Saturday, 23 September 2017
Items filtered by date: December 2016
Monday, 26 December 2016 20:20

X365RADIO: Pop star George Michael is dead


George Michael

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: British singer George Michael, who became one of the pop idols of the 1980s with Wham! and then forged a career as a successful solo artist with sometimes sexually provocative lyrics, died at his home in England on Sunday. He was 53.

In the mid-1980s, “Wham! was one of the most successful pop duos ever, ahead even of Simon & Garfunkel, with singles like “”Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, “”Careless Whisper”, ““Last Christmas” and ““The Edge of Heaven”.

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” his publicist said in a statement.

“The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage,” the statement said.

British police said Michael’s death was “unexplained but not suspicious.”

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou June 25, 1963 in London to Greek Cypriot immigrant parents in a flat above a north London laundrette, Michael once played music on the London underground train system before finding fame with Wham!.

With a school friend, Andrew Ridgeley, he formed Wham! in 1981, a partnership that would produce some of the most memorable pop songs and dance-floor favorites of the 1980s.

“I am in deep shock,” said Elton John. “I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP.”

The duo had their first hit with their second release ““Young Guns (Go For It)” (1982) before their debut release “”Wham Rap” became a hit the following year. The 1984 album “Make It Big” was a huge success in the United States.

““No way could I have done it without Andrew,” Michael once said.

“I can’t think of anybody who would have been so perfect in allowing something which started out as a very naive, joint ambition, to become what was still a huge double act but what was really…mine.”

But Michael was keen to reach beyond Wham!’s teenage audience and to experiment with other genres. Wham! announced their split in 1986.

A pilot solo single “”I Want Your Sex” was banned by daytime radio stations but was one of his biggest hits.

“I want your sex, I want you, I want your sex,” he sang. “So why don’t you just let me go, I’d really like to try, Oh I’d really love to know, When you tell me you’re gonna regret it, Then I tell you that I love you but you still say no!”

In the space of the next five years, Michael had six U.S. Number One hit singles including ““Faith”, ““Father Figure”, ““One More Try”, ““Praying For Time” and a duet with Aretha Franklin ““I Knew You Were Waiting For Me”.

Questions about his sexuality were raised when he was arrested in 1998 for “engaging in a lewd act” in a public restroom of the Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills, California.

“I feel stupid and reckless and weak for letting my sexuality be exposed that way,” Michael told CNN at the time. “But I do not feel shame [about my sexuality], neither do I think I should.”

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: 

Dear Compatriots,

I heartily rejoice with all Nigerians, particularly our Christian brothers and sisters, on this year’s celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

As we celebrate this year’s Christmas, I believe that it is very appropriate for us to reflect on the love of God aptly espoused in the teachings and lifestyle of Jesus Christ.

During his earthly sojourn, Jesus Christ repeatedly reminded his disciples and followers of peace that comes in the midst of trials and tribulations on earth.

There is no better time than now in our nation’s history to pray for divine guidance to get over our current challenges.

We can have peace in Nigeria if we all learn to tolerate and appreciate one another, respect constituted authority; and be our brothers’ keepers in word and deed.

During this period, we should remember to offer special prayers to God for all our heroic citizens who paid the supreme price to restore peace and security in the North East and other flash points in the country. Let us also remember in our prayers the security forces in the frontline in the continuing battle to rid our nation of terrorism and violence.

We must not forget the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in our midst and those who have suffered untold hardship as a result of activities of insurgents and terrorists.

Our immediate priority is to alleviate the poverty of Nigerians by quickly stimulating the economy. I assure Nigerians that our government is doing its best to make life easier for all.

Let us therefore, renew our hope in the God-ordained unity, progress and prosperity of our great nation.

I wish all travellers safe movements and a memorable holiday as we celebrate with our family and friends.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

MUHAMMADU BUHARI
December 25, 2016.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The Federal Government will formally re-open two major roads in Borno later today following the total defeat of Boko Haram in the North-East by the Nigerian military.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this in a statement issued in Abuja.

The roads are the Maiduguri-Gubio-Damasak and the Maiduguri-Mungono-Baga.

Mohammed said that he and the Minister of Defence, Brig.-General Mansir Dan-Ali (Rtd), Service Chiefs, Governor Kashim Shetimma of Borno State and other dignitaries will grace the occasion.

He said the two major roads, which were earlier closed due to the activities of the insurgents in the area, are of strategic importance to the economy of the Lake Chad Region.

The minister said that the dignitaries will later have lunch with the gallant troops who crushed the insurgency.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Abuja commended the troops of the Nigerian Army for crushing Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest.

