Friday, 19 January 2018
Items filtered by date: November 2017

To imagine that Banky W kept this battle away from the public until now.

The artist revealed that he has undergone three successful surgeries to remove tumours from his shoulder, the last of which was carried out in October.

He put up a post on Instagram showing pictures of his surgery scars. 

He wrote:

“A wise man once said this: “Scars. A sign that you had been hurt. A sign that you had been healed.” Scroll through the pictures to see mine.

I’m sharing these because they’re proof of what God has brought me through. And because somewhere out there, I know there’s someone who needs to hear this.

For those who’ve been wondering why I’ve been away so long..I had my 3rd surgery on a rare strain of skin cancer tumours in my shoulder last month. The first 2 times were over 10 yrs ago, then it recently resurfaced. But this isn’t a sad story as much as it is a reminder and a testimony.

A reminder that you should never take life for granted. You only get 1 shot. Some people went to sleep and never woke up. Many others have lost the battle to cancer and other illnesses. Many are still fighting. U never know when your time will be up so don’t waste another minute. It’s also a testimony about the goodness of God. I think I had to go through this again to remember how merciful God is to me; Lord knows I don’t deserve it but He saves me time and again anyway. I keep saying I need to write a book. I really, really do.

The past few weeks of recovery have been tough, but beautiful. I’m finally back on my feet, feeling stronger and ready to get back to life. I’m especially thankful to my Nurse Susu for loving me and being by my side every step of the way – I don’t deserve U ??, my parents & siblings, in-laws & close friends for the love, support and prayers, my Pastors – Pastor Tony Rapu & Pastor Del Balogun of TPH, Pastor Taiwo Odukoya and Pastor Bayo Adeyokunnu – for constantly praying with and for me. And of course to Dr Wodajo & Dr Miralli & their teams – who God used to operate on me successfully.

I’m thankful for life, provision and healing. Pls, don’t feel bad or msg me with any worries. God has done it, just thank Him for me.

The pain will eventually go away but the scar won’t – and I’m glad because it’s a reminder to me of what God has done, and evidence to you of what He CAN do. I’m not stronger or better than anyone. I’m just a living testimony that no matter what u face, U can survive & thrive, by God’s grace.

#TheBankStatements #nowplaying #BlessingMe”

Published in News & Stories

*Prosecution opens case as ex-Minister watches son’s trial

The prosecution in the case involving Shamsudeen, son of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bala opened its case on Thursday with its witness disclosing how the defendant allegedly acquired N1.1billion property through phoney firms.

Led in evidence by the lead prosecuting lawyer, Ben Ikani, the first prosecution witness, Ishaya Dauda (an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) gave details of how investigators unravelled the defendant’s hidden assets.

Dauda said the defendant allegedly paid a total of N1.1bn, with which he was said to have bought various properties in different parts of Abuja.

He said Shasudeen acquired the various houses in the names of different companies. He said investigators discovered the offences allegedly committed by Shamsudeen while investigating his father.

While the witness spoke, the ex-minister, Mohammed, who is also being tried before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gudu, Abuja sat in court on Thursday to witness proceedings in his son’s trial.

The ex-Minister is being tired on a six-count charge in which he was accused of receiving gratification and making false assets declaration of some of his properties.

In his evidence, Dauda told the court that besides the intelligence received on Mohammed, there was additional intelligence received about Shamsudeen’s activities, including how he (Shamsudeen) allegedly used the four companies to acquire the properties.

Dauda also told the court how the investigative team from the EFCC recovered N580,000 and $60,000 from Shamsudeen’s residence while executing a search warrant.

The witness said.”I know the defendant.In the course of investigating a case assigned to me against the former FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, we received additional intelligence concerning purchases of properties by the defendant.

“We received intelligence that the defendant acquired several properties within the FCT. We worked on the intelligence and we have names of the properties acquired through companies.

“The companies are Diakin Telecommunications Ltd, Balbac Minning Nigeria Ltd, Intertrans Logistics Global Nigeria Ltd.

“We extended our investigation to Corporate Affairs Commission. We confirmed that the companies were registered with the CAC.

“We invited the lawyers that registered these companies by name Ishiaku Shuaibu, who confirmed that he registered those companies.

