Saturday, 24 February 2018
Items filtered by date: December 2016

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: The Ondo State governor-elect, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, on Wednesday, said he did not acknowledge a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in his victory speech on Sunday because it was not expedient to do so.

He said having acknowledged President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the recognised national leader of the party, and the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, it was safe to infer that he had acknowledged all the party’s leaders.

Akeredolu said this while answering State House correspondents’ questions shortly after he and his deputy, Mr. Agboola Ajayi, met Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

They were led to the meeting, which was their first after their victory, by the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Campaign Council in Ondo State, Governor Simon Lalong.

The governor-elect, who said the relationship between him and Tinubu was cordial, explained that mentioning the name of the former Lagos State governor specifically would have amounted to him mentioning the names of about 37 other leaders of the party.

He said, “On the names that were mentioned in my speech when expressing gratitude and that I didn’t specifically thank Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I thanked the President and the leader of our party profusely for the leadership which he showed leading to this election.

“I also thanked our indefatigable chairman for standing by the truth and for his position on this matter that led to this election. I have no reason to do otherwise.

“Party structure, to the best of my knowledge, is very clear. You have the leadership of the party and that is represented by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

“After an election, a chief executive emerges, he becomes a leader of the party, you don’t have to personalise and be looking for leaders all over the place.

“If we have to do that, then I will have to mention 36 or 37 leaders. So, I believe the leadership as represented by the President covers all leaders and that tells me it would include Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it would include even Baba Akande, (Ogbonnaya) Onu, and so many leaders.

“But President Buhari is the leader of the party. So, that is my position there.”

Akeredolu, however, added that Tinubu remained one of the leaders of the party, noting that he (Tinubu) had since sent congratulatory message to him after he won the election.

“For me, as a person, I believe he is one of the leaders of the party and I don’t see any strained relationship between us. And you would observe that he has sent in his congratulatory message after the election, so what else do you expect?

“I mean all of us see this as a victory for the APC, not for Akeredolu, not for us an individual but for the party as a whole. I believe he is a member of the party. Mr. Femi Adesina had issued a release but you journalists just want to put words into our mouths,” he said.

Akeredolu also said despite his decision not to probe the administration of the outgoing governor, Olusegun Mimiko, he would not close his eyes if he stumbled upon established cases of wrongdoing in the course of carrying out his responsibilities as governor.

He explained that what he said on the matter was that he would not deliberately go out to probe Mimiko’s administration.

He said, “At the centre, the government of President Buhari said we must look back in order to move forward, he has been there for over a year now, has he instituted a probe?

“Looking back is not a probe and I maintain that I will not probe any administration. This is responsible leadership and I am elected to lead the people.

“The task ahead of us is enormous than for us to start instituting probes. My own is not to institute any probe against the last administration and that is what President Buhari has done.

“But if we find out that wrongs were committed, we have enough laws of the land to take care of people who have committed wrongs.

“As we start our work, as we go ahead, if there is any semblance of ‘Dasukigate’ in the state, the law will take its course. That is different from probing. We will follow what Mr. President is doing at the centre.”

The governor-elect also promised to implement his manifesto in line with the reality on the ground.

That, he said, did not mean that he would not deliver on all the five cardinal programmes he promised the people.

On Senator Yele Omogunwa who left the PDP for the APC, Akeredolu said the lawmaker had joined his campaign trail and that he only formalised his defection on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

He said it would have been wrong for the lawmaker to remain in a factionalised party like the PDP.

Lalong had earlier said that he was in the Presidential Villa to present the governor-elect and his deputy to the President.

He said he would also be visiting the national headquarters of the APC to do the same thing to party leaders.

The governor-elect again said the APC was not responsible for the confusion over the candidacy of the PDP ahead of the election.

He said, “It was not the APC that went to court neither was it the APC that gave the judgment, all we saw was friction or conflict between the PDP and the PDP.

“If that judgment was going to help the APC, so be it. But we were not parties to the case for somebody to even assume that the APC was responsible for denying somebody.

“The APC is not the court; the court is a separate arm. I am saying that as far as we are concerned, the APC was not responsible for denying anybody the right to contest that election.”

Meanwhile, Akeredolu on Wednesday pledged his loyalty to Odigie-Oyegun, whom he said he owed a debt of gratitude.

Akeredolu said this at the APC national headquarters, Abuja, where he presented his certificate of return to the leadership of the party.

Akeredolu also promised to work towards ensuring that the party repeats the same feat during the next governorship election in neighbouring Ekiti State.

He said, “I owe you, my national chairman, a lot. You have done well, I will be loyal. I remember during my campaigns; I said that immediately we win Ondo, we will move en mass to win Ekiti.”

Responding, Odigie-Oyegun urged the governor-elect to ensure prompt payment of outstanding workers’ salaries as soon as he resumes duty.

Odigie-Oyegun said, “People who work deserve their pay and I hope that would be your first priority.”


Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: The Court of Appeal, Lagos has set aside the ruling of a Federal High Court that cleared former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, of money laundering charges.

The appellate court in a unanimous judgment set aside the verdict of the trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba, holding that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had made out a prima facie case against the accused.

In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Biobela Georgewill, the court also ordered that trial should start ‘de novo’ (afresh) before another judge other than Justice Buba, in the light of the far-reaching findings already made by him.

Other members of the three-man panel include Justice Side Bage and Justice Ugochukwu Ogakwu.

Justice Buba had on September 26, 2014, discharged Ikuforiji and Atoyebi of a 56-count charge of conspiracy and laundering the sum of N500 million belonging to the Assembly.

The offences, according to the EFCC, contravenes the provisions of Sections 15 (1d) and 16(1d) of Money Laundering Act, MLA, 2004 and 2011.

