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Friday, August 30, 2013

BLOODY: Man Hack Brother To Death?


Enugu Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s widow and Nigeria’s ambassador to Spain, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, has described as false the claim by former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, that she was his girlfriend when she was a spinster.
Fani-Kayode had in his article, entitled: “Neither a tribalist nor a hater,” published in the social media and some segments of the national dailies, claimed to have met with Bianca when she was Miss Bianca Onoh at the Cambridge College and had “intimate” relationship with her together with two other Igbo ladies.
Reacting to this, Bianca said she had never met Fani-Kayode before, either at official or private level, not to talk of having an “intimate” relationship with him.
The ambassador, who spoke through her lawyers, Wall Street Attorneys, has, therefore, threatened to drag the former aide to ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo to court if, in the next seven days, he fails to retract his libelous publication against her.
In the letter from her lawyers to Fani-Kayode, dated August 27, 2013 and signed by Mike Ugwuanyi, Esq, Mrs. Ojukwu demanded that the former minister writes an apology and retraction of the said libelous publication in The Sun and Thisday newspapers, as well as publish it in the online publication, where it emanated, in the next seven days or face litigation.
The letter written by Mrs. Ojukwu’s lawyers and obtained by The Sun read in part: “We have been briefed and our services retained by Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain to demand from you an unreserved apology and a retraction of a false and malicious statement, which you published online and also caused to be published in the Leadership Newspaper of August 16, 2013.
“In the said article entitled, ‘Neither a Tribalist nor a Hater,’ you recklessly alleged, as follows: ‘I was not a tribalist when I had a long standing and intimate relationship with Miss Bianca Onoh…’, a statement, which you know is untrue and unfounded, but only calculated to lower our client’s esteem and damage her national and international reputation.
“Our client has never met you, does not know you in person and has never had any official or private relationship with you how much more ‘a long-standing and intimate relationship.’
“Our client is therefore, outraged by your bizarre and scandalous allegation and the numerous mails and telephone calls she has received from friends, relations and admirers who are equally embarrassed and who seek to confirm the veracity or otherwise of your false and reckless publication.
“Your apparent lame and half-hearted attempt, as published in the Leadership Newspaper of 17th August 2013, to clarify your false and malicious allegation falls far short of a retraction and does not sufficiently address the damage to our client arising from the widespread dissemination of your false publication and is therefore unacceptable to our client.
“In the circumstances, we demand, on the instruction of our client that you submit to her a clear and unqualified apology and retraction published in The Sun and Thisday newspapers in addition to having the retraction published online.
“Take note that should you fail to tender the apology and publish a retraction of your false and malicious publication, seven days next after your receipt of this demand notice, our further instructions are to seek appropriate redress in court. And that shall be without further recourse to you. Be properly guided.”
Source: Sun News
UPDATE: Bianca, I did not lie – Fani-Kayode
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has replied Bianca Ojukwu over her threat to sue him, if he fails to retract his ‘libellous publication’ about her within seven days.
Mrs. Ojukwu had this morning vowed to drag Fani-Kayode to court for claiming to have dated her as a spinster in an article published by Fani-Kayode few weeks ago, in an attempt to exonerate himself of being tribalistic over the Lagos deportation saga.
Reacting to Bianca’s threat, Fani-Kayode in a statement made available to DailyPost through his Press Secretary, Mr. Bisi Lawal said the matter has since been referred to his lawyers who will now take it up.
The statement reads, “This morning Cheif Femi Fani-Kayode woke up to find a letter that was published as an advertorial in Thisday Newspaper purportedly by Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu’s lawyer threatening to sue him for mentioning her in his article and claiming that she has never met him before. She also said that he was being malicious. The matter has of course been reffered to Chief Fani-Kayode’s lawyers who will now take it up.
“Ordinarily, he would not have said a word about this matter because he sympathises with her for whatever she may have been going through.
“However, now that she has put it in the public realm, Chief Fani-Kayode is compelled to formally respond. To the assertion that he never knew her and that they were never friends, he says this is false and he asks why would he lie? The public evidence is to the contrary. Chief Fani-Kayode would not want to say anything to embarrass her because that would be ungentlemanly.
“He sympathises with her delicate situation and once again he expresses his regrets about the fact that his statement about her was misconstrued. We shall just leave it at that,” the statement added.
DailyPost has gathered however that Fani has enough proofs regarding his relationship with former beauty Queen and may be forced to roll them out should the case go beyond this stage. Whatever the outcome, we shall bring you reactions as they come.
Source: Daily Post

   A man claimed to truly love his girlfriend so much that he married her while she was d*ad. The Chinese man did so in a bizarre manner.

 Man, Sanguda, placed a ring on the finger of lovely his girlfriend of 8 years, during the ceremony in south China.

The couple had planned to get married in the future, his girlfriend unexpectedly died in an accident before the couple could set a date.

 Sanguda felt like he hadn’t treated his girlfriend well enough in life and wanted to make it up to her while she is d*ad.

 So in front of friends and family, he placed a ring on her fingers and vowed to love her the rest of his life. 

She was buried immediately after the wedding.

- See more at: http://freshgists-world.blogspot.com/2013/08/man-marries-his-dead-girlfriend.html#sthash.Et9A4BCQ.dpuf

   A man claimed to truly love his girlfriend so much that he married her while she was d*ad. The Chinese man did so in a bizarre manner.

 Man, Sanguda, placed a ring on the finger of lovely his girlfriend of 8 years, during the ceremony in south China.

The couple had planned to get married in the future, his girlfriend unexpectedly died in an accident before the couple could set a date.

 Sanguda felt like he hadn’t treated his girlfriend well enough in life and wanted to make it up to her while she is d*ad.

 So in front of friends and family, he placed a ring on her fingers and vowed to love her the rest of his life. 

She was buried immediately after the wedding.

- See more at: http://freshgists-world.blogspot.com/2013/08/man-marries-his-dead-girlfriend.html#sthash.Et9A4BCQ.dpuf

   A man claimed to truly love his girlfriend so much that he married her while she was d*ad. The Chinese man did so in a bizarre manner.

 Man, Sanguda, placed a ring on the finger of lovely his girlfriend of 8 years, during the ceremony in south China.

The couple had planned to get married in the future, his girlfriend unexpectedly died in an accident before the couple could set a date.

 Sanguda felt like he hadn’t treated his girlfriend well enough in life and wanted to make it up to her while she is d*ad.

 So in front of friends and family, he placed a ring on her fingers and vowed to love her the rest of his life. 

She was buried immediately after the wedding.

- See more at: http://freshgists-world.blogspot.com/2013/08/man-marries-his-dead-girlfriend.html#sthash.Et9A4BCQ.dpuf

   A man claimed to truly love his girlfriend so much that he married her while she was d*ad. The Chinese man did so in a bizarre manner.