In a goodwill message to troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole on the successful capture of the Boko Haram enclave in Sambisa forest, Buhari expressed delight, saying he was proud of the troops.

He said: “I am delighted at, and most proud of the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, on receipt of the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest.

“I want to use this opportunity to commend the determination, courage and resilience of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole at finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at Camp Zero, which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa forest.

“I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the Camp fell at about 1:35 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide. I urge you to maintain the tempo by pursuing them and bringing them to justice.’’

The president, therefore, called on all Nigerians to cooperate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies by providing useful information that would expose all the terrorists hiding among the populace.

He, however, urged the troops to further intensify their efforts toward liberating the remaining Chibok girls still in captivity.

Buhari also congratulated and commended “the able leadership of the Nigerian Army in particular and indeed, that of the Armed Forces in general, for making this possible.

“This, no doubt, will go a long way in improving the security situation not only in the North East and the country in general. But we must not let our guards down.

“Once more, congratulations to our troops and all who, in one way or the other, contributed to this most commendable and momentous effort. May the Almighty continue to be with you.

“I wish you a merry Christmas and a most rewarding, peaceful 2017.’’

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Abuja commended the troops of the Nigerian Army for crushing Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest.

In a goodwill message to troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole on the successful capture of the Boko Haram enclave in Sambisa forest, Buhari expressed delight, saying he was proud of the troops.

He said: “I am delighted at, and most proud of the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army, on receipt of the long-awaited and most gratifying news of the final crushing of Boko Haram terrorists in their last enclave in Sambisa forest.

“I want to use this opportunity to commend the determination, courage and resilience of troops of Operation Lafiya Dole at finally entering and crushing the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents at Camp Zero, which is located deep within the heart of Sambisa forest.

“I was told by the Chief of Army Staff that the Camp fell at about 1:35 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, and that the terrorists are on the run, and no longer have a place to hide. I urge you to maintain the tempo by pursuing them and bringing them to justice.’’

The president, therefore, called on all Nigerians to cooperate and support the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies by providing useful information that would expose all the terrorists hiding among the populace.

He, however, urged the troops to further intensify their efforts toward liberating the remaining Chibok girls still in captivity.

Buhari also congratulated and commended “the able leadership of the Nigerian Army in particular and indeed, that of the Armed Forces in general, for making this possible.

“This, no doubt, will go a long way in improving the security situation not only in the North East and the country in general. But we must not let our guards down.

“Once more, congratulations to our troops and all who, in one way or the other, contributed to this most commendable and momentous effort. May the Almighty continue to be with you.

“I wish you a merry Christmas and a most rewarding, peaceful 2017.’’

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Federal High Court Lagos has freezed all the bank accounts of former First Lady Patience Jonathan suspected to be proceeds from crime.

One of the account, domiciled with Skye Bank plc, has a balance of $5,316.66.

The presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, while granting the order freezing the accounts ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to file an undertaking in relation to damages payable by it if it turns out that the order should not have been made.

This is sequel to a further affidavit in support of Ex-parte originating summons sworn to by Mr. Abdulahi Tukur, an EFCC operative and filed before the court by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo requesting the court to urgently direct the managers of the bank accounts contained in the schedule filed with the summons (FHC/L/CS/1343/16) to, in the interim, forfeit the money in the accounts, to prevent further tampering with such.

Also affected by the order are five companies which are Finchley Top Homes Limited, Aribawa Aruera, Magel Resort Limited, AM -PM Global Network Limited Pansy Oil and Gas Limited.

Finchley Top Homes Limited is alleged to have fraudulently open account number 1102001996 domiciled with Ecobank Plc and has a current balance of N226,376,700.23 and a fixed deposit with a balance of N1,099,511,484.88.

The company also fraudulently opened other accounts. These are account 1771731336, domiciled with Skye Bank and with a current balance of N14,173,848.85; Fidelity Bank account 4011019539 with a current balance of N1,800,494,000; Stanbic Bank account 0016901361 with a current balance of N40,594,12.88; and Diamond Bank account 0019213687 with a current balance of N39,418,712.12. Aribawa Aruera Reachout Foundation opened account number 1222014221 with Ecobank and has a closing balance of N479,893,431.01, while Magel Resort Limited accounts (4011019546/5250059782) with Fidelity Bank has a subsisting balance of N1,000,494,000. The company also operates two other accounts (1011744356) in Zenith Bank, which has a balance of N858,923,982, and 0024351590 with Diamond Bank and has a balance of N174,166,207.00. AM-PM Global Network Limited opened account number 0026718889 at Diamond Bank and has a balance of N7,213,303.50.

