Saturday, 24 February 2018
Items filtered by date: March 2017

•Police, fishermen rescue textile merchant duped N18.7m, another woman •It’s now an offence to walk or park cars on bridges-Lagos CP

Less than one week after a medical doctor, Allwell Orji, jumped into the lagoon in Lagos, operatives of the Lagos State Police Command and some fishermen yesterday averted two fresh lagoon suicide cases.

A woman, Abigael Ogunyinka, was rescued by fishermen in the early hours of yesterday in Lagos Lagoon, while another woman, Taiwo Titilayo Momoh, who also attempted to jump into the lagoon from the Third Mainland Bridge at about 11:25 am, was prevented from doing so by operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command.

According to the spokesman of Lagos State Police Command,  Olarinde Famous-Cole, Ogunyinka had attempted to jump into the lagoon at Ebute Ero before she was intercepted by vigilant fishermen.

‘’She explained that she was unable to repay a loan of N150,000 which she took from a microfinance bank and that the bank had been mounting serious pressure on her to defray the money, hence, she decided to take her own life by jumping into the lagoon.

‘’However, given the sensitive nature of the case, we shall investigate her statement and the alleged microfinance bank in order to establish the veracity of her comment.

On her part, Momoh, a 58-year-old textiles dealer on Lagos Island, had put off her shoes and was wrapping her dress around her body when men of RRS 226 intervened in the nick of time and prevented her from jumping into the water.

The woman, who lives in the Lekki area of Lagos, explained that she was pushed to committing suicide in order to put an end to her sleeplessness and shame caused by her indebtedness to three Swiss textile dealers.

She said that her problem started in 2015 when a forex dealer carted away the N18.7 million she wanted to change to pay her foreign creditors.

Her condition, she said, became compounded when robbers invaded her shop on Lagos Island and carted away her goods.

She disclosed that she was haunted at nights by the ‘ghosts’ of  her creditors whenever she was alone.

Momoh, a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, expressed her frustration after she had made fruitless effort to share her plight with the pastor of her parish.

She noted that she was only allowed to see the pastor’s assistant.

She said: “Added to all this, my first son, who I thought would stand by me and console me, abandoned me. By the time I’m gone, maybe he would come around and inherit what is left.

‘’I don’t want to use my debt and death to disturb anybody. I was in the shop this morning. I have looked everywhere and estimated what is there.

‘’I think with my house, a bungalow, those I am leaving behind can still live comfortably. I want to go and meet God. This world is empty. I won’t because I want to get rich join a cult. I go my way and I don’t socialise unnecessarily.”

She added: “I was a Muslim. I have because of this problem been jumping from one faith to the other. The problem is too much for me to bear. I want to go back to God.

‘’That is why I have dressed very simply. I am ready to meet Him. If He cannot address my problem on earth, let me go back to Him.”

Speaking with newsmen at the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) headquarters in Alausa, Ikeja, Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, explained that Momoh was in a taxi heading towards Oworonshoki on Third Mainland Bridge when she told the taxi driver to stop on the bridge.

The woman, according to Owoseni, was about to jump into the water when a police team on a routine patrol on the Third Mainland Bridge sighted her and promptly saved her before she jumped into the lagoon.

“She attempted suicide by attempting to jump into the lagoon around Oworonshoki inward Mainland on Third Mainland Bridge. Unfortunately for her, she was rescued.

“The woman was in a taxi and alighted on the bridge and wanted to commit suicide by jumping into the lagoon.

“The police patrol team sighted her and rushed to rescue her before she jumped into the Lagoon,” he said.

Owoseni said his interactions with the woman revealed that she had depression as a result of unpaid loans, adding that “she is still insisting that she wants to end her life.”

He explained that committing suicide is an offence under the law but that the police would try to talk the woman out of committing suicide.

He said the police would do a medical evaluation on the woman to ascertain her condition.

He explained that the woman would be taken through post-trauma programme to restore her hope and prevent her from committing suicide.

Owoseni lamented the rate at which people commit suicide in the country, describing it as worrisome.

He disclosed that the police had begun patrol of bridges across the state to forestall other cases of suicide.

He also said it has become an offence for individuals to walk on bridges in the state and that no vehicle would be allowed to stop on any bridge in the state henceforth in order to prevent suicide incidents.

“Right now, the woman is still in trauma and she still insists that she wants to end her life,” he said.

The distraught woman, however, warned journalists from taking her photograph as she was being escorted from the RRS office into a waiting police vehicle, saying “I am not a criminal.”

Orji, a medical doctor attached to Papa Ajao branch of Mount Sinai Hospital, Lagos, jumped into the Lagos lagoon on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos on Sunday in circumstances that remain puzzling.

He reportedly ordered his driver to stop at a point on the bridge after receiving a call on his cell phone and proceeded to take the bizarre action.

