Monday, 25 September 2017
Barely two weeks after the signing of six agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Federal Government has initiated moves to seize assets of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and four others in Dubai.

The others are: a former Managing Director of the defunct  Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed and his son, Shamsudeen.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has traced eight choice assets to Mrs. Ibru and two to Mrs. Diezani.

Although the ex-FCT Minister and his son are on the Federal Government’s list, their Dubai houses are yet to be listed. The investigation is on.

The profiling of the suspected assets of more than 25 Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) is ongoing.

The EFCC has done “considerable intelligence work on the assets of Diezani and some of her business associates”, a source told The Nation on Sunday.

The source said: “Following due diligence by the EFCC, the Federal Government has already compiled a list of first batch of suspects with houses in Dubai, whose assets ought to be attached.

“They are a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; a former Managing Director of the defunct  Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru and a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed and his son, Shamsudeen.

“The government will soon formally apply to the UAE for the seizure of the assets traced to these Nigerians.

“Despite the fact that many assets were said to be allegedly owned by Mrs. Ibru, only eight choice mansions has been identified by the EFCC.

“Mrs. Diezani has two apartments, including  the one marked as J5 Emirates Hills (30 million Dirham) and another tagged E146 Emirates Hills, valued at 44million Dirham.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “The EFCC is profiling more than 25 PEPs based on the huge database from the UAE.

Some of these assets are in Emirates Hills, Marina, Jumeira, Bur Dubai in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE. “We are yet to focus on looted funds stashed in the Emirates,” the source said.

On the inclusion of the ex-FCT minister and his son, the source added: “This is based on intelligence report. We will keep you posted on the outcome of their suspected assets in Dubai. Ours is to make their names available for investigation by the UAE.

“Even those  who bought houses through proxies can be detected.”

Following a state visit to the UAE by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 19, 2016 , the Federal Government entered into  six agreements with the Emirates.

The agreements, which were signed by President Buhari last week, are:

  • Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement;
  • Agreement on Trade Promotion and Protection;
  • Judicial Agreements on Extradition;
  • Transfer of Sentenced Persons;
  • Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters; and
  • Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters(recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth).

Sections 7 of 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 mandate the agency to seize suspicious assets.

Section 7 says: “The commission has power to (a) cause any investigations to be conducted as to whether any person, corporate body or organization has committed any offence under this Act or other law relating to economic and financial crimes.

“(b) Cause investigations to be conducted into the properties of any person if it appears to the commission that the person’s lifestyle and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.”

Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to invoke Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.

“Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’

Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act reads in part: “The Court may grant an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Court to be just or convenient so to do.

Published in Headliners
Sunday, 03 September 2017 14:19

‘Help save my sight and dreams’

Losing both eyes to the deadly paws of cataract just five years ago, Master Holy Ogene, a talented musician is appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to save his sight and dreams

At the first encounter, his visual handicap is not obvious, considering  the way he carries himself with little or no assistance at all. It is astonishing to find him deriving strength and courage from his inability to see. It is true that even in his physically challenged state, Master Holy Ogene has managed to craft a worthy name for himself, struggling to make ends meet and  living without his parents help.

Christened Master Holy Ogene by his parents, he lost his sight in highly unfortunate circumstances just five years ago when he was still a student at Babs Fafunwa Millennia Senior Secondary School, Ojota, a Government school where both eyes were infected by cataract.

In an interview with  our correspondent, he recalled the genesis of his present situation.

“When I was born, I had short sighted. I was asked to use glasses but my father refused to let me use them as he believed I was too young to use recommended lens.”

Tragedy  actually struck when he was admitted to Babs Fafunwa Senior Secondary School at Ojodu Berger where the inability to cope due to large groups of students finally coerced his father to let him use recommended lenses. However, the damage had already been done at the ripe age of 14.

“It was after I started using glasses upon admission that I got cataract on my left eye and it got serious. My Dad had to take me to Eye foundation and they advocated surgery as the only solution. I was about 14 at the time and the implications of an eye surgery was much which included an operation via my brain and the risk being my Dad signing a form if anything happened to me.”

The delayed decision in undergoing a surgery led to the complete closure of the right eye after cataract covered the second eye.