The account opened by Pansy Oil and Gas Limited at Fidelity Bank (4011019577) has a current balance of N1,809,666,494.68, while that at Diamond Bank (0026838491) has a balance of N55,930,024.50.

Also affected is one Esther Oba. Esther Oba has a balance of $429,381.87 in her account while the companies collectively havea balances totaling N7,418,829,290.94 (seven billion four hundred and eighteen million eight hundred and twenty nine thousand two hundred and ninety naira ninety four kobo) in six commercial banks.

Esther Oba was found to have opened account number 0019213689 with Diamond Bank and has a current balance of $429,381.87.

The EFCC said it carried out analyses after receiving an intelligence report, which showed that the accounts ought to be investigated. As such, Mr. Tukur averred that it would serve the course of justice to grant the application for such.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Friday said all passengers have been released from a hijacked Libyan plane in Malta, the Maltese state broadcaster reports.

There are 111 passengers and seven crew members on board the Afriqiyah Airways A320 jet that was on an internal flight from Sebha to Tripoli in Libya but was forced to divert to the Mediterranean island of Malta.

Muscat said that the crew members were also in the process of being freed.

“Potentially 2 hijackers and some crew members still on board aircraft,” he explained.

The first of 65 passengers released were made up of women and children.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Lagos- Some Nigerians on Thursday expressed displeasure with the celebration of the release of James Ibori, a former Delta Governor, from a prison in London. They said in Lagos that such celebration was condemnable, unfortunate and uncalled for.

The former governor of Delta was on Wednesday released from prison in London, U.K. Ibori was jailed in 2012, two years after he was arrested by the Interpol in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where he was hiding after fleeing Nigeria. Ibori after his release from prison in the United Kingdom He was sentenced to 13 years in prison by Southwark Crown Court on April 17, 2012 after pleading guilty to 10-count charge of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud. In spite of his guilty plea and conviction for corruption, his kinsmen at Oghara and other Urhobo communities in the Delta, however, turned the affair to a carnival as they lined up major streets dancing. There was wild jubilation in Delta following the news of the release of the former governor.

A retired teacher, Mr Augustine, said it was unfortunate that some Nigerians celebrated criminals and those who contributed to the bad situation of the country. “It’s a shame that we are celebrating those who had contributed the increased unemployment rate in the country, lack of healthcare services, dwindling standard of education and failed democracy among other challenges. “Until we start to change our ways and mindset, we will continue to wallow in our problems in the nation,’’ Igwe said.

In his views, Mr Sesan Adeleye, a businessman, said such jubilation showed that politicians had successfully brainwashed some citizens with ill-gotten wealth. “The problem of some Nigerians is a clear case of poverty of the mind. We value wealth so much. They are not even bothered about why he went to prison. “They are already waiting for him to come back so that he can continue to distribute ill-gotten money to them. “They don’t even care that the money stolen was meant for their welfare and development,’’ he said.

Also, Dr Edewede Iyamu, a private physician, told NAN that the celebration over Ibori’s release was uncalled for as he also contributed to the pervasively poor and under developed state of the Niger Delta. “Those from Niger Delta continue to blame the Federal Government for the challenges confronting their region, whereas, people like Ibori should be held responsible. “It is sad that people from that region are now celebrating him,’’ she said.

A Lagos-based legal practitioner, Mr Adekunle Aribisala, said something must be done to stop the celebration of criminality in the country as it was becoming rampant. Aribisala also expressed worry that it would not be easy for the Western community to release the money in question — 18 million Pounds — to the Nigerian government. “We had the same situation when Chief Bode George and Mr Hamza Al-Mustapha were released too, now it’s Ibori. I feel really ashamed as a Nigerian. “We do not need people like that in our society any longer. They need to be isolated so they don’t corrupt more people,’’ he said.

In her opinion, Alhaja Aishe Jelil, a civil servant, said the future of the youth who were being used by politicians called for concern. “We seem to have lost our values in this society, I wonder what the future holds for our future generations. They are celebrating Ibori because they consider him a hero and a role mode,’’ she said.


Published in Headliners
Thursday, 22 December 2016 02:55

X365TV: James Ibori out of prison

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: Former Governor James Ibori of Delta State has been released from prison in the United Kingdom.

Reports say he was released on Tuesday, having agreed to be deported after serving half of his 13-year prison sentence.

