Miss Black Africa UK Sonia Dike Visits Okorocha (LOOK)


1781975_10203007072635191_1028632666_n[1]

Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, OON, with Miss Black Africa UK flanked by his Deputy Prince Eze Madumere, MFR and others

Low, Middle Income Earners To Own Houses With As Little As N1.5m – FHA


housing-scheme-in-iba-lagosThe Federal Housing Authority, FHA, has said that low and middle income earners, who are desirous of owning their own homes, can now do so with N1.5m.

According to the agency, interested Nigerians can take delivery of their homes tailored to suit their financial capabilities.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, FHA, Mr. Terver Gemade, explained that the development was aimed at bridging the 17 million housing units’ gap in Nigeria.

He spoke on the sidelines of the handing over of the affairs of the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi in Abuja on Monday.

Gemade said, “We are targeting the middle income earners this time around and we want to ensure that even low income earners can own their homes.  We are going to be specific in our target to ensure that the homes are affordable, decent, durable and sustainable.

“Of course, home ownership will be assured by biometrics. We will ensure that we get your biodata and it will be one thumb-print to one house. Since we are encouraging home ownership, it does not matter whether a big man brings his villagers to come and thumb print because at the end, the villagers will own homes.

“We will make the houses as low as N1.5m, N2m, N3m, N4m and upwards. The N1.5m is for the studio house; what you call the self-contained; and I can assure you that I can give you that for N1.5m”.

Gemade said the housing authority was looking forward to developing large expanses of land in towns across the country, adding that the pilot scheme has already started in Abuja.

He said, “This is to ensure home ownership to Nigerians and this will be replicated in major cities across the country. There has been so much pressure on infrastructure in most places in the country.

“Therefore, you need to develop new towns where you can relieve the older towns the pressure on their infrastructure. And the new towns will be sensible, more decent, accommodating and peaceful for the existence of mankind”.

On the payment plan, the FHA boss said the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, FMBN, was set to give out mortgages to interested persons

He added, “You will recall that the primary mortgage banks recapitalised last December and we have many of such banks now that have enough liquidity to give as mortgage. Also, remember that the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company has been inaugurated and the FMBN is also doing its own by providing an e-card.

“The e-card helps you to know how much you have contributed over the years so as to take advantage of the development”.

Earlier in her address, the new minister stated that she would ensure that the housing deficit in the country was confronted holistically.

“We will deploy all government resources that we have to bridge the housing gap”, Eyakenyi said.

31 Killed In Makurdi Mercenaries Invasion – Community Leader


benue-communal-clashNo fewer than 31 persons have been killed by mercenaries since the attack on Tombo settlement began last Thursday, the National President of Tombo Development Association (TODA), Isaac Gbaa, has said.

In a statement in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Gbaa said 20 people were killed in Tse Ibwar, Tse Dzungwe, Tse Gbeleve, Avule, Tatse, Nyajo and Swaki.

Gbaa said: “Eleven people were killed on Sunday; two major settlements in Tombo ward.

“Some people were captured alive and they were forced to take them around the villages to be destroyed, before they were slaughtered. This is genocide”, the community leader stressed.

Gbaa also decried the statement credited to the state police command that nobody was killed in the crisis.

Obesere Might Have Used Me For Rituals, Victim Cries Out


Obesere.jpg

The 29-year-old businesswoman, Olanike Olaiya, who was allegedly r*ped by popular Fuji musician, Alhaji Abass Akande, also known as Obesere, has pleaded with police authorities not to allow the matter to be swept under the carpet so that she will not die.

According to the victim, Obesere’s insertion of his ring in her private part, leading to bleeding and pain, may not be unconnected with ritual activities.

She also said she was not impressed by the way the case was being handled at the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos, accusing the Investigating Police Officer of wanting to frustrate the investigation in favour of Obesere.

The graduate of Ibadan Polytechnic, who spoke to Vanguard yesterday also refuted allegations made by Obesere that they were lovers and that she wanted to use the r*pe saga to blackmail and extort money from him.

“I knew him barely two weeks ago and we were talking business. But he r*ped me on our first meeting in his house,” Olaiya said.

“Like I told you earlier, I met him through a friend who is much older than me — she is over 49 year old— and she told me that Obesere helped her in her business and he could do same for me.

“She was the one who arranged the meeting at Obesere’s house, but Obesere made me wait for at least five hours until it became late for me to go after the meeting.

“Even when I insisted, he refused to let me go claiming his area was not safe and that everybody knew I was in his house.

“I slept over, but not in his room. He rped me and inserted a ring in my private part. I wouldn’t have gone to the Police if it was just the rpe because it was my fault. As an adult, I should have known the danger of passing the night in a stranger’s house.

“I went to the police because I was bleeding and when I informed him about it, he didn’t take me seriously. He asked me to go to a private hospital in Ejigbo. But when I got there, the doctor did not even touch or examine me in any way.

“He just asked that I go for a scan, which is not done in that hospital. I left the hospital in pain and I reported the matter to the police.

“I wanted the police to be aware of what happened and prosecute him for forcefully having s*x with me against my wish.

“I also have to clarify the issue of wanting to blackmail him. From the beginning, I rejected all the money he offered me as settlement.

“You can ask the DPO at Isolo. He is aware that I rejected all the money he offered me. All I wanted was for him to be prosecuted for taking advantage of me because I slept in his house.

“Also, I wanted him to explain to the Police why he inserted a ring into my private part that made bleed for two weeks and possibly reverse any ritual step he may have taken.

“As I speak with you, I am still going through pains. After the bleeding stopped, I have continued to have problems with my reproductive organs. That was why I went to the police, I wanted them to investigate and prosecute him.

“But what I am getting from the IPO is terrible. He is trying to destroy the case and set Obesere free at the expense of my life and dignity.

“He discarded the medical report from the General Hospital and he upheld that of Obesere’s private hospital, saying their report was the correct one. As I speak with you I am not feeling well at all,” Olaiya said.

Three Worshippers Burnt To Death As Fire Razes Ibadan Church


mercyland-prayer-city-Ibadan

PHOTO CREDIT: THE NATION

A church in Ibadan, Oyo State, was thrown into a state of mourning as three worshippers were burnt to death yesterday. The unfortunate incident occurred at Mercyland Prayers Ministry at Okoro.

The fire which started about 1:45 a.m. and reportedly raged for almost three hours, was said to have started at the entrance of the church and was further fuelled by a nearby generating set containing petrol.

According to multiple sources, the church was enveloped in smoke as worshippers scrambled to escape. While many made it out of the raging inferno alive, two men and a woman were said to have been burnt to death.

The church’s roof was engulfed by the fire, which also burnt the chairs inside.

A survivor, simply identified as Akin, said some worshippers were fast asleep when the fire started.

The fire was eventually put out at 4:05am by men of the State Fire Service in conjunction with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Police.

Confirming the incident, Director, Oyo State Fire Services, Mr. Oyekunle Kareem said around midnight, a distress call was made to them that “there was a fire incident at Alaro and we rushed there immediately.

“We put out the fire, but three bodies were recovered. Only the doctor can certify them dead”.

Boko Haram: Life In North East Is Hell, Says Borno Elders


borno-prison_750A graphic detail of the way of life in Borno and the entire North-East since the Boko Haram menace begun was painted on Monday by the Bornu Elders, who described life under the stranglehold of terrorist activities, as “seeing hell”.

Addressing a gathering of Northern Elders Forum in Kano, Zanna Hassan Boguma, who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of Borno Elders Forum, declared that the entire region is now engaged in full scale war from enemy within.

Boguma stated that “we have been seeing hell, our people are constantly decimated, our towns and villages razed, properties destroyed, schools and places of worship burnt, even innocent travelers were not spared”.

The elder statesman said that from the incessant attack that the axis had witnessed in the last few weeks was a confirmation of how vulnerable the entire region is.

He further disclosed that the region has been reduced to a war zone with attendant humanitarian crisis, stressing that this is the time for the entire country to mobilize to stop the carnage.

Boguma, who doubted the intention of the perpetrators of this crime against humanity in the region, was however quick to add that “much as we know, the whole matter has nothing to do with claimed intention of a section imposing their will on the others, or issues of sharia or making the country ungovernable for the President or a religious war as they want to look at it”.

Moreover, he accused the Federal Government of lacking the political will to address the crisis holistically, pointing out that Borno Elders are surprised at the grave yard silence of Government and its inability to implement several report on the insurgency turned in by experts engaged to do so by the same Government.

The Borno Elders noted that the panacea to the crisis was not in the hands of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, or the opposition, All Progressives Congress, APC, insisting that the situation at hand was beyond politics and pleaded with other parts of the country to identify with them at their time of distress.

“This catastrophe which has befallen us should be the concern of all Northerners irrespective of tribe, region, or creed. Those of you who are residing far away should know that other citizens needed your sympathy and attention”, Boguma said, adding that “until those who were named as supporters, financiers, and allies to the Boko Haram were brought to justice, until the political Boko Haram were apprehended and prosecuted, until the operations to contain this madness is sincerely handled, lives of our innocent villagers will continued to be sacrificed”.

Obesere Molestation Saga: Victim Cries Out Over Possible Fetish Implication Of Ring Inserted In Private Part


Obesere.jpg29-year-old businesswoman, Olanike Olaiya, who was allegedly defiled by popular Fuji musician, Alhaji Abass Akande, also known as Obesere, has pleaded with the police authorities not to allow the matter to be swept under the carpet so that she will not die.

According to Olaiya, the singer’s insertion of a mysterious ring in her private part, which caused her to bleed for weeks, might not be unconnected with fetish activities.

The graduate of Ibadan Polytechnic also expressed dissatisfaction with the way the case was being handled at the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, Yaba, Lagos. Specifically, she fingered the Investigating Police Officer, simply known as Jacob, of involvement in a conspiracy to frustrate the investigation in favour of Obesere.

“We’re not lovers”

According to a report by Vanguard, Olaiya denied the claims by Obesere that they were both lovers and that she wanted to use the saga to blackmail him into parting with between N5-N10 million.

She said: “I knew him barely two weeks ago and we were talking business. But he defiled me on our first meeting in his house.

“Like I told you earlier, I met him through a friend who is much older than me — she is over 49 year old— and she told me that Obesere helped her in her business and he could do same for me.

“She was the one who arranged the meeting at Obesere’s house, but Obesere made me wait for at least five hours until it became late for me to go after the meeting.

“Even when I insisted, he refused to let me go claiming his area was not safe and that everybody knew I was in his house.

“I slept over, but not in his room. He defiled me and inserted a ring in my private part. I wouldn’t have gone to the Police if it was just the r*pe because it was my fault. As an adult, I should have known the danger of passing the night in a stranger’s house”.

According to her, she reported the case to the police because of the bleeding from her private part and his non-challant attitude when she informed him of the development.

“He asked me to go to a private hospital in Ejigbo. But when I got there, the doctor did not even touch or examine me in any way”, she said.

Olaiya continued: “He just asked that I go for a scan, which is not done in that hospital. I left the hospital in pain and I reported the matter to the police.

“I wanted the police to be aware of what happened and prosecute him for forcefully having s*x with me against my wish.

“I also have to clarify the issue of wanting to blackmail him. From the beginning, I rejected all the money he offered me as settlement.

“You can ask the DPO at Isolo. He is aware that I rejected all the money he offered me. All I wanted was for him to be prosecuted for taking advantage of me because I slept in his house.

“Also, I wanted him to explain to the Police why he inserted a ring into my private part that made bleed for two weeks and possibly reverse any ritual step he may have taken.

“As I speak with you, I am still going through pains. After the bleeding stopped, I have continued to have problems with my reproductive organs. That was why I went to the police, I wanted them to investigate and prosecute him.

“But what I am getting from the IPO is terrible. He is trying to destroy the case and set Obesere free at the expense of my life and dignity.

“He discarded the medical report from the General Hospital and he upheld that of Obesere’s private hospital, saying their report was the correct one. As I speak with you I am not feeling well at all”.

Confab: Iyaloja-General Rejects Market Women’s List, Calls On FG To Correct Anomaly


New-IyalojaThe Iyaloja General of Nigeria and President of association of commodity market women and men of Nigeria, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, has rejected the names of delegates contained in the list recently released by the Federal Government to represent market women at the national conference, saying the representatives are unknown as market women leaders.

She said: “It is dead on arrival! We call on the Federal Government to quickly adjust this anomaly before the conference commences”.

In a statement in Lagos yesterday by Iyaloja-general on behalf of all market women and men across the country, Mrs. Tinubu-Ojo wondered how the presidency came up with the names of the purported representatives of the market women, considering the fact that only one among the six delegates, Mrs. Felicia Sanni, is the only known and recognised market women leader.

According to her: “With the exception of the earlier mentioned market leader, the under listed women according to the delegates list just released by the Presidency, none of the women is known within the market women associations across the country”.

2015: PDP Can’t Reclaim Rivers, Adamawa, Amaechi, Nyako Tell Jonathan


GEJ-MINNA PDP RALLYPresident Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will take back the five states where the governors recently defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2015 general elections has been described as wishful thinking.

President Jonathan had in PDP rallies in Sokoto, Owerri, Lafia and most recently, Minna expressed confidence that the party would regain control of Kano, Sokoto, Kwara, Rivers and Adamawa, which were recently lost to the opposition following protracted crisis in the ruling PDP.

But one of the mentioned state’s governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, who spoke through the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Tony Okocha, said over 90 per cent of the voting population in Rivers State belonged to the APC.

He explained that those harboring thoughts that PDP would win APC in any election in the state must be hallucinating, adding that the situation on the ground was not favourable to the PDP.

“For anybody to declare that the PDP will take over Rivers in 2015 is mere hallucination. It (PDP winning Rivers in 2015) is not possible. I cannot talk about any other state, but I am sure that APC is in full control of Rivers State.

“You can see that Rivers is an APC state and they can’t take it. More than 90 per cent of the voting population in Rivers State is APC. Apart from being APC members, they are also adherents of APC. So, PDP cannot take the state away from APC”, the governor said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, said unless the president was saying that he had no plans to allow for the conduct of a free and fair elections in 2015, there was no way he (Jonathan) could return to power.

He said there was no way the PDP could win the presidential polls in 2015 if there was a free and fair election because the party had failed woefully in all key indices of governance.

Nyako, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajoh, advised President Jonathan and the leadership of the PDP to look inwards for the cause of the nation’s woes because they were directly responsible for most of what was wrong in the polity.

He said “Our advice to him and his party, is to look inwards and see what is going wrong around him. He is junketing and visiting traditional rulers in places where nothing is happening, he has forgot to visit places where people are being killed daily, where innocent people are being slaughtered.

“He has a responsibility to the people of this country not to contest for the Presidency in 2015 but to provide leadership for Nigerians between now and 2015.

“He has to secure the lives and property of Nigerians between now and then to ensure free and fair elections and ensure confidence in the democracy. These are the challenges before him; this is much more than his desperation to return to power in 2015”.

2015: Elders Stick With Ekweremadu For Senate, Reject Chime


CHIME-EKWEREMADUCommunity leaders from Aninri, Enugu West said yesterday a smear campaign targeted at Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu will not succeed.

A statement by the community leaders, described as “regrettable” and “totally unacceptable”, attempts by some few people in the state to misrepresent the activities of the deputy senate president in the state.

They said the impression created “by hired politicians” that the Aninri people have adopted Enugu State Governor, Mr Sullivan Chime as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Enugu West Senatorial District “is not only false, but also misleading”.

Ekweremadu is the senator representing Enugu West in the National Assembly.

The community leaders including Jonathan Ivoke (Okpanku community), Patrick Ikpenwa (Ndeabor Community), Chief David Orjinworie (Nenwe Community), Chief Gordi Ilegbu (Oduma Community), Desna Ajah (Mpu Community) and Charles Ajah (Okpanku Community), noted that “it is indeed sad that some group of political never-do-wells and thugs would make such declaration in the name of Aninri political stakeholders and leaders of thought when they are not”.

“The so-called stakeholders gave reasons why Chime should be the preferred candidate by alluding to the governor’s purported transformation agenda in terms of physical infrastructure, economic expansion and employment, rural development, service delivery and good governance.

“Unfortunately, they could not cite one project initiated and completed in Aninri Local Government by the Sullivan administration since its inception. The reason for not citing any project done by the governor in the local government is because there is nothing to cite.

“Conversely, we can name some major development projects attracted by Senator Ekweremadu to the communities of the political turncoats.

“For instance, the N12 billion Nenwe-Oduma-Uburu federal road project, attracted by Senator Ekweremadu, crossed the doorstep of the family compound of one of those spreading falsehood against Ekweremadu.

“His town is the first to enjoy the road and he can drive home during the rainy season.

“Previous governments told us the topography was impossible, and it would have remained the same for the next 100 years, but for Ekweremadu’s quality representation.

“With the completed Ndeabor-Mpu-Okpanku-Akaeze federal road project attracted by Senator Ekweremadu, one of them can now drive home at will, and even with his two eyes closed, if he so wishes”, the elders said.

According to them, “those behind the campaign of calumny against Ekweremadu fail to acknowledge that before the coming of Ikeoha, the local government was inaccessible due to bad roads worsened by a challenging topography.

“However, it is now on record that Senator Ekweremadu has, through his constituency projects, attracted over 37 projects to Aninri Local Government.

“Most of these projects have been completed, while others are nearing completion.

“These are not paper claims but are projects that can be verified.