The 22 year old who is an upcoming musician and politician witnessed the loss of both eyes after the unfortunate incident. Not willing to concede to defeat, he picked up a singing career due to his current condition.

“Singing comes from emotions, how I feel and the society around me. How I feel being depressed and just hearing people around me. At times, when I eat I don’t see what I eat,” Holy said.

He described his foray into politics by the nature of his unique singing talent. He was able to attract the attention of politicians and majorly the political presence of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“Due to my knowledge, and my brain, I operate phones and create technology. I created caller tunes and the current one for my phone was created by me. I created caller tunes and ways to advertise politicians which instantly peaked their interest in me, especially the PDP, though I would not want to say much over that.” He however attested to creating his own caller tune himself.

The event which happened in his heydays in secondary school hampered him from acquiring higher education but did not stop him from developing his mind.

“I wasn’t able to go to university but I went for some lessons to take my knowledge to another level.”

When asked if he used braille as means to communicate or express himself; he stated that he did not believe in the use of braille phones, he attested to the capability of using any phone no matter the complexity in functionality in less than three days.

“I use a normal phone and there is no phone I can’t use. Right now, I can send you a text message as fast as possible,” he demonstrated using his Nokia phone. Even the caller tune I created, you can hear it yourself; I did it in less than 3 minutes.” He reaffirmed: “I create caller tunes for myself and can operate any phone in 3 days.”

“I require #340 000 for the operation which is the specific operation price but the total is #360 000 drugs inclusive. Eye foundation gave me a bigger bill of #750 000 which is much. The Federal Medical Centre Asaba is cheaper and I have the doctors report with me here offering me #360 000.”

Ogene appealed  to well-meaning individuals, Churches, NGOs, and most importantly government officials and political parties. “I think this is a medium where parties can use my knowledge instead of making me a nuisance in the society to create an avenue where I can get my sight back.”

Ogene isn’t new to donations, he claimed that he had been given donations in the past but they had been very meagre to pay the bills for the drugs prescribed. “I got only #10 000 to #15 000 with little assistance from people but you know drugs and it has been almost two years and nothing else came. I don’t stay with my parents in Delta State, I have been feeding alone and life has been a little bit terrible and horrific.”

Holy who was accompanied by his distraught mother solicited the help of well-meaning Nigerians to save his sight by not letting the light of his dreams die a premature death, at the very tender age of 22.

His phone numbers are 08104974780 and 08142556716 while his account details is Ecobank, Ogene Holy 3823067769.

Courtesy: thenationonlineng.net/sight-and-dreams/

Published in Headliners

NAIROBI, Kenya — In a historic ruling and a first in Africa, Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified on Friday the re-election of a sitting president, ordering a new vote to be held within 60 days after finding that the outcome last month had been tainted by irregularities.

It was a stunning moment for Kenya, one of Africa’s most populous nations, and for democracy in general. Kenya’s disputed presidential election in 2007 set off bloodshed that left at least 1,300 people dead and 600,000 displaced around the country.

But this time, figures across the Kenyan political landscape, including the president whose victory was wiped away, appeared to accept the decision and called on supporters to do the same.

The ruling also offered a potent display of judicial independence on a continent where courts often come under intense pressure from political leaders, analysts said.

“It’s a historic moment showing the fortitude and courage of the Kenyan judiciary,” said Dickson Omondi, a country director for the National Democratic Institute, a nonpartisan organization that supports democratic institutions and practices worldwide.

He said it was the first example in Africa in which a court nullified the re-election of an incumbent.

The election on Aug. 8 was conducted peacefully and was largely praised by international observers. But David Maraga, the court’s chief justice, declared the result “invalid, null and void” after siding with the opposition, which had argued that the vote had been electronically manipulated to assure a victory for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr. Kenyatta, 55, had been re-elected with 54 percent of the vote, easily surpassing the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff. His main challenger, Raila Odinga, 72, who petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the election, had received about 44 percent, a difference of about 1.4 million votes. A parallel tally by domestic observers endorsed the official result.

Photo
 
Supporters of Mr. Odinga celebrating the court decision in Nairobi. CreditBen Curtis/Associated Press

The Supreme Court decision came as a surprise, even to Mr. Odinga and his supporters, who had complained about election irregularities. A top election official in charge of voting technology was killed about a week before the election, and although the casting of ballots went smoothly, the electronic transmission of vote tallies was flawed, leading the opposition to assert that as many as seven million votes had been stolen.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, which was in charge of the vote, “failed, neglected, or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the Constitution,” the court said.