“When we asked Shuaibu how he came about the companies, he informed us that one Abdulahi Sani, a staff with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) gave him the name.

“Abdullahi Sani was invited to our office and was asked about the companies. He (Abdullahi Sani) also informed us that the defendant gave him the names of the companies to register.

“Our investigation was extended to Abuja Investments Development Company, where theGeneral Manager, Dr. Musa Musa, and the company secretary, Salisu Abdusalam, were invited to our office.

“Their statements were taken concerning the purchase of properties by the defendant using Diakin Telecommunications Ltd, Balbac Minning Nigeria Ltd, which they confirmed.

“They said he brought cash to their office. He bought to properties from Abuja Development Investments Company. The properties are located in Apo Area of Abuja

“Another property that was purchased by the defendant is at 7, Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja. He brought cash in company with a lady by name, Maimuna Aliyu Sanda.

“Together, they took this cash to the developer, by name, Farouk Saleh. The cash was in dollars, they told me. But the worth of the property was N210m.

“Another property was purchased at Sunrise Hill, Asokoro. The defendant made lodgment of N80m to the then Managing Director of the company. The MD, Sami Apougaoude, a Lebanese, now late.

“Then the defendant contacted a company, K & K Construction Company, to build the said property.

“He again made a cash lodgment of N100m to Sunrise Hill in error which was then transferred to K &K Construction Company into their Zenith Bank account.

“He then made a cash lodgment of N110m to K& K directly. Again, he made a lodgment of N200m to K and K Construction Company.

“All these lodgments were made in the name of the company Birtrus Agro Allied Limited. The last time he made lodgment to K & K Construction company was N296m,” the witness said.

Dauda said after the payments, in respect of which K&K Construction Company issued receipts, Shamsudeen “transferred all his interests to a company, Intratrans Global Limited.”

The witness said the commission then executed a search warrant at Shamsudeen’s house at 1B, Embu Street, Wuse II, Abuja.

“We recovered the sum of N580,000,0000 and $60,000 (USD). Both sums are with exhibit keeper of the commission,” he said.

Dauda said the investigators later took Shamsudeen to EFCC’s office in Abuja, where he made statements and also completed the commission’s Asset Declaration Form.

Shamsudeen’s statements and the asset declaration form were tendered by the prosecution and were admitted by the court without objection from the defence lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN).

The prosecuting lawyer later objected to an application by Uche that the monies recovered from his client’s house should be returned to him because they did not form part of the charge against him.

Ikani said the monies were related to the case and promised to tender them through the EFCC’s Exhibit Keeper.
Trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dingba adjourned to December 11 for the continuation of proceedings.

Shamsudeen and four companies on a 15-count charge bordering on money laundering and false declaration of assets to the tune of N1,105,719,005.

The companies being tried with the ex-minister’s son are Bird Trust Argo Limited, Intertrans Global Logistics Limited, Diakin Telecommunications Limited and Bal-Vac Mining Nigeria Limited.

Published in Headliners
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 13:38

Kyari, Oyo-Ita reconcile, hug at FEC

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita on Wednesday mended fences.

The duo had hugged while greeting each other just before the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari and commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

When Oyo-Ita arrived at the Council chamber before Kyari, she had also approached Vice President Yemi Osinbajo smiling as she greeted him.

It was reported last Wednesday that hot argument ensued between Oyo-Ita and Kyari at FEC in the presence of Osinbajo before the commencement of last week meeting.

It was suspected that the argument had to do with accusation and counter-accusation over who leaked Oyo-Ita’s report to the President on the reinstatement of the former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The video of their encounter had hit the social media last Wednesday.

The newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha was absent at FEC on Wednesday.

It was gathered that Mustapha traveled out of Abuja.

The immediate acting SGF, Dr. Habiba Lawal, stood in for him.

Published in Headliners

Nigeria has set out its budget for 2018, aimed at helping the economy recover from its first recession in 25 years.

President Muhammadu Buhari announced a record budget of 8.6 trillion naira (£21.4bn) to modernise its infrastructure.

Africa's largest oil producer climbed out of recession in 2017 after a sharp fall in energy prices.

President Buhari pledged to lift output and keep peace in the Niger Delta.

In his speech, he said that the country "cannot afford to go back to dark days of insecurity" in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

However, last week the militant group Niger Delta Avengers said it had ended a ceasefire and promised a "brutish, brutal and bloody" return to violence.

