Tuesday, 16 January 2018
Headliners

Headliners (1834)

The Olori has also reverted to her maiden name Zaynab Otiti Obanor. She disclosed this via an official statement on her official Instagram page @hhzynab on Wednesday.

Her post partly reads: “What I can confirm is that the Ooni and I are no more. I inhale love and exhale gratitude.

“No matter how much time you’ve invested, no matter the use of media to silence and manipulate, no matter the circumstance, slander, embarrassment, threats and lies: get out and seek immediate help!

“My journey continues as a humanitarian aiding women and victims of domestic violence and abuse with the United Nations.

The revelation has confirmed media reports in recent times that the Oni marriage’s to the Benin-born queen was having crisis.

Ooni got married to his ex-Edo bride at an elaborate society traditional marriage held in Benin, the Edo State capital on March 16, 2016.

Although the monarch was not physically present, he was represented by his father, Oluropo Ogunwusi.

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

We have got to stop this culture of shaming and vilifying women with false stories of infidelity & nefarious behavior. The spreading of false information (through "sources" afraid to be identified) is the mark of cowards and a cover up for guilty parties to justify their horrific actions.

There is absolutely no truth to the media circulated lies of infidelity and infertility- on my end. What I can confirm, is that the Ooni and I are no more. I inhale love & exhale gratitude. My journey continues as a Humanitarian aiding women and victims of domestic violence & abuse with the United Nations.

No matter how much time you've invested, no matter the use of media to silence & manipulate, no matter the circumstance, slander, embarrassment, threats and lies: Get out and seek immediate help! We've seen this movie before. Women being dragged in the press & blamed for everything under the sun.

This behavior is unacceptable. I urge those involved to be mindful of their actions for the eyes of our Almighty God are always watching. The seeds of slander is a cancer that harvests to eat away the souls of the planter. The throne is sacred and the attempts to tarnish the name of a Queen, in defense or on behalf of a silent King makes all involved look terrible. Remain dignified in all you do. It's not the end of the world, but the start of a new chapter and you must turn the page with grace.

The world is watching. As I bid adieu to this chapter, my wish to you all is to step into your lives - boldly & fearlessly, the way God intended and live not just by words, but through example.

The best chapter in our lives is the one we are writing now.

Thank you for your love and support.

With peace, love &  light,

Her Highness, Zaynab Otiti Obanor.

 

Posted On Thursday, 31 August 2017 00:22 Written by

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday announced a major management shake-up that culminates in the appointments and redeployment across the value chain.

The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, told NNPC officials shortly before the announcement was made public that the new appointments would not only help to position the Corporation for the challenges ahead but would help fill the gaps created due to statutory retirements. A total of 55 top management officers were affected in the exercise.

According to a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu,  under the new arrangement, Roland Ewubare, formerly MD of the Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), moves to the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, (NAPIMS) as the new Group General Manager while Diepriye Tariah, former GGM and Senior Technical Assistant to the NNPC GMD takes over from Ewubare as MD of IDSL.

The statement reads in part: “Malami Shehu, Executive Director, Operations, of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), was appointed Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) while Adewale Ladenegan, former MD of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) was moved to KRPC to assume duty as MD.

“In the same vein, Muhammed Abah, until recently, the Executive Director Operations of WRPC succeeds Ladenegan as MD of Warri Refinery.

“With the retirement of  Farouk Ahmed as the MD of the Nigerian Products Marketing Company, (NPMC), Umar

Ajiya, former GGM in charge of Corporate Planning and Strategy, (CP&S) now assumes duty as MD of NPMC.

“Bala Wunti, former, General Manager, Downstream, GMD’s Office, takes charge as GGM CP&S.

Other changes include: Usman Yusuf who takes over as GGM/STA to the GMD, Adeyemi Adetunji confirmed as MD, NNPC Retail, alongside Dr. Bola Afolabi, who now functions as GGM in charge of Research and Development Division of the Corporation.