The six-judge Supreme Court found no misconduct on the part of the president, Mr. Kenyatta, but it found that the commission “committed irregularities and illegalities in the transmission of results” and unspecified other issues.

“Irregularities affected the integrity of the poll,” Justice Maraga told a stunned courtroom.

A new vote means that candidates will have to start campaigning again and possibly raise millions of dollars: Elections in Kenya generally cost about $1 billion, including spending by the candidates during the campaign and by the government to hold the election.

Thousands of people in the opposition strongholds of Kisumu, Mombasa and parts of Nairobi streamed into the streets and whooped with joy after the news was announced on Friday. Supporters of Mr. Kenyatta in Gatundu, his hometown, were subdued.

“I am happy to be Kenyan today,” said Mr. Odinga, a former prime minister now in his fourth run for the presidency. “It is a historic day for the people of Kenya, and by extension the people of Africa.”

“This is a precedent-setting ruling,” he said, adding that it was the first time in the history of African democratization that “a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular presidential elections.”

Mr. Odinga said that his team planned to take members of the electoral commission to court, saying that they had “committed a criminal act” and belonged in jail.

Photo
 
Police officers outside the Supreme Court building in Nairobi on Friday. CreditBen Curtis/Associated Press

Mr. Kenyatta, the president, said he respected the ruling and called on all Kenyans to respond peacefully, but he also made clear his anger toward the court.

“Millions of Kenyans queued, made their choice, and six people have decided that they will go against the will of the people,” he said.

Security had been increased on Friday in opposition strongholds amid concern that a ruling in favor of either side could provoke protests or worse. Kenya experienced postelection violence after presidential votes in 2007, 2013 and last month, when at least 24 people were killed, most of them by security forces.

“My concern is that no matter what the court says, the losers will react violently,” John Campbell, a senior fellow for Africa policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former ambassador to Nigeria, said before the ruling.

Mr. Campbell expressed concern that “neither Kenyatta nor Odinga prepared their followers for the possibility of losing.”

Immediately after the court’s announcement, however, the atmosphere was more of joy than fear, and there were no immediate reports of violence in strongholds on the losing side, including Gatundu. There, supporters were seen carrying mock coffins with the words “R.I.P. Jubilee” painted on the sides, referring to Mr. Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party.

The Supreme Court, which has bolstered its independence in recent years but had still been viewed by many Kenyans as under government influence, was facing pressure to set out arguments that would persuade people on either side, said Mr. Omondi, the country director for the National Democratic Institute.

The case was an opportunity for the judiciary to truly show its independence, he added, especially after it came under intense criticism for mishandling a similar petition by Mr. Odinga in 2013, which the presiding judge alluded to on Friday at the start of his remarks.

Photo
 
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya addressed his supporters at the Burma market in Nairobi after his election victory was declared invalid. CreditThomas Mukoya/Reuters

The election controversy hinged on two paper forms that legally validate the ballots — one from each of the country’s 40,883 polling stations and the other from 290 constituencies. Representatives from rival parties were required to approve the forms before they were scanned and electronically transmitted to a national tallying center in Nairobi, where they were to be put online immediately so they could be crosschecked.

But the electronic system, which had been overseen by Christopher Chege Msando, the election official who was killed, broke down. Therefore, only the results, not the forms, were sent to the national tallying center, often by text message.

International election observers were quick to praise the electoral body after the vote, saying there was no evidence that the votes had been tampered with at polling stations and that the paper forms would show clearly who had won. The observers assumed the forms would be easily verifiable and would be matched with figures texted to the tallying center by party officials.

But when Mr. Kenyatta was initially declared the winner, just hours after voting ended, almost none of the forms from the polling stations were online, even though the electoral commission had had a week to receive scanned images of the results.

A couple of days later, the commission announced that about 10,000 forms were unaccounted for, sowing even more doubt and suspicion over its credibility.

“The scenario was similar to that of the Bermuda Triangle, where no one knows how ships disappear,” said Pheroze Nowrojee, a lawyer representing Mr. Odinga and the National Super Alliance, the opposition umbrella group.