His body was found after three days of frantic search by a combined team of the Marine Police and officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).

Published in Business and Economy
Saturday, 25 March 2017 02:04

KODUGA: EFCC chair: Buhari sticks with Magu

•President may overrule DSS as agency’s memo to AGF leaks •Anti-Magu Senators plot to Ndume’s suspension

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: There were indications yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari will insist on Mr. Ibrahim Magu becoming the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after the Senate has twice turned down his confirmation.

The President appears set to overrule the Department of State Services (DSS) whose report had said that Magu was not fit for the seat.

The President, it was learnt, will soon make his position on the embattled acting EFCC boss known.

A Presidency source who spoke with our correspondent in confidence yesterday said the President has a soft spot for Magu.

The source, an insider in power politics in the Presidency, said: “Personally, the President prefers Magu and he is standing by him. As at this week, the position of the President has not changed.

“There is no doubt that the President’s advisers have recommended the retention of Magu and he is likely to heed their advice.

“As I am talking to you, there is no fresh security report or any updated information which can make Buhari to turn against Magu. So, he is likely to stand by his letter to the Senate.

“At personal level, Buhari has confided in his key aides that he wants Magu in charge of EFCC.”

Responding to a question, the Presidency source said “the President will soon make his official position known on this matter. He has received a letter from the Senate, and he is studying why Magu was rejected by the chamber.”

Another source said the President might “overrule the DSS, but he will address the crisis of confidence among his strategic aides.”

At press time, it was learnt that the DSS was adamant in its opposition to Magu.

Although a memo on Magu from the DSS to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) leaked to the press yesterday, there were indications that it was part of the plot to stop Buhari from re-nominating the Acting EFCC chair.

In the memo, which Magu had responded to, the DSS attached 12 documents against Magu.

The memo, signed by Folashade Bello for the DG of DSS, said in part: “ I am directed to forward the attached documents in respect of the report earlier dispatched by this Service to the Presidency on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim MAGU.

“They are marked annexures A to L and are highlighted as follows:

  • Annexure ‘A’ – This is a copy of minutes of the 20th Plenary Meeting of the Police Service Commission on 20th December, 2010, chaired by Mr. Parry B. O. OSAYANDE (DIG/Rtd) who was then Chairman of the Commission. The minutes indicate that MAGU was indicted after a disciplinary process and awarded Severe Reprimand for “Action prejudicial to state security, Withholding of EFFC files) Sabotage, Unauthorised removal of EFCC files and Acts unbecoming of a Police Officer.” It is worthy to note here that Severe Reprimand is the second highest punishment to be given to an erring officer, other than compulsory retirement or dismissal from Service.
  • Annexure ‘B’- This is a copy of the confessional statement of Air Commodore Mohammmed UMAR (Rtd), a suspect hitherto detained and currently being prosecuted by the Service. The statement affirms his ownership of Valcour S.A Nigeria Limited, a company awarded the contract of securing and furnishing an official residence for Ibrahim MAGU by the FCTA. Investigation revealed that this was facilitated after MAGU was earlier shown the residence by one Uche ALEKA, a close business associate of UMAR, who was introduced to MAGU by the former.
  • Annexure ‘C’- This is a forged Memo which supposedly originated from the office of the Vice President and addressed to Mr. President. This was recovered from the private residence of UMAR during a search operation by this Service. The document is a request for approval to commence further investigation into financial activities of Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources) Ibe KACHIKWU. Also attached to the Memo are two (2) genuine investigation reports .by EFCC on the Honourable Minister, dated 24th March, 2016 & 13th April, 2016 and duly signed by MAGU. One of the two (2) attachments indicates that the original investigation report earlier was purportedly received in the VP’s office by one Folabo KAY.
  • Annexure ‘D’- This is a letter from the Office of the Vice President affirming that Annexure “C” is a forged document.
  • Annexure ‘E’- This is a copy of Progress report with reference number SH/ COS/ 24/ A/7277 dated 25th May) 2016 on NNPC/ NLG Brass Investment Accounts in Nigerian Commercial Banks from Chief of Staff to Mr. President, Abba KYARI to the Acting EFCC Chairman. The letter is an official/classified document of’ the EFCC which was duly received by the Commission as indicated by the stamp on the document. However, it was recovered at UMAR’s residence.
  • Annexure “F’ – These are photocopies of Managers’ cheques of First Bank PLC and

Zenith Bank PLC) issued in favour of EFCC Recovery Funds Account on 13/05/2016 and 16/05/2016,n respectively. These are all sensitive official documents of the EFCC found in UMAR’s residence during the search.

