Sunday, 19 November 2017
Items filtered by date: January 2017

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Popular money-doubling scheme, Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox (MMM), which resumed activities Jan. 14, 2017, after placing a one-month ban on all withdrawals from Dec. 13, 2016, has succeeded in filling the hearts of Nigerians with joy.

MMM Nigeria investors and participants yesterday organised a get-together to celebrate the return of the Ponzi scheme amidst serious dancing and jubilation.

Following the unfreezing of access to confirmed Mavros, Nigerian participants engaged in serious celebrations over the new development as they couldn’t hide their happiness.

Prior to the unfreezing, many predicted doom while relating the one-month freezing of confirmed Mavros placed on Nigerian participants accounts to similar incidents of fraud in South Africa, Zimbabwe and other countries the scheme had initially being present.

In a Facebook video which has been making waves on the internet, excited participants danced and jubilated in sheer excitement to the new development.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: ABUJA— THE new Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North),  said yesterday, that with his emergence on Tuesday, the animosity which had characterized the 8th Senate, which was inaugurated June 9, 2015 has been nipped in the bud.

Lawan noted that the atmosphere was tensed soon after the emergence of Dr Bukola Saraki as President of the Senate when members of the Senators Unity Forum, SUF, alleged injustice and felt that things must be put in their proper perspective, adding that now that there was compliance, there will be unity and peace in the Senate where the lawmakers will now focus on real legislative activities. Ahmad-Lawan He said: “The 8th Senate started on a shaky foundation. This Senate will end on a solid, stable and successful foundation. On the part of the SUF, we were never personal, we only felt that what ought to have been done was not done and if there is compliance now, there will be no animosity.”

Addressing journalists,  Lawan, who disclosed that he had no knowledge of his party and Senate decision to replace him with the immediate past Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, said what took place was an act of God, just as he called on his colleagues to cooperate with him in his new assignment to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. He further called on his colleagues on the need for collaboration to make life better for Nigerians by improving on security and ensuring economic growth.

The Senate had on Tuesday adopted the change in the leadership of the APC in the red chambers as it affirmed the replacement of Senator Ndume with Senator Lawan as the Senate Majority Leader.


Published in Politics

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: The last may not have been heard about the sack of Mr. Jim Obazee as Executive Secretary of Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN).

Few days after he was removed as the scribe of the body, the Federal Government is considering probing his tenure.

Some other top officials of the council may also be asked to make way  as government  prepares for the overhaul of the parastatal.

The planned reorganisation is a consequence of allegations of wrongdoings  in the establishment.

One of the allegations is that over N1 billion cash of the council, meant for International Financial Reporting Standards Academy (IFRS) is  trapped in a bank, contrary to the decision of the board to invest it in treasury bills.

Investigation revealed that FRCN had been under probe radar since 2014 but the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan did not act.

Some of the other allegations against the council border on curious budget and expenses as follows:

  • Expenditure of  N225 million on the  production of FRC registration certificates which cannot be exhausted in 24 years’ time
  • Acquisition of  a  N47 million mansion in Houston, Texas (suspected as 15918 Mission Village DR Houston Texas 77083) by a top official  of FRCN.
  • Expenditure of N36 million within  60 days in 2014 on local travel to Abuja to probe the books of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under ex-Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
  • Suspicious payment of incidental expenses.

In a particular  curious expense in July 2014, a top official allegedly applied for N736, 250 to go to Abuja for an official assignment.

His memo said: “Please arrange to reimburse me for my trip to Abuja to meet and brief the Permanent Secretary on the activities of the FRC.

“I travelled on Monday, July 14, 2014 and returned to Lagos on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

“Details are as follows: Return ticket (Lagos-Abuja-Lagos) N150,000; Hotel Expenses (N86, 250); Incidental Expenses (N500,000), amount due to me, (N736,250).”

