Friday, October 22, 2010

Funke Akindele, Star Nollywood Actress, Robbed!

Dare devil-armed robbers, last week, robbed star actress, Funke Akindele at gun point in Ojodu area of Lagos. The popular actress, popularly known as ‘Jenifa’ was returning home from a visit and was in the car with some people when the armed men double-crossed her car and demanded that she handed over her valuables or risk being shot.

The actress, it was learnt, promptly obeyed and gave the sons of the gun her Blackberry phones and a bag full of money. One of the armed men who recognized her later threw a bundle of N50 000 into the car saying: ‘Jenifa, use that one to take care of yourself’. Funke was said to have been visibly shaken after the encounter and left the venue thanking God that her life was spared.

A close aide of the actress told Showbiz Now that the actress is still in a state of shock, lamenting the loss of enormous contacts and an undisclosed amount of money. ‘Funke cannot talk much now o. She is still in shock but grateful no one was hurt in the car’.

The actress, we learnt, has also postponed the premiere of her highly anticipated movie, Omo Ghetto which was to take place at the National Arts Theatre on October 24. The reason behind the postponement is still unclear and no one can say for sure if the robbery incident has anything to do with it.

EFCC files fresh charges against El-Rufai

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday at the FCT High Court filed fresh charges against Nasir El-Rufai, former Minister of the FCT.

It will be recalled that El-Rufai was on Wednesday in Abuja discharged by a Federal High Court on the eight-count charge for lack of jurisdiction to try the case.

Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court had said that the charges were brought under the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, which had been repealed.

Confirming the filing of the suit by EFCC lawyer, Head, Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr Femi Babafemi, said that EFCC, through Mr Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) filed an eight count charge against El-Rufai.

The EFCC, he said filed charges on May 5 against El-Ruafai over alleged criminal conspiracy and abuse of office.

The charges, he said included irregular revocation and re-allocation of a parcel of land originally belonging to PHCN Plc.

``As you well remember, the Federal High Court through the Honourable Justice Bello said that the court lacked the jurisdiction to try the accused.

``He also said that the charges ought to have been filed under the amended Act of 2003 at the FCT High Courts.

``The EFCC had earlier investigated a petition chronicling allegations of abuse of office against Malam El-Rufai.

``On how he allocated government land to his friends, wives and family members, in flagrant breach of the Abuja master plan.

``The former minister, between 2003-2007, allocated 10 plots of land in choice areas of Abuja and in various sizes to his family members.

``Those, who got the land include his wife, Hadiza Isma El-Rufai, who got two plots, one in the Asokoro District and the other in the Kubwa district.

``Other family members who were allegedly allocated plots are Bashir A El-Rufai, Asia Ahmad El-Rufai, Ibrahim El-Rufai, and Binta Ahmed El-Rufai.

Also included are Tijani Rufai, Rufai Hamza, and Ali Rufai,'' Babafemi said.

Voter registration: INEC set to award DDC machine contracts —Jega

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Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said in Abuja on Thursday that the revalidation of quotations for the procurement of the Direct Data Capture Machines to be used for voter registration had been completed.

Jega made this known at the INEC Federal Capital Territory stakeholders meeting, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

He said the process of procuring the machines was fully on course while the contracts would be signed next week.

Supervising National Commissioner of INEC in the FCT, Dr. Chris Iyimoga, represented Jega at the event.

Jega said INEC initiated a process of asking all original respondents to the commission’s Request For Quotations to revalidate their quotations, to prevent claims of misunderstanding.

“In the spirit of accountability, INEC rejected the demand for price variation demanded by manufacturers with the best quoted price for the entire procurement, which pleaded that it under-quoted on the printer requested by the commission,” he said.

He said INEC decided that all the 11 respondents would revalidate their quotations with more comprehensive RFQs.

“This process of revalidation has been completed and the commission has fully negotiated with the selected companies,” Jega said.

He said the manufacturers had physically demonstrated their equipment, using INEC software, “and we are now going through the process of approvals.”

Jega said the commission had recorded success on the software currently being field-tested nationwide.

“The tests have been very successful, recording an average registration time of between three and four minutes per registrant,” he added.

The INEC boss said the commission had developed comprehensive operational plans for both the registration of voters and elections, including day to day activities, deliverables and financial implications.

He added that INEC had commenced work with development partners to establish an electronic real time monitoring of the registration process and elections, with the possibility of integrating high quality videos.

‘Okah, bomber exchanged 1,126 phone calls in 54 days’

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The South African prosecutors in the case against the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Mr. Henry Okah, on Thursday tendered more evidence against the terror suspect at a Johanesburg Magistrate’s court.

The evidence includes 1126 telephone calls he made to one of the suspects, Mr. Ben Ebere (aka Ben Jessy), between August 7, 2010 and September 29, 2010. He was also said to have sent 59 Short Message Systems to Ebere between July1 and September 2010.

Ebere and Chima Orlu, who the prosecutors added was also in constant contact with Okah before and on October 1, were declared wanted by the Police shortly after the October 1 twin car bombings that killed 16 people and injured 66 others.

The MEND leader is facing trial in South Africa for allegedly being the mastermind of the blasts. He had on Wednesday told the court that the case against him was flawed.

His brother, Charles, was among a new set of suspects arraigned in secret before an Abuja Magistrate’s court on Thursday.

When the hearing of Okah’s bail application resumed on Thursday in South Africa, the prosecutors tendered a supplementary affidavit revealing his communication, with Orlu and Ebere.

However, the affidavit didn’t state the content of the telephone calls and messages.

According to the affidavit deposed to by Lt. Col. Noel Zeeman of the South African Police Service, Orlu had 43 voice calls and exchanged 27 SMSs with his “co-conspirators and co-perpetrators” on the day of the blasts in Abuja.

The affidavit reads in part, “Orlu‘s telephone records have revealed that he had been in contact with the accused (Okah) on numerous occasions leading up to October 1.

“Of greater significance is that Orlu had sent an SMS message to the accused (Okah) at precisely 10. 58:59am on Oct. 1, 2010.

“This SMS was followed by another SMSs from Orlu at 13. 13:01am and again at 13. 29:59pm the same day.”

It said that SMSs were also sent to Orlu by Okah on September 30, 2010 at 12.38:11p.m and on October 1 at 6.02:39am, 7.40:20am, 7.41:22am and 7.41:35am.

The affidavit which was tendered by the prosecution council, Shaun Abrahams, added that Okah had 1, 126 telephone calls with Ebere between August 7 and September 29, 2010. He was also said to have exchanged 59 SMSs with Ebere between July 1 and September 2010.

Zeeman said, “Ebere had been in contact with the accused right up to Sept. 29 2010. There were 1,126 calls from the accused to Ebere during the period, from August 7, 2010 to Sept. 29, 2010.

“There were also 59 SMSs sent from the accused to Ebere during the period July 1, 2010 and September 2010.”

The prosecution added in the affidavit that investigations also revealed that two vehicles – a Honda and a Mazda 626 – were purchased in Lagos on Okah’s instruction “by persons complicit in the crime” prior to the detonation of the bombs on October 1.

It stated that on Okah‘s instructions, the vehicles were conveyed to Port Harcourt, Rivers State where their boots were loaded with dynamite which were wired with timers.

The affidavit said at 11 am on October 1, the Honda was used in an explosion that went off at Shehu Shagari Way while approximately 10 to 15 minutes later, the Mazda 626 was utilised in the second explosion.

It said the explosions took place under the supervision of Orlu and Ebere, who acted on the instruction of Okah.

According to the affidavit, an e-mail communication between Okah and two arrested persons in Nigeria — John Tarmy and First Man — on October 1, 2010, reads, “Done, tell them to leave now.”

It added, “This selfsame e-mail was forwarded from First Man to Tarmy at 11.15am on October 1, 2010 and forwarded to the accused (Okah) the same day at 16. 25:40.

“There are further e-mail communications between the accused and persons arrested in Nigeria for the bombings of October 1, 2010 in Abuja with very revealing evidence. These are presently being investigated.”

The affidavit also showed that there were witness statements which implicate Okah as having been the mastermind of the attacks.

The prosecution told the court that Nigerian authorities had confirmed their willingness to render assistance to South African investigators against Okah.

“As a result, letters of request for mutual legal assistance will be submitted to the Nigerian Federal Government to obtain specific evidence,” it stated.

It said in order not to jeopardise investigations in South Africa and Nigeria, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses have deliberately been withheld for purposes of Okah’s bail application.