 Man, Sanguda, placed a ring on the finger of lovely his girlfriend of 8 years, during the ceremony in south China.

The couple had planned to get married in the future, his girlfriend unexpectedly died in an accident before the couple could set a date.

 Sanguda felt like he hadn’t treated his girlfriend well enough in life and wanted to make it up to her while she is d*ad.

 So in front of friends and family, he placed a ring on her fingers and vowed to love her the rest of his life. 

She was buried immediately after the wedding.

- See more at: http://freshgists-world.blogspot.com/2013/08/man-marries-his-dead-girlfriend.html#sthash.Et9A4BCQ.dpuf

   A man claimed to truly love his girlfriend so much that he married her while she was d*ad. The Chinese man did so in a bizarre manner.

 Man, Sanguda, placed a ring on the finger of lovely his girlfriend of 8 years, during the ceremony in south China.

The couple had planned to get married in the future, his girlfriend unexpectedly died in an accident before the couple could set a date.

 Sanguda felt like he hadn’t treated his girlfriend well enough in life and wanted to make it up to her while she is d*ad.

 So in front of friends and family, he placed a ring on her fingers and vowed to love her the rest of his life. 

She was buried immediately after the wedding.

- See more at: http://freshgists-world.blogspot.com/2013/08/man-marries-his-dead-girlfriend.html#sthash.Et9A4BCQ.dpuf

   A man claimed to truly love his girlfriend so much that he married her while she was d*ad. The Chinese man did so in a bizarre manner.

 Man, Sanguda, placed a ring on the finger of lovely his girlfriend of 8 years, during the ceremony in south China.

The couple had planned to get married in the future, his girlfriend unexpectedly died in an accident before the couple could set a date.

 Sanguda felt like he hadn’t treated his girlfriend well enough in life and wanted to make it up to her while she is d*ad.

 So in front of friends and family, he placed a ring on her fingers and vowed to love her the rest of his life. 

She was buried immediately after the wedding.

- See more at: http://freshgists-world.blogspot.com/2013/08/man-marries-his-dead-girlfriend.html#sthash.Et9A4BCQ.dpuf

   A man claimed to truly love his girlfriend so much that he married her while she was d*ad. The Chinese man did so in a bizarre manner.

 Man, Sanguda, placed a ring on the finger of lovely his girlfriend of 8 years, during the ceremony in south China.

The couple had planned to get married in the future, his girlfriend unexpectedly died in an accident before the couple could set a date.

 Sanguda felt like he hadn’t treated his girlfriend well enough in life and wanted to make it up to her while she is d*ad.

 So in front of friends and family, he placed a ring on her fingers and vowed to love her the rest of his life. 

She was buried immediately after the wedding.

- See more at: http://freshgists-world.blogspot.com/2013/08/man-marries-his-dead-girlfriend.html#sthash.Et9A4BCQ.dpuf

   A man claimed to truly love his girlfriend so much that he married her while she was d*ad. The Chinese man did so in a bizarre manner.

 Man, Sanguda, placed a ring on the finger of lovely his girlfriend of 8 years, during the ceremony in south China.

The couple had planned to get married in the future, his girlfriend unexpectedly died in an accident before the couple could set a date.

 Sanguda felt like he hadn’t treated his girlfriend well enough in life and wanted to make it up to her while she is d*ad.

 So in front of friends and family, he placed a ring on her fingers and vowed to love her the rest of his life. 

She was buried immediately after the wedding.

- See more at: http://freshgists-world.blogspot.com/2013/08/man-marries-his-dead-girlfriend.html#sthash.Et9A4BCQ.dpuf

Thursday, August 29, 2013

TARABA STATE: Suntai, Please Go Back To Hospital - Lawmakers


The Taraba lawmakers met the governor on Thursday.
The Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Haruna Tsokwa, has announced that the lawmakers have decided to ask Governor Danbaba Suntai to go back to the United States to continue his treatment.
The lawmakers asked the governor to return to the U.S. to continue his rehabilitation programme and only come back to run his office when he is fully fit.
Mr. Tsokwa, who addressed journalists in Jalingo on Thursday morning, said the decision of members followed their visit to Mr. Suntai on Wednesday night.
He said the lawmakers were convinced Mr. Suntai was unfit to return to office.
The 24 members of the Assembly had on Wednesday evening visited the governor after resolving at their sitting earlier Wednesday to meet with Mr. Suntai to confirm his true state of health before taking any position on his letter stating his intention to resume office.
But the lawmakers declined comments after meeting with Mr. Suntai, saying they would only speak on Thursday.
The lawmakers did not confirm whether or not they were allowed to meet the governor.
Mr. Suntai, who appeared apparently ill during his arrival on Sunday, has made no public appearance or given an address since his arrival, fuelling speculation about the state of his mind and capacity to lead the state.
Critics have accused the governor’s family and associates of attempting to foist a critically ill governor on the state so they can usurp his powers.
“Whereas we sympathize with the Suntais and the entire people of Taraba State over this unfortunate incident and sincerely wish the ailing Governor full recovery, we however condemn unequivocally the attempt by some political vultures within and outside the State who are bent on holding a whole State to ransom and make effective governance once again unrealistic,” a network of civil society groups said on Tuesday.
“These charlatans have desperately kept trying to cling to political power and by extension the resources of Taraba State through series of craftily woven plots of deceits, meant to hoodwink the Nigeria public in a manner similar to the unfortunate Turai-Yar’adua saga.”
Events since Monday appeared to give strength to that concern as the critically ill governor issued an immediate notification to the House of Assembly signaling his preparedness to resume work.
Then, while lawmakers insisted he addressed them before approving his letter, the governor, on Wednesday, announced the dissolution of the cabinet and named a new secretary to the state government.
The governor named the outgoing commissioner for Justice, Timothy Kataps, as the news SSG, and Aminu Jika as the new Chief of Staff.
But the acting governor, Mr. Umar, dismissed the order as null and void, and laid claim to the office hours later.
The declaration heightened the political tension in the state that has endured months of uncertainty as both sides jostled for authority and sought to outplay the other long before Mr. Suntai returned to Nigeria.
A source close to the state Assembly said some members loyal to Mr. Umar had commenced scouting for signatures preparatory for the commencement of impeachment proceedings against the ailing governor.
The source indicated that the impeachment plan had already reached advanced stage with only two more signatures needed to get the required number of members necessary to actualize the plot.
The State Assembly itself had on Tuesday backed Mr. Umar to continue as acting governor until Mr. Suntai was able to appear before the lawmakers to confirm that he is indeed fit to function as governor as indicated in the letter he transmitted to the House.
Source: Premium Times

DISGRACE: Man Climb 80 Year Old Blind Woman, Nabbed?

Officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have arrested 22-year-old Mohammed Inuwa of Herwagana quarters, Gombe for attempting to rape an 80-year-old blind woman, Malama Hannutu Baba.
The Gombe State Commander of NSCDC, Mr Joel Khestossen, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Tuesday that the suspect was arrested on 23 August.
Khestossen said the suspect was charged to Kasuwan Shanu Magistrates’ Court and later remanded in prison custody on the orders of the magistrate.
According to him, the suspect gained entry into the blind woman’s house under the pretext of looking for one Kabiru Sani, a student of the Federal College of Education (Technical) Gombe.
“When he entered the house, there was nobody, as everybody had gone to the mosque except the blind woman.
“When she heard his footsteps, she asked who the person was and the suspect did not talk but quietly went and grabbed the woman.
“He started struggling with her as he tried to force her to have sex with him.
“Unfortunately for him, the woman’s grandson, Malam Mohammed Baba, returned from the mosque and discovered what was going on.
“He raised an alarm which attracted people to the house,” Khestossen said.
He said the people overpowered the suspect and handed him over to NSCDC.
He appealed to the public to always report such cases to the appropriate security authorities for necessary action.
Source: PM News

ARIK AIR: Stowaway Boy's Sister Speaks

Stowaway boy Daniel has accomplished his dreams – Sister
The street of the 13 -year old stowaway boy Daniel (Rikcy) Oikhena, Ehiegba street, off Goodwill, Off Ekenwan road, Benin City, has turned to a tourists site since last Saturday with all sort of people trooping into the street to find out what really happened.
Journalists, security agents, market women led the bulk of visitors to the street and the family house of Daniel Oikhena.
The family house of Daniel at No 7 Ehiegba Street, off Goodwill, Off Ekenwan is about 500 metres away from the Benin Airport run way.
During a visit to the house, our reporter met two of Danie’s younger brothers and some family members who beg to be excused comments but the eldest sister, Tonia simply said he is a reserve, gentle and intelligent boy.
Daniel, who is a junior secondary school two student of Asoro Grammar school, Benin, was said to have woke up around 3.30am on that faithful day watching an America film that led to disagreement between him and his eldest sister.
Tonia said, “Oga Journalists, lack of perimeter fencing at the Benin Airport made Daniel gain entrance into the airport. If properly fenced, I don’t know how he can enter.
“You see, any time,you discusses with Daniel, all he do say is that, one day I will surprise you all. He loves watching America films. If you put Nigeria drama, he leaves.
“Daniel is a quite person, he has no friends. Even in his school. He likes to do things in his own way. In most cases, he does confide in his junior brothers that one day, he will fly an Airplane. That is why one of them told their mother to go the Airport to rummage around.
“The junior brothers also told their mother that, Daniel confided in them that one day he would make the family name popular. They never told us.
Now he has done that in a negative way. Thank God he is alive to tell the story himself, “she said.
Source: Nigerian Eye

BIRTHDAY: Mercy Johnson’s Message To Fans

Mercy Johnson and her family
Mercy Johnson and her family
Mercy Johnson Odianosen marked her 29th birthday today, August 28, 2013.
The star actress was overwhelmed with the series of birthday wishes from fans and colleagues and so she released a special birthday message she titled ‘Message From My Heart’
Read the message below:
Today, I thought of many things I would love to have as birthday gifts and the many dreams I am still pursuing.
In all of this I’m not losing sight of the fact that if not for God I might have ended up on the street like the many kids and young adults begging for food and some prostituting to make ends meet. If we know the circumstances that force some of these people on the street, we would spare a thought for them. I am where I am today purely by the grace of God and the grace of people who believed in me from the word go.
Recently, I was at the Boys Reform Home, Oregun, Lagos, the discussion I had with the principal Mr. Kotun and much later with the Special Adviser in charge of all remand homes in Lagos set me thinking about the boys and girls on the street. They have dreams too. Can they fulfill those dreams on the street? The answer will likely be no; because I won’t be where I am today if I ended up on the street.
For this reason, Mercy Johnson Foundation will be doing a lot to get kids off the street. We are not asking people for money or donation, I will do all I can with the resources God has given me, and with the support of my husband to help get these kids off the street and set them on the path where they can begin to pursue their dreams. I want to plead with people, fans, friends and colleagues to spare a thought for the children on the street.
We can begin by educating people around us, parents, the children and people in charge of children (Oga-house help relationship, teacher-student relationship, and others) on the need to treat every child like the future of Nigeria depends on it. And truth be told, our future will not be all that enjoyable if we let the scourge of ‘street-children’ fester. By then, the rich will begin to cry. I learnt Lagos State Government has 11 homes where most children picked from the streets are kept, reformed and reunited with their families after counseling. That is an initiative Mercy Johnson Foundation will be supporting and beyond that we will be going to different states to help spread the message-Get kids off the street, save the future. From tomorrow, I will begin to replay some of the lessons I learnt at the boys’ reform home and we all can contribute to getting the kids off the street.
I am grateful to everyone that has sent in a birthday message, tweet and gifts. Thank you and God bless you.
Mercy Johnson Okojie
Source: Nigerian Entertainment Today

EXPOSED: How Suntai's Wife Dissolved Taraba State Cabinet?

The brain-damaged governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, has reportedly dissolved his entire cabinet shortly after the Attorney General of the state, Barrister Timothy Gibon Kataps, outlined “reasons” the governor does not need to appear before the House of Assembly before resuming power. The bizarre statement came 72 hours after Suntai returned to the state from the United States in a carefully choreographed scam.
But a source in the camp of the Acting governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, told SaharaReporters that the cabinet dissolution by Mr. Suntai's wife carries no effect, and urged all Tarabans to disregard it and go about their normal duties.
In addition to the cabinet, Suntai also purportedly removed several key officials, including the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and the Chief of Staff, whom he replaced immediately.
Interestingly, the new SSG is Kataps. Into the office of Chief of Staff, Sutai named Alhaji Aminu Jika.
Despite all of his frenetic political activism, the governor has yet to be seen or heard. The changes were all announced by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Sylvanus Giwa, who directed the affected officials to hand over to their respective Permanent Secretaries with immediate effect.
The announcement of Kataps’ new office was made by the Commissioner of Information, Emmanuel Bello.
Sources told Saharareporters that the bizarre cabinet dissolution was hatched by Mrs. Hauwa Suntai, the wife of the ailing governor who is illegally occupying the government house using her brain-damaged husband as a shield and a multi-pronged weapon.
The Acting Governor and several commissioners including security chiefs in the state attended a meeting where they planned to adequately respond to the ruse, our source stated.
Governor Suntai was piloting a light Cessna aircraft in October 2012 when it crashed in Yola, Adamawa State. He was airlifted to Germany where he began to receive treatment for severe brain injuries, and later to the United States for further treatment and rehabilitation.
Doctors however said that he suffered from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the crash, and that those injuries were too severe for him to be expected to return to normal life. Upon his return to the country on Sunday, it was observed that he was constantly being assisted. He is barely able to perform elementary tasks, and cannot speak coherently or remember things.
The day after his arrival, however, his handlers said he had sent a letter to the House of Assembly indicating his readiness to return to work, a letter that is known to have been forged.
The House has invited the governor to speak to it about his health and his plans, an invitation he has yet to honour. Several officials who have tried to visit the governor have been told by his wife that he is “asleep.”
Source: Sahara Reporters

AT LAST: Al-Qaeda Suspect Going To The United States?