In a similar claim,  the official on August 18, 2014 asked for a reimbursement of  N836, 250 for a trip to Abuja.

The official  had applied for the reimbursement of the cash through a memo addressed to Assistant Director (FIND).

The memo, which was obtained by our correspondent  said: “Please arrange to reimburse me for my trip to Abuja for a meeting to attend the meeting of Heads of Parastatals with the Honourable  Minister at Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on Thursday, August 14, 2014.

“I travelled on Thursday, August 14, 2014 and returned back to Lagos on Friday, August 15, 2014.

“Details are as follows:  (i) Return ticket( Lagos-Abuja-Lagos)—N150,000; (ii) Hotel expenses (N86,250);  and (iii) Incidental expenses (N600,000).

“Amount due to me is N836, 250.”

A top government official said: “There were a lot of issues during the tenure of Obazee which the government will look into.

“There were allegations of mismanagement of funds and  huge incidental expenses incurred by some top officials of the council.

“For instance, it was alleged that about N36 million was spent on local travel to investigate the books of the Central Bank of Nigeria during Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure.

“We have a report on how a top official of FRCN allegedly bought a N47 million mansion in Houston, Texas.

“The council made suspicious payments to  hired consultants, who  were suspected to be proxies for some of its officials.

“Some contracts awarded were questionable. Also, some outrageous allowances were paid outside the approved rates in the civil service. So, we may probe the administration of FCRN anytime from now.

“The probe of Obazee and others will be part of plans to overhaul the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria. The agency stinks  a lot.

“These allegations are not new but the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan did not act on them.

“Actually, a member of the Audit Committee of the former board of FRCN had raised some of these issues, especially on poor management of resources.

“There are allegations that  council did not publish its annual reports for some years contrary to Section 38 of the FRCN Act. This is not in line with international best practices.

“We will ask the new board to restructure the FRCN in a manner that it will disallow a sit-tight syndrome. Until he was removed, Obazee had served as FRCN chief for more than 10 years as Technical Director through CEO in NASB and to the Executive Secretary level.”

The FRCN’s stipulation of a maximum period of 20 years for the heads of all registered churches, mosques, and civil society organizations and its Governance Code 2016 have caused tension in the last few days.

The FRC’s regulations, which had not received final approval, led to  the exit at the weekend of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) General Overseer Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye.

Worried by the religious tension, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sacked Obazee and reconstituted the board of FRC.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, announced the President’s decision.

The statement said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate removal and replacement of the Executive Secretary and the reconstitution of the board of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.

“He has appointed a Chairman and a new Executive Secretary for the council. The new Council as approved by the President has Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman, MFR, as Chairman.

“Mr. Sulaiman was a former Managing Partner/Director of Arthur Anderson and later, Accenture. He is a Chartered Accountant and a product of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School.

“The President has also approved the appointment of Mr. Daniel Asapokhai as the Executive Secretary of the Council. Mr. Asopokhai is a partner and a Financial Reporting Specialist at the Price water House Coopers, Nigeria.”

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM...NIGERIA'S DISCUSSION FORUM: The Supreme Court, on Thursday, granted the request by the Lagos State government to appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal that  discharged and acquitted Major Hamza Al-Mustapha in the alleged murder of the 45-year-old Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the late Chief Moshood Abiola.

The five-member panel of the  apex court, presided over by  the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, in a ruling, granted the request of the Lagos State government to reopen Kudirat’s  murder case against Al-Mustapha,  following a motion argued on its behalf by a senior state counsel in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Oluwayemisi Osusanya.

Onnoghen, in the ruling, ordered the Lagos State government to file its notice of appeal within 30 days.

Al-Mustapha was the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

In the new move to reopen the case, the Lagos State government had sought to file a notice of appeal at the Supreme Court to allow it challenge the Appeal Court’s decision on the ground of miscarriage of justice in the matter.

It justified its lateness in filing the appeal on the ground that it set up two legal teams to review the circumstances of the case and the verdict of the Court of Appeal.