“Also on the list is Mrs. Ahmadu-Katagum appointed GGM (Shipping) in the Downstream Autonomous Business Unit and Kallamu Abdullahi takes over as the GGM in charge of the Renewable Energy Division in the Downstream ABU. 

Dr. Shaibu Musa was promoted MD of the NNPC Medical Services Limited, while Ibrahim Birma is the new GGM in charge of the Corporation’s Audit Division now renamed Governance, Risk and Compliance Division.”

 
Posted On Wednesday, 30 August 2017 01:34 Written by

Court orders final forfeiture of cash

Protesters seek ex-minister’s extradition

The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered the final forfeiture of N7.6billion allegedly stolen and hidden by former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Justice Abdulazeez Anka granted an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) seeking the money’s final forfeiture to the Federal Government.

He held: “I’ve read the motion on notice seeking the final forfeiture of the sum of N7,646,700,000 reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

“I have also gone through the affidavit in support of the application.

“In the circumstances, I am of the view that the application has merit and is hereby granted as prayed. Parties have a right of appeal.”

Moving the application, EFCC’s lawyer Rotimi Oyedepo said the money was part of “huge sums” allegedly diverted by Mrs Alison-Madueke from various subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to him, it was “fraudulently converted from NNPC by Mrs Alison-Madueke”.

He said the commission published an advertorial after the court ordered the money’s temporary forfeiture, but no one came forward to claim its ownership.

In an affidavit to support the application, an investigating officer, Usman Zakari, said he was part of a team of operatives who investigated an intelligence report that huge sums were laundered.

He said it was looted through former Managing Director, Crude Oil Marketing Department, Gbenga Olu Komolafe; former Managing Director, Petroleum Products Management Company (PPMC) Prince Haruna Momoh; Group Managing Director, Nigerian Products Marketing Company (NPMC) Umar Farouk Ahmed, Stanley Lawson, Babajide Sonoiki and some bank chiefs on behalf of Mrs Alison-Madueke.

The deponent said Mrs Alison-Madueke called a bank chief to her office for a meeting where she informed him that some officials of her ministry would be bringing funds to his bank.

She allegedly directed that the “funds must neither be credited into any known account nor captured in any transactional platforms of the bank”.

The investigator added: “In carrying out this alleged scheme of fraud, the sum of $153,310,000 was moved from NNPC through B.O.N Otti and Stanley Lawson, both former Group Executive Directors, Finance and Account of the NNPC” to the bank.

He said using the same fraudulent scheme, another $45million was also conveyed to the bank.

He said the money was conveyed in cash from Abuja to the bank’s headquarters in Lagos; $113,310,000 was taken out of it and moved to another bank in a bid to conceal its illicit source.

The investigator said the remaining $40million was conveyed in cash to a bank chief, Dauda Lawal.

Zakari said $108,310,000 was taken from the $113,310,000 and was disguised and invested in an off balance sheet investment using an asset management company owned by the bank as a special purpose vehicle.

He said the remaining $5million was conveyed in cash to another bank’s managing director “for safe keeping”.

The sum in the asset management company was allegedly converted to N23,446,300,000, which EFCC said it recovered in drafts from the bank.

It also recovered the $5million held by the bank MD.

The operative said the $40million conveyed in cash to Lawal was subsequently converted to N9,080,000,000 and retained by him.

Zakari said the N23,446,300,000, $5million and N9,080,000,000 were forfeited to the Federal Government on February 16, following an order by Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court.

According to him, the $45million was converted to naira by the bank in a bid to conceal and disguise its illicit origin.

He said EFCC received N7,646,700,000 in draft from the bank.

He recalled that the court on August 9 granted an interim order of forfeiture of the money and directed EFCC to publish the order in national newspapers to enable any person interested in it to appear in court and show cause why it should not be forfeited permanently to the Federal Government.