The suspect is accused of planning a terrorist activity in the U.S.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the extradition of a Nigerian, Lawal Babafemi, to the U.S. to answer terrorism charges.
The Federal Government initiated the extradition proceedings against Mr. Babafemi, alleged to be member of the terrorist organisation, al-Qaeda.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who gave ruling, ordered that the suspect be handed over to the U.S. Government on or before the expiration of 15 days.
“All the document in relation to the suit in the local court plus the charges filed by the Federal Government and other material evidence against the suspect must be transferred along with him,’’ he said.
Earlier, Muslim Hassan, Counsel to the applicant, submitted that the attempt to extradite the 32-years-old Babafemi was for him answer terrorism charges in the U.S.
“The suspect also described as `Abdullah’ and `Ayatollah Mustapher’, is being wanted for his alleged involvement in terrorism-related activities.
“We are urging the court to grant the prayer in order for the suspect to face justice in a different jurisdiction,’’ Hassan said.
But, Sulaiman Yahaya, Counsel to the defendant, opposed the application, stressing that the suspect did not commit any terrorist act on U.S soil to warrant his extradition to that country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government exhibited a four-count charge marked: 13CR-109-JG, filed against the accused person before the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York.
The application further showed that a bench warrant was issued for Mr. Babafemi’s arrest by a U.S. magistrate.
He was charged with conspiracy to provide support to a foreign terrorist organisation, provision and attempted provision of material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, unlawful use of firearms, and conspiracy to unlawfully use firearms.
The offences, on conviction, attract a minimum sentence of 10 years and maximum of life imprisonment.
Mr. Babafemi, who until now was based in the U.S., fled to Nigeria upon realising that he was to be arrested by men of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The application further reveals that U.S. authorities are of the view that Mr. Babafemi belongs to the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), an affiliate of al-Qaeda.
The applicant said the accused person allegedly travelled to Yemen between January 2010 and August 2011 to train with the group.
They also alleged that Mr. Babafemi had been relating with its senior members, including the now deceased Anwar al-Aulaqi and Samir Khan.
Mr. Babafemi was alleged to have admitted upon interrogation that he was paid about $8,600 by the AQAP to return to Nigeria and recruit some English speaking individuals to work in AQAP’s English language media organisation.
The group had claimed responsibility for series of terrorist activities, including the December 25, 2009, bombing attempt in the U.S. by Nigeria’s Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Source: NAN

SHOCKING: Over 40 Million Nigerians Are Unemployed?

Chairman, Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme, Dr. Christopher Kolade
Chairman, Subsidy Reinvestment and Employment Programme, Dr. Christopher Kolade, on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, expressed worries over the high rate of unemployment in the land.
Kolade said no fewer than 40 million Nigerians were unemployed.
He spoke through the Technical Assistant to Community Services, Women and Youth Employment, SURE-P, Emeka Ekpunobi, during the one-day stakeholders sensitisation programme on Graduate Internship Scheme, by SURE-P in collaboration with Kalends Consulting.
He said the SURE-P was a platform through which the Federal Government planned to reduce unemployment.
He said, “Issue of job creation is a very critical one which over the years posed a challenge to governments at different levels.
“It was in recognition of this that President Goodluck Jonathan mandated SURE-P to marshal out intervention programmes to address this challenge.
“Through the GIS, we have the mandate to create 50,000 jobs. This sensitisation workshop is very important to us because it is part of our commitment to ensure that the GIS achieves the objectives for which it was set up.
“One of the objectives is to make most Nigerians graduates employable through training and mentoring.”
He confirmed the view of the Project Director of GIS, Mr. Peter Parka, that 40million Nigerians required employment.
Parka had said, “National Bureau of Statistics in 2011 indicate that 23.9per cent of Nigerians are unemployed. This means that about 40million Nigerians need employment.
“Government is concerned about this high unemployment rate and is doing everything possible to reverse it. The challenge of graduate unemployment is inability to absorb the nearly 300,000 graduates churned out by our tertiary institutions each year.”
Source: Punch

BIG PROJECT: The N291 Million 3rd Mainland Bridge Inspection Contract?


Nigeria’s Federal Government on Wednesday approved a N290.745 million contract for a comprehensive underwater inspection of the state of Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
Labaran Maku, the Minister of Information disclosed this to journalists after the weekly meeting of Federal Executive Council presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The approval of the contract followed a memo presented to Mike Onolememen, the Minister of Works on the issue.
Maku noted that the bridge, a vital artery on the federal highways network connecting Lagos mainland to the island required replacement of damaged expansion joints and bearings as indicated by investigations conducted in 2008.
The investigations were conducted following reports of oscillation and excessive vibrations of the bridge under traffic load.
“The reports indicated that the bridge was structurally sound but required the replacement of damaged expansion joints and bearings, said Maku.
He added that the contract will involve comprehensive underwater inspection, assessment of pilings, river bed bathymetric survey, profiling and echo metric test on the Bridge. This, he added will save the bridge from extensive deteriorating condition.
The contract was awarded to Messrs ICECON (Nig.) Ltd and is expected to be completed in two months.
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had in 2012 awarded N1billion for the replacement of eight expansion joints on the 11.8 kilometres third mainland bridge built in 1990.
The contract, executed by Messrs Borini Prono and Company Ltd, commenced on July 7, 2012, and was completed October 30. The bridge was partially closed during the execution of the contract.
But Senator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos in the upper chamber of the National Assembly had in a motion on the floor of the Senate in February this year raised alarm that the Bridge was in dire need of rehabilitation as repairs executed by the Ministry of Works did not meet the required standard, a senator has said. He warned that if the bridge is not immediately worked on, it may collapse.
“Repair works embarked upon during the last quarter of 2012 by the Ministry of Works, were just mere window dressing on the expansion joints. A recent report by some experts in concrete structural engineering found out that the last repairs that were done at the end of October did not meet the entire requirement. The experts went back after those remedial actions were taken and came back with the report that something has to be done urgently,” Ashafa later told journalists.
David Mark, Senate President warned during the debate on the motion that the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge would be a major national disaster if allowed to collapse.
“The bridge is an important edifice and its collapse will be a major catastrophe, as many lives may be lost,” said Senator Mark.
The Senate subsequently mandated its Committee on Works to investigate the state of the bridge.
But the Federal Ministry of Works had insisted that the Bridge was in a perfect shape following the repairs carried out in 2012.
Onolememen told journalists that speculations on the state of the bridge by the lawmakers were based on mere perception, as there was no civil engineering test to justify the statement.
Source: PM News