The state government said it took a long time for the two legal teams to present their findings and recommended that an appeal case could be filed and sustained.

The Lagos State government said it would ask the apex court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which had, on July 12, 2013, discharged and acquitted  Al-Mustapha, in the murder case of the late Alhaja Kudirat.

In place of the Appeal Court’s decision, the state government said it would plead with the apex court to uphold and restore the death sentence by hanging placed on Al-Mustapha by a Lagos High Court on January 30, 2012.

Al-Mustapha, alongside  Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan, were sentenced to death on January 30, 2012 by Justice Mojisola Dada for conspiracy in the murder of the late Kudirat who was shot in Lagos on June 4, 1996.

They were arraigned in October 1999 on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and involvement in the murder of the woman.

Justice Dada had found the convicts guilty of the offence and accordingly sentenced them to death by hanging.

However, Al-Mustapha, who was not satisfied with the judgment of the lower court, approached the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal and the appellate court, presided over by Justice Rita Pemu, in her judgment, held that, “the lower court was eager to secure a conviction by all means.”

The appellate court, therefore, discharged and acquitted the duo of conspiracy and murder.

 

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM...CELEBRITIES, ENTERTAINMENT, FASHION & MORE: An oil magnate, Mrs. Ada Ugo-Ndali, fainted in the dock on Friday shortly before she was convicted of a N1.7 billion subsidy fraud by a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.

Justice Lateefat Okunnu found Ugo-Ndali, the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas Limited, and the company Chairman, Mr. Walter Wagbatsoma, guilty of N1.7 billion fuel subsidy fraud charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Delivering judgement in the matter on Friday, the judge discharged and acquitted the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) representative, Fakuade Ebenezer, of forgery allegations.

After reading the judgement, Justice Okunnu stood the matter down for a 15 minutes break for allocutus plea by the convicted persons.

When the judge returned at 1:15 p.m. to hear the defendants plea for mercy, the second defendant, Ugo-Ndagi suddenly slumped and fainted in the dock. 

When the woman was finally revived, she was breathing heavily just as counsels frantically called for medical assistance and ambulance.

She was later assisted out of the court into a waiting black jeep by her lawyers.

The vehicle sped out of the court premises immediately Ugo-Ndagi was brought in.

The development forced Justice Okunnu to adjourn sentencing of the convicts till Monday.

Wagbatsoma, Ugo-Ndagi and the oil company were arraigned on July 7, 2010 for collecting N1.7 billion from the Federal Government as fuel subsidy payable to Ontario Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

They were arranged on an eight -count charge of obtaining money under false pretence from government, forgery and altering of documents.

Published in Parliament
Friday, 13 January 2017 15:55

YES434: Breaking: MMM back with a bang!

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: The popular money-doubling scheme, Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox (MMM), which placed a one-month ban on all withdrawals from Dec. 13, 2016, is back in full force.

In a statement on its official Twitter account on Friday, MMM stated: ”This is to officially inform you that MMM Nigeria is open for business a day earlier than promised! Let’s go there Nigerians’.

Read the full statement below:

MMM returns in full force

MMM Nigeria participants have been patiently and eagerly awaiting the return of the controversial Ponzi scheme and this has witnessed a countdown to January 14, a day believed to be when the scheme would begin operations after the end of the year break.

The Mavrodi Mondial Movement which is a scheme that assures up to 30% interest on money invested, and is very popular in the country with several millions involved in it.

The Ponzi scheme on December 12, 2016, announced a ‘one-month freezing’ of confirmed Mavros, with a promise to upgrade and return three weeks after the ‘freezing’ which is January 14.

The scheme last week introduced the Bitcoin payment as part of its mode of payment in its comeback plans. According to the scheme, the Bitcoin was the world’s best-performing currency in 2016, appreciating by more than 100 percent, from about $400 per bitcoin to over $1,000 per bitcoin.