“The applicant has complied with the order of this court by publishing the said order on the 16th of August. It is in the interest of justice to grant this application,” Zakari said.

Justice Anka “granted the application as prayed”.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has frozen London properties valued at £10 million allegedly bought for the former minister.

The two properties located at Regents Park in London, along with one in Buckinghamshire, have now been frozen based on the request of Nigerian authorities.

According to online news medium, Premium Times, a London court gave the freeze order in September 2016 but details of the rulings have only recently become public.

But the agency was too late in preventing a further two properties worth £8 million from being sold.

In July, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) had revealed four properties it alleged were bought for the former petroleum minister by individuals and firms seeking her influence in obtaining lucrative oil assets and crude oil lifting contracts.

Some of the oil assets were assigned to people believed to be her cronies through Strategic Alliance Agreements (SAAs).

The DoJ’s affidavit stated that businessmen, Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko were involved in the purchase of two of the properties allegedly bought for Alison-Madueke.

The UK order obtained by Africa Confidential, a newsletter specialising in politics and business in Africa, has revealed that three of the properties have been frozen under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Posted On Tuesday, 29 August 2017 02:39 Written by

•Shagaya sues Unity Bank, says accounts frozen without court order
•Freeze: I have lost business goodwill, can’t pay N514m debts on chartered aircraft, Shagaya tells court •Unity Bank: Our hands are tied by the law

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen over N8, 627,458,773.36 billion in three accounts of Hajiya Muinat Bola Shagaya, an associate and friend of a former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

Shagaya’s relationship with about 10 firms/account names are also being investigated by the anti-graft agency, The Nation learnt yesterday.

But Shagaya, who did not hold any public appointment during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has dragged Unity Bank to the High Court of Lagos State for allowing the EFCC to Post No Debit (PND) on her accounts without a valid court order.

She says the action taken on her accounts violates Section34 (1) of the EFCC Act, 2004.

Besides, the withdrawal ban placed on one of her accounts has prevented her from defraying N514, 800,000 incurred as cumulative costs in the course of an Aircraft Lease Agreement of a bombardier Jet, according to documents which Shagaya filed and deposed to at the Court alongside with her counsel, Napoleon Emeaso-Nwachukwu.

Hearing of the matter is slated for September 28.

However, Unity Bank says its hands are tied by the law in complying with the EFCC’s directives to freeze Shagaya’s accounts.

The EFCC in a letter to the Unity Bank Managing Director in respect of one of the frozen accounts said: “The commission is investigating a case in which the above-mentioned account featured.

“In view of the above, you are requested to kindly check the table below and provide us with Certified True Copies (CTC) of the following information, which should include but not limited to the following: (i) The deposit slips/telex copies (front and back) that conveyed the authority of the transactions; (ii) Any investment made with the funds in any of your products which should include fixed/term deposit and their liquidation and the interest incurred, Banks Acceptance, Commercial Papers and any other relevant information in relation to these.

The EFCC listed the transactions in the said account as “N300m(Bola Shagaya RTGS);  N300m (Additional N300FTD at 15% TRAN); N500m (Time Deposit); N2,317,013,698.64 (BNG COLLAOS FOR FTD-CUSTOMER ACCOL); N2.3billion (Opening a Time Deposit Account); N292, 495, 029.82 (Withdrawal from Time Deposit); N292, 495, 029.82 (TAK Asset Mgt Limited); N300m (Term Loan booked for 356 days); and N2,025,455,015.08 (BNG COLLAPS OF FTD Customer Account.”

In a separate letter Cr: 3000/EFCC/LS/STF/ STF3MP/ Vol.11/182 which Shagaya made available to the court, the EFCC asked Unity Bank to Post No Debit(PND) on 10 accounts linked with her.