Zeeman stated that he had communicated with Nigerian law enforcement agencies which indicated willingness to supply more information.

Abrahams had said at the resumption of the hearing that the state had a strong case against Okah and that he should be denied bail.

Defence counsel, Rudi Krause, however, asked the court to step down the matter for him to study the new information and be able to respond.

In Abuja, there was confusion over the number of suspects arraigned in secret before a magistrate court in Wuse Zone 6. While the News Agency of Nigeria put the number at five, some television stations said the accused were between six and seven.

NAN, however, gave only the names of Charles, Ernest Orlu (younger brother of Chima Orlu), and Edmund Ebiware.

It was learnt that Okah’s son, Boloebi; Sola Ladoja; Charles’s securityman, Felix; and his friend were among those arraigned.

When our correspondent contacted the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasheed Ladoja, to confirm if Sola was his son, he replied that no member of his family was arraigned before any court on Thursday.

The accused persons were brought to the magistrate court in Wuse Zone 6, Abuja in two tinted buses amidst tight security by officials of the State Security Service.

Our correspondent learnt that as early as 5am, SSS operatives numbering over 50, arrived the court premises and cordoned off the nearby Makeni Street to ensure that nobody, including lawyers, gained entrance to the court premises.

Moments after the accused emerged from the closed-door session, the SSS operatives only allowed journalists a photo opportunity to capture the accused as they re-entered their vehicles.

A secondary school pupil, Nelson Akula, who was making a telephone call in front of his house on the street was beaten and whisked to an unknown destination by the operatives when they were driving off after the session.

A Naval officer who challenged them was threatened with guns. As at 7pm on Thursday, the whereabouts of Akula were unknown.

It was not clear whether the SSS brought them before the court for an order to remand them in custody pending the conclusion of investigations.

When our correspondent called the SSS Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mrs. Marylyn Ogar, to ascertain why the arraignment of the suspects was done in secret, she replied, “If you were in court you need not ask me why it was a secret affair; as such I don’t have any reason for the why, no further comment please.”

Chief Magistrate Oyetunde Oyewunmi adjourned the case till November 24 and ordered the prosecution to ensure that the suspects were allowed access to their lawyers in the interest of justice.

The suspects were accused of carrying out terrorist acts, conspiracy to cause bodily harm as well as felony against the state.

NAN quoted the counsel to Charles, Mr Oghenevo Otemu,as having told journalists after the short court session, that he was surprised at the secret trial.

He said that Okah’s trial in South Africa was more transparent as his counsel and journalists were allowed access to the court.

Also speaking, Mr Onyechukwu HighKing, lawyer to Ernest wondered if the case was transferable.

HighKing said it was wrong to arrest and join Ernest, an oil company worker in Port Harcourt, for prosecution in an offence allegedly committed by his brother.

On his part, Mr Ugochukwu Ezekiel, counsel to Ebiware, said the government was denying the accused persons their fundamental rights to representation and fair hearing.

“The accused should have the right to access to the counsel of his choice. We will fight it legally in court,’’ Ezekiel said.

The SSS had earlier arraigned nine suspects in connection with the blast, thus bringing the total number of accused persons standing trial to 14.

Ekiti PDP dares Fayemi over planned probe of Oni

PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State, has dared the new governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to go ahead with his threat to probe the immediate past administration led by Engr. Segun Oni, saying the planned probe was aimed at blindfolding the people from monitoring the programmes of the new government.

A statement by the Party’s Director of Communication and Strategy, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, said ACN government was merely playing a script to deceive the people of Ekiti State.

According to the statement: “All this threat of probe on our party’s government led by Engr. Segun Oni by the ACN Governor, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, has come to us as an attempt to blindfold the people of the State from monitoring the much celebrated developmental agenda of the ACN government.

“We challenge the Governor; Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to carry out this retrogressive threat so that the world would know who has come to develop the state and those who have come to mortgage the fortune of the Fountain of Knowledge.’’

PDP maintained that there was no amount of threat that could change the legacy of transparency and accountability of the PDP government led by Segun Oni, saying that Fayemi should face the reality on ground that it would be difficult for him to match the work done, both completed and on-going.

“There is no doubt that the government is in confusion now as to where its programmes will start. This has led to the lopsided appointment that was just released. Or how can one imagine the governor and the secretary to the state government coming from Oye Local Government Area, an area out of the 16 local government areas.

In normal political calculation, the governor comes from one district, the deputy from another district while the secretary to the state government will represent the third district.

Okah exposed; brother, 6 others arraigned

STATE Security Service, SSS, yesterday, arraigned Charles Okah, younger brother to the embattled ex-leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, Mr. Henry Okah, his son, and five other accused persons before a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja over their alleged involvement in the October 1 twin-bomb blasts.

The suspects were arraigned on a day the South African prosecution tendered before a Johannesburg court revealing evidence on Henry Okah’s contacts with the suspects on how the Abuja bomb blasts were planned and executed.

Henry Okah who is facing trial in the South African court over the same Abuja bomb attack is presently battling to be granted bail which the prosecution is opposed to.

The seven accused persons were brought to court in a commando-style by SSS operatives who chased lawyers, court clerks and journalists out of the court premises, even as they barricaded all streets connecting the court and forbade any form of movement by residents within the area.

One of the four Abuja blasts suspects, Mr Charles Tombrah Okah, in handcuffs, being led out of the Federal Capital Territory Chief Magistrates Court, Wuse Zone 6, yesterday in Abuja

Charles, his son, Boloebi Okah; Edmund Ebibare, accused of exchanging text messages with Chief Raymond Dokpesi; Ernest Nwosu Olu, younger brother of one Chima Olu that was earlier declared wanted by the SSS; Shola Ladoja, Felix Kuffre said to be a security man for Charles as well as his unidentified visitor, were marshalled into the lower court complex around 8: 45 am after they arrived in two unmarked buses with tinted glasses.

30 SSS vehicles

Over 30 SSS vehicles that escorted them were used to block all the streets leading to the court while armed operatives mounted sentry with a view to ensuring that no one got close to the perimeters of the Magistrates court located in Wuse zone 6, Abuja.

Frantic efforts by three lawyers from Keyamo Chambers, who insisted that Charles Okah and his co_accused persons had contacted them to handle the case, was vehemently resisted by the SSS men who maintained that they acted in accordance with an order from above.

It was not until around 9:30 am, when the court had concluded its proceeding and the accused persons about to be whisked back to an unknown detention centre, that the Public Relations Officer of the SSS, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar, succeeded in prevailing upon the stern looking operatives to allow journalists to take pictures from afar.

Marilyn, however, refused to answer questions thrown at her by newsmen, stressing that she was not allowed to speak to the press on the matter.

She said: “I cannot say anything to the press on this matter as I am not permitted to do so. The fact that I have done you people a favor by allowing you to take pictures, is that not enough? This is how you people usually put someone into problem.”

Efforts to get a copy of the criminal charge preferred against the accused persons equally proved abortive, just as the defence team, led by one Mr. Oghenovo Otemu, decried the closed door pattern adopted by the SSS in prosecuting the matter as a violation of section 36 of the 1999 constitution.

He said that not only were the accused persons denied access to their counsel, but that the SSS had refused to furnish them with a copy of the charge upon which they were standing trial.

Otemu said: “We have repeatedly applied for the charges against our clients but both the court and the SSS blatantly refused. It is important for the prosecution in this matter to realize that the accused persons also have their fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.

“So far as we are concerned, there is no proper charge before this court and whatever decision the court takes in this political trial will amount to a nullity and we are taking steps to ensure that the constitutional right of the accused persons to fair hearing and defence by counsel of their choice as stipulated in section 36 of the 1999 constitution is respected and enforced.”

Meantime, Vanguard reliably gathered that before adjourning the matter till November 24, presiding Magistrate Oyebola Oyewumi , yesterday, threatened that she would hands-off the case on that day should the SSS continue to shroud the prosecution in secrecy and the accused persons denied right of representation.

The source who pleaded anonymity, said that Magistrate Oyewumi went ahead to order open trial in the matter, yesterday, stressing that she would only hear the matter when it was allowed to undergo a normal court proceeding.

The magistrate was said to have also ordered the SSS to furnish the defendants with a copy of the charges against them, as well as allow them access to counsel of choice.

Though the source refused to speak further on what transpired inside the courtroom, SSS PRO, Mrs. Ogar, however, maintained that all the accused persons were properly arraigned in court.