  • Annexure ‘G’- A classified letter from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to the EFCC Chairman titled Re: Request to Freeze Accounts Messers Bebey: Merchant Ltd and 20 others, dated 7th March, 2016. This document was also duly received by EFCC but found in Commodore UMAR’s house during the search.
  • Annexure ‘H’- A document which emanated from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and addressed to the EFCC Chairman on 6th May, 2016 with the subject, Re: Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries- A case for Joint Venture & NNPC Pension Funds Accounts. The document was recovered at UMAR’s residence.
  • Annexure ‘I’- NNPC Letter GED/ F&A/08.26 dated 5th May, 2016 addressed to the EFCC Chairman and titled Re: Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries. This was also discovered during the search of

UMAR’s residence.

  • Annexure ‘J’- This is a copy of NNPC correspondence with reference number GED/F&A/08.26 dated May 5th, 2016 and titled Re: Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries- Transfer of FCT Balances to NNPC’s TSA Accounts, addressed to the EFCC Chairman. The document was found in UMAR’s residence.
  • xi. Annexure “‘K’ – A copy of an NNPC letter with reference number GED/F&A/08.26 dated May 5th, 2016 and titled Re: Stop Debit on all  NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries- Critical Accounts for immediate operations to the EFCC Chairman. The document was also recovered during the search of UMAR)s house.
  • xii. Annexure ‘L’ Copy of Confessional Statement by UMAR to the Service stating that his trip to Maiduguri for condolence visit to Ibrahim MAGU, sequel to the loss of a close relative, was made on behalf of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Arms Purchase. Cross examination of the Chairman of the Committee, AVM John ODE (Rtd), revealed that the committee did not send any of its members on such an assignment. The visit of UMAR to MAGU is therefore assessed as an expression of their close sinister relationship at the detriment of National Security interests.

In his response to a query by the AGF based on the DSS memo, Magu had, however, faulted all the allegations and the documents.

He said Commodore Mohammed Umar (rtd) never served as a front for him.

He said: “Sir, it is important to situate my relationship with Commodore Mohammed Umar (rtd), in proper perspective.

“Our paths crossed when we became members of the Presidential Committee on the investigation on arms procurement. He was instrumental in getting some of the information that helped the committee to make significant breakthrough in its assignment.

“Beyond that, the relationship between Umar and myself is one of professional acquaintance, devoid of issues of conflict of interest. So, it comes to me with shock, the imputation by the DSS that we have a “mutually beneficial relationship”.

“This appears suggestive that Mohammed and I were involved in activities that could be said to be untoward. I certainly have no knowledge of such activities.

“The claim that EFCC documents, including EFCC letters addressed to the Vice President and being investigation reports on the activities of Emmanuel Kachikwu and his brother Dumebi Kachikwu, were found in his home during a search by the DSS came to me as a surprise.

“ If that is correct, he should be made to disclose how he came by such documents. I never discussed my official duties with him let alone give him documents pertaining to investigations being conducted by the Commission.

“Interestingly, Mohammed was detained for several months by the DSS. In all those months, did he claim that I mandated him to commit any crime or that I was an accomplice to any crime? If there is any such claim, I will wholeheartedly like to be confronted with the allegation.

“It is interesting to note that when Mohammed was eventually charged to court, the charges against him were money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, and nothing related to my purported “shady” relationship with him.”

Magu explained the circumstances in which EFCC files were found in his house after the removal of the pioneer Chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

He said: “It is true that my residence was searched on the orders of Mrs. Farida Waziri, shortly after she succeeded Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as Chairman of the EFCC and some documents relating to cases under investigation were found in my house. At the time of the raid, I was yet to formally hand over to my successor, Umar Sanda, as head of the Economic Governance Unit.

“My schedule at the time warranted that I worked round the clock and it was impossible to conclude all assignments without working at home.

“The documents found in my house were actually found in my office bag where I kept documents relating to investigations. I was in the process of handing over and it would be wrong to suggest that I willfully kept the Commission’s files at home.

“Nevertheless, the incident was thoroughly investigated by the police as I was placed on suspension without pay for 20 months. But in the end, I was reprimanded, recalled and promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police.

“It is important, sir, to draw your attention to the fact that some of us that worked closely with Ribadu were victimised after his exit.

“And my ordeal was orchestrated as punishment for being the chief investigative officer for most of the high profile cases involving politically exposed persons some of whom became very influential in government at the time.

On the N39.8 million apartment rented for him, Magu said it was false that the house was also furnished for N43 million.

He added: “I live in the official residence of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This accommodation, contrary to the report of the DSS, is not my private home, neither was it rented and furnished for me by Commodore Umar Mohammed (rtd).

“It was rented and furnished by the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory through the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, under the safe house scheme.

“It is also false that the house was rented for N20 million per annum and furnished for N43 million. The entire cost for both two-year rent and the furnishing of the house is N39.628 million.

“Details of the transaction are contained in the contract award letter and payment schedule which are attached to this letter.”

He described the two times he flew in a private jet with Air Commodore Mohammed Umar, who was investigated by the DSS, as harmless gestures.