FACTS: Why I Sacked Youth Minister - Jonathan

Why I sacked Youth Minister –Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has described as false and baseless, insinuations in the media that the appointment of the former Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, was terminated because he failed to ensure his preferred candidate emerged as president of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN).
The President also denied that he had a preferred candidate in the elections.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, President Jonathan remained sincerely and unwaveringly committed to doing all within his powers to promote the credibility and integrity of the electoral process at all levels in the country.
The Presidency stated that it was Abdulkadir’s “regrettable deviation from his presidential commitment in the management of the NYCN elections that led to the decision to relieve him of his appointment as Minister of Youth Development.”
Jonathan said he was very displeased with the mishandling of the NYCN elections in Makurdi and Minna by the Ministry of Youth Development which resulted in the unfortunate fractionalization of the youth council.
Source: Sun News

LUCKY: Young Shall Grow Boss Escape Assassination?

Young Shall Grow boss escapes assassination
Lagos was yesterday spared another high profile killing when assassins attacked the vehicle conveying Chief Vincent Obianodo, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Young Shall Grow transport company to his FESTAC residence.
Chief Obianodo escaped, but his driver and Corporal Ngozi Chijioke attached to Patrol and Guard, were not lucky. They were killed. The transport boss was shot in the hand. Two of the attackers were killed by the police.
The hoodlums were said to have attempted to kill the transporter but were repelled by his police escort .
The suspected assassins trailed him while leaving his office and got him close to his house in FESTAC Town.
The gunmen had fired directly at him, but his driver was on the alert as he sped off and the assassins started raining bullets at his vehicle.
The police escort from Patrol and Guard unit attached to him was said to have engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel.
The Area ‘E’ Commander, Mr. Dan Okoro, who got a distress call, mobilised his men and stormed the scene.
After the shoot-out, two suspects and Corporal Chijioke were shot dead.
A police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Daily Sun that it was an assassination attempt.  “Why we believed so, was that the gunmen fired to kill the man.  If it was a kidnap attempt, the gunmen would not want to kill him.  The way they fired at the man showed that they wanted him dead,” he said.
The state police command’s spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, said the transporter was accosted by some gunmenaround 22 Road Festac Town.
“The hoodlums opened fire at him and his driver was shot dead.  The man was shot on his hand and a police corporal attached to him was also killed,” she said.
According to her, a patrol team that heard the gunshots raced to the scene and on sighting the patrol team, the hoodlums opened fire at the policemen.
Ngozi noted that policemen responded and the scene was turned to a battlefield.  “When the dust settled, the police shot dead two of the hoodlums and others escaped with bullet wounds.
She said the bandits’ Toyota Highlander Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) was perforated with bullets, adding that the police recovered one AK 47, one AK 49 riffles and eight magazines loaded with ammunition.
Braide said the gunmen’s motive was still unknown, noting that, “because we cannot just narrow it down to assassination, kidnapping or armed robbery until investigation is concluded.”
However, the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, has appealed to hospitals and members of the public to report anyone with bullet wounds to the nearest police station.
Source: Sun News

ANAMBRA ELECTION: Ifeanyi Ubah Now Labour Party’s Candidate?

Ifeanyi Ubah wins LP ticket
From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Oil magnate, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, yesterday emerged Labour Party’s candidate for the November 16, 2013 Anambra State governorship election. In the party’s primary election held at Emmaus House, Awka and conducted by the National Working Committee of the party led by its national chairman, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, Ubah emerged victorious with the unanimous votes of the 1,137 delegates.
Before the election commenced, the national chairman announced to the delegates that three aspirants paid and collected nomination forms, but that at the end of the time given for the return of nomination forms and fees, only Dr Ubah returned his form with the fee, thereby making him the only aspirant for the election.
He however, said that going by the constitution of the party, the primary election must still be held for the one aspirant and could be done according to Article 24 of the party’s constitution that stipulates either by voice votes, show of hand or secret ballot, whichever the national chairman adopts.
Consequently, Nwanyanwu opted for show of hand and called for those in support of Ubah’s candidacy among the 1,137 delegates to show their hands and affirm with a voice vote, and all raised their hands in affirmation, thereby giving Ubah a unanimous victory.
In his acceptance speech, Ubah alleged that Anambra State had failed in almost all the sectors despite the present government’s claims of developing all sectors simultaneously. He said his priority, if elected governor of the state would be to stop insecurity in the state, saying he would do so by creating jobs.
He said: “Let me make a point clear, I have no godfather; what I have is father God the Almighty. Anambra must change by force, whether they like it or not. It is not about me, it is about Ndi Anambra this time around. I want to tell you that by electing me to be your candidate for the forthcoming election in Anambra State, I will not fail Ndi Anambra and by the grace of God I will not fail Nigeria.
“One of my priorities if I am elected governor of Anambra State is to chase away insecurity, we are going to create jobs and bring what we call employment revolution in Anambra State.”
Source: Sun News

BIG STRIKE: FG, You've One Week - ASUU

Students give FG, ASUU 7-day ultimatum to end strike
Peeved by almost two-month old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), yesterday issued a one-week ultimatum to the Federal Government and the union’s leadership to resolve their differences or face serious consequences.
The students said if the impasse was not resolved within the next seven days, it will mobilise students on a nation-wide riot in what it described as ‘operation occupy Nigeria’.
The students’ body  appealed to ASUU to return to the classroom and continue negotiation with the Federal Government since the latter claimed to have released over N100 billion for infrastructural development and another N30 billion for allowances.
This was the highpoint of a protest by the students who blocked the Asaba end of the River Niger Bridge to press home their demands. The protest caused traffic snarl for several hours as the students stalled movements to the eastern part of the country even as those returning were barred.
NANS coordinator in the South-South and South-East, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, stated that students were at the receiving end of the strike and vowed that they would take their destinies in their own hands if the parties failed to reconcile within a week.
“We are appealing to ASUU that since  the Federal Government has been able to release N100 billion for infrastructural development and N30 billion for allowance, they should go back to classroom and continue their negotiation or agitation. This is our prayer and wish.
“We are giving them one week to open the schools or be ready to face corrosive consequences in form of nation-wide demonstration and riots. We are ready to mobilise for that and it will be operation occupy Nigeria,” he said.
Lamenting the effect of the strike,  Obasi said students have become prone to accidents on the  highways and the female students have been reduced to sex hawkers on the streets.
His words: “I stand to tell you that a lot of accidents have been recorded and 99.9% of the victims are Nigerian students. If they were in classrooms, they would not have fallen victims of road crashes.
“Our female students have become commercial sex hawkers on the streets in order to make ends meet. This colossal effect is more than what ASUU is agitating for. Hence, we can no longer fold our arms and watch things go wrong.”
Source: Sun News