Meanwhile, as the prosecution reopened its case in the application against bail for Okah, in the South African court, the supplementary affidavit tendered by the prosecution showed phone records of Okah’s communication with one Chima Orlu (still at large) severally around the period.

An affidavit deposed to by an officer with the South African Police Service, SAPS, Lt. Col. Noel Zeeman stated: “Orlu’s telephone records have revealed that he had been in contact with the accused on numerous occasions leading up to October 1. Of greater significance is that Orlu had sent an SMS message to the accused at precisely 10.58:59 a.m on October 1, 2010. This SMS was followed by another SMS from Orlu at 13hr 3:01a.m and again at 13h29:59 p.m the same day.”

Purchase of cars in Lagos

Zeeman, revealed that SMSs were sent to Chima Orlu by the accused on September 30, 2010 at 12h 38:11p.m and on October 1 at 6h 02:39am, 7h40:20am, 7h41:22am and 7h41:35am.

The affidavit stated that investigations revealed that two vehicles, a Honda and a Mazda 626 were purchased in Lagos on the instruction of the accused prior to the detonation of the two vehicle improvised devices on October 1.

It stated that on Okah’s instructions, the said vehicles were conveyed to Port Harcourt where booths of the vehicles were loaded with dynamite which were wired with timers.

The affidavit further said at 11 am on October 1, the Honda was used in an explosion that went off at Shehu Shagari Way while approximately 10 to 15 minutes later, the Mazda 626 was utilised in the second explosion which killed 12 persons and injured many others.

It said the explosions took place under the supervision of Orlu who acted on the instruction of Okah, adding: “On October 1, 2010, Orlu made a total of 43 voice calls and had sent 27 SMS messages to co_perpetrators and co conspirators.”

It said Ben Ebere, who is at large, and also known as Ben Jesse, assisted Orlu in supervision of the said explosions.

It added: “Ebere had been in contact with the accused right up to September 29 2010. There were 1,126 calls from the accused to Ben Ebere during the period, from August 7, 2010 to September 29, 2010. There were also 59 SMSs sent from the accused to Ben Ebere during the period July 1, 2010 and September 2010.’

The affidavit said an e_mail communication between arrested persons in Nigeria, namely, John Tarmy, First Man and the accused on October 1, 2010, communicates the following “done, tell them to leave now,” adding: “This selfsame e-mail was forwarded from First Man to John Tarmy at 11h15am on October 1, 2010 and forwarded to the accused the same day at 16h25:40.

“There are further e-mail communications between the accused and persons arrested in Nigeria for the bombings of October 1, 2010 in Abuja with very revealing evidence.

These are presently being investigated.”

It revealed that Nigerian investigators had also revealed that the accused brother, Charles Okah, conspired with the accused and Orlu and others in coordinating and directing the detonation of the bombs.

It said there were also witness statements which implicate the accused as having been the mastermind of the attacks, while Nigerian authorities have confirmed their willingness to render assistance to South African investigators against the accused.

“As a result, letters of request for mutual legal assistance will be submitted to the Nigerian Federal Government to obtain specific evidence,” it stated.

It said in order not to jeopardise investigations in South Africa and Nigeria, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses have deliberately been withheld for purposes of the application.

Ziman stated that South Africa and Nigeria were working closely in the matter and he had communicated with Nigerian law enforcement agencies which indicated willingness to supply more information.

Prosecution counsel, Shaun Abrahams, who tendered the affidavit in court, said the State had a strong case against Okah and he should be denied bail.

Defence counsel, Rudi Krause asked the court to step down the matter for him to study the new information and be able to respond.

S-West PDP stakeholders lament loss of Ekiti – Gov Daniel

GOVERNOR Olugbenga Daniel of Ogun State yesterday admitted that things were no longer rosy for the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] in the South West saying that members of the party would have to be careful to prevent the total annihilation of the party in the area.

According to him, the loss of Ekiti State was the worst disaster to have ever happened to the party which he said has not been able to manage its successes very well.

Addressing members of the Presidential Campaign Council of Goodluck Jonathan for President in the South West Zone at his Asoludero Court in Sagamu, the Governor said members of the party would have drop their individual selfish aspirations for the common good of the party if it would regain its glory.

He said “in this room our expectation is that we should tell ourselves the truth and if the truth must be told; in the politics of the South west, we do have challenges. My worry is that when former President Obasanjo was there we could not take Lagos. I do not think we have managed our victory well.

Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel who is the south west coordinator, Goodluck Sambo presidential campaign commitee welcoming the Ondo State coordinator, Chief Olusegun Agagu to the 2nd edition meeting of the Southwest committee meeting held at the governors private residence in Sagamu, Ogun State with them is a PDP stalwart in the zone, Senator Yinka Omilani

“The worst disaster is losing Ekiti State. If we are not carful, and God forbid, it could be the end of our party in the South West. The capacity of our party to manage crisis is nil. We are all endangered species.

“If we think deeply, we will know. We must forget this issue of I want to be Governor, Senator or anything. We must work together, otherwise we will look like jokers, and if we lose it; it will be terrible.

“In Ogun State, there is no other party. What we have is internal crisis. But we will not concede one inch of space to the rampaging machinery. What happened in Ekiti State is a big shame to all of us without exception. What we have in our hand is a major challenge.

“In Osun, what I am hearing is scary. If that kind of thing happen, it will be a disaster. I think people here should be able to go back home and tell the Governor some things. We must bury self interest.

“I was with the former Governor of Ekiti and some members of his exco yesterday and they are feeling bad. They feel unhappy. They feel a sense of abandonment and feel bad that their President even congratulated the new Governor a few hours after the court case; they feel he should have at least waited for 24 hours. But I explained to them that he is the president of all”

Daniel said that on the issue of Jonathan for President, the people said that they should at least be left alone to decide who to support for the Presidential race and that some of them complained that even the Speaker has congratulated Dr. Kayode Fayemi in a paid advert.

The Governor who was apparently ready to be brutally frank with the delegates was about going on before newsmen were asked out of the meeting.

There are indications that the former Governor of Ekiti State Engr. Segun Oni may leave the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for another political party in the country.

Sources at yesterday’s meeting revealed that Oni who was sacked by the Court of Appeal, Ilorin last week may resort to this option as a result of his frustration over the refusal of President Jonathan to intervene on his behalf over the Ekiti gubernatorial dispute.

The source further said that the Presidency bluntly refused to help Oni when his assistance was desperately needed before the Appeal Court judgement was delivered. Oni was conspicuously absent at the meeting even though his name was advertised in some national dailies as one of the facilitators of the gathering.

Although the assembly of PDP chieftains in the zone was for the purpose of setting up structures for the Jonathan Presidential Campaign Council, it also became an opportunity for reviewing the fortunes of the party in the zone, especially in the light of the loss of Ekiti State to the rival Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Indeed, the entire leadership of the party in the zone was engaged in a serious soul-searching as was reflected in the somber mood at the meeting which held inside the residence of the Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

In his effort to ensure that the mobilisation of the zone for President Jonathan is total, Daniel had reached out to many groups including those outside the PDP. One of such groups was the Coalition of Odua Self Determination Groups (COSEG) which made a presentation at the meeting.

The Secretary of the group Mr Razak Olokoba who spoke on behalf of COSEG expressed their reservations over the call of the Presidential Council for the people of the South-west zone to throw their weight behind President Jonathan in next year’s general elections.

He continued: “ The attitude of the people and leadership of the Ijaws toward we the Yorubas has been suspicious since President Jonathan assumed office”

Olokoba cited the recent flooding incident in Lagos and queried why the President should only pledge peanuts as financial assistance on behalf of the Federal Government.

“How can the peanuts he pledged to give the zone be enough to address the flood disaster which affected Lagos and Ogun States?” he asked.

He recalled that sometime ago when the militants of the Niger Delta wanted to blow up the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos but had to be stopped because of the intervention of COSEG. He expressed regret that the militants still went ahead to blow up Atlas Cove also located in Lagos last year.

He insisted that the position of the group is that the people of the South-West should be allowed to enjoy their lives in a true federation.

Olokoba lashed out at politicians who hail from the zone adding that the group was not impressed with the agenda of the PDP in the zone.

“In the last 10 years, Yorubas have experienced 43 percent economic depression” he said.

He urged the gathering to be cautious over recent political happenings in the country especially against the background of some people who have been beating the drums of war over the issue of power shift.