He said: “Honourable Minister, the claim that I have a penchant for expensive air travels in a private jet belonging to Commodore Mohammed is baseless. The two times I can recall travelling in Commodore Umar’s aircraft, were on a trip from Kano to Abuja, and Abuja to Maiduguri.

“In the first instance, I had gone to Kano on an official assignment with two of my directors, and Mohammed who was on his way back to Abuja offered us a ride in his jet. The second occasion was when I was going to see my sick mother in Maiduguri.

“These, for me, were harmless gestures as we were both members of the presidential investigative committee on arms procurement. At the time I had no knowledge that he was under investigation for any alleged crimes.

“Claims that I flew in Mohammed’s jet to Maiduguri in company of the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo, is false.

“I have never flown in a private aircraft with any managing director of any bank let alone one that was under investigation by my agency. I have no personal relationship whatsoever with him.”

Meanwhile, there were indications that some Senators opposed to Magu have initiated a plot to “suspend a former Senate Leader, Sen. Ali Ndume for allegedly backing Magu and raising some observations against the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and  the Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT,  Senator Dino Melaye.

The observations made the Senate to ask its Ethics and Privileges Committee to investigate how the chamber came about a N300 million SUV and the row over Melaye’s graduation from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

A reliable source said: “The anti-Magu Senators are accusing Ndume of acting a script to destabilise the Senate and they are plotting his suspension from the chamber.

“Since the rejection of Magu, there has been cold war between those pro-EFCC chairman and those opposed. Ndume is regarded as the arrowhead of Magu’s sympathisers who are trying to fight the Senate.

“Once the Ethics and Privileges Committee submits its report, Ndume may be suspended for “subversive activities against the Senate.

“But some Senators have asked their colleagues to ‘ignore Ndume’s nuisance’ since his candidate was rejected.”

Published in Headliners

•Facebook stalker, nephew found guilty of ex-general’s daughter’s murder

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: Two of the four men tried for the 2012 murder of a general’s daughter, Cynthia Osokogu, are to pay the supreme price for the offence.

Okwumo Echezona Nwabufo and his nephew  Olisaeloka Ezike are to die by hanging, Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos High Court said yesterday.

Justice Akinlade found them guilty of drugging, chaining and strangling Osokogu, who was a Nasarawa State University post-graduate student, to death at Cosmilla Hotel, Festac Town, Lagos, on July 22, 2012.

Orji Osita, 37, and Ezike Nonso, 29, were discharged and acquitted of the charge of recklessness, negligence and possession of stolen goods.

Osita, a pharmacist, had been accused of supplying Nwabufo with Rophynol, a sedative which was allegedly used on the deceased, without a prescription.

While Nonso was accused of buying her stolen Blackberry phones from Ezike.

Nwabufo, 37, Ezike, 27, Osita and Nonso were arraigned on February 8, 2013, on a six-count charge of conspiracy, murder, stealing, recklessness, negligence and possession of stolen goods.

They pleaded not guilty.

Delivering her judgment which began at 10:53am and ended at about 3:20pm, Justice Akinlade held that the state had proved the counts of conspiracy, murder and stealing beyond reasonable doubt.

She held that with its 10 witnesses and 17 exhibits, the prosecution’s case against Nwabufo and Ezike was uncontroverted and that the circumstantial evidence brought by the state was “cogent, complete, unequivocal and compelling.”

But the judge resolved in Osita and Nonso’s favour, doubts in the prosecution’s evidence against them.

Relying on the witnesses’ testimonies, Nwabufor’s and Ezike’s confessional statements and the circumstantial evidence, Justice Akinlade said: “The court has no doubt that the first and second defendants killed the deceased and if there are contradictions in their case, they are minor contradictions.”

Before passing judgment, the judge asked the defendants if they had anything to say.

Their counsel, Victor Okpara and Emeka Eze pleaded for mercy. Okpara added that Nwabufo was a first time offender who has “tremendous energy to do something worthwhile with his life. I urge this court to grant him a reformative sentence.”

In her response, Justice Akinlade said: “I have listened to the plea of counsel (allocutus). Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State says clearly that a person who commits murder shall be sentenced to death.

“In judgment, justice is required not only for the victim, but also for the society. In their attempt to steal Cynthia’s property, the first and second defendants stole her life. They were not even remorseful. But for the efforts of the police and the Ministry of Justice we wouldn’t have been able to do anything. This court cannot change the law.”

She sentenced Nwabufo and Ezike to 14 years imprisonment for stealing on the first count and three years imprisonment on the two counts of conspiracy to steal and commit murder.

On the second count of murder, Justice Akinlade said: “I pronounce the sentence of this court upon you, Okwumo Echezona Nwabufo and  Olisaeloka Ezike, that both of you be hanged by the neck until you are dead and may God have mercy on your souls.”