“The emergence of Ekweremadu has changed the face of Aninri.

“The communities in Aninri have never had it good in the provision of democracy dividends. We stand to be challenged, just as we also challenge the so-called stakeholders to go to their village squares with the same false claims they dished out to mislead the people”.

Those Who Killed My Father Murdered Sleep, Says Ige’s Son


MUYIWA IGE

MUYIWA IGE

Son of the late Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige (SAN), Muyiwa, has said his father’s ghost will continue to haunt those who killed him.

The former minister was killed by unknown assassins in his Bodija home, Ibadan on December 23, 2001.

Speaking at a media parley addressed by three commissioners from Osun State in conjunction with the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muyiwa, who is presently the Commissioner for Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development in Osun, claimed that the appointments of Mr. Abduljelil Adesiyan and Senator Musiliu Obanikoro as Minister of Police Affairs and Minister of State for Defence respectively, was a deliberate ploy by the Peoples Democratic Party to regain prominence in the South-West as the 2015 general elections approaches.

His words: “The appointment of the minister was more of selection and not of Omoluwabi structure. We all witnessed the issue at the National Assembly. It is also the first time in the history of Nigeria that three senators from Osun State unanimously rejected the candidate and the machinery of government was used to elevate him”.

Speaking on the killing of his father and the legal battle to bring the killers to book, Muyiwa said it was a travesty of justice in the way the whole issue was handled, alleging the use of government machinery to scuttle the legal proceedings.

He, however, warned: “The ghost of my father will continue to haunt his killers. It will be an albatross around the necks of those who killed him. Bola Ige did not die in his sleep. He did not kill himself. He was assassinated. Slowly but surely, the truth will be known. Those who murdered sleep will sleep no more”.

On the probability of using Adesiyan to undermine the conduct of free, fair and acceptable elections in Osun and Ekiti, Ige said: “It smacks of a strategy of doing something with the election coming up in Ekiti and Osun. They have been screaming now that the coming elections in Osun and Ekiti are preliminaries to 2015 presidential election under the guise of federal might.

“With what has been done and happening in Osun by Governor Aregbesola and likewise in Ekiti, it will be very difficult for them to achieve that. We know they want to make it a do or die thing but we are very much alert, that’s why we must begin to sensitise the citizenry”.

Missing Malaysian Aircraft ‘Deep Inside The Sea’, Says T.B Joshua… Boko Haram Plot To Bomb SCOAN Fails


Screenshot_2014-03-09-20-02-29As the rest of the world struggles to grapple with the mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance mid-air of a Malaysian Airlines flight MH307, Senior Prophet of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations, SCOAN, T.B Joshua has revealed that the plane crash-landed into the sea and is buried deep underneath the waters.

Information Nigeria reports that the Boeing 777 aircraft vanished off the coast of Vietnam two hours after taking off at the Kuala Lumpur airport with 239 souls on board in the early hours of Saturday.

But on Sunday morning during a live service, the highly controversial Prophet said this concerning the missing Malaysian aircraft: “The plane concerned is deep inside the sea. Some of the particles will be seen on the surface of the sea any moment from now.

“May their souls rest in peace. We pray the Lord gives the family and loved ones the strength to bear the loss. Our prayer and love are always with them, the nation of Malaysia and other countries who had passengers on this flight”, he said.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that a plot by members of the Boko Haram sect to bomb the SCOAN headquarters in Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos State was unsuccessful as one of the potential bombers confessed purportedly to the act yesterday.

The suspect, who gave his name simply as Mustapha from Adamawa State, confessed that they were five in number but four of them “scattered” away following what he said was “confusion” in their midst.

“We were five in number,” he said. “We dropped at the junction opposite from (sic) the church. There was a man who used to sell something opposite the church here. He is selling sweets, soap and cigarettes. I met the man and asked him to help me keep the bag I was carrying. It contained some instruments – bombs, to destroy people”.

However, Mustapha said the local trader refused to collect the bag. “We decided to sit down and eat before going on our mission here. Our plan was to take souls, to destroy at this Synagogue Church”.

Mustapha recounted a strange incident that took place as they sat down to eat at a restaurant opposite the popular church. “They brought food for us and we were eating. At that place, they had television. We were watching the television and discussing. It was Emmanuel TV – I saw you (T.B. Joshua) preaching to people”.

Mustapha told the stunned congregation that he had never been in a church before and had no idea who T.B. Joshua was. “By the time you prayed and laid hands on the screen, it was like you were there with us and you joined our midst. As you laid your hands on the screen, you laid your hands on our face. That was when confusion came between us; everybody scattered”, he confessed.

“Since that day, I wanted to go home but I am not fit. Any time I lie down, I will be seeing you (T.B. Joshua) in my dream. You are disturbing me. I don’t know what I did to you. The thing is bothering me too much.”

Asked to explain further, Mustapha revealed, “In my dream yesterday, you told me that the group of Boko Haram would not exist again. I want to go but I don’t have the spirit to do it again. I don’t sleep in the night; I always see you. You are disturbing me. You keep praying for me and laying hands on me. I want to sleep well. I cannot close my eyes without seeing you (T.B. Joshua). Please, help me”.

Affirming the plot to bomb his church, Joshua said he had been forewarned by God of the impending attack several weeks ago, prompting him to go into intense prayers.

“I have been in a serious battle for the past two weeks. Those who looked at my knees yesterday will know that this is what I wore last week”, Joshua stated, explaining that he wore the same pair of jeans for the past few weeks which were clearly soiled from prolonged prayer sessions.

“It was not a surprise to me because I have seen it. My mission is to separate him from the spirit that is controlling him to do that. We are not to fight mere flesh and blood”, the pastor explained.

Stop Labelling Us An Islamic Party, APC Warns PDP


laiThe All Progressives Congress (APC) has given the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) knocks for describing its recently unveiled Road Map to a New Nigeria as a product of ‘Janjaweed Ideology’, saying it is a thinly-veiled religious blackmail, which is in furtherance of the ruling party’s sustained campaign to pigeon-hole the APC as an Islamic party.

This was contained in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by the APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

The party said: “On a more dangerous level, it shows that the PDP will not relent from engaging in Islamophobia by using the Boko Haram crisis in a part of the country to stereotype Muslims and paint them as terrorists, even when it is obvious that majority of Muslims do not support the heinous crimes being perpetrated by the sect.

“The only reason that the PDP used the word ‘Janjaweed’ is because the militia that goes by that name comprises mostly, if not exclusively, of people of Arab/Muslim stock in Sudan.

“This has further confirmed our fears that there is a clear attempt by the PDP, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, to divide Nigerians along religious lines as never before in the history of our country and to use religious as a political tool – a very dangerous move that can only result in religious warfare, from which no country that engages in it has ever survived intact.

“Or how else can one explain the continuous attempt by the PDP, despite warnings from right thinking people and groups, to cast people of a certain faith, who constitute half of our country’s population, as either terrorists or terror sympathisers/sponsors, or to label the APC as an Islamic party just to hang it? Couldn’t the PDP have criticised our Road Map without resorting to its well-worn, dangerous game of religious blackmail?”

The party said ordinarily it wouldn’t have dignified the PDP’s statement with a response but a rebuttal became necessary because of the dictum that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.

“Perhaps the PDP has mistaken our decision to take the high road and avoid religious and ethnic politics as a sign that it (PDP) is succeeding in its religious blackmail. Therefore, we have decided to let Nigerians know that the sooner they repudiate this dangerous tactics by the PDP, the safer for our country.

“We are a party for all Nigerians, and we believe in issues-based politics, not one based on religious or ethnic sentiments. We believe God is neither Christian nor Muslim, and that he is the God of all, irrespective of their religion. We believe God will judge politicians not according to their religion but according to how much they have fulfilled the mandate to ensure the welfare and security of their people, and by how much they have lessened the people’s burdens rather add to them”.

The opposition party challenged the PDP to unveil its own Road Map for Nigerians to see and compare, rather than attempt to drown APC’s message in a sea of religious blackmail.

“We will not allow our Road Map to be buried on the altar of diversionary rhetoric by the do-nothing PDP. Therefore, in the days and weeks ahead, we will be highlighting the key areas of the document for all Nigerians to see.

“For now, let us say that our Road Map is for job creation, for which we have unveiled a broad and comprehensive agenda to create 20,000 jobs in each state for those with the minimum qualifications and who participate in technology and vocational training, and to encourage every state government to create jobs by matching every job created at the state government level with two jobs by the federal government.

“We will fight corruption, for which the PDP-led FG has become infamous, whenever and wherever it occurs. An APC government will show zero tolerance for government or private sector corruption by placing the burden of proof on persons with inexplicable wealth to prove their innocence; and guaranteeing the independence of anti-corruption and financial crimes.

“We will provide free, relevant and quality education that is essential to prepare our youth for the jobs of tomorrow and to ensure Nigeria’s future success. We will revive agriculture as an engine for economic growth and new jobs and increase the supply of quality housing through a policy of social housing for the poor and affordable housing for the working class.

“We will improve Health Care; provide Social Welfare; build and improve our roads, power and basic infrastructure to create new jobs and unleash business growth and strengthen peace and security by stopping the kind of horrendous acts of terrorism, especially in the Northeast, which have robbed us of Nigerian lives of every age and withered confidence in our nation’s security”.

Orji Emerges S’East Governors Forum Chairman, Pledges To Move Region Forward


Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State.

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State.

Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has emerged chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum with the pledge to move the zone forward.

Orji takes over from Peter Obi, whose tenure as governor of Anambra State comes to an end next week Monday.

The governors met on Sunday for over five hours at the Enugu State Government House. The meeting was attended by some stakeholders.

Obi told journalists that there was nothing unusual about the meeting of governors from the South-East, which he said is for the overall development of the region.

He said, “We met for our usual meeting in the South-East and for our overall development. We met to select a new chairman for the forum. As you know, I will be handing over on March, 17. The new chairman is governor of Abia State.

“He will steer the mantle of leadership of the forum haven completed my tenure. I urge you all, especially the media, to give him the support that you gave to me during my tenure”.

In his acceptance speech, Orji thanked his colleagues for unanimously electing him the chairman.

“I pledge to move the South-East region forward especially in the area of economic development. Obviously, this task is a daunting one but with the cooperation of my colleagues, I will surely accomplish this task.

“I also assure you that I will move the region to the next level with the active participation of all stakeholders”, he said.

Investigations Into Enugu Govt House Attack Almost Done – Police


policeThe identity of those who staged a daring attack on the Enugu State Government House last Saturday would soon be made known to the public, the police has said.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, made this disclosure on Sunday.

Amaraizu said investigation into the incident, which reportedly left one of the attackers dead during a shoot-out with security operatives attached to the governor’s official residence, was almost complete with the findings soon to be made public.

He, however, refused to state categorically if the attackers were cultists from higher institutions in the South-East zone as speculated.

“I can’t give answers to your question on if the men (attackers) are cultists from universities in the South-East. All I can say is that we are still investigating and almost done. When we are finally done, we would make known the identity of the attackers to the public”, Amaraizu said.

Oyinlola Advocates Permanent Seat For Nigeria In UN Security Council


oyinlola-360x225-0980

Immediate past governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has said that Nigeria deserves a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council in view of its contributions to global peace and security.

The ex-governor said it was the civic duty of everyone to work for global peace.

Oyinlola made the appeal on Saturday in New York, United States while addressing participants at the year 2014 International Conference of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs Centers and Associations’ (WFUCA) Executive Board Meeting.

A statement by his media aide, Mr. Femi Adelegan, quoted Oyinlola as saying: “The International Community should support Nigeria’s quest for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council in view of the nation’s critical role as the undisputed leader and motivator of the African continent.

“Apart from its strategic importance, Nigeria has also played prominent and commendable roles in liberation struggles of African nations. The country’s commitments to peaceful co-existence of the peoples of the world in terms of material and financial support to the UN agenda, have been massive, to warrant Nigeria a place as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

“Nigeria has never failed to act decisively on matters concerning political and socio-economic development of African states, especially when their security is threatened”.

Oyinlola, who is a retired Brigadier-General of the Nigerian Army, said having personally taken part in some peacekeeping operations, it was better to work for global peace than violence.

The statement added: “We all owe it a responsibility to influence our societies positively; and one sure way of achieving this objective is the proper utilization of the media and other potent instruments of social change to eliminate tension and conflicts all over the world.

“The way forward includes the promotion of inter-religious and cultural dialogue, civic education, and more importantly, faithful implementation of the globalization agenda that commands drastic reduction of inequalities between the developing and the developed world; a phenomenon that he said, posed threats to peaceful coexistence as a result of uneven development and injustice.

“Having tasted the unpleasant effects of wars and violence through my participation in the United Nations and Africa’s peace-keeping operations in the past, I will continue to support platforms for constructive discussions of peace by stakeholders as a solid basis for societal peace and development”.

HOW KALU AND HIS MOTHER DESTROYED ABIA – U.N. Udechukwu, SAN


You were in Aba, Abia State recently. How will you  compare the Aba four years ago and the Aba you met recently?

 

You know I was a victim. As a matter of fact  kidnapping was why I left Aba, because they came after me and after my wife in  my residence. And I thank God because after we left, it became worse. But I am  happy to say that this time when I visited Aba, it was cool. I didn’t see any  signs of tension at all.

 

I looked at the citizens going about their  business, it didn’t even seem as if they remembered that there was a time people  couldn’t move about because of kidnappers. The only thing I noticed was the  heat. Aba was so hot, there was no electricity supply otherwise Aba is a cool  place now. I spent two weeks there without any tensions or any fears at all.

 

So, you can now return to Aba since the fear of  kidnappers that drove you away to Abuja is no more there? 

 

No, my opinion is that ones a vice begins, it is  very very difficult to eradicate it. The peace we are enjoying in Aba now I can  attribute to the fact that there are soldiers there. Soldiers were drafted into  the place and they were ruthless. I am aware of the fact that quite a number of  youths who were misguided into thinking that kidnapping was a viable criminal  venture lost their lives. A lot of them were eliminated by the soldiers.

 

So the peace that we have now in Aba, I don’t  consider as permanent because it will require for the army to go back to their  barracks for us to be able to see whether the populace had learnt their lesson.  Because it got to a situation where every little boy was a kidnapper in Aba. It  is left to be seen whether that mentality has been eradicated totally.

 

So, your question whether I want to go back to Aba,  I think I will tarry a while (laughter).

 

Governor T.A. Orji brought in soldiers and they  were able to stop kidnapping in Aba. Why do you think is the reason why the Boko  Haram has not been checked inspite of the presence of soldiers in the affected  northern areas?

 

Once you get into a state of anarchy it is not  easy to eradicate it. And I don’t think that the government is really sincere  about dealing with the state of anarchy that has virtually taken over northern  Nigeria. I know the issue is political.

 

The aspect of it that I find very painful is the  religious angle to it. That these young misguided elements go to attack churches  and mosques is something that should be condemned by all. I understand that a  very very well known Moslem scholar and teacher was killed recently, with his  wife and his child. And I read a commentary about it by some other Moslem who  lamented that his only crime was that he wasn’t in support of the concept of Boko Haram, meaning that Western Education is a crime. He taught and  preached that you need to combine Western Education with Islam if you want to  progress. Was that a crime? For that they had to waste him, waste his wife and  waste his son. That was a pity.

 

My request is that those who find it  convenient to use Boko Haram as a political tool should think again. Let  me repeat, once you start a vice, it is difficult to stop and you never know  when you will become a victim of it yourself. The sooner we do something  collectively, I mean we as Nigerians, represented by those who find themselves  within political power today, until they do something about Boko Haram, we are going to have more and more militancies and it is not going to be in the  best interest of this country. And even though military coups have become  unacceptable in Africa, it is very tempting for some rascals in the army to  stage a coup and give as their excuse the menace of Boko Haram

 

So those who are sponsoring it should be very very  careful that it might plunge this country into a crisis worse than a civil war.  And it will take very little to turn it into a religious war. And once you have  a religious colouration in any conflict, in any nation, at any time in history,  it is always devastating

 

Do you agree with those who say that the Boko  Haram is lingering because President Jonathan did not sack governors and houses  of assembly in his state of emergency declaration?

 

You know, we have a constitution, never mind the  impunity in government, you must have to know to what extent you push your  impunity. Because people are going to, when it suits them, use the constitution  as basis to attack your activities. So, you want him to declare a state of  emergency and sack governors, does he have the constitutional power to do so?  People who are going to be affected by that kind of draconian measure are going  to raise dust and might even go to court.

 

Look, I do not think that the problem with  Jonathan’s government is one of not having options. I think the truth must be  told that his government lacks moral legitimacy. That is the real problem. Some  of the actions taken under his administration are so bereft of any moral  justification and you begin to wonder whether there is any policy coming out of  his government that is altrustic, that is aimed towards solving any real  problem.

 

To me Jonathan appears to take political benefit  out of every situation in Nigeria and that is dangerous. Why did he grant  amnesty to Alamieyesiegha? This was a man found criminally liable for embezzling  public funds, the most heinous crime you can commit in a polity. It wasn’t mere  suspicion.  He was found guilty, duly tried. In addition to that he is a  fugitive from justice. And you grant him pardon. What message are you sending to  the public?

 

Now, some one goes on air in a television house  and boasts openly that if Jonathan doesn’t become president in 2015, blood will  flow and that he will see to it that blood flowed. Nothing is done to him.