The electoral commission said it had presented the forms, a claim that was verified in a report by the registrar of the Supreme Court. However, that report found that a third of the forms had lacked security features like watermarks or serial numbers, which election observers saw as evidence that the forms were probably false.

Defending the integrity of the election, Wafula Chebukati, the chairman of the election commission, noted that the focus of the decision was on the transmission of the results, not on the voting or the counting of the ballots. He urged investigators to prosecute “any of our staff that may have been in violation of the Elections Offenses Act.”

Walter Mebane, a professor of statistics and political science at the University of Michigan who studies elections worldwide, volunteered to run the voting results through a computer model he developed to detect electoral fraud. Based on statistics only, and without knowledge of the intricacies of Kenyan politics, he and his team found patterns that showed widespread manipulation.

“It was unlike any data set I had ever seen,” he said. “Every single indicator came up signaling anomalies. It’s a huge red flag that something weird is going on.”

Published in Business and Economy

The Super Eagles of Nigeria on Friday beat Cameroon 4-0 to consolidate its position at the top of Group B in the 2018 World Cup African qualifiers.

A goal apiece from Odion Ighalo, Chelsea FC  winger, Victor Moses; skipper Mikel Obi and substitute Kelechi Iheanacho ensured  Nigeria grabbed the maximum three points at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo.

After a sluggish start, Ighalo puts Nigeria ahead after receiving a fine pass from  Mikel in the 28th minute. The China-based forward, however, got yellow-carded for taking off his jersey while celebrating. 

Mikel made it 2-0 in the 42nd when he latched onto a Victor Moses corner.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Victor Moses combined with gangling winger Moses Simon before slotting home from inside the box.

Iheanacho, who came in for injured Ighalo, made it 4-0 when he nodded past goalkeeper Fabrice Ondo from Ogenyi Onasi assist in 77th minute.

With the victory, Nigeria top Group B with nine points, while Cameroon have just two points from three matches.

Published in Headliners

A 25-year-old undergraduate of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State, Chioma Pius, who was allegedly tortured by some policemen attached to the Rivers State Police Command, has identified the patrol team behind the attack.

The victim, who spoke with our correspondent on Wednesday, said the matter had also been taken to the Public Complaint Rapid Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, Abuja.

Our correspondent had reported Pius’ post on Facebook on Wednesday, where she briefly recounted her experience with a four-man patrol team on the Elebrada Junction, in the Emohua area of Rivers State.

She had said the police team accused her of putting on tattoos on her body and assaulted her before locking her up in a mobile cell.

During a chat with PUNCH Metro, she explained that the cops had earlier checked the vehicle particulars and that of the driver of the cab she took and finding no fault, shifted attention to her.

She said, “The incident happened around 1.05pm on Monday. My friend was having her birthday and I left Bayelsa for Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to buy groceries for her. I was in the cab when we were stopped at a checkpoint.

“One of them asked for the driver’s vehicle documents, which he gave them. I was in the car, listening to music. When the officer saw that the papers were complete, he asked me to come down.

“I asked the cab man if he had any problem with them, and he said no. The policeman asked me to identity myself and I told him my name and that I was a professional fashion designer. I told him that I was also a student of a polytechnic. I was wearing a smile on my face. I never knew that people misunderstood smiling for arrogance.

“His boss came towards us and asked if I was resisting arrest. He said I was treating him as if he was too small to talk to me. The boss asked for my identity and I reintroduced myself.

“He said, ‘Oh, you even have a tattoo, and you are resisting arrest. Ok, detain her.’ I was shocked.  I said, ‘Oga, you can’t ask them to detain me for wearing a tattoo.’ He said I was proving stubborn. Before I could turn around, the other policeman had slapped me twice.

“He pushed me towards his boss, who punched me as if he was punching a man like himself. The next thing, they poured water on me and the man went to get a horsewhip and flogged me. The boss used his gun to hit me twice in the thigh. I jumped into the mobile cell. One of them bought a sachet of pure water and poured it on me, shouting ‘Ashawo’.He also spat on me.”

The Imo State indigene explained that the tattoos on her body had been imprinted for more than eight years, adding that while one was a tribute to a deceased sibling, the other represented important memories of her life.