In reaching its decision, the court considered, among others, whether the prosecution proved that there was a murder, the cause of death and whether it was the defendant’s actions that led to Osokogu’s death.

The prosecution, the judge said, not only proved beyond reasonable doubts that the deceased died, it also showed that she did not die a natural death and that her death was the direct result of the first two defendants’ action.

She said the witnesses’ testimonies were corroborated by the exhibits, which included the first convict’s laptop containing nude pictures of the deceased and those of other victims.

Nwabufo, who disowned his confessional statement in court, stated that the deceased was his fiancée, adding that he did not know how she died.

He said: “The late Cynthia was my girlfriend; we were close as the way lovers are before they get married.

“I promised her that I would marry her and she accepted but told me it is still early that I should wait till Christmas when I would visit her parents in Delta State.”

But the court held, among others, that his failure to provide basic information about the deceased, such as her hometown, her university and course of study, the date he proposed to her and the fact that he had never met or spoken to her family, suggested that his answers were contrived.

Reading from Nwabufo’s and Ezike’s disowned confessional statements, which were admitted after a trial-within-trial, the judge said it was immaterial whether they intended to kill the deceased or not, because they could be taken to intend the natural consequences of their action.

On Ezike’s statement, the court said: “There is ample evidence that he participated in the crime. He assisted in tying down the deceased. He bought the chain with which the deceased was chained. He acted in concert with the defendant. In such a case, it does not matter who did what.”

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N102.077 billion and $1.79 billion for roads projects across the country and rail project in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola and Minister of FCT, Bello Mohammad, spoke with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

With them at the briefing was Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Fashola said N80 billion was approved for 12 roads and bridges in various states including Taraba, Adamawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu, and Kaduna.

He also said that there was approval of N150.84 million for the engineering and Consultancy design for access road 1 and 2 ?to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State to link the Second Niger Bridge project.

“Subsequent to the award of further works of the Second Niger Bridge we have started work now by this approval on the design of the link road that will connect the two states to the bridge.

“The design is expected to be completed in six months and we will start procurement and as the bridge advances, we can then connect the two states.” he added

Fashola said there were also approvals for power projects?, relating to the extension of the consultancy and project management contract for the Katsina Wind Energy Farm project.

He said: “It was awarded in 2010 and should have been completed in 2013. The expatriate who were implementing it were kidnapped and when he was eventually rescued he never came back and that delayed the project.

“But we have revived the project, a new contracting team is back on site. The contract of the consultants representing us has expired and so we are extending his contract to cover new period of completion.” he said

Another contract on power, which he said was approved by FEC, is the power sector recovery programme.

He said “It’s a programme that comprises many policy actions, operational and financial interventions that needs to be carried out by government to improve transparency, service delivery, performance of DISCOS, Transmissions companies, the entire value change in order to create more viable power sector that is private sector driven.

“Some of the highlights of the programme is how to simplify and reduce the cash deficits that have accumulated ?as a result of previous unilateral reductions of tariff by the last administration during the running of the elections, how to make the DISCOS viable, accountable, responsive to customers, ensure stability of the grid and expansion of the grid and transparency and communication within the sector.

“And also processes for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) debts? and how to improve sector governance, our roles in the business, the quality of personnel on the board of the DISCOS, it addresses access to renewable energy especially in rural areas using mini-grids and stand alone solutions and how we are going to carry out the solutions that have been developed for 37 federal universities and seven tertiary hospitals.

“And how to solve the Niger Delta problem and also how to ensure there is a stable and predictable foreign exchange policy for the sector so that it is somewhat protected from sudden head winds of the volatility of the foreign exchange market so that they can plan and deliver.

“Also how to address the issue of vandalization at consumer and production levels of pipelines and so on as this will help bring confidence to the market and stimulate the appetite that currently exists globally for Nigeria’s power sector.

“We see a lot of people who want to invest but some of them are tied to what other international financial institutions do? and the institutions are also waiting to see us commit to these things.” he said

The FCT Minister said the Council approved three key projects for the FCT.

He said N2.454 billion was approved for 5 kilometre road to link Ring Road III to Wasa Junction with Karshi -Ara-Apo Road.

Approval, he said, was also given for the award of contract for Phase 2 of the Abuja Mass Transit Lot 1B (26.77km) which is from Ring Road I, passing through Area 10 beside Wuse Market, Berger Junction, Jabi Motor Park, through Life Camp to Gwagwa and also covering the remaining part of Lot 1A (5.76km).

He said the contract also included rolling stocks, workshop equipment and three years management contract.

He said that FEC also okayed the$1.79 billion contract awarded to China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) yo be funded by China EXIM Bank.

The Minister said that FEC approved development of infrastructure at Jahi District at the amount of N19.473 billion

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: A man, Taofik Adara, arrested in Badagry on Sunday with female body parts, yesterday said he was paid N4000 by a herbalist to kill the woman.