The account names are (i) First Deep Water Discovery Limited; (ii) Bola Shagaya; (iii) FAPLiNs Nigeria Limited (iv) Lingo Nigeria Limited; (v) Buri Barclays BDC; (vi) Links Global Synergy Ltd; (vii) OKIOIL Nig. Ltd; (vii) JEMARVIZ Nig Ltd; (ix) PJ Oil and Gas Ltd; and (x) AFDIN Ventures Ltd.

The anti-graft commission said: “The commission is investigating a case in which the above mentioned accounts featured.

“You are requested to kindly place the account on Post No Debit (PND) category pending the conclusion of the investigation.

“This request is made pursuant to Section 38(1) and (2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and Section 21 of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.”

In the third letter, the EFCC said it was looking into two other accounts including Voyage Oil and Gas and Bola Shagaya from 2008 to date.

It said: “The commission is investigating a case in which the above mentioned accounts featured. In view of the above, you are requested to kindly provide us with Certified True Copies (CTC) of the following information which should include but not limited to the following: (i) The Mandate Card  and statement(s) of all domiciliary and Naira account(s) in the above mentioned accounts from 2008 to date with letter of certification in accordance with Section 84 of the Evidence Act 2011; (ii) any investment made with the funds in any of your products which should include fixed/term deposit and their liquidation and the interest incurred, Bank Acceptance, Commercial Papers and any other relevant information related to these.

“You are further requested to kindly place the account on Post No Debit (PND) category pending the conclusion of investigation.”

But Shagaya accused Unity Bank of complicity on her travails following  the bank’s alleged failure to exercise the requisite due diligence.

She said the freezing of her accounts did not comply with Section 34(1) of the EFCC Act, 2004. She specifically referred to the bank’s refusal to allow her to make transactions on Account 000326118 including payment of N514, 800,000 to Global Apex Air Limited, through Heavywind Integrated Services, for the lease of a bombardier Jet.

She said the Aircraft Lease Agreement between her and Global Apex Air Limited has been terminated with her forfeiting US$1million.

In an affidavit she deposed to, Shagaya said: “The official of the Defendant (Unity Bank) whom my Personal Assistant relayed the development to, informed him that on the 3rd of November, 2016, the Defendant received a letter from the EFCC through their Lagos office informing it that my account with it is under investigation and requested that the account be put on “Post No Debit” pending the outcome of the investigation hence the Defendant’s inability to honour my payment instruction.

“Initially I laughed off the excuse as a ploy of the Defendant to deter me from taking legal actions against it for dishonouring my payment instructions especially that of the 31st of October 2016 which ultimately led to the termination of the Aircraft Lease with Global Apex Air Ltd. And the loss of the sum of One Million United States Dollars deposited with the Lessor by me.

“On the 27th of January, 2017 the Defendant responded to my Solicitor’s letter. In its response, the defendant stated that: “it observed that long before your client forwarded her cheques and payment instruction to the Bank as indicated in your letter under reference, the EFCC had formally informed the Bank that an investigation relating to your client’s account was ongoing and sought the cooperation on the Bank accordingly.” The Defendant’s letter ended by stating that “Based on our understanding and the fact that the Bank was already aware that the Law Enforcement Agency had taken definite steps to comply with Section 34(1) of the EFCC Act, 2004, behoves the Bank not to allow the dissipation or removal funds in your client’s account without appropriate clearance from the Law Enforcement Agency or a judicial order directing the release of the funds to your client.”

“I will also contend at the hearing of this Suit that the Defendant negligently and wrongfully failed to exercise the requisite due diligence and by extension, the duty of care it owed me as my banker prior to complying with the alleged freezing instruction from the EFCC.

“The Defendant did not request and ensure it was obliged the Freezing Order from a court of competent jurisdiction prior to complying with the instruction to freeze the Claimant’s account

“The Defendant failed to honour the Claimant’s payment instructions of the 31st of October 2016 as well as those of the 1st and 2nd November 2016 which preceded the alleged instruction from the EFCC.