INTERESTING: Omotola's Stella Magazine Interview


Omotola's Sunday Telegraph's Stella Magazine feature is now online - written by Ben Arogundade. Find the full interview below...
Omosexy': The biggest film star you’ve never heard of
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, aka 'Omosexy’, is the queen of Nollywood. She’s appeared in more than 300 films, pulls in 150 million viewers for her reality-television show and has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
She scores a zero on the Hollywood Richter scale. She has never starred in a major motion picture. Her most recent film, Last Flight to Abuja, means nothing to devotees of Netflix and LoveFilm.
When she sat next to Steven Spielberg at a Time magazine dinner earlier this year he didn’t know her name. Yet Omotola Jalade Ekeinde was attending that dinner because, like him, she had been honoured in Time’s 2013 list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Alongside Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama and BeyoncĂ©.The star of more than 300 films, Omotola – or “Omosexy”, as she is known to her legions of fans – is bigger across the African diaspora than Halle Berry.
Her reality-television show, Omotola: The Real Me, pulls in more viewers than Oprah’s and Tyra’s at their peak, combined, and she is the first African celebrity ever to amass more than one million Facebook “likes”.
When I meet her for the interview in a photographic studio in south-east London she is still recovering from getting mobbed by her Afro-Caribbean fan base in a nearby Tesco. “They practically had to shut down the store when people recognised me,” she says. “I actually got scared.”
Omotola is one of the biggest stars in Nollywood, the low-budget, high-output Nigerian film industry that churns out more English-language films than Hollywood or Bollywood (1,000-2,000 a year). Some have cinematic releases, but most are for the straight-to-video market.
When I watch her Stella photo-shoot from the sidelines it is immediately apparent that everything about her is BIG. Big body, big hair, big personality, big laugh: she comes across like Oprah’s sister.
She is here with her own film crew, who are recording for a future episode of her television show. Which means there is also a big, superstar delay – three hours – before our interview can start.
Many of her fans think her real name is “Omosexy”, she tells me, laughing, when we finally get to speak, but it was a nickname given to her by her husband, an airline pilot.
“He bought me a car back in 2009, and that was the plate number,” she recalls, speaking with kinetic, girlish excitement, rattling off sentences in fast, extended flurries.
"All my cars have special plate numbers, like Omotola 1.” When I ask how many cars she has, she laughs again, with embarrassment. “A few.” When she first saw her personalised licence plate she was horrified. “I thought, 'Oh no!’ It sounded cocky.
As if I was telling everybody, 'I’m sexy!’ Y’know-wha-I-mean?” She punctuates her sentences with this phrase, which she reels off as a single word.
The 35-year-old star has been acting since she was 16. Most recently she starred as Suzie, a passenger freshly spurned by her adulterous lover, in an aeroplane disaster movie, Last Flight to Abuja, which was the highest grossing film at the African box office last year.
Her breakthrough role came in 1995, in the Nollywood classic Mortal Inheritance, in which she played a sickle-cell patient fighting for her life. Since then she has established a staggering average of 16 films a year.
I put it to her that she must be the most prolific actress in the world. She laughs and shakes her head. “I am sure there are people who have beaten that record in Nigeria. Trust me.
It is easy to turn around with straight-to-video movies. It is the fashion to shoot until you drop, night and day. You have to remember that we are on very low budgets, so there is no time to wait.”
Nollywood began fewer than 20 years ago on the bustling streets of Lagos. Its pioneers were traders and bootleggers who started out selling copies of Hollywood films before graduating into producing their own titles as an inexpensive way to procure more content for a burgeoning market.
The traders finance the films (the average budget is £15,000-£30,000), then sell copies in bulk to local operators, who distribute them in markets, shops and street-corners for as little as £2 each.
The financial equation is problematic, with endemic piracy, issues over copyright and a lack of legally binding contracts.
Even so, what started as a ramshackle business is today worth an estimated £320 million a year, and rising. All this in a country that still lacks a reliable electricity supply.
What is the secret of Omotola’s appeal? “I don’t know,” she says, shrugging. “I wish someone would tell me! People can relate to me, I suppose. They feel as if they know me. A lot of my audience has grown up with me.”
At the same time, in a country that is heavily defined by religion and tradition, it helps that she is seen as a stable role model – a God-fearing woman who has been married to the same man for 17 years, and balances her work-life with bringing up four children.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde was born into a middle-class family of strict Methodists in Lagos. Her father was the manager of the Lagos Country Club, while her mother worked for a local supermarket chain.
She has two younger brothers and was a tomboy, fiercely independent. “I used to scare boys from a very young age. They found me too much, because I knew what I wanted and I’d boss them around. In those days my mother would joke that I would never find a husband.”
As a child she was closest to her father. “He was a different kind of African man,” she recalls.
“He was very enlightened. He always asked me what I wanted, and encouraged me to speak up. He treated me like a boy.” He died in a car accident when Omotola was 12, while she was away at boarding-school.
“I didn’t grieve,” she says. “When I got home people were telling me that my mother had been crying for days, and that, as the eldest, I had to be strong for her and my brothers. I didn’t know what to do, so I just bottled everything up.
It affected me for many years afterwards. I was always very angry.”
Omotola would later play out her repressed grief on camera, using it as an emotional trigger to make herself cry whenever scripts called for it. But this soon created other problems.

Omotola and family 

 
“The director would shout, 'Cut!’ and I’d still be crying,” she recalls. “I could bring the tears, but I could not control them. In the end I had to stop using that technique.”
At the age of 16 Omotola met her future husband, Matthew Ekeinde, then 26, in church. He was so keen on her that the day after their first meeting he showed up at her house unannounced.
“He soon became a friend of the family. He was almost like a father figure,” she says. “He’d drop my brothers at school and stuff.”
Ekeinde proposed when Omotola was 18. Initially, Omotola’s mother thought her daughter too young to marry, and asked Matthew to wait, but he refused. “She was really shocked,” says Omotola.
“She said, 'If you want something badly enough you wait for it,’ but he said, 'If I want something I take it.’ He was very, very bold. It was one of the things I found fascinating about him.”
They had two wedding ceremonies, the second of which took place on a flight from Lagos to Benin. “He’s amazing. If I weren't married to him I couldn’t see myself with anybody else. I’m a handful.”
Ekeinde has become a reluctant poster boy for a new kind of African man.
“A lot of men come up to him and say, 'You’re a real man – I can’t believe how you deal with it all.’ He also gets a lot of invitations from various bodies to speak about how he copes as a modern Nigerian man in a relationship with a powerful working woman.”
Omotola’s ascent to the Nollywood elite began the same year she met Ekeinde. She was modelling at the time. One afternoon she tagged along with a model friend who was attending a film audition.
“She didn’t get the part, and she came out and was very sad,” says Omotola. “Then she said, 'Why don’t you go in and have a go?’
I said 'OK,’ and went in and got the part. My friend wasn’t happy. That was the end of our friendship.”
Omotola has somehow also found the time to release three albums. And then there is her charitable work. “First and foremost I actually consider myself a humanitarian,” she says proudly.