Adara, alias Kie-Kie, was paraded at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja.

He said he chopped off the woman’s head with a cutlass, while two alfas (Islamic clerics) and a herbalist held her hands.

The victim, he added, had been hypnotised by a native doctor before he killed her.

Adara, 61, said the cutlass used was given to him by the herbalist who hired him.

He said the woman, whose identity was still unknown, was brought to him from Sango Ota, Ogun State by the two alfas who needed fresh human parts to prepare a concoction for their client.

Adara said: “I live at Itoga-Zeba area of Badagry. I am a woodcutter by profession and at times I assist owners of coconut plantation to help pluck coconut.

“The whole drama started on Saturday evening when one of my herbalist friends known as Manase came to me to say that he was expecting two alfas from Sango Ota. He said they would be coming with a lady and that he would pay me N4000 to help butcher the woman. He told me that the two alfas needed some fresh human parts to prepare a concoction for one of their clients.

“True to his words, the two alfas arrived at Itoga on Sunday evening. I noticed that before their arrival the two alfas had used some charms on the lady. She was just obeying their directives without asking any question. I asked her where she came from and she explained that she resided at Ota and that she had gone to seek spiritual help from one of the alfas.

“Around 9am on Sunday we took the lady deep into the forest, close to a river. Manase asked her to kneel and she did. It was while she was still kneeling that I chopped off her head with a sharp cutlass given to me by Manase.”

He likened killing the woman to butchering a ram.

He said after severing the victim’s head from her body, Manase instructed him to hold on to the head, while he (herbalist) removed her heart and two hands.

“Manase told me that the two alfas needed the lady’s head, heart and two hands from the wrist. He then took away the remains of the victim to use on a later day. It was while he was cutting off other essential human parts that a policeman who resides in our area arrived. The police would have arrested four of us if he had not shouted. The three of them took to their heels when they heard the noise.”

Adara said last Sunday’s incident was his second involvement in such act. He said he killed another person about a year ago, adding that the victim was also brought to him by his herbalist friend.

According to him, Manase paid him N8000 for the first job.

“The first victim was also a woman. Manase had agreed to pay me N3000 but those who came for the human parts gave me an additional N5000 making it N8000,” he added.

The suspect, who has two wives and 15 children, begged for forgiveness, stressing that he would feel bad if any member of his family was so treated.

Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni said Adara was being detained at the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID) at Panti, Yaba, Lagos Mainland.

He said all those involved in the Oct would be brought to book.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: Barcelona sensation Neymar has talked up a possible move to Manchester United, insisting that every player would like to work with Jose Mourinho.

The Brazil international has long been linked with a switch to Old Trafford, with newspaper reports in February suggesting that United were ready to launch a £200 million bid.

And Neymar has now opened the door to a possible move to United, insisting that Mourinho’s side are one of the teams that he admires and that “any player” would like to work with the Portuguese.

He told The Sun: “The Premier League is a championship that amazes me.

“I like the playing style and the teams. And who knows, someday, I would like to play at it, yes.

“I admire Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool – these are the teams that are always there fighting.

“And then you have high-level coaches like Mourinho and Guardiola. These are coaches with whom any player would like to work.

“In the Premier League you never know who is going to win or who will be champions, it is always a surprise.

“Leicester are very good. They had a great season last year, they were Premier League champions and therefore we need to respect them if we draw them in the Champions League.”

Neymar has enjoyed a productive 2016-17 campaign with Barca so far, scoring 14 goals in all competitions.

The Catalan club are trailing Real Madrid in the Liga title race by two points, with Zinedine Zidane’s side also having a game in hand over their fierce rivals.

Barca are also in the hunt for Champions League glory, with Neymar having set a record for assists in that particular competition, and will face Juventus in the quarter-finals following a miraculous comeback win over PSG.

Published in Sports

The regulatory bodies in the Nigerian Financial Services Industry have done very well by calling the attention of the public to high-risk investment schemes/proposals and warning that such investments should not be patronised. A very recent example is the scheme with the scary name: Mavrodi Mundial Movement or MMM for short, which hit the Nigerian market a while ago. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) separately warned that the ‘Movement’ was a fraudulent scheme that should not be patronised. MMM was collecting deposits from the public without CBN’s licence; it was an illegal scheme meant to defraud unsuspecting members of the public. The scheme had no known regulators, supervisors and/or monitors. Despite the warnings from recognised financial regulatory/supervisory institutions, many Nigerians, of course, still defied the alarm and invested in the scheme. Today, many are licking their self-inflicted wounds.

According to recent reports, from the NDIC, as many as three million Nigerians lost N18 billion in the MMM scheme. The affected Nigerians now know better and may henceforth find the need to heed official warnings from regulatory and supervisory bodies that, as it were, have vast information, knowledge and experience about goings-on in the economy.