“The Defendant failed to promptly notify the Claimant of the freezing other account. The freezing of the Claimant’s account did not comply with Section 34(1) of the EFCC Act, 2004.

“Since the unlawful freezing of my account by the Defendant, I have not been able to transact with that account due to my inability to access same thereby causing business losses and opportunities.

“By reason the Defendant’s action, I have suffered loss of reputation and damages and my person brought to disrepute, public opprobrium and odium.

“The actions of the Defendant which consist in unlawfully freezing my account without an Order of a Court of competent jurisdiction and failing to disclose same to me promptly was unreasonable as well as defamatory of me before my business associates who now see me as a criminal and an untrustworthy fellow who is in the habit of issuing due cheques and payment instructions that she knew would not be honoured.

She said she had lost a lot of business goodwill since her accounts were frozen including

o    The loss of $1,000,000 deposited with Global Apex Air Ltd. Due to her in ability to pay accrued costs in line with Aircraft Lease Agreement which was occasioned by the failure of the Defendant to oblige the Claimant’s payment instruction to Heavywind Integrated Services.

o    Loss of business opportunities and goodwill occasioned by her inability to operate her account domiciled with the Defendant due to its freezing.

o    Loss of reputation occasioned by the Defendant’s wrongful dishonouring of her payment instructions to third parties.

“If not compelled by this Court, the Defendant will not on its own volition unfreeze my account even when it is glaring the Defendant had wrongfully breached the duty of care it owes complying with an illegal instruction in freezing my account.”

But in a letter to Shagaya’s counsel, Unity Bank said it has a legal and ethical responsibility to render assistance to law enforcement agencies.

The bank explained its constraints in a letter by its Head, Legal Services Department, Mr. Alaba Williams and Mr. Olusegun Olukoya of the same department.

The bank said:  “While the Bank respects the contractual nature of the relationship with your client, it is without prejudice to the Bank’s standing as a responsible law abiding Corporate Citizen.

“In spite of the Bank’s contractual relationship with your client, that relationship is not without a legal and ethical responsibility to render assistance to law enforcement agencies when required of the Bank.

“Considering the sensitive nature of the investigation touching your client’s account as advised by the EFCC in October 2016, the Bank had to exercise caution in relation to further transactions, especially debits, in the account of your client under investigation.

“The need for the Bank to exercise due caution in the matter of the operation of your client’s account after receipt of notification of the ongoing investigation by the EFCC was informed by our understanding of various existing statutory provisions  relevant to the request of the EFCC received by the Bank.

“Based on our understanding and the fact that the Bank was already aware that the Law Enforcement Agency had taken definite steps to comply with section 34(1) the EFCC Act, 2004. It behoves the Bank not to allow the dissipation or removal of the funds in your client’s account under investigation, before the Court Order seeking to preserve the funds was obtained.

“The contractual relationship between your client and the Bank does not permit us to pre-empt the investigation by the Law Enforcement Agency and the related Court Proceedings which outcome could lead to forfeiture of the funds in the same account.

“The Bank could be considered an accessory after the fact if it allowed the dissipation of the funds in your client’s account without appropriate clearance from the Law Enforcement Agency or a judicial order directing the release of the funds to your client.

“Therefore contrary to the allegation in your letter, the Bank had a proper justification for refusing the payment instructions from your client for funds to be removed from her account in issue when there was an ongoing investigation by the EFCC in respect of the said funds. The Bank is therefore not in breach of any contractual obligation to your client. The Bank is also not liable to your client for the sum of N700,000,000.00 (Seven Hundred Million Naira) or any other sum that matter as damages claimed by you.

“Please, note that Unity Bank Plc. is committed to comply with the extant laws and Regulations of all competent Authorities and Jurisdictions.

“In addition to adopting best practices; ethical and legal considerations always guide our commercial decisions protecting the good name and the reputation of the bank remains the primary consideration in all actions taken by the Bank. Accordingly, the Bank protects its products and services from being involved in allegation of unlawful activities. Hence we  will cooperate fully with all Regulators and Law enforcement Agencies.