Prior to the freeze of MMM, participants were allowed to provide help in bitcoin, but they were paid back in naira, this according to the scheme has been reviewed.

In this light, MMM Nigeria participants are currently wishing themselves ‘a happy crossover night’ on social media.

A social media user, Jide Oluseyi while encouraging other participants wrote on Facebook that, “we are waiting for the return of MMM. We will be having a special service to cross over to our new year this night in Ejigbo stadium. Happy cross over night Mavrodians.”

Before the one-month freezing saga, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) had warned Nigerians against participating in the scheme which it described as a “Ponzi”.

The House of Representatives also in October 2016 ordered an investigation into the operations of the scheme.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM...THE E-COMMERCE STORE: The 13th prosecution witness, Joseph Okpetu, told a Federal High Court on Friday that he renovated houses, built churches and mosque for former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh.

Okpetu, in his resumed testimony before Justice Okon Abang, said he constructed Badeh’s Yola mansions worth N150 million between 2008 and 2012.

He said that he was contracted to renovate Badeh’s house, destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in Vimtim village in the Mubi Local Government Area of Adamawa and was paid N50 million.

“I also built a Mosque, renovated three churches and a civic centre meant for skills acquisition and was paid N100 million in three instalments by Air Commodore Yishau.

Okpetu also said his company started dealing with the Nigerian Air Force far back in 2010, and had completed contracts in Kano, Kaduna, Yola, Markurdi and Abuja for the government.

He stressed that out of the N50 million meant for the renovation, he was made to build a house for an officer in-charge of the Joint Task Force.

“I used about N14 million and N15 million on the building of the officer house in Mubi on Badeh’s directive.

“There was no award of contract from either the Army or the Navy for the construction of the house of the Officer-in-Charge,’’ he said.

When asked if he knew the 2nd defendant, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, he said “I don’t know Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, but I was paid N30 million from its account in 2015

“We used the money for clearing of the perimeters in Badeh’s farm and imported materials then planted equipment at Akanciye in Nasarawa State.

“During the tenure of Badeh, I constructed the dining hall of Air Force Comprehensive School, supplied generator and also built in Kano 18 by two, non-commissioned officers’ quarters.

“We drilled borehole also in Makurdi Air Force Base,” Okpetu added.

He further said that the share structure of one of his company Vim Plast Nigeria Limited are, three million naira to Alex Badeh (Jnr), three million naira to Kamtufa Badeh and four million naira to himself (Joseph Okpetu).

He added that it was later changed in 2015 to six million naira to Joseph Okpetu, three million to Kamtufa Badeh, N500,000 to Victoria Okpetu, and N500,000 also to Architect Dan Williams.

He said Kamtufa constructed a house in Kubwa, Abuja, adding that his father gave him the house as a contribution to the company.

Okpetu, who was cross examined by Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), defence counsel, said he was detained and released by EFCC without spending a night.

He also admitted that he was not psychologically stable while writing the statements in the absence of his lawyer.

The witness added that he wrote and signed all statements he made on eight occasions when he was in the custody of the EFCC.

The statements were tendered and admitted in evidence by Justice Abang as exhibit T89-T96, respectively.

Abang also adjourned the matter till Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 for continuation of cross examination.

The EFCC is prosecuting Badeh alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count charge of money laundering bordering on alleged fraudulent removal of about N3.97 billion from the Nigerian Air Force’s account.

The anti-graft agency accused Badeh of using the funds to buy and develop landed assets in Abuja for himself and two sons between January and December, 2013.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM...NIGERIA'S DISCUSSION FORUM

Nigerian soldiers have arrested four fleeing members of the Boko Haram sect with 100 motorcycles.

Army spokesman, Brig.-Gen Sani Usman who disclosed this in a statement, said the fleeing terrorists were arrested on Wednesday afternoon at Madaki village in Biu Local Government Area, Borno State by troops of 27 Task Force Brigade stationed in Bara.