Said he: “ The threat of war in this country is real because there are two ethnic groups desperate to capture power; the two groups are the Ijaws of the Soutth-South and the Hausa-Fulani of the North”.

He therefore advocated that convening a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) was still essential for the survival of the nation.”

According to him: “ Our demands also include restructuring of the federation so that those who want Sharia law to be implemented in their zone could have their way while other zones in the country who want things like special security arrangements including police road-blocks may incorporate same into their security mechanism to check crime as this may not be necessary at the same time nation-wide”.

He observed that many
Igbos may have embraced crime as a response to the second class status the people of that zone have been reduced to since the end of the civil war.

In his own speech at the occasion while presenting the report of a Committee which was set up to articulate the interest of the people of the zone, a chieftain of the party Chief Victor Oladunni said there is need to present a paper to President Jonathan on how the mineral resources of the zone have to be exploited adding that if the Olokonla Free Trade Zone is established, it would boost the economy of the zone.

He also lamented over the dilapidated state of the federal roads in the zone adding that his committee had earmarked the Lagos-Ibadan Express road; the Shagamu-Benin Express road and the Ibadan-Ife roads among many others which are in a deplorable condition.

He also called on the Jonathan administration to allocate more revenue derived from VAT to Lagos since the former federal capital generates more than 70 percent of the fund.

Earlier before Daniel’s speech, 17 field officers for the Jonathan/Sambo campaign team from the states in the South West, South East and South South were presented by the Director of Planning and Strategy; Mr. Mike Omeri and were inaugurated by Governor Daniel.

Also inaugurated were 27 people from Ogun State with Prince Yanju Lipede as State Coordinator and the 26 others as coordinators in the 26 states constituencies in Ogun State.

The coordinators who are said would monitor delegates would each be given a vehicle by the state and would give weekly or bi monthly reports to the state coordinator.
Prominent members of the party in attendance included Senator Yinka Omilani, the Minister Youth Development; Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, former Minister of Defence; Chief Demola Seriki, Ambassador Musiliu Obaniko, former Deputy Governors of Lagos State; Sen. Kofoworola Bucknor Akerele, Femi Pedro and Rafiu Jafojo, Senator Femi Ogunlewe, Ambassador Adeniran, Senator Wahab Dosumu and Prince Dayo Adeyeye

Aregbesola vs Oyinlola: Appeal court hears final address Nov 1

The Court of Appeal, Ibadan, has shifted backward the final addresses by parties in the Osun State Governorship Election to November 1, 2010.

The Appeal panel led by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, had last Tuesday fixed hearing in the appeal filed by the Governorship Candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Osun State, Engr. Rauf Aregbesola for November 3, 2010.

The latest development was contained in a hearing notice signed by a Senior Registrar of the Court stipulating that the adoption of final addresses by parties would now come up on November 1.

The notice was addressed to lead counsel from both the Appellants and the Respondents in their service addresses on Thursday with a handwritten addendum that “Note please:- This date supersedes the date announced in court”.

- Vanguard

We ‘ll not negotiate with kidnappers – Ondo state governmentt

ONDO State government yesterday took a swipe at the kidnappers of the 80-year-old mother of a Commissioner in the state, Madam Pege Esther Tewe and her 12-year-old grand daughter Rachael Lawrence, describing them as heartless and wicked.

Addressing newsmen on the outcome of its weekly state Executive Council meeting, the Information Commissioner, Mr. Ranti Akerele, vowed that government would not negotiate with the kidnappers who were described as criminals and ungodly.

Last Friday, about 10 gun-wielding militants in two speed boats invaded the home of the Commissioner, Chief Tola Wewe, at Sabome in Ese Odo council area of the state and took away the aged mother and her grand daughter.

Akerele, however, assured the people of the state that security operatives were working round the clock to ensure the release of the victims from their captives.

According to him: “The security operatives were working to ensure that lives and properties are secured in the state and we want to assure the people of the state that there is no cause for alarm.

“Our people should sleep with their two eyes closed. The state government is on top of the situation and we appeal to the kidnappers of the 80 year old woman to have a rethink. It is the height of inhuman action and depth of human wickedness to have kidnapped an old woman from the comfort of her home.”


Senate concludes preliminary work on constitution review

The Senate on Thursday received the report of its ad hoc committee on constitution review on the second amendment to the constitution.

The report is based on the public hearing organised by the Senate on the bill three days earlier.

The bill was read for the first time the week before and according to the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, the bill is in consonance with the new dates demanded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for adjustment to the election time frame.

The bill sent from the president proposed that election be held not earlier than 90 days and not later than 30 days before the end of tenure of the running office, as against the prevailing constitutional provisions of not earlier than 150 days and not later than 120 days.

Although the contents of the report are yet to be made known, indications have emerged that the Senate may have proposed a wider time line.

“We are hoping that if we give them not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days, it will give them the scope of time they need,” Ayogu Eze, the Senate spokesman told reporters the previous day.

“They (INEC) do not even need to change the law after this particular year when they are through in this next election. If they have time, they can start early because they now have enough time to start and fix election. So, we have given them enough scope within 150 days and 30 days. And I want to assure Nigerians that that will be delivered timely,” Mr. Eze added.

The bill comprises of 10 clauses dealing with time frame for elections and matters surrounding which court will be the final court of hearing for election petitions concerning governorship elections.

With the current development, voting on the bill is expected to hold on next Tuesday and thereafter, an accelerated hearing in the House of Representatives and the state Houses of Assembly is expected to follow.

“Nigerians should not be very anxious about whether we will meet the time frame to make all the necessary amendment both in the Constitution and the electoral act.

“We have enough time ... but I believe it will not go beyond Tuesday this time around, and that is really the crucial thing that INEC needs to give them that breath of time,” Mr. Eze said.

source: 234next

Oshiomhole to review fees at state university

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has promised to review the school fees paid by part time students of the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma. He also promised to hold a dialogue with full time students over their fees after getting the facts on how much the school earns and how much will be needed as subvention from the state government to take the school to an enviable height.

Mr Oshiomhole, said this when he visited the institution yesterday. He said he has agonised over what to do about the institution as several efforts to get information on how it is run in order to plan for the future has failed.

The governor’s presence in the institution was greeted by the students with calls for reduction in their school fees. He advised the students to nominate their representatives to air their grievances and, one after the other, they came to say their schools fees were on the high side. They said they were not consulted before the increase was made and many of them were finding difficult to pay the new fees.

Mr Oshiomhole said he visited the school to talk directly with the students to hear their concerns and share views as they have a right to know what is happening in their institution.

“The University was receiving a subvention of N150 million monthly, which was increased to an average of N205 million monthly since we came on board,” he said.

He said the management of the school was requesting for N310 million as monthly subvention, in addition to maintaining the current school fees. “Up till now they have not been able to tell me how many students are in the school, how much the school earns and what it is spent on,” he said.

He said he asked the management of the school about three times how much the school earns, and each time he was given a different figure. The subvention to the university shocked the students, who started leaving the hall in droves especially after the governor had addressed their concerns on the school fees.

The governor however noted that the problems of the school were beyond school fees, and promised to build two new hostels for the institution and provide the school with two 42-seater buses to ease the problem of transportation.

via 234next

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Posted: October 17, 2010 - 13:45 James Ibori By SaharaReporters, New York A Dubai court of First Instance today ruled that the former governor of De

James Ibori
By SaharaReporters, New York

A Dubai court of First Instance today ruled that the former governor of Delta state, James Ibori, has case to answer in the UK.

The court therefore ruled that Ibori be extradited to the United Kingdom to face charges of money laundering, credit card fraud and official theft. UK authorities have successfully prosecuted Ibori’s sister, Christine Ibie-Ibori, and his mistress, Udoamaka Okoronkwo (nee Onuigbo) on those charges. Both women are serving jail terms in a UK prison.

Ibori's wife, Theresa Nkoyo, and one of his UK-based lawyers, Bhadresh Gohil are also currently facing trial in a London courtroom. A legal analyst familiar with the evidence against them told Saharareporters that they are likely to be convicted and sentenced to jail terms as well.

A source close to Ibori told Saharareporters that the former governor was distraught by the verdict as some of his friends in Dubai had promised him that they could reach the judge and get him a favorable ruling. “I can assure you that Chief Ibori will ask his lawyers to file an appeal before the appellate court in the UAE,” said the source.