 

And then E1- Rufai simply warned that if you do  not ensure peaceful, credible election, that anarchy will be the result. And  that is considered offensive and for that, the law enforcement agents are sent  after him. So there is no moral legitimacy in what this government does. The  same situation that we found ourselves in when Obasanjo was in power. It does  appear that from the reign of Obasanjo to the present administration, we have  had this terrible situation of impunity in government, situation where  government lays the worst examples for the polity and I don’t know where that  takes us. I honesty believe that if a government with moral legitimacy wants to  deal with any problem in the society such as Boko Haram, it could find an  answer.

 

But I can’t see how you can find an answer to Boko Haram when your own man says in a television house that he is going to  make blood flow and he is walking the streets free.

 

The person who made that statement didn’t mince  words, he was categorical that if Jonathan doesn’t rule this country, whether we  vote or we don’t vote, that if Jonathan doesn’t rule, that blood will flow. And  he is walking the streets free. But some one else simply tells you, “conduct a  viable election, if you don’t, the consequence will be chaos”. And you say he  said something criminal and you arrest him. I am asking, “where is the moral  justification?”

 

So, are you saying that 2015 election may not be  credible?

 

If the things that have gone by are anything to  measure by, and I have told you that my problem with the government of Godluck  Jonathan is lack of moral legitimacy, if he continues to do things for the  expediency of them and doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions, we  won’t even have an election in 2015, and if we do, it will be no better than the  farce that we have witnessed in the past.

 

We have just had an election in Anambra state.  Look at what came out of it. It is just a pity but it does appear that this is a  government that does not care about honour, only expediency.

 

Did you expect the government in power in Anambra  to lose the election?

 

 I know that there has been an election somewhere  in Africa where the incumbent government did not win. The incumbent government  need not win an election. It says a lot of the competence of INEC that the  impression is now being created that it is no longer independent and that an  incumbent government could have its way under its very nose. Here was an  election in which it was declared that some parts of the constituency witnessed  violence and voided the election by reason of malpractices. You don’t cancel  that election. You say you want to run a bye election in only one part of the  constituency. The constituency for governorship is the state. So if the  constituency election happens to have a hitch of a nature that warrants your  canceling the election, you cancel the whole thing. And you have sufficient  evidence to cancel the whole thing but you didn’t, because of that lack of moral  legitimacy that I am talking about, because of that impunity that has become  part of our governance.

 

Do you think that if it was cancelled that either  APC or PDP could have won in a fresh election?

 

No, no, no. I am not interested in who wins. That  is not important to me. But one thing I thought we would have gained was  cleansing of the political process. It would have sent us a message that rigging  doesn’t pay and that you can’t get away with a rigged election. They pumped in a  lot of money into rigging that election that money would have gone down the  drain and then they would learn in future that that is not the short cut to  power. That is what concerns me. I am not a politician so it doesn’t bother me  who wins. But what teaching are we giving to our future generation? When are we  going to begin to have free and fair election?

 

You have one of the most astute and upright  intellectual in charge of INEC, supported by his team of fellow professors from  various universities but these politicians just won’t let them be, they just  wont let them do their job. Politicians go into their caucuses doing nothing but  planning how to subvert the law, subvert the electoral process, subvert the  constitution, subvert the best of the chief empire  inspite of his very very  outstanding credibility. I pity Jega because I happen to know him as a person  and I happen to follow his track records. There are very few men like him in our  country. But look at what the politicians have turned him into. I pity him.

 

If you were in his shoes what would you have done?

 

I don’t have that kind of staying power in the  face of evil. It is either I am in a position to change it or I quit. So if I  were in Jega’s shoes I could have gone long ago.

 

But Jega is idealistic. He is a highly regarded  professor, an intellectual. He would probably be under the illusion that he  could make the change but they are gradually eroding his moral high grounds by  their conduct. There was a FEDECO Chairman, Ovie Whiskey, who was completely  marooned by the politicians and then some one accused him of taking one million  naira bribe to achieve a particular result. What did he say? He said if he saw  that amount of money he would faint. That was amusing, because to those who  carry the Ghana Must Go about one million naira was nothing. But here was a  judge unused to bribery, unused to big money, and he told you that if he sees a  million naira he will faint. It is that same kind of corruption and moral  subversion that Jega is being exposed to. And if you can’t beat Jega, then you  get at his lieutenants. That is the reason why an electoral commissioner in  Anambra state could be found in a mess that he found himself. What could Jega do  about a situation like that in a corrupt society like ours? If I were in his  position I will resign. But I know Jega will not resign.

 

How do you see the forthcoming national  conference? 

 

You know, I could have told you that it is a very  good thing except that I do not trust that the government is honest about it. I  also do not think that there is the appropriate legal frame work for it and the  absence of proper legal frame work is an aspect of the insincerity we are  talking about. I don’t know how you are going to have a body come to terms about  our rules for living together as a country and the product of such exercise is  going to be left to these corrupt politicians who populate the legislative  houses today. Because they are the legislature, whatever you have decided  wouldn’t become anything unless they bless it. And they are not going to bless  anything that is going to erode their standing, because as far as they are  concerned this is their time. Men and women who are not ashamed, have no qualms  whatsoever when it is said that legislators of a third world country like  Nigeria earn more than their counterparts in America. They consider that some  form of praise. Otherwise they consider it justified. These are people you are  going to call upon to implement the recommendations of a serious national  conference.

 

I can assure you that that national conference,  one of the things it will start dealing with is the bloated nature of the budget  of the national assembly. You are going to expect these men to make a yes vote  over a finding that is going to nullify their benefit. They will not. Like  Chinua Achebe ones put it, you will be assembling a group of avaricious  landlords to determine rent complaints by tenants, (laughter). So, it is just  one of those committees that Jonathan has become very well known for. For every  little problem, he sets up a committee. So that is where we are.

 

What do you think should be done about this over  bloated budget of the national assembly?

 

I don’t know. It will take a revolution to  dislodge the squalor that we now have in the political field. It is a pity  because the people who are there are looting the economy dry. Those who are not  there are fighting to get in there and when they get in there they will do  worse. Because every new generation of vice tends to become more potend and  vicious than the previous one. So, my answer is, I don’t know. It will  definitely take a revolution of some sort. I don’t advocate military revolution  but I do not know when we can have non violent revolution that is going to  address these vices. But until we have, there is no solution in sight at all.

 

The Ohaneze Ndigbo are of the view that Igbos  should drop their presidential ambition and support Jonathan in 2015. What do  you say?

 

You have asked me a very very sour question. Sour  in the sense that I am ashamed of the Igbo political elite.  They are just a  shameful lot. So I don’t even want to begin to talk about what they say, what  they want to do or what they don’t want to do. Because non of these things is  based on any ideology, non of them can be founded on any philosophy. It has  nothing to do with protecting the interest of the Igbos. It is only a question  of what do I say in order to get into power. If I can’t make it to be president,  how do I make it into the corridor of power. That has been the attitude of the  Igbos in politics and it shatters me. When will it stop? When shall we become  emancipated?

 

Because it is only in Igbo land that you can have  a governor whose only interest is to perpetrate himself and his family first.  Not even his community, but himself and his family. So when Mr. A becomes  governor, his mother becomes Mama Excellency. Then when his mother is not good  enough to play the role of Mama Excellency, he gets his son to become the little  prince. How else do you explain the fact that for the first time in the history  of Nigeria, the wife of the president is more famous than the president himself.  These are the things that can happen when the Igbo man is in control. And then  the Igbo man in control cannot do anything to stop a situation where churches  are being systematically closed down, burnt and destroyed in a part of the  country while the Moslems are doing everything in their power to Islamise the  Igbo territories. And he can’t solve that problem. He can’t even begin to be  seen to be solving it to start with. And you want me to begin to talk about Igbo  politics and Igbo identity and Igbo agenda. As far as I am concerned it is all a  farce. The Igbos have never been known to look beyond their noses and they will  not learn it now. They will continue to play second fiddle.

 

I don’t know whether you are aware of the fact  that in some states in Igbo land and even beyond, the governors are running  their states without substantive Chief Judges, they run with acting Chief  Judges. And the Judges, trained, qualified peoples, are no better than their  political brothers and as far as I am concerned they are the goats that must  follow the man with palm fronds. That is their policy. So every Igbo man  believes that if I cannot be the one driving the palmfrond, let me be one of  those eating the palm fronds. So you change your position from human being to  goat. That is the way I can describe the situation of some of our Judges who  cannot tell the governors that they can’t do it, that the constitution does not  permit it. The Judges like the situation because they are appointed to act three  months each as Chief Judge. Gradually all the Judges begin to look upon becoming  acting Chief Judges as if it is an elevation. But that is not the anticipation  of the constitution. So I don’t care whether any of them wants to be president  or not, because at the very best of time, they are irrelevant in the equation.

 

But we hear that people like Orji Uzor Kalu has a  presidential ambition and that even Ohaneze Ndigbo begged him to drop the  ambition.

 

I wish him luck. He was a wonderful governor of  Abia state. I hope his mother is still alive and is still struggling to become  the mother of Nigeria. Orji Uzor Kalu was the gentleman who set up the mess that  Theodore Orji inherited. The lack of governance in Abia state.

 

As a president he will perform just as much as he  performed as governor of Abia State. And I am telling you that the legacies of  his wonderful performeance are everywhere at Aba for you to see. I am told that  there is no way an Igbo can become president in 2015 and Orji Uzor Kalu is a  courageous man, I wish him luck. I hope he wins. I don’t know what party will  field him. I hear he wants to get back into PDP. Others are getting out of PDP  and he is going in. I wish him luck.

 

There was an opinion by one of his aides recently  that he is the number one Igbo man around. How do you react to that?

 

Well, I don’t see what makes him number one Igbo  man except when his cronies say so on his behalf, not when he has a newspaper to  propagate himself. But in real terms, in real achievement, when you talk about  real statesment, I don’t rate him in Igbo land. He certainly is not going to  begin to claim to be any reincarnation of Okpara, Akanu Ibiam. Tell me who was a  true Igbo leader that Orji Uzor Kalu can measure with. Is it Ekwueme? Where is  his claim to fame? I want to see that concrete achievement for which people are  lauding him. I can’t find it. May be I am blind. Show me what he has done. You  know what Mbakwe did, you could see what Mbakwe did.

 

Apart from elevating his mother to a supper human  stature in Abia state where anybody who wanted to be anything in Abia state must  first go and get his mother’s permission and the jobless women in Abia state  became the domestic house helps of his mother. Apart from that what else did he  achieve in Abia state or in Nigeria? Is it because he built a football team?  Tell me one single school, one single University that functioned successfully  during his tenure? What legacies did he leave behind that children of Abia state  still have to go to Ghana to acquire ordinary education?  What hospitals did he  either build or equip?

 

How really do we measure these achievements we are  talking about? I am at a loss.

He wants to be president. Yes he is welcome. But I  have told you the legacies he left behind. We elected him as governor and he  surrendered the administration of the state to his mother. That is what he is  going to do when he gets to Abuja. Outside that tell me any other thing that he  left as a legacy in Abia state. I cant see any myself.

 

Some people talked about his having a link with  Okija shrine.

 

No, I wouldn’t go into that but I can tell you as  some one who was involved in election petitions in Abia state, that most of  these things were false, then the ones that were true were exaggerated. I will  tell you that when I was in Abia state, a very very important and wealthy  business man came to me and showed me a letter of invitation to Okija  shrine to answer to an allegation made against him by some business associates  and he said what he wanted me to do was to arrest those people and subject them  for intimidating him.

 

I give you this example for you to know that it  was not only politicians that were going to Okija shrine. What happened  was that the courts were failing the people and they were looking for  alternative dispute resolution environment. That was why going to Okija  Shrine came about.

 

Now, as for policians, they discovered, and I can  tell you this because these were things that featured in my practice. A lot of  financiers would come to my office and complain that they financed a politician  but now the politician is not paying them and they ask if they could take a  civil action in court to recover their money. And my advice is there is no  provision in the law that allows you to do that. It is a fraudulent agreement  (laughter), it is an agreement contrary to law. So you cannot go to court to go  and enforce it. So some of these people then said, “okay, if I am going to lend  you money to run for governorship and I am not going to get it from you, by due  process under the law, you must have to come to go and swear for me before the Okija shrine.”

 

He himself turned to his commissioners and said,  “If I am going to make you a commissioner, you must have to swear oath of  allegiance to me personally and you have to do it before the shrine at Okija  because if you just sign an agreement with me I can’t enforce it against you”.  That is how Okija came into the picture.

 

I can tell you that I have seen a lot about  politics  as a lawyer and I know that on one occasion I had been called upon to  go before a shrine to get my fee because it was thought that if I wasn’t bound  over, that my honesty and confidence will not be secured, that I might switch  sides. So to satisfy my client that I will remain loyal to his cause, he will  put his money before a shrine and I will take it there.

 

Of course I said “go to hell”, (laughter). I said  “go to hell” and because I am some one that likes to try anything once, on one  particular occasion I was invited to a place in Oguta to go and take my money.  Out of curiosity I said let me go and see what will happen. So I went there, it  was a coffin, (laughter).

 

Hope you are not talking about Arthur Nzeribe?

 

(Laughter) And the money was put in a coffin and I  was asked to take it (laughter). I just looked at the fellow who was talking to  me and walked back, entered my car and drove back to Aba. Then I packaged their  file and returned it to them and withdrew from that case.

 

So I know that these things exist but I know of an  attorney general in Abia state under Orji Uzor Kalu that never went to any  shrine. I can tell you authoritatively that he never went to any shrine.

But something very funny happened when we were  doing an election petition for Theodore Orji. This evidence was given that there  was no how you could be a commissioner under Orji Uzor Kalu without going to Okija shrine, that all commissioners under Orji Uzor Kalu went to Okija  shrine. The attempt was to prove that Theodore Orji went to Okija shrine.

 

But this gentleman who I know could never have  gone to Okija shrine was so annoyed when the evidence was given and he  was a member of my team. He asked that I allow him to take the cross examination  and I said he can take it. So he got up and looked the gentleman in the face and  said, “You have just told the tribunal that every commissioner under Orji Uzor  Kalu went to Okija shrine. So you mean I went to Okija shrine”. 

 

I jumped up and said, no don’t do that (Laughter).  The tribunal said, no, I won’t record that. So these things were not as serious  as people thought and I knew it wasn’t everybody that went to Okija  shrine.

 

There was a photograph published of Orji Uzor Kalu  at the shrine. They wanted to use it against him when I was his counsel, they  didn’t succeed, I blocked it. But then it opened the eyes of people.

So when it was the time of Theodore Orji, they  went and faked a phototric  or film in what looked like a shrine and they came  and showed it to me and said, “you are finished, we are going to tender it to  prove that your man went to Okija shrine”. But inside them they know that  Theodore Orji didn’t go to any shrine.

 

Orji didn’t leave it in my hands. He decided to do  something about it. So while I was doing my own bit inside the court, he went  and got his men to produce his opponent in Okija shrine also (laughter).  So you looked at both photographs (laughter). So you see these photographs are  easily doctored and faked. So I don’t believe in Okija shrine.

 

What do you mean by saying that Orji Uzor Kalu  surrendered the administration of Abia state to his mother? Why did he do that?

 

Impunity and ignorance of the essence of  statesmanship. We do not understand what our relationship to power should be. A  governor thinks he has become the god of the place and the people actually  ascribe him the attributes of God. And tell me any God that you know that didn’t  have a powerful mother. Jesus had one, (laughter). So, that is it for you.  Superstition, ignorance, impunity, all put together. Obama did say that one of  the problems with Africa is that we try so hard to build strong personalities  and not strong institutions. If you have strong institutions, strong  personalities won’t arise. Therefore any strong personality begins by trying to  destroy institutions. Because if the institutions stand, you can’t stand. You  will become the ordinary human being that God created you if the institutions  hold sway. So the first thing that an ignorant person wants to do is to destroy  the institutions. That is why the constitution is the enemy of any person in  power. The only time that a person in power wants to have anything to do with  the constitution is when it favours him, otherwise Obasanjo will tell you that  the constitution  is a straight jacket he never wants to wear.

That is the attitude of people in power in Africa.  They don’t want to hear that there are things they cannot do.

 

What is the problem with the judiciary? People are  saying that the judiciary is now very corrupt.

I must tell you that it is unfortunate that we  have to be talking in terms of the rot in the judiciary. I have always believed  that the one institution that should remain incorruptible if we are ever going  to survive is the judiciary. But unfortunately evil men have found their way  into the judiciary and it started as an avalanche under Obasanjo. It is now so  bad that I look back in nostalgia at the days when I was a young lawyer and I  could walk into the Supreme Court and talk about the law with pride. It is not  now. Nothing is now certain.

 

There is a policy statement that says, “If you  discard the law, you go astray, and everything will become uncertain to  everybody”. We have succeeded in discarding the law in Nigeria and we are all  going astray and nobody can now be certain as to what is right and what is  wrong. It is a pity.

 

I am not proud of the stories that come out of the  judiciary. I am not going to pick specific cases because it is dangerous to do  so. Judges work under very difficult circumstances and they are supposed to  declare the law according to the kind of advocacy they receive.  I can tell you  that there have been circumstances in which judges have made serious mistakes  because they didn’t get adequate assistance from the bar. But I don’t know to  what extent I can now exculpate our judges on that core. Afterall don’t we  normally say that the law resides in the bossom of the judges? So to what extent  really can a judge give as an excuse for bad judgment that lawyers did not  educate him?