President Buhari said: "Though we cannot control the price of crude oil, we are determined to get our production back to at least 2.2 million barrels per day."

He added: "We will continue our engagement with the communities in the Niger Delta to ensure that there is minimum disruption to oil production.

"We must all come together to ensure peace reigns in the Niger Delta."

The budget for 2018 is 16% higher than the previous year and will focus on critical sectors of the economy such as roads, health, housing and job creation.

The country's deficit is forecast to hit of 2.005 trillion naira, down from last year's 2.36 trillion naira.

Published in Headliners
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 22:15

Father-of-six rapes neighbour’s dog

A 45-year-old man escaped jail after a South African judge gave him a five-year suspended sentence for raping his neighbour’s puppy.

Fanroi Mochachi, a married father-of-six, was caught having sex with his neighbour’s puppy after a child heard the animal howling in a communal garden.

Mochachi was caught having sex with eight-month-old Blackie by her 10-year-old owner and his uncle after they heard the pet’s cries.

He claimed he had caught two dogs mating on his way to a shared toilet and was overcome by temptation, chased the male mutt away and had sex with the female one.

A magistrate, Syta Prinsloo, branded the dad’s disgusting session as “serious, unnatural and barbaric”.

“Worse still is that you are married and a role model to your six children.

“Upsetting is that you will be expected to engage sexually with your wife, how will you explain this to her?”

Mochachi got a suspended five-year jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to bestiality in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The slap-in-the-wrist sentence has, however, spurred a wave of criticism from Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as well as the Women and Men Against Child Abuse.

Both organisations expressed concern about the sentence as Mochachi was now “roaming the streets unchecked”.

They called for harsher sentence “regarding the sexual violation of animals who, like children, are completely helpless to stop such violent attacks on them.”

Published in Headliners
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 01:46

I’m not a beggar, says ailing Sadiq Daba

While it is not in doubt, that veteran broadcaster and actor, Sadiq Daba his seriously ill, it is not clear, if he is in dare need of financial help to foot his medical bills.

After dispelling reports of the severity of his sickness two months back, the Kano-born entertainer became liberal recently, when he admitted being diagnosed with prostate cancer, following the earlier reported case of leukaemia.

Amidst outcry by fans on the social media, asking for financial help for the actor, he told The Nation on Monday that he detests the way the media is reporting his health issue. “I’m not a beggar!” he declared.

Daba, who had earlier rescheduled a chat with the reporter on the excuse that he was on his way to his doctor, said, “I’m alive… I’m about to see the doctor. Call me back anytime in the afternoon.”

Whatever the situation was at the hospital, it was confusing, as his reaction, much later, was of disinterest. Declining any useful comment, he said, in very frail voice, that he didn’t want to be misconstrued as ‘begging Nigerians’ for support.

It took another call for the veteran broadcaster to make it clear that he was not soliciting funds because of his condition, even though he disclosed he is receiving treatment at LASUTH and OAUTH.

“My name is Sadiq Daba,” he introduced himself in a feeble voice when told the purpose of the call was to ascertain his health status.

“And I will never ever be a beggar. The way you people (journalists) are going about my case is as if I’m carrying a bowl in hand, moving around Nigeria, begging people; that I am a destitute. I am not.

“Yes, I have health challenges. Yes, I am sick. So, what is the big deal? The way people are taking it, ‘Sadiq Daba is dying’, ‘Sadiq Daba is doing this.’ I’m a journalist. I’m a broadcaster. There are certain ways you can go about it if you want to help somebody. You do not whip up stories to sell your newspaper because you must sell your papers. If I die today, that’s the end of story. I’m no longer news. It’s because I am sick now that I am news.

“Yes, I have challenges but I am not a destitute. If I have been of relevance to my nation and my nation wants to help, so be it. But I am not going to go out of my way to go cap in hand. That is why when your other friend called (The Nation reporter), I said I’m tired. You’re not the only paper who has called me.

“Yes, I am sick. Will I be the first person to be sick? I’m dealing with Prostate, I’m dealing with leukaemia. That is no news. And by the special grace of God, I’ll get over it. I have that faith that God is in control.”