“We are of the humble opinion that your client should kindly resolve any outstanding issues with the Law Enforcement Agency and facilitate the removal of the “Post No Debit” on her account with the Bank.

“Litigation against the Bank will therefore not be necessary in the circumstance.”

Posted On Sunday, 27 August 2017 00:23 Written by

Africa Reporters Foundation campaign: Be a good samaritan. Help save this young boy. Donate your widow's mite.


He is just three years old and there is no way anyone, even with a heart of stone, would not melt at the sight of little Godwin Nna. The child who is diagnosed of hydrocephalus (water in the head) has been battling to stay alive for the past two years.

And when our correspondent visited the Akure home of his parents earlier in the week, it was a heart-wrenching sight as the little boy, looking so helpless, lay at one corner of the room while crying intermittently.

According to his father, Godspower Nna, the ailment has made the little boy to be retarded in growth. And to add to that, he doesn’t talk or walk.

Godspower, 26 lamented that the little boy had been taken to various hospitals when the ailment started in 2015 but there was no solution to the problem. He added that the family had spent a lot of money on drugs and operations but there hasn’t been any improvement as the head keeps swelling up.

He said, “The problem started when he was one year old. We just observed that he always had high temperature and was always crying. We thought it was malaria, we gave him malaria drugs, but the problem persisted. So we went to the hospital here, they only prescribed malaria drugs which we gave him but this didn’t help.

“Later, we discovered that his head was swelling every day. We did not know the cause, so we took him to a teaching hospital where series of tests were conducted on him and we were told that he is suffering from a disease called hydrocephalus.

“They told us that there is water in his head and that the water that is supposed to go through his body is stored in the head and that is why the head is swelling up increasingly. We were told that he would undergo surgery and we were asked to pay a sum of N600, 000 for the operation, which we did. We were told by the doctors there that the head would become normal after the operation but unfortunately it was not corrected.”

Godspower who works as a bar attendant in a hotel in Akure further stated that in search for solution to the ailment of his only child, somebody advised him to take the boy to the National Hospital, Abuja , where he went and he was asked to come with a sum of N800,000 for another surgery.

“But we have practically spent all we had when we went to the teaching hospital. Since this sickness started, we have spent over N1m. There is no way we can afford anything else again. We are just begging well meaning Nigerians to help us so that my child doesn’t die.

“They told us that it is only the National Hospital, Abuja that tackles such a case successfully, so we took him there. They too also conducted tests on him and diagnosed hydrocephalus. They said we should come back for the operation with N800,000. I could not go back to the hospital because there is no money again. That is why we are appealing to Nigerians to help us out. This is the only child I have and I don’t want him to die, the head is so heavy that you can’t carry him for five minutes; you will feel the pain because it makes him very heavy.”  

The distraught father gave the account details Nna Blessing, 2082214074 United Bank for Africa, for Nigerians and other good Samaritans who wish to come to their aid. 

PUNCH 

Posted On Saturday, 26 August 2017 10:10 Written by

A coalition of civil society groups on Thursday said they would commence a two-day sit-out to press for the extradition of the former Minister for Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke.

The movement in a statement said the #BringBackDiezani sit-out would hold in front of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission headquarters in Wuse, Abuja on August 28 and 29, 2017.

It was signed by the convener, Charles Oputa (Our Mumu Don Do), Deji Adeyanju (Concerned Nigerians) and Adebayo Raphael, Publicity Secretary, OurMumuDonDo movement. 

The coalition called on the EFCC to apply for the ex-minister’s extradition from the United Kingdom to face prosecution in Nigeria.

It added that the call for Allison-Madueke’s  extradition was informed by her roles in the wanton looting of the nation’s treasury and the failure of the Federal Government to push for her repatriation.