But it has now emerged that the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd did not intend to deport Ibori to Nigeria until he handed over £18 million of “proceeds of crime.”

A High Court judge said attempts to detain him were “quite extraordinary.”

Ordering Ibori to be immediately freed from prison, Mrs Justice May said: “You don’t hold someone just because it is convenient to do so and without plans to deport them.”

A Home Office application that Ibori be electronically tagged and subjected to strict curfew conditions was also rejected.

The judge accepted arguments that the home secretary was attempting to misuse her immigration and deportation powers.

Ibori, a former London store cashier, was jailed for fraud totalling nearly £50 million in April 2012.

He evaded capture in Nigeria after a mob of supporters attacked police but was arrested in Dubai in 2010 and extradited to the UK, where he was prosecuted based on evidence from the Metropolitan Police.

On Wednesday, the Home Office’s barrister said the government was concerned that Ibori might “frustrate confiscation proceedings” and wanted him kept in jail or subjected to strict controls on his movement.

But it emerged in court that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which is pursuing the confiscation proceedings, was “neutral” about Ibori’s release and possible deportation.

Ian MacDonald, QC, representing Ibori, said: “The Secretary of State has taken it upon herself. There is no objection from (the CPS) for release.

“This is extraordinary”, Mrs Justice May said. They (the CPS) don’t care.

“Why doesn’t the Secretary of State just send him back?” she asked. “He wants to go. She wants him to go.”

The conviction of James Ibori followed a government anti-corruption campaign led by the Department for International Development (DfID) 10 years ago.

In court on Wednesday, Ibori’s barrister, Ivan Krolic, explained how another defendant in the fraud case had appealed against conviction on the grounds that “police officers in the investigations had been corrupt.”

“The Court of Appeal rejected that after counsel for the Crown indicated that there was nothing to support the allegation”, Mr Krolic explained.

Ordering Ibori’s release, Justice May said: “The Secretary of State appears to have taken it upon herself that Ibori does remain in this country, in apparent contradiction of the order served earlier this year to deport him.

“The position of the Secretary of State, as very candidly set out by Birdling (representing the home secretary), is that she accepts that there is an argument that she has no power to detain him.

“I have decided that the balance of convenience falls heavily in favour of his immediate release. I am not prepared to impose conditions involving tagging or curfews.”

The judge said the matter of Ibori’s deportation should be heard before the end of January.

Ogara, the home town of Ibori, has been agog over his release.

A source close to the flamboyant politician, who remained a political force in his native Delta state throughout his years of travail, however, said it was not comprehensible whether Ibori would fly to Nigeria.

“This is in view of legal proceedings concerning the confiscation of his assets worth tens of millions of dollars, still up in the air.’’

Ibori, who ruled Delta from 1999-2007 was one of the most influential governors during his time and he established a political dynasty that produced his successor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and the incumbent Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa.

Despite the legal entanglements and the prospect of Ibori taking his case to the Court of Appeal, the mood among his kinsmen and politicians in the state, especially Peoples Democratic Party faithful is that he should return.

Reports say Oghara is wearing a new look with banners bearing pictures of the ex-governor strategically displayed at different roundabouts within the town.

Associates and loyalists are also catching up on the event to pledge their loyalty to Ibori as they adorn the banners with their pictures side by side the former governor.

Some of the banners, which were placed at the Market Roundabout, Ibori Roundabout and entrance of Oghara, have inscriptions such as: “Welcome back home, our national leader”, “The political messiah and his kinsmen” and “The resource control living legend.

“His ordeal, God’s plan to fortify him.’’

Former DESOPADEC Commissioner representing Ethiope West, Sapele and Okpe, Henry Ofa, told Vanguard: “Without trying to be immodest, the world knows that there is great expectation in Oghara.

“Since he left, there had been lots of misgivings and backwardness in the area in the hope that when he arrives, so many things would change positively.”

“We are prepared to follow him and we are convinced that he is going to lead us to the Promised Land’’, some of his followers told Journalists.

“We have the belief that there is a plan for him by God,” Ofa, a key loyalist said.

Published in Business and Economy
Thursday, 22 December 2016 02:45

BUY656: Ibori released from UK prison

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: Former governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori has been released from UK jail where he was sentenced for 13 years for corruption.

He was released after serving half of his term in prison after agreeing to be deported to Nigeria.

Here are the first pictures of the former governor after his release from prison, courtesy Vanguard newspapers.

Ibori after his release from prison

Ibori after his release from prison

Ibori after his release from UK prison

Published in Headliners
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