The names of the terrorists were given as Muazu Gogobir, Mamman Shuaibu, Muhammadu Muhammadu and Isah Ibrahim.

They were intercepted along with 100 concealed motorcycles at the outskirt of the town. The suspected Boko Haram terrorists are undergoing preliminary investigation, Sani Stated.

Read Sani’s full statement below.

NIGERIAN TROOPS ARRESTS FLEEING BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS WITH 100 MOTOR BIKES

Following the dislodgement and subsequent occupation of Boko Haram stronghold at Camp Zairo, Sambisa forest, the terrorists have been escaping the theatre to avoid capture and prosecution.

It is in this vein that troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE intensified searches, patrols, raids and mop up operations.

During one of such patrols to Madaki village in Biu Local Government Area, Borno State, troops of 27 Task Force Brigade stationed in Bara arrested 4 suspected fleeing members of Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday afternoon whose names were given as Muazu Gogobir, Mamman Shuaibu, Muhammadu Muhammadu and Isah Ibrahim.

They were intercepted along with 100 concealed motorcycles at the outskirt of the town. The suspected Boko Haram terrorists are undergoing preliminary investigation.

Thank you for your kind cooperation.
Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman
Director Army Public Relations

Published in Headliners
Thursday, 12 January 2017 12:12

X365TV: Mikel debuts for new Chinese club

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM...THE ONLINE TV

Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel made a debut for his Chinese club Tianjin Teda Wednesday in a friendly against Bundesliga side Borussia M’gladbach.

The former Chelsea star showed signs of satisfaction as he posed with his teammates before kickoff. The match which ended 1-2 in favour of the visiting Bundesliga side stood at 1-1 at first half.

The visitors had shot into the lead in the 10th minute before Tianjin Teda hit an equalizer 14 minutes later.

On resumption of the second half however the visitors mounted pressure which earned them a second goal in the 80th minute, and which incidentally marked the last goal of the match.

Ironically the hosts had overwhelming possession of 70% as against 30% possession by the Bundesliga side.

Published in Sports

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM...THE RADIO STATION FOR THE NATION

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Sokoto State Government had spent over N 1.12 billion on the 2016/2017 Anchor Borrowers Wheat Farming Programme, an Official said in Sokoto on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Framework Committee on Agricultural Development in the State, Alhaji Chiso Abdullahi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Abdullahi, a former Deputy Governor of the state, said that out of the amount, the apex bank contributed about N990 million, while the state government provided over N125 million.

According to him, no fewer than 4,305 farmers are benefiting from the gesture for the season that commenced Nov. 2016 and will end in the first week of Feb. 2017.

”The state government had since distributed over 1500 bags of wheat seeds free to the farmers across the state.

”In the same vein, the state government had sold additional 2,094 bags of wheat seeds to the farmers, with each bag bought at N 35,000 and sold at N 18,219.

”The government had also given assorted fertilisers to the farmers at highly subsidised rates as well as other farm inputs,” he said.

The chairman further said that the farmers had been fully trained, while adequate extension officers were provided for them, with each farmer billed to get a package of N 235,000 in cash and kind.

He further stated that both the CBN and the state government have made adequate arrangements to provide all the logistics needed for the success of the programme.

Abdullahi added that the state government has also bought 3,000 water pumps and sold to tomatoes farmers at highly subsidised prices.

He said that each water pump was bought at N42, 000 and sold to the beneficiaries at N10, 000.

”In the same vein, the state government had bought 6,000 bags of fertilisers for sale to the tomatoes farmers at subsidised prices.

” The state government has also concluded arrangements to establish a mini-tomatoes paste production company in the state.

”All these are being done in the bid to have more value addition, reduce poverty and unemployment, curb post-harvest losses and boost food security in the state,” Abdullahi said.

Published in News & Stories
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