Mr. Ibori has 30 days to file for and receive an appellate decision.

Ibori’s associates in Nigeria had been preparing for a victorious outcome for him. In fact, several sources close to him revealed that he had ordered the renovation of his country home in Oghara, Delta State, for what he envisaged as a triumphant return. Instead, as one UK prosecutor told Saharareporters this morning, “the day of reckoning for this fugitive in a UK court is near at hand.”

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I am Running For President Now, Nigeria Can't Wait Till 2015-Nuhu Ribadu

Nuhu ribadu

Former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, has declared in a meeting with some media chiefs today in Abuja that he does not plan to wait till 2015 before remaking a new Nigeria. He shot back at political pundits who said he lacks the " experience" to govern Nigeria. This is a raw transcript of the encounter.

Which platform will you use to contest for 2011 poll?

I will rather ask that you give me time please.

Are you still consulting?

Yes, I am still consulting but it is going to be very soon because there is no time. It is going to be very, very soon that we are going to make a decision on that. Like I said, my believe is that the possibility of all of us coming together must be exhausted full blast to see the chance for us to move a way in which we will give our country a platform that is going to be national.

Is the platform PDP or not?

Just wait.

Have you ever had any offer from PDP?

Never, never.

But which party?

It is not the time to make this thing out yet. There will be a lot of time to talk and so much to talk about PDP. We will educate Nigeria about PDP and what I consider the future of our country. I have a dream of a new Nigeria; I have the dream of a changed Nigeria. I want to see if there is a possibility of opening a new chapter, for the country. And those who are in charge somehow certainly need to give chance for the country to move forward.

As a former EFCC chairman, won’t those corrupt elements fight you back and prevent you from becoming the nation’s President?

I have always been fighting in my life. When I was in the Police Force, I fought armed robbers, I survived. I fought gangsters, I fought 419 fraudsters, big time corrupt people and I have survived. I am still standing as Nuhu Ribadu; I believe I will also survive this.

Can you confirm or deny that you have written to the Labour Party to be its presidential candidate?


Are you carrying any party card now?

Not yet.

Are you planning to be President in 2011 or 2015?

For God’s sake, what is the issue about 2015? Are we yet there? Have we conducted the 2011 elections? How can you talk about 2015? You think the country should continue sleeping till 2015. You think that you are comfortable with the situation today. I love my country; Nigeria has no time to wait anymore.

Are you saying the old brigade politicians should give way?

My coming is going to be like the best Nigerian should come forward whether you are old or new or woman or man. It has to be all of us and I want to be part of that team that would certainly save our country and give it a new lease of life.

I won’t want to categorize it as a generational thing. But certainly, you know what I am now, and if you want to judge it on the basis of that.

I want to see the possibility of capturing the vision of majority of Nigerians who today are the young ones. And I certainly belong to that.

Aren’t you afraid of political Goliaths like President Goodluck Jonathan, ex-President Ibrahim Babangida, ex-Head of State Muhammadu Buhari and ex-VP Atiku Abubakar?

But David won goliath eventually. Pray that I will be the David.

Can you be more forthcoming on the elective post you are vying for in 2011?

Ribadu: What do you think I am fit for? I have always been a Federal person. I have experience in public service. I had put 25 years of my life into the service of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Executive capacity. After that, of course, I served outside Nigeria. I have worked and acquired international experience. It is for you to decide where I fit in best.

Is it presidency?

Of course. What else because I have served 25 years of my life, I have given it to the nation. I had the chance to set up an agency (EFCC); I ran it for five years. I was in an Economic Team. I was a Federal Prosecutor, probably more than any other person in that capacity. I was a police officer, a community worker, I put all my life into public service at the Federal Government level. It is only natural for you to really put that into where the experience can best count.

What will be your number one priority if you become the President? Or, what are your priorities?

I want to remake Nigeria.


I want to remake Nigeria. The point is: Remake means a new thing, a fresh thing, a fresh hub, a chance for us to love ourselves to build a nation out of our own country. I want to immediately, instantly provide those basic things. They are so important to us. I must insist that we must have security immediately, instantly there is no time to waste on that. I want to see that we can immediately solve the problem of power.

How can you address power problem?

I will do it; I will come out with my programme and policy. It is not something you can give in one word. I want to make a full stop to corruption finally. I want to ensure from now on that Nigerians are going to enjoy free and fair Education. I want to ensure that we will have good and decent hospitals. We will have hospitals, we don’t have to go out of the country and spend our money to build others like in India, Egypt and Ghana. Time has come for us to build our own. I want to make sure that this money that goes out as school fees that we go to pay in the UK, Ghana, and everywhere is going to stop immediately. We must have the schools that will give us the best in our own country. I want to see that Nigeria will be able to give jobs to its young ones. I want to see a Nigeria that probably will have the chance to industrialize. I want to see a Nigeria that will give justice to its own people; justice across; justice that can give a chance to us to have peace and stability for us to grow. I want to see the possibility of giving our country opportunity of equal treatment, fairness, respect to people. I want to see if it is possible for us to give a leadership that can listen; leadership that can take advice; leadership that is going to be collective.

In other words, I want a new Nigeria. A new Nigeria is possible and there is no time to waste at all. Like I said the detailed programmes will come out. We are going to be precise and very clear programmes and policies on how to go about it.

But the intention is there. Something is burning in all of us to save our own country. We love our country, we must fight for our country, we must work for our country. We want to bring out the energy in all of us and see if we can make a country that all of us will be proud of, a Nigeria that will be respected by the world, a Nigeria that will have a voice, a Nigeria that will play its own role assigned to it by God and destiny.

What of Nigerians in the Diaspora?

They must come in and participate fully because they constitute some of our best. Nigeria educated them, spent money on them.

Mike Oghiadomhen still COS....not arrested can authoritatively report that Mr. Mike Oghiadomhen, chief of staff to President Goodluck Jonathan was not arrested, neither has he been sacked. Yesterday, a radio station reported that Mr. Oghiadomhen was sacked for speaking with Henry Okah, the prime suspect in the October 1 tragic bombing.

Mr.Henry Okah in an interview with Al- Jazeera said, a President’s aide had asked him to tell MEND to withdraw its claim that it was responsible for Abuja bomb blast, which killed 10 people and injured 40 others, last Friday.

Asked about his purported sack, Mr. Oghiadomhen said, “I dey Kampe”.

Against this back drop of unverified reportage, a new media reported that Mr. Oghiadomhen was detained for questioning. However this was debunked by Ima Niboro, who described the alleged “arrest as false”.

Our checks reveal that Mr. Oghiadomhen, who left work late last night in the company of journalists, reported for duty this morning.

FG Probes SGF 50th Anniversary Committee

Huhuonline can reveal that the Nigerian Government will probe the N10 billion expenditure of the Yayale Ahmed led 50 years independence anniversary celebration committee.

Professor Dora Akunyili, minister of information and communications said the probe will enable government demonstrate accountability.

“All monies spent during the 50th year anniversary will be accounted for by all these that monies were given to, to make for transparency and proper accountability,” she said during a briefing with state house correspondents, in Abuja.

“We intend to commend those that have done well and reprimand those that did not do their work. He said we need to clinically examines all that happened so as to enable us improve in future,” she stated further.

Consequently, “a committee was put in place to examine the causes of the observed lapses with a view to correcting them in future events”.

On the bloody October 1 bomb blast that left 12 dead and over 27 persons wounded, Akunyili said “Mr. President re-assured council members that security agents will do everything possible to fish out the perpetrators of the car bombing incidents that occurred during independence celebrations”.

She said President Jonathan “assured council of government’s continued commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of Nigerians and foreigners residing in Nigeria,” stressing that “Mr. President requested for a one minute silence in honour of our brothers and sisters that lost their lives during that unfortunate incident”.

EFCC Boss, Farida Waziri’s Hubby In Election Rigging Mess, Denies Receiving N80m From Wife

Senator Jauji Waziri, the husband of Mrs. Farida Waziri, boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commisison, EFCC, has been accused of rigging the Gombe South Senatorial Zone bye-election as senatorial candidate of PDP.

•Jauji Waziri

The election, which Waziri won, was held on 21 August. It has been trailed by reports of rigging and other malpractices. He was accused of collecting N80 million from his wife, Farida, to spend on his election.

Former military head of state, General Muhammed Buhari, yesterday alleged that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, colluded with the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to rig the elections held in Bauchi and Gombe states.