The CSOs noted that a Federal High Court had ordered Allison-Madueke to permanently forfeit several luxury properties in several high brow areas across the country to the FG. 

They said, “It is therefore unimaginable that the Federal Government is not pushing for Mrs Allison-Madueke’s extradition to face punishment for her alleged crimes.

“In the light of this, we will be holding a two-day day sit-out in front of the EFCC Headquarters to demand that the Federal Government applied for her extradition and prosecution in Nigeria. 

“We will also be highlighting the level corruption at the Central Bank of Nigeria.”

The protesters called on Nigerians to participate in the event.

Posted On Friday, 25 August 2017 12:22 Written by

Cristiano Ronaldo was named UEFA Player of the Season for 2016-2017 on Thursday after a campaign which saw the Portuguese superstar help Real Madrid to the La Liga and Champions League double.

It was the third time that Ronaldo had won the award which was presented on the sidelines of the Champions League group stage draw.

His great rival Lionel Messi has won the prize on two occasions and could pave the way for him to capture a fifth Ballon d’Or title.

“There are the same goals every year, to meet the same challenges, win everything if possible, qualify for the World Cup with my national team,” said Ronaldo.

“This trophy will give me the motivation to keep working hard, never to give up. I am blessed and delighted to be with Real Madrid.”

Ronaldo won the UEFA award in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 and in the Champions League last season, where Real defeated Juventus 4-1 in the final, he finished as top scorer with 12 goals.

Juventus goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon was second in the voting ahead of Messi.

Posted On Friday, 25 August 2017 01:16 Written by

THE ASSETS

• 29 terrace houses comprising eight four-bedroom penthouse apartments
•Six three-bedroom apartments
•Two three-bedroom maisonettes
•Two twin bedroom apartments
•One four-bedroom apartment.
•No. 7, Thurnbull Street and 5, Raymond Street, Yaba
•16 four-bedroom terrace houses in Heritage Court Estate, Plot 2C, Omerelu Street, Diobu, GRA Phase 1 Extension, Port Harcourt
•13 three-bedroom terrace houses
•Six flats of three bedrooms and one boys’ quarters each, a lawn tennis court, a gym and “matured garden”.

Court orders forfeiture of mansions valued at N3.3b

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of 56 houses allegedly bought between 2011 and 2013 for $21,982,224 million (N3,320,000,000 billion) by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Justice Abdulaziz Anka, a vacation judge, made the order yesterday following an ex parte application filed on August 16 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Anka authorised the EFCC to appoint a firm to manage the property and gave the respondents 14 days to show cause why the property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

The judge directed the agency to publish the order in any national newspaper and adjourned till September 8.

The application, brought pursuant to section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Fraud related offences Act 2006 and Section 44(2)(k) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) sought a temporary transfer of the property to the Federal Government.

Listed as first to sixth respondents in the suit are Diezani, Donald Chidi Amamgbo and four firms— Chapel Properties Limited, Blue Nile Estate Limited, Azinga Meadows Limited and Vistapoint Property Development Limited.

EFCC counsel Mr. Anselem Ozioko told Justice Anka that Mrs Alison-Madueke paid $16,441,906 (N2.6billion) cash in several tranches and another $5,540318 (N840,000,000) cash for the properties through four “front” firms which held the titles in trust for her.

The firms are Chapel Properties, Blue Nile Estate, Azinga Meadows and Vistapoint Property Development.

Ozioko said the commission had discovered 14 other firms incorporated for the ex-minister for holding the titles to those property.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke, he added, bought the properties from the proceeds of suspected unlawful activity during her tenure as minister.

The properties include 29 terraced houses comprising eight four-bedroom penthouse apartments, six three-bedroom apartments, two three-bedroom maisonettes, two twin bedroom apartments and one four-bedroom apartment.

The houses, located at No. 7, Thurnbull Street and 5, Raymond Street, Yaba, were allegedly bought by Mrs. Alison-Madueke for the US dollar equivalent of N937,000,000 through Chapel Properties Ltd.