At the Time 100 Gala with Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis 

She started in 2005, working with the United Nations as a World Food Programme ambassador. She now has her own foundation, the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme.
“I have a lot of young people writing to me, feeling disillusioned. There’s so much injustice in Africa, and people’s lives being trampled on. The foundation was designed to give voice to these people.”
Her own voice has been greatly enhanced by the success of her reality-television show. It is the first show of its kind in Africa, watched by 150 million people across the continent. “
A lot of women say to me that I am their role model and example. They say, 'If Omotola can do it, I can do it.’ I also get a lot of fan letters from men that say, 'You are the reason I allow my wife to work, or pursue a career,’ because they see that I am married and that I am doing both.”
Omotola is now one of the most powerful people in what’s being called the “new Nollywood”, a fresh chapter for the industry, characterised by better scripts, improved production values and cinema rather than DVD-only releases.
But there are obstacles for the new Nollywood, not least the fact that Nigeria only has seven major cinemas, and that ticket prices are way beyond the reach of most citizens.
Nollywood’s biggest problem by far, however, is that its films – including Omotola’s – are still not very good. Theirs is a fuzzy, low-budget aesthetic in which histrionic acting combines with often ludicrous plot lines.
The films drown in melodrama, and many scenes are unintentionally comic. Production values and the rigours of plot and character development are dispensed with in the mad rush to complete and distribute.
It’s akin to half-cooking food to feed impatient mouths, and the results feel like first drafts. Nevertheless, African audiences don’t seem to care, as long as the films are cheap enough for a downtrodden public desperate for escapism, and they feature their own home-grown stars on screen.
So, what does the future hold for Omotola?
She recently made her American debut, in a television drama, Hit the Floor, opposite the R&B star Akon. Does she see her future as Nollywood or Hollywood?
“I’ll just go with the flow. We [in Nollywood] want to collaborate, we don’t want to leave. We are hoping to be the first film industry that will pull Hollywood in, instead of them pulling us out.”
This may not be such a crazy idea, as Hollywood sees the amounts invested in Nollywood, plus a potential audience of over one billion Africans (155 million in Nigeria alone).
Would she like to work with Spielberg? “Oh, please, let it be!” she says, clasping her hands together hopefully.
Source: Telegraph

GOOD NEWS: Aba Deadly Robbery Gang, Nabbed?

Twenty suspected criminals are now in detention in Aba following a raid, yesterday, by the Police from Ariaria Division of the city on two Indian hemp spots said to be haven for notorious criminals within Ariaria International Market.
The arrest came barely one week after the Police from the Area Command in Aba raided a hotel which allegedly serves as criminals hide-out in the city centre where no fewer than 20 suspected criminals were apprehended.
The spots identified as ‘Black Kingdom’ at Samek by Old express road and ‘Snow White’ at Bakassi were all located near Ariaria International Market.
It was gathered that before the police raid, ‘Black kingdom’ was one of the areas where drug addicts in the city relocated after they were dislodged by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, from their former location at ‘York’ at Park road.
It was further gathered that most criminals who operated within the commercial city usually gather at the two locations not only to smoke, but also to hatch plans on how to unleash terror on residents.
The operation was carried out in conjunction with policemen mobilised from other divisions in the Aba Area Command which led to the arrest of 20 suspects alleged to be members of robbery gangs which have been terrorizing the city of late .
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna described the raid as a proactive measure taken by the Police Command in the state to ensure that the state was free from all forms of criminality.
“We are raiding hideouts in a bid to ensure the society is being ridden off crimes and criminality because we know that those hideouts are possible places where all the hoodlums hide and from there, they go about to perpetrate their evil acts. So, police raiding hideouts is not out of place.
“It is a proactive measure adopted by the command in order to ensure that the state is free from crime and criminality, especially in Aba.
“If in the course of interrogation one is found culpable or cannot give an accurate account of him or herself, definitely, that person will be prosecuted if linked up with any crime. while those that can established their personality will be released.
Ogbonna however, urged the public to report promptly to the police any place(s) suspected to be hideout(s) for criminals, stressing that the police in the state has a zero tolerance for criminal activities in whatever disguise.
Source: Vanguard

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

SURPRISING: Fashola Cancel Lekki-Epe Expressway Concession?

Controversy surrounding the management of the Lekki-Epe Expressway took a new turn on Tuesday as the Lagos State Government announced the termination of its concession agreement with the Lekki Concession Company.
Already, the state House of Assembly has approved a supplementary budget of N7.5bn to enable the government to fund the acquisition of the existing concession right of the expressway.
The LCC was mandated under a 30-year Build, Operate and Transfer agreement to upgrade, expand and maintain the about 50-kilometre road (Phase I), and construct another 20km of coastal road (Phase II) along the Lekki corridor.
But the firm and the state government came under severe attacks when they introduced what the residents considered as high tolls on the road in 2011 after significant progress was made in the first phase.
The decision of the state government to terminate the concession agreement, it was learnt, followed the lawmakers’ approval of the supplementary budget, which gave it the right to acquire the existing concession rights and toll revenue benefits held by the concessionaire.
Governor Babatunde Fashola had in a supplementary budget proposal letter to the state House of Assembly dated August 19, 2013, requested it to amend this year’s budget owing to unforeseen developments in terms of the state’s internally generated revenue.
Fashola had said, “The proposal for further amendment is largely predicated on the need to fund the acquisition of the existing concession, right and toll revenue benefit held by the Lekki Concession Company, the concessionaire for the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway. This will effectively accelerate the transfer of ownership of the road to the state, leaving the state with wider policy options with regards to that important infrastructure.
“In order to address these issues, we have proposed a two-prong approach namely: re-ordering some expenditure provisions and also directing supplementation of the year 2013 budget. This will entail an increase in the overall budget size by N7.5bn. This is against the background of a projected shortfall of N22.5bn in budgeted internally generated revenues, which now need to be covered by the additional borrowings.”
The Assembly gave its approval to the request on Tuesday in a proposal read on the floor by the Clerk, Mr. Ganiyu Abiru.
The commissioners for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Ben Akabueze; Finance, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi; and Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Obafemi Hamzat, were at the House to defend the proposal.
Following the latest amendment, the revised budget has thus increased from N499.6bn to N507.105bn.
Users of the expanded road have had to part with different amounts, depending on their class of vehicles. The amounts rage from N50 for motorcycles to N120 for saloon cars and tricycles; N150 for Sports Utility Vehicles, minibuses and pick-up trucks; N80 for commercial mini-buses; and N250 and N350 for light trucks and heavy trucks, and buses with two or more heavy axles, respectively.
Fees are currently being collected at the first toll point called the Admiralty Plaza.
The Conservation Plaza was built about 10km away from the first tolling point bewteeen the Chevron Drive and Oluwanisola Estate, but the collection of tolls has not started.
A human rights lawyer, Mr. Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, took the matter to court to stop the LCC and the state government from enforcing the toll collection until the 10km alternative route was constructed for those that might not use the road.
Calls and text messages to the mobile phone number of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, were ignored; while the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Mr. Hakeem Bello, said he had yet to get the details and promised to call back when he did, but never got back.
Calls put through to officials of LCC were unanswered, while text messages sent to them were not responded to.
Source: Nigerian Eye

ABUJA JAMBOREE: Lawyer Sue Patience Jonathan?

