Tobi Kukah head NPRC

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February 19, 2005

Tobi, Kukah To Head National Dialogue
From Martins Oloja, Abuja

PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday named Justice Nike Tobi and Rev.
Father Mathew Kukah as chairman and secretary respectively for the national
dialogue scheduled to begin on Monday.

The Guardian gathered that the Presidency would have named them on Tuesday
but for religious considerations: Moslems from the North, it was learnt, did not
take kindly to the choice of two Christians as chairman and secretary.

But President Obasanjo was believed, at the weekend, to have insisted on his
choices, saying public interest should be considered over and above religious

However, Alhaji Sule Katagun is the Deputy Chairman.

The President has also approved the appointment of Mr. Akinlose Sylvester
Arikawe, pioneer Director-General of Debt Management Office (DMO) as Deputy
Secretary. He was appointed permanent Secretary on Wednesday this week.

Arkawe, an economist and lawyer had an enhanced career in the Federal
Ministry of Finance where he rose to be Director of Multilateral Department.

The current Minister of Finance chaired the panel that appointed him pioneer
Director-General of DMO after a rigorous interview. He hails from Igbotako
Okitipupa area of Ondo State.

Niki Tobi, 64 from Delta, was a Professor of Law of the Universities of
Maiduguri, (1982-85) Calabar (1983-84) and Enugu (1990).

He joined the Bench in 1985 as Judge of the High Court of Rivers State where
he served till 1990.

He was moved to the Court of Appeal Lagos in 1990 and served there till 1993.
He was moved to Enugu Court of Appeal in 1993.

Justice Niki Tobi chaired the Commission of Inquiry into Plateau State Riots
of September 2001 before he was promoted Justice of the Supreme Court in 2002
following the retirement of Justice Aldolphus Karibi Whyte from the Supreme

Justice Niki Tobi who obtained his law degrees at the Universities of Lagos
(1966-77) and Nsukka (1979-83) on part time was chairman of Constitution Review
Committee under the Abdusalami transition regime in 1998. The panel worked on
the Draft Constitution before the then military government decreed it into law.

Rev. Father Kukah 52, too is a scholar of note. He obtained his first degree
from the University of Ibadan.

He also studied at the Urban University of Rome, Bradford University United
Kingdom. He obtained his doctoral degree from the School of Oriental and African
Studies, University of London. He just completed a post- doctoral study/research
at the University of London.

The former secretary General Catholic Secretary of Nigeria was a member of
the Oputa Panel on Human Rights Violations Commission 1999 to 2001.

A prolific writer and social critic, Father Kukah’s works include Religion,
Power and Politics in Northern Nigeria (Spectrum 1992); Religious Military and
Self Assertion in Nigeria Avebury (Oxford, 1996); Demcracy and Civil Society In
Nigeria (Spectrum, 1998).

Alhaji Sule Katagun, a prominent member of the defunct National Party of
Nigeria (NPN) and chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission between 1962
and 1975 when he retired from the public service, hails from Bauchi State. He is
a director of many companies.

Saturday Independent

FG names Justice Tobi, Rev.
Kukah as Chairman, Scribe


All appears set for the start of the National
Political Reform Conference scheduled for Monday as President Olusegun Obasanjo
on Friday appointed  Justice Nikki Tobi of Rivers State as the Chairman of the
National Dialogue, and Rev. Father Matthew Kukah, the Secretary

A statement signed by the Secretary to the
Government of the Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette, said,

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