Buhari said the INEC officials reduced the bye-elections to a money spinning business.

However, Senator Waziri has denied that he got N80 million from his wife to sponsor his election.

Senator Waziri who spoke to P.M.News on phone debunked the allegation that his wife gave him the money to sponsor his election to the Senate in the just concluded bye-election.

He said that the allegation was the handiwork of mischief makers, adding that the EFCC Chairman does not have such money.

“Tell me where she will get the money from,” Waziri fumed.

Senator Waziri, who defeated the other two candidates, Achana Gaius of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and Barrister Abisha Anderiya of CPC, said that he was not a new comer in the Senate, having been elected twice as a member to the Constitutional Conference and once elected senator. He said he does not require such money to win an election.

He added that he had been in politics for over 30 years, pointing out that his election was through the mandate of his people who feel he is a worthy representative.

On the allegation that he separated from his wife, the EFCC Boss, but later reconciled after her appointment, Waziri also debunked this, saying it was also the handiwork of mischief makers.

“They are stupid. Look I got married to Farida 40 years ago and we have lived together as my only wife,” he fumed.

On the allegation that the August 21 bye-election was characterized by rigging, manipulations and electoral malpractices, Waziri insisted the election was free and fair.

Meanwhile, Achana Gaius of ACN and Abisha Anderiya of CPC have vowed to challenge the outcome of the bye-elections in court.

Gaius told that the conduct of the election had put INEC to test whether there will be free and fair election in 2010.

“We say we have a credible INEC Chairman in the person of Prof. Jega but what I witnessed during the election was a clear indication that Jega may not guarantee this nation free and fair elections in 2010,” he said. reports that there was general outcry from members of the public that the two senatorial bye-elections was full of manipulations by both the Gombe State government and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Frozen FAAN Accounts: Unions To Paralyse Activities At Airports

Activities at the country’s airports may be paralysed if a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, today, fails to defreeze the accounts of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, the workers warned yesterday.

The court had ordered that all FAAN’s accounts in the 24 banks in Nigeria should be attached to satisfy a debt of N7.9 billion being owed a construction company, Sanderton Ventures Limited.

Since then, FAAN’s workers say that they have not been paid and the lack of funds has paralysed some of their activities.

“We understand that the court will be in session on 23 September 2010 (today), we are helplessly watching the proceedings and we believe that the garnishee order will be lifted. But if it is not lifted by tomorrow (today), we are going to decide on the option of grounding the operations of FAAN because we don’t have anything to work with, there is no money to run our overhead cost.

“And to carry out our duties effectively, we are drumming it to the world to know so that by the time it happens they will not blame us,” Chairman of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Ekanem Ekanem said yesterday.

Ekanem said that the court order to freeze FAAN’s account has crippled the credit facilities of FAAN as the agency no longer has access to its account to carry out its duties, adding that its operations have collapsed.

What led to the court order started sometime in September 2001 between the Minister of Aviation representing the Federal Government on the one hand, and the FAAN on the other, both acting jointly as guarantors and Sanderton Ventures Limited which was given a construction work to design, develop, finance, construct, complete and commission, operate, manage, maintain and transfer the new Murtala Muhammed Domestic Airport Terminal One for 10 years after a construction period of 18 months.

It was agreed between the parties that any dispute concerning the agreement shall be referred and finally settled by arbitration.

A dispute arose on 23 May 2002 when the then Minister of Aviation terminated the contract between the two parties.

Consequently, the plaintiff, Sanderton, submitted the matter for arbitration. Therefore, arbitrators were appointed. Many cases were filed by the Aviation Minister as to the composition of the arbitrators. All the legal actions were resolved in favour of Sanderton Ventures.

At the end of the proceedings, the panel of arbitrators consisting Justice E. O. Ayoola, Justice M. O. Onalaja and a lawyer, Wole Olufon, awarded the sum of N2.6 billion in favour of Sanderton at the rate of 22.5 per cent per annum interest from May 2002 until the date of the award and thereafter at the prevailing charges.

For Sanderton to reap the fruit of this judgement, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Barrister Olu Daramola from the chambers of Afe Babalola, SAN, filed an application before the court for the funds of FAAN in any bank in Nigeria to be attached to satisfy the judgement.

By the time the application was filed the judgment sum had risen to N7.9 billion.

LASG Reassures Lagosians On Jibowu Axis Of Ikorodu Road

The Lagos State Government on Monday reassured motorists and members of the general public on its resolve to ensure prompt rehabilitation of the Jibowu end of the Ikorodu Road which is currently waterlogged as a result of inadequate drainage system.

Presenting a work plan to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), this morning, the acting Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport (LAMATA), Engr. Abiodun Fajobi, unfolded both the short term corrective measures that will make the road motorable within the next one week as well as the long term permanent solution by LAMATA to complete the drainage work and provide stone base and asphalt.

He further called on members of the public to bear with the state Government as all hands are on deck to generally intervene in similar situations occasioned by the rains, adding that at the moment work is going on in virtually all major parts of the city.

Meanwhile, Governor, Fashola on Sunday called on all Nigerians to participate fully in the forthcoming 2011 General Elections, saying it is the only means to install a credible government.

Governor Fashola made the call at a Ramadan Lecture organized by the Lagos Branch of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria at the LTV8 Blue Roof Hall and the 6th Justice Muri Okunola Memorial Ramadan Lecture at the LTV 8 Grounds.

Speaking as Special Guest of Honour at the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society Lecture with the topic, “The Evils of Envy”, Governor Fashola said the key to good governance lay in the hands of the people pointing out that if the people eschew rigging and all other election malpractices, the problems of the nation would be a thing of the past.

“We hold the key to the political development of Nigeria because we vote the leaders into office. Snatchers of ballot boxes, riggers and other perpetrators of election malpractices are not spirits; they live in our midst, they are someone’s sons, they are someone’s wives and they are someone’s husband” the Governor said adding that with the cooperation of everyone, these riggers could be stopped.

He added, “We should see what is happening and be cautious and vigilant that none of our sons and members of our family partakes in the malpractices. We can tell anybody ‘we don’t want you’ through our votes. Our vote is very important. It is our civic duty, we can’t leave it to someone else”.

“It is our country and I plead that all of us should participate actively in the electoral process. We are greater in number than those in government. If we advise them right and responsibly, I believe strongly that with your votes, we will usher in development and success to our land”, Governor Fashola said.

Governor Fashola also appealed to the people to be patient with the Government adding that they must also play their own part by paying their taxes, being tolerant and persevering.

“We must participate in the governance of our State by paying our taxes, displaying patience and perseverance and confidence in the people we elected into office. We must continue to offer advice to them rather than disparaging or calling them names. No one is a compendium of knowledge and wisdom”, Governor Fashola said.

He thanked the National Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and Overseas, Sheik Abdur Rahman Ahmad, and all members of the Society for “your support and counsel since I became Governor of Lagos State.”, praying that the Almighty Allah would always be with the Society.

“You have always been there with your support, comments and suggestions and the relationship has been nothing but beneficial”, the Governor said adding, “the support has come in the area of Environment, Taxation, Education, Health, they have given their support at all time”.

On the benefits of Ramadan, Governor Fashola, who advocated that the period should be observed all year round, said it has been a blessing to the world adding, “as a leader in Government, I know that crime is on the downturn. We know that people choose good conduct during Ramadan; people relate in peace and gentility”.

“I urge that Ramadan should be all year round because wealth, advice, teachings, love, peace and benevolence, all come during Ramadan. There is spirit of kindness, giving offering and so on and I think if we display all these virtues all year round, our problems as a State and as a country will be a thing of the past”, he said

Also speaking at the 6th Justice Muri Okunola Memorial Ramadan Lecture, Governor Fashola declared, “Muslims must participate in politics and must be committed. As the 2011 General Elections approach, the ball is in your court. You must play your part; rigging, false registration, over-bloated voters’ cards must be abhorred”.

Warning that those who perpetrate such malpractices are living among the people, Governor Fashola challenged the electorate to fish out such people to face the full wrath of the law. “Those who perpetrate the vices are within our midst. We must not allow them to ruin our chances of good government”, he urged.

“Your vote is your independence; it brings water supply; it brings tarred roads, it brings security, electricity supply, affordable housing with mortgage facilities. With your vote, you will participate fully in installing a government of your choice. It starts with registration which is crucial. Register first before any other thing”, Governor Fashola said.