 

Some of the judgments are so scandalous that you  don’t know what to say, whether this is just a case of crass ignorance, crass  incompetence or just plain corruption. I don’t want to criticize specific  judgments but some of the judgments leave one wondering.

 

There is another aspect of it that I must mention.  The general decline in the standard of education. Our generation of judges that  were trained overseas have virtually gone. In the Supreme Court at the moment  you have judges who are products of the Nigerian law school. Some of them at the  Supreme Court now are my mates.

 

And how did some of them get to the Supreme Court?  It is not because of excellence in practice, it is because of either quota  system, because you want to balance the ratio of men and women, or quota system  because you want to balance one ethnic group and the other, or quota system  because you want to balance one state and the other. These are the criteria for  getting to the Supreme Court. Not because you have been shown to be  exceptionally good with the law or that you have had exceptional experience in  the law.

 

There are others that got there not because of any  of these criteria that I have mentioned but even by reason of some other more  dangerous criteria, example, that you did a wonderful job for the president and  his party when you were in the election tribunal and then it was considered  that  you should be compensated, you are then elevated.

 

When they elevate you to the Court of Appeal, it  is a stone throw to the Supreme Court. That is how some of them got to the  Supreme Court.

So, when I look at the mode of ascendancy and then  look at the quality of adjudications, compare it with what I used to know, I  shake my head. I am coming close to my 50th year in advocacy.

 

There was a time I wore my wig and gown with pride  when I walked into a court of law. There was a time that I could tell the  litigant precisely what the outcome of the case will be, based on the certainty  of law. It is no longer so now. If you venture to tell your client what the  outcome of litigation is going to be, you will find yourself completely messed  up.

And I had argued a matter before the Court of  Appeal in which I was motivated by zeal to correct a legal error previously made  by the Court of Appeal.

 

I was there trying to do something that was  considered unimaginable, making the Court of Appeal to over rule its previous  decision and agree that it was wrong.

 

After I had done the work in court, my client told  me that it wasn’t what I did in court that will give him victory, that he was  looking for a way to see the Judges, do I know them? I said of course I don’t  know them but that I have given them some serious assignment and that I believe  that I know what their verdict was going to be.

 

My client laughed at me and said, “well that is  your own but I am not going to leave anything to chance” that he will look for  someone who knows them. And whenever your client, an Igbo man in government  tells you that, you can imagine what he is talking about. He is going to a  particular part of Nigeria to go and get a lawyer because he believes that they  know how to reach Judges. Eventually the Judges were courageous enough to agree  with me on all grounds and alter their previous position on the matter.

 

My client didn’t give me credit for it. He  believed it was the late night meeting he had with the Judges that solved the  problem.

 

So, you see there are so many things wrong with  our system. So I don’t know where to blame it but it is the corruption that is  destroying this country, it is unimaginable. 

2015: We’ve Not Found An Alternative To Jonathan, Says Gulak


The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmad Gulak has declared that all over Nigeria, there is no alternative to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, as the country approaches the 2015 general election.

Gulak said members of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, were noise-makers, who are desperate to hold power, but they will not succeed.

The presidential aide, who is the National Coordinator of Goodluck Support Group (GSG), in a statement at the weekend, further called on the international community to ignore what he described as ‘noisy propaganda sponsored’ in the press by the opposition.

He spoke at an award ceremony for eminent women by the Global Connections for Women Foundation to mark the 2014 International Women’s Day at Havard Club, New York, United States of America.

Gulak said: “We have searched from the West, East, North and the south, for today, as I speak with you, we have not found an alternative to Goodluck Jonathan. What you get to hear in the press is the work of the opposition who are desperate to hold power and definitely they are not going to be an alternative to this present administration.

“We have seen what some of them had done in the past and we are still seeing what they are doing.  Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan is progressing. We are developing”, Gulak said.

He called for greater support from global super powers in the fight against terrorism on the African continent.

“We are still groaning or complaining or condemning what happened during the first and Second World War. The effects are still with us. In Africa, the insurgencies in Africa, the terrorism in Africa would not have been possible without the proliferation of small arms and ammunition.

“And the small arms and ammunition are manufactured and delivered through the super powers. If they really want to help Africa, then this area is key”, he opined.

Gulak noted that “The security challenges are global phenomenon. We challenge our women because this campaign, if driven by women, we believe we would overcome it. Today is the challenge we are throwing to the women to take the campaign, to take the lead and address issues either public or in the bed room with their husband”.

Responding, the chairperson of GC4W, Chief Temitope Ajayi noted that women are engines of growth.

According to her, the present administration has offered great opportunities for women advancement and contribution to societal growth and national development.

She, therefore, called on Nigerians to give more support to President Jonathan as he continues in his giant strides to advance the country, even as she advocated that more women be given more opportunities to contribute to the political leadership of the country.

Missing $20bn: Melaye To Lead ‘Mother Of All Protests’ Against Alison-Madueke, NNPC


dino_melaye (1)A civil rights organization, Anti-Corruption Network, founded by a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dino Melaye, has called on the Federal Government not to sweep under the carpet the case of the missing $20 billion, which the suspended Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Malam Sanusi Lamido, alleged was not remitted to the Federation Account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

A statement issued on Sunday in Abuja by Melaye, who is the Executive Secretary of the organization, and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, said his group would soon stage a protest against the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison Diezani-Madueke.

He said, “We are organising the mother of all protest against the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison Deziani-Madueke and the NNPC over the missing $20 billion and more. We shall no longer keep quiet over issues that concerns us as a people and may destroy our future.

“The Police and other security agencies should be ready to arrest, intimidate, harass, shoot, teargas and maltreat us. Nigerians should not be taken for granted. The time for change is now! We have no other country to call our own but Nigeria.

“We will not allow bigots and power usurpers to destroy our God’s-given country. Corruption is the bane of our development and we will fight it. In an unjust society, silence is a crime. Through this protest, we will prove that power truly belongs to the people and will call the attention of the world on Nigeria.

“Mobilisation is ongoing like never before. A date and time will be circulated soonest. No one can stop a moving train. We shall and must salvage our fatherland even with our blood. We will prove that though tribe and tongue may differ but in brotherhood we stand. We shall surely overcome the forces of evil. God bless Nigeria”.

Stop Hiding Under Islam To Gain Public Sympathy, Your Ideology’s Anarchist – PDP Tells APC


metuh

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday insisted that the recent roadmap unveiled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a roadmap to perdition.

This is contained in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Olisa Metuh, in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalled that the party spokesman had in a statement on March 6 alleged that the APC was pursing “a Janjaweed ideology’’.

It described the APC ideology as the same as the “Janjaweed and the Anti-Balaka and the Seleka of the Central African Republic, whose ideology are completely anarchists”.

The statement said that the roadmap unveiled by the APC was not worth discussing as it was evidently rushed out without proper homework.

It quoted the party spokesman as describing the document as “wishy-washy,’’ lacking in depth and character and failed to address any issue.

The statement advised the APC to desist from deceiving the people with empty promises as contained in some of the items in the said roadmap.

It pointed out that while the roadmap promised free education, students in Lagos state have been on the streets protesting imposition of high school fees by the state government.

It further noted that the people in the state were groaning under the burden of heavy taxes, which it alleged were being used to finance the wasteful lifestyle of APC leaders.

Metuh, in the statement said it was most curious that the APC with 16 states under its control, was not able to implement any of its “Janjaweed ideology.

It stressed that the APC by the roadmap, had actually launched seven cardinal sins against the national interest.

This, he said, include: deceit and propaganda, violence and destruction, lust for power, greed for money and insatiable acquisition of wealth and multiple and over-taxation.

Others, the statement identified as promotion of religious and tribal divisions and lack of respect for democratic tenets and principles.

Metuh, in the statement charged the APC to stop hiding under Islam to gain public sympathy, adding that the party had since shown that it had no respect for Islam.

It stressed that no true Muslim would identify with a party made up of anarchists bound together by the lust for power and desperation to rule by any means.

The party spokesman stated that the PDP, with a dedicated Muslim as its national chairman, has more committed Muslims who are worshipping Allah in truth more than the APC.

It added that the party has other responsible and committed Muslims as ministers, state governors, legislators and leaders in all tiers of government across the country.

Metuh noted that in working to ensure that it made the country ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan, the APC chieftains had shown that they did not believe the truth in the Quran that power belongs only to Allah.

It added that the APC by its actions had also failed to believe that Allah in His infinite grace and wisdom gives power to whoever he wants.

The statement, therefore, charged the APC to stop hiding under Islam to gain sympathy having shown that it had no respect for the religion.

Saraki To Jonathan: Don’t Punish States With Opposing Govs Over Differences


Bukola-Saraki-Former Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki has urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to stifle states controlled by the opposition.

He was reacting to a remark by Jonathan last week, when prominent Anambra State indigenes led by the outgoing Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, paid him a thank you visit at the State House, Abuja that governors in the habit of hurling abuses at him and the Federal Government should desist as they were not doing their states any good.

Saraki, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, however, expressed doubts that the president could have uttered such a statement, urging political office holders to be guided by their oath of office.

Speaking with reporters on Sunday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, Saraki said: “The president said that? He said that? I don’t even know what to say. What I just want my own people, in Kwara and Nigerians in general, to know is that they should take sentiment out of these issues. What we are talking about in Nigeria today is not whether you are a Northerner or otherwise, Yoruba man or Ijaw, Christian or Muslim. We should not allow sentiments.

“Even if a state governor and the president are not on good terms, the nation and the constitution that we all swore to uphold should be the guiding principle. I will be surprised if he said that. I’m sure the president couldn’t have said that. Maybe he was misquoted. I hope he will deny it very soon. It is not a statement that should come from him as the president of a country like ours”.

MOSOP Kicks Against Ogoni Exclusion From Delegates’ List To National Conference


LEGBORSI

LEGBORSI PYAGBARA, MOSOP PRESIDENT

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has condemned the exclusion of the Ogoni ethnic group from delegates that will be taking part in the National Conference billed to commence from March 17, 2014 and expected to last for three months.

MOSOP noted with dismay the conspicuous absence of Ogoni sons and daughters in the list of delegates to the National Conference to hold in Abuja, saying it was unfortunate.

President of MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, who spoke through his Media Adviser, Mr. Bari-ara Kpalap, weekend, noted that the development was coming on the heels of the recent exclusion of the late environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, from Nigeria’s centenary awardees’ list, which contained names of some corrupt persons.

“Coming on the heels of the just-concluded Nigeria’s centenary celebrations where the famous writer and environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, was deliberately omitted from the centenary awardees’ list that even contained the names of acknowledged corruption magnates and their likes, this exclusion is undoubtedly an indication of the Jonathan administration’s continuous war of exclusion of the Ogoni people from the scheme of things in this country.

“We recall, and evidence abound that the Ogoni people have fared far worse under the present Federal Government than other elected regimes in this country since 1999.

“The attitude and response of the Jonathan administration to clearing the names of Ken Saro-Wiwa and others  of a sham trial of which their innocence have been globally acknowledged and instead rewarded those that facilitated their illegal executive murder.

“Also, the government’s failure to implement recommendations of the UNEP environmental assessment report on Ogoni and the refusal to appoint Ogoni into offices, have strengthened our conclusion that the Jonathan administration has unpretentiously declared war on Ogoni”, he said.

NANS Blames Political Forces For LASU Crisis


LASU-Gate

The National of Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Sunday said some desperate political actors in Lagos State fuelled the Lagos State University (LASU) crisis to score what the group described as cheap political points.

The association, therefore, warned such political forces “to desist from dragging LASU into political muddy waters,” noting that the institution was duly established by a statute to cater for the tertiary education of the state’s residents.

The NANS gave the warning in a statement by the Chairman of NANS Lagos Chapter, Mr. Yaqub Eleto, saying the January 23 riot was majorly on the gross mismanagement of the crisis by the LASU Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa.

The students union government of the university had embarked on a peaceful protest on Wednesday, Jan. 22, over the closure of the university’s portal by the authorities. The closure of the portal had deprived the students from registering for the second semester examination.

After the government waded into the matter and parties involved presented their cases before the Lagos State House of Assembly, Governor Babtunde Fashola ordered that the school be reopened on February 24 so that the second semester examinations could take place.

PDP, APC Can’t Rescue Nigeria-Prof Idowu Sobowale


Nigeria...vote

A coalition of civil society organisation under the aegis of Civic Consciousness Initiative at the weekend said the current crop of political actors in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) among others lacked basic values to rescue the country from her socio-political woes.

The coalition declared this at a news conference it held at the Lagos State branch of Nigeria Union of Journalists Secretariat in Alausa, calling on God-fearing countrymen, especially professionals in different fields to contest elections into political offices of their choice in the 2015 elections.

Chairman of the coalition, Prof. Idowu Sobowale, who addressed the conference along with the group’s Secretary, Rev. Awe among others, said beautiful ones “are not yet born and this is a duty call to all Nigerians.” [Thisday]

Fuel Scarcity: Alison-Madueke Accuses Marketers Of Diversion


Minister-of-Petroleum-Resources-Mrs-Diezani-Alison-Madueke

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, Sunday, accused marketers of diverting Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) or petrol for other uses.

Speaking during an unscheduled inspection of some filling stations in Lagos State, the minister said the country had enough PMS to meet the domestic demand.

“We have enough fuel to wet the country, but the challenge we are having is that, after loading, some truck drivers will not supply the lifted products at the designated filling stations.

“Having gone round the state (Lagos), it is not just the filling stations at Ikoyi that appeared to be wet with product, but other extreme locations like Ajah and other parts in Surulere,” Mrs Alison-Madueke said.

She said there were many factors militating against efficient delivery of the products to the end users.

Nigerians have had to endure long queues to get petrol over the past few weeks, with black markets thriving in major cities of the country. Fuel has been sold at prices ranging from N110 per litre to N250 per litre in several parts of the country.

Bayelsa Asks EFCC To Remit N1.4bn Seized From Alamieyeseigha


Diepreye-Alamieyeseigha

Bayelsa State Government has requested the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to remit to it the sum of N1.4 Billion and another 1.3 million USD recovered from a former governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha‎.

The state has therefore engaged the services of the Chief Executive of Panic Alert Security System, Mr George Uboh to help it recover the money from the anti-graft agency.

Uboh therefore wrote to the EFCC requesting for the monies to be paid to him within 7 days following which the commission requested him to meet with its staff on 19th December, 2013.

Uboh said that he met with EFCC and the commission asked him for a short time to ‎comply.

He said that as at the beginning of this month, the commission had yet to remit the monies and that the state had instructed that a suit be filed against the commission to recover the monies.

Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was detained in London on charges of money laundering in September 2005. At the time of his arrest, Metropolitan police found about £1m in cash in his London home. Later they found a total of £1.8m ($3.2m) in cash and bank accounts. He has been found to own real estate in London worth an alleged £10 million. He bought many properties in the US and London from proceeds of corruption, paying £1.75 million cash for one of them in July 2003.

He Beat Me With Wire Until I Couldn’t Sit Anymore –Eight-year-old Housemaid


It took a while to rouse eight-year-old Sophia Shaidu, as she lay on her stomach on a bed in the children’s ward of the Aniyun Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos.

shuaibu-and-sophia1-360x225The nurse who had taken our correspondent in to see her was happy that the girl could at least fall asleep after days of excruciating pains that kept her awake.

“Some people are here to talk to you,” she was told.

Sophia spoke only Ebira language. She does not understand English; not even pidgin English because her guardian did not enrol her in school after she was brought to Lagos to work as a housemaid about three years ago.

So, our correspondent was only able to speak to her through an interpreter.

One thing was immediately clear when Sophia finally sat up with a considerable pain: dark marks dotted her body from her neck to her ankle.

She hung her left arm awkwardly, which made her flinch at the nurse’s touch.

“We are planning to do an X-ray on the arm. It’s likely she has a fracture there,” the nurse said.

“The marks on my body are from beatings,” the girl later explained.

Sophia said that after one of such beatings, she had not been able to use her left arm, which was now swollen, hard and discoloured at the elbow area.

The girl pointed accusing fingers at her guardian, Bashir Shuaibu, who is from Kogi State.

But what brought Sophia to the hospital was more dire and life-threatening than just the marks on her body and the fractured arm.

The little girl has a gash that is about six inches in diametre on her buttocks. It was created by sore, said to have developed after several beatings by Shuaibu.

Sophia said each time he spanked her, her buttocks swelled up and before it healed up, he spanked her again.

She told our correspondent that her parents asked her to live with him to make a living.

She said, “We are not related. My parents asked me to live with him in Lagos so that I could work and make money to take care of myself.

“He beat me almost every day and I don’t usually know what I did wrong. Anytime he beat me, I would scream and ask him what I did wrong, but he would not say anything. He would just continue to beat me.

“He usually beat me in the buttocks. I got a wound after a beating and I could not sit. He beat me on the same spot every day. He used wire and spatula (what Yoruba call orogun).”

Shuaibu is married and has a young child. Our correspondent asked if his wife ever joined in the beating as well but the girl explained that the wife usually told him to stop when the beating became too much.

“The last time he beat me (last week Friday), madam complained again and said it was his beating that made my buttocks have sore. She then said they had to take me to the hospital.”

When our correspondent visited the hospital in company with the Director of the Esther Child Rights Foundation, Mrs. Esther Ogwu, who is handling the case, the girl’s buttocks had been wrapped in a heavy dressing.