Some years ago, there were similar fraudulent investment schemes in this country. The regulators then warned the public to have nothing to do with the schemes and those who defied the warning still have their unpalatable experiences with them till date. Today, victims know better; if only they had listened to the regulators? But will tomorrow be different? The answer depends on what happens from now onwards; and that brings up the question of why people patronise such schemes as MMM and their diverse variants.

Reasons have been adduced for this: get-rich-quick mentality and making money without work syndromes, poverty, laziness, greed, ignorance, illiteracy, gullibility and ‘investor arrogance.’ In fact, against good counsel, some people would say: “I have the right to invest my money as I deem fit.” Such statements, however, question people’s understanding of the roles and responsibilities of government regulatory bodies in the banking and financial services industry. Apart from regulations, they also have, as primary responsibility, the protection of interests of citizens.

In the final analysis, fraudulent investment schemes have been proven to be against the people that patronise them and the nations they operate in. For sure, Nigerians (three million of them) and Nigeria lost the reported N18 billion to MMM. Those who lost their money are likely to become liabilities to their families, communities and the nation.

Meanwhile, the fraudsters have taken the money elsewhere, denying Nigeria huge investible funds that would have impacted positively on the economy. This means, in our poverty, they have made us poorer. This situation must not be allowed to continue. Therefore, efforts should be made at ensuring that Nigerian citizens do not fall prey again. All government organs charged with protecting the interests of citizens must have their hands on the plough all the time and not some times; the case for consistent and constant awareness creation using multiple channels of communication in the various languages of the Nigerian people, is a sine qua non. Ad-hoc communication to the people of happenings in the economy must end and information dissemination throughout the country should be re-assessed to guarantee it gets to all. Building and developing financial knowledge and literacy of the people should not only commence at the primary school level but efforts in that direction should be fast-tracked and sustained.

Telecommunications and media companies must desist from circulating unauthorised and harmful investment advertorials through their networks. The regulatory bodies in the financial system (CBN, SEC, NDIC, PENCOM, NAICOM, etc) must have adequate market intelligence to know when a ponzi scheme enters the market and nip same in the bud. The regulators should also be proactive in issuing warnings to the populace for effective sensitisation.

Past experiences in ponzi schemes in the country should be thoroughly investigated and recommendations made should be circulated and implemented. The government should find ways to strengthen the weak-links in the economy being used by ponzi schemers to enter the country without being detected until they had inflicted maximum damage. Whistle blowing should be encouraged and promoted to detect early, the entry of financial investment fraudsters. Those who have successfully swindled the Nigerian people via investment schemes should be made to face the laws even as Nigerians are brought back to the consciousness of hard work, dignity of labour and earned income.

The country’s legal and regulatory frameworks should quickly be reviewed to block gaps that make possible the creation, development and importation of ponzi schemes; and finally, citizens must be enlightened to moderate their extra-ordinary profit expectations from investments. They should know that investments that promise extra-ordinary returns are usually encased in extra-ordinary risks.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: Dr Olakunle Churchill, the estranged husband of Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh, has blasted the latter, saying she abuses alcohol, marijuana and is temperamental.

Churchill, a Ghana-based businessman and owner of Big Church Group of companies said this in an interview with Media Room Hub TV published over the weekend.

About a fortnight earlier, Tonto had granted the same station an interview where she lambasted Churchill for domestic violence among other things.
Relaying the incident which happened in Ghana, Churchill said he picked her from the airport a day before her birthday in 2015. However, due to a misunderstanding she spent the night in a hotel. He said Tonto came to his house the next day in the afternoon and “started breaking everything in the house. Luckily for me, I switched off the electric fence wire before I left the house. So, she started from the electric fence.”
Churchill said she destroyed many things in his house.

“There is this thing about my wife. It’s just like crisis. It doesn’t stop for like two, two and half hours. I’m sorry about this but I have to say it.”
Explaining what he means by ‘crisis,’ Churchill said, “she gets too temperamental due to her negative intakes. I don’t know. I don’t want to say anything about that but it got to that point.”

Churchill however, continued and clarified, “alcohol abuse, negative, marijuana, negative, anything that has something to do with drugs. When you’re always on a trip.”

Churchill said her anger erupted as she was rude to the police officials and even spat on one of the police officers.
“When her anger starts, six men can’t hold Tonto down, talk less of me beating Tonto. It’s not possible. She uses everything she has. Everything I have, she destroyed everything to zero.”

Churchill also dismissed as lies that he didn’t buy Tonto luxury gifts, saying he had receipts to everything. Churchill revealed that he met Tonto about two and half years at his brother’s birthday party and they exchanged contacts. He said Tonto got pregnant for him six months later and he decided to marry her.

The couple have a one-year old son named King.
In February, Tonto revealed that there were cracks in her marriage via an open letter on Instagram.