She said when she asked to speak with her fiancé, an Italian, the policemen called her a prostitute, saying she would soon contract HIV.

“The policemen ransacked my handbag and wallet, looking for money.  They later sneered that I didn’t have any money but I had a sharp mouth to question them.

“Three of them beat me up, while the fourth officer was busy extorting money from other motorists, who watched me suffered,” she added.

She explained that the cab driver, who had been threatened with a gun for wanting to interfere, ran to another checkpoint to beg other policemen to mediate.

The policemen were said to have pleaded with the cops to release her, saying she had suffered enough.

“I want justice because I was humiliated publicly and treated like a child. They have probably been doing this to a lot of people, but it must end. I was not indecently dressed to have warranted any harassment. I wore a black jeans and a T-shirt. I don’t dress indecently outside. What if I had worn something transparent? Then I would have lost my life,” she added.

She gave the number plate of the patrol vehicle as NPF 4982C AKU PH, adding that she had already made statements to the PCRRU.

The Rivers State Police Public Relations Officer, Omoni Nnamdi, did not pick his calls when our correspondent contacted him.

Published in News & Stories
Thursday, 31 August 2017 02:48

Police raid home of Rwanda opposition figure

Police in Rwanda have denied reports that they have arrested a prominent opposition leader, Diane Shima Rwigara, and her mother.

Police spokesperson Theos Badege told the BBC that security officers had conducted a raid at the politician's home in relation to investigations over her alleged use of forged signatures to endorse her failed presidential bid.

This led to her disqualification in this month's election which Paul Kagame won.

He added that her family was also being investigated for alleged tax evasion.

Reports say that unknown armed men dressed in civilian clothes spent a night outside her home before storming in on Wednesday morning.

They then held Ms Rwigara and her family at gunpoint, searching the house for hours.

Her family say that they don't know where she and her mother are now.

Published in Business and Economy

Governors of the South-East states, on Wednesday, held talks with leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, in Enugu, the Enugu State capital.

The meeting held at the Enugu State Government House.

It was the first time the governors are meeting Kanu, who is championing the pro-Biafran agitation in the South-East and parts of the South-South.

One of our correspondents learnt that issues surrounding the ongoing agitation, including IPOB’s call for a boycott of the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State and the group’s recent establishment of a ‘Biafra Secret Service’, topped the agenda of the meeting.

The meeting had the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; and the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, in attendance.

Nkem Okeke, deputy governor of Anambra State, represented Governor Willie Obiano.

Rochas Okorocha and Okezie Ikpeazu of Imo and Abia states respectively were absent and were not represented.

A source at the meeting said both governors were outside the country.

Kanu was accompanied to the meeting by elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, and founder of the Igbo Youth Movement, Evangelist Elliot Uko.

The PUNCH equally learnt that the governors at the meeting, which held behind closed doors, spoke of the need for an amicable resolution of issues raised by the pro-Biafran activists.

While the governors have maintained that restructuring is the solution to the perceived marginalisation of the Igbo in the country, Kanu and other pro-Biafran agitators are clamouring for outright secession, and the emergence of an independent Biafran nation.

A communique after the meeting, read by Umahi, who is the chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, said the governors noted the concerns raised by the IPOB as well as the secessionists’ demands.

According to the communique, the governors informed Kanu that the demands should not be absolute.

Further meetings are to be held between Kanu and the governors towards an amicable resolution of the issues, according to the communique.

The communiqué read, “The meeting deliberated on the demands of the IPOB and noted its concerns accordingly.

“However, the meeting agreed that these demands by IPOB should not be absolute; rather the South-East governors shall immediately engage the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, and the entire leadership of IPOB in further meetings and dialogue with a view to quickening the resolution of all issues amicably.”

A source at the secretariat of the South-East Governors’ Forum informed The PUNCH that the governors would persuade Kanu to drop the agitation for Biafra and embrace the campaign for restructuring.

Kanu, dressed in Jewish attire, arrived at the Enugu Government House, venue of the meeting, in a white Toyota Venza with the inscription, ‘Eze S. I. Kanu’ on the number plate.

The vehicle apparently belongs to Kanu’s father, Eze S. I. Kanu.