But a doctor who treated the girl was so alarmed by what he saw that he took many photographs before he dressed the wound.

“She still has a long way to go. Because of the extent of the injury, it cannot heal on its own. She has to undergo skin grafting. That cannot even be done at the moment, she has to remain in observation for a while,” the doctor said.

The flesh on Sophia’s buttocks when she was brought to the hospital was oozing pus and had to be scraped off, leaving a large gash.

The picture of the unclad wound was so horrific that Saturday PUNCH could not publish it.

When our correspondent asked Sophia if she ever thought about running away because of the physical abuse, she said she thought about it but she didn’t know where to run to.

“I like my mother but I don’t want to go back to our village. My mother told me when I was leaving home to remain in Lagos and work,” the girl said.

She said her mother did not know what she was passing through because she had never spoken with her since she was brought to Shuaibu’s house to work three years ago.

She does not know her mother’s phone number.

The girl said the man had told her parents that she would be enrolled in school, but that never happened.

Shuaibu who was arrested and detained at the office of the Lagos State Taskforce has been released on bail. The hospital said he had not been forthcoming with the fund for the treatment of the girl.

Shuaibu, who claimed he still intended to put the girl in school, said he only spanked her when she acted stubbornly, lied and defecated in the house.

“Her parents are my relations. She is lazy and does no work. I did not know she had injury on her buttocks because she was hiding it. It was when we noticed it that we brought her to the hospital. I really regret that something like this happened to her,” he said.

Ogwu said cases of extreme physical abuse on housemaids were becoming common in the country because perpetrators were not being jailed for such crimes.

She said, “When we were contacted by nurses at the hospital and we visited the girl, what I saw was something I almost could not handle emotionally. I cried because I simply could not understand that a human being would do that to a child.

“Is it that people do not know that physical abuse or any kind of abuse of a child is a serious crime? Or is it that people believe they can bribe the police and get away with this kind of crime when they are arrested? It is just very sad.

“That child cannot be normal again because the money required for her treatment cannot be paid by the man who committed the crime. The only choice we have left is to see if the state government can wade into the matter and get her treated in a government-owned hospital.”

She said the parents of the girl should be prosecuted along with the man who perpetrated the abuse.

Our correspondent contacted the Chairman, Lagos State Task Force, Supol Bayo Suleiman, to find out what arrangement had been made to hold Shuaibu accountable for what he did.

Suleiman said he was released on bail with sureties and had been directed to report to the task force office daily.

He said, “Referring to the girl as a housemaid is incorrect because the man said they are relations. He was just trying to help the family of the child. The only mistake he made was that he did not bother to check if the spanking he gave the girl to correct her had left a physical injury on her. He was just trying to correct the girl to do what is right.

“You know when a girl defecates on the bed everyday and one has tried to correct her with no change, he may have to punish her to ensure she changes. But it is unfortunate it led to this kind of thing in this case.”

When told that the man’s ‘correction’ showed numerous marks of spanking all over the body of the girl, Suleiman said “Truly, spanking a child should have limits. But in this case, it’s just unfortunate that it led to such injury.”

He explained that his office was still handling the issue to ensure that proper care was given to the girl.

The Child Rights Act 2003, Section 14 states that “Every child has a right to parental care and protection. No child shall be separated from his parents against the wish of the child except for the purpose of his education and welfare.”

Section 11 of the law also criminalises various forms of abuse of a child, one of which is the extreme physical abuse that Sophia has suffered

How A Cult In India Drink From Skulls And Use Dead Bodies as Beds


Mysterious-cannibals-MAIN-3223152

An extreme group of CANNIBALS who use dead bodies as beds are growing as people flock to join the bizarre order.

The Aghori cannibals – who live by the Ganges River in northern India – also smear themselves with the ash from cremated bodies and drink from skulls.

The group are feared by locals despite only eating the flesh of people who are already dead.

Intrepid Irish photographer Darragh Mason, 37, spent time with the group – who are growing despite practicing celibacy.

Darragh said: “They are known to pull bodies from the Ganges and eat them.

“Skulls and other human bones are taken from the cremation grounds and used for ritual purposes. They believe that power comes from the dead.

“At one point they tried to get me to drink water from the Ganges out of a human skull but around two metres upstream they were cremating bodies so I just couldn’t – the river is teaming with disease anyway.”

Darragh said people were ‘attracted’ to the extreme sect’s way of life.

He said: “There was an American gentleman who lived with the group for sometime. Amazingly people are really attracted to this way of life.

“They actively try to be thought of as the lowest in society which is why they do not dress well and their hair is often matted.”

Despite their terrifying reputation the Aghori are charitable and have set up a leper colony where they have cared for and cured 99,045 patients with full leprosy and 147,503 with partial leprosy.

How 75,000 Killer Bees Attacked Woman And Stung Her 1,000 Times


Bee-attack-3222676

A woman was stung more than 1,000 times after being attacked by a swarm of 75,000 KILLER BEES.

Reports say the 71-year-old woman was sat in her car when she was completely covered by Africanized honey bees.

Five firefighters were also hurt as they cleared the swarm in a gated community in Palm Desert, California.

The 75,000 hybrid bees – who are known to attack when they feel threatened – are believed to have been living in a buried cable box.

Local TV station KCBS-TV reported the woman was taken to a local hospital where she was recovering from serious injuries.

Three firefighters were also taken to hospital to be treated for more minor injuries.

Following the incident, insect pest control company Killer Bee Inc were called to clear the swarm and they captured the action on a mobile phone.

The company’s owner, Lance Davis, told the Palm Desert Patch the aggressive bees may have attacked simply because the woman stepped within a 90-yard radius of them.

He said: “They just went into her car and attacked her. They were mad. They went after anything that moved within a 90-yard radius.

“We do these jobs all the time, where someone has gotten the bees all excited. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to get these guys angry.

“My actions are a lot different around them than most people. People call me the bee whisperer, believe it or not.”

How I Was Raped By Seven Men – Mother Of Two Narrates Her Ordeal (PHOTO)


A mother of two, Tinuke Johnson, narrates her painful story of how she was raped by seven men.

photo

One could feel the pain in her heart as thirty-four-year-old Tinuke Johnson (not real names) recounted her ordeal. Showing her swollen ankle, she said she would not have been raped if she had stayed indoors on the night of Friday, February 21, 2014.

Johnson said she left home on the evening of that day to visit a friend at a hangout on Babs Animashaun Street, Surulere, Lagos.

“That night, I was waiting to meet a friend, but the person was not around. Then, a young guy in his twenties, who was with his friend, approached me. He introduced himself as Kunle. We chatted for some time. I discovered it was late when I checked my watch. It was 1.30am. He pleaded with me to go with him to his house and after much pressure, I agreed. All the while we spoke, he didn’t introduce his friend. But as we made to go, he followed us,” she said.

Johnson explained that she had taken to prostitution last year, after her shop had been demolished by government. According to the single mother, she needed to take care of her children and other family members.

She said she and the men boarded a taxi to a house located at 36, Abosede Kuboye Crescent, in the Eric Moore area of Surulere. She explained that she decided to give her phone number to the taxi driver, when she noticed that it would be difficult for her to find her way when leaving.

Johnson said, “When I got to the house, there was no sign that there was any other person in the room. Kunle had sex with me and left the room. After he left, another guy opened the door and said he was next. It was my first time of seeing him that night.  While forcing me to lie down, I confronted him.

“He forcefully covered my mouth and said I shouldn’t make a sound. I was so scared, because I didn’t know if he was holding a gun. That was how, one after the other, they kept coming. In all, they were seven. I did not know where they came from. I was traumatised and managed to ‘flash’ the taxi driver, who immediately called back. I quickly told him I was being raped and that he should get help for me. I later learnt he went to mobilise other taxi drivers. Then they called the police.

“The seventh guy, tall and dressed in black, forced me to lie down. I refused; I was so scared. I begged him, but he threatened me, saying, ‘You don’t try me!’ He pushed me down. All the while, the taxi driver kept calling my phone. Somehow, I managed to answer it. He asked me to make a noise, because they couldn’t find which flat I was in. That was when the guy tried to snatch the phone from me. It fell apart while trying to snatch it from me. At that point, the taxi driver could no longer reach me,” she said.

Johnson added that she told the men she wanted to use the toilet and they ordered her to use the one in their flat. According to her, she refused, for fear that they could harm her there. She said it was at that point she heard the police blowing the siren.

“They said to one another, ‘The police are around! The police are around!’ They ran in different directions. Desperate to escape, I rushed out of the room into the veranda and jumped into the next compound, spraining my ankle in the process. I didn’t even take my clothes. I ran in my underwear.”

The disturbed woman said she hid under a car until 3.30am.

Mrs. Gibson (not real name), who lives in the compound which Johnson jumped into, told SUNDAY PUNCH that when she first saw her on Saturday morning, she mistook her for a mentally challenged person. She said Johnson wore only underwear, had a swollen ankle and her body was covered in dirt.

“She explained that she was not mad and she had been raped. Her eyes were bloodshot, as if she cried all night. She begged me to help her. After listening to her story, I cleaned her up, gave her some clothes, and went to the neighbourhood association chairman to report the incident,” Mrs. Gibson said.

Chairman, Alaka Estate Extension Residents Association, Mr. Tunde Kuboye, said Gibson brought the matter to the notice of the association the next day during the association’s meeting.

He said, “Like any other last Saturday of the month, the leaders of the association were meeting on February 22 when Gibson stormed the venue. She was distressed. She told me what happened and I decided to inform the police. I called the Divisional Police Officer of Bode Thomas Police Station, Mr.Oliver Esirim, who soon sent some officers. The policemen took her (Johnson) to the police station, where she made a statement.”

Kuboye said the policemen returned with Johnson about an hour after to identify the house.

One of the residents in the house where the rape took place, Mr. Adekunle Adeniyi, promised to ensure that the suspects’ were ejected and arrested.

“I learnt one of the occupants and some of his friends raped the lady. I was infuriated, so I went back to confront them but they had escaped. As I was telling the guard to find them, Kuboye came in with the lady and some policemen. They were the ones who explained the whole matter to me.

“After the lady had confirmed the suspects’ apartment to the policemen, I ensured that the guard threw out the belongings of the boy who brought the lady. He is not a tenant. He was given the accommodation free of charge by a relation of mine, who is his family friend. I have had enough of him. I live here with my wife and kids. In the middle of the night, he and his friends would be quarrelling and making a noise, disturbing other occupants. On a number of occasions, I have had to come out to warn them,” he said.

The taxi driver who took Johnson and the two men to the house, Mr. John Okon, said he left after waiting for over an hour and the men did not come out to give him his money as promised.

Okon said, “I told a fellow taxi driver what they had done, when I spoke with the lady. It was then we decided to inform the police. When we got to the house with the policemen, we couldn’t identify the place. The lady’s number also didn’t go through. We didn’t know she had jumped into the next compound,” he said.

A senior policeman at the Bode Thomas Police Station told our correspondent that the DPO had given instructions that the house should be constantly monitored, in order to arrest the suspects.

When contacted, the Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Lagos Police Command, Mr. Damasus Ozoani, said he was unaware of the incident and promised to respond with details. But at the time this report was submitted, no response was received from the deputy PRO

Eto’o Poses Like An Old Man To Redicule Those Who Believe He Lied About His Age


Eto'o Poses Like An Old Man To Redicule Those Who Believe He Lied About His Age

Chelsea FC star player Samuel Eto’o made fun of recent reports that he was closer to 40 rather than to 32 years of age mentioned in his passport.

After scoring a goal against Tottenham Hotspur in a match on March 8, 2014, Saturday, the Cameroonian celebrated the goal by posing as an old man (in the picture above).

It has been learnt Eto’o did not mind Chelsea’s manager, Jose Mourinho, incorrect joke, when the coach said he believed the Cameroonian striker was much older of his age, definitely not 32.

“I didn’t suggest the celebration but I knew about it.

“We thought it was good because the best way to defuse the situation is to make fun of it,” Mourinho commented at a post-match press conference.

By the way, Samuel Eto’o will celebrate 33rd birthday on March 10. Our best congrats to him!

It would be added that Chelsea FC crashed the Spurs 4 – 0 and comfortably leads the EPL table with 66 points after 29 matches.

Groom Gruesomely Murders Pregnant Bride 11 Days After Their Wedding (PHOTO)


The Oyo State Police Command is currently battling to unravel the motive behind the murder of a 21-year-old pregnant woman, Mrs Busola Afolabi-Haruna, 11 days after her wedding ceremony.

photo

Late Busola had her Nikkah ceremony on Saturday, February 15, a day after Valentine’s Day, in Ibadan, but had her life and that of her unborn baby cut short with hot lead pumped into her skull from the gun of unknown hoodlums on Wednesday, February 26.
The bullet reportedly penetrated the skull and left a gaping hole at the nape of her neck, with her brain tissues spattering all over the car seat she occupied.
New investigation reveal that her husband is kinda responsible for her death.
Saturday Tribune learnt that Busola’s husband, Mr Yemi Haruna, told policemen at Oluyole Division, Ibadan, that at about 10.30p.m, he drove his car towards their home at Elebu area of Ibadan, with his wife occupying the front passenger seat. As he stepped out to open his residence’s gate in order to drive in, according to him, three armed men appeared from the dark and struggled to get his car key from him.
Haruna told the police that he quickly made for the car and instructed his wife to lock her side of the door, but before he could reach the car, one of the armed robbers aimed at his wife and shot her.
However, the parents and siblings of the deceased are crying foul, saying that Busola was murdered for reasons best known to the perpetrator(s).
According to Mrs Tosin Afolabi, elder sister of the deceased, “my sister met her husband, Yemi Haruna, in 2013 and their relationship did not last more than three months when she got pregnant. She celebrated her 21st birthday in his house on July 4, 2013, after which she informed my mother that she was pregnant. Her husband, Yemi, was invited by my mother and she asked him of the kind of job he was doing. He replied that he was into petroleum business.
“He also told her that he had never been married but we later learnt that he had a wife who bore him a child but had packed out of his house. Mummy called him again to ask if it was true and he replied in the affirmative, saying that the relationship was not approved by her family because the lady was a Christian.
“The wedding ceremony between Yemi and my sister took place on Saturday, February 15, but on Monday, February 24, we got information that he was not into petroleum business as he claimed. I asked my sister and she became worried as she said it was a confirmation of what her sister-in-law told her on her wedding day.
“At 10.46p.m. on Wednesday, February 26, her husband flashed my number. I thought my sister was in labour and he didn’t have enough airtime to call me, so I called him back. He said when he got to the gate of his residence, he saw three young men emerge with gun. Yemi added that he instructed my sister to wind up the glass on her side and lock the door of the car. He said they shot my sister.

“I asked him where my sister was but he cut off the line. I called him back repeatedly but he didn’t pick my call until the third time. I repeated my question and he replied that he didn’t know the hospital because it was neighbours who took her to the hospital. He told me he was at police station to obtain report and he cut the line.
“I called him again and he said he was told that my sister was taken to Lad Hospital. Since the hospital is about five buildings away from my residence, I went there. The security officer there told me that she was dead and her body had been taken away. I screamed and pointed at the husband’s car parked within the premises, but they said he went away with the police.
“I left for my father’s place and we all returned to the hospital but were not allowed in. We started calling Yemi again but he did not pick our calls. My mother called Yemi’s mother to help us call him so that we would know Busola’s condition. Yemi later picked my father’s call at about 2:00a.m. and said he was at the police station and would get back to us when he was through.
When we didn’t hear from him, we started calling him, but again, he didn’t pick the calls. We gave his number to my elder brother and he called Yemi at about 3:00a.m. Since Yemi was not familiar with his number, he picked the call for two seconds and all my brother said he heard was a ringing laughter at the background before he cut the line.
“At about 6.30a.m., on Thursday, he picked our call and when we asked why he did not answer our previous calls, he said he forgot his phones in a car. We told him to show up at the hospital because the hospital staff said they would not release the corpse without the presence of the person who brought it. He told us he was still at the police station.
“Till my sister was taken from Lad Hospital to Teju Hospital, Ring Road, to remove the foetus inside her, Yemi did not show up. My mother and I decided to meet him at the police station and we were shocked when we saw how they brought a table before him to eat. In annoyance, I berated him for having the appetite to eat while my sister was yet to be buried.
“When we closely observed the corpse of my sister, we noticed that the bullets tore through the back of her head, believing that she was shot in the mouth. We saw the empty cartridge shell in Yemi’s car and part of Busola’s brain tissues on the seat where she sat.
“We also noticed her dress was torn but the police claimed they were the ones who tore the dress when they wanted to examine her. Yemi did not follow us to Teju Hospital where his wife was operated to remove the foetus before burial.”
The father of the deceased, Alhaji Tajudeen Afolabi, also appealed to Oyo State Police Command to help him unravel the mystery behind his daughter’s death. He added that he believed his daughter was murdered.
“Where I am confused is this: Busola and her husband came together in the car driven by him. He went to open the gate to go in when the armed robbers emerged as he claimed. He that drove the car and was at the gate was not shot; it was my daughter who sat in the car that was shot at close range. The car was not taken away; no item was picked from the car. That is why I am insisting that my daughter was not killed by armed robbers; she was murdered.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the command was aware of the case, adding that the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Clement Adoda, had instructed that all the allegations raised be investigated.