Daba who is currently holed up in Lagos said he is due to take a test on Friday to determine further treatment options.

“If I leave my house, I go to the hospital,” Daba who starred as Bitrus in the now rested soap opera, ‘Cock Crow At Dawn’ and played a major role in October 1, a film by Kunle Afolayan, said.

“If I’m not in the hospital, I’m in my house. I don’t have the luxury of traversing Nigeria as I used to do. I’m over 60. I’m not a small boy.”

He also disclosed that on Friday, he would be going to the hospital to get a biopsy.

“And that will determine whether I would go for proper surgery or not,” he said.

“It is painful. It has to do with the rectal and all of that. You’re battling with Leukaemia, you’re battling with Prostrate… No bi headache or stomach ache. Those ones, you can take tablets and dem don go one time. Dis one na different situation. To God be the glory sha,” he said.

Published in Arts & Culture
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 00:09

26 Nigerian women found dead at sea

Italian prosecutors are investigating the deaths of 26 Nigerian women – most of them teenagers – whose bodies were recovered at sea.

There are suspicions that they may have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean.

Five migrants are being questioned in the southern port of Salerno.

A Spanish warship, Cantabria, docked there, carrying 375 migrants and the dead women, following several rescues.

Twenty-three of the dead women had been on a rubber boat with 64 other people.

Italian media report that the women’s bodies are being kept in a refrigerated section of the warship. Most of them were aged 14-18.

Most of the 375 survivors brought to Salerno were sub-Saharan Africans, from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Sudan, the daily La Repubblica reports.

Among them were 90 women – eight of them pregnant – and 52 children.

There were also some Libyan men and women on board.

People-smuggling gangs charge each migrant about $6,000 (£4,578) to get to Italy, $4,000 of which is for the trans-Saharan journey to Libya, according to the Italian aid group L’Abbraccio.

Many migrants have reported violence, including torture and sexual abuse, by the gangs.

In the year to 1 November, 150,982 migrants arrived in southern Europe by boat from North Africa, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reports.

Of them, 111,552 (nearly 75%) came via the Central Mediterranean route to Italy. The number who died on that route was 2,639, the IOM says.

The others arrived in Greece, Cyprus or Spain. The total is less than half the 335,158 who arrived in the same period of 2016.

Last year the total for Greece was higher than that for Italy.

Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora Mrs Abike Dabiri said “it is tragic, unfortunate and heartbreaking”.

She said: “We need to step up sensitization and awareness on the dangers of such method of migration.

“The boats being used are now smaller and more dangerous and the people on the other end are not so eager to safe them anymore.

“Don’t forget also, that they pay as much as $4,000 to go on such trips.

“Even if they survive, they only end up as slaves wherever they end up.

“The President Muhammadu Buhari Administration has been working with IOM to bring back volutary returnees.

“About 5,000 were brought back in the last six months, full of regrets and tales of woe that they wished they were never deceived into such trips.

“I condoles with the families of the victims and appeal to our your to stop being victims. It is not worth it, either in the short or long term.”

Published in News & Stories
Monday, 06 November 2017 23:31

Former Kogi gov, Idris Wada in EFCC custody

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday traced N500m to the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada.

The money was said to be part of the N23bn allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, through the then Director of Finance of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation, Senator Nenadi Usman.

It was learnt that Wada arrived the EFCC office around 12pm and was still in custody around 9pm.

Published in Business and Economy
Monday, 06 November 2017 19:39

Mugabe sacks vice president Mnangagwa

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe on Monday fired Emmerson Mnangagwa as vice president, Information Minister Simon Moyo said.

Mnangagwa, a 75-year-old former intelligence chief, has been heavily-criticised by supporters of Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has also been touted as a potential successor to her husband.

Moyo said Mnangagwa had exhibited traits of disloyalty, disrespect and deceitfulness.

Mnangagwa was appointed vice-president in 2014, taking over from Joice Muguru, who was axed after Grace launched a campaign accusing her of plotting to topple the president.

NAN reports that on Oct. 6, Mugabe’s wife accused Mnangagwa of a dark past of clandestine plots, including planning to stage a coup around the time of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980.

“In 1980 this person called Mnangagwa wanted to stage a coup. He wanted to wrestle power from the president.

“He was conspiring with whites. That man is a ravisher,” said Grace.

