that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts be brought to justice.

”I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force,’’ President Buhari said during the launch of the P-YES programme, attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Engineer Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State.

He continued: ”The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.

”We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice.

”We deeply regret the loss of life of the young man in Oyo State during the recent demonstrations.

”I have directed that the circumstances of his death should be thoroughly investigated.

”Meanwhile, it is important to recognise that the vast majority of men and women of the police force are hardworking and diligent in performing their duties.

”The few bad eggs should not be allowed to tarnish the image and reputation of the force.”

On the empowerment programme, the President while restating his administration’s commitment to youth development and poverty alleviation pledged that the Federal Government policies of social protection and people empowerment would continue on track, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

The President, who described P-YES as a cornerstone of his administration’s social and economic development strategies, said it was part of the overall policy of ensuring that 100 million Nigerians were lifted out of poverty in ten years.

”The P-YES is also part of the plan that we adopted in 2016 in which we empowered One hundred youths from each of the 774 Local Government Areas with the necessary tools to acquire skills and establish small businesses.

”Given the success of that initiative, we are now committed to creating 774,000 jobs across all the LGAs, through the P-YES programme,” he said.

President Buhari, who took a tour of P-YES tools and equipment displayed at the forecourt of Presidential Villa, expressed delight that the materials showcased represent the fruits of the initiatives embarked upon by his administration in 2016.

”All the tools, machines and equipment that are exhibited here, are products of the efforts of these empowered youth entrepreneurs.

”I note with particular pleasure that they were all fabricated in Nigeria by Nigerian youths using locally sourced materials. This is a wonderful and uplifting achievement.

”As an entrepreneurship empowerment project, the P-YES programme aims to address the needs of unskilled and less educated youth.

”It targets key areas of activities that are of practical importance and are essential to every aspect of our economy.

”These include areas such as agriculture and food processing, restaurant and catering, tailoring and fashion design, technical skills such as in the Information and Communications Technology sector, artisanship, welding, carpentry and joinery, other small businesses and activities associated with the micro-economic sector of this economy,” he said.

The President used the occasion to call on State Governments, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to factor the P-YES into their programmes to assist the youth realise their potentials in their chosen fields.

He urged local and foreign private sector operators in Nigeria to also contribute their share to the expansion of this programme through channelling their corporate social responsibility efforts towards skills acquisition, creation of start-ups, and other intervention measures.

President Buhari declared that the expansion of the P-YES would now be vigorously pursued, adding that more resources will be committed to the achievement of its goals and objectives towards youth empowerment and entrepreneurship development.

The President commended the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Youth and Students Affairs, under Hon. Nasiru Saidu Adhama, for driving the P-YES programme in accordance with the mandates prescribed for the office and the programme.

He expressed confidence that the programme being supervised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation would make significant difference.

In his remarks, Hon Adhama assured the President that as achieved in the pilot phase of the programme the selection of beneficiaries in the full-scale P-YES scheme would be done with the utmost transparency and credibility, adding that equal opportunities will be observed in the delivery of equipment, tools and machines to all States and LGAs.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
October 12, 2020

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