500 Level Student Murdered In Ibadan


Taiwo Shittu, a 500 level student of the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries, University of Ibadan was found dead on Wednesday, February 19 with her naked body discovered  in their room by her elder sister in their apartment at Alakia Adelubi area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

photo

The landlord and the gardener

The Ikere-Ekiti-born 27-year-old lady was reportedly macheted by unknown person(s), with the cutlass used in perpetrating the act smeared with blood and thrown beside her in the room she was found. She was hacked at the neck region and her pair of underpants was also found half way down her ankle.

According to the sister (names withheld) while speaking with Sunday Tribune said:

“A gardener came on Tuesday, February 18 and said he was sent by the landlord to go and cut the grass. I opened the gate for him, and my sister and I went out. On Wednesday, February 19, he came again and I opened the gate for him.

He went on with his work and my sister and I went out again.

“At about 9.30a.m., I came back home. The landlord came and I greeted him. He said he learnt the other occupant in the building had packed out. He also promised to fix the damaged pumping machine. I went back inside afterwards. At about 1p.m., I went out again and returned at about 5.30p.m. I opened the door to the sitting room, but didn’t see anyone.

“I opened the bedroom door and was shocked as I beheld my sister’s body, naked, on the floor. She had been brutally macheted and the machete was placed beside her. She was also strangled and her pants were down to her ankle. She was covered in her own blood. I rushed outside and raised the alarm but those opposite our house did not even respond to me. They told me to go and report at the police station.

“The authorities of the University of Ibadan have already taken up the case and they insisted on the transfer of the case to State Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku. I packed into the house in May, 2013 and I only spoke with the landlord for the first time on the fateful day.”

However the gardener, who give his name as Azeez Arisekola-Alao, and claimed to be Aare Arisekola Alao’s child, indicted the landlord, saying he was the one who entered the apartment of the deceased and killed her. But his incoherence was noticed when he, in one breath, said he was the one who raised the alarm when the landlord killed Taiwo, and in another breath, said he heard someone shout that the landlord had killed someone, which made him run outside the compound to alert people.

Mr  Agboola Lawrence Oyawola, the owner of the building who was also arrested however said he knew nothing about the death of the 27-year-old girl as he had no reason to do such saying.

“I am a 1976 graduate of Banking and Finance from University of Lagos. I am a pensioner and retired from National Board for Community Banks. I am 65 years old.

“On February 18, I gave a job to Azeez to cut the grass in my house at Alakia-Adelubi, though I live at Monatan area where I have another house. He has been working for me on the premises for the past two years so I didn’t need to follow him. On February 19, I went to the house at Alakia-Adelubi to see my carpenter to give him an advance payment for the doors he wanted to do for me.

“I gave the house at Alakia-Adelubi to an agent to get tenants for me. As I waited for my carpenter in his shed opposite the house, I saw a lady come out of my house. She introduced herself as the tenant while I told her I was the landlord. She informed me that the pumping machine in the house was no longer functioning and I replied that it had been removed, promising to replace it if another tenant moves in.

“She also said that the agent had not been treating her well, asking for my number which I gave her. She informed me that a single room had been taken up by someone but I told her I was not aware. She called the tenant-to-be in my presence and that one said she had paid to the agent. I told her that the agent was yet to inform me. I reiterated my promise to buy a new pumping machine since the agent had collected house rent.

“Meanwhile, as the conversation was going on outside the building premises, Azeez was cutting grass inside. I saw some Bagco carrier bags dropped in the compound by the tenant who packed out of the house so I asked Azeez to help me bring them along whenever he was coming home since he lives close to me. Thereafter, I left for my house after noon,” he narrated.

The landlord continued: “In the evening, some landlords at Alakia Adelubi called me and said someone had been killed in my house. I went to meet them at the police station. When we got to the house, we met the door to the lady’s apartment locked. There was a huge crowd. . The police, after getting approval, forced the open and we saw the younger sister of the lady I saw earlier on the floor, dead. I didn’t know what happened.

“They called my attention to Azeez and I said he had left for home because I saw the Bagco bags I asked him to bring in my house. I usually give Azeez a cutlass to do the cutting and he would keep it within the compound until the day he finishes, after which it would be returned to me.  On February 20, the police took Azeez to the scene and asked him to show them where he kept the cutlass. This was because the cutlass was found beside the lifeless body of the girl killed.

“I learnt that Azeez was transferred from the police station to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Iyaganku, Ibadan. I was invited to the department on Monday, February 24 and I have been detained ever since.”

The deceased’s sister said her parents have accepted their fate saying: They have accepted their fate and looking unto God for justice. My sister was in her last semester in the school and was on her final year project. She was the third in the family and her twin is also late. However, we are happy that UI has taken up the case,”.

The police image maker in Oyo State, Deputy Superintendent of Police Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor confirmed the story, saying detectives at the homicide section were doing all within their powers to unravel those behind the killing.

Family Of Detained 17-year-old Boko Haram Suspect Sues SSS


Family Of Detained 17-year-old Boko Haram Suspect Sues SSS

Family of Muntari Suleiman, who was detained for alleged connection to Boko Haram sect, have filed a suit against the Department of State Security (DSS) demanding his release or arraignment.

The family appealed Federal High Court in Abuja in order to “enforce the fundamental human rights of the accused”. Their interests were represented by the counsel, Barrister Ayuba Abdul, also joining the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Mohammed Adoke (SAN) as the defendant.

The uncle of the suspect, Mr Yakubu Akor, declared that he approached the court after several failed efforts to secure Muntari’s release. The young man was arrested in Ayingba, Kogi State in January and has been kept incommunicado since then.

According to the family, the 17-year-old school leaver, who was seeking admission into the Kogi State University, Ayingba, was arrested while in possession of a laptop only.

The counsel to the DSS, Godwin Agbadoa, explained the court that efforts were being made to produce the suspect from the SSS custody in Lokoja, Kogi State.

The suit has adjourned to March 19 for hearing

2015: Pro-Jonathan’s Youths Plan 2 Million-Man March In His Support


2015: Jonathan's Supporters Plan 2 Million-Man March for Jonathan

Youths for Ebele Jonathan (YEJ) group declared over the weekend that it would mobilise 2 million young people for a march to support the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 general elections.

Chief Robert Opara, the National Coordinator, announced this plan at an interactive session with journalists after the meeting of the National Working Committee of the organisation.

Opara promised that during a great 2-million march the youths would stand up and say their “YES” to the president. Over 20 millions of young voters would be mobilised to vote for Jonathan in 2015.

The supporters of Goodluck Jonathan also boasted their unique structure.

“At the end of the day we are having over 280,000 members of the management team of this structure across the 8009 wards, 774 local government areas, and 36 states of this country.

“Every local government has 20-man management team, every state has 20 managements and 4 ex-officio, and at the 8009 wards we are more than 70 per cent,” the national coordinator revealed.

YEJ intends to conduct the 2 million-man march in Abuja, gather not less than 100,000 youths in other states.

The group also hope that Nigerians in the Diaspora, through their structures in London, Europe and America would join this initiative.

EYJ is also currently negotiating with the electronic television networks and radio networks to cover the event live simultaneously across the country, searches the way to solve logistics issues.

Funke Akindele, Rita Dominic, Yvonne Okoro Win Big At 2014 AMVCA


The 2014 edition of the African Magic Viewer’s Choice Award (AMVCA), which took place in Lagos on March 8, 2014, Saturday, left many stars with smiles, while others went home without awards.

See the FULL list of nominations and their winners below:

Is your favourite actor / actress among the triumphants?

 

Best Movie 2013

Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja

Udoka Oyeka & Orode Ryan – Living Funeral

Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Yvonne Okoro & Ken Attoh – Contract    WINNER

Michelle Bello – Flower Girl

James Omokwe – Awakening

 

Best Movie Drama

Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja

Edwin Maina Kariuki – Nairobi Half Life

Udoka Oyeka & Orode Ryan – Living Funeral

Frank Rajah Arase – The Groom’s Bride    WINNER

Jumafor Ajogwu & Chris Eneaji – Murder at Prime Suites

 

Best Movie Comedy

Uche Jombo – Lies Men Tell

Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Yvonne Okoro & Ken Attoh – Contract

Elvis Chucks – A Wish    WINNER

Martins Onyebuchi Onyemaobi – The Fighter

Martins Onyebuchi Onyemaobi – The Hero

 

Best Movie Director

Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja

Tosh Gitonga – Nairobi Half Life

Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Contract    WINNER

Udoka Oyeka – Living Funeral

Frank Rajah Arase – Price

Amil Shivji – Shoeshine

 

Best Actress In A Drama

Stephanie Wilson – Living Funeral

Veronica Waceke – Higher Learning

Nse Ikpe-Etim – Journey to Self    WINNER

Nkiru Sylvanus – Kiss And The Brides

Ivie Okujaiye – The Volunteers

More

 

Best Actor In A Drama

Juma Rajab Rashid – Siri Ya Mtungi

Majid Michel – Somewhere in Africa

Hlomla Dandala – Contract

Majid Michel – House of Gold

Tope Tedela – A Mile From Home    WINNER

 

Best Supporting Actress

Valerie Kimani – Higher Learning

Jazymn Batchan – Still Standing

Liz Ameye – Living Funeral

Lance Handabile – Love Games

Tamara Eteimo – Desperate House Girls

Bikiya Graham-Douglas – Flower Girl    WINNER

 

Best Supporting Actor

David Mulwa – Higher Learning

Ian Mbugua – House of Lungula

Desmond Elliot – Finding Mercy    WINNER

Bimbo Manuel – Torn

Chris Attoh – Flower Girl

 

Best Actress In A Comedy

Funke Akndele – The Fighter

Funke Akndele – The Hero

Funke Akndele – Return of Sheri Koko    WINNER

Mary Ogbonna – Clinic Matters

Jackie Appiah – Cheaters

Yvonne Okoro – Contract

 

Best Actor In A Comedy

Hlomla Dandala – Contract

John Okafor – Return of Sheri Koko

Osita Iheme – The Hero    WINNER

Osita Iheme – The Fighter

Chinedu Ikedieze – The Hero

 

Best Television Series Comedy/Drama

Grace Kahaki Munthali – Prem Episode 2

Fred Phiri – Love Games Episode 6    WINNER

John Riber – Siri Ya Mtungi

Paul Igwe – The Benjamins

Benson Akindeju – Nowhere to be Found

 

Best Short Film

Vincent Moloi – Berea

Amarachukwu Onoh – Mother Tongue

Amil Shivji – Shoeshine

Walter “Waltbanger” Taylaur – The Wages    WINNER

Enuma Chigbo – The Deadwood

 

Best Documentary

Dr Gilbert Chigbo (Narrator) – The Deadwood    WINNER

Sonia Maingi – Tumanka Goes to School

Peter Murimi – Matatu: My Life, My Art

Peter Murimi – Guardians of the Wild

David Campbell – Shamba Shape Up

 

Best Indigenous Language Movie/Series (Swahili)

Edwin Maina Kariuki – Nairobi Half Life

Jordan Riber – Siri Ya Mtungi

Ann Hamberger – Nina

Njoki Muhoho – Mama Duka    WINNER

Musa Venerable Mziba, Vagabond

 

Best Indigenous Language Movie/Series (Yoruba)

Afeez Eniola – Arinnakore

Mercy Aigbe – Komfo    WINNER

Abdulrasaq Abdullahi – Edidi

Olatunji Akeem Balogun – Aye Kooto

Olatunji Akeem Balogun – Mufu Olosa Oloko

 

Best Indigenous Language Movie/Series (Hausa)

Yasin Auwal, Umar K, Mazugal – Wana Gari 1 & 2

Hafizu Bello – Bakin Kishi

Abba Muko Yakassai – Habib    WINNER

Nasir Sa’ad Gwangwazo – Runan Jakara

Mikail I. Bin Hassan – Kurman Gari

 

Best Online Video

Stacy McDermott & Neville Ossai – Jungle Jewel: The Short Film

Mary Kaiyare – Deceit

Stanlee Ohikhuare – Kpian’s Premonition

Dorothy Ghettuba, Oyunga Pala – Next Big Host

Amarachukwu Onoh – Mother Tongue    WINNER

 

Best Writer (Drama)

Shirley Frimpong-Manso & Hertey Owusu – Contract    WINNER

Patrick Yaadar & Andy Boyo – Off The Hook

Akpor Kagho – Living Funeral

Fatima Jabbe – Battered

Pascal Amanfo – Single & Married

 

Best Writer (Comedy)

Jigi Bello – Flower Girl    WINNER

Jahmal Holland – Still Standing

Ohis Udofia – Kuti’s Career Palace

Patrick Onyeka – The Place

Seun Arowojolu – Squatterz

 

Best Cinematographer

James Michael Costello – Last Flight to Abuja

Christian Almesberger – Nairobi Half Life    WINNER

Idhebor Kagho – Living Funeral

Imoh Umoren – Have a Nice Day

Themba Masondo – Taxi Ride

 

Best Art Director

Barbara Minishi – Nairobi Half Life    WINNER

Ken Attoh & Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Contract

Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Apples Miniseries Part 1&2

Kyle Quint – Siri Ya Mtungi

Frank Rajah Arase – The Piece

 

Best Sound Editor

Sola Awoponle – Ilari

Obi Emelonye & Luke Corradine – Last Flight to Abuja    WINNER

Jordan Riber – Siri Ya Mtungi

Carl Raccah – Journey to Self

Maurice Kings – Murder at Prime Suites

Paul Apel – Blue Flames

 

Best Video Editor

Ben Nugent & Obi Emelonye – Last Flight to Abuja

Austin Faani Ikechukwu – Battle for Wealth

Shirley Frimpong-Manso – Contract    WINNER

Chucks Madu Success – Oga On Top

Jack Esterhuizen – Love Games Episode 25

 

Best Lightning Designer

Don Izuchukwu – Brother’s Keeper

Godwin Daniel – Living Funeral

Ifeoluwa Balogun – The Benjamins

Mohammed Zain – Nairobi Half Life    WINNER

Eric Aghimien – A Mile from Home

 

Best Costume Designer

Adeola Ramonu – Adebola Omo Oba

Doreen Estazia Noni – Siri Ya Mtungi

Catherine Kibugi – Sumu La Penzi Episode 5

Ruth Ndulu Maingi – Lies That Bind Episode 2 Season 2

Chiemela Nwagboso – The Kingdom    WINNER

 

Best Make-up Artist

Elayne Okaya – Nairobi Half Life    WINNER

Olabimpe Cole – Lekki Wives

Alex Gakumo – Sumu La Penzi Episode 1 Season 1

Michael Wawuyo – The Felistas Fable

Rehema Samo – Siri Ya Mtungi

Israel Moses – A Wish

Rosemary Obika – Redemption

 

New Era Award Movie – Rita Dominic – The Meeting     WINNER

Trailblazer Award – Michelle Bello     WINNER

Industry Merit Award – Pete Edochie     WINNER

BOKO HARAM : Jonathan Calls For Prayer Against Insurgency


President Goodluck Jonathan, weekend, expressed the Federal Government readiness to stop the acts of terrorism perpetuated by the Boko Haram sect in the North-East of  Nigeria.

The President, who stated this at the 2014 maiden edition of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) annual summit with the theme ‘Church and State Partnership in Providing Quality Education for the Nigerian People’ decried the deterioration of values and morals owing to poor educational policies.

Jonathan assured of governments efforts to confront the challenge of insurgency in the country, while urging the gathering to pray for Nigeria to overcome her current problems.

He said; “I urge you to pray for our dear country to speedily overcome the current challenges we faced, especially, insurgency, terrorism and the heinous killings of innocent children in schools.”

Speaking further on terrorism and the wanton killing of students in Yobe State, President Jonathan further stated that “I believe that with your devote prayers and the strategies we have put in place, we shall surely  surmount these challenges.”

Senate President, David Mark  kicked against the approach of the Boko Haram sect in the killing of students .

According to Mark, the brutal murdering of students was barbaric, adding that “I condemned the senseless and gruesome killings by the so-called disgruntled elements.”

“That’s not the way to express grievances,” Mark said.

Court Orders Okonjo-Iweala To Make Public Details Of 2014 Budget


The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to immediately make public details of all appropriations and statutory transfers in the 2014 budget, in the public interest.

photo

The order was issued by Justice Abubakar Abdu-Kafarati in his judgment on February 25, 2014, in the legal application No. FHC/ABJ/CS/301/3013 filed by the Centre for Social Justice against the minister.

Mr. Kafarati asked the minister to release to the group and the general public, details of releases in the budget to some key government agencies, specifically, the National Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; National Judicial Council, NJC; Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC; Universal Basic Education, UBE and National Human Rights Commission, NHRC.

Under the amended Nigerian constitution, the listed offices are considered statutory bodies, whose funding are drawn directly from government treasury, to foster their independence. Their budget details have also not been made public since 2011.

The Executive Director of Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekwere, said the group approached the court to compel the minister to respect the law and release the information pursuant under the Freedom of Information and the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Mr. Onyekwere said that following observed acts of impunity and fiscal lawlessness by government, namely the expenditure of several billions of Naira in the budget without appropriation, fraud and illegal allocation of revenues under various questionable sub-heads, it became necessary that details of such allocations be revealed to the people, who are the owners of the budget under democracy.

But, he said in spite several requests since 2013, the Minister of Finance has continuously refused to comply, accusing her of shielding from sanctions officials in charge of ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs where ghost workers have shown up on their payrolls.