Inspite of his advanced age and concerns over his health, Mugabe has refused to name a successor.

He has been endorsed as his party’s candidate for next year’s election.

NAN

Published in Headliners

*We’re providing conducive environment for business

•Getting out of recession ‘not a fluke’

President Muhammadu Buhari is not adopting a quick fix approach to the economy, but initiating long-lasting policies, the Federal government has said.

Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed told reporters in Lagos at the weekend that the results of the economic policies of the government would soon begin to germinate in full measure.

The minister said: “This administration’s contract with Nigerians sits on a tripod— The fight against corruption, tackling insecurity and reviving the economy— even our worst critics acknowledge the progress we have made in fighting corruption and tackling insecurity.

“But one area in which they have consistently criticised us is the economy. Right from the inception of this Administration, we chose the path of seeking a lasting solution to the economic crisis plaguing the nation instead of engaging in a quick fix that may attract accolades but will not endure.

“We chose to be painstaking instead of engaging in palliatives.”

The minister added that the “well-thought-out policy, encapsulated in the Administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is working and the results are beginning to show. In September we exited recession and returned to the path of growth, after five consecutive quarters of contraction. Taking Nigeria out of recession did not happen by accident. It was the culmination of months of hard work by the Administration and fidelity to its well-articulated economic policies.

“To show that taking Nigeria out of recession was not a fluke, less than two months after, the country has moved up 24 places, to 145th, in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report. Not only that, for the first time the country is recognised as one of the top 10 most-improved economies in the world.”

Secretary of Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Dr. Jumoke Oduwole said the Federal Government would build on the achievements recorded, especially the enhancement of a conducive environment for business operations.

She said the conducive atmosphere include guaranteed access to credit for Small Scale Businesses (SMEs), construction permits, ease of business registration, ease of tax payment, and promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment.

She said The PEBEC chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo took a significant step towards making it easier for micro, small and medium enterprises to business by approving a 60-day National Action Plan on the ease of doing business for ministries, departments and agencies responsible for their implementation.

The minister said the measure was taken because micro, small and medium scale businesses account for half of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (DGP), adding that they also employ over 80 per cent of the labour force.

Mohammed added: “We look up to these enterprises to provide endless possibilities for economic growth. If the MSMEs blossom, Nigeria’s economy will thrive. We even surpassed our target. We had hoped to move up to 20 places. We beat that by four more to move up to 24 places.”

To boost taxation, the minister said the administration launched the “Nigerian Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to provide time-bound opportunity for tax payers to regularize their tax status and pay tax regularly.

He said if tax payers honestly declare previously undisclosed assets and income, they will benefit from forgiveness of overdue interest and penalties, and be insulated from criminal prosecution for tax offences.

Mohammed added: “As of 31st Oct. 2017, VAIDS has raked in over N200 million and 55 million US dollars. For eight consecutive months, headline inflation has been falling; the foreign exchange reserves are up to $34 billion, from $24 billion a year ago; oil production is at nearly 2 million barrels per day, a significant improvement from 2016 when it was mostly below a million; the value of the Naira in the parallel market has appreciated significantly in recent times against the US dollar, and that at about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.”

The minister said Nigerians will savour a new lease of life, owing to the on-going massive infrastructural development, especially roads, railways and power, adding that food prices tumble and more jobs will be created.

Hailing Nigerians for their patience and belief in the Buhari administration, Mohammed said: “Reviving the economy was never going to be an easy task. It was bound to bring some hardship to our people in the short term. Through it all, the good people of Nigeria have borne the pains with equanimity, based on their unshakable trust in the sincerity, capability and commitment of President Buhari. Now, the soothing balm is here.”

Oduwole reviewed the performance of the economy, based on the World Bank’s reforms in the critical areas of starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit and paying taxes, stressing that Nigeria was on course.

She said: “In the area of company registration, the Corporate Affairs Commission has moved to offer online registration and introduced new features such as electronic stamping of registration documents. Thus, entrepreneurs have been able to register their businesses much faster, within 24-48 hours, thereby saving cost and time

“Getting construction permits and registering property in both Lagos and Kano States have become more transparent and easier for businesses with the online publication of all relevant regulations, fee schedules and pre-application requirements online.

 
Published in Politics
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