The women’s rally had led to the closure of some roads in Abuja.
An Abuja based lawyer, James Abah, has sued the First Lady, Patience Jonathan; National Council of Women Societies; Inspector General of Police; and the State Security Services, SSS, over road restrictions and blockages during the just concluded Abuja women rally.
Mr. Abah in his suit declared that the Women Peace Rally which he said turned out to be a political campaign for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan was a breach of his and other Nigerians’ right of movement as guaranteed by Section 41 of the constitution.
Thousands of women on August 15 took part in a rally for the celebration of peace and empowerment of Nigerian women. The rally, which started from old parade ground and ended at the Eagle Square in Abuja, was organized by the National Council of Women
Societies. Women from all parts of the country came together in support of the theme of the rally, showcasing their culture in various dance performances. .
Mr. Abah said he was forced to trek from Wuse Market to his office at Zone 2 and also from Central Business District to Maitama as a result of the restrictions on major routes.
The lawyer has asked that the court grant an injunction restraining the accused from restricting movement of the respondent or Abuja residents within the country except within the circumstances as guaranteed by Section 41 (2) of the Nigerian constitution.
“I believe the 3rd and 4th respondents aided the 1st and 2nd respondent in conducting an unannounced barricade and restriction of major routes within the FCT. After waiting for about an hour in traffic as a result of the gridlock, I also saw agents of the 3rd and
4th respondents heavily armed directing and restricting people from driving through the road linking Wuse Zone 2 to Wuse market,” Mr. Abah said
Mr. Abah also prayed that the court orders Mrs. Jonathan and the other accused to publish a written apology to Nigerians and the applicant in two national dailies.
This is not the first time a civil rights lawyer would challenge restriction of movement due to the activity of VIPS or associations linked to them.
In June 2012, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, demanded that the Minister of Aviation reveal the identity of a VIP whose movement had caused the partial closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
Mr. Falana who was on board an Arik flight W3 271 on the Abuja to Lagos route recalled that the aircraft stayed in the air for an extra 30 minutes after it approached Lagos due to the closure of the airspace.
He also stated that he was reliably informed that the presence of a VIP had resulted in the restrictions of movement within the airport, causing the delay of his flight and thereby endangering the lives of over 150 passengers.
Source: Premium Times

CONFESSION: My Ordeal In The Hands Of Wicked Police DPO

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, I went to Okokomaiko area of Lagos State, where a policeman allegedly shot and killed a resident, Adamson Bello. By 12.20pm, I had concluded interviews with Adamson’s widow and mother of his 7 children, Modinatu Bello; three residents, and the Baale of the area.
I decided to also speak with a representative of a hotel which was named in my findings - South Bound Hotel. The killer cop was said to be on guard duty at the hotel.
On the way to the hotel, I decided to take the pictures of some points where the incident happened. I took the picture of the hotel, and decided to speak with another resident. He showed me the traces of blood where the deceased had reportedly slumped.
I was listening to the man’s account when three men emerged and grabbed me from the back:
Two were of average heights while one was elderly. I later understood that one of them was the General Manager, while the other two were departmental managers in the hotel.
They dragged me into the hotel where I identified myself as a reporter and demanded to speak with the Public Relations Officer of the company.
They became hostile and accused me of taking pictures of the area and the hotel without permission. They later decided to take me to the Okokomaiko Police Division.
Around 12.34pm, I was taken to the police station.
When we got to the station, the Divisional Police Officer, Temple Ituma, was said to be busy. I was taken before the Divisional Crime Officer.
After the hotel’s employees repeated the allegations, the DCO asked me to introduce myself.
I did and showed him my PUNCH identity card.
The DCO said I had breached the privacy of the hotel. As I tried to explain my side of the story, the DCO shouted me down and called me “idiot, stupid.” He continued to do this during my stay in his office. I was not given any chance to talk.
About 12.50pm, I was taken before the DPO, who queried me on my mission in the area. I told him I was a correspondent with The Punch and was doing an investigative report.
He said, “You are a reporter and you just went to a person’s building and started taking pictures. Did the person ask you to report his building? This is an action that somebody can use to claim big money against you.”
He asked me to delete the pictures; I declined, saying I had done nothing wrong.
I was then told that I was under arrest for breaching the privacy of the hotel and taking pictures without permission.
A plump, fair-complexion man emerged and took my bag, searched it, and collected my phones.
At this point, I asked for the permission to speak with my editor, but I was denied.
I was taken into an office where the policeman began quizzing me on the incident.
I told him about my investigation, explaining that I was on my way to see the hotel’s PRO when I was abducted by the employees.
I explained that I had the right to take the pictures because the story was a matter of public interest.
Around 1.20pm, the DPO walked in and said the owner of the property wanted the matter to be taken to the court.
The DCO, who followed his boss, said, “You are lucky that you met my boss who is a Reverend. If it was me, I would have dealt with you.”
At this point, the policemen collected my ID card and threatened that I would be taken into the cell if I “misbehaved.”
I was led to a dimly lit room to make my statement. The lady who went with me, however, did not give me any paper.
Around 1.40pm, I was taken to another room and asked to write my statement. I again requested to speak with my editor. Again, I was refused.
I made my statement. A policeman asked me to write down the identities of my sources and the people I had interviewed. I declined, saying it was unethical.
At 1.56pm, the DPO came in again and gave me his telephone. I spoke with a known senior officer from the state command’s headquarters.
He said he had spoken with my office, and asked that I deleted the pictures.
The DPO however said, even if the pictures were deleted, the owner of the company would need to consent before he would leave me.
At 2.43pm, the DPO said the owner had agreed to withdraw the matter from the court on the condition that I delete the pictures and did not return to the area.
I was asked to write an undertaking not to come near the hotel, which I did.
At 2.48pm, the pictures were deleted and I was taken back to the DPO. The DPO said my phone and camera should be taken from me again, adding that he was going out for a meeting and would call from the meeting when I should be released.
It was a few minutes to 7pm, that the DPO, DCO and one person came back from the meeting. The DPO then told his men to let me go.
Source: Punch