Speaking on gender equality, especially as it pertains to Muslim women, Governor Fashola said women should ask for equity and justice instead of equality with men pointing out that physiologically men and women are not meant to compete but to complement one another.

“I recognize the stabilizing role women play in the society. Islam teaches us to respect our wives and our sisters. But what women should advocate for is not equality with men; they should rather advocate equity and justice”, the Governor said adding that it is as a result of the physiological difference between the two genders that women are given preferential treatment both during wars and natural disasters.

He said the Lagos State Government has led the rest of the country in areas of women empowerment pointing out that both in the Civil Service and the Judiciary; women have been accorded a pride of place.

The Governor thanked the family of late Justice Okunola “for being there always; forthright and steadfast in their Islamic Faith”, adding, “Islam and Ramadan preach contentment and all needs are provided for during the month of Ramadan”.

In his lecture, “The Evils of Envy”, Alhaji Sheik Abdur Rahman Ahmad said envy breeds disunity and disharmony among families, homes and nations advising that people should eschew such evil as it is only God that bestows wealth, honour and other favours on man.

Sheik Ahmad admonished parents to always pray for their children to surpass them adding that it is the prayers of the parents that eventually uplifts the children and bring the favour of the Almighty Allah on them.

Also speaking on the topic, “Islam: Between Extremism and Liberalism”, Chief Missioner of The Muslim Congress, Ustaz Dhikrulahi Shafi, enjoined all Muslims to be “firm believers in God’s will and all teachings of Prophet Mohammed in politics, culture, love and others”.

“You should endeavour to leave good history and legacy behind as Islam preaches. You must also display humility at all times as Islam preaches humility before man and God”, he said.

In her lecture titled, “Muslim Women and Materialism”, Dr. Ummukhair Abdulah called for more participation of women in Politics saying women have the right to be Presidents, Governors and other positions of leadership in Nigeria. “The challenges facing women must be taken care of”, she said.

Also present at the two occasions were some members of the State Executive Council and the Legislature including the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Dele Onabokun, Alhaji Femi Okunnu, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Toyin Hamzat, Permanent Secretary Lands, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa, representatives of the Oba of Lagos, HRM Oba Babatunde Rilwan Akiolu 1, the Oba of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Elegushi, other Muslim scholars and top government functionaries.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cecilia Ibru convicted of Fraud, to pay back $1 billion

Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, the former managing director of Oceanic Bank PLC, is to spend six months in jail and forfeit over N150 billion Naira in assets and cash.

The former MD was convicted of bank and securities fraud and was convicted earlier today by a federal high court judge preisded over by Justice Dan Abutuin Ikoyi, Lagos.

However, the judge provided what amounts to a slap on the wrist by giving her only six months jail time. The judge said Mrs. ibru will not get 1 -month credit for time already spent in EFCC custody during her arrest and interrogation. Her six months jail time would run concurrently as she was convicted on several counts of bank and security fraud.

Mrs. Ibru has vast assets throughout the world.

Cecilia Ibru Assets At Stake:

Upper Marlboro area of Maryland, United States are registered either to her son’s wife, Kemi Da silva, her son, Obaro or daughter Janet.

The Assets are:

1. 4155 Chariot Way purchased for $452,508,00 on March 12, 2009 and registered to Anita Da silva Ibru,

2. 4145 Chariot Way purchased for $440,105.00 and also registered Anita Da silva Ibru on April 14, 2009.

3. 4139 Chariot Way purchased for $451,629.00 and also registered to Edesiri Onatejerohene Ibru on April 21, 2009.

4. 4149 Chariot Way purchased for $473,657.00 and registered to Obaro and Hirut Ibru also on April 21, 2009.

5. 4141, Chariot Way purchased for $441, 790 on April 13, 2009 for her self.

6. 4143 Chariot Way Purchased for $439,362.00 on April 13, 2009 for self also.

7. 14605 Hawley Lane purchased for $3999,990.00 on July 22, 2008 and registered to her daughter, Janet Ibru,

8. 14630 Hawley Lane purchased for $ 460,703.00 May 17, 2008 and registered to Janet Ibru.

9.14721 Argos Place purchased for $457,950 and registered to Janet Ibru on October 28, 2008.

10. 14719 Argos Place purchased for $451,840.00 on November 26, 2008 and registered to Janet Ibru.

11. 11300 Dappled Grey Way purchased for $987,949.00 on October 7, 2008 and registered to herself.

Above US Properties Listing Courtesy of TheWill

List of frozen assets World Wide Assets

1. Good Shepherd House, IPM Avenue , Opp Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos (registered in the name of Ogekpo Estate Managers)

2. Residential block with 19 apartments on 34, Bourdillon Road , Ikoyi (registered in the name of Dilivent International Limited).

3. 20 Oyinkan Abayomi Street, Victoria Island (remainder of lease or tenancy upto 2017).

4. 57 Bourdillon Road , Ikoyi.

5. 5A George Street , Ikoyi, (registered in the name of Michaelangelo Properties Limited),

6. 5B George Street , Ikoyi, (registered in the name of Michaelangelo Properties Limited).

7. 4A Iru Close, Ikoyi, (registered in the name of Michaelangelo Properties Limited).

8. 4B Iru Close, Ikoyi, (registered in the name of Michaelangelo Properties Limited).

9. 16 Glover Road , Ikoyi (registered in the name of Michaelangelo Properties Limited).

10. 35 Cooper Road , Ikoyi, (registered in the name of Michaelangelo Properties Limited).

11. Property situated at 3 Okotie-Eboh, SW Ikoyi. 12. 35B Isale Eko Avenue , Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.

13. 38A Isale Eko Avenue , Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi (registered in the name of Meeky Enterprises Limited).

14. 38B Isale Eko Avenue , Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi (registered in the name of Aleksander Stankov).

15. Multiple storey multiple user block of flats under construction 1st Avenue , Banana Island , Ikoyi, Lagos , (with beneficial interest therein purchased from the developer Ibalex).

16. 226, Awolowo Road , Ikoyi, Lagos (registered in the name of Ogekpo Estate Managers).

17. 182, Awolowo Road , Ikoyi, Lagos , (registered in the name of Ogekpo Estate Managers)

18. 12-storey Tower on one hectare of land at Ozumba Mbadiwe Water Front, Victoria Island .

19. 5, Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos (registered in the name of Casi Properties & Investment Ltd).

20. 18A, Adetokubo Ademola Street , Victoria Island, Lagos (registered in the name of Casi Properties & Investment Ltd).

21. 270, Ozumba Mbadiwe , Victoria Island, Lagos (registered in the name of Casi Properties & Investment Ltd)

22. 270, Ozumba Mbadiwe , Victoria Island, Lagos (registered in the name of Ogekpo Estate Managers Limited).

23. 15,000 square metres of land at Okunade Water Front, Lekki Peninsula .

24. 7,000 square metres of land at Okunade Water Front, Lekki Peninsula - (registered in the name of Melake Properties Limited).

25. 8,000 square metres of land at Okunade Water Front, Lekki Peninsula - (registered in the name of (Casi Properties Limited). 26. 1,000,000 square metres of land in Lekki.

27. 101 hectares of land along Lekki Expressway behind Chevron Nigeria .

28. 103 hectares of land bought from Dom Gas

29. Plot 5, Igbo-Efon, Off Lekki/Ajah Expressway, Victoria Island, Lagos by 1004 (registered in the name of Casi Properties & Investment Ltd)

30. Block 6, Flat 1 &2, Femi Okunnu H/Scheme Phase IV- Lekki (registered in the name of Oceanic Homes Savings & Loans Ltd)

31. One storey building at 50 Marina , Lagos .

32. 10 storey building at 60 Marina , Lagos .

33. 60, Marine View, Apongbon, Marina , Lagos (registered in the name of Dele Oye & Associates)

34. 10, Sobo Arobidu Street , Ikeja, GRA (registered in the name of Jeedab Fibre Limited).

35. Property at 10A Sobo Arobiodu Street , Ikeja (registered in the name of Chiaroscuro Limited).

36. AP Filling Station (Beside Former Hotel Bobby) Onipanu Lagos , (registered in the name of Vivi Oil Investments Limited).

37. Building at 154, Ikorodu Road , Lagos (registered in the name of Casi Properties & Investment Ltd).

38. Ilemba Hausa Road , Ajamgbadi, Lagos (registered in the name of Vivi Oil & Gas Company Limited).

39. Land at Iyana Ipaja Round About, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos , (registered in the name of Vivi Oil Investments Limited).