“Government has always claimed it has served billions of Naira from its efforts to rid ghost workers from the system. But, we have always asked, without any response, for details from each MDA prior to and post-verification, including the numbers and names of the accounting officers, in terms of Permanent Secretary, Head of Personnel and Accounts/Payroll officers,” Mr. Onyekwere said.

He said the Personnel Officers are those responsible for certifying that the payroll was consist of genuine workers, while the Accounts officers prepare the vouchers for the Permanent Secretary to signs off, before the authority to incur expenditure, AIE is raised for the final payment. Citing the case of the Budget Office of the Federation, BOF, where it was found recently that prior to the verification, it had more than 1,000 staff on its payroll every month, only for the figure to crash to only 251 afterwards, he said the problem would be resolved if the Minister agreed to expose the perpetrators.

“All we have is a Minister of Finance who has refused to bring out the details of these scandalous findings. Yet, we talk about the commitment to fight corruption. Nigerians are entitled to know. We cannot continue to run a system where some people simply come to loot the treasury and they want everyone to clap for them to go on,” Mr. Onyekwere said.

He condemned the continued appropriation of funds in the budget under Service-wide votes, noting that any allocation for any MDA that cannot be included in its approved budget was subject to misappropriation or diversion.

Mr. Onyekwere said the provision of about N118 billion as personnel cost under service-wide vote in the budget was suspicious and questionable, as this no agency or department of government called “service-wide votes” that has workers that should be catered for separately.

Other questionable appropriations under the service-wide vote include about N21 billion to INEC for “elections logistics and support”, apart from about N45 billion already provided for it in the budget, as well as an additional N1.8 billion for pilgrimages.

Apart from the N150 billion appropriation for the National Assembly, he said the provision for another N100 billion under service-wide vote for constituency projects was fraudulent, as most of the projects neither follow set national vision nor government development agenda.

He frowned at the penchant for government officials to capitalize on the current insecurity in the country to manipulate the system to their selfish ends.

He drew attention to the inclusion of about N475 million and N600 million in the National Orientation Agency, NOA and the Office of the Minister of Finance, respectively, for security equipment.

Another N882.237 million is provided in the Finance Ministry’s budget for rehabilitation/repairs of residential buildings.

“In God’s name what has the NOA and Minister of Finance got to do with security? Does NOA need security equipment to enlighten the people on government programmes? Or does the Minister of Finance need security to prepare the budget or get it approved?

“With government monetization policy, where the perks of office of these high ranking officials should be converted to cash, whose residential buildings does the Ministry of Finance want to repair? Mr. Onyekwere said.

But, the spokesperson to the Minister, Paul Nwabuikwu, said he totally and completely disagrees with the mindset by government critics that it only engages in wastes and corruption.

Mr. Nwabuikwu did not comment on the court order on his boss. But he criticized critics of the budget for always seeing only the flaws, saying this might be as a result of ignorance or politics.

“Government is a human construct, as such can never be perfect. It can only improve. And since a budget is put together by human beings, it cannot be perfect. Let’s stop this culture of negativity and look at the big picture of the budget,” he said.

He said criticisms that do not include the achievements of the administration in the areas of railway rehabilitation, roads construction, privatization in the power sector, and job creations were totally incomplete

Limpopo Crooner, KCee Appointed Peace Ambassador By Patience Jonathan


Limpopo crooner, KCee is one excited man at the moment as he took to social media to announce to his fans how lucky he is to be appointed Peace Ambassador by the First lady of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan.

kcee-500

The MTN Ambassador who was recently photographed shaking hands with the First Lady at Aso Villa posted the photo below on his instagram page with caption “Am so honored to be awarded Peace Ambassador By The 1st Lady of Nigeria Dame Patience Jonathan”.

KCEE once revealed in a interview how he was surprised when he found out the President and first lady not only listened to his song but also danced to it. According to him “I Was Surprised When I Heard President and His Wife Dancing, Singing Limpopo”. Capture

Photos: Ese Walter Weds Benny Ark Traditionally


The couple, who had their court wedding few weeks back, yesterday 8th of March, 2014 had their traditional wedding. Coincidentally, yesterday also happens to be Benny Ark’s birthday. We wish the couple all the best. Now what is left is their church wedding. More photos below

I know why Jonathan removed me as minister –Ama Pepple


Ex-Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Ama Pepple, has explained why President Goodluck Jonathan removed her as minister in September, 2013. The former Head of Service of the Federation, was removed at the time eight other ministers nominated by governors and others opposed to President Jonathan were removed from office.

Pepple told Sunday Sun exclusively in Abuja that she believed it was the same reason that led to her exit from Jonathan’s cabinet.

She wondered what other reason could be adduced for her removal, having been efficient, effective and hardworking.

The former Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service Commission, Ministries of Transport, Information and National Orientation, Petroleum Resources, Commerce, Agriculture and Rural Development and Finance, said: “I believe that is what happened. I know.”

According to Pepple, “That must be the reason. Ok, as a minster, how do you think I performed? You are a Nigerian, assessing me. Did I do badly? Was I not efficient, effective and hardworking? I believe so,” Pepple said.

Apart from the policies she pursued in the housing sector as minister, Pepple has to her credit the construction of a mausoleum for the first indigenous President of Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and  the construction of six federal secretariats across the country.

She spoke on her achievements, while also praying for peace to reign between President Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state. Excerpts:

 

How was your tenure as a minister?

Without being immodest, I believe my tenure was very successful and that we made a lot of progress in the housing sector, in very many areas that were not given attention before.

What is it like, being out of public glare?

It is ok. You won’t be in any place forever. Life changes. They say the only thing permanent in life is change. Things must change. You serve, you move out and other people come and serve too and go away.

For me, I believe the peak of my career as a public servant in Nigeria, was as Head of Service of the Federation. And like I tell people, the minister’s job was a bonus that God, through President Jonathan, gave me.

As Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, would you say you achieved all you set out to achieve in the housing sector?

Nearly all. And I believe if others build on what I have already done , the housing sector will make a lot of progress.

How about the housing policy?

I have formulated the housing and urban development policies. When I got there, there was no housing policy. Since 1993 or so, there was no housing policy, no urban development policy. So, when I got to the ministry, I saw  that was the first thing we needed to do. How could we make progress in the sector if we didn’t have a policy that will guide us? I put a committee together, an all inclusive committee which included professionals and  ministry officials . I put them together and I am happy to say that in less than a year of becoming minister, we took the proposed policies to council and got approval, precisely, I think in June, 2012. That was less than a year after I was appointed minister. And we were following up on the guidelines we laid down for ourselves.

Can you expantiate on the guidelines?

When I got there, they had a Public Private Partnership (PPP) unit, but the PPP unit was not really working because when you don’t have enough funds for housing, the best thing to do is to open it up to the private sector. And you need to create an enabling environment for the private sector to be able to function. So, we strengthened the PPP unit and we sent one of the members of staff for training locally and abroad and she became certified. She is an architect and she became certified as a PPP expert.

People talk about PPP but if you don’t have an expert in the field, it is like you are talking from the top of your head. You cannot really focus on what PPP should be. And I think training that young lady to be an expert, helped us. So, some of the houses we built, we provided the PPP.

There was also the public-public collaboration which we were also trying to do in one of the states to provide houses for their health workers.

We also tried to strengthen the Federal Mortgage Bank. We were asking for more funds for them so that they can give mortgages to more people because they handle the National Housing Fund and they are giving mortgages to civil servants at six percent interest and they could pay back in a period of 15 to 20 years, which I think, is very good for civil servants. But they don’t have enough money even now as we speak. I thought they would be recapitalized even with like N100 billion or N200 billion so that the more funds they have, the more mortgages they can create for Nigerians. I hope the new Nigerian Mortgage Refinancing Company which had just been launched by Mr. President will help to overcome this challenge.

We were also trying to reorganize the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). We started that work but unfortunately, it wasn’t completed. It should have been nearing completion now.

We had many other projects we were doing. We wanted to start the rent-to-own policy because we felt that we could take care of the people in the informal sector. You know the National Housing Fund caters for workers, people who are on a salary. But we believed that we needed to reach majority of our people who are not in formal employment, even people selling tomatoes in the market and  selling yams. We started that and we also started the Cooperative Housing Policy where people such as journalists, can decide to form a cooperative and through that, they  will have access to housing. We launched it in Lagos state and we were doing like 400 houses at a time. It should be completed by now because even towards the end of last year, they were nearing completion. I think the Lagos one, they pay N10,000 per month. I was told some of them, some months they will not pay and later, they will come and pay like five months, maybe they have done some business or market has been good for those who are traders. I think in the long run, it is very good as long as you can have shelter over your head.

Another issue that was worrisome which I addressed, was the National Building Code. By the time I got to the ministry, there was a building code that was passed. It went to Council, but there was confusion that the National Assembly needed to pass an enabling law for it to become operational. And you are supposed to revise it every three years. When I was there, they had not done any review. In fact, at that time, based on the time that the first code was passed, they should have done two reviews but they had not done anything. I put that up, set up a committee, they completed their work, we had a stakeholders’ forum at which they approved it with some amendments. So, we were at the point where the committee was to put all those amendments together and then, take it to Council for approval. I don’t think that has been done yet. I believe that was a big achievement for me at the time. When I heard that they had not done any review and we had so many incidents of building collapse, I decided that one of the ways of stemming it, is to put this code together, enforce it and  ensure that the professional bodies in the built environment enforce the code. It is not just enough to put a code together without enforcement and sanctions.

How about the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) whose mandate is to carry out this function?

They are not directly under us, even though they were part of the people who did the review process.

Housing is still a major problem in Nigeria. What is the way out?

That is why I told you we started all these. And if you drive round Abuja, you will see a lot of estates. They are empty. The cost a lot.

What should the government do about it?

That was what we started doing when I was there. The Cooperative Housing Scheme was very, very crucial for us to be able to produce the houses, especially for people in the informal sector and the low income group. I believe also that more money should be given for producing houses. There was a time I requested for money from the pension fund, unclaimed dividends and things like that for us to be able to have more money to build the houses. Thirdly, for the middle to low income earners, it is the issue of rent-to-own, that a house is built, you rent it, but as you are paying the rent, you are also paying for ownership of the house and when you complete the payment, it becomes yours. We were just about to start that. In fact, there was a land we were given which I had already said we should dedicate to the rent-to-own scheme because we’ve not done it before. But all these were truncated. I think if we follow-up on this, it will take time, but we will see gradually that there would be positive results.

Ministers usually complain of frustrations while in office. Did you encounter any?

I would say maybe one frustration because I kept asking for funds for the ministry. Of course, they provided funds. There is the Prototype Housing Scheme. The government allocates money for that, but it is just a tip of the iceberg. For example, we built 200 houses under the scheme in Gwagwalada and more houses coming up in Suleja under that scheme.

I thought  we needed to focus on the cooperative housing and the rent-to-own schemes, especially for the low income earners.

In the area of public buildings, in 2012, Council awarded the contract for the completion of the construction of a mausoleum for Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, which was stalled for 16 years. I understand it is nearing completion now. The construction of six federal secretariats in Bayelsa, Anambra, Osun, Gombe, Zamfara and Nassarawa States were started during my tenure and they’re in progress.

There are allegations from all fronts that the President is not doing enough, most importantly, in the area of corruption. What is your take on this?

In every society, you will find that there is corruption. It is not only in Nigeria. Maybe you look at the magnitude of corruption. I believe that the President is addressing it gradually, but you will appreciate that it is not something that started during  his tenure because that is what a leader suffers. Once you are the head, everybody will  shift all the ills of society on your head. Most of the challenges  we face didn’t appear in the country for the first time when Goodluck Jonathan became president. These things have been entrenched in our environment. Some of the things that happened, people want to accept that is the norm and for you to break it, it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of courage and you need support from those yo   u are working with. So, I don’t want a situation where we all see the Jonathan’s administration as corrupt. Let’s look back and see what has happened before and some of the things that he has tried to do to stop it.

The suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, came out to say that the President is surrounded by fraudulent and incompetent aides. Do you agree with him?

I don’t want to comment on those issues as a public officer. It is not in my beat. But I think if you read the papers and listen to discussions, those things are being properly addressed.

Given the opinion of people that the proposed national conference may not likely achieve anything for the country, do you think there is need for it?

It is like you are announcing results before people have done the exam. Isn’t it? Give him a chance. Give the conference a chance and I think people are taking it very seriously. You can see that most of the southern groups are meeting, northern groups are meeting, south western groups are meeting, various groups are meeting to marshal out the areas that they want the conference to address.

So, let’s allow it to start. When they have finished and come out with recommendations, if you don’t like them , then you can complain. A school hasn’t done exam, a student hasn’t done exam and you have already concluded that  student will fail, that the school will not do well. I think that is unfair.

So, what do you think women should bring to the table?

We have been talking about 35 percent representation, but most of it has been in governance like in appointment of ministers and the rest. You all know that President Goodluck Jonathan has done very well in that regard and I am one of the beneficiaries. At the time I was minister, we had the highest number of female ministers, 13 in number  in the cabinet  and we have  a female Chief Justice for the first time, a lot of women are holding key positions under President Goodluck Jonathan. But the area that I would like us to do everything that is possible, is in elective offices. We have not really done well in that area. If you talk to the female politicians, they will reel out the challenges they face. Some finance and some will say that the men don’t give them a chance. But I believe we should fight for those areas in elective offices at the local government, state level and the national level. We need to have more women in the state and national assemblies.

Some women at the National Assembly are going for governorship elections. What do you say about that? 

I have read about some of them. I salute their courage. Why shouldn’t a woman be governor? Why shouldn’t a woman be vice president? Why shouldn’t a woman be president? These women who want to contest gubernatorial elections, are women who have been in the National Assembly at the very highest level and they have done well. They are educated, they are experienced and they have been effective. So, I believe they can make a success of it. What does it take to be a governor?

Where would you situate the problem? Would you say women are the very problems for themselves?

Sometimes! Because I believe that if a woman comes out and all of us vote for her, of course, we will have some men to support us. There is no reason why a woman should not be able to win election.

How do you feel when people continue to denigrate this administration which you were part of?

It depends on where you are coming from. If I speak for myself, I think there are a lot of areas where the administration recorded successes. I would say we did well in the housing sector. You know there was a time they were not signing Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) and before I left in September, I had signed over a thousand C of Os for 2013 alone so that people can have title to their property and have bank able documents in their hands. Even in things as small as that! And of course, in housing, I believe we did well. And another area is power.

They will come and say power, power, power, power. I know that everybody needs power and we do need power because if we fix power, then every other thing, all these industrialization we are talking about, will all fall into place. The administration has recorded some successes. One critical area, is the area of road construction. I think that there has been massive achievements and improvements on our roads. These roads have broken down for many years. You will know if you travel around. So, it is not something you fix overnight. If we had more money, I believe they will do more. In the area of road construction, I believe that we have done well.

Even at the time we were there, I think there has been a lot of success in the water projects. Even an area that people don’t pay attention to in the area of national planning, I think, if I may say so, I believe we had one of the best national planning ministers we ever had when Shamsudeen was there because he produced the first ever 30-year infrastructure plan for the country, covering all the possible sectors. These are areas people don’t really look at, but I believe we made tremendous progress in that area.

What do you make of the opposition in the country, most importantly, the All Progressives Congress (APC)? Are they playing their role the way it should be played?

I wouldn’t like to comment on whether they are doing well or they are not doing well. All I can say is that in any country, you need a very strong opposition party. It leads to healthy competition and it is good for the county and not opposition for the sake of being opposition. Opposition that is strong enough to be an alternative government. We have in America, the Republicans and the Democrats; while in the United Kingdom (UK), the Labour Party and the Conservatives. So, I will like to see a situation where in Nigeria, also, we have the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a vibrant opposition party that is a credible alternative to the government in power. I believe it is healthy for our polity.

People have been wondering why you have remained silent over the politics of Rivers state. What is actually going on?

You know sometimes, the wise people tell us that silence is golden. So, I decided to remain silent.

Are you still in the PDP or you moved with Amaechi to APC?

No comment.

You left office at the time ministers who were nominated by governors opposed to President Jonathan left office. What actually happened? Was it also in your own case?

I believe that is what happened.

You believe?

I know. That must be the reason. Ok, as a minster, how do you think I performed? You are a Nigerian, assessing me. Did I do badly? Was I not efficient, effective and hardworking?

So, you believe that was why you also left office?

Definitely. I believe so.

There is this issue that President Jonathan removed you from office after you begged for Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Is it true?

My Bible tells me that blessed are the peacemakers.

Nigerians really want to know what happened…

Ok. If you want to hear that story, listen to me. While I was still in the cabinet and this thing is common knowledge because I was not alone with him when I did it. Because I was surprised that week we were removed. I saw it on the pages of newspapers. Ok, I shouldn’t have been surprised because after the incident, I went to Port Harcourt and people were coming to say oh, we heard that you begged the President.

Our elders came from Rivers state. Amaechi was not there. They were led by Victor Odilli. He is the chairman of Rivers State Elders Forum. He was there. Justice Karibi-Whyte was there, Professor Tekena Tamuno was there. These are men in their 80s. There was Professor Fubara who was honoured in the centenary celebration. There was Professor Nimi Briggs who at one time was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT). There was Osi Harry, the former Executive Director of Finance, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). There was also Chief. Agbarho, a civil servant and there was also a lady, Dr Constance Sarowiyo. She is from Ogoni and she was much, much my senior in the secondary school. We went to the same secondary school but I didn’t meet her in school. She was one time a commissioner in Rivers state. So, this problem just started, but we could see the signs that it was not a healthy thing. And all of them without exception, spoke and asked that there should be peace, there should be forgiveness and peace so that the people in Rivers state will be comfortable and feel safe in their environment. I added my voice to it and I begged. I also begged Amaechi so that peace can reign. The Bible says blessed are the peacemakers.