The IPOB leader posed for a group photograph with the governors after the meeting before leaving the government house.

After Kanu’s departure, the governors went into another meeting with a group of Igbo leaders, including the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, and a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Soludo.

IPOB leader’s planned re-arrest politically unwise, Umar tells FG

Meanwhile, a former military Governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (reted.), has cautioned the Federal Government against a possible re-arrest of the IPOB leader on alleged breach of his bail conditions.

Umar, who is also the Chairman of the Movement for Unity and Progress, in a statement on Wednesday in Kaduna, noted that re-arrest of Kanu would be dangerous and politically unwise on the part of the government.

He stated, “Reports in the media indicate that the Federal Government has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to revoke the bail granted Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and have him re-arrested. This is both dangerous and politically unwise.

“Mazi Kanu is not a common criminal as the government appears to think. On the contrary, he is a bitter young man fighting for a fairer deal for his Igbo kinsmen.

“His seeming militant approach is the result of the strong arm tactics with which the Federal Government deals with him.  His long incarceration before a court granted him bail testifies to this.

“Like Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, many Igbos genuinely feel marginalised since they belong to the category of those who gave Mr. President only five per cent of their votes and appeared to have fallen out of his favour.”

Umar argued that President Muhammadu Buhari’s insistence that the unity of Nigeria was a settled issue was a nationalistic wish coming from a veteran of the civil war fought to keep the country as one.

However, he lamented that the President’s view did not take into account the mood of the nation as indicated by the growing agitations for self -determination, restructuring and many other similar demands.

Umar said, “All indications are that Nigeria has become so polarised that it requires a strong personality like General Buhari to sustain its fragile unity. Needless to say that this does not bode well for the survival of the nation.

“Nigeria’s unity can only be guaranteed when all its citizens feel they are getting a fair deal; when all its component parts are treated justly and equitably; when none feels oppressed.”

He said the fact that there were growing agitations for self -determination, restructuring and other similar demands spoke gravely of the way the federation was being governed.

Published in News & Stories

The Olori has also reverted to her maiden name Zaynab Otiti Obanor. She disclosed this via an official statement on her official Instagram page @hhzynab on Wednesday.

Her post partly reads: “What I can confirm is that the Ooni and I are no more. I inhale love and exhale gratitude.

“No matter how much time you’ve invested, no matter the use of media to silence and manipulate, no matter the circumstance, slander, embarrassment, threats and lies: get out and seek immediate help!

“My journey continues as a humanitarian aiding women and victims of domestic violence and abuse with the United Nations.

The revelation has confirmed media reports in recent times that the Oni marriage’s to the Benin-born queen was having crisis.

Ooni got married to his ex-Edo bride at an elaborate society traditional marriage held in Benin, the Edo State capital on March 16, 2016.

Although the monarch was not physically present, he was represented by his father, Oluropo Ogunwusi.

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

We have got to stop this culture of shaming and vilifying women with false stories of infidelity & nefarious behavior. The spreading of false information (through "sources" afraid to be identified) is the mark of cowards and a cover up for guilty parties to justify their horrific actions.

There is absolutely no truth to the media circulated lies of infidelity and infertility- on my end. What I can confirm, is that the Ooni and I are no more. I inhale love & exhale gratitude. My journey continues as a Humanitarian aiding women and victims of domestic violence & abuse with the United Nations.

No matter how much time you've invested, no matter the use of media to silence & manipulate, no matter the circumstance, slander, embarrassment, threats and lies: Get out and seek immediate help! We've seen this movie before. Women being dragged in the press & blamed for everything under the sun.

This behavior is unacceptable. I urge those involved to be mindful of their actions for the eyes of our Almighty God are always watching. The seeds of slander is a cancer that harvests to eat away the souls of the planter. The throne is sacred and the attempts to tarnish the name of a Queen, in defense or on behalf of a silent King makes all involved look terrible. Remain dignified in all you do. It's not the end of the world, but the start of a new chapter and you must turn the page with grace.

The world is watching. As I bid adieu to this chapter, my wish to you all is to step into your lives - boldly & fearlessly, the way God intended and live not just by words, but through example.

The best chapter in our lives is the one we are writing now.

Thank you for your love and support.

With peace, love &  light,

Her Highness, Zaynab Otiti Obanor.