Published in Headliners
Monday, 20 March 2017 03:39

KODUGA: Doctor jumps into Lagos lagoon

•Police lead rescue operation

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: In what appeared to be a suicide, a medical doctor, Allwell Oji, jumped into the Lagos lagoon yesterday. The incident happened at 4:45pm on Third Mainland Bridge when Oji, 35, was on his way to Victoria Island where he was going to attend a Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) meeting.

Oji, who left from his house at Abule Ijesha in Yaba, was said to have told his driver, Henry Ita, to parked his Nissan Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) marked LND476EE at the Adeniji Adele end of the bridge on the excuse that he wanted to pee. As he came down, the doctor was said to have climbed the bridge’s rail guide and jumped into the ocean.

Oji is said to be a staff of the Isolo branch of Mt. (Mount) Sinai Hospital.

A commercial bus passenger, who gave his name as Uche Magnus, said the doctor jumped into the ocean immediately after he came down from his vehicle.

Magnus said: “I saw everything clearly from where I sat in the commercial bus I was in. The man came down from his jeep and jumped into the water instantly. We all screamed and begged the commercial bus driver to stop. I saw the man when he jumped but nobody could identify the spot where he drowned in the ocean.”

In the ensuing confusion, Ita was said to have called Oji’s mother and pastor. Both arrived the scene some 30 minutes after. It was learnt that the sympathisers at scene called the Lagos Police emergency unit, which deployed Rapid Response Squad (RRS) riders and marine police to the scene.

When The Nation got to the scene at 5:30pm, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), RRS Area Alpha Commander and Officer-in-Charge of Marine Police Team were coordinating rescue operation. The response team of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) was also at the scene.

At 5:50pm, Oji’s SUV and his driver were moved to the Adeniji Central Police Station.

When asked to explain how the incident happened, Ita, who was yet to come to terms with the incident, said could not utter a word as he was being led into the DPO’s office. He folded his arms and looked at the floor.

Oji’s mother was restless, as she was being consoled by the pastor. The pastor came out of the DPO’s office to pray beside Oji’s SUV. 

The Nation was not allowed to speak to the driver. At the time of this report, operatives of RRS and Marine Police Unit were still searching for the victim.

General Manager Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Adesina Tiamiyu, confirmed the incident.

He said: “The Agency received a distress call about a man who parked his grey coloured Nissan Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) with registration number LND 476 EE at about 4.50pm today Sunday, (yesterday) around Adekunle, inward Third Mainland Bridge and jumped into the Lagos Lagoon.

“Preliminary investigation at the scene revealed that the man, said to be medical doctor named Orji, was driven by his driver. He suddenly ordered the driver to pull over, got out of the car and suddenly jumped into the water from the bridge.

“The vehicle and the driver have been taken to Adeniji Adele Police Station for further investigation, while effort is on going to recover his body from the Lagoon.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: For attempting to extricate himself from the web of $1.09 billion Malabu oil deal, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has come under scathing attacks from Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose.

Fayose, in his second tirade against Obasanjo in two weeks, described the former President as “the father of corruption in Nigeria who sits on stolen wealth and lacks moral rights to accuse anyone of corruption.”

While challenging Obasanjo to explain to Nigerians his source of “stupendous wealth”, Fayose in a statement yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media, Lere Olayinka, attacked Obasanjo for his alleged “holier-than-thou posture”, grandstanding and pontification on issues of corruption.

The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum claimed that Obasanjo presided over one of the most corrupt administrations in the nation’s history.

He restated his call that the ex-leader should refund the N10 million he (Obasanjo) forced him (Fayose) to donate alongside other 29 governors to his presidential library project in 2005 with interest.

He said: “It smacked of the highest level of hypocrisy for someone like Obasanjo to be sermonizing about corruption, having superintended over a corrupt government himself.

“The former President must come out clean on his roles in the controversial $1.09 billion Malabu Oil deal, instead of warning former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke to stop mentioning his name in the deal.

“It is on record that the out-of-court settlement on the controversial Malabu Oil Block was initiated in 2006 during Obasanjo’s administration. Obasanjo’s accusing anyone of corruption was like “Oyenusi accusing Shina Rambo of armed robbery.

“I challenge the former President to explain to Nigerians the source of his stupendous wealth. We saw how Obasanjo was when he became president and the magnitude of both direct and indirect investments that he has now. Can he in all honesty tell Nigerians that he acquired his wealth through legitimate means?

“Other Nigerians who left offices as President are still relevant to their people, but can the same be said about Obasanjo? Was he useful to the Yoruba race as President and now as former President?

“The bad state that he left major roads linking the Southwest to other zones in Nigeria, especially the Lagos-Ibadan expressway remains a pointer to this. Yet, he goes about postulating as if he is the only honest Nigerians who can make things right in the country.”

Published in Business and Economy
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