Between when you begged the President and when you were removed from office, what was the duration ?

July, maybe August, September. Maybe two, three months. Not more than that.

You begged him in July?

About that time. I can’t remember.

And you left office September?

Yeah.

How did you get the information? Did he tell you to resign, or you read it in the papers or he called you that you were going to leave?

Are you not a journalist? Don’t you know what happened that day? We were told after the Executive Council meeting, the names of the ministries that their ministers were leaving the cabinet.

So, there was no prior information?

Not at all.

How did you receive the news?

What could  I do? The President has the prerogative to hire and fire.

What does your removal from Jonathan’s cabinet portend for the people of Rivers at the time it came?

When we were removed, it was common knowledge, the reasons why we were removed. So, people just accepted it. What do you do? It is the President’s prerogative.

Have you had audience with him since that time?

No, no, no. You want me to go and make appointment that I want to discuss my removal with him? No!

What are you engaged in at present?

Not doing anything except church work. I am a pastor.

Church work?

A lot of it.

Are you still considering politics?

How?

Like going for elective office?

Maybe not this time around. I don’t know.

How soon?

I leave it to God to determine for me. I think I still have a lot to offer this country if called upon to do so.

Are you with Amaechi or with Jonathan?

First, I will say no comments. And I will expand it by saying that both of them are my brothers. One was my boss and still remains my President. And as a mother, I think the day the Rivers elders went to meet him and I had the opportunity of being there, I did what I should do as a mother. And now, I continue to pray that the God of peace will intervene and bring peace to my two brothers so that there will be peace in Rivers State and in Nigeria.

Femi Fani-Kayode: Between Speaking And Sparking By Satguru Maharaj Ji


Late Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode was a very good and close friend. A man of sound political savvy, Chief Remi Fani-Kayode (a.k.a Fani Power), was among those targeted by the British colonial government in Nigeria for their passionate roles in the struggle for our nation’s independence from London. He was, in 1952, detained along with the likes of late Chief Rotimi Williams and late Chief Bode Thomas by British colonial authorities. Alongside late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, late Chief S. O. Ighodaro, late E. O. Eyo, late Adeyemi Lawson and late S. G. Ikoku, he represented the Action Group at the 1957 London Constitutional Conference. Truly, the precious list of Nigerian patriots can never be complete without late Chief Remi Fani-Kayode’s name vividly inked on its broad sheet. I remember working closely with him and Oloye …….. Salami during the struggle to salvage Nigeria from the brink of catastrophe under the military dictatorship of late General Sanni Abacha. Chief was, throughout the period of our joint-effort in liaison with a number of important political groups across the country, a man whose patriotic principles never wavered! As one of the prominent Nigerians who committed priceless resources of time, intellect, private funds and personal liberty to ensure that the British colonial flag (known as The Union Jack) was pulled-off Nigeria’s sky forever, late Chief Fani-Kayode was totally impervious to the idea of leading Nigeria to dis-integration! I will forever respect the sense of dedication to patriotic duty exhibited by Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode prior to his death in 1995 due to poisoning in Abeokuta where he went to meet with an iniquitous group disguised as friends of national peace and progress!

Today, nineteen years after Chief Remi Fani-Kayode’s death, the name Fani-Kayode continues to resonate in Nigeria’s political air currents. Femi Fani-Kayode is one of late Remi Fani-Kayode’s children. Since the re-birth of democratic rule in Nigeria in 1999, Femi Fani-Kayode has been a consistently loud voice in the country’s political jungle. He has successfully made himself politically conspicuous in present-day Nigeria. I praise his intriguing rise from obscurity to prominence. This notwithstanding, I must say however that his link to progressive relevance in contemporary Nigeria’s political wild of all sorts has so far been more of an abstraction to Me than a reality! I have keenly observed and meticulously studied Femi’s operations on Nigeria’s political landscape since he returned to Nigeria from the Western world after the resuscitation of civilian governance in his fatherland. I have heard him express his views on national issues. I have repeatedly analysed his lines of logic on matters political. I am, after perusing several chapters of ‘his book of contributions’ to Nigeria’s post-military political evolution, convinced that Femi needs to bridle his tongue as far as Nigerian politics is concerned!

Femi is a son of one of Nigeria’s most respected politicians. This fact does not automatically confer on him the deep political wisdom and savvy of his late father. It does not license him to run his lips on national issues without commensurate research. Femi Fani-Kayode does not represent his late father’s huge political estate. That property is obviously too matured for him to inherit! Any thorough and objective comparative audit of Femi’s political culture and his late father’s political legacy will reveal this truth. Good enough, he has not stated anywhere that he is interested in being like his father. He has not made known any personal intention of proceeding from where his father stopped as far as politics is concerned. Truly, Femi is his own man and he must always be assessed as such a person – no association with his late dad’s profoundness! Such is and will always be good for him and for Nigeria as well!

Nigeria’s zig-zag political terrain is a heritage of British colonial iniquity which the county’s divided ethnic nationalities have been quarrelling over for several decades, each claiming either manifest destiny or victimization in the disgracefully backward evolution of the nation since 1914. By the divine grace of Superior Forces, Nigeria has always narrowly escaped booby-traps set on its post-1960 path by treacherous British authorities. There has never been a time when Nigerians gathered themselves as dwellers of a troubled house of enormous positive potentials to discuss how best to re-organize the structure into one big happy family mansion. What we have been experiencing in this country is a political order of mutual suspicion and consistent conflict, leading to gross economic under-performance! While the vast majority of Nigerians lose out to this very ugly situation, British authorities and their Anglo-Saxon relatives spread across the globe gain stupendously, but not without extending some fractions of their loot to their scatterings of ostentatious Nigerian goons, most of whom are Nigeria’s elite political technicians and dubious opinion-leaders. The British engineers of dysfunctional Nigeria have been operating surreptitiously since 1960, ensuring that the trado-Islamic feudalist leaders of its Northern geography maintain tight and tyrannical grip on its political fate as designed and controlled in London! Unfortunately for the feudal landlords of Northern Nigeria and their British benefactors, the resurrection of democracy in Nigeria fifteen years ago came with a divinely plotted and irreversible paradigm-shift of the country political power-balance in favour of its protractedly suppressed Southern section. Any Nigerian keen on knowing the roots of political acrimony in Nigeria should read some published confessionals authored by the likes of Harold Smith (‘Blue Collar Lawman’) and Fredrick Forsyth (‘The Biafra Story’).

Femi Fani-Kayode ranks among the league of contemporary Nigerian politicians who ‘spark’ on the basis of their limited knowledge of the surface wirings of Nigeria’s deep political mess! Nigeria’s newspaper archives are stuffed with loads of unguarded and volatile statements made by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode. Many of these lose words have provoked some political enthusiasts to dig deep into his past and privacy. Courtesy of such reactionary efforts, a number of unwholesome details about his life-style have found their way into the public domain. A man is designed to know his strength and limits. He is moulded by training and by talent to be conscious of his level of vulnerability and to be wise enough not to exceed boundaries that separate him from the status of a public nuisance. Femi knows a great deal about Nigerian politics. But then, how much does he actually know of what has been unfolding in political Nigeria since Goodluck Ebele Jonathan successfully humiliated Muhammadu Buhari and his feudal comrades in Dark Age Islamism at the 2011 presidential polls?

It is rather unfortunate that Femi has chosen to lend his voice in either direct or indirect support for the elaborate theatre of mischief being run by those who worked hands-in-gloves with the British to stagnate Nigeria for 39 years after the notorious queen of parasitic England grudgingly agreed to allow Nigerians rule themselves! Having failed to wrestle Nigeria’s political power off Southern hold at the 2011 presidential election, the North’s elite feudal gangsters; led by the Sultan of Sokoto, issued a published threat to render our country ungovernable! When the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode associate President Goodluck Jonathan with gross incompetence, including accusing him of abandoning the North to roast in the wild fires being lit by Boko Haram across its terrain, one wonders if they were alive or present in this country when Muhammdu Buhari issued the afore-mentioned threat and whether they do not find it curious that Northern leaders have been less decisive on the Boko Haram mayhem than they have been in respect of rallying round Rotimi Amaechi since he fell out of favour with President Jonathan! Which is more important: the precious lives of suffering Northern masses or the political ambition of materially ultra-comfortable Rotimi Amaechi?

Right before our eyes, Northern feudalist politicians have invaded Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s APC as part of their silent war against Southern occupation of Nigeria’s highest political office, using fake Islamic sentiments to warm-up their presence in the party and to also secure their vantage positions on its fledgling hierarchy. At this juncture, I ask: how much national progress should right-thinking people actually expect from a leader who is being viciously fought by an adhoc army of elite citizens who, ordinarily, should be co-operating with him to fight off retrogression from the land? The Boko Haram guerrilla fighters that have been shooting and bombing Northern Nigeria after the failed attempt by Buhari and his bead-counting psychotic fellows to seize power by elaborate calumny and fraudulent ballot in 2011 are an invention of Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Adamu Ciroma, Mallam Naisr El Rufai and other elite Northern politicians. These wicked men are sworn to re-taking Nigeria’s prime political power and keeping it forever as the absolute property of their coven!

The North is not Nigeria’s problem! Its feudal leaders are the deadly sources of much of our national troubles! Until we are able to neutralize them and permanently isolate them all from any and everything public valuable in our country, they will continue to use religion and the illicit financial fortune they have been able to amass by stealing 83% of Nigeria’s oil wells to put-up assorted acts and strategic dramas of vile political deceit that connect firmly with the ignorance and flimsiness of privileged Nigerians of the Femi Fani-Kayode ilk! Not long ago, news had it that Femi was in Dutse, the capital city of Jigawa State, to confer with the State’s Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, on options for 2015. His meeting with Lamido was said to have been a close-door session. While in Jigawa, Femi Fani-Kayode was quoted to have stated that recent happenings in the country confirm that President Jonathan does not have the capacity to lead Nigeria. ‘I am here to see my brother and friend, Governor Sule Lamido … I am here to consult with him … ’, said Femi during his visit. It is common knowledge that the destiny of any relationship between a mouse and a cobra is beneficial only to the latter! Does Femi know who the likes of Sule Lamido actually are? Does he know how they operate and what they precisely stand for? With all due respect, Femi Fani-Kayode has a lot of catching-up to do on Nigeria’s political race-track. Sule and Sanusi Lamido along with other members of Northern political oligarchy are recalcitrant spoilers and sworn stagnators of Nigeria whose Islamocentric commitment to anti-Nigeria brigandage is far more genuine than any smile or hug with which they receive any Southern Muslim or Christian as friend! They are leaders who do not care a flying fig about the welfare and progress of the ordinary Northern Nigerian. They eat and live for themselves alone! Are these the type of people Femi now regards as his brothers and friends?!

In the face of organized felony by powerful trouble-makers who are determined to set an entire country ablaze because it no-longer responds to their whims and caprices, a wise leader reaches more for ‘the water-hose’ than for ‘the barrels of combustibles’. Nigeria’s military has the capacity to terminate Boko Haram. Interestingly, the retired military Generals backing the murderous gang know that any escalation of our national army’s operations beyond its present level of engagement in the North against Boko Haram will run at huge cost to innocent civilian lives, a development which rascals like Buhari will hastily exploit to ignite the catastrophic inferno of another civil war in Nigeria! Who says President Jonathan has abandoned the North to the fires of Boko Haram? To the best of My knowledge, it is the feudal political rulers of the North that are doing the abandonment! Just one pronouncement against Boko Haram’s rag-tag guerrilla foot-soldiers from the Sultan of Sokoto is enough to end the spate of violence up North! Why has our dear Sultan not exercised this power of his’ in the face of routine killings of innocent Nigerians across his domain?

I urge Femi Fani-Kayode to stop making careless and volatile statements that practically fuel the secret agenda of the North’s serpentine political class. Femi should stop sparking to the advantage of the real enemies of our national progress! If he is averse to President Jonathan, he has the democratic liberty to criticize him but please our dear Femi, do not sell our already besieged President out to those who have been striving to obliterate our natural and constitutional liberties as free-borns with forced Islamization by trying to use resources stolen from our nation’s oil purse for 39 years and also by committing huge tranches of cash handed-down to them by Arab imperialists to achieve their hooded goal! Between speaking and sparking, the difference is certainly wisdom!

Long Live The People of Ibadan, Long Live The Yoruba Race, Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria, Long Live Africa, Long Live United World. Until I Come your way again it’s Me The Father Of Creation.  Yours Ever Sincerely

My Love and Blessings
Prof. (M.S.A. A. Akinbami Dan Ibrahim)
The Living Perfect Master.

Photo: Nonye Rajis, Nigeria Ambassador to Singapore after a strategic meeting with Gov Okorocha and Deputy


1979625_10202983541006915_1685517627_n[1]

From the left of the viewer: Their Excellencies, Governor of Imo State,  Owelle Rochas Okorocha, His Deputy, Prince Eze Madumere and Nonye Rajis, Nigeria Ambassador to Singapore after a strategic meeting with a team from European Union led by European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Richel Arrion at Governor’s Lodge, Abuja

“I rejected my boyfriend’s proposal because I can’t afford to be a housewife”-Actress Anita Joseph


We live in a world where ladies loves to be engaged but to our greatest surprise actress Anita Joseph rejected her boyfriend’s marriage proposal last month because she wasn’t ready to become a house wife. In an interview with Encomium she said…

“I rejected it because I cannot be a full housewife.  He wants me to quit acting and become a full housewife. But I am not that type that sits at home all day.  I love working. I love being busy.  He said when we get married, I will quit acting.I have known him for two years and we have dated for a year. I don’t want to disclose his identity, all I can say is that his name is Mr. M.  He is a good guy but he can stab you when he gets jealous.  He is so possessive.”

“He knows who I am.  Why wouldn’t he know?  He saw me on television before we eventually met.  He has been following all my movies.  He is not in support of my career.  He wants me to quit after marriage.  He doesn’t want me out because he doesn’t like my involvement in love scenes.  He doesn’t want people to be looking at me and me exposing myself because of romantic scenes.Of course, I have marriage in mind.  But I am not in a hurry to walk down the aisle.”

Mercy Johnson Shares Cute Photos In Bed With Daughter Purity


 
Mercy Johnson shared this picture of herself and her lil princess who was disturbing her while she was preparing for AMCVA “She won’t let me make up ooooo..Princess purity wer mudiafo…Ready for my hair and make up but my madam won’t let me lol “ she wrote.
Image

Mercy Aigbe Spotted With Nollywood Legendary Actors, Olu Jacobs & Joke Silva


OBESERE RAPE SCANDAL!!! Victim’s friend tells her own side of the story


Bola Okoro,the friend of the lady who claimed she was raped by Obesere has come out to tell her own side of the story.She told newsmen during a press conference in Oyo that the lady was lying and she introduced her to the musician and the accuser whose real name is Morenike Kikelomo and not Olanike Olaiya that she’s widely been referred to told her she was going to blackmail the musician

“I warned her not to try such a thing and I thought she had taken to my advice. Obesere is my business partner and I introduced Olanike to him in order for him to help her with her business without knowing that she had another plan to malign him. She was with Obesere on Tuesday and called me that she would be coming to Ibadan to check on her child on Wednesday, but I told her to wait; that I was also coming to Lagos for a meeting, and she came to meet me at that meeting.I was not aware that anything was wrong with her until we got to Ibadan, but I was surprised when Obesere called me that Olanike said she was bleeding that I should take her to the hospital,…..

When I inquired about what was wrong, she told me that if I needed money, I should support her plan to collect N10 million from Obesere, but I refused. “I told her that I would never be part of that plan before she proceeded to Lagos and reported the alleged abuse at Okota Police Station. She had been abandoned by her parents because of her waywardness before I took up her responsibility. “I have known Alhaji Obesere for over 12 years and he is a responsible, kind-hearted individual who cannot hurt a fly. I wonder why he would stoop so low as to rape or use a girl for ritual when so many girls are out there who want to have him,”

Image

Check Out A Clearer Picture Of Rita Dominic’s Outfit @ AMVCA Party


Image

Funke Akindele Stuns In Blue For AMVCA 2014


“I Can Act A Porn Movie But Can’t Go Nude” – Cossy Ojiakor Reveals


Cossy has been on a low key ever since Afrocandy & Maheeda entered the nudity scene. In a recent interview with sun, she talked about being nude in a  movie. She said

“I’ve not met her but I think she’s a cool babe. I like her guts and Maheeda’s guts as well; they’re doing their own thing. If one way does not work, the other should; they’re paying their dues” I can act in a porn movie but I can never go nude myself. If I have to act with somebody and they use a body double to do the acting, that’s fine. But as for me, I can never go nude. If you insist that I must act nude then you have to use a body double. They’ve done it before. That was when I was dancing for Obesere. They superimposed a dog on me and said I was having sex with the dog. And before I knew it everybody was calling me a porn actor! That picture was photo shopped. I can remember a guy called me up and said he had a picture of me having sex with a dog and I told him to go to hell; he wanted to blackmail me, and then he published the story and my family was embarrassed.”