 

Published in Headliners

A South African minister has criticised African leaders who seek medical treatment abroad.

Aaron Motsoaledi condemned "health tourism" while speaking in Zimbabwe.

President Robert Mugabe, who frequently receives treatment in Singapore, had left the meeting of health ministers when Dr Motsoaledi made the comments.

Mr Mugabe's spokesman has said that the president's doctor "is not only Zimbabwean, he is actually black… He is very, very, very black".

George Charamba made those comments to Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper in May, insisting that President Mugabe was not turning his back on Zimbabwean medical help.

Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari and Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos have also been criticised for seeking medical treatment abroad this year.

At this week's conference Dr Motsoaledi said:

"We are the only continent that has its leaders seeking medical services outside the continent, outside our territory. We must be ashamed of that."

"This is called health tourism. We must promote our own," he added.

Zimbabwe's President Robert MugabeImage copyrightAFP
Zimbabwe's long-serving President Robert Mugabe is 93 years old

Dr Motsoaledi also urged governments to increase funding to local facilities.

He has been praised by South Africans for using public hospitals instead of private facilities.


Analysis: Shingai Nyoka, BBC Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

It was the elephant in the room as over 30 of Africa's health ministers met to discuss strategies to tackle the continent's public health problems.

The list of African heads of state who have recently sought medical treatment abroad includes President Muhammadu Buhari, Angola's outgoing President José Eduardo dos Santos, Zimbabwe's 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, Benin's President Patrice Talon and 80-year-old Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

When Dr Motsoale made the comments in a plenary session, his remarks were met with silence from the other member states represented.

Dr Motsoaledi admitted his position is a controversial one, but added that it needed to be said.


Mugabe's medical leave in 2017

17 Jan: President Robert Mugabe leaves Zimbabwe on an official trip then, according to the Standard, takes a detour to Singapore for routine checks

8 May: State media report that Mr Mugabe has left for Singapore on another routine medical check-up

9 July: Mr Mugabe leaves again for Singapore - a youth rally is postponed as a result and the main opposition accuse him of "ruling from a hospital bed"

Published in Business and Economy
Wednesday, 30 August 2017 01:34

Major shake-up in NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday announced a major management shake-up that culminates in the appointments and redeployment across the value chain.

The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, told NNPC officials shortly before the announcement was made public that the new appointments would not only help to position the Corporation for the challenges ahead but would help fill the gaps created due to statutory retirements. A total of 55 top management officers were affected in the exercise.

According to a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu,  under the new arrangement, Roland Ewubare, formerly MD of the Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), moves to the National Petroleum Investment Management Services, (NAPIMS) as the new Group General Manager while Diepriye Tariah, former GGM and Senior Technical Assistant to the NNPC GMD takes over from Ewubare as MD of IDSL.

The statement reads in part: “Malami Shehu, Executive Director, Operations, of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), was appointed Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) while Adewale Ladenegan, former MD of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) was moved to KRPC to assume duty as MD.

“In the same vein, Muhammed Abah, until recently, the Executive Director Operations of WRPC succeeds Ladenegan as MD of Warri Refinery.

“With the retirement of  Farouk Ahmed as the MD of the Nigerian Products Marketing Company, (NPMC), Umar

Ajiya, former GGM in charge of Corporate Planning and Strategy, (CP&S) now assumes duty as MD of NPMC.

“Bala Wunti, former, General Manager, Downstream, GMD’s Office, takes charge as GGM CP&S.

Other changes include: Usman Yusuf who takes over as GGM/STA to the GMD, Adeyemi Adetunji confirmed as MD, NNPC Retail, alongside Dr. Bola Afolabi, who now functions as GGM in charge of Research and Development Division of the Corporation.

“Also on the list is Mrs. Ahmadu-Katagum appointed GGM (Shipping) in the Downstream Autonomous Business Unit and Kallamu Abdullahi takes over as the GGM in charge of the Renewable Energy Division in the Downstream ABU. 

Dr. Shaibu Musa was promoted MD of the NNPC Medical Services Limited, while Ibrahim Birma is the new GGM in charge of the Corporation’s Audit Division now renamed Governance, Risk and Compliance Division.”

 
Published in Headliners
Page 3 of 19

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