40. Building at 7, Randle Road , Apapa, Lagos , (registered in the name of Ogekpo Estate Managers Limited)

41. Block 34, Flat 6, LSDPC Housing Estate, Ebute-Metta Lagos (registered in the name of Ogekpo Estate Managers Limited)

42. Three residential towers at Port Harcourt , GRA. 43. 22 Sani Abacha Way, Port Harcourt, GRA (registered in the name of Velvox Investment Company Limited).

44. Metro Plaza Building , 991/992 Zakari Maimalari Street , Central Area, Zone 5, Abuja , (registered in the name of Abinof Food Company Limited).

45. The 4 Floor Building at Herbert Macaulay Way , Wuse Zone 6, Abuja (registered in the name of Casi Properties and Investment Ltd).

46. Metro Plaza Building, ANNEXE B, Zakariya Maimalari Street, Cadastral Zone, AOO, C.B.D, Abuja (registered in the name of MST Properties West Africa Ltd).

47. Flats 1-4, Block D33, Abuja Games Village , Abuja (registered in the name of Convent Trade & Services Limited).

48. Block D33 (Flat 1-4) Games Village , Abuja (registered in the name of Casi Properties and Investment Ltd).

49. Block B40, Flat 5 & 6, Zone 3, Gymnastic Games Village (registered in the name of Oceanic Homes Savings & Loans Limited).

50. Executive Guest House, 4 bedroom Bungalow, Ndanuba Street , Maitama, Abuja (registered in the name of Ogekpo Estate Manager Limited). 51. Executive Guest House, Ali Akilu Crescent , Asokoro, Abuja , (registered in the name of Ogekpo Estate Managers Limited). 29 Real Estate Propert in Dubai 7

Residential Property: Dubai 15 Real Property: South Africa Real Property: London, England Abridged Shares In listed Nigerian Companies without limitation:

1. Access Bank Plc - (44,800,000 ordinary shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

2. Africa Petroleum Plc - (3,252 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Ltd)

3. BGL Plc - (8,140,500 shares held by Eniofor Limited)

4. First Bank of Nigeria Plc (275,795,139 shares held through Cloudy Heights Limited, Circular Global International Limited and Bliss Bloss Integrated Services Limited).

5. Dangote Flour Plc - 8,140,500 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Ltd.

6. Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc - (12,480,000 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited).

7. Fidelity Bank Plc - (12,500 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Ltd).

8. First City Monument Bank Plc - (7,142,800 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited).

9. Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Plc - (119,740 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

10. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc - (110,000 ordinary shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Ltd)

11. Japaul Oil Plc - (25,316,400 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

12. Nestle Nigeria Plc (1,915 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

13. Nigerian Bottling Company Plc - (11,383,000 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

14. Oando Plc - (334,367 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited and 13,200,000 shares held by Velvox Investment Company Limited)

15. Oceanic Bank Intercontinental Plc - (254,100 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited and 431,201,702 shares held by Africa Lloyd Limited)

16. Oceanic Vintage Fund - (100,000,000 units held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

17. Bank PHB Plc - (93,800,100 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

18. R T Briscoe - (585 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

19. Total Nigeria Plc - (24,118,588 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

20. Transcorp Plc - (200,000,000 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited) 21. UAC of Nigeria Plc - (1,125, shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

22. UPDC Nigeria Plc - (4,029 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

23. Unilever Nigeria Plc - (145,850 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

24. United Bank for Africa Plc - (109,121 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

25. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc - (13,300,000 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

26. Vitafoam Nigeria Plc - (1,197 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

27. Lafarge Cement Wapco Nigeria Plc (23,142 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited).

28. Zenith Bank Plc - (10,280,000 shares held by Prisky Gold Nigeria Limited)

29. Oceanic Bank Plc - (2,323,841,722 shares held by Arata Nigeria Limited)

30. Oceanic Bank Plc - (1,631,250,000 shares held by Meeky Ent. Ltd) 31. Oceanic Bank Plc - (1,012,500,000 shares held by Mas Mackoy Ltd)

32. Oceanic Bank Plc - (431, 202,702 shares held by Africa Lloyd Limited)

33. Oceanic Bank Plc - (345,833,332 shares held by Ibru C.A. .O)

34. Oceanic Bank Plc - (142,282,300 shares held by Casi Properties and Investment). 35. Oceanic Bank Plc - (98,993,775 shares held by Zatlins Ventures Limited A/c 385359)

36. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 94,159,575 shares held by Comvet Trades & Services Ltd)

37. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 52,078,175 shares held by Mac-Mackoy Limited)

38. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 44,000,000 shares held by Oceanic SSITF)

39. Oceanic Bank Plc - (30,758,500 shares held by Dilivent International Limited)

40. Oceanic Bank Plc - (25,000,000 shares held by Cecilia Ibru)

41. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 18,440,990 shares held by BFCL Investment A/C)

42. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 12,212,500 shares held by Ogekpo Industries Ltd)

43. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 12,121,225 shares held by Zatlins Ventures Ltd, A/C 148068)

44. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 10,000,000 shares held by Micheal Cecilia Educational Foundation).

45. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 4,955,625 shares held by Ogekpo Estates Limited)

46. Oceanic Bank Plc - (1,250,000 shares held by Ibafon Oil Ltd).

47. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 292,775 shares held by Melake Enterprises Ltd).

48. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 292,775 shares held by Melake Properties Ltd).

49. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 292,775 shares held by Melake Technologies Ltd).

50. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 78,993,750 shares held by Spanord Investment Co. Ltd).

51. Oceanic Bank Plc - ( 77,500,000 shares held by Aggregated Property Limited).

52. Oceanic Bank Plc - (77,500,000 shares held by Quartz Property Company).

53. Oceanic Bank Plc - 73,500,000 shares held by Arnott & Callman Investment).

Cars, and personal assets at 20 Oyinkan Abayomi Street , Victoria Island

Two aircrafts worth $100 million

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nigerian Police Shut down ThisDay Newspapers

The Nigerian police this morning stormed the premises of ThisDay Newspapers in Apapa, Lagos, South-West Nigeia and shut down its operations, P.M.NEWS has learnt.

According to sources close to the media outfit, security operatives, acting on a court order, forcefully entered the company’s office complex and chased away all the workers on duty.

While there, they seized both the official and private cars parked in the premises and also carted away all the computers (both desktop and laptop) found in their offices.

Some of the staff who spoke with P.M.NEWS refused to comment on the invasion, but confirmed police presence in the newspaper’s complex.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dokpesi Regains Freedom, Cancels Press Conference

Raymond Dokpesi, the director general of the presidential campaign organisation of former military dictator Ibrahim Babangida, has been released.

Raymond Dokpesi

He was arrested yesterday night in connection with bomb blasts that killed 12 persons and injured dozens on independence day in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He had planned to address the press this morning but the event was later cancelled.

His arrest followed an alleged revealing text message sent to the phone of one of the suspected bombers.

Dokpesi regained freedom at about 11 p.m. last night after being interrogated.

Dokpesi was said to have reported himself to the State Security Service, SSS, Headquarters last night following an invitation sent to him by the SSS in connection with the bomb explosions.

He was directed to report back at the SSS headquarters at about 3 p.m. today.

A hurriedly assembled press conference scheduled for 10 a.m. today was suspended following the decision of the IBB Campaign Organisation to consult widely before meeting with the press over the alleged involvement of the organisation’s Director General in the blast.

Kaseem Afegbua, spokesman to IBB Campaign Organisation said the interrogation of Dokpesi won’t affect Babangida’s plan to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan to secure the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party nomination for the presidential election due early next year.

“We’re more resolute now, more than ever before,” he said.

Journalists who thronged the Maitama District office of Ibrahim Babangida Campaign Organisation were informed that the press briefing would no longer hold as expected owing to the desire of the organisation to consult widely before addressing the press on the damning allegation about the correspondence between Dokpesi and one of the suspects of the Abuja blast.

P.M.NEWS, however, discovered that the postponement of the press parley may not be unconnected with the directive issued to Dokpesi by security officials who interrogated him yesterday.

The IBB Campaign organisation may have shelved the briefing in order not to aggravate issues for its Director General who is scheduled to return for more interrogation this afternoon.

The alleged text message allegedly sent to one of the suspects of the blast who is already in custody, was said to have inquired if the AIT boss had paid the balance of their fee for the bomb attack.