The trial Judge, who discharged the Speaker and Atoyebi, while ruling on a no-case submission filed by the accused persons held that the EFCC failed to establish a prima-facie case against them.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC through its counsel, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) filed the Notice of Appeal dated Sep. 30, 2014.

Obla asked the Court of Appeal to hold that Justice Buba erred in law when he held that counts two to 48 were incompetent because they were filed pursuant to Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 which was repealed by an Act in 2011.

The EFCC further argued that the lower court erred in law when it held that the provisions of Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and 2011 only applied to natural persons and corporate bodies other than government.

The commission also submitted that the trial judge erred in law when he held and concluded that the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses supported the innocence of the respondents.

Justice Georgewill in his lead judgment held that the offences created by Section 1 of the MLA 2004 and 2011 respectively were strict liability offences.

The judge also said that their proof does not depend on the purposes the money was used for if the amount was above the threshold stipulated by law.

“Regrettably, the court below went on a voyage of its own, discussing cash payment of million made to the Super Eagles in Brazil, even without any scintilla of evidence before it, instead of remaining focused on the issue at hand.

“Does the fact that all persons likely to have committed a particular alleged offence have not been prosecuted become a reason for the court to decline jurisdiction of one of them being prosecuted? certainly not.

”I consider many of the issues raised so randomly by the court below as irrelevant and inconsequential to the just determination of the question before it, which is, whether the appellant made out a prima facie case.

“Very worrisome to me is the attitude of the court below, considering between the decision of this court and its own decision on which one to follow, even when its attention was called to the decision of this court.

“I find this attitude quite bizarre and not in sync with judicial attitude toward the time honoured doctrine of stare decisis. It is pure rascality, impertinence and disregard for judicial hierarchy in this country.

“In light of my finding above, I have no difficulty resolving the sole issue for determination in the negative against the respondents in favour of the appellant.

“I hold firmly therefore, that the appeal has merit and ought to be allowed; the ruling of the lower court is hereby set aside,” Justice Georgewill held.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: Southampton progressed to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup for the first time since 1987 thanks to a convincing victory over a below-par and under-strength Arsenal.

Goals from Jordy Clasie – his first for the club – and Ryan Bertrand secured victory for a Southampton side which inflicted a first defeat on the Gunners since the opening day of the season.

Manager Arsene Wenger, who has never won this competition during his 20-year reign in north London, had made 10 changes to the Arsenal team which beat Bournemouth 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday and paid the price.

In Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Mohamed Elneny, the Gunners had Premier League regulars in their starting line-up but without Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil the Gunners lacked guile and bite.

Southampton, who had only won once in their last 23 visits to Arsenal, deserved the victory and join Liverpool and Hull in the last four.

A minute’s silence was held at Emirates Stadium in memory of those who had lost their lives in the Colombian plane crash

During his tenure as Arsenal manager, Wenger has regularly used the League Cup as an opportunity to give those on the fringes of the first team an opportunity to play, and that perhaps explains why the Gunners have won only one of their last six quarter-finals in the competition.

The majority of Wednesday’s starting line-up had defeated Nottingham Forest and Reading this season, but Southampton were a different prospect – a Premier League side with a game plan and nous.

Arsenal’s £17m summer signing Lucas Perez started for the first time since the 2-0 win over Reading on 25 October, but was a peripheral figure as he and his team-mates lacked energy and urgency, especially in the first half.

Before the match, Wenger had said he hoped the victory over Bournemouth, which came following three successive league draws, would make his team more relaxed.

But while the Gunners marginally improved after the break – the introduction of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain adding pace – other than a long-distance strike from Ramsey and a second-half chance which fell to Oxlade-Chamberlain, the hosts did not threaten.


Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Manchester United eased into the EFL Cup semi-finals as they beat West Ham with manager Jose Mourinho watching from the Old Trafford stands.

The Portuguese, given a one-match touchline ban before the match, stayed out of view as United reached the last four for the first time since 2013-14.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic clipped in the opening goal inside two minutes before former United youngster Ashley Fletcher equalised as he pounced on David de Gea’s error.

Martial re-established the home side’s lead shortly after half-time, drilling Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s pass low into the bottom corner.

The France international stroked in Antonio Valencia’s low cross after a well-worked team move, with Ibrahimovic adding the gloss by tapping in with virtually the last kick of the game.

Wherever United manager Mourinho was – likely to be inside his office – he will have been pleased with his side’s fluent attacking display, and even happy enough to bring substitute Bastian Schweinsteiger on for his first game since March.

Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: Zinedine Zidane’s son Enzo scored 18 minutes into his Real Madrid debut – with his first shot for the club.

The 21-year-old midfielder was brought on by his father, the Madrid coach, at half-time in their Copa del Rey victory over Cultural Leonesa at the Bernabeu.

Madrid won the tie 6-1, beating their third-tier opponents 13-2 on aggregate to reach the competition’s last 16.

Norwegian teenager Martin Odegaard, who signed as a 16-year-old in January 2015, also made his full debut.

Former France midfielder Zidane senior, 44, played 227 matches for Real after joining from Juventus for a then-world record £45.8m in July 2001, famously scoring their winner in the 2002 Champions League final.

Enzo, the eldest of Zidane’s four sons, made almost 50 appearances for Madrid’s reserve team before being given his senior debut.

Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: Manchester United will play Hull in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup, while Liverpool will take on Southampton.

United, who beat West Ham 4-1 in the last eight, will play the first leg of their semi-final at Old Trafford.

Southampton, comfortable winners over Arsenal on Wednesday, will host in-form Liverpool at St Mary’s before the return leg at Anfield.

The two-legged semi-final ties will be played in the weeks commencing 9 and 23 January 2017.

Published in Sports
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