Others are 16 four-bedroom terrace houses in Heritage Court Estate, Plot 2C, Omerelu Street, Diobu, Government Residential Area (GRA) Phase 1 extension, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, bought for N928,000,000 through Blue Nile Estate Ltd.

The former minister allegedly bought 13 three-bedroom terrace houses with one-room maid’s quarters ensuite for N650,000,000 through Azinga Meadows Ltd.

The commission also stated that Mrs. Alison-Madueke paid N805,000,000 through Vistapoint Property Development Ltd for six flats of three bedrooms and one boys’ quarters each, a lawn tennis court, a gym and “matured garden”.

According to an affidavit in support of the application by an EFCC investigative officer, Mr Sombori Mayana, the commission got wind of the properties in 2016 following its execution of a search warrant on the office and premises of the former minister’s acquaintance, Mr Donald Chidi Amamgbo.

Mayana said: “…among the documents recovered from the office of Mr Donald Chidi Amamgbo was an undated report titled ‘HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL ATTORNEY WORK PRODUCT – AUGUST REPORT’

“The report contained a list of 18 companies and several properties located in the United Kingdom, Nigeria and the United States of America.

“During the course of his interview, Mr Donald Amamgbo told us that he registered the 18 companies to assist Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke in holding titles of the properties.”

On August 7, Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the permanent forfeiture to the Federal Government of a $37.5million Banana Island property bought in 2013 by the former Petroleum Minister.

The property designated as Building 3, Block B, Bella Vista Plot 1, Zone N, Federal Government Layout, Banana Island Foreshore Estate, consists of 24 apartments, 18 flats and six penthouses.

The judge also ordered that $2,740,197.96 and N84,537,840.70 realised as rent on the property be permanently forfeited to the government.

On August 8, Justice Obiozor ordered Sterling Bank Plc to temporarily forfeit to the Federal Government a sum of N7,646,700,000 said to have been illegally kept in the bank’s custody by Mrs. Alison-Madueke.

He adjourned till August 28, for the bank and any other interested party to appear before him to show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

Also on August 8, The Nation revealed that the EFCC had traced N47.2 billion and $487.5million to the ex-minister.

The agency also claimed that Mrs. Alison-Madueke has N23,446,300,000 and $5milion (about N1.5billion) cash in various banks which are yet to be forfeited.

The commission is also investigating properties in Britain and the United States allegedly purchased with stolen government funds.

Mrs. Alison-Madueke has consistently denied the allegations.

Posted On Wednesday, 23 August 2017 00:18 Written by
My dear citizens,

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against; elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets, kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes, in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of; economic security, political evolution and integration, as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.

Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

Posted On Monday, 21 August 2017 09:53 Written by

Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the country after more than 100 days in the United Kingdom, where he received treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

The presidential jet that brought him touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, where he was received by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, some state governors, police boss Ibrahim Idris and his chief of staff Abba Kyari.

The governors at the airport included Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi, Abubakar Bello of Niger, Neysom Wike of Rivers, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State

The president is expected to speak to “Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 am on Monday, August 21, 2017,” his media adviser Femi Adesina said in a statement on Saturday.

The president left Nigeria on May 7 for London for a second of treatment for an undisclosed ailment, transferring power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lead the most populous African country.

He had earlier left Nigeria on January 19 for London to “undergo routine medical check-ups” during a short holiday. He only returned on March 10 after an extended period of medical treatment.

He tacitly acknowledged that he was very ill, telling his cabinet members that “I couldn’t recall being so sick since I was a young man.” He also said he had “blood transfusions, going to the laboratories and so on and so forth”.

His absence in Nigeria since May 7 has birthed rounds of protests and calls for him to resign. But much like his aides, Buhari has consistently said he would only return to Nigeria on the instruction of his doctors.

Posted On Saturday, 19 August 2